Seattle I-97 Divestment Campaign Against Israeli Occupation
The debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about to heat up considerably here in Seattle. Peace activists have taken a page from the Presbyterian and Methodist churches, which have proposed resolutions divesting church funds from companies that benefit from the Israeli Occupation. Initiative 97 would ask the city to divest its pension funds of companies which “do business with Israeli settlements or in disputed territories” (see full text in pdf here). If Israel attacks Iran, the city must withdraw any funds invested “with the Israeli government.” I’m assuming this means Israeli bonds.
I’m aware that this issue, like the issue of the academic boycott against Israel, is fraught with conflict. Israel’s supporters in the local community will take great umbrage at this perceived assault on the State of Israel.
But before that happens, there are several things everyone should know:
Divestment is not the same as a boycott and the two should not be confused. Divestment only involves ending investment in companies that benefit from the Occupation. It doesn’t even directly effect Israel (except in case Israel attacks Iran). Boycott is an entirely different animal.
Divestment is not a tool meant against Israel as a state. It is a tool directed at the Occupation. It is one thing to attack a government’s policy and another to attack a nation’s existence. This initiative does NOT do the latter. Anyone on the anti-initiative side who raises this claim is doing a disservice to I-97 and their own campaign.
Divestment is not meant to prevent Israel from protecting itself. It is not meant to attack the IDF. Rather, it is meant to tell American companies and Israel that its settlement policies and policies of subjugating the Palestinians are not acceptable to the citizens of Seattle.
That is why I support the concept of divestment and this initiative. I want to make clear that I am a supporter of Israel, but a critic of the Occupation. I do not relish supporting any measure that might cause harm to Israel even indirectly. But we all should admit that the situation is dire. Protests and pressure on Israel to advance to final status talks have not worked. The Occupation is just as entrenched as when it first began 41 years ago.
International criticism of Israeli works. It gets the government’s attention. Otherwise, the lion’s share of the local Jewish organizations would not be up in arms over this. I would say to them: if you don’t like divestment become more proactive in making your views known to Israel’s leaders. Instead of sitting back and watching as Israel and the Territories burn, do more. Protest. Tell President Bush that we need bold action and not the pablum we’ve gotten over the past seven years. Again, Israel listens when the Diaspora makes its views known. If local Jewish groups don’t, you can’t blame the outside world when it decides it has had enough.
However, I should add a few additional points:
I think the Initiative overstates its argument here: “The World Court in The Hague has ruled that the…separation barrier built by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories is illegal under International Law…placing those who plan, participate in, and profit from its erection at risk of…prosecution, and liability both financially and socially, even more than in apartheid South Africa.”
While I agree with the general argument, I’m not sure why it speaks so broadly about culpability for construction of the Wall. Does the Initiative have to be phrased such that an architect or general contractor might be tried for violating international law? There may be legal reasons I’m not aware of relating to the city’s investment policies causing this statement to be added.
The comparison of the Occupation to South Africa seems gratuitous and unnecessary. Does it matter whether the Occupation is worse or less bad than apartheid South Africa? The Occupation is bad. Shouldn’t that suffice?
The Initiative specifically targets Caterpillar because they sell their armored bulldozers for use in demolishing Palestinian homes. Another company mentioned as benefiting from the Occupation has been Motorola (though it is not specifically referenced in the Initiative text). It will not affect Boeing because the company is not involved in any commercial enterprises in the settlements.
28 thoughts on “Seattle I-97 Divestment Campaign Against Israeli Occupation – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Somehow the fact that your in favor of this is not exactly surprising. Neither is your de facto support for a one state solution. Please enlighten me again has to how this is a pro-Israel blog?
Bill, just two days ago Richard clearly stated his support for a two-state solution and opposition to a one-state solution. See https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2008/06/08/why-does-saree-makdisi-and-a-one-state-solution-threaten-carla-cohen/
I know it’s not the first time he’s expressed those positions here.
Pretty pathetic attack. Why even bother?
Mark, thanks for pointing that out to Bill “the Liar” Pearlman. He appears to be a dim bulb. Divestment=one state solution. I think that’s the logic if I follow it.
In future, I’d suggest any of my readers just ignore Bill’s comments. I plan to delete them as soon as they’re published. I don’t accept comments from people like Bill who advocate killing people (it was only Norman Finkelstein that he said should be offed–so no big deal, right?)
Oh & Bill said the last time he commented that he wouldn’t be back. So much for Bill’s integrity & word.
One word – WOW!
Check your facts – the United Methodist Church decided NOT to divest from Caterpillar.
Can you show me anywhere in my post where I claimed that the resolution passed?
How can you doubt the culpability of a person or a company profiting from a
criminal act ?
If nothing else, anybody involved in putting up this monstrosity
should have their heads examined and license revoked.
In the last years we have witnessed an increased disregard ,even contempt for international law in Israel and US. I don’t think you questioning the phasing used in initiative 97 is helpful. to counter this tendency. Maybe the analogy is stretched a wee bit, but neither you nor I doubt the culpability of I.G. Farben in profiting from war crimes.
Letting alone international law, which demands a wall on the Green Line, Israel’s own High Court of Justice has a poor record of “relieving” the humanitiarian disaster wrought by the wall.
For instance, Ni’in, which is one of only five or six out of more than 120 petitions against the wall that the palestinians actually won — well the army has chosen to completely disregard the court’s decision and is building a wall in Ni’in anyway, as made clear in this Seth Freedman piece:
“In Nilin specifically as well as in the West Bank as a whole, one thing is certain: the drugs don’t work. The idea of international intervention is laughed at sorrowfully by Khaled and his peers. Similarly, the aid of the Israeli courts: “An Israeli judge banned them from continuing to build the wall here,” said Khaled, “but they [the army] couldn’t care less. They’re still here — and if the courts can’t stop them, who can?”
Another two “victories” against the court remain ignored by the army: Bilin and the settlement of Zufim. Interestingly, both these last cases protect settlement build by Israeli settlement and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.
I seem to remember a plethora of liberal commentators that noted Israel was a splendid open democracy and tolerated all these civl society groups that ask to move the wall, so foreigners should stay out of israeli business, they’ll handle everything fairly….
But these results show that without outside pressure, Israel’s system of checks and balances is a failure, and is in fact a circus of democracy meant to entertain liberals and and spread undeservered PR about what a fair and thoughful their the Israeli state is.
@Daga: “Heads examined” and “license revoked,” fine. But prosecute the underlings instead of the real architects in both the political, military & intelligence echelons who were responsible for the Wall’s conception? Your priorities are out of whack if you believe in throwing everyone in the clink who had anything to do with this fiasco.
“If Israel attacks Iran, the city must withdraw any funds invested “with the Israeli government.””
“It is one thing to attack a government’s policy and another to attack a nation’s existence. This initiative does NOT do the latter.”
Of course, the reason many Israelis feel they may need to attack Iran is not to occupy it (they couldn’t do that even if they wanted to) but to protect their existence from Iranian leaders who say almost weekly that Israel shouldn’t exist. It’s not just Ahmedinidjad who has expressed this belief on multiple occasions but also Khameini. So how is it that the sponsors of I-97 have somehow concluded that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are not an existential threat when Iranian leaders frequently talk as if they aspire to be exactly that? Nor is it reassuring in this regard that the largest massacre of Jews after WWII was the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing that has been connected (by both Argentina and Interpol) with Iran and Hezbollah.
I believe Israel’s continued settlement activity is wrong and inconsistent with any two-state solution that includes a viable Palestinian state in the W. Bank and Gaza. The problem is that every organized movement I’ve heard of against Israeli settlements is also a movement that at best pays only lip service to Israelis’ security needs, supporting only self-defense that is somehow magically accomplished without the use or threat of force. I-97 supporters are no exception to this. They don’t deserve support for this initiative.
Saying a nation should not exist (if that is, indeed what the Iranians have said–this is in dispute) is far different than saying that the nation you lead should drop a nuclear weapon on it. I hope you can see that. Iran has never advocated attacking Israel w. an atom bomb or otherwise.
Again, the charges against Iran & Hezbollah have never been proven incontrovertibly & The Nation ran an excellent story on this several months ago with I wrote about here. The “proof” that you adduce is not proof merely speculation fr. various sources.
And do pls. tell me how settlements & the Occupation provide security for Israel.
Re: settlements in the West Bank. I don’t think they have to do with security and believe that if they don’t, the Israelis should be willing to remove them and cede the land to Palestinians who (unlike Hamas) are willing to commit themselves to living in peace with Israel (although I’m willing to listen to arguments to the contrary re the relationship between settlements and security). Although I think Israelis are understandably not in a land-ceding mood since the two last withdrawals (from Lebanon and Gaza respectively) have simply provided missile-firing bases for hardline groups opposed to Israel’s existence.
Re: Iran. I know that some have generously tried to save Ahmedinidjad from himself by arguing that his “wipe Israel off the map” comment was really a statement that the Israeli *regime* (not the country itself) would “disappear from the pages of history.” But he’s followed that up by calling the entire nation of Israel a “stinking corpse” that will “soon disappear.” Another Iranian leader promised “in the near future, we will witness the destruction of this cancerous microbe.”
And there are many similar statements from Iranian leaders over the past few years that are not so easily translated into odes to peace. And should not be the official policy (stretching back years) of any nation that desires technology that could be used to make nuclear weapons.
Of course, promising that a country will be erased (without an explaining how) is not the same as actually dropping a nuclear bomb or bombs on it. And I have explained to Israelis I believe Iran is very unlikely to do the latter as long as Israel has the means to retaliate in kind. But I can entirely understand why Israelis remain nervous about a regime that regularly promises their elimination acquiring the means to carry out that elimination (especially given many Israeli families’ losses in the Holocaust). And I cannot support a divestment campaign that callously denies any legitimacy to those fears (even if some of its aspirations — like removal of settlements — are justified).
“The charges against Iran & Hezbollah [re the Buenos Aires bombing] have never been proven incontrovertibly.” Well, if you mean by incontrovertibly that one can still raise some conspiracy-theory type doubts (of the kind you justifiably rejected in your posts on Samir Kuntar), then *nothing* can be demonstrated incontrovertibly. I’m willing to keep listening to additional evidence about this issue, but I think that — in light of the Argentine Prosecutor’s report — it’s now Iran and Hezbollah’s burden to prove they didn’t do it, and I think they’ll have a hard time explaining certain facts I don’t recall seeing addressed in The Nation article I read — such as accounting for the high-volume (and pattern) of phone calls before the bombing, the provision of Mohsen Rabbani with diplomatic immunity 4 months before the attack (and transfer of substantial funds to him from Iran), the sudden departure of Iranian officials from Argentina in the weeks before the bombing, and a call from Buenos Aires to the house in Lebanon of Ibrahim Berro (the Lebanese man identified by the Argentine prosecutors as the bomber) as well as the presence in Lebanon of a plaque giving his date of matryrdom as the day as July 18, 1994 — the day of the AMIA bombing. I suppose if one desperately wants to exonerate Iran and Hezbollah and be done with it, you can simply say all of this evidence was planted or made up. But conspiracy theorists can say that about any piece of evidence for any claim. Those people who would really like to punish the perpetrators of this awful massacre — and defend against future attacks from their sponsors — don’t have that luxury.
In short, while I am opposed to settlements (unless they can be shown that necessary for security), I won’t support divestment campaigns from people who are simultaneously apologists for the current Iranian regime and its past sponsorship of terrorism and so dismissive of legitimate Israeli worries about a recent stream of calls by Iran suggesting (if not expressly firming) their willingness to carry out a second Holocaust.
The Nation article fully debunked the Argentine charges against Hezbollah. THis is entirely off topic & if the article didn’t satisfy you I have no interest in getting into the morass once again as I’ve already done so in a previous post.
I am not an apologist for the Iranian regime. I am a clear eyed realist looking for a way out of the current crisis in relations bet. Iran, Israel & the U.S. The fact of the matter is that even if Iran gets nuclear weapons it WILL NOT use them against Israel. Period, full stop. Should Israels feel concerned about such a possibility? Certainly. Just as Iranians & all Middle East nations should feel even more concerned about the fact that Israel has many such weapons any one of which could be used against them. If we place in the balance the prospective danger of a nation that does not yet have nuclear weapons & may want to develop them & a nation that already has nuclear weapons & could use them on any of its neighbors–I know where I would direct the higher level of concern.
Regarding divestment which is the issue you have strayed from & to which I’d like to return discussion: you are looking for reasons to oppose the Initiative & conveniently have found them. You attempt to disguise yrself as a progressive only interested in Israel’s security. You have found every possible argument that is irrelevant to the issue at hand to persuade yrself that you are righteous. And surprise surprise you end up smelling like a rose in yr own nose. Fact is, you’ve only convinced yrself & yr arguments smell considerably less fragrant than a rose.
So..while you’re “divesting” make sure to throw away your: cellphones (invented in Israel)
Any modern Intel basedsystem built in the past 3 years (Core CPUs designed, and manufactured in Israel)
Stop using instant messaging (invented in Israel).
And, while your at it, make sure the Seattle City council STOPS THE OCCUPATION of lands stolen from the Duwamish, Salish and other Indian tribes.
And..while you’re at it, can you please explain what countries lands are being “occupied” here? Is it Jordan (former “occupier” of the West Bank). Egypt? (former “occupier” of Gaza). Perhaps it was the Ottoman Empire? Great Britain? Certainly can’t be anything else? The region in question (renamed Palestine by the Roman “occupation” of Israel) has been “occupied” for over two thousand years.
The stupidity of this “divestment” campaign is astounding.
@Proteus: This is a typical tactic of pro-Israel nationalists: solve all the other problems of the world & then try to solve the I-P conflict. As long as there is any other injustice in the world or has been any other injustice in the world, it’s hypocritical to insist that Israel address its own set of problems. How insipid.
First, divestment doesn’t punish Israel or Israeli companies. It doesn’t punish countries for doing business with or in Israel. It punishes those U.S. companies which aid & abet the settlements & Occupation.
As for yr historical examples, there are occupations which those occupied felt more or less comfortable with (Jordan of the West Bank, Egypt of Gaza). And there are occupations which the occupied strenuously object to (Israel of the Territories). Israel simply can’t continue the occupation of millions of Palestinians against their will no matter how many historical analogies you bring to bear.
You’re using a sledgehammer in yr argument instead of a scalpel. But then that’s so typical of propagandists like you.
Richard…I was simply trying to point out the blatant hypocracy here. Its fascinating that you simply try to whitewash the arguement, without answering any of the rather difficult questions being brought up.
Its clear that Israel is being “picked on”, when there are far, far worse things going on. I don’t see you calling for divestment in Darfur, where over a million have died..or Sudan, where Muslims are currently massacring Christians. Places where the “occupier” actively goes after civilian targets, on a genocidal level.
Your history is also fatally flawed…if you are claiming that those “occupied” felt “comfortable” with being under Egyptian or Jordanian rule. The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded in 1964, when Jordan owned the West Bank region. Guess who the Palestinian terrorists were fighting then? King Hussein of Jordan knew how to handle the PLO..he massacred over 7500 Palestinian Arabs in a day known as “Black September”. Sounds like a “strenuous objection” to me.
I’m sorry..you never quite defined what a “Palestinian” is? There are Jordanians..and Egyptians, and Israeli’s. There are no “Palestinians” simply because there was never a nation of “Palestine”, and I challenge you to prove otherwise.
Aren’t facts and history great? I guess you’ll want to give back Texas to Mexico next? After all, we won two wars with them, “stole” their land, and build an “apartheid wall” to keep them out.
Not in my book. As a Jew, the Occupation & guaranteeing Israel’s long-term survival & security are among the most important things in the world to me. That’s why I’m pleased w. the divestment initiative. Israel is deaf to the consequences of its Occupation & shows no willingness to end it. Well, then let Israel know there is a price to pay for this in companies being penalized for their furtherance of the Occupation.
Look, I’m a Zionist, not a Sudanist or Darfurist. Those conflicts engage me as any injustice anywhere in the world engages me. But the I-P conflict engages me where I live, as a Jew. So sorry but I can’t & won’t let Israel off the hook because there are other evils in the world. It was a nice try though.
Also, I’d venture to say that the Palestinian mother whose child is killed in an IDF attack or the farmer whose lands are confiscated so that he can no longer feed his family–I’d guess that they’d disagree that there were injustices greater in the world.
Your grasp of history is woeful. Black September was NOT a response to the Jordanian occupation of the W. Bank. It was the response to a PLO attempt to stage a coup INSIDE JORDAN & unseat the then king. The massacre happened as the king & his army fought back & wiped out the PLO’s power in Jordan.
Denying the existence of Palestinians is a violation of my comment rules (just as denying the validity of a Jewish claim to Israel is). All future comments by you will be moderated. Read my comment rules before commenting here again. Upon the next violation you will be banned.
Proteus, you say Israel is being “picked on”. Even if it is true, well, I say, tough luck. It is us (Israelis and many Jews in general) who shout on every corner about being “light unto nations”, so, we better live up to the expectations or shut up.
Second, you argument (it is not really yours, its part of the toolkit of just about every Israeli apologist – including myself in the past) is no different from one by a thief being caught stealing and saying: “why do you pick on me? there are people stealing much more!” Doesn’t work, you see? Mend your ways regardless of what others are doing.
Lastly, the conflicts that you mention, I just want to know how much time you spent researching them. My guess – again, from my own experience as an Israeli apologist – is not a lot. You probably heard something somewhere and decided that those alleged atrocities would suit your task of diverting criticism form Israel. So, before you talk about Darfur (or Tibet, another favorite smoke screen tactic), take time to research the subject. You might want to follow posts by James North at Philip Weiss’ blog dealing with Darfur. Here is part I, here part II and more are to come. I myself wait for those to learn more, though, as Richard rightly pointed out, Darfur or anywhere else could not matter to us as much as something that is happening in our family.
If you claim to be a “Zionist” then surely you must recognize that Israel has a right to exist within secure borders. It doesn’t seem like you do. The key fact that you seem to continuously ignore is this so-called “occupation”. What Occupation I ask you? What country exactly is being occupied? Is this not a simple question for you to answer?
Are we talking about the occupation of Jordanian territory? Egyptian territory? Turkish territory? What country are you claiming is occupied?
Now..if you are talking about occupation of a region with multiple ethnic groups resident, then you can be talking about almost any modern country in the world
By that definition, a Palestinian Arab (ethnic identity, NOT nationality) is an Arab from the region of Palestine. Just like Jews living in the region were also known as Palestinians prior to 1948.
We all know what happened. Like so many other places in the world, there was a war. There was a large scale, bidirectional population transfer (~700k Palestinian Arabs either fled, or were forcably moved). Almost 900k Jews over the next decade fled (or were “strongly ecouraged) to leave. Similar, but much larger scale population transfers occured throughout the world, noteably India/Pakistan.
So…regardless of all that, there is a key, fundamental difference between the IP conflict, and all the others. The Palestinian Arab refugees NEVER RESETTLED after 6 generations. Unlike every single other refugee group in history, other Arab nations (like, say Jordan, which is 85% Palestinian Arab) did not allow citizenship or resettlement rights for their fellow Arabs. This is the fundamental cause of the conflict.
So..what to do? If Israel knew, for a fact, that giving up the West Bank would lead to peace, it would. Israel gave up a huge portion of gains from 1967 with the Camp David treaty, which lead to peace with Egypt..a peace that allowed me to fly El-Al from Tel Aviv to Cairo earlier this year. Unfortunately, its all too clear what happens when Israel withdraws. We saw this in Lebannon in 2000 (lead to start of first “intifada”. We saw it after the offer at Taba (lead to second “intifada”. And we finally saw it in Gaza recently (where Hamas lead the destruction of the greenhouses and hotels that would have provided for industry and jobs, and is hell bent on causing untold misery).
The “occupation” will end when Israel goes far beyond any other occupying power in history, and finalizes the two state solution. Unfortunately that can only happen when the Palestinian arabs are lead by a legitimate government, not a terrorist organization.
Of course, there already exists a Palestinian state, with an 85% Palestinian population. AKA..Jordan. Unfortunately, its currently “occupied” by the Hashemite Arabs installed by the British in 1948.
You see what a bloody mess this is? If you have an actual, honest to god proposal that would properly end the “occupation”, and still retain the state of Israel, I’d love to hear it. The closest thing was Taba, and that lead to the second intifada.
As a supposed Zionist, you need to realize that the “occupation” the Arab world wants to end is that of the entire nation of Israel. Thank G-d that will never happen.
This is actually a lie or about as close as you can get to one. While Israel definitely expelled as many as 700,000 resident Arabs in 1948, Jews left Arab lands for many different reasons. Some were forced out but the vast majority were not. Proteus conveniently leaves out the fact that Israel sent shlichim to Arab countries seeking to persuade them to leave & make aliya. And funny thing: many did. Yet somehow this is now translated into Jews being forced fr. these lands. Other Jews like those in Morocco emigrated largely to France, Canada & Israel. They were not forced from the country. In fact, the king begged them to remain.
Interesting how ideological blinders blind you to fact & truth & force you to bastardize history for yr own convenience.
That’s bullcrap & just about everyone except Proteus seems to know it.
As for Lebanon 2000, of course there was no peace when Israel withdrew because it did not negotiate a peace treaty with either Lebanon or Syria, nor did it resolve outstanding issues w. Hezbollah in terms of prisoners held by both sides. You can’t withdraw fr. someone else’s territory & expect peace to happen miraculously when none of the underlying issues dividing you are resolved. This is true with Lebanon as with Gaza.
There is no peace in Gaza because Israel did not make peace. It simply withdrew & expected peace would follow w/o negotiating any peace agreement w. anyone. Proteus seems to think Israel deserves peace because of its magnanimous gestures toward the Arabs. Everyone else knows you only get peace when you negotiate for it & resolve underlying issues.
The idea that Jordan is the Palestinian state that all Palestinians including those in the Territories should be looking to is a common right-wing theme. Proteus seems to have mined just about all of them in his religiously-fueled Islamophobic rant.
Since there is no possiblity that anything reasonable can ever satisfy you I have nothing to say to you nor any proposal to make to you.
Why do you insist on completely reversing the facts?
Your first sentence is the only one that is correct. Israel did not “definitely” expel those resident Arabs. While a few may have been forced out, the majority of them fled, exhorted on by Arab governments promising they could return once the land had been “watered with the blood of the Jews”. The vast majority of Mizrahi Jews fled, or were forced out of their native Arab countries, through coercion, confiscation of property, and the odd massacre, synagogue burning, etc. All well documented. Its disengenuous of you to use Morocco as an example, as this is the ONLY Arab country besides Egypt that maintained a relationship with Israel.
Lets cut it out with the name calling. You know nothing about me, or my ideology. I’m about as far from a “right winger” as you can get, but I’m also a realist, and an engineer who values facts and logic, not sentimental crap and lies. My opinion also happens to be in the majority. Israel has a long history of giving up land for peace, and you know it!
So..its quite obvious from the rest of your post that its not enough for Israel to end the “occupation” of southern Lebanon, and Gaza, but now, you also expect them to “resolve underlying issues”. Such as..Israel’s ownership of the city built by the Israel over 4000 years ago? Israels right to secure borders, after four brutal wars, and countless terrorist attacks? No. From your tone, its clear that the “underlying issue” that needs to be resolved is Israel’s very right to exist. After all, Hamas and Fatah still consider ALL of Israel to be “occupied territory”.
Now that we’ve sorted out the facts, you still never answered the original question.
I’ve found a pretty good answer here:
[ed., link removed per comment rules]
which you will no doubt dismiss as “propaganda”. However, the facts are facts. I have yet to read any information to the contrary, and I’ve done my share of Said and Benny Morris.
One final question, I’ve actually visited Israel, numerous times. I’ve been to Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jericho and east Jerusalem. Have you? I’ve talked to (and worked with) a number of Israeli Arabs (aka Palestinian Arabs). Not ONE..not a single person expressed any interest in giving up their Israeli citizenship, and why should they? Israeli Arabs enjoy a much higher standard of living compared to Jordanian, Egyptian, or Syrian Arabs.
Finally, I am certainly neither religious, nor an Islamophobe. Indeed, if anything, during my recent trip to Egypt (led by an Israeli Arab Muslim guide), I gained a great respect for their people and culture. I got to visit some of the great Mosques and institutions in Cairo. Still..facts are facts.
Lies, all lies. Your darling boy, Benny Morris, who has become one of you even disputes you & proves you are lying. And Morris is THE authority on this issue. He has said that SOME Arabs may have fled, but the majority were forced out either by brutal violence against them (including rapes, massacres, etc.) which ‘persuaded’ them to leave; or by Israeli forces which forcibly expelled them.
Prove that the “vast majority” were forced out by coercion. I didn’t say prove that some were forced out which I’ve conceded happened. I said prove the “vast majority” were, which is YOUR claim. You can’t do it. But it’ll be amusing to see what you come up with. And I’m not talking about “evidence” from propagandists, I’m talking about evidence bolstered by archival research of the sort done by Morris. If you can’t come up w. reliable evidence don’t bother.
I never trust commenters like you to self-describe their political views. You’re simply an unreliable witness. I’d like you to prove that you are far from a right winger by stating what your views are on issues like settlements, the Separation Wall, targeted assassinations, etc. You’ve already made clear in yr comments that you are right wing. Now, I’d challenge you to disprove it.
Every right winger who comments here claims their views are in the majority. But unlike you I actually post about real polls of Israeli & Amer. Jewish public opinion which prove that on most (but not all) questions public opinion actually agree with me & not you. I challenge you once again since you claim you believe in facts to come up with some. And once again not propaganda fr. unreliable, partisan sources. But real polls & evidence from non partisan sources.
You don’t know anything about my views & make a serious mistake by presuming to substitute yr own guesses about what they are for what they really are. Underlying issues are returning the Golan, returning Shebaa Farms, exchanging prisoners, normalizing relations, demilitarizing the borders, returning most conquered land (67 borders), withdrawing fr. settlements, guaranteeing security for both sides. Floating the issue of Israel’s right to exist is a smokescreen that has nothing to do w. my views & you’d know it if you bothered to spend 10 minutes reading about what I really believe, which of course you can’t be bothered to do because of the propagandist that you are.
Don’t link to propaganda sites like Facts & Logic here. I don’t allow them to be promoted. If you want to promote them do so elsewhere.
Geesh, you’ve visited Israel “numerous times.” That proves you’re an extraordinary expert on everything you say. Look, I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you here. Once again, all my experiences in Israel & the Territories are documented here. Since you claim you’re an engineer, do some research & you’ll find it all. And don’t expect me to help you do what you should be doing yrself.
Israeli Arabs should’ve give up their citizenship. They are Israeli citizens. They should & do demand that Israel be a state that gives them full equality & full economic opportunities–a goal which is very very far from accomplished. Did you ever ask some of your best friends who happen to be Israeli Arab what they thought about Israel & whether it had done well by them? Of course you didn’t. You only asked & heard what you wanted to hear.
Anyone who writes ‘G-d’ is religious. Why would you deny it?
Your central argument here in support of I-97, as I understand it, is the following: “Divestment is not a tool meant against Israel as a state. It is a tool directed at the Occupation. It is one thing to attack a government’s policy and another to attack a nation’s existence. This initiative does NOT do the latter. Anyone on the anti-initiative side who raises this claim is doing a disservice to I-97 and their own campaign.”
I don’t think your posts are supporting this. Nor is the hysterical name-calling (“liar,” “right-winger,” etc) you engage in when there is a post by someone who is not already a supporter of divestment. (For example, you accused me of attempting to “disguise [myself] as a progressive” when my posts were not about committing to any such label or party-line package deal of political views, but only about expressing a particular set of views about the Middle East, not on the tax code, labor laws, or anything else that makes one conservative, centrist, or progressive).
Regarding I-97, the problem is that measures you and other supporters see as directed only against settlements are legitimately (and I think more plausibly) viewed by others as undermining Israel’s security — by preventing Israel from taking defensive measures against Hezbollah, Hamas, and other inplacable foes of Israel’s existence. While it may be better for the fence to be constructed along a different route (and I believe it will be after negotiations), I find it hard to see how it does not currently play a crucial role in protecting Israeli civilians from terrorist groups that are protesting not simply the occupation, but the Jewish people’s presence in the region.
You also insist my previous comments on the threat presented by Iran, and how Israel can respond to it, are “off topic.” Why? I-97 deals directly with this topic and, as you concede in your original post, an attack on Iran by Israel is the only thing that would cause I-97 to directly affect Israel (by triggering, e.g., divestment from Israeli bonds). If my posts on Iran are “off topic,” this is only because I-97 *itself* has strayed off topic by seeking to influence Israeli decision-making on an issue which is not at all about Israeli occupation of the West Bank or Gaza Strip: Israel’s military and political strategy vis a vis a country, Iran, that currently denies and regularly threatens Israel’s very existence.
If my continuing skepticism about I-97 leads you to inaccurately label me a “right-winger,” that’s fine. I’m clearly not as much on the left on this issue as you are, but as I see it, discussion and deliberation about the merit of I-97 shouldn’t be a childish contest about who is a true “progressive” but about whether this measure does what you claim it does (discourages additional settlement & promote a negotiated solution) or whether it instead does other things (like defend Iran & make life easier for Iran’s friends in Hezbollah and Hamas) that would damage Israeli security more deeply.
Proteus, care to supply us with sources to you assertion that:
Most Israeli historians, including right-wingers like Yoav Gelber and semi-right-wingers like Yehoshua Porath (and, of course, Benni Morris), not to mention the left-wingers, admit that the exhortation by Arab governments and leaders is by and large a Zionist myth. My guess you picked it up from Ephraim Karsh or something of the sort, but you should know that this is a totally discredited lie.
But even if it were true, why leaving their property at time of war for whatever reason disqualified them to return to it once the hostilities were over? What norms of law would prevent refugees from war zone to resettle? I can sort of understand the reasoning behind removal of hostile population in time of war – even Uri Avnery talks of it as of something inevitable – of course, without any justification or “understanding” for massacres and rapes that occurred in many places. But once the battles were over, Israel was obliged both morally and legally by UN resolution 194 to let the refugees back. Instead, what few of those tried to return clandestinely, were shot by IDF.
Proteus, you don’t have a point whichever way you look at it.
Its clear that you have brought into the Arab propaganda machine. Its is you, not I who are spewing nonsense and lies about
. Lies and bullcrap. I actually put Benny Morris in the revisionist anti-zionist catagory. The fact that you consider him a right winger is illuminating..it shows how pro-Arab you are, and how unwilling you are to listen to facts and reason. I’ll add that you seem to have a fairly unique definition of political “right” and “left”..not shared by most.
The “Facts and Logic about the Middle East” site is exactly what it claims. Well documented, intellectually honest analysis. I have yet to see any information from you, or any of the apologists for Hamas/Hezbollah/PLO/PFLP/other terrorist organizations
As to your “underlying issues”
I’m game. Please enlighten us how to returning the Golan and demilitarizing the borders are going to guarantee security for Israel? Normalizing relationships didn’t work…Most Arab nations refuse to recognize Israel as a country. Returning most conquered land? Hmm..Gaza is now a terrorist camp. Southern Lebanon has been turned into a Hezbollah artillery battery. The UN? They’ve been in southern lebanon..useless. Israel saw how the UN defended them in the Sinai in 1967. So..any suggestions on how to guarantee Israel’s security against 3 million Palestinian Arabs indoctrinated from the cradle to despise and hate Israel? You could ask Fafnir the mouse (search Youtube), to see how their children are brought up to “give peace a chance”.
Israeli Arabs do not want to give up their citizenship. As I said before, they enjoy a much higher standard of living than their brethren in neighboring countries. Some, like the Druze and Bedouin, even serve in the IDF.
As to why I write G-d? same reason I write Mohammed (PBUH). Its a matter of respect for other religions, faiths and opinions. Something clearly missing from your posts.
In any case, its clear that you are not open to constructive discourse and dialog on this blog, so I’ll trouble you no more. Know however, that your opinions, at least in this country, are in the minority, and that will be proven when I-97 fails at the polls.
Its a shame you still never answered my original question. Without an answer to this question, every arguement you have is meaningless.
You mean there’s an Arab equivalent of the Israeli GIYUS-hasbara PR program?
Which only serves to show yr utter ignorance. You’re in a rightist pro-Israel time warp circa 1980, which is when Benny Morris was a revisionist New Historian. He was never, even in his most left wing days anti-Zionist. Since the first intifada Morris has been as far to the Israeli right as you can get. He even berates Ben Gurion for not expelling more than the 700,000 Israeli Arabs who were driven fr. Israel in 1948. Last week in the NY Times Morris called for Israel to drop atomic weapons on Iran. That certainly sounds like a far-left anti-Zionist to me.
You know, I don’t mind well-informed opponents debating the issues here. But people like you give yr political perspective a bad name because you can’t even be bothered to keep up on the issues and know what you’re talking about. When was the last time you read anything by or about Benny Morris??
It means that Syria too will no longer have its armed forces poised to strike Israel from its border. It means Syria will no longer arm Hezbollah nor allow Iran to do so. It means Syria will no longer seek Iran’s support & thus further isolate the latter in the Arab world. That sure sounds like almost guaranteed Israeli security to me.
Which is precisely what Syria has publicly said it is willing to do if Israel returns the Golan. Which is precisely what is being negotiated as I write this bet. Syria & Israel in Istanbul under Turkish auspices.
That’s Farfour, not Fafnir. Arabic not yr strong suit I guess? Nor is research.
This seems like the 40th time an apologist like you claims that Israeli Arabs are shiny happy Israeli people. The correct comparison is not to OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES, because they are not citizens of other Arab countries. The correct comparison is to their fellow Jewish citizens. When you make that comparison Arabs universally come out on the short end of the stick–in fact on the short end of every educational, financial, social & political benchmark. Tell me how Israeli Arabs fare compared to Israeli Jews. That’s all that’s relevant & all that interests me or them.
Before I laugh myself silly, do please tell us how you respect Arabs or Islam. You’ve written nothing but hateful drivel concerning them in yr comments here. Tell us one thing you actually respect about Arabs or Islam.
I respect all religions including my own. I do not repsect those who pervert their own religion including my own. I see no reason to show respect to people like you who clearly detest Arabs & Islam.
Once again you make a claim w/o providing a shred of evidence proving it. I, on the other hand, routinely quote numerous opinion surveys here which show that my views are largely in the American Jewish mainstream. So do some homework & prove my views are NOT in the mainstream. I challenge you to try it.
And I never claimed that I-97 would win. I never claimed that every single one of my views is in the majority. Concerning divestment, the majority does not YET side with me. But the longer the Occupation continues the more opinion will shift toward me. THis is how political currents have gone over the past 40 years. At one time talks with the PLO were criminalized in Israel. Now, Israel recognizes it & the PLO accepts Israel’s existence. The 2 state solution was once anathema & now it is accpeted in the mainstream. History is with me I’m afraid.
Yes, you said your views about Israeli politics were as far from right wing as can be. Then proceeded to mouth opinions characteristic of the pro-Israel right-wing. I don’t have any interest in yr views on any subject except the I-P conflict. In this, you fail the test of self-describing yrself as anything other than right of center.
Once again & for what seems the 1,000th time. Divestment does NOT prevent Israel from defending itself against terror & I challenge you to provide a single iota of evidence it does.
Then you know nothing about conditions along the route of the fence. There are literally miles & miles of the Separation Wall that are easily scalable by Palestinians. Terrorists have penetrated the Wall before & will continue to do so. The Wall provides a porous defense at best. But the Wall is not part of this discussion & divestment & I-97 does not deal w. it. So pls. keep on topic. This is one of my comment rules & I insist on respecting it.
Again, you show you’ve been reading pro-Israel propaganda sites. Iran has never “threatened” Israel. It has said that Israel will disappear from the map. It has never said that Iran would cause Israel to disappear. I suppose that’s a minor rhetorical distinction to you. But unlike you, language is important to me. I understand that there’s a difference bet. you saying to me: “I wish your blog would disappear” and “I’m going to make your blog disappear.” One is a wish (not a nice wish, but nevertheless a wish), the other a threat.
[comment deleted for violation of comment rules: use of the term “kapo” to describe me or any other commenter here is not permitted]