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Opinion: Apartheid is a crime, not an analogy
Published Sunday 04/03/2012 (updated) 10/03/2012 23:33
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A boy hangs the Palestinian flag in front of Israeli soldiers during a
demonstration against Israel's illegal separation barrier in the West Bank
town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.(MaanImages/File)

As Israeli Apartheid Week unfolds around the world, apologists for Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people scramble to defend their chosen regime's system of racism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation, against the charge of apartheid.

"The apartheid analogy is fatally flawed," the Jerusalem Connection’s Shelley Neese writes. The David Project's David Bernstein says, "The apartheid analogy is specious and absurd." The Anti-Defamation League has even circulated an old report: "The Apartheid Analogy: Wrong for Israel."

These commentators are right, but not for the reasons they claim. An apartheid 'analogy' is fatally flawed, specious, absurd, and wrong for Israel because apartheid is not an analogy, but a crime as well-defined in law as embezzlement or kidnapping.

The most relevant statute, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, perhaps muddies the waters by stating that "the term ‘the crime of apartheid’ … shall include similar practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa."

But it goes on to define exactly what those and other "inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them" are.

Most will sound familiar to anyone who follows news from Palestine. The ban on "arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups" should bring to mind Hana Shalabi, Khader Adnan, and 307 other administrative detainees held indefinitely without charges, evidence, or trials. This is further to the 4,078 Palestinian political prisoners sentenced by military courts or facing the imminent prospect, all under occupation laws no Jew will ever face.

The prohibition of "measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country" could have been meant to describe discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

They are barred by law from the their country’s ethnically-cleansed land controlled by the Jewish National Fund, face forcible displacement in the Naqab and Jim Crow-style 'admissions committees' when seeking new homes, and have never -- over nearly 64 years of occupation -- been allowed to construct a new community.

And one could write volumes about Zionist "measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group" in the occupied West Bank alone.

There, illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall carve Palestinian communities into segmented Bantustans, separating inhabitants from natural resources and their families and friends in a steady process that began with the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948: racial partition writ large.

The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court specifically proscribes such ethnic cleansing, defining "the crime of apartheid" to include "deportation or forcible transfer of population ... in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

This aptly summarizes an unbroken chain of crimes committed by Zionists, from the Nakba of 1948 to the Naqab of today.

Of course astute Zionists know all of this very well. They target an imaginary apartheid 'analogy' because it can only work to their advantage.

Palestinians and allies bogged down in fruitless debates over how much or how little Palestine in 2012 resembles South Africa in 1973 will spend that much less time driving home their actual point: that Israel's culpability in the crimes of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, as clearly defined and universally understood, is obvious.

Unfortunately, many well-intentioned supporters of Palestine fall into this carefully-laid trap. A promotional summary of the new documentary Roadmap to Apartheid promises that the film "winds its way through the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and inside Israel moving from town to town and issue to issue to show why the apartheid analogy is being used with increasing potency."

Such an historical comparison may interest viewers. But by casting apartheid as an 'analogy', rather than a straightforward question of international law, it risks confusing them with irrelevant distractions.

A 21st-century apartheid regime, toasted in foreign capitals and benefiting from new technologies of surveillance, control, and violence, will differ significantly from an earlier, internationally-isolated, and less-advanced one.

Incidentally, these differences do not favor Israel. After visiting Palestine in 2006, Willie Madisha, former president of South Africa’s Congress of South African Trade Unions, commented: "The horrendous dehumanization of Black South Africans during the erstwhile Apartheid years is a Sunday picnic, compared with what I saw and what I know is happening to the Palestinian people."

Following his own 2004 visit, South African activist Arun Gandhi agreed: "When I come here and see the situation here, I find that what is happening here is ten times worse than what I had experienced in South Africa. This is Apartheid."

John Dugard, a South African professor of international law and a former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council for the Gaza Strip and West Bank, has observed that "every black South African that I’ve spoken to who has visited the Palestinian territory has been horrified and has said without hesitation that the system that applies in Palestine is worse."

Yet even these comparisons, though they may favor Palestine, are beside the point. Israeli policies constitute the crime of apartheid not because they resemble those of South Africa, or even because they are worse, but rather because a well-established body of international law defines them as such.

The common elements of national oppression, from South Africa and Palestine to Ireland and the indigenous Americas, matter. But we should not confuse the building blocks of international solidarity with a suitable basis for legal analysis.

Why choose to make one of the easiest, most straightforward questions about Palestine unnecessarily difficult? And when Zionists attempt to do so, why should we play along with them?

Joe Catron is an international solidarity activist and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions organizer in the Gaza Strip.
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1 ) Tony B? / ME
04/03/2012 13:15
Apartheid was a system that excluded one set of indigenous people from participation in the governance of their country. It can't be applied to the situation in Israel because 1. Palestinians are for the most part Arab immigrants in Israel and therefore not indigenous. 2. Arabs participate in every aspect of Israeli governance. 3. Exclusion from governance is only applied in Arab run areas such as Gaza, and this discrimination is against Jews.

2 ) Mel / Gaza
04/03/2012 14:20
@Tony B. If we are "Arab immigrants, please tell me where exactly did we come from???

3 ) drew3000 / UK
04/03/2012 15:34
Just popped in to say Tony B has no idea what the hell he's talking about. He's taken the Hasbara pill and that's how he sees everything. Anyone who came to Palestine from Europe was an immigrant. The Palestinians already living in the area were not immigrants. It really is that simple. On parts 2 and 3, he's simply lying.

4 ) Business / Israel
04/03/2012 17:19
Syria, egypt, transjordan iraq etc. The zionist economic boom attracted immigrants from all over the ME. The british colonial reports refer to this repeatedly. The laws of economics were not suspended. They are iron clad. Capital inflow means higher salaries and opportunity. That attracts labor. Happens all over the world every day and happened massively in the mandate.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
04/03/2012 17:23
Drew is wrong, of course, because Jewish refugees came from all over to return to their homeland. History cannot be altered, Drew. The fact is that Jews do indeed originate from Israel, and Jewish refugees came from around the world, not just Europe. You conveniently omit the fact of the illegal expulsion of Jews from Arab countries, where there is true apartheid. Apologists for Palestinian terrorism love to wave the "apartheid" flag, that even Judge Goldstone himself rejects as false.

6 ) Naomi / WG
04/03/2012 19:16
@-1 How about reading history?. But please, not in Hebrew the just twist and write the story exactly as they need it. A guideline-? Genocide / Apartheid / Human rights / right to exist / racism / ethnic cleansing / expulsion and more. No excuses no apology is good and big enough for the crimes they do and have don all these years.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2012 20:36
The apartheid analogy is indeed flawed. South Africa was more than willing to set up Bantustans on a portion of its land, and indeed, even tried to impose them on the Black population. At the moment, the PA is struggling to get Israel to permit them to form a Bantustan, and Israel won't allow it.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2012 20:46
Re Business #4 'Syria, egypt, transjordan iraq etc. The zionist economic boom attracted immigrants from all over the ME... ' Joan Peters lives! Try reading some of the criticism of her 'work.' 'From Time Immemorial' was little more than an exercise in how to create historical falsehood for those who need to be lied to.

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2012 20:56
(I) Interestingly, Brian B, Business, and TonyB implicitly admit that Israel has no basis for its existence. Their argument is that Palestine should belong to the original inhabitants. It can easily can be and has been repeatedly demonstrated that the Palestinians are simply the people who have always inhabited Palestine while relatively few ever left, so it is obvious to whom the land does belong by this measure.

10 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2012 20:59
(II) It's almost breathtaking just how bad the Zionist argument is. It's little more than a relict of some of the more bankrupt and morally repugnant theses of nineteenth century racial nationalism -- like Naziism, which Zionism not at all coincidentally mirrors in several critical respects. The use of historical fantasy to lay claim to someone else's land, the absolute refusal to consider the rights of others, the worship of violence and brute force...

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
04/03/2012 21:03
III. ...the obsession with a largely imaginary ethnic purity, and the belief in an inherent superiority residing in this (largely imaginary) ethnic identity. ...and finally, and most ominously, a decided weakness for apocalyptic thinking. Israel is a heavily armed and extremely dangerous state, and the trick will be to make sure that it ends with a whimper, and not with a bang.

12 ) deb / UK
05/03/2012 01:34
@5 The Palestinians are more likely to be related to the ancient Jews who lived in Palestine and who later converted to Islam. European Jews are actually the decendants of Jewish converts. Jews from Arab lands were tricked and terrorised into leaving their homelands by the Zionist terror group the Stern Gang because Ben Gurion needed cheap labour.

13 ) gabi / australia
05/03/2012 03:27
#4 - I don't know to which "British colonial reports" you refer, but try reading the yearly "Report(s) by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan." You will see there what immigration occurred, mostly by European Jews during those years, and after Israel was created displaced Arabs were not allowed to even return to their own homes. You should read more history

14 ) Rob / USA
05/03/2012 06:43
Joan Peters, a prize winning journalist went to write a book about the plight of the 'Palestinians' until she looked at the original British and Ottoman censuses. The Sultans actually wanted Jewish immigration, feeling they might actually make something of the place. Jordan was partitioned as the original Pal state with 80% of the Mandate, the Jews were to get the rest according to the San Remo agreement. The Arabs tried to mount a 2nd Holocaust already. It didn't go well, did it?

15 ) Mel / Gaza
05/03/2012 07:06
@Business. Number 1 is saying that "Palestinians are for the most part Arab immigrants in Israel and therefore not indigenous". This simply is absolutely false! Our ancestors were Jewish, Christian and others. Why is that so difficult to understand? Jesus is the best example. He was Jewish before he was a Christian and he still belongs to this land.

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 11:18
To Rob #14 'Joan Peters, a prize winning journalist went to write a book about the plight of the 'Palestinians' until she looked at the original British and Ottoman censuses...' You would seem to be one of the people I referred to in my post #8. It's telling that there's such a need for the Palestinians not to have been there. The implication is that if they had been there (and they most assuredly were) then Zionism would be indefensible.

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 11:28
Joan Peters: very, very dull. From my handy-dandy 1950 Atlas. Palestine 1931: 760k Muslims, 91k Christians, 175k Jews. 1938: 900k Muslims, 111k Christians, 411k Jews. 1946: 1077k Muslims, 145k Christians, 608k Jews. Net change 1931-1946: Muslims increased 40%, Christians increased 60%, Jews increased 350%. Either (a) Jews were fantastically fecund, or (b) it was the Jews that were coming in, not the Arabs.

18 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 11:36
Going back further just makes things worse. The British figures for 1922 are 486k Muslim, 71k Christian, 84k Jewish. So for 1922-1946 we get just over a doubling of Muslim and Christian populations (not exactly unheard of for the era and the region) -- but a fine, eight-fold increase in the Jewish population. The Palestinians were there and the Jews came in. It's a problem that it's necessary for your argument that it be otherwise.

19 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 11:40
To Mel #15 'This simply is absolutely false!' Come up with a short-cut for typing that. It can be applied to just about every part of the Zionist argument. It's a lie from the start, and that's why it requires lies, violence, and oppression to be perpetuated -- and always will.

20 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 11:57
It's flogging a dead horse, but we can go back further still. Ottoman figures are a bit shaky, but for 1860 we have 411k total, 1890 553k, 1914 738k. Obviously, the Palestinians were there, their population was increasing nicely before the Zionists appeared in any significant numbers, and it continued to increase thereafter at about the same rate, and at a rate entirely commensurate with natural growth. It's simply at best desperation and at worst blatant dishonesty to argue otherwise.

21 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 12:02
I suppose I could go on to look at neighboring countries -- Egypt, Syria, Lebanon -- and show that their populations also grew, and probably at similar rates -- but why? We all -- even those who pretend to believe it -- know Peters 'argument is B.S. Just like we can take one look at Netanyahu, Lieberman, etc and know that few or none of their ancestors came from the Levant.

22 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/03/2012 12:04
It's all appallingly obvious, and the only real question is why people feel compelled to seriously advocate something so transparently silly.

23 ) Tony B? / ME
05/03/2012 22:49
2) You came from the surrounding Arab countries to work for the returning Jews. This happened at the time when Palestine and Palestinian still meant Jewish land and Jewish people. It was under Ottoman occupation then, and your lot never owned so much as a single rock. I can understand your confusion. It is caused by Arab attempts to re-write history. And if that is the only propaganda you have been exposed to I suggest you go look on. Wikipedia.

24 ) Tony B? / ME
05/03/2012 23:18
20) Colin Wright. It may be beyond your ability to comprehend the facts, but I will repeat them in the hope that they just might penetrate your thick scull. PALESTINIAN MEANT JEW DURING THE TIME OF THE OTTOMAN OCCUPATION. THE NAME WAS HIJACKED BY AN EGYPTIAN NAMED ARAFAT IN THE '60s AFTER JEWS ADOPTED THE NAME ISRAEL. The figures you quote show both returning Jews and immigrant Arabs who came to find work created by the Zionist project on land they bought legally. Apartheid = Islam's dhimitude.

25 ) ian / australia
06/03/2012 00:57
#16-#22 Fine work Colin! Congrats to you and 1950 atlas! "From Time Immemorial" has actually become quite the essential text and will live in the annals of infamy! It's interesting why she actually bothered to write it. Was it self-delusion or shameless agitprop or editor driven or just doing your bit for the team (like Deborah Lipstadt) because G-d knows "the team" isn't generally squeamish, or needing to "feel OK" about acting out its agendas!

26 ) Colin Wright / USA
06/03/2012 01:26
Strike 'silly' from my post #22. 'Silly' implies harmless foolishness. With a record of having expropriated the better part of an entire people from their home, of having established the world's only state that still exists on a nakedly racist doctrine of brute force, and of having a large nuclear arsenal coupled with a mentality that makes it quite likely it will be used at some point, there's nothing 'silly' about Israel. It's 'silly' in the same sense an axe-murderer is 'silly.'

27 ) Mel / Gaza
06/03/2012 18:36
@Tony B. First thing everyone learns at uni is that "Wikipedia" is not credible and an unreliable source. "Palestinian meant Jew"? So YOU DO agree that our ancestors are from this land?!? Perhaps you need to understand that Judaism is a religion. Are you saying then that those who converted to Christianity and Islam in Palestine shouldn't have any claim to the land? Is Jesus an Arab immigrant? You are contradicting yourself and that is why your wikipedia explanation is not credible at all!

28 ) southparkbear / usa
06/03/2012 22:26
yawn

29 ) Robert Haymond / Israel Canada
07/03/2012 00:52
Sorry `deb`No. 12, UK, read the genetic study of Gil Atzmon, Harry Ostrer, et al, in the June 2010 American Journal of Genetics, which showed, at a level of scientific significance, that Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews are genetically related. I hate to break your bubble of anti-Jewish hysteria but the relationship is just the case, scientifically speaking, of course.

30 ) Robert Haymond / Israel Canada
07/03/2012 01:02
Since the year 2000, 983 Israeli civilians have been murdered by Arab Muslim terrorists, mainly Fatah and Hamas operatives. Most of those murdered came about as a result of operatives illegally entering the state of Israel from Gaza and the Westbank. Many of those murdered were victims of suicide bombers. In addition, 17,200 civilians have been wounded. The Wall has very significantly diminished the number of Israeli casualties. At the risk of political incorrectedness, the Wall remains.

31 ) gabi / australia
07/03/2012 01:42
Tony B - Read more history as written at the time of its occurrence, not ex post facto, and you can then see who is doing the re-writing.The figures given by Colin Wright speak for themselves. And those figures were set out in relevant documents before Israelis found it necessary to re-write history to justify their occupation of Palestinian land.

32 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 05:46
To Tony B #24 'PALESTINIAN MEANT JEW DURING THE TIME OF THE OTTOMAN OCCUPATION.' That you wind up having to convince yourself of the truth of assertions as absurd as this is simply more evidence of the utter moral, intellectual, and historical bankruptcy of your cause. There's not even any serious need to rebut your statement.

33 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 05:50
re Tony B? '2) You came from the surrounding Arab countries to work for the returning Jews.' So much in life is ambiguous. It is reassuring that on at least one of the issues I care about that the argument is so clear-cut that the best those who disagree with me can come up with are absurdities such as this. It's nice to be quite certain you're right -- at least occasionally.

34 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 05:55
Re TonyB? #24 '20) Colin Wright. It may be beyond your ability to comprehend the facts, but I will repeat them in the hope that they just might penetrate your thick scull.' Lol. 'Skull,' not 'scull.' A 'scull' is a small boat, or an oar kind of thing. As to our relative ability to comprehend, etc....no need to say anything at all.

35 ) gabi / Australia
07/03/2012 08:11
Further to those who say that Palestinians were immigrants to the land following the Zionist opening up of the land - Golda Meir was fond of referring to Israel as a land without a people for a people without a land. Well, just get hold of old maps from, say, the early 1880s and see just how many villages and towns were in Palestine at that time - with Arabic names not Hebrew names - tell you anything about the occupants at that time? Well before Zionist settlement.

36 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 09:43
To Mel #27. Wikipedia is fine -- except on obscure or controversial topics. Like, say, Israel. In a case like that, finding something agreeable on the Wikipedia page merely means that the last person to edit it agrees with you.

37 ) gabi / Australia
07/03/2012 11:07
And while at the bookseller, get hold of a copy of a publication "Guide Indicateur de la Terre-Sainte" published for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land in the 1880s giving the travelling distance between the various towns but importantly for these purposes is that for the major towns it sets out the population by numbers of "Juifs, Musulmen, Chritiens" Jerusalem had about equal nos. of Moslems and Jews, Tiberius had many more Jews, and other than those places Jews were by far in the minority. OK?

38 ) Tony B? / ME
07/03/2012 12:37
27) Your post demonstrates the effect of Arab propaganda on your understanding. Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. Your history revisionists claim to be former Jews to get past the facts I posted. When it suits them, they say there was never an ancient Jewish presence in the land or a Jewish temple. Which is it going to be? If Israel were a stable, you would claim to have evolved from horses! Your lies make you a joke to those who understand true history.

39 ) @ the Author / \ Tibi/Tubas
07/03/2012 14:17
No state in the whole world is saying that the Palestinians areas,
of Gaza and Areas A/B, are part of Israel, and there is NO Israeli
government that would accept these regions, as part of Israel,
so whether Apartheid is a crime, or an analogy, the term does
NOT APPLY to a state's policy regarding adjacent regions,
and thus TO ISRAEL.

It would be better if you promoted Negotiations, instead of Lies !!!


40 ) Phil / UK
07/03/2012 17:23
The last indigenous population was Jewish. Most were dispossessed by the Romans between AD 70 and 135. Since then many groups have dominated the land including French, Arab and Turks. The last foreign power to dominate was the British who gave only part of it back to its original Jewish owners. The majority was given to the Hashemites to create a Palestinian homeland. Israel is the only country in the region that doesn't practice apartheid. All Arab Muslim countries oppress Jews and Christians.

41 ) Tony B? / ME
07/03/2012 17:41
32/33/34. Colin Wright. Three posts and not a single word to give credence to your pathetic attempt to revise history. People reading this might be forgiven for thinking you are nothing more than a common anti-Semitic knuckle-dragger. Is it white sheets and pointy hats. Or do you prefer crawling around grave yards painting swastikas? I bet $100 your family has been fighting for racial purity ever since the Yankees abolished slavery !!!

42 ) Mel / Gaza
07/03/2012 19:35
@ Tony B. "When it suits them, they say there was never an ancient Jewish presence in the land or a Jewish temple." I have never denied the presence of Jews in Palestine. Quite the opposite. "Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs." Well, what about the Arab Jews? Are they "Jews" or "Arabs"? And what about the Palestinian Jews? And is there a difference between those who follow Judaism and Jews? I mean can you be a Jew without following Judaism?

43 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:16
To @ the author #39 'No state in the whole world is saying that the Palestinians areas, of Gaza and Areas A/B, are part of Israel...so whether Apartheid is a crime, or an analogy, the term does NOT APPLY to a state's policy regarding adjacent regions, and thus TO ISRAEL.' Rather pathetically, you've just laid out the essence of apartheid: the creation of separate, dependent 'states' to hold the ejected untermenschen.

44 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:18
To Phil #40 'The last indigenous population was Jewish. Most were dispossessed by the Romans between AD 70 and 135. ' This is simply and demonstrably untrue. Obviously, a three hundred word or whatever post won't allow me to do true justice to the inaccuracy of your views, but there's really no point in arguing if you are just going to take refuge in invincible ignorance.

45 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:21
To Gabi #37 'And while at the bookseller, get hold of a copy of a publication "Guide Indicateur de la Terre-Sainte" published for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land in the 1880s...' It doesn't make you a mite suspicious that Peters' argument has to prefer such sources over British government census data, etc? I imagine if I went around the US visiting Mormon communities, I could easily do a head count showing that Mormons are a clear majority in the US.

46 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:26
To TonyB?#38 'Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. ' (I) Clearly and almost necessarily untrue. Even the evidence most often adduced in support of this fact -- the rather slanted genetic studies recently financed by Zionists -- do not only show that the various Jewish communities are related to each other. They also show that the Jews in question are far more closely related to the gentiles around them. A Yemeni Jew is much more of a Yemeni than he is a Jew.

47 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:30
To TonyB?#38 'Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. ' (II) More damning, both earlier genetic studies, which either didn't have an axe to grind or at least a different axe, clearly showed that 'Jews' by and large, did NOT come from the Levant. Indeed, genetic studies at least partially confirmed Arthur Koestler's once-denigrated theory that the Ashkenazi were at least partially of Khazar descent. Finally, there's the historical approach...

48 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:33
To TonyB?#38 'Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. ' (II) For example, there were many Jews in Yemen. What, you think vast Jewish migrating tribes crossed Arabia and conquered Yemen? No -- of course not. Yemeni groups that had adopted Judaism came to power in Yemen and made it a very good idea to become Jewish for a while. Hence Yemeni -- and most other flavors -- of Jews.

49 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:36
To TonyB?#38 'Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. ' (III) There was no massive expulsion from Palestine. There's no evidence there was, such an action would have been completely out of character for the Romans, and in any case, the few thousand emigrants that could have resulted did not madly breed like rabbits to produce the several millions of Jews the Empire had by the 2nd/3rd Century.

50 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:38
To TonyB?#38 'Judaism is a religion, but Jews are an ethnic race, just like Arabs. ' (IV) Most Jews were converts, and most modern Jews are the descendants of converts. Of course they are: LOOK at them. They're not from Palestine any more than I am. The notion that 'Jews are a race' is a figment of exactly the same strand of nineteenth century racial nationalist reasoning that produced Naziism, and it has led to a similar doctrine. It's repulsive, evil, and most of all, WRONG.

51 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:44
God, what pro-Zionists put out is evil clap-trap. I mean, there are other causes in the world, and their partisans can be one-sided, given to exaggeration, etc. Irish nationalists, Armenians, Turks vs. Armenians, Greeks, American Indian activists, etc, etc. Even -- dare I say it -- Muslims. We have all sinned. But for sheer, overwhelming mendacity, nothing comes close to Zionism. It's a complete crock from start to finish. It's unbelievable.

52 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:52
To Robert Haymond #30 'Since the year 2000, 983 Israeli civilians have been murdered by Arab Muslim terrorists, mainly Fatah and Hamas operatives. '(I) YAWN! First, if you look up the individual stories, you'll find many of those 'civilians' were reservists in uniform at the time. Many of the others were settlers who had chosen to participate in expropriating Palestinian land. They were hardly 'civilians.'

53 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:55
To Robert Haymond #30 'Since the year 2000, 983 Israeli civilians have been murdered by Arab Muslim terrorists, mainly Fatah and Hamas operatives. '(II) Second, even the figure of 983, pumped up as it is, is only a tiny fraction of all the gentile civilians Israel murdered in the same time -- and as these were mostly simply the local inhabitants, killed as they huddled in their homes, these indubitably were civilians.

54 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 21:58
To Robert Haymond #30 'Since the year 2000, 983 Israeli civilians have been murdered by Arab Muslim terrorists, mainly Fatah and Hamas operatives. '(III) Finally, and most to the point, it is telling that the partisans of Zionism can come up with NO valid argument in defense of their cause. I mean, pick almost any other issue and there's SOMETHING to be said for both sides. Not Zionism. That is because it is a complete falsehood in the first place.

55 ) Colin Wright / USA
07/03/2012 22:02
About all that could be said for Zionism is that in fact if there had been a 'land without people' somewhere, and no one else had wanted it, it would have been reasonable for Jews who felt so inclined to go there, settle, and create an 'Israel.' But there wasn't such a land, and absurd attempts to claim that Palestine was such won't change the facts. Zionism as it was implemented is completely indefensible.

56 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
07/03/2012 22:17
Colin #52 and #53: Making up explanations based upon no historical research whatsoever identifies you as a propagandist, not even a very good one, in fact, as opposed to your being a scholar or serious researcher. You write a lot, continually, even obsessively but you fail to do the homework necessary to be taken seriously, even by other anti-Zionists.

57 ) @ Colin Wrong #53 / USA too
07/03/2012 23:27
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, and you should stop pretending that you don't know the difference between a Murder and a Killing: - Israelis (& tourists too) are intentionally murdered in hotels, buses, bus stops, hiking, etc., while - Palestinians are only intentionally killed in self-defense while attacking Israelis (launching rockets, mortars, etc.), or accidentally killed while throwing stones or just being too near terrorists, during an Israeli defensive strike !! - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE !!

58 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/03/2012 02:34
To Mel #42 'And what about the Palestinian Jews? And is there a difference between those who follow Judaism and Jews? I mean can you be a Jew without following Judaism?' (I) Racially, at least most of the Palestinian Jews are still there. They're called 'Palestinians.' One of the ironies of this debate is that odds are you're a lot more Jewish than those you are arguing with, genetically speaking.

59 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/03/2012 02:37
To Mel #42 'And what about the Palestinian Jews? And is there a difference between those who follow Judaism and Jews? I mean can you be a Jew without following Judaism?' (II) Depending on chance, the minutia of the unknowable demographics of Palestine two millenia ago, and how you want to define your terms, you're probably something like 30% 'Jewish' -- taking Jews as a race that is. Your interlocutors would be doing good if they made 10%.

60 ) @ Colin #53 / \ Tibi/Tubas
08/03/2012 05:19
If you really believe that "all the gentile civilians Israel murdered were simply the local inhabitants, killed as they huddled in their homes", then you are lying yourself, and you should try to explain why the cities of Gaza do NOT look like the rebel strong-holds in Syria, for surely if Israel fought like Syria, with a disregard for human life, Gaza cities would all have been "ghost-towns" long ago !!!

61 ) Phil / UK
08/03/2012 14:45
44) Colin Wright. Its because you can't disprove the facts I quoted even with a 3000 word essay that you resort to scoffing. The histories of many countries, Eastern and Western record the scattering of the Jewish people to the 4 corners of the Earth. You can go to Rome and see the destruction of the Jewish temple and expulsion of Jews depicted on the Arch of Titus. You are typical of revisionist propagandists. You spew out lies by the gallon hoping to drown the truth. God will repay your evil.

62 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/03/2012 20:51
To Phil #61 I've a dark suspicion you actually believe the words in your post. I've also a dark suspicion that you're pretty much impervious to the truth. If space permitted, I'd have a go at helping you, but space doesn't permit, and in any case, as I say, it would probably be futile.

63 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/03/2012 20:56
To '@ Colin #53' 'if Israel fought like Syria, with a disregard for human life, Gaza cities would all have been "ghost-towns" long ago' Israel kills all she dares. The slaughter actually varies according to how tolerant she calculates America et al will be. For example, it plunged in the first few months of the Obama administration -- Israel had to step cautiously for a bit. But you always kill all you can. That's a constant. In context, your 'regard for human life' schtick is obscene.

64 ) Robert / US
08/03/2012 21:20
@ #29 Robert Haymond id rather read Gilad Atzmon's book ' The Wandering Who' @ #59 Colin Wright jews are a race .its a religon .why do people confuse this topic ?.

65 ) gabi / Australia
09/03/2012 02:08
#45 - Colin Wright - the "Guide" figures were taken from the town records of the time - and because of the fact that they did not record the Bedu (Arab nomads) - they are not reliable as an accurate record of Arabs in those years. But they do show that the majority of residents were Arab - by far the majority - and thus give the lie to the assertions that the Arabs are "Johnnies-come-lately" in Palestine. The Bedouin were also largely left out of Ottoman records, counts taken for tax purposes.

66 ) Deborah / USA
09/03/2012 04:55
"Joan Peters, a prize winning journalist" and discovered to be a fraud. Some people really are behind the times.

67 ) Tony B? / ME
09/03/2012 18:14
65) Gabi. The city of Bradford, England has a larger population of people of Asian background than those of Anglo-Saxon. Does that make Asians indigenous? No! All it means is a large number of them came there to benefit from the industry created by the population that was there before them. Similarly Jewish industry created lots of work during the late 19th early 20th century and Arabs migrated from surrounding countries to take that work. Now they want apartheid/dhimmitude for their hosts!

68 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2012 22:57
(I) Sigh. It's really inane. On the one hand, what evidence there is suggests that few of the indigenous population of Palestine ever left. On the other hand, what evidence there is of the actual demographics of the Arab conquests et al suggests that while there was some Arabic immigration into southern Iraq, there was little into 'Syria' (a term which comprehended Palestine at the time).

69 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2012 23:00
And indeed, except for the Jewish influx of the twentieth century and their expulsion of the native population in 1948, there seem to have been few demographic events of great consequence in Palestine -- ever. The gist of it all is that the one group existing today that are most representative of the Biblical Jews are the Palestinians themselves. The rest is pernicious nonsense.

70 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2012 23:06
To gabi #65 '...thus give the lie to the assertions that the Arabs are "Johnnies-come-lately" in Palestine...' As I've already said, the most interesting thing about claims to the contrary is not that they're false -- that's easily shown -- but that they're made at all. The implication is that if the claims AREN'T true, then the Zionist argument falls apart. Palestine can't be 'a land without a people' if it turns out it in fact already has a people.

71 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2012 23:09
To Robert #64 'Colin Wright jews are a race .its a religon .why do people confuse this topic ?.' The confusion arises out of the fact that on the one hand, Jews obviously AREN'T a race. A Yemeni Jew shares close to nil with a German Jew, genetically. On the other hand, the Zionist argument requires that Jews BE a race -- else the argument falls apart. Naturally, when it is necessary to maintain a transparently false proposition, a great deal of confusion will result.

72 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2012 23:19
To TonyB? #67 'Similarly Jewish industry created lots of work during the late 19th early 20th century and Arabs migrated from surrounding countries to take that work.' Of course, there is the awkward fact that while the Asian immigration to Bradford obviously DID happen, the supposed 19th/20th century Arab immigration to Palestine clearly DID NOT. But I'm sure you won't let that slow you down.

73 ) Gabi / Australia
10/03/2012 02:36
# 65 Tony B - you are wrong. Jewish industry was barely operating in Palestine until well into the years of the Mandate while Arabs were conducting their own industry, mainly the result of farming activities. And anyway even if you are right, does that justify taking their land away from them, on the basis that they have only been there for 150 years rather hundreds of generations? Because this is what's happening, daily, in the West Bank. Clearly you agree with maintaining the Occupation.

74 ) Business / Israel
10/03/2012 06:50
Maan keeps blocking this but unlije all of you, I live here. All you have to do is actually speak to Palestinians. They will tell you where they came from. Egypt, syria, the caucus, even bosnia. I have met them, the arguments here are insane. No mexicans in california moved there since 1970 for jobs, not one, they are all indigenous because in 1500, the land belonged to mexico. That is how crazy you all are.

75 ) Tony B? / ME
10/03/2012 18:40
73) Gabi, you are wrong. You have allowed yourself to be led by ant-Semitic racists like Colin Wright who for the furtherance of his Jew hating agenda would have you believe the land was swarming with industrious Arabs during the 19th century. Read Mark Twain's account if you really want to know the truth. The real 'occupation' is perpetrated by Muslims. We see their apartheid operating in neighboring countries discriminating against Jews, Christians and women etc. The same in Gaza and the WB.

76 ) Gabi / Australia
12/03/2012 00:57
# 75 - Tony B - discrimination against women? What, like women sit at the back of the bus - segregated streets - ritual bath?

77 ) Gabi / Australia
13/03/2012 01:22
# 76 - Tony B - I don't rely on Colin Wright for my information though we seem to be of the same view. His posts are no more anti-Semitic than are those of the many Jews, whether or not they are Israelis, who write against the occupation. And I guess you never went to law school because if you did you would know that one of the first things they teach is that once you show the need to resort to insult and abuse, it becomes clear to everyone that you have lost the argument.

78 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/03/2012 05:23
To Tony B? #75 'You have allowed yourself to be led by ant-Semitic racists like Colin Wright who for the furtherance of his Jew hating agenda' Somewhat ironically, while there are racial groups I dislike, Jews are not one of them. You may have a hard time wrapping your head around this, but I'm not anti-semitic in the least. I just hate Israel. If that's confusing, try thinking about hating Germans vs. hating Naziism.

79 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/03/2012 06:11
Re Business #74. This post just goes to show the absurdity of the beliefs that have to be maintained if one is to be a Zionist. It must be like being fanatically committed to the proposition that the moon is made of green cheese.

80 ) Phil / UK
13/03/2012 14:08
78) What you can't wrap your head around is the real reason you hate Israel. In a region were oppressive regimes are the norm you want an oasis of freedom wiped out by another oppressive regime. There is no logic in your thinking unless we take the God factor into account. Israel back in their land means Ezekiel was right. And that means Jesus Christ will return soon. The existence of the Jewish nation is key to this. Even though you be an unwitting puppet it is Satan pulling your strings.

81 ) southparkbear / usa
13/03/2012 14:51
why don't you reuse pictures from SA? after all what is a good lie without a picture

82 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/03/2012 19:04
To Phil #80 'Even though you be an unwitting puppet it is Satan pulling your strings.' (I) If there is a God, and he approves of an abomination like the modern 'Israel,' we're really screwed. That would make things even worse than I thought.

83 ) Carol / UK
27/03/2013 21:07
Pro-Israel pressure groups in the UK have suffered a major defeat in efforts to repress Palestine solidarity activity within the trade unions http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/03/27/major-defeat-for-case-claiming-union-was-anti-semitic/

84 ) Blake / UK
27/03/2013 22:12
@ Tony: You really need to provide sources. Levantines (Palestinians; Jordanians; Syrians; Lebanese; parts of Iraq) are the indigenous people of the Levant, you European Jews are not.

85 ) Richard / Argentina
30/03/2013 06:17
I'm surprised on how can one quote Joan Peters here (she or her ideas). She is considered a massive fraud and a low-level propagandist even in Israel! The arab immigration hypothesis is a complete joke and no serious historian take it seriously, not even hardcore Zionists like Benny Morris or Yehoshua Porath - who are ISRAELIS Please, zios, go back to your hasbarah classes! Quoting ridiculed authors, whose researches arent taken seriously by any scholar, only will expose you as a bunch of liars
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