Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

German Reporter Reveals ISIS Plans ‘Nuclear Tsunami’ via @ArutzSheva_En

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

German Reporter Reveals ISIS Plans ‘Nuclear Tsunami’ via @ArutzSheva_En.

Brainwashing People to Hate Israel and Jews

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

The whole world, with a few exceptions, seems to hate Israel and Jews. Where does all this hatred come from and how is it propagated? In my view, it comes from distortions, lies, religious and racial intolerance, a slavish devotion to Arab oil, and a fear of Muslim terrorism. Anyone willing to look with an unbiased eye at the facts of history and the current aspects of Israeli life will admire the ethical nature of Israel’s conduct. Here are a few thoughts I have about this matter.

The Arab and Muslim world is rife with antisemitism.  The governments and media make obvious efforts to brainwash their people to hate Israel and Jews beginning in the classroom and continuing in their mosques, news media, tv, radio, and books.

For an overview of Antisemitism in the Arab world, see Antisemitism in the Arab world.

Here’s an article about Textbooks in Arab Nations Loaded with Anti-Semitism posted February 5, 2012.

Here is an article about Arab Teachers’ Rejection of Holocaust Education Highlights Arab Anti-Semitism which makes the point that, “How can anyone seriously contemplate Palestinian peace with living Jews if they are often unable to reconcile themselves with even the humanity of murdered Jews?”.

Below are two articles about how the Arab world and other enemies of Israel, under the guise of civil rights, try to demonize Israel.

Rule of Law and Due Process: NGO Campaigns to Discredit the Israeli Justice System is a report by NGO Monitor on May 22, 2011 that shows that, in order to internationally isolate Israel, NGOs have developed a strategy to discredit the Israeli justice system and to falsely paint Israel as an anti-democratic state.

“Trading Away Peace”: How Biased Political NGOs Fuel Conflict explains how a political advocacy NGO network, which receives massive funding from European governments, markets a selective and one-sided narrative in order to demonize Israel. This is part of the “Durban strategy” of using highly distorted versions of the conflict and allegations of “war crimes” in order to isolate Israel – a strategy that these NGOs and their allies have employed for more than a decade.

News media are often responsible for originating or spreading false accounts blaming Israel for actions for which it is not responsible.  Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is a great source of accurate information about Israel and corrections to news media accounts.

The sheer repetition of lies help to make them seem true. If so many people believe such is the case, it must be true.  If you truly want to know what is true about Israel, read more than one source of information and think for yourself. Read about some of the history of the area and read conflicting accounts and evaluate what seems to be true. Which experts quote their sources? Which ones are open to questions? Which ones have good credentials? It always come down to this: you alone are responsible for your beliefs and what you believe has important consequences!

Common Ground

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Introduction

The political division in America has caused people to have extremely high levels of contempt for those who disagree with them.  If we want politicians to be able to have constructive and productive discussions with each other, we as individuals need to be able to do that ourselves.

I had a discussion the other day with someone on the extreme opposite of the political divide. I’m a liberal and Steve’s a conservative or libertarian or some combination of the two. We agreed at the beginning that we would try to focus on what we could agree on. I proposed that we act as if we actually had the power of coming up with policies that would be immediately implemented. So if we agreed on nothing, nothing would get done and we would have wasted a valuable opportunity.

I found our discussion helpful since I have difficulty listening, and being open, to someone with whom I fundamentally disagree. We disagree in only on details but on our values.  I tried to be polite, with mixed success, and I got a lot out of our discussion.  It also helped me to clarify my own ideas.

Below are some of the principles we agreed on.  It’s a start. When we have time to talk again, we might clarify our ideas and perhaps add to what we have already – like building up a coral reef.

Israel

We agreed on Israel. Unlike many American liberals, I believe that Israel wants peace but is ethically defending itself from annihilation from the Arabs who have sworn publicly to do so.  Israel is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and it is in our national interest to help in its defense.

Accountability

Although Steve and I disagreed about what constitutes torture, we agreed that those who commit war crimes should be held accountable and prosecuted.  It was hard for me to suppress my anger at someone who would not denounce water boarding as torture; it made me wish that he experienced for himself to see if it would change his mind. But I had concrete policies to come up with.

There should also be accountability for financial crimes like the conspiracy to defraud both consumers and regulators that almost brought down America’s entire economy.

Politicians should be held accountable for keeping their campaign promises.  After all, they promises made in public in exchange for our votes.

Transparancy

There should be transparency in government deliberations like Obama promised. Lawmakers should be given an opportunity to read the laws that they are going to vote on.

The president should be open about all programs that the public already knows about so that citizens can have an opportunity to comment on them or to sue the government to oppose them. And legal reasoning for government actions should be public. The public has a right to know how to keep within the law.

Campaign Finance Reform

The horrendous Supreme Court Citizens’ United should be overturned either by the court itself or by law.  There should transparency for, and limitation of, all campaign contributions.

Wealth Inequality

Steve seemed to be reluctantly willing to accept a higher marginal tax so billionaires will pay higher taxes than they do now.

Why do most liberals bash Israel?

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Liberals are concerned with the suffering of others and seek to relieve that suffering by identifying the agents who are responsible for repressing the innocent sufferers.

In the United States, some of the culprits are the greedy exploiters of the working class who create unhealthy working conditions and then bust the unions that try to alleviate those conditions. The most obvious and examples of this are the slave holders who profited from tyrannizing their slaves.

Judging who the victims and the victimizers are, in the middle east, appears to be an easy matter, but liberals have consistently chosen the wrong victimizers. They choose to believe that Israel has been responsible for the suffering of the palestinian arabs in the disputed territories. Virtually all news accounts refer to these territories as occupied land – without ever stating from which country or people these territories are occupied.

There’s an excellent discussion of the legal issues regarding the disputed territories on camera.org at  Debate over Legality of Settlements

Since there’s no direct link to the section that deals specifically with the legal issues, I’ll paste it here:

Debate over Legality of Settlements

There is debate in the international community over whether or not the Israeli settlements are legal under international law. Many of the arguments are based on various false or questionable assumptions and claims.

Those who maintain that the settlements are illegal rely on Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, August 12, 1949, which states:

Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the occupying power or to that of any other country…are prohibited…

and in the sixth paragraph:

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

They interpret this as applicable to Israel’s settlement of the West Bank and Gaza, understanding Israel to have become a “belligerent occupant” of this territory through entry by its armed forces. They also argue that settlement policy leads to the violation of Palestinian rights under international humanitarian law–specifically, their right to self-determination, equality, property, freedom of movement, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement.

Those who maintain that settlements are legal interpret Article 49 (6) of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention as inapplicable to Israel’s settlements.

For example, the late Professor Julius Stone—considered one of the premier legal theorists —maintained that the effort to designate Israeli settlements as illegal was a “subversion. . . of basic international law principles.”

Among the 27 books he authored was Israel and Palestine: An Assault on the Law of Nations which dealt with the legal aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In it, Stone set forth the central principles of international law upon which Israel’s right to settle the West Bank is based and discussed the inapplicability of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the case of Israeli settlement.

Stone drew upon the writings of Professor Stephen Schwebel, former judge on the Hague’s International Court of Justice (1981-2000), who distinguished between territory acquired in an “aggressive conquest” (such as Japanese conquests during the 1930s and Nazi conquests during World War II) and territory taken in a war of self-defense (for example, Israel’s capture of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 war). He also distinguished between the taking of territory that is legally held by another nation (such as the Japanese occupation of Chinese territory and the Nazi Germany occupation of France, Holland, Belgium and other European lands) as opposed to the taking of territory illegally held. The latter applies to the West Bank and Gaza, which were not considered the legal territories of any High Contracting Party when Israel won control of them. The West Bank and Gaza were never the territory of a High Contracting Party; the occupation after 1948 by Jordan and Egypt was illegal and neither country ever had lawful or recognized sovereignty. The last legal sovereignty over the territories was that of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate which encouraged Jewish settlement of the land.

Regarding Israel’s acquisition of territories in the 1967 war, Schwebel wrote:

Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title. (“What Weight to Conquest,” American Journal of International Law, 64 (1970))

Proponents of the view that settlements are legal further argue that Article 49 was intended to outlaw the Nazi practice of forcibly transporting populations into or out of occupied territories to death and work camps  and thus cannot be applied to Israel because Israelis were neither forcibly transferred, nor were they intended to (nor do they) displace Arab residents of the territories. Arabs continue to live in these territories and their population continues to grow.

Those who believe settlements are legal also maintain that it is not the existence of settlements that have an impact on Palestinians’ standard of living, right to self-determination, equality, property, and freedom of movement. Rather, the impact upon their freedom of movement and standard of living is directly a result of the threat they pose to their Israeli neighbors and their governance by the Palestinian Authority.

The U.S. government, as well as others, presently hold the view that the settlements are not illegal and that the extent of Israeli withdrawal from the territories is subject to negotiation.

The Carter administration held that settlements were illegal, relying on the opinion of its legal advisor Herbert Hansell. ( It is noteworthy that in supporting this view, Hansell quoted from a more general, earlier work by Professor Julius Stone – his 1959 analysis entitled “Legal Controls of International Conflict”–thus misrepresenting Stone’s opinion, which was that Israeli settlements are legal under international law.)

The Reagan administration and subsequent U.S. administrations reversed Carter’s position, with the opinion that while it disapproved on political grounds of building new settlements in the disputed territories before negotiations, settlements are not illegal.

Former U.S. Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow wrote several articles explaining why settlements are legal and arguing that United Nations Resolution 242 stipulates that Israel withdraw from some of the disputed territory, but not necessarily all. It should be remembered that Rostow was one of the drafters of Resolution 242, the very resolution relied upon by Palestinians and their supporters to demand Israel’s complete withdrawal from all of the West Bank and Gaza and the dismantlement of all of the Jewish settlements.

Proponents of the view that settlements are illegal often cite numerous U.N. resolutions criticizing Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza.

Those who maintain settlements are legal indicate that  U.N. General Assembly Resolutions carry no legal weight, even if one ignores the U.N.’s history of bias against Israel, evidenced by the infamous “Zionism is Racism” resolution and the partisan, anti-Israel  indictments by special U.N. bodies set up exclusively to report on Israel’s practices.

The United States routinely abstains or votes against Security Council resolutions unfairly condemning Israel for building settlements. One exception–under former President Carter, the United States initially voted for U.N. Security Council Resolution 465 which was passed on March 1, 1980. This resolution stating that Israeli settlements in the territories have no “legal validity” is often quoted to bolster the “illegality of settlements” argument. However, the American vote for this resolution was subsequently retracted, with the United States claiming that it had intended to abstain and blaming a communications failure as responsible for the vote.

Finally, those who maintain settlements are legal indicate that although Article 25 of the U.N. Charter says: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter,” this cannot invalidate Article 80 which says that:

nothing in the [U.N.] Charter shall be construed . . . to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments.

This would include the British Mandate’s granting the right to the Jewish people to settle in the whole of the Mandated territory. Article 6 of the Mandate encouraged “close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use.”

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