John Mearsheimer’s speech on Jews: Echoes of the 1930s

Let’s take a walk through history and compare the speech that John Mearsheimer gave to the Palestine Center with a few historical speeches given by two other men who claimed they had nothing, really, against the Jews. Mearsheimer titled his speech “The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. New Afrikaners.”

John Mearsheimer:

On the other side we have the new Afrikaners, who will support Israel even if it is an apartheid state. These are individuals who will back Israel no matter what it does, because they have blind loyalty to the Jewish state. This is not to say that the new Afrikaners think that apartheid is an attractive or desirable political system, because I am sure that many of them do not. Surely some of them favor a two-state solution and some of them probably have a serious commitment to liberal values. The key point, however, is that they have an even deeper commitment to supporting Israel unreservedly.

Charles Lindbergh:

The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration. … As I have said, these war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence. Against the determination of the American people to stay out of war, they have marshaled the power of their propaganda, their money, their patronage.

John Mearsheimer:

…no American president can put meaningful pressure on Israel to force it to change its policies toward the Palestinians. The main reason is the Israel lobby, a remarkably powerful interest group that has a profound influence on U.S. Middle East policy. Alan Dershowitz was spot on when he said, “My generation of Jews . . . became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy.” That lobby, of course, makes it impossible for any president to play hardball with Israel, especially on the issue of settlements.

Charles Lindbergh:

A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

Father Charles Coughlin, the anti-Semitic radio priest:

The average Jew, the kind we admire and respect, has been placed in jeopardy by his guilty leaders. He pays for their Godlessness, their persecution of Christians, their attempts to poison the whole world with Communism.

My purpose is to help eradicate from the world its mania for persecution, to help align all good men. Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian, in a battle to stamp out the ferocity, the barbarism and the hate of this bloody era. I want the good Jews with me, and I’m called a Jew baiter, an anti-Semite.

John Mearsheimer gets the last word:

American Jews who care deeply about Israel can be divided into three broad categories. The first two are what I call “righteous Jews” and the “new Afrikaners,” which are clearly definable groups that think about Israel and where it is headed in fundamentally different ways. The third and largest group is comprised of those Jews who care a lot about Israel, but do not have clear-cut views on how to think about Greater Israel and apartheid. Let us call this group the “great ambivalent middle.”

[...] Righteous Jews have a powerful attachment to core liberal values. They believe that individual rights matter greatly and that they are universal, which means they apply equally to Jews and Palestinians. They could never support an apartheid Israel.

[...] Of course, the new Afrikaners will fiercely defend apartheid Israel, because their commitment to Israel is so unconditional that it overrides any commitment they might have to liberal values.

I can’t see a difference between the three men’s attitudes towards Jews. Can you?

Update: Instalink! Thanks, Glenn.

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32 Responses to John Mearsheimer’s speech on Jews: Echoes of the 1930s

  1. Elliot says:

    Wow. This is spot on. It’s as if he used the text you site as a template.

  2. Mike Mc. says:

    Now I’m wondering if it is anti-semitic to be pro-semitic because I think that the “average Jew” is stark raving barking at the moon mad to vote for Democrats and it’s been that way since….forever actually.

    The worst nightmare of Israel is a liberal politician with real power to make a reality of what he really thinks about Israel, and probably Jewish people in general.

    But post-moernism means that in making any general comment about Jews or anyone (except white males) I’m ipso facto bigoted.

    Just ask Gordon Brown.

  3. Tblakely says:

    I’m sure in his heart Mearsheimer thinks that a “Righteous Jew” is one who will peacefully march into the showers.

  4. PTL says:

    As for American Jews, my mother said a little anti-Semitism is a reminder of the real world. The Left has made
    it fashionable to be anti-Semitic. This President is surrounded by anti-Semites and Jewish useful idiots. These
    Jews are akin to the German Jews who believed that Hitler was talking about those other Jews over there, not them.
    After all, they were loyal Germans. Ben Hecht, the screen writer, was collecting funds to buy arms in 1946 to send
    to the Jews in Palestine(remember, the Mufti met with Hitler and wanted to finish what Hitler did’t) he approached
    Harry Cohn, Columbia Pictures President. Cohn told Hecht that he really didn’t consider himself a Jew. Hecht then
    asked him where on the line to the death ovens he might find himself; at the front, the middle or the back. It
    doesn’t matter what you think. It’s what others think. Someone should these useful idiots where is their place in the line. They will be on the line.

  5. Alex Bensky says:

    Notice that he simply assumes that Israel is an apartheid state. This is a poisonous lie and ought to be responded to and treated as such. Israel has none of the hallmarks of apartheid for its Arab population–no restrictions on civil liberties or civil rights, no limitation on where they can live, they are not required to carry identity documents other than those other Israelis must have, no restrictions on what vocations they can practice, etc. Limiting movement and access of the population in the disputed areas is no more “apartheid” than it would be if South Africa, say, did not allow free movement across its borders by Zimbabweans…as actually I don’t think it does.

    There is a country in the area which limits where Palestinians can live and what occupations they can have, but it’s Lebanon.

    Mersheimer knows what “apartheid” means and his casual referral to Israel as an apartheid state obviates any claims he may have that he is not simply anti-Israel per se.

  6. TeeJaw says:

    When the word “apartheid” is introduced into a speech about Israel I’m fairly certain the speaker is not sympathetic to the right of Israel to defend itself, and perhaps not even its right to exist.

    Given that the Arabs present in Israel in 1948 were given Israeli citizenship, the right to vote and to be elected to the Knesset, any comparison to Apartheid South Africa, which ironically adopted its Apartheid laws in the same year, is either willful ignorance or outright hostility toward Israel on grounds rooted in anti-semtism. It is natural for any people to want some separation as a means of security when the bastards are trying to kill you, and has nothing to do with the race consciousness upon which Apartheid was based.

    I doubt there is anything that could be done to Israel by anyone that would bother Mearsheimer.

  7. Ronnie Schreiber says:

    I think it’s interesting that Mearsheimer uses a religious term “righteous” to describe the Jews he likes and then goes on to define “righteous Jews” as having “powerful attachment to core liberal values”. In other words, if you’re not politically liberal, you can’t be a good Jew in the eyes of Mearsheimer.

    I see a secular version of religious anti-Judaism here. Whereas Christian and Muslim proselytizers said that Jews could not be righteous unless they embraced Christianity or Islam, Mearsheimer says that Jews can’t be righteous unless they’re lefties.

    ” They believe that individual rights matter greatly and that they are universal, which means they apply equally to Jews and Palestinians. “

    Speaking of apartheid how does Mearsheimer feel about anti-Jewish laws in the Muslim world? It’s a capital crime in the Palestinian Authority to sell land to a Jew. Jews, by law, cannot become citizens of Jordan. Saudi Arabia has de facto prohibited Jews from entry into the kingdom. Meanwhile, 10% of the Israeli parliament is made up of Arabs. Is there discrimination? Sure. But who has a harder time finding an apartment, an Arab trying to find a place in Tel Aviv or a Jew in Um Al Fahm (an Arab city in Israel that is a hotbed of Palestinian nationalism among Israel’s Arab citizens)? And if that hypothetical Arab and his Jewish counterpart are successful renting apartments, which one will be in more physical danger from his neighbors?

    Is Israel a perfect egalitarian Western democracy? No, but then neither are the Western democracies. It is, however, much closer to that ideal than any other society in the Mideast.

  8. gliker says:

    The more Mearsheimers there are, the better off as Jews we are, in my opinion. We know our enemies when they are out in the open. What the concern is the exponential increase of hostile elements in the political discourse of this and other western countries that will lead the Jews to already known ends.

  9. Avigdor Loeb says:

    Amazing, Israel the “Apartheid State” next to Jordan, the state that punishes selling land to Jews with death.

  10. Yannai says:

    *vomits*

  11. Bruce Levine says:

    Nice work Meryl.

  12. Gregory Koster says:

    Dear Ms. Yourish: Yes, I can see a big difference: neither Lindbergh, nor Coughlin, was an intellectual for all their achievements. Neither could be called part of the intellectual cream. Mearsheimer is part of the intellectual elite in this nation. Worse, his views are swallowed cork, the Ivy League thinking as he does? Not at all; he’s just the convenient voice. Commenter gliker says that at least M is an open enemy. But this misses the point: M is the voice of the elite. Do you think, say, Dean Martha Minow of Harvard Law buys M’s arguments? My bet is, she’d noncomittally pass them by, waiting to see if there’s a socially acceptable way to agree, without interfering with career prospects. Cynical? You bet. But only fools trust academia. M is just a speaker for liberal bigotry, Jewish division. Martha Minow is a speaker for liberal bigotry, for blacks. The faculty at Duke, fresh from their attempt to get the lacrosse team, are speakers for liberal bigotry, white male division. And so on.

    One last big difference: Lindbergh and Coughlin flourished for a relatively short time. By 1945, both were forgotten, though Lindbergh still had a place for his flight and the death of his son. But neither were the lions of notoriety they had been in their heyday. That’s not true for M, or the motley crew of examples I’ve listed. Today’s gang represent a much more durable strain of liberal bigotry, one that’s caused enormous damage to this nation and its citizens, one that’s going to be around for a long long time.

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Koster

  13. Sigh. says:

    <<<>>>

    I absolutely agree with this. It floors me that this man, who is not Jewish, can possibly go about declaring with a straight face who is a righteous Jew and who isn’t. Who appointed him G-d?

  14. Paul Freedman says:

    Anti-Semitism is an addictive disease, and like all such addictions, the psychological system builds up tolerance for the “high”–the addict has to make deeper and deeper plunges into the addiction to get the same effect; we can anticipate Mearsheimer to make more and more provocative statements, making more and more blatant calls against Jewish influence, dual loyalty, treason (while praising self-hating Good German Jews) until either: a) like any addict he runs his finances, home life, and career into the ground, or b) as in Nazi Germany the addicts actually take over.

    Place your bets.

  15. anon says:

    Mearsheimer is similar to many of those professional Israel haters. They claim it is “bad” for them to tell the “truth” about Israel.

    Yet when you check it out, these folks earn millions of dollars from the Saudis and other foreign nationals. Their colleges and universities and not-for-profits receive tens of millions each year from foreign governments and potentates. [ note the similar funding of Israeli based "peace" groups ]

    Yet they get to call hard working, tax paying AMERICAN citizens, such as myself, turncoats simply because I believe that support for the tiny democracy of Israel is vitally important to American economic and moral world leadership.

    When history is written about our present day “intellectual leaders” it will not be kind. It will be proven, time and time again, that they bought their soft lives and huge dinners and all their luxury items by selling their “intellectual” souls for a few pieces of silver.

  16. Karmafish says:

    This post was picked up by Jennifer Rubin of Commentary magazine today.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/category/contentions

    Nice job, Meryl.

  17. You mean Noah Pollak. But thanks.

  18. Samson says:

    As I have indicated elsewhere, Mearsheimer’s speech is the “Hisham Sharabi Memorial Lecture”, given in memory of a “Palestinian” professor and political activist. It was given at the “Palestine Center” in Washington, D.C., an Arab think tank supported by the “Jerusalem Fund” a non-profit that supports “Palestinians”. It is called “The Future of Palestine” and is reported in the Monthly Review, an “independent Socialist review” with a rather obvious Marxist and anti-US slant. Who is Mearsheimer kidding?

  19. Ya'akov Golbert says:

    There is hardly a Jew alive who has not been told by bigots “You aren’t like the other Jews” meaning “You’re OK” … unlike the Other Jews; unlike Those Jews. The notion is implanted that “if all Jews were like me, like the Jews that Meersheimer’s ilk approve of, there would not be anti-Semitism.”

    Following this reasoning, the obstacle to peaceful relations with the non-Jewish world is Those Jews, the ones who refuse to assimilate. So the “righteous Jews” have to prove that not all Jews are like “Those Jews”. “Righteous Jews” have to be in the forefront of the struggle for abstract “justice” (as defined from time to time by anti-Semites who like Jews who “aren’t like the “other Jews”). Righteous Jews have to champion all the causes currently popular among the respectable Jew-haters, like Meersheimer. Jews have to do so, even if the cause is inimical to Jewish interest, for that proves our sincerity and dedication to principle. In fact, if the cause is perfectly suicidal to Jewish interests, it presents a positive opportunity to prove our commitment to principle.

    Subtly, the “other Jews” become the enemy and the “righteous Jews” ally themselves with the bigots against the Other Jews. And finally, they get pilloried with the rest of the Jews, protesting, “But I’m a righteous Jew. I’m not like Those Other Jews.”

  20. Robert says:

    There is not one person here who has addressed the substance of what Mearsheimer has said in his speech. Instead, the unpleasant truths that he talks about just provoke attempts to smear him. Do any of the writers here have any answers to Mearsheimer’s points? Within a few years there will be more Palestinians than Jews between the river and the sea. The Apartheid that Mearsheimer speaks of applies to the Occupied Territories, not Israel itself. Israel’s race relation difficulties are no better or worse than other democracies. The point is, we as Jews are going to face this issue, period. Blaming Mearsheimer will not change this one iota.

  21. Say, Robert: 1) Yes, we did address the substance of what he said. More than once. Don’t read one post on my blog and think that you know its substance. 2) We answered his points. You choose to disregard those answers. 3)You are ignoring completely the substance of what I point out: That Mearsheimer sounds remarkably like noted Jew-haters of American history. 4) We, as Jews, are facing this issue. You are putting your fingers in your ears and saying “La la la, I can’t HEAR the Jew hate!” from people like Mearsheimer. When even The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, a man far, far more tolerant than I, accuses Mearsheimer of anti-Semitism, well, there’s definitely fire. Not just smoke.

  22. Robert says:

    Meryl,

    Where have you really responded to Mearsheimer’s lecture, or even if it’s not about his lecture specifically, about how to confront Apartheid in the Territories? I looked through the blog and I can’t find it.

    Regarding the “Jew-hate” of Mearsheimer, I want to say that Mearsheimer is delivering, in blunt language, the bottom line for Israel’s future. His statements are plausible, even likely to occur. Even if the future doesn’t occur exactly as he states, he has laid a framework for thinking about the future. He is brave for cutting through obfuscation and just laying it out. The Jewish responses from both you and Jeffrey Goldberg, whom I have also exchanged strong e-mails, is to divert, confuse, and trivialize the issues raised. And why both of you do it? Because you don’t have real answers to what Mearsheimer is saying. So you quibble about a tone of anti-Semitism, and all the other time-wasting and trivial tropes, without confronting the truth of what he has said.

    Why am I getting exercised about this? I met many black and white South Africans as a 15 year old in 1984, and learned about, and was shocked by, Apartheid. I marched against Apartheid as a new college student. Now I’m 41 and Israel is under plausible attack for practicing Apartheid in the Palestinian territories. I did not march against Apartheid as a 15 year old, so that I would grow up and support Apartheid as a 41 year old! As long as Israel occupies the Territory, it must either give all the Palestinians the RIGHT TO VOTE. Or, it must pull out of all of the Territories, and let a Palestinian state form.

    Although I would have preferred that the Palestinians would have accepted the Israeli 97% West Bank offers, the truth is, THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED TO. International law states that Occupation is illegal, and Israel was warned by IDF lawyers back in ’67 NOT to occupy the Territories. So if the Palestinians choose to play hardball these days, they are within their rights. The ratchet will tighten harder and harder on Israel, over the issue of Apartheid, just like Mearsheimer has said. And that is what you and Jeffrey Goldberg should be worried about. Not diversions and trivia about an anti-Semitic tone. Robert

  23. Oh, bullshit, Robert. Mearsheimer is using the word “apartheid” to describe the relationship between Israelis and the Palestinians of the territories. It’s a completely false application of the word. This is what apartheid was:

    Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times, but apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. New legislation classified inhabitants into racial groups (“black”, “white”, “coloured”, and “Indian”),[1] and residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. From 1958, Blacks were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of whites.[2]

    The Palestinian residents of the disputed territories—and that is what they are, disputed—have no legal rights in Israel because they are not and never were citizens of Israel. They are the people who are living in territories that were conquered in a war of national survival. And let us not forget that immediately after the war, Israel offered back everything but east Jerusalem, and the Arabs refused to negotiate. The “Three No’s of Khartoum” were the Arab answer: No peace, no recognition, and no negotiation. There could have been a 43-year-old Palestinian state if they had accepted Israel’s existence.

    There is also the fact that Israelis are not colonialists. Israelis are Jews that were displaced from their homeland who returned to reclaim it. Israelis have recognized that they can’t have the entire land. They are willing to share with the Palestinians. But the Palestinians are unwilling to recognize the existence of the Jewish state. How is that in any way like apartheid, where the Dutch colonialists came to a continent where they had never previously set foot, set up a nation, and threw out the natives? Israelis were the natives two thousand years ago. Stop pretending that they were not.

    Wow, you marched against apartheid as a teenager. Good for you. But marching against apartheid is not enough of a qualification to make you an expert in determining what it is, and Mearsheimer has an agenda that is clear to anyone who read what he wrote about Jews in The Israel Lobby. Apartheid is the word of choice for the Israel-haters these days. They are hoping that the world will come to regard Israel they way it regarded South Africa, because that moves their anti-Jewish agenda forward. You’re Jewish? Really? And you have the nerve to say this:

    The Jewish responses from both you and Jeffrey Goldberg, whom I have also exchanged strong e-mails, is to divert, confuse, and trivialize the issues raised. And why both of you do it? Because you don’t have real answers to what Mearsheimer is saying. So you quibble about a tone of anti-Semitism, and all the other time-wasting and trivial tropes, without confronting the truth of what he has said. Because you don’t have real answers to what Mearsheimer is saying. So you quibble about a tone of anti-Semitism, and all the other time-wasting and trivial tropes, without confronting the truth of what he has said.

    The “Jewish responses”? WTF? My response is a “Jewish” response? Really? I thought it was a response. Because I’m Jewish, everything I say and think is a “Jewish” response? I’m wondering if I shouldn’t call bullshit on your claim to be Jewish, because I’ve seen that accusation before, and it’s nearly always from the Stormfront crowd—who also like to pretend to be Jewish in comment threads.

    Now I have directly answered your apartheid trope, let’s hear you defend Mearsheimer’s anti-Semitism. I’m quite sure you can’t.

  24. Robert says:

    Meryl,

    The relevant questions for determining if Israel is practicing Apartheid in the Territories are, first: Is Israel a democracy or a dictatorship? If it’s a democracy, then: Can all people within it’s borders VOTE? Do the laws apply equally to everyone? The case is strengthened if those who cannot vote are MAJORITY.

    I was just at a Lag B’Omer festival at the beach in LA last weekend. There was a guy with an “I love Israel” sticker on his guitar. The sticker had a picture of Israel with the usual wedge-shape. Do realize that by drawing the borders that way, without removing the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that only 60% of the people can vote ! That is not a democracy, and it’s going to get worse. 10-20 years from now, without a peace treaty, Israel will be referred to as “minority-ruled Israel”. And what are we going to do? Cry anti-Semitism? It will be true by mathematics!

    Regarding my saying “Jewish responses”, that was simply shorthand for saying “responses that came from Jews”. I saw that Mearsheimer also made use of tart shorthand in his lecture. It’s a way of writing that is brief, clear, and gets to the point. Having micro-arguments about use of language from me, Andrew Sullivan, or John Mearsheimer distract from the central point made in the last paragraph.

    There something else that is unique about this Apartheid discussion. Especially after Palestinians become a majority, it won’t be possible to say that “the situation is complicated” and reach into history for this or that reason why the Palestinians don’t have a state. The world is just going to ask if Israel is a democracy, and why does the majority (the Palestinians) not have the right to vote? And if Israel says, “we wanted to keep 3-6 % of what we conquered, and the Palestinians won’t agree”. The world will respond, “well, what does the law say about this?” And the answer is clear from UN Resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.

    Apartheid is simple to explain to people, and very clear. Did you know that Condoleeza Rice, who is a neocon and has every reason to support Israel, was shocked by what she saw in the West Bank? What would make a neocon feel that way? Because she is also black and grew up in Alabama during the time of Jim Crow, and saw separation of roads and land for what it is — Apartheid. Especially after the Palestinians become a majority, Israels allies will have the same epiphany that Condoleeza Rice did.

  25. You have not responded at all to the points I made about the difference between South African apartheid and supposed apartheid in the territories. They are not citizens of Israel because they were citizens of an enemy territory captured in a just war in 1967. Saying that Israel is a democracy, therefore not allowing Palestinians to vote is, well, stupid. You cannot equate citizens of territories captured in war with the citizens of a sovereign nation and have anyone respect your opinion.

    You also do not address the fact that the Palestinians would have a state of their own had they only accepted peace with Israel in 1967.

    As you are now repeating yourself like a stuck record and bringing up irrelevancies, while also avoiding answering any of my rebuttal, I’m done here.

  26. Robert says:

    The answer to your point, Meryl, is that the Geneva Conventions do not allow for Occupied Territory to be colonized by the occupying power. If Israel feels that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are Israeli territory, to the point that most Israeli maps show it that way (the wedge-shape), then what are you going to do with the population? Keep them in a state of political stasis for eternity?

    The West Bank and Gaza Strip are the only examples of territory captured by a democracy where the people don’t have a right to vote. An that is only because of the demographic issue. The Arabs of the Golan Heights were given passports and offered Israeli citizenship. The Arabs who stayed in 48, of course, have Israeli citizenship and representation in the Knesset. Only those of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip do not.

    It’s true that the Palestinians could have had peace if they accepted Israel in 67, and the “3 No’s” were a disaster and a tragedy for them. But they accepted Israel in 1988 on the 67 borders, and to Palestinians, that is the compromise. They are playing hardball on the issue of getting less than 100% of the West Bank, which they see as a compromise of the compromise.

    I wish that Oslo had worked, but it didn’t and the Palestinian position, which was once mysterious, is now clear. They want next to all of the West Bank. They are making life difficult. But what will happen down the road? They will be a majority. And the international law says what it says. Just because the Arabs said no in ’67 doesn’t seal their fate for all time. Time passes and the problem still isnt solved, and they get to take another whack at it, again and again. And when they are a majority, to whom will we complain? They will have us by our own rules.

  27. Robert says:

    Just a follow-up point. I want to answer your point about the difference of South African apartheid and what’s going on in the territories. The key question is whether the Territories meet the international definition of the Crime of Apartheid. This was defined by the International Criminal Court and is defined:

    Later in Article 7, the crime of apartheid is defined as:

    “The ‘crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

    Paragraph 1 is this:

    Article 7
    Crimes against humanity

    1. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
    1. Murder;
    2. Extermination;
    3. Enslavement;
    4. Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    5. Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    6. Torture;
    7. Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
    8. Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
    9. Enforced disappearance of persons;
    10. The crime of apartheid;
    11. Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

    Now, certainly after the Palestinians become a majority, Israel will be guilty of violations of 1, 4,5, 8 and 11. They will also be guilty of the crime of Apartheid shown above because they will systematically exclude residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, by not allowing them a political voice (i.e. voting).

    Nowhere in international law does it allow residents of conquered land to stay without representation for ever and ever.

  28. Laura SF says:

    Let’s see – the US has “territories” (Guam and Puerto Rico among others) where the citizens cannot vote in US presidential elections. Does that make the US an apartheid state?

    Israel annexed Jerusalem and its Arab inhabitants were offered the opportunity to become Israeli citizens. Those that accepted have full rights. Those that didn’t, don’t. Don’t see any apartheid there, do you?

    Israel did not annex Gaza or the remainder of the West Bank (imagine the world’s outcry if they had!), and so the inhabitants of those areas were not offered citizenship. During Oslo, they were instead given the opportunity to form their own government (like Puerto Rico or Guam). Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank territories can vote in their own elections. So tell me again how this is apartheid? I’m just not seeing it.

    If the leaders of the disputed territories decide they really want independence (more than they want the destruction of the state of Israel), they will soon have an independent state of their own. Kind of the opposite of apartheid, there.

    You can keep using the word “apartheid” over and over until you’re blue in the face, but you still haven’t proved that what’s going on in Israel. In fact, in your last comment you’ve been reduced to saying “IF such-and-such, THEN it will be apartheid!” – but still with no real evidence brought to bear. I think we’re seeing your own intra-psychic demons on display. Please keep them to yourself – they’re foolish & unattractive.

    Laura

  29. What we have here is a classic case of moving the goalposts. I have proven to you that South African apartheid and the “apartheid” you claim that Israel is perpetrating are nothing like each other. You persist in calling it apartheid in spite of this. I prove to you that Palestinians are not citizens of Israel and therefore cannot be classified as such. You persist in saying that they should be considered such due to—what, I’m not exactly sure.

    You have no logical leg to stand on. You have been proven wrong on several occasions. You can use the phrase “international law” as much as you like, but that still doesn’t make the administration of the disputed territories “apartheid.” Your repeated misuse of the term, no matter how many times you are shown to be making up the rules to call it such, proves the unseriousness of your criticism. By the very definition you quoted, this is not apartheid.

    I think we’re through here.

  30. Laura SF says:

    As I believe Meryl already noted, since Israel won those territories while defending herself from attack, Israel has a right to administer those territories until such time as a “just and durable” peace is achieved with her belligerent neighbors. (UN resolution 242 further implies that Israel has a right to keep some of those territories, in order to provide herself with SECURE borders.) And no country has a legal obligation to allow citizens of a hostile entity to vote in that country’s elections. Absolutely none. So the question of Palestinians in the territories not being able to vote is a red herring and does not in any way prove apartheid.

    Again, even if the occupation were administered more harshly than it is, this is not apartheid. Was it apartheid when US troops occupied Japan? And in fact, Israel has already ended its occupation of Gaza. Moreover, during the Oslo accords, Israel pulled out of the West Bank almost entirely (and was rewarded with increased terrorism). Since that time, the Palestinians have been allowed to vote for their own leadership. This is obviously not apartheid.

    Finally, Palestinians are certainly within their rights to refuse a state when it is offered to them, however stupid that may be, but they are NOT within their rights to commit acts of terrorism. Terrorism is the intentional targeting of civilians – which as I’m sure you’re aware is a war crime. There is no special clause that says that war crimes are allowed (and actually a “right”!) when committed by “oppressed people” in the name of “resistance.” Nice try.

    Robert – between your support of Mearsheimer and your dismissal of his antisemitic language as a “trivial” matter, your insistence on labeling Israel an apartheid state despite all evidence to the contrary, and your acceptance of terrorism as the Palestinians’ “right” to “resistance,” I think you’ve made it quite clear that you are a viciously anti-Israel, amoral individual and as such not worth debating further.

    Good bye.

    Laura

  31. Robert says:

    Laura,

    You’re right that the US territories do not have the right to vote in Federal elections, and that’s a subject for a good debate on it’s own. I don’t agree with the law there. However, their lack of participation doesnt substantially change the outcome of US Federal election, due to their small size. The same cannot be said of the Palestinians. Inclusion of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in an Israeli election would result in a radically different outcome.

    Second of all, Palestinians are Occupied by the Israeli military and by civilians against their will, and subject to constant abuse, restriction of movement, and government control. Palestinians commit terrorism, which they call resistance, and the IDF responds with descriminate, and sometimes indescriminate force. This meets the definition of Apartheid I gave in a previous post.

    The Palestinians have played a very hard game on themselves and the Israelis, by not accepting an Israeli offer. This is regrettable. But when push comes to shove, only they can set their own policy. If they choose to be hardasses, they are still acting within their legal rights.

  32. Robert says:

    I’ll wrap this up with a few points. For comment # 30, how on earth did you “prove” anything about the comparison between apartheid in South Africa and the Territories? Where did you prove it? I’m talking about the international definition of apartheid, which the Territories meets. Comparisons with South Africa are not relevant here. Every country has it’s own story.

    If you prove to me that Palestinian citizens are not citizens of Israel, then why are Golan Heights Arabs, and East Jerusalem Arabs, offered citizenship? It’s because they dont represent the kind of demographic threat.

    Also, I gave you the definition of apartheid according to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Why do you talk about “misuse” . I defined it and the label fits.

    Lastly, Israeli occupation violates the Geneva Conventions. The US never agreed to Israeli annexation of any of the Territories, including the Golan Heights. It is a violation to put civilian settlements in militarily occupied territory. Israel has been able to get away with it, but it’s not legal and not open to dispute.

    For comment #32, Laura, para. 1, the occupying power has the right to ADMINISTER the territories for a limited time. Israel’s policy under the Likud is clearly to stay in the territories forever. If the occupation is forever, the international legal community has the right to inquire about the representation of the citizens. You can’t use infinite delay to get what you want. The legal community is wise to that and has remedies for that. The territories have been occupied for 43 years.

    In para. 3, you seem to imply that I justify terrorism. I don’t.

    In para. 4, Mearsheimer is laying out the future of Israel/Palestine as he sees it, and Jews would do well to listen. Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak have also spoken on the record about Apartheid. It is not a fringe view. It is an obvious view. The Likud speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, has just said that he would prefer that all Palestinians get the right to vote, rather than giving up the territories. The link is here–>

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-official-accepting-palestinians-into-israel-better-than-two-states-1.287421

    Check it out. That means a one-state solution. The Likud speaker is intellectually honest about what he is talking about. Why would the Likud speaker say such a thing if he didn’t fully understand the implications of Apartheid?

    Make a point of checking Rivlin’s link above. I’m happy to conclude here or continue the discussion if you wish.

    Regards, Robert

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