Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Human Rights comfort the afflicted

Mazin Qumsiyeh

A Palestinian woman passes an Israeli checkpoint off Shuhada Street in February 2015 (Photo: Electronic Intifada)

A Palestinian woman passes an Israeli checkpoint off Shuhada Street in February 2015 (Photo: Electronic Intifada)

We in occupied Palestine continue to be guardedly optimistic even after watching the Kafkaesque political “plays” being performed to confuse the public and keep them in the dark, and keep them fighting each other (democrat versus republican, Sunni versus Shiaa, Muslim vs Christian etc) while the RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET POORER.

Remember to follow the money (do so when you see the links below). But what we common people need to do is refuse the baiting, join hands, and think of the environment, sustainability, hope, love, kindness to one another (while yes exposing the myths and challenging the elites).

John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:

“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.”

This is the dual task we must perform. Thus we continue to tell the truth (and get arrested for it with charges like incitement) AND build models of resistance economy here locally. Read more »

Netanyahu and Trump

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

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Benjamin Netanyahu just met Donald Trump and they are very friendly. Both are liars. War criminal Netanyahu’s prerequisites for peace are that:
1) Palestinians recognize the colonial state as a Jewish state – which is like South Africa saying the prerequisite for peace is to recognize it as a white state; and
2) the “Jewish state” retain control over the whole area – again, like the white South African government saying that they want to control the whole area.

Trump said that Palestinians are taught to hate and must stop hating Israelis. Netanyahu claimed that just like Chinese come from China, Jews come from Judea and so are not colonizers!

He also claims Iran writes on their missiles in Hebrew that Israel must be destroyed!

These two lies – and many more – are typical of congenital liars like Netanyahu.

Sorry, but “The Jews” (nor “The Christian” or “The Muslims”) do NOT come from our country (Palestine is its geographic name, for those who do not know). The myth that they do is a myth of “Jewish biology” that is actually based on Nazi racist myths, themselves stoked by Zionist myths.

A minority of people from those religions actually originate from Palestine – less than 3% of each adherent of any of these religions come from here, including Netanyahu himself. Read more »

Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s Speech

Richard Falk

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

On December 23, 2016 the UN Security Council by a vote of 14-0 adopted Resolution 2334, notably with the United States abstaining, condemning Israeli settlement expansion. It was treated as big news in the West because the Obama presidency had finally in its last weeks in office refused to use its veto to protect Israel from UN censure. Especially in the United States, the media focused on the meaning of this diplomatic move, wondering aloud whether it was motivated by Obama’s lingering anger over Netanyahu’s effort to torpedo his efforts to reach agreement with Iran in 2014 on its nuclear program or meant to challenge the incoming Trump leadership to deal responsibly with the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict and also by indirection to mount criticism of Trump’s reckless pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and his apparent readiness to side openly with extremist Israeli leadership while in the White House.

The likely lasting importance of the resolution is the evidence of a strong international consensus embodied in the 14-0 vote, with only the US abstention preventing unanimity. To bring together China, Russia, France, and the UK on an initiative tabled by Senegal, Malaysia, and Venezuela, is sending Israel and Washington a clear message that despite the adverse developments of recent years in the Middle East the world will not forget the Palestinians, or their struggle. It is also significant that the resolution calls upon the new UN Secretary General to report back to the SC every three months on progress implementing the resolution and explicitly keeps the Council seized of the issue. Such provisions reinforce the impression that the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict will remain on the UN policy agenda in the months ahead, which by itself is extremely irritating to Israel. Read more »

Shabaka Roundtable: Palestinian Democracy Denied

Mouin Rabbani, Basem Ezbidi, Tariq Dana, Amal Ahmad

APA Images

APA Images

Overview

The potential of Palestinian democracy has been greatly weakened by Israel and its military occupation, Palestinian actors such as Fatah and Hamas, and key members of the donor community. Such a situation sustains the dysfunctional nature of the Palestinian political system and the unelected, unrepresentative status of the political actors who dominate the lives of the Palestinian people. The recent, heavily politicized failure of the attempt to conduct elections for local councils in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and the just concluded Fatah conference, which largely reaffirmed a moribund status quo, are cases in point.

In this roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts examine the notion of democracy under occupation so as to understand what it entails and how it can be expressed. All agree that democracy is severely curtailed under the present circumstances. Mouin Rabbani argues that Palestinian elections since Oslo have contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian political system, shoring up a status quo in which Israel retains indefinite control. Basem Ezbidi, through the lens of the 1996, 2005, and 2006 elections, explores this detrimental fragmentation. Tariq Dana writes of the problem of divisions within the Palestinian National Movement, while Amal Ahmad highlights constraints on democracy caused by the economic conditions of occupation. Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir facilitated the roundtable. Read more »

The Infamy of the Palestinian Elites: An Imminent Split within Fatah?

Ramzy Baroud
Source: Counterpunch

Picture: Press TV

Picture: Press TV

The Fatah movement is involved in a massive tug-of-war that will ultimately define its future. Though the conflict is between current Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and once Gaza strongman, Mohammed Dahlan, is in no way motivated by ending the Israeli Occupation, their war will likely determine the future political landscape of Palestine.

The issue cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be dismissed as an internal Fatah conflict. The latter is one of the two largest Palestinian factions, the largest within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and has single-handedly pushed Palestinians into the abyss of the ‘peace process’ and the great Oslo Accords gamble, which has come at great cost and no benefits. Read more »

Massacres, BDS, and more

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

I just returned to Palestine from the Basque Country, a European country that is partly under French and partly under Spanish rule (sort of like the Kurdish region). It was great to see the mountains and to see open roads without checkpoints (it was not always like this as the fight for Basque independence meant much similar conditions just a few years ago before political agreements were reached).

I return willingly to a jailed community under an apartheid system and daily assaults (home demolitions, displacement, judaization). It is exactly where we find ourselves most needed and most alive. The staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History – Bethlehem University have done an excellent job in my absence of one week. My luggage hopefully will catch up with me and it has many books I acquired for the museum. Please join us and help (donating time and/or money would be good).

Now for some collected items related to human rights:

Today is the anniversary of Duwaima massacre (29 Octber 1948), one of over 40 massacres committed by the Zionist colonial forces to drive native Palestinians out of our country. Read more »

The Enigma that was Shimon Peres

Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century

Qana massacre, Lebanon, April 18, 1996

Qana massacre, Lebanon, April 18, 1996

Responses to Interview Questions from Rodrigo Craveiro of Correio Braziliense, Brasilia re Shimon Peres

Prefatory Note
The text that follows is derived from an interview yesterday with an important Brazilian newspaper. I have retained the questions posed by the journalist, but expanded and reframed my responses. The death of Shimon Peres is the last surviving member of Israel’s founding figures, and in many ways a fascinating political personality, generating wildly contradictory appraisals. My own experience of the man was direct, although rather superficial, but it did give me greater confidence to trust my reservations about his impact and influence, which collides with the adulation that he has inspired among American liberals, in particular

1) What is the main legacy of president Shimon Peres, in your point of view?

Shimon Peres leaves behind a legacy of a long public life of commitment to making Israel a success story, economically, politically, diplomatically, and even psychologically. He is being celebrated around the world for his intelligence, perseverance, and in recent decades for his public advocacy of a realistic peace with the Palestinians. I believe he lived an impressive and significant life, but one that was also flawed in many ways. He does not deserve, in my opinion, the unconditional admiration he is receiving, especially from the high and mighty in Europe and North America. Underneath his idealistic rhetoric was a tough-minded and mainstream commitment to Zionist goals coupled with an expectation that the Palestinians, if sensible, would submit graciously to this reality, and if not, deservedly suffer the consequences of abuse and harm. He was never, contrary to his image, a supporter of an idealistic peace based on recognizing the equality of the Palestinian people, acknowledging the wrongs of the nakba and the Palestinian ordeal that followed, and in creating a sustainable peace that included realizing Palestinian rights as defined by international law.

2) Do you believe Peres was ever close to obtaining a definitive peace deal with Palestinians? What did it get wrong?

In my view, Peres never even wanted to reach a sustainable peace agreement with the Palestinians, but he fooled many people, including the committee in Oslo that selects the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was unyielding in his refusal to grant Palestinians dispossessed in 1948 any right of return. Read more »

Israel and the World Vision Crime Sham

Vacy Vlazna

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision's Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision’s Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

The crackpot Israeli Hasbara* Circus featuring the four clowns of the truth apocalypse, Shin Bet, the Israel government, Shurat HaDin and the mainstream media fools, has, yet again, hit the world stage with the usual lame show of fact contortions, tight rope slander and smoke and mirrors fantasies.

Taking a leaf from the Bush-Blair weapons of mass destruction hoax, Israel is going all out to divert anti-Israel opinion on its monumental humanitarian disaster to a fictitious crime allegedly perpetrated by the very victims of said humanitarian disaster- Israel’s wars on Gaza -by concocting an elaborate false crime of embezzlement and terrorism by Mohammed el-Halabi, the dedicated zonal manager for World Vision in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Mohammed el-Halabi

El-Halabi, a family man and ‘trusted colleague’ has worked tirelessly for World Vision for a decade. On World Humanitarian Day 2014, celebrating aid workers, el-Halabi was profiled by the UN as a Humanitarian Hero – a truly well deserved honour when one considers the horrors Palestinian families face, and particularly aid workers at the emergency front of the carnage, destruction and suffering. Read more »

Think globally and act locally

Mazin Qumsiyeh

In news of the Orwellian world we live in

-Israeli occupation soldier was caught on video stealing a crying eight-year-old Palestinian girl’s bike and throwing it in bushes.

-Israeli prime minister defended the arrest of children and blamed the native Palestinian victims for their own suffering. The ranks of children in Israeli jails continue to grow.

-Israel detained Islamic officials for renovations of Dome of the Rock mosque without Israeli permission!

-Health of striking Palestinian prisoners deteriorates. Their fasting strike involved taking only water and salt some for several weeks now as the rank of the strikers grow. They are protesting the policy of administrative detention where they can be held for months and even years without charge or trial.

-Israel continues its policies of home demolitions and in one case demolished an entire village over 100 times (each time Al-Araqib residents rebuilt). Read more »

It’s Time for America to Disengage From the Middle East

Mohammed Ayoob
The National Interest

The third reason advanced to justify a high degree of American involvement is related to concerns for Israeli security. This is an outdated argument given Israel’s tremendous military superiority over all its Arab neighbors and the Arabs’ preoccupation with killing each other rather than addressing the question of Palestine or confronting Israel.

U.S. soldier in the Kandahar province, Afghanistan. U.S. Army/Flickr

U.S. soldier in the Kandahar province, Afghanistan. U.S. Army/Flickr

The Orlando and San Bernardino shootings have led important personalities to make several suggestions, both workable and unworkable. These range from banning the entry of Muslim immigrants into the United States to tighter gun control. However, hardly anyone seems to have asked the fundamental question: why have some radicalized inhabitants of broader Middle Eastern origin developed such hatred for Americans that they are willing not only to inflict tremendous suffering on innocent civilians, but also to lay down their own lives in the process?

The answer lies in the history and extent of American involvement in the broader Middle East ranging from Turkey to Pakistan, what has been called the “arc of crisis”. The United States was often involved on the wrong side of the internal and regional conflicts in this region, supporting authoritarian regimes to maintain control over restive populations. More important, the extent of its involvement—especially in the post–Cold War era—has far exceeded its economic and strategic interests in the region.

There are multiple reasons for such a high degree of American involvement in the broader Middle East but most of them are now passé. Read more »

Chilcot, Israel and the Lobby

Gilad Atzmon

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It took seven years for Sir Chilcot and his team to reach a set of conclusions that every Brit capable of thought understood back in November, 2013.

The inquiry produced a damning assessment of Blair’s conduct as well as the British military. But the Chilcot Inquiry failed to expose the crucial close ties between Blair’s criminal war, the Jewish Lobby and Israel.

At the time Britain entered the criminal war against Iraq, Blair’s chief funders were Lord ‘cashpoint’ Levy and the LFI (Labour Friends of Israel). The prime advocates for the immoral interventionist war within the British press were Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen. The attorney general that gave the green light for the war was Lord Goldsmith.

In 2008 The Guardian revealed that the “Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial.” Israel was conspicuously engaged in the vast production of WMDs. If Britain and America had any genuine concerns about WMDs, bombing Tel Aviv would have been the way to go.

In 2003 some intelligence experts insisted that the Iraq’s WMD dossier was initially produced in Tel Aviv and only ‘sexed up’ in London.

Since the Iraq war, the same Jewish Lobby has mounted enormous pressure on western governments, promoting more Zio-centic interventionist wars in Syria, Libya and Iran. So why did the Chilcot Inquiry fail to address this topic? Read more »

Smearing BDS Supporters

Richard Falk
Opinion

[Prefatory Note: An earlier version of this post was published with the title, “The Palestinian Struggle for Self-Determination: A New Phase?” in Middle East Eye, June 26, 2016. This version stresses the misappropriation of anti-Semitism as a propaganda weapon to smear pro-Palestinian activists, especially those supportive of the BDS Campaign. It also clarifies the issues of representation by explaining the formal differences between the PLO and PA, which do not seem presently consequential in my understanding; I am indebted to Uri Davis for bringing the distinction to my attention although he may not agree with my way of handling it.]

bds (400 x 236)

End of the Road?

There are many reasons to consider the Palestinian struggle for self-determination a lost cause. Israel exerts unchallenged paramilitary control over the Palestinian people, a political reality accentuated periodically by brutal attacks on Gaza causing massive civilian casualties and societal dislocation. Organized Palestinian armed resistance has all but disappeared, limiting anti-Israeli violence to the desperation of individual Palestinians acting on their own and risking near certain death by striking spontaneously with primitive knives at Israelis encountered on the street, especially those thought to be settlers.

Furthermore, the current internal dialogue in Israel is disinclined to view ‘peace’ as either a goal or prospect. This dialogue is increasingly limited to whether it seems better for Israel at this time to proclaim a one-state solution that purports to put the conflict to an end or goes on living with the violent uncertainties of a status quo that hovers uncomfortably between the realities of ‘annexation’ and the challenges of ‘resistance.’ Choosing this latter course means hardening the apartheid features of the occupation regime established in 1967. It has long had the appearance of a quasi-permanent arrangement that is constantly being altered to accommodate further extensions of the de facto annexations taking place within the Palestinian territorial remnant that since the occupation commenced was never more than 22% of British administered Palestine. It is no secret that the unlawful Israeli settlement archipelago is constantly expanding and Jerusalem is becoming more Judaized to solidify on the ground Israel’s claim of undivided control over the entire city. Read more »

Renaissance in Europe and the Arab world

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

brexit (400 x 400)

I wrote several articles over the past 20 years suggesting for the sake of Europe’s future to develop a more independent foreign policy and end US led NATO’s adventurism whether in Libya or the Ukraine. But looking at the British poll to exit Europe, we cannot just say “we told you so”. We cannot feel happy seeing Europe collapse even though we here in Palestine suffered and continue to suffer from European colonization (yes Zionism that created Israel is European colonization).

This vote was focused mainly on fear of immigration (not economy as many expected) and this epidemic of fear of the brown people is afflicting the US and Europe and is stoked by Zionist xenophobes. It was not surprising that all of Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire peddled for Brexit (British exit). The stock markets collapsed, gold prices surged, and there is a general panic as the rich bankers who control/issue the money do not know what to do. The US Federal Reserve is panicking because interest rates are already so low and can’t be lowered so much further to “simulate the economy.” The economy is bad in Europe and the US because it is a war economy. Read more »

Why did Mahmoud Abbas turn against Hamas?

Dr Fayez Abu Shamaleh
Source Middle East Monitor

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas

On the anniversary of Palestine’s political division, all fingers are being pointed at Hamas, by those writing for the first time as well as the veterans who know the ins and outs of the issue. The common ground for everyone is spreading lies under the pretext that Hamas is staging a coup against legitimacy. What legitimacy are they talking about?

Is it legitimacy represented by Mahmoud Abbas, who is in love with his “sacred” security coordination with the Israeli intelligence agencies? Or is it the legitimacy of the Palestinian people who live under occupation represented by resistance in all its forms?

Didn’t the late President Yasser Arafat seize legitimacy within the PLO by means of the gun? So who has rebelled against whom? Why are some people twisting the irrefutable historical facts to suit their own agendas? Read more »

PA fiddles while Palestine dwindles

Vacy Vlazna
Opinion

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In April, President Abbas, true to form, buckled under international pressure to sacrifice the integrity of the land of Palestine on the altar of another bogus ‘peace’ initiative by friends of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) had been circulating to UN Security Council members a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements when the French government effortlessly convinced Abbas to cease and desist the demand to protect diminishing Palestinian land being razed for settlement expansion until after France held its Paris talkfest.

Well, the Paris shindig, attended by foreign ministers from Europe, Arab States and the US has come and gone with notable diplomatic irrelevance. It ended, heedless of the French request for urgent deadlines, with no set timetable for yet another pointless peace stunt later in the year.

Inevitably, Paris impotently administered CPR to the dead two state solution, tokenly stated that the status quo is not sustainable while maintaining the status quo, purposely minimised criticism of Israel, mouthed empty alarm at the violence on the ground, dodged the Right of Return, fantasised about a mythical peace à la Arab Peace Initiative. A further dead giveaway of the inanity of the Paris pretence was its acknowledgement of the key role of the failed quisling Quartet. Read more »

[HumanRights] Conversation?

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Hundreds of Israelis protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday after appointment of Lieberman as Minister of Defence

Hundreds of Israelis protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday after appointment of Lieberman as Minister of Defence

Life and death go on in this land where religion has increasingly political structure. Before Zionism, Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”) could potentially move into the modern era and shed anachronistic ideas of going back centuries to find governance models. Liberal trends were on the rise.

I remember a time when girls wore whatever they wanted and this caused no discussion, a time when discussions among adults and children focused on science developments, landing on the moon, whether there is life in other planets, and whether behaviors and intelligence are shaped more by nature or nurture.

Now we are in the era of Daesh/Islamic State/Jewish state etc.

Now we see even a war monger like Israeli defense minister Yaalon quit and say that Israeli politics is taken over by extremists like Lieberman. But it is not just politics, but public discourse. We need to pause and think when a bar bouncer like Lieberman can get automatic citizenship in Palestine (now renamed “Israel”) and rise to become a key minister in a racist apartheid regime, and he can get away with calling for crimes against humanity and will soon have the power to do them.

We live in an Orwellian world run by pathetic liars and criminals such as Netanyahu, Lieberman, Clinton, and Trump. Read more »

Moral Haemorrhage from the Wound of Palestine

by Vacy Vlazna
Opinion

Humanitarian law and the law of war are arguably the supreme moral artifacts of Atlantic civilization. Jewish lawyers made a disproportionate contribution to the crafting of both. The resulting legal principles were intended to deter the kinds of injuries and injustices that European Jews and other minorities had long suffered and to protect occupied populations from persecution by their occupiers. Both objectives are very relevant to contemporary Palestine. Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)

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The present-day haemorrhaging of international law, and with it, civilised values, has its source in the Israel-US (ISUS) interminable 68 year genocide of Palestine, cheered on and sanctioned by the faux-democracies of the West.

I say ‘faux-democracies,’ as elections notwithstanding and no matter which political party wins, western nations have relinquished civilised principles, international law obligations and their sovereignty over foreign affairs, defense and trade to their ISUS masters.

A case in point: the obligation of states to investigate and prosecute war crimes,

1. It is an accepted rule of customary international humanitarian law (IHL), applicable in any type of armed conflict, that “States must investigate war crimes allegedly committed by their nationals or armed forces, or on their territory, and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects. They must also investigate other war crimes over which they have jurisdiction and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects.”
2. This obligation to investigate and prosecute is derived from a number of IHL instruments, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocol I, of which Australia is a signatory.
3. The United Nations General Assembly’s 2005 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law also restates the obligation. Read more »

Bad news, good news, and actions

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Rim Al-Banna

Rim Al-Banna

There is bad news, good news, and actions

Good news: The Palestinian Ministry of Culture decided to recognize our friend Rim Al-Banna. Coming a few days after Women Workers Day, this was a very nice gesture. In other good news, the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem concluded successfully. More and more Christians are recognizing Israel for what it really is: a racist apartheid regime that is as anti-Christian as it is anti-Muslim (and even anti-Jewish).

The G4S security company will close their offices in Tel Aviv and will stop supporting Israeli torture of Palestinian prisoners including children. This is a direct response to the BDS movement.

And Bernie Sanders wins Michigan primary against AIPAC stooge Hilary Clinton (yes, the large American Arab population, Christians and Muslims voted for a Jewish guy 🙂 Read more »

Mazin Qumsiyeh: Resistance to incredible odds and repression

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

Cattle Egret - alive, but with amputated wing

Cattle Egret – alive, but with amputated wing

I am so grateful for all that is happening in resistance to the incredible odds and repression practiced by the elites in power. While some may get activism or compassion “fatigue” , there are literally millions of people deciding to leave their apathy behind and put their hands with other people to work. Our tiny little small part of the world – Palestine now an apartheid sate called a “Jewish state” – has become a major center of global activism.

This centrality can be due to many factors:

1.Religious centrality to three main religions, one of which was hijacked for political purposes locally in the past (Christianity –> Crusaderism), the other hijacked in the past 150 years and is still strongly hijacked (Judaism –>Zionism) and the other more recently and in nearby areas beginning to be hijacked (Islam –> Isis and Wahhabism).

2. Nowhere else on earth is Western government hypocrisy more evident than in Palestine. While the western leaders speak of democracy and human rights, they support an apartheid racist “Jewish state” that engaged and engages in racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing (so far 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people). Thus, this is the Achilles heel of Western propaganda. Read more »

Richard Falk: An Open Letter to Ban Ki-moon

by Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century

Richard Falk (Photo: UN)

Richard Falk (Photo: UN)

Prefatory Note: The post that follows is a modified version of an opinion piece published by Middle East Eye on 6 February 2016. Its focus on the metaphor of ‘shooting the messenger’ has usually been reserved for critics of Israel, and it is only when high officials depart from their scripted roles as faithful servants of the established order that their behavior results in demeaning rebukes. Israel and its most ardent defenders have been repeatedly guilty of shooting the messenger, thereby diverting attention from the damaging message by defaming the agent who delivered the message. It is a tactic that works, partly because the media finds character assassination more marketable than substantive commentary of a controversial nature. In my case, being frequently a messenger due to my UN role for six years, the nastier side of the attack tactics was to describe me (and others) as ‘a self-hating Jew’ or ‘anti-Semite.’ I tried to stay on message, largely ignoring the attacks, especially within the UN itself, but media coverage was preoccupied with an assessment of the personal vendetta that was difficult to ignore altogether without seemingly to acquiesce in the allegations. I should add that my tormenters extended beyond Mr. Ban Ki-moon and included others on the UN Watch mailing list including Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador at the UN, and high officials from other white settler countries, including Canada and Australia. Even the supposedly liberal Samantha Power, although previously a friendly acquaintance, joined the party, calling me biased and ill-suited for the position in statements to the press. She based her attack on the harshness of my criticisms leveled at Israel in my reports that highlighted the mismatch between their policies and practices as the Occupying Power in Palestine with the standards, duties, and principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions.

Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations:

Having read of the vicious attacks on you for venturing some moderate, incontestable criticisms of Israel’s behavior, I understand well the discomfort you clearly feel. Read more »

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