Welcome to my blog! I’m Sarah, a law student who loves talking about the legal basis for Israel and setting the facts straight for people. Got a question? Just ask!

  • Joe

    Sorry Sarah, but I was kinda busy when you called… another time?

  • Emet

    One quick point on the Mandate for Palestine:

    The Mandate for Palestine was approved by the League of Nations in 1922 and came into effect in 1923. The basis for the Mandate was the San Remo Conference of 1920 which is sometimes confused with the League of Nations’ approval of the Mandate for Palestine. Though Britain ceased being the mandatory power, the Mandate still has legal force in Judea and Samaria and serves as the principal legal basis for Jewish right to settlement there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

      Though Britain ceased being the mandatory power, the Mandate still has
      legal force in Judea and Samaria and serves as the principal legal basis
      for Jewish right to settlement there.

      That was terminated by UNGA181, which not only excluded the
      bulk of Judea and Samaria from the Jewish state, it prohibited the
      inhabitants of the Jewish state from obtaining citizenship and moving
      there:

      “no Arab residing in the area of the proposed Arab State shall have the
      right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Jewish State and no Jew
      residing in the proposed Jewish State shall have the right to opt for
      citizenship in the proposed Arab State.”

      — United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947,
      Chapter 3: Citizenship, International Conventions and Financial
      Obligations

      • Emet

        Wrong 181 has no legal force, 181 was a recommendation for partition that the Arabs rejected.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

          It doesn’t matter whether 181 had legal force or not. The point is that 181 could not have been passsed if it conflicted with customary international law.

          Secondly, it did not require either party to endorse it, so whether the Arabs rejected it or not is irrelevant. What is binding is that Israel declared it’s borders in 1948 according to the agreed fronttiers laif out by UNGA181, so like it or not, 181 it written into Israel’s declaration of independence.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            No, that is wrong as well. Resolutions CAN conflict with customary international law. Resolutions are political in nature and can recommend any change they like.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            Resolutions CAN conflict with customary international law.

            They might be political but they cannot conflict with customary international law, because this would violate the UN Charter. I would ask you to produce an example of such an resolution, but that would be a waste of time.

          • Emet

            Huh??? Talk about a complete non sequitur!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            Sorry, but what didn’t you unerstand?

  • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

    Hey Sarah, how come your video never mentions the word “Palestinian,” the rights of indigenous Palestinians, including their rights to self-determination and sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, nor the forcible disposession of said Palestinians in Israel’s War of Independence? Your presentation paints a false picture of Jewish continuity in Palestine, as though the descendants of Jews who spent two thousand years in diaspora, chiefly in Europe, somehow share the same rights as indigenous Palestinian Jews, and have a more legitimate claim to sovereignty in Palestine than do that Palestinian Arabs who lived there continuously for the last 600 years. It seems to me that you are glossing over a complex and nuanced history and that you fail to take into account international law as it applies to both parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to present a grotesquely simplified and one-sided narrative.

    • pure

      ı agree with u. Why Sarah did not mention Palestina. Of course all nation have right to exist but why Palestina is ignored by supporting Israel existence. Could u give me answer Sarah?

  • Emet

    “the competing force of Arab nationalism that simultaneously sought Arab independence in Palestine”

    I just love those euphemisms for the genocidal wars fought by the Arabs seeking a Palestine free of Jews from the river to the sea!

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      Oh yes. Because all Arabs are of a singular mind, and no Zionist leaders prior to or since the establishment of the State of Israel, let alone sitting members of Knesset this very day, ever called for ethnically cleansing Palestine of its Arab inhabitants. Do us a favor a blow it out your rear. Screaming “Arabs are Nazis” is exactly why so many Jews tune right out of these kinds of conversations — especially college students — and effectively turn their backs on Israel: Because you can’t talk about the subject of Palestinian rights without being accused of endorsing the murder of Jews.

      • Emet

        Who screamed “Arabs are Nazis”?? Why are you making a strawman argument?

        • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

          Did you not just state that the Arab struggle against Zionist colonialism was really just a cover for genocide against Jews? In Jewish shorthand, anyone who wants to kill Jews en masse is a Nazi. That’s why Ahmadinejad, for example, earns constant comparison to Hitler. You may have not said it directly, but it was clearly implied. And when you say that I’m employing this euphemism, it implies that I am seeking to mask said genocide.

          • Emet

            More strawman
            a. I don’t like Nazi comparisons. They demean the unique nature of the Holocaust. Moreover, I dont like essentializing about a people.

            b. Its a historical fact that in 48, 67 and 74 Arab forces sought to destroy Israel by force. Had the Arabs been successful, its questionable whether there would be any Jews living in Israel today. Arab nationalism was one of a number of motivations for the destruction of Israel so by you characterizing Arab nationalism as seeking Palestinian independence is highly disingenuous. How you got from my calling you out on making a disingenuous argument to me calling Arabs Nazis is a creation of your own furtive imagination.

            c. Zionists were and are not colonists. Your usage of that terminology (that you attribute to me) is historically inaccurate, borrows from the anti-Zionist propaganda of the Soviets and denies the rights of self determination of the Jewish people. If you’re calling for recognition of the rights of Palestinian self determination, doesn’t it cut both ways?

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            a. If you don’t like Nazi comparisons, then don’t throw around the term genocide which was coined by Raphael Lemkin to describe the Nazi atrocities against Jewish people.

            b. Had the Irgun been successful, it is questionable whether there would be any Arabs living in Israel today. This is the nature of territorial conflict and what happens when two national identities assert sovereign control over the same territory. By invoking the term genocide, you are chalking it up to no more than irrational Jew hatred, rather than geopolitical conflict.

            c. What, pray tell, was the Jewish Colonial Trust? A figment of our imaginations? Did it not exist to purchase land from Ottomans in order to settle Jews in their place, and thus create a new Jewish colony in Palestine? And what, then, is Zev Jabotinsky referring to in the Iron Wall when he describes settlement in Palestine as “Zionist colonization?” Was Jabotinsky borrowing from the propaganda of the Soviets to deny the right of self-determination to the Jewish people?

            Clearly Jews as a national group are entitled to self-determination and to express that self-determination through statehood. But to claim that this was not done through the colonization of Palestine by non-indigenous Jews is to deny the obvious. And it is preposterous to claim that diaspora Jews have indigenous rights in Palestine. Palestinian Jews, for certain, but those whose ancestors lived outside the land for two millennia? They have an equal right to sovereignty as the Palestinians who lived there continuously for 600 years? Pray a group never comes along that can demonstrate itself to be the descendants of the Canaanites.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski
          • Emet

            a. The word genocide and Holocaust bear two different meanings. Your conflation of the two is a non-sequitur.

            b. As you know the Irgun was disbanded. More to the point though, the conflict is not one over territory. If that was the case, the Arabs would have accepted the various peace proposals dividing the territory from 1936 through to 2008. The fact is that Irrational Jew hatred is a principal motivator of the conflict. Judeophobia in the PA controlled-territories and in surrounding Arab countries is of epic proportions. Check out the Pew studies on the subject. It is therefore, entirely accurate to characterize the wishes of Hamas and the more “moderate” PLO as having genocidal aims. A reading of both the charter of Hamas and PLO makes this clear.

            c. Post 1923 the rights of the Jews to settle in Palestine (the geographical territory) became grounded in international law by virtue of the League of Nations approved Mandate for Palestine and later on art. 80 of the UN Charter. To characterize Jews as colonists when they have a legal right to settle and their historical connection is abhorrent.

            d. Why is it preposterous to say that Jews are no less indigenous – who have a 3,000 year connection to the land – than Palestinians who – by your own admission have been there for 600 years (and who as a matter of fact did not largely assert themselves as a national movement until the 1960s)?

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            A. I did not say that genocide and Holocaust were the same word. I said that genocide was coined to describe the Holocaust, and that when you invoke it, you also conjure images and thoughts of the Holocaust.

            B. I could just as easily argue that anti-Arab hatred on the part of Jews is a principal motivator in the conflict, and point to well over a dozen recent surveys showing that the majority of Israeli Jews are racist against Arabs. Hatred, again, is weapon of conflict, used to dehumanize your enemy. You cannot ease the hatred until you resolve the conflict and remove the factors that substantiate the grounds for hatred.

            C. So let me get this right: Even though the First Zionist Congress ratified language describing the Zionist enterprise as a “colonization scheme,” because a bunch of European colonial powers retroactively approved said colonization, it is not colonization? Are you kidding?

            D. The Jews who are indigenous to Palestine are Palestinian Jews who never left after the Roman exile. If you weren’t there for two thousand years and just showed up, YOU’RE NOT INDIGENOUS. Ashkenazi American Jews who make aliyah are not indigenous to Palestine! They’re indigenous to Europe!

            You are engaged in historical revisionism. The nature of this discussion is so preposterous and your argumentation so intellectually dishonest, that there seems little point in continuing.

          • Emet

            a. You accuse me of intellectual dishonesty yet you make the strawman argument that I was essentially making Nazi analogies when I did no such thing. If you see the word Holocaust when I used the word genocide, then that’s your own imagination running wild.

            b. There is indeed Arab hate on the Israeli side. Too much of it. But when you measure this up against the almost universal Judeophobia in the PA territories and surrounding Arab countries, hate among the Jews pales in comparison. If you are unable to accept the quantitative and qualitative difference, you are being intellectually honest, something you accuse me of being.

            c. You are unable to explain why the Arabs rejected territorial compromise on every single occasion through to 2008 – because the fact of the matter is that the Arab side, and later the Palestinians, do not seek territorial compromise but rather total destruction of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

            d. You argue that the Mandate was a retroactive act. Please identify which article of the Mandate had retroactive effect – the most you could say is that the Mandate put into effect the Balfour Declaration of 1917. You furthermore argue that the Mandate was the act of European colonial powers. You’re wrong again – the Mandate was approved unanimously by all members of the League of Nations, many of whom were not European. More to the point though, the Mandate talks about Jewish immigration in the context of reconstituting the Jews’ national home in Palestine in recognition of the Jewish connection to the land. Again to characterize this as colonization (in the pejorative sense of the word) is disingenuous to say the least.

            e. Regarding the indigenous issue, you’ve made a self contradicting argument. You say that American Ashkenazi Jews are indigenous to Europe. Now if those same Jews before arriving in Europe were living in the Hasmonean Kingdom, logically they would be indigenous to Palestine. Of course in your (failed) attempt to deny that the Jews are indigenous to Palestine, you would have to ignore the seminal DNA studies that show that Ashkenazi Jewry originated from the Middle East. And making your point in caps does not make your argument any more meritorious.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            b. the Irgun was not disbanded. The units themselves were absorbed into the Haganah. One of the disputes that erupted into the Altalena Affair was that Begin wanted the arms earmarked for the end use of the Irgun units in the Haganah. The IDF leadership objected to the maintenance of an “Army within the Army”. See the Wikipedia link that you supplied.

            Many of the members of Etzel and Lehi went to work in the Shabak and Mossad when they were created.

            c. The immiogration of Jews into Palestine was to be enabled on condition that it did no violate the rights of the existing non-Jewish population.

            d. The 3,000 year connection to the land was only symbolic. For much of those 3,000 years, all but a iny minorioty of Jews had no connection to it at all.

          • L. King

            Sorry, Daniel but you are mostly wrong just as you were about the simultaneous evolution of Palestinian Nationalism. Lemkin developed the idea as far back as 1933 to refer to the Armenian and Assyrian genocides. The actual word chosen may have occurred as late as 1944, but may have been as early as 1942.

            “In 1933 Lemkin made a presentation to the Legal Council of the League of Nations conference on international criminal law in Madrid, for which he prepared an essay on the Crime of Barbarity
            as a crime against international law. The concept of the crime, which
            later evolved into the idea of genocide, was based on the Armenian Genocide[3][4][5] and prompted by the experience of Assyrians[2] massacred in Iraq during the 1933 Simele massacre.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Lemkin

            The Jew hatred in the ME is quite rational, or perhaps we should say rationalized. The Jew is seen as “other”.

            The “colonialism as evil” argument vs. indigenous purity is unfortunately treated as current dogma and was developed by Marxists as an argument against the West. It’s a rather convenient but rather facile to label one’s opponents with opprobrium. I see it instead as part of the natural migrations of peoples. The indigenous nature of Arab Palestinians is exaggerated – there was constant in-migration and out-migration over the centuries with families basing themselves in multiple locations – Beirut, Cairo, Damascus etc.

            The best competing group to the Jews would be the Samaritans. In 1841 a group of Arabs from Ramallah asked for a fatwa so that they could wipe out the Samaritans in the vicinity of Mount Nebo. The Sephardic community issued a document stating that they were a branch of the House of Israel, thus giving them protection under the Pact of Umar. In effect it put them under the protection of the British crown as well, as, through capitulations they were sponsoring the Sephardim.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            I see it instead as part of the natural migrations of peoples.

            There was nothing natural about it. The British had no authority to prmise the land in Palestine to Jews.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            ” Moreover, I dont like essentializing about a people.”

            Except when it comes to casting aspersions abotu the intent of all Arabs to commit genocide against Jews.

            “b. Its a historical fact that in 48, 67 and 74 Arab forces sought to destroy Israel by force.”

            No it’s not a fact at all.

            In 1948, the Arab armies did not invade Israel, but south to defend the Arab territory in Palestine, in which Israeli forces were illegally based.

            As Menachem Begin and many other former leaders have admitted, Israel atatcked Egypt in a war of choice in 1967.

            ’74 was payback for 1967.

            “c. Zionists were and are not colonists”

            As Jabotinsky said, the immigrants would “colonize” the territory.

            You need to upate your talking points.

          • Isaac Galili

            Daniel, are you aware of the Nazi-Palestinian collaboration from the mid-30s to 1945, the end of World War II? I’m not going to write a tome on this here, rather I just ask that you google “mufti and hitler” and spend a some time reading about Hajj Amin el Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the father of Palestinian nationalism, his close relationship with the highest Nazi officials and his support for the Holocaust.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            I am fully aware of Amin el Husseini’s collaboration with the Nazis. Are you aware of the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis documented in the “Transfer Agreement” by Edwin Black?

          • http://www.edwinblack.com/ Edwin Black

            This is Edwin Black, author of The Transfer Agreement, and also the Farhud, Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. I know it is extremely common for misguided readers to misuse, misinterpret, and distort my work The Transfer Agreement. The Transfer Agreement is not a collaboration, but rather a rescue by Zionists at the point of a gun. Tens of thousands of Jews were allowed to leave Germany with a pittance of their otherwise confiscated property to set a new life.
            By comparison, when the Arabs carried on the Nazi campaign with mass post-war expulsion of Jews–about 850,000–they were kicked out penniless, and again the Zionists had to rescue them. It is because of that rescue that we know that approximately half the people in Israel–and an influential half–came there because their families were expelled penniless from Arab Lands. There has never been a reckoning of all the property seized.
            What the Jews did in Arab Lands in the 1950s, in Germany in the 1930s, in pogrom-ridden Czarist Russia in the first years of the 20th Century, and in Pharaoh’s Egypt in the 16th century BCE was to rescue their brethren at the brink of extermination. What the Arabs under Husseini did in the 1930s and 1940s was forge an alliance to openly orchestrate the extermination of the Jews–the Arabs trading the allure of oil for Nazi assistance in mass murder.
            While I cannot and will not engage in a dialog with people who distort my work, I hope this expression makes clear that such remarks are just that–a distortion of my research. I see it every hour, and this is just another example. I did the research, I wrote the book.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Mr. Black, according to your research, the Zionist movement was instrumental in suppressing the international boycott of Nazi Germany, which you yourself say in your book would have toppled the Nazi regime, so that they could move able-bodied Jewish workers and Jewish money to Palestine to build up the Jewish colonies, and knowingly were risking the lives of haredim, and other Jews who could not toil in the harsh Palestinian climate, in order to do so. Clearly, it was a devil’s bargain, and my argument was not to say that the Zionists sought to exterminate their brothers or to willingly aid in that process. But they did, effectively, seek to undermine the stability of Jewry in diaspora so that they could more effectively make the case for a Jewish homeland. I understand their calculation and would not wish to be faced with the same choice, but the fact is at the end of the day, that their actions allowed the Holocaust to happen. Also, your encapsulated story about the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands completely ignores the Zionist role in fomenting that dispossession. Oh, and my mom, Jeanette, says hi.

          • hophmi

            @selfagency:disqus I’d really be careful with the Transfer Agreement argument. You make much too much out of it, and it’s one of those arguments people like Phil Weiss like to use to make a Zionist-Nazi comparison, and you should take a hint when the author himself does the Marshall McCluhan-Annie Hall thing and tells you point blank that you’re misinterpreting his work.
            However the deal Zionists cut with the Nazis in 1933 may look today, it is irresponsible, unfair, and inaccurate to suggest that Zionists of the time acted out of anything other than a belief that they were doing what they could to save German Jews. Most Zionist leaders of the time believed that an international boycott was a bad idea that would not work and would only make things worse for German Jews, who would be blamed for the boycott and suffer further persecution. This was 1933, not 1943. No one knew how bad Hitler would get. The notion that an international boycott would have been successful is educated historical guesswork.
            It was actually the Revisionists who bitterly opposed the stance of the mainstream Zionist leaders on the boycott, and who literally walked out of a meeting of American Zionists to discuss a position on the issue when it became clear that the position was going to be against the boycott.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            I really didn’t even want to get sidetracked on this subject. I was just trying to show that reducing Arab nationalism to an anti-Jewish bloodlust is an unproductive course of argumentation. The Palestinian people are not Nazis, and yet constant cries of “Islamofascism,” Muslim barbarianism and efforts to promote the historical ties between a handful of Arab leaders and Nazis as representative of the Palestinian national will emanate from Israel’s staunchest advocates. It is demonization of the other, plain and simple, just as the often ignorant invocation of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, by those who have never studied the subject, is demonization. “Emet”‘s first words to me were that Arab nationalism is a euphemism for genocide against Jews. It’s completely unreasonable and irresponsible speech.

            And don’t get me wrong, I know that Revisionists weren’t all bad. But today’s Likud? It’s like comparing Lincoln Republicans to Bush Republicans.

          • l. King

            Yeah, I picked up on the Annie-Hall aspect of it as well. Good catch. 😉

          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

            Hi Daniel,

            Edwin sent me a long letter in reply to your comments and some others, you can see it at http://joesisrael.com/edwin-blacks-letter/

            He also asked me to post this below each of the items he replied to!

          • L. King

            Mr. Black – it is an honour to make your acquaintance. I have heard you interviewed and commend you on your work which I’ve scanned on occasion but unfortunately have not read in full. Mr. Sieradski indeed abuses it in the way you describe, and using a common set of talking points that are rather cartoonish, inaccurate and malicious in nature. It presupposes a Yishuv that was far better organized, skilled, influential and resource rich than was actually the. The only way to believe in such nonsense is to also subcribe to a understanding of Jewish power that approaches that of the Protocols.

            Last night completed reading Tuvia Friling’s “Arrows in the Dark” which complements what you have done though focuses on later events. The Yishuv did what it could to rescue Jews and the Haavera agreement which effectively terminated at the outbreak of war was more successful than most attempts. Unfortunately what could be said publicly at the time was limited by the need for secrecy, and earlier judgements tended to be clouded by that. It’s a very long and distressing read.

            The Yishuv officially confirmed the mass extermination in late November 1942, and this was followed nearly a month later by recognition by the Allies. Some very important points to make from Friling’s book:

            Ben Gurion along with other leaders of the Yishuv placed immigration to Palestine third, not first, after moving Jews to free countries and to neutral countries.

            Secondly, had the transfer agreement not existed the Nazis would simply have seized that property anyway as they wound up doing so anyway.

            Third, the economic impact was less than 1% of German GDP and, as you pointed out, was highly significant in contributing to an infrastructure that made rescue possible.

            Fourth, the Yishuv was willing to accept far more refugees than the British quotas allowed, and far less were able to reach Palestine or anywhere else for that matter. One factor was the British assignments of certificates to allow immigration to individuals – but that meant that if someone had managed to obtain exit permits they could not be assigned the certificate of someone who hadn’t, who might have been deported to a concentration camp or already dead.

            Fifth, the actual capacity of the Yishuv to absorb the number of refugees that needed to be saved just wasn’t there, therefore building the Yishuv was also a priority, though the budget for Mobilization (support of the families of Jewish soldiers fighting in the war effort) and Rescue was at least twice as much, or 20% of the Yishuv’s meagre budget.

            Sixth, and this has not been thrown out into the discussion yet but I would suspect it would come up shortly in the next group of responses, the 3 sets of negotiations that the Yishuv and the JDC entered into where money, trucks and medicine were requested by the Nazis in return for ransoming Jewish lives were, what Ben Gurion termed a 1 in 1 million chance of rescue. There was no possibility of the ransom being paid. It was possible that the Nazis were hoping to leak word of the deal to break apart the West’s relations with the Soviets but there was also the consideration that Himmler was using the talks to signal a split within the Nazi regime interested in cutting some sort of a deal with the West; even though the Nazis were surging in Hungary and the Balkans, they were losing elsewhere. There was also the hope (not born out) that while the Nazis were negotiating they would delay the round ups and the exterminations.
            Lastly, for now at least, there were tensions with the Bundists who wanted the Jews to stay and resist the Nazis. No doubt protest in front of the Eitzengruppen death squads as well, our acquaintance Daniel among them. Somehow I don’t see him joining the Orthodox Jews, but I could be wrong. In the final analysis the Bundists were wrong and one could make the counter claim that their actions is what enabled the Holocaust to happen. I won’t do that simply because the Holocaust itself was impossible to forecast, therefore it would be completely wrong to pass judgment on either group, and that is exactly what Daniel is doing.

            If I could give one recommendation to Daniel – be less rigid in your idealism. The need to simplify into villains and saints is distorting your vision.

            Once again, thank you Mr. Black, for your work and setting the record straight. If not Mr. Sieradski at least others are listening. But I hope that Daniel does too.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            “I haven’t read your book, but clearly Sieradski is misrepresenting it.” There’s a winning argument. I’ll deal with the rest later.

          • L. King

            Why misquote me, Daniel?

            I said the following: “I’ve scanned on occasion but unfortunately have not read in full.” This means that I’ve read sections of the book that I found of interest but not read the book from cover to cover.

            As for accusing you of believing in the Protocols what I actually said was that in order to believe the statements you laid out you would need to believe that Jewish skills, resources, and power were approaching that stated in the Protocols, No doubt in the Arab world where the Protocols enjoy a degree of popularity this adds to their perceived credibility.

            In your case I could suppose that the underlying premises are unexamined and you’ve been influenced to adopt these conclusions as a package. In which case urging you to reexamine actual circumstances might have the effect of changing your position. Also, rhetorically it’s a cute turn to claim personal offense but its also a transparent effort ignore the arguments stated,

            You tend to take arguments to the extreme.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            You just again said that in order for me to believe what I, and many others, took away from Edwin’s book, I have to believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. On what grounds do you base such an absurd and insulting statement?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            By comparison, when the Arabs carried on the Nazi campaign with mass post-war expulsion of Jews–about 850,000–they were kicked out penniless

            False. The 850,000 refers to the total nuber of Jews in Arab lands that left – both willingly and otherwise. The number who were expelled is nut a fraction. The claim that all 850,000 were expelled was invented by WOJAC in the ’70s and rejected by the Mizarahi Jewish community in Israel.

            And no, the Zionists did not rescue them. The 850,000 includes many who headed for other states like the US. The Zionists actually went to great lengths to make their lives difficult in their Arab home states in an effort to encourage them to migrate.

            What the Arabs under Husseini did in the 1930s and 1940s was forge an alliance to openly orchestrate the extermination of the Jews

            Rubbish. Husseini was in exile from 1937 and ceased to hold any influence from that moment. The Arabs armies did not invade Israel, they came to defend the Arab territory. Even Ben-Gurion predicted that they would do so to stem the land grab by the Zionist militias.

          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

            Hi Andre,

            Edwin sent me a long letter in reply to your comments and some others, you can see it at http://joesisrael.com/edwin-blacks-letter/

            He also asked me to post this below each of the items he replied to!

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Black wrote a subsequent book re: Arab Jews trying to gain back some credibility after his discredited work on IBM’s role in the Holocaust.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Daniel, his work on IBM and the Holocaust was not discredit. It was cited last year in Computer, the magazine of the IEEE Computer Society – the largest profeshional IT institution in the world. He also gave an invited talk to the IEEE Computer Society in Australia shortly after that – I know because I organised the talk.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            It wasn’t discredited and he didn’t backtrack from his “research team’s” sloppy work because you gave him a spotlight? That hardly seems credible. Does that mean Gilad Atzmon isn’t discredited because various publications ignorant of his Holocaust denial and overt Jew hatred continue to publish and review his work?

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Daniel, when a major peer reviewed publication cites something as a key source, that is the gold standard of quality research. When a major company is accused of something and doesn’t have a leg to stand on to take legal action to prevent it, that also strongly suggests the allegations are true and documented wel enough to stand up in a court of law. When the author is invited to present to a profeshional body on his work which is critical of a major employer in the sector… that too requires serious discussion before it is approved. The point is, “IBM and the Holocaust” is the opposite of discredited. Those who have made that accusation in the press (and it has been made) have without fail been forced to retract it. People are very uncomfortable with IBM’s role, specially those who work for IBM. That doesn’t change the facts.There is a huge difference between Gilad Atzmon ranting about his opinion and beliefs, and an investigitive reporter who wrties after conducting research.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            The 2004 case was dismissed and the 2002 case was settled because IBM wanted the story to go away, not because they were found guilty.

          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

            Daniel, see Edwin’s letter at http://joesisrael.com/edwin-blacks-letter/

          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah
          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

            Antoinepgrew,

            Edwin sent me a long letter in reply to your comments and some others, you can see it at http://joesisrael.com/edwin-blacks-letter/

            He also asked me to post this below each of the items he replied to!

      • L. King

        Arabs aren’t efficient enough to be considered Nazis. They are efficient enough to be considered similar to the Ottoman Turks who slaughtered the Armenians, the Assyrians and the Greeks. Not all Turks wanted to slaughter the Armenians, yet they were slaughtered anyway.

        Yes there were and are differences between Arab groups and different individual Arabs. But start with 1948 – the Arab armies did clearly intend genocide. The exception by word alone was King Abdullah and his Arab Legion who proposed to incorporate the Yishuv under his rule, but the worst massacres of Jews, the Hadassah convoy Kfar Etzion. were done by the Legion. As for the Palestinian Nationalists, who may have counted for 20-25% of the whole, they were lead by Hajj Amin Husseini, who had advocated during WW II for the extermination of Jews throughout the Middle East. Both Fatah and Hamas are descended from that ideological line. Hajj Amin was only rejected as first head of the PLO because they wanted to appoint someone younger.

        Are there Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews. Yes. Are they in charge of the PA and Gaza? No. Is Abbas willing to negotiate? Only if you accept all his requested concessions beforehand – at which point he pockets those concessions and asks for more.

        When you accept the notion that someone has a right you start by conceding that they are right. That shouldn’t be the case in theory but it is in practice and it’s simply a trick of language. This is how you get countries like Syria, Libya, Iran and China sitting on the UN Human Rights Council. To get an idea, take a look at the work of unwatch.org It is also true that some rights, such as the right to life, trump other rights.

        You might also be surprised to learn that leaders on both the left and right of the Yishuv accepted that there would be Arabs in a Jewish State without question. Jabotinsky, unfairly derided as far right, envisioned that if there were a Jewish Minister in the government, the Deputy Minister would have to be an Arab, and vica versa. What he objected to were Arabs who refused to accept the presence of Jews. He also spoke out against American apartheid when he visited the country and refused to speak in venues that required blacks to sit at the back of the auditorium.

        I connect to Israel because 5000 Armenians at Van managed to hold off the a much larger Turkish army. Had they not been disarmed in later circumstances under the CUP they might have survived. Had there been an Armenian nation … who knows. There were a lot of similarities between the Jews and the Armenians, One major difference – the Jews won and got to live. Savour that distinction.

        • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

          How do you feel about the fact that the Zionist movement obstructed the U.S. Congress’ recognition of the Armenian genocide in order to placate Turkey on Israel’s behalf, only to have the Jerusalem-Ankara relationship ravaged by Danny Ayalon and Eric Edelman and the potential recognition of the Armenian genocide then cynically employed as a bargaining chip?

          • L. King

            I feel much worse about Turkey not recognizing the Armenian genocide than anything else. Please note that not one Muslim country on the planet recognizes the Armenian genocide. Have you registered your objections with them? Nor am I as concerned about the US Federal position – it will come. Ronald Reagan recognized the genocide and many US States officially recognize it as well. IMV the US concern in 2007 that swung the decision was the use of Turkish airspace and bases in light of Iraq. More importantly I appreciate the cooperation between Jewish institutions such as Yad v’Shem and the US Holocaust Museum in helping the victims of other genocides document and make their case.

            I understand why Israel took the position it did. There isn’t a nation in the world that can afford to take the moral high ground on every issue. Would you had Churchill and Roosevelt refusing to work with Stalin against Hitler? That doesn’t detract from the observation that Israel’s position mirrored in many ways that of the Armenians, the major difference is that the Israeli Jews managed to survive.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Are Israel and the U.S. to be judged by the worst state actors or the best? Are Muslims dictatorships the rule by which we measure Jewish morality?

          • L. KIng

            Neither, Daniel, one needs a sense of balance. The usual point made here is the hypocrisy of reduced expectations. And Turkey is a democracy, not a dictatorship, so is Malaysia, Kosovo and Bangladesh – none of which has recognized the Armenian genocide. Neither has China, but Russia has.

            I had no idea that “Jewish morality” was as narrow and unbending as the Salem witch trials. Loosen up.

            Additionally you are conflating the seriousness of the Armenian genocide itself with different levels of reaction to it, even doing so without reference to what those levels are. You are doing what you accuse others of – turning the event into a political tool.

            Both the Yishuv and the Armenians were rising middle class communities treated as usurpers and outsiders, as were the Jews of Nazi Germany. Xenophobia and a sense of entitlement over a dhimmi millet led in both cases to exaggerated fear mongering. What I am doing is observing a pattern. I have no doubt that had the Arabs succeeded the fate of the Jews would have been similar.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            oth the Yishuv and the Armenians were rising middle class communities treated as usurpers and outsiders

            The Yishuv weer indeed usurpers and outsiders, which is why they had to come on boats.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            So you’re saying it’s morally acceptable for Jews to deny the Armenian genocide if it will help Israel politically and that I should lower my expectations? Great. So is it okay for Ahmadinejad to deny the Holocaust if it will help Iran politically? Or is it only okay for Jews to deny genocides but never okay when other people do it?

          • Elihu

            Daniel, with respect it is _not_ okay for Israel to deny the Armenian genocide, However, one should note that there are differences in its denial of the Armenian genocide and Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust – and that is in their respective intentions in so doing. No, I am not a mind-reader but the constellation of Ahmadinejad’s speeches, activities, etc. allow one to draw reasonable conclusions as to his intentions. (REcall that we are talking about a man who straight-facedly denied the existence of gays in his country to an auditorium filled with Columbia University students and professors, even as gays are routinely executed in his country for their sexual preference..) Intention matters. If one belittles an event, while also using proxy forces who declare a sacred duty to repeat such events and eagerly await its repetition – while regularly employing language in the international arena that paves the way for the repetition of such events by making such events ‘acceptable’ -, it seems to me that this activity is of a different order. I submit that Ahmadinejad questions/denies the Holocaust in order to make it easier to repeat. Again, I am horrified and ashamed by Israel’s allowing Turkey to deny the Armenian Holocaust – but I think Israel’s isolated action in this arena is different than Ahmadinejad’s actions on this score.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            I can accept that, but then we have a problem: If you look at the arguments I was having over “The Transfer Agreement” elsewhere in this thread, you will see that several individuals have said that it was impossible to predict the Holocaust, despite Hitler’s ongoing incitement against Jews. Yet today, we hear quite often things to the effect that you have said, re: drawing “reasonable conclusions as to [Ahmadinejad’s] intentions.” Indeed, we hear often quotes akin to, “When someone says they want to kill Jews, history teaches us to believe them.” How is it that we could not predict the Holocaust, but now we can predict that Ahmadinejad’s intentions are genocidal, rather than political?

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Hi Daniel,

            I think I can answer that in part. There was a strong feeling that Germany was a center of Western culture, a liberal democracy, and well advanced beyond the possibility of the sort of historic persecution against Jews occurring there. Antisemitism under Nazism morphed. It went from religious persecution (which may well have been against the liberal values of German society) to a newly invented thing called “racial science”. It was the very societal advances in philosophy, science and media that the Nazis used as a basis for what lead to the Holocaust (and the Holocaust itself). The lesson we have taken away (post Holocaust) is that racism is not something for “backwards cultures”, it is something that can grow and take over in any society. It needs constant vigilance and active steps by the state and by civil society to prevent it. The lesson of the Holocaust is that Antisemitism was not defeated by the enlightenment. Before the Holocaust we didn’t realize that. I dare say that in American today many Jews still don’t quite believe that it could happen to them in their country – that was exactly the view of the German Jews. I have a great little book on German Jewry published soon after the Nazis took over. The blindness is very apparent.

          • http://twitter.com/alrf37 andrew r

            Probably no one could have predicted the killing centers; you’d need the same level of imagination as the ones who carried them out. On the other hand, Germany occupied Poland before, enacted concentration camps before (In Southwest Africa) and practiced sterilization before (Southwest Africa again), so why couldn’t anyone put that together and figure out Germans can be nasty killers when they want to be?

          • L. King

            Daniel – Israel is not denying the Armenian genocide, it has not declared that it was a genocide. That you find a need to distort other people’s positions, including my own is a disturbing reflection on your need for Manichean distinctions. Yes, I suppose that’s not even a Jewish concept, but the Manichean heresy was opposition in the Church to seeing the world solely in terms of a struggle between good and evil. There are not only numerous shades of grey between the two but issues that are completely at right angles.

            That many Jews including Israeli Jews supported the Armenians is an element that I hold in their favour. Unlike Ahmadinijihad and the holocaust Israel has never denied nor cast aspersions on the facts of the Armenian genocide. You might add that Armenia, a land locked country dependent on Iran for import and export routes and subject to atrocious fees has never commented negatively on Ahmadinijihad’s overt antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism and holocaust denial. Yes antisemitism as he refers to Zionist control over hundreds of years – longer than modern Zionism has been around. Surely you don’t believe that Israelis and Armenians should therefore hate each other? And if you do then I can only feel sorry for you.

          • http://twitter.com/alrf37 andrew r

            Zionism hasn’t done the Armenians in Palestine any favors. The Armenian Quarter was shelled by the Haganah during 1948 (cite below): “Meanwhile, an Armenian civil guard, armed with makeshift weapons, was formed under the leadership of the Dragoman Father Hayrig and Hrayr Yergatian to protect the quarter from the Haganah shelling of the Old City.76 More than forty Armenians died in the fighting.77”

            And of course like all Palestinian refugees, Israel never permitted return of those Armenians who fled Zionist-captured land during 1948.

            The Armenians of Palestine 1918-1948

            http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1121&context=historyfacpub

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

          But start with 1948 – the Arab armies did clearly intend genocide.

          False again.

          The Arab League declared it’s intention to the UN – that it woudl defend the Arab territory in Palestine from Israel. What they did was entirely legal, which is why you will not find a single resolution condeming this action.

          In fact, Internal US State Department and CIA memos said that the Jews were the actual aggressors against the Arabs, and predicted that they would come running to the Security Council complaining that they were the victims.
          See Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa , Volume V, Part 2, page 848 (also cited in “The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951″, William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN: 0198229607, page 545; Zionism and the Palestinians, Simha Flapan, Croom Helm, 1979, ISBN: 0856644994, Page 336; and Fallen pillars: U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945, Donald Neff, 2nd Edition, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995, ISBN: 0887282598, page 65.)

          Are there Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews. Yes. Are they in charge of the PA and Gaza? No.

          Of course they are. The PA and Israel both sifned the Road Map agreeement in 2003. The Quartet were very appy with the PA meeting it’s obligations, while Israel has failed.

          Is Abbas willing to negotiate? Only if you accept all his requested concessions beforehand – at which point he pockets those concessions and asks for more.

          False again. The so called “concessions” were accepted by Israel when they signed and ratified the Road Map. Israel is not pretending that these are unreasonable pre-conditions.

          You might also be surprised to learn that leaders on both the left and right of the Yishuv accepted that there would be Arabs in a Jewish State without question.

          Not really. After 181 was passed, Ben-Gurion gave a speech warning that the small majority teh Jews had in the Jewish partition woudl not be sufficient to ensure a future Jewish majority.

          There were a lot of similarities between the Jews and the Armenians, One major difference – the Jews won and got to live.

          The other major difference is that the Aremianiasn were an indigenous populationm, where are the Jews were largely an immigrant population that had come to conquer the land.

          • Elihu

            Andre your answer to this: ‘Are there Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews. Yes. Are they in charge of the PA and Gaza? No.’ was just a tad incomplete -and a little inaccurate.

            Let’s review:

            You said: “Of course they are. The PA and Israel both signed the Road Map
            agreement in 2003. The Quartet were very happy with the PA meeting it’s
            obligations, while Israel has failed.”

            First of all, while the PA signed the Road Map, the PA’s state-run media shows that it is absolutely opposed to living in peace with the Jews. What the PA says in English, for Western consumption, is in complete dis-accord with what it projects to its Arab-speaking constituency. Look at what Arafat said to his different audiences. So, no those Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews are not in charge of the PA. More importantly, you completely ignored the phrase “and Gaza?” Can you straight-facedly maintain that ‘Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews’ are in charge of Gaza (whatever their motivations -and I refer you to the Hamas Charter to discern those)? Hamas -obviously- did not sign the Road Map. Next – you said that the Quartet was happy with the PA meeting its obligations. It looks like they missed the part about continued incitement to violence – but, in any event, the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the Quartet, which barely managed to mention the rocket fire emanating from Gaza – is not an indicator, either leading or trailing, of whether the PA is composed of Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with Israel. What we do know is that the Quartet understands that Gaza is problematic- as it stated in its April 12th report: “the situation in and around Gaza remains fragile and unsustainable as long as the West Bank and Gaza are not reunited under the legitimate Palestinian Authority adhering to the PLO commitments.” That is not happening any time soon, because Hamas will not let it happen – and they control Gaza.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            @ Elihu:

            First of all, while the PA signed the Road Map, the PA’s state-run media shows that it is absolutely opposed to living in peace with the Jews.

            That’s absoute Israeli rubbish. The whole talking point about what Arafat said to his different audiences is simply false. There is no evidence to suport this. FYI. Arafat was killed 8 years ago.

            Can you straight-facedly maintain that ‘Palestinian Arabs who want to live in peace with the Jews’ are in charge of Gaza

            Let’s look at the evidence.

            1. Hamas have proposed a long ceasefire – whic clearly in necessary to establish any kind of peace
            2. Israel stuck to the 2008 ceasefire, and according tot eh Israeli MFA, were very careful to stick to it until Israel broke the ceasefire on the day of the US presidential elections (2008) because according to a Wikileaks cable, they wanted a way to end the ceasefire and avoid having to negotiate a continuation of the existing one.
            3. Hamas have endorsed the 2ss. In fact, it was faxcinating that in 2008, Bibbi was running on a plantform of opposing the two state solution while Hamas were behind it.
            4. As for the Hamas Charter, yes it is pretty repugnant, but still it contains a qualifier that forbids members harm to those who have not “borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings”. No such qualifier is seen in the founding documents of organisati­ons like Likud, Shas and Betar all of which pledge the clearance of Palestinia­ns from at least the Jordan to the sea. The leader of Shas is well known for his pronouncem­ents calling for the “annihilat­ion of Arabs”.

            Betar has some interestin­g ideas, not dissimilar from Sheik Yassin:

            “Betar supports the concept of a Jewish state with a Jewish Majority in its biblical-h­omeland.” “The entire land of Israel as given to the Jewish people by G-d with it’s eternal capital Jerusalem.­”
            “100% Jewish Labor in all Jewish enterprise­s.”
            “Every great colonizati­on in history, has always entailed a revolt of the natives.”
            “Our aim is to make Betar such a world organism which, at a sign from the center, will be able simultaneo­usly to move tens of thousands of hands in the cities of all countries.­”
            “Disciplin­e is the subordinat­ion of a mass to one leader”
            “every Jew is a “prince” ”
            http://www­.betar.co.­uk/ideolog­y.php

            Hamas -obviously- did not sign the Road Map.

            Irrelevant. The “Palestinian leadership” is The PLO/PA i.e. it is Abbas And His Bunch. It most definitely is not Hamas, nor it is Islamic Jihad.

            Next – you said that the Quartet was happy with the PA meeting its obligations. It looks like they missed the part about continued incitement to violence

            No they didn’t miss it. ou obviously have not read the Road Map. Under Phase 1 the PA were expected to “issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”

            Or, in short: so long as Abbas And His Bunch are committed to non-violence then that provision has been fulfilled.

            which barely managed to mention the rocket fire emanating from Gaza

            See above. There would have been no rocket fire had Israel not repeatedly violated the ceasefires.

            What we do know is that the Quartet understands that Gaza is problematic- as it stated in its April 12th report:

            And what does the report say? That the “situation in and around Gaza remains fragile and unsustainable as long as the West Bank and Gaza are not reunited under the legitimate Palestinian Authority adhering to the PLO commitments”.

            And who has blocked the unification of the West Bank and Gaza? Israel of course. That was one of the main iams of Sharon when he withdrew from Gaza – to isoltae it.

            Who’s opposed to both territories re-uniting under the legitimate Palestinian Authority? LIsten to Netentyahu’s speech to Congress to find out.

            As for adhering to the PLO commitments, Hamas declared that they woudl do so in 2005, while Avigdor Liberman decalred all such commitments null and void.

          • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

            Andre, see http://joesisrael.com/edwin-blacks-letter/ for Edwin’s reply

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            Thanks Sarah, I have seen Edwin’s reply and posted a lengthy response of my own.

            Frankly, I am astounded how Edwin could speak of the expulsion of 850,000 Jews from Arabs lands (which is highly dubious as it assumes none of them wanted to migrate to Israel) and not even mention the expulsion of the 800,000 Palestinians by Israel.

            Still, his post is very articulate and very well argued.

          • Am Yisroel Chai

            Frivolous contemporaneous legalities aside, the question that begs to be asked is “Who ended Israel’s right to exist?” No one, and therefore the question of “The Right” is offensive, bigotted, and agenda driven. This question strangely enough seens to be target only at Israel, so let’s initiate a broader question and apply the same to every country in the world, many of them which have far, far, less legitimate reasons for existing.

          • Shingo

            the
            question that begs to be asked is “Who ended Israel’s right to
            exist?”

            I would
            say that the question
            that begs to be asked is what gives any country the right to exist? The answer is there isn’t such a right
            written anywhere into any law. In fact, this question has never been raised
            before because it is an absurd notion.
            If a state exists, then it doesn’t need any right to do so.

            It thus
            follows that Israel has no greater right than any other state to exist.

            The right to
            exist argument is actually nothing but a red herring to justify Israel’s ongoing
            illegal occupation and expansion. So when the occupation and illegal settlements
            are brought up, Israeli apologists will bring up Israel’s right to exist to
            deflect criticism, as though to imply that Israel’s land theft is necessary to
            maintain Israel’s existence.

  • Joe

    Hey, this site’s called, “Joe’s Israel”; how come everyone is commenting
    on Sara’s blog? Are you guys even real? I bet you are just my sister’s
    friends who she’s asked to comment here! Why not write something over athttp://joesisrael.com/catch-the-connection/?

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      It may be because your video, Joe, is so vapid, that I can’t even engage with it. “I’m sick of people criticizing Israel! So I made this video to talk about why I love Israel! It’s because, as a diaspora Jew, I have all these rights and freedoms there that indigenous Palestinians living under military occupation don’t have (and which even Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic calls apartheid). But I’m not going to talk about that. In fact, I’m literally tuning out everyone who tries to bring up any serious discussion about Israel whatsoever.”

      • Emet

        Have you considered for a moment that you are tuning us out Daniel by making strawman arguments and statements that have little grounding in fact or history all in order that you can feel morally superior in your liberal cognitive egocentric bubble.

        • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

          Aaaaand, ad hominem again.

          • Emet

            You’ve attributed to me statements I never made, and then cry ad hominem because I’ve called you out. Please. This is robust discussion. And no I’m not a staffer.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            “You are tuning us out…all in order to that you can feel morally superior in your liberal cognitive egocentric bubble.” A robust discussion, indeed.

      • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

        Hi Daniel, why can’t you engage with Joe? Engagement doesn’t have to mean argue. Joe has expressed his connection to Israel. He asked why others feel connected. You clearly do feel connected… where does that feeling come from? Why? Is there something that triggered it? Joe’s looking for a different conversation to Sarah, it may be a harder and more personal conversation but… give it go?

        • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

          Look, in all honesty, I was raised a Zionist and an Orthodox Jew, and was effectively indoctrinated, religiously and politically, to see Israel as my ancestral homeland and birthright. What truly motivated my attachment to Israel, from an early age, was that as a grandchild of four Holocaust survivors — one of whom was instrumental in shifting Agudath Israel of America to embrace Zionism — I understood that Jews need to look out for themselves because we cannot trust the world to look out for us. Throughout college and my years of anti-war and anti-globalization activism, I found myself constantly on the spot having to defend Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and American Jewry’s attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims. And the more I hit the books to get the facts I needed to win the arguments, the more I found that I had been completely misled by my parents, teachers, rabbis and community, and that the history of the state was far darker than anyone was willing to acknowledge. So I decided, I wanted to see what was going on with my own two eyes. I moved there for three years. There, I fell in love with the land, and my tradition, all over again, and became enamored with the Jewish state. I made the best friends I ever had in my life, including my wife. And, I extolled the virtues of free Jews living in their own land. But then one night I went to the Underground and saw a bouncer throw an Ethiopian kid on the ground while shouting, “No niggers allowed!” And then I saw cops beat up homeless kids in Kikar Tzion while insulting them for being Russian. And I cops stop and frisk Arab kids for walking down the street minding their own business. And I went to bars where I heard young soldiers screaming “KILL ALL THE ARABS!” And I went to the West Bank, and I saw how Arabs were treated at checkpoints and in their villages. I went to Hebron and I saw the racist graffiti on the shop doors. I attended home demolitions with my roommate, a rabbinical student who was a volunteer with ICAHD, and watched Israeli soldiers laugh in the faces of families who they were throwing out of their houses. I noticed that the Ethiopians we patted ourselves on the back for saving were nothing more than cannon fodder, border and security guards. I saw, in Lod, that Arabs lived in squalor, with sewage running through their streets, while 10 meters away, Jews, by comparison, lived in relative luxury. I saw my friends living in Bat Ayin, where I slept in their caravans, extolling their freedom to daven and do hitbodedut in the hills of Judea while their neighbors across the valley had IDF guns trained on them. I saw the country lose its mind when it went to war with Lebanon, and the entire country turn to spewing anti-Arab hatred as carelessly as it kissed mezuzot. And I saw the cops laugh in my sister’s face, an oleh chadashah, after she was beaten up by a man in broad daylight in downtown Jerusalem after she confronted him for stealing my passport. They told her, “Men hit women here all the time.” And I came to see, with my own eyes, after three years, that Israel is a broken, broken country, blinded by its hatred of the other, and on a crash course for self-destruction. And my commitment to Israel is to save it from that self-destruction by countering religious extremism, anti-Arab and anti-African bigotry, and promoting equality and justice for all of Israel’s citizens, and an end to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (which is still controlled by the IDF), so that Israel can extricate itself from the conflict which is eating it alive.

          • hophmi

            And anyone who criticizes Dan here must have an answer for how to fix those problems, which are getting worse in Israel, rather than spending endless time fighting for little points of hasbara, talking to like-minded political activists, and pretending that we don’t know about some of the stuff Dan is talking about. Because if we don’t, it frankly doesn’t matter if we win the hasbara battle.

          • Isaac Galili

            You stay here in Israel and fight the good fight by joining or supporting any number of groups or movements opposing the policies of this government. By living here you also assume the risk that if your ideas are implemented you will personally benefit from or suffer the consequences of your beliefs. Running away, as Daniel did, then standing in judgment from the safety of thousands of miles is not a morally courageous action. Daniel, come back.

          • azy thos

            No sh*t. Stay illegally in stolen and militarily occupied land and become complicit in the crime against humanity, and then and only then you can “fight the good fight”… Is this the best Zionist propaganda produces nowadays?

          • Emet

            Daniel I’m quoting from an essay by Adam Levick about someone that reminds me very much of you and I think its a very apt response to your moral solipsism:

            “This recurring tendency of Jews, such as Murane, to pay greater
            attention to their own moral performance than to the necessities of
            survival is a trait which Ruth Wisse characterizes as “moral solipsism”.

            In displaying the resilience necessary to survive in exile, many Jews
            have come to fetishize weakness, and believe that they could pursue
            their mission as a “light unto the nations” on a purely moral plane.

            However, Jewish history has surely shown that such weakness only increased Jews’ vulnerability to scapegoating and violence.

            Yes, with national sovereignty there is a price that has to be paid
            in terms of the occasional infliction of human suffering (even if
            unintentional) that invariably occurs as the result of even the most
            responsible and restrained use of national power.

            But in the lives of individual adults, as in the lives of responsible
            nations, rarely is there the luxury of making choices that will lead to
            perfect justice for all concerned. Rather, with every serious decision
            in front of her, Israel must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of
            various possible acts, and try to make decisions which will likely
            result in the most positive outcome for the Jewish state – the only
            Jewish homeland that ever was and ever will be.

            Unlike Murane, I don’t have the luxury of concerning myself with the
            fact my fierce and unapologetic determination to defend and maintain a
            presence in our people’s historic homeland causes some Jews discomfort,
            or risks alienating us from our “progressive” non-Jewish friends.

            To those not willing to get their hands dirty by fighting for a
            Jewish democracy under siege, all I can say is please step aside and let
            others not as easily tempted by such moral vanity take their place.”

            Read the whole thing here –

            http://propagandistmag.com/2011/10/10/better-jews-moral-vanity-israels-leftist-jewish-critics

          • Isaac Galili

            This is what Irving “Yitz” Greenberg calls the “innocence of powerlessness” in his excellent essay “The Ethics of Jewish Power.” His main point: the Shoah was the epitome of Jewish powerlessness, and as such it is immoral for Jews to remain powerless. Wrestling with the ambiguities of empowerment is more moral than powerlessness, which left us — and would leave us — in a situation where we were incapable of defending our physical existence.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            shorter levick, who btw, is one of the biggest and most obnoxious zionist bullies on the internet: “israel can’t afford to be moral because it must survive.” it reminds me of yehezkel dror’s forward op-ed where he wrote that israel should do every cruel thing in its power short of genocide to survive (http://forward.com/articles/13388/when-survival-of-the-jewish-people-is-at-stake-th-/ ). you call it moral solipsism, i call it the death of jewish values. what is the value of a jewish state when the essence of what makes us jewish people is destroyed in the process of our physical preservation? what values do we have to communicate to our children? kill or be killed? that is the torah on one foot? no thank you. i have stated elsewhere on this thread that i believe in the rights of jewish people to a homeland and to self-defense. none of what i mentioned above is justified or necessitated by either. none.

          • Emet

            Daniel – You accuse me of ad hominem and you refer to Levick in those terms. Nice.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            I don’t even know who you are. Margie = Emet? Nice to know. And why shouldn’t I? I’ve been a victim of his vitriolic and baseless smears, as have many of my friends. In fact, the article you cite is an attack on the witness to my wedding, Ben Murane. But way to avoid everything else I said.

          • Emet

            I see so now that you cannot address the merits of my arguments, you now resort to (falsely) accusing me of sock puppetry and take issue with who I am.

            And why should Ben Murane or yourself be immune from having their views challenged? Or is criticism a one way street. It sure seems that way with the cavalier way you’ve behaved in this thread.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            You just changed your handle on your posts as Margie to Emet (logged into the wrong Disqus account when commenting, clearly) and are now falsely claiming that I unjustly accused you of sock puppetry. You are a crooked and dishonest debater. Amazingly crooked. Wow.

            Also, not immune to having my views challenged. But there’s a difference between challenging someone’s view and attempting to defame and demonize them, by, for example, suggesting that they are a self-hating Jew, as Levick does in his article.

            After your last stunt though, I’m done talking to you. You’re playing games. And you are obviously somehow connected to this project as a staff member of a supporting organization, otherwise you wouldn’t be acting so damn cowardly and trying to cover your tracks for having posted as Margie.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            @Oboler:disqus If Margie/Emet is a colleague of yours, you should be ashamed of this ruse and put an end to it.

          • Emet

            Daniel. You are digging yourself a deeper hole by pursuing the false accusation of sock puppetry. I suggest you stick to debating the merits rather than creating self imagined conspiracy theories.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Stop lying you awful, awful person. I’m so sickened by your behavior right now I can’t even deal. Ask anyone: I’m not a liar. It’s not my style. My style is brutal honesty, to a fault.

          • Emet

            False accusations and ad hominem, Again…. I pity you Daniel.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            And I curse you, because you are an evil person and your trickery is revealed by the fact that the @name responses on my comments to you as Margie have disappeared, which indicates a Disqus account name change.

            You have just demonstrated that if right-wing Zionists can’t beat you in an argument legitimately, they will try to do it by destroying your credibility, even resorting to underhanded trickery.

          • Emet

            You’re accusing me of trickery. Please explain how that is possible when I havent been logged into Disqus?

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Why would I make this up? The only other explanation is a bug with Disqus, but your comments were from Margie, my responses said @Margie. That is why I said, “I don’t even know who you are,” to the allegation that I had accused her of ad hominem. I had only called you out for ad hominem attacks, not Margie, who had appeared out of nowhere. Suddenly, after my comment, “Margie=Emet?”, the comments from Margie are now from Emet, my responses say nothing @ anyone, and you accuse me of fabricating it all. Why? Why would I have a need to do that? Also, your citation of CiF, where Margie in Tel Aviv is a blogger, seems to indicate that you are one and the same.

          • Emet

            I do not doubt you saw something that led you to believe this and I have no idea why but my comments are not from Margie because Margie is a different person from me. As for citation of CiF, there are numerous commenters over there. Now that you’ve calmed down I would respectfully request that you retract the horrible things you said to me. We have Yom Kippur coming up and we are both on the same side although we have differing points of view.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            It’s all very fishy to me, but if I am truly incorrect and this was the result of a bug, then I apologize. But your comments were just as denigrating.

          • Emet

            Apology accepted Daniel.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Hi all, while we do want to encourage discussion some things are off limits. That includes personal abuse and wrongful allegations against users. I’m saying this as a general warning.

            If anyone suspects people are abusing the platform, please e-mail us to have it checked. In this case I can confirm that Emet and Magie are different accounts. They come from different IP address ranges (never mind different addresses) and are not from known proxies. I hope that settles the matter.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Well, if you are not merely covering for your colleague, it seems to me, then, that Disqus has a serious error of which the company should be apprised, because I guarantee on this end, I was in a discussion with Margie about why I accused her of something I had only accused Emet of.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Never mind, I have proof you’re both lying now.

            Before: http://d.1ski.me/image/1j372x30410D
            After: http://d.1ski.me/image/2z261a2i0Z0C

            You guys are pathetic. Ladies n’ gentlemen: Hasbara.

          • Emet

            Its indeed very weird. But I can again assure you I’m not Margie and I’m not logged into Disqus and havent been.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Uh huh. Ok.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Daniel, it seems you have picked up on a bug. I notice that it only seems to occur when the names are in white (rather than yellow). I.e. when the account isn’t verified by the system. I don’t think there is away to change the user who posted something (if you click edit for example) so your documentation, and the IP documentation I have, indicates a glitch in the system. Now, do you want to write to them, or do you want me to write to them?

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Technical details: It looks like when a user isn’t logged in the system is caching the last user to post something, putting it up against the new comment. Only after a delay is it updating the user details. The result is it looks like things are posted by the wrong person.
            Work around: please verify and log into your account on Disqus, then you won’t have this issue. (Or at least it doesn’t seem to be happening with registered accounts as far as we can see).

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            And I quote Disqus customer service: “My guess is both accounts are using the same email.” There is no known bug.

          • Margie In Tel Aviv

            Daniel, I am Margie in Tel Aviv.We have spoken in the past.

            Why on earth do you think I am Emet? I had no intention of hiding my identity but do have the bad habit of sometimes not adding the second part of my name. I will attempt not to do so in the future.

          • Isaac Galili

            Daniel, I am a oleh and I am struck by how black-and-white you see things here. Do I see instances of anti-Arab racism here? Yes. Do I see instances of other Israeli Jews opposing this racism? Yes. Have I seen Kahane is right graffiti in Jerusalem? Yes, but it isn’t plastered all over the city, in fact you have to look hard to find it. What did I do when I saw a string of pro-Kahane stickers on King George St.? Did I pack up my bags and leave? No. I took positive action and removed the stickers. They never reappeared. When there was an anti-Arab riot in Jerusalem after a soccer game, I went to an anti-racism rally a few days later, and took my kids.

            Daniel, there is no human society on the face of this planet that doesn’t have intolerant people. Putting Israel under a microscope as if Israeli Jewish intolerance is somehow a unique evil is wrong, morally and logically.

          • Emet

            Well said Isaac. I think you’ll appreciate this post which I linked to below.

            http://propagandistmag.com/2011/10/10/better-jews-moral-vanity-israels-leftist-jewish-critics

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Did you miss the part where I said I fell in love with the place and wanted to make a life there? I don’t see Israel in black and white. I see Israel in a nuanced way, and if you ever saw me arguing with the Left, you would see a very different side of me. But I see problems that the pro-Israel solidarity community wants to plug its eyes and ears and ignore. Nowhere have I said that Israel’s racism problem is unique. In fact, elsewhere in this thread, I said it makes Israel no different from those who they condemn. Yet if I am to believe that it is my obligation as a Jew to put the Jewish people first, then it is my obligation to clean up my own house first. Indeed, the Talmud says in Shabbat 54:b, “One who has the power to protest against wrong in his house and does not do so, is responsible for (the transgressions of) every one in his house. In the city, he is responsible for the transgressions of every one of the inhabitants of the city; in the whole world, he is responsible for the world.” I focus my attention on Israel (though I am also active on many domestic U.S. concerns and other international causes) because the Jews are my people and they are conducting themselves in a way that I believe dishonors us, the name of God, and the land of Israel.

          • Isaac Galili

            Daniel, your passion for justice is also mine. But, you would be more effective here than in Diaspora. There is much good here in Israel, it is not all bad, or even mostly bad. But, anyone not familiar with Israel reading your posts could not help but seeing Israel as some of police state. The history you cite is of the variety that blames Israel and Zionist only for the conflict, and ignores the massive role of creating and perpetuating the conflict played by Arab nationalists and radical Islamists. We are not boy scouts, we are not Mother Theresa. But, we are not the incarnation of evil that so many of our enemies make us out to be. And, your tone and rhetoric sadly is a reflection of the anti-Israel demonization echo chamber in today’s world. Bottom line: please come back and fight the good fight here.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            No, I realized that I am far more effective trying to change the minds of American Jews who are completely clueless about what’s going on in Israel more so than trying to change the minds of Israelis who, by and large, rejected me outright as a religiously and politically progressive Jew. My tone is from my exasperation over seeing ever more dollars being wasted by Jewish philanthropists on meaningless hasbara bullshit while my parents are losing their house after a lifetime of Jewish communal service because some of the biggest and most beloved funders in the Jewish community decided to destroy the housing market for profit. My parents are going to die in the street so that you can make videos about the history of Israel which don’t include the word Palestinian? Awesome. And forgive me, but as Colbert says, history has a well-known liberal bias. You call it anti-Israel demonization. I call it being honest about reality and trying to deal with it rather than revising it to my liking and attacking everyone who disagrees as a being a Jew hater or a self-hater.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            The history you cite is of the variety that blames Israel and Zionist
            only for the conflict, and ignores the massive role of creating and
            perpetuating the conflict played by Arab nationalists and radical
            Islamists

            How did you ever expect them to behave? Even Jabotinsky was honest enoughto admit that the response from the Arab nationalists was perfectly understandable and justified. In fact, their response is the same as any indigenous population that was confronted with a colonial population arriving on their shores and vowing to claim the land as their own.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Hi Daniel,

            Thanks for taking the time to reply, and for sharing what you’ve shared. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I think it is clear from what you say that you do feel connected to Israel as a Jew. I think that’s the message Joe (and I do mean Joe, rather than Sarah here) is really trying to get out.

            Whether that connection leads people to make Aliyah, to donate to environmental projects, volunteer at absorbtion centers, or to become actively involved with an Israel political party (and one can do that abroad, not just in Israel)… it doesn’t really matter. The point is that Jews are connected to each other and to Israel. That’s really the core of Joe’s message.

            You start by saying you were raised a Zionist, I think your ending suggests that you are still a Zionist. I don’t believe there needs to be a conflict between: (a) being a Zionist, (b) supporting a two state solution, and (c) wanting equality for all Israel’s citizens. Anyone who has a conflict with those three values has adotped a particularly narrow definition of one or more of those values.

            If you’ll cross post the above (perhaps edited into paragraphs and with any additions / changes you want to make) as a comment on Joe’s blog at http://joesisrael.com/catch-the-connection/ I think it might spark a very useful discussion.

            Thanks again for the reply and for sharing, At least we didn’t have to stand in the rain for the conversation this time! 😉

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            tell it to your friends at ngo monitor who have repeatedly attacked new israel fund for supporting a two state solution and wanting equality for all israel’s citizens. also, no disrespect my friend, but i think your response was as shallow as your video.

          • Emet

            Daniel – more intellectual dishonesty and strawman arguments. Why does NIF fund Adalah, an organization that advocates the one-state solution?

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Because it’s the leading organization defending Arab minority rights in Israel? How is it dishonest or a straw man to say that NGO Monitor exists to persecute NIF? When you look on their website, they’re the first organization listed under “NGO Index,” and all the criticism against them is for their support of Arab human rights and documentation of Israeli human rights abuses.

            Also, do you really want to start arguing that there is something insidious about Arabs desiring equal rights in a binational state now that the peace process has completely broken down to the point where the Democratic Party doesn’t even bother to include it in their platform?

          • Emet

            “How is it dishonest or a straw man to say that NGO Monitor exists to persecute NIF?”

            Umm because its not true.

            Now regarding Adalah and their one-state solution. Let me start off by correcting a subtle but important inaccuracy in your statement. Adalah adopted their constitution in 2006, 2 years before Olmert’s 2008 peace plan – a time at which there was still a peace process. More to the point though, the one-state solution spells the end of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and as a practical matter, Israel will not commit national suicide which means the only way this will ever be achieved is through bloodshed. So yes there is something incredibly insidious about the one-state solution and if you see nothing wrong with the one-state solution well I would question what is left of your Zionism.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Ummm, yes it is? Let me disclose, I’m a former member of the New Israel Fund New Generations board, and I have firsthand knowledge of NGO Monitor’s machinations against NIF. It would be lovely if you would disclose your identity and affiliations, but it seems you don’t want anyone to know who you are or who you work for. Why is that?

            I support the two state solution. What I don’t support is denying Palestinians a state and also denying them equality in Israel. That is called apartheid and it will be Israel’s undoing.

          • Emet

            You said that NIF supports a two state solution. I said that they fund an organization that supports a one state solution. You then acknowledge this is true but see nothing wrong with the one state solution. You then say you support a two state solution. I think you need to make up your mind.

            As for my identity, in better times. The merits of my arguments stand on their own.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            Cowardice. And NIF supports two states, as do I. NIF supports organizations that fight for the rights of Arab in Israel and for an end to the Israeli occupation. It does not endorse every view espoused by every organization nor the employees of every organization it has worked with. It supports specific programs consistent with the organization’s strategies. NIF, for example, has supported various ultra-Orthodox organizations in its history. Does this mean the NIF is a kiruv organization? No. Furthermore, I do not see the postulation of a one state solution nor its advocacy as equivalent to calling for the murder of Jews. I see it as a call for justice and equality for Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories. Our response should not be, “You hate us and want to kill us!” It should be, how can we resolve this dilemma sooner than later so that we don’t wind up with a defacto one state solution.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Daniel, there are different aspects to this discussion. I’m personally not interested in getting into the argument others are engaging in here. I _am_ interested in hearing about your connection to Israel. I know it’s personal but I think it is at the core of one of the three issues this site is here to discuss.

            Too many (e.g. Mondoweiss) are linking you in with the crowd who just wish to see Israel destroyed. I think they are wrong about your position. I say that both from this comment of yours, and from our previous discussions. I see you engaging with the discussion on Israel because you feel a connection to Israel.

            If we both feel a connection to Israel, it doesn’t make for a good argument, but it does make for a good discussion. Let’s have that discussion (on the other blog) and also listen to what others have to say about their connection. I have my own stories to share, but I’ll save them for the other thread and in reply to a post you make there as it will make the site easier to follow.

          • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

            I’ll tell you what, Andre. When I get a straight answer about why your video never mentions the world Palestinian, I will tell you about why I feel connected to Israel. Until then, I will not be a participant in your feel good exercise that serves no genuine purpose.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            I thought Sarah answered you, but it was as a new post rather than as a reply. If you haven’t seen it you might like to go through the comments and find it.

            Sarah’s role here is to present a Jewish narrative. As others have expressed, that is a legitimate thing to do. It also opens up the discussion, not everything she says is right (sorry Sarah!) nor is what she says complete. The aim is to stimulate the discussion. I’m sure in the future Sarah will say more things that upset more people on all sides. Does that answer your question?

            If not, I can add that we feel it is important that Jewish people appreciate their connection to Israel and the strength of Israel legal position, before going into a discussion on the two state solution. The reason is because ultimately the two state discussion is not about rights, it is about finding a diplomatic solution that works for both sides.

            My own personal thoughts (not speaking on behalf of Joe’s Israel):

            If either side insists they won’t compromise on “their rights”… then progress becomes impossible. The claims of Jewish rights and claims of Palestinian rights fundamentally clash. Only through negotiation, where people compromising on what they regard as their absolute rights, can a solution be found. There are sites that try and present both sides and chart a middle road. There are also sites all about the Palestinian narrative and Palestinian rights. This site is about the Jewish narrative and Jewish rights and the discussion we can have around this topic. The topic of Palestinian rights is really only relevant (on this site) to the extent that we agree they have their narrative and we have ours, they have their claim to rights and we have ours, and ultimate… there needs to be some compromises and some giving up of rights on all sides.

            Look forward to seeing your post for Joe.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            @ Andre Oboler:

            Too many (e.g. Mondoweiss) are linking you in with the crowd who just wish to see Israel destroyed.

            That’s pathetic and truly dohonest. Are you Isaeli apologists completely incapable of accepting a counter argument without framing is as a call for Israel’s destruction? Or is it that you are so afraid that Israe; cannot withstand any scruitiny and will fall like a house of cards if it were ever to be legally challenged?

            It’s so infantile. When are you people going to grow up?

            As for your relentless harping about your emotional connection, that too is dubious and reminiscnet of the psychosis that modern Israeli Psychologists have described in their literature. There is a similar syndrome called Jerusalem Syndrome that afflicts Israelis when they visit Hebron in Palestine. They can develop false beliefs, loose contact with reality, suffer from hallucinations, and become violently delusional. One notable case was documented by the Shamgar Commission‎ and many more are the subject of videos that are available on YouTube.

          • Margie

            DanielSieradski
            Glad you noticed and were horrified by negative attitudes. However, the way to help Israel to overcome them is not to move out and criticise from afar. It is helpful to stay and work with people and show by example what the right way is.. How can you vote to counter the religious parties if you live in the USA? How can you influence younger Israelis from the USA?

            Israel is not broken broken. Israel is a new country, finding itself amidst waves of migration, and a virtual continuing war. It is a miraculous society where the polish is not always evenly applied. Norms are different from the USA where everyone is unfailingly politically correct and says please thank you all the time (okay I’m joking but see the gap please)

            The people you meet here are part of a melting pot finding their place in society, often the second or even the first generation in a difficult world. I am also shocked and angry when people are rude to me or make offensive statements but I haven’t left Israel for that reason. People are more abrasive than in the polite west. That’s the culture. They are also creative, original and will invite you for the hagim if you’re alone and help you to carry a heavy object without knowing you and without expecting a word of thanks.

    • Emet

      She’s cuter than you Joe. That’s why. 😎

  • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.rojastal Michelle Rojas-Tal

    I believe the reason why Sarah has started with this video is to deal with a very serious issue facing Israel today and that is the question of Israel’s very right to exist. Very virulent Palestinian propoganda has not so much concentrated on promoting a Palestinian right to self-determination and independence but rather has spent far too much time on attempting to deligitimate Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, independent state. Mahmoud Abbas himself in an interview with Channel 2 news with Yonit Levi during this past Spring, commented that due to the influence of neighboring regimes, the platform of the Palestinian people and their claim has become much less about their future and much more about keeping Israel the eternal enemy and denying her basic rights. This will get no one anywhere. Numbers and statistics are in the eyes of the beholder. I know Israeli Jews who have are 10th generation in this land just as there are Arabs who are the same. I know Arabs whose last names are Al-Masri meaning they originally came from Egypt and whose families came here during the early 1900s along with massive Jewish Aliyah from Europe. Or should we break down the numbers of Jews indeginous to the Middle East and North Africa? Why is their expulsion, numbering 850,000 and all of their children, grand-children and great grand-children simply ignored? This conflict is about differing narratives and this site is meant to function as a healthy discussion. But it is also meant to promote Israel. We need to deal with the reality now, here, today. Both peoples live here and we need to find a solution. And blaming Israel and only Israel solves NOTHING. The fact that there are young Jewish people who want to promote and defend Israel needs to stop being looked at as “those poor, naive kids being brainwashed”. And the fact that there are young Jews and non-Jews who want to learn more about Israel, LET THEM. Let them start with the basic. The same way when people are touring NY and have stopped me to ask directions to Times Square or Central Park, I don’t invite them to get on the train with me and visit my housing project and see the poverty or struggles there. NYC is complex. There is good, bad and ugly. As there is with every nation and society. Israel is not different and should not be asked for anything different.There are plenty of us who love, live and promote this country because it is our narrative, we believe in it, with all the complexities and difficulties that come with it, and don’t feel it’s our “duty” to constantly present both narratives. Recognition and empathy, completely fine and expected. But it is also ok to just represent your side of the story.

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      You cannot make an effective argument for the rights of Jewish people to self-determination and statehood in Israel if you base it on a falsified narrative that uses lies, half-truths, outright distortions and revisionist history. I am a Zionist! I support the Jewish right of self-determination! I support Israel’s right to exist! I support Israel’s right to defend itself! But I don’t support basing it on a pack of lies and teaching children to repeat those lies and to perpetuate ignorance about the troubling history behind the founding of the state. We need to acknowledge the hard truths and the harm that we caused if we are ever going to move past this intractable conflict, achieve peace, end Israel’s international isolation and demonization, and repair the violent tensions between Israel’s various ethnic and religious populations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

      I believe the reason why Sarah has started with this video is to deal with a very serious issue facing Israel today and that is the question of Israel’s very right to exist.

      It’s not serious or even honest. What Sarah and many Israeli apologists are trying to achieve, is to conflate Israel’s occupation of the territories with Israel’s existence. In other words, she is tryig to suggest that demanfing Israel comply with international law is the same as calling for Israel’s destruction.

      It’s a gross distrotion of the facts and intended to simply confuse the issue.

      • Lord Clane

        Obvious nonsense. The charters and manifestos of the Palestinians (readily available on line) and their stated goals and actions, as well as those of most of the surrounding arab nations, support a continuing commitment to utter destruction of the “zionist entity,” a few moderate words of lip service (not generally released in arabic) occasionally offered to westerners not withstanding. Gaza demonstrates the proof– any territory surrendered unilaterally is simply used as an advanced base for launching attacks. As a glance at any map will show, Israel’s strategic position is very brittle– as good as its armed forces are, one defeat and even its pre-1967 territory could be cut to pieces in hours or days. As Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact”. Similarly, any agreements, international or otherwise, requiring of Israel the equivalent of national sepuku, are unlikely to draw much support….

  • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

    Daniel Sieradski, sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to my own blog; what can I say, I’ve been busy getting back to school.

    There’s a lot to say about the current conflict, and it’s being said elsewhere. I started this blog to address what has become the most neglected aspect of this discussion, the rights of the Jews as indigenous people in our ancient homeland!

    You make two main points in your post:

    1 ) That “the descendants of Jews who spent two thousand years in diaspora… somehow share the same rights [to an independent state] as indigenous Palestinian Jews.

    2) That these Jews spent their exile “chiefly in Europe”.

    Let’s deal with the first one first; the law that applies in this case is the Mandate for Palestine (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp), adopted by the League of Nations in 1922. Its preamble states:

    “Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect [the Balfour Declaration] in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    There’s nothing in there to distinguish between Diaspora and “indigenous” Jews. In fact, Article 6 requires Britain to “facilitate Jewish immigration” and “encourage… close settlement by Jews on the land”. You don’t have to do that with people who already live there!

    Think about it; the people who had lobbied for the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate were not the “Old Yishuv” Jews of Safed and Jerusalem, but people like Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weiztman. When the League of Nations recognized the rights of the Jews to the Land of Israel, it was the Jews of the Diaspora that they were referring to.

    Now your second point, that the Jews spent their exile “chiefly in Europe”. If you don’t mind me saying so, that makes me mad! One side of my family’s great grand-parents were from Syria. On the eve of the rebirth of the Jewish stat in 1948 there were almost 1.1 million Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries from Pakistan to Algeria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Muslim_countries). That was a good proportion of the Jews in the world at that time (especially after the Nazis had finished with the Jews of Europe). For a lot of our history the Jews of the Middle East have been invisible to Jews in the West. It’s not going to be that way on my blog!

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      Sarah, I made no remark on the contents of the Mandate for Palestine. The decision to impose a solution on Palestine was not the right of foreign powers despite their colonial history in Palestine, just as one would argue today, for example, that it is not the place of the United States or the G8 to impose borders or a solution on Israel. That said, I was not disputing the Mandate’s recognition of the rights of diaspora Jewry, I was disputing the use of the term indigenous to describe non-Palestinian Jews. It is a misnomer. And clearly, there were Arab Jews in significant number in the diaspora pre-Israel’s establishment, but my word was CHIEFLY, as there were 10 million Jews in Europe (prior to the Holocaust) to your 1 million in Mizroch. 10:1. Chiefly.

      Furthermore, you failed to address any of my questions directed to you, which were: How come your video never mentions the word “Palestinian,” the rights of indigenous Palestinian Arabs, including their rights to self-determination and sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, the competing force of Arab nationalism that simultaneously sought Arab independence in Palestine, nor the forcible disposession of Palestinian Arabs in Israel’s War of Independence?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

        How come your video never mentions the word “Palestinian,” the rights of
        indigenous Palestinian Arabs, including their rights to
        self-determination and sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, the
        competing force of Arab nationalism that simultaneously sought Arab
        independence in Palestine, nor the forcible disposession of Palestinian
        Arabs in Israel’s War of Independence?

        I asked the same question and the answer is pretty obvious. Because the whole Jewish State and return narrative cannot withdtand the fact that Israel was created by violating the human rights and rights of sefl determination of the existing non-Jewish population.

        In fact, if one were to be perfectly honest, the Balfour Declaration itself was a terrible concept. and Baflour himself made no effort to hide the fact that he rights of the Palestinians was of no concern to him or Britain.

        • AuzzieP

          In the late 19th century and early 20th century to mid century there was a large immigration of arabs into Israel(much of it illegal). Many Egyptians came after the building of the Suez canal. Before the late 19th century there were few people in the land at all. Jews and poor muslims of various extraction, Druze and other minorities
          and the Brits brought in Lebanese arabs to deepen the Haifa harbour- they stayed.
          See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UhVcAfMmuc
          where Hamas interior minister admits many arabs of that region are not ‘palestinian’. Until 1949 only jews were called palestinian. Many of the landowners were Turks etc and did not live in that part of the world. “palestinian’ ‘refugees’ have a special status which no other refugees have and so have risen from about 550 000 to 41/2 million. More Jews were booted out of arab countries and are not given the right to go back and become dhimmies again. They are owed billions of dollars for having their businesses and home taken from them.
          In 1945 Liviv became Lvov from Poland to Now Ukraine. Breslau became Wroclow and its German inhabitants forced out, the Germans of the then Czechoslovakia) were forced out and thousands were murdered, in 1972.3 Greek Cypriots were forced from their land and the Turks have never given the land back. If so-called palestinians were everyday refugees they would have been resettled and be cirizens of another country. Their arab neighbours /allies would not hold them hostage in ‘camps’.
          go to refugee on this page
          http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/demogra-eng.html for comparisons of the rights of refugees from the world compared to rights of ‘palestinians’.

  • hophmi

    I’m generally a fan of Mitchell’s work, and his Jewish Virtual Library is a great website. I know Mitchell’s view is that hasbara works, and that outside criticism of Israel doesn’t, but I’d like to hear why Mitchell believes that this will work and what role he believes Jews who are liberal Zionists but are freaked out by the excesses of the settlers, unhappy with the racist rhetoric of government ministers, and unhappy with the current government have to play.

  • Club

    I don’t understand the point of legally justifying any country’s right to exist, be it Israel or anyone else. If a country exists, it should exist, because destroying it would involve killing people. Therefore, existence is enough justification to have a right to exist.

    Teaching people about Israel is important, but when its called “arguing why Israel has a right to exist”, it sets the tone that Israel’s right to exist is something that can be argued, and helps Israel’s enemies. Don’t you think?

    During world war two, Germany still had a right to exist, they just had to change their behavior. Americans are not natives in their country’s land, but they still have a right to exist. Even if Israel was a horrible country born in sin, it would still have a
    right to exist, it would just have to change its behavior.

    Instead of making legal arguments for Israel’s existence, wouldn’t it be more useful to make legal arguments that many presentations against Israel’s existence can be considered hate-speech?

    • dbean85

      “I don’t understand the point of legally justifying any country’s right to exist, be it Israel or anyone else.” Agreed (although I have issues with notions like “right to exist” – would be happy to elaborate). But that’s not the point of this video. Let me try and explain:

      “If a country exists, it should exist, because destroying it would involve killing people.” I agree, and would frame it thusly: Israel is a member nation of the United Nations, diplomatically recognized by most of the world’s nation. As such, is it entitled to the same rights as all member nations, including the right to live in peace and security, the right to defend its citizens, and so forth. The citizens of Israel have the rights guaranteed them by their state. This seems to me to suffice to make the case for the legality of Israel. To question this would be to question international law fundamentally.

      But there’s a reason we are transported all the way back to the 1920s: because the real point of this video is to make the case that the entirety of the Jewish people have an ancient ancestral claim to all the land of historic Palestine. The propagandistic purpose of the video is revealed right near the end: “Today, there is a dispute over *part of this land*.” (my emphasis) See, the video tries to mislead people about the nature of the conflict today. They are creating the false impression that because of the Jewish people’s claim to all of Palestine, Israel has a valid claim to the West Bank (curiously Gaza is not mentioned). This is just not true.

      On point of fact, in the drafting of the British mandate, language which affirmed the Jewish people’s *claim* to the land was actually deleted from the final draft. Instead, the mandate notes the Jewish people’s historic connection to Palestine (hardly the same as affirming legal claims) and then provides for the constitution of a Jewish national homeland in *part* of Palestine. So the appeal by this video to international law as the basis for the Jewish people’s right to all of Palestine is false.

      But what makes this (inaccurate) appeal to international law all the more absurd (and breathtakingly hypocritical) is that the video makes no mention of what international law *today* says about the nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The overwhelming consensus of international law is: 1) Israel within its 1967 borders is a member state of the U.N., entitled to the rights of all other states; 2) the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are Palestinian territory, and the presence of the IDF in those lands constitutes a belligerent military occupation. Thus, Israel does not have a right to a single solitary square inch of these lands, due to the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, a principle anchored in the U.N. charter. 3) The Palestinian population in these lands is subject to the protections of the fourth Geneva convention, and as such the settlements in the West Bank are all illegal, and the economic blockade of Gaza is illegal, being an act of collective punishment of the population. (Yes, perhaps point 3) is not exactly pertinent, but these violations of international law by Israel are so flagrant and outrageous, they underscore how ridiculous it is that the creators of this video (ab)use international law from 100 years ago to make a (false) claim).

      As to whether questioning whether Israel’s existence is justified or legitimate as such is illegal hate speech: well I’m posting from the U.S. and such speech is protected under the First Amendment, so any “legal” arguments against it would be laughed out of court (I hope…) Whether or not it is hate speech depends on the particular presentation or arguments made, but as such it does not seem like hate speech to me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

        Excellent post Dean,

        Just a few points I’d like to add.

        But there’s a reason we are transported all the way back to the 1920s: because the real point of this video is to make the case that the entirety of the Jewish people have an ancient ancestral claim to all the land of historic Palestine

        Which we already know is false anyway. The allied powers all agreed that the historical connection had no legal basis in terms of claims to the territory.

        Instead, the mandate notes the Jewish people’s historic connection to Palestine (hardly the same as affirming legal claims) and then provides for the constitution of a Jewish national homeland in *part* of Palestine.

        To be precise, the word “homeland” was deliberately avioded. The term they did use was “national home”. This is more than a distinction without a difference. Homeland is traditionally associated with statehood and sovereignty. The “national home” was used precidely because there was no intention of creating a Jewish state.

      • Lord Clane

        1. International Law is an oxymoron, For the most part, it isn’t real law because there’s neither a soverign authority to promulgate it, nor a practical police authority to enforce it. The only “law” with any effect whatsoever involves things that almost everyone agrees to, like rules for designating radio call letters, etc. Of course, the things that people call “international law” will be used by powerful nations to justify actions they take, sometime by force majeur, but only if they are in agreement. If not, they are ignored.

        2. “…the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are Palestinian territory…” Interestingly, the Palestinians themselves made no such claim until 1984– mostly to “poke a stick in the eye” of Israel. It should be recalled that when arabs controlled Jerusalem, Israelis were not allowed to even visit or make pilgrimages to their own holy sites there, whereas under Israeli control, not only are the sites open to their followers, but they are run with a reasonable degree of autonomy, and protected (e.g., no archeological digs under the Dome of the Rock, much as some Israeli archeologists would like to.
        I further note that as of 1967, there was NO Palestinian territory– the relevant areas belonged to Egypt, Jordan and Syria. In fact, thoughout all history, neither arabs nor Palestinians ever even attempted to set up so much as a regional capital in Palestine– the closest was the Caliphate, and the closest capital they set up was in Baghdad. The Hebrews, of course, had their capital there, in Jerusalem– remembered in Jewish prayers for ~200o years (“Next Year in Jerusalem.”). The Romans set up a regional capital, as did the Selucids. The Crusaders established their capital there (the “Kingdom of Jerusalem.”). When the Israelis captured it in 1967, they re-established their capital there. Again, it was only in 1984 when, as part of their enduring hatred, that they should have THEIR capital there and boot out the “zionist infidels.” A Palestinians right? I suggest you peddle aluminum siding door-to-door… you’d have more credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    I appreciate the inclusuve tone on your piece Sarah, but there are so many falsities in your presentation, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    1. The Kingdom of Israel came to an end in 70AD. It ceased to exist in any legal or physical sense until the State of Israel was declared in 1948. Even the Zionist rabbinate referred to the territory as Palestine – NOT Israel – and the local Jewish population referred to themselves as Palestinians.

    Very sloppy way to begin Sarah. Tsk Tsk.

    2. I couldn’t help but notice the tongue and cheek reference to the cave man, but even that seemingly harmless fun smacks of dishonesty. The Hebrews did not build Israel from the ground up – Jerusalema nd Jericho were already built when they arrived.

    3. The continued presence of Jews in Palestine represented no legal basis or claim to the territory by Jews other than the property rights of those individuals.

    4. The reference to the “historical connection” was an overture that carried no legal significance. The Principle Allied Powers decided there were no bases for a legal entitlement, so Lord Balfour suggested that some polite words about the “historical connection” of the Jewish people be added to the Mandate instead. The travaux préparatoires of the British Foreign Office Committee that was tasked with drafting the Mandate reveal that the Allies did not consider the historical connection as a basis for any Jewish claim:

    “It was agreed that they had no claim, whatever might be done for them on sentimental grounds; further that all that was necessary was to make room for Zionists in Palestine, not that they should turn “it”, that is the whole country, into their home.

    – See PRO FO 371/5245, cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, pages 99-100

    5. The international community never suggested a Jewish State until 1937, under the commission, which the Zionist Congress rejected. Nor was there any mention if sovereignty over Palestine. The territory was to be shared with the non Jewish, native population.

    You seemed to switch from sovereignty to self determination during your argument.

    6. The elephant on the room, which you went to great lengths to avoid, is the Palestinian population – who’s civil and human rights were supposed to have been unaffected. Israel certainly violated this obligation.

    7. The use of the word “homeland” is always a dead giveaway that what is about to follow is the usual narrative, and yours does not dissapoint. The word homeland does not appear in Balfour, San Remo or League of Nations. When asked by Lord Curzon if “national home” was meant a state, Balfour said no. Dr Weizmann confirmed this interpretation.

    This was again confirmed by the British Government in 1922.

    So left me ask you Sarah. Why did you make such a glaring mistake? We’re you hoping that you could slip it under the radar where it wouldn’t get detected by the uninitiated? Surely a student of international law would not be so careless?

    8. Israel had no claim over the West Bank. In fact, the terms “Judea and Samaria”, in the text of UN General Assembly resolution 181(II), were actually used to exclude those regions from the State of Israel (Medinat Yisrael), i.e.:

    “The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih south-east of Beisan and runs due west to meet the Beisan-Jericho road and then follows the western side of that road in a north-westerly direction to the junction of the boundaries of the Sub-Districts of Beisan, Nablus, and Jenin.”

    In fact, the General Assembly resolution not only excluded the bulk of Judea and Samaria from the Jewish state, it prohibited the inhabitants of the Jewish state from obtaining citizenship and moving there: no Arab residing in the area of the proposed Arab State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Jewish State and no Jew residing in the proposed Jewish State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Arab State.
    — United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947, Chapter 3: Citizenship, International Conventions and Financial Obligations

    Needless to say, Jerusalem was not included either.

    9. Israeli apologists are fond of claiming that the British failed to fulfill the letter of the Mandate, when in fact, the British failed in their rights to protect the rights of Palestinians and gave in to the illegal aspirations if the Zionists.

    10. UNSC242 explicitly cites the West Bank and East Jerusalem as territories occupied during the ’67 war and as such, are inadmissible (illegally occupied) under international law.

    5a. The European immigrants to Palestine are hardly an ancient people. An absence of 2000 years hardly concurs with any continuity or claim to nativity. Ironically, the indigenous Jews who remained in Palestine all those centuries, we’re fiercely opposed to the idea of a Jewish State.

    11. If you are arguing for the land to be shared, then do you support a single state in all of Palestine?

    12. All 15 Justices of the ICJ have declared Israeli presence in these territories to be illegal and the settlements to being a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.

    It’s always amusing when Israeli supporters claim that international law is on the side of Israel. You’re always right, except where it matters, in a court of law, which explains why the Israeli government has been so anxious to deny the UN any involvement in peace talks.

    The reason your side of the debate no longer gets heard ist because the wheels fell off it a long time ago. What you apologists seem to forget is that international law is whatever the majority of states in the world agrees it is.

    If indeed you are a student of international law, and if indeed you have rested your case, then you never had one to begin with. Alan Baker tried presenting your arguments before the 15 justices of the ICJ, and they laughed him out of court.

    You have a lot of homework ahead of you, unless you are aiming for an “F”.

    P.S. At least you saved yourself further embarrassment by not suggesting Jordan was supposed to be part of the territory on which the Jewish National Home was to exist. Danny Ayalon made that stupid mistake in his equally fatuous effort.

    • Elihu

      ” What you apologists seem to forget is that international law is whatever the majority of states in the world agrees it is.” Uh, no. If that _were_ the case, then the U.N. General Assembly Resolutions would be binding – rather than the resolutions of the UNSC. With respect, your statement is a fundamentally incorrect distillation of how International Law is made.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

        Uh, no. If that _were_ the case, then the U.N. General Assembly Resolutions would be binding – rather than the resolutions of the UNSC.

        With respect, you’re mistaken. You’re conflating 2 different issues here.

        1. International law and
        2. the right of the UN to intervene and implement it.

        The UN Charter is bound by customary international law. Neither the United States nor the other permanent members of the Security Council can veto that fact. The resolutions of international organizations reflect, and are based upon, the practices of customary international law. Article 13 of the UN Charter tasked the General Assembly with promoting the progressive codification of international law.

    • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

      Just looking at your first point, you do realize that during the Mandate the British referred to the Jews as Palestinians and what we today call Palestinians as Arabs?

      The reference to the Arab inhabitants of Mandate Palestine (after Jordan was split off) as “Palestinian” was very clever PR, and only occurred long after the establishment of the State of Israel. The name Palestinian and historical references to Palestine are not a causal link. Like the Jews, many (but not all) of the Arab Israelis and Palestinian Refugees came to the area at best 50 years before the establishment of Israel.
      There is a reason a “Palestinian Refugee” was defined as someone who had been in Mandate Palestine for only 2 years prior to 1948. If you demanded a stronger connection you would exclude most of the Palestinians. The whole business of Palestinian refugees is political – not just Arab Israeli, but also political in terms of the cold war. This is why is there one definition for refugee under international law, yet a special more lenient definition in the case of Palestinian refugees.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

        Just looking at your first point, you do realize that during the Mandate the British referred to the Jews as Palestinians and what we today call Palestinians as Arabs?

        No, everyone in Palestine (Jewish, Christian or Arab) was known as a Palestinian. The mandate referred to Jews and non-Jews.

        Like the Jews, many (but not all) of the Arab Israelis and Palestinian Refugees came to the area at best 50 years before the establishment of Israel.

        Yes, that talking point is common and entirely meanigless one. Many is a meaningless term. The percentage of immigrants that controbuted to he Arab population was less than 10%, as opposed to the Jewish popualtion, which was well over 90%.

        There is a reason a “Palestinian Refugee” was defined as someone who had been in Mandate Palestine for only 2 years prior to 1948.

        It really doesn’t matter whether they were there 2 years, 20 years or 2 months. If they had title top property in Palestine and were expelled from Palestine, then they were refugees.

        If you demanded a stronger connection you would exclude most of the Palestinians.

        The whole point is that “connection” is meaningless and no, it would not excluse most of the Palestineians, but a tiny percentage.

        The whole business of Palestinian refugees is political – not just Arab Israeli, but also political in terms of the cold war.

        No, the whole business of Palestinian refugees is about Israeli war crimes and the fact that without creating that many refugees, there would be no state fo Israel today as we know it.

        This is why is there one definition for refugee under international law, yet a special more lenient definition in the case of Palestinian refugees.

        False again. They are one and the same.

        • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

          Umm… your facts are wrong on almost every point. To pick on example, the definition of refugee and Palestinian refugee:

          “The problem about definitions exists because the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) applies one definition of refugees around the world, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) applies a different definition only to Palestinian refugees.” – SOURCE: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/06/01/refugee-definition-promotes-conflict-palestinians/

          See also: http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-senate-dramatically-redefines-definition-of-palestinian-refugees/

          How is it possible to have a meaningful discussion with you when you simply make things up with no basis in reality?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            ubin’s piece is typical hasbra. He and Fred Gottheib are flat out lying, which one woudl come to expect from Rubin.

            They present the false argument that only in the case of Palestinian refugees are children of refugees included in the refugee popultion. In fact, the refugee status of
            parents is passed along from generation-to-generation in every other
            UNHCR program, e.g. See YNet’s “Don’t blame UNRWA”.
            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4082176,00.html

            And are you seriously going to stand behing a

            US Senate resolution proposed by an Israeli shill like Mark Kirk as a letigimate argument?

            You’re simply making a fool of yourself.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Andre, we are talking about a factual point. Stop trying to muddy the waters and replace polemic for facts. Do this again and you will be blocked. You are free to express your opinions, but not to make up your own facts. That doesn’t promote discussion, it stifles it.

            The fact is that there are two definitions for refugees. One for UHCR and another for UNRWA. The UNHCR definition (1951 Convention
            Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol
            Relating to the Status of Refugees) has a number of exclusions including:

            “the Convention also does not apply to those refugees who benefit from the protection or assistance of a United Nations agency other than UNHCR, such as refugees from Palestine who fall under…(UNRWA).” Page 4 of the Convention and Protocol document – http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html

            The UNHCR definition (for all refugees except Palestinian ones) also excludes “those refugees who have a status equivalent to nationals in their country of asylum.” – Page 4 of the Convention and Protocol document – http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html

            Finally the definition itself says in Article 1(A)(2) that “In the case of a person who has more than one nationality, the term “the
            country of his nationality” shall mean each of the countries of which he is a national, and a person shall not be deemed to be lacking the protection of the country of his nationality if, without any valid reason based on well-founded fear, he has not availed himself of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a national.” – Page 14 of the Convention and Protocol document – http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html

            That means someone who gains citizenship of another country stops being a refugee. Children born in most countries gain citizenship of that country so are automatically not refugees. Others get refugee status and are resettled, or legally migrate between countries… they are not refugees.

            Outside of the Palestinians, where the refugee problem is used as a political tool, refugee status is an emergency status and the aim is to bring an end to it for individuals as quickly as possible. The Palestinian definition and political games harm Palestinians who still live in refugee camps in the Arab world and simply want citizenship in the West and a normal life. Arab citizens of Israel are also not Palestinian Refugees, while those in camps in Lebanon and Syria are.

            Bottom line, it’s ok to be ignorant, but try not to spread it around or we will need to take action. Say what you want to say, but if you are disputing facts that have been sourced, provide your own source – not just polemic and attacks on the sources presented.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            Stop trying to muddy the waters and replace
            polemic for facts. Do this again and you will be blocked.

            My mistake. I read Gottheil and Rubin too quickly and should have taken more time to read Gottheil’s argument. Needless to say, he is still wrong, but I
            will address his arguments later.

            First, let me address the Kirk Resolution. Even if the UNRWA were to magically disappear
            tomorrow, the status of the refugees can only be
            definitively settled in accordance with the resolutions of the General
            Assembly, not by the US Senate; not through bilateral
            negotiations; and not according to UNHCR guidelines. The 1951 Refugee
            Convention contains an express provision whereby the participating states
            assigned the ultimate authority on status decisions to the resolutions of the General Assembly. The ipso facto
            application of the provisions of the Refugee Convention
            to Palestinian refugees is strictly limited to its
            “benefits”:

            Now to the rest of your argument.

            The fact is that there are two definitions for
            refugees. One for UHCR and another for UNRWA.

            Not true. The definitions
            overlap considerably and in the case of Palestine Refugees, there are a number
            of inclusions (which circumvent the exclusions you cited).

            “the Convention also does not apply to
            those refugees who benefit from the protection or assistance of a United
            Nations agency other than UNHCR, such as refugees from Palestine who fall
            under…(UNRWA).” Page 4 of the Convention and Protocol document –
            http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa1

            As I stated above, the ipso facto application of the provisions of
            the Refugee Convention to Palestinian refugees
            is strictly limited to its “benefits”. This
            has nothing to do with the definition of a refugee. The UNRWA web site explains that to avoid
            overlapping competencies between UNRWA and UNHCR:

            ” The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of
            Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto exclude Palestine refugees as long as
            they receive assistance from UNRWA. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for
            Refugees (UNHCR) provides assistance and protection to Palestine refugees
            outside UNRWA’s areas of operations. “

            http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=87

            So
            in other words, the reason the convention
            does not apply to Palestinian Refugees receiving help from UNWRA is because
            they are already receiving protection and/or assistance. When such protection or assistance has
            ceased for any reason, without the position of such persons being definitively
            settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the
            benefits of the Convention.

            There is nothing in this passage that refutes the refugee status
            of Palestinian refugees. The passage you
            are quoting actually refers to those Palestinians receiving UNRWA assistance as
            “refugees from Palestine”.

            In the countries under UNWRA jurisdiction, the vast majority of Palestine
            refugees do not have a status equivalent to nationals in their country of
            asylum. They cannot work and cannot
            vote, hence are entirely dependent on UNWRA.

            Finally the definition itself says in Article
            1(A)(2) that “In the case of a person who has more than one nationality,
            the term “the country of his nationality” shall mean each of the countries of
            which he is a…

            You left out the preceding paragraph which reads:

            ”As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951
            and owing to well rounded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race,
            religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political
            opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and un unable or, owing
            to such fear, is unwilling to avail
            himself of the protection of that country; or who not having nationality or being
            outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events,
            is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to return to it.”

            You also appear to be unaware of the
            UNHCR Paper entitled: Revised Note on the Applicability of Article 1D
            of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to Palestinian
            Refugees 1

            Paragraph 2 of Article 1D also contains an inclusion clause:

            “ensuring the ipso facto entitlement to the
            protection of the 1951 Convention of those refugees who, without having their
            position definitively settled in accordance with the relevant UN General
            Assembly resolution, have ceased to receive protection or assistance from UNRWA
            for any reason. The 1951 Convention
            hence avoids overlapping competencies between UNRWA and UNHCR, and in
            conjuction with UNHCR’s Statute, ensures the continuity of protection and
            assistance to Palestinian refugees as necessary.”

            Page 1. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4add77d42.pdf

            That means someone who gains citizenship of
            another country stops being a refugee. Children born in most countries gain
            citizenship of that country so are automatically not refugees. Others get
            refugee status and are resettled, or legally migrate between countries… they
            are not refugees.

            Except that in the countries where UNWRA operates, most refugees
            do not have citizenship of another country and their children have not gained citizenship
            of those countries through birth.

            According to the same UNHCR paper, Palestinian refugees that fall
            within the scope of Artilce 1D of the 1951 Convention include:

            a) Palestinians who are “Palestine Refugees” within the
            sense of UN General Assemble Resolution 194 (III) of December 1948 and
            subsequent UN General Assembly Resolutions, and who, as a result of the 1948
            Ara-Israeli conflict, were displaces from that part of Mandate Palestine which
            became Israel, and who have been unable to return there;

            b) Palestinians not falling within paragraph (a) above who are
            “displaces persons” within the sense of Un General Assembly resolutions
            2252 (ES-V) of July 1967 and subsequent UN General Assemble resolutions, and
            who, as a result of the 1967
            Arab-Israeli conflict, have been displaced rom the Palestinian territory
            occupied by Israel since 1967 and have been unable to return there.

            Included within the above groups are
            not only persons displaced at the time of the 1948 and 1967 hostilities, but
            also descendants of such persons. On the other hand, persons falling within
            Articles 1C, 1E or 1F of the 1951 Convention do not fall within the scope of
            Article 1D, even if they remain “Palestine refugees” or “displaced persons” whose
            position is yet to be definitively settled in accordance with the relevant UN General
            Assembly resolutions.”

            [Note that even if the persons falling
            within Articles 1C, 1E or 1F of the 1951 Convention, it does not change their
            refugee status.]

            “5. Palestinians not falling within the scope of Article 1D who,
            owing to a well rounded fear of being persecuted for reason of race, religion,
            nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, are
            outside of Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 and are unable
            or, owing to such fear, are unwilling to return there, qualify as refugees
            under Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention.”

            Gottheil and Rubin’s piece
            ignored this group entirely.

            Outside of the Palestinians, where the refugee
            problem is used as a political tool, refugee status is an emergency status and
            the aim is to bring an end to it for individuals as quickly as possible.

            Sorry, but this is simply and example of polemic on your own part. Israel created the refugees, not the states
            outside of Palestine, so Israel is hardly impotent in bringing an end to the
            refugee problem.

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            Andre, the role played by Middle Eastern states in keep the refugees as refugees is very well document. The very fact that there are still people in refugee camps and they have not been resettled and that they are legally discriminated against and banned from certain professions etc itself evidence of this.

            See this article from a Palestinian Refugee in Lebanon: http://www.zionismontheweb.org/zionism_commentary/Palestinian_refugees_the_middle_east_and_the_west.htm (note the foreword is from me in 2007).

            As for convention, the part I cited is clearly labelled as the definition. UNHCR will give practical assistance to a real refugee who is also Palestinian if they are outside the geographic area covered by UNRWA – agreed. That, however, has nothing to do with out discussion.

            You have now conceded that the definitions only partially overlap. I agree with that two. This means there are clearly two definitions – a point you previously refused to accept. The definition for Palestinian refugees is vastly wider than the definition for refugees in general. I think you have now conceded I am right on this point. That is, unless you are Palestinian, once you have the protection or citizenship of another country you stop being a refugee. If you are Palestinian your “Palestinian Refugee” status not only continues, it has been done in such away that you pass it on to your kids.

            As to the power of the US to change the definition, they have every right to have their own definition. They can’t legally change the UN rules, but they can certainly change the amount of US tax payers money they give to UNRWA – and per refugee that can keep it the same, yet still drastically reduce the amount if they focus it on real refugees who actually need support, and not the UN’s expanded and highly political definition.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            @Andre Oboler

            the role played by Middle Eastern states in keep the refugees as refugees is very well document

            So is Israel’s role going back to 1947, who’s actions and policies I repeat, created the refugees to begin with (both in 1948 and in 1967) and which they continue to create. Whereas there are UN Resolutions (and international law) demanding that Israel allow refugees to return, there are none demanding Arab states settle them.

            The very fact that there are still people in refugee camps and they have not been resettled and that they are legally discriminated against and banned from certain professions etc itself evidence of this.

            I agree, but this is all secondary to Israel’s culpability and it’s refusal to allow the refugees to return to their homes. Israel’s transgressions are far more serious than those of the states in which the refugees reside. Whereas the states in question have a moral responsibility to resettle refugees, they do not have a legal one. Israel does.

            See this article from a Palestinian Refugee in Lebanon:

            Sorry, but I do not find AbdulRaheem’s argument compelling.
            He claims that the majority of the refugees in Jordan hold Jordanian citizenship and have integrated themselves into the country’s economic and social life. You blame UNWRA for maintaining theur status as refugees, but it is not UNWRA who has maintained their status as refugees, it is the UN. As I explained to you, the General Assembly alone has the authority to review their status. They would similarly be refugees under UNHCR.
            “Lebanon’s discriminatory practices against Palestinians violate international human rights law”
            But doesn’t even mention that Israel’s far more egregious discriminatory practices against Palestinians violates international human rights law is a far more serious way.
            It’s also interesting according to the author, the majority of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would prefer to live in the West . Of course they would. Even people who are not refugees throughout impoverished countries want to live in Western States. Why do you think Western States have such a problem with illegal aliens? Hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan and other war torn areas money to people smugglers and risk their lives every year to reach the shores of Australia, with dozens dying every year from capsizing boats.
            Polls show that even the majority of Israelis would prefer to live in the West if they could maintain the same lifestyle – that’s why skilled workers are deserting Israel. The Israeli government had to pressure the German government to discourage Russian Jews heading for Germany rather than Israel, because Germany was their preferred destination.

            What AbdulRaheem says it not controversial What is revealing is that AbdulRaheem doesn’t even bother to address the refugees who want to return to their homes in Israel. He does not make any distinction between the desire of refugees to return to their homes and refugees being resettled in the occupied territories. Hegives no consideration to the fact that they are not in a hurry to move to the West Bank, East, East Jerusalem or Gaza while those territories are either under brutal military occupation.

            As for convention, the part I cited is clearly labelled as the definition.

            No it is not, it comes under the heading Introductory Note .

            The definition appears under Article 1.

            The passage you cited simply detailed that the refugees under UNWRA’s jurisdiction do not fall under the Convention. The Convention still refers to them as “refugees”, meaning it recognizes their refugee status.

            Furthermore, the passage regarding the exclusion of refugees under UNWRA also states that the Convention does not apply to everyone who qualifies as a refugees under Article 1. That means that even refugees who meet UNHCR’s definition of a refugee may not come under the Convention.

            UNHCR will give practical assistance to a real refugee who is also Palestinian if they are outside the geographic area covered by UNRWA – agreed. That, however, has nothing to do with out discussion.

            Of course it does. I pointed out to you that the passage that excludes UNWRA refugees from the Convention also states that those refugees remain excluded while they remain under UNWRA’s jurisdiction and that in the event UNWRA ceases to provide these benefits, they will be included in the Convention.
            You see, they are real refugees under both UNWRA and UNHCR.

            You have now conceded that the definitions only partially overlap.

            Not at all. I have pointed out that they only differ under articles from the Convention that don’t actually apply to those refugees under UNRWA anyway. I repeat, UNHCR recognizes the Palestine Refugees and does not have the authority to review their refugee status.

            In fact, the Convention states this as the definition of a refugee:

            “A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

            This applies to all refugees under UNWRA. Every one of them wants to return to their homes, but Israel has refused to allow them to. You might remember how those that tried were shot and how Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, assassinated Counter Bernadotte for trying to facilitate their return, so they certainly have ample reason to fear for their safety.
            Hence, they are “unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

            The definition for Palestinian refugees is vastly wider than the definition for refugees in general.

            Quite the opposite. The definition of a Palestine Refugee is actually narrower. The 1951 Convention was expanded in 1967 to include a much wider group.

            So contrary to your claim, I am not conceding that you are right. In fact, it appears that you don’t understand how the Convention works nor the scope of UNHCR. The vast majority of Palestinian refugees do not have the protection or citizenship of another country, so even by your own metric, they have not stopped being refugees

            If you are Palestinian your “Palestinian Refugee” status not only continues, it has been done in such away that you pass it on to your kids.

            This is getting ridiculous. I already provided you a link to an article from the UNWRA spokesman that states that this condition also applies to UNHCR. Did you not bother reading it? Here is the quote:
            “All refugee communities, whether those under the care of UNRWA or UNHCR, have their refugee status passed through the generations while their plight remains unresolved. “
            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4082176,00.html

            As to the power of the US to change the definition, they have every right to have their own definition.

            Not really. As members of the UN and signatories to the Refugee Convention, they are actually bound by it because it is a treaty.
            Having said that, they obviously have a right to change the amount of money they give to UNRWA; they could cut it altogether if they wished, but that would simply change the status of the Palestine Refugees by qualifying them for care by the UNHCR under the Refugee Convention.

  • edsg25

    I don’t oppose Israel because it is the worst nation in the world. far from it. it is not even the worst nation in the middle east; more likely, it is the best. no, the reason I oppose Israel, why it deeply offends me is for one reason: I am a Jew. And I can’t think of a place that less stands for what I consider being a Jew than Israel. Israel takes the idea of 2000 years of Jewish Diaspora and anti-semitism in the land of others and the very Holocaust that marked the end of that era and the very notion that those experiences have made us, as Jews, believe in the equality of all, that all belong, that there are not majority or minority, that we are all one……and turns it on its head.

    Israel is a slap in the face of the proud Jewish tradition of being at the forefront of every major social change in modern history, particularly in the United States where the magnificent Jewish community stood on the side of what was right from labor to the civil rights movement and beyond.

    Israel takes over the land of a people who never even attacked it (It was Jordan that attacked Israel in 1967, Jordan with the occupied Palestinians on the West Bank who never considered themselves Jordanians) and have kept these Palestinians a people without a home or without rights for over 400 years. 600,000 Jewish settlers on the West Bank show how quickly the role of Jew (in Israel at least) changed from oppressed to oppressor.

    Israel does not stand for Jewish values. Israel does not stand for Jews. It stands for some Jews. And more and more of us have become outspoken because Israel offends the very Jewishness of us.

    You don’t even realize it: Israel is no longer a Jewish state. Israel is one state where Jews and Arabs are so intertwined that there is no possible two state solution (even if they end up destroying their one state). Israel is one state. It is not a Jewish state. It is an apartheid state, little different form South Africa back in the day. The only real question Israel has is does it continue as an apartheid state or become inclusive and democratic and equal to all.

    I am anti-Israel. I am pro-Israeli Jews (although they scare the heck out of me in their rightward march to insanity). I oppose Israel on the grounds of being a Jew. I oppose Israel not because of some ludicrous notion that i am a “self hating Jew”‘ far from it: I oppose Israel because I am a proud Jew and I know that Israel has become some 180° removed from what I and others who are liberal and progressive and inclusive and have taken the lesson of the diaspora that says we are all equals in the lands we live in and makes a mockery of it.

    After almost 2000 years of Diaspora, the Jews did find a homeland that matched its values and screamed out those values to the Jews who came to it by ship from Europe, escaping a the land they came from and which welcomed them with Lady Liberty, standing in the harbor, torch held high, “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    Joel, what you call a Jewish birthright from your birthright trip to Israel, I call the birthright of all in Israel….Jews, Arabs, guest workers from around the world, and other groups. Only as part of the whole, equal among equals can Jewish life in land between the Jordan and the Mediteranean be truly Jewish.

    • http://twitter.com/jewlicious David Abitbol

      No offense edsg25 but what a load of bollocks. Let me preface the comments I am about to make with the statement that Israel is not a perfect society by any means. Many of us that live here strive and fight and justify our very presence here on the understanding that we are working every day to make this place better. Of course the same can be said about just about any country. None is perfect, all have their problems and the best one can hope for is that there exist the conditions and mechanisms needed to make incremental positive steps.You talk of your beloved United States and the storied words engraved upon the Statue of Liberty as if the words of Emma Goldman were law, and not what they actually are – an empty refrain, anachronistic sentiments of a bygone era when the facts on the ground and the needs of the country were very different. Today’s America has a very cynical immigration policy where they simultaneously turn a blind eye to massive illegal immigration so that they can have a steady supply of cheap labor while keeping those workers permanently disenfranchised. So much for your equality.

      But I’m not here to discuss that. You know what’s a real slap in the face of “the proud Jewish tradition of being at the forefront of every major social change in modern history?” The long LONG, much longer history of Jews as victims. You think the US was the first country to show tolerance to the Jews? Jews have thrived, intellectually, culturally and materially in most of the countries that hosted them in the diaspora. Yet there is hardly a place where Jews have lived where they haven’t been attacked and murdered by sole dint of the fact that they are Jewish.

      The establishment of the State of Israel was many things, but to me it was a declaration to the world that the physical and spiritual integrity of the Jews was no longer going to be subject to the whims of our hosts. In Israel, our ancestral homeland, we are the masters of our destiny. And of course the process has been imperfect, but so be it. We’re trying.

      And you can go right ahead and deify our two thousand years of diaspora and its great achievements. But let me ask you a couple of questions. If I told you that by erasing the existence of say, Spinoza, we could bring back to life 1,000 Jews who had been murdered, would you do it? I mean you’re the one that loves the Jews so much. No more Spinoza and his contributions to the Western Canon, but 1,000 more Jews. Or how about Martin Buber? We erase the existence of Martin Buber and 10,000 murdered Jews come back to life! Is it worth it? Would you do it?

      I would do it in a fucking heart beat. I would do it if it brought back 10 Jews. 5 Jews even. Now tell me again about how much you “love” the Jews. Go ahead.

      • edsg25

        i don’t have to tell you how much I love Jews because this isn’t a contest. We all define the Jews were are. and good jews come in the form of zionists and anti-zionists. I am a proud Jew, but I am not tribal. 10,000 murdered Jews or even 6,000,000 are less important to me that 10,000 or 6,000,000 murdered human beings. By stating the Holocaust is about 6,000,000 Jewish dead; the crime was not killing Jews; it was killing human beings for to see it as anything else cheapens the very lives that are lost.

        It is 2012. There is no room for a modern ethnic or religiously centered state. It may have seen so in 1948, but it is a different world today. People mix among nations. No modern state is an ethnic refuge. Old Europe has joined the US, Canada, and Australia in this regard.

        I deplore the notion of a Jewish homeland just as I deplore what the German homeland was to Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

        Jews are not the people of the Middle East. The ancient Hebrews in Judea and Samaria are. The Jews were descended of those people and created their religion in the Diaspora, adding the Talmud to the Torrah and humanizing faith in a way impossible in the land of the Abramaic religions of the middle east that were far more violent, far more blood flowing.

        and in the Diaspora, we mixed with others. We are no more middle eastern people than African Americans are African. Hebrews created the Jews who became Jews in exile. It was the Jews who created Israel, they the off shoots of us, not the other way around.

        but what does it matter? Theordore Herztl, the father of modern zionism, never said that Jews should have a state…merely return to zion. And David Ben Gurion, in his own words, said that Palestinians were there in this land and they had every right to hate us because “we took their land.”

        what do I want? Merely for Jews to live as equals in the land between the Jordan and the Mediteranean. No matter what you think, there is a one state solution in place now and it is not a Jewish state. It is an apartheid state with Jews controlling others. The plight of the Palestinians is a tragedy, one hard to take in light of Jewish history.

        you can’t get two states out of this piece of land. Jewish settlements, colonies really, are interspersed throughout the West Bank, some 600,000, mostly fanatic who will not go anywhere. And over 1,000,000 Arabs live in pre-1967 Israel. They are not divisible. King Solomon could not cut this baby with a 1000 knifes. it is one. Will it be apartheid or democratic? those are the only questions. The global community is washing its hands of Israel in disgust; Israel will have a heck of a time living in a modern world under these conditions. Perhaps that explains the endless numbers of Israeli Jews living n the US, far less than than the reverse scenario.

        You’re bitter to me. I am not to you. You have every right to believe what you wish on Israel and be a good Jew in the process. What is different today? Far too many Jews are like me. we will no longer treat Israel as a sacred cow. we will no longer be quiet. and we no longer will pretend that we aren’t a major voice in American Jewry today. we are. we are at the forefront of the protest movement here, too.

        Israel, the Jewish state, is mission impossible, it was lost years ago when the west bank was not realized, when Israel, already a people who colonized land became their own small empire and intertwined with Palestinians to the point of no separation. Be careful what you wish for.

        “The establishment of the State of Israel was many things, but to me it was a declaration to the world that the physical and spiritual integrity of the Jews was no longer going to subject to the whims of our hosts.”

        THere are no hosts. My god, what an awful concept. I am not a guest in the US. And the Israelis are no hosts to the Palestinians in a land they both share. Just like people of Indian, African, Asian, and Latin American ancestry are not hosted in London or throughout Britian. They live there and they are British.

        Does that mean anti-semisitism is dead? no. no prejudice is. It just means that prejudice is prejudice and anti-semitism by nature is no worse than others. Indeed in this America of ours, a number of Jews (Pamela Geller comes to mind) treat Muslims as the others and not the real Americans.

        The Jewish community in the US is so intermarried and so part of a polyethnic mix that I’m not worrying about a diverse group of people all turning on the Jews in unison. So I must be safe, right? not necessarily. as the US goes through the rest of this horror of white people hanging on to “our country” in the most bizarre of ways, pushback will be there. My guess; as an American Jew, I will pay far more of a price for my white skin than for my star of David.

        David, you can’t win an argument with me because I’m not arguing with you. I respect you see things differently than I do. I ‘m just sharing my opinions here. Nothing more. nothing less. Peace.

        • http://twitter.com/jewlicious David Abitbol

          OMG. Where do I begin. My family is from Morocco. We speak Arabic at home, eat Arabic food and listen to Arabic music. I have no idea who my great, great, great grandfather was but there are a few things I do know about him – that several times a day, every day, he prayed for a return to Zion and for a rebuilt Jerusalem. In doing so, he and others like him, probably your
          great, great, great grandfather as well, made a statement, and the statement was that they refused to relinquish their right to the land that they were deprived of by force of arms and violent conquest. I can identify as a Jew today thanks solely to the unbroken link that I share with my
          great, great, great grandfather as well as those who came before him. Your notions of just what Judaism is are laudable, but that’s just part of the story. A mere blip in comparison to the devotion and the sacrifice of our forefathers.

          For instance, you view the Holocaust as a human tragedy – and that it most certainly is. The world has to share responsibility for the horrific deaths suffered by Gypsies, Gays, the mentally infirm, enemies of the state and … the Jews. This is a terrible human tragedy, no doubt. But the fact that Jews were targeted simply because they were born Jews, and the fact that such a large percentage of the world’s Jews perished makes this a tragedy that is also a particularly Jewish tragedy. Ignoring that aspect of the Holocaust might be seen by some as an act of either contempt for the Jews or a diminution of the nature and the scope of evil perpetrated by the Nazis. Take your pick.

          The humanistic elements of the Jewish faith are not a mere byproduct of the diaspora. They have at their roots the Torah that was a product of the so called bloody and violent Middle East. For instance, the notion of “an eye for an eye” was not just about redistributive justice but rather, at its most unique, a declaration that true justice does not discriminate on the basis class and social standing. You wrote “Theordore Herztl, the father of modern zionism, never said that Jews should have a state…merely return to zion.”

          Maybe you should read Herzl’s book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) where he wrote “The idea I have developed in this pamphlet is an ancient one: It is the restoration of the Jewish State. . .” So… I don’t know what you’re smoking.

          You also talk about “600,000, mostly fanatic [Jewish settlers] who will not go anywhere” and yet… most of the Jews in the West Bank live in places like Maaleh Adumim and Ariel. They are not ideologically motivated settlers for the most part, and they will do what the State tells them to do. You can pretend whatever you like, and live under whatever illusions you choose. But you and your ilk are a blip in the Jewish world. By all means, speak your mind all you like. Try to pretend that you represent the silent majority that is beginning to rise up to slaughter the sacred cows of Judaism. Judaism has endured this long and against far fiercer foes than you. We outlived them and we will outlive you. And dude, this isn’t me trying to win anything. I’m not going to change your mind and it’s not my goal to do so. Feel free to cling to your illusions all you like. As a Jew, you’re already gone. You’re already not a part of us and it saddens me, but like I said, we’ll endure and thrive without your support.

          • edsg25

            “but you are your ilk are a blip in the Jewish world.” I”m not an ilk.I’m me. I represent my own thoughts. You are not a blip in the Jewish world. Jews are people, our ideas are diverse. You consider me an enemy of Judaism. I don’t consider you one. All I consider is: we disagree. It’s a matter of opinion.

            you say I am not a part of you and it saddens me. why? because I don’t support Israel? a place that did not exist a little more than half a century ago? There was nothing ordained about it.

            David, you have lost the argument because the argument is out of our hands. I keep repeating: there is no Jewish state, but one state between the Jordan and the Mediteranean. Nothing can separate it. If they can, you tell me how when Jewish and Palestinian communities are interspersed in such a way that two nations cannot be created out of this whole.

            Why on earth do you think that Israel must be a Jewish state? I do not have any disagreement with you that the Jews in Israel belong there. But the Jewish polity does not. This is a mix of people; they deserve a state that sees them all blindly, that does not see them as groups.

            How can I argue with you? YOU TELL ME I’M A BAD JEW, NOT WORTHY, A DISGRACE. I TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE AS FULLY JEWISH AS I AM, FULLY ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION, NOT BETTER OR WORSE THAN ME, NOT MORE OR LESS JEWISH.

            You wish to see me shut up. I wish to see you continue to expose the beliefs you have.

            What can I possibly say to you. You brand me. I choose to respect you and the fact that you see things differently than me.

            In the end, it doesn’t matter. Unless you think you can suggest some form of strategy to unmix these wholly mixed people, you are stuck with a de facto one state. Do you wish it to be an apartheid state of in group and out or a democracy welcoming to all its citizens. I know where I stand. How about you?

          • http://twitter.com/jewlicious David Abitbol

            I consider you an enemy of the Jewish people? No my friend. Not at all. I consider you a fellow Jew, at least as Jewish as I or any other Jew. Furthermore, I do not consider Judaism a monolith either. That having been said, I consider your ideas, despite what I am certain are your good intentions, wrong headed. I desperately want you and your future generations to continue to identify as proud Jews. That’s why I said that your notions sadden me because you have effectively removed yourself from what is called Klal Yisrael. You have placed your notions above the interests of Jewish viability and vitality.

            As I look back, I see Jewish sovereignty as the singular act that breaks the cycle of victimhood which has been the one historical constant of Jewish diaspora existence.

            You are opposed to a Jewish state because you feel that a 2-state solution is impossible given the dispersal of settlements in the West Bank. So does that mean that you had been in favor of the Jewish State as it was constituted in 1948? 1967? 1973? 1982? When it would have still been possible to sign a comprehensive peace treaty that would have left the Palestinians with a viable state without having to remove too many settlers? No. I think you were always opposed to a Jewish state. We returned the Siani to the Egyptians. We forcibly removed our citizens from Gush Katiff and we will do what is necessary for the sake of a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

            The current situation is of course untenable. You just let me know who I can talk to in order to end it. I’ll wait.

          • edsg25

            let’s say i evolved. i come from a family of zionists. my father left russia and lived in Palestine in the 1920s before moving to the United States. The uncle I was named after is buried in israel. I have cousins in Israel. And I was supportive of Israel for much of my life.

            in the world of 1948, Israel made all the sense in the world. 1948 was still a westernized world and, of course, even then, it should have been clear that the Arabs were paying a helluva price for what Germans (and other Europeans) had done to the Jews.

            1948 was still a world of ethnic states. It was a world so close to war and Holocaust that there was virtually no room for not accepting, no more accurately embracing the new Jewish state.

            Israel made sense in 1948. Arguably Israel made sense up through 1967. But the events of 1967, the nation’s greatest victory, became the hallmark of when things went awry. Israel, of course, would have greatly benefitted from unloading the West Bank ASAP. It didn’t. And it became an occupier.

            the West Bank changed Israel. It drove it to the right. It empowered fundamentalists who took the secular zionism of Herzl and Ben Gurion and turned it into religious fervor.

            the west bank put the onus of master on Israel and destroyed its spirit, hurting the nation ever bit as much as slavery hurt white southerners and apartheid white South Africans.

            Israel changed. Many Soviet Jews moved there who were not even Jewish and did not have the nation’s values. Demographics became the name of the game. When you are in the process of “winning the battle of demographics”, you have lost as human beings; how ungodly a thought from the nation that was supposed to be of the God of Israel.

            Palestinians NEVER threatened Israel, never declared war on it. Palestinians were occupied people before 1967 in a Jordan which is (like all Arab nations) a far less just place than Israel. Palestinians went from one master to another. And paid a price. 40 plus years of occupation. 600,000 Jewish settlers on their land. not settlers actually, but occupiers. ethnic cleansing going on throughout. two peoples on the same west bank land, living completely different lives. for Palestinians those lives are border checks, endless lines, economic distribution, the taking of their land. How unjewish this Jewish state.

            1948? 1967? 1973? 1982? you ask. I can only answer for 2012: the land between the Jordan and the Mediteranean is fairly well split between Jew and Arab. Demographics will tilt it to Jewish minority status. and many within Israel are neither Jew or Arab, including the large number of “guest workers” who are not going anywhere.

            I keep saying this over and over because it is so true; Israel is the one state solution for better or for worse. Israel today is not a Jewish state but a state where Jews control and rule through something akin to apartheid. Israel is a multi-cultural state ruled by a one group of its population. It is not democratic, although it is far more democratic than any Arab state. So what? I don’t hold Arab states up as the model for what Jews do.

            No good can come of this. Yes, the majority of US Jews still support Israel. The degree of support does not run at that deep among many of them. AIPAC hardly represents American Jews. And the trajectory of American Jewry is going toward less support for Israel. As the older generations, those there at Israel’s birth and early years dies out, support weakens. Younger Jews are far more ambivalent about Israel and many are opposed to it. Not surprising as they themselves have grown up in a truly multicultural environment. a large percent, arguably more than half, are half Jews themselves, the product of mixed marriage. Jews assimilate and blend in the US, like all groups do.

            Indeed, I learned of Joe’s Israel from http://mondoweiss.net/, a heavily Jewish website made up of left leaning Jews troubled by the nature of modern Israel; an article there poked fun at Joe’s Israel and the nature of its cartoons. Indeed, many of the greatest activists in the United States opposing Israel as the Jewish state come from the Jewish community itself. How many liberal Jewish columnists and bloggers express these very ideas.

            WHAT I DO NOT SEE OR HEAR FROM ZIONISTS IS ANY VISION OF WHAT CAN BE. There are no answers coming from them, arguably because no answers can be found. How can you argue with my notion of a de facto one state when Jew and Arab are now totally mixed on this land (something that came packaged with keeping the west bank, mind you). Israel is now completely removed from its early roots. It is the religious today that rule the roost. and many secular Jews have left Israel to go abroad, largely to the US. They are not returning. Endless fighting with Palestinians and the religious right in assention, living lives as out of whack as Christian and Islamic fundamentalists is not encouraging. Israel always was more dream than reality.

            US power wanes and Israel cannot count on this important tool in the future. Much of the world is repulsed by Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians. The old cry of “anti-semite” for every criticism of Israel has lost all sense of meaning; it is a joke.

            Yes, the current situation as you note is untenable. but there is no agreement possible. no one, certainly no government, can make decisions for Jews and Palestinians who will not heed any dictates that are made. Israel’s hands are tied because they cannot budge those 600,000 strong on the west bank. Israel has no intention of making a peace, only given the allusion of one.

            IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO END WITH A QUESTION:
            why is it so important to you that there is a Jewish state? Why does it matter when no one of conscience is suggesting that Israeli Jews go anywhere; only that they live in a multicultural state. and in doing so, they elevate themselves morally and justly, fulfilling the dictates of every religion that believes one should love thy neighbor.

            I live in the Chicago area. Chicagoland has a huge Jewish population. much of it is concentrated in a number of communities and parts of the metro area, city and suburb. You can live a very Jewish life in Chicago. Indeed, every bit as much so as in Israel. But don’t the Jews of Chicago have the advantage over their Tel Aviv bothers that can live a very Jewish life, rich in religion and tradition and culture, but be part of an larger community, a community of equals.

            why is it that you need the polity of Israel when even Theodore Herzl believed that was not necessary; his belief was about living in zion, not owning it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            In doing so, he and others like him, probably your great, great, great grandfather as well, made a statement, and the statement was that they refused to relinquish their right to the land that they were deprived of by force of arms and violent conquest.

            I alwasy find this argument amusing. How it is that the violent conquest that took control of Jerusalem away from the Judeans 2000 years ago was so immoral, yet the violent conquest that enabled the Hebrews to capture Jerusalem in the first place was so righteous? What right did Jews have to reliquish? Civilizations come and go, including the ancient and long dead Israeli Kingdom.

            It is your right to beleve in your mythical “unbroken link” with the land, but it has no basis in law whatsoever. The fact is that the majority of Jews in the world were oposed to a Jewish State – especialyl those licing in Palestine. Herzl was considered a crack pot at the time.

            While I agree with your semtiments on the Holocaust, the creation of Israel was set in motion long before. The Zionist leadership cynically sezied on the Holocaust to further their aims. In fact, part of this tragedy is how appalingly Jews were treated by other Jews.

            The sad reality is that Jabotinsky, Weizmann, Herzl, Ruppin, and Ben Gurion ridiculed ordinary Jews in the Diaspora and used derogatory terms to describe them. Chaim Weizmann thought that the majority of the exiles in Europe were little more than human dust with no future ahead of them. He had no intention of bringing them to Palestine.
            http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1940v03&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=837

            Many Jews who were ill and elderly were denied passage to Palestine by these same people on the grounds that they would be a burden on society.

            Maybe you should read Herzl’s book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) where he wrote “The idea I have developed in this pamphlet is an ancient one: It is the restoration of the Jewish State. . .” So… I don’t know what you’re smoking.

            Herzl wrote a great deal, much of it quite offensive. He proposed that anti Semitism should be encouraged and leveraged to achieve this aim, which is pretty offenive when you think about it.

            most of the Jews in the West Bank live in places like Maaleh Adumim and Ariel

            Both of which are illegal settlements.

            They are not ideologically motivated settlers for the most part, and they will do what the State tells them to do.

            You’re in denial. There would be a civil war if the Israeli government made any attempt to remove these setttlers.

            Judaism has endured this long and against far fiercer foes than you. We outlived them and we will outlive you.

            And long may it continue to. The simple fact is that Judaism has endured without Israel for most of it’s existence.

          • http://twitter.com/jewlicious David Abitbol

            “How it is that the violent conquest that took control of Jerusalem away from the Judeans 2000 years ago was so immoral, yet the violent conquest that enabled the Hebrews to capture Jerusalem in the first place was so righteous?”

            Yeah, yeah. And lets not forget the Muslim conquest and the Crusader kingdom that preceded it. Righteousness and legality are two completely different concepts and we can spend days/months/years arguing those points. The fact is that Israel is a member state of the United Nations. We have over 7 million citizens living here and we’re not going anywhere. That and State sovereignty are the only de facto and de jure realities we need in order to assert the “legality” of our existence. Our presence in the West Bank is not meant to be a permanent state of affairs and as per SC242 will end as the result of a negotiated and comprehensive peace settlement. Such a peace settlement would fix the borders of Israel and perhaps that is why the other side, who is offended by the existence of a permanent and sovereign Jewish entity in its midst, hasn’t made it a priority to do its part to end the occupation.

            Herzl: Our colleague edsg25 implied that Herzl was opposed to a Jewish state. I was merely correcting him.

            Settlers in Ariel and Maaleh Adumim: Fact is and remains that most of those people are not the radical settlers portrayed in the media.

            Yeah. If you call endless victimhood, capped off by the Holocaust, as “enduring.” I don’t like that kind of endurance I’m afraid.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            @ David Abitbol:

            Yeah, yeah. And lets not forget the Muslim conquest and the Crusader kingdom that preceded it.

            Of course not. All were conquests that results in the ownership and cointrol of the territory and propoerty changing hands. The difference of course, was that WWII was fought to put an end to violence and war being a means by which to acquire territory.

            Righteousness and legality are two completely different concepts and we can spend days/months/years arguing those points.

            It doesn’t have to take long at all. The legality is pretty clear though there are those who have a vested interested in pretending that it’s a complex issue or that the law is burried deep inside documents from Balfour/San Remo or LON and writte in a form that doesn’t say wht it means or doesn’t mean what it says.

            The fact is that Israel is a member state of the United Nations. We have over 7 million citizens living here and we’re not going anywhere.

            Again, no one on this forum has challenges either one of those truths, and I can only conclude that people like yourself keep insisting or repeating them to create straw men arguments to use as some cover. Of course, when one refers to the member state of the United Nations, it does not include the West Bank or East Jerusalem.

            That and State sovereignty are the only de facto and de jure realities we need in order to assert the “legality” of our existence.

            Exactly, thus rendering the “right to exist argument” completely moot and irrelevant, thoguh again, the the sovereignty refers to borders within the June 1957 borders.

            Our presence in the West Bank is not meant to be a permanent state of affairs and as per SC242 will end as the result of a negotiated and comprehensive peace settlement.

            I am sorry, but you are wrong on both counts. It’s clear that Israel is not going to pack up and leave Aerial behind and other settlements. The Palestine Papers have made that pretty clear. Secondly, 242 clearly stated that Israel had to withdraw prior to a neogiated people settlement, not after.

            Such a peace settlement would fix the borders of Israel and perhaps that is why the other side, who is offended by the existence of a permanent and sovereign Jewish entity in its midst, hasn’t made it a priority to do its part to end the occupation.

            That’s demonstratly false and dishonest. Please remiond us who’s leader appears before Congress to declare thatthe 1967 borders were not acceptable. Please remind us who stood at the podium and insisted that the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas be torn up.

            And last of all, please remind us which leader in 1947 decalred that the borders laid out by UINGA181 were only temporary.

            And of course, if Israel were serious about returning these territories as part fo a peace agreement, they wouldn’t be building settlements. Unless fo course, you are suggesting that the occupation and settlement project is one big housing development project to benefit Palestinians in the future.

            Settlers in Ariel and Maaleh Adumim: Fact is and remains that most of those people are not the radical settlers portrayed in the media.

            Sorry, but they are all coomplicit to a violation of the Geneva Convention and most of them would be abundantly aware of that. The fact that most of them might be peasant and amiable doesn’t change that fact.

        • CML

          1. Are you really going to compare the current Jewish homeland to the German homeland of the 1930’s and 1940’s? Are you sure about that? Think about it just a bit more.

          2. Pre 67′ Israel features Arab citizens as supreme court justices, members of the Knesset, speakers of the Knesset, soldiers (I know, I served with Arab Israeli soldiers), bus drivers, university students, government ministers, etc. Perhaps you would like to re-learn what apartheid was all about before you start mislabeling Israel.

          3. The situation over the Green Line is very problematic. I do think that many of the settlements represent a serious obstacle to a two state solution. Its a contentious issue in Israel, and I believe that the Israeli leader who will find a realistic way to preserve Israel’s security while ending the occupation will win the support of the Israeli public. Unfortunately the outcome of the Gaza Disengagement (repeated attacks on Israel) and the ferocity of Israel’s critics in not extending Israel any credit for ending the Gaza occupation did no favors for the Israeli peace camp.

          4. The largest Jewish community in the world resides in Israel. Your vision for this community is for it to basically live as a minority in the Arab dominated Middle East. I am sure things will work out for us here under your vision, after all, I am sure the Kurds in Iraq, Copts in Egypt, Christians in Lebanon, Shiite in Bahrain, and Bahai (in non Arab) Iran are having a great time and there is no reason not to emulate them. And yes, multi-ethnic states are super stable, who wouldn’t want to follow the example of the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan. Even the Flemish and the French in pretty little Belgium don’t seem to be getting along too well.

          5. What else…..Israel enjoys the backing of the majority of the US public and the strong support of President Obama and the Republican and Democratic parties. Israel may be heavily criticized in Europe but it also has many friends in the old continent. Israeli ingenuity and science is highly respected in places like Africa, India and China. In short, there are many problems but also many, many achievements within a complex and challenging situation. Sorry to disappoint you but Israel is only growing and while disagreements remain it will continue to enjoy the overall support of the global Jewish community.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            @ CML:

            2. Pre 67′ Israel features Arab citizens as supreme court justices, members of the Knesset

            Pre 67′ Israel, arabs citizens of Israel lived under martial law.

            3. The situation over the Green Line is very problematic. I do think that many of the settlements represent a serious obstacle to a two state solution.

            You’re in denial. Netenyahu campaigned on a platform rejecting a two state solution and the Likud Charter, which also rejects the two state solution, remains unchanged. Netenyahu has also proclaimed that he sully supports the settlemtns and the settlers are subsidized by Israel. Netenyahu is also fircely opposed to ending the occupation.

            Unfortunately the outcome of the Gaza Disengagement (repeated attacks on Israel) and the ferocity of Israel’s critics in not extending Israel any credit for ending the Gaza occupation did no favors for the Israeli peace camp.

            Again, that’s willful denial. Ignoring the fact that Israel fired 7,700 shells over a period of 10 months as it withdrew from Gaza, Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar documented what the Gaza Disengagement actually involved in their book, Lords of the Land:

            “After Israel withdrew it’s forces from Gaza, in August 2005, the ruined territory was not released for even a single day from Israel’s military grip, or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day. Israel left behind scotched earth, devastated services, and people with nearly a present or a future. The Jewish settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and kill and harass it’s inhabitants, by means of it’s formidable military might.”

            4. The largest Jewish community in the world resides in Israel. Your vision for this community is for it to basically live as a minority in the Arab dominated Middle East.

            It would be today were it not for 64 years of ethnic clensing. Do you support the fact that Israel expelled 800,000 Palestinians in 1948 in order to achieve this majority?

            And yes, multi-ethnic states are super stable, who wouldn’t want to follow the example of the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan.

            It’s always amusing to hear Israeli supporters spurn mutli culturalism, when Jews in the West have benefitted so much from it.

            5. What else…..Israel enjoys the backing of the majority of the US public and the strong support of President Obama and the Republican and Democratic parties.

            Yes, money can buy politicians and the US public is, as Netenyahu himself sais, easily moved. The majority of the US public also beleived Saddam had WMD – that didn’t make it true.

            Israeli ingenuity and science is highly respected in places like Africa, India and China.

            That’s another matter. Israeli ingenuity does not grant it immunity from human rights abuses and violations of interntaional law – let alone war crimes.

            Sorry to disappoint you but Israel is only growing and while disagreements remain it will continue to enjoy the overall support of the global Jewish community.

            The support among the Jewish community is drying up and pretty soon, Israel’s main benefactor (the US) is not gong to be able to support it so fanatically. That will leave Israel isolated and Israel wil only have itself to blame.

          • edsg25

            I hardly am saying Israel is the Third Reich by any circumstances. I am saying it is a nation where there is a minority that is treated legally as a minority and that causes problems. Problems are inherent in having a nation state. In some respects, Jews lost any sense of “purity” by having a state for once you do, you are subject to the same type of actions that all states engage in.

            I’m aware of pre-1967 Israel and the conditions Arabs. Arabs in Israel lived better and had more rights than Arabs did or do in any Arab state. I’m not holding up Arabs as example of what to follow. I am a Jew. And my interest in Israel is because I am Jewish. And my attitudes towards it are based on my feeling that Israel is a decidely non-Jewish place, based on the Jewish values I hold. Arabs had (have) rights in Israel and there is definite distinction between Israeli Arabs insdie the green line and Palestinians on the west bank. It is on the west bank that the worst of Israel is shown. Still, Arabs did not have the same status as Jews in pre-1967 Israel. There was no law of return for them. And down through the years, Israel has put money into attracting Jewish citizens and has given them advantages that Arabs don’t have.

            Gaza is not the West Bank; the investment was far smaller to Israel there than it is on the West Bank. As for a two state solution, I fully disagree. the facts on the ground on the West Bank defy it. 600,000 settlers controlling close to 50% of west bank land. Jewish settlements are built on high ground with Palestinian below. They even have their own road systems. And the settlers (colonists actually) on the west bank are far more fanatic and fundamentalist than those in Israel proper. They will not go anywhere, nor can 600,000 people be moved. This is not Gaza. This is not even open to negotiation. No Israeli government or Palestinian authority could make an ageement because the people in play, both Jews and Palestinians, would never go along with it. Poltiically it would be suicide for an Israeli government to pull back from the West Bank; it would be killed off in an election.

            It is pure nonsense to speak of an “Arab middle east”. it is meaningless. From Morocco to Iraq are a vast group of Arab nations with little in common. An anology would say that non-Arab Bosnians could have been removed from their nation and sent to live in Spain or Ireland because there was so much of Christian Europe and the Arabs in the Balkans had little in the way of land. The Palestinians don’t give a rat’s ass about the “Arab Middle East”; they care about the lands in the West Bank. They’re not moving to Morocco or Yemen. Do I want to follow the example of Yugoslavia? No. The Israel between the Jordan and the Mediteranean is a highly unstable state. I’m not advocating a one state solution. I’m merely saying it exists already. de facto. and nothing can separate Arab and Jew intermixed between those two bodies of water. You need to get past the notion of advocacy. Advocacy is meaningless here. Reality says these two people are mixed. and this reality is something neither of them want. Yes, they are in one state. yes, it will remain one state. and, yes, very much true, neither Jew nor Palestinian is happy about this. They are both generally on the same side, wanting a two state solution. But that solution is not physically available to either. If you want to play out the nonsense that it is, then you are merely playing a fiction and you believe some Solomon can come along, make the right detailed plan, create the border-from-hell and split the beast in half. It ain’t going to happen. Wouldn’t it make more sense to deal with the reality of that one state and how it can brought to working together? Real problems, real solutions.

            Israel may have the backing of most Americans, but I’m not sure it enjoying anything on this side of the Atlantic. First off, I don’t think the US or other nations are going to be the real source of what happens between river and sea. Second, there are problems with support for Israel in America. Yes, the US makes strong pro-Israeli moves, but I believe this has a lot less to do with demogrpahics and votes than it does with power and lobbies and money. AIPAC does not represent most American Jews. Most American Jews support Israel, but that support in most cases is not very deep. A small percentage of US Jews votes Israel in a presidential or congressional race. The support for Israel is greatest among older Jews, those who were there at the time of Israel’s birth and early years, those closer to both war or Holocaust. There is no question that younger American Jews have declining degrees of support for Israel. First off, most are products of mixed marriages. All have grown up in a multicultural society unknown in US history. And most have real conflict with the notion of a religously or ethnicly defined state. Yes, most US Jews support Israel, but the trajectory of those numbers is heading downward.

            YOU TELL ME THAT YOU DISAPPOINT ME WITH “Israel is only growing and while disagreements remain it will continue to enjoy overall support of the global Jewish community”. sorry, I’m neither disappointed, nor convinced. I’m not adovcationg a thing. the amount of support for Israel in the US is not that salient of an issue. That support will do little if anything to settle issues in the middle east. Yet I can’t help feel that you are way off base on Jewish support for Israel. All you have to do is read the endless aritcles and books about the end of the love affair between US Jews and Israel, to go to websites where Jews are at the forefront of the fight for equal rights between river and sea. the huge numbers of liberal, progressive Jewish columnists and bloggers who express their repudiation for Israel and its actions. And the very notion that Israel is a sacred cow still in the US Jewish community. It is not. If you want to blind yourself to that fact, be my guest. I know for me I would never blind myself to the corrolary: that Israel is still very popular with large segments of the American Jewish community.

            experience and exposure have shown me a very strong element within the American Jewish community that is antizionist.

            YOU HAVE NO SIXTH POINT, BUT I’LL THROW ONE IN: what exactly is it you want? It seems to me that you and I have a lot in common here: I WANT A STRONG JEWISH PRESENCE BETWEEN THE JORDAN AND THE MEDITERANEAN, as do you. I am happy that for Jews who have a connection with this ancient holy land, they have the option of living there. my argument is not with Israeli Jews who I care about (some are my relatives). my argument is with a polity. a jewish state. why do you want one so much? why do you want any group to have a special status in any state? why is it that Jews can live in large numbers, immersed in a strong Jewish culture, but part of a multicultural state where they live as equals with others in heavily Jewish cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles……but that Jews in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv can not enjoy that rich Jewish life unless their state is defined as Jewish?

            and if you are so hellbent on a Jewish state, what are you prepared to do demographically, ethnically (cleansing or otherwise) to assure it. And if you do those things, what do they do to your soul? or the soul of Judaism. It Israel is the Jewish state, than ipso facto, it must be made to stay that way, to be engineered in such a way that Jews remain the majority. Is this what you want? Is this what non-Jews in Israel deserve? Does the very act of making this possible diminish the very Jews who are doing it? As noted, there are miles and miles between the positions of German Nazis and Israeli Jews. But it would be hard to deny what they had in common: German Nazis worked toward keeping Germany German. Israeli Jews work towards keeping Israel Jewish. On a personal level, I’m repulsed by both notions. I don’t know about you, but for me, I am a human being first and foremost before I am a Jew. And if I wasn’t, I couldn’t live with myself. And two thousand years of Jewish diaspora live seers those ideas into my heart and soul. those 2 thousand years made us Jews some of the greatest humanitarians on the face of the earth. The lessons of anti-semistism and the Holocuast are not separation and apart, but for the inclusion of all and the equality of all. You can disagree all you want, but that’s how I see the world. and i’m damned happy i do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=547903095 Niall Lynch

        David –

        You’re a very bright and articulate guy, but any argument that depends on alternate timelines and realities for its validity is in trouble already. Spinoza or 1,000 Jews is simply science fiction. I suppose what you’re really trying to say is that you would erase all the achievements of the Jewish diaspora (including, I guess, the Babylonian talmud and Superman) to save every Jew that was ever killed because of anti-semitism. But this still makes no sense, because your argument requires you to kill some Jews (in the alternate universe sense of “kill” of course) to save others. It’s kind of a mess.

        The best reality, alternate or otherwise, for Jews is to have both an Israel and an illustrious diaspora. Which you have. So the Spinoza who was allowed to inhabit our current timeline turned out to be right – we do live in the best of all possible worlds. Good thing you didn’t erase him.

  • Asaf Lubin

    Hey Sarah, as a student of International Law you must know the basic sources (ICJ Statute Art. 38) – treaties, customary law, general principles. You have presented none of these in your legal argument. The IRAC model of legal reasoning begs that we refer to the: (1) Issue; (2) the Rules and their legal Rationale; (3) the facts and primarily the Application of thefacts to the abovementioned rules; (4) and then reaching a Conclusion. You just had us with the Issue and the Conclusion, missing a lot of the middle meaty part. I am an Israeli, a strong advocate for Israel, and I love that you took it upon yourself to make this presentation…. but I am also an international lawyer… Just because you wanted to make a snappy 2:30min presentation, doesn’t mean you can sidetrack the rules, the norms, the wholebundle of confusing facts… the application… Otherwise it just ends up looking very
    superficial… very unconvincing… I doubt anyone will buy this… from both a legal a normative viewpoint… Sorry.. Just my 2 cents…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

      Excellent points youraise Asaf,

      I was left asking myself many of the same questions as you. How does a student of international law who claims to be presenting an argument based on international law, completely fail to cite any such facts?

      I was left wondering if this video was intended as a primer for dummies or an insult to those with even a modicum of understanding about the subject.

      • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

        Andre, It’s my blog so if you keep insulting me, I’ll just ban you. I have feelings you know!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

          Sarah,

          You made a video which included some bold claims about international law (how the popular consensus was wrong) and how you were going to prove otherwise. You also implied that you had some expertise on the matter because you are a student of international law . Then when a real international lawyer comes along and points to the glaring inadequacies in your thesis, you admitted that you are only learning about the subject.

          You then invited people to discuss the topic and many have accepted your invitation.

          So where are these arguments based on international law that make the case for Israel? I assume you had these arguments prepared to share with us in the discussion you have invited us to participate in. I don’t remember you making the stipulation that you would get back to us once you’d learned enough about the subject.

          I myself took the time to write more than a thousand words in response to your video below raising more than a dozen points of contention. I even thanked you for inviting the debate – and you have addressed none of my arguments, nor any of the other responses.

          You could ban me or you could simply present your case. There are people dying every day, people having their houses demolished, and being evicted from their homes. There are far graver issues at stake here than your feelings.

        • discocapper

          Might as well ban him now. There’s no talking to this guy. He has soiled every thread I’ve ever seen him post in at HP with his circular arguments and nonsensical blatherings.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            There’s no talking to this
            guy.

            I am asking Sarah to present the case
            for Israel based on international law that she claimed she was about to share with us. I can understand how that might seem
            unreasonable to you.

    • http://joesisrael.com/presenting-israel/ Sarah

      Hi Asaf, thanks for commenting. I’m still in school so I am still learning a lot about law (I’m not a practicing lawyer yet like yourself). I did have a lot more to say but there is only so much one can say in 2 and a half minutes. I would love to hear how you, as an international lawyer and a strong advocate for Israel, would present Israel’s case using international law.

    • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

      So Asaf, lets have your video in a reply. 😉

  • edsg25

    there are basic premises for this website, shared through the words of Joe and Sarah. 5000 years of Jewish history and the holy land connect to today. jews have a right to a homeland. the important battle is to win the minds of fellow man, to gain support for israel. this is about us vs. them.

    the problem with the premises? they’re flawed. and they are wrong. what this website is doing is taking a flight into fantasy, trying to match what one wants with what cannot be. more than anything else, this website and its premises fail most glaringly on one point: relevancy. they are irrelevant.

    why? the notion of Israel, the Jewish state, as a polity was flawed from the start. It’s basic parts were not designed to get it through the long run. It was a short term solution, one built on tragedy, and it was condemned to failure before the UN even voted its existence.

    without WWII and the Holocuast, Israel never would have happened. And there was about as much rationality that went into the creation of the state of Israel as there was in the insanity of war and annihilation.

    simply put, there never could be any long lasting ethnically or religiously oriented state if that state wished to live in the modern world, if it wished to be democratic, if it didn’t wish to be oppressors to the others in its midst who never would have agreed they wished to live in a Jewish state.

    Israel was flawed. But it may have avoided pain. The path might have been different. there was a chance. certainly from 1948-1967. but then all changed.

    for without the 1967 war, the absorbsion of the west bank, the control over the Palestinians who never went to war against the Jews (for they were an oppressed people under Jordanian rule, too) changed the reality and the hope.

    Israel without 1967? The hoped for and probably expected result? the Jewish state would have evolved into a state for all its people, shedding its Jewish identity, keeping perhaps the star of David on the flag the way crosses still rest on Scandinavian flags, in nations that long ago stopped being “Christian”.

    Evolution. Just like the south would have evolved out of slavery without the civil war. or that South Africa would have evolved out of apartheid naturally. It all makes sense:

    nobody controls demographics. and it is all about demographics. and those demographics are not, nor ever will go away.

    i am not an advocate in what I say here (although I fully admit that I wish to see Israel as a totally secular state with no special status for Jews or others). Advocacy is not the issue: reality is.

    and the path since 1967, no matter how it got us to today, has made for the irrelevancy of the discussion many of you are having.

    it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong. just or unjust. loaded with right arguments and the skill of a lawyer or possessing none.

    there is no decision to be made.

    there is no two state solution. there is no separation. there is Israel. one. non-Jewish but a mix of people under Jewish control. Just as South Africa with a far smaller minority of whites were in charge of its nation.

    I said it before. I will say it again. It is worth repeating: Israel is one state. It is a land of diverse people. there is only question it needs to answer: will it be a state under control of one portion of its population, Jews, who are about half of the current population between the river and the sea (and will fall precipitously to minority status) in an apartheid arrangement that dehumanizes both oppressor and oppressed? Or will israel be a true democracy, blind to ethnic, cultural, and religious differences, a state for all its citizens.

    Separation is not a choice. It cannot and will not happen. this is not 1967 when it could. it is simply too mixed, too interspersed to separate. You could no more separate Israel into Jewish and Arab nation as you could separate the incredibly dysfunctional United States into Blue and Red nations. It is not to be.

    No one, no group, could sit at a negotiating table and make such a divide. and no divide would be accepted by either Jew or Arab. The one state that has already been solved may be a bad solution and it may lead to incredible bloodshed and civil war. BUT IT IS THE ONLY SOLUTION THAT OUT THERE.

    Two brothers, sent to their room by their parents who lock the doors from the outside so that the boys can either work out their problems and become one…..or kill each in the process. It doesn’t matter what outcome the parents desire; they know it is a crap shoot. They are one. Quesiton is, do they wish to make it work or not.

    I advocate nothing. I will not assess if you are just or not. I won’t decide this problem and neither will you. And the will of one group of people cannot overwhelm the will of the other: they are one. And they have to work as such if they wish to survive.

  • edsg25

    WHY OH WHY OH WHY….PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME….DO YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE NEED THE POLITY OF ISRAEL, THE JEWISH STATE?

    I asked that question as part of another post, but it is such a critically important question it needs a post of its own. and i do not ask this question as an outsider. i am a jew whose father moved to palestine in the 1920s before coming to america. my uncle for whom i am named is buried in israel. my cousins live there.

    why do you need the polity of a Jewish state? i don’t know of any rational antizionist who is opposed to Jews living in what today is Israel. Israeli Jews are not the issue; Israel the state is. That Jews wish to live in a land attached to their biblical roots is as worthy a reason to choose a home as any. It was Theodore Herzl’s philosophy that Jews return to zion, NOT AS A STATE, but as people living where they want to be.

    What does Israel give you as a polity that is taken away if it didn’t exist as “the Jewish state”?

    Do you believe a people, any people, “deserve” a dedicated state in this modern world? is it even a practical idea? and if you believe in that dedicated state, set up for the majority, why do you ignore the minority who have every reason not to life in a state of the other? isn’t saying I want a state saying that I (we) matter and all those others don’t?

    how does one maintain a Jewish state? how can one control demographics? and if one does control demographics, what does that turn the individual (the group) into? what does controlling demographics say about you, the individual, your values, your sense of democracy, of equality?

    why do Jews need a state when no other modern nation in the world has a dedicated state? Jews have a dedicated state, Israel, a state designed to be Jewish and kept that way, and yet the greatest of oppressors of the Jews, a mere half century and some change ago was the Germans. And the Germans do not have a state. Germany is not a German state. Germany is the state of the people living in Germany. And so many, many of them today are not ethnic Germans. Adolph Hitler is turning over in his grave over modern Germany. France is not French and Britain is not British. So why a Jewish state?

    in this mixed world, aren’t there endless numbers of people who could not have a state? aren’t there endess number of people who are just people, a mix, no major lineage? Why do Jews deserve a state if, for example, I were a person whose four grandparents were white, black, hispanic, and Asian couldn’t possibly have one because I am not a “people”, i have no dominant root. Is this fair to me?

    do we need a Jewish state because of anti-Semitism, because anti-semistism is different from all other forms of prejudice? does that mean that anti-Semitism is ingrained into human DNA, that it cannot be eradicated, that people will always hate the Jews forever because that is the way it is, that anti-Semitism is just plain different? and if that were so, wouldn’t that mean that Adolph Hitler was right? Hitler believed that there were innate differences between peoples, that they were separate and different. wouldn’t the belief the anti-semitism is permanent and part of human DNA suggest that people are in fact different. That there is an anti-Semitic gene that is passed on?

    Or is the problem the Arabs? do you need a Jewish state because of fear of what the Arabs would do to you (us) if one didn’t exist? but wouldn’t that suggest that Jews and Arabs are the only people living in a common land with animosity and hatred and fear for the other? can we protect all the people who feel they are oppressed by granting their own state? and would you still feel the same way about the need for a Jewish state if the Arabs were not a threat, if you could live in peace with them in a multi-cultural state?

    what does the Jewish polity give you? do you like the notion of the state can create laws that reenforce Judaism? do you like the idea that marriage laws are based on Jewish law? that buses may not perhaps run on Saturday? that being Jewish gives one entry to the state while being not Jewish does not?

    why do Jews who live in great numbers and happily so in a rich Jewish tradition and often in heavily Jewish communities where Jewish culture and Jewish faith a Jewish life thrive if it were to take a Jewish state to live Jewishly? If the communities I describe were New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, why are the Jews there at loss because they have the Jewish life but not the state……while their counterparts in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa are better off because they do?

    If one wants a Jewish state, how does one keep a Jewish state? How does make sure that Israel exists in 2050 or 2100 or 2150? Or doesn’t that matter? Do you just want to hold one to it as long as you can, knowing demographic change will make that an impossibility? Do you think anywhere in the world can maintain demographics? do you think that the biggest of demographic changes, unparalleled in human history in light of the greatest crisis to ever face the human race….man made global climate change…will turn the 21st century inside down with endless environmentally induced migration and shifts of peoples? indeed if Israel is a desert, how might it even be inhabitable in the coming years?

    yes, I gave my own values in asking these questions. I won’t deny that. But my questions were not designed to get you into a debate with me. They were asked so I can get something to you, something important because I do want to understand where you are coming from and I do respect that you think differently than I do (perhaps): I want to know why Israel as a polity is important to you. Not Israeli Jews….I hope they are there forever and live in peace. But Israel. The polity. Why is essential? Peace

    • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

      Someone (I forget who) replied to you already in the other thread. Theodore Herzl did indeed advocate a state, you should see his book Altneuland, you can read a bit about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Old_New_Land (or read all ofit here:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20081206142209/http://www.hagshama.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=1600 ) and you might also want to read “A Jewish State” by Herzl, you can do so online here:
      http://archive.org/stream/cu31924028579781#page/n3/mode/2up

      • edsg25

        fine, andre. but i’m more interested here in why it so important to those of you on the website to have a Jewish state in Israel, as opposed to Jews living there. So why do you think the state is essential? any answers to my questions would be useful. if i were wrong about Herzl, it really hasn’t much bearing. i’m more interested in just knowing what you guys think. and why.

        • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

          Before that can be answered I’d need to know where you are coming from. Are you: (a) asking why States in general exist? Or (b) asking about Israel specifically?

          If (a) there is a real discussion to be had about states and modern society… however I don’t think this is the right place for that discussion. There are a number of other forums (mostly socialist forums) where people would be more than glad to have that discussion in general terms.

          If (b) I need to ask why you accept the need for states generally, but question it in the specific case of a state whose ethos is Jewish. The question of a Jewish state has been settled. Israel’s existence, and right to exist, can no more be questioned than that of the USA, Canada or South Sudan (which is I believe the world’s newest country which gained independence on July 9th last year). You can disagree with a state’s policies, but you cannot deny it’s right to exist.

          The historical reasons for the existence of Israel as a state (rather than a continued mandate of Britain or some other structure) is actually irrelevant. The state was formed according it law, it is internationally accepted, it is a member of the UN, and it deserves the same protections as any other state. The only relevant question left, is what does having a Jewish state mean for the Jewish people and what does it mean for the Israeli citizens (Jewish and non Jewish). That is a different question, but current and important. I think that should be addressed on Joe’s blog (Catch the Connection) rather than here. Feel free to start a thread there if you wish.

          • edsg25

            no, i am not talking about states in general. i am talking about Israel, the Jewish state. all states are flawed. that is not the issue. the issue is a state dedicated to Jews and one whose government is designed around the fact that it is a Jewish state. The US is a highly flawed state, one which was built on the land and backs of its indigenous people. but the US is not a dedicated state to any group. e pluribus unit.

            how on earth can the notion of an internationally recognized state mean nothing else is relevant. I am not arguing that israel has a right to exist as a state. and i’m not arguing that the international community should be the one that gets to determine what israel is. Israel can be a state, but it does not have to be a Jewish state. In so being, it has created the impossibility of ever having normalcy because no one in any piece of land (and they are all mixed) will ever accept that dedicated state if it is not of its “people”.

            by saying you want a Jewish state, aren’t you in fact saying that what we want as Jews matter; it does not matter what the minority thinks.

            BUT YOU MISS MY POINTS HERE COMPLETELY. I am not talking about justifying the Jewish state. I am asking you why you need it. A perfectly acceptable answer would be “You know, it isn’t fair that it exists, it certainly may not be what is right, but I don’t care; I want this.” We all…me very much included…act in our own self-interest. and in doing so, we know we are often morally wrong and that we are making choices we could not justify.

            WHY DO YOU NEED A JEWISH STATE, KNOWING IF THAT IT WERE SUDDENLY TO CHANGE INTO A MULTICULTURAL STATE THE JEWS WITHIN WOULD STILL BE THERE AND NO GOING ELSEWHERE?

            Would you wish to keep Israel Jewish if Jews fell to 40% of the population? Would you keep it Jewish forever, knowing that demographics are a constant in that they are always there and changing?

            Why don’t you want the Jews in Israel to have the elevating and morally comfortable and empathetic thing and make it a non-Jewish, non-any-group state?

            what would you lose if Israel became this while keeping all its Jews in a heavily Jewish state with important connections to its past and a rich, thriving Jewish culture?

          • http://www.oboler.com/ Andre Oboler

            I think you and I have very different views of what a Jewish State is. In fact you seem to have a different view from me of what “Jewish” is and of what a “state” is.

            On the nature of a state: I once ran a Jewish student society where I think on paper the majority of the members weren’t Jewish. I don’t mean halachically not Jewish, I mean one of them was a Christian priest and another group were Bahais, etc. There were not Jewish period. That didn’t stop it being a Jewish society. We even had the occasional non Jew on the executive committee. The only position they couldn’t hold was that of President.The US limits who can run for President not to citizens but to those born in the country. Such safeguards are not unusual. So yes, even with less than 50% of people in Israel being Jewish, in my mind it could still be a Jewish state.
            As for Jewish: Your argument appears be be premised on the idea that Jews are members of a religious group. I reject that. Jews are a people. Greeks and Italians are (ancient) people too, and in their cases a certain number of seats in Parliament are elected by the people living abroad. Israel doesn’t do this, but the principle shows the connection between a people and their state. To deny the Jewish people the right to self determination, is to deny them a human right. If you said “State for the Jewish People” it might change the discussion? That’s not to say others can’t live there, but the nature of public holidays, education, the arts, and indeed laws would be premised on supporting and maintaining the culture of the Jewish people – just as Greece, Italy, France etc work to maintain their culture. Why should Jews be denied that right?

            Finally, touching on the religion objection, I regard the UK as a Christian State. Would you agree with that assessment? Jews in Britain are very much part of the society, they have rights both as citizens and collectively (collectively because certain institutions are recognized by government in certain legal ways). Never the less, the society is Christian. The House of Lords has a significant number of its seats dedicated to the Church. Christian Holidays are treated as public holidays, by law. Restrictions on Sunday trading still exist in some places, and where they don’t, the change is relatively recent. To live in Britain is to be a part of that Christian culture, even if one is not Christian. I see nothing wrong with Britain being a Christian state in these terms, or of Israel being a Jewish state in these terms.

            I frankly don’t see your problem.

          • edsg25

            It’s funny you should think I completely disagree with you about Jews being more a religion than an ethnicity. I actually see Jews that way (although we have had a tremendous amount of blood from others added to our veins in 2000 years of Diaspora; indigenous we ain’t…..I’ve seen far too many blue eyed blond Jews to doubt that one). But my feeling about Jewish peoplehood is just that: no people in modern states have their own state. Britain not British. France is not French. Germany, for crying out loud, is not German. Whatever indigenous people are in these countries, they have no special status over those who are not part of the group. And cities like London today are as international as New York. How do people have a “right” to a homeland. Do all peoples get their own homeland. Is a person whose four grandparents are white, black, hispanic, and Asian even have a homeland? And if homelands are rights, why have Israelis denied Palestinians one for over 40 years? Did the Palestinians attack Israel in 1967? I always thought that Jordan did so and that the Palestinians were occupied people under Jordan’s rule. Seems to me they’ve had two nations….Jordan and Israel occupy them (to go along with the Brits and Turks and all the rest.) So if we Jews are a “people”, why do we have a right to a homeland when the British, French, Germans, and all those other nations are no longer their homeland but places where all citizens are on an even plain?Jewish: Your argument appears be be premised on the idea that Jews are members of a religious group. I reject that. Jews are a people. Greeks and Italians are (ancient) people too, and in their cases a certain number of seats in Parliament are elected by the people living abroad. Israel doesn’t do this, but the principle shows the connection between a people and their state. To deny the Jewish people the right to self determination, is to deny them a human right.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            Andre, you Israeli supporters always run into logical problems when you try to tackle this topic.

            Greeks and Italians are (ancient) people too, and in
            their cases a certain number of seats in Parliament are elected by the people
            living abroad.

            I am half Italian and my sister in law is Greek. Italians regard themselves as an ethnicity. They do not describe themselves as a people and nor do they claim a tight for self determination. One could argue that the subject simply doesn’t come up because Greece and Italy have been around for a while, but either way, your argument is wrong.

            To deny the Jewish people the right to self
            determination, is to deny them a human right. If you said “State for the
            Jewish People” it might change the discussion

            One does not need a state to exercise self determination. Populations and communities within states are able to do so. Christians do not argue that they have a right to self determination. In fact, for most, this would seem absurd.

            That’s not to say others can’t live there, but the nature
            of public holidays, education, the arts, and indeed laws would be premised on
            supporting and maintaining the culture of the Jewish people – just as Greece,
            Italy, France etc work to maintain their culture. Why should Jews be denied
            that right?

            Are Jews in the US and Europe denied that right? Again, your argument is absurd. In the US and Australia, Jews are free to observe their own religious holidays. I work with an observant Jewish lady who always leaves work early on a Friday to observe the Sabbath.

            Finally, touching on the religion objection, I regard the
            UK as a Christian State.

            That’s funny, because most British don’t. They don’t even consider themselves a Christian society. The majority are Christians, but that is beside the point.

            You simply appear to be conflating religion with ethnicity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

            The historical reasons for the
            existence of Israel as a state (rather than a continued mandate of Britain or
            some other structure) is actually irrelevant.

            Then why did Sarah bother making her video? Are you suggesting she wasted her time?

  • edsg25

    what is you don’t rely on links and endless facts and historical proof to justify the existence of a Jewish state. What if you just rely on your beliefs and your values. how would you answer the questions? since no state is homogenous, should any state be dedicated to and have a different status for its majority population? why is it fair for Jews to have a Jewish state in the form of Israel when no advanced, modern state except it is dedicated to one group of people (Britain, France, Germany are multicultural with no special status for British, French, and German people)? Is it ever fair to the non-majority to have to live in a state that is dedicated to the majority?

    I AM NOT ASKING ANYONE TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING WITH PROOF. I don’t care about proof. I am asking only WHAT YOU BELIEVE, what are your core values, what you stand for. Is Israel the exception to what you believe or are you consistent in believing what you want for Israel is what you want for all peoples?

  • edsg25

    YES I POST ENDLESSLY ON THE SAME TOPIC; I’M JUST TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO SHARE AND ENGAGE…..

    can you get past the endless facts, the links for proof, the historical record, the minutia of detail and merely ask yourself the basics. the essentials. what is important. what is it you truly believe. what is in your heart. israel is the only modern, advanced state that is dedicated to and has a special status for one group of people. this is 2012, not 1948. britain is no longer british, france is no longer french, germany (for heaven sake) is no longer german. they are all a mix of people like israel, but nobody, indigenous or not, has a special status. is it fair that Jews have their own state? is it fair to have a state dedicated to any group of people when other people do not have state (as noted, only Jews with the existence of Israel among modern nations have a state). Is it ever fair to people in the state who are not the ones it is dedicated to to live in a state dedicated to its majority?

    I DON’T CARE ABOUT FACTS HERE. I ONLY CARE ABOUT CORE BELIEFS, YOUR VALUES, ARE YOUR VALUES ABOUT JEWS AND ISRAEL CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES TOWARDS ALL HUMANITY? OR ARE THEY AN EXCEPTION? WHAT BELIEFS DO YOU HOLD DEAR? WHICH ARE IN YOUR HEART? WHAT BELIEFS DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON, COMES FROM WITHIN YOU.

    These questions are the ones that are important. that matter most. justification is meaningless. the answers to whether a Jewish state of Israel should exist does not come from historical record and proof. IT COMES FROM WHAT YOU BELIEVE. It comes from striping yourself bare here, a difficult and uncomfortable task, and confronting not others but yourself by thinking about what you truly believe and sharing it.

  • discocapper

    Just a website suggestion: If you’re going to have a forum type discussion here this background needs to go. I’d like to show my support for Israel in these topics. But not at the expense of my eyesight!

  • AuzzieP

    It can also be pointed out that 3/4 of the land set aside for jews was given to arabs even after they got 270,000 sq miles- the Kurds got 0 the Christians got 0 and Jews got the tiny amount shrank to an even tinier amount by 1922. And the Arabs/muslims don’t want Jews to have even that amount.

    And yes what a terrible shame that you have to have to justify the right of Israel to exist

  • WingsofEagle2012

    Dear dbean 85, Comparing the legal basis of many of the countries in the Middle East we find that most of them derive from the victorious major Powers following WW1: France,Great Britain, Italy and Japan; the USA was a witnessing signator to the San Remo Resolution of April, 1920 at the final Peace conference ending WW1. The San Remo Conference distributed the occupied Territories of Germany and the Ottoman Empire, (modern Turkey.) Amongst the nations formed at this conference were: Iraq, Syria, Israel, Libya and Lebanon. The Mandate system was established to support the creation of governmental and other institutional structures necessary for fully independent, self governing nations. Palestine, all of Palestine, was defined as the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people within the historic (biblical) borders of the Jewish people. The San Remo resolution was adopted by the League of Nations and the United Nations.

    So what went wrong? Unfortunately Great Britain had a problem dividing up the vast Arab homelands into new nations and satisfy the ruling elites of the Arabian Peninsula. To resolve their problems amongst the competing Arab rulers, they violated the San Remo resolution and their Mandate for Palestine, illegally making a land grab of 76-78% of the defined Jewish Homeland that they were obligated to protect and guide towards nationhood. Thus was formed an artificial, contrived land called Trans-Jordan. This solved Britain’s Arab problem outside of Palestine. But that was not enough, British Foreign Office officials decided to undermine the nascent Jewish homeland even further, by expending a great deal of effort to foment animosity and violence amongst Arabs and Jews throughout the balance of the 1920’s and then into the 1930’s. The spearhead of this Arab unrest was led by the nefarious and notorious anti-Semite Haj Amin al-Husseini, a young Egyptian cleric who the Brits selected to be the Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921. Subsequently he formed an alliance with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime to exterminate the Jews in the Middle East, as Hitler was attempting in Europe and Russia. It was in Berlin that al-Husseini was mentored in the power of lies, in other words propaganda. It was this legacy that has been so successfully employed by all future leaders particularly by Yasser Arafat, when in 1964 he dubbed the Arab refugees from the 1948 War, Palestinian. Prior to 1964 the Jews were the Palestinians.So when the State of Israel was formed in 1948 no self respecting Arab would declare himself a Palestinian. Arabs and Jews all became Israelis as citizens of the new State. More to come when I am attacked for not being PC, by explaining the historical record truthfully and placing the British at the heart of the historical Middle East crisis.

  • Jose Garcia

    As a Christian who actually studies the scriptures may I say;

    * Israel should never give up land for any reason. Israel now holds much less than what GOD intended for Israel to posses. supported by scripture.(Deuteronomy and Joshua)..
    As a man of faith I am confident that the will of GOD is for the protection of Israel. I strongly believe that there is no foe too powerful for GOD. Nor should any nation be found innocent should they standby and allowing Israel to persecuted.