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A Zionist defense of Hawking

I wish there was a kinder, gentler way than acts of ostracism to get Israel to end the occupation, but those ways have failed terribly.  

I would not join a BDS protest; I’m a “two-stater” who believes Israel should remain a Jewish state because the alternatives would be worse, who believes Israel’s “original sin” is the occupation, not Zionism, and so I don’t think I’d really feel at home at your average BDS demonstration. There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement – which is not to say everyone in the movement thinks that way; I know that’s not true. But the main thrust and tone of the BDS campaign is such that there’s no way I can identify with it.

But when I read Wednesday that Stephen Hawking was boycotting the President’s Conference, I was glad. He doesn’t hate Israel; he’s been here four times. In his letter canceling his participation, he wrote that he’d originally planned to come because “this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. … Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.” What Hawking hates is the occupation, not Israel, and he believes that by striking a blow against Israel’s rule over the Palestinians, he is helping not only the Palestinians but Israel as well. I think he’s right, and what’s more, I think he succeeded in a seismic way.

Israel and its advocates can wave off boycotts by some college students and left-wing professors, even by a few well-known pop musicians, but not by a giant and hero of the Western world like Hawking. What he’s done is a threat to the status quo – and except for the potential that lies in the Palestinians’ UN strategy, (specifically their plan to take the occupation to The Hague), Hawking’s boycott is the only such threat that’s appeared in a very, very long time.

I wish there were kinder, gentler ways than such acts of ostracism to get Israel to end its 46-year dictatorship over the Palestinians. Ideally, of course, the public would elect a government that would do it. Failing that, its best friend, America, would prod the public and its leaders with “tough love.” Failing that, the Palestinians would rally the world against the occupation through diplomacy and nonviolent protest.

Like a lot of other people, I put my hope in one after another of the above tactics, and one after another, they have so far come to nothing.

So, as they say, desperate times require desperate measures, and for the cause of Israeli justice and Palestinian freedom, that means ostracizing Israel, including by such means as boycotting the President’s Conference.

At this point, at least, I can’t lay down a precise rule on which means would be fair and which ones foul, but I know, for instance, that I would be sickened at the sight of a shopper in a foreign supermarket refusing to buy Bamba; that’s pathological, that’s treating Israel as if it’s got the cooties. Likewise, I wouldn’t want Hawking or anyone else to refuse to visit Israel privately. I loathe the idea of a hands-off policy toward everything and everybody Israeli.

But if Madonna were to announce that she won’t play here again until the occupation is over, I would cheer. What I’m in favor of above all is a psychological campaign aimed at Israelis and their leaders – declarations by the democratic world, backed by action, that it will ostracize Israel until it stops denying the Palestinians their independence. That is the one thing that can succeed, the one thing that can scare Israelis into a radical change of course, and when a boycott can advance that goal without indulging in Israel-hatred – which the BDS campaign in the West has largely failed to do – then it’s a good thing. Harsh medicine, but ultimately, excuse the expression, good for the Jews as well as the Palestinians.

The strongest argument against punishing Israel for the occupation, in any way, is that Israel shouldn’t be singled out, that there are other countries doing much worse things than what we do to the Palestinians, so why not punish them? I have nothing against boycotting all sorts of countries, but the problem with that question is that it looks at a boycott of Israel, of any sort, as punishment and nothing else – and even while much of the BDS movement intends it that way, that is not necessarily the effect. A boycott is, of course, punishment, but if Israel learns the right lesson from it – that the occupation is wrong and must be ended – then it’s a punishment that will save this country.

Again, if Israel would reverse the status quo of its own volition, through elections, or do it in response to pressure from its friends like the U.S. and European governments, then I’d oppose punishing it by any means. But the fact is that there’s no rational hope of this happening; the right wing owns Israeli politics, while the U.S., European Union and the other democratic states, for a variety of reasons, won’t force Israel’s hand. The kinder, gentler ways haven’t worked on this country, so it’s either acts of ostracism or occupation forever, and given those two choices, I’d say Israel is best served by the former.

In retrospect, the sanctions on South Africa were a gift to that country. If Israel ends its long tyranny over the Palestinians, such conscientious boycotts as that of Stephen Hawking will be remembered for having been a gift to this one.

Related:
Stephen Hawking’s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price
Techwashing: Hasbara group strikes back after Hawking boycott

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Joe

      “The strongest argument against punishing Israel for the occupation, in any way, is that Israel shouldn’t be singled out, that there are other countries doing much worse things than what we do to the Palestinians, so why not punish them?”

      wrong – that’s the weakest, most illogical argument going.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        I am extremely glad that Hawking has done what he has.
        Too many Israelis and ‘diaspora’ Jews have been pretending that the BDS movement is nothing and should be ignored.
        This BDS movement is an extreme danger to all [not just Israel].
        It works on the basis of exclusion and group punishment.
        It is driven by group hysteria, that in the case of Israel, from my experience and contacts with its members, can also disguise far more ominous and dark feelings and thoughts.
        All regimes and movements that attempt to suppress free thought and freedom of expression, seem to sink further and further into the morass of intolerance and bigotry, even when their initial aims were originally exemplary.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joe

          Presumably there were people supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa who felt exactly the same – that they weren’t the world’s worst regime, that people were ‘picking’ on them, etc. How does it feel to be making an argument that was previously used by racists?

          Reply to Comment
        • carl

          It is the occupation that is an extreme danger, not the BDS (that I don’t fully approve), i.e. something requested by the occupied people.

          Reply to Comment
        • Richard Lightbown

          “All regimes and movements that attempt to suppress free thought and freedom of expression, seem to sink further and further into the morass of intolerance and bigotry,”

          Like making it a civil offence to publicly call for a boycott of Israel. Yeah, spot on rsgengland.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      Cruel as it sounds, I don’t believe that a man in Stephen Hawking’s sorry physical condition would have had a chance to face many moral dilemmas over the course of his lifetime.

      Maybe this inexperience led him to make the decision that he did.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joe

        Not just cruel – stupid, possibly verging on obscene. Shame on you for imagining someone like Stephen Hawking is unable to make a moral decision for himself.

        Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            All the “peace-camp” Israelis simply project their values on everyone else, assuming that every thinks like they do. They say “I am reasonable, it just has to be that the Palestinians are too”. There is a general assumption that everyone in the world, if given the chance, would have their government be a sort of Swedish-style social democracy, because that is what they themselves. Sounds very reasonable, just isn’t connected to reality.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            I’m not sure you are capable of understanding ‘reasonable’ xyz. Hint: it doesn’t only mean agreeing with my views.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            If what this Lital Shemesh took away from it is that Rahat Loukoum is like halva, I wouldn’t depend on her for her powers of observation. What was the official name of this conference? Who organized it? Who moderated it? And why would a guy from Beit El be the only person posting on it? (Beit El just happens to also be host to Arutz7 radio.) Anyone seen an article by her? Apparently she’s going to be writing for Yisrael Hayom and is connected with Stand With Us so we can look forward to some great unbiased journalism.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            You mean the fact that exactly the same piece was posted on Wallah (and on Arutz7) means she’s an upcoming, super well-known journalist? Oh, right. Ooh, and Arutz7 interviewed her for their radio programme too – on the same subject. Turns out that far from having totally revised her views, she was always a centre to right-winger, and considers Meretz extreme left. At least she’s honest, which cannot be said of the interviewer, one Judy Simon.
            http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/4662

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            That was meant to go under Joel’s post. Sorry.

            Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Where in my two sentence comment to I say that Hawking is, ” unable to make a moral decision for himself”.

          Let me dumb it down for you Joe. Due to Hawkings physical limitations, he has limited interactions with people and with everyday problems.

          A taxi driver trying to earn a living probably makes more moral decisions during one shift than Hawking has to make in 6 months.

          Now consider the even more complex moral decisions made daily by doctors, nurses, police, businessmen, politicians and military men.

          Reply to Comment
          • “Let me dumb it down for you Joe. Due to Hawkings physical limitations, he has limited interactions with people and with everyday problems.”

            Are you personally acquainted with Stephen Hawking and the kind of social life he has? If not, you have no business speculating about him purely on the basis of the prejudices you happen to hold about life as a disabled person. If you did know him, you’d presumably also know better than to do this. Classy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Stephen Hawking has more moral fiber in his little pinky than the likes of you. He is probably one of the ten most recognizable people in the world, and he meets tens of thousands of people every year who share their views and opinions with him. He is the very definition of an enlightened man. Israel should be honored that he is even spending some of his precious time thinking about it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            A cabbie asks himself should I pick up the African=American woman and drop her off in ‘a bad neighborhood’ or do I pass her by? Do I rip-off the Japanese tourist I just picked up at the airport? What do I do with drunk girl passed out in the back of my cab?
            Should I pick up the that poor guy in the wheelchair or do I cruise the local strip club because drunken white guys are the best tippers?

            Now tell me Danny? What sorts of moral decisions do you think Stephen Hawking makes during the course of a given day?

            BTW. I am not a cab driver.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            Are you disabled in a similar way to him? I’m confused how you can possibly know how regularly Prof Hawking has to make moral decisions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            The same way I know how often a cabbie or doctor or nurse make moral decisions. I use common sense.

            Reply to Comment
          • You are using prejudice. It would be possible for me or some other disabled person to explain to you what life is like for us, but that requires some willingness to listen on your part, which you don’t seem to have. People who refuse to join your game of speculating on Prof. Hawking’s poor confined morally impoverished existence aren’t doing so because they lack ‘common sense’, but because they are astute enough to recognise that they don’t know enough to be able to do that, and it isn’t right.

            Disabled people are very used to others deciding what our lives must be like and what we can or can’t do. It gets very old very quickly. I will just point out here that being able-bodied is not a thing to be taken for granted, and that a month from now you could be in an accident or develop a degenerative condition worse than Hawking’s. Then you would learn all too fast what it’s like to have people interpreting your every thought (especially the ones they don’t like) in the light of your disability and using it as an excuse not to take you seriously. I’d get out of the habit now if I were you, before you ever find yourself on the receiving end. Criticise Hawking’s politics all you want but leave your intrusive would-be clairvoyant speculations on his personal life out of it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            I’m pretty sure you are venturing in a prejudice and discriminatory territory. The exact territory which has led the persecution and inhumane treatment of the people with disabilities. The way you seem to suggest people with disabilities are not equal to body-abled people is absolutely atrocious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Leen

            Let’s start slow.

            Who makes more moral decisions in a day, you or a prisoner alone in a cell?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel, I actually find your comments too stupid to be offensive. They’re pathetic, so they don’t have the power to offend.

            Reply to Comment
      • And why exactly would a disabled person be any less likely than a (temporarily) able-bodied one to face moral dilemmas in their lifetimes? Moral dilemmas are a pretty human thing, and we’re as human as anyone else. In my own personal experience, the idea that our lives are somehow more sheltered and less complex tends to come only from people who a.) know zero about disability, b.) consequently doubt our ability to live as fully as they do, and c.) on some level don’t really recognise disabled people as their equals, just as these pitiable creatures who can’t possibly have any real understanding of life – you know, in a ‘sorry condition’. Drop it. It’s prejudiced and it’s nauseating, and above all, profoundly ignorant.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Aaron Gross

      I think your overall Zionist, pro-boycott argument is valid, given your premises, but I think you’re factually wrong here:

      Israel and its advocates can wave off boycotts by some college students and left-wing professors, even by a few well-known pop musicians, but not by a giant and hero of the Western world like Hawking.

      The boycott movement is a fight for the opinion of young people, who don’t think much one way or the other yet. (Old people aren’t going to change their minds.) Hawking is not a hero to young people. Neither is Roger Waters, nor Madonna. If A-list celebrities popular with young people were to boycott Israel, it might make a difference.

      The “Israel has cooties” message (I’ve phrased it that way myself) is exactly what the boycott movement should be trying to get across. If pro-Israel people can be portrayed as low-status or uncool, then the boycott will have succeeded. That’s why the cultural boycott is the only aspect of the boycott that has a chance of succeeding.

      Even from your Zionist perspective, the only way Israel can be forced to withdraw from the territories is by US pressure. That pressure would be enabled not by the Zionist Peter Beinart types, but by people who just don’t especially like Israel. Paradoxically, the way to get what you believe is good for Israel – pressure to withdraw from Judea and Samaria – is to make public opinion more malevolent towards Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joe

        I actually don’t approve of boycotting Israel because I believe it unintentionally damages the Palestinian economy – for example the vast majority of Hebron stone is sold via Israeli marketing companies, so to boycott Israel is also to boycott Palestine (of course, it’d be better if people traded directly with Palestinian quarries, but they don’t in general).

        Similarly, I actually believe that an boycott of Israeli academics is highly likely to have reprisals on Palestinian academics (who are already in a pretty bad way).

        I think it is a pretty blunt tool and in this case is going to damage the Palestinians more than assist them.

        Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        Just a small correction Aaron: Hawking is very much a hero to many young people, particularly aspiring young scientists of school age.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Richard Witty

      Hawking’s statement was a moderate statement, not worthy of either ridicule or made into a cause celebre.

      Like Judge Goldstone, the rabid and opportunist right hated him, and the rabid and opportunist left loved him, until his NY Times op-ed in which the positions of both groups reversed exactly 180 degrees.

      No appreciation for the person, the restraint in commentary, the humanity of the other.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Lisa K.

      By Jove, I think he’s got it!
      “I wish there were kinder, gentler ways than such acts of ostracism to get Israel to end its 46-year dictatorship over the Palestinians. Ideally, of course, the public would elect a government that would do it. Failing that, its best friend, America, would prod the public and its leaders with ‘tough love.’ Failing that, the Palestinians would rally the world against the occupation through diplomacy and nonviolent protest.

      Like a lot of other people, I put my hope in one after another of the above tactics, and one after another, they have so far come to nothing.

      So, as they say, desperate times require desperate measures, and for the cause of Israeli justice and Palestinian freedom, that means ostracizing Israel, including by such means as boycotting the President’s Conference.”

      Reply to Comment
    6. J. Wyndham

      “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.” — Father John Sheehan.

      Reply to Comment
      • Alan

        Father Sheehan probably missed school the day his history teacher discussed The Barbary Wars.

        Reply to Comment
    7. J. Wyndham

      “The strongest argument against punishing Israel for the occupation, in any way, is that Israel shouldn’t be singled out, that there are other countries doing much worse things than what we do to the Palestinians, so why not punish them?”

      So if I know my ‘friend’ is beating his wife, I should do nothing unless I’m willing to deal with every other wife-beater in the world? Please.

      America does NOT give billions of dollars annually or guarantee the military superiority of the vast majority of these other countries, as it does with Israel. The “other countries” don’t constantly try to goad or trick the USA into another ruinous war in the Middle East, based on lies about WMD’s. Other countries do not have an obvious strangle hold on our media and political system (e.g. AIPAC, ADL, AJC etc.) actively stifling debate and suppressing truth about THEIR human rights abuses. WE have a giant fifth column in America, the UK, Canada, etc. that REGULARLY claims it does not control politicians or the media, then clearly proves that it DOES by having somebody fired (e.g. Rick Sanchez) or smeared (Alice Walker, Chuck Hagel, Jimmy Carter,…) if they DARE speak the truth about this stranglehold or the occupation (i.e. using the control they claim they don’t have).

      When the west stops claiming our devotion to Israel is based on our “shared values”, I will stop focusing my ire on Israel. At this point, however, boycotting EVERYTHING associated with Israel’s economy, from a grassroots level, is the only, viable way of effecting real change.

      Regarding the extent of the boycott, we might as well boycott ALL of Israel AND the territories because, no matter how we do it, we will accused of anti-Semitism, when we are in fact “pro-Human”.

      Yes, this will hurt Palestinians too, as Israel will no doubt punish them for the actions of others. The part that should cause Israel great concern is the Palestinians have already learned to live on nothing, thanks to their Israeli masters.

      Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        “So if I know my ‘friend’ is beating his wife, I should do nothing unless I’m willing to deal with every other wife-beater in the world? Please.”

        Can we now turn your analogy around a bit?

        So if we know that tens of thousands of wives are being beaten around the country, should I ignore all that just because your friend’s wife is being beaten?

        You might also brush up on the validity of who is the wife and who is being beaten. That information too is pertinent when one starts playing with analogies.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          NOW I understand why all this talk about wife beating analogies.

          I just found out (I must be slow) that in 2007, Hawking had no problems with visiting Iran. So obviously he does not think that repression of women, the murder of anti regime demonstrators, the inhumane punishments meted out to those whom the regime deems as blasphemers, is sufficient cause to outrage Mr Hawking.

          My esteem of him as a decent moral human being is diminished.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ecru

            Hawking’s visited Iran, he’s visited China, HE’S ALSO VISITED ISRAEL FOUR TIMES! Read the article next time, you’ll look less like a tool. You’ll still be one, you just won’t look so much like one.

            Reply to Comment
          • Solon

            Iranian women are required to cover their hair and wear modest clothing. Some — many — Iranian women endorse the practices.
            Israel, on the other hand, traffics in women. Israel has a higher rate of use of prostitutes than most western states.
            Iranians protested after an election in 2009. Allegedly, some Iranians were killed. Flynt and Hillary Leverett claim that fewer than 30 Iranians were harmed in 2009 protests.
            Israel, on the other hand, kills peaceful Palestinian protesters on a nearly regular basis. Israeli soldiers fired a teargas cannister at a Jewish-American girl and put her eye out; Israelis fired at the head of a British peace activist; he’s still in a coma. Rachel Corrie was bulldozed to death when IDF sought to bulldoze Palestinian homes.
            Iran does not do that sort of thing.
            If Stephen Hawking went to Iran, it’s for darn sure no Iranian questioned his capacity to make moral decisions, or called him a lemming, or suggested he and his wheelchair should be pushed off a boat. Those comments came from the Israeli side of the ledger.
            Stay classy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “or suggested he and his wheelchair should be pushed off a boat.”

            Suggested?

            Then you must be really outraged about this?

            “Leon Klinghoffer (September 24, 1916 – October 8, 1985) was a disabled American appliance manufacturer who was murdered and thrown overboard by Palestinian terrorists in the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985.[1]”

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Klinghoffer

            But you are not. How do I know? Because all your kind ever does is talk about Israel and how evil IT is.

            You ask me to be classy? You would not know the meaning of the word you sick bastard.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Danny

      Hawking was right to boycott the president conference, and not just because of Israel’s actions.

      Ever since he inveigled his way into receiving a Nobel peace prize alongside Rabin and Arafat (as far as I’m concerned the ONLY ones who deserved it), Shimon Peres has become somewhat of a world celebrity – hobnobbing with the likes of Sharon Stone and Mark Zuckerberg, and a regular guest on the international conference scene (I believe he has not missed a single Davos in the last fifteen years).

      What most of his celebrity buddies don’t realize, however, is that Peres is probably the single most culpable Israeli official that is responsible for the occupation of Palestinian lands.

      After all, it was none other than defense minister Peres who allowed the settlers to set up their first few settlement in the West Bank. That he had done so out of cowardice rather than ideology is beside the point.

      Stephen Hawking was right to turn his back on Israel and its loser-in-chief Peres. Here’s hoping the president’s conference in 2014 will have a few less celebrities than the present one, and the one in 2015 less still.

      Who knows – perhaps the president’s conference of 2020 will be held in the Hague.

      Reply to Comment
    9. ToivoS

      There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement

      Sad but true. I have witnessed this as a supporter of BDS here in the states. What is most frustrating about this is that right-wing Israelis encourage that loathing because they see it as a means to rally Jews to their intransigent policies.

      Reply to Comment
      • Which is why I, for one, advocate the Israeli Declaration of Independence as constitutional document–not loathing Israel, but using what was made at its creation to change present law.

        Reply to Comment
    10. The Trespasser

      >America does NOT give billions of dollars annually or guarantee the military superiority of the vast majority of these other countries, as it does with Israel.

      That is probably because there are no countries which are threatened to be wiped off by its neighbour(s).

      >The “other countries” don’t constantly try to goad or trick the USA into another ruinous war in the Middle East, based on lies about WMD’s.

      Trick USA?
      You think that USA is/was governed by idiots who could not see through this primitive plot?

      You do believe that Obama honestly had won elections strictly due to his charismatic personality and outstanding performance, do you?

      >The part that should cause Israel great concern is the Palestinians have already learned to live on nothing, thanks to their Israeli masters.

      *facepalm*

      One of reasons why there is occupation is because each and every single one of PA/PLA/Fatah employees plain and simple not interested in an idependent Palestinian state. It would require some real work and responsibility, you see. And they might lose power as an otcome of their poor performance.

      Why would any sane person risk his/her position which requires doing nothing in return for monthly payments from kind sponsors?

      >When the west stops claiming our devotion to Israel is based on our “shared values”, I will stop focusing my fire on Israel.

      This one is plain silly. I dare you to list important values which are not shared between Israel and USA (or the West in general, if you please.

      I have to agree that “shared values”, despite being very nice and all, are not the only reason to such devotion.

      Obviously it is the power (and the money of course).

      >At this point, however, boycotting EVERYTHING associated with Israel’s economy, from a grassroots level, is the only, viable way of effecting real change.

      And said change would be? To which borders Israel should retreat so ALL Palestinians would accept it?

      Reply to Comment
      • ToivoS

        trick USA

        Yep, read the chapter on the Iraq War in the Walt and Mearsheimer book on the Lobby if you want to see how it works.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Never heard of that book.
          Could not find in available online, but Google had led me to this website: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

          Let’s see…

          “Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?”

          They are basing their research on a false assumption.

          USA was/is only advancing interests of USA, which is why, by the way, Jonathan Pollard, who had committed no crime – AFAIK he only had supplied information which should have been supplied either way – is still rotting behind bars.

          One should realize, of course, that interests of citizens of USA are not necessarily that of the state – or of those who rule them.

          “Israel’s backers also portray it as a country that has sought peace at every turn and shown great restraint even when provoked. The Arabs, by contrast, are said to have acted with great wickedness. Yet on the ground, Israel’s record is not distinguishable from that of its opponents.”

          Well, yeah. The only difference is that Arabs have much longer record. And of course the fact that Palestinian Arabs haven’t been resettled by host states, while Israel is bashed for doing the same to African refugees.

          “Ben-Gurion acknowledged that the early Zionists were far from benevolent towards the Palestinian Arabs, who resisted their encroachments – which is hardly surprising, given that the Zionists were trying to create their own state on Arab land.”

          In 1919 there was hardly any intention, need or possibility to create Jewish state in Palestine. Jews sought to be granted equal rights with Arabs, that’s all.

          But of course, Jews can’t hope to have equal rights with Arabs in an Arab state, it would be a blasphemy or something.

          “Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state.”
          Is that so?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_foreign_aid_received
          Foreign aid received in millions of US dollars[1]
          Country 2007 2008
          Iraq 9185.37 9880.2
          Middle East, regional 1465.67 4992.01
          Afghanistan 3964.6 4865.08
          Ethiopia 2562.51 3327.46
          South of Sahara, regional 1697.66 2763.45
          Palestine 1872.3 2592.75
          Israel 2,500.24 2,423.8
          Sudan 2111.51 2383.58
          Tanzania 2818.45 2330.72
          India 1384 2107.65
          Bangladesh 1514.59 2061.4
          Turkey 791.89 2023.71

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_aid#USAID
          Afghanistan 12,924.40
          Israel 3,026.40
          Iraq 2,147.60

          “It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976″

          As we’ve seen, it is simply not truth.

          “This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.”

          Yeah. And population roughly equal to 1/6th to that of N. Korea or Spain. 1/6th of population is 1/6th of taxes, and price of items is not reduced proportionally, you see.

          “Moreover, the US has provided Israel with nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets.”

          Whichever wepon systems were developed, USA had benifitted from it directly. Iron Dome, for example, which is basically the small version of Patriot missile, was developed by a team of Russian engineers in conjunction with Raytheon, after which all works in Israel were ceised and production is conducted in USA only.

          I don’t have the luxury of time to read through all this crap, nor there is a reason to do it.

          They create a good straw man, a careful mix of truths, semi-truths and lies.

          Israel is the best topic if one wishes to sell a book.

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            You are also a bit selective.

            “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $118 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance …”

            “Israel became the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance in 1974, and has only been superseded at various times
            by Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade because … ”

            see: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

            I think you could add to that some of the money that goes each year to the PA and UNRWA ( The fugitives and the occupied territories are Israels responsibility. I guess that is the reason those funds are never really gets cut off ). There is also the 1.2 billion weapons stockpile inside Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Since I’m not profiting from debunking these lies I reserve a right to have 15% error margin.

            Reply to Comment
    11. Richard Witty

      There are kinder gentler ways to dissent. They are not as polar (identifying who is an “us” and who is a “them”).

      And, they don’t have the rush of entertainment that demonstration has.

      Reply to Comment
    12. un2here

      Israels “original sin” is the Nakba. The wars, the occupation, the siege and whatnot – they are all the consequences of that moment in time when representatives for the Jewish people asked for land belonging to someone else. It won’t go away Larry …

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      • The Trespasser

        > Israel’s “original sin” is the Nakba. The wars, the occupation, the siege and whatnot – they are all the consequences of that moment in time when representatives for the Jewish people asked for land belonging to someone else. It won’t go away Larry …

        Wow. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 lies in three sentences.

        1 – Israel’s “original sin” is existence of Israel. Nakba is the result of Arab’s refusal to accept Jewish state.

        2 – Arabs had massacred and repressed Jews in Palestine long before Ben Gurion was born. You can’t really switch cause and effect.

        3 – What is occupation? Some Arabs believe that ENTIRE Palestine is occupied and should be liberated. The very presence of Jewish state IS occupation.

        4 – The siege is 100% legitimate. Hamas had declared war on Israel, Gaza is ruled by Hamas, therefore any acts of war between both sides are legitimate to some extent. Yes, even firing missiles from populated apartment building hoping to hit IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv – and levellining of that building as an outcome.

        All has to be done to end the blockade is for Hamas to drop few statements from their Covenant, such as:

        Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

        That is why, with all our appreciation for The Palestinian Liberation Organization – and what it can develop into – and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser.

        Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

        5 – They are all the consequences of events which had started taking place over long before representatives of Jewish people asked to have equal rights with Palestinian Arabs in Palestine.

        Won’t go away, right. Which is why Israel have to have edge over all regional enemies and continue oppression of Palestinians as the only viable option.

        Basically, you had just admitted that no matter what good Israel does to Palestinians – it does good to it’s enemy. Won’t go away, you know.

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    13. The Tresspaser

      CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO CCONTROL THE MEDIA?

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    14. Amnon Zohar

      There is no Zionist defense of Hawking. First it’s not of his doing. Noam Chomsky used his contacts to give the BDS wind in their sails as nothing else worked. This is a publicity stunt exploiting Hawking. Next one we should get Bieber. Now that we have credibility we need to get celebrity and may be Tiger Woods. Hawking should be above politics of this nature particularly when he survives on technology originating in Israel. Shame on Noam Chomsky who built a brand on de-legitimizing Israel.

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