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« Obsession at The Word | Main | Confusion Over Hamas Visit »

May 16, 2007



The worst and most sickening comment by Jassat was his comment saying that the pro-terror, Marxist outfit 'Not In My Name' ' has attracted a sizeable chunk of Jewish opinion makers'.
Not In My Name is a mirror of the Yevsektsia- the Jewish section of the Soviet Communist Party during the Lenin/Stalin years.
Not In My Name would like to see all Jews between the Jordan and the Medittarananean massacred.
Thye are 'Jews For a Second Holocaust'.


Ummm...just another reminder that the views of the comments are not necessarily those of the authors of this blog!


Hey guys, apologies if blogging shorthand made it appear I was accusing you of the excesses of the Zionist lobby. I was actually trying to show that there is a Zionist lobby within the SA blogosphere, rather than sending people clicking through to US sites. Hopefully you even got some traffic off it.


Calling the Not in My Name group a "pro-terror, Marxist" outfit, seems rather paradoxically to reveal the extremism of the author of that post. You might not agree with them, but name calling really does not contribute in any way to a debate about the very difficult issues around the Israeli occupation. Instead of calling Kasrils or other people names and trying to show they are terrorists, why don't the readers and authors of this Blog talk about the real issues: Israeli's and Palestinians are living side by side in a small piece of land and the Israeli's are occupying large parts of the Palestinian land because they believe this will bring them more security.

However, after 30 years of occupation there is no security so maybe it is time to try something else. Just pointing fingers at the Palestinians - who are not occupying Israeli land, but are often acting very stupidly - will not solve anything. Now the Israelis' are killing the Palestianians in droves and the Palestinians are trying to kill the Israeli's in droves as well. It seems rather old testament to me and rather sad too. And just because I say that does not mean that I am a Marxist (but so what if I was a Marxist - why is being a Marxist such a bad thing compared to, say, a capitalist like Dick Cheney or George Bush?). It also does not mean I support what Israeli government calls "terror". I do not support the use of terror by either the Israeli government or settlers or the Palestinians.


Hello Pierre,
I agree with you about the name calling - in fact I specifically distanced the authors of this blog from Gary's statement.

You obviously don't read this blog if you think we do not discuss the real issues. We the authors have many times discussed the desperate need for a solution and are both in favour of formula which includes a withdrawal from between 90 and 95% of the territories with land swaps to account for land Israel keeps.

But why should we limit the discourse to the Israeli occupation? Is that the onlu issue here? Before the occupation was there peace?

Limiting the debate to just the "Israeli occupation" is a very simpleminded notion.

Why the scare quotes around terror? If you dont believe that suicide bomb blasts targeting innocent people are acts of terror then have the courage to stand up and say so.


One of the other issues that needs to be handled is this crazy indoctrination of children on Palestinian TV.

Joel Pollak

By the way -- and I think that this should be mentioned EVERY TIME Iqbal Jassat's name comes up -- the man is a Holocaust denier, and the Media Review Network is a Holocaust-denying organization.

Jassat confirmed his views and that of his organization in an appearance on the Tim Modise Show on 702 on 16 Feb 2005 at 10:30 a.m. This guy's rantings should be beyond the bounds of public discourse.


Pierre, Hamas is a terrorist organization whose stated goal is the anihilation of all Jews in the Holy Land.
Kasrils and Not In My Name stand by Hamas openly.
The meaning of Israel is clear. The Jew has experienced too much death, and a portion of the Jewish people decided that they would die quietly no more (especially after Hitler's Holocaust). So it is: and no argument, no clever political talk, no logic and no parading of right and wrong can change this fact.The Jews returned to Israel because it was their ancient land. From 1810 onwards, Jews in the Land of Israel have been murdered by Arabs. The pious Jews of Safed, who would raise no hand in their defense, were robbed and murdered and burned out again and again by Arabs - as where the Jews in Jerusalem and Tiberias. Bedouin Arabs passed through Land of Israel at will-and robbed and killed Jews for profit. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Arab feudal lords in the Land of Israel organized pogroms precisely as the Tsar had organized pogroms.

In 1920 Jews where massacred by Arabs in Jerusalem, in 1921 in Jaffa and in 1929 in Hebron. Thousands of Jews where murdered in 1936 to 1939 in the Nazi inspired Arab Revolt. Since 1948 Arabs have launched wars against Israel to try to drive Jews into the sea and since Arafat launched the latest war in 2000, after rejecting a peace deal, thousands of Jewish men women and children have died in Israel by bomb, bullet and knife. Jews will never again be put into a position where they can be subjected to another Holocaust (particularly in the ancient Jewish homeland.
If you believe the use of the word terror by the Palestinazis is a fantasy maybe you should take a look at this.


I am struck by the similarities in the nature of the arguments made by the apartheid state and arguments made by those who support the present Israeli government, regardless of their actions. I am not saying the two are morally equivalent (Israel is a democracy), but there is a ethical dimension that seems to get lost on supporters of the present Israeli government. The apartheid state called the ANC movement terrorists and pointed to the bombing of civilian targets to show that the ANC caused “terror” and to justify its own campaign of state sanctioned killing.

One can debate whether the so called “terror” tactics of Hamas or the ANC is or was justifiable. If Israel had been occupied by a Hamas led government, few of those who support the Israeli government and call Hamas terrorists would have said that Jews did not have a right to resist the occupation WITH ALL THE METHODS AVAILABLE. Once one accepts that there is an occupation and that the occupation is not ethical, one cannot merely point to evil Hamas as an argument for the continued occupation. The tactics used by Palestinians are at the very least unwise because they serve as a perfect excuse for the Israeli government not to hand back the occupied territories. The present Israeli government does not want to hand back the occupied territories so they have to ensure that "there is no partner for peace". Sadly, the stupid people in Hamas fall for this and respond in ways that make it very easy for the Israeli government to dismiss them as terrorists. The ANC got away with its bombings because the international community felt guilty about racism and started recognizing the deeply problematic nature of apartheid

I therefore think the Hamas strategy is stupid. The SA government is trying to influence Hamas and others to become more moderate and to call the bluff of the Israeli government. They have had mixed results. For pro-Israeli groups it is important that the government do not succeed, hence the outcry over the invitation for Hamas.

Personally, I do not think the killing of civilians by the Israeli military or by Hamas suicide bombers or any other political group could be ethically justified - ever. I do think though that if one believes that the killing of civilians can be justified to achieve political objectives - like the Israeli government and its supporters clearly do - the Hamas people have a better moral leg to stand on than the Israeli government because they live in an occupied land - Israel is the occupier.

Supporters of the Israeli government seem to suggest they have a right to occupy other peoples land because the others are morally reprehensible, brainwash their children and spew forth anti-Semitism. Even if this is true of at least some of the people living in Palestine, I for one would be very worried if we allow one group to occupy another’s land because they believe they are morally superior. Is that not the kind of attitudes that give way to racism, ethnic cleansing and genocide?


In his very convoluted academic way, Pierre is saying that the Jews have no right to be in Israel, except as a vulnerable minority in an Arab state, and that Hamas is morally justified in killing Jewish women and children, even if it is a bad strategy.
He uses the tired old argument by anti-Israel far-left bigots, that Israel=Apartheid, and because we now know that the ANC was right, and were not terrorists- Hamas are right and are not terrorists.
Hamas= Liberation movement
Never mind the racism of Hamas charter which calles for the killing of Jews.
You can win any argument by just comparing those who you dislike to the old Aparthied government, and those you like the the 'freedom fighters'.

Keep it up, Pierre.
Just keep repeating the Israel=Apartheid slur, and Hamas are justified liberation fighters.
Goebbels said that if a lie is repeated enough it becomes the truth.
Just so the propaganda against Israel.
But of course you will follow your mentor Ronnie , and tell us that the Israelis are the Nazis.
You leftwing bigots are just so predictable.
As for me, I swear to fight to my last breath for Israel as a sovereign Jewish State, to determine it's own borders and to defend itself as it see's fit.
I cannot and will not keep company with those who make common cause with modern-day Arab Nazis who shoot a pregnant Jewish woman at point blank range before executing her four terrified small daughters.
I shall always shun those who show any acceptance of the perpetrators of such atrocities and will continue to condemmn those whose twisted ideas suggest any equivocation of Israel's self-defence with brutal Arab terror.


Eish, name calling again instead of rational argument. But name calling will not bring a lasting solution in the middle east. Gary, you do not engage with my arguments - you merely say that I am a very bad person. Maybe that is because there is just a very small bit of a worry that occupying other peoples' land is not really sustainable in the long term and not really ethically sound?


Pierre, I have said it before and am happy to say it again: Israel’s presence in most the West Bank threatens the Jewish character of the state from both a moral and demographic perspective. I also believe as a Zionist that the Palestinian people have as much right to a state of their own as the Jewish people. Everyone knows what the final solution looks like, the problem is getting there.

It is very simplistic to blame the occupation for all the evils in the Middle East. Before 1967 thing were not much better. Other Arab countries where there is no occupation by any objective development gauges are not much better of either. Palestinians and the Arab world need to take some responsibility for their situation. They can blame colonialism and Zionism etc for another 100 years but that won’t improve the situation on the ground.

I think you are wrong to say there is a moral equivalence between Israeli military actions and Palestinian terrorism. Intention is an important part of determining culpability. Palestinians deliberately target civilians; Israel does not.


There is nothing in my post that blames the occupation for everything that is wrong in the middle east. However, the occupation clearly places the state of Israel in a morally dubious position, which it needs to deal with if it wants to gain sympathy from us. The IDF does not officially target civilians for killing but there are numerous UN and other reports that document its callous disregard for the wellbeing of Palestinian civilians. In law we call that kind of intention dolus eventualis, an intention based on the disregard for consequences one know will in all likelihood follow. The IDF also has a policy of collective punishment and demolishes the houses of family members of suicide bombers - something that is illegal in terms of international law. Only a serious understanding of these moral failings and an acceptance of the two state solution along borders that are more or less fixed at the 1967 level will have any chance of bringing a semblance of normality in that part of the world. The present Israeli government is not prepared to consider giving back the occupied land, so the bombing, the killing and the hate will continue indefinitely. If Israel makes such an offer it might have a better chance of projecting itself as a victim.


Pierre, have you ever wondered why nobody seems to object to Red China occupying Tibet.
Do tibetans murder Chinese women and children in buses and schools?
nobody even boycotts china, like they do Israel. Next year they've got the Olympics.
But I suppose you'll tell me that Tibet actually rightfully belongs to China.
Just keep toeing the SACP line, Comrade!


Pierre, this time Gary makes a good point. I am looking forward to your response.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your views with us.

I am glad we agree on two states as a solution. I can respect your other opinions as long as you agree on two states as the solution.

But what of the right of return? Can you sincerely call for two states where the one is Palestine and the other is Israel flooded with 5-6 million Palestinians effectively resulting in two Palestinian states. (Plus Jordan is majority Palestinian so its 3 Palestinian states).

Now as for withdrawing, surely Israel needs an official end of conflict agreement before they make a tangible concession like withdrawing from land? The concession they need is an agreement on a fair solution for the refugees which doesn't give all of the 'right of return'.

Some questions:
1. Why do you treat all supporters of Israel as opposed to withdrawal from the territories?

2. Why do you say the present govt is opposed to ending the occupation when they ran on a platform of withdrawals and include people like Livni, Peres, and Peretz who all supported withdrawals long before Olmert did?

3. Dennis Ross's book includes the text of the offer presented by Clinton in Dec 2000 which included an Israeli withdrawal from 97% of the territories. Land swaps were included to make up for the major settlements Israel would be keeping. Barak's Knesset accepted the deal. Arafat rejected it claiming that the Jews cant keep the western wall because the temple never stoof in Jerusalem. Yet you seem to hold only Israel responsible for the lack of major withdrawals since Oslo. Why?

4. Israel withdrew from all of Sinai when they had a partner in Sadat who was serious about peace. Sadat visited Israel, addressed the Knesset and saluted the Israeli flag. Menachem Begin, a right wing Likud PM withdrew from all of Sinai. Sinai gave Israel tremendous protection from Egypt. Sadat convinced Israel that there is no longer any serious military threat. Today it is a commercial success for Egypt and popular tourist destination for Israel.

6. There are examples of IDF soldiers showing callous disregard for Palestinians. But these instances are from rogue soldiers operating out of the law. They typically get punished (although im the first to admit that Israel needs to improve the way the courts address these circumstances). But why pick out the isolated instances portray them as the norm? The conflict continues every day...every day there is therfore examples of Israel showing extreme care for Palestinian civilians.

During the operation in Jenin, Israel entered on foot and went house to house to take out the terrorists. If they really had no concern for the results of their necessary miltary action then why did they not just carpet bomb Jenin? They could have killed all the terrorists and lost zero soldiers. Instead they killed most of the terrorists and lost 23 soldiers. The world accuses them of a massacre in any event so the general PR wouldnt be that different to today.

For you to get my sympathy for your positions you need to acknowledge that both sides have concerns. The occupation is a large part of it, but not the cause. The Palestinian territories were occupied by Jordan and Egypt before the Israeli occupation.


Pierre, I disagree with your contention that the Israeli government is not will to give up the West Bank. In fact this government was elected on that very basis. You fail to see the dilemma that Israel faces. It withdrew complete from Lebanon and Gaza and look at the consequences. Rockets day in and day out raining down on her population centres. But in the West Bank where no withdrawal took place—no rockets. The vast majority of Israelis want out of the West Bank. But what are the consequences of them leaving? I was supportive of an international force taking the IDF’s place. But the incompetence of UNFIL in Southern Lebanon has clearly demonstrated that this is not a viable alternative.

What is Israel’s alternative to the occupation?


Steve, you say you respect a man who comes close to sayinmg that Hamas murders of Israeli women and children is justified, just because he says he supports a 2 state solution.
Pierre De vos- like all leftwing academics- is completely coldblooded, and when I draw attention to the plight of Israeli children , murdered by Arab terrorists, he accuses me of Apartheid tactics.
By the way you even put De Vos's blog into IAS links but when I send you links to put in, you just ignore them.


And I see you also put in another link by a far-left Israel hating fanatic, Anton Harber.


Of course, the authors of this blog do not in any way agree with Gary's repulsive accusation that all leftwing academics are completely cold blooded.


So it's repulsive to say that that all leftwing academics are completely cold blooded, but you respect someone who says Hamas are justified in killing Jewish women and children.
In your attempt to win favour in some quareters, you are losing you focus fast, Steve.


So it's repulsive to say that that all leftwing academics are completely cold blooded, but you respect someone who says Hamas are justified in killing Jewish women and children.
In your attempt to win favour in some quareters, you are losing you focus fast, Steve.


So it's repulsive to say that that all leftwing academics are completely cold blooded, but you respect someone who says Hamas are justified in killing Jewish women and children.
In your attempt to win favour in some quareters, you are losing you focus fast, Steve.


I agree that Israel has legitimate security concerns and that any peace settlement should take cognisance of this. I also agree that the Israeli government is not the only entity who has done bad things. I also understand that not all supporters of the Israeli government are opposed to withdrawal.

The problem is that the words and actions of subsequent Israeli governments have not corresponded. While Kadima ran on a platform of withdrawal, they continued to support settlement building as well as the building of the so called security barrier which cuts deep into the Palestinian territories. These actions seem to speak louder than their words and must surely create the impression that they do not want to withdraw from the occupied territories and definitely NOT to the 1967 borders. It also creates problems of trustworthiness.

It is true that Barak offered to hand back about 90% of the occupied land at Camp David, but whether this was "generous" is up for debate. Is it generous when somebody steal your car and then offer to give it back to you sans the wheels? Of course we can argue about that for years. The right to return and the issue of Jerusalem are real issues and no Palestinian authority could make a deal without addressing these. Barak's proposal did not try to address these concerns - it was an all or nothing deal for him and even Clinton was exasperated by his refusal to talk about other issues. This made it impossible for Arafat to accept the "generous" offer, also given that Arafat was deeply skeptical about Barak's motives (see above re: building of settlements). Of course Arafat was a fool for not making counter proposals and for walking away, but this was not nearly as strange and selfish as it had been portrayed. At that stage some compromise on these two issues could have been reached, I think. Now, with Hamas, who knows what is possible.


While Kadima ran on a platform of withdrawal, they continued to support settlement building as well as the building of the so called security barrier which cuts deep into the Palestinian territories

The current route of the security barrier keeps about 4-6% of the West Bank. That's in line with the Clinotn proposals and keeps 80% of the Israeli settlers on the Israeli side and 99% of the Palestinians on the Palestinian side. Here's a link on the route of the barrier since changes were made. This link includes the 80% / 99% stuff about the barrier. 20% of the settlers would need to be moved or accepted as Palestinian citizens.

The barrier is an indication of a willingness to withdraw since it effectively concedes 94% of the West Bank.

It is true that Barak offered to hand back about 90% of the occupied land at Camp David, but whether this was "generous" is up for debate
right to return and the issue of Jerusalem are real issues and no Palestinian authority could make a deal without addressing these. Barak's proposal did not try to address these concerns

Forget the Barak offer. Look at the Clinton proposals that Barak accepted. They offered 97% of the territories (when land swaps are considered). Here is a link with the maps from Dennis Ross.

The Clinton proposals included a formula for a right of return. Israel would acknowledge the pain of the Nakba and there would be a found of over 30Billion USD set up for the refugees. They would be able to return to the new Palestinian state, and a some of them to Israel for family reunification purposes.

Here's another interesting potential solution for you to consider:

Pierre, I humbly state that it is my beliefe that a portion of your opinions are based on incorrect information.

That said, I welcome future debate with you and thank you for engaging.

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