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Beinart’s Final Solution: Israel NOT Nation-State of the Jewish People – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Posted By on July 19, 2020

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Peter BeinartsNew York Timesop-edadvocating the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a study in historical ignorance, willful deception and arrogant rejection of democracy.

Beinart proposed that a single binational, bi-religious state in what is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip replace current Israel, whose Jewish population would then be given a homeland within the new nation. But Beinart is woefully ignorant of previous attempts to create or maintain binational or bi-religious states.

Beinart ignores the lessons of history surrounding the former Yugoslavia Titos failed effort to create a single artificial nation from different ethnicities and religions which ended in genocide, tragedy and its breakup into several states now living in relative peace. He omits any mention of Lebanon a failed experiment in sharing power between Muslims and Christians. He writes as if Hindu India still included Muslim Pakistan, instead of having been divided after considerable bloodshed and divisiveness. He focuses instead on two countries, Northern Ireland and South Africa, which bear little relationship to current-day Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Northern Ireland is a country whose population is ethnically similar, with only religious differences at a time when religion is playing a far less important role in the life of many secular Northern Irish. South Africa was a country in which a tiny minority of whites dominated a large majority of Blacks, and is now a dominantly Black nation.

Israel and the Palestinian territories are totally different. The population of Israel is a mixture of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, Muslims and Christians. The West Bank and Gaza are comprised almost exclusively of Muslim Arabs.

There used to be a mixture of Muslim and Christians, but most Christians have been forced out. The combined Muslim Arab population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is close in number to the Jewish population of Israel. If Israel were to end its existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people as Beinart advocates and become a Jewish homeland in a single binational, bi-religious state, a demographic war would become inevitable, in which Jews and Muslims would compete to become a majority. As soon as a Muslim majority materialized, the Jewish homeland would become precisely the kind of Bantustan that Beinart has railed against in the context of South Africa. The Jewish minority would be ruled by the Muslim majority, even if it were given some degree of autonomy. Their protection would be largely in the hands of the Muslim majority, many of whom believe there is no place for a Jewish entity anywhere in the region.

It was precisely this fear that led to the creation of political Zionism in the 19th century. Theodor Herzl and others experienced the anti-Semitism of Europe and the inability of the Jewish minority there to protect itself against pogroms and discrimination. Placing the safety of Israels Jewish population in the hands of a potentially hostile Muslim majority would be an invitation to possible genocide.

Beinart is insistent that todays Israelis and Jews must ignore the lessons of the Holocaust. But those who ignore history are destined to repeat it. And Jews cannot afford to see a repetition of their tragic past.

Beinart never discusses the issue of who would control the armed forces and, most particular, Israels nuclear arsenal, under a binational and bi-religious state. Recall that the current Hamas constitution demands that a Palestinian state be an Islamic nation bound by Sharia law. Even if the Palestinian majority state would allow the Jewish minority homeland to have its own domestic laws, the state itself, with its Muslim majority, would presumably control the armed forces. This would create yet another Islamic state, among the many that currently exist but this one would have a nuclear arsenal. A Palestinian majority would also not allow persecuted Jews from around the world to seek asylum, as they can today under Israels Law of Return. Instead, the Palestinian state would enact its own law of return that would allow millions of exiles to return and assure a permanent Muslim supermajority.

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Beinart's Final Solution: Israel NOT Nation-State of the Jewish People - The Jewish Press - JewishPress.com

Liberal Zionism begins to make the journey towards a one-state solution – Middle East Eye

Posted By on July 17, 2020

Peter Beinart, an influential liberal commentator on Israel and Zionism, poked a very large stick into a hornets nest this month by admitting he had finally abandoned his long-cherished commitment to a two-state solution.

Variously described as the pope of liberal Zionism and a bellwether for the American Jewish community, Beinart broke ranks in two essays. Writing in the New York Times and in Jewish Currents magazine, he embraced the idea of equality for all - Israelis and Palestinians.

Recognition of the structural racism towards these 1.8 million Palestinian citizens... was a clear sign that he had begun poking into the dark recesses of Zionism

Beinart concluded: The painful truth is that the project to which liberal Zionists like myself have devoted ourselves for decades - a state for Palestinians separated from a state for Jews - has failed It is time for liberal Zionists to abandon the goal of Jewish-Palestinian separation and embrace the goal of Jewish-Palestinian equality.

Similarly, the NYT article was headlined: I no longer believe in a Jewish state. Beinarts main point - that a commitment to Israel is now entirely incompatible with a commitment to equality for the regions inhabitants - is a potential hammer blow to the delusions of liberal Jews in the United States.

His declaration is the apparent culmination of a long intellectual and emotional journey Beinart has conducted in the public eye. It's a journey many American liberal Jews have taken with him.

Once the darling of the war-mongering liberal establishment in Washington, he supported the illegal attack on Iraq in 2003. Three years later, he wrote a largely unrepentant book titled The Good Fight: Why Liberals - and Only Liberals - Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again.

There is no heavyweight publication in the US that has not hosted his thoughts. Foreign Policy magazine ranked him in the top 100 global thinkers in 2012.

Why Peter Beinart's call for a one-state solution misses the mark

But his infatuation with Israel and Zionism has been souring for years. A decade ago, he published a seminal essay on how young American Jews were increasingly alienated from their main leadership organisations, which he criticised for worshipping at the altar of Israel even as Israeli governments lurched ever further rightwards. His argument later formed the basis of a book, The Crisis of Zionism.

The tensions he articulated finally exploded into physical confrontation in 2018, when he was detained at Israels main airport and nearly denied entry based on his political views.

Beinart has not only written caustically about the occupation - a fairly comfortable deflection for most liberal Zionists - but has also increasingly turned his attention to Israels behaviour towards its large Palestinian minority, one in five of the population.

Recognition of the structural racism towards these 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, a group whose identity is usually glossed over as Israeli Arabs, was a clear sign that he had begun poking into the dark recesses of Zionism, areas from which most of his colleagues shied away.

Beinarts two essays have been greeted with hesitancy by some of those who might be considered natural allies.

Understandably, some Palestinians find reason to distrust Beinarts continuing description of himself as a Zionist, even if now a cultural rather than political one. They also resent a continuing western colonial mentality that very belatedly takes an interest in equality for Palestinians only because a prominent liberal Jew adopts the cause.

Beinarts language is problematic for many Palestinians too. Not least, he frames the issue as between Palestinians and Jews, implying that Jews everywhere still have a colonial claim on the historic lands of Palestine, rather than those who live there today as Israelis.

Similarly, among many anti-Zionists, there is disappointment that Beinart did not go further and explicitly prescribe a single democratic state of the kind currently being advanced in the region by small but growing numbers of Israelis and Palestinians.

But the importance of Beinarts intervention lies elsewhere. The American is not the first prominent Jewish figure to publicly turn his back on the idea of a Jewish state. Notably, the late historian Tony Judt did the same - to much uproar - in a 2003 essay published by the New York Review of Books. He called Israel an anachronism.

The most fundamental tenet of liberal Zionism - that a Jewish state is necessary, verging on sacred - is already being tested to the breaking point

But Judt had been chiefly associated with his contributions to understanding European history, not Zionism or Israel. And his essay arrived at a very different historical moment, when Israelis and Jews overseas were growing more entrenched in their Zionism. The Oslo Accords had fizzled into irrelevance at the height of a Palestinian uprising.

Beinarts articles have landed at a problematic time for his main audience. The most fundamental tenet of liberal Zionism - that a Jewish state is necessary, verging on sacred - is already being tested to the breaking point.

The trigger for the articles is the very tangible threat from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus government, backed by the Trump White House, to annex swaths of the West Bank.

The significance of Netanyahus position on annexation, as Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard has noted, depends not simply on whether annexation is realised on the ground, now or later. The declaration itself crosses a Rubicon.

Netanyahu and the right-wing faction who now control Israel unchallenged have made it explicit that they do not consider the occupation to be a temporary arrangement that will eventually be resolved in peace talks.

Why are Israel's allies suddenly concerned about its latest annexation?

The intent to annex, whether or not the US allows such a move, now taints everything Israel does in the occupied territories. It proves beyond any doubt - even to liberal Jews who have been living in deep denial - that Israels goal is to permanently seize the occupied territories.

That, in turn, means that Israel has only two possible approaches to the Palestinian populations living in those territories as long as it denies them equality: It can either carry out ethnic cleansing operations to expel them, or rule over them in a formal, explicit arrangement of apartheid. That may not constitute much of a tangible difference on the ground, but it marks a legal sea change.

Occupation, however ugly, is not in breach of international law, though actions related to it, such as settlement-building, may be. This allowed many liberal Jews, such as Beinart, a small comfort blanket that they have clung to tightly for decades.

When challenged about Israels behaviour, they could always claim that the occupation would one day end, that peace talks were around the corner, that partition was possible if only Palestinians were willing to compromise a little more.

But with his annexation plan, Netanyhu ripped that comfort blanket out of their clutches and tore it to shreds. Ethnic cleansing and apartheid are both crimes against humanity. No ifs, no buts. As Sfard points out: Once Israel began officially striving for annexation - that is, for perpetuating its rule by force - it lost this meagrealibi.

Sfard makes a further important legal observation in a report written for the human rights group Yesh Din. If Israel chooses to institute an apartheid regime in parts of the occupied West Bank - either formally or through creeping legal annexation, as it is doing now - that regime does not end at the West Banks borders. It would mean that the Israeli regime in its entirety is an apartheid regime. That Israel is an Apartheid state.

Of course, one would have to be blind not to have understood that this was where political Zionism was always heading - even more so after the 1967 war, when Israels actions disclosed that it had no intention of returning the Palestinian territories it had seized.

But the liberal Zionist condition was precisely one of willful blindness. It shut its eyes tight and saw no evil, even as Israel debased Palestinian life there for more than half a century. Looking back, Beinart recognises his own self-inflicted credulousness. In practice, Israel annexed the West Bank long ago, he writes in the New York Times.

In his two articles, Beinart denies liberal Jews the one path still available to them to rationalise Palestinian oppression. He argues that those determined to support a Jewish state, whatever it does, are projecting their own unresolved, post-Holocaust fears onto Palestinians.

In the Zionist imagination, according to Beinart, Palestinians have been reinvented as heirs to the Nazis. As a result, most Jews have been manipulated into framing Israels settler-colonialism in zero-sum terms - as a life-or-death battle. In that way, they have been able to excuse Israels perpetual abuse of Palestinians.

Or as Beinart puts it: Through a historical sleight of hand that turns Palestinians into Nazis, fear of annihilation has come to define what it means to be an authentic Jew. He adds that Jewish trauma, not Palestinian behaviour, has ended in the depiction of Palestinians as compulsive Jew-haters.

Annexation has forced Beinart to confront that trauma and move beyond it. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of Israels supporters have been reluctant to follow suit or discard their comforting illusions. Some are throwing tantrums, others sulking in the corner.

The Zionist right and mainstream have described Beinart as a traitor, a self-hating Jew, and a collaborator with Palestinian terrorism. David Weinberg of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security called Beinart a shill for Israels enemies who secretes poison.

The view of Israeli Jews will change, just as white South Africans' did, when they suffer a harsher international environment and the resulting cost-benefit calculus has to be adjusted

Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, described Beinarts advocacy of equality as a disaster in the making, while Dani Dayan, Israels consul general in New York, accused Beinart of wanting Israel to drop dead.

The liberal Zionist establishment has been no less discomfited. Aaron David Miller, a former US Middle East envoy, warned that Beinarts prescription was an illusion tethered to a fantasy wrapped in an impossibility.

And Beinarts friend, Jeremy Ben Ami, head of the two-state lobby group J Street, snatched back the ragged remains of the comfort blanket, arguing that peace talks would be revived eventually. In a standard Zionist deflection, Ben Ami added that Israel was no different from the US in being far from perfect.

But to understand how quickly liberal Zionist reasoning may crumble, it is worth focusing on a critique of Beinarts articles by the Israeli newspaper Haaretzs in-house liberal Zionist, Anshel Pfeffer.

Pfeffer makes two highly unconvincing arguments to evade Beinarts logic. Firstly, he claims that a one-state solution - of any variety - is impossible because there is no support for it among Palestinians and Israelis. It is, he argues, a conceit Beinart has absorbed from Jews and Palestinians in the US.

Lets overlook Pfeffers obvious mistake in ignoring the fact that a single state already exists - a Greater Israel in which Palestinians have been living for decades under a highly belligerent system of apartheid, laced with creeping ethnic cleansing. Still, his claims about where Israeli and Palestinian public opinion currently lies are entirely misleading, as is his assumption about how Beinarts attack on liberal Zionism may impact regional possibilities.

Israel's annexation plan is the Nakba revisited

The views of Palestinians in the occupied territories (Pfeffer, of course, ignores the views of refugees) have been undergoing radical and rapid change. Support for the two-state solution has collapsed. This is far from surprising, given the current political context.

Among Palestinians, there are signs of exasperation and a mirroring of Israeli Jewish intransigence. In one recent poll, a majority of Palestinian respondents demanded a return of all of historic Palestine. What can be inferred from this result is probably not much more than the human tendency to put on a brave show when faced with a highly acquisitive bully.

In fact, increasingly Palestinians understand that, if they want to end the occupation and apartheid, they will need to overthrow their compromised leaders in the Palestinian Authority (PA), effectively Israels local security contractor. It is an uprising against the PA, not polls, that will seal the fate of the two-state solution. What may inspire Palestinians to take on the risk of a major confrontation with their leaders?

A part will be played, however small, by Palestinians understanding of how a shift from a struggle for statehood to a struggle for equal rights in one state will be received abroad. Liberal Jewish opinion in the US will be critical in changing such perceptions - and Beinart has just placed himself at the heart of that debate.

Meanwhile, a majority of Israeli Jews support either Greater Israel or an end-of-the-rainbow two-state solution, one in which Palestinians are denied any meaningful sovereignty.They do so for good reason, because either option perpetuates the status quo of a single state in which they prosper at a heavy cost to Palestinians. The bogus two-state solution privileges them, just as bantustans once did white South Africans.

The view of Israeli Jews will change, just as white South Africans did, when they suffer a harsher international environment and the resulting cost-benefit calculus has to be adjusted.

In that sense, the issue isnt what Israeli Jews think now, when they are endlessly indulged, but what Israels sponsors - chiefly the US - eventually demand. That is why Beinarts influence on the thinking of liberal American Jews cannot be discounted. Long term, what they insist on may prove critically important.

That was why Beinarts harshest critics, in attacking his two essays, also warned of the current direction of travel.

Jonathan Tobin, editor of the Jewish News Syndicate, argued that Beinarts views were indicative of the crisis of faith within much of American Jewry. Weinberg described the two essays as frightening because they charted liberal Jews intellectual journey towards anti-Zionism and self-immolation.

Both understand that, if liberal Jews abandon Zionism, one leg of the Israeli stool will be gone.

The other problem Pfeffer inadvertently highlights with liberal Zionism is contained in his mocking dismissal of Beinarts claim that the justification for a Jewish home needs to be rooted in morality.

Pfeffer laughs this off as utopianism, arguing instead that Israels existence has always depended on what he vaguely terms pragmatism. What he means, once the euphemism is stripped out, is that Israel has always pursued a policy of might is right.

Beinart is doubtless ahead of most liberal Jews in the US in rejecting Israel as a Jewish state. But it would be foolish indeed to imagine that there are not many others already contemplating following in his footsteps

But Pfeffers suggestion that Israel does not also need to shape a moral narrative about its actions - even if that narrative bears no relation to reality - is patently implausible.

Israel has not relied solely on its own might. It has needed the patronage of western states to help it diplomatically, financially and militarily. And their enthusiastic support has depended on domestic perceptions of Israel as a moral agent.

Israel understands this only too well. It has presented itself as a light unto the nations, a state that redeemed a barren land, and one that has the most moral army in the world. Those are all moral claims on western support.

Beinart has demonstrated that the moral discourse for Israel is a lost cause. And for that reason, Israels chief allies now are states led by covert, and sometimes overt, antisemites and proud authoritarians.

Beinart is doubtless ahead of most liberal Jews in the US in rejecting Israel as a Jewish state. But it would be foolish indeed to imagine that there are not many others already contemplating following in his footsteps.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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Liberal Zionism begins to make the journey towards a one-state solution - Middle East Eye

The end of Zionism – The Electronic Intifada

Posted By on July 17, 2020

On Tuesday, I joined Mondoweiss editor Philip Weiss and writer and activist Nada Elia for a discussion titled The End of Zionism: Thoughts and Next Steps, co-organized with Haymarket Books.

The starting point was a talk I gave in 2009, at the Hampshire College conference on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

My talk predicted with some accuracy how Israels battle for legitimacy around the world would play out.

Then, as now, Israel retains immense power. But I argued that despite overwhelming military power, an ideological project that loses legitimacy in the eyes of the world would eventually crumble.

I described how Israel would try to win back declining support among young people in the United States and elsewhere by marketing itself as LGBTQ friendly and environmentally conscious propaganda strategies known as pinkwashing and greenwashing.

All of this is designed to obscure and distract from the fundamental facts about Zionism, Israels racist state ideology which holds that Jews from anywhere in the world have a right to settle in historic Palestine and maintain a Jewish-majority state there that trumps any rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.

This month also marks the 15th anniversary of the Palestinian call for BDS another opportunity for reflection, assessment and looking to what is ahead.

In our Tuesday webinar we also spoke about what Peter Beinarts recent abandonment of the two-state solution and Jewish statehood portends for liberal Zionism in general.

Beinart, the author of the 2012 book The Crisis of Zionism, had over the last decade been the great hope of the liberal Zionist establishment that it could lay new roots for long-term, broad support of Israel.

But with Beinarts defection and embrace of some form of one-state solution, it looks like liberal Zionism as it has existed for decades is in total collapse.

As the world goes through the pandemic, and the attendant political, economic and social crises, we are also seeing a resurgence of activism and radicalism especially the Black-led uprising against systemic white supremacy.

Can this moment also deliver justice in Palestine? Will we see an end to Israeli apartheid and oppression in the next five, 10 or 20 years?

Our panel could not predict that with certainty, of course, but we had a lively and passionate discussion about what it might take to get us there.

Watch the video above.

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The end of Zionism - The Electronic Intifada

The two-state solution is a political fiction liberal Zionists still cling to – The Guardian

Posted By on July 17, 2020

Israels impending annexation of the West Bank has put the fate of the two-state solution or, perhaps more accurately its death back in the headlines. Yet neither Benjamin Netanyahus announcement of his annexation intentions, nor the Trump peace plan, killed the chances of two states, which ceased to be realistic long ago. What the great drama of annexation playing out in the Anglo-American press is really about in no small part due to the exclusion of Palestinian voices is whether liberal Zionists will reconcile themselves to this reality or continue to deny it.

While some liberal Zionists, like the Jewish Currents editor-at-large Peter Beinart, now recognize that, as he wrote last week, the traditional two-state solution no longer offers a compelling alternative to Israels path, most seem likely to choose the path of continued denial. For many liberal Zionists as well as those further to the right a two-state solution has for decades been less a practical policy proposal than an article of faith, a constitutive political fiction that has enabled them to reconcile their contradictory commitments to both ethnonationalism and liberal democracy.

The abstract idea of two states has also served a valuable strategic purpose for the Israeli government and professional Israel advocates. References to Israels putative commitment to two states in theory have become a way to shield Israel from criticism, and consequences, for actions that in practice rendered a two-state solution impossible.

The vast majority of Zionist and pro-Israel groups even, or perhaps especially, the self-defined liberal ones will be loth to confront their contradictions, or surrender their talking points, now.

Indeed, faced with annexation, liberal Jewish groups have so far responded with the same kinds of warnings they have issued for decades. In a joint statement, eight Jewish organizations including the New Israel Fund and Americans for Peace Now declared in May that annexation would show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the government of Israel no longer seeks a two-state solution. Back in March, when Benny Gantz joined Netanyahus government, J Street cautioned that annexation was an absolute red line that Israel must not cross.

Yet its been obvious for years that Israels government no longer seeks a two-state solution: annexation would hardly be the first line Israel has crossed without facing any serious consequences. In fact, since before the Oslo process began in 1993, Israel has continually crossed supposedly decisive lines.

Meron Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, warned in 1982 that, with the settler population in the West Bank approaching 100,000, Israel would cross the threshold past which territorial compromise would become impossible. When Israel blew past that, new lines were drawn: now 250,000 settlers, now 500,000; now construction in the E1 corridor, between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim; and now, finally, annexation of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

With each new line crossed, believers in a two-state solution have found new excuses to ignore the obvious. This is especially true of liberal Zionists. Since 1967, they have clung to the myth that Israels military occupation of the West Bank is temporary, and, consequently, that Israel proper defined as the parliamentary regime within Israels pre-1967 borders can be meaningfully disentangled from the half-century-old military dictatorship on the other side of the Green Line. The occupations putative temporariness enabled liberal Zionists to see themselves as genuine liberals, to define Israel as a democracy. Annexation, which would confirm that the occupation is permanent and inextricable from Israel proper, would in theory force liberal Zionists to decide between support for democratizing the one-state reality, or support for apartheid.

Wholesale ideological reversals are uncommon, however. With a few notable exceptions, liberal Zionists conversion to non-state Zionism, non-Zionism, or anti-Zionism seems unlikely. And, after all, over the course of more than a decade of Netanyahu governments, liberal Zionists have become habituated to the dissonance between their values and those the Israeli government acts on.

But the idea of two states will continue outliving any realistic prospect for a two-state solution for those to the liberal Zionists right, too. Israels foreign ministry and professional Israel advocates alike recognize that the two-state solution has served as a useful means of deflecting criticism of Israeli territorial expansion. After roughly a dozen Democratic congressional representatives signed a letter, spearheaded by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling to condition US military funding to Israel in the event of annexation, Aipac responded that doing so would, paradoxically, make a two-state solution less likely.

Netanyahu and his allies in the US are making the argument for annexation in similar terms. In a Washington Post op-ed, Ron Dermer, Israels ambassador to the US, argued that annexation actually will open the door to to a realistic two-state solution and get the peace process out of the cul-de-sac it has been stuck in for decades. Likewise, the authors of the Trump administrations peace plan were careful not only to construe it as an instrument for achieving a two-state solution but as the logical continuation of the Oslo process.

While theres no small degree of cynicism here, it also reflects a genuine ideological commitment. Most American Zionists, even rightwing ones, do not openly support an apartheid-style single state, unlike hardline Israeli settlers who oppose the Trump plan because it provides for areas of nominal Palestinian autonomy. In this sense, the position staked out by Dermer and the Trump administration is not that different from the liberal Zionist one: both envision a Palestinian state as an archipelago of isolated, non-contiguous Bantustans subordinated to Israeli control.

Yet as long as Zionists outside of Israel remain uncomfortable with openly defending an apartheid-style regime in terms that reflect the reality on the ground, the rhetoric of the two-state idea will serve as an invaluable means of obscuring the actual ramifications of their position not only from the public, but from themselves. Political fictions of such existential importance take a long time to die, if they ever fully do. The lack of a viable two-state solution does not mean liberal Zionists will stop believing in one.

Joshua Leifer is an assistant editor at Jewish Currents, where a longer version of this article first appeared

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The two-state solution is a political fiction liberal Zionists still cling to - The Guardian

Bari Weiss leaves the ‘NYT’ and that’s bad for Zionists Mondoweiss – Mondoweiss

Posted By on July 17, 2020

We have followed the meteoric career of Bari Weiss with keen interest, admittedly often for the shock and humor value, and two days ago the meteor left The New York Times with a resignation letter that says she was made to feel unwelcome in the illiberal new political environment at the paper.

I hesitated to write about Weisss news. First, Weiss is such a gifted careerist that even this moment feels like shtik: Bari Weiss playing her own persecution for the greater glory of Bari Weiss, and and, why play any part in that? Though I also found her letter persuasive about ways she was made to feel uncomfortable re the intolerance of the left. As a writer with leftwing goals, I know that if you stray from certain views you will bring down cascades of scorn, and its not good for independent thought. (In fact, its why I no longer have much interest in being an intellectual; theres a sense that all the hard works been done already if youre on the left, read from the script, mic check.)

But here I go because Weisss departure from the Times is real news, and important for what it says about the place of Zionism in the media.Weiss has made a career as a Zionist warrior, often smearing anti-Zionists in ways that she is quick to call McCarthyism when others employ the same methods.

Two points in her resignation letter leap out.

Weiss cites as a count against the Times the alacrity with which the newspaper amended a 2019 travel article about Jaffa for failing to touch on important aspects of Jaffas makeup and its history (as she quotes the correction), compared to its failure to amend Cheryl Strayeds interview with Alice Walker last May to say that Alice Walker has made antisemitic comments. The cases are not comparable; and Weisss comparison says way more about her than the Times. No doubt Alice Walker has made some foolish commentsin fact the Times covered them ad nauseum just two years ago, in two articles about her alleged antisemitism in an earlier interview. The question is whether Alice Walker, a person of great achievement, gets to live these comments down or are they an important aspect of her career that must be pinned to her name at all times? My opinion is, the Timess two pieces on the matter are plenty; certainly no one can say the Times hasnt publicized Walkers comments. Now look at the Jaffa article. It was a piece of pure puffery for Israeli tourism that in characterizing Jaffa as an ancient Tel Aviv neighborhood left out truly the central aspect of its modern history: the fact that barely a generation ago this city was the pearl of Palestinian culture, and that beginning with the Zionist terrorist gangs (which later supplied Israeli prime ministers), rolling barrel bombs into Palestinian neighborhoods, Palestinians were forced into the sea during the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba period, when tens of thousands of residents were evicted, including such luminaries as Ibrahim abu-Lughod. We can only imagine the outcry if the Times had run any similar travel piece about a Lithuanian/Russian village where my ancestors were subject to pogroms in the late 19th century without mentioning the blood in the soil.

This distortion is typical of Bari Weisss thinking.

The former opinion editor also brags about bringing Matti Friedman into the paper. He is a propagandist for poor little Israel a tiny village on the volcano of Islam, is his metaphor who wrote one of four pieces that the NYT op-ed page ran justifying the slaughter by Israeli snipers of Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza over a few months in 2018.

So Bari Weiss is proud of her hand in those op-eds. This position is indefensible; It goes without saying, we have never seen a piece in the Times justifying Palestinian terror attacks; were such a piece to slip through, editors would lose their jobs in an instant. No one has lost their job for approving these vicious arguments.

The Times op-ed page is surely making moves to the left these days in the context of the George Floyd uprisings But it has so far held the line on anti-Zionism and Palestinian solidarity. Yes it was big news last week that it ran Peter Beinarts op-ed saying he no longer believes in a Jewish state. Though what does it tell you about the discourse that a critique Palestinians have been saying for a very long time without getting published in the Times has to be delivered by a man who still calls himself a Zionist?

As Krystal Ball said on Twitter, There is no issue of legitimate inquiry which is more likely to get you cancelled than support for Palestinian rights. She describes Bari Weiss as an intellectual architect of that regime of censorship.

Many have pointed to Bari Weisss origins as an ideologue at Columbia U trying to get Palestinian professors dismissed. I try to give Weiss a break on that because of all the stupid things I said in my (protracted) youth, except that Bari Weiss has prolonged this role by making accusations against anti-Zionists that are if nothing illiberal. She has said we are anti-semites and as dangerous as white nationalists. In her book on antisemitism, Weiss published the foolish claim that antizionist Jews are as deeply opposed to Jewish interests as many of our communitys enemies. In a talk at a Jewish organization with Jake Tapper, Weiss dismissed Jewish supporters of BDS as being like Jews who had their circumcisions surgically reversed so as to fit in to the larger culture.

Zionism is Judaism, in Weisss view of the world, so if you dont like Zionism, prepare to be stamped as an antisemite and (justifiably) marginalized from all mainstream platforms. This is a toxic attitude and much as I am dismayed by the lefts censoriousness, Id note that Weisss school of intolerance has affected me more directly(I have been fired twice by mainstream orgs for being anti-Zionist).

Bari Weiss has also argued for Jewish power in the U.S. establishment, indeed a special status in American public life, so long as Jews are Zionist. BDS is an anti-semitic conspiracy theory aimed at Jewish power, she said. [I]f you want to be a part of the coalition of the oppressed, you need to publicly disavow any kind of Jewish power at all Support for Israel, Jewish success, apologizing for Jewish success.

Our Jewish specialness goes way back. We invented the idea that people shouldnt be slaves, and that human life is sacred, Weiss says, and that specialness is frankly why we drive people crazy still. Such belief in Jewish exceptionalism was the norm in my fathers generation, and I have certainly dipped into it at times myself; but Bari Weiss makes cultural pride problematic by infusing it with celebrations of establishment power and Israeli might. For instance, she said that Jews are insane not to perceive that they are safe walking around New York City because of Israels military strength, and she said that Jews should stop giving money to prestige institutions like Harvard and Columbia because they have given harbor to anti-Zionism.

I think Weiss is a talented writer who will be with us for a long time; but when it comes to Zionism she is an ideological hack who might as well be cribbing her fathers handouts from AIPAC and the ZOA. After Pittsburgh she declared that criticizing rightwing Israeli government officials for visiting the grieving Jewish community there was an inappropriate politicization of their visit. Even young leftwing Jews welcomed the arrival of two Netanyahu loyalists, she said, because it showed we are all one people.

You better believethey [IfNotNow and Bend the Arc] liked the fact that Ron Dermer and Naftali Bennett showed up in the same way that Israeli officials show up after the shooting of a Hypercacher in France. Its sending a message that we are all one, Am Yisrael [the people of Israel].To politicize that I just think is wrong.

IfNotNow specifically rejected this projection, but the delusion shows, Weiss has always reduced Jewish life in our country to some branch office of the larger Zionist enterprise.

It seems obvious to say that Bari Weisss departure takes place amidst a Zionist discursive collapse Beinarts apostasy, the downfall of Eliot Engel, the mutiny of 500 left-Zionist recruits at one Israel lobby group, and 1000 at J Street, the defection of even centrist Jewish donors over Israel, and the willingness of a few American politicians anyway tosuggest that military aid to Israel be cut due to its endless expansionism. This is real progress. And in that sense Bari Weisss exit is good news for Palestinian news and opinion. A reliable Israel lobbyist is going to find some other venue that is less prominent in the making of mainstream opinion. There are going to be more Palestinians in the Times. Maybe the paper wont run so many justifications of Israeli massacres.

Weiss will surely say that her departure is evidence of anti-semitism on the left. It is more accurate to say that anti-Zionism is now the spirit of left politics, and it is staking a claim on liberal institutions.

Thx to notes from Adam Horowitz, Scott Roth, James North, Allison Deger, Dave Reed, Norman Finkelstein, Michael Arria and Donald Johnson.

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Bari Weiss leaves the 'NYT' and that's bad for Zionists Mondoweiss - Mondoweiss

Woodrow Wilson’s Racism: the Basis For His Support of Zionism – CounterPunch

Posted By on July 17, 2020

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) was born in Staunton, Virginia, to Christian fundamentalist parentshis father was a Presbyterian ministerwho supported the Confederacy during the Civil War. Thus, Wilson grew up and was educated in the segregated American South. This upbringing imbued him with both a literal interpretation of the Bible and a lifelong racist outlook which he brought with him to every position, every office he ever held. For instance, while he served as president of Princeton University (1902-1908), he refused to allow the university to admit African Americans. Despite his racist orientation, Princeton subsequently named a School of Public Policy and International Affairs, sub-colleges and buildings for Wilson. Today, in the wake of uprisings against not only police brutality toward African Americans and other minorities, but also Americas racist legacy, Princeton has removed Wilsons name from these institutions and buildings.

Wilson went on to become the 28th president of the United States (1913-1921). He led the United States into World War I, was instrumental in the founding of the League of Nations, appointed the first Jewish member of the Supreme Court and, notably, facilitated the eventual establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine through his support for the Balfour Declaration (1917). At the time he remarked, To think that I, son of the manse [ministers house], should be able to help restore the Holy Land to its people. Subsequently, this decision made him as much a hero to Zionists, and American Zionists in particular, as he was a villain to African Americans.

The Zionist Dilemma

Given todays reaction against the countrys historical racism, American Jews understanding of Wilsons legacy is being debated. The challenge for Zionists is to save Wilsons heroic image without totally disregarding his racist record. An attempt to do just that came in an essay, recently published on 2 July 2020, in the American Jewish newspaper the Forward. The essay is entitled Woodrow Wilson was a hero to Jews. What should we do with his racism? and was written by Jonathan D. Sarna, a Brandeis University professor of American Jewish history.

Sarna notes both facets of Wilsons career. On the one hand The Jews of his day considered Wilson a hero and a savior, a man of principle and ethical uprightness. On the other, African Americans learn a totally different narrative wherein Wilson staunchly defended segregation and characterized Blacks as an ignorant and inferior race.

Sarna seeks to square this circle by retreating to a frankly banal apologia: Many a flawed hero accomplished great deeds and changed the institutions and nations they led for the better. They remind us that good people can do very bad things and vice versa. This is poor consolation for African Americans. It also turns out to be a shaky basis for Jewish admiration of Wilson. This is so because the alleged good Woodrow Wilson did for the Jewshis support for the Balfour Declarationwas based on the same racist foundation shaping his behavior toward African Americans.

Wilson Supports the Balfour Declaration

What is the connection between Wilsons racism and his support for the Balfour Declaration? The president was a European race supremacist, or what today would be called a white supremacist. As he saw it, African Americans were not the only ignorant and inferior race out there. All the non-European peoples, such as those of the Ottoman Empire, including Palestinians, qualified for this designation.

On 8 January 1918, in the run-up to Americas entrance into World War I, President Wilson announced his Fourteen Points. These were the nations war aimsnotions around which to rally the American people. A major theme that runs throughout these points is the promise of self-determination for peoples then under the rule of the enemy Central Powers: Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire. Referring specifically to the last-mentioned, point twelve reads, The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development.

Such a promise, of course, included the Arabs of the Ottoman province of Greater Syria, which in turn included Palestine and its indigenous population. This pledge might seem to conflict with Wilsons racist outlook, but one has to keep in mind that point twelve was meant as a propaganda piece in support of the broader claim that America was joining a war to make the world safe for democracy. As a vehicle for arousing the enthusiasm of the American people, it was effective. However, it transformed itself into something problematic as soon as Wilson got to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. U.S. allies Britain and France wanted to incorporate most of the Ottoman lands, which they considered the spoils of war, into their own existing empires, and so objected to point twelve.

Because of his European supremacist point of view, Wilson really had no deep objections to this expansion. The question was how to go along with his allies wishes while still appearing to honor the Fourteen Points. He achieved this goal in a way that also meshed with his racist worldview. He and his allies established the Mandate System. Real self-determination was now to be reserved for the European peoples previously belonging to the German, Austrian and Russian empires. For instance, Poland and Serbia, among others, were to be accorded the freest opportunity for autonomous development. Non-European peoples were viewed as unprepared for this reward. They were to be placed under the tutelage of a mandatory power, which in the case of most of the Arab lands meant either Britain or France. Such imperial powers, in turn, were to instruct these inferior peoples in the art of self-government. It should come as no surprise that Palestine was given over to the British as a mandate territory. Indeed, the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the preamble and second article of the mandate document for Palestine.

Back to Sarnas Suggestion

Woodrow Wilson supported the Balfour Declaration because he was a Christian fundamentalist who believed that God desired the Jews, whom Wilson understood to have been civilized through long residence in the West, to return to their ancient home. The instruments for that return were the Balfour Declaration and the British mandate. The Palestinians were not even relevant to the issue for Wilson.

Given this history, what do we learn when, as Sarna suggests, we probe more deeply into [our heros] flaws?

It is now recognized that Wilsons major flaw was his racist worldview and the behavior that flowed from it.

This racism was the basis of his mistreatment of African Americans.

As it turns out, that same racist outlook was part of the basis for his support of the Balfour Declarationthe very act that makes Wilson a hero for both past and present Zionists.

Now we come to the second part of Sarnas suggestion, that an examination of the heros flaws invites us to think harder about our own flaws. What are the resulting implications of such a self-examination for todays Zionists?

What sort of flaw in ourselves should an examination of Woodrow Wilson bring Zionist Jews to consider?

The fact is that contemporary Israeli Jewish and Zionist attitudes toward the Palestinians in many ways mimic those of Woodrow Wilson toward African Americans.

If we are to consider Wilsons racism a flaw from which Jews too can learn, the consequence must be a reconsideration of the inherently racist Zionist attitudes and policies toward the Palestinians.

I do not know if Jonathan Sarna really meant to inspire a serious assessment of Israels and Zionisms flaws through the reexamination of those of their champion, Woodrow Wilson. However, such an assessment would certainly reveal a shared racism. Wilson never ceased to be a racist and, at least since 1917, the Zionists have been following his heroic model. How many of them can be counted upon to take up Sarnas suggestion and look into this shared historical mirror in any honest way?

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Woodrow Wilson's Racism: the Basis For His Support of Zionism - CounterPunch

Their Zionist youth movement days are long behind them, but thanks to social distancing, theyre back together – Haaretz

Posted By on July 17, 2020

It started because of the coronavirus, but in less than four months, its become a tradition.

Every Sunday evening (Israel time), several hundred graduates of the Southern Africa branch of Habonim Dror, the Socialist-Zionist youth movement, tune in from around the globe for a weekly conversation. They range in age from late teens to early nineties (though, to be fair, most are over 60) and include participants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel and, naturally, South Africa.

Theyre called HED talks no, not TED, though they have definitely drawn inspiration from the series. The acronym stands for Habonim Engaging in Dialogue, and the topics have ranged from the effects of West Bank annexation on the State of Israel to coming out as gay in a Jewish youth movement (that is, when such things were rarely discussed). The content is definitely a draw, but so is the opportunity to meet up with old and beloved friends, some not seen or heard from in decades. The gatherings are held, of course, over Zoom.

The latest tally shows that since HED was launched in late March, close to 1,200 Habonim graduates have registered for at least one of the weekly talks. Were it not for the global pandemic, this brand new forum would probably never have seen the light of day. Today, it may be the largest and most geographically diverse active Jewish alumni group in the world.

In his opening remarks at the inaugural HED talk, Toronto-based attorney Stephen Pincus, the driving force behind the initiative, described it as a community bound by a deep common experience and some core values.

For many of us, the movement was a formative influence on our lives, he said. It was the place of first loves, of lifelong friendships, of exhilarating social, cultural and intellectual adventures, where we learned to think, how to relate, and how to dream.

Habonim Dror is an international youth movement with branches in more than 20 countries. Its Southern Africa branch, which also includes Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia, was set up in 1930, and was initially envisioned as a scout movement. After the establishment of the State of Israel, it shifted its focus to Zionism and educating young South African Jews about Israel. For many years, and certainly during the apartheid period, Habonim was the most popular Jewish youth movement in South Africa. In recent decades, it has shared the limelight with Bnai Akiva, the Orthodox Zionist youth movement, as the South African Jewish population has grown increasingly religious.

Pincus estimates the number of graduates of Habonim Southern Africa at about half a million. Tens of thousands of Jews have left South Africa since the 1970s many to Israel, but many more to other English-speaking countries. Among this huge exodus were many who grew up in Habonim.

For many of us who lived in Southern Africa during the apartheid years, Habonim was a very powerful forum for expressing our disagreement with the situation, says Dave Bloom, former head of the South African Zionist Federation in Israel (also known as Telfed), and a member of the HED organizing committee. Bloom grew up in Rhodesia, and today splits his time between running a software business and working as a professional personal historian.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of Habonim Southern Africa, a mega-gathering of movement graduates from around the world had been planned for late October. The week-long event was meant to have been held in Israel, and hundreds of former Habonim chanichim (movement members) and madrichim (movement leaders) had already registered when the pandemic struck.

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We were looking for a way to keep the energy going and keep people engaged, so we decided to start these weekly Zoom sessions, recounts Bloom. Initially, we had no idea how it would go.

The first talk was held on March 29, and since then, theyve been held on a weekly basis, every Sunday. A lot of people have compared it to the old days in Habonim when wed get together on Sunday evenings, says Bloom, who moved to Israel in 1973 and lives in the central town of Kochav Yair. It seems to have captured people at the right time and the right place, with people at home during Covid looking for things to do, and the best proof is the big group of regulars coming back week after week.

More than half the participants live in either Israel or South Africa, he says, the remainder divided among the United States (nearly 20 percent) and Canada (15 percent), with a smattering from the United Kingdom and Australia. We try to accommodate as many time zones as possible, but the Aussies are definitely getting the short end of the stick, says Bloom. The way its scheduled, theyve got to be awake at 4 a.m. if they want to participate.

Some of the sessions have a more TED-like format, with one keynote speaker, while others are more conversational. Often, there are breakout sessions toward the end to provide participants with the opportunity for more intimate conversations. Its not unusual that they spend another hour schmoozing after the main talk is over, notes Bloom.

When choosing the lineup, Pincus says he and his team are looking for balance in what he describes as the three Gs geography, gender and age. Finding younger participants, he concedes, is often a challenge, but at the most recent gathering this past Sunday, about a dozen current Habonim members, dressed in their signature blue shirts, joined the forum. All of them are participants in a year-long leadership training course in Israel; they shared stories of their experiences during the global pandemic living on a kibbutz.

Presenters at HED are generally chosen from among the large pool of Habonim graduates. If you look around, there is a wealth of talent to choose from, says Pincus, who headed the youth movement in Southern Africa in the late 1970s. This past Sunday, for example, the keynote speaker was Diana Aviv, the former head of Feeding America, the second largest charity in the United States. Originally from Johannesburg, she spoke about political and social tensions in America today.

Booked for an upcoming HED session on the state of the world economy are two other famous Habonim Southern Africa graduates: Stanley Fischer, former governor of the Bank of Israel and, before that, chief economist of the World Bank; and Bradley Fried, chairman of the Court of the Bank of England. With so many doctors among this cohort, the HED organizing committee couldnt resist the temptation of bringing a bunch of them together for a session held in April titled: Habo doctors in the time of Covid.

Officially, the sessions start each Sunday at 9 p.m. Israel time. Participants who show up early, though, get treated to a half-hour slide show of old summer camp photographs set to music that is meant to stir up memories of days gone by. It would be a mistake, however, to see these gatherings as simple reunions, insists Pincus. We wanted to create something that would get people to look forward and not just back, to rebuild this community not just for the sake of nostalgia, but with a view to practical concrete outcomes, whether in politics, healthcare, education, law or social action, he says.

Or as Bloom puts it: We hope this forum weve created will not just be about talk but also a bit about walk and that some of what goes on at our weekly sessions can be translated into some sort of advocacy work.

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Their Zionist youth movement days are long behind them, but thanks to social distancing, theyre back together - Haaretz

Another liberal Zionist group faces insurgency a call to cut ties to Israel – Mondoweiss

Posted By on July 17, 2020

The crisis of Zionism inside the Jewish community continues to crumble and rumble.

A couple weeks ago we reported that more than 1000 alumni of J Streets youth branch, J Street U, signed a letter to the liberal Zionist group saying its approach of urging Israel to end the occupation had failed and J Street should call for reductions in U.S. aid if Israel goes through with annexation.

J Street rejected the advice. We believe that Israel should continue to receive from the United States the full amount of security assistance outlined in the MOU: $3.8 billion per year. Though J Street calls for restricting that aid to certain purposes.

Well, heres another group of liberal Zionist alums in an uprising. More than 500 members and alumni of a Labor Zionist group famous for socialist kibbutzim the Habonim Dror movement havesigned aletterthat is in some ways anti-Zionist. It calls on the organization to answer Israeli annexation by cutting off much of its relationship to Israel: stop sending North American youth to programs in Israel and encouraging Jews to move to Israel.

The signers say they are being true to their liberal, or socialist, Zionist values, but in effect theyre advocating for a break from the Zionist core mission of sending Jews to live in Israel. They also call for boycotting Israeli emissaries who come to work with Habonim here who are from occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

And once again, this liberal Zionist parent organization which is affiliated with the peace group Ameinu, an ally of J Street is being stiffnecked about its alumnis demand.

First, here is the letter, now signed by 548 current members and alumni of Habonim Dror North America (HDNA), calling for real action in support of liberation and safety for all Palestinians and Israelis.

We believe that HDNA must act now to ensure that we are no longer complicit in supporting the Israeli government and instead are working actively against its plan to go through with formal annexation. Thus, we are endorsing the following shifts in the movement:

1. Habonim Dror North America will immediately relocate or suspend all programming within Israel.

2. Habonim Dror North America will no longer actively encourage members to make aliyah [Jewish immigration], as aliyah made in the current political climate implicitly legitimizes the Israeli governments ongoing efforts to marginalize Palestinian rights and their freedom to self-determination.

The third step the alumni call for is barring or discouraging Israeli members of the movement from participation in North American Habonim activities until there are no longer members of Dror Israel who live or work over the green line/in settlements (including all suburban settlements around Jerusalem).

These demands are dividing the organization. The leadership, rightly perceives the letter as a direct blow to its mission: In short, this document calls for Habonim Dror to cease to exist as a progressive Zionist youth movement, leadership said in a June statement.

In a subsequent email, the chair of the Habonim Dror Foundation said the organization should not separate from Israel, no, we should further that engagement.

With our voice, we urge the leaders and members of Habonim Dror to further their engagement with Israel, and to continue to focus educational and political work in opposition to unilateral annexation in any form, and to issues of peace and social justice here and in Israel.

We urge leaders and members of Habonim Dror to join with and strengthen our allies in Israel who are on the front lines in the fight for peace and justice and not to apply litmus-tests from the comfort of the diaspora to those who stand in coalition with us.

Notice the old blackmail: The comfort of the diaspora. Youre not sending your kids to serve in the Israeli occupation forces, so who are you to judge? This is the core principle of the Israel lobby. And back on the home front, it should be noted that Habonim leadership has voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other liberal Zionists are also responding defensively to the insurgency. Heres J.J. Goldberg, who first reported the Habonim scandal on his Facebook page, working the comfort-of-the-diaspora theme:

Its basically an exercise in self-expression. Nobody in Israel will notice or take it seriously. Theyll be called a handful of spoiled American kids who wont suffer the consequences anyway At the same time, it will reduce whatever political impact or credibility Habo has left within the presumed target audience. Politics isnt supposed to be about self-expression. Its supposed to be about changing things, figuring out how to get from A to B.

The answer to Goldberg is, self-expression is an important function in a liberal democracy; and its obvious why he pooh-poohs the letter, more than 500 angry alumni are yet another surge in the Zionist defection we are witnessing today. I suspect that many of these liberal Zionist groups are not at all democratic in their decisionmaking, that leadership makes all the important decisions and the self-expressions and their outlook is quite conservative. But they are losing traction. Liberal Zionism is now under siege.

The famous lines from Hemingways first novel are, How did you go bankrupt? Gradually then suddenly. We seem to be in the sudden phase of Zionist bankruptcy in American Jewish life.

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Another liberal Zionist group faces insurgency a call to cut ties to Israel - Mondoweiss

Zionists Will See Iran’s Upper Hand, if Continue Their Mischief: General – Al-Manar TV

Posted By on July 17, 2020

A senior spokesman for the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces warned the Zionist regime that if it keeps lying about bombarding and killing Irans military advisors in Syria, it will see the upper hand of the Islamic Republic and the resistance front in action.In comments on Thursday, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi responded to fake reports by the Zionist regime about targeting the positions of Irans military advisors in Syria, saying, We warn the Zionist liars and their puppeteers that if they continue their mischief, they will see the upper hand of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the resistance front in action.

He rejected Israels claims alleging killing of hundreds or thousands of Iranians by its military as a desperate media war, psychological operation, and (an attempt at) manufacturing lies, Press TV reported.

The Iranian commander noted that the Zionist-Western media empire and its regional affiliates have been leading this anti-Iran propaganda campaign for some time as part of hollow muscle-flexing by the inhumane, occupying, and infanticidal Israeli regime in order to project a false image of its military capability.

He also mentioned the martyrs by name in order to further unveil the bogus Zionist regimes (attempt at) manufacturing falsehood and to lay bare its lying nature.

The cowardly regime also did its best, through the all-out support of the US and some regional Arab countries, to make up for its losses and weaknesses by bombarding the T-4 Airbase in Syrias western province of Homs in 2018, in which only seven of Iranian military advisors lost their lives along with a number of Syria-allied fighters, Shekarchi said.

The resistance front, however, returned the attack by launching 50 missiles and rockets at Syrias Israel-occupied Golan Heights, the spokesman noted, saying a large number of Israelis were killed or injured during the retaliation.

By means of the media campaign, psychological warfare and producing lies, Israel has been always trying to cover up its sheer inability and weakness as well as back-to-back defeats in the face of the resistance front in Syria during the past nine years, Shakarchi said, adding, However, it should know this that it is (only) fooling itself.

At Damascus request, the Islamic Republic has been lending effective military advisory assistance to the Arab country against foreign-backed militants and Takfiri terrorists. The support proved essential to Syrias defeating in late 2017 of the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh that has been widely reported to have been created by the United States, Israels biggest and oldest ally that tries hard to change the balance of power in favor of Tel Aviv in the region.

The Tel Aviv regime, itself, has been found culpable in numerous reports and by many regional officials of providing safe passage, medical treatment, and other instances of assistance to Takfiri terrorists.

Source: Iranian Agencies

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Zionists Will See Iran's Upper Hand, if Continue Their Mischief: General - Al-Manar TV

Britain has a historic obligation to stop Israels West Bank annexation – TRT World

Posted By on July 17, 2020

Given its pivotal role in promising Palestine to the Zionist movement while it was already inhabited by Palestinian Arabs, the British government has a special responsibility to address the suffering caused by the decision

If any of the worlds great powers has an obligation to protect Palestinian rights to a state, enshrined under international law, it is the United Kingdom. While the United States is the dominant power today, and arguably there isno greater friend to Israel than President Donald Trump, it was Britains involvement and schemes for Palestine following the First World War that ultimately created the situation faced by Palestinians today, with regional and international repercussions that are felt by most people around the world.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to move ahead with his plans toannex large swaths of the West Bank, earmarked for a future Palestinian state, the only thing Britain has contributed to the discussion is a handwringing plea for Netanyahu to not go ahead with his plans.

Britains role in the Palestinian tragedy

The British governments stance towards Israels planned West Bank annexation, and Prime Minister Boris Johnsons article published in the Israeli newspaperYedioth Ahronoth, represents a complete and total dereliction of moral responsibility and duty.

Johnson reaffirmed his profound attachment to Israel and described himself, quite accurately, as a passionate defender of Israel. Perhaps most telling of all is Johnsons repeated references to finding a solution that allows both Israelis and Palestinians to live in an environment that allows for justice and security, while then going on to state how he was immensely proud of the UKs contribution to the birth of Israel with the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

Of course, the British prime minister is referring to none other than Lord Arthur Balfour who committed British imperial policy to the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in the final stages of the First World War. This was promptly put into action after Britain and its allies carved up former Ottoman territory and designated Palestine as a British-governed territory under a mandate of the League of Nations.

The way Britain went about this was utterly callous and completely ignored the fact that Palestinians already lived on the land they had just promised to a people the Europeans themselves were subjecting toanti-Semitic hatred. In fact, and two years prior to the establishment of British Mandatory Palestine, Viscount Herbert Smith received a receipt ofOne Palestine, complete from the British military authorities who had now handed control over to him as the first High Commissioner for Palestine a century ago. One could not be blamed for thinking Britain had just been on a shopping trip and brought home receipts for goods it had just purchased at a mall.

Often overshadowed by Balfour, Viscount Smith was himself the first openly practising Jewish cabinet member in the British government. While not an official member of Theodor Herzls World Zionist Organisation, Smith unmistakeably espoused Zionist views and lobbied for them. It was Smith who first proposed the idea of establishing a British protectorate over Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire, with an eye on making it a homeland for the Jewish people that Europe had long persecuted. In essence, Smith laid the groundwork for Balfours infamous declaration that dispossessed one people in favour of another.

Annexation will lead to more blood

While the United Kingdom is now facing homegrown resistance to its imperial past including the defacing and destruction of statues ranging from17th century slavers to racist war time leaders likeSir Winston Churchill its role in the historical abuses against the Palestinians perpetrated by both the British Empire and Zionist settlers has largely been ignored in the current conversation.

After all, what happened to Palestinians is still in living memory, with many of the generation who experienced the Nakba the forcible and illegal expulsion of Palestinians from their land still alive today. Britain cannot simply absolve itself by saying, it was too long ago, no one alive today experienced it, get over it.

Netanyahus plans to annex land illegally occupied by almost half a million Israeli settlers will be a mere continuation of what the British started the complete dispossession of Palestinians from their land at the hands of a state barely at its 72nd birthday that behaves with unscrupulous illegality.

Annexation will further appear to be a grotesque dance upon the corpse of the much-vaunted two-state solution, that died long before Netanyahu abandoned it when the Israelis, supported by the United States and its allies, negotiated in bad faith with the Palestinians knowing they were too weak to enforce any agreements made with Israel. Largely abandoned by their Arab brothers and left to fend for themselves, the Palestinians have been dealt an unenviable hand that sees them stripped of more and more of their rights with every passing year.

Inevitably, this will lead to greater violence, and many Israelis recognise this. Protesters in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva sabotaged the Trump Square fountain on Monday so that itspurted fake blood rather than water. On the side of the fountain, named after the American president, was daubed the message: Annexation will cost us in blood.

The demonstrators could not be more correct. By pandering to a hard-right and nationalist political agenda to stay in power, Netanyahu risks a conflagration of violence. The Palestinians have already been dispossessed, disadvantaged, and treated with utter contempt. When a cornered people feel that they are continually under the boot with no hope for a political solution and with sustained assaults on their dignity, the inevitable result is violence. The Palestinians are hardly going to stand back as what is left of their ancestral homeland is also stolen from them.

This is not even a partisan issue between Fatah and Hamas, but an issue that concerns all Palestinians. We need look no further than the first and second Intifadas and, if annexation goes ahead and powerful countries like Britain maintain their silence by paying only lip service to international law while not holding their Israeli ally to account, we can expect a true third intifada which will make the unrest in Jerusalem since 2014 seem like a minor disturbance.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of TRT World.

We welcome all pitches and submissions to TRT World Opinion please send them via email, to opinion.editorial@trtworld.com

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