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America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Where's the Outrage?

Every day the Jewish State--Israel--throws non-Jewish Palestinians out of their homes to make room for Jews. When Mitt Romney says the United States and Israel "speak the same language of freedom and justice," I think he may be onto something.


Mike Renzulli said...

There is no outrage because no law was broken. As this commentary points out, the Israeli settlements are completely legal under international law and even encouraged under the Mandate of Palestine:


The picture you see is from a February article which was misreported by the press but cleared up later after complaints of inaccuracy:


As the story you cite demonstrates the Washington Report is notoriously anti-Israel, relentless in its criticism and selective in its facts (like you).

Sheldon Richman said...

I suggest that the lack of outrage is either because of general ignorance on the part of Americans or systematic lying by Israel's supporters. The Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law (the Fourth Geneva Convention, for example) -- not to mention under any reasonable objective moral code. Taking people's property, whether under cover of war or not, is wrong. The 1967 war was started by Israel, whose leaders at the time acknowledged there was no threat of an Arab attack. So much for the self-defense claim. Moreover, Palestinian landowners should not be punished for what the king of Jordan did. Follow the links provided in the posts below for details. Mr. Renzulli's citation of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine can't be serious. Why would a British act of imperialism count in the matter? The rights of the people of Palestine were ignored by the British from the start. Really, Mr. Renzulli, you'll have to do better than that.

Those interested in the truth, and not propaganda, should read Jeremy Hammond's brief yet thorough The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination.

Mr. Renzulli's attempt to discredit the photograph fails, as anyone who follows his link will see. Is he denying that Palestinians are being thrown off their land and otherwise oppressed by the Israelis?

In urge readers to do some reading and make up their own minds. In sorting out the truth, one would do well to listen to David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister: "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.... We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?"

Am I anti-Israel? I am against forcibly establishing a society/country/government on other people's property. I am against its making war on its neighbors and subjugating people in the conquered territory. That the government of this society systematically discriminates against its non-Jewish "citizens" (and even against some Jews) only adds insult to injury.

Mike Renzulli said...

The 4th Geneva Convention does not apply to Gaza or the West Bank since at the time of ratification neither territory was under the jurisdiction of any state at the time.

I am sure you are aware that Gaza was originally under control by Egypt while the West Bank was under Jordan's control in which both at one point were invaded and occupied by IDF since the territories were used as platforms to launch attacks against Israel by Muslim states.

Israel considers itself an authority in Gaza and West Bank as which is granted to an occupying power, is allowed and specified under the 4th Geneva Convention as well.

In terms of the Six Day War that was not started by Israel but started by her neighbors. Prior to the conflict Israel was victim from attacks by terrorists it was discovered were being allowed to migrate through Syria. Egypt at first sent troops to the Sinai Peninsula due to an, admittedly, flase report that Israel was going to invade Jordan. Egypt later closed the Straits of Tiran considered an international water way at the time. Egypt then joined in the engagement due to a pact the country had with Jordan and Syria in which all 3 countries had military agreements with each other.

Israel did start the fighting with an airstrike but the aggressions that lead up to the war were initiated by her Muslim neighbors.

The reason for a lack of self determination by Gaza and West Bank Palestinians is simple, if they stop supporting terrorists and recognize Israel's right to exist then the violence will stop. The Muslims not only refuse to but even reject any agreement geared to bringing peace to the region.

To begin with I suggest you look up a man named Muhammad Amin al-Husseini. He was Yasser Arafat's uncle and a Muslim cleric who ended up migrating to Germany and got a personal audience with Adlof Hitler. Husseini helped Hitler implement his Final Solution as well as raise Muslim regiments for the Nazis. When Nazi Germany fell he continued his activities helping to create groups like the PLO and Young Egypt Party which was a pro-Nazi organization. Among Young Egypt's members were future Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.

Nazism did not die with the defeat of Hitler but migrated to the Middle East thanks to Husseini in which you see Nazi influences in groups like Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood (whose founder Hasan al-Banna was a Nazi sympathizer) and Hizbullah.

Sheldon Richman said...

How about the Zionists who collaborated with the Nazis, like Shamir? The Zionists agreed with the Nazis that liberalism was the enemy and that Jews would forever be aliens in Germany and elsewhere.

You are good at offering the official lobby line, but it is full of misstatements and distortions. Your position comes down to: If the Palestinians would capitulate in grand theft and other rights violations that occurred and are continuing, there would be peace.

Your position conflicts with individual property rights, freedom, and justice. The state you defend has violated rights in every way from the start. Then when the victims resist, you cry foul. It is shameful.

"We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?" --Ben-Gurion.

"The slogan 'Jewish state* (or commonwealth) is equivalent, in effect, to a declaration of war by the Jews on the Arabs." --Judah Magnes, founder, chancellor, president, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Readers: Check this all out for yourselves. Don't do history a priori.

Mike Renzulli said...

If Zionists collaborated with the Nazis that clearly was a mistake. I have no idea why they would but that was a serious error in judgement. My statements are not the "official line" but based on my assessment of the overall facts taking into account the history of the region as well.

It is not a matter of denying justice for a group of people who claim to be persecuted. If the Palestinians truly persecuted and there was a factual basis for your assertions I would agree with you. But there is none, therefore I do not.

As to your claim that my point of view conflicts "individual property rights, freedom and justice" let's consider the people you defend. You are taking the side of a people who not only have little regard for human life (including yours and their own), indoctrinate their people (including kids) with anti-Semitic propaganda and are told constantly that their sacrifices and participation in the war against Israel and the Jews pleases Allah.

You instead condemn Israel a westernized country with an elected legislature, independent courts, a capitalistic economy and private property protections.

As opposed to Gaza and the West Bank whose people virtually live in poverty and the territories they occupy have become havens for terrorism. The groups that speak for Gaza and West Bank Muslims (Hamas) have routinely said their sole aim is to destroy Israel which will lead to the deaths not only of the Jews but also people of other persuasions (religious or otherwise) who live in the country as well.

When Israel left Gaza in 2005, for example, they left behind the infrastructure for a flourishing floral business. Soon after Israeli troops left, Gazans ransacked and destroyed the facilities and, instead, turned their energies to going to war with Israel. Its a fact that Christians are routinely persecuted in Gaza which includes execution. This on top of the laws of morality placed upon people (especially women) who live there with harsh penalties for those in violation. That also includes death for homosexuals as well.

So you need to do a reassessment of the people you staunchly defend. The ones you speak up for ultimately want you dead or enslaved while the ones you condemn would defend and protect you.

Sheldon Richman said...

As flattered as I am by this attention to my modest blog, alas, I cannot continue this extended dialogue, for there is work to be done. I just wish to conclude this by drawing attention to what Mr. Renzulli says, which is fully in the spirit of one of the down sides of sides of Ayn Rand, namely the temptation to do history a priori. This shows up in the claim that: The Israelis are like us, the Palestinians are not, therefore the Israelis must be right and the Palestinians wrong. This is sheer nonsense and intellectually inadmissible. When one group, which claims to speak and act in behalf of The Jewish People worldwide, engages in massive land theft and other atrocities, you can hardly be surprised when some members of the victimized group blame The Jewish People itself for the crime. Assigning collective guilt is wrong, but the Zionist movement invites it by asserting that it is represents The Jewish People. (Israelis routinely assign collective guilt to the Palestinians, punishing others besides the perpetrators of crimes.)

The fact is that from the start, most Jews opposed political Zionism precisely because it would necessarily violate the Palestinians' rights and because they abhorred the politicization of their religion, which they correctly predicted would corrupt the faith. (Today being a good Jew means little more than being unquestioningly loyal to Israel.)

I close by again recommending Jeremy Hammmond's carefully documented The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination. This is an accurate telling of the ugly founding of the state of Israel. Anyone who knows me or my work knows that approach issues in good faith and with care. I was once a supporter of Israel. I grew up in a home that was devoted to the state, but a dispassionate investigation of the history caused me to change my mind. The Palestinians are the victims--and one need not approve of their corrupt "leadership" to see this. I heartily recommend Hammond's work. There is much else that one can read after it, but it would make a fine start.

"We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?" --David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister.

Sheldon Richman said...

Anyone who is sincerely interested in the truth would also benefit from watching this video of Miko Peled, whose father, Matti Peled, was a widely respected Israeli general and "war hero" in 1967 who turned peace activist.

Mike Renzulli said...

Supporting Israel isn't just the perspective of Ayn Rand but also grounded in common sense. Since Israel is a an extension of Western civilization we have a moral obligation to support countries that reflect open societies like ours.

In Israel proper every citizen (regardless of race, religion or creed) enjoys rights and liberties protected by the country's constitution while the country is surrounded by despotic Islamist regimes. Despite Israel being predmoniately Jewish, it is still mostly secular. When was the last time you heard of a gay pride parade taking place in Gaza, Mecca, or Tehran? They take place regularly in Israel and prostitution is legal there too.

A proper government is one that is geared to protect individual rights in which Israel's government does just that (albeit not consistently). As far as Zionism is concerned, I know little about it except most who reel against it do so because of its call for a Jewish state.

With your support of the Palestinian "right-of-return" (so called) and talking up their defenders (like Miko Peled) it is not only Israel you condemn but also what the country stands for and you claim to support: Western civilization.

Sheldon Richman said...

Racist claptrap. Fair-minded readers: To see how democratic Israel really is, see Ben White's book Palestinians in Israel. Heck,read Peter Beinart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheldon,

Are you familiar with what Jack Bernstein wrote about Israel/Zionism? What's your take on him?

"The life of an American Jew in Racist, Marxist Israel"

"My Farewell to Israel
The Thorn in the Mid East"

Richard G.

Sheldon Richman said...

Hi, Richard. I am not familiar with him, but I will look up his work. Thanks for the reference.

Anonymous said...

A caveat might be in order, as I think he also believed in certain prophetical passages regarding the future of Israel, and may have been caught up in conspiracy theories.

Also, a quick Google search shows that a few anti-Jewish (or anti-"semitic") groups look favourably upon his writings. Mind you, I suppose any anti-Zionist writings could fall into that "trap", if you will.

I first heard of him about 20 yrs ago, and I think he was already deceased at that point. Some claim he was murdered by the Mossad. Don't know if that's true or paranoia!

BTW, have you had any chance to research "Israeli Apartheid Week", yet? http://apartheidweek.org/
Whenever one of these events occurs in my area, there is much controversy with the local Jewish "leaders" strongly condemning it, & even trying to stop it by legislation.

Richard G.

Sheldon Richman said...

I chuckle when I hear Israel's apologists caution that the anti-Zionists aid the anti-Semites' cause. On the contrary, it's the Zionists and Israelis who aid the anti-Semites' cause. Won't the anti-Semites have a field day if Israel embroils America in a war with Iran?

Anonymous said...

Mike Renzulli said...

" The 4th Geneva Convention does not apply to Gaza or the West Bank since at the time of ratification neither territory was under the jurisdiction of any state at the time. "

That is a statement completely unfounded in either law of reason. It's like saying the constitution doesn't apply to Kansas because it became a state after the constitution was written.

International treaties are made between sovereign political bodies (governments or states) and not between pieces of land. The State is Israel is a party to the Geneva conventions, the obligations and rights inhering therein are upon that state whatever is geographical jurisdiction may be.

Ana Baptist said...

"I am against forcibly establishing a society/country/government on other people's property."

Let's give the U.S. back to its indigenous people, then.