Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Activist speaks on Birthright during Israel Apartheid Week

Liza Behrendt, member of Jewish Voice for Peace, leads a discourse about Birthright Israel with BU students at the College of Arts and Sciences Wednesday evening. PHOTO BY KENSHIN OKUBO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Liza Behrendt, member of Jewish Voice for Peace, leads a discourse about Birthright Israel with BU students at the College of Arts and Sciences Wednesday evening. PHOTO BY KENSHIN OKUBO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Liza Behrendt, an organizer for Jewish Voice for Peace Boston, spoke to Boston University students Wednesday night about the nonprofit, educational organization Taglit-Birthright Israel as part of Students for Justice in Palestine’s Israel Apartheid Week.

Behrendt said the program, which is partially funded by the Israeli government and partially funded by outside organizations, and sponsors free trips to Israel for Jewish youth, is anti-Palestinian in nature.

“Birthright is an important institution for us to be talking about because of how powerful it is,” she said. “It’s just a massive institution that has a wide reach globally and has so many Jewish people. It’s a real force on campuses because there are thousands of young Jewish people there.”

About 15 people attended the open discussion in College of Arts and Sciences room 225.

Behrendt spoke about her personal experience on a Birthright trip in 2008, when Israel had just invaded Gaza as a part of Operation Cast Lead.

She said her tour guide was reluctant to answer questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and made offensive remarks directed at Muslims in Israel.

While Behrendt said not all Birthright trips occur during a period of strife like hers did, they do affect participants’ views of Israel.

“Many Birthright participants don’t think of their experience as political,” she said after the event. “They think that it’s a fun time and that it’s about their heritage. The fact that they don’t relate their own heritage and relationship to Israel to the experience of Palestinians is a problem in itself.”

Behrendt said Birthright is pro-Israeli in a way that is anti-Palestinian, and the overwhelming environment of the trip distracts participants from what is occurring in Israel.

“Birthright makes participants feel as if questioning Israel’s policies is to question their own Jewishness,” she said. “… In the experience it creates, it renders Palestinians and the Palestinian area invisible on the trip.”

SJP member Kareem Chehayeb said he hopes Behrendt’s testimony will help show students how Birthright distracts attendees from the situation in Israel and Palestine.

Cheheyab, a CAS senior, said Wednesday’s dialogue was part of SJP’s Israel Apartheid Week, an annual initiative that connects the oppression of Palestinians in Israel with the oppressions of South Africa during the era of apartheid.

“Humanities civil societies, NGOs and Palestinian groups on campus use this week to educate others about the oppressive nature of Israel towards the Palestinians and towards the Muslim groups in Israel,” he said. “… We talk about a lot of issues going on in Palestine as a result of Israel’s occupation and what their policies are doing.”

BU Students for Israel Co-President Leora Kaufman said the main goal of Birthright trips is to bring Jewish people back to Israel.

“From what I’m aware of, it’s not a political trip,” Kaufman, a College of Communication and CAS sophomore, said. “I know that there are many trips to Israel — I’m not sure that they’re free — but many trips to Israel that are focused on the politics.”

CORRECTION: The article’s headline initially stated a Palestinian activist spoke on the Birthright program. However, this information is incorrect. The article has been updated to reflect this correction. In addition, the article initially stated Leora Kaufman is president of BUSI. However, she is co-president, and the article has been updated to reflect this correction.

19 Responses for “Activist speaks on Birthright during Israel Apartheid Week”

  1. Larry Siden says:

    If Palestinians could organize and execute their own Birthright program, would Palestinian guides even recognize Israel’s right to exist? Would they recognize the right of the Jewish people to live in their own country in freedom and safety and determine their own future? Ms. Arendt may mean well, but she is naive to say the least. We see so much of this naivety in academia and among those who should know better, and we see so much hypocrisy among those who already do know better.

  2. BrJoRa says:

    so lets call a spade a spade here…PALESTINIANS WANT EQUAL RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN ISRAEL, YET IN MUSLIM LANDS JEWS ARE DIMMHI (OR SECOND CLASS CITIZENS WHO CANNOT VOTE, SPEAK IN PUBLIC, OR EVEN TESTIFY AGAINST A MUSLIM OR ON THEIR OWN BEHALF? NO WONDER MUSLIMS DONT GET REDCARPET TREATMENT IN ISRAEL…

  3. Eric says:

    Come on now. Really. Think about what you are saying. Very few of the Jewish people who now live in Palestine lived there prior to 1950. So you are saying that a bunch of European, Russian and American Jews should have a right to oppress and kick out the people that were actually living there becuase god told them the land was theirs. Give me a break. Just for the record… I’m not anti-semetic, just anti-zionist and anti-arabphobic. Call a spade a spade… zionizm is nothing more than the modern form of facism and aparteid.

    • Prof. Taheri says:

      How come there is no historical record of Palestinians living in Palestine? The very name “Palestine” was given to Judaea by Roman infidels, as part of their effort to quash the Jewish rebellion against them. The Arabs of southern Bilad ash-Sham brilliantly adopted this infidel name.

      As testified by Hamas’s Interior Minister, Fathi Hammad, “Half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.” (See youtbue watch?v=4UhVcAfMmuc and a longer version at watch?v=j3-GBsGmE54).

      In contrast, there is a record of Samaritans living in Judaea. The Samaritans are a branch of Judaism; they believe in the Torah and not in the Quran. And one genetic study after another, published in reputable peer-reviewed publications, demonstrate that both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews are genetically related to ancient peoples like the Samaritans, who predate the Arab invasion by thousands of years.

      There are records of the Jews living in Canaan/Judaea/Palestine (Hebrew itself is a dialect of Canaanite) continuously for more than 3,300 year. These records can be found from Persia to Europe; in historical accounts by Hellenistic writers (Jewish and others) such as Aristobolus, Philo of Alexandria, and Pseudo-Orpheus; Josephus Flavius in Roman times; in the New Testament; in the Zabur and other Islamic sources; in Catholic and Byzantine accounts; in the Quran (2:251, 5:21, 7:137, 10:93, 17:104, 34:13); in European artifacts (like the Arch of Titus in Rome); in the Dead Sea scrolls and other archaeological sites from the Julan and Jalil to the Naqb; in Hebrew coins that were issued by the Jewish Kingdoms and were found along trade routes in Africa and Asia; and on and on.

      The Thawrat—confirmed by eminent Muslim scholars such as al-Baqillani, Ibn Qutayba and al-Tabari as the word of Allah—revolves entirely around the Jewish connection to the Holy Land. This scripture, holy to Muslims, is downright Zionist!

      Efforts at portraying Zionism (the right of Jews to return to their homeland) as racist may lead to events such as the ones brilliantly depicted in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning thriller, “Palestine.”

      • Eric says:

        So what you are saying is that I should move back to england and kick out all of the people who are currently living there that aren’t english?!?! I’m sorry but I don’t agree with your logic.

    • Prof. Taheri says:

      If England has been your homeland for thousands of years, and your people has suffered pogroms and persecution in every exile, and after your last exile you return to a land of desert, swamps, malaria, and marauding Bedouin tribes, and you turn your homeland back into a magnificent, developed, green, safe oasis, then you are entitled to your homeland.

      No Palestinian is being kicked out, but I assume you are referring to 1948.

      The Arabs of Palestine fled at the urging and fear mongering of their own leaders, who promised that after the Jews were wiped out they could return. You can listen to their testimonies—their very own words—on youtube: watch?v=FuGqpFxogRg ; watch?v=cn4r7ZjG9Nc .

      In contrast, no Jewish leader told the 850,000 Jews in Arab countries to move out temporarily so the Arabs in their lands can be exterminated, and then they can return. And in many of these lands, e.g., Mesopotamia, the Jews predated the Arabs by more than 1,200 years.

      These Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel, unlike their 750,000 Arab counterparts who fled Palestine and were refused settlement and rights among their very own Arab brethren.

      By 1950, “Saturday” was largely complete. The Jews were gone. Today “Sunday” is taking place, and Christians are fleeing Arab lands in droves. As the current Arab saying goes, “After Saturday comes Sunday.”

      Palestinians could have stayed if they had not listened to the exaggerated scare stories of Hazam Nusseibeh and Hussayn Khalidi of the Higher Arab Executive, who had actually intended with their horror stories to draw in more Arabs to the fight.

      The Jews in the Arab countries could NOT have stayed. It was either fleeing as refugees (and losing an untold fortune that had been built over many generations) or facing death.

      They fled.

      They lost all their land, business and property, and became penniless refugees in Israel.

      • Bea says:

        I suggest dropping your title when you use what amounts to talking points based on half truths. I suggest you read Israeli historians such as Benny Morris – himself a Zionist – Simha Flappan and others who clearly state that the Zionist militia were responsible for the Palestinian exodus. Two quotes by David Ben Gourion that belie your statements above:

        “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.” ( David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.)

        “Pourquoi les Arabes feraient-ils la paix? Si j’étais, moi, un leader arabe, jamais je ne signerais avec Israël. C’est normal : nous avons pris leur pays. Certes, Dieu nous l’a promis, mais en quoi cela peut-il les intéresser? Notre Dieu n’est pas le leur. Nous sommes originaires d’Israël, c’est vrai, mais il y
        a de cela deux mille ans : en quoi cela les concerne-t-il? Il y a eu l’antisémitisme, les nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, mais était-ce leur faute? Ils ne voient qu’une chose: nous sommes venus et nous avons volé leur pays. Pourquoi l’accepteraient-ils? (Le Paradox Juif, Nahum Goldmann, 1976) – I am sure you can find a translation online should you not read French. Goldmann’s document has many quotable statements by various Zionist leaders that shed some light on events leading up to the establishment of the state of Israel.

        Truth is, Israeli leaders quickly realised that they needed immigrants to settle the land and displace the native Palestinians. Given the choice, many European Jews went to North America. Available in greater numbers were Arab Jews. So, they was a concerted effort to bring them to Israel, sometimes using dubious means, such as the Lavon affair: terrorise Jews in Arab lands to “encourage” them to emigrate to Israel. Once in Israel, these were treated as second class citizens – Ashkenaze Europeans looking down on Sepharade Easterners.

        If you ask Palestinian Christians, the threat comes from Israeli policy – it would be convenient not to occupy “Christians” – and Orthodox Jews. I invite you to read the “Kairos Document of Christian Palestinians” (http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/kairos-document-of-christian-palestinians) and “The Palestinian Christian:
        betrayed, persecuted, sacrificed” (http://www.religioustolerance.org/ata01.htm).

        Hope that this will encourage you to widen your reading. Colonialism is passe… we are in the 21C.

        • Prof. Taheri says:

          Thank you. I will definitely make a point of reading those sources, though I often find that such quotes turn out to be fabricated.

          The fact is that returning Jews were NOT aggressors.

          The first Zionist settlement in Palestine was the agricultural school in Mikveh Israel, East of Jafa, which was founded in 1870, five decades before different parts of Ottoman sanjaks were assembled by the British into a strange geographic entity called “Palestine,” based on biblical accounts and Zionist claims.

          On the eve of the Zionist settlement, the local population of those sanjaks numbered somewhere between 150,000 and 400,000.

          Visitors like Mark Twain, described “a desolate country, a silent, mournful expanse, an unpeopled deserts, afflicted with swamps, malaria and Bedouin gangs of drifting robbers. A land sparsely dotted with ‘squalid,’ ‘filthy’ villages, where huts were ‘frescoed with disks of camel dung’—’the sorriest sight in the world’—where Arab kids ‘in all stages of mutilation and decay’ would run up to traveling Howajjis, begging in ‘an agonizing and most infernal chorus’ for Bucksheesh.”

          The first Arab school in Palestine was built by Jews—in the village of Ja’una, near Rosh Pinna.

          During the British Mandate, the Mandatory government collected 62.7% of all taxes from the Jewish community, and spent 77% of its education budget on the Arab sector.

          The Jewish labor union, the Histadrut, with its socialist agenda, also assisted Arab laborers in their wage struggles.

          The Zionists created strong demand for labor, and the wage disparity between the Arabs of Palestine and those of the neighboring regions exploded. For instance, the daily industrial wages of Palestinian Arabs were at least 40% higher than those of Arabs in other parts of Bilad al-Sham in the years 1932-1936, and up to 700% higher than those of the Arabs of Mesopotamia.

          This led to Arab immigration into Palestine, such as the large immigration of 1935 from the Houran, which brought tens of thousands of Arabs from today’s southern Syria into Palestine.

          According to British Mandate statistics, the number of Arabs living next to Jewish industrial centers increased dramatically between 1922 and 1947. In Haifa, their numbers swelled by 290%, in Jaffa by 148%. The trend was quite different farther from Jewish centers. The Arab population in Nablus grew by just 42%, in Bethlehem by 37%, and in Gaza the Arab population declined by 2%.

          In spite of what they say in the Kairos Document, in Israel, a Palestinian is sitting on the Israeli Supreme Court: Justice Salim Joubran, a former lecturer at the Law Faculty at the University of Haifa.

          Justice Joubran was preceded by another Palestinian, Justice Abdel Rahman Zuabi.

          At the end of 2011, Justice Joubran was one of three justices who upheld the conviction of Israel’s former president, Moshe Katzav, a Jew.

          Other Palestinian notables in Israel include Israeli Ambassador Ali Yahya, Deputy Minister of Health Nawaf Massalha, Israeli beauty queen Rana Raslan, Israeli Minister Raleb Majadele, Israeli police Lieutenant-General Jamal Hakrush, Professor Majd el-Haj, the dean of research at Haifa University, and more.

          Palestinian citizens of Israel have more rights than Palestinians do in any other Arab country. These rights, equal to those of the Jews, are protected by multiple layers of Israeli law.

          The Jews don’t consider the Palestinian a different race, but a fellow Semitic nation that wants to destroy them. Nevertheless, Israel is the safest place in the Middle East for a Muslim (Sunni, Shiite or other) to worship, and for a Christian and a homosexual to exist. There is scant evidence to suggest that this would have been the case had there been no Israel.

          Brigitte Gabriel (a.k.a. Nour Saman), A Lebanese woman, whose mother was hospitalized in Israel, remembered:
          “I was amazed that the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Palestinian and Muslim gunmen…These Palestinians and Muslims were sworn, mortal enemies, dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. Yet, Israeli doctors and nurses worked feverishly to save their lives. Each patient was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. The doctor treated my mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his. The Israelis did not see religion, political affiliation, or nationality. They saw only people in need, and they helped.”

          In Apartheid South Africa the whites did not act out of self defense, against a mortal enemy who threatened to exterminate them. The whites subjugated the blacks purely because of racial ideology.

          According to Malcolm Hedding, a South African Ordained Minister, “Apartheid was a totalitarian system of governance, not unlike those of the Arab world today… There is absolutely nothing equivalent to this in the dispute that rages between the Palestinians and Israel today. Arabs, Jews, Christians and Palestinians share the same shopping malls, benches, hospitals, theatres, and in many cases, suburbs… The truth is the Apartheid accusation is just another smokescreen in the war against Israel! I should know it because I grew up in Apartheid South Africa.”

          According to Rhoda Kadalie, and Julia Bertelsmann, black South Africans academics whose families fought against apartheid, “Arab citizens of Israel can vote and serve in the Knesset; black South Africans could not vote until 1994. There are no laws in Israel that discriminate against Arab citizens or separate them from Jews. Unlike the United Kingdom, Greece, and Norway, Israel has no state religion, and it recognizes Arabic as one of its official languages.”

          As Ishmael Khaldi, a Palestinian deputy consul of Israel in the US put it, “If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty.”

          As one who is truly concerned about Palestinian welfare, I would spent less time propagating lies about the Jews, and more time speaking out about Palestinian suffering, whether in Palestine (under Israel, Fatah, or Hamas), or elsewhere in the region, as in Syria, where thousands of Palestinians are now facing death.

          • Falastiniyeh says:

            Do you know the problem with all of your statistics and “facts” professor? They are completely NOT the opinion of historical experts of Palestine. They ARE completely twisted and fabricated stories made up by very clever Zionist propagandists.

            For example, in regards to your point about the population of Palestine “on the eve of the Zionist settlement” being “somewhere between 150,000 and 400,000″ … where do you get this number exactly?

            Justin McCarthy, an American demographer and one of the foremost writers on the topic, estimates based on Ottoman sources that in 1880 (before Zionist settlers arrived) – the total population of Palestine was 457,000, of whom 87% were Muslim, 9.4% were Christian (47,000) and a little under 4% were Jews (15,000).

            Alexander Scholch, Professor of Modern Middle East Studies at the University of Erlangen in Germany concurs with McCarthy. He says that in 1850 (a good 20 years before Zionist immigration), the population of Palestine was 350,000, of which roughly 85% were Muslims, 11% were Christians and 4% were Jews.

            Bernard Lewis, British-American historian and one of the West’s leading scholars of the Middle East, reported that even as early as the 16th century, Palestine had a good 300,000 people who were mostly engaged in agriculture.

            Where is your source for the “British Mandate statistics”? The first official census taken by the British was in 1922 and it confirms that the vast majority of the population at the time (78%) were Palestinians. There were only 40,000 Jews in Palestine then. Do you want to tell me that 40,000 Jews who just newly arrived and were barely established in 1922 built a massive economy which attracted an immigrant population of 640,000 Arabs from surrounding countries??? Seriously?

            My own family has a documented history in our village in Palestine for 1,300 years and not a single one of them was working for a Zionist, I can guarantee you.

            The first Arab school in Palestine was built by Jews in the village of Ja’una, near Rosh Pinna” you say?? REALLY?! A simple Wiki search on the village of Ja’una clearly states that “A mosque and an elementary school for boys was established in the village in Ottoman times”. Did the Jews build the mosque too? What year did they build their school?

            The Sisters of Nazareth School in my village (Shefa’Amr) was built in 1860, WAY before Zionist immigration. Everyone in my family since then has attended that school, including myself. Would you like to Wikipedia search “Sisters of Nazareth School Shefa-Amr” to learn a bit about honest history? There were schools all over Palestine for centuries – you would really have to be ignorant to believe that people in Palestine could not build a school or read without the help of Jews!! Gosh, you’re really full of yourself, aren’t you?!

            Before you quote your friend Mark Twain, you might want to do a little background research on him. He was a total anti-semite and generally quite racist. His book which you quoted was never a work of history, it was in fact written to be a BOOK OF SATIRE. That means it’s not historical fact, it was a book written with the explicit purpose of making people laugh. But if you believe Twain over me, I suggest you look at the photos taken of the areas of Palestine which Twain visited – before he arrived – and then try to claim that they were “desolate, silent and mournful”. The photos show green trees, established villages, clean streets and LOTS OF GREEN.

            And then after you look at the photos, may I suggest you read a book from visitors to Palestine who actually did set out to document history. Mary Eliza Rogers was the sister of a British diplomat who wrote a book entitled “Domestic Life in Palestine” in 1855. She actually visited my village, which she described as having hillsides which “were clothed with evergreens; and the valleys for miles around were wooded with olive and other fruit-trees”.

            I can go on for days disproving everything you say here but I’m limited by space … would be happy to take this conversation offline if you want a real history lesson.

          • Falastiniyeh says:

            Well, I guess I’m not limited by space, so let me continue with my response.

            About your comments on Joubran professor … yes, he sits on the Supreme Court. And there are other Palestinians in Israel who have held prestigious positions. A tiny minority of Palestinians have been able to realize their dreams free of racism and discrimination. But that’s not the whole picture.

            The irony of Israel is that it has two parallel systems of government, one democratic and one fascist. When the state doesn’t feel threatened, democracy flies free like a bird. So you can be gay or Ethiopian or a Palestinian citizen of Israel and be treated equally – in many cases. But as soon as the state feels its interests are being compromised you see, the fascist switch turns on, the fundamentals of democracy go flying out the window, and most Israelis stand behind it even though they would never see themselves as racist or fascist.

            Let’s take the example of East Jerusalem, an area which Israel has been actively trying to Judaize since it illegally annexed it in 1967. When Israel took E. Jerusalem by force in 1967, it wanted the land and not the people. So instead of giving the Palestinians there Israeli citizenship, they gave them an ID card and permanent residency. Then they created laws that state that if you’re a Palestinian with one of these ID cards and you leave Israel for more than 7 years, you lose your residency status. It doesn’t matter if you have roots in Jerusalem for centuries or if you even have a spouse there. IF YOU’RE A JEW on the other hand, you can be from anywhere in the world, move to East Jerusalem, get instant citizenship, and then subsequently take off and live permanently in another country and NEVER have your residency revoked. Neither will the residency of your children be revoked. The only way that a Palestinian can pass residency to their children however is through their father. If their mother has an ID card, it’s not good enough, the father has to have one too. Why? Because Israel wants a majority Jewish E. Jerusalem and it will do anything to get it – even if it means throwing democracy out the window.

            Israel wants to have all the rules of democracy, but they also want to bend and twist those same rules on a case-by-case basis whenever it doesn’t suit their ultra-national ethnocentric agenda. That’s exactly why Israel is not like democracies in the West and thus can’t be compared as such. Much of what Israel gets away with would be considered outrageous in most democratic countries.

            In response to your comments about Malcolm Hedding. I sincerely doubt that as a white South African who is also a Christian Zionist that he’s not biased. Of course he thinks Israel is not an Apartheid state, he is someone who wants the West Bank to be filled with Jews and Jews only to make true his ridiculous Christian Zionist fantasies about the end of the world.

            All your other statements that try to prove the lack of Apartheid in Israel and the OT are baseless. Why don’t you explain why it is that an American Jew can go to the West Bank, set up an illegal outpost, and get Israeli citizenship? Yet a Palestinian who has roots for thousands of years literally a stone’s throw away from that same illegal settlement has no rights under Israeli law and will never be a citizen. How can the settlements in the West Bank be part of Israel yet when you step outside the settlement you’re in Occupied Palestine? Apartheid anyone? I think so.

            If you have any doubts about Israel’s evil intentions in the West Bank, you only need to go there my friend. I have photos of Israeli settlers living in a walled off complex with swimming pools and internet service who can literally see Palestinians out their front window living in tents and poverty with no electricity, running water and definitely no internet. THEY CAN SEE THEM OUT THEIR FRONT WINDOW! Palestinians who’s homes have been torn down and moved so that they can live in their illegal settlements. But that’s not enough. They actively harass those same Palestinians, beat their children when they walk to school and kill any attempt by them to set up electricity or dig for water. These are terrorist cowboys and I have the photos to prove it if you want to see them.

            Lastly, I get angry whenever people like you try to distract from the real issue by pointing to Syria. What does one have to do with the other? So if I get accused of murder, all I have to do is point to other murderers to try to get away with my crime? I can show up to my trial and say “I know I committed war crimes your honour, but would you mind looking at Syria instead?”. I don’t think so. Nothing Syria does takes away from anything Israel does or doesn’t do – mutually exclusive.

            Shall I go on?

        • John Train says:

          Morris has recanted. Please quote him accurately as to his more recent remarks. I lived in the Islamic world more than 30 years. Terrorism is still glorified by the overwhelming majority.

          As long as the Palestinians maintain the Arab League position: no negotiations; no recognition; no peace; demand that any area they takeover should be Jew-free. ; maintain that even if they get a State, the residents of the camps on the West Bank, in Jordan, Syria, etc. would not be citizens this new state but would have the right of unlimited return to the state of Israel; and that all of Israel is unredeemed Islamic territory, THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE!

          • Arafat says:

            John, to your point.
            …………
            • There is no “Palestine”. There might have been, but they chose war instead- time and again:
            The would-have-been “Palestinians” would have had a state IN PEACE in 1937 with the Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it.
            They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but they violently rejected it (and Jews would have even been restricted from BUYING land from Arabs).
            They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently rejected it (and actually claimed that the UN had no such mandate!).
            They could have had a state IN PEACE in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza from 1948-1967 without any Jews- because the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every last one; but they violently rejected it. In fact, that’s exactly when they established Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964).
            They could have had a state IN PEACE after 1967, but instead, the entire Arab world issued the Khartoum Resolutions:
            A. No peace with Israel
            B. No recognition of Israel
            C. No negotiations with Israel
            They would have had a state IN PEACE in 2000 with the Oslo Accords, but they violently rejected it- as always.
            And as soon as Israel pulled every single Israeli out of Gaza, what did the would-have-been “Palestinians” do? They immediately started shooting thousands of missiles into Israeli population centers, they elected Hamas (whose official platform calls for jihad with no negotiations until Israel is destroyed) to rule them, and they have dug tunnels crossing into the Negev to kill and kidnap Israelis.
            And even afterwards, Ehud Olmert made his subsequent generous offer that went far beyond even that of Barak. The would-have-been “Palestinians” rejected it.
            They had many chances.
            They threw them all away because destroying Israel was higher on their priority list. It still is.
            Oh well. That’s their choice.

  4. sas says:

    It takes a great deal of courage for a person of Jewish background to take a stand to oppose Israel’s historic persecution and dispossession of Palestinians, as well as expose exercises in Israeli propaganda such as the Birthright program as being missions to deny Palestinian rights and even their existence.

  5. E Andrews says:

    eandrews729@googlemail.comdo to deserve the taking over of their land by so many European Jews . The Jews call themselves the children of God but in reality their deeds would shame all the devils in hell. They point their fingers at how other countries and say look how they behave, and use it as an excuse to treat the Arabs who’s land they are stealing like animals and blame them the victims for how they are treated. It’s time to change before its too late

    • Arafat says:

      Are people who support Hamas akin to people who supported the Nazis?

      Seems to me they are.

      Nazis destroyed all the Jews of Europe. Hamas never stops talking about destroying Jews.

      Nazis depicted Jews as beneath contempt just as Hamas does. Nazis blamed Jews for all their problems and so does Hamas.

      Seems to me the only difference is Hamas does not have the military required to really kill off all the Jews of Israel. If they did have these weapons everyone knows they would use them as indiscriminately as the Nazis did.

      I wonder what sort of person supports an organization that is today’s Nazis. What moral and intellectual blindness do these Nazi worshippers suffer from?

  6. Arafat says:

    I feel sorry for you when I read your so
    called moderation. With due respect, you have the typical historical Jewish
    minority, “PLEASE LIKE ME” complex and it is so pitiful to read.

    Throughout Jewish History especially in Nazi
    Germany there were those Jews who begged to be accepted and liked by the host
    country’s people. “Like me and I will eat ham for you on Yom Kippur. Like
    me and I will put up a Christmas tree and call it a Hanukah Bush, like me and I
    will only pray one day a week, Sunday if you wish (the early German Reformed
    Jews), etc.” The first Jews to be gassed by Hitler were those Reformers
    (“please like me…”) who were viewed as a major threat by Hitler and
    his Jew hating Nazis.

    Fast forward to today: Here you are
    apologizing for Israel who is expected to live a double standard. Never mind
    the rockets and atrocities implemented by the Palestine people. If you read
    your history parts of Jordan are supposed to include part of Palestine–the
    world has convenient amnesia with this one. In the meantime here you are with
    your “please like me” attitude and no matter what you do they are NOT
    going to like you. You can stand on your head, eat ham and cheese sandwiches and
    they are still going to hate you because you are a Jew, period!

    Look in the mirror and accept that you are a
    Jew. Say it to yourself over and over and perhaps YOU can accept YOURSELF.
    Remember, if Israel disappears (the Jewish Host country) there IS NO place for
    American Jews or the World Jewish community to go in the event of another
    pogrom, anti-Semitic uprising or Holocaust. If there is another anti-Semitic
    uprising you are a Jew to these people no matter how much you apologize or try
    to appease them.

  7. Arafat says:

    Why is it Muslims are free to violently conquer lands anywhere and everywhere
    without a word of protest from American Muslims, or any Muslims for that
    matter, but if Jews have a legally established homeland Muslims will never stop
    protesting against it? Why is this do you suppose? What explanation can be
    given other than as the Qur’an states repeatedly that Islam’s goal is to
    establish a worldwide caliphate in which all non-Muslims are subjugated.

    For instance, Mohammed was born around 571 AD thousands and thousands of years
    after Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism existed. But within a few centuries of
    Mohammed’s birth Islam had violently conquered vast sections of Asia, all of
    North Africa and smaller sections of Southern Europe.

    Now Muslims tell us that all this land belongs to them even though, for
    instance, in Afghanistan they killed every last Buddhist who once lived there.
    According to Muslim logic per Israel shouldn’t this land belong to the
    Buddhists?

    Or in North Africa all the Berbers have been forcibly converted to Islam or
    have been killed and now we’re told all this vast landmass belongs to Islam.
    That’s interesting, if not completely hypocritical. And what about Southern
    Thailand. Did anyone know that in the last several years something like 5,000
    Buddhists have been killed by Muslims because, or so we’re told, the land the
    Buddhists are on belongs to Islam. And Southern Russia? Muslims are
    relentlessly waging a slow reign of terror in Russia because, you guessed it,
    Russians are treating Muslims poorly and they should give up the Southern
    section of that country to Muslims.

    Or, let’s take Sudan as another example. How many millions have been killed in
    Sudan? How many babies and children have starved in Sudan while Islamists steal
    the food from aid compounds? How many women have Muslims gang-raped in Sudan
    all because that land belongs to Muslims and only Muslims. All other people can
    go somewhere else to live, I guess.

    And Kashmir? The same. Despite Hindus having lived there for 3,000 years –
    something like 2,000+ years before Mohammed was born – Muslims tell us Kashmir
    belongs to them. Amazing logic isn’t it?

    And that brings us to Israel. Israel also belongs to Islam. Did you know that?
    It’s true. Even though it’s no bigger than a small pimple on the caliphate’s
    ass it is still their land and they will fight to the death to prove their
    point.

    Doesn’t the logic here make a lot of sense. Isn’t it as clear as day? Of course
    it is. The world belongs to Islam and we’re mere players on their stage.

  8. [...] Liza Behrendt, an organizer for Jewish Voice for Peace Boston, spoke to Boston University students Wednesday night about the nonprofit, educational orSee all stories on this topic [...]

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