Tag Archives: Israel

Why Must Women Choose between Feminism and Zionism, but Not Other “Isms”? by Alan M. Dershowitz

If Israel is criticized by a feminist organization, perhaps justifiably, for oppressing Palestinian women, but no other nation is so criticized, is a double standard at work? From Alan M. Dershowitz at gatestoneinstitute.org:

There are many countries and movements throughout the world that treat women as second-class citizens: Israel is not among them…. There is a word for applying a double standard to Jews. That word is anti-Semitism.

If Sarsour was concerned with addressing structural causes of all female oppression, she would mention the status of women in the PA-controlled West Bank where just a few months ago the names and photos of female candidates for the municipal elections were omitted, referring to the women instead as “wife of” or “sister of.” Sarsour would also call out the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where the police are a law unto themselves who act as judge, jury and executioner of those who speak out against their oppression and misogyny. She would condemn the tolerance, if not acceptance, by so many Muslim countries of the “honor killings” and genital mutilation of women. Instead the IWS platform exploits the feminist cause in order to delegitimize and demonize only one nation: that of the Jewish people.

• The real choice to be made now by all those who care about the feminist cause is whether to allow Sarsour and her radical anti-Israel allies to hijack the movement in support of their own bigoted views. The alternative is to maintain feminism’s focus on key issues that pertain to women and to call out countries and movements according to how seriously they violate women’s rights, rather than singling out the one Jewish democracy – Israel.

On March 8, women abstained from work as part of the International Women’s Strike (IWS) – a grassroots feminist movement aimed at bringing attention “to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by contemporary women at various latitudes.” But these positive goals were distorted by the inclusion of anti-Israel rhetoric in the platform of the IWS.

There are many countries and movements throughout the world that treat women as second-class citizens: Israel is not among them. Yet this platform singles out for condemnation only Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people. There is a word for applying a double standard to Jews. That word is anti-Semitism.

To continue reading: Why Must Women Choose between Feminism and Zionism, but Not Other “Isms”?

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The Saudis and Israelis, by the Zman

Many decry the “Israel lobby”; compartively few decry the “Saudi lobby,” although it may have just as much influence. From the Zman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

According to the CIA Fact Book, Israel is a country of 8,174,527 people, including the settler in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. If it were a US state, it would rank 13th in population, behind Virginia and ahead of Washington. Interestingly, the population density of Israel is 377/km2 which is roughly the same as New Hampshire. The images of Israel on the news show it as a crowded place, but that is not the case. There’s lot of nothing between the cities and towns.

If you put Israel into a search engine it returns 888 million results. If you put New Hampshire into the same search engine, you get 168 million results. No one, of course, cares much about New Hampshire, but just about everyone cares about Israel. Every American politician is required to have an opinion of Israeli and its difficulties with the Arabs. More important, they are required to have the correct opinion about Israel. This is even true of liberals as we saw with Obama and his last minute UN gambit.

Many people on the Dissident Right think the US and the world pays far too much attention to Israel. While there is an obvious cultural and historical attachment for the place in the West, the Israelis can handle themselves. Pat Buchanan would have us cut the cord entirely and leave Israel to her own devises. That would be part of a larger policy of abandoning the Middle East entirely. After all, the oil would still flow onto the world market as it has not where else to go. Who care who pumps it out of the ground?

To continue reading: The Saudis and Israelis

Israel First or America First, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Trump’s expressed disdain for neoconservatives and their policies is going to run head-on into his professed love of Israel. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Donald Trump has a new best friend.

“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support of Israel,” gushed Bibi Netanyahu, after he berated John Kerry in a fashion that would once have resulted in a rupture of diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu accused Kerry of “colluding” in and “orchestrating” an anti-Israel, stab-in-the-back resolution in the Security Council, then lying about it. He offered to provide evidence of Kerry’s complicity and mendacity to President Trump.

Bibi then called in the U.S. ambassador and read him the riot act for 40 minutes. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer charged that not only did the U.S. not “stand up to and oppose the gang-up” at the U.N., “the United States was actually behind that gang-up.”

When Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council called the charges false, Dermer dismissed President Obama’s man as a “master of fiction.”

Query: Why is Dermer not on a plane back to Tel Aviv?

Some of us can recall how Eisenhower ordered David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai in 1957, or face sanctions.

Ben-Gurion did as told. Had he and his ambassador castigated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, as the Israelis dissed John Kerry, Ike would have called the U.S. ambassador home.

To continue reading: Israel First or America First

 

US Hypocrisy: Bombing of Aleppo Is No Worse Than What Happened in Gaza and Iraq, by Gareth Porter

With US foreign policy hypocrisy’s stench is suffocating, noxious, wretchedly malodorous. From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:

The Russian-Syrian bombing campaign in eastern Aleppo, which has ended at least for the time being, has been described in press reports and op-eds as though it were unique in modern military history in its indiscriminateness. In an usual move for a senior US official, Secretary of State John Kerry called for an investigation of war crimes in Aleppo.

The discussion has been lacking in historical context, however. Certainly the civilian death toll from the bombing and shelling in Aleppo has been high, but many of the strikes may not be all that dissimilar from the major US bombing campaign in Iraq in 2003, nor as indiscriminate as Israel’s recent campaigns in densely populated cities.

The impression that the bombing in Aleppo was uniquely indiscriminate was a result of news reporting and commentary suggesting, by implication, that there are no real military targets in east Aleppo.

But in fact, al-Nusra Front turned Aleppo into the central hub of a massive system of conventional warfare in Aleppo province in late January 2016 when it sent an enormous convoy of at least 200 vehicles with troops and weaponry into eastern Aleppo. A dramatic three-minute al-Nusra video shows what appears to be hundreds of vehicles full of troops and trucks with weapons mounted on them.

The Russian command in Syria has drones observing the routes in and out of Aleppo, so it certainly knew where many of those military sites were located. Syrian opposition sources also revealed that Nusra began immediately to put the military assets at its disposal underground, digging deep bunkers to protect troops, military equipment and tunnels through which troops and weapons could be moved unseen.

The move underground explains the Russian use of bunker-buster bombs for the first time in the war. As the Guardian reported, Justin Bronk of the British defense think tank Royal United Service Institute concluded that the Russians “have high-grade intelligence of the whereabouts of Syrian opposition positions,” mainly because bunker buster bombs are too expensive to use simply to destroy buildings at random.

But like Hamas fighters in Gaza in 2014, the Nusra Front-led command in Aleppo has moved its troops, weapons and command centers around in the tunnels that they have built. So many of the Russian and Syrian air strikes are almost certainly hitting targets that have already been abandoned. And in other cases, the wrong target has undoubtedly been hit.

The Aleppo Health Directorate, a local monitoring group, estimated that 400 civilians had been killed in the first three weeks of bombing in east Aleppo. The United Nations put the death toll at 360.

Drop the superiority act

As terrible as that toll of civilian lives is, the United States should drop the stance of moral superiority. When the US military invaded Iraq in 2003, it made no effort to keep track of how many civilians were killed in its bombing and artillery fire, claiming it had no way to tell who was civilian and who was not.

To continue reading: US Hypocrisy: Bombing of Aleppo Is No Worse Than What Happened in Gaza and Iraq

Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel? by Ron Paul

Ron Paul asks a very good question. From Paul, on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion dollars in military aid. It is money we cannot afford going to a country that needs no assistance to maintain its status as the most powerful military in the Middle East.

All US foreign aid is immoral and counterproductive. As I have often said, it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas. That is because US assistance money goes to foreign governments to hand out as they see fit. Often that assistance is stolen outright or it goes to the politically connected in the recipient country.

Just as bad is the fact that much of what we call “foreign aid” is actually welfare for the wealthy here at home. The aid package to Israel is a very good example. According to the agreement, this $38 billion will all go to US weapons manufacturers. So the real beneficiaries are not the American people, and not even Israeli citizens. The real beneficiaries are the US military-industrial complex. Perhaps the money won’t even leave Washington – it may simply go across town, from the Fed to the Beltway bomb-makers.

While even US government aid to desperately poor countries should be opposed on moral and practical grounds, it is even harder to understand US aid to relatively rich countries. At a nominal per capita GDP of over $35,000, Israel is richer than Japan, Italy, and South Korea. Not long ago Business Insider published a report by the Institute for the Study of War showing that the Israel is the most powerful military force in the Middle East. We know they have hundreds of nuclear weapons, a sophisticated air force, drones, and even nuclear weapons-equipped submarines.

So why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country a record amount of military aid? Part of it is that the US government believes it can coerce Israel to do Washington’s bidding in the Middle East. History shows that this is a foolish pipe dream. If anything, US aid subsidizes Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza and elsewhere.

Another reason is a very powerful lobby in Washington, AIPAC, that pressures Members of Congress to focus on Israel’s interests instead of US interests. Members of Congress should look at our economy, with effectively zero interest rates, an anemic non-recovery from the 2008 crash, historically low participation in the work force, and inflation eroding the value of the dollar and conclude that this might not be the best time to start handing out billions of dollars in foreign aid. Unfortunately most Members of Congress find it impossible to say no to special interest groups like AIPAC.

Here’s a better aid package for Israel: free trade, travel, friendly relations, and no entangling alliances. Israel should be free to pursue its national interests and we should be free to pursue ours. If individual Americans feel compelled to provide assistance to Israel or any other country or cause overseas they should be allowed. But the rest of us should not be forced to do so. Trade, not aid.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/09/19/why-are-we-sending-38-billion-to-rich-and-powerful-israel/

The Case of ‘Soldier A’ by Uri Avnery

From Uri Avnery at antiwar.com:

Editor’s Note: Reporting the identity of “Soldier A” is a violation of the Israeli military’s gag order and is a crime in Israel. The author would have faced prison for naming him. Most Western media outlets have complied with this gag order. However, a few outlets, including the Intercept (as well as some of the Soldier A’s supporters who have celebrated him) have named him as Cpl. Elor Azaria.

It seems that everything possible has already been said, written, proclaimed, asserted and denied about the incident that is rocking Israel.

Everything except the main point.

The incident revolves around “the Soldier of Hebron”. Military censorship does not allow him to be called by his name. He may be called “Soldier A”.

It happened in the Tel Rumaida neighborhood of the occupied South West Bank town of Hebron, where a group of super-extreme right-wing settlers live in the midst of some 160,000 Palestinians and are heavily protected by the Israeli army. Violent incidents abound.

On the day in question, two local Palestinians attacked some soldiers with knives. Both were shot on the spot. One of them was killed, the other was severely wounded and was lying on the ground.

The place was full of people. Medics were tending to the wounded soldier (but not the Palestinian), several officers and soldiers were standing around, together with some of the settlers.

After six minutes Soldier A appeared on the scene. He looked around for 4 minutes, then approached the wounded assailant and coolly shot him dead with a bullet to the head from close up. The autopsy showed that this was indeed the shot that killed the Palestinian.

As a finale, the camera clip shows Soldier A shaking hands with one of the settlers, the infamous Baruch Marzel, a leader of the outlawed party of the late Meir Kahane, who was designated by the Supreme Court as a fascist.

Up to this point, there is no discussion about the facts. For a simple reason: the whole incident was videoed by a local Palestinian man from close up. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has provided many Palestinians with cameras for just such an eventuality.

(B’Tselem is a Biblical name and means “In (His) image”. According to Genesis 2, God created the human being “in His image”. This is one of the most humane verses of the Bible, since it means that all human beings, without distinction, are created in the image of God.)

The camera plays a central role in this incident. In the present intifada, many Arab assailants have been killed in such incidents. There is a strong suspicion that many of them were executed after they were already “neutralized” – army-speak for Arab assailants who cannot cause harm because they are dead, severely wounded or taken prisoner.

Under Israeli army orders, soldiers are not allowed to kill enemy attackers once they no longer constitute a danger. On the other hand, many politicians and army officers believe that “a terrorist should not be allowed to stay alive” after an attack. This was an informal order by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (himself an outstanding former terrorist).

To continue reading: The Case of ‘Soldier A’ 

For Israel’s Sake The Israel Lobby Must Be Held To Account, by Paul Craig Roberts

From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

It was ten years ago that the London Review of Books published an article on the Israel Lobby by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, distinguished scholars at two of America’s top universities. The following year the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux found the courage to publish The Israel Lobby, a book with 357 overwhelmingly 5 star amazon.com reviews.

The Israel Lobby is an understated critique of the enomous influence that the tiny state of Israel, which consists of land stolen by fire and sword from the helpless Palestinians, exercises over United States foreign policy. The crazed Israel Lobby went berserk. Mearsheimer and Walt were demonized as anti-semetics who wanted to bring back Hitler.

Also in 2006 former President Jimmy Carter’s book, Peace Not Apartheid, was published by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller with 846 overwhelmingly 5 star amazon.com reviews. Carter, who as US president did his best to bring Israel and Palestine to a settlement, truthrully explained that Israel was the barrier to a settlement. The Israel Lobby demonized Carter as an anti-semite, and the Jews on the board of the Carter Center resigned.

No member of the Israel Lobby has the stature and distinction of Mearsheimer, Walt, and President Carter. The Lobby’s operatives are people of no significance who make a living slandering, libeling, and trying to destroy the reputation of everyone who makes the slightest criticism of Israeli government policies.

This tells us that the Israel Lobby knows that Israel’s behavior is so atrocious that it cannot stand the slightest examination. We can criticize Moscow without being labeled “anti-Russian,” and we can criticize Washington without being labeled “anti-American,” but we cannot criticize Israel without being labeled an “anti-semite” and accused of wanting to restart the holocaust.

To continue reading: For Israel’s Sake The Israel Lobby Must Be Held To Account