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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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”.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
devastating dynamics trace to a common source?
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
What will be done to delegitimize Israel?
involving boycotts, protests and calls for divestment…” said the
Israeli Reut Institute. The institute predicted where and who would
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Since they have already portrayed Hamas and
Hezbollah as scoundrels and terrorists, this ploy will transfer
those negative images to the organizations involved in
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".
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.
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
total boycott against total occupation
By 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
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?
"With each set of talks, Palestine seems to be
shrinking and it people squeezed within dozens of
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
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
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
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
Why should we compromise the boycott battle.
The initial cure to all this is a total boycott.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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