The poverty of boycotting Israel

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Those calling for an academic boycott of Israel not only show the depth to which anti-Israel bias is now entrenched in our ivory towers; they show their ignorance about the boycott's major victims: Israel's minorities, its Arab Muslims and Christians.


As a woman, a Muslim and as a physician of Pakistani descent, I can attest personally to the inordinate importance of academic freedom in Britain and the United States. This freedom was extended to me even during the time I was practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia, where – like all women — I was subject to gender apartheid. Because of this experience, I can only see the closing of the academic mind in the form of the 'academic boycott' of Israeli citizens and institutions as the act of invertebrate hypocrites. Boycotting Israel, whether academic or cultural is not an act of moral indignation, but an act of moral turpitude.



Academic freedom builds relationships, tolerance, and opportunity. When I moved to Riyadh 15 years ago, I had no doubts about maintaining my professional relationship with my own Jewish American mentor who had guided me throughout my then early career.



While I lived and worked in a country where as a Muslim I could worship but my mentor and his coreligionists could not, I was given every opportunity to develop in the American academic space because of his intellectual generosity. While I was subject to legislated male supremacy and relegated to being a legal minor, no Western academic suggested boycotting the medical academe hosting me in the Kingdom.



Academic freedom was in fact my only freedom at the time and I was determined to share it. I connected my Saudi colleagues – leading Saudi Muslim academics – with my mentor which led to the publication of jointly-authored papers on patient care in the Arab Gulf, benefiting primarily Muslim patients. This work sowed the seeds for subsequent conferences where both my Saudi Muslim and American Jewish colleagues met and developed their own relationships.



In contrast, boycotting Israeli entities penalizes apolitical individuals, their institutions, their innovations and ultimately, stymies a global market of ideas which benefits humanity. Perhaps it's possible to make a more generous assessment of why the various scholars, writers and entertainers who call for a boycott of 'apartheid Israel' claim to act in the interests of Palestinians: That it's based on simple ignorance. They would certainly be wiser if they had had the same opportunity that I recently enjoyed when I visited Israel to meet Israeli academia, and — critically — examined how such a boycott, whether overt or covert, particularly damages Israeli Arabs, or Palestinian citizens of Israel.



I spoke to Arab Muslim undergraduates at Haifa's Technion University during my visit in May this year. Arab undergraduates (most of whom are Muslim with a smaller Christian representation) lead a program to remove barriers to success of fellow Arab undergraduates there. Professor Daoud Bshouty, Dean of Undergraduate Studies (and both Israel's and Technion's first Christian Arab faculty member) and Sara Katzir, former Israeli Airforce officer and head of the Beatrice Weston Unit for the Advancement of Students, explained the origin of the program, joined by Assistant Professor Youseff Jabareen, an Arab Israeli Muslim graduate, and the Muslim undergraduate Maysoun Hindawi, who related their own experiences as minorities.

 

Written By: Qanta Ahmed – Haaretz
continue to source article at standwithus.com

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  1. So all the reports of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and other neighbours are just fiction? A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable? The Lebensraum policy of Israel’s militaristic government is acceptable? The conditions for Palestinian farmers and agriculturalists, where their land is split up and parts given to Israelis is just fine?

    No, the best would be full boycott of Israel on all fronts as it is the world’s second most aggressive nation that for too long has been able to literally get away with genocide, with much help from the US.

    • In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

      So all the reports of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and other neighbours are just fiction? A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable? The Lebensraum policy of Israel’s militaristic government is acceptable? The conditions for Palestinian farmers and agriculturalists, where their l…

      Genocide?!?

      You sound as one of these types the author is speaking of.

      Israel is not a ” sainted ” country but there are definitely two sides to this story and you seem to be ideologically touting one of them.

    • In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

      So all the reports of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and other neighbours are just fiction? A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable? The Lebensraum policy of Israel’s militaristic government is acceptable? The conditions for Palestinian farmers and agriculturalists, where their l…

      You bring up several different things, so let me respond in order:

      1. War crimes: It’s a war, so it is inevitable that war crimes will be committed. The difference between Hamas and Israel is that war criminals are actually persecuted by the latter, and that Hamas has war crimes as an integral part of their military tactics.

      2. Retaliation rate: This is related to #1. Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties on both sides, while Hamas encourages its own civilians, including women and children to sacrifice themselves as martyrs.

      Encouraging its own to become martyrs: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2013/April/Hamas-Urges-Children-to-Martyrdom/

      Israel avoiding civilian casualties on both sides: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6162494.stm

      The number of Palestinais deaths is directly related to the way Hamas forms its tactics. Another example is that they set up rocket lauching sites as close to civilian areas as possible, in order to draw Israeli fire there.

      1. Lebensraum policy: I’m afraid you will have to be more specific.

      2. Palestinian land split up and given to Israelis: Again, please be more specific.

      3. A boycott is a good idea? Even if what you write is true, it is not. Did you actually read the article you are commenting on?

    • In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

      A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable?

      “Retaliation” is the key word. I’ll at least give you credit for acknowledging who always fires the first shot. Everything else about your post is nonsense, and I’m not going to waste a whole lot of time on a detailed response. Just head over to YouTube and type the words Tomorrow’s Pioneers into the search engine. There is absolutely no equivalent of what you will see on Israeli children’s television (or for that matter, any western nation’s children’s television).

      • In reply to #8 by IDLERACER: Sounds like you would like Florida but everywhere else “retaliation” or self defense has to proportionate to the act of aggression.

        Like the “war crimes” are okay in war response – no they are not. I hope they all make it to the ICC, no exceptions or favourites.

        In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

        A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable?

        “Retaliation” is the key word. I’ll at least give you credit for acknowledging who always fires the first shot. Everything else about your post is nonsense, and I’m not going to waste a whole lot of time on a detailed res…

    • ‘Israel’ and ‘people living in Israel’ are two different things.
      If there were war crimes, then those who are in charge should be punished, not all the people living in Israel.

      As the article says, higher education builds relationships. It also leads to people thinking for themselves, to form their own opinion rather than allowing themselves to get pushed by extremists ( on both sides ).

      Then, those intellectuals themselves will dare to speak up against the regime, and will in turn educate the people.

      Anyone who seeks to boycott/hinder education only seeks to destroy, not to build.

      In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

      So all the reports of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and other neighbours are just fiction? A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable? The Lebensraum policy of Israel’s militaristic government is acceptable? The conditions for Palestinian farmers and agriculturalists, where their l…

  2. I’m assuming that the end goal is a two-state solution.

    Would a boycott motivate the Israeli government to negotiate, or would it push them down the trenches?

    I’m inclined to think the latter and I doubt it would work in terms of finding a lasting solution to the hostilities.

  3. To Jonn Mero:
    Most of the reports of Israeli war crimes are just that: fiction. May I remind you about “Jenin massacre”; retracted Goldstone Report; conclusions of Palmer Commision, little Omar Masharawi – killed by Hamas and blamed on Israel; pictures of children killed in Syria and blamed on Israel and many many other instances of fiction and lies.
    There is no “retaliation rate of 100 to one”. When one side does everything possible to protect its own civilians, while the other is conducting the fight from behind its own civilians, encouraging children to become “martyrs”, the discrepancy in the number of civilian victims is a given outcome.
    There is no “Lebensraum policy” and you should be ashamed to use such term. Germany treated my country, Poland, as their necessary Lebensraum and 6 million Polish citizens paid for it with their life. Three million of them were Jews. In my country we do know what “Lebensraum policy” means. You obviously do not.
    Your accusation of “genocide” is risible. Arab population in Israel and West Bank is now many times larger than it was 1948. Jewish population in Arab countries, which 1948 counted close to a million, dwindled to almost zero. What kind of genocide causes population to expand?
    Equally risible is claim that Israel is second most aggressive nation in the world. This country was attacked in three wars since 1948 and experienced countless terrorist attacks. Today Middle East is in turmoil. Last month there were 15,000 thousands casualties in Syria, hundreds in Egipt and there was one Palestinian killed in Israel when he tried to sneak through the border from Gaza and didn’t stop when Israeli soldiers challenged him.

  4. This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

    Boycott is a wholly rational response.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

      Boycott is a wholly rational response.

      Totally agree. And there is a precedent for boycotts in a similar situation that worked fairly well, South Africa.

      • In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

        Totally agree. And there is a precedent for boycotts in a similar situation that worked fairly well, South Africa.

        South Africa didn’t have USA’s backing. Israel does.

        Who is going to initiate and lead this boycott?

        • In reply to #9 by DHudson: It won’t work is not an argument, nor is the US isn’t involved. Try again.

          In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

          Totally agree. And there is a precedent for boycotts in a similar situation that worked fairly well, South Africa.

          South Africa didn’t have USA’s backing. Israel does.

          Who is going to initiate and lead this boycott?

          • In reply to #15 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #9 by DHudson: It won’t work is not an argument, nor is the US isn’t involved. Try again.

            Maybe not in the land of Ideology. Out in the real world the argument “It won’t work” counts for something. Asking that question can save us a lot of trouble and….gasp, money!

          • In reply to #17 by DHudson:

            Will DHudson survive or will it cost too much and seem too hard to bother? We may never know but while we wait he will continue to decline. Never mind, he wouldn’t do anything either so don’t sweat it.

            I don’t think that works on the West Bank.

            “Works” is significantly less black and white than you are painting and I’m sure your wife/life partner would have given it a try if you were in a tough spot that may look bleak. Or would you prefer she/he just turned their back on you like you were a Palestinian?

            The story of the good Samaritan is note worthy not because a stranger (apparently Samaritan) took time to attend to the needs of another (not Samaritan) but that the story needed to be told in the first place.

            It’s safe to say that the correct definition of “works” is not yours by anyone’s standards bar yours.

            In reply to #15 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #9 by DHudson: It won’t work is not an argument, nor is the US isn’t involved. Try again.

            Maybe not in the land of Ideology. Out in the real world the argument “It won’t work” counts for something. Asking that question can save us a lot of trouble and…….

          • In reply to #20 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #17 by DHudson:

            Will DHudson survive or will it cost too much and seem too hard to bother? We may never know but while we wait he will continue to decline. Never mind, he wouldn’t do anything either so don’t sweat it.

            I don’t think that works on the West Bank.

            “Works” is significantly…

            Do you agree that Israel as well as Palestine has a right to exist?

          • In reply to #21 by DHudson:

            In reply to #20 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #17 by DHudson:

            Will DHudson survive or will it cost too much and seem too hard to bother? We may never know but while we wait he will continue to decline. Never mind, he wouldn’t do anything either so don’t sweat it.

            I don’t think that works on the West…

            ” Do you agree that Israel as well as Palestine has a right to exist? “

            I am wondering if they do. There are two sides to this story but one side has a much weaker claim on reality than the other. Israel is there and the Palestinians do not want that. Do they not want that reality as much as they want a state of their own? Time will tell here regardless of any boycott, academic or not.

          • In reply to #23 by Neodarwinian:

            I am wondering if they do. There are two sides to this story but one side has a much weaker claim on reality than the other. Israel is there and the Palestinians do not want that. Do they not want that reality as much as they want a state of their own? Time will tell here regardless of any boycott, academic or not.

            A small ditto from here, but I’m still cautiously optimistic that a lasting and sustainable two-state solution is within reach.

          • In reply to #21 by DHudson:

            In reply to #20 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #17 by DHudson:

            Do you agree that Israel as well as Palestine has a right to exist?
            br

            This is a loaded question, with the implication that both sides are equal. You might as well ask “do you agree that both blacks and whites deserve to live happily in South Africa?” Who would say no to that? The myth is that Israel is full of brave good people just like us and Palestine is full of anti-semitic terrorists who want to kill them for no good reason. But any close examination of the history of the founding of Israel (see Ilan Pappe) will show the real savagery of the Jewish forces fighting both against the British and against the Palestinians to seize land never negotiated in the first place. Should a country be allowed to exist? Of course. But should it be ignored that it came to exist due to widespread ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and eradication of hundreds of Arab villages and their replacement with Jewish settlements? Should Palestinian resistance to such expansionism be put down as ‘murderous antisemitism’? Those are the real questions, not the phoney claim of two equal belligerents who won’t back down.
            If Israel were not an ever-expanding state by and for Jews with a huge military and ruthless apartheid policies, and instead made a good faith effort to integrate with Palestinians, who have no army at all, the conflict would go away. I’ve been there and have spoken with many Palestinians whose rage is completely rational and appropriate to the circumstances, and even they do not claim that Israel has no right to exist.

          • In reply to #32 by justinesaracen:

            In reply to #21 by DHudson:

            In reply to #20 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #17 by DHudson:

            Do you agree that Israel as well as Palestine has a right to exist?
            br

            This is a loaded question, with the implication that both sides are equal. You might as well ask “do you agree that both blacks and whites…

            No, it wasn’t a loaded question. It was an honest question. If you wish to boycott everything Israeli the honest thing to do would also be to boycott everything Palestinian. Atrocities are commited by both sides and if you fail to recognize that, the two-state solution has no chance of seing the light of day.

        • In reply to #9 by DHudson:

          In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

          Totally agree. And there is a precedent for boycotts in a similar situation that worked fairly well, South Africa.

          South Africa didn’t have USA’s backing. Israel does.

          I disagree. South Africa had the strong backing of the president (Reagan) and a lot of support in Congress as well. I do agree though that Israel has more support in the US than South Africa. Although I think some of that is exaggerated. There was a time when most politicians were afraid to say anything even mildly critical of Israel for fear that they would be branded as anti-semites and lose the Jewish vote. I think that is changing. Especially after the Iraq war many Americans are finally getting tired of being the world’s policeman and are tired of alliances that force us into that role.

          Who is going to initiate and lead this boycott?

          That is a separate question and I don’t know enough about what’s proposed right now to answer. Although if your point is that there isn’t a group of Palestinians in the US that has nearly the support that the african americans working for South African justice had I agree unfortunately. The politics in the US are such right now that most US politicians would be afraid to even meet with such a group because the next day Fox news would be filled with headlines about how congressman X is meeting with terrorists.

          • In reply to #18 by Red Dog:

            I disagree. South Africa had the strong backing of the president (Reagan) and a lot of support in Congress as well. I do agree though that Israel has more support in the US than South Africa. Although I think some of that is exaggerated. There was a time when most politicians were afraid to say anything even mildly critical of Israel for fear that they would be branded as anti-semites and lose the Jewish vote. I think that is changing. Especially after the Iraq war many Americans are finally getting tired of being the world’s policeman and are tired of alliances that force us into that role.

            Reagan did support the South African regime, but he didn’t have backing from congress in the matter.
            I hope you’re right about the trend regarding America’s role in the world, and maybe down the line it will result in some progressive foreign policies.

            That is a separate question and I don’t know enough about what’s proposed right now to answer. Although if your point is that there isn’t a group of Palestinians in the US that has nearly the support that the african americans working for South African justice had I agree unfortunately. The politics in the US are such right now that most US politicians would be afraid to even meet with such a group because the next day Fox news would be filled with headlines about how congressman X is meeting with terrorists.

            It was meant as a reality check regarding the implementation and politics of a boycott.

      • In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

        Totally agree. And there is a precedent for boycotts in a similar situation that worked fairly well, South Africa.

        Please explain how South Africa was a similar situation.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations. Boycott is a wholly rational response.

      I can’t speak for him, but my guess is that Daniel Radcliffe probably doesn’t share your views on the matter. Perhaps you should consider changing your avatar to a photo of Roger Waters.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

      Boycott is a wholly rational response.

      ” Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts “

      So? Who engendered those resolutions?

      Boycotts can be applied all around in this area of the globe, but do they really work out as well as those who ” sell ” the idea of boycotts think they do?

      • In reply to #11 by Neodarwinian:

        Well you wouldn’t expect the ones that are ignoring the resolutions to pay them any attention would you? So what?

        If we all waited for something to be guaranteed to work we would still be waiting for an end to slavery and for women voting so that seems illegitimate. I think slavery and inequality for women are bad, but I’m ahead of my time.

        In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

        This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

        Boycott is a wholly rational response.

        ” Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts “

        So?…

        • In reply to #16 by alaskansee:

          In reply to #11 by Neodarwinian:

          Well you wouldn’t expect the ones that are ignoring the resolutions to pay them any attention would you? So what?

          If we all waited for something to be guaranteed to work we would still be waiting for an end to slavery and for women voting so that seems illegitimate…

          ” Who engendered those resolutions? “

          You dodged the real question.

          We have evidence about boycotts and in fact we are boycotting the hell out of Iran and North Korea so I think you are really behind the times.

          Sometimes boycotts will work, but the evidence suggests that this is not one of those times.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

      Boycott is a wholly rational response.

      First of all, where are those 80 UN resolutions from? The discredited Human Rights Council, which mostly consists of dictatorships focusing almost exclusively on Israel to cover up their own actions? The HRC, which issues plenty of resolutions on Israel while basically ignoring the likes of Syria, Darfur, etc.? Is Israel really the worst country in the entire world when it comes to human rights? Worse than Syria? Worse than Saudi Arabia? Worse than North Korea? Please.

      Is boycott really a rational response? Did you read the actual article?

      • In reply to #25 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

        First of all, where are those 80 UN resolutions from? The discredited Human Rights Council….

        If you are in a club, you follow the club rules. No spiked shoes in the golf club bar etc.

        If Israel has zero intention of complying with any UN resolutions, ever, it is free to leave.

        • In reply to #55 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #25 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

          First of all, where are those 80 UN resolutions from? The discredited Human Rights Council….

          If you are in a club, you follow the club rules. No spiked shoes in the golf club bar etc.

          If Israel has zero intention of complying wi…

          Rather like the rules of a religion?

          Your sidestepping the real issue of whose resolutions those really are.

          • In reply to #57 by Neodarwinian:

            In reply to #55 by Stevehill:

            In reply to #25 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

            First of all, where are those 80 UN resolutions from? The discredited Human Rights Council….

            If you are in a club, you follow the club rules. No spiked shoes in the golf club bar etc.

            If Israel has…

            Make that You’re!

        • In reply to #55 by Stevehill:

          If you are in a club, you follow the club rules. No spiked shoes in the golf club bar etc.

          The club has been invaded by a bunch of golf haters taking every opportunity to attack golf in other to convert people to other types of sports.

    • You still support that morally corrupt institution where those steadfast liberal democratic countries such as Libya, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, UAE, Pakistan- just to name a few sit on the Human Rights Council peddling their reverence to religion rather than reason. Give me a break! jcw

      In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

      Boycott is a wholly rational response.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      This article is a very lame apologia. Israel is in breach of 80-odd UN resolutions and opts – by choice – not to be a civilized member of the community of nations.

      Boycott is a wholly rational response.

      Opts not to be a civilized member of the community of nations? Are you kidding? Who passes these “resolutions”? Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Syria? These are civilized members of the community of nations? You are demonstrating the same bias the article is talking about.

      Is there a call for an academic boycott of any other country? I’m asking because It seems to me that academics only get motivated to attack Israel. Where is the outrage of academia for terrorism, human rights abuses, etc. found all over the world?

  5. Israel is both a racist and a criminal state. The decent thing to do is to refuse to deal with the institutions of such a state. This does not mean that there should not be engagement with Israelis on an individual basis. Israelis who do not condone the evil done in their name deserve to be encouraged.

    • In reply to #12 by aldous:

      Israel is both a racist and a criminal state. The decent thing to do is to refuse to deal with the institutions of such a state. This does not mean that there should not be engagement with Israelis on an individual basis. Israelis who do not condone the evil done in their name deserve to be encourag…

      Could you explain how Israel is a racist state when all citizens have the right to vote and have their own representatives in the Knesset, as well as minorities holding all sorts of higher position in Israel’s society?

    • In reply to #12 by aldous:

      Israel is both a racist and a criminal state.

      Since no elaboration follows, I will try to clarify:

      1. Israel is a racist state.

      2. Israel is a criminal state.

      Therefore Israel is both. QED.

      • In reply to #28 by GOD:

        Since no elaboration follows, I will try to clarify:

        Israel is a racist state.

        Israel is a criminal state.

        Therefore Israel is both. QED.

        This is logic which is truly worthy of religious fundamentalists.

        Step 1: Make groundless assertion.

        Step 2: make more groundless assertions.

        Step 3: Come to a conclusion based on those groundless assertions.

        Step 4: Declare victory in the debate.

  6. I like these easy questions; Has Israel done anything that may warrent a boycot? Yes.

    I did enjoy the follow up – remember all boycots do is hurt the people you are trying to help. Does the author think we are blind?

    1 @Jonn Mero

    I agree but you slipped up with the “genocide” comment – 1:100 is bad enough without falling fowl of godwins law. Neodarwin would have had nothing to say but….

  7. The anti Zionist prejudice exercised by leftist academics effectively supports the moronic culture of Islam.
    Israel is a first world country with talented educated scientists surrounded by educationally deficient Arab bigots!
    This lady doctor clearly has common sense that overrides the religio/ politico nonsense at large in the Middle East.
    Those of you who are antisemitic or antiZionist should volunteer your opinions at http://www.hurryupharry.org.

    • In reply to #31 by fishhead:

      If Stephan Hawkins thinks it’s a good idea to boycott, I will not second guess…..

      You should think for yourself and come to your own decision, not just do what Stephen Hawking does or says. After all, he is an expert in physics, not politics.

  8. I am appalled at the comments here that ignore the history of the founding of Israel and the damning of the Palestinian position as simply antisemitism. Israel is the only country ruthlessly expanding with the full approval of official American policy and most American sentiment.
    The creation of states at the expense of native populations could once be done under international law and with a good conscience. But Zionist settlement started a few hundred years later. Specifically, the early Zionist settlers didn’t come to a sparsely populated continent but to a long settled, comparatively crowded region. They came too late on the scene, as early Zionist leaders seemed to be aware, hence their stealth and the lies about “a land without people for a people without land”. Ethnic cleansing, still going on in Israel today by making life next to impossible for the Palestinians, is now even a crime under international law. But I still keep hearing the old myths about Israel’s right to exist. In fact, by slowly devouring it and its resources, it is Israel which is preventing Palestine’s right to exist.

    • In reply to #33 by justinesaracen:

      Israel is the only country ruthlessly expanding with the full approval of official American policy and most American sentiment.

      Please elaborate. Where and how is it ruthlessly expanding?

      The creation of states at the expense of native populations could once be done under international law and with a good conscience.

      You seem to be confused about what Israel is. Israel was founded in areas populated by Jews. Are you saying that Jews can’t possibly be a native population (Jews had always lived in Palestine), and that they have no right to run their own state?

      But Zionist settlement started a few hundred years later. Specifically, the early Zionist settlers didn’t come to a sparsely populated continent but to a long settled, comparatively crowded region.

      This is incorrect. Palestine was in fact sparsely populated. Furthermore, the Jewish immigrants/refugees got land by either purchasing it, or settling down in areas not in use by anyone else (often desert or swamp land). In addition to all of that, urbanization was going strong, leaving huge areas up for grabs.

      They came too late on the scene, as early Zionist leaders seemed to be aware, hence their stealth and the lies about “a land without people for a people without land”.

      There’s nothing called “too late on the scene” when huge areas of land are up for grabs by anyone interested in doing hard work.

      Ethnic cleansing, still going on in Israel today by making life next to impossible for the Palestinians

      Please be more specific. Where in Israel is ethnic cleansing going on?

      But I still keep hearing the old myths about Israel’s right to exist.

      Why would Israel not have the right to exist? Is it not rather racist of you to not allow Jews their own homeland?

    • In reply to #33 by justinesaracen:

      I am appalled at the comments here that ignore the history of the founding of Israel and the damning of the Palestinian position as simply antisemitism. Israel is the only country ruthlessly expanding with the full approval of official American policy and most American sentiment.
      The creation of sta…

      And you will be even more appalled as hasbarists flock to this topic with their well rehearsed ‘alternative’ version of reality. We’ve already been referred to the notorious Israeli propaganda outfit MEMRI and been told how biased the UN is for passing resolutions demanding that Israel conform to international law. Next up, no doubt, will be the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was a fan of Hitler.

      The question, however, is whether or not a boycott of Israel would be effective. That remains to be seen but the strident opposition from Zionists suggests it might be. In any case, sheer repugnance at Israel’s apartheid system and inbuilt defiance of international law will naturally lead to a boycott of its institutions. This should not include individual Israelis who are standing with the rest of us on the side of law and humanist values.

  9. I think the issue is not so much the rights and wrongs of the founding and subsequent history of Israel, but the rights and wrongs of academic boycotts as a political weapon in general. I was convinced that academic boycotts (especially by scientists) should be a weapon of very last resort in a series of meetings I had convened by Michael Yudkin, at the end of which he, together with Colin Blakemore, Denis Noble and me, published a paper in Nature.

    Blakemore C, Dawkins R, Noble D, Yudkin M (2003). “Is a scientific boycott ever justified?”. Nature 421 (6921): 314–314. doi:10.1038/421314b. PMID 12540875.

    • In reply to #36 by Richard Dawkins:

      I think the issue is not so much the rights and wrongs of the founding and subsequent history of Israel, but the rights and wrongs of academic boycotts as a political weapon in general. I was convinced that academic boycotts (especially by scientists) should be a weapon of very last resort in a seri…

      Thank you for your input, Richard. I’m glad to know you are reading our comments. I would only ask, after more than half a century of Israeli expansionism and failed negotiations under every possible pretext, are we not at the “last resort”?

    • In reply to #36 by Richard Dawkins:

      I think the issue is not so much the rights and wrongs of the founding and subsequent history of Israel, but the rights and wrongs of academic boycotts as a political weapon in general. I was convinced that academic boycotts (especially by scientists) should be a weapon of very last resort in a seri…

      Boycotts of the academic institutions of a racist and criminal state are fully justified. Co-operation on an individual level should continue on the merits of individuals and their work.

      • In reply to #44 by aldous:

        Boycotts of the academic institutions of a racist and criminal state are fully justified. Co-operation on an individual level should continue on the merits of individuals and their work.

        Really? Shouldn’t we then consider boycotting America and the coalition forces too, given their role in the Iraq war?

        Iirc no UN mandate was present at the beginning of the hostilities.

        China isn’t big on human rights. Ought we not to also boycott China based on their obvious disregard of basic human rights?

      • In reply to #44 by aldous:

        Boycotts of the academic institutions of a racist and criminal state are fully justified. Co-operation on an individual level should continue on the merits of individuals and their work.

        Your entire argument seems wholly irrational and based on your own emotions. Israel is not a racist and criminal state. Arabs and other minorities have full voting rights and also representatives in the Knesset and other parts of the government and military.

        You need to use valid, rational, factual arguments, not emotional outbursts. You are coming across as a religious fundamentalist.

        • In reply to #44 by aldous:

          Boycotts of the academic institutions of a racist and criminal state are fully justified.

          In reply to #47 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          Israel is not a racist and criminal state.

          Yes it is. Aldous ‘explained’ it twice already.

          • In reply to #48 by GOD:

            In reply to #47 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            Israel is not a racist and criminal state.

            Yes it is. Aldous ‘explained’ it twice already.

            And his explanation was..?

        • In reply to #47 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          You need to use valid, rational, factual arguments, not emotional outbursts. You are coming across as a religious fundamentalist.

          Do I get it right that you consider “You are coming across as a religious fundamentalist” as a “valid, rational, factual argument”? That would explain why you seem to think you give valid, rational and factual arguments the whole time, while I can’t find any.

      • In reply to #44 by aldous:

        In reply to #36 by Richard Dawkins:

        I think the issue is not so much the rights and wrongs of the founding and subsequent history of Israel, but the rights and wrongs of academic boycotts as a political weapon in general. I was convinced that academic boycotts (especially by scientists) should be a…

        Yo paraphrase Chandler Bing.

        Could you BE any more ideological?

  10. The state of Jordan was created as a Palestinian Arab state, administered by and for Arabs, and when in 1948 the Jordanians invaded and grabbed the parts of Israel known as Judea and Samaria, there was never any mention of a ‘Palestinian Homeland’, or even a separate culture. This mythical idea was formed later as a propaganda weapon with which to beat Israel.

    To form another Palestinian state in a part of Israel would be an unjustified absurdity and a weakening of her ability to defend herself. Palestine is simply a name for a region where Jews and Muslims lived. There has never been any such nationality.

    We should support Israel as the one democratic, liberal state which upholds equal human rights in the region. Otherwise it could be destroyed, as prescribed in the ‘Hamas Charter’. And that would be a catastrophe, not just for the Jews but for humanity. And a huge victory for the forces of Jihad.

    • In reply to #39 by inquisador:

      The state of Jordan was created as a Palestinian Arab state, administered by and for Arabs, and when in 1948 the Jordanians invaded and grabbed the parts of Israel known as Judea and Samaria, there was never any mention of a ‘Palestinian Homeland’, or even a separate culture. ..

      By using the Israeli terms ‘Judea and Samaria’ for Occupied Palestinian Territory , you condemn yourself as a hasbarist.

      • In reply to #42 by aldous:

        In reply to #39 by inquisador:

        By using the Israeli terms ‘Judea and Samaria’ for Occupied Palestinian Territory , you condemn yourself as a hasbarist.

        Ha! Condemned to what exactly?

        And is Saudi Arabia occupied Jewish territory, on account of the many Jewish tribes killed and exiled by the Muslims? I do not respect the Islamic attitude that any land that was ever Dar al Islam must always be so. Mainly because we see the principle applied one-way only; and always to the detriment of oppressed minorities.

        The Arab Muslims of Palestine have made their intentions plain to ethnically cleanse Israel of all the Jews. This has been the ultimate goal all along. In other words, genocide, like the holocaust and the Armenian massacres. Is this what you want?

        See the Hamas Charter for example:- Excerpt “The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim)”

        Also see the words of the ‘moderate’ Fatah leader. Abbas: ‘Not a single Israeli’ in future Palestinian state.

        • In reply to #50 by inquisador:

          Ha! Condemned to what exactly?

          You condemn yourself as a propagandist, using the slogans and narratives of the Israel lobby instead of argument. And you confirm your status with yet more of the same. You’ve brought up the usual illiterate reference to the eschatological quotation from the Hadith in the Hamas Charter. When is the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem going to make an appearance?

          The issue under consideration is whether a boycott might be helpful in persuading Israel to obey international law. Leave aside the propaganda and give your view of the topic.

        • In reply to #50 by inquisador:

          In reply to #42 by aldous:
          Ha! Condemned to what exactly?

          Assuming that; objectively speaking, there is such a thing as propaganda, I’m saying that that’s what you have posted and not reasoned argument. Some might take the view that one man’s propaganda is another’s sober and settled truth. However, I would maintain that there is a distinction to be made between, on this issue, Israeli propaganda and UN resolutions and the decision of the UN Court on the question of the Israeli Wall and the illegality of the settlement policy of Israel and that this factual reality is the basis on which a call to boycott the institutions of the Jewish State is being made.

          • In reply to #56 by aldous:

            In reply to #50 by inquisador:

            In reply to #42 by aldous:
            Ha! Condemned to what exactly?

            Assuming that; objectively speaking, there is such a thing as propaganda, I’m saying that that’s what you have posted and not reasoned argument. …

            The propaganda of both sides is naturally aimed at gaining support for a political objective. In the case of Israel that objective is to consolidate the security of the state of Israel. The existence of millions of Israeli Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahai, Zoroastrians, etc., depends upon it.

            One way of doing this is to explain and expose the propaganda of the jihadists who wish to destroy Israel. See for example comment 4 by Malgorzato I should not need to repeat these things. If it’s reasoned argument you want, as you imply, then explain why all this false propaganda should be accepted rather than rejected. Also, there’s still debate about the true circumstances of the Al Durah affair, which started the whole sometimes entertaining, but grim, ‘Pally-wood’ farrago, in which Palestinians would be filmed during conflict with IDF apparently getting shot dead and then turning up again as a stretcher-bearer a few moments later. The same people were seen repeatedly milling around as ‘extras’, seemingly being cued by a ‘director’ type guy giving orders. There was one group of stretcher-bearers that stumbled, spilling the body that was supposed to be dead, only for it to jump back and on-board again, Lazarus-style. And so on.

            In the case of Palestinians the objective of all this is evidently to turn the whole of Israel into a Palestinian state, joined up with Jordan. Or so it appears. We have the evidence of one PLO leader of the 1970s, Zuheir Mohsen, who revealed the idea in this excerpt from an interview in Trouw newspaper:-

            “Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new tool to continue the fight against Israel and for Arab unity.”

            To support the Palestinians is to support the underlying Jew-hatred and intolerance that militates against any prospect of a fair and decent settlement in this struggle. Given the oft-stated intention to kill all the Jews and take all their land, which would become easier for them in the event of a two-state solution, I would argue against any solution of that kind; at least unless the Israelis themselves were in favour of it.

          • In reply to #58 by inquisador:

            The propaganda of both sides is…

            This is not about the propaganda of ‘both sides’. This is about the condemnation of Israel by international law and universal moral decency and the hasbarist (Israeli propaganda) attempt to deflect and smother the condemnation by the entire world.

          • In reply to #60 by aldous:

            This is not about the propaganda of ‘both sides’. This is about the condemnation of Israel by international law and the hasbarist (Israeli propaganda) attempt to deflect and smother the condemnation by the entire world.

            Ok, it is obvious by now that you are emotionally bordering on religiously invested in this matter. Your arguments are religions and the way you treat the discussion when people disagree with you is the same way religious fundamentalists handle those situations.

            Religious fundamentalists, creationists, global warming deniers, conspiracy nuts, etc., can’t really be reasoned with. No matter what you do or say you are part of some evil conspiracy.

          • In reply to #222 by PERSON:

            There are many more than “two sides” in this.

            The basic conflict is between Jewish nationalism and human rights. In #216 ‘ We, the undersigned’ — guess who they are — make that clear with their very special version of international law. Let’s hope this version is put to the test by bringing some of its most notorious adherents before an international court.

  11. So long as both sides remain religiously attached to the past they will both remain failures. There is some good science going on in that part of the world but I don’t think the level headed science community will change anything, so long as there are nutters. Ego will destroy them both.

    • In reply to #41 by aquilacane:

      So long as both sides remain religiously attached to the past they will both remain failures. There is some good science going on in that part of the world but I don’t think the level headed science community will change anything, so long as there are nutters. Ego will destroy them both.

      The Zionist case is based on religious myth that is outdated by thousands of years. The Palestinian case is based on current international humanitarian law, developed since the Second World War.

      • In reply to #43 by aldous:

        The Zionist case is based on religious myth that is outdated by thousands of years. The Palestinian case is based on current international humanitarian law, developed since the Second World War.

        This is completely false.

        The Zionist case is based on secular reasoning. Jews were being persecuted and finally mass-murdered around the world, and this made the need for a state of their own even more important.

        What is the Palestinian case? It is the Palestinians who can’t even stop slaughtering each other. Hamas keeps hunting down Fatah supporters in order to kill them, for example.

  12. Richard tried to bring the discussion back to something manageable (academic boycott), but it looks like it’s an impossible task. Aldous says: “Co-operation on an individual level should continue on the merits of individuals and their work.” That’s nice.
    I would like to know why should an institution, such as the Technion, not be allowed to continue co-operation on the merits of its work?
    Or any other Israeli institution that, as difficult as it is to believe, does not seem to be ‘racist and criminal’?

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    • In reply to #53 by Moderator:

      Moderators’ message

      In the interests of reasoned, thoughtful discussion, would all users please note that it is especially important on controversial issues that they do everything possible to focus on marshalling their own arguments as effectively and as rationally as they can, and avoid making pe..

      Indeed. And the use of propaganda is not argument. Pointing out that that is the case is not, therefore, a personal remark about a disagreement but an objection to introducing propaganda into a discussion on the effectiveness of a boycott of Israeli institutions in inducing Israel to obey international law.

  14. I’m not actually arguing in favour of an academic boycott of Israel because I can’t make up my mind on the issue. Repugnance at the nature of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories is enough to produce a reluctance to have dealings with the institutions of such a state. Neither would I like to be diverted into discussion of the fabrications of the Israel lobby on this occasion.

    However, it’s worth noting that it’s quite common to curtail the free flow of knowledge towards countries whose policies are regarded unfavourably. What makes the current case unusual is that it is being called for from within the academic community itself and not imposed by government. Restrictions on co-operation with Iran’s nuclear programme are justified by reference to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, whereas it usually passes without comment that Israel is not even a signatory to the Treaty.

    • Regarding aldous’ post #63:

      Yes, $deity forbid you actually participate in a rational discussion about the issue. It’s better to make up your mind and stick to it no matter what the facts show. Better yet, avoid any discussion to prevent your mind from being exposed to ideas that don’t match what you have already decided on.

      Anyone who dares disagree with you is obviously part of a conspiracy. No one could possibly have honest opinions that differ from yours. Better label anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with your claims to avoid having to actually discuss the subject matter.

  15. In reply to #66 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

    In reply to #28 by GOD:

    Since no elaboration follows, I will try to clarify:

    Israel is a racist state.

    Israel is a criminal state.

    Therefore Israel is both. QED.

    This is logic which is truly worthy of religious fundamentalists.

    Step 1: Make groundless assertion.

    Step 2: make more groundless a…

    I believe GOD was parodying the debating style of Aldous, who as we know, doesn’t debate, so much as make assertions.

    But what do I know? I’m just a lousy hasbarist!

  16. An argument for an academic boycott of Israel is that it’s a way of publicly showing disapproval of the policies of a state which puts ethno-religious interests above human rights. Its refusal to join the 190 parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is just one illustration of the desire of Israel to place itself outside the ambit of international law. The patronage of the United States with its Security Council veto to block action to bring Israel under the rule of law is, of course, hugely important. Faced with the (currently) insurmountable obstacles to holding Israel to account, an academic boycott looks like an act of desperation. In addition, a key to the fall of Apartheid South Africa is missing. In that case, the oppressed people were in the vast majority but in the Israel/Palestine situation, the numbers are about even.

    The paper that Professor Dawkins referred to, questioning the validity of an academic boycott in any circumstances, is behind a paywall, so I haven’t had the opportunity of reading it. On that point, we have to acknowledge that knowledge can can be used to do evil as well as good. It can make weapons and facilitate the operations of a repressive regime and, when it is beneficial, it can distribute its benefits unequally. Israeli attacks on Palestinian universities, students and teachers are not something to be emulated. It’s understandable, though, that British academics should wish to express their hostility to Israel’s policies through reducing contact with Israeli universities.

  17. In reply to #70 by aldous:

    An argument for an academic boycott of Israel is that it’s a way of publicly showing disapproval of the policies of a state which puts ethno-religious interests above human rights.

    How does it do that?

    In addition, a key to the fall of Apartheid South Africa is missing. In that case, the oppressed people were in the vast majority but in the Israel/Palestine situation, the numbers are about even.

    Are you claiming that Israel is an Apartheid state? Please explain why you think that is the case.

    You seem to be saying that treating foreigners you are at war with differently is Apartheid. Well in that case, all countries on the planet are Apartheid states.

    Israeli attacks on Palestinian universities, students and teachers are not something to be emulated.

    What attacks are you referring to?

    Also, you have failed to address my previous question: Could you explain how Israel is a racist state when all citizens have the right to vote and have their own representatives in the Knesset, as well as minorities holding all sorts of higher position in Israel’s society?

  18. @aldous

    Some knowledge of geography wouldn’t do you any harm. Haifa and Jaffa are two different cities in Israel, not even too close to each other. Technion is in Haifa.

    During the war of 1948, five Arab armies with the help of Palestinian Arabs tried to commit genocide and kill off all Jews. I wonder if the names Fawzi Qawuqji, Adl Najim al-Din, Abdel Wahab Sheik Ali and some others says something to you. If they do, you know what really happened to Jaffa in 1948. If they do not, you are woefully ill-informed.

    Comparing to Technion not only Israeli Arabs are disadvantaged but Arabs from any other Arab country as well. And there are no Jews in those other Arab countries to oppress Arabs. I suspect that many students from Poland would be equally disadvantaged. Simply neither in Poland nor any Arab country is there any university of so high standard of teaching. If the whole Israel remained in Arab hands (becoming, most probably, a part of Syria) there would be no Technion, neither in Jaffa nor Haifa.

    • In reply to #73 by Malgorzata:

      @aldous

      Some knowledge of geography wouldn’t do you any harm. Haifa and Jaffa are two different cities in Israel, not even too close to each other. Technion is in Haifa.

      Thanks for the geography lesson. I see that I am completely wrong in conflating Jaffa and Haifa. I shall delete the post and re-write it to incorporate your correction.

  19. The article we are discussing makes great play of the fact that the author is herself a Muslim. The implication is that she would be an ardent supporter of her co-religionists in Palestine if it were not for her honest recognition of the moral superiority of the occupying power in the Palestinian Territories.

    As an example of the virtue of Israelis she brings up the programme at Haifa Technion University which helps academically gifted but culturally disadvantaged students. The author is oblivious to the irony of history in that the disadvantage that the students suffer from is that they are Arab and that this disadvantage is the result of the Israeli conquest of Palestine,

    In Haifa, the British troops stood aside and left the Arabs to face the full force of the attack by the Jewish army. “According to The Economist at the time, only 5,000-6,000 of the city’s 62,000 Arabs remained there by 2 October 1948.”(Wikipedia)

    • A note from British intelligence, October 1947: “leading Arab personalities are acting on the assumption that disturbances are near at hand, and have already evacuated their families to neighboring Arab countries”.

      By mid-December 1947 some 15,000-20,000 Arabs fled Haifa. According to Arab sources a month later the number went up to 25,000. By early April, according to Hajj Ibrahim, Arab population of the city dwindled to half of its former number.

      Report from 18 April 1948 by British Army: “considerable automatic and mortar fire went on till midnight from both sides with the Arabs mainly on the offensive”.

      At the end of April there was a meeting between Jewish and Arab leaders in Haifa. Jewish Mayor, Shabtai Levy, pleaded with Arabs to stay in the city, but they refused signing the truce (according to UN partition plan Haifa was supposed to belong to Israel and signing the truce would mean the agreement with the partition plan, according to Arabs). Instead Arab city leaders announced that “the Arab population wished to evacuate Haifa and they would be grateful for military assistance”. General Hugh Stockwell, commandor of northern Palestine, who presided over the meeting, said to the Arabs: “You have made a foolish decision. Think it over, as you’ll regret it afterwards. You must accept the conditions of the Jews. They are fair enough. Don’t permit life to be destroyed senslessly. After all, it was you who began the fighting, and the Jews have won”. But Arabs left the city – of their own volition.

      Though Wikipedia could have told you that Jaffa and Haifa are two different cities, you cannot expect to get deep knowledge about this very complicated conflict from Wikipedia. Just repeating the most cursory information is really not enough.

    • In reply to #76 by aldous:

      In Haifa, the British troops stood aside and left the Arabs to face the full force of the attack by the Jewish army. “According to The Economist at the time, only 5,000-6,000 of the city’s 62,000 Arabs remained there by 2 October 1948.”(Wikipedia)

      Creationists take quotes out of context too, and leave out information which does not match their religion.

      Since you mention the battle of Haifa in 1948, let’s review some facts as revealed by Wikipedia (your source):

      1. The majority of the population in Haifa was Jewish
      2. Haifa was to be part of the Jewish state according to the UN partition plan
      3. Arab leaders encouraged Arabs to leave Haifa
      4. The Jewish forces consisted of a mere 400 regulars and an unknown number of reservists, while the Arab forces consisted of 2-3500 militiamen
      5. The Jewish forces used non-lethal tactics at first, even giving women and children time to escape before the armed clashes started
      6. The Jewish forces offered the Arab forces to surrender peacefully

      And so on.

      I’m not exactly sure why you mention the battle of Haifa. You seem to be very keen on changing the subject, much like creationists and climate deniers.

      Oh my! The Jews actually took over a strategically important area in the middle of a war (never mind the fact that Jews were apparently the majority there anyw! How terrible!

  20. In the Times Higher Education ranking of the top 200 universities in the world, the vast majority are European or American. The Technion Israel Institute of Technology comes in at # 193. What are the factors that make a top university? I suggest that its resources in terms of government money and private donations and investment are at the top of the list. That’s not all there is to it, but it’s a key to the success of Israeli higher education that Israel is, in effect, a European/American colony, implanted in the Middle East. Likewise, the rankings of Palestinian universities are due, in the first place, to Israel’s efforts to wreck education (and everything else) in the Occupied Territories.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2012-13/world-ranking

    • In reply to #79 by aldous:

      Israel is, in effect, a European/American colony, implanted in the Middle East.

      And there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen. Jews are apparently subhumans who can’t achieve anything by themselves. They are merely pawns of the evil Europeans with their evil scheme to introduce freedom and democracy to the Middle east.

      Yes, how dreadful. A liberal democracy in the Middle East. Terrible. Horrible. Don’t the Jews know that the entire Middle East is supposed to be a single Islamist state under Sharia law?

      How dare the Jews, who have lived in Palestine for thousands of years and have biological, cultural and historical roots there, create a liberal democracy on land they own?

      Bigotry is strong with this one…

      • In reply to #80 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        Now I am even more convinced that people of sense and humanity must support Israel and not the Palestinians.

        Israel cannot afford to lose land. Arab Muslims need to understand and accept that they do not and should not exercise control over the entire mid-east.

        I think that what enrages them more than anything is the disparity in wealth, productivity, creativity, standards of education and health-care, between Israel and the Ummah. Out of shame and humiliation comes the demonization of the Jews… as if to account for it!

      • In reply to #80 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        In reply to #79 by aldous:
        They are merely pawns of the evil Europeans with their evil scheme to intr…

        This is a historic moment indeed. A new continent has been discovered right here on Richard Dawkins Net. Most of us will have been under the impression that Ben Gurion and the other founders of the Jewish State were Europeans. Menachem Begin was no ‘evil European’ it seems. In the Zionist narrative, the bombing of the King David Hotel was terrorism at its most virtuous,obviously, but re-locating Begin’s birthplace from Poland to planet Zion is an unneccesary embellishment.

        To get a notion of whether the boycott, disinvestment, sanctions campaign is likely to have any effect in moving Israel towards meeting the requirements of international law and the moral principles on which it’s based, there are two websites which it’s worth looking at.

        BDS

        BRICUP

        • In reply to #82 by aldous:

          Most of us will have been under the impression that Ben Gurion and the other founders of the Jewish State were Europeans.

          I already addressed this by pointing out that the Jews in Europe were biologically (as confirmed by genetic research), historically and culturally connected to the Middle East and the Jews that already lived there.

          In the Zionist narrative, the bombing of the King David Hotel was terrorism at its most virtuous,obviously, but re-locating Begin’s birthplace from Poland to planet Zion is an unneccesary embellishment.

          What is it with bigots and the way they constantly change the subject instead of apologizing for their previous false and/or misleading claims?

          What is it with bigots and their inability to answer even the simplest questions? It’s like talking to a bloody creationist or climate denier.

        • In reply to #82 by aldous:

          Most of us will have been under the impression that Ben Gurion and the other founders of the Jewish State were Europeans.

          I already addressed this by pointing out that the Jews in Europe were biologically (as confirmed by genetic research), historically and culturally connected to the Middle East and the Jews that already lived there.

          In the Zionist narrative, the bombing of the King David Hotel was terrorism at its most virtuous,obviously, but re-locating Begin’s birthplace from Poland to planet Zion is an unneccesary embellishment.

          I really don’t understand why you keep changing the subject instead of answering simple questions or apologizing for your previous previous false and/or misleading claims. You must be well aware that you are on extremely shaky ground when you keep posting nonsensical comments like that.

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  22. This particular discussion is principally about an academic boycott of Israel and, so, is part of the wider question of a general boycott, inspired by the campaign against Apartheid South Africa. In their publication , Why Boycott Israeli Universities?, BRICUP: British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, give a detailled explanation of the way the boycott operates, why they are doing it and what they hope to achieve. BRICUP

    They make clear that it does not target academics as individuals but those who are acting in an official capacity as representatives of universities and higher education. It is an institutional boycott.

    They emphasize that it is not Israel’s appalling human rights record that, in itself, justifies the academic boycott but the complicity of Israel’s academic community in the systematic violation of human rights and, in particular, the destructive effects on Palestinian universities.

    I would add that the history of the transformation of Arab Palestine into a country where it is a disadvantage to be an Arab is relevant background knowledge. The means by which this was achieved by the European founders of the Jewish State, through military conquest, ethnic cleansing and ethnic immigration, continues to be relevant since the project is unfinished and ongoing under the patronage of the United States government and American organizations.

    • In reply to #86 by aldous:

      I would add that the history of the transformation of Arab Palestine into a country where it is a disadvantage to be an Arab is relevant background knowledge. The means by which this was achieved by the European founders of the Jewish State, through military conquest, ethnic cleansing and ethnic immigration, continues to be relevant since the project is unfinished and ongoing under the patronage of the United States government and American organizations.

      Something that has pretty much fallen down the memory hole is that terrorism was an avowed tactic of these zionists sponsored by groups like the Irgun and resuling in incidents such as the Deir Yassin massacre Its interesting that in all the times I’ve heard Sam Harris talk about terrorism I don’t recall him ever mentioning how it was used to help found the state of Israel.

      • In reply to #87 by Red Dog:

        Its interesting that in all the times I’ve heard Sam Harris talk about terrorism I don’t recall him ever mentioning how it was used to help found the state of Israel.

        Has he ever mentioned in his talks of how terrorism was used to found the United States?

        ” The nobility of the Redskin is extinquished and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The whites by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.(WHY NOT ANNIHILATION?)Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced, better they should die than live the miserable wretches that they are.” .L. FRANK BAUM (author of THE WIZARD OF OZ )

        Certainly, the European settlers had far far less a right to be in the Americas than those they genocidal massacred near to oblivion, and in some cases did, nor either Jews or Arabs have to be in Palestine. Go figure!

        How about the “The Reign of Terror (1793-1794)”….which founded the French Republic? With an estimated 40,000 lives taken, “[t]he Jacobins, most famously Robespierre, sometimes referred to themselves as “terrorists,” and the word [allegedly] originated at that time”.

        Has Sam Harris ever talked about how terrorism was used to found an Irish Republic?

        Michael Collins and others founded the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which from 1916 to 1923 carried out numerous [terrorist] attacks against symbols of British power. For example, it attacked over 300 police stations simultaneously just before Easter 1920, and, in November 1920, publicly killed a dozen police officers and burned down the Liverpool docks and warehouses, an action that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. After years of warfare, London agreed to the 1921 Anglo-Irish treaty creating a free Irish state encompassing 26 of the island’s 32 counties.

        What about the ongoing terrorism in Northern Ireland, intent on founding a United Ireland against the will of the majority and until recently, 9/11, was supported with funding from the people of the U.S., all while those terrorists were being trained and were training opponents of the U.S. ….AND with arms supplied by same Arab terrorist regimes. Has Harris ever mentioned those little ditties in his talks on terrorists?

        The list is endless…how far back do we dig before we discover we all come from a terrorist lineage. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        Remember…“one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter” as is obvious by the division of ideals on this thread.

      • In reply to #87 by Red Dog:

        Something that has pretty much fallen down the memory hole is that terrorism was an avowed tactic of these zionists sponsored by groups like the Irgun and resuling in incidents such as the Deir Yassin massacre Its interesting that in all the times I’ve heard Sam Harris talk about terrorism I don’t recall him ever mentioning how it was used to help found the state of Israel.

        Sigh. More propaganda. Are you really this ignorant of history? Let Wikipedia teach you:

        “The killings were condemned by the leadership of the Haganah—the Jewish community’s main paramilitary force—and by the area’s two chief rabbis. The Jewish Agency for Israel sent Jordan’s King Abdullah a letter of apology, which he rebuffed.”

        Never mind all the other aspects of what happened there, which honest people who actually wish to educate themselves can read for themselves:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

        What’s interesting is that those who hate Israel never seem to know what actually happened.

    • In reply to #86 by aldous:

      This particular discussion is principally about an academic boycott of Israel and, so, is part of the wider question of a general boycott, inspired by the campaign against Apartheid South Africa. In their publication , Why Boycott Israeli Universities?, BRICUP: British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, give a detailled explanation of the way the boycott operates, why they are doing it and what they hope to achieve. BRICUP

      Speaking of principles, why stop there?

      There are plenty of countries where human rights are being trampled. If we are being honest and consistent with our principles shouldn’t we also start boycotting such nations?

      • In reply to #88 by DHudson:

        In reply to #86 by aldous:
        Speaking of principles, why stop there?

        It’s rather obvious that those in favour of peace through the rule of law have not ‘stopped there’. It should also be obvious that sanctions against Iran, for example, are not going to have any effect on influencing Israel to conform to international law and respect human rights. On the contrary. Incidentally, it is of great concern that Israel, unlike Iran, has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

        Again, you might have read the post which you are replying to, where this point is dealt with

        They BRICUP emphasize that it is not Israel’s appalling human rights record that, in itself, justifies the academic boycott but the complicity of Israel’s academic community in the systematic violation of human rights and, in particular, the destructive effects on Palestinian universities. (# 86)

        It takes a bit of time but you might even read Why Boycott Israeli Universities?, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine

        • In reply to #89 by aldous:

          It’s rather obvious that those in favour of peace through the rule of law have not ‘stopped there’.

          Who and what do you mean?

          It should also be obvious that sanctions against Iran, for example, are not going to have any effect on influencing Israel to conform to international law and respect human rights.

          No,but why on earth should the Israelies care about the sanctions on Iran?

          Incidentally, it is of great concern that Israel, unlike Iran, has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

          What right does The United States of America have to arm itself with nuclear weapons?

          It takes a bit of time but you might even read Why Boycott Israeli Universities?, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine

          You still haven’t answered my question about other countries. Why are you singling out Israel?

  23. I’m not particularly in favour of economic boycotts either as they also affect the poorest most, but at least they serve as impetus for innovation. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which an academic boycott could ever be morally justified.

    • In reply to #92 by Peter Grant:

      I’m not particularly in favour of economic boycotts either as they also affect the poorest most, but at least they serve as impetus for innovation. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which an academic boycott could ever be morally justified.

      Don’t you think the boycott of Apartheid South Africa was justified?

      • In reply to #94 by aldous:

        Don’t you think the boycott of Apartheid South Africa was justified?

        Academic boycotts just exacerbate the problem by helping to prop up the isolationist policies of totalitarian regimes.

        • In reply to #96 by Peter Grant:

          Academic boycotts just exacerbate the problem by helping to prop up the isolationist policies of totalitarian regimes.

          Don’t you accept that you’re wrong as far as the academic boycott of South Africa is concerned?

          BRICUP’s academic boycott is aimed at Israeli universities which prop up the criminal and inhumane policies of the Jewish State. They justify it on the grounds that Israeli academics, with a few honourable exceptions, acquiesce in, and even enthusiastically help, the implementation of these policies, notably, but far from exclusively, those in weapons research.

          • In reply to #97 by aldous:

            Don’t you accept that you’re wrong as far as the academic boycott of South Africa is concerned?

            No, I, like most educated South Africans and academics, hated apartheid.

      • In reply to #94 by aldous:

        Don’t you think the boycott of Apartheid South Africa was justified?

        Comparing Israel to South Africa because Israel doesn’t give the same rights to foreigners as to its own citizens, and because it occupies an enemy’s territory, is a shocking display of extreme ignorance.

  24. Also, if we are going to treat intellect as a mere commodity then at least apply sanctions realistically according to the rules of supply and demand. Refusing to “trade” academically with Israel would probably hurt us more than it would them.

  25. Let’s think really clearly about the whole situation and keep perspective.
    There are two things we all want, we all want peace and we all want justice, and we can’t have one without the other. The internet is a tool to share ideas and NOT just focus on disagreement.
    All people should agree that the bondage of palestine, their lack of control of their borders and economy, is terribly unfortunate and needs to be seriously addressed.
    All people should agree that just because the American government is being over-supportive of Israel doesn’t mean the academic world should take it upon themselves to boycott, it doesn’t get at the root of the problem.

    • In reply to #95 by mjnavlag:

      All people should agree that just because the American government is being over-supportive of Israel doesn’t mean the academic world should take it upon themselves to boycott, it doesn’t get at the root of the problem

      The ‘root of the problem’ lies with the UN and putting into effect the numerous resolutions condemning Israel’s violation of international law and human rights. Until the USA gives up its role in providing bedrock support for Israel, through military, economic and political means, the veto of the US prevents the Security Council from passing resolutions against Israel, let alone implementing them. Since the ‘root of the problem’ can’t be tackled by the organization which was founded to promote international justice and fully recognizes the problem which Israel presents, it leaves other organizations and individuals to fight the good fight with the means at their disposal.

      Stephen Hawking made his opposition to Israeli policies clear by cancelling his appearance at Shimon Peres’s big event. Academics and scientists who are not global celebrities are organizing themselves to make the same point.

      • In reply to #98 by aldous:

        The ‘root of the problem’ lies with the UN and putting into effect the numerous resolutions condemning Israel’s violation of international law and human rights.

        You know, creationists and climate deniers usually ignore people’s comments, and keep repeating their talking points a neverending loop.

        That is also what aldous is doing here. Despite being informed about the how the discredited HRC at the UN is being used by dictatorships, who have come to dominate the council (which is why the predecessor to the HRC was shut down in the first place), he continues to go on and on and on about UN resolutions.

        UN resolutions based on lies are worthless. I predict that the UNHRC will follow the now dead Commission on Human Rights:

        “None of these measures, however, were able to make the Commission as effective as desired, mainly because of the presence of human rights violators and the politicization of the body. During the following years until its extinction, the UNCHR became increasingly discredited among activists and governments alike.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Commission_on_Human_Rights#History

        Stephen Hawking made his opposition to Israeli policies clear by cancelling his appearance at Shimon Peres’s big event. Academics and scientists who are not global celebrities are organizing themselves to make the same point.

        Hawking and other scientists should stop going outside their area of expertise. Hawking may be a brilliant scientist, but he is clearly ignorant on what’s going on in the Middle East.

        • In reply to #100 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          I don’t know on what grounds you are slandering the UN Human Rights Council. In the first place, it has 47 members whose business you seem to think is making up ‘lies’ about Israel. Currently, one of the members is the United States which makes it its business to make up misrepresentations and ply obfuscations and evasions in favour of Israel.

          In any case, the UN resolutions being referred to are those passed by the UN General Assembly, where those voting against them are the culprit itself, Israel, its sponsor, the United States, various US dependents (like the Marshall Islands) and occasional others.

          In the case of Stephen Hawking, the slander is also unjustified and rather silly. Why should the great man be disqualified from taking a position against Israel’s policies because it’s a political matter and not theoretical physics? Your only reason for claiming that he is uniformed about Israel is that he condemns it. Those outside the Zionist bubble would say that opposition to Israel’s Zionist policies is the result of knowing about them — not difficult, despite the fog of disinformation from Israel.

          It might be helpful if you would set aside your missionary zeal for a moment and address the case for an academic boycott against Israel, along the lines and for the reasons set out, for example, by the British Committee for Palestinian Universities.

          • In reply to #103 by aldous:

            In reply to #100 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            I don’t know on what grounds you are slandering the UN Human Rights Council. In the first place, it has 47 members whose business you seem to think is making up ‘lies’ about Israel.

            There is 1 resolution per Israeli atrocity victim. There is 1 resolution per 1000 Sudanese or Congolese atrocity victims. So it’s either racism against blacks or racism against Jews. Math. My take? It’s both.

  26. It’s pretty frustrating to discuss things with people who hate Israel/Jews. They always seem to change the subject, repeat debunked claims, and always ignore direct questions. They basically behave much like creationists and climate deniers do.

    Those who saw me in the old forum may recall how I was finally convinced that it is certain that the planet is getting warmer and that it is due to human activity in part because I noticed that climate deniers were acting the same as creationists.

    Now the Israel-haters seem to behave the same way. The more they post, the more it is obvious that they must be wrong. Someone who is honest about facts won’t behave like this. They won’t behave like creationists and climate deniers.

    Examples of questions they refuse to answer:

    @Red Dog: Please explain how South Africa was a similar situation.

    @aldous:

    1. Could you explain how Israel is a racist state when all citizens have the right to vote and have their own representatives in the Knesset, as well as minorities holding all sorts of higher position in Israel’s society?
    2. How does israel put ethno-religious interests above human rights?
    3. Are you claiming that Israel is an Apartheid state? Please explain why you think that is the case.
    4. What attacks on Palestinian universities, students and teachers are you referring to?

    @justinesaracen:

    1. Where and how is Israel ruthlessly expanding?
    2. Are you saying that Jews can’t possibly be a native population (Jews had always lived in Palestine), and that they have no right to run their own state?
    3. Where in Israel is ethnic cleansing going on?
    4. Why would Israel not have the right to exist?

    Will they ever show the ability to give an honest answer to simple questions?

  27. It is a real disillusion to see how Israel is defended by atheists. Nobody can overlook its religion-based politics. Furthermore this “ademic boycot” is blown up and dramaticized beyond belief.

    People defending a religious state or power (of any religion) are no secularists in my book.

    • In reply to #104 by siger:

      It is a real disillusion to see how Israel is defended by atheists. Nobody can overlook its religion-based politics. Furthermore this “ademic boycot” is blown up and dramaticized beyond belief.

      People defending a religious state or power (of any religion) are no secularists in my book.

      Maybe atheists are not blind? Maybe they know that North Korea is worse than the criminal and racist state we are talking about?

    • In reply to #104 by siger:

      It is a real disillusion to see how Israel is defended by atheists.

      I think your disillusionment is due to your lack of knowledge. I used to be in your position at one point. Then I educated myself and realized that I had been lied to about Israel all along. All the nasty stories turned out to be blatant lies or grossly exaggerated, or taken out of context.

      Kind of like when I went from being a climate skeptic (a true one; I hadn’t really made up my mind because I knew too little) to understanding how the climate is getting warmer due to human emissions. I was a fool to be suckered in by the lies of the climate deniers, but once the subject caught my interest I quickly realized what was going on. They were just like creationist: Lies and deception. Just what opponents of Israel turned out to be like.

      Nobody can overlook its religion-based politics.

      Please be more specific. What religion-based politics are you referring to, and how is this worse than religion-based politics in any other secular country?

      People defending a religious state or power (of any religion) are no secularists in my book.

      The irony is that Israel is the most secular state in the Middle East. It’s the only country where homosexuals can parade through the streets of the capital, for example.

      On the other hand, Muslims in the area are still slaughtering each other over being Shia or Sunni. The “democratically elected” Hamas is also slaughtering Fatah members. A few years ago nearly 100 Fatah members were given refuge inside Israel because Hamas forces were out to kill every single one of them simply for belonging to Fatah.

      It’s amazing that someone can be an atheist and still defend the Palestinian religious nuts in their fight against the secular state of Israel. How the hell does that work exactly? Since when did “active atheists” start defending religious nut jobs who are trying to destroy a secular democracy?

      • In reply to #107 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        In reply to #104 by siger:

        It is a real disillusion to see how Israel is defended by atheists.

        The irony is that Israel is the most secular state in the Middle East.

        Where any Israeli settler will openly and matter of factly inform you, (while on a break from taking pot shots at Palestinians, confiscating their land with state backing, vandalizing their crops, building illegal settlements, forcing them to move out of their homes etc.) that God gave them that land. Where Israeli archaeology dedicated itself to finding evidence for the exodus.

    • Questioning the religious politics of Israel caused reactions like:
      You are obsessing;
      A lot of bull shit;
      You lack knowledge;
      Educate yourself;
      A fool suckered in by lies;
      Murderous hatred;
      Israel hater;
      Racist position;
      Propaganda;
      Dishonest;
      etc….

      I leave the rest of the unworthy shouting as it is.

      Here two sources which come to mind, knowing they will be slandered right away.

      http://www.christianzionism.org/Article/Wagner06.asp

      http://www.amazon.com/Invention-Jewish-People-Shlomo-Sand/dp/B00DPNVJ3G

      • In reply to #138 by siger:

        Questioning the religious politics of Israel caused reactions like:

        No, those reactions are not called by anyone questioning anything. Claiming that spreading lies about something is “questioning” it is the same thing creationists do.

        I leave the rest of the unworthy shouting as it is.

        You mean, you ignore people’s comments and questions and pretend they never said anything? What an amazingly convenient way to get away from addressing people’s points!

        Here two sources which come to mind, knowing they will be slandered right away.

        Sources for what? Anyone can dig up anyone who claims anything. But you are just ignoring scientific facts.

  28. I have not defended Islam, North Korea or Sudan.
    I wrote about Israel.
    Does anyone believe that everything better than North Korea is OK?

    I think the arguments are all over the internet. you will not see what you don’t want to see, even if I repeat all the known fact here.

    • In reply to #108 by siger:

      I have not defended Islam, North Korea or Sudan.
      I wrote about Israel.
      Does anyone believe that everything better than North Korea is OK?

      The question is, why are you obsessing over the secular state of Israel and supporting its religious fundie enemies, while ignoring the likes of North Korea, etc.

      I think the arguments are all over the internet. you will not see what you don’t want to see, even if I repeat all the known fact here.

      Who are you replying to here? What arguments?

      Yes, I know there’s a whole lot of BS anti-Israel propaganda on the web. I bought into it for a long time myself. But even reading Wikipedia(!) will quickly expose all that nonsense. Educate yourself, and you will be much more supportive of Israel.

      [Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use.]

  29. What is all over the net is the murderous hatred of Palestinians for Jews. For being Jews. Because it says so in the Koran. And because the prophet, the perfect man, had the Jews of the Arabian peninsular eradicated by murder and exile, so the good Muslims who are required to follow the example of the prophet, must treat the Jews of Israel in the same way.

    Is this what we are supposed to support; the people who raise their kids with this brainwashing and who are so fiercely anti-semitic, should be submitted to? Let those who know the real goals and motives of the Palestinians manage this as they have been doing successfully for a while now, on the whole. Only strong security and defence measures can keep the peace. A settlement or any kind of peace treaty is impossible, other than one like that of ‘Hudaibya’, meaning a temporary truce for long enough to rearm and await the next opportunity to fight. Only the ignorant imagine that lasting peace with a two state solution or anything short of mass evacuation of Israeli Jews can satisfy the haters.

    • In reply to #110 by inquisador:

      What is all over the net is the murderous hatred of Palestinians for Jews.

      The Israel propaganda squad (hasbarists) is eager to demonstrate what it has learned from the manual and the training courses. Still, the childish insults to Stephen Hawking and those who, like him, oppose Israel, is, in itself, a sufficient reason for taking a critical attitude towards the Jewish state.

      • In reply to #112 by aldous:

        The Israel propaganda squad (hasbarists) is eager to demonstrate what it has learned from the manual and the training courses. Still, the childish insults to Stephen Hawking and those who, like him, oppose Israel, is, in itself, a sufficient reason for taking a critical attitude towards the Jewish state.

        Apart from the paranoia and conspiracy theories typical of creationists and climate deniers as well, I find it interesting that the term “oppose Israel” is used. Does that mean that aldous and Hawking oppose the very existence of Israel?

        That’s odd because it’s a very racist position. Why are Arabs allowed to form their own countries, but not Jews? Why do aldous and Hawking not want to offer Jews the same rights as everyone else?

  30. Let’s look at the arguments from the British Committee for Palestinian Universites. The link has been given a number of times.

    Israel is an apartheid state

    “The similarities between apartheid South Africa and present day Israel and the Occupied Territories are almost uncanny. Identity cards incorporate a racial identity marker. Together with domicile control (especially in East Jerusalem) they constitute an equivalent of South Africa’s Pass Law system. The effect of the South African Group Areas Act is achieved by land seizure and the selective refusal of construction permits. Education systems are separate and unequal.

    Development of settlements (contrary to repeated UN resolutions) and the web of military roads divides the Occupied Territories into the equivalent of South Africa’s non-viable Bantustans.

    Significantly the 9 metre-high wall already dividing many Palestinians from their fields is widely known in Israel as Gader ha-Hafrada, or ‘separation fence’. Separation in English, Hafrada in Hebrew, or Apartheid in Afrikaans.

    There are of course differences. For example Israel doesn’t have the enforced social apartheid of South Africa – it operates instead by the systematic exclusion of Palestinians from land, access, resources. Another difference is that the population Israel subjects to direct discrimination is of comparable size to its own, rather than a great majority as in South Africa.”

    • In reply to #111 by aldous:

      Let’s look at the arguments from the British Committee for Palestinian Universites. The link has been given a number of times.

      Israel is an apartheid state

      This is “supported” by nonsensical claims, lies, misinformation and irrational appeals to people’s emotions.

      “The similarities between apartheid South Africa and present day Israel and the Occupied Territories are almost uncanny. Identity cards incorporate a racial identity marker.

      Typical creationist-like dishonesty.

      First of all, this ended eight years ago. But I guess that’s not important when propaganda is the primary goal of nonsense like this.

      Secondly, the “racial identity marker” was just a field for filling in someone’s ethnicity. Israeli Jews and Arabs had identical cards, so unlike what these propagandists would lead people to believe, it wasn’t something huge and obvious. It was one tiny piece of information along with other things like name, birth date, etc.

      Typical propaganda: Leave out important details.

      Together with domicile control (especially in East Jerusalem) they constitute an equivalent of South Africa’s Pass Law system.

      Here we see another case of extreme dishonesty. The control in Jerusalem is not about race, but about citizenship. Israel is controlling the movement of foreigners they are at war with, just like the allied forces did with Germans during WWII.

      But it’s only wrong when Jews do it!

      Typical propaganda: Leave out important details.

      (Of course, some of the soldiers in East Jerusalem are Israeli Arabs, but never mind the facts eh?)

      The effect of the South African Group Areas Act is achieved by land seizure and the selective refusal of construction permits.

      Education systems are separate and unequal.

      You mean Israel doesn’t provide foreigners outside of Israel with the same education they give to their own citizens? Ok, another case of “just like any other country” then.

      But I guess it’s sonly wrong when Jews do it.

      Typical propaganda: Leave out important details.

      Development of settlements (contrary to repeated UN resolutions) and the web of military roads divides the Occupied Territories into the equivalent of South Africa’s non-viable Bantustans.

      Except the people in the Occupied Territories are not Israelis. They are foreigners to Israel. Just like Germans during WWII, who had their movement severely restricted by the allied forces.

      But I guess it’s only wrong when Jews do it.

      Typical propaganda: Leave out important details.

      Significantly the 9 metre-high wall already dividing many Palestinians from their fields is widely known in Israel as Gader ha-Hafrada, or ‘separation fence’. Separation in English, Hafrada in Hebrew, or Apartheid in Afrikaans.

      A pathetic attempt at appealing to people’s emotions by connecting words. The purpose of the fence is to protect Israelis from attacks. Why are they dishonestly trying to cover up this fact?

      There are of course differences. For example Israel doesn’t have the enforced social apartheid of South Africa – it operates instead by the systematic exclusion of Palestinians from land, access, resources.

      You mean they restrict the movement of foreigners they are at war with, just like the allied forces did with Germany during WWII?

      I guess it’s only wrong when Jews do it.

      Typical propaganda: Leave out important details.

      Another difference is that the population Israel subjects to direct discrimination is of comparable size to its own, rather than a great majority as in South Africa.”

      See, this is the problem with these cynical propagandists: They lead people with lacking knowledge of the situation to believe that Israel is doing all of this to Israeli Arabs. But the key here is to understand that the ones that are affected by such policies are not Israelis, but rather foreigners. Israeli Arabs are not subject to these restrictions.

      But hey, who cares about facts when there’s propaganda to spew?

      • In reply to #126 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        This is “supported” by nonsensical claims, lies, misinformation and irrational appeals to people’s emotions.

        The information in the BRICUP document about apartheid-style Israeli identity cards was correct but there have been changes to new ID cards, issued after 2005? Does your detailed knowledge comes from the fact that you actually have an Israeli ID card?

        I have to rely on Wikipedia. In its article on Israeli ID cards it says that the statement of ethnicity, as you said, was omitted from ID cards issued after 2005. However, it says that there is information which makes it possible to tell at a glance whether the holder is Jewish or Arab (if the name isn’t enough). “Jewish ID cards bear the date of birth using the Hebrew calendar, while Arab ID cards include the father’s father’s name.”

        Is that correct?

        • In reply to #137 by aldous:

          Wow, you respond for once. But only to keep throwing accusations at people, of course.

          The information in the BRICUP document about apartheid-style Israeli identity cards was correct but there have been changes to new ID cards, issued after 2005? Does your detailed knowledge comes from the fact that you actually have an Israeli ID card?

          Detailed knowledge? I did a quick search, and Wikipedia delivered as usual. If you actually had the willingness to educate yourself, you too could have double-checked before reposting propaganda.

          In other words, the document contains lies and misinformation.

          I have to rely on Wikipedia. In its article on Israeli ID cards it says that the statement of ethnicity, as you said, was omitted from ID cards issued after 2005. However, it says that there is information which makes it possible to tell at a glance whether the holder is Jewish or Arab (if the name isn’t enough). “Jewish ID cards bear the date of birth using the Hebrew calendar, while Arab ID cards include the father’s father’s name.”
          Is that correct?

          Ask Wikipedia. Check its references and sources. I’m not your slave. If you want to know if Wikipedia is correct I’m not going to check the sources for you.

          Now, what is the point of this quote? Are you once again just throwing out some out-of-context information because it sounds like it can be used for propaganda purposes to demonize Israel? Do you even know why the ID cards are made that way? Maybe you should find out before throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks?

          If one is to follow your logic, one must remove names from ID cards because they can be used to identify Jews and Arabs at a glance. Names on ID cards are A P A R T H E I D!

          Christ.

        • In reply to #137 by aldous:

          Wow, you respond for once. But only to keep throwing accusations at people, of course. Never answer any questions!

          The information in the BRICUP document about apartheid-style Israeli identity cards was correct but there have been changes to new ID cards, issued after 2005? Does your detailed knowledge comes from the fact that you actually have an Israeli ID card?

          The claim was incorrect, as already explained.

          Detailed knowledge? I did a quick search, and Wikipedia delivered as usual. Why didn’t you double-check before blindly posting other people’s claims.

          In other words, the document contains lies and misinformation.

          I have to rely on Wikipedia. In its article on Israeli ID cards it says that the statement of ethnicity, as you said, was omitted from ID cards issued after 2005. However, it says that there is information which makes it possible to tell at a glance whether the holder is Jewish or Arab (if the name isn’t enough). “Jewish ID cards bear the date of birth using the Hebrew calendar, while Arab ID cards include the father’s father’s name.” Is that correct?

          Ask Wikipedia. Check its references and sources. I’m not your slave. If you want to know if Wikipedia is correct I’m not going to check the sources for you.

          Now, what is the point of this quote? Are you once again just throwing out some out-of-context information because it sounds like it can be used for propaganda purposes to demonize Israel? Do you even know why the ID cards are made that way? Maybe you should find out before commenting?

          If one is to follow your logic, one must remove names from ID cards because they can be used to identify Jews and Arabs at a glance. Names on ID cards are apartheid!

          • In reply to #151 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            I did a quick search, and Wikipedia delivered as usual.

            [Paragraph removed by moderator to remove snark.]

            ID cards issued by the Israeli government before 2005 carry an ethnic marker. So, since (according to Wikipedia) the ID cards have no expiry date, most (or many) Palestinian Israelis have these apartheid-style ID cards. Younger Palestinian Israelis have cards that don’t have the ethnic marker but they have information which makes it possible to tell at a glance whether the holder is Jewish or Arab. “Jewish ID cards bear the date of birth using the Hebrew calendar, while Arab ID cards include the father’s father’s name.”

          • In reply to #160 by aldous:

            If you get your information from the internet, that puts us on an equal footing, except that I read the information more carefully and without bias.

            Like in the now evaporated comment 72? “And so Jaffa has become Haifa”?

          • In reply to #162 by GOD:

            Like in the now evaporated comment 72?

            I also read comments carefully and make corrections when necessary. Do you have anything to say about the apartheid-style ID cards that Palestinian Israelis are required to carry? Anything factual, that is?

          • In reply to #167 by aldous:

            In reply to #162 by GOD:

            Like in the now evaporated comment 72?

            I also read comments carefully and make corrections when necessary. Do you have anything to say about the apartheid-style ID cards that Palestinian Israelis are required to carry? Anything factual, that is?

            Nope, but stay tuned. I don’t reply unless I know what I am talking about. As you can see from my comment 154, I am not on a campaign of disinformation.
            By the way, have you ever been in Israel/Palestine/West Bank/Judea and Samaria?

          • In reply to #167 by aldous:

            In reply to #162 by GOD:

            Like in the now evaporated comment 72?

            I also read comments carefully and make corrections when necessary.

            Although this forum does not enforce the rule, netiquette, in my book, is to not modify comments after they have been replied to. Why? Nothing ideological about it, only that the reader cannot follow the logic of the discussion anymore. You can always come with new comments that retract or clarify your earlier ones. But no big deal…

          • In reply to #170 by GOD:

            Although this forum does not enforce the rule, netiquette, in my book, is to not modify comments after they have been replied to. Why?

            The comment was deleted, not modified. The deletion and the reason for it was acknowledged. That’s good policy, in my opinion, in the case of a post which has clearly demonstrated factual inaccuracies, as opposed to differences of opinion on the interpretation of facts.

          • In reply to #167 by aldous:

            Do you have anything to say about the apartheid-style ID cards that Palestinian Israelis are required to carry? Anything factual, that is?

            I could not find anything that contradicts you, so I take it as true. So let’s say Israel decides to remove any such info from the ID card. Date of birth: according to the Gregorian neutral calendar. Now the Jewish religious nuts take it to the streets because they want it by the Hebrew calendar. An amendment is passed that the religious date will also be in there, each one according to their religion. For sure Muslims do not want their date of birth recorded after the Hebrew calendar, do they? Now comes the Apartheid accusation. So Israel decides to only mark the Hebrew birth-date for Jews. Very bad, Israel! It’s a way to single out Muslims.

            All this is hypothetical and irrelevant in 2013, where the ID is just a key in a database where your religion, political affiliations, sexual inclinations, favorite sports team and your comments on Richarddawkins.net are all recorded.

          • In reply to #171 by GOD:

            Do you have anything to say about the apartheid-style ID cards that Palestinian Israelis are required to carry? Anything factual, that is?

            I could not find anything that contradicts you, so I take it as true. So let’s say Israel decides to remove any such info from the…

            It doesn’t matter whether the discrimination is a ‘natural’ consequence of setting up a Jewish State in Arab Palestine or whether it’s an administrative imposition. The very odd result is that Israelis are assigned different nationalities by the Ministry of the Interior.

          • In reply to #167 by aldous:

            Do you have anything to say about the apartheid-style ID cards that Palestinian Israelis are required to carry?

            This is amazing. Just yesterday I do believe I pointed out that this claim is a blatant lie. And you still keep repeating it? Wow.

            Apparently you think that merely showing someone’s name on the ID card is “apartheid-style” because it makes it easy to tell whetjher a person is an Arab or a Jew with just a glance.

          • In reply to #160 by aldous:

            ID cards issued by the Israeli government before 2005 carry an ethnic marker. So, since (according to Wikipedia) the ID cards have no expiry date, most (or many) Palestinian Israelis have these apartheid-style ID cards.

            Why are they “apartheid-style”? Listing someone’s nationality is “apartheid-style”?

            Christ.

          • In reply to #160 by aldous:

            but they have information which makes it possible to tell at a glance whether the holder is Jewish or Arab. “Jewish ID cards bear the date of birth using the Hebrew calendar, while Arab ID cards include the father’s father’s name.”

            I already asked you if you know why they made them like this. Do you know, or are you just assuming that it’s part of an evil plan by the Israeli government (which, by the way, also consists of Arabs)? I mean, since you’ve already claimed to be “unbiased” and all…

    • In reply to #111 by aldous:

      Significantly the 9 metre-high wall already dividing many Palestinians from their fields is widely known in Israel as Gader ha-Hafrada, or ‘separation fence’. Separation in English, Hafrada in Hebrew, or Apartheid in Afrikaans.

      You know very well that the wall is not there to separate peoples’ toilets, buses and cinemas, therefore the use of the word Apartheid in this context is a cheap shot. If you want a more realistic comparison, it’s the fence on the Mexico-US border, which is meant to protect the US from people who love the US.

        • In reply to #134 by Peter Grant:

          In reply to #133 by GOD:

          At lest Mexico doesn’t launch any rockets that I am aware of.

          The use of charged words like holocaust, genocide, apartheid is a powerful propaganda tactic. While the translation from Hebrew to English is correct, let’s see how Google translates ‘separation’ to Afrikaans:

          Skeiding

          Afskieding

          Naisreerskap

          Verdeling

          ‘Apartheid’ is not on the list.

          • In reply to #135 by G_O_D:

            This situation is exactly congruous to if Lesotho or Swaziland started waging war on present day South Africa.

    • In reply to #111 by aldous:

      Education systems are separate and unequal.

      It would appear this assertion is erroneous.

      “Education in Israel”

      “The Israeli Pupils’ Rights Law of 2000 prohibits discrimination of students for sectarian reasons in admission to or expulsion from an educational institution, in establishment of separate educational curricula or holding of separate classes in the same educational institution, and addresses rights and obligations of pupils. The law was fuilly supported by the Israeli Student and Youth Council”

      Which would support the OP.

      “However, discrimination still exists: in 2005, the municipality of Lod refused to allow a three-year-old Arab child to register in a Jewish kindergarten.”

      Which is not exclusive to Israel. In fact, it is rife in the UK.

      “Race discrimination in academia ‘has not improved’ over past 20 years”

      So no apartheid in education after all then?

      • In reply to #175 by Ignorant Amos:

        Education systems are separate and unequal.

        Didn’t you read the Wikipedia article you are quoting

        They are separate:

        Israeli schools are divided into four tracks: state (Mamlachti), state-religious (Mamlachti dati), Independent (Haredi) schools (Chinuch Atzmai) and Arab.(Wikipedia)

        They are unequal

        Israel operates an Arab education system for the Israeli-Arab minority, teaching Arab students, in Arabic, about their history and culture. However, there have been claims that the Jewish education system get more resources. According to the Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education, the Israeli government spends an average of $192 per year on each Arab student and $1,100 per Jewish student.

        The gap in expenditure may be closing but making it a disadvantage to be an Arab by transforming Arab Palestine into a Jewish state and imposing Hebrew as the majority language continues to diminish the educational prospects of Arabs;

        • In reply to #177 by aldous:

          Didn’t you read the Wikipedia article you are quoting.

          Yes I did.

          They are separate:

          Israeli schools are divided into four tracks: state (Mamlachti), state-religious (Mamlachti dati), Independent (Haredi) schools (Chinuch Atzmai) and Arab.(Wikipedia)

          But not in the way you infer in your apartheid arguement. I keep harping back to the Northern Irish issue as parallel examples, Education in Northern Ireland. There are schools for Protestants, say the Jews, schools for Catholics, say the Arabs, and Integrated education, say the Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish Arab Education in Israel.

          Even the English education system is segregated along ethnic and religious lines…Education in England

          They are unequal.

          But not in the way you infer in your apartheid arguement. The UK is rife with it… Britains divided school system report, it really isn’t exclusive to Israel, far from it, even the great U.S. of A. suffers from education inequalities….Inequality in schools threatens U.S. prosperity, Stanford scholars say. Education inequality, where it exists, is not synonymous of an apratheid state in spite of what you think.

          Israel operates an Arab education system for the Israeli-Arab minority, teaching Arab students, in Arabic, about their history and culture. However, there have been claims that the Jewish education system get more resources. According to the Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education, the Israeli government spends an average of $192 per year on each Arab student and $1,100 per Jewish student.

          Yes, I see that it is a “claim”, I also see it was made over 8 years ago. Got a better source? The subject of Israeli Arab education is a lot more complicated than you want it to be, like the rest of your Arab/Israeli arguement.

          I love your quote mining, it is epic…did you read this bit?

          “In 1999 in attempt to close the gap between Arab and Jewish education sectors, the Israeli education minister Yossi Sarid announced an affirmative action policy, promising that Arabs would be granted 25% of the education budget, more than their proportional share in the population (18%). He also added that the ministry would support the creations of an Arab academic college.”

          Typical apartheid tactics?

          Or this bit?

          “Christian Arabs tend to have had the highest rates of success in the matriculation examinations, both in comparison to the Muslims and the Druze and in comparison to all students in the Jewish education system.”

          So Christian Arabs are excelling over Muslims, Druze and Jews…how bizarre for an oppressed minority!

          The gap in expenditure may be closing but making it a disadvantage to be an Arab by transforming Arab Palestine into a Jewish state and imposing Hebrew as the majority language continues to diminish the educational prospects of Arabs;

          Where do you get this rubbish? Seriously?

          “Hand in Hand now operates four schools with more than 900 Jewish and Arab students; next year there will be 5 schools with 1100+ students. More than 3,000 parents and other adults, Jews and Arabs alike, currently participate in integrated community activities organized by Hand in Hand. Over the next 10 years, Hand in Hand aims to create a network of 10 to 15 integrated **bilingual schools, supported and enhanced by active communities, altogether involving more than 20,000 Israeli citizens.”**

          The point of having Arab schools is precisely to accommodate the cultural differences, including language. I guess all those British minorities for whom English is not their first language can demand classroom interpreters, since English is the majority language it is bound to diminish their educational prospects. Yeah, the way all countries pander to the language barrier of its minority citizens…good one Aldous…absolutely mint.

          “The National University of Ireland requires all students wishing to embark on a degree course in the NUI federal system to pass the subject of Irish in the Leaving Certificate or GCE/GCSE Examinations. Exemptions are made from this requirement for students born outside of the Republic of Ireland, those who were born in the Republic but completed primary education outside it, and students diagnosed with dyslexia.

          In layman’s terms, if someone born and educated in Ireland cannot pass their ‘O’ level examination in Irish Language at the end of secondary education, regardless of nationality, they cannot, even with straight A’s in every other exam taken, go on to third level education at an Irish University….apartheid education in Ireland, bastards.

      • In reply to #175 by Ignorant Amos:

        Which is not exclusive to Israel. In fact, it is rife in the UK.

        Also, in Scandiavian countries, which are supposedly among the most liberal on the planet, having a foreign sounding name makes it really hard to even get a job interview.

  31. The reference to ‘disaster’ in Hawking’s letter is intriguing. What did he have in mind? It raises the ominous potential for catastrophe which Israel embodies, as a nuclear power and non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    “I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.” Stephen Hawking

    Stephen Hawking

    • In reply to #113 by aldous:

      The reference to ‘disaster’ in Hawking’s letter is intriguing. What did he have in mind? It raises the ominous potential for catastrophe which Israel embodies, as a nuclear power and non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

      “I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference wit…

      The argument from authority. This guy is good at physics, so he must know what he is talking about. What about your own arguments (not slogans) about the criminal, racist, apartheid, Nazi, theocratic, repressive, immoral, disgusting, violent Zionist entity?

  32. Mods’ message

    Another reminder to keep disagreements with other users civil and to focus on making your own case rather than resorting to insulting users who disagree with you.

    Thank you.

    The mods

  33. In reply to #116 by Peter Grant:

    No, I, like most educated South Africans and academics, hated apartheid.

    You were an innocent victim of the boycott on South Africa, then? The question, though, was whether the boycott was a positive factor in ending apartheid.

    In the case of Israel, fear of the effects of the boycott is what is making the hasbarists so angry. Look at the remarks made about Stephen Hawking, for example. If a professor turned down an invitation by Obama it wouldn’t provoke furious efforts to sanctify every event in American history and damn all its enemies.

  34. In reply to #117 by Moderator:

    Sorry mods, was that directed at me?

    My comment was not meant to be insulting to anyone. Except perhaps the fascist National Party all South Africans were subject to and which many of us (especially academics) fought against.

  35. In reply to #114 by GOD:

    The argument from authority. This guy is good at physics, so he must know what he is talking about.

    Like creationists and climate deniers. Always pulling scientists from irrelevant fields out of their asses and pretending that their opinions chance scientific fact.

    Like those petitions with “thousands of scientists” opposing Evolution or AGW. As if it has any relevance at all. Who gives a shit what random scientists with no competence in the area think about Evolution or AGW. Or the situation in the ME.

    As for aldous, you will never get any straight answers out of him. It’s the same as with creationists and climate deniers: Always ignoring facts and rebuttals already posted, always reposting the same propaganda crap over and over again, always ignoring simple and direct questions, always changing the god damn topic when their arguments are starting to crumble.

    And of course: Mudding the waters, either consciously (cynical) or unconsciously (ignorant). The Israel haters always seem to lump Israeli Arabs (Arabs with an Israeli citizenship) in with Arabs that are foreigners to Israel. It is the foreigners, that also happen to be at war with Israel, who are met with severe restrictions, security fences, So when an “innocent bystander” reads these discussions he thinks that Israeli Arabs are discriminated against.

    But for fucks sake, even Sweden, one of the most liberal countries on the whole fucking planet, has issues with racism. A recent poll showed that people with a foreign-sounding name were far less likely to even be called in to a job interview. So sure, Arabs in Israel don’t live in a perfect world, but neither does anyone else on the entire fucking planet. But it’s only wrong when it’s Israel dealing with such challenges.

    I have mentioned this several times, but exactly this kind of behavior from climate deniers is what clued me in on the fact that they are wrong. I noticed them behaving like creationists and realized that something wasn’t quite right. Now the anti-Israel people are behaving like creationists and climate deniers.

    And lo and behold, when one looks at the facts, it turns out that the Israel haters are wrong. (That is not to say that Israel has never done anything wrong. Or that there are things still to be figured out about Evolution or the observed warming of the planet. But those details don’t change the big picture. And just like claimed weaknesses in Evolution and AGW keep being taken acre of, claimed atrocities by Israel usually turn out to be bullshit.)

  36. In reply to #115 by godsbuster:

    Where any Israeli settler will openly and matter of factly inform you, (while on a break from taking pot shots at Palestinians, confiscating their land with state backing, vandalizing their crops, building illegal settlements, forcing them to move out of their homes etc.) that God gave them that land.

    I love it how you make a religious minority represent an entire nation. I guess the Westboro Baptist Church represents the US, then.

    All countries on the planet have loons. Religious loons even. But Israel haters apparently think that if those loons have an Israeli citizenship, then they represent the entire nation. Never mind the fact that the Ultra-Orthodox Jews are becoming more and more hated by the average Israeli.

    Anyway, your logic is typical of that of creationists, climate deniers and Israel haters. Thanks for confirming my comments about the insanely high degree of similarity between these three groups.

    (I’m not going to bother going into all your specific claims. Needless to say, you are basically lying to people about most of your claims. I will point out, though, that many Jews now living on the West Bank are merely returning to where they were ethnically cleansed from in 1948.)

    Where Israeli archaeology dedicated itself to finding evidence for the exodus.

    Could you be a bit more specific? I’m not sure I follow. Sources? Citations?

    Oh, never mind, you’re never going to get into specifics anyway. It’s the creationist way.

    • In reply to #121 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

      In reply to #115 by godsbuster:

      Where any Israeli settler will openly and matter of factly inform you, (while on a break from taking pot shots at Palestinians, confiscating their land with state backing, vandalizing their crops, building illegal settlements, forcing them to move out of their homes…

      Rather than wade through the ad hominems, no true Scotsmen, and strawmen let me just go straight to a question that I offer up not necessarily to be answered but to take home for contemplation: How big a role does Israel’s Biblical provenance play in the ideological underpinnings for its existence and where can the founders of the nation and its subsequent leaders be found stating (publicly for the world to hear) that it is largely mythical and should not be lent any credibility or importance.

      • In reply to #132 by godsbuster:

        Rather than wade through the ad hominems, no true Scotsmen, and strawmen let me just go straight to a question that I offer up not necessarily to be answered but to take home for contemplation: How big a role does Israel’s Biblical provenance play in the ideological underpinnings for its existence and where can the founders of the nation and its subsequent leaders be found stating (publicly for the world to hear) that it is largely mythical and should not be lent any credibility or importance.

        If you don’t even know this, why are you making claims about it? Wouldn’t it be a better idea for you to educate yourself instead of participating in discussing the matter?

        What you are doing is “just asking questions,” a well known way of manipulating the discussion:

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/JAQing_off

        • In reply to #150 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          In reply to #132 by godsbuster:

          How big a role does Israel’s Biblical provenance play in the ideological underpinnings for its existence and where can the founders of the nation and its subsequent leaders be found stating (publicly for the world to hear) that it is largely mythical and should not be lent any credibility or importance.

          The question was not proffered for you but for others who might be reading this. You already know the answer. Since it’s unflattering to your position we are not likely to hear from you on it hence the reply optional option.

          The answers are: It’s one of the cornerstones of its existence. As can be ascertained by asking on any street-corner in America -especially the Bible Belt- why the Jews established Israel in that location rather than elsewhere. And, its founders and leaders cannot be found publicly while in office anywhere rejecting the legitimacy of Israel’s Biblical provenance as a justification for its existence in that location. See also “cornerstone” above.

          This of course runs spectacularly afoul of your phantasmagorical claim that Israel which calls itself “The Jewish State” is the most secular state in the Middle East.

          • In reply to #153 by godsbuster:

            The question was not proffered for you but for others who might be reading this. You already know the answer. Since it’s unflattering to your position we are not likely to hear from you on it hence the reply optional option.

            Indeed, you were just doing the following:

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/JAQing_off

            Of course, anyone who bothers to educate themselves on the matter can, say, open a Wikipedia article on the subject:

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

            This section in particular might be of interest:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism#Organization

            According to Wikipedia, Secular Zionism was the dominant form of Zionism. And it makes perfect sense because the waves of Jewish immigrants to Palestine were largely refugees, as Jews were being persecuted all over the world.

            Furthermore, Israel’s Declaration of Independence clearly states that Israel “it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”

            For a time period when religion was basically brought up all the time and everywhere, there are surprisingly few religious references in the declaration. In fact, even a suggested reference to God in the final part of of the document was replaced by something else.

            Lastly, you can look up the foundation of the modern Zionist movement at Wikipedia:

            “The main argument of the book is as follows. After centuries of various restrictions, hostilities, and occasional pogroms, the Jews of Europe have been reduced to living in Ghettos. The higher class is forced to deal with angry mobs and, so experiences a great deal of discomfort; the lower class lives in despair. Middle-class professionals are distrusted, and the statement “don’t buy from Jews” causes much anxiety among Jewish people. It is reasonable to assume that the Jews will not be left in peace. Neither a change in the feelings of non-Jews nor a movement to merge into the surrounds of Europe offers much hope to the Jewish people. Jews “introduce” antisemitism wherever they go”

            So this is the argument which triggered the modern Zionist movement. Notice any references to religion there? Indeed, the author, Theodor Herzl, was a secularist.

            Conclusion: The answer is not unflattering to my position. It is your inability to document your claims which is unflattering to your own cause.

            The answers are: It’s one of the cornerstones of its existence. As can be ascertained by asking on any street-corner in America -especially the Bible Belt- why the Jews established Israel in that location rather than elsewhere.

            I see, so now you use Bible-thumpers as a source? That’s quite an interesting way of doing things, if you are truly an atheist…

            Why was Israel established where it was? Ask the UN, which made the partition plan in the first place.

            But the fact is that Jews already lived in Palestine (as they had always done), and Jews abroad had both genetic, cultural and historical ties to the area. Where else would you put Israel, if not somewhere its people had actual ties to?

            And, its founders and leaders cannot be found publicly while in office anywhere rejecting the legitimacy of Israel’s Biblical provenance as a justification for its existence in that location. See also “cornerstone” above.

            Can the leaders of Britain be found publicly while in office anywhere rejecting the legitimacy of Britain’s Biblical provenance as a justification for it existence? No? Well then, using your logic I have established Britain as being based on religious ideas.

            Seriously, if you can’t identify the fallacious nature of your argument, one must really wonder what you are trying to do here.

            The fact is that the Jewish immigration to Palestine was largely a case of refugees returning to an area they had historical, genetic and cultural ties to.

            This of course runs spectacularly afoul of your phantasmagorical claim that Israel which calls itself “The Jewish State” is the most secular state in the Middle East.

            Wikipedia: “The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which brought the British mandate to an end in 1948, referred to a “Jewish state” and an “Arab state.”

            Oh dear. I guess you must also claim that the UN is really terrible and all that.

            And how exactly is this term even relevant to the discussion? “Jewish State” simply refers to a Jewish state. “Jewish” doesn’t even refer to a religion, but to an ethnic group.

            Also, Wikipedia again: “A vast majority of Israeli Arabs would support a constitution that maintained Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state while guaranteeing equal rights for minorities, according to a poll whose results were published on Sunday 29 April 2007.”

            I guess those Arabs must simply be part of the religious Zionist conspiracy, eh?

            What state in the ME is more secular than Israel? What other state in the ME will allow homosexuals to parade through the capital, celebrating their homosexuality?

          • In reply to #155 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            In reply to #153 by godsbuster:

            And how exactly is this term even relevant to the discussion? “Jewish State” simply refers to a Jewish state. “Jewish” doesn’t even refer to a religion, but to an ethnic group.

            Mr. Orwell already spins rather faster than usual in his grave when fan boys of Israel hold forth but your above claim easily ups him another 10000 rpm. To wit from Wikipedia which you’re so fond of relying on:

            “The Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים Yehudim Israeli; translated as: “Children of Israel” or “Sons of Israel”), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites (Hebrews) of the Ancient Near East. According to Jewish tradition, Jewish ancestry is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who lived in Canaan around the 18th century BCE. Canaan was a Semitic-speaking region in the Ancient Near East, roughly corresponding to the Levant, i.e. modern-day Israel, Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan and Syria.”

            I proffered Israel’s Biblical provenance as “one (1) of the cornerstones of its existence” Your bizarre attempt to deny that by trotting out another cornerstone – Zionism and the admirably atheist and progressive Mr. Herzl does not make it less so. Moreover, religious Zionists (surprise, surprise we have those too) are instrumental in the matters of Jewish control over Old Jerusalem and settlement in the West Bank.

            Yes, Israel is constitutionally a secular state. It is not a theocracy. However, like no other nation in the world does it in part owe its existence to the (in any atheists opinion false) legitimacy it derives from the bronze age myths that name it the promised land and form the basis of the religion of the bulk of its population whether they practice it or not.

  37. In reply to #118 by aldous:

    In the case of Israel, fear of the effects of the boycott is what is making the hasbarists so angry. Look at the remarks made about Stephen Hawking, for example.

    Repost:

    Anyone who dares disagree with you is obviously part of a conspiracy. No one could possibly have honest opinions that differ from yours. Better label anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with your claims to avoid having to actually discuss the subject matter.

    Did anyone say “creationism”?

  38. In reply to #117 by Moderator:

    Mods’ message

    Another reminder to keep disagreements with other users civil and to focus on making your own case rather than resorting to insulting users who disagree with you.

    Could you be a bit more specific? Is it OK to call people hasbarists? What about comparing their behavior to that of creationists and climate deniers?

    What about trolling? Is that perfectly fine? By that, I mean certain participants here who only ever spew hatred and propaganda, and never bother to answer any comments or questions directly or honestly. They keep changing the subject and basically aren’t really engaging with others in the debate. It’s more like they ignore everything anyone says and just keep spewing propaganda, including nonsense that was already refuted earlier on this very page.

    • Our Terms and Conditions, which you will find at the foot of every page, set out the ethos and vision of this site. We want it to be a site where controversial subjects can be discussed using calm, intelligent, thoughtful, rational arguments.

      Name-calling has no place in that – so no, it is not alright to refer to users as Hasbarists, as though that were of itself a rational argument. Equally, it is not alright to accuse those who disagree with you of behaving like creationists and climate-deniers. Why? Because it is denigrating those who disagree with you rather than making a rational argument for your own position.

      **Nor is trolling ok, but trolling does not merely mean “posting arguments you disagree with”. **

      Argue your case rationally, thoughtfully and civilly, and leave derogatory remarks about your opponents out of it. We are posting this in reply to your specific questions, but it applies to all users, not just you.

      And now we have spelled out the position specifically, we will remove all further posts on this thread that attempt to make their point by denigrating the person they are in response to, rather than making the positive case for a different position. We understand that this is a contentious topic – but that is all the more reason for making every attempt to approach it rationally rather than emotionally. If you want to persuade people of the rightness of your position, then make the case for the rightness of your position, don’t simply be rude about other users who don’t share it.

      The mods

      In reply to #123 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

      In reply to #117 by Moderator:

      Mods’ message

      Another reminder to keep disagreements with other users civil and to focus on making your own case rather than resorting to insulting users who disagree with you.

      Could you be a bit more specific? Is it OK to call people hasbarists? What about comparin…

  39. In reply to #118 by aldous:

    You were an innocent victim of the boycott on South Africa, then?

    Not really, I mainly educated myself through reading. Many were not as fortunate as me though.

    The question, though, was whether the boycott was a positive factor in ending apartheid.

    I doubt it, it probably just helped to ostracise your South African allies in academia.

  40. A simple question to ask the anti-Israel propagandists:

    Do Israeli Arabs get to vote?

    The answer is yes. However, blacks in South Africa were stripped of their voting rights.

    The insanity of claiming that Israel is an Apartheid state becomes even greater when you consider all the Israeli Arabs in prominent positions in Israel. Including in the military.

  41. This is the downside of UN intervention in international affairs. I mean, wars used to be horrible but short. Each side would fight until victory or surrender. Either way, it would end, and peace would prevail again. Until the next war.

    Now we have UN-sponsored never-ending war in Palestine, in which neither side is allowed to beat the other into submission. Instead the hostilities are suspended, with sporadic outbreaks, always halted by well-meaning intervention.

    The hatred and enmity is always there, with no conclusion in sight and no prospect of reconciliation. Instead, the carrot of victory dangles out of reach and the circus of war goes round and round and round and…

    • In reply to #129 by inquisador:

      Now we have UN-sponsored never-ending war in Palestine, in which neither side is allowed to beat the other into submission.

      The conflict between the world community and Israel is due to Israel’s violations of the principles of the UN charter and the laws which embody them. The US veto prevents action against Israel being decided on by the Security Council. In any case, military action isn’t feasible. This underlines the need for other types of action, such as boycotts, sanctions and disinvestment. In the meantime, the outlook is gloomy, with only a catastrophic resolution of the situation seeming likely.

      • In reply to #139 by aldous:

        The conflict between the world community and Israel is due to Israel’s violations of the principles of the UN charter and the laws which embody them.

        I’m not convinced that the principles of the UN charter and the laws which embody them are entirely atheistic.

  42. By the way, I learned here that I am a hasbarist. So that’s a discovery. Apparently, if you refer to ancient place-names like Judea and Samaria you will be one too!

    Won’t that be cool! We can all hang out at the Hasbar together!

  43. The Islamic world was built out of the former civilizations that existed in the middle east up until the 7th century: Pagan, Christian, Persian, Zoroastrian. By the right of conquest, all became Islamic, whether they liked it or not.

    Now, even those places that became Islamic and then regained freedom, such as Spain, Sicily, Greece, Israel, and more, are still targeted for re-colonization and re-integration into the ummah. On the principle that conquered domains will always belong to Islam, however long it may take to re-subjugate them.

    Well, since the Islamic conquest of Israel in the 7th century CE, when Mohamed’s ride on Buraq pointed the way, Israel became another Islamic possession. As we know, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the 2nd WW, the UN declared the establishment of an independent Jewish state and an independent Arab state. Ever since then the Muslims have been trying to undo this (Jewish state), using refugees as pawns in a propaganda battle, the laws available, and in accord with Islamic principles of ownership rights through conquest.

    My point is that, under the very same principle, the Israelis surely gained ownership rights over the West Bank/ Judea, Samaria, and the other territories, when these were won by conquest during the war waged to destroy Jewish Israel by the combined Arab armies in 1967.
    In defending themselves against their aggressors, the Israelis deserved the title to these lands, surely more so than the Islamic forces deserved their booty and plunder acquired through centuries of offensive warfare against vulnerable people of the region.

    This is the hypocrisy of Islam. Special rules apply only to them. They get to keep their ill-gotten gains, the rest of us are simply fit only for subjugation, conversion or death. For don’t we know that the whole world and all that is in it belongs to Allah? And the Muslims are the best people, who get to control and own everything?

    Better get used to it. The radicalization bandwagon is picking up speed – we need to derail it somehow.

    • In reply to #142 by inquisador:

      the Israelis surely gained ownership rights over the West Bank/ Judea, Samaria, and the other territories, when these were won by conquest during the war waged to destroy Jewish Israel by the combined Arab armies in 1967.

      One of the outcomes of the Second World War was the rejection of the ‘right of conquest’ — for reasons that you may be aware of. The acquisition of territory by military conquest is directly contrary to the UN Charter.

      • In reply to #143 by aldous:

        In reply to #142 by inquisador:

        the Israelis surely gained ownership rights over the West Bank/ Judea, Samaria, and the other territories, when these were won by conquest during the war waged to destroy Jewish Israel by the combined Arab armies in 1967.

        One of the outcomes of the Second World War…

        Yes indeed. I realize that. Mine is not a simplistic point. I understand there are snags.

        Somehow, though, wrongs must be righted.

        The UN has been assailed lately for straying from it’s remit, and badly needs a new focus. It has been pointed out here that certain crises are virtually ignored while one smaller crisis is lavished with attention and resources.

  44. To come back to the main point, my position is that NO we are wrong to impose any kind of sanction or boycott against Israel. Though I have no liking for the Jewish religion, I respect the people of Israel, of all sects and none, for their commitment to equal human rights, democratic government, active charity work, tolerance for all, and for holding up the advance of intolerant Islam.

    No to academic boycott.

    Yes to cultural and academic engagement.

  45. In reply to #132 by godsbuster:

    Rather than wade through the ad hominems, no true Scotsmen, and strawmen let me just go straight to a question that I offer up not necessarily to be answered but to take home for contemplation: How big a role does Israel’s Biblical provenance play in the ideological underpinnings for its existence and where can the founders of the nation and its subsequent leaders be found stating (publicly for the world to hear) that it is largely mythical and should not be lent any credibility or importance.

    How about you educate yourself about the actual reasons why Israel was created? You could always, for example, start reading a few articles on Wikipedia.

    But no, instead you insist on spewing propaganda and “just asking questions”.

  46. “Everybody knows that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other Jewish organizations exert a vast influence over Middle East policy, especially those on Capitol Hill. The influence is not as total, perhaps, as that exerted by Cuban exiles over Cuba policy, but it is an impressive demonstration of strength by an ethnic minority. Almost everybody also concedes that the Israeli occupation has been a moral and political catastrophe and has implicated the United States in a sordid and costly morass. I would have gone further than Mearsheimer and Walt and pointed up the role of Israel in supporting apartheid South Africa, in providing arms and training for dictators in Congo and Guatemala, and helping reactionary circles in America do their dirty work – most notably during the Iran-contra assault on the Constitution and in the emergence of the alliance between Likud and the Christian right. Counterarguments concerning Israel’s help in the cold war and in the region do not really outweigh these points.”

    • Christopher Hitchens, ‘Slate’ March 27, 2006
    • In reply to #148 by Timothy McNamara:

      Hithcens wrote a lot of clever things, but this particular text was pretty embarrassing for him.

      Almost everybody also concedes that the Israeli occupation has been a moral and political catastrophe and has implicated the United States in a sordid and costly morass.

      The alternative would be for Israel to allow itself to be wiped out, and Jews to be victims of genocide again. I guess Hitchens didn’t read his history books on Israel.

      I would have gone further than Mearsheimer and Walt and pointed up the role of Israel in supporting apartheid South Africa,

      Hitchens turns out to be a liar. Israel was openly critical of Apartheid.

      in providing arms and training for dictators in Congo and Guatemala, and helping reactionary circles in America do their dirty work – most notably during the Iran-contra assault on the Constitution and in the emergence of the alliance between Likud and the Christian right.

      Um, the arms and training in Congo was done by a private company, wasn’t it? Other than that, wow, Israel is doing what every other country out there is doing, namely protecting its interests by picking alliances here and there?

      I guess it’s only wrong when Jews do it.

  47. I have not so much of a problem with Palestinians, who are trying to recover land that they think, rightly or wrongly, that it belongs to them.
    Not with Prof Hawking. I disagree with him, but he explained in a rational way his choice. I also accept that living under occupation, for whatever reasons, is no fun at all. I accept that sometimes, the wall separates people from their fields. I accept that travel by Palestinians in the West Bank may not be an easy matter (I don’t know about today, but there were times when it was really hard).
    The above are documented facts that no one can dispute. The discussion can be about why.
    Maybe the Israelis could have done more about where the wall is located. Maybe they could have done more to ease travel restrictions.

    On the other hand I do not recognize that Jaffa and Haifa are the same place and I do not recognize the translation of ‘separation’ to ‘apartheid’. Unlike for the Palestinians and Prof Hawking, I have no understanding whatsoever for such ‘mistakes’. They are intentional, based on the expectation that most people will not use Google Maps or Google Translate.

  48. In reply to #111 by aldous:

    It is incumbent upon a state to protect it’s citizens against it’s enemies, both foreign and domestic…especially when it has internal security issues from terrorists.

    Ever hear of a place called Northern Ireland?

    Education systems are separate and unequal.

    We’ve got those, because of religion.

    Significantly the 9 metre-high wall already dividing many …..known in Israel as Gader ha-Hafrada, or ‘separation fence’. Separation in English, Hafrada in Hebrew, or Apartheid in Afrikaans.

    We’ve got those, because of religion. The nice people call them “Peace Lines” though…well, a rose by any other name and all that jazz.

    Of interest to the so-called apartheid claims…

    “Malcolm Hedding, a South African minister who worked against South African apartheid and Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, said that the West Bank barrier has nothing to do with apartheid and everything to do with Israel’s self-defense. He said that Israel has proven its desire to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians while granting political rights to its own Arab citizens within a liberal democratic system, but that the Palestinians remain committed to Israel’s destruction. By contrast, he says, it was a tiny minority in South Africa that held power and once democracy came, the National Party that had dominated the masses disappeared.”

    …just saying

    There have been, and still are, various methods used by the British state and UK employers to define folk along sectarian religious and racial lines, therefore dispensing with any necessity for card carrying requests, especially in Northern Ireland..

    • In reply to #156 by Ignorant Amos:

      In reply to #111 by aldous:

      It is incumbent upon a state to protect it’s citizens against it’s enemies, both foreign and domestic…especially when it has internal security issues from terrorists.

      Ever hear of a place called Northern Ireland?

      It’s only bad when Jews do it.

    • In reply to #156 by Ignorant Amos:

      It is incumbent upon a state to protect it’s citizens against it’s enemies, both foreign and domestic…especially when it has internal security issues from terrorists.

      The ‘enemies of the state’ may be the good guys. The enemies of Stalinist communism, of fascism, of Iranian theocracy. You did say say, ‘One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’? #90

      • In reply to #159 by aldous:

        In reply to #156 by Ignorant Amos:
        The ‘enemies of the state’ may be the good guys. The enemies of Stalinist communism, of fascism, of Iranian theocracy. You did say say, ‘One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’? #90

        Seriously though, cliches aside, there is no freedom in Islam. Islam means submission. And fear. You might say the only freedom is in freedom from islam.

        • In reply to #161 by inquisador:

          Seriously though, cliches aside, there is no freedom in Islam. Islam means submission. And fear. You might say the only freedom is in freedom from islam.

          Have you been to Dubai? Or Turkey? Or any Muslim country?

          • In reply to #164 by G_O_D:

            The attractions of Dubai would be obvious if you had ever been there, like the 84% of the population that is foreign. The likelihood of being victim to traditionalist puritanism is not enough to discourage them. The Scandinavian concept of rape, on the other hand, has been rather inconvenient for Julian Assange.

          • In reply to #165 by aldous:

            In reply to #164 by GOD:

            The attractions of Dubai would be obvious if you had ever been there, like the 84% of the population that is foreign.

            Are they mostly from Switzerland or from Sri Lanka? If the answer is Sri Lanka, why do you think they are there? To enjoy democracy or for some other reason?

          • In reply to #173 by G_O_D:

            Are they mostly from Switzerland or from Sri Lanka? If the answer is Sri Lanka, why do you think they are there? To enjoy demo…

            Do I have to spell out the obvious. For Europeans, the attraction is more money and a better lifestyle. For workers from the Third World there may not be much attraction in the lifestyle available to them, so it comes down to the money.

          • In reply to #181 by aldous:

            In reply to #173 by GOD:

            Are they mostly from Switzerland or from Sri Lanka? If the answer is Sri Lanka, why do you think they are there? To enjoy demo…

            Do I have to spell out the obvious. For Europeans, the attraction is more money and a better lifestyle. For workers from the Third World there…

            Thank you;-)

          • In reply to #165 by aldous:

            The attractions of Dubai would be obvious if you had ever been there, like the 84% of the population that is foreign. The likelihood of being victim to traditionalist puritanism is not enough to discourage them. The Scandinavian concept of rape, on the other hand, has been rather inconvenient for Julian Assange.

            Ah, there are attractions in Dubai! Gee, I guess that makes the serious human rights violations over there OK!

            What “Scandinavian concept of rape”? The different Scandinavian countries have different laws. I don’t believe the laws used against Assange exist in Norway and Denmark, for example.

            But never mind that. It seems that you are justifying the rape of this woman in a desperate attempt to defend Dubai (“she was just unlucky to be a victim of puritanism because most western women aren’t (who cares about the women who live there permanently), and she wasn’t really raped after all”). Is that the case?

          • In reply to #163 by aldous:

            In reply to #161 by inquisador:

            Have you been to Dubai? Or Turkey? Or any Muslim country?

            Dubai? Free enough if your on holiday I guess. In most cases anyway…unless your a women who has been raped…

            “In Dubai, a woman who reports being raped can be sentenced to over a year of time in prison for “engaging in extramarital relations.” In Dubai and other countries whose legislation incorporates Islamic law, the alleged rapist can only be convicted of rape by the confession of the perpetrator or by the testimony of four male witnesses. The Emirates Center for Human Rights states that “Until laws are reformed, victims of sexual violence in the UAE will continue to suffer,” referring to a case in July 2013 in which a 24-year-old Norwegian woman reported being raped to the police, initially was sentenced to 16 months in jail, but was later pardoned.”

            …religious freedoms are a bit stifled too…although compared to other Islamic states Dubai is a veritable paradise…

            “Non-Muslim religious groups are permitted to openly advertise group functions; however, proselytising or distributing religious literature is strictly prohibited under penalty of criminal prosecution, imprisonment, and deportation for engaging in behaviour offensive to Islam.”

            Turkey? Really? Turkey is not a Muslim country….

            “Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion; the Turkish Constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience.”

            But lets consider Turkey anyway, since the majority are Muslim….freedom is great in Turkey if you are there on holiday I guess…but this very site has been banned in Turkey.

            “Human rights in Turkey have been the subject of some controversy and international condemnation. Between 1998 and 2008 the European Court of Human Rights made more than 1,600 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations, particularly the right to life and freedom from torture. Other issues such as Kurdish rights, women’s rights and press freedom have also attracted controversy. Turkey’s human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to future membership of the EU.”

            As for freedom of the press in Turkey…your joking. right?

            Since we are talking about the persecution of minorities, I wouldn’t have tied my colours to the Turkish mast just yet…

            “The three minority groups officially recognised in the Treaty of Lausanne are Armenians, Greeks and Jews. The formerly numerous Greek population was greatly reduced by population exchange between Greece and Turkey carried out in the 1920s. Following decades of state-sponsored discrimination, the formerly 110,000-strong Greek community of Istanbul has now shrunk to approximately 3,000.”

            “Minorities other than the three officially recognized ones do not have specific minority rights, while the term “minority” itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey and the Government of Turkey is frequently being criticized for its treatment of minorities, with Human Rights Watch stating in 2012: “The government’s ‘democratic opening’, announced in the summer of 2009 to address the minority rights of the Kurds in Turkey, did not progress.”

            But what is a Muslim country? Is it one that operates under Sharia law?

            Sharia Law…freedom…really?

            “The Qur’an defines hudud as the punishments for five specific crimes: unlawful intercourse, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, consumption of alcohol, theft, and highway robbery.”

            Hudud is these fixed penalties:-

            1. Capital punishments – by sword/crucifixion (for highway robbery with homicide), by stoning

            2. Amputation of hands or feet (for theft and highway robbery without homicide)

            3. Flogging with a varying number of strokes (for drinking, zina’ when the offenders are unmarried, and false accusations of zina’)

            Inquisador specifically said Islam and Islam is not a country now is it? The word itself means “submission to Allah”, call me old fashioned but there is nothing free about that.

        • In reply to #161 by inquisador:

          Of course, terrorists are only called freedom fighters by the fuckwits that support the cause and those methods that are defined as terrorism. No rational human being should support terrorism…period.

          You know my views on Islam well enough by now to realize I agree with you on the rest of your comment }80)~

          • In reply to #168 by Ignorant Amos:

            Of course, terrorists are only called freedom fighters by the fuckwits that support the cause and those methods that are defined as terrorism. No rational human being should support terrorism…period.

            Terrorists are glorified by Israeli Jews as heroes who helped set up their state. It’s morally dubious but not irrational.

          • In reply to #182 by aldous:

            In reply to #168 by Ignorant Amos:

            Of course, terrorists are only called freedom fighters by the fuckwits that support the cause and those methods that are defined as terrorism. No rational human being should support terrorism…period.

            Terrorists are glorified by Israeli Jews as heroes who helped…

            May I ask for a clarification? Is it by some, most or all Israeli Jews?

          • In reply to #182 by aldous:

            Terrorists are glorified by Israeli Jews as heroes who helped set up their state. It’s morally dubious but not irrational.

            Glorifying anyone that INTENTIONALLY attacks, terrorizes and murders innocent men, women and children isn’t dubious, its despicable, whether you sympathize with their cause or not…something you seem to have missed in your support for the bigger offender in this debate.

            But lets look at what I originally said…

            “Of course, terrorists are only called freedom fighters by the fuckwits that support their cause and those methods that are defined as terrorism. No rational human being should support terrorism…period.”

            Where is the word “glorified” in my comment? Please read what I said, not what you think I said, which appears to be your modus operandi on this thread at the expense of ignoring factual details.

            Jews, from anywhere, that support terrorism are fuckwits too….do you support Palestinian terrorists? Intentionally murdering non combatants is terrorism. It is irrational because it will not help that cause, nor should it.

            There is a marked difference in supporting “the cause and those methods that are defined as terrorism”, as opposed to just supporting “the cause”.

            I don’t support terrorism from any quarter for any cause, those that do are fuckwits in my opinion.

            Here’s a paper for you to read…

            Bombing Versus Negotiating: How Preferences
            for Combating Terrorism Are Affected
            by Perceived Terrorist Rationality

            For those that can’t be bothered…

            Conclusion:

            This research suggests that whether we perceive terrorists as
            irrational fanatics or as rational actors is likely to have serious consequences. In the former case we may choose to attack, and in the latter case we may try diplomacy. It is important to note that such differences in the perception of
            terrorists do not simply arise from differences in who is doing the perceiving. Rather, we have shown that those perceptions are influenced by contextual factors such as media portrayals.

            Indeed, Ehud Sprinzak, whose description of terrorists
            served to open this article, was prompted by the context of
            9/11 to recant his assessment of terrorists as “political” and
            “rational” (2000, p. 73). He instead described these new attackers as “apolitical” and “megalomaniacal” (2001, p. 73).
            Not surprisingly, given the results of this research, this
            changed perception also led him to advocate a new approach
            to terrorism: preemptive military strikes.

            Irish Republicans found that the indeterminate slaughter of innocent men, women and children was detrimental to their cause after the fiasco of “Bloody Friday” It was a PR bollocks of epic proportions. Public opinion can be fickle…even from those that support the cause. Now that didn’t mean there were no innocent victims of Republican terrorism, far from it, but it did let them know that there was less stomach for it than they had previously envisioned.

      • In reply to #159 by aldous:

        The ‘enemies of the state’ may be the good guys.

        Which is why I specifically added the caveat…” to protect it’s citizens against”…the citizens shouldn’t need protecting from the good guys. No terrorist’s are the good guys. Don’t confuse terrorist with guerrilla.

        You did say say, ‘One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’?

        Yes I did…but only to demonstrate the subjectivity of the descriptor “terrorist” by some, freedom fighters ought not to engage in terrorism…the statement is wrong in any case. I have no time for terrorists, they are all brainwashed idealists and cowardly bastards.

    • In reply to #174 by Ignorant Amos:

      Owing to the big fuss being made over the ID card nonsense, I found this interesting article,”The Te’udat Zehut—Identification Card”. It addresses some of the concerns being raised in this thread.

      How bizarre that Israelis should have different nationalities.

      From the article you cite:

      The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for assigning nationality to Israeli citizens. Currently, the possibilities include Jewish, Arab or Druze.
      while the nationality section no longer exists on identity cards issued from April 2002 onwards …new cards are not being issued to the 6 million citizens who received their cards prior to that time
      Nationality would continue to be recorded in the Population Registry (Mirsham Ha-uchlusin)

      Also, as previously mentioned in the quote from the Wikipedia article, Jewish nationality is obvious because the date of birth is recorded according to the Jewish calendar.

      • In reply to #178 by aldous:

        How bizarre that Israelis should have different nationalities.

        How bizarre…my daughter was born in a British Military Hospital, BAOR,…she’s entitled to German nationality…both parents are British…she’s entitled to British nationality…the part of Britain her parents were born is Northern Ireland…she is entitled to Northern Irish nationality…and finally, because Eire recognizes Northern Ireland as a part of Ireland, she is entitled to Irish nationality…how many is that? Four nationalities for one person, three with their own passports…how bizarre is that?

        Incidentally, most Irish nationalist born in Northern Ireland are de-facto British, but refuse to hold a British passport opting for the Irish alternative. Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland have dual language street signs in English and Irish Gaelic, how bizarre is that? Mind you, the same thing can be said about parts of Wales…go figure.

        From the article you cite:

        The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for assigning nationality to Israeli citizens. Currently, the possibilities include Jewish, Arab or Druze. while the nationality section no longer exists on identity cards issued from April 2002 onwards …new cards are not being issued to the 6 million citizens who received their cards prior to that time Nationality would continue to be recorded in the Population Registry (Mirsham Ha-uchlusin)

        There, I highlighted a bit for ya. But I love the quote mining…excellent stuff. Let’s get the context going a bit for those interested in some objectiveness…

        “For the majority of Israeli citizens, however, the question of nationality is more complicated. When asked to define a Jewish citizen by the two very different terms nationality and religion, one comes up with the same answer: Jewish. In other words, a Jewish citizen also belongs to the Jewish nation, therefore his or her nationality is Jewish and citizenship is Israeli. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for assigning nationality to Israeli citizens. Currently, the possibilities include Jewish, Arab or Druze. Individuals who do not fall into these three nationalities are registered by their country of origin or, alternatively, until recently the space on the identity card was left blank.”

        You’ll be asserting next that a blank space is tantamount to a form of apartheid. Anyway, to keep up with the nationality debate…

        “The Interior Ministry has compiled a list of more than 130 possible nationalities for Israeli citizens including Jewish, Arab, Druse, Circassian, Samarian, Hong Konger, German, Albanian and Lichtensteinian. “Israeli” is not on the list.”

        Do you think it is possibly because those people of different nationality WANT their nationality to be defined as either Jewish, Arab or Druze?

        Here’s another bizarre detail for you…British service personnel are defined as Brit/English, Brit/Scottish, Brit/Welsh and Brit/Irish, even though Brit/Irish is offensive to many of those who are from NORTHERN Ireland.

        Also, as previously mentioned in the quote from the Wikipedia article, Jewish nationality is obvious because the date of birth is recorded according to the Jewish calendar.

        You are flogging this red herring for all it is worth. But lets dispense with the quote mining again…what else does it say? Here we go…

        “The state’s registration which serves as the basis for the data in the Identity Cards still indicates the ethnicity of each person, and this information is available upon request in certain circumstances determined by the registration law.”

        So, someones ethnicity can be retrieved regardless of whether the D.O.B. is in Hebrew or not?

        Which brings us on to this bit…

        “An amendment to the Israeli registration law approved by the Knesset in 2007 determines that a Jew may ask to remove the Hebrew date from his entry, and consequently from his Identity Card. This is due to errors that often occur in the registration of the Hebrew date because the Hebrew calendar day starts at sunset and not at midnight. The amendment also introduces an explicit definition for the term “a day according to the Hebrew calendar”.

        So, having a non Hebrew D.O.B. on the ID card is not a ethnic marker after all, since it is possible that a Jew can have an ID card without a Hebrew D.O.B.?

        Furthermore, if a person of one the other 127 possible nationalities for Israeli citizenship excluding Jewish, Arab, Druse had to present their ID card, how would their D.O.B. be represented on the card? Some example of apartheid there Aldous.

        Now will ya give it up on the ID card nonsense already…with the biometric cards being released as we speak…it is now irrelevant, even if misplaced.

        BTW, an interesting question is, “Why is there a nationality field on British passports at all?”, seems rather pointless to me.

  49. Hah..! we had enough of making Israel the innocent,generous,liberal, and even more human that humans, when this made up country is doing all the killing and making America pays billions just for protecting the real kings of America (Israel).

    Controlling America and the money that tax payers pay each year to the welfare of their own country goes to kill humans that just want their homes back while the taxes are getting higher and many Americans can’t find something to eat nor homes to live in.

    On the other hand, Israel Nationals are killing many humans each day and takeover their homes “on the basis of terror” and -dare you- say anything about it, you’ll be “antisimic” or anti-new made up shit , well my friend I DON’T CARE WHAT A KILLER OR AN OCCUPIER SAYS ABOUT ME.

    Call me anti-this or that ,Jihadist , or call me even Hitler ,but at the end of the day ,I am a good person who hates no one and you’ll be a killer in a way or another, adios amigos .

    • In reply to #193 by steev.en:

      Hah..! we had enough of making Israel the innocent,generous,liberal, and even more human that humans, when this made up country is doing all the killing and making America pays billions just for protecting the real kings of America (Israel).

      Israel is not doing all the killing. Not by a long shot. The Palestinians are in fact killing each other in large numbers. As I mentioned as an example of the situation a couple of days ago, nearly 100 Fatah members had to seek refuge in Israel because Hamas was trying to hunt them down in order to kill them all simply for belonging to Fatah.

      It is true, though, that Israeli losses are far lower than Palestinian losses. There are several reasons for that. For example, while Israel does everything in its power to protect its own citizens from being killed, Hamas is actively encouraging its own people (including women and children) to seek death in the fight against Israel. Hamas is actively using their own as human shields, which successfully forces Israel to abort attacks on military targets:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6162494.stm

      Furthermore, when they do not use human shields they always try to hide their military operations as close to their own civilians as possible. So then Israel is left with the choice: Take out the installation attacking and killing its own civilians, or risk hitting Palestinian civilians.

      And even worse, Hamas often plants explosives next to legitimate targets, so when Israel strikes that target, those explosives go off as a result, killing Palestinian civilians: Of course, you would blame Israel for this as well…

      Made up country? What do you mean by that? That Israel doesn’t really exist or that Jews shouldn’t have the right to form their own country unlike the Arabs? That sounds like racism. Does it also mean that other countries on the planet were not created by humans, but were put together by some almighty supernatural force?

      On the other hand, Israel Nationals are killing many humans each day and takeover their homes “on the basis of terror”

      Do you have a specific example of such a home being taken over? Just one, mind you. I don’t want another Gish Gallop from an Israel-opponent.

      and -dare you- say anything about it, you’ll be “antisimic” or anti-new made up shit , well my friend I DON’T CARE WHAT A KILLER OR AN OCCUPIER SAYS ABOUT ME.

      What looks a lot like anti-semitism is when you think that Jews are not allowed to form a country on available land, and that only Arabs can do that. What else would you call it when you have special rules for what everyone else can, but not Jews?

      As for killer and occupier, the allied forces during WWII killed German soldiers and civilians, and occupied the country. But I guess it’s only bad when Jews do it…

  50. In reply to #189 by siger:

    In reply to #47 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

    You need to use valid, rational, factual arguments, not emotional outbursts. You are coming across as a religious fundamentalist.

    Do I get it right that you consider “You are coming across as a religious fundamentalist” as a “valid, rational, factual argument”?…

    What you are quoting is not an argument. It is an observation describing the other person’s argument, and a criticism of it.

    Now, how about addressing the actual issues here? Answering some of the questions that keep being ignored?

  51. Wow. This takes me back to those days of South African apartheid, and all the articles claiming that a boycott was wrong because it hurt black people in South Africa.

    In other words, Qanta: no. I have been boycotting Israel since 1984 and this little piece of obvious propaganda isn’t going to change that, I’m afraid. I know “moral turpitude” when I see it.

    • In reply to #196 by JackR:

      Wow. This takes me back to those days of South African apartheid, and all the articles claiming that a boycott was wrong because it hurt black people in South Africa.

      Economic sanctions did little more than encourage our clever scientists to develop a method for making oil from coal. Academic boycotts just made your average South African even dumber. It was the spread of information and the resulting change in public opinion which overthrew apartheid in the end.

    • In reply to #196 by JackR:

      Wow. This takes me back to those days of South African apartheid, and all the articles claiming that a boycott was wrong because it hurt black people in South Africa.

      Except, of course, comparing Israel to Apartheid in South Africa is simply wrong. Your entire argument must fall flat because Israel not treating foreigners the same as their own citizens is not Apartheid. If it is, then all countries on the planet are guilty of Apartheid.

      • In reply to #204 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

        Except, of course, comparing Israel to Apartheid in South Africa is simply wrong. Your entire argument must fall flat because Israel not treating foreigners the same as their own citizens is not Apartheid.

        Making people foreigners in their own country is exactly what Apartheid did in South Africa and what has been done by Israel. The parallel is striking and supports the case for the boycott option.

        • In reply to #207 by aldous:

          Making people foreigners in their own country is exactly what Apartheid did in South Africa and what has been done by Israel.

          What “own country” are people being made foreigners in, exactly?

  52. Qanta Ahmed makes a very good case for continuing to engage with Israel academically. The boycott might even hurt other western nations as much or more than Israel. Let Israelis of all backgrounds work together as much as possible; help and understand one another and pursue the knowledge together that leads to greater tolerance and awareness.

    We need to learn from the mistakes of history and stop repeating them. When the hatred, bloodlust, indoctrination of children to become martyrs and all the rest of it dissipates sufficiently, maybe there will be enough of a chance of a tolerable relationship between the two sides to relax the security measures.

    To me, the doctrinaire religious attitudes on both sides are to blame, though mostly the side that targets innocent civilians for death, not so much the side that aims to minimize civilian deaths. Surely the zealots must see the futility of continuing this unending struggle at some point?

    As someone once said (ah yes, Golda Meir, Thanks, Google); – “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

  53. There’s a lot of bluster and nonsense littering this forum, most of it in defence of Israeli crimes. Some of the obvious fabrications are:

    ”When one side does everything possible to protect its own civilians, while the other is conducting the fight from behind its own civilians, encouraging children to become “martyrs”, the discrepancy in the number of civilian victims is a given outcome.”

    This is a common tactic of whitewash: cry and stamp your feet that the enemy’s combatants don’t come out onto an open hill to face down an Apache helicopter. It might have occured to you at some point that Gaza is a small place (perhaps the most crowded place on Earth) and that the Hamas people happen to LIVE there. It might also have occured to you that guerilla forces, even if they ‘hide behind civilians’ as you sourly intone, can’t afford to keep doing so since they have to rely upon the population and can’t alienate them if their popular support is to remain steadfast. ‘They hide behind civilians’ is the oldest trick in the book to demonise and vilify enemies that are vastly outgunned and to make one’s own excuses for state violence more palatable. It also absolves you of moral responsibility for your own actions (or the actions that you act as a cheerleader for), effectivley turning you into an apologist for war crimes that are then axiomatically blamed on the enemy. Liberals scholars often go in for this kind of thing. Stephen Pinker, for example, in his book ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature”, assigns blame for the casualties of American violence in Indochina on the Vietminh and North Vietnam, by intoning that the Vietnamese brought it on themselves through their willingness to fight to the bitter end. American bombs apparently had nothing to do with it. One could use similar logic to defend Nazi aggression. A similar current pervades this discussion.

    ”There is no “Lebensraum policy” and you should be ashamed to use such term.”

    There is indeed a Lebensraum policy at play, and you should be ashamed to deny it when the evidence is presented to you on a routine basis on the evening news. Presumably you’ve heard of Jewish settlements, and the expansion of Jewish settlements. That’s one aspect. Israel has in fact been an expansionist state since its inception. Its early leaders debated amongst themselves the proper way to secure the new state from its enemies, and the general consensus was that expansion was the best means of doing so. Its leaders debated the best ways to solve (for themselves) the ”demographic problem” through military means, too. Here’s a quote from Moshe Dyan: ”We don’t have a solution, and you will continue living like dogs, and whoever wants will go, and will see how this procedure will work out. For now, it works out. Let’s say the truth. We want peace. If there is no peace, we will maintain military rule and we will have four to five military compounds on the mountains, and they will sit ten years under the Israeli military regime.” In other words, keep you heads down or we’ll crush you, and if you want to leave, then leave. Anyone with a functioning brain can surmise that the immiseration of Gaza an the West Bank is a conscious STRATEGY designed to ensure that a Palestinian state won’t be viable, that the original refugees all die out and that no one will therefore have a ”right to return”, and that more favourable conditions will be afforded to implement current and future plans for expanding Jewish settlements. The continued and wanton destruction of Palestinian property, collective punishment, blockades, the criss-crossing of the West Bank with froads linking heavily fortified Jewish settlements and farms, kidnappings, torture, assassinations, routine humiliation at check points, routine discrimination, and a list of other regimentations too numerous to mention, are all part of a conscious, decades-long strategy, with security as the pretext. This is all thoroughly and tediously documented in the book ‘The Fateful Triangle’, but that’s written by a ‘self-hating Jew’ so I guess it doesn’t count.

    I should also point out that many members of the IDF (the ‘refuseniks’) have themselves come out strongly in protest at what they themselves call a system of oppression. I’d love to know what sort of mental gymnastics would be necessary to dismiss Israeli special forces as ‘enablers of jihad’, or whatever bluster happens to be the flavour of the day. I’m all ears.

    ”The difference between Hamas and Israel is that war criminals are actually persecuted by the latter,”

    When did this happen? And I think you meant ”prosecuted”, right?

    ”and that Hamas has war crimes as an integral part of their military tactics.”

    More bluster, and vile hypocrisy on top of it. Terrorism is a favoured tactic of all guerilla groups, including the Jewish groups that secured the state of Israel. Secondly, one can’t talk with a straight face about terrorism and war crimes when one is violently occupying, brutalising and blockading another people.

    ”Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties on both sides”

    And you know this because…they told you so. It’s simply axiomatic for you: if a civilian dies as a result of Israeli violence, it’s necessarily the fault of the enemy, ”therefore” Israel tries to minize civilian casualties on both sides. Rather blithely, you neglected to mention something rather pertinent to all this: that the best way to avoid civilian casualties on both sides is to stop violently occupying someone else. That will have the benefit of turning down the heat and depriving the enemy of justifications for their attacks, and will automatically reduce, if not completely eliminate, any civilian casualties accruing from your own actions. Such fine points are lost on apologists for state violence who sanctimoniously tell Palestinians to be simply desist from violent resistance and to suffer their indignaiton quietly so as not to sully the liberal conscience or to awaken it from its cherished myths about favoured states.

    ”The number of Palestinais deaths is directly related to the way Hamas forms its tactics”

    Right, but it’s not directly related to Israeli violence.

    One struggles in vain to think of an equivalent example of such staggering and disgraceful apologia.

    ‘”Retaliation” is the key word.”

    Indeed, and yet you seem to harbour the odd notion that only Israelis are entitled to invoke it, or as though it’s somehow self-evident that Israeli actions are only done in retaliation.

    Many of you seem to have a sugar-coated view of Israel as a bunch of people who want nothing more than to simply get on with the business of hugging puppies and kittens if only they weren’t being beseiged by irrational folk all around them. This needs to stop if your sanctimonious intonations of Islamic lunacy are to rise to the level of serious moral arguments.

    • In reply to #203 by Promethean Entity:

      I’m afraid that your information about Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as mistaken as you supposition that Gaza Strip is “perhaps the most crowded place on Earth”. Admittedly, not many places on Earth have such population density as Gaza, but for example Singapore has 7301 people per square kilometer, Hong Kong 6396 while Gaza has 4750. Moreover, if you take a look at Google map (or just ordinary map of Gaza Strip), you will see quite a lot of not build-up places which shows that it is not absolutely necessary to shoot rockets from outside of kindergartens, schools, hospitals and blocks of flats. There are also pictures and videos made by Arab journalists, showing young boys surrounding “fighters” who are in the process of shooting towards Israel. Not one or two but plenty of such photographic evidence is available for people who do not keep their eyes tightly shut.

      The problem of “Lebensraum”: yes, I’ve heard about Israeli settlements but I suspect that you know too little about them. Did you know, for example, that since Oslo Accord very few new settlements were established, except illegal ones, which are often destroyed by IDF on court orders (Israeli court, that is). Did you know that the percentage of West Bank area taken by those Israeli settlements is about 2% (two percent)? Did you know that most of them are in vicinity of armistice line from 1967 on land either belonging to Jews who were expelled by Jordanian army 1948, or on land which was not used and did not belong to any private person? Did you know that in all negotiations it was understood that in the final (nomen omen) settlement those places will belong to Israel? Did you know those houses about which there is so much talk now are to be built INSIDE existing Israeli settlements?

      About minimizing civilian casualties: as a matter of fact it is Israeli policy but it is not only Israelis who say so. If you do not believe Colonel Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, who also says so, maybe you will believe Red Cross who says that Israel has the smallest number of civilian casualties relative to militants in comparison to any similar conflict.

      And, just a few questions: From 1948 to 1967 West Bank was occupied by Jordan and Gaza was occupied by Egypt. Was there anybody who wanted to establish a Palestinian State on those areas? Were there any Israeli settlements there which were “the obstacle to peace”? If not, why was it that surrounding Israel Arab countries were preparing for war, PLO was established 1964 (what “Palestine were they suppose to liberate?) and no Arab country was prepared to negotiate peace settlement with Israel or acknowledge Israel’s existence?

      • In reply to #206 by Malgorzata:

        The problem of “Lebensraum”: yes, I’ve heard about Israeli settlements but I suspect that you know too little about them. Did you know, for example, that since Oslo Accord very few new settlements were established, except illegal ones, which are often destroyed by IDF on court orders (Israeli court, that is). Did you know that the percentage of West Bank area taken by those Israeli settlements is about 2% (two percent)? Did you know that most of them are in vicinity of armistice line from 1967 on land either belonging to Jews who were expelled by Jordanian army 1948, or on land which was not used and did not belong to any private person? Did you know that in all negotiations it was understood that in the final (nomen omen) settlement those places will belong to Israel? Did you know those houses about which there is so much talk now are to be built INSIDE existing Israeli settlements?

        Wow, this is pretty crazy stuff. And I mean the lies being spread by people here, and the Western media. Reading newspapers, you get a completely different impression of the situation than the one you are describing.

        If what you write is true, the situation is even worse than I thought. I thought I was being lied to a lot regarding Israel, but all these “journalists” and politicians not even mentioning any of the facts you list when they condemn Israel..

        Once again it turns out that those who oppose Israel are exactly like creationists and climate deniers. Lies, misinformation, leaving out important information, etc.

        You wouldn’t happen to have sources for each of your points? I would like to research them further.

        • In reply to #211 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

          You can get some information about area and localization of those settlements here: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/settlements.html , inclusive a reminder that there are precedents – settlements which are far from the future border can be evacuated as they were in Sinai and Gaza. About land ownership: there are some information here: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/rachel-neuwirth-and-john-landau/are-jewish-settlements-built-on-arab-land/ I would also recommend a book by Professor Barry Rubin, “Israel, An Introduction”. There are plenty of sources, but maybe that is enough for now. And it is not difficult to find a content of Israeli proposal to Arafat and to Abbas by respective Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, in which 98% of West Bank + parts of Jerusalem and whole Gaza were to be a Palestinian State (with land swaps for the remaining 2 or 3%). Both proposals rejected by leaders of Palestinians.

          Of course, those facts will not convince Promethean Entity who seems to be of a firm opinion that every Jew, who supports Israel, is lying through his/her teeth. He also seems to have a traditional disregard for Jewish life, judging by his rejection of the necessity of check points and controls in a milieu replete with willing suicide bombers. No matter that every week Israeli soldiers stop Palestinians carrying explosives, who try to get into Israel with them. Presumably he does not protest against checks at the airports even if the danger of somebody with explosives is much smaller at the New York airport that at the check point between West Bank and Israel.

          • In reply to #214 by Malgorzata:

            In reply to #211 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            There are plenty of sources, but maybe that is enough for now. And it is not difficult to find a content of Israeli proposal to Arafat and to Abbas by respective Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, in which 98% of West Bank + parts of Jerusalem and whole Gaza were to be a Palestinian State (with land swaps for the remaining 2 or 3%). Both proposals rejected by leaders of Palestinians.

            Context matters. Thus, you ignore it in your mandarin-style defence of Israel. For example, you leave out the fact that the ”98 percent” of the West Bank is criss-crossed with roads connecting Jewish settlements, effectively reducing the West Bank to a series of Bantustans living in the midst of a heavily armed Israeli presence. No other nation on Earth would accept such ridiculous terms.

            Of course, those facts will not convince Promethean Entity

            Of course they won’t, because they’re presented devoid of context.

            who seems to be of a firm opinion that every Jew, who supports Israel, is lying through his/her teeth.

            Could you please specify what you mean by ‘supports Israel’? For example, are you referring to support for Israeli arms transfers to Latin American death-squad regimes during the 1970s (no doubt demonstrating its commitment to human rights)? Are you referring to the IDF’s practise of breaking the arms of children and teenagers who throw stones at Israeli settlers? It’s hard to know what you’re pointing to when you use the abstract term ‘supports Israel’.

            He also seems to have a traditional disregard for Jewish life, judging by his rejection of the necessity of check points and controls in a milieu replete with willing suicide bombers.

            Stupid slander. The checkpoints are only a necessity so long as the racist colonial settler configuration and Israel’s rejectionist stance is in place.

            No matter that every week Israeli soldiers stop Palestinians carrying explosives, who try to get into Israel with them.

            See above.

            Presumably he does not protest against checks at the airports even if the danger of somebody with explosives is much smaller at the New York airport that at the check point between West Bank and Israel.

            Stupid comparison. It shouldn’t take anyone with a modicum of logic much effort to figure out what’s missing from this picture.

            In reply to WayOfTheDodoTwo:

            Once again it turns out that those who oppose Israel are exactly like creationists and climate deniers. Lies, misinformation, leaving out important information, etc.

            You seem to be utterly and desperately obsessed with creationists and of painting anyone who disagrees with you as being akin to one. Perhaps you imagine that in place of an argument, invoking creationism makes you sound clever and ‘skeptical’. This is odd, given that you’re implying that many conscientious Jewish people who have repeatedly and strongly opposed many of Israel’s actions are doing so out of an irrational hatred of…Jews? Two of Israel’s biggest critics are themselves Jews, and one of them is an Israeli. One of the most legendary Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a strong critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. We find within Israel many military people, who have served in the Occupied Territories and who have clashed with Palestinian militants, now refusing to serve in these areas because they themselves regard what they did as propping up an oppressive regime. Yes, these people are all just ”creationists” who are possessed with an irrational and inexplicable loathing for Israel. Thanks for clearing that up.

          • In reply to #219 by Promethean Entity:

            Context matters, and history as well. A history of Arab terrorism, Arab refusal to negotiate with Jews since 1947, Arab wars against Israel (and before that, against Jews living in Palestine Mandate), Arab refusal to accept any kind of peace. It was not Jews who refused the division of the remnants of Palestine Mandate between Jews and Arabs; it was not Jews but Arab League which, after the war they started and they lost, said their famous three “No”: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it – and, as I wrote previously, there were no settlements then on the West Bank and there was nothing which prevented Arabs to establish a Palestinian state there between 1948 and 1967. Jordan annexed this area and – as the majority of Jordanian citizens are Palestinians – treated it as a fulfillment of a dream from the time of British Mandate of Jordan on the both side of the River. But building the own state was (and, unfortunately still is) not a goal. The goal is to destroy the Jewish state. I’m not even talking about Hamas. Read Fatah’s Charter, listen to what Palestinian functionaries have to say when they talk about Oslo Accord as a Trojan Horse against Israel, and about current negotiations as a ploy in the style of their Prophet’s to get as much as possible, get stronger and start again. You may not even know about it but Israelis remember who said: “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like Mongolian massacre and the Crusades”. And they remember that this was said three years after Holocaust and has been repeated with relish to this day.

            You are painting a false picture of a land that “is criss-crossed with roads connecting Jewish settlements, effectively reducing the West Bank to a series of Bantustans living in the midst of a heavily armed Israeli presence. No other nation on Earth would accept such ridiculous terms”. It is not, and it was deemed a very acceptable proposal. Bill Clinton was furious with Arafat who rejected it. And if you really want your independence so badly, if it really is a matter of life and death, you accept a proposal to have own state even if it is not in the shape you dreamt about. Look at the map of by UN proposed Jewish state 1947 – unlivable and almost impossible to defend three pieces of land, connected at the corners. Jews, who really wanted to be independent and really had thousands of refugees rotting in DP camps in Europe, in British camps on Cyprus and massacred in diverse Arab countries, didn’t hesitate but accepted this tiny stump of land promised to them by binding decision in San Remo, by League of Nations and even by UN which took upon itself the continuation of legally binding activity of League of Nations.

            To support Israel means for me support for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state (in the same manner as Poland is a Polish state with minorities who have equal rights – as Israeli Arabs do have in Israel); stating that their right to self-defense is as self-evident as right of anybody else; showing lies and anti-Israeli propaganda for what it is – like your sentence about “IDF’s practise of breaking the arms of children and teenagers who throw stones at Israeli settlers”, which is just that: a hateful slander. The slur about “racist colonial settler configuration” belongs to the same category.

            I do not see difference between a checkpoint at the Western airport so that no fanatic laden with explosives would be able to blow up a plane while shouting “Allahu Akhbar”, and a checkpoint in Israel so that no fanatic laden with explosive would be able to blow up a bus, a pizzeria or decapitate a 3-month old baby, and stab to death her sibling and her parents.

            What’s really missing from picture painted in this discussion is religion. From the Jewish point of view (with the exception of an absolute margin of Jewish religious fanatics), this is a territorial conflict. From the Arab point of view (with the exception of an absolute margin of liberal Arabs), this is a religious conflict, and they say it openly. If it had been a territorial conflict from both sides, it would be solved ages ago.

          • In reply to #221 by Malgorzata:

            this is a territorial conflict.

            A conflict which originated between the immigrants and the people living there. A classic story of settler colonisation, in essence. That’s the history of Palestine, 90% Arab when the British Mandate began, now wiped off the map to make way for the Jewish state, where the Arabs have been driven out or are foreigners in their own country.

            Disappearing Palestine

          • In reply to #223 by aldous:
            Jews lived in this territory all the time. Expelled (not all of them) they returned when it was possible. Were expelled again and returned again and again. There is no “mother country” from which this “colonial entreprise” could have started. Living for centuries in diaspora as in best case second class citizens, in worst people who were exterminated, they decided, during the wave of liberation movements in 19th and early 20th century, to liberate themselves. Those are not “colonists”, those are refugees from Europe, from Arab and Muslim countries (with the exception of Jews from America who came voluntarily, not as a persecuted minority). If I understand you correctly, you are of the opinion that Israel should not exist and you don’t give a damn what would happen to those 8 million people in Israel and where would the last Jews from Arab countries find safe haven (Just recently 17 Jews from Yemen were smuggled out of this country and came to Israel. Only 50 or so are left in Yemen – left to the tender mercies of Islamists.)

          • In reply to #225 by Malgorzata:

            I must say I find some of your arguments quite surprising.

            “To support Israel means for me support for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state (in the same manner as Poland is a Polish state with minorities who have equal rights – “(Malgorzata #221

            Citing the homogeneity of Poland as an example for Israel is very odd, considering the contribution of the Holocaust in ensuring that the country is almost entirely ethnically Polish and overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

            “There is no “mother country” from which this “colonial entreprise” could have started.”

            You could start with Poland. This is the country which produced Menachem Begin, whose terrorist exploits make him a hero in Israel, and other founding fathers. Of course, no single country was the source of the early waves of European immigrants to Israel.

            The comparison with the United States is useful. Waves of settlers came from Europe, the persecuted and exploited who became the persecuting and exploiting as quick as they could.

          • In reply to #226 by aldous:

            And I must say that I do not find your comment really honest. I was writing about Poland which has quite a lot of minorities (for your information we have a German minority, Roma minority, Ukrainian minority, Belorussian minority, Lithuanian minority and a tiny Jewish minority, not to mention Tatar minority) and in spite of those minorities it is a Polish state. The same was before the war when both Jewish and Ukrainian minorities were much, much larger – the state was Polish. However, you try to impute that I was writing about “homogeneity”! What is that if not dishonest.

            Do you also describe as “colonist” Jews from Arab and Islamic countries, who came to Israel when they were persecuted in their homelands, deprived of citizenship, deprived of the right to education, health care etc., sometimes murdered in pogroms? They and their descendants constitute now over a half of Jewish population of Israel. Are those 17 Yemenite Jews recently whisked out of the country also colonists?

            And how is it that you support building a state which announces that it will be Arab and Islamic, that not one Jew will be allowed to live there? And do not pretend that when Abbas says he will not allow even one Israeli live in the future state of Palestine he means just people with Israeli citizenship and not Jews. When he reluctantly agreed to international force guarding peace between Israel and the future Palestinian state one of his conditions was: No Jews among soldiers of this international force.

            Now, I’m not asking, where is your decency, but where is your logic?

          • In reply to #227 by Malgorzata:

            And I must say that I do not find your comment really honest. I was writing about Poland which has quite a lot of minorities (for your information we have a German minority, Roma minority, Ukrainian minority, Belorussian minority, Lithuanian minority and a tiny Jewish mi..

            It’s true that, as an example of ethnic homogeneity, Poland fails the 100% test..

            “Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7% (2002 census)”
            Poland

            In former Palestine, the populations which have been reduced to minority status, through immigration and ethnic cleansing, are over 20% within the Jewish State itself and,with the Occupied Territories, possibly not a minority at all. It’s the cruelty and illegality involved in maintaining and expanding the Jewish State, as such, that is the target of the boycott, disinvest and sanction campaign against Israel.

            The topic of this discussion, action against universities as institutions, as opposed to individual academics, seems likely to be effective.That’s judging by #216 where “We, the undersigned, attorneys” deliver a lecture to the European Union to demonstrate that Israel is right and the rest of the world is wrong.

            you support building a state which announces that it will be Arab and Islamic

            This preposterous claim is on a level with the efforts of “the undersigned attorneys”.

          • In reply to #228 by aldous:

            There are some evidence that my claim is not so preposterous. For example, Palestinian Basic Law, established 2002:

            According to Article 4:

            Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
            The principles of Islamic Shari'a shall be the main source of legislation.
            Arabic shall be the official language.
            

            There is also paragraph 1: “Palestine is part of the large[r] Arab World ..

            There is much more in this proposed Constitution for the future Palestinian State and much more in the statements (mainly in Arabic) of Palestinian Authority’s leaders.

          • In reply to #229 by Malgorzata:

            There are some evidence that my claim is not so preposterous. For example, Palestinian Basic Law, established 2002:

            you support building a state which announces that it will be Arab and Islamic #227

            The preposterousness is in characterizing opposition to Israel’s cruelty and criminality as approval of ethnicity and religion as the foundational principle of any state.

          • In reply to #226 by aldous:

            Citing the homogeneity of Poland as an example for Israel is very odd, considering the contribution of the Holocaust in ensuring that the country is almost entirely ethnically Polish and overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

            It’s time for a moderator to stop the way you are consciously ignoring people’s points and misrepresenting their arguments. Instead of addressing what he actually wrote, you took the opportunity to do more propaganda nonsense.

            The comparison with the United States is useful. Waves of settlers came from Europe, the persecuted and exploited who became the persecuting and exploiting as quick as they could.

            This is a blatant lie. The Jewish refugees who settled in Palestine bought land if it was owned by someone else, or made use of areas that weren’t in use by anyone. Urbanization had caused large areas to be abandoned as well.

            Jewish leaders made it clear that local Arab farmers were not to be displaced, and focused on working on increasing the amount of fertile land. They made existing desert areas fertile, leading to an increased standard of living, which again prompted migration of Arabs to those areas. Yes, you read that correctly. The Arabs moved to where the Jews were because the standard of living there was typically higher.

            There are also other reasons why the comparison with the US is completely wrong. Jews had always lived in Palestine, and the Jews in Europe had genetic, historical and cultural ties to Palestine and the Jews already there. I have already told you about this of course, but you have once again chosen to ignore facts that contradict your ideology.

            Your claim that the Jews persecuted and exploited the Arabs is nothing but a lie, as it was the Arabs who escalated the conflict. The massacres of Jews in the 20s performed by Arabs is considered a starting point for a serious conflict which we see the effects of even today.

      • In reply to #206 by Malgorzata:

        In reply to #203 by Promethean Entity:

        The problem of “Lebensraum”: yes, I’ve heard about Israeli settlements but I suspect that you know too little about them.

        The suspicion is mutual.

        Firstly, the settlements are a point of contention even with the US, Israel’s strongest backer. Israeli snubbing of Obama on this score should atleast make you ‘suspect’ that Israel isn’t just minding its own business and building on lands assigned to it.

        Secondly, the West Bank’s settlements have been a decades-long point of contention between the two sides. The infrastructure needed to maintain these settlements means that the West Bank has severe constraints placed upon governance of the place. It would be like China having a network of military bases in England, placing restrictions on Britons in their use of air space use, water, and having Britons stopped at checkpoints, an having an armed presence in their midst, and then blithely pretending that England is a properly functioning sovereign state.

        Third, destruction of Palestinian property to make way for Jewish settlers is absolutely routine. The Israeli practise of demolishing homes owned by suspect militants or people associated with them is a classic land-grabbing exercise it has engaged in for decades. Yes, the IDF does evict settlers when it becomes impossible to ignore the ruckus they’re creating, but no sooner than they do that, they’re chipping away here and there at Palestine once more, creating the conditions for further expansion. The long-term trend – calculated and consciously carried out – is that Palestine is being squeezed harder and harder such that Israel now feels CONFIDENT, even against the US, of making brash and arrogant pronunciations that it will expand its settlements. This is part of Israel’s strategy of ”creating facts on the ground” that it can use as a fait accompli to carry out whatever policies it wants.

        ”Did you know those houses about which there is so much talk now are to be built INSIDE existing Israeli settlements?”

        (rolls eyes) A-ha. What other ”facts” have you gleaned from believing Israeli pronouncements?

    • In reply to #203 by Promethean Entity:

      There’s a lot of bluster and nonsense littering this forum

      Yes, and your post is a good example of that. I can’t address everything in your Gish Gallop, but there are a few things I’d like to point out:

      This is a common tactic of whitewash: cry and stamp your feet that the enemy’s combatants don’t come out onto an open hill to face down an Apache helicopter. It might have occured to you at some point that Gaza is a small place (perhaps the most crowded place on Earth) and that the Hamas people happen to LIVE there.
      So much misinformation…

      Gaza is not the most crowded place on Earth. There are plenty of open areas these thugs can use to shoot rockets at Israeli civilians. It seems odd that you think it’s so important for these terrorists to be able to shoot their rockets at Israeli civilians! Why else would you point out the importance of them taking cover behind their own people when they do it?

      ‘They hide behind civilians’ is the oldest trick in the book to demonise and vilify enemies that are vastly outgunned and to make one’s own excuses for state violence more palatable.

      Denying reality does not make reality less real:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6162494.stm

      The fact is that Hamas is actively encouragings its own civilians, including women and children to become “martyrs”, and they actively exploit Israel’s respect for human lives by using their own as human shields, successfully preventing Israel from taking out military installations as seen above.

      There is indeed a Lebensraum policy at play, and you should be ashamed to deny it when the evidence is presented to you on a routine basis on the evening news. Presumably you’ve heard of Jewish settlements, and the expansion of Jewish settlements.

      Jewish settlements are a tiny part of the West Bank, and comprise of, for example, Jews returning to their land after being ethnically cleansed from there in the 40s. But I guess ethnic cleansing of Jews is just fine?

      Claiming that there is a Lebensraum policy because people are returning to their home seems quite insane.

      Israel has in fact been an expansionist state since its inception.

      Completely wrong. Israel only occupied areas when attacked. In fact, Israel didn’t even want to occupy the West Bank but were forced to do so because of Jordan’s attacks.

      Here’s a quote from Moshe Dyan:

      Ah, quote-mining. We all know who else does that kind of thing…

      The continued and wanton destruction of Palestinian property, collective punishment, blockades, the criss-crossing of the West Bank with froads linking heavily fortified Jewish settlements and farms, kidnappings, torture, assassinations, routine humiliation at check points, routine discrimination, and a list of other regimentations too numerous to mention, are all part of a conscious, decades-long strategy, with security as the pretext.

      Too many lies to even begin addressing them. Good job on the Gish Gallop.

      When did this happen?

      Ok, so you don’t even know basic facts about the situation, and yet you write an extremely long post with a whole bunch of weird claims?

      Secondly, one can’t talk with a straight face about terrorism and war crimes when one is violently occupying, brutalising and blockading another people.

      Sure you can. That other people is being occupied or blockaded because they keep attacking Israel.

      ”Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties on both sides”

      And you know this because…they told you so.

      Are you trolling?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6162494.stm

      Rather blithely, you neglected to mention something rather pertinent to all this: that the best way to avoid civilian casualties on both sides is to stop violently occupying someone else.

      Been there, done that. Israel ended the occupation of Gaza in 2005 (heck, they even left businesses run by Israelis to be grabbed by Gazans (who responded by burning them to the ground)). The next thing that happened was an increase in attacks on Israeli civilians, so in 2007 Israel was forced to start the blockade that has lasted until this day.

      What one can learn form this is that ending an occupation won’t work. Not when the goal of the other side is not to live in peace, but to wipe you out.

      Many of you seem to have a sugar-coated view of Israel as a bunch of people who want nothing more than to simply get on with the business of hugging puppies and kittens if only they weren’t being beseiged by irrational folk all around them. This needs to stop if your sanctimonious intonations of Islamic lunacy are to rise to the level of serious moral arguments.

      I have now demonstrated that you lack even a basic understanding of the situation, and yet you keep posting your Gish Gallops…

  54. In reply to #205 by Jay G:

    In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

    Opts not to be a civilized member of the community of nations? Are you kidding? Who passes these “resolutions”? Saudi Arabia, >Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Syria? These are civilized members of the community of nations? You are demonstrating the same bias the >article is talking about.> Boycott is a wholly rational response.

    Ummm… you do know that UN resolutions are passed by the UN General Assembly, right? It doesn’t matter who proposes them; what matters is that Israel is in contravention of dozens of Assembly-passed resolutions. It is alone with the US in opposing a comprehensive two-state settlement, which virtually everyone else has been in favour of since the 1970s. Even the Americans, though, are now losing patience with Israel. That right there should tell you something. Of course, the slavish Israel-worshipping commissar can always conjure up something to defend this spotless and angelic democratic state.

    • In reply to #213 by DHudson:

      I think this thread thoroughly demonstrates why the peace negotiations always breaks down.

      By building settlements, their infrastructure and the Wall, on Palestinian territory, Israel violates international law as a matter of policy and principle, criminal activities which are the policy of the Israeli government, based on the foundational principle of the Jewish state. In these circumstances , peace negotiations are a misnomer. Pacification of the conquered territories is the aim, and part of it is engaging in a deceptive charade while 500,000 Israeli Jews continue to live illegally in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

      A boycott, properly conducted, is a means of expressing the world’s disapproval that may carry some weight, as in the case of Apartheid South Africa.

  55. It really seems that a lie repeated thousands of times becomes the truth (at least in the minds of some people). There is no international law which forbids the Jews to move to the West Bank and build homes there. The least man can say is that this question is controversial and many experts in international law are of different opinion.

    I recommend this lecture: http://www.torahcafe.com/jewishvideo.php?vid=33fb484b5 and this letter:

    H.E. Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs

    Excellency

    Re: EU directive regarding Israeli settlements

    We, the undersigned, attorneys from across the world who are involved in international law issues as well as being closely concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, respectfully call upon you and the EU to revoke the abovementioned directive which we feel is based on legally flawed and incorrect assumptions regarding both the legality of Israel’s settlements and the status of the pre-1967 Armistice lines as Israel’s border.
    Furthermore, the reasoning behind the directive summarily ignores the historic and legal rights of Israel and the Jewish people in and to the areas of Judea and Samaria, including the internationally acknowledged rights of the Jewish people as the indigenous people of the area.

    • The long-held view of the EU as to the illegality of Israel’s settlements is a misreading of the relevant provisions of international law, and specifically Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is neither relevant to the unique circumstances of Israel’s status in the area, nor was it ever applicable, or intended to apply to Israel’s circumstances in Judea and Samaria.

    • The EU together with other international bodies has consistently ignored authoritative sources, including the 1958 official commentary by International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the published opinions of prominent international jurists, all of which explain the provenance of Article 49 in the need to address deportations, forced migration, evacuation, displacement, and expulsion of over 40 million people by the Nazis during the Second World War. This has no relevance to Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria.

    • The EU totally ignores the very agreement to which it is signatory as witness, the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, in which it was agreed by the parties, pending a permanent status agreement, to exercise powers and authority in the areas under their respective control. Such powers include planning, zoning and construction. The issues of settlements and Jerusalem, as agreed upon between the parties, are negotiating issues, and hence, determinations by the EU undermine the negotiating process and run against the EU’s status as signatory.

    • The legality of Israel’s presence in the area stems from the historic, indigenous and legal rights of the Jewish people to settle in the area, as granted in valid and binding international legal instruments recognized and accepted by the international community. These rights cannot be denied or placed in question. This includes the 1922 San Remo Declaration unanimously adopted by the League of Nations, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel (including the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem) as well as close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently affirmed internationally in the League of Nations Mandate Instrument, and accorded continued validity, up to the present day, by Article 80 of the UN Charter which reaffirmed the validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations).

    • The inference regarding Israel’s borders as recognized by the EU is no less misguided and historically and legally wrong. The pre-1967 Armistice lines (so-called “green” line) were never considered to be borders. UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967), endorsed by the European members of the Council, called for “secure and recognized boundaries” to replace the pre-1967 Armistice lines. The European leaders further endorsed this principle in their 1980 Venice Declaration. By its persistence in referring to the pre-1967 lines, the EU is undermining future negotiation on this issue by predetermining its outcome.

    • In a similar vein, the repeated use by the EU of the term “occupied Arab” or “Palestinian territories” to refer to the area of Judea and Samaria, has no basis in law or fact. The area has never been determined as such, and thus the continued EU usage of the term runs against the very concept of negotiations to resolve the dispute regarding these areas, supported by the EU, to determine their permanent status.

    • In reply to #216 by Malgorzata:

      Excellent post, Mal.

      I would like to link to this video that I came across recently. I believe this is important in order to understand the goings-on that are relevant to this debate. It is self-explanatory.

      Odd that I had no idea this was going on, despite having seen video clips of how innocent children are bred literally to be slaughtered or to slaughter Jews for the sake of martyrdom, (in their eyes.)

      It reminded me of this essay by Hugh Fitzgerald who has a way of drawing out the salient facts in a given situation while recognizing the devious duplicity of actors involved. Written in 2008; it is as topical as ever.

  56. In reply to #231 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

    It’s time for a moderator to stop the way you are you are consciously ignoring people’s points and misrepresenting their arguments.

    Perpetually singing the praises of Israel and demanding that all join in, does not amount to argument. It doesn’t address the universal opposition to the illegality of Israel’s expansion of its borders through settlement building or the other grounds for implementing sanctions, including such sanctions as the boycott of Israeli university institutions.

    In #216, the issue of the proposed EU sanctions against Israel was raised but there has been no acknowledgement of the motivation for them. “Under guidelines adopted by the executive European Commission in June, Israeli “entities” operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will not be eligible for EU grants, prizes or loans from next year.”(Reuters)

    Producing a dodgy Israel-centred re-writing of international law, damning the Palestinians, threatening yet more punitive action against them and turning up the volume on hymns of praise for Israel seems not to be an adequate response.

  57. In reply to Malgorzata:

    A history of Arab terrorism,

    I like how you simply airbrush Israeli terrorism, as though it never happened. But this is easy for you, because your criterion for deciding whether something is terrorism guarantees that the label shall never fall upon Israel. Namely, if the Arabs do it, it’s terrorism, and if Israel does it, it isn’t. That’s literally it. All powerful states use this ingenious recipe. The US, Russia and China, the world’s leading terrorist states, routinely invoke it to justify whatever goals they happen to have. Israel is no different, and is especially emboldened by people like you who ”get it” (that is, how to use terms carefully to coincide with the haloed doctrines of your favoured state).

    Arab refusal to negotiate with Jews since 1947,

    Crude fabrication. There have been multiple overtures from Arab countries, indeed from Palestinians. For example, the Saudi Initiative of 1971, which offered a two-state settlement, and which has been rejected by the US and Israel in isolation from pretty much the rest of the world since then (indeed, when the Saudis announced their peace offensive, Israel flew fighter jets over their territory as a warning not to ”push” them).

    Arab wars against Israel (and before that, against Jews living in Palestine Mandate),

    Yes, ”Arab wars against Israel”, one of them being started by Israel, another being over the Israeli refusal to peacefully settle the Palestinian issue.

    Arab refusal to accept any kind of peace.

    Crude fabrication (see above).

    It was not Jews who refused the division of the remnants of Palestine Mandate between Jews and Arabs; it was not Jews but Arab League which, after the war they started and they lost, said their famous three “No”: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it –

    And yet…the Arabs have on multiple occasions shown their willingness to negotiate.

    and, as I wrote previously, there were no settlements then on the West Bank and there was nothing which prevented Arabs to establish a Palestinian state there between 1948 and 1967. Jordan annexed this area and – as the majority of Jordanian citizens are Palestinians – treated it as a fulfillment of a dream from the time of British Mandate of Jordan on the both side of the River. But building the own state was (and, unfortunately still is) not a goal. The goal is to destroy the Jewish state. I’m not even talking about Hamas. Read Fatah’s Charter, listen to what Palestinian functionaries have to say when they talk about Oslo Accord as a Trojan Horse against Israel, and about current negotiations as a ploy in the style of their Prophet’s to get as much as possible, get stronger and start again. You may not even know about it but Israelis remember who said: “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like Mongolian massacre and the Crusades”.

    A-ha (rolls eyes contemptuously). I love how you ignore the equivalent Israeli quotations and charters (like the Likud party’s charter) that clearly state that there shall never be a Palestinian state (recently, it was even refered to as ”fried chicken”, as in ”let them call it what they want, like fried chicken”).

    You are painting a false picture of a land that “is criss-crossed with roads connecting Jewish settlements, effectively reducing the West Bank to a series of Bantustans living in the midst of a heavily armed Israeli presence. No other nation on Earth would accept such ridiculous terms”. It is not,

    Again, because your Party Line says that it’s not. But since you’re defending a Great Truth, the truth (with little ‘t’) doesn’t matter so much.

    and it was deemed a very acceptable proposal.

    I know it was deemed a very acceptable proposal – by Israel and its American backer. That’s like saying that a mafioso’s deal that his enemies can’t refuse is ”very acceptable”.

    Bill Clinton was furious with Arafat who rejected it.

    Who cares what Clinton was furious at? The Clinton Administration showed its commitment to Palestinian rights by INCREASING its shipment of weapons to Israel AFTER Israel killed dozens of Palestinians during the Intifada (this was reported by the world press, was documented by the Shin Bet security service and Jane’s Defence Weekly, but went unreported by the US press, while people like Alan Dershowitz claim it ”never happened”). Arafat said (not sure if during this time): ”America supplies Israel with its helicopters and you expect me to care about the Americans?” You rather naively assume that Clinton was an impartial adjudicator, again because your doctrinal system demands that you do.

    And if you really want your independence so badly, if it really is a matter of life and death, you accept a proposal to have own state even if it is not in the shape you dreamt about.

    This is a pretty repulsive tour de force of assumptions. When you say ”own state”, you clearly have something different in mind (”fried chicken”, in keeping with recent Israeli diplomatic parlance) to what most people would think of as a state. Hence, your pronouncement here is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, designed to confuse and deflect rather than to explain and clarify.

    Look at the map of by UN proposed Jewish state 1947 – unlivable and almost impossible to defend three pieces of land, connected at the corners. Jews, who really wanted to be independent and really had thousands of refugees rotting in DP camps in Europe, in British camps on Cyprus and massacred in diverse Arab countries, didn’t hesitate but accepted this tiny stump of land promised to them by binding decision in San Remo, by League of Nations and even by UN which took upon itself the continuation of legally binding activity of League of Nations.

    Irrelevant. That was then, this is now. Unless you would also have Israelis TODAY live in Bantustans, then your invocation of the UN’s proposed Jewish state is bluster designed to obfuscate and confuse the issue at hand, which is to have a viable, sovereign Palestinian state (evidently, the issue for you is perhaps to find ways to deny the opportunity for such a state, but to call the outcome a ‘state’ anyway, so that you can have your pie and eat it too).

    To support Israel means for me support for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state (in the same manner as Poland is a Polish state with minorities who have equal rights – as Israeli Arabs do have in Israel);

    A Jewish state or a Jewish nation/culture within the state that enjoys equal rights with its other inhabitants? The former is a form of theocracy, the latter is sensible. Funny how your secularism flies out the window when it comes to Jews. Even a lot of atheists get moist at the mere mention of ”Israel”, and gush at ”this progressive Jewish state”.

    stating that their right to self-defense is as self-evident as right of anybody else;

    The right of Palestinians to defend themselves is evidently not at all self-evident to you.

    showing lies and anti-Israeli propaganda for what it is – like your sentence about “IDF’s practise of breaking the arms of children and teenagers who throw stones at Israeli settlers”, which is just that: a hateful slander.

    WRONG. There is footage of Israeli soldiers doing just that, as well as voluminous court testimony (Israeli courts), the memos and documents of Israeli security forces, and the investigations of Israeli human rights activists and organisations. All ”lies and anti-Israeli propaganda”, no doubt). But I guess, because you simply come into this discussion with a view to interspersing it with your assumptions about Israel’s angelic nature, then it’s necessarily the case that anything that contradicts that can (and should) be casually brushed aside. Unfortunately for your assumptions, Israeli scholarship is much more serious and honest than American scholarship on this score (American scholarship on Israel is designed largely to maintain the strategic relationship with Israel and to convince tax-payers to keep bankrolling it. Israelis, on the other hand, have more leverage to undertake a more honest appraisal of things). Even the most hawkish Israelis would blush at the slavish devotion and platitudes you’ve heaped upon your favoured state.

    The slur about “racist colonial settler configuration” belongs to the same category.

    Not at all, since it’s a perfectly accurate and demonstrably correct description, borne out numerous times by the pronouncements and actions of settlers and their extremist supporters in the Knesset and clergy. Again, matters that are delicate enough to compel you to gloss them over.

    I do not see difference between a checkpoint at the Western airport so that no fanatic laden with explosives would be able to blow up a plane while shouting “Allahu Akhbar”, and a checkpoint in Israel so that no fanatic laden with explosive would be able to blow up a bus, a pizzeria or decapitate a 3-month old baby, and stab to death her sibling and her parents.

    Of course you don’t, because you consciously ignore the relevant difference: the miserable and decades-long occupation state that gives impetus to Palestinian terrorism has as one of its appendages the nexus of checkpoints that you wistfully chalk up to being another innocent initiative by Israel in response to non-human barbarians. But, again, this is in keeping with your fanaticism in ignoring Israeli terrorism in its entirety, even though it’s always overwhelmingly dwarfed Palestinian terrorism – or rather, precisely BECAUSE it’s always dwarfed Palestinian terrorism (an inconvenience to your doctrinal system, and therefore axiomatically ”a slander”). You offer only the most reactionary, fascist platitudes in the defence of subjugation and terror – all in the name of ”democracy”, ”human rights” or some other great ism.

    To paraphrase you: I must ask, not ONLY where is decency, but where is your logic?

    What’s really missing from picture painted in this discussion is religion.

    I agree. You ignore the religious component of the settler regime, and pretend that there isn’t a large contingent of racism and expansionism among the Israeli electorate. Yet again, this is in keeping with the other things you ignore, most notably the miserable decades-long occupation involving torture, kidnapping, murder and economic strangulation, and the current, concerted and conscious effort to deny Palestinians a viable, proper state of their own.

    From the Jewish point of view (with the exception of an absolute margin of Jewish religious fanatics), this is a territorial conflict. From the Arab point of view (with the exception of an absolute margin of liberal Arabs), this is a religious conflict, and they say it openly. If it had been a territorial conflict from both sides, it would be solved ages ago.

    Thanks for your platitudes and assumptions, but I think that we can do without them in a serious discussion. What’s ACTUALLY missing from the discussion is an acknowledgement (by you) that Israel has been able to defy numerous UN resolutions on the conflict because of support and protection from the United States. Your irrational love of Israel happens, ever so coincidentally, to dovetail beautifully with US strategic goals in the region (there’s a rich historical record on it too, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite live up to the Truth you worship either). It’s always fascinating to see secularists lining up behind imperialism and unquestioningly believing and then echoing the platitudes, assumptions and claims made in support of it.

    • In reply to #234 by Promethean Entity:

      It is quite impossible to discuss with somebody who denies facts (because they are incompatible with his ideological stance?), believes every word of the one side, even if many lies were debunked many times with incovertible facts (was there a massacre in Jenin, as the whole world trumpeted until facts had shown otherwise? was baby Omar Masharawi killed by Israelis, as all media of the whole world repeated after Palestinians, or was he killed by Hamas rocket which fell short and didn’t manage to kill any Israeli, as facts show?), and takes it for granted that everything the other side saying is untrustworthy.

      Just two comments: The Saudi peace proposal included “return of Palestinian refugees” and all their descendants. That would mean a suicide for Israel and was not accepted.

      By Jewish state I mean a secular state with Jewish majority and full and equal rights to every minority living in this state. Precisely like Israel is today.

  58. In reply to WayOfTheDodoTwo:

    Gaza is not the most crowded place on Earth. There are plenty of open areas these thugs can use to shoot rockets at Israeli civilians.

    That’s of course not the issue at all. You’re just whining that Hamas militants don’t come out into an open area to be blown up by Israeli gunships. In other words, you’re crying that they’re not eschewing all common sense and allowing themselves to be wiped out by Apache gunships.

    It seems odd that you think it’s so important for these terrorists to be able to shoot their rockets at Israeli civilians!

    It only seems that way because you’re incapable (or unwilling) of deploying basic logic on this score, though you’e eminently capable of equivocating criticism with support for terrorism.

    Why else would you point out the importance of them taking cover behind their own people when they do it?

    You could have answered your own question by thinking about it for a second or two (or just reading what I’ve written rather than infusing your sour little assumptions into my words), but once again I find you instead sanctimoniously pontificating about rockets fired at civilians (the civilians that count in your eyes. Not Palestinian civilians, in other words) and implying that I’m defending attacks on civilians. This doesn’t compute. If it does, explain how.

    Denying reality does not make reality less real:

    True, so let’s look at this particular case. The article says: ‘The Israelis have called off a planned air attack on a house in Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza after hundreds of Palestinians formed a human shield.’ Hundreds of Palestinians seems rather a large number, doesn’t it? Perhaps this might suggest that such clusterings of people in defence of a particular person is a bad example when attempting to halo Israel’s humanitarian committments, since we can imagine even the most despotic regimes calling off an attack on a facility that is surrounded by so many people for purely PR reasons. Secondly, it’s not at all clear from the article whether these people were there willingly or not. The only thing that’s clear is what Israeli officials SAID. Either possibility – they were there willingly, or forced to be there, is plausible. Just because it’s hard for you to imagine willingly being a human shield for a political figure doesn’t mean that people pushed to the brink have to draw a blank as well.

    Jewish settlements are a tiny part of the West Bank, and comprise of, for example, Jews returning to their land after being ethnically cleansed from there in the 40s’.

    So you also think that the Palestinian Authority should be be allowed to set up a network of settlements in Israel, linked by a network of roads and checkpoints, and that house Palestinians that were ethnically cleansed during the 1940s? They’d only comprise a tiny part of Israel, after all, so you should have no problem with this. Let me know.

    But I guess ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is fine, right?

    Claiming that there is a Lebensraum policy because people are returning to their home seems quite insane.

    Once you stop stupidly assuming that a viable and self-respecting state can be criss-crossed by roads belonging to an enemy state, the context will hopefully matter to you as well.

    Israel only occupied areas when attacked.

    Israel occupied southern Lebanon (with the help of fascist Christian militias) by using the prextet of the PLA (a pretext that even the Israeli media couldn’t take seriously) to invade after an Israeli soldier (in Lebanon!) was killed by a land mine (no doubt a terrible case of aggression against Israel). When Israel occupied the Sinai, it attempted to annex that territory and was even moving settlers into Egyptian land. International law is absolutely clear on this: annexation of territory is illegal, whether or not you’ve been attacked first. You’re only allowed to occupy territory so long as armed conflict continues, and then to withdraw behind your own borders.

    Ah, quote-mining. We all know who else does that kind of thing…

    You really are obsessed, aren’t you? You routinely help yourself to quotes made by Palestinian figures when attempting to demonstrate their insincerity, but you can’t stand it when someone else quotes an Israeli figure (admittedly a rather important one. Or not?) and comes back with something less than glowing. This is perhaps the most pathetic ‘argument’ of yours thus far, and certainly one of the sleaziest.

    Too many lies to even begin addressing them. Good job on the Gish Gallop.

    Mindless bluster.

    Ok, so you don’t even know basic facts about the situation, and yet you write an extremely long post with a whole bunch of weird claims?

    There was nothing ‘weird’ in any of my claims; they can all be gleaned from Israeli and Western sources (including the Shin Bet and Jane’s Defence Weekly, two outstanding beacons of left-wing activism). If there are basic facts that aren’t known about, you’d do well to inform yourself of them. Oddly, when when I quote an Israeli source (Moshe Dyan, for example. Perhaps in your world, he was working for the Palestinians at some point), you then fall back on your wretched, slanderous and cowardly ”Gish Gallop” nonsense. In other words, you excuse yourself from having to address what I say (”Too many lies to even begin addressing them”) but then have a tantrum when I don’t bow to your claims (most of which are provided devoid of context and more than a touch of commissar spin). You have strange logic indeed, though admittedly it’s a useful weapon in your defence of your favoured state (within Israel, though, I imagine they’d find it embarrassing).

    Sure you can. That other people is being occupied or blockaded because they keep attacking Israel.

    Ummmm….because they’re occupied, brutalised and blockaded. Like a good commissar, you make sure to maintain tunnel-vision at all times. Meanwhile, Israel, which attacks Palestine every single day of the week, gets a completely free pass from you. You not only overlook its crimes, you also slander anyone who mentions them (this would necessarily have to include, if you were honest, a lot of Israeli generals, security forces people who refused to serve in the Occupied Territories – horrible anti-Semites they must be, though perhaps they can’t be dismissed so easily even when they inconvenience your doctrinal committments – and a lot of Israeli human rights activists, as well as numerous Israeli scholars, journalists and historians). The only context that you’ll recognise are Hamas rockets, which you imagine materialised for no other reason than because of anti-Semitism. This is why your apparaisal of the conflict doesn’t rise to the level of a joke. The ensuing crudeness and clumsiness is then all the more hilarious, or it would be if it wasn’t contributing to such deadly effects.

    Israel ended the occupation of Gaza in 2005 (heck, they even left businesses run by Israelis to be grabbed by Gazans (who responded by burning them to the ground)).

    A building isn’t a ‘business’. A business is a set of relations between people and resources that produce revenue. Once those relations disappear, the business by definition no longer exists, and the building isn’t worth crying about.

    The next thing that happened was an increase in attacks on Israeli civilians, so in 2007 Israel was forced to start the blockade that has lasted until this day.

    Nope, that wasn’t ‘the next thing that happened’ (though I’m sure you think it was, because what ‘happens’ encompasses only the bad things that Palestinians do and the glorious or defensive things that Israel does). The mind almost staggers at the level of dishonesty and sheer wretched devotion required for you to make these disgusting lies. Do you ever feel shame of any sort? I ask this question sincerely because I’m having trouble actually accepting that you fully believe what you write.

    What one can learn form this is that ending an occupation won’t work.

    And the occupation…was working? Hang on a second, I thought that it was a constant source of hatred for both sides and a horrible waste of lives and money?

    I have now demonstrated that you lack even a basic understanding of the situation, and yet you keep posting your Gish Gallops…

    You’ve of course demonstrated no such thing. Quite the opposite, in fact: that you’re out of your league here because of your violent refusal to deploy basic logic and moral consistency. Your slimey defence of injustice, inequality, national chauvinism and subjugation are quite a sight to behold, but they needn’t be anything that a decent person should want to emulate.

  59. It would appear that the recently revealed Likud program getting student stooges to man websites touting Israel is up and running. Malgorzata is a good example- especially citing the Goldstone report where Goldstone was beaten into submission. Israel is without doubt the most cynical and conniving country extant today, and hence receives the disgust it justly deserves. No country deviates further from its own propaganda. This anodyne tripe is unfit for this website. It needs to be treated like South Africa was treated and to not receive a dime from any Western country. Israel should rejoice at that as it would no longer need to go to the trouble and expense of hiding the transfer of US military technology to China, and likely Russia.

    At the very least, Europeans should never buy any produce from Israel until the 1967 borders are restored at a minimum. Better yet, boycott Israel entirely for ten years after they pay reparations to the Palestinians and restore them to their land. Would it still be Israel?

  60. Why are so many commenters and boycotters, presumably of able intellect, apparently unable to grasp the over-riding importance of the security of Israel.

    The only reason why Israel exists at all now is the constantly maintained security and the work of highly trained and vigilant military defenders of her territory against those genocidally inclined and unrelenting Islamic Arabs in and around Israel. And no, I do not mean all Muslims, nor probably even a majority of them. But how many will stand up for Israel against the militant groups?

    So long as this situation goes on, we must not be diverted by lesser considerations that may weaken the defensive ability of Israel. For her part, Israeli forces must continue to serve all citizens as fairly and equally as possible, holding bullies and abusers of power to account. The propagandists who sully the reputation of Israel with staged atrocities can only be countered with honest refusal to resemble those narratives.

    The current Israeli policies are the only ones fit for the times we are in. To ride out the storms of madness and hatred going on around in the huge expanses of neighbouring Islamic states, until even the most myopic will see the virtue of this prosperous, creative, humanist, secular democratic state, and even acknowledge it’s right to existence.

    • In reply to #238 by inquisador:

      The current Israeli policies are the only ones fit for the times we are in. To ride out the storms of madness and hatred going on around in the huge expanses of neighbouring Islamic states, until even the most myopic will see the virtue of this prosperous, creative, humanist, secular democratic state, and even acknowledge it’s right to existence.

      To read some comments, making assertions about IDF soldiers breaking stone throwers arms as if it was regulation, is just pure ignorant nonsense. Anyone coming under attack from stone throwing mobs will realize just how frightening it is, so yes, some troops lose their discipline and break the rules. It isn’t nice, but someone throwing stones, bottles and petrol bombs at ya are not exactly behaving innocently. I’m sure it must be getting boring, but it being the best example I can give, particularly because I’ve lived it, I hanker back to the Ulster Troubles and what I know. Stone throwers (rioters) were dealt with by employing a number of measures that were available…

      Snatch squads wielding riot batons with the intent of letting the aggressor know one meant business.

      “The tactic involves [soldiers] charging at a crowd of people with batons and in some cases, riot shields. They run at the crowd hitting people with their batons, and in some situations use riot shields to push them away. Baton charging is designed to cause the maximum amount of pain, in the hope that they would be compelled to move away from the scene, dispersing the crowd.
      As a general practice, [soldiers] often only use the tactic on groups of people. In most cases, [soldiers] would strike the arms or legs, avoiding the head and vital organs unless the offender presented an immediate threat to life, justifying the strike.”

      Bones will invariably get fractured when whacked by batons.

      Alternatively, a volley from a Baton gun with plastic baton rounds.

      “A plastic bullet or plastic baton round (PBR) is a non-lethal projectile fired from a specialised gun. Although designed as a non-lethal weapon they have caused a number of deaths. They are generally used for riot control. Plastic bullets were invented in 1973 by the British security forces for use against rioters in Northern Ireland.”

      ” Fourteen people were killed by plastic bullet impacts; half of them were children and all but one were from the Catholic community. Most of the deaths were allegedly caused by the British security forces misusing the weapon, firing at close range and at chest or head level rather than targeting below the waist.”

      Being struck by a baton round will fracture whatever bone it strikes, I guarantee it.

      Then there is the Water cannon. Incorporating a purple dye into the water made for easy ID and arrest of rioters after the incidents.

      “Water cannon are still in use on a large scale in Turkey, Germany, Northern Ireland, Belgium and other parts of Europe….A high pressure modern water cannon can achieve pressure of up to 30 bars (3,000 kPa) which can result in broken bones.”

      Not convenient for Isreali Defence Force purposes I realize.

      Last, but by no means least…live fire…rules of engagement apply, but usually as a last resort when life is threatened. Broken bones are the least of ones problems if hit by a 7.62mm round.

      Again, live fire is abused by forces all over the world…not least the British at the now infamous Bloody Sunday demonstration.

      So, I’m afraid that under the right circumstances, rioters are fair game under ROI. But even if the circumstances don’t warrant it, some security force members can become unprofessional in the heat of the moment and when the adrenalin is pumping.

      Army says soldiers shouldn’t shoot at stone-throwers

      Stone throwing by Palestinian youths has turned into a sport, much as it is in Northern Ireland, but it is no feckin’ joke if you are on the receiving end I can tell ya…even when fully equipped with riot gear.

      Policies are created for the zeitgeist that’s for sure…extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.

  61. Nice work Amos!

    I’m glad to see that you have now proven that the British are even more racist than the Jews!

    Seriously, though, excellent research conscientiously presented.

    I would buy you a beer, but unfortunately I can’t because it might offend a Muslim somewhere.

    however, I would like to say how much I like your principled stand on terrorism.

    • In reply to #241 by inquisador:

      …I would like to say how much I like your principled stand on terrorism.

      Having had family members murdered by terrorists and having been on the receiving end of terrorist attacks, it grips my shit when folk conflate guerrillas with terrorists …it displays ignorance and lack of understanding for both methods of attack..

      “Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians (or “irregulars”) use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to dominate a larger and less-mobile traditional army, or strike a vulnerable target, and withdraw almost immediately.”

      This is in contrast to terrorism…

      “Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion… Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror); are perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians). Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war.”

      Once a guerrilla “deliberately targets” “non-combatants (civilians)”, they have crossed a line and are no longer guerrillas, they have become terrorists.

      • In reply to #244 by Ignorant Amos:

        Having had family members murdered by terrorists and having been on the receiving end of terrorist attacks, it grips my shit when folk conflate guerrillas with terrorists …it displays ignor…

        I’m so sorry to hear this Amos. You have made me think more about this distinction between the two nouns ‘terrorist’ and ‘guerrilla’.

        If the Islamic ahadith are to be believed, Mohammed was the exemplary man whom Muslims are taught to emulate in every respect.

        As you know well enough, and I’m sorry to keep on about it, Mohammed is known to have behaved very generously to people whom he favoured, but at the same time was recorded as not hesitating to murder people who criticised him or who refused to accept his newly invented religion. This was, of course when he attained a powerful enough position to be able to do so. And thus did he discover the secret of transforming himself from a small-timer to the greatest and final and mighty prophet of Allah.

        I find it interesting that he was quoted as saying ‘I have been made victorious with terror’, as if dazed at the realization how powerful was this new weapon – the ability to terrify – and it really was.

        The Sira gives a good account of how he managed to leverage this power in the years ahead to acquire vast amounts of land and wealth, as well as yet more power.

        As for guerrillas, I think of the partisans of the resistance movements in WW2 as the typical examples. Fighting hard against the enemy, but not without scruples or conscience. And not as a means of gaining personal wealth and aggrandizement.

        This may be a bit off-topic for a thread about academic boycotting, but I do believe we are dealing here with a misperception of Islam that leads directly to the tendency to castigate the Israelis unreasonably for their tough but necessary security measures.

        There is no easy answer to the Israeli/Palestinian problem. So let us challenge the magnification of hardships; the attribution to the Jews of blame for every last bad thing that occurs, and just stop over-reacting to these things. Let’s leave it alone for a while. Allow the contrast between the conditions there and the chaos going on around it to sink into our skulls. Let Islam demonstrate its’ capacity for rapacity(!) and unending conflict and just possibly we might before too long see more people in the middle east calling for secular government.

        There are, after all many other injustices in the world for the UN to resolve. Like the occupation of Cyprus by the Turks; Tibet/China; Kashmir/Pakistan and others.

        How about boycotting some of these?

        • In reply to #245 by inquisador:

          Thanks for your thoughts.

          It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal tree huggers rise up to support an ideology with a history that they obviously haven’t a clue about and haven’t bothered their arses to research. We are forever castigating Christians that pitch up here that haven’t a clue about their religions scriptures or its history, yet so called rational critical thinkers are guilty of the same. The atrocities of the Holocaust pale in significance when compared to the atrocities of those carried out in the name of Islam, in India alone…..or Christianity for that matter, but that’s an other “whataboutery” story for an other time. Islam made its name by jihad……it decimated nations….as the poor Hindus know only too well and still to this day…MUSLIM atrocities against Hindus (WARNING: Graphic Photo Images). and before anyone gurns about the ultra right wing site…it’s the images that are important whatever the source…of course not all Muslims support this shit, but then gain, not all Catholics support pedophilia,. What I will say, is that a lot more Muslims support this shit than Catholics that support pedophilia. but they all provide succor to those that do by force of numbers.

          Of course, I’m preaching to the converted when talking to you, in fact, you could teach me a thing or two. But I just don’t get it when atheists defend this crap in certain cases….like it doesn’t matter when talking about the Israeli issue….as if terrorists there were romantic freedom fighters in the same guise as some Americans viewed Irish terrorists when they were blowing up innocent men, women and children on the streets of Belfast, but terrorists are something else when blowing up innocent men, women and children on the streets of Boston….the innocent on the streets of Jerusalem don’t seem to count.

  62. In reply to #247 by DonaldMiller:

    I dismiss your statements as propaganda. Gaza is the most densely populated area on earth.

    It is not. There are even large empty areas. Even that other guy who thinks Hamas is justified in taking cover behind its own civilians while firing at Israeli civilians admitted to that.

    Moreover, I don’t know how I would react if I was born and raised in a concentration camp.

    A concentration camp with a new olympic-size swimming pool? Your definitions are odd indeed.

    Propaganda? Yes, just read your own outbursts.

    • In reply to #248 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

      In reply to #247 by DonaldMiller:
      Propaganda? Yes, just read your own outbursts.

      He could barely read reply number 1, how can he read his own outbursts? I suppose he went reading a few other posts, hoping to be in good company, and he left disgusted by the racist remarks that abound around here (yes, I am pointing to you, Ignorant).

  63. In reply to #246 by DonaldMiller:

    I believe it to be a fascist racist state, acting with impunity.

    You have an odd definition of “fascist racist state”.

    You probably think Israeli Arabs aren’t allowed to vote, but the fact is that they do vote, and they also have their own representatives in the Knesset. Racist state?

    You are also probably completely unaware that Israel, among other things, has a free press and active human rights organizations which pounce on the government all the time. Fascist state?

    So please explain how Israel is a “fascist racist state”.

    • In reply to #249 by WayOfTheDodoTwo:

      In reply to #246 by DonaldMiller:

      I believe it to be a fascist racist state, acting with impunity.

      You have an odd definition of “fascist racist state”.

      The ignorance….it really hurts…Stories of Israeli Arab Soldiers in the IDF

      “Al Wahid, is presently the highest ranking Israeli Arab and Muslim officer serving in the IDF. He considers himself to be an Israeli Arab and Zionist, asserting, “I believe in the Muslim faith, and I will never abandon it, but I think that Zionism is more than a religion. It is something that fully represents my sense of belonging to the State of Israel and to Israeli society, and the immense commitment I have to protecting and guarding the country of which I am part.” Wahid claims that there are many other Israeli Arabs like him who want to serve in the IDF, yet are afraid to do so out of fear for how their community will react.”

      Al Wahid is a Major…and it seems Isreal is proud of this Muslim in their ranks….a bit of a strange situation, given it is a “racist state”.

  64. In reply to #247 by DonaldMiller:
    >

    I don’t know how I would react if I was born and raised in a concentration camp.

    Well, if it was a concentration camp called Israel…you could always fuck off it out to one of the backward countries that surround it couldn’t you?

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  65. I don’t subscribe to any religion – but if you should disagree with jews you are accused of being anti semitic – If you’re not with them you’re against them ? that’s not fair I don’t accept that bullying guilt trip either – I’m neither with nor against any people – just their crazy religious leaders and their constant paranoia that everyone is persecuting them…millions of people in the world suffer persecution for all sorts of wrong reasons…but they don’t all bleat with the extreme power that Israel has – with its hold over USA, whilst stealing Palestinian land – USA supports and enables Israel but not Palestine because they occupy the sacred Christian lands and they have squillions of dollars invested in the USA….its all convenient…

  66. Irrespective of the degree of indignation feigned by the global academic community now or within the foreseeable future, any well-reasoned and objective historical analysis inevitably concludes that Israel will likely go the way of the Crusader Kingdoms – probably not within our lifetimes, but demographic trends clearly point to this destiny.

  67. In reply to #1 by Jonn Mero:

    So all the reports of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and other neighbours are just fiction? A retaliation rate of 100 to one is acceptable? The Lebensraum policy of Israel’s militaristic government is acceptable? The conditions for Palestinian farmers and agriculturalists, where their l…

    i actually stopped reading all the comments after a while . but choose to respond to this one because to me it represent one of the key problems with modern-day public opinion.
    Jonn here assumes that everything he read and hear about this conflict is true – it cant be all fiction can it?
    well Jonn – it can. t all depends on which sources you are using to base your opinion. sadly main stream media is not without its problem on this matter, the need to trim complicated stories into 3 min. segments on the evening news ,the desire to sensational stories ,and the vast information that is being spread -without time or professionalism to check it – creates a false reality to which you are exposed to. add to this mix some very loud people who simply don’t like Jews and you get fact and fiction mixed together and the common person can not distinguish between the two.
    i say look it up yourself – look up the numbers, not in places which subscribe to your established belief. challenge yourself and look up other credible sources.you might be surprised.
    i live here and i see reality . i go to university in this “apartheid” state with Arab student , who not only study in my class, but also get a vote on election day, same as me , who get the same protection under the law….i personally think that calling Israel an apartheid state actually cheapen real apartheid victims experience.
    Israel has to deal with a very complicated reality, which to my knowledge almost no other country in the world has to face, and none of those to my knowledge has handled similar situation with the same regard to life. i have to wonder why there is a separate standard for Israel…is it because it is an easy mark ? we don’t have any oil we can withheld ,we don’t have an automatic majority vote in the UN , we don’t have billions of Jews world wide that support our cause, regardless if we are right or wrong. some think its because we are Jews, and historically, well, we have always been an easy mark for lies and bulling. i think maybe its easy for some people to see us as this Hugh murderous bully , an apartheid state, who treat the Palestinians just like the Nazis…maybe that helps some people sleep better at night , washing some past sins…don’t know .
    i don’t care what bigots think. i care about what regular uninformed people think and urge them to look up the answers themselves.
    here is a good place to start : http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/ben-dror-yemini/

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