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Israel: A Time for Personal Sanctions

By TTN

Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP)
Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace

The perspective contained in the following statement are the collective thinking of the signatories, as developed through discussions of the SIP.  It does not represent the views of the SIP as a whole, The Third Narrative or any other institution.

For More Information about this Declaration by Members of the SIP, please contact: Professor Gershon Shafir, gshafir@ucsd.edu

Israel: A Time for Personal Sanctions
December 8, 2014

A central obstacle to a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the continuing occupation of the West Bank. Accordingly, we call on the United States and the European Union to impose personal sanctions on a cluster of Israeli political leaders and public figures who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.

There is a compelling current precedent for such moves. In response to Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and its ongoing campaign of aggressive destabilization in eastern Ukraine, the United States and the European Union implemented, among other measures, personal sanctions—visa restrictions and foreign asset freezes—against government officials, public figures, and others who play especially significant roles in promoting and implementing violations of international law. (1)  We propose that similar personal sanctions be imposed on Israeli political leaders and other public figures who play central roles in Israel’s systematic, long-term violations of international law.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 allowed for a temporary Israeli occupation in the territories captured in the 1967 war, while calling for a negotiated peace settlement that would include Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories in return for recognition of Israel’s right, along with other states in the area, “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” These resolutions did not authorize permanent occupation, large-scale ongoing Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, or creeping annexation in the West Bank. Those policies plainly violate international law.

Continuing settlement and piecemeal annexation directly violate the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which regulate the conduct of belligerent occupations, and also violate the ban on acquiring territory by force which is one of the foundations of the modern international order. In addition, they deliberately aim to prevent the kind of negotiated peace settlement envisioned by Resolutions 242 and 338.  These policies threaten to lock both Israelis and Palestinians into an inescapable path toward catastrophe. They demand an urgent response.

That response, we believe, should not take the form of generalized boycotts and other sanctions that indiscriminately target Israeli society and Israeli institutions. Such measures are both unjust and politically counterproductive. In particular, campaigns for boycotts and blacklists of Israeli academia attack the most basic principles of academic freedom and open intellectual exchange.

Moreover, a response to Israel’s settlement and annexation policies should not suggest that Israel bears exclusive responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy, or that, if pressured, Israel could solve it unilaterally. Achieving a just and durable negotiated solution requires constructive efforts by actors on all sides of the intertwined Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts. However, if the door is to be held open to the possibility of a just, workable, and peaceful solution, one requirement is to prevent actions that would sabotage it. For this reason, we propose targeted sanctions to focus on political actors engaged in such sabotage.

———-

We single out four powerful Israeli political leaders and public figures who promote these unjust, unlawful, and destructive policies in their most extreme and dangerous form. These four explicitly support policies of permanent occupation and unilateral annexation. They reject efforts to negotiate peace and actively sabotage US-led efforts to promote them. They advocate and implement unilateral actions designed to preclude a negotiated peace. They are therefore legitimate targets for personal sanctions by the US and the EU.

1. Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home Party and Minister of Economy, Religious Services, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs. From 2010 to January 2012, Bennett served as the Director General of the Yesha Council (the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and previously in the Gaza Strip as well). He led the struggle against the 2010 settlement freeze. In February 2012, he published “The Israel Stability Initiative,” which flatly rejects any possibility of ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or allowing the creation of a Palestinian state. Instead, Israel would unilaterally annex and bring under its sovereignty Area C, which constitutes 62 percent of the area of the West Bank; Palestinian autonomy would be allowed in Areas A and B, but under the permanent security umbrella of the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet. (2)  In November 2014 Bennett reiterated this program in a New York Times op-ed (3),  and as a member of the government coalition he has continued to press strongly for a policy of creeping annexation. (4) Recently he threatened to break up the government coalition unless Israel continues building new and expanded settlements. (5)

2. Uri Ariel, a Member of the Knesset from the Jewish Home Party and Minister of Construction and Housing. In the past, he served as the Secretary General of both the Yesha Council and the Amana settlement movement. He explicitly advocates having “just one state between the Jordan River and the sea, and that is the State of Israel.” (6) He has been a consistent advocate of accelerated settlement building. As Minister, he is responsible for issuing building tenders for housing east of the Green Line, such as the 1,400 housing units authorized this year to be built in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Moreover, Ariel sought to undermine US peacemaking efforts by announcing those tenders just four days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s January 2014 visit to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (7) Ariel has also confessed to informing Israeli settlers about Israel Defense Forces’s attempts to evacuate outposts that are illegal even under Israeli law; thus he has worked behind the back of the government of which he is a member. (8)  Finally, in July 2014, in a dangerously incendiary violation of long-standing Israeli policy, he publicly called for a Third Temple to be built on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. (9)

3. Moshe Feiglin, a Member of the Knesset from the Likud Party and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Feiglin stands out for his straightforward and undisguised extremism. His annexationist program goes beyond Bennett’s. “The Feiglin Platform” of 2012 calls for complete annexation of both Gaza and the West Bank, and advances an unambiguous formula for permanent rule over a politically disenfranchised subject population. (10)  In July 2014, Feiglin also called for removing most Arabs from Gaza and replacing them with Jews to solve the housing crisis in Israel. To Palestinians “choosing to remain” there, and to Palestinians in the West Bank who have lived there their whole lives, he offers just “permanent resident status” – or citizenship on condition that they accept the supremacy of the Jewish way of life throughout the land. (11) Feiglin has already been banned from entering the UK on the grounds that his sweeping anti-Arab and anti-Muslim diatribes “propagate views which foment and provoke others to serious criminal acts and also foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.” (12)

4. Zeev Hever, also known as Zambish, Secretary General of Amana since 1989.  Since 1978, Hever has been one of the most persistent and influential organizers of settlement construction. Amana taxes settlers to enable its subsidiary, Binyanei Bar Amana, to become the major builder of houses in outposts that even Israeli governments view as illegal. In 1984, Hever was arrested as a member of the Jewish Underground and sentenced to 11 months in prison for attempting to plant an explosive charge in the car of Dr. Ahmed Natshe, a Palestinian leader from Hebron. Since then, he has abandoned direct participation in violence, but not the path of systematic illegality aimed at rendering any negotiated peace agreement impossible. (13)

———-

Annexationist policies pursued by these four individuals, and others like them, have created a genuine emergency. They slam the door not only on peacemaking at present but for the foreseeable future. They rule out the prospect for any two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Therefore, it is not sufficient to reiterate calls for negotiations. It is equally and urgently imperative to oppose the occupation itself, and especially those policies that seek to make it permanent and irreversible. It is necessary for the U S and the EU to go beyond verbal protest. They must take active measures to penalize lawbreakers. Well-aimed sanctions can play a constructive role in this respect if they focus on figures who bear the greatest responsibility for policies that deepen and extend the occupation and render the march to catastrophe increasingly inescapable. Therefore we propose personal sanctions as elements of a larger campaign to preserve and advance the possibility of a negotiated peace, resulting in Israeli and Palestinian nation-states coexisting side-by-side. Only such an outcome can offer both Israelis and Palestinians the basis for a free, secure, and hopeful future.

The undersigned are members of the Scholars for Israel and Palestine, affiliated with The Third Narrative (14):

Gershon Shafir
University of California, San Diego

Jeff Weintraub
Independent Scholar

Michael Walzer
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Todd Gitlin
Columbia University

Sam Fleischacker
University of Illinois at Chicago

Alan Wolfe
Boston College

Alan Jay Weisbard
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Rebecca Lesses
Ithaca College

Joe Lockard
Arizona State University

Zachary J. Braiterman
Syracuse University

Irene Tucker
University of California, Irvine

Michael Kazin
Georgetown University

Steven J. Zipperstein
Stanford University

Jeffry V. Mallow
Loyola University Chicago

Ernst Benjamin
Independent Scholar

Rachel F. Brenner,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Chaim Seidler-Feller
University of California, Los Angeles

Jonathan Malino
Guilford College

Miriam Kastner
University of California, San Diego

Barbara Risman
University of Illinois, Chicago

Elaine Leeder
Sonoma State University

Jonathan Zasloff
University of California, Los Angeles

Susan Neiman
Einstein Forum, Potsdam

David Rush
Tufts University

Yomi Braester
University of Washington

Howard Wettstein
University of California, Riverside

Robert Jennings
University of Chicago

——————————————-

(1)  http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/145571.pdf
(2)  “Naftali Bennett’s Stability Initiative”, 26 December 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1oFOEY_6lM).
(3)  Naftali Bennett, “For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution”. New York Times op-ed, 6 November 2014 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html?_r=0).
(4)  David Remnick, The settlers move to annex the West Bank—and Israeli politics. The New Yorker (21 January 2013)
(5)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.622901
(6)  http://www.timesofisrael.com/housing-minister-no-more-settlement-freezes/
(7)  http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2014/01/13/israel-announces-new-settlement-construction-amid-u-s-peace-efforts/
(8)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/second-israeli-mk-admits-to-having-given-settlers-information-on-idf-movements-1.406191?localLinksEnabled=false
(9)  ttp://www.timesofisrael.com/minister-calls-for-third-temple-to-be-built/
(10)  http://www.jewishisrael.org/the-feiglin-platform/
(11)  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.VH6HmJt0xej
(12)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/britain-bans-likud-s-moshe-feiglin-from-entering-country-1.241081 & http://website.thejc.com/home.aspx?AId=58606&ATypeId=1&search=true2&srchstr=feiglin&srchtxt=0&srchhead=1&srchauthor=0&srchsandp=0&scsrch=0
(13)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/the-organization-behind-illegal-west-bank-outpost-construction.premium-1.523823
(14)  http://thirdnarrative.org/

44 Responses to “Israel: A Time for Personal Sanctions”

  1. Amiram Goldblum
    December 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    This is an excellent initiative, and should gain the support of many Israelis too. Signatures should be collected and sent to the US Congress and Senate as well as to all European Parliaments. There are very many Israeli settler leaders who should be added to that list, as well as leaders of right wing and anti human rights organizations in Israel, MKs of the “Eretz israel” Bllock in the Knesset that includ all the “Bayit Yehudi” members, many Rabbis of settlements and Yeshivas in the Settlements, LIkud adn “Israel Beytenu” members and others.

  2. Alan Jay Weisbard
    December 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    I am one of the signatories of this statement and participated in its development. I speak here for myself and not in any representational capacity. My objective is to redirect some of this discussion to the statement itself and to our objectives in producing it. As we all know, online (and many other) discussions of Israel and Palestine have a strong tendency to go off track, to present extreme views, and to lose all sense of nuance. The statement we have issued, while bold, is a careful one, and deserves attentive reading and measured debate.

    The full statement makes clear that the signers of this initiative do not place exclusive blame on Israel or Israelis for the ongoing failure of the “peace process.” I anticipate that future statements will address issues of Palestinian behavior in much greater detail. I hope needless to say, and so far as I know, none of the signers has anything positive to say about Hamas or Palestinian acts of terror. That is simply not the subject of this statement.

    The sanctions against Russian leaders following Russia’s adventures in Crimea and Ukraine pointedly do not include Russian President Putin or Russia’s Foreign Minister. There are sound diplomatic reasons for this omission, including a recognition that such senior officials need to be able to travel to pursue important diplomatic activities, which might lower tensions and resolve the Ukrainian or other critical issues. The signers of this statement followed this precedent in not including Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Defense Minister, or the Foreign Minister. It is also the case that the official actions of these individuals, while subject to legitimate and powerful criticisms, have, for the most part, not been as extreme or antithetical to the possibility of peace as the four named individuals.
    This initiative is intended as a more carefully targeted alternative to more broadly sweeping and less discriminating BDS actions, and to academic boycotts in particular. It is also entirely the product of a group of progressive Zionists who have devoted decades to supporting the ideals of a Jewish and democratic Israel as proclaimed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. We have also been active with a larger group of colleagues in opposition to academic boycotts and the organized BDS campaign. Our initiative is entirely dissociated from the actions of BDS proponents who deny the fundamental legitimacy of the State of Israel and seek its dissolution or destruction. We do not intend to provide any aid or comfort to those who oppose Israel itself, as opposed to its policies.
    We find common cause with many Israeli military and security officials, as well as fellow academics, writers, and cultural figures who share our criticisms of current Israeli policies and social tendencies. We encourage others to join with us in supporting or participating with Scholars for Israel and Palestine and The Third Narrative.

  3. David
    December 13, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    I wanted to make things clearer.

    I do have some sympathy for your group which is trying to marginalize the BDS movement by showing that you can be progressive, engaged politically and not join the BDS movement. However, I believe that you approach is problematic.

    Firstly, Benett is not in favor of “occupation”, he would prefer to annex a significant portion of Judea Samaria and give Muslims Israel citizenship. So it makes little sense to actually target him. A portion of the right is annexionist and against occupation.

    Secondly, your idea of replicating sanctions against Russian politicians is dubious. Do you think Benett hides bank accounts in London? Do you think that the annexiation of Crimea is big as a threat to European Economy as the annexiation of Crimea?

    Thirdly, you replied “we take an interest in other controversial issues around the world”. Where are you calls and petitions against the Genocide in Congo, Darfur, Sri Lanka.

    Ultimately, your movement is at best a strategy to disminish the appeal of BDS, at worse an example of Jewcentricism that want to market themselves as progressive liberals, while buying their smartphone that was produced by underage kids in the third world, living in a country that has one of the worst equaities in the modern world, continuing to teach in colleges where 99% are white kids from rich upbringings…

    • Raj
      December 13, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      David

      Firstly, Mr Bennett has no intention of giving Palestinians Israeli citizenship.

      Secondly, Russian oligarchs have long held money and property in London. Its nothing new. The annexation ( Bennet’s proposal) of the West Bank officially brings in apartheid to Israel. And you claim we should not protest. Great.

      Thirdly, if i go to the Holocaust museum in Israel, am i a hypocrite because i did not go to or demand a Holocaust museum in India, Cambodia, Rwanda etc. Is there an alphabetically or some other list of countries approved by you before some of us protest apartheid in Israel.

      Fourthly, most progressive, when they find out a certain companies abuse workers, try and shop elsewhere. Unlike “progressives” like you, who are “progressive, except for Israel.

      Also, come to America. See the vast suburbs where immigrants, Hispanic, Asian have built homes. Come to Silicon valley where immigrants who are not white are prospering. And yes come to our ivy league schools where 40 percent of kids are colored. And compare that to Israel.

      I’ve been to Europe. I’ve seen your ghettos for immigrants. So please give it a rest.

      • David
        December 13, 2014 at 11:05 am #

        Firstly, that is wrong http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24581/Default.aspx

        Secondly, I have no problem with freezing Benett non existent assets abroad, but just ban 99% of the lawmakers in the world. Benett human rights record is probaby better than a politician in Hungary or any developing country. I am just saying that action against Benett such as freezing asset are nonsensical in the case of Benett because he has no assets in London!

        Thirdly, I am just saying that we should keep everything in proportion. Although occupation is bad, the amount of people preoccupied by this conflict is disturbing considering that there are genocides that no one cares.

        Forthly,I am progressive on Israel, except that I put Israeli occupation in context with the horror going on in the world.

        Lastly, could say exactly the same thing for Israel. Some Israeli Muslim do succeed, and there exists an Muslim Middle Class.

        Finally for the record, the gap in life span is greater between Blacks and Whites in the US than between Jews and Israeli Muslim in Israel.

        • Raj
          December 13, 2014 at 11:46 am #

          Firstly, why dwell in half-truths.

          “Bennett also recommends offering Israeli citizenship to the approximately 10,000 Palestinians who live in the vicinity.”.

          Secondly, Mr Bennett proposes formalizing apartheid. Period. He may have no assets in London, but when he can’t land in London, he will have a clarifying moment on his apartheid.

          Thirdly, this apartheid is sponsored by the West. So i guess during apartheid South Africa you were more worried about other African countries than apartheid.

          Lastly, Arabs in Israel proper are at best fifth class citizens.

          Finally, the rights for blacks in America are the same as for whites and Asians etc. I cleaned toilets when i came to this country.

  4. David
    December 13, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/07/03/3455058/burma-genocide-rohingya/
    http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41653

    Might be of an interest, although probably won’t get you the front cover of Haaretz or NYT.

  5. Josh K
    December 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Professor Weisbard–if any serious student was given an assignment to review the modern history of the middle east and propose solutions to the most pressing issues, do you really think the position you and your colleagues put forth would be worthy of a passing grade? Is it “A” material?

    You all opened yourselves up for criticism (and gave editors across the world plenty of leeway to create “unbalanced” headlines) by singling out four Israelis. Using Uri Ariel as an example, he is on the list in part for his statement “just one state between the Jordan River and the sea, and that is the State of Israel” which is identical (if you swap “Israel” for “Palestine”) to a) the statements made by Palestinian leadership and b) the official maps of Palestine as evidenced by the shoulder patch worn by Yassir Arafat and text books used in Palestinian schools.

    Why four Israelis? Why not three Israelis and one Palestinian? Or two Israelis, one Palestinian, and one leader of Isis or one Syrian? I’m really perplexed as to how your think tank figured that these Israeli men, in a region awash in sectarian violence, civil war, beheddings, kidnappings, murders, etc… deserved to be put on display as the most worthy of being personally sanctioned. Are you holding Israelis to a higher standard?

    “We will add to the list” is not an acceptable answer. You turned in your term paper…and unless the rules have changed since my college days, you don’t get to say, “well…I’ve turned in what I came up with, but I assure you there is more to come.”

    • Raj
      December 14, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      Actually Josh K, i would give it an A+. The “criticism” that comes is from the usual suspects. i.e Those who pretend that Israeli settlement policy (Apartheid) is somehow needed for the security of Israel. And as usual pretend that Israeli politicians are just somehow forced by those “wicked” Palestinians to steal their land. They also ignore that the West has imposed sanctions on Palestinians (Hamas). But that’s not enough for them. After all their role is to water down any questioning of Israeli Apartheid.

      Then these pretenders, who want a more “inclusive list”, minimize the role of Israeli politicians who are active enablers of Apartheid. For example Uri Ariel; Poor Mr Ariel, Josh claims that he is on this list for one statement. However the record shows otherwise.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.583557

      “As the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian careened towards collapse Wednesday, U.S. officials accused Housing Minister Uri Ariel of deliberately sabotaging the talks by suddenly announcing a tender to build 700 more homes in East Jerusalem.”

      Josh, if you’re evaluate a term paper based on half truths or irrelevant facts such as ISIS, then one wonders. What are you evaluating ? Or rather should you be evaluating ?

  6. Alan Jay Weisbard
    December 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Josh, there were some internal differences of view on precisely this point. It is hard to assign individual grades on group projects. We are working on a number of other statements that, we hope and expect, will be forthcoming. Give things another think once those are out. In any case, course grades are usually not given on one piece of work. And as you know, teachers may be looking for different things, and grading standards vary among instructors. The best papers are often not precisely balanced, and by some measures, the statement deserves an A+, reflecting its daring and creativity.

  7. Robert
    December 14, 2014 at 1:47 am #

    I support personal sanctions against Gershon Shafir, Jeff Weintraub, Michael Walzer, Todd Gitlin and the rest of the Third Narrative people. Let’s restrict their visas and freeze their foreign assets. See how they like it.

  8. Ron Temis
    December 14, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    Why just these 4 Israelis? I proudly served in the IDF and would do so again in a flash.

    I am the son of an Auschwitz survivor whose extended family was destroyed there.

    We will no longer walk quietly onto cattle cars.

    How are the signatories any different than the Nazis who stood outside Jewish shops with signs boycotting Jews?

    I served with the current Defense Minister and people like Bennett, you are not worthy to shine their shoes. Why not boycott all of us who serve and fight for this country so we don’t end up like the Yazidis or Kurds?

    How dare you dictate to Israelis how to defend themselves in a sea of butchery and hate?

    • Rachel
      December 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      This TTN article is stupid, dangerous and nasty because overall it more or less reverses the reality of the situation in Israel-Palestine, however much people may legitimately disagree with Bennett et al.

      But your listing of people’s home addresses and calling for action against their children is just plain wrong – and I think the administrator of this site would be justified in removing your comment.

  9. Pat
    December 15, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Dear Mr. Weisbard,

    I find it concerning that you are willing to allow all kinds of posts from people attacking you and calling you ugly names for being critical of Israel, saying that you and your family should be boycotted, yet you are unwilling to approve my concerns posted on December 12 (and reposted below) noting that your group’s call appear to be deliberately ignoring and undermining a broad consensus from position Palestinian civil society on BDS:

    Dear Mr. Weisbard,

    It is funny that you asked if I have: “concrete reason to believe there are Palestinian concerns of which we are not aware, because if you do, we would like to hear them.”

    You seem to be willfully ignoring that your entire effort was set up in explicit opposition (http://thirdnarrative.org/issues/bds-does-not-equal-peace-articles/) to the BDS Movement which does actually represent the broadest consensus of Palestinian civil society groups that currently exists (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call#Endorsed_by :) .

    So, obviously you are indeed aware of these Palestinian concerns and have very deliberately chosen to ignore them and undermine a broad-based Palestinian response. It certainly doesn’t seem like you wanted to hear from Palestinians, though you wrote that you would like to.

    Pat

  10. Lee Jaffe
    December 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    I want to raise the question of the problems inherent in this proposal, calling for government sanctions against people because you don’t like their political views. The idea is essentially anti-liberal at its heart and seems like a bad precedent coming from people who may want to express unpopular ideas at some point in th future.

    The free speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment has been a balwark of democracy in this country for more than 200 years. The principle that the government cannot stifle opposiiton views or unpopular ideas is an essential protection for progressive causes. There are exceptions; crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, for instance. You may believe that those you’ve singled out are doing just that. But repressive governments have used exactly that ploy to suppress opposition views. Liberals and progressives have consistently fought such attempts to erode free speech protections.

    Now, in order silence those whose political views you oppose, you are asking governments to sanction people based on those views. At best this is a slippery slope, giving permission to governments to take action against individuals based on their views. More bluntly, it is a betrayal of the fundamental protections at the heart of our democratic system. I wonder how you “liberals” are going to feel when the ACLU takes the case against your proposal?

  11. Andrew
    December 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Another initiative that could care less about what Palestinians, the population subjected to all of these unjust policies, are asking for. Millions of Palestinians have called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel through Palestinian civil society, and yet here is another declaration claiming to care about Palestinian rights but completely ignoring it.

    I guess we, and our voices, are irrelevant to this initiative.

    • Rachel
      December 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

      No, you’re irrelevant because the BDS movement is not about helping Palestinians but about destroying Israel.

      • Raj
        December 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

        The BDS movement is about boycotting a state that invents its own laws. Boycotts are held to force behavioral change. Just like the boycott of Russia. Not “destroy” Russia.

        • Rachel
          December 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

          All states invent – i.e. formulate – their own laws. What are you talking about?
          Anyhow, the BDS movement is clearly about bringing Israel to its knees and then replacing it with something else.

          • Raj
            December 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

            Israel invents its own Geneva convention.

            The BDS movement is about bringing accountability. To a country and its supporters who believe they are unaccountable to the world.

  12. Rachel
    December 17, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Raj, taken altogether, your comments on this TTN statement are a perverse mix of half-truths, falsehoods, and key factual omissions, on the basis of which you seem to believe that the Jews of Israel deserve a good kicking from Hamas and others.

    But nearly everything you say never really gets beyond the very negative but very generalised articles of faith that can be heard from anti-Israel activists all the time the world over. Yet, they don’t stand up to scrutiny once one scratches below the surface.

    In particular, when you’re challenged to give concrete examples that support your central contention – that settlement activity in Area C in recent years renders more or less impossible a 2-state solution like those offered to the Palestinians in 2001 and 2008 – all you provide in response is a whole load of evasion followed by a pointless return to your or other people’s generalised half-truths, falsehoods and omissions.

    So for one last time, I ask you to give me detailed evidence of recent settlement activity that would prevent something like the Geneva Accord being implemented in the next couple of years. And no, for the 100th time, additional housing units in those settlements that every peace deal hitherto allows Israel to retain (in exchange for land swaps) don’t count.

    But if you can’t, then for goodness’ sake shut up! Keep your baseless hostility to the largest Jewish community in the world to yourself.

    • Raj
      December 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      “Raj, taken altogether, your comments on this TTN statement are a perverse mix of half-truths, falsehoods, and key factual omissions, on the basis of which ”

      You mean like Israel does not build new settlements, building settlements destroys any feasible Palestinians homeland ? They are “half-truths” when even the New York times states so !!!

      “you seem to believe that the Jews of Israel deserve a good kicking from Hamas and others.” –

      What does Hamas have to do with Israeli settlement policy ? NOTHING but just another “victim” excuse to deflect from Israeli land theft. Thanks Rachel for your continuous red-herring “victim” statements.

      “In particular, when you’re challenged to give concrete examples that support your central contention – that settlement activity in Area C in recent years renders more or less impossible a 2-state solution like those offered to the Palestinians in 2001 and 2008 ”

      The settler population in Area C has grown by hundreds of thousands over the years, but Rachel wants us to believe no new settlements happen. And such population shifts into lands the whole world states belong to Palestinians does not destroy any viable Palestinian state. And more so Israeli ministers like Bennett openly crow about instituting apartheid there. Blatant dishonesty is par for course by Rachel.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/18/world/la-fg-west-bank-area-20130519

      “A recently leaked European Union report concluded that Israeli policies in Area C have “undermined” the Palestinian presence and, in recent years, have led to a deterioration in basic services, including water, education and shelter.”

      “And no, for the 100th time, additional housing units in those settlements that every peace deal hitherto allows Israel to retain (in exchange for land swaps) don’t count.”

      Land swaps are a joke beyond a certain point. But don’t tell that to Rachel. Her tactic, like many other Israelis, is to repeat the same lie until there is no land. Its called “facts on the ground” and i guess “lies on the web”,

      ““You could find the equivalent of 2.5% of the territories, but when people in Israel talk about it, they are talking about keeping 6% to 10%. Finding that kind of land inside Israel just can’t be done,” said Tel Aviv University geographer Gideon Biger, editor of the “Encyclopedia of International Boundaries.”

      I don’t care if you’re a Jewish or a Jehovahs witness. It does not give you carte blanche to steal and screw over another people. Your “victim” statements are like Netanyahu using the Holocaust to justify his Apartheid. Deceitful

      Read more: http://forward.com/articles/138129/land-swaps-is-there-enough-land-to-swap/#ixzz3MAwPZ5T9

    • Raj
      December 19, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      I had a more detailed response that did not go thru.

      Rachel, sorry to burst your bubble. However i’ve repeatedly pointed out that your settlement facts are deceptive at best. You wish to disregard any facts even when linked to the New York Times, World Bank etc. That speaks for itself.

      You can’t flood an area with hundreds of thousands of settlers and pretend that it has no effect on a contiguous and viable state for Palestinians. Especially so when Israeli ministers like Bennett openly crow openly stripping Palestinians of their equal rights. You’re just being plain deceptive and dishonest.

      And of course, as usual, anything questioning Israeli conduct is now “baseless hostility to the largest Jewish community”. i.e. the usual oppressor portraying oneself as the victim spiel that has become a regular tactic for Israeli apologists.

  13. Sam Berger
    January 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Why not confront the real issue. If Israel should withdraw from most of the West Bank, control will fall to Hamas allowing shelling of Israel from two fronts. Hamas, Hezbollah and their supporters want all of Israel as part of the withdrawal package. Gaza is the message. All of the above is idle commentary.

  14. Alan Jay Weisbard
    December 13, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    Please read the statement.

  15. Rob
    December 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Raj,

    After reviewing the dialogue below, it seems that Rachel is spot on in her argument with nothing in any way deceptive, whereas your points are lame and on the whole, not based on historical fact.

  16. Eve
    December 14, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Rachel’s main point is, tragically, right . The settlements (which I oppose)
    are not the main obstacle to peace. With the corrupt, terrorist Hamas in control in Gaza, and the weak, corrupt 80 year old Abu Mazen in charge in the West Bank and with turmoil in Syria, Iraq, Egypt so close to us (I live in Israel) , a peace agreement is not possible at this time. Wishing wont make it so. We do need to avoid more building in the settlements and keep dialogue going and express our willingness for peace. I am politically active inopposition to Feiglin, Uriel and their ilk. I do think sanctions against them would be
    counterproductive at this point.

    I cant ask you to support what Israel has become but I do ask you not to have illusions
    that an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would result in 2 states living side by side in peace.

  17. Robert
    December 14, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    Rachel makes great points.

  18. Eve
    December 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Good point, David. You read in the NY Times about every Palestinian civilian killed by Israelis
    in Gaza this summer (including those whom Hamas hid behind while targeting Israeli civilians with missiles and sending terrorists through tunnels to attack Israeli civilians) but when do
    we read about the civilians killed by America in Iraq, in drone strikes and in the air strikes
    against the Islamic State.

    I understand you American intellectuals care about Israel, but there are other important issues, too. And if we Israelis are wrong – either the right or the left – we will pay the price
    while you sit safely in America having abstract discussions.

  19. Eve
    December 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Mr. Weisbard – too bad you didnt make aliya. If even 10% of American liberals had done so,
    we would have a substantial presence here and might have been able to change things.

  20. Peter Suedfeld
    December 30, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Can’t you make an argument without the snide ad hominem insults? Do try, Professor.

  21. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    No, believing that Israel is currently stealing Palestinian land, when it is not, is.

  22. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    “Israel uses contiguous expansion (“thickening”) to continuously expand settlements…”
    OK, give me an example, with names, geographical locations, dates. Otherwise you’re wrong.

    “Settlements, like in the E1 corridor destroy any viable and contiguous Palestinians state…”
    OK, give me an example of settlement activity since 2008 that prevents a two-state solution of the sort offered to Arafat in 2001 or Abbas in 2008.

    “Construction in E1…”
    What exactly is Israel building in E1 right now? Nothing, as far as I’m aware. Even if it was it still wouldn’t prevent a two-state solution with a viable Palestinian state which, like Israel at its narrowest point, would still be 10 miles or so wide.

    “And spare us the Jews being slaughtered shtick. It runs old.”
    Wow, such indifference to the explicit desire of Hamas, Hizbollah, and elements of the PA to kill Jews just because they’re Jews is breathtaking. And it means nothing you say can be taken seriously from now on.

    “Millions of Indians died under the British and in Partition, They don;t use that as an excuse to relegate muslims in India to servitude.”
    That just doesn’t make sense as a comparison. Anyhow, it’d simply be a lie to say that Arabs in Israel are reduced to servititude. You could say that the vast majority of Palestinians in the disputed territories are in servitude – but to the Nazi-like Hamas and the PA mini-dictatorship, not Israel.

    “The US and allies are not present on the ground in ISIS areas. That’s far different from Israel guarding its own territories.”
    No, the point is simply that wherever western-style armies face enemies like ISIS or Hamas the western armies are by definition much stronger in terms of their military resources. Thank goodness.

    “You just can’t fathom the thought of an equal rights for a different people who don’t happen to be Jewish. So, just like a bunch of Israeli right wing politicians, invent/fabricate a bunch of phony baloney excuses.”
    No, that’s just an unfounded slander to cover up your own lack of evidence and argument. I’m a liberal who believes in democracy, human rights, equality for women, rights for gay people and minorities, and messy compromises in conflict zones rather than holding out for total victory no matter how long it takes. Israel stands for all those things just like the Canada, UK, France, Australia, or Japan. It’s far from perfect, but its imperfections are like those of other democracies. In contrast, Hamas and the PA, who rule the vast majority of Palestinians in the WB and Gaza stand for the opposite of those liberal values. Being Jewish or not has litte to do with it (and you’ve expressed that point in a classically antisemitic manner).

    “Keep moving the goal post. Or as the world has come to the conclusion. Israel never misses and excuse, to make and excuse, to steal Palestinian land.”
    The Israel-steals-Palestinian-land motif is a lie, as shown not least by the fact that you’ve failed to provide evidence for it. On the contrary, every time there’s been a reasonable compromise peace deal on the table (1937, 1947, 1967, late 1970s, 2000, 2001, 2008) the Jewish/Israel side has said Yes and the Palestinian/Arab side has said No. Such a peace deal is still perfectly possible because no Israeli settlement activity in recent years would get in its way geographically; the thing that stops it is rejectionism on the other side which is now worse than ever as any look at the Palestinian media will show. No Palestinian leader could say Yes to such a deal now without being seen as a traitor to the Arab nation and/or Islam and without risking ending up like Anwar Sadat.

  23. Raj
    December 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    ““Israel uses contiguous expansion (“thickening”) to continuously expand settlements…”
    OK, give me an example, with names, geographical locations, dates. Otherwise you’re wrong.”

    If Israel has built no new settlements, then where do you think the hundreds of thousands of new settlers live ? Huh ?

    ““Construction in E1…”
    What exactly is Israel building in E1 right now? Nothing, as far as I’m aware. Even if it was it still wouldn’t prevent a two-state solution with a viable Palestinian state which, like Israel at its narrowest point, would still be 10 miles or so wide.”

    I guess even the New York Times is “clueless” as to these settlements. Everyone is “clueless”. Except you.

    ““And spare us the Jews being slaughtered shtick. It runs old.”
    Wow, such indifference to the explicit desire of Hamas, Hizbollah, and elements of the PA to kill Jews just because they’re Jews is breathtaking. And it means nothing you say can be taken seriously from now on.”

    How about Israeli politicians who call for say “Palestinians to be driven into the sea” etc. I guess since you didn’t mention it you are indifferent to the lives of Palestinians. (ie. using your “logic”).

    “That just doesn’t make sense as a comparison. Anyhow, it’d simply be a lie to say that Arabs in Israel are reduced to servititude. You could say that the vast majority of Palestinians in the disputed territories are in servitude – but to the Nazi-like Hamas and the PA mini-dictatorship, not Israel.”

    When their economic livelihood, even in the West Bank, depends largely on Israel due to Israeli occupation, I call that servitude.

    “The US and allies are not present on the ground in ISIS areas. That’s far different from Israel guarding its own territories.”
    No, the point is simply that wherever western-style armies face enemies like ISIS or Hamas the western armies are by definition much stronger in terms of their military resources. Thank goodness.

    No. Your original point was different. Read it.

    “It isn’t, except that Israel’s civilians are in far greater danger from the extremists breathing down their neck than people in the US, France or UK are from far-away ISIS.”

    “The Israel-steals-Palestinian-land motif is a lie, as shown not least by the fact that you’ve failed to provide evidence for it. On the contrary, every time there’s been a reasonable compromise peace deal on the table (1937, 1947, 1967, late 1970s, 2000, 2001, 2008) ”

    If building settlements on land the whole world states belongs to a Palestinian state is not theft, then you certainly have a different definition of theft. And without getting into your 1937, 1947, 1967, late 1970s, 2000, 2001, 2008 spiel, I’ll just say. I disagree. If Israel is so much for peace, it would not have “facts on the ground”, “thickening” and then try to pretend that it’s all for peace.

  24. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    “If Israel has built no new settlements, then where do you think the hundreds of thousands of new settlers live ? Huh ?”
    You’re like a broken record! I’ve already answered that question.

    “I guess even the New York Times is “clueless” as to these settlements. Everyone is “clueless”. Except you.”
    No, the NYT was talking about future possibilities/probabilities IF building were to take place. None has yet and there’s no prospect them doing so. But even if it were to start building in E1 soon, how would it stop a Palestinian state from being formed? You need to answer in your own words with your own facts and arguments, whatever the NYT (which isn’t infallible, last I heard) says.

    “How about Israeli politicians who call for say “Palestinians to be driven into the sea” etc. I guess since you didn’t mention it you are indifferent to the lives of Palestinians. (ie. using your “logic”).”
    I’ll gladly condemn any Israeli politician who says that! But give me an example of a mainstream person who does so. But more importantly, the point is that, in Israel which is a democratic country with a liberal constitution and independent judiciary, there’s is zero chance that anything like that could happen – any more than the US would drive all African-Americans into the sea.

    “When their economic livelihood, even in the West Bank, depends largely on Israel due to Israeli occupation, I call that servitude.”
    Not a convincing reply.

    “No. Your original point was different. Read it.”
    My point was that all western armies are stronger in that sense but that, if ever the use of such force could be justified against a weaker actor, it’s in Israel’s case because, unlike safe US and EU citizens, its citizens have extremists breathing down their neck right now and, if Israel wasn’t stronger, it’d be destroyed.

    “If building settlements on land the whole world states belongs to a Palestinian state is not theft, then you certainly have a different definition of theft.”
    No, for theft to take place, therev has to be a clear owner. But until there’s a peace deal, it’s not yet clear where Israel will end and Palestine begin, though it certainly won’t be on the Green Line and some undefined % of the WB will be retained by Israel. Pending a deal, therefore, Israel permitting new apartments to be built in existing settlements that in every peace deal hitherto have fallen on the Israeli side is irrelevant. Insofar as Israel also permits small numbers of new apartments in settlements that Israel won’t keep long term, that’s irrelevant too – because they’ll be evacuated or, in theory at least, their residents could stay put and become a Jewish minority in the new state of Palestine.

    “And without getting into your 1937, 1947, 1967, late 1970s, 2000, 2001, 2008 spiel, I’ll just say. I disagree.”
    Well, you’re wrong to disagree, as shown by the lack of argumentation on this point.

    “If Israel is so much for peace, it would not have “facts on the ground”, “thickening” and then try to pretend that it’s all for peace.”
    Again, we’re back to the core issue: what new facts on the ground in recent years prevent the implementation of a 2-state solution of the sort recommended in the 2004 Geneva Accord (www.geneva-accord.org/)? If you can’t give me some hard data and accompanying argument, then everything you’re saying is pointless anti-Israel verbiage that deliberately avoids this crucial point.

  25. Raj
    December 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    “If Israel has built no new settlements, then where do you think the hundreds of thousands of new settlers live ? Huh ?”
    “You’re like a broken record! I’ve already answered that question.”

    Thanks for not answering. It exposes your deceptive argument.

    “No, the NYT was talking about future possibilities/probabilities IF building were to take place.”

    Again, you won’t answer how hundreds of thousands of settlers were housed if there were no new settlements/units etc.

    ““When their economic livelihood, even in the West Bank, depends largely on Israel due to Israeli occupation, I call that servitude.”
    Not a convincing reply.”

    Inconvenient rather. For you.

    “its citizens have extremists breathing down their neck right now and, if Israel wasn’t stronger, it’d be destroyed.”

    Sure. We should’ve delayed lifting apartheid until the last radical African Nationalist was eliminated. Or delayed Civil Rights in America until the last Black Panther was neutralized. Very convenient.

    1947, 1968….

    “Well, you’re wrong to disagree, as shown by the lack of argumentation on this point.”

    Start a new thread and i’ll argue that ….it was just your standard talking point.

    “what new facts on the ground in recent years prevent the implementation of a 2-state solution of the sort recommended in the 2004 Geneva Accord ”

    Simple. Settlements all around. But then you haven’t proven to me that 2=2.

  26. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Yes, and the Palestinians were offered a capital in E Jerusalem in the 2001 and 2008 offers. How exactly would any recent building in Jerusalem, east or west, prevent such a deal being implemented now. That’s the key question in all this that you keep refusing to address, presumably because your case is so weak!

    Anyhow, in the meantime, all people who are legally resident in Jerusalem, Jewish or Arab, are entitled to go and live in any part of the city, regardles of whether the area they choose is a traditionally Jewish or Arab area – just as in New York or London or Paris. How could it possibly be otherwise?

  27. Raj
    December 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    The Palestinians want a capital in E. Jerusalem and Israel deliberately builds units there. And Rachel wonders how such settlement units prevents a peace deal !!! Wow.

    And for the spiel that Arabs and Jews are entitled to live in any part of Jerusalem, what Rachel won’t tell you is that permits for Arabs to build are about as feasible as winning the lottery. But why let such inconvenient facts get in the way of her “arguments”.

  28. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    “And by the way, the only thing that’s happening from the river to the sea as far as the world is concerned are; Israeli settlements.”

    What’s the point of that kind of hyperbole? Or do you really mean that Tel Aviv and Haifa are also settlements that should make way for a Palestinian state? Either way, your comment shows a lack of interest in accuracy, fairness, or balance. Unless you change that, you’ve clearly got nothing meaningful to add to the conversation.

  29. Raj
    December 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    “What’s the point of that kind of hyperbole? ”

    Just responding to . Your Hyperbole.

    “Or do you really mean that Tel Aviv and Haifa are also settlements that should make way for a Palestinian state? ”

    Do you really mean from river to sea is where Palestinians never lived there before ?

    “Either way, your comment shows a lack of interest in accuracy, fairness, or balance.”

    Hello Kettle.

    “Unless you change that, you’ve clearly got nothing meaningful to add to the conversation.”

    Hello again Kettle.

  30. Raj
    December 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Except the whole world states so.

  31. Rachel
    December 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Actually, it’s an exaggeration to say the whole world states so. But even if large parts of the world did so, so what? There’s a whole ugly history of large numbers of people wrongly believing nonsense about Jews. So what we need are hard facts and you can’t find any.

  32. Raj
    December 17, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    “Actually, it’s an exaggeration to say the whole world states so. But even if large parts of the world did so, so what? ”

    I think you’ve made my point.

    “large numbers of people wrongly believing nonsense about Jews”

    And Indians, and Chinese and Muslims. Using the victim card to screw another people off their land, especially after Israel got its land is not good.

    “So what we need are hard facts and you can’t find any.”

    The Geneva Convention is not a “fact” for you. The UN rulings are not “fact” for you. The ICJ is not a “fact” for you. The Map of the 1967 border is not a “fact” for you….We get the picture.

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