Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 07, 2006

Shame On Apartheid

The Guardians Middle East correspondent Chris McGreal has a two part series comparing the South African apartheid regime and Israel. He has lived in South Africa for 10 years and for 4 years in Jerusalem. The view is knowledgeable and the facts are from the ground. I recommend to read both parts.

Part one, Worlds Apart, looks at the inner working of the 'grey racism' in Israel.

Though the motives in both countries cases may be different, the methods applied and the outcome seem equivalent.

The specific apartheid language and openly displayed racism is much less developed in Israel, than it has been in South Africa, but the methods of legalized theft of property based on race are essentially the same. Allocation of state money for education, health care and infrastructure is all but proportional. Like in South Africa this leads to underdeveloped ghettos, reinforcing the basic us-better-than-them meme within the Jewish population.

McGreal cites many overwhelming facts to underpin the above, especially with regards to the Palestinians living within Israeli boarders.

The second part, Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria, is a history of relations between apartheid South Africa and Israel. While some Jews took part in the ANC's fight against apartheid, the official collaboration was ever extended up to the cooperation to develop nuclear weapons.

There is no agreement if contemporary Israel is really comparable to South African apartheid.

The motives for the Israeli behavior are a different mix than they have been in South Africa. But as the effective results are quite similar, the fall of the South African apartheid regime, may also show a possible development in Israel.

But, as ordinary Israelis discovered, such a system cannot survive unchallenged. Apartheid collapsed in part because South African society was exhausted by its demands and the myth of victimhood among whites fell away. Israel has not got there yet. Many Israelis still think they are the primary victims of the occupation.

For Seidemann, the crucial issue is not how the apartheid system worked but how it began to disintegrate. "It unravelled because it couldn't be done. Apartheid drained so much energy from South African society that this was one of the compelling reasons beyond the economic sanctions and pressures that convinced De Klerk that this was not sustainable. This is what is coming to Israel."

Unfortunately, the situation in Israel might get even worse before it will become better. 

International sanctions and boycotts may further a solution. Therefore I personally avoid to buy Israeli products when possible.

But a more effective way may be to continuously unveil the facts on the ground. Thorough information could generate shame. Shame, which may go a long way to change the opinion and behavior of the Jewish population of Israel and its international supporters.

In this, McGreal's piece is a good start.

Posted by b on February 7, 2006 at 14:35 UTC | Permalink


There are also some first reader reactions to the Guardian piece here.

Posted by: b | Feb 7 2006 14:38 utc | 1

Thanks for this thought provoking comparison, Bernhard.

Israeli double standards towards their indigenous populations; and also toward Jewish women as a class; and Israeli manipulation of American public opinion and elections; had also prompted me to recoil from purchasing Israeli products but I hadn't really thought it out as a personal policy until now.

Supporters of the worldwide sanctions on South Africa claim to have hastened the demise of apartheid in spite of the hardships the sanctions meant for all classes and races of South Africans.

Yet sanctions on Iraq and Cuba have not enjoyed similar support from those most often associated with pointing out systematic human rights violations by govenments. Another double standard? Or is it the way those sanctions seem to have failed to produce similar good results? For those on the left, why was it ok to sanction South Africa but not ok to sancion Iraq and Cuba? [And conversly: for those on the right, why is is ok to sanction Cuba and Iraq but not ok to sanction South Africa?]

Posted by: gylangirl | Feb 7 2006 16:02 utc | 2

What is Cuba being sanctioned for?

Posted by: Colman | Feb 7 2006 16:24 utc | 3

Welcome back Colman!

As you know, it was sanctioned for establishing a communist dictatorship years ago. NOW it's being sanctioned ostensibly for that [yet USSR wasn't and China isn't: more double standards] and for Cuban American votes in Miami.

Posted by: gylangirl | Feb 7 2006 16:40 utc | 4

As I recall the difference is that as best I can make out the majority population of South Africa supported the sanctions. I don't think that's the case in Iraq or Cuba.

Posted by: Colman | Feb 7 2006 17:01 utc | 5

In a totalitarian dictatorship, could the population answer opinion polls affirmatively and with impunity about sanctioning their government? Wouldn't such polling if any be government-controlled?

Posted by: gylangirl | Feb 7 2006 17:54 utc | 6

Also a very interesting and thoughtful piece by an ex-CIA Middle East analyst on Hamas and the general conflict.

Hamas Comes to Power: Breakthrough or Setback?

If Washington and the Europeans insist that first there must be peace and calm, “an end to terrorism” in the area before negotiations can move forward, then peace will be a very long time in coming. If we seek to untie the complex knot of fifty years of Palestinian-Israeli confrontation we must begin at the very source of the problem: the occupation itself. To insist on “law and order first” is to put the cart before the horse. It is tantamount to an almost deliberate choice not to deal with the root cause of the problem first. There is no question that Palestinian terrorism continues as the humiliating and crushing occupation drags on into the 38th year with no serious prospects for change yet. Indeed, for those many Israelis who do not want ever to give up the West Bank for strategic and/or religious reasons, insistence on a total end to violence as a precondition is a calculated tactic designed to ensure that Israel can hold the lands forever. Sharon himself followed this strategy almost to the end.
In the end the Israeli occupation remains the central problem, from which all other problems—despair, rage, and terrorism—flow. We must start by treating the core of the problem and not its symptoms. If the trajectory of other democratically-based Islamist parties is any indicator, there are reasonable hopes that Hamas, given the chance, will continue its evolution towards hard-headed pragmatism, even while not yielding its bargaining cards for free in advance.

Can we assume wisdom and patience on the part of the United States, Israel and the Palestinians in this next stage? If it is forthcoming, Hamas just might offer a surprise—the most legitimate Palestinian force to eventually reach a de facto settlement with Israel.

Posted by: b | Feb 7 2006 18:03 utc | 7

GG, you said:

Yet sanctions on Iraq and Cuba have not enjoyed similar support from those most often associated with pointing out systematic human rights violations by govenments. Another double standard?

I was addressing that: my perception of the perception is that in South Africa the oppressed elements supported the sanctions. It's not like they made that much difference to them. I don't have that impression with regard to Cuba or Iraq.

Posted by: Colman | Feb 7 2006 18:29 utc | 8

"Now, Israel is not only, however, a friend and ally for us, it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean. It is, after all, a pluralistic democracy. It is, as many of us know from personal experiences, a very dynamic democracy with many points of view, and those are expressed with great frequency and vigor. So if people in the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel, which has been and remains a true, faithful democracy."

Remarks by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to the 2005 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference

Posted by: tgs | Feb 7 2006 20:04 utc | 9

Cartoons are a purposeful provocation

Cartoon editor Fleming Rose and the tentacles of PNAC

It turns out the editor who originally publshed the "offensive" Muslim cartoons is a disciple of Daniel Pipes and the "clash of civilizations" theory put out by Project for a New American Century. PNAC is the outfit that called for a "Pearl Harbor event' in order to initiate a global war against the Muslim world.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 7 2006 20:56 utc | 10

Just heard on cable news (but can't find a link) that Iran's 'leading newspaper' has just offered a competition for the best Holocaust cartoon.

Let's see how that goes over with the those dedicated to "free speech".

Somehow, I think they will make an exception in this case and explain why Iran's competition is beyond the pale, more "defiance".

Posted by: tgs | Feb 8 2006 1:34 utc | 11


Well, for what it's worth, I consider the other cartoons to be covered under free speech (also stupidity and bad taste, but there is nothing actually illegal about either of those) and I don't see a problem with this idea either. In fact, I could almost draw one myself; there are as many obvious biting satirical ideas that could be managed with cartoons about the Holocaust as there are biting satirical ideas using an image of Mohammed. (The most obvious one being the parallel between Axis treatment of Jews and Israeli treatment of Palestinians, but there are others.)

For example: a multi-panel cartoon; an old man is shown from the shoulders up and he says, over most of the panels, "in the thirties and forties, my family was torn apart and thrown into camps. We lost everything we owned, and most of us were killed. All my life I've been saying 'never forget'. And I never forgot." Then in the last panel, the end of a gun pops up from below and he says, with a great big smile, "and so I still know how to deal with Palestinians."

The entries will almost certainly not all be in good taste -- in fact, the only thing that makes me sad about this new contest is that by doing this out of spite, the valid points which can be made will be weakened by being beaten to death -- and many of them will fall under the heading of "stupid provocation." But is that actually illegal? No.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Feb 8 2006 2:30 utc | 12

I used to post here and on billmons sight regularly in the 2004-2005 era. I was always talking about "the bill needing to be paid". You can google my comments to get a flavor. Well kids, we just recieved our first "polite" dunning letter via the Sundance film festival.

Thought you guys might enjoy this video clip
Brutally funny though not at all PC,

Doesn't look like plugging our ears and eyes in defiance on the world stage is going to work too much longer.

Posted by: patience | Feb 8 2006 3:54 utc | 13

From patience's video:

Bush has provided jobs for more communist Chinese workers than Mao Zedong.

sweet stat - probably true.

Posted by: citizen | Feb 8 2006 5:38 utc | 14

Actually so that you can see how serious this really is, check out Paul Craig Roberts, former WSJ and National Review editorial board member and Assistant to the Treasury Secretary under Reagan, posting about this at the extreme leftist site, in his introduction to establish his credibility for his NSA-Watergate parallels article. Unbelievable I know.

Posted by: patience | Feb 8 2006 5:39 utc | 15

@patience - that movie is rascist, ect. in the use of some kind of pidgin to insult the viewer. Is is inticing the U.S. viewer to feel hate against/blame China instead of putting the blame where it belongs.

That is not progressive but out of a fascist toolbox.

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2006 8:41 utc | 16

People are leaving Israel. Data on this topic is hard to find, difficult to interpret when dug up. This blogger has it right I think; still several questions remain.>Graph

from:>Blogger - source at top of page


760,000 Israelis have left the Promised Land>Haaretz. Nov. 2003

Germany had encouraged Jews to immigrate freely, offending Israel in the process. Matters reached a head this year, when twice as many ex-Soviet Jews leaving Russia and neighboring countries chose Germany instead of Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported that Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor rebuked Germany six months ago for "enticing" these Jews to come "under refugee status, despite the fact that the State of Israel has already existed for 56 years" and serves as their homeland.>Israel News. Dec. 2004

Posted by: Noisette | Feb 8 2006 8:42 utc | 17

How NOT to solve the Israeli/Palestine conflict:

Olmert Says Israel Will Keep 3 Large West Bank Settlement Blocs

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a television interview broadcast on Tuesday that he wanted to set the country's permanent borders, with Israel giving up significant parts of the West Bank but keeping the largest Jewish settlement blocs.
He did not mention any settlements that might be removed, but said Israel would keep the three largest settlement blocs in the West Bank, and cited them by name. They are Maale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, with about 30,000 residents; Gush Etzion, several miles south of Jerusalem, with more than 20,000 residents; and Ariel, north of Jerusalem, with close to 20,000 residents.

Mr. Olmert also said Israel would need to maintain a presence near the West Bank border with Jordan.

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2006 8:43 utc | 18

S. Africa: Take the land, dominate the people, and ‘segregate.’

Israel: Take the land, without the people.

S. Africa: Fight the segregationist policy, integrate.

Israel: Accept partition to have some rights, autonomy, etc.

So, we see the two situations are different, despite abundant similarities. South Africans were always South Africans, black or white. By contrast, Israelis and Palestinians are seen as two separate peoples engaged in a territorial 'war'. (see b’s post above..)

Posted by: Noisette | Feb 8 2006 9:08 utc | 19

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2006 9:27 utc | 20

Hammas has now handed Israel the opportunity it had been looking for all these years. The international pressure which kept Israel from just pushing Palestinians into Jordan is being relieved. The cartoon stunt only amplifies the disgust which many felt towards the Arabs after the Hammas victory. Now Olmert says they are going to keep the settlements, Jerusalem, and the River Jordan! I wonder what they are planning to vacate? Basically you are looking at reservations for Palestininas, surrounded by Israeli army and pounded by the airforce. Why would Israel make any deals right now? It is time to consolidate not deal! All strategic indicators favour Israel and occupiers never leave voluntarily. The pipe dream of a peace between Hammas and Israel is just propaganda to make US/Israel look rational while Israeli's have continued to bomb Gaza (now supposedly independant) for the last four days from the air.

@Noisette: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Arabs lived togather for a long time with minimal problems. Its the Europeans who refused to be part of the society. They destroyed what was there before and wish to build a piece of Europe in the Arab lands, Palestinians are right to refuse to be a part of the destruction of their cultural and historical institutions.


Posted by: Max Andersen | Feb 8 2006 10:39 utc | 21

You are right Max, I know, though I wouldn't have put it exactly like that. I was just trying to point out, in a few words, the difference btw. S. Africa and Israel, partly because in my eyes the 'left' relying on the comparion in the lead article have their head stuck in the sand, and sometimes go so far as to reduce the Israel disaster to a question of racial prejudice (resting on colonial ambitions to be sure), as if it could be resolved in the way it was in S Africa, or as, for example, blacks in the US acquired 'equal' status. That thinking or attitude is what the 'Apartheid' metaphor calls up or rationalises.

I mean, we are not going to see a Palestinian Martin Luther King, right?

Posted by: Noisette | Feb 8 2006 16:56 utc | 22

Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of World Bank

Central to World Bank proposals are the construction of massive industrial zones to be financed by the World Bank and other donors and controlled by the Israeli Occupation. These are envisaged as forming the basis of economic “development” built on Palestinian land around the Wall. Previous initiatives in the Gaza Strip are being used as the “catalyst” and model for the way in which Palestinians imprisoned by the Wall can be put to work in industrial zones. International Financing Institutions are proposing a series of new or revitalized industrial zones. Primary among these are the “Green Line” zones which would be located in areas close to or on the Green Line, including sites close to Jenin, Tarkumiya and Rafah which already have backing with several European and US firms. The gates built on the 20 percent of the Wall that fall on the Green Line are integral to World Bank plans as the existing gates will facilitate their ability to fund high-tech checkpoints for the transport of goods and control of people with fewer legal barriers stemming from the ICJ decision. Further industrial parks are planned in “Seam Zones” in Palestinian land isolated behind the Apartheid Wall and the Green Line. Given that 80 percent of the Wall deviates from the Green Line, there is scope for various projects on isolated land confiscated by the Israeli Occupation. The industrial zones are designed to serve the needs of the industry markets of Israel, whether by doing the most environmentally destructive production in Palestinian areas or by providing cheap labor. Additionally these zones would benefit the Israeli Occupation abroad where goods “Made in Palestine” have more favorable trade conditions in international markets.

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2006 3:43 utc | 23

Last two nights PBS has had "feel good" programs on third world prostitution and people trafficing, and then tracing black's slave ancestries. Slavery is viewed an "then" or "there", not a condition of societally constricted and proscribed opportunities, such as the "free trade" hell that Annie points out Israel is creating.

God, Nepal is a hellhole. No wonder there is a strong maoist rebellion to the neoliberal toilet it has become.

Posted by: Malooga | Feb 9 2006 7:40 utc | 24

Frontline - Sex Slaves
Torrent name: Frontline - Sex Slaves
Size: 348.59 MB
Hash: a900abe00a33310ba67ef52fdbe2e0355fbb7238

Originally aired: 2006.02.07

"An estimated half-million women are trafficked annually for the purpose of sexual slavery. The women are kidnapped — or lured by traffickers who prey on their dreams of employment abroad — then they are “exported” to Europe, the Middle East, the United States and elsewhere, where they are sold to pimps, drugged, terrorized, locked in brothels and raped repeatedly. In Eastern Europe, since the fall of communism, sex trafficking has become the fastest growing form of organized crime, with Moldova and Ukraine widely seen as the centers of the global trade in women and girls. FRONTLINE presents a unique hidden-camera look at this world of sexual slavery, talking with traffickers and their victims, and exposing the government indifference that allows the abuses to continue virtually unchecked. “Sex Slaves” also follows the remarkable journey of one man determined to find his trafficked wife by posing as a trafficker himself to buy back her freedom."

more info: here.


Also, This film (homepage)previously aired on CBC.

Bienstock's account of why he made the film and the infiltration/underground risks taken in it's creation is very much worth reading. He wrote, directed, produced.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2006 8:35 utc | 25


I saw that Frontline and it was positively harrowing. While in South Korea, I saw firsthand that every Russian female was assumed to be, and treated as, a prostitute by both the locals and foreign guests. This view was so pervasive that at a Hallowe'en party amongst the foreigners (US, Canada, New Zealand, English and Irish predominately) several of the light-complected women did nothing more by way of a costume than to paint a black eye on themselves with dark makeup and call themselves "Russian whores". My stomach still gets very upset when I think about it.

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 9 2006 8:57 utc | 26

Always wondered why Wolfowitz went to the World Bank

Posted by: still working it out | Feb 9 2006 11:29 utc | 27

The General has something to say about apartheid and anti-semitism

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2006 22:17 utc | 28

In relation to the comments about Israel and Palestine and in particular in relation to those who describe Israel as being the Only Democracy in the Middle East.

May I suggest that you read the book by SUSAN NATHAN called "The other side of Israel". Then make up your mind about whether Israel is a Democracy or not and whether Israel is a Racist State or not.

The book is a very easy read and it contains information that is not readily discussed or available in main stream WESTERN media.


RE: "The General has something to say about apartheid and anti-semitism"

If more people like the General expressed their opinion about Israel then maybe public opinion in USA and Europe will change and then blind support from the ruling classes to Israel might diminish enough to give peace in the Middle East a chance.

Posted by: Why Is That | Feb 13 2006 20:28 utc | 29

The part that facinates me about all the discussions in this forum is how so many obviously intelligent people in here seem to forget the one crucial fact that stands in the way of any potential peace settlement in the area. Just last night the Palestinian deligation that me t with Putin refused to comment on this exact problem. That the Palestinians claim that the State of Isreal MAY NOT EXIST, therefore why should there be a thought from the Isrealis to drop all there defence mechanisms physical or intelectual.

Would any country that is told that as soon as the world forces you to remove your security and buffer zones between your country and millions of self sworn enemies they are going to destroy you.

Now please with all logic and a little less anti-semitism please tell me why the hell you would expect a soverign country, with probably the largest accumulation of brain cells in the world would even consider doing this before at least (a not to be trusted) statement about renouncing the promise of removing Isreal from the face of the earth is made.

If you were the Prime minister of Isreal or for that matter an Isreali citizen what would you like to see happen.

Posted by: Alan | Mar 4 2006 5:29 utc | 30

To begin with, it is not possible to debate anything when the anti-semitism canard is flown.

Secondly, I don't buy this racist and patently false premise that Jews are any smarter than anyone else.

Posted by: DM | Mar 4 2006 5:39 utc | 31

The poor Palestinians pose NO threat to overrunning Israel (Is real?). That too is a canard. No one is asking the Israelis to respect the Palestinians or even like them. Just follow the law, UN242, and get out of the occupied territories and illegal settlements and, if you want a wall for "safety," put it on the border, the green line.

By the way, the Israelis hold the same belief about Palestine and Palestinians, namely, that they don't exist. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Educate yourself. As a Jew, it took me a while to see what was before my eyes too.

If Americans Knew
Palestine Facts

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 4 2006 8:11 utc | 32

Thanks for the responses from DM and Mooga.
To DM that is a great way to debate. This confirms the amount of brain cells that float around your space. I guess that sums up both your highly intelligent points.

To Mooga I have followed the links that you have offered me and have not yet managed to see anywhere in these links where the Palestinian leaders new or old have even hinted at anything other than pointing a finger at the Israelis as being the bad guys here, definitely no mention of any commitment to accepting Israel in any way, at present or in the future. With regards the financing of Israelis military, Thank G-d that at least one country has the foresight to understand that Jews also have a right to defend there country. I do not have the value of the revenues that are brought into the middle east by the other Arab states but I am sure that it is enough to help the Palestinian cousins out, to at least put the children in school.
Children being killed in the struggle, why are these children not in school, and what type of upbringing allows for them to be in the line of crossfire (hot spots) in the first place. I for one do not allow my children to play with toy guns, let alone throw stones at rel people who have real guns. You have stated you are a Jew, and by the sound of your comments I personally think that you are still trying to convince yourself that you are anti Israeli. I ask you once again with tears in my eyes this time. When will a Palestinian accept that Israel is going to be there and denounce trying to remove it from the face of the earth?. I for one would more than likely be prepared to understand your logic and gullibility a lot easier if I could just once find a statement made by the Palestinians that would allow me to believe that they would accept Israel as a neighbour, until then I still believe that Israel must be very careful as to the amount of compromises it makes to its security, Finally Mooga if you believe that this will end with only the destruction of Israel you are mistaken, this globally, is a anti-Semitism thing and after Israel, it will be the Jews, believe me history does repeat itself. By the way Isreal and Palestine do not have an option but to know that they both exist, the question is what is going to make them exist in peace, and I agree with you two wrong definetly do not make a right, but how many death's does it take before your response is right?

Posted by: Alan | Mar 22 2006 4:30 utc | 33

Has Israel ever offered an Olive Branch to the Palestinians?

Posted by: DM | Mar 22 2006 9:41 utc | 34

DM, alan's large accumulation of brain cells are laying fallow at the moment. it seems he can't process criticism of israel without relying on that time tested anti semite least he demonstrates original thought. i had certainly never come across the largest accumulation in the world theory before. you think its genetic alan?
i noticed you used the word probably. are you like 95% sure or more like only 75% ?

Posted by: annie | Mar 22 2006 16:49 utc | 35

National Jewish Front leader Baruch Marzel, now campaigning for the March 28 Knesset election, [on] Monday ... called on the Israel Defense Forces to assassinate the far-left leader of the Gush Shalom movement Uri Avnery.

Speaking Monday in Jerusalem and Ramle, Marzel said left-wing activists are bringing destruction upon themselves and said they sometimes harm the interests of Israel no less than do the country's external enemies.

In response to comments by Avnery calling the 2001 assassination of cabinet minister Rehavam Ze'evi a Palestinian "targeted killing" - a term generally reserved for IDF strikes on terror leaders - Marzel said the IDF needs to target Avnery.


On Monday evening, Peace Now called on Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to examine Marzel's statements for suspected illegal incitement.

"Marzel forgot that he receives immunity only if and when he is voted into the Knesset - not before. Marzel is doing everything he can to make headlines and to shock people," Peace Now said.

Baruch Marzel: IDF must assassinate left-wing activist Uri Avnery

Posted by: b real | Mar 22 2006 17:12 utc | 36


I wonder if Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates feels that he has enough money, despite his $25 Billion fortune, ownership of two prime sports teams, and 215 million shares of Microsoft. What's the connection? He is the world's 4th richest man. By most accounts Israel has the world's 4th most powerful army. They have enough nuclear weapons to destroy every single city in the US with a popuation over 100,000, and the delivery systems to destroy France, if they wanted too.

At Oslo, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist. Many Palestinian leaders have recognized that right publicly. Of course, there are some Palestinians who would like to do away with Israel, just as there are some Israelis who would like to do away with all the Palestinians, and in my youth, with all Germans. We have to accept those people too, and recognize that just because some small minority is very hostile does not mean that they are able to do anything bad. It is like when someone doesn't like us in the classroom, it is uncomfortable but we have to live with it. We don't generally blow them away.

I see Israel as a huge football lineman, holding this five year old kid in the air and shaking him violently, saying, "You must recognize my right to exist!" How could the kid not? All he wants is to be put down in one piece. The lineman needs to recognize that he is not a little kid anymore, that he has grown up and is really quite large.

I hear a lot of fear in your response. Perhaps there is no way for you to address that fear; for you to feel that Israel has the 100% fail-safe security that you require. In that case, how would you proceed? What conditions would make you feel better about things? You can help me by stating what you feel that you need, more than I can help you by telling you it is OK.

I think you would benefit by meeting an actual Palestinian, talking with them, and getting to know them as a human being. They have the same concerns we do--for the safety of their family, a decent job, food on their table, and some healthcare. Maybe you should go to Palestine and see what the kids are doing, what their schools are like, and whether they get enough food and proper healthcare. You would learn a lot by traveling, or at least trying to travel, through the territory.

Whether or not other Arabs help the Palestinians out is irrelevant. We do not spend much time in the US worrying about the poor and starving of Mexico.

My great-grandparents fled the pogroms in Russia and came to America around 1900. Growing up, I heard from my grandparents and parents about the depression and the struggles they went through. Well, as late as 1947, Jews only owned 6% of the land, and comprised, at most, 18% of the population of what was to become Israel. There are many Palestinians alive who still remember those days. They remember their homes which they had taken from them, their lives, their villages, their society, which was changed forever. I'm not going to tell you what the answer is, but you have to hear people and respect their positions and stories before you can each trust each other.

I was fortunate to have had the experience of having Palestinian friends when I lived in St. Croix. They were just friends; we went out drinking together, talked about girls, shot some pool, went swimming, and hung out. Eventually, over time we shared our stories, and talked about it. But they did not feel the need to convince me, and I did not feel the need to convince them. That is a good beginning.

Here is another link which tells the story in a very impartial way and very simply. It doesn't get caught up in all the details which historians love to wrangle over. Background to the Israel-Palestine Crisis It is written by an American Jew. Why don't you read it, and if you have any questions, come back and ask me.

You say that I sound like I am trying to convince myself that I am anti-Israeli. Over here at "Moon" we make the distinction between supporting the people of a nation, and supporting the policies of their government. Just as I don't agree with what our President is doing in the world, but I don't want harm to come to Americans, I can disagree with what the leaders of Israel are doing and still wish peace and good fortune for Israel and Israelis.

I, too, am very concerned about anti-semitism, and a potential backlash on Jews worldwide. That is why I believe that we need to respect other people and cultures, and treat them as we would want to be treated. William Blum says it better than I can, on another thread today:

Anti-American terrorists are not motivated by hatred or envy of freedom or democracy, or by American wealth, secular government, or culture. They are motivated by decades of awful things done to their homelands by US foreign policy. It works the same all over the world. In the period of the 1950s to the 1980s in Latin America, in response to a long string of Washington's dreadful policies, there were countless acts of terrorism against US diplomatic and military targets as well as the offices of US corporations. The US bombing, invasion, occupation and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan have created thousands of new anti-American terrorists. We'll be hearing from them for a terribly long time.

Our actions DO determine how people will treat us back.

You say I am gullible. I believe in the saying which states that "we should trust in God, but tie our camels." But I worry that we, and Israel, are becoming so concerned that we are tying and re-tying our camels, until they are being strangled. A child raised in complete safety would have to be a bubble child, and a nation attempting to be absolutely safe would eventually start to strangle its own citizens.

There is nothing about Arabs that makes them unable to live in peace with Jews, and vice-versa. In the 80's, I attended a synagogue of Iraqi Jewish immigrants on Long Island. They were Jewish and living in America, but they looked just like the Iraqis we see every day on the news. The US had a war with Mexico, but now we live in peace, and the border states are so mixed, and people are so intermarried, that it is quite unremarkable.

You are correct that the best option is to learn to co-exist peacefully. It is difficult when both parties feel victimized. It is more difficult when monied interests profit from other's strife. That is also something we need to keep in mind as we attempt to heal a very wounded situation.

I hope this helps you to understand things better.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 22 2006 20:16 utc | 37

To Malooga

You are a absolute scholar and a gentleman, You present your logic in a way that it is difficult to argue or disagree with you. I am a South African who lived through the apartheid years and was part of the generation that managed to break it. I think that it is important to mention the key word that you wrote "Fear", It is this word that made the difference between South Africa and The Middle East, when FW DeKlerk capitulated to the ANC, as South Africans we knew the person that was going to take the reigns of the country. We were extremely lucky to have a humanitarian whom majority of the white South Africans believe it or not, did not fear, Dr Mandella. Please understand that living in South Africa during this period was not as rosey as everyone thought. As a white South African the only fear we had were more militant movements in South Africa. I believe that at the moment most Isrealis feel that there only option to peace is to cpitulate to a goup that is more radical than what was our worst nightmare. If the Palistinians could through some devine intervention produce another Mandella we would not be having this conversation.

Until then I still sympathise with the Isrealis not because of our Jewish connectionbut because of the fear for what there options are. (At Oslo, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist. Many Palestinian leaders have recognized that right publicly) Why is it that these Palistinian leaders are not endorsed by the greater Palistinian public, what is this supposed to do towards convincing the Isrealis that they will ever be able to move back to the green line and not be expected to continue moving until there is no where else to go?. I have lived through that fear and it effects every citizens ability to invest time in his home, business and future.

Posted by: Alan | Mar 23 2006 13:52 utc | 38

The Palestinian people endorsed both Arafat and Abbas. These two leaders were played as fools by Clinton, Bush and Israeli leaders, who discredited them in the eyes of their people at each step. In addition the international community was solidly opposed to apartheid in the SA instance and imposed a boycott on the regime to break it.

Unfortunately there will never be another Mandela.

Posted by: ww | Mar 23 2006 15:06 utc | 39

The occupation of the West Bank is a red herring. Before the occupation it was Israel itself that that Arab regimes promised to wiped off the map.
It is not a matter of issues such as that 30% of the people having 55% of the land (as some commentators have used as justification for Arab anger and violence) it is a matter that the Arabs have stated that no matter what the number of Jews they should get 0% of the land.

The comments from people in South Africa make it clear that they have never been to the Middle East. The purveyors of propoganda are bandying about the word 'Apartheid' without any context to arouse emotional reactions agains Israel. Naturally, people from SA will react with disgust to this word and, what do you know, end up associating it with Israel because that is how they have seen the word used. This is straight out of 'Animal Farm'.
Speaking of apartheid, the Arabs are the most racist group in the world. What other race actually has a city that non-Muslims cannot visit. Their ignorance and hatred are unbridled.

'Humiliation' is a word that Arabs and Islamists use often to describe their condition. They are in for a lot more 'humiliation' if they do not come to accept some realities such as:
- not everybody wants to be Islam.
- the holocaust did actually happen.
- the peak of their civilation, when they were deserved masters of the world, ended at least 500 years ago after which they have contributed almost nothing.
- they are not the victim of outside forces but of their own prejudices.

Posted by: dovvod | Jun 8 2006 12:35 utc | 40

"[Martyrdom] is a good thing. We don't want this world, we want the Afterlife. We benefit not from this life but from the Afterlife." This is the opinion of 11-year-old Yussra, presented in an interview on Palestinian television. According to Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority teaches its people, and especially its children, to desire "shahada" - death for Allah. Marcus spoke to Cornell students yesterday evening in McGraw 165 about current Palestinian propaganda targeted against Israel and Jews. He first addressed Palestinian newspapers, using the sports pages to reveal glorification of suicide bombers and the clues in a crossword puzzle to show hate propaganda against Jews. One such example in a crossword puzzle included the name of the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem as the solution to "Jewish center for commemorating the Holocaust and the lies." He presented numerous other examples of such propaganda in children's school textbooks, songs and dances, television shows and educational television programs. Marcus also addressed the recent landslide Hamas victory in Palestinian elections. The Hamas charter, he noted, contains messages of violence and the illegitimacy of Israel and its Jewish population. Marcus founded PMW in 1996 to understand Palestinian society through the eyes of Palestinian Arabs. PMW monitors the Palestinian media through such mediums as newspapers, television, poetry, book reviews and sermons. Marcus mentioned a specific interest in the messages delivered to children, as their beliefs and actions will impact the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. He said, "The ultimate goal is to promote peace education." Marcus adopted a calm and reserved tone of voice while using words such as "horrific," "ridiculous," and "libel" to explain Palestinian television clips, quotes and textbook excerpts directed against Jews. One video clip presented featured Ahmad Nasser, secretary of Palestinian Legislative Council, stating, "The State of Israel is Satan's offspring - a satanic offspring." Jordan Fabian '09, who was in attendance, believes that "the entire idea of the presentation wasn't surprising, but the material he used was interesting," pointing to the video of Yussra as particularly "unsettling." In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Fabian said, "[The propaganda] the Palestinians have been perpetuating has made the conflict worse. What [Marcus] said about suicide bombers not being desperate is important. It's not that they're desperate, but that they actually believe [killing the enemy] is God's will." At the end of his lecture, Marcus admitted being pessimistic towards possible improvements in Palestinian propaganda. He claimed, "Re-education won't happen without leverage from the West," and encouraged students to contact the media and government for awareness and help. Andrew Garib '06, president of Turn Left, said he felt the lecture was informative, "but that it was more for a general audience than for those already aware of the Israel-Palestine conflict." The event was organized by Cornell Israel Palestine Public Affairs Committee and StandWithUs. Jamie Weinstein '06, president of CIPAC, introduced Marcus and emphasized that CIPAC had invited all student media groups and many political groups. Sarah Boxer '07, vice president of CIPAC, said, "I thought it was really cool that there was a wide array of students there. There were students from a lot of demographics on campus. I was really pleased that so many different members from around campus were able to make it." However, the presentation's overall fairness was challenged during the question time after the lecture. One student said that the event would have been better if the pro-Palestinian student group, Student Activists for Palestine, had been present. Weinstein admitted that CIPAC had not extended a formal invitation to the student group, but noted that the president of Student Activists for Palestine had attended the lectur

Posted by: dovvod | Jun 8 2006 12:39 utc | 41

Like MEMRI, Palestinian Media Watch is an Israeli site that does SELECTIVE translation of Palestinian media.

If I would do SELECTIVE translation of U.S. media for anyone not speaking English I could portrait it being anything from a far right facist state to a far left socialist paradise.

It would be useless just as your excerpt is.

CIPAC btw is an affiliate of the AIPAC likutniks.

Posted by: b | Jun 8 2006 12:59 utc | 42

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