Israel’s leading newspaper publishes a column in English titled, “Why should they get a state?”:
Modern Palestinian demand for state stems from anti-Semitic desire to harass Jews.
Such views are now mainstream in modern-day Israel.
Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help corporations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local community forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.
What emerges through Loewenstein’s reporting is a dark history of multinational corporations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valuable commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.
I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle East, but before you continue to talk about necessary conditions from an Israeli perspective, you need to know what’s on my mind. Where to begin? How about 1964. Let me quote my own words during my trial. They are true today as they were then:
“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Today the world, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. In South Africa it has been ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. That mass campaign of defiance and other actions could only culminate in the establishment of democracy.
Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the situation in Palestine or more specifically, the structure of political and cultural relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as an apartheid system. This is because you incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967. This was demonstrated in your recent column “Bush’s First Memo” in the New York Times on March 27, 2001.
You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established “normally” and happened to occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are not struggling for a “state” but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.
In the last few years, and especially during the reign of the Labour Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to return what it occupied in 1967; that settlements remain, Jerusalem would be under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians would not have an independent state, but would be under Israeli economic domination with Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.
Israel was not thinking of a “state” but of “separation”. The value of separation is measured in terms of the ability of Israel to keep the Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian minority that could have the opportunity to become a majority at some time in the future. If this takes place, it would force Israel to either become a secular democratic or bi-national state, or to turn into a state of apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.
Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the last 30 or 40 years, you clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third of the population who openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism is of the nature of “I hate Arabs” and “I wish Arabs would be dead”. If you also follow the judicial system in Israel you will see there is discrimination against
Palestinians, and if you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated.
As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system.
The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel. Israel’s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a “Jewish” state.
Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.
The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.
Thomas, I’m not abandoning Mideast diplomacy. But I’m not going to indulge you the way your supporters do. If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you. When you figure out what you’re about, give me a call.
My question is this: What is Netanyahu thinking? Doesn’t he realize that time has nearly run out for the two-state solution, and that failure to achieve it is by far the most serious threat facing Israel? The prime minister and his allies keep harping about an “existential” threat from Iran, but this bogeyman is mostly nonsense. Iran has zero — repeat, zero — nuclear weapons today, and even if it were to acquire a few at some point in the future, it could not use them against nuclear-armed Israel without committing national suicide. Let me say that again: national suicide. And could someone please explain to Netanyahu that a group of devout Muslim clerics aren’t likely to fire warheads at a land that contains the third holiest site in Islam? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said some remarkably foolish things about the Holocaust and repeatedly questioned Israel’s legitimacy (as in his oft-mistranslated statement about Israel “vanishing from the page of time”), but he’s never threatened to murder millions of Israelis (and Palestinians) with nuclear weapons. Just last weekend, he even told ABC’s George Stephanopolous that if the Palestinians reached an agreement with Israel, then Iran would support it. Moreover, as Roger Cohen has noted, there is no evidence that Ahmadinejad has any particular animus toward Iran’s own Jewish community. Despite his many offensive statements, in short, Ahmadinejad is not Adolf Hitler and we are not living in the 1930s.
The real threat to Israel’s future is the occupation, and the conflict with the Palestinians that it perpetuates. To see that, all you have to do is look at current demographic trends and poll results and then ponder the consequences for Israel. There are presently about 5.6 million Jews in “Greater Israel,” (i.e., the 1967 borders plus the West Bank) and about 5.2 million Arabs (of whom nearly 1.5 million are citizens of Israel). Palestinian birth rates are substantially higher, however, which means they will be a majority of the population in “Greater Israel” in the not-too-distant future. To put it bluntly, it is Palestinian wombs and not Iranian bombs that pose the real threat.
Here’s the deal. Zionist Labor MP Michael Danby – an elected politician who seems to love Israel like a beautiful woman and challenge anybody who dares damn Zionist ideology – has complained about an ABC TV program that raised the recent Gaza war. War crimes were committed, but Danby and his media mates won’t tolerate any criticism of the Jewish state. Oddly enough, Danby felt the need to slam me in his spray, too. Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt praises Danby’s “patriotism”. My following response was published this afternoon:
And yet again here we have two Zionists fanatics defending the virtuous IDF. Just like the wonderful Coalition troops in Iraq who only happen to kill countless Iraqi civilians. Oh well, at least they’re being liberated.
Here are some uncomfortable facts for those few people still defending the Gaza war. It achieved nothing other than strengthening Hamas. Over 1400 Palestinians were murdered, the vast majority of Gazans remain in dire shape.
In terms of war crimes, virtually every human rights in the world has documented the many examples of Israeli abuses (as well as condemning the Hamas rockets.) For example, Human Rights Watch (HRW) found the use of white phosphorous in civilian areas. I guess HRW must be anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
The testimony of Israeli soldiers in Gaza, cited above, remain valid. The fact that the IDF conducted an internal investigation and concluded no crimes were committed isn’t exactly a rigorous process.
The bigger questions largely ignored in this debate by the likes of Bolt and Danby are the prospects of the Jewish state even surviving another 60 years. The illegal occupation of the West Bank is killing Israel and most of the global Jewish Diaspora doesn’t say a word.
For Israel supporters, Israel is an ideal, a country that simply doesn’t exist. The occupation is invisible. The abuses don’t exist. The world hates Jews and Israel. Fortress Israel is the future. An appealing Zionist prospect.
And Danby might like to know that David Landau hasn’t been the editor of Haaretz for a long time. Of course, Danby and Bolt’s knowledge of Israel/Palestine is largely gained from IDF reports and Melanie Phillips.
And Zionists wonder why Israel has never been more hated across the globe. This week we discovered that more than 9000 new, illegal homes were built over the last three years in the West Bank, during the “peace process”.
Where’s Danby or Bolt’s outcry over the daily abuses by Jewish settlers in the West Bank?
More and more Jews are speaking out against such actions.
Of course, we’re all self-hating, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, terror-supporters.
The global financial crisis has been blamed on bankers, governments, regulators and Wall Street investors. But what about the journalists who talked up the market?
“We drank the Kool-Aid,” said Jane Bryant Quinn, personal finance columnist for Bloomberg and Newsweek. “We believed that free markets were the best kind [of markets].” She said it had become “unfashionable” over the last three decades to write about regulation, so they didn’t.
“We could say things were risky … but we never said ‘Where’s the Fed?’”
Veteran TV journalist Allan Dodds Frank, who now writes for the DailyBeast.com after a career with CNN, Bloomberg and ABC News covering white collar crime, said that complex economic stories were virtually impossible to sell to his editors.
“Fannie and Freddie were not covered on TV because there’s no visual,” he said, referring to the country’s major lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which made billions in the run up to the collapse by doling out increasingly high-risk loans.
He said journalists couldn’t figure out what “Wall Street was doing” and that high-rolling CEOs and fund managers were never compelled to answer tough questions.
“We soft-balled them because we wanted them to come on [our shows] … we let them hide the ball on us.”
How much do we know about Israeli spying activities in the US?
And, writes blogger Richard Silverstein, Zionist influence in the American political cycle should be exposed:
I’ve been informed by a confidential source that in September 2008, before one of the presidential debates, an Israeli operative attempted unsuccessfully to meet with a debate panelist in order to plant a question about war against Iran: would the candidates take military action against that country or accept a nuclear armed Iran? The Israelis did NOT want any question that asked what the candidates might do if Israel attacked Iran. This is probably because they want to plant in the minds of Americans that war with Iran may be necessary. That way, if Israel does attack, the news will not be such a shock. But they do not want Americans to think too long and hard about Israel being the initiator of such a conflict. That would give them time to think about the reasons why this might not be such a good idea.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be commended for its decision to cancel renting premises for the UK embassy in Tel Aviv from the company Africa-Israel, owned by Israeli businessman and settlement builder Lev Leviev. This is an encouraging step that should now be backed by stronger sanctions against the building of the separation wall and the building of illegal settlements by Israel. Furthermore, the governments of Norway and Dubai should emulate the example set by the UK and sever their relationships with Leviev’s companies.
The Palestinian Authority simply doesn’t seem to understand that Washington and Israel aren’t serious about peace. Case for the prosecution:
Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian Authority official and a chief negotiator of the Annapolis peace talks , told Israel Radio today that:
In December 2008 PA Chairman Abu Mazen submitted to US President George Bush a document citing the positions and proposals that had been presented in the course of the negotiations with Israel. A map was appended to that document.
Erekat said that this document was subsequently turned over to the European Union and to Russia.
Erekat said that Palestinian and Israeli representative had met more than 240 times in the aftermath of the Annapolis conference. He told Israel Radio that representatives of the two sides had been scheduled to meet in Washington with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in January this year, but Israel decided to go to war a few days before that.
What a shock.
Alternative sources of power and income are required. Case for the prosecution:
Palestinian officials established formal ties on Monday with Venezuela and opened a diplomatic mission in the South American country.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki thanked President Hugo Chavez’s government for its support during the recent Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which prompted the Venezuelan leader to break off relations with Israel.
Venezuelan-Palestinian relations have warmed as tensions have grown between Chavez’s government and Israel.