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.

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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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Aid Convoy Enters Gaza

VIVA! VIVA! PALESTINA!
17.30 GMT Wednesday 6th January
One month, thousands of miles, ten countries, one ship and a four flights later, Viva Palestina has begun to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.

“We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy’s like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege.” Kevin Ovenden, convoy leader

18.30 GMT – Convoy continues to move into the strip to be greeted by flowers and flag-waving crowds. Press conference later to be followed tomorrow with ceremony to hand over the aid.

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Gaza Freedom March Statement

The Gaza Freedom March has come to an end, but before the protesters dispersed they agreed on the following statement:

End Israeli Apartheid
Cairo Declaration
January 1, 2010

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

o Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;
o the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;
o the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;
o the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;
o the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;
o the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;
o and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;
o all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;
o in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;
o and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:

Palestinian Self-Determination
Ending the Occupation
Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine
The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:

1) An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors;

4) Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott;

5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen’s Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.

Please e-mail us at cairodec@gmail.com

Signed by:

(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)

1. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA
2. Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
3. Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
4. Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
5. George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa

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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.

Viva Palestina Convoy Leaves For Gaza

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