October 23, 2012

EDITOR: Apartheid Rules! It’s official…

didn’t we know this for years? Who exactly is surprised, apart from some liberal apologists of Zionism, like Jonathan Friedland? Apartheid has not just appeared in the last year or two, like some Israeli liberals would have you believe; it is part and parcel of Zionism, inseparable and impossible to overlook. Some people would like to suggest that it started with the 1967 occupation – that is tosh, of course. These people forget about the 1948 Nakba – how could one possibly explain Israeli moves during and after the war without the racist instinct of not just to create an exclusive Jewish state, but to actively and brutally exile and excise 750,000 Palestinians from their own country, never allowing them to return?

Zionism is a racist ideology, arguing that Jews cannot, and should not live amongst non-Jews. In that it is in agreement with anti-Semitism. That is why since the very early stages of Zionist colonisation of Palestine, the main goal was to rid the country of its indigenous population. Each generation of Zionists is doing its bit towards ridding Palestine of its people, and towards settling more and more of the country with exclusively Jewish habitations. What is this if not racist? What is this if not apartheid? To know Israel means apartheid, it is not necessary to conduct polls – it is enough to read the history books, to just look at what it has been doing since the beginning of the Zionist project.

That this movement is the result of centuries of anti-Semitism, of deep racism against Jews for two thousand years, does not make it right or proper. That you can understand or explain a social or political wrong does not annul it, and anti-Semitism is not fought or countered by the subjugation and oppression of another people, who was not even part of the original offence…

Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel: Haaretz

Survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of Israeli Jews.

By  | Oct.23, 2012 | 1:32 AM |  3

A right-wing demonstrator holding a sign that reads 'The Land of Israel for the People of Israel'

A right-wing demonstrator holding a sign that reads ‘The Land of Israel for the People of Israel’ during a protest in 2009. Photo by Emil Salman / Jini

Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formallhy annexes the West Bank.

A majority also explicitly favors discrimination against the state’s Arab citizens, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of Israeli Jews. The survey was commissioned by the New Israel Fund’s Yisraela Goldblum Fund and is based on a sample of 503 interviewees.

The questions were written by a group of academia-based peace and civil rights activists. Dialog is headed by Tel Aviv University Prof. Camil Fuchs.

The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter – 24 percent – believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.”

Almost half – 47 percent – want part of Israel’s Arab population to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and 36 percent support transferring some of the Arab towns from Israel to the PA, in exchange for keeping some of the West Bank settlements.

Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the Jewish public (58 percent ) already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is not in force here. Over a third (38 percent ) of the Jewish public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them, while 48 percent object.

The survey distinguishes among the various communities in Israeli society – secular, observant, religious, ultra-Orthodox and former Soviet immigrants. The ultra-Orthodox, in contrast to those who described themselves as religious or observant, hold the most extreme positions against the Palestinians. An overwhelming majority (83 percent ) of Haredim are in favor of segregated roads and 71 percent are in favor of transfer.

The ultra-Orthodox are also the most anti-Arab group – 70 percent of them support legally barring Israeli Arabs from voting, 82 percent support preferential treatment from the state toward Jews, and 95 percent are in favor of discrimination against Arabs in admission to workplaces.

The group classifying itself as religious is the second most anti-Arab. New immigrants from former Soviet states are closer in their views of the Palestinians to secular Israelis, and are far less radical than the religious and Haredi groups. However, the number of people who answered “don’t know” in the “Russian” community was higher than in any other.

The Russians register the highest rate of satisfaction with life in Israel (77 percent ) and the secular Israelis the lowest – only 63 percent. On average, 69 percent of Israelis are satisfied with life in Israel.

Secular Israelis appear to be the least racist – 68 percent of them would not mind having Arab neighbors in their apartment building, 73 percent would not mind Arab students in their children’s class and 50 percent believe Arabs should not be discriminated against in admission to workplaces.

The survey indicates that a third to half of Jewish Israelis want to live in a state that practices formal, open discrimination against its Arab citizens. An even larger majority wants to live in an apartheid state if Israel annexes the territories.

The survey conductors say perhaps the term “apartheid” was not clear enough to some interviewees. However, the interviewees did not object strongly to describing Israel’s character as “apartheid” already today, without annexing the territories. Only 31 percent objected to calling Israel an “apartheid state” and said “there’s no apartheid at all.”

In contrast, 39 percent believe apartheid is practiced “in a few fields”; 19 percent believe “there’s apartheid in many fields” and 11 percent do not know.

The “Russians,” as the survey calls them, display the most objection to classifying their new country as an apartheid state. A third of them – 35 percent – believe Israel practices no apartheid at all, compared to 28 percent of the secular and ultra-Orthodox communities, 27 percent of the religious and 30 percent of the observant Jews who hold that view. Altogether, 58 percent of all the groups believe Israel practices apartheid “in a few fields” or “in many fields,” while 11 percent don’t know.

Finally, the interviewees were asked whether “a famous American author [who] is boycotting Israel, claiming it practices apartheid” should be boycotted or invited to Israel. About half (48 percent ) said she should be invited to Israel, 28 percent suggest no response and only 15 percent call to boycott her.

EDITOR: It is going to get much worse!

In what for me was the most depressing of the three incredible debates, last night’s meeting of minds over Israel was the sign for much more trouble in the very near future. For those Palestinians in PA, who collaborate with Israel and its continues occupation, last night was the death knell, further proof if proof was needed, that they have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to expect from either Obama’s second term, or Mit Romney’s first.

It was not just the sheer disgust which I felt at Obama’s Zionist propaganda use of the Holocaust to justify both Israel’s and his own aggression. It was in every line of the debate – the sheer disregard for the other, the non-American, was infusing every moment of this vile exchange by two males of the capitalist world order. This inability to think, to perceive, to sense interests different from your own, or rather, those you believe to be your own, is not only logically morally wrong – it is going to hasten the decline of the most powerful nation on earth, a nation which already started its avalanche; the problem is going to be the massive price tag of American decline – it will bring capitalism down with it, as it already started to do. The order of things is changing, but the smartest minds in America are unable to see it, or care about it. What seems to be on the cards for the next decade or two, is a new less-than-cold war, where the USA is fighting actively against the emerging powers of the BRIC and other countries, but from an increasingly isolationist and weakened position. This augers badly for all of us – decades of instability, racism, bigotry and more aggressive capitalism – a Darwinist struggle over the crumbs.

For Palestinians, this means that all bets are off, and that the posturing about a ‘peace process’ (‘piss-making process’ as dubbed by Moshe Dayan) and the ‘;two-state solution’ are all but dead and buried. Neither Romney nor Obama, if elected, are going to even bother to pretend. Israel never pretended that much, and now will not have to do even that. For my mind, this means that the only solution to the conflict is clearly the one democratic state, which, in the prevailing situation politically, becomes itself impossible to foresee, as both Israel and the US work harder to extend colonisation.

Does that mean that all is lost? Not at all. Few years back, the Arab Spring, complex and wounding as it has become, was not something we could ever foresee. Political developments are never linear, simple, and predictable, because none of us can accurately calculate the breaking point of any population – the point at which the revolt starts. With no future in sight, Palestinians may go back to taking their fate in their own hands.

Obama and Romney’s last debate: Clash over foreign policy, but both vow to stand by Israel: Haaretz

CNN poll among undecided voters determines Obama won the debate. 48 percent of those polled said the president won the debate, while 40 percent said that it was Romney that had the upper hand.

By  and Reuters | Oct.23, 2012 | 4:52 AM |  10

US President Barack Obama (R) and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate

US President Barack Obama (R) and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. Photo by AFP

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney clashed over U.S. military strength and how to deal with crises in the Middle East in a third and final debate on Monday as polls showed them in deadlock two weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Israel was mentioned no less than 34 times during the debate.

CNN poll amoung undecided voters determines Obama won the debate. 48 percent of those polled said the president won the debate, while 40 percent said that it was Romney that had the uper hand.

Debate moderator Bob Schieffer asked the candidates whether they would stand by Israel if attacked by Iran. “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history,” President Obama said.

Romney seemed to agree “When I’m President of the United States, we will stand with Israel. And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.”

Iran’s nuclear program also featured prominently in the debate, with Obama saying “As long as I’m president of the United States Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”

Obama later in the debate lauded his policy on Iran saying “We’ve put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever,” then went on to attack Romney: “While we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector.”

Obama discussed his trip to Israel while he first ran for president during the last elections, contrasting it with Romney. “When I was a candidate for office,” Obama said, “first trip I took was to visit our troops. And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors. I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

President Obama criticized the Republican on his proposals on the Middle East, mocking his calls for more ships in the U.S. military and saying Romney wants to bring the United States back to a long-abandoned Cold War stance.

Obama had a biting response when Romney said he would increase the number of ships built by the U.S. Navy, saying the United States currently has 285 vessels, but should have 300.

“Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” said Obama.

Obama also said that the Republican presidential candidate, by once declaring Russia a “geopolitical foe” of the U.S., was seeking to turn back the clock.

“The Cold War has been over for 20 years,” Obama said, turning to Romney as they sat at a table before moderator Bob Schieffer. “When it comes to your foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s.”

Romney, wanting to make no mistakes that could blunt his recent surge in the polls, said Obama’s policies toward the Middle East and North Africa were not stopping a resurgence of the threat from al Qaeda in the region.

“Attacking me is not an agenda,” said Romney. “Attacking me is not how we deal with the challenges of the Middle East.”

The two candidates agreed that the United States should defend Israel if Iran attacked the key U.S. ally in the Middle East, but Romney said he would tighten sanctions that are already affecting the Iranian economy.

The Republican, whose central theme throughout the campaign has been a promise to rebuild the weak U.S. economy, repeatedly turned the discussion back to economic matters, saying U.S. national security depended on a strong economy.

But Obama fired back that Romney’s economic plan was based on tax cuts that had not had their desired effect in the past. Romney would not be able to balance the budget and increase military spending with such a plan, he said.

“The math simply does not add up,” he said.

‘Backbone’ on Russia

On Russia, Romney criticized Obama for an open-microphone comment he made to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” after America’s election.

Instead of showing Russian President Vladimir Putin more flexibility, Romney said, “I’ll give him more backbone.”

The two candidates were tied at 46 percent each in the Reuters/Ipsos online daily tracking poll. Other surveys show a similar picture.

Obama came to Boca Raton with the advantage of having led U.S. national security and foreign affairs for the past 3 1/2 years. He gets credit for ending the Iraq war and the killing of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

But Romney had many opportunities to steer the conversation back toward the weak U.S. economy, a topic on which voters see him as more credible.

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012.

EDITOR: The Emir might as well not bother…

While the IDF is attacking Gaza daily, and is planning its next big attack  the Qatari Emir is planning to rebuild it. Good initiative, but the Israelis will be happy to destroy Gaza again, and plan to do so. Has anyone told Obama? Yes, they have told him, but he did not care. Neither does Romney, so who cares about the result of this doomed election? Maybe the elction of Romney will clarify the issues?

Qatar emir pledges $400m on landmark visit to Gaza: BBC

The emir has pledged $400m (£250m) for building projects in the Gaza Strip

Qatar’s emir has become the first head of state to visit the Gaza Strip since Hamas came to power there in 2007.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani crossed into Gaza by car from Egypt amid tight security, and was greeted by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.

He has pledged $400m (£250m) for building in the strip, which has been ravaged by a long conflict with Israel.

Qatar has become one of the Islamist group’s main benefactors since it fell out with Syria and Iran.

The Palestinian Authority expressed reservations about the emir’s visit.

A carpeted tent adorned with Qatari and Palestinian flags and pictures of the emir and Mr Haniyeh had been set up inside the Rafah border crossing for a ceremonial greeting. It was preceded by an honour guard ceremony at which the Qatari and Palestinian national anthems were played.

The Hamas interior ministry said it had a “well-prepared plan” to protect the emir, deploying thousands of security personnel and blocking roads to Gaza City’s stadium, where he was expected to address a crowd.

Earlier, the Israeli military said a soldier had been wounded by a bomb explosion along Israel’s border fence with Gaza, near Kissufim.

Syria fall-outThe visit is a sign of the increasing ties between the Gulf state and Hamas, reports the BBC’s Jon Donnison from Gaza.

Qatar, one of the richest countries in the Arab world, has become an important source of revenue for Hamas in the aftermath of its fallout with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In February, Hamas announced that its political leadership had been moved from Syria to Egypt and Qatar, because it could no longer effectively operate amid the unrest in Syria.

The political bureau of Hamas had been based in Damascus since 1999, and relations appeared to be good until anti-government protests erupted throughout Syria in March 2011.

Hamas initially neither publicly endorsed the Syrian government’s handling of the uprising nor repudiated it.

Analysts said the Sunni Islamist movement was torn between risking the financial backing of Syria and its ally, Iran, and supporting Syria’s majority Sunni community, which has borne the brunt of the crackdown by the Alawite-dominated security forces.

But in February, Mr Haniya declared his support for “the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform”.

Qatar, meanwhile, was the first Arab nation to call publicly for military intervention in Syria to topple the government.

It was the main Arab player in the Nato-led coalition in Libya and has played a major part in trying to resolve regional conflicts.

The country maintains cordial relations with both the US and Iran, and – even more unusually for an Arab state – with both Hamas and Israel.

Most recently, Qatar has been involved in the reconciliation process between Hamas and its long-time rival faction, Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and is in power in the West Bank.

Hamas, which won parliamentary elections in 2006, ousted forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza during clashes in 2007 and set up a rival government.

In response, Israel tightened its blockade on the coastal territory, which has had a crippling effect on Gaza’s economy.

A spokesperson for Mr Abbas said the Palestinian Authority welcomed Qatar’s efforts to help the people in Gaza but also stressed “the necessity to preserve the legitimate representation of the Palestinian people”.

Mr Abbas called on Sheikh Hamad to “urge Hamas in Gaza to go for reconciliation and to end this split”.

Jimmy Carter: Israel has dropped the two-state solution for a ‘Greater Israel’: Mondoweiss

by  on October 22, 2012

Former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland (left), former President Jimmy Carter and former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, October 22, 2012. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Speaking in Jerusalem today President Jimmy Carter said Israel has turned a corner in its foreign policy and “abandoned” a two-state solution for a “Greater Israel.”

“The two-state solution has basically been abandoned and we are now moving towards a Greater Israel, or Eretz Israel taking over all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River,” said President Carter.

Concluding a two-day tour of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories alongside former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, President Carter singled out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who has refused to meet with the former American president on his previous trips to Israel) and lamented the lack of “political will” from Israeli officials. I asked the President if it was Israel’s long-standing apartheid-style policies, a two-tier system that has existed since 1948, rather then the leanings of the current leadership that has prevented the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. President Carter affirmed his position that every previous Prime Minister in earnest sought a negotiated solution:

I think for the first time in my memory of the mid-east peace process we have reached a crisis stage because of all of the previous prime ministers of Israel have been detectably and provenly committed to a two state solution, working with other nations in the world including the United States and European countries and the Arab countries as you know. That is our policy…and it seems to be abandoned.

“It was clear that hope has faded of a general two-state solution, so we need to change the dynamic,” continued President Robinson whose voice carried a sincerity for her concern of the conditions Palestinians live under. In particular she referenced Israel’s “national parks” in East Jerusalem which have expropriated Palestinian private property under the delusive heading of conservation. President Robinson said “I think what is really worrying, and I’ve been thinking about this, is the lack of accountability to what is happening in East Jerusalem, to what is happening since 1970, to what is happening with the so-called facts on the ground. There is no accountability.”

The global leaders are expected to travel to Cairo tomorrow to meet with Egyptian officials in the next phase of their Elders tour, an organization founded by Nelson Mandela comprised of some of the world’s most influential former heads of state. Since the group’s founding in 2009, Israel’s unchecked expansion into the West Bank and human rights in the region—including gender issues and abuses committed by the Palestinian authorities—has been a chief priority. President Carter in particular is an outspoken critic of Israel’s path toward what he calls an “inevitable apartheid,” if Israel does not change its current path.

“The only result of a one state-move, which I call a catastrophe, will be an inevitable move towards apartheid, or a willingness by the Israelis, by the Jewish citizens of Israel to relinquish political control to perhaps an Arab majority. Those are the only two options. And my prayer is that this will not happen,” said President Carter.


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