- Israel (inadvertently) admits it broke law in raiding flotilla
- Surprisingly truthful 'Fox News' report on Jerusalem
- Why I'm voting for Eisenhower over Obama
- Today in Palestine: Settlement and appropriation continue unabated in E. Jerusalem and Hebron Hills
- An American writer sees the Occupation for the first time
- Israeli whitewasher on flotilla inquiry once called for 'suffering of 100s of 1000s of people'
- DJ NYT brings the bling, and spins one for the ladies in the house tonight!
- US threatens cuts in aid to its Arab friends, why not its Jewish one?
- Frum and Feith's Holocaust statements are politically loaded and too terse
- Washington Post forgets to quote the Israeli government's line
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 11:31 AM PDT
With a Libyan aid ship perhaps trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a warning to the IDF not to stop the ship in international waters, Haaretz reports.
That warning is an implicit admission that when Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31, it broke international law. Before the Israeli Navy raided the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship was in international waters, 85 miles west of Haifa, according to this Ali Abunimah blog post.
After the flotilla attack, Craig Murray, an expert in maritime law, had this to say about the Israeli raid:
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 09:36 AM PDT
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 09:01 AM PDT
Below is a riveting story about Eisenhower and Ben Gurion. But first a comment.
If you read the history of the special relationship, the same patterns of political pressure exerted by the Israel lobby to nullify national policy re Israeli expansionism that we see today with Obama's capitulation on Jerusalem and the West Bank occurred 50 and 60 years ago over other borders-- Partition's and Egypt's-- and the return of the refugees, too. And the resistance to this simple political understanding on the left is one of our greatest obstacles to doing anything about it in the U.S. discourse, indeed why the same story has repeated itself over and over for decades of Palestinian dispossession.
The story about President Eisenhower's insistence that Israel withdraw from Egypt, which it had invaded in 1956, comes from The Passionate Attachment (1992) by the late George W. Ball, a former Under Secretary of State, and Douglas Ball. Eisenhower was of course a Republican; which brings up one more point about the discourse on the left: I grew up in a Democratic household, being told that John Foster Dulles was a bastard and maybe an anti-Semite, too. In fact, his position below is a stirring one; but I have had to overcome a lot of cultural/political programming to say as much.
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:34 AM PDT
And other news from Today in Palestine:
Land theft and destruction/
Israeli bulldozers raze 4 east Jerusalem buildings (AP)
MK Ben-Ari: Sink Libyan Ship
Blast kills 3 Afghans as civilian casualties soaring in Afghanistan
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:58 AM PDT
I went to the demonstration against Netanyahu in a police pen near the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City last Thursday and talked with Nancy Kricorian of Code Pink about the Palestine Festival of Literature this spring, where she read from a novel she had written about the Armenian genocide.
Kricorian said that as she read she got very emotional. She'd spent the previous week seeing the West Bank for the first time. She met a girl who showed her a deep bruise on her thigh from a soldier slamming his rifle butt into her leg when she refused to remove her clothes in order to be searched at a checkpoint. She went through the Qalandiya checkpoint several times, she went through the Bethlehem checkpoint, which she had heard described as the "Lambs to the Slaughter," and whose steel chutes had made her feel like livestock. The mood of her novel was so charged with the overwhelming violence of the occupation that she kind of lost it.
Later an American who lives in Israel came up to her and said, "You seemed to be getting pretty emotional up there." "Yes," she said, "well after what we've seen this last week, it's extremely upsetting." The American said, "When you live out here you get used to it." Kricorian stared at him with her jaw open. And he said, "I was joking."
Kricorian told me she didn't know which was worse, to get used to it or to make a joke about it.
She said the Palestinians also get used to it, to the downright ongoing thievery of the situation, and the oppressive bureaucracy of the checkpoints, and then certain things shock them and are widely discussed. A ten-year-old girl had been stopped at a metal detector because she had an artificial leg. The soldiers had made her take her leg off in front of them, and they further insisted that she disrobe. The girl was thoroughly humiliated, and the story was flying around among Palestinians, with horror and anger.
At the same time as the Palestine Festival of Literature there was a Jerusalem literature festival with David Grossman reading and Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss. Ethan Bronner, who wrote a piece for the Times about the two festivals, suggested that they should all get together. But PalFest organizer Ahdaf Soueif explained to him that the Palestinian writers on the festival bus wouldn't be allowed entry to West Jerusalem.
Some of the most pitiable stories Kricorian had heard involved the denial of basic rights, the rights to travel and speak and even to think, to Palestinians. A scholar in Bethlehem said that her dissertation had come to an end because it was about 19th Century Christian missionaries' travel narratives of the Holy Land and for some reason she got put on a blacklist and so she wasn't allowed into Jerusalem. All the books she needed for her research were in a restricted library in Jerusalem only four miles from her house, but she couldn't read them. Then a young man with literary ambition told Kricorian that all his friends just want to write about the occupation, that's their material after all, their donne, but he's afraid to write, because Israeli soldiers have come into his house and thrown his papers and books up in the air, and what if they come in and find he is writing about the occupation, he could go to jail or get on a list so that he can't travel??
Then Kricorian talked about the apartheid analogy. A PalFest participant from South Africa had been stunned while visiting the West Bank because she said it was far worse than what South Africa had been like under apartheid. Another South African PalFest writer had said the current level of violence by Israel's government was reminiscent of the last days of apartheid.
And this is the part that gives Kricorian hope. The current Palestine solidarity movement is a lot like the 80s during the anti-South Africa divestment movement that she took part in. I asked Kricorian about the power politics-- the hasbara, and the Jewish community organizations. Kricorian said this scene too is changing. The Beinart piece was huge, and even the New York Times/Bronner takeout on tax-deductible gifts to settlements showed a sea change beginning in the mainstream coverage of the issues.
Kricorian blogged about the festival here.
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:35 AM PDT
The head of the investigation that said Israel made some mistakes but basically did the right thing in raiding the Mavi Marmara on May 31 is General Giora Eiland. A note from Norman Finkelstein:
It's useful to remember who Giora Eiland is. The Goldstone Report listed Eiland as one of the ideological architects of the Gaza massacre:
Israeli philosopher Asa Kasher, despite doing his utmost to defend the Gaza massacre, nonetheless said that "a democratic state...cannot use human beings as mere tools to create deterrence. Human beings are not tools to be used," and that "killing for the sake of deterrence is something akin to terrorism." Asa Kasher, "Operation Cast Lead and Just War Theory," Azure (Summer 2009), p. 51; Asa Kasher, "A Moral Evaluation of the Gaza War," Jerusalem Post (7 February 2010).
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:26 AM PDT
Upon reviewing Nicholas Kristof's latest article and blog post; they collectively form the play list for DJ NYT's Patronizing the Palestinians 2010: Summer Party Mix. First up is his latest article, "Waiting for Gandhi on the West Bank".
While much of the world have been meanies and given up on the Palestinian-
Fire up the bbq and get a cold one out of the fridge cuz here comes that classic summer jam: Protests Aren't Peaceful.
I love that one because it brings back fond memories of MC Jaron's blinged-out party
Here's track 3 on DJ NYT's summer play list. This one comes from the New York Times' Greatest Hits album. We all fondly remember the classic, No Palestinian Ghandi:
DJ NYT surprises the crowd by playing the lead single off Kristof's new album. Here's one for all the ladies in the house tonight: Unless Palestinian Women Get Beaten, Protests Aren't Peaceful
MC Kristof has always been known for the deep social commentary in his lyrics. He doesn't disappoint today!
Coming up next is a new take on an old favorite, The Good Palestinians (PA Luv) Seek Peace:
Finish off that strawberry daiquiri, because here's one I know you've all been waiting for: No Palestinian Martin Luther King!
Get ready to hit the dance floor, cuz comin atcha here's Palestinians Aren't Feminists
It's good of MC Kristof to teach Palestinians how to properly protest. Is there anything this magnanimous outsider can't do!?
DJ NYT took a quick break, but the hits keep coming this Summer 2010! Kristof's blog post "Palestinian Civil Disobedience": Palestinians Aren't a Partner for Peace:
The ladies always throw their panties on stage for this next one, We All Know What Peace Would Look Like:
For the first time ever, First Intifada Not Nonviolent back to back with that smooth slow jam, Palestinians Would've Disgusted Ghandhi (ft. Kenny G on the Sax):
DJ NYT closes the set with two show stoppers, Israel: Still a Democracy / Palestinians Must Prove their Peacefulness To Earn Their Freedom:
I'm disappointed DJ NYT didn't play the bugged out Busta Rhymes inspired Fayyad Fetish (only the remix w/ Lady Gaga on the hook). I was also surprised he left out my favorite song of all time Right of Return not Realistic (Baby, Look Forward not Back).
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:21 AM PDT
Critics of the US-Israel Special Relationship will often cite how many billions of dollars in aid the US gives the Jewish state each year and how that number dwarfs the amount given to any other country in the world. These critics often miss the fact that the US also gives large amounts of aid to the two neighboring Arab states which have signed peace treaties with Israel. And when these states misbehave--i.
I am waiting for the day when the US conditions Israel's foreign aid on its willingness to coordinate its nuclear program, not even with all the surrounding Arab countries, but just with Egypt and Jordan.
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:14 AM PDT
I always want to ask Douglas Feith sincerely about the effect of the destruction of his father's family -- "Both of his parents, four of his sisters, and all three of his brothers-- my grandparents, aunts, and uncles--were murdered in the Holocaust," the architect of the Iraq war writes in War and Decision-- on Feith's ideas about Trusting non-Jews (I bet he doesn't) and the Necessity of the Jewish state (from the river to the sea!) and the need for militancy to preserve the Jewish state against its enemies (Arabs are the new Nazis). If I were Feith, I wonder if I wouldn't have reached similar conclusions under the distorting impact of this grievance. (Achievement-
It turns out David Frum also has direct Holocaust connections. I never knew this before, me, a collector of the annotated works of Frum. Frum at Sullivan's blog:
These confessions are inter alia. You don't see the neocons going into these identity-formative backgrounds. I wish these neocons would talk about this stuff more directly, so that other Jews can offer their own testimony about history and identity. In fact, it's past time that Yivo had a panel on Blaming the gentiles, in which supporters of Israel like Jeffrey Goldberg, for whom the Holocaust record was also formative, publicly accuse the former non-Jewish U.S. establishment of letting the Jews down, and people have it out.
Posted: 13 Jul 2010 06:51 AM PDT
in this article about Israel considering restricting citizenship for people who convert to Judaism. All the people quoted are critics, two American rabbis. Is that because the Post somehow sides with the outraged in this particular case? (Yes.) A story about Palestinians would never be framed in this way.
Dalton's Holocaust Radio Debate on April 24, 2010:
Call anytime: 917-974-6367
Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton