Tag Archives | Palestine

Palestine and Israel

A friend, who is strongly progressive, was born in Israel. Her parents moved to the US when she was twelve. Some years ago I asked her about Palestine. She said, “I was twelve. All I knew was they were Palestinians and they were trying to kill us.”

Another friend is Palestinian and was born in Israel. Because she was born in Israel and not the occupied areas, she can travel freely when she goes to Israel. Her relatives who were born in the occupied areas now live in prisons like Gaza. Some have been in the camps for years. She can visit them only with great difficulty, if at all.

Two good people. Both progressives. They’d probably like each other if they met. But if they were back in Israel they would almost certainly be on warring sides.

In my view, hardliner zealots like Hamas and Netanyahu don’t want peace. They benefit from war and are well-protected from its carnage. They aren’t the ones getting maimed.

However, there can not and will not be peace in the Middle East until Palestinians have a place to call home. And Israel’s reaction is, as always, massive and brutal overkill. But did Hamas think Israel would not respond in such a manner when the rockets reached Tel Aviv?

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Water apartheid in Palestine

Podcast from Aquanomics

You should listen to it if you want to know more about the “water apartheid” that Israel is practicing in the occupied territories, and the institutional, logistical and “capacity” constraints that the Palestinians have in taking care of their own water.*

Bottom Line: Palestine has enough problems with development, but Israel is not helping.

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Ahhhummm… Newt

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, a stupid person’s idea of what a smart guy sounds like, said this week that Palestinians are an “invented” people, a position that could be seen as putting him at odds with the U.S. push for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire,” Gingrich told the Jewish Channel, which posted portions of the interview online on Friday. “And I think that we’ve have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab community, and they had the chance to go many places.”

Newt, a college professor of history, missed this (Justin Rivero):

Specific references to “Palestine” date back nearly five hundred years before “the time of Jesus.” In the 5th Century BCE, Herodotus, the first historian in Western civilization, referenced “Palestine” numerous times in chronicle of the ancient world, The Histories, including the following passage describing “Syrians of Palestine”:

“…they live in the coastal parts of Syria; and that region of Syria and all that lies between it and Egypt is called Palestine.” (VII.89) The above translation by Harry Carter is featured in the 1958 Heritage Press edition of Herodotus’ famous work. Both older and newer versions corroborate the accuracy of the reference. A. D. Godley’s 1920 translation of the crucial line states, “This part of Syria as far as Egypt is all called Palestine”, while Robin Waterfield’s 1998 updated Oxford translationrenders the passage this way: “This part of Syria, all the way to the border with Egypt, is known as Palestine.”

A hundred years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle made reference to the Dead Sea in his Meteorology.

Read the rest…

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Lawsuit against Jimmy Carter’s book is assault on Freedom of Speech

A class action lawsuit has just been filed in New York against former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for his 2006 book, “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid.” The suit, captioned Unterberg et al. v. Jimmy Carter et al., is the latest salvo from the right-wing activist Israel Law Center, which claims to be an “Israeli based civil right organization”.

According to the five individuals named in the complaint, Carter’s book is, “in fact demonstrably false, misleading, and deceptive,” and because they felt they were “sold” on Carter’s book being truthful, well, they felt they’ve been harmed, and in as much, have now sued the publisher Simon & Schuster, and the author, Jimmy Carter for $5 million dollars.

The fantastical nature of this lawsuit reminds me of the “birther” lawsuits, claiming President Obama wasn’t born in America and therefore disqualified to serve as her President.

This case, attempting to gag a Nobel Peace Prize winning former President, is just as absurd—however, the litigants do graciously offer an alternative where there wouldn’t be cause—if President Carter and Simon & Schuster only had promoted and sold the book as “the anti-Israel screed that it is.”

This misplaced pro-Israeli patriotism is a ridiculous waste of the court’s time and probably qualifies as a harassment lawsuit, which may result in the overly zealous parties having to pay Carter’s and Simon & Schuster’s legal fees. You cannot justify use of a state consumer protection statute to attack the US Constitution’s First Amendment protections for the mere publishing and sale of a book. That’s like trying to say a tugboat’s as big as an Aircraft Carrier. You can say it, but it isn’t.

Now, the people suing “wish to be clear” that they’re not suing to challenge President Carter’s right to publish a book, nor his right to “forward his virulently anti-Israeli bias”, but rather, they’re suing because he wrote a non-fiction book and claimed it to be so.

The suit was announced as, “…the first time a former President and a publishing house have been sued for violating consumer protection laws by knowingly publishing inaccurate information while promoting a book as factual.” That puts them out on a limb, for sure.

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