96 posts tagged israel
The quote seems to conflate very different ideas of nationalism, the nationalism of the German nation-state and the nationalism of ethnic Jews.
I don’t think ALL nationalism is inherently bad (see ethnic nationalism), but when connected to the State, as it was in Nazi Germany, it propagates an irrational sense of superiority over other peoples and ways of life insofar that it is willing to use war and genocide — and all the dehumanization therein — to gain hegemony. So from that perspective the quote says “The lesson many in the West took from the Holocaust is that nationalism is bad” because of what the power of the State can do when backing ideas of racial superiority, which is ironic and hypocritical considering the nationalism of just about ALL Western nation-states has in one form or another committed genocide, i.e., the genocide of America’s and Australia’s indigenous peoples or the genocide of peoples under colonial rule all throughout India, the Middle East and Africa.
But the latter part of the quote speaks to Jewish ethnic nationalism, which is very legitimate when we think about a people’s right to self-determination, their right to preserve their culture and, in many cases, the land from which that culture is birthed (but the delineation of what constitutes a right to any land can be and often is arbitrary). The trouble I see is that Zionism — Jewish nationalism which supports the creation and maintenance of a Jewish State — falls victim to the same pitfalls of any other nationalist tendencies which root themselves in the hierarchy of the State, that is, the willingness to use war and genocide — and all the dehumanization therein — to maintain hegemony. This is because it is the transformation of ethnic nationalism into nation-state nationalism, or the inseparability of the two.
We see the ramifications of this in Israel’s deliberate, systematized, state-sanctioned murder of Palestinians. So long as Zionism is the central guiding thesis of Israeli government, such unchecked violence against Palestinians is unlikely to change without effective counter-strikes and intense international solidarity. The inability of Israel’s government and the Jews who support its actions to see the hypocrisy of what they’re doing is deafening.
Palestinians Can Learn From the African-American Struggle - Ali Abunimah on RAI (2/5)
Published on May 14, 2014
On Reality Asserts Itself, Ali Abunimah, founder of Electronic Intifada, says that Palestinians need to know that even in a country with formal legal equality, the reality can mean mass incarceration, economic inequality and racism
Israel not only commits water apartheid
- "Israeli settlements dump 5.5 million cubic meters of shit directly into Palestinian water sources each year"
- French parliament report accuses Israel of water ‘apartheid’ in West Bank
Credit: Michal Vexler
- B’Tselem: The Shared Water Sources and the Control Over Them
- Amnesty International: Troubled Waters: Palestinians Denies Fair Access to Water
- United Nations OCHA: The Humanitarian Impact of the Takeover of Palestinian Water Springs by Israeli Settlers
I’ve never had a dog in this fight, and it’s generally pretty hard to support either side purely on the facts, but this is exactly the kind of baseless appeal to emotions that needs to be dismissed as skillfully as done here.
Exactly. Sometimes its not all about the feels.
Actually I think it’s all about the feels, at least in this example. The speaker, in response to her emotions (whether feigned or not) appealed to the emotions of the entire audience by sharing his emotions and his family’s experience. So it is indeed all about the feels, just a different kind, and of a different person.
He wasn’t citing his feelings as justification like she was, though. He was citing both sides of his whole family dying. The only feelings he expressed in his rebuttal were about her bringing up feelings as if they proved a point in the first place. He never stated how he felt about those facts. He was pointing out that feelings aren’t facts. The audience largely booed him when he expressed his feelings about her actions (0:36). They came around and applauded him once he set out his case with facts (2:46).
This is one of my favorite Finkelstein moments and even though I disagree with the Nazi analogies he uses, he is absolutely on point and plays the “Holocaust card” exactly the way it should be played - to prevent more human suffering. The way many Israelis use it to justify their horrific policies is beyond sickening and a vicious slap in the face to those who died at the hands of the Nazis. I don’t know how many countless stories I’ve posted on my other blog (in fact, I just posted one) featuring Israelis manipulating the experience of the Holocaust to silence critics of Israel’s outrageous policies. No one fought to survive their extermination so a country could use their plight to do injustices onto others. More Jews and survivors need to speak out.
I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Norman Finklestein last year and something like this happened. A woman interrupted his lecture and began screaming at him for “betraying Israel.”
He is an incredible man who has gone through hell and back (He has faced harassment, has been denied entry into Israel, and was denied tenure from DePaul University) for his bravery in defending Palestine. I have so much respect for Norman Finklestein.
Zionist Occupation Israeli government demolishing several historical buildings near Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.
It was claimed that authorities plan to build a synagogue and a police station on the site.
Started on Wednesday morning, Zionist Occupation Israeli bulldozers continue demolishing ancient building and archways just few metres away from the al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites of Islam.
According to a statement released from the al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage who showed anger towards the demolishment, and said, “On its second day, the Israeli authorities demolished ancient Islamic structures in the Old City of Jerusalem just 50 meters away from al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The Foundation’s statement claimed that the demolition touched historic buildings in the Old City and the authorities plan to build a synagogue, a reception hall, an advanced surveillance and police station, a museum, several restrooms, and a new entrance which leads to the tunnels west of the Old City Wall.
Few things seem to get Israeli officials planning as quickly as a US imprimatur to launch an attack. Having been given the green light not just for Wednesday’s attacks but for other, future attacks Israel is now said to be planning a dramatic escalation.
The new Israeli plan, under consideration by its leadership, calls not only for additional strikes inside Syria but a full-scale ground invasion across the Purple Line, seizing a 10 mile “buffer zone” on the other side of the line in which to install large numbers of Israeli troops and tanks.
Israel’s previous strikes targeted a military research facility as well as a military convoy parked at a base. The convoy reportedly had anti-aircraft missiles on board, which Israel feared would make its regular attacks on Lebanon much less convenient should they fall into Hezbollah’s hands.
The new strikes would center around a putative Iranian listening post, which Iran is apparently using to keep an eye on Israel, which has regularly threatened to attack them.
The “buffer zone” plan is likely to be far more controversial and potentially explosive, since Israel already has a de facto 10 mile buffer zone it seized in 1967, the Golan Heights. In the past half a century Israel has filled this zone with 20,000 settlers, and the new zone would inevitably look like another land grab.
An Israeli invasion might provoke action from Turkey as well, which condemned Israel’s last strikes and has talked about setting up its own “buffer zone” in the far north, hoping to house Syrian refugees inside of that region instead of inside Turkey itself.
US comments on Israel’s attack amounted to unequivocal endorsement of the strikes and any future strikes, but didn’t specify just how far they’re comfortable with Israel going. Since this plan is under consideration at all, it seems safe to say that the Obama Administration is comfortable with leaving the scope of the war up to Israel, which given its current government’s bellicosity will inevitably mean as broad a scope as possible.
If you’ve never read it, I’d suggest it.
From the Sun Sentinel:
Yoram Binur, 34, an Israeli journalist fluent in Arabic, went underground for six months to document the abuses suffered by Palestinians living in Israel`s occupied territories. He surfaced with a book predicting grave trouble for his country, but events moved ahead of his publication schedule.
The intifada, the Palestinian uprising that has left hundreds dead and threatened Israel`s ability to govern the occupied territories, erupted while Binur was still writing My Enemy, My Self, his harrowing tale of how the Israeli establishment humiliates the Palestinians.
Unlike political essays, his book is uncomfortably personal. The reader suffers with Binur, a former lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, as he is beaten solely for “being“ a Palestinian at a right-wing Jewish rally.
The reader experiences his fear at roadblocks and comes to admire the Palestinians who protest with dignity against their second-class status. Perhaps most painful, the reader experiences the hatred he feels for his Jewish employers, who give him backbreaking tasks, filthy accommodations and pitiful wages.
He takes readers into the sweatshops where self-respect is the first casualty and into the camps where sanitation is unfit for humans and there is constant fear of police raids.
The impact is undeniable and offers a clear explanation for the Palestinian revolt, a development so serious that classified Israeli intelligence reports suggest it will force Israel to negotiate with the hated Palestine Liberation Organization.
A talk with Binur is even more sobering. He holds that the future of Israeli democracy is at stake — as a natural outgrowth of the decision to hold the territories seized in 1967.
“I don`t believe Israelis are racist or hateful to Arabs, they just ran into a situation dictated by the occupation and they behave accordingly,“ said Binur, who concedes that he, too, considers Arabs as Israel`s enemies.
“If you respect them and their rights to freedom and independence, you have a problem, but if you just ignore it, you fall into a greater risk and this is the reason I wrote the book, because I feel the biggest risk is just around the corner and no one paid attention. Israel will not be a democracy anymore. You cannot apply a dictatorship to Palestinian camps five minutes from Jerusalem, as we do now, and keep a democracy,“ Binur said.
The constant switching back and forth between his real identity and his adopted persona took its toll on Binur. It was hard for a Jew to feel hatred for his own people — but he did.
“My whole emotional situation was very complicated,“ he said, citing a rally where he was roughed up by Israeli soldiers.
“I felt very much like a Palestinian at the time and I was very frightened and filled with hate, as anyone harassed by police for no reason would be. But I had commanded troops like that. They were just kids. I knew what they were feeling. I was a pain in their neck and I knew they just wanted to finish their shift and get away from the demonstration and get to Jerusalem and chase some girls. I could feel that, too. I could feel both sides, and it`s much easier to simply hate than to feel the whole picture.“
His transformation from Jew to Arab was risky. He changed his appearance, smoked a brand of cigarettes favored by Arabs and scorned by Jews, and wore the traditional red keffiyeh headdress, but he still had reason to think he would be killed if his ruse were discovered — because the Palestinians would not believe that he was a journalist and would assume he was a police infiltrator.
There was a special risk too; Binur talks in his sleep when he is tense, and he feared he would talk in Hebrew while dozing in a squalid dormitory with other Palestinian workers.
“First I spoke Arabic all day long, then I started to think in Arabic, then I started to dream in Arabic,“ he said.
“I forced myself. It was hard because I was scared all the time, both from the Israelis and from the Palestinians. When it was over, I felt very bad. I was in bed surrounded by bottles of cheap brandy and a lot of cigarettes. I didn`t want to talk to people for about a month and I felt no one could understand what I was going through, and very, very slowly I recovered. It`s very hard for you to feel this guilt — for me it was the guilt of being Israeli and being responsible for a lot of evil and at the same time knowing these are your enemies.“
After experiencing the problem first-hand, Binur has come out in favor of the creation of a separate Palestinian state, a position sharply rejected by the Israeli government. Binur conceded that there are risks to this proposition.
Western diplomats believe the leaks may have backfired, compromising a UN-sanctioned investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities and current aspirations.
The latest leak, published by the Associated Press (AP), purported to be an Iranian diagram showing the physics of a nuclear blast, but scientists quickly pointed out an elementary mistake that cast doubt on its significance and authenticity. An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists declared: “This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax.”
The leaked diagram raised questions about an investigation being carried out by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors after it emerged that it formed part of a file of intelligence on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons work held by the agency.
The IAEA’s publication of a summary of the file in November 2011 helped trigger a new round of punitive EU and US sanctions.
Western officials say they have reasons to suspect Israel of being behind the most recent leak and a series of previous disclosures from the IAEA investigation, pointing to Israel’s impatience at what it sees as international complacency over Iranian nuclear activity.”
Because the headlines have faded but the hardships haven’t, several U.S. aid delegations are in or going to Gaza in the wake of Israel’s assault that killed almost 200 ordinary Palestinians - farmers on their way to market, the driver of a water truck, a 10-year-old on a roof trying to fix a damagedpipe - wounded around 1,200, and destroyed an estimated 585 buildings. As activists from CodePink challenge the $3 billion in American aid that helped make that destruction possible, those from Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) work to repair the damage and continue efforts to bring desperately needed clean water to the residents of Gaza; they’ve already brought water to 22 kindergartens and 16 schools, several of which safely housed hundreds of families during the Israeli assault. MECA has also begun a petition campaign to remove Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes as honorary chair of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF for her racist comments during the attacks, when she asked, “How is it possible to make peace with people who have it as part of their DNA to hate us?” Earlier, she’d demanded it was time for “the passive residents of Gaza” - ie: the children - to suffer. Most of us won’t go; we can at least give, or sign.
Hearings of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC)
At the height of the bombing of Gaza, legal proceedings directed against the State of Israel involving the initial hearings of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission were launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The decision to launch these proceedings was taken by the Commission in May of 2012.
Pertaining to alleged Israeli war crimes, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission heard the testimonies of nine complainants.
The following summary of testimonies presented to the Commission provides a historical background on Israeli crimes against humanity extending from the Sabra Shatila Massacres to the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in the killings of entire families.
We invite our readers to carefully examine these witness testimonies. They are of crucial importance in an understanding of the current situation in Gaza. Selected excerpts and quotations below. Scroll down for prosecutors’ press release.
7 hurt in new breach of Gaza ceasefireGAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and injured seven Palestinians near the border in the central Gaza Strip, medics said.
Seven people were shot at east of al-Maghazi and al-Bureij refugee camps and transferred to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. One man sustained serious injuries, medical officials told Ma’an.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said “rioters” damaged the border fence and tried to enter Israel. She said soldiers acted to distance them “according to the rules of engagement” which can include opening fire.
Earlier, 27-year-old Hassan Ahmad Nseir was shot by Israeli forces near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip while collecting iron and gravel, medics told Ma’an.
Israel had barred Palestinians from coming within hundreds of meters of the border, but agreed to ease curbs on Gaza in a ceasefire reached Nov. 21 to end its eight-day war on the enclave.
“The Palestinian people want to be free of the occupation,” award-winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy summed up this week. It is that simple. This latest Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza is not an isolated event, but part of a 45-year occupation of the sliver of land wedged between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, where 1.6 million people live under a brutal Israeli blockade that denies them most of the basic necessities of life. Without the unwavering bipartisan support of the United States for the Israeli military, the occupation of Palestine could not exist.
At the time of this writing, the overall Palestinian death toll of the seven-day assault, dubbed Operation Pillar of Cloud by the Israel Defense Forces, is more than 116, more than half of them civilians, including 27 children and 11 women. Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel, which, to date, have killed three Israeli civilians.
President Barack Obama said on Sunday, “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So, we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.”
“No one questions that right,” responds Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the author of more than 50 books on war, human rights and international law.
“The question is: When and how is it appropriate? Here, as before in 2008, when Israel launched a similar devastating attack on the population and people of Gaza, there were alternatives, and this kind of approach to security ends up with a new cycle of violence at higher levels of intensity. It’s time for the international community to take some responsibility for protecting the people of Gaza.”
Since 2000, according to an article from the British medical journal The Lancet, the Israeli military has killed more than 6,000 Palestinians. They are harassed at checkpoints, imprisoned arbitrarily, denied clean water and sanitation, and suffer from systemic malnutrition, all part of the illegal siege and blockade. World-renowned linguist and author Noam Chomsky recently visited Gaza, describing it as the world’s largest open-air prison.
Amidst reports of an imminent ceasefire, I spoke with Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza. She is the health chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip, which, as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is protected under the Geneva Conventions. “Airplanes are still in the sky, drones are in the sky, and we can h ear intermittent shelling. People are tense, hoping for a cease-fire, but people don’t want a cease-fire at any cost. We want guarantees from Israel that this will not happen again.”
I asked her what it is like to endure an air raid: “Every other minute, directly in my area, the airplanes are there, and they hit within 100 meters of my building. You can overhear from the other areas, because it is very noisy, F-16s bombing with large explosions. The whole building shakes, and some of my windows have been shattered.” Dr. El-Farra and her 20-year-old daughter hide under their table. She gets only a few minutes sleep at a time. “With every air raid, you can see the fire from my window, the fire and the smoke.”
She also braves the open streets to attend to her responsibilities with the Red Crescent Society. They have set up phone banks to provide psychological counseling to Gazans who are dealing with death and injury, who are living under the stress of continuous air bombardment and the threat of imminent ground invasion. “We have terrified children in Gaza, children who do not have enough water, do not have enough food, no medicine … with all that, children have no safe place. There is no place safe in Gaza. I don’t know what will happen next if this madness continues. In the last week, it has been like hell for us. It is ugly, it is horrible.”
Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative told me, “It is very hard to think about Israel calling what it is doing defending itself when it is occupying Palestinian territory. It’s collective punishment. We cannot support punishing an entire population because of the policies and attacks of Hamas. It’s illegal.”
The answer is simple, and increases the chances of security on all sides: End the occupation.