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Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Proportionality

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 29, 2014


When people say Israel’s response to Hamas aggression must be “proportionate”, they don’t mean it. What they actually mean is that Israel shouldn’t respond at all.

Which is fine: everyone’s entitled to their view. But Israel’s critics should at least be honest about what they’re really proposing. And what they’re proposing is that while Israel has a right to defend itself in principle, it shouldn’t do so in practice. It should just turn the other cheek.

(The Telegraph)

Posted in Israel-Palestine, Israel/Palestine, Middle East | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Double Standards

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 20, 2014


Israel has existed in its current format since 1948. For as long as that it has been treated differently from all other states/nations in the world. It has been held to another standard than all other states/nations in the world.

Israel Bill Maher

Israel is expected to accept being attacked on a daily basis without responding, or if they do respond do so ‘proportionately’ – do you expect that from Russia in Chechnya, or the US in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or the Syrian government i Syria. No, you don’t. In fact no one says anything like that to any other nation using military force to deal with their terrorists. Oh, sure, every now and then there’s a slap on the wrist issued by the UN or EU against Russia, US or some other country going after terrorists, but that’s it. But never on the scale or with the ferocity they go after Israel on how they deal with Hamas.

No one calls what the US does in Afghanistan or Iraq genocide, or claims that Russia are Nazis for dealing with their terrorists. Why is that?

I think the answer is very simple. Israel has the audacity to call itself a ‘Jewish state’ – a home for all Jews that want to live there. In the expectations on Israel to deal with Hamas differently than Russia deals with Chechnya, or the US deals with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, lies a deep and dark antisemitism. Israel is being held to a different standard simply because its majority population is Jewish.

If you are not willing to stand up for Chechnya, the Taliban or Al-Qaeda the way you stand up for Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah, then you really should not stand up for either. Really.

Posted in Israel | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Chauvinistic American Project

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 31, 2009


The Crane Project; What is It?

This project uses the symbol of peace and of long life to tell the story of loss in Iraq. The soldiers who lost their life in Iraq, the citizens of Iraq who died as a result of the conflict, the journalist covering the war who were killed doing their jobs. Different parties, with different interests. But all human beings, with lives ended too soon for those who love them and knew them.

Polymer clay cranes are being folded, with information about each individual, for the soldiers. They will be hung in strands to represent each week in the war, in order to present the passage of time, as well as a visual representation of their numbers.

Waxed paper cranes are being folded by volunteers across the country. These cranes will represent the Iraqis who have lost their lives. A count by the Iraq Body Count project is shown below. This is considered to be a conservative estimate.

Cranes will also be folded from newspaper stories about the war to represent journalists who lost their lives in Iraq. Without journalists telling the story, we would know even less about the cost of war.

Wonderful! Fold a crane to represent a dead victim of the war in Iraq… Excellent idea! My wife found the site, and at first she thought it was great…

But the entire idea fell flat, because the American chauvinism and arrogance poisoned the idea – polymer clay is almost indestructible, while news paper and waxed paper are perishable materials, so the cranes made for American soldiers are to last forever, but the cranes folded for Iraqis and journalists are to perish with time – moral: Only Americans are to be remembered…

And Americans wonder why the rest of the world think they are Arrogant, Loudmouthed, Bigoted and Chauvinist Idiots? Well we do, thanks to ideas like this…

Posted in Iraq, US | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Ten Ways Israel Is Treated Differently

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 11, 2009


First, Israel is the only UN member state whose very right to exist is under constant challenge. Notwithstanding the fact that Israel was created with the imprimatur of the UN and has been a member of the world body since 1949, there is a relentless chorus of nations, institutions and individuals denying Israel’s very political legitimacy. No one would dare question the right to exist of Libya, Saudi Arabia or Syria. Why is it open hunting season on Israel, as if we didn’t know the answer?

Second, Israel is the only UN member state that’s been publicly targeted for annihilation by another UN member state. Think about it. The Iranian president calls for wiping Israel off the map. Is there any other country that faces such an open call for genocidal destruction?

Third, Israel is the only nation whose capital city, Jerusalem, is not recognized by other nations. Imagine the absurdity of this. Foreign diplomats live in Tel Aviv while conducting virtually all their business in Jerusalem. Though no Western nation questions Israel’s presence in the city’s western half, where the prime minister’s office, Knesset and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are located, there are no embassies there. In fact, look at listings of world cities, including places of birth in passports, and you’ll often see something striking – Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan; Pretoria, South Africa; Lima, Peru; and Jerusalem, sans country – orphaned, if you will.

Fourth, the UN has two agencies that deal with refugees. One, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), focuses on all the world’s refugee populations, save one. The other, the United Nations Refugee and Works Administration (UNRWA), handles only the Palestinians. But the oddity goes further than two structures and two bureaucracies. They have two different mandates. UNHCR seeks to resettle refugees; UNRWA does not. When, in 1951, John Blanford, UNRWA’s director, proposed resettling up to 250,000 refugees in Arab countries, those countries refused, leading to his resignation. The message got through. No UN official since has pushed for resettlement.

Moreover, the UNRWA and UNHCR definitions of a refugee differ markedly. Whereas the UNHCR targets those who have fled their homelands, the UNRWA definition covers “the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948,” without any generational limitations.

Fifth, Israel is the only country that has won all its major wars for survival and self-defense, yet it’s confronted by defeated adversaries who insist on dictating the terms of peace. In doing so, ironically, they’ve found support from many countries who, victorious in war, demanded — and got – border adjustments.

Sixth, Israel is the only country that has been censured by name — not once, but nine times — since the new UN Human Rights Council was established in June 2006. Astonishingly, or maybe not, this UN body has failed to adopt a single resolution critical of any real human rights abuser. When finally discussing the Darfur situation, the Council shamefully balked at pointing a finger at Sudan.

Seventh, Israel is the only country that, in violation of the spirit of the UN Charter, isn’t a full member of one of the five regional blocs — Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and West Europe and Others (WEOG) — that determine eligibility for candidacy for key UN posts. While Israel achieved a breakthrough in 2000 and joined WEOG, its membership is limited to New York, not other UN centers, and is both conditional and temporary.

Eighth, Israel is the only country that’s the daily target of three UN bodies established solely to advance the Palestinian cause and to bash Israel — the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Division for Palestinian Rights in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.

Ninth, Israel is the only country that is the target of a boycott by the British-based National Union of Journalists. An earlier British boycott against Israeli academic institutions was voided on a technicality because the union that adopted the measure merged with another. There is now an incipient call by some in the British Medical Association to exclude its Israeli counterpart from the World Medical Association.

And tenth, Israel is the only country where some associated with its majority population, i.e., Jews, openly call, for political or religious reasons, to dismantle the state. Is there a comparable situation to those religious voices of Neturei Karta, for example, who traveled to Teheran to join publicly with a leader seeking Israel’s destruction, as well as those political extremists who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and call for a “one-state” solution? Speaking of our own worst enemies… Tackling any one of these ten, much less all of them, is a daunting challenge, to state the painfully obvious. And, as I suggested, this list is far from complete. But it gives a sense of what’s going on beyond the daily headlines.

The old ad used to say that you don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Jewish rye bread. Well, surely, you don’t have to be an ardent pro-Israel activist to be troubled by the unjust treatment of Israel. All it takes is a capacity for outrage that things like this are going on before our very eyes.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

Posted in Antisemitism, General, Israel, Israel/Palestine, Jews | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Blame the Jews – Part Umpteenth

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 28, 2008


Blame the Jews!

Provocations as Pretexts for Imperial War: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11

I have no problem agreeing with the author about his points about the Provocations as Pretext for attacking other nations, which it is obvious and clear from history that the US has been engaged in since its inception.

But when he starts claiming that “the Zionists” (Zionists is just a code word for Jews) planned and executed 9/11 he passes the line between reality and antisemitic bull-shit.

Like most Antisemites/AntiZionists he fails to make the distinction between Jews and Zionists (to be distinguished from zionists who support Israel’s right to exist) and Jews and Israel as a nation.

Conspiracy Theories are very nice in that they provide explanations to life’s hardships that provide the Conspiracy Theorists with a sense of control (“I know why this is happening to me”.)

Unfortunately for the Conspiracy Theorists all CTs at one point or other leave the realm of the plausible and enter the realm of implausible – which only leaves the CTists vulnerable to exposure as frauds and charlatans, which in the end are only serving themselves.

Israel, as the only Democracy in the Middle East, has a very precarious position (regardless of their relations to the Palestinians) because it is surrounded by nations that has only one wish and one goal for her in the end – total annihilation.

Claming, as the author does, that Israel is engaged in a war on Iran and Syria (and not the other way around) is ludicrous – especially since Israel has not threatened either Iran or Syria with “wiping them of the face of the earth”. If Israel and/or the Zionists had truly been behind the War on Terror, the US would not have attacked Afghanistan and Iraq – they would have gone after Iran and Syria. They didn’t.

Neither Iran, nor Syria care about the Palestinians enough NOT to make good their threats to nuke Israel.

It must be nice to live in a world where any evil in the world can be attributed to ONE source, instead of having to sort through the political and personal diversities that is a natural part of being human.

Posted in 9/11, Israel, US | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Kettle is throwing horse manure in a glasshouse…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 26, 2008


A working reactor would make Syria the first Arab nation with nuclear capability and potentially would put nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime that the United States accuses of committing human rights abuses and supporting international terror groups.

Whoa! Didn’t they just claim that Iran was…?

Any way, how credible is this claim, considering that the claims made about Iraq were nothing but pure Texan horse manure?

The United States has a history of trying to prove that countries have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, he said, comparing the new claims to former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations about alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The United States not only has a history of falsely accusing other nations of having nuclear weapons and such, they also have a history of wanting to divert attention from their own human rights abuses by pointing fingers at others.

The truly is a case of the kettle throwing horse manure in a glasshouse – and as said in the article:

“Don’t be gullible and fall for this,”

Posted in Middle East, Syria, US | Leave a Comment »

The International Solidarity Movement: Champions of Peace?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 20, 2008


bilin5

[Note: Much has been written about the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and much of it has been dismissed as merely rumors. The following report shows the true nature of the ISM in its own words and in well-documented incidents. I want to express gratitude to the Jewish Action Task Force for having provided many of the references used in this report. Their site contains cached versions of some of these references, and should be consulted if any of the links become broken.]

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), founded in the spring of 2001, prides itself on being a nonviolent movement for peace. At least this is the image its members present to the world, and they have been extremely successful. News media routinely portray them as “peace activists,” and even one member of the Canadian parliament has nominated the ISM for the Nobel Peace Prize. (1)

The liberal Protestant Church has also embraced the ISM, often inviting its members to speak and offering financial support. One group of missionaries working in the West Bank encourages enlistment in the ISM:

How does your faith prompt you to act? How is God calling you to respond through action? Perhaps you have the courage and faith to go into areas of violence and oppression and send a message of peace and justice as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team or with the International Solidarity Movement. (2)

The ISM is often called “peacemaker.” But do they deserve this designation? The best way to understand what the ISM is all about is to read its own words. And the best place to start is the ISM’s own web site.

A Pro-Palestinian Movement

First, the ISM makes a pretense of being neutral, claiming it is not even “pro-Palestinian”: (3)

Over the course of the past year and a half, the Israeli military and government has used various tactics in efforts to delegitimize our message. Some of you in the media have repeated or suggested the accusations yourselves: that we are “young and naive,” that we are “trouble-makers,” that we are “pro-Palestinian.” As I’ve noted above, the ISM is diverse in age and make up. We’re Palestinian-led, but not pro-Palestinian. We’re not pro or against any group. (4)

This pretense is immediately transparent. It will be seen from the quotations to follow that the ISM is indeed pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. The disingenuousness of the ISM’s claim to neutrality is just a small part of its overall strategy to present a peace-loving image to the media while actually working to enable those who do commit violent acts.

It is true that members of the ISM do not themselves engage in violence. But in word and in deed they support those who do. In fact, they make no secret of their sympathy for the use of violence, even though it is a tactic they personally do not choose. They state that violence is legitimate for those who choose to use it:

The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance. (5)

This is about as “pro-Palestinian” a statement as one could hope for. It also specifies nonviolence as just one option in the struggle against Israel, with violence being another, equally valid option. (6)

Advocates for Violence

If violence is indeed considered legitimate, then why don’t ISM members choose it for themselves? The answer is based not on morality but on strategy. In a revealing essay that appeared in the Palestine Chronicle for January 29, 2002, Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, two of the ISM’s founders and senior leaders, write:

Let us reiterate, we accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms, as they are an occupied people upon whom force and violence is being used. The Geneva Conventions accept that armed resistance is legitimate for an occupied people, and there is no doubt that this right cannot be denied. But that does not mean that this right must be utilized. Regardless of what is a right and what is not, the elements that will make any change in the situation are strategy and tactics. To date, the use of violence as part of the resistance has not evinced a strategy. Not in operations against the military or settlers; not in operations inside the Green Line. The choice of using nonviolence would not be effective either if it was not organized strategically. (5)

This is about as “pro-Palestinian” a statement as one could hope for. It also specifies nonviolence as just one option in the struggle against Israel, with violence being another, equally valid option. (6)

Advocates for Violence

If violence is indeed considered legitimate, then why don’t ISM members choose it for themselves? The answer is based not on morality but on strategy. In a revealing essay that appeared in the Palestine Chronicle for January 29, 2002, Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, two of the ISM’s founders and senior leaders, write:

Let us reiterate, we accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms, as they are an occupied people upon whom force and violence is being used. The Geneva Conventions accept that armed resistance is legitimate for an occupied people, and there is no doubt that this right cannot be denied. But that does not mean that this right must be utilized. Regardless of what is a right and what is not, the elements that will make any change in the situation are strategy and tactics. To date, the use of violence as part of the resistance has not evinced a strategy. Not in operations against the military or settlers; not in operations inside the Green Line. The choice of using nonviolence would not be effective either if it was not organized strategically. (5)

In other words, the Palestinians have an undeniable right to use violence, and since Arraf and Shapiro make no qualifications on that use, it can only be assumed that the Palestinians have a right to use violence just as they are doing right now, in the form of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. But the use of this right is not always wise, and so it need not necessarily be exercised. To be effective, the use of violence must follow an organized strategy. The same is true of the use of nonviolence. They are both options to which the Palestinians have a legitimate right, but they are only feasible if they follow an organized strategy.

Lest there be any doubt that this is what the authors mean, and that they do in fact advocate the use of violence if strategically planned, they write further in the same article:

The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement – in India militants attacked British outposts and interests while Gandhi conducted his campaign, while the Black Panther Movement and its earlier incarnations existed side-by-side with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

What Arraf and Shapiro fail to mention, of course, is that neither Gandhi nor Martin Luther King endorsed the use of violence but were appalled by it, while the ISM clearly approves of “violent movements” acting “side-by-side” with its own nonviolent approach. The ISM sees itself not as a substitute for but as an adjunct to the use of violence against Israelis. It therefore cynically exploits the legacies of those who stood exclusively for nonviolence and passive resistance. The ISM clearly believes in violence – it actually says so – but chooses nonviolent opposition as an additional tactic.

In a message she posted to an ISM mailing list, Arraf went as far as to quote with approval an essay praising suicide bombers as shahids or martyrs. (7)

Other leaders of the ISM have also expressed their support for violence, even though it is not the tactic they personally prefer to use. Ghassan Andoni, another founder of the ISM, said in an interview by Bitterlemons.org that Palestinians have the right to use violence if they choose:

Bitterlemons: Does that mean that you do not think that armed resistance is valid?

Andoni: No, we state clearly that Palestinians have the full right to resist the occupation with means that they think are suitable. We as the Palestinian Solidarity Movement have decided, however, that our tool for resisting the occupation is non-violence. (8)

Saif Abu Keshek is a co-ordinator for the ISM in Nablus. In an interview on the ISM-London web site he says the same thing: that Palestinians are morally justified in using violence if they choose.

So there is strong support for the armed resistance? [Keshek:] Surely there is support for the armed resistance. It is one of the rights of the Palestinians to fight back against the occupation. The ISM supports non violent direct action, not armed struggle… [Keshek:] Yes, but also we recognise the right of the Palestinians to choose their way of resistance. To join our way of resistance or to choose armed struggle. (9) 

From all of these statements by people central to the ISM it is clear that the ISM wants to have it both ways: to claim the moral high ground of nonviolence while keeping the tactical advantage of violence. For Palestinians, “violent resistance” usually takes the form of terrorism, that is, targeted attacks against civilians. Even the ISM, in its support of the right to use violence, makes no distinction between terrorism and other forms of violence. We have heard ISM leaders in their own words: “Palestinians have the full right to resist the occupation with means that they think are suitable”; “We recognize the right of the Palestinians to choose their way of resistance” – with no restrictions. Such statements by ISM members are far from unique.

It is now clear that the ISM is not a pure nonviolent movement but sees itself working together with violent, even terrorist factions of the Palestinian fight against Israel. Nonviolence that accepts violence enables violence. Nonviolent obstruction of Israeli efforts to resist terrorism enables terrorism to continue. For example, members of the ISM, including Rachel Corrie, have tried “nonviolently” to obstruct the movement of Israeli bulldozers whose job it was to expose and destroy tunnels used for illegally smuggling weapons. This is “nonviolence” in name only. These “nonviolent peace activists” were helping to ensure that arms get into the hands of terrorists. If your work helps make violence possible, you are participating in violence. There is little difference between distracting your target while others ready their weapons and wielding the weapon yourself. The type of nonviolence that the ISM espouses supports and aids terrorist violence. (10)

Connections to Terrorist Groups

The ISM has indeed worked together with terrorist groups. An ISM press release dated July 2, 2003 announced a demonstration to block construction of Israel’s security fence (which ISM calls an “apartheid wall”), and invited participants to “Join the ISM, the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces and the Apartheid Wall Defense Committee” in these efforts to disrupt the fence’s construction. (11)

Who are these “National and Islamic Forces”? A virulently anti-Israel statement this group issued on February 10, 2001 contains the names of its members, which include the terrorist organizations Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and several others. (12)

There is some evidence that ISM cooperation with terrorist activity goes beyond signing joint statements and giving verbal support. While not engaging in violence directly, ISM members have come to the aid of others who have.

In the spring of 2002 about 40 senior terrorists wanted by Israel took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where IDF soldiers had them under siege. About a dozen ISM members snuck past Israeli troops and entered the church to give support to the terrorists. (13) The ISM published on its own web site an account by the British Guardian containing a proud proclamation that these ISM members were to act as “human shields.” (14)

At about the same time, other ISM members were acting as human shields in the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah. They were present not only to support Yasser Arafat but to protect the “Ze’evi Five,” terrorists wanted by Israel for the murder of Rehav’am Ze’evi, Israeli Minister of Tourism, on September 18, 2001. (15)

In the spring of 2003 Israeli troops were searching for Shadi Sukiya, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad in Jenin who had been involved in planning suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Jewish communities. They found him hiding in the offices of the International Solidarity Movement.

At first Susan Barclay, the ISM Coordinator, refused the Israeli soldiers permission to search the offices. But the soldiers forced their way in and arrested both Sukiya and Barclay. A handgun was also found. (16)(17)

An ISM spokesperson claimed that Barclay had no way of knowing who Sukiya really was. Nevertheless, this is no excuse for obstructing a legitimate search for a wanted terrorist. And how plausible is the ISM’s proclamation of Barclay’s innocence? Barclay herself told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that “she knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad – terrorist groups that sponsor suicide bombings and exist, according to their charters, to demolish the Jewish state entirely.” (18)  

Conclusion

While pretending to stand for nonviolence, in both what it says and what it does the ISM aids and abets violent Palestinian extremist movements. The words of the Jewish Action Task Force capture the essence of the ISM:

The ISM is a terrorist protection organization. The goal of the ISM is not to plant bombs and murder civilians. The ISM aims to protect the terrorists who plant bombs and murder civilians. The ISM hopes to keep the IDF out of Palestinian neighborhoods so that terrorists will be free to manufacture explosives, train suicide bombers, smuggle weapons, arm snipers, and fire rockets at residential neighborhoods without interference from the IDF. The ISM calls itself non-violent, and many supporters of the organization in the U.S. may actually believe that this is a non-violent movement following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The leadership, however, is using the rhetoric of non-violence in a calculated effort to mask the true nature of the ISM, which is organized for the protection of terrorists. (19)

This report has presented the International Solidarity Movement in its own words and actions. I have already documented the ISM’s cynical exploitation of the death of Rachel Corrie, and need not repeat that here. The ISM is not, as it pretends to be, a neutral, peacemaking organization. What it does stand for is abundantly clear. Let us not be fooled.

Source: Peace with Realism

 

Notes:
ISM Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize,” Canadian Dimension, May 2, 2003.
What You Can do.”
International Solidarity Movement, “Statement on Bombings.”
International Solidarity Movement, “About ISM.”
Why Nonviolent Resistance is Important for the Palestinian Intifada: A Response to Ramzy Baroud,” Palestine Chronicle, January 29, 2002.
Is ‘Occupation’ an Excuse for Terrorism?” elsewhere on this web site.
ISM Reports: A Bone from Rafah / Ethnic cleansing,” Palsolidarity Mailing List, March 27, 2003.
Resisting the Tool of Control: An Interview with Ghassan Andoni,” October 7, 2002.
Interview with Saif Abu Keshek,” International Solidarity Movement – London,February 23, 2003.
ISM: July 3 Action to Stop the Wall,” New Zealand Scoop, July 2, 2003.
Statement Issued by the National and Islamic Forces,” Jerusalem Media & Communication Center, February 10, 2001.
Israelis Blame Arafat for Bethlehem Church Fire,” CNN.com, May 3, 2002.
From Bristol to Bethlehem,” The British Guardian, May 16, 2002.
Operation Devastation“, May 2002.
Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorist Arrested While Hiding in the Offices of the International Solidarity Movement in Jenin,” March 27, 2003.
Tension Rises Between Activists, Army After Third Recent Casualty,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, April 13, 2003.
Activist’s Death Focuses Spotlight on Mideast Struggle,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 20, 2003.
International Solidarity: A Terrorist Protection Movement,” no date.


Comment:

In some time 2005-2006 a poster came into Human Rights Network with posts about “Peaceful Protesters in Bilin” – Ket and I were elated. Finally!
The Palestinians were getting it! We were very happy. This we had been waiting for…

The poster swore that the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were comparable to Gandhi and MLK. Great. So when IDF opened fire on “protesters” we denounced, condemned and agreed with Israel’s detractors that it was really horrible.

What we did not know was that the poster, and all her friends in the Pro-Palestinian Camp were lying through their teeth about what really was happening. The IDF had been responding to gun fire aimed at them from within the ISM Rally. What ISM hoped for was that they then could say “its militants using the gathering to discredit ISM” – all the while those militants were part of ISM. We fell for it (in fact the entire world fell for it) – of course ISM was a modern Peaceful Civil Rights Movement…

Right now I feel that whatever I have ever conceded – despite the fact that I have not heard any Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims or Xians in this group or elsewhere make any concessions, no apologies, nothing that indicates that they think the Palestinians militants are wrong – I have made into a void of mockery, a chasm of indifference and “let the Jews crawl, grovel and humiliate themselves”.

I am sorry, a “thank you Dov” isn’t going to do it – I want more, I want condemnations of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian Terror Organization, and their constant attacks on Israeli border towns from the Arabs and Muslims in this Group.
Dov

Posted in International Solidarity Movement, Israel/Palestine, Peace | Leave a Comment »

What would Cheney Know about Peace…?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 24, 2008


JERUSALEM (CNN) — Vice President Dick Cheney arrived Saturday night in Israel, where he pledged America’s “enduring and unshakable” commitment to the security of the Jewish state as it approaches its 60th anniversary.

Dick Cheney and Ehud Olmert
Cheney met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to kick off a weekend of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.”Our two countries have been more than just strong allies. We’ve been friends, special friends,” Cheney said at a news conference with Olmert.”Both our nations share the ideals of liberty, equality, human dignity and representative government.”

“Both our nations have stood firm against forces of terror and intimidation. … We are natural allies,” Cheney added.

He reaffirmed that the United States was committed to Israel’s “right to defend itself against terrorism and rocket attacks and other threats from forces dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”

In turn, Olmert called Cheney “a very good supporter and friend of the state of Israel.”

Nothing new. Nothing surprising. It would have been nice to hear something about the Settlements… Now, this was followed by this:

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Mideast peace agreement will require “painful concessions” by Israelis and Palestinians who must work together to defeat those “committed to violence,” Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday.

Dick Cheney and Mahmoud Abbas

After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Cheney stressed the U.S. commitment to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, saying it was “long overdue.”

“Achieving that vision will require tremendous effort at the negotiating table and painful concessions on both sides,” said Cheney, whose stop in Ramallah came just two months after President Bush’s trip to the West Bank.

Abbas, a moderate, controls the West Bank and is battling Hamas militants who have taken charge of Gaza from Abbas-allied forces and have bombarded southern Israel with rockets.

“Terror and violence do not merely kill innocent civilians, they also kill the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people,” Cheney said.

In their meeting, Abbas asked Cheney to help stop Israeli settlement expansion and military operations targeting militants, said Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide.

Nothing new. Nothing surprising. Nothing that will bring Peace.

Why is that? Because there really isn’t anything Cheney can do about the situation. The only ones’ that can are the Israeli People and the Palestinian People. Only when both people want peace more than they want to hate each other and be “right” will there be peace.

Besides, what would Dick Cheney, the greatest war-monger of them all, know about Peace? He makes money off war, he doesn’t want peace in the Middle East, cause that would cost him a lot of money. Peace in the Middle East means not only less money, but less reason fore the US to “do their thing”, which is and has always been “Divide and conquer” and “Go there so we can steal, plunder and kill”, at least when there’s been a Republican in the White House.

Posted in Israel, Middle East, Palestine | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On the Matter of the Settlements

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 20, 2008


Uprooting 10,000 Israeli citizens from Gaza has only brought more rockets and more Palestinian attacks on Israel’s border communities. Hardly a precedent which Israel will be quick to repeat.

And yet, in the end that is the only thing that will work.

Edit: The problem is, in my opinion, that the Leaders are listening more to the Extremists, than to good sound reason. Yes, there will undoubtedly be more violence – to begin with – and it might even continue after all Settlers have been removed from areas that were allotted to the Palestinians by the UN, because the Extremists have another goal than Peace. However there is a huge reward to be won by removing the Settlements and Settlers – Israel will regain the moral high-ground. It will become obvious who exactly is doing the violence. Another positive pay-off is that when Israel is finally containing its military forces inside internationally recognized borders, she will have every right to defend herself. As I have said elsewhere: If she wants to create a bunker, and build a wall all around Israel on the inside of the Green Line, no-one can really say anything about that, it would be her right.

Settment being dozed

About the Buildings, Towns and Institutions – those can all be rebuilt inside Israel. Truly. When the Settlers were removed from Gaza, all “Jewish” buildings were demolished, at the request of the Palestinians (something most people don’t know), now to my mind that is idiotic, silly and to my mind smack of “look how mean the Israelis are, not leaving us any good houses” – I say leave the buildings intact, so the Palestinians have something to move into that is better than what they have now, if it is better.

The question is – what do we want more: Peace or continued Conflict for the sake of Land? It doesn’t matter if we are talking about well established Towns and Communities or we are talking about rudimentary out-posts. Those Settlements are illegal – and for nothing else than this fact they should be removed. What the consequences might be is actually irrelevant to the issue.

Settlement

If I commit a crime and have to go to jail, whether my wife will divorce me as a result is irrelevant – she might, she might not, but that should have no bearing on whether the law should be followed or not.

I would also like to point out that LEGALLY it falls upon the Occupying Nation to remove it’s Occupants at the end of Occupation, and to not remove those citizens means that one is continuing the Occupation. If that means that it is making refugees out of it’s own citizens, that has no relevance on whether it should remove those citizens or not.

Your conclusions on this, I believe, are correct. It pains me to agree, because, as I said, there are many lives involved, but I do agree with you. There is no other way to achieve peace and stability in the region.

Gaza Pullout

Don’t think for one moment that it doesn’t pain me as well, K.

Edit: The picture above is from an article that states: A 54-year-old Israeli woman set herself on fire on Wednesday at a junction near Netivot to the east of the Gaza Strip. The woman was evacuated in serious condition to hospital with 70 per cent burns to her body, police said.

And I don’t relish those scenes that we saw in Media before, during and after the Gaza Pull-out. It is very painful. But it is a result of war. Pain, anguish, broken homes, refugees are the nature of war. I have no illusions about the Settlers’ situation when they are evacuated, but such has been the situation of all Refugees of War. It was the situation for the Palestinian Refugees in 1948, it will be the situation for the Israeli Refugees when they leave the West Bank.

War of aggression is illegal and land acquired through war of aggression is obtained illegally, and in as much as Israel goes out-side the allotted borders of 1947-48 UN Partition militarily, whether to protect Israeli Occupants or to acquire more than the allotted portion, it is in violation of International Laws. It is painful. War is always painful.

However I believe that looking at it from this perspective – the objective legal point – will make it easier to swallow. After all Torah demands that we accept the laws of the land where we reside, unless it forces us to commit idolatry, murder, or forbidden sexual relations…Israel is a part of the International Community, therefore Israel is obligated by Torah to obey International Laws.

However, and this is a big however, I believe the Israeli government and all the Israeli people have the greatest responsibility to make sure – to make sure absolutely sure – in every way possible – that they reconstruct new lives, secure lives, fruitul lives, progressive lives, for all settlers that may have to leave the Palestinian areas.

I wholeheartedly agree, K – not to do so would be a crime as well. What I would like to see is a “rebuilding” of communities inside Israel, in intervals, so the Settlers have somewhere to go when they remove themselves from Occupied Territory. After all that is what should have happened in the first place. I am not saying that this won’t take a little more time than most would like, but it will show that Israel is taking her Obligations seriously.

Another Settlement

If we keep in mind that hard pills are much easier to swallow when coated in sugar than when force fed with vinegar, and use that insight to take measures that will both give and take compassionately, I am sure that both Peoples will eventually choose peace before conflict.

However, it is a two-way street. One the one hand the Government has to lead on the other hand the People has to follow. I still think that Yitzhak Rabin was right. And I do think Mahmoud Abbas is the stronger of the two, Olmert and Abbas. It is a pity that Rabin did not have an Abbas to co-operate with. If Olmert had the chutzpah to do what Rabin did, he and Abbas would be so much closer to REAL peace than the two Peoples have ever been. I think there is one other person in the Israeli Government that could match Abbas – unfortunately she is not in line to be Prime Minister.

Another, more prosaic reason for removing the settlements is, to re-connect to one of my other Blog entries:

“I cannot see how those small dark-green patches from a point of view of strategy are not huge security problems.”

Security Problem

The Settlements are huge security problems, and more than that they are huge financial problems as they have to be packed with IDFs and other security personnel, which drains the general Israeli economy (by how much yearly I have no idea, but war is expensive, and if it’s anywhere near normal expenses during war time, about half of Israel’s GNP is used to maintain active military presences in the Occupied Territories and in Israel.) – eating money that could be used on better housing, better social security, pensions and last but not least, building good solid communities for those who choose to live in Israel, both Jews and Arabs. A Progressive Society has no room for military “adventures” beyond that which is needed to maintain a healthy defense.

One of the main pillars of Judaism, and ultimately of being Jewish is Social Justice and Social Health, not just for those who happen to be Jewish, but for all humans. This might sound like a contradiction, but Judaism is at its core Progressive. It has always had Social Justice as one of it’s main Focal points. Whenever the Prophets went after the Rulers of Israel, they had two main complaints: Idolatry and lack of Social Justice.

Yeshayahu Leibowitz suggested that those two might actually be somewhat the same. He also suggests that the current Jewish Community is Worshiping the State of Israel, rather than G-d through Torah observance. I have to agree. The Idea of Israel has become more important than what it means to be Jewish. Being Jewish means to have a sense of what is Just, not only for Jews, but for all, and to fight for that Social Justice, to practice it and to teach it.

Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish State

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Peace is Possible

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 12, 2008




Yes, I believe that Peace is possible.
I believe that if you isolate the Extremists on both sides and Unite the Middle, give and take, you will eventually reach a point where Peace is more attractive to ALL than being right or having it all.
With small continuous concessions on both sides, small and continuous rewards on both sides Living will be more fruitful than Dying, for all.

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