September 2012 Archives

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This is a deeply disturbing article, just published in Pravda.

I hope this is an exaggeration of the situation facing Christians in Israel. The fact that the author labels Netanyahu as a ‘pathological liar’ indicates that he has his own agenda (even if it’s true). I truly had no idea things were this bad for Christians in Israel! I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for further confirmation. Certainly though, if this is all true and if it becomes widely known it could seriously undermine the popular support for Israel given to it by Christians in the US.

Father Dave

source: english.pravda.ru/society/stories/03-09-2012/122050-christians_israel-0/…

Christians disrespected in Christ’s Motherland

03.09.2012

After the “Arab Spring” the life in a number of countries in the Middle East became dramatically more extreme. In Iraq, Egypt and Syria, life for Christians became very difficult. But there is a Middle Eastern country whose main religion is not Islam. How do Christians live in Israel? Was Prime Minister Netanyahu right when he said that Christians freely profess their faith there?

Speaking recently in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu said, “If in many countries, such as Syria, Christians live in a state of siege, here, in Israel, they are free to practice their faith.” The Israeli prime minister urged Christians to rally around Israel and protect the Christian civilization from total Islamization posed by the “Arab Spring.”

Netanyahu’s words were heard at the congress of the movement “Christians for Israel” whose members call themselves Christian Zionists. Long before the Christian Zionist Congress, Russian experts voiced the same opinion that Netanyahu expressed. In their view, in the near future, Israel will be the last refuge of Christianity in the Middle East, as other Christian areas of the region will be swept away by the bloody “Arab Spring” and the growth of Islamic fundamentalist tendencies. In a raging ocean of armed jihad and war “a la Somalia,” which threatens the Middle East in the near future, Israel actually looks like Noah’s ark for Christians. But is this true?

Israeli experts interviewed by a reporter of GTimes said that Netanyahu’s words of the free exercise of Christianity in Israel were, to say the least, wishful thinking. “Netanyahu is a pathological liar. There is discrimination against Christians in all areas. Recently one man, accused of baptizing his children, was deported from Israel. “Especially hard is the life of Jewish Christians,” said an Israeli human rights activist Maria Pesikova. “According to the Israeli law, a converted Jew has no right to repatriation, so Christians have to deny their faith when entering the country, in other words, to renounce Christ. Children of Jewish Christians are bullied in schools. Moreover, Christian parents of Jews are not allowed to teach their children faith. If Social Services find out that a Jewish child is a Christian who fasts, prays and goes to the temple with her parents, the authorities have the right to take away custody of the child from the parents, as it is considered child abuse.”

Israeli writer Israel Shamir, who came from the Soviet Union, is a Jew who converted to Orthodoxy. “Israel does not carefully and persistently chase Palestinian Christians to replace them with Christians from Iraq or Syria,” he said in an interview with GTimes. “In the homeland of Jesus Christianity is persecuted: churches are set on fire, there are laws against missionaries. In Knesset the Gospel was publicly destroyed.”

The last reference is to the notorious case on July 17, when a deputy Michael Ben-Ari publicly tore the New Testament and threw it in the trash. The journalists who were in the audience remember the words of Ben-Ari: “This book served and continues to serve as the basis for the persecution and murder of Jews. Its place is in the trash.”

Desecration and destruction of Christian churches began in the early days of Israel. From 1947 to 1967, most of the local Christian churches and monasteries have been taken from the faithful and turned into military camps, depots, and artillery batteries. It got to the point that some Israeli soldiers would relieve themselves at a Christian cemetery.

In 1948, during the Nakba, military blew up a Christian church in the Arab village of Ikret and destroyed nearly all of its residents. Ikret was fully populated by Christian Arabs. They did not want to leave their homes and the graves of their ancestors, and met the Israelis with arms.

During the Six-Day War IDF soldiers again desecrated the Holy Sepulcher and fired guns at a famous Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. In Ramallah, the current capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Israeli shelled a women’s Episcopal School, where many Arab girls studied. Many of them drew their last breath in the rubble of the destroyed school.

After the Six Day War, the existence of Christians in Israel became reminiscent of a life on a volcano. Brief periods of peace were alternated by the harassment by radical Zionists. Thugs raped nuns, beat priests, threw stones at Christian procession and hand grenades through the windows of churches.

During the exacerbation of Israeli relations with the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem was subject to attacks. It was considered the KGB residency in Israel. Head of the Mission, Archimandrite Tikhon (Zaitsev) in 2008, recalled that seeing a priest, rabbis would spit at his feet. “Spitting was not that bad, it happened that stones were thrown at us,” he said. By law, rabbis were required to pay fines for these misdemeanors, but all attempts to bring them to justice would end in failure. Bullies and tyrants were either helped by the police, or bailed by the Knesset members.

However, bullying and rape were nothing compared to the tragedy of Palestinian Christianity in the late 1990’s – early 2000s. After 1997, Israel gave the PA a number of controversial areas, and the number of Christians there showed a sharp decline. Muslim fanatics of Fatah and the “Islamic Jihad” considered Christians the “fifth column” of Israel, organized real genocide for their brothers in faith. The PA appealed to Tel Aviv during the persecution of Christians, but Tel Aviv was not touched. Benjamin Netanyahu was Israeli Prime Minister at the time.

For the current Israeli leader, the issue of the Christian denomination is directly linked to his personal situation as a politician. Christians for him are chess pieces in a series of multi-series combinations. Netanyahu admitted that his family never had anything against Christians. Moreover, speaking last Sunday in Jerusalem, Netanyahu vowed to defend the Christian civilization.

Meanwhile, the situation of Christians in Israel is still very controversial. According to a Catholic priest at a parish of Haifa, “for the Israeli, a Christian is a person who should be avoided.” A Christian is pariah and a permanent “irritant” for the orthodox Jews, who, seeing a cross on his neck, can easily spit at him or his feet, expressing their disgust with the “impure.” This applies to all individuals in Israel, Christians, Arabs, Armenians, the Greeks, and the Russian. The most difficult situation, of course, is for the baptized Jews who are strangers in the land of their ancestors.”

Orhan Iskanderzoda

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As per usual, Avnery speaks with wisdom and insight about the developing situation in the Middle East, and it’s encouraging to see that he is still quietly confident that there will be no Israeli attack on Iran. At the same time, as Avnery recognises, Netanyahu is a volatile figure, and I suspect that most of us will sleep more easily when he has exited the scene.

Father Dave

Read more wisdom from Uri Avnery on the Gush Shalom website

The March of Folly

NOTHING COULD be more scary than the thought that this duo – Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak – is in a position to start a war, the dimensions and outcome of which are incalculable. 

It’s scary not only because of their ideological fixations and mental outlook, but also because of the level of their intelligence.

The last month gave us a small sample. By itself it was but a passing episode. But as an illustration of their decision-making abilities, it was frightening enough.

THE ROUTINE conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations was to take place in Tehran. 120 states promised to attend, many of them represented by their presidents or prime ministers.

This was bad news for the Israeli government, which has devoted much of its energies during the last three years to the strenuous effort to isolate Iran – while Iran was devoted to a no less strenuous effort to isolate Israel.

If the location of the conference was not bad enough, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, announced that he would attend, too. And as if this was still not bad enough, the new president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, also promised to come.

Netanyahu was faced with a problem: how to react?

IF A wise expert had been consulted, he might have asked: why react at all?

The Non-Aligned Movement is an empty shell. It was created [or “founded”] 51 years ago, at the height of the Cold War, by Nehru of India, Tito of Yugoslavia, Sukarno of Indonesia and Abd-al-Nasser of Egypt. 120 nations joined. They wanted to steer a course between the American and the Soviet blocs.

Since then, circumstances have changed completely. The Soviets have disappeared, and the US is also not what it was. Tito, Nehru, Nasser and Sukarno are all dead. The Non-Aligned have no real function anymore. But it is much easier to set up an international organization than to disband it. Its secretariat provides jobs, its conferences provide photo opportunities, world leaders like to travel and schmooze.

If Netanyahu had kept quiet, chances are that the world media would have ignored the non-event altogether. CNN and Aljazeera might have devoted a full three minutes to it, out of courtesy, and that would have been that.

But for Netanyahu, keeping quiet is not an option. So he did something exceedingly foolish: he told Ban Ki-moon not to go to Tehran. More precisely: he ordered him not to go.

The aforementioned wise expert – if he existed – would have told Netanyahu: Don’t! The Non-aligned make up more than 60% of the UN membership. Ban wants to be re-elected in due course, and he is not going to insult 120 voters, much as you wouldn’t want to insult 80 members of the Knesset. His predecessors have attended all former conferences. He cannot refuse now – especially not after you publicly ordered him around.

Then there was Morsi. What to do about him?

If another wise expert, this time on Egypt, had been asked, he would have given much the same advice: let it be.

Egypt wants to resume its role as the leader of the Arab world and as an actor on the international stage. The new president, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, certainly would not want to be seen giving in to Israeli pressure.

So, as the Hebrew saying goes, better to swallow a frog – even two frogs – then do something foolish.

BUT NETANYAHU couldn’t possibly follow such advice. It’s would be contrary to his nature. So he and his assistants proclaimed loudly – very loudly – that the 120 attending countries are supporting Iran’s effort to annihilate Israel, and that Ban and Morsi are promoting a Second Holocaust.

Instead of isolating Iran, Netanyahu helped Iran to isolate Israel.

The more so as both Ban and Morsi used the Tehran stage to castigate the Iranian leadership and its Syrian allies. Ban condemned Ahmadinejad’s denial of the holocaust as well as his proclaimed hopes for the disappearance of the “Zionist entity”. Morsi went even further and castigated the murderous Syrian regime, Iran’s main ally.

(This speech was broadcast live on Iranian television. The translator evoked general admiration for his presence of mind. Whenever Morsi said in Arabic “Syria”, the translator said in Farsi “Bahrain”.)

THIS WHOLE episode is important only insofar as it illustrates the incredible folly of Netanyahu and his close advisers (all of them handpicked by his wife, Sarah, easily the most unpopular person in the country). They seem to be cut off from the real world and to live in an imagined world of their own.

In this imaginary world, Israel is the center of the universe, and Netanyahu can give orders to the leaders of the nations, from Barack Obama and Angela Merkel to Mohamed Morsi and Ban Ki-moon.

Well, we are not the center of the world. We have a lot of influence, owing in part to our history. We are a regional power, much beyond our actual size. But to be really effective, we need allies, moral standing and the support of international public opinion, just like everybody else. Without this, Netanyahu’s pet project, to secure for himself a place in the history books by attacking Iran, cannot be carried out.

I know that many eyebrows were raised when I categorically stated that neither Israel nor the US would attack Iran. It seemed that I was risking my reputation – such as it is – while Netanyahu and Barak were preparing for the inevitable bombing run. When talk about the impending attack reached a crescendo, my few well-wishers were sincerely worried.

However, during the last few days, there has been an almost imperceptible change of tone here. Netanyahu declared that the “family of nations” must lay down a “red line” and timetable for stopping Iran’s nuclear arms effort.

Translated into simple Hebrew: there will be no Israeli attack, unless approved by the US. Such approval is impossible before the coming US elections. It is highly unlikely afterwards, too, for the reasons I tried to set out. Geographical, military, political and economic circumstances make it impossible. Diplomacy is called for. A compromise based on mutual interests and respect may be the best outcome.

An Israeli commentator has made the interesting suggestion that the President of the United States – after the elections – personally travel to Teheran and reach out to the Iranian people. That is no more improbable than Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China. I would add the suggestion that while he is at it, the President come to Jerusalem, too, to seal the compromise.

A YEAR and a half ago, I also dared to suggest that the Arab Spring would be good for Israel.

At the time, it was a common assumption in Israel, and throughout the West, that Arab democracy would lead to a surge of political Islam, and that this would present a mortal danger to Israel. The first part of the assumption was right, the second was wrong.

The obscurantist demonization of Islam can be dangerously misleading. The painting of Islam as a murderous, inherently anti-Semitic religion, can lead to destructive consequences. Fortunately, the dire forecasts are being disproved daily.

In the homeland of the Arab Awakening, Tunisia, a moderate Islamic regime has taken root. In Libya, where commentators foresaw chaos and permanent civil war between the tribes, chances for stability are growing. So are the chances that Islamists will play a positive role in post-Assad Syria.

And most importantly – the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is behaving with exemplary caution. Six thousand years of Egyptian wisdom is having a moderating effect on the Brothers, including Brother Morsi. In the few weeks of his rule, he has already demonstrated a remarkable ability for compromising with divergent interests – with the secular liberals and the army command in his own country, with the US, even with Israel. He is now engaged in an effort to settle things with the Sinai Bedouins, addressing their (justified) grievances and calling a halt to military action.

It is, of course, much too early to tell, but I believe that a rejuvenated Arab world, in which moderate Islamic forces play an important role (as they do in Turkey), may form the environment for Israeli-Arab peace. If we desire peace.

For this to happen, we must break out of Netanyahu’s imaginary world and return to the real world, the exciting, changing, challenging world of the 21st century.

Otherwise we will just add another sad chapter to the late Barbara Tuchman’s brilliant book, The March of Folly.

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This is a significant essay by James Petras, Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. What struck me the most is the paradox he presents towards the end of the essay – that while the Non-aligned meeting in Tehran demonstrates that Iran has not been internationally isolated, which makes an Israeli strike against Iran less likely, the same meeting highlights the increasing isolation of Israel, which could provoke a paranoid reaction, making a strike more likely!

We pray that the Spirit of God overrules any such paranoid reactions, for the sake of us all.

Father Dave

source: The People’s Voice

Iran’s Strategic Diplomatic Victory over the Washington-Israeli Axis: Its Larger Political Consequences

By James Petras

Introduction

Iran chaired, hosted and led the recently rejuvenated Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Teheran, attended by delegates from 120 countries, including 31 heads of state and 29 foreign secretaries of state.  Even the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, notorious mouthpiece of Washington , felt obligated to address a forum attended by two-thirds of the member countries of the UN, despite State Department and Israeli objections. Any objective evaluation of the meeting, its venue, the attendance, resolutions and political impact leads to one paramount conclusion:  the NAM meeting was a strategic diplomatic victory for Iran and a major defeat for the US , Israel and the European Union.  The entire US-Israeli-EU diplomatic and propaganda effort to isolate and stigmatize Iran , especially over the past decade, was shredded.

The Politics of Attendance

Attendance by representatives of 120 countries demonstrates that Iran is not a ‘pariah state’; it is an accepted member of the international community.The presence of 60 heads of state and foreign secretaries demonstrates that Iran is considered a noteworthy and significant political actor, not a “terrorist state” to be isolated and shunned.  The proceedings, debates and discussions among and between the delegates and Iranian leaders convinced those attending that Teheran gives primacy to reasonable dialogue in resolving international conflicts.

Both in terms of form and content the NAM meeting highlighted the superiority of Iran ’s diplomacy over and against Washington ’s bellicose posturing and improvised diversionary tactics.  The fact that the meeting took place in Teheran, that Iran was elected chair, that a major part of the NAM agenda and subsequent resolutions coincided with Iran’s democratic foreign policy, highlights Washington’s policy failures and its isolation on issues of major concern to the larger international community.  Pandering to the domestic Zionist power configuration has a high cost in the sphere of international politics.

NAM Resolutions:  Iran versus Washington – Israel

The centerpiece of US and Israeli strategic policy has been to claim that Iran ’s nuclear program including the enrichment of uranium, are a threat to world peace and in particular to Israel and the Gulf states .  The NAM meeting repudiated that position, affirming Iran ’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program including the enrichment of uranium.  NAM rejected western sa. nctions against Iran and other countries.  In fact many of the leading members, including India , brought delegations of business executives in pursuit of new economic contracts.

NAM declared its support for a nuclear free Middle East and called for an independent Palestinian state based on 1969 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, in total repudiation of Washington ’s unconditional support of the nuclear armed Jewish state.

NAM rejected Egyptian Prime Minister Morsi’s proposal to support the Western backed armed mercenaries invading Syria, major blow to Washington’s effort to secure international support for regime change.  NAM unanimously approved several resolutions which affirmed its anti-imperialist principles in direct opposition to US imperial positions:  it rejected the US blockade of Cuba; it affirmed Argentine sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands (dubbed the ‘Falklands’ by Anglo-American pundits); it opposed the Paraguayan coup; it supported Ecuador in its dispute with Great Britain on asylum for Assange; it selected Venezuela as the site for the next NAM meeting; it rejected terrorism in all of its  forms and modalities, including the state sponsored variant.

Western Propaganda Media:  Self Serving Diversions

The resounding diplomatic successes of the Iranian hosts of the NAM meeting were countered by a mass media blitz directed at diverting attention to relatively marginal events.  The Financial and New York Times, the BBC and the Washington Post featured a speech by Egyptian Prime Minister Morsi calling for NAM support for the Western backed armed mercenaries invading Syria. The media omitted mentioning that no delegation took up his proposal.  NAM not only ignored Morsi but unanimously approved a resolution opposing western intervention and affirming the right of self-determination, clearly applicable to the case of Syria .

While NAM defended Iran ’s right to develop its peaceful nuclear program, the mass media publicized a dubious “report” authored by US favorite, Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) questioning Iran ’s compliance with his directives. Not surprisingly the report Amano carried no weight in the deliberations of the 130 delegates, given his notoriety as a front-man for Israeli and US pro-war propaganda.

Overall the mass media deliberately ignored or underplayed the resolutions, dialogue and democratic procedures of the NAM meeting in an effort to cover up the enormous political gulf between the US , Israel , the EU and the vast majority of the international community.

Political Impact of the NAM Conference

NAM seriously undermined the images of the Mid-East conflicts which US policymakers and their acolytes in the EU and Gulf States project: the political reality, which came out of the meetings emphasized that it is the US .  Israel and the EU who are outside the mainstream international community.  It is the US and EU who lack political allies in the pursuit of colonial wars.  It is the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Washington ’s policies of ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran which lack allies.  Its Iran ’s peaceful nuclear program which has legitimacy not Israel ’s nuclear arsenal.  The Iranian leadership gained prestige via its openness to international dialogue.  In contrast its regional Gulf adversaries, who rely on to multi-billion dollar US arms purchases and military bases  were denigrated and discredited.

The Iranian proposals to reform the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to emerging countries and less a tool of US-EU policymakers resonated throughout the conference.  The emphasis on free trade, was manifest in the large economic delegations who attended eager to sign agreements in defiance of US-Israel-EU sanctions.

Conclusion

Temporarily the NAM conference may have lessened the threat of a military attack against Iran , at least by the US and the EU – by demonstrating the political cost of alienating two thirds of the UN Assembly.  Nevertheless by demonstrating Israel ’s total isolation, (and truly pariah status in the international community), NAM may have heightened the pathological paranoia of the Israeli leadership and hastened its move toward a catastrophic war.

The follow-up of the NAM resolutions requires a permanent organization, a minimum coordinating secretariat to ensure compliance and rapid responses to crises.  Otherwise the good intentions and positive moves toward peace via dialogue will be inconsequential.

The mobilization of the NAM members in the UN General Assembly is crucial to withstand the blackmail, bribes, threats and corruption which are used by the Western powers to secure majorities on crucial votes regarding US sanctions, coups and military intervention.  Trade, investment and cultural boycotts of Israel should be promoted and enforced, until the Jewish State ends its occupation of Palestine .  Clearly Iran , as the newly elected leader of NAM , has a major role to play in ensuring that the Tehran meeting of 2012 becomes the bases for a revitalization of the Movement.  Iran can play a constructive leadership role providing it continues to promote a plural collective format based on common anti-imperialist principles.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 64 books published in 29 languages, and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

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This is a significant article by Alan Hart – the former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Independent Television News. I take issue with him though at two points. Firstly, I think he is guilty of trying to ‘delegitimize’ the state of Israel, which I think is as unhelpful as it is inappropriate. Secondly, Hart calls for the mobilizing of a ‘universal lobby’ in support of Palestine as if it is a new idea, when the ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS) campaign already represents a broad coalition of Palestinian groups and international supporters. Surely more could be accomplished by focusing on achieving the goals of BDS through the peaceful means that the campaign advocates? Father Dave

Is Palestine a Lost Cause?

By Alan Hart

September 08, 2012 “InformationClearing House” – A long version of the headline question would be something like this: Given that in the 46th year of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank Jewish settlers are continuing to consolidate their hold on the territory’s land and water resources by stealing more and more of both, thus demonstrating not only Zionism’s contempt for international law but, also, that the only peace Israel’s leaders are interested in is one that requires a complete Palestinian surrender to Zionism’s will, is there any real prospect, in any foreseeable future, of justice for the Palestinians?

It is probably still the case that, in the name of Arafat-like pragmatism, a majority of the oppressed Palestinians would regard the establishment of a state of their own on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem its capital as an acceptable minimum amount of justice.

They are, of course, fully aware that in such a scenario the right of return for those dispossessed of their land and their rights in 1948 and again in 1967 would have to be limited to return to the territory of the Palestinian mini state, which would mean, because of the lack of space, that only a relatively small number of the dispossessed Palestinians and their descendants would be able to return. (Arafat and his leadership colleagues calculated that initially not more than 100,000 would be able to return). The rest would have to settle for financial compensation.

Beyond that the Palestinians of a mini state would entertain the hope, as Arafat did when he persuaded the institutions of Palestinian decision-making to accept the need for unthinkable compromise with Israel (peace with it in return for only 22 percent of their land, thus legitimizing Israel’s occupation of the other 78 percent) that a genuine two-state solution could lead in one or two generations to one state by mutual consent. In that event there would be greater scope for more diaspora Palestinians to exercise their right of return.

But it isn’t going to happen. Though not yet buried, the two-state solution has long been dead, killed by Israel’s colonization with the complicity of the major powers and, by default, the regimes of an impotent Arab Order. As I document in detail in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the Arab regimes never had any intention of fighting Israel to liberate Palestine or using the leverage they have to press the U.S. to require Israel to end its occupation of land grabbed in 1967.

As I also reveal in my book, the most explicit statement about why the two-state solution has long been dead was made to me in early 1980 by Shimon Peres. He was then the leader of Israel’s Labour Party, in opposition and hoping to win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term in office as prime minister. I was then acting as the linkman in a secret and exploratory dialogue between Peres and Arafat. At a point in our very first conversation for this initiative, Peres said that he feared it was “already too late”. I asked him why. He replied:

“Every day that passes sees new bricks on new settlements. Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s creating the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews (to end the occupation)…” “I’m not.”

Obvious question. If it was too late in 1980 when there were only about 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, how much more too late is it today when they number in excess of 500,000, with that number rising on an almost daily basis, thanks in large part to funding assistance from America’s Christian fundamentalists?

In passing it is interesting to note that the U.S. State Department has now defined Israeli settler violence against Palestinians as “terrorism”.

It is now clear beyond any doubt that the most any Zionist leadership will offer the Palestinians for peace is a maximum of 35-40 percent of the West Bank (the Sharon plan) in the shape of two, three or four Bantustans which the Palestinians could call a state if they wished. This is and always will be totally unacceptable to all Palestinians.

As things are and look like going, I believe the course is set for a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

I mean that when Israel’s leaders conclude that their policy of making life hell for the occupied Palestinians in the hope of causing them to abandon their struggle and leave in large numbers has failed, and that they can’t bring on a puppet Palestinian leader who will force his people to accept crumbs from Zionism’s table, they will create a pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan or wherever. One possible pretext could come about with a classic false flag operation – Mossad agents posing as Palestinian terrorists to plant bombs and kill Israeli Jews.

What about the Palestinians of the blockaded Gaza Strip? According to the latest UN report, it will not be “a liveable place” by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory. My guess is that in Zionism’s plan for the future the Gaza Strip’s Palestinians will be left to sink deeper and deeper into poverty, misery and despair in the hope, Zionism’s hope, that this will eventually cause large numbers of them to flee and seek a new life elsewhere. If that doesn’t happen Israel’s leaders will have the option of creating a pretext for a Gaza Strip ethnic cleansing operation by military means.

After months of reflection my conclusion is not only that the Zionist state of Israel is a monster beyond control but that Palestine IS a lost cause UNLESS… The main purpose of this article is to put some flesh on the bone of what I see as the Unless Scenario.

In it there are two initiatives for the Palestinians themselves to take.

The first is to demand and insist upon the dissolution of the impotent and discredited PA (Palestine Authority) in order to make Israel completely responsible and therefore fully accountable for its occupation.

Without the PA’s American trained security forces to keep the Palestinians of the occupied West Bank (Hamas supporters especially) under control for Israel, having to take complete responsibility for occupation would be costly financially and in terms of the additional call on Israel’s own security resources.

More to the point, if the Zionist (not Jewish) state had complete responsibility for the occupation, calling and holding it to account for its defiance of international law and its occupation policies would be, in theory, less than what it is at present – a mission impossible.

But if theory is to be turned into practise, something very significant has to happen.

Only governments can call and hold Zionism to account for its crimes, but they won’t act unless they are pushed to do so by informed public opinion. The problem, as I never tire of saying and writing, is that public opinion, in the U.S. especially, is too uninformed – too conditioned by Zionist propaganda – to do the pushing in big enough numbers. So here’s THE question: With the mainstream media unwilling to come to grips with the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, how can the citizens of nations be informed and empowered to do the pushing in big enough numbers?

There are hundreds of groups of all faiths and none around the world which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians, but (generally speaking) they are each and all doing their own little things in isolation, which makes them like flies to be swatted away by Zionism. In that light I think the informing to mobilise public opinion to push governments can only be done if groups of all faiths and none everywhere which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians collaborate and form one (Zionist-like) universal lobby. The internet makes the necessary collaboration and coordination perfectly possible.

The strategy of a universal lobby for Palestinian rights should be determined by asking and answering one question. Why, really, has Zionism succeeded to date?

The short answer is its success in selling propaganda lies about the making and sustaining of the conflict as truth; an amazing achievement that was assisted by having the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust to play as a blackmail card.

It follows, or so it seems to me, that the first priority of a coordinated, universal lobbying campaign for justice for the Palestinians should be to present in forums and on platforms of every kind the documented evidence which exposes Zionism’s propaganda lies for the nonsense they are.

Four of the many essential truths to be communicated are:

  1. that almost all if not all the Jews who went to Palestine in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection whatsoever to the ancient Hebrews and therefore no claim on the land;
  2. that Israel was created mainly by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing;
  3. that Israel’s existence has never been threatened by any combination of Arab force – i.e. Israel has not lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews;
  4. and that it was Israel not the Arabs which closed the door to prospects for peace time and time again.

I am assuming (am I guilty of wishful thinking?) that if the citizens of nations, Westerners especially and Americans in particular, were aware of the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict, they would insist that their governments called the Zionist monster to account – not only for the sake of justice for the Palestinians but also to best protect the interests of all, including the Jews of the world. (In a Footnote below there is reference to a report of the thinking of America’s intelligence community on what must be done to protect US national interests).

Now to the second initiative the Palestinians could and in my view should take if they are to play their part in preventing Palestine becoming a lost cause.

Obviously the dissolution of the PA will only happen if enough Palestinians demand it. But in my view it’s not only the occupied and oppressed Palestinians who need to do the demanding. In my view it’s time for Palestinians everywhere to become engaged by peaceful and democratic means in the struggle to end the Zionization of their homeland. Put another way, if the Zionist colonial project is to be contained and defeated, the incredible, almost superhuman steadfastness of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians must be supplemented by practical, effective and co-ordinated Palestinian diaspora action. For what purpose?

Not only to bring about the dissolution of the PA but to have it replaced as soon as possible by a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC (Palestine National Council). Once upon a time this now side-lined parliament-in-exile represented Palestinians nearly everywhere in the world and was the supreme decision-making body on the Palestinian side. Even Arafat was accountable to it. (It did, in fact, take him six long years to persuade a majority of PNC delegates to endorse his policy of politics and compromise with Israel. That happened towards the end of 1979. The PNC vote in favour of Arafat’s policy – the two-state solution – was 296 for it and only four against. From then on the Palestinian door was open to peace on terms which any rational government and people in Israel would have accepted with relief. Arafat’s problem then was that he didn’t have a partner for peace on the Israeli side. He did eventually get one in the shape of Prime Minister Rabin, but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot. The assassin knew exactly what he was doing – killing the Oslo peace process Arafat started and to which a reluctant Rabin pushed by Peres responded positively. It is fashionable today for pro-Palestinian activists to rubbish the Oslo peace process, but I still think Arafat’s take on the matter was correct. When it was obviously doomed to failure by Israel’s complete rejection of it after Rabin’s death, I asked Arafat if he thought that history would say he had made the mistake of his life in thinking that he could trust Israeli leaders to keep their word and honour agreements. He replied to the effect that if the US had backed the Oslo process it could have worked – could have achieved “something concrete” for the Palestinians on which they could, hopefully, build).

For the PNC to be brought back to life re-structured and re-invigorated there would have to be elections to it in communities throughout the Palestinian diaspora.

The composition of the Palestinian diaspora by countries and numbers of Palestinians resident in them is roughly the following. Jordan – 2,900,000; Israel – 1,600,000; Syria – 800,000 Chile – 500,000; Lebanon – 490,000; Saudi Arabia – 280,245; Egypt – 270,245; United States – 270,000; Honduras -250,000; Venezuela – 245,120; United Arab Emirates – 170,000; Germany -159,000; Mexico – 158,000; Qatar – 100,000; Kuwait – 70,000; El Salvador – 70,000 Brazil – 59,000; Iraq – 57,000; Yemen – 55,000; Canada – 50,975; Australia – 45,000; Libya – 44,000; Denmark – 32,152; United Kingdom – 30,000; Sweden – 25,500; Peru – 20,000; Columbia – 20,000; Spain – 12,000; Pakistan – 10,500; Netherlands – 9,000; Greece – 7,500; Norway – 7,000; France – 5,000; Guatemala – 3,500; Austria – 3,000; Switzerland – 2,000; Turkey – 1,000; and India – 300.

The prime task of a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC would be to debate and determine Palestinian policy and then represent it by speaking to power with one credible voice. That could only assist the task of empowering the citizens of nations with the truth of history.

There is also a joint initiative a universal lobby for Palestinian rights and a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC could that would of itself be a game changer. Just imagine what would happen if a million or more diaspora Palestinians, other Arabs and peoples of all faiths and none marched peacefully on Greater Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

I can see only two ways in which any Israeli government could react. It could order the IDF to shoot to kill in unthinkable numbers – a reaction that would so horrify the world that governments, including the one in Washington D.C., would have no choice but to take whatever steps were necessary to bring Zionism’s colonial enterprise to an end; or it, the Israeli government, pushed perhaps by a majority of its own people, could say something like: “We are now ready to be serious about real peace even if the outcome of negotiations is One State for all, provided only that the wellbeing and security of all its citizens. Arabs and Jews, is guaranteed.”

I have suggested the need for such a march in the past. It really could be organized if the groups of all faiths and none everywhere who call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians put their act together.

Footnote

I think I am not alone in wondering if there is real substance to a recent report in Foreign Policy Journal by Franklin Lamb with the headline America Preparing For a Post-Israel Middle East? (A Professor of Law and a former Assistant Counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee, Lamb, currently based in Beirut, is a real Middle East expert with very good sources).

The lead point of Lamb’s article was that the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community commissioned a study which has produced in draft form an 82-page analysis, apparently due for publication very soon, which concludes that “the American national interest is fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel”, and that “Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.”

According to Lamb’s account, the draft study is nothing less than a call for the next president to put America’s own interests first by withdrawing its support (funding and other) for the Zionist monster.

My first reaction to Lamb’s account was – if true, wow!

If it is true, I mean if such a draft analysis does exist, one speculation invited is that whoever is the next American president will have to choose between saying “No” to his intelligence community and putting America’s own best interests first or “No” to Zionism. In that event a key factor in the presidential decision-making process would be the state of American public opinion. In my view the president would need it to be much better informed about the truth of history than it is today if he wanted to say “No” Zionism and have the best possible chance of staying on that track when the Zionist lobby and its many stooges in Congress tried to push him off it.

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and their global consequences and terrifying implications – the possibility of a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, and, along the way, another great turning against the Jews – for nearly 40 years… Alan is author of “Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews” – www.alanhart.net…

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 This is encouraging! The BDS Campaign (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) is gaining ground! I do believe this is our greatest hope for a non-violent resolution to Israel/Palestine. Dave

source: Greek Diplomat: EU Mulling Ban of Settlement Goods, 8 September 2012 Saturday 11:4

Greek Diplomat: EU Mulling Ban of Settlement Goods

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Official says EU discussing total ban on settlement goods, or special labels for goods made in communities beyond Green Line

The European Union is considering instituting a ban on imports of products made in Israeli settlements, a Greek Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying to a group of Israeli and Palestinian journalists in Athens on Friday

According to multiple Israeli media reports, the Greek diplomat, speaking to reporters during a Geneva Initiative seminar in the Greek capital, said that EU nations were currently holding discussions on the issue. Among moves being considered were a total import ban on settlement goods or the implementation of special labels for goods made in communities beyond the Green Line, such as South Africa adopted last month

Channel 10 quoted the official as saying the EU Executive Commission would likely make a decision on the issue next month

Last month, the South African government approved “requiring the labeling of goods or products emanating from IOTs (Israel Occupied Territories) to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel.This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognizes the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognize occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the State of Israel.

The Foreign Ministry issued a harsh statement following South Africa’s decision, saying that the measure adopted was unprecedented and constituted “blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction. This kind of discrimination has not been imposed – and rightly so – in any other case of national, territorial or ethnic conflict. Israel and South Africa have political differences, and that is legitimate. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott.”