Columns

Jonathan Ben-Artzi: Yes, apartheid

By
Guest columnist

In their recent columns, Simon Liebling ’12 and Ethan Tobias ’12 debated the comparison of the contemporary struggle against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the struggle for divestment from the apartheid state of South Africa in the 1980s (“The right side of history” and “No apartheid here,” Apr. 16).

Today, apartheid is considered to be a low point in South African history. In the 1980s, however, those who fought against it faced fierce resistance. Dissent, unfortunately, is a lonely business.

As an Israeli, I had to start planning for my military service during my senior year of high school. In Israel, interviews, medical checkups, examinations and forms are all a routine part of one’s 18th birthday. However, long before scheduling my first interview, I had already made up my mind: “I will not join the military.” I decided that I had to take a stand in the face of policies of segregation and discrimination that ravaged (and still ravage) my country and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Within Israel, these acts of segregation include towns reserved for Jews only, immigration laws that allow any Jew from around the world to immigrate but simultaneously deny displaced indigenous Palestinians that same right, and national health care and school systems that receive significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns. Even former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the situation as a “deliberate discrimination,” and added that “governments have denied [Palestinian citizens of Israel] their rights to improve their quality of life.”

The situation in the Occupied Territories is even worse. Nearly 4 million Palestinians have been living under Israeli occupation for over 40 years without basic human and civil rights. Examples include roads that are for Jews only, discrimination in water supply (Israelis use as much as four times more water than Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and must rely on Israeli supply) and the collective punishment of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians have been living in the largest open-air prison on earth for over four years.

What should one call this situation? The International Criminal Court defines the crime of apartheid as “inhumane acts […] committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

Refusing to join the military had its consequences. After a long legal battle, the Israeli military prevailed and incarcerated me for a total of a year and a half, ignoring calls for my release issued by Amnesty International, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights.

Being a conscientious objector placed me in the minority not only in Israel, but within my extended family as well. Both of my parents were born in Israel. Both my grandmothers were born in Palestine (when there was no “Israel” yet). In fact, I am a ninth-generation native of Palestine. My ancestors were amongst the founders of today’s modern Jerusalem. Both of my grandfathers fled the Nazis and came to Palestine in time to take part in the war of 1948. My mother’s only brother was a paratrooper killed in combat in 1968.  All of my relatives served in the Israeli military for extensive periods of time, some of them in units most people don’t even know exist.

Much as the struggle for equality and freedom in South Africa required international support and motivation, so does today’s struggle for justice in the Holy Land. Americans, unfortunately, are complicit in the situation: The U.S. is heavily involved in the conflict through means ranging from funding (by providing Israel with roughly $3 billion annually in military aid) and corporate investments (Microsoft has one of its major facilities in Israel) to diplomatic support (by vetoing 32 UN Security Council resolutions unsavory to Israel between 1982-2006).

There’s much that Brown students can do. The first step is to refuse to accept the prevailing “pro-Israel” narrative, and to learn about the situation through means other than mass corporate media. Being “pro-Israel” does not mean blindly supporting anything that Israel does.

The next step should be involvement in groups on campus that promote unbiased discussion and that call upon Brown to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians — such as Brown Students for Justice in Palestine.

Their agenda is not “pro-Palestine” or “pro-Israel.” In fact, it is not a nationalistic agenda at all. Rather, it is a “pro-human” agenda, seeking to help Brown end its association with unjust practices. In the end, only this path will be the true savior of Israel from its otherwise inevitable decline into an outcast, rogue society.

Jonathan Ben-Artzi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mathematics from Jerusalem. He can be contacted at yonib@math.brown.edu.

  • Why Why

    4 Things Come to Mind
    1) Right and Israel is responsible for the entire Middle East problem? Palestinians and other Arabs are the ideal people who have committed no wrongdoing. I expect equal criticism on both sides.
    2) You forget that Israeli society is diverse with nearly 20% of its population Arab. Stop labeling Israelis as Jews as that streotype is false and wrong. So what segregation is there are Muslims, Arabs, Christians, etc who have Israeli citizenship (note 20% of Israelis are Arab – a lot of people)?
    3) You neglect to mention that Israel withdrew from Gaza only to have Hamas build more missiles. Same thing in Lebanon with Hezbollah. It seems that you should be criticizing these terror organizations for pereptuating ongoing fighting.
    4) Correction: There has never been a Palestine as a nation or a country. You mean the “British Mandate of Palestine” or previously the “Ottoman Province of Palestine.” I hope the Palestinians get their own state. They need to renounce violence and recognize Israel. That’s the problem – they don’t recognize Israel.

  • Why Why

    *2) You forget that Israeli society is diverse with nearly 20% of its population Arab. Stop labeling Israelis as Jews as that streotype is false and wrong. So what segregation is there if there are Muslims, Arabs, Christians, etc who have Israeli citizenship (note 20% of Israelis are Arab – a lot of people)? Rather the security barrier has been routed roughly along the Green line. There are Palestinians outside the barrier and Israelis inside the barrier. So that’s not quite segregation. South Africa – black and white was the defining marker. That’s not the case here.

  • Why Why

    Your columns does not respond to the points raised by the other columns. It does not contain historical facts. Consider…. why aren’t you critical of the Palestinians for rejecting the deal offered by Ehud Barak in the late 1990s that would have given Palestinians 98% of the territories they wanted in a future state. Rather than discussing their concerns with this pretty damn good deal, the Palestinians under Arafat chose to launch the Second Intifada leading to the formation of the security barrier. NOW what I wrote is historically and factually based. Please study your history.

  • grad student

    Actually, while I don’t agree with everything Jonathan said, when he is talking about systematic discrimination, underfunded schools etc. – he is talking precisely about the way the State of Israel treats the 20% of its citizens who are not Jews. Only later does he refer to the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

    The fact is, while 20% of Israel’s citizens are non-Jews, the state does operate in various deliberate and non-deliberate ways to discriminate them. This is a fact that cannot be ignored and is one of the things that we, as Israelis (because, like Jonathan, I am also Israeli) need to address and fix.

    That being said, I think that what Jonathan terms “unbiased” discourse about Israel is sadly not unbiased, and does tend to ignore the fact that this is not a one-sided situation in which Israel is the only aggressor. The fact is that Palestinians could have enjoyed at least significantly more rights if the movement towards a Palestinian state was not constantly hampered by groups within the Palestinian people themselves who do not want to achieve peace and do not particularly care about the welfare of the Palestinians, but who only care about extremist religious rhetoric and promoting suffering and violence because this promotes their own religious and political aims. I speak, most notably, of the Hammas government currently operating in Gaza.

    Yes, Israel has a great deal of blame on its shoulders. Yes, there is much that we as Israelis need to do. But there is also much that needs to be done on the other side. Sadly, many of the activities that Jonathan refers to in his article are sadly not “pro-human” but rather “anti-Israel” and yes, on certain occasions even borrow directly from anti-Semitic rhetoric (like an article published here last year in which Simon Liebling alluded to a conspiracy of “Zionist” contributors using their money to buy Brown’s support of Israel. Yes, being anti-Israel does not equal being anti-Semitic, but for all that Liebling is Jewish, the rhetoric he was distinctly anti-Semitic).

    Like Jonathan, I am from Jerusalem. And like Jonathan, I agree that being “pro-Israel” does not mean supporting everything Israel does. Israel sometimes needs a good kick-in-the-pants in order to get it do what is necessary, and I have been a vocal critic of many of Israel’s policies both while I was living there and during my time at Brown. But I do not, I absolutely do not, believe that the solution is to join with groups that paint Israel as a devilish enemy intent on destroying all good things in the area. It is not. It is a country trying – often failing – to handle a complex political situation in which it bears a lot of the blame, but most certainly not all of it. Only if we find away to have a genuinely unbiased discussion, one that doesn’t try to paint either the Israelis or the Palestinians as one-sided aggressors, will this conflict ever be solved.

  • Arafat Yasir

    You want apartheid?________________________________________KHALED ABU TOAMEH: WHAT ABOUT THE ARAB APARTHEID?By Khaled Abu ToamehPublished in: Hudson New York March 16, 2010How come the Lebanese students who recently talked about Israel’s “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip during Israel Apartheid Week on many North American college campuses had nothing to say about the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinians have been massacred in Lebanon over the past four decades? Dozens of refugees were killed and hundreds wounded in the three-month offensive that also destroyed thousands of houses inside the refugee camp. Reporters said it was the worst internal violence in Lebanon since the civil war that hit the country between 1975-1990. And just three years ago, the Lebanese Army used heavy artillery to bomb the Nahr-al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon. Yet who has ever heard of a United Nations resolution condemning Syria or Lebanon for committing horrific atrocities or discriminating against the Palestinians? The Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian students and professors who took part in the anti-Israel events on campuses have clearly “forgotten” that their regimes probably have more Palestinian blood on their hands than Israel. In the early 1970s, the Jordanians slaughtered thousands of Palestinians in what has become known as Black September. Can somebody point to one United Nations resolution condemning that massacre? And where was the United Nations when Kuwait and several Gulf countries expelled more than 400,000 Palestinians in one week? The exodus took place in March 1991, after Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation. Ironically, the first week of March is being celebrated on university campuses as Israel Apartheid Week with no reference to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from the Gulf. Although there are more than 400,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon in twelve refugee camps — which human rights organizations and Palestinians say have the worst living conditions of all the refugee camps in the Middle East — as in most of the Arab countries, these Palestinians have been assigned the status of “foreigners,” a fact which has deprived them of health care, social services, property ownership and education. Even worse, Lebanese law bans Palestinians from working in many jobs. This means that Palestinians cannot work in the public services and institutions run by the government such as schools and hospitals. Unlike Israel, Lebanese public hospitals do not admit Palestinians for medical treatment or surgery. Can somebody imagine the outcry of the international community if Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a law today prohibiting Arabs from working in certain professions or receiving medical treatment? Ironically, the Arab citizens of Israel enjoy more rights in the Jewish state than their Palestinians brothers do in any Arab country. The same applies to Palestinians living in most of the Arab countries. While Israel has never stripped its Arab citizens of their citizenship, Jordan has begun revoking the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of its citizens who are of Palestinian descent. Jordan was the only Arab country that has ever granted Palestinian Jordanian citizenship. In recent years, however, the Jordanians appear to have regretted that decision. As for the rest of the Arab countries, Palestinians can only dream of obtaining citizenship. It is almost impossible to find a Palestinian with Egyptian or Moroccan or Kuwaiti citizenship. Is it not absurd that Jordan and Egypt have been arresting Palestinians who demonstrate in support of their brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip or collect donations for them while Israeli citizens hold almost daily protests inside Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians? And is it not ironic that the government of Binyamin Netanyahu is doing more to boost the Palestinian economy in the West Bank than any Arab country?. At first glance, it looked as if the students who were distributing leaflets and posters that depicted the suffering of Palestinians inside Israel and the Palestinian territories, particularly those living in refugee camps, were actually talking about the suffering of Palestinians in their own countries – Lebanon and Egypt. How come there was no talk on these campuses about the plight of Palestinians living in most of the Arab countries, where they have been subjected to discrimination, massacres and intolerance? Perhaps the time has come to start paying attention to the plight of the Palestinians in the Arab world. Perhaps the time has come for these students and professors behind Israel Apartheid to consider holding not Arab Apartheid Week, but a year-long seminar to discuss repression and discrimination against Palestinians living in various Arab countries. Of course one week would not be enough for this topic and that is why there is need for a whole year. We have heard enough how “awful” Israel is. Let us take a look now at what is…

  • Arafat Yasir

    Gosh. Why can’t Israel live up to Islamic standards?

    Presently, the newly constituted Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is preparing a state of Palestine based on new Middle East rules of Apartheid and institutionalized discrimination:

    1. The P.A. claims the right of every Arab community to return to Arab villages lost in the 1948 war.
    2. While 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arabs, the P.A. will not allow even one Jew to live in its midst.
    3. P.A. law mandates that anyone who sells land to a Jew is liable to the death penalty
    4. Those who murder Jews are honored on all official media outlets of the P.A.
    5. P.A. maps depict all of Palestine under Palestinian rule
    6. P.A. maps of Jerusalem once again delete the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem
    7. P.A. documents claim all of Jerusalem.
    8. The P.A. denies the right of Jewish access to Jewish holy places in their midst.
    9. The Palestinian State Constitution denies juridical status to any religion besides Islam.
    10. The P.A. will not allow the creation of any system of human rights or civil liberties in a future state.

    If that is not the formula for a totalitarian apartheid state of Palestine, then what is?

  • Arafat Yasir

    Let’s organize an annual “Arab Apartheid Week,” which would highlight the decrepit state of human and political rights throughout the Arab world.

    There is a solid case to be made that the Arab states remain the last great outpost of despotism and tyranny on earth, and people need to be reminded as much. Indeed, the Arab world today is a living encyclopedia of outmoded forms of government, from sultanates such as Oman and emirates such as Qatar, to thuggish dictatorships such as Syria and dynastic monarchies along the lines of Jordan. It may be a political scientist’s dream, but it is a nightmare for the hundreds of millions of Arabs chafing under oppression and tyranny.

    Basic and fundamental freedoms such as personal autonomy and individual rights are routinely trampled upon, and ethnic and religious minority groups suffer extreme discrimination and
    intolerance. Just ask Coptic Christians in Egypt, Baha’is in Iran or Shi’ites in Saudi Arabia for starters.

    This was borne out most recently by a report issued by Freedom House, the independent Washington-based group that advocates for freedom worldwide. Its annual survey, “Freedom in the World 2010,” would make for eye-opening reading for all those who cry “apartheid” whenever they see a flag with a Star of David.

    Consider the following findings:

    Of the 18 countries in the Middle East that Freedom House surveyed, only one is considered to be “free.”

    And just who might that be? Yep, you guessed it: Israel.

    Not a single Arab country – not one! – did Freedom House consider “free.” Three Arab states – Morocco, Lebanon and Kuwait – were labeled “partly free,” while 13 other Arab states as well as Iran merited the dubious distinction of being branded as “not free.”

    In effect, then, this means that of the approximately 370 million human beings currently residing in the Middle East, only 2 percent enjoy true freedom – namely those who live in the Jewish state.

    So much for “Israeli apartheid.”

    NOT SURPRISINGLY, in a press release announcing the report’s publication, Freedom House concluded that “the Middle East remained the most repressive region in the world.” It is this message that Israel and its supporters need to begin highlighting. By casting a spotlight on the subjugation, oppression and tyranny that typify nearly the entire Arab world, we can open some eyes out there and educate the Western public as to who really shares their democratic values.

    As Prof. Bernard Lewis has written, the Arab states are little more than “a string of shabby tyrannies, ranging from traditional autocracies to new-style dictatorships, modern only in their apparatus of repression and indoctrination.”

    An annual Arab Apartheid Week, held on campuses and at community centers, could be an effective vehicle for driving home this fundamental truth.

    Doing so will reframe the debate. More importantly, it will help Westerners to finally begin recognizing the Arab regimes for what they are: a dangerous mix of despotism and dictatorship.

  • R M

    “Arafat Yasir,” I see you don’t actually have a rebuttal for anything the author of the article or the commentors are saying. Copypasting articles about what an inferior race Arabs are is not an argument.

  • Arafat Yasir

    RM,My comments #1 & #3 do serve as a rebuttal to specific claims from the editorial.Here is another rebuttal of the claims made in the editorial:MALCOLM HEDDING: ISRAEL AND APARTHEID By Malcolm HeddingPublished in: malcolmhedding.blogspot.com March 3, 2010 Day by day the anti-Israel alliance, and sadly in collaboration with major church movements mainly from the historical Protestant world, is seeking to make the Apartheid State accusation leveled at Israel stick. There is more to this than meets the eye in that the real intention behind labeling Israel an Apartheid State is to remove altogether the Jewish State. The Apartheid State of South Africa was rightfully dismantled in the late nineteen eighties and early nineties. It was first discredited, then delegitimized and finally dismantled to the joy of the world and the enslaved black majority who had lived under and endured its brutality. However, to describe Israel in these terms is, quite frankly, immoral and wicked and yet on the university campuses of the Western World this is becoming the popular thing to do. Radical leftist academics and politicians are teaming up with Islamic elements to pursue this goal. They want to equate Israel with the original apartheid state and thus demand that the world do as it did to South Africa; dismantle it! Most of these people know absolutely nothing about Apartheid but the word is extremely powerful since it conjures up notions of hatred, discrimination, brutality, racism and prejudice.It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth! Most of these people have no knowledge of the “inner workings” of the apartheid regime and couldn’t even tell you the basic facts about it. It’s just a very powerful weapon to use when discharging their hatred of Israel. Essentially apartheid was a totalitarian system of governance, not unlike those of the Arab world today, where a minority population subjugated and enslaved the overwhelmingly black population. It was ideologically driven and was obsessed with racial superiority. The superior white population could not mingle with or even sit on a bench with the inferior black peoples. Even the education system was “dumbed down” for black people because they were mentally inferior and could not cope with the high levels of learning that whites could embrace. The towns and cities were “white by night” as all “blacks”, as they were called, had to be removed to their shanty towns that served as cheap labour ghettos for the nation. The black people could not vote, own property or even move freely in their own country.Various instruments of state were used to ruthlessly apply the system of total and complete segregation and these included the police, the military and the judiciary system. In short, it was Aryanism in a new form! There is absolutely nothing equivalent to this in the dispute that rages between the Palestinians and Israel today. Arabs, Jews, Christians and Palestinians share the same shopping malls, benches, hospitals, theatres, and in many cases, suburbs. The educational institutions do not have a “dumbed down” Arab/Palestinian curriculum and the privilege of voting is given to all. Israel has Arab Members of Knesset and Jews, Arabs and Palestinians often work together on construction sites, in businesses and in hotels etc. Most important of all is the fact that Israel is a democratic state, (not a perfect one), with democratic institutions and is not governed by a totalitarian minority!It is also important to remember that there never was a Palestinian State in the region as even Jews were called, and registered as, Palestinian in 1948! The British government held mandate over the country and accepted the right of Jews to have a state of their own in what was their ancient homeland. Even the United Nations accepted and voted for this right. When Israel implemented this decision by declaring its existence she was immediately attacked by no less than five Arab countries!This brings into focus the real nature of this conflict. That is, it has very little to do with politics or peace agreements but everything to do with theology! By this I mean a radical jihadist theology that considers the whole land of Israel and not just the West Bank part of the house of Islam. This theology dictates that all this land must be returned to this house by peaceful, political or violent jihad. So, when the Palestinians had everything they say they want now from 1948 to 1967 they neither protested against the illegal Jordanian occupation of the region nor even remotely demanded a state of their own. They did however found the PLO in 1964 charged with the distinct mandate of destroying the State of Israel. They subsequently launched a terror campaign to prove it and throughout the Oslo peace initiative era refused to remove the infamous “destruction clauses” from their charter!The same jihadist theology drives Hamas, the Alaksa Brigade,…

  • Strange Thing

    Just to clarify- Israeli Apartheid refers to apartheid in the occupied territories and not within Israel.
    It’s bothersome when people approach criticisms of Israel by comparing government inside Israel with governments in Arab states. This approach to argumentation seems to completely ignore what is the principle issue at hand, the issue for which Brown Students for Justice in Palestine was formed : taking our money(as American citizens and as Brown students) out of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Frankly, if we were funding Hamas, as we do help fund the IDF, then we would divest from both Hamas and the Israeli Military. However, it is to Israel that the U.S. government gives billions of dollars in unchecked military aid. We, as Brown Students, invest in companies which help support Israeli military occupation in the occupied territories. The same can not be said for the Palestinian military, principally because there is no such thing as the Palestinian military. We certainly don’t provide Hamas with rockets. So the point is this- BSJP doesn’t protest the government within Israel, BSJP protests the U.S.’s sponsorship of occupation. It is in the occupied territories that we see 40% of Palestinian men arrested, that we see neglect of basic civil and human rights, and where we see a seemingly never-ending process of occupation and insidious annexation of land. Frankly, none of this is my business, as I’m neither Israeli, nor Jewish, nor Palestinian, nor Muslim, nor Arab. But I do help fund the IDF as an American taxpayer. And further more, with my Brown tuition, I invest in companies that help perpetuate the occupation. So let the conflict rage on. I just don’t want to be paying for what is effectively a neo-colonialist enterprise. The best way to be unbiased and neutral in this conflict is to stop paying for and investing in the IDF as an organization. This is exactly what Jonathan meant by “un-biased”. As BSJP proposes that Brown and the U.S. government stop funding the occupation, it the most neutral and defensible cause of which one can conceive.

    For the record, the U.S. has funded/caused the majority of those harsh regimes(including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, etc.) that Arafat Yassir mentioned in his response. Similarly, the U.S. has funded Israel’s suppression of Palestinian civil and human rights. I’m not clear how two wrongs make a right in this case. Bringing up other Arab states neither vindicates Israel nor addresses the problem in the occupied territories. I have the same attitude towards repressive Arab states as I do the Israeli occupation. We should stop funding their government if they violate international law or commit gross human rights abuses!

    At any rate, I don’t think we should be focused on who is the “bad guy” in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as this is largely irrelevant. I think we should focus on our involvement in the conflict as American citizens. I have yet to see a justification for why funding the IDF is in our long term best interest- just ask General Petraeus.

  • grad student

    Strange Thing:
    Perhaps before you address whether your American tax dollars help to fund the IDF you might want to take the time to ask what the US government is doing with your tax dollars when funding the war in Iraq. Frankly, far more innocent civilians have been killed and injured by US actions in Iraq than have been killed by the (wrongful, I agree) actions of Israel in the occupied territories, and while I don’t have the exact statistics, I’m fairly certain that the percentage of your tax dollars that goes towards supporting US action in Iraq is dramatically higher than that going towards supporting the IDF.

    So, first of all, until you stop paying taxes and call on Brown to stop supporting any company that is in any way affiliated with the US government (not to mention stop getting any funding from that government), you are being hypocritical.

    Not to mention the minor fact that not supporting the IDF does not just mean not supporting occupation (which, again, I agree is a terrible thing and should end as soon as possible). It essentially means denying support to the body that allows the state of Israel to continue to exist – the state to which you claim not to object. And let’s not be naive, shall we? Without having a strong military, Israel could not exist. Even if the occupation were to end tomorrow and a free and unoccupied Palestinian state be created (a goal I fervently hope for and have been an activist for since my teen years) – Israel would still be at risk from it’s myriad enemies. So calling for the US to stop supporting the IDF is not just calling for it to stop supporting occupation. It is calling for it to stand by and allow Israel to be destroyed.

    And while, yes, it’s not about finding out who is the bad guy – I think there are things that need to be addressed. For example, the fact that in 2006 Israel voluntarily removed both its military presence and its civilian population from the Gaza strip. In response, the Hamas government in Gaza took over those lands, using them not to alleviate harsh conditions within Gaza by building more housing (which they could have done), not to continue agricultural work in these fertile lands (as they could have done, because a group of Israeli and Jewish donors bought up all the hi-end agricultural equipment and *donated* it to the Palestinians so that they could continue the agriculture that was already there) – but instead allows this land to become nothing more than the launching ground for missile attacks on Israeli civilians.

    So, yes, the occupation is bad. Yes, it needs to end. But lets also not be naive about thinking that if Israel were to leave the Palestinian territories tomorrow, that would be the end of everything.

  • Arafat Yasir

    Strange Thing,

    You are an apologist for Islam. You insinuate America is to blame for the problems in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Iraq. Why is it Muslims and Muslim apologists can never admit their mideival religion is why EVERY single Islamic country is repressive, lacking freedoms, prejudiced, misogynist and essentially some form of totalitarinism?

    Instead Muslim apologists always blame America, or Israel, or colonialism or unbridaled capitalism, but never, ever is it Islam.

    The problems in southern Russia with Islamists is not Islam’s fault.
    The problems in NW China with Islamists is not Islam’s fault.
    The problems in Sudan and Somalia with Islamists is not Islam’s fault.
    The problems in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq are America’s fault.
    The problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan are not Islam’s fault.
    The problems in Bangladesh are not Islam’s fault.
    The endless murder of Buddhists in southern Thailand by Islamists are not Islam’s fault.
    The murder of countless Christians in Mosul, Alexandria, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and elsewhere are not…

    It’s never Islam’s fault, don’t you see?

    And as it concerns the “Occupied” territories it is, of course, Not Islam’s fault. It’s ALL Israel’s fault. The fact that Arafat stole hundreds of millions of dollars for his family is Israel’s fault. The fact that Palestinians refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist is NOT Islam’s fault even though Islam has slowly and steadily wiped out ALL non-Muslims from the Middle East (and North Africa, large sections of southern Asia, Sudan, etc…). It is NOT Islam’s fault that Muslims all over the world call for the absolute and complete genocide of Israel. This is not Islam’s fault, it is Israel’s fault.

    Don’t you understnd why? It is because Islam is an apartheid religion that cannot abide by any non-Muslims living in “their” land. The nerve of those Jews for trying to do so. That is why it is Israel’s fault.

  • Maryam Alkhawaja

    It’s easy for anyone to write anything under an anonymous name because you do not need to have correct information nor do you need to be responsible for what you say. If you do believe what you say, and can back it up; write in your real names. If you prefer to be cowards and hide behind a pen name, there is no point in even writing to people like you. Stating things like “Islam has slowly and steadily wiped out ALL non-Muslims from the Middle East (and North Africa, large sections of southern Asia, Sudan, etc…)”; I live in the Middle East, I am at Brown only for a semester. I can put you in touch with Christians and Jews who live in my country, and, wait for it, ARE HAPPY THERE. One of my good friends who lived in Bahrain for a year is Jewish, and she loves Bahrain so much she tries to come visit whenever she can. The ambassador to the US from Bahrain is Jewish.

    On another note, I am a proud Muslim. I have chosen Islam and I am prepared to take on any of you in a discussion about Islam with the backing of information and references. If you have the courage, Arafat Yasir (and you do remind me of the actual figure), state your real name, and let us have a real discussion. I am willing to hear and respect all your comments and arguments, if you are willing to take off your cowards mask. Anyone can make racist remarks under “John Doe”.

    As for the Palestinian issue, refer to Noam Chomsky’s speech last Tuesday at Brown. If you are going to make an argument against what he said, make it with references and legitimate sources. the same way he made his arguments.

    I think it is very appropriate that you compare Israel to the Arab governments, since I, as an Arab and Middle Easterner, agree that they are corrupt and need to be taken down. The reason why it is appropriate is the fact that comparing Israel to a country in which people actually have rights and liberties for everyone would make Israel look really bad. Comparing Israel to Denmark for example.

    Again, I believe in what I say, and I know I can back it up with references and sources, thus I use my real name. Can you?

  • R M

    Thank you, Maryam.

    “Arafat Yasir,” like I said: copypasting articles about how Arabs are an inferior race and about how Muslims are going to crash the earth into the sun with their evil Islamic powers =/= an argument, especially not an argument in favor of anything Israel is doing.

    Also, [cite source]. No, I don’t mean copypaste an article asserting the same racist things you’ve said on your own. I mean, if you’re going to make claims about what Palestinians want, cite a Palestinian.

  • ruhan nagra

    Thank you, Jonathan, for sharing your unique perspectives as an Israeli and as a conscientious objector. As you pointed out, we as Americans are the enablers of these injustices and therefore have a special responsibility to act. I really admire you for speaking out and telling it like it is — it can’t be easy, as I realize when I read comments like many of the ones below, which are blatantly false, willfully ignorant, racist, and downright stupid.

  • Arafat Yasir

    Anonymity is irrelevant to the debate at hand. Theo Van Gogh and many others have been killed by Muslims because they chose to criticize Islam and Mohammed without maintaining their anonymous status. Of course, Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who published the cartoon of Mohammed with a stick of dynamite in his turban lives with 24/7 security and was still almost killed by a Muslim just last month. Choosing to remain anonymous or not is irrelevant to the discussion.

    We should remember that what is now known as the Arab Middle east was once devoid of Muslims. Mohammed was born in 570 AD. Zoroastrians, Assyrians, Christians, Jews and many other people lived there long before Mohammed’s birth. And today, despite your claims to the contrary, many of these non-Muslim people are either completely eliminated, or they have mostly been eliminated.

    It is interesting in the context of this debate about supposed Israeli apartheid the true practitioners of apartheid – Muslims – get a free ride. Does that sound like Jew hatred to anyone?

    In any case here are the religious demographic information for Middle Eastern countries today: An area where no Muslims lived 1,400 years ago.

    Saudi Arabia: 100% Muslim (no non-Muslim citizens)
    Yemen: 99+% Muslim (the once large Jewish community has just a few dozen members still living in Yemen)
    Oman: 97% Muslim
    Iraq: 97% Muslim (the ancient Coptic Christian community in Mosul are being eliminated, many have fled the country)
    Syria: 87% Muslim
    Lebanon: ~70% Muslim with the balance largely Christian. Three decades ago Christians made up 60% of Lebanon.
    Jordan: 92% Muslim. Christians made up 30% of the population in 1950.
    Kuwait: 90% Muslim. Members of religious groups not sanctioned in the Koran, such as Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, are not allowed to build places of worship
    UAE: 100% Muslim although the large Expat community is mostly non-Muslim.

    As an aside the same demographic profiles are true of all of the older Muslim regions. The newer Islamic regions are not as uniformly Muslim, but are all trending that way. Just as an example Algeria and Somalia and Mauritania are each 100% Muslim.

    Finally it is interesting that Maryam admits that there is not one single Muslim country that makes Israel look bad. She admits Israel is far more advanced than the Islamic countries. This is unusual to read from a Muslim. What is really fascinating about this is when one realizes there are 57 OIC countries (Muslim or Muslim affiliated countries) and not one of them compares with Israel?

    Tell me again why the entire Muslim world is criticizing Israel while giving themselves a free ride?

  • R M

    “Arafat Yasir,” would you care to address what I’ve said? That by pointing and shouting “Look over there!” you’re confirming that you have nothing to say in Israel’s defense?

    I think part of the reason Israel comes in for harsher criticism is precisely because it’s more democratic than a lot of the other countries in the region. If it’s going to call itself a free democracy, any deviation from the standards of a free democracy deserves all the criticism that any other supposedly free democracy would receive for similar actions. If the United States were currently blocking entrance and exit to a poor area of itself and bombing the hell out of them, I rather think it would be criticized as well. (And, of course, draw people arguing that those poor people just need to be bombed for their own good, or that it’s their own fault.) It doesn’t mean that those things aren’t equally reprehensible when other countries do them, but it does add an element of hypocrisy.

  • Arafat Yasir

    RM,

    You accuse Israel of some level of “hypocrisy”. You can’t be serious. Hypocrisy? As if there has ever been a nation on Earth that wasn’t replete with hypocrisy. Who do you think you’re kidding? What is hypocritical is for Muslim to call Israel an apartheid state when their countries are 95-100% Muslim. You want hypocrisy? Study Islam.

    Of course Israel, like any democracy, is filled with contradictions and faults and hypocrisies aplenty. Why anyone would expect otherwise is pretty amazing in its naivety.

    Look at America under Mr. “Hope” Obama. Gosh, it’s not as if Mr. Hope has fulfilled many, or any, of his campaign promises; or at least to the extent he promised. And this with a democratic congress and senate! Is he a hypocrite? You tell me.

    That said there is no group of people who are more hypocritical than Muslims with their “tolerance, peace and compassion” bullcrap. But, as you suggest, the topic is Israel. So let’s have it.

    What would you have Israel do differently? They were attacked (for the third time since its founding) by several hostile Arab countries in 1967. Israel won the war. They won, get it? They took over territory as happens to victorious armies. That’s the way it works. Since then Israel has given back the Sinai Peninsula and the removed their settlements from Gaza, only to be met with 6,000 rockets launched from that territory.

    Some have suggested that if Israel returned to the Green Line then everything would be better, but, of course, that doesn’t explain the three wars started by Arabs against Israel when Israel was within the Green Line. Others suggest Israel should give Palestinians the right of return. What a great idea! Except if one lives in the real world. If one studies the history of Islam one realizes if they cannot beat you with armies they’ll beat you in other ways. In Lebanon for instance the Christian population has dropped from 60% to 30% over the last several decades due to a combination of Muslim birth rates combined with Muslim making life increasingly difficult for Christians to live resulting in large-scale Christian emigration. We see this also in the few remaining Christian hold-outs in the Muslim world such as the Chaldeans in Mosul, the Coptics in Alexandria, the Armenians who have not been killed yet in Turkey, the Christian Sudanese who have not yet been killed, etc…

    You see, RM, Israel has to make hard decisions as if they really do live in the real world, and not on some elitist college campus. For the consequences of their decisions are really, really real and really are felt by their citizens. (See removal of settlements from Gaza if you’re not following this.) If this means Israel acts in ways that are not often as tactful as some might desire, or in ways that are hypocritical, well then, welcome to the real world. That is the way it works. It is not as if Japan asked our permission to bomb Pearl Harbor, nor did we ask them if it would be OK to drop a bomb or two on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    That said, if you really believe Belgium or France or some other country behaves less hypocritically than that’s your option. I don’t know that it is reasonable to make the comparison but it’s your choice and far be it from me to insist you do this, that or the other thing. But be assured the last I’d heard France, Switzerland and the Netherlands were not attacking Belgium so it’s hard to put Israel’s shoes on Belgium’s feet. If you know what I mean.

  • Why Why

    Jonathan, Ruhan and all. Please try responding to these points below. Don’t try to avoid discussion by dismissing these factual points. I noticed you guys have deliberately avoided any response. This suggests to a lot of people that you have no idea how to respond to these historical facts. Others – please read what I wrote, there is nothing racist or idiotic as was fasely claimed.
    [Repasted for convenience WITH DIRECT QUESTIONS]
    5 Things Come to Mind
    1) Right and Israel is responsible for the entire Middle East problem? Palestinians and other Arabs are the ideal people who have committed no wrongdoing. I expect equal criticism on both sides. DO YOU AGREE OR NOT?
    2) You forget that Israeli society is diverse with nearly 20% of its population Arab. Stop labeling Israelis as Jews as that streotype is false and wrong. So what segregation is there if there are Muslims, Arabs, Christians, etc who have Israeli citizenship (note 20% of Israelis are Arab – a lot of people)? Rather the security barrier has been routed roughly along the Green line. There are Palestinians outside the barrier and Israelis inside the barrier. So that’s not quite segregation. South Africa – black and white was the defining marker. That’s not the case here. HOW THIS IS APARTHEID? YOU HAVE ISRAEL ARABS IN ISRAEL. YOU ALSO HAVE ISRAELIS INSIDE THE SECURITY BARRIER AND PALESTINIANS OUTSIDE THE SECURITY BARRIER. IT IS SIMPLY A SECURITY BARRIER.
    3) You neglect to mention that Israel withdrew from Gaza only to have Hamas build more missiles. Same thing in Lebanon with Hezbollah. It seems that you should be criticizing these terror organizations for pereptuating ongoing fighting. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU HAVE NOT CRITICIZIE HAMAS FOR LAUNCHING MISSILES AFTER ISRAEL WITHDREW? ISRAEL ONLY RESPONDED TO INTENSE ROCKET FIRE IN JAN. 2009.
    4) Correction: There has never been a Palestine as a nation or a country. You mean the “British Mandate of Palestine” or previously the “Ottoman Province of Palestine.” I hope the Palestinians get their own state. They need to renounce violence and recognize Israel. That’s the problem – they don’t recognize Israel.
    5) Your columns does not respond to the points raised by the other columns. It does not contain historical facts. Consider…. why aren’t you critical of the Palestinians for rejecting the deal offered by Ehud Barak in the late 1990s that would have given Palestinians 98% of the territories they wanted in a future state. Rather than discussing their concerns with this pretty damn good deal, the Palestinians under Arafat chose to launch the Second Intifada leading to the formation of the security barrier. NOW what I wrote is historically and factually based. Please study your history.

  • Why Why

    Also, Jonathan, Ruhan and all

    1) It is interesting that you are unable to make a direct rebuttal but I am able to make a direct rebuttal. It goes to show that people who study the region’s history and have actually been there, know what they are talking about.

    2) So your audience knows where you stand. Arab countries who have committed genocide (killings tens and tens of thousands) and who continue to actively suppress the lives of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS are worth less attention than Israel’s dispute with the Palestinians in which on average annually, a couple of hundred are killed in retaliation for terror activities?

    3) What about Jews that were evicted from Arab countries and eventually forced to relocate to Israel. What about that apartheid.

    4) I support a Palestinian state, but your decision in fully blaming Israel does not help your cause. You need to criticize everyone for everything. Your cherrypicking only makes your argument super super weak. It’s actually EMBARASSING that you are representing the Palestinians.

  • Joe Joseph

    Hey, Jonathan thank you so much for your informative article. I hope that the region can eventually be hospitable to all peoples and I hope that we as citizens of America or Israel can encourage our governments to stop following policies that dehumanize and assault the dignity of Palestinians but also erode the moral fabric of our own respective societies. I also hope that the US will stop abetting regimes like those in Egypt and Saudi Arabia which perpetuate virulent policies that expose their own citizens to rights violations. I applaud your call for responsible citizenship and hope that we all work towards ending our governments, wherever they may be, complicity and endorsement of rights violations in the name of empire or power.

  • R M

    “Arafat Yasir”

    Like I said, dude, you’re just digging yourself deeper and deeper. You’re not going to come across as credible if you have nothing to say other than “Muslims are inferior and should have no rights.”

    In any case, I do think Israel has a right to defend itself from attacks, but I do not think that right extends to bombing the hell out of Gaza, especially when Israel keeps up a blockade on Gaza so that people cannot escape and so that supplies to rebuild the things the Israeli army bombed cannot enter.

    I’ll ask you: Why do you support bombing the hell out of Gaza? It obviously hasn’t made the Israeli population any more safe, so – why?

    Oh, right – it kills Muslims.

    “Why Why”

    I think part of the reason we don’t see as much criticism of Palestinians and Hamas in the American media is because it’s taken as a given that they’ve done bad things. We, as a society, tend to acknowledge that terrorism is a bad thing. It doesn’t need to be stated. On the other hand, there are plenty of people like “Arafat Yasir” here who probably wouldn’t condemn Israel if it built gas chambers, as long as the people going into them were Arabs or Muslims.

    I’m glad you support a Palestinian state, but why should it be conditional upon their acknowledging a Jewish state? Would you say that Israel should be dissolved if it doesn’t agree to recognize Palestine? If not, isn’t this just might makes right?

  • Arafat Yasir

    Joe Joseph,

    Why is it everything is America’s fault and it is never Islam’s fault?

    You insinuate America is the cause of Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian’s and all the other probelms Muslims face. Who are you kidding?

    So the problems in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Maurtinaia, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen. Oman, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kashmir and elsewhere where we find Muslims has nothing to do with the repressive, hate-filled underlying current of the Koran and everything to do with America, Israel, colonialism, etc?

    Your logic is Orwellian. I wonder how people like you explain the following history?

    In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring “concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury”, the ambassador replied:

    It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. [2] [3]

    Jefferson reported the conversation to Secretary of State John Jay, who submitted the Ambassador’s comments and offer to Congress.

  • Arafat Yasir

    Joe Joseph, Was the following history Israel’s fault or America’s fault?Muslims love talking about the Crusades… and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and “kill millions.”The Truth:Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.Here are some quick facts…The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity. In 1095, Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Comneus began begging the pope in Rome for help in turning back the Muslim armies which were overrunning what is now Turkey, grabbing property as they went and turning churches into mosques. Several hundred thousand Christians had been killed in Anatolia alone in the decades following 1050 by Seljuk invaders interested in ‘converting’ the survivors to Islam.Not only were Christians losing their lives in their own lands to the Muslim advance but pilgrims to the Holy Land from other parts of Europe were being harassed, kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam and occasionally murdered. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They did not attack Saudi Arabia (other than a half-hearted expedition by a minor figure) or sack Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople. Their primary goal was the recapture of Jerusalem and the security of safe passage for pilgrims. The toppling of the Muslim empire was not on the agenda.The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. (The Arab occupation is in its 1,380th year).Despite popular depiction, the Crusades were not a titanic battle between Christianity and Islam. Although originally dispatched by papal decree, the “occupiers” quickly became part of the political and economic fabric of the Middle East without much regard for religious differences. Their arrival was largely accepted by the local population as simply another change in authority. Muslim radicals even lamented the fact that many of their co-religionists preferred to live under Frankish (Christian) rule than migrate to Muslim lands.The Islamic world was split into warring factions, many of which allied themselves with the Frankish princes against each other at one time or another. For its part, the Byzantine (Eastern Christian) Empire preferred to have little to do with the Crusaders and went so far as to sign treaties with their rivals. Even the Muslim armies that eventually pushed out the Christian rulers spent far more energy fighting each other, both before and after the various re-takings of Jerusalem.Another misconception is that the Crusader era was a time of constant war. In fact, very little of this overall period included significant hostilities. In response to Muslim expansion or aggression, there were only about 20 years of actual military campaigning, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the brief interruption of centuries of…

  • brown student

    This is an amazing article! I hope EVERYONE reads it and feels the urgency to take action. Hard to argue with an Israeli who, in refusing to play a part in Israel’s brutal and criminal actions, spent 18 months in Israeli jail. Amazing story.

  • Adam Kissel

    Fascinating that this topic generates so many comments.

  • Steve L

    Let Israel clean up it’s own mess.

    This was a very poignant column, and I applaud Johnathan’s honesty.

    This is not an argument or debate governed by reason or intelligence, only theology and dogma. As both parties respectively subscribe to nonsensical religions that insist on their preeminence, there is no resolution to be had since, as their god’s “chosen people,” practicing Jews believe Israel is solely theirs through divine providence while many Muslims, like Christians with Christianity, believe that Islam should reign in totality.

    Both sides are wrong. But Israel, as a state largely funded and supported by the West, should be held accountable to western standards or else face divestment from western nations. Despite the fact, as Yasir has ranted, Muslims have perpetrated and continue to perpetrate heinous crimes, this speaks nothing to the character of Palestinians or individual Muslims, and Israel should make an honest effort to redress their crimes against Palestinians and create a liberal society more in line with the nations that back it.

    However, I believe a two-state solution is utter hogwash reminiscent of separate-but-equal. Israel would continue to dominate Palestinians with unfair trade agreements, allocation of resources, and armament treaties. In an ideal world, Israel would welcome Palestinians into their borders and allow Palestinians to hold office and dictate national affairs alongside them, as one nation, while repealing their xenophobic laws. If they did so successfully, they would set an example for the rest of the Muslim world and serve as a testament to the strengths of western, liberal societies.

    Unfortunately, I’m afraid, the damage has been done. If this were to happen, some Palestinians, embittered by Israeli atrocities, may become subversive within Israel, much like some blacks were in the late 60s and 70s. The difference being, Palestinians would have the support and funding from an established Muslim world, and Israel would fall.

    However this conflict unfolds, I want nothing to do with it. I want none of my tax-dollars going to support Israel’s oppressive regime, nor do I want to see American or international peacekeepers risk their lives for a nation founded on and sustained through ethnic supremacy. This is all that I would like. Non-interventionism and complete divestment. Let Israel clean up its own mess.

  • renewableenergy2

    End the Unjust Arab Occupation of Jewish LandNO PALESTINIAN STATE – No land concessions R7.Imagine that the various people who settled in the United States for the past 300 years decided one day that they one to parcel the United States into an independent State just for them, would the American public go for it. The Answer is absolutely NO.The situation in Israel today is no different. The Arabs there are not Palestinians, there is no such Arab nation as Palestine or Palestinian people.Europeans countries today are consisting of numerous people from other countries. Would the Europeans people cede part of their country to set up another State in their midst. The answer is absolutely NO. Archeological excavations and historical data is the best proof Israel belongs to the Jewish Nation and non-other.All the Arabs in Israel and surrounding areas are from the various Arab nations, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab nations. Transfer all Arabs from Israel to Jewish Land and Homes confiscated by Arab Countries.Prominent PLO Arab says there are no ‘Palestinians’ and no “Palestine”PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein admitted in a March 31, 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper Trouw.”The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. ” The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs: “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.017.104 YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd. PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations. SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment. – Qur’an 17:104 -Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.Any building of housing in The Greater Israel is the right and duty of the Israeli government. There is no such a thing as occupied territory. It is the land of Israel for over 4,000 years. Sequence of historical events, agreements and a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel totaling approximately 45,000 square miles, as mandated by the League of Nations in July of 1922. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. (You might as well break apart Syria which was mandated at the same time).YJ Draiman. PS20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews (IsraelNN.com) Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”.Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions. Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. We must unleash the wrath of G-D against the enemies of…

  • renewableenergy2

    An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates

    If you are so sure “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a basic questions about that country of Palestine:
    1. When was it founded and by whom?
    2. What were its borders?
    3. What was its capital?
    4. What were its major cities?
    5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
    6. What was its form of government?
    7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
    8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
    10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
    11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.
    12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation.
    Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    Here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people that are mistakenly called “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over

  • renewableenergy2

    ���Israel���s Disproportionate Restraint.���

    Israel is guilty of anything it���s of disproportionate restraint.

    Israel has the right and obligation to defend its citizens

    The brutal slaughter of a family of 5 in Itamar just shows that we are dealing with a barbaric mentality.

    It is a known fact that any country if attacked, its citizens kidnapped, rocket bombardment on a daily basis.
    Has the right and obligation to defend its citizens.

    It is sad that innocent civilians are hurt, but that is the cost of war and conflict.

    Any government and its citizen who do not resist terrorism and let terrorist organization entrench themselves in their country and utilize those countries as bases of armed terrorism against a neighboring country. Eventually pays the price for permitting such actions.

    If you gave the Arab population a vote in Israel and the west bank and Jerusalem the option to vote freely and without intimidation, you would find out, that they would rather be living under Israel���s government. They derive more stability more benefits, pensions, welfare, etc.

    If the United States or any other government were to be attacked from across the border on a daily basis, have its citizens kidnapped, rockets launched at them on a daily basis, the citizens would demand that immediate military action be initiated with no holds barred, collateral damage or not. That is the fact of life.

    Terrorist and those who support them do not know what peace is, they thrive on violence. That is the only way they control the masses. Any negotiations or compromise only strengthen those terrorist organizations. When a poison strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely.
    There is no such thing as a ���disproportioned response to terror.���
    Our problem today is ���Israel���s Disproportionate Restraint.���
    This puts Israel and its citizens in grave danger.
    That is the way the terrorist organizations should be treated.

    ���Like all sovereign nations, Israel has not only a right, but moreover, an obligation, to ensure the safety and security of her citizens���.

    As quoted in a statement ���the only time of a chance for peace is, when the Arab mother would love her children more than she hates the Israelis.

    The big mistake is that people are missing the economic benefits for Israel and its neighbors. That is if there was a true peace, you take the Israeli Technology and know how, add to it the Arab labor and natural resources ��� and you have an economic prosperity beyond your widest dreams.

    YJ Draiman