Statehood is a right for Palestinians in occupied lands

Last month, the Palestinian Authority submitted a proposal to the United Nations calling for recognition of a Palestinian state. Though the proposed state consists of only 22 percent of the land historically contested by Israelis and Palestinians, Israel and the United States vehemently objected to the statehood bid, with President Obama threatening to veto the proposal. While developments at the U.N. are still ongoing, several things already are clear.

First, the mask is definitively off when it comes to America’s Israel-Palestine policy. When given a chance to make good on long-declared support for a two-state solution (hint: the missing half of the equation is a state for the side with the stateless people), America balked. The land the statehood proposal seeks to make into a Palestinian state is already recognized under international law to be illegally occupied under a 44 year-and-counting Israeli military occupation. Furthermore, as mentioned, the area comprises just over one-fifth of historic Palestine, and, yet, in our government’s eyes, Palestinians are not even entitled to this. Such one-sided statesmanship should lead even the most naive among us to realize the absurdity of the United States’ self-appointed role as honest peace broker. The unfortunate reality is that the United States is a partner to Israel’s illegal occupation, as evidenced by the billions in military aid the US sends to the Israel annually (enough to cover tuition for all UC Berkeley students many times over).

Second, the U.S. and Israel stand virtually alone in their unprincipled obstruction of Palestinian aspirations for self determination. Well over a hundred countries (by the U.K. press’ count, 126) support the statehood bid, while only a handful are expected to join the U.S. and Israel in opposition. Moreover, the entire international human rights community is united in condemnation of Israel’s occupation of the land in question in the Palestinian statehood initiative (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza).

Third, the outsized role of right-wing Israeli policy in American politics should, by now, be obvious and alarming. Americans risk regional enmity from decades of supporting Israel, and still our government resoundingly supports the status quo of occupation. Even on our own campus, the reach of Israel’s lobby is felt, with the Israeli consul general arranging private meetings with our student government leaders and our Chancellor to fight student initiatives and reinforce the hegemonic rah-rah Israel position (something documented in correspondences recently made public).

Fourth, outside of the U.S., the world is increasingly immune to Israel apology. No one any longer accepts that the continual expansion of ethnically segregated settlements is a defensive act or undertaken by a party committed to peace, in spite of such self-serving characterizations. Increasingly, the world is questioning the nature of Israeli “democracy” when that democracy is defined as explicitly Jewish and just under one quarter of Israeli citizens are non-Jews who are routinely discriminated against compared to Jewish citizens. To quote philosopher Sari Nusseibeh, “recognition of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ implies that Israel is, or should be, either a theocracy (if we take the word ‘Jewish’ to apply to the religion of Judaism) or an apartheid state (if we take the word ‘Jewish’ to apply to the ethnicity of Jews), or both, and in all of these cases, Israel is then no longer a democracy.”

Non-Jewish citizens of Israel are denied the right to own land in large swathes of the country; in the occupied territories there exist 4 million Palestinians living under de facto Israeli governance for generations, but who receive none of the protections of Israeli citizenship; in the West Bank there exists one set of roads for Jews and one for Palestinians, complementing an ethnically segregated housing system enforced by military force. In South Africa, the word for such a racist system of governance was apartheid. In the US we had our own word for a similar beast: Jim Crow.

In the absence of leadership from our government, it is incumbent on grassroots movements to force an end to Israel’s racist policies. The template for such bottom-up pressure exists in the form of concerted consumer boycott campaigns and institutional disinvestment efforts that target companies that profit from or enable Israel’s occupation. On our campus and in the Bay Area, there are several companies being targeted for their links to the occupation, including Hewlett Packard, which in addition to computer parts sold in student stores makes hardware for the Israeli military, and Ahava, a beauty product company that steals precious resources from illegally occupied land. Additionally, our university has historically held investments in several companies known to supply the Israeli military with weapons and technologies used in numerous documented killings of civilians.

Already, governments in Europe have canceled contracts with firms enabling the occupation, following pressure from below from unions, churches and students. Such results are only a matter of time in the United States, with the amount of time in question dependent on how quickly we organize.

Maria Lewis is a junior at UC Berkeley and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine.

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  • Streeter67

    @Jake in Jerusalem, Palestine:  maybe 10-15% of the world’s population believe in what you say, and most of them are duped or are conscious lackeys out to gain favor.

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      @Streeter67: like so many of the other “facts” that you have brought us here in the past few days, this one is entirely made-up, as well.

      As for being “duped”, you must be refering to those people, including the sadly misinformed and proudly ignorant author of the above article, who have fallen for years of lavishly oil-funded Arab propaganda against Israel.

      So far, you still haven’t brought anything substantial to this conversation nor have you contributed anything material or, well, actually REAL.  It’s just more of your anti-Israel, anti-Jew dogmatic propaganda based on false accusations and malicious sloganeering.   And that tells us (i.e. 100% of the world’s population, excepting you) everything we need to know.

  • Streeter67

    Two peoples, two states, one future.  When you do not agree and support this assertion in good faith, you risk more dire consequences and assure more insecurity, violence, and suffering.   

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Streeter67, who has previously denied seeing any evidence of any god, somehow repeats his dogmatic, propagandistic slogans with religious and fervor and confidence in the righteousness of his own evil ways. 

      The two peoples in question are the Jews and the Muslims.  Attempts to portray the conflict as between some other groups are misleading and will never lead to an understanding of the Middle East.

      The Muslims have a few dozen states to call  their own.  (They are mostly ethnically pure states, too.)  Within the Muslim world, there are about 2 dozen Arab states.  Mostly ethnically pure there, too.  Not an act of nature, incidentally; they MADE them ethnically pure.

      The Jews have one state.  One.  In the Jewish state, one-in-five Israeli citizens is an Arab, mostly Muslims.  Citizens with full rights, just like any other citizen.  They enjoy pluralism, democracy, freedom, rights for women and gays … all kinds of things that other Arabs are not familiar with and tend to abhor.

      Two people.  30-40 states on one side and just ONE on the other side.  And those who have dozens of states can’t stand that the other ONE still exists.  Some want to destroy it, others PRETEND that they only want to SHARE it.  They cry that the Jews have too much!

      One future?  I don’t know about that.  Both the Israeli right and the Israeli left now agree that they want to be separate from the violent, barbarian Arabs.  Curiously, most of the rest of the world would also be happy to have nothing to do with the Arabs.  The whole world wants to move into the future – while the Islamic world is trying with all it’s might to run back into the past, caves and all.
      Bon voyage!  And don’t bother sending the rest of us any postcards!

  • Streeter67

    Zionist-Congressional-military-industrial complex = American military madness and fighting more wars for Israel

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      “More wars”???

      The USA has NEVER fought a war for Israel.

      The USA DOES fight wars for US interests.

      The USA HAS fought wars that directly benefitted other countries (e.g. Britain, France, South Vietnam, South Korea).

      The USA has NEVER fought a war for Israel.
      Kindly keep your propagandistic  baloney for your hate-mongering friends with whom you meet under that rock of yours.  The rest of us are not interested in it.

  • Streeter67

    The truth is below for anyone to do serious research on these forces and their interrelationships.  But, beware, it is like putting a cross in front of a vampire.

  • reztips

    Streeter, thank you for your anti-Semitic Jewish conspiracy theory. You have helped undercut any serious commentary you believe you have authored and left us to either be appalled or to laugh at you…

  • Streeter67

    For those who desire to do research of real history, look into the following devil’s triangles: the historical devil’s triangle include Jewish Zionists, Jewish Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union and some German Nazis; and, the Jewish Mafia, Jewish Hollywood, and the greedy capitalist Rothschilds among other banking families.  All were major contributors to Zionist displacement of the real indigenous people, the Palestinians.  Sorry, we left out the Jewish media and lobby groups and  … 

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Streeter67 has been spouting a pile of absurd, ridiculous, sloganeering propaganda against Israel.  Now, it is warning us not only about Israel, but also of the evil JEWISH plot to take over the world, together with those other Jewish cronies, the Soviets and the Nazis.  Why is Streeter67’s argument not convincing?  Hmmm… that’s a hard one…

      (Sarcasm alert… in case you missed it!)

      As for “the real indigenous people, the Palestinians”, there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL FOR SUCH A CLAIM.

      There has never in history been a Palestinian kindom, country, empire or state.
      Never in history been a Palestinian king, prince or emperor.
      Never in history been a Palestinian language or dialect.
      Never in history been a Palestinian capital of anything.
      Never in history been a Palestinian diet, culture or literature.
      In fact, there is no mention ANYWHERE in ANY ancient literature of a “Palestinian nation”.  NONE!

      The very concept of Palestinian nationality was invented in the early 1960’s by a young Egyptian radical named Yasser Arafat.  Everyone recognized what a kook he was and took no notice.  To get attention, Arafat started blowing up airliners and killing tourists until people would take notice of him  Crime does pay, apparently.

      By contrast, there is ABUNDANT evidence on the Jewish population of the Land of Israel being indigenous.
      They have everything above that the so-called “Palestinians” lack.
      Plus there is bibilical evidence and archeological evidence that PRECISELY backs up the Biblical record.
      The Jews have a MORALLY SUPERIOR CLAIM to the land of Israel.

      If the Palestinians want a homeland, they already have the Jordanian-occupied East Bank.  Palestinians are actually the same people, the same families, on both sides of the river.  The same.  The proposed two-state solution is for a Pal state on the East bank and a Pal state on the West bank.  What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.  Arab-speak for “justice”.
      What’s more, dear radical lame-brains, the Kurds have a VASTLY stronger claim to their own country, for the same reasons mentioned above.  Those who are screaming about “Free Free Palestine” should MORALLY be doing this for Kurdistan, and against Turkey and Iraq which occupy Kurdistan and really ARE comitting genocide against the Kurds.  Instead they choose the morally inferior claim, the “Palestinians”.

      But all of these are facts, logic and morals – things that don’t really bother Leftist anti-Zionists.  And they are always antisemites as well.  Always.

  • Dadkush

    Ms Lewis speaks out of ignorance. Originally, the Palestine mandate was going to be split between Israel, west of the Jordan , and Palestine, for the Arabs, east of the Jordan. In the end, the Arabs were offered both the east bank, which is now Jordan, and a good portion of the “west bank” as well. Don’t be fooled, the only borders that make logical sense are the Jordan river and east for the Arabs,and west of the Jordan for Israel. Does the world really need two Palestinian states? Ms Lewis is just parroting Palestinian propaganda……. Seek the truth….

  • Rfaelmoshe

    It always amazes me when otherwise Left leaning people throw their support behind the classically fascist, “Palestinian” cause.  At it’s core,the “Palestinian” cause is an atavistic one, seeking to restore the pre-1948 Muslim Elites, the “Effendi”, class to power and restoration of an ordered Islamic society in which everyone knows their place and submits to it willingly. Prior to 1967, no one had ever suggested that the Arab held “West Bank”, Gaza and Sinai be transformed into a “Palestinian” State. Pre-1948, the intransigent Arab demand was that Jews have NO political rights and be returned to a minority status under Muslim authority. The inflexible demand doesn’t seem particularly “Left” either.  “Zionism” is a shorthand phrase for the modern form of the assertion of the natural right to national self determination by the Jewish people.  In order to do so, the Jewish people had to shake off the British colonial occupiers, and fight their Arab client states. That seems rather traditionally “left” wing.  Somehow, folks like Maria have gotten all confused and seem to have the mistaken notion that “Palestinian” is an ethnic or tribal name, rather than the actuality that “Palestinian” is purely an Arab political designation assigned only in 1964 to the ethnically diverse Muslims that left pre-state Israel in 1948 in support of the Arab High Commands orders, so as to facilitate the military destruction of the state of Israel.  Maria’s opinions are wrong because they are founded on imagined facts.

  • guest

    streeter67, you spout the same old Israel-loathing rhetoric as someone we regularly see on this site and anywhere pro-Palestinian propaganda is excreted by Joseph Anderson. Joey, do please come out of the closet.

  • guest

    Streeter, you sound suspiciously like the Louis Fart-his-kan of the Berkeley, Joseph Anderson. Hey Joey, how’s your SSI psychiatric treatments going? You clearly need some new meds.

  • Streeter67

    @American Jews:  Hardcore Zionists will hold hands with anyone, even anti-Semites, if it will help Israel–remember those old former Senators from North Carolina and South Carolina?  Yes, and even worse!

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Really?  I don’t know any “hardcore Zionists” who are holding YOUR hand…

  • UCSD Student

    beautiful article maria, and i support your courage i posting something like this, especially when it’s known the sway israel holds in the U.S. and the unfair stigma of being on the side of justice

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      It really is a remarkable article.  Should win a prize for fiction or something…

      Oh, “UCSD Student”, in your comment you betray both your immature naivite as well as your radically uninformed, reactionary political bent. 

      As for justice, there is no stigma in being on the side of justice.

      However, being on the side of Islamo-fascism, terrorism, bigotry, ethnic-cleansing, mass murder and corruption is not something to be proud of.  This is just one of many reasons that the “Palestinian” cause is not popular anywhere.  The last thing “Palestinians” can claim to be attached to is justice!

  • Lemuel Smith

    The “Palestinian” State proposed is a complete scam on the world.  The “Palestinians” essentially propose an apartheid state that they insist must first be ethnically cleansed of all Jews.  Then, any “Palestinian” that currently lives within an area defined as a “refugee camp” within the “West Bank” will NOT be a “Palestinian citizen” but will remain refugees, as will all other UNRWA defined “Palestinian refugees”.  And,the “Palestinian” economy proposed is dependent on international charity and refugee aid FOREVER.  The “Palestinians” receive more aid per capita than any other population on earth, diminishing the world’s stores of compassion and charitable funding at a time when there are people starving elsewhere.   Then, of the “Palestinian” state proposed,  40% is Gaza and not controlled at all by the PA. 

    When Arafat returned from his meeting with the North Vietnamese propaganda ministry and announced his “1974 Phased Plan for the conquest of Palestine”, he explained that from then on, any land ceded by Israel will be accepted as a base to take the rest. He also said,”the first thing that we need to do is to divide the Jewish people into two camps psychologically.”   Shortly thereafter, we began to see the mysteriously funded “Peace camp” and “PeaceNow.”  As Faisel Al-Huseini said re:  Oslo,” We are lying to the Jews,we are tricking them,we are cheating them.” It hasn’t changed at all.

  • Streeter67

    BDS and join Jewish Voices for Peace (in Palestine)

    Zionists:  people see through you

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      For someone who professes to see no sign of any god anywhere, you sure do religiously repeat your dogmatic slogans, chants and irrational, illogical incantations a lot.  What a weird religion you have…

  • Street67

    Zionists below and Netanyahu are now advocating a modern version of the 19th Century’s  “white man’s burden.”  It is time to end the illegal Israeli occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  Self-determination or statehood is a basic human right that should no longer be denied to the Palestinian people.  Only the Zionist political-economic domination of the USA, UK, and France have prevented such from occurring.   

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      “Illegal Israeli occupation”.  Wrong.  There was no country there beforehand (international law never recognized Jordanian nor Egyptian rule) so that, legally, there is no occupation today.  Besides, it is all also claimed by Israel, so that, legally and morally, it is “disputed territory”. 

      “Apartheid”.  Wrong, again.  Arab citizens of Israel have the very same rights as Jewish citizens of Israel.  If it was so awful, Arabs would be leaving.  Instead, Arabs actually move INTO Israel (e.g. 50,000 Arabs who were evicted from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia moved to Israel, where they are now healthier and wealthier. Fact.)

      “Ethnic cleansing”.  Wow, you are wrong again!  20% of Israeli citizens are… Arabs.  Most of them are Muslim, too.  Full citizens.  Pretty poor ethnic cleansing, eh?  The Arab population in Israel is even growing rapidly.  By contrast, Arab states are ethnically pure, having slaughtered or expelled ALL of their Jews.  Mahmoud Abbas even proudly tells the UN, today, that his “Palestine” will no allow any Jews in.  The Arabs have a long history of ethnic cleansing of various minorities, as do other Muslims societies (e.g. Turkey, Iran), but there is no evidence of anything like this in Israel.

      Your propaganda is not only tiring, it is hollow and empty.  Anyone with any brain at all can see through this.  If you’re seeking to attract a following of brainless revolutionaries, you can have them.  I’ll stick with the truth.

  • Rfaelmoshe

    It fascinates me the the Israel Haters get their history SO very wrong. First, the British Mandate of Palestine included modern day Jordan (roughly 2 /3 of “Palestine”) . Jordan was illegally barred to Jews in 1923 by the British and given to the Sharif of Mecca, later King Abdullah as a gift for his participation in WWI, to be a ” national homeland for the Arab People.” in 1948 , the. British client state of Jordan illegally invaded and ethnically cleansed Judea and. Samaria ( then re-named ” the West Bank”) and part of Jerusalem. The ethnically diverse, although mostly Muslims, that left pre-state Israel were only assigned the collective political nomenclature “Palestinian” by the Arab League in 1964. The Arab response to the assertion of the natural right of the Jewish people to national self- determination was that Jews needed to be returned to minority status under Muslim authority with no political rights. The Arab- Israeli Conflict is fueled by Arab Supremacism.

    • Guest

      that’s great, Rfaelmoshe, now all you have to do is to catch up with the last fifty years or so. Here is a summary of the Palestinian Authority’s recent concessions, so far reaching that their chief negotiator had to resign when this was leaked

      • Jake in Jerusalem

        1) These are not concessions.  They are merely suggestions that the PA might not demand an immediate ethnic cleansing, to remove Jews from land that the PA claims as “Holy Islamic Soil”.  How generous of them!

        2) These were only suggestions, to which no one agreed nor anyone signed.

        3) An analysis of all of the agreements since Oslo to which the Palestinians HAVE signed shows that they have yet to abide by a single clause of a single paragraph of a single agreement they have ever signed.

        For years, Israel has been giving the Pals more and more and more, the Pals have yet to reciprocate by giving Israel anything at all, they have proven to be extremely untrustworthy with previous signatures becoming meaningless and they now threaten (as always) murderous violence if they don’t get their way.  Who still believes that the Palestinians are peace partners?  Even Barak Hussein Obama is losing patience with them – and that is saying a lot.

      • Anonymous

        In their own words:

        And this is a “moderate” Palestinian.

  • Street67

    I was waiting for the Zionists to call Maria Lewis a self-hater.  They are getting close to doing so.  I would label her as a righteous, fair-minded, Jewish person who has principles and courage.  She has my respect.

    For those of you on the fence, do read Chomsky, Finkelstein, Falk, Carter, Nader, Meirsheimer and Walt, and all the other so-called anti-Semites and self-haters.   

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Street67 brings his sources from this list of the most discredited propagandists he can find.  All radical, malicious, ahistorical, unreliable, and, yes, hate-filled sources.   Just like Street67.

  • Street67

    More supporters and apologists for the early elitist, racist, and imperialist Zionists.  They were no better than the Jewish Zionist Bolsheviks who would dominate, if not rule, the early Soviet Union.  That is real history.

  • Street67

    Jake is mixing up who was the aggressor in the 1967 and 1973 Wars.  Israel attacked the Arab states first in 1967, from Israel’s perspective or excuse, a “preemptive” war.  Remember the USS Liberty!

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Street67 is engaging in historical revsionism again.  Perhaps it thinks that people are so young, naive or uninformed that they will fall for it.  So I’m here to remind you of the historical truth.

      In 1967, Egypt led a coalition of 4 Arab countries, including Jordan, Syria and Iraq (which doesn’t even share a border with Israel) in a campaign to finally “push the Jews into the sea”.  Egypt started with a blockade of the Straits of Tiran, a causus belli under international law.  Syrian forces were firing onto Israeli farmers in the Galilee and Jordanian snipers were shooting at Jewish civilians inside Jerusalem.  All this before Israel responded in any way at all.

      At the time, Israel was outnumbered in every measure by more than 10 to 1.  In tanks, soldiers, aircraft, ships, cannon, etc – Israel was severely outnumbered and had NO INTEREST AT ALL in picking a war with the combined might of all it’s Arab neighbors (except Lebanon) on all fronts simultaneously.  It was stacked in the favor of the Arabs.  Worse still, in the middle of the country, Israel was only a few miles wide.  Period.  Jordan could have cut Israel in two.

      This is precisely why Israel’s surprise victory in an existential war against such crazy odds was considered so remarkable and came to be known as the Six Day War.

      Not only is Street67’s claim that Israel attacked the Arab states as an “aggressor” entirely false, it is also entirely illogical.   Rational people won’t fall for it.  Informed readers recognize it for the reactionary anti-Israel propaganda that it is.
      Learn your history!

      • Anonymous


        It takes a lot of effort to respond to propagandists like Street67 and I, for one, really appreciate the effort and intelligence you bring here to do this.

        • Jake in Jerusalem

          Thanks for your comment, Ra’is Arafat!  :-)
          I simply can’t stand on the side when Jew-hating propagandists spew forth their false accusations, baseless claims, malicious slander and brainless hate-mongering, hoping to convince the gullible, uninformed or just plain stupid. 

          Unfortunately, there is plenty of this going on these days.  Postings such as mine are meant to set the historical record straight.  Historical record, though, is something that people like Streeter67 is very afraid of, because it undermines everything that they say and stand for.  Tough!

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Street67 not only dishonestly misleads with historical revisionism, it also waves the telling flag of the kookiest Jew-haters, the USS Liberty.  Unfortunately for Street67, I remember it well.

      The Liberty was a US spy ship on a secret mission that the US has, to this day, still not admitted to.  The entire Sixth Fleet had been ordered a few hundred miles north of the war zone, but the Liberty was cruising alone just a few kilometers off the coast of Gaza. Israel asked the US about the identity of this odd ship and the US, via it’s military attache and through other channels, denied any knowledge of the ship.  It thus appeared to the Israelis to be Egyptian or Russian and operating under a false flag.
      Israeli naval forces fired over it’s bow to scare it away.  Sailors on the lightly-armed Liberty fired onto the Israeli craft, without authorization from Captain McGonagle.  The US later claimed that an overheated gun on the deck started firing on it’s own.  Yeah, right.  McGonagle ordered his crew to ceasefire, but it was too late.  The Israelis then correctly returned fire, disabling the ship.
      Capt. McGonagle sent a request for help to the Sixth Fleet.  Admiral Geiss scrambled jets from the USS Saratoga and advised the Pentagon of his actions.  The Pentagon responded by ordering all aircraft returned to deck, abandoning the Liberty.  Adm. Geiss did as ordered but sent another set of aircraft to assist the Liberty.  At that point, President Johnson and Sec of Defense McNamara got on a voice line to Admiral Geiss and hysterically ordered all craft returned to the Saratoga.

      The White  House couldn’t support a ship they had been swearing to the Israelis didn’t even exist.  It was only later that the Pentagon made up the excuse of misdirected orders going to the Phillipines, that the Liberty somehow missed.

      LBJ was spying on Israel for the benefit of Egypt.  The Liberty was abandoned byLBJ to save his sorry behind.  Liberty crew have since been threatened by the Navy and NSA to never speak of their true mission.  There is plenty more I can tell you about this.

      Quit blaming Israel when Israel is not to blame.

      And quit with the historical revisionism.  The facts will always show what a dishonest propagandist you are.

  • guest

    >>Early Zionists did none of those things.  None.  They DID engage in GUERILLA tactics against the British military occupation forcesyou are spreading your ignorance and confusing people. Here is a list of etzel/irgun attacks on civilians in marketplaces. cinemas, train stations etc., with the dates of each one and the number of casualties are some examples of massacres by the hagana there was no shortage of similar actions by the Lehi/Stern gang. Palestinians also attacked civilians, but it’s absurd to claim they were the only ones. 

  • realpeace

    get with it guys.

  • propeace

    silly maria.

  • propeace

    I’m offended by this article. 

    Jews control the world, right?  But lucky for the world we have Maria Lewis to “enlighten” us about the Jewish conspiracy. 

    And just to be clear: ISRAEL IS NOT AN APARTHEID STATE. you want to see apartheid? take a look at abbas’s  plans for a future palestinian state:

    • guest

      I’m offended by your pathetic attempt to smear any criticsm of right-wing organizations like AIPAC as anti-semitism. Nowhere does the article claim that the “Jews control the world”. Learn to read. 

      • guest2

        correction: not the world. just the US government. better?

        and AIPAC is a bipartisan group. you should really educate yourself.

        • Guest

          wow, you seriously lack reading comprehension.She didn’t say “the jews” anywhere, she criticized “the outsized role of right-wing Israeli policy”. Not all jews support right-wing Israeli policy, get it?

          and of course AIPAC is bipartisan, they get both the Republicans and the Democrats to support *right-wing Israeli* policy.

        • reztips

          An analysis of AIPAC showed definitively that the majority of its members voted for Obama, as did a majority of Jews. So stop with this crap that AIPAC is “rightwing.” 

          Like AIPAC, the Saudis have a lobby which has invested substantial funds in its country’s policies. And this includes a continued virulent anti-Israel perspective. 

          So let’s be real. This is what lobbyists do: try to influence politicians and garner their support. Does this mean that AIPAC controls the US congress? That’s as nonsensical as SJP, JVP and KPFA continually tarring AIPAC in particular and US Jews in general as “rightwing.” 

          Yes, its the old anti-Semitic canard of Jews controlling government, the economy, the media, etc. again, now intoned by the ignoramuses of the pro-Palestinian minion. It’s an ancient slant on the old anti-Semitic saw, now appearing in an anti-Israel guise…

  • Street67

    @Jake:  Everyone should notice (well below) how you have played with the “early 1960s” in order for you to develop an irrelevant paragraph of propaganda.  The groups I mentioned would have addressed Middle East issues more during the “late 1960s” and after the 1967 Six Day War, when Israeli aggression lead to the occupation and settlement of more Palestinian territories–which is now the land under discussion for a Palestinian state.   Nice  propagandist ploy, if you can get away with it.  Well, off to class …

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Streeter67 is now playing historical revisionism.

      The Six Day War of 1967 had no “Israeli aggression” leading to “occupation and settlement of more Palestinian territories”.  It was the combined forces of several Arab states that attacked Israel – and not the other way around.  Their stated aim, proudly crowed in public, was to “push the Jews into the sea”.  Israel was on the defensive, not being “aggressive”.

      Furthermore, there couldn’t have been any “occupation of Palestinian territory” because there was no such thing at the time.  Israel took territory from Jordan and Egypt.  Are you suggesting that Jordan and Egypt were occupying “Palestine” until 1967?  Funny – the Arabs weren’t complaining about that “occupation” in those days.  They didn’t even mention “Palestine”, which hadn’t yet even been invented as a nationality.

      As you say, off to class.  In History, you have a lot of homework to do.

  • Street67

    @riztips:  More irrelevant, self-serving intellectual terrorism and propaganda?  You learned well from your Elders.

    • reztips

      By “Elders” (note his/her capitalization), Streeter67 is doubtless referring to the anti-Semitic tract, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which remains a best seller in the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, indeed throughout the Muslim world. And too bad that Streeter67 can’t show a single, solitary instance where my comments of how the “new Palestine” will become a land where Jews are banned (the first time since Hitler’s Germany) and where Palestinian “refugees” will be denied citizenship by their own leaders so they can “reclaim” land in Israel thus leading to a single Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. 

      Nor has streeter or, for that matter, the author of the op-ed Ms. Lewis, demonstrated any concern about the democratically elected charter of Hamas which advocates Jewish genocide. 

      In sum, when you support a Palestinian state as its government is constituted, you are backing a new nation bent on genocide. Now that’s something you can’t deny as it is right there in black and white along with the Palestinian leaderships’ acknowledgement that its new nation would ban Jews, thereby making it the first genuine apartheid state since the demise of racist S. Africa…

      • Anonymous

        It should be noted as well that Mein Kampf is one of the best selling books throughout the Islamic world.  If that does not tell us everything we need to know about Islam then I am not sure what would.

  • Street67

    The UN General Assembly vote will likely be 135 nations in support of Palestine and the 25 against and 33 abstentions that the US and Israel and the IMF/World Bank/other financial institutions will have pressured and threatened–like Greece.

  • reztips

    This op-ed neglected the following about the Palestinians’ demand for a state from a UN consisting largely of the world’s dictatorships: Because Palestinian leaders have said no Jews would be permitted in their new state, “Palestine” would become the first nation since Germany under the Third Reich in which Jews were legally banned. Perhaps Jimmy Carter might consider revising his absurdly titled tome because the “new” Palestine would become the first nation to be a genuine apartheid state since the fall of racist S. Africa.
    Moreover, there is this pertinent little tidbit: did you know that Palestinian leaders have declared to so-called “refugees” will not be granted Palestinian citizenship?! Why? Because the Palestinian political head honchos consider them citizens of the area which has been called the nation of Israel since 1948. In other words, the Palestinian political order will have no peace in their new state, regardless of its borders for they wish it to ultimate comprise all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. So much for a new Palestinian state achieving any resolution of warfare short of the liquidation of Israeli Jews.

    The so-called 1967 borders (which were only called “borders” by some because that was where the war ended that year) leaves Israel with indefensible borders–at one point the division between Israel and proposed Palestinian lands is a mere 9 miles.

    The settlements are not the issue: they comprise but 1.6% of the West Bank and Israel has often offered land trade-offs which the Palestinians have rejected. BTW, ending Israeli settlements will not end the hostilities: the very day Israel left both Gaza and southern Lebanon, missiles rained down upon its citizenry. And there have been thousands of missiles fired at Israel proper from Hamas ever since.

    Finally, if two parties have a dispute, it is they who must settle the issue via negotiations and not the vote of nations ruled by tyrannical, unrepresentative governments in that farce of an organization called the UN…

  • [Non-Jewish citizens of Israel are denied the right to own land in large
    swathes of the country; in the occupied territories there exist 4
    million Palestinians living under de facto Israeli governance for
    generations, but who receive none of the protections of Israeli

    Uh, they don’t have Israeli citizenship because they don’t WANT it. In fact, they deny the right of Israel to exist. How can anyone complain that are being denied their rights as a citizen of some country when they don’t even acknowledge the legitimacy of that same country? Really now, some of you rabid pro-Palestinian types aren’t the most logical people…

  • You know, Maria, the Palestinians would have had their own state a long time ago if they did two simple things: acknowledge the right of Israel to exist and renounce violence against their Jewish neighbors. Unfortunately they aren’t willing to do that. Whose fault is that again?

  • Street67

    BDS now!

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Right, on!  Stop buying oil, now!


  • Street67

    @Jake:  I treat equals equally and treat unequals unequally, according to a rule.  Hence, I must decide if Sara Palin, Glenn Beck, George Bush, and you are equals in your capacity to embrace human reason, empirically-based knowledge, and any conception of justice without using some self-serving, irrational, messianic views of the world. 

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Streeter67, have you seen ANY indication of “irrational, messianic views of the world” in anything I wrote?

      I simply pointed out some FACTS that display, for all to see, how the pro-Palestinian argument is based on FANTASY, BIGOTRY and PROPAGANDA.

      If you prefer those to rational analysis, justice and logic, then perhaps you belong with the 1960’s anti-Zionists and fellow radicals. 

      Incidentally, the anti-Zionists in the early 1960’s couldn’t have possibly been concerned with “Israeli occupation of Palestine” because Israel hadn’t yet controlled the West Bank and Gaza.  Those territories were occupied by Jordan and Egypt at the time.  We didn’t hear any complaints about “occupation” from the 1960’s radicals in those days.  Didn’t hear them from so-called “Palestinians”, either, actually. 

      There have always been Jew-haters.  Some things don’t change.  Some people don’t change, either.

      • Anonymous


        Street67 is like all leftists in that when they cannot support their side of the debate they attack their opponents character instead. 

        Street67 is attacking you as his out.

  • Streeter67

    Not one piece of empirical evidence of a god.  Hopefully by the end of this century people will no longer believe in any self-serving messianic religions or in an elitist chosen people.  I will value the intellectual views of Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens, and  Stephen Hawking over those of the 700 Club, Palin, Cheney, and these young Zionists with their contradictions and brainwashed idea here any day of the week.

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Streeter67 complains of no “empirical evidence of a god”.  Interesting.

      The Arab claim to Jerusalem (and to the imaginary Palestine, itself) is based on the legend of Mohammed flying from Arabia (Saudi Arabia, today) on the back of his trusted and winged donkey, al Buraq.  Besides this legend of Mohammed’s flying donkey, there is no other claim that Mohammed (nor early Islam, itself) had any interest in Jerusalem nor the land that is today Israel.
      Yasser Arafat, as well as many other “Palestinians”, claim that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, citing al Buraq, the flying donkey, as their claim, instead.

      So there are several centuries of archeological evidence that precisely match Biblical references supporting a Jewish claim on one side.  And there are claims of Arab and Muslim ownership based on the donkey with wings on the other side.

      You’re rational.  Proudly so.  You wouldn’t be supporting the claim of the wonderous, flying donkey, would you?

    • Anonymous
  • Jake in Jerusalem

    In the first paragraph, the author writes that “the proposed state consists of only 22 percent of the land historically contested by Israelis and Palestinians”.  This betrays the true geography of the conflict. 
    When considering historic Palestine, which includes all of Israel on the West Bank and all of Jordan on the East Bank, then all of Israel constitutes 22% of “historic Palestine”.  The other 78% is now occupied by Jordan.  All of it.

    Thus, the author (as well as Mahmoud Abbas himself) are tellingly saying that they want ALL OF ISRAEL and then will lay claim to the remainder on the Jordanian-occupied East Bank.   According to this, there will NOT be any Israel after Palestine is established.

    Note that Yasser Arafat’s first intifada was started on the East Bank, when he tried to liberate Jordan.   King Hussein responded by killing nearly 10,000 people in the single month that came to be called Black September, 1970.  Arafat then decided to try and get land from Israel, instead, thinking the Jews would be easier.  He was right about that.

    Neither Maria Lewis nor Mahmoud Abbas have any interest in peace.  It’s all about destroying Israel and  killing Jews.  Always has been.

  • Streeter67

    In the 1960s, both the anti-Zionist half of the New Left and the Black Panther Party had the correct perceptions about Israel and Palestine decades before more mainstream Americans and Europeans recognized the historical injustices, myths, and lies surrounding this conflict.  The so-called radical paradigm was correct with respect to the underlying colonial, imperial, racist, and militarist nature of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel.

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      The anti-Zionists and Black Panthers did NOT have “correct perceptions” in the 1960’s.  They simply pursued a radical anti-Jewish policy years before others bowed down to the power of Arab oil money, that began inthe 1970’s, and joined in the Bash-Israel-Because-Its-Fun party.
      You are as unconvincing as a historian as you are as a secularist.

  • Gershom

    P.S to my previous comment.

    G-D – in case you don’t know to read the Torah.
    G-D gave the Land of Israel – to Abraham’s descendants – to live in – IN PERPETUITY – FOREVER.

    So – if you have an issue with that. Then you are basically calling G-D a LIAR.
    Take up the issue – of who owns The Land of Israel – with G-D. He said – HE owns the Land.
    But the Jewish Nation/People – and those who choose to convert – can live there – under His Torah Covenant and Laws – in PEACE.

  • Streeter67

    Excellent article with well-reasoned support for human rights and justice.  Keep writing the truth. 

    • Jake in Jerusalem

      Truth has to be based on facts, not propaganda. 

      If you think that “human rights and justice” have anything to do with the PLO, Hamas or any of the HUNDREDS of Palestinian terrorist splinter groups, or, for that matter, with any Arab society, then you are woefully ignorant of what goes on in the Middle East. 

      • Anonymous

        Israel was founded by terrorists, just saying. An most countries were created or founded by armed groups, including your very own US of A. 

        • Jake in Jerusalem

          Some people apparently have reading comprehension problems.  So for them, I will repeat:
          “Truth has to be based on facts, not propaganda.”

          Israel was most certainly NOT founded by terrorists.

          Terrorists attack unaffiliated civilians in order to terrorize them and affect political processes by using murder and terrorism to further their aims.
          Yasser Arafat and the many Palestinian terrorist groups attacked tourists, airliners, cruise ships, airports, diplomats, kindergarten children, children’s birthday parties, pizza parlors, cafes, restaurants, hotels and more.  Not a single military target among them.  Islamo-fascist terrorists, seeing how profitable this all was for Arafat (who got a Nobel PEACE prize!), copied his methods.  9/11 is just one example.

          Early Zionists did none of those things.  None.  They DID engage in GUERILLA tactics against the British military occupation forces, which had already murdered some Jewish activists, including children.”  The British also oversaw the massacres of Jews by Arabs in the 1920’s. 

          Guerrila actoins against a military force are not the same as terrorist actions against civilians.

          Like you, I’m  “just saying”.

          • Anonymous

            So you would be fine with the Palestinians if they restricted there activities to military targets.

          • Jake in Jerusalem

            I wouldn’t be “fine” with it, but there is a distinction between terrorism and guerrila warfare.  Warriors for Islam make no such distinctions.  For them, 9/11 was legitimate warfare.  Nay, it was glorious battle.  Israel has to deal with those kind of crazies every single day.

        • [Israel was founded by terrorists, just saying]

          So you chant that mantra to justify the terrorism of the Palestinians, right?

          • Anonymous

            You cant criticise other for using the same tactics which you use to create your own country.

    • realpeace

  • Gershom

    To the uninformed and enlightened. The whole of The Land of Israel was given by G-D – to the descendants of Abraham – 4000 years ago.
    It has had continuous Israeli inhabitants – in spite of conquests – for those 4000 years.

    Palestine – was the name given to the land – after the Roman conquest of Jerusalem – and Israel. It was not called that – by the Muslims.

    The Muslims – did not become a religion – until around 1400 years ago.
    Their holiest site – is no where near – Israel.
    The Palestinians – on the other hand – did not come into existence until – 1964 – through Arafat.

    There is a Torah Biblical solution to the Middle East problem.
    In The Torah – G-D said that the Torah Laws and Covenant – were to be the LAW/CONSTITUTION OF the JEWISH PEOPLE/NATION –  AND – those who convert – and follow the Laws of the Torah. AS – ONE NATION.

    So – the Arab Muslims and so called Palestinians who wish to live in Israel – the land given by G-D to Abraham – can live in peace there.
    As they are to be treated – as converts – with the utmost respect.

    • Anonymous

      G-D, which version, Buddha, Zeus, the Spaghetti monster, Thor, Gaia, or Terra, there plenty of G-Ds, fairy tales out there.  So many Gods, so many fairy tales.

  • anonymous

    I see why they say that Berkeley is the most anti-semetic University in the country. Have you ever been there?

  • anonymous

    Jews-Control-the-Government conspiracy once again….Really, Student for Justice in Palestine? Can any one of your op-eds not include this classical libel?

    • guest

      ““We’re going to make sure that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. . . .  This is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capital.  This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.” minute 3:58 of this video check out the background of last year’s ASUC president and that of this year’s senator Aviv Gilboa – both have an AIPAC background

      • guest

        and you are the one spreading libel. The article refers to “the outsized role of right-wing Israeli policy” not to “the Jews”. This attempt to smear every criticism of an organization like AIPAC as anti-semitism is pathetic. They really do exist and they can be criticized just like any other lobby.  

      • Guest

        A good example of AIPAC influence.  The Israeli lobby has managed to corrupt our political process.

    • Tompessah

      more evidence of the Israel lobby’s (not “the Jews” but the Israel lobby) interference with student government

    • Maria Lewis

      As a Jew and the author of this article, I resent the implication that calling out right-wing organizations like AIPAC is some how tantamount to claiming that “Jews control the Government.”  AIPAC in no way represents me, and tens of thousands of Jews around the world feel the same way.  In fact, everyday more and more Jews are rejecting the antisemetic stereotype that we are all AIPAC, and that a racist right-wing government represents our interests.  To all of the Jews reading this who are afraid to admit that you agree, I want you to know that you are not alone.  We are everywhere.  The battle against antisemetism has taken many forms throughout history, and today it takes the form of reclaiming our identities from a racist, right-wing government that is silencing our voices.  We will not be silent in the face of injustice. We will not betray the rich Jewish heritage of defying oppression wherever we encounter it.  Only when we learn to stand together for freedom and equality can we realize liberation for ourselves and for all peoples.  For all those Jews feeling alone in their rejection of Israeli occupation and apartheid, please watch this video:

      • Jake in Jerusalem

        As a Jew and author of some of the rebuttals of Maria Lewis’ proud displays of ignorance, I am ashamed that someone who calls herself Jewish has such an obviously poor understanding of the world around her – and is proud of it, too.

        Your “We are everywhere” could well be true in the People’s Republic of Berkeley, but rational, logical, moral and informed people everywhere else disagree with you!

        Your “We will not be silend in the face of injustice” sounds hollow when 1,000,000 Israeli (Jewish!) civilians have been living in bomb shelters for the past decade because they are within range of Gazan rockets – the firing of each constituting a grave war crime.  Your silence during the illegal (under internationl law) hostage-holding of Gilad Shalit makes a mockery of your sense of morals and justice.

        “Freedom and equality”?  Arabs have more rights in Israel than they do anywhere else in the Middle East.  Surprising, but true.  Freedoms of press, movement, assembly, representation, religion, sexual choice, vocation and more – vastly better in Israel than in ANY Arab or Islamic state.
        Maria, your naive, immature ignorance of the facts of life in the Middle East make you abundantly unqualified to write commentary.  You are an embarassment to intelligent, moral, decent people, Jewish and otherwise, everywhere.

        Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Enlightening New Year.  Or is that too Right-Wing for you?

        • studentsunite

          thank you jake!  as a jewish student at uc berkeley sometimes i’m afraid to voice my opinions. ignorant and offensive people like maria make it that much harder. thank you for your comment. you represent my voice.

          • Anonymous

            Ms. Lewis reminds me of the Jews of Germany and Austria who believed Hitler was all talk, no action.

            There’s hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear Muslims – and often Palestinians – calling for the complete destruction of Israel.  Does Ms. Lewis think they’re any less serious than Hitler was, and if so, why?

          • RogerH

            You and Jake might be saddened to know that Maria is now painting the trashing of the Oakland City Hall destroying 100 year old model of the building, student art projects and burning the American Flag as being the police getting out of control.  I see now that she has much experience as a propagandist and invite you to contact me at DUStory dash owner at yahoo groups dot com –

      • reztips

        Ms. Lewis, your contention that Jews who oppose Israel “are everywhere” implies a good percentage. The reality, as all polls here and in Europe demonstrate, is that an overwhelming percentage of Jews are strong supporters of Israel. Just because you and fellow kapos like Michael Lerner, Barbara Lubin and Noam Chomsky loath Israel doesn’t make you, or them, representative of anyone but yourselves…