Why Israelis Are Now Bad-Mouthing the World Court





Mr. Meyer, civil rights historian (author of The Amendment that Refused to Die), is a former Special Assistant the U.S. Attorney General and member of the American Society of International Law. He recently published a history of the ICJ and U.S. relations with it: The World Court in Action: Judging Among the Nations (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002).

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Reports of a case involving Israel that will be heard at The Hague on February 23 have troubled the government and people of the Jewish State and aroused concern among her American supporters. The International Court of Justice, the “World Court,” was requested by the U.N. Assembly to render an Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences arising from Israel 's construction of a barrier that will separate portions of the West Bank from Israeli territory.

The barrier will be a wall twenty-seven feet high. Designed and built to protect against terrorists, it is expected to run not only along Israel 's border, but also for an additional 200 miles or so. The additional mileage will enable the wall to run in and out of the West Bank, for the purpose of protecting major settlements. These will have the effect of separating and walling off local Palestinian communities.

The Sharon administration fears that the Court will hold that portions of the barrier built in occupied Palestinian territory are illegal. They are preparing the legal steps that usually precede an unwanted appearance before a Court. These include preliminary objections that the Court lacks power to act, or lacks jurisdiction or that the Court should exercise its discretion to decline to act in the matter.

It has been reported that Israeli leaders have decided to and may have already launched a campaign to discredit the Court as biased.

Headlines in the local press have asked, “Who Cares What the People in The Hague Think?” Essays have been published criticizing the Court for taking action on Israel while ignoring violations of human rights around the world. (The Court can only pass on cases presented by states or rule on questions brought to it by an authorized United Nations agency.)

After announcing that he had been consulted in Jerusalem on legal strategy, Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School declared on his return here that friends of Israel should be “prepared to expose this court for what it is…. it would be insulting to kangaroos to call it a kangaroo court.” He added, “The case is a foregone conclusion, Israel is going to lose.”

When the institution that became the “World Court” was designed, the jurists (led by an American, Elihu Root) who planned it decided that its role should not be limited to acting on questions of International Law in “contentious” cases, where one state sues another. It thought useful, in addition to provide that it should act as a tribunal to which agencies of the United Nations could turn to advise them about points of international law relevant to their functions.

The Court was endowed with advisory jurisdiction to meet this need. When the International Court of Justice, was created in 1945 the United States agreed that it should continue the advisory power. The United States often supported resolutions asking the Court to act in its advisory capacity.

A study of the Court's advisory rulings, by a committee of the American Society of International Law, found “A review of the advisory opinions indicates that, with few exceptions, there has been a frequent and often striking coincidence of perception, approach and result between the United States and the Court on a number of issues.”

At the time of an earlier contentious case, an internationally respected august personage offered an exposition on the usefulness and the impartiality of the Court soon after the U.S. State Department harshly questioned the Court's impartiality.

That was the case that began after Senators Barry Goldwater and Daniel P. Moynihan characterized as a violation of international law the U.S. mining of the harbors of Nicaragua in support of the contra invaders. In April 1984, soon after the senators spoke, Nicaragua brought suit at the World Court, complaining of the mining and other aid to the contras by the U.S.

Embarrassed by the senatorial support for the case that could be made by Nicaragua, elements of the Reagan Administration began to “badmouth” the Court. Leading the charge was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick. “The Court, quite frankly, is not what its name suggests, an international court of justice,” she said. “It's a semilegal, semijuridical, semipolitical body which nations sometimes obey and sometimes don't.” Following her lead members of the Reagan Administration circulated the charge that the Court was“politicized.”

The State Department charged after the U.S. had lost on the jurisdictional point, that the Court had been “determined to rule for Nicaragua ” and was “politicized.” Their statement said that the U.S. would not participate in the hearing of the merits of the case. It announced also that the consent to jurisdiction that President Truman gave on behalf of the U.S would be ended.

That was January 13, 1985. Soon afterward the often-traveling Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the Netherlands . While at The Hague he visited the International Court of Justice May 13, 1985. He addressed the Court at a formal sitting, attended by diplomats and royalty.

In his address he praised the Court's “impartiality and objectivity.” Its “members” he said “constitute an international center of distinguished legal activity.” He applauded “extension of the role of the international court…. for advisory opinions” and called for “wider acceptance of the so-called compulsory jurisdiction of the Court,” even though the U.S. had so recently announced it was withdrawing from it.

In the coming hearing on the Advisory case lead counsel for Israel will be Dr. Shabtai Rosenne, an Israeli diplomat and long time observer of the I.C.J. As student of the Court he has written more books about its procedures and its rulings than anyone.

In 1989, four years after the U.S. walked out of the Courthouse in Nicaragua 's case, Rosenne wrote in an Introduction to a new edition of one of his works on the Court:

[The Court has] rendered important services in the evolution of international law through the United Nations and in the peaceful settlement of disputes, more in the last decade than in the first thirty years of its existence….it has performed a major service to the international community as a whole because the need to bring international law into line with present-day requirements is real and urgent.

Some kangaroo!


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Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/23/2004

"This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."
-- Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, 1948

"We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand," he said on. "We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood."

"...the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel."
-- Egyptian President Nasser, March 8, 1965

“As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.”

“Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.”
-- Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad, May 20, 1967

“Israel is a malignant tumor in the region. It must be cut off. It must be eradicated.”
— Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, statement to armed forces staff, July 31, 1991

Now here is one recent one from Israel:
“Israel wants to give the Palestinians what no one else gave them — a state. Not the Turks, the British, the Egyptians, or the Jordanians gave them this possibility...All Israel asks is that Arafat commit himself to stopping the terror, to live in peace.”
— Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Your turn.


David C Battle - 2/23/2004

Mr. Driscoll,

that was a pointless post if I ever saw one.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

The answer is Israel to your last question.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

I should not have called you a baby. I regret that.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/23/2004

1) "His name his spelled Chomsky and he is probably one of the greatest figures in his historical and political writings in the twentieth century."

By whose standards? I can cite numerous academics who hate him just as you can produce those who love him. "One of the greatest figures in his historical and political writings in the twentieth century"??? Since this is certainly NOT the consensus in the academic community, I guess that makes it your sole opinion, and a poor one in my opinion.

2) "To say, "he is not a legitimate source of anything" is typical of one who lacks knowledge, humility or frankly even a basic understanding of scholarship and nuance."

See above. Scholars from various Ivy League institutions have discredited the man time and time again. The fact that you agree with his political views does NOT mean he is a legitimate source of information. The very nature of his controversial positions makes his opinins subject to dismissal. The best way to engage in a debate or argument, just so you know, is to utilize uncontroversial people that we can all agree on. Otherwise, you are merely regurgitating the opinions of whoever thinks just as you do.

3) “You are simply blinded by your devotion to Israel.”

And you are just blinded by your hatred of Israel, so there… where did that get us? Thus far, you have failed to refute one piece of evidence that I and others have offered, choosing instead to attack Israel from another angle once your position is refuted.

4) “I assure you the state of Israel is quite perilous due to its Lebensraum in the West Bank and Gaza. This will NOT stand.”

Ahhh, good old German terminology. As has been said before, LOL. Ironically, it is you and the Palestinians who desire a “Judenrein” state. There are over a million Palestinians living inside Israel (since it is, you know, a democracy). Your desire however, is to see no Jews living in what may become a Palestinian state. Furthermore, you seem to forget (or ignore) that between the Israelis and the Arabs, only one side has made it official policy in history to annihilate the other side… guess which one??


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

Mr Battle, You probably supported the invasion of Iraq didn't you?
You probably will vote for Bush won't you?
You probably think the US is the greatest county in the world don't you.
You probably wished deep in your heart that a national holiday was not celebrating the life of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.
You probably oppose affirmative action and multicultural diversity on college campuses.
You probably are a baby who blames professors who were merely doing their jobs to educate you don't you.
Yeah you were really brainwashed by them weren't you?


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

His name his spelled Chomsky and he is probably one of the greatest figures in his historical and political writings in the twentieth century. To say, "he is not a legitimate source of anything" is typical of one who lacks knowledge, humility or frankly even a basic understanding of scholarship and nuance.

You are simply blinded by your devotion to Israel. I assure you the state of Israel is quite perilous due to its Lebensraum in the West Bank and Gaza. This will NOT stand.


David C Battle - 2/23/2004

Also your depiction of the events surrounding the case are highly inflammatory and frankly one of disinformation.

I can send you the appropriate links which describe the smuggling tunnels of Gaza, hidden in houses, and the Israeli army's regular task of uncovering them in the area where Rachel was squashed. But I won't, because you wouldn't believe them, because you've chosen not to believe them. I don't expect you to believe anything I say or quote about Rachel Corrie if it be even slightly negative or unsympathetic to her. Thus your charge against me of "disinformation." Whatever professor.

You are an advocate, and you have chosen your side. That's fine. In my view, you have chosen the side of terror in the name of "resistance". It's your prerogative.

But to describe my accusations as "inflammatory"? Do you consider the smuggling tunnels to be inflammatory? Or the TNT blowing up Israeli schoolbuses to be inflammatory? Or is that just more "disinformation" in your view?

The Israeli army regularly uncovers smuggling tunnels in Gaza, around the very area where Rachel died. The house the army targeted, which she died to protect, was being demolished because it was used as a smuggling tunnel. That's a fact. Do you really think the Israeli Army randomly points there finger on a map and says, "hey, let's go blow up a house today!"

YOU, professor, are the one incapable of meaningful dialogue if you can't even acknowledge the simplest and most basic facts--Rachel died as a stooge for terror.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/23/2004

So now it is an Aparthied wall? What happened to the concentration camp wall? It seems you have as little knowledge on what Aparthied is as you do what a concentration camp is. If you are going to call it Aparthied, or any other foolish word choice, you might as well dedicate a post to defending such a usage, since no one else with any knowledge on those terms agrees with it.

Here, perhaps you will learn something:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/23/2004

I do not consider Chompky as a legitimate source of anything. I believe he is very well-educated hypocrite whose credentials are in linguistics, not international politics.

http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/21/may03/chomsky.htm

In any event, I will comment on the following statements he makes in his editorial:
1) “It is also clear where such a wall would be built if security were the guiding concern: inside Israel, within the internationally recognized border, the Green Line established after the 1948-49 war.”

Chompsky does not say why this is so. How does he know building where the wall should be built on sheer security concerns. In fact, it ignores the reality that IF the barrier were built inside Israel (whatever that means), it would mean zero land barrier between Israel and the terrorism, and that one of the reasons the barrier was built where it is was so not to expose Israel to higher planes, that could be used as coverage by any terrorist trying to escape.

Furthermore, Chompsky calls the 1948 Green line an the “internationally recognized border.” In fact, he means Western recognized boarder. Had the Arab states recognized such a boarder, they would not have engaged Israel in war, leading to the annexation of their territory.

2) “What this wall is really doing is taking Palestinian lands.”

What is Palestinian land?? Right now, the territory is in dispute. If it is occupied, the occupation is of Jordan since that was the last owner. No one calls the Kurish part of Turkey, or the Bosque region of Spain “occupied,” even though those people consider it to be their land that is illegally and immorally controlled. In other words, forgive me for sounding harsh, but the Palestinians do not have their own land. They could have when it was offered to them both in 1993 as well as in 2000, as well as right now. There is only one condition: stop the terrorism and convince Israel that an independent state will not continue to be a threat to innocent Israelis.

Unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state would be rewarding terrorism as well as sending a message to the world saying that negotiation is not necessary, only mass murder. Furthermore, it will only make Israel more vulnerable to attack, since the primary villains, Hamas, IJ., etc. have said that their own land is NOT enough… they want Jewish blood. This is a fact that no one denies… accept, it would seem, Noam Chompsky and his fans.

http://www.jnewswire.com/news_archive/04/01/040127_hamas.asp


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

This is Noam Chomsky on the apartheid wall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/opinion/23CHOM.html?hp


Brandt Driscoll - 2/23/2004

This is Noam Chomsky on the apartheid wall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/opinion/23CHOM.html?hp


Peter N Kirstein - 2/23/2004

I think the utilization of the word "pancakes" to describe someone who was killed by a bulldozer is insensitive if not egergious. Whatever your views may have been on the death of this woman, I believe you demean yourself and those who attempt to engage in meaningful dialogue.

Also your depiction of the events surrounding the case are highly inflammatory and frankly one of disinformation.

This will be my only comment to your sir.

Peter N Kirstein
St Xavier University


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/23/2004

Brandt,
1) "Calling the concentration camp wall and concertina wire a "security barrier," would be like calling Treblinka a
"security detention facility."

Actually, it would be more like calling Wal-Mart a convenient shopping store, since that it what it is. However, calling the security barrier a concentration camp wall would be like calling a fish a bird.

2) "Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany does not mean equalization."

But it does mean equivocation. The comparison is beyond ignorant, it is defamatory. It is made not only to trivialize the wanton slaughter of 6 million people, but to make the suffering of a wartime population equivalent to indiscriminate murder, the same thing that the wartime population supports doing to Israelis! It also reveals how little actual merit your argument has. If Israel is a Nazi state (or any other inappropriate word you care to assign to it), then every state is a Nazi state. The word simply looses its meaning.

3) "Your knowledge of the wall is quite limited."

Thus far, no one on this side of the argument has made statements nearly as foolish as yours regarding the barrier and the entire region. Even the above statement is inaccurate since most of it is not even a wall.

Go read a book about what Nazi Germany actually was, look at some pictures of a real concentration camp, and you might just sound intelligent instead of sounding like a person so consumed with hatred he cannot even realize how ignorant his statements really are.

4) "Your rejection of the tragic killing of Rachel as tragedy because of your bias against my source is anti-intellectual. Her mutilation was reported worldwide and I believe my source is valuable and accurate even if it does not comport with your hostility toward the oppressed."

Here is the truth about your favorite poster child:
http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/mf24.html#p

Your source is not valuable or accurate and I do not accept it as legitimate. If you want to cite something, try, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, New York Times, the Washington Journal, or the hundreds of other legitimate news sources that do not incorporate a term that has come to mean the mass slaughter of innocent people.

In any event, I find it odd that this incident is the best you and others can come up with. This is like the third time I have seen this girls name on this site. If Israel is as bad as you say it is, why don’t you provide images of Palestinians with tattoos on their arms, or children being shot in the face point-blank? How about the Palestinian people who are starving to death to the point of emaciation? Surely, if you are in fact telling the truth about Israel (which anyone who follows the news knows you are not) you could provide some information from some reputable news source?


David C Battle - 2/23/2004

If you can engage in advocacy. So can I.

You're a blowhard, not a advocate. Certainly not an effective advocate. You deal in demented hyperbole, sloganeering, emotionalism and distortion. That may work when giving speeches before the choir, but now with a skeptical and informed audience as you'll encounter here.

Re Rachel "pancakes" Corrie, she sacrificed her life to protect a smuggling tunnel, one of numerous tunnels used by the palestinians to smuggle TNT for blowing up Israeli schoolbuses. Sad and pathetic.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany does not mean equalization. It is always appropriate to compare items. Your knowledge of the wall is quite limited. Your rejection of the tragic killing of Rachel as tragedy because of your bias against my source is anti-intellectual. Her mutilation was reported worldwide and I believe my source is valuable and accurate even if it does not comport with your hostility toward the oppressed.

If you can engage in advocacy. So can I.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/22/2004

Oh, come on Brandt -- are you really going to compare the wall with Treblinka? That is just noxious. For one, it IS a security wall -- note how many terror attacks have come from (walled) Gaza the last three years (1) as opposed to from the West Bank. Whether you agree with it, or the course Israel has chosen to follow with it, ie its path, is one thing, but one of the most loathsome elements of the current discussion is when people draw analogies comparing Israel and the Jews, the victtims of Nazi horrors, with the Nazis for offenses not comparable in scale, scope, or intent.
And are you kidding me, another citation from electronicintifada? What, was the Hamas website not available?
dc


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

Calling the concentration camp wall and concertina wire a "security barrier," would be like calling Treblinka a
"security detention facility."

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml

Remember Rachel


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/22/2004

On the Palestinian so-called "right of return":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3065299.stm

On the security barrior:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3111159.stm

On Jerusalem:
http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/mf20.html#c


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/22/2004

1) "The way to end this endless cycle of violence is to end the occupation,"

I believe the point was made before, but which occupation? The West Bank and Gaza (as some Western liberals believe) or the entire region, as Hamas, etc. believe?

2) "...return the land to its owners,"

The last owners of the territory now under dispute was Jordan, and before that the British, and before that the Ottomans. I am all for Palestinian statehood but let's face it, the land was always theirs to negotiate for (as it still is if only they would try talking and not terrorism), and they have failed to take it every time.

3) "take down that wall"

What wall? I assume you mean the security barrier, since less than 5% of it is an actual concrete wall.

4) "allow the right of return,"

There is no such right in law, or in morality. Furthermore, only 10% of the Palestinians would actually choose to exercise it (according to Palestinian polls), making it another excuse to avoid peace, even though it is a deal-breaker.

5) "internationalize Jerusalem etc."

Odd, no such cry was made when it was under Arab control.

6) "You see as the gestapo tactics of Israel increases, it merely exacerbates the desperation and the quality of violence."

And what tactics would those be? Again, I need some evidence or proof of your wild assertions before I can take your suggestions seriously in any way.

7) "Perhaps a President Nader will be able to exert enough impartiality to end this morass."

You mean President Bush, since that is who Nader is helping to win in 2004?


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

The way to end this endless cycle of violence is to end the occupation, return the land to its owners, "take down that wall" (Reagan to Soviets is apropos here), have some type of international peacekeeping force, allow the right of return, internationalize Jerusalem etc. You see as the gestapo tactics of Israel increases, it merely exacerbates the desperation and the quality of violence. It won't end by suppression. I do not believe Israel can win this militarily with our weapons. I think some type of rapprochment is necessary to put some sanity into this conflict.

Perhaps a President Nader will be able to exert enough impartiality to end this morass.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/22/2004

"A Palestinian suicide bomber has killed seven people and injured dozens in an attack on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem...

High school students were among the passengers on the bus...

The bomb was described by the Israeli authorities as a medium-sized device that was packed with shards of metal to cause maximum death and injury."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3510791.stm


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/22/2004

Very philosophical, but I don't see how it can apply to Israel so long as civilians are continuously targeted for murder by terrorist groups.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

I meant Roesler not Roestler


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

And so is yours and Adam Moshe if you want to play this game. BTW, Roestler uses British language spelling and I have never met the man. I would consider it an honor to shake his hand. Perhaps Derek and Adam are a split personality.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/22/2004

As Arnold Toynbee wrote:

"Empires do not die of murder, but suicide. And the moment of greatest danger is their moment of greatest strength, for it is then that complacency and HUBRIS
infect the body politic, squander its strength, and mock its virtues."


David C Battle - 2/22/2004

Your outrage about "concentration camps" is the stuff of parody--Leftist self-parody.

LOL means you guys and your "concentration camps" are laughable, and your crocodile tears are cheese.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/22/2004

"The concentration camp referred to the holocaust in Gaza and the West Bank. Do you want me to inform you where they are located on a map."

Yes, as a matter of fact, I would. Some citation proving the existence of such a holocaust would help also, since no news organization, credible book, or journal has ever documented the existence of concentration camps, crematorium, death marches, medical experimentation centers, or anything else you care to ascribe to the area.

I am getting a little tired of these words made meaningless though repetition like genocide, Aparthied, Holocaust, etc., etc., etc. How about some proof? How about some explanation of how the Arab-Israeli conflict amounts to Israel committing these things?


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

LOL means LAUGH OUT LOUT?

The concentration camp referred to the holocaust in Gaza and the West Bank. Do you want me to inform you where they are located on a map. LOL


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/21/2004

I have a really hard time taking seriously anyone who says that Mr. Roesler has been the reasonable one here, and that David, Adam, Caleb and I have been the unreasonable ones. read the posts honestly and divorced from ideology and look from whence the ad hominem salvos derive and look who have consistently tried to stick to points raised in other people's posts. David and I seem to agree on very little ideologically except that we believe in the Israeli state and its rights to protect himself, and he and I have gone at it on here before, but even then he usually seems to be able to dish it out and take it and keep it relatively impersonal. Anyone who has been following this for the last two weeks cannot honestly say that Mr. Roesler is the virtuous one here, apparently other than a defender whose syntax and general use of the language is remarkably akin to Mr. Roesler's.
dc


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/21/2004

1) "Roestler engaged in argumentation against Israel. I may not agree with his heightened rhetoric from time to time but his argumentation was aimed at a country."
It was also aimed at any person who supported that country or who attempted to correct his factual mistakes.

2) "Every single person who attempted to argue against him called him a racist, an antisemite, immature, ill informed you name it."
Granted, I have not been around for most of this conversation, but based on what I have read, I truly believe the man is an anti-Semite. His condemnation of Israel has been so divorced from reality, and his implicit support for terrorist who blow up Jewish children, I really don’t know how else to explain it. I am sorry if you belief that no one who criticizes Israel fits that description (or perhaps you believe that no one can be anti-Semitic, I don’t know). To me however, it is a serious accusation that I do not make lightly and I believe it has been earned.
The problem we have here is that you feel free to throw whatever you like at Israel and at Israeli supporters and are then shocked to find people questioning it.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

1) "the oppressed who live in concentration camps."

And who might that be? I am curious, since I don't know who you are talking about that live in concentration camps in that area of the world. Perhaps you are referring to the millions who suffer in Africa? Who knows?

2) "Cut the patronizing garbage that you and YOUR friends throw on anyone who dare challenges your views."

Don't flatter yourself. Neither you nor anyone else has yet to challenge any of my views, unless you consider inflammatory rants with make-belief facts to be an actual challenge (which I do not). I mean, come on, concentration camps? Either cite your warped sources or save yourself the embarrassment.

By the way, "lol" means laugh out lout and I agree with David 100% on that one!


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

What does LOL mean?


David C Battle - 2/21/2004

When will you haters finally realize that calling someone a "zionist" is by no means an insult. I'm a zionist as surely and proudly as I'm a conservative, or Republican, or an American or a member of the human race. No insult to be found anywhere in sight.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

Roestler engaged in argumentation against Israel. I may not agree with his heightened rhetoric from time to time but his argumentation was aimed at a country.

You and others aimed your argumentation at him as a person.

Every single person who attempted to argue against him called him a racist, an antisemite, immature, ill informed you name it. He rarely did that and in some unique and varied means of discourse, kept hammering away at the most difficult situation in the Middle East. I thought HNN was attempting to clear up the airways but what it is getting is the usual ad hominem attacks.


David C Battle - 2/21/2004

I have no friend pal except the oppressed who live in concentration camps.

LOL, you are so cheesy dude.

I guess that means you don't have any friends.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

I have no friend pal except the oppressed who live in concentration camps. Cut the patronizing garbage that you and YOUR friends throw on anyone who dare challenges your views.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

Mr. Mosh beat me to the punch. I would suggest Mr. Driscoll look back through this post and see what some of his supporters have said before he acts as if this is some kind of foul move by one side.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/21/2004

"Sounds like another Zionist who can't argue on its merits but uses ad hominem attacks on those whom they disagree with."

Wow, so many hypocritical things in just one short statement. Among them:
1) Attacking the person as "another Zionist" (as if that were an insult)
2) Attacking all Zionists
3) Blaming someone for not arguing based on merit while ignoring the gross ad hominem attacks no this site by the people whose position you favor.
4) Blaming someone for not arguing based on merit while calling them names in the very same statement! Whew.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

You re-posted a list of short demands that was posted prior to our discussion with the message: "You will obviously disagree with all these points but their tone is an attempt to match yours."

I then reposted my response to the demands asking for some explanation that reflects the complexity of the conflict.

In other words, you repost the same so-called "extremely telling and provocative points," I refute them the same as before, and then you call me egotistical for reposting the valid questions to those same points!

I must say, it seems you have more in common with your friend than I thought. How disappointing.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

Sounds like another Zionist who can't argue on its merits but uses ad hominem attacks on those whom they disagree with. I think the person's name was Hibberd and I do not believe immaturity is the issue. Yes he did misuse the word Defenestrate. However professors or teachers need not insult one for an error, particularly when the Wall is the issue, not a particular word.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

You are rather egotistical in reproducing your own posts. At least Dr Roesler did not do that.

When you have nothing to say, as they say, just keep repeating it.


John S Kipper - 2/21/2004

Mr Hibbert writes: assessment of an occupying power who builds a fence to defenestrate their opponents. Is he aware that defenestration means to throw someone or something out of a window? As perhaps we all should to both his and Roesler's arguments. Actually, it is quite difficult to assess the greater immaturity between the two of them.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

Many of your suggestions I don’t have a problem with even if I accept Israel’s right to refuse. The following however, is where we hit a roadblock and where there are some serious misunderstaninds and perhaps some naiveté on your part. If I may some up my problems with the list, none actually suggest any action Israel can do to make peace, they all merely demand Israel take unilateral action. It is almost as if the left was made without the knowledge that there is a war going on. More specifically, here are my concerns:

1) "Free Nobel Laureate Arafat from House Arrest."
16) "Arrest and try Prime Minister Sharon for war crimes such as the Sabra and Chatila massacres."

Is there not a double standard here? Why should Arafat be freed and Sharon arrested when both are accused (with ample evidence) of indirectly murdering innocent civilians?

5) "Publicaly apologise for the kidnapping and cruel incarceration of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu."

This man has revealed Israeli military secrets! Why on earth should Israel have to apologize for seizing a potential defector with devastating knowledge of Israeli secrets? He has had access to the law, appeals, even to the Israeli Supreme Court. You may disagree with his sentence, and that is fine, but for a country to have to apologize for exercising its sovereign power to arrest and detain citizens for espionage seems a bit much to me.

7) "Stop the construction of the Berlin Wall in Palestine."

And now the question must be asked, what do you believe that Israel should do to prevent terrorist attacks on innocent civilians? After all, none of you suggestions addresses Israel’s legitimate concern to protect its citizens. Even if you favor the complete genocide of the Israeli population, surely you recognize the desire for self-preservation in the country? How is it that they accomplish this protection?

8) "Accept World Court jurisdiction on the Wall."

The pathological anti-Semitism rampant in the UN makes this suggestion impossible to grant for Israel. As a sovereign nation, Israel has the right to refuse to listen to the ICJ, whose rulings have no force of international law in any effect, other than advisory.

9) "Accept Oslo and the recent Geneva Accords."

No country can be asked to unilaterally accept peace while being constantly attacked in the worst way. This is like telling Britain in 1942 that it should cease ALL military activity in hopes that the Nazis simply follow their lead. Had the Palestinians accepted Oslo, there would be peace today! As it happened, Israel granted Palestinian autonomy, recognized the PA, and even armed its police force!! In exchange, it got an entire generation of Palestinians being taught in school that Jews are the vermon of the world and must be all murdered.

10) "Stop the occupation of Palestine"

Question: What is Palestine? I only ask because according to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc., this mean ALL of historic Palestine (i.e. the entire region). Most Western liberals seem to refer to the West Bank and Gaza. Which do you mean, and again, how should Israel address its security concerns given this diference in definition?

12) "Accept the right of return for the Palestinian diaspora."

Since very few of those Palestinians ever lived in what is now Israel, by what moral/legal/historic obligation does Israel have to absorb millions of hostile immigrants, even when no Middle Eastern country has offered the same for the hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from their lands after 1948? In any event, this is a deal-breaker for Israel (rightly so) and irrelevant for the Palestinians. While most maintain the right as inalienable, only 10% said they would actually exercise it, making it a foolish point for continued bloodshed.
http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2003/refugeesjune03.html#findings

13) "Accept responsibility for the INTENT of attacking the USS Liberty."

This is simply a foolish request since it presupposes Israeli deception despite any lack of clear evidence. You might as well demand that Castro admit to killing Kenedy as a precondition for ending sanctions.

14) "Abandon and terminate all settlements."

Again, what do you mean by "all"?? "All" in the West Bank and Gaza, or the entirety of the land of Israel? This is an important point.

19) "Allow Arab-Israelis the right to serve in the military which is a means of acknowledging their equality to Jews."

Done. This is already a right enjoyed by all Israeli citizens. The only difference is that Arabs are not FORCED to serve, as Jews are. If you are advocating conscription however, I think many of your fellow Israel-haters might disagree with such a move.

20) "Offer unconditionally negotiations with Syria, Hamas, Fatah and other adversarial nations or subgroups."

Negotiations on what? Those groups have never wanted peace/offered peace/taught peace/or solicited peace from Israel. I think you need to check your history here, it takes 2 to negotiate. You are asking a rape victim to negociate with the rapist in hopes that the rapist will finally come to his senses and dismount.

22) "End the concept of a Jewish state predicated on an official religion and accept the modern democratic notion of pluralism and the separation of church and state."

Done. Israel has no state religion and as a result, Israeli Arabs have held numerous government posts and currently hold more than 10 seats in the Knesset. Arabic is an official language and there are literally hundreds of recognized Arab schools operating in the country.


To the next points...
1) "Just what sort of inequalities do the Palestinians of Israel face?
"First, there are the immigration laws -- the Law of Return (1950) and Nationality Law (1952) -- that allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel and automatically gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians."

Actually, these are not inequalities within Israel pertaining to Israeli Arabs, as we were discussing. These are inequalities pertaining to non-citizens. These laws were not meant to exclude Palestinians, they were meant to INCLUDE all Jews, since that was the basis for Israel’s existence. We can debate over its merits or morality, but it does not effect the status of Arabs living in Israel.

2) "They alone have land rights to 93 percent of Israeli territory, which can be owned only by Jews."

This is simply false. 92% of Israeli land is owned by the government and is not for sale to anyone. The remaining 8 percent of the territory is privately owned. The Arab Waqf (the Muslim charitable endowment), for example, owns land that is for the express use and benefit of Muslim Arabs. Government land can be leased by anyone, regardless of race, religion or sex. All Arab citizens of Israel are eligible to lease government land. This is written in law.

3) "Most Jewish Israelis serve in the military, but apart from the Druze and some Bedouin -- in a throwback to colonial policies of "divide and rule" -- Arabs are not drafted and as you know that is where they get most of the IDF."

Are you suggesting Israelis force some Arabs to enlist? If Israeli Arabs would like to sign up to the military, they are free and allowed to do so. The benefits given to military people are extensive, but then, so it is with any country with a large military population. After WWII, the benefits we offered (including the most famous, the GI bill) were extensive, and included housing provisions, and a 20 point boost on their Civil Service exams. You would rather Israeli Arabs be forced to serve in the military, fighting Palestinians, or risk jail? I disagree. The exemption is not only rational under the circumstances, but moral as well.

4) "There are huge gaps in local government budgets for Jewish and Arab municipalities. Zoning regulations hem in Arab neighborhoods in cities such as Nazareth, where Palestinians are forced to seek housing in the Jewish districts perched with precision on hillsides above the Arab districts, seemingly as a statement of urban superiority."

Gerrymandering has long been a problem in any democracy. If you read a book about race inequality in America, you will find glaring inequities among blacks and whites. Exactly what standard do you apply to Israel where they are condemned for something the greatest power on the earth is exempted from? What do you compare Israel to in making your determinations?

5) "The education budget for Arab schools is 28 percent less than for their Jewish counterparts despite the fact they pay taxes."

Arabs represent less than 20% of the population, so to suggest that schools representing less than 20% of the population should get 50% of the education budget doesn’t seem very democratic, does it? Again, what are you comparing Israel with? You say that it is Nazi/Aparthied/Genocide/(Hell?) and imply that it must be destroyed. Try comparing Israel to some other country (say, the United States?) instead of comparing it to some ideal utopia that must have perfect equality in order to NOT be the worst country in the history of hell.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2003/10/26/left_behind/
http://www.cnn.com/2001/fyi/teachers.ednews/08/28/sat.scores/

6) "And then there's the unstated political discrimination. There are certain ministries that exclude these heroes: Housing, Trade, Industry and the Foreign Ministry. They won't allow them onto the Knesset foreign affairs, national security or housing committees. They won't even allow them to observe."

Heroes? Huh? What country is immune from social discrimination? France no longer allows Muslims to wear head-scarves in public schools. Question: How many Jews live in the West Bank or Gaza? How many are permitted to vote in Palestinian elections (trick question)? How many serve in Arafats cabinet?

Your posts are a perfect example of the double standard imposed on Israel, who is held higher than any other country on earth and yet is treated as the pariah among nations.

According to BBC "most Israeli Arabs want to remain in the Jewish state - because it is both richer and offers more political freedom than Palestinian controlled areas." To even suggest that Israel is worse than ANY of its neighbors is beyond ludicrous. Why then does Israel receive such treatment? Is it because of the occupation? No (what of Iraq, or Turkey, or Russia, or Ireland, or Spain, all accused of "occupying" someone else’s land). Is it because people believe incorrectly it is based on religion? No (Iran and Vatican City are theocracies by law, and many other state, including Saudi Arabia, the former Afghanistan, and others are clearly theocracies in practice). What makes Israel distinct from all other countries to garner such contempt, I wonder. Hmmmmm., could it be that it is a country of Jews??? I think we have comething here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3465119.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3211772.stm


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

Here are some of his points and I have to run and you folks can debate this stuff. I agree he can pretty direct but he knows his stuff and I learned a lot from him.

Here are a few items that you suggested. I appreciate finally receiving a request for information that does not label me as antisemite. I believe my tone here reflects my recognition of that. You will obviously disagree with all these points but their tone is an attempt to match yours.

1) Free Nobel Laureate Arafat from House Arrest.
2) Stop the stealing of 80% of Palestinian water, at least from the West Bank, which is gold in the region.
3) Proclaim a willingness to sign and ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
4) Accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
5) Publicaly apologise for the kidnapping and cruel incarceration of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.
6) Provide complete and HONEST information about the "Flash in the Sky."
7) Stop the construction of the Berlin Wall in Palestine.
8) Accept World Court jurisdiction on the Wall.
9) Accept Oslo and the recent Geneva Accords.
10) Stop the occupation of Palestine
11) Stop the collective punishment of bulldozing buildings in which the Palestinians live.
12) Accept the right of return for the Palestinian diaspora.
13) Accept responsibility for the INTENT of attacking the USS Liberty.
14) Abandon and terminate all settlements.
15) Allow Maestro Barenboim and others to play without intimidation and censorship the music of Wagner.
16) Arrest and try Prime Minister Sharon for war crimes such as the Sabra and Chatila massacres.
17) Recognize the importance of adhering to UN resolutions such as 242 and 338.
18) Do not censor or expel or refuse credentialing of news organisations such as the BBC that aggressively report on the depredations of Israel.
19)Allow Arab-Israelis the right to serve in the military which is a means of acknowledging their equality to Jews.
20) Offer unconditionally negotiations with Syria, Hamas, Fatah and other adversarial nations or subgroups.
21) Use history as a lesson not to become the new victimizer, the new "Tough Jew" but to appreciate the sufferings of those who also are being persecuted.
22) End the concept of a Jewish state predicated on an official religion and accept the modern democratic notion of pluralism and the separation of church and state.

Just what sort of inequalities do the Palestinians of Israel face? First, there are the immigration laws -- the Law of Return (1950) and Nationality Law (1952) -- that allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel and automatically gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians. They alone have land rights to 93 percent of Israeli territory, which can be owned only by Jews. Most Jewish Israelis serve in the military, but apart from the Druze and some Bedouin -- in a throwback to colonial policies of "divide and rule" -- Arabs are not drafted and as you know that is where they get most of the IDF. As a result, they are excluded from housing loans and student fee exemptions, and discriminated against in public employment and higher education.

There are huge gaps in local government budgets for Jewish and Arab municipalities. Zoning regulations hem in Arab neighborhoods in cities such as Nazareth, where Palestinians are forced to seek housing in the Jewish districts perched with precision on hillsides above the Arab districts, seemingly as a statement of urban superiority.

There are over 100 Palestinian villages unrecognized by the state, with no water or electricity, on land that the state occasionally tries to seize for "public service," meaning for the Jewish public. In 1997, two percent of the Ministry of Religious Affairs budget was dedicated to Muslim, Christian and Druze regions of the country.

The education budget for Arab schools is 28 percent less than for their Jewish counterparts despite the fact they pay taxes. And then there's the unstated political discrimination. There are certain ministries that exclude these heroes: Housing, Trade, Industry and the Foreign Ministry. They won't allow them onto the Knesset foreign affairs, national security or housing committees. They won't even allow them to observe.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. You see, I do believe he is full of hot air, and not because I disagree with him. I would also challenge the contention that Roesler is big league. Many of his statements were factually incorrect and most of the others are a gross distortion of reality, even from a critical perspective of Israel

His condemnation of Israel is nothing more than a string of inflammatory rants of how evil Israel is (compared to what, he will not say). I have seen very little in the way of actual "points." At one point, I even asked him point blank what he would suggest Israel should do. He then offered up a laundry list of demands with no explanation.

If you believe I am wrong, by all means, I invite you or anyone else to actually make some points (or, if you really believe he has, reiterate them) so that they can be addressed.

The following is a sample of Carl’s so-called "extremely telling and provocative points":
· Israel practices genocide, is guily of erecting bascially an apartheid Berlin Wall that illegally attempts to settle a boundary dispute.
· Israel should be denounced for its racist, brutal policies.
· LOOK at the atrocities
· Is not it just horrible that a race who was victimised throughout its history now becomes one of the world's most oppressive and hateful extinguishers of the freedom that the Palestinian people have yearned for since 1948.
Israel is a settlement; it is a nation, not unlike the United States, that swept the indigenous peoples away
· Israel used the Talmud or the Old Testament as its land-grab rights of jurisdiction.
· What we are seeing are war crimes, crimes against humanity and Israel must be stopped. It can't be allowed to continue one of the greatest human rights tragedy of our time.
the Israeli concentration camp barrier being constructed
· This is reminiscent of the 1930 and is a shame upon Zionism and the State of Israel.
· Stop the occupation of Palestine and your civilians will be spared death and attack.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

You may not agree with him, for example his criticism of Israel censoring the great Wagner, but no doubt Roesler is big league and raised many extremely telling and provocative points in his lists and his narratives. He ain't hot air even if you disagreed with him.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

Why thank you, Mr. Hibberd.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/21/2004

I could not agree with you more Mr. Driscoll. Thus far however, I have seen little criticism with merit on this particular article. If someone has any, I would be more than happy to look at it as fairly as I can.


Brandt Driscoll - 2/21/2004

A little split identity here I think. Whatever, I do agree that legitimate criticism of Israel is necessary and proper. I feel that the motivation behind criticism, while not unimportant, is not as significant as the criticism itself. If the criticism has merit; then the basis of it appears to me to be of secondary importance.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

Thanks. I would say Mr Bacharach is a tough interlocutor. He knows his stuff and comes prepared to do battle.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/21/2004

I agree. There seems to be an intellectual incapacity to challenge your cogent views and so they try to circumvent your points. I have noted that several of them resort to this tactic as an alternative to challenging your brisk assessment of an occupying power who builds a fence to defenestrate their opponents.

My high school class has been following these comments this week and frankly it has been quite illuminating and provocative.


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004

Boooooooring!!


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/20/2004

A perfect example of how anti-Semities try to use the lame excuse that they are only anti-Israel, despite the obvious.

http://my.aol.com/news/news_story.psp?type=4&cat=0807&id=2004021917050002592767


David C Battle - 2/20/2004

Ain't that the truth.


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004

BP: Oh before you go. Did not the US under President Bush invade Panama in 1989? If so how could that have been a formative event if it preceded the 1982 Lebanon episode?
CR: You are right. Perhaps it merely accentuates the importance of the 1982 invasion and so by 1989 I was even more horrified by bullying nations-be they the US or Israel-taking preemptive actions against non-white peoples whom they refused to acknowledge as equals.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/20/2004

Good to see a so-called "academic" resort to petty semantics rather than address the issues. I guess I should have honored the old warning of engaging in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004

BP: When did you become so passionate about politics.
CR: As I said before when Israel began to cut off water to Lebanon in 1982.
BP: Yes I know, but were you completely apolitical before that?
CR: Well no. I was offended when the fascist American forces played rock music to harass General Noriega in Panama. I felt the entire episode in which we arrested him and hijacked him to Florida was one of the more disgraceful actions I have seen. So yes, I suppose it started there.
BP: Are you an expert on Israel.
CR: Oh heavens no. I never claimed that obviously. I do not speak Arabic or claim expertise in that area. Yet I feel I have studied enough on the region to intelligently debate it with others who may be more familiar with it.
BP: What do you think of Jews?
CR: What do you think of Jews?
BP: I am asking the questions.
CR: Yeah, I gave you my answer as a question. You know, it's like asking what do you think of African-Americans or whites. The question implies a stereotypical outlook and I won't answer it.
BP: Let me try it this way. Do you feel that Jewish culture or power is coordinated and threatening.
CR: Look, I respect any group that can hold and manipulate power regardless of its ethnicity. All I know is I stay on message. I criticise governments and their actions without getting into personal ethnocentric judgments. I will say this however. I feel many supporters of Israel are intolerant of criticism because they think they can channel legitimate criticism into the ugly veins of racialism.
BP: Yes we know that is your view which you have repeatedly articulated.
CR: Well?
BP: Who do you support for the presidency?
CR: Kucinich or Nader.
BP: I think you realize neither of those person are going to be on the ballot, or at least of a major party.
CR: For me it is not electability; it is who ought to be president and I do not believe either of the major candidates merits the position of the presidency.
BP: None:
CR: Of course not. None will challenge Israeli crimes against humanity. None will end the Iraq war? None will apologise for Vietnam, Hiroshima or support reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. Kerry is the biggest hyprocrite. Goes to Nam, comes back a dove and now runs on his war record. At least Bush deserted or went AWOL from his unit. I hope he wins if they turn this into a referendum on the Vietnam War. A Vietnam Veteran boasting of his actions or someone who avoided the war. I vote for the latter but since his name is Bush, I vote third party.
BP: Have you ever been in a Temple or synagogue.
CR: Yes, I have seen them. Have you?
BP: Are you familiar with the Jewish religion?
CR: I think so. There are various levels of Judaism but I have some familiarity with its history, creed and its popular culture in terms of holidays and the like.
BP: Have you felt alone on this thread on HNN. You have taken quite a licking.
CR: There have been others but I expected I would be alone as it can be quite perilous to challenge so directly those who hide under the mantle of disinformation when protecting Israel.
BP: Do you seek the destruction of Israel?
CR: I seek a two-state solution. Palestine and Israel.
BP: Do you support Hamas or Islamic Jihad/
CR: I oppose violence. I think the stronger of the two parties, Israel, does bear the greater responsibility to take confidence-building measures and to be more creative in its diplomacy. If it can negotiate with Hamas or Hezbollah the return of prisoners; it can negotiate on other matters of even greater importance to its security.
BP: Who are three historians that you consider to be the most significant or the most important in your development as a person.
CR: That's easy: Genovese, William Appleman Williams and Zinn.
BP: Thank you.
CR: Thank you very much.


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004

Dear Mr Battle,

On behalf of American academia, I apologise for the brainwashing you endured as an undergraduate. You had a right to a patriotic education and you were denied it.
You had a right to be exposed to conservative, right-wing values and you were denied it. You had a right to professors who did not spew the party line. You had a right to think as you wished without all these Trotskyist, left-wing professors.

I know the damage the suffered. I know the resentment you feel. I do not know what I can do to repair the damage. I can only hope as the years go by, you will somehow forgive us for denying YOU the right to an education.

You are a great man and I will support you in your crusade to bring academic freedom and integrity back to the academy.


Carl Roesler - 2/20/2004

Twice you have used the word "critisise." Perhaps you should consult a dictionary for guidance.


David C Battle - 2/20/2004

I am a pacifist, and a learned one, demonstrating to those who visit this Site that the game is over for those who use antisemitism as a cover for CONDONING AND EXONERATING THE USE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE OPPRESSED.

Your hatred of the Israeli military does not make you a pacifist, but it does make you an advocate of the other side's use of violence, which of course you justify as "resistance." That's not pacifism; but the self-appointed title allows you to spew your nonsense while remaining on your moral high horse, which of course is not nearly as high as your imagine it is.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/20/2004

Carl,
"Had they given an award to MR Graham, I would have been equally as harsh."

But they didn't. The United States invited him to speak at the inaguration of a President. I am simply waiting to see if you have the mental ability to critisize just one other country on the planet for doing the same thing or worse that Israel does, that's all. Based on your posts, I don't think you can. Your loathing is simply too powerful and too pathological. Please, prove me wrong.

Say that America wants to "promote radical Christian Zionism," and that "this is how desperate things have become for" this "country." Ask where America's sense of justice or toleration is and prove to all that you can at least recognize your own double standard of Israel when you say it.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

I think Mr Graham is equally as despicable. I used Mr Robertson as an example of the depths of intolerance that Israel had descended. Had they given an award to MR Graham, I would have been equally as harsh.

Most moderate Americans consider Mr Robertson to be an extreme reactionary with an intolerant ideology. The fact that Israel celebrates it seem to be a testament to my many and varied criticisms of that nation.

To Mr Catsam: "Get thee to a stable!"


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/19/2004

Carl,
You are incredible, and it is clear to me that your pathological disgust for Israel is based on pure and unadulterated hatred rather than any kind of objective analysis of the evidence. How you can condemn Israel and excuse all other countries of the same exact thing or worse is beyond me.

This time, the condemnation comes because Israel, according to you, is so desperate, “in its effort to promote radical Christian Zionism, Mr Robertson is given an award by Israel's tourism official Benny Elon.” You use this as evidence of Israel’s inhumanity and intolerance. Your audacity if amazing.

Franklin Graham gave the inauguration prayer at the swearing in of President Bush!

Here is what HE had to say about Islam:
“The Islamic faith is wicked, violent and not of the same God."
"I don’t believe this is a wonderful, peaceful religion. When you read the Koran and you read the verses from the Koran, it instructs the killing of the infidel, for those that are non-Muslim."

Of course, not surprising, you pick and choose what you like in order to make Israel look bad, and ignore the obvious fact that your example demonstrates absolutely nothing! There are many people on this website with whom I disagree with, but I have never read posts as divorced from reality as yours sir.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/19/2004

Incursion is a "moderate" word? carl, you really are off the deep end. This is how we know you are not employed in academia: most of us who are left of center realize that the belief is that academia is filled with intemperate demogogues. One way to counter this is, when levying criticism of the right, we don't act like intemperate demogogues. I don't need to be told how to feel about Pat Robertson or any other righty with whom I disagree 99% of the time. But I can make those feelings clear without being an obstinate ass.
In any case, note how once again you did not respond to the substance of my post about your using an award as a litmus test for Israel and rather you first went off on an incoherent rant about animals and equestrians and what have you. I especially like this incoherent sentence: "Enjoy your safe-consensus please the editors liberalism." nearly as bad is the first semi-sentence in your post.
Then you go on to try to parse my writing to discern that I am somehow nicer to righties who are morons than to lefties who are (or to those who aren't morons as well)-- go ask Bill Heuisler, with whom I share little ideologically but a great deal of respect as a man, if I softshoe on my criticisms of the right.
By the way, my hypocritical friend, if it is wrong to use animal metaphors, why is it right for you to call me "Mr. Equestrian"? Further, at least Carpenter writes articles. I respect him for that even if the one note he sounds is getting old. When are you going to write something on HNN? You claim the credentials. You have no problem criticizing those with whom you disagree who do write articles. Or is this just another arrow in your quiver of hypocrisy?
In any case, you don't think that Robertson is "obnoxious" and "wrong"? because that is precisely what the citation you give indicates that I feel. Apparently in your parsing you overlooked this little fact.
PS -- interrogative sentences are still supposed to end with question marks.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

No the historian who depicted the Bush administration as conducting the "incursion" of Iraq had this to say about Pat Robertson.

Derek Charles Catsam:
"obnoxious and wrong as he may be."

Note his style is usually quite direct and confrontational but when the right wing is in his sights, there is such moderation. "Incursion" and "may be."
May be? Maybe denouncing a religion in such a vicious manner is "may be" not wrong but definitely an example of intolerance, prejudice, and disrespect for diversity.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

Fine, we agree on that sir!


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

Thank you Mr Equestrian. Insulting animals as a means to denounce your superiors is nothing more than animalism.

What if a revisionist called you a "pig." That would imply that a pig is an animal that is unworthy of respect. Hey, you eat them, I don't bro.

To suggest that someone is a one-trick pony is to suggest that a pony, a creature of God, is stupid because it can only perform a single task that some humanoid insisted that it perform. Those of us in PETA are not pleased that an educated individual would show such contempt for other forms of life.

I say to you sir, do not use animal imagery to condemn a writer for HNN who is too liberal for the consensus historiographical predilections of his adversary.

Enjoy your safe-consensus please the editors liberalism.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/19/2004

OK -- this seems a bizarre litmus test, what awards and honors a state gives to whom, but doesn't Israel also have a "Martin Luther King Jr. forest"? (Answer: yes. Bonus points -- did MLK support Israel's right to exist as a state? Answer: yes.) Does giving Pat Robertson, obnoxious and wrong as he may be, an award really make anyone's case here? Are we this intellectually unsophisticated?
dc


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/19/2004

I would argue that the "game" was over using anti-Semitism as a cover for CONDONING AND EXONERATING THE USE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST innocent men, women, and children.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

I am a pacifist, and a learned one, demonstrating to those who visit this Site that the game is over for those who use antisemitism as a cover for CONDONING AND EXONERATING THE USE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE OPPRESSED.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

Isn't is extraordinary that Pat Robertson is honoured by Israel. That wondrous figure of American liberalism and religious modernity, has called Islam "a fanatical religion." To this racist bigot, Islam "is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy." Imagine if some words were used to describe Judaism!

Yet in its effort to promote radical Christian Zionism, Mr Robertson is given an award by Israel's tourism official Benny Elon.

This is how desperate things have become for that country. They award an individual who spews hatred and vitriol against those with whom Israel is at war. Where is the sense of humanity in Israel? Where is the sense of justice? Where is the sense of toleration?


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/19/2004

Correct me if I am mistaken, but I would simply like a clear, simple answer: Do you support the attacks of 9/11 on America and also, do you support the Palestinian suicide bombers?


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

When America wages war against Islam for over 50 years, and has essentially disarmed or technologically achieved such military supremacy, then the weapons of liberation are asymmetrical. i.e. Hijack aeroplanes and fly them into buildings. It is impossible for Islamic groups to directly challenge American power. It must use nonconventional methods which unfortunately and tragically focus on soft, noncombatant groups. Its purpose is not military victory in the traditional sense but a political victory through demoralisation and tiring out the imperialist forces.

The "suicide attacks" on Israel as the Japanese attacks on American shipping come in the former, as a perfect replica of the above, and transpired in the latter as Japan was facing certain defeat with the withering away of its power.

Israel and its patron state America's strength are its weakness and even more imperil its civilian population.
As Israeli military strength increases and that of its opponents decreases, its opponents increasingly face two desperate choices. Surrender or resist in the only manner they can. Sending their children to kill Israeli citizens because it is too weak to directly engage the IDF.

Israel would do well to consider the parallels between the disparity of its power and its opponents. It should also note the US has a similar chasm as well. Therefore, the violence that it faces is the result of its strength and the weakness of its opponents has to be aimed at the most vulnerable objects.

Lesson: Stop the occupation of Palestine and your civilians will be spared death and attack.

Lesson: The odds are slim that Israel can win this battle militarily. It thinks it can but it is being destroyed as a consequence.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/19/2004

Mr. Roesler,
What does the Red Cross (or yourself, for that matter) say about Israeli women and children being blown or wounded while their murderers are hailed a few miles away?

According to Amnesty International, "The attacks against civilians by Palestinian armed groups are widespread, systematic and in pursuit of an explicit policy to attack civilians... They constitute crimes against humanity... They may also constitute war crimes."

I don't understand, if you and others are so upset about the barrior, why don't you ask the Palestinians to stop building it with their terrorism?

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150092004?open&of=ENG-ISR
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_627258.html?menu=


David Battle - 2/19/2004

The wall "runs counter to Israel's obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure the humane treatment and well being of the civilian population living under its occupation."

Israel, upon completion of the security fence, will be able withdraw from the west bank, and upon doing so will not have any "obligations" as an occupier--thus the point about "civilians living under occupation" is moot.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/19/2004

Carl,
If Israel is as bad as you say, how is it that these Palestinianjs are still alive? You cite a source claiming that the Palestinians are being deprived of education and healthcare???

Is that ALL the Nazis did, deprive some people of education and healthcare and sources of income? Is that all Aparthied was all about?

So what you are arguing was that in the 1930's, the Jews were being deprived of "adequate service such as water, health care and education, as well as sources of income such as agriculture...[there is] extensive damage to or destruction of buildings or farmland."

Wow, who knew everyone studying the Holocaust could be so wrong in their analysis! If that is what you think the Nazis were, then I was wrong: it is not Israel you are ignorent about... it is everything else.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/19/2004

1) "Your country of origin or ethnic identifiation is going to be criticised regardless of your slander."

I can only assume you mean Israel although I am neither from there nor have an ethnic identity with the land.

2) "The prestige of the State of Israel has been declining and will continue to do so as the "facts on the ground" overwhelm partisan efforts to obfuscate them by ad hominem attacks on the critics."

Israel never had prestige. It is a country of Jews and therfore has never really been treated as an equal in the family of nations before or after 1967.

3) "It has worked for decades as Jews attempted to shield Israel from legitimate and sustained attack by invoking the mantra of antisemitism."

It has also worked for decades as anti-semitism is wrapped in anti-Israel rhetoric, as you have tried to do. Not once have you made a legitimate critism of Israel, only spewing out hatred towards it and anyone who supports it.

4) "If a critic of Israel uses profane anti-Semitic language; if a critic of Israel makes derogatory statements about judaism; if a critic of Israel is utterly mistaken in one's views or exaggerates in a manner that is even beyond reality, then perhaps some baser motive may be at play."

Thay is exactly my point... well said.

5) "A perfect parallel to this cowardly criticism, is how the academic left is frequently castigated for being anti-American for its antiwar, antipreemption position."

Those people are against war and against preemption because they believe it is wrong for the world and wrong for the country. If they advocated the mass murder of Americans and/or the destruction of the United States, or compared America with the worst regimes in human history then yes, they would be anti-American. So too for Israel.

6) "The left will not go gently into the night. It will and has a moral obligation, as WELL AS THE ACADEMIC FREEDOM, to stay the course and resist a racist country bent on the utter destruction and removal of an Arab people."

And what country would that be, since I know of no such situation going on? Kosovo perhaps?

Bring 'em on!!!!!!!!!!!


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

You partisans of Israel are going to learn the hard way. Your country of origin or ethnic identifiation is going to be criticised regardless of your slander. The prestige of the State of Israel has been declining and will continue to do so as the "facts on the ground" overwhelm partisan efforts to obfuscate them by ad hominem attacks on the critics.

It has worked for decades as Jews attempted to shield Israel from legitimate and sustained attack by invoking the mantra of antisemitism. If a critic of Israel uses profane anti-Semitic language; if a critic of Israel makes derogatory statements about judaism; if a critic of Israel is utterly mistaken in one's views or exaggerates in a manner that is even beyond reality, then perhaps some baser motive may be at play.

A perfect parallel to this cowardly criticism, is how the academic left is frequently castigated for being anti-American for its antiwar, antipreemption position. The left will not go gently into the night. It will and has a moral obligation, as WELL AS THE ACADEMIC FREEDOM, to stay the course and resist a racist country bent on the utter destruction and removal of an Arab people.

Bring 'em on!!!!!!!!!!!


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

I would like to quote a report issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Israeli concentration camp barrier being constructed in Palestine:

"It deprives thousands of Palestinian residents of adequate service such as water, health care and education, as well as sources of income such as agriculture...[there is] extensive damage to or destruction of buildings or farmland."

The glorious Red Cross also attests to the rogue state arrogance of this vicious occupier: ISRAEL.

The wall "runs counter to Israel's obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure the humane treatment and well being of the civilian population living under its occupation."

This is reminiscent of the 1930 and is a shame upon Zionism and the State of Israel.


Carl Roesler - 2/19/2004

I would like to quote a report issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Israeli concentration camp barrier being constructed:

"It deprives thousands of Palestinian recidents of adequate service such as water, health care and education, as well as sources of income such as agriculture...[there is] extensive damage to or destruction of building or farmland."

The glorious Red Cross also attests to the rogue state arrogance of this vicious occupie: ISRAEL.

The wall "runs counter to Israel's obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure the humane treatment and well being of the civilian population living under its occupation."

This is reminiscent of the 1930 and is a shame upon Zionism and the State of Israel.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 2/19/2004

Throughout Europe, anti-Semitism is on the sharp rise, with people trying to use criticism of Israel to serve as a fig leaf that covers anti-Semitic rhetoric. It is easy to say, "I am not anti-Semitic, I just hate Israel," just as it is easy to say, "I am not racist, I just hate Africans."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3502019.stm

This is not in any way to suggest that Israel cannot be critisized on the same grounds as any other nation, but as I have read other people here post, that is simply not happening.


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

I should think a historian should be quite familiar with the term court historian but since you seem to seek enlightenment, allow me to elucidate the concept.

A Court Historian is literally a historian of the court. One who chronicled events of the nobility and other sundry elites. In a modern sense, Arthur Schlesinger Jr would be considered a court historian due to his position of prominent in the JFK (not Kerry I hope administration) Camelot coterie. Court Historians do have a certain advantage over others--namely access. Herbert Feis would be another example when he received early files on the atomic bomb due to his serving as special consultant to three secretaries of war.

In a more pungent sense, a court historian is incapable of significant detachment and or criticism of the elites. I think you qualify for that. Your writing tends to be more of an affirmation of America. It is rarely critical or challenging of the basic contours of American history and politics. That is your right. It is also one's right to severely and persistantly challenge you.

I believe your writing on sports, while useful and at times illuminating, do not even attempt a significant analysis of sport as a manifestation of nationalism.

I thought you article on the war was equally restrictive and narrow in its analysis. Fair enough. You are not obligated to adopt a more searing, critical view of America. You are more conservative than most historians than I know. Fair enough but you will be challenged and severely so in a country that is deeply divided ideologically.

For me, liberals and conservatives are essentially the same. Schlesinger's Vital Center. I would the Vital Center is the stuff of suffocation and the rejection of a third way.

I think if you reread my 'plays' on your article, that I DID make very substantive and well-argued critiques of your views.

Remember your humanity and don't be afraid to condemn a nation that has and continues to bring so much suffering and agony to the world. Be courageous; don't take the easy way out and dare to be daring.

Carl Basinger Roesler


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/17/2004

Carl --
No trick pony? How is that clever or germane, Carl? In any case, I'd say the range of my work on here indicates that while you may not like my work, I have more than one trick up my sleeve.
And why pose for us all in your solipsistic little interview with yourself questions you refuse to answer?
Lettered at Kenyon? Good school. Good swim team. I'd love to know your sport. Relevant to this discussion how?
Do you know what a Court Historian is? Obviously not. That lumps you in with a fellow, Grammarian, who was here a while back. Ignorancy apparently trumps even anonymity. Or, if Forrest Gump is more your style, stupid is as stupid does.
dc


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

Where were you born?

Actually I was not born in Tel Aviv but in Sandusky, Ohio.

Were you from a wealthy family?

No, my father fell in love with long distance at a very early age and my mom was a nursing supervisor.

Were you raised in a single parent household?

For the most part. My mom did not remarry but my grandparents were quite active in my development?

When did you become politically aware and if I may add, a leftist?

Interesting but I can actually pinpoint it to 1982 when Israel cut off the water that would hydrate Lebanon and its residents. I thought I was witnessing the recrudescence of fascism and have never gotten over it.

Have you been to Israel and other nations in the region?

Yes, I was in Israel once, Egypt twice and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan once.

What degrees do you possess?

AB, AM, PhD

What is the PhD in.

No comment.

OK, have you ever experienced academic life other than a student.

Oh sure, I have taught and earned fellowships and am quite aware of academia.

Why do you spend so much time on HNN.

Actually I am on Holiday and this will probably dissipate in a week or so until I return to more mundane matters.

Where did you learn so much about world affairs, or if the reader would prefer, when did you begin to think you knew so much about world affairs.

No comment.

Have you ever been arrested or incarcerated for your views.

Once.

Do you live in the US.

No


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

Is not that Kenyon Mr Roesler.

Yes Emma, I made a typo.

Remember Lebanon, Sabra, Chatila, the BERLIN WALL, THE APAPCHE HELICOPTERS FIRING ON CIVILIAN AREAS, the nuclear weapons, the banning of Wagnerian opera in Israel.


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

At least Mr Battle, who I am beginning to admire for his humanism and scope of enlightenment, did not call you a No Trick pony. You see according to court historiography, a no trick pony is really dumb. A one-trick pony as you called Dr Carpenter is less dumb. HMMM, maybe a liberal defender of Israeli apartheid and racism, is just, well predicatable!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I lettered at Kenyan bro.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/17/2004

Carl,
The problem here is simply ignorence, and I don't mean that to be offensive. Based on looking over your posts, I do not believe you really know what is happening in Israel. You know nothing of Israeli society, the history of the conflict, nor the dynamics of either side. Again, this is not meant to be an insult, it is a complex situation and many share your misunderstanding. It is a lot easier to say: Israel is evil, thus everything it does must, be definition, be evil- case closed (that is where the anti-Semitism that David and I have been talking about comes in).

This, I believe, is why you have no shame in calling Israel such nonsense (I assume you know what genocide and Apartheid mean, and if not I defined them for you on a prior post).

In all of your posts Carl, you have yet to recognize or at least to acknowledge the genocide bombers who blow up innocent Israelis. You outline a set of demands on Israel while ignoring the practical and security reservations of the Israelis. Above all, you ignore the current crimes of every other country in order to present Israel in the worst way humanly possible (which, by the way, you simply gloss over in your most recent post). To you, the Palestinians are peaceful peasants, who once lived happily in their own country, until the evil Jews came in their Western colonial ships, began slaughtering the local population, and established a colony there.

What saddens me most is that you are not the problem Carl, but a symptom of a very successful campaign of misinformation, and I have learned more from our conversations about the effect of that misinformation, than you will know.

I recommend the following site for you to explore one day. You will dismiss it, of course, as all lies but perhaps after you have read more about the present conflict, you can go to it and learn, at the very least, how Israelis see the conflict:

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/17/2004

Carl --
There you go again. Holocaust? Really? Beyond the loathsome rhetorical tool of trying to appropriate and use the term "holocaust" against a jewish state, do you actually know what a holocaust is? And why have you never addressed the issue of terrorism against Israel's civilian population?
And what of Israel prior to Likud -- government under Labor, which has been the government for most of the country's history?
Standards of decency? You mean like those in Syria? Or Saudi Arabia? Or Iraq under Saddam? If you are saying that Israel is uniquely horrible, surely your critics have the right to pose counterexamples that are far, far worse. The fact is, you make areasonable iscussion of Israel impossible because of how you polarize the issue -- you use terms such as holocaust, genocide, fascists, nazis, and not only do you do so wrongly, but you make it futile for those who support Israel but will recognize its flaws to engage in discussions with you. You challenge other people's professionalism for calling you out even though the to=nes of your post are professionally iresponsible. Indeed, I have to wonder what kind of professional you are, and if you are a professional historian, you simply lend grist to the mill of folks like David who are unwilling or incapable of separating and differentiating the big and complicated "left" because after reading enough of your tirades, why would he?
By the way, my favorite assertion you make is about the innocent Palestinian people, as if there were no intifada declatred against Israel and its innocent people. Tell me again what the Netanya Passover bombing victims did to deserve their fate at the hands of murderous terrorists? Or the Dolphinarium victims? Or those at Sbarro, or Mike's Place? How can you make the claims that you do and then deny victimhood to those who have died at the hands of terrorists who promise nothing less and then celebrate in the aftermath?
Apparently Israel is supposed to listen to all of the talk about being driven back to the sea (uttered long before the 1967 war that brought Israel the territories) and wiped off the planet and do nothing even when it is clear that their foe is going to make those pronouncements reality.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/17/2004

David --
So, by saying that your blanket generalization of Oberlin is simply wrong, I am not aware of Campuswatch? Quite the argument David. Hard to take you seriously, in fact when saying that Oberlin brainwashes is demonstrably false as is my supposed lack of knowledge of Campuswatch. Good work -- 0-2 in pointmaking. Huzzah!
As for their anecdotes about liberal tolerance, well, argument by anecdote usually is the province of those who don't actually have much of an argument beyond anecdote. I'd strongly encourage you to read Tim Burke's post on this on his blog, which you can reach through the Cliopatria discussion on this issue.
What, precisely, is Leftist orthodoxy? And do these campuses have, say, conservative newspapers? Any conservative professors? Do you consider liberalism and leftism all part of the same thing? Are students forced to think a particular way? Evidence for any of these assertions? Just as it is dumb and reprehensible to, say, claim Israel is fascist it is equally intellectually irresponsible to claim that an entire institution like Oberlin is guilty of pushing an orthodoxy (in the sciences, David? In Econ classes? Really? The whole college?) or of "brainwashing." Words don't only have meaning when you are criticizing their misuse on the other side.
dc


David C Battle - 2/17/2004

End anti-semitism. End the singling out of Jews, and of the Jewish state, for special scrutiny and double-standards. End the apologies for genocide against the Jewish people living in the Jewish state and elsewhere in the world, wherever they can be found by their enemies. End the whitewashing of Arab genocide against Jews done in the name of "resistance", end Leftist whitewashing of Arab atrocities against Jewish women and children as they travel in schoolbuses, eat in restaurants and shop at stores. End the madness.


David C Battle - 2/17/2004

And let's be honest -- at least liberal schools -- Oberlin, et al are generally tolerant of division.

Bob Jones is not "proud" of it, they're just honest about it, unlike the liberal institutions of brainwashing which you defend, which dishonestly claim tolerance but enforce Leftist orthodoxy.

And you defend them, oblivious to the whole purpose of Daniel Pipe's Campus Watch, and David Horowitz's extensive work on the same issue, both of which would have no purpose if Liberal tolerance were not but a myth.

Now, I don't care what you think of Horowitz and Pipes as individuals, or their politics. Their examples of Liberal "tolerance" are factual and verifiable. And that's my basic point.

And though related only indirectly to the Israelis and the World Court, and I wouldn't go so far as to call it "irrelevant."


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/17/2004

David --
It just seems that yours is more than a generalization, because it is an indictment.
generalization: Oberlin and Macalaster are too liberal.
indictment: Using your words: O. and M. are institutions of higher brainwashing in the leftist party line.
And let's be honest -- at least liberal schools -- Oberlin, et al are generally tolerant of division. Think about the conservative counterexample, a aplace like Bob Jones, that is not only intolerant, but is proudly so.

dc


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

You keep repeating your inquiry that Israel should be compared to other nations as if such comparisons would mitigate criticism of this horrid Likud government. For a race that claims to be "god's chosen people" that claims a Biblical title to Judea and Samaria, that avers it alone suffered egregiously, or if you prefer uniquely, in the late war, I think it should be compared to merely basic standards of decency.

Israel is a violent, vicious country that has perpetrated great damage and harm to an innocent people who have been refused their own legitimate equivalency of Zionism. Palestinians have the same rights as Jews to a homeland. A superpower such as Israel can afford to take risks, and engage in confidence building measures to alleviate the sufferings of the Palestinians. I have enumerated dozens of them above.

Jews such as dissident soldiers, such as Peace Now activists, such as some heads of the Mossad, should be supported as they battle against this holocaust in the region.


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

I agree with Mr Catsam.


David C Battle - 2/17/2004

You wouldn't allow someone to be so sloppy as to indict an entire institution (or nation state) as you have Oberlin or even your alma mater.

Yes, in fact I would. And I would recognize it as nothing more than a generalization-which may be an accurate or innacurate one. But I recognize generalizations for what they are--useful tools of discussion and analysis--with the knowledge that all generalizations have exceptions as built in caveats.

Regarding being unscathed--I wasn't. I was a hard Leftist for most of my adult life after college, but am now revelling in the backlash.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/17/2004

David --
You wouldn't allow someone to be so sloppy as to indict an entire institution (or nation state) as you have Oberlin or even your alma mater. They are not "institutions of brainwashing," and they do not inculcate a Leftist Party line, as if there is such a thing. You seem to have emerged unscathed. This, in any case, is all highly irrelevant.
dc


Caleb Bacharach - 2/17/2004

Carl,
Once again, you misrepresent a Jewish (I think I see a pattern emerging) organization in order to talk about how bad "they" are.

1) "I think if the ADL is of the opinion that it can control what a professor says in the classroom, then it will have to be met with all the weight of the academic community. I believe this professor had every right to his views and to express them in class."

How is the ADL controlling what anyone says? I wonder, would you be equally upset if the NAACP or the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee complained that a professor was making racist remarks in the classroom? If a professor was going to tell his class that Muhammad was an evil terrorist, blacks are naturally inferior, and women were meant to serve men, you would have absolutely no problem with that? If the dean of the department then wanted to fire, or just discipline that teacher, would you sign the petition to keep him teaching? Just a question.

2) "This is the Daniel Pipes's effect. Smash democracy; destroy professors who won't eat Israeli propaganda; bully the professorate into silence. We saw this during the war as the Hot Seat shows with those professors."

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember seeing Pipes name anywhere in the article you posted. Also, what does democracy have to do with anything? Did Congress pass a law prohibiting free speech on the campus? How did we see this during "the war," whatever that means?

3) "I can assure you this type of suppression does NOT, repeat does NOT aid Israel but creates even more rage and resentment among the intelligentsia."

Resentment to whom? Jews? In other words, if a college professor makes factually incorrect statements that offend people, and then the head of the school apologizes for those statements, people will hate Jews and Israel even more, is that the way it works? And this isn’t anti-Semitism, is it, Carl?


PS: John Leo of U.S. News and World Report regularly attacks what sees as Liberal PC control of college campuses- many of his columns are on line. I hope you read some of his online articles so you can condemn those as well.

PPS. I am still waiting for an answer to my last question, by what standards do you compare Israel to? America, ancient Rome?? Perhaps if I knew, I could frame my reactions to it.


David C Battle - 2/17/2004

By any standard you care to measure them, Israel treats its own Arabs better than they are treated in Arab dictatorships.


David C Battle - 2/17/2004

I can assure you this type of suppression does NOT, repeat does NOT aid Israel but creates even more rage and resentment among the intelligentsia.

Israel bashing from academia is fairly monolithic as it is, so academic "rage and resentment" won't change the situation that much.

But if outing Leftist, anti-American, and anti-Israeli propanda directed at our youth is "suppression", then so be it. What Pipes is doing is merely educating the consumer about academia-something you fear.

Just like you fear democracy and have to run to the courts to shove your fringe Leftist agenda's down our throats.

How about if the academics teach about arab fascism for a refreshing change if they're so interested in the truth.


Carl Roesler - 2/17/2004

I believe President Fong is not acting in a manner consistent with AAUP guidelines.

I think if the ADL is of the opinion that it can control what a professor says in the classroom, then it will have to be met with all the weight of the academic community. I believe this professor had every right to his views and to express them in class.

This is the Daniel Pipes's effect. Smash democracy; destroy professors who won't eat Israeli propaganda; bully the professorate into silence. We saw this during the war as the Hot Seat shows with those professors.

I can assure you this type of suppression does NOT, repeat does NOT aid Israel but creates even more rage and resentment among the intelligentsia.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/7917724.htm


David C Battle - 2/16/2004

David, you are simply wrong in your knee-jerk blanket assertion.

I doubt it. I received a very similar education at Macalester, so I know what I'm talking about.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/16/2004

No one would deny that Oberlin and Antioch are wonderful schools. What do they have to do with any of the discussions at hand?
David, you are simply wrong in your knee-jerk blanket assertion.


David C Battle - 2/16/2004

Institutions of higher brainwashing in the Leftist party line.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/16/2004

1) "Just what sort of inequalities do the Palestinians of Israel face?
"First, there are the immigration laws -- the Law of Return (1950) and Nationality Law (1952) -- that allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel and automatically gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians."

Actually, these are not inequalities within Israel pertaining to Israeli Arabs, as we were discussing. These are inequalities pertaining to non-citizens. These laws were not meant to exclude Palestinians, they were meant to INCLUDE all Jews, since that was the basis for Israel’s existence. We can debate over its merits or morality, but it does not effect the status of Arabs living in Israel.

2) "They alone have land rights to 93 percent of Israeli territory, which can be owned only by Jews."

This is simply false. 92% of Israeli land is owned by the government and is not for sale to anyone. The remaining 8 percent of the territory is privately owned. The Arab Waqf (the Muslim charitable endowment), for example, owns land that is for the express use and benefit of Muslim Arabs. Government land can be leased by anyone, regardless of race, religion or sex. All Arab citizens of Israel are eligible to lease government land. This is written in law.

3) "Most Jewish Israelis serve in the military, but apart from the Druze and some Bedouin -- in a throwback to colonial policies of "divide and rule" -- Arabs are not drafted and as you know that is where they get most of the IDF."

Are you suggesting Israelis force some Arabs to enlist? If Israeli Arabs would like to sign up to the military, they are free and allowed to do so. The benefits given to military people are extensive, but then, so it is with any country with a large military population. After WWII, the benefits we offered (including the most famous, the GI bill) were extensive, and included housing provisions, and a 20 point boost on their Civil Service exams. You would rather Israeli Arabs be forced to serve in the military, fighting Palestinians, or risk jail? I disagree. The exemption is not only rational under the circumstances, but moral as well.

4) "There are huge gaps in local government budgets for Jewish and Arab municipalities. Zoning regulations hem in Arab neighborhoods in cities such as Nazareth, where Palestinians are forced to seek housing in the Jewish districts perched with precision on hillsides above the Arab districts, seemingly as a statement of urban superiority."

Gerrymandering has long been a problem in any democracy. If you read a book about race inequality in America, you will find glaring inequities among blacks and whites. Exactly what standard do you apply to Israel where they are condemned for something the greatest power on the earth is exempted from? What do you compare Israel to in making your determinations?

5) "The education budget for Arab schools is 28 percent less than for their Jewish counterparts despite the fact they pay taxes."

Arabs represent less than 20% of the population, so to suggest that schools representing less than 20% of the population should get 50% of the education budget doesn’t seem very democratic, does it? Again, what are you comparing Israel with? You say that it is Nazi/Aparthied/Genocide/(Hell?) and imply that it must be destroyed. Try comparing Israel to some other country (say, the United States?) instead of comparing it to some ideal utopia that must have perfect equality in order to NOT be the worst country in the history of hell.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2003/10/26/left_behind/
http://www.cnn.com/2001/fyi/teachers.ednews/08/28/sat.scores/

6) "And then there's the unstated political discrimination. There are certain ministries that exclude these heroes: Housing, Trade, Industry and the Foreign Ministry. They won't allow them onto the Knesset foreign affairs, national security or housing committees. They won't even allow them to observe."

Heroes? Huh? What country is immune from social discrimination? France no longer allows Muslims to wear head-scarves in public schools. Question: How many Jews live in the West Bank or Gaza? How many are permitted to vote in Palestinian elections (trick question)? How many serve in Arafats cabinet?

Your posts are a perfect example of the double standard imposed on Israel, who is held higher than any other country on earth and yet is treated as the pariah among nations.

According to BBC "most Israeli Arabs want to remain in the Jewish state - because it is both richer and offers more political freedom than Palestinian controlled areas." To even suggest that Israel is worse than ANY of its neighbors is beyond ludicrous. Why then does Israel receive such treatment? Is it because of the occupation? No (what of Iraq, or Turkey, or Russia, or Ireland, or Spain, all accused of "occupying" someone else’s land). Is it because people believe incorrectly it is based on religion? No (Iran and Vatican City are theocracies by law, and many other state, including Saudi Arabia, the former Afghanistan, and others are clearly theocracies in practice). What makes Israel distinct from all other countries to garner such contempt, I wonder. Hmmmmm., could it be that it is a country of Jews??? I think we have comething here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3465119.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3211772.stm


Carl Roesler - 2/16/2004

With regard to #19 and #22, I think of the great womaniser, W. Jefferson Clinton who said, "I did not inhale." I think you did.

Just what sort of inequalities do the Palestinians of Israel face? First, there are the immigration laws -- the Law of Return (1950) and Nationality Law (1952) -- that allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel and automatically gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians. They alone have land rights to 93 percent of Israeli territory, which can be owned only by Jews. Most Jewish Israelis serve in the military, but apart from the Druze and some Bedouin -- in a throwback to colonial policies of "divide and rule" -- Arabs are not drafted and as you know that is where they get most of the IDF. As a result, they are excluded from housing loans and student fee exemptions, and discriminated against in public employment and higher education.

There are huge gaps in local government budgets for Jewish and Arab municipalities. Zoning regulations hem in Arab neighborhoods in cities such as Nazareth, where Palestinians are forced to seek housing in the Jewish districts perched with precision on hillsides above the Arab districts, seemingly as a statement of urban superiority.

There are over 100 Palestinian villages unrecognized by the state, with no water or electricity, on land that the state occasionally tries to seize for "public service," meaning for the Jewish public. In 1997, two percent of the Ministry of Religious Affairs budget was dedicated to Muslim, Christian and Druze regions of the country.

The education budget for Arab schools is 28 percent less than for their Jewish counterparts despite the fact they pay taxes. And then there's the unstated political discrimination. There are certain ministries that exclude these heroes: Housing, Trade, Industry and the Foreign Ministry. They won't allow them onto the Knesset foreign affairs, national security or housing committees. They won't even allow them to observe.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/16/2004

Many of your suggestions I don’t have a problem with even if I accept Israel’s right to refuse. The following however, is where we hit a roadblock and where there are some serious misunderstaninds and perhaps some naiveté on your part. If I may some up my problems with the list, none actually suggest any action Israel can do to make peace, they all merely demand Israel take unilateral action. It is almost as if the left was made without the knowledge that there is a war going on. More specifically, here are my concerns:

1) "Free Nobel Laureate Arafat from House Arrest."
16) "Arrest and try Prime Minister Sharon for war crimes such as the Sabra and Chatila massacres."

Is there not a double standard here? Why should Arafat be freed and Sharon arrested when both are accused (with ample evidence) of indirectly murdering innocent civilians?

5) "Publicaly apologise for the kidnapping and cruel incarceration of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu."

This man has revealed Israeli military secrets! Why on earth should Israel have to apologize for seizing a potential defector with devastating knowledge of Israeli secrets? He has had access to the law, appeals, even to the Israeli Supreme Court. You may disagree with his sentence, and that is fine, but for a country to have to apologize for exercising its sovereign power to arrest and detain citizens for espionage seems a bit much to me.

7) "Stop the construction of the Berlin Wall in Palestine."

And now the question must be asked, what do you believe that Israel should do to prevent terrorist attacks on innocent civilians? After all, none of you suggestions addresses Israel’s legitimate concern to protect its citizens. Even if you favor the complete genocide of the Israeli population, surely you recognize the desire for self-preservation in the country? How is it that they accomplish this protection?

8) "Accept World Court jurisdiction on the Wall."

The pathological anti-Semitism rampant in the UN makes this suggestion impossible to grant for Israel. As a sovereign nation, Israel has the right to refuse to listen to the ICJ, whose rulings have no force of international law in any effect, other than advisory.

9) "Accept Oslo and the recent Geneva Accords."

No country can be asked to unilaterally accept peace while being constantly attacked in the worst way. This is like telling Britain in 1942 that it should cease ALL military activity in hopes that the Nazis simply follow their lead. Had the Palestinians accepted Oslo, there would be peace today! As it happened, Israel granted Palestinian autonomy, recognized the PA, and even armed its police force!! In exchange, it got an entire generation of Palestinians being taught in school that Jews are the vermon of the world and must be all murdered.

10) "Stop the occupation of Palestine"

Question: What is Palestine? I only ask because according to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc., this mean ALL of historic Palestine (i.e. the entire region). Most Western liberals seem to refer to the West Bank and Gaza. Which do you mean, and again, how should Israel address its security concerns given this diference in definition?

12) "Accept the right of return for the Palestinian diaspora."

Since very few of those Palestinians ever lived in what is now Israel, by what moral/legal/historic obligation does Israel have to absorb millions of hostile immigrants, even when no Middle Eastern country has offered the same for the hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from their lands after 1948? In any event, this is a deal-breaker for Israel (rightly so) and irrelevant for the Palestinians. While most maintain the right as inalienable, only 10% said they would actually exercise it, making it a foolish point for continued bloodshed.
http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2003/refugeesjune03.html#findings

13) "Accept responsibility for the INTENT of attacking the USS Liberty."

This is simply a foolish request since it presupposes Israeli deception despite any lack of clear evidence. You might as well demand that Castro admit to killing Kenedy as a precondition for ending sanctions.

14) "Abandon and terminate all settlements."

Again, what do you mean by "all"?? "All" in the West Bank and Gaza, or the entirety of the land of Israel? This is an important point.

19) "Allow Arab-Israelis the right to serve in the military which is a means of acknowledging their equality to Jews."

Done. This is already a right enjoyed by all Israeli citizens. The only difference is that Arabs are not FORCED to serve, as Jews are. If you are advocating conscription however, I think many of your fellow Israel-haters might disagree with such a move.

20) "Offer unconditionally negotiations with Syria, Hamas, Fatah and other adversarial nations or subgroups."

Negotiations on what? Those groups have never wanted peace/offered peace/taught peace/or solicited peace from Israel. I think you need to check your history here, it takes 2 to negotiate. You are asking a rape victim to negociate with the rapist in hopes that the rapist will finally come to his senses and dismount.

22) "End the concept of a Jewish state predicated on an official religion and accept the modern democratic notion of pluralism and the separation of church and state."

Done. Israel has no state religion and as a result, Israeli Arabs have held numerous government posts and currently hold more than 10 seats in the Knesset. Arabic is an official language and there are literally hundreds of recognized Arab schools operating in the country.

Hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

I ask again, what should Israel do to get peace? Nothing I have read here even begins to understand the complexity of the situation.


Carl Roesler - 2/16/2004

Here are a few items that you suggested. I appreciate finally receiving a request for information that does not label me as antisemite. I believe my tone here reflects my recognition of that. You will obviously disagree with all these points but their tone is an attempt to match yours.

1) Free Nobel Laureate Arafat from House Arrest.
2) Stop the stealing of 80% of Palestinian water, at least from the West Bank, which is gold in the region.
3) Proclaim a willingness to sign and ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
4) Accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
5) Publicaly apologise for the kidnapping and cruel incarceration of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.
6) Provide complete and HONEST information about the "Flash in the Sky."
7) Stop the construction of the Berlin Wall in Palestine.
8) Accept World Court jurisdiction on the Wall.
9) Accept Oslo and the recent Geneva Accords.
10) Stop the occupation of Palestine
11) Stop the collective punishment of bulldozing buildings in which the Palestinians live.
12) Accept the right of return for the Palestinian diaspora.
13) Accept responsibility for the INTENT of attacking the USS Liberty.
14) Abandon and terminate all settlements.
15) Allow Maestro Barenboim and others to play without intimidation and censorship the music of Wagner.
16) Arrest and try Prime Minister Sharon for war crimes such as the Sabra and Chatila massacres.
17) Recognize the importance of adhering to UN resolutions such as 242 and 338.
18) Do not censor or expel or refuse credentialing of news organisations such as the BBC that aggressively report on the depredations of Israel.
19)Allow Arab-Israelis the right to serve in the military which is a means of acknowledging their equality to Jews.
20) Offer unconditionally negotiations with Syria, Hamas, Fatah and other adversarial nations or subgroups.
21) Use history as a lesson not to become the new victimizer, the new "Tough Jew" but to appreciate the sufferings of those who also are being persecuted.
22) End the concept of a Jewish state predicated on an official religion and accept the modern democratic notion of pluralism and the separation of church and state.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/16/2004

Carl,
I had been meaning to ask for a little while now a question of you and others who detest Israel: What should Israel do? Specifically, what actions could Israel take tomorrow that would make Carl Roesler a supporter of Israel? Perhaps if I knew what you wanted from Israel, we could begin to adress those concerns.

(Again, specifically. If you are simply going to say "Israel should stop genocide/Aparthied/and other nonsense, don't bother)

Thank you.


Jerald A. Hibberd - 2/16/2004

Indeed!


Carl Roesler - 2/16/2004

For those who are interested I have linked two of Ohio's finest institutions of higher learning.

http://www.oberlin.edu/

http://www.antioch-college.edu/

While it would be silly to make sweeping assumptions, my hunch is that there is frequently a relationship between nontraditional and unorthodox pedagogy and a capacity and a humanness to think beyond the narrow confines of nationalism and state-centered ethnocentrism.

These wonderful institutions are committed to justice, peace and service to humankind. In fact I can attest to the fact that many of their graduates have the capacity to think globally, beyond the conception of self and are committed to social justice and a history of liberation and cultural respect.

Carl Roesler


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/15/2004

No, Carl -- being opposed to specific Israeli policies is not antisemetic. just like you tried to cloak your extreme verbiage in the guise of Mandela and it failed, your attempting to put your beliefs and expressions of them on the same level as these israeli soldiers is also a failure. Just because you use the word "genocide" (one of these manifestations of your extremism that galls many of us) doesn't make it so. And, believe it or not, israeli soldiers can be wrong about Israeli policy. Or as an American, are you to stand for all Americans when you speak? You are trying to use what we know as anecdotal evidence to prove your case. yet any of us can come up with Israeli soldiers on the other side? So what?
dc


Carl Roesler - 2/15/2004

I wonder if the enemies of freedom will call Jewish soldiers antisemitic.

Folks, the game is up!!!!


Carl Roesler - 2/15/2004

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1148493,00.html


John S Kipper - 2/15/2004

Howard just wrote to me saying:

"Those who cheered when the second worst U S President said 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" should unite in telling the worst president "Mr Bush, tear down Sharon's wall, being built with U S taxpayers' money.'"
Excuse me, but I fail to see the point. Wasn't the Berlin Wall constructed by a puppet government that was supported by the bayonets of an occupying Soviet Army? And wasn't it constructed to keep people IN the workers' paradise rather than to stifle the flood of all those West Germans clamoring to enjoy the material pleasures of the planned economy and the joys of political and religious expression?

And isn't Sharon's Wall exactly the position that was supported by the Left, in both Israel and Europe, as a solution to the Mid East problem just a few years ago?
I have learned not to expect consistency of thought from many anti-S, oops, anti-Zionists. But this is a hobgoblin that even Ralph Waldo couldn't defend. What a conflation! Mind boggling

And isn't the reference to "the second worst president" just a little gratuitous? Especially when one recognizes the affection that the majority of the American people still hold for Reagan?


John S Kipper - 2/15/2004

this is a test to see if this thing works. Sorry for the distraction.


David BattIe - 2/14/2004

We Aryans are a minority race, in the world, and our
homelands our now occupied by other races. In less than seventy
years time, we will be the minority in what once were our own
nations, and not long after that - if current low Aryan
birth-rates and race-mixing continue - our race will be nearing
extinction.


TYUIO TYDD UI - 2/14/2004

Why We Aryans Must Be Racist We must be racist - we must believe that we are the superior race
- because we are fighting for our freedom and for our very
survival. We Aryans are a minority race, in the world, and our
homelands our now occupied by other races. In less than seventy
years time, we will be the minority in what once were our own
nations, and not long after that - if current low Aryan
birth-rates and race-mixing continue - our race will be nearing
extinction


David C Battle - 2/14/2004

No, I didn't post that racist screed. No, I'm not "aryan"; in fact I'm a hispanic and proud of it. But I don't walk around with the victim mentality that the paternalistic and patronizing Left would have me do, the same paternalism they treat all people of color with (currently, arabs are their flavor of the month).


Caleb Bacharach - 2/14/2004

I think it is clear that whoever is posting under the name "David Battle" is doing so merely to discredit him. It is a tactic that I have seen before on this site but am saddened that it persists even with the new rules in place. In any event, you may take your racist foolishness elsewhere as far as I am concerned.


David Battle - 2/12/2004

This double standard, to me, constitutes anti-Semitism no less than holding individual Jews or the Jewish faith to a double standard against other faiths.

Allow me to indulge myself by reiterating your thoughts, and Martin Luther King, Jrs.--it is anti-semitism precisely BECAUSE of this double standard.

The State of Israel is the "Jew" among the nations. Just as Jews were singled out, so is Israel singled out.

Arab nationalism=fine
Jewish nationalism=racism

Arab violence=fine
Jewish violence=genocide

Muslim states=fine
Jewish state=apartheid

Stifle schmifle. And I'm not even Jewish.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

Carl,
Many of my colleagues on this issue, including Mr. Catsam and Mr. Battle, have already expressed what I believe but I would add the following thoughts to your post.

1) “If the charge of antisemitism is used as a means to stifle dissent, and if growing numbers of persons become resentful of the abuse of the term, then legitimate charges of antisemitism may be ignored.”

No one has made the charge of anti-Semitism as a means of stifling dissent. If that were the case, I and many of my colleagues on this site, would have done what others on this site have done: simply spew out a litany of insults and moved on. I have explained what I believe and why I believe it, as well as justified my use of the term. You however, have consistently recreated our arguments in order to transform them into what they are not: a means of shutting you up.

2) “I would urge partisans of Israel to consider the ramifications of politcising the term. If the charge of antisemitism continues to be associated with a political agenda, then it will overtime be harder to enlist sympathy and outrage if a person is targeted for his or her race or religious background.”

I simply call it as I see it. To allow blatantly bias thoughts and comments to go unchallenged for what they are is to do a disservice to everyone. The term has become politicized primarily by those who practice it, just as the term “racism,” or “sexism” has become politicized, not by the minority who cry wolf all the time, but by those who PRACTISE it repeatedly but feign offense at the implication.

3) “I think the charge of antisemitism does more harm for Zionists in enlisting support for their cause then arguing the points on the merits.”

And I think the PRACTICE of anti-Semitism does more harm than either. In any case, I and others, have done exactly that: argue the case on its merits.

4) “Since anyone who has read my items are cognizant of the fact that there was an absence of any racist or antireligious bigotry, I think my position of visceral antipathy toward Israeli policy and cruelty, is strengthened not subterfuged by ad hominems.”

I have read your comments and there was a great deal of racist comments, not towards Judaism as a religion, but towards Judaism as a culture, a people. You single out Israel above all other countries in the world, indeed in history as the source of all pain and suffering. You ignore blatant crimes against humanity committed by the Palestinians (or anyone else for that matter) while painting Israel to be the most oppressive and violent regime ever.

You further deride Jewish nationalism, and anyone who supports it, as racist and worse while defending or remaining silent on other nationalist movements. This double standard, to me, constitutes anti-Semitism no less than holding individual Jews or the Jewish faith to a double standard against other faiths..


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

1) "I would assert that Zionism is NOT the "dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land."
Actually, that is exactly what Zionism is. You might disagree with the actions of Zionists, just as one may disagree with the actions of communists, democrats, or whatever, but the definition is Jewish nationalism, nothing more.
2) "It is a nightmare of a people in 1948 displacing 500-700,000 people who were already living there."
It is also the nightmare of millions of Jews with no where to go and no country to take them in accept the land they had been immigrating to for decades (and in many instances, centuries). And what about the Jews who were displaced from the various Arab countries? I do not deny that many Arabs were displaced in the 1948 war, and I do not defend this. However, many of those Arabs left the land of their own accord, and those who were forced out by the military did so under conditions of war, not some independent movement to displace them simply for its own sake. The same situation happened to millions of ethnic Germans after WWII, or millions of Muslims and Hindus during the separation of India. Again, I do not defend this, but it can hardly be called an act of genocide any more than those other examples.
3) "Israel is a settlement; it is a nation, not unlike the United States, that swept the indigenous peoples away (Palestinian, Native American) into bandustans (barbed wire encircled areas in Gaza and West Bank, reservations)."
Actually, Israel is an independent state that was attacked and annexed land in a defensive war. A settlement? By whom? Settlement usually implies the branch of some other country. Which country would that be? Furthermore, the land Israel annexed did not belong to anyone after the British left, in any legal sense anyway. Remember, there has never been any independent Palestine in all of human history. Again, this is a point we can debate intelligently, but it is not genocide by any definition of the term, in the same way we killed off the Indians.
4) "Israel used the Talmud or the Old Testament as its land-grab rights of jurisdiction. Amazing source for this horror. US used Manifest Destiny as its religious fanatical justification for both external and internal empire."
This is a myth perpetuated by people who need something to use against Israel. The Bible was never the claim Zionists used to defend their own homeland, and to this day is not used as evidence of any Israeli right. Rather, Zionism is defended on political or military terms as a means of protecting a group of people who had no where else to go. Read the Israeli Declaration of Independence, provide quotes from Israel’s founding father, or even Hertzl himself, and then we’ll talk.
5) "When HNN altered its format, I noted many expressed a relief that all those antisemitic posters would be purged. Well, if antisemitism, which is unacceptable to me, is meant to conflate antiZionism, then get used to it."
In fact, they are the same, UNLESS you are also anti-Pan-Africanism, anti-Pan-Arabism, andi-Pan Islamicism, and so forth. If that is the case, say so and I will gladly accept you as simply someone who opposes all nationalistic aspirations. If not, they are, for all intents and purposes, they are the same thing. If you disagree, by all means, explain what you see as the difference.
6) "If the New McCarthyism continues its effort to criticise those who condemn Israel as antisemitic, I assure you the reservoir of good will that has propelled American Jewry into one of the more influential and potent groups in the world, will continue to ebb."
And you don't think THAT is anti-Semetic to threaten American Jews with loosing their (so-called) influence if some people call you anti-Semetic?!? How about this: If some blacks continue to play the race card whenever someone prosecutes a black person, the kindness this country shows all blacks will disappear. Is that racist to you, or do you find nothing wrong with that statement?
7) “Remember 1982, Beirut, Israel cuts off the water to that great and glorious capital. Remember, many former heads of Mossad and Israeli IDF soldiers of conscience, condemn the eradication of even basic human rights in Palestine.”
Israel has long sought a peaceful northern border. But Lebanon's position as a haven for terrorist groups has made this impossible. In March 1978, PLO terrorists infiltrated Israel. After murdering an American tourist walking near an Israeli beach, they hijacked a civilian bus. When Israeli troops intercepted the bus, the terrorists opened fire. A total of 34 hostages died in the attack. In response, Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon and overran terrorist bases in the southern part of that country, pushing the terrorists away from the border. The IDF withdrew after two months, allowing UN forces to enter. But UN troops were unable to prevent terrorists from reinfiltrating the region and introducing new, more dangerous arms. It was this buildup that led to Israel's 1982 invasion.
Jerusalem repeatedly stressed that Israel did not covet a single inch of Lebanese territory. Israel's 1985 withdrawal from Lebanon confirmed that. The small 1,000-man Israeli force, deployed in a strip of territory extending eight miles into south Lebanon, protected towns and villages in northern Israel from attack. Israel also repeatedly said it would completely withdraw from Lebanon in return for a stable security situation on its northern border.

Keep up your attacks on Israel, and I will continue to defend it so long as the criticisms are valid. I happen to believe that there are numerous Israeli actions that can be condemned. Israel is not perfect and has committed various actions that should be and must be condemned from anyone. However, thus far, the attacks on Israel have been far from legitimate. Essessially, the argument is that Israel is evil, all Israelis are evil, and nothing they can do can ever NOT be evil. Is this accurate or am I overstated your position?


David Battle - 2/12/2004

If the charge of antisemitism is used as a means to stifle dissent, and if growing numbers of persons become resentful of the abuse of the term, then legitimate charges of antisemitism may be ignored...I would urge partisans of Israel to consider the ramifications of politcising the term.

Being asked to "consider the ramifications" of politicising terms by a habitual anti-Israel partisan such as yourself--whose stock and trade is casually tossing about terms such as "racist", "nazi", "apartheid", etc in reference to Israel--is nothing short of a joke.

Perhaps rather than a "contemplative moment" you should indulge is a self-reflecting moment.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/12/2004

Carl --
I want to say i appreciate you at least trying to take a step back in a contemplative moment. However (you knew that was coming) how is it that calling someone an antisemite is a loaded term but "partisans of israel" is not?
I have not engaged in ad hominems -- I have engaged in ardent criticisms of your ideas. If your ideas have approached antisemetism I have lebeled them as such. You cannot just pull out "ad hominem" use it incorrectly, and then claim to be the virtuous one. No ones hands are clean in this debate -- which to my mind is fine. No one said intellectual debate cannot get heated, down and dirty, aggressive, and sometimes even unreasonable. But when both perties have done the same, it is unseemly for one side suddenly to whine about a tone they have helped to perpetuate.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/12/2004

Carl --
So professionals never use the word "damned"? Really? I'm sorry that you are so sensitive, but "damned" is pretty tepid all in all. Nonetheless, stop trying to set the bar for what is and is not professional behavior. Your protestations notwithstanding, I have not crossed any lines and you do not have the standing to decide what is and is not appropriate. You keep falling further from the substance of this discussion with every post.
I am curious why it is unacceptable for me (and I have published on HNN regularly) to criticize other writers on HNN but it is ok for you (who has not) to criticize me so brazenly? In other words, why the hypocrisy? I do not think anyone is beyond reproach, but since you have cordoned off carpenter as sacred territory, why am I not allowed the same treatment. At least I can criticize Carpenter as a peer and an equal. I'd accept the same from him. I'm just not certain why you think you need to play intermediary and you get to decide who is out of play and who is not. Very curious indeed.
dc


David Battle - 2/12/2004

They don't have the right to exterminate other ancient peoples too.

"Exterminate"?

First melodrama and contrived outrage, and now overblown hyperbole. You're not someone to be taken seriously.


Carl Roesler - 2/12/2004

My last comment on this article is meant to be contemplative and a touchstone for new thinking.

If the charge of antisemitism is used as a means to stifle dissent, and if growing numbers of persons become resentful of the abuse of the term, then legitimate charges of antisemitism may be ignored.

I would urge partisans of Israel to consider the ramifications of politcising the term. If the charge of antisemitism continues to be associated with a political agenda, then it will overtime be harder to enlist sympathy and outrage if a person is targeted for his or her race or religious background.

I think the charge of antisemitism does more harm for Zionists in enlisting support for their cause then arguing the points on the merits.

I know this. There have been several posters, including a writer for HNN, who have either directly or indirectly suggested I am prejudicial toward Jews. Since anyone who has read my items are cognizant of the fact that there was an absence of any racist or antireligious bigotry, I think my position of visceral antipathy toward Israeli policy and cruelty, is strengthened not subterfuged by ad hominems.


Carl Roesler - 2/12/2004

One other point. I never said Jews did not deserve the right to live in the Ancient Land of Israel. They don't have the right to exterminate other ancient peoples too.

Get it???????????????????


Carl Roesler - 2/12/2004

I would assert that Zionism is NOT the "dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land." It is a nightmare of a people in 1948 displacing 500-700,000 people who were already living there.

Israel is a settlement; it is a nation, not unlike the United States, that swept the indigenous peoples away (Palestinian, Native American) into bandustans (barbed wire encircled areas in Gaza and West Bank, reservations).

Israel used the Talmud or the Old Testament as its land-grab rights of jurisdiction. Amazing source for this horror. US used Manifest Destiny as its religious fanatical justification for both external and internal empire.

When HNN altered its format, I noted many expressed a relief that all those antisemitic posters would be purged. Well, if antisemitism, which is unacceptable to me, is meant to conflate antiZionism, then get used to it.
Progressive intellectuals in academe and other professions are simply not as pliable as their brethren were in the 1950s. If the New McCarthyism continues its effort to criticise those who condemn Israel as antisemitic, I assure you the reservoir of good will that has propelled American Jewry into one of the more influential and potent groups in the world, will continue to ebb.

Remember 1982, Beirut, Israel cuts off the water to that great and glorious capital. Remember, many former heads of Mossad and Israeli IDF soldiers of conscience, condemn the eradication of even basic human rights in Palestine.


David Battle - 2/12/2004

Martin Luther King, Jr:

". . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.

"Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.

"Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

"The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested--DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

"How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfilment of God's promise, that his People should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.

This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.

"And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is antisemitism.

"The antisemite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the antisemite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!

"My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."


David Battle - 2/12/2004

There will be a worldwide movement to tear this unholy, blasphemous wall to smithereens and eradicate every trace of its existence

Cheesy melodrama and contrived outrage are never a substitute for calm reason and dispassion. But such are the tools of the failed Left and their arab groupies.


Carl Roesler - 2/12/2004

I regret the incorrect link above. It was a pop-up and this is the one I was referring to.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1075782426350&p=1008596981749


Carl Roesler - 2/12/2004

Thank you for the vote of confidence. I am not as embarrassing as these Israelis who fake being victims of "terrorism" so they can rip off Christian charitable organizations who attempt to succor the truly needed. I am not alleging these bums are typical of Israelis but consider this type of behaviour worthy of disseminating as I focus on the tragedy of this inhumanity and its corrupting influence on the invaders.

http://web.tickle.com/tests/uiq/


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

1) "Howard Meyer is a big fan of the World Court, and is one of the world's pre-eminent authorities on that topic, and on international law in general. Plus he is a Jew and is -- like myself -- very supportive of the existence and prosperity of Israel."

John, is this some king of joke? You are "very supportive of the existence and prosperity of Israel."

Allow me to post your own words:
"Just as they themselves treat reason and knowledge -- by trying to destroy it -- these obfuscators and poisoners of human discourse and sanity are creatures who may well wind up killing each other off before the rest of the world does them the favor. But I will not applaud their demise either way. It is always a tragedy when someone -- anyone -- misses the call to higher humanity that is given to everyone."

In other words, if the world does Israel the favor of murdering them all, you would not applaud because you would feel sorry that the Israelis brought about their own murders. I don’t know what kind of word game you are trying to play, but by all means, let’s hear what you have to say.

2) "How ironic that in their rush to sully everything that Howard has said here with their vitriol, these proto-fascist zealots have completely missed the point that Howard, in his effort to support the World Court that he believes in, also has offered what is, in essence, an apology for Israel's apparent intention to attack and discredit the court!"

John, John, John. In the first sentence of this very post, you included YOURSELF in the list of people who missed Meyers point!

If you would actually like to engage anyone in conversation rather than spew your hateful rants off at anyone who disagrees with you, you would know that I have not criticized this article at all.

3) "Howard just wrote to me saying:
"Those who cheered when the second worst U S President said 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" should unite in telling the worst president "Mr Bush, tear down Sharon's wall, being built with U S taxpayers' money.'"

When you or Howard present evidence that Western Berliners were blowing up innocent men, women, and children in East Berlin repeatedly with no interest in negotiation, then I will begin to see the analogy. Until then, it could be equally compared to the Great Wall of China, which I have heard no one condemn.

4) "if the Israelis want to continue their genocidal depredations against the Palestinian people and their complete displacement of Palestine with their own exploitative and intolerably ugly state and policies, they should have to do it on their own dime, not on the USA's bankroll."

Question: Since Israel unquestionably has the capabilities to do exactly that, why are there any Palestinians living in the West Bank? Why haven’t they been carpet bombed long ago?


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

1) "The poor Caleb Bacharach expounds on how Israel isn't committing war crimes on the same 24-hour period when the fascist regime of Ariel Sharon… murdered 15 Palestinians."

First, please define fascist (if you answer is anything that Israel does, don’t bother).
If you actually read that in a news report, you would find that the target of the attack was actual militants. Can you say the same for the genocide bombers you seem so silent on?

But wait, you ask, isn’t ANY killing of civilians war crimes? To some, anything Israel does is a war crime. To Article 51 of the 1977 amendment to the 1949 Geneva Conventions however,
"The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objects from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations."

Accuse Israel of committing war crimes, by all means. However, I am waiting for your similar accusations of the United States in Afghanistan. Present your case, but for intelligence sake, be consistent.

2) "It is not necessary for me to identify the shameless political-Zionist Israeli apologists on this site, as someone else has suggested."

Don’t forget all of us Genocide-Apartheid-Nazi-Inquisition-Satin worshipping-crusading-murdering-pillaging-rampaging-sadistic-tortourous-disgusting-rapists too. We hate to be left out.


John Wilmerding - 2/12/2004

In their zeal to attack anyone who would say anything even remotely critical against Israel, the respondents here -- including, thus far, myself -- have missed a huge point made by Howard Meyer. It is the point he rightly and aptly refers to in the title of his article, 'Why Israelis Are Now Bad-Mouthing the World Court'.

He wrote to explain why, at least part of the reason. In my estimation, Howard's intention is to piece together an an explanation -- and partially an expiation -- for Israel's actions in planning to denigrate the World Court. He's not saying the Israeli actions are correct, but rather something along the lines that they are understandable given the USA's earlier similar actions over the case involving the mining of Managua harbor!

Howard Meyer is a big fan of the World Court, and is one of the world's pre-eminent authorities on that topic, and on international law in general. Plus he is a Jew and is -- like myself -- very supportive of the existence and prosperity of Israel.

How ironic that in their rush to sully everything that Howard has said here with their vitriol, these proto-fascist zealots have completely missed the point that Howard, in his effort to support the World Court that he believes in, also has offered what is, in essence, an apology for Israel's apparent intention to attack and discredit the court! That is behavior that is supportive of Israel, is it not? It certainly offers the apologists additional fodder for their own arguments!

Howard just wrote to me saying:

"Those who cheered when the second worst U S President said 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" should unite in telling the worst president "Mr Bush, tear down Sharon's wall, being built with U S taxpayers' money.'"

I would agree -- if the Israelis want to continue their genocidal depredations against the Palestinian people and their complete displacement of Palestine with their own exploitative and intolerably ugly state and policies, they should have to do it on their own dime, not on the USA's bankroll.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

1) "What's more instructive here is how the usual group of suspects -- the several political Zionist, Israeli apologist gadflies -- are, as usual, obfuscating the entire subject matter of a useful article by their tactics of denial, avoidance, and intentional confusion."

Pray tell sir, would you so kind as to tell me specifically how I have used "denial, avoidance, and intentional confusion"? Perhaps then I can address your concerns more thoroughly.

2) "I see this as part of the growing tendency by the radical political Zionist neo-cons to quash public (and academic) opinion and expression on topics of immense gravity and interest to all lovers of freedom. For them, Israel can do no wrong, and anyone who criticizes Israel is *always* wrong."

Again, please provide a quote saying what you accuse me and other of saying. Furthermore, by what bases do you accuse of of trying to "quash public opinion and expression." If someone told you to stop posting, or advocated silencing the author, I am unaware of it.

3) "History will tell who is correct on the issues that these idiots constantly try to confuse. But one day, I predict that their idiotic Apartheid Wall -- symbolic as it is of their resolute division of consciousness… may well be used to keep them inside in their own private insane asylum ... As something internal like it already does, in figurative terms."

Since this is simply a hate-filled rant, I will do my best to address it (there was a point in there somewhere, right?- ah yes, found one). The barrier Israel is building is not a wall, at least not for the most part, although some of it will be an actual concrete barrier. Furthermore, how do you define Apartheid? As a barrier? As checkpoints? While not as extensive, I guess that means the border we share and monitor with Mexico makes us an Apartheid state based on your rather broad definition, does it not?

4) "Just as they themselves treat reason and knowledge -- by trying to destroy it -- these obfuscators and poisoners of human discourse and sanity are creatures who may well wind up killing each other off before the rest of the world does them the favor. But I will not applaud their demise either way. It is always a tragedy when someone -- anyone -- misses the call to higher humanity that is given to everyone."

And yet you also advocate the murder of innocent Israelis in your post. This is not legitimate criticism of another country. It is anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Now, I am sure you will defend yourself by simply accusing ALL supporters of Israel as crying anti-Semitism. This is simply a straw man defense. You are advocating genocide, whether you care to admit it does not concern me. I am grateful for your posts and hope that people can see what those who try to fight ignorance and hatred are up against.

5) "yes, there are Jews and Zionists among us aplenty! We know what these other creatures are, we are afraid of the chaos they represent, and we know how to call a spade a spade."

Is this a joke? Jews and Zionists? Those same people whose brethren are being blown up to your satisfaction? Interesting.


John Wilmerding - 2/12/2004

How pitiful and absurd. The poor Caleb Bacharach expounds on how Israel isn't committing war crimes on the same 24-hour period when the fascist regime of Ariel Sharon -- who is a proven and adjudicated (by Israel!)accomplice to genocide (Sabra & Shatila, 1982), murdered 15 Palestinians. Yes, that just happened, at the same time that Sharon was announcing that he would withdraw all the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land that are located in Gaza, Palestine.

It is not necessary for me to identify the shameless political-Zionist Israeli apologists on this site, as someone else has suggested. They do an exemplary job of that themselves.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

What we are seeing are war crimes, crimes against humanity and Israel must be stopped. It can't be allowed to continue one of the greatest human rights tragedy of our time.

The following is a list of the current conflicts around the world. Could you please explain to me why Israel’s so-called war crimes are worse then these. Even if Israel is committing war crimes (which I strenuously disagree with), why do the deaths of a few thousand people warrant such a label over the slaughter of tens of thousands in Congo, hundreds of thousands throughout the rest of Africa, to say nothing of the thousands throughout the Middle East?

http://www.ndcf.org/Conflict_List/World2002/2002Conflictlist.htm


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

Carl,
You are an embarrassment to real academics and thinkers on this website on either side of this issue.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/12/2004

John,
I don’t recall Meyer’s post being "savaged by political Zionist 'agents provocateurs'." Of course, if you consider disagreement backed up with facts to be the work of "idiots," than I guess it was.

Now, on to what blows your mind. "the utterly obvious fact that it is an affront to our very humanity and to almighty G-d. Who in the hell could possibly think it reasonable and proper to build such a monstrosity right through what Islam, Christianity, and Judaism believe are the most sanctified lands on Earth?"

Allow me to clear up your confusion. Israel is the victim of a campaign of indiscriminate murder by terrorists who want to see every man, women, and child in Israel slaughtered and cannot be negotiated with. Hence, Israel is building a barrier to protect itself from this aggression. If and when these terrorists are destroyed, the barrier will be removed. To me, THIS is the obvious fact.

You go on to say that "The entire world rejoiced only a decade and a half ago when the Berlin Wall fell. How could the leadership of Israel and her allies be so goddamn stupid? There will be a worldwide movement to tear this unholy, blasphemous wall to smithereens and eradicate every trace of its existence ... you can bet on that."

Not only would I win that bet, but I would double my investment considering that there is already a worldwide movement to destroy Israel by any means possible… diplomatically, legally, or militarily.

I will end this post noting that in virtually every article about Israel, with a few exceptions, it is the pro-Israel supporters who try to present their case, demonstrate the evidence, and appeal to peoples minds in one way or the other. Those who condemn Israel without any suggestion as to the alternative, on the other hand, must continuously descend into ad homonym attacks, and petty insults in order to show their contempt for the other side. This does not insult me by any means, but it does reveal the level of intelligent debate that some people simply cannot get beyond.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

I believe that Professor Catsam lacks the capacity to differentiate between antisemitism and antiZionism. I wonder if the professor can excuse an occupation and a degradation of a people in such a manner on its merits. If he can comprehend the violation of UN security council resolution, a defiance of the international community in this holocaust against the Palestinians.

What we are seeing are war crimes, crimes against humanity and Israel must be stopped. It can't be allowed to continue one of the greatest human rights tragedy of our time.

I urge those who have conscience to read about the Middle East and not accept one's affinity for Judaism to becloud one's appropriate criticism and revulsion at Israel's unrelenting and unremiting crimes against these people.


John Wilmerding - 2/11/2004

I just called Howard Meyer to encourage him -- and maybe commiserate with him a bit -- after this post of his was savaged by political Zionist 'agents provocateurs'. He recommended this additional article on the subject from Ha'aretz (see below).

Howard is 89 years old ... this stuff doesn't faze him. He's a pre-eminent authority in the subject matter. How these idiots could try to massacre his offering is completely beyond me.

What blows me away about this whole wall thing is the utterly obvious fact that it is an affront to our very humanity and to almighty G-d. Who in the hell could possibly think it reasonable and proper to build such a monstrosity right through what Islam, Christianity, and Judaism believe are the most sanctified lands on Earth? The political Zionists have shot themselves in the foot with this wall ... one way or another, this -- the inherently negative icon of the wall itself -- is a very bad omen for Israel.

The entire world rejoiced only a decade and a half ago when the Berlin Wall fell. How could the leadership of Israel and her allies be so goddamn stupid? There will be a worldwide movement to tear this unholy, blasphemous wall to smithereens and eradicate every trace of its existence ... you can bet on that.

-- John Wilmerding

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/392912.html

Failed predictions
by Amira Hass

"The planners of the fence failed to predict its effects on innocent Palestinians," National Security Advisor Giora Eiland told a high-level diplomatic-security forum in Germany this week (Haaretz, February 9). Like Eiland, other Israeli representatives are now trying to convince the western countries and the United States in particular that the route of the separation fence is a human, localized and almost chance error that can be corrected to minimize the damage.

We have a new sentry to blame for what has gone wrong: the rather anonymous planners of the separation fence. Some sort of personal, individual limitation caused them to fail and not to predict the extent to which "the lives of innocent people would be affected" by the construction of the fortifications, which has destroyed and is destroying wells that are essential to agriculture, is uprooting tens of thousands of olive trees and other trees, and is wiping out hundreds of greenhouses in which thousands of people have invested the savings of years.

One really does need special analytical powers to predict that caging thousands of people behind iron gates and stationing 19-year-old soldiers to open fire on them -- if they feel like it, two or three times a day -- would have a deleterious affect on studies at schools and universities, sabotage medical treatment for cancer and kidney patients and split up families. After all, only especially creative minds could have guessed that it would be very hard for 260,000 people to maintain "a normal fabric of life" in the 81 enclaves of various sorts that the fence creates. Eighty-one enclaves that separate them from neighboring villages, from the provincial towns and from the rest of the West Bank, shutting them in behind barbed wire fences and guard towers and excavations and double fences and bureaucratic-military systems of permits to go in and out of the enclaves that are needed by garbage collectors and doctors, family members and teachers.

The truth is that what was hard to predict was the international shock at the fence. Not only the United Nations General Assembly -- United States National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is not pleased, and Western diplomats are saying things in inner conclaves -- especially when it turns out that development projects that had been funded by their countries have been destroyed under the fence's bulldozers.

The European countries are opposed to holding the deliberations at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, but they too have reservations about the fence's route and the damage it causes. Television channels around the world are showing documentary films about the fence and its ills, and it isn't possible to keep repeating the chorus that the motives are anti-Semitic. If it were not for all this, it is doubtful that various representatives of the state -- like the Prosecutor's Office and before that, military sources -- would be hinting about a change in the route of the fence and admitting a failure to "predict" how bad the damage would be to the innocent.

They simply did not care about the damage.

After all, the kinds of damage that the fence is causing are not new. The Israeli occupation regime has been testing them successfully for 37 years now, sometimes in the name of security and sometimes in the name of the Jewish people's right to preferential rights in this country. Neither the Meridor committee nor the Oslo agreement did away with the Israeli habit of harming the Palestinians' rights to water, land, freedom of movement, earning a living and development.

By the second half of 2002, it was already possible to know that the route of the fence was far from the Green Line (pre-Six Day War border), that it creates enclaves, and that it harms the "vegetable garden" of the Palestinian economy. But at that time it was hard to bring to the Israeli media -- which evinced no interest in the matter at that stage -- reports about the extent of the fence's damage to the civilian population. The data and the reports on massive confiscations and uprooting of trees that were published by various Palestinian organizations were not read in Hebrew. B'Tselem published its first position paper in September, 2002, which warned of the implications of the route of the fence, including a mortal blow to Palestinian life. Who remembers?

By the middle of 2003 the planners of the route of the fence had full backing -- from the political system, from the print and the electronic media, from the street and from key figures in the Israeli peace camp. The idea of the fence, without going into detail, offered people frightened by the suicide terror attacks a hope that their personal security was achievable with no connection to any political solution. It offered a refuge from the disturbing knowledge that Israel is evading an offer of a sustainable political, humane, rational solution that the Palestinians can accept.

The military plan to build elevated bridges and sunken roads between the enclaves is a bone thrown to international public opinion and another vain solution offered to the Israelis that diverts attention from the essence. The planners of the route that harms the Palestinians are doing this on behalf of the state of Israel, which almost unhindered has built in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip a regime of Jewish superiority that inevitably violates the rights of the Palestinian individual and collective. Key parts of Israeli society have become blind to the damage, and the occupation regime is as much taken for granted as the sunrise in the east.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

Do not use the word "damned" as you did before in a posting. You are addressing a professional and you are to use appropriate and nonvulgar discourse.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

John --
You are aware that the Wall in Israel prior to Sharon was the solution of the pacifist Israeli left, correct? So the Israeli left is now guilty of apartheid? And are the voices of some of us who have written in support of Israel really more cartoonish than some of the anti-Israel posts here?
I would love to have you call out names on "this chorus of idiots" and then move from the ad hominem to confront some of the actual things these "idiots" have said. It would be interesting to see if you can channel your eloquence away from blanket ad hominems into discussions of substance.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

Carl --
Well, at least we have moved from "Electronic Jihad" or whatever it was.
Yes, Mandela said these things. And I think he was wrong, but since in my mind he is a moral giant from the last century, I give him a lot more credence than I do you. However, what he said, and how he said it, is not what you said or how you said it. In much of my South African work I claim Mandela as a touchstone, but that does not mean that I can hide behind Mandela when I speak or write.
Further, it is possible to oppose the war in Iraq and to support Israel. It is possible to be a human rights liberal secular humanist and support Israel. It is possible to be a pro-Israel pro-civil rights, anti-apartheid pro-war advocate. The world, despite your fulminations, is not black and white, good and evil, virtuous and besmirched.
While I do think several of your posts have broached the wall of antisemitism, I never called you anti-American (a phrase I loathe) or a sympathiser with terrorism. What you mean by the "below the belt" comment or "attack reporters" comments is beyond me and irrelevant to this discussion.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

Carl --
Interesting how you have personalized this, and yet I am the hostile and aggressive one.
I insult superior journalists? Whom? Sine I'll have to assume that you are talking about Carpenter, I'll let everyone who has read this site for the last couple of years decide whose articles have had more impact, have been more interesting, and have been more varied.
Whom have I bullied on this website? What does that even mean? I have not called names, I have avoided the ad hominem as much as possible, but I have been assertive and aggressive in maming my points. So what? That is what sometimes happens with an earnest discussion of ideas.
I compare people to animals? What are you talking about? Have you never heard the phrase "one trick pony"? Are you not aware of metaphor?
What are you talking about with my selfishness, etc. etc. etc. -- I do contribute to HNN, without anyone's replacement. hose misfortune? Seriously, are you a cartoon? This is utter nonsense.
I am insensitive to the oppressed? Really? I have spent my career thus far dealing with nothing but the oppressed. You are basing all of this on your own views on Israel, viws where we disagree. However, I think you need to step back and take a look at my previous work, at my articles here and elsewhere, at my scholarlky work, and so forth before you start asserting your superiority in this area. I will stand behind my work on civil rights and apartheid, and your childish tirades (note once again you do not address the substance of any of my points!)
You examine cases on its merits? Every time you have been challenged you resort to this baloney -- you have not addressed my points at all.
My article on the Super Bowl has not been intended to draw a ton of comments, but note that the comments it has received have been positive. I have written about an array of issues here -- Africa, terrorism, baseball, football, civil rights. Many have gotten huge volumes of responses. Again, how is this at all germane to the topic at hand -- Israel.
Again, what on earth does this have to do with Mr. Carpenter? I never brought him up here, you did. I don't owe him a damned thing -- I am allowed to pose my opinions here, I have not crossed any lines, and I simply think his work is becoming repetitions.
Stop the whining. Stop the diversions. You initially brough up Carpenter here and then you went into a screed about my opinions on him. What lack of decorum do you see? Citations please. I am a bit tired of fulminations about professionalism from someone who just threw a temper tantrum in print like you just did.


John Wilmerding - 2/11/2004

The article is fantastic ... an extraordinary public service by a senior and definitive authority on the World Court. One who happens to be a Jew, no less.

What's more instructive here is how the usual group of suspects -- the several political Zionist, Israeli apologist gadflies -- are, as usual, obfuscating the entire subject matter of a useful article by their tactics of denial, avoidance, and intentional confusion.

I see this as part of the growing tendency by the radical political Zionist neo-cons to quash public (and academic) opinion and expression on topics of immense gravity and interest to all lovers of freedom. For them, Israel can do no wrong, and anyone who criticizes Israel is *always* wrong.

The trend is well represented on the Internet and elsewhere by Daniel Pipes, the bigot who founded 'CampusWatch', and David Horowitz, the leftist-turned-neocon who has allied himself with the Anti-Defamation League in a campaign against academic freedom.

History will tell who is correct on the issues that these idiots constantly try to confuse. But one day, I predict that their idiotic Apartheid Wall -- symbolic as it is of their resolute division of consciousness (them as 'human' because they are Jews -- or think themselves to be Jews --the rest, they think, are all something less), may well be used to keep them inside in their own private insane asylum ... As something internal like it already does, in figurative terms.

Just as they themselves treat reason and knowledge -- by trying to destroy it -- these obfuscators and poisoners of human discourse and sanity are creatures who may well wind up killing each other off before the rest of the world does them the favor. But I will not applaud their demise either way. It is always a tragedy when someone -- anyone -- misses the call to higher humanity that is given to everyone.

Being a true Jew is something far more noble than this chorus of idiots could ever represent.

If anyone reading this is sincerely interested in the cause of academic freedom, I and a few other genuine human beings will be convening a listserv discussion in order to foment activism to confront and destroy the obfuscators, the freedom-blockers, who would have their will and way with the US Constitution. Send me email if you would like to take part. And yes, there are Jews and Zionists among us aplenty! We know what these other creatures are, we are afraid of the chaos they represent, and we know how to call a spade a spade.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

I think it should be noted that President Mandela appropriately referred to the US as a criminal act.

" Former South African president Nelson Mandela has criticised US President George W Bush over Iraq, saying the sole reason for a possible US-led attack would be to gain control of Iraqi oil.

The US stance on Iraq is "arrogant" and would cause "a holocaust", Mr Mandela, a Nobel Peace laureate and one of the world's most respected figures, told a forum in Johannesburg.

Mr Mandela, 84, accused both the US and UK governments of undermining the United Nations.

"Why does the United States behave so arrogantly?" Mr Mandela asked.

"Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it's their ally they won't ask the United Nations to get rid of them.

"They just want the oil," Mr Mandela went on. "We must expose this as much as possible."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2710181.stm

Following the reasoning of several on this post. President Mandela would be considered antiSemitic, antiAmerican, and a sympathiser with terrorists. As one of the great figures of the 20th Century, I urge those of you who are following these exchanges, to note that those who attack reporters, or critics below the belt, may find themselves susceptible to accusations of intellectual vacuity.

Peace, free the Palestinians, free the Arab-Americans, free the oppressed in Guantanamo, free Jose Padilla and others arrested as enemy combatants despite their citizensip and remember, America lost its humanity and can reclaim it by abandoning racialism and a vicious anti Islam agenda.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

Let's sum you up. You insult superior journalists. You bully people on this website. You compare people to animals. You are so selfish that you seek the replacement of authors so you can benefit personally from their misfortune. An utter lack of class.

You are insensitive to the oppressed. You are losing your audience as your daily screeds are beginning to just alienate people like myself who are professional and wish to examine a case on its merits. Evidence of this is, I am struck at the lack of response to your article on the super bowl. Not to be critical of your paean to American violence, that the sport glorifies, but to point out that you are becoming somewhat tiring here. Maybe even BORING.

I deeply resent your hostility and the lack of decorum in your condemnation of Dr Carpenter. I feel you owe him an apology: not for expressing criticism of his skills as a writer but the rhetorical excess that I believe at least crossed the line into professional abjuration of decency.


David Battle - 2/11/2004

>>>"The entire structure of South African provinces changed with the new constitution, and while there surely are little fiefdoms controlled by the powerhungry, to equate them with bantustans is simplistic, reductionist, and wrong."

Not simplistic or reductionist at all. Please don't confuse the "township", ie, Soweto, with the "bantustan", ie, Transkei, Siskei, etc. The latter are still in existence and no changes have been made since the afrikaaners stepped down. They were originally created as "homelands for blecks", but since assuming power, the ANC has done nothing about them. They are still the little black fiefdoms they were under Apartheid.

But strangely, no longer an issue to the falsh humanists of the Left since the afrikaaners were given the boot.


David Battle - 2/11/2004

"The defense rests" means visceral tirades such as Mr. Roesler's are immune from contradiction. And the more fervently the wild-eyed ideologue launches into his tirade, the more above and beyond contradiction it will be. After all, how can someone who FEELS as strongly as he does be wrong?

But now we know what "one trick pony" means. Roesler takes his one shot, and after he's blown his wad, he can't back his tirade up. But, like he said, "the defense rests", and he doesn't need to.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

Chris --
I have lived in, worked in, and written on South Africa. I have been to the places of which you write. I have seent he victims of apartheid. This need not and should not become a pissing contest about resumes and credentials, however, if it is, I have my bona fides lined up on the South Africa side and I have spent time in and done work on Israel. In short, I'll take your little Pepsi taste test challenge.
The analogy is specious, intended more to make a political statement about Israel than an accurate historical one. Caleb, meanwhile, has made many of the points that I would otherwise.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

Carl --
What on earth are you talking about? The defense rests on what? Do you now think that you are so above the fray that you do not even have to respond to other posts, but rather you can just claim victory without engagement? I stand by my post. If you take issue with it, please state why. In case you have not noticed, you haven’t exactly convinced a number of us, and so you dig deeper and deeper into irrelevancy. What, precisely, is the defense resting on? Its misplaced use of analogy? Its wretched choice of sources for citations -- the Cairo Times! Electric Intifada!)? Its ability to conflate utterly unrelated points (what on earth does Carpenter or my responses to him have to do with any of this?)? Its borderline antisemitism? Its lack of familiarity with rudimentary grammar? Its inability to engage with the posts at hand? What, for the love of coherence, is the defense so damned proud of?
dc


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

Defence Rests!!


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

Defence Rests!!


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/11/2004

Carl -- what on earth are you talking about? My tirade against Mr. Carpenter? Yes, i guess you'll have to reprint it -- then we can all judge if it was a tirade. i do think Carpenter is a one trick pony -- when is the last time he wrote a piece not about the Bush administration. Every one of his articles covers the same ground, and not all that well. In any case -- what on earth does that have to do with the issue at hand? Are you that bereft of arguments?
As for anyone being "fired" from HNN, none of the regular writers are employed by HNN, and I have written plenty of my own pieces for the site, so I do not need to supplant anyone. Check it out -- a number of my pieces have appeared here. Why, one this week in fact. So no, I "sir" am doing perfectly fine on my own.
No, I do not insult and degrade, but I am rigorous in my pointmaking. If you make bad points, use poor argumentation, and start prattling on about genocide and apartheid where it does not belong, expect to get called out on it. My arguments were all about your very poor arguments, many of which were every bit as insulting as anything you could accuse me of. Stop crying and respond to my points. Or go read a book about either the Middle East or South Africa. There are legitimate complaints about personal attacks on HNN. That is a far cry from people who make points ardently.
And again -- shouldn't sentences that are questions end with question marks?


David Battle - 2/11/2004

Caleb,

a brilliant and comprehensive response.

He gives us a legal definition of "genocide", portraying himself as dispassionate and objective, and in the same breathe whitewashes palestinian genocide-- the targeting of jews simply BECAUSE they are jews wherever they can be found.

You are quite right. If genocide were Israel's goal, there would not be a single palestinian standing. Can the same be said of palestinian if they had F-16s? Of course not.

Yet these false humanists of the Left defend acts of genocide as "resistance".

Sick.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/11/2004

The following is taken from Israel’s Declaration of Independence (the reference to Jews will no doubt be used as fodder for those who hope for Israel's destruction, but try and read with an open mind):

“THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of 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; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations…

WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00hb0

Now for portions of the Hamas Charter, whose members are somehow immune from condemnation by the international community as well as within Palestine itself:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it...

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.

Article 13:
Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement…
There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with.”

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm


Caleb Bacharach - 2/11/2004

1) “When one spies for Israel it is not "against" the US.”

Actually, when one spies for the US, it is called espionage, and Pollard is now in prison for it, as he should be.

2) “When a ship USS Liberty is repeatedly attacked, it is a mistake.”

Actually, it was attacked only once, and you have provided no evidence that Israel knew it was an American ship, or commented on the friendly fire incidents indicative of all warfare.

3) “When an idealistic college students is slaughtered by IDF forces, she should have known better.”

In this case, you understand me perfectly. She not only should have known better but DID know better, and yet chose death instead. Let God judge her right or wrong, I know what I think.

4) “This insipid antiintellectual charge, is becoming less potent, less powerful and frankly an incentive to continue to demand that free speech in this country allows the direct criticism of a nation that practices the same type of racialism that its people were subjected to.”

When you can document evidence of the gas chambers, the crematorium, when you can produce the Palestinians with tattoos on their arms, the victims of medical research, and the trains to carry then away, I would be more than happy to take a look at your evidence.

5) “Call me antisemitic. I don't care.”

Then we are in agreement there.

6) “The name of the game is to protect Palestinian innocents, adhere to UN resolutions 242 and 338, end the occupation of someone else's land.”

Do you mean that? Then tell the Palestinians to stop supporting the slaughter of innocent children in Israel! If that were to happen, all that you ask would come true. How do I know this? Because Israeli leaders say so and the Israeli public attest to this is every poll I have seen. Stop the terrorism for once and see what happens.

7) “Israel should STOP the racist talk about birthrates and an eventual Arab majority. It sounds strangely reminiscent of the 1930s for people to collectively talk about birthrates as if Arab-Israelis and Palestinians are subhuman and would destroy a state that itself is predicated on exclusivity and privilege for those who happen to be a Jew.”

Since I have never heard an Israeli politician, newspaper, or prominent figure say that Palestinians are subhuman, I cannot comment on this. As far as the fear of being outnumbered, see what the French parliament just did yesterday, why they passed it, and then come back and tell me that Israel has no right to be concerned about loosing its cultural identity.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/11/2004

Chris,
I apologize for the long response, but I wanted to give each point a comment or two, as I strongly disagree with every one of them:

1) “As far as I know, the Israeli army is still demolishing homes like they did in South Africa, and it is still a violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

You make it sound as if the homes are being destroyed indiscriminately. In fact, every home that Israel destroys shares a common feature: a link to terrorism. You might believe that it is not a justifiable reason and we can debate that, but it is NOT the same as tearing down homes simply because the inhabitants are darker in skin color.

2) “They still carry out assassinations, a violation of the Geneva Conventions. They still carry out attacks that kill thousands of civilians...”

And what has the United States done in Afghanistan? If you are against all war and conflict, I commend you sir. However, if you do believe that we were right to go into Afghanistan, put hits on bin Laden and others, and kill civilians, than how can you condemn Israel for the same thing? No where in the Geneva Convention does it prohibit the accidental killing of civilians who reside near legitimate military targets.

3) “If you include all Palestinians living and working in Israel, that is a huge percentage of the poulation unable to vote or prevented from it regardless of what the laws might state.”

They cannot vote because they are not citizens. There are literally tens of thousands of legal illegal immigrants in America (and other countries) that have no political rights here. My question is, why is this worse when Israel does what all other countries I can think of do?

4) “Checkpoints (another similarity with South Africa) that destroy the health care and economy of Palestine and prevent people from freedom of movement and bar them from entering Israel...no law, but same practise as the RSA law.”

The West Bank is currently a war zone. Israel has maintained for years that if the terrorism would only stop, the checkpoints and tanks would be gone! This however, seems to high a price to pay for terrorists and their supporters.

5) “More examples as needed...”

They most definitely are, since all that have been provided are gross distortions and exaggerations devoid of context.

6) “it is ridiculous for Israeli activists to refer to a Jewish state or Jewish homeland and not acknowledge a state religion inherent in that statement.”

Actually, Israel has no state religion, and all faiths enjoy freedom of worship, yet it is attacked for its Jewish character, whereas the Arab states that all have Islam as their official religion are regarded as legitimate. Curious. Your complaint does not accept the reality that Judaism is more than simply a religion, but a shared culture, a “nation,” indeed even a distinct ethnicity. Of course Israel is a Jewish state… it is majority Jewish. No one suggests that Arabs are not entitled to a nation (and they have not one, but twenty-one) of their own or Swedes or Germans. Societies usually reflect the cultural identity of the majority. India and Pakistan were established at the same time as Israel through a violent partition, but no one believes these nations are illegitimate because one is predominantly Hindu and the other has a Muslim majority, or that these nations shouldn’t be influenced by those communities.
7) “The Palestinians have tried diplomacy on several occasions, with Western backing. It is unfortunate that some much of this happened pre-1967, which seems to be the operative date. It still happened...the trends are the same.”

Since the West Bank was “occupied” by Jordan, and Gaza was “occupied” by Egypt before 1967, the trends are certainly NOT the same.

8) “I also bet that Palestinians, Chechens, Albanian Serbs, Congoans, Liberians, Rwandans, and many others would beg to differ about genocide being dull or overused…. Direct targeting of a single ethnicity is a practice of genocide… What has to be present is the direct targeting of an ethnic group for reason of extermination...which is what is precisely the case in the Israeli Palestinian conflict...on both sides.”

You are mistaken sir in a significant way. Israel has never tried to target the mass extermination of Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims/or any other group you wish to condemn Israel for. The Palestinian terrorist groups, on the other hand, have made it explicitly clear that they seek the complete destruction of the Jewish people in the region. Genocide is happening in the region, but you distort the word to suggest it is being practiced but Israel, a country who has the technology to do so but never the inclination. Palestinians are killed as a result of a military objective. Israelis are slaughtered as the TARGET of the military objective. They are not the same, they are not equivalent.

9) “Please do not insult the memory of Rachel Corrie or any other activist assassinated by Israeli forces.”

She insults herself and everyone else’s intelligence. She decided to prove some point by sitting in front of a bulldozer, despite all warnings and pleas not to intervene, and was killed. You may view her as a martyr if you like, or somehow akin to a Buddhist monk emulating himself, but it was her own decisions that are responsible.
As for her being shot, this is the first time I have heard that particular accusation and frankly, do not believe it without further evidence.

10) “one must look beyond the black and white to the genereal principles and practices underlying them. in this case, the South Africa situation bears much resemblence to the Israeli/Palestinian situation in many areas.”

The only similarity is that in both areas, people are killed. That, ultimately, is all you have to designate Israel as being an Aparthied State. They have nothing that the United States has not done with similar condemnation. You seem to ignore the fact that men, women, and children are being slaughtered in Israel for the crime of being born. This is legitimate resistance to you? This is not genocide? No, my friend, your analysis is correct, it is the target of your subject that is faulty. Israel has offered peace to the Palestinians many time, and that offer remains on the table to this very day. And yet… nothing but the blood of Jewish children, celebrated on the streets with parades and chants, will satisfy the other side. The next time you see an Israeli parade celebrating the death of a single Palestinian civilian, please let me know.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

Amazing,
When one spies for Israel it is not "against" the US.
When a ship USS Liberty is repeatedly attacked, it is a mistake.
When an idealistic college students is slaughtered by IDF forces, she should have known better.

I love your ending. "Ant-Semitism is a powerful emotion indeed." You still don't get it! This insipid antiintellectual charge, is becoming less potent, less powerful and frankly an incentive to continue to demand that free speech in this country allows the direct criticism of a nation that practices the same type of racialism that its people were subjected to.

Call me antisemitic. I don't care. The name of the game is to protect Palestinian innocents, adhere to UN resolutions 242 and 338, end the occupation of someone else's land. Israel should STOP the racist talk about birthrates and an eventual Arab majority. It sounds strangely reminiscent of the 1930s for people to collectively talk about birthrates as if Arab-Israelis and Palestinians are subhuman and would destroy a state that itself is predicated on exclusivity and privilege for those who happen to be a Jew.


chris l pettit - 2/11/2004

When I stated that there were ICJ opinions on genocide in Rwanda and the Balkans, i meant ICT opinions, which are set up under the same mandate by the UN.

Oh...forgot to mention...I have spent significant time in the townships and homelands that we are speaking of and have an intimate knowledge of the areas having done significant human rights work and research on the TRC process working in the townships


chris l pettit - 2/11/2004

As I said before...as signatories to the UN Charter, EVERY nation that is part of the UN submits itself to the jurisdiction of the ICJ. Even de facto states such as Palestine that has some semblence of a state function, are considered able to bring cases before the ICJ. And every nation must respect and follow the conclusions of the Court. I never stated that the article has the strongest of positions, I agree with Mr. Lederer that it does not, but the law is there to back up what the author is stating about the legitimacy of the court.

The Berlin Wall is nothing like the Israeli Wall...at least we can agree on that issue.

In terms of the South African analogy...anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in South Africa, please state it. i doubt many of you have. The term used by the Afrikaners was homelands, but the term used by the black majority was motherlands (derisively) because of the fact that they were driven out of their real homes. I prefer to use the language of the oppressed as opposed to the oppressor. Read Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela or My Traitors Heart by Malan and you will get the idea. No, not all the townships and lands were enclosed, but those in smaller and closed in areas such as Alexandria, Soweto, Lavender Hill, and others surrounding the major cities of Johannesberg and Cape Town, as well as other industrial centers were most certainly enclosed and other areas tightly guarded, having the same effect. As far as I know, the Israeli army is still demolishing homes like they did in South Africa, and it is still a violation of the Geneva Conventions. They still carry out assassinations, a violation of the Geneva Conventions. They still carry out attacks that kill thousands of civilians...contrary to countless human rights treaties and conventions. They still have destroyed the economic viability of a state, contrary to countless human rights treaties and conventions. The ANC disavowed terrorism?? Ha...have you read the accounts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? The majority of those given amnesty were from the ANC. During the 80's, the ANC was assassinating members of rival organisations that disagreed with them and wanted to do things through non-violence. Winnie Mandela has been shown to have been personally involved in several of the executions. how about the guerrilla forces that took to the brush in Angola and Zimbabwe and Mozambique? They did not disavow terror, they embraced it after the Sharpeville Massacre of 1976, when it was seen that non-violent resistance was not working.

Palestinians have been forcibly driven from their homes...no law passed, but it has happened. If you include all Palestinians living and working in Israel, that is a huge percentage of the poulation unable to vote or prevented from it regardless of what the laws might state. Checkpoints (another similarity with South Africa) that destroy the health care and economy of Palestine and prevent people from freedom of movement and bar them from entering Israel...no law, but same practise as the RSA law. Israel is exploiting a minority of Palestinians as cheap labour while leaving the rest of them Palestinians to suffer economic catastrophe, as the National party did to the ANC and others by exploiting poor black labour. More examples as needed...

Who ever said anything about South Africa having a state religion? The only time that the Africaaners
"turned to god" so to speak was later on in the movement. Again...pick up My Traitors Heart by Malan And how can anyone seriously claim that Israel has no state religion? Even if it is not stated in black and white you must look beyond that to the general reality. it is ridiculous for Israeli activists to refer to a Jewish state or Jewish homeland and not acknowledge a state religion inherent in that statement. This is called living in denial or the land termed legal positivism in law. The religious and ethnic (which Jews tie directly to religion) fact is why Israeli Jews are so worried about Palestinians becoming a majority in a one state structure. The Palestinians have tried diplomacy on several occasions, with Western backing. It is unfortunate that some much of this happened pre-1967, which seems to be the operative date. It still happened...the trends are the same.

I suggest a reading of Judge C.G. Weeramantry's text Apartheid: The Closing Phases? to gain an appreciation of the similarities between the two situations. Of course every situation will be different in certain contexts, but comparisons are helpful in showing the similarities of conflicts and how we can learn from one to solve or prevent another.

By the way, I have an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town, lived there for an extended period, am personal friends with former President Mandela and have worked for several of his organisations. I know several current government ministers, ALbie Sachs, Richard Goldstone, and other current and former Constitutional Court judges. I know that all of them would beg to differ with the fact that apartheid is a tired or generalised word. Maybe we ought to keep personal feelings on linguistics out of the discussion. I also bet that Palestinians, Chechens, Albanian Serbs, Congoans, Liberians, Rwandans, and many others would beg to differ about genocide being dull or overused. We must call a spade a spade. Direct targeting of a single ethnicity is a practice of genocide. There are well cited ICJ opinions both in Rwanda and the Balkans that state that genocide does not have to achieve its purpose, or that there even has to be a purpose of eliminating an ethnicity. What has to be present is the direct targeting of an ethnic group for reason of extermination...which is what is precisely the case in the Israeli Palestinian conflict...on both sides. This may be too broad for those apologists and denialists among you, regardless, this is the legal interpretation of the COnventions cited. The key words are "in whole or in part". In part is what is being perpetrated on both sides. The degree of genocide does not matter, and making an example that would be blatant genocide has no relevance...governments need legal excuses to hide behind and that is what is being provided here...although not very well it must be stated. In addition to the Genocide Convention there are definitions of genocide in about 5 different treaties and Conventions, and the Genocide Convention is not always considered the authority on the subject, it depends on the context of the case.

Some of us do care that the South African ruling party under Mbeki has abandoned the cause of its predecessor. Maybe it is because all the whites and corporations were able to keep the economic profit and properties they made off apartheid and, as a result of that and adopting so called "free market" policies, there is now a white elite and a black elite while everyone else has nothing. Read "Beyond Reasonable Greed: Why Sustainable Business is a Much Better Idea" by Wayne Visser to get an idea.

the comment about the wall being a solution...to those truly concerned with human rights and peace it has never been a solution. Whether you are a proponent of the one state or two state solution, there are so many factors that must be overcome and war criminals that must be dealt with.

Please do not insult the memory of Rachel Corrie or any other activist assassinated by Israeli forces. She was a human rights worker and peace activist trying to stop Israli forces from committing what is a war crime under international law. The facts of the case point to the driver seeing her and crushing her anyway. Investigations have been stonewalled by the US and Israleli governments. because the UK activists family were attorneys, they were able to press the British government who have determined that he was also murdered...shot indiscriminately. These are war crimes that have been documented.

The grand summation here is this...you want to compare specific historical statutes and lackthereof...fine...it completely misses the relevant point. What I have done is present similarities between the two conflicts that fit what we are speaking of. The trends of oppression and resistance have many of the same characteristics. Do governments go about things differently? Yes, but the general scheme remains the same. in terms of comparative law or history, you cannot compare every minute detail because you are dealing with different systems of government and cultures. one must look beyond the black and white to the genereal principles and practices underlying them. in this case, the South Africa situation bears much resemblence to the Israeli/Palestinian situation in many areas.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/11/2004

Carl,
Is this some kind of joke? You site the Cairo Times, someone’s personal webpage AND (and this is my favorite) a website called electronic intifada!!

The following sites are from CNN, an actual news web-site. You can judge for yourselves that all of your so-called examples have another side to them, and I would be more than willing to argue that regardless of the position you take, I can think of numerous countries that have done far worse to people and to the United States without even a microscopic fraction of the condemnation Israel receives.

"Just LOOK at the atrocities," you demand…

1) "Rachel Corrie, Oh God, she was just a child, a young idealistic coed slaughtered by the occupiers!"

Actually, she was not demonstrating for peace or trying to shield innocent civilians, she was interfering with a military operation to legally demolish an empty house used to conceal illegal tunnels.
A misleading photo published by the Associated Press gave the impression that Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer and shouting at the driver with a megaphone. This photo, was not shot at the time of her death, however, but hours earlier. The photographer said that Corrie was actually sitting and waving her arms when she was struck (Christian Science Monitor, (April 02, 2003).

The State Department warned Americans not to travel to Gaza, and Israel made clear that civilians who enter areas where troops are engaged in counter-terror operations put themselves unnecessarily at risk.

Here is the story from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/16/rafah.death/index.html

2) "As a veteran, I am horrified how Israel almost bought this traitor's freedom from the unscrupulous, infidel, William Jefferson Clinton. Of course the US is a real enemy of Israel. Oh indeed, and let's spy on them too."

Immediately upon Pollard's arrest, Israel apologized and explained that the operation was unauthorized.

The United States and Israel worked together to investigate the Pollard affair. The Israeli inquiry revealed that Pollard was not working for Israeli military intelligence or the Mossad. He was directed by a small, independent scientific intelligence unit. Pollard initiated the contact with the Israelis.

A subcommittee of the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on Intelligence and Security Services concluded that the Scientific Liaison Unit decided to recruit and handle Pollard without any check or consultation with the political echelon or receiving its direct or indirect approval.

As promised to the U.S. government, the spy unit that directed Pollard was disbanded, his handlers punished and the stolen documents returned. The last point was crucial to the U.S. Department of Justice's case against Pollard.

Pollard denied spying "against" the United States. He said he provided only information he believed was vital to Israeli security and was being withheld by the Pentagon. This included data on Soviet arms shipments to Syria, Iraqi and Syrian chemical weapons, the Pakistani atomic bomb project and Libyan air defense systems. His life sentence was the most severe prison term ever given for spying for an ally. It also was far greater than the average term imposed for spying for the Soviet Union and other enemies of the United States.

Again, here is an actual news story alluding to the incident:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/09/02/pollard/index.html

Speaking of enemies of the United States, you just called the former president of the United States an "infidel." I shutter at the thought of you actually in a position to "protect" this country from the terrorists you so readily defend.

3) "And Israel slaughtered our courageous, beautiful and heroic young defenders on the USS Liberty."

Actually, the attack on the Liberty was a tragic mistake, similar to the numerous allied vessels that our own country has accidentally attacked or harmed. In the Gulf war, almost a quarter of all combat deaths were from friendly fire.

4) "Is not it just horrible that a race who was victimised throughout its history now becomes one of the world's most oppressive and hateful extinguishers of the freedom that the Palestinian people have yearned for since 1948."

Whoa there buddy! By what possible world do you live in where the slaughter of over 800,000 people in Rwanda, a Civil War in Congo killing millions, the Sudanese slave trade, the Kurdish repression is all BETTER than Israel. Anti-Semitism is a powerful emotion indeed.


Carl Roesler - 2/11/2004

At least Mr Catsam, you did not call me a "one-trick pony" or state I was boring and should be fired from HNN so YOU sir could have a weekly column.

I wonder if you normally seek to insult and degrade those whom you envy and wish to supplant.

Would you like me to reprint your tirade against Dr Carpenter.


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/10/2004

Carl --
You cite individual examples -- in some cases devoid of context -- and then claim to make larger conclusions about an Israel you clearly do not know.
You say "take the mask off and allow religious freedom and diversity in Israel" a country where there is full religious freedom and significant religious diversity. There is no state religion. Your inability to separate religious Jewishness from Jewish cultural (and state) identity is your fault, not Israel's.
You have at least revealed yourself when you urge "no Jewish state." As for what you mean by "don't fake an established 'church' and call it a democracy" well, what in the name of incoherence does this even mean? Who is faking what church? Who is then calling this fake church democracy?
Meanwhile, you clumsily pose a rhetorical question (leaving off the question mark) making outlandish assertions. "One of the world's most oppressive and hateful extinguishers of freedom?" Are you trying out for talk radio? Who has denied the Palestinian people freedom, other than the alleged leaders of the Palestinians? Israel defends its state and its people as is its right. If every time they went to the table for peace talks the Palestinian authority and their minions (Hello, Hamas! I'm talking to you Islamic Jihad! Step on up, Hezbollah!) hadn't murderously scuttled talks maybe the Palestinians would have their state. (Pop quiz: name the only state in the Middle East where Arabs can actually vote and have that vote counted . . . Hint: it's the very one whose existence you would deny while still allowing Syria to blossom. And you have the audacity to lecture some of us on human rights?)
It is evident that you don't know South African history, and it is equally evident that you don't know Israel's history or its culture. Your assertions about the nature of Israel indicate as much. By the way, you can't be serious with the sources you have given us for your little harangue, can you? Electronic Intifada? The Cairo Times? What, is your Al-Jazeera link down?
dc


Carl Roesler - 2/10/2004

Just LOOK at the atrocities.

Rachel Corrie, Oh God, she was just a child, a young idealistic coed slaughtered by the occupiers!
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml

As a veteran, I am horrified how Israel almost bought this traitor's freedom from the unscrupulous, infidel, William Jefferson Clinton. Of course the US is a real enemy of Israel. Oh indeed, and let's spy on them too.
http://www.aci.net/kalliste/pollard_em.htm

And Israel slaughtered our courageous, beautiful and heroic young defenders on the USS Liberty.
http://www.cairotimes.com/content/archiv05/liberty.html


Take the mask off and allow religious freedom and respect of diversity in Israel. No Jewish state; no preference of jewish immigration. Don't fake an established "church" and call it a democracy.

Is not it just horrible that a race who was victimised throughout its history now becomes one of the world's most oppressive and hateful extinguishers of the freedom that the Palestinian people have yearned for since 1948.

Abe Foxman, look at the blood and tears and bulldozed homes you have committed in the name of Zion.

Peace to the oppressed!


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/10/2004

So many comments to make, so little time.
First off, the bantustans and townships in South Africa were not always or even often hemmed in by walls, barbed wire, or anything else. Whoever is making this assertin simply does not know what they are talking about.
The assertion that bantustans still exist in South Africa is even more ignorant. The entire structure of South African provinces changed with the new constitution, and while there surely are little fiefdoms controlled by the powerhungry, to equate them with bantustans is simplistic, reductionist, and wrong.
Words, as David pointed out, have meaning. It is a bit too bad that he did included only words traditionally wielded against the right, and not words such as "communist," "Stalinist" "antiAmerican" and so forth. Nonetheless, I fully agree with him and other contributors, words such as "apartheid" and "genocide" have particular meanings both historically and definitionally. It is at the least intellectually slopyy and at times morally craven just to wield them in a slapdash fashion for political gain.
Israel is a secular, liberal, democratic state. There is no state religion. One would think that someone trying to criticize a cvountry would understand its rudiments. With Israel's critics even this baseline standard apparently flies out the window.
Finally, for the love of God, will someone at least acknowledge that, whatever its uses now, the Wall that has caused so much fulmination from the left in fact has historically been one of the left's solution to the Israel-Palestine question? That however it is being used now, the Wall has historically been a solution for pacifists, those who wanted to wash their hands of the West Bank, and others solidly on the left? In other words, in and of itself, the Wall does not of necessity stand for any particular ideology or set of beliefs?
In Mr. Roessler's 2nd to last sentence in his last post, it should be pointed out that he is advocating that "oppressed peoples . . . should be condemned." War is peace, love is hate, and a particularly crude and virulent form of anti-Zionism is not anti-Semetism.
Finally, are we once again on HNN going to have to do this dance where someone makes a dimwitted historical analogy and then no matter what the evidence, they fight to the very end for it? Israel today is not apartheid South Africa, even if shamefully the Israelis supported South Africa for far too long.
dc


Caleb Bacharach - 2/10/2004

Carl,

1) "How can the US support a country that discriminates againsst ALL religions except the official one of Judaism."

Actually, as was noted before, freedom of religion is accepted in Israel, Islamic courts and schools recognized, Arabic taught, and full voting rights for all. The only legal difference in effect is that Israeli Arabs (as well as Orthodox Jews) are not subject to the draft.

2) "Israel is merely a shell of a democracy like the US was during Jim Crow apartheid."

Except for the fact that, unlike in the US, Israeli Arabs have full voting rights, their own political parties, and representation in the Knesset. Also, there is no segregation in Israel, no "Jews-only" signs in restaurants, and no de jure discrimination.

3) "Also Israel and South Africa disgraced themselves and their peoples when those cowards surrpetitiously tested an atomic bomb in the south Pacific. The Flash in the Sky."

Do you hold the US, Britain, Russia, France, India, and Pakistan to sich contempt for their possession of atomic weopons? For consistancy sake, I hope so.

4) "the American left...learned that oppressed peoples, at the hands of Europeans, be they American or Israeli must be condemned and criticised.

Israelis are not European in any conventional sense, even if many have come from Europe. Indeed, it was Jewish resistance to British oppression that led to the British withdraw in 1948.

5) "I repeat, those who wish to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism are frauds and shallow thinkers who refuse to engage even in a minimal amount of introspection."

And I repeat, those who wish to maintain the illusion that demonizing a single country above all others, those who wish for the complete destruction of Israel for reasons more emotional than logical, those who hold one country to standards no other nation could meet, all while ignoring or justifying genocide-bombing of Israels enemies, is indeed practising anti-Semitism.

Just as traditional anti-Semitism refused to allow Jews to live as equals within the state, so to does modern anti-Semtism refuse to allow the State of Israel to live as an equal in the family of nations.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/10/2004

An excellent observation David! I could not agree more.


David C Battle - 2/10/2004

How can the US support a country that discriminates againsst ALL religions except the official one of Judaism. Israel is merely a shell of a democracy like the US was during Jim Crow apartheid.

Jewish state notwithstanding, there is complete freedom of religion in Israel.

By the way, are you equally offended by islamic states as you are by a jewish state? Saudi Arabia does not even allow the practice of non-islamic relgions. Does that offend you? I doubt it. Why do you think hatred of Israel is considered anti-semitism? because of your HYPOCRISY my dear fellow. Leave the jews alone.


Carl Roesler - 2/10/2004

I would argue it is worth reviling a Jewish state, an Islam state, any state that preferences one relgion over another. Is not hyporcitical that American jews and other who support secularism and the separation of Church and state are so willing to overlook Israel.

How can the US support a country that discriminates againsst ALL religions except the official one of Judaism. Israel is merely a shell of a democracy like the US was during Jim Crow apartheid.

Also Israel and South Africa disgraced themselves and their peoples when those cowards surrpetitiously tested an atomic bomb in the south Pacific. The Flash in the Sky.

The reason why the American left has finally after all these years become emboldened in its criticism of Israel is because it learned from Vietnam not to back down in the face of antiAmerican criticism. It learned that oppressed peoples, at the hands of Europeans, be they American or Israeli must be condemned and criticised.

I repeat, those who wish to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism are frauds and shallow thinkers who refuse to engage even in a minimal amount of introspection.


David C Battle - 2/10/2004

The following words/terms have been rendered useless by their casual overuse.

"genocide"
"apartheid"
"Hitler"
"Nazi"
"Fascist"
"bigot"
"racist"
"Western Imperialism"
blah blah blah


David C Battle - 2/10/2004

When the white afrikaaners maintained their power in South Africa, everybody wailed about the "bantustans" they had created for the blacks (your "motherlands" [sic[).

Today, almost 15 years after the afrikaaners were booted from power, those bantustans still exist and are going strong, ruled by petty little tyrannical kings. Funny how nobody cares about the "bantustans" anymore.

And when the Jews are driven into the sea, minorities in arab countries will continue to live under apartheid (just ask the shiites in Iraq) and nobody will care anymore either cause it doesn't involve white folks or jews.


Caleb Bacharach - 2/10/2004

Just so we are all on the same page here, since obviously our definitions of these terms is very different from each other:

1) The following are principle Apartheid Laws in South Africa:
• “The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949)
• The Population Registration Act (1950)
o This law required all citizens to register as black, white or coloured.
• The Suppression of Communism Act (1950)
o This law banned any opposition party the government chose to label as "communist".
• The Group Areas Act (27 April 1950)
o This law barred people of particular races from various urban areas.
• The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act (1953)
o This law prohibited people of different races from using the same public amenities, such as drinking fountains, restrooms, and so on.
• The Bantu Education Act (1953)
o This law brought in various measures expressly designed to reduce the level of education attainable by black people.
• The Mines and Work Act (1956)
o This law formalised racial discrimination in employment.
• The Promotion of Black Self-Government Act (1958)
o This law set up nominally independent "homelands" for black people. In practice, the South African government had a strong influence over these bantustans.
• Black Homeland Citizenship Act (1971)
o This law changed the status of the inhabitants of the 'homelands' so that they were no longer citizens of South Africa, and therefore had none of the rights that came with citizenship.”

None of these laws apply to Israel in any way, shape, or form. The history of the conflict does not conform to South African history in any way, either.

http://www.wordiq.com/cgi-bin/knowledge/lookup.cgi?title=Apartheid

2) Genocide:
“The UN Convention (in article 2) defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:"
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Again, if Israel wanted to do this, they could simply nuke the West Bank OR simply carpet bomb the entire area. Does anyone have any doubt that they have the military capacity to do this?

http://www.wordiq.com/knowledge/search.html?title=Convention_on_the_Prevention_and_Punishment_of_the_Crime_of_Genocide&PHPSESSID=618664a85e0f46b22b9208a1b304b43c

3) The Berlin Wall:
The following description of the wall and history behind it should put to rest any propaganda one might have heard regarding Israel’s barrio:
http://www.wordiq.com/knowledge/search.html?title=Berlin_Wall


Caleb Bacharach - 2/10/2004

Chris,
A few comments on your post:
1) “even though the wall may only be "chainlink fence and barbed wire" it is still eerily similar to the "townships" and "motherlands" imposed on South Africans during apartheid…”

Actually, I find almost nothing substantively similar to Israel and South Africa other than the fact that both were equally hated: one because of their racist policies, and the other because it is a Jewish state.

2) “Those walls were also chain link and barbed wire. There were demolitions of buildings and homes. Sound familiar?”

Is THAT the only definition of Aparthied? If so, we need to seriously consider the stigma of the word.

3) “The Palestinians, much like the ANC, have had their shift to ultra violence after attempting for many years (since Sykes Picot, prior to the Israeli state) to use diplomacy to deal with the West and have been consistently taken advantage of.”

Well, that’s great. Just one problem. They never tried the same with Israel! Perhaps if they tried to negotiate a peace instead of blowing up their children and raising them to despise Jews, they will find themselves with both peace and a state of their own, as the Israelis repeatedly offered.

Frankly, I see little moral connection between the Palestinian terrorism and the Israeli military response other than the fact that both kill civilians (as all warring parties in any major conflict). One side deliberately targets innocent men, women, and children. The other side targets known terrorists and terrorist facilities, while consciously trying to minimize civilian casualties. Has Israel committed humanitarian crimes? Absolutely, but those are condemned within Israel itself and never embraced by the mainstream population.

Carl,
Your statement:
“Israel practices genocide, is guily of erecting bascially an apartheid Berlin Wall that illegally attempts to settle a boundary dispute. Its settlements are clearly illegal and immoral.”

This is, in fact, pure anti-Semitism whether it “works” with you or not. The singling out of Israel and attribution of qualities and practices that are so out of touch with reality is no different from what traditional anti-Semites once did with individual Jews: grant them all the worst qualities of mankind with the unavoidable conclusion that only their annihilation (or in this case, the annihilation of Israel) is the only choice offered.

Genocide? In what way considering no evidence has been found of ANY systematic method of exterminating ALL Palestinians either within or outside of Israel? Berlin Wall? How so when it is meant to keep people OUT, not imprison them IN? Clearly immoral? Since when is it immoral to move into a land that legally has no owner (since the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected any peace initiatives and broken every treaty they ever made?


John H. Lederer - 2/10/2004

let's see:

1. Some, including at one point the U.S. State Department. say that is not impartial or is a kangaroo court
2. They are wrong because:
a. Many times the court has followed U.S. inclinations
b. The Pope praised their "impartiality and objectivity"
c. Rosenne has said court performs important service


Well, heck, I am convinced....


Carl Roesler - 2/10/2004

"Criticize away." HMMMM. But remember liberal professors will try to destroy and intimidate those by conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Ain't going to work with me kiddo. I ain't afraid of the smears. Israel practices genocide, is guily of erecting bascially an apartheid Berlin Wall that illegally attempts to settle a boundary dispute. Its settlements are clearly illegal and immoral: an occupier cannot move and settle civilians onto occupied land. The State of Israel is one of three countries not to ratify the NPT. Has sent spies against his great country. OURS. Jonathan Pollard.

Israel's partisans in our government have, in part, because of their zeal for Israel immersed this country in the greatest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam.

No, Israel should be denounced for its racist, brutal policies. Those who wish to sabotage this criticism by alleging racialism should be resisted and revealed as supporters of oppression.

Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!


Derek Charles Catsam - 2/10/2004

The apartheid analogy is a vacuous and irrelevent one. Further, the term was not "motherlands," it was "homelands." You say: "it is happening again because we are too stupid to learn from history" and yet it is clear that you know neither the history of apartheid South Africa nor of modern Israel. The comparison of the ANC with the radical Islamists is bereft of any sort of validity whatsoever, beginning with the fact that the ANC disavowed terrorism, which the radical Palestinians decidedly have not done.
It is one thing to criticize Israel. Criticize away. But when people compare it to regimes such as South Africa during apartheid, or worse yet, to Nazism, they are revealing an agenda that is far removed from trying to develop historical understanding.


chris l pettit - 2/10/2004

First...the article is about the ICJ and the way it is perceived, even though according to the UN Charter, every nation who is part of the United Nations submits to the jurisdiction of the ICJ. By concentrating on the wall, you are focusing on a part of the article that is secondary to the main point,

Second...even though the wall may only be "chainlink fence and barbed wire" it is still eerily similar to the "townships" and "motherlands" imposed on South Africans during apartheid during which their economic structure and education were decimated and their health care denied while they were systematically slaughtered by the apartheid forces. Those walls were also chain link and barbed wire. There were demolitions of buildings and homes. Sound familiar? It is happening again because we are too stupid to learn from history and are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately I do not see the same ending to the Israel Palestine struggle as the South African struggle had. Both sides are morally bankrupt and guilty of the worst war crimes imaginable. The Palestinians, much like the ANC, have had their shift to ultra violence after attempting for many years (since Sykes Picot, prior to the Israeli state) to use diplomacy to deal with the West and have been consistently taken advantage of. This happened many years ago and the violence will continue until someone comes to their senses or one side is totally decimated. It is important to note that both the ANC and Palestinians maintained diplomatic opportunities while fighting against oppression with violent measures. Does this prove that it takes all kinds to solve this type of oppression? I hope not, but we shall see. In the end, hopefully the ICC will have something to say about all those on both sides who are committing such awful human rights violations and violating any and all international law.

By the way...anyone wanting to complain about the ICJ should read some of the applicable decisions before commenting. Any sense of bias is slanted towards the US and nuclear powers...see the ICJ advisory opinion on the illegality of nuclear weapons and the accompanying separate opinions, specifically those of the Judge President and Vice President Weeramantry.


David Battle - 2/10/2004

The barrier will be a wall twenty-seven feet high.

Only about four percent of the security fence consists of the tall concrete barrier. The rest consists of chainlink fence and barbed wire 10 feet high.

Get your basics facts right before you go spouting off at the mouth on topics you know nothing about.

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