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WATCH: A new brand of Jewish nonviolence in Palestine

What happens when dozens of Jewish American activists come to Palestine to practice civil disobedience alongside Palestinians struggling against the occupation?

In the summer of 2016, dozens of Jews from the U.S. and other countries came to Palestine, at the request of Palestinian activists, to use nonviolence, civil disobedience, and their privilege as Jews to help oppose the Israeli occupation. Under the banner of “Occupation is not my Judaism,” the activists helped rebuild homes demolished by the Israeli army, facilitated an entire displaced Palestinian village’s return to to its former homes, and put their bodies on the line to challenge the Israeli military regime of segregation and settlement in Hebron.

+972 Magazine joined the Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJNV) to see what they were doing, what drove them to stand side-by-side with the Palestinian people, and what they think they can accomplish by leveraging their privilege as American Jews in doing so. How would the Israeli army react to dozens of American Jews practicing civil disobedience, willing to be arrested alongside Palestinian activists in the West Bank?

Video by Lia Tarachansky and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man:

“It’s been very easy for many of us in the liberal or progressive Zionist world to rationalize away that Israel is really an oppressor, that it is literally oppressing another people,” Rabbi Brant Rosen, a member of the CJNV delegation told +972. “This [direct action] isn’t working in a soup kitchen. This is in service of a larger goal of ending the infrastructural oppression of the occupation.”

Part of the advantage of being a self-identified Jewish group, explained CJNV executive director Ilana Sumka is its members’ ability to influence their diaspora Jewish communities back home. “The more the American Jewish community can shift its understanding about why it’s so urgent for the occupation to end,” Sumka said. “I think that will have a ripple effect in the broader American political spectrum.”

For many of the CJNV members with whom +972 spoke, that strategy is inextricably linked to personal Jewish identity. “My activism comes from a sense that there’s a strong [Jewish] imperative and obligation to treat other people well, that there are specific ways in which we have to treat the other people with whom we live — I think it’s very clear in the Torah,” explained CJNV member and Princeton student Maya Rosen. “The way that our traditions and texts have been co-opted by a specific political agenda makes me very angry. Creating separate legal systems seems to be very much against what the Torah would command.”

Read more on the group’s direct actions in the West Bank:
Jewish, Palestinian activists try to build a cinema in Hebron
Palestinians of Susya return to village they were expelled from

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

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    1. carmen

      Occupation is not my judaism. What a great group of Jewish folks. The judaism they are practicing is familiar because it was what I was taught and what I believe. Occupation is not a jewish value.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Yeah, some Jews would rather see other Jews end up back in the past instead of doing what is necessary to remain a strong and independent Jewish nation. They wouldn’t mind seeing us back in the past, when Jews were second class citizens or worse, being blamed for all of societies ills (hey this practice isn’t even completely dead today) and were subjected to periodic pogroms.

        Some of these “dozens of Jews” may be well meaning. I admit that. But they are as blind as a bat. They think that by turning the other cheek, others will reciprocate and will be nice to them too. But they don’t know the Middle East and how savagely the weak are treated around here. And with their arrogant know it all attitude, they want to turn their fellow Jews who live here into weak victims. Of course we won’t let them do it.

        Others of those “dozens of Jews” probably don’t even believe in anything. They are just spoilt bored brats from a well to do western country who want to impress their non Jewish friends in order to be accepted and be called not just Jew boys but “good Jews”. Hey, it happens. All people have psychopaths. It has been said that 1 in 20 people have psychopathic tendencies. We are no different. We have people who are willing to sacrifice fellow Jews in order to better themselves.

        Reply to Comment
    2. R5

      Trump voters on the right and Hamas voters on the left, these fools sit down and sing songs for Hamas voters. “Tikkun Olam” education has produced a generation of liberal Jews who are too individualistic, narcissistic and sanctimonious to understand the interests their own people.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        The charge of narcissism can much more persuasively be made against the settlers and their allies. Sample the average American settler versus these unselfish people: no contest. And that’s not even talking about the “psychopathic tendencies” we are getting epidemiology lectures on here daily now. There the mismatch is even greater. Nor does it account for group narcissism and entitlement:
        http://972mag.com/in-nabi-saleh-an-occupiers-sense-of-entitlement/111322/
        “The lack of self-awareness here, based entirely on how impressive one looks to others, is pure narcissism – of which entitlement is a primary symptom.”

        Reply to Comment
    3. R Johnsen

      This is very good. Israel really needs to change in a big way.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        We have tried change. It didn’t work because the Arabs don’t want to change. They still want to turn the Jewish state into another Arab state (the 23rd Arab state). Change will happen when the Arabs will change.

        Reply to Comment
    4. R5

      Also funny to see repeated the idea that Israelis are training American police to brutalize minorities. Since the folks on the American end of this arrangement explained pretty clearly that these programs relate to counter-terrorism response (i.e. Orlando & Ohio State), what this ignorant woman said is basically on the same level as a Rothschild New World Order conspiracy theory. The Americans are much better at actually policing, even according to the Israelis. But due diligence and solid reasoning don’t tend to stand up to “intersectionality” much these days, unfortunately.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Wendy Lerner

      As a liberal Jewish American, thank you!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Carmen

      The occupation is not a jewish value nor could it ever be. Zionism and all of its metastatic accoutrements is nothing more than an ideology that has nothing to do with judaism. Some jews would rather burn up the world than share it.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “The occupation is not a Jewish value”

        But it is a non Jewish value? How quaint. Actually, the whole premise is nonsense.

        It neither is a Jewish value, nor is it a Jewish value. It is just a necessity right now because the Arabs have still not given up their 100 year old idea that there should not be a Jewish state in this part of the world. So, if we unilaterally end the occupation and allow them to establish an Arab state in the West Bank, it would be easier for them to pursue their aim of trying to destroy the Jewish state.

        Right now they can murder Israeli Jews by driving cars into us, by shooting us with hand guns, by knifing us and by stoning us. If they would have their independent state, they could shoot missiles at us, acquire heavy weapons and their harassment of us would be more deadly. No thanks. We don’t want to give them the chance to do that unless they show a minimum of willingness to signify that they have given up their old objective of trying to eliminate the Jewish state by recognising Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

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        • Ben

          ​”It is just a necessity right now because…”
          This is cartoonish. I know you really believe it. But it is a cartoon.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            What is cartoonish, Ben? The fact that you, the Arab people still refuse to come to term with the idea of a Jewish state? On another thread, you claimed that such a recognition is as difficult as reversing global warming.

            So what are we infer from that Ben? I infer that as soon as we would withdraw from the West Bank, you and the rest of your Palestinian Arabs would start to prepare for some serious harassment of the Jewish state with more sophisticated weapons than you have at your disposal now. Why? Because you clearly are not prepared to give up your 100 year old dream of preventing the existence of a Jewish state in this region. And the majority of Israelis agree with my above assessment.

            So Ben, if you guys are not prepared to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, then how are you going to convince us that we are wrong (cartoonish as you say). Or don’t you feel that you NEED to convince us? Do you really think you can just ignore our conditions for ending the occupation? Do you really think you can just nag us into total surrender and unconditional withdrawal? Because if you do (and you seem to), then you are living in a dream world (also known as lah lah land) and you are just prolonging the status quo.

            PS
            Please don’t bring up South Africa because again you would be just deluding yourself and your people coz we never have been, nor are we nor ever will we be South Africa. But you and your people will just lose even more than you have lost, the longer you prolong this conflict. And believe me, we will not feel more sorry for you than you people have ever been willing to feel sorry for us.

            Reply to Comment
    7. i_like_ike52

      I am afraid that Michael did not pick a very good example in Brant Rosen as a representative of principled anti-‘occupation’ activism. He is a self-promoter who gets involved in theatrical events so he can be photographed in “heroic poses” confronting non-threatening forces such as the IDF or the Chicago Police wearing his trademark rainbow-colored tallit/prayer shawl’ knowing that they won’t do anything to him.
      First of all, his self-identification as a “liberal Zionist” is a fraud, as if he is some sort of “concerned friend of Israel”. In reality, he is a hard-core anti-Zionist, opposing the existence of Israel and justifying the Arab jihad that was proclaimed against the creation of Israel in 1948 and rejection of the UN Partition resolution. He is simply an non-Orthodox version of Neturei Karta.
      Secondly, the action he and his friends were involved in Hevron last summer was a ludicrous, public-relations event that had no connection whatsoever with actually helping the Palestinians with anything. His group showed up in Hevron and announced they were going to “open movie theater in Hevron which doesn’t have one”. Well, the reason Hevron doesn’t have a movie theater has nothing to do with Israel, it is because the conservative Islamic authorities in Hevron have prohibited it. Instead of going into the Palestinian-controlled center of the city, where there is no Israeli presence (which consists of something like 97% of the city’s terroritory, they decide to trespass on a piece of land owned by an Arab in the Israeli-controlled part of the city, which is way out on the fringe of the town. They then put up a sign in ENGLISH, not ARABIC, saying the new movie theater would be set up there. Why wasn’t the sign in Arabic if the intention was to bring “enlightenment” to Hevron’s Arab masses? Because the idea was to photograph it in order to show to potential donors of CJNV. why didn’t they go into the heart of Hevron and announce they were building the theater there? I’ll tell you why…because they would have been run out of town by the ruling Islamic authorities. This shows that Brant and the CJNV couldn’t care less about the Palestinians. They are interested in “feeling good about themselves as ‘progressives’ and raising money for things like Brant’s salary at the American Friends Service Committee.
      The whole things was one big fraud and I’m sorry that some people here fell for it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        So what? Brandt is one person representing his point of view and doesn’t speak for anyone but himself. Why don’t you step back from herd mentality for a minute and take on the notion that we’re responsible for our words and deeds alone and he represents no one. Baby steps.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Yea. Let’s step away from the sane herd and join the insane herd instead. Speaking for myself, let me think about Carmen’s idea for a milisecond. Ah I just did. And my answer is NAH! 😛 What do YOU say, _ike?

          Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            Stepping away from one herd to join another herd isn’t what I said or implied. I really don’t know how to make it any more simple for you and since you’re incapable of understanding a simple concept…stay with your present herd. Please.
            “If sheep elect wolves to be their shepherds, then they deserve to be eaten.”
            ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

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          • AJew

            I know what you said or implied lady. You were saying and implying self serving things to advantage yourself and your people, the Palestinian Arabs. And I was just making fun of it. I hope you don’t mind?

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      • Baladi Akka 1948

        “First of all, his self-identification as a “liberal Zionist” is a fraud”
        I_Like_Ike aka Ben Israel and many other pen names on this blog is the one who’s a fraud, as usual he invents things to post his usual BS, I guess he didn’t even bother to see the video !
        Brant Rosen does NOT identify as a liberal Zionist. He clearly states that he identified as a Zionist till about 10 years ago, today he’s come to the conclusion that Zionism has colonized Judaism.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Neither the Torah nor the Guemara or the Talmud deal with occupation concerning Eretz Israel. It is written that this land is Jewish forever. Minorities can stay in peace if they respect the laws. Everything else is just sentimentality, ignorance and idle chit-chat

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        Sentimentality and idle chit-chat? Is sentimentality code for ‘justice, justice, you shall pursue?’ Damn. Is that no longer an honorable code of conduct for us? Like the woman said, “I wish Jews were more attached to the values that Moses stood for, than the rocks he stood on”. Adieu.

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        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          Please read the Torah. Moses explained us the principles of the Judaism and prepared the Jewish people for the conquest of Eretz Israel (which was very violent). On the other hand
          if you read the Torah (Paracha Vayera), it is written that Itshak only will inherit Eretz Israel. All the rest is just idle chit-chat

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            When Mormons try to posthumously baptize Jews everyone thinks those Mormons are insane and everyone gets mortally offended, rightfully. But when Jews colonize another people and set up an apartheid state because “in the Paracha Vayera it is written that Itshak only will inherit Eretz Israel,” that’s supposed to be non-offensive and sane?

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            Yes, absolutely. If the Arab minority in Eretz Israel is not happy in our country, they can leave wherever they want. They are free to do it. If they respect our laws, they can stay. The Torah teaches us to love the foreigner. Concerning the charge of Apartheid please do not forget that the birth rate among Jews in Judea and Samaria is 40 % higher than the Arab one (an average of 7 children by woman). In 25 years the Arabs will be a minority.

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            “Concerning the charge of Apartheid please do not forget that the birth rate among Jews in Judea and Samaria is 40 % higher than the Arab one (an average of 7 children by woman). In 25 years the Arabs will be a minority.”

            What does this have to do with apartheid? (I get it, you’re very proud of these numbers), but as I said to you before, with clean drinking water and easy access to it, the IOF not breaking your door down in the wee hours for ‘friction activity’, etc., all brought to them by apartheid/occupation, who knows what their birth rate would be? It was hands down over the jewish birth rate just 10 years ago – back in the halcyon days (sarcasm) before netanyahooooo and his sidekicks were in charge. How much different would the jewish birth rate be if they were ‘put on a diet’? Be for real Itshak.

            Reply to Comment
    9. Zury Asse

      Yes, cause those are the only two options right? to occupy or be occupied. To be evil or be the victim of evil.
      Wait…could a third option be actually possible??

      Reply to Comment
      • i_like_ike52

        Unfortunately, there is no third option. The Arab world has defined the Arab/Israeli conflict as a zero-sum-game, because the existence of Israel within ANY borders is an abomination to them, on theological and ideological grounds. Yes, Jordan and Egypt have signed “peace agreements” and if it means there is no open hostility between them and Israel that is to be appreciated, but the peace agreements are very unpopular among the populace of the country. We must hope that some sort of unofficial modus-vivendi can develop (there are signs of this) in the place of formal, de-jure peace agreements.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Bruce Gould

      Israel: You win.
      There are 600,000 settlers in the West Bank, Israel controls everything, there isn’t going to be a Palestinian state – ever. Now the only thing Israel needs to do is manage 6 million Palestinians, a population roughly equal to the number of Israeli Jews. The only remaining question for the only Jewish State in the world is whether they will put the Palestinians on reservations, concentration camps, internment centers, expel them, starve them, or whatever. Maybe we can hope for some kind of Apartheid Lite.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Carmen

      The Most High favors the poor and the oppressed. The oppressed aren’t the zionists and the squatters on Palestinian land, including your address; Maa’le Adumim, or any other illegal zionist settlement (which is all of them FFS). The oppressed, in these parts, are the millions in Gaza, the west bank and all of Palestine. What will judgment be for the previously oppressed who’ve turned their back on righteousness in exchange for power, land and wealth and are become the modern pharaoh?

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        All this pretence about that the matter of the occupation that it is solely the fault of Israel.

        FACT: It came about because the Arabs made war on Israel.

        FACT: Why did the Arabs make war? Because they wanted to destroy the only Jewish state and to replace it with another Arab state.

        FACT: The occupation continues because the Arabs still want to continue their war. How do we know? We know because they refuse to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people even in exchange for ending the occupation.

        FACT: The matter of the 600,000 settlers is not a problem. If real peace would beckon, there are a number of options. Option 1: Land swaps. Option 2: Some of settlers could be a minority in an Arab state. Hey, we have 1.2 million Arabs as Israeli citizens. Option 3: If the Arabs wait too long we just leave them what is left of the West Bank and they can do whatever they want in their own state. If Monaco, San Marino and the vatican are viable as independent statelets, so would be such an Arab state. And if not, they could plead with Jordan to take them back. After all, they were part of Jordan between 1948 and 1967. And Gaza was part of Egypt.

        So you see Bruce? Your scare mongering about the apartheid state or ending the occupation being the only choices in town, don’t scare us. We recognise it for what it is. Scare mongering. You are only fooling your Palestinian friends with it. Not us. And you are not doing them a favor because you are fooling them into delaying making peace with us. Shame.

        Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Oh yeah, there’s going to be a Palestinian state as soon as they recognize Israel, right:”

            Why not Bruce? Which of my above facts are wrong? Tell us in your own words and stop relying on pre-canned writings by others.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Outstanding resource, Bruce. Thank you. Must reading. Compare the formidable Matrix of Control here to the cartoons of justification/whitewashing of the occupation above.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            That resource is utter goblety-gook. It is a masterpiece of obfuscation. It outlines the status quo under occupation. Although it acknowledges (begrudgingly) that Barak offered withdrawal from 93% of the West Bank, the discussion then blatantly pretends that no withdrawal would take place and it shamesly pretends that the current controls which were in place would have still applied. But how could that have been so if Israel would have withdrawn from 93% of the West Bank? That analysis reminds me of a classic picture of a snake swallowing it’s own tail. A circular argument which is clearly designed to confuse the uninitiated and the biased ones (many people on sites like these who are happy to be fed BS as long as it reinforces their preconceived hostility towards Israel. Nothing less satisfies them). In other words, it is just PROPAGANDA.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​Far from being a masterpiece of obfuscation, Jeff Halper’s writing on the Matrix of Control is a masterpiece of clarity and peeling back of layers of obfuscation. Everyone should study it. It is must reading to understand what Israel is really doing while it says it is doing something else, how it manages this sleight of hand, what layers of falsification it employs, how it is that, because the Matrix of Control “renders the Occupation invisible, it is capable of deflecting opposition at home and abroad.” The truth is out there.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Barak offered withdrawal from 93% of the West Bank, the discussion then blatantly pretends that no withdrawal would take place and it shamesly pretends that the current controls which were in place would have still applied. But how could that have been so if Israel would have withdrawn from 93% of the West Bank?

            Reply to Comment
    12. Poor Herb, stuck in a Hasbara world that never existed anyway and now reality is finally setting in. Well, it’s not like you can’t say you weren’t repeatedly warned… Even in this thread, some people mistakenly believe that it is a Jewish imperative that Apartheid and ethnic cleansing be a part being a Jew. You Hasbarians know not what you do. I believe that the alt-right and Hasbara trolls are one in the same, and they were used as Trojan horses because today it is fashionable to be a xenophobic Islamophobe. Yonder followers of Stephen Bannon will have no trouble at all making their pivot. Niemoller. It’s time to dust him off.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “because today it is fashionable to be a xenophobic”

        Not xenophobic. Just the mirror image of Arabs. The Palestinian Arabs are unabashedly self interested and nationalistic. How do we know? They don’t even want to recognise the rights of the Jewish people (an ethnicity) to our own state. But how many Arab states are there? There are 22 Arab states (Arab is an ethnicity too).

        I’ll tell you what is FASHIONABLE though Mr Hess. It is fashionable for SOME self styled progressives to single out the Jewish people for special treatment very unfavorably. Interesting though because somehow the label of “progressive” does not seem to fit those people because the idea that Jews somehow deserve less than other ethnicities/religions is actually an old prejudice and is very far from progressive. Unless some people believe that going back to yesterdays ideas is progressive? Are you one of those people, Mr Hess?

        Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Israel gets a pass”

            Well it seems that despite the Arab ethnic group having 22 Arab states with which the so called progressives seem to have no issues at all (they don’t call the Arabs xenophobic) but the same “progressive” types keep on jumping on Jews and calling us xenophobic and racist because we too insist on maintaining our majority Jewish state with an ethnic Jewish majority. You included Ben, you even call us racists for insisting on having a Jewish majority state (which by the way the UN voted for – yes they voted for a JEWISH state back in 1947). So tell us Ben how do you reconcile your attitude against the Jewish majority state while at the same time you never express any disdain for 22 ethnic Arab states? And I ask the same question from Mr Hess. What kinds of “progressives” are you? You sound to me more like regressives who live in the past when Jews were openly held in disdain and were not permitted the same rights as non Jews.

            Reply to Comment
    13. HERBERT GROSSMAN

      These are Jewish Uncle Toms, trying to please their masters. Zionists are proud Jews who don’t apologize for defending themselves. That’s why these Jews belong back in the ghetto, not Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    14. R5

      Which has nothing to do with Israel. And as a side note, I have donated thousands of dollars of free legal service to the ACLU, but good on you Ben for posting a link to their website. And spending half your day writing foot-long comments on this website. The flame warrior wins the prize.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Let me ask you. What do you think gives you the right to say “these fools sit down and sing songs for Hamas voters…liberal Jews who are too individualistic, narcissistic and sanctimonious to understand the interests their own people. … what this ignorant woman said is basically on the same level as a Rothschild New World Order conspiracy
        theory”–and then lecture others on “flaming”? I really do not understand that. You have a haughty, sneering attitude. Half my day? Thank you for this message from the speech police, Mr. ACLU. I’m orders of magnitude more efficient than you give me credit for. But your words are meaningless ad hominem and insinuation regardless. Don’t read it if it’s too long for you. No one is forcing you to.

        Reply to Comment
    15. R5

      How does this benefit you, as a liberal Jewish American? Is someone attacking you because of Israeli state policy? Seems pretty sick to blame Israel for that, not the attacker. In fact that’s what every minority group does, except “liberal Jewish Americans.” Maybe instead of trying to destroy a country that you didn’t build, for the sake of your ego, you should at least not stand in the way of Israeli Jews trying to protect their own families.

      Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          @R5
          Look at my last post, on that thread, in particular. It summarises my claim about Ben’s bigotry in general.

          Then, if you want, you can read the rest of the thread in greater detail.

          Reply to Comment
    16. Ben

      You look at the number and tenor of comments here and you realize that what most gets Israeli dander up is outsiders not leaving them alone to have their nice little occupation in private. Those nosy parker goody two shoes who won’t just go on Birthright trips, wave pom poms and get a patronizing, amused pat on the head and go away.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Zev Davis

      Trouble with these Jews is that for the moment they are like the man who says you can fish for pickled herring in the Palestinian Lake. For the time being it doesn’t exist. The Palestinian National movement is serious fractured–from the beginning they preferred a violent path instead of nation building. The result is that what they call a country is divided between a region that was always occupied by some foreign power from the time the Romans took over and changed its name from the Province of Judea to Palestine-Syria way back when. I could go on with the facts, these young Millennials can’t be confused by them.

      I can recall when my generation called for the creation of Bangladesh, and they had a unified leadership, then. Today its a failed state the exports its dissatisfied nations all over the world. Currently the “president” of Palestine lacks the support of the people of the “former West Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan”, or if you prefer, Judea and Samaria with Gaza being run by an opposition faction that mostly refused to accept the leaders that sit in Rammallah. Is that the nation these young Jews want to create?!

      I live in Israel in a town with a sizeable Arab Palestinian minority. As it is, in spite of what they really feel about the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, they don’t necessarily feel that the situation in the Palestinian Authority is what they would want to see for their people. Even the most virulent supporters of the “Palestinian State” have spoken out clearly against the current leadership. And they want a Palestinian State tomorrow?! Non-violence or the other kind of resistance, for the mean time it don’t figure.
      A

      Reply to Comment
    18. Ben

      You’re not straight about basic facts. And, you know, it shows the kind of disinformation world the right wing lives inside of and on the basis of which the self-righteousness pours forth:

      HALPER’S VERSION (88%):
      “Barak’s “Generous Offer” and the Matrix of Control
      This popular view is based on both false information and false assumptions. First of all, there never was an Israeli “offer,” and Israel never proposed to relinquish 95% of the West Bank. At a desperate time when Barak knew he would lose the election, the Israeli delegation came to Taba prepared to talk about conceding 93% of the West Bank – with the Palestinians counter-proposing 97%. But they were not talking about the same land. Because Israel does not consider East Jerusalem and “No Man’s Land” around Latrun as part of the West Bank, but does include the part of the Dead Sea falling within the Palestinian territory, Barak’s 93% was actually more like 88% of the actual Palestinian territory. The major fallacy in this view is to equate territory with sovereignty…..”

      BASKIN’S VERSION (89%) – the Condensed Reader’s Digest version, but “sovereign cage” does suggest the same central “Matrix of Control” issue Halper describes so well – :
      ‘”Israel has offered the Palestinians everything but they have turned down every offer and walked away.”…The truth is that at Camp David Barak offered Arafat 89 percent of the West Bank with full Israeli control of Palestine’s external borders – the Palestinians called it a sovereign cage. Barak’s proposal included two east-west corridors under full Israeli control, cutting the West Bank into three cantons. Barak did not offer the Palestinians a capital in east Jerusalem, but in Abu Dis, which is outside of Jerusalem, and perhaps some control of the outlying Palestinian neighborhoods. Israel would continue to control all of the main Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and the Old City.”
      http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Encountering-Peace-Debunking-myths-428662#article=6017N0MyRjhGNzJBQzhDRDlGODRGNDZCMDE1OEVBQzY2RTQ=

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Gershon Baskin, the author whom Ben quotes in his link, describes himself as a left wing Zionist. If true, then that explains why Israeli voters have been veering towards the right wing of politics and have been electing a right wing coalition over at least the last decade. Let me highlight a quote from Gershon. This is what he said about Barak’s Camp David proposal:

        “There isn’t a Palestinian alive who could accept it.”

        Fine then. But he should have also mentioned that Barak’s proposal broke a lot of previous Israeli taboos in making his offer. In other words he bent over backwards to try and find a compromise solution. And what did he get for it? Never mind the rejection. We could have lived with that. But the least he should have got should have been a counter proposal. But what did he (we) get? He got a very bloody intifada and that was the deathnell for any prospects for peace. In fact it killed Oslo stone dead. What a surprise. During the intifada, on average, there were two suicide bomb attacks twice a week. The Palestinian Arabs have really shown us their true face of hatred towards us. They were willing to see their own children die in order to murder as many Jewish Israeli civilians as possible. And that was in response to a peace offer in which an Israeli leader bent over backwards to break previous Israeli red lines. Hey none other than President Clinton acknowledged as much when he chastised Arafat who tried to call Clinton a great man.

        But back to Gershon Baskin. My question to him is this:

        Can Israel too play this game? In which he wants to let the Palestinian leaders off the hook for being intransigent? Can Israel too negotiate on the basis of saying that:

        “There isn’t an Israeli alive who could accept the Palestinian Arab position of ….”

        – the right of return demand

        – non recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people

        – the demand of dismantling all “settlements” and removing 600,000 “settlers” from their homes

        Can Israel too be let off the hook for displaying intransigence?

        That’s what Gershon seems to find reasonable for Palestinian Arabs. So why not for Israel too?

        Of course he is not here to answer my question. But the point I am making is that many Israeli voters, like me, asked themselves that question. And the answer we gave ourselves is that we can no longer trust the Israeli left to look after our intersests. Because they are too lenient with those who hate us beyond reason and they are terrible negotiators. That’s why nowdays many of us bote for likud or other right wing parties who may not bring us peace but at least they won’t sell us out either.

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    19. AJew

      “with full Israeli control of Palestine’s external borders – the Palestinians called it a sovereign cage.”

      Yes, but not permanently. That’s the temporary price that all aggressors have to pay after they commit aggression. After they are defeated, they have to de-militarise and demonstrate that they give up their aggressive tendencies over a period of a few years. And yes, during that time their borders have to be controlled to make sure they don’t import weapons with which they may be tempted to commit attacks.

      Hey Ben, I know you don’t like to hear this but after their aggression and defeat in WW2, Germany and Japan too were demilitarised and their borders were controlled for quite a few years, even though unlike the Palestinian Arabs, Germany and Japan surrendered unconditionally and publicly repented for their aggression. Oh yea, and some of Germany’s and Japan’s lands were confiscated by the victors.

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      • AJew

        Hey Ben. You were the one who praised Bruce’s source to high heaven. Well guess what: Bruce’s source says that Barak’s offer included Israel giving up 93% of the West Bank. Not 88%. So make up your mind. Do you like Bruce’s source or don’t you? Don’t be all over the place!

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    20. Tess

      Israel is a zionist state wreaking death and destruction and as such is the real enemy of the Jews . To claim that it is a Jewish state is an affront to Judaism. It’s not suprising these good people of CJNV are angry. God bless their good work.

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      • AJew

        Whether you like it or not Tess, a state where the majority of the people are Jewish is a Jewish state.

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        • AJew

          And I am sorry that you consider us alone to be an affront but even though we are not perfect (I don’t know where you live but are you and you people perfect?), I won’t apologise. We live in a rough neighborhood and we do what we have to in the face of others who are trying to do bad things to us. And those others are not perfect either. I am sorry that some of you out there insist on overlooking the imperfections of those who want to get rid of our majority Jewish state and that you only insist on looking (and amplifying) ONLY our imperfections. But hey, we will just do what we have to as imperfectly as most humans tend to do whatever they do.

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        • Ben

          Hey buddy, and if Trump says “whether you like it or not Tess, a state where the majority of the people are White Christian is a White Christian state,” that’s kosher with you too? That covers all the bases? That suffices? You like that? And the anti-Semites joyously gathering around the edges, you like them too? Lay it all out. Tell us. Explain yourself. I’ll be interested in your every word.

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          • AJew

            Actually it would be perfectly ok with me because most Americans ARE christians and I have nothing against a Christian state. Nothing wrong with Christianity or Islam or Judaism. The only thing that is sometimes wrong is the interpretations of some members of each religion of how their religion is supposed to be practiced.

            So, again Ben, I would find nothing wrong with Trump or anyone else saying the truth that America is a Christian country because most Americans are Christians.

            Would you have a problem with it Ben? If so, Why?!

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          • Ben

            ​Where to begin? To laugh or cry? You know nothing, or pretend to know nothing, about the American Founders, the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the American separation of church and state, established at the foundation, defended and codified into law over two centuries in decision after decision by its Supreme Court, with tremendous devotion and intellectual labor. Jefferson would pronounce you an appalling dunce. You misunderstand the whole meaning of the United States. Note the sleight of hand. “Christian State” gets modified to the loose “Christian country”—a term that itself is still mistaken but allows you to fudge matters. But “Christian State”? Really?? You just have to be kidding me. The term is directly antithetical to the very idea of America. You cannot have any idea what the principal Founders thought and why. In this way you pretend that Israel, as “a Jewish State,” could be anything like the United States. Or like France. Devious. Confused. Revealing. What a hopeless discussion. You misunderstand so much. You would see “nothing wrong” with the consequences of your “Christian state,” the analogue of your “Jewish state”? A Christian state where Jews are discriminated against at every turn; where the law and the state’s administrative structures defend, actively or passively, all sorts of embedded discriminations against Jews? You have no idea what you are talking about. None. Zip. Except switch out Christians for Jews and Jews for Arabs and you think it’s all just swell.

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          • AJew

            I am the dunce huh, Ben? Where should I begin?

            First: you were the one who asked your inane question. I just answered it. So don’t go making up a whole story about me wanting to change what America’s founding fathers put in place.

            Second: I repeat my question, what have you got against Christians or Christian states? Are you aware that there are hundreds of states in this world, not America, but others, which define themselves as Christian states? Let me name just one: ENGLAND. England defines itself as an Anglican state which is led by a monarch who is also the head of the Anglican Church. Does England discriminate against Jews, Ben?

            So again, Benny, where in your private dunce’s bible is it written that a Christian state HAS TO by necessity discriminate against Jews? Just because historically some Christian states chose to discriminate it does not mean that they always have to. Are you capable of comprehending that simple fact, Benny?

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          • Ben

            Certainly they don’t have to but they surely have and they surely will again without the safeguards the American Constitution from the beginning put in place and its Supreme Court’s constant vigilance ever since has defended. Because the Founders understood human nature. And I have news for you: Israelis are humans just like everyone else. Same good, same bad. You know what, why don’t you tell it to Itshak “I’m a Jewish King and I take lessons from nobody” Halevy? He’ll believe what you peddle even though he says he takes no lessons. He’ll lap up your bogus American History Lessons. (Counterpart to The History of the Hundred Years War. “Gather round children…”). No one else here will. This nonsense, and playing dumb about it, was addressed here. Bye:
            http://972mag.com/between-hope-and-despair-a-palestinian-womans-journey-to-trumpland/123591/

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          • AJew

            MY bogus American history lessons, Ben?

            What lessons were those? I gave no lessons. I just answered your inane question about what would be my reaction if Trump would announce a Christian state.

            My response to your question was that I would have no problems with it and I asked YOU, what objection have YOU got against Christians and Christian states. Then you called me a dunce, started berating me and claimed that Jews would be persecuted. I then called YOU a dunce in return and pointed out that it would NOT necessarily be so.

            Benny, Benny, Benny, you are up to your old tricks again. Obfuscating, ducking, weaving and side tracking. You are a slippery little man, aren’t you Benny? 🤔

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