Israel’s 60th Birthday


New Jewish Australian Committee for Dismantling of Zionism by Ann

The following statement was just released by two Jewish Australian academics,  John Docker and Ned Curthoys:

The December 2008 Gaza Massacre

John Docker and Ned Curthoys

We are part of an increasing number of people around the world of Jewish descent who are sickened by the coldly calculated massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza and who utterly repudiate Israel’s claim that it acts in the name of Jews the world over. Like Antony Loewenstein we deplore the ‘myth of Israel’ as perpetual victim and rational peace seeker, and its stranglehold over media reportage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Continue reading

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Israel deliberately forgets its history by Dave
September 3, 2008, 12:03 pm
Filed under: History, Israel, Zionism | Tags: , , , ,

Schlomo Sand in Le Monde Diplomatique:

An Israeli historian suggests the diaspora was the consequence, not of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Palestine, but of proselytising across north Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East

Every Israeli knows that he or she is the direct and exclusive descendant of a Jewish people which has existed since it received the Torah (1) in Sinai. According to this myth, the Jews escaped from Egypt and settled in the Promised Land, where they built the glorious kingdom of David and Solomon, which subsequently split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. They experienced two exiles: after the destruction of the first temple, in the 6th century BC, and of the second temple, in 70 AD.

Two thousand years of wandering brought the Jews to Yemen, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Poland and deep into Russia. But, the story goes, they always managed to preserve blood links between their scattered communities. Their uniqueness was never compromised.

At the end of the 19th century conditions began to favour their return to their ancient homeland. If it had not been for the Nazi genocide, millions of Jews would have fulfilled the dream of 20 centuries and repopulated Eretz Israel, the biblical land of Israel. Palestine, a virgin land, had been waiting for its original inhabitants to return and awaken it. It belonged to the Jews, rather than to an Arab minority that had no history and had arrived there by chance. The wars in which the wandering people reconquered their land were just; the violent opposition of the local population was criminal.

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Birth of the Nakba by Dave

What’s the BBC’s ‘Birthday’ present to Israel? A stream of propaganda following a story thats Israeli driven. Not content with 3 other, Israeli directed, Storyville documentaries (watch here), a birthday radio show (featuring 4 Israelis with one token Israeli Arab and zero Palestinians) and birthday articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc) the BBC has gone a step further and commissioned this 60 minute film. By Jeremy Bowan, it details the founding of the State of Israel. To be fair to the BBC, the events surrounding the founding of the State of Israel are immensely interesting and have had important repercussions in the world at large. However it’s instructive that this documentary is called ‘The Birth of Israel’ and not for example ‘The Nakba’ – we get an idea of the focus from the start. In fact we might ask where all the Nakba articles (1?), audio and films are? Is it sufficient that it just happens to get a small mention in amongst all this ‘birthday’ nonsense?

Although this film is good in many places, covering the massacre of Deir Yassin for example, overall it fails to place the responsibility of the conflict firmly in the hands of the Israelis and Europeans. It fails to present the Palestinians as the victims of Zionist colonialism which was approved of by the Europeans because of guilt from the Holocaust and because 60 years ago the idea of colonialism, ‘civilised’ Europeans settling land that native ‘barbarians’ are wasting, was still acceptable. Time and again Israelis under interview blame the conflict on the Palestinians for not accepting the 1947 UN partition plan, where the UN carved up the land of Palestine and gave much of it to the colonialists. In the 21st century we should by now understand that the UN had no right to give away another mans home, the Zionists were incorrect in thinking they could colonise another peoples country and that resistance to this dispossession was legitimate. What nation would accept its land being given away to immigrants by the UN? Especially with such a bad deal: Israelis owning 10% of the land but getting 50% while only accounting for only 33% of the total population.

Counting the number of Israelis interviewed we find there were 11 with 10 Palestinians representatives. The number of times they appeared differs more: Israelis appearing 30 times and Palestinians 22. In a 60 minute film this approximately translates to about 8 minutes (15%) more air time. Personally I don’t believe balance is about giving both sides equal time – I follow Robert Fisks example of giving more time to the victims no matter who they are. In the ‘birth’ of Israel the victims were the Palestinian natives: 700,000 of whom were ethnically cleansed and many men, women and children were brutally massacred. This crime has continued as although under international law refugees have a Right of Return this has been denied. And Palestinians that remain in Israel and the Occupied Territories live in Apartheid conditions. Therefore its significant that they are not given priority.

The other big issue I have with the film is its failure to convey the true nature of a Two State solution. Israeli colonialism has continued with the illegal gaining of territory through military force in 1967. It is by now clear the continued Israeli rejection of peace for expansion and settlement of the Occupied Territories has led to a situation where a Two State solution is now unworkable. Only a One State solution where Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights and share the land will provide any meaningful resolution to the regions problems. The idea of a predominatly Jewish State is non-inclusive and racist, it can only be maintained through further ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

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Yes, it is Apartheid by Dave
April 30, 2008, 1:56 am
Filed under: Apartheid, Israel, Israel's 60th Birthday, Occupation, Zionism

With the way Israel treats its Arab Israeli citizens and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank the State is clearly running an apartheid system here an article leading Israeli paper, the Haaretz, agrees.:

The anchorwoman was clearly shocked: I don’t have time now to respond to what you have said, she told the former U.S. president, allowing Jimmy Carter to make a narrow escape from her clutches. Then she added that she did not want to imagine what would happen to him if he bumped into her colleague from the security affairs desk in Channel 2’s dark alley. And the pundit sitting there, sunk in deep thought as always, nodded his heavy head, confirming: He’s lucky, the bastard, that we didn’t gang up on him and cut him to shreds.

That’s how it is here: The rulers set the tone, and the media begins to gripe: Not only did Carter’s mission not help, it did damage. He alone was the reason Gilad Shalit was not ransomed out of captivity during the holiday. That’s what happens when an enemy of the human race, the twin of the Twin Towers’ bin Laden, sticks his nose where it does not belong.

Let’s let old Carter be, so he may let sleeping warriors lie; he will not be back. The contents of his words, however, should not be ignored. “Apartheid,” he said, “apartheid” – a dark, scary word coined by Afrikaners and meaning segregation, racial segregation.

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JSF: Zionism is too Exclusive by Dave

Really excellent commentry on the Windsor Castle event by Jews Sans Frontieres. The end I found especially funny, when you read through the comments you can’t help but notice some truth to it:

Apparently, the royal celebrations of 60 years of ethnic cleansing of Palestine and relentless aggression towards its natives and neighbours was a bit of a damp squib, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency drawing on a report in the Jewish Chronicle.

Prince Edward became the first royal officially to participate in Israel’s independence celebrations at a JNF-UJIA dinner at Windsor Castle on Monday.

Standing in for his father, the Duke of Edinburgh who had been hospitalised with a chest infection several days earlier, the Earl of Wessex attended a champagne reception for the 300-strong gathering.

Even though he left before dinner, he greeted guests including Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks.

Wow, how exciting! The Earl of Wessex no less, and even he had better things to do than break bread with a bunch of rich zionists. Ponder this, the Earl of Wessex? The Earl of an earldom that doesn’t exist greeting activists for a state that shouldn’t exist. Was there a message from the royals there?

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Is Israel Finished? by Dave

I completely agree that the Israeli Governments reckless warmongering and refusal to negiotiate a lasting peace with the Palestinians will continue to cause both peoples to suffer and will ultimately unravel the Zionist dream of a majority Jewish State.  Olmerts justification of the Israeli State seems to be that its the only place where Jews can fight for their lives.  Its also the only place where they need too – thanks to his Government and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  From the Jerusalem Post (thanks Ann):

As Israel prepares to celebrate its 60th birthday, the respected Atlantic Monthly magazine is keeping the champagne firmly corked.

Splashed across its forthcoming May front cover is the question, “Is Israel finished?”

In his 12-page article, Jeffrey Goldberg, an award-winning journalist and American Jew who made aliya and served in the IDF, asks a series of follow-up questions: “How can Israel survive the next 60 years in a part of the world that gives rise to groups like Hamas? How can Israel flourish if its army cannot defeat small bands of rocketeers? Does the concentration of so many Jews in a claustrophobically small space in the world’s most volatile region actually undermine the Jewish people’s ability to survive?”

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Israel at 60: The Dysfunctional Jewish State by Dave
April 6, 2008, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Israel, Israel at 60, Jewish State, Zionism | Tags: ,

The following article is from the economist. its a terrible article but I’m looking at all the press on the birthday and thought others might be interested. It does suggest that the obstacle to peace is the Israeli Government without actually saying it – which is of course the case. I can’t offer a great critique at the moment due to lack of time – but I think its worth saying Israel is not a ‘pure’ democracy as there are no equal rights in the country and it refuses the right of sovereignty for the Palestinians living in the occupied territories. I agree with ex-President Jimmy Carter when he calls it an Apartheid State. Also it seems to have gone down Orwells memory hole that Hamas want to negitiate peace -Israel refuses- and that Hamas took control after its was democratically elected and the US/Israel organised a military coup against them.

I thought the following comment from WaxMax might be useful

Israel is the obstacle to peace.

If it wanted peace it could have had it any time it wished. It is infinitely stronger than the Palestinians, has unconditional backing of the US, and would get the support of the world if it stepped up to the table.

But peace would mean having to define its borders, and stop illegal settlements. It would mean having to deal with the rights of Palestinians the Jewish expansion has dispossessed. Dealing with Jerusalem, and refugees. In short: obeying international law.

No. Israel does not want peace. Even when they “talk” peace they continue bulldozing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. They have destroyed any possibility of a two state solution. The only way forward now is to combine all the land, and create a democratic state for all its citizens. Only then will there be peace.

Heres the article –

The best 60th birthday present Israel could give itself is a new political system

Illustration by David Simonds

THERE are many reasons why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has remained so intractable: land, religion, national identity, history, the scars of violence, the meddling of outside powers and global ideological strife. But one factor that gets less attention than it should is quite mundane, and yet extremely influential: the Israeli electoral system.

Israel, which turns 60 this May, is a pure representative democracy. Virtually every social group has its own political party, if not several. This means that none of the country’s many ethnic and religious subsets is disenfranchised. But as a result all governments are unstable multi-party coalitions subject to perverse incentives that have more to do with politicians’ careers than with the wishes of the electorate at large.

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