Monday, January 22, 2018

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: Let's Recognize Israeli Pilots Who Refuse...

Take note : Israel is only twice the size of the Gambia .


As if Israel doesn't already have enough problems, when it comes to illegal immigration  to Israel what is Israel supposed to do ? N. B. :  PM: Israel deporting illegal immigrants, not refugees


In my humble opinion


Take note :


Israel as a nation set apart


And naturally arising from this


Non-Jews should be forbidden from living in Israel, says Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef




On Monday, 22 January 2018 22:13:26 UTC+1, Toyin Falola wrote:


fDear friends:

Let's honor Israeli Pilots of El Al who refuse to take part in the illegal and inhumane deportations of African refugees and asylum seekers from Israel  (mostly Eritrean and Sudanese) without proper and legal vetting of their claims.

Please read this article and write to the Israeli pilots union and Ethiopian airlines, who is alleged to have participated on this despicable and racist actions of the Israeli government.  This is sad since Ethiopian has an honorable place in African skys, and my favorite airlines to boot.  


Kassahun Checole, Publisher
Africa World Press, Inc. &
The Red Sea Press, Inc.
541 W. Ingham Avenue, Suite B
Trenton, NJ 08638
609-695-3200
609-695-6466 (Fax)

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Fwd: Let's Recognize Israeli Pilots Who Refuse...

It is truly sad. The headline might have been, why does Israel like trump. And you can substitute other states for Israel in their abuse of refugees, like Poland, Bulgaria, most of east Europe, in fact.

ken

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Monday 22 January 2018 at 16:12
To: usaafricadialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Fwd: Let's Recognize Israeli Pilots Who Refuse...

 



 

fDear friends:

 

Let's honor Israeli Pilots of El Al who refuse to take part in the illegal and inhumane deportations of African refugees and asylum seekers from Israel  (mostly Eritrean and Sudanese) without proper and legal vetting of their claims.

 

Please read this article and write to the Israeli pilots union and Ethiopian airlines, who is alleged to have participated on this despicable and racist actions of the Israeli government.  This is sad since Ethiopian has an honorable place in African skys, and my favorite airlines to boot.  

 

 

Kassahun Checole, Publisher

Africa World Press, Inc. &

The Red Sea Press, Inc.

541 W. Ingham Avenue, Suite B

Trenton, NJ 08638

609-695-3200

609-695-6466 (Fax)

--
Listserv moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
To post to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com
To subscribe to this group, send an email to USAAfricaDialogue+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Current archives at
http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue
Early archives at
http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html
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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Growing fascism in Israel



 
 

In Israel, Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism 

They don't wish to physically harm Palestinians. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression

Zeev Sternhell, 19.01.2018, Ha'aretz

I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?

The answer, that historian might say, was embedded in the actions of Knesset members such as Miki Zohar and Bezalel Smotrich and the bills proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The nation-state law, which looks like it was formulated by the worst of Europe's ultra-nationalists, was only the beginning. Since the left did not protest against it in its Rothschild Boulevard demonstrations, it served as a first nail in the coffin of the old Israel, the one whose Declaration of Independence will remain as a museum showpiece. This archaeological relic will teach people what Israel could have become if its society hadn't disintegrated from the moral devastation brought on by the occupation and apartheid in the territories.

The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz's Ravit Hecht held with Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.

Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It's possible that without World War II the "Jewish problem" would have ended only with the "voluntary" expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany's Jews made it out in time. It's possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.

Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar don't wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don't rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It's likely that the Likud's Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren't Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.

According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. "A Palestinian," Zohar tells Hecht, "has no right to national self-determination since he doesn't own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won't tell him to leave. I'm sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren't born as Jews."

From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don't seem worried

 January 18, 2018 The Real News

New Orleans Human Rights Resolution Under Attack Because It Could Affect Israel

The resolution did not even mention Israel, but pro-Israel pushback has council members backtracking on past support for Palestinian human rights

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20933:New-Orleans-Human-Rights-Resolution-Under-Attack-Because-It-Could-Affect-Israel

 

By Ben Norton

Top New Orleans politicians are pushing to rescind a historic human rights measure because one of the many countries it could affect is the State of Israel.

The New Orleans city council voted unanimously on January 12 to pass a resolution that would have created a mechanism to review investments and contracts with companies that profit from human rights abuses.

The resolution did not once mention Israel. But Israel could have been impacted by the measure, along with other countries that systematically violate human rights.

Five of the city council's seven members co-sponsored the resolution. Among the five members who supported the measure was New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell.

The human rights resolution was drafted by the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, which had the support of Cantrell's office and met with her several times to discuss the measure.

After a backlash from right-wing pro-Israel groups, however, some of the New Orleans officials who had previously expressed support for the measure are now speaking out against it.

The president of the city council has even said the body is going to reconsider the resolution in its next meeting.

Palestinian human rights groups saw the passage of the measure as a significant victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign to use nonviolent economic mechanisms to pressure the Israeli government to abide by international law and respect Palestinian human rights.

But the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee also stressed that the resolution equally applies to other countries that engage in systematic human rights abuses, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Honduras.

The Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel advocacy group that has a long history of demonizing Black activists, was particularly vocal in opposition to the bill. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans also condemned the measure.

Pro-Israel advocates have long accused Palestinian human rights activists of "singling out" Israel for criticism. Max Geller, an organizer with the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, stressed that not only is this false; the opposite is true.

"Pro-Israel groups are exceptionalizing Israel. Israel is not even mentioned in the resolution," Geller said in an interview with The Real News. "The New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee is not asking the city council for an exception for Israel; the Jewish Federation and the ADL are. What we are asking is that corporations that are complicit in human rights abuses connected to Israel or anywhere else in the world, not be supported by the city of New Orleans. No exceptions."

Since the unanimous vote, city council president Jason Williams has significantly backtracked on his previous commitment to the resolution. On January 17, Williams released a statement distancing himself from the measure.

Williams said the city council will "reconsider this item" at its next meeting. He insisted he did not know what the BDS movement is and emphasized, "this City Council is not anti-Israel."

Yet video footage obtained in the past by The Real News demonstrates that the city council president was very much privy to the measure and the human rights advocates who drafted it. A January 2017 video clearly shows Williams speaking at a rally with activists from the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, and clapping in support of the resolution.

"I'm here because many of your demands were things that I have worked on and pushed," he said. An activist with the committee later added, "Councilmember Williams, since you're here, we're going to ask you right here, right now, in front of everyone, can you commit to helping us to pass this legislation?" Williams agreed, and the audience applauded

Another video obtained by The Real News, from the day of the vote on the resolution, shows Williams speaking in support of the measure by likening it to the international campaign to boycott apartheid South Africa.

"This is not very different from the stance that a number of entities took when apartheid was commonplace in South Africa, just evaluating what our goals are and what are the goals of the people who will make money from us," he said.

Max Geller criticized Williams for disavowing a resolution he had previously backed for months. "I'm having a hard time squaring what Jason Williams said in his statement today with reality," he said.

"It's a shame that Councilmember Williams is bowing to the interests of powerful pro-Israel groups rather than the broad-based grassroots community groups with whom he worked for over a year on this bill," Geller added.

Although some city council members are now claiming ignorance, the measure did not come from nowhere. Local human rights activists worked on the resolution for more than a year, and for months several city council members had reaffirmed support for it.

Immediately after the January 12 vote, nevertheless, right-wing groups launched a campaign against the resolution.

Critics of the measure say it was not fairly introduced. Sitting Mayor Mitch Landrieu claimed the measure was introduced and voted on "under suspension of the rules and without adequate review and debate."

Yet even city council president Williams, who has suddenly come out against the measure, conceded in his statement, "I do not believe it was introduced under suspension for any nefarious purpose."

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy also harshly condemned the human rights resolution, claiming it "is rooted in anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel." Max Geller said this accusation is preposterous.

"What's really anti-Semitic is erasing Jews who don't agree with the expansionist, radical settler policies of Donald Trump," Geller told The Real News. "Jews are not monolithic, and to say we are is in fact anti-Semitic, but I would expect little more from a doctor who is kicking poor people off of health care."

Geller added, "The senator said that too on the same day he defended Donald Trump saying 'shithole countries,'" referencing the far-right president's demonization of African and Latin American countries.

Rather than condemn Trump's widely panned comments, Cassidy denounced their leaking to the media, complaining that "to go out and report it undermines trust."

 

 January 12, 2018The Real News

After Israel Decimated Gaza, Human Rights Defenders Failed It (4/4)

In his new book "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom," Norman Finkelstein argues that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN Human Rights Council, and other defenders of international law have succumbed to Israel's pressure and whitewashed its crimes in the Gaza Strip

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=20896


AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News, I'm Aaron Maté. Our guest is Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book 'Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom.' Norman, a large component of your book is how human rights organizations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and also the UN Human Rights Council and-International Committee of the Red Cross ...British Medical Journal, The Lancet ...

Especially some UN commissions of inquiry set up to look into war crimes in the occupied territories have betrayed the people of Gaza. That would surprise many people who would think of human rights groups like Amnesty and see them condemn Israeli actions many times, accuse Israel of war crimes. Explain your criticism of the international human rights community here, maybe starting with the Goldstone Report, which was the commission that was established after the 2008-2009 Israeli attack on Gaza, [Operation] Cast Lead.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Okay. First of all just as context I think the most important part of the book is the last quarter, which deals with the human rights organizations and their performance after Operation Protective Edge. Prof. Chomsky who even at the ripe age of 89, he did read the whole book. I know it because it took him some time. He started I think on a Sunday and he finished it on a Friday. It took him time to get through it, which for me was a gratifying sign. It showed me that he was reading it slowly, carefully. He said the last part on the human rights organizations, I hope you'll forgive me for quoting a private email and he is very proper about those things, you're not supposed to, but I think he will forgive me. He said the last part was spectacular, the analysis of what the human rights organizations did. I was not happy to write that part, I was so angry.

I was so pained by what happened because anybody who knows my work over the last 35 years will note I've always relied on those human rights organizations. I'm a person of the left and we're supposed to be skeptical of human rights, bourgeois human rights organizations, the liberals. I kind of rejected that. I thought their work was good, I thought it was honest. It had its limits but it was good.

When Operation Cast Lead happened in 2008-9, the human rights community really rose to the occasion. One person estimated -- his name just slips my mind. It'll come back to me in a moment --but there were about 300 human rights reports on Operation Cast Lead. Desmond Travers. He was in the Goldstone, or commission. They were quite good, Human Rights Watch alone produced seven really solid reports. Amnesty produced one excellent report, the 22 Days of Death and Destruction. Then of course the climax was the Goldstone Report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council. Goldstone, the Goldstone Report was devastating in its detail and in its conclusions which found that Israel's goal was to [crosstalk 00:03:56]-

AARON MATÉ: Terrorize, humiliate.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Punish, humiliate and terrorize the People of Gaza. Then as we all know it was a very painful day, almost as if the gods were mocking us on an April 1st, April Fool's Day. Goldstone dropped a bombshell in the Washington Post and he recanted the report.

AARON MATÉ: He carefully recanted. Obliquely.

N. FINKELSTEIN: It was opaque. It was an opaque recantation but recantation nonetheless. He did it without consulting his three other colleagues on the commission.

AARON MATÉ: Who stood by the findings.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Who stood by the original findings. I devoted quite a lot of space to the Goldstone Report itself but also to his recantation and it's quite clear if you go through it the recantation was not based on any evidence. The only reasonable conclusion is that either he or a member of his family was somehow blackmailed into recanting. Readers can be the judge for themselves.

AARON MATÉ: Part of what made his conclusion so powerful is that he was a committed Zionist Jew, great friend of Israel so his "credentials" were impeccable. You couldn't accuse him of being a left winger or having a pro-Palestine bias. Which then you're saying also that helps explain how he was ultimately blackmailed, you say, or pressured, at minimum, into recanting. What was the impact of that report?

N. FINKELSTEIN: Well the impact actually was tremendous. The impact was the human rights' organizations got scared. "Why did he recant?" people were saying. Well it couldn't be what he said because he claimed there was new information which Gold said denied what was in his original report. There was no new information, go through it. He didn't come up with any new information. So people think, "Well, you have to be careful of Israel." As the Mossad has all sorts of supporters, and so what happened was-

AARON MATÉ: In the case of Goldstone, he faced personal backlash. His synagogue in South Africa tried to ban him from his own grandson's bar mitzvah. So even in his social circle there was extensive pressure after the initial [crosstalk 00:06:34].

N. FINKELSTEIN: His daughter is Israeli. As I said, the circumstances of the recantation are murky. My conclusion, which I don't make explicit in the book, but I'm just telling you now, is he was probably somehow blackmailed into recanting. The consequences were very noticeable. They were noticeable because of what happened after Operation Protective Edge, an ex-major Israeli operation in 2014. As you will perhaps know this in the proportions of the book the first hundred or so, maybe about 100 pages are devoted to Operation Cast Lead because there was such a huge amount of material to work with. Whereas for Operation Protective Edge in 2014 it's just one chapter. I have to admit it's not a lot of sources. There were only about ... Literally there were only about 10 human rights reports. Human Rights Watch was missing in action. They wrote one unmemorable, little report, 15 pages, on the attacks on schools. Amnesty, it was in action. It did write four and then later a fifth report, but the reports were complete apologists for Israel. And then the Human Rights Council. Originally there was a pretty reputable-

AARON MATÉ: Just Amnesty quickly. Your main contention with them is that yes, they do document Israeli attacks on Gaza's civilians, but then they take pains to say they don't know whether or not Israel's military reasoning was ... It may have been justified or not. The farthest that they go in your rendering is this word 'disproportionate.'

N. FINKELSTEIN: To put it simply -- because I know we're rushed for time -- they make the worst case for Hamas and the best case for Israel. Whenever Israel has no case to make for itself -- because yeah, if you remember, Israel barred human rights organizations entering Gaza -- whenever Israel had no case to make for itself, Amnesty took it upon itself to make the case for Israel, which makes no sense at all.

AARON MATÉ: [Crosstalk 00:09:01]. You point out that they often even defer to Israeli press releases and briefs as the-

N. FINKELSTEIN: As the evidence. Do we consider Hamas press releases as evidence? So why would we attach any significance to any importance, any evidentiary value to an Israeli press release. But the worst part of it is they are fabricating pretext for Israel when Israel itself doesn't make a case. If Israel doesn't make a case and Israel prevents human rights organizations from visiting the crime scene, then it seems to me the reasonable conclusion is you're guilty as charged. But what Israel, what the human rights organizations -- in particular Amnesty -- did was it said, "Well since Israel hasn't told us anything we just have to wait and see. We have to suspend judgment. But if you suspend judgment then you simply are incentivizing Israel not to admit human rights organizations. Because Israel would have two choices, if it admits these organizations then they're convicted of committing a crime. If it doesn't admit them then it gets an agnostic verdict, we don't know what happened. If I were a state I would choose not to admit them and get the agnostic version rather than get the conviction. So what organizations ended up doing was they incentivized Israel not to admit human rights organizations, because instead of getting convicted of a crime they got an agnostic version. We'll have to wait to see what an investigation shows.

AARON MATÉ: Speaking of which, speaking of incentivizing, you also argue that because they refuse to hold Israel to account -- unlike what they did in previous operations which you say the criticism of Israel in previous operations did ultimately impact its operations and did get it to halt to show some relative restraint. Because there was no such investigative zeal in this case, and in fact some exculpatory actions on the part of the human rights groups, that actually incentivizes Israel to carry out further atrocities in the future.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Yeah because there's no ... Look, human rights organizations, they did act as something of a deterrent. Let me just conclude: the biggest deterrent of Israel ironically turned out not to be Amnesty, which failed them, not Human Rights Watch which failed them, not the International Committee of the Red Cross under Jacques de Maio, ICRC's representative who was a disgrace. Not Moreno Ocampo from the ICC who was a criminal prosecutor.

AARON MATÉ: He's a former prosecutor, former international prosecutor for the [crosstalk 00:12:28].

N. FINKELSTEIN: He was their chief prosecutor for the International Committee of the Red Cross. For the International Criminal Court, excuse me. Not the Lancet, the British medical journal editor of which Peter Horton was another-

AARON MATÉ: He recanted as well, he published a letter-

N. FINKELSTEIN: Recanted. The really impressive ones were strangely enough an Israeli organization, it was Breaking the Silence. Breaking the Silence, its testimonies were totally devastating. I mean they were-

AARON MATÉ: This is an Israeli group that gathers the testimonies of soldiers who served in Gaza.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. And the interesting thing is, the soldiers' testimony, these are not leftists. They're not contrite. They're not apologetic. They're just, "Well, this is what happened." And they're very matter-of-fact that what Israel did in Gaza, the word that keeps recurring over and over and over again, was insane. Insanity, insane. Crazy, nuts, lunatic. That's the words they keep using. But Israel had a real problem with Breaking the Silence because they were Israeli and they were the soldiers, they were there. And then Israel unleashed, 'til this day, 'til right now as we speak, this brutal campaign to crush Breaking the Silence. Because Breaking the Silence is the last line of defense by human rights organizations. Amnesty capitulated, HRW capitulated, all the NGOs capitulated, Human Rights Council capitulated.

So the last chink in the armor, the last barrier, excuse me. The last barrier for Israel is the Breaking the Silence. It was very interesting because all the human rights organizations, they ignored Breaking the Silence. Isn't that funny? This is an Israeli organization, it's Israeli soldiers, they have no motive whatsoever to lie. They served there but when you read the Human Rights Organization reports, the few that came out, not entirely but they're almost entirely ignored. Why? It's for the reason you mentioned before we came on the air. They wanted to come out with an equivocal conclusion. They'll say, "Yes, some of it was disproportionate, some of it was indiscriminate but they weren't targeting civilians." Because that's, in a court of public opinion, it's the worst charge. Most people, they don't get very riled up by disproportionate attacks or even indiscriminate attacks.

But targeting civilians -- in a court of moral public opinion, not the law -- it crosses a threshold. When you read the Breaking the Silence one report after another report ... Excuse me, one testimony after another testimony after another testimony after another testimony, they keep saying, "Our orders were shoot to kill anything that moves and even if it doesn't move. Shoot to kill anything that moves and even if it doesn't move."

AARON MATÉ: 'Anything that moves,' if I recall right, is a phrase that they repeated many, many, many times.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, over and over again. It's hard to have an equivocal conclusion when you have operational orders like that, or rules of engagement like that, shoot to kill anything that moves. What they did, people of Gaza as you mentioned in your introduction, 70% of them are refugees. And children of refugees. They lost their homeland, the last thing they have now is in the wreckage of their lives. The last thing they have is their home. They lost their homeland but now they have their last possession is their home. When you read the descriptions of what Israel did, these homes, these 18,000 homes, they weren't destroyed in disproportionate attacks or indiscriminate attacks. Israel went into neighborhoods, roped off the neighborhoods, brought in the D9 bulldozers and just flattened whole areas to the horizon. Just flattened entire areas. This was not collateral damage in a war.

This was the systematic destruction and pulverization of a people and of their last possession. That's what you see. I'll tell you, in the longest chart I have in the book it goes for three and a half pages is describing what happened to their homes. You'll laugh when I tell you this. I had to go around and ask five or six friends to choose the best passages because it began as ten pages. Ten pages of descriptions of how they systematically, methodically flattened these homes. That's what Breaking the Silence is all about. Now the worst of it is Amnesty puts out a report called Families Under The Rubble in which it pretends that each time Israel targeted a home it's because there was a Hamas militant there. That was just such a fantastical, flagrant, despicable and disgusting lie.

AARON MATÉ: Don't they just posit the question of whether or not there was a Hamas militant there? They don't affirm every single time there's a-

N. FINKELSTEIN: How would they know? They go around, ask a neighbor. Do you think there was a Hamas militant, yeah maybe there was a Hamas militant there. Even if there was this is not a question that Israel knew a Hamas militant was there. Are you telling me there were Hamas militants in 18,000 homes? And is that what the Breaking the Silence reports showed? There were no militants anywhere. No, it was disgusting but I can't completely blame them. I have to be honest and I'm careful about it, because I know they're in a difficult position. In the past Amnesty used to back HRW, HRW used to back Amnesty.

AARON MATÉ: In terms that they would both put out reports, corroborating each other.

N. FINKELSTEIN: On all the controversial issues. I'll watch your back, you'll watch mine. In this particular case HRW was missing in action and I know Amnesty was scared. It was in the firing line. But what it did was unacceptable. It would have been better if they just shut up. I want to just end on one point.

AARON MATÉ: Let me ask you Norman, let me ask you two questions as we wrap. Why do you think Amnesty and HRW capitulated as they did? And even though they did and even though their rendering of the Israeli attacks you think did immense damage, you still end the book with some hope. Why do you still hold out some hope for the people of Gaza, even despite not just the suffering they endured but the fact that they were abandoned by people who were once their defenders?

N. FINKELSTEIN: Why the human rights organizations did it I think first and foremost, they were scared after what happened with Goldstone that the Israelis would dig up dirt. It's a real problem. I know that sounds not a particularly elevated explanation but we're dealing with real human beings. Goldstone was a star and then Goldstone was destroyed. They did it to several others. I'd go through the record of a guy named Christian Tomuschat. The did it to a guy named Schabas. They were taking them down. Everybody's got skeletons in their closet and then you begin to wonder and especially in our age where so much information is on the web and Israelis are pretty good on the computer, you begin to worry. I think that's not elevated, it's not ... It doesn't have grandeur, it's ugly, it's slimy. But Israelis are good at that. I think that's the main reason.

Second reason is because the Palestinian leadership itself killed the Goldstone report and so there was a feeling among human rights organizations if nothing is going to come of our reports because ultimately they're supposed to produce results. But if the Palestinian authority itself is killing any action, which is what it did in the UN, the Palestinian-

AARON MATÉ: At the behest of the Obama administration and Israel who they were heavily [crosstalk 00:22:00].

N. FINKELSTEIN: Hillary Clinton boasted that she killed the Goldstone Report and they worked together. But you have to remember the Palestinian authority were very happy to see Gaza attacked in 2008, nine.

AARON MATÉ: So that it could actually wipe out Hamas.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Hamas, right. So they were happy. And the third reason was that by the time Cast Lead ... Excuse me, by the time Protective Edge came around in 2014 Israel didn't have a pure record. Its purity had vanished. It seemed almost redundant to expose yet another Israeli massacre in Gaza because we had become kind of inured to it. This is what Israel does, it's a lunatic state, it goes in, destroys everything in sight. That's Israel's modus operandi. So there was a feeling I think of redundancy, do we really need to document this again? We did it already during Operation Cast Lead. This is Operation Cast Lead maybe times two or times 1.5. So there was a feeling of, it's redundant, it's unnecessary. But I think the main reason was the fear of what happened to Goldstone could happen to one of us. I know they'll deny it, they'll say, "Oh, you have no evidence of that." That's true.

AARON MATÉ: Given all this and again going back to my last question-

N. FINKELSTEIN: I just want to ... One last point. I'm just going to give you a brief, very quickly an anecdote. I teach a course for free at a local library in New York, at Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza Library. Not worth going into, I was teaching a class in free speech and the subject of Israeli atrocities came up. One person in the audience, he said, "Well Israelis would never target children." Then the person I invited, who was a very prominent professor and also as expression has it public intellectual, you would call him left liberal by current standards. He said, "Yes, yes of course, they would never target children." It's like, no matter how much evidence you present once you have this thing fixed in your mind there was no way to dissuade people. It's a very sorry commentary on the capacity of reason and facts to convince or persuade.

Because you take the case, so it's supported last week. There was a guy in Gaza, he has no legs, he's carrying a Palestinian flag and an Israeli sniper, right through the head. Kills him, fires a bullet right through his head, kills him. Okay, that seems pretty horrible. Israel would never do that, it would never fire a bullet in the head of a paraplegic. 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield outside Jenin, there's a Palestinian in a wheelchair. He has a flag up, a flag. He's on the main road. A tank comes and it just flattens him. A guy in a wheelchair holding a flag, just flattens him. You might remember because I had the debate with Alan Dershowitz at Democracy Now and Alan Dershowitz said, "Israel committed no war crimes during Defensive Shield." So I cite this incident, he says, "It never happened."

It's kind of like, you see this stuff, it's documented by Israeli soldiers who are not even leftists. Do you know what they write in those testimonies? They said, "We dropped so many bombs, so many rockets," he said, "It was so cool. It was so cool what we did." They're not even [crosstalk 00:26:03]-

AARON MATÉ: This is video game language. So listen-

N. FINKELSTEIN: It's not even contrite.

AARON MATÉ: So even if there are many people out there with the blinders that make them incapable of processing all the atrocities, like those are documented in your book. The point is that this book documents all of them and it shows a moment in history in which a people were attacked, "massacred" in your words.

N. FINKELSTEIN: Not were, are. Continuing.

AARON MATÉ: Are and continuing. Given all this, given this horrible history and the obstacles there are to acknowledging it, I shouldn't use the word hope, because hope is irrelevant as Chomsky says. But what is the path, the possible path to justice? Briefly, as we wrap.

N. FINKELSTEIN: I'm not a religious person but I certainly go by the adage, "God helps those who help themselves." You can't liberate Palestine from the outside, nor should you be able to. I mean at some level of course, if they're facing a genocide then of course liberate from the outside. But as a general rule you neither can nor should you. People have to free themselves because that's the only way that they will stay free. There's no hope so long as the Palestinian people have given up and right now their spirits are completely depleted. In Gaza if you read the polls, all the young people want to leave. Anybody or anyone who can get out, they want out. The polls show about 80%, 70% of the young people want to just get out. It's an inferno, they want to flee the inferno.

West Bank, it's a more complex strategy, more subtle strategy. What Israel and the international community did was, it scooped up everybody in the West Bank with any talent, any ability, any skill as, say, an organizer, gave them a computer terminal and a cubicle in Ramallah and said, "You can be as revolutionary as you want on the social media. Just don't do anything." There's no leadership anymore, there are no mass organizations any more in the West Bank. Ramallah has one of the highest living standards in the world, it's a good life there. It's a different strategy but the result is the same. There's no organization, there's no leadership and the people have given up on collective action. It's every man for himself. There are obviously exceptions, the ever-noble and inspiring Ahed Tamimi and her family. There are exceptions.

AARON MATÉ: Palestinian teenager who's currently detained by Israel for slapping an Israeli soldier who had assaulted her and-

N. FINKELSTEIN: I don't care if they assaulted her. They should slap every Israeli in the West Bank.

AARON MATÉ: Her cousin had just been shot in the face.

N. FINKELSTEIN: They deserve ten smacks and they also deserve to be spit on. They're occupiers. But there are exceptions, but right now their spirits are broken. I'm despairing but my close comrade and friend Alan Nairn, he keeps saying to me, "These things happen in waves. It disappears and then out of nowhere you're just surprised." There was a new insurgency and the people discovered the courage and the will to resist.

 

 
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