israel palestine resolution

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According to a report aired on Russian TV last month, the Israeli government recently decided to designated roughly 18% of the West Bank as ‘closed military zones’ to be used by the IDF for training and military exercises!  Small family tragedies like this, taking place outside the village of Nabi Saleh, are the inevitable outcome of such decisions.

As a father of four children, I find this report (screened on Palestinian TV) hard to watch. My paternal instincts are inflamed, seeing these  young children man-handled by the heavily-armed IDF soldiers. Of course the soldiers are not ultimately the ones to blame. They are only doing their job in enforcing the Occupation and the theft of this family’s land. The real villains are far removed from the front line, hidden safely in the comfortable corridors of political power.

Father Dave

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Sonja Karkar of Australians for Palestine writes:   

Below is an excerpt from Rabbi Brant Rosen’s new book.  It is a record of his journey from liberal Zionist to Palestinian solidarity activist.  Along the way he has grappled with issues that have elicited heated debate from his congregants and his readers – something he is glad about because he says “we simply must find a way to widen the limits of public discourse on Israel/Palestine, no matter how painful the prospect.”  

In it you will find discussions about the growing campaign for BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – and whether it is anti-Semitic; Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and whether it constitutes apartheid; and whether the founding of Israel is based on an injustice.  His own growing realisation of the terrible injustice that has been done and continues to be done to the Palestinians is something that he covered up with the usual plea for “peace and coexistence” until Israel’s ferocious attack on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead, left him in no doubt that “this is not about security at all – this is about bringing the Palestinian people to their knees.  Once I admitted this to myself, I realized how utterly tired I had become.   Tired of trying to excuse the inexcusable. Tired of using torturous, exhausting rationalizations to explain away what I really knew in my heart was sheer and simple oppression.”

If a rabbi can come to this conclusion beyond any shadow of doubt, then our political and religious leaders really need to search their own consciences and stop talking about the conflict as if it is between two equal protagonists – it is most definitely not and never has been – and move on from the long compromised “peace process” based on a two state solution that was doomed from the moment the Oslo accords were signed.  We may not be able to make good the cumulative injustices suffered by the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have died in exile and under occupation, but we must begin to make reparations to the generations who bear still festering wounds and new ones of this monumental human catastrophe.

source: MONDOWEISS

Wrestling in the daylight –

A rabbi’s path to Palestinian solidarity

by Brant Rosen

Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.

       — Genesis 32:25

This well-known Biblical episode leaves behind tantalizing questions. Who is the mysterious “man” with whom Jacob wrestles? What is his identity, and where did he come from? One popular interpretation suggests that the night stranger with whom Jacob struggles at this critical moment is none other than Jacob himself—perhaps his alter ego or his shadow self.

But why must the wrestling match necessarily take place at night? Why does the night stranger say so desperately to Jacob in the next verse, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking?” Perhaps this detail is teaching us that our deepest struggles invariably occur in the most private of places. After all, whenever we publicly wrestle with our deepest dilemmas, doubts, or fears, we take a very real risk. That’s why we tend to engage in our most challenging struggles internally—“in the dead of night.” This book is, among other things, a record of the moment I personally began to wrestle in the daylight. It documents a two-year period during which I publicly struggled, as a congregational rabbi, with one of the most difficult and painfully divisive issues facing the American Jewish community.

* * *

I’ve identified deeply with Israel for most of my life. I first visited at a very young age and have been back to visit more times than I can even count.

In my early twenties, I spent two years there studying, working, and living on kibbutzim. I have family members and many dear friends who live in Israel. My Jewish identity has been profoundly informed by the classic Zionist narrative: the story of a small underdog nation forging a national and cultural rebirth out of the ashes of its near-destruction. The redemptive nature of this narrative has at times assumed a quasi-sacred status for me, as it has for many American Jews of my generation and older.

Politically speaking, I’ve identified with what tends to be referred to today as “liberal Zionism.” I’ve long been inspired by Israel’s Labor Zionist origins, and I’ve generally aligned myself with positions advocated by the Israeli left and the Israeli peace movement. When it came to the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, I’d invariably intone a familiar refrain of liberal Zionists: “It’s complicated.”

If I found myself occasionally troubled by ill-advised or even unjust Israeli policies, I tended to view them as “blemishes” on an otherwise stable democracy and a noble national project. At the end of the day, I understood the essence of this conflict to be a clash between two national movements, each with compelling and valid claims to the same small piece of land. In the end, the only viable, equitable solution would be its division into two states for two peoples.

Over the years, however, I confess, I struggled with nagging, gnawing doubts over the tenets of this liberal Zionist narrative. Although I was able to keep these doubts at bay—for the most part—I was never able to successfully silence them. I experienced the earliest of these doubting voices when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, unleashing a shocking degree of military firepower that shook my naive “David vs. Goliath” assumptions to their core.

Several years later, the voices grew even louder as I witnessed the brutality with which Israel put down the nonviolent Palestinian demonstrations of the First Intifada. And they grew more insistent still when I began to witness firsthand the darker truths of Israel’s oppressive occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Truth be told, however, if I was troubled by these things, it was less out of concern for the well-being or safety of Palestinians per se than it was the tribal notion that the occupation was “corrupting Israel’s soul” and endangering Israel’s future existence as a “Jewish and democratic state.”

Like many liberal Zionists, I dealt with such concerns by retreating to the safety of political pedagogy: These troubling realities simply proved to us all the more that we needed to redouble our efforts toward the peace process and an eventual two-state solution.

When I was ordained as a rabbi in 1992, the stakes were raised on my political views—particularly when it came to Israel/Palestine. Given the ideological centrality of Zionism in the American Jewish community, my inner conflicts over Israel’s oppressive treatment of Palestinians now carried very real professional consequences. Rabbis and Jewish leaders are under tremendous pressure by the American Jewish organizational establishment to maintain unflagging support for the state of Israel. Congregational rabbis in particular take a very real professional risk when they criticize Israel publicly. To actually stand in solidarity with Palestinians would be tantamount to communal heresy.

Shortly after I was ordained, I began reading the newly published English translations of Israel’s “New Historians”—important scholars, such as Benny Morris, Tom Segev, Avi Shalim, and Ilan Pappe—who exposed the darker truths about the establishment of the Jewish state and the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. These books had a powerful, even radicalizing, impact upon me. I became increasingly struck by the sheer injustice that accompanied Israel’s birth, an injustice that was not only historical but, as I was coming to believe, still very much present and ongoing.

From here, I began to entertain difficult questions about the ethnic nationalism at the heart of Zionism—and became more and more troubled that Israel’s identity as a Jewish state was entirely dependent upon the maintenance of a Jewish majority within its borders. In the United States, the very suggestion of a “demographic time bomb” (an oft-used term used by liberal Zionists to advocate the critical importance of a two-state solution) would be considered incorrigibly racist. In my more unguarded moments, I’d ask myself: Why, then, do we bandy this concept about so freely when it pertains to the Jewish state?

Despite the questions, I nevertheless found a safe and comfortable home in liberal Zionism for the first decade of my rabbinate, affiliating with such organizations as Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, and J Street. All the while, the gnawing voices continued. Although I shared the elation of many at the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, my optimism was short-lived. In due time, Israel expanded its settlement regime over the Palestinian territories, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and the Clinton-brokered peace talks at Camp David crashed and burned.

When the horrors of the Second Intifada began in the fall of 2000, I dealt with my anguish through a carefully cultivated avoidance of the Israel/Palestine issue. Whenever I addressed the subject in writings or sermons, it was usually with a vague but essentially substance-free plea for “peace and coexistence” on both sides. I would mourn the loss of life for both peoples and advocate redoubling our efforts at a peace process I increasingly feared was empty at the core.

Israel’s second military campaign in Lebanon during the summer of 2006 jolted me temporarily out of my avoidance. As I read and watched another military bombardment of Beirut—and my e-mail inbox filled up with Jewish Federation blasts exhorting me to support the Israel Emergency Campaign—I was deeply saddened that my community showed precious little concern about the sheer magnitude of the violence Israel was unleashing yet again against the people of Lebanon. Although I certainly felt compassion for—along with a certain tribal solidarity with—the citizens of Northern Israel suffering under Hezbollah rocket fire, I was unable to accept the utter destruction the IDF was inflicting upon Lebanon in the name of national security. Still, I kept my silence. The pressure to present a united Jewish communal front during a time of war still trumped my own inner struggle.

In October 2006, I started a keeping a blog I called Shalom Rav. (The title is a pun: Shalom rav, or “abundant peace,” is the name of a well-known Jewish prayer—but the Hebrew can also be taken to mean “hello, Rabbi.”) At the time, my intention was simply to hold forth on anything or everything I thought to be worthy of sharing over the blogosphere. As a congregational rabbi serving in Evanston, Illinois, I also thought it would be an effective way for my congregants to hear more regularly from their rabbi.

Because social action had always played an important role in my rabbinate, I intended to devote a significant percentage of my blog posts to current issues of social justice and human rights. As a result, a reader perusing Shalom Rav in those early years could read my thoughts on subjects as wide-ranging and diverse as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fair-trade coffee, torture at Guantánamo, poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, and human rights in Darfur. Soon, however, the focus of my blog changed dramatically.

* * *

On December 28, 2008, I read the first news report of Israel’s military assault on Gaza—a campaign that would soon be well-known as Operation Cast Lead. On the first day of operations, the Israeli Air Force destroyed Hamas security facilities in Gaza, killing more than 225 people, most of whom were new police cadets participating in a graduation ceremony. Numerous civilians, including children, were also among the dead. By the end of the day, it was clear we were only witnessing the beginning of a much longer and even more violent military campaign that would drive much farther into Gaza.

I remember reading this news with utter anguish. At the same, oddly enough, I realized that I was finally observing this issue with something approaching true clarity: This is not about security at all—this is about bringing the Palestinian people to their knees. Once I admitted this to myself, I realized how utterly tired I had become. Tired of trying to excuse the inexcusable. Tired of using torturous, exhausting rationalizations to explain away what I really knew in my heart was sheer and simple oppression.

After staring at my screen for what seemed like an eternity, I logged on to my blog and typed out a post entitled “Outrage in Gaza: No More Apologies.” I ended with a declaration—and a question: What Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza is an outrage. It has brought neither safety nor security to the people of Israel and it has wrought nothing but misery and tragedy upon the people of Gaza. There, I’ve said it. Now what do I do?

Although it was a simple and not particularly eloquent post, I knew full well what it would mean when I clicked “publish.” It represented a very conscious and public break from the liberal Zionist fold that had been my spiritual and political home for almost my entire life. But although I was finally very clear about what I was leaving behind, I was not at all sure about where I now belonged. Hence the final line of my post: Now what do I do?

Although I expected my words to make waves, I was still astonished by what happened next: The post immediately went viral, eliciting 125 comments in less than a month—far more than I have ever received before or since.

Although some of the initial commenters were congregants, I ultimately received responses from all over the world. Predictably, some lashed out against my post, but as the comments continued to roll in, I was surprised to read the words of many more—congregants, Jews, and non-Jews alike—expressing their immense thanks for what I had written. The comment thread was peppered with a palpable sense of gratitude and relief that a Jewish leader—a rabbi, no less—had finally crossed a significant line so publicly.

My post was not, as many assumed at the time, a temporary burst of emotion on my part. As Israel intensified its military assault on Gaza throughout January 2009, my anguish only deepened. I read news reports of Apache helicopters dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on 1.5 million people crowded into a besieged 140-square-mile patch of land. I learned about the bombing of schools and homes in which entire families were destroyed, about men, women, and children literally burned to the bone with white phosphorus. Throughout it all, I continued to blog openly about the outrages I believed Israel was committing in Gaza—and about my increasing sense of solidarity with Gazan civilians.

Over the months following Cast Lead, I broadened my scope, writing numerous posts addressing my changing relationship to Israel. As the months went by, I brought all my nagging, gnawing doubts out into the bright light of day. It soon became clear to me that Cast Lead was simply the final tipping point of a domino line I’d been setting up steadily over the years. I became increasingly involved in Palestinian solidarity work, founding, with my colleague Rabbi Brian Walt, an initiative called Jewish Fast for Gaza and taking on a leadership role in the rapidly growing national organization Jewish Voice for Peace. Along the way, I recorded and commented upon my newfound activism in Shalom Rav.

Although I knew I was taking a risk on many levels by publishing my initial post, the conversation that has resulted fills me with hope. I am immensely proud of the relatively high and eloquent level of the debate on my blog, and I am regularly awed by the willingness of so many of my commenters to be fundamentally challenged over such a difficult issue. Over the years, I’ve been humbled and excited to convene this lively, almost Talmudic discussion between members of my congregation along with countless others: Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, Muslims, Christians, and citizens of various ethnicities and nations, many of whom I have never actually met—and most likely never will.

* * *

Today, I continue to serve my congregation in Evanston. I continue to “wrestle in the daylight,” and I continue to advocate for a just peace in Israel/Palestine. I’m often asked where I stand now—that is, now that I’ve officially broken ranks with liberal Zionism. Although it’s not a simple answer, I do know this: My primary religious motivation comes from my inherited Jewish tradition, in which God commands me to stand with the oppressed and to call out the oppressor. I know that the American Jewish community is my spiritual home and that I stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression. And I know that I fervently desire a just and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians.

I also know that my constituency is not as narrow as some might think. Through my work, I have come to discover increasing numbers of Jews—particularly young Jews—who genuinely seek a home in the Jewish community but cannot countenance the Jewish establishment’s orthodoxy on Israel. I have also met many non-Jews—including Palestinians, interfaith colleagues, and fellow political activists—who constitute a new, exciting, ever-growing community of conscience.

Along the way, I’ve come to believe that too many of us have been wrestling in the dark on this issue for far too long. I believe we simply must find a way to widen the limits of public discourse on Israel/Palestine, no matter how painful the prospect. It is my fervent hope that the conversations presented here might represent, in their small way, a step toward the light of day.

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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…