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Israelis must speak up about the injustices here, and the world must listen

The world is not against us — rather, it is at best indifferent to the oppression of Palestinians, and at worst colludes in it, which is why Israelis must inform decent people about what is happening here.

Police arrest a Palestinian-Israeli protester during a demonstration against Operation Protective Edge, July 18, 2014, Haifa, Israel (photo: Activestills)

Police arrest a Palestinian protester during a demonstration against Operation Protective Edge, Haifa, July 18, 2014. (Activestills)

I was invited to attend a series of meetings organized by French activists that were held this week. The participants were involved in Palestine solidarity work, some of them with longstanding ties to Palestinian communities. Several visit Israel-Palestine on occasion, and assist however they can from afar.

And yes, they are ardent supporters of all forms of non-violent struggle, particularly boycott. Every year, at the general meeting of local councils, they invite speakers from Israel-Palestine in order to broaden their perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I generally think that these kinds of meetings are very important. The occupation is not an internal Israeli matter, and the international community is not merely entitled to know what is happening and to intervene — it has to.

But here in France, amid the endless greenery and against your will, Zionist indoctrination drifts in and quietly pecks away at your thoughts: what makes these people, who live in one of the most peaceful and beautiful places you’ve seen, decide to get involved in the Palestinian struggle? Why this cause specifically? And that damned suspicion that has worked its way into our veins — perhaps they are acting not out of concern for Palestinians, but out of hatred for Israel (or rather for Jews, of the kind it is no longer polite to admit to these days).

During long conversations with the hosts — most of them elderly, and warm, welcoming and exceptionally generous — I set aside these suspicions and listen intently. No, they are not anti-Semites. No, they don’t hate Israel. They are veteran activists who come from a long and steadfast tradition of anti-fascism, and who are appalled at what is happening around them, both in France (especially now, ahead of the elections), and in Palestine, which is currently a hot topic on the French Left.

At Qalandiya checkpoint, Israeli soldiers control the turnstiles remotely from behind bullet proof glass. When they lock it every few minutes to control the flow of passengers, someone is almost always trapped inside, unable to move more than a few inches in each direction until the soldiers let another handful of people through, West Bank, February 25, 2016. (Activestills.org)

At Qalandiya checkpoint, Israeli soldiers control the turnstiles remotely from behind bullet proof glass. When they lock it every few minutes to control the flow of passengers, someone is almost always trapped inside, unable to move more than a few inches in each direction until the soldiers let another handful of people through, West Bank, February 25, 2016. (Activestills.org)

The couple in whose home I was staying, both retired teachers, are activists in the Palestine solidarity movement. The man has traveled to Israel-Palestine several times, and follows after the situation here with great concern. His grandmother on his mother’s side was Jewish, and his mother was an atheist who fought with the partisans. He, too, is an atheist, and was a communist until he left the party’s ranks in fury.

He brings me a document he received from Yad Vashem, which shows that his cousin was murdered in the Holocaust. As a pro-Palestinian activist, this document is a form of security for the rigorous and intrusive checks he undergoes each time he passes through Ben-Gurion Airport. He grasps the paper reverently, and his eyes moisten as he recounts the history of this branch of the family. Fascism is a bloody curse on humanity, he says.

I spoke at several meetings on this trip. The people who attended know that the media is not giving them a complete picture and want to hear firsthand what is happening in Israel-Palestine. And there is no need to embellish or dramatize the reality, because the reality here is so warped and fraught that the tersest description is enough to relay the depth of the crisis.

Try to tell people about the fairness and morality of the latest raft of laws passed by the Knesset, for example, and see how they respond. No, doing this isn’t fun. You take no delight in talking about the injustices in your country. But I am obligated to speak and they are obligated to listen, so I speak. And, surprisingly, they are anxious about the future of Israeli society itself. They want to know if this is really how we plan to continue, and if this is the society we want to raise our children in.

As part of its war on decency and morality, Israel is vigorously singling out international Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semitic enemies, and their Israeli counterparts as traitors. It’s easy to give in to this line of thinking, but the world is not against us. In truth, the world is at best indifferent to the ongoing violent oppression of Palestinians; at worst, it actively participates in it.

But as long as there are decent people who understand that taking part in a struggle against oppression, occupation, colonialism and fascism is a moral duty, it is incumbent upon us to give them information they can use in that fight. It’s the least we can do for those who stand alongside Palestinians in their struggle here.

The occupation will not end without significant international involvement, and the border lines drawn between “us’ and “them” are very different from those presented by the State of Israel. For me, the “us” includes Jean-Pierre, who stands tearfully with his cousin’s death certificate from the Holocaust and listens to how Yaqoub Abu al-Qi’an was killed in Umm al-Hiran, trembling in fear and horror at both their fates.

This post was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here. Translated by Natasha Roth.

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    1. Bruce Gould

      “The occupation will not end without significant international involvement…”

      Alas, we’re still at the point where the existence of an occupation is denied, especially in Israel. Gershon Shafir, in his new book “A Half Century of Occupation”, says (page 10): “…Netanyahu and his government ministers have been particularly vociferous in their denunciations of the term [occupation]…the deputy minister of defense from the religious Zionist Jewish Home Party called on educators to teach their students that ‘there is no occupation’. I reject these clumsy attempts to define out of existence what we can plainly see.”

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Bruce

        There are 3 things that distinguish an occupation from annexation

        a) It is military not civilian in nature. In particular the area is not taxed and the military government administers as little civilian control as possible.
        b) It is designed to be temporary. The military has some military necessity for taking control from the formal sovereign. There is no design towards annexation.
        c) The military views the residents as fully foreign. It does not see them as part of the same country and has no desire to confer citizenship on them.

        Do (a), (b) and (c) sound like what’s going on in Area-C?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Obviously it’s both an illegal occupation and a creeping annexation by illegal transfer of civilians and illegal pushing of protected persons under occupation off their land. It is muddling matters to call it simply either occupation or annexation as if it were only one or the other.

          Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            According to our holy books, the Judea and Samaria belong the the Jewish people. 70 % of the Jewish Israeli are against any withdrawal.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            Obviously it’s both an illegal occupation and a creeping annexation by illegal transfer of civilians and illegal pushing of protected persons under occupation off their land. It is muddling matters to call it simply either occupation or annexation as if it were only one or the other.

            Once a country is engaging in annexation activities institutionally it stops being an occupation. So no that isn’t mudding it is defining the matter clearly.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Once a country is engaging in annexation activities institutionally it stops being an occupation.”

            More obfuscating pedantry. Your signature. WHO SAYS that creeping annexation is the get out of jail free card for an illegal 50-year occupation and the crimes against protected persons committed thereby? WHO SAYS? YOU? You mean to tell me that once Israel engages in “annexation activities institutionally” (what state licensing board defines these criteria and hands out annexation activity certificates?) the world has to stand back and say “oh, well, what was an illegal occupation magically disappears for all legal and practical and moral purposes? And this annexation that proceeds on the basis of a 50-year occupation is untainted by that occupation? Israel gets absolved of the occupation by staging a surgically designed annexation of Area C designed to expel and freeze out as many ethnic Arabs as possible and then keep A and B as controlled bantustans? AND the world will recognize any of this? All of this is preposterous nonsense. You are engaging in narrow pedantry, pontificating, with delusions of surgical “arguments” that you think stand by themselves. They do not. Obviously, it is BOTH an occupation AND a creeping annexation maneuver superimposed on that and nothing you have said makes this untrue, practically, legally or morally.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            WHO SAYS that creeping annexation is the get out of jail free card for an illegal 50-year occupation

            You mean who says that an occupations stops once annexation activities take place: Well originally the Vienna protocols signed after the Napoleonic wars. The legal commentary on them: D. August Wilhelm Heffter, Das Europäische Völkerrecht der Gegenwart. For a more modern treatment:
            Eyāl Benveniśtî. The international law of occupation. Princeton University Press, 2004.

            You mean to tell me that once Israel engages in “annexation activities institutionally” (what state licensing board defines these criteria and hands out annexation activity certificates?) the world has to stand back and say “oh, well, what was an illegal occupation magically disappears for all legal and practical and moral purposes?

            Yes. It may be an illegal annexation or the illicit conquest of territory but it is not an occupation.

            Israel gets absolved of the occupation by staging a surgically designed annexation of Area C designed to expel and freeze out as many ethnic Arabs as possible and then keep A and B as controlled bantustans?

            Whether they can annex Area-C without annexing Area-A and Area-B is unclear. The answer is probably not. For the same reason the South Africa Bantusans were rejected the substates in A and B would likely be rejected. But that’s not the question on the table right now. Its also something I want to try discussing with someone who isn’t deliberately trying to be misleading which is something you do frequently. Your constant flying off the handle, misreading, deliberate misrepresentations… make that conversation impossible with you. I’m going to try it with the people from the anti-Zionist side who are more calm and measured.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “You mean who says that an occupations stops once annexation activities take place”

            No I did not mean that, you put words in my mouth. Israel has never formally annexed anything in the West Bank or admitted that it is doing that. Until it does, the world does not have to spy on it and try to figure out its inscrutable ways. And it does not magically erase the occupation, which is not some academic construct but a brutal reality for millions of real human beings. To say otherwise is a classic example of Israel wanting to have it both ways. Your phrase, “annexation activities” is meaningless. You pose it as if “annexation activities” were some kind of legally defining thing. It is not. What it is, is your wanting Israel to have it both ways. It can engage in “annexation activities” and reap the benefits you think it accrues thereby, without having to accept the costs of a declared attempt at actual annexation. It is the definition of sneaking around and wanting to have it both ways, of fudging it. Pedantically listing a book we should go and read, rather than making an argument, is laughable pedantry. And posing pedantry as cool and rational is pedantry squared. And telling me what is on the table and what is not is mere evasiveness. It is you who are constantly evasive. You just did it with Paranam Kid over at Abe Silberstein’s article where you repeatedly refuse to answer his questions and hide behind evasions such as “the question is not, the question is this…” And you are doing it here too. Again, this is not some petty game of narrowly concocted claims and “counterclaims” based on playing with words. Saying “Its also something I want to try discussing with someone…more calm and measured” is mere evasion. You have no argument and are posing behind an evasion. You did it with Paranam Kid and you are doing it with me. Backing out when the going gets tough. I take your lack of argument from here on out as an admission of defeat.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            Its a lack of honesty on your part, but you can take it as defeat.

            As an aside annexation activities are legally defined in those sources:
            a) collecting taxes
            b) changing the laws in a way not necessitated by military objectives
            c) building long term infrastructure not in accord with the formal sovereign (which would be Britain)
            d) claiming jurisdiction

            etc… Those are all things Israel is doing.

            Paranam Kid is an idiot. I responded repeatedly. And yes this is about narrow definitions. That’s how things get solved. Isolate. You want to just rant and change topics repeatedly as your arguments fall apart.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Total baloney. Bullshit (look up the formal philosophical meaning of that term, kid professor). Just spinning out pedantry to cover up that fact you had your pedantic head handed to you by both Paranam Kid and by me.

            “As an aside”

            This is the kind of thing you do. “As an aside.” Yeah? If it is so important, state why and in what line of argument. Not some tossed off “aside.”

            “Those are all things Israel is doing.”

            It just might be doing all those things. All of it amounts to sneaking around, having the benefits of covert annexation without the costs of declared and above board annexation. Who is surprised? Does Israel ever do anything above board and honestly in the territories?

            Israel is also doing a lot of other things that blatantly violate the Geneva Conventions with respect to protected persons under military occupation. And whatever legal groundwork its lawyers are trying to spin out about ‘debellatio’ as a tactic, Israel also plainly told the world that nevertheless, even though it did not formally agree on the applicability of GCIV, it stipulated to the whole wide world that it was willing to observe the humanitarian provisions of the Convention. (And since when did Israel ever agree to observe anything just to be ‘a good guy’?) And since then Israel has blatantly violated those humanitarian provisions, constantly. You have no argument. You never did.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            We are done talking into you find yourself capable of being more polite.

            Reply to Comment
        • john

          the occupation is not limited to area c, obviously.

          Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @John

            Absolutely true. Once you move past “the occupation” rhetoric then comes the complexity of Area-A and Area-B. Area-C is more clear cut. Area-A and Area-B are ambiguous between colonies and annexed but I’d like to lay the groundwork with Area-C and deal with the objections where things are less ambiguous and vague.

            Remember Bruce’s claim was that the occupation was something you can plainly see, i.e there was no complexity or ambiguity at all. My counter claim is that Israel’s behavior in Area-C is inconsistent with an occupation and thus he is incorrect.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Remember Bruce’s claim was that the occupation was something you can plainly see, i.e there was no complexity or ambiguity at all. My counter claim is that Israel’s behavior in Area-C is inconsistent with an occupation and thus he is incorrect.”

            This is the sheerest narrow pedantry. Gimmickry. A gimmick for finding yet another way to deny the blindingly obvious: the occupation. Israel’s own High Court recognizes the territories as occupied, with military law applying to Arabs while at the same time it winks at the separate application of Israeli civilian law to Jews. This is both an occupation and apartheid. Israel has not claimed to annex any of the West Bank except East Jerusalem and no country on earth has recognized that annexation maneuver. You want to talk about behavior? Good. Israel’s “behavior,” quite obviously, is consistent with both an occupation and and, facilitated by that occupation, an unstated slow, sneaky, creeping annexation maneuver.
            To conclude that “thus Bruce is incorrect” is the pettiest narrow pedantry divorced from reality. This is not some petty game of narrowly concocted claims and “counterclaims” based on playing with words.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Baladi Akka 1948

      Orly Noy, my favorite writer on 972mag. How come I didn’t know you were in France, I would have loved to hear you speak.
      Last Saturday there was a rally in Paris in solidarity with Palestine, and the BDS movement, the local AIPAC (CRIF) had tried to prevent it, and even convinced the mayor that is was in fact ‘antisemitc’. Fortunately the police didn’t follow, and the rally went along under heavy police protection.
      The founder of the organization who organized the event is herself of Jewish descent, and so were many of the people attending. In spite of all the Hasbara BS nobody outside the Zionist bubble thinks being for Palestinian rights is being anti-semitic, also because of Jewish and Israeli allies. Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
      • carmen

        Good news for a change – thanks for sharing that.

        Reply to Comment
    3. JeffB

      @Ben

      Actually the part of law it is consistent with is debellatio (subjugation). That’s the situation that exists when a state’s laws and society have ceased to exist and the occupying power has to assume full administrative authority. That’s the status for example of Nazi Germany after the war (Hans Kelsen, 1947). In this case the state in question would be the British Mandate. Britain no longer is capable of administering the West Bank in any fashion nor is the continuity between current conditions and Britain. In which case the state (West Bank) is unable to enter into international relations. Human rights law applies but international law does not until a new government is formed either by or with the consent of the occupying power. Annexation is of course a resolution.

      As for the international community. The international community mostly believes in the fictional state of Palestine. Which is as real as Narnia and Atlantis, and exercises as much administrative authority.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        More evasive pedantry. I have no real idea what you are talking about. And neither do you. The occupiers of post war Germany never set out to settle it with transferred in American and British and French civilians and never did and always had an endpoint in mind and reached it. Ditto with Japan. The Fourth Geneva Convention and other aspects of international law pertaining to the status of protected persons under belligerent occupation are strictly about protecting defenseless persons under military occupation, they are not about states, or states prerogatives and their applicability have nothing to do with issues of states. Theodore Meron, who advised Israel’s leadership in a top secret memo in 1948 that settlements in the occupied territories were flat out illegal, knew this and said it very clearly. Israel’s leadership has always known it. Issues of who was/is sovereign, etc. do not in any way nullify the applicability of the GCIV which is concerned with human rights of defenseless persons, in all cases, and is not about states and their rights. At all.

        Reply to Comment
    4. JeffB

      @Ben

      The occupiers of Germany changed civilian laws not based on military necessity. Arguing that Germany the state has ceased to exist was their legal basis i.e. Germany was in a state of debellatio not occupation. That’s the status of the West Bank. There is no viable British government which can return.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        This remains a tangent irrelevant to the argument above. It is still both an occupation and a creeping, sneaking-around annexation not a declared annexation and the same issues of Israel wanting to have it both ways applies.
        The complexities of this issue of debellatio and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War are dealt with on pp. 273-277 here (it is with respect to the particular issue of demilitarization but nevertheless the general principles discussed apply):
        https://jilp.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/volume-11-2/Wessel.pdf

        Reply to Comment
        • JeffB

          @Ben

          And your source is agreeing with me. So…

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​Excuse me? Agrees with you on WHAT, JeffB?
            With regard to the applicability of debellatio versus the GC and humanitarian law and the implications? Absolutely not. No way no how.
            With regard to the primary issue, lest we forget, of your trying to assert that creeping, sneaking-around, undeclared “annexation activities” magically dispel an occupation and the applicable law of occupation? Absolutely not. No way no how.
            It’s still an occupation, and it’s still an undeclared creeping annexation effort, it’s still both, and it’s still Israel wanting to have it both ways. You’ve lost that argument.
            And this tangent about debellatio is still a tangent.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            Your source agreed with me that in a situation where the previous government is non-viable and the military stops acting like an occupying army but rather like a government there isn’t a status of occupation. Your claim is that occupation is a permanent status regardless of how the occupying power acts.

            You can keep asserting “creeping annexation”. There is nothing creeping about it. Israel has moved 10% of its population into Area-C and East Jerusalem, calls it “disputed territory” for 50 years, has stated for over 2 decades it intends to permanently keep parts of it, built a permanent border fortification in its territory… Those aren’t subtle acts, vague or ambiguous. They aren’t being done in the dark.

            You simply are failing to deal with reality.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Your source agreed with me…”

            You are a funny guy, JeffB. You merely assert things, opaquely. (Hoping people are too lazy to go to the article?) Show me your argument that the source agrees with you. Be explicit. Spell it out. I don’t see it. Where in that source does the author state that when a military stops acting like an occupying army but “rather like” a government there “isn’t a status of occupation”? And what does ”stops acting like” mean? What does “rather like” amount to? To what degree has Israel “stopped acting like an occupying army”? Israel maintains two legal systems for Jews versus Arabs in the West Bank and relies on military law for the Arabs, but at the same time “the occupation has stopped”? Yeah? How does that work? Do tell us. The questions multiply.

            In none of the language about Japan or Germany for example does the author say what you say, and continues to use the words ‘occupation’ and ‘occupying’ throughout the discussion of debellatio. The author, furthermore, merely lays out the pros and cons of a debellatio-based argument for Israel tactically, versus a GC-based argument and notes how the ICJ and international scholars have never aligned with Israel’s tactical pleading in this case.

            And I want to point out as well these sentences:

            “More progressively, debellatio is governed by a prohibition on acts in sheer self-interest…American actions in Japan, predicated on a similar rationale as Israeli policy toward the occupied territories, were subject to evaluation along self-interest grounds. Similarly, the absence of a prior sovereign should require the international community to subject Israeli actions to a similar humanitarian litmus test: is the Israeli concept of a demilitarized state a function of sheer self-interest or one of give-and take reciprocity?68

            68 Nossel, supra note 54, at 19. However, Israel’s theory that non-imposition norms do not apply to the occupied territories because the areas lacked a pre-existing sovereign was rejected by the International Court of Justice. Advisory Opinion, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004 I.C.J. General List No. 131, paras. 90-101 (July 9). Although the Court’s opinion was advisory, it provides significant weight against the Israeli position.”

            “Your claim is that occupation is a permanent status regardless of how the occupying power acts.”

            No JeffB, that was not my claim. You mislead. It is YOUR claim that various ambiguous “acts” by an occupying power, rather than formal annexation, are decisive for removing from that occupying power the burdens that come with being an occupying power. That is false.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            OK let’s start with the most clear cut case where there has been a formal annexation. In your opinion are Jerusalem and the Golan occupied?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You do your by now classic maneuver: you take something complex and difficult and reduce it to cut and dried, pat pseudo-solutions. And hide behind pedantry and behind mere assertions, opaquely stated, doing it.

            It is you who are not facing reality. If matters were so simple, JeffB, Israel would long ago have annexed the territories. It has not done so. And for the umpteenth time, creeping “annexation activities” is a tactic aiming to have it both ways, to enjoy the benefits of both occupation and annexation without having to incur the costs. The occupation does not, presto-chango, disappear because Israel *behaves* in some ways like an annexing entity. It has never formally annexed the territory or declared that it has. That is the very definition of creeping and sneaking around. They are in fact precisely “subtle acts, vague or ambiguous…being done in the dark.” “Permanent border fortifications”? In fact Israel uses all kinds of double talk about the separation wall. “Parts of it”? Which parts, pray tell? It is all of it shot through with strategic ambiguity, the essence of strategic ambiguity. In a thousand ways Israel cloaks what it is really doing. You have no argument here. The occupation disappearing act you claim happened does not bear up under scrutiny. This ‘debellatio’ matter is still a tangent, distracting from the argument between us further up this page.

            I am going to remind you of a previous conversation between us that illustrates precisely your tendency to glib, superficial characterizations of complex matters. Just yesterday Marine Le Pen came out with a statement that exposes the superficiality of your blithe statement that “she just asserts the primacy of French culture and an understanding that Catholicism is part of that culture”:
            https://972mag.com/theodor-herzl-terrible-screenwriter/126440/

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            Yes that’s exactly what I do. Decompose complex questions into a set of simple questions that be analyzed. That’s called thinking. As contrasted with what you do which is emoting.

            I think those two cases disprove your claim that the argument is about sneaking annexation because there you have de jure annexation. Which means your argument about sneaking is nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​There you go again. These “formal annexations,” recognized as valid and legal by no other country on Earth, are far from “clear cut.” The situation in East Jerusalem is anything but clear cut and the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are subject to a constant regime of exclusion, dispossession, discrimination and trickery. So don’t lecture me about what is clear cut. And I won’t “calm down” about a French leader who tells us that France is not responsible for colluding with the SS to round up and exterminate the Jews of Paris, or attempts to pass off the same French leader as someone who merely “asserts the primacy of French culture and an understanding that Catholicism is part of that culture.”

            “Decompose”? Decompose is the right word. Finally you got something right. You don’t do anything so fancy as decontruct. You decompose. Please show me where I “emote” rather than deconstruct your nonsense. Really, I want you to lay out how my argument against you is “emotive” rather than rationally deconstructive. Show us.

            “De jure” – not the right word, JeffB. Another pedantic substitution for honesty. This word, “de jure,” does not impress. Not a single nation in the world recognizes that these annexations were “de jure” — according to rightful entitlement or claim, or by right. And furthermore, whatever “de jure” annexation you imagine happened in East Jerusalem, (1) Israel treats the residents of East Jerusalem as something much less than “de jure” Jewish citizens—so maybe you want to call it “de jure” apartheid? And the occupation of the West Bank is absolutely NOT “de jure” even by your one-eyed standards, so, excuse, me, but what on earth are you talking about?

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            — Please show me where I “emote” rather than deconstruct your nonsense.

            That sentence. The use of the term “nonsense” is needlessly offensive.

            — There you go again.

            As if presenting a consistent set of principles to be applied was a negative.

            — These “formal annexations,” recognized as valid and legal by no other country on Earth,

            Both false (see for example the United States: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Embassy_Act_of_1995 ) and not responsive to the argument regarding your claim that formal annexation was the key missing ingredient.

            — And I won’t “calm down” about a French leader…

            Exactly the problem.

            — “Decompose”? Decompose is the right word. Finally you got something right. You don’t do anything so fancy as decontruct. You decompose. Really, I want you to lay out how my argument against you is “emotive” rather than rationally deconstructive. Show us.

            — “De jure” – not the right word, JeffB. Another pedantic substitution for honesty. This word, “de jure,” does not impress.

            Again a string of insults not an argument.

            — Not a single nation in the world recognizes that these annexations were “de jure” — according to rightful entitlement or claim, or by right.

            This actually is an argument but it shows you don’t know what de jure means.

            — And furthermore, whatever “de jure” annexation you imagine happened in East Jerusalem, (1) Israel treats the residents of East Jerusalem as something much less than “de jure” Jewish citizens so maybe you want to call it “de jure” apartheid?

            The residents of East Jerusalem until the last 3 years had full rights to Israeli citizenship. So false. And again the language here is offensive: “apartheid” to describe a grant of citizenship.

            Reply to Comment
    5. JeffB

      @Ben

      I get you don’t like Le Pen. That doesn’t mean not considering her the end of the planet is “glib”. You need to calm down.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      JeffB, that I use a few “emotive” elements in my response to you does not negate the fact that I rationally deconstruct your argument on the same page. The two are not mutually exclusive. This is the kind of confusion you engaged in when you tried to tell yourself and us that with respect to the West Bank it’s simply either occupation or annexation, that selected “annexation activities” magically negate the occupation and that “annexation activities” equate with formal annexation in privileges and responsibilities. Same kind of either/or fallacy. Same kind of wanting to have it both ways.

      And here’s the deal, JeffB. If I am, here and there, “emotive,” you are cold.
      Coldly sympathetic to European fascism.
      Coldly sympathetic to Le Pen, to Putin, and their Israeli equivalents.
      Cold about authoritarianism where it suits your project.
      Cold about the fate of peoples subjugated.
      Cold about the French Huguenots the Bellorussians and the fate you equally see as “reasonable” for the Palestinians.
      Cold about forms of judeofascism you blithely pass off as “a state religion.”
      If I am “emotive” you are cold JeffB. And it bespeaks your values versus mine.

      It is your very unemotive, ethnocentric coldness about human beings that provokes my annoyance, JeffB, but your trick of implying that I, as a consequence, engage *only* in emotivism and not rational refutation, does not pass muster.

      I know very well what de jure means and I used it correctly. You characteristically evade, JeffB. It is no insult to expose that. Your slipperiness about the position Israel puts its East Jerusalem residents in is characteristic too. It is also quite slippery of you to pass off that “Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995” as constituting formal recognition by the United States of the annexation of Jerusalem or that the US has recognized all of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Since passage, the Act has never been implemented, because of opposition from every President. The Trump administration talked a good game but when push came to shove it backed off, conceding reality. The United States has withheld recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Ben

        — The two are not mutually exclusive.

        Actually they are. At a certain point the rudeness overwhelms the argument if there is one. It is quite hard to remove the tone and then use of misleading language and try and figure out if there is any argument underneath. And that is happening for you as well. A good deal of what you do is begging the question. A good deal is also misleading.

        — it’s simply either occupation or annexation, that selected “annexation activities” magically negate

        I never said they “magically negate”. A key component of the definition of an occupation is that the military power does not make claim to being the foreign sovereign. There is nothing magic about it. Once the military power claims to be representing the formal sovereign it is no longer an occupation at all.

        — the occupation and that “annexation activities” equate with formal annexation in privileges and responsibilities.

        I never said that. What I did say is that “annexation activities” can rise to a level where it creates a de facto claim of formal sovereignty. That argument hangs though on a willingness to admit though that when an outright de jure claim, as is the case in Golan and Jerusalem, that a state of occupation no longer exists at all.

        What you are trying to do is use the word “occupation” to mean something other than what an occupation is. Your tone is designed to obscure the fact that you either don’t know what an occupation means or are misusing the word.

        — Same kind of either/or fallacy. Same kind of wanting to have it both ways.

        It can’t be both. That’s a contradiction.

        — Coldly sympathetic to Le Pen, to Putin, and their Israeli equivalents.

        Yep.

        — Cold about authoritarianism where it suits your project.

        Not true.

        — Cold about the fate of peoples subjugated.

        Not true. I’m quite humane about the fate of people subjugated. I want to do the most possible to enhance their welfare and discourage them from behaviors that lead to their destruction. The Israeli left often does the opposite.

        — Cold about the French Huguenots the Bellorussians and the fate you equally see as “reasonable” for the Palestinians.

        I think you should reread what I wrote.

        — Cold about forms of judeofascism you blithely pass off as “a state religion.”

        You don’t know what fascism means. Fascism is not a way to say “poppy head”. It is a rather specific collection of beliefs. For example: rejection of the modern, anti-intellectualism, irrationalism, cult of action, appeal to the middle class, anti-pacifism, cult of death / heroism, new speak, anti-capitalism, suspension of rule of law… are not major themes of the Israeli right.

        There are fascistic elements of Israeli right (not shockingly since Likud originated as a fascist movement): cult of tradition (mainly comes directly from Judaism), racism, machismo…

        — It is also quite slippery of you to pass off that “Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995” as constituting formal recognition by the United States of the annexation of Jerusalem or that the US has recognized all of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Since passage, the Act has never been implemented, because of opposition from every President.

        That is false. The act has been implemented. The act requires the president to either move the embassy or issue a 6 month stay. That is in the act itself. Presidents have all chosen the 6 month stay. Trump next month will have to do one or the other. Moreover your claim was that the United States does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Congress can and has made that determination. The President lacks the authority to override that.

        — The Trump administration talked a good game but when push came to shove it backed off, conceding reality.

        So far the Trump administration hasn’t done anything but talk. It hasn’t had to.

        — The United States has withheld recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

        No it has not. It has withheld moving the embassy for tactical reasons. It has recognized it as the capital since 1995.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          JeffB, you are an artist of exhausting BS, of slippery sidestepping and pedantry. None of these answers of yours is worthy of a detailed reply. I invoke the venerable ‘bullshit asymmetry principle,’ publicly formulated for the first time on January 10, 2013 by Alberto Brandolini, and henceforth known as Brandolini’s law:
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit

          And also the work of Harry Frankfurt (“On Bullshit.” Raritan Quarterly Review, 1986; volume 6, number 2).

          But your endorsement of Le Pen and Putin, coldly, is duly noted. Duly noted. So why do you come on a left wing site devoted to a human rights perspective and expect people to engage you in meaningless, interminable pedantic pseudo-arguments that mask your reactionary aims? Most of your arguments in my opinion have a quality of casuistry. You want the authoritarian reign of “Jewish law” river to sea, and will enlist and misapply anything and everything to that purpose. And when called on it you evade.

          I also note with a chuckle your implicit characterization of the settlers and their movement as NOT being prone to rejection of the modern, anti-intellectualism, irrationalism, cult of action, new speak, anti-capitalism, and suspension of rule of law! Who do you think you are kidding? We know the settlers. (You’re probably indignant at my including “anti-capitalism” but I hardly regard the settlers’ utter dependence on and sense of entitlement to subsidies and illegal, opaque, hidden money transfers aka corruption as either capitalist or as not organized crime.)

          I don’t care if you, sensitive flower, wilt at my “rudeness.” I find your cold, flip dismissals of the fate of human beings under tyranny, served up coldly with repellent historical morsels about the Huguenots and the Belorussians, to be rude. And I don’t care if you have trouble “figuring out if there are arguments.” It’s not my problem. And I won’t be tied up with it. I’m not your remedial teacher. But perhaps the Vlad Putin Ladies Auxiliary Admiration Society has specialists who can volunteer their time.

          Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            OK well then if you are by your own admission going to be deliberately rude and not have valid arguments don’t be surprised if you are mostly ignored. I hope at some point you come to realize how off putting your tone is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I’ll worry about whether I’m ignored or not. Ignored by you? You’re welcome to it. I hope at some point you realize how off-putting are your ideas and the tone they are delivered with. I reserve my hostility for cold lovers of Le Pen and Putin and dishers of chirpy historical bon mots about persecution of Huguenots and Belorussians as nifty historical guideposts for “hollowing out” the Palestinians of “Narnia.” Spoken by a smug American who knows nothing and just can’t understand why those lucky Palestinians don’t “happily” appreciate “law enforcement” efforts on their behalf by brutal occupiers. Your head is so far up somewhere that blinds you that you have no idea how you sound. You drop by and say these things , drop them with a casual overlord air, think you’ll get a pass you think you’re entitled to, and then complain that someone like me gives you the appropriate blowback. You’re just shocked, aren’t you, JeffB, that your ideas aren’t accepted as unexceptional and “reasonable.” Poor thing. But don’t worry, as I think I wrote somewhere today, we know you now JeffB and have learned you are not to be taken seriously.

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