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Part 3. Ten Myths on Israel: Not how a “Democratic State” behave (by Ian Pappe)

No, Israel Is Not a Democracy

Israeli Land Policy Is Not Democratic

By lan Pappe

From Ten Myths About Israel, out now from Verso Books.

June 12, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  Israel is not the only democracy in the Middle East. In fact, it’s not a democracy at all.

In the eyes of many Israelis and their supporters worldwide — even those who might criticize some of its policies — Israel is, at the end of the day, a benign democratic state, seeking peace with its neighbors, and guaranteeing equality to all its citizens.

Those who do criticize Israel assume that, if anything went wrong in this democracy, then it was due to the 1967 war.

Israeli Land Policy Is Not Democratic

The claim to being a democracy is also questionable when one examines the budgetary policy surrounding the land question.

Since 1948, Palestinian local councils and municipalities have received far less funding than their Jewish counterparts. The shortage of land, coupled with the scarcity of employment opportunities, creates an abnormal socioeconomic reality.

For example, the most affluent Palestinian community, the village of Me’ilya in the upper Galilee, is still worse off than the poorest Jewish development town in the Negev.

In 2011, the Jerusalem Post reported that “average Jewish income was 40 percent to 60% higher than average “Arab” (meaning Palestinian) income between the years 1997 to 2009.”

Today more than 90% of the land is owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

Landowners are not allowed to engage in transactions with non-Jewish citizens, and public land is prioritized for the use of national projects, which means that new Jewish settlements are being built while there are hardly any new Palestinian settlements.

Thus, the biggest Palestinian city, Nazareth, despite the tripling of its population since 1948, has not expanded one square kilometer, whereas the development town built above it, Upper Nazareth, has tripled in size, on land expropriated from Palestinian landowners.

Further examples of this policy can be found in Palestinian villages throughout Galilee, revealing the same story: how they have been downsized by 40%, sometimes even 60 percent, since 1948, and how new Jewish settlements have been built on expropriated land.

Elsewhere this has initiated full-blown attempts at “Judaization.

After 1967, the Israeli government became concerned about the lack of Jews living in the north and south of the state and so planned to increase the population in those areas. Such a demographic change necessitated the confiscation of Palestinian land for the building of Jewish settlements.

Worse was the exclusion of Palestinian citizens from these settlements.

This blunt violation of a citizen’s right to live wherever he or she wishes continues today, and all efforts by human rights NGOs in Israel to challenge this apartheid have so far ended in total failure.

The Supreme Court in Israel has only been able to question the legality of this policy in a few individual cases, but not in principle.

Imagine if in the United Kingdom or the United States, Jewish citizens, or Catholics for that matter, were barred by law from living in certain villages, neighborhoods, or maybe whole towns? How can such a situation be reconciled with the notion of democracy?

Note: Israel has been committed to incremental genocide against Palestinians, as USA did with their Indians. It turned out that Palestinians are the toughest of all people.

Lately, after Trump pronouncement on Jerusalem, every Friday, thousands march to the borders in Gaza demanding their right to return Home

Part 2. Ten Myths on Israel: Not how a “Democratic State” behave (by Ian Pappe)

No, Israel Is Not a Democracy

Subjugation of Minorities in Israel Is Not Democratic

By lan Pappe

From Ten Myths About Israel, out now from Verso Books.

June 12, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  Israel is not the only democracy in the Middle East. In fact, it’s not a democracy at all.

In the eyes of many Israelis and their supporters worldwide — even those who might criticize some of its policies — Israel is, at the end of the day, a benign democratic state, seeking peace with its neighbors, and guaranteeing equality to all its citizens.

Those who do criticize Israel assume that, if anything went wrong in this democracy, then it was due to the 1967 war.

Subjugation of Minorities in Israel Is Not Democratic

The litmus test of any democracy is the level of tolerance it is willing to extend towards the minorities living in it. In this respect, Israel falls far short of being a true democracy.

For example, after the new territorial gains several laws were passed ensuring a superior position for the majority: the laws governing citizenship, the laws concerning land ownership, and most important of all, the law of return.

The latter grants automatic citizenship to every Jew in the world, wherever he or she was born.

This law in particular is a flagrantly undemocratic one, for it was accompanied by a total rejection of the Palestinian right of return — recognized internationally by the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948.

This rejection refuses to allow the Palestinian citizens of Israel to unite with their immediate families or with those who were expelled in 1948.

Denying people the right of return to their homeland, and at the same time offering this right to others who have no connection to the land, is a model of undemocratic practice.

Added to this was a further layering of denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Almost every discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel is justified by the fact that they do Not serve in the army.

The association between democratic rights and military duties is better understood if we revisit the formative years in which Israeli policy makers were trying to make up their minds about how to treat one-fifth of the population.

Their assumption was that Palestinian citizens did not want to join the army anyway, and that assumed refusal, in turn, justified the discriminatory policy against them.

This was put to the test in 1954 when the Israeli ministry of defense decided to call up those Palestinian citizens eligible for conscription to serve in the army. The secret service assured the government that there would be a widespread rejection of the call-up.

To their great surprise, all those summoned went to the recruiting office, with the blessing of the Communist Party, the biggest and most important political force in the community at the time.

The secret service later explained that the main reason was the teenagers’ boredom with life in the countryside and their desire for some action and adventure.

Notwithstanding this episode, the ministry of defense continued to peddle a narrative that depicted the Palestinian community as unwilling to serve in the military.

Inevitably, in time, the Palestinians did indeed turn against the Israeli army, who had become their perpetual oppressors, but the government’s exploitation of this as a pretext for discrimination casts huge doubt on the state’s pretense to being a democracy.

If you are a Palestinian citizen and you did not serve in the army, your rights to government assistance as a worker, student, parent, or as part of a couple, are severely restricted. This affects housing in particular, as well as employment — where 70% of all Israeli industry is considered to be security-sensitive and therefore closed to these citizens as a place to find work.

The underlying assumption of the ministry of defense was not only that Palestinians do not wish to serve but that they are potentially an enemy within who cannot be trusted. The problem with this argument is that in all the major wars between Israel and the Arab world the Palestinian minority did not behave as expected. They did not form a fifth column or rise up against the regime.

This, however, did not help them: to this day they are seen as a “demographic” problem that has to be solved.

The only consolation is that, still today, most Israeli politicians do not believe that the way to solve “the problem” is by the transfer or expulsion of the Palestinians (at least not in peacetime).

Note: Israel is emulating the USA incremental genocide strategy on the “other minorities”

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

 

Bernie Sanders Campaign Suspends Jewish Outreach Coordinator for Vulgar Remarks About Netanyahu

By Jason Horowitz, Apr. 14, 2016

Note: Since when the terms“arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative.” are considered vulgar Mr. Sanders? And do you know that Sanders voted in Congress 1995 for Jerusalem to be Capital of Israel?

Updated, 12:22 a.m. | The Sanders campaign’s announcement on Tuesday that Simone Zimmerman would be its national Jewish outreach coordinator delighted her fellow left-wing Jewish political activists and encouraged their belief that public expressions of disgust with the Israeli government had edged into the acceptable mainstream of Democratic politics.

They might have been getting ahead of themselves.

On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign suspended Ms. Zimmerman, 25, after revelations that she had used vulgarities in Facebook posts about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Hillary Clinton.

The suspension, hours before a Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, made for an embarrassing misstep for Mr. Sanders, a secular Jew who, despite having lived briefly in Israel (How brief and for what purpose?) and being the most successful candidate of his faith in American history, is being pummeled by Mrs. Clinton among Jewish voters.

But the suspension was also an important moment in the small but deeply felt universe of Democratic Jewish politics, which has been torn apart on generational and ideological lines over the acceptable level of criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.

With Ms. Zimmerman’s history of opposition to Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza, her hiring drew concerted and ultimately overwhelming pressure from American Jewish leaders.

Her suspension showed that when it came to the high stakes and intense scrutiny of presidential politics, the establishment’s view of Ms. Zimmerman and her brethren as dangerous radicals still held sway even with Mr. Sanders, a candidate promising a revolution.

The fact that he acted shows that obviously he didn’t think it was acceptable,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

A chorus of Jewish figures, including Abe Foxman, the president emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, had joined Mr. Hoenlein in calling for Ms. Zimmerman’s firing.

The final straw was a report on Wednesday in the Washington Free Beacon, which found a Facebook post in which she used a vulgarity and described Mr. Netanyahu as “arrogant, deceptive, cynical” and “manipulative.”

She then used more aggressive language and continued that he had “sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer.” (If this allegation is wrong, sue her instead of hiding these facts under the carpet)

Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, wrote in an email, “She has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” (Yeah. Kind she committed a crime?)

After Mr. Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary in a landslide, Ms. Zimmerman also wrote triumphantly on Facebook, “The first Jew in history just won a primary, as a proud socialist calling for political revolution.” Then she criticized Mrs. Clinton and added a vulgarity.

Ms. Zimmerman declined to comment on her suspension, but supporters noted that she wrote the Facebook post about Mr. Netanyahu in March 2015, an emotionally charged time, when Mr. Netanyahu infuriated liberals across the United States by addressing Congress to argue against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. (Context has no value in politics?)

“This is the American Jewish community eating its own,” said Peter Beinart, a mentor to Ms. Zimmerman and a leading voice in liberal Zionism. “Simone is the best of the best. Most of the other kids have given up on the community. She cares deeply and wants to make it live up to its own stated ideals.”

In an interview last year about the shifts in American Jewish politics, Ms. Zimmerman talked about how she had grown up in an active Jewish community and household in Los Angeles, with a grandparent who had fought for Israeli independence. Other relatives were killed in the Holocaust, she said.

After receiving training from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, Ms. Zimmerman entered the University of California, Berkeley, she said, with the intention of defending Israel. But she began doubting Israeli policies regarding the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, settlements, and what she viewed as the excessive use of military force.

She then became the national president of the student branch of J Street, a pro-Israel lobbying group that is critical of the Netanyahu government. She started a grass-roots movement of thousands of young Jews who sought to stop American Jewish groups from supporting Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

She protested in front of the offices of Mr. Hoenlein, among others.

“They claim to speak for the American Jewish community,” she said, adding that “young people make the establishment the most worried.”

But apparently the Sanders campaign, despite its popularity among young liberal voters who tend to agree with Ms. Zimmerman on the question of Israel, became worried, too.

A significant number of Jewish voters consider Ms. Zimmerman and her allies to be radicals, and the Sanders campaign, already facing a more than 30-point deficit among New York’s Jewish Democrats, according to a new NBC New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, took action.

In Thursday night’s debate, though, Mr. Sanders advocated a critical discussion of Israel that, while popular with his young liberal base, was unlikely to please the Jewish establishment figures who had sought to hold a common line on Israel in Democratic politics.

Mr. Sanders criticized Mrs. Clinton’s pro-Israel orthodoxy, called the Israeli army’s use of arms against Palestinians “disproportionate” and argued that “we have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”

Ms. Zimmerman would have approved.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via FacebookTwitter and the First Draft newsletter.

Correction: April 14, 2016
An earlier version of this article misstated Abe Foxman’s position with the Anti-Defamation League. He is a former national director of the group, not the current president.
 Well, that was fast.

I wonder if, when he hired her, he had ANY IDEA what he was stepping in. He just doesn’t seem that hip on the current state of Palestine/Israel discourse. He might have just thought she seemed like a nice girl with a good resume.

Then again, he has worked in Washington for quite a long time. How could he not know about the Israel lobby or its power or epic tetchiness? Maybe just because he’s kind of stayed out of the Israel question for the most part?

Both the hiring and the suspending raise many questions. It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

But I can say if I were running for president right now, I probably wouldn’t try to be ruffling any Israel lobby feathers at this point.

There’s no benefit in it right at this moment (especially in freaking New York), and there’ll be plenty of time for that battle once you’re in the Oval Office. (Like when? This state of horror has been going on for 7 decades. Trump just openly supported Israel and he won on other issues)

Yes, What Israel Is Doing To Palestinians Is Actually Genocide.

In the Israel/Palestine conflict, is Israel guilty of genocide against the Palestinians?Yes– absolutely.

The other day I wrote a short piece on why the Bible does not command us to blindly stand with the modern state of Israel, and one of the points I made is that Israel is guilty of genocide.

There were no shortage of internet commentators who objected to my use of this word and felt it was over the top. However, I stand by my assertion that Israel is guilty of genocide, so allow me to expand upon that.

I believe the main reason many push back on the idea that Israel is guilty of genocide is because of a lack of understanding of the full nuance of the word, and what genocide can look like in a modern context.

While rounding up people for mass executions would be obvious evidence of genocide, the reality is that genocide can take place in ways that are more subtle– making it palatable for the masses, and even seem justified at times.

Some scholars have referred to the Israel/Palestine conflict as “incremental genocide” and I would agree with that term.

Instead of an overt, blatant attempt to eradicate a people group, incremental genocide involves actions and policies that are designed to slowly erode, break up, and destroy a specific population.

Think for example of early American history and the genocide of Native Americans. While it wasn’t always mass killings, genocide occurred by military conflict, expanding land holdings, resettlement, and creating conditions that were destructive for the indigenous population.

While it took many years to complete, and while it took many forms, what early Americans did to the indigenous people of North America was nothing short of genocide.

The same holds true for Israel.

The legal definition of genocide includes the following:

“Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnically, racial or religious group such as:

(a)        Killing members of the group;

(b)        Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c)        Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

While A and B are both elements we find present in Israel’s approach to Palestinians, the key aspect of genocide being waged by Israel is found in C: the deliberate infliction of conditions that in part or as a whole will destroy a people group.

“Arab” (as Israel propaganda insist on calling the Palestinians) Christians and Muslims known as Palestinians have been undoubtedly the target of Israel and a desire to eradicate them from the land.

When Israel was created it resulted in an instant crisis for the Christian, Muslims and indigenous Jews who had lived together quite peacefully for hundreds and hundreds of years. Even today there are somewhere around 3.5 to 4 million Palestinian refugees who wish to have the right to return to their homes and land– a request that will never be granted by Israel.

(Most of the Palestinians in Gaza are transferred refugees from villages in Israel and in the West Bank and they want a better space than this large camp of Gaza)

For those who remain in Palestinian territory, they might as well be living in a massive open-air prison, because they live under the occupation of a foreign army. Children are routinely tear gassed on the way to school. Imports are severely restricted, with even basics like water being tightly controlled. Their rights of passage are severely curtailed– families have been broken up and people have died at military checkpoints because they were delayed or denied passage to access critical medical care.

To top it all off, what little land Palestinians have left is under systematic erosion by Israeli policy. Illegal Israeli settlements continue to crop up in Palestinian territory, in violation of international law. These illegal settlements, in addition to literally confiscating land from indigenous people, often bring violence to the Palestinians who live there. Even just a brief youtube search will bring up countless examples of women and children being assaulted by illegal settlers, or examples like Palestinian farms being attacked and destroyed at harvest time.

Let’s not be dishonest in the ultimate goal here: it is to rid the land of Palestinians.

Capture their land. Develop policies to evict them from their houses. Send in settlers and soldiers to colonize what land they still have. Refuse to let refugees back. Make them miserable under military rule. Limit their access to basic, life-sustaining resources.

The goal? Be not deceived: this is ethnic cleansing.

Do the Palestinians ever fight back and use violence? Yes, of course. This is equally wrong. It is also highly ineffective because it plays right into the hands of Israel, who uses this as an excuse to respond with utterly overwhelming military violence, such as arresting and incarcerating children accused of throwing rocks, or wiping out entire communities in the name of self-defense, such has been seen in Gaza.

So here’s where we’re at: Many of the indigenous people were displaced upon the creation of the modern state of Israel, and the number of displaced people has continued to grow. They are refugees who live in poverty and painful conditions at refugee camps. Israel has systematically expanded its borders to functionally capture more and more land that belonged to Palestinians.

Of what’s left, Palestinians have to suffer under a brutal military occupation where so many aspects of life are restricted or deprived. To top it all off, Israel continues to expand illegal settlements into Palestinian territory, further creating conditions designed to break up and destroy the will of Palestinians to even exist.

That folks, is genocide. It is incremental, slow-motion genocide. If the international community continues to turn a blind eye, it will do nothing short of ensure the complete destruction and or displacement of the Palestinian people.

Is calling this genocide over the top? No, it’s not. It’s genocide. Legally. Morally. It’s genocide.

It’s just happening in slow motion, so the world doesn’t see it.

(And it’s being done by the people we’re told are God’s favorite, so we don’t even want to see it.)

Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and holds his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.

He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com

Assaad Zakka shared a linkApril 10 at 2:34pm · 

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