The State of Israel’s official twitter channel *, maintained by the Foreign Ministry’s Digital Diplomacy Team has already claimed Gun N’ Roses as their trophy in support of metalwashing Israel, and tickets have not yet gone up for sale.
The trend to attract metal bands to play in Israel is not new. I’m going to take some credit for coining this little-known term. The concept was gleaned from the “pinkwashing” term, which has gone mainstream. Similar to “pinkwashing,” “metalwashing” is a way for Israel to gain acceptance through reaching out to metal fans. The number of heavy metal bands that have taken a liking to Israel and shut their eyes to Israel’s war crimes, human rights abuses, and violation of international law is growing. Apartheid Israel appears to have strong support from some metal bands. The question is, why? (I’ll leave you to ponder that)
The growing BDS movement continues to ask metal bands to cancel, and the Israeli-led co-resistance movement was prompted to write a letter entitled “A letter to all metal bands,” asking them to refrain from playing in the apartheid state. Sixteen Israelis signed the letter. The only metal band so far to cancel has been August Burns Red. [wpml_mailto email=””]Message me if this needs updating.[/wpml_mailto]
Here’s a partial list of bands whom have screamed, distorted their amps, and wore a lot of black for the stages of Tel Aviv:
Napalm Death, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God, Linkin Park, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Looking ahead, Guns N’ Roses, Scorpions, Opeth and Dark Tranquility plan to play this year and Lamb of God plans to return.
He recalls how Napalm Death had played that night. How, between songs, Barney had stopped and shouted to the crowd: “Now, go and tear down that wall”, or something like that, referring to the separation barrier that cuts off the West Bank from Israel. The crowd were shouting back and had their middle fingers up and suddenly —seeing me still smiling — Feras looks at me deadly serious and says: “This is not funny. They were shouting Death to Arabs.”
Napalm Death walked off stage after that, Feras says, and as they headed on to the next stage on the tour, maybe it left a sour taste, who knows. Chaos of Nazareth, meanwhile, go on. Like over 1.5 million of Israel’s population, the band are Arabs with Israeli citizenship, residents of cities like Nazareth which are primarily Arab but became part of Israel in 1948, as the Jewish army pushed east in the war that followed the declaration of an Israeli state. Arab Israelis now number among twenty per cent of Israel’s population and while life is more tolerable for them than the Palestinians cut off in the West Bank or Gaza, it is far from easy.
“As a Palestinian, as an Arab inside this country, I don’t have all my rights. When I go to airports, I get stopped and I know why. I see the people who are passing through and they are not Arabs,” says Feras. “And when we are standing on the stage, looking around at the crowd, I know that when I turn my back people are talking.”
“When some people got to know that we were playing with Lamb of God, they started talking to their manager and saying why don’t you get an Israeli band? Like we are not Israelis,” Feras says, with a good humoured but slightly exhausted laugh. “The manager called me and said: ‘Feras, you have no f***ing idea where you are living.’ He said he had calls from more than twenty managers urging him not to let us play.’
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) group Don’t Play Apartheid Israel (DPAI) created a Facebook page to support the Palestinian call for BDS and to try to persuade Arch Enemy to cancel the gig in support of the oppressed Palestinian people.
PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) issued a very strong plea for Arch Enemy not to play apartheid Israel.
“Today, Palestinian civil society groups are calling on artists to shun Tel Aviv in the same way that South African activists called on artists to boycott Sun City. All we are asking is for you to refrain from crossing a picket line called by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive-Israelis . Palestinian civil society is asking this of you as the most essential contribution to their struggle to achieve peace and justice. They are calling for nothing short of revolution, rebellion, and freedom, as echoed in the slogan of the BDS movement for Freedom, Equality and Justice.”
While espousing freedom of speech, Arch Enemy engaged in censorship and deleted all posts which asked them to refrain from playing in Israel and urged them to listen to and really hear the Palestinian people from their official FB page.
Arch Angela: if the constant threat, bullying and slander of arch enemy via email and online does not stop immediately, we will publish some of the threats we have recceived from your supporters, where they claim they will come to some of our shows and threaten to attack us, both verbally and physically.
i am making amnesty international aware of your criminal methods and your breach of freedom of choice, freedom of expression and freedom of art. it is up to us (and only us!) to chose in which countries we perform and bring our message to. it is NOT yours to tell us what to do and to force your will upon us. you are hurting our rights of freedom and you make us fear for our safety. SHAME ON YOU! Music should transcend all races, political issues and borders – we will not be instrumentalised, neither by you or any other organization or government. who are you to tell us what to do?! Yesterday at 17:23
There were absolutely no threats made against Arch Enemy by BDS campaigners, rather attempts to highlight the terrible injustices that Israel subjects the Palestinians to and efforts to get the band to live up to its talk of freedom and equality and not to endorse a state which occupies, dispossesses and imprisons a people.
Today, further posts were removed from the Arch Enemy page, giving the lie to their claims of: “End repression. Allow expression!”
So, if Arch Enemy believes in freedom of expression, why do they engage in censorship? If they think there is nothing wrong in ignoring the Palestinians and playing in apartheid Israel, why not engage in discussion?
The detention of Palestinians by the IOF is carried out on the basis of article
78 (a-d) of Military Order No. 378 of 1970 on “Security regulations” (Judea
and Samaria), as well as subsequent military orders amending that order.
Based on these orders, any Palestinian can be held for eight days without
being informed of the reason for his or her arrest and without being
brought before a judge on the basis of secret information that neither
the detainees nor their lawyers have access to. The detainee can also be
prevented from meeting with his or her lawyer for two days and the IOF is
not required to notify the family of the detainee of the reasons for, or the
location of, his or her detention. Thus, it can be concluded that the IOF
violate the right of Palestinian detainees to be informed of the reasons for
their detention, as provided for in international humanitarian and human
Israel’s policies of large-scale and arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinians are made possible by a discriminatory regime of law and institutions working in three main concurrent ways to maintain domination over Palestinians: first by applying a more advantageous legal regime to Jewish Israelis, whether residing in the oPt or in Israel; second by effectively criminalizing any opposition to the occupation; and finally by applying differing legal systems to different parts of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), thereby fragmenting and segregating the Palestinian territory and people.
In the West Bank, Israeli authorities carry out arrests and detentions of Palestinians by virtue of a system of military regulations in place since the beginning of the occupation. According to international humanitarian law, any new legislation enacted by the Occupying Power should be limited to regulations protecting the rights of protected persons or the security of the Occupying Power. The military orders issued by Israel, however, extend much beyond these limits and further criminalize any form of opposition to the occupation, legally cementing the oppression of the Palestinian people. Despite living in the same territory, Jewish settlers residing in the West Bank are not subjected to this legislation, but rather to Israeli civil law, applied extra-territorially. Under this separate and unequal legal regime, Palestinians are subjected to more severe detention and sentencing provisions than Jewish settlers, with little or no effective judicial oversight, most notably with regard to administrative detention. In addition, the military courts, through which these military orders are enforced, do not conform to international fair trial and due process standards, further contributing to the arbitrary nature of this regime.
Before Israel’s unilateral “withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005, a similar system of military orders governed the arrest of Palestinians in the Strip. Since then, however, Gazans have been subjected to a different legal regime than Palestinians in the West Bank and are instead mainly arrested on the basis of Israeli criminal law, under which they are automatically classified as “security” prisoners and suffer from harsher standards of detention and sentencing than their “criminal” counterparts.
In East Jerusalem, although Israel imposed Israeli civil law upon its illegal annexation of the city in 1967, Palestinian residents continue to be subjected to a dual system of law: Israeli civil law and Israeli military regulations. In that framework, Israeli authorities often detain and interrogate Palestinians from East Jerusalem under military orders, a system that permits longer periods of detention, before transferring them to the Israeli civil system for trial, where prosecutors can seek higher sentences based on the principle that security offenses are less common than in the military system in the oPt. The arrest and detention of Jewish settlers residing in East Jerusalem, however, is governed solely by Israeli civil law, which affords them greater protection and due process rights.
Finally, within the domestic criminal justice system itself, Israeli authorities discriminate between incarcerated Jewish and Palestinian citizens by defining them either as “security” or as criminal prisoners, with the overwhelming majority of the former being Palestinians. Classification as a security prisoner carries with it fewer legal guarantees and rights, with privileges such as receiving family visits without a glass divider, access to books or other items, and occasional visits outside the prison available only to criminal prisoners.
Furthermore, security prisoners are interrogated by the Israeli Security Agency, which often uses methods that amount to ill-treatment and torture. Criminal prisoners, on the other hand, are interrogated by the Israeli police, whose methods of operation are governed by a different set of rules. This has created two distinct regimes of interrogation, with the one affording less protection and rife with abuse used almost exclusively against Palestinians, whether from theoPt or Israel.
It therefore appears that Israel’s arrest and detention of Palestinians in the oPt and within Israel proper is governed by a regime of laws and institutions almost completely separate from the one administering the arrest of Jewish Israelis. Because this system enables the large-scale arbitrary arrest of Palestinians while generally affording them lower protections and guarantees than Jewish Israelis, it should be understood as a discriminatory institutional tool of domination and oppression against them.
While the specific content of the traditionalist beliefs and mores cherry-picked and melded into ‘new’ mythology is of lesser import, that the terrorist Breivik is racist, nationalist and rightwing is significant, orienting the political compass. In common with other proponents of fascism, Breivik syncretises disparate, contradictory elements – of the Crusades and Knights Templar, Freemasonry and modern expositions of conservative and reactionary thought – to mythologise a glorious ‘pure’ past. Fascism is better defined by its rightwing nature, its hatreds, ultraracism and ultranationalism, than the myths it recycles and from which its bankrupt political ‘philosophy’ is derived. The perpetual struggle is against perceived impediments – in Breivik’s pseudo-philosophy these are scapegoated Muslims, communists who tolerate them, feminists and the politically correct – if these results and proponents of multiculturalism can be removed or dealt with, the re-mythologised past can be transmuted into a glorious future. Did Breivik consciously attempt to resolve the contradiction between eternal warfare against the ‘Other’ and the achievement of a golden age described by Eco, by setting out specific tasks to be accomplished by certain times?
Whether harvesting from Christianity or Wobblythumpianism, fascists merge core cultural, political and religious themes into dissonant reactionary mythologies to galvanise an irrational political ideology tailored for the target society, forging Blut und Boden ultranationalism with selective populism in order to promote a militarist drive for power.
Other notable commonalities within existing and historic fascist ideologies and the Breivik dogma include newspeak – the epithet of his movement ‘cultural conservatives’, its ‘cultural marxist‘ enemies and ‘Eurabia’ are striking examples; the ends justifies the means, contempt for the weak, attack of intellectuals, communists and leftists; anti-capitalist and anti-democratic goals; social darwinism, sexual machismo; a cult of heroism, strength, unity and purity; militarism and violence; rejection of cultural pluralism and multiculturalism; xenophobia, ultra-racism, antisemitism, bigotry and prejudice; censorship of opposing ideas, disagreement is treason, strategic victimhood and sense of besiegement.
Although Breivik executed a spectacle which may reduce pressure for a time and is disowned publicly by those who similarly espouse extreme rightwing views (with the exception of the monstrous Glenn Beck, who likened Breivik’s victims to ‘Hitler youth’), Breivik’s essential nationalist, Islamophobic doctrine remains as yet unrepudiated and unexamined critically by these fellow travellers.
One of the features of racism is that its sufferers are oblivious to its symptoms. Yet, racism doesn’t grow in a vacuum. Breivik’s acts and doctrine cannot be separated from the substrate in which it arose in the specific contexts of permissiveness of racism and violence, fuelled by frustration with the hegemony of the ruling class, alienation, and major political events like 9/11 and leaders’ counter-productive, inflammatory reactions to them. While Breivik sees multiculturalism and its leftwing protectors as his primary obstructions, the destructive activities of the transnational ruling class which benefits from and promotes racist, nationalist division is obscured.
There is a larger organism with which Breivik is connected – from neofascist and islamophobic organisations, to fascist Israel, to the white supremacist, uncritical media and people who assumed myopically that the appalling carnage plotted and executed by Breivik couldn’t have been committed by a ‘white’ person, a rightwinger or in a ‘white’ culture. This political terrorist may not be defined as ‘mad’ (to diagnose and disparage is unwise as mentally ill people are no more violent than other community members) or adher to any one isolated belief system than his own concocted dissonance, yet be ‘possessed’ of a dangerous, familiar ideology which has taken root symbiotically in several polities, a toxic phenomenon to be cauterised, else there will be more spectacles, with successive liftings of the bar. The Norwegian Prime Minister has demonstrated deep wisdom in declaring that Norway’s response will be more democracy and respect, not more security and fear.
May kindness, universal human rights, reason and democracy, prevail over brutish dogma.
The killer has evidently absorbed the far right’s shift from the language of race to the language of culture. But what is most striking is how closely he mirrors the ideas and fixations of transatlantic conservatives who for a decade have been the meat and drink of champions of the war on terror and the claim that Islam and Islamism pose a mortal threat to Western civilisation.
Only months before he went on his murderous killing spree he exchanged several messages with EDL supporters using his internet pseudonym Sigurd Jorsalfare, the name of the 12th century King of Norway who led one of the Crusades.
One staple of post-9/11 discourse has been the consistent demand that all Muslims everywhere not only condemn terrorism — which almost all invariably do, if for no other reason than that they have been its chief victims — but also that Muslims denounce Muslim hate-mongers, the “enablers” of terrorism.
Yet here we are witnessing a furious attempt by Islamophobic politicians and pundits, as well as their apologists, to decouple themselves from Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist.
This despite the fact that Breivik himself repeatedly cites some of the leading European and American anti-Muslim crusaders to rationalize his anti-Muslim jihad. They, of course, do not advocate violence, while he is a mass murderer. The distinction is clear enough. But they influenced him and shaped his world view. His exaggerated sense of the danger posed by Islam, Muslims and multiculturalism is about the same as theirs.
Breivik said in his 1500-page manifesto that he attended the founding meeting of the Knights Templar Europe “military order” in London in 2002 where he met a “mentor” who used the pseudonym Richard – after Richard the Lionheart.
Paul Ray, who writes a blog under the name Lionheart, says he belongs to an anti Muslim group called The Ancient Order of the Templar Knights but denies ever meeting Breivik and says he was horrified by the mass killings in Norway on Friday. In a telephone interview with Associated Press, Ray said he was not at the 2002 London meeting that Breivik described in his manifesto.
“I’d like to express my deepest sympathy to the people of Norway and to the families who have lost children,” Ray said. “It’s a horrendous crime that has been committed by someone what goes beyond the realm of human understanding.”
Ray, who now lives in Malta, refused to say how many members were in his group but said he had had no contact with Breivik and had not heard of him before Friday’s attacks.
“It’s an idea,” he said of The Ancient Order of the Templar Knights. “It’s not like it’s a massive organization. It’s a belief.”
Ray, who was involved with the far right English Defence League before falling out with the leadership, said it appeared Breivik had drawn inspiration from some of his ideas and writings.
“It’s really pointing at us. All these things he’s been talking about are linked to us,” he said. “It’s like he’s created this whole thing around us.”
says the main ideological drivers for lone terrorists are white supremacy, Islamism, nationalism/separatism and anti-abortionism. …
Indeed, right-wing views are increasingly becoming political mainstream in Europe, and even moderate politicians have been moving to the Right and away from multiculturalism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister David Cameron in Britain have all recently declared an end to multiculturalism.
Norway does not exist in a vacuum. Its right-wing scene is connected to the rest of Europe through internet forums, where hate-speech proliferates, and participation in right-wing demonstrations throughout Europe.
The Norway attacks are a reminder for Australians of the need to monitor individuals with extreme right-wing views. They should not be allowed to join gun clubs, own guns or be able to buy quantities of explosive precursors.
“I can tell you, at this moment in time, we don’t have evidence or we don’t have indications that he has been part of a broader movement or that he has been in connection with other cells or that there are other cells,” said Ms Kristiansen, who heads the Norwegian Police Security Service.
She said she did not think Mr Breivik was insane, as his lawyer has suggested.
Instead, she described him as calculating and evil, and someone who sought the limelight.
Breivik is no loner. His violence was brewed in a specific European environment that shares characteristics with the specific American environment of Loughner: relative economic decline, a jobless recovery, middle-class anxiety and high levels of immigration serving as the backdrop for racist Islamophobia and use of the spurious specter of a “Muslim takeover” as a wedge political issue to channel frustrations rightward.
“What we’ve seen is an active extremist scene across European countries, including the UK,” Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, told the Guardian. “There are some signs the extreme right have been more active, especially on the Internet. They are more sophisticated and using social media to attract younger people.”
‘Black is also expected to speak on the roiling issue of BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanction movement. The BDS coalition of left-wing Jewish groups and Arab economic jihadis, traces its direct roots to the aggressive adoption of Hitler’s anti-Jewish boycott by Arabs in Palestine during the Holocaust.’
‘I found the viewpoint expressed overlooking settled history. Arabs have been mass murdering Jews in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration. The pogroms of 1920 and 1921 saw Arabs in well-documented internationally condemned orgies of death including mass battering skulls, hatchet attacks and mutilations. British commission responded but did not stem the violence. Student journalists should check it out. In 1929, because Jews sat down at the Wailing Wall while praying instead of remaining in a standing position, Arabs mercilessly massacred Jews with knives, swords, clubs and guns. In Hebron, eyes were poked out, babies cut in half, one man was crucified, another had his brains extracted and used for sport, one was cut open and his papers burned, one had his head was baked in an oven, Torahs burned–all for sitting down during prayer–all in a globally documented massacre. There have been many more attacks. Student journalists should check it out.
Does the BDS movement own up to this enormous record of mass murder and Torah desecration? Can BDS assure the world that they succeed and have their way, that Jews will no longer be mass murdered merely because they sat down during prayer?’
Black is poisoning the well, creating a lurid illusion that BDS, which was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 because all other methods have failed to restrain the crimes against humanity continuously perpetrated by Israel, is retrospectively guilty of events which if they are factual, occurred nearly 80 years ago. Over the top and out the window. What’s this guy on?
More from the erudite Edwin:
‘If all Arabs want peace, it only takes a handshake and a pen to make it happen. Sadat and King Hussein proved that. Until that courageous moment occurs, all the BDS agitation,including BDS against peacemakers, is just in furtherance of the dark tendency of history to make us perpetuate and repeat all prior unhappiness. Don’t be fooled students. Peace has a chance if you give peace a chance. Good bye Harpo and all those who think BDS is an answer. Better to invest in mutual peace then endless economic jihad.
So BDS makes the zionists continue their genocide of Palestinians. And pigs fly because BDS makes them.
‘On the opening night international panel discussion scheduled for Saturday, June 11, Black will speak on the topic “Who is a Friend of Israel?” The much anticipated panel of international figures is expected to confront the BDS issue head on, with Black giving the historical perspective as it applies to today’s Arab Spring.’
Let’s hope there’s folks present to ask suitable questions in response.
Other Limmud-Oz speakers who will ‘deal’ with BDS are :
“2. ‘Beyond the Pale: Disagreeing about Israel’ with Tommy Sterling, Larry Stillman and Mark Baker. 3. ‘From BDS to Burqas! Grassroots Community Action’ with Elaine Black, Shirlee Finn, Danny
Kidron, Gael Kennedy and Sergio Redegalli. 4. ‘BDS Movement, Councils, and the art of conversation’ with Donna Jacobs Sife, Lyndall Katz, Gael
Kennedy and David Knoll. 5. ‘Is Israel an apartheid state?’ with Andrew Markus. 6. ‘Narrative Wars: A Brief History of an Enduring Conflict’ with Mark Baker.”
“Criticism of Israel or the policies of its government similar to that levelled against any other country is entirely acceptable, and is an everyday occurrence within Israel itself. However, the Executive of Limmud-Oz in Sydney believes that the BDS campaign is an attack on Israel’s basic legitimacy and harms the Jewish people as a whole, as does the singling out of Israel for unjust criticism.
Contrary to the BDS call for a cultural boycott of Israel, Limmud-Oz supports engagement with Israeli academic and artistic institutions and we have a number of their representatives involved in Limmud-Oz this year. BDS therefore undermines this crucial aspect of Limmud-Oz.
Limmud-Oz does not deny that proponents of BDS have the right to express their views to whomever they like. But that right does not impose an obligation on us to provide them with a space to do so.
This is not about censorship, nor are we seeking to stifle dissenting views. Limmud-Oz is proud of the principles of pluralism and inclusiveness which guide us and Limmuds around the world.”
‘Limmud-Oz, the Australian arm of the global festival of Jewish learning, is at the centre of controversy after organisers banned two presenters who “publicly advocate a total boycott against Israel” and a major donor threatened to withdraw funding.
The executive of Limmud-Oz released a statement last week saying it believes that the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign is “an attack on Israel’s basic legitimacy and harms the Jewish people as a whole”.
Programme director Michael Misrachi confirmed that, as a result, Peter Slezak, a co-founder of Australian Independent Jewish Voices, and Vivienne Porzsolt, a spokeswoman for Jews Against The Occupation, were disinvited from the two-day festival in Sydney in mid-June.
Mr Slezak accused organisers of “moral and intellectual weakness” while Ms Porzsolt said the ban “smacks of excommunication”‘
But Mr Immerman defended the decision to drop the two BDS proponents. “In supporting BDS, these individuals advocate denying free speech to Israeli academics and performers, on whom we depend for Limmud-Oz, yet, ironically, claim this right for themselves.”
They may, however, attend the festival, he added. “Limmud-Oz remains a very broad tent – the programme includes and celebrates a wide diversity of opinions.”
The “boycott of the boycotters” prompted two other presenters to withdraw last week in protest.
“We abhor the idea of being associated with an event that bans ideas,” Jenny Green and Joel Nothman said in a letter to the Limmud executive.’
Considering Black’s odd reinterpretations of history and the misconception Mr. Immerman has about BDS as well, it’s most unfortunate that those who would provide a more informed and balanced view are censored from attending causing others to chose to cancel as a matter of principle.
‘On Saturday, a senior Palestinian official said Abbas has concluded that a statehood push at the U.N. would not advance the Palestinians’ cause.
Abbas’ initiative, he said, will be compromised by the fact that the Palestinians first have to seek support from the Security Council before going to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians are more confident of obtaining majority support.’
A member of the PLO negotiating team, however, denied the report saying some of the world’s most important international lawyers are backing the initiative and the Palestinians are hopeful they will succeed.
“President Abbas knows getting recognition will be difficult, which is something quite different,” the official said on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.
Here comes Abass’s sellout of Palestinians right of return? Ya’alon’s view:
‘Ya’alon said that there were “paradigm differences between the two sides.” He stated that while Abbas had expressed willingness to go to Paris, the PA president had not agreed to begin negotiations with Israel.
“We are ready to go to the table. We have been waiting for Abu Mazen [Abbas] for two years,” Ya’alon told Channel 2.’
Maybe it’s posturing – the Israelis don’t sound keen, despite the overly generous starting point.
‘that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly would not lead to Israel’s isolation or have any concrete effect on the country. ‘
Then what’s the problem in a Palestinian state being declared?
“Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which could include proposed legislation to declare Israel’s sovereignty over extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out their unilateral action.”
‘The absence of any workable plan, he said, will leave Israel in a dangerous and weak situation if the Palestinians push for UN recognition of a state later this year.’
There’s legal dispute about whether Res 377, which is the Uniting for Peace resolution would be applicable in the case of recognising a state. It is used to resolve the peace not recognise states – yes, Israel is conducting a military occupation of Palestinians, but as long as Israel whines deceitfully that they are ‘willing to negotiate’ why, firstly would Res 377 be invoked, secondly, how could res 377 be used to form a state – that is not its role.
There are arguments for both positions. I tend to think that there will be no use of res 377 in this case, but Israel will use the situation to bleat victim again. I am of course willing to be persuaded, but then again, do we really think the sort of Palestinian ‘state’ which is on the table is actually a viable, sovereign state? As Grinstein of the Reut Institute says:
‘Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.’
Neither Danny Danon in his NY Times article nor the Legal Forum of Israel on the face of it *want* Abass to declare a state – while the Reut Institute (hasbara central) does – yet if Israel refuses to attend the OH NO not more peas talks in Paris, Abass seems to be going to proceed with the declaration – yet this will be blocked by US veto, but may give Israel the excuse, even if it is broached, to commence annexation of all lands except for where Palestinians are living at present – the formalisation of discontinuous powerless bantustans, leaving Palestinian people without rights, presenting an opportunity to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Israel also – but of course, making Israel’s position completely untenable, except in Ya’alon’s, and the Reut Institute’s eyes.
‘Grinstein hopes that UN recognition will set rolling a bandwagon that limits any Palestinian state to precisely the kind of demilitarized bantustan under overall Israeli control that will “solve” Israel’s legitimacy and diplomatic problems while marginalizing Palestinian rights, especially refugee rights.’
‘Since the Hamas victory in the January 2006 elections, there is not and cannot be a Palestinian partner to such a diplomatic process. On the one hand, a Palestine that includes Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel and existing agreements, cannot be a partner to negotiations on a final-status agreement. On the other hand, without Hamas, the Palestinian system lacks internal legitimacy, which prevents a historic concession. That’s why all the calls out of Washington, Brussels and Jerusalem for a renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians are hollow, and the negotiations that were conducted during the Annapolis process had no chance of success in the first place. ‘
The last paragraph is the most sinister:
”Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.’
‘In the Palestinian arena, we continued to meet with members of the political, diplomatic, and security establishment, and also key figures of influence from other arenas. Of particular note, we have begun the process of mapping the vast and complex political-diplomatic terrain ahead of the expected September UN General Assembly declaration of an independent Palestinian state, and the likely Durban III conference taking in New York at the same time. ‘
What Res 377 MIGHT be used for, though, is in regard to Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. I’ve written previously about this here.
Significantly, this issue also comes up in September, so Grinstein is doubtless correct when he has determined the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end till near September.
I also wrote about Professor Francis Boyle’s interpretation of the use of 377 here.
‘The statement emphasizes that however one feels about the issue of diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian “state,” the campaign to achieve such recognition cannot stand as a substitute for the global struggle for Palestinian rights in all their aspects. Here are some key passages with highlighting added:
” This September will mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” that is widely recognized as a total failure, by any objective standard. This sham process has served as a cover for Israel’s intensive colonization of Palestinian lands, continued denial of Palestinian basic rights, and gradual ethnic cleaning of Palestinians, while simultaneously giving a false impression of peacemaking. In this context, the BNC welcomes the recognition of a great majority of states around the world that the Palestinian right to statehood and freedom from Israeli occupation are long overdue and should no longer to be held hostage to fanatically biased US “diplomacy” in defense of Israeli expansionism. However, recognition of Palestinian statehood is clearly insufficient, on its own, in bringing about a real end to Israel’s occupation and colonial rule. Neither will it end Israel’s decades-old system of legalized racial discrimination, which fits the UN definition of apartheid, or allow the millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin from which they were violently uprooted and exiled.
Diplomatic recognition must result in protection of the inalienable right to self-determination of the entire Palestinian people represented by a democratized and inclusive PLO that represents not just Palestinians under occupation, but also the the exiled refugees, the majority of the Palestinian people, as well as the discriminated citizens of Israel.. For it to go beyond symbolism, this recognition must be a prelude to effective and sustained sanctions against Israel aimed at bringing about its full compliance with its obligations under international law. As shown in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, as well as in the current struggles for freedom and justice in the Arab region, world governments do not turn against a patently illegal and immoral regime of oppression simply on ethical grounds; economic interests and hegemonic power dynamics are far weightier in their considerations.”
The statement continues:
” The key lesson learned from South Africa is that, in order for world governments to end their complicity with Israel’s grave and persistent violations of human rights and international law, they must be compelled to do so through mass, well organized grassroots pressure by social movements and other components of civil society. In this context, BDS has proven to be the most potent and promising strategy of international solidarity with the Palestinian people in our struggle for self determination, freedom, justice and equality.
In light of the above, and inspired by the will and the power of the people which have given rise to the Arab spring, the BNC calls upon people of conscience and international solidarity groups to proceed with building a mass BDS movement in the US and elsewhere in the world’s most powerful countries before and after September. Only such a mass movement can ensure that whatever diplomatic recognition transpires at the UN in September on Palestinian statehood will advance the rights of the Palestinian people and raise the price of Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid by further isolating it and those complicit in its crimes”.’
Just-recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who had already come out publicly in favor of the Ofers a day earlier, wrote an op-ed on Israel’s leading Internet portal, YNET, saying that it’s not illegal to trade with Iran (technically false, practically speaking sometimes true, depending on the whims of the authorities) and that Iran isn’t even considered an “enemy country” (false, it’s specifically referred to as such in several laws, including one that bans anyone who visited it from running for Knesset for seven years). Then, to change the subject and get the Ofers off the front pages, he went on to say it would be “stupid” to attack Iran and expressed grave concerns as to the judgment of PM Netanyahu* and Defense Minister Ehud Barak**. In addition, Dagan also said that Israel should have accepted the Saudi (Arab League) peace proposal, but then said that once it became an Arab League proposal it became “verboten”. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I know.
The Government could not support the part of Ms Bishop’s motion because it stated there was a “fraying of the traditionally bipartisan support amongst Australia’s political parties for the State of Israel”. This statement is false. Bipartisan support for the State of Israel is strong and undiminished. Israel is fully supported by the Government, and we are not aware of any fraying of support from the Opposition.
Government members today voted in favour of the following motion in Parliament today.
“(1) restates its support for the motion moved by the then Prime Minister and passed by this House on the sixtieth anniversary of the State of Israel, and in particular:
(a) acknowledges the unique relationship which exists between Australia and Israel, a bond highlighted by the commitment of both societies to the rights and liberty of our citizens and to cultural diversity;
(b) commends the State of Israel’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism; and
(c) reiterates Australia’s commitment to Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and our continued support for a peaceful two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. ”
The motion should have had the word ‘unique’ changed for ‘special’ so it more closely aligned with the US commensalist position. Australia, the US, Canada and Israel – all settler colonial entities in denial of their ongoing genocide of their indigenous peoples. Israel differs from the rest of course in its ‘cultural diversity’ because there are no equal rights under the law in Israel – non-jews are discriminated against by more than 30 laws. Can equality exist in the Jewish state? After 44 years of occupation: where is the Israeli Peace Camp?
Israeli peace activists do not need to dictate to the Palestinians how to run their resistance; they have their own work to do.
If they are truly worried about a one state solution, they need to organise and take to the streets to protest Netanyahu’s fatal blow to the two-state solution and to force their government to change its course.
After 44 years of occupation, what are they still waiting for?
Haaretz reports on the ICRC’s Mathilde De Riedmatten’s interview available on the ICRC site, and not through the malignant, harm minimising IDF prism this time. Mathilde confirms that the ICRC is concerned about the fact that “the 1.5 million people in the Strip are unable to live a normal and dignified life”.
Some of the most salient, distressing points about the hardship suffered by the civilian population of Gaza which are better highlighted on the ICRC site than in the Haaretz version:
“The area along the fence extending 300 metres into Gaza has been declared a no-go zone by the Israel Defense Forces. A far bigger area, extending nearly one kilometre into the Gaza Strip, is considered dangerous because of the Israeli military’s incursions and use of live ammunition.
Gaza is more dependent than ever on outside aid. For young people – fully 50 per cent of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents are under 18 years of age – there is a crushing lack of prospects, and it is a constant struggle for them to maintain hope in the future.
The strict limits on imports and the almost absolute ban on exports imposed by Israel make economic recovery impossible. The unemployment rate currently stands at nearly 40 per cent. It will remain ruinously high as long as the economy fails to recover. This difficult situation exacerbates the considerable hardship already caused by the collapse of previously prosperous branches of the economy.
Over the years, access to land suitable for agriculture has been eroded by restrictions imposed in the areas near Israel and the levelling of land and destruction of trees by the Israel Defense Forces. To make matters worse, the high price or even total lack of some farm inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, etc., and the lack of export opportunities have weighed heavily on the primary sector. In addition, many fishermen have lost their livelihood as a result of Israel reducing the area at sea within which it allows fishing to three nautical miles from Gaza’s coastline.”
The restriction on the movement of people out of Gaza remains unchanged. The current Israeli permit system, combined with rigorous controls, means that only people in need of medical attention who fulfil strict security criteria are allowed to leave either through the Rafah crossing into Egypt or through the Erez crossing into Israel. Very few other people are allowed out of Gaza.
The entry of goods into Gaza is also still highly restricted, not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of the particular items allowed. Long delays are frequent. Some goods that are allowed in are so expensive that their availability hardly matters to the vast majority of the population, who could never afford them. Although there has been media coverage of the export of certain cash crops such as carnations and strawberries, the actual level of exports from the Gaza Strip remains close to zero. Imports of construction supplies and raw materials are still mostly banned, even though they are vital to the territory’s infrastructure and economic recovery.
Unless there is political change that results in freedom of movement for Gazans, increased imports of a variety of goods and significant exports, there will be no improvement.”
Thus it is clear that Israel is still enforcing its vile, illegal policy of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza.
CODEPINK issued a press release about tonight’s protests stating:
The protesters, 5 in all, rose one by one, unfurled banners, and chanted slogans. In response to Netanyahu’s claim that returning to the 1967 borders would be “indefensible,” activists called out that various aspects of Israel’s policy are indefensible.”
Gelzin told The Electronic Intifada by telephone, “The word indefensible has a more significant meaning than just borders. It also means ‘unjustifiable.’ We had to reclaim this word because all these types of Israeli apartheid are indefensible.”
Among the slogans the five protestors called out were:
“Occupying land is indefensible”
“Starving Gaza is indefensible”
“Bulldozing homes is indefensible”
“Silencing dissent is indefensible”
“Displacing refugees is indefensible”
Â¶7. (S) Fayyad said that he did not want to see the banking
system in Gaza, despite its problems, entirely collapse. He
worried that such a collapse would create long-term
difficulties in Gaza and would have serious repercussions on
the banking sector in the West Bank. Therefore, he would not
recommend that the Israeli banks cut off their relationships
with the Gaza banks. However, Fayyad said that he would
trust Israeli Central Bank Governor Stanley Fischer on this.
“”I have a better relationship with the Central Bank of Israel
than with the PMA.””
‘The authorities will be exempt from presenting various documents to the court and will be allowed to demand ex-parte hearings.
Matters of immigration and the status of non-Jews are not currently regulated by a clear immigration policy. Therefore, once this tribunal is established, all the executive, legislative, and judicial powers pertaining to the immigration and status of non-Jews will be in the hands of the Ministries of Justice and Interior.
The courts have repeatedly criticized the executive branch for its policies and violations, and thus the executive branch now wishes to establish its own tribunal and so to rid itself of the court’s criticism.’
No matter how much you hurt them, the Palestinians are never going to internalize the claim that their individual human rights and their collective national rights are inherently inferior to someone else’s, merely because of their failure to have a Jewish mom. They are never going to tell you that it was all right to dispossess them, just because this will make you feel better about the nagging doubt over your own legitimacy that is eating away at you.