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No Voice: Hopes for Israeli elections from those who cannot vote

Over 200,000 people with no legal status live in Israel today. There are another 4 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All of these people are directly affected by Israeli elections but they have not right to vote. This is what they have to say — about the Right and the Left, the ‘demographic threat,’ peace, war, democracy and dictatorship.

 

‘Occupied people cannot vote for their occupier’

By Bassam Almohor

Palestinians wait to cross into Israel at the Qalandiya checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians wait to cross into Israel at the Qalandiya checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The argument heats up at one of the tables in this men-only café in a Palestinian city.

Israeli elections are a hot topic of discussion for the Palestinians here. At this table, a man with a suit and tie argues that if Herzog/Livni win we will secure a peace agreement in our favor, and recall the historic White House handshake between Arafat and Rabin 22 years ago. He regrets that there has been no courageous Israeli politician with the guts to sign a historic deal with the Palestinians like the late Prime Minister Rabin.

A man with a dark, thick mustache takes the other side, and say that the Left is dead, for 25 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Only the Right, the Likud, he says, can sign a deal and agree to withdraw from occupied lands, like late Sharon who withdrew from Gaza 10 years ago.

A loud shaved-headed man argues that we need the Right — or even the far-right — to win. They are extreme, and with their measures against the Palestinians, their indifference to international resolutions and their violations of human rights and war crimes against the occupied people — they will lose in the international arena. The Palestinians would gain more support in international institutions, which in turn would create major pressure on Israel to give up. The BDS movement is spreading wide and gaining momentum in Western Europe and the U.S., thus cornering Israel and forcing it to accept a just and lasting peace.

There is another short man with round eyeglasses who says, no, it doesn’t matter to us who wins: the Israeli Left and Right are two sides of the same coin. The coin has many sides with lost of political names, yet for us, it is the same: Israel, our occupier for the past 48 years, or 67 years. These elections do not concern us; it’s a political struggle between political giants who fight over internal issues that do not concern us. Israeli policy towards the Palestinian does not change whether the winner is the Likud, Labor, the Center, the religious, the settlers, the Russians, or whoever.

A Palestinian contrarian, with the face of a philosopher, sits in the front corner listening to the argument but does not participate. He tells me, “It feels awful, absurd, and stupid to see this occupier vote, practicing so-called democracy. My occupier practices democracy on my land, my occupier is not only an oppressor; my occupier is a wicked hypocrite. This ‘democracy’ thing makes me sick. Every time they practice democracy in Israel I feel more wars coming, more misery, more destruction, more images of shattered bodies and torn buildings, more blackness looming in the sky. I feel bad. I feel the worst yet to come.”

I, too, listen and think of these elections: These are not our elections; occupied people cannot vote for their occupier; Israel is not “a state of its citizens”; “I am not a firm believer in democracy.”

I remain silent.

Bassam Almohor is a photographer and tour guide from Ramallah. He blogs for +972’s Hebrew language sister site, Local Call.

 

‘I support anyone who won’t deport me’

By Mutasim Ali

African asylum seekers jailed in the Holot detention center protest behind the prison's fence, February 17, 2014. (Photo by Activestills.org)

African asylum seekers jailed in the Holot detention center protest behind the prison’s fence, February 17, 2014. (Photo by Activestills.org)

The truth is I really don’t want to get involved in Israeli politics because I’m a resident and I have absolutely no intentions of staying in Israel. In addition, I don’t want to add fuel to the claims of right-wing Israeli politicians who say we are a demographic threat.

That said, nobody can deny the fact that we asylum seekers are a community of 47,137 people, which is not a small number.

Regardless of how politics work in Israel, we in the asylum seeker community have organized ourselves quite impressively. And politics is how different people get to live together. Period.

There is no doubt that we’re greatly affected by Israeli politics and politicians. As of right now, less than a month and a half before the elections, would you be surprised if I told you every one of us is wondering and asking what the next government will look like? Who will next prime minister be?

Some people have gone so far as to ask whether Ehud Olmert might be back again. He is the one who gave status to hundreds of Darfuris, which is diametrically different to the way all other African asylum seekers are treated in Israel.

I don’t care who wins but I stand with anybody who supports me in my plight and who says no to retroactively punishing me for the way I entered Israel. I’m with anyone who will not deport me to a place where I have a well-founded fear for my life and liberty.

Once I and others gain legal status, I believe we will begin to see an end to the problems in many Israeli neighborhoods and cities — not just south Tel Aviv but other areas as well. As a matter of fact I helped run a campaign for city without borders in 2012, not because I want to be a part the complex conflict between Left and Right, but because I’m done with the lack of policies and the political deception. I felt I had to start the campaign because of the way the asylum seeker issue was being used for political gain.

I believe that to be a good politician you need to be honest and believe in what you’re fighting for. For example, see the contradiction in some of those parties that voted for the anti-Infiltration Law last December but also believe deep down in their bones that it is not at all fair, and that it is also not for the good of Israeli residents of south Tel Aviv and other areas.

If I’m asked who I would vote for, if I could, I would gravitate toward the Left. That is because I was born liberal; I was educated by liberal parents to never think only inside the box and to believe strongly that different races and colors can live together. That would be true in any country, regardless of my legal status.

To Israelis, of course you know better than I whom to vote for. But if you ask me, I would say go with those candidates who will improve your daily lives and tackle the real issues.

Don’t support those spreading hatred, animosity, fear, racism, and of course not those taking for themselves recycling redemptions on the public’s bottles. By the way, I have a ton of empty bottles of water and some soft drinks in my room but because in Holot there is no place to recycle them, I should probably bring them to Jerusalem. I heard they know what to do with them there.

Finally, I wish the best of luck to your candidates and hope that this time is different. I really, really want what is best for Israeli society. We strangers come after.

Mutasim Ali, 28, originally from Darfur, has been in Israel since 2009. He has been imprisoned in the Holot detention facility for African asylum seekers for eight months.

 

The inevitability of civil rights for all

By Sam Bahour

Hebron demonstrators were calling upon Obama to remember the civil rights movement in the US (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

A Palestinian man in Hebron wears a mask of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

There is a single supreme governing body between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River; it is the Israeli parliament, called the Knesset. This has been the case from June 1967 until today, without interruption.

Approximately half the people governed are denied any representation within that parliament. What does this mean in reality? It means that a set of Israeli legislators make the decisions that shape every aspect of the lives of approximately 4.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Except as soldiers in Israel’s military or as illegal settlers, most of these legislators have never set foot in the West Bank (very few could even navigate their way around East Jerusalem) or in the Gaza Strip.

We do not have 3G on our mobile phones because Israeli decision makers prohibit it. Students from Gaza and the West Bank are unable to attend each other’s universities, because Israeli decision makers, who could not find these Palestinian universities on a map, prohibit the two parts of the occupied territory from freely interacting. This draconian list is long and its ramifications are harsh.

The bottom-line for us Palestinians ‘living’ under Israel’s boot of occupation: Historically, in the U.S. and many other places, when a population is long disenfranchised, unrest ensues, forcing greater equality. Jewish Israelis living in perpetual denial should take note when they head to their polling booths this March, for their sake if not for ours. The looming fork in the road for us is signposted “Palestinian Statehood” or “Civil Rights for All.” While the idea of the former is dispensable, the coming of the latter is inevitable.

Israel pretends its society is a normal, American-style melting pot, but there are only two problems: there is nothing remotely “normal” about Israeli’s societal composition and, furthermore, the pot’s ingredients, by policy design, have yet to melt.

The destructive societal divisions among Israel’s population shine through in every election; this time around is no different. While Israel’s nearly five-decade military occupation of Palestinians is slowly, but surely, ripping Israel out of its global comfort zone, not one electoral contender has peeped a word about how the occupation will come to an end.

Likewise, while racism inside Israel against Christian and Muslim Palestinians — full Israeli citizens — has reached levels provoking even some Jewish Israelis to call it fascism, Israel’s political parties are acting as if it’s business-as-usual. The only bold and somewhat refreshing electoral move, thus far, is Avraham Burg’s joining of the Hadash Party, and even there the debate immediately focused around Palestinian political parties running in a single slate, or not, instead of the seismic shift that Burg’s move represents amongst Israel’s Zionist personalities.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He blogs atePalestine.com.

 

‘I hope Israelis vote for someone who doesn’t think only of himself’

By Marife Adriano

Filipino migrant workers participate in a protest against deportations, Tel Aviv. (photo: Activestills)

Filipino migrant workers participate in a protest against deportations, Tel Aviv. (photo: Activestills)

It’s very strange to have been in Israel so many years and to not have a right to express my opinion about the government.

Governments make decisions that affect us, foreigners. I have been living here 19 years, I love this country. But people like me, and others who have been here even longer, are still classified as “foreigners” and are regularly deported. Others die because their legal status changes and suddenly they don’t have access to medical care.

People work for this country for years, but they aren’t given an opportunity to become a part of it. If I hadn’t given birth to my son I would be one of those in danger of deportation. I lived here without any legal status for 13 years before getting status as a resident in 2008. But what about all the others in my situation who don’t have children?

If I could vote I would support anyone who advances the peace process, and any politician who proposes a new path for tackling the country’s problems. I hope that Israelis vote for somebody who doesn’t think only of themself but rather of all the people who live here, and who will bring peace for everyone.

Marife Adriano is a migrant worker from the Philippines who has been in Israel since 1995. She is a mother of one son who was born in Israel, and who holds permanent residency but is not a citizen.

A version of this article was first published on +972’s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

Special Coverage: 2015 Elections

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    COMMENTS

    1. A conscientious objector

      To all: ‘ICat’ is a destructive entity, a super troll. Irit called him a psychopath. I agree. I think the use he made of ‘Viktor Arajs’ and then the exchange he had with Irit is the last straw. I suggest we all from here on out never respond to him. If you feel you absolutely must respond, simply say something like: “By mutual agreement, psychopaths are never responded to.” And that’s it. But almost always it’s better to say nothing. We can do this. And, together, take back our site.

      Reply to Comment
    2. BigCat

      “A Palestinian contrarian, with the face of a philosopher, sits in the front corner listening to the argument but does not participate. He tells me, “It feels awful, absurd, and stupid to see this occupier vote, practicing so-called democracy. My occupier practices democracy on my land, my occupier is not only an oppressor; my occupier is a wicked hypocrite. This ‘democracy’ thing makes me sick. Every time they practice democracy in Israel I feel more wars coming, more misery, more destruction, more images of shattered bodies and torn buildings, more blackness looming in the sky. I feel bad. I feel the worst yet to come.”

      Someone told me that Palestinians have their own Parliament, prime minister and President. Can someone from Palestine or Israel tell me if this is true or not, because it means that Palestinians can also practice democracy like Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Offic Topic Bruce gets it wrong again. Bruce:

        “Israel controls the water supply and won’t turn it on”

        The Palestinians and Israelis control their own water supplies in the West Bank and Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians in the West Bank have access to 200 million cubic meters of water per year in accordance with the forward water projections under the Oslo Accords. The Israeli national water carrier supplies Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and a small number of ARab communities who are hooked in to the Israeli Pipeline. Palestinians control their own supply of water and set quotas and deliveries of water to its customers. The Israeli national water carry also provides the Palestinian authority with an additional 52 million cubic meters of water per year to distribute in its water system which the Palestinians are charged.

        The supply of water to Rawabi is a Palestinian matter for Palestinians to set quotas and deliver water to the City. This would require Ramallah to approve and build a pipeline from Ramallah to Rawabi. To do so the pipeline would cross Israeli administered territory requiring the approval of the joint Israeli-Palestinian Water Authority. Over the past few years the Palestinians have virtually shut down cooperation with the Joint Water Authority. This of course is a bad thing if you are a Palestinian developer looking for approval of Israelis on the pipeline.

        Another option of course exists, which would have Israel’s national water carrier divert water from its line to Rawabi and charge the PA. However the PA does not pay its bills. The PA owes over 1.7 billion NIS for electricity which it used but has not paid. the PA also has a policy of non-cooperation with Israel (except for security matters and providing Israel with Hamas military targets in Gaza). The PA also demonizes Israel before the international authority. It seeks to take Israel before the ICC even though it supplied Israel with many of its targets to hit in Gaza.

        Despite the above, arutzsheva website on September 9, 2014 announced that a compromise had been reached.

        “The PA has refused to approve water projects for Jewish communities (except for those within the towns themselves), and Israel has not approved the Rawabi plans.

        A deal has now been worked out, however, whereby both sides will approve the other’s projects – which means that the city of Rawabi will soon be a “fact on the ground.”

        On October 7, 2014 Danny Rubenstein at ynetnews confirmed with both Palestinians and Israelis authorities had reached a deal.

        If Rawabi has no water yet there are a number of possibilities possible:

        1. Either the Palestinians or the Israelis have reneged on the agreement with each other;

        2. The parties are still in the actual approval stage of each other’s project for approval.

        3. The Palestinian authority has failed to build the pipeline, just like it failed to provide the $150,000,000 for the Rawabi project for schools, hospitals and other public spaces.

        My bet is on #3, the PA has not built the pipeline yet. This is not surprising since the PA has failed to build approved sewage or desalination projects fully funded by US Aid or the EU, and failed to drill many wells which had been approved by the Joint Water Authority.

        The Israelis have always taken the position that all water problems can be solved by mutual cooperation with Israel applying its technological know to help the Palestinians in return for Palestinians approving Israeli water projects. The Palestinians have proven time and time again they would rather injure themselves than cooperate with Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Daniel

      @ All

      Conspiracy of “conscientious objectors”

      “A Conscientious objector”, I do not agree with you. First I am surprised that you inform us that ICat has been banned. How would you know that? ICat make comments which you can agree with or disagree with. He is good in his own way and bad if you are a “Conscientious Objector”. I read the comment from Irit and ICat. Irit called ICat “Judeonazi”, “fuck”, “shit”, “fuck you” and so on. ICat responded in his own way: try to make Irit look stupid. You can either debate ICat or ignore him. How can you do that when “Conscientious Objectors” conspire with +972 to have ICat banned and his posts removed? How can you do that when “Conscientious Objectors” conspire silence ICat? Are you people going to ban all assertive Israelis who disagree with you? So much for people preaching democracy, dialogue, freedom of speech, etc. to others.

      Reply to Comment
      • Barbara

        Goodie. So first they conspired and banned him, then they turn up to smear him and deny him the opportunity to respond. Not too bad. I have a question though:

        “Irit” is also a conscientious objector. Is it possible that “A Conscientious Objector” is the same person as “Irit” or maybe “A Conscientious Objector” and “Irit” are boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife? “A Conscientious Objector” is taking the exchange between “ICat” and “Irit” quite personal and removing some of “ICat’s” posts from the comment section of +972 and leaving some behind and removing only the comments from “Irit” that make “Irit” look bad. That creates a reality that is different from what happened. Strange that. I wonder who is the “psychopath” here ….lots of ‘projecting’ going on here…. just saying…

        Reply to Comment
    4. Pedro X

      So in what country do temporary workers, permanent residents, enemy aliens, asylum seekers, illegal economic immigrants, and other non-citizens get to vote in national elections?

      Over 150 million Mexicans and Canadians combined have no vote in US elections even though what the US does greatly affects each country and their citizens. The US and other democracies do not offer non-citizen voting rights.

      The ironic thing is that Arabs who have a vote in Israel, Israeli Arabs that is, waste their votes on Arab Party candidates who pay more attention to the interests of Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza than to their needs. If Israeli Arabs threw their weight behind Labor, Labor would easily win 35 seats and receive the right to form the next government. Arabs then would have a strong voice in Israel’s government.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        1. Your allegory is bulls**t. Do Latin American governments declare swathes of their territory “alien” and strip the locals of their rights? Not that I’m aware of recently. Being labelled an “enemy alien” in your own home is Orwellian.

        2. What has Labor done for Israeli Arabs lately that they should vote for them?

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Oh lets see. The US occupied Texas and New Mexico annexing them to the Union and moving tens of thousands of settlers in without granting Mexican citizens in Mexico or illegal Mexicans or resident Mexicans without citizenship the right to vote in American elections. The US has built a wall across its southern border with Mexico and shoots those who try to cross it. How is it Mexicans are treated as enemy aliens in the US?

          How about the British who still occupy Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands without offering suffrage to people in the Irish Republic or in Argentina?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            I think that if in 1948 Mexicans had been living in the geographical area of today’s Texas but also in the rest of what is now the continental United States, for thousand of years, and the European States moved to create a new American State for “an American people without a land in a land without people,” and a succession of events occurred similar to what happened in Israel/Palestine, and an American-Mexican Green Line ensued along the border between what is now Texas and New Mexico on the one hand, and what is now Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana on the other hand, and the Americans continued to insist on occupying “Texas and New Mexico,” that then the world would not be pleasantly disposed towards the Americans versus the Mexicans, and it would not be due to anti-Americanism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            More Zionist nonsense. After the USA absorbed California by conquest in 1847 it was briefly ruled by a military governor, but a Constituent Convention was held in 1849 in which 8 native Spanish-speaking Mexicans were elected, a census was held and a Constitutional Convention convened and a constitution was drawn up and ratified by popular vote. California became the 31st state of the union in 1850 with full democratic rights shared by settlers and Mexican residents. Gibraltar may be a British protectorate but it has regular elections (last in November 2013) by Universal Suffrage, with not only permanent residents but also temporary workers in Camps voting (admitted with 3/5 vote compared to natives). Northern Ireland may once have been occupied by the British but full democratic rights are extended to Protestants and Catholics alike. Although Israel’s occupation is illegal, opposition to this would disappear if Israel were to extend full democratic rights to all those living within what was Mandate Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Bryan,

            “Although Israel’s occupation is illegal, opposition to this would disappear if Israel were to extend full democratic rights to all those living within what was Mandate Palestine”.

            There are many Jewish Israelis who agree with you, Bryan. Those Israelis are either on the far-right or on the extreme left. Here are the problems though: (a) the 5-7 million Palestinian refugees and (b) Gaza. What should happen to them? Have you given that a thought?

            N/B. “a conscientious objector” demand that you ignore my post. I will advise you to do (exactly) as he said. None of his filth is of any concern to me, though.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Of course I’ve given that a thought, BigCat, and its so simple that any reasonable person could understand. (1) If Israel wants to be a primarily Jewish state then revert to the 1967 borders. (2) If Israel wants to be an Apartheid pariah state continue the current policy. (3) If Israel wants to be a democratic Greater Israel extend democratic rights to everyone living within the post-1967 borders. Simple choice isn’t it. (1) and (3) would confer international legitimacy, and would permit fully normalisation of relations with the entire Arab world, as the Saudi Arab League proposal makes clear. Your favoured option (2) can only bring the eventual destruction of Zionism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            Note the word “annexed.” What we were doing was out-and-out colonialism, but at least we brought the area into the Union.

            And in Northern Ireland, Irish protestants there have been generally loyal to the UK.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Pedro X wants to talk about Mexicans. OK. If today not yesterday the USA had written and unwritten laws that ensured that US citizens of Mexican descent cannot buy “state land” under control of an Anglo-Saxon Agency; and that US citizens of Mexican descent and non-Mexican descent cannot marry each other, or that Protestants and Catholics, or Jews and Protestants cannot marry each other; and if today the USA had a never-ending law of return for any European Protestant and their descendants anywhere but prevented any Mexican descendant from returning; and if the authorities in Los Angeles had laws that kicked out any East LA resident of Mexican descent who travelled outside LA for any length of time–well, does anyone think the outside world would sit back and say “hey, that’s quite alright with us, because hey, if anyone objects it’s a sure sign they must be biased against Americans. And anyway, by the way, what about the Chinese in Tibet, why don’t you go focus on that and leave the Americans the hell alone it’s none of your business….?”

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Bryan,

            “Although Israel’s occupation is illegal, opposition to this would disappear if Israel were to extend full democratic rights to all those living within what was Mandate Palestine”.

            There are many Jewish Israelis who agree with you, Bryan. Those Israelis are either on the far-right or on the extreme left. Here are the problems though: (a) the 5-7 million Palestinian refugees and (b) Gaza. What should happen to them? Have you given that a thought?

            N/B. “a conscientious objector” demand that you ignore my post. I will advise you to do (exactly) as he said. None of the filth he posted is of any concern to me, though.

            (this is a re-post)

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Also, Bryan:

            “Although Israel’s occupation is illegal…”.

            All relevant UN-resolutions say that Israel and the Palestinians must resolve their differences peacefully on the negotiation table and requires Israel to pull its forces back to defensible borders. “Occupation” is not per definition “illegal”

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            International law is unequivocal about the duty of an a temporary occupying force to protect civilian populations, the illegality of stealing resources and land and transferring its population into the occupied area. Even the USA, the state most tolerant of Israeli crimes, condemns the illegality of settlement activity which is inevitably destructive of peace. The entire international community condemns the acquisition of territory by force. Occupation is not per se illegal, but an occupation now approaching 50 years?

            Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Pedro X, I feel like you changed the subject and set up a strawman. Neither Bassam Almohor, Mutasim Ali, nor Sam Bahour are talking about the right to vote inside Israel. And Marife Adriano is saying “I have been living here 19 years, I love this country. But people like me, and others who have been here even longer, are still classified as “foreigners” and are regularly deported.” Regarding your complaint about why the Arabs in Israel do not just throw their weight behind “the Zionist Camp,” consider the words of Oudeh Basharat in Haaretz:

        …But with all due respect, the Arabs and Jewish progressives cannot do all the dirty work while the “Camp” not only keeps silent, but also ruins things. Here is the head of the Camp, even without being part of the leadership, already declaring on the matter of Quneitra that there is no difference between opposition and coalition here. And while Avigdor Lieberman calls for a disproportional response, Tzipi Livni explains that the Golan Heights are an inseparable part of Israel.

        Their defenders will say that the Zionist Camp is only pretending to be right-wing, and it is all for electoral considerations. Here is my answer: If the Labor Party is a party of peace, and at the same time it stores away its banners for the day after, then we are witnessing an act of fraud that cries out to the heavens.

        The affairs of peace demand a lot of courage, more than what is needed during war. Whoever hides their banners can be expected to continue doing so out of the fear of those who scared them before. The time has come to relate to the matter in plain terms – a Labor Party that does not present a plan to end the occupation is truly a Siamese twin of Likud. What did Netanyahu say in his “duck speech”? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then what is it?

        If we conduct a deeper examination, it turns out that the roots of Herzog’s support for the Quneitra operation are much deeper down in the history of the Labor Party. In June 1960, David Ben-Gurion went as far as Paris to convince Charles de Gaulle’s government to continue to rule over Algeria. It’s a good thing de Gaulle did not listen to the advice, otherwise the recent terror attacks in France would have been child’s play compared to what could have happened.

        The Labor Party is the party of the Zionists who get things done, the security party, and more than all – the party of “the quick fix.” The period of Yitzhak Rabin was a passing phase, and after his murder the party returned to the bosom of its love with the slogan “a Jewish majority.” And if they were careful to give advice to the French, then they should they not stand alongside Netanyahu on an issue that is the most precious to them?

        The “Zoabis” is etched deep down inside the soul of the Labor Party, which dispossessed and discriminated against the Arabs – and is willing to sell their mother at the first stall in the market. In 1999, the Arabs awarded Ehud Barak with 95 percent of their votes. He demonstrated his deep gratitude with great magnificence in October 2000.

        Reply to Comment
        • BigCat

          Brian,

          1. When you “cut, copy and paste” pls. (a) provide your source and (b) use “QUOTATION MARKS”! That is a basic rule of academic integrity, otherwise you create the impression that parts or all of what you “cut, copied and pasted” are your own words (fraud).

          2. Sometimes it is good to quote others, but incessantly “cutting, copying and pasting” whole opinion pieces of others to substitute for what your yourself are incapable of producing (intellectual inadequacy?) clogs the site and is tiresome. No one reads that unending long garbage. I am sure that Pedro would rather respond to you (and he and others do not do that), than debate the absent Richard Silverstein and the Haaretz columnists whose opinion you “cut, copy and paste”. What do you think will happen if others start copying and pasting as substitute for their own opinions – as you do?

          Btw. Brian, the game is still ON – unless you have learnt to put your mouth where your money is.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Is it possible that BigCat is simply a reincarnation of InfinitesimalCat who seems to have disappeared from the site – it may not be long until the abuse and defamation returns.

            Reply to Comment
          • Eliana

            It’s a certainty. “Bigcat.” How pathetic. Do not respond to him.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Eliana, Bryan,

            1. Who is responding to whom now?

            2. Who is abusing whom now? Clearly you could have ignored my post (something I wish for) or responded to the substance of my post. Instead of doing that, you again chose to abuse me – FIRST, as did “Irit”, who got what she deserved.

            3. Pls. stop responding to me. Heed the words of “a conscientious objector”. That should not be too difficult do. I am fine with it honestly.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Mikesailor

      Hairball: You changed your name! Did your owner finally get you a new name tag to match? Unfortunately, your posts are still as inane as ever but now that you are a “Big” cat, maybe you learned to use the liter box. As to what should happen with the 5-7 million expelled and ethnically cleansed from Israel and the territories, including all the refugees living in Gaza, they will become part of the one-state polity Israel is moving toward. What? You think that crimes should go unpunished? That you should keep your ill-gotten gains? Why? Either you compensate everyone you have harmed or you will still rightly be called criminal. I keep seeing Jews requesting and getting compensation from Germany over crimes committed prior to and during WWII. Don’t you think the Palestinians have an equal right to compensation for their losses? Or are crimes committed by Jews somehow immune from scrutiny or justice? Come on now kitty, do you have an answer? Or just more BS?

      Reply to Comment
    6. C.C. DeVille

      “Don’t you think the Palestinians have a … right to compensation for their losses”

      I do. For ’48 Arabs, this needs to happen in a final status, end of compnflict agreement that ends once and for all the fantasy of a pRoR and ideally addresses the losses of Jewish property as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. After all, the Arabs need to own up to their role in this as well.

      And you Mike, need to stop equating the Holocaust with the Arab Israeli conflict. It makes you look ill-informed and bigoted.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Mikesailor

      CC: Oh, I didn’t know this was comparing criminality and that Jewish responsibility for their own criminality is non-existent. As for ’48, are all Arabs the same? Do the Palestinians owe for Jews leaving their home countries and immigrating to Israel? Or is the Israel problem with these “home countries” where the Mossad and its sayanim placed bombs in buses and movie theaters to “spur” Jewish emigration. Remember the Lavon affair? You are an idiot, CC. Your argument is that everyone owes various groups of Jews yet the Jews owe nothing? Really? Did the Palestinians commit the “Holocaust” that they should pay with their lives and property? The Zionist entity owes the Palestinians compensation, period. Whether there is a final status agreement or not. And attempting to use the Holocaust as a shield and a “get out of jail free” card is contemptible. Do past crimes absolve one from sanction or responsibility for present criminality? Does the constant present criminality of keeping a people under military occupation and settling their land in violation of treaties already signed mean anything to you? The Holocaust was either a universal object lesson or it was meaningless. So was Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur and other genocides; none of which has ever been used as an excuse by the victims and their survivors to allow and immunize the commission of present brutality and theft. That, so far, is the difference between how Zionists look at the genocide during WWII and the others. I have no problem with compensation so long as the concept of responsibility is universal. You have gone out of your way to deny any responsibility whatsoever. And that is undeniably moral degeneracy.

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