Pro-Israeli Falsehoods on the Flotilla, Settlements, and Statehood

Hagit Borer, an Israeli American, explained in yesterdays Los Angeles Times that his reasons for participating in the aid flotilla headed for Gaza go beyond, as Glenn Greenwald described, “a theatrical, non-threatening form of peaceful protest against the blockade,” but is also a protest against broader Israeli actions of demolition and settlement building. The U.S. and Israel not only refuse to recognize these motivating factors, but they continue to pretend the flotilla is some sort of security threat.

Yet, in a truly amazing statement of falsity, Elliot Abrams writes “current construction in the settlements is not a critical issue, and the expansion of construction into additional lands has been minimal.” This is incorrect on both counts. Overwhelming majorities of Palestinians consider the issue of settlements a game-changer. And the Israeli expansion has not only been substantial, but it has been increasingly so.

This is happening with the backdrop of news today that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has officially announced its intention to seek statehood at the U.N. in September. Uri Avnery wrote today about how pro-Israelis are complaining that this move is unfair, except of course when Israel does it:

Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: because it is a “unilateral” move. How dare they proclaim a state unilaterally? How dare they do so without the consent of the other party to the conflict—us?

A stickler for detail might ask at this point: “But was the state of Israel not proclaimed unilaterally?” Our state, it may be remembered, was declared by David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues on May 14, 1948, without asking anyone.

[…]Furthermore, these dastardly Palestinians are going to the UN General Assembly, trying to circumvent the UN Security Council where the U.S. can block them with its veto. Dirty trick!

But just a moment! Was the state of Israel not proclaimed on the basis of a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly? To be precise: Resolution 181 of Nov. 29, 1947, on the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state?

As a matter of fact, this resolution is still in force. It served as the centerpiece of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and serves now as a basis for the Palestinian demand that the state of Palestine be accepted as a full-fledged member of the United Nations.

But again, how can one compare?

If you want to argue against the right of Palestinians to receive much needed aid, to be free from illegal expulsion, and to claim their own sovereignty as any other people does, you simply have to base you arguments on such falsehoods.

  • skulz fontaine

    No one can highlight the illegitimacy of Israel better than Elliot Abrams.

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  • Honest libertarian

    Israel's legitimacy ultimately comes from historic grounds, not from the UN. It is a fact that the Jewish people are the only people today to have ever exercised national sovereignty in that land. The Jewish people like every other nation in the world, should have the right to self-determination. As a libertarian, I am against the UN entirely. If the UN tries to mandate a Palestinian state, it is just another example of many examples, of imperialism on the part of the UN. It is a fact that the flotilla last year was armed with knives and clubs and used them to beat Israeli soldiers who came on board and were not armed with any guns. As someone who supports peace, I am opposed to the flotillas because they will incite tensions between the Jews and Arabs. I support true peace and oppose any form of instigation. Most importantly, I support self-determination for all peoples, and that includes even the Jewish people. I don't pick and choose between peoples.

    • Yonatan

      You are a liar or a gullible fool. The IDF murdered their victims. This is from the autopsy report

      "Each of the nine victims on the Mavi Marmara in international waters off the coast of Israel in the early hours of Monday morning was shot at least once and some five or six times with 9mm rounds."

      • Honest libertarian

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LulDJh4fWI Okay, you are manipulating the story. The IDF attacked the flotilla after the first IDF soldiers who were unarmed came on the flotilla and were attacked with knives and pipes. Nice try. If you want to argue with the truth, then I am done arguing with you.

        • Frank

          Of course you're done arguing. This isn't msnbc.com or fox.com. You can't post a link to a video edited and released by Israel's media relations and expect people to take your comment seriously. Why don't you point us to an interview with Janet Reno to prove how the FBI acted in self-defense at Waco? Do you not realize the people you're trying to convince with this nonsense have seen the footage smuggled off the Mavi Marmara, have listened to the accounts of survivors of the attack and have read the reports of the various investigations? Your hasbara video doesn't show the state's enforcer-thugs firing from the helicopters before anyone landed on deck. Why not? You obviously know about YouTube. http://youtu.be/vwsMJmvS0AY

          Yonatan thinks you're gullible but I don't believe it. I think you're just trollin. If you were "honest" you wouldn't spout off about a subject you apparently haven't spent more than an hour researching (and if you had spent more than an hour, you'd relize the absurdity of your comments). And, if you were a "libertarian", you would adhere to the principle of non-aggression (as opposed to defending state aggression). I think you should post as "dishonest neocon", "misinformed naif" or "amateur troll". Those I'd believe. "Honest libertarian", not a chance.

          • Honest libertarian

            I do adhere to non-agression, except when necessary. Every country has a right to its sovereignty including Israel. That's a libertarian precept of self-determination. And nice try with the neocon attack. Apparently you are completely clueless or simply can't read. I think I made it clear in my comments that I oppose all imperialism and support self-determination for all peoples. That being the case, I can't possibly be a neocon. And btw, neocons are Anti-Israel. George W. Bush, the Clintons, and other neocons have been constantly harming Israel's sovereignty and trying to force it to give up its land. I oppose all imperialism. And I want the US to bring home all of its troops and get out of the Middle East entirely. So nice try with the neocon attack. I suggest you become more informed at least on semantics.

          • hardtruth

            "Every country has a right to its sovereignty including Israel."

            And Palestine?

            "And I want the US to bring home all of its troops and get out of the Middle East entirely. "
            Does "entirely" Include ceasing funding and arming Israel?

          • Honest libertarian

            Palestine is not and never was a country. And yes, I would like the US to cease funding and arms from Israel and every other country. I'm a libertarian, and therefore I believe each country should be independent.

          • benzene

            Suppose the martians cam to earth, and decided to wall in our cities and we have to ask permission to move anywhere, and we look up helplessly at their security roads and their settlements, and even though we outnumber them, we have no rights, because after all, earth was never a unified political or religious or cultural entity, so the martian pod people are, and they have a right to earth, because 1000 years ago, a small clan of them lived on earth for a while. I guess they were, at least they say so, a unified entity and here first.

    • Benn

      "The Jewish people like every other nation in the world, should have the right to self-determination"
      Except the Palestinians?!!? Sounds like a dishonest libertarian.

      • Honest libertarian

        Well, there is no unified Palestinian nation even to this very day. The populations of Gaza and the "West Bank" are very culturally different from one another. Under the Ottoman Empire, the people of Palestine did not any national identity, but rather tribal identities. But if there is to be a Palestinian state, it should belong in Jordan, where 80% of the population has roots from historic Palestine, but they are discriminated against by the Hashemite regime in Jordan. Why don't you make your push for a Palestinian state against the regime in Jordan? I'd suggest that you do that.

        • liberal

          "The populations of Gaza and the "West Bank" are very culturally different from one another."

          Yawn. And there's a single Jewish culture _within Israel_? LOL.

          • Honest libertarian

            Of course there are differences within Israel. There are distinctions within just about every unified culture.But there are many common attributes that ultimately tie them all together as a nation. A common national history and heritage. On the other hand, there are so many clear distinctions between the populations of Gaza and the "West Bank," that it even comes down to distinctions of accents (Gaza-Egyptian accent and culture, the "West Bank" with aJordanian accent and culture.

        • Lou Cypher

          "But if there is to be a Palestinian state, it should belong in Jordan, where 80% of the population has roots from historic Palestine"

          Oh, ok. By this statement we can also conclude that if there is to be an Israeli state then it should be in Russia or Eastern Europe because that's where 95% of the Jewish population in Israel has it's roots.

          "Israel's legitimacy ultimately comes from historic grounds"
          Bullsh*t. The pervasive "history" of the Jews is manufactured and not based in reality. There is not a single shred of evidence to validate any of it (the torah is not evidence, nor is the bible, both are incomplete and incorrect, historically speaking).

          "The extended kingdoms of David and Solomon, on which Zionists base their territorial demands, endured for only about 73 years…Then it fell apart…[Even] if we allow independence to the entire life of the ancient Jewish kingdoms, from David's conquest of Canaan in 1000 B.C. to the wiping out of Judah in 586 B.C., we arrive at [only] a 414 year Jewish rule." http://www.wrmea.com/jews_for_justice/earlyhistor

          "Well, there is no unified Palestinian nation even to this very day"
          Wrong again. Palestinians were unified until 1987, when Ariel Sharon (with Mossad assistance) created Hamas as a counterweight to Arafat's Fatah movement and the PLO. To this very day, Hamas still dances to Israel's tune.

          It's rather clear that you're no libertarian, you're simply using that moniker to gain acceptance and legitimacy from others here. I think chances are quite good that you're a paid troll, here to spread the hasbara. Methinks you picked the wrong place sir.

          Shalom!

          • Honest libertarian

            Regardless of the length of the national kingdom, it still emphasizes the point that the Jewish people exercised national sovereignty in that land. And they eventually came back from Babylonia and Persia to create the sovereign state of Judea which existedfor the next few hundred years. These are historical facts and examples of Jewish national sovereignty. And I am not bringing up the Bible at all. You brought it up, not me.

          • Honest libertarian

            "Wrong again. Palestinians were unified until 1987, when Ariel Sharon (with Mossad assistance) created Hamas as a counterweight to Arafat's Fatah movement and the PLO. To this very day, Hamas still dances to Israel's tune." ——Are you kidding me? Palestinians were unified as a nation? That's completely false. First of all the PLO was outside of the land for many years, such as in Lebanon, and specifically in Tunisia. Israel did side with the more religious Muslims in the 1970s to counter the secular Fatah party because Hamas did not exist back then. Hamas as an organization was not created by Israel. It was just that Israel sided with some of the people who would eventually create Hamas. And under what government were the Palestinians unified until 1987? The answer, none. Even today, the Palestinian Authority does not represent all of the Palestinians. Most of the people in charge of the PA were handpicked by the Bush Administration.
            And you claim it's rather clear that I'm no libertarian. Please tell me how it so clear. Back yourself up. Is it because I don't single out the Jewish people? I thought being a libertarian meant supporting self-determination for all peoples?

    • Brad Smith

      You either need to change your name or do some reading, because what you said was simply not true. Not only were the Israeli soldiers armed they murdered those people.

    • Popsiq

      Historically-speaking Israel is what may be called a 'latest case scenario'. Historically, the Israelites were not the original possessors of the area we now call 'palestine'. If it is to be taken as a 'historic book', the Torah is indicative that Abram was from present day Iraq and emigrated to Palestine, where the inhabitabts allowed him to settle.

      That his descendants would later grow in number to dipossess them, is the story of the 'chosen people'. That those chosen people were dipossessed themselves, on numerous occasions, including an exile to their 'natural' homeland and eventual Roman-induced 'diaspora' away from Palestine, is also the stuff of history.

      Historically speaking, then, the present-day 'arabs' have as much claim to Palestine, by virtue of what remains of Canaanite 'blood' in them, as do modern day jews who carry probably not much more residual genetic material from the original 'Abrahamites'.

      If 'posession is nine tenths of the law', which seems to be the real rationale for Zionist claims, then we have the stuff of all disagreements, and the potential for an equitable resolution, or on-going struggle – with the constant potential of history being re-written, again.

      History, in this case, is on nobody's side.

    • ssulrich

      Historic, Really? Do tell.

  • Brad Smith

    One more reason for the US of A to pull out of the UN (nato too) is that our use of the Veto has actaully made this situation worse. Ending aid to Israel (and everyone else) in combination with leaving the UN would force Israel to make peace with it's neighbors.

    • Honest libertarian

      Refer to my last comment to Yonatan. And I agree with you on the UN. I would love nothing more for the US to pull out of the UN and the UN to disband. I prefer freedom and self-determination for all countries and nations and the UN prevents that.

      • Bill in StL

        Why do you say self-determination for all countries, instead of self-determination for people? If an overwhelming majority of people in an area want to dissolve relations with the current country and declare independence, how can a libertarian oppose it?

        It seems like you're using some idea that Isreal is a real country, while Palestine isn't, to justify your view that self-determination is ok for Israelis but not for Palestinians. I would argue that what matters are the desires of the people, not the legal fiction of nation states.

        • Honest libertarian

          Nothing I said meant to contradict what you are saying. Israel is a country that is/should be used for self-determination for the Jewish people. I said self-determination for countries meaning self-determination for all peoples. I believe what Thomas Paine said, that unfortunately, government is a necessary evil.

          • Brian

            You are backtracking. Besides, your contention that the Palestinians are not a nation (from what lofty position do you make this assertion? Based on accents? Go on then, tell Americans they aren't a national entity since people from the Bronx sound different to people in Utah). Moving on: Explain in very clear terms why the Palestinians are not entitled to the exact same dignities of personhood enjoyed by their Israeli counterparts. Because that is the problem, my faux-naif friend, whether you genuinely understand it or not: it boils down to this simple ineluctable fact: Israel has annexed and occupied land since 1967 WITHOUT CONFERING CITIZENSHIP on to the people who lived on the land, i.e., the occupied territories. It continues to make use of that land, colonizing it, i.e., stealing it, from the people who already live there. Do you get it now? This is about a 50-year-old crime in progress and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ideas of nationhood and EVERYTHING TO DO with basic RIGHT AND WRONG. YOU PRICK. (Sorry everyone but sometimes some people just press my buttons.)

  • Vopat

    “And I want the US to bring home all of its troops and get out of the Middle East entirely. ”

    When Iran and the rest of Israelis neighbors acquire nuclear weapons, that would be a wonderful time to let Israel do its own bidding and pull all US troops out of the Middle East.

  • Honest libertarian

    Wow! Someone's angry. Cheap attacks don't automatically prove that you're right. Show me that I don't know the truth.

  • Salah u deen

    If liars would have long noses then the supporters of Israel would need no flag poles to hoist their bloody flag. They are notorious liars and they don’t get tierd of ranting their lie mantras even when they know that nobody believes them.

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