Commenter Profile

Mondoweiss: Bird In A Cage

August 29, 2015 3:14 pm
Re: I quickly discovered that there are large gaping holes in Wayback’s coverage of the site (including the Blankfort material). Alas — there were many interesting posts during that period in 2012. I'll see what I can find. It's a shame that someone didn't grab a copy of the site or mirror it with wget or HTTrack before they took it down.
August 29, 2015 2:04 pm
@ Sean and Taxi Re: (And it is a pity that much valuable documentation in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group was erased in one fell swoop.) Checking on this situation finally got to the top of my TODO list. There should be about 28 working copies of your old FF Mondoweiss site here. Just click on the relevant year and one of the blue circled dates on the calenders below:*/ FYI, the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive says: " was Saved 28 times between January 30, 2012 and June 28, 2015." The last date is a 302 not found. The last full copy was in 22 December 2014 I navigated around a bit and the "Newer Items" and "Older Items" links at the bottoms of the pages had been crawled and copied. You should be able to navigate around and read everything, but things like the Search box and Login at the top of the page, that relied on the Facebook server side backend are obviously non-functional now.
August 24, 2015 7:21 pm
Re: I hope you’re right, Hostage. But the sad truth is that every time the zios in tel aviv and Washington feel that a Palestinian leader has been too ‘rebellious’ or too dried up to serve their interests, they just simply kill him. Well, unless Abbas can pull-off a hat trick in September and get full UN membership, he's done about everything that he set out to do whether he stays or goes. Let's face it, once you're 80 years old most of the people you represent are dead and buried. So its time to let someone else take over the job of setting the national agenda. At this point, none of the self-appointed Palestinian leadership has any legal mandate from the voters.
August 29, 2015 3:48 am
Re: It looks like the legal dots are being connected for a Palestinian case under the Alien Tort Statute. No that's a Federal statute, this complaint was filed with the New York State Charities Bureau. So, it's not even lawsuit. The decision to investigate or take action is strictly up to the State Attorney General's Office "Social Justice Branch." (not for instance the Criminal Justice Branch or the New York State Courts). There is presumption, after the Supreme Court decision in Kiobel, that the Alien Tort Statute has no extra-territorial scope of applicability to violations of customary international law the take place outside the USA. The recent ATA lawsuit involving the PA and welfare payments to families of jailed members of Hamas was the "Anti-Terror Act" (ATA), not the "Alien Tort Statute" (ATS).
August 24, 2015 8:51 pm
Re: The best men and women from Abbas’ generation were assassinated either by Mossad or Shin Bet back in the sixties and seventies. ... One can only hope that they can make people like that again. Even when Hamas and Fatah swore a coalition government into office, and Netanyahu applied sanctions, set the IDF loose on a weeks long rampage in the West Bank, and reduced Gaza to rubble yet again in an obvious effort to divide and rule, we reward him by acting as if they never got together and agreed to go to the ICC and bring Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO Executive. I don't think the root problem is really Palestinian disunity or a lack of adequate leaders.
August 25, 2015 9:05 pm
Re: Bruce Foreman (Wolman?) ... wrote a post after digging up a number off comments I had posted over time, including one in which I called for the “dismantling” of Israel as a Jewish state which should be a sine quo non of any solution and part of the recognition that Israel/Palestine has been one state since the 1967 war with only its Jewish population and those Palestinians on the other side (for the sake or argument) of the Green Line enjoying “democracy.” That Finkelstein, like Chomsky, refuse to see that and insist on defending the integrity of Israel as it is, ..." I've said the same thing on many occasions, i.e. that Israel has an on-going legal obligation to: (1) permit all the refugees from 48 and 67 to return and restore their property; (2) reconstitute itself as state with equal rights and protection for all under the law. I've stated that the international community is under no more obligation to preserve the Jewish character of Israel than it had to preserve a German Sudetenland or a White Southern Rhodesia. I disagree with Finkelstein and Chomsky about their contention that international law doesn't have anything to say about minority rights or the rights of refugees. I've commented almost ad nauseam about the subject of the minority rights treaty contained in UN General Assembly resolution 181(II) and the fact that Israel provided evidence that it had supplied the required treaty declaration accepting its terms, during the hearings on its membership application.
August 24, 2015 6:46 pm
Re: But what Palestinian leader was ever dealt a good hand? None. ... What you say about Abbas’s legal endeavors is true. It's not just legal endeavors, he's the only Palestinian leader who has ever managed to marginalize and politically isolate the US government, while looking almost completely subservient to its demands for a two state solution. But the Palestine Papers revealed that the PLO's position was always that the BATNA [Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement], if all else fails, is the one state and a campaign for equal rights and the vote. There isn't anyone who really expects him to negotiate with Israel now, after Netanyahu pledged to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, so long as he is the Prime Minister. So, Abbas has put everyone in a spot where something different may actually happen for a change.
August 25, 2015 8:19 pm
Re: lol …apologies for the length….just wanted give her a full meal of the Palestine she/they claim never existed. Don't apologize for the length. In fact, there's at least one relevant historical fact that your narrative left out. Netanyahu claims that Jerusalem was always the capital of the Jewish people alone. You mentioned: “Of the Jund Filastin, the ancient capital was Lydda. The Caliph Sulayman subsequently founded the city of Ramla, which he made the capital…. The population of Palestine consists of Arabs of the tribes ..." Even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a web page which acknowledges all of that and (implicitly) the fact that Palestine and Palestinian identity can be traced back at least as far as the Arab Golden Age. See “Ramla – Arab Capital of the Province of Palestine” -- But you may NOT be aware of the fact that Jerusalem eventually became the capital of Jund Filistin, after the Fatimids conquered the district from the Abbasids. Its principal towns at that time spanned the two banks of Jordan and were: Ashkelon, Ramla, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Jaffa, Jericho, Nablus, Bayt Jibrin, and Amman. -- See page 29 of Palestine under the Moslems; a description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. During both the Fatimid and Ottoman eras the Ashkenazi pilgrims became so notorious for failing to pay their debts and defrauding Gentiles, that they were banned from Jerusalem entirely. The Jewish Virtual Library explains that there were small groups of resident Ashkenazim who pretended to be Sephardi in order to circumvent a ban against any Ashkenazim living in the City of Jerusalem. After the ban had lapsed, they simply retained their distinctive style of dress and customs.
August 25, 2015 1:28 pm
Re: The other day I was talking with friends and the discussion turned to the unique situation of Israel as a nation-state that constantly has to justify its existence. That's a fairly clueless statement. In the Kosovo ICJ case, the US government's statement said that. in general international law doesn't govern declarations of independence. But there is an exception for the ones that are conjoined to serious international crimes, like ethnic cleansing or ones which attempt to establish minority rule. "Israel" can only exist, as such, because Jewish minority rule was established over areas which were allocated by the UN to the Arab majority population, and in which few, if any Jews resided. Zionists drove-off the bulk of its own Arab population and plundered their lands and properties. So your "nation-state" can only go on existing, by refusing to permit the Palestinians that were displaced during its wars from returning to their country. Those are all serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, for which no statutory limitations apply.
August 25, 2015 6:11 pm
Re: Never heard of David Rose. Progressives have always cited his Gaza Bombshell article as evidence that Abbas intended to overturn the elections and seize power from Hamas. Similarly, there were Israeli disinformation reports issued during the fighting, which claimed that Abbas had participated in the planning and okayed Operation Cast Lead. That libelous idea pretty much evaporated when he subsequently accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on the territory of Palestine by any party (including himself) since July of 2002. Re: Too late in the night for me to respond as your post deserves, Hostage. I’ll be back on it tomorrow buddy. I think you guys have always read too much into my remarks about factual situations. I like some of the tactics employed by Khalid Meshaal too and have cited his interview with Charlie Rose So, there's no need to preach to the already converted about the legitimate use of force for self-defense. Article 1(4) of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions has been ratified by 174 States. That's an overwhelming majority of the international community and makes it black letter law. It provides that armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes are to be considered international conflicts. The UN General Assembly has repeatedly affirmed that peoples fighting colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes are not committing aggression. I've commented in the past that when people are denied justice in violation of their fundamental rights, they are entitled to take the law into their own hands:
August 24, 2015 8:41 pm
Re: I remember a fair and democratic election, Hostage. Hamas won. The PA, egged on by USA and israel, refused to accept the results – Abbas’s men tried to illegally wrench power from Hamas in Gaza by force of arms. They got beat back by Hamas .and they got kicked out of Gaza. That's certainly the fanciful propaganda narrative that everyone peddles today, based upon David Rose's far-fetched saga contained in his Vanity Fair "Gaza Bombshell" article. It starts out with a classic example of old fashioned bait and switch. He was contacted and promised incriminating documents that had fallen into the hands of his informant, but they were never ultimately produced. Instead he publishes an unlikely yarn that "critics of the Bush Administration Palestine Policy" and of Secretary of State Rice, named "David Wurmzer", "John Bolton", and an unnamed "associate close to Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliot Abrams" supplied to him. If you've ever had a stovepipe that large shoved up your ass without noticing, you must be a stringer for the Rendon Group and be writing filler, while awaiting your next assignment for the Iraqi National Congress. But even Rose admitted that it was Hamas that initiated the war, as a so-called preemptive measure. His accusations regarding Abbas didn't even rise to the level of good gossip. Every time Secretary Rice ordered Abbas to dissolve the government, he ignored her instructions and continued to negotiate with Haniyeh over a coalition agreement. The so-called secret Palestinian plans that were quoted in US State Department documents that were left unattended in a briefcase by a negligent US Official, were nothing conspiratorial. They were subsequently published almost word-for-word in the official "Plan to End The Occupation and Established the State". There was plenty of skulduggery alright, but it was hatched by the USA, the Israels, and General Dayton's Palestinian associate Mr. Dahlan. Even the Fatah militia members that were interviewed by Rose noted that Dahlan was acting alone and independent of other Fatah party factions - and that "Bush and Rice must have wanted Hamas to takeover Gaza". Wikileaks confirmed that Israel wanted that to happen so it could treat Gaza as an enemy state. The wheels should have fallen off the Abbas conspiracy bus a long time ago, when sources like Wikileaks and +972 started publishing exposés about the Israeli "policy of separation," and the fact that it had nothing to do with the PA's wishes.
August 25, 2015 5:31 pm
Re: 9,000 Photographs from 1800′s Palestine / Israel – with no trace of ‘Palestinians’ That article is pretty typical of the sort of thing that moronic Zionists, who aren't very well educated or very well read, circulate to feel good about themselves. Never mind that I own 19th century accounts and travelogues, including at least one printed by the Jewish Publication Society of America itself, which contain accounts of American and British travels in Palestine. They reported that Americans encountered small numbers of Palestinian Arabs in places as far away as Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, and Alleppo who were willing to serve as their guides to the peoples and places of the Holy Land that they called home. Articles like the one you cited and this one make tendentious use of cherry-picked materials: You could just as easily select quotes from the same original sources, like Mark Twain, to illustrate that many locales in Palestine, like Nablus and its surrounding hills, were heavily populated and under full cultivation. Of course, the Arabs of Palestine were very well known to the French people, like Bonfils. Long before his belated arrival there. They were mentioned in published accounts of Napoleon's campaigns in Egypt and Syria against places like El Arish, Khan Younis, Gaza, Ishdud (Ashdod), and Acre in 1799. While the reports mentioned Mameluks and Turks too, they also described the local Arabs and said they could be divided into four classes: pure Arab descendants of the original conquerors, Motuales, Druzes, and Ansaries. See for example Jacques Miot, "Narrative of the French Expedition in Egypt, and the Operations in Syria", 1816 There is no shortage of American and British diplomatic and trade correspondence about the Palestinian people from western consulates in Palestine or photographs by Bonfils himself showing the streets of Jerusalem outside his studio full of Palestinian Arabs. For example, just zoom into the 3rd thumbnail in the series "Félix Bonfils (1831-1885), Photographer The Holy Land -- a collection of 65 photographs of landscapes and architecture in and around Jerusalem" on the Christie's Auction House website and pan around until you find the sign advertising "F. Nicodemes Photographs by Bonfils, Maps to Sites of the East, And Other Articles for the Use of Travelers". You can't fail to notice over a hundred persons in the intersecting streets dressed in traditional Palestinian Arab attire. Note: Bonfils specialized in picturesque architectural and landscape photos for postcards, not photos of people. For a better selection of photos of the inhabitants and their culture visit the Library of Congress and the various contributions there from groups, like the American Colony, and other individuals under the heading "Palestine--History--1799-1917" The 19th century British Foreign Office Confidential Prints FO 424 and early 20th century Arab Bureau Papers FO 882 discuss the origins of the local Husayni (aka al-Husseini), Khalidi, Nashashibi, 'Abd al-Hadi, Tuqan families, and the many clans and tribes - including the Beersheba Bedouin. They all pre-date the first Zionist Aliya. All of those groups had been settled there for centuries. Israeli historian Ruth Kark also records that there were American Consulates in Acre, Jaffa, and Jerusalem connected by telegraph to Washington by the time Félix Bonfils (1831-1885) ever arrived in the Holy Land. See for example "American Consuls in the Holy Land", 1832-1914, page 151 Some of them had obviously been there ever since the era of the Palestinian Arab Peasants Revolt (1834) against Muhammad Ali and his eldest son Ibrahim Pasha and had mentioned it in their official reports. So the claims to the contrary in your article are pretty absurd.
August 24, 2015 7:06 pm
Re: And let’s not forget here, Abbas lost the election to Hamas and yet…need I say more. No, government's created by violent revolutions and revolutionary councils seldom convene elections for their own jobs or request a vote of confidence in the midst of wars for their own independence. The "PA" was never anything but an interim subordinate organ of the PLO Executive and National Committees. Ismail Haniyeh and his list of candidates only ran for election to the Palestinian Authority, an interim creature of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel that functioned at the behest of the PLO Executive, pending full independence in accordance with the November 1988 Declarations of the PNC. Abbas was the President of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, as well as the President of the Palestinian Authority, before and after the elections.
August 25, 2015 2:18 pm
Re: 1695: No sign of Arabian names or Palestinians. No legitimate historian would accept that proposition. Arab and Arab place names appear on the earliest tax records from the year 1520: " The Palestinian peasants were incorporated in the imperial network of Ottoman provincial administration with the conquests of the early sixteenth century. Names of villages familiar to local residents even today were first recorded in the Ottoman tax registers around 1520. This process was not abrupt or disjunctive, but was part of the gradual integration of the Arab provinces into the Ottoman empire, thereby informing another aspect of the underlying compromise. Ottoman provincial administrative mechanisms did not replace existing structures of that government and taxation in conquered areas." -- Amy Singer, Palestinian Peasants and Ottoman Officials: Rural Administration Around Sixteenth-Century Jerusalem" Cambridge University Press, 1994, page 3 It doesn't make any difference what year you check, there's no sign of any "Jewistan" in those same Ottoman tax records. If you need to borrow some clue, here's a little hint for you: Ottoman tahrir (tax census) register of the liva of Tripoli situated in the vilayet of Arabistan from 925 (1519). Here's a link to a whole lot more of them: Note: "Arabistan" is Turkish for "Land of the Arabs". Here's a link to the Ottoman tahrir (tax census) register of the liva of Gaza situated in the vilayet of Sham, from 932 H. (1525 AD). Those are the same familiar Arab place names that are still used today: Here's a typical one for 1807, long before the 1st Zionist Aliya, with Arab place names: Ottoman administration, Iyalet of Sham, Liva of Sham, Liva of Kudus (Al Quds), Liva of Nablus, Liva of Gaza, Liva of Lejun, Timars, Sipahis, Timariotes FYI, We've all seen Hebrew words written with the letters of the English alphabet. Archaeologists have found Arabic and Arab language inscriptions, written phonetically in scripts borrowed from other languages too. They date back to the 1st century of the current era, like the one written by an Arab speaking person in the Nabataean alphabet at Ein Avdat canyon near Ben Gurion's home in Sde Boker, Israel (i.e. Palestine). So the Arabs were there all along.
August 24, 2015 6:05 pm
Re: He gets more support from the west than from his own people because he gave up the armed struggle and the west likes that. Armed struggle against one of the world's most powerful and well supplied military empires over what it considers to be "home turf" is a risky proposition that has never turned out well in the past. If the situation were different, for example if Hezbollah had an S-300 system and could impose a no-fly-zone over Israel and Palestine, then I'd be willing to think twice about it. Abbas advocates non-violent "popular struggle" just like his harshest critics: Diana Butto, Omar Barghouti, Ali Abunimah, et al. It would be irrational to suppose that the Mossad has infiltrated JVP, but that Palestinian civil society on both sides of the Green Line isn't riddled with people who have been compromised during 60+ years of brutal occupation. That situation doesn't provide fertile soil for the growth of a viable underground resistance movement. I may not know much, but when I see thousands of family members, including under aged children, hauled off to jail by the IDF in the middle of the night on trumped-up charges, I know for certain that more than a few of those families are going to succumb to pressure and do anything or say anything to protect their loved ones, that the rest of the world have abandoned to their fate. General Washington relied on foreign French support and used firing squads against his own disaffected troops of the New Jersey Line, when the tide of popular opinion turned against him and the Continental Congress during the American war for independence. His own general staff was infiltrated with turncoats, like Benedict Arnold. The bottom line is that anyone who aspires to national leadership during a prolonged occupation and war for independence is likely to be viewed as unpopular when things go wrong, as they always do - and they are just as likely to be pretty ruthless and corrupt in their dealings with those who try to undermine their authority from within. The Palestinian people surely knew that when they elected Abbas as the President of the PA with a 62 percent majority and a 70 percent voter turnout in the 2005 Presidential election. His platform for ending the occupation and establishing the State was no secret. The whole idea was to enlist international pressure and UN demands for an end to the occupation, like the UN demands that South Africa withdraw from Namibia and that the Israel withdraw to the Blue Line. The fact that Palestine wasn't recognized as an occupied State by the Security Council, like Namibia and Lebanon both were, had ultimately resulted in UN condemnation of Palestinian tactics of armed resistance and loss of public support in the West. Whatever armed struggle alone can accomplish during an IDF siege had long since been accomplished in the Faluja pocket when Nasser was bottled-up there for four months in 1949 or during the Siege of Beirut in 1982 when Sharon had Arafat and the PLO leadership bottled-up there, while Abbas (in Damascus) and the whole Arab and Muslim world stood by watching helplessly and unable to do anything. If armed struggle can be an effective bargaining chip, then the PLO was never more powerful than it was on the day when 160,000 Iraqis with heavy armor and artillery were occupying Kuwait and menacing the Saudi oil fields and they offered to withdraw peacefully in exchange for the withdrawal of the IDF from the Occupied Arab Territories. We all know what a show of Muslim and Arab solidarity was triggered when Arafat endorsed that proposal. Afterwards, the PLO had to go to Oslo with heads bowed and beg for whatever interim plan Israel was willing to table, because their Arab and Muslim brethren had pulled the plug on their financial and material lines of support. Armed struggle has produced nothing but stalemates, pyhrric victories, and the prospect of reoccupation for the victims of the on-going siege in Gaza. There's a danger in doing that over and over again, in the absence of some game-changing development (e.g. some S-300s nearby), and expecting a different outcome.