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o-ISRAELI-SNIPER-PHOTO-CHILD-570
An Israeli sniper recently posted this photo on Instragram, which sparked worldwide outrage

The United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as,

rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.
It is hard to come to any other conclusion other than this phrase aptly describes what Israel is doing in the West Bank...

Colonies and Demolitions

BCX6vigCEAAs0E2.jpg large
A Palestinian family looks on in horror as their home is destroyed by the Israeli government

There has been a systematic effort to clear Palestinians out of desired areas and replace them with Jewish settlers.  For Israel to do this without outraging the international community more so than they already have been, they have established a rather complex web of legal and physical impediments to Palestinian home construction in the West Bank.  And in many instances they have come up with some convenient excuses to outright demolish whole neighborhoods.  

One of the most common excuses is for designating an area as a "military zone."  Years later Israel seems to be allowing settlers to build on confiscated land.  So it is kind of hard to imagine these demolitions don't have ulterior motives.  On top of that it is settler violence, not Palestinian violence, that often instigates these moves by the IDF ironically to the detriment of the Palestinians:

At first, the settlers prevented the villagers from reaching their lands with the usual violence. Then the army got involved and erected a gate that is never open, thus turning what was a lawless land grab into something semi-official. Later, the army declared much of the territory a closed military zone, thus officially preventing the villagers – not the invading settlers – from reaching what is, without any legal contest, their land from which they live.
Moreover, Israel has made a concerted effort to limit the natural expansion of Arab housing in the West Bank if it is near Israeli settlements, and especially if it is in East Jerusalem.

This has led to wide condemnation from the international community:

In a recent statement, the [British] Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt censured Israel, saying that demolitions and evictions "cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; are harmful to the peace process; and, in all but the most limited circumstances, are contrary to international humanitarian law."
The UN relief agency UNRWA has condemned Israel's demolition of homes in East Jerusalem, up 45% this year.

It said 396 buildings were razed in 2010, compared with 275 last year, in occupied East Jerusalem and other West Bank areas under Israeli control.

As a result, 561 Palestinians - including 280 children - were displaced, it said.

Israel's interior ministry says it has the right to demolish homes that are built without Israeli permission.

It should be noted that Israel has at times also demolished certain unauthorized settler outposts by the more extremist elements of the settler movement.  However, Israel, especially under Netanyahu, has made a determined effort to settle areas of the West Bank most coveted by the Israeli government.  This includes the recent settlement activity in the E1 area of Jerusalem, which drew widespread outrage - even from the U.S.

Just the mere settlement of Jews in the West Bank is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.  But on top of that Israel has used every excuse in the book to demolish Palestinian housing in and around the areas of settlement expansion.  

This may not be the more overt and bloody methods of ethnic cleansing that we have seen by some of the most brutal regimes of the past, but it nevertheless is ethnic cleansing by any reading of the U.N.'s definition.  Israel has been illegally populating lands by outright ignoring the Fourth Geneva convention, and by limiting the natural expansion of Arab neighborhoods or demolishing Palestinian housing for one contrived reason or another.

Apart from the clear ethical and legal problems with this policy, does Israel have justification for these actions?  And why should liberals and Americans in general be invested in this issue?  Hopefully the rest of the diary will answer these questions.

Israeli Security and Defensible Borders

Untitled

The Israeli government bases much of reasoning on protecting the security interests of Israel.  The Israeli government might say that they wish they could stop violating the rights of the Palestinians, but what it is doing in the West Bank is all about developing borders that Israel can defend:

A peace agreement, he said, must assure Israel's security.

"Israel cannot return to the indefensible 1967 borders," he continued, rekindling the dispute with Obama in a possible effort to placate territorial hardliners in the Israeli government.

The border issue took prominence last week when Obama, in a major foreign policy speech, took the position that any negotiations on final borders of the Jewish and Palestinian states must be based on the boundaries existing before the 1967 war in which Israel captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – lands the Palestinians claim for their hoped-for state.

In direct statements and through aides, Netanyahu suggested that Obama did not understand Israel's security needs or the realities of the region.

There is only one problem with this argument for Israel cleansing Palestinians from certain areas: it's completely baseless.

Martin van Creveld, one of Israel's most well-respected military historians, had this to say about the military value of the '67 borders:

…since the West Bank itself is surrounded by Israel on three sides, anybody who tries to enter it from the east is sticking his head into a noose. To make things worse for a prospective invader, the ascent from the Jordan Valley into the heights of Judea and Samaria is topographically one of the most difficult on earth. Just four roads lead from east to west, all of which are easily blocked by air strikes or by means of precision-guided missiles. To put the icing on the cake, Israeli forces stationed in Jerusalem could quickly cut off the only road connecting the southern portion of the West Bank with its northern section in the event of an armed conflict.

The defense of the West Bank by Arab forces would be a truly suicidal enterprise. The late King Hussein understood these facts well. Until 1967 he was careful to keep most of his forces east of the Jordan River. When he momentarily forgot these realities in 1967, it took Israel just three days of fighting to remind him of them.

Therefore, just as Israel does not need the West Bank to defend itself against ballistic missiles, it does not need that territory to defend itself against conventional warfare. If it could retain a security presence in the Jordan Valley, keep the eventual Palestinian state demilitarized and maintain control of the relevant airspace, that would all be well and good. However, none of these conditions existed before 1967; in view of geography and the balance of forces, none is really essential today either.

And how about terrorism? As experience in Gaza has shown, a fence (or preferably a wall) can stop suicide bombers from entering. As experience in Gaza has also shown, it cannot stop mortar rounds and rockets. Mortar and rocket fire from the West Bank could be very unpleasant. On the other hand, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran already have missiles capable of reaching every point in Israel, Tel Aviv included. Many of those missiles are large and powerful. Compared to the damage they can cause, anything the Palestinians are ever likely to do would amount to mere pinpricks...

And the majority of security experts and officials agree with this view:
ALL THE security experts I have spoken with, including several US generals and senior NATO officers, have said there are real military and security answers that would effectively guarantee security along the Jordan River. The Palestinian leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas, has said in public and in private, that they are willing to find a way to meet all security demands, including direct IDF involvement in patrols and monitoring missions that would be established based on Israeli security standards...

In other words, most security experts, including a significant number of current and former IDf officers, Mossad and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officials, believe that the security risks from peace – including a withdrawal from the West Bank based on the June 4, 1967 border with agreed-on territorial swaps in the order of around 3%-4% – pose no real strategic or security threat that cannot be answered...

Now all of these experts are basing this on the hypothetical worst case scenario, so even in a worst case scenario Israel would be able to defend itself.  Moreover, this worst case scenario was in fact tested in the Six Day War, which Israel was easily able to dispense with invading armies.  And 45 years ago the disparity between Israeli and Arab military capabilities was not as great as it is now.

In reality Israel's peace treaties with other Arab nations have worked relatively well.  Even in Egypt where Islamic extremists are in control, the Egyptian government has not been exactly kind to Hamas:

Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.

The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years...

The move surprised and angered Gaza's rulers, the Islamist group Hamas, which had hoped for much better ties with Cairo following the election last year of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who is ideologically close to Hamas.

So the idea that Fatah, a moderate organization and the controlling power in the West Bank, would be less trustworthy than an extremist organization like the Muslim Brotherhood in any possible peace deal is frankly a ridiculous assertion.

Furthermore, Likud's precursor organization, Irgun, before Israel's independence in 1948 attacked busses, trains, marketplaces etc. in total killing hundreds of Arab civilians and British soldiers and officials in these terrorist attacks.  Thus, if the Palestinians are so undeserving of their own nation because a faction supports terror, then were the Jews deserving of their own nation in their fight for independence since a faction of Jews supported terror?

The American Soul, the Jewish Soul, and Lessons from the Holocaust
8439043909_400e746cd8_z
Israeli soldiers attempt to disperse seated protesters reminiscent of the UC Davis pepper spray incident

I didn't write this diary to give a balanced account of the conflict.  In fact this diary is decidedly unbalanced.  I barely talked about all the terrorist attacks the Palestinians - specifically Hamas and Islamic Jihad - have committed against Israel.  (I should point out, however, these terrorist organizations operate for the most part out of Gaza whose borders are not in dispute.  It is the moderate organization Fatah that controls the West Bank, which is being colonized by Israel.)

So why did I make an unbalanced diary?  Because I am an American and culturally Jewish and my audience are for the most part are Americans.  As the saying goes, "he who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."  The pro-Israel community in America is very quick to criticize Palestine, but barely make a peep over the crimes of Israel.  Before we can condemn Palestinians for their sins we must first clean ourselves of our own sins.

And this doesn't just go for the Jewish community.  This goes for America as a whole.  America provides Israel with unprecedented support militarily, financially, and diplomatically.  We provide billions of dollars of aid to Israel as well as act as a proxy for them on the U.N. Security Council.  And what do we get in return?  Pretty much nothing, as Scott Pelley of 60 minutes points out in this interview with Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak:

Bob Simon: While the Americans are helping you so much in your defense. Israel goes on building settlements, which is exactly what the Americans don't want. How does that work, when you're asking America for help and doing exactly what the Americans don't want you to do?

Ehud Barak: You know, Bob, I prefer not to answer this question right now. You know, we are in the height of the election period. I basically think that the relationship, especially between our intelligence communities and our defense establishment, is extreme-- are extremely close.

We can't just sit here and say, "yeah Israel is doing a lot of awful crap, but a lot of oppressive regimes around the world are doing the same thing."  Difference is we are directly responsible for what Israel does precisely because of this extremely close and rather lopsided relationship with Israel.  Moreover, criticism from Americans (especially from American Jews) holds so much more weight with the Israeli public than any other country in the world.  Not only do we as Americans have a unique responsibility to the Palestinian people because of our extremely strong and lopsided support for Israel, but we are in a unique position to effect a lot of change without having to spend a lot of capital.  And yet we do nothing because that is easier not only for politicians but for the American public as well.

It frustrates and saddens me that we have been so negligent in standing up against the brutal tactics of Israel.  And nobody has been more negligent than many (not all) members of the liberal community.  I have seen liberal bloggers make some pretty silly and bizarre excuses like, "it is too complicated of an issue" or "it causes a heated debates", yet many of these same liberal voices blog about complicated and esoteric economic concepts, which they do not hold a degree in, and/or blog about pretty heated intra-party rivalries.

But I have to give props to Paul Krugman for at least being honest as to why he avoids this topic:

The truth is that like many liberal American Jews — and most American Jews are still liberal — I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.
But there is a problem with the first part of his logic: he doesn't only blog about economic issues (his "other battles"), as he was an outspoken critic of the Iraq War.  And to abdicate his responsibility to speak out about what is being done against the Palestinians by our own people with the direct aid of our country flies in the face of everything we were taught as children about the Holocaust.  We must never remain silent when a group is being persecuted, especially when that group is being persecuted by our own people with the direct aid of our own country.  As the saying goes, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

idf_night_raid
A Palestinian boy throws up a peace sign during a nighttime raid

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Comment Preferences

  •  ethnic cleansing can never be (5+ / 0-)

    justified, but human beings are not the brightest apes on this planet so they'll keep doing it for all sorts of stupid reasons.

    we haven't exactly fully evolved away some of the traits of our nearest cousins the chimpanzees (who also engage in "ethnic" cleansing.)

  •  This is a brave diary (4+ / 0-)

    and thorough.  I wish you well.

    I especially appreciate tackling the "indefensible border" theory, which never made sense in light of the fact that Israel rather comprehensively did defend it in 1967.  

    Hard words you have, but difficult to refute them

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:03:39 PM PST

    •  'brave?' why? It echoes the sentiments of about (5+ / 0-)

      99% of people on dkos.  How is that brave?  It's not like we're a room full of Bachmanns here.

      I don't accept the 'ethnic cleansing' language, but I appreciate the author's admission that this is, in fact NOT an unbiased article and that it deliberately skirts issues of Palestinian terrorism in order to highlight problems with Israeli policy.  

      Actually, that admission is what's brave--nearly every other diary I've seen that condemns Israel purports to be completely even-handed (which they never are).  I applaud the author for honesty in this regard.  And while I don't agree with some of the framing here, there are a lot of points in the diary that I do agree with.

      Hopefully policies will change in the medium term.

  •  This may irk some here but I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    wish Obama would reject that award from Israel he is poised to be given and tell them why...they must stop persecution of Palestinians. It would send a strong message around the world that we don't allow justification of ethnic cleansing.

    •  I'm not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WattleBreakfast, David54

      You must understand that award was given by Shimon Peres who is a political enemy of Netanyahu and an admirer of Abbas:

          President Shimon Peres on Sunday strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on their handling of the Palestinian issue.

      Speaking at the Foreign Ministry's yearly conference, in front of one hundred Israeli ambassadors serving around the world, Peres said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace.

      "I've known him for 30 years," said Peres. "No one will change my opinion about Abu Mazen, even if they say I cannot express it because I'm the president."

      It seems Peres needed to wait for Lieberman to be formally indicted by the state's Legal Adviser before daring to express his opinion on the latter's handling of Israel's foreign policy over the last four years.

      "As a diplomat, it's always better to be a lion in a sheep's skin, rather than to be a sheep, roaring like a lion, scaring the whole world," said Peres. "The objective of diplomacy is to create friends, not to point out enemies."

      Peres criticized Netanyahu and Lieberman over the way they've treated Abbas. "I know that criticism of Abbas exists, and he has some for us as well," said Peres.

      http://www.haaretz.com/...

      I encourage you to see The Gatekeepers.  Much of the old Israeli establishment hate where the Likud government has taken Israel.

  •  then, there are things like this (8+ / 0-)

    that are subtler than military occupation, but even more horrifying:

    Forced contraception of Jewish Ethopian women is tip of global iceberg

    Should gynaecologists need to be told not to give women contraceptive injections without establishing fully informed consent? Of course not. But that is what has happened in Israel after it was revealed in a report by a women's rights organisation that Ethiopian women have been given injections of Depo-Provera without sufficient understanding of the purpose or side effects of the drug. Some Ethiopian women in transit camps were refused entry to the country if they refused the injection, and others wrongly believed they were being inoculated against disease.

    ...the conclusions of the report, written by Hedva Eyal, are that the injections given to Ethiopian women are "a method of reducing the number of births in a community that is black and mostly poor".

    Just what are we supposed to make of this? If it's not eugenics, then just what is it, pray tell? Because it sure as fuck looks like eugenics to me.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:22:04 PM PST

  •  It's an interesting question. (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of currently peaceable parts of the world are in fact the products of past ethnic cleansing.  I think it's like torture: something that can sometimes lead to good outcomes in some cold utilitarian sense (sometimes that detainee really will tell you where the loose nuke is) but we have to swallow hard and say it doesn't matter because it's so totally wrong while it's happening, and because the utilitarian-good outcome is not exactly guaranteed.  

    Note that I am only engaging the diary title rather than the diary.  I have lost interest in I/P and I now espouse a solution that has no short/medium-term chance of happening.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:46:03 PM PST

  •  "Can Ethnic Cleansing Be Justified?" (0+ / 0-)

    Somebody thinks so. Seems like both sides have given it a shot.

  •  It is very true when you say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JNEREBEL, Radiowalla
    I didn't write this diary to give a balanced account of the conflict.  In fact this diary is decidedly unbalanced.
    The candor is appreciated.  But when you also say:
    We must never remain silent when a group is being persecuted, especially when that group is being persecuted by our own people with the direct aid of our own country.
    I would take issue.  

    First, Americans have no direct involvement in any of the activities that you reference here.  As an American Jew I trust the President to make policy determinations as they relate to Israel.  I would imagine that he has better intel and more information about what is going on in that part of the world than any of us do.  We, the United States, are not persecuting anyone in this situation.

    Second, you statement "We must never remain silent when a group is being persecuted", should probably actually read "We must never remain silent when a group is being persecuted unless it's by an Arab country".  It truly appears that there is a double standard being applied when you make an unequivocal statement as you did.  The conditions other countries impose on Palestinians is completely disregarded.  How is what Lebanon, Jordan and Syria's treatment of Palestinians not apartheid?  Yet you only accuse one country of doing so.  Ethnic cleansing, does this count?  But still, only one country is singled out.

    It truly amazes me when we ignore the actions of other countries for doing things which are on a much larger scale than what you document here.  How can you defend a person who will inflict pain on his own brother unless a third party treats that brother in a nicer way than the person treats his own family?

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:27:33 PM PST

    •  We give billions of dollars of support to the (5+ / 0-)

      Israeli military, and we have directly vetoed Palestinian bid to become a U.N. member state.  So just a cursory look at the facts directly contradicts this statement by you.

      First, Americans have no direct involvement in any of the activities that you reference here.
      Finally I implore you to go see The Gatekeepers when it comes out in your area (if it hasn't already).  All of the Shin Bet Chiefs make the same points I make, and I sincerely doubt they are anti-Israel.
      How is what Lebanon, Jordan and Syria's treatment of Palestinians not apartheid?  Yet you only accuse one country of doing so.  Ethnic cleansing, does this count?  But still, only one country is singled out.
      So two wrongs make a right?  It's not appropriate to criticize Israel since other countries do it?  I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.  Furthermore, I took great pains in my diary to explain why I singled out Israel (because of the great amount of influence we have over that country and the direct responsibility we have for Israel's actions). Please reread that part of my diary.
      •  I voted for the President because I trust him... (0+ / 0-)

        ... to make the proper decisions with regard to peace in the Middle East.  Maybe, just maybe, he knows a little more about the situation than you do.

        You can knock yourself out criticizing Israel, but if you truly want peace in the Middle East, fair treatment of Palestinians by other Arab countries would be an excellent place to start.  It's not an either/or proposition either, demanding fair treatment of Palestinians in Arab states and working on a two state solution in Israel can be done at the same time.  Allowing people born in those states to become citizens only seems fair.  Allowing those children to not become pawns in a Geo-political issue that predates their existence by generations (and may not be solved for generations) is the right thing to do.

        And where will you stand if a two-state solution is approved and ALL of the Arab countries immediately force the Palestinians out (because that is what is going to happen)?  Will that be "justified" ethnic cleansing in your mind?

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:38:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry (4+ / 0-)

          You have a sadly typical American misunderstanding of both the refugee status and of the laws concerning citizenship in the rest of the world. In many cases (the UK included), simply being born in the country does not necessarily entitle you to citizenship.

          In this case, those who fled during the Nakba and their children and grandchildren remain refugees. Indeed most consider themselves Palestinian and would not wish to take, say, Jordanian citizenship.

          "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:55:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (5+ / 0-)

          since the source of the problems of Palestinians is their expulsion from their homes and being prevented from returning by Israel, I say let the Palestinians go home and that will simultaneously end their mistreatment both by their host countries and Israel.

          I'm always amazed by how brazenly the supporters of Israel assert the right of Jews to return after centuries and yet deny that right to Palestinians who were born in Palestine. Either human rights apply equally to all or we they don't. And stop pretending that you actually care about Palestinians when your prime concern is to keep them from returning to their homes, which is what they want. And if you truly care for Palestinians and want to know what they want, then go ask them and stop speaking for them. If you don't realize how it sounds for a member of the oppressive group to speak for the oppressed sounds, go find out.

        •  Seems like you are trying to find ways to avoid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bisbonian

          doing what is necessary.

          And the best way to improve the rights of Palestinians is for them to have their own nation that would stand up for their rights.

          As for the President... do you mean this President?

          "I can't stand him. He's a liar," Sarkozy said of Netanyahu, according to the website.

          Obama replied, "You're tired of him; what about me? I have to deal with him every day," the site reported.

          http://www.cnn.com/...
    •  "I would imagine that he has better intel ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...and more information about what is going on in that part of the world than any of us do."

      Some version of this line is what we were told by Cold War liberals when we dared protest the Vietnam War. It was basically just a euphemistic way to tell us to STFU.

      Later we learned that all that better intel they had DID NOT mean they knew better. What we learned was that, fairly early on, they knew the U.S. could not win that war. But they kept sending tens of thousands of additional troops anyway to kill and be killed until half a million were in the country.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:04:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Respectfully, how would you have phrased it? (0+ / 0-)

        I do believe that the President's view of the situation there is correct.  I also believe that he is not working from a "feel" of the situation but from facts and realities of the region.  I am not advocating that anyone STFU, but I do believe that alleging that our country is directly aiding the persecution of "that group" should be refuted.

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:33:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The President essentially agreed with (0+ / 0-)

          Sarkozy when he called Netanyahu a liar, and bemoaned the fact he has to deal with him every day in an open mic incident.

          Would Obama say this if he knew there was a hot mic?  LOL, of course not.  Don't pretend to know what Obama really believes.

        •  Surely you would agree that there is at least... (3+ / 0-)

          ...indirect aiding in that the money continues to pour in without any quid pro quo. I am personally plenty critical of the Arab governments' behavior toward Jews, toward Palestinians. But that doesn't excuse Israel's behavior. Israel already has 20% Arab population and it supervises land on which 2.6 million others live. The future is inevitable. Israel absorbs or ejects.  Either way, things must change, meaning the control must be surrendered. Otherwise, permanent war.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:35:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This diary isn't arguing about indirect aid... (0+ / 0-)

            ... it's making the claim that:

            ...we are directly responsible for what Israel does precisely because of this extremely close and rather lopsided relationship with Israel
            ...
            We must never remain silent when a group is being persecuted, especially when that group is being persecuted by our own people with the direct aid of our own country.
            Those are absolutist statements that cannot be left unchallenged, right?

            I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

            by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:45:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We give direct military aid to Israel (0+ / 0-)

              And we are a proxy for Israel in the U.N.  That seems direct and damning enough to me.  I guess I'm not clear what sort of evidence you are looking for.

              •  There you go MB... (0+ / 0-)

                ... "we are directly responsible for what Israel does precisely because of this extremely close and rather lopsided relationship with Israel."  The United States of America is  therefore responsible for the Israeli government's actions.  It's actually quite simple - no indirect funding required.  They do what we tell them to do and they get the money.  Quid Pro Quo and QED

                Of course, we (the world's number 1 superpower) are also supposedly the proxy of the country we are directly responsible for.  So we have to do what they tell us to do?  Or do we tell them to tell us what we want them to tell us to do?   Fuck it, they still get the money and we're still directly responsible for what they do.  Quid Pro Quo and QED

                I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

                by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:58:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Would this qualify (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Mortifyd, bevenro

    as ethnic cleansing?

    The Expulsion of Egyptian Jews 1956

    or this?:

    Jewish Exodus from Arab and Muslim
    Countries

    This population has long been forgotten and no one is even discussing a right of return for nearly 1,000,000 Jews who fled or were expelled from Arab lands.  

    I usually stay away from I/P diaries, but I couldn't help think of my friend from yoga class who fled Morocco and lost everything.  Or of Lucette Lagnado's family that was chased out of Egypt and lost everything.  Or Andre Aciman's family who fled Alexandria.
    One might say they were ethnically cleansed.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:26:04 PM PST

    •  Excellent post. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla

      Great links.  
      Very sad.

      Nearly 15,000 Jews were still in Egypt following the expulsion. Their situation however deteriorated quickly. In 1967, Jews were detained and tortured, and Jewish homes were confiscated. Following the Six Day War, the community practically ceased to exist, with the exception of mostly elderly Jews. By 1972, only 500 remained in the country.

      I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

      by Hey338Too on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:43:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So two wrongs make a right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian

      What point are you trying to make?

      As a Jew myself (my family came here to escape the pogroms) I am not exactly ignorant of the trials and tribulations the Jewish people have gone through.

      The problem is people like you think that either justifies and/or ameliorates the seriousness of the crimes Israel has committed against the Palestinian people.

    •  All the more reason why (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian, protectspice

      the rights of all those who have been abused in some way should be respected by all. So, that means Palestinians get to return home or be compensated (their choice) and Jews get to return home or be compensated (their choice).

      See, that whole thing about supporting and defending the human rights of all makes things that are 'complicated' much simpler.

      •  that is the de-facto 'one state solution' (0+ / 0-)

        which by that same 'facto' ethnically cleanses Jews.

        Not a solution.

        No one is under any illusions that 'right to return' can be anything more than symbolic.  

        •  Bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ancblu, Celtic Merlin

          Go google Salman Abu Sitta and read his suggestion for how Palestinian refugees can return their homes. Many come from villages that were destroyed and have no structures built upon them. Their homes can easily be rebuilt. As for lands and properties that were confiscated by the Israeli state, most were placed in JNF hands and are leasehold rather than freehold property. As such, Palestinians who wish to return to their homes and properties should be allowed to place their claims and a suitable process for the return of properties should be agreed upon, perhaps at the end of the lease period as an initial suggestion.

          I agree with you that the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Jews in 1947/48 and continued by Israel after its creation should not be visited upon anyone, including the descendants of those Jews involved in the ethnic cleansing. Far better that they accept that they have benefited from a great injustice and need to make it right. I don't see any other path for real peace and Israel's genuine integration into the region.

          Telling someone they can't go home so someone else can maintain their ethno-religious privileges is not very liberal nor progressive. Luckily there are many Jews who  can't bring themselves to say that to Palestinians. If Jewish safety is dependent upon expulsion, murder, theft, occupation, siege, and the myriad of injustices associated with them, is that a price you are willing to pay?

    •  problem with I/P discussions on this site (0+ / 0-)

      (and pretty  much everywhere) is exactly what you're pointing out.

      There are no innocent parties here.  Either the groups move forward, or they kill each other.  

  •  Thanks for the diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lib Dem FoP, ancblu, Celtic Merlin

    I thought it was quite thoughtful and obviously heartfelt.

    Just one thing that I wanted to point out: It's not that Jews per se can't live in the West Bank - it's that as an occupying power they are prohibited by the Geneva Conventions from moving their citizens into occupied areas. We need to keep a lot of this terminology and argumentation precise since it's a minefield with the sensitivities of different groups in this discussion.

  •  "Genocide" (0+ / 0-)

      Let's call it what it is.  I hate the term "ethnic cleansing", it makes it sound so benign.

    •  Not quite (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Merlin, angry marmot

      As Fire Bird Pretty rightly points out, we have to be very precise in the proper use of terms. The Crime of Genocide has a very precise definition in two parts. The second gives examples of the actions taken in pursuit of the "destruction"of a group which include some of the action's taken by Israel in the OPT.

      It is coerced movement of a population that defines "ethnic cleansing" as opposed to the intent to bring about its "destruction" which is the pre-requisite to be shown for actions to become ancillary to a genocide.

      To take examples from US history: the forceable movement of the native tribes would be "ethnic cleansing", deliberately giving them infected blankets would be "genocide".

      "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:08:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  er...it's not 'genocide'. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot, Radiowalla

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