April 11, 2010
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Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton
April 11, 2010
Posted: 11 Apr 2010 10:05 AM PDT
Posted: 11 Apr 2010 10:01 AM PDT
The argument that the New York Times has been pushing that children who throw stones at occupying Israeli soldiers are important evidence of the violence of the Palestinian protests (rather than impulsive angry resistance) is echoed (what a surprise) by a new Israeli term: "popular terror," to label these bad children who throw stones. Journalist Didi Remez picks up the Maariv story on the IDF's use of dogs against these kids as a "non-lethal" option.
"Disturbances have increased throughout Judea and Samaria in recent months," says Maariv; thus the IDF will turn to the "Oketz dog." Oketz is an army unit, with the charmingly choppy resonance of totalitarian names across Europe back in the day. I tell you: this is a society in deep spiritual crisis, now in an apartheid struggle, no longer on the verge of one. But expect the U.S. press to catch up to this story in 3 years, when it is too late to avert worse bloodshed.
Posted: 11 Apr 2010 09:41 AM PDT
More on Israel in crisis. David Horovitz, the editor of the Jerusalem Post, and a leading Israel lobbyist, publishes a soulless list of Israeli employment and education statistics compiled by an Israeli-American scholar, Dan Ben-David, that show that: Educated Israelis are fleeing the country, and that the growing Palestinian minority is not as educated as its Jewish counterpart, and the Palestinians are way underemployed.
The significance of these figures is, that it doesn't matter if you talk about the Green Line or the '48 territories, or the occupied territories, Israelis must learn to live with Palestinians. This is our Jewish test in the 21st century, to reckon with our power. To quote the great Meir Ariel song about the bifurcated soul of Israel/Palestine: "At the end of every sentence you say in Hebrew sits an Arab with a Nargilah."
Until Jews come to terms with their other, there will be no progress. Israelis must open their hearts, and emulate the gentile governors of the west, and liberalize their society and extend all the privileges of Jews to Palestinians. It's the only way. Imagine if Israel could be a light unto the world?
Here is Horovitz's analysis [emphases mine]:
Posted: 11 Apr 2010 09:26 AM PDT
A letter from Desmond Tutu to the divestment-sponsors at the University of California, circulated by Emily Schaeffer, human right lawyer in Israel/Palestine, who asked Archbishop Tutu to write the letter.
Dear Student Leaders at the University of California – Berkeley
It was with great joy that I learned of your recent 16-4 vote in support of divesting your university's money from companies that enable and profit from the injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and violation of Palestinian human rights. Principled stands like this, supported by a fast growing number of US civil society organizations and people of conscience, including prominent Jewish groups, are essential for a better world in the making, and it is always an inspiration when young people lead the way and speak truth to power.
I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings.
I have been to the Ocupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.
Students played a leading role in that struggle, and I write this letter with a special indebtedness to your school, Berkeley, for its pioneering role in advocating equality in South Africa and promoting corporate ethical and social responsibility to end complicity in Apartheid. I visited your campus in the 1980's and was touched to find students sitting out in the baking sunshine to demonstrate for the University's disvestment in companies supporting the South African regime.
The same issue of equality is what motivates the divestment movement of today, which tries to end Israel's 43 year long occupation and the unequal treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them. The abuses they face are real, and no person should be offended by principled, morally consistent, non-violent acts to oppose them. It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in particular for its abuses.
To those who wrongly accuse you of unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one's own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity. It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation. True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute. You, students, are helping to pave that path to a just peace.
I heartily endorse your divestment vote and encourage you to stand firm on the side of what is right,
God bless you richly,
Desmon/d Tutu. Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.
Posted: 11 Apr 2010 07:43 AM PDT
Norman Finkelstein and Jody McIntyre are on a speaking tour that takes them through the Midwest over the next few days, then to New York, and then on to the west. Hope to catch them. I keep wanting to have a two-state-one-
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:57 PM PDT
This is a society in crisis. Can you imagine an American newspaper printing this column? Akiva Eldar in Haaretz:
h/t Dan Sisken
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:49 PM PDT
Reports in the New York Times and Washington Post that the Obama administration is considering presenting its plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have created a lot of buzz and pushback from supporters of Israel.
However, the reports do not address the fundamental question: what would the plan mean for Palestinians and Israelis? In a sentence, it would mean the continuation of a pattern where the Palestinian leadership agrees to major concessions to secure an agreement with Israel, an agreement that would have little basis in international law
The basic outline being talked about is based on the so-called "Clinton Parameters" that were presented after the breakdown of the Camp David talks.
Here's Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera English's senior political analyst, on what the "Clinton Parameters" mean:
Bishara rightly points out that the terms presented above wouldn't be "fair or just," because they would relinquish the "right of return" for Palestinians displaced by the 1948 Nakba, a right "enshrined in international law and international humanitarian law, and isn't for Obama to deny, nor even for Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO chairman, to give away."
And a demilitarized Palestinian state? With Israel keeping a presence "in fixed locations in the Jordan Valley under the authority of the International force for another 36 months" and having Israeli "early warning stations" inside the West Bank (as the "Clinton Parameters" state)? That doesn't sound like an end to the occupation.
Also not considered is the fact that, as Dr. As'ad Ghanem, writing in Haaretz, says, the current Palestinian Authority, with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the helm, "is seen by the Palestinians as an American puppet. His government is not legitimate, even according to the Palestinian constitution." A Palestinian government with no legitimacy agreeing to an American-imposed peace plan won't do any good, especially with a Prime Minister who has been sharply criticized for apparently giving up the right of return to areas within Israel.
Helena Cobban, blogging at Just World News, has also criticized the potential Obama peace plan:
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:39 PM PDT
I'm told that documentary photographer Haitham Al Khatib, who was arrested in Bil'in on Friday, has been released by the Israelis. Above is a photograph by Hamde Abo of Haitham's arrest, during a protest at the wall which confiscates Bil'in's land. You can see the camera in his right hand, at far right. Kiera Feldman says, "This leaves the village of Bil'in with five people in Israeli jail, out of 1800 residents. And with Haitham's release, that still leaves over 6,700 Palestinians in Israeli jails--over 300 of them are children, according to the Guardian."
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:24 PM PDT
Report at Pulse on two events of note in Scotland: the First Minister calls for a review of trading relationships with Israel because of the Dubai passport abuse, and five Palestinian protesters who had disrupted the Edinburgh festival in 2008 to decry actions in Gaza were cleared of an anti-Semitism charge.
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 07:39 PM PDT
Headline in Haaretz: "IDF order will enable mass deportations from West Bank."
Before you read the following post, please read this one .... THE FORGOTTEN CHILD OF THE HOLOCAUST
The second quote 'Never Again' has also lost meaning…. never again to whom? If we look at the suffering of the holocaust victims in the death camps of Eastern Europe… we see the same suffering in the death camp known as the Gaza Strip today. The quote does not go … Never again, EXCEPT…. it's Never Again! Yet it is happening again…. by the very people that coined the phrase in the first place.
Posted at The Radical Press:
Doug Christie Takes Powerful Free Speech Message to the University of Ottawa
[Paul Fromm of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE) writes: Just 10 days after a rowdy mob of protesters, egged on by a university administration that admonished the controversial U.S. Ann Coulter against "inappropriate" or hateful speech, won the University of Ottawa, unaffectionately known as the U of Zero, a reputation for censorship, when Ottawa Police advised that the appearance be canceled rather than they preserve law and order and free speech, Canada's foremost free speech lawyer, Doug Christie made a successful appearance before a packed standing room only meeting of 150. The meeting was organized by a number of free speech supporters and partially funded by the Canadian Association for Free Expression. Afterward, the audience listened with rapt attention and engaged the Battling Barrister in a lively discussion.]
DOUGLAS CHRISTIE – CANADA'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH LAWYER
Notes for Doug Christie's Speech
University of Ottawa, April 8, 2010
I'm here to talk about free speech. I'm not here to practice it.
Unlike Ann Coulter, I don't need a warning from the provost. I am a Canadian, trained by law in the way of silence, sullen silence, and code language. I have been trained by the Supreme Court not to engage in hate speech, even though no one can define it in advance, so I can avoid it.
There are general taboo topics which I must avoid or tread lightly around, like race, religion, ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability or mental status. Then there are peripheral taboo topics like multiculturalism, immigration, affirmative action programs and a host of other ill-defined topics.
I have been trained to remain very sensitive to the broad political implications of these topics lest I face a very expensive lesson from the Human Rights Tribunal.
What the Supreme Court taught me when I appeared in Taylor and Zundel and Keegstra was that free speech has its limits in "hate" which means "extreme dislike." So presumably I must like all races, religions, ethnic origins, etc. equally or at least dislike them only moderately. Or at least pretend to, which is more Canadian. I cannot denounce any one as evil.
The Law Society, through its decision of Harvey Strosberg taught me that if I speak in public, "law students" may tape some but not all of my words, and the Chairman of the Discipline Committee can issue a statement to the media condemning me as "identifying with a lunatic fringe," even in the very act where he decides not to give me the benefit of a hearing where I could answer the allegation with evidence where both sides could be heard.
I learned in McAleer and Malcolm Ross, both of which went to the Supreme Court of Canada, that expressing your religious beliefs on your own time, is no defence and placing the messages in the United States where it is legal, is no defence if you mention where you can get the message to someone in Canada.
I learned that our parliamentarians of all parties love free speech so much that they banned someone from the precincts of Parliament who wanted to rent the parliamentary press gallery, a place anyone can rent for a press conference.
What was the press conference about? That the Human Rights Tribunal had ruled in Zundel's case that "Truth was no defence," and the truth of the statement could not be proven by any evidence. I know because that someone was me, the only lawyer in Canadian history to be banned by all party agreement from the precincts of parliament. Because in Canada truth is no defence. Orwell was right about double speak. Randy White a so-called Reform MP said he did not want me in his work place. Orwell was right about a lot of things.
I have learned and been carefully taught to avoid the taboo topics, to measure every word lest a tape recorder in the audience be taken to the Human Rights Commission, the police, the Law Society, or someone likes to complain to the Human Rights Commission.
I have learned to talk about free speech but never practice it. Never say anything like Ann Coulter would say, coming from a free society. And being in a university setting is all the more reason to be very careful about how you choose your words. The left-wing political giants who run most universities are able to let loose the mob with a wink and the students know their success with many professors depends on how successfully they can entrap a political foe.
Universities are the most dangerous place to practice free speech. Even topics like abortion which you would not normally think involve a taboo topic can quickly be spun into forbidden territory and sexism can result in expulsion or criminal charges. The civility of universities is accorded to those who can mobilize the largest screaming mob. No one listens.
I have to even be careful how I speak about Freedom of Speech.
So let me just speak about freedom of speech. I have come here to praise freedom of speech, not to bury it. I do not want to be cynical or bitter. But since 1984 when I took up the cause of freedom, I have become aware of the price to be paid for this precious legacy of freedom.
My office has been vandalized, repeatedly; my name has been defamed in the press; I have been the target of spurious complaints to law societies, I have been banned from the precincts of parliament. The very press who today became the target of complaints themselves because they post on the internet, who have come late to the battle, because of their money and power, are turning the tide. They were not long ago in the forefront of the mob, vilifying my clients and myself, since it was not their ox that was gored. Irony, thy name is Canada.
1984, the year Orwell entitled his most famous work was actually the year I got involved in the defence of James Keegstra. From that moment on, the lawyer who had defended successfully all manner of criminal cases from drugs to rape to murder and with no ill effects to his reputation other than professional jealousy became in the eyes of many, through the window of the media, a hated nazi-lawyer. This title, I have worn to this day, at first reluctantly and gradually resigned myself to it, knowing as "Human Rights" law tells us, "Truth is no defence."
I would never be elected anywhere to anything. Any party would expel me, the right of left for fear of the media. I was warned this would happen. "Better alone than in the company of hypocrites," I reasoned. There is one hope and that is that truth cannot be buried forever, and people will tell it come what may, even about race, religion, or ethnicity. There are some truths to be told on that score. They are the building blocks of culture and even the government of Quebec is recognizing this, even though they wrap it in convoluted language. Oops! I almost practiced free speech!
The best indication of what is the true value of free speech is provided by what happens when it is taken away. The thinking people become "bush league." The first reaction to a controversial idea is not to hear the person about whom you heard, but to adopt the mob-mind view.
Left-wing, multicultural, tolerant, good. Right wing, xenophobic, intolerant, bad. A few code words and the mob takes the argument to the streets. The psychological guillotine cuts off debate and civility like the real guillotine cut off heads in Paris in the revolution till there were no heads to cut off. Everybody was at the same low level of passive, intellectual obedience to the omnipotent state. Then a forceful tyrant like Napoleon can impose his will with very little difficulty. Do we really have to go through these cycles of oppression, revolution, depression? Have we no intellect to listen for ourselves, evaluate for ourselves, accept or reject an idea with a civil attitude of tolerance? Do we need to have a hysterical violent reaction to every idea of a different perspective?
The Roman maxim: "Audi Alteram Partem" was over the door of the law library at McGill University where I once spoke. I entered through that doorway to face a hostile screaming mob, much like Ann Coulter faced. They had never met me. They could never hear me. Why did they reject me before hearing me? Why not hear both sides? Sometimes all sides need to be heard. Until they are, how can you really form an intelligent and informed opinion?
I believe the truth is that the idea of tolerance has been used as an Orwellian doublespeak smoke screen for intolerance and is really about narrowing the scope of debate before the debate begins. This is consistent with Marxism, but it is not consistent with liberalism or of constitutional principles of free speech. Certain topics cannot be discussed.
We don't absolutely make it illegal to talk about certain subjects, we just make it so dangerous, with so many obscure and complex rules that no one dares to go there. Somewhat like gun laws. We don't overtly ban all fire arms. No, we would find too much resistance and rational criticism. The hypocritical Canadian way is simply to regulate them out of existence, gradually, just like controversial speech. Hate laws mean whatever we say they mean. We will only tell you after you say something if you have offended. This is the process of gradual Marxism. The state gradually disarms the citizen of their weapons and their free speech by slow degrees so that absolute control both physical and mental will be with the state.
The other side of this equation is the enforcers, state agents, professional complainers, the enablers of state power. The people who go from politicians to judge or from politician to president of a University. They create a network of willing and compliant officials who can be counted on to cleverly manipulate and manage the progress from freedom, which they call "anarchy," to the tyranny they call a "benevolent oligarchy."
Thus they acquire through a system of servants and paid enforcers, through Human Rights Commissions and police forces the only persons authorized by law to break into your house, seize your computer, examine your files, your books, your speeches, your appearances and even your surreptitiously recorded comments as in the case of David Ahenakew.
They can ruin you. They can prosecute you. They can and will vilify you in the press. As was done to David Ahenakew and then even if you win, you still lose. You go through court for four years of stress and when you are finally acquitted, no one says "sorry" or pays your costs. On the contrary, they repeat in the media around the world the words of the judge condemning you in the very act of acquitting you.
And the state has all the guns, police, sheriffs, jails, probation officers, all paid by the state which you support with your taxes. If you want to be a paid bully, there's a job for you. If you want to shoot people, just don't say so, join the RCMP. If you want to taser people like Dziekanski, if you want to shoot teenagers like Ian Bush, or misfits like Jess Hughes, and never be charges, join the RCMP.
Just be sure you don't admit what you did and the establishment will protect you. You are after all, protecting them. We are paying for our own enslavement. Only a few really know where we are going. The rest are following along for the ride, and the free lunch.
(Oops! Too much free speech!)
So if you want to carry on down the road to tyranny, just shout me down. If you want to go quietly into the night of tyranny, just ignore what I have said. Put it out of your mind and never think of it again. The legitimate function of the state is to preserve and maximize the freedom of the conscience, belief and opinion of the individual. It is not to enforce a social model of artificial cultural stew, enforced by law. We have inherent rights to survive as a free people only to the extent we articulate, manifest with rigorous debate and listen to all criticism with an enlightened and critical mind. Let us not presume we are possessed of all knowledge before the discussion starts, and set a limited agenda for social and acceptable speech.
Where once sex was a taboo topic, it has now become an obsession. Speech about race, if suppressed, becomes an obsession and if further suppressed, leads to violence. Let's get debate out of the closet on all matters. Let's use it, or we'll lose it.
I have not said anything. More than anything, I have been allowed to speak here without interruption on the belief I would be ineffectual and secondly I would make the administration look better than the last speaker who was cancelled. I realized this at the beginning, but it is an opportunity to make the point that the redemption of an individual like me, or a society like your university, or of a country like Canada, is only possible if we listen to each other and talk openly about all of our serious and sensitive issues. Unless this really happens, Canada isn't worth saving and neither is this university.
I will leave here knowing more than anyone in this room about the battles for free speech that have gone on in this country in the last thirty years. I see only minor changes occurring. This is your chance to ask what you need to know to make a difference.