Ilan Pappe: “Israel Has Lost The Moral Argument.”

By Jerry Alatalo

any academics, political analysts, peace activists, experts in global affairs and others consider the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict the most important international relations challenge of our time. Israel-born Jewish Professor Ilan Pappe (currently lecturing in the United Kingdom) is one of thousands of men and women academicians on Earth who firmly hold that belief. He has written a new book “Ten Myths About Israel”, a (in his words) “concise pocketbook” for those interested in learning about the situation. He visited Seattle, Washington in the northwest region of the United States recently to speak about the long-endured, at times seemingly insoluble problems – along with his vision for a solution.

During an interview while in Seattle, Professor Pappe shared both his personal experiences and knowledge of the conflict as well as some little-known facts making it clear that major changes in Israel’s political system are necessary. His view is authoritative as its foundation is the raw historic truth: Israel is the only national government on Earth implementing apartheid policies and conditions, with the example most recently seen – and rightly abolished – of South Africa.

Professor Ilan Pappe draws similarities between the settler colonialist history of America, the inhumane, genocidal treatment of Native Americans and Israel’s Zionist factions’ treatment of the indigenous Palestinian people, in particular since 1967. With experience as a professor in Israeli universities before becoming essentially thrown out of his country, he describes the role of education in Israel as a large factor responsible for perpetuation of the conflict.

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“The whole education system is built on dehumanization of the Palestinians, so even liberal Israelis are Israelis who regard the Palestinians as aliens, but they are tolerant enough to let them be there, or have some of the land. There’s a basic misunderstanding… even the more liberal Zionists – that Zionism emigrated into the homeland of someone else, not that these natives emigrated. They’re not immigrants.”

“Not that we should treat immigrants in some bad way… Of course, we shouldn’t. But it’s funny that the whole liberal discourse in Israel about the Palestinians is the discourse of immigrants. So, if you’re a liberal person… you tolerate immigrants. You’re willing to let them be absorbed into the society. But this is not the situation – these (Palestinians) are not immigrants. You (Israelis) are the immigrants, and you have to ask the Palestinians to allow you to stay.”

“And this is something very difficult; after 100 years of oppression, to understand that the oppressor needs the legitimacy from the oppressed is very difficult to accept.”

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Often Israel is described as the “only democracy in the Middle East”. This is one of the myths which Professor writes about in his new book, “Ten Myths About Israel”, upon which he by use of analogy says:

“If one-fifth (20%) of the American population would have been under military rule, meaning that only a military person would determine your basic rights, you would not call the United States a democracy.”

“In many ways Israel reminds me of South Africa because whites in South Africa enjoyed a certain level of democracy but the Africans did not enjoy any level of democracy. And the same is true of Israel. So, you can say that for the Jews in Israel, Israel is a democracy, but anyone who is not a Jew is a 2nd-rate, if not a 3rd-rate citizen.”

“There are practices which are not officially admitted, but very known to everyone, that discriminate against you. I will give you one fact that I think is very important, and which most of your listeners probably do not know. I’m talking pre-1967 borders, to make it clear. According to Israeli law most of the land belongs to the Jewish agency. According to the law of the Jewish agency, it is not allowed to sell land to non-Jews. So, 97% of the land of Israel is not for sale to the Palestinian citizens of Israel who are 20% of the population.”

“So they have no access to buy land, to purchase land, to expand… In fact, in the past 70 years only Jewish settlements and Jewish towns have been built – not one Palestinian citizen. Another example… We have a law in Israel which allows a Jewish community to reject the presence of a Palestinian citizen, or citizens, from their midst because they are… the only reason is they are Palestinians – they are not Jewish.”

“Imagine if there would be a neighborhood in Seattle which could be by law decided that African-Americans could not live there. I’m talking about official racism. I’m not talking about informal racism that exists in every society; I don’t think Israel is unique in that. But I think it’s quite unique for a country that pertains to be the only democracy in the Middle east to have laws that discriminate against people just because of their identity.”

“That for me is the definition of an undemocratic society.”

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After the interviewer asked Professor Pappe toward the end of the interview for his views on what is the best option to resolve the conflict, he responded:

“The first thing I believe even before one-state solution – and I’ve devoted my life to this – is to convince the international community, that it’s in the interests of the international community, to put pressure on Israel to first of all change its immediate policies of oppression, even before we talk about a solution, in order to create conducive circumstances for a solution. We need to get the Israelis out of the life of the Palestinians in the West Bank, to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip, to stop the discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, and to seriously consider the right of the Palestinian refugees to come home.”

“Now, if I take all these three basic rights that Israel violates, the rights to live in peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a democracy inside Israel, and the right to come back home for the refugees, I can only see one political outcome that will enable us to implement these right – and that’s one democratic state for all. Because I think, otherwise, any other political solution would perpetuate it, would make it even worse than it is today. When I say worse it means mainly for the Palestinians, but I also think it’s not very positive for the Jews.”

“So I think that for everyone we should live democratically as you here in the United States, as human beings regardless of our identity, religious identity, national identity, gender or color. One person, one vote… I’m willing to take a bi-national state if that is what people want. It’s much better than what we have today. Maybe people would want a collective identity; I can appreciate it, especially on the Jewish side because they’ve built a culture of their own. I think a lot of Palestinians would go along with this. “

“But the state has to be a state for everyone, and should not be divided, or be partitioned. And the 3rd generation of settlers and the native people have a very good chance of making Palestine, and Israel – or whatever we will call it – one of the best places on Earth.”  

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(Thank you to TalkingStickTV at YouTube)

UN Sponsored Report on Israel’s Responsibility for Apartheid in Relation to the Palestinian People

“Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Global Justice in the 21st Century

[Prefatory Note: Below is the text of a report co-authored by Virginia Tilley and myself, commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) that examines the argument for regarding Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ with respect to the whole of the Palestinian people, that is, not only those Palestinians living under occupation, but also those living as residents of Jerusalem, those living as a minority in Israel, and those enduring refugee camps and involuntary exile. The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The report reviews the evidence for such a finding, and offers recommendation for acting upon such a conclusion within the United Nations, by national governments, and by civil society. Upon the release of the report on March 15, 2017…

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Stein-Baraka Position On Middle East, War And Peace.

By Jerry Alatalo

“One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.”

– WALTER BAGEHOT (1826-1877) English economist

baraka-3Alphabet Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka appeared for an interview recently on the Real News Network. After being shut out of both presidential and vice presidential debates, rigged to include only the Democratic and Republican tickets, in this election American voters are effectively the victims of “democracy censorship” by not being given an opportunity to learn the positions of Green and Libertarian candidates.

What would national polls look like today had Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and Libertarian Gary Johnson both participated in the 1st presidential debate? Nobody can say, but it’s certain the polls would more accurately reflect the true views of the American people. How can the United States continue to call itself a democracy when well over 70% of its citizens call for inclusive debates with Green and Libertarian taking part, then that clear “mandate” of the people becomes totally rejected and ignored?

Perhaps Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share the opinion that Americans don’t possess the intellectual capacity and power of discernment to make accurate assessments of the candidates’ qualitative positions on the major issues. Stein-Baraka and Johnson-Weld are candidates with a mathematical chance of winning the election. But Americans will never know the stances of Clinton and Trump; they are both eerily silent on the issue – neither has commented one way or the other, favorably or in opposition, on 4-way debates.

If Dr. Jill Stein had appeared with Clinton, Trump and Johnson for debate #1, perhaps Americans would for literally the 1st time started the serious discussion necessary for bringing a resolution to the 67-year long Israel-Palestine conflict, and asking tough questions about the wisdom in continuing to provide, and increase, military aid worth billions of dollars annually ($38 billion over 10-years) to the international outlaw state of Israel – the perennial, decades-long denier of basic human rights to the Palestinian people.

If Ajamu Baraka were to appear with Pence, Kaine and Weld for vice-presidential debates, perhaps Americans would learn that the over 5-year violent conflict in Syria is not a civil war as many intentionally portray for the purpose of deception, but a U.S., regional and European ally proxy war using paid (with U.S. taxpayers’ money) mercenary terrorists in place of American soldier “boots on the ground”. The hideous and criminal acts have occurred while practicing a grand lie, with highest-level officials telling Americans and the world they are “fighting terrorism”.

Perhaps Americans would demand a new, independent investigation of 9/11 to get to the truth of what really happened that fateful day, making up for the profoundly incompetent effort resulting in the official 9/11 Commission Report, and determining the real perpetrators of the mass-murder, instead of the sham story of 19 hijackers and a cave-dweller. Those perpetrators are likely responsible for planning and implementing the monstrous war-related crimes and catastrophes of the Middle East and North Africa since 2001; now is the time to arrest, prosecute, and “get them off the street” to prevent further human carnage, possibly of unimaginable scale.

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both believe their ideas, positions and proposals are the most beneficial for the American people and humanity around the Earth, then both should have no fear whatsoever of inviting and competing with Stein-Baraka and Johnson-Weld. Besides, American voters will always respect, appreciate and cherish the memory of their great presidents through history who practiced the personal quality of fairness, in particular having an open mind to new and/or potentially more beneficial ideas.

The Democrats and Republicans can change their minds at any time about debates.

That’s not going to happen, it’s unfair, and represents an objectionable, stubborn stance that is absolutely undemocratic. By denying democracy at this point in the presidential election of 2016, neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are practicing/exhibiting the noble leadership qualities of fairness and open-mindedness. It’s scandalous – and a shame.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)