Want to learn how to effectively debate with Zionists who try to justify Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians? My book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will empower you with the knowledge to stand up to these hypocrites.
Here’s an email exchange I recently had with one of them, named Harrison. He’d read my recent article “The No-State Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict“, in which I point out that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) affirmed in a 2004 advisory opinion requested by the UN General Assembly that Israel’s annexation wall and settlement regime in the occupied West Bank are illegal. He emailed me in response to the piece. What follows is our full exchange. May you find it educational — and perhaps also entertaining.
Don’t you see a little hypocrisy in the fact that this decision was announced by a Chinese judge? The Chinese invaded Tibet at about the same time that the State of Israel was established. China justified its invasion by saying that the people of Tibet were being wrongfully governed by religious reactionaries. The Chinese killed about one-sixth of the Tibetan population during its invasion. It then proceeded to move tens of thousands of Chinese into Tibet, and now consider it part of China. Compared to the daily outcries and condemnation you hear about the “occupied” West Bank, the world utters barely a peep of protest about China’s ACTUAL occupation of Tibet, which, as opposed to the war launched against Israel by neighboring nations in 1967, never presented ANY kind of threat to Chinese security.
No, I don’t see hypocrisy in the fact the judge happened to be Chinese (if that is so). He was representing the ICJ, not the Chinese government, and I have no knowledge that this individual holds a hypocritical view with respect to the occupation of Tibet.
Where I do see hypocrisy, on the other hand, is in your own comments. For starters, this accusation is grounded in bigotry against the individual simply for the fact he’s of Chinese nationality. Moreover, you rightly condemn China for its actions while referring to “the ‘occupied’ West Bank”, the quotation marks intended to imply that it isn’t really occupied, as though this land belonged to Israel when in fact it’s a simple and uncontroversial point of fact under international law that all of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied Palestinian territory. Finally, the 1967 war was begun by Israel on the morning of June 5 with a surprise attack on Egypt despite Israel’s own intelligence assessing that Nasser would not be so foolish as to attack Israel, an assessment shared by the CIA, which informed President Johnson that a war was looming and that it would be Israel that would start it.
So if you want to see a hypocrite, just have a look in the mirror.
This judge was acting as a representative of the Chinese government – an ambassador to the ICJ. Obviously it is not bigotry to accuse him of hypocrisy on that basis. His own personal views about the invasion of Tibet are irrelevant. Of course you don’t even mention that Israel was not a signatory to the treaty establishing the ICJ. For this ruling to have had any actual legal effect, a nation had to have acceded to the court’s jurisdiction. Does that show a bias, or an attempt to report the historical facts truthfully?
In what possible sense was the West Bank and Gaza “Palestinian” land before Israel took over those areas in 1967? Before that, they were occupied by Jordan, and Egypt. Did you, or anyone else refer to the areas then as being “occupied” by Egypt and Jordan, from 1948 to 1967? Obviously the Palestinian residents did not. That is because they thought of those areas not as Palestinian land, but merely as Arab land, or as part of the “ummah.” And before 1948, they were lands occupied by other foreign powers: the UK, under the Mandate, and the empire of the Turks before that. Of course the PLO was established in 1965, before there was any occupation, and Mahmoud Abbas himself refers to Israel proper as being “occupied.” That is why, I think, it is appropriate to put the word in quotation marks.
Blaming Israel for the 1967 war shows your true bias. Nasser had moved tanks and troops across Sinai to the Israeli border. He had blocked the Straits of Tiran (Israel’s only water access to the South for oil imports, being denied access to the Canal). That was a causus belli under the agreement ending the Suez crisis, and one even without such an agreement. He had expelled UN Peacekeepers (who dutifully departed, rather than actually doing anything to keep the peace; “Peacekeepers” also belongs in quotation marks).
And, most importantly of all, Egypt was making radio broadcasts of the most extreme and bellicose promises about the final destruction of Israel. Of course it knew that Israel was monitoring those broadcasts — that is the nature of radio. Israel is the Jewish state, and if there is one imperative from Jewish history, it is this: When people say, “I’m coming to kill you now,” you take this seriously, at face value. If Nasser, secretly down in his heart somewhere, intended only a feint or bluff, this was a bad miscalculation on his part. He knew Jewish history as well as anybody else. Any action takes place in a context.
No, the ICJ does not represent the governments of its members. It is an independent body. So, yes, it is extremely bigoted of you to accuse him of hypocrisy simply for being Chinese.
Israel is party to the Geneva Conventions. It is an Occupying Power and its wall and settlements are illegal. Period. The only bias here is your willfully ignorant rejection of this completely uncontroversial point of fact.
Yes, Gaza and the West Bank were occupied by Egypt and Jordan, respectively, between 1948 and 1967. It certainly does not follow that it is therefore not Palestinian territory! This is absurd logic. Again, it is a completely uncontroversial point of fact under international law that all of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied Palestinian territory and so your use of quotation marks around the word “occupied” simply exposes your prejudice.
And, again, 1967 war was not begun by Egypt. Yet another completely uncontroversial point of fact is that it was started by Israel on the morning of June 5 with a surprise attack on Egypt. Nasser’s bellicose rhetoric was just that: rhetoric. Again, the Egyptian forces in the Sinai had taken up defense positions, as observed by the CIA, and Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Nasser posed no threat and would not attack. It’s also instructive that Israel refused the proposal for UNEF troops to be stationed on its side of the border.
Like I said, if you want to find a hypocrite, go look in the mirror.
It would be helpful if you would explain just how Israel was supposed to know that it was merely rhetoric.
I already have. The question assumes Israel couldn’t possibly have known Egypt wouldn’t attack when, again, Israel did know this. Again, its own intelligence community assessed that Egypt would not attack.
The CIA, of course, shared that assessment and informed Johnson that a war was coming, but that it would be Israel that would start it.
This is all documented in my book Obstacle to Peace:
I urge you to read it to be able to see through the standard propaganda and become better informed about the true nature of the conflict.
The mainstream media perpetually lie to you, adopting the Israeli narrative of Zionist hasbara in they’re role of manufacturing consent for US foreign policy. My book, which contains over 1,900 endnotes, documents the real story.
An intelligence assessment is only a prediction based on imperfect information (such as, that Iraq has WMDs). When it comes to protecting your teeny-tiny country against what seems to be an imminent attack by neighboring countries with whom you’ve already been at war, and fairly recently, there is a pretty huge price to pay if your intelligence community happens to be wrong. It’s not like war against it would have been some kind of wildly improbable event. In its War of Independence, Israel’s enemies killed about one-tenth of the Jewish population at the time (think of, on a proportionate basis, 3.2 million Americans killed). Nasser was a pretty hostile neighbor.
Since you seem pretty confident of how future events will transpire, could you please give me some stock market advice.
Did you fall for the transparent lies about Iraq, too? That seems to be the problem here: you simply are too gullible and fall for all these blatant lies and propaganda.
The simple fact of the matter is such “preventative” war as the US war on Iraq and Israel’s attack on Egypt in June 1967 is synonymous under international law with “aggression”, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.
I notice you adopt Israel’s name for the 1948 war, “War of Independence”. In fact, the Jewish community at the time owned less than 7 percent of the land in Palestine, and the “Jewish state” was established through violence and the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab population – hence known as the Nakba to Palestinians, their “Catastrophe”. It wasn’t a war of independence, but, as Israeli historian Benny Morris has described it, a “war of conquest”.
You are unfortunately heavily indoctrinated in Zionist propaganda. Again, I urge you to read Obstacle to Peace to become properly informed.
Oh, and you might think twice about buying stocks. An economic collapse is coming that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park. Physical gold would be a good option. Here’s another book of mine you can read for insights into the coming crisis:
It shows how one-sided you are, that you mention only that the Jews owned a small percentage of the land. Do you think that the remainder was owned by Palestinians? Of course not, and you omit this because it doesn’t fit your simplistic, anti-Israel narrative – the truth is too difficult for you. The rest of the land was owned by the previous conquering, foreign power, which happened to pick the wrong side in the Great War.
You are obviously not interested in the truth, only in polemics. This isn’t at all unusual, when it comes to this particular conflict. So I must decline your invitation to read your books.
Thanks for the investment advice. Predicting a catastrophe is safe, because if you wait long enough the prediction will come true. It is absolutely true that there will be a highly destructive earthquake in Oregon. But that prediction, alone, is not particularly helpful.
Harrison, it’s highly instructive that you’re incapable of pointing to even a single error in either fact or logic on my part (while I’ve repeatedly shown you your own errors).
Here yet again you are simply demonstrating your willful ignorance, prejudice, and extraordinary hypocrisy by asserting that Arabs owned no land in Palestine. In fact, Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district of Palestine, including Jaffa.
If you ever decide to set aside your prejudice and cease being willfully ignorant, the truth is available to you:
Your area always welcome to educate yourself, cease being part of the problem, and join the fight for Peace.
OK I stand corrected on that point. I should have wrote that the vast majority of the land was not owned locally, but by a foreign power.
You can be misleading without any actual error in fact or logic, because a half-truth is as good as a lie.
Writing that Israel must have known that Egypt would not have attacked it, is not an “error in fact or logic,” but it’s still just plain wrong, because nobody knows for sure what will happen in the future. Every nation has to make its best prediction, based on the imperfect information it has available to it, and act accordingly. Some parts of the Israeli government were predicting one thing, and other parts were predicting another. That is far less than a showing that Israel must have known that Egypt had no plans to attack. You don’t know what Egypt would have done had Israel not made its preemptive strike, and I don’t know.
I see no point in any further exchange, because obviously neither of us is going to make one inch of progress with the other.
The facts with regard to Israel’s attack on Egypt are as I’ve stated them. Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Egypt would not attack, the CIA informed Johnson of the same and told him Israel would start the war, and even if Israel had believed that Egypt might attack, such “preventive” war (not “preemptive” as you claim) is synonymous under international law with “aggression”, defined Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.
We agree on one thing: continuing this discussion is pointless, in light of your willful ignorance and your clinging to your mistaken, hypocritical view despite my having repeatedly pointed out to you your numerous factual and logical errors every step of the way.
I also want to discontinue our exchange because I find you to be a very unpleasant person.
I can live with this Zionist hypocrite finding me to be “a very unpleasant person”. Indeed, I take considerable pride in making people like him feel uncomfortable about being confronted with their own hypocrisy.
If you want to empower yourself with the knowledge to take on these Zionist hypocrites, or just quickly get up to speed on what the Israel-Palestine conflict is all about and why it persists, head on over to ObstacleToPeace.com and sign up to read a free excerpt of my just-published book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In addition to getting the entire first chapter (as well as Richard Falk’s Foreword and Gene Epstein’s Introduction), you’ll receive an email primer course on the conflict.