Rashid Khalidi reviews the US-Israel relationship in connection with the 50th anniversary of the June 1967 War, including earlier steps leading to the creation of Israel -- the Balfour Declaration and the 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution 181 -- and then evaluates future prospects for change.
The Nakba, central to Palestinian nationhood as much as the Holocaust is for Jews and slavery is for African-Americans, is the living reminder of the profound injustice inflicted upon the Palestinians.
On the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War Moshé Machover looks at the background and consequences.
The expansion of Jewish settlements has followed a consistent pattern for about 100 years – the replacement of Palestinians by Jews. The new U.S. president provides a historical opportunity to accelerate the process.
In plotting a decidedly lopsided “one-state solution,” Trump and Netanyahu are following an old and exclusionary script: once again, the future of Palestine is being decided behind the back of the Palestinians. Once again, they have been made invisible.
Zionist expansionism can rely on promising precedents: in addition to the original 1947-49 nakba, there is also the case of the Syrian Golan Heights... Israel took the simpler route of ethnically cleansing most of the Golan’s inhabitants in 1967, before annexing it officially in 1981... [A]lthough no country has formally recognised the annexation and accepted the ethnic cleansing, the world has got used to regarding the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and the line separating it from the rest of Syria is usually referred to in the media as Israel’s border with Syria.
Whereas America’s solicitous concern for Israel and its disregard for the Palestinians were once cloaked behind evenhandedness, under Trump we are set to see a more complete convergence between America’s political leadership and the most chauvinistic, religious, and right-wing government in Israel’s history. It will be this Israeli government and its new American soul mates who will call the tune in Palestine for at least the next several years.
Is there a Hebrew nation and how should it be defined? Moshé Machover proposes a strategy envisaging the defeat of Zionism
In view of its multiple anomalies, the conflict created by Zionist colonization defies appeal to precedent: there simply is none that can usefully be invoked as to its evolution and eventual resolution.
You cannot explain why Israel is continuing with a [colonization] policy that is not winning it any friends without mentioning Zionism. On the contrary, I think what we should do is not apologize… but instead go onto the offensive and be aggressive: directly attack Zionism. And you can also attack Zionism precisely because of its collusion and collaboration with anti-Semitism.
What is Zionism? What is the meaning of the claim that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people? Is the BDS campaign anti-Semitic? Moshé Machover in an interview with the Croatian website Slobodni Filozofski -- “Zionism is what it has been from its beginning, more than 100 years ago: in its essence it is a political project, the project of colonizing Palestine by Jews and turning it into a nation-state with an overwhelming Jewish majority. Israel is both a product of this project and an instrument for its further continuation.”
Jeff Halper’s new book is a must-read, a major contribution to the subject. I cannot recommend it too highly. It is a devastatingly effective antidote to the silly ‘Israeli tail wags American dog’ theories, according to which the US slavishly supports and protects Israel, although this damages true American ‘national interests’.
Nobody can deny that the American pro-Israeli lobby has immense political influence in the United States – it is an observable fact. The question is, why is it allowed to have this influence? Is it beyond the power of the real engines of American capitalism to mobilize, if they wanted to, enough funds to counteract this lobby?
The [US] Supreme Court in its 1982 NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. decision recognized boycotts as a First Amendment-protected form of political speech. This means that if it would be wrong for the State of New Jersey to penalize people for engaging in political speech (whether the legislature approves of that speech or not) then it would be equally wrong for the State of New Jersey to penalize people for engaging in a boycott (whether the legislature approves of that boycott or not).
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 launched what amounts to a hundred years of war against the Palestinians. This war had a unique nature – it was formally sanctioned and authorized by the great powers of the day at different times during this century, and via different fora, such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, but it was mainly waged by other actors. A much distorted and maligned feature of this long war has been the Palestinians’ continuing resistance, against heavy odds, to what amounts to one of the last ongoing attempts at colonial subjugation in the modern world.
Unlike the first and second intifadas, this wave of Palestinian resistance is characterized by individual acts of violence mainly targeting the Israeli military occupation, such as soldiers at checkpoints. The attacks are largely uncoordinated, unorganized, and politically unclaimed. The majority are solitary acts, atomized expressions of anger and frustration.
Irene L. Gendzier presents incontrovertible evidence that oil politics played a significant role in the founding of Israel, the policy then adopted by the United States toward Palestinians, and subsequent U.S. involvement in the region. Consulting declassified U.S. government sources, as well as papers in the H.S. Truman Library, she uncovers little-known features of U.S. involvement in the region, including significant exchanges in the winter and spring of 1948 between the director of the Oil and Gas Division of the Interior Department and the representative of the Jewish Agency in the United States, months before Israel's independence and recognition by President Truman.
[T]here was also “straight talk” among US military and intelligence officials about the comparative strength of Israeli as opposed to Palestinian and Arab forces, the first of which they regarded as superior from the vantage point of training and equipment. US officials concluded that Israel had become the number two power in the Middle East after Turkey, and could be useful in contributing to US strategy in the Middle East.