Zionism, Anti-Semitism, BDS, and the United Nations

8 Jun

 

 

[Prefatory Note: An earlier abridged version of this post was published by Middle East Eye under a different title on June 5, 2016. The focus is upon the misuse of anti-Semitism by those defending Israel to deflect a rising tide of civil society activism and public criticism of Israeli policies and practices.]

 

Zionism as Racism? Zionism and the State of Israel

 

More than 40 years ago the UN General Assembly adopted controversial resolution 3379 by a vote of 72-35 (with 32 abstentions), determining “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” This resolution was bitterly opposed by Israel and its friends in 1975. According to Zionists and others this resolution was an unacceptable assault on the dignity of the Jewish people, a blatant expression of anti-Semitism, exhibiting hurtful insensitivity to the long dark shadow cast by horrific memories of the Holocaust.

 

The Israeli ambassador at the United Nations, Chaim Herzog, was unsparing in his denunciation: “For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value.” The American Ambassador, with a deserved reputation as an outspoken diplomat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was hardly less severe. In the debate preceding the vote Moynihan used exaggerated language of denunciation: “The UN is about to make anti-Semitism international law..The [US] does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act..a great evil has been loosed upon the world.”

 

Such harsh language was an effective tactical maneuver by Israel and the United States to mislead as to the purpose of the anti-Zionist resolution by waving the red flag of anti-Semitism. With a few notable exceptions, the governmental supporters of the initiative at the UN were never motivated by hatred of Jews, although the resolution was an unwise way to exhibit anger toward Israel because it was so susceptible to being discredited as unacceptable due to its anti-Semitic overtones. The primary backers of the resolution were seeking to call attention to the fact that Israel as a state was proceeding in a racist manner by its treatment of the indigenous Palestinian population. In fact, the focus on Zionism rather than Israel reflected a continuing commitment by the main representatives of the Palestinian people and their allies to accept, however reluctantly, the reality of Israel as a state, while rejecting certain of its policies and practices that were being attributed to the Zionist ideology that did shape Israel’s governing process.

 

The context of the resolution is also important. It came after a decade of international frustration concerning the refusal of Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian (and Syrian) territory occupied in the 1967 War in the manner prescribed in the unanimously passed iconic UN Security Resolution 242. By 1975 it seemed that Israel had no serious intention of ever withdrawing fully or soon. True, there were interpretative ambiguities surrounding the exact conditions of withdrawal, yet Israel’s expansion of the metropolitan area of Jerusalem together with its annexation combeined with the establishment of settlements in occupied Palestine was generally perceived in UN circles as confirming this suspicion that Israeli ambitions far exceeded the scope of what had been agreed upon in 1967 at the Security Council. Subsequent developments have only hardened the perception the belief that Israel will defy international law and UN authority whenever it suits their purposes.

 

Inappropriately and ineffectively, the anti-Zionist resolution was seeking to mobilize the international community in 1975 around the idea that Palestinian suffering and humiliation resulted from illegitimate Israeli behavior that would not be overcome by statecraft or UN diplomacy, both of which had been tried and failed. Over time this interpretation of the situation has given rise to a growing skepticism about whether any inter-government effort, including even that undertaken by the Palestinians themselves, will secure the Palestinian right of self-determination, as long as the balance of forces is so strongly in Israel’s favor. Against this background it is not surprising that the Palestinian struggle increasingly relies upon civil society militancy currently epitomized by the BDS Campaign to correct this imbalance.

 

Asserting its geopolitical muscle over the years Israel finally managed to induce the General Assembly to reverse itself in 1991 by Res. 46/86. This single sentence text simply revokes the earlier resolution condemning Israel without offering any explanation for the new posture. Israel secured this vote by making conditional its participation at the Madrid Peace Conference that same year, insisting on a formal repudiation of the 1975 resolution.

 

In retrospect, the General Assembly had made a serious mistake by equating Israel with Zionism. It should been earlier realized that Zionism is a political project devised by Jews in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century, and while responsible for the world movement that successfully established Israel against great odds, it does not represent the Jewish people as whole, nor is it an authoritative expression of Judaism whether conceived as a religion or an ethno-historic tradition. From the inception of Zionism, Jews as individuals held wildly divergent, even contradictory, views about the wisdom of Zionism in theory and practice as well as about the validity of its relations with Judaism. Zionism was never institutionalized as the governing ideology of the Israeli state, and many Jewish critics of Israel emphasized the failure of the state to live up to Zionist ideals and Judaic traditions.

 

Among the most fundamental of these disagreements related to whether Jews should aspire to a state of their own in Palestine, or should limit themselves to the Balfour pledge of support for a homeland in historic Palestine. The whole idea of an ethnic state is problematic given the geographic intermingling of ethnicities, and can be reconciled with the ideal of protecting the human rights of every individual only by artifice. In practice, an ethnic state, even if its activities are constitutionally constrained, dominates the governing space and discriminates against those with other ethnic identities. And so has been the case with Israel despite Palestinian voting rights and participation in the Knesset. Again, Zionism championed Israeli statehood as the fulfillment of the vision of a Jewish homeland, but the state that emerged is a political actor whose behavior needs to be appraised by its policies and practices, and not by its founding ideology.

 

Such general speculation raises somewhat different issues than posed by the anti-Zionist resolution. Now the much more difficult issue is raised in the form of allegations that Israel as of 2016 has become a racist or apartheid state, most clearly with respect to its oppressive and discriminatory administration of the West Bank and Gaza. To be clear, it is not Zionism as an ideology that should be evaluated as racist or not, despite its ethnic exclusivity, but Israel as a state subject to international law, including the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination(1966) and the International Convention on Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973).

 

BDS as Anti-Semitism?

 

At this time, complaints about anti-Semitism have taken an entirely different course, although emanating from a similar source. Instead of deflecting criticism at the UN by angry claims of institutional bias verging on anti-Semitism, Israel is now actually invoking the prestige of the UN to carry on its fight against the BDS Campaign and an alleged delegitimation project aimed at discrediting and isolating, if not destroying, the state of Israel. On May 31,, 2016 Israel convened a day-long conference under the willfully misleading title, “Ambassadors Against BDS—International Summit at the UN.” Invited speakers were limited to pro-Israeli extremists who took turns deploring BDS as a political initiative and denouncing its activist supporters as vicious anti-Semites. The Israeli ambassador, acting as convenor of the conference and known mainly as an inflammatory leader of the settlement movement, Dani Danon, set the tone of the event with these words: “BDS is the modern incarnation of anti-Semitism,” spreading an “..ideology of hate.”

 

The program was unabashedly one-sided. The conference sponsored by a series of leading Jewish organizations. The audience consisted of more than 1500 invited guests who possessed strong anti-BDS credentials and were encouraged to be militant in their opposition to BDS activities. The conference call relied on language that highlights the political significance of this extraordinary initiative: “The BDS movement continues to make strides in their campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. They are gaining increased support on campuses around the world as they promote initiatives on local and national levels calling to divest and boycott the Jewish state.” Such a statement accurately recognizes that BDS has become the main vehicle of a rapidly strengthening global solidarity movement that aligns itself with the Palestinian national movement, is effectively mobilizing beneath the BDS banner, and has been shaped since its inception in 2005 when endorsed by 170 Palestinian NGOs and a wide spectrum of civil society activists.

 

It should be clarified that the so-called anti-BDS ‘summit,’ appearances not withstanding, was not a UN conference, nor did it have the blessings or participation of top UN officials. It was an event organized by the Israeli delegation at the UN that was allowed to make use of UN facilities. Calling itself ‘Ambassadors Against BDS” is deceptive, suggesting some kind of collective diplomatic undertaking by the international community or at least its Western segment.

 

Contrariwise, and more to the point, several European governments normally supportive of Israel, including Sweden, Ireland, and even the Netherlands have recently officially indicated that support for BDS is a legitimate political activity, entitled to the protection of law in a democratic state, and its supporters should be treated as exercising their right to freedom of expression in a lawful manner.

 

The BDS goals are set forth clearly in its founding document and do not include the delegitimation of Israel as a state: (1) withdrawal of Israel forces from Arab territories occupied in 19 67, including the Syrian Golan Heights as well as West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza; (2) respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 194; (3) protection of the human rights of Palestinians living in pre-1967 Israel on the basis of full equality. Without question the BDS movement endorses an ambitious program, but it does not question Israeli sovereignty over pre-1967 Israel, despite its territorial control of 78% of the Palestine mandate, which is far more than what the UN considered fair in 1947 that was about 45%, and was rejected by the Palestinians as being grossly unfair given the demographics at the time.

 

 

In a growing reaction to the growing influuence of BDS, Israel and pro-Israeli civil society actors have been pushing back in a variety of settings with tactics that violate the written and unwritten rules of democratic society. Among those most salient of these tactics have been the successful efforts of the organized Jewish community in Britain to have an academic conference at Southampton University canceled for two consecutive years, the frantic defamatory assault on Penny Green, the distinguished British criminalist who had been proposed as the first choice to be the next UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Occupied Palestine, a travel ban imposed by Israel on Omar Barghouti, the widely admired worldwide leader of BDS, and sundry outrageous efforts throughout the United States to have as many state legislatures as possible pass laws that criminalize BDS by associating its advocacy and activity with anti-Semitism.

 

Above all, this ugly effort to stigmatize BDS represents a double shift in the essential battlefield of the Israel/Palestine struggle. The first shift is from armed struggle to a series of symbolic encounters concerning the legitimacy of Israel’s policies and practices. The second interrelated shift is away from inter-governmental diplomacy and toward civil society militancy. It is possible that the second shift is temporary or provisional, having as its objective the revival of normal diplomacy at a future time under conditions where both sides are treated equally, and the process facilitated by a genuinely neutral intermediary. In effect, an authentic peace process in the future must correct the flaws that doomed the diplomacy undertaken within the Oslo Framework of Principles to failure, and what is worse operated to enable a steady dynamic of Israeli expansionism at Palestinian expense. One way of thinking of BDS is as a corrective to this failed diplomacy of the past.

In the meantime, both Israel and its civil society adversaries will reflect their contradictory agendas with respect to a variety of struggles centering on what is legitimate.

 

In important respects the double shift should be welcomed. The BDS Campaign concentrates on university campuses, churches, and labor unions. To challenge the legality and propriety of its tactics is to attack the most fundamental values of constitutional democracy. BDS-bashing also lends indirect credibility to those who argue that only political violence can achieve justice for the Palestinian people that alone can end their unspeakable ordeal. It is reasonable, of course, to question whether BDS is effective, or to argue over its proper scope and tactics, but attacks on BDS as a valid political instrument should be rejected.

 

Comparing Anit-Zionism in 1975 and Anti-BDS in 2016

 

This deadly dance between Zionism and the UN has now come full circle. In the 1970s Zionism was condemned by the General Assemly at the UN, and the condemnation was sharply criticized by Israel as being so anti-Semitic as to contaminate the Organization as a whole. In 2016 Israel in a dramatic turnabout relies on the stature and access associated with its UN membership to empower Zionist forces throughout the world to engage in BDS-bashing. In the end, we should appreciate that neither Zionism nor BDS are racist as such, and any serious inquiry should be directed at the behavior of Israel as a member of the UN obliged to respect international law with respect to race and on the actual claims and initiatives of BDS as a transnational civil society initiative seeking the implementation of international law and fundamental human rights.

 

It was a mistake to play the anti-Zionist card in 1975 as the real grievances of Palestinians and the UN were obscured behind the smokescreen of a false debate about whether or not deep criticisms of Israel were anti-Semitic. It is an even bigger mistake to play the anti-Semitic card in the current global setting as a way of evading the demands set forth by BDS, which seem on their face in accord with international law and morality, and have as a principal virtue the clear commitment to pursue political ends by peaceful means.

 

The scale of this mistake is enlarged by blurring the boundaries between a proper concern with anti-Semitism as a virulent form of ethnic hatred that has given rise in the past to bloody persecutions and fascist extremism, and most abhorrently to the Holocaust. Opposing BDS on its pragmatic or normative merits is an entirely reasonable posture for those who disagree with its premises, methods, and goals. What is not acceptable is to engage in these provocative efforts to discredit and punish the proponents of BDS, and to threaten adherents with punitive pushback as happens when tenure is abrogated or steps are taken to brand activists by name as targets for vilification and intimidation.

 

 

28 Responses to “Zionism, Anti-Semitism, BDS, and the United Nations”

  1. Fred Skolnik June 8, 2016 at 2:44 am #

    You are misrepresenting the nature of the “Zionism is racism” vote when you write that “The primary backers of the resolution were seeking to call attention to the fact that Israel as a state was proceeding in a racist manner by its treatment of the indigenous Palestinian population.” Its initiators were the Soviet Union and the PLO and its primary backers were the Soviet Bloc and the Arab countries and its aim was purely political, namely to delegitimize the State of Israel and ultimately get it expelled from the UN. If these are your champions of human freedom and dignity, you are in big trouble indeed.

  2. rhkroell June 8, 2016 at 3:10 am #

    Israel’s strategy of branding the BDS movement in the U.S. (and elsewhere) as antisemitic exposes the Global North’s attempts to silence political dissidents, human rights activists, antiwar protesters, radical feminists, striking workers, whistleblowers, (dark-skinned) ethnic minorities, the unemployed, underemployed and others who oppose Israel’s unapologetic policy of creating a Greater Israel by force throughout the Middle East.

    It is only one component of a larger hybrid “war” against the disenfranchised multitude worldwide, the Global North’s “war” against what is rapidly becoming a “planet of slums” ruled by garrison states: the U.S., EU, Israel and a few of comprador-elite states strategically located around the world.

    Neoliberal austerity and pacification programs are gradually being imposed on the indoctrinated and/or disenfranchised worldwide. Nothing less than full-spectrum dominance is the goal: including terrestrial-, aerial-, maritime-, subterranean-, extraterrestrial-, psychological-, biological-, chemical- and cyber-warfare.

    Israel’s Occupied Territories have been used as a laboratory for the neoliberal elite’s global pacification industry for quite some time. Palestinian civilians have been employed as laboratory test cases for the study of high-tech weaponry and tactics in an urban environment since at least 1967, but the U.S. maintains over 1000 military bases in at least 74 countries at present, so the multitude would have to be brain dead not to recognize that the neoliberal elite are preparing to expand their operation to a global battlespace: utilizing propaganda, COMINT [communication intelligence], SIGINT [signal intelligence], ELINT [electronic intelligence], drones, nano-satellites, special forces teams, SWAT teams and a vast array of high-tech weaponry to enforce their neoliberal austerity and pacification programs worldwide.

    • Fred Skolnik June 8, 2016 at 4:28 am #

      Re the BDS movement, I have already pointed out the hypocrisy of boycotting Israeli academic institutions while continuiing to enjoy the benefits of Israeli technology, know-how and medical research. I also wonder why American BDS academics, for example, aren’t boycotting their own universities in response to the sins of the American government that Prof, Falk is always telling us about and quitting their cushy jobs. Not quite in the cards, is it?

      • rhkroell July 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

        If you could support your claim, Fred, with widely-recognized, credible academic sources, more researchers would, no doubt, be thrown off the scent. There are a great many texts being produced by neoconservative think tanks employing scholars to produce (misleading) pro-Zionist texts today. You might have cited some of these texts to support your claims.

        Conservative scholars are well paid to distort the historical facts by the Israel lobby, the billion-dollar armaments industries in the U.S. and Israel, all the defense contractors and their parts suppliers, all the new start-ups to support Fortress Israel and create the new U.S. Surveillance State.

        If you had done your homework, more researchers would be misled by the claim that it is in the U.S.’s geopolitical (and/or national security) interest to support the rogue state of Israel.

        But . . . all academically-trained amateurs and professionals who have done the rigorous scholarly research necessary to judge the merit of the BDS movement recognize that the U.S. support of Israel has been a foreign policy disaster of monumental proportions. The Arab world in the Liberal Age (1798-1918) was rapidly adopting Western views and integrating them into different Muslim belief systems around the world. Then the Balfour Declaration changed all that. More importantly, it took the Six-Day War to finally enrage the entire Muslim world for the U.S.’s and Britain’s support of the Zionists’ dispossession of the Palestinian people of their land, houses, businesses and private property.

        The late-20th-century explosion of Muslim fundamentalism was created by the U.S. and its unconditional support of Israel. We would never have been compelled to waste American lives and bankrupt our economy in Afghanistan and Iraq if we had not been so imprudent to have supported Israel — right or wrong — throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

  3. Fred Skolnik June 8, 2016 at 3:35 am #

    To continue:

    The entire concept of the resolution is ridiculous. There is nothing racist about the Jewish claim to sovereignty in part of the historical Land of Israel. If that were the case, then the Arab claim to sovereignty in all of the historical Land of Israel would be doubly racist. There is also nothing racist about Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank. It is a consequence of war and no different in principle from the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II. Try to imagine how the Allies would have responded if the Germans had engaged in acts of terror against Allied civilians inside and outside Germany and had refused to disavow their Nazi leaders.

    You are also misrepresenting, one more time, the text of Resolution 242, which in addition to “withdrawal from territories” calls for “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Not one before the other. Not one without the other. Not one instead of the other. BOTH. To which the Arab reply was: no peace, no negotiations, no recognition.

    Finally, you are again trying to slip in this “ethnic state” business, and I will permit myself to say that you are doing so for the sole purpose of delegitimizing Israel as a national state. I have challenged you more than once to address the proposition that Israel is a Jewish national state in precisely the same was as Turkey is a Turkish national state and Spain is a Spanish national state (each with its national minorities), and not surprisingly you have remained silent.

  4. Imran Ali June 8, 2016 at 5:35 am #

    “The Bolshevik revolution in Russia was the work of Jewish brains, of Jewish dissatisfaction, of Jewish planning, whose goal is to create a new order in the world. What was performed in so excellent a way in Russia, thanks to Jewish brains, and because of Jewish dissatisfaction and by Jewish planning, shall also, through the same Jewish mental and physical forces, become a reality all over the world.”

    —The American Hebrew

    ((September 10, 1920))

  5. Imran Ali June 8, 2016 at 5:40 am #

    Also conveniently ignoring that UNGA 3379 “Zionism is racism” was drafted to the General Assembly by Bolsheviks. https://t.co/j2qz4U4ci0

  6. Gene Schulman June 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    Can’t resist letting Gilad get his two cents in: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/6/7/the-one-thing-i-really-like-about-bds

  7. Beau Oolayforos June 9, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    The current hysteria around BDS has about the same legitimacy and plausibility as recent hasbara warnings about the threat of “Hamas rockets once again raining down on Israeli cities”. Gimme a break.

    • Fred Skolnik June 9, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      It’s happened more than once. Why shouldn’t it happen again? You can be a hero with your own children. Don’t dare tell me how to protect mine.

  8. Jerry "Peacemaker" June 9, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    “…acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

    Decades-long taking of land and settlement expansion explains why the national boundaries of Israel have never been established, hence perennially unrecognizable. It’s simply common sense to perceive that endless settlement expansion consists of precisely both threats and acts of force. Some seem never able to consider the possibility that all human beings are in ultimate reality fellow members of the one interconnected human family, rightfully deserving of being treated with equal dignity and respect.

    • Fred Skolnik June 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      The boundaries meant to replace the armistice lines have never been established because the Arab countries refused to negotiate them, recognize Israel or live in peace. There were no settlements before 1967 (and no refugees before 1948). What does your common sense say about that?

  9. ray032 June 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    I read this article in Today’s Jerusalem Post, ‘Tel Aviv terror attack requires harsh response that will go down in history’

    In it, a government Minister calls for harsh measures against the entire Palestinian village where these individuals came from. Liberman asked the Justice Minister if he can just order the Family homes of the accused to be demolished without a Court order?

    This sentence in the report caught my eye, “The minister also suggested that the village be closed for a sustained period, commenting that it is impossible to separate the terrorists from their surroundings.”

    My comment in reply to another was simply, “As if the almost 50 year Israeli Military Dictatorship in the occupied Palestinian territories does not affect surroundings?”

    I was disappointed the comment was deleted, censored or purged, moments after appearing in the only Democracy with a Free press. Does the Truth hurt that much?

    http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Tel-Aviv-terror-attack-requires-harsh-response-that-will-go-down-in-history-456334

  10. Laurie Knightly June 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Placing labels on international crimes requires a careful study of the inherent variables and an indepth understanding of the consequences. Conflating Zionism with racism suggests divergent races, which is not existent in this case. Also, racism can run the gamut from a social snubbing to genocide and is, therefore, a very imprecise term. It’s quite likely that the similarities between Israel and South Africa made it difficult to cite one without the other at that time. The way the crime of genocide is defined, moreover, Israel would be guilty in three of the five listed descriptions- destruction whole or in part of – nation, ethnicity,race, religion etc…… parts a, b,and c of the convention.
    One could argue, however, against this stated definition of genocide. The suffix -cide means kill and the Zionists planned to expel the Palestinians into surrounding nations – not slaughter the entire population. Some will deny the expulsion plan but it is blatant in both word and deed – drawn on a map 1919 as Zionist Plan for Palestine. Genocide would be stupid tactically in keeping up appearances and acquiring sponsors. The Zionist leaders did not think that Arabs and Jews could coexist under Jewish domination.

    There is no comparison in law nor deeds that equates to the particular Jewish injustice committed in Palestine. In the uprooting/destruction of a culturally/legally defined people who lived on the land for centuries, innocent of the German crime at hand, and to replace them with a different identity group living throughout the world in diaspora for thousands of years bears no resemblance to historic memory/history of warring tribes. For this to happen in the 20th century and meet with international approval/sponsorship is difficult to fathom. A new word is needed to describe this unique type of particularly cruel injustice.

    As to the term antisemitism – as currently used it simply means Justice for Palestine.

    • Richard Falk June 12, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

      Laurie: a particularly insightful comment that calls attention to the distinctiveness of the crime committed
      against Palestinian people, and as well, situates the Zionist discourse on ‘anti-Semitism.’ Thanks for a real
      contribution to clarity of thought! Richard

    • Fred Skolnik June 12, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

      The effort to represent the Arab-Israel conflict in such a way as to apportion maximal guilt to the Jews and minimal guilt to the Arabs can only succeed if you misrepresent the history of the conflict. “Clarity of thought” is the worst enemy of the Israel haters.

      The Jews came from Judea, including the Jews dispersed in Europe. The Arabs came from Arabia. Both made a claim to sovereignty in the Land of Israel. When there are rival claims of this kind they can only be resolved through negotiation, mediation or war. The Jews accepted mediation in the absence of negotiation, that is, a UN resolution that gave them sovereignty in part of the Land of Israel. The acceptance of this resolution did not entail the displacement, replacement or expulsion of a single Arab. The Arabs chose war and attacked the State of Israel with the declared aim of destroying it. As a result of this war a de facto exchange of populations occurred. To a certain extent Jews expelled Arabs and to a certain extent Arabs expelled Jews. To a certain extent Jews fled from Arab countries and to a certain extent Arabs fled from the Jewish state. Each side took up positions behind armistice lines and remained there in an unresolved conflict and continuing state of war which had created new demographic realities. The Arabs then initiated a new war in 1967, as a result of which the West Bank was occupied, specifically after an unprovoked and indiscriminate attack on Israel by Jordan. There is not a word of the above that you will not find confirmed by the Arabs themselves, from their motives and intentions in 1948 to Hussein’s explanation of his attack in 1967.

      Obviously the most aggrieved victims of this Arab aggression are the prople who now call themselves Palestinians. But the desperate effort to criminalize Israel is not going to help them. What mayhelp them is good advice. They are not getting any here.

      • Gene Schulman June 13, 2016 at 2:50 am #

        I would change the expression “clarity of thought” to read “moral clarity”. If only we could find a bit of that, everything would be clearer. Including opinions on anti-Semitism and Israel’s lack of morality in its dealings with the world.

      • ray032 June 13, 2016 at 5:34 am #

        No matter how you continually delude yourself into believing a lie, you cannot change the Truth and Fact of History. It was Israel that fired the 1st shot, starting the hostilities of the 1967 war.

  11. ray032 June 16, 2016 at 6:31 am #

    Richard, I just read your Foreward to Jeremy Hammond’s new book, ‘Obstacles to Peace’ and the Introduction by Gene Epstein.

    Mr. Epstein cites this, “On the origins of the 1967 war, we have it on the authority of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who was a member of the Cabinet at the time, that Israel started the war.

    “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approached do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us,” observed Begin in a 1982 talk delivered at Israel’s National Defense College. “We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    This is the position I have maintained in your Blog for a long time, so it is interesting to see this confirming historical information this am.

    • ray032 June 16, 2016 at 7:40 am #

      For those who haven’t seen your Foreword, Epstein’s Introduction, Jeremy’s Preface and 1st Chapter of Hammond’s Book, here is the working link just posted to my Public Facebook News Feed:

      http://www.obstacletopeace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Obstacle-to-Peace-Sample-Chapter.pdf

    • Fred Skolnik June 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      My dear ray

      When someone who has been threatening to murder you for 20 years points a gun at you, that too is not proof that he is going to kill you but you would have to be crazy not to shoot first. When someone who had been threatening to annihilate Israel for 20 years moves 100,000 men and 1,000 taks toward its border, you would also have to be crazy not to shoot first. Israel in fact took your “advice” in 1973 and the result was 3,000 dead Israelis. As I’ve said more than once, ray, you can be a hero wth your own children.

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