Violet Crumble's Journal
Nor what yr problem is but that's quite a nasty post
You were wrong when you made out that Jew is to Israel as Japanese is to Japan. Nationality of states has been explained to you, and what you've responded with is about how being Jewish is defined, not about nationality, and it appears yr still claiming the nationality of Israel is Jewish and not Israeli, which is totally incorrect...
Source: The Age (Australia)
AS THE net closes around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the notorious whistleblower has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of betraying him as an Australian citizen in her eagerness to help the United States attack him and his organisation.
Ahead of his imminent arrest - over an alleged sexual assault in Sweden - Mr Assange yesterday broke cover to lash out at the Gillard government, comparing his treatment to that of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.
''I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal,'' Mr Assange wrote in a live question-and-answer session on the website of UK newspaper The Guardian.
''However … the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return impossible but they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people.''
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/pm-has-b...
To disagree with the state is to 'delegitimise' the state: that is the increasingly strident response of the country's political and military establishment to those who dare to criticise its conduct
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
It's hard, sitting on the other side of the office table from which Naomi Chazan is picking at her modest hummus and salad snack lunch, to believe that the amiable 63-year-old university professor with a self-deprecating sense of humour has suddenly become the most discussed, not to say demonised, woman in Israel.
Ms Chazan is president of a long-established agency with large numbers of Jewish donors in the US and Britain, which is committed to fighting for "social justice and equality for all Israelis". The New Israel Fund has over the last 30 years disbursed some $200m to around 800 charitable, social and human rights groups, and justly claims much of the credit for building modern Israel's still vibrant civil society.
But in the last fortnight the former Knesset member who by her own account loves her native Israel "without reservation" has been sacked as a columnist on the Jerusalem Post after 14 years, had rowdy demonstrators outside her house brandishing a chilling caricature of her with a horn obtruding from her forehead, and most far-fetched of all, been accused, in a newspaper article circulated to foreign journalists by the Government Press Office, of "serving the agenda of Iran and Hamas".
The onslaught has prompted Nicholas Saphir, the Jewish businessman who runs the New Israel Fund in the UK, to warn that the "Jewish values of social justice and our duty to tikkun olam (repairing the world) have come under serious threat in the state of Israel".
The row has come to symbolise a new mood of establishment intolerance in Israel towards criticisms by Israeli human rights groups of such episodes as last year's military operation in Gaza. This harsh new mood has been fuelled by ministers, right-wing politicians and military figures who have closed ranks behind accusations that the UN-commissioned report into the war, led by Richard Goldstone, which accused both sides of war crimes, is being used to "delegitimise Israel".
The NIF's travails began when a right-wing group called Im Tirtzu provoked accusations of latterday McCarthyism by charging that "without the NIF there could be no Goldstone report and Israel would not be facing international accusations of war crimes". It is a charge which Abe Foxman, director of the US-based Anti- Defamation League and no great friend of the Israeli left, told New York Jewish Week was "absurd".
After foolishly boycotting the Goldstone committee, a move that turned out to have been immensely damaging, Israel persists in its attempts at a cover-up.
The cabinet's likely approval of an "examination committee" to look into certain aspects of Operation Cast Lead as a response to the Goldstone report, and in anticipation of the UN discussion of the report next week, is yet another grave error in the state's response to the claims made about the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip. It's a case of too little, too late. After foolishly boycotting the Goldstone committee, a move that turned out to have been immensely damaging, the government persists in its attempts at a cover-up - entrenching itself further still in its refusal to appoint a state commission of inquiry.
Such a commission is vital, and not only to satisfy Richard Goldstone or world opinion. This goes beyond a public relations problem. A commission is needed first and foremost in order to conduct an honest, independent examination that will determine, once and for all, whether acts that are defined as war crimes were indeed committed in Operation Cast Lead. Israeli society has the right to know what happened in Gaza. If Israel is so sure that it is right, it cannot continue to evade what may be the last chance to repair the severe damage to its standing in the wake of the military operation in Gaza. Any other option, such as the examination committee being proposed now, will not fully determine the truth and will focus "on the quality of the internal investigations" of the army and of the cabinet resolutions. A committee whose authority will be limited and whose scope of operation will be narrow can only further damage Israel's shaky position and prevent a genuine inquiry.
The opposition by the defense minister and the IDF chief of staff to a state commission of inquiry seems to imply that the IDF has something to hide. If this suspicion is unfounded, a state inquiry commission must be permitted to disprove them. And if, heaven forbid, inappropriate acts and crimes were committed during the war, the Israeli public has a right to know.
Any attempt to evade the explicit demand that Israel examine its conduct can only make things worse. The world will not buy into the conclusions of a co-opted committee with limited powers, and its work will not dispel the suspicions hanging over Israel. The prime minister must immediately act to appoint a state commission of inquiry, chaired by a Supreme Court justice, and stop covering up and avoiding a thorough investigation of the truth.
The text messages were sent out en masse at about 9:43 A.M. "Buses full of Special Forces Police with flak jackets and nightsticks at the Rantis Junction," they warned. At 10:08 A.M., an update: "A large convoy that includes a D9
Several dozen teens from the area responded to the call and rushed to the Givat Menachem outpost, hoping to prevent the razing of the outpost's synagogue. It was too late. When they arrived, the police are already gone, leaving ruins behind them.
Avi Cohen searched the ruins of the synagogue for the missing mezuzah. Other teens also began to dig, to see if the cement foundations were still there.
And they began chanting slogans: "The police destroy nothing that belongs to Arabs." "The rule of evil is persecuting the settlements." "In 24 hours, we will set this place up anew." "We will not be broken."
As the number of teens at the site grew, and talk of the "unfair" treatment intensified, it was clear that a "price tag" operation - an attack against Palestinians or their property to retaliate for outpost demolitions - was only a matter of time. In recent months, the Dolev-Talmonim area has become a "price tag" zone.
The army had prepared for this in advance: It placed a military vehicle at the entrance of every single Palestinian village in the area.
But despite the military preparations, the youths found a weak point: a muddy path that led straight from the outpost to the Palestinian village of Bitilu, 500 meters away. Suddenly, the relative quiet turned into an assault, as one teen galloped to the top of the path, shouting, "Let's go! Mayhem!"
Israel's politicians simply don't get it: The world is sick and tired of the Israeli government's cat and mouse games. Netanyahu's one 'great' move so far has been to utter the words 'Palestinian state' during his foreign policy address at Bar Ilan University in June. For some reason the world did not rejoice and laud him for his enormous political creativity. Accepting a Palestinian State in principle is no breakthrough in 2009: it is, at most, par for the course.
Ever since then, Netanyahu's behavior resembles that of a haggler at the Shuk more than that of a statesman: his major success has been in appeasing his right-wing coalition by not addressing any major policy issues. Instead he has engaged in endless bickering over whether Israel will or won't stop the building in the West Bank settlements, and has effectively prevented any serious peace negotiations.
The cost of Netanyahu's behavior is on the wall in huge letters. Just this week, the White House left Netanyahu hanging until the very last minute, when Netanyahu was already on a plane to Washington, in scheduling his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, even though the prime minister's office expressed a desire for this meeting for weeks. The message is clear, and the humiliation is obvious. Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu's media consultant says that there is no crisis between the White House and the Israeli government. That's a matter of semantics. It may indeed not be a crisis, but simply an ever-growing feeling of being sick, tired and somewhat disgusted.
In his recent speech in Hebron, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed what Obama cannot say in public: "What do the Israelis want? They seem not to want the two-state solution; they won't stop settlement expansion; they seem not to want peace." The rather humbling answer to "what does Israel want?" is that Israel has no idea. Netanyahu's associates have an elegant name for this lack of long-term policy: it's now called "managing the conflict."
Of course those on the Right will say that Abbas is merely playing his cards right; that he is just trying to deflect the responsibility for stalled peace process; and they will add "we said it the entire time: Obama is anti-Israel; here you have proof."
Let us be clear, the Palestinians have certainly made their fair share of mistakes, too. Abbas may wonder at night why he didn't accept former prime minister Ehud Olmert's offer, which is probably the best any Israeli Prime Minister will ever present. And of course there is Hamas which continues to refuse to accept Israel's right to exist. But using these Palestinian mistakes as a pretext to maintain the stalemate is a sorry excuse for a lack of policy.
Even Israel's friends no longer buy these excuses for doing nothing except build a few thousand more apartments in the territories.
Posted by Violet_Crumble in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Nov 11th 2009, 06:35 AM
I really don't care, but why can't people leave a detailed explanation, including return email addy, as to why they've taken it upon themselves to try to destroy my psyche by unreccing an OP that took me at least ten seconds to post? It's a good thing I don't care that they've gone and unrecced the OP I posted, because otherwise I'd get really upset and really have a lot to say about it and then I wouldn't have the time to turn up in this thread and build a sense of comradeship with another poster that doesn't care that people unrec the thread they started. Like, did they unrec my thread because they don't like Daniel Pipes or is there something about my avatar they don't like? If I cared, I could stay awake for hours tossing and turning and trying to work this vexing issue out. So, people. If you don't care about the mental devastation you cause by the frivolous use of the unrec function (or as we people who don't care like to call it - *the button of destruction*), continue to unrec this thread and my own humble thread containing an article by that bastion of tolerance and socialist thought, Mr Daniel Pipes. If I cared I would burst into tears right now as I see the 100th unrec hit my own thread, but we're made of sterner stuff than that and we Really Truly Don't Care!!!
Responding to Robert Bernstein's NYT op-ed
Human Rights Watch was saddened to read in The New York Times on October 20, 2009 that its founding chair, Robert L. Bernstein, feels he must "join the critics" of our work on Israel. We fundamentally disagree with Mr. Bernstein's views.
Human Rights Watch does not believe that the human rights records of "closed" societies are the only ones deserving scrutiny. If that were the case, we would not work on US abuses in Guantanamo Bay, police abuse in Brazil, the "untouchables" in India, or migrants in South Africa. "Open" societies and democracies commit human rights abuses, too, and Human Rights Watch has an important role to play in documenting those abuses and pressing for their end.
Human Rights Watch does not devote more time and energy to Israel than to other countries in the region, or in the world. We've produced more than 1,700 reports, letters, news releases, and other commentaries on the Middle East and North Africa since January 2000, and the vast majority of these were about countries other than Israel. Furthermore, our Middle East division is only one of 16 research programs at Human Rights Watch. The work on Israel is a tiny fraction of Human Rights Watch's work as a whole.
It is not the case that Human Rights Watch had "no access to the battlefield" after the Israeli operation in Gaza in January 2009. Although the Israeli government denied us access, our researchers entered Gaza via the border with Egypt and conducted extensive interviews with victims, eyewitnesses, United Nations officials, local authorities, and others. As in war zones around the world, we also visited attack sites, analyzed ballistics evidence, photographed wounds, and examined autopsy and other medical reports.
Mr. Bernstein brought his concerns about our work on Israel to a full meeting of the Human Rights Watch Board of Directors in April. The board unanimously rejected his view that Human Rights Watch should report only on closed societies, and expressed its full support for the organization's work.
Human Rights Watch stands fully behind the work we have done on Israel and around the world.
Around the world millions of children are not getting a proper education because of poverty or war. In the second report in the BBC's Hunger to Learn series, Katya Adler meets children in Gaza whose schooling has been repeatedly interrupted by conflict.
It is early morning in northern Gaza. The streets are filled with children on their way to school. Most carry backpacks almost as big as themselves. All are dressed in crisply-ironed uniforms. It is quite an incongruous sight as they walk past piles of rubble and devastation - leftovers from Israel's military operation earlier this year.
In the Elyen family home, nine-year-old Huda is nervous. Her mother is still preparing sandwiches. Huda is worried she will be late for school.
As bags are packed and hair plaited, there is not much wriggle room for the three school-aged children here. The Elyens live in a flimsy, one-bedroom shack.
Their house was destroyed and one of their cousins killed in an Israeli airstrike in January. Amer, their father, is worried about the winter. He tells me he cannot afford a proper roof.
He has been out of work for three years, ever since Israel imposed heavy restrictions on border crossings into the Gaza Strip, crushing the already weak local economy.
Amer says he hopes his children will finish their schooling, regardless of poverty or violence.
He had to leave school as a young boy to help support his brothers and sisters. He firmly believes that education can open doors to a better life.
But many of Gaza's schoolchildren are less optimistic. They know that no matter how educated they are, opportunities are scarce. Unemployment is rampant.
Escaping Gaza for a better life elsewhere is almost impossible, as neighbouring Israel and Egypt keep their crossings with Gaza pretty much sealed shut.
Schooling is also repeatedly interrupted by conflict. This is sometimes due to violence between rival factions in Gaza but mainly because of military action by Israel. Israel says this is in response to rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants, aimed at Israeli citizens.
They're the sort where in dream-time it seems like about a tiny fraction of the dream is me smoking about ten smokes in a row, and then it seems to go on for hours and hours where I'm ripping myself to pieces and guilting out totally about being so weak. And the weird thing is I wake up all freaked out even though the dream's not scary, and I can taste the smoke, it was so vivid. I'd put the vivid dreams down to the champix, but I've been on them for over two months and didn't have dreams like that at the start. Not that it really matters all that much, coz I don't even get the urge to have a smoke anymore when I'm awake, and I've done the getting drunk temptation test and not given in. I just wish I could dream about something a bit more interesting than smoking and guilt *sigh*
UNITED Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accused Israel of lying about attacks on United Nations facilities during its Gaza offensive and demanded compensation.
Mr Ban said a UN investigation had found conclusively that Israeli weaponry was the cause of attacks on several schools, a health clinic and the world body's Gaza headquarters.
Israel denies it intentionally struck the compounds, and says it was forced to act against militants using the buildings and other civilian areas for cover. Israel said the material it presented to the UN was largely ignored in the final report.
Mr Ban said he commissioned an investigation to look at "the nine most serious incidents" and appointed five board members in February, soon after the fighting ended.
The first of 11 recommendations calls for the UN to seek an acknowledgment by Israel that its statements that Palestinians had fired from the UN's school in Jabaliya on January 6 and the UN's field office compound on January 15 were "untrue and are regretted".
Another says the UN should seek reparation for deaths and injuries involving UN personnel and property.
And after reading every comment in the ensuing threads, my opinion that it was a positive thing hasn't changed at all, and I find it sad that such a positive thing had such negative consequences which have by far outweighed publicity-wise the performance itself. I'm going to repost the link to the original story you posted just in case anyone missed it
I've got a few comments to make just based on things I've read in different posts in different threads on this:
Despite any claims to the contrary, there is no way in the world that a group of Palestinian children performing for a bunch of oldies that included Holocaust survivors can be described as politicising the Holocaust. Neither is explaining the Holocaust to a busload of kids. And it's this claim that playing for them was politicising the Holocaust and talking about the Holocaust itself which appear to be the key reasons why Ms Younis has been vilified. It's nothing to do with dedicating a song to Gilat Shalit, which I would have thought would have been what would have been objected to, if anything, on political grounds.
Politicising the Holocaust usually involves the prism it's viewed through, and it cam produce starkly different focuses on which groups were singled out for destruction. An example of this was the Soviet Union, which viewed the Holocaust in a way where while they acknowledged that there were millions of Jewish victims, those victims were singled out, not because they were Jewish, but because the Nazis saw them as communists. While there were plenty of monuments to the communist victims of the Holocaust, it was only in the 1960's that the first small monument to Jewish victims of the Holocaust appeared. That's politicisation of the Holocaust - a musical performance for Holocaust victims, many of whom were probably the same age as the kids who performed for them when they suffered at the hands of the Nazis is in no way political....
I'm not seeing what the problem was with Ms Younis telling the kids about the Holocaust. The only objection I can make out, and it's one I strongly disagree with, is that she shouldn't have talked about the Holocaust, because in doing so she's somehow not being fair as she's not focusing on the ongoing abuse of the Palestinian people at the hands of Israel. Y'know, coming from Jenin, I'm pretty damn sure all those kids have first-hand and very in-depth knowledge of how badly Palestinians are treated, so why anyone would insist someone needs to tell them about it is beyond me. It makes sense to me that when kids are going to meet Holocaust survivors that the Holocaust is explained to them. I don't see how putting something like that in context is exploiting kids.
In a nutshell, this really unfortunate and somewhat ugly response to the performance (and I had a real facepalm cringing moment when I first read of the response) is just another instance of something that's sadly too prevalent when it comes to the I/P conflict, and that's an unwillingness by people to acknowledge and respect the suffering of others, be they Israeli or Palestinian. Each 'side' clings to its view that only its suffering is worth knowing and being compassionate about, because to acknowledge the suffering of others is in some way to 'consort with the enemy'....
It's more of the *control the US*, *they're devastating the US* rubbish that some folk thrive on. This seems to be a sentiment expressed a lot in some quarters in the US, and it's as though they're scared that if they admit to themselves that the US is far too powerful to be controlled by any other group or nation, and that the US never does anything that it doesn't want to, their whole world will crumble around them. Ignorance, hatred or stupidity? I bet sometimes it's a mixture of all three, but I don't have enough patience with them to delve too much about what drives them. All I know is they're talking crap...
I want to comment on the conclusion you drew about anti-zionism, though: 'And it's articles like this that give credence to those claiming that anti-zionism=hate.' Well, that's indeed true, but the same can be said for a lot of other things, including Zionism itself. I've seen articles written by Zionists that advocate the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Israel and the Occupied Territories, but that doesn't lead to the conclusion (at least for objective folk) that Zionism=hate. It leads to the same conclusion that reading this article did - that there's some real arseholes out there with extreme views, but their views aren't indicative of most or all Zionists or anti-zionists.
One of the problems is that how people define anti-zionism is every bit as differing as how Zionism is defined. But Zionist and anti-zionist are in my experience in the forum, nothing more than perjorative labels to be thrown around with gleeful abandon. I've never really considered myself Zionist or anti-Zionist, so I decided to test it out once in one of the many rather simplistic arguments about Zionism that happen here from time to time. Someone defined Zionism simply as 'a homeland for the Jewish people' and as I agree with that, I posted and said that must make me a Zionist then. One of the more full-on pro-Israel types ghtook exception to my comment and informed me I wasn't. Kind of lame i thought, considering I really don't think someone has to be Zionist or anti-Zionist...
Anyway, here's something Lithos posted in another thread that says it much better than I ever could:
'Zionism (and also Islamism) is nothing more than a word of convenience. Zionism is a placeholder where an extremely complex set of ideas, motivations and histories involving Israel, Nationalism, Humanism, Culturalism, Religion, and Ethnicity are reduced down to a single word. The exact weight of each of these associated meaning of course depend completely on the author and the audience. The problem occurs when there is a disconnect between the author and the audience's meanings.
Personally I do not like such words of convenience as they often serve to cloud and confuse and in a few cases serve as guises for those who desire to prey upon such ambiguity.'
p.s. There's another word I'm growing to dislike coz it gets used with dreary monotony in this forum lately (not by you, but by a few others), and that's *hater*.
Evidence that Israel committed war crimes in its 23-day operation in Gaza mounts by the week. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have both appealed for a United Nations inquiry, after conducting their own investigations. Last week Ha'aretz published the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who alleged that a sniper shot a Palestinian mother and her two children, and that a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be killed. Yesterday Physicians for Human Rights accused soldiers of ignoring the special protection that Palestinian medical teams are entitled to receive. Today the Guardian releases three films in which our reporter Clancy Chassay reveals evidence that Israel used drones to fire at civilian targets, killing at least 48; he interviews three Palestinian youths used by Israeli soldiers as human shields and alleges that soldiers targeted paramedics and hospitals.
None of this is to deny that a case also exists against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. Firing unaimable rockets at civilians in southern Israel is also a war crime. But there is no symmetry of guilt. Israel has weapons it can place to within a metre of its intended targets. Its drones have high-quality optics that can see the colour of the target's sweater. And they film everything both before and after each attack. The army has the means to refute these allegations, but feels no obligation to do so. An international inquiry should be launched for no other reason than to hold it accountable.
There are five reasons why we should have an international inquiry into the Israeli assault on Gaza. First, the conflict has not gone away. It could reignite at any moment under a prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who is determined to finish the job. Second, the weight of evidence points not to isolated incidents, but to a new and deadly relaxation of the rules of engagement. This emerges from the soldiers' own testimony in Ha'aretz. "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza," one soldier said. "You see a person on a road ... He doesn't have to be with a weapon. You don't have to identify him with anything. You can just shoot him." Gaza was fought to a certain mood music. It suggested that the lives of Palestinian civilians did not matter when weighed against those of Israeli soldiers. Third, Israel is not immune to international opinion. A narrow rightwing coalition under Mr Netanyahu will be sensitive to criticism from Barack Obama, who has yet to reveal his cards. Fourth, what Israel does or is allowed to get away with doing affects attempts to establish the rule of international law in other conflicts. Fifth, we know what doing nothing leads to: another war, and ultimately a third intifada.
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