Monday, February 22, 2010

Middle East stuff?

Thoughts on Israel/Palestine, thoughts?

Some Promising New Views on Israel/Palestine

Jack Dresser, Ph.D.


The Israeli/Palestinian “peace process” has been going through its motions for some two decades now, nudged and attended by anything-but-disinterested U.S. meddle-men, in ostensible pursuit of Palestinian self-government and an ever-elusive “two-state solution.”  University of Illinois international law professor Francis Boyle, who advised the Palestinian delegation to Oslo , reported in his book, Palestine , Palestinians and International Law that the Israelis never negotiated in good faith.  Their strategy has been to stall as long as possible while gobbling up more and more Palestinian land.  Then Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon in 1998 encouraged settlers to “move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them.”  The grabbing is now focused on East Jerusalem while the stalemate drags on.


The only “negotiated” proposal they have come up with is the Geneva Accord that evolved into the Geneva Initiative through Israeli collaboration with carefully selected quisling Palestinians who represent neither the 20% Palestinian population within Israel who live under a draconian Jim Crow system of legal discrimination, nor the Palestinian refugees and diaspora - over 4 million dispossessed people with the right of return to their lost properties under international law which is largely denied by the Initiative - nor the Gazan Palestinians under their democratically elected Hamas leadership who have been subjected to a sadistic 3-year economic strangulation and blockade in flagrant and continuous violation of the 4 th Geneva Convention. 


This blockade was judged a war crime and crime against humanity by a UN fact-finding commission and was likened to the Warsaw ghetto by Jewish-American Richard Falk, Emeritus Professor of International Law from Princeton University and UN Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories .  Falk’s judgement was made even before the 2008-09 Israeli assault and massacre in Gaza resulting in the Goldstone Commission report of massive and multiple war crimes.  It is likely that these unconscionable, violent and illegal actions were taken to stampede the Palestinians into premature acceptance of an unacceptable agreement.


This proposed “solution” - widely heralded by the new Israeli lobby, J Street - would create a demilitarized bantustan for Palestinians on less than 20% of the land that was originally 94% Arab owned in 1947, without control of their own borders, and subject to continuing Israeli troops on their land and IAF overflights above it.  The refugees could return to this little bantustan rather than their homes of origin as required under Articles 13 and 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Resolution 194 of December 1948.  This would also permit Israel to “transfer” its unwanted 20% Arab minority to their “new state” following the South African segregation model, thus completing the ethnic cleansing Zionist terror groups began in 1948.


But a 2009 survey of Palestinians in both devastated Gaza and the sliced, diced, wall-imprisoned and economically crushed West Bank - the populations with the most to gain from any agreement that might stop the bleeding - found 87% stating that full “right of return AND compensation” would be absolute conditions for any peace settlement.  These are tough, resolute, resilient people who practice non-violent resistance daily in the face of overwhelming and often lethal force and intend to keep doing so.  Israel is left with two choices: either kill them all or respect their human rights and international law.


Fresh perspectives are obviously needed.  The UO Arab Student Union and the Al-Nakba Awareness Project have arranged two speaking engagements to address that need.  On Thursday, February 25 Rebecca Tumposky of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) appeared at 7 pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room with Monadel Herzallah of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network to discuss “One year after Gaza - What happened? What’s next? What can we do now?”  The IJAN is a recently established, rapidly growing network to provide an organizational voice to the many Jews who reject Zionism and do not identify with Israel - some half of Jewish-Americans under 35 according to a 2007 survey reported in the Jerusalem Post.  This movement instead bases its collective identity upon the Jewish tradition of social justice and repudiates the racist ideology and practices of Israel ).  Indeed, a just resolution in compliance with international law is prevented only by the Zionist insistence on a “Jewish” state which privileges Jews and equates loss of its Jewish majority through honoring the right of return for displaced Palestinians as “the destruction of Israel .”


True, returning Palestinians would soon threaten the majority status, political domination, and Zionist dream of Jewish Israelis.  But with a constitution guaranteeing equality for all citizens irrespective of religion or ethnicity, so what?  The Jewish population of the U.S. is only 2% but very few American Jews have chosen emigration to Israel , apparently feeling safe and comfortable here.  Israel promised such a constitution in its founding document but has never fulfilled this pledge. If Israel can simply give up Zionism like any other bad habit, they can become a normal, multi-ethnic state accepted by the world community rather than the ethnocratic pariah state they are today, the object of over 100 UN resolutions of censure, condemnation and directives to desist from numerous and repeated internationally prohibited actions. 


A model for such a state is presented by the second speaking event sponsored by the UO Arab Student Union and the Al-Nakba Awareness Project.  Ali Abunimah, founder of the Electronic Intifada website ( ) and author of One Country - A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse will appear [or appeared] on Friday, March 5 at 1 pm in Lawrence Hall, Room 115. Abunimah is the most prominent voice among many recognized writers, scholars, historians and human rights proponents to advocate creation of a single, integrated, democratic state as the only solution that would meet the requirements of international law and simultaneously bring freedom, justice and equality to the long-embattled Holy Land .  One such scholar is Palestinian Mazin Qumsiyeh who has suggested reviving the earlier multi-ethnicity of this land, when once again integrated, with its ancient name, Canaan . If you miss[ed] Abunimah’s presentation, don’t miss reading his book.


Jack Dresser, Ph.D.


Raul said...

Sorry to say this once again, but this liberal approach to the Israel question is designed to give its promoters a warm, fuzzy feeling, not save Palestinian lives. I can't help noticing that this article appears just above a critique of the Pacifica Forum, and that it is written by an ex-Pacificoid, who got out of the kitchen when he couldn't stand the heat. When local Zionists called the Forum anti-semitic, he and other wussies ran for the hills like the pathetic liberal c********rs they are. THAT is why Pacifica became right-wing. Unfortunately, radicals can't see the incompatibility of challenging Zionism and joining with Zionists in persecuting 'hate speech'. To help the Palestinians achieve human rights, you have to be prepared to challenge Zio power in your own community. It's the Lobby in the USA that gives Israel its power. It's no good giving in to their pressure - you have to show your contempt for the hypocrisy of Jewish racism by inviting right-wingers as well as liberals to talk on the Lobby.

Anonymous said...

'Classy' Raul.

One can oppose zionism without opposing Judaism. However when the group continually invites a speaker who shows videos saying "Jews should die", saying the holocaust was a lie and who who derives pleasure sieg Heiling Rabbis. Well, that is Anti-Jewish. That would not represent the group except for Ane.'s lecture blaming the Holocaust on Jews and saying all the deaths in Soviet Russia on Jews, there seems to be a trend.

When the 'other side' is saying 'the holocaust was only 4 million', so it wasn't so bad... that disrespectful to the suffering of Millions. This perspective is considered justified because its delivered "by a Jew" as the poster said. The tokenization is more insulting.

Pacifica Forum has not debated Zionism, it has debated the worth of a people and not just Jews! The forum speakers say "Homosexuality is a mental disorder", "Islam is Criminal", targeting christianity, Feminism, racial minorities.

This is not free speech, talking about ideas. It is hate speech speaking against ideas.

Pacifica Forum, go home.

Anonymous said...

Jack Dresser is right. Israel has never negotiated in good faith. They don't want peace, they want land. We should be demanding a single, secular democratic state and watch the Zionists try to argue against it.

Dresser wisely left Pacifica Forum when it began its downward spiral. It had been a legitimate anti-Zionist group. But even back then, Zionists smeared it as anti-Semitic. What Dresser has written gives you an idea what Pacifica Forum might have been if it hadn't taken the bizarre course Raul wrote about in his comment. It should make you question the wisdom of allying yourselves with Michael Williams and his ilk.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Does anyone know the answer? I thought I read this in The Eugene Weekly, but I haven't been able to find it on their website.

My memory is that EW had printed something criticizing Israel, so someone complained, and the EW let some Zionist respond. And my memory was that this person stated as fact the absurd Israeli claim that Palestinians had dug up graves and strewn dead bodies around Jenin refugee camp to make it look like the Israelis had carried out a massacre.

Does anyone remember this?

I thought it was The Eugene Weekly. I suppose it's possible it was in some other free paper, but I don't know what it would be.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the truth of the Jenin story, that last post is so phony in its intentions, the writer probably prints $3 bills. What a pretense.

Anonymous said...

Are you disputing that it appeared in the Weekly, or that the Israelis made that claim at the time?

Here is a Zionist's blog---look at the second to the last paragraph. It repeats the Zionist claim that Palestinians dug up bodies to make it look like there had been more people killed:

And here is a site that offers fliers for people to print and distribute as leaflets which makes the same claim:

I remember seeing this Zionist lie repeated in some free paper I sat reading in a restaurant not long after the massacre in Jenin. I'd like to know what paper it was.

Raul said...

The second comment says 'One can oppose Zionism without opposing Judaism'. Let's have a debate about it, OK? But most leftist/liberals concerned with the Middle East say this, not because it is true, but because they hope it is true. Dresser is typical of this - he says the "only" thing stopping Israel from playing nice is "Zionism". It's all wishful thinking, a refusal to look at hard facts, the desire to feel good, to avoid the immensely difficult task of confronting the power of Jewish bigotry. For all its faults, the Forum is the only place I have come across where this discussion is possible. It IS free speech, even if it does contain 'hate' (which it mostly doesn't).

Flypaper said...


Anonymous said...

Now that I look at it, what did that previous post mean, "whatever the truth of the Jenin story"? Were they questioning that I saw the claim made in a local paper or questioning whether the Jenin massacre happened? If there was no massacre in Jenin, why were the Israelis spreading this bizarre story to explain away all the bodies?

Zionists deny every massacre, they deny the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, they deny that Israel ever started any war, they deny Israeli racism, and they accuse you of anti-Semitism for even bringing it up.

The difference between Holocaust deniers and Zionists is that the Holocaust deniers aren't fooling anybody.

There are journalists like Ted Koppel who have stated as fact that there was no ethnic cleansing. There are public schools teaching Israeli lies as history.

The Temple Beth Israel website has an article posted by one of its rabbis, Maurice Harris. He doesn't completely deny the ethnic cleansing:

"...Palestinians fled for various reasons. Like refugees in every war, some fled because of panic. Some left on orders from Arab armies amidst assurances of swift victory over the Jews. But some fled because they were forcibly expelled by Jewish soldiers, rounded up at gunpoint and sent packing. There were a few instances of massacres of Palestinians, just as there were Arab massacres of Jews, and there were 'whispering campaigns' in which Israeli forces deliberately spread rumors of horrors that would befall Arabs who stayed behind in the hopes that that would scare them away."

"Rabbi Maurice" repeats the lie that the "Arab armies" ordered Palestinians to leave. And he doesn't think it counts as ethnic cleansing unless you're "rounded up at gunpoint". Even massacring towns and telling Palestinians they will be killed if they don't leave doesn't qualify, according to him.

Refugees have a right to return to their homes in any case. It doesn't matter how or why they became refugees.

Much of the article by "Rabbi Maurice" argued against what Jack Dresser was calling for--a single secular, democratic state for all people in Palestine. Rabbi Maurice argued that Israel must have a Jewish majority. He doesn't say how that would have been achieved without ethnic cleansing. He should explain the process he would have used to get rid of Palestinians.

Then CALC and the "Anti-Hate Task Force" should explain why they have anything to do with Temple Beth Israel.

Anonymous said...

Then CALC and the "Anti-Hate Task Force" should explain why they have anything to do with Temple Beth Israel.

"CALCS" Biggest donors and ALL their mucketymucks are Israel-Firsters. I thought that was common knowledge.

The CALC-ers are beholding to local zionists, to a pathetic point.

That's why when Rabbi Maurice "discovered" swastikas spray painted on the DeFazio bridge, the CALC 'army' (Sheklow, Williams, and some of the HR Commision folks,) brought their bull horns to a protest staged to try to blame it on the Pacifica Forum.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who CALC's donors are. I'm not entirely sure you do, either.

I think CALC members are sincerely anti-racist. We should do them the favor of pointing out any elements of racism in the positions they take and the people they work with. You have to do this from a purely anti-racist position. You can't be calling for alliances with neo-Nazis at the same time.

Temple Beth Israel seems to be surprisingly liberal. Their rabbis favor a two-state solution with Israel withdrawing to its pre-'67 borders. But their stated reason for this is that Palestinians living under occupation might someday be allowed to vote.

And this is one of the strengths of what Jack Dresser is arguing. The more we argue for a One State Solution, the more Zionists will demand a Two State Solution. Even those who want a Two State Solution should demand a One State Solution.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Maurice didn't "discover" swastikas sprayed on the Peter DeFazio bridge. What a mean-spirited and cruel thing to say.

Patriot said...

"..What a mean-spirited and cruel thing to say."

Yeah, I know sometimes the truth just sucks, huh. Thank you for not using the Anti-'Semitic' canard.

But it's true, that not only did Harris "discover" swastikas, he then parlayed that experience into an Anti-Pacifica Protest (via the CALCers that are TempleBethers) at UO, 2 days later. He then followed this with a skewer Pacifica radio show on KLCC (not his first), in which Michael Williams and Michael Carrigan were credited as having put the show together.

I should note that Harris did not however appear at the protest. Husbands-Hankins showed in his stead (also a core 'Anti' Hate Forcer). Some speculated that Harris didn't want anyone to view his index fingers.

Also, THIS WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME THE CALC GROUP TRIED TO LINK OUR DISCUSSION GROUP TO "HATE CRIMES" (We'd been targeted for extinction for the fact that we were seen as folks who did not bother with the obligatory pro-Israel language when discussing the crimes of that 'state'.)

IT was in one of their debut appearances (a plea for money) that Michael Williams wrote: "
The Pacifica Forum has provided the intellectual basis for the kind of hate crimes we saw inflicted on the South Eugene High School neighborhood last month..." (blah blah blah)

That was in Nov of 07 and was as absolutely baseless of a charge back then, as it was in the summer of 08 when the Rabbi "discovered" the crime @ DeFazio Bridge.

Patriot said...

Williams plea for money was in November of 06, not 07 and the link to the Emerald write up on Sheklow, Noparstak, Williams' (very nasty) protest is @:

Raul said...

One of the 'Anonymous' people says "CALC members are sincerely anti-racist... pointing out any elements of racism in the positions they take and the people they work this from a purely anti-racist position...".

The leaders of CALC either deny that ethnic cleansing by Jews is a form of racism, or they think it is, and tolerate supporters of that ethnic cleansing anyway. Pacifica people like Jack have pointed this out for over a decade, with no effect whatever. 'Pure' anti-racism simply doesn't work. You have to decide which form of ethnic power you think is the more powerful.