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Mr. Halper, Please Respond to the Facts

In response to Rabbi Eliyahu Stern’s blog post criticizing former President Jimmy Carter’s new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” “God’s Politics” guest blogger Jeff Halper, an Israeli peace activist, defended Carter’s perspective on Israeli policies toward Palestinians and his use of the term “apartheid.”

Virtual Talmud’s Rabbis Rabbi Joshua Waxman and Rabbi Susan Grossman
answered Halper. Now Rabbi Stern replies to Halper:

Mr. Halper: Enough with the lies and rhetoric.

Will you and your ilk once and for all respond to facts? Before you begin another rant, do your readers a favor: Just answer the questions raised in Alan Dershowitz’s review. Since it seems you have not read the review, I will include it below. So before you answer me or Rabbi Waxman’s and Rabbi Grossman’s excellent responses to your post, please just try–I know it might be hard, it actaully was so hard that Jimmy Carter himself has been unable to do it–but try to read and respond to the following:

“Mr. Carter emphasizes that ‘Christian and Muslim Arabs had continued to live in this same land since Roman times,’ but he ignores the fact that Jews have lived in Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem, and other cities for even longer. Nor does he discuss the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.

“Mr. Carter repeatedly claims that the Palestinian Arabs have long supported a two-state solution and the Israelis have always opposed it. Yet he makes no mention of the fact that in 1938 the Peel Commission proposed a two-state solution, with Israel receiving a mere sliver of its ancient homeland and the Palestinians receiving the bulk of the land. The Jews accepted and the Palestinians rejected this proposal because Arab leaders cared more about there being no Jewish state on Muslim holy land than about having a Palestinian state of their own.

“He barely mentions Israel’s acceptance, and the Palestinian rejection, of the United Nation’s division of the mandate in 1948.

“He claims that in 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack against Jordan. The fact is that Jordan attacked Israel first, Israel tried desperately to persuade Jordan to remain out of the war, and Israel counterattacked after the Jordanian army surrounded Jerusalem, firing missiles into the center of the city. Only then did Israel capture the West Bank, which it was willing to return in exchange for peace and recognition from Jordan.

“Mr. Carter repeatedly mentions Security Council Resolution 242, which called for return of captured territories in exchange for peace, recognition, and secure boundaries, but he ignores that Israel accepted and all the Arab nations and the Palestinians rejected this resolution. The Arabs met in Khartum and issued their three famous ‘no’s': ‘No peace, no recognition, no negotiation.’ But you wouldn’t know that from reading the history according to Mr. Carter.
Mr. Carter faults Israel for its ‘air strike that destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor’ without mentioning that Iraq had threatened to attack Israel with nuclear weapons if Iraq succeeded in building a bomb.

“Mr. Carter faults Israel for its administration of Christian and Muslim religious sites, when in fact Israel is scrupulous about ensuring those of every religion the right to worship as they please—consistent, of course, with security needs. He fails to mention that between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Hashemites destroyed and desecrated Jewish religious sites and prevented Jews from praying at the Western Wall. He also never mentions Egypt‘s brutal occupation of Gaza between 1949 and 1967.

“Mr. Carter blames Israel, and exonerates Arafat, for the Palestinian refusal to accept statehood on 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza pursuant to the Clinton-Barak offers at Camp David and Taba in 2000–2001. He accepts the Palestinian revisionist history, rejects the eyewitness accounts of President Clinton and Dennis Ross, and ignores Saudi Prince Bandar’s accusation that Arafat’s rejection of the proposal was “a crime” and that Arafat’s account ‘was not truthful’ —except, apparently, to Mr. Carter. The fact that Mr. Carter chooses to believe Arafat over Mr. Clinton speaks volumes.”



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Gary Schrag

posted December 22, 2006 at 5:21 pm


Those who are so upset with Pres. Carter would do well to re-read Jewish History, especially the Prophets such as Jeremiah. Gary



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Martia Willaford

posted December 22, 2006 at 6:51 pm


What the Prophet Jeremiah is good enough for me!! wHAT HAS HAPPENED TO EVERYONE. dO THEY NOT REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEFORE THE STATE OF ISREAL WAS? DESALATE AND BARREN!!! TODAY BEAUTIFUL FRUITFUL AND BOUNTIFUL WITH THE RICHES OF OLIVES AND FRUIT TREES. WITH INPORT AND EXPORT LIKE NEVER BEFORE. FROM ONE LONE AMERICAN I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR BEING STRONG- THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP IN DESTOYING THE ENEMY–MAY GOD BLESS YOU IN YOUR GOING OUT AND YOUR COMING IN! PRAISE BE TO THE GOD OF ISREAL !!!!!



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Amos

posted December 22, 2006 at 9:42 pm


Elli, It’s amusing to see haters like Jeff Halper defend the use of the term apartheid simply by repeating it and making up more lies about Israel. See for example this bit of logic in his post: “Carter’s use of the term is useful because it names the thing: apartheid is the only term that gets at the systemic qualities of the regime of domination Israel is establishing. Its not just a policy or a response to terrorism or occupation – it is a full-blown, thought-out, intentional system of control and domination. Indeed, Israel itself calls its policy hafrada, separation, apartheid.” Great Halper, you’ve defined apartheid and asserted that it is practiced in Israel. But where’s the evidence? What a pathetic argument. This guy obviously doesn’t know the first thing about Israel or the Palestinian territories. By his logic, the creation of a Palestinian state is itself equivalent to apartheid – not to mention the evacuation of the settlers from Gaza.



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lee peter

posted December 22, 2006 at 10:21 pm


All these sick people should have their heads examined. Apartheid is premised upon racial supremacy; what supremacy is Israel practising? Now, the palestinians has part of the West Bank, and what r they doing with it? Shooting rockets on innocent civilians; killing people and destroying properties. carter and his gang of madman simply chose to be indifferent to the truth. i applaud Israel for standing up to these bunch of terrorists. May Israel prosper. God bless Israel. sincerly, peter lee of Singapore.



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drmiltown

posted December 22, 2006 at 11:07 pm


Jimmy Carter is the epitome of the blue collar southern gentleman. He has of course risen above his family of origin, but he bears the halmarks that are very often worn quite unconciously in that culture. Among those are; a manly Southern humility, gracious hospitality, and a seething antisemitism. It would be my guess that he doesn’t even recognize that in himself. Too bad. When I lived in the South, I hit every one of those guys in the jaw the moment they said “Sheenie”. They were shocked that I even drew umbridge from their remark. I did several stays in the hospital, but it didn’t slow my response. I’d like to meet Jimmy…Even though I am so old now that I find it taxing to type. Happy Channukka! I hope this one works out as well as the first. doc



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Iris Zaft

posted December 23, 2006 at 1:33 am


I’m afraid he was one of the worse Presidents. He let everybody down.Enough about him already.



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Burt

posted December 23, 2006 at 4:34 am


YOU ALL CERTAINLY “HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD !!!!! BK



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Paul

posted December 23, 2006 at 7:11 pm


Jimmy was a failer as presedent. Lied then. Lies now. Wolf in sheeps clothing. Wool wearing thin.



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Michael

posted December 23, 2006 at 8:48 pm


Beware..Jimmy Carter and his ilk will side with Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. It will be just a matter of time before we will need to fight (yet again) for our existance!



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Barry sweetman

posted December 23, 2006 at 11:06 pm


Former President Carter epitomizes the radical, left wing anti semites who are ascending to the leadership of Democratic party…Beware the campus radicals who ally with Carter his il.



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basima farhat

posted December 24, 2006 at 1:45 pm


The good rabbi seems to have left out some essential details in his attack on Jeff Halper and the former President of the United States of America. The fact that his understanding of the longevity of the historical Jews of the region stopped at the bible. That the Jews according to world renowned historian Karen Armstrong “emerged peacefully from Caanite society” and the most recent Israeli archeological studies substantiate that fact seems to have by-passed the good Rabbi. He also speaks of the incredible restraint that Israel has used in its constant battle for peace and illusive security, and forgets to site his sources on the Iraqi threats of nuclear retaliation all the while sitting on the “nuclear ambiguity” stance that has worked for Israel to the tune of Israel nuclear prowess of 3rd unofficial world power on planet earth. Blinding even to this day that leaking nuclear nightmare of Dimona. Forgetting the “lack”of Israeli signatures on Non-Proliferation agreements in a world demanding at least that. The good Rabbi also seems to have lost his calulator when he sites the 95% illusionary land offered so generously to the Palestinians which according to the worlds abbacus worked out to be 17% of the original lands stolen by Israel from Palestinians. He, the good Rabbi seems to have forgotten the Swiss Accords and that while screaming at the top of Israeli lung capacity that Palestinians have always refused to negotiate in peace talks not even knowing that the Palestinians worked behind the scenes with the Labor party members of Israel Shimon Perez and Yossi Belini to create a two state peace “SOLUTION” not just another tissue paper that took the road map down the toilet where it justly belonged. He also seems to have forgotten that the good peoples of Israel in many outraged demostrations called for the lynching of Perez and Belini for daring to negotiate with Palestine. I suppose I could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on presenting the good Rabbi with facts he can not refute to save his chosen soul but I will leave it to Jeff and our Great President of the very America that supports Israel in its continuted efforts to genocide the peoples of the land and the brothers of the Abrahamic code. Basima Farhat http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.org



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Jeff Halper

posted December 25, 2006 at 10:30 am


I ll start responding to Rabbi Stern by registering my disappointment with the sneering, self-righteous and downright offensive tone of his response to me. I don t know what ilk Stern comes from, but I had always been told that rabbi means teacher. I m a teacher, an Israeli professor of anthropology. If I ever responded to my students or colleagues in the manner of our scholar-in-residence, they would tell me exactly where to go, and rightly so. Why Stern considers Dershowitz s polemics facts, I don t know. Did Jews really live in Hebron longer than Arabs? I wonder who Abraham bought the Cave of Machpela from? And if I recall my Bible (Genesis 25:9), didn t Ishmael, Abraham s beloved son, attend his father s funeral in Hebron together with his brother Isaac? And just what Arab countries were tens of thousands of Jews expelled from? I would love to respond to every fact Dershowitz raises. Unfortunately, in a short blog entry, that s impossible. Slogans are much more economical than nuanced discussion. But let me raise the discussion to one of issues, which Rabbi Stern has surely encountered in Berkeley. The PLO accepted the two-state solution in 1988, even before the Oslo peace process. If we place ourselves in the shoes of the Other (a talent rabbis are supposed to have or is that only with other Jews?) we could ask: Why in the world would the Palestinians accept the 1938 Peel Commission Plan to partition the country? Palestine was Palestinian; the Palestinians had every right to expect that their country would revert to them after the colonial powers left. The Jews at that time were maybe a quarter of the population. WE might think we have exclusive claim to the Land of Israel and expect everyone else to accept it, but why should they? To say Palestinians rejected this proposal because Arab leaders cared more about there being no Jewish state on Muslim holy land than about having a Palestinian state of their own shows an appalling insensitivity to the rights of an indigenous people and ignorance of the historical process of de-colonization. Going back in time isn t very productive, nor is assigning blame. The central issue is: How do we help Israel get out the mess it s in? The problem, I would submit, is not with the Arabs. The Palestinians have accepted the two-state solution but a REAL two-state solution, not one where Israeli settlements truncate it and Jerusalem is Judaized. Even the mean old Arab League offered Israel peace, recognition and regional integration in return for the Occupied Territories. It is not security that holds Israel back, it s the prospect of giving up settlements and territory. Our occupation, unintended as it may have been in 1967, has ended up with a half million settlers who foreclose forever the possibility of a viable Palestinian state, and with that any hope of peace. The point is that Israel is the strong party, the Occupying Power And the onluy one who can bring a just peace. It s telling that none of the three learned rabbis who responded to me or Dershowitz even mention the word occupation. Together, us Israelis and you Diaspora Jews have got to start taking responsibility for our actions. Support for occupation, apartheid and the oppressive policies they spawn erode the moral fabric of the entire Jewish people, as evidenced in Stern s remarks. And please, a little humility, a little derekh eretz and a LOT more learning, critical thinking and self-criticism (as evidenced by the nutty responses of some of the other bloggers).



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jenan

posted December 26, 2006 at 10:45 pm


I agree completely with Basima Farhat and president Carter.Get over it and stop re-writing history to suit your purpose, You’ve had your cake and you ate it too, what else do you want ?????



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Chuck

posted December 27, 2006 at 6:20 pm


Jenan: What do we want? How about recognition that Israel exists, that it is a Jewish state, and that we’re not going away. That’s NOT negotiable. Until Hamas and Iran and Syria cannot get over that hump, then no progress will be made.



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kevin s.

posted December 27, 2006 at 7:12 pm


I responded to Mr. Hapler’s comments on Wallis’ blog, but I thought I’d post them here as well. Mr. Halper Writes If I ever responded to my students or colleagues in the manner of our “scholar-in-residence,” they would tell me exactly where to go, and rightly so.” I would just like to point out that you have effectively told the Rabbi to go to hell. He is not adopting a sneering tone in his piece, but rather seems exasperated at your unwillingness to register any cogent response to the points raised by Dershowitz’s article. You have claimed that Israle is guilty of atrocities akin to South African aprtheid. The onus is on you to make that case in a compelling fashion. Instead, you have offered a meadering, emotional, flawed invective that does not remotely address the points raised by the Talmud. ” Wednesday, December 27, 2006 Jeff Halper: The Occupation is the Issue Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper continues his dialogue with Virtual Talmud bloggers, this time responding to Rabbi Eliyahu Stern’s post titled, “Mr. Halper, Please Respond to the Facts.” I’ll start responding to Rabbi Stern by registering my disappointment with the sneering, self-righteous and downright offensive tone of his response to me. I don’t know what “ilk” Stern comes from, but I had always been told that “rabbi” means teacher. I’m a teacher, an Israeli professor of anthropology. If I ever responded to my students or colleagues in the manner of our “scholar-in-residence,” they would tell me exactly where to go, and rightly so. Why Stern considers Dershowitz’s polemics “facts,” I don’t know” Case in point, dawg. “I would love to respond to every “fact” Dershowitz raises. Unfortunately, in a short blog entry, that’s impossible. ” This isn’t a very short blog entry. You had time to devote an entire paragraph to your offense at Rabbi Stern’s tone. “. The PLO accepted the two-state solution in 1988, even before the Oslo peace process.” This laid the groundwork for the Oslo peace process. To pretend that it was somehow separate from the process is misleading. This formed the framework of the Oslo peace agreement, which Yassir Arafat and his terrorist cohorts promptly trashed. So it was a moot point to begin with. “the Palestinians had every right to expect that their country would revert to them after the colonial powers left.” Why is this so, when every arab power was determined to kill the Jews? Do you not understand the very reason Israel established itself as a nation-state? Further, Britain won the territory from the Turks. Palestine was not a country, or a nation state. The lands that were acquired by Jews were rightfully purchased. No one was ever forced to leave until Arab nations decided to declare war on the Jewish people. “We might think we have exclusive claim to the Land of Israel and expect everyone else to accept it, but why should they?” They don’t. So what? They had their chance. I don’t consider their killing to be understandable, and I see no reason why we should dismantle Israel. “To say “Palestinians rejected this proposal because Arab leaders cared more about there being no Jewish state on Muslim holy land than about having a Palestinian state of their own” shows an appalling insensitivity to the rights of an indigenous people and ignorance of the historical process of de-colonization.” Of course, in addition to all of this, the statement happens to be empirically true, ignorant or not. “Going back in time isn’t very productive, nor is assigning blame” That’s exactly what you just did. ” It is not security that holds Israel back, it’s the prospect of giving up settlements and territory. ” Hogwash. Israle has shown itself more than willing to give back land in exchangee for peace. There has never been any documented effort on the part of Palestine to disengage this war. there never will be, no matter how many concessions Israel makes. Palestine and other Arab nations want Israel wiped off the map, or haven’t you heard? “And please, a little humility, a little derekh eretz and a LOT more learning, critical thinking, and self-criticism.” Oh, and questioning a man’s status as a Rabbi, while offering parenthetical potshots throughout a 600 word diatribe constitutes humility? Please. Are you a Christian? Why are you posting here? I would hate for Beliefnet readers to visit here and think that this dreck represents the viewpoint of most Christians.



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Joshua's Trumpet

posted December 27, 2006 at 9:43 pm


To Jeff Halper, My wife was born in Egypt. Her father was put in prison during the Sinai campaign. They were eventually PUT on a plane, her father was driven up in handcuffs and PUT on the plane. They were then SENT away. There is a whole group of Jews now in Israel who went through similar experiences. SO NO BULL about undocumented ejections. Israel had a major left wing peace activist, ABBA EBAN. He said at least one smart thing: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. Why would Arafat agree to peace while he still had not completed robbing the Palestinian people of hundreds of millions of dollars. (yes, there is documentation to back this up) My late father, may he rest in peace, a Holocost survivor, used to tell a ‘joke’ about the Russian Czar. The cossacks came to get permission for an annual pogrom since they heard that a gentile lad had been murdered to use his blood in making matzoh. The Czar replied that his could not be true since no Jewish snitch had come to him to report this. It is not my place to judge you, G-d will. Pray that he will forgive you. BTW: Jordan, which was supposed to be Palestinian is called the Hashemite Kigdom of Jordan. British implanted ruler “Abdullah” who was a Bedouin not an arab and not a Palestinian, was given that country.



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MIKE ML

posted December 27, 2006 at 11:15 pm


Mr. Carter emphasizes that ‘Christian and Muslim Arabs had continued to live in this same land since Roman times,’ but he ignores the fact that Jews have lived in Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem, and other cities for even longer. Nor does he discuss the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948. JEWS DID LIVE IN ALL OF THESE LOCATIONS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. HOWEVER, TO SAY THAT THEY LIVED THERE LONGER THAN ANY OTHER PEOPLE IS TO FORGET HISTORY. THERE WERE PEOPLE IN HEBRON WHEN ABRAHAM CAME. TO USE THE EXPULSION OF JEWS FROM ARAB LANDS TO JUSTIFY THE EXPULSION OF ARABS FROM JEWISH LANDS MAKES NO SENSE. IF IT WAS WRONG FOR JEWS TO BE EXPELLED, THEN WAS IT NOT WRONG FOR ARABS TO BE EXPELLED? IF IT WAS NOT WRONG IN ONE CASE IT IS NOT WRONG IN THE OTHER, AND THIS ARGUMENT LEADS NOWHERE. Mr. Carter repeatedly claims that the Palestinian Arabs have long supported a two-state solution and the Israelis have always opposed it. Yet he makes no mention of the fact that in 1938 the Peel Commission proposed a two-state solution, with Israel receiving a mere sliver of its ancient homeland and the Palestinians receiving the bulk of the land. The Jews accepted and the Palestinians rejected this proposal because Arab leaders cared more about there being no Jewish state on Muslim holy land than about having a Palestinian state of their own. JEFF HALPER RESPONDED TO THIS ISSUE AND I WILL LEAVE IT TO OTHERS TO READ HIS RESPONSE. He barely mentions Israel’s acceptance, and the Palestinian rejection, of the United Nation’s division of the mandate in 1948. IF YOU READ YOUR HISTORY AND NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS FROM 1948 YOU WILL FIND THAT FIGHTING STARTED LONG BEFORE “ISRAEL” ACCEPTED THE PARTITION PLAN. VILLAGES AROUND HAIFA AND JERUSALEM WERE EMPTIED AND THE IRGUN AND HAGGANA WERE FIGHTING SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE THE PARTITION PLAN WAS ANNOUNCED. TO SAY THAT THE PARTITION PLAN WAS ACCEPTED IS TO ACCEPT WORDS RATHER THAN ACTIONS AS REALITY. “PLAN DALET” AND OTHER PRE-ISRAEL JEWISH MILITARY PLANS SHOW CLEAR PLANS FOR HOW THE NEW JEWISH STATE WOULD EXPAND AND TAKE MORE TERRITORY THAN WAS GIVEN IN THE PARTITION PLAN. HISTORY CLEARLY LAYS SOME BLAME ON THE ARAB SIDE, BUT DOES NOT LEAVE THE JEWISH SIDE INNOCENT. He claims that in 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack against Jordan. The fact is that Jordan attacked Israel first, Israel tried desperately to persuade Jordan to remain out of the war, and Israel counterattacked after the Jordanian army surrounded Jerusalem, firing missiles into the center of the city. Only then did Israel capture the West Bank, which it was willing to return in exchange for peace and recognition from Jordan. PRIOR TO ANY ATTACKS ON ISRAEL BY JORDAN, ISRAEL HAD ALREADY “PREEMPTIVELY” ATTACKED EGYPT. AT THE TIME MUCH OF EGYPT’S ARMY WAS STUCK IN YEMEN TRYING TO END THAT COUNTRIES CIVIL WAR. JORDAN, AN EGYPTIAN ALLIE, BECAME INVOLVED IN THE WAR AFTER ISRAEL STARTED FIGHTING. DIPLOMATIC COMMUNICAS FROM THE TIME SHOW THAT JORDAN HAD NO INTEREST IN BECOMING INVOLVED IN A WAR WITH ISRAEL. THAT ISRAEL MISREAD THIS SITUATION AT THE TIME MAY MAKE ISRAEL’S ACTIONS IN STARTING THE WAR MORE UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT THIS DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT ISRAEL STARTED THE WAR. THE FACT THAT A WAR IS PREEMPTIVE, DONE TO STOP A SUPPOSED THREAT, DOES NOT SWITCH RESPONSIBILITY FOR STARTING THE WAR. CAN WE IN THE US NOW ARGUE THAT IRAQ IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USE BEING STUCK THERE? Mr. Carter repeatedly mentions Security Council Resolution 242, which called for return of captured territories in exchange for peace, recognition, and secure boundaries, but he ignores that Israel accepted and all the Arab nations and the Palestinians rejected this resolution. The Arabs met in Khartum and issued their three famous ‘no’s': ‘No peace, no recognition, no negotiation.’ But you wouldn’t know that from reading the history according to Mr. Carter. Mr. Carter faults Israel for its ‘air strike that destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor’ without mentioning that Iraq had threatened to attack Israel with nuclear weapons if Iraq succeeded in building a bomb. REJECTION OF 242 BY ARAB STATES IN KHARTUM CANNOT BE VIEWED IN ABSENCE OF MORE RECENT MOVEMENTS. THE RECENT SAUDI PROPOSAL ACCEPTED BY THE ARAB LEAGUE ACCEPTS A TWO STATE SOLUTION. AS HALPER STATES, THE PLO ACCEPTED A TWO STATE SOLUTION IN 1988 AND HAVE USED RESOLUTIONS 242 AND 336 AS THE STARTING POINTS FROM WHICH TO BASE NEGOTIATIONS. THIS POINT BY DERSHOWITZ WOULD HAVE BEEN VALID IN 1967, BUT HAS NO RELEVANCE IN THE PRESENT WORLD. Mr. Carter faults Israel for its administration of Christian and Muslim religious sites, when in fact Israel is scrupulous about ensuring those of every religion the right to worship as they please consistent, of course, with security needs. He fails to mention that between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Hashemites destroyed and desecrated Jewish religious sites and prevented Jews from praying at the Western Wall. He also never mentions Egypt’s brutal occupation of Gaza between 1949 and 1967. HAS THE AUTHOR VISITED THE GOAL HEIGHTS? AS YOU DRIVE DOWN THE ROAD YOU WILL SEE DESTROYED MOSQUES. HAS THE AUTHOR BEEN TO THE SAFED ART STUDIE BUILD IN A MOSQUE? WHAT ABOUT THE 400 VILLAGES THAT WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED? HOW MANY MOSQUES AND CHURCHES WERE DESTROYED WITH THESE VILLAGES? NOBODY IS INNOCENT HERE, TO TRY TO MAKE ONE SIDE OUT TO BE EVIL AND THE OTHER A SAINT IS USELESS. THESE ARE ALL SIDE ISSUES. WHAT IS REAL IN THE CURRENT SITUATION IS OCCUPATION. Mr. Carter blames Israel, and exonerates Arafat, for the Palestinian refusal to accept statehood on 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza pursuant to the Clinton-Barak offers at Camp David and Taba in 2000 2001. He accepts the Palestinian revisionist history, rejects the eyewitness accounts of President Clinton and Dennis Ross, and ignores Saudi Prince Bandar’s accusation that Arafat’s rejection of the proposal was “a crime” and that Arafat’s account ‘was not truthful’ except, apparently, to Mr. Carter. The fact that Mr. Carter chooses to believe Arafat over Mr. Clinton speaks volumes. ARAFAT’S REJECTION MAY NOT HAVE BEEN HELPFUL, BUT IT CERTAINLY WASN’T THE END OF THE PEACE PROCESS. NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUED AFTER CAMP DAVID AND EVEN AFTER THE BEGINING OF THE SECOND INTIFADA. IF WE LOOK AT THE OPTIONS THAT WERE ON THE TABLE IN DECEMBER 2000 WHEN NEGOTIATIONS FINALLY BROKE DOWN THEN WE SEE THAT ARAFAT WAS ACTUALLY JUSTIFIED IN ENDING TALKS IN JULY. THE SOLUTION BEING TALKED ABOUT IN DECEMBER WAS MUCH BETTER THAN THE OFFER MADE IN JULY. THIS BEING THE CASE, CAN WE BLAME ARAFAT FOR NOT ACCEPTING THE PROPOSAL AT CAMP DAVID? I HAVE TALKED WITH DENNIS ROSS AND SEVERAL OTHERS INVOLVED IN HE NEGOTIATIONS. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE THE PROBLEM AT AND AFTER CAMP DAVID WAS THE TENDENCY OF THE US AND ISRAEL TO VIEW AND PUSH THESE NEGOTIATIONS AS FINAL. THIS MEANT THAT THE PROGRESS MADE THERE WAS NEVER TAKEN SERIOUSLY. HISTORIC STEPS WERE MADE AT CAMP DAVID, BUT THIS WAS NOT COMMUNICATED TO THE PALESTINIAN OR ISRAELI PEOPLES. ALL THAT WAS COMMUNICATED WAS FAILURE. THIS CONTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO THE INTIFADA. WAS ARAFAT’S NEGOTIATING STYLE TERRIBLE AND IS HE PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURES OF THE TALKS? OF COURSE, BUT HE IS NOT ALONE IN NEEDING TO TAKE ON BLAME. ISRAEL ALSO NEEDS TO TAKE ITS SHARE OF THE BURDEN. CONSIDER THIS THE RESPONSE THAT JEFF HALPER WOULDN’T GIVE. I CAN UNDERSTAND HIS UNWILLINGNESS TO RESPOND TO THESE ISSUES. ALL OF WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN AND WHAT DERSHOWITZ HAS WRITTEN IS TANGENTIAL TO THE ISSUE AT HAND WHICH IS OCCUPATION AND ITS IMPACT. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 1948, 1967, ETC. IS INTERESTING, BUT IT IS ALSO HISTORY. IT GIVES CONTEXT, BUT EVEN THE CONTEXT IT GIVES NEEDS TWO INTERPRETATIONS, ONE PALESTINIAN AND ONE ISRAELI. WHAT THE APARTEID DISCUSSION BRINGS TO THE TABLE IS A LOOK AT THE PRESENT AND TOWARDS THE FUTURE. REGARDLESS OF WHO WE BLAME FOR THE PAST, THE PROBLEM IS THAT ISRAEL IS STILL THE PARTY WITH POWER IN THE CURRENT SITUATION. ISRAEL IS THE FORCE MAKING DECISION
S AND THEREFORE DICTATING TERMS. ISRAEL’S POLICIES ARE LEADING IT INEXORABLY TOWARDS APARTHEID, EVEN IF IT HAS NOT GOTTEN THERE YET. RECENT CHANGES IN ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP LAWS SHOULD MAKE EVEN THE MOST STRIDENT SUPPORTERS OF ISRAEL PAUSE. THESE LAWS UNDERMINE THE RIGHTS OF ARAB CITIZENS AND ONLY ARAB CITIZENS. THEY WILL BREED INEQUALITY AND PUSH TOWARDS APARTHEID. DEBATES IN ISRAEL OVER INCLUDING THE GREEN LINE IN TEXT BOOKS IN ISRAEL ALSO SHOULD GIVE PEOPLE PAUSE AS THEY CONSIDER WHERE THE COUNTRY IS HEADED. DERSHOWITZ AND THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN RESPONDING TO JEFF HALPER NEED TO STOP ONLY LOOKING BACKWARDS AS THEY JUSTIFY THE PRESENT, AND NEED TO START LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE. IF THEY DID THIS THEY MIGHT BE MORE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE STINK IF APARTHEID AS IT FORMS AROUND THEM.



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Thank you

posted December 28, 2006 at 4:19 am


Kevin S., Awesme post!



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Barry sweetman

posted December 30, 2006 at 5:20 am


Jefr Hakper’s self hatred of Jews and Israel is more odious to me than any invective spewing forth from the Palestinians…He speaks of ceding the moral high ground…How can one cede moral high ground when subjected to daily terrorism and attempted genocide ?. Maybe he should articulate his criticism of Israel while riding the public buses that get bombed so often !



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