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Israel Is an Illegitimate Entity

By Six prominent writers and academics

Redress, Al-Jazeerah,, April 12, 2010


Israel and the question of legitimacy

7 April 2010

As the world wakes up to the reality of the colonial implant in the Middle East known as Israel, the hitherto unthinkable question of that implant’s legitimacy is on more people’s lips than ever before.

Thanks to the internet, which is allowing a growing number of ordinary people to learn the truth about Israel, and thanks to the brutality and barbarousness of the Zionist entity itself, the previously taboo question of how an essentially illegitimate and lawless rogue state came to acquire so much power and support in the United Stated and in the former imperialist powers of Europe is begging to be answered.

Below, six prominent writers and academics consider the paradox of how the illegitimate Zionist entity came to acquire a facade of legitimacy and how this false legitimacy can be reversed, as a first step towards restoring the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people:

Israel and the “delegitimization” oxymoron

By Alan Hart

Alan Hart argues that in law the foundations upon which Israel claims legitimacy do not actually exist and that “only the Palestinians could give it the legitimacy it craved”. He says that “what delegitimizes Israel is the truth of history”, which is why “Zionism has worked so hard … to have the truth suppressed”.

For readers who may not be intimately familiar with English terminology, an oxymoron is a figure of speech by which contradictory terms are combined to form an expressive phrase or epithet such as cruel kindness and falsely true. (It’s derived from the Greek word oxymoros, meaning pointedly foolish).

Here, I’m going to confine myself to one question and answer.

The question is: How can you delegitimize something (in this case the Zionist state) when it is NOT legitimate?

Original text of Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration, 1917

Leaving aside the fairy story of God’s promise, (which even if true would have no bearing on the matter because the Jews who “returned” in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection to the ancient Hebrews), the Zionist state’s assertion of legitimacy rests on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN General Assembly’s partition plan resolution of 1947.

The only real relevance of the Balfour Declaration is in the fact that it was an expression of both the willingness of a British government to use Jews for imperial purposes and the willingness of Zionist Jews to be used. The truth is that Britain had no right whatsoever to promise Zionism a place in Palestine, territory the British do not possess. (Palestine at the time was controlled and effectively owned by Ottoman Turkey). The Balfour Declaration did allow Zionism to say that its claim to Palestine had been recognized by a major power, and then to assert that the Zionist enterprise was therefore a legitimate one. But the legitimacy Britain conveyed by implication was entirely spurious, meaning not genuine, false, a sham.

Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.

In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.

Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal – meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council.

The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force, and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.

So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine – after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away – was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organized international community, including the Truman administration.

The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless it was recognized and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.
As it was put to me many years ago by Khalid al-Hassan, Fatah’s intellectual giant on the right, that legitimacy was “the only thing the Zionists could not take from us by force”.

The truth of history as summarized briefly above is the explanation of why, really, Zionism has always insisted that its absolute pre-condition for negotiations with more than a snowball’s chance in hell of a successful outcome (an acceptable measure of justice for the Palestinians and peace for all) is recognition of Israel’s right to exist. A right, it knows, it does not have and will never have unless the Palestinians grant it.

It can be said without fear of contradiction (except by Zionists) that what delegitimizes Israel is the truth of history. And that is why Zionism has worked so hard, today with less success than in the past and therefore with increasing desperation, to have the truth suppressed.

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC "Panorama" foreign correspondent and a Middle East specialist. His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition.  He blogs at and tweets at

Was Israel ever legitimate?

By Jeff Gates

Jeff Gates views the fraud that underpins Israel’s claim to “legitimacy” and argues that the perpetuation of the myth of Israel’s legitimacy constitutes a real and present danger to United States national security and wellbeing.

The history of Israel as a geopolitical fraud will fill entire libraries as those defrauded marvel at how so few deceived so many for so long. Those duped include many naive Jews who – even now – identify their interests with this extremist enclave.

Israeli leaders are wrong to worry about “delegitimization”. They are right to fear that a long-deceived public is fast realizing that Israel’s founding was key to an ongoing deception.

The Invention of the Jewish People did not begin with Shlomo Sand’s 2009 bestseller by that title. There was no Exile, says this Jewish scholar. Nor was there an Exodus. So how could there be a Return, the core premise of Israeli statehood?

If this patch of Palestinian land never rightly belonged to a mythical Jewish people, what then for the legitimacy of the “Jewish homeland”. And for that depiction by British Foreign Secretary Alfred Balfour in his November 1917 letter to Lord Rothschild?

Were Christians likewise seduced by Sunday school teachings reliant on the phony findings of Biblical archeologist William Albright? Shlomo Sand chronicles how in the 1920s Albright interpreted every excavation in Palestine to "reaffirm the Old Testament and thereby the New”.

In 1948, President Harry Truman, a Christian Zionist, was advised by Secretary of State George Marshall not to recognize this enclave as a state. This World War II general assured Truman that he would vote against him – and did.

That military tradition resurfaced in January 2010 when the head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General David Petraeus, dispatched a team to brief Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the perils that Israel still poses to US national security. Mullen was reportedly shocked. (To see “The Petraeus Briefing”, click here.)

"The Invention of the Jewish People did not begin with Shlomo Sand’s 2009 bestseller by that title. There was no Exile, says this Jewish scholar. Nor was there an Exodus. So how could there be a Return, the core premise of Israeli statehood?"

He should not have been surprised. Such insights are hardly new. More than six decades ago the Joint Chiefs of Staff cautioned Truman about the “fanatical concepts of the Jewish leaders” and their plans for “Jewish military and economic hegemony over the entire Middle East”.

In December 1948, Albert Einstein and 27 prominent Jews urged us “not to support this latest manifestation of fascism”. They warned that a “Leader State” was the goal of the “terrorist party” that has governed Israel over all but a handful of the past 62 years.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff foresaw the “Zionist strategy will seek to involve [the US] in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations intended to secure maximum Jewish objectives”.
Soon after Truman recognized Israel, his presidential campaign train was “refuelled” by Zionist Jews with 400,000 dollars in contributions (the equivalent of 3.6 million dollars in 2010). Soon thereafter, Israel betrayed the US by allying with the British and the French to invade Egypt.

Though London and Paris soon abandoned the operation, months more were required to dissuade Tel Aviv from pursuing their expansionist agenda then – as now – for Greater Israel.

Outraged by Israeli duplicity, President Dwight Eisenhower sought help to rein them in. He soon found that even then (as now) the Israel lobby dominated Congress. Thus, the former Supreme Allied Commander appeared on television with an appeal directly to the American people. Then – unlike now – a US commander-in-chief threatened to reduce assistance to Israel.

To revamp Israel’s tattered image, New York public relations expert Edward Gottlieb retained novelist Leon Uris to write Exodus. Jewish Zionists have routinely proven themselves skilled storytellers and masterful mythmakers.

This 1958 bestseller was translated into dozens of languages and quickly made into a movie for the 1960 Christmas season starring Paul Newman and featuring Peter Lawford, brother-in-law of the just-elected President John F. Kennedy. See: “Time for an American Intifada?”

The myth of a loyal ally

Phil Tourney survived the 8 June 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that left 34 Americans dead and 175 wounded. The region-wide dynamics accompanying that provocative Six-Day land grab guaranteed the conflicts that remain so perilous to US national security.

It was during this Israeli operation that Tourney gave a one-fingered salute to armed Israeli troops as they hovered in helicopters over the USS Liberty while preparing to rappel to the deck and, he surmises, kill the survivors and sink the ship.

Just then the captain aboard a nearby US carrier scrambled jets to assist a vessel under attack by an “ally”. When Israeli intelligence intercepted the transmission, the helicopters fled only to have President Lyndon Johnson and Defence Secretary Robert McNamara recall our fighters.

Soon thereafter, Israeli torpedo boats pulled alongside the USS Liberty to inquire if those aboard needed assistance. Those same boats had just blown a hole in the hull, killing 25 Americans. Israeli machine-gunners had then strafed stretcher-bearers, firemen, life rafts and even the fire hoses – all clear war crimes. Only then did his ally display the chutzpah to ask if our servicemen required assistance.

Had that notorious land grab failed to advance the narrative of Israel as the victim, what might be the condition of US national security today? Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently conceded the duplicity that continues to typify this “special relationship”.

As he confessed: "Our policy on Jerusalem is the same policy followed by all Israeli governments for 42 years, and it has not changed. As far as we are concerned, building in Jerusalem is the same as building in Tel Aviv."

In other words, the 1967 war was neither defensive nor preemptive but an outright taking of land that, one year later, Tel Aviv acknowledged as precisely what concerned the Pentagon 62 years ago.

In effect, Netanyahu confirmed that this relationship reflects multi-decade premeditation. The US has since discredited itself by protecting this “ally” from the rule of law for its taking and brutal occupation of land that rightly belongs to others.

Even now, few know that Mathilde Krim, a former Irgun operative, was “servicing” our commander-in-chief in the White House the night the 1967 war began. Her husband, Arthur, then chaired the finance committee for the Democratic National Committee.

Even now, few Americans know the role in that cover-up played by Admiral John McCain, Jr. Or the role still played in this sordid history by his son, Republican Senator John McCain III. See “McCain Family Secret: The Cover-up”.

Are those who champion this “state” the same belief-makers responsible for the myth of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? Iraqi meetings in Prague? Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories? High-level Iraqi contacts with Al Qaeda? Iraqi yellowcake uranium from Niger?

Was any of that intelligence legitimate? Whose interests were served by deceiving the US to wage war in the Middle East? By the Suez Crisis? By the Six-Day War? By covering up the attack on the USS Liberty?

Adhering to an enemy?

How are US interests served by treating Israel as a legitimate state? When was Israeli behaviour anything other than duplicitous? At what point do we concede the common source of the storylines foisted on an imperilled global public?

"How are US interests served by treating Israel as a legitimate state? When was Israeli behaviour anything other than duplicitous? At what point do we concede the common source of the storylines foisted on an imperilled global public?"

Who created the narrative that saw us segue seamlessly from a global Cold War to a global War on Terror? Remember the promise of a post-Cold War “peace dividend”? Who induced the US to wage a war whose costs could total 3 trillion dollars, including 700 billion dollars in interest?

Why is debt always the prize? At the end of World War II, the US was home to 50 per cent of the world’s productive power. Were we induced to hollow out our economy by the same consensus-shapers that induced us to wage war in the Middle East?

Do these devastating dynamics trace to a common source?

Who benefits from the “Islamo” fascist narrative? Whose storyline – really – is The Clash of Civilizations? Who has long spied on the US and routinely transferred to other nations our most sensitive defence technologies?

Who had the means, motive, opportunity and, importantly, the stable national state intelligence required to perpetrate such a debilitating fraud from inside the US government? And from inside other governments that joined the “coalition of the willing”?

If not Israel and its supporters – who? In effect, are those now advocating an “unbreakable bond” with Israel giving aid and comfort to an enemy within?

Israel is right to worry. It was never legitimate. As both an enabler and a target of this fraud, the US has an obligation to concede its source – and to secure the weapons of mass destruction now under the control of this enclave.

Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders. His latest book is Guilt By Association – How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War (2008), his first release in the Criminal State series. His previous books include Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street, and The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century. For two decades, an adviser to policy-makers worldwide.

Israel’s choice of lawlessness and defiance

By William A. Cook

William A. Cook considers what might have been had the Jews decided to work within international law, rather than defy it and seize most of Palestine by force and through ethnic cleansing, and live side by side with the Palestinians  the indigenous inhabitants of the Palestine.

Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine…

His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated … the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the [Balfour] Declaration referred to, do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a home should be founded in Palestine… His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State. (Command Paper 1922, from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, 1996–2000).

The above statement was approved by the Council of the League of Nations, thus establishing the legal charge for the British Mandate government. Together with the Sir Richard C. Catling papers, held in a Top Secret file in the Rhodes House Archives at Oxford University, to be released later this spring from Macmillan in the “Introduction of the plight of the Palestinians”, this declaration recorded by the Avalon Project graphically demonstrates how the Zionist-controlled forces within the Jewish community defied the legally established authorities in Palestine. This defiance continues to the present day.

Today’s “spat” between friends, as reflected in the hassle between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, forces reconsideration of America’s support of the defiant Israeli government, not because the halting of the settlements is the crucial issue but because America’s president has lost face, America’s reputation around the world has plummeted and the dangerous position our military face as a result of Israel’s belligerence threatens the United States’ security, as head of the US Central Command General David Petraeus testified before Congress in March this year.

"Because Israel controls our Congress, the president is essentially powerless to confront the forces that manoeuvre behind the scenes to thwart any US government, Republican or Democrat, from moving towards a just and balanced resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

It is becoming manifestly clear to everyone that the United States cannot be the broker for peace in the Middle East, but it can be a participant or consultant to an appropriately designed United Nations policy committee created to complete the “partition plan” established in Resolution 181 in November 1947. Because Israel controls our Congress, the president is essentially powerless to confront the forces that manoeuvre behind the scenes to thwart any US government, Republican or Democrat, from moving towards a just and balanced resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. That means the president must move to hand back to the UN the responsibility to right the wrong done to the Palestinian people, putting before the world communities their organization as the means to achieve this end. Israel would have to accept rule by law or continue its defiance and isolate itself not only in the Middle East, but in the world of nations.

If justice becomes the beacon that guides the UN toward peace, it would have to begin at Resolution 181, the partition of Palestine. Assumptions were made at that point, assumptions that had both positive and negative effects. A moral determination was made that the Jews deserved a homeland as a consequence of the horrific slaughter that had decimated their people. The world accepted a moral responsibility to right that atrocity; in so doing, they assumed, perhaps unwittingly, that they could grant to the Jews a portion of another people’s land. That assumption, however, was not shared by the natives of that area. Yet the reality remains that the division and its assumptions became the basis for the existence of an Israeli and a Palestinian state.

Justice demands that Israel and the United Nations address the enormous inequities that exist in Palestine. There is no justice if the division of the land remains 86 per cent to 14 per cent when both populations are of approximately equal size, especially if the right of return is acted upon according to international law. There is no justice if Israel remains the controlling power over a faux state that cannot manage its own affairs and control its own destiny. There is no justice if Israel does not compensate those from whom it has stolen land and return to Palestine the natural resources it has commandeered. There is no justice if a reconfiguration of the land is not achieved so that both peoples can move freely from one sector of their country to another. There is no justice if the separation wall continues to imprison the Palestinians with its constant reminder that Israelis defied international law to impose their own and made visible the unacceptable attitude that one people has a right to psychologically and physically isolate others from communication with their neighbours or the world, a collective punishment that denies the very humanity of the people. There is no justice if the status quo remains the day-to-day reality of the Palestinians, because that way is a slow, torturous route to sickness, psychological torture, deprivation, starvation and death; it is the Israeli government’s heinous action of a slow genocide acted out on the world stage as the European Union, the Asian nations and America look on indifferently.

There is no justice if the United States blocks the UN Security Council from enforcing the means to bring about justice in Palestine, an action that may require the UN to stand against the United States or lose its credibility as an international body that protects the weak as well as the strong. And, conversely, there is no justice if the Palestinians do not accept the people of Israel to live in peace and security, in separate states or in one, so that all may thrive and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Four score and eight years ago, a not unusual span of life for a man or woman, the British government, His Majesty’s Government, “viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a home for the Jewish people”, declaring, as the Avalon Project notes, that the whole of Palestine would not be turned into a Jewish state. Yet, a handful of Zionist Ashkenazi Jews from Europe took control of the growing Jewish immigrant community through the 1930s and 1940s, (recorded in morbid and frightening detail by Ilan Pappe in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006), and clandestinely worked against the British Mandate government in their own “war of terror” to undermine the British king’s intent that supported the existence of a “home” for the Jews, not the creation of a Jewish nation on the land of the Palestinians. Today the United States, having devoted its wealth in the billions of dollars and its military personnel to this country, supporting in the process a deception of enormous magnitude with tragic consequences for the Palestinian people and the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, finds itself, as its generals now attest, suffering the consequences of that deceit as its actions in the Middle East, executed on behalf of Israel, become the seeds of violence that can destroy the country.

How unfortunate that the sympathy of Europeans and Americans for the plight of the Jews at the end of World War II, indeed of the community of nations that compose the United Nations when they offered them a home in Palestine through Resolution 181, should have been turned by deceit and propaganda into an apartheid state that has ruthlessly subjugated the indigenous population as they appropriated their land and imprisoned them behind concrete walls and electrified chain-link fences making impossible a normal life. How unfortunate that Americans have devoted so much of their wealth to a nation that had no intention of complying with the British government in 1940 or the United Nations Partition Plan to provide for both peoples, but rather to claim that they were the victims of those who wanted to destroy them and drive them into the sea. How unfortunate for the indigenous people that they were driven into the sea as the armies in the tens of thousands of Jews swarmed down upon their villages and wiped them off the map. How unfortunate that United States congressmen and women have become the pawns of a power that threatens their political will if they disobey the dictates of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) regardless of the consequences to American soldiers and American security.

Consider what might have been. What if the immigrant Jews had arrived in Palestine and the British-created Jewish Agency had cooperated with the Mandate police rather than clandestinely worked against it, to fashion a “home” for the Jews living side by side with the Palestinians who owned all but 6 per cent of the Mandate land governed by Britain. Consider how things might now be with a Jewish population unencumbered with the fanatical sects from Russia that drive the apartheid demands that corrode the very core of Judaism with their sick understanding of their historical right to a land because they are God’s chosen and the goyim [gentiles] are subhuman. Consider the richness of that land in mind and soul had these people worked together to fashion a state that would be a doorway for the west to the east and not the source of vengeance and violence that it has become. What if rule by law had prevailed and not rule by defiance.

William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His works include Psalms for the 21st Century, Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy, The Rape of Palestine, The Chronicles of Nefaria, a novella, and coming in June from Macmillan, The Plight of the Palestinians. Articles by Cook appear in Counterpunch, the Palestine Chronicle, MWC News, Pacific Free Press, Atlantic Free Press, Dissident Voice and Countercurrents among others. He can be reached at and

Reversing Israel's faux legitimacy

By Paul J. Balles

Paul J. Balles considers Israel’s false claim to legitimacy, how it can be undone and the probable counter-response from Israel and its Zionist allies and lobbyists around the world.

We all know what illegitimate children have been called. That noun, however, has not been applied to illegitimate countries, especially if the foetus grew out of a media that ignores the illegitimate conception.

There are illegitimate governments. A few years ago, a blogger who didn't use his own name asked the question: "How do we view illegitimate governments that do not have the consent of the governed?"

His answer: “Well it depends. When they serve our purposes, we are quick to recognize them and open diplomatic relations, even when the changeover in power is by military coup."

We Americans tried to bastardize Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. On the other hand, we supported General Pervez Musharraf's overthrow of the government in Pakistan. Military coups actually do a job of delegitimizing the government in power.

Israel’s false legitimacy

The difficult term delegitimize, which seems to be the best way to describe the event, has been defined an act or process whose effect is "To revoke the legal or legitimate status of a government."

Webster’s dictionary says it means "to diminish or destroy the legitimacy, prestige or authority” of a government.

"Strangely ironic, the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as illegitimate under the occupation is coming around to the realization, by increasing numbers, that the illegitimate party is Israel."

Oscar Arias Sanchez defined it as "To revoke the legal or legitimate status of: ‘Out of poverty sprout social instability and desperation, which delegitimize governments that declare themselves democratic’."

The example is particularly relevant to Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. The Palestinians have been kept in poverty, even in Israel where the pretence that they are part of a democratic society is a ruse.

Strangely ironic, the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as illegitimate under the occupation is coming around to the realization, by increasing numbers, that the illegitimate party is Israel.

Delegitimizing Israel

What will be done to delegitimize Israel?

“The campaign, involving boycotts, protests and calls for divestment…” said the Israeli Reut Institute. The institute predicted where and who would be involved.

In a summary of their report, the Reut Institute said the international effort -- dominated by left-wing activists and non-governmental organizations in London, Toronto, Brussels, Madrid and the San Francisco-Oakland area -- seeks to "turn Israel into a pariah state by undermining its moral legitimacy and ultimately aspiring towards eliminating the 'Zionist entity’…"

Several novel events, apart from the campaigns to delegitimize Israel, have taken place recently, forcing media attention. Two top military men – United States Central Command (CENTCOM) head General David Petraeus and US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen have both questioned Israel's usefulness to the United States.

In the past, the Zionist-controlled US media was able to ignore critical statements about Israel by retired generals and admirals. However, both Petraeus and Mullen are frontline commanders. When they say that the American relationship with Israel harms American interests, the media has to listen and report it.

Second, leading figures in the US administration -- the president, vice-president and secretary of state finally stood up briefly to Israel when Israel flouted settlement expansion in American faces. The settlements have been considered the most illegitimate activity of the Israeli government. The media couldn’t avoid reporting Israel's insulting behaviour.

Third, while the American public has resisted calls for war with Iran, the Israeli hawks and American Zionists have continued their propaganda campaigns for pre-emptive bombing. The public has grown tired of the Israeli self-serving propaganda that could drag America, with the consent of a Zionist-controlled Congress, into another Middle East war.

"In the past, the Zionist-controlled US media was able to ignore critical statements about Israel by retired generals and admirals. However, both Petraeus and Mullen are frontline commanders. When they say that the American relationship with Israel harms American interests, the media has to listen and report it."

Last, a number of respected leaders and scholars have spoken out against Israel's misadventures. Former President Jimmy Carter has persuaded a number of Americans that Israel is an apartheid state, whether he intended that result or not.

In addition to Carter, two leading scholars, political science Professor John Mearshimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University, have decried the Israeli lobby (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- AIPAC) and US foreign policy. The Goldstone report, by a South African Jewish judge, on the responsibility of Israel for the carnage in Gaza has, as Richard Falk noted, "…challenged the UN to impose accountability on the Israeli political and military leadership for their alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity".

Thus the ground for delegitimization is fertile. What can be done?

Richard Falk has observed that this can be done "by boycotting cultural and academic activities, by disrupting trade relations through divestment moves or through refusals to load and unload ships and planes carrying cargo to or from Israel, and by pressuring governments to impose economic sanctions".

Zionist counter campaign

Meanwhile, the Reut report in Israel is preparing the Israelis for a counter campaign, something that Zionist organizations in both Israel and America have mastered. They start with a warning that implies the old anti-Semitism label.

Their report says these "Hubs of delegitimization … are places that combine an internal dynamic of strong fundamental anti-Israeli activity that stretches far beyond legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, with a strong global impact…"

The reasoning for the choices of venues for the “hubs”? The institute says: "These hubs are usually global metropolises that concentrate international media, leading judicial institutions, major academic centres, international NGOs and human rights organizations."

What will the Zionists do to counter the delegitimization efforts? Remember, they are the greatest distorters of truth ever to subjugate the world's media.

They will create comparisons designed to mislead: Reut said there is a "coalescence" between "two parallel processes" -- the so-called delegitimization forces, such as NGOs and leftist organizations, and the militant Islamist efforts led by groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Since they have already portrayed Hamas and Hezbollah as scoundrels and terrorists, this ploy will transfer those negative images to the organizations involved in delegitimization efforts.

They have already recommended that Mossad, Israel's spy agency, become involved. The Reut think tank recommends that Mossad "intelligence agents should, in addition to passing on information to decision-makers on crucial issues like global terrorism and the Iranian nuclear programme, also pay closer attention to perceived attacks on Israel's legitimacy".

What will Zionists do to try to defeat the efforts to delegitimize Israel? As usual, they will ignore or deny any criticism of Israel. They will repeat every slogan or line that has ever conjured up sympathy for Israel.

They will advise Israeli spokespersons on what to say against any of the measures questioning the legitimacy of Israel. They have been at this for decades. The spokespersons will advise political commentators and members of Congress so they all take the same lines.

Israeli spokespeople will dismiss the assumption that Israel is like South Africa as inherently anti-Jewish and racist. They will claim it assumes that the Jewish people have no right to self-determination.

Zionists will insist that initiatives that single out Israel assume that the entire fault for the conflict is on one side, and ignores terrorism. They will argue that those who sponsor these initiatives admit that their goal is the destruction of Israel. Israel supporters repeatedly argue that no other state is singled out for this treatment despite flagrant violations of human rights in China, Sudan, Iran, Libya and elsewhere.

They will condemn those who subscribe to delegitimizing activities, using ad hominem attacks instead of arguments against the issues. Zionists will accuse critics of ant-Semitism or of being self-hating Jews if the critics are Jewish.

The best result of delegitimizing Israel will be the attention that the media will be forced to pay to it. They will be hard pressed to give coverage to Israel's critics and to avoid the one-sided defences of Israeli misdeeds and illegitimacy.

Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. For more information, see

Israel: total boycott against total occupation

By Antoine Raffoul

Antoine Raffoul argues that as the Israeli occupation is total and is sustained with the help of almost every institution and enterprise in the country, so must the boycott of Israel be all-encompassing and uncompromising.

In an opinion submitted to the Electronic Intifada website on 4 March 2010 entitled “Moment of truth”, Rifat Kassis rightly asks: what does “boycott” mean, how far does it go, and what does it call for?

Mao of shrinking Palestine 1947-2005
"With each set of talks, Palestine seems to be shrinking and it people squeezed within dozens of Bantustans"

We, at 1948: Lest We Forget, wish to respond to any call for a selective boycott of Israel, and to defy those voices which warn us Palestinians (and many international activists, for that matter) who criticize Israel for fear of being labelled “anti-Semites” (although we are Semites). We also wish to challenge politicians who call for yet another round of talks (proximity or otherwise) on the Palestine-Israel question as we lost count of how many of these talks we have had in the last 62 years. All to no avail. In fact, with each set of talks, Palestine seems to be shrinking and it people squeezed within dozens of Bantustans.

A boycott cannot be selective anymore. As Mr Kassis wrote: "The occupation is not a random onslaught of power, and it isn't conducted on some remote soil: it is a complete matrix of control, a strategic, consistent, deliberate, historically constructed, externally condoned..." and, lest we forget, perpetrated on Palestinian land.

The point being missed by many calling for a selective boycott is that the decisions being made inside Israel, inside the occupied Palestinian territories and throughout historic Palestine, are made by the Zionist leadership (and its collaborators), whose aim is the total annexation, occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian territories, not just post-UN resolution 181, not just post-Armistice lines of 1949, not just post-1967 conquests, but throughout historic Palestine. The recent tug-of-war of words between the US administration and Israel over the settlements question proves that this most right wing of Israeli administrations under Binyamin Netanyahu is adamant in its drive to build more settlements throughout annexed East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.

The last 62 years of illegal Zionist occupation cannot be swept aside by simply agreeing to a temporary status quo pending final status agreements. These painful 62 years cannot be parcelled into some kind of colonial areas called A, B, C, Gaza or Jerusalem. They cannot be relegated to the dustbin of history by a ceasefire, a checkpoint or an Apartheid Wall. As the occupation is total and illegal, so must the boycott also be total and considered legal.

We should not just boycott the olive oil produced in the West Bank because it is produced in an illegal settlement on the West Bank, but must also boycott all products produced in all illegal settlements. We should not just boycott an academic institution involved in state-financed military projects, but must also boycott others involved in state-financed cultural, scientific and academic activities. We should not just boycott an Israeli sports teams playing internationally under the Israeli banner, but must also boycott an Israeli dance or theatre company sent abroad to whitewash the fascist image of a cruel fascist state. We should not only boycott Caterpillar for demolishing homes and uprooting Palestinian olive groves, but must also boycott other contracting companies which supply the sand and cement that build the Apartheid Wall.

"We challenge those who call for a mild and selective boycott to identify any Israeli institution, whether large or small, which is not part of this matrix of control that suffocates our Palestinian nation."

We challenge those who call for a mild and selective boycott to identify any Israeli institution, whether large or small, which is not part of this matrix of control that suffocates our Palestinian nation.

As this occupation is total and merciless, so must our universal approach to fighting it and ending it be. As Israel's cruel occupation covers all of historic Palestine, so must our call be for the reversal of the processes which led to that occupation and replacing them with the instruments of democracy and justice to include all of historic Palestine. A Palestine for all its people: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Copts, atheists, and non-conformists.

In order to achieve this goal, we need a total boycott of the Zionist state. In order to achieve this aim, we need to identify that state. In order to identify that state, we need to untangle the politics of intrigue which produced UN resolution 181 that paved the way for the creation of that state. In order to untangle the tangled politics of that resolution, we need to sit down, dust-off and read the official archives that go back to the 1917 Balfour Declaration. We need to dig deep into the dark politics and personalities that gave the nation of one people to the people of many nations. And to do this against the will of the over one million indigenous Palestinians simply adds insult to injury.

We have come full circle now and so our boycott must be a full boycott.

Therefore, let us not read the pages of only one chapter of this saga and leave others unturned simply because it is easy to “let bygones be bygones”. Israel has never compromised on its aims, its goals or its determined aggression against the Palestinian people. It has never compromised its defiance of international law. It has never compromised its arrogance towards its most powerful ally, the United States.

Why should we compromise the boycott battle. The initial cure to all this is a total boycott.

Total boycott against a total occupation. Nothing less will do.

Antoine Raffoul is a Palestinian architect living and practising in London. He was born in Nazareth and was expelled with his family from Haifa in April 1948. He is the Founder and Coordinator of 1948: Lest.We.Forget. a campaign group for truth about Palestine. He can be reached at

Palestinians are winning the legitimacy war: will it matter?

By Richard Falk

Richard Falk argues that a Palestinian victory in the legitimacy war with Israel would not necessarily produce the desired political results and that it is vital that the Palestinians exercise "patience, resolve, leadership and vision, as well as sufficient pressure" if they are to win their just rights.

Ever since the Balfour Declaration in 1917 gave the formal approval of the British government to the establishment of “a Jewish homeland”, profound issues of legitimacy were present in the conflict recently known as the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This original colonialist endorsement of the Zionist project has produced a steady erosion of the position of the Palestinian people on historic Palestine, which dramatically worsened over the course of the past 43 years of occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. It has worsened due to an oppressive military occupation by Israel that involves fundamental denials of rights and pervasive violations of international humanitarian law, and because Israel has been allowed to establish “facts on the ground”, which are more properly viewed as violations of Palestinian rights, especially the establishment of extensive settlements and a separation wall constructed on occupied Palestinian territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These developments have been flagrantly unlawful, and made the whole treatment of the Palestinian people illegitimate, as well as the occasion of continuous intense and pervasive suffering.

For decades, Palestinian political forces have exercised their right of resistance in various ways, including the extraordinary non-violent Intifada of 1987, but also engaging in armed resistance in defence of their territory. The Palestinians definitely enjoy a right of resistance, although subject to the limits of international humanitarian law, which rules out deliberate targeting of civilians and non-military targets. Such tactics of resistance challenge Israel at its point of maximum comparative advantage due both to its total military dominance, achieved in part by large subsidies from the United States, and to its ruthless disregard for civilian innocence.

In recent years, especially beginning with the brutal experience of the Lebanon war of 2006 and even more dramatically in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008-09 (27 December 2008-18 January 2009), there has been a notable change of emphasis in Palestinian strategy. The new strategy has been to initiate what might be described as a second war, “a legitimacy war” that is essentially based on the reliance on a variety of non-violent tactics of resistance. Armed resistance has not been renounced by the Palestinians, but it has been displaced by this emphasis on non-violent tactics.

"The essence of this legitimacy war is to cast doubt on several dimensions of Israeli legitimacy: its status as a moral and law abiding actor, as an occupying power in relation to the Palestinian people, and with respect to its willingness to respect the United Nations and abide by international law."

The essence of this legitimacy war is to cast doubt on several dimensions of Israeli legitimacy: its status as a moral and law abiding actor, as an occupying power in relation to the Palestinian people, and with respect to its willingness to respect the United Nations and abide by international law. Those that wage such a legitimacy war seek to seize the high moral ground in relation to the underlying conflict, and on this basis, gain support for a variety of coercive, but non-violent initiatives designed to put pressure on Israel, on governments throughout the world and on the United Nations to deny normal participatory rights to Israel as a member of international society.

These tactics also aim to mobilize global civil society to exhibit solidarity with the Palestinian struggle to achieve legitimate rights, taking the principal form of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) that operates throughout the entire world, which serves as a symbolic battlefield.

But there are other forms of action as well, including the Free Gaza Movement and Viva Palestina that aim specifically at symbolically breaking the blockade of food, medecine and fuel imposed in mid-2007, a form of collective punishment that has caused great suffering for the entire 1.5 million population of the Gaza Strip, damaging the physical and mental health of all those living under occupation.

Although the UN has been a failure so far as offering protection (beyond its essential role in providing humanitarian relief in Gaza) to the Palestinians under occupations or even in relation to the implementation of Palestinian rights under international law, it is a vital site of struggle in the legitimacy war. The whole storm unleashed by the Goldstone report involves challenging the UN to impose accountability on the Israeli political and military leadership for their alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity associated with the Gaza attacks at the end of 2008. Even if the United States shields Israelis from accountability pursuant to the procedures of the UN, including the International Criminal Court, the confirmation by the Goldstone report of allegations of criminality is a major victory for the Palestinians in the legitimacy war, and lends credibility to calls for non-violent initiatives throughout the world.

The Goldstone Report also endorses “universal jurisdiction” as a means to gain accountability, encouraging national criminal courts of any country to make use of their legal authority to hold Israeli political and military leaders criminally responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Tzipi Livni
, the current Kadima opposition leader in Israel, who had been foreign minister during the Gaza attacks, cancelled a visit to Britain after she received word that a warrant for her arrest upon arrival had been issued. Even if Israeli impunity is not overcome, the authoritativeness of the Goldstone report lends weight to calls around the world to disrupt normal relations with Israel by boycotting cultural and academic activities, by disrupting trade relations through divestment moves or through refusals to load and unload ships and planes carrying cargo to or from Israel, and by pressuring governments to impose economic sanctions.

The historic inspiration for this legitimacy war is the anti-apartheid campaign waged with such success against the racist regime in South Africa. Undoubtedly, the Palestinian political motivation to focus their energies on waging a legitimacy war came from a variety of sources: disillusionment with efforts by the UN and the United States to find a just solution for the conflict; realization that armed resistance could not produce a Palestinian victory and played into the hands of Israeli diversionary tactics by making “terrorism” the issue; recognizing that the events in Lebanon and Gaza generated throughout the world widespread anger against Israel and sympathy for the Palestinians, which is gradually weakening earlier European and North American deference to Israel due to Jewish victimization in the Holocaust; and a growing sense that the worldwide Palestinian diaspora communities and their allies could be enlisted to join in the struggle if its essential nature was that of a legitimacy war.

"For Israel a legitimacy war is a public relations issue pure and simple, a matter of discrediting the adversary and proclaiming national innocence and virtue. Despite its huge advantage in resources devoted to this campaign, Israel is definitely losing the legitimacy war."

Israeli official and unofficial support groups have recently recognized the threat posed to their expansionist settler colonial grand strategy by this recourse by Palestinians to a legitimacy war. Israeli think tanks have described “the global justice movement” associated with these tactics as a greater threat to Israel than Palestinian violence, and have even castigated reliance on international law as a dangerous form of “lawfare”. The Israeli government and Zionist organizations around the world have joined in the battle through a massive investment in public relations activities that include propaganda efforts to discredit what is sometimes called “the Durban approach”. As with other Israeli tactics, in their defensive approach to the legitimacy war, there is an absence of self-criticism involving an assessment of Palestinian substantive claims under international law. For Israel a legitimacy war is a public relations issue pure and simple, a matter of discrediting the adversary and proclaiming national innocence and virtue. Despite its huge advantage in resources devoted to this campaign, Israel is definitely losing the legitimacy war.

Even if the Palestinians win the legitimacy war there is no guarantee that this victory will produce the desired political results. It requires Palestinian patience, resolve, leadership and vision, as well as sufficient pressure to force a change of heart in Israel, and probably in Washington as well. In this instance, it would seem to require an Israeli willingness to abandon the core Zionist project to establish a Jewish state, and that does not appear likely from the vantage point of the present. But always the goals of a legitimacy war appear to be beyond reach until mysteriously attained by the abrupt and totally unexpected surrender by the losing side.

Until it collapses the losing side pretends to be unmovable and invincible, a claim that is usually reinforced by police and military dominance. This is what happened in the Soviet Union and South Africa, earlier to French colonial rule in Indochina and Algeria, and to the United States in Vietnam.

It is up to all of us dedicated to peace and justice to do all we can to help the Palestinians prevail in the legitimacy war and bring their long ordeal to an end.

Prof. Richard Falk’s Statements on Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Wikipedia)

In a June 2007 article, "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust", Falk compared some Israeli policies with regard to the Palestinians to the Nazi Germany record of collective punishment. Identifying himself as a Jewish American, Falk stated that his use of the term "holocaust" "represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current [Israeli] genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy [for the Palestinians]".

Falk also stated that "the comparison should not be viewed as literal, but … that a pattern of criminality associated with Israeli policies in Gaza has actually been supported by the leading democracies of the 21st century".

Falk responded to criticism by saying: "If this kind of situation had existed for instance in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison." He attributed the reluctance to criticize Israel's policies to the sensitive history of the Jewish people, as well as the state's ability to "avoid having [its] policies held up to international law and morality”.

Richard Falk is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and author of Crimes of War: Iraq and The Costs of War: International Law, the UN and World Order after Iraq”. He is also current UN Rapporteur for Palestine.





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