This bullshit has been confirmed. I cannot be any clearer — what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is so very wrong, and to say so is not anti-Semitic.
“You realize that it’s impossible to be moral in an immoral situation.” — Gavner Gvaryahu
Why… after 45 years, does Israel continue to occupy territory in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine? Why has Israel been able to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, disregarding every international treaty, while Iran is threatened with pre-emptive attack for undertaking nuclear research? Why has Israel been the subject of more UN Resolutions than any other country in the world? And why has the USA vetoed virtually every single one of them? Why when the USA has been the pioneer of the ‘Two State’ solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, based on the rule of international law and 1967 borders, did it then deny Palestinians UN recognition? Why is there such a close relationship today between Evangelicals in America and the State of Israel?
Some vitally important questions, it would seem.
when i see an israeli jew on fb writing on an acquaintances wall to “fucking kill them all” in reference to the palestinians, I wonder if he can even pause for a moment to wonder about that kind of thinking and his people’s history?
someone has to go first and take a step. b/c each side can point to pain and loss in their families, we’ll otherwise keep going round and round and round. And i don’t see how that first step can be by anyone other than those with the power in the region.
i’m not hopeful…
I don’t get.
Any of it.
On 9/11, I’ll mourn the nearly 3,000 lives lost, over 6,000 injuries, the infrastructural carnage and devastation in NYC, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my religion.
On 9/12, I’ll mourn the nearly 1,000,000 lives, the 10’s of millions of injuries, the infrastructural decimation in 3 countries, and the humiliation of my religion, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my country.
Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.
Nelson Mandela (via fuckyeahmarxismleninism)
Always reblog. If Nelson Mandela says it’s apartheid, it’s probably apartheid.
vruz: I think he has seen apartheid up close, he can probably tell it when he sees it.
Not what you think: Helen Thomas appearing in Playboy in April: “I knew exactly what I was doing — I was going for broke,” the disgraced Dean of the White House Press Corps says in her first major interview since being fired. (via producermatthew) source
To quoth Gandhi (from Clone High), “say whaaaaaaat?”
I’d really love it if my followers would read this exchange.
On the aftermath of her May 27 remarks about Israel: “I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks…Every columnist and commentator jumped on me immediately as anti-Semitic. Nobody asked me to explain myself. Nobody said, ‘What did you really mean?’”
On the situation in Palestine: “Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist – but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians…[The Palestinians] are incarcerated and living in an open prison. I say to the Israelis, ‘Get out of people’s homes!’ It’s unacceptable to have soldiers knocking on a door at three in the morning and saying, ‘This is my home.’ And forcing people out of homes they’ve lived in for centuries? What is this? How can anybody accept it? I mean, Jewish-only roads? [She later corrected herself to say Israeli-only roads.] Would anyone tolerate something like that in America? White-only roads?”
On Palestinian violence against the Israelis: “Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone. But who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation. Three generations of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes – by Israelis – and into refugee camps.”
On American support of Israel: “We keep giving Israel everything. Our government bribes the Israelis by saying, ‘Please come to the [negotiating] table and we’ll give you this and we’ll give you that’…Why do you have to bribe people to do the right thing? I don’t want my government bribing anybody. I want them demanding. Stop all this aid to Israel when they’re killing people!…Why do they send my American tax dollars to perpetuate it?”
On Jews: “I think they’re wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist.”
On Jewish persecution and victimization: “The slaughter of Jews stopped with World War II…They were liberated since then. And yet they carry on the victimization. American people do not know that the Israeli lobbyists have intimidated them into believing every Jew is a persecuted victim forever – while they are victimizing Palestinians…Why do they inflict the same pain on people who did nothing to them?”
On memorializing the Holocaust: “There’s nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember? We’re not at fault. I mean, if they’re going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that’s fine with me. But we didn’t do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.”
On the Jews’ influence and power: “[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent. It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
On Congress’s anti-Arab sentiments: “I want you to look at the Congress that just came in. Do you think [New York Democratic senator Charles] Schumer and Lehtinen – whatever her name is – in Florida [Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a strong supporter of Israel] are going to be pro-Arab? No. But they’re going to be very influential. Eric Cantor, the majority leader of the Republicans, do you think he’s going to be for the Arabs? Hell no! I’m telling you, you cannot get 330 votes in Congress for anything that’s pro-Arab. Nothing.”
On the uprisings and demonstrations sweeping through the Arab world: “I love the new revolutionary spirit in the Middle East and North Africa. The power of the people is removing ruthless dictators in Tunisia and Egypt – and that’s only the beginning. There is no stopping this free new movement. The Arab world is waking up to the possibilities of democratic life and freedom for its people, and I am happy to see this happening in my lifetime.”
On what her obituary will say: “[Eyes suddenly fill with tears] Oh, I know what they’re going to say: ‘anti-Semite’…They don’t give a damn about the truth. They have to have it their way, and they’ll be writing my obituary…I don’t care what they write about me…Because of what happened recently, people are going to remember me a certain way. The truth is, I don’t hate anybody. I care deeply about people. I care for the poor, the sick, the lame, the harmed, those who’ve been treated unjustly.”
“…no matter the occasion, no matter the question, no matter the newspaper or TV or radio journalist, every question must first be answered with a few basic points about the military occupation that has been in place for 34 years since 1967. This is the source of violence, this is the source of the main problems, and it is the reason Israel can never have real peace. Our entire political position must be based on ending the occupation and this must take precedence over any and every other consideration. When Erekat or Shaath or Ashrawi or Khatib is asked something, for example, about the Mitchell report or the Powell visit, the answer should always begin, “so long as there is a military occupation of Palestine by Israel, there can never be peace. Occupation with tanks, soldiers, checkpoints and settlements is violence, and it is much greater than anything Palestinians have done by way of resistance.” Something like that.
These estimable people have to remember that 99 per cent of the people reading newspapers or watching TV news all over the world (including Arabs) have simply forgotten — if they ever knew — that Israel is an illegal occupying power and has been for 34 years. So we must remind the world of that over and over. Repeat and repeat and repeat. This is not a difficult task, although it is, I believe, absolutely crucial. To remind everyone repeatedly about the Israeli occupation is a necessary repetition, much more so than stupidly inconsequential and sentimental Israeli and American-style remarks about peace and violence. Can we learn, or are we condemned to repeat our mistakes forever?”
In contrast to virtually all speeches on this subject by US officials, [Hillary Clinton’s] criticisms were almost exclusively directed at the Israelli government: on settlements, on incursions into the West Bank, on East Jerusalem, on trifling with the future of their (inside the Green Line) democracy. She even endorsed he Arab League Initiative, the best vehicle to achieve peace that has been devised yet.
So, in this dismal holiday season, there is a glimmer of light. Palestinians have plenty of reason to despair BUT, if Secretary Clinton is any example, Palestinians have won real respect from the administration at a time when Israel is losing it.
This is money in the bank. When negotiations become serious (if they ever do), I don’t think Secretary Clinton is going to play the role of Israel’s lawyer. She is honestly sounding like an honest broker and that is good news for Palestinians and for those Israelis who prefer peace to expelling Palestinians (i.e, most Israelis although not the government).
Netanyahu should pay attention, although he is betting that Clinton and Obama are irrelevant and that the future belongs to Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich and not the Democrats.
That is a dangerous bet, one he will lose.
The mathematics of the situation must be evident even to the meanest intelligence. In order for any talk of a two-state outcome to be even slightly realistic, there needs to be territory on which the second state can be built, or on which the other nation living in Palestine can govern itself. The aim of the extreme Israeli theocratic and chauvinist parties is plain and undisguised: Annex enough land to make this solution impossible, and either expel or repress the unwanted people. The policy of Netanyahu is likewise easy to read: Run out the clock by demanding concessions for something he has already agreed to in principle, appease the ultras he has appointed to his own government, and wait for a chance to blame Palestinian reaction for the inevitable failure.
Let me start off with this: I’m a Jew. (An agnostic one, but a Jew nonetheless.) And as a Jew, I’ve encountered anti-semitism. I saw it on the playground. I saw it at the university. I’ve seen it among businessmen.
Let me also add this: I do not like Helen Thomas. I don’t think she’s bright; I don’t think she’s a good journalist; and from what I’ve heard, she doesn’t sound like a particularly nice person.
Having said both of those things, this characterization of Helen Thomas’ comments on Israel is unfair:
“Frankly, I was shocked,” said Rabbi David Nesenoff, who was at the White House for a Jewish heritage celebration on May 27 and simply asked the Hearst Newspapers columnist, “Any comments on Israel?” Her response — that Israeli Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany, Poland and America — triggered a wave of denunciations that a narrowly worded apology did little to quell.
“This was vile, a paradigm of hate talk,” said Nesenoff, who was accompanied by his 17-year-old son and a friend. “She felt comfortable saying this in front of two boys with yarmulkes on.”
What she said might be wrong; it may have been coarse; it may have been insensitive. It was not, however, “vile” or a “paradigm of hate talk.”
The Middle East is a serious problem, and no one has the answer to it. Given the stakes, there has to be room in the marketplace of ideas for all kinds of proposed solutions, including the idea that that Jews in Israel simply leave. This might be a bad idea. This might also be an insensitive idea, especially to those who have lived in Israel their whole lives and call it home. But it is not a vile idea; it is not hateful idea; it is not even an ”offensive” idea, as President Obama claims. To characterize Thomas’ views this way attaches a moral stigma to the expression of her views; this stigma chills debate when it should be stimulated, and stifles voices that should be heard.
It is anti-semetic to suggest that Jews are crafty, or cheap, or bad. It is not anti-semetic to say they should leave Israel. Helen Thomas may have confirmed that she is an idiot, or that she’s mean; she didn’t prove herself a bigot.
Thomas, like Rand Paul, is the victim of a cheap trick—it is easy to win an argument by characterizing your opponent as a racist or bigot, but it’s often not fair. We throw around these characterizations way too easily these days, and by doing so, we devalue their meaning.
And let me conclude with this: there are moments when the news from the Middle East leaves me in such despair that I too wonder whether it would be better for my Jewish brethren to just leave.