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International Scholars Declare Opposition to Israel’s Attack on Gaza

Over the past week, I joined together with Stanford Professors David Palumbo-Liu and Joel Beinin to draft the following statement opposing Israel’s war against the people of Gaza.  We circulated the statement widely among academics, writers, analysts and some cultural and artistic figures.  Among those who signed are Tariq Ramadan, Avi Shlaim, Gabriel Pieterberg, Juan Cole, Gareth Porter, Dina Khoury, Richard Falk and Guy Davidi.

The ad was published today in Haaretz’s Hebrew and English editions.  Below you’ll find the text and signers of the ad.

Originally we’d hoped to publish the ad in the NY Times or Washington Post, because it would have the greatest impact.  But the expense of ads in those publications was prohibitive.  We settled on Haaretz because we knew Israel’s political, military and intelligence officials, along with the professional elites, read it.  Haaretz ads were a considerable expense as well.  I am financing the ads along with financial support from the signers.  Now, I’d like to turn to you readers for your assistance as well.  It’s important to make such projects self-sustaining and only you can do that.

Tax deductible gifts may be made online via WePay.  Gifts may also be made via Paypal.  To avoid the accompanying fees, you may also send donations (including tax-deductible ones) directly to me via check.  Contact me for my address.

Here is the statement:

gaza ad-only haaretz english-jpg

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{ 35 comments… add one }
  • David_b July 17, 2014, 4:16 AM

    [Comment deleted–comments which mischaracterize my views & positions will not be published. Read the comment rules carefully before attempting to publish another comment.]

  • Blue Moon July 17, 2014, 5:43 AM

    Richard.
    Why is it that Hamas refused the Egyptian brokered ceasefire yesterday but than went ahead and accepted the UN sponsored 6 hour humanitarian ceasefire today?

    • Richard Silverstein July 17, 2014, 2:00 PM

      @ Blue Moon: I presume you can’t read. It was not an “Egyptian” ceasefire proposal. It was Israeli. And Hamas wasn’t consulted. The UN actually showed Hamas the respect of consulting it in implementing it. That’s the way it’s done in the civilized world (which seems to exclude Israel).

      • Shmuel July 17, 2014, 2:08 PM

        But Hamas went ahead and still fired a few rockets into Israel even after agreeing to a humanitarian ceasefire.
        But we’ve stopped expecting any better from Hamas who have left the Palestinians in Gaza to pasture

        • Richard Silverstein July 17, 2014, 6:51 PM

          @ Shmuel: So you think that Hamas has a sophisticated telecommincations infrastructure like the Kirya from which to command all its forces? Not to mention those Gaza forces not under its direct control? Maybe if Israel didn’t exert an iron hand over Gaza Hamas might actually be able to exert centralized control. But Israel prefers fragmented Palestinian forces. As a result, no one can guarantee that all Palestinian forces act in a disciplined manner. That, I’m afraid, is your (collective) fault.

        • David July 17, 2014, 11:54 PM

          I think I know the thinking: Palestinians suffer because of Hamas not because Israel imprisons and blockades them and occupies the West Bank. If Palestinians would only pick leaders who will do Israel’s bidding, perhaps surrender utterly and completely in some manner, then there would be no need to bomb people’s homes. With different leadership, things would be great for Palestinians packed into Gaza and decimated in the West Bank. I suspect they would all be able to move freely ….out of the region.

      • bl July 17, 2014, 3:58 PM

        No Richard, Hamas rejected the Egyptian proposal because Hamas wanted their conditions met.

        “Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Monday night in response an Egyptian ceasefire proposal that his movement would not accept any truce that excludes the conditions of the Palestinian groups and people.”

        http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Egypt-blames-Hamas-for-IDFs-ground-operation-363300

        • Richard Silverstein July 17, 2014, 6:42 PM

          @ bl: You’d rather trust a shmateh like the J Post. Sorry, but I don’t. My source knows what happened. Israel wrote the ceasefire. Hamas wasn’t consulted and rejected it. That’s what happened. You can whistle till the cow’s come home for all I care. Anything other than what I wrote is blather.

          And even if Hamas’ conditions weren’t met, they’re clearly entirely reasonable & SHOULD be met. End the siege from both israel & Egypt’s territory, which is illegal under international law. Allow Gaza to unite with the West Bank & become Palestine. Allow free & fair elections to determine a Palestinian government which Israel accepts. All these are eminently reasonable.

          Please do NOT post under two different nicknames. Pick one & stick to it.

      • Blue Moon July 17, 2014, 11:48 PM

        No Richard. The terms of the Egyptian proposal seem to have originated in Ramallah, not Tel Aviv.

        ” A senior Israeli official said the Egyptian proposal essentially adopted the ideas raised by Abbas several days earlier. ”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.605363

        • Richard Silverstein July 18, 2014, 2:20 PM

          Who knows better, you or my source who was consulted during deliberations over the proposal? And why would you think that Israel wouldn’t use Abbas as a leaf just as they used Egypt? And why should anyone think Abbascoukd negotiate on behalf of Hamas.

          • Blue Moon July 18, 2014, 3:07 PM

            “..why would you think that Israel wouldn’t use Abbas as a leaf just as they used Egypt”

            I cannot offer a rebuttal to your ‘figleaf’ defense. None whatsoever.

          • Richard Silverstein July 18, 2014, 3:25 PM

            @ Blue Moon: Calling Abbas a “fig leaf” for Israel isn’t a defense.” It’s an accurate portrayal of his role as a so-called Palestinian leader vis a vis Israel.

  • ben July 17, 2014, 11:27 AM

    Rs have you read about the mofaz plan?http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-mofaz-plan-for-demilitarizing-gaza/

    Perhaps you have more details as the toi article is a tad dry on info.

    Hopefully this could be worked out as part of the 2002 arab peace initiative

  • Citizen of the World July 17, 2014, 12:38 PM

    I have to post this link here in order to show you what happens there while many people choose to ignore it.
    Its from UNWRA news room:
    http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-strongly-condemns-placement-rockets-school

    Lets hope that both Israel and peaceful citizens of Gaza will EVENTUALLY benefit from this operation..

    • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 1:57 PM

      Oh! A vacant school! Maybe it’s abandoned because it was previously damaged by Israeli rockets?

    • Richard Silverstein July 17, 2014, 6:47 PM

      @ Citizen of the World: Isn’t it interesting that of the FIVE different statement UNWRA has made about the Gaza massacre you chose the only one that contains any implicit criticism of Palestinian forces. Why might that be? As for the “peaceful citizens of Gaza,” Israel made sure there aren’t any.

      As far as I’m concerned you are full of bullshit. I’m moderating you. I can’t stand the sophistries & disingenuousness. It’s revolting.

  • ben July 17, 2014, 1:04 PM

    Seems the ground Invasion has begun here is what bibi had to say about it: “10:45 P.M. The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement on the current ground incursion in the Gaza Strip:

    “The prime minister and the defense minister have ordered the IDF to begin a ground operation in order to damage the underground tunnel terrors constructed in Gaza leading into Israeli territory.

    Such a tunnel was used earlier this morning by Hamas terrorists to enter Israeli territory, with intent to case massive harm to Israeli civilians.

    The IDF successfully thwarted this attempt at terrorism as well. The prime minister and the defense minister have ordered the IDF to make preparations for expanding the ground operation. The order to act tonight has been approved by the security cabinet, after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal which Hamas rejected and proceeded to fire rockets at Israel.

    Nor did Hamas uphold the humanitarian cease-fire initiated by the UN, continuing to fire at Israel instead. In light of Hamas’ unending criminal attacks, and its dangerous incursions into Israeli territory, Israel is forced to defend its citizens. Operation Protective Edge will continue until it achieves its objective – to restore quiet and safety to Israelis for a long time to come, while significantly harming the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.605590

    • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 1:59 PM

      “Such a tunnel was used earlier this morning by Hamas terrorists to enter Israeli territory, with intent to case massive harm to Israeli civilians.”

      Maybe used to get medicine and food? Most Hamas members are engaged in aggression, but in supplying people with staple items.

      • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 2:02 PM

        BTW, to get supplies inside, or any kind of operation for that matter, use of guns for self defense is necessary.

        • Shmuel July 17, 2014, 2:13 PM

          Yeah they came to rob the local superpharm in Sderot and bring back supplies of medicine via the tunnels. With anti tank weapons.
          Do you really believe what you just wrote?

          • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 2:20 PM

            Why not? I don’t have problems with that given the cowardice of Israel.

          • David July 18, 2014, 2:39 PM

            I don’t know why anyone would have to stretch to justify any means used by Palestinians to assault Israel inasmuch as Israel has decimated Palestinian life for over half a century. Seems to me, any sort of blowback arising from the multitude of Israeli crimes would be understandable.

            As for the aims of the current assault, Israel has yet to achieve any of its objectives in any of these assaults. This operation will not stop rockets, period. If Cast Lead did not, this one will not. But they keep on doing the same old thing which qualifies either as insanity or perhaps a different goal is intended. Maybe just the opportunity to slaughter more Palestinians is enticement enough. That’s probably closer to the truth.

  • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 1:55 PM

    Breaking news ( I got it just now on Mondoweiss):

    Ground invasion started:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/israel-launches-gaza-ground-invasion-2014717192054899505.html

    • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 1:59 PM

      Hmm, I just noticed the news was posted before.

  • Shmuel July 17, 2014, 2:34 PM

    Well to continue your fantasy that all the Hamas wanted to do this morning was robbery of Israel’s ‘cowards’ who work in the checkout of superpharm, it was lucky that the people watching the security cameras caught them with their hand in the till.
    I think you are a hasbarista troll planted to make Israel’s enemies look ridiculous. I’m outing you!

    • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 2:57 PM

      It was just a supposition. It’s easy to imagine anything given that Israel is a bully.

      • Shmuel July 17, 2014, 3:18 PM

        Well I suggest you start imagining that the bully is the robber and that sometimes the bullied not only defends itself but actually hits back – hurts doesn’t it?

        I suppose you also believe the fantasy that Israel started it all by firing iron dome missiles at Gaza and the brave hamasniks shot them all down with astounding success

        • Daniel Rocha July 17, 2014, 5:09 PM

          That’s the premise. The bully is the robber.

        • Richard Silverstein July 17, 2014, 6:43 PM

          @ Shmuel: Israel, being bullied?? Are you out of your mind?

          But yes, Israel did start it all by raining down hundreds of its own missles and before that engaging in pogroms in the West Bank.

  • Arie Brand July 17, 2014, 5:09 PM

    It is this month exactly ten years ago that the International Court of Justice came up with its verdict on the Wall. The Court concluded that the building of this wall, largely on occupied territory, constituted a serious violation of international law. The Court did not negate Israel’s right to self defence, but if it deemed a wall necessary it should have been built on its own territory. As it was the intention was clearly to include as many settlements as possible – settlements that were illegal as well. The Court demanded that the building of this wall should be stopped immediately, that the built parts should be demolished and the Palestinians concerned compensated for damages suffered.

    The court also pointed to the juridical obligations of the international community. States are not allowed to acknowledge the illegal situation brought about by the building of the wall and should not cooperate in its maintenance. Also, the Court ordered all signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention to induce Israel to live up to its legal obligations.

    Israel had signed the Convention in 1951.

    On the twentieth of July 2004, eleven days after the verdict of the Court, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted with an overwhelming majority Resolution A/ES – 10/15. It demanded from Israel that it would live up to its legal obligations as spelled out in the advisory opinion of the Court. 150 members of the Assembly, among which all members of the EU, voted in favour of the Resolution. Israel voted against and ignored it, once again aided and abetted by that other serial violator of international law, the US, which was among the half a dozen states (including Israel) that had voted against the Resolution. Europe did absolutely nothing.

    In an Op-Ed in “Trouw”, Dries van Agt, a former Christian Democrat Prime Minister of Holland and a belated convert to the Palestinian cause, asks; “What signal do we give the Palestinians when we, again and again, discourage and hinder their access to law and justice, by never holding to account an occupier that systematically violates the law thus bringing about serious consequences?”

  • Arie Brand July 17, 2014, 6:13 PM

    Israel is among the world’s most unpopular countries according to PEW attitude research. It is in the bottom four with only Iran, Pakistan and North Korea ranking lower. The US is the only Western country where one can find a majority positive view of what that French ambassador once called “this shitty little country”. I am happy to report that Australia has a more than two thirds (69 %) negative view. The problem is that these popular attitudes have not yet resulted in corresponding government decisions. The beaver like activity of the pro-Israel lobby is to blame for that. In Australia, the former Labor Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr, has revealed in his recent memoirs that he had to threaten the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, that he would seek to unseat her through a caucus vote if she insisted that Australia should vote against giving the Palestinians Observer status at the UN. She yielded. Apparently she had two active members of the pro-Israel lobby in her own office. In the event Australia abstained. I wonder hoiw Israel will rank in the PEW survey after this latest murder spree. My fond hope is that, eventually, the “vox populi” will indeed become the “vox Dei”.

    • PersianAdvocate July 17, 2014, 8:57 PM

      The irony of that is the propaganda against Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan mostly come from Israeli intelligence (for various reasons that are somewhat complex). All of their bots come out to yap yap yap about how those three are “dangerous nuclear threats!” Rawr!

      Looks like Israel dragged itself into the muck with its own lies.

  • Arie Brand July 17, 2014, 8:31 PM

    It is worth noting that the only states voting against A/RES/ES – 10/15, the resolution following the International Court Decision on the Wall, were Israel, the US, Australia, and three flydot Pacific “states” (the Marshall Islads,Palau and Micronesia. Carr was determined that Australia would not, once again, make a fool of itself by appearing in that company.

  • PersianAdvocate July 17, 2014, 8:50 PM

    You cannot claim self-defense against the victims of your own occupation any more than a rapist can claim self-defense against the punches and kicks of his resisting victims. This is basic international law and the universally held notion of the doctrine of self-defense.

    The world now sees what lies are employed just to KILL. The Israelis have been caught sitting on hillsides cheering and laughing, even in Sderot. I thought they were running for fear from rockets there. What made them “suddenly” so brave? Was it the largess from US taxpayer money that provided you security for this round of atrocities?

    I’ve seen the lies move from one target to the other. Lies to murder Iranians, lies before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee about Saddam having centrifuges the size of washing machines (h/t Prof. Cole for his entry on that), lies to get America involved militarily in the Ukraine scenario, lies to murder Syrians, lies to murder Libyans, and lies to exterminate the Palestinian people. Is it any wonder that world leaders call the Israeli leadership a bunch of liars and extremely irritating when the mics are off? Will you keep blaming other people for your sins?

    The strategy is well-known here. You want the gas and oil fields you discovered in the north of Gaza. You foment problems in the Ukraine via Victoria Nuland and her husband, Robert Kagan, and your Israeli intel front outfit, “The Foreign Policy Initiative”, and bring out all your assets to exploit a mysterious plane crash, and blame it on Putin, so that his gas stops flowing into EU and your new Cypriot pipeline can begin its supply instead.

    You used the “fog of cover” of a plane crash to invade Gaza. You thought the world would lose focus, but instead they demanded more justice for the Palestinians. And then again, that invasion wasn’t spontaneous, was it? You had it planned. You practiced on scale cities of Gaza. You were going to invade and knew it months ahead of time.

    So, one question for you: what are you going to when you’re caught red-handed? Blame it on Hamas?

    • Canuck July 18, 2014, 6:18 AM

      [comment delete–off topic. Comments must be DIRECTLY RELATED to the post.]

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