Just Imagine; Israel at Peace.

Sami Jamil Jadallah
Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami Jamil Jadallah

We all need to imagine and wonder how our world and the rest of the world will change if Israel chose peace and becomes at peace with itself and with the Palestinians, with the Arab and the world and indeed even becomes at peace with the US.

Israel is an industry, an industry for AIPAC, for ADL, for the Holocaust, for Anti-Semitism, for Zionists, for Christian Zionists. Israel is an industry for American politicians Democrats and Republicans, for presidents to members of both Senate and House, for pundits and for those who knows and the many who don’t. Israel is an industry for so called” security and terrorism experts”, certainly for the business of Islamophobia.

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David Remnick’s Lament for Israel — An Analysis

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

 

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Part I – The Lament

On 12 March 2012 David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, wrote a brief lament for Israeli democracy. It appeared under the title“Threatened” and can be found in the magazine’s Talk Of The Town comment section. Here are some of the points that Remnick made:

1. “Democracy is never fully achieved. At best, its an ambition, a state of becoming.” Remnick goes on to say that in the U.S. it has taken “generations” for many minority groups to attain “the rights of citizenship.” And, even now it is an on-going struggle for there are always those (including some of the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination) who wish to “scale back such rights.”  Continue reading

Gaza’s Race Car Students ‘Inspirational’

Stuart Littlewood
Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood

After their little-reported first effort will these resourceful youngsters spin their wheels again at Silverstone?

Gaza’s race car students “inspirational”

“We didn’t give up. As Palestinians, we look for plan B all the time.”

Imagine a handful of engineering students imprisoned in the tiny Gaza enclave taking on the cream of Europe’s technical universities in a competition to build a race car and compete with it.

They did it last year. And they’re planning to do it again this year – at least that’s what their students’ union tells me, and I’ve been trying to get confirmation.
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One State in Palestine, a State of All of its citizens.

A State of ALL its Citizens
The One-State Vision and Foundational Principles of a Republic in Historic Palestine

Preamble

I. We, the undersigned, Palestinians and Israelis, believe that the historic land of Palestine should be shared by all those who now live in it and its natives who have been expelled or exiled from it since 1948, and their descendants, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status. Cognizant of the great changes in the Middle East including the recent Arab uprisings, we conceive of our movement as part of the drive towards democracy, accountability, transparency, equality and economic and social justice in the region. We intend to build a model state in the region, rooted in equal citizenship, popular democracy and institutional justice.

II. We, Palestinians and Israelis, united and enriched in our diversity, fully recognize the historic injustices inflicted on the indigenous Palestinian population, including the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba; support all those who are working to build a democratic, pluralistic, secular state (based on the separation of religion and state), that encompasses all of historic Palestine (currently the political entities of the State of Israel and the post-1967 Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories); and honor all those who suffered for justice, equality and freedom in our land.

III. We reject the tragic 1947 UN Partition Plan, dividing the country into two entities, and the terrible damage it has wrought on the country; this Resolution was used by the Zionist leadership as an excuse for the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in the Nakba of 1948. Since then Israel has prevented the refugees from returning to their homes, and the international community has failed to enable their return.

IV. We recognize that for decades efforts to bring about a two-state solution based on a partition of the land of Palestine into a Palestinian entity in 22 percent of historic Palestine, and an Israeli one in 78 percent, have failed because they fell short of providing elementary justice. Based on a policy of separation, fragmentation and inequality, the two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false symmetry of power and moral claims between an indigenous, colonized and occupied people on the one hand, and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. Indeed, ever since 1967, Israel has acted to make a two-state solution impossible by a range of illegal activities, chiefly the building of illegal settlements, confiscation of land, brutal repression of the Palestinian population, and the building of the Apartheid Wall. Moreover, Israel’s ongoing systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which includes practices such as forced transfer, settler-colonialism of the areas occupied in 1967, as well as in areas of Palestine after 1948, segregation, ghettoisation, and the separation wall (declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004), denial of citizenship and basic human rights and freedoms, is consistent with the crime of Apartheid as defined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid; http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html) and the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

V. Seeking and working for a better future of security, equality and justice and equal opportunity for all, we believe in popular, non-violent resistance and support the creation of a movement committed to the establishment of the future Republic of Palestine that can serve and meet the aspirations and hopes of all of its citizens. This will be achieved in conjunction with the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid Israeli state, and has the potential to bring substantial pressure to bear on Israel and its supporters.

VI. Our new one-state movement brings together Palestinians and Israelis in partnership, supported by a global solidarity movement based on the principles and programme outlined below. We call on all those who cherish freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and democracy and reject racism and segregation to join us in building our movement. We believe this movement will change the face and future of the Middle East, and finally bring peace and security for the people in the Middle East, and for people around the world.

Founding Principles and Political Programme

We call for a Constitution for the Republic of Palestine based on the following principles:

1. Constitution and a Bill of Rights: The people of Palestine, Palestinians and Israelis, through their freely elected representatives, will adopt a Constitution and a Bill of Rights as the supreme law of the Republic of Palestine.

2. Supremacy of Constitution: The Constitution will be the supreme law of the Republic, guaranteeing separation of powers (executive, legislative and judicial), and guaranteeing the rights of citizens vis-a-vis the state. The Constitution will be voted on by the citizens of the Republic of Palestine and adopted by a two-thirds majority, with constitutional amendments meeting the same requirements.

3. Bill of Rights and Citizens’ Charter: The Bill of Rights with its Citizens’ Charter will guarantee the rights and freedoms of all individuals in the state. Basic citizens’ rights include, among others, housing, health, education, employment, social and legal protection, freedom of movement, a ban on racial, religious and gender discrimination, and equal opportunity for all.

4. Truth and Reconciliation Commission: The Constitution will seek to redress the devastating effects of settler-colonial Zionism on the indigenous Palestinians, and other oppressed groups, such as Mizrahi Jews (“Arab Jews”), and to address the structural injustices, inequalities and divisions of the past. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of post-apartheid South Africa, it will promote truth and reconciliation between all the diverse peoples of Palestine.

5. Jerusalem/Al-Quds: The City of Jerusalem will be the Capital of the Republic of Palestine and will be one city, open to and equally shared by all.

6. The Right of Return: The implementation of the Right of Return and reparations for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 is a fundamental pillar of peace based on justice and the benchmark of human dignity, liberty and equality. Palestinian self-determination will be addressed through full democratic rights and equality in a unitary state. The Constitution will establish the legal and institutional frameworks for justice, reconciliation and integration of the Palestinian returnees.

7. Fundamental Universal Rights: The Republic of Palestine will be founded on the principles of human dignity, human rights, equality and equal rights, freedoms and equal opportunities; supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, universal adult suffrage, parliamentary democracy, freedoms of expression, religion, language, movement, residence and assembly, regular elections, democratically structured institutions, a multi-party system of democratic, non-racist, non-sexist government and the fundamental rights and freedoms as articulated and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenants.

8. Equality and Citizenship: The Constitution will be founded on the principle that all people who live in historic Palestine as well as Palestinian refugees who realise their right of return will have equality of citizenship and equality of stake. Equal citizenship will have the result that the existing apartheid-based and discriminatory laws and demographic racism will be abrogated, together with the whole institutional system of Zionism. Our Constitution will ensure a state founded on the principles of equality of citizenship, equality between women and men and non-domination and equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens and a fully integrated society based on democratic values, economic and social justice and fundamental human rights; lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law. All citizens will be equally entitled to the rights and benefits of citizenship; and equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. All organs of the state, including the courts, police and administration of justice shall represent all the people of the land and shall defend, protect, and preserve the principles of equality and democracy. The laws of the state shall provide all citizens with equal access to security, housing, work, welfare, public lands, education, health care, leisure, cultural expression and all the basic requirements for living in dignity and freedom.

9. Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism: The Constitution will recognise and celebrate the diversity of religion and culture of the new society, and the distinct linguistic and historical traditions of the country, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10. Public Land: The public land of the state shall belong to all its citizens, who shall have equal access to it and benefits from its use. The owners of private property expropriated from Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza shall be given the choice of the restoration of their property or reparations for themselves or their descendants. Consistent with the principles of the Constitution and international law, the Jewish National Fund shall be disbanded and assets held by this entity or the Israel Land Authority returned to its rightful owners, and what is left will be held in common, or distributed thorough fair and agreed mechanisms.

11. Economic Justice and Affirmative Action: In the new state, economic and social justice requires addressing unfair distribution of resources that resulted from a long history of inequality and racism. Subject to universal equality under the law, remedial economic measures (including affirmative action) shall be undertaken to redress past injustices, remove segregation and allow equal opportunity. Such programmes would ensure social harmony and remove the possibility of maintaining unfair privileges by one group acquired through historical segregation and monopolies on use of land, water and others resources

12. Separation of Religion and State: The Constitution will establish a non-sectarian democratic state based on the principle of separation of religion and state, its governing institutions based on the principle of “one-person, one-vote”. There will be no specific privileges or privileged rights accorded to any ethnic or religious group or individual. Ethnic, religious, cultural or national minorities shall be protected by law, but not assigned any specific rights.

13. Religious Freedom and Religious Sites: The right to religious practice shall be guaranteed by the state. Religious institutions shall be voluntary, totally separate and independent from the state, and shall receive no financial support from it. All residents of the state shall be free to practice their religion and to worship at sacred sites without impediment or discrimination. The state shall ensure that all religions enjoy equal standing before the law, and that no religion impedes or has supremacy over the other.

14. Civil Marriage and Family Law: The civil law of the state shall reign supreme and shall be the ultimate reference in any disputes arising between citizens and between citizens and religious institutions. The state shall require the registration of all religious and civil marriages and civil unions under principles of law that are non-discriminatory as between marriage and civil partners, irrespective of gender, religion, ethnicity, or any other aspect of identity. The state will permit adjudication by religious authorities (including courts) of disputes between partners who agree to such adjudication. The state itself will be guided in matters of family law by the fundamental principles of equality under the Constitution. The state constitutional court shall be the final arbiter for all legal issues arising out of family law, marriages, divorces and inheritance.

15. United Nations Charter: The Constitution will promote the quality of life and welfare of all citizens and free the potential of each person; build a united and democratic Palestine able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations and as a member of the United Nations. The state shall uphold international law, and at all times seek the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and with regard to collective security in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

16. Official Languages: The Constitution shall recognise the distinct historical, linguistic and cultural traditions of Palestine. The official languages of the Republic will be Arabic, Hebrew and English. Recognising the status of the official languages of our people, the Republic must take practical and positive measures to advance the use of these languages and support a mutli-lingual educational system.

17. State Education: The state shall guarantee free primary and secondary education for all children. Schools and curricula shall teach pupils the historical heritage of their country and region, so that they may grasp, respect and appreciate the origins and historical experience of their fellow citizens, strongly reject racism and doctrines of segregation, honour human rights, protect human freedoms, and guard the peace, rights and security of all the people in the country and the world. Education and vocational training shall not be segregated in any way that impedes equal access of all citizens to employment and other opportunities to fulfill their talents and hopes.

18. Abolition of Capital Punishment and Outlaw of Torture: Within one year of the creation of the new state laws will be passed outlawing capital punishment and prohibiting torture in any form.

19. Immigration Policy: The state shall operate a transparent and non-discriminatory immigration policy, and provide a refuge for those seeking asylum from persecution, especially racial or ethnic persecution.

20. Nuclear-free Zone in the Middle East: The state shall seek and actively contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East that shall also be free of all weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s weapons of mass destruction, including but not limited to its arsenal of nuclear weapons, inherited by the Republic of Palestine shall be dismantled or destroyed under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within one year of the creation of the new state. The state through its Constitution shall include and incorporate limitations on the state to engage in wars and conflicts outside its borders.

Drafting Committee (in individual capacity)

  • Dr Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton, Southampton
  • Prof. George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco
  • Prof. Haim Bresheeth, University of East London, London
  • Dr Ghada Karmi, European Centre for Palestine Studies, Exeter University, Exeter
  • Mr Sami Jamil Jadallah, International business consultant, Fairfax, VA
  • Prof. Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, London
  • Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, University Bethlehem, Bethlehem

Western Shenanigans against Syria, Iran

Tehran_skyline_may_2007 (Wiki Commons)
Tehran_skyline_may_2007 (Wiki Commons)

Tehran_skyline_may_2007 (Wiki Commons)

By Dr. Ismail Salami

The volatile situation in Syria generated by the Saudi-Qatar-funded Wahhabi armed group known as the Free Syrian Army and backed by the West is now an accident waiting to happen.

There is certainly one ulterior motive behind the US-friendly Syrian crisis extravagantly fuelled by the presstitute media which keep distorting the facts on the grounds. A recent article published by the New York Times by Efraim Halevy, who headed Mossad from 1998 to 2002, sheds light on this motive. He states that Iran’s foothold in Syria has enabled Tehran to pursue its “reckless” regional policies, and to stop those policies, Iran’s presence in Syria must be ended.

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Stop the pro-Israel lobby

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood


The ‘consultation’ on a statutory lobby register may be a window of opportunity

The Queen needs a new royal yacht. But the British government says it can’t afford to buy her one. The £80 million for the project must come from private sources.

“Leading British companies will… be asked to donate funds in exchange for naming rights to various decks and facilities on board,” says The Guardian. Does this mean Her Majesty will be seen entertaining in the Goldman Sachs stateroom and sipping daiquiris on the Starbucks sun-deck? Will she shelter from squalls in the Murdoch salon and arrive and depart via the Revlon helipad?
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Who will watch the watchdog?

Maidhc Ó Cathail
Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail

The pro-Israel NGO behind NATO’s war on Libya is targeting Syria

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
December 10, 2012

On December 2, the Geneva-based UN Watch welcomed that day’s “strong condemnation” of Syria by a UN Human Rights Council emergency session, and its establishment of a special rapporteur to monitor the situation there following what it called “a global campaign to create the post by a coalition of prominent democracy dissidents and human rights groups” led by UN Watch itself. The non-governmental organization, whose self-appointed mandate is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter,” expressed regret, however, that the UNHRC resolution “paid special deference” to Syria’s “territorial integrity” and “political independence,” decrying the provision as “a clear jab at NATO’s intervention in Libya, and a pre-emptive strike against the principle of the international community’s responsibility to protect civilians under assault.”

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Are we about to betray the Palestinians… again?

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood

Russell Tribunal comes gunning for the international community

Media reports suggest that Britain will again betray the Palestinian people in the UN vote tomorrow on whether to recognise the Palestinian territories as an independent state.

The Guardian, for example, says that Britain will join forces with two other EU allies on the Security Council, France and Portugal, to abstain. Germany, the third EU member of the Council, is also likely to abstain. [report] “The UK had considered voting in favour of statehood but is planning to abstain because it wants to forge a common front with its EU partners. Government sources say the EU – the single biggest donor to the Palestinian authority – is playing an increasingly influential role in the Middle East. It is feared this could be put at risk if the EU fails to act collectively.” Continue reading

Provoking a Path to Persia

Maidhc Ó Cathail

The Saban Center’s prescient paper on war with Iran

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

In June 2009, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy published “Which Path to Persia?—Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran.” Writing in a tone strikingly reminiscent of the Project for a New American Century’s infamous pre-9/11 paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” the six co-authors noted that, “It seems highly unlikely that the United States would mount an invasion without any provocation or other buildup.” For a think tank specifically established by media mogul Haim Saban to protect Israel, this could prove to be a formidable obstacle impeding their desired march—of U.S. troops—to Tehran.

 

“In fact, if the United States were to decide that to garner greater international support, galvanize U.S. domestic support, and/or provide a legal justification for an invasion, it would be best to wait for an Iranian provocation, then the time frame for an invasion might stretch out indefinitely,” Saban’s think-tankers ruefully observed.

“With only one real exception, since the 1978 revolution, the Islamic Republic has never willingly provoked an American military response, although it certainly has taken actions that could have done so if Washington had been looking for a fight. Thus it is not impossible that Tehran might take some action that would justify an American invasion. And it is certainly the case that if Washington sought such a provocation, it could take actions that might make it more likely that Tehran would do so (although being too obvious about this could nullify the provocation). However, since it would be up to Iran to make the provocative move, which Iran has been wary of doing most times in the past, the United States would never know for sure when it would get the requisite Iranian provocation. In fact, it might never come at all.”

Seemingly undeterred by Iran’s frustrating unwillingness to provide the requisite provocation, the analysts continued to examine this option:

“As noted above, in the section on the time frame for an invasion, whether the United States decides to invade Iran with or without a provocation is a critical consideration. With provocation, the international diplomatic and domestic political requirements of an invasion would be mitigated, and the more outrageous the Iranian provocation (and the less that the United States is seen to be goading Iran), the more these challenges would be diminished. In the absence of a sufficiently horrific provocation, meeting these requirements would be daunting.”

Ruling out the likelihood of “an overt, incontrovertible, and unforgivable act of aggression—something on the order of an Iranian-backed 9/11 … given Iran’s history of avoiding such acts,” the authors went on to explore where “the question of provocation gets murky.”

“Most European, Asian, and Middle Eastern publics are dead set against any American military action against Iran derived from the current differences between Iran and the international community—let alone Iran and the United States,” they wistfully noted. “Other than a Tehran-sponsored 9/11, it is hard to imagine what would change their minds.”

Even Iran’s long-time Sunni rival in the region appeared recalcitrant to the idea. “Saudi Arabia is positively apoplectic about the Iranians’ nuclear program, as well as about their mischief making in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories,” the pro-Israeli analysts empathised. “Yet, so far, Riyadh has made clear that it will not support military operations of any kind against Iran. Certainly that could change, but it is hard to imagine what it would take.”

Would a dastardly plot to blow up King Abdullah’s “hand-picked, trusted envoy” in a D.C. restaurant suffice, perchance?

At least, the lead author of “Which Path to Persia?” seems to think so. On October 11, Kenneth Pollack opined on “Iran’s Covert War Against the United States”: “It’s shocking, but not entirely surprising to learn that the United States government has evidence that the Iranian regime was trying to kill Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir.”

Posing as a responsible sceptic regarding the ludicrous plot, Pollack concluded that the ultra-cautious regime he analysed for the Saban Center two years previously—relevant information not provided to the reader—may have changed for the worse: “But, if this incredible claim is proven true, it should remind us that Iran also is not a normal country by any stretch of the imagination, and that in a Middle East already in turmoil we now face a more aggressive, more risk-taking Iran that may be looking to stir the pot in ways that it once found imprudent.”

As Stephen M. Walt remarked about an earlier Tehran-baiting paper by the Saban Center director, “It is hard to read this piece without hearkening back to Pollack’s The Threatening Storm, the book that convinced many liberals to support the invasion of Iraq in 2003. What made that book especially persuasive was Pollack’s depiction of himself as a former dove who had oh-so-reluctantly concluded that there was no option but to go to war.”

Interestingly, The Daily Beast/Newsweek which published Pollack’s op-ed is partly owned by Jane Harman, whose service in Congress reportedly included a quid pro quo with an Israeli agent, involving political donations from billionaire Haim Saban, to lobby the Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against two officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Pollack, a former member of the National Security Council, was mentioned in the indictment against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman as one of the government officials who provided information to the two former AIPAC employees about—you guessed it—Iran.

When asked “who would want to create the impression” that the United States needs to engage in military activity against Iran, former CIA operative Michael Scheuer replied, “If I was looking at a counterintelligence operation to decide where this information came from, I’d be very interested to see if I could find an Israeli hand or a Saudi hand.”

Thanks to Kenneth Pollack, that search can now be narrowed.

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a political analyst and editor of The Passionate Attachment.

BDS explained – DID YOU KNOW?

Screen Shot 2011-09-01 at 1.44.45 PM

BDS explained – DID YOU KNOW? updated 12May11 from Sonja Karkar on Vimeo.

 

This video is created by Australians for Palestine and Women for Palestine as an educational tool to help people gain a better understanding of the clear principles underpinning the Palestinian BDS call and the global Palestinian BDS movement.