117 thoughts on “UN Human Rights Council Endorses Goldstone Report – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The UN HR Council was correct. Hamas as a resistance organization operates under a set of laws and standards different from those to which Israel as a state is subject.

    The situation is hardly illegitimate if one spends some time to think about the issue.

    Large corporation live under different regulations in many ways than ordinary individuals. As Richard should know Anti-SLAPP laws are a typical example.

    Goldstone could have covered himself by referencing post-WW2 Nuremberg (and Tokyo) Tribunal Law, but he did not.

    Sometimes I have the feeling that I am the only person on the planet that reads such material.

    Nicole Goldstone’s interview also probably damaged the Goldstone Report’s accusations of Hamas.

    I summarize the situation in Whither After Goldstone?

    1. “Hamas as a resistance organization operates under a set of laws and standards different from those to which Israel as a state is subject.”

      If I understand you correctly, had we – the unarmed civilians pounded daily by Gazans for eight years – had formed local underground armed resistance to defend ourselves, that would have been OK because the state wouldn’t be involved?

      1. You didn’t need to form underground armed resistance to defend yourselves, Silvia. The IDF and the IAF retaliated beautifully for you. 1,400 dead people are more than enough, don’t you think? What amazes me is your self-centered failure to see beyond your own sufferings, which are petty compared to what Israel has inflicted upon the Gazans. You can actually claim to not understand cause and effect, which is astonishing.

        However, Hamas does not have the right to attack civilians under any circumstance, and this is stated clearly in international humanitarian law. This same law applies equally to to Israel, whose blatant disregard for it is the crux of the whole matter.

        1. An IDF report on March 26, 2009 listed 1,166 Palestinian fatalities, of which 295 were identified as civilians.[15] According to IDF, out of 295 Palestinian non-combatants, there are 89 under the age of 16 and 49 women[15] The IDF report stated that at least 709 of the deaths were Hamas combatants or combatants belonging to militant organizations affiliated with Hamas. IDF enemy casualty statistics include those considered by Hamas to be members of the Internal Security Forces.[15] Additional 162 Palestinian men were listed by IDF as “unaffiliated,” meaning that those names have not been attributed to any militant group.[15] The IDF “conceded that Palestinian civilians died because of mistakes in intelligence and targeting, but said the military did not find any case in which an Israeli soldier deliberately shot a civilian.”[240]

          1. So the IDF says. Of course, their breakdown of casualties is going to be different from that of the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations.

            You also have to bear in mind that even now, people are still succumbing to injuries suffered in the attack. This would of course increase the total number of deaths.

            Of course they didn’t find any case in which an IDF soldier shot a civilian intentionally. Ha!

      2. According to what I read the Nuremberg judgement established that non-state actors may be responsible not only under national law, but also under international law:

        “the responsibility of individuals for established crimes under international law- such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes- arises irrespective of whether the perpetrator was a state official or a non-state actor. This is true of all crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for example and is made explicit in the definition of crimes against humanity, which must be committed pursuant to a ‘state or organizational policy’ ”

        Look up: The “war on terror” and the framework of international law By Helen Duffy page 62

        1. The reference may be readable here.

          Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not.

          The passage talks about non-state actors like corporations, political parties, and government departs. Duffy suggests that some Nuremberg decisions with regard to conspiracy might apply to al-Qaeda.

          I have read through most of the transcripts, and I have to admit I don’t remember any decisions hinging on conspiracy in any way except perhaps for the case of Julius Streicher and the issue of Nazi use of media. (It may have also been employed in the case of Otto Dietrich.)

          If anything, that particular aspect of Nuremberg Law would probably be most appropriate to bringing charges against media Zionists, and if I am not mistaken, the USA used some of the logic as justification to attack Serbian broadcasting facilities.

          There really is nothing that looks vaguely like a precedent for dealing with al-Qaeda either as it exists in reality or in the fantasies of the US government and US media.

          None of this sort of analysis applies to Hamas which is a resistance group of the sort that was consistently exculpated whenever an accused Nazis tried to argue that some atrocity was a legitimate response to an attack by partisans or the resistance.

          As I point out in “Whither After Goldstone,” the State of Israel has no legitimate right of self-defense in Nuremberg Law because its very existence is criminal. Israel’s only legitimate response to completely permissible Palestinian attacks is repatriation of the native Palestinian population and reconveyance of properties to their rightful owners.

          Zionist shysters simply do not seem to understand how law works.

          Sometimes the law identifies certain acts like murder as crimes. Other times the law identifies situations where it is completely permissible for a law enforcement official, an ordinary citizen, or a victim to shoot the perpetrator.

          Israel (and in fact its entire Zionist citizenry — and possibly all Zionists throughout the world according to Duffy’s interpretation of which I am dubious) are perpetrators that may legitimately be killed by Palestinian partisans at any time or any place within Stolen or Occupied Palestine as I understand the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

          1. the State of Israel has no legitimate right of self-defense in Nuremberg Law because its very existence is criminal.

            Good luck getting that taken seriously in real life.

          2. Who would ever have thought the Goldstone Report would do so much damage to worldwide perception of the State of Israel?

            Pro-Palestinian activists and patriotic Americans must make sure that the Report is only the first shot of the campaign to put down the Israel Lobby and not the last hurrah for the effort: Importance of Nuremberg Tribunal Law.

  2. “Israel may have its own Pinochet incident to deal with.”

    And then what? You think Israel will stop defending its civilian population? Think again.

    And if you think all this is against Israel only, then you’re more naive than I thought.
    This is meant to threaten ANY sovereign country compelled to defend itself when attacked. This paves the way for another 9/11 without risks for the perpetrators.

    Let’s see you gloat when the United States and its allies stand accused of war crimes in Afghanistan by the same kangoroo court.

    1. If this isn’t point-scoring I don’t know what is.

      Israel is not like any other sovereign nation, moron.

      It’s not every country in the world is being attacked by PEOPLE THEY ARE OCCUPYING.

      There wasn’t terrorism before the Zionist movement. The same problems then, are the same now. Palestinians don’t like being kicked out of their homes and land. They don’t like some group coming along and saying, HAY THIS IS THE JEWISH STATE (and those Arabs here don’t exist, let’s just get rid of them under the pretext of ‘security’).

      But you’re a Nazi, silvia.

      Keep it up. With all that power you can’t get rid of them. The 4th strongest military in the world. With endless funding and diplomatic and social impunity (Jewish identity politics) can’t exterminate and cleanse a third world people. How sad for you.

      1. LD, the sad thing is that they are indeed slowly exterminating and cleansing the Palestinians. Read Jonathan Cook’s “Disappearing Palestine,” and you will see the machinery working underneath the surface, slowly and effectively moving towards complete ethnic cleansing.

        And actually, Israel’s military is the 28th strongest in the world, but nothing to sneeze at, especially in light of the fact that they possess nuclear weapons and have developed state of the art technology in warfare, surveillance and control of civil disobedience. Gaza and the West Bank have been used by Israel as test labs to develop this technology, which they market all over the world.

        1. Mary-
          Since both the Israeli Arab population is increasing as well as the Palestinian population, as reported by their own Palestinian Authority census bureau, how do you come to the conclusion that Israel is “completely ethnically cleasing” the Palestinians? Or is it simply a matter of saying in order to rile up your “progressive” friends?

          1. Perhaps while the population is increasing, the amount of land they are occupying is decreasing? “Ethnic cleansing” does not imply genocide.

          2. No, with the mass destruction Israel is capable of, the Palestinian birth rate is immaterial. And the way Israel is gobbling up land via the fence, illegal settlement building and legal machinations both in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the effect is the crowding of the Palestinian population into ever smaller spaces. Eventually, if Israel’s operations don’t cease, the Palestinians will be confined to little enclosed ghettoes or Bantustans.

            I don’t have to say a word to rile up anyone. The information is out there for anyone to find.

          3. So you mean that Israel’s expulsion of 700,000 Palestinian residents of Israel in 1948, confiscation of huge amounts of Palestinian-owned land in the W. Bank, building of hundreds of settlements & outposts, siege against Gaza, constant wars, targeted assassinations, refusal to recognize a Palestinian state, and encroachment of the Separation Wall doesn’t come awfully close to that? Or do you believe that Israel actually has to engage in genocide in order to stand accused of ethnic cleansing?

          4. Richard, arguably Israel has been engaged in genocide beginning in the pre-state period. Certainly many of its actions fit the definition of genocide, which is the destruction or attempted destruction of an ethnic group. It does not necessitate the murder of all members of the ethnic group in question.

            What better word than genocidal is there to describe Ben Gurion’s statement that “the old will die, and the young will forget”? I submit that this statement expresses the essential goal of genocide – that the group in question will disappear. Add to that the explicit denial on the part of Golda Meir and others of the very existence of Palestinian people. What is that but genocidal? And then there is the denial by Israel of the existence of Israel’s non-Jewish history, and the obliteration of much of its evidence.

            The evidence is overwhelming that ethnic cleansing was seen as a necessity for successful creation and maintenance of the Jewish State beginning with Herzl, and that it has been part of the Zionist/Israeli agenda all along. I also submit that at least since the creation of Israel, if not before, so has genocide – not in the sense of murdering an entire ethnic group, but in the sense of making sure it is wiped out over time.

          5. These are issues where I tread VERY CAREFULLY. There is no question in my mind that the Nakba was an attempt at ethnic cleansing. Israel’s current Occupation is certainly apartheid and in some senses ethnic cleansing. Though in the end I don’t believe it will be or could ever be successful ethnic cleansing. I find it harder to use the term genocide to describe any of this. But once again, something doesn’t have to be genocide for it still to be a war crime.

          6. Yeah, I don’t think Israel is guilty of genocide either. Some people claim it is, by some legal definition or other and I’d have to let the lawyers figure out whether that is true, but by the layperson’s definition, no. Just numerically it doesn’t fall into the same category as things like the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or Guatemala or Rwanda, etc…. (And certainly not the Holocaust). Lefties who use that term, IMO, are guilty of rhetorical excess and there’s no need for it.

            OTOH, the case for saying Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing and apartheid seems pretty clearcut.

          7. There were genocidal acts committed by the Stern Gang and others in 1948, but subsequent to that time period the activities by Israel should be more accurately described as ethnic cleansing. They are not interested in specifically killing off the Palestinians, although it appears they have no hesitation in doing so at the slightest provocation (and sometimes none at all). It appears that the goal is to drive as many out as possible. The focus is on the permanent pacification of Gaza by any means, and the cleansing of East Jerusalem and the West Bank for Jewish colonization and settlement.

            There is no serious attempt on anyone’s part, include the US’, of preventing this from happening. On the other hand, the US supports Israel in its violence and discrimination, refuses to cooperate with the UN and condemns the Goldstone Report clearly without reading it. The government of Israel pays Washington lobbyists to influence US policies; this should be illegal, as it is certainly unethical.

          8. “Ethnic cleansing” does not belong to the terminology of International Law and is simply a euphemism for a specific type of genocide under international legal definitions.

          9. the activities by Israel should be more accurately described as ethnic cleansing. They are not interested in specifically killing off the Palestinians…

            There is a misconception that genocide by definition means killing every member of a group. That is not correct. Further, ethnic cleansing is a necessary step in genocide, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine began early in the pre-state period, and continues today. The historical and contemporary insistence by most Zionists that Palestinians are really just generic Arabs who should be absorbed into the great Arab generality reflects a genocidal wish that the Palestinians not exist as a people. Ben Gurion’s “the old will die and the young will forget” is clearly genocidal, as is the denial by Golda Meir and countless others that there is no such people as Palestinians.

            The existence of the Palestinians has been from the very beginning an extreme inconvenience that mainstream Zionists have sought to deny, and/or remove.

          10. The “lay person’s definition” is irrelevant to the question of whether genocide is involved. So are the numbers, and the means. The most critical determinant is intent.

            Genocide means to exterminate or attempt to exterminate a people. There are a lot of ways to exterminate something, only one of which is mass murder. Any action intended to cause a people to cease to exist as a people can be genocidal. Genocidal intent is clear in many of the statements and actions of the Zionists and Israelis.

            This is not merely rhetorical, nor is it excessive. As for the “leftie” remark, that is a poor attempt to dismiss a statement without addressing its substance.

          11. Exactly what I have been claiming for years. 820 000 Jews from North Africa and the Middle east (not counting the communities of Muslim Asian countries) have been forced out, displaced, their houses destroyed, their communal institutions nationalized, their bank accounts blocked, their culture deleted, and some countries even stripped them of their nationality before they robbed them and kicked them out. The only trace left from centuries of Jewish presence in my own hometown, once a thriving community, is an old cemetery where the writings on the graves have already faded. Nothing. Nobody. A presence going back thousands of years,long before the Muslim invasions, simply ceased to exist. Erased.
            And yes, genocidal intent is clear from all the threats made by Arab leaders of the time.

          12. MOre violation of my comment rules. First, this is off topic. Second, you provide no evidence to support any of yr claims. Third, to call Arab discrimination against Jews genocide shows that you really have taken a leap off the deep end of the pro-Israel pool.

            I continue to warn you of violating the rules & you continue to ignore me. I’m trying to bend over backwards so as to show my openness to disagreement fr. readers like you. But any reader who had an ounce of respect would at least make an attempt to follow the rules. You show disdain by ignoring them. So my patience is officially at an end. All of yr comments will be moderated & any that violate the rules won’t be published.

          13. Yeah, the legal definition might or might not fit what Israel is doing. But the average person thinks genocide refers to cases like Rwanda, Cambodia, the Holocaust–a mass extermination program, in other words and in fact, most of the time when the word is used it does refer to such cases. So one might be able to argue that Israel’s actions fit the legal definition of genocide, but then one has to explain that this doesn’t mean they have a mass extermination program going on, which is what the vast majority of people think the word means.

            (Incidentally, some scholars say the bulk of Pol Pot’s killing might not meet the legal definition of genocide, which Stalin successfully lobbied to exclude the sorts of mass political killing that he engaged in. Pol Pot did target an ethnic group called the Chams, so that would be genocide. But the ordinary person would call all of Pol Pot’s killing genocide even if it doesn’t fit the legal definition).

            I have no intention of defending Israel’s conduct–they are guilty of ethnic cleansing, apartheid-like policies, and massacres. They aren’t guilty of conducting a mass extermination of Palestinians of a Pol Pot or Hitlerian scale.

          14. You are assuming that genocide can only be accomplished by mass murder. That is not the case, regardless of what the vast majority of people believe (the majority of Americans thought at one time that Saddam Hussayn was involved in Septenber 11, remember?

          15. I am assuming nothing of the kind, Shirin. I am pointing the fact that the word “genocide” has different meanings–words are often like that, you know, and different useages aren’t comparable to a person falsely believing Saddam was associated with 9/11.

            So when people say Israel is guilty of genocide, it might or might not be correct legally, but the emotional impact the word has comes from the association of the term with the Holocaust, the Armenians, etc… And people naturally respond by pointing out that nothing on that scale is occurring, because the word is almost always used to denote mass slaughter intended to literally murder an entire group of people and Israel is not doing that. They are doing a large number of horrific inexcusable things which are in violation of international law, but if you start using the term “genocide” then most people will think you are making a direct comparison with the Holocaust. Again, that’s the normal everyday meaning of the word and that meaning is what makes it the ultimate crime.

            But whatever. I think it’s a distraction to use the term, given its normal associations, and it leaves you open to misunderstanding, but people will do what they want.

          16. I understand the difficulty with the idea of genocide, particularly since it is obviously a very sensitive issue for Jews given that they have been subjected to it. It took me a long time before I would apply the concept to Israel, and even longer before I would use the term, but as I understood the concept better I came to the conclusion that it does apply. I don’t insist that everyone understand it as I do. Just getting people to admit to ethnic cleansing takes enough effort.

            As for the question of successful ethnic cleansing, first, it is the intent that matters most. Second, ethnic cleansing need not be 100% successful to qualify as such. The ethnic cleansing of the Golan Heights was not 100% mainly because it was selective. There are well-documented instances of the Israelis going to a town, separating the Arabs from the Druze, then expelling the Arabs and allowing the Druze to stay because the Druze religion dictates that they do not resist the party in power. So, you could say that it was a very successful ethnic cleansing, even though about 4% of the Syrian population remained. (It didn’t work out quite as planned, since over the years many Golan Druze have resisted, but that was the Israelis’ thinking at the time).

            I base my conclusion that genocide is involved on a number of factors, including statements by Zionist and Israeli officials denying the existence of the Palestinians as a people, expressing a wish or a belief that over time they will cease to exist as a people (as in Ben Gurion’s “the old will die and the young will forget), official efforts to deny Palestinians their identity (the coining of the term “Israeli Arabs” is one example), and actions taken by Israeli governments to obliterate evidence of Israel’s Palestinian past. The ethnic cleansing, which has, in fact, been ongoing since the pre-state period, and continues until today, is, of course, a critical factor as well.

        2. they are indeed slowly exterminating…the Palestinians.

          That is the definition of genocide – the extermination of a people.

    2. “Let’s see you gloat when the United States and its allies stand accused of war crimes in Afghanistan by the same kangoroo court.”

      That’s funny. I’ve always dreamed of the day when US officials would be held accountable for their war crimes and you think this is a threat. It is a threat to them–to me it’s maybe the best reason for hoping Israeli officials are brought to justice.

      The truth is that the United States and Great Britain and various other Western democracies are guilty of war crimes and (sticking to America, since I know less about Britain) various high-ranking officials ought to face criminal charges. That was one of the disappointments about Obama–he’s made it clear he’s not going to pursue investigations, let alone criminal charges, into the extent of the Bush Administration’s war crimes.

      And one reason for that is that he himself could be a target, or if not him, at least some American officials. Maybe some of the air strikes we’ve launched that killed civilians were criminal in nature. No American President would favor war crimes trials for a predecessor, because they all want the freedom to act as they choose without having to be accountable for civilian suffering that they may cause (in some cases deliberately).

      Up to this point, Western countries have arrogantly treated the law on war crimes as a form of victor’s justice–it applies to dictators like Saddam who have outlived their usefulness, or other thugs who were never our allies in the first place. I would be delighted if the Goldstone Report led to a new precedent–Western officials being held to the same standards they use against others.

      Of course, it’s probably the fear of that precedent which will motivate the US and Great Britain to oppose war crimes trials for Israelis.

    3. The U.S. has not signed the ICC treaty so we cannot stand accused of such war crimes. Though if we WERE a signatory I’d be delighted to be accountable to it. Unlike you & your govt., I believe my own gov’t is capable of war crimes & should not have impunity. A 9/11 type attack would NOT draw scrutiny fr. the ICC. A Gaza war would.

      1. I think it’s a damned shame that no country on earth is under ICC jurisdiction unless it voluntarily puts itself there. International law, and the promise of prosecution and appropriate reparations for violating it, should literally cover the world.

        Israel and the US commit international crimes because they will not be held accountable for them. It is that simple. Israel will continue to slaughter and/or starve Gazans, steal West Bank and Jerusalem land, and lie about it all, no problem. The US will continue to bomb civilians in Afghanistan and wage wars on false pretenses to satisfy the corporations who actually run the country. How this will ever end, I don’t know.

        1. no country on earth is under ICC jurisdiction unless it voluntarily puts itself there.

          That is not correct. More later.

      2. Israel is not a signatory, and somehow we are stand accused of war crimes.

        Israel is capable and have made war crimes, every war has war crimes, but there are two problems, there isnt a objective court to trial them and of course, many other countries and organizations are commiting worse war crimes and crimes against humanity, with people claiming they have a right to do them, or least come first, and that this fact is a diversion, irrelevent…

        1. To say that “many other countries and organizations are committing worse war crimes” is a straw man argument. It does not lessen Israel’s culpability for what it does.

          In fact, in many ways their crimes are worse because number one, they should know better. Always pointing to themselves as perpetual victims, bringing up the Holocaust and how they were victimized, they should also have developed the correspondent empathy towards others. In other words, they violate the golden rule, that being that one should do unto others as they would have others do unto them.

          Another reason is that they present themselves as a democracy but behave as belligerent occupiers who do not extend equal rights to the non-Jews who live among them and under their occupation.

          The most repugnant thing is their creation of a massive ghetto known as the Gaza Strip which brings back the memory of the famous Warsaw Ghetto. Their treatment of the Gazans, with Egyptian and US complicity, is nothing short of atrocious by any definition.

          Shame on them.

      3. Non-signatories can be charged by the ICC prosecutor.

        One mechanism is provided by Rome Statute Article 15.

        As I understand such indictments then go to the UNSC, which can stall or reject the indictment.

        Obiously an indictment of the USA would never get past the UNSC, but it would be extremely embarassing.

        As a matter of fact, the USA, Sudan, and Israel were all signatories that later indicated that they would no longer be parties to the Rome Statute.

        As I remember the idea of using article 15 come out of the Zionists that orchestrated the SaveDarfur movement, which was a propaganda red herring to distract from Zionist crimes against Palestinians and to marginalize Muslim Americans: [Harvard Book Store] Mamdani, Darfur

        Thus Zionists have been hoist upon their own petard with regard to indictment in response to the Goldstone Report.

        1. How is a country punished for crimes against humanity? Or is this all just a show? What would be the outcome, conceivably?

          1. I have my problems with modern International Law.

            See <a href="http://eaazi.blogspot.com/2009/09/wvns-zionists-%5BWVNS%5D Zionist Plan for World Depopulation and search for universal jurisdiction or cosmopolitan law.

            The US civil and criminal code provides the basis for arresting the US Zionist leader ship and for a clawback of ~$6-8 trillion dollars from the organized Jewish community and from Israel advocates because of their perpetration of fraud: Collection: Chief Zionist Frauds.

            The discussion of International Law and the Goldstone Report is useful as the means to prepare the American public for the arrest of Zionist subversives throughout American society and for the associated seizure of assets.

          2. How is a country punished for crimes against humanity?

            Countries are not tried and punished for crimes against humanity, individuals are.

          3. Shirin is not exactly correct. For example the ICJ provided an advisory opinion on the illegality of the Israeli Apartheid Wall at which point the UNSC could have followed up by imposing sanctions as punishment on the State of Israel.

          4. In fact, I am correct. The apartheid wall is not a crime against humanity, or even a war crime. And the imposition of sanctions is not a punishment, it is a non-military means to pressure a country to comply with the law.

          5. The Wall is also built illegally, of course, since the West Bank was not incorporated into Israel and still remains disputed territory, therefore, Israel has no right to build anything on it, including roads, walls and settlements.

          6. The West Bank and Gaza aren’t “disputed” territories any more than the question if men and dinosaurs simultaneously inhabited the earth is “disputed”. The fact that some fruitcakes say otherwise doesn’t make it so.

          7. the Wall forcibly expropriates Palestinian land & thus contributes to ethnic cleansing.

            Joachim was employing an argument about apples in an effort to support a claim about oranges. If sanctions were employed against Israel in relation to the wall, it would not be as a punishment, but as a means to pressure Israel into changing its behaviour. That, not punishment, is the purpose of sanctions. If Israel were to cease building, dismantle the sections already built, and return the expropriated land, the sanctions would be lifted.

            We can relate sanctions to BDS. Despite Richard Witty’s insistence that the purpose of BDS is to punish Israel, it is not. The purpose is to put pressure on Israel to change its behaviour. Once the behaviour has changed, BDS stops. It’s all about negative versus positive reinforcement of ongoing actions, not punishment for past actions.

          8. Sorry – the comment nesting feature doesn’t seem to be working. My last comment was a reply to this:

            In the case of the Apartheid Wall, the ICJ advised…

            As I said, that is old news. What is your point?

          9. Joachim: In the case of the Apartheid Wall, the ICJ advised Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”;

            Shirin: that is old news. What is your point?


            Just that the ICJ can impose (or advise penalties) on a whole nation and not just on individual government officials.

            Reparations and penalties are two completely different things. I suggest you learn the difference.

            In general you do not appear to understand the difference between prosecution, conviction, and punishment for war crimes, and an obligation to compensate (i.e. pay reparations) for damages. They are two entirely different things, and are not interchangeable.

          10. Shirin, Which law school did you attend?

            My law dictionary lists reparations under other penalties , which as I understand are a subclass of punishments.

            I am not an expert, but I assisted the US state department for several years in preparing legal briefs for the international court system.

            There is no reason punishment for war crimes cannot include an obligation to pay reparations, which can be both compensatory and punitive/exemplary.

            The Treaty of Versailles is not the outcome of an international court proceeding but as an international treaty, it becomes a precedent of international law. It did in fact impose punitive reparations of the German State.

            In addition, I just checked the proceedings of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal vol. 1. If you start reading around pg. 60, you will find that it very clearly charges the German National Socialist Government as an entity with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

          11. Joachim, you quite simply do not know what you are talking about, and you are arguing in a most unsophisticated way.

            Reparations are compensation for damage or injury, and do not necessarily involve the commission, let alone prosecution and conviction of a crime of any kind. Their purpose is not to punish, but to make the victim whole or to repair damage done by the one who makes the reparations.

            Penalties, on the other hand, are quite precisely punishments, and they are exacted by and paid to the State or other governing entity, not to the victim.

            Individuals may be prosecuted, convicted, and punished for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Countries are not tried for war crimes or crimes against humanity. That is the case no matter how many years you claim to have spent preparing briefs for the State Department to present to the international court.

          12. Shirin, I repeat my question, “Which law school did you attend?”

            I am willing to admit I may misremember or be out of date because I studied international jurisprudence at Harvard Law School during the 80s, and there may be a confusion because I am talking about the ICJ and you seem to be referring to the ICC.

            I also concede that my focus was the international telecommunications regime, but the courses I took dealt with most issues as a matter of general international legal theory.

            I explicitly asked one of the experts whether the ICJ could authorize privateering if the defendant refused to pay the reparations in the case of a binding decision of the ICJ. He said he could not imagine the situation arising, but nothing would actually forbid it from doing so.

            Such action would certainly be punitive and perhaps analogous to capias in the case of civil contempt if I remember correctly.

            [It is interesting that Theodore Cooperstein, who joined the DOJ under Bush and continues under Obama, has recommended revival of Letters of Marque and Reprisal.]

            Anyway, I have tried to determine when the current international legal opinion on punitive reparations is.

            http://tinyurl.com/yzzsd64 does not specifically use the term punitive reparations, but language certainly could cover them:


            15. Adequate, effective and prompt reparation shall be intended to promote justice by redressing violations of international human rights or humanitarian law. Reparation should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.

            http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/documentation/english/a_cn4_496.pdf discusses whether punitive reparations are to be allowed but makes no definitive statement on the issue.

            As far as I can tell the precedents of punitive reparations in International Law stand.

            Note that while the Rome Statute restricts the ICC to adjudging the crimes of individuals, Paragraph 6 of Article 75 notes that “[nothing] in this article shall be interpreted as prejudicing the rights of victims under national or international law.”

          13. Joachim: God, this is getting obscure. Can you get onto another topic? This discussion belongs in a blog or discussion forum about international human rights law.

            And pls stop bragging about all the various jobs you’ve had and professional expertise you’ve had. It wears thin after a while.

          14. Joachim, I am not impressed by your attempts to bedazzle with your erudition, particularly when it is so obvious that you are blowing smoke, and making extremely unsophisticated arguments that never once address the point. Never play smarter than you are in front of someone who actually might be.

          15. Shirin, Are you the Iraqi Shirin? If you are, I cannot believe that you could possibly consider the sanctions on Iraq to have been anything other than collective punishment and a war upon the civilian populatio of the targeted nation.

          16. The purpose of sanctions is not punishment. The purpose of the Iraq sanctions was not to punish any more than the purpose of the sanctions on South Africa was to punish. The fact that the sanctions on Iraq caused enormous suffering on the part of the people of Iraq does not alter that.

          17. The purpose of sanctions is not punishment.

            Say what? Yr definition of sanctions & mine must be quite diff. MOst of the world sees sanctions as punishment. So I don’t get the distinction you’re trying to make.

          18. When you punish someone you are extracting a penalty for past behaviour. So, a fine for speeding is punishment, a period of forced confinement is punishment, a spanking is punishment. Bill Clinton launched a major bombing campaign (that killed one of Iraq’s foremost artists, along with numerous other civilians) to “punish Saddam” for an alleged assassination plot against George Bush I.

            Sanctions, such as the ones against Iraq and apartheid South Africa, are not imposed as punishment for past behaviour, but as a means to pressure countries into compliance. They are not a penalty for past behaviour, but a means to change ongoing behaviour.

        2. an indictment of the USA

          There could never be an indictment of the USA. Countries are not prosecuted by the ICC, individuals are.

      4. The U.S. has not signed the ICC treaty so we cannot stand accused of such war crimes.

        Not exactly. There are provisions that allow officials of a non-signatory country to be brought before the ICC. No time to go into detail right now. Maybe later.

        1. That was my point. Individual officials of non-signatory countries can be held accountable, but not the countries themselves. If there are circumstances where this scenario doesn’t apply, please describe.

          1. Countries are not accused, prosecuted, held accountable, or punished for war crimes. To do so would be to hold innocent citizens accountable for crimes committed by individuals, and would amount to assigning guilt by association, and collective punishment. Only individuals are prosecuted and punished for war crimes.

  3. LD says: “There wasn’t terrorism before the Zionist movement. ”
    The Jews murdered during the “ethnic cleansing” of Hebron in 1923, a town that Jews had occupied continuously for over 2,000 years, would be surprised (if they were alive) that the massacre there wasn’t terrorism. Jews do occupy the West Bank and Gaza, but the Palestinian leadership won’t give them any option, except dissolution of the State of Israel.

      1. Jews can get out of the West Bank, if they are sincere about wanting peace. Instead, they build more settlements. It does not take a genius to understand that the intention is to continue to steal land. Netanyahu is a dirty player par excellence; he knows that no one will stop him, not even the US. Obviously, he has great faith in his own ability to intimidate Obama (and so far, it has paid off handsomely for him) and knows the “sacrosanct” relationship Israel enjoys with the US will protect Israel from ever suffering any consequences for what it does. His public whining about the Goldstone Report is lip service to the Israeli people, but he couldn’t care less about the Goldstone Report.

        1. Settlements were removed from Gaza and we have seen
          that such a removal just allowed to Hamas to include more
          Israeli cities in the range of its rockets. So why to continue removing settlements? Do you think we want “grads”
          in Tel Aviv?

          1. You are just spewing Zionist propaganda.

            Everyone from Goldstone to the Boston Globe concede that Hamas honored the tahdiya, but Israel refused to lift the blockade.

            In any case, until Israel repatriates the ethnically cleansed Palestinian population, reconveys stolen properties to its rightful owners, and negotiates a settlement with the native population, everyone committed to International Law should support any effort of Hamas or Islamic Jihad to include more cities in the range of rocket attacks.

            Zionist colonizers have no rights under International Law to security or to self-defense.

          2. “Settlements were removed from Gaza” because Israel did not really want Gaza. It was a brilliant move on Sharon’s part to split the Palestinian leadership and build up Hamas’ popularity so as to prevent any Palestinian unity government from ever emerging. At the same time, the settlers from Gaza relocated to the West Bank, along with new settlers, and the separation wall began to be built, so as to slice more land into chunks to be doled out to the Israelis. The West Bank is prime real estate; Israel never wanted Gaza because it is so heavily populated with Arabs. On the other hand, ethnic cleansing is a quite feasible option in the West Bank.

            Why do you think the Israeli government allowed Hamas to shoot rockets into southern Israel for eight years? Do you seriously think they could not stop those rockets when they have the technology to pinpoint an old blind man in a wheelchair and annihilate him?

          3. “Do you seriously think they could not stop those rockets when they have the technology to pinpoint an old blind man in a wheelchair and annihilate him?”

            The old blind man in a wheelchair was outside in the open. The rockets were launched from inside private houses under children’s bedrooms. And still are. Two today – that I was aware of.

          4. You’re ridiculous. You can’t launch a rocket fr. within a home unless you’re prepared to destroy the home & kill the rocket launchers too. The old human shield ploy is such a cliche, Silvia. Goldstone specifically investigated every case of such claims he could find & could find not a single one that was credible. In fact, he discovered that one Gazan family found militants about to launch a rocket in their back garden & they chased them away.

          5. Silvia is just repeating the talking points of the hasbarats. Hiding from within civilian homes and mosques, firing from under children’s bedrooms, walking behind groups of civilians, escaping in ambulances, bivouacking in hospitals, it’s all nonsense. Interestingly, it still turns out that most Palestinians are not killed by Hamas, but by the Israeli military, so who is the one who has no respect for the safety of civilians?

          6. Silvia’s claim that Israel can’t stop the rockets because Palestinians fire rockets from inside houses beneath children’s bedrooms, is absurd on every level. Let’s say for the purpose of argument only that Hamas DOES fire rockets from inside houses beneath children’s bedrooms. When has Israel ever hesitated to attack a target because of the presence of children?

          7. PS When has anything Silvia said not been a lie? She even blew away her own story that she was raised in an Arab country.

          8. Official pro-Israel talking points such as those parroted by silvia are not grounded in truth. The cliches and stereotypes are repeated again and again, but are even more easily refuted since the publication of the Goldstone Report.

            It is impossible at this point to determine exactly what is truth and what is fiction with regard to Hamas, simply because so much hasbara has made it into the mainstream media coverage. Israel still harps on suicide bombers, although there has not been a suicide bombing in Israel in several years. It claims the horrendousness of the rockets fired into Sderot, although no one is killed and seldom is anyone even injured. It talks about the trauma experienced by the civilians but ignores the trauma it inflicts by the IAF’s constant flyovers into Gaza which create sonic booms that sound like explosions. It claims that Hamas preaches endless hatred of the Jews while ignoring the fact that Israel does the same with regard to Arabs and Palestinians.

            Ethnic cleansing or genocide, we are talking semantics here mostly. The effect is the same. Sanctions hit a government in the wallet, which seems to be the most sensitive organ of its body. Sanctioning Israel would give it a taste of what it does to the Gazans every day. It is an arm-twisting effort to change the policies of a country, such as what is being discussed regarding Iran. It should not be punishment for past deeds. Punishing Israel isn’t going to accomplish anything if it does not change its policies and its behavior.

          9. Anyone who has been in the region knows those residential buildings built on concrete pillars. The large open area underneath the house provides ample space not only to hide more than a launcher, but enables the launch of rockets as well. Whicn is why they’re not visible from the air. And even when they fire in the open, they do it from a very short distance away which gives them plenty of time to return them to their hiding place underneath the apartments. And yes, they are right under children’s bedrooms.
            But evidently, someone who sees the Middle east through an American prism like yourself and identifies so completely with the rocket launchers cannot grasp the fact that houses elsewhere might actually be built differently. I didn’t say they were launching them from inside a free standing American style brick house, Silverstein.

          10. silvia, you’re still making no sense. The Goldstone report states clearly that no Palestinians were used by Hamas as human shields; there was no evidence of rockets having been fired from people’s homes.

            The rockets and small and slow, and can be shot out of the air by an unmanned drone, which Israel uses to assassinate people on a regular basis.

            And yes, some of us have been in the Middle East.

          11. Anyone who has been in the region knows those residential buildings built on concrete pillars. The large open area underneath the house provides ample space not only to hide more than a launcher, but enables the launch of rockets as well.

            Oy, gotinyu, Silvia, every comment betrays a more & more pathetic figure. I have no idea what “concrete pillars” you’re talking about & I have seen scores of pictures of residential buildings in Gaza. Besides, the places fr. which the militants launch rockets are right next to the Israeli border. These areas are generally rural with few modern buildings as far as I’m aware. Which renders yr comment irrelevant & simply wrong. But nice try.

          12. “Besides, the places fr. which the militants launch rockets are right next to the Israeli border. These areas are generally rural with few modern buildings”

            The place from which the terrorists launch rockets on Sderot and surrounding areas is a town called Bet Hanun. This is widely known. Only a closed mind like yours could possibly have missed that.

            I have been living with those rockets practically every day since 2001 but you, from your West Coast computer, know better than I and the hundreds of thousands of people who throughout the years came from all over the world to see for themselves and show support.

            BTW: Did you fast for the Gaza terrorists today? They’re gonna need your prayers if they keep launching rockets like that.

          13. a town called Bet Hanun

            Beit Hanun is a relatively rural area for Gaza and there are no modern buildings built on concrete pillars as you claim. And Beit Hanun is not the only place fr. which rockets are launched.

            Can you prove yr claim that you have been living with rockets. Where do you live? And how do we know that do indeed live there?

            The Fast for Gaza is a fast for Gaza’s 1.5 million civilians for whom you have absolutely no sympathy since you’re a moral monster. You’re begining to make me utterly sick. I hate to say this about someone who is Israeli (or at least claims to be). I generally try to give Israelis the benefit of the doubt till they prove themselves underserving of any fellow feeling. But you’re almost as cruel & crude as they come for Israelis who’ve posted at this site.

          14. “Can you prove yr claim that you have been living with rockets. Where do you live? And how do we know that do indeed live there?”

            You bet. I can’t wait to send my detailed bio, address and ph. numbers and more to supporters of terrorist organizations, crassy cliche spewers, ignoramuses and certified conspiracy theorists.

          15. So you refuse to provide even the most basic information to verify yr claims. Then we’ll have to entirely discredit any of those claims. I can’t even verify that you’re Israeli as you claim, let alone that you are of Arab Jewish origin, which you also claim.

          16. If you didn’t give a damn you wouldn’t be here, Silvia. Apparently, you’re trying to do something here though I’m not sure what. So saying you don’t give a damn rings false. You need credibility for anything you say here to have any impact. But you don’t deserve any & won’t get any until you can authenticate yr various claims.

          17. The removal of the illegal colonies from Gaza had nothing to do with Hamas’ firing rockets on Israeli cities. You should look for another cause of that effect.

          18. The old “firing rockets from under children’s bedrooms” is Zionist propaganda as well.

            Rockets, especially of the sort fired by Hamas, can be easily stopped. Israel has the technology.

            But the conflict in Gaza is a great cover for what Israel is doing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. You certainly can’t deny that.

          19. The rockets were launched from inside private houses under children’s bedrooms.

            Silvia, you simply take my breath away. I cannot remember ever encountering anyone who lies as brazenly and with such reliability as you do. Setting aside the fact that your claim that Hamas fires rockets from inside houses “under children’s bedrooms” is ludicrous on its face, since when has the presence of children ever stopped the Israeli military from blowing up whatever they wanted – or “needed” – to blow up?

            I have come to the conclusion that nothing you say is the truth.

    1. Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss explains here that Zionists bear complete culpability for the violence in Hebron.

      Certainly if racist Eastern European ethnic Ashkenazi Zionist invaders were not in the process of their effort to steal Palestine from the native population, there would never have been a conflict between the native Palestinians of Hebrew and the resident alien religious Jewish population.

      Note that the discussion of the friendliness of Palestinians makes a lot of sense. While the main Palestinian occupation in 1929 was peasant farming, the next large Palestinian occupation was hospitality.

      Everyone should scorn the racist European invaders that are so proud of stealing a country from peasant farmers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and trinket sellers.

    2. Terrorism has a specific definition. There is no evidence that I know of that the Hebron massacre fits that definition.

      1. As far as I know, there is no international agreement on the definition of terrorism, and the US definition is confusing to say the least and almost certainly covers activities in which the US engages or supports.

        1. It is quite well understood that terrorism is defined generally as violence or threat of violence committed against civilians as a means of coercing political change. There is no international agreement on details. As for the official U.S. definition, I do not find it in the least confusing, nor is it surprising that it covers activities in which the U.S. government engages and supports. There is such a thing as terrorism committed by states, and the U.S. uses it quite freely.

  4. Let’s don’t forget, which side has rejected a United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (UN General Assembly Resolution 181) and started a war in 1948.

    Arab aggression coasted them in terms of lands losses and refugee camps all over ME.

    1. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine began BEFORE the outbreak of war. The fighting began BEFORE the outbreak of war. The war was mostly fought inside the Palestinian portion of the Partition.

      The Partition was unfair to the Palestinian Arabs. NO ONE would have accepted such an unfair deal.

    2. Ok, figured out how to blockquote.

      A refresher on 1948.

      These are foot-notes from Noam Chomsky’s book Understanding Power. In them, he cites many different sources that explain the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Zionist forces.

      Chomsky: On the extent of the Zionist-controlled territory and the number of Palestinian refugees through May 1948, see for example, David Hirst, ‘The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East’, London: Faber and Faber, 1977, pp. 123-143. An excerpt (pp. 136, 138-139, 142):

      The rise of the State of Israel — in frontiers larger than those assigned to it under the Partition Plan — and the flight of the native population was a cataclysm so deeply distressing to the Arabs that to this day they call it, quite simply, al-nakba, the Catastrophe.

      […]Deir Yassin was, as Begin rightly claims, the most spectacular single contribution to the Catastrophe. [Interjection: Deir Yassin, an Arab town that had in fact refused to be used as a base for operations against the Jewish Agency by the foreign Arab volunteer force, was the site of a massacre of 250 innocent Arabs by the Jewish terrorist groups Irgun and the Stern Gang in April 1948.]

      In time, place and method it demonstrates the absurdity of the subsequently constructed myth [Interjection: that Arab leaders had called on the Palestinian refugees to flee]. The British insisted on retaining juridical control of the country until the termination of their Mandate on 15 May; it was not until they left that the regular Arab armies contemplated coming in. But not only did Deir Yassin take place more than five weeks before that critical date, it also took place outside the area assigned to the Jewish State. It was in no sense a retaliatory action.

      […]In reality, Deir Yassin was an integral part of Plan Dalet, the master-plan for the seizure of most or all of Palestine. […]Nothing was officially disclosed about Plan Dalet […] although Ben-Gurion was certainly alluding to it in an address [on April 7, 1948] to the Zionist Executive:

      “Let us resolve not to be content with merely defensive tactics, but at the right moment to attack all along the line and not just within the confines of the Jewish State and the borders of Palestine, but to seek out and crush the enemy where-ever he may be.”

      According to ‘Qurvot’ (Battles) of 1948, a detailed history of the Haganah and the Palmach [the Zionist fighting forces], the aim of Plan Dalet was “control of the area given to us by the U.N. in addition to areas occupied by us which were outside these borders and the setting up of forces to counter the possible invasion of Arab armies.”

      It was also designed to “cleanse” such areas of their Arab inhabitants.

      […]When the war ended, in early 1949, the Zionists, allotted 57 per cent of Palestine under the Partition Plan, had occupied 77 per cent of the country. Of the 1,300,000 Arab inhabitants, they had displaced nearly 900,000.

    3. Part 2:

      Chomsky: Benny Morris in, ‘The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus from Palestine: the Israel Defence Forces Intelligence Branch Analysis of June 1948’, Middle Eastern Studies (London), January 1986, pp. 5-19. An excerpt (pp. 5, 6-7, 9-10, 14, 18 ):

      A great deal of fresh light is shed on the multiple and variegated causation of the Arab exodus in a document which has recently surfaced, entitled ‘The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947-1/6/1948’.

      […]Dated 30 June 1948, it was produced by the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Branch during the first weeks of the First Truce (11 June-9 July) of the 1948 war. […]Rather than suggesting Israeli blamelessness in the creation of the refugee problem, the Intelligence Branch assessment is written in blunt factual and analytical terms and, if anything, contains more than a hint of “advice” as to how to precipitate further Palestinian flight by indirect methods, without having recourse to direct politically and morally embarrassing expulsion orders.

      On the eve of the U.N. Partition Plan Resolution of 29 November 1947, according to the report, there were 219 Arab villages and four Arab, or partly Arab, towns in the areas earmarked for Jewish statehood — with a total Arab population of 342,000. By 1 June, 180 of these villages and towns had been evacuated, with 239,000 Arabs fleeing the areas of the Jewish state. A further 152,000 Arabs, from 70 villages and three towns (Jaffa, Jenin and Acre), had fled their homes in the areas earmarked for Palestinian Arab statehood in the Partition Resolution, and from the Jerusalem area.

      By 1 June, therefore, according to the report, the refugee total was 391,000, give or take about 10-15 per cent.

      Another 103,000 Arabs (60,000 of them Negev beduin and 5,000 Haifa residents) had remained in their homes in the areas originally earmarked for Jewish statehood. (This figure excludes the Arabs who stayed on in Jaffa and Acre, towns occupied by Jewish forces but lying outside the 1947 partition boundaries of the Jewish state.)

      [The report] stress[es] that “without doubt, hostile [Haganah/Israel Defense Force] operations were the main cause of the movement of population[…]”

      Altogether, the report states, Jewish – meaning Haganah/I.D.F., I.Z.L. and L.H.I. – military operations[…] accounted for 70 % of the Arab exodus from Palestine. […][T]here is no reason to cast doubt on the integrity of I.D.F. Intelligence Branch in the production of this analysis. The analysis was produced almost certainly only for internal, I.D.F. top brass consumption. […]One must again emphasize that the report and its significance pertain only up to 1 June 1948, by which time some 300,000-400,000 Palestinians had left their homes.

      A similar number was to leave the Jewish-held areas in the remaining months of the war.

    4. Part Three:

      The article [written by Morris] also explains how this Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Branch report “thoroughly undermines the traditional official Israeli ‘explanation’ [hasbara] of a mass flight ordered or ‘invited’ by the Arab leadership for political-strategic reasons”(p. 17). See also, Benny Morris, ‘The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949’, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1987; Benny Morris, ‘1948 And After: Israel and the Palestinians’, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

      Since Morris’s early publications, he has noted that later declassified documents have strengthened his conclusions. See Benny Morris, ‘Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948’, in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., ‘The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948’, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 37-59. An excerpt (pp. 49, 38 ):

      [T]he documentation that has come to light or been declassified during the past ten years offers a great deal of additional information about the expulsions of 1948. The departure of Arab communities from some sites, departures that were described in ‘The Birth’ as due to fear or I.D.F. [Israel Defense Force] military attack or were simply unexplained, now appear to have been tinged if not characterized by Haganah or I.D.F. expulsion orders and actions.

      […]This means that the proportion of the 700,000 Arabs who took to the roads as a result of expulsions rather than as a result of straightforward military attack or fear of attack, etc. is greater than indicated in The Birth. Similarly, the new documentation has revealed atrocities that I had not been aware of while writing The Birth. […]These atrocities are important in understanding the precipitation of various phases of the Arab exodus.

      Above all, let me reiterate, the refugee problem was caused by attacks by Jewish forces on Arab villages and towns and by the inhabitants’ fear of such attacks, compounded by expulsions, atrocities, and rumors of atrocities — and by the crucial Israeli Cabinet decision in June 1948 to bar a refugee return.

      When Morris refers to The Birth – he is talking about this book of his:

      The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited

      See also, Avi Shlaim’s ‘The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World’, New York: Norton, 2000. An excerpt (p. 31):

      Plan Dalet, prepared by the Haganah chiefs in early March, was a major landmark in the development of this offensive strategy. During the preceding month the Palestinian irregulars, under the inspired leadership of Abdel Qader al-Husseini, cut the main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and started to gain the upper hand in the fighting with the Haganah. After suffering several defeats at the hands of Palestinian irregulars, the Haganah chiefs decided to seize the initiative and go on the offensive.

      The aim of Plan D was to secure all the areas allocated to the Jewish state under the U.N. partition resolution as well as Jewish settlements outside these areas and corridors leading to them, so as to provide a solid and continuous basis for Jewish sovereignty.

      The novelty and audacity of the plan lay in the orders to capture Arab villages and cities, something the Haganah had never attempted before. Although the wording of Plan D was vague, its objective was to clear the interior of the country of hostile and potentially hostile Arab elements, and in this sense it provided a warrant for expelling civilians. By implementing Plan D in April and May, the Haganah thus directly and decisively contributed to the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem.

      Plan D was not a political blueprint for the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs: it was a military plan with military and territorial objectives. However, by ordering the capture of Arab cities and the destruction of villages, it both permitted and justified the forcible expulsion of Arab civilians. By the end of 1948 the number of Palestinian refugees had swollen to around 700,000. But the first and largest wave of refugees occurred before the official outbreak of hostilities on 15 May.

      Simha Flapan, ‘The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities’, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 81-118. An excerpt (pp. 42, 83-84, 132):

      In April 1948, forces of the Irgun penetrated deep into Jaffa, which was outside the borders of the proposed Jewish state. […]Ben-Gurion, despite harsh pronouncements against the dissidents [i.e. the Irgun and other terrorist squads], waited until after the establishment of the state to force them to disband. He could have done this earlier had it suited his purposes, but clearly it did not. The terrorists were very successful in extending the war into areas not officially allocated to the Jews.

      Between 600,000 and 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were evicted or fled from areas that were allocated to the Jewish state or occupied by Jewish forces during the fighting and later integrated de facto into Israel. During and after the exodus, every effort was made — from the razing of villages to the promulgation of laws — to prevent their return.

      According to the partition plan, the Jewish state would have had well over 300,000 Arabs, including 90,000 Bedouin. With the Jewish conquest of areas designated for the Arab state (western Galilee, Nazareth, Jaffa, Lydda, Ramleh, villages south of Jerusalem, and villages in the Arab Triangle of central Palestine), the Arab population would have risen by another 300,000 or more. Zionist leaders feared such numbers of non-Jews would threaten the stability of the new state both militarily – should they become a fifth column for Arab armies, and socially, insofar as a substantial Muslim and Christian minority would challenge the new state’s Jewish character.

      Thus the flight of up to 700,000 Arabs from Palestinian villages and towns during 1948 came to many as a relief.

      It wasn’t until April 30, 1948, two weeks before the end of the [British] Mandate, that Arab chiefs of staff met for the first time to work out a plan for military intervention. Under the pressure of mounting public criticism, fueled by the increasingly desperate situation in Palestine – the massacre of Deir Yassin, the fall of Tiberias, the evacuation of Haifa, the collapse of the Palestinian forces, the failure of the A.L.A. [Arab Liberation Army], and the mass flight of refugees – the army chiefs of the Arab states were finally compelled to discuss the deployment of their regular armies.

      I’ll stop at that. There’s a lot more excerpts from various scholars citing declassified Israeli government documents and blah blah blah. I mean, it’s not even a debated issue even in Israel – whether THEY caused the ethnic cleansing or not.

      At this point they debate about the numbers. And even then, it’s not like they had any issues with it, they are still ethnic cleansing Palestinians to this very day.

  5. Second Great Zionist Fraud

    The Arab States’ Intervention was a legitimate response to ethnic cleansing that the Zionist had been carrying out for months.

    The United Nations Organization (UNO) should have supported the Arab intervention with the consequence that the Zionist forces would have been defeated.

    A Jerusalem Tribunal could have been established to try, to convict, and to execute the Zionist leadership of Palestine, the USA, and the UK.

    Such an outcome would have shown that Nuremberg Law was not simply victor’s law by applying the same standards to targets (albeit earlier collaborators) of German Nazis as was applied to the German Nazis themselves.

    Because the Gaza Rampage was simply a continuation of the 1947-8 ethnic cleansing, dismantling the Zionist state and bringing the international Zionist leadership before a Jerusalem Tribunal for trial, conviction, and execution should be the goal of those committed to International Law.

    1. Let me understand, you do support UN resolutions, when it condemn Israel, right? But somehow, you are ignoring the resolution 181…

      BTW, could you please provide any RELIABLE link, which would back up yours “ethnic cleansing that the Zionist had been carrying out for months.”?

      1. No, I am merely pointing out that the Nuremberg Tribunal in findings of fact exonerated the anti-German resistance of wrongdoing in attacks on Germans in the Sudetenland, which was annexed to Germany under International Agreement.

        The clear implication tells us that until the Zionist state repatriates the native population, reconveys stolen properties to their rightful owners, and negotiates as settlement with the native population, the native population has every right under International Law to kill any Zionist colonizer anywhere in Stolen or Occupied Palestine.

        In addition, if the Zionist State undertakes to defend itself from legitimate attacks by the resistance, it is essentially compounding its crimes, and the leadership of the Zionist state should be indictable for additional crimes against humanity under Rome Statute Article 15.

        Zionists have been carrying out ethnic cleansing for decades, but most recent discussions of ongoing Zionist ethnic cleansing have focused on E. Jerusalem and Silwan.

  6. Goldstone is upset that the resolution that just passed at the UNHRC uses his report to attack Israel. Just how naive is he? Did he really think this was about being fair?

    “Richard Goldstone did not hide his irritation: “This proposed resolution saddens me because it indicated that allegations against Israel. There are no words to condemn Hamas as we do in the report. I hope the Council can still edit this text. “The judge, however, defends its conclusions:” The Americans talk about errors in our report, but they do not advance a single fact to demonstrate tangible. “Despite the politicization of his report – including Hamas – it can only regret, he remains confident that it will make its way and will support peace in the region. As for the virulence of Israeli attacks, he expected, “but not to such venom. It is a sad experience. “

  7. —This is good news. I agree it’s disappointing that the UN Human Rights Council didn’t mention the Qassam attacks, but by endorsing the Goldstone Report they are implicitly endorsing all that’s contained in it.

    Also, the magnitude and horror of the IDF’s crimes against the Palestinians of Gaza dwarfs the Palestinians’ blind, fumbling missile attacks emanating out of Gaza toward Sderot and other Israeli targets. A false moral equivalency between Israeli and Palestinian crimes should be avoided. Israel is the occupier and the primary aggressor here.

    And given the savage daily brutality so many Palestinians live under, I’d be incredibly surprised if they all turned out self-sacrificing, peace-venerating Gandhis. There’s a great article by Andrea D’Cruz in the latest Nation magazine about the regular practice of psychological—and also physical torture—practiced against Palestinian children taken by force into Israeli custody (usually for the purpose of forcing confessions). Israelis need to do some serious soul-searching concerning such sick and repulsive practices. It’s behavior like this that accounts for Israel’s current pariah status in so much of the world (particularly in exemplary countries like Norway).—

  8. To all:

    How do you explain the fact, that there are ~1.5 million arabs living in Israel (including big cities such as Haifa, Lod, Ramle, Akko and Jaffa), and nobody expels them, nobody does genocide to them and nobody takes their lands?

    1. Awamori, they don’t have any land to speak of, and most of them live in Arab-only neighborhoods and their kids go to Arab-only schools. To outright murder these people would bring international attention to Israel, and so they are tolerated. However, Avigdor Lieberman dreams of expelling them, and has come up with the idea of having them sign “loyalty oaths” to the state of Israel. Thus, if the State deems they have done something disloyal, they can be legally expelled. As it is, they do not have the same rights as Israeli Jews.

      I’ve been arguing with Zionists for so long that these answers come almost by rote.

      1. Which rights they don’t have?

        BTW, what do you think would happen to the Jews, if they were losing that war back in 1948?

      2. Avigdor Liberman is a radical. He doesn’t represent common approach. This low of “no loyality, no citizintship” will never pass.

        1. Whatever happened in 1948 is moot. I really don’t care what would have happened to the Jews in 1948 if they hadn’t “won that war” (exterminated and expelled 700,000 Palestinians). Most of the Jews settled in Europe and the US after World War II. The big move to “Israel” did not happen until much later, and when Israel offered free land and citizenship to any Jews who wanted them.

          Avigdor Lieberman is a right wing Likud Kahanist who also happens to be one of the most popular and influential politicians in Israel. At one time, he did not represent “common approach,” but his popularity is increasing.

  9. Some good and balanced article regarding Arab and Jewish population of Ottoman and Mandate Palestine:


    “…Therefore we cannot conclude that Jewish settlement displaced Arabs. On the contrary, Jewish settlement may have attracted Arabs, so that in the areas that that eventually became Israel in all probability there were more Arabs than there would have been without Jewish settlement. Another explanation is that the urban areas attracted Jewish settlers and Arabs because of better standard of living and employment opportunity. Health conditions were probably somewhat better in these areas as well. Note that Table 8 is not divided according to areas that did or did not become part of Israel. Therefore the data should not be misused to claim that a large number of Arabs present in Israel in 1948 had migrated from the non-Jewish areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Beersheba district, which became part of Israel, lost about 45,000 Arabs between 1931 and 1945, if we believe the survey.

    The importance of the above is that it shows that rather than “dispossessing” or displacing the Arabs of Palestine, Zionist settlement apparently attracted them…”

    1. I suggest that instead, you may want to read Ilan Pappe’s book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.”

      In 1948, the West Bank belonged to Jordan and Gaza was part of Egypt. There were no “non-Jewish areas” there; it was all non-Jewish until 1967.

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