Saturday, July 16, 2005

London, Dershowitz, Wall, Pipes, Hitchens

1) Another useful op-ed on London. The main point is that "your security is only assured if ours is. If our women and children are killed, then your women and children are killed...":,12469,1529875,00.html

Not hate, vengeance
Mundher al-Adhami
Saturday July 16, 2005
The Guardian

The two-minute silence brought the tears forth again, as I thought about the victims, and their tenuous connections with me. Shahara Islam, who died on the number 30 bus, is from Plaistow, where one of my daughters lives. All those others, whose pictures stare out of our newspapers, worked in London, where I also work, and I wonder if I ever crossed paths with them. Then there is the 18-year-old who killed them and himself. He is from Leeds where another member of my family lives. He too is a victim of religious madness. And then I think of the 32 children who lived in a poor area of Baghdad and died in a suicide bombing there on Wednesday. I know the area, and I cry for those children too.Tony Blair talks about "them" hating "our values and our way of life". But I have seen atrocities like last week's London bombings taking place in Iraq over the past two years. Attacks there, as those in London, are not about hating anybody's way of life, but straightforward revenge: revenge for Falluja and al-Qaim - and for Palestine and Afghanistan, which have been subsumed in them.

The pictures of Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, with their dust and grime, might be different to the pictures of the London bombs, but they represent a continuity. The war of revenge and collective punishment has arrived in London. And it has its own rationality. Don't give me the nonsense about why do they hate us. They don't.

The response to the neo-colonial adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq should surprise no one. Islamist extremism and terrorism, unknown in Iraq before occupation, now fights side by side with the more measured Iraqi resistance. It responds with callous bombs there, and now in the west.

The spirit of revenge becomes more planned, merging with nationalist or faith ideology such as al-Qaida's, and the targets become more diffuse. Perhaps even in the west, identification with innocent people hit by bombs and napalm - their voices unheard and names unknown - in remote lands of the prophets makes for a holy madness among susceptible youngsters.

As other suicide bombers have said, they may regret the loss of innocent lives in their political, murderous acts - but they atone with their own lives and hope God forgives them. The logic is clear: your security is only assured if ours is. If our women and children are killed, then your women and children are killed.

The policies of Bush and Blair have made life much more dangerous for all of us. Muslims in London are as much victims of atrocities as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. And, as happened after September 11, those back home phone, worrying about us here - because of the bombs as much as a racist backlash.

The British public have deep sympathy and understanding of the folly of the Iraq war, and will not condone any backlash. On the other hand, they have not yet made their mark as the people of Spain and others did, forcing their governments to withdraw from Bush's evil "coalition of the willing". And they should.

183; Mundher al-Adhami, an exile from Saddam Hussein's regime, is a co-founder of the Iraq Anti-Occupation Forum

2) Even this commentator, who obviously is no leftist, comprehends that bombings don't magically appear out of some mystical mist of "hatred".,2763,1529851,00.html

Talking with the jihadists
Terrorism can only be defeated by political compromise and negotiation
David Reiff
Saturday July 16, 2005
The Guardian

On the battlefields of Iraq, American military officials now no longer deny the skill of the home-grown insurgents and foreign jihadists against whom they have been fighting since the fall of Saddam Hussein. In Pentagon language, US forces are fighting a "thinking" and "adapting" enemy. The most important conclusion to draw from the July 7 terrorist bombings in London is that part of that enemy's "adaptation" is to continue the strikes against civilian targets in western capitals and western interests and tourist venues throughout the world that began with the attacks of September 11 2001 on New York and Washington, and have continued in such places as Bali, Istanbul, Madrid and now London.

The four terrorists implicated so far in the London bombings, as well as others who seem to have abetted the plot, all appear to have been members of the British Muslim community rather than a terrorist cell infiltrated from outside the UK. More worryingly still, they appear to have grown up in families that utterly rejected Islamist extremism and, in effect, their jihadism appears to have been self-motivated....

3) Notice the difference between Dershowitz's andKhalidi's cases: Khalidi's essay was found to be plagiaristic, and he disowned it. Dershowitz's bookwas found to be plagiaristic, and he continues todefend it. There's your difference:

Alan Dershowitz: New Challenge to Columbia and toChomsky, Finkelstein, and Cockburn
Alan Dershowitz, at (7-13-05):

[Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. Hislatest book is The Case For Peace (Wiley Aug 2005).]

Remember Professor Rashid Khalidi? He is the EdwardSaid Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia Universityand director of its Middle East Institute. He is a bigpart of Columbia’s anti-Israel problem, havinginfamously said, among other hateful utterances, that“the tragedy of September 11 was a godsend” to“American Likudniks and their Israeli counterparts”because it “enabled them to draft the United States tohelp fight Israel’s enemies.”[1] Now a serious chargeof plagiarism has been leveled against Khalidi. Thisgives rise to a challenge not only to Columbia, butalso to his triumvirate of anti-Israel supporters whocommonly use the nuclear charge of “plagiarism”against their ideological enemies.

For more than 20 years the terrible triumvirate ofNoam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and AlexanderCockburn have been falsely accusing pro-Israel writersof plagiarism and related academic offenses.[2] I havebeen the most recent target of the selective vitriol.They have accused me of plagiarism for quoting MarkTwain and other well-known figures­whose quotes appearin my book within quotation marks and properly citedto their original source. Their absurd accusation isthat I should have cited these quotes not to theiroriginal source but rather to the secondary source inwhich ­they erroneously claim ­I first came acrossthem. No one but anti-Israel zealots takes thesebiased charges seriously, as evidenced by the factthat not only was I cleared of all such charges byHarvard (after I brought them to the attention of thedean and president), but recently the dean awarded mea prize for “exceptional scholarship” for my currentbook Rights from Wrongs.

Now, a serious charge of real plagiarism has beenleveled at one of the triumvirate’s favoriteanti-Israel professors­ Rashid Khalidi. According toSolomonia, a website,[3] the offending article is anonline essay entitled, “Jerusalem, A Concise History,”by Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi’s essay was copied from anearly identical essay by K.J. Asali withoutattribution or quotation marks. For example, here iswhat Khalidi purported to author:

“The oldest recorded name of the city, ‘Urusalem’ isAmoritic. ‘Shalem’ or ‘Salem’ is the name of aCanaanite-Amorite god; ‘uru’, means ‘founded by.’ Thenames of the two oldest rulers of the city, Saz Anuand Yaqir Ammo, were identified by the Americanarchaeologist W.F. Albright as Amoritic. The Amoriteshad the same language as the Canaanites and were ofthe same Semitic stock. Many historians believe thatthey were an offshoot of the Canaanites, who cameoriginally from the Arabian Peninsula. The Bibleconcurs that the Amorites are the original people ofthe land of Canaan.

“Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem.Thy birth and thy origin are of the landof Canaan; thy father was an Amorite,and thy mother a Hittite. (Ezekiel, 16:1)

“In the second millenium BC, Jerusalem was inhabitedby the Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe, and the cultureof the city was Canaanite. The Jebusites built afortress, ‘Zion’, in Jerusalem. Zion is a Canaaniteword meaning ‘hill’ or ‘height.’”[4]

Here is the original by Asali from which Khalidiobviously copied without attribution:
“Indeed, the oldest name of the city ‘Urusalem’ isAmoritic. ‘Salem’ or ‘Shalem’ was the name of aCanaanite-Amorite god, while ‘uru’ simply meant‘founded by.’ The names of the two oldest rulers ofthe city, Saz Anu and Yaqir Ammo, were identified bythe American archaeologist W. F. Albright as Amoritic.The Amorites, according to the Bible, are the originalpeople of the land of Canaan. They had the samelanguage as the Canaanites and were of the sameSemitic stock. Many historians believe that theAmorites are an offshoot of the Canaanites who cameoriginally from the Arabian Peninsula. In this regardit is apt to quote the Bible (Ezekiel:1 6):

Thus say the Lord God to Jerusalem. Your Origin andyour birth are of the land of the Canaanites, yourfather was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.

“In the second millennium, Jerusalem was inhabited bythe Jebusites. In the Bible the Jebusites areconsidered to be Canaanites. It was the Jebusites whofirst built the fortress Zion in the town. Zion is aCanaanite word which means ‘hill’ or ‘height.’”[5]

There are numerous additional instances of verbatimcopying in the Khalidi essay.

When Khalidi was caught, he immediately took his nameoff the article and substituted the followingattribution: “Compiled by ACJ [American Committee onJerusalem, of which Khalidi was president] from avariety of sources.” But for the nearly four yearsbefore he was caught, Khalidi claimed authorship ofthe plagiarized essay.[6] No one can seriously denythat the Khalidi essay is copied from the Asali essay.Khalidi apparently defends the plagiarism as being“mistakenly attributed to me by the defunct website ofa defunct organization,”[7] but he does not explainhow such a mistake could have endured for so manyyears until it was caught and exposed by a journalist.Nor does he explain how he can deflect responsibilityfrom himself by blaming an organization of which hewas president!

Although this charge against an anti-Israel academicis far more serious than any leveled by thetriumvirate against pro-Israel writers, I predict thatFinkelstein will not examine it, Chomsky will notcomplain about it, and Cockburn will not publicize it.Nor will they demand sanctions against theirideological soul-mate, as they have against me andother pro-Israel writers. The same double standardthat is directed against Israel by these selectivecondemners is also directed against pro-Israelacademics.

So here is my challenge to the triumvirate: apply thesame standards to Khalidi that you have to pro-Israelwriters. Apply the same scrutiny to his anti-Israelwritings that you routinely apply to pro-Israelwriters. Demand the same sanctions against Khalidithat you have against pro-Israel writers. Or admitthat you are guilty of hypocrisy and a doublestandard. I await your response, but I am not holdingmy breath.
And here is my challenge to Columbia: investigate thecharges against Khalidi and make a determination basedon the objective standards of proper citation andattribution. Then announce your findings to thepublic.

[1] Rashid Khalidi, “Attack Iraq? The real reasons andthe likely consequences of the next war,” In TheseTimes, January 27, 2003, accessible at[2] See Alan Dershowitz, “The Hazards of Making TheCase for Israel,”, May 2005, accessible at[3] See Solomonia, June 8, 2005, accessible at[4] “Jerusalem, A Concise History,” accessible in itscurrent form at[5] K.J. Asali, “Jerusalem In History: Notes on theOrigins of the City and Its Tradition of Tolerance,”Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 4, Fall 1994,accessible at omitted.)[6] The article with the Khalidi byline can beaccessed at, courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine ([7] Elizabeth O’Neill, “The Complaint Against RashidKhalidi,” History News Network, June 17, 2005,accessible at

4) AP on Dershowitz's cat fight:

Dershowitz, Prof Spar Over Plagiarism
Published: July 14, 2005
Filed at 4:40 p.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- Alan Dershowitz is no stranger tofeuds, but the outspoken Harvard Law School professoris in the middle of a particularly nasty spat with anauthor who accuses him of plagiarism.

Hoodlum. Nut job. Sleaze. Those are just a few of thenames Dershowitz and DePaul University politicalscience professor Norman Finkelstein called each otherthis week in separate interviews with The AssociatedPress.
At the center of the argument is a book by Finkelsteinclaiming that Dershowitz -- the lawyer famous forrepresenting O.J. Simpson and other high-profileclients -- inappropriately lifted material fromanother author when writing the book ''The Case forIsrael.''

The University of California Press plans to publishFinkelstein's book, ''Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuseof Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History,'' in lateAugust despite an aggressive campaign by Dershowitz toget them to drop it.

In letters to California officials including Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dershowitz accused Finkelsteinof shoddy scholarship and threatened to sue for libel.The governor declined to intervene because of the''clear, academic freedom issue it presents,'' hislegal affairs secretary told Dershowitz in a Feb. 8letter.
Dershowitz said he warned the publishing house that hewould ''own the company'' if the book accused him ofplagiarism or included Finkelstein's allegation thathe didn't write the book in the first place.
''That's like accusing a mother that she didn't givebirth to her child,'' Dershowitz said of the latterclaim.
Dershowitz also rejected Finkelstein's allegation thathe plagiarized parts of Joan Peters' 1984 book ''FromTime Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-JewishConflict Over Palestine.''

''No other university press would publish garbage likethis,'' said Dershowitz, describing the University of California Press as ''very hard-left'' and ''veryanti-Zionist.''

Lynne Withey, the publishing house's director,rejected Dershowitz's claim that her company has apolitical bias, and said six scholars from outside theuniversity reviewed Finkelstein's book.

''His books are very, very thoroughly researched. Hehas an excellent reputation,'' she said. ''He clearlyhas a point of view that is antithetical toDershowitz's, but scholars line up on both sides ofthe issue.''

Finkelstein said he agreed to delete all references to''plagiarism,'' changing to wording to say thatDershowitz ''lifted'' or ''appropriated'' materialfrom Peters, but says the changes were only made tohead off costly litigation.

''I have not retracted one jot of one word of whatI've said the past year,'' Finkelstein said. ''Thebook he plagiarized is, by all academics, recognizedto be a fraud. It's a completely discredited book.''
Finkelstein's book claims that ''fully 22 of the 52quotations and endnotes in chapters 1 and 2 of 'TheCase for Israel' match almost exactly -- including, inlong quotes, the placement of ellipses -- those in'From Time Immemorial.'''

Last year, at the request of Harvard Law School DeanElena Kagan, former Harvard President Derek Bokinvestigated Finkelstein's plagiarism allegations. Bokdid not find any merit to the claim, said law schoolspokesman Michael Armini.

Although Finkelstein is not backing away from hisplagiarism charge, Dershowitz said he has no plans tosue ''that nut job.''

Dershowitz, known as a strong defender of the FirstAmendment, said there is nothing incongruous about hisefforts to convince the University of California Pressnot to publish Finkelstein's book. He said he alwayswanted the book to be printed, preferably by a lessreputable publisher, so he could ''devastate(Finkelstein) in the court of public opinion.''

''The First Amendment only protects honest mistakes,''he said. ''It doesn't protect deliberate falsehoods.''
Dershowitz has another book about Israel, ''The Casefor Peace,'' scheduled to come out in August, thatincludes his response to Finkelstein's allegations.

Finkelstein said the plagiarism claims were only asmall part of ''Beyond Chutzpah,'' which also looks atways that Dershowitz and other scholars have''egregiously misrepresented'' Israel's human rightsrecord.
''Alan Dershowitz wants to turn this into a personalvendetta,'' he said. ''I have no history with AlanDershowitz.
There are few individuals on earth whointerest me less.''

5) This article describes nicely what conditions Palestinians live under:

Divide and rule
By Lily Galili

The first reports about the terrorist attack inNetanya reached the handsome apartment in the Dahiyatal-Barid neighborhood shortly before 7 P.M. onTuesday. There were five of us in the apartment at thetime, two Israelis and three Palestinians, and we werediscussing the serious ramifications of the separationfence for the life of the residents in the area. Theynoted that the section of the barrier that alreadyexists has affected their daily routine and said theuncertainty about its final route is playing havocwith the residents' sense of stability. And then theIsraelis' beepers reported the terrorist attack. Ourhost turned on the television set. For some time wegazed together at the images from Al-Jazeera, thepreferred station here, not knowing what to say. Wetried to explain that there is nothing like aterrorist attack to undermine the stability ofIsraelis and play havoc with their daily routine.

Our Palestinian hosts said they understood andexpressed deep regret. "You can forget about yourstory," said T., a 37-year-old businessman who spokeon condition of anonymity. "This is not the story yourreaders will want to read on Friday."

"I know that now, no one will listen to our distress,"said Hana Karkar, 31, a pharmacist, "but how will ithelp them to shut us up in the prison of the wall?Maybe the terrorist even arrived from an area that issurrounded by a wall?"

Throughout the conversation the Netanya attackcontinued to be present in the living room, likeanother entity of some sort.

It's a nice area, Dahiyat al-Barid. The name means the"postal neighborhood" and it has had that name sincethe mid-1950s, when the Jordanians decided to build aresidential neighborhood for the senior officials ofthe Jerusalem postal service. To be a postal officialat the time was a status symbol. Since then theneighborhood, which lies north of Jerusalem on theroad to Ramallah, has grown, but has retained itsoriginal character. All the residents, Christians andMuslims alike, belong to the upper middle class.Drivers of cars don't use their horns, and between 2and 4 P.M. children are not allowed to play outside soas not to interfere with the neighbors' siesta.

Forty-two homes remain from the original neighborhood,to which fine new homes and new residents have beenadded over the years - nearly all of them youngJerusalemites who are unable to afford a home in thecity itself. Dahiyat al-Barid thus became a suburb ofJerusalem though it was never annexed to the city.Nearly all the residents carry Jerusalem residencycards and their cars have yellow Israeli licenseplates. One such car, which was this week parked nextto the separation fence between the neighborhood andNeveh Yaakov neighborhood, bore a sticker reading "Thetransfer shall not pass," which was distributed by theanti-disengagement activists. The sticker's prominentpresence on the back windshield helps the driver getthrough checkpoints easier.

Getting into trouble
Recently people have been saying that representativesof the National Insurance Institute (NII) occasionallywander through the neighborhood and photograph thecars parked next to the houses, in order to prove thattheir owners do not live in Jerusalem and thus to denythem social security allowances. That is why T. askedto remain anonymous; Karkar agreed to let his name bepublished despite his apprehension. Maybe the factthat he is married to an Israeli woman, Nibal, fromKafr Kana in the Galilee, gives him a different typeof security.

Hana and Nibal Karkar were married a year and a halfago and moved to one of the new buildings that theLatin Patriarchate put up in the neighborhood foryoung couples. Their place is decorated with artworkby Nibal and filled with textbooks used by Hana, who,besides managing the pharmacy located just insideJaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, also has theconcession to distribute soft drinks and otherproducts of the Tempo company (an Israeli firm) in theWest Bank. The checkpoints get him into trouble withthe Israelis, and the character of the merchandise,some of which is alcoholic (beer), gets him intotrouble with the Muslims. Still, until now his lifeflowed in a routine with which he could cope. Then thesecurity fence went up in the middle of the main roadbetween Jerusalem and Ramallah, and life changed.

T. related that about a month before his wife was dueto give birth in a Jerusalem hospital, he asked thedoctor what would happen if he could not get throughthe checkpoint. The doctor took out a sheet of paperand drew a birthing flowchart with exact instructionsabout what to do in each stage. He drew the umbilicalcord and wrote down how to cut it. T. asked about theplacenta - what it looks like, what to do with it. Inthe end he didn't need the chart, but the powerfulimpression of the experience stuck with him.

Since the barrier went up, instead of driving in adirect line to his company's large warehouse inAtarot, north of Jerusalem, Karkar has had to useroads that bypass the checkpoints - a verytime-consuming process. Sometimes he gets stuck for anhour in a checkpoint with Palestinians and finallyturns around and goes through Hizma checkpoint, whichis faster because it's used by the settlers. The factthat he is married to an Israeli woman is also asource of problems. For example, if they are invitedto a social event in Ramallah, Nibal - as an Israeli -is denied entry to the city, which lies in Area A(under Palestinian control). Once, on the way to awedding, they were stopped by a soldier at acheckpoint. They showed him a marriage certificate.The soldier, displaying refined Israeli humor, askedsarcastically, "What is this, the BalfourDeclaration?" He did not let her go through. Anothertime, he did.

It is still not clear where the final route of thestill-uncompleted fence will lie and where it willconnect with the parts that are already standing. Theuncertainty is a source of constant tension for theneighborhood's residents. They don't know where toregister their children for schools, how they will getto work, how they will be able to maintain ties withfriends, how they will get to their churches - all ofwhich are in Jerusalem - on Sunday mornings. Some ofthem, unable to cope with the pressure, have moved toJerusalem neighborhoods whose fate has already beendecided.

Sad cynicism
At the moment, three options for the route of the wallstill exist: that it will pass to the north and leavethe entire neighborhood connected to Jerusalem; thatit will pass to the south and leave the entireneighborhood in the West Bank; or that it will passthrough the center of the neighborhood, splitting itinto two.

All three options are bad. This week they also heardthat the government had decided to speed up thebuilding of the fence in the area near them. Theyheard the promises of the government ministries, ofthe NII and of the Jerusalem Municipality that allthose institutions will set up branches on the otherside of the barrier, that there will be gates in itand that children will be bused to school. Suchpromises generate only sad, cynical guffaws. No onebelieves the promises; everyone is wondering whetherthe government will be replaced and the new one willdecide on different procedures. One of the moreprestigious schools of the Sisters of the Rosaryconvent is located in the neighborhood, and nearly allof its 1,800 students live in Jerusalem. In themeantime, children are being bused to the school invehicles that use the Palestinian VIP checkpoint. Butwhat will happen if the school finds itself in theWest Bank, behind the fence? It is said that theVatican, too, is following the matter closely.

Not far from the Karkar residence is the Arab OrthodoxClub of Jerusalem. Founded in 1924, it is a well-keptinstitution that serves 400 people from the dwindlingcommunity of 2,500 Greek Orthodox residents inJerusalem. The club is the center of their social andcultural life. Attorney Nabil Mushahwar is itschairman. If the club is cut off from Jerusalem by theseparation fence, the community will lose a vitalcenter, for 120 children from the Scouts movement whocome from Jerusalem, women's groups, sports activitiesand computer groups. The club's leaders are genuinelyconcerned that without a place like it, where youngpeople can meet, they will take to the streets and mayeven be lured into taking drugs.

If the facility is cut off from the West Bank, it willlose its ties with the community in Ramallah. And ifthe neighborhood is split into two by wall that isplanned to pass a few dozen meters behind the club,its secretary, Dr. Emil Tarazi, a dentist and adescendant of the generation that founded theneighborhood, which almost abuts the club, will be cutoff from it and from his duties. His house is veryclose by, but the fence is liable to be built betweenit and the club.

An Israeli officer who walked around the neighborhoodrecently as part of the preparations for building theseparation fence, said to Tarazi: "What's the problem?Go around through the Qalandiyah checkpoint - fiveminutes, it's really nothing." A "terminal" is nowbeing built at Qalandiyah - a term that drives thePalestinians crazy with its pseudo-elegance, when inpractice it is another checkpoint, only bigger.

`Divide and rule'
An angry and pained conversation was held on theclub's balcony this week. In the background childrenwere playing and teenagers were hanging around.Mushahwar refused to go into details and spoke onlyabout the principle: "What Israel is doing is contraryto international law," he said. "Without declaring it,Israel is in practice setting its state borders aheadof a discussion on the future of Jerusalem. It hasnothing to do with security."

The cabinet decision this week, which leaves theresidents of Shuafat refugee camp - who are in factresidents of Jerusalem - on the other side of theseparation fence, supports this reading of thesituation. Who needs Muslim refugees? The Christiansare a different story. The issue of deliberatereligious separation, which is being talked about onlyin whispers, hovers over the conversation, untilMushahwar bursts out: "I have heard these rumors abouta malicious plan to separate Muslims and Christians inour area. We will not agree to that distinction. Weknow this `divide and rule' [aspect] of Israel. It isa dirty game."

This week the High Court of Justice was supposed toconduct a hearing about the route of the fence intheir neighborhood, but it was postponed indefinitely,thus prolonging the gnawing, ruinous uncertainty. Onthe way back we were stopped by a Border Policeman ata checkpoint. "Jews?" he asked. At that moment ourpositive reply reflected neither happiness - norpride.

6) This op-ed addresses the same issue of the Israeli wall:

A taste of their own medicine
Daoud Kuttab

The upcoming Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the mess of the wall around East Jerusalem have been producing some unusual statements and positions not heard of since 1967. Members of the Israeli Knesset and other right wing Israelis, angry at the possibility that permits will be needed to visit settlers in the Gaza Strip, came up with some interesting statements.

Despite official Israeli assurances that requests for visits to the Gaza settlers will be processed within eight hours, the response was explosive. “These decisions are inhuman,” said one. Another called the closure of the Gaza Strip, where nearly 8,000 Jewish settlers live, “undemocratic”. Others complained about this “collective punishment”.

Well, what about the Palestinians who have been experiencing the closure of the territories for the past five years? Palestinians need permits to travel from one city to another. Those wishing to visit relatives or acquaintances in Jerusalem have needed a permit since 1993. Even with a permit, no Palestinian from outside Jerusalem is allowed to sleep overnight or drive his own car to reach relatives, friends, cultural centres or religious locations. With a few exceptions, visitor visas for Arabs wishing to visit the occupied territories or Israel have been repeatedly rejected by Israeli embassies in Amman and Cairo.

On another issue, the Israeli government issued a statement that surprised hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Jerusalemites. In preparations for a response to a case being brought against them in the Israeli high court, the Israeli Cabinet confirmed that 55,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites will be locked outside the wall and that the Israeli government will open various administrative offices for these Palestinians, including a post office, national insurance and ministry of interior offices.


For 37 years, Palestinians have been complaining about being obliged to use the single, overcrowded ministry of interior office in East Jerusalem that serves a quarter of a million Palestinian Arabs (Jews get to use the less congested West Jerusalem office). Every new minister of interior that sees the long lines outside the ministry's office would state that he would resolve the problem, but nothing has happened. Neither did a high court decision to ease the problem produced results, with the exception of allowing Jerusalemites travelling to Jordan to get their permits at the bridge terminal and to renew their travel documents by mail.
The news story in Al Quds about the possibility that a second ministry of interior office would be opened has produced many discussions and some black humour as well. Some sceptics think that this is just another promise that will go unfulfilled. But Palestinians are joking about the ulterior motives. They are trying to get people to go outside the wall and then close the gates on them, they say. Others think that this is a transfer trick that will get Jerusalem Palestinians on record as going outside the walls and therefore they would gradually loose their right to reside in the Holy City.

The settlers are now getting a taste of their own government's oppressive policies, which they have been using for years against Palestinians. They are made to feel the double standards, or what many would say is racist policies that Israel has been practising against Palestinians for so long.

A look back at statements of Zionist Jewish activists in the 1940s shows that they were decrying the British Emergency regulations, using a variety of negative terms, only for these same emergency regulations to become the standard used by Israel in what is becoming the longest occupation in modern history.

Individual rights, including the right to self-determination, freedom to travel and other essential freedoms, should be observed for all peoples, whether Jews or Arabs. But these rights will never be fully enjoyed unless the most blatant human rights violation, that of a foreign military occupation ruling 3.7 million Palestinians against their will, is put to a permanent end.

Friday-Saturday, July 15-16, 2005

7) Another statement about the Wall:

"One Year Later: Implementation of the International Court of Justice’s Opinion on Israel's Wall"
Summary of a Palestine Center Briefing by John Quigley and Josh Ruebner
For the Record No. 226 (15 July 2005)

Through the United States (US) government's financial and political support for Israel, the US is facilitating Israel's construction of the West Bank Wall, which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found to be illegal. "There is a well-established doctrine in international law that says if one state is doing something that violates an international obligation, it is unlawful for a second state to facilitate that legality by providing it with the physical means to commit an unlawful purpose," explained John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University. Josh Ruebner, grassroots advocacy coordinator for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, added that by supporting Israel's "oppressive Wall regime,” the US is "abusing its power as a global leader."

Speaking at a briefing at the DC-based Palestine Center, Quigley and Ruebner agreed that there have been "positive developments" as a result of the advisory opinion issued by the ICJ on 9 July 2004 despite the lack of action on the part of nation-states. Their remarks, made during an 11 July 2005 briefing entitled "One Year Later: Implementation of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on Israel's Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," were made in commemoration of the advisory opinion.

According to Ruebner, the ICJ ruling has provided great "moral authority and a renewed sense of purpose" for those who strive to reform foreign policy and institute the application of human rights and international law. Even though governments have not implemented the ICJ ruling during the past year, members of international civil society have taken action in support of the Court's opinion.

Ruebner stressed that although the US government has been reluctant to adhere to the conclusions of the ICJ ruling, "the response of US civil society has been encouraging." He noted that some US Christian denominations have taken constructive action that provides activists with legitimatization and a strong framework from which to act.

For example, the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ issued a resolution in July 2005 calling for an investigation of "its holdings in companies that perpetuate violence and injustice in Israel and Palestine," said Ruebner. In addition to its move toward a more socially-conscious investment strategy, the Church introduced a second resolution reflecting the language used in the ICJ ruling. It called upon the Israeli government "to cease the project to construct the barrier, tear down the segments that have already been constructed, and pay reparations to those who have lost homes, fields, property, and/or lives and health due to the barrier and its effects," said Ruebner.

Quigley argued that since its issuance, the Advisory Opinion has had significance in the Israeli courts as well. He pointed out that petitions submitted by attorneys on behalf of Palestinians cite the ICJ ruling in their arguments against the Wall. He added that although the High Court of Israel "has not taken a definitive position on the ruling," the High Court has suggested that it is giving the ruling attention.

In a May 2005 case, Israel's High Court concluded that the Wall was only justifiable on the grounds of security concerns. Quigley believes this ruling was significant because it implied that the construction of the Wall was to continue under the guise of security and not under other justifications, such as political reasons. Under that interpretation, Quigley argued that "the Wall around Israeli settlements would not be legally valid because the Wall had nothing to do with suicide bombings inside Israel."

However, in the year since the ICJ found that Israel was obligated to end the construction of the Wall, the daily-life conditions of Palestinians have worsened. "The Wall continues to interfere with the rights of Palestinians to pursue their normal activities," said Quigley.

Citing an article in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz on 8 July 2005, which detailed the unlawful conditions Palestinian farmers endure in crossing the Wall to reach their fields, Quigley stated that Palestinian farmers are denied access to their olive groves and land, their primary source of income. According to the article, of the 1,000 applications by Palestinian farmers for an Israeli permit to access their land, 600 were denied and 380 resulted in no reply. In less than one percent of cases, or 70 of the 1,000, was the application for a permit granted. Farmers are allowed only to cross the gates of the Wall with equipment "they can carry in their hands," said Quigley, quoting the article. As a result, thousands of olive saplings continue to die without the regular care and agricultural machinery essential to their growth.

Ruebner said that the US has proved to be a strong ally of Israel's "oppressive Wall regime" by restricting a portion of the $200 million in humanitarian aid that US President George W. Bush recently promised to Palestinians and allocating it for preservation of the Wall. Although monies from the Palestinian aid package, presented as part of the 2005 US Supplemental War Budget, are ear-marked for "building bridges to help improve the flow of people and goods between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza," Ruebner and other activists fear that such funds will instead "concretize the occupation, pay for checkpoints, and enable other restrictions on movement under the guise of helping the flow of people and goods." In May 2005, Congress approved the use of $50 million of the $200 million for constructing 34 high-tech, militarily secure crossings in the Wall.

Reaffirming US support of Israel and disregard of the ICJ, Ruebner reported that members of Congress in both houses have presented resolutions rebuking the Court and accusing it of ulterior motives. For example, Ruebner noted that shortly after the ICJ released its advisory opinion, House Resolution 713 was passed accusing the ICJ of abusing its power by promoting the Palestinian position. In a somewhat bleaker stance, Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) presented Senate Resolution 408, which disapproved of the ICJ ruling and supported Israel for its institution of the Wall. However, Ruebner noted that SR-408 did not pass due to anonymous holds by two "courageous" senators.

Ruebner further argued that by denouncing the ICJ ruling and providing Israel with a $3-billion economic and military aid package in 2004, the US continues to undermine the significance of the Advisory Opinion and, more disturbingly, the rule of law. While the ICJ ruling itself may not be legally binding, Ruebner noted it is based on "general principles of international law" that are. Quigley stressed that at minimum, the Wall's construction is "unlawful and the occupying power has the obligation to avoid disrupting lives of those under occupation" under the ICJ ruling.

The above text is based on remarks delivered on 11 July 2005 by Professor John Quigley and Mr. Josh Ruebner. The speakers' views do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund or its educational program the Palestine Center. This "For the Record" summary may be used without permission but with proper attribution to the Palestine Center. It was drafted by Rasha Uthman and her fellow summer 2005 interns.

8) Pipes spouting off again. If nothing else, that's one productive fellow. After reading this, I remembered why the UK is such a wonderful place:
Daniel Pipes: Weak Brits, Tough French?
Daniel Pipes, in the NY Sun (7-12-05):

[Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is Click here for his HNN blog.]

Thanks to the war in Iraq, much of the world sees the British government as resolute and tough and the French one as appeasing and weak. But in another war, the one against terrorism and radical Islam, the reverse is true: France is the most stalwart nation in the West, even more so than America, while Britain is the most hapless.....

9) Although his ultimate point is a bit opaque, this essay starts interestingly:

Christopher Hitchens: Would Thomas Jefferson Have Opposed the Iraq War?
Christopher Hitchens, in the WSJ (7-12-05):
[Mr. Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of "Thomas Jefferson: Author of America" (HarperCollins, 2005).]

All through the years 2003 and 2004 one used to hear it: "So, you think your Iraqi friends are about to adopt Jeffersonian democracy . . ." (pause for hilarious nudge, sneer, snigger or wink). After a bit too much of this at one debate in downtown New York, I managed to buy some time, and even get a laugh, by riposting that Iraqi democracy probably wouldn't be all that "Jeffersonian," since none of my Iraqi comrades owned any slaves. But I was conscious, here, of trading partly in the stupid currency of my opponents. (I would now phrase matters a little more assertively: The United States has yet to elect a black or Jewish president, while the Iraqi Parliament chose a Kurd as its first democratically selected head of state, and did so even while the heaped corpses of his once-despised minority were still being exhumed from mass graves.)

If hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue, then the frequent linkage of the name "Jefferson" with the word "democracy" is impressive testimony, even from cynics, that his example has outlived his time and his place. To what extent does he deserve this rather flattering association of ideas?....

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