Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dual citizenship: Loyalty and Betrayal in US Foreign Policy

U. S. Secretary of State, 1982-1989
Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In this important book, Abe Foxman does what he has done his whole professional life: he defends groups and individuals - Jews and non-Jews - against defamatory lies. He has had plenty to do. People who hate seem unable to keep from lying about those whom they despise. Others cannot resist using lies and half-truths to exploit the hatred in others to advance their interests or agendas.

He is not arguing against criticism of Israel. If you want to hear harsh criticism of Israel’s policies and leaders, listen to Israelis. It’s a free, democratic, open, and relentlessly self-analytical place. So questioning Israel for its actions is legitimate, as part of a tough debate about national and international issues.

But lies are something else. Lies can be deadly. Throughout human history they have been used, not only to vilify, but to establish a basis for cruel and inhuman acts. Many groups and individuals have suffered as a result. The Jewish people have suffered most of all. The catalogue of lies about Jews is long and astonishingly crude, matched only by the suffering that has followed their promulgation.

The unique history of the Jewish people has, across the centuries, spawned the intellectual disease of anti-Semitism. Jews were persecuted as “perfidious” in the early Christian era, as insufferable zealots by the Romans, as sly exploiters by medieval Europeans, as financial manipulators during the rise of capitalism, as “rootless cosmopolitans” by Communists, and as “Communists” by Nazis. And all too often, the allegations sparked violence, brutality, and death inflicted on the Jews.

So defaming the Jews and disputing their rightful place among the peoples of the world has been a long-running, well-documented, and disgraceful series of episodes across history.

Again and again, a time has come when legitimate criticism slips across an invisible line into what might be called the “badlands,” a place where those who should be regarded as worthy adversaries in debate are turned into scapegoats, targets, all-purpose objects of blame.

These moments become dangerous when otherwise respected and notable figures find themselves - knowingly or unthinkingly - slipping into such territory. The dangers can expand exponentially because ignorant, prejudiced, or even deranged people may act out their worst instincts and fantasies under the cover of authorization from distinguished or prominent public figures.

In America, we protect all speech, even the most hurtful lies. Instead, we count on people such as Abe Foxman to challenge untruths and dangerous exaggerations with facts and reason. This is what he does in this book. It takes on three recent publications: a paper entitled “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by Professors John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; commentary on the same subject by New York University Professor Tony Judt; and former President Jimmy Carter’s recent book entitled “Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid.” Many articles and books have examined these writings. This book clearly, vigorously, and succinctly details their flaws.

I have spent a good portion of my life serving in the government of the United States. I was a member of the Cabinet for a dozen years, six and one-half of them as Secretary of State. So I have had plenty of opportunity to see the workings of our system. We are a people committed to law. But we allow a virtual free-for-all in the process by which laws are adopted, enforced, and interpreted. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent yearly to influence these processes. Thousands of groups vie for influence, pursuing the interests of many causes. Among these are the Jewish groups cited in the writings evaluated in this book as the all-powerful “Israel Lobby.”

Jewish groups are influential. They also largely agree that the United States should support Israel. But the notion that these groups have anything like a uniform agenda, and that U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East is the result of their influence, is simply wrong. The critics Abe Foxman takes on seem over-impressed with the way of thinking that says to itself, “Since there is this huge Arab-Islamic world out there with all the oil and it is opposed to this tiny little Israel with no natural resources, then realistically the United States has to be on the Arab side and against Israel on every issue, and since that isn’t the case, there must be some underhanded Jewish plot at work.” This is a conspiracy theory pure and simple, and scholars at great universities should be ashamed to promulgate it.

Then there is yet another tried and untrue method for damaging the well-being and security of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. This is the dangerously false analogy. The prominent recent case comes from former President Jimmy Carter’s book titled “Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid.” Here the association, on the one hand, is between Israel’s existentially threatened position and the measures it has taken to protect its population from terrorist attacks driven by an ideology bent on the complete eradication of the State of Israel, and, on the other, the racist oppression of South Africa’s black population by the white Boer regime. Under sharp reactive criticism, President Carter has disavowed his choice of words, but the tendency of mind that lies behind such repulsive analogies remains and is reinforced by the former president’s views, spread across his book, which come down on the anti-Israel side of every case. We must respect President Carter’s clarification of his book but nonetheless bear in mind that once the false analogies start, it is only a short step to the cartoons in the Arab press and European media which portray Israelis as contemporary versions of Nazi storm troopers. And these false analogies stir up and lend legitimacy to more widely based movements that take the same dangerous direction, such as the deplorable recent proposals by British academic and other unions to boycott Israel.

Anyone who thinks that Jewish groups constitute a homogenous “lobby” ought to spend some time dealing with them. When Soviet persecution of Jews renewed in earnest after World War II, for example, Jewish groups were all over the place on what should be done. Some called for and funded the creation of a Jewish “homeland” within the Soviet Union. Some supported Israel’s approach of quiet diplomacy. Most adopted the techniques of the civil rights movement and made lots of noise. Some advocated and used force. The tension among these groups - all dedicated to saving Soviet Jews - was electric. When the doors began to swing open, many American Jews wanted to allow the Soviet Jews to choose to come to the United States instead of going to Israel. Israel fought hard against these Jewish groups, arguing, among other things, that U.S. law should not discriminate against Israel as a haven for Jewish refugees. Many other examples could be cited, including my decision to open a dialogue with Yasser Arafat after he publicly met our longstanding conditions. My decision evoked a wide spectrum of responses from the government of Israel, its various political parties, and the many American Jewish groups who weighed in on one side or the other.

Many examples can also be cited in which the U.S. rejected Israel’s view of an issue, or the views of the American Jewish community. This book cites several, including the arms sales to Saudi Arabia. A very dramatic case was President Reagan’s decision to go to the cemetery at Bitburg, Germany, on his trip to commemorate the end of the war in Europe and peace among former adversaries. When the decision was made, he did not know that the cemetery included SS officiers of the Nazi machine. Jewish groups as well as the Government of Israel protested vigorously. We looked hard at the issue. After hearing from Elie Wiesel and other great, moral figures, we concluded that the president should not go to Bitburg now that we knew who was buried there. But our important ally, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, had announced the trip. We asked if another site could be substituted for Bitburg. Chancellor Kohl said that he could not politically sustain that change. He had stood up courageously to his commitment for the deployment of Pershing missiles in Germany in late 1983, a turning point in the Cold War. President Reagan concluded that America’s interests required him to stand by his commitment. He did so, despite the pressure and understandable outrage directed against him. So, even where we agreed with the Jewish leadership, we were able to reject their position and act in America’s best interests, as we judged them to be.

The United States supports Israel, not because of favoritism based on political pressure or influence, but because both political parties and virtually all our national leaders agree with the American people’s view that supporting Israel is politically sound and morally just. Those who disagree with this policy, such as the authors whose writings are examined in this book, seem to assume they could not be wrong, and so they contend that the American people and its leadership must have been deceived, time and time again, by Israel and its supporters.

The United States has vigorously disagreed with many Israeli policies. We have made explicit our view, shared by most Israelis and American Jews, that a Palestinian state should be created alongside of Israel. But any fair-mined person would have to recognize that Israel cannot achieve this objective without a Palestinian partner. When Egypt and Jordan were ready to make peace, Israel took the necessary steps and risks of doing so.

President Carter, more than anyone else, knows the great effort required for both Egypt and Israel to overcome years of warfare and hostility. He was instrumental in helping them to do so. His call for justice for Palestinians is heartfelt and sincere. But he knows better than to suggest that Israel has created a system of “apartheid” either within Israel or in the territories. Using this word is a dangerous exaggeration, and not an appropriate way to secure the attention he recently admitted he sought in doing so.

My problem with blaming Israel and the pro-Israel lobby for U.S. government policies and actions goes beyond the points ably made by Abe Foxman. We are a great nation, and our government officials invariably include brilliant, experienced, tough-minded people. Mostly, we make good decisions. But when we make wrong decisions - even one that is recommended by Israel and supported by American Jewish groups - it is our decision, and one for which we alone are responsible. We are not babes in the woods, easily convinced to support Israel’s or any other state’s agenda. We act in our own interests. And when we mistakenly conclude from time to time - as we will - that an action or policy is in America’s interests, we must take responsibility for the mistake. We must take into account any effort to mislead us, as appeared to be the case with certain expatriates from Iraq. But we will fail far more frequently if we blame others for our mistakes than if we accept them as our own.

So, at every level, those who blame Israel and its Jewish supporters for U.S. policies they do not support are wrong. They are wrong because, to begin with, support for Israel is in our best interests. They are also wrong because Israel and its supporters have the right to try to influence U.S. policy. And they are wrong because the U.S. government is responsible for the policies it adopts, not any other state or any of the myriad lobbies and groups that battle daily — sometimes with lies - to win America’s support.

It has taken not a little courage to write The Deadliest Lies. Perhaps what impresses me most of all is the fair-minded and carefully judicious tone of Abe Foxman’s voice as it is heard in these pages. This is not an angry riposte, but the responsible and admirable effort by a good man to return the discourse to a civil, sane, and constructive level.

George Shultz This is George Shultz introduction to The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control by Abraham Foxman (Palgrave Macmillan).


The Obama campaign is a project in futility. Jews may have been able to become honorary white people in America [not long ago Jews were seen as Gypsies and Slavs] - just as the capital class was able to encroach itself upon and supersede the nobility with the power of their accumulated wealth through banking, insurance, manufacturing and mostly the slave trade and colonialism - however, for better or worse, Obama must continue to keep his eyes on the prize and keep the dream alive.

There is no point in cowering, pleading and groveling to special interests when in the end analysis the campaign will necessarily, be hindered by socio-politico forces beyond his control.

But, Obama may view his candidacy as a means and not an end of and in itself - a well placed investment. The calculation could be that he envisions an ability to maneuver further up toward the ceiling after this bid. In which case tactical sniveling may prove useful in achieving that aim.

At any rate, The Israeli Lobby and US Froeign Policy misses the point on the fundamental foundations of the relationship between Israel and the US. The American and Israeli marriage spans and pans a myriad of undertakings. Israel has earned every reb blood cent and deserves all the political capital the US spends on her.


Israel holds the world bodies [the West] hostage to the social guilt (a guilt reinforced by varied media, i.e. books, movies, News, etc.,) of the holocaust. Israel is afforded great latitude because of this social shame and continues to manipulate its existence. Case in point, the word Jew has become a sanctified notion in Germany that is upheld with the sanction and force of the state. So it goes throughout most of the consumers of western discourse in the world in varying degrees.

Israel could have been such a wonderful of example of Humaninty making amends for its failures. Unfortunately, it now signals and stands for the repetition of those mistakes.


"the sinister kosher gangsters who now rule over us. "

Overestimating or demonizing (giving extra-human qualities - God-like characteristics [devilish attributes] those you profess to be fighting against (rhetorically or otherwise) only lends support to their cause while detracting from the fortitude of your message and your aims. The same dynamic unfolds when an underestimation takes place.

So keep it moderately sane, objective and even handed at least - well, unless one has had a few too many straight shots in which case blabber on!

The crux of the matter is summarized in these clauses in the document you presented:

65. At the first meeting in Geneva, the Committee also took up the question of a visit to displaced persons camps, [Jews in Europe] a matter which had already been discussed in both Lake Success and Jerusalem, but upon which decision had been deferred. The discussion was continued to, the next meeting, at which a representative of the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization appeared before the Committee to describe activities in the resettlement of displaced persons, and to answer questions regarding Jewish displaced persons in particular.

66. The Committee was divided on the question of principle involved in such a visit. Some members expressed the view that the visit was unnecessary. It was common knowledge that the people in the camps wanted to go to Palestine, and the Committee could add no new facts. Others felt that the Committee should inspect the camps because it was obliged by its terms of reference to do so. The view was expressed by two members that it was improper to connect the displaced persons, and the Jewish problem as a whole, with the problem of Palestine; a third felt that the Committee's work had not yet reached a stage in which this relationship had become clear. A number of members indicated that they would not oppose a visit.

Population of Palestine

Muslims Jews Christians
486,177 83,790
Year 1922
Muslims Jews
493,147 174,606
Year 1931
Muslims Jews
906,551 474,102
Year 1941
Muslims Jews
1,076,783 608,225
Year 1946

Notice the upward trend of Jews in Palestine during the period of the EUROPEAN HOLOCAUST against Jewry? In essence we have a European problem transfered and placated elsewhere. Could it be that many European racists sighed, "good riddance" to the victims of their genocide?

...rising to even higher levels between 1933 and 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution in Europe.

4. It will have been noticed that not only has there been a remarkably rapid increase in the total population of Palestine but also the proportion of Jews in the total has greatly increased, from 12.91 -per cent in 1922 to 32.96 per cent in 1946.

Contrast this artificial and unnatural influx of Europe's victims into Palestine with the quote below:

16. The Arab population has increased almost entirely as a result of an excess of births over deaths.

To conclude and alleviate and soothe your mirages and nightmares - in your search for peace of mind, I'm certain - I present the following from the document you provided:

22. There is no clear territorial separation of Jews and Arabs by large contiguous areas. Jews are more than 40 per cent of the total population in the districts of Jaffa (which includes Tel Aviv), Haifa and Jerusalem. In the northern inland areas of Tiberias and Beisan, they are between 25 and 34 per cent of the total population. In the inland northern districts of Safad and Nazareth and the coastal districts of Tulkarm and Ramie, Jews form between 10 and 25 per cent of the total population, while in the central districts and the districts south of Jerusalem they constitute not more than 5 per cent of the total.


"Whether you like it or not, or whether - for reasons that are now becoming apparanet - oppose self-determination for the Jewish people in their ancient homeland - is immaterial to this."

Historically, speaking, me and my creed have a greater claim to the "Jewish state" than any European victim of the Nazi holocaust. However, the treatment of which is not appropriate to the task at hand. Nor, would any such historical claim be relevant in modern affairs thousands of years removed.

Be as it may, your crude attempt to hue me anti-Jewish is expected and routine Zionist modus operandi. The Zionist mantra of victimization [while victimizing millions of the indegenous inhabitants of Palestine] must necessarily, turn everyone into a blood thirsty Nazi in order to maintain the bubble of lies.

Fortunately, there are few Jew haters in the world. But, there exists many anti-racists who abhore the oppressive policies of ethnic cleansing and occupation of millions of human beings by Israel.

"Land belongs to whomever can hold it. 8:07 AM "

Now that statement is much closer to reality than the rest of the diatribe formerly, presented by Zionists on this thread. However, intrinsic in that comment is the acknowledgment of malfeasance.

"However, intrinsic in that comment is the acknowledgment of malfeasance."

Not so.

Please feel free to argue your various points of moralities and legalities to your heart's content.

They mean nothing when armies march, whether it be an army of ants or men.

"Please feel free to argue your various points of moralities and legalities to your heart's content.

They mean nothing when armies march, whether it be an army of ants or men." 8:47 AM

By this absurd logic, a heartless person could say: "continue to mourn the victims of the holocaust; feel free to argue your various points of moralities and legalities to your heart's content. They meant nothing when Nazi armies marched."

I refuse to submit to this false and heuristic logic; besides apparent overwhelming force hasn't been able to relieve the woes of Israel has it? No it hasn't. Wherefore, the Palestinians within this pseudo logic of yours is compelled to mount their armies, nascent as they currently, are to harass and muddle the oppression installed by force upon them. My friend continuous war is the logical exdtension of your argument.

Instead, an acknowledgment of wrongs on both sides would better serve an ameliorative resolution rather than intransigient and intractable positions founded on pure force.

Moreover, it was legalities and moralities that urged the UN to propose and actuate the founding of a sanctuary for the victims of the holocaust. The very principles Zionists now spit at - lest the UN itself [unless it serves their interest as in the buffer zone between Egypt and Israel after the '67 war or the current UNIFIL undertakings on the northern border].

Zionism in essence has become an equation of fear multiplied by guilt which, ultimately, results in blind hate.

Once the pillars of fear and guilt are alleviated through self-introspection, forced or otherwise; subsequently, a healing process can begin in the region. Whereby, Jews and Arabs can cry together and mourn the cursed dead of yesterday, while rejoicing in the promise of tomorrow.

True enough, there is also great animosity on the Arab side of the ledger. However, for the most part, this trepidation is driven by a "reactionary" dynamic of resistance in the face of the political power, in all its manifestations, of Israel over the routines of these captives.

Many couldn't imagine the political demise of the Afrikaaners, in light of their political, military and economic superiority over the front line states, specifically, the ANC and other groups in South Africa agitating for emancipation - as late as the mid-1980's. Lo and behold, the white minority doesn't enjoy 'formal' superiority anymore. Who would have thought?

Israel and the then South Africa are/were essentially, colonial projects. European Zionists can claim linkages to Israel from now until the Messiah returns. Nevertheless, that fiction will not hue them onto the the bosom of the land they claimed with bombs and bullets.

Wherefore, continue to sleep with your Uzi under your pillows because it is, was and will remain your only foundation to the land you now occupy immorally and illegally.

Once your society develops a humane basis for your existence, then the situation will necessarily become humane for you. Henceforth, you will glady lock the Uzi in the cabinet until trespassed against by interlopers and haters.

I always wondered why Israel hasn't based their state on universal humanistic principles. Without, Jews are some of the brightest people in the world, evident by many tracts produced by them. Why is so difficult to realize that the current founding principles only detract from the Zionist mission?

A close fist and vinegar may work in the short term, but in the long run, this policy will boomerang, just by the mathematical probabilities alone. Every dog must have her day as the adage goes.


Despite Israel's ratification of the ICCPR and its guarantee to protect all of its citizens against discrimination, Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel are discriminated against in a variety of forms and denied equal individual rights because of their national belonging. Though this discrimination is politically motivated, the Israeli legal system is part of this political context. As well as offering limited provisions for equality or political participation to members of the Palestinian Arab minority, the law in Israel subjects them to three types of discrimination: direct discrimination against non-Jews within the law itself, indirect discrimination through "neutral" laws and criteria which apply principally to Palestinians, and institutional discrimination through a legal framework that facilitates a systematic pattern of privileges.

The Declaration of Independence in 1948 defined Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state, committed to the "ingathering of the exiles," and to guaranteeing equality to all its citizens. Yet insofar as Israel defines itself as Jewish, it overrides and compromises the extent to which it can be democratic.

Israel as a Jewish state has been legally defined as resting on three minimum conditions: where Jews form the majority, where Jews are entitled to special treatment and preferential laws, and where a reciprocal relationship exists between Israel and the Jewish people in the diaspora. Yet in all these conditions, the Palestinian Arab minority is both excluded and hence discriminated against: by privileging Jews, the state treats others as second-class citizens.

Israel does not have a formal constitution, but has drawn up a series of Basic Laws that form a constitution in evolution. Prior to 1992, none of these Basic Laws guaranteed any basic rights. However, in 1992 the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom was passed which subsequently authorized courts to overturn Knesset laws that were contrary to the right to dignity, life, freedom, privacy, property and the right to leave and enter the country.

Specifically, however, it did not include the right to equality. Further, section 1A of the law states that it aims to anchor "the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state." Given the lack of an explicit law that constitutionally protects equality for all citizens, this emphasis on the Jewishness of the State again compromised the equal rights protection for the Palestinian Arab minority.

Palestinian Arabs rights to run for elections to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, are also limited by their acceptance of the notion of the Jewish state. These limits are expressed in the Law of Political Parties (1992) and, in particular, the amendment of section 7A(1) of the Basic Law: The Knesset which prevents candidates from participating in the elections if their platform suggests the "denial of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people." Under this section a party platform that challenges the Jewish character of the state, that for example calls for full and complete equality between Jews and Arabs in a state for all its citizens, can be disqualified, as lists have been in the past. The law demands that Palestinian Arab citizens may not challenge the state's Zionist identity.

There are two main examples of laws that discriminate against Palestinian Arabs by directly distinguishing between Jews and non-Jews:

Citizenship Rights & the Law of Return: National identity is the main factor in deciding the acquisition of citizenship in Israel. The Law of Return grants every Jew the right to immigrate to Israel. The Nationality Law automatically grants citizenship to all Jews who have done so, and also to their spouses, children,s grandchildren, and all their spouses. This privilege is for Jews only. Palestinian Arabs can only get citizenship by birth, residence (after meeting a cumulative list of conditions) or naturalization.

Special Status of Jewish Organizations: As a result of the World Zionist Organization- Jewish Agency Law, the Jewish National Fund, Jewish Agency, and World Zionist Organization have special constitutional status in Israel and are known as quasi-governmental bodies. They are Jewish organizations which explicitly aim to benefit Jews only, but have authority for certain governmental functions, including developing the land and housing projects and settlements. Their activities are co-ordinated with the government and are given tax benefits, and they have a lot of influence on decision-making boards (particularly in agriculture and land use).

The Palestinian Arab minority is excluded entirely from these functions as either beneficiaries or participants. Further no government organizations perform the same functions for non-Jews. Consequently, Palestinian Arab needs are systematically disregarded.

More widespread is the use of "non-discriminatory" criteria in statutes that lead to differences in the treatment of Jews and the Palestinian Arab minority:

Military Service: Many government preferences and benefits in Israel are conditioned on performing military service. Whilst military service is technically compulsory for all citizens, by discretion the vast majority (90%) of Palestinian Arabs are not required to serve; whereas the majority of Jews do. As a consequence, they do not receive the wide range of benefits, including larger mortgages, partial exemptions from course fees, and preferences for public employment and housing. The discriminatory factor is that in many cases the link between the benefit offered and the requirement for military service is tenuous, often as in employment opportunities, and that government offices provide benefits beyond what is legislated. The most celebrated example of this was the level of state child benefits, which until 1997 were conditioned on military service, rather than more obvious socio-economic factors.

The impression that this is a mechanism for privileging Jews is borne out by the fact that Jewish Yeshiva students, who like Arab citizens do not serve, are granted the benefits anyway, a policy which has been upheld by the courts.

Place of Living: The government categorizes the country into different zones and awards different statuses and benefits to different towns. For instance, it denotes certain areas national development areas, which then makes them eligible to receive benefits including special tax incentives for industry, educational pro grammes, and housing incentives. These areas are supposed to be determined according to socio-economic criteria. Yet the zones are drawn to include a disproportionate number of Jewish localities rather than Palestinian Arab ones.

For example, in the 1998 classification, out of the 429 localities accorded Development Area A status, only 4 were Arab, despite the fact that Arab towns and villages are consistently at the bottom of the socio-economic scale. The zoning was used to exclude the vast majority of the Palestinian Arab minority from these benefits.

The Palestinian Arab minority in Israel is discriminated against by the aspects of the legal system which allow the government to adopt discriminatory policies, or the discretionary power that can be used by officials to maintain a systematic pattern of preferences.

Budgets & Resource Allocation: The Budget Law, which governs state funds, does not specify what proportion should be earmarked for minorities; the decision lies with officials’ discretion. Due to their lack of representation in government offices, Palestinian Arabs receive substantially less funding for e.g. local government budgets (usually 50% less), and have less resources allocated for welfare budgets, school facilities or other education programmes. Often this discrepancy is justified by the government running projects in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, thus necessitating only Jewish beneficiaries.

Uneven Implementation of the Law: There are three ways in which the implementation of the law adversely affects the Palestinian Arab minority:

1) Positive statutes that the State is expected to enforce or services that the State is required to provide can simply not be implemented in Palestinian Arab communities, such as the Compulsory Education Law, and the provision of truant officers or counselors, despite the fact that Arab students form 75% of those who drop out of school throughout the whole country.

2)Laws that apply to both Jews and Arabs can be selectively or predominantly implemented on Palestinian Arabs, such as land confiscation laws or house demolitions.

3)Laws can be implemented with different criteria for Jews and Arabs, such as criteria for family assistance in education programmes or production quotas for agricultural production. Often differences in quotas are maintained due to a lack of Arab representation in decision- making authorities.

The judicial review of this institutional discrimination is limited. To date, there is not one court case where the Supreme Court has accepted a case of discrimination against the Palestinian Arab minority and ruled to protect its rights. It usually accepts the claim of the State that its policies serve national priorities and thus are not discriminatory, or that different treatment between Jews and Arabs is legitimate, as they are different groups. Even when historical discrimination is admitted, the court will not rule to close the gaps, arguing that responsibility lies with the decision-making of the executive


In 1948, the Palestinian Arab community owned and used most of the land within the State of Israel. Today it owns less than 3% of these lands. Palestinian Arab citizens ability to own or use the rest is severely restricted by a series of discriminatory laws and practices which are detailed below.

93% of the land within the State of Israel is today controlled by the State and is formally known as “Israel lands.” This extensive territory has been accumulated by a continual process of land expropriation from private (Arab) owners, that has systematically reduced Arab land ownership to cement Jewish control over all parts of the country.

This process has been achieved by and an extensive framework of laws and military regulations (see inset overleaf) that have allowed state authorities to confiscate lands for defined purposes (such as requiring areas for military firing ranges or for potential infrastructural projects), or through simply refusing to recognize indigenous land rights (such as the Bedouin in the Negev).

There is little possibility of legal appeal at these confiscation orders since wide powers are given to the executive authorities. Equally, the terms of the expropriation are unreasonable since the compensation levels offered are low and the government determines the value of the land. These terms are often refused, and the land is expropriated without settlement. At all times, a punitive system of land taxation is maintained to encourage private owners to sell their lands incrementally.

State lands in Palestinian Arab areas are often forcibly protected to prevent their former owners continuing to use them by fencing, afforestation and in particular a military “environmental” unit known as the Green Patrol, which was established to keep trespassers off public lands.

To further the goal of dispersing the Jewish population, the state has maintained a policy of continually establishing new settlements for Jews only. These settlements have had the added function of acting as wedges among concentrations of Palestinian Arab communities.

The establishment of these settlements is coordinated principally by the Jewish Agency, rather than the government, which provides houses, infrastructure and also the facilities for basic services. The settlements are established for Jews only (even when they are on public land) and Palestinian Arab citizens are not allowed to move there. There are no parallel settlements established for Palestinian Arab citizens. Despite this policy's obvious contradiction of the equality principle, it has never been successfully challenged in the Supreme Court.

In a case still pending before the courts, a Palestinian Arab family tried to buy a house in a new settlement, Katzir, estblished by the state and the Jewish Agency on state owned land. The Katzir housing committee refused to allow the family to move in on the grounds that they were not Jewish. The family has petitioned the Supreme Court, claiming that this constituted racial discrimination, and challenging the fact that citizens could be excluded from public land through the Jewish Agency. The court has not yet ruled on the matter, hoping instead that the petitioners will reach an out of court settlement. Yet in doing so, the practice that public land can be limited to use by Jews only through the Jewish Agency continues to be upheld.

Public Land Administration

Public land in Israel is administered by the Israel Land Authority (ILA) which as a public body has a legal obligation not to discriminate against citizens. Yet the ILA is heavily influenced by the Jewish National Fund, which acts in the interests of Jews only, and uses a number of methods to limit the land available for development for the benefit of the Palestinian Arab community, including the following:

Jurisdiction: Putting large areas of Palestinian Arab land under Jewish control, through the creation of regional councils in Arab areas such as the one at Misgav. Limiting the jurisdiction of Palestinian Arab localities has made them increasingly built up compared to Jewish localities. For example, Nazareth has a jurisdiction of 14,200 dunams for 60,000 people; whereas the nearby Jewish town of Nazerat Illit has 34,000 dunams among a population of 45,000, a significant proportion of which was originally Nazareth land. There is increasingly less space in these jurisdictions to cope with natural growth.

Zoning: Using land zoning categories (construction, agricultural, industrial) to prevent Palestinian Arab communities from expanding and limit the land that can be built on, or even to deny some communities’ right to exist, as in the case of the unrecognized villages. There are almost no cases of the category of land use being changed for Arab development.

Jewish National Fund: Transferring public land next to Palestinian Arab communities to Jewish National Fund (JNF) ownership which, by the Fund’s constitution, can then only be used by Jews. The recently defeated 1998 Burg-Sharon plan attempted to transfer thousand of dunams in the Galilee, central triangle and Negev to the JNF and so circumvent the legal pressures against discrimination on state lands.

Military Service: Connecting the price at which state lands may be leased to military service, so that the price can vary by as much as 20 times depending on whether the lessee has performed military service or not. This discriminates against Palestinian Arab tenants since over 90% of them do not and are not required to serve in the army.

National Planning

To further its demographic goals, a number of other methods are used to differentiate between Jewish and Palestinian Arab communities, including:

National Priorities: Declaring certain towns areas of national priority and granting them significantly higher development budgets and other social and economic benefits to provide incentives to expand the Jewish development towns. In 1998, out of the 429 localities classified as national priority status 'A' areas, only 4 were Arab.

Local Plans: Delaying approval of local development plans for Arab communities. To date, only 29 out of 81 Arab local authorities have had their development plans approved. Until central approval of their plans, local authorities are prevented from bidding for development budgets to implement them.

National Plans: Regional and national plans either ignore Arab needs, or contradict and override the plans of Arab local authorities. In the new master plan of the Northern (Galilee) district, the issues identified as key problems included: (i) The overwhelming demographic minority of Jewish citizens in many parts of the Galilee. (ii) The geographic continuity of Arab communities. Though the state recently granted Nazareth municipality land on which to build an industrial zone as part of its local development plan, part of that land was subsequently zoned as an environmental area in the Israel 2020 national plan, thus preventing work from beginning.

Arab Participation: Today there is one Palestinian Arab representative on national planning committees. Until recently, there was none. Palestinian Arabs arealso severely under-represented on district and local planning authorities.

Forced Evictions

Houses built outside the planning framework or without the appropriate permit are subject to demolition. Yet planning laws are enforced unequally: while illegal building is tolerated in Jewish communities, it is harshly punished among Arab communities. Demolition orders are used to change settlement patterns: a 1996 Ministry of Interior report recorded that though Arab construction accounted for 57% of unlicensed building, it accounted for 90% of all demolitions. There are 12,000 demolitions orders outstanding in the Galilee alone.

This policy is particularly hard on residents of a number of villages unrecognised by the state, who are unable to get permits under any circumstances. The entire villages face prosecution in the courts and demolition orders, as well as suffering very hard living conditions: Houses without a permit cannot by law be connected to water, electricity or any other basic service network. The government maintains a policy of denying the villagers basic rights in order to pressure them to move elsewhere. The measures employed to implement this policy, including preventing development, withholding services, and demolishing homes, constitute a policy of forced eviction.

"Palestinians know that Israel is a land of justice, and they openly admit that Hamas tyranny is worse than anything they experienced when Israel controlled Gaza. Palestinians in the Westbank are thankful and reassured in knowing that thanks to Israeli control there, they run no risk of being subjected to the kind of bloody coud d'état that happened to the Gazans. Palestinians have such faith in Israeli humanity that they go to Israel to get specialist medical treatment, and not to Egypt or Jordan. They don't trust Egypt with delivering electricity and water, but have complete faith in the Israelis to continue to nurture them and allow them to survive under Hamas tyranny."

Israel now,

Therein lies the crux of the immorality regimen Israel has unwittingly or willingly, confined herself to; suing the ire of humanists around the globe through the continuation of the occupation.

The so-called benevolence you mention on the part of Israel to the OT is her legal responsibility as military occupiers of the land.

Relinquish the occupied lands, even if you have to do it unilaterally, without any formal conventions. Allow these areas full and complete autonomy. Similarly, moderate the current national laws to allow full participation of all citizens in all Israeli discourse without any formal bias. In essence, wash your hands of the "Palestinian problem." This is not even a call for a one state solution, which realpolitik deems a non-starter. Although, that path would offer a brighter future to all. But, to cease and desist and end the bloodshed, the former would seem to be urgently, necessary. What amalgamation may occur in a future where both sides have autonomy is limitless.

Most objective people, [one can never please all sectors - some will continue to live in the past] must then laud Israel and will support you if attacked and applaud your retaliation to such transgressions. Can you see how simple this can become?

Moreover, Israel faces no real military threat in the region; Israel's assurance of survival has been etched by the resolve of Isralis since at least 1960 if not before - Israel alligned herself with powerful military powers at the onset, which in turn led her to possessing the most modern and destructive military arsenal known to man. Your economy set within the current global arrangements is also, insaliable. The fortress mentality is really superfluous. [I anticipate you responding with, a moment of rest will spell doom - however, this will not be the case. In colloquial terms, "no one can test Israel"] Once a certain level of violence is attained, 'detente' is achieved forever.

It does not matter that the Israelis possess 'overwhelming force' at least when it comes to Palestine. Other neighboring states may prove a different matter altogether.

Well, in terms of Israel's Sampson option, could it be implemented? It is quite conceivable since Israel has developed a class of mini neutron nukes, nuclear artillery shells and nuclear land-mines that may serve this end. These weapons are designed to destroy life while leaving buildings, roads and other "infrastructure" intact with very little residual radiation, which would dissipate in a relatively short time.

The question arises however, if Israel chooses to "pull down the central pillar" will it continue to be a member of the international community or will it be ostracized as a pariah rogue state? Since Israel depends to a great extent on positive public opinion in the west for its livelihood - will the so-called civilized west understand and accept the spin Israel would undoubtedly, put on the events leading to its use of nuclear weapons in the immediate vicinity?

There exists the American precedents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, America remained the preeminent measure of civilization in the West - in fact her standing augmented soon after.

Could Israel weather the 'storm' with think-tank reports, news blitzkriegs, political support from diaspora organizations / allies and post facto humanitarian aid to the victims? We are certain that the US would most likely veto any UNSC resolution to sanction and censure Israel no?

My estimation is that the Zionists in power in Israel, along with the other elites that exert influence have too much to lose financially if they go down that road. The entire Zionist project may come crashing down once boycotts and a sanctions regime is implemented against Israel. Why would calculating and pragmatic Israelis risk 100 years of maneuvering in this desperate act?

Therefore, at least in Palestine/OT, the Sampson option is just another fiction to be weilded as a political club to sue submission - a paper tiger if you will.

Moreover, it is worthy to note that the Afrikaaner nukes neither deterred nor rendered moot the aspirations of revolutionaries. The threat was real enough, but the cause of freedom was greater than any probable fear factor the nukes presented.

The Green Line - the demarcation of Palestinian territory.!OpenDocument


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