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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Gaza’ by Norman G Finklestein


Frank Lee

Prof. Norman Finkelstein being interviewd on Democracy Now (left), Gaza book cover (right)

So, the ultimate question is, do Palestinians have the right to symbolically resist slow death punctuated by periodic massacres, or is it incumbent on them to lie down and die?[1]

Part 1 Background

Post WW1 the Sykes-Picot Anglo-French agreement carved out spheres of influence from what remained of the Turkish Ottoman empire. To the victors went the spoils: Lebanon and Syria to France and Jordan and Palestine to Britain. British interests, particularly those in Palestine were, given the close proximity of the Suez Canal, strategic rather than economic. These interests coincided with those of the Zionists in this area.

Moreover, if the British were to become sponsors of Zionist settlement, this would block any French claims to this pivotal region. As in Ireland, a catholic country which underwent Scottish protestant settlement, these settlers became loyal to the British crown, a situation which in Ulster endures to the present day. And no doubt the British hoped that similar Zionist settlement in an Arab Muslim country would engender a comparable loyalty to British suzerainty, thus creating a sort of loyalist Jewish Ulster in Palestine. Such was the British plan; the Zionist leadership had a different and longer-term agenda of their own, however.

The international Zionist movement under the political leadership of David Ben Gurion, and the ideological tutelage of Theodore Herzl were at the time looking for sponsors for their long-term goals. This not only involved the development of relationships with rival European imperialist states, but also, and perhaps astonishingly, with openly anti-Semitic governments and politicians. Herzl in fact regarded the anti-Semites as his most dependable friends and allies. Rather than attack and denounce anti-Semitism, Herzl declared that “the anti-Semites will be our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”[2]

The Zionists argued, in parallel fashion with the anti-Semites, that there was no place for Jews in the established nations of Europe and North America. At the time there was a suggestion mooted by the British that the East African colony of Uganda might provide a Jewish homeland, but this came to nothing.

But It was Arthur Balfour’s (1848-1930) letter to Lord Rothschild in 1917 which was to become known as the ‘Balfour Declaration’ which settled the matter of Jewish settlement in Palestine. The letter was handed to Rothschild to be passed on to the Zionist Federation. The key passage ran as follows.

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use all their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this objective, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and/or political status enjoyed by Jews in any other any other country.[3]

The indigenous inhabitants of Palestine comprising of Arabs, Christians, and Muslims being the vast majority of the inhabitants – 90% plus – were now relegated to the status of being other ‘non-Jewish existing communities’ as their country was given away over their heads by external actors – namely the British imperialists and the Zionist Federation.

Britain was to be awarded control over Palestine by the League of Nations in 1922 with the original stipulations contained in the Balfour declaration being incorporated into the text. During this period the British authorities were openly supportive of the Zionist settlement project. The definition of state power lies in its monopoly of the means of violence. But from outset the Zionists were allowed to establish their own militia, the Haganah, with the British authorities also deferring to the Jewish Agency as if it were the sole quasi-state organization in waiting and altogether outside of the British purview. As for the indigenous population, well they didn’t count in terms of decision making and political participation. This was bound to lead to trouble, and it did.

All the elements for an Arab backlash were in place. And so, it came to pass at the beginning of 1921, communal conflict, violence and deaths became an almost daily occurrence. In time this was to escalate into an open war between the Arabs and the British authorities – 1936-39. For their part the Zionists leadership was only too keen to lend a hand – the British ranks were augmented by thousands of Jewish volunteers enlisting in the police force through the Haganah.[4]

As part of this counter-insurgency campaign the British authorities organized Special Night Squads under the authority of Orde Wingate – who later served in Burma against the Japanese during WW2 as an early version of Special Ops – “The Special Night Squads were Jewish volunteers under British Officers which today would be called ‘death squads’ torturing and summarily executing Palestinians thought to be involved in the ongoing conflict.”[5]

It was also around this time that the Irgun Zvei Leumi led by Menachem Begin, came into existence as an underground militia targeting Palestinian targets throughout the country in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. (see below).

The insurrection was effectively crushed by 1939/40. Now the British found themselves at war with Nazi Germany and the old Palestinian Regiment was upgraded to a regular military formation and integrated into the British Army – the Jewish Brigade, as it was called, served with some distinction in Italy. It was also here that many of the Zionist political leadership got their military training.

A new phase in the Zionist struggle began in 1946 with the bombing by the Irgun of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem where British Intelligence had the use of one floor. All told some 90 people were killed including 17 Jewish employees and guests. This was followed by the infamous Deir Yassin Massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 terrorists from the Zionist paramilitary groups, Irgun and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel – also known as the Stern Gang under the name of their late leader Abraham Stern) attacked the Palestinian village of roughly 600 people near Jerusalem. Of course, the Zionists and their media arm has done everything to deny that such and occurrence ever took place; it is the same tactic which is used today, and doubtless any mention of this barbarism will be categorized as ‘hate crime’. Unfortunately for the Zionists history doesn’t lie.

“In the ensuing confusion and anger over the killings in Deir Yassin, both sides released an inflated Palestinian death toll for very different reasons: the Palestinians wanted to bolster resistance and attract the attention of the Arab nations they hoped would help them; the Jews wanted to scare the Palestinians into flight.

After the dust had settled, Mr Zidain and the other survivors counted the missing among them, and concluded that 105 Palestinians had died in Deir Yassin, not the 250 often reported. Four Jews were killed. But the damage was already done. The reports from Deir Yassin led to a total collapse of morale, and many historians regard the incident as the single biggest catalyst for the Palestinians’ flight. By UN estimates, 750,000 Palestinians had fled their homes by the end of the 1948 War of Independence, roughly 60 per cent of Palestine’s pre-war Arab population.

Mention Deir Yassin these days to most young Israelis and it will fail to register. Not far from the Kfar Shaul hospital, two teenage boys shake their heads at a question on Deir Yassin. Never heard of it, they say. “Most Israelis treat the subject with total silence,” says Professor McGowan. “They no longer deny it, they just don’t talk about it.”[6]

All of which reminds me of the old Czech joke which was doing the rounds during the Soviet occupation.

Question: ‘What is an historian?’

Answer: ‘Someone who predicts history.’

It could be argued that Zionist denial is akin to Holocaust denial since both are fatuous and totally unbelievable.

Part 2 The Present

So much for history and the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973. These wars were conflicts between rival armies in which Israel had prevailed. However future engagements involving the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) were directed almost exclusively against Palestinian civilians and small underground opposition groups such as Hamas which had only minimal military capability and crude improvised weapons – weapons such as home-made rockets which were little more than enhanced fireworks. It is worth mentioning in this connexion that the IDF which carried out such attack had learned the counter-insurgency lessons very well from their British mentors during the Palestinian uprising 1936-1939.

It is also to be noted that like all wars conducted by the imperial powers against occupied powers were inherently racist. A derogatory language was used to dehumanise any brown-skinned people – in this instance the Palestinians – who were attempting to assert their rights of sovereignty and nationhood. Other such third world Untermensch were generally referred to by charming little epithets such as ‘Niggers’ ‘Wogs’ ‘Coons’ and ‘Gooks’. Such is the language of empire.

Norman Finklestein’s magnum opus begins with ‘Operation Cast Lead’ which lasted from 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009. Israel had been illegally occupying Gaza since the 1967 war and there had already been a number of incursions and conflicts. These were accompanied by the usual spectacle of UN Resolutions, media reports what various politicians and statesmen said and didn’t say, human rights organizations and the UN, all which had minimal or no effect on Israeli policy.

And this policy has been perfectly consistent since the end of the British Mandate, if not before. Namely, the construction of a greater Israel which would be an apartheid Jewish state with Jewish citizens, perhaps with some Palestinian menials and minions without any rights, to clean the houses and toilets of their masters. The rest is PR bunk. First off, the mass of the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank must be cleared out, by fair means or foul, in order to provide lebensraum for the invading Jewish settler force.

The IDF operation was carried out in a coastal sliver of land 5 miles wide and 25 miles long, whose population numbered some 1.8 million Palestinians. These people had sought safety in Gaza when they were expelled (‘transferred’ being the preferred Zionist term) in the 1948 war from their original lands and squeezed into Gaza. At the present time more than 70% of Gaza’s inhabitants consist of refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants, and more than half of Gaza’s population are under the age of 18. Gaza is the most densely populated area in the world.

During the course of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank but later pulled out. This did not stop a non-stop series of raids and provocations between Israel and the Palestinians. There was one particular Israeli cross-border attack … which was intended to provoke retaliation from Hamas and thus provide the pretext for a massive Israeli assault.

Operation Cast Lead launched on 27 December 2008 began with an aerial blitz followed by an aerial and ground assault. Piloting the most advanced combat aircraft in the world the Israeli Air Force flew nearly 300 sorties over Gaza and dropped one thousand tons of explosives, whilst the Israeli army deployed sophisticated intelligence gathering systems such as robotic and TV-aided remote-controlled guns. Of course, the US Congress lent Israel full support and blamed Hamas for all the carnage and destruction. A resolution passed by the Senate to this effect was endorsed by a majority of 390 to 5 in the House of Representatives.

Israel’s claims – claims of restraint and legality – were to become increasingly bizarre and unbelievable – and were beginning to be doubted by more objective observers. The facts were as follows.

“Between 1 January and 26 December 2008, Israeli forces killed 455 Palestinians, of whom were 175 were civilians, whilst the Palestinians killed 31 Israelis of whom 17 were civilians a ratio of 15-1. The world was of course shocked, but then par for the course nothing significant happened. Even this was prior to the Cast Lead operation which lasted from 27 December 2008 until 18 January 2009 (see below).

Then out of the woodwork came the usual apologists for mass murder such as Thomas Freidman of the New York Times.

The rationale for Cast Lead offered by Thomas Freidman in the pages of the NYT amounted to an apologia for state terrorism. Indeed, Israel’s evolving modus operandi for restoring its deterrence capacity described a curve steadily regressing into barbarism. Israel won its victory in 1967 primarily on the battlefield – albeit in a ‘turkey shoot’ – while in subsequent armed hostilities it endeavoured both to achieve battlefield victories and to bombard the civilian population into abjection. But Israel targeted Gaza to restore its deterrence capacity because it eschewed any of the risks of a conventional war. It targeted Gaza because it was largely defenceless.

Its resort to unalloyed terror in turn revealed the IDF’s decline as a fighting force, whilst the celebration of Israel’s military prowess during and after Cast Lead by the likes of Benny Morris registered the growing detachment of Israeli intellectuals and a good share of the public as well from reality. A supplementary benefit of the High-Tec, cost-free deterrence strategy targeting civilians was that it restored Israel’s domestic morale. A 2009 internal UN document found that ‘’One significant achievement’’ of Cast Lead was that it dispelled doubts among Israelis about “the ability of the IDF to issue a blow to its enemies … The use of excessive force … proves that Israel is the landlord … The pictures of destruction were intended more for Israeli eyes than those of Israel’s enemies, eyes starved of revenge and national pride.[7]

What Menachem Begin and his Zionist confreres once said, pretty well sums up the Zionist view of their Palestinian neighbours: Writing in The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted such views among Israelis were made quite openly, e.g.: ‘Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs’, Menachem Begin, while former IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan referred to them as ‘drugged roaches in a bottle’ and also that ‘a good Arab is a dead Arab’ And another former Chief of Staff, Moshe Ya’alon, referred to the Palestinian ‘’threat’’ as like a cancer on which he was performing chemotherapy.’[8]

Sifting through the hasbara and counter-claims the figures pretty much tell the whole story: Some 1400 Palestinians almost entirely civilian died in Operation Cast Lead, including 350 children. On the other side, total Israeli casualties amounted to 10 combatants (four killed by friendly fire) and three civilians. The total ratio of Palestinians killed to Israelis was 100-1, and of Palestinians to Israeli civilians killed as high as 400-1. This was an attack by an army equipped with the latest modern weaponry waged by an air-force, heavy artillery, tanks heavily armed infantry against a defenceless civilian population. It could be argued that this was not war, it was murder.

Post-invasion testimonies by IDF soldiers corroborated the wanton killing of Palestinian civilians:

You see people more or less running their life routine, taking a walk, stuff like that. Definitely not terrorists. I heard from other crews that they fired at people there. Tried to kill them; “People didn’t seem to be too upset about taking human lives;” “Everyone there is considered a terrorist”. “We were allowed to do anything we wanted. Who’s to tell us not to?”; I understood that combat had been somewhat savage. “If you see it shoot”; You are allowed to do anything you want … for no other reason that its cool, even firing white Phosphorous “because its fun. Cool.

Firing white phosphorous, because it’s fun. Cool? Yes, of course, cool. I expect it was all like a video game or a Rambo film.
Finklestein goes on:

No doubt some, IDF soldiers exploited the occasion of the unfolding massacre to sate their sadistic impulses while others were brutalized by the mayhem unleashed. Further IDF testimonies recalled the ‘hatred and the joy’ and ‘fun’ and ‘delight’ of killing Gazans, the wreaking of destruction ‘for kicks’ and, ‘to make oneself happy’. Other testimonies captured degenerate soldier banter, solider banter such as ‘I killed a terrorist, whoa … We blew his head off.’ ‘Fortunately, the hospitals are full to capacity already so people (i.e., Palestinians Civilians) are dying more quickly.’ ‘He just couldn’t finish this operation without killing someone.’ Still it was the barbaric essence of Cast Lead that enabled these excesses.”[9]

All of which caused an outcry among the civilized world. This was given voice by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In April 2009 the President of the Human Rights Council appointed a ‘Fact Finding Mission’ to ’Investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law’ during Open Cast Lead. Richard Goldstone, ex-judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa and ex-prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda was named head of the Mission.

In short: “The Report found that much of the devastation that Israel inflicted during Cast Lead was premeditated. It also found that the operation was anchored in a military doctrine that ‘views disproportionate destruction and creating maximum destruction in the lives of many people as a legitimate means to achieve military and political goals, and that it was designed to have inevitably dire consequences for the non-combatants. The disproportionate destruction and violence against civilians’ spring from a ‘deliberate policy’ as did the ‘humiliation and dehumanisation’ of the Palestine population”[10]

Moreover: although Israel justified the attack on the grounds of self-defence against Hamas rocket attacks, the Report pointed to a different motive. The ‘primary purpose’ of the blockade was to “bring about a situation in which the Palestinian people would find life so intolerable that they would leave (if that were possible) or turn Hamas out of office , as well as to collectively punish the civilian population, whilst Cast Lead itself was aimed at punishing Gaza’s population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas, and possibly forcing a change in such support.”

Finklestein further notes that, The Report concluded that the Israeli assault constituted “a deliberately disproportionate designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” Tribute was also paid to “the resilience and dignity of the Palestinian people,” in the face of their dire circumstances.’[11]

All of which seemed like a damming and definitive case against Israel. But no. Goldstone had sinned against the holy grail. The Zionist propaganda machine – the hasbara – went into overdrive with the Anglo-Zionist media berserkers targeting Goldstone for ideological, personal and career demolition. He will be (and was) made to atone and prostrate himself before his accusers. And so, it turned out. Goldstone, in football parlance, ‘bottled it’.[12]

Thus “On 1 April (all fools day) 2011 in the op-ed page of the Washington Post (where else) Goldstone effectively disowned the devastating UN Report of Israeli crimes carrying his name … ‘Everything that we said proved to be true’ gloated Netanyahu … We always said that the IDF is a moral army that acted according to international law’ Defence Minister Ehud Barak declared.”[13]

Of course, it came as no surprise that the US also threw its weight behind Goldstone’s sell out. The United States administration made hay of the occasion asserting that Israel had not ‘engaged in any war crimes’ during operation Cast Lead. Not to be left out of the party the Senate unanimously called on the UN to ‘rescind’ the Goldstone Report.

In Finklestein’s words “Goldstone’s recantation was a black day for human rights and a red-letter day for their transgressors … In one fell swoop Goldstone inflicted irreparable damage on the course of justice and the rule of law … He poisoned Jewish-Palestinian relations, undermined the courageous work of Israeli dissenters, and – most unforgivably – increased the risk of another merciless IDF assault.” (a conjecture which came to pass with Operation Protective Edge – see below)

Additionally, what made this disgusting mea culpa even worse was the fact that even as Goldstone and the liberal Anglo-Zionist media were eerily silent on the outrages committed in Operation Cast Lead, Senior Israeli officials, informed analysts, and IDF combatants did not shy away from actually acknowledging and “more often than not they actually bragged” that the IDF unleashed ‘insane’ amounts of fire power went ‘wild’ demonstrated real ‘hooliganism’, carried on like a ‘mad dog’, acted ‘lunatic’, and ‘crazy’, and ‘destroyed everything in its way’ during Cast Lead.

In summation Operation Cast Lead resulted in:

“…damaged or destroyed ‘everything in its way’ including 58,000 homes, 1500 factories and workshops, 280 schools and kindergartens, electrical water and sewage installations” (never rebuilt) “190 Greenhouse complexes, 80% of agricultural crops, and nearly one-fifth of cultivated land. Whole neighbourhoods were laid waste. 29 ambulances, 15 hospitals, and 45 mosques were destroyed. By the time they withdrew the IDF had left behind fully 600,000 tons of rubble and 1400 corpses including 350 children … But the only penalty Israel imposed for unlawful during Cast Lead was a disciplinary measure punishing one IDF soldier.”[14]

During the whole episode the grotesque asymmetry extant between the military capability of Hamas and the IDF is captured in the report which cites that only a single Israeli home was partially damaged by one of Hamas’s enhanced fireworks. It is really hard to imagine how this ‘immense barrage of Hamas rockets’ could only manage to damage one Israeli home. This narrative is a construction of the Israeli media and was apparent in the more recent events in 2018. Massacres are reported as ‘clashes’ with unarmed civilians and para-medics being mown down by IDF snipers, in Israeli terms ‘mowing the grass’.

Hmmm, “mowing the grass” seems to be a favourite sport of the Zionist state. The claim of Israeli self-defence is utterly spurious since it was the IDF which was invading the Palestinian homeland of Gaza and the Palestinians had every right to fight the Israeli occupation/invasion.

Part 3 The Interlude 2009-2014

Operation Cast Lead (OCL) ended in January 2009. This was a period of short respite (by middle eastern standards at least) from the earlier carnage. This is not to say that no further smaller incidents occurred. These incidents were generally arbitrary, and illegal being against international law. One such was the Mavi Marmara episode.

The devastation inflicted on Gaza during OCL was intended to intensify and complement the policy of blockade being imposed upon the people of Gaza. Since access to Gaza by land was difficult perhaps a sea route might be required to run the blockade imposed by the IDF. Of course, such a policy was a flagrant violation of International Law, but the Zionist state backed by its American patron had little regard for such legal niceties.

This being the case that on 11 May 2010 a humanitarian flotilla consisting of 6 vessels including the lead vessel – the Mavi Marmara – was organized to carry food and medicines to the besieged population of Gaza. The flotilla had a complement of 700 passengers (aid workers) and crew and were to deliver 10,000 tons of badly needed supplies to Gaza. The Israeli authorities declared that the flotilla was carrying arms and terrorists to fight the IDF. It would have been easy to check this out by the Israeli Coast Guard when the flotilla entered Israeli waters. But no. Israel sent its heavily armed navy marines to intercept the ships in international waters, in the middle of the night with heavily armed men sliding down on ropes from helicopters.

This unsurprisingly led to pandemonium on the decks and for good measure the Israeli marines shot and killed 9 members of the crew and/or passengers on the lead ship. By any legal criterion this was of course international piracy, a murderous act committed on the high seas. No arms were of course found, but what was found which kitchen knives, which strangely enough were found in the ships’ galleys. As ever the hasbara machine managed to spin the commandos as the victims of the attack. For the Israeli liberal press publication, Haaretz, this was just one atrocity too far.

If OCL was a turning point in the attitude of the world toward us, this operation is the second horror film of the apparently ongoing series.”[15]

In this toxic political and ideological environment both the Israeli authorities and Israeli general public began to enter a mode of utter and surreal denial, not too far removed from clinical schizophrenia:

Some 90% of Israeli Jews supported the decision to stop the flotilla and believed that Israel used the right amount of or NOT ENOUGH force, whilst only 16% supported lifting the siege of Gaza. One of the commandos responsible for killing multiple passengers was reportedly in line for a medal of valour, whilst Deputy Prime Minister, Eli Yishai exhorted Defence Minister, Ehud Barak to award medals to all the commandos stating: ‘The warriors’ courage is exemplary, and they deserve a citation.’[16]

Yep, it takes real guts to shoot someone with an assault rifle when the assailant is coming at you with a kitchen fork.

Of course, the assorted marionettes in the US Congress with puppet-masters Soros and Adelson doubtless pulling the strings lent blind support to Israel throughout this latest diplomatic brouhaha. Typical of this latest outrage, Chuck Schumer, member of the Democratic Party and has also been the Senate Minority Leader since 2017, addressed a meeting of Orthodox Jews after the attack arguing that ‘since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas it made sense to strangle them economically until the see that’s not the way to go.’[17]

As a passing remark it is difficult to be sure of who is whose client state in the present special – very special – relationship between the United States and Israel. As famous and well-respected middle-east journalist, Robert Fisk, wrote today (27/03/19):

By recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, Trump merely recognised that Israel has annexed America.”[18]

You see, those wilful and misguided Palestinians don’t seem to understand that they should vote the way that we instruct them to. After all they have a choice: vote for our candidate or get bombed.

There then of course followed the usual whitewashing exercises carried out in Israel by an ‘independent public commission’ to investigate the ‘maritime incident of 31 May 2010.’ This was to take place under the auspices of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel. Since the outcome had already been decided it seems pointless in limited space to give it any coverage. We’ll just call it “Whitewash 1”. A second Report carried out by a Panel of Enquiry (UN Panel) = “Whitewash 2”. No point going into details since again the outcome was always predetermined.

At this point the general orientation of the UN and NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) began to shift its previous position in support of Palestinian rights and become more sympathetic to the Israelis. (see below).

PART 4 OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE

In terms of realpolitik it was generally understood that the Zionist grand strategy involved both the capture and settlement of Palestinian lands and property on an ongoing and expansionist basis. The Zionist long-term objective of a Greater Israel has never been a secret. According to the founding father of Zionism Theodore Herzl, “the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.” According to Rabbi Fischmann, “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon”. The means by this objective was to be achieved was by a) military conquest, and b) colonialist settlement. This project was fully backed by the US from the outset, with diplomatic, military, and financial support. Such was the goal.

The realization of this goal was predicated on a set of policies (see above) already tried and tested. Since the memories of Cast Lead had begun to fade, IDF trigger fingers began to get itchy: it would be a favourable time for another massacre (or two).

On 14 November 2012 Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defence, which by IDF standards was a pretty low-key affair. However, this was followed by Operation Protective Edge (PE) (08.July.2014)

“It marked the longest and most destructive of Israel’s attacks on Gaza; indeed, it was the ‘most devastating round of hostilities in Gaza since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967.’ OCL (2008-09) lasted 22 days whereas PE lasted fully 51 days. The 350 Palestinian children killed by the IDF in OCL was surpassed by PE who killed 550 children and destroyed 18000 homes … OCL left behind 600,000 tons of rubble whereas PE left behind 2.5 million tons. A feeble and adventurist defence was offered by Hamas who were of course totally outgunned and outnumbered with generally substandard and ineffective weapons. PE was not planned but brought about by the abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

(That seemed hardly surprising albeit was a war crime. It tends to be the norm in colonial wars of this sort that the colonised will tend to fight back – possibly cack-handed and inappropriately – and this was certainly the case during the British mandate where Irgun and Lehi terrorists were hanged by the British authorities. The Irgun took its revenge by kidnapping to British Army NCOs who were hanged in an olive grove, this in addition to having their bodies booby-trapped, a typical Irgun touch that. This in fact occasioned anti-Semitic riots in the British cities of Manchester and Liverpool.)

As the IDF crossed into the strip as an invading force it was difficult to make out who were defending themselves against whom. Gaza was already occupied; it was the Palestinian home who in UN law had every right to defend themselves and their homes, but somehow the IDF became the victims – merely, defending themselves and Israel – thus it was invading Zionist armies who were somehow the victims when in fact they were the aggressors. So, if a thief broke into my house and killed me, he was just ‘defending himself’.

As usual once inside Gaza the IDF let loose with abandon. Gaza’s civilian population and infrastructure – homes, businesses, schools, mosques, hospitals and ambulances, power stations and sewage plants, civilian shelters and civilians in panic flight, came under relentless, indiscriminate, disproportionate and deliberate attack. Israel reportedly fired 20,000 high explosive artillery shells, 14500 tank shells 6,000 missiles and 3500 naval shells into this ghetto. More than 1500 Gazans were killed during the siege to six Israel civilians.

And the west? Those noble states and institutions whose, values, are reputedly elevated and unimpeachable, together with the now chastened NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) who effectively effect changed sides, were infiltrated or both – simply looked the other way.

“The destruction of the sewage works in Gaza was not repaired by the occupation forces,” and “innocent human beings most of them young are slowing being poisoned by the water they drink. They were not only consigned but literally consigned to a slow death. When a place becomes unliveable people move … This is the case of droughts natural disaster or military conflicts as in Syria.”[19]

Yet this last resort is denied to the people of Gaza. They cannot move beyond their 365 square kilometres territory. They cannot escape, neither the devastating poverty nor the fear of another conflict.[20]

Read and weep!

NOTES:-

  • [1]Norman Finklestein Gaza p.237
  • [2]Non-Jewish Zionism: Its Roots in Western History – R.Sharif. (quoted in The Blood Never Dried – John Newsinger – p.131)
  • [3]Newsinger Ibid. p.133
  • [4]Newsinger Ibid. p.147
  • [5]The Independent newspaper 10 May 2010
  • [6] International Crisis Group – Gaza’s Unfinished Business p.19
  • [7] Amos Hare ‘Shooting and Crying.’’ Haaretz. Testimonies of IDF misconduct in Gaza Keep Rolling In. Haaretz 22/03/2009. Breaking the Silence – Soldiers Testimonies pp.21/23 (Testimony 8), 75 (Testimony 32) 88 (Testimony 39) 89, (Testimony 40).
  • [8] The Israel Lobby – p.89. John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt. These statements were not isolated examples. In early 2004 for example Deputy Defence Minister suggested that Palestinian terrorism is due to a ‘genetic blemish’. His views were supported by another member of the Knesset who said that terrorism ‘was in their blood’ and ‘an Arab ‘will stab you in the back’ if you ‘turn your back’ on him. Even the more liberal historian Benny Morris joined in the name calling Palestinians ‘barbarians’ who should be treated like ‘serial killers. These views were pretty mainstream throughout Israel society.
  • [9] Breaking the Silence, Soldiers Testimonies. Ibid
  • [10] Goldstone Report paragraphs 1215, 1892
  • [11] Ibid, para 1898
  • [12] Finklestein, ibid p.117-18, Goldstone Recants: Richard Goldstone Renews Israel’s Licence to Kill – 2011 p.8
  • [13] Finklestein op.cit p.119
  • [14] Finklestein Ibid p.127
  • [15] Gideon Levy – ‘Operation Mini Cast Lead’ – Haaretz – 01 June 2010
  • [16] Finklestein, ibid, p.141
  • [17] Schumer, Huffington Post 10 June 2010
  • [18] Robert Fisk – The Independent – 27 March 2019
  • [19] Sara M. Roy is an American political economist and scholar p.236
  • [20] B’Tselem (Israel Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) – 11 October 2016

Frank Lee left school at age 15 without any qualifications, but gained degrees from both New College Oxford and the London School of Economics (it's a long story). He spent many years as a lecturer in politics and economics, and in the Civil Service, before retirement. He lives in Sutton with his wife and little dog.

Filed under: Arts and Entertainment, book reviews, featured, Israel, Palestine

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Frank Lee left school at age 15 without any qualifications, but gained degrees from both New College Oxford and the London School of Economics (it's a long story). He spent many years as a lecturer in politics and economics, and in the Civil Service, before retirement. He lives in Sutton with his wife and little dog.

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Norman Pilon
Reader

From some of the comments, here, you would think that the savagery directed against the Palestinians by the STATE of Israel is something exceptional, something unique to the Zionist ideology.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is in the nature of bourgeois culture, on which no one nationality or ethnicity or religion or gender has the monopoly, to fancy that those who by the means of their vast wealth command inordinate means to impose their will should be denied their God given right to expropriate by whatever means whomever and whatever numbers, among the less militarily organized and thus more vulnerable to destitution, may be standing in the way of further concentrating their wealth and thereby more firmly entrenching their rule.

Israel is not in any way different from any other settler nation whose origins hearken back to the imperializing powers of Europe, but not only Europe, but as an echo of any empire whatsoever that was ever premised upon the expansion and domination of capital.

To quote from a piece by Tess Lee Ack :

Quote begins:

Racism is neither an age-old phenomenon, nor inherent in human beings’ fear of “the other”. Racism as we know it today developed under capitalism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, initially as a justification for the slavery that condemned millions of mainly African people to miserable lives and early deaths as they worked the sugar, cotton and tobacco plantations of the New World. Their labour produced stupendous wealth for the plantation owners and laid the basis for the rapid development of capitalism as the dominant mode of production on a global scale.

Slavery was the only way to develop the colonies of the New World: “With the limited population of Europe in the sixteenth century, the free labourers necessary [did not exist] in the quantities adequate to permit large-scale production. Slavery was necessary for this.”[45]But slavery ran counter to ideas about the “equality of man” used by the rising bourgeoisie in their struggle to displace the feudal ruling class with its ideology of the divine right of monarchs and a rigidly hierarchical society in which everyone had their place and stayed there. The new ideology, summed up in the slogan of the French Revolution, “Liberty, equality, fraternity”, was crucial in rallying the plebeian masses behind the bourgeoisie, purporting to give them an interest in the victory of a new minority exploiting class. The fact that the masses took these new ideas seriously and were prepared to fight for them greatly assisted the triumph of the bourgeoisie. But once the new capitalist order was established, such democratic ideas, and the people who espoused them, became a nuisance. Ideas about “free labour” were potentially a hindrance to the making of enormous profits.

The capitalists needed a way to justify the enslavement and inhuman treatment of millions of people and found it in the creation of a new, pseudo-scientific ideology that for the first time divided human beings into a hierarchy on the basis of physical characteristics. There was supposedly a range of “races” representing different levels of human development, from “advanced” and “civilised” to “primitive” and even “subhuman”. To give just one example: the French naturalist and botanist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) believed there were three distinct races: Caucasian (white), Mongolian (yellow) and Ethiopian (black). He theorised that the original human race (descended from Adam and Eve) was Caucasian, while the other two developed separately from survivors who fled a natural disaster. Rating each “race” on the basis of the “beauty” of their skulls and the quality of their “civilisations”, he concluded that the white race was superior on both counts. Blacks, on the other hand were at the bottom. He wrote:

“The Negro race…is marked by black complexion, crisped of woolly hair, compressed cranium and a flat nose. The projection of the lower parts of the face, and the thick lips, evidently approximate it to the monkey tribe: the hordes of which it consists have always remained in the most complete state of barbarism.[46]”

Thus, with the help of a layer of the intelligentsia, “A racial twist has…been given to what is basically an economic phenomenon. Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.”[47]

As a creature of slavery and empire, racism was central to the development of European and North American capitalism. As Marx put it:

“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.[48]”

Racism’s usefulness to the capitalist class did not end with the eventual demise of the slave trade. On the contrary, the now established ideas about the supposed inferiority of Africans could easily be extended to non-white races in Asia and other parts of the globe as they were subjected to nineteenth century European imperialist expansion in the form of colonialism. The subjugation of indigenous peoples, the disruption of their societies, the theft of their land, the destruction of their culture and the plundering of their resources were carried out by imperialist states and justified by racism. Colonialism was even invested with a sense of nobility of purpose, with notions such as the “white man’s burden” popularised by Rudyard Kipling. In the nineteenth century, pseudo-scientific theories such as social Darwinism and eugenics – products of the middle class intelligentsia – played a significant role in legitimising racism. And as it had done with slavery, institutionalised religion played its part in making racism respectable; missionaries blithely ignored the supposed Christian creed of the “brotherhood of man” as they served the cause of empire.

Quote ends.

Israel is not a people. It is a state like so many others. It is, in other words, an operation. At bottom an economic operation if also carried through by military means, like so many others in this day and age, and as happened time and again around the world in last several hundred years or so..

Properly designated, the state of Israel is nothing if not but another concrete instance among so many others of what the word ‘capitalism’ properly designates.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Norm:

It matters little in the final analysis, but I would say that racism and Jaati caste politics are as old as man: or at around 3,500 years – at least as old as civilisation. Capitalism definitely took all the age old schisms and oppressions and exploited them: extrapolating the modern hierarchical caste system of ultra-violence and hyper-exploitation from their ancient foundations.

And I definitely can’t fault that post-Darwin – hierarchical indenticism became geneticism and eugenicism. As forewarned in the prophetic ‘Mismeasure of Man’ – the ‘Bell Curve’ and other pseudo-scientific tosh tried to concretise race and IQ – as a scientific facts of individuated identity – as a biologically-determined construct. To justify the ideologically-determined construct of Jaati caste politics. Now known as the ‘relations of production’ or class relations. For profit.

Capitalism has taken all the factors of identity – inter alia, name/prename (individuation determiner); age (numerical discriminator); biological sex (gender discriminator); nationality/race (ethnic nationalism/race discriminator); religion (religious discriminator); IQ (cognitive discriminator) – and systemically commoditised identity into class and social scripts; stereotypes; institutionalised rules, regulations and behavioural norms; and preformed social templates into which we are fitted – whether we like it or not. We are presented with a more or less pre-determined, pre-assigned identity – with very little real social mobility – handed to us at birth. For which we say, “thank you very much” …and rarely challenge its systemic identity classificational validity.

It is presented on the basis of an evolutionarily determined, heritable set of reductive, mechanical, cognitive sub-systems – each genetically blueprinted – of which race is a major determiner and attributer – as part of a morphogenetic, phylogenetic, ontogenetic, hardwired and hormonally determined system of isolated identity. Set within a morphogenetic, phylogenetic, ontogenetic, hardwired and hormonally determined system of isolated identity. Set within …in case no one has noticed the capitalist anthropic and anthropogenic principle – there is only us here with instrumental agency and dominion over all else.

And after our cursory bad education, during which most of us probably weren’t paying much attention – but we nevertheless absorbed and internalised the reductive materialist DNA of the Cartesian Error Protocols: we all say – “thank you very much, capitalism” with sorting us out with everything we need to never get on, and remain in conflicted castes, sub-castes, and Untouchable Untermensch groupings. While ensuring a steady stream of profit from the misery.

Whatever happened to humanity? Asked virtually no one as we are fully entangled in individuation and its concomitant – Othering. Except for our lonely, isolated, vulnerable, threatened, alienated and abandoned fearful POV – we are all someone elses Other …capitalisms Other. Everyone is subjectively an isolated object to everyone else’s POV. And everyone, it seems, is against everyone else.

Once we get beyond the fact that this is anything other than scientism – that there is nothing biologically determining the outcome – perhaps we can move on? The whole complex and nexus of identitarian constructs we have inherited is erroneous and dehumanising. Not equally dehumanising, but hierarchically alienating and globally distributed violence on a caste and sub-humanising industrial scale. The modern roots are anchored in class relations.

Capitalism is the enemy: not race. Race is not even a thing. It is a weaponised tool of violent oppression: which cannot be reduced to any physical or neural substrates. Treating it as a thing legitimates the oppression. It is part of a caste set of oppressions that come with our predetermined, socially scripted scientifically individual identity. WE ARE NOT THAT IDENTITY. We cannot be reductively determined for existing relations of production, caste codes, intelligence quotients, behavioural traits, algorithmic monetised reward and punishment schedules ….WE ARE NOT SUBMISSIVE SLAVE-OBJECTS determined by a set of predefined nominative classificatory labels. So why do we act like it?

When the still-free socialists of the industrial world reject the capitalised scientific individualism we are indoctrinated into: rejecting capitalism and champagne socialism out of hand – Gaza goes away. But probably not before. We need a new humanism – not one built on individuality, that is an obvious nonsense. Every individuated humanism is a failed God. We are only weak when we are alone. Together, all we have to fear is our freedom. Can that be any more scary than the fascism rising in Israel and elsewhere? There is only one way to stop it: and it is not the capitalist determined scientism and psychologism of disunity.

Norman Pilon
Reader

“It matters little in the final analysis, but I would say that racism and Jaati caste politics are as old as man: or at around 3,500 years – at least as old as civilisation.”

The operative phrase in this respect, I think, is “racism as we know it today.”

So, yes, I think that tribalism, or the phenomenon of ‘group identity,’ is probably something at least as old as homo sapiens.

The difficulty today is for those of us being used and abused by the upper castes to break with our inculcated reflexes of deeming those selfsame castes as being in their interests the legitimate ‘leaders’ of the masses they manipulate and exploit, to rather better recognize ourselves in everyone everywhere, in those who are now universally and similarly trampled and injured under capital.

To quote more relevant detail from Tess Lee Ack:

Quote begins:

In a letter written in 1870, Marx described the division of the working class in England into two hostile camps (English and Irish workers) as “the secret of the impotence of the English working class”, creating a situation in which “The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life…feels himself as a member of the ruling nation, and so turns himself into a tool of the aristocrats of his country against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself.” Marx noted how this hostility was “artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling class”, so that this antagonism was also “the secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power. And that class is fully aware of it.”[49]

Racism allows white workers an illusory sense of power insofar as they see themselves as part of the dominant group in society, while at the same time providing scapegoats against whom to turn the anger that should properly be directed towards the ruling class.

Today, it is the capacity of racism to divide the working class and divert workers’ discontent away from the capitalists and direct it towards the chosen scapegoats of the day which is most useful to the capitalist class. One of the great advantages of racism, from the ruling class’s point of view, is that it can be adapted to the needs of the capitalist class at any given time. Racism can be directed against any ethnic group, at home or abroad, that the ruling class sees as a problem; and in more recent times we have seen how racism based on physical characteristics can be morphed into and merged with a racism based on “cultural differences”, as with Islamophobia, and used in the same way. In the early days of white settlement, Irish workers and Catholicism were stigmatised and demonised in much the same way as Muslim workers and Islam are today, reflecting the racism that existed in British society. Moreover, a significant number of the Irish convicts transported to Australia were in effect political prisoners, and Irish nationality was associated with anti-British sentiment and general rebelliousness. Anti-Irish racism (and discrimination against Catholics) persisted in Australia right up to the 1970s, but has now virtually disappeared.[50] This adaptability suggests that racist attitudes are neither natural nor an underlying constant: they have to be continually manufactured and reinforced by those at the top of capitalist society and their middle class ideologues.

Quote ends.

We need a new humanism, to be sure.

But first the oppressed will have to learn to recognize themselves as the oppressed, as well as across national borders and a multitude of other ideological divides.

Otherwise, as things stand, people will continue to inadvertently bind themselves to the divisive and disorientating diktats of their capitalist oppressors.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

There was a brief attempt to address these issues a decade ago, in the context of the first of the recurring Gaza Massacres, which was greeted with joyful celebration in various synagogues. Apparently, it only succeeded in confirming what everybody already subconsciously knew, and was promptly swept back under the carpet, where it has since remained.

I realize that people may find this hard to credit, if they haven’t seen it with their own eyes. However, the evidence isn’t particularly hard to find:

In the midst of the carnage in Gaza, it defies belief that my synagogue has asked me to march in solid support of Israel

In any conflict between peoples, there is a time for balancing the books, for placing facts neatly in the debit and credit columns, for issuing measured statements about the rights and wrongs on both sides. But not in the midst of one-sided carnage. The only decent thing to feel at the present time is outrage. The only thing for decent people to do right now is to condemn, without reserve or qualification, the brutal campaign that the Israeli military is waging against the population of Gaza. Every if and but derogates from decency.

Earlier this week, my synagogue sent its members an email containing details of two rallies in support of Israel “which we would urge you to support”. No ifs and buts here, just solid support for the perpetrator in the midst of the horror it is perpetrating. Is it possible to go further in the opposite direction to decency?

Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.

So, let me place on record the following fact: the board does not speak for all British Jews and certainly not for this one. Nor does the so-called Leadership Council, nor any of the organisations associated with this misbegotten event. None of them represents me or the Judaism that I cherish and which leads me to say as follows: I condemn utterly the military offensive by the government of Israel against the people of Gaza. The loss of any human life, on whatever side of this conflict, is a terrible thing. At this juncture, though, my heart is with the Palestinians on the ground in the midst of their misery. And I extend my hand to those Israelis who are speaking out against their own government.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

from one of the comments on the Guardian article:

COMMUNAL LEADERS CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

LONDON – (7th January 2009) – Leading figures in the Jewish community have joined together today to urge as many people as possible to join this Sundays rally in Trafalgar Square, which will call for Peace in Israel and Peace in Gaza. The rally, together with a parallel event in Manchesters Albert Square, will bring together communities from all over the country who will express their solidarity with Israel and their desire for a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the conflict.

Israel needs and deserves your support now – please be there on Sunday.

— Henry Grunwald QC, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council

On Sunday we will come together once again in unity to show our solidarity for the people of Israel. I urge you all to join us. Our prayers at this time continue to be for a just and lasting peace for the people of the region.

— Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

Please join our Rally, Sunday morning and help end Hamas Terror by showing your support for Israel’s just cause.

— Alfred Magnus, President of the Board of Elders of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Congregation

Everyone should support Israel’s determination to weaken the hold of the terrorists. It is only when terror and blackmail are successfully opposed that the moderate majority can feel safe to make peace.

— Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield, Head of the Movement for Reform Judaism

The Assembly of Masorti Synagogues urges its members to stand with Israel at this critical time and join the rally on Sunday.

— Jeremy Kelly & Bill Benjamin, Co-Chairmen, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues

We ask all London Jewry to attend the rally in Trafalgar Square this Sunday to express their fervent wish that Hamas terror should end so that there will be peace for all the innocent people in the region.

— Simon Hochhauser, President of the United Synagogue

The Board of Deputies is the representative body of the British Jewish Community.

BigB
Reader
BigB

M:

I think you might find it hard to credit that some of us have been aware of the problem for forty years. You keep holding up the problem as a solution. We do not need to be convinced. We know who the oppressors are, and we know who the oppressed are. We’ve seen both sides of the racist divide. And we’ve watched as our leaders have disowned the Palestinian time and time again, backing Israel’s right to “self-determination and self-defence”. WE KNOW THE FUCKING PROBLEM! I even went to see the play you linked to. Stop trying to teach us to suck eggs!

No one wants to trivialise the Palestinian slow genocide as an open festering wound on the cancerous corpse of inhumanity …but it is not the only lesion there is. If you step back: you will see that the humanisation/dehumanisation; ingroup/outgroup; Master/Slave alienation dialectic is ubiquitous throughout history. This is not the first slow cultural genocide, and it will not be the last. Unfortunately, they are ten-a-penny. Cultural genocide, that is not explicitly and openly violent, is more or less ubiquitous.

No one needs to be convinced how inhumane the situation in Gaza is. Or how wrong the justification of it is. Believe it or not, there is a bigger context to the pan-historic cycles of violence, genocide, apartheid, inhumanity. You can only be inhuman if you do not understand your own humanity. You can only intentionally dehumanise someone if you do not understand your own humanity. Which is why I call the current cultural hegemon – of man’s inhumanity to man, and man’s inhumanity to nature – the Capitalist Extinction Protocols.

These dehumanising principles have taken millennia to encode; and will take generations – if not millennia – to decode with our systemically denied consciousness. There is no need to keep pointing out the problem. The only critique you will get from me is that it is not a specifically ‘Judaised’ problem. That is a profound denigration of what we all face. Those of us who are not actually being shot at or droned are the only ones who can rightfully address the solution – which is a Universal Humanity.

Your assertive policing of everyone who does not fit your particular remit and array of solutions – cos no one’s tried blaming the “95% of Jews that are Zionists” approach before in history – with your limited lexicon of ‘shills’ and ‘trolls’ isn’t particularly helpful. However unlikely it might seem, however infinitesimally small the the chances are – peace is the only solution for ALL of humanity – oppressor or oppressed.

We’ve been articulating discrimination, sectarianism, scapegoating, alienating, and dehumanisation since the year dot. We know how it plays out. Look where it has brought us – to the verge of destruction. To keep going with the same old behavioural responses that have caused untold oppression – of humanity, of biotic life, and of the planet itself – expecting a different result is surely insane?

Ramdan
Reader
Ramdan

This time I have to AGREE with you.
We are done reading, we are done talking, we are done looking. We NEED INMEDIATE CHANGE at all levels or we will be all doom.
Humanity is only one, human is only one, planet is only one.

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Bowie’s ‘Knights’ of the long knives , ?

& Future Legend

And in the death
As the last few corpses lay rotting on the slimy thoroughfare
The shutters lifted in inches in Temperance Building
High on Poacher’s Hill
And red mutant eyes gaze down on Hunger City
No more big wheels
Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
Like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of Love-Me Avenue
Ripping and rewrapping mink and shiny silver fox, now legwarmers
Family badge of sapphire and cracked emerald
Any day now . . .

the year of the Diamond Dogs

This ain’t rock n’ roll, this is Genocide !

in Gaza Today, roll on Up & See reality !

Apply for Visas, fast & remember no forbidden chocolate ! !

So, will the real Slim Shady & Jeremy Corbyn, please stand up, please stand up and nail Tony BLiar’s ass to the wall, with the BUSHES, for all eternity,

& whilst yer’ at it, nail Murdoch ? ? ? With LEVESON-2.0

The Sun & Times & News Int. all shine brightly on Murdoch’s smoke & mirrors for the Goliath GENIE of Golan & Gaza gravitating to Genocide ? The Sun represents nothing more than Corporate War-mongering propaganda, since Murdoch bought it, almost immediately after the Israelis wholly illegally occupied the Golan Heights, strategically for water and total regional control of Communications and all mainstream media. See ?

LEVESON2.0

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

For those too young to remember, Bowie declined her majesty’s offers of Knighthood . . .

Real people cannot be bought & sold as aristocratic pawns of principle !

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

No wonder the Israelis work so hard at calling anyone who criticizes them antisemitic , and wonder why most human beings that have been paying attention despise their actions. They most certainly don’t know how to look seriously at themselves in the mirror .
Prof.Norman Finkelstein has done a very good expose of the history and their criminal behavior .It is people like him , Ilan Pappe , Miko Peled and so many others,historians and political analysts , that have shed light on the machinations of the tribe .

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

No wonder the Israelis work so hard at calling anyone who criticizes them antisemitic

Maybe it’s time to start taking these claims at face value. Recognize that “semitism” is Jewish ethnic supremacism, of which zionism is only the most violent and extreme expression, and “anti-semitism” is any meaningful opposition to these policies. Every decent person should be “anti-semitic”, once they understand what semitism really is.

Judonia Rising — The Israel Lobby and American Society, by Joachim Martillo

(awaiting arrival of the “not all jews …” sabbat goyim — three, two, one …)

BigB
Reader
BigB

Was that your April Fool’s contribution?

Race is a weaponised politico-ideological radical constructivism: based on bad biology, poor psychology, absent morality. liberally coated with fear and militant defensiveness. Indeed, not only “not all Jews” but rapidly, not all anyone or anything. If we are going to reduce humanity to neural substrates, genetically coded – which is all race is – then it should proceed from the fact that no two people anywhere have structurally and functionally identical brains. We are each unique.

What shapes humanity is ideology, cultural coercion, social narratives, environmental factors – which are all radical epigenetic factors subject to rapid change. If race becomes concretised, as it is, as a politico-ideological moral touchstone – then that is yet another reason to develop a Universal Humanist life politique that includes all victims of radical constructivist racist race – whether oppressor, or oppressed.

No race,no racism. Only Universal Humanism.

If the socio-politcal definitions are dictated by politico-ideological disinformation and pseudo-academic neurobabble – such as the concretising of the IHRA definitions – then comment and personal fear constructed race theories – based on bad education and subordinacy to poor authoritarian leadership – become the narrative trap, social script, and pernicious stereotyping priors of deepening race sectarianism. These are the epigenetic factors that shape race politics. And naive authoritarianly biddable mindsets.

Race does not exist in reality. Race does not exist in biology. Race does not exist in cognitive neuroscience. Race is rapidly becoming neuroscience fiction. A fixation only in capitalist Cartesian Error politics. But carry on trying to fix mediaeval tropes in the 21st century mind, where they no longer belong.

(Cue “that will not work on the neurocohens” or “tell that to the Syrians, Palestinians, and Venezuelans” — one, two, three)

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

… zero.

Note that I made no mention of “race”. Maybe that’s your worldview.

standard question for anti-zionist GoodThinkers:

Among people who self-identify as “Jewish”, what are the relative proportions of zionists and anti-zionists?

Why might that be?

(anti-zionist GoodThinkers are extremely reluctant to address this question, because they know, at least subconsciously, that any plausible answer would explode their theory, and verge on CrimeThink. but implausible answers just make them look like an idiot, or a hasbara shill. exercising proper reality control allows them to just ignore the issue, and pretend it doesn’t exist.)

Bryan Kinnear
Reader
Bryan Kinnear

What is “ethnic supremacism” without a race or ethnic construct? Words on a page, a militantly defended cherished opinion based on uncritically absorbed prehistoric opinions and internalised unquestioned Error Protocol assumptions?

Talking of unconscious appropriation: I answered your question in December. I do not know, and neither do you. Not only is it impossible to answer such pseudo-questions: the results can only be based over reductive stochastic randomised sampling. Such wool-gathering statistical analysis is a itself a root dehumanisation. Especially if the reductive assumptive answer is “100%”. Have you asked all “self-identifying” Jews yourself?

What is the “correct” answer so i can gain your personally particularised social peer administered authortarianist approval? Conforming social opinion the the greater capitalist Cartesian Error authoritarian Protocols.

Or could it be that everyone is a human – subjected to such peer administered micro-imperialsm. Something which a 21st century radical humanist education could address?

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

What is “ethnic supremacism” without a race or ethnic construct?

What is a “Jewish State” without such? Why would anybody who wasn’t an ethnic supremacist, offer their support and encouragement to such a project?

Especially if the reductive assumptive answer is “100%”. Have you asked all “self-identifying” Jews yourself?

It’s obviously not 100%; it’s easy to find prominent counter-examples, such as Norman Finkelstein, and by his account, his own parents.

An accurate statistic might be arrived at by comparing the number of people affiliated with the mainstream zionist Jewish organizations, with the membership of the (tiny) anti-zionist Jewish organizations. Everybody, including you, knows that ratio would be well over 95% zionists. If somehow you DON’T know that, you either haven’t been paying attention, or are highly skilled at reality control.

There’s no need to ask them individually; if they weren’t at least passive supporters of the zionist entity, they wouldn’t associate themselves with organizations which celebrate every grotesque massacre and apartheid policy it carries out. Unlike the Good Germans, they can’t claim they didn’t know.

You might try offering your 21st-century radical-humanist education to the congregation at a synagogue, or a Jewish community centre, by standing outside and handing out leaflets, or something like that. It would be an edifying experience for you, if not for them. If you decide to try it, please let us know how it goes.

If you decide against it, perhaps that’s an indication that you already know what the results would be.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Broadly similar to taking “let’s blame the Jews” and “95% of Jews are Zionists” extrapolated from a back of a stamp guestimate based on redundant reductive racial stereotypes that you choose to recycle though you know not from whence they came. Lysson’s 12th century “Pasque di Sangue”?

Take Toaff to the synagogue …I’ll take by chances …I don’t fancy yours much though.

Or you could try listening to what I am saying, and not keep defending the status quo with status quo strawmen. Until we develop a new paradigm for all humanity – one that truly allows us ALL to be human – and not discriminate the vast majority as somehow less than human – which decodes as proto-subhuman …then it goes on.

The world as it is has no solutions for the intractable problems of the world as it is. It is really that simple. Every solution we have come up with is a failed humanism …including Buddhism. We need a bluesky radical reappraisal of humanity: one that is emerging …if not locally.

Think about it. When did you first encounter the root definitions of identity? On your birth certificate perhaps? The root oppression was handed to you at birth. Can you be reduced to a few cursory labels?

No, so neither can anyone else.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

I guess you decided to forego the radical-humanist/synagogue/leaflet experiment, then; “perhaps that’s an indication that you already know what the results would be.”

anti-zionist GoodThinkers are extremely reluctant to address this question, because they know, at least subconsciously, that any plausible answer would explode their theory, and verge on CrimeThink. but implausible answers just make them look like an idiot, or a hasbara shill. exercising proper reality control allows them to just ignore the issue, and pretend it doesn’t exist.

If obscurantist twaddle is all you’ve got, then there’s really not much choice but to keep churning it out. At least it allows you to evade questions which would otherwise expose you as either an idiot, or a hypocrite.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Yawn!

As did you with the control experiment of leafleting ‘Lysson’s Lies’ about ‘Blood Libel’ and the Holodomor being perpetrated purely for Jewish ethnic suprematism – even though there was no intentional genocidal Holodomor. Let me know how you get on?

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Unlike you, I’ve actually participated in the experiment of leafletting organized Jewry, with material prepared specifically for the purpose by self-identified “anti-zionist Jews”, who I thought deserved my support on that occasion.

It was a highly educational experience for me, if not for them, although not one that I see any point in repeating. I hadn’t really understood up until then, how unbelievably vile these people actually are.

Perhaps you could try the experiment yourself, and then consider who really merits your accusations of “racism”. But it’s undoubtedly more pleasant, and less dangerous, to keep your head firmly wedged up your ass, while pontificating about the new paradigm for all humanity, that you’ve developed from that viewpoint.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Racism responded to with racism = algorithmic programmable racism.

Only an idiot who wants to justify their own highly programmed response as legitimate cannot see where the above dialectic leads. It has taken millennia to encode such consciousless behaviorism: it will take generations to uncode it with consciousness. Those generations of time have to start somewhere, with someone breaking the cycle. The Palestinians have, as far as I can see, tried to limit the schedule of ‘mowing the grass’ violence. This has done nothing except encourage the IDF and their Rabinical puppet masters.

The solution is not in the One State or Two State solutions. The legal Right of Return and the illegal Right of Settlement are mutually exclusive. The Likudnics are violently pre-determined to oppose ANY solution at all, hence the apartheid Nation State laws.

Jeremy Corbyn betrayed humanity, universalism, and specifically the Palestinians by accepting the IHRA. Apart from toothless cooing noises about possible war crimes (possible!) coming from the UN – sibbilantly whispered by the snake Corbyn, and the ——- Thornberry – the rest of the international community – if it is not openly supportive of the ritualised murder of children, medics and journalists – is complicit by it silence.

Tom Watson, for all the world, looks like he is planning to takeover the Labour Party of Israel (Westmonster Branch) – no doubt with Tony and Mark’s approval, if not complicit help. To form a Zionist government of international solidarity with Israel.

I’m not playing virtue signalling, but I have lived in Jewish communities in London and seen both sides of the divide. As it stands, the problem is intractable.

But I can say, with logical, rational, and empiric certainty that problems caused by ethnic supremacist racism CANNOT and WILL NOT EVER be diffused by racism.

It is a no-brainer, that only a braindead reactive behaviourist conditioned responder could refuse to acknowledge. Even worse, actually endorse.

The only chance the Palestinians and the oppressed everywhere have, is that peace loving people everywhere move the evolution of peace on – without our Zionist and crypto-Zionist masters. The ruling classes are interested in the ruling classes – they have no ionterest in peace. It will have to come from elsewhere. From me and you, and everyone else that has tried and been kettled and recuperated by traditional means.

So stop being so totally and predictably fatuous and start thinking outside the box.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic


The Palestinians have, as far as I can see, tried to limit the schedule of ‘mowing the grass’ violence. This has done nothing except encourage the IDF and their Rabinical puppet masters.

The solution is not in the One State or Two State solutions. The legal Right of Return and the illegal Right of Settlement are mutually exclusive. The Likudnics are violently pre-determined to oppose ANY solution at all, hence the apartheid Nation State laws.

I have lived in Jewish communities in London and seen both sides of the divide. As it stands, the problem is intractable.

The only chance the Palestinians and the oppressed everywhere have, is that peace loving people everywhere move the evolution of peace on – without our Zionist and crypto-Zionist masters.

So stop being so totally and predictably fatuous and start thinking outside the box.

In order to escape our Zionist and crypto-Zionist masters, one must first learn to identify them. Deluding oneself about who they are, and how many they are, does not make the problem more tractable, but less so.

Thinking outside the box might include realizing that when people endlessly repeat that “anti-zionism is the same thing as anti-semitism”, they actually mean it, and considering what the political implications of that might be. There seems to have been a long-term, concerted effort to prevent anybody from escaping from that ideological box, as Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir have explained.

bevin
Reader
bevin

“…standard question for anti-zionist GoodThinkers: Among people who self-identify as “Jewish”, what are the relative proportions of zionists and anti-zionists?”

You tell us. You appear to have convinced yourself that the answer is so obvious that it need not be given. But I have no idea what you’re suggesting. I presume that you do. But I’m not certain.

Of course the same objection might be made about this:
“(anti-zionist GoodThinkers are extremely reluctant to address this question, because they know, at least subconsciously, that any plausible answer would explode their theory, and verge on CrimeThink. but implausible answers just make them look like an idiot, or a hasbara shill. exercising proper reality control allows them to just ignore the issue, and pretend it doesn’t exist.)

What does that mean? Or should we all know the answer?

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

quoting myself, above:

An accurate statistic might be arrived at by comparing the number of people affiliated with the mainstream zionist Jewish organizations, with the membership of the (tiny) anti-zionist Jewish organizations. Everybody, including you, knows that ratio would be well over 95% zionists. If somehow you DON’T know that, you either haven’t been paying attention, or are highly skilled at reality control.

There’s no need to ask them individually; if they weren’t at least passive supporters of the zionist entity, they wouldn’t associate themselves with organizations which celebrate every grotesque massacre and apartheid policy it carries out. Unlike the Good Germans, they can’t claim they didn’t know.

There was a brief attempt to address these issues a decade ago, in the context of the first of the recurring Gaza Massacres, which was greeted with joyful celebration in various synagogues. Apparently, it only succeeded in confirming what everybody already subconsciously knew, and was promptly swept back under the carpet, where it has since remained.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2009/feb/18/israelandthepalestinians-religion

One might also ask how much support Norman Finkelstein has received from Jewish organizations, while he was being unpersoned for his unceasing activism on behalf of Palestine.

But you already know the answer to that question. Everybody does; it’s only through the constant practice of reality control that they can avoid knowing that they know it.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic
BigB
Reader
BigB

“But you already know the answer to that question. Everybody does; it’s only through the constant practice of reality control that they can avoid knowing that they know it.”

People who throw accusations of “obscurantist twaddle” really should avoid coming up with tautological doozies like this one. It seems like through reality control that there is quite a lot you have avoided knowing that you know it!

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Perhaps you’re not as intellectually sophisticated as you think you are, or you might have recognized that reference.

I myself make no pretence at intellectual sophistication; the sort of discourse you produce is a paradigmatic example of what I would prefer to avoid.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.

George Orwell — 1984

flaxgirl
Reader

Massive indictment.

BI-BI has BIG-BIG ambitions. Sounds like Hitler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm7Er8Bpijg
Speaking at “Securing Our Interests” at IDC Herzliya, a private research university in Herzliya, Israel.

flaxgirl
Reader
Jen
Reader
Jen

Is Off-Guardian’s resident village idiot Antonym aware that Frank Lee reviewed a book written by a Jewish writer and former academic whose parents both survived being incarcerated in concentration camps during WWII?

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

You lost your village idiot: make do now with mark or Flaxgirl.

Norman Finkelstein was born in 1953 in Brooklyn NY.

flaxgirl
Reader

So they killed 3,000 on 9/11 and injured 6,000 and the only loved ones “marching on Washington” are Bob McIlvaine, the Jersey Widows and a few others. All adds up to you does it Antonym? You wouldn’t have been bothered, of course, would you, if a loved one of yours and disintegrated in those buildings. You’d have swallowed Bush and Cheney’s nonsense just like ALL THE 6,000 injured on the day and the vast majority of the loved ones of the 3,000 murdered by the state laid very, very low just as they have.

flaxgirl
Reader

That was foolish – the vast majority of the 6,000 injured on the day.

Jen
Reader
Jen

Norman Finkelstein certainly was born in the United States as you say – but both his parents between them survived incarceration in the Warsaw Ghetto and concentration camps at Majdanek and Auschwitz. This is no secret: in his writing, Finkelstein has referred to his parents’ WWII experiences.

We certainly lost you as the village idiot because not even a village idiot would have failed as massively as you have in replying to my trolling comment with a non sequitur.

At least historically a village idiot contributed something useful to his/her community.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Michael Cromer
Reader
Michael Cromer

Why were Jews chosen to live alone in Zion? – Why have Muslims been ‘integrated’ into multicultural societies regardless of the fact that nobody considered the outcome?

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

The Gaza Industry – on all 8 cylinders, by the religion of peace (of the graveyard).

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

There a very differing perceptions.
For example you see it as ‘The Gaza Industry – on all 8 cylinders’

On the other hand Media-lens say, ‘Four people “have died” in Gaza, the BBC News at 10 past 10 reports. They just can’t bring themselves to report the bare, minimal truth: the Israeli army killed four Palestinian protestors, shot them dead’.

The historical abuse of Jews is one of the reasons (but not the only one) for the latitude given to Israel despite it being an oppressive state that regularly flouts international norms in order to commit human rights abuses.

It sounds like you have little sympathy for Palestinians but this interview with Finklestein may change your outlook?

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

“State of Terror – How terrorism Created Modern Israel” – Thomas Suarez – with 680 references, each one having a description in detail.

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

Even the Guardian becomes more ingestable than Off-G !

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Why don’t you go away, then?

Surely the hasbara managers can find a new assignment for you.

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

I definitely will.

Good initiative derailed into Gazan quicksands by the I$lami$t$ and their Western lefty “brothers”.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

You mean you can’t even imagine a scenario (admittedly improbable), where the psychotic portion of Israel’s Zionist identity is actually dragged before an international tribunal, and that tribunal is finally obliged to admit, “We have never before witnessed such proceedings where everybody is in attendance except the accused…”? Well I certainly can.
Of course the super-criminals in this case hide behind their much larger, but not-very-bright US big brother, as well as hiding behind the cheap fashion of the day, which is to call it “antisemitic” to protest in the face of this particular genocide…
But it has all been said many times before.
Your schoolboy chatter about “lefty brothers” does not belong in adult discussion. People are supposed to mature with age, not regress. They are supposed to look at the evidence and stick to the point.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Zionists only do Win-lose and are big on ad hominem because they consider themselves an elite.

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

Does this imply you approve of Israels methods, or that the media should not discuss human rights abuses that are being committed – according to right wing elements in the Labour party it is now antisemitic to question Israel’s motives?

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Well I would like you to stay , if you are not a Hasbara troll. But to restrict your activities to discussing/debating your topics. Enough with the name-calling. Having contrary views helps us all inch up on the truth. Here there is plenty to discuss about Gaza and the book. Do it. The name-calling is a most primitive approach to a serious issue, and because almost no one likes Israel, does not = anti-semitism. Israel has earned the opprobrium.

I believe most don’t want Israel to die. Many of us admire Jews and some of what Israel has done, but less and less. You of course know that already, so don’t insult everyone’s intelligence and contribute your point of view to what seems to me to be a tolerant and civil site, for the most part. If someone calls you an idiot, it can mean that you have offended them. Why not take the high road?

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

We want a single state for all with equality for the Palestinians including financial equality.

Antonym
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Antonym

Gagging on Gaza, again and again and again. Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Baluchistan etc. do not exist.

Get therapy.

christopher rogers
Reader
christopher rogers

Its apparent this coward of a poster has zero morality – unlike you, I post under my own ID and condemn all violence against innocents, and that includes events in the Occupied Territories.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

When last I looked the Baluchistan Board of Deputies had not tried to make vile accusations against our opposition leader and try to influence our elections.