The HyperTexts

Jimmy Carter: "Israeli policy is to confiscate Palestinian territory."
Demographic maps of Israel/Palestine confirm Carter's statement

Israeli policy is to confiscate Palestinian territory.Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in an interview with Elisabeth Braw of Metro International on November 12, 2012, after his return from the Middle East (the full interview appears below the maps)

The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually-agreed swaps [of land], so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.U.S. President Barack Obama

Map 1 of 1946 Palestine shows more than 90% of the land belonging to Palestinians; at this point Jewish settlers had paid for most of the land they occupied
Map 2 of 1947 U.N. partition plan of Israel and Palestine; the land in the white areas was not "given" to Israel; Israeli Jews took the additional land by force, making it armed robbery
Map 3 of 1967 borders of Israel and Palestine; these are the "1967 lines" aka as the "1949 armistice lines"; once again Israeli Jews took the additional land by force
Map 4 of 2000 borders shows how Israel keeps taking land outside its legal borders, creating discontiguous Palestinian

Jimmy Carter: "Israeli Policy Is to Confiscate Palestinian Territory"

by Elisabeth Braw, Metro International
November 20, 2012
Israel and Hamas are again attacking each other again."Both sides should cease all hostilities," says former US President Jimmy Carter. "Israel should end its blockade of Gaza, and Western countries should work to facilitate reconciliation between Hamas and their Palestinian rival, Fatah. As long as Gaza remains isolated, the situation in and around Gaza will remain volatile."

Israel's leaders don't want a Palestinian state, Carter tells Metro International in an exclusive interview. Carter, who still conducts international negotiations and is now a member The Elders, won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. He just returned from a visit to the Middle East.

Metro: The chances of a Palestinian state are fading. Whose job is it to fix this situation?

The peace process has been pretty well dormant for the past three years. Of course, in the past we played a key role in being the mediator and conveyer of meetings, but that's not happening either. The first priority would be for the Israelis and Palestinians to take the initiative. But the Israelis have continued with their massive settlement program in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians say they won't negotiate as long as Israel is continuing to take over their territory, so there's deadlock. The United States is looked upon by the rest of the international community as the primary interlocutor, so the European Union members don't take action. As a result, there's no intermediary who can move things forward and initiate peace talks.

Metro: President Obama says he supports a Palestinian state, but even so there's a deadlock. Does it take even more than the support of a US President to get a Palestinian state?

I think the big change is that the Israeli leaders have decided to abandon the two-state solution. Their policy now is to confiscate Palestinian territory, and they've announced publicly that it the Palestinians have to recognize not just Israel but Israel as a Jewish state, even though 20% of the Israeli community are non-Jews. Netanyahu has also decided that even the Jordan valley has to be under Israeli control. So, those factors indicate quite clearly that Netanyahu has decided that the two-state solution is not what he wants. He wants what is being called Greater Israel, Eretz Israel. That's a new development, and I think everyone recognizes this.

Metro: The Arab Spring had worldwide support. Now four diplomats have been killed and the region is considered less safe. Are dictators sometimes better than democracy?

I don't think so at all. For example, the Egyptian people had a very safe series of elections. As the Carter Center, we monitored several of these elections, and have also monitored the elections in Tunisia and Libya. I don't think there's any doubt that the termination of the dictators has been a major beneficial development. The outside world just tends to be too impatient. The United States declared our independence from Britain in 1776, and it wasn't until 12 years later that we had a constitution. Egypt is going to have a constitution within a year of the President assuming power.

Metro: So we're simply too worried about Islamists?

Look at the Muslim Brotherhood. I've known the Muslim Brotherhood leaders for 20 years. They were persecuted by the Mubarak government, imprisoned and so forth, and now they've gone to the people in an honest, fair and safe election. And, of course, they've prevailed because their candidate became President and they have a majority in Parliament. But they're a very moderate group of Islamists, whereas Salafists and others are much more radical, at least judging with Western criteria.

Metro: The YouTube video defaming Islam caused attacks and huge protests in the Arab world, including possibly the killing of the four American diplomats in Libya. Who's to blame? Is there too much freedom of speech in the US, or are Muslims too sensitive?

First of all, all the evidence now shows that the killings of the four American diplomats in Libya weren't caused by the film but was instead a planned attack by al Qaeda. In the US, Britain, Norway, Sweden and other countries in the West we believe in the right of expression. Western leaders are often criticized in scandalous ways in paintings, words and sculptures, and that criticism is accepted as legitimate. But we deplore when there's a scandalous statement like the ones made in that YouTube film. We regret that it has caused pain to believers in the Islamic faith, but it happens to our own faith as well. But freedom of speech includes freedom of blasphemy.

Metro: But isn't it frightening in itself that a deranged YouTube video posted by an obscure individual can undo years of diplomacy?

Yes, it is frightening. I'm a Christian; I teach Bible school every Sunday. I've heard and seen statements made about my own faith that cause me pain. But I don't want the blasphemous person who made the statements put in jail. Yes, it's painful to see the reaction in the Arab world, but I think we have to anticipate it. People in the non-Muslim world who deliberately do this in order to cause Muslims pain underestimate the violence that can erupt from aggrieved Muslims. It's painful and unfortunate, but when you have to choose between that kind of pain and the right of freedom to voice your opinions we come down on the side of freedom.

Metro: Speaking of your faith: how do you view the growing role of religion in politics?

In my country, of course, there's a rigid separation of church and state, and our Constitution prohibits religious faith being endorsed by the government. But we have to understand that the governments in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and other fairly moderate states are based on sharia law. Then there are some places in certain parts of Sudan, for example, that enforce sharia law with extreme rigidity, like cutting off people's hands and or stoning people to death for adultery. Extreme implementation of sharia law is very bad, but look at Egypt: their constitution says that the principles of sharia law should apply. That's something that we adopt in the United States as well: our money says "in God we trust". We believe in the basic principles of God, and at the same time you can be an atheist if you choose. But in some Muslim countries, if someone says something derogatory about Islam, they can be convicted of blasphemy. That's obviously obnoxious to a Western observer. But each country has a right— depending on whom the voters elect in democratic elections—to impose or not impose the principles of religious law like the sharia.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.Nelson Mandela in a letter to Thomas Friedman

If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal Apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you.Nelson Mandela, concluding the same letter to Thomas Friedman

If anyone understands such things, it's Nelson Mandela, who battled apartheid and ethnic cleansing most of his life in South Africa, working to finally ending the madness, after which he became president of South Africa and later a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Icon of Peace to billions of people around the world. Other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, have said and written strong words about Israel's overt racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. As we will see together, Mohandas Gandhi and Albert Einstein, perhaps the greatest Jewish intellectual of all time, also strongly opposed Jews robbing Palestinians of their land, freedom, human rights and representative government.

If you are unfamiliar with the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or have been told that Israel is "only defending itself," please read Albert Einstein's 1948 letter to the New York Times, then click your browser's "back" button to return to this page. If you want to understand how the maps below relate to Israel's new offensive against Gaza, known as Operation "Pillar of Defense" or "Pillar of Clouds," please click here Amud Annan "Pillar of Fire." You may also want to read and consider Israeli Prime Ministers who were Terrorists; they include Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and David Ben-Gurion.

When President Obama mentioned the "1967 lines," what did he mean, exactly? (The 1967 borders are the same as the 1949 armistice lines in map #3 below.) When Abba Eban appeared before the U.N. after the Six Day War of 1967, he spoke of never returning to Israel's "Auschwitz lines." What did he mean? Eban was referring to the short distance between the West Bank and Tel Aviv in map #2, but his suggestion that Israel's security depends on distance makes no sense, because Israel made Jerusalem its capital, and Jerusalem lies in the West Bank just a few miles from the Jordanian border. If Tel Aviv was imperiled, making Jerusalem the capital of Israel would have been suicidal. So it seems obvious that Israel has confidence in its defenses and is merely manufacturing excuses for keeping stolen land. And please keep in mind that the land in question was stolen from Palestinian farm families. If the U.S. went to war with Cuba, should that be used as an excuse to steal land from noncombatant Mexican farmers, and keep it long after the war was over? Of course not. The maps below tell the real story and also help explain why the U.S. was attacked on 9-11 and ended up fighting two horrendous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These terrible events could have been avoided if only Israel had treated Palestinians as human beings with equal rights and the U.S. had simply paid the going price for oil rather than trying to "secure" Middle Eastern oil fields (which only sent the price of oil soaring). As we examine and discuss the maps below, the real picture will become clear, as will the path to peace, which I will explain in due course. 

Why has Israel to date refused to return land to Palestinians in return for peace? Please click here to read the stunning results of a poll published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in which 74% of Israelis support racially segregated roads in Occupied Palestine, and 69% want to deny Palestinians the right to vote if their land is annexed by Israel: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu immediately rejected President Obama’s proposition that Israel honor its 1967 boundaries, saying this would make Israel "indefensible." But ironically the man most responsible for defending Israel flatly contradicted Netanyahu. In an interview with Edmund Sanders of the Los Angeles Times, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, "Israel is the strongest country for 1,000 miles around Jerusalem, and we should be self-confident enough not to lose sight of what has to be done. What we need is a sense of direction and a readiness to make decisions. We have to do it [make land concessions in return for peace, security and recognition by the Muslim world]."

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.John F. Kennedy

The maps also help reveal a very real danger: WAR WITH IRAN: Why Israel's racist system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing is pushing the United States to war with Iran, and perhaps World War III against the Muslim world.

Yael Dayan, the daughter of Israel's greatest general, Moshe Dayan, and herself a former army officer and member of the Israeli Knesset, said in an article published by The Tennessean on May 24, 2011 that Israel is in a "position of strength, from our military superiority, to our alliance with the U.S., to the Arab League's offer of comprehensive peace not once, but twice." She also pointed out that every peace initiative since 1967 "has included a state of Palestine with minor alterations to the 1967 borders," saying she was "embarrassed and puzzled" at Netanyahu's actions. She furthermore said that Israel needs to "seize the opportunity" for peace, agreeing with Barack Obama and Ehud Barak. 

Knowledgeable Israeli Jews like Ehud Barak and Yael Dayan are telling the world to call Bibi's Bluff. Despite its tiny size and small population, Israel has one of the most powerful, sophisticated militaries on the planet, perhaps ranking fourth in land-air power after those of the U.S., China and Russia. No Arab nation comes close to matching Israel's military might. Why is tiny Israel so incredibly powerful? Because American taxpayers, through the U.S. government, have donated hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and advanced weapons to Israel over the years.

Not only is Israel far from "indefensible," but anyone with working eyes and a functional brain can easily see and understand that the far greater problem is the viability and security of what little remains of Palestinian territory (see map #4 above). How can a noncontiguous state divided into constantly shrinking bantustans be either viable or secure? Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu have repeatedly pointed out that Israel is doing to Palestinians what white South Africans did to black South Africans, and they are experts on racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In his book Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid  a third Nobel laureate, Jimmy Carter, pointed out the strong parallels between the plight of the Palestinians and Native Americans who were forced to walk the Trail of Tears.

And why is Ron Paul the only major U.S. presidential candidate who has ever discussed the real causes of 9-11 forthrightly? I will return to this question and other matters at hand in a second, but first please allow me to "ad lib" briefly. When my wife Beth heard that I was working on this article, she asked me to remind my readers to "be kind." I tend to rely on facts and logic, but Beth is absolutely correct: we must always remember that mothers and children have been suffering and dying on both sides of this conflict for many years now. As a reminder for us to consider mothers and children with wisdom, tenderness, compassion and kindness, from time to time I will insert italicized epigrams and poems, like this one:

The births of all things are weak and tender,
therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings.
Michel de Montaigne

I believe this wonderfully moving epigram speaks to the moment: the birth of peace is fragile, just as human children are fragile; therefore, we should have our eyes intent on beginnings. Let us see all children as equals, and swear to love and protect them all equally, and we will see the path to peace unfolding before our eyes, like the parting of the Red Sea.

If we are to have real peace in the world,
we will have to begin with the children.

As an Israeli, I have come to understand:
there is no way to love Israel and reject a two-state peace,
no way to love Israel and reject Palestine.
—Yael Dayan

Love often defies and shames mere logic. Like my wife, Yael Dayan thinks of both Jews and Palestinians with love. If only the leaders on both sides of the conflict were capable of such love, compassion and tenderness! ... But now, back to the matter at hand. Why does Israel pretend to cower in fear, when in reality it is one of the most powerful nations on earth and armed with hundreds of nukes and other WMDs, so that none of its neighbors can possibly hope to invade its borders? Bibi is bluffing in order to buy time to steal even more Palestinian land and water. Barack Obama, Ehud Barak and Yael Dayan know this, and they furthermore understand that Israel can never have real peace and security until Palestinians also have peace and security. That requires a contiguous Palestinian state large enough to support its citizens. And of course there is also the matter of fairness. Is it in any way "fair" to consider only the security of Jews and not that of Palestinians whose ever-dwindling land is now occupied and ruled by the Israeli military? How would Americans react if some other nation's troops treated their children like non-humans, herding them into giant walled corrals as if they were cattle? Obviously, American men would start blowing things up, until they came to their senses. The biggest difference would be that the American missiles would be far more accurate and far more deadly than Palestinian weapons. But wouldn't it be much better if foreign oppressors didn't harm either American children or Palestinian children? Then the blossoming of peace would become possible ...

It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before, to test your limits, to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anaïs Nin

I believe that, in his own way, Ehud Barak is agreeing with Anaïs Nin. He is a man responsible for war who longs for peace. Soldiers long for peace because they have seen the horrors of war. Ehud Barak knows that Israel has always proven its mettle in times of war, but has always been afraid to risk the blossoming of peace. Sometimes it's harder for warriors to "pull the trigger" of peace than to pull the triggers of machine guns. Let's hope for the sake of Jewish children, Palestinian children, and all the children of the world, that this time the warriors on both sides will risk the budding and blossoming of peace.

How did Israel acquire so much land without paying anyone for it? Anywhere else in the world, that's called "robbery." And it's important to understand that the U.N. didn't "give" anyone's land away in 1946. Obviously, the U.N. had no right to tell Palestinian farmers to surrender their land without compensation, leaving their families homeless, destitute and unable to feed themselves. Rather, the U.N. tried to set up, essentially, democratic voting districts. Nobody in the white areas was supposed to have been robbed of their land, property or citizenship rights, according to the U.N. partition plan. So how did Israel end up "owning" roughly 80% of Palestine, when in 1946, after many years of trying, Israeli Jews had managed to purchase only a tiny fraction of the land? The answer is shocking: Israel resorted to ethnic cleansing, deliberately and systematically stealing large tracts of land from Palestinians, then razing hundreds of their villages to prevent them from ever returning. This indisputable historical fact has been thoroughly documented by Jewish historians like Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaimx. Today there are literally hundreds of Jewish peace and humanitarian organizations that work to correct, or at least mitigate, this terrible injustice, including Breaking the Silence (Jewish soldiers who oppose and speak truthfully about the military occupation of Palestine), Jews for Justice, Rabbis for Human Rights, Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (Why are the homes of Palestinians being destroyed, really?), B'Tselem, Jewish Voice for Peace ("Two people, one future."), The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (Israel's oldest and largest human rights group), Gush Shalom ("Putting an end to the occupation."), and many others.

So the Jewish people themselves obviously understand the truth, even though the American public has been fed a steady diet of propaganda (i.e., disinformation). The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is a root cause of 9-11. Muslim men who launch such terrorist attacks abhor what has happened to the Palestinians and claim to be fighting fire with fire, since millions of completely innocent Palestinian women and children have suffered for more than half a century at the hands of Israel and the U.S., and large numbers have died prematurely. To cause the premature death of an innocent person is, in a word, murder. To target an ethnic group, including women and children, for "purification" is ethnic cleansing. When people targeted for purification begin to die in large numbers, that is genocide. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are the worst forms of terrorism known to mankind, but most Jews and Americans don't want to admit such things, so they stop up their ears and persist in believing that 9-11 was the result of people unjustly "hating" their "values." But what sort of national and religious "values" result in ethnic cleansing and genocide? If Jewish and Christian "values" cause millions of innocents to suffer, and many to die prematurely, how is it wrong for Muslims to hate those "values"? Please understand that I am not defending acts of terrorism, but simply pointing out that much larger acts of terrorism were committed by Israel and the U.S., long before 9-11.

To say that Israel should be allowed to keep land stolen from Palestinian farm families because it won wars with its neighbors is like saying the U.S. should have been allowed to steal land from Mexican farm families if the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba had succeeded. Obviously, it was wrong for Israel to steal land from Palestinian farmers who had absolutely no say in what the kings and tyrants of Jordan, Egypt and Syria did in 1948 and 1967. And even more obviously, it is wrong for Israel to continually steal land from Palestinians to this day, decades after the wars ended. Do Americans use the Alamo to excuse stealing land from Mexicans? Of course not. But that is essentially what Israel has been doing for decades.

Furthermore, any claims that Israel's ethnic cleansing and land grabs are the "necessary" result of terrorism, rather than acts of systematic terrorism that will invariably result in retaliatory acts of violence, are patently false. If the only cause of Israel's land grabbing and ethnic cleansing are acts of Palestinian violence, then why is Israel stealing land from Bedouins and ethnically cleansing them? Why does Israel continually steal land from its neighbors and even its own citizens, if they happen not to have been born Jewish? Why does Israel insist that Jewish babies are born with vastly superior rights to Palestinian and Bedouin babies? How is that not racism?

And let's at least be honest, if we can't (or won't) be fair. Between 1948 and 1967, Israeli Jews took (stole) roughly 80% of the land of Palestine without paying for it. The 1967 borders would leave the Palestinians with only a small fraction of their original land. Who then is making the greater concessions for peace? The Palestinians, by far. If we speak of a "just peace," we are lying to ourselves. There is nothing "just" about what has happened to the Palestinians, and continues to happen to them. If they accept the 1967 lines, that will be like Americans giving up 80% of their land to China, in return for peace. Of course Americans would never make such a concession, nor would Israeli Jews. And now President Obama is suggesting that Palestinians with valid claims to land inside the borders of Israel can never return to their ancestral homes. Rather, the smaller, poorer state must absorb millions of refuges, because the larger, richer, far more powerful state refuses to treat them as human beings with equal rights. How is that fair? So to me it seems terribly wrong to speak of a "just peace." Shouldn't we at least be honest and admit that we are asking Palestinians to make outrageous concessions for the sake of peace, because Jews and Christians decline to pay the price of justcie? Frankly, I am disgusted and wish more Americans (most of whom claim to be "Christians," appropriating the name of Jesus Christ) had a sense of justice, as Jesus obviously did. But I realize that this is asking more of American Christians than most of them care to be bothered with. And the majority of American Jews and Israeli Jews also seem to lack any sense of justice, even though the Hebrew prophets spoke of the need for compassion and social justice. Jews and Christians often call Islam a "false religion," but when did they ever bother to set a good example themselves? How can any true religion turn blind eyes and deaf ears to compassion and justice?

I realize that my opinion places me in an unpopular minority, so please allow me to move forward with a plan for a lasting peace that, unfortunately, falls far short of being "just" ...

As I pointed out above, Israel never paid anyone for the bulk of the land it acquired from Palestinians in 1948, 1967 and thereafter. Just as the U.S. acquired (stole) large tracts of land from Native Americans by force, coercion and trickery, so Israel acquired (stole) large tracts of land from Palestinians by force, hook and crook. This became "free" land to Israeli Jews, but very expensive land to Palestinians, Americans and the rest of the world, because the price has been sixty years of hostilities culminating in 9-11 and the subsequent wars. The U.S. eventually withdrew its military from Indian reservations and Native Americans were at last granted equal rights and the freedom to enter mainstream society, if they so choose. But this has not happened in Israel/Palestine, where Jewish babies are born with vastly superior rights to Palestinian babies and the Israeli military doles out heavy-handing "justice" to anyone who opposes it. To understand the horror, just consider the plight of the children of Gaza:

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
—Michael R. Burch, "Epitaph for a Palestinian Child"

Even if this military occupation of Palestine is "necessary," which is highly doubtful, nothing can possibly excuse the racist Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts established by Israel, which have denied Palestinians protection from having their homes demolished and their land taken without due process of law. What we are seeing is clearly ethnic cleansing, which in its later stages will undoubtedly result in genocide, unless it is halted. But the misery goes far beyond many people losing their land, homes and lives unfairly. To understand the truly grotesque horror of Israeli racism (which President Obama failed to mention because Jewish and Christian interests will not allow Israel to be criticized the way other racist states are routinely criticized), please consider the predicament of Palestinian schoolchildren who are often cursed, spat on and sometimes physically abused as they trudge to school. Their plight is very similar to that of black schoolchildren who were cursed, spat on and physically abused in the Deep South before the American Civil Rights Movement finally put an end to such outrages.

I believe it is very important to be honest about what has really happened to the Palestinians, and to understand how they have suffered, and why it is so very wrong for Israel to act as if it is an aggrieved party making "concessions" for peace. This is simply and outrageously a lie. We must confront the terrible truth about Israeli racism. I recently made a fine young black man a partner in a company I own, and as we signed the partnership contract he told me an illuminating story, saying that when his father was a boy growing up in Mississippi, he had been forced to call white boys "sir." If this doesn't shock and appall you, I doubt that anything I say will make sense to you. If it does shock and appall you that racist adults could so humiliate and demoralize an innocent child, then perhaps we think alike and need to ask ourselves why Israel has not been held responsible for treating innocent Palestinian children like pariahs on their own native soil.

My mother is English. She has told me one particular story many times over the course of our shared lives. After she married my father and came to the U.S. for the first time, they were riding on a bus traveling south to my father's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. When the bus reached the Mason-Dixon line, it stopped and all the black passengers were forced to move to the back of the bus. My mother was shocked and disgusted, as she should have been. But this pales in comparison to the way Palestinians are treated by Israeli Jews today. Why are most Americans not shocked and disgusted by the shameless, overt racism practiced on a daily basis by the government of Israel against millions of Palestinians: most of them completely innocent women and children? And why is President Obama, who is surely not a racist himself, nor a sympathizer with acts of racism against women and children, not telling "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" about what is really happening to Palestinians?

Because he can't ... not without being voted out of office himself, along with any other American politicians foolish enough (or courageous enough) to criticize Israel publicly. For this reason, it seems likely that the U.N. and the European Union will have to play the lead roles in the Middle East from now on. How can the U.S. be a fair, honest mediator when American politicians are unable to speak truthfully about the racial injustices of Israel? And yet unless Israel recognizes the human rights of Palestinians it seems we are doomed to more events like 9-11 and to more wars, perhaps even to World War III ...

I don't know what weapons will be used in World War III, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.—Albert Einstein

If Americans were wise, they would study what great humanitarians and men of peace have said and written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi and Nobel Peace Prize winners Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu have all plainly explained why what Israeli Jews have done to Palestinians is so clearly and terribly wrong. If you'd like to hear what these great humanitarians and men of peace have said on the subject of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians, please click here, or for a few quick excerpts, just keep reading ...

The great Jewish scientist, intellectual, humanitarian and peace activist Albert Einstein wrote, "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State ... I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain ... " Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952 but turned it down. He did not approve of Jews seeking political and military dominance over Palestinians, but always sought "friendly and fruitful coexistence with the Arabs" and consistently said that the most important goal of Zionism should be to have good relationships with Arabs. Unfortunately, the leaders of Israel failed to listen to him. The result has been nearly a century of bloodshed and misery.

Mohandas Gandhi, the father of modern nonviolent protest, wrote, "What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct ... And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way ... A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. ... There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if only they will discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds."

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu asked, "Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history [the Holocaust] so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions?"

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, in a memo to Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times, compared Israeli apartheid to South African apartheid, saying, "As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza . . . the so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system."

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter compared the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans: "I equated the ejection of Palestinians from their previous homes within the State of Israel to the forcing of Lower Creek Indians from the Georgia land where our family farm was now located; they had been moved west to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears to make room for our white ancestors."

These good and wise men have clearly stated the case against Israeli racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Only the very gullible insist on believing what racist robber barons say about their victims. Anyone compassionate person with a sense of justice knows that ethnic cleansing is wrong. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of Christians and Jews seem to either lack compassion and a sense of justice, or are so ignorant of the historical facts that they remain blind to the truth.


Why do most Americans only see and hear the Israeli side of things? This is the result of "framing." Netanyahu and pro-Israel propagandists want to "frame" the discussion to be solely about Israel's right to exist and Israel's security, while ignoring the equal rights of Palestinians to national existence and security. As long as Israel is not held accountable for its crimes, which cannot even be discussed publicly by American politicians, Israel can continue to steal Palestinian land while "cleansing" Palestinians into smaller-and-smaller bantustans. President Obama is offering a much more equitable solution, based on the rights of Jews and Palestinians to co-exist as equals. But Israel has never (or at least not to date) been willing to accept the fact that Palestinians are human beings with fully equal rights to Jews. If Israel ever accepts this simple, self-evident proposition, peace will finally become possible. But the American public, mostly for racial and religious reasons, is largely deaf to the idea of equality and justice for Palestinians. This greatly complicates President Obama's mission, as he cannot speak truthfully about the extent of the problem without risking himself and other Democrats being swept from office, due to the loss of Jewish and conservative Christian votes and campaign contributions.

A fool and his money are soon elected.
—Will Rogers

According to Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator and a fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, President Obama is in effect telling Israel: “I can continue defending you to the hilt, but if you give me nothing to work with, even America can’t save you.” Why? Because many Jews and Americans are in denial and refuse to admit that ethnic cleansing and apartheid are just as horrendously wrong when Israel practices them as when other nations do. Ironically, many Jews and Americans who castigate other people for denying the Nazi Holocaust now deny this new Holocaust, the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please let me remind readers that women and children on both sides of the conflict suffer when people close their eyes and ears to the truth, just as Native American women and children suffered on the Trail of Tears, while a white supremacist government, a white supremacist military and a white supremacist press blamed their victims for every "crime" known to humanity.

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.—Mark Twain

On the brighter side, before his speech President Obama received the endorsement of the U.N., the European Union and Russia, which together with the U.S. are known as "the Quartet." In a show of solidarity, the Quartet issued a statement expressing "strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined" in his proposal. This is very important because the U.S. is greatly hampered from acting as a just mediator by the powerful political influence of American Jews and Christians who insist that only the interests of Israel matter. This, of course, causes the Muslim world to see Americans as hypocrites, because they preach sermons on equal rights, justice and democracy to the rest of the world, while continually turning blind eyes and deaf ears to Israel's racial injustices.

Always be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.
—attributed to T.H. Thompson and John Watson

Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.Native American proverb

There is also another type of "framing" at work, as Israel and its propagandists insist that there is no credible "partner for peace" on the Palestinian side. But even if this may have been true in the past, it is no longer true, as Ehud Barak explained during his interview with Edmund Sanders ...

Sanders: In your assessment, are Palestinians ready to reach an agreement?

Barak: It’s more complicated for them than in the past. But I think [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas seems be at least sincere. I can’t read his gut. [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad is sincere. They are doing a good job in this bottom-up building of embryonic state institutions. There is more freedom, more normalcy, more security, and a much lower level of terror than in any previous years. [What the Palestinians have been able to accomplish recently under a heavy-handed Israeli military occupation is quite an achievement: something Barak recognizes but which many racist, intolerant Jews and Americans refuse to see, because to them all Palestinians are "terrorists." In reality, most Palestinians practice non-violence or engage in symbolic acts like rock-throwing, while Israel asserts its dominance using F-15's, F-16's, unmanned drones, Cobras, Apaches, Black Hawks, Pythons, Hellfire missiles, white phosphorous bombs, tanks, militarized bulldozers, etc. To better visualize the reality, think of the movies "District 9" and "Avatar."]

Sanders: Can Israel work with a PA [Palestinian Authority, a limited local government subservient to the Israeli military] that includes Hamas?

Barak: People here say, "Oh, that’s a catastrophe." I say that doesn’t make sense. We cannot say on the one hand that Abbas is not a real partner because any negotiations would be, at most, an agreement that you put on the shelf because he doesn’t control half his people, and then on the other side, when he tries to resume control [of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip], to say, "Now they are lost." It’s not lost. But we should say loud and clear, if and when they form a technocratic government [that] we expect the government, Fatah and mainly Hamas, to be ready to explicitly accept … recognition of Israel, acceptance of all previous agreements, and denouncing terror. [But even here there is "framing" of terrorism because large-scale Israeli government/military terrorism is routinely excused or ignored, while individual acts of Palestinian terrorism are invariably castigated by the Israeli and American media. While Ehud Barak is more open-minded than Netanyahu, he is not so open-minded that he will admit publicly that the Israeli government has abused and killed far more innocent women and children than Hamas. So he too is "framing" the argument, to a somewhat lesser degree, because he wants peace.]

Sanders: Are we closer or farther away from resolving the conflict today than when you negotiated at Camp David in 2000?

Barak: We’re closer. We found that [Yasser] Arafat was not focusing on solving 1967 and the occupation, but on 1947 and the very establishment of Israel. Some people on the right wing believe that’s the case right now. I don’t buy it. The other side has changed. Abu Mazen [Abbas] and Fayyad say loud and clear [that] if there is an agreement that meets their minimum demands, they are ready to sign an end of conflict and claims. That’s exactly what Arafat rejected. They are willing to consider more moderate ideas than Arafat. I think this leadership is more ripe. We won’t know until we try. You cannot just produce self-fulfilling prophecies, or say "We are not acting because we don’t think it will work."

I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan once called the U.S.S.R. the "evil empire," and he meant it. But when the chance for a negotiated peace emerged, Reagan was willing to make concessions for peace, which were matched by the U.S.S.R., and before long the Berlin Wall fell without shots being fired. With so much at stake, how can Israel afford not to listen to Ehud Barak, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Einstein, Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, Mandela, and Tutu? If Israel negotiates a just peace, Palestinian organizations that practice terror will soon lose their ability to raise funds and enlist recruits, just as the Black Panthers did after the U.S. finally granted black Americans equal rights and justice. If Israel fails to negotiate a just peace, we can expect more events like 9-11 and more unwinnable wars that may well bankrupt the United States.

The Role of Religion

If you are a Christian, a pertinent question becomes: "Why do so many Christians act as if God is an intolerant bigot who favors Jews and Christians over Muslims?" How can a loving, compassionate, wise, just God be a racist? According to Jesus and the apostles, particularly Peter and Paul, all human beings are the children of God and no race is favored over any other race. But many Jews and evangelical Christians have "resurrected" the patently unjust idea that Jews are somehow favored by luck of birth. Is God a racist who favors Jewish babies over Palestinian babies? If God favors Jewish babies over Palestinian babies, does he also favor Jewish babies over American babies, since like Palestinians most Americans are Gentiles? Can any Christian imagine Jesus "giving" the homes of Palestinian babies to robber barons, so that the babies and their families become homeless and destitute? If we say that God "gave" land to one race at the expense of another, aren't we saying that God is horrendously unjust, since many innocent women and children will die of exposure, disease, stress, despair and starvation if their land and homes are stolen from them? And yet millions of Americans who would oppose racism anywhere else in the world insist on supporting Israel despite its terrible racial injustices. Thus the Christian religion is a major factor in the suffering and deaths of multitudes of innocents.

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter ...
wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter.
—Michael R. Burch

Bibi's Bluff: Does Israel Want "Peace" or Free Land?

"Bibi" Netanyahu said "Israel wants peace, I want peace." But Israel's military is camped out in Occupied Palestine, where Israeli soldiers guard Jewish robber barons (euphemistically called "settlers") as they steal land from Palestinians on a daily basis. If I told my neighbors that I wanted "peace" while using armed men to steal their land, wouldn't they be fools to believe me? Where I live in Tennessee, we have a saying: "The proof is in the pudding." Racists often profess to believe in God and justice, but their actions belie their words. Native Americans once suffered very similar fates (consider the maps) as the U.S. military forced them onto arid, ever-shrinking reservations while white "Christian" robber barons stole all the best land. Palestinians know full well what happened to Native Americans and other indigenous victims of colonialism. They know Netanyahu is speaking with a forked tongue, just as Andrew Jackson did when he made my Cherokee ancestors walk the Trail of Tears. The question today is whether the U.S. and the rest of the world will call Bibi's Bluff. There seems to be little doubt that Israel will continue to acquire "free" land in Occupied Palestine, at the end of a gun barrel, until the world forces Israel to give up its land-grabbing and ethnic cleansing.

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men gang aft agley [go oft awry].—Robert Burns [written after the great Scottish poet accidentally destroyed a field mouse's nest]

Framing "Terrorism"

Netanyahu also said that Palestinian leaders would have to choose between a reconciliation with Hamas, which Israel calls a terrorist organization, or peace with Israel. But the terrorism of Israel's ethnic cleansing and apartheid completely dwarfs and overshadows acts of individual terrorism by Palestinians. Why should the world consider terrorism only on one side of the conflict? According to the American Declaration of Independence, it is the right and duty of people who have been denied equal rights, justice and representative government to forcefully resist their overlords and oppressors. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington lived in mansions and had freedom to travel as they pleased, but they claimed the right to kill Englishmen as long as they were denied equal rights, justice and representative government. Palestinians do not live in mansions or have freedom to travel because Israel's government has herded millions of them into gigantic walled corrals as if they were animals rather than human beings. If Jefferson and Washington had the right to forcefully resist the British monarchy, why should Palestinians be condemned for resisting something almost infinitely worse?

The rank is but the guinea’s stamp; the man’s the gowd [gold] for a’ [all] that!—Robert Burns

Should only Jews be Protected from Racial Injustices?

When Abba Eban spoke of the "Auschwitz lines" of Israel, he was stressing the need for the world to understand that Jews would never risk another Auschwitz. That is completely understandable. But at the same time it is also completely understandable that more than a billion Muslims do not want their Palestinian brothers and sisters to live through a modern-day Auschwitz. And yet this is what is happening today. If we could peer inside those remaining green spots on the fourth map above, and into Palestinian refugee camps in nearby nations like Jordan and Lebanon, we would see millions of completely innocent women and children who have been denied freedom, equal rights and justice, just as the Jews of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were denied freedom, equal rights and justice by German Nazis. Whenever people are denied freedom, equal rights and justice, they become the defenseless prey of ruthless men. This leads to unconscionable suffering for the victims. We know this from history. Fair laws and courts are the basis of human civilization. When a nation's laws and courts are racist and thus patently unfair, racial violence invariably results. When Native Americans were left unprotected by racist laws and courts, the result was the Trail of Tears and a series of massacres on both sides of the conflict. When black Americans were left unprotected by racist laws and courts, they were enslaved and the result was the Civil War, which left over 600,000 Americans dead and millions more wounded, maimed, limbless and displaced. When Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and other people were left unprotected by the racist laws and courts of Germany, the result was the Holocaust, with millions of people dead. Very similar things also happened to Australian aborigines, black South Africans, and many other disenfranchised people over the course of human history. Should only Jews be protected from racial injustices, or should all human beings be protected from racial injustices?

Israeli "framing" insists that racism practiced against Jews is evil, but that racism practiced by Jews should be excused or ignored. Since the Palestinians are Semites, Israel has ironically become the most anti-Semitic nation on earth!

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
—Catherine the Great

And while it has become fashionable for high-ranking Israelis to quote Abba Eban about the "Auschwitz lines," they ought to consider other things he said:

"Israel’s birth is intrinsically and intimately linked with the idea of sharing territory and sovereignty [with Palestinians]."
"Men and nations behave wisely once all other alternatives have been exhausted."
"Time and again these governments have rejected proposals today ... and longed for them tomorrow."

Abba Eban hoped the time would come when Israel would be offered what the saner founders of Israel had always wanted: secure borders with peace on all sides and recognition by the Arab world. Now this offer is on the table, but will Israel be wise enough to accept it, when insisting on the "right" to steal Palestinian land and practice ethnic cleansing is estranging Israel from every other nation on earth? Even if the U.S. continues to side with Israel, will that be enough, now that the U.S. is claiming to only be an "advisor"? I believe Daniel Levy is correct: Barack Obama is telling Israel that the U.S. cannot save Israel if it continues down the dark path of racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Framing U.N. Resolutions in Order to Dispossess Palestinians

Eban changed his first name to Abba, which means "father," because he considered himself to be the father of modern-day Israel due to his ability to persuade other nations to recognize Israel, primarily through the U.N. The state we now call Israel was created through a U.N. resolution in 1947 (the second map above) and achieved international legitimacy through the U.N., and yet Israel has never abided by the rulings of the U.N. that established fixed borders for the modern state of Israel. Why does Israel continue to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from land outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel, stealing their land via armed robbery in clear violation of international law? Why does the U.S. preach equal rights, individual justice and self-determination to the rest of the world, only to veto one U.N. resolution after another that could have helped the Palestinians achieve freedom, equal rights, justice and democracy? Why does Israel choose to accept the rulings of the U.N. that are in its favor, while ignoring U.N. rulings that would allow Palestinians to have the state established by the same resolution that established Israel?

The answer is that both Israel and the U.S. have political systems that allow special interests to trump the desire of the majority of the citizens, who vastly prefer peace to violence and war. The average Israeli Jew and the average American have nothing to gain if robber barons acquire additional parcels of land in the West Bank. But special interests within Israel and the U.S. have "framed" the discussion so successfully that most Americans have no idea what is really happening. If you asked the average American if anywhere in the world robber barons should be able to demolish a poor family's house and steal their land, he would reply, "Of course not!" But if you asked him why there is so much violence in Israel/Palestine, he would probably mutter something about Palestinians being "terrorists" who "hate our values" and "want to take over the world."

Why do Americans Support the Racial Injustices of Israel?

How can Americans who blindly support Israel's racial injustices be so gullible? Is it a matter of ignorance, religion and wishful thinking? The philosopher George Santayana said that if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. The maps above mirror what happened to Native Americans when American laws and courts failed to defend their rights. As their land was taken from them by force, coercion and outright robbery, there was one massacre after another. But Native Americans had only primitive weapons: bows, arrows, tomahawks, single-shot rifles, etc. What would have happened if they had possessed hugely destructive modern weapons? What would have happened if they had been surrounded by more than a billion sympathetic friends, who did not agree that the should be caused to suffer and die as if they had no human rights whatsoever?

If we want peace, these are questions we need to consider. Today oppressed people have access to a variety of lethal weapons. On 9-11 a handful of men turned the world upside down by turning commandeered planes into missiles. Contrary to popular American opinion, they didn't attack because they "hate our values" or "want to take over the world." They attacked because they were willing to sacrifice their lives to end the injustices of Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East. Understanding this, wouldn't it be much better for Israeli Jews, Palestinians, Americans and the world if Israel stopped stealing land from Palestinians, when the consequences so far have been 9-11 and two horrific wars, and the future consequence might be World War III?

The Path to a Lasting Peace

President Obama has now openly supported the idea of returning to the 1967 borders as the path to a lasting peace. Nevertheless, he made it clear that the role of the U.S. in the present conflict is that of an advisor. The U.S.-Israeli relationship has become complicated, if not schizophrenic. In February of 2011, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank expansion. As has often been the case, there were 14 votes in favor of requiring Israel to act like a civilized nation and only one – that of the U.S. – to the contrary. This happened shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had called the settlements "illegitimate" in an interview with ABC. If the settlements are illegitimate, why did the U.S. veto the resolution?

How can the U.S. claim to be the leader of the free world if it continues to fund and support ethnic cleansing?

Conn Hallinan, a contributing editor for Foreign Policy in Focus, suggests that the U.S. cannot afford to play a neutral role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying, "The USA gives Israel about $3 billion a year in aid, which goes to military stuff, and a lot of this money flees to [i.e., ends up going to] Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. If this subject comes up in September, the General Assembly of the U.N. will overwhelmingly endorse the existence of the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders." [In other words, the entire world now recognizes the injustice of what has happened to the Palestinians, and if the U.S. does not want to relinquish its leading role in world affairs, it cannot stand in the way of freedom, equal rights and justice for Palestinians. This is all the more true because of the Arab Spring.] Hallinan continues, "That is not a subject that can be vetoed in the Security Council, because it is a matter for the General Assembly [where the U.S. does not have a veto]. That will isolate the USA and Israel – and essentially they will stand alone in the world. I think neither one of them wants that. So there is a possibility you can begin to leverage some of these in the direction of negotiations, but I do not have too much faith in Netanyahu as a Prime Minister."

I'm afraid Hallinan may be right about Netanyahu. (I sometimes call him Netan-YAHOO.) Bill Clinton has been quoted as saying that Netanyahu does not recognize the humanity of the Palestinians. This has also been true for many other high-ranking Israelis. For instance, Golda Meir was quoted twice as saying that land could not be returned to Palestinians because they did not "exist." She obviously didn't see the Palestinian race and culture as being equal, or even distantly equal, to the Jewish race and culture. It's as if Israel is being run by the Grand Wizards of the KKK. This of course complicates things, but please keep in mind that a similar mentality existed in the leadership of the Deep South only a few decades ago. When the Deep South was forced to abandon its Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts, things soon took a turn for the better.

I believe President Obama has sent Netanyahu and Israel a clear signal that the U.S. will no longer oppose the will of the rest of the world. There is an offer on the table: Israel must accept the 1967 borders with land swaps, in return for Arab recognition of the state of Israel with security and viability for both sides. This is not what Israel wants, because to date Israel has been able to have its cake while gobbling up the Palestinian pie. But if the world holds firm and the U.S. sides with the rest of the world, it is possible that Israel will finally accept the fact that every nation must have fixed borders and not exceed them.

Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, points out that this is not the first time that a U.S. president has talked about the 1967 borders, as Israeli officials tried to make it seem after President Obama’s speech: "One year after the famous letter exchange between Bush and [Ariel] Sharon there was another letter, another statement from President Bush where he used the term ‘the 1949 Armistice Line’. That line is the 1967 border." She then added, "President Obama went further than that and said the Palestinian state will be the homeland of all the Palestinian people, implying that the right of return ... to homes inside what is now Israel will not apply. Any Palestinians returning, Palestinian refugees, will have to go to the new Palestinian state, which was not, of course, [originally] their home."

This is an important compromise. If Palestinian refugees were allowed to return to the state of Israel, they would outnumber Israeli Jews and Israel could no longer be a Jewish state and a democracy. But if the Palestinian refugees return to the new state of Palestine, Israel can remain both a Jewish state and a democracy, albeit one with rather shaky moral foundations.

An Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, quoted Mr. Netanyahu as telling his aides: "I went in with certain concerns. I came out encouraged." What was he encouraged about? Perhaps about the issue of the right of return of Palestinians to Israel. "Everybody knows it's not going to happen," Mr. Netanyahu said. "And I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly, it's not going to happen."

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the 1967 lines being the path to a just, lasting peace. But of course there is nothing just about stealing someone's land, house and property, then dumping him on a much poorer nation with far less land. So let me rephrase what I said: the 1967 lines represent the path to a lasting peace. The peace will only be just if Israel acts justly, which seems unlikely.

"Our ultimate goal has to be a secure Israel state, a Jewish state, living side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective Palestinian state," President Obama said. "Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that's going to happen between friends."

Is Israel a Democracy or a Racist State?

To "acquire" land from other people without paying for it is robbery. To acquire land from other people by using weapons and force is armed robbery. To steal land from large numbers of people of different races is ethnic cleansing. To steal land from farm families, thus depriving them of the ability to feed themselves, resulting in the deaths of completely innocent mothers and their children is murder, matricide and infanticide. To cause the deaths of large numbers of innocent people because they are of the "wrong" race or creed is genocide. To collectively punish women and children of the "wrong" race and creed by herding them into walled ghettos and concentration camps, where they are doomed to suffer and die without ever drawing a free breath, is a Holocaust. When these things were done to Jews by Germans during World War II, all the free world was horrified. American soldiers helped liberate the walled ghettos and concentration camps of the Nazis, weeping to see the suffering of the human beings they emancipated. Why then do so many Americans now observe what is happening to the Palestinians in stony silence, without tears? Are Palestinian mothers and their children somehow less important, less human, than Jewish mothers and children? Or have most Americans never been told the truth? If so, why not?

If you want to understand why Israel experiences so much racial violence today, just study Israel's laws and courts independently for a few minutes, using Google. A nation's laws and major court rulings (or lack of them) are matters of public record. The simple, easily verifiable truth is that Israel has Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts similar to those of South Africa and the Deep South prior to civil rights reforms. For instance, a Jewish woman can marry whomever she pleases and live with her husband and children without government interference. Every child born to a Jewish mother is automatically qualified for full Israeli citizenship rights. But if a Palestinian women marries someone Israel's government disapproves of, she can be separated from her spouse and children. This is very similar to the white supremacist governments of southern states which allowed slaveowners to break up black families for the economic benefit of their "masters." As in the Deep South, Palestinians cannot buy most of the land of Israel, which has been reserved for Jewish people and institutions. Even on the ever-dwindling land of Occupied Palestine, outside the borders of Israel, Palestinians are prohibited from driving on "Jewish only" roads or living in "Jewish only" settlements. This is like the United States invading Mexico, seizing all the best land, then creating "Hispanic-free" roads and settlements. How would Americans feel if China invaded the United States, stationed Chinese troops on our land, then created "Chinese only" roads and settlements that were off-limits to our children? Obviously, we would be at war with China. Why then is it "wrong" for Palestinians to resist what is happening to their children on a daily basis? Are only Americans and Jews allowed to use force to resist terrible injustices?

And it important to understand that no Palestinian baby, whether born in Israel, Gaza, Occupied Palestine or a refugee camp in another nation, has the same rights as a Jewish baby. A baby born to a Jewish mother anywhere in the world always has the right to "return" to Israel and become a full citizen, even if her family left the Middle East thousands of years ago. But a baby born to a Palestinian mother outside the borders of Israel whose family owned clear deed to land in Palestine as recently as 1948 or 1967 cannot return to her native, ancestral land. Even if she was able to return to Israel proper, she would be subject to terribly racist, unjust laws that could prevent her from marrying the man of her choice and living with him and their children without draconian Israeli government interference. Only a racist could fail to be disgusted by the idea that one baby can be born with superior rights to another baby. Why don't Palestinian babies have exactly the same rights as Jewish babies?

The Excuse of "Terrorism"

Of course the main Israeli defense of this system of government-sanctioned racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide is that "terrorism" is the "real problem." But this is like me slapping my wife around on a daily basis, then complaining if the men in her family retaliate in order to defend her. Yes, terrorism is a terrible thing, but there is such a thing as self-defense and a man protecting his family, so we have to ask ourselves why acts of terrorism occur so frequently in Israel/Palestine today. We once had serious problems with acts of terrorism by militant black groups in the U.S. But what happened to the Black Panthers once the U.S. finally established much fairer laws and courts? Obviously, the Black Panthers lost their main reason for existence and their ability to raise funds and recruit foot soldiers. There was no reason for Black Panthers to die or go to jail once black Americans had achieved equal rights and the protections of fair laws and courts. Terrorism is not the disease, but a terrible symptom of the disease of government-sanctioned racial injustice.

The Role of the Bible

This terrible disease, government-sanctioned racism, was the root cause of the Trail of Tears, American slavery, the Civil War, a century of racial unrest in the U.S. after the Civil War, the terrorist acts of the Black Panthers, the Nazi Holocaust, South African apartheid, and a whole Pandora's box of evils. It is also the root cause of 9-11, because the governments of Israel and the U.S. ignored the human rights of Palestinians for 53 years prior to 9-11. President Obama understands that peace with the Muslim world depends on Israel and the U.S. curing this terrible disease. But the American public does not want to hear the truth. American Christians prefer to read Bible verses that say God "gave" the land of Palestine to the ancient Hebrews, while ignoring the many verses that clearly say Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David actually took the land via ethnic cleansing and genocide, the "slaying of everything that breathes." The Bible clearly says that Moses ordered the slaughter of defenseless mothers and male babies, with only the virgin girls being kept alive, obviously as sex slaves (Numbers 31). The Bible also clearly says that Joshua and Caleb slaughtered women, children and livestock. It also clearly says that David killed every woman when he "smote" the land and that he ordered the slaughter of the lame and blind when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites. Was God telling these men to slaughter women, children and the handicapped, or did they just assume that God was on their side when they got away with murder? Ancient people often claimed the gods were with them when they were victorious in battle, but who can believe that a loving, compassionate, wise, just God ordered the slaughter and enslavement of innocents? Sex slavery was so accepted at the time of Moses that he even allowed fathers to sell their own daughters as sex slaves, with the option to buy them back if they didn't "please" their new masters (Exodus 21). How can anyone possibly "believe" that such things were the edicts of a wise, just God?

And yet many American Christians persist in "believing" the Bible is "infallible" when a number of its passages are worse than anything in Hitler's Mein Kampf. So the Christian religion also lies at the root of 9-11. American Christians no longer "believe" in slavery, even though the Bible clearly condones it. Jesus, Paul and the apostles never called slavery an abomination or called for the practice to be abolished. As Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, pointed out in his defense of slavery, from beginning to end the Bible endorses slavery. But if American Christians no longer believe in slavery, why do they cling to the verses in the Bible that make God a bigot who prefers Jews to Palestinians and endorses ethnic cleansing and genocide?

But of course religion is a big, highly profitable business, and once a religion has taken a firm stand it chances losing converts and money if it changes course. So many Christian churches persist in teaching things that make absolutely no sense, and thus bring the world and the children sitting in their pews closer and closer to another world war. Meanwhile rich, powerful Jews with tremendous political influence in the U.S. will not allow American politicians to speak the truth without suffering the consequences. American politicians who support Israel are rewarded with Jewish votes and campaign contributions. Those who suggest Israel should stop practicing racism and apartheid are attacked ferociously, as has been the case with former president Jimmy Carter. So the American public is shielded from the truth that could free it from Middle Eastern wars by its two main "protectors": government and religion. Influential Jews cynically use Christian beliefs to further the aims of Israel, but in reality they are endangering Israel and Jews around the world, because they risk another epidemic of anti-Semitism if there is a plague in Gaza (where the living conditions of 2.5 million trapped Palestinians are far from conducive to good health). What will happen if the Muslim world sees large numbers of Palestinians suffering and dying while they remain the wards of a Jewish state that cares nothing about them? Obviously there will be more events like 9-11 and probably more wars. There may also be a violent backlash against Jews around the world, as other people increasingly see Jewish racism as the cause of global terrorism. Unless Israel changes its racist policies and practices or the U.S. "divorces" Israel, Americans are likely to suffer from the same backlash.

How I Came to Change My Mind about Israel

I was a staunch supporter of Israel for the first 46 years of my life ... until I saw the maps below and decided to do some independent research. Because I grew up in an evangelical Christian family, I had always heard the Israeli side of the story. But I have Cherokee ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears, so I understand what can happen when people of one race with massive military superiority choose to ethnically cleanse the people of another race, in order to take their land and natural resources. If we compare the maps above to what happened to Native Americans, the parallel is obvious and striking.

Ironically, it was my friends among the Jewish Holocaust survivors, poets and translators published by The HyperTexts who first told me there was something very, very wrong with racial policies and practices of Israel. They didn't tell me intentionally. They told me by becoming defensive, evasive and hostile when I asked simple, basic questions about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. One Jewish Holocaust survivor insisted, "The Palestinians are not suffering!" A Jewish poet I considered a brother gave my email address to a professional propagandist. It struck me as very strange and very wrong that my fellow poet and brother-in-arms would "sic" a pit bull on me. So I began to research the "facts on the ground" and I found to my horror that most of what I had been told to believe about Israel and the Palestinians was either patently false or a gross distortion of the truth. To put it bluntly, much of what my Jewish friends and I had been opposing together, the Holocaust, was happening, and continues to happen, to the Palestinians at the hands of the government of Israel.

I am an editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry because I oppose racism and injustice, and so I must oppose both the Shoah ("Catastrophe") of the Jews and the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians. How can I oppose what the Nazis did to the Jews, and not oppose what Israel is doing to the Palestinians?

A Simple Plan for Peace in the Middle East

I hope I have given you ample food for thought. My basic premise has been this: every nation is responsible for its own laws, and until a government establishes equal rights and justice for all human beings under its aegis, that government is not legal. According to the American Declaration of Independence, anyone denied equal rights and justice has the right to oppose an illegal, unjust government with force. The only path to peace without violence is the same path which leads to a legal government: establishing equal rights and justice first. Israel has become an obstacle to world peace because it insists on the right to practice racism, inequality and injustice until the victims of its racism, inequalities and injustices "obey the law." But when laws are racist and therefore illegal, it is not a crime to break them. So it is imperative for Israel to do what every government must do, unconditionally, first: establish equal human rights and justice. Then if people on either side disobey fair laws, they can be prosecuted individually in fair courts and brought to justice. But there is no such thing as "collective justice," only collective punishment, and innocent Palestinian men, women and children cannot be punished collectively for the crimes of a few hard-to-find criminals. Before any Palestinian can be called a "criminal," he must first be granted equal rights and justice. This, I believe, is a "no brainer" and explains why pro-Israel propaganda makes no sense. Israel must establish equal rights and justice first, unconditionally, in order to have a legitimate government.

So here is my "simple plan for peace in the Middle East": We should have a new UN resolution calling for Israel to unconditionally grant Jews and non-Jews alike equal rights and access to fair laws and fair courts. The laws and courts should be the same laws and courts, not the current system in which Jewish boys who throw rocks are subjected to civil courts for misdemeanors while Palestinian boys who throw rocks are subjected to military courts where they can be held indefinitely without bail or trial, and denied access to lawyers and even their own parents. The new fair courts established must be able to set legal precedents and should have peer review by judges appointed by the UN.

With equal rights, fair laws and fair courts, peace through justice becomes possible.

Although the United States has vetoed many previous UN resolutions that might have helped bring peace to present-day Israel/Palestine, I don't believe the United States can veto a resolution based on the American Creed.

If this resolution passes, as I believe it will, and Israel complies, then disputes over land, water and property can be settled "organically" over time, even if Israelis and Palestinians can't agree to eternal borders in single sittings. Where other attempts at peace have stalled and broken down in the past, this one will move forward on a daily basis, just as racial equality and peace continue to chug forward on a daily basis in the United States, with fair courts arbitrating and settling individual disputes.

If this resolution passes but Israel refuses to comply, the UN can institute economic sanctions. Economic sanctions often do not work with dictatorships for the obvious reason: tyrants will thrive even if their subjects starve. Saddam Hussein was building new palaces while multitudes of Iraqi children were dying due to economic sanctions imposed before the United States invaded Iraq. But economic sanctions will work in this case because Israel is a modern nation which relies on imports and exports to sustain its economy and the lifestyles of its citizens. And while Israel is not yet a true democracy in which all human beings have equal rights, it is "democratic enough" for unhappy voters to replace racist leaders with new leaders willing to establish peace through justice. Like the voters in any democracy, Israelis will "vote their pocketbooks." So economic sanctions should bring about regime change the modern, democratic way, without bloodshed.

If you want the world to avoid more events like 9-11 and the possibility of World War III and nuclear Armageddon, I hope you will consider my "simple plan for peace in the Middle East" and urge your family, friends, newspapers and political representatives to consider it also. If my plan, or a variation thereof, leads to peace in Israel/Palestine, it could lead to peace throughout the Middle East, and eventually the world. Why? Because if peace through justice is possible in Israel/Palestine, then no one can ever say that peace though justice is impossible anywhere in the world. And who knows: perhaps we will see the visions of the Hebrew prophets fulfilled in our lifetimes.

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