My questions to Bibi

Benjamin_Netanyahu_portraitWe have two leaders in the Middle East sharing apocalyptic images of death and destruction while using religious dogma to support their positions.

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s speech to Congress here: http://nyti.ms/1EeWKFn

And Graeme Wood’s article in The Atlantic this month describes what ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wants. My summary is here.

On the subject of Bibi’s speech, I wish a journalist would ask Bibi these questions:

  1. Will you sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty?
  2. Will you allow inspections of your nuclear program?
  3. Will you disclose what actions you have taken in the fight against ISIS, alongside Iran, Jordan and others?
  4. Will you release the taxes you have withheld from the Palestinian Authority?
  5. Will you allow a humanitarian ship to bring supplies directly to the port in Gaza?
  6. Will you open the Erez Crossing so that Palestinians can freely transit between Gaza and the West Bank to visit their families, study and work unimpeded by Israel’s burdensome checkpoints?
  7. Will you allow Palestinian students in Gaza who have received scholarships and opportunities to pursue their education abroad to leave Gaza through the Erez Crossing?
  8. Will you end settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories?
  9. Will you agree to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and recognize a divided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine?
  10. Will you lift the 8+ year siege and blockade of Gaza Strip?
  11. Will you end the illegal military occupation of Palestine?

The answer to each of these questions will inform U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East more than Bibi’s grandstanding in front of Congress.

 

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Filed under Israel, People, Politics, US Policy, Video

An opportunity for Congress to mature

This might be a watershed moment in US-Israel relations, despite the pronouncements from both sides of the aisle in Congress that our relations are rock solid.

Netanyahu will be speaking to Congress on Tuesday, undoubtedly to a packed chamber. Those 30-40 members who have decided not to attend in protest will find their seats warmed by young interns and pages who, of course, will be clueless to the grand theatrics unfolding around them. Maybe they’ll have something to share with their grandchildren in 40-50 years. “I remember where I was that day the United States matured and left its adolescence behind.”

As he was boarding the plane to D.C., Netanyahu told reporters, “I feel that I am an emissary of all Israel’s citizens, even those who do not agree with me, and of the entire Jewish people.”  To which, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) retorted: “He doesn’t speak for me.”

Taking him at his word, Netanyahu believes he’s fighting for the survival of the State of Israel. His worldview is based on fear, and his fear he believes justifies his actions (whether bombing civilians in Gaza or bombing, figuratively speaking, the long-term historic relationship between the U.S. and Israel). His fear has blinded him to the real threats to Israel’s security.

Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee described the planned speech as “political theatre” that has “caused a breach between Democrats in Congress and Israel as well as the administrations of the United States and Israel”.

“While Americans and members of Congress may disagree on anything, even foreign policy, providing a forum of such immense prestige and power to the leader of another country who is opposing our nation’s foreign policy is beyond the pale,” he said.

Some history:

From the very first day of Israel’s existence, the U.S. has been its primary benefactor. In fact, some could argue that the State of Israel owes its existence to President Truman and some in his Administration who lobbied the United Nations in 1948 for recognition of this new state, rather than a UN trusteeship that the majority of UN diplomats favored at that time.

Regardless of which party has sat in the Oval Office, or controlled the Congress, the United States government has had Israel’s back for the past 66 years —- providing Israel with the largest slice of the annual foreign aid appropriations, access to the best weapons technology, diplomatic cover at the U.N. and abroad, and vetoes at the Security Council whenever a resolution critical of Israel surfaced.

Even when the Israeli military deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty on June 8, 1967, killing 34 U.S. servicemen and wounding at least 173, our government’s support of Israel was unwavering.

Our unquestioning support and advocacy on behalf of Israel in the face of incontrovertible evidence of Israel’s illegal and inhumane occupation of Palestine has, arguably, done as much to enrage the extremists (Al Qaeda and Daesh aka ISIS) and bring instability to the Middle East than any of our other foreign policy misadventures, including our disastrous war and occupation of Iraq.

Israel’s perceived security needs and threats have come to overshadow our own. Just as an adolescent struggles to find its own identity and detach from its parents, both Israel and the United States need to cut the umbilical cord.

Time for the United States to mature. 

We can forge a new, healthy relationship with Israel — one of mutual respect and support, but one with firm boundaries. “You continue the illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank, we will withhold foreign aid.” 

“You kill 1000s of innocent Palestinian civilians, we won’t veto those Security Council resolutions condemning Israel.”

“You fail to negotiate in good faith to end the occupation, we will break the siege ourselves by sending in the 6th Fleet to bring the necessary humanitarian supplies to Gaza.”

Morton Klein, director of the Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA), called the boycott of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress “anti-American, anti-patriotic”.

“We will, of course, be publicly condemning any Democrats who don’t show up for the speech—unless they have a doctor’s note,” he told Politico.

iStock 20492165 MD - American and Israeli flags

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My stream of consciousness . . . the golden rule

With my thanks, as well as apologies, to Karen Armstrong for stimulating my thoughts about the acts of violence we see in the world. I’m listening to the audio version of her new book “Fields of Blood – Religion and the History of Violence.” I intend to listen to it a second time  . . . and more if necessary . . . to fully appreciate how she is connecting the historical dots between religion, politics, imperialism and colonialism, the oppressed and oppressor, and humanity.

Fields of Blood

I’m convinced that if President Obama and every member of Congress knew and understood how our government’s actions in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Israel . . . everywhere goddamnit . . . fueled the extremism that we consider so threatening today, our leaders would be making wiser foreign policy decisions.

One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.   
One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

What if we conducted our global relationships consistent with the Golden Rule? Could we deflate the violent reactions of extremists, such as Daesh (aka ISIS)?  U.S. military leaders (and maybe most Americans) might think this suggestion is naïve and dangerous. Certainly, the weapons manufacturers (aka military industrial complex) would not approve.

Repeating the same failed policies of the past seem much more dangerous to anyone with an ounce of humanity and courage.

Einstein

If the U.S. government treated its global relationships by following the Golden Rule, we might do the following:

  • Realign our budget to reflect our values, not our fears.
  • Condemn foreign leaders whose actions and conduct are antithetical to the Golden Rule.
  • Establish a compulsory year of humanitarian service for every high school student, either at home or abroad.
  • Reform our primary and secondary education curriculum to require mastery of a second language, teaching world history and religions from a more holistic perspective, and developing our critical thinking skills.
  • Reforge the military industrial complex into the global compassion complex.

einsteinthemeasureofintelligence

 

 

 

 

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War is a pathology

War is a pathology, no doubt about it.

Author Karen Armstrong calls war a  “psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships” and she urges a universal religion of compassion.

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So maybe we need a Department of Psychoanalysis rather than a Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The Republicans in Congress seem hellbent on defunding DHS.  I say “call their bluff and do it.  Please!”

My new Department of Psychoanalysis would be staffed with professional shrinks who have a minor in cultural sensitivity.  They would be charged with examining global security threats from the humanistic perspective – whether environmental threats, economic threats, military threats, and even political threats. If we were only smart enough to see that these are all connected.

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Today, in advance of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next week, they might analyze reports coming in from the Holy Land about the rising predictions of another assault on Gaza.  Although the Israeli public seems oblivious, Gideon Levy writes that Israel is galloping to the next war in Gaza.

Israel will again pretend to be surprised and offended – the cruel Arabs are attacking it with rockets again, for no reason.

The vast majority in Israel probably suffer from dissociative amnesia and carry on their lives as though all is fine in the world, but there are some in Gaza (just a few miles away) who believe Judgement Day is near.  That’s what is motivating Daesh (aka ISIS) and it’s not difficult to see why some people in Gaza who have lived their entire adult lives under Israel’s brutal occupation and the genocidal assault last summer, would fall prey to such apocalyptic thinking.

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The Secretary of the Department of Psychoanalysis would be able to communicate such threats to the President and Congress.  Her recommendations might include:

  1. Take whatever steps are necessary to end Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.
  2. Send the Sixth Fleet into the port of Gaza, break the 8+ year siege, and bring the humanitarian supplies (medicine, housing and food) that are desperately needed in Gaza.
  3. Invite Netanyahu to the Pentagon for a briefing when he is in town next week, tell him the facts, give him an ultimatum, follow through on the ultimatum if he fails to deliver.

We really could shift the direction of world affairs by simply shifting the trim tab on the ship of state. It doesn’t take much, just a pair of balls.

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A message to my friend

When a friend in Gaza recently told me he supports ISIS, I stopped dead in my tracks.  WTF?

My friend is not a half-crazed, ignorant nut-job —- what I thought were the prerequisites for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) otherwise known as Daesh, the acronym for the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.

My friend is a university graduate with a great command of foreign languages and cultures, and a bright future ahead of him — if he lived anywhere but Gaza.  Just like thousands of other young, disaffected men in Gaza, he’s lived his entire adult life under Israel’s brutal 8 year siege, lost opportunities to travel abroad for graduate studies, and given up looking for non-existent jobs.

Wall mural in gaza

Wall mural in gaza

On a side note, I’ve decided I’m going to jettison ISIS from my vocabulary and refer to the group as Daesh.  Why? Because the term apparently really pisses off the group’s leaders who have threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who uses the term. So there! Daesh! Daesh! Daesh!

I asked my friend “Why?”  “Why do you support Daesh?”

Paraphrasing, I think his answer was: “Because it’s a strong group that stands up against the corrupt Arab leaders in the Middle East. Eventually, a strong caliphate will redeem our struggle and free us from Israel’s occupation of our lands.”

I tried to understand how he reconciled the atrocities committed by Daesh with the teachings of Islam as a religion of peace.  I reminded him of this passage from the Qu’ran 5:32

Whoever kills an innocent human being,

it shall be as if he has killed all mankind,

and whosoever saves the life of one,

it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

My friend acknowledged this passage but then spouted another from the Qu’ran that he argued provides exceptions.

That’s when I decided I can’t argue in terms of a religious text and a religious tradition that I know very little about.  So I have to learn as much as I can about Daesh. Where did it come from? What are its intentions?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Graeme Wood‘s article in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic was a real eye opener. I highly recommend it. Although it’s long and requires a thoughtful couple of hours to digest, I have a better understanding of Daesh as well as why my friend might be swayed to support it.

Here are the take-away points from Graeme Wood’s article:

  • Daesh is most definitely Islamic despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide disavow it, and want to distance themselves and their religion from the actions of Daesh.
  • Daesh members follow a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment guide their actions.
  • Daesh has declared a caliphate and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom.
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been the self-declared leader of Daesh since May 2010, but his power really took off in July 2014 when he delivered a Ramadan sermon from Mosul. Recruiting efforts for Daesh went into full gear.
  • Daesh evolved from al-Qaeda but is very, very different and Western leaders are making a big mistake when they fail to grasp the differences.
  • Daesh is committed to returning civilization back to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.  Daesh leaders see their role as central to this plot.
  • Any Muslim who doesn’t follow Daesh’s interpretation of the Qu’ran must be killed, which means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. Daesh is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. However, Christians who do not resist the caliphate and pay a special tax (jizya) may be spared.
  • The Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Islamist groups have participated in the political process and thus, in the eyes of Daesh, are apostates and must be condemned (killed?)
  • Leaders of Daesh have taken emulation of the Prophet Muhammad as a strict duty and have revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years. The closest thing to Daesh was probably the Wahhabis of 18th-century Arabia, but the Wahhabis did not practice such wanton violence.
  • The last caliphate was the Ottoman Empire which peaked in the 16th-century and then declined for many years until Ataturk replaced the caliphate with a secular government in Turkey.
  • The caliphate is not just a political entity but also a means to salvation. Daesh propaganda (the group has its own YouTube channel, Twitter account, and magazine) says that a “Muslim who acknowledges one omnipotent god and prays, but who dies without pledging himself to a valid caliph and incurring the obligations of that oath, has failed to live a fully Islamic life.”
  • If Daesh succeeds, all of my legal education will fly out the window. A more robust version of Sharia law than is found anywhere in the Muslim world today will be the law of the land.
  • What sets Daesh apart from other jihadists?  The group’s focus on the End of Days, the apocalypse.
  • The apocalypse will happen when Daesh slays an enemy army at Dabiq, a Syrian city near Aleppo. Until that time comes, the duty of the caliph is to wage war to expand the caliphate.
  • Daesh and Al-Qaeda are very different and, in fact, they are completely at odds with each other.  Al-Qaeda is like an underground political movement, while Daesh requires territorial authority. Caliphates cannot exist as underground movements. Western intelligence services haven’t figured that out yet.
  • We can thank George W. Bush and his cronies for the invasion and occupation of Iraq as the catalyst for the rise of Daesh. What a legacy he has left!
  • Graeme Wood surmises that “properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited: No one has tried harder to implement strict Sharia by violence. This is what it looks like.”
  • Graeme Wood believes that denouncing Daesh as un-Islamic is counterproductive, “especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them.”
  • “There is another strand of Islam that offers a hard-line alternative to the Islamic State — just as uncompromising, but with opposite conclusions.” They are known as the “quietist Salafis.” They agree with Daesh about not engaging in voting and political parties, but quietist Salafis are strictly forbidden from dividing Muslims from one another.

 

The key (miftah) to open the door to return.

The key (miftah) to open the door to return.

After reading Graeme Wood’s article, I watched this video about a young Egyptian named Islam Yaken who grew up in the nice Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, attended a private school and became a strong body builder with six pack abs.  He had friends, dreams and goals but, without saying ‘goodbye’, he left his family and joined Daesh. His story is one that probably mirrors many young men in the Middle East.

So what would I tell my friend in Gaza if I could sit down with him over tea?

I wouldn’t talk religion because I’m not a Muslim and can’t begin to tell a Muslim how he should live his life.

I wouldn’t talk about dreams because I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be a young ’20-something’ living in a community which is worse than a prison, with no jobs, no movement, and no opportunities.

I wouldn’t talk about politics because no politicians ANYWHERE have shown themselves capable of lifting Israel’s interminable occupation.

I wouldn’t talk about hope because I can’t promise anything will change.

I will listen. And I will tell him I love him. I hope I get to see him again when I return to Gaza. Until then, I’m going to do my best to educate Americans and U.S. leaders about my country’s complicity in this immoral and unholy occupation.

 

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The Ballad of Rivka and Mohammed

The Ballad of Rivka and Mohammed

A song which tells the story of two children in two different wars.

Written and performed by Leon Rosselson.

I was watching the news from Gaza
And I fell asleep on my chair
And when I awoke from my slumber
A young girl was standing there.

She said, “My name is Rivka
They killed me because I’m a Jew
I died in the ghetto of Vilna
In nineteen forty two.

The ghetto was like a prison
They wouldn’t allow us to leave
Some said they were going to kill us all
We didn’t know what to believe.

That day I wore my new red dress
My bubbe had made for me
And in that crowded ghetto
It made me feel proud and free.

I looked up at the soldier
I looked him in the eye
I forgot to bow my head down
And so I had to die.

He smashed my head with his rifle
Because I was too bold
I was killed in the Vilna ghetto
When I was seven years old.”

And then out of the darkness
A young boy’s gaze met mine
He said, “My name is Mohammed
My country is Palestine.

I’ve lived all my life in Gaza
And the only time I feel free
Is when I go down to the harbour
And feel the wind from the sea.

That day I went with my cousins
We ran down to the beach to play
Then the soldier fired a shell at me
And blew my life away.

They want to crush our spirits
They want us to be afraid
Locked up in the prison of Gaza
The prison that they have made.

To them our lives don’t matter
They force us to live in a cage
I was killed on the beach in Gaza
At eleven years of age.

They don’t think that we deserve freedom
Or belong to the human race.”
“Mohammed, my brother,” said Rivka,
“This world is a cold, cold place.

Mohammed, my friend, my brother,
Let us leave this world of war.”
Then each took the hand of the other
And then they were seen no more.

But I saw spokesmen and politicians
Lining up to speechify
And every word was a hypocrite
And every word was a lie.

I saw children still being slaughtered
The monster must have its fill
While the people with power sat on their hands
And supplied the weapons that kill.

I weep for the people of Gaza
And they are weeping still
And I curse the ones who do nothing
And enable the monster to kill.

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Things I learned about Israel recently

Recently, a friend of a friend of a friend shared an essay that someone had written about Israel.  Although the essay was factually accurate, it was a very long read and some of the language might be construed as inflammatory.  I knew it would be a difficult piece for anyone who loves Israel.  So I’ve taken the liberty to shorten the essay, “soften” the tone, but hopefully retain the facts and intent of the original author.

Only strong people who are critical thinkers and want to find justice in the Middle East should read this. I’m honestly looking for intelligent feedback to disprove any of these points.

(From Ash Madi: “Things I learned about Israel recently”)

#1     Zionism is a political ideology that has betrayed the teachings and values of Judaism to justify a colonial project based on the systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine.  Political Zionism is to Judaism what ISIS is to Islam: a grotesque distortion of the values and spirit of religion.

#2     Zionist nationalism is based on a form of nationalism found in Eastern European nations such as Russia and Poland, which is based on ethnic ownership of the land. Poland is for ethnic Poles and Russia is for ethnic Russians. This contrasts with Western European nationalism found in places like France and the US where the land belongs to anyone who is a citizen of the state.

Figure 1: Gaza Strip blockade. Source: UN OCHA

Figure 1: Gaza Strip blockade. Source: UN OCHA

#3     Zionism draws much of its arguments for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine from the 5 books of Moses and the book of Joshua. The latter is the story of how the ancient Israelites conquered the promised land of Canaan (present day Levant) under the leadership of Joshua and the full blessing of God by repeatedly perpetrating massacres of unfathomable barbarity against the Canaanites where no man, woman or child was left standing. The latest massacre of the people of Gaza through indiscriminate bombing of civilians, women, children, residential buildings, hospitals, schools and even shelters follows the spirit of the book of Joshua. Conversely, Jews in the West have a more universalist approach based on the tradition of the prophets.

#4     Before declaring the independence of Israel, Zionists had already committed 16 massacres against the Palestinians and ethnically cleansed 200,000 of them. All of this happened before neighboring Arab armies decided to intervene. The Zionist narrative claiming Israel was gratuitously attacked by the Arab armies is a lie.

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#5     The highest court in Israel has determined that “Israeli” is not an identity.   Jewishness is the foundation of identity in Israel, not citizenship. Palestinians in Israel are considered simply “Arabs”, since Palestinian identity is not recognized. However, this abstract pure Arab identity exists only in Israel. Everywhere else Arab people are Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Iraqi and Palestinian.

#6    Israel fully meets the internationally recognized legal criteria of apartheid as defined in the International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which includes the following 6 categories of crimes:
– Massive violation of human rights and civil rights
– Imposition of inhumane living conditions, such as poverty
– Society-wide legalized discrimination in areas such as finance, housing, employment, education, and access to cultural events
– Isolating the victim group geographically, such as in ghettos
– Exploitation of labor, such as slavery or forced labor or discrimination in wages
– Inhumane suppression of rebellion against apartheid

#7    Israel controls all of the land from the river to the sea. On this land Jews are a minority with all the rights and privileges while Palestinians are a majority deprived of their most basic human rights. There are 4.55 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and 1.68 million Palestinians who are “citizens” of Israel, for a total of 6.23 million Palestinians. On the other hand there are 6.12 million Jews including the 0.5 million Jewish settlers living illegally in the West Bank. In order to arrive at a fictitious Jewish majority, the state of Israel doesn’t statistically count the West Bank and Gaza as part of Israel’s territory while simultaneously counting the Jewish settlers of those territories as citizens of Israel. The effect of this gerrymandering is to make the 4.55 million Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation disappear magically.

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#8    In the West Bank, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law, while Jewish settlers who live just next door are subject to Israeli civil law. Israeli soldiers in the West Bank can arrest, shoot and kill Palestinians, but they have no authority whatsoever over Jewish settlers. All over the West Bank there are roads and highways that are for Jews only and Palestinians are forbidden from using them.

#9  Palestinians are subject to relentless persecution to the extent that they are not just punished for resisting, but also prevented from surrendering. Surrender entails that one is left in peace after surrendering. However Palestinians are not given that choice. They are humiliated, dispossessed and killed no matter what they do.

#10   Palestinians in the West Bank are denied freedom of movement by being required to go through a multitude of Israeli checkpoints intended to humiliate and control them. Palestinians in need of medical assistance are required to have a permit to pass through checkpoints.

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#11   During WWII the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto smuggled food and weapons into the ghetto through tunnels. The Nazis called them terrorists.  Palestinians in Gaza have built tunnels for the very same purposes and Israel calls them terrorists.

#12   The letter bomb, parcel bomb, barrel bomb, market bomb, and car bomb were all introduced into the Middle East by Zionist paramilitary groups such as the Irgun, Lehi and Haganah. One of the most famous Zionist massacres in Palestine is the massacre of Deir Yassin. The village, which had declared neutrality during the 1948 hostilities, was depopulated following the massacre of over 250 villagers, half of them women and children, at the hands of Irgun and Lehi commandos. This event helped trigger the 1948 exodus of more than 700,000 Palestinians who were expelled from their homes or fled fearing other massacres. The culture of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, inaugurated and pioneered by Zionist paramilitary groups and upon which Israel was founded, continues to the present.

#13   Israel is among the top 10 exporters of weapons in the world. This is all the more remarkable considering it is a very small country that competes with much larger countries like the UK and China in terms weapons sales. One of the main selling points of Israeli weapons is that they are marketed as being “combat proven” because the weapons have been successfully tested on Palestinians. Israel is involved in the sales of weapons to 190 countries (there are only 193 countries in the world!). This means that many countries that appear to be Israel’s enemies are actually customers of its weapons industry.

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#14   Israel sold weapons to Rwanda and Serbia while these countries were in the midst of horrific genocidal campaigns.

#15   The West Bank and Gaza are laboratories for the testing of weapons and population control techniques. Palestinians are the guinea pigs. The end users are people around the world whose police forces are trained by Israel and whose prisons are supplied by Israeli technology. This includes many western countries, including Canada, by virtue of the Canada-Israel “Public Security” Agreement signed in 2008. The state of Israel is effectively becoming a template for state control and domination around the world.

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#16   Many military and police officials from various countries including the U.S. and China visit Israel to learn Israeli crowd control techniques, propaganda and warfare strategies. A Chinese general recently visited Israel to learn how the IDF framed and executed the massacre in Gaza. The Maryland police department among many others is trained by the Israeli police and military. Israel is also responsible for supplying weapons to various police departments around the world.

#17   Since Israel’s founding, Israeli military experts have provided support to the following regimes:
– Dictatorship of Manuel Noriega in Panama
– Dictatorship of Sani Abacha in Nigeria
– Dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile
– Dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania
– Dictatorship of Mengistu Mariam in Ethiopia
– Dictatorship of Jorge Videla in Argentina
– Dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire
– Dictatorship of Ne Win in Burma
– Apartheid regime in South Africa
– Paramilitary death squads in Colombia
– The current government of China

Shujaya 9

#18   Israel has nuclear and ballistic missiles capable of reaching as far as Europe in addition to German-made Dolphin-class submarines capable of delivering cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. It also has 10 satellites in orbit spying on various parts of the world and the Middle East in particular.

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#19   The “peace process” involving a “two state solution” has been a sham from the very beginning and was always intended as a decoy to buy time for Israel to steal more land, build more settlements and create more facts on the ground under the cover of a vague interminable peace process that never went anywhere.

#20   The two state solution is officially dead and buried after the failure of the Kerry initiative. Israel has fully assimilated the West Bank to the extent that trying to get it back in one piece for the establishment of a Palestinian state is the equivalent of trying to get your sandwich back after someone has swallowed it. The electricity, water and road infrastructures are unified across Israel and the occupied territories.

Gaza 2014 - credit D. Cormier

Gaza 2014 – credit D. Cormier

#21   Talk  about the “two state solution” is naive by reinforcing the erroneous idea that peace will come from further segregating the Jews and the Palestinians, when in fact segregation is the root of the problem rather than its solution. Before the arrival of the Zionists, Jews, Christians and Muslims in Palestine lived together harmoniously in a land that has always been a mixing place at the crossroads of continents and civilizations.

What It Means to be Palestinian

#22   The only viable alternative to the current Israeli regime of occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing is a Bi-national democratic state similar to Switzerland and Belgium. Such a state would guarantee equality for all and the right of Palestinians to return to their rightful homes anywhere in Palestine. A two state solution would not guarantee this fundamental right. If people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds can get along in countries like Canada and the U.S. there is no reason why Jews and Palestinians can’t get along in a Bi-national democratic state in Palestine. What stands in the way of peace is not Iran, ISIS, or Islam. The real and only obstacle is Zionist Jewish supremacy. Slavery ended, segregation ended, Nazism ended, South African apartheid ended and Zionist apartheid and occupation must inevitably end too. Israel is on the wrong side of history, fighting a battle it can never win.

#23   The condition for putting hatred behind and turning a new page is the acknowledgement by Israel of the historic injustice it committed against the Palestinians and reparations for the crimes perpetrated. This will be the beginning of a healing process that will allow Palestinians and Jews to live together peacefully as equals.

Palestine Inside Out

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