sub-contracting occupations

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i find it disturbing that there are people who seem to think that there was something new or who were impressed by obama’s speech because he used the word “occupation.” here is the paragraph in which obama used that word:

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive.

the word i want to hear him utter is “nakba.” i want him to acknowledge the root of the problem and the only roadmap that will fix it, united nations resolution 194 that mandates palestinian refugees have a right to return to their land under international law. i find it increasingly problematic to use the word “occupation” because the word automatically signals the false notion that only land stolen by the zionist entity 42 years ago is “occupied.” but the entirety of palestine is occupied. is colonized. not just what is called the west bank and gaza strip. there is little difference between those zionist colonizers who occupy palestinian land whether in haifa or in khalil. and no the two people do not have equal legitimate aspirations.

there was an interesting debate on the speech on the pbs newshour, surprisingly enough, that featured abderrahim foukara from al jazeera, as’ad abukhalil, rami khoury, and some woman named sumaya hamdani whose reading of the speech was rightfully critiqued by the other panelists. this discussion was far more sophisticated and specific than anything i heard on al jazeera english because unlike al jazeera english, the newshour seemed to not make it a priority to find arabs and muslims who were salivating over the speech. you can also hear two good interviews nora barrows-friedman did with ali abunimah and robert knight with sami husseini yesterday on flashpoints that put the speech into its proper context.

helena cobban interviewed hamas leader khaled mesh’al yesterday for ips news in which mesh’al rightly states that palestinians want to see actions not words:

“We need two things from Obama, Mitchell, the Quartet, and the rest of the international community. Firstly, pressure on Israel to acknowledge and grant these rights. The obstacle to this is completely on the Israeli side. Secondly, we need the international actors to refrain from intervening in internal Palestinian affairs. You should leave it to the Palestinians to resolve our differences peacefully. You should respect Palestinian democracy and its results,” he said.

This latter was a reference to the hard-hitting campaign that Israel, the U.S. and its allies have maintained against Hamas ever since its candidates won a strong victory in the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s parliamentary elections in January 2006.

That campaign has included sustained efforts to delegitimise the Hamas-led government that emerged from the elections, attempts by Israel to assassinate the government’s leaders, including during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza, and the mission that U.S. Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton has led in the West Bank to arm and train an anti-Hamas fighting force loyal to the U.S.-supported Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.

In his reaction to Obama’s speech, Meshaal referred to the U.S.’s role in this intervention, saying, “Rather than sweet words from President Obama on democratisation, we’d rather see the United States start to respect the results of democratic elections that have already been held. And rather than talk about democratisation and human rights in the Arab world, we’d rather see the removal of Gen. Dayton, who’s building a police state there in the West Bank.”

this issue of american-zionist forces collaborating with the palestinian authority came to a head yesterday as obama delivered his speech. ghassan bannoura reported the events as follows for imemc:

Four Palestinians were reported dead and numbers injured as Palestinian security forces announced that clashes with Hamas fighters ended in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia on Thursday midday.

The clashes started early morning and lasted till midday, The security forces and the gunmen exchanged fire after the gunmen opened fire at a vehicle that belongs to the Palestinian security forces, officials reported.

A security official in Qalqilia stated that the Hamas fighters hurled a grenade at the security patrol killing one officer and wounding several others. The security forces surrounded a building where three fighters of Hamas barracked themselves. Witnesses speaking under conditions of immunity told IMEMC that security forces stormed the building after heavy exchange of fire and found the three fighters dead.

Tension was high in Qalqilia since the start of the week. On Sunday a group of Hamas fighters clashed with the Fatah controlled security forces in the city. The clash left two fighters, one civilian and three security officers dead.

Meanwhile Fatah security forces in the West Bank and Hamas forces in Gaza arrested members of each other’s factions all week.

here is some footage from the associated press of the gun battle yesterday in qalqilia:

nora barrows-friedman’s interview with diana buttu the other day reveals the important details about these events and its relationship to larger concerns among palestinians more generally. here is nora’s post on her blog and below that is a partial transcript that i typed up from the interview.

Listen to my interview with former PLO advisor Diana Buttu earlier this week about the Palestinian Authority’s moves to:

1) accept “counter-terrorism” training from a US military colonialist-orientalist, Lt. Keith Dayton;

2) use that training to turn against Palestinians trying to resist the illegal occupation and apartheid regime of Israel;

3) further fractionalizing any national unity coalition to fight occupation and subjugation by Israel and the US.

here is a partial transcript of the interview with some revealing and insightful analysis and questioning (the link below is to the actual interview, which i highly recommend listening to):

Nora Barrows Friedman: …The PA placed the entire city of Qalqilia under curfew, which is reminiscent of Israeli tactics as they did their search and seizure mission. Can you give us your assessment of this in the current climate of the Occupied West Bank at this point?

Diana Buttu: Certainly, one of the interesting things about this case is that one of the individuals with Hamas who ended up being killed is somebody who was being sought after by the Israelis and who had gone under cover for a period of nearly 7 years. Rather than–so the irony is that instead of Israel person, the body that assassinates, it ended up that it’s the Palestinian Authority that has killed this man. And so it points to the direction that the Palestinian Authority is heading into: that is being the security sub-contractor to the Israeli Occupation.

NBF: And this also comes just three days after Israel assassinated another Hamas leader, Abed Al-Majid Dudin, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. You know, let’s talk about the timing of all of this. The PA security services have been ramping up their suppression of the civilian population, within the West Bank, and more and more Palestinian civilians are unimpressed, you could say, with the PA’s involvement with the Israeli government and the United States. You know, after this meeting with Obama, what’s the significance really of the timing of all of this under the Abbas leadership?

DB: It’s very significant. The significance of it is that President Abbas wants to demonstrate to the Americans that he is the address, particularly since his mandate expired in January 2009. And the only way he can demonstrate he is the address is–and Salam Fayyad being the prime minister who has now twice been appointed and not been confirmed by the PLC–the only way that they can that is by showing that they can take control of security. In other words, it’s become very clear that the equation is that the Palestinian Authority has to crack down on Hamas and demonstrate that it can actually take control and take charge of security in the West Bank. And in exchange for that there may, perhaps, be some pressure brought to bear on Israel–not to dismantle settlements, but just to simply freeze settlements. It’s becoming clear that this is the equation. Especially in light of the fact that President Abbas’ mandate expired in January of this year.

NBF: Diana, let’s talk also about the training of the PA services by the U.S. contra-style military commander Lieutenant Keith Dayton. Dayton has been employed in the West Bank for a couple of years. His contract was just renewed for another two years. And he’s been tasked to train Palestinian Authority forces in so-called “counter-terrorism tactics,” not against the illegal israeli occupiers, but against their own people in the Hamas movement. What are your thoughts on the appointment and employment of Dayton?

DB: Well this is, again, part of the long-term strategy and the long-term thinking when it comes to this region. Nobody–and certainly not the United States–they do not recognize that this is an occupation. They do not realize that this is a political issue that has some security ramifications. But instead they view it as a lack of security and security only, thinking that this is a security problem and that if we address the security side of things, in other words, approach Israel’s security first, then somehow the political ducks will line themselves up. But that’s clearly not been–that’s proven to be false in the past and, of course, it will be proven to be false in the future. What’s interesting about Dayton and the forces that he’s been training in the West Bank is that when Dayton thought to give his first interview to an Israeli paper, one of the key sentences and one of the messages that he sent to the Israelis was the following: what they were doing is that they were training the Palestinian Authority forces not to combat Israel’s occupation or even to resist Israel’s occupation, but instead they were training the security forces to undermine those very individuals who at any point in time believe that it is alright to resist Israel’s military occupation. In other words: pit Palestinian against Palestinian rather than ensure that the Palestinians are able to resist Israel’s military rule.

NBF: And, Diana, how does this kind of Iran-contra style tactic play out in the Palestinian street?. How are Palestinians looking at what’s going on here?

DB: Well Palestinians are looking at it with a lot of horror and a lot of disgust. I actually remember 15 years ago, when the Palestinian Authority first came into the area. This is an Authority that was greeted with candy, with flowers, people were throwing rice–with a lot of jubilation thinking that somehow there was going to be a Palestinian presence, a Palestinian entity that was going to rule over their lives rather than being an Israeli entity, an Israeli force. You have to contrast that with the demonstration that happened yesterday where people were cursing the Palestinian Authority. People were chanting slogans against the Palestinian Authority–the same slogans that Palestinians once chanted against Israeli Occupation Forces. So you can see the connection that is being made, that people are making between Israel’s occupying forces soldiers and those of the Palestinian Authority. And unless this equation gets broken somehow, unless the Palestinian Authority re-gears itself or re-directs itself, which I don’t think is likely, then you’re going to see a much higher level of cynicism along with much more acts of a police state, which the West Bank is now turning into being.

perhaps it is in this context that you can see why some palestinians call the palestinian authority collaborationist. for instance the palestinian information center reported that the zionist entity is rather pleased with its subcontracted army here in the west bank:

The Israeli occupation authority has expressed extreme satisfaction at the success of Abbas’s security men in assassinating Qassam resistance fighters wanted by the IOF for a number of years.

Occupation military sources described the assassination of Muhammad Atteya and Eyad al-Abtali and the wounding of Ala’ Deyab in the city of Qalqilya as an important operation carried out successfully by Abbas’s security men, especially that this operation comes only two days after the assassination of Qassam commander Muhammad al-Samman and his assistant Muhammd Yassin after a 6-year pursuit by the IOF.

The Israeli occupation army radio said that Abbas’s forces besieged the hiding place of the Qassam fighters, which was in the cellar of a house, and when they failed to make them surrender they poured large quantities of water into the cellar drowning two of them and wounding and arresting the third.

it should come as no surprise, then, that resistance is now promising to turn its guns on the collaborationist authority as imemc reports:

The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, issued a statement on Thursday calling on all fighters in the West Bank to defend themselves against the security forces of president Mahmoud Abbas, the same way the fighters counter the Israeli occupation.

In a press conference in Gaza, Abu Obaida, spokesperson of the Al Qassam, said that the brigades will prevail in the West Bank “in spite of the aggression of the occupation and its tails”, and that if the security forces think that the Al Qassam is vanishing in the West Bank, “they should know we are here, and here we will prevail, God willing”.

He added that the Brigades considers the security forces of Abbas as “outlawed militias, that violate the morals of the people and the country”, and added that “the only way to deal with them is by resistance; we call on our fighters to fight the gangs of Abbas the same way they fight the occupation”.

He held Abbas and his Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, responsible for the events in Qalqilia, and added that “no talks or future agreements would pardon them or grant them security”.

in spite of all this kenneth bazinet reported in the daily news that obama had to send out an email assuring american jews that he still supports the zionist entity in all its destruction and war crimes that they commit on a daily basis with the help of the palestinian authority and the united states:

The White House tried to ease Israeli concerns over President Obama’s fence-mending speech Thursday to the Muslim world, insisting he remains loyal to the strong U.S. relationship with the Jewish state.

In an e-mail sent to some Jewish groups and the U.S.-based lobby for Israel, the White House insisted Obama’s outreach to the mainstream Muslim majority is no threat to relations with its key Mideast ally.

“The President’s commitment to Israel’s security is as firm as ever, which he has emphasized many times,” the e-mail said.

it seems that they do need reassuring because all one needs to do is take one look at joseph dana and max blumenthal’s video of zionist terrorist colonists in al quds last night after the speech (one view of this video and you’ll see what i mean by terrorists):

oddly enough, in spite of all the racist ranting in the above video, there is a newish restaurant i pass by in between beit lahem and al quds just before you reach the old city that seems to pay homage to the new american president:

zionist terrorist colonist pizza restaurant in al quds
zionist terrorist colonist pizza restaurant in al quds

and today a brand new colony is being built on palestinian land named after barack obama:

Israeli settlers established a new illegal West Bank outpost on Thursday, dedicating it partly to US President Barack Obama.

The settlers, calling themselves the “Land of Israel Loyalists,” named the outpost Oz Yehonatan, near Binyamin, but were calling part of it the “Obama Hut,” according to the Israeli news agency Ynet.

And according to a report from Israel’s Arutz Sheva news agency, the outpost was named “in recognition of the president’s actions, which have led to a dramatic increase in the number of outposts being built throughout Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].”

of course in spite of what those zio-nazis say in the above video, the united states, and obama are firmly supporting only jewish suffering and a jewish state. obama confirmed this today when instead of traveling to nearby gaza to see the damage created by american weapons in the hands of the israeli terrorist army he chose to look back and history to see what europeans did to jews, and in his comments there he reinforced the deeply flawed logic that palestinians should pay the price for european sins as mark smith reported in the star tribune:

President Barack Obama witnessed the Nazi ovens of the Buchenwald concentration camp Friday, its clock tower frozen at the time of liberation, and said the leaders of today must not rest against the spread of evil.

The president called the camp where an estimated 56,000 people died the “ultimate rebuke” to Holocaust deniers and skeptics. And he bluntly challenged one of them, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, to visit Buchenwald.

“These sites have not lost their horror with the passage of time,” Obama said after seeing crematory ovens, barbed-wire fences, guard towers and the clock set at 3:15, marking the camp’s liberation in the afternoon of April 11, 1945. “More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished.”

Buchenwald “teaches us that we must be ever-vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time, that we must reject the false comfort that others’ suffering is not our problem, and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate others to serve their own interests,” Obama said.

He also said he saw, reflected in the horrors, Israel’s capacity to empathize with the suffering of others, which he said gave him hope Israel and the Palestinians can achieving a lasting peace.

this point of view is why most people in this region will never believe the rhetoric coming out of the united states even if the president’s middle name is hussein. zeina khodr’s report for al jazeera on the afghan response to obama’s speech is indicative of this sentiment:

egyptian blogger hossam el hamalawy also spoke out against the obama speech eloquently in an interview with al jazeera’s james bays, although there is some vapid woman sitting next to him who i wish would shut up to enable hossam to have more time to explain his important points:

and natalie abou shakra kindly translated khaled saghiyyeh’s article in al akhbar today on the speech:

People, let’s hear it out for Mr Obama who has just recognized Islam as a religion! Not only so, but he also recited Koranic passages at his University of Cairo speech!

And we, the “colonized” overwhelmed by permissiveness, did not stop clapping every time we heard a sura recited in English. But, frankly, despite this harmonious wonder between cultures and religions, it is worthy to note that the problem with the American administration was never cultural to begin with, and has not been merely a difference in political perspectives.

The difference lies in the bloodshed of hundreds of thousands that were killed in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan…. either by American-made weapons, American support, or by Americans themselves as is the case with war on Iraq for the so-called struggle for democracy, and the war on Lebanon as a passage to a New Middle East.

However, there’s no use crying over spilt milk, for Mr. Obama has thus spoken and has asked us to start over a new beginning. Simply, in a snap of his fingers he asks us to put aside all that without the need for an apology to the victims of these wars. We do not mean to waste the precious time of this new emperor, but is he asking us to be his partners? And, are we supposed to believe him? But, wait a minute… we have a lot to learn from our “big brother.” Not only shall he impose on us his democracy, but also imposed on us what he thinks of human rights… O, Mr. Obama, thank you for reshaping the etiquette.

More so, as the first step to this new recipe, Obama asks of the Lebanese Maronites to look onto themselves as minorities, just as the Copts, and he shall be the one who will defend their rights. As for “Hamas”, who was democratically elected by the way, he thinks they “represent, maybe, some of the Palestinians.” And based on his account of human rights, he emphasized the wrongness of the “violent” resistance. And what is the alternative? The same old talk about the two-state solution and the road map in Palestine, completely ignoring the right of return and the issue of the refugees. As for Iran, it should [according to Obama] abandon its nuclear dreams in the purpose of preventing an arms race in the Middle East- as if Iran was the one who begun the race! Hello Mr. Obama!!

Imperialism did not always come in the form of violent speeches. But, rather, it usually came in with a stronger sense of allure. Well, it seems that “development” rates will hit the ceilings again. Prepare yourselves for more bloodshed and victims to fall… this time in the name of humanity and progress.

and for those readers questioning me yesterday when i doubted the sincereity of obama in reference to his promises about iraq and guantanamo, just click on these recent news stories by jeremy scahill and you will start to understand what i mean:

IN FOCUS: “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama” (AlterNet): The ‘Black Shirts’ of Guantanamo routinely terrorize prisoners, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles, and ‘dousing’ them with chemicals.

WORLD VIEW: UN Human Rights Council Blasts US for Killing Civilians, Drone Attacks and Using Mercenaries: The UN group is also calling on the US to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate crimes by US officials.

HMMM: Obama Wants $736 Million Colonial Fortress in Pakistan: Critics say the White House wants to use the new “embassy” for “pushing the American agenda in Central Asia.”

SAY WHAT??: Mastercard-istan: Ex-Bush Henchman Wants to be “CEO of Afghanistan” (Literally): Obama may allow famed neocon Zalmay Khalilzad to become the unelected shadow leader of Afghanistan to “push American interests.”

and as for obama and all his words of supporting muslims in the united states one only needs to remember the holy land 5, most recently, or check out this story by cath turner on al jazeera about an egyptian man, youssef megahed, who was found innocent of “terrorism” charges, but who is still being targeted by the american authorities:

welcome to amrika and its empire. oh, and by the way, check out this article on the bbc yesterday that wrote up a piece on those tweeting about obama’s speech. my tweets seemed to have made it onto their radar screen:

Mr Obama also came in for some sharp comments on his treatment of democracy: “How about Mubarak and his ruthless suppressing the rights of others?” tweeted Marcy Newman, who describes herself as a teacher, writer and activist in Palestine.

And “Obama does this mean you will be recognizing Hamas given they were democratically elected?”

12 thoughts on “sub-contracting occupations

  1. Marcy,
    I did think Obama said something important for Palestine. I never expected he would actually say that the founding of Israel was responsible for the Nakba. But look at the quote…it pretty much says it. I was expecting a huge Jewish outburst, but silence.

    “For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers – for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding,..”

    1. the problem is he prefaced these comments with world war two remarks in which he is predicating his logic on the notion that somehow palestinians must pay for what europeans did to jews. and the other problem is that zionists who have colonized palestine do not have legitimate aspirations here. he still fails to see that. and the fact he went to germany today instead of gaza makes that all too clear.

      1. Yes, I see your last two points. I agree. Zionist aspirations cannot be said to be equal to Palestinian ones and of course, it is very telling that he Germany and does more ass kissing, instead of making one single strong statement in support of the Palestinian people…and as far as the first point, he does seem to say that it is just the responsibility of the Palestinians to shoulder the burden of providing a homeland to the european Jews.

        All in all, I am very disappointed.

        One last thing.
        I have been worried for some time about General Dayton. Obama says nothing about that.

        Obama says what he says in private will be what he says in public, But, dishonesty by omission seems to be okay. That he is in partnership with Israel to recruit, bribe and brainwash young Palestinians to kill their own people is….it is just an evil horror.
        An evil deception. Dishonesty by ommission.
        Obama is smart enough to know that.
        And because I know he is smart enough, I have lost a great deal of respect and trust for him.

    2. The problem is, Obama using that rhetoric is using an ideological argument for the rights of Palestinians, that is both immoral, dangerous, and reprehensible – and unfortunately for me, it seems Palestinians have been caught in the trap of using the same rhetoric as well. It’s the rhetoric of nationalism, an 18th century ideology that has given nothing to the world but blood, war and racism.

      It’s the idea that states exist so that they can be the ‘homes’ of ‘nations’ or ‘people’ as they are called. So the reason to have a Palestinian state is because there exist a Palestinian people, and the reason to have a Jewish state is because there is a Jewish ‘people’ – and both have equally legitimate aspirations, and given the Jews were in diaspora, they had to have their state in someplace where they did not reside as a majority.
      This is an extremely dangerous and extremely immoral ideology, though it may not seem so at first. You have the right to a state not BECAUSE of what nation you belong to, but DESPITE it. You see, in any piece of land, at whatever borders exist there or will exist there, if a state exists or is to come into existance with power over that land and the people living there, then that state represents the natives of that land, its indeginous inhabitants, whatever their religion, nationality, skin, sex, whatever, and HAS to treat them and consider them all as equals to be moral. THAT is the individual right of every human being on this planet, to be able to live in peace in the land where he was born, enjoying full equality under a state that serves his co-natives. That being established, if states serve their natives democratically, everybody can move around if they follow the proper democratically chosen immigration laws and criteria of specific states – the fairness and appropriability of those laws in specific states is a completely different matter.
      The problem with the Jews in late 19thC was that in certain states they did not enjoy this right being discriminated based on their religion. The only solution is to campaign, and work for, equality in their respective states and areas of habitation – or otherwise legally immigrate to more tolerable states. Would a German or English or French Jew today enjoy being told he does not have equality as a citizen because that country is the ‘home’ of another ‘nation’? Of course not. Our homes do not derive from us belonging in some imaginary collective which has a ‘national homeland’. Our homes are simply the places where we live. Jews are not a ‘nation and a people with equal rights and aspirations to a homeland’ in Palestine. Palestine is a home to every individual person who is native to it, whether Arab or non-Arab, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian or any other religion, and every native deserves equal rights in the state that controls it, just as every single Jew deserves complete and full freedom and equality in whatever place of the world he is native to. After all, the Palestinian people, are at the end of the day, simply the native people of the area of land called Palestine. Forget all that other crap about ethnic connections and shared history and culture- that is a dangerous way of thinking for it sets the precedent that what gives you the right for a state is anything else than the fact that you are the native inhabitant of the land of that state.

      The problem in Palestine is the creation of an exclusive ethno-religion nation-state, that is founded to cater and represent all people of one particular ethno-religious nation above all else, wherever they may actually live in the world, over the actual natives of the area of land that is under its control. THAT is racism – if any entity has power over an area of land it can cater to NOBODY else than the natives of that land – anything else is racism, how much more so when the state very specifically states that’s not what it will do. The problem is the history and realities that had to take place pre-1948 for that state to be created, and everything that had to take place to keep it there, expand it, ‘protect it’, and the racism and discrimination that exists inside it today.

      It is sad that Obama does not understand this, given the history of the African-American civil rights movement. When Martin Luther King said ‘I have a dream’ it was that his children would be judged not by the colour of their skins, but by the content of their souls. The dream was a world of equality where black people would be treated as equals in what was, their own country. His dream was not to create ‘the black-state’ where the black people could have a home, and fulfill their aspirations on their own in a country that is dedicated just for them – and then go and ask for that state in Norway or Iceland of some other completely unrelated place. Yet Obama accepts the same logic that the people who fought for his own freedom spend their lives combating. After all, if states gain their legitimacy by being the homes to specific nations, then why should NOT the souther states claim they are the states of the ‘white’ nation, or Germany claim its the home of the ‘Aryan’ nation, or the claim of every extremist right-wing neo-fascist be vindicated?

      Would it solve the problem if a ‘Palestinian state’ was created to be the home of the ‘Palestinian people’ – even if that state has control of 10% of Palestine, has little actual powers, and is subservient to Israel? Of course NOT. The issue is NOT a nation-state for a nation. The issue are the rights to justice, equality and freedom of every individual as a native of the land. If those rights aren’t served, the nationalist state is meaningless- the state is the means to an end, not the ends in itself. Similarly would it be okay if a state was created that was a ‘Palestinian’ state, but was ruled by a dictator and did not cater to the needs of its actual natives, or that used the same nationalist rhetoric as Israel does and discriminate against people living in it who for some reason or another are not of the ‘Palestinian nation’? Again, of course not. Personally for me, if Israel stops being a Jewish state, abolishes all discriminatory practises, abolishes the law of return and allows the right of return, and treats all its citizens as equals regardless of their nationality, or religion, or ethnicity, and uses its powers to ensure that no individual discriminates against any other individual, then by all means let it take over the West Bank and Gaza, it can call itself Israel, it can call itself Disneyland for all I care. Similarly, if you divided Palestine into 100 states, and each of them had the same characteristics as what I just described above, by all means, I still wouldn’t mind. Whatever way any piece of land is to be subdivided or, reversely, re-united, is of course, up to the natives of that land to decide, so its not for me to say what configuration would be best.

      And finally its funny hearing Obama ask the Palestinians not to use violent resistance and claim the American civil-rights movement as an example. I’m sorry Mr.Obama, but if I seem to recall correctly, it took a civil war that engulfed your entire country, the biggest war in American soil in the history of that country, to end slavery and even start the process of getting black people to be considered as equals. Is it not somewhat hypocritical to denounce the use of resistance to anybody else?

      1. i do not have the energy to debate with you the historical record or what has been extensively cataloged on this blog. but the palestinians deserve a state because this is their land. it was stolen by foreign colonists, predominantly of european origin, who are not from here and who do not belong here. this is their land. it’s that simple.

        1. maybe not, but i don’t know why you are making it so complicated and your circular logic is confusing. there is no jewish nation. jews comprise a religious group, one that is rather diverse in every other way. they do not comprise a “nation.”

        2. Its not complicated – its very simple. The only people who can control a land are its natives and no foreign settlers. The point I’m trying to make is that this has nothing to do with anything called a nation, and the only reason I expand on it is because its such an important point.

          As long as the argument for the Palestinian state and against Zionism is based on nationalism, then they will counter back with the idea of ‘equal national aspirations’. The way to argue should be ONLY about the fact that one people are native to the land, the other settlers to it – and it should be stressed that this has nothing to do with what ‘nation’ each feels they belong to, to point out that the Zionist argument for their presence in Palestine is immoral.

          There is TOO much focus on ‘who is a people and who is not a people and who is a legitimate nation and who is not a legitimate nation’. Who cares? Who can say what is a ‘nation’ and what is not a ‘nation’. People identify with whatever group and identity they wish. So if Palestine was a place where two ‘nations’ or three ‘nations’ or many ‘nations’ had existed and been native to it, would it have made the anti-Zionist case any different?

          The point is, if you ever create a state, and it declares independence claiming as its ideological backbone the ‘national rights’ of Palestinians and their right to a home as a nation, then that’s it- Zionists will say that you accept that nations need states, and that thus a Jewish state should exist as well. You can then argue all you want about colonists and settlers, but if you place the nationalist argument above that, the response will always be that, by the Palestinians own admissions, the ‘national rights of a nation’ come above the ‘individual rights of all natives to their land’ – and goof luck then trying to go to a philosophical argument about the Jews being a nation or not.

          And then you also run into the danger of breeding racism and feelings of superiority in your own people, by promoting the concept of nationalism and the idea of ‘a land for a people’. Are Palestinians not heterogenous themselves? Do they not have variety within them? The Palestinian state should be one that accepts variety, that doesn’t say to people ‘The only reason you are here is because you belong to the nation, and thus must identify with this collective’. It should be a state that celebrates diversity, and difference, and the fact that people within it choose to identify themselves in whatever group they want, be it with one religion or another, or one nation or another. It should be a state that says to its people ‘You have the right to live to this land, because you were born and are native and part of this land – that is what unites us, whatever our differences’.

          By the way, I’m not saying you’re proposing or arguing otherwise, I’m just making a point. I don’t disagree with you what you’re writing in any way. I also do not really want to debate and go over the history of nationalism and its development, however, do you think any other ‘nation’ is any more or less legitimate than the ‘Jewish’ nation? They all are modern constructions that didn’t exist before, based on mythology and the cultivation of ‘national feeling’ by state elites. Do you think that before the 18th Century there existed any such thing or any such identity as the French ‘nation’ or the German ‘nation’ or the Italian ‘nation’? When the French Revolution ended the vast majority of the people of the new state did not even know how to talk French properly. The French ‘nation’ came after the French ‘state’ – a product of specific programs to integrate the various diverse identities and cultures of the country together. Herlz and the early Zionists did not accept the integrationist policies of Western Europe in the 19th Century, because they believed that the Jews are a separate ‘people’ and should have their own home – but it was just such integrationist policies that had originally created the nations of Western Europe in any case – it was not the case that there had existed a separate nation that was distinct and historical to the land any more than any other natives identifying themselves otherwise.

          But, again, I’m not disagreeing with you in any way, so don’t know why you thought it as such. My view is simple, the natives of a land have the right to control it, and no other settler and colonial movement can take that right from them. Its that simple. All the rest of what I’m saying is to discredit the entire ideology of nationalism, because I believe that only with the complete renounciation of nationalist rhetoric can you truly bring justice. Nationalism has been used all over the world by people to fight oppression, by it always, always, inevitably leads to the fermentation of racism, division among people, and more violence. If there are BETTER alternatives to make the ideological and moral case for the rights of Palestinians, then they should be used.

        3. Okay, I think I get what you are saying.

          You think a one state solution has the only chance for long term success as it would presumably give each “native” inhabitant the same rights….like it may have been 200+ years ago. Unfortunately, since I live in the USA, I don’t think that vision of domestic bliss exists or ever existed.

          It also sounds like you think the Palestinians should just totally become domesticated and assimilate. That it would lead to the Israeli’s disarming and lead to all living in peace.

          So, since the Palestinians are not going to come to that on their own, you support General Dayton’s final two year plan to infiltrate and root out all resistence.

          Combine that with Bibi’s economic plan and you expect that all the Palestinians will be happy and accept that 5 million Palestinians can never come home.

          It is easy for me to see why in the history of this planet that people just figured it was easier to kill everyone.
          People like action and working toward something gives them hope…so they keep working at it….or at each other throats anyway.

  2. “You know your shit?”, “Yeah, I know my shit”.
    “Do you know who Netanyahu is?”, “No”.

    I’m rolling on the floor.

    But greatly disturbed by the video. Actually, all those people could be from Salt Lake City, Utah.

  3. Actually, Obama got it totally wrong. The Jews are in Israel not because of the Holocaust, but because it is their homeland. Where did Jews originally come from? Ok, the book says Abraham came from Ur, most likely in modern day Iraq. But go back before the British, before the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, and a couple of thousand years ago you find “Palestine” full of…. Jews!
    Sunuvagun, huh? And, of course, there’s ample historical proof for it. And over the past 2000 years was there ever an independent country called “Palestine”? Well, no, there wasn’t.
    So what’s the statute of limitations on being a refugee? If the Jewish refugees who were scattered all over the world after the fall of Israel 2000 years ago have no rights, then how long do we have to wait until the Palestinian’s rights run out? Heck, we’ll wait.
    But a majority of us Israelis are willing to compromise and realize that the country is big enough for both of us. A lot of us on the Israeli side think so and we’re willing to give up a lot of our rights to land that was ours. Anybody remember the ethnic-cleansing massacre of Jews in Hebron? That was a classic case of racist, genocidal policies by the locals of their time, coupled with the avowed racist policies of ethnically cleansing the Jews and stealing their land. Then in 1967 when the Jews came back to their rightful property, suddenly the Palestinians claimed they were “stealing” the already stolen land.
    So, if we can get beyond the Palestinian propaganda, especially those lies repeated by the pro-Palestinian lobby, we may get closer to peace.
    The absolute sickest part of the above blog is the satanic idea that the Palestinians should keep “resisting” – meaning the incompetently commanded and ill-equipped Palestinians should keep trying to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible, and who cares what consequences they suffer at the hands of the Israeli military retaliation.
    What an absolute crock of pseudo-marxist inspired clap. Sure – you’re telling the Pals to fire another 10,000 rockets and mortars at Sderot and *not* expect to get attacked in return?
    Just like some raving Jews abroad are willing to fight to the last Israeli, Palestinian supporters like this blogger appear to be willing to sacrifice as many Palestinian lives as possible from the cozy safety or their computer screen. It will never bring about Palestinian statehood, but sure as heck will keep the anti-Israel hate campaign going on full steam. and give them blogging material forever.
    Obama’s speech was an interesting opening shot. It will be interesting to see if the Israelis and Palestinians are up to the task. Both sides are hugely guilty of being anti-peace. Who is worse? At present, it’s a pathetic race with the Palestinians slightly ahead, since nobody knows what to do if Hamas wins the inevitable future Palestinian elections.
    Sure, they’ll be the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people, but we already know that they’re on record favoring war, not peace. Not just favoring, Hamas explicitly rejects the entire concept of peace talks.
    Ah well, the future will have lots of fodder for new blogs on both sides.

    1. Joe,
      Who do you think occupied the land before the Jews got there 2000 years ago? Whether the original inhabitants were indigenous, were the original semitic migration from Africa or a group from Syria, probably doesn’t matter too much. Whoever it was, they were conquered by Jews, right? So, using your logic…and your agreement that it is not the “original” Jewish homeland, then Jews don’t even have a legit/legal 2000 year old claim, do they?

      It’s probably better to move on to a less silly argument.
      Say centered around modern zionism, Balfour or 1947-48 or even 1967.

      We could pick ’47 – ’48 and draw all kinds of comparisons to conquest, discrimination and genocide using the American Indian experience…but that approach would not favor the Israeli’s…well, because of the Indian similarities, but also because Israel didn’t live up to the 1947-48 UN conditions for forming a nation. In effect, Israel voided the contract due to failure to adhere to it’s conditions.

      I guess we are stuck with 1967. It appears you feel a pre-emptive attack on Egyptian planes sitting on the field is a justified act in response to saber-rattling by the Egyptians. In any case, it is another UN violation…by Israel.

      So, if you want to be reasonable…and you say you do, then perhaps we should at least respect the most immediate laws governing the situation and that is UN law. Conquest of land and keeping it is unlawful. Again, Israel is violating Geneva, International Humanitarian Law and UN resolutions.

      Yes, Hamas and/or some Palestinians are also charged with violations by the same bodies/laws. However, lobbing homemade, un-guided missiles with warheads of one pound up to 22 pounds, made of explosives scavaged from unexploded Israel ordnance and whatever they can smuggle in or cook up in the kitchen using household cleaning supplies, and which have a range of from 2 to 6 miles…and since 2001 have killed only 11 Israeli’s, is not in any way a serious threat to Israeli security. And again, the response by Israeli tanks, bombs, guided missiles, F-16 aircraft, Phosphorus, Dime weapons, starvation, and collective punishment are all violations of the law.

      The Palestinians have no need of propaganda. All they have to do is tell the world what is actually happening to them. But, there again, the Israeli’s won’t let the world press in to even see for themselves…what the truth is.

      Here is a short history of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that I highly recommend: http://www.palestineinformation.org/history.htm#peace

      Here is a simple classroom exercise that challenges our thinking: http://www.zisman.ca/peace/middleeastlessonplan.pdf

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