If You Only Read One Article This Week About Israel & Palestine Make It This One

Via Pulse (who have a video of the speech)-

The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners

This is the transcript of the Hisham B. Sharabi Memorial Lecture delivered by John J. Mearsheimer at the The Palestine Center today.

It is a great honor to be here at the Palestine Center to give the Sharabi Memorial Lecture.  I would like to thank Yousef Munnayer, the executive director of the Jerusalem Fund, for inviting me, and all of you for coming out to hear me speak this afternoon.

My topic is the future of Palestine, and by that I mean the future of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, or what was long ago called Mandatory Palestine.  As you all know, that land is now broken into two parts: Israel proper or what is sometime called “Green Line” Israel and the Occupied Territories, which include the West Bank and Gaza.  In essence, my talk is about the future relationship between Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Of course, I am not just talking about the fate of those lands; I am also talking about the future of the people who live there.  I am talking about the future of the Jews and the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, as well as the Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories.

The story I will tell is straightforward.  Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank.  Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy.  Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa.  Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term.  In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens.  In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.

Let me explain how I reached these conclusions.

Given present circumstances there are four possible futures for Palestine.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Peace & Arms Deals- ‘the IDF’s qualitative edge’

While Clinton creates another piece of theatre in the ongoing fictitious peace process… what are these self declared peace seeking Nobeled saints actually talking about-

The Bush administration violated security related agreements with Israel in which the U.S. promised to preserve the IDF’s qualitative edge over Arab armies, according to senior officials in the Obama administration and Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak traveled to the U.S. in September for a rushed meeting in which it was agreed that the two allies would discuss how to resolve the problems regarding this issue.

U.S. National Security Adviser General James Jones is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for what is likely to be talks on the issue of the IDF’s qualitative edge. Senior sources in the current U.S. administration, and senior officials at the foreign and defense ministries in Israel, have suggested that during the last year of the Bush administration the U.S. sold advanced military equipment to moderate Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The Americans justified the arms sales with the need to bolster these countries against the perceived threat posed by Iran.

In an address before the National Jewish Democratic Council, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, commented on the matter. “We discovered that the qualitative edge of the IDF has been eroded,” Oren said. “We came to the Obama administration and said: ‘Listen, we have a problem.'”

According to Oren the response of the Obama administration was positive and immediate. “They said they are going to deal with this matter and ensure that the qualitative edge of the IDF is preserved,” he said. “Since then we have embarked on a dialogue [on preserving the IDF’s qualitative edge].”

The arms transfers that were particularly disturbing for Israel were of advanced air and naval systems. For example, the U.S. sold Saudi Arabia advanced F-15 fighter-bombers, similar to the ones it sold Israel. According to Israeli assessments, following the U.S. sales to the Saudi kingdom, the Saudi Air Force is currently in possession of 200-250 aircraft of this type.

In addition, the U.S. sold Saudi Arabia and other Arab states satellite-guided and laser-guided “smart bombs” for their fighter aircraft, as well as advanced anti-ship missiles and electronic suites for aircraft, all similar to the equipment in the IDF.

Toward the end of the Bush term in office, the defense establishment recommended to the political leadership to raise the issue with the incoming U.S. administration. Defense establishment officials warned that the U.S. is arming countries in the moderate Arab camp in “a way that erodes the qualitative edge of the IDF, especially in the air.”

In recent months officials close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began quiet exchanges with their U.S. counterparts on ways of retaining the IDF’s balance of arms. The negotiations are held at the highest levels, with the White House and the Pentagon.

In September, for example, a day before the start of the United Nations General Assembly conference in New York, Barak traveled to Washington and the purpose of his meetings there were kept under wraps. At the time, the defense minister’s office announced that Barak had met with Jones and other senior administration officials in order to discuss the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

In subsequent talks between the Obama administration and Israel, Israeli officials have stressed that the arms provided with the aim of bolstering moderate Arab states against Iran could be directed in the future against Israel. A number of meetings have taken place since, in an effort to “assess the damage” and find ways of securing the IDF’s qualitative edge. Last week, Haaretz reported that the Obama administration will sell advanced weapons systems to Arab states.

According to the weekly Jewish publication Forward, as a result of Israeli concerns the Obama administration intends to make changes to deals that the Bush administration signed with Arab states and are currently being implemented.

So further confirmation of the legal requirement the US imposed on itself to maintain Israel’s military superiority (22 USC Sec. 2776) and a rather predictable glimpse of the Bush regime’s fondness for money and aggression towards Iran, which apparently meant to the entitled Zionists superior arms sales were insufficiently centred on Israel even if they liked the Iran bashing (but it seems that is their gig and they do not trust Arabs to do it even if the neocons attempts to divide and conquer Shia and Sunni worked), so they whine and Obama promises to do better. Y’konw, the guy with the peace prize. That would be two sides of the peace talks promising to ensure the third party and all others in the region are militarily weak. Yes of course they seek peace, isn’t that what they said? And politician’s would never lie. Which is also perhaps why when the IAEA was ‘concerned’ over Israel’s rogue nukes, it was reported virtually nowhere and aid convoys can be delayed and attacked. Our country along with the US, Israel and Egypt are conspiring to besiege Gaza, which is also not a very peace seeking thing to do. And dutifully our media tell us about the peace process as if bullies’ conditions for submission are such a great deal.

NYT’s Dishonest Coverage Of Palestine

This is how they report the Viva Palestina convoy, by Ethan Bronner who has been taken to task extensively on Mondoweiss. Not remotely surprising but just thought it worth re-mentioning.

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Gaza, Not A Difference A Year Makes

A year ago-

Israel Defense Forces will try to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of weapon capabilities while achieving “the maximum number of enemy casualties and keeping Israel Defense Forces casualties at a minimum,” GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said.

“What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. […] This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.There would be no mercy shown”- IDF Northern Command Chief Gadi Eisenkot

Today the siege continues. The governments of the US, the UK and Egypt conspiring to punish those Israel has designated enemies while professing to be in search of peace, but they keep building walls, now they are apparently (possibly?!?) even building the walls underground. This is not a peace process this is misdirection to distract from an ongoing crime against humanity.

(Cairo) On December 27th, 2009, marking one year since the brutal Israeli invasion of Gaza, members of the Gaza Freedom March in Cairo will place 1,400 candles in the Nile River to commemorate the dead. The Gaza Freedom Marchers had hoped to be in Gaza to commemorate the war, but access to Rafah is being denied by the Egyptian authorities. The Marchers, coming from 43 countries, have appealed to President Mubarak to allow them to proceed. The delegation includes families of three generations, doctors, lawyers, diplomats, students, artists, rabbis, priests, imams, a women delegation, a Jewish contingent, a veterans group and Palestinians born overseas. The coalition spent seven months planning for their trip to Gaza. As they flood into Cairo with a longing to reach Gaza, they plan to remember the besieged strip while being trapped here. “We mark this date, December 27, with great saddess for those killed and wounded, and we call on the world’s leaders to hold Israel accountable,” said Medea Benjamin of the Gaza Freedom March. “We also call on Israel and Egypt to lift the blockade that is causing so much suffering in Gaza.”

Members of the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to Gaza will begin a hunger strike at 11.25 am today (27 th) in protest at the Egyptian government’s refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil. Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy’s entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey’s main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The Syrian government has also provided aid and vehicles, as has the government of Malaysia. More than 400 people from 17 countries are travelling on the 150 vehicle convoy, which is taking medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gaza. The convoy departed London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the convoy and its cargo of aid is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, having been denied entry into Egypt.

Mondoweiss has a post that observes- Broadly speaking, Israeli society and its intelligentsia supports increasing violence directed at Palestinian civilian population. There is no guilt, no second-guessing, and absolutely no empathy with the victim.- Children remember the first strike-

And I was sent links to this short film, Gaza Lives On

gazaspeaks.com

Harpymarx has photos of the demo in London. Given that no real movement has been made to respect Palestinian human rights by Israel and its allies BDS must be employed and the US, which remains largely bewitched into a mythic simulacrum of Palestine and Israel and an almost wholly owned lobby disciplined political class, must be awoken from its slumber, it writes both the literal, ‘moral’ and political cheques that Israel cashes.

“There is a debate among Jews. I used to say the Jewish community then I got excommunicated. There is a debate among Jews–I’m a Jew by the way” that boils down to: “Never again to everyone, or never again to us?… [Some Jews] even think we get one Get away with genocide free card… There is another strain in the Jewish tradition that says, ‘Never again to anyone.’”

She has dealt with the hoards of journalists coming to hear and re-tell their story, the story of her area, the story of her killed aunts, uncles, cousins…The story of her dead father and 4 year old brother, shot point blank by the Israeli soldiers occupying the area. And for her it has become normal, reciting with impressive clarity, the events of those hellish days.

Without knowing the horror inflicted upon Amal, her mother, and the others in the extended Samouni family, one might think they were normal. Well, in Gaza, yes there are normal, for many. But their welcome and calm is deceptive, hides their history. They plod on, replanting, trying to move past the one-year anniversary mark…though every day is a reminder of their losses, the murders.

It’s always impossible to imagine living in the same area where my husband/son/brother/mother/infant… was murdered…let alone imagine the murder itself. But there they are, Amal and Zeinat, Helmi and the orphans, and the countless others in Palestine with stories to tell but stories which for them are normal.

Mossad Agents Going Insane

Via Chris Floyd

One of the large mental health hospitals in Israel was recently surprised to receive a young, good-looking patient in a psychotic state who was accompanied by a personal security guard, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday. The doctors, who asked why the woman was accompanied by a guard, were shocked to learn that she was a Mossad agent and that the security guard was not assigned to her in order assure her safety or protect her life, but to ensure that she not reveal any state secrets in her shaky mental state.

The Mossad guard’s orders were clear: “It is forbidden that the organization’s secrets be passed on to those unauthorized to hear them.” The doctors, who are unaccustomed to the presence of a third party during their treatment sessions, were left with no choice but to acquiesce to their demands. In addition, the staff had to receive a security clearance before being allowed to work on her exceptional case. To their complete amazement, another young woman, also accompanied by a secret agent charged with ensuring that the she not leak any state secrets, arrived at the institution just a short time later. The doctors learned that she, too, is a Mossad agent.

Experts said Saturday that the nature of the young women’s work was most likely the cause of their psychosis.

The Shministim at Chanukah

From Jewish Voice for Peace

A year ago today, tens of thousands demanded the release of Israel’s youngest prisoners of conscience, the Shministim.

These 12th graders courageously chose prison time over serving in the occupying Israeli army, and became heroes to us and the entire world.

Last Chanukah, just one day after Tamar Katz was released from solitary confinement, the young Shministim gathered to celebrate and to decide how to thank the 20,000 (and counting) Jewish Voice for Peace members who wrote letters, attended rallies, and wrote articles on their behalf.

This is the message they carefully wrote together. One year later, as Shministit Or Ben-David sits in prison in Israel, and as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate the last night of Chanukah, it seems appropriate to share it with you again. We can’t imagine a more important message during this festival of lights.

Dear friends and supporters,

During Chanukah the festive of lights, we, the Shministim, would like to take a moment to thank you for all you’ve done for us and for our struggle.

While we sit down with our families and light the first candle of the holiday, symbolizing the rebellion against an occupying army, some of us are still behind bars, denied the freedom to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones, denied the right to freedom of thought and political consciousness.

During this dark period of consecutive jail terms, military trials and attempts to break our beliefs, you were our light.

Each and every one of you who helped with the campaign, who sent a supporting letter, who sent the link of the website to a friend. You’ve let our struggle be heard around the world, the letters, the postcards and posters, the demonstrations, all of those actions fulfilled our wildest dreams.

We would like to thank you once again and wish you all a happy and free holiday.

in solidarity,
The Shministim

Good for them, for not taking part in war crimes.

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Stop Our War Criminals Changing The Law To Protect Themselves & Israeli War Criminals

Via SU

Please act now! Contact your MP!

Following the news that Tipi Livni, who served as Foreign Minister in the Israeli government that planned and executed Israel’s brutal bombing and massacre in Gaza, faced arrest if she entered Britain, tell the government there must be no impunity for Israeli war criminals.

Please act URGENTLY – if possible e-mail your MP today, and come to the vigil on 27 December to show the government that we will not let them forget Gaza.

Ask your MP (find them here) to do the following:

1. Sign Early Day Motion 502 tabled by Jeremy Corbyn MP defending the right to bring war criminals to justice: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40074&SESSION=903

2. Urgently contact the Foreign Office raising the following points:

The government has a duty under the Fourth Geneva Convention to ‘seek out and prosecute’ alleged war criminals. Under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, the UK has universal jurisdiction to arrest and try suspected perpetrators of “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 (IVCG). War criminals should be pursued – Britain must not become a ‘safe haven’.

The judicial system is meant to be independent and the government’s role is not to intervene. If a judge believes there is sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant to be granted, it is irrelevant whether this embarrasses or causes problems for the British government.

The Goldstone Report detailed war crimes and potential crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. It was shameful that the government abstained on the vote for the Report at the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly.

Instead of responding to pressure from the Israeli government to end the right to charge and prosecute war criminals, the government should immediately change its position – it should support international law and justice, and act itself to uphold the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Britain cannot be a true and independent ‘partner’ for peace if its policies are one-sided, and it allows those responsible for war crimes against Palestinians to avoid justice.

Tzipi Livni is just the latest in a list of Israelis who have come under scrutiny over allegations of war crimes. Our government should reflect on this, and change its foreign policy, including ending its arms trade with Israel.

Note today-

Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a government decision that bars Gaza Strip residents visiting relatives in Israeli jails, saying this is not a “basic humanitarian need.”

It is a violation of the Geneva conventions to imprison residents of an occupied territory outside of said territory.

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