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The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine

When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong.

By Sam Bahour

The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong.

While Israeli bombs were hammering Gaza, Alice Lynd with the assistance of Staughton Lynd, drafted a 32-page pamphlet which was published by the Palestine-Israel Working Group of Historians Against the War (HAW) titled, Violations by Israel and the Problem of Enforcement (August 2014). The policy paper places the U.S. in front of its own mirror and meticulously documents how one hand of the U.S. government systematically documents Israeli violations of U.S. law and international law, while the other hand unconditionally dishes out financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel.

The study notes that:

United States law states that no military assistance will be provided to a government that engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Yet the United States gives more military assistance to Israel than to any other country, currently in excess of $3.1 billion per year. The U.S. participates in joint military exercises, military research, and weapons development.

Israeli and American F-15 airplanes cooperating during the "Blue Flag" exercise in November 2013. (Photo by Gui Ashash/IAF)

Israeli and American F-15 airplanes cooperating during the “Blue Flag” exercise in November 2013. (Photo by Gui Ashash/IAF)

This contradiction of its own policy would seem incriminating enough, but if all the other means of U.S. support to Israel are added – especially the U.S.’s unwavering role in the UN Security Council as a proxy for Israel’s interests by vetoing and thereby blocking international steps for justice – the evidence that the U.S. is an active player in Israel’s onslaught and continued military occupation becomes overwhelming.

It stands to reason that the U.S. very rightly fears that any step to hold Israel accountable for crimes against humanity would ultimately incriminate the U.S. as Israel’s funder, diplomatic cover, political handler, and arms supplier for decades.

While this new document was being researched, the Historians Against the War circulated a letter to President Obama and members of Congress that begins: “We deplore the ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and in Israel. We also recognize the disproportionate harm that the Israeli military, which the United States has armed and supported for decades, is inflicting on the population of Gaza.” (July 31, 2014). The pamphlet’s contents strike this point home with incriminating details.

The pamphlet quotes historian Robin D. G. Kelley who recently said about the ongoing conflict, “Determining next steps requires that we go back many steps—before the siege, before the election of Hamas, before the withdrawal of Jewish settlements in Gaza, before the Oslo Accords, even before the strip came under Israeli occupation in 1967.” (“When the smoke clears in Gaza,” Aug. 8, 2014, Black Educator).

Read +972’s full coverage of the Gaza war

I had the honor of working with both authors of this pamphlet following the First Gulf War (1990-1991) when they suggested we co-edit an oral history of Palestine as a tool to understand the centrality of Palestine to the entire destabilization of the Middle East, a reality that is even more true today. Following several field visits to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, and the Golan Heights, that effort resulted in the publishing of Homeland: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (1993). Their new effort revisits many familiar topics that we addressed in our book, with chapter headings such as International Agreements and U.S. Law, International Agreements on Human Rights, U.S. Law on Foreign Assistance, Violations of Internationally Recognized Human Rights, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Arbitrary Arrest or Detention, Collective Punishment, among many more.

Perhaps the most important chapter in this brief pamphlet is “The Problem of Enforcement.” One need not be a historian or political scientist to understand that as long as global enforcement mechanisms of accountability are denied to Palestinians due to the political whims of a superpower, Israel has the green light to attack Gaza and the West Bank at any time with impunity.

Israel’s senseless military attack this summer (deceptively coined “Operation Protective Edge” in English, and more accurately “Solid Cliff” in Hebrew) left 2,168 Palestinians dead, more than 500 of them children. The Institute for Middle East Understanding compared the proportionate impact of these deaths to the population in the U.S. Gaza’s devastating human loss would be equivalent to 376,680 Americans killed in 51 days if such events were undertaken in the U.S. To put this in perspective, this number is slightly fewer than the 407,000 U.S. soldiers killed in World War II. It is not hyperbole to say that everyone in Gaza knows at least one person who died or was injured in this atrocity, with each person left wondering if he or she would be next.

If humanity is to be served, citizens who believe in equal access to international tools of justice must speak up and denounce the continued U.S. hegemony over Palestine. It is time to demand a change in policy so that marginalized populations are not shut out of systems of justice when they are the victims of crimes against humanity. Holding individuals responsible for their crimes is a core American value; it’s a value we should not compromise for any country, especially our own.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and blogs at ePalestine.com. This article was first published in The Hill.

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    1. bor

      The “stateless” people under discussion are already a majority of the population in Jordan which resides on 78% of Mandatory Palestine.

      The Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria have been offered a state twice officially and once unofficially by Israel in political negotiations sponsored by the superpower the author is criticizing.

      That’s without getting into the nonsense about Israeli violations of international law or its “senseless” military “attack” on Gaza. The author should listen to Mahmoud Abbas who correctly vilifies Hamas for launching this war, operating poorly during the war and not ending it when they could have.

      Reply to Comment
      • susy

        Jordan was never ever Palestine: historically, culturally and from a religious point of view.

        Reply to Comment
        • bor

          Jordan was Mandatory Palestine. It was 78% of Mandatory Palestine.

          Prior to that, this territory was considered by everyone pretty much the same as Ottoman Palestine, essentially another section of the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire. At some point the Ottomans created the Jerusalem Sanjak but it wasn’t considered distinct by most people.

          Prior to that, in the 9th and 10th centuries, the land that encompassed most of central Israel and most of Jordan was called “Filastin” in Arabic as Edward Said liked to point out.

          From a religious point of view, Jerusalem became important to the Jordanians to a degree that they funded the golden dome on the Al Aqsa Mosque and still demand control over it today.

          Geographically, the Jordanians deemed this land to be theirs to the degree that they fought over it and when they conquered parts of it in 1948, they renamed their state Jordan from TransJordan and renamed the territory “West Bank” (get it? Because it is the west bank of their state).

          As for culturally, I hate to break this to you but culturally it is precisely as similar and as distinct as so many parts of the Arab society in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine that we now call Palestinian. There are groups/villages/tribes and little in the way of an overarching nationality. That has been developed, as Rashid Khalidi points out, in large part because of the manner in which the Jews brought their nationalism to this land.

          I don’t try to push the “Jordan is Palestine” angle, but you can’t really deny it in the way you’re trying, particularly since the majority of Jordan’s population today is Palestinian.

          Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            @ Bar/Rab/Boring Bor
            “Jordan was Mandatory Palestine”

            Gee, how ignorant can one be ? You don’t even distinguish between Transjordan and Jordan…..

            Wikipedia, the encyclopedia for the ignorant:
            “The territory was officially under the British Mandate for Palestine, but it had a fully autonomous governing system from Mandatory Palestine. In 1946, the Emirate became an independent state. In 1948, the Transjordanian state was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirate_of_Transjordan

            And here’a map of Mandatory Palestine:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_Palestine

            “Since the majortiy of Jordan’s population today is Palestinian”
            Yep, among them more than 2 million UNRWA-registered refugees. Wonder how they ended up in Jordan ….

            Concerning Edward Said on Filastin, if you could come up with a source, thank you. In the meantime, here’s Edward Said quoting al-Muqaddasi, 10th century geographer from al-Quds/Jerusalem on the frontiers of Palestine, a province of Syria:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxLegJBE_XI

            The fact is that you don’t know sh*t about Palestinian or Arab history in general nor about the Arabic language or Arab culture. You’re just dumping hasbara full-time here.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            “Gee, how ignorant can one be ? You don’t even distinguish between Transjordan and Jordan…..”

            Um, you obviously didn’t read the comment carefully. Specifically the part where I mentioned that Jordan had changed its name when it took over the area of Judea and Samaria and renamed it West Bank.

            “Wikipedia”

            Um, TransJordan is built on 78% of Mandatory Palestine and it was given to the Arabs on the basis of Article 25 of the Mandate. “In the territories lying between the Jordan [river] and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions.”

            Get it? It was all Mandatory Palestine, but the League of Nations permitted the British to do as they saw fit with this area even if it went against San Remo.

            “And here’a map of Mandatory Palestine”

            That isn’t a map of Mandatory Palestine, that is a map of the part of Mandatory Palestine that the British didn’t give to the Arabs on the basis of Article 25 of the Mandate.

            “Yep, among them more than 2 million UNRWA-registered refugees.”

            Dude, they’re not refugees. They’re Jordanians of Palestinian descent. To remind you, at most there were 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948. Most of them are no longer with us because of age. The Jordanians who live there used to have citizenship but Jordan’s king is getting a little worried to he’s taking it away from some of them – with nobody complaining about this, as they do, for example, when Lieberman suggests moving a line on a map so Israeli Arabs could become “Palestinians.”

            “Wonder how they ended up in Jordan ….”

            Why do you wonder? They started a war and lost it. During the war many of them fled and left and many of them ended up in Jordan because the Jordanian army, trained and led by British commanders, managed to win many battles against the Jews and to conquer territory – which was entirely cleansed of Jews.

            “Concerning Edward Said on Filastin, if you could come up with a source, thank you. In the meantime, here’s Edward Said quoting al-Muqaddasi, 10th century geographer from al-Quds/Jerusalem on the frontiers of Palestine, a province of Syria:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxLegJBE_XI

            You idiot, I was relating to al Muqadeisi. Unlike you who relies on some Youtube video, I actually read Muqadeisi’s journal of his travels in Filastin. Do you know what he says? He says that he is disappointed that there are so many Muslims in Ramallah and so few in Jerusalem which has a majority population of Jews and Christians.

            Anyway, the Filastin of al Muqadeisi’s time is precisely what I described, most of central Israel and it’s parallel areas in today’s Jordan.

            “The fact is that you don’t know sh*t about Palestinian or Arab history in general nor about the Arabic language or Arab culture. You’re just dumping hasbara full-time here.”

            The fact is I know more than you. The joke is that I have actually read the Mandate and know it cold, have read Said and know his bullshit, have read al Muqadeisi and can tell you that while today’s reality is that Jordan is Jordan because it is in nobody’s interest to damage the kingdom, in reality Jordan is the Palestinian state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            For genuine seekers of truth. Look at the following link:

            http://daahl.ucsd.edu/DAAHL/PEFMaps.php

            It talks about Eastern Palestine and it obviously refers to the area which is now known as Jordan.

            “The map included in the Survey of Eastern Palestine is not as detailed nor as finely drawn as those published for the west side of the Jordan. It does not include latitude/longitude tick marks around its edge either, which makes it much more difficult to georeference. But there are many points on the map along the western edge of the Dead Sea and Jordan River that can be identified on the eastern and western maps.”

            Go figure, once again Bor told you the truth. You should all thank him for his patience with slow learners such as some of the posters on this site.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Bor in Hebrew means ignorant

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            What a substantive comment.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            Oh, yes, I read your comment carefully, and I clearly see how you try to change the subject every time you’re caught lying.
            1. You wrote: “Jordan was Mandatory Palestine”
            Of course it wasn’t. Transjordan was an autonomous entity within the Britsh Mandate of Palestine, and only became Jordan AFTER independance.
            Mandatory Palestine was the technical name for two distinct entities “Palestine” and “Transjordan”.
            http://www.israelipalestinian.procon.org/files/IsPal Images/britishmandate1922.jpg
            2. There are more than two million Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, the majority being Jordanian citizens, but they are still refugees according to the UN. That’s just the way it is, deal with it or not, it doesn’t matter. You’ve not yet taken over international law: http://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/jordan
            3. I’ve read al-Muqaddasi in the original Arabic version, but I don’t understand why you change the subject and start talking about Ramallah (by the way, I’ve noticed many ‘specialists’ on Palestinian history who don’t read Arabic mix up Ramallah and Ramleh because they rely on translations, and this is a very common mistake, even in books by people like Tom Segev). And his name is never transcribed Muqadeisi: muqaddasi, maqdisi, with a ‘k’ instead of ‘q’ but never -deisi. You read the book, but don’t know the name of the author, right.

            Anyhow, I only posted Edward Said quoting al-Muqaddasi because you claimed Said likes to point out Filastin includes most of Jordan, which of course is a lie, and al-Muqadassi does not include ‘most of Jordan’ either. So if you have a quote by Said, I’ll gladly change my mind on that. Take your time….

            “Boring Bor” is just a lot of hot air ….
            PS. Even if Jordan were part of Palestine, it still is no justification for the expulsion of the indigenous population from what became the State of Israel to settle European Jews in some mythical “land of their ancestors”.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            “Oh, yes, I read your comment carefully, and I clearly see how you try to change the subject every time you’re caught lying.”

            Lying? I haven’t lied once.

            “1. You wrote: “Jordan was Mandatory Palestine”
            Of course it wasn’t. Transjordan was an autonomous entity within the Britsh Mandate of Palestine, and only became Jordan AFTER independance.”

            Argue with the British, not with me. In 1921, the British Colonial Office notes:

            “…His Majesty’s Government have been entrusted with the Mandate for “Palestine”. If they wish to assert their claim to Trans-Jordan and to avoid raising with other Powers the legal status of that area, they can only do so by proceeding upon the assumption that Trans-Jordan forms part of the area covered by the Palestine Mandate. In default of this assumption Trans-Jordan would be left, under article 132 of the Treaty of Sèvres, to the disposal of the principal Allied Powers. Some means must be found of giving effect in Trans-Jordan to the terms of the Mandate consistently with “recognition and support of the independence of the Arabs”.”

            Any other questions? This is the British Colonial Office, no less. Do you suppose they know what’s going on?

            Article 25 of the Mandate permits the British to make a distinction between the two sides of the river and only because of that document do the British have authority not to develop what becomes TransJordan into a “home” for the Jewish people.

            “2. There are more than two million Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, the majority being Jordanian citizens, but they are still refugees according to the UN.”

            They’re not refugees. They’re Jordanians. 90% of them were born in Jordan. There are “refugees” in Shuafat and in Gaza and they’re not refugees either. Hamas-dominated UNWRA designated that all descendants of Palestinians are refugees permanently and that’s lovely, but they’re not refugees.

            “3. I’ve read al-Muqaddasi in the original Arabic version, but I don’t understand why you change the subject and start talking about Ramallah (by the way, I’ve noticed many ‘specialists’ on Palestinian history who don’t read Arabic mix up Ramallah and Ramleh because they rely on translations, and this is a very common mistake, even in books by people like Tom Segev). And his name is never transcribed Muqadeisi: muqaddasi, maqdisi, with a ‘k’ instead of ‘q’ but never -deisi. You read the book, but don’t know the name of the author, right.”

            You can bet I’ve read it. But you’re right, I read it in translation. As for Ramallah and Ramla, on this point you are right, I’m used to writing Ramallah in these discussions, but of course Al Muqaddassi was writing about Ramla. The point is the same and you’re welcome to look it up in Arabic or Swahili; he laments that Muslims have essentially left Jerusalem to the majority Jews and Christians.

            “Anyhow, I only posted Edward Said quoting al-Muqaddasi because you claimed Said likes to point out Filastin includes most of Jordan, which of course is a lie,”

            I did not say what Said likes on his map. I only noted that he likes to brag that Al Muqadassi referred to “Palestine” as Filastin.

            “and al-Muqadassi does not include ‘most of Jordan’ either.”

            Of course he does. And it’s not only him, it’s most Muslim geographers. There are two junds in that era (let’s say 9th-11th cent.) and one of those junds is Filastin and the other is Al-Urdunn. Filastin includes Amman. Al Urdun includes the Galilee.

            “Mukaddasi’s six districts [of Syria] are (I’m skipping the first 3 and the last since they’re immaterial to this discussion):

            “The District of Al-Urdunn (the Jordan). Its capital is
            Tabariyyah (Tiberias). Among its towns are : Kadas, Stir (Tyre),
            ‘Akka (Acre), Al-Faradhiyyah, Al-I^jjun, Kabtil, Baisan, and
            Adhri’ah.

            The District of Filastm (Palestine). \te capital is Ar-
            Ramlah. Among its cities are: Bait-al-Makdis (Jerusalem), Bait
            Jibril, Ghazzah (Gaza), Maimas, ‘Askalan (Ascalon), Yafah
            (Joppa), Arsuf, Kaisariyyah (Csesarea), Nabulus (Shechem), Ariha (Jericho), and ‘Amman.”

            AMMAN!

            I know, it sucks when I’m right.

            ““Boring Bor” is just a lot of hot air ….”

            What an intelligent comment. Don’t lick your wounds too much as you mull over the fact that Said’s favorite Muslim historian makes Jordan and Palestine one, just like the international community did last century…until the British divided Mandatory Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish section right at the River Jordan.

            “PS. Even if Jordan were part of Palestine”

            Which it was.

            “it still is no justification for the expulsion of the indigenous population”

            The indigenous population is Jewish. If you like, I will concede that the population of Mandatory Palestine consisted of many Arab tribes and families that had lived there for centuries.

            The majority of these people were not expelled. Most left on their own. Even those who were expelled, were removed for the most part because of a war of extermination and expulsion which THEY launched against the Jews. Need evidence? Look at how many Jews were permitted to remain in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem after the were conquered by the Arabs: ZERO.

            “from what became the State of Israel to settle European Jews in some mythical “land of their ancestors”.”

            Now who is making up history?

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            @ Boring Bor
            “I did not say what Said likes on his map. I only noted that he likes to brag that Al Muqadassi referred to “Palestine” as Filastin.”
            This sentence has absolutely no sense ! Filastin is the Arabic word for Palestine. And that was absolutely NOT what you wrote. I quote your sentence that I commented:
            “Prior to that, in the 9th and 10th centuries, the land that encompassed most of central Israel and most of Jordan was called “Filastin” in Arabic as Edward Said liked to point out”
            If you don’t have any source concerning Edward Said saying that, we’ll just conclude that you’re lying …. once again.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            Did you enjoy reading Al Muqadassi’s breakdown of Filastin – all the way to Amman – and al Urdunn which includes the Galilee, Tiberias and Beit Shean?

            Sure you did.

            Now look at the map and Filastin is, as I said above a very long time ago, Central Israel AND most of today’s Jordan.

            And, if you really want it to hurt deep inside your heart, look at what the Muslims considered Jordan and cry that it includes the northern part of modern Israel.

            You can continue to call me names or you can address the fact that Said used a Muslim, highly regarded historian/geographer to designate where Filastin is in his attempt to demonstrate that Palestine is indeed its own territory and that Jews had unfairly overtaken what wasn’t theirs and that very historian/geographer determined that Filastin is precisely where I said. Filastin does not include the areas north of central Israel today but it does include central Israel and the main part of modern Jordan. The northern parts of Israel were the the Jordan of the day including today’s border areas between Israel, Jordan and Syria.

            Keep calling me names while I quote Said and Al Muqadassi to demonstrate that you’re wrong and see who wins the debate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            “And see who wins the debate”
            Haha, you’re one big joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            I am such a joke that you keep addressing what I wrote.

            Let’s review, shall we?

            “Jordan was…78% of Mandatory Palestine.”

            Yup. I’ve provided you with the Britisj Colonial Office description of the status of TransJordan as part of Mandatory Palestine as well as Article 25 of the Mandate which indirectly concedes same.

            “Prior to that, this territory was considered by everyone pretty much the same as Ottoman Palestine, essentially another section of the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire.”

            Yup, you didn’t even bother challenging this because it’s so obvious.

            “Prior to that, in the 9th and 10th centuries, the land that encompassed most of central Israel and most of Jordan was called “Filastin” in Arabic”

            Yup. I’ve quoted al Muqadessi directly and his writings demonstrate that I was precisely accurate. All you could muster was a youtube video and making fun of my spelling of his name.

            “as Edward Said liked to point out.”

            Yup. Said liked to point it out all the time and as evidence he pointed to al Muqadessi’s writings to demonstrate that Filastin existed centuries ago. Of course, Said did NOT indicate what I showed, which is that Filastin included today’s Jordan and that the area known as Jordan included most of northern Israel because…well, because that would destroy the symmetry he wanted to show between modern “Palestine” and Filastin. But people like me like to research original sources and that’s how I discovered Said’s intentional omission of critical information.

            “From a religious point of view, Jerusalem became important to the Jordanians to a degree that they funded the golden dome on the Al Aqsa Mosque and still demand control over it today.”

            Yup.

            “Geographically, the Jordanians deemed this land to be theirs to the degree that they fought over it and when they conquered parts of it in 1948, they renamed their state Jordan from TransJordan and renamed the territory “West Bank” (get it? Because it is the west bank of their state).”

            Yup.

            “As for culturally, I hate to break this to you but culturally it is precisely as similar and as distinct as so many parts of the Arab society in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine that we now call Palestinian. There are groups/villages/tribes and little in the way of an overarching nationality.”

            Yup.

            “That has been developed, as Rashid Khalidi points out, in large part because of the manner in which the Jews brought their nationalism to this land.”

            Yup.

            You sure got far in this debate and you sure demonstrated how I’m a joke. Keep demonstrating this, I’m sure everyone reading this is wondering how much more damage you can inflict on your cause.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            You don’t think I read your BS once again, do you ?

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            Of course you did.

            It must be very hard for you to have both Said, al Muqadessi and Rashid Khalidi thrown at you as evidence that a Zionist is right.

            I have to admit that the more I’ve written here the harder it is for me to deny that Jordan is Palestine. Maybe all that two-states talk really is idiotic. The solution should be a confederation between Areas A and B and Jordan. Too bad the King won’t go for it.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Corruption, thy name is America.

      If you’re looking for justice, fairness or even just plain old human decency from the U.S.A., I feel truly sorry for you.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Lo

      America’s foreign policy is not in the business of upholding human rights or justice and never has been. It is crafted to pursue national interests (defined on short term, elite-centric concerns) and deter/defeat threats to that enterprise.

      US support of Israel financially and diplomatically is excessive, to say the least. It’s the only relic of our monomaniacal thinking during the Cold War with an extant lobby in Washington, which is why policies intended to stick it to the Reds are being used to support the further dispossession of Palestinians.

      Sorry.

      Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        Lo – Agree with your comment regarding American foreign policy. Yes, its crafted to pursue national interests of the American elite but its packaged in the language of human rights and justice to make it palatable to the masses.

        So, Sam’s point remains valid – people need to speak out. As much as possible, use the packaging to degrade the foreign policy.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Jacob

      The problem is that the average American seems to have a very limited and even shallow understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Simply by virtue of being named “Israel”, that country is associated with the Israel of the Bible, with the implicit idea that the Jews are God’s chosen people and are therefore the “good guys” by definition. The way to dispel this idea then, is with an appeal to morality. The same Bible also tells us “thou shall not steal”, and sadly Israeli’s history is replete with examples of land grabs that have occurred at the expense of the Palestinians. If it is Israel which has violated the rights of the Palestinians as well as this basic moral principle, then it is they who have provoked the conflict…and it is therefore America’s duty to use its influence to bring Israel back into line.

      Reply to Comment
      • bor

        Apparently, the average American has a better understanding of the situation and the history than you.

        Reply to Comment
    5. tomer

      Sam’s problem is that he believes in the missing nation of palestine.
      No such nation, state or people ever existed or will ever exist.

      Where was its capital?
      Where was its parliament?
      Who was its 1st King?
      What was its official religion?

      The ugly reality that Sam Behour tries hard to disguise is no such thing EVER existed. So given this truth, how can the US be guilty of doing some wrong to a phantom nation?

      Reply to Comment
      • Lo

        Let’s apply that logic to the US:

        1) The congress met in 8 cities before the Washington DC was designated as the nation’s capital in 1800. You’d be daft to say that Washington, D.C. isnt the capital today, but the Brits certainly didn’t think so.

        2) We didn’t establish the US congress as it stands now for about a decade after our Declaration of Independence. Instead,
        the 13 colonies were quasi-sovereign states. So again, our “first parliament” was artificially created out of existing political structures.

        3) The US never had a “first” king unless you want to argue that King George III maintained power in the colonies after they told him to screw off. George Washington was offered the seat and refused it. So no “first king”.

        4) The US never has had, and most likely never will have, an “official religion”.

        If these are the criteria for a legitimate nation, the US is illegitimate.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Victor Arajs

      I for one am glad that Obama is recongizing that the US is one of the worst human rights violators in all of history and is taking it down a few notches.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Average American

      Most average Americans know about Israel and its, um, excursions, only what they are told by their government. Always a dangerous source. So alot of average Americans observe for themselves and research things up for themselves. Always a characteristic of Americans. They usually end up asking themselves rational practical questions about our involvement with Israel. The most common question is why the heck are we involved with Israel? Not because of something in the Bible. Next question what are we getting for our tax dollars spent on Israel? Not a cooperative obedient satalite state. Next, what does Israel want to do? Not stay the same size.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Stop lying. You are not an Average American. No American would be as obsessed as you are. You are actually manic. And you are actually an Average Arab.

        Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          Gustav – I get to talk about the American perspective because I am American. Too bad you don’t like that alot of Americans are recognizing what’s going on.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Whatever you say, Arab.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            What if I’m Jewish? Then everything is ok?

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          • Gustav

            You are not Jewish. What is it you said about us Jews? We are sneaks who control the banks and the world and we make others die for us?

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          • Average American

            Whether I’m Arab or Jewish or Christian or Martian, the facts are the same for your country and mine in this issue. But that’s interesting, I was talking about a country, and you’re talking about Jews. You equate Israel with Jews (fair enough, it is The Jewish State). I equate Israel with Zionism (fair enough, Israel was founded by Zionism and exists to carry out Zionism’s goals). Which leads to my and many American’s objections to the support of Israel: we don’t agree with the territorial and racial goals of Zionism.

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          • Gustav

            That is not how you put it in the past. You talked specifically about Jews. Not Zionists.

            As for the royal “WE” which you use. Let’s be accurate about it. You don’t talk for the Average American. No matter how much you try to hide your identity, you are an Arab.

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          • Average American

            Gustav – I’ve read a few of your other posts too. You would have fit well as a white man in America’s Slave South. Switch “Arab” for “Nigger”.

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          • Gustav

            You are kidding right? You think I am as racist as you?

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