Avraham Burg: The Evasions of Dissent

Israeli ex-politician and erstwhile dissident Avraham Burg, interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on February 12th regarding his recent book The Holocaust is Over: We Must Rise from the Ashes, offered this account of his motivation in writing the book:

“I wrote the first book, which was God Is Back. It’s about the religious dimension of world conflicts and the Israeli conflictual reality. And then when I finished the book, I read it, and I realized that I didn’t write about the other items which support our identity, and this is the only presence of the trauma in our life, which is the Holocaust, which prevents us to trust anybody — to trust ourselves, to trust our neighbors, to trust the world — and therefore creates this kind of a reality. And the minute I realized that this is my inner truth, just published it.”

Near the end of the interview, Burg summarized his perspective not only on the settlements, but in essence on the entire conflict:

Yeah, it (the settlements) pollutes our morality, and it contaminates our policy. And we became hostages of the messianic and eschatological policy of the settlers, which actually leads Israel into a de facto one-state solution, which discriminates one people over the other people. At the same time, the Palestinian society was kidnapped and held hostage by the hands of the eschatological fundamental — Hamas fundamentalists. And both societies must get rid of their prisoners, get rid of these kidnappers and get over this Stockholm syndrome that I’m in love with my kidnapper. And only then we will be able to talk to each other.

While Burg, a former speaker of Knesset, is clearly a provocative and symbolic addition to the growing movement of Jewish dissidents regarding Israel and Palestine, I find his analysis evasive if not self-serving in its implicit dispensation to the secular Israeli parties that have supported the occupation since the 1967 war — and have done so willingly and on the basis of ideology and ambition deeply rooted in the Zionist project prior to the Holocaust and throughout the 20th century, clearly articulated and relentlessly enacted. Moreover, these territorial ambitions have been actively and indispensably supported by American governments of both political parties, none of whose leaders have been either personally traumatized by the Holocaust or “kidnapped and imprisoned” by religious fundamentalists of any confession.

(As an aside, Burg’s reference to Hamas fundamentalists as analogous to Israeli religious settlers is undeserving of the credibility implied by a serious response.)

How much political curiosity does it take to add up the seats apportioned to the four major secular parties, all pro-Gaza massacre, in the recent election? I come up with 83 of 120, and that doesn’t include “leftist” Meretz’s paltry total, also pro-massacre. Exactly how is it that these non-believers who control the purse strings and military of Israel have been kidnapped by a minority of settler fanatics? That is, a minority in relation both to religious Israeli Jews and illegal (mostly economic) settlers, who could be returned to Israel in short order by the proper authorities as a result of a phone call from Washington. In addition, in the wake of all the hand-wringing in response to the growing popularizing of the more overtly racist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, it needs to be said that what is remarkable about this election is not the “rise of the right,” but what is now labeled as “moderate” or even “left.”

The “religious extremism” evasion in Israel has — to the detriment of an effective Palestinian rights movement in our own country — its correlate evasion in the inflation of the perceived power of the Israel Lobby by those who claim to oppose it; again, a distraction that does little or nothing to explain why the phone does not get picked up by a popular President with a bully pulpit and political capital galore. Moreover, it has its correlate in the manner in which religious fundamentalism in our own country serves as a distraction from liberal perfidy, not to mention liberal support for neoconservative perfidy, relating to a variety of issues, increasingly obvious in the new American administration.

As for the issues of the Holocaust, traumatization, and trust, it is with some trepidation but ultimately with incredulity that one must at least request some empirical evidence, or else debunk the notion that the 80% of Israelis who (according to actually existing empirical evidence) support the massacre suffer from 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generational reverberations as the result of a genocide to which a majority of Israeli Jews bear no familial relation and from which suffer no material deprivation. As an alternative explanation to Burg’s premise, it should not be necessary to recount the uses of Holocaust memory, politics, and propaganda as incisively explored by Hannah Arendt, Norman Finkelstein, and Idith Zertal, among others. It hardly serves the memory of the Holocaust and its remaining survivors for Burg to offer listeners a dismal choice between feeling that they have been manipulated in a sincere or a cynical fashion.

High-functioning and physically secure secular Israelis knowingly and overwhelmingly elect representatives who support the systematic denial of Palestinian rights, and worse. High-functioning secular Americans in many if not most cases unknowingly elect representatives who have no serious intent to act as “honest brokers,” and have every intent to prevent the good example of a democratic Palestine, one that might encourage similar examples in more resource-rich countries. There’s no reason to believe that an analysis such as Burg’s promotes an effective strategy for those whose uppermost concern is for Palestinian rights, which unfortunately for the Palestinians are at the mercy of fundamental American ambitions in the Middle East — albeit ambitions that are not supported by the American people. Heavily armed Israelis will only learn to “trust” when the option of violence is decisively taken from their government.

David Green is a 58-year-old Jew who was raised in Los Angeles and now lives in Champaign, IL. He is employed as a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He can be reached at: davegreen84@yahoo.com. Read other articles by David.

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  1. bozh said on March 4th, 2009 at 10:37am #

    at least one historian i know of, Martin Gilbert, asserts that the ‘jewish’ state was established by ashk’c voelken.
    the sephardic and mizrahic jews came later. from iraq came 90,000 jews or shemites and from n.afrika about 50,000.
    i do not know what the ratio is btwn the master volk, the ashk’m, and afro-asians.
    it is probably the darkies that now provide more cannon fodder than ashk’m.
    in any case, pro-israelis oft assert that 800,000 afro-asians were expelled from afro-asia.
    the number is inflated and ?all afro-asians with the judaic cult have- according to MG, in his book ISRAEL, a history- left.

  2. Barry said on March 4th, 2009 at 6:58pm #

    I believe Mizrahi and other ‘oriental’ Jews outnumbered Ashkenazi at least until the arrival of the Russian Jews beginning in the 80s. Now their numbers may be about equal, but I’m not certain.

    Non-Ashkenazis came in large waves after statehood, certainly by invite as the Ashkenazim needed bodies to stand guard at the borders, harvest the crops, and pick up the garbage. To the extent they were expelled or encouraged to leave Muslim countries, that was in no small measure because Israel had poisoned relations by colonizing a chunk of the Arab nation and ethnically cleansing its native population. In any case, it has nothing to do with the Palestinians except that the Mizrahis, etc., were given all Palestinian land and property not already taken by the Ashkenazis.

  3. Brian Koontz said on March 4th, 2009 at 7:04pm #

    “High-functioning and physically secure secular Israelis knowingly and overwhelmingly elect representatives who support the systematic denial of Palestinian rights, and worse.”

    Israelis aren’t physically secure. No bully is – he has to worry about receiving the repercussions of self-defense.

    While Palestinians have minimal ability to act in their own self-defense, Israelis by means of Zionist ideology won’t stop there, just as New World Americans under Manifest Destiny didn’t stop after destroying the native Americans. After conquering America, these settlers looked outside their borders and sought to conquer the world.

    In spirit, every non-Jew is an enemy to a Zionist. Once Palestinians are conquered, Zionism will look outward.

    Zionism is the cause of a lack of Israeli security. A *real* lack, and a real emotion of physical insecurity.

  4. dino said on March 5th, 2009 at 12:35am #

    An excellent article.If a playwright will have the inspiration to put Burg’s chatter in the mouth of a character in a comedy,he will get a success like Moliere with Tartuffe and the public will die from laugh.Sadly, today Burg passes as a dissident.

  5. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 8:20am #

    Brian – In its original political incarnation, Zionists were looking for a colony (and future state) to which they would resettle European Jews. They were not looking for ever expanding real estate. Zionism by definition, as opposed to Manifest Destiny which entertained the notion of a state from ocean to ocean, delimits an area to be considered Zion – the rest of the world belonging to the gentiles. This of course, did not stop early Zionists from pushing for a Zion whose borders would include much of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt – and Israel has certainly been aggressive about expanding its borders. But today, there are likely only a few diehards who envision an Israel beyond the state itself and the some of the land it presently occupies. Most Israelis understand that Sinai will never be Israeli, most of the WB will be returned to Palestinians and none of Gaza will be Israeli, and that Golan will be returned to Syria. They understand this because the nationals of these places have put up fierce and prolonged resistance. Israel’s repeated attacks on its neighbors have not won it any more unchallenged real estate (and certainly no security) than its original colonists gained for it. This does not stop Israel from conducting international statecraft and attempting to enhance its position in the greater geopolitical game. Israel very much wants to strengthen its regional hegemony and its position among developed nation’s globally. But it does not want to physically conquer and hold territory beyond what it has. Even with the billions the US taxpayer grants it, and the diplomatic cover in the UN provided by the US, it is just too difficult to gain and hold other people’s land.

  6. bozh said on March 5th, 2009 at 9:16am #

    talking elementalistically about israel and eventual size of it cannot lead to a better understading and better ‘predicting’.
    predicting, of course, being impossible, while guessing is possible and desirable.
    “elementalism” means that an essense, thing, event, process exists by self, for self; not influenced to any degree byother events, processes, essenses, etc.

    thus to talk/think about israel/its aims or its final solution and leaving out the aims of the US/Europe or even the world, cannot ever lead to a proper evaluation nor actions.

    even the telos of a zionist may not be a telos of another; aim of largest group of zionists, may not be the aim of state dep’t and state dep’t’s goal may not be euro goal.

    msm vigourously eschews these topics; thus, perforce, we guess. i’ll leave out conjecturing these various goals for now.
    but, essentially, we start our analyses from not knowing about aims of the major actors in the ME.

    to me, it seems, that the israel is a minor actor; possibly much unneeded save for bombing sites that may or may not be manufacturing wmd.

    i further suggest that the wily russians. chinese and host of other keen observers know that what corporate media and pols say is meant only for domestics.
    thnx

  7. bozh said on March 5th, 2009 at 9:28am #

    barry, you’re right ab. pal’n judaists outnumbering ashk’c judaists.
    there had been prior to aliyahs ab. 10K judaists in palestine; most of which resided in j’lem.
    it is not known, whether j’lem judaists were descendants of canaanites and other shemites; including judeans.
    first aliyah did not swell judaistic numbers because most immigrants wld leave; conditions being horrendous; the best arable land had been already taken up by pal’ns.thnx

  8. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 10:40am #

    Most of the Jews of Jerusalem were immigrants arriving in small numbers over the prior century or a bit more. They were Jews of the Ashkenazi Shetl who came to Palestine to pray and be spiritually closer to god. Mostly they came with Ottoman permission (though not likely consulting the local inhabitants), and as individuals, rather than as part of a recruitment effort. This was not Zionism per se, because religious zionism does not require a physical space, its a state of mind. These Jews became a majority in Jerusalem, though not a majority in the district Jerusalem is part of – al Quds.
    Jews that were not relatively recent immigrants were likely either Sephardics who eventually arrived in Palestine after the eviction from Spain and Portugal, or were the remaining Jews from ‘biblical’ days – their ancestors had never left. (Nor were they supposed to leave, to the extent the Romans evicted Jews – and it is now debated whether it happened at all – they evicted them from Jerusalem only.) Thus Jews have always lived elsewhere in Palestine – mostly in Teverya (Tiberias) on the Galilee. In no district did any Jews constitute a majority – and in most districts they were virtually non-existent.
    And you are right, it was not until well into the 1930s did Jewish immigration consistently exceed emigration. Thus, when the Jews of 1947 were recommended a plot of land amounting to 56% of Palestine though being but 30% of the population – the vast majority of these Jews had been in Palestine for no more than a dozen years or so.

  9. bozh said on March 5th, 2009 at 11:04am #

    barry,
    the info i have, tho it may not be correct, is that some judeans remained in j’lem after roman defeat of the judean uprising.

    how ab. samaritans? they had not fled from northern canaan or N. Kingdom [ israel]? or?
    samaritans may have been hebrews of the N.Kingdom. they were hated by judeans because they had formed own judaic sect

    we know very little ab. these shemites. i understand samaritans still inhabit palestine. even jesus did not like samaritans.
    of course, all this is just a curioso; i’m not at all exonerating zionist crimes against the, what to me is, canaanitic and other shemites.
    about torahic account? i evaluate it as quite unreliable/contradictory, etc. thnx

  10. Gideon said on March 5th, 2009 at 11:37am #

    Jerusalem, Israel’s capital had a Jewish majority since 1844.

    Year Jews Muslims Christians Total
    1844 7,120 5,000 3,390 15,510
    1876 12,000 7,560 5,470 25,030
    1896 28,112 8,560 8,748 45,420
    1922 33,971 13,411 4,699 52,081
    1931 51,222 19,894 19,335 90,451
    1948 100,000 40,000 25,000 165,000
    1967 195,700 54,963 12,646 263,307
    1987 340,000 121,000 14,000 475,000
    1990 378,200 131,800 14,400 524,400
    1995 482,000 164,300 16,300 662,600

  11. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 1:10pm #

    Gideon – As I posted, Jews became a majority in Jerusalem (but never in the district it resides in – Al Quds.) As you see from your stats, Palestinian Arabs were the majority in Jerusalem until sometime after 1876.
    Today the Palestinian population in Jerusalem is growing faster than the Jewish population and is expected to overtake the Jewish population in the medium future.

  12. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 1:29pm #

    I’ve read that Jerusalem’s Jewish community was not entirely expunged by the Romans but don’t know what the consensus of opinion is on that. But like I said, there seems to be an emerging belief that Jews were not evicted at all but left of their own accord for greener pastures. Remains to be seen.

    I was once about to visit the Samaritan community on the West Bank – but IDF arbitarily closed access to the area. I know their accounts of their own history differ from that of mainstream Jewry. And relations between the two are sometimes strained.

  13. mebosa ritchie said on March 5th, 2009 at 2:45pm #

    In December 2007, Jerusalem had a population of 747,600—64% were Jewish, 32% Muslim, and 2% Christian

  14. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 3:42pm #

    Well mebosa – that’s probably ‘Greater’ Jerusalem – a phony Jerusalem that encompasses much of the West Bank but not some areas of dense Palestinian population.
    What’s funny is that secular Jews won’t move there. Who wants to live under Ortho rule? How much fun is that? Secular Jews would much rather live in Tel Aviv and Haifa where the clubs are, and where no one puts women on the back of the bus. Ortho women get beaten for immodest bathing suits – and that’s considered a ‘family’ issue. And in Jerusalem you can’t sneak a piece of bacon now and then. So there’s little internal Jewish migration to Jerusalem.

  15. mebosa ritchie said on March 5th, 2009 at 4:27pm #

    well barry,as a jew yourself don’t you feel any connection to jerusalem,the heart of judaism, zion the centre of the jewish soul?
    i am sure you do but obviously something in your past has put you off
    you can always return to your natural home

  16. Brian Koontz said on March 5th, 2009 at 7:56pm #

    In reply to Barry:

    “Brian – In its original political incarnation, Zionists were looking for a colony (and future state) to which they would resettle European Jews. They were not looking for ever expanding real estate.”

    Neither is America – America’s global empire is based on financial, imaginary (mass media indoctrination), and military might, rather than population export. By artificially reducing their own population through alienation and birth control they have to share their stolen wealth with less people.

    The outcome of Manifest Destiny is not just the physical takeover of a certain land mass for a “chosen people”, but the ongoing domination ever-outwards. Manifest Destiny is responsible for the desire of the elite to exploit outer space. Manifest Destiny is a specific explanation of a more encompassing political phenomenon of colonization and imperialism. This can be boiled down to a unilateral desire of a people to implant their person or their will on another space (physical or otherwise), regardless of anything other than that desire. The American Empire wasn’t built on negotiation – it was built on the imposition of the will through several means on an unwilling global populace. This process might be called the raping of the will of the victimized people.

    Zionism is modeled not on the Roman, British, or Ottoman empires, but on the American one, right down to the totalitarian focus on mass media control and depoliticization of it’s own populace. The American Empire, better labeled nowadays as the Western Empire, controls nearly the entire world.

    Zionism may have little clear ambition (for now) in terms of space for it’s population, but in terms of domination it’s ambition is limitless. We are seeing an outcome of this ambition with it’s desire to attack Iran. What’s next after Iran? We’d better make sure we don’t find out.

    Extending the topic a bit – one of the big draws of outer space exploitation is that only lifeforms are recognized as having wills that can be violated – virtually no humans object and thus there’s no meaningful resistance (for that reason) to exploitation of outer space.

  17. Barry said on March 5th, 2009 at 8:45pm #

    Brian – Iran is the sole supporter of the Hezbullah and Hamas liberation movements. That’s the reason Israel wants to attack Iran. Israel was unable to defeat Hezbullah – in fact, Israel got its ass kicked by Hezbullah in 2006. Taking Iran out of the equation enables Israel to isolate Hezbullah. If they can accomplish that there is little likelihood that Israel has any major designs on Iran. Israel’s real interest here is unfettered ownership of the WB and possibly southern Lebanon.
    I have no problem with your analysis of US behavior via Manifest Destiny ideology. Indeed, it is why the lower 48 were not enough, and the US got control over Hawaii and Alaska – and Philippines, Cuba, PR, etc. It is why the US has bases all over the world, subs on the high seas, a piece of Antarctica and the flag on the moon. It is why much of the world is not allowed self-determination, either economically or politically. When the US says jump, they are supposed to jump. I agree with you.

  18. Shabnam said on March 6th, 2009 at 8:57am #

    Thank you very much for this good article that exposes a zionist, Burg, who pretends he has modified his opinion about Israel actions due to crimes against Palestinians. He has pointed out that ‘Jews must get over holocaust’ because he knows overused of ‘holocaust industry’ has backwashed. He says ‘get over it’ because he knows victimization card has been overused to intimidate the international community to submission and it is time to back off a little bit for damage control. Israel has already started ‘damage control’ process by sending thousands of rabid zionists and closet Zionists to different sites especially those sites that contain the word ‘radical’ trying to confuse and change public opinion on Israel in many areas. The rabid zionist style is very recognizable, however, those closet Zionists act more cautiously. They are trying to dilute the nature of zionist EXPANSIONIST policy and portrait Israel to a state that can be contained within ‘its border.’ How could you have regional domination without expansion of your influence beyond your “borders?” How could you be a regional dominant without control of Kurdistan oil wells? How you could be a dominant in an area that NO ONE WANTS YOU because you are European colonist who with a manufactured history trying to fool others to hide the fact that you have no relation with Palestinian land. That’s why according to Oded Yinon
    Recommendation for survival Israel should destabilize the regional countries through constructed minorities and use them as a pawn to partition different countries in the region, as Oded Yinon insists, and creates non-Arab ally such as Kurdistan where is not in the interest of anyone but ISRAEL. Yinon’s believes that Israel’s survival is dependent on other countries demise and creation of puppets to help Israel to EXPAND. Israel is not after Iran because of Hezbollah and Hamas. They know very well that Hezbollah came into being as a result of Israel expansionist policy. Hamas was supported by Israel in the 1980’s against Fatah. Hamas is used by Israel to steal the rest of Palestine. Israel is against Iran because Iran historically always has been the power of the region and Israel through proxy wants to bring Iran under subjugation through destabilization and partition which is not the INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. Iran and the US have many common interests which is not the interest of Israel where since Israel has expansion policy. Israel has its own interest different from American interest and in many cases is against American interest but through their lobby and an army of Internet soldiers, Israel is trying to fool public opinion to have their support by help of internet soldiers. This site has been bombarded by the members of this army since the past two months. People must be aware of it.

  19. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:09am #

    Does not do any justice to Avraham Burg. Read his books first!

  20. mebosa ritchie said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:15am #

    quite right,shabnam. on dissident voice we should not tolerate anyone who has an opininion that differs from yours,or bozh’s,or barry’s or max shield’s or brian koontz etc etc
    expose and get rid of all dissidents!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and as for mebosa ritchie—-well words fail me

  21. bozh said on March 6th, 2009 at 10:25am #

    mebosa,
    wld you kindly enumerate [if all not possible;some will do] my opinions regarding israel/its doings.

    i have no opinions about israel’s doings. i merely describe them. once one describes an event, it can be evaluated ?only two ways: the description is acccurate/adequate or it is not.

    opinions, on the other hand, is overgeneralized term; you may include here condemnation, wishes, labeling, cursing, etc.
    in add’n, answers true or false do not apply to opinions; i.e., they cannot ever be [dis]proved.

    precisely why most people state mostly oppinions and ignoring facts to a high degere and especially facts of the greaets import. thnx

  22. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    Palestinian misery in host Arab countries is a result of low level of development in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

    Israeli Arabs or Israeli Arab Palestinians in comparison enjoy a quality of life and rights that are the envy of ALL their Palestinian brothers!

    The big question is:
    How the new Palestinian state would be able to offer its citizens a quality of life better than any of its Arab neighbors?
    How that is going to work economically?

    “Socio-Economic Conditions of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon ”
    2002 Report

    “The misery of Palestinians in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon can be seen as an effect of discriminating legal norms, economic crises, political unrest and a low level of development in the host countries.”

    “Palestinians seem to be sharing the effects of poverty along with Syrians and Jordanians, and are relegated to the ‘third category’ citizens in Lebanon.”

  23. Barry said on March 6th, 2009 at 12:56pm #

    Israel ‘proper’ is a Jim Crow regime. Funding for Arab communities (education, health, infrastructure) is but a fraction of that of Jewish comnunities. With regard to Occupied Palestine (WB&G) they exist under Apartheid rule. Palestinians here have no more self-determination than did South African Blacks. In Occupied Palestine, all infrastructure (both extent and use) is set up on the basis of race.

    Many Palestinians living in Jordan as full citizens live very well – and Palestinians living in the Gulf States live a life superior to that of Palestinians in Israel and certainly do not live under a race-based Apartheid regime. Palestinians in America are also enjoy a high standard of living.

    The big question of quality of life in a Palestinian state is not your question. Your big question is what can you do as a Jew to get Israel to leave all of the WB&G. Unless you, like the Israeli state, think a takeover of the rest of Palestine is proper behavior. DO you think that?

    Very likely, if given up to $4 billion annually and limitless lines of credit, and oil guarantees from the US. Palestinians will live quite well. That’s how Israel did it.

    The British medical journal Lancet has issued a very timely and useful series on health in Occupied Palestine. Enjoy!
    http://www.thelancet.com/

  24. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 1:14pm #

    Only FEW Palestinians in Arab host countries can afford life on a decent standard! see report.

    This is a result of “economic crisis and widespread poverty” in the host countries.

    The big question is:
    How the new Palestinian state would be able to offer its citizens a quality of life better than any of its Arab neighbors (Countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan)?
    How that is going to work economically?
    What would Palestinian state have that Jordan, Lebanon and Syria failed to develop in the last 60 years?

    “Socio-Economic Conditions of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon ”
    2002 Report
    “Only FEW Palestinians in Arab host countries , mainly representing middle and upper class, managed to assimilate themselves into the host countries societies and can afford life on a decent standard”

  25. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 1:19pm #

    Why Palestinians with Jordanian citizenship classified as refugees and receive UNRWA support?

  26. Barry said on March 6th, 2009 at 2:05pm #

    Shabnam – You say: “They are trying to dilute the nature of zionist EXPANSIONIST policy and portrait Israel to a state that can be contained within ‘its border.’”
    Regional hegemony and containment within borders are two different things. The US manages to effect global hegemony while not physically occupying the world (with 2 major exceptions). Hegemony or dominance is not the same as conquering via the military nor occupation. Russia fully expects to have regional hegemony over many of its former republics – without sending in the military. Iran expects to have some influence over its neighbors. This all can be expected in the state system. Israel is in this state system and is effective in some areas and a dismal failure in others. That is, it has effective control over the US legislature, much influence in European capitals, and varying degrees of limited to no influence in the Middle East.
    As far as ‘no one wanting’ Israel in that region – this may be largely true of the populations, but states are willing to play cards to their own advantage. And you can bet that there are a LOT of people in commerce who would love to do business with Israel and would sell the Palestinians down the river to get it. Saudi Arabia, besides its truly great overture to Israel, backed up by all Arab League states – is otherwise silent on the occupation – surely at the behest of the US. Jordan is silent too. Egypt cooperates with Israel on caging Gaza.
    Israel does not need Kurdistan’s oil wells – Israel has US guarantees on oil. Still, since Israel is no longer provided oil by Iran (the Shah’s era) it would certainly like to do business with an independent Kurdistan and as a general practice Israel works toward friendly relations with non-Arab states of the region. This does not mean Israel wants their land. Israel has its hands more than full trying to retain what it has now. Its been removed from Egypt and Lebanon already. It will likely be removed from Syria. There is no way it is going to occupy Iran – a huge state of 70 million people 600 miles removed.
    You are wrong to say an independent Kurdistan is not in the interest of anyone but Israel. Should the Kurds so choose, an independent Kurdistan is very much in the Kurds interest! You really cannot make Israel the only agent in the region – there ARE other actors.

    To say Hamas was supported by Israel in the 80s is to overstate the case. Israel can be said to have encouraged and permitted Hamas organizing as a counterweight to Fatah – but ‘supported’ is too strong a word. Israel enjoys having split the Palestinian camp into two factions. That way it can always paint one or another as the bogeyman. After all, Hamas did nothing to warrant an Israeli attack. But Hezballa defeated Israel and they did it with Iran’s help. That’s why Israel would like to see Iran punished. Attacks function as a deterrence factor.

    This site has hardly been bombarded by agents of Israel or closet Zionists. There are only two people who consistently support Israel no matter what heinous act it carries out. If anything, I’m surprised at the frequency of ad hominem attacks against Jews on this site. Some of it really smacks of 19th century Jew-baiting. Why go there? The arguments really should be about Israeli state behavior, the extent of Jewish support for Israel within Israel and in the US, the nature of the Occupation, the plight of Palestinians in Israel, Occupied Palestine, and refugees elsewhere, US Middle East policy – and a host of related subjects. It is a disservice to resort to talk of world domination by the Jews. It dilutes the real argument and plays right into the hands of the Pro-Israel camp.

  27. Barry said on March 6th, 2009 at 2:28pm #

    Gideon – I don’t know that Palestinian citizens of Jordan are classified as refugees and are receiving UNRWA support. Maybe you do.

    But has no bearing on why Israel continues to impose Occupation on Palestinians in Palestine.

  28. bozh said on March 6th, 2009 at 3:16pm #

    nevertheless, they were expelled from their homes. it is as barry says of no import whether they are citizens of other countries.
    btw, lotsof ashk’c voelken carry dual citizenships. this is true of other ethnic groups. thnx

  29. bozh said on March 6th, 2009 at 3:33pm #

    barry, right again
    there are other actors/factors beside israel and israeli interests. palestine; parts of syr/leb/iraq/afgh’n are now US-EU-Isr territories.
    israel’s payback is not a must but ‘z ionists’ have been shopped for and bought by judeo-christian wrld long ago.

    we can postulate some factors for euro-US expansion. even warming may be a factor. fear is always a factor; we know how plutos feel about losing their riches/power.
    lust/greed/claim to nobility can be postulalated as factors in nearly all warfare.
    of course, stupidity is also a factor. but acquisition of land by any means is always by far the greatest cause for all warfare save for trojan war;.i.e., if homer is to be trusted or if the war actually happened.
    thnx.

  30. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 4:49pm #

    Palestinian state – the day after. What is required for its economic survival?

    What countries will become the Power Brokers in Palestinian state?
    What will they ask in return?

  31. Shabnam said on March 6th, 2009 at 7:36pm #

    Barry: Israel cannot occupy Iran for sure; however, Israel is promoting destabilization of Iran through proxy for partition, similar policy is used in Sudan. Thus, Zionists have engineered minorities and majorities; in case of Iran Persian is the enemy and ‘non-Persian’ a victim forgetting that ‘Persian’ is a culture like Arabic or American culture. In Sudan, they have manufactured ‘black African’ vs. ‘Arabs’, where Arabs rule over indigenous black African. This is a HOAX. This kind of policy is used to create hatred among people who are fighting over dismal resources, in some cases due to inhumane sanctions which politically is motivated against the government to bring the state under control. Otherwise, Sudanese are black African where the language of education is Arabic and majorities are Muslims.

    Many agents are active among ‘minorities’ since the Iranian revolution, where majority of whom are known to Iranians. These people transfer money and arms in name of ‘humanitarian aid’, in case of Sudan, and ‘human rights’ rhetoric in case of Iran to ‘empower’ discontent population, through instructions given either inside the country or abroad in arranged conferences mainly in Germany or Qatar by agents of ‘human rights’ organization where are financially funded by the US government.
    By expansionist policy I mean Israel does not want to share the Palestinian land with its owner, rather Israel is framing Palestinians, through lies and deception, as ‘no partner in peace’ to steal the rest of the land by wedging wars on phony charges and killing civilians to show that they are defeated people so they must abandon their land and go somewhere else, meaning Jordan. Israel IS NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE. However, Israel border is not going to be limited to Palestine. They actively pursuing ‘greater Israel’ project because their final goal is WORLD DOMINATION. This does not require occupying the whole world instead establishing themselves in a territory, hopefully from the Nile to Euphrates and expand their influence worldwide.
    They go with the plan slowly. This is true when you write: “Israel has its hands more than full trying to retain what it has now.”
    Israel’s fight with Iran is NOT over Hezbollah or Hamas rather Israel wants to secure a position to be the dominant power in the region to expand. Israel does not want to share power, rather wants to dominate. Therefore, Israel does not want Iran to have nuclear capability to lose her upper hand because Israel feels nuclear Iran is going to rob Israel of her supremacy over others. Otherwise, why should US be so concern about enrichment program of Iran that is LEGAL? General Odem and others have said in the past that “nuclear Iran can be contained, like the Soviet Union.” On the other hand Nuclear Iran is an advantage to the United States not disadvantage since strong Iran is beneficial to US against her foe Russia. A weak Iran is not good for US, even Kissinger recently have said that, however weak Iran is desirable for both Israel and Russia. That’s why Russia has benefited a lot from containment of Iran by the zionist lobby and ignorant George Bush then and puppet Obama now is hostage to a failed policy which does not serve the interest of the United States, instead serves Russia and Israel. Both Israel and Russia benefit from the status quo while the US loses.
    An independent Kurdistan is not good for anyone except Israel because Kurds know they will be crushed again. However, the Kurds think they are fooling others by turning the North of Iraq to Israelis and willing to transfer land and bring many Israeli Jews into the north of Iraq to make Kurdistan a protectorate to pursue their project of nationhood. Israel is gaining property in Kurdistan and Mossad is cooperating with Kurds to kill and force the indigenous population out of Kirkuk to grab the oil wells. If Barezani, the father, was willing to make Kurdistan the 51sth state of the United States then why his son doesn’t want to bring Israel to assist him in erecting an independent state since Israel can influence policy in Washington through her lobby. After all, it was a zionist by name of Denise Gelb who designed the partition of Iraq and another zionist puppet, Joseph Bidan, passed the bill in the senate.
    Israel definitely has not abandoned her goal establishing ‘greater Israel’, therefore, for now Israel is using her influence to incorporate all the historical Palestine and then to add part or all of Golan height if that is possible, to bring Iran under control through destabilization and partition, establishes herself in Kurdistan by buying as much as land possible, to have access to oil to be independent from the US. Since Israel has expansionist policy therefore needs to be independent and cannot rely on US to meet her energy needs. If Israel can trust US for supply of energy, then why Israel does not accept Obama’s offer when he said “Israel has the US nuclear shield protection of the US if Iran attack Israel.” Israel said: It cannot be accepted and is insisting on destruction of Iran by a military strike because Israel knows Iran is not stupid to attack Israel or any other country. Iran has not attacked any country in more than 200 years. Why should Iran attack now? Therefore, Israel is playing the same dirty game is playing with Palestinian because Israel has expansionist policy and this policy can be achieved only through violence not peaceful coexistence.
    You are right when you say “Israel encouraged and permitted Hamas organizing as a counterweight to Fatah.” I meant the same thing. To use ‘supported’ does not fit well. I am sorry to use a misleading word. You are right. I meant Israel did not go after Hamas so Hamas can establish itself to be used against Fatah. I think the Shah of Iran actually, due to Israel recommendation, was helping Hamas financially so Israel can defeat the nationalist or the ‘leftist’ Palestinian groups.

    I agree with you that Arab head of States especially, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, are working closely with Israel against the wishes of their people. They want Israel and US protection against their own population. These states abandoned Israel aggression towards Palestinian and have formed an alliance, through pressure from US and Israel, against Iran to fight ‘the Iranian threat’ which is a joke and is widely condemned by Arab population. The entire region is occupied by the US either through occupation or military bases to expand their economic and cultural influence.
    Israel final goal is world domination, I believe, and this has been said by many including Israel Shamir. He writes:

    {The Jews are sufficiently powerful to dream of domination, and some do. Apparently some Jewish ideas found their way into the text. Other thoughts are ascribed to the Jews on the basis of “qui bono”.}

    Then, to say the Zionists are seeking world domination is nothing against the Jews. Why no one objects to US domination over the world but you think we should not say the same about Israel. What is the difference? Those who pick on this kind of phrases, IMO, they are playing the same card as Anti-Semitic card which is basically used to silent others. Many Jews will say the same thing as I have given you a quote from Israel Shamir. Some people want to preserve a ‘Jewish state’ on land of Palestinian, therefore, saying that Israel is not going to be contained within ‘its border’ it makes them upset since they don’t want any unnecessary attention towards Israel as a ‘Jewish State’ because they want to retain the Jewish state and are not interested in one state for all. They must know that no peace is possible without one state. There is no other option. This is my opinion and may be plays itself differently. We should hope for a peaceful settlement to prevent more bloodshed. People of the region are fed up and they want a better future for their children.

  32. Gideon said on March 6th, 2009 at 8:07pm #

    How long will it take Persian people to shake away Ayatulah dictatorship?
    30 years is not enough?

    Russians took over 70 years to shake the Communism.
    Are we looking at the same lifespan and ambitions?

  33. Shabnam said on March 6th, 2009 at 10:36pm #

    The world must be United agaisnt zionism. Shame on Obama a zionist puppet. Shame on Americans to sit idle and do nothing against zionism worse than fascism.

    Shahid Alam writes:

    Israel’s conflict with the Arabs is not a dispute over borders. Stripped of the legal chicanery supporting its creation, the Zionist project is a declaration of war by a powerful segment of Western Jews, with support from Western powers, against the Arabs. This is no ordinary war either. As a pure settler-colonialism, the Zionists had smashed Palestinian society and dramatically altered the demographic character of an important part of the Islamic heartlands. The impact of Israel would not be local because it was an affront and a challenge to the larger Islamicate world.

    In consequence, as the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims — in growing circles — would slowly mobilise to resist this colonial insertion, the Zionists would also galvanize Jews and Christian Zionists in the Western world, but especially in the United States.

    The Zionists would work tirelessly to convert a settler-colonial project into a civilisational conflict between the United States, leading the “Judeo-Christian” West, and the Islamicate. Indeed, this was their strategy for perpetuating their assault on the Palestinians and their hegemony over the Middle East.

    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/937/op13.htm

  34. dino said on March 7th, 2009 at 3:47am #

    Shabnam,quoting Shahid Alam
    “As a pure settler-colonialism, the Zionists had smashed Palestinian society and dramatically altered the demographic character of an important part of the Islamic heartlands. The impact of Israel would not be local because it was an affront and a challenge to the larger Islamicate world.”
    Maybe is an affront but the Arab countries proposed many times solutions for peace,the last was Saudi Plan offered in 2002,at which Israel began to learn in 2008 and isn’t any sign that they finished to learn.Until recently the “free world” gave unlimited support to Israel because she is “the only democracy” in the region.A lot of commentators asked rhetorically if genetic the Arabs are able to build democracy.Based on Israel superior organization-a Jewish democracy-
    Anatoli Sharansky wrote “The case for democracy” which could be a Bible for aggression wars to install democracy ,a book which was exactly what Bush thought that he can do for a better world.
    But because the aggression war in Iraq was a blunder Israel and her supporter invented the necessity of defense war against the danger of radical Islam and its expansion, such to be also Iran inside.This argument can’t help the propaganda against Saddam who wasn’t an islamist.Now the commentators have new doubts:if really exist moderate and radical Islam or only radical.

  35. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 8:15am #

    Gideon,

    “How long will it take Persian people to shake away Ayatulah dictatorship? 30 years is not enough?”

    Why do you care about Ayatullah dictatorship? Why do you not care about Jewish dictatorship imposed on Palestinians? As to Palestinian dictatorship imposed on other Palestinians (dictatorship from within), you should leave this to Palestinians themselves. Before you reform others, you should start with yourself.

  36. bozh said on March 7th, 2009 at 8:33am #

    RH2,
    of the three shemitic cutls, islam is the only one which does not call for the end of the human specie.
    thus, from this point, is by far more preferable than the other two shemitic sects/cults/shamanisms.

    all three put dwn women but islam more than the other two. but like all else cultish [mis]teachings change.
    judaists had to almost abandon torah [it being a horror] and replaced it with talmund and mishnah.

    i did not read these two Meine Kaempfen; one was enough. thnx

  37. bozh said on March 7th, 2009 at 8:46am #

    dino,

    to me, it is not israel which destroyed palestine and its society but EUI; i.e., europe, US, israel [ and judeo-christian world]

    it is an error of great magnitude to blame shemites with judaic cult and even ashk’c voelken which actually waged wars against pal’ns and which expelled them.

    thus, there was at least four actors in the tragedy of pal’ns. but the biggest actor was initially europe and not ashk’c voelken, many of which shunned israel and settled s’mwhere esle.

    even today, vast numbers of ashk’c voelken live outside Israel and now use as cannon fodder mostly the actual jews or shemites.
    ashk’m are not shemitic. tx

  38. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 10:03am #

    bozh,

    “judaists had to almost abandon torah [it being a horror] and replaced it with talmund and mishnah.”

    Yes, as less destructive. Anyhow, our fellow Gideon should know that Palestinians and Ayatullahs are not occupying any foreign territory. He should reform himself and his own people, before he teaches others about democracy.

  39. Gideon said on March 7th, 2009 at 10:28am #

    Have Iranian People suffered enough? Is it time for change we can believe in?

    Iranian People are the most valuable resource in Iran and the contribution of Iranian dissidents who left Iran in 1979 is felt around the world.

    It’s time for Iran to move to the 21st century.

    Commissar RH2:
    Thank you, Sir, for letting us all know what we SHOULD do, Sir!
    We would have been lost without your enlighten guidance, Sir!

    To the point: Do you have any opinion on the subject?

  40. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 11:33am #

    Gideon,

    I do not feel entitled to function as a commissar. In the English language the verb “should” implies a suggestion. You should try to change your attitude means, I suggest you change your attitude.

    Asking whether I have any opinion on the subject, reflects your determination to evade the topic.

  41. mary said on March 7th, 2009 at 11:44am #

    Yes Gideon do leave off. It’s becoming rather boring. You are attempting to move away from Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians to another possible theatre of war but even Hillary says she’s now going to talk to Iran.

    If you should be visiting the UK you could go to the British Museum where there is a wonderful new exhibition showing the period of Shah Abbas’s reign at the turn of the 17th century – ‘The Remaking of Iran’. Calligraphy, books and their bindings, poetry,writings, beautiful carpets and silk weavings, bronze and jade objects, ceramics, simulations of the architecture and interiors of the amazing buildings he created in Isfahan are all there to see and wonder at. The history of the region is also explained clearly and there are even Christian artefacts from the period on display as other religions lived in harmony in Iran.

    It was pleasing to leave the exhibition with the feeling that unusually Iran was not being demonized and that their culture should be admired and not denigrated.

    With that in mind you might be interested to read about the modern day Jewish community who are perfectly happy living in Iran. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb elucidates.

    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/02/a-rabbis-reflection-on-iran.html

  42. Barry said on March 7th, 2009 at 11:55am #

    Shabnam – Israel can promote destabilization of Iran, but they cannot accomplish that unless internal discord already exists – ethnic disgruntlement or other divisions. Sudan is different than Iran. Iran, as we all know, is thousands of years old with borders that have surely expanded and contracted, but never reduced to an insignificant size. All who have lived there are either Persian or have been in the Persian domain for centuries. Sudan is an invented state with arbitrary borders dating to its attachment to Egypt by the British. The southern quarter or third or so of Sudan does not identify as Arab. They are Dinka and hundreds of other groups and follow indigenous religions or Christianity. The best thing Sudan could do is to let them go their own way – either as a loose confederation or fully independent. They don’t want to be dominated by the Arab north. Actually, the resources of Sudan are considerable, but I do think that the fight in Darfur is either over land usage or exacerbated by it.

    Persian is a culture like Arabic if one speaks Persian as a first language. To the extent that Iranians speak Kurdish, etc. is the extent they likely see themselves as another ethnicity. That of course does not mean they want to separate from Iran.

    I agree 100% that the Israeli state goal is an Israel in all of Palestine. The Israeli effort at ‘deterrence’ is really an effort to kill as many Palestinians as necessary so that the rest flee to Jordan, or for that matter, anywhere. This means making life for Palestinians almost impossible to negotiate, from constant minor bureaucratic harassment to land confiscation to full-scale mass murder – whatever it takes to get them to leave.

    I really don’t think that Israel is interested in world domination. Israel was founded only because it had a major power gentile sponsor, the UK. It is able to function as a rogue state today because it still has a major largely gentile sponsor, the US. Israel cannot achieve any real degree of domination without a major gentile sponsor. What Israel risks when it attempts to go well beyond its place is another Holocaust. The Nazi Holocaust had its origins in German Jews being perceived as too powerful and non-assimilationist. Israel runs the risk of similar circumstances if it proceeds in a similar manner. As far as borders go, Israel would like full control over the Gulf of Aqaba, they would like to own both sides of the Jordan River (though likely not much more into Jordan), they would like to own Lebanon up to the Litani and the Syrian Golan because it enables Israel to overlook Syria and the upper waterways of the Jordan River. They’ve already been removed from much of this and even the Israeli citizens’ appetite for conquering new land has waned. Most Israelis want out of even the West Bank.
    Israel’s competition with Iran is indeed over regional hegemony. Israel would surely like to remain the only nuclear power in the area. But the nuclear confrontation I believe is a proxy for the fact that Iran’s support for Hezballa enables the latter to retain Lebanese sovereignty over land that Israel wants. The US concern over Iran’s program is, of course, because that’s what Israel wants.
    Ultimately, Israel takes its allies where it can get them, and works hard at maintaining the US as its big power sponsor. But while Israel has few allies, Israel itself is the ally of no one – it operates on two tracks or multiple tracks at the same time. While it nurtures US guarantees regarding protection and energy security, it also works on its relations with surrounding non-Arab (and even Arab!) states and with resource rich nations in Africa and Latin America. This is why Israel can both reject and accept US umbrella at the same time. And for that matter, my understanding is that Israel in the last year or two told Bush regime that if the US did not bomb Iran with conventional weapons, Israel would do so with nuclear devices. Bush Administration said no, and no. And so Iran was spared – for now. And you are of course correct in saying that Iran has not attacked anyone in hundreds of years – and is not about to do so now. The threat is all Israeli propaganda.

    The desire for an independent Kurdistan goes back many decades and precedes Israeli interest. An independent Kurdistan should not be held hostage to anti-Israeli sentiments. Self-determination for all peoples is a principle that applies to Kurds as well as Palestinians. If it does not apply to both peoples – then what is the point of advocating for any people?
    Kurdistan has foolishly cast its lot in with the US too many times so far. If they can finally turn the tables and actually achieve independence then so be it. The Kurds will have to deal with the Israelis as everyone else must.
    And of course, we should understand that Iraq’s borders are as arbitrary as any in the world – including Sudan. Just as there is no good reason that Kuwait should not have been included in Iraq, there is no good reason that Kurdistan should have been included. In fact, as per the Hussein-McMahon correspondence, Southwest Asia should have freely determined its own borders.
    With regard to rejecting undue Israeli influence in foreign affairs as we would undue American influence – I reject both. Neither are desirable.

    My reason for advocating a two-state solution is, one – that is what polls show that Palestinians want. Now why would Palestinians want that? Because Palestinians now understand Israel to be an unmovable object. It has now been around longer than most of their lifetimes and is not going anywhere.
    Two – Jews have now been born in that country for all of its 62 years (and some in the pre-state years). They have only that country, they can no longer be forced to move to the US or Germany any more than one can ask Protestant Northern Irish to move to Scotland or England – the homes of their ancestors.
    Three – I believe the General Assembly votes every March on the 2 state solution. The vote usually goes something like 164 to 7. The seven being Israel, US, Australia (when it has conservative gov’t), and also the Pacific Ocean powerhouses of Palau, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, and Marquesas, which total population of these states almost equals that of literary contributors to this website. The rest of the world favors two-state. So do the 22 Arab League states – and 36 or so Muslim states. So too does Fatah – and lastly so too does Hamas. This last is the ultimate threat to Israel – the threat of moderation. The last thing Israeli leaders want to hear is a Hamas that accepts Israel within pre-67 borders. That is why Palestine must be subject to periodic bouts of deterrence. Israel cannot get the rest of Palestine without the ‘fear factor.’ So Israelis are raised to inflict punishment on their neighbors.

    Besides, I wouldn’t wish living with Israelis on anyone, Really, no one likes Israeli culture – not even American Jews.

  43. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 12:34pm #

    Gideon,

    You prefer long mails, lengthy lists of names and numbers where you run and fetch fraudulent statistical statements as a rebuke fitting into your Zionism. My Socratic Method (reasoning, asking, suggesting) seems to frighten you and make you helpless.

  44. mebosa ritchie said on March 7th, 2009 at 12:56pm #

    from barry
    Many Palestinians living in Jordan as full citizens live very well – and Palestinians living in the Gulf States live a life superior to that of Palestinians in Israel and certainly do not live under a race-based Apartheid regime.

    barry,if that’s the case i would have thought that the answer to the conflict is for the palestinians to be re-settled amongst their arab brethern in jordan,the gulf states and any other arab country prepared to help their moslem brothers.
    no arabs in israel would mean an end to the “apartheid” in israel,an end to the violence in the area and all nations,moslem and jewish can get along with each other,trading,helping use israeli technology to improve the backward arab existence etc.

  45. Suthiano said on March 7th, 2009 at 1:12pm #

    Gideon fears Socratic method because he is a sophist.

  46. Barry said on March 7th, 2009 at 2:07pm #

    Well Mebosa – you would have thought wrong. Palestinians consider themselves as such because they come from Palestine. That’s where their confiscated land, homes and property is. These are Diasporic Palestinians awaiting to return to the actual homes of their actual recent ancestors, not some metaphor. Only by doing precisely what Hitler did will you have an Israel free of Palestinians. I know there are many Israelis willing to do precisely that. You are just going to have to exterminate them or accept that Palestinians are part of what is for now called Israel – in fact, they are the native people. Once you realize the latter and act on it, then perhaps relations between states can reach fruition. And remember, all 22 Arab states have put that offer on the table. The clock is ticking.

  47. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 2:49pm #

    Suthiano,

    Gideon fears my Socratic Method, because he cannot rebuke reason. He prefers numbers, which he can fake and misinterpret. Zionism is sentenced to fear of reason.

  48. mebosa ritchie said on March 7th, 2009 at 3:54pm #

    barry–so if israel returns to its pre 1967 borders that will be the end of the conflict?

  49. RH2 said on March 7th, 2009 at 4:03pm #

    Barry,

    “all 22 Arab states have put that offer on the table. The clock is ticking.”

    In response to my comments on “Arab heroism” and Palestinian suffering elsewhere on DV you have already stressed that the clock is ticking. What do you think would happen, if the Israelis definitely reject the offer of the Arab League, UN resolution 242, returning to pre June 1967 borders > accepting Israel as a state?

    Thank you

  50. Gideon said on March 7th, 2009 at 4:36pm #

    Arab League members to open Embassies in Jerusalem and exchange Ambassadors with Israel.

    That would be a good first step to contribute to the Peace process.

    It also can speed things up.
    Palestinian “leadership” will not need to do a “road show” every time they need to make a decision.

  51. Barry said on March 8th, 2009 at 9:24am #

    Mebosa – The 22-state Arab League offer of peace and full recognition calls for Israel to retreat fully from lands conquered by Israel in ’67, recognition of part of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and an earnest effort to recognize and negotiate the Palestinian refugee problem – a negotiation that involves both factors or return and/or compensation.

    As these things are essentially what Palestinians (WB&G) want accepting and acting on the offer in good faith would essentially bring peace to the region. There is one caveat. No one truly s speaks for the refugees. Just as Israeli leadership should not assume it speaks for Jews elsewhere, we cannot assume that Fatah, Hamas, or the Arab League speaks for the refugees. The refugee situation is the soft underbelly in all negotiations – and their desires must be given full consideration. Still, it is the unknown.

  52. Barry said on March 8th, 2009 at 10:06am #

    RH2 – I think a lot of pressure will be building in the coming decade or so. Demographically, the Palestinian population in the region will once again be a majority. How long can Israel run an Apartheid regime where Palestinians neither have their own country nor the vote in Israel? I think Avigdor Lieberman’s program to oust Palestinian citizens of Israel (and turn over part of Israel to the ‘Arabs’) is a sign of desperation – a sign that political equations revolving around demographics are heating to pressure cooker status.

    We are also entering a period where the economic crisis, the energy crisis and the environmental crisis (the 3 Big E-crises) are going to put the region (and a good deal of the world) in positions where dramatic economic or political actions start seeming inevitable. It just might be that the US cannot continue Israel’s welfare handout in the style to which it is accustomed. Or it even might be that the US finally takes a stand in the UN when the US figures out it cannot continue alienating the Arab world. It might be that regional drought puts Israel in a big bind for water. Contrary to Israeli boasts, Israeli is a major waster of water. Water desalination is still really expensive – so Israel will be depending more and more on water imports from Turkey. What if Israel does not work hard enough on good relations with Turkey? Or if the Turks use the water issue as leverage? Of course, northern Iraq is well-watered. As important as oil is to Israel, they are also thinking of piping in water from a potentially independent Kurdistan. But that means piping water thru less than enthusiastic Arab states – so the pressure on Israel on this matter could be substantial.

    Of course, Israel can continue on its present course of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Maybe that will work! The Palestinians would not be the first people disappeared from history (or should I say, relegated to history). But Palestinian resistance to being moved en masse is pretty fierce. And I think that even Israelis understand now that they cannot have it all. Still, their government and the popular media work night and day keeping Israelis in a state of continuous disinformation and ignorance. So Israelis one time after another vote their fears. I don’t know what will break this logjam. Israelis identify with the State more than perhaps any other people. I don’t know how to get them to relate to a larger context – it may require events that present a new reality.

    All in all, I’m getting the feeling that many more people in Europe and America (and certainly elsewhere) are beginning to see Israel as an obstacle. Whether that translates into a movement like that against Apartheid South Africa remains to be seen. But Israeli honchos don’t go to Europe anymore for fear of arrest for war crimes. I think the ‘water behind the dam’ is near capacity. A lot of things may come together to present a new reality in the coming years – a substantial shift in regional relations. I say this now, not having believed things would substantially change even a few years ago.

  53. RH2 said on March 8th, 2009 at 11:17am #

    Barry,

    Thank you so much for the detailed analysis. The U.S. might not be able to continue Israel’s welfare handout in the usual style. As to alienating the Arab world, I do not see any serious threat to the U.S. position, since the Arab allies (Agents) in Egypt, Gordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates seem to be stable. We do not know how long. So far the alienation of the Arab world had hardly been a hindrance to the U.S. domination and humiliation in the Middle East.

    In case the U.S. financial support weakens, I assume Israel has the capability of increasing its weapons exports getting a pretty good ioncome.

    Thank you again, Barry !

  54. Barry said on March 8th, 2009 at 1:54pm #

    Well, hey RH2 – you are certainly welcome.

    And you are right about the Arab world not having been a hindrance to US policy. Of course, there has been a major oversight in US official and popular thinking. 9/11 should have been the elephant in the room regards US foreign policy. Instead, Bush took it as permission to effect regime change – in lieu of changing US policy positively. So while al-Qaeda may (or may not) be in disarray, the conditions that result in angry young men looking for such outlets still exists. In the Arab world, as in the wider Muslim world, each new year turns out many millions of boys entering adulthood. Even the college-educated, even those with engineering degrees have little or no prospect of a steady job – never mind a career – never mind providing sufficiently for a family. Complicating the dismal economic prospects is the fact that their governments cannot be petitioned except thru carefully circumscribed means. Essentially, these governments are not answerable to the people – except when the cover is about to blow off the pot. So there are tens of millions of young males (and females) ranging from disgruntled to seething. It only takes a tiny percentage of them to join the battle against Western hegemony to put the world right back on edge again.

    The answers lie in these countries developing industries for their own markets and pushing for a global economic system that gives them a fair price for their products. Politically, instead of the West – led by the US – rewarding leaders for suppression of dissent, these countries need to be rewarded for relaxing repression and encouraging the formation of democratic civil institutions.

    I think time is of the essence as world energy equations begin to change, economies slip deeper into recession/depression (always worse for the lesser developed world), and as environmental regimes start to play out with major temperature/precipitation/sea level changes.

  55. Barry said on March 9th, 2009 at 6:16am #

    Gideon – Many Arab states already have trade missions with Israel. That is, they have offices on the ground in each other’s countries.

    Trading ambassadors is a bit much. Israel still occupies the rest of Palestine – and establishing diplomatic relations is tantamount to legitimizing the Israeli land grab. So not likely any time soon.

    Israel has been promised full relations – politically and economically – via the Arab League offer (all 22 states). But Israel and the Israelis have to decide if they want peace more than land. So far Israel has chosen to go for the land but that’s because they have paid little for this choice. It’s time the Arab world upped the ante on Israel and the US.

  56. mary said on March 9th, 2009 at 6:47am #

    Some really good news. The convoy of 100 vehicles from the UK carrying £1m of aid has finally entered Gaza after its journey of 5,000 miles. Well done Viva Palestina, led by George Galloway and Yvonne Ridley.

    The arrival is being broadcast live now by Press TV.
    http://www.presstv.ir/watch_live.aspx

    No mention of this at all on the BBC apart from a few lines when the convoy left on February 14th. They wrote many lines then about the wrongful arrest of six men from the North West of England who were arrested on the motorway by the Lancashire police on some trumped up charges. They were all later released and rejoined the convoy in France.

  57. sastry.m said on March 14th, 2009 at 10:33am #

    Mr.Barry’s discussion dtd. 7’th March o9 with shabnam has to be studied impartially and objectively as it gives the ground realities of Middle-East Conflict between usurping Israeli claims and defending Palestinian rights. If decency,logic and rationality have no appeal for human understanding and definition for human existence then might can be claimed as a matter of right among biped human animals of mammalian species inhabiting on earth.No matter what intellectually generated scientific progress or Religiously practiced holy faiths can save humanity from ultimate destruction unless the inherent positive nature is invoked collectively in a Live &let Live manner by all disputing parties to sit around discussion tables and sign up amicable solutions with some ephemeral sacrifices and free from too many self serving egoistic advantages. To this end the present Israelis after 60 years of founding the State of Israel should consider themselves as people of Palestrina and negotiate independently relying themselves upon their excellent adaptation to the arid region over the decades and economic progress dependable upon their own achievements like the mountain Swiss free from all powerful gentile dependencies and influences.

  58. mebosa ritchie said on March 14th, 2009 at 5:01pm #

    i read about viva palestina on the bbc website

  59. Project Humanbeingsfirst.org said on March 18th, 2009 at 8:29pm #

    If one stops being lost in the branches and leaves, and even a clump of trees and bushes, and starts focussing on the forest, two things shockingly emerge to unequivocally explain this matter.

    The first shocking thing to emerge is eloquently narrated in this statement of a U.S. Supreme Court Judge:

    – “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes, that a name, a phrases, a standard has meaning only when associated with the considerations which give birth to nomenclature. To those who would paralyze our Government in the face of impending threat by encasing it in a semantic strait-jacket, we must reply that all concepts are relative.” — Justice Vinson, U.S. Supreme Court, 1951 AD

    Namely, the moral relativism, which is seeded in the ‘ubermench’ morality of the supermen, as noted by Leo Strauss in the following words:

    ‘Political Zionism has repeatedly characterized itself as the will to normalize the existence of the Jewish people, to normalize the Jewish people. By this self-definition it has exposed itself to a grave misunderstanding, namely, the misunderstanding that the will to normality was the first word of political Zionism; the most effective criticism of political Zionism rests on this misunderstanding. In truth, the presupposition of the Zionist will to normalization, that is, of the Zionist negation of galut [exile], is the conviction that “the power of religion has been broken”. Because the break with religion has been resolutely effected by many individual Jews, and only because of this reason, it is possible for these individuals to raise the question on behalf of their people, how the people is to live from now on. Not that they prostrate themselves before the idol of normality; on the contrary: they no longer see any reason for the lack of normality. And this is decisive: in the age of atheism, the Jewish people can no longer base its existence on God but only on itself alone, on its labor, on its land, and on its state. …’ — Leo Strauss, The Early Writings 1921-1932, page 202

    The second thing which shockingly emerges when one imbibes from the vista afforded by the forest, is rooted in the realism expressed on Project Humanbeingsfirst’s About: http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/#About

    ‘In the simplest terms: “Might defines right” leads to “Hegemony is as old as mankind”, which in turn leads to “If we don’t have real enemies then we have to create or imagine some and yell ‘we are being attacked’” in order to a) justify one’s hegemonic barbarianism upon others; and b) motivate an unwilling plebeian peoples into sacrificing for the conquests of the ruling elite. Euphemistically: “imperial mobilization”. Grotesquely: “quest for Lebensraum”. That’s all there is to it. This “quest for Lebensraum” just happens to be the age-old quest for world-government, to be achieved piece-meal, one fait accompli at a time, one fabricated crisis at a time. The solution presented for each manufactured crisis is the next baby-step towards centralized control of all humanity in a global empire of the oligarchs.’

    When applied to Israel-Palestine, all complex matters become immensely simple and straightforward to understand, as was noted in this letter to De Paul University’s President in 2007 when Prof. Norm Finkelstein was about to be fired:

    http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2007/04/deconstructing-hullabaloo-finkelstein.html

    Here is the key explanation:

    Begin Excerpt:

    Dear DePaul U. President and Provost,

    I hope you won’t mind if I summarize what this issue is really all about rather straightforwardly. After this summary, I include below the open letter that I had emailed you on April 10, 2007, as well as a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education that I had emailed them on April 13, 2007. I was notified by the Chronicle this past Friday, when the letters on this topic were finally published in the Friday April 27, 2007 issue, that my letter was not among the two that they printed. Hence you can read this letter here.

    What this issue is not about is Norm Finkelstein. And all this talk of suitability of scholarly credentials, etc., is entirely a clever red herring. So for instance, had NF only written about, say, the native American Indians’ theft of their ancestral home lands of thousands of years of continuous inhabitation at the hands of the foreign settlers to the New World, or the military acquisition of California from Mexico – since these momentous events are now irreversible faits accomplis that we all recognize today as history long past, and which only serve the interest of torturing high school students in getting them to nod their heads in profound wisdom of how cruel some constructions of nations can be – this would not be an issue.

    What this issue is in fact about is to continue permitting the full faits accomplis of a new settlement of another peoples’ brutally usurped land that is now very much in progress, even as I write this in April 2007, in the supposed ‘enlightened’ modernity of the 21st century.

    As evidence of the unimpeachable veracity of this statement, may I humbly point to the vehement attacks on the distinguished former American President Jimmy Carter by this same antagonist from Harvard Law School and his equally distinguished coterie of fellow intellectuals, 14 of whom presumably resigned in protest from the Carter Center, when the former American President dared to even speak out, as anemically as he did, against this new settlement in progress. A monumental crime against humanity that the world not only spectates silently at the expense of a suffering peoples, but the American public directly aids and abets in its commission by virtue of permitting their super power nation – a “populist democracy” – to financially, politically militarily, and culturally support it by being deliberately kept uninformed about it by their institutional ruling elite.

    So if this wasn’t Norm Finkelstein, but say Zahir Ebrahim, the plebeian ordinary me, and my heritage had as much distinctive weight to give my voice of conscience against this monumental crime any credibility before the American public, I would have experienced the same fate. As did Jimmy Carter. And so does Norman Finkelstein. Nothing either of them has written is so intellectually profound that one can not know simply by examining the thousands of books and documents that exist in the Israeli Government’s own archives, in the victims’ own archives, and by simply visiting the Holy Land of oppression – not the Tel Aviv side, but the West Bank side. Or simply by reading a narrative in a Palestinian victim’s own voice who is born on that soil, whose father, grandparents, and great… were all born on that soil, such as the notable and heart wrenching “Refugees in our Own Land” by Muna Hamzeh, that one can purchase in any American book store. The best $25 you can spend in easily acquiring first hand knowledge of the incredible veracity and brutal honesty of the scholarship of Norm Finkelstein – his main and courageous virtue – of exposing simple moral truths in a mainstream of deception.

    So what is Finkelstein’s crime? It has to be examined in the light of his very first crime – a challenge to Joan Peters who had reproduced the Zionist narrative of “A land without a people for a people without a land” in pseudo scholarship and largely for consumption in this nation for the benefit of its gullible and uninformed peoples. For elsewhere, the people of the world are indeed allowed to hear the passionate narratives of the indigenous natives of the ‘land without a people’ themselves. But in America, such narratives are not permitted to be heard in the voices of the victims themselves – the unfortunate and forgotten children of a ‘lesser god’, the P-A-L-E-S-T-I-N-I-A-N-S – within the mainstream discourse!

    So it falls to the lot of men and women of uncommon conscience, and uncommon moral courage, like Norm Finkelstein, to provide them a voice before the peoples of his own nation.

    But that voice is very inconvenient while the fait accompli is still incrementally in progress, and the support of American peoples – who know the history of how their own land was settled by the slaughter of 10 million indigenous natives very well – is crucial in achieving that fait accompli. As one of the main thinkers and former National Security Advisor of this august nation had candidly noted in his book: “Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization”.

    Thus that’s what this hullabaloo is all about.

    End Excerpt.

    And this is still what this hullabaloo is all about. Self serving beating oneself silly is the signature of the Zionists, as noted by Golda Meir: “We can forgive them for killing our kids, but we cannot forgive them for making us kill theirs’. All they want, through all their tactics, red herrings, is incremental fait accompli that is subsequently not reversible.

    Thank you.

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org