Parables of Zion: Maps of Israel/Palestine tell the Real Story
The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with
mutually-agreed swaps [of land], so that secure and recognized borders are
established for both states.—President Barack Obama
When President Obama mentioned the "1967 lines," what did he mean, exactly? (The
1967 borders are the same as the 1949 armistice lines in map #3 below.)
Whatsoever ye do unto the least of these, my brethren, ye do it unto me.—Jesus
Christ, a Palestinian child for whom there also was allegedly "no room"
Christians may want to consider the ethical question
What would Jesus do?
If you are unfamiliar with the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,
or have been told that Israel is "only defending itself," please read
Albert Einstein's 1948
letter to the New York Times and
Einstein on Palestine:
the Prophet of Peace.
Abba Eban appeared before the U.N. after the Six Day War of 1967, he spoke of
never returning to Israel's "Auschwitz lines." What did he mean? Eban was
referring to the short distance between the West Bank and Tel Aviv in map #2,
but his suggestion that Israel's security depends on
distance makes no sense, because Israel made
Jerusalem its capital, and Jerusalem lies in the West Bank just a few miles from
the Jordanian border. If Tel Aviv was imperiled, making Jerusalem the capital of
Israel would have been suicidal. So it seems obvious that Israel has confidence
in its defenses and is merely manufacturing excuses for keeping stolen land.
And please keep in mind that the land in question was stolen from Palestinian
farm families. If the U.S. went to war with Cuba, should that be used as
an excuse to steal land from noncombatant Mexican farmers, and keep it long
after the war was over? Of course not. The maps below tell the real story and also help explain
why the U.S. was attacked on 9-11 and ended up fighting two horrendous wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq. These terrible events could have been avoided if only
Israel had treated Palestinians as human beings with equal rights and the U.S.
had simply paid the going price for oil rather than trying to "secure" Middle
Eastern oil fields (which only sent the price of oil soaring). As we examine and
discuss the maps below, the real picture will become clear, as will the path to
peace, which I will explain in due course.
Map 1 of 1946 Palestine shows more than 90% of the land belonging to Palestinians; at this point Jewish settlers had paid for most of
the land they occupied
Map 2 of 1947 U.N. partition plan of Israel and Palestine; the land in the white areas was not "given" to Israel; Israeli Jews
took the additional land
Map 3 of 1967 borders of Israel and Palestine; these are the "1967 lines" aka as the "1949 armistice lines"; once again Israeli Jews
took the additional land
Map 4 of 2000 borders shows how Israel keeps taking land outside its legal borders, creating discontiguous Palestinian
Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of
Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross
racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and
tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law.
It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular
children.—Nelson Mandela in a letter to Thomas Friedman
If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal
Apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination
and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you.—Nelson Mandela, concluding the same
letter to Thomas Friedman
If anyone understands such things, it's Nelson Mandela, who battled apartheid
and ethnic cleansing most of his life in South Africa, working to finally ending
the madness, after which he became president of South Africa and later a Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate and Icon of Peace to billions of people around the world.
Other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, have
said and written strong words about Israel's overt racism, apartheid and ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians. As we will see together, Mohandas Gandhi and Albert
Einstein, perhaps the greatest Jewish intellectual of all time, also strongly
opposed Jews robbing Palestinians of their land, freedom, human rights and
Why has Israel to date refused to return land to Palestinians in return for
peace? Please click here to read the stunning results of a poll published by the
Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in which 74% of Israelis
support racially segregated roads in Occupied Palestine, and 69%
want to deny Palestinians the right to vote if their land is annexed by Israel:
Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid
regime in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu immediately rejected
President Obama’s proposition that Israel honor its 1967 boundaries, saying this
would make Israel "indefensible." But ironically the man most
responsible for defending Israel flatly contradicted Netanyahu. In an
interview with Edmund Sanders of the Los Angeles Times, Israeli Defense
Minister Ehud Barak said, "Israel is the strongest country for 1,000 miles
around Jerusalem, and we should be self-confident enough not to lose sight of
what has to be done. What we need is a sense of direction and a readiness to
make decisions. We have to do it [make land concessions in return for peace,
security and recognition by the Muslim world]."
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.—John
The maps also help reveal a very real danger:
IRAN: Why Israel's racist system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing is pushing the United States
to war with Iran, and perhaps World War III against the Muslim world.
Yael Dayan, the daughter of Israel's greatest general, Moshe Dayan, and herself
a former army officer and member of the Israeli Knesset, said in an article
published by The Tennessean on May 24, 2011 that Israel is in a
"position of strength, from our military superiority, to our alliance with the
U.S., to the Arab League's offer of comprehensive peace not once, but twice."
She also pointed out that every peace initiative since 1967 "has included a
state of Palestine with minor alterations to the 1967 borders," saying she was
"embarrassed and puzzled" at Netanyahu's actions. She furthermore said that
Israel needs to "seize the opportunity" for peace, agreeing with Barack Obama
and Ehud Barak.
Knowledgeable Israeli Jews like Ehud Barak and Yael Dayan are telling the world
to call Bibi's Bluff. Despite its tiny size and small population, Israel has one
of the most powerful, sophisticated militaries on the planet, perhaps ranking
fourth in land-air power after those of the U.S., China and Russia. No Arab
nation comes close to matching Israel's military might. Why is tiny Israel so
incredibly powerful? Because American taxpayers, through the U.S. government,
have donated hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and advanced weapons to
Israel over the years.
Not only is Israel far from "indefensible," but anyone with working eyes and a
functional brain can easily see and understand that the far greater problem is
the viability and security of what little remains of Palestinian territory (see
map #4 above). How can a noncontiguous state divided into constantly shrinking
bantustans be either viable or secure? Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson
Mandela and Desmond Tutu have repeatedly pointed out that Israel is doing to
Palestinians what white South Africans did to black South Africans, and they are
experts on racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In his book Palestine:
Peace, Not Apartheid a third Nobel laureate, Jimmy Carter, pointed out the
strong parallels between the plight of the Palestinians and Native Americans who
were forced to walk the Trail of Tears.
And why is Ron Paul the only major U.S. presidential candidate who has ever
discussed the real causes of 9-11 forthrightly? I will return to this question
and other matters at hand in a second, but first please allow me to "ad lib"
briefly. When my wife Beth heard that I was working on this article, she asked
me to remind my readers to "be kind." I tend to rely on facts and logic, but
Beth is absolutely correct: we must always remember that mothers and children
have been suffering and dying on both sides of this conflict for many years now.
As a reminder for us to consider mothers and children with wisdom, tenderness,
compassion and kindness, from time to time I will insert italicized epigrams and
poems, like this one:
The births of all things are weak and tender,
therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings.
—Michel de Montaigne
I believe this wonderfully moving epigram speaks to the moment: the birth of
peace is fragile, just as human children are fragile; therefore, we should have
our eyes intent on beginnings. Let us see all children as equals, and swear to
love and protect them all equally, and we will see the path to peace unfolding
before our eyes, like the parting of the Red Sea.
If we are to have real peace in the world,
we will have to begin with the children.
As an Israeli, I have come to understand:
there is no way to love Israel and reject a two-state peace,
no way to love Israel and reject Palestine.
Love often defies and shames mere logic. Like my wife, Yael Dayan thinks of both
Jews and Palestinians with love. If only the leaders on both sides of the
conflict were capable of such love, compassion and tenderness! ... But now, back
to the matter at hand. Why does Israel pretend to cower in fear, when in reality
it is one of the most powerful nations on earth and armed with hundreds of nukes
and other WMDs, so that none of its neighbors can possibly hope to invade its
borders? Bibi is bluffing in order to buy time to steal even more
Palestinian land and water. Barack Obama, Ehud Barak and Yael Dayan know this,
and they furthermore understand that Israel can never have real peace and
security until Palestinians also have peace and security. That requires a
contiguous Palestinian state large enough to support its citizens. And of course
there is also the matter of fairness. Is it in any way "fair" to consider only
the security of Jews and not that of Palestinians whose ever-dwindling land is
now occupied and ruled by the Israeli military? How would Americans react if
some other nation's troops treated their children like non-humans, herding them
into giant walled corrals as if they were cattle? Obviously, American men would
blowing things up, until they came to their senses. The biggest
difference would be that the American missiles would be far more accurate and
far more deadly than Palestinian weapons. But wouldn't it be much better if
foreign oppressors didn't harm either American children or Palestinian children?
Then the blossoming of peace would become possible ...
It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before,
to test your limits, to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk
it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to
I believe that, in his own way, Ehud Barak is agreeing with Anaïs Nin. He is a
man responsible for war who longs for peace. Soldiers long for peace because
they have seen the horrors of war. Ehud Barak knows that Israel has always
proven its mettle in times of war, but has always been afraid to risk the
blossoming of peace. Sometimes it's harder for warriors to "pull the trigger" of
peace than to pull the triggers of machine guns. Let's hope for the sake of
Jewish children, Palestinian children, and all the children of the world, that
this time the warriors on both sides will risk the budding and blossoming of
How did Israel acquire so much land without paying anyone for it? Anywhere else
in the world, that's called "robbery." And it's important to understand that the
U.N. didn't "give" anyone's land away in 1946. Obviously, the U.N. had no right
to tell Palestinian farmers to surrender their land without compensation,
leaving their families homeless, destitute and unable to feed themselves.
Rather, the U.N. tried to set up, essentially, democratic voting districts.
Nobody in the white areas was supposed to have been robbed of their land,
property or citizenship rights, according to the U.N. partition plan. So how did
Israel end up "owning" roughly 80% of Palestine, when in 1946, after many years
of trying, Israeli Jews had managed to purchase only a tiny fraction of the
land? The answer is shocking: Israel resorted to ethnic cleansing,
deliberately and systematically stealing large tracts of land from Palestinians,
then razing hundreds of their villages to prevent them from ever returning.
This indisputable historical fact has been thoroughly documented by Jewish
historians like Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaimx.
Today there are literally hundreds of Jewish peace and humanitarian
organizations that work to correct, or at least mitigate, this terrible
Breaking the Silence (Jewish soldiers who oppose and speak truthfully about the military occupation of
Jews for Justice,
Rabbis for Human Rights,
Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (Why
are the homes of Palestinians being destroyed, really?),
Jewish Voice for Peace ("Two
people, one future."), The Association for
Civil Rights in Israel (Israel's
oldest and largest human rights group),
Gush Shalom ("Putting
an end to the occupation."), and many others.
So the Jewish people themselves obviously understand
the truth, even though the American public has been fed a steady diet of
propaganda (i.e., disinformation). The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is
a root cause of 9-11. Muslim men who launch such terrorist attacks abhor what
has happened to the Palestinians and claim to be
fighting fire with fire, since millions of completely innocent Palestinian women
and children have suffered for more than half a century at the hands of Israel
and the U.S., and large numbers have died prematurely. To cause the premature
death of an innocent person is, in a word,
murder. To target an ethnic group, including women and
children, for "purification" is ethnic cleansing. When
people targeted for purification begin to die in large numbers, that is
genocide. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are the worst forms of
terrorism known to mankind, but most Jews and Americans don't want to admit such
things, so they stop up their ears and persist in believing that 9-11 was the
result of people unjustly "hating" their "values." But what sort of
national and religious "values" result in ethnic cleansing and genocide?
If Jewish and Christian "values" cause millions of innocents to suffer, and
many to die prematurely, how is it wrong for Muslims to hate those "values"?
Please understand that I am not defending acts of terrorism, but simply
pointing out that much larger acts of terrorism were committed by Israel and the
U.S., long before 9-11.
To say that Israel should be allowed to keep land stolen from Palestinian
farm families because it won wars with its neighbors is like saying the U.S.
should have been allowed to steal land from Mexican farm families if the Bay of
Pigs invasion of Cuba had succeeded. Obviously, it was wrong for Israel to steal
land from Palestinian farmers who had absolutely no say in what the kings and
tyrants of Jordan, Egypt and Syria did in 1948 and 1967. And even more
obviously, it is wrong for Israel to continually steal land from Palestinians to
this day, decades after the wars ended. Do Americans use the Alamo to excuse
stealing land from Mexicans? Of course not. But that is essentially what Israel
has been doing for decades.
Furthermore, any claims that Israel's ethnic cleansing and land grabs are the
"necessary" result of terrorism, rather than acts of systematic terrorism that
will invariably result in retaliatory acts of violence, are patently false. If
the only cause of Israel's land grabbing and ethnic cleansing are acts of
Palestinian violence, then why is Israel stealing land from Bedouins and
ethnically cleansing them? Why does Israel continually steal land from its
neighbors and even its own citizens, if they happen not to have been born
Jewish? Why does Israel insist that Jewish babies are born with vastly superior
rights to Palestinian and Bedouin babies? How is that not racism?
And let's at least be honest, if we can't (or won't) be fair. Between 1948 and
1967, Israeli Jews took (stole) roughly 80% of the land of Palestine without
paying for it. The 1967 borders would leave the Palestinians with only a small
fraction of their original land. Who then is making the greater concessions for
peace? The Palestinians, by far. If we speak of a "just peace," we are
lying to ourselves. There is nothing "just" about what has happened to the
Palestinians, and continues to happen to them. If they accept the 1967 lines,
that will be like Americans giving up 80% of their land to China, in return for
peace. Of course Americans would never make such a concession, nor would Israeli
Jews. And now President Obama is suggesting that Palestinians with valid claims
to land inside the borders of Israel can never return to their ancestral homes.
Rather, the smaller, poorer state must absorb millions of refuges, because the
larger, richer, far more powerful state refuses to treat them as human beings
with equal rights. How is that fair? So to me it seems terribly wrong to speak
of a "just peace." Shouldn't we at least be honest and admit that we are asking
Palestinians to make outrageous concessions for the sake of peace, because Jews
and Christians decline to pay the price of justcie? Frankly, I am disgusted and
wish more Americans (most of whom claim to be "Christians," appropriating the
name of Jesus Christ) had a sense of justice, as Jesus obviously did. But I
realize that this is asking more of American Christians than most of them care
to be bothered with. And the majority of American Jews and Israeli Jews also
seem to lack any sense of justice, even though the Hebrew prophets spoke of the
need for compassion and social justice. Jews and Christians often call Islam a
"false religion," but when did they ever bother to set a good example
themselves? How can any true religion turn blind eyes and deaf ears to
compassion and justice?
I realize that my opinion places me in an unpopular minority, so please allow me
to move forward with a plan for a lasting peace that, unfortunately, falls far
short of being "just" ...
As I pointed out above, Israel never paid anyone for the bulk of the land it
acquired from Palestinians in 1948, 1967 and thereafter. Just as the U.S.
acquired (stole) large tracts of land from Native Americans by force, coercion
and trickery, so Israel acquired (stole) large tracts of land from Palestinians
by force, hook and crook. This became "free" land to Israeli Jews, but very
expensive land to Palestinians, Americans and the rest of the world, because the
price has been sixty years of hostilities culminating in 9-11 and the subsequent
wars. The U.S. eventually withdrew its military from Indian reservations and
Native Americans were at last granted equal rights and the freedom to enter
mainstream society, if they so choose. But this has not happened in
Israel/Palestine, where Jewish babies are born with vastly superior rights to
Palestinian babies and the Israeli military doles out heavy-handing "justice" to
anyone who opposes it. To understand the horror, just consider the plight of the
children of Gaza:
I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
—Michael R. Burch, "Epitaph for a Palestinian Child"
Even if this military occupation of Palestine is "necessary," which is highly
doubtful, nothing can possibly excuse the racist Jim Crow laws and kangaroo
courts established by Israel, which have denied Palestinians protection from
having their homes demolished and their land taken without due process of law.
What we are seeing is clearly
ethnic cleansing, which in its later stages will
undoubtedly result in genocide, unless it is halted.
But the misery goes far beyond many people losing their land, homes and lives
unfairly. To understand the truly grotesque horror of Israeli racism (which
President Obama failed to mention because Jewish and Christian interests will
not allow Israel to be criticized the way other racist states are routinely
criticized), please consider the predicament of Palestinian schoolchildren who
are often cursed, spat on and sometimes physically abused as they trudge to
school. Their plight is very similar to that of black schoolchildren who were
cursed, spat on and physically abused in the Deep South before the American
Civil Rights Movement finally put an end to such outrages.
I believe it is very important to be honest about what has really happened to
the Palestinians, and to understand how they have suffered, and why it is so
very wrong for Israel to act as if it is an aggrieved party making "concessions"
for peace. This is simply and outrageously a lie. We must confront the terrible
truth about Israeli racism. I recently made a fine young black man a partner in
a company I own, and as we signed the partnership contract he told me an
illuminating story, saying that when his father was a boy growing up in
Mississippi, he had been forced to call white boys "sir." If this doesn't shock
and appall you, I doubt that anything I say will make sense to you. If it does
shock and appall you that racist adults could so humiliate and demoralize an
innocent child, then perhaps we think alike and need to ask ourselves why Israel
has not been held responsible for treating innocent Palestinian children like
pariahs on their own native soil.
My mother is English. She has told me one particular story many times over the
course of our shared lives. After she married my father and came to the U.S. for
the first time, they were riding on a bus traveling south to my father's
hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. When the bus reached the Mason-Dixon line, it
stopped and all the black passengers were forced to move to the back of the bus.
My mother was shocked and disgusted, as she should have been. But this pales in
comparison to the way Palestinians are treated by Israeli Jews today. Why are
most Americans not shocked and disgusted by the shameless, overt racism
practiced on a daily basis by the government of Israel against millions of
Palestinians: most of them completely innocent women and children? And why is
President Obama, who is surely not a racist himself, nor a sympathizer with acts
of racism against women and children, not telling "the whole truth and nothing
but the truth" about what is really happening to Palestinians?
Because he can't ... not without being voted out of office himself, along with
any other American politicians foolish enough (or courageous enough) to
criticize Israel publicly. For this reason, it seems likely that the U.N. and
the European Union will have to play the lead roles in the Middle East from now
on. How can the U.S. be a fair, honest mediator when American politicians are
unable to speak truthfully about the racial injustices of Israel? And yet unless
Israel recognizes the human rights of Palestinians it seems we are doomed to
more events like 9-11 and to more wars, perhaps even to World War III ...
I don't know what weapons will be used in World War III, but World War IV
will be fought with sticks and stones.—Albert
If Americans were wise, they would study what great humanitarians and men of
peace have said and written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Albert
Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi and Nobel Peace Prize winners Jimmy Carter, Nelson
Mandela and Desmond Tutu have all plainly explained why what Israeli Jews have
done to Palestinians is so clearly and terribly wrong. If you'd like to hear
what these great humanitarians and men of peace have said on the subject of the
conflict between Jews and Palestinians, please click
here, or for a few quick excerpts, just keep reading ...
The great Jewish scientist, intellectual, humanitarian and peace activist Albert
Einstein wrote, "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on
the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State ... I
am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain ... " Einstein was offered
the presidency of Israel in 1952 but turned it down. He did not approve of Jews
seeking political and military dominance over Palestinians, but always sought
"friendly and fruitful coexistence with the Arabs" and consistently said that
the most important goal of Zionism should be to have good relationships with
Arabs. Unfortunately, the leaders of Israel failed to listen to him. The result
has been nearly a century of bloodshed and misery.
Mohandas Gandhi, the father of modern nonviolent protest, wrote, "What is going
on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct ... And
now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about
it the wrong way ... A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the
bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the
Arabs. ... There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if only they
will discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-sharers with
the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not
defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in
resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their
But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said
against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds."
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu asked, "Have our Jewish sisters and
brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the
collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history
[the Holocaust] so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and
noble religious traditions?"
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, in a memo to Thomas L. Friedman, a
columnist for the New York Times, compared Israeli apartheid to South
African apartheid, saying, "As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza . . . the so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans.
These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter compared the
ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans: "I
equated the ejection of Palestinians from their previous homes within the State
of Israel to the forcing of Lower Creek Indians from the Georgia land where our
family farm was now located; they had been moved west to Oklahoma on the
Trail of Tears to make room for our white ancestors."
These good and wise men have clearly stated the case against Israeli racism,
apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Only the very gullible insist on
believing what racist robber barons say about their victims. Anyone
compassionate person with a sense of justice knows that ethnic cleansing is
wrong. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of Christians and Jews seem to
either lack compassion and a sense of justice, or are so ignorant of the
historical facts that they remain blind to the truth.
Why do most Americans only see and hear the Israeli side of things? This is the
result of "framing." Netanyahu and pro-Israel propagandists want to "frame" the
discussion to be solely about Israel's right to exist and Israel's security,
while ignoring the equal rights of Palestinians to national existence and
security. As long as Israel is not held accountable for its crimes, which cannot
even be discussed publicly by American politicians, Israel can continue to steal
Palestinian land while "cleansing" Palestinians into smaller-and-smaller
bantustans. President Obama is offering a much more equitable solution,
based on the rights of Jews and Palestinians to co-exist as equals. But Israel
has never (or at least not to date) been willing to accept the fact that
Palestinians are human beings with fully equal rights to Jews. If Israel ever
accepts this simple, self-evident proposition, peace will finally become
possible. But the American public, mostly for racial and religious reasons, is
largely deaf to the idea of equality and justice for Palestinians. This greatly
complicates President Obama's mission, as he cannot speak truthfully about the
extent of the problem without risking himself and other Democrats being swept
from office, due to the loss of Jewish and conservative Christian votes and
A fool and his money are soon elected.
According to Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator and a fellow at the
New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, President Obama is in
effect telling Israel: “I can continue defending you to the hilt, but if you
give me nothing to work with, even America can’t save you.” Why? Because many
Jews and Americans are in denial and refuse to admit that ethnic cleansing and
apartheid are just as horrendously wrong when Israel practices them as when
other nations do. Ironically, many Jews and Americans who castigate other people
for denying the Nazi Holocaust now deny this new Holocaust, the Nakba
("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians. At the risk of sounding like a broken
record, please let me remind readers that women and children on both sides of
the conflict suffer when people close their eyes and ears to the truth, just as
Native American women and children suffered on the Trail of Tears, while a white
supremacist government, a white supremacist military and a white supremacist
press blamed their victims for every "crime" known to humanity.
There are many humorous things in the
world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other
On the brighter side, before his speech President Obama
received the endorsement of the U.N., the European Union and Russia, which
together with the U.S. are known as "the Quartet." In a show of solidarity, the
Quartet issued a statement expressing "strong support for the vision of
Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined" in his proposal. This is very important
because the U.S. is greatly hampered from acting as a just mediator by the
powerful political influence of American Jews and Christians who insist that
only the interests of Israel matter. This, of course, causes the Muslim world to
see Americans as hypocrites, because they preach sermons on equal rights,
justice and democracy to the rest of the world, while continually turning blind
eyes and deaf ears to Israel's racial injustices.
Always be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.
—attributed to T.H. Thompson and John Watson
Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his
moccasins.—Native American proverb
There is also another type of "framing" at work, as Israel and its propagandists
insist that there is no credible "partner for peace" on the Palestinian side.
But even if this may have been true in the past, it is no longer true, as Ehud
Barak explained during his interview with Edmund Sanders ...
Sanders: In your assessment, are Palestinians ready to reach an agreement?
Barak: It’s more complicated for them than in the past. But I think
[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas seems be at least sincere. I
can’t read his gut. [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad is sincere. They are doing a
good job in this bottom-up building of embryonic state institutions. There is
more freedom, more normalcy, more security, and a much lower level of terror
than in any previous years. [What the Palestinians have been able to accomplish
recently under a heavy-handed Israeli military occupation is quite an
achievement: something Barak recognizes but which many racist, intolerant Jews
and Americans refuse to see, because to them all Palestinians are "terrorists."
In reality, most Palestinians practice non-violence or engage in symbolic acts
like rock-throwing, while Israel asserts its dominance using F-15's, F-16's,
unmanned drones, Cobras, Apaches, Black Hawks, Pythons, Hellfire missiles, white
phosphorous bombs, tanks, militarized bulldozers, etc. To better visualize the
reality, think of the movies "District 9" and "Avatar."]
Sanders: Can Israel work with a PA [Palestinian Authority, a limited local
government subservient to the Israeli military] that includes Hamas?
Barak: People here say, "Oh, that’s a catastrophe." I say that doesn’t make
sense. We cannot say on the one hand that Abbas is not a real partner because
any negotiations would be, at most, an agreement that you put on the shelf
because he doesn’t control half his people, and then on the other side, when he
tries to resume control [of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip], to say, "Now they are
lost." It’s not lost. But we should say loud and clear, if and when they form a
technocratic government [that] we expect the government, Fatah and mainly Hamas,
to be ready to explicitly accept … recognition of Israel, acceptance of all
previous agreements, and denouncing terror. [But even here there is "framing" of
terrorism because large-scale Israeli government/military terrorism is routinely
excused or ignored, while individual acts of Palestinian terrorism are
invariably castigated by the Israeli and American media. While Ehud Barak is
more open-minded than Netanyahu, he is not so open-minded that he will admit
publicly that the Israeli government has abused and killed far more innocent
women and children than Hamas. So he too is "framing" the argument, to a
somewhat lesser degree, because he wants peace.]
Sanders: Are we closer or farther away from resolving the conflict today
than when you negotiated at Camp David in 2000?
Barak: We’re closer. We found that [Yasser] Arafat was not focusing on
solving 1967 and the occupation, but on 1947 and the very establishment of
Israel. Some people on the right wing believe that’s the case right now. I don’t
buy it. The other side has changed. Abu Mazen [Abbas] and Fayyad say loud and
clear [that] if there is an agreement that meets their minimum demands, they are
ready to sign an end of conflict and claims. That’s exactly what Arafat
rejected. They are willing to consider more moderate ideas than Arafat. I think
this leadership is more ripe. We won’t know until we try. You cannot just
produce self-fulfilling prophecies, or say "We are not acting because we don’t
think it will work."
I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do
believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
Ronald Reagan once called the U.S.S.R. the "evil empire," and he meant it. But
when the chance for a negotiated peace emerged, Reagan was willing to make
concessions for peace, which were matched by the U.S.S.R., and before long the
Berlin Wall fell without shots being fired. With so much at stake, how can
Israel afford not to listen to Ehud Barak, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan,
Einstein, Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, Mandela, and Tutu? If Israel negotiates a just
peace, Palestinian organizations that practice terror will soon lose their
ability to raise funds and enlist recruits, just as the Black Panthers did after
the U.S. finally granted black Americans equal rights and justice. If Israel
fails to negotiate a just peace, we can expect more events like 9-11 and more
unwinnable wars that may well bankrupt the United States.
The Role of Religion
If you are a Christian, a pertinent question becomes: "Why do so many Christians
act as if God is an intolerant bigot who favors Jews and Christians over
Muslims?" How can a loving, compassionate, wise, just God be a racist? According
to Jesus and the apostles, particularly Peter and Paul, all human beings are the
children of God and no race is favored over any other race. But many Jews and
evangelical Christians have "resurrected" the patently unjust idea that Jews are
somehow favored by luck of birth. Is God a racist who favors Jewish babies over
Palestinian babies? If God favors Jewish babies over Palestinian babies, does he
also favor Jewish babies over American babies, since like Palestinians most
Americans are Gentiles? Can any Christian imagine Jesus "giving" the homes of
Palestinian babies to robber barons, so that the babies and their families
become homeless and destitute? If we say that God "gave" land to one race at the
expense of another, aren't we saying that God is horrendously unjust, since many
innocent women and children will die of exposure, disease, stress, despair and
starvation if their land and homes are stolen from them? And yet millions of
Americans who would oppose racism anywhere else in the world insist on
supporting Israel despite its terrible racial injustices. Thus the Christian
religion is a major factor in the suffering and deaths of multitudes of
Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter ...
wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter.
—Michael R. Burch
Bibi's Bluff: Does Israel Want "Peace" or Free Land?
"Bibi" Netanyahu said "Israel wants peace, I want peace." But Israel's military
is camped out in Occupied Palestine, where Israeli soldiers guard Jewish robber
barons (euphemistically called "settlers") as they steal land from Palestinians
on a daily basis. If I told my neighbors that I wanted "peace" while using armed
men to steal their land, wouldn't they be fools to believe me? Where I live in
Tennessee, we have a saying: "The proof is in the pudding." Racists often
profess to believe in God and justice, but their actions belie their words.
Native Americans once suffered very similar fates (consider the maps) as the
U.S. military forced them onto arid, ever-shrinking reservations while white
"Christian" robber barons stole all the best land. Palestinians know full well
what happened to Native Americans and other indigenous victims of colonialism.
They know Netanyahu is speaking with a forked tongue, just as Andrew Jackson did
when he made my Cherokee ancestors walk the Trail of Tears. The question today
is whether the U.S. and the rest of the world will call Bibi's Bluff. There
seems to be little doubt that Israel will continue to acquire "free" land in
Occupied Palestine, at the end of a gun barrel, until the world forces Israel to
give up its land-grabbing and ethnic cleansing.
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men gang aft agley [go oft awry].—Robert
Burns [written after the great Scottish poet accidentally destroyed
a field mouse's nest]
Netanyahu also said that Palestinian leaders would have to choose between a
reconciliation with Hamas, which Israel calls a terrorist organization, or peace
with Israel. But the terrorism of Israel's ethnic cleansing and apartheid
completely dwarfs and overshadows acts of individual terrorism by Palestinians.
Why should the world consider terrorism only on one side of the conflict?
According to the American Declaration of Independence, it is the right
of people who have been denied equal rights, justice and representative
government to forcefully resist their overlords and oppressors. Thomas Jefferson
and George Washington lived in mansions and had freedom to travel as they
pleased, but they claimed the right to kill Englishmen as long as they were
denied equal rights, justice and representative government. Palestinians do not
live in mansions or have freedom to travel because Israel's government has
herded millions of them into gigantic walled corrals as if they were animals
rather than human beings. If Jefferson and Washington had the right to
forcefully resist the British monarchy, why should Palestinians be condemned for
resisting something almost infinitely worse?
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp; the man’s the gowd [gold] for a’ [all]
Should only Jews be Protected from Racial Injustices?
When Abba Eban spoke of the "Auschwitz lines" of Israel, he was stressing the
need for the world to understand that Jews would never risk another Auschwitz.
That is completely understandable. But at the same time it is also completely
understandable that more than a billion Muslims do not want their Palestinian
brothers and sisters to live through a modern-day Auschwitz. And yet this is
what is happening today. If we could peer inside those remaining green spots on
the fourth map above, and into Palestinian refugee camps in nearby nations like
Jordan and Lebanon, we would see millions of completely innocent women and
children who have been denied freedom, equal rights and justice, just as the
Jews of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were denied freedom, equal rights and
justice by German Nazis. Whenever people are denied freedom, equal rights and
justice, they become the defenseless prey of ruthless men. This leads to
unconscionable suffering for the victims. We know this from history. Fair laws
and courts are the basis of human civilization. When a nation's laws and courts
are racist and thus patently unfair, racial violence invariably results. When
Native Americans were left unprotected by racist laws and courts, the result was
the Trail of Tears and a series of massacres on both sides of the conflict. When
black Americans were left unprotected by racist laws and courts, they were
enslaved and the result was the Civil War, which left over 600,000 Americans
dead and millions more wounded, maimed, limbless and displaced. When Jews,
Gypsies, Slavs and other people were left unprotected by the racist laws and
courts of Germany, the result was the Holocaust, with millions of people dead.
Very similar things also happened to Australian aborigines, black South
Africans, and many other disenfranchised people over the course of human
history. Should only Jews be protected from racial injustices, or should
all human beings be protected from racial injustices?
Israeli "framing" insists that racism practiced against Jews is evil, but that
racism practiced by Jews should be excused or ignored. Since the Palestinians
are Semites, Israel has ironically become the most anti-Semitic nation on earth!
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible
—Catherine the Great
And while it has become fashionable for high-ranking Israelis to quote Abba Eban
about the "Auschwitz lines," they ought to consider other things he said:
"Israel’s birth is intrinsically and intimately linked with the idea of sharing
territory and sovereignty [with Palestinians]."
"Men and nations behave wisely once all other alternatives have been exhausted."
"Time and again these governments have rejected proposals today ... and longed
for them tomorrow."
Abba Eban hoped the time would come when Israel would be offered what the saner
founders of Israel had always wanted: secure borders with peace on all sides and
recognition by the Arab world. Now this offer is on the table, but will Israel
be wise enough to accept it, when insisting on the "right" to steal Palestinian
land and practice ethnic cleansing is estranging Israel from every other nation
on earth? Even if the U.S. continues to side with Israel, will that be enough,
now that the U.S. is claiming to only be an "advisor"? I believe Daniel Levy is
correct: Barack Obama is telling Israel that the U.S. cannot save Israel if it
continues down the dark path of racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
Framing U.N. Resolutions in Order to Dispossess Palestinians
Eban changed his first name to Abba, which means "father," because he considered
himself to be the father of modern-day Israel due to his ability to persuade
other nations to recognize Israel, primarily through the U.N. The state we now
call Israel was created through a U.N. resolution in 1947 (the second map above)
and achieved international legitimacy through the U.N., and yet Israel has never
abided by the rulings of the U.N. that established fixed borders for the modern
state of Israel. Why does Israel continue to ethnically cleanse Palestinians
from land outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel, stealing
their land via armed robbery in clear violation of international law? Why does
the U.S. preach equal rights, individual justice and self-determination to the
rest of the world, only to veto one U.N. resolution after another that could
have helped the Palestinians achieve freedom, equal rights, justice and
democracy? Why does Israel choose to accept the rulings of the U.N. that are in
its favor, while ignoring U.N. rulings that would allow Palestinians to have the
state established by the same resolution that established Israel?
The answer is that both Israel and the U.S. have political systems that allow
special interests to trump the desire of the majority of the citizens, who
vastly prefer peace to violence and war. The average Israeli Jew and the average
American have nothing to gain if robber barons acquire additional parcels of
land in the West Bank. But special interests within Israel and the U.S. have
"framed" the discussion so successfully that most Americans have no idea what is
really happening. If you asked the average American if anywhere in the world
robber barons should be able to demolish a poor family's house and steal their
land, he would reply, "Of course not!" But if you asked him why there is so much
violence in Israel/Palestine, he would probably mutter something about
Palestinians being "terrorists" who "hate our values" and "want to take over the
Why do Americans Support the Racial Injustices of Israel?
How can Americans who blindly support Israel's racial injustices be so gullible?
Is it a matter of ignorance, religion and wishful thinking? The philosopher
George Santayana said that if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to
repeat it. The maps above mirror what happened to Native Americans when American
laws and courts failed to defend their rights. As their land was taken from them
by force, coercion and outright robbery, there was one massacre after another.
But Native Americans had only primitive weapons: bows, arrows, tomahawks,
single-shot rifles, etc. What would have happened if they had possessed hugely
destructive modern weapons? What would have happened if they had been surrounded
by more than a billion sympathetic friends, who did not agree that the should be
caused to suffer and die as if they had no human rights whatsoever?
If we want peace, these are questions we need to consider. Today oppressed
people have access to a variety of lethal weapons. On 9-11 a handful of men
turned the world upside down by turning commandeered planes into missiles.
Contrary to popular American opinion, they didn't attack because they "hate our
values" or "want to take over the world." They attacked because they were
willing to sacrifice their lives to end the injustices of Israel and the U.S. in
the Middle East. Understanding this, wouldn't it be much better for Israeli
Jews, Palestinians, Americans and the world if Israel stopped stealing land from
Palestinians, when the consequences so far have been 9-11 and two horrific wars,
and the future consequence might be World War III?
The Path to a Lasting Peace
President Obama has now openly supported the idea of returning to the 1967
borders as the path to a lasting peace. Nevertheless, he made it clear that the
role of the U.S. in the present conflict is that of an advisor. The U.S.-Israeli
relationship has become complicated, if not schizophrenic. In February of 2011,
the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the continued
expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank expansion. As has often been
the case, there were 14 votes in favor of requiring Israel to act like a
civilized nation and only one – that of the U.S. – to the contrary. This
happened shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had called the
settlements "illegitimate" in an interview with ABC. If the settlements are
illegitimate, why did the U.S. veto the resolution?
How can the U.S. claim to be the leader of the free world if it continues to
fund and support ethnic cleansing?
Conn Hallinan, a contributing editor for Foreign Policy in Focus,
suggests that the U.S. cannot afford to play a neutral role in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying, "The USA gives Israel about $3 billion a
year in aid, which goes to military stuff, and a lot of this money flees to
[i.e., ends up going to] Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. If
this subject comes up in September, the General Assembly of the U.N. will
overwhelmingly endorse the existence of the Palestinian state based on the 1967
borders." [In other words, the entire world now recognizes the injustice of what
has happened to the Palestinians, and if the U.S. does not want to relinquish
its leading role in world affairs, it cannot stand in the way of freedom, equal
rights and justice for Palestinians. This is all the more true because of the
Arab Spring.] Hallinan continues, "That is not a subject that can be vetoed in
the Security Council, because it is a matter for the General Assembly [where the
U.S. does not have a veto]. That will isolate the USA and Israel – and
essentially they will stand alone in the world. I think neither one of them
wants that. So there is a possibility you can begin to leverage some of these in
the direction of negotiations, but I do not have too much faith in Netanyahu as
a Prime Minister."
I'm afraid Hallinan may be right about Netanyahu. (I sometimes call him
Netan-YAHOO.) Bill Clinton has been quoted as saying that Netanyahu does not
recognize the humanity of the Palestinians. This has also been true for many
other high-ranking Israelis. For instance, Golda Meir was quoted twice as saying
that land could not be returned to Palestinians because they did not "exist."
She obviously didn't see the Palestinian race and culture as being equal, or
even distantly equal, to the Jewish race and culture. It's as if Israel is being
run by the Grand Wizards of the KKK. This of course complicates things, but
please keep in mind that a similar mentality existed in the leadership of the
Deep South only a few decades ago. When the Deep South was forced to abandon its
Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts, things soon took a turn for the better.
I believe President Obama has sent Netanyahu and Israel a clear signal that the
U.S. will no longer oppose the will of the rest of the world. There is an offer
on the table: Israel must accept the 1967 borders with land swaps, in return for
Arab recognition of the state of Israel with security and viability for both
sides. This is not what Israel wants, because to date Israel has been able to
have its cake while gobbling up the Palestinian pie. But if the world holds firm
and the U.S. sides with the rest of the world, it is possible that Israel will
finally accept the fact that every nation must have fixed borders and not exceed
Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute
for Policy Studies, points out that this is not the first time that a U.S.
president has talked about the 1967 borders, as Israeli officials tried to make
it seem after President Obama’s speech: "One year after the famous letter
exchange between Bush and [Ariel] Sharon there was another letter, another
statement from President Bush where he used the term ‘the 1949 Armistice Line’.
That line is the 1967 border." She then added, "President Obama went further
than that and said the Palestinian state will be the homeland of all the
Palestinian people, implying that the right of return ... to homes inside what
is now Israel will not apply. Any Palestinians returning, Palestinian refugees,
will have to go to the new Palestinian state, which was not, of course,
[originally] their home."
This is an important compromise. If Palestinian refugees were allowed to return
to the state of Israel, they would outnumber Israeli Jews and Israel could no
longer be a Jewish state and a democracy. But if the Palestinian refugees return
to the new state of Palestine, Israel can remain both a Jewish state and a
democracy, albeit one with rather shaky moral foundations.
An Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss
private deliberations, quoted Mr. Netanyahu as telling his aides: "I went in
with certain concerns. I came out encouraged." What was he encouraged about?
Perhaps about the issue of the right of return of Palestinians to Israel.
"Everybody knows it's not going to happen," Mr. Netanyahu said. "And I think
it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it's not going to happen."
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the 1967 lines being the path to a
just, lasting peace. But of course there is nothing just about stealing
someone's land, house and property, then dumping him on a much poorer nation
with far less land. So let me rephrase what I said: the 1967 lines represent the
path to a lasting peace. The peace will only be just if Israel acts justly,
which seems unlikely.
"Our ultimate goal has to be a secure Israel state, a Jewish state, living
side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective
Palestinian state," President Obama said. "Obviously there are some differences
between us in the precise formulations and language, and that's going to happen
Is Israel a Democracy or a Racist State?
To "acquire" land from other people without paying for it is robbery.
To acquire land from other people by using weapons and force is armed
robbery. To steal land from large numbers of people of different races is
ethnic cleansing. To steal land from farm families, thus depriving them
of the ability to feed themselves, resulting in the deaths of completely
innocent mothers and their children is murder, matricide and
infanticide. To cause the deaths of large numbers of innocent people
because they are of the "wrong" race or creed is genocide. To
collectively punish women and children of the "wrong" race and creed by herding
them into walled ghettos and concentration camps, where they are doomed to
suffer and die without ever drawing a free breath, is a Holocaust. When
these things were done to Jews by Germans during World War II, all the free
world was horrified. American soldiers helped liberate the walled ghettos and
concentration camps of the Nazis, weeping to see the suffering of the human
beings they emancipated. Why then do so many Americans now observe what is
happening to the Palestinians in stony silence, without tears? Are Palestinian
mothers and their children somehow less important, less human, than
Jewish mothers and children? Or have most Americans never been told the truth?
If so, why not?
If you want to understand why Israel experiences so much racial violence today,
just study Israel's laws and courts independently for a few minutes, using
Google. A nation's laws and major court rulings (or lack of them) are matters of
public record. The simple, easily verifiable truth is that Israel has Jim Crow
laws and kangaroo courts similar to those of South Africa and the Deep South
prior to civil rights reforms. For instance, a Jewish woman can marry whomever
she pleases and live with her husband and children without government
interference. Every child born to a Jewish mother is automatically qualified for
full Israeli citizenship rights. But if a Palestinian women marries someone
Israel's government disapproves of, she can be separated from her spouse and
children. This is very similar to the white supremacist governments of southern
states which allowed slaveowners to break up black families for the economic
benefit of their "masters." As in the Deep South, Palestinians cannot buy most
of the land of Israel, which has been reserved for Jewish people and
institutions. Even on the ever-dwindling land of Occupied Palestine, outside the
borders of Israel, Palestinians are prohibited from driving on "Jewish only"
roads or living in "Jewish only" settlements. This is like the United States
invading Mexico, seizing all the best land, then creating "Hispanic-free" roads
and settlements. How would Americans feel if China invaded the United States,
stationed Chinese troops on our land, then created "Chinese only" roads and
settlements that were off-limits to our children? Obviously, we would be at war
with China. Why then is it "wrong" for Palestinians to resist what is happening
to their children on a daily basis? Are only Americans and Jews allowed to use
force to resist terrible injustices?
And it important to understand that no Palestinian baby, whether born in Israel,
Gaza, Occupied Palestine or a refugee camp in another nation, has the same
rights as a Jewish baby. A baby born to a Jewish mother anywhere in the world
always has the right to "return" to Israel and become a full citizen, even if
her family left the Middle East thousands of years ago. But a baby born to a
Palestinian mother outside the borders of Israel whose family owned clear deed
to land in Palestine as recently as 1948 or 1967 cannot return to her native,
ancestral land. Even if she was able to return to Israel proper, she would be
subject to terribly racist, unjust laws that could prevent her from marrying the
man of her choice and living with him and their children without draconian
Israeli government interference. Only a racist could fail to be disgusted by the
idea that one baby can be born with superior rights to another baby. Why don't
Palestinian babies have exactly the same rights as Jewish babies?
The Excuse of "Terrorism"
Of course the main Israeli defense of this system of government-sanctioned
racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide is that "terrorism" is the
"real problem." But this is like me slapping my wife around on a daily basis,
then complaining if the men in her family retaliate in order to defend her. Yes,
terrorism is a terrible thing, but there is such a thing as self-defense and a
man protecting his family, so we have to ask ourselves why acts of terrorism
occur so frequently in Israel/Palestine today. We once had serious problems with
acts of terrorism by militant black groups in the U.S. But what happened to the
Black Panthers once the U.S. finally established much fairer laws and courts?
Obviously, the Black Panthers lost their main reason for existence and their
ability to raise funds and recruit foot soldiers. There was no reason for Black
Panthers to die or go to jail once black Americans had achieved equal rights and
the protections of fair laws and courts. Terrorism is not the disease, but a
terrible symptom of the disease of government-sanctioned racial injustice.
The Role of the Bible
This terrible disease, government-sanctioned racism, was the root cause of the
Trail of Tears, American slavery, the Civil War, a century of racial unrest in
the U.S. after the Civil War, the terrorist acts of the Black Panthers, the Nazi
Holocaust, South African apartheid, and a whole Pandora's box of evils. It is
also the root cause of 9-11, because the governments of Israel and the U.S.
ignored the human rights of Palestinians for 53 years prior to 9-11. President
Obama understands that peace with the Muslim world depends on Israel and the
U.S. curing this terrible disease. But the American public does not want to hear
the truth. American Christians prefer to read Bible verses that say God "gave"
the land of Palestine to the ancient Hebrews, while ignoring the many verses
that clearly say Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David actually took the land via
ethnic cleansing and genocide, the "slaying of everything that breathes." The
Bible clearly says that Moses ordered the slaughter of defenseless mothers and
male babies, with only the virgin girls being kept alive, obviously as sex
slaves (Numbers 31). The Bible also clearly says that Joshua and Caleb
slaughtered women, children and livestock. It also clearly says that David
killed every woman when he "smote" the land and that he ordered the slaughter of
the lame and blind when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites. Was God telling
these men to slaughter women, children and the handicapped, or did they just
assume that God was on their side when they got away with murder? Ancient people
often claimed the gods were with them when they were victorious in battle, but
who can believe that a loving, compassionate, wise, just God ordered the
slaughter and enslavement of innocents? Sex slavery was so accepted at the time
of Moses that he even allowed fathers to sell their own daughters as sex slaves,
with the option to buy them back if they didn't "please" their new masters
(Exodus 21). How can anyone possibly "believe" that such things were the edicts
of a wise, just God?
And yet many American Christians persist in "believing" the Bible is
"infallible" when a number of its passages are worse than anything in Hitler's
Mein Kampf. So the Christian religion also lies at the root of 9-11.
American Christians no longer "believe" in slavery, even though the Bible
clearly condones it. Jesus, Paul and the apostles never called slavery an
abomination or called for the practice to be abolished. As Jefferson Davis, the
president of the Confederacy, pointed out in his defense of slavery, from
beginning to end the Bible endorses slavery. But if American Christians no
longer believe in slavery, why do they cling to the verses in the Bible that
make God a bigot who prefers Jews to Palestinians and endorses ethnic cleansing
But of course religion is a big, highly profitable business, and once a religion
has taken a firm stand it chances losing converts and money if it changes
course. So many Christian churches persist in teaching things that make
absolutely no sense, and thus bring the world and the children sitting in their
pews closer and closer to another world war. Meanwhile rich, powerful Jews with
tremendous political influence in the U.S. will not allow American politicians
to speak the truth without suffering the consequences. American politicians who
support Israel are rewarded with Jewish votes and campaign contributions. Those
who suggest Israel should stop practicing racism and apartheid are attacked
ferociously, as has been the case with former president Jimmy Carter. So the
American public is shielded from the truth that could free it from Middle
Eastern wars by its two main "protectors": government and religion. Influential
Jews cynically use Christian beliefs to further the aims of Israel, but in
reality they are endangering Israel and Jews around the world, because they risk
another epidemic of anti-Semitism if there is a plague in Gaza (where the living
conditions of 2.5 million trapped Palestinians are far from conducive to good
health). What will happen if the Muslim world sees large numbers of Palestinians
suffering and dying while they remain the wards of a Jewish state that cares
nothing about them? Obviously there will be more events like 9-11 and probably
more wars. There may also be a violent backlash against Jews around the world,
as other people increasingly see Jewish racism as the cause of global terrorism.
Unless Israel changes its racist policies and practices or the U.S. "divorces"
Israel, Americans are likely to suffer from the same backlash.
How I Came to Change My Mind about Israel
I was a staunch supporter of Israel for the first 46 years of my life ... until
I saw the maps above and decided to do some independent research. Because I am
an editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry, and because I grew up in an
evangelical Christian family, I had always heard the Israeli side of the story.
But I have Cherokee ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears, so I understand
what can happen when people of one race with massive military superiority choose
to ethnically cleanse the people of another race, in order to take their land
and natural resources. If we compare the maps above to what happened to Native
Americans, the parallel is obvious and striking.
Ironically, it was my friends among the Jewish Holocaust survivors, poets and
translators published by The HyperTexts who first told me there was
something very, very wrong with racial policies and practices of Israel. They
didn't tell me intentionally. They told me by becoming defensive, evasive and
hostile when I asked simple, basic questions about Israel's treatment of the
Palestinians. One Jewish Holocaust survivor insisted, "The Palestinians are not
suffering!" A Jewish poet I considered a brother gave my email address to a
professional propagandist. It struck me as very strange and very wrong that my
fellow poet and brother-in-arms would "sic" a pit bull on me. So I began to
research the "facts on the ground" and I found to my horror that most of what I
had been told to believe about Israel and the Palestinians was either patently
false or a gross distortion of the truth. To put it bluntly, much of what my
Jewish friends and I had been opposing together, the Holocaust, was happening,
and continues to happen, to the Palestinians at the hands of the government of
I am an editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry because I oppose racism and
injustice, and so I must oppose both the Shoah ("Catastrophe") of the Jews and
the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians. How can I oppose what the Nazis
did to the Jews, and not oppose what Israel is doing to the Palestinians?
The Numbers Game
Before anyone cries "Foul!" and points out that millions of Jews died during the
Shoah, as if we are engaged in some sort of macabre numbers game in which the
side with the most fatalities "wins," please allow me make a few important
points. Albert Einstein used "thought experiments" or logical "parables" to
debunk the erroneous thinking of his day. So I will use similar "parables" to
examine the logic of the pro-Israel propagandists who now deluge me emails on a
daily basis. The propagandists have yet to answer any of my questions
satisfactorily. Why? Because the basic issue is human rights and justice, and
Israel has denied the Palestinians basic human rights and justice for over sixty
years. There is no excuse for the inexcusable: therefore, pro-Israel propaganda
"poofs" as soon as it is brought into the light and examined closely. Think
about it. If someone denied your family human rights and justice, their
"arguments" (i.e., excuses for the inexcusable) would also ring hollow. To
understand the horror of what has happened to the Palestinians at the hands of
Israel, just conduct a thought experiment of your own. Suppose your cousin three
times removed committed a crime. Should everyone in your immediate family—including
your mother, father, sisters, brothers, spouse, children and grandparents—be
herded into walled corrals like animals and punished collectively? Should you be
denied individual justice because someone distantly related to you may have
committed a crime, and then with considerable provocation? This is the situation
and plight of the Palestinians. The next time someone tries to "explain" how and
why such things are "necessary," you must understand the goal
of pro-Israel propagandists: they have to convince us that punishing
innocent people collectively is somehow "reasonable." But of course it isn't.
Either they are off their rockers, or we are, for believing them. It only took
me a few hours of research and thinking, to understand that what I had been told
to believe all my life was untrue, because there is no excuse for what Israel
has done, and continues to do, to the Palestinians.
Before I proceed, please allow me to say that I mourn the death of every human
being who died within the walled ghettoes and death camps of the Nazis, while
realizing how very insignificant my feelings are, in comparison to their
suffering. For soldiers to die prematurely in battle is a terrible thing, but at
least they were free and had a fighting chance. But for a child to be herded
into a walled enclosure like a lamb to the slaughter, is a horror beyond belief
or imagining. So in my opinion what happened to the Jews and other victims of
the Nazi Holocaust is the greatest of all possible crimes. Now, for the same
reason, I cringe when I see what Israel is doing to innocent Palestinian
children. As Jimmy Carter said during his recent trip to Gaza, Palestinians are
being treated more like animals than human beings. Crayons and coloring books
have been banned from Gaza as "security risks." What sort of heartless, brutal
regime denies crayons and coloring books to children who have lived through hell
on earth? Americans know Nazis did such things to Jewish children, but how many
Americans know that Israeli Jews now do such things to Palestinian children?
Like many Americans, I once saw only the tip of the iceberg, but the more I have
learned about Israel's racist, brutish injustices, the more I hate and despise
what I see, and the angrier I get. I feel betrayed by the government of Israel.
I feel betrayed by my own government because it has supported and funded this
new Holocaust. I feel betrayed by my Jewish friends who elicited my sympathy for
the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust, even as Israel inflicted a very
similar Holocaust on the Palestinians. I do not regret my sympathy for the
Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but I do regret the demand of my Jewish friends
that I sympathize only with Jews. Perhaps they can't understand how I feel,
because in their minds there is an essential difference between a Jewish child
and a Palestinian child, but to me there is no difference.
Like many people around the world, I consider all racism a crime against peace
and humanity, and I understand that government-sanctioned racism invariably
leads to violence, and often to war. To me, a baby is a baby. Only racists slap
labels on babies and insist that a baby of one race must be preferred to a baby
of another race. And yet this is the basic premise of Israel, which declares
itself to be Jewish state, rather than a state of all its citizens. It is past
time for Americans to face the truth, and confront the horror of this new
Holocaust. It is past time for Americans to demand that Israel stop stealing
land and water from an increasingly destitute people: most of them women,
children and the elderly, not "terrorists." It is past time for Americans to see
the Palestinians as a people fighting to regain their freedom and preserve their
honor, dignity and culture. And it is past time for Americans to understand that
the possibility of a devastating plague or epidemic now looms over Gaza. If
large numbers of innocent Gazans die as a result of Israeli and U.S. injustices,
we risk more events like 9-11, which may in turn lead to World War III, the use
of nuclear weapons, and the bankruptcy of our own children for all foreseeable
generations, if they survive.
I don't know what weapons will be used in World War III, but World War IV
will be fought with sticks and stones.
The Blame Game: Is it "Anti-Semitism" to Oppose Israeli
I am not an anti-Semite. Most Jews are Semites, but so are most Palestinians.
Therefore, it cannot be anti-Semitic to stand for the rights of Jews and
Palestinians, equally. I am for all Jewish people of good conscience, and for
all Palestinian people of good conscience. The people I strongly oppose are
those who subvert justice so that innocents are deprived of their right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Obviously, children cannot pursue
happiness inside giant corrals with walls twice as high as the Berlin Wall, but
this is what Israel has created. Now it is up to all people of good conscience,
including Jews, to ask ourselves "How and why has this happened to innocent
children?" and "What can we do?" If you will stick with me till the end, I will
propose a "simple plan for peace in the Middle East." Simple does not mean easy,
but simple means something we can easily understand, and agree to, and begin
doing today, together. If at any time you begin to lose interest in my
arguments, or run out of time, please skip to the bottom of this page and at
least consider my plan. Even if you disagree with my reasoning and conclusions,
you may appreciate a plan that can help establish peace through justice for Jews
and Palestinians: now, today.
And please allow me to say that I do understand and sympathize with the
dream of Zionism, although I am strongly opposed to its current
implementation. I understand and sympathize with the dream of Zionism
because as the years have passed, my family has scattered, and now I have a
dream of finding a good-sized piece of land with room for several houses so that
we can all live close to one another. There is nothing wrong with my dream, as
long as I buy the land legally, reimburse the previous owners fairly (in their
opinion as well as mine), and obey any prevailing zoning laws. But if I take the
law into my own hands, my implementation of my dream may become a
nightmare for my neighbors. Suppose the land I want is farmland and I find a way
to steal it from a farmer and his family. Suppose that without his land the
farmer can no longer provide for his family, and his family begins to starve and
die. Am I not guilty of murder? My argument is not with the
dream of Zionism, but with its current implementation. In
1948, the year of the Nakba, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, most of them
farmers and their families, had their land stolen from them illegally, in
violation of the basic precepts of justice, law and civilization. For them the
implementation of Zionism became a nightmare of racism and injustice. Now,
for over sixty years, these families and their descendents, who now number
collectively in the millions, have suffered terribly, although there is land
enough for both Jews and Palestinians (since most of the land stolen from
the Palestinians in 1948 lies fallow to this day, inside the borders of
Israel, because the majority of Israeli Jews prefer to live in urban areas).
Now, as a result of this completely unnecessary and irrational continuing
dispossession of the Palestinians, both the region and the world have become
more and more destabilized. So the current implementation of Zionism
remains a nightmare of violence and injustice, which now threatens the world
with the possibility of World War III and a nuclear holocaust. This jeopardizes
the wellbeing of American children, including American Jewish children, and all
the children of the world.
Please keep these points in mind as we study the issues at hand together: I
oppose racism and racial injustice; I am not an anti-Semite but a publisher of
Holocaust poetry; and I do understand and sympathize with the dream of
Zionism, although I strongly oppose its current implementation. I
believe most pro-Israel propaganda is pure hogwash, and I will explain why,
using verifiable facts, logic and reason. So please allow me to conduct my
thought experiments, my "Parables of Zion," and then I will tell you my "simple
plan for peace in the Middle East" . . .
A Brief History of the Conflict
The maps above clearly illustrate the main reason for the ongoing conflict
between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Before 1948 the Palestinians owned
virtually all the land of present-day Israel/Palestine [map 1]. The U.N. did not
"give" any of this land to the Jews. It is obvious that the U.N. has no right to
"give" my land to you, or yours to me. The U.N. essentially drew "voting lines
in the sand" in an attempt to create two independent states [map 2] in the
region. The white area was not land "given" to Israeli Jews, but an area
carefully "drawn" (notice the odd shape) to give the Jews a slight majority of
the voting population. If the lines had been drawn any other way, there could
not have been a democratic Jewish state because the Palestinians would have had
the majority of the population in both the white and green areas. Clearly, the
creation of a democratic Jewish state was dicey at best, and required borders to
be drawn demographically based on race, rather than more naturally.
In the green areas, the Palestinians had an overwhelming majority of the
population. But the white areas, if implemented, would have split their land
into discontiguous sections, in order to allow the Jews a slight majority
wherever possible. As a result, Palestinians living in places like Gaza and
Jaffa would not have been able to visit family members just a few miles away
without crossing into what was likely to become a separate nation and perhaps
hostile territory. For these and other eminently valid reasons, the vast
majority of Palestinians were opposed to this artificial partitioning of their
ancestral land, and their opposition is entirely understandable, especially in
light of what actually happened to them. Palestinians did not oppose the
partitioning of their land because they were anti-Semites (most Palestinians are
Semites themselves). Instead, they opposed the partitioning of Palestine for the
same reason the vast majority of Americans would oppose the creation of a
Chinese colony smack-dab in the middle of our land. How could we visit our
relatives, schools, parks and churches? Should foreigners be able to take
control of our land, without our consent, just because the U.N. "said so"? Of
course Americans would oppose any such action on the part of the U.N., and this
is what the Palestinians quite reasonably did.
Then in 1948, the year of the Nakba, the worst fears of the Palestinians came
true, when great swaths of their land were stolen and around 700,000 to 800,000
Palestinians were ethnically cleansed and ended up in refugee camps, in clear
violation of international law and the U.N. mandate which had created the white
and green areas in the second map. The property rights of all
the citizens of the new democratic state of Israel should have been protected,
according to the U.N. mandate, international law, justice, and human decency.
But the leaders of the nascent state of Israel wanted a clear Jewish majority,
so they came up with "Plan Dalet" (which has since been declassified and can now
be read online, if you care to Google it). According to Jewish historian Ilan
Pappé, the purpose of Plan Dalet was to ethnically cleanse the land of
Palestinians. As the southern proverb goes, "the proof is in the pudding" and,
as the last two maps above clearly illustrate, this ethnic cleansing has
continued to this day, leaving the Palestinians with less and less of their
Such things do not happen by accident. Today millions of Palestinians live in
refugee camps. Here's a "thought experiment" for you: how many farmers
voluntarily give up their farmland and agree to live in refugee camps where they
will be unable to provide for their families?
Now, to facilitate the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and to prevent
Palestinians from coming into contact with the Jewish settlers who continue to
illegally and blatantly steal their land, Israel has created hundreds of miles
of "security fences" which can be up to twice as high as the Berlin Wall. These
walls are not designed for "security" but are clearly dividing, conquering,
killing walls being used to slowly throttle the will to resist from the
Palestinian people. Palestinian women in labor are dying in the shadows of these
killing walls, along with their unborn babies, because the walls and Israeli
military checkpoints now separate them from nearby hospitals. The Israeli media
and Jewish humanitarian organizations freely admit that such things happen, and
indeed routinely document them. These walls are clearly not "defensive" because
they are built primarily on Palestinian territory. A wall I build on my own land
may be a defensive wall, but a wall I build on your land is clearly an offensive
wall, designed to claim your land as mine, without my paying for it. This is, in
a nutshell, the problem, and the maps above and the gigantic walls now snaking
through Palestinian territory are the only evidence needed to confirm the
problem and verify that what is happening is not an "accident," but a carefully
orchestrated process which requires billions of dollars (much of it provided by
American taxpayers) and the full complicity of the the Israeli government, which
has established hundreds of military checkpoints, roadblocks and other obstacles
inside Occupied Palestine, not Israel,
to keep Palestinians away from "Jewish only" roads and settlements on their
This is like China building "Chinese only" roads inside the United States and
stationing soldiers at checkpoints with orders to prevent Americans from
"bothering" Chinese squatters. No nation on earth would stand for its citizens
being treated so unjustly by abusive invading foreigners.
How can such things happen to Palestinians? Because for over sixty years now
they have been denied freedom, equal rights and justice by the government of
Israel, which has the fourth most powerful military on the planet, thanks to
billions of dollars in financial aid and advanced weapons systems donated by the
United States. In effect, our government has been funding and supporting a
Holocaust of the Palestinian people, while pro-Israel propagandists persuade
Americans to betray our ideal of equal rights for all human beings. In effect,
Americans are paying through the nose so that Israeli Jews can steal land and
water from innocents. How, pray tell, do the propagandists persuade us to
support Israel? As we shall see, with smoke and mirrors . . .
Are We Considering the Wrong Numbers?
Pro-Israel propagandists seem to regard the suffering of the Palestinians and
the continual theft of their land as being of minor consequence, because large
numbers of Jews died during the Shoah. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: How many innocent women and children should the world
have allowed the Nazis to strip of their freedom, human rights and dignity, so
that their land and property could be stolen for the "greater good" of the
Reflection: If I asked my Jewish friends how many Jewish girls should have been
trusted to the "tender mercies" of the Nazis, they would all cry out instantly
and correctly, "None!" Well then, that's exactly how many innocent Palestinian
girls should be trusted to the "tender mercies" of Israel, as long as Israel
continues to treat them so unjustly. Should I wait until millions of innocent
Palestinians lie in mass graves, before I question the motivations, policies and
actions of the government of Israel? No, I should not.
The number that really matters is the number of living innocents who can yet be
saved. The critical time is not the day they die, when it
is already far too late, but the first day they are denied
individual justice, which make it possible for them to be robbed
of the staples of life: land, homes, medical care, education, and the ability to
provide for themselves.
Conclusion: Anyone who focuses single-mindedly on the death counts of past
atrocities has a blind spot large enough to blot out the sun. We need to
concentrate on the number of living individuals we can
save today, using the lessons of the past to avoid repeating the errors of the
past. Yes, we should mourn and honor the dead, but we cannot do so at the
expense of the living. A very real horror of the Shoah is that the world failed
so many innocent Jews while they could have been saved, if only Hitler and his
goons had been brought to justice when they first began to subvert the rights of
people of the "wrong" race, the "wrong" creed, the "wrong" political
affiliation, etc. A Holocaust does not begin with mass
ends with mass graves. A Holocaust begins when individuals
are denied justice because they are (take your pick) red, black, yellow,
homosexual, "slow," Jewish, Palestinian, etc. Movie buffs should watch "Judgment
at Nuremberg" to see how critical the denial of individual justice was to the
burgeoning horror of the Holocaust. How could innocent people have had their
land, farms, houses, businesses and property stolen, unless they were denied
individual justice by German courts? Yes, multitudes of innocents died in the
Holocaust: Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Russians, homosexuals, the handicapped, and
other people deemed "inferior" by the Nazis. But if "only" a single Jewish girl
had suffered and died unjustly, that would have still constituted a terrible
injustice: an individual Holocaust. Today, millions of Palestinians suffer in
Gaza, the West Bank and refugee camps around the Middle East, because of
Israel's denial of equal rights and justice to
individual Palestinians. A primary lesson of the Holocaust
is that justice must be individual, not collective. There is no such thing as
"collective justice," only collective punishment. If a father commits a crime,
we cannot build a wall around his wife and children and deprive them of their
right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But this is what the Nazis
did to the Jews, and this is what Israel has done, and continues to do, to the
Palestinians (although in both cases the most common "crime" by far was merely
to be born to the wrong race). Pro-Israel propaganda which uses the death toll
of the Shoah to make the Nakba seem less onerous is nonsensical because the real
problem is the denial of rights and justice to living individuals.
A propagandist will ask you to ignore the happiness and wellbeing of a living
child, by diverting your attention to someone who died and is beyond suffering.
We must not be fooled, and must ask ourselves if living children are suffering
unjustly and whether we can do anything to help them. The answer to both
questions is emphatically "Yes!" So please don't let a propagandist persuade you
that the living don't matter today, because more people died in a past atrocity.
We can only honor and mourn the dead, but we can save
the living. And it is obviously better to save children than to let them die,
then mourn their passing when it's too late. In short, please do not listen to
the madness and irrationality of pro-Israel propagandists. Instead, listen to
your heart and brain. It is far better to help living children than to mourn
them when they're dead!
Is it Anti-Semitic to Question or Criticize Israel?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily seems to consider it anti-Semitic
to question or criticize Israel. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: Is it somehow an act of racism to question or criticize
black gangbangers, white members of the KKK, or the American government?
Answer: No, of course not.
Reflection: If I stereotype a group of people unfairly, because of their race,
creed, sex, sexual preference, etc., I may well be accused of prejudice. But if
I hold all competent human beings to the same standards, equally, I cannot be
accused of prejudice. If I were to criticize Israel for having racist laws and
courts, while defending or ignoring racist laws and courts in the United States,
I could fairly be accused of prejudice, but like all people of good conscience,
I oppose racism everywhere I see it.
Conclusion: Adults with sound minds can and must be held accountable for their
actions. People with impaired minds should not be in charge of governments or
militaries. Therefore, it is not anti-Semitism, or any form of racial bias or
prejudice, to question or criticize the motives, policies and actions of Israel,
as long as we judge Israel by the same standards we use to judge other nations.
But pro-Israel propagandists continually demand that we judge Israel by a double
standard; they demand that we excuse the inexcusable when Israel practices
racism against Palestinian schoolchildren, while demanding that we oppose racism
whenever Jewish professors are slighted. Therefore it is the propagandists who
are biased and practice racism. Why should we prefer the rights of Jewish
professors to the rights of Palestinian kindergartners? It makes no sense.
Do Israel and the United States Share the "Same Values"?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily informs me that Israel is a
democracy like the United States. Is this true?
Thought experiment: Is the United States a white Christian state or the
state of all its citizens?
Answer: The United States is, at long last, the state of all its citizens:
black, brown, red, yellow, white, "mixed," Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu,
Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, male, female, heterosexual, homosexual ...
hallelujah! While we have not yet given all our citizens completely equal
rights, particularly non-heterosexuals, we have been moving more and more in the
right direction. This is unfortunately not the case with Israel, which remains a
racist, apartheidist state.
Reflection: The United Sates is not a white Christian state. Israel is, by
definition, a Jewish state and therefore a nation defined, founded and based on
Conclusion: The basis of the United States is equal rights and justice for all
human beings. The basis of the state of Israel is superior rights for Jews, with
all non-Jews being second-class citizens. A Jewish baby born in Palestine has
almost infinitely superior rights to a Palestinian baby born on her own native
ground. Israel is not a democracy, but an oligarchy of Jews in which a Jewish
majority of the population is maintained artificially by a series of racist and
therefore illegal "laws." If the United States were to change its laws and
decree that all Jewish babies are born with vastly superior in rights to all
non-Jewish babies, then we would share the same racist, nondemocratic "values"
as the state of Israel. Fortunately this is not the case. If it was, here in the
U.S. non-Jews would soon be at war with Jews. If American Jews tried to do to
other Americans what Israeli Jews are doing to Palestinians, we would fight them
tooth and nail to preserve the freedoms and rights of our children. Therefore it
is hypocritical for Americans to condemn Palestinians. We simply have more
military firepower; otherwise there is no difference between Americans and
Are Most Palestinians "Terrorists"?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily calls the Palestinians
"terrorists." Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: Was Sitting Bull a "terrorist"? Was John Brown a
"terrorist"? Was Nelson Mandela a "terrorist"?
Answer: No! No! No!
Reflection: Sitting Bull was not a "terrorist" but a freedom fighter. John Brown
was not a "terrorist" but a defender of the human rights of slaves. Nelson
Mandela was not a "terrorist" but a proponent of equal rights for black South
Africans and white South Africans alike. And yet Mandela was branded a
"terrorist" by the government of the United States and to this day incongruously
remains on our terrorist watch list.
Conclusion: Racists who treat people of other races unjustly will always call
them "terrorists" or "insurrectionists" or other similar names, but it's stupid
to believe what racists say about their victims. Yes, Sitting Bull resorted to
violence, but only because his people were living on the margins of existence
and faced extinction because of the lies and broken treaties of white
supremacists like Andrew Jackson (an American president who hated Indians with a
passion). Yes, John Brown resorted to violence, but only because terrible
systematic violence had been perpetrated on black slaves by white slaveowners.
Yes, Nelson Mandela resorted to violence, but only because white apartheidists
had denied black South Africans equal rights and justice after more than fifty
years of primarily nonviolent resistance by the African National Congress. Yes,
Israel calls Palestinians who resist its racist laws "terrorists," but this is
simply a convenient label which is largely meaningless because the leaders of
Israel themselves committed and commanded acts of terrorism. Menachem Begin, a
prime minister of Israel, carried out acts of terrorism against the British
military, including the King David Hotel bombing of 1946, which left 91 people
dead and 46 injured. Begin was also instrumental in the Deir Yassin massacre of
1948, which left more than 250 Palestinians dead. Ariel Sharon, another Israeli
prime minister, was implicated in the deaths of 66 civilians at Qibya in 1953
and was later deemed culpable in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982, which
resulted in the deaths of up to 3,500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. How
did men like Begin and Sharon become prime ministers of Israel, which has a
sizeable Palestinian population? This is like a Grand Wizard of the KKK becoming
president of the United States, or William Calley, the officer found primarily
responsible for the My Lai massacre, being appointed president of Vietnam. It
makes no sense to call Palestinians "terrorists" as long as Israel commits acts
of terrorism on a far larger, more systematic scale, and continues to elect
virulently racist leaders like Begin and Sharon.
Should We Punish Innocents Because We Can't Locate
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily suggests that it is somehow
"reasonable" for Israel to inter and punish Palestinians collectively, even
though collective internment and punishment of Jews during the Shoah was
obviously wrong. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: If gangbangers in an American city commit acts of
violence, should we build a ghetto with walls twice as high as the Berlin Wall,
put armed guards at the gates, station snipers in observation towers with orders
to shoot anyone who tries to escape, then herd multitudes of innocent men, women
and children inside, to mill about in collective misery, rather than finding and
prosecuting the individuals who committed the crimes?
Answer: No, of course not!
Reflection: Unfortunately, this is what Israel has done to Gaza. The population
of Gaza, an enclave of around 1.5 million individuals, consists predominantly of
children, women and the elderly. Of the men who constitute the minority, only a
few might be considered "terrorists." Hamas has only a few thousand members. How
can over a million babies, toddlers, children, mothers, grandmothers and
grandfathers be punished collectively for the actions of a few men who are hard
to find and prosecute?
Conclusion: What Israel has done to the Gazans is unconscionable, because
innocents cannot be punished collectively for the actions of a few hard-to-find
criminals. The United States must now confront this all-too-obvious reality,
because our government has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
innocent Iraqis and Afghanis in its relentless pursuit of "justice." Is it in
any way "just" to destroy entire nations, in order to bring small numbers of
hard-to-find "terrorists" to "justice"? And is it just possible that many of the
people we call "terrorists" have legitimate grievances? It is past time for the
governments of Israel and the United States to ask themselves why their policies
and actions arouse such ire in Muslim nations. This issue will be discussed in
more detail below.
Should Americans Sympathize with Jews but not with
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily seems to regard the suffering of
innocent Jews during the Shoah differently than the suffering of innocent
Palestinians during the Nakba. Nazis benefitted economically from the land and
property they stole from Jews. Now Israel benefits economically from the land
and property it stole from, and continues to steal from, Palestinians. Does it
make sense for Americans to prefer the economic interests of Jewish adults to
those of Palestinian children?
Thought experiment: Is the government of Israel justified to place its
economic interests above the freedom and happiness of Palestinian children?
Answer: No, of course not!
Reflection: If one American child was imprisoned unfairly and deprived of her
life, liberty and happiness by some ogre who wanted to use her enslavement for
his personal pleasure or economic benefit, we would move heaven and earth to
find her and save her. We would take the ogre and lock him up for the protection
of other children, then take the girl in our arms and console her. We would
never be happy until she was free and safe, if she were ours. But
shouldn't we consider every defenseless child to be ours?
Conclusion: Of course we should protect the first child, and every child, who
becomes the victim of an ogre. Yes, the final death toll of the Holocaust was
staggering. But the evil of a single innocent suffering unjustly is also
staggering, if we consider her as an individual. Anyone who suggests that
millions of people must die before we can oppose palpable evil has lost his
moral compass. In the United States, every individual must be entitled to the
same rights as every other individual. As long as this was not the case for
women and minorities, the United States was far from a "democracy," and
multitudes of innocents suffered unjustly. Because non-heterosexuals do not have
the same rights as heterosexuals, the United States still cannot claim to treat
all its citizens equally. But at least we have been moving in the right
direction. However, this is not the case in Israel, where a baby born to a
Jewish mother has vastly superior rights to any other baby. My wife isn't
Jewish. If we had a child in present-day Israel, our child would be subjected to
all sorts of racial and religious discrimination made incoherently "legal" by
the racist citizenship, marriage and property "laws" of Israel. But as we will
see, racist laws are clearly illegal, and it is not a crime to break an illegal
law. Understanding this simple principle is the key to understanding why Israeli
propaganda makes no sense. Until Israel establishes equal rights and justice for
Jews and Palestinians alike, Israel cannot accuse Palestinians of being
"criminals" or "terrorists" because it is not a crime to break an illegal law.
Does it Really Matter Whether Palestinians Left Their Homes
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily claims that the Palestinians left
their homes "voluntarily" during the wars of 1948 and 1967, as if this somehow
excuses the theft of their land, homes and property. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: If I leave my home voluntarily to avoid a flood,
tornado, war or other "act of God" should someone else be able to claim
"squatters' rights" to my land, house and other property?
Answer: No, of course not!
Reflection: A basic precept of civilization is the right of individuals to own
property and not lose it unfairly. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans,
many people chose to flee their homes. What sort of nation would the United
States be, if the first person who showed up while they were gone was able to
claim their property as "free for the taking"? Should victims of disasters be
turned into the defenseless prey of ruthless criminals?
Conclusion: The real question is not whether Palestinians left their homes
voluntarily or otherwise, but why they were not allowed to return and reclaim
their land, homes and property once the fighting was over. After the war of
1948, Israel bulldozed hundreds of Palestinian villages and refused to allow
hundreds of thousands of farmers and their families to return and reclaim their
rightful property. This is like telling black victims of Katrina, "Too bad. You
left your homes temporarily and we decided to give them away to the first white
supremacists who wanted to steal them." Civilized nations do not allow crooks to
steal the property of other people because of their race or creed.
Were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson "Terrorists"?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily calls Palestinians "terrorists"
for not obeying laws that would leave them with far less than equal rights. Does
this make sense?
Thought experiment: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson lived in
mansions, and yet they chose to fight and kill Englishmen rather than obey the
"law" of the land. Does this make them terrorists?
Answer: No, they were freedom fighters, not terrorists, since the "law" of the
land was unjust and therefore illegal.
Reflection: Was it inevitable for the American Founding Fathers to go to war
with England? No, because if England had granted the American colonists equal
rights and representative government, most of the colonists would have chosen to
live in peace rather than go to war, and anyone who defied the will of the
majority could have been found guilty of breaking the legal law of the
land. But as long as the law of the land was illegal (because it denied
Americans equal rights and justice) the Founding Fathers were not criminals, but
freedom fighters. Once they obtained equal rights and representative government,
if they established illegal laws themselves, then the victims of those illegal
laws would not not be criminals either, if their illegal "laws" were broken. And
this is exactly what happened with slavery. Washington and Jefferson owned
slaves. If a slave "broke the law" and escaped, was the slave a "criminal"? No,
because it is not a crime to break an illegal law. The hypocrisy of a
"democracy" which touted "equal rights" for one class of citizens while keeping
other citizens in chains would plague the United States for the better part of
Conclusion: Israel now faces the same dilemma faced by the United States prior
to the Civil War. It is not a "crime" to break racist, illegal "laws." Therefore
the Palestinians are freedom fighters, not "terrorists." They cannot be
considered "guilty" unless they are first granted equal rights and justice. Only
once they are full citizens of a truly democratic state of Israel/Palestine, or
full citizens of an independent state of Palestine, can they be considered
"criminals" if they break legal laws. As long as Israel denies
Palestinians freedom, equal rights and justice, they are in the same position as
American slaves or Jews during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Any people fighting
for their freedom and equal rights must be considered freedom fighters, as long
as they are denied equal rights and justice.
Do Only Americans and Jews Have the Right to Resist by
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily calls the Jews of the Warsaw
Ghetto uprising heroes, yet calls Palestinians who rise up "terrorists"? Does
this make sense?
Thought experiment: The Nazis had "laws" the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were
supposed to obey. Were the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising "terrorists,"
since they broke these laws and killed Nazis?
Answer: No, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising were freedom fighters because
is not a "crime" to break an illegal "law."
Reflection: Pro-Israel propaganda is full of contradictions because there is a
continual double standard. Jews who fought Nazis are considered heroes, but
Palestinians who fight Israelis are called "terrorists." The appeal constantly
made to Americans is that Israel avoids harming civilians, while Palestinian
"terrorists" target civilians. Of course Americans shudder to see civilians,
particularly women and children, being mutilated and killed. But the simple
truth is that Israel engages in daily, systematic, large-scale terrorism against
Palestinians. Israel has vastly superior firepower to the Palestinians and uses
it with impunity. If Israel treated American women and children the way it
treats Palestinian women and children, the United States would rain down
missiles and bombs on Israel until Israel treated our women and children like
Conclusion: Americans are practicing hypocrisy and racism, perhaps because we
fail to see how we have failed to embrace equal rights abroad the way we have
(increasingly although of course not perfectly) at home. We hypocritically
reserve the right to protect Americans from any unjust harm, while denying
Palestinians the same right. But according to our own Declaration of
Independence, until Palestinians are granted equal rights, justice and
representative government, they must be considered freedom fighters, not
"terrorists." Yes, it is a terrible thing for Jewish civilians to be maimed and
killed. But far more Palestinian civilians are being maimed and killed, and all
Israeli Jews are free, while no Palestinians are truly free. As I pointed out
before, it is a terrible thing for a free person to die prematurely, but at
least a free person has a fighting chance and dies free. But millions of
innocent Palestinian women, babies, toddlers, children, grandmothers and
grandfathers are not free, and the suffering, despair and humiliation they
endure on a daily basis cannot be ignored, or excused. If Israeli Jews die, at
least they die free; Palestinians do not have that option. And it is clearly
Israel's denial of freedom, equal rights, justice and representative government
to Palestinians which leads directly to most acts of Palestinian violence.
Israeli Jews are in the same position as the Nazis who ruled the Warsaw Ghetto
with iron fists and machineguns. When one human being denies another human being
his freedom and self-evident rights, he grants his victim the right to rise up
and oppose him by any means necessary. There was nothing the Jews of the Warsaw
Ghetto could have done to the Nazis that the world would not have sanctioned,
even lobbing bombs into German villages, because of the large-scale, systematic
injustices and violence the Nazis perpetrated on the Jews. The Allies firebombed
Dresden and the United States used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so
how can we deny the right of Palestinians to counter the injustices they suffer
with force? And how many civilians has the United States left homeless, maimed
and dead, in retaliation for 9-11? If we want to put an end to the violence we
see in the Middle East today, we must stop being hypocrites and face the facts.
There is only one way to achieve peace without large-scale violence: that is to
establish equal rights and justice for all human beings on
all sides of the conflict. Until Israel and the United States learn
this lesson, our governments are like two bulls yoked together, hauling a
wagonload of children toward an inferno. It is the responsibility of adults to
lead children away from danger, not into the bowels of hell. It is our
denial of freedom, equal rights, justice and representative government to
Palestinians that makes us wrong, and them right. If we want peace, we cannot do
to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews. We cannot herd Palestinians
into walled ghettos and concentration camps and order them to obey the "laws" of
their oppressors. If we do, they have every right to fight tooth and nail to the
death, or until we admit defeat or mend our ways. Do only Americans and Jews
have the right to say, "Give me liberty or give me death"? No. But there is a
much better way: we can do what the British monarchy should have done for
American colonists, and what American colonists should have done for Native
Americans and African Americans. We can stop denying other people their
self-evident rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can stop
claiming rights for ourselves that we deny to others. We can and must learn from
the mistakes of the past, or we are doomed to never-ending cycles of violence,
and our children will suffer the consequences.
Do the Injustices of Arab Nations Excuse the Injustices of
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily claims that Israel's treatment
(i.e., mistreatment) of Palestinians should be ignored because Arab nations have
not always treated Palestinians well. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: If another man beats his wife, should I beat my wife
even more cruelly? If my son is bullied at school, should I tell him to bully
some other student even more brutally?
Answer: No, of course not!
Reflection: I'm surprised that professional Israeli propagandists are so
abysmally bad at logic. No one has treated the Palestinians worse than Israel,
but it is immaterial what other nations have done or not done to the
Palestinians in the past. The question is what Israel is doing to them today, on
a daily basis. If Cuba tortures its dissidents, should the United States torture
its dissidents? No, of course not. The United States is solely and entirely
responsible for how it treats all human beings under it aegis. The Palestinians
in Gaza and the West Bank are under the military jurisdiction of Israel. Israel
issues them identity cards and controls virtually every aspect of their lives. A
man with a Jewish identity card is treated like a king in the West Bank, where
he is an alien, while a Palestinian who is a legal resident is treated like a
suspect, even if he has never been convicted of a crime. Israel has created "Jew
only" roads and "Jew only" settlements in Palestine. How would Americans feel if
rich Chinamen created "Chinese only roads" on American soil, and let anyone with
a Chinese identity card go to Disneyworld, while building towering walls around
American children and keeping them from reaching nearby hospitals when they
Conclusion: Who wrote the racist, illegal laws of Israel? Israel.
Who determines how Israel treats the human beings under its aegis?
Israel. Overtly racist treatment of men on their native soil, much
less women and children, is imperialistic and inexcusable. And yet the
government of the United States pours billions of dollars of aid and advanced
weapons into Israel. Why?
Should Americans Prefer the Rights of Jewish Professors to
Those of Palestinian Schoolchildren?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily often informs me that the rights
of Jewish professors have been impinged upon. But no mention is ever made of the
Palestinian children who are kicked, cursed and spat upon by Jewish settlers and
the Israeli military as they walk to school. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: Who is better able to determine his circumstances: a
well-educated, well-paid Jewish professor who lives as a free man and can hire
teams of lawyers to defend his rights, or a Palestinian schoolgirl surrounded by
Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers armed with submachine guns, who curse and
spit on her?
Reflection: Of all the injustices and hypocrisies I have enumerated, this
one galls me the most, and forces me to question the sanity of the propagandists
who now deluge me with racist emails crying for constant sympathy for Jews,
while ignoring the humanity of Palestinians. Yes, the rights of Jewish
professors are important; clearly they should not be discriminated against. But
what about the rights of Palestinian children to walk to school unmolested?
Conclusion: I believe many Jews are treading on far thinner ice than they
realize. Yes, I have sympathy for the suffering of Jews through the ages. But I
have come to realize that my sympathies have been constantly demanded,
manipulated, and used to excuse the inexcusable. Yes, I care
about the rights of Jewish professors. But I care far more about the
rights of children not be be abused and humiliated. My Jewish friends risk
alienating me, because I refuse to prefer the rights of free adults to the
rights of oppressed, abused children. If Israel will not protect innocent
children from abusive adults, what sort of government and what sort of state am
I being asked to "support"? How can my Jewish friends fail to understand how
furious I am with this abominable double standard? Even Jewish intellectuals who
advocate better treatment of Palestinians on "humanitarian grounds" really don't
seem to "get it." I don't want my Jewish friends to condescend to
Palestinians; I want them to treat Palestinians in every way as their equals.
To condescend to a person of another race is abominable: those who do it reveal
the seriousness of the disease they suffer. Any Jew who believes Jews have
rights that Palestinians do not share, such as the right to live in or visit
Jerusalem, suffers from a dangerous, deadly disease: racism.
Are Only Jews Entitled to Reparations?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily seems to assume that only Jews are
entitled to reparations. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: If the Nazis stole the land and property of a Jewish
family in 1941 and Israel stole the land and property of a Palestinian family in
1948, shouldn't both families be entitled to compensation?
Answer: Yes, fair is fair.
Reflection: Are Jews entitled to reparations for the land and property the
Nazis stole from them prior to and during World War II? Yes, definitely. But
then so are Palestinians who had their land and property stolen by Israel more
Conclusion: I find it galling that many Jews seem to believe they have rights
other people don't have. If Jews have rights to reparations, then so do
Palestinians. Fair is fair. But pro-Israeli propagandists seem to have no
concept of fairness. They demand that Americans see
all injustices suffered by Jews, while ignoring all
injustices suffered by Palestinians. But why should we demand justice for Jews
and ignore the self-evident rights of Palestinians? It makes no sense.
Is Israel Better than its Neighbors, Really?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily constantly trumpets the
superiority of Israel to Arab nations. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: What is the mark of a civilized nation?
Answer: The hallmark of a civilized nation is that it establishes freedom,
human rights and justice for all human beings under its aegis, equally.
Reflection: In what way is Israel "superior" to its neighbors? Can a
government have racist laws and courts and be considered civilized, much less
"superior"? When I think of the United States I'd like to live in, I think of a
nation where all citizens are treated equally as long as they don't harm each
other unfairly, and where no man is a king, lord, peasant, serf or slave.
Everyone would have the maximum freedoms possible, with the laws being designed
to protect citizens from undue harm not of their own making. (A man would be
free to jump out of an airplane, but another man would not have the right to
push him.) My mother is English and it seems to me the English as a people are
still somewhat infatuated with their royals and nobles. But I have no interest
in bowing down to anyone, or tipping my hat to someone because of the
circumstances of his birth. I am thoroughly American in this regard. The idea of
being "born to the purple" is alien to me and a "House of Lords" seems like an
anachronism, if not an outright blasphemy. Isn't it very late in the history of
the world for one person to "lord it" over another? I like the idea of equal
rights. So for me the mark of a civilized nation is that all its citizens must
have equal rights and be considered peers. In a truly civilized nation, no
person should be demeaned or denied human rights on the basis of race, creed,
sex, age, sexual preference, or any other nonsensical measure. (But of course an
elderly man might not be licensed to drive if he's blind as a bat.) A civilized
nation should believe in the essential equality of its citizens, even if its
citizens don't "get it." Of course everyone isn't born "the same." Even
identical twins are individuals. But in the eyes of a civilized nation everyone
must be born, live and die entirely equal in terms of human rights.
Conclusion: Israel cannot claim to be a democracy, or a civilized nation, as
long as it allows Palestinian children to be spat upon, kicked and cursed on
their way to school. Israel cannot claim "superiority" over any other nation
because its policies and actions are clearly racist and either cause or allow
the daily humiliation of innocent children. A civilized nation does not allow
invading, conquering colonists armed with pitchforks to demean and abuse native
kindergartners, while its soldiers stand by with machine guns, protecting the
abusive adults while all too often interjecting their own racist insults, jeers,
taunts and spittle. How must small Palestinian girls feel, when they hear
soldiers with cocked machineguns calling them vile names? The message
Palestinian children receive when soldiers abuse rather than protect them is
terrifying: "We hate and despise you, and we have all power over
you." If anyone doubts me, the racist laws of Israel are matters
of public record: anyone can study them as I have, online, or read what the UN
and Jewish humanitarian organizations have said about them and the way they
allow Palestinians to be treated on their native land. Many Jews despise
Israel's policies and actions, just as many Americans despise our government's
funding and support of this ongoing Holocaust. Today Jews of good conscience,
Americans and other internationals often act as "human shields" in Gaza and the
West Bank, placing their bodies between Palestinians and the Jewish settlers and
soldiers who revile and abuse them. Hopefully you, too, will take the time to
investigate the easily verifiable facts, if you haven't already, and stand with
us, opposing racism, cruelty, barbarity and injustice. (Please pardon my obvious
anger, but the thought of racists abusing children infuriates me; I think of
little black girls in the Deep South being cursed, jeered and and spat upon by
American Christians. Where are American Christians capable of discernment, who
understand that they are doing the same thing again today, by proxy, when they
support Israel without holding Israel accountable for what Jesus and the Hebrew
prophets commanded: chesed
[mercy, compassion, lovingkindness] and social justice?)
Why Oppose "Natural Growth" of Jewish Settlements in the
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily claims it is unfair for the Obama
administration to oppose the "natural growth" of Jewish settlements in the West
Bank. Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: If I am trying to steal your land and property, should
my family be allowed "natural growth" in your backyard?
Answer: No, of course not!
Reflection: The Obama administration is correct when it opposes "natural growth"
of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Why? Because Israel has already taken
huge amounts of Palestinian land by force and outright theft. The stolen land
should be returned, or just compensation paid for it. It makes no sense
whatsoever to say that even more land can be stolen just because Jewish babies
are being born on Palestinian land.
Conclusion: All Jewish settlements on Palestinian land are illegal, according to
international law, which states that an occupying army cannot acquire land by
force or by transference of populations. The idea of "natural growth" of illegal
settlements is absurd. An analogy would be my claiming "squatter's rights" to
your land, by pitching a tent in your backyard and urging my children to quickly
have babies on your property. Should your land become mine because my family's
babies are born there? Of course not. My family's "natural growth" should occur
on our land, not yours. Does anything the propagandists say make any sense
Are Palestinians without Rights, or are they Human Beings?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily claims that the Palestinians are
without rights because they were never a nation in their own right. Does this
Thought experiment: At one time there was no nation called the United
States. Does this mean American colonists were born without rights?
Answer: No, of course not! All human beings have equal human rights.
Reflection: The basis of the American Declaration of Independence is that all
human beings are born with self-evident, equal human rights to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness.
Conclusion: It makes no difference whether the Palestinians were a nation in the
past. All that matters is that they are human beings today, and thus must have
equal rights, justice and representative government. Therefore, they must be
equal citizens in the existing state of Israel, or they must be granted
independence and allowed to establish an independent Palestinian state.
According to the American Declaration of Independence, if they are denied equal
rights, justice and representative government, they have every right to use
force to gain their freedom.
Does Israel have the Right to Establish Defensive Outposts
in the West Bank?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily claims that Israel has the right
to establish "defensive" outposts in the West Bank, on Palestinian territory.
Does this make sense?
Thought experiment: Should the US be able to establish "defensive" outposts
in Mexico, because Mexican drug cartels endanger the lives of Americans?
Answer: No, because Mexico is a sovereign nation.
Reflection: The United States has the right to establish security posts on
its own side of the border. The United States does not have the right to
put American soldiers in Mexican territory, without the consent of a
democratically elected Mexican government. A dictator has no right to invite
American troops to set up shop on his people's land, because the land belongs to
the people, not to him. A dictator is always a usurper.
Conclusion: The "security outposts" established by Israel in the West Bank are
not "defensive" in nature. Instead, they are clearly colonial (i.e., conquering)
in purpose. This can clearly be seen by considering the situation in Gaza. At
one time Israel had colonists (Jewish settlers) in Gaza. But when it became
evident that Gaza was a "lost cause," Israel removed its colonists from Gaza and
concentrated its colonial efforts on stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank.
If the main goal is "security," why were Jewish colonists removed from Gaza,
where security is a bigger problem than in the West Bank? The presence of Jewish
colonists in the West Bank has nothing to do with "security," and everything to
do with Israel's goal of stealing prime Palestinian land from its rightful
owners. Land in the West Bank is now far more lucrative to Israel than land in
Gaza; this is the obvious reason for Israel abandoning its "security" interest
in Gaza and focusing on its "security" interests in the West Bank. An analogy
would be pirates preferring to seize the Queen Mary rather than a leaky barge.
As the Obama administration understands, the presence of Jewish colonies in the
West Bank precludes peace in the region. This is why the Obama administration
has said "no" to the "natural growth" of Jewish colonies in the West Bank
(because both the colonies and their growth are entirely unnatural).
Should Israel Imitate the Nazis?
The pro-Israel propaganda I now receive daily seems to claim that Israel has the
right to imitate the Nazis and institute the law of the jungle rather than
civilized laws, because Jews suffered and died during the Holocaust. Does this
Thought experiment: If a wild animal attacks and harms my child, should I
revert to the law of the jungle myself?
Answer: No, I cannot base my actions on the actions of brutes, whether
animals or Nazis.
Reflection: The law of the jungle is "might makes right." In the jungle alpha
males brutalize other males, dominate the pack, and get their pick of the best
food and choicest females. But a civilized nation must be based on justice, not
"might makes right." In a civilized nation, the rights of women, children, the
elderly and the physically and mentally challenged must be protected, regardless
of what happened in the past, or what continues to happen in less civilized
nations. Israel and the United States are responsible for their own laws and
cannot blame Cuba or Syria for Israeli and American injustices. Yes, what
happened to the Jews during the Holocaust was horrendous. But civilized nations
cannot emulate either wild animals or Nazis. A civilized nation must establish
justice first, then identify and prosecute criminals individually. There is no
such thing as "collective justice," only collective punishment.
Conclusion: It's terrible when the rights of innocent people are trampled on.
Whenever we see the rights of innocent women, babies, toddlers, children, the
elderly and the handicapped being subverted, we know something is very, very
wrong. And this is how we know something is very, very wrong with the state and
government of Israel. Individual justice has been subverted and punishment has
become collective. In the jungle, alpha males ignore the needs and rights of
others and do whatever they please. When we see innocents being punished
collectively for the "crime" of not being born Jewish, we are seeing the same
behavior we see in the jungle when male lions kill the cubs of other male lions.
In the jungle an alpha male prefers his own genes, but in a civilized nation the
rights of all individuals must be protected equally. To put it simply, Israel
must stop preferring Jewish genes to non-Jewish genes, because all babies are
self-evidently created equal.
A Simple Plan for Peace in the Middle East
I hope I have given you ample food for thought. My basic premise has been this:
every nation is responsible for its own laws, and until a government establishes
equal rights and justice for all human beings under its aegis, that government
is not legal. According to the American Declaration of Independence, anyone
denied equal rights and justice has the right to oppose an illegal, unjust
government with force. The only path to peace without violence is the same path
which leads to a legal government: establishing equal rights and justice
first. Israel has become an obstacle to world peace because it insists on
the right to practice racism, inequality and injustice until the victims of its
racism, inequalities and injustices "obey the law." But when laws are racist and
therefore illegal, it is not a crime to break them. So it is imperative for
Israel to do what every government must do, unconditionally, first:
establish equal human rights and justice. Then if people on either side disobey
fair laws, they can be prosecuted individually in fair courts and
brought to justice. But there is no such thing as "collective justice," only
collective punishment, and innocent Palestinian men, women and children cannot
be punished collectively for the crimes of a few hard-to-find criminals. Before
any Palestinian can be called a "criminal," he must first be granted equal
rights and justice. This, I believe, is a "no brainer" and explains why
pro-Israel propaganda makes no sense. Israel must establish equal rights and
justice first, unconditionally, in order to have a legitimate
So here is my "simple plan for peace in the Middle East": We should have a
new UN resolution calling for Israel to unconditionally grant Jews and non-Jews
alike equal rights and access to fair laws and fair courts. The laws and courts
should be the same laws and courts, not the current system in which Jewish boys
who throw rocks are subjected to civil courts for misdemeanors while Palestinian
boys who throw rocks are subjected to military courts where they can be held
indefinitely without bail or trial, and denied access to lawyers and even their
own parents. The new fair courts established must be able to set legal
precedents and should have peer review by judges appointed by the UN.
With equal rights, fair laws and fair courts, peace through justice becomes
Although the United States has vetoed many previous UN resolutions that might
have helped bring peace to present-day Israel/Palestine, I don't believe the
United States can veto a resolution based on the American Creed.
If this resolution passes, as I believe it will, and Israel complies, then
disputes over land, water and property can be settled "organically" over time,
even if Israelis and Palestinians can't agree to eternal borders in single
sittings. Where other attempts at peace have stalled and broken down in the
past, this one will move forward on a daily basis, just as racial equality and
peace continue to chug forward on a daily basis in the United States, with fair
courts arbitrating and settling individual disputes.
If this resolution passes but Israel refuses to comply, the UN can institute
economic sanctions. Economic sanctions often do not work with dictatorships for
the obvious reason: tyrants will thrive even if their subjects starve. Saddam
Hussein was building new palaces while multitudes of Iraqi children were dying
due to economic sanctions imposed before the United States invaded Iraq. But
economic sanctions will work in this case because Israel is a modern nation
which relies on imports and exports to sustain its economy and the lifestyles of
its citizens. And while Israel is not yet a true democracy in which all human
beings have equal rights, it is "democratic enough" for unhappy voters to
replace racist leaders with new leaders willing to establish peace through
justice. Like the voters in any democracy, Israelis will "vote their
pocketbooks." So economic sanctions should bring about regime change the modern,
democratic way, without bloodshed.
If you want the world to avoid more events like 9-11 and the possibility of
World War III and nuclear Armageddon, I hope you will consider my "simple plan
for peace in the Middle East" and urge your family, friends, newspapers and
political representatives to consider it also. If my plan, or a variation
thereof, leads to peace in Israel/Palestine, it could lead to peace throughout
the Middle East, and eventually the world. Why? Because if peace through justice
is possible in Israel/Palestine, then no one can ever say that peace though
justice is impossible anywhere in the world. And who knows: perhaps we will see
the visions of the Hebrew prophets fulfilled in our lifetimes.
Related pages: American Fascism,
Let Freedom Sing, The
Nakba: The Holocaust of the Palestinians