Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Evangelical Zionists

5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics

Two-State Solution and the Differentiation Strategy

Note: I wrote many articles on this existential issue. As long as the extremist Evangelical Zionists in the USA believe firmly that the Second Coming will happens when Jerusalem is totally Jewish, reason and rational policies are irrelevant for any feasible strategy, except military re-conquest of Palestine.

Apparently, there are about 50 million of those deplorable Evangelical Zionists in the USA who don’t believe a Palestinian exist. At best temporary residents. And many European States have these kinds of extremist dogmatic religious affiliations. Evangelical Zionist foundation preceded Herzl by 50 years, and it the US supreme judge in 1915 who pressured Wilson to obtain from Britain and Balfour a declaration on a Jewish homeland before joining England in WW!

In an attempt to maintain their legitimacy through International Law compliance, the European Union has continued to support the parameters of the Oslo Agreement and a Two-State Solution.

(Oslo Agreement is the peace deal that Clinton signed with Arafat and Rabin in 1992. After Rabin assassination, the US reneged on its signature and every clause in the deal. Congress went even further and pronounced that Jerusalem is Capital of Israel in 1996)

However, by doing so, it has failed to adjust to the changing realities on the ground and half-measures designed to ensure the geopolitical readiness of the East Side of the Green Line have ultimately failed to move the Middle East Peace Process any closer to a final agreement. (East Side of the Green Line? Explain)

The reasons behind this cautious EU approach to the conflict are complex and, at its crux, revolves around a lack of unity among EU member states; a reluctance to instigate any major confrontation with Israel and their limited power if acting unilaterally without US backing.

With the purpose of understanding the role and limits of the European Union in the Israel/Palestine conflict resolution, this paper places emphasis on the EU Differentiation Strategy and its symbiotic relationship with the Two State for Two Peoples paradigm.

(Paradigm? But the Palestinians lived in Palestine for thousands of years. It is accepting the Zionist Jews, who came from everywhere, as a people that is the new paradigm)

On the basis that the EU’s Strategy aims to build the foundations of a future Palestinian State, it will be argued that the Differentiation Strategy is insufficient to achieve a Two-State Solution as it fails to understand the roots of the settlement policies and the lack of sovereignty in the Occupied Territories as the main obstacle to peace. (Wrong. the institutions knew these facts ever since Israel was recognized as a State, and the European people too)

The European Union has played an important role in the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) being both a supporter of a Two-State solution and a legitimising agent of the Palestinian State –meaning Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem[1].  I

ts role in legitimising a more pro-Arab framework of negotiations has been key to normalising issues such as the Palestinian rights back in the 70’s when only Arab states had hitherto mentioned the word Palestinians or a Palestinian Homeland.

Cognisant of the fact that a unified voice was essential to gain credibility and weight in the world’s International Affairs[2], the European Community further formalised its pro-Arab approach through the Venice Declaration in 1980 by calling for the PLO involvement in the Peace negotiations and the Palestinian right to self-determination[3].

Further to this, the already established European Union committed to the recognition of a Palestinian State in the 1999 Berlin Declaration “when appropriate”[4] and recognised Jerusalem as the capital for both states later in 2009[5].

In this spirit, it has been largely argued that the European Community had set the grounds for the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993[6] which defined the Oslo parameters making the EU the “middle ground” party in the negotiations[7].

Since 1980 it has consistently advocated for a Two-State solution, and the Green Line as the border between Israel and Palestine[8] serving as a normative example internationally[9]. Hence, being this ‘definer’ of normality confers on the EU a certain political weight in international affairs- a fact that should not be overlooked[10].

The European Union, as the largest donor to the Palestinians, has strongly committed economically to the Palestinian state-building enterprise in a belief that occupation will perish under strong institution building[11].

With the final aim of achieving Palestinian statehood, the EU has been supporting the Palestinian Authority institution and infrastructure building[12]. Again, the EU has also taken an economic lead in the Palestinian right to self-determination and demonstrated its commitment to the Two-State Solution by strengthening future Palestinian state infrastructure.

As the Secretary-General, António Guterres affirmed earlier this year[13]-“A two-State solution is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and secure a sustainable solution to the conflict”.

The most recent example of the European Union’s legitimising role in framing the conflict’s terminology and drawing red-lines has been the 2013 Differentiation Strategy. This Strategy has further underlined the European understanding of Israeli boundaries disregarding the “Greater Israel” conceptualisation and set the grounds for Palestinian self-determination[14]. (Actually, even now, Israel refuses to have in its constitution any definite borders for the State)

Although there are precedents of EU´s differentiation between the State of Israel and the West Bank, the Differentiation Strategy has been understood as the crystallisation of these efforts in a more unified policy and a consequence of the European Parliament (EP) and activists groups’ pressure together with the European Commission frustration after the many failed attempts to end the conflict[15].

The Differentiation Strategy needs to be taken in the context of the post-Lisbon era and the increasing power of the European Parliament which has criticised the EU’s hesitant attitude to condemning Israeli unlawful action[16].

Given its less institutional character, the EP has held a more critical view and proof of this is its acknowledgement of the necessity to recognise Palestinian statehood concurrently with the Peace Talks and not as the consequence of these.[17]

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) defines the EU Differentiation Strategy as a “variety of measures taken by the EU and its member states to exclude settlement-linked entities and activities from bilateral relations with Israel” as a means to deter settlement construction[18] and a reminder of Oslo parameters.

When signing the Free Trade Agreement, Israel had to agree to exclude any products originated in settlements, thus, becoming unable to export them to Europe, as well as excluding settlement entities from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme -which provides research grants.

These guidelines prevent settlement entities from accessing EU funds and, presently, 18 EU member states have issued advisories which aim to warn EU businesses of the legal and economic consequences of dealing with such entities[19].

As the EU’s Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, put it: “The EU said it will accept mutually agreed changes to the pre-67 lines, or whatever the parties can agree on. However, until such an agreement is reached, it will continue to differentiate between Israel within internationally recognized borders and the settlements outside those borders”[20].

The problem emerges when the EU Differentiation Strategy is not consistently applied – as many states have preferred to comply with the guidelines through EU institutions but not bilaterally[21].

The discord among EU member states became even more apparent when in 2015 the European Commission issued an interpretative notice[22] on labeling settlement products to prevent them from having the same preferential treatment Israeli products have in the EU[23] -which provoked strong opposition from countries such as Greece, Hungary and the Czech Republic[24].

Israel responded fiercely to this policy and accused the labels of being anti-Semitic since, contrary to the 2013 strategy, the labeling involved action from the Israeli exporters and not only from Europe[25]: Netanyahu declared, “we remember history and we remember what happened when the products of Jews were labelled in Europe. The labelling of products of the Jewish state by the European Union brings back dark memories”[26].

Eventually, the product labeling was not equally applied among member states[27] and sparked strong criticism.

Whilst EU Law aimed to unify EU’s foreign policy on trading and funding issues, it has also evidenced the difficulty of getting a consensus among the 28 member states, given the disparity of their interests and their historical backgrounds –e.g. the tendency of a more pro-Israeli predilection of Eastern European countries[28].

Acting effectively given the divisions among EU member states and their own national and regional priorities as well as interests has been a daunting task thus far. The ascent of Euro-Scepticism after the economic crisis has contributed to the rise of populists and right wing leaning governments which tend to be more pro-Israeli[29].

As a result, any agreement will be based on the “lowest common denominator” [30] explaining the EU’s moderate approach and preventing any drastic measures such as the labelling to be equally implemented or realised.

This lack of unity among member states is also exemplified in the recognition of the State of Palestine. (Actually, far more States recognized Palestine than Israel was recognized in 1948)

When the Palestinian Authority presented its candidature in the United Nations in 2011 and despite a UN report which endorsed Palestinian readiness for statehood,[31] European members could not reach a consensus.

Contrary to what was expected, Sweden’s recognition of the Palestinian State in 2014 was not mirrored by others; the remaining states who today recognise Palestinian statehood did so whilst part of the Soviet Union, and some of these same states, such as the Czech Republic, are now close allies of Israel[32].

The Berlin Declaration which established that the recognition should be realised “when appropriate” is again another illustration of the EU’s overly-cautious behaviour, reluctant to take stronger measures and ´rush into´ Palestinian sovereignty.

As the Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister, Margot Wallström, upheld: “Some will state this decision comes too soon. I am afraid, rather, that it is too late.” (Nothing is too late, as long as the Palestinians are marching every Friday to Return home)

There is no unanimity among European member states on whether the EU should recognise Palestine collectively or bilaterally[33]. Yet, the problem is rather whether it will ever be appropriate: sovereignty should be a priority in the State-Building enterprise but it is undermined by the facts on the ground which are not properly condemned or addressed creating in a vicious circle.

As Lovatt argues[34], the statehood readiness that the EU considers necessary to recognise Palestine can hardly be achieved amid the limitations that the stem from territorial fragmentation in the West Bank. (Settlements in occupied lands are contrary to UN resolutions and should never be a handicap)

The European Union is a heterogeneous actor: to many member states national interests are still more powerful motivators than achieving a common EU foreign policy, making major decision-making on international relations both convoluted and treacherous.

Attempts to promote a more coherent foreign policy by, e.g. the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), have proven to have limited scope for action or effectiveness[35].

On the top of that, instability in the European community -Brexit, the Ukraine crises and the rise of populism, among others- has increased the EU’s challenges[36] deprioritising the MEPP[37].

This heterogeneity hampers the diffusion of its normative discourse and the creation of a single identity. Normative power if not internalised within local institutions loses its full capacity to cause an impact[38].

(And why a few extremist Right wing Eastern European governments, like Hungary, Check republic, Poland..have to officially celebrate in Jerusalem with Ivanka? Is it the trend that every chauvinistic government in East Europe is supposed to lick USA ass in order to bypass EU frustrations with their racist policies?)

In this vein, major condemnation of the settlement policy would entail recognising Israel’s direct responsibility, thus, the EU’s differentiation strategy tends to understand settlements as a separate entity.(This statement is Not clear)

Even when the EU´s infrastructure has been demolished or seized by Israel due to their settlement policies in the West Bank, European foreign policy has always avoided imposing sanctions to Israel [39]which could be partially explained by the cooperative relation between the two actors.

In addition to the individual state alliances, the EU maintains strong economic and research links with Israel, being its main trading partner[40] -cooperation materialised through the “Association Agreement” in 2000[41]and further integrated Israel within the EU market via the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2005[42].

Not only does Israel’s trade with Europe amount to a third of its total trade but also, Israel is one of the most significant trading partners to the EU in the Mediterranean Area and has been ranked as its 24th partner globally in 2016 [43]. Institutional and economic links between Europe and Israel could have reached an “everything without membership” status in 2013 through a partnership offered by the EU if Peace Talks had not failed a year later[44].

In sum and as Freedland well puts it “if one reason for Israel to end the occupation and make peace with the Palestinians was to improve its international standing, that motive has lost its urgency[45]. (Only sanctioning and boycotting Israel is the main pressure effort to rehabilitate the racist and apartheid policies of Israel)

It seems that maintaining trade relations with Israel is still more profitable than promoting its identity with consistency[46]by being more critical of the settlement activity. Still, the EU has continued to place emphasis on its compliance of International Law and in its “middle ground” normative role.

The Differentiation Strategy, or the “New Approach” as coined by Harpaz[47] is based on “‘[T]he respect of EU positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967’”[48] reinforcing its understanding of the conflict.

As stated previously, coherence and continuity confer actors’ legitimacy and, thus, leverage in International Affairs. “EU’s self-identity”[49] is grounded on its “consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions”[50] as well as “strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter”[51] as established in the Lisbon Treaty.

European normative power may provide external legitimacy by being consistent with International Law[52], but it does not lead to major changes on the ground. In other words, not rewarding the State of Israel for its settlement policy –referring to the Differentiation Strategy[53] does not halt the settlement policy itself.

Furthermore, if more drastic measures to condemn Israel policies vis-á-vis the occupied territories were to be taken, they would require prior US backing. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, could not be clearer in that respect: “Nothing without the United States, nothing with the United States alone”[54].

The US is the only capable actor of exercising effective pressure on Israel and even if the EU were to make use of all its leverage on both parties, this would not necessarily result in a compromise between the PA and the Israeli government[55]. US approval, as well as support, is required to lead the MEPP[56].

The EU Differentiation Strategy has been insufficient to pressure Israel and failed to force any recognition of Israeli state responsibility as the perpetrator and driving-force of increased settlement activity, by only tackling non-governmental actors based in the settlements[57].

Yet the EU is still cognisant of the dangers this activity presents to achieving a Two-State solution and the danger of reaching a one-state reality. As recently acknowledged by António Guterres: “Negative trends on the ground have the potential to create an irreversible one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national, historic and democratic aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians” (This statement is a tacit encouragement for Israel to continue its settlement policies).[58]

The EU has been managing rather than resolving the conflict which proves once again the urgent need for a new “new approach”.[59]A non-confrontational attitude[60]towards Israel is certainly not a strong enough tool to force Israel to reconsider its policy vis-á-vis the occupied territories.

The EU’s relation with Israel is based on a policy of incentives which places the country in a privileged position in trade relations and turns any effort to differentiate Israel from Greater Israel almost purely normative. There is a misconception in understanding settlements as a separate entity from the State of Israel as the Differentiation Strategy does. Notwithstanding that the EU has taken the lead in establishing the red lines of the conflict, these appear to be far too unambitious to properly threaten the settlement expansion.

The European Differentiation Strategy can, thus, be taken as an example of the limits of the European role in achieving a Two-State Solution. Due to the lack of unity among member states, the strong economic and institutional ties with Israel and the difficulty of pursuing a stronger policy unilaterally at odds with the US, the European Union has chosen to take a cautious approach.

Maintaining the current bilateral and multilateral relations with Israel bears more fruit than any benefits reaped from an overt confrontation. Avoiding confrontation still allows the EU to maintain its coherency and, thus, to some extent its external legitimacy.

On the one hand, the Differentiation Strategy can be seen as an EU attempt to preserve its legitimacy internationally since the time for abandoning the Two-State Solution is not ripe after all efforts invested in it and given the unpopularity of the alternatives. On the other hand, it also proves the urgent need for a real shift in the EU’s thinking.

By tackling the consequences of settlement activity instead and disregarding its roots, the conflict has reached a stalemate which has not actively contributed to reaching the sovereignty required for Palestinian statehood and, thus, the achievement of a Two-State Solution.

Despite the fact that a halt or decrease in the settlement activity has not come to reality, the Differentiation Strategy can still be understood as an active approach towards the conflict resolution strengthening the role of the EU as the middle ground party.  Moreover, after the US confirmed its budget cuts to UNRWA, the European Union has pledged additional funds directed to the UN agency and the Palestinian institution-building enterprise[61] which, together with the Union’s rejection of the US latest decision on Jerusalem, can serve as confidence builders for the Palestinians towards the EU.

(The same process with Iran nuclear deal: EU will have to shoulder the compensation for US reneging on the deal)

Amid the difficulties and limitations previously described, the EU has recently taken a more active role in the conflict with the purpose of reactivating the Peace Talks. Its engagement on the ground is now under the scrutiny of the EU foreign ministers who are committed to reviewing the modalities applied thus far. Mogherini clarified in her declaration: “The purpose of this review, that will be conducted mainly by our colleagues in the European Commission, will be exactly to make sure that all the modalities of our engagement will be as efficient and as effective as they can be to reach the goal of the two-state solution.”[62]

At an Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) extraordinary session hosted by the EU earlier this year, the Union has committed to engage in further multilateral talks with the Quartet, Norway and the Arab partners[63].  Further to this, Abbas’s decision to hold an International Conference by mid-2018 which aims to re-address the conflict multilaterally –meaning the Middle East Quartet and the Arab League- was particularly well-received by France and Russia[64].

This new impulse to reactivate and re-address the talks could provide the EU with the space to translate its normative and financial power into significant changes on-the-ground. It remains to be seen what 2018 will bring for the MEPP but the one thing is clear: the EU continues to have a legitimising role in the negotiations despite the limitations.

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 190

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

If Timor Lank had not vanquished the Turkish army in 1400, then the Byzantium Capital of Constantinople would have fallen 50 years earlier, along with most of Europe. There would have been no Renaissance

In 1400, the enmities between Genoa and Venice was at its zenith, the Kingdom of Poland was weak, there was no Russian Empire, and the King Henry of Portugal had not begun challenging the high seas to discover new routes to India and the Far East. There would be no Western Europe or the Renaissance if the Ottoman army was Not completely defeated by Timorlane.

And the King of France Charles 8 would not have entered and ruined Rome and displaced the skilled artisans and thinkers, all located and concentrated in Papal Rome, dispersing them to all over western Europe that started the Renaissance.

Robert Reilly said about the puritanical trials of the homosexuals in Britain: “The many biographers have given the facts, but they left out the feelings.”

Oscar Wilde told his wife Frances: “Shall I ever conquer that harsh and golden city?  I have produced nothing in over a year except Cyril (his son).  I have done nothing since my marriage. Perhaps I am too happy to work

Oscar went on: “Between them, Shakespeare and Balzac, they have said everything worth saying. I am a little closer to my lifelong ambition to be the first well-dressed philosopher in the history of thought

Lady Effingham was quite altered by her husband’s death.  She looked twenty years younger.  In fact her hair has turned quite gold from grief.” (Oscar Wilde)

“In married life, three’s a company, two’s a crowd.”

“I like to carry my diary when I travel; one should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Ignorance is like an exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.”

“Novels that end happily invariably leave one feeling depressed.”

“If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.”

Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.”

“The realization of oneself is the prime aim of life; realizing this aim through pleasure is finer than to do so through pain.”

Ta ghayyaret awlawiyaat Tellerson: wousoulaho al Khamees moush nahar al daynounet. Israel ma 3aadat 3askariyyan mouhemat kharijiyyan lel USA, aflasat. Israel mouhemat daakhiliyyan fi USA lal

Shou bye3neh Netaniyaho: Ma bte3nina al tas3eed? USA jabreto wa tole3 bi swaad al wajeh?

Waa7ed F16? Israel 3enda kteer minha. Laken kasser sourataha (edrob wa ohrob) 3ind al Israili wa Saudi Kingdom ma btet3awad

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 187

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Comment le present contient-il quelque chose de durable, de partage’ et toujours?

Il ne concevait la gouinfrerie comme normale et naturelle que pour les males. Les femmes qui gouinfrent en detachant le petit doight etaient deprimantes.

Ils semblent que les genes de la beaute’ de leurs femmes n’ etaient pas assez puissants pour contrecarrer la laideur et la disgrace des males, et cela de generation en generation.

Quand aux soubresauts de l’existence et sa propre laideur, Sam repondait avec la meme irreductible bonne humeur: Le moment qu’il apparaissait, l’entourage eprouvait un sentiment de bien-etre.

Les “Romes” (clans of tzygans) disent qu’ils ne peuvent raconter des histoires que dans leur langue “Romaniche”. C’est une des verite’s de La Palisse: Toute minorite’ ne peut bien raconter que dans leur propre langue or slang

Les precheurs evangelistes (surtout Extremist Evangelical Zionists Americains) n’avaient-ils pas attire’ des foules (en Afrique et dans les minorites) vers Le Seigneur en exaltant les vertus du succes et de l’ argent?

Currently, millions of female fetuses are aborted each year in China and India. Even after birth, Indian baby girls are left to die of famine and negligence.  

Minority ethnic groups in China are experiencing State Eugenics Laws since 1995; the Chinese genetic physician has simply to state that the expected baby of the minority parents is found to be physically or mentally handicapped to sterilize the parents; reactions are lukewarm; as they say “it is economics, stupid”.

All these tests for intelligence IQ or SAT or psychological tests abounding in universities are basically eugenics instruments:  They were proven to have no validity or power to forecast anything in people’s potentials and capability.

Still, tests for intelligence are used as a big business and misleading excuses to selecting students and hiring people in companies.  In the US, a prisoner with IQ lower than 70 is not sent to death raw:  He has to improve his score to be illegible to die!

Politics have their own agenda to interpret statements delivered my famous scientists on the validity of Eugenic practices.  The French author Rabelais in the 16th century said “Science without conscious is the ruin of the soul”.  State Eugenics practices, in militaristic and dictatorial States, are rampant in this century.

I went to bed at midnight and got up at 4:30 am in sweat, upset and totally angry. I had this night dream.

Wa shou dakhlo Allah, wa Allah ma dakhlo. Wa 3ala shou al naass 3am defa3lkon, 3ala bosh, bi essem Allah? Wa ana moush 3am ba3mel shi, leish ma byetla3li 7ossat?

Nasr Allah of Hezbollah will deliver a speech this Friday Feb.16, 2018 at 3 pm

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 156

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Water is a right, not a privilege. 2.4 million  children in Somalia and much more in Yemen desperately need clean drinking water.  They walk many kilometers for a daily water need, that is Not even clean for drinking. People were ready to walk 200 m for a bottle of water to support the less fortunate in their desperation
Once, the area of captivity was bombed and one of the militia was injured.  Rochot could hear the injured person in the next room and the kidnappers were at a loss what to do with their comrade.  For example, hostage Michel Seurat died of liver cancer in captivity and Seurat was moved to another room to cry out his pains and sufferings.

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species. Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm. A chauffeur waiting for his master.

Israel has become a complete liability to all the colonial powers, especially the Evangelical Zionists, who wanted to transfer to and retain their Jews in Israel. It has dawned on many Israelis to get ready to transfer to their previous “Homes”

The colonial powers did everything to permit Israel to survive, and finally failed. If Israel desist from antagonizing the Palestinians and its neighboring States, it might survive another decade. Otherwise, it will disintegrate within five

L’obtretricien vit le cul du gros nouveau-ne’,  couvert de merde qui lui hurler: “Tu m’a tire’ dans ce monde. Debrouille toi pour me prover que ca vaut la peine de naitre”

On est virus, retro-virus (par des milliars dans notre corps). On est bacteries, cellules… qui se confrontent et collaborent. Et notre espece s’entretuent.

Notre espece a survecue grace aux retro-virus et bacteries. La raison et la logique donnent l’illusion qu’ on est intelligent: la pire calamite’ qui va detruire notre espece.

Are we witnessing an “Arab Winter upheaval”? Starting again from Tunisia? 7 years of crappy transition period is too much to bear. Did the colonial powers learned Not to meddle in people’s uprising?

This time around, Turkey, Saudi Kingdom and Qatar have more troubles internally to actively disturb another “Arab” uprising. The undertone of most of these current upheavals have the Jerusalem pronouncement as a catalyst.

Hezbollah need a grass-root Christian party as ally. Berry is playing with fire and is isolating himself in the coming election.

Tele’ Luniere ba3da bi tarateel milaad, 7atta osbou3 7azinat. Ba3dha, ya ma7la 3ashouraa2: bil al alam wa al mouddat

 

‘Fake News!’: The View from Israel’s Occupation

Rebecca Stein. Feb 19, 2018

Among the numerous ideological affinities and governing styles shared by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a commitment to the rhetoric of ‘fake news.’

In the last year, Netanyahu has increasingly borrowed this Trump formulation in an attempt to quell dissent and undercut critical Israeli and international media scrutiny.

Netanyahu is not unique in this regard. Over the course of the last year, authoritarian regimes across the globe – including Syria, Russia and Malaysia – have adopted the fake news script to silence detractors and critics, frequently in response to the charge of human rights violations.

But while the global scale of this accusation may be unprecedented, charges of fake news have a long history, considerably preceding the Trump era.

In Israel, the accusation of fraudulence, employed against political critics and foes, can be traced to the onset of the Zionist settler-national project.

As post-colonial studies show, the repudiation of indigenous claims (to history, land, humanity and so on) was a foundational logic of colonial projects, enabling the violence of colonialism in its various forms.

This formulation was also at work in the history of Zionism and has had a lasting hold on dominant Israeli ideology.

Over the course of the last two decades, amidst the ascendance of nationalist extremism in Israel, the fraudulence charge has grown ever stronger among the Jewish right-wing public as a popular means of indicting critics and undercutting Palestinian claims, particularly where Israel’s military occupation is concerned.

Mohammed al-Dura

Video footage of Israeli state violence against Palestinians has been a favorite target of this accusation – footage shot by international journalists and human rights workers and increasingly, as cameras have proliferated in the West Bank, by the cameras of Palestinians living under occupation.

It was in the language of fake news that Israelis famously responded to the killing of 12-year-old Mohammad al-Dura by the Israeli security services in 2000, in the early days of the second Intifada.[1]

His killing was filmed by French television and was replayed around the world in the aftermath of the event, becoming no less than a viral global icon of the Israeli military. What ensued was an organized campaign by the Israeli right wing, and their international supporters, to debunk the images as fake.

Netanyahu convened an Israeli government committee of inquiry in 2012 to investigate the incident, and the committee eventually endorsed the popular discourse of fakery, blaming manipulative editing for falsely producing the damning images.

The state committee did more than exonerate the Israeli security services in al-Dura’s death; indeed, they argued that he was Not actually dead.

Right-wing Israeli newspapers put it succinctly in their headlines: “Mohammed al-Dura: The Boy Who Wasn’t Really Killed.” Pleas by the al-Dura family to exhume the boy’s body were declined.

The state committee did more than exonerate the Israeli security services in al-Dura’s death; indeed, they argued that he was not actually dead.

Despite the Israeli response to the al-Dura affair in 2000, it would take nearly two decades for this argument about Palestinian fakery to become commonplace where video evidence of Israeli state violence is concerned.

By 2014, amidst the ascendance of far-right politics in Israel, and the threatening spread of cameras among Palestinians living under occupation, the argument finally gained a mainstream foothold.

Footage from Bitunya

For example, the charge of fake news would predominate in Israel following the killing of 2 Palestinian youths in the West Bank town of Bitunya in 2014, fatally shot by the Israeli security services during an annual demonstration commemorating the Nakba.

The military denied responsibility, claiming that their forces had only used non-lethal rubber bullets that day, in compliance with regulations governing engagement in protest contexts.[2] But the scene had been filmed by numerous on-site cameras, including four security cameras, and those of CNN and a Palestinian photojournalist.

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem took on the case, believing that the unusually high volume of associated footage conclusively established military responsibility for the deaths.

But mainstream Israelis felt differently, and the volume of footage from Bitunya did little to persuade them of the military’s responsibility. To the contrary, the videographic evidence fueled a widespread repudiation campaign.

State actors and institutions were among the first to join the fake news chorus, including the defense minister, the foreign minister and official military spokesmen.

All argued that “the film was edited and d[id] not reflect the reality of the day in question.”

Their assertions were parroted by the national media, who insisted that the shootings were “staged and faked.” That accusation was then picked up by right-wing Israelis and supporters internationally.

Some focused on the image of the falling body, arguing for its self-evident theatricality (yet another case of what some called “Pallywood” – the purported Palestinian Hollywood-like industry in manufactured images of Palestinian victims).

Others claimed there was a lack of adequate blood in the footage, proof that the victim had not been killed. Most proponents of the fraudulence charge did not dispute the deaths themselves, as they had in the al-Dura case, but focused on exonerating the IDF through a re-reading of the footage, arguing that the bullets had come from other sources.

The charge of fraudulence haunted the case as it wound its way through the Israeli legal system. The Bitunya case established the fake news charge as a default Israeli script for responding to video-graphic evidence of state violence against Palestinians.

A few months hence, during another violent Israeli military incursion into the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Netanyahu would famously rehearse a variant of this discourse when he accused people in Gaza of performing their deaths for the media: “They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.”

The language of “fake news” had moved from the margins of the conspiratorial blogosphere to become the language of state – presaging a dynamic that we would watch unfold in the US in the Trump era, a few years hence.

High Stakes

For Israelis who support the fake news accusation, the stakes are considerable – just as they are in Trump’s America for those who parrot this rhetoric. In the Israeli context, these accusations aim to protect the image of Israel by stripping Palestinian victims and Israeli perpetrators from the videographic scene of the alleged crime – and to do so in a way that removes all traces of repressive Israeli military rule and its histories.

The charges of fraudulence, forgery or Palestinian theatrics are an attempt to correct the record, to right the wrongs done by a libelous Palestinian public that is intent on Israel’s defamation by means of fictive image-making – or so many believe.

In this way, the discourse of fake news is just another tool in the Israeli struggle against the so-called existential threat.

[This article was originally published in Middle East Report (Issue 283).]


[1] Adi Kuntsman and I explore this in more detail here.

[2] For a more detailed discussion of this case, see Stein, “GoPro Occupation: Networked Cameras, Israeli Military Rule, and the Digital Promise,” Current Anthropology 58/S15 (February 2017).

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 148

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

It is worth reading “Tout est hallucine'” de Hyam Yared, just for the sentences of Dalal in that story.

Ma grand-mere etait une montagne de force et n’avait aucune illusion. Elle n’avait pas de rapport d’amour, ni a Dieu, ni a son mari: une facon de s’evader du domicile familiale. Elle etait connecte’ a l’histoire politique des changements.

Ma grand-mere ne se morfondait pas quand le couple etait separe’ des mois durant et refusait de prier Dieu pour qu’il n’arrive rien a son mari.

In June 1974, the movie “The hour of liberation has chimed.. Out colonialists” by the young woman director Heine Srour won a special acclaim in Cannes.  Hind is a Jew female who had to leave Lebanon during the civil war. This movie is about the popular revolutionary struggle of the people in Zofar (Oman, Hadramout, and south Yemen) from the British colonial power and archaic monarchic structures.

In February 1975, director Borhan Alweyeh showed his movie “Kfar Kassem“.  Hundreds of spectators remained in the theater way after midnight discussing the movie.  The film is a retrospective documentary of the genocidal massacre that Israel committed against the Palestinians in the village of Kfar Kassem in 1956 before it invaded Sinai.

26% of USA want to support Israel versus just 2% for Palestine? Evangelical Zionists are the majority in USA? What of all these minorities, Catholics and Moslems?

People in Yemen are dying 10 times more from diphtheria than from cholera. Yemen was denied inoculation from basic illnesses in the last 3 years

At the first session of my class I repeat several times that the purpose of the engineering discipline is to design practical products or systems that man needs and wants, that human factors engineers are trained to consider first the health and safety of end users, the customers, the operators, and the workers when designing interfaces for products or systems.

Several weeks later, a few students retained the concept of designing practical interfaces or what an interface could be, but the pictures of end users are still blurred in their mind. How can you design anything if the end user is Not present in your purpose?

USA ma badda te3teref enno Da3esh intahat, mass badda te3teref bi Jerusalem, ka3edat lel erhab al sohyouni

USA citizens, especially the Evangelical Zionists, should have serious reasons to dislike State of Israel

Philip Giraldi: Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, administrative detention, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military, assassination.

Worse, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.

Louis Brendise was US supreme Court Justice in 1915 and the chief of World Zionist Organization. He was very close to President Woodrow Wilson.

From 1915 to 1917, they pressured England to support and ratify an understanding for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. Among other economic and financial reasons for participating in WWI, this Jewish question was a major demand. Over 250,000 US soldiers died for this insane new colonization in the Near-East.

In 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry concluded that the demand for a “Jewish State” was Not part of the obligations of the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate.

Even in the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, when Zionists sought to “establish a home for the Jewish people”, there was no reference of a “Jewish State”.

US reasons to dislike Israel and what it represents that go way back.

1. In 1952’s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Center in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians.

2. In 1967, the Israelis on purpose attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred.

3. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

4. In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues. Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.

5. And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally — in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara.

6. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity.

7. Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place.

8. Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy. 

9. In 1995, the Senate and Congress enacted a law declaring Jerusalem as Capital of Israel. Nobody even suggested that a referendum by Israelis be conducted on that question. It is evident that the Evangelical Zionists decide for the State of Israel.

Donald Trump and his close Zionist circle has pronounced Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, against the will of the international community. 128 members at the UN gave Trump a resounding slap. Only 8 minor countries, all of them colonies of the US have sided with Trump decision.

No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.

Note: Israel cannot be an only and exclusive Jewish State. Here why https://adonis49.wordpress.com/…/israel-cannot-be-an-only-…/


adonis49

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