Crime Against All of Palestine: Khamis Assassinated

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khamis_01.jpgJust heard terrible news that a popular Arab-Israeli actor and ‘healthy civil society’ activist has been assassinated allegedly by Palestinian militants in Jenin on the West Bank.
Juliano Mer Khamis, director of Arna’s Children and founder of Jenin’s Freedom Theater was killed today.
This is a terrible blow to the development of high quality civil society institutions and networks inside Palestine.
Those in power in Ramallah — including those that are not formally, particularly Hamas — should demonstrate how they can apprehend these militants and show that they can manage an honest judicial process charging them with this heinous act.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

52 comments on “Crime Against All of Palestine: Khamis Assassinated

  1. Cee says:

    Found info on the new discovery
    Thorny Maritime Boundaries
    To help countries exploit offshore riches, the UN
    Convention on the Law of the Sea permits them to
    extend an “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ) 200
    nautical miles from their coasts. In cases where
    countries are separated by less than 400 nautical
    miles, they are expected to draw a boundary
    equidistant between them. For example, Israel
    signed a maritime agreement with Cyprus in
    December that included such a demarcation. Both
    the Leviathan and Tamar fields fall within
    Israel’s EEZ, as do other license areas even more
    distant from its coast.
    Yet Israel could face problems with Lebanon, where
    Hizballah factions in the government have claimed
    that the recently discovered fields stretch into
    Lebanese waters. Israel has denied the claim. To
    further complicate matters, Beirut previously
    brokered a maritime agreement with Cyprus, but the
    Lebanese parliament has yet to ratify it. The news
    of the Leviathan finding’s size has also prompted
    protests from Cairo, which warned that it would
    closely follow the drawing of the field’s
    boundaries to ensure they do not infringe on
    Egypt’s EEZ or its own previously signed maritime
    agreement with Cyprus.
    Meanwhile, Turkey has placed additional pressure
    on the Cyprus government by declaring the island’s
    maritime agreement with Israel null and void.
    Ankara objects to any such agreement being signed
    until a solution is reached regarding future
    division of the island, which was split into Greek
    Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parts in 1974.
    According to one Turkish official statement,
    “Turkish Cypriots also have rights and
    jurisdiction over the maritime areas of the island
    of Cyprus.” (Noble Energy has a license to drill
    in one of the eleven exploration blocks of
    Cyprus’s EEZ, although work has not yet begun.)
    In the Palestinian arena, another gas field was
    discovered in 2000 off the coast of Gaza. Under
    former prime minister Ariel Sharon, however,
    Israel insisted that any gas in the sea off Gaza
    had to come ashore on Israeli territory, pending a
    full peace agreement. The situation was compounded
    by the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza, and as a
    result, any prospect of the field’s development
    has been sidelined.
    Difficult Markets, Continued Exploration
    Even if Israel does in fact find itself in the
    fortuitous position of exploiting the Leviathan
    field and becoming a gas exporter, it will face
    other challenges. Given the global economic crisis
    (which has depressed gas demand) and the boom in
    U.S. shale gas production, there is a glut of gas
    worldwide. In addition, the major established
    natural gas producer in the Eastern Mediterranean
    is Egypt, which has proven reserves of 77 tcf, or
    three times Israel’s estimated reserves. According
    to the USGS, Egypt might have as much as 223 tcf
    in its Nile Delta Basin Province. Cairo is an
    established exporter as well. In 2009, it supplied
    gas to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria via the same
    pipeline that branches to Israel. And using
    specially constructed port facilities and ships,
    Egypt supplied liquefied natural gas (LNG) to
    North and South America (including the United
    States), Europe, and Asia (including China and
    Japan).
    Israel has several potential export options of its
    own, but all would pose technical and, often,
    political challenges. Greece has been mooted as a
    possible market, perhaps by undersea pipeline;
    India is another potential market; and the Russian
    giant Gazprom is currently proposing a joint
    venture. Israel’s most commercially viable option
    might be to export surplus gas as LNG, converted
    via existing facilities in Egypt.
    Israeli decisions regarding the most sensible tax
    regimes and commercial options will be all the
    more difficult because of the possibility of
    further discoveries in the area. Exploratory
    drilling continues in other zones, both adjacent
    to Leviathan and closer to shore. For example,
    Adira Energy of Canada is looking for oil deposits
    offshore while also drilling for gas in the Hula
    Valley in northern Israel, another part of the
    USGS-assessed Levant Basin Province.
    Washington needs to pay careful attention, since
    these developments offer opportunities for U.S.
    companies as well as the potential for friction
    between U.S. allies. And although the amounts of
    gas discovered so far seem unlikely to change the
    world, they could certainly change the Eastern
    Mediterranean.
    Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director
    of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The
    Washington Institute.

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  2. Cee says:

    Israel`s MAMMOTH discovery of natural gas
    Off the coast of Gaza, correct?

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  3. rc says:

    Sympathy to your parents for producing such ‘nice’ off-spring.

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  4. rc says:

    Marcus (Apr 08 2011, 12:19PM & 12:56PM) — no need to “wink and nudge”.
    Why do you reject sympathy for Jewish people and their ‘non winning’ history? I have no idea how females think either — and in general, we still get along fine. Vive la diff

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  5. marcus says:

    Further; Israel`s MAMMOTH discovery of natural gas makes her a mini energy superpower, plans are already being laid to export this gas to India…and so it goes. WINNING

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  6. marcus says:

    A future of ” humanity born and raised Chinese and Indian” sounds very good to me, seeing as both of these “ancient and mature” cultures have no tradition (ancient or contemporary) of anti-semitism.
    rc; your comment; with “little sympathy remaining for historic jewish misfortune” proves my point,which is, you have no idea how jews think,(regardless of how many of your “good” friends are jewish.wink wink,nudge,nudge.
    My point is;
    we are not looking for sympathy from the two other groups of abrahamic descent, we are looking for RESPECT and the protection of laws, from arbitrary murder by adherents/inheritors of the two prostelizing abrahamic religons. ( we are not worried about the Chinese or the Indians,never have been )
    The scenario you envision of the future is a best case one for Israel,in fact if the US elects Obama for another term,you can excpect Israel to join this trend towards China and India. It will be a huge/incalcuable loss for the West if Israel trends toward China.
    BTW; no matter what happens to Israel in the future,it will NEVER be considered a failure, at worst a heroic tragedy,at best…. the sky`s the limit… WINNING can be self-propelling you know.

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  7. Cee says:

    Jewish Pressure Resulted in Goldstone

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  8. rc says:

    9:25am
    Young man, you need to learn to discern between being Jewish and being Jerkish.
    I have no issue with the good Jews I know well. And they are not the only good people I know well. So your taunts are wasted on me I’m afraid.
    I don’t generally deal with meaningless aggregates and abstractions. Humans individuals are real. Cultures may be more or less in tune with their environments. And my criticism with Israeli behavior is not related to Jewishness — it is related to the demonstrated incapacity of the regime in power to govern fairly and equitably and justly for all the people in its orbit of power and control.
    The only thing you, and they, are ‘winning’ is almost universal condemnation with these ugly and uncivilized behaviors and views.
    And the international UN community would reflect this condemnation of Israel if the US woke up from the millennial delusion of exceptionalism it has inherited from its Judeo-Christian history.
    The Apartheid State of Israel will have its time in the Sun, and then it too will fade away into the history of failures — with no Messiah, and with little sympathy remaining for historic Jewish misfortune.
    Future irrelevance of the ‘Israeli’ issue will not come from any US/European policy.
    It will come from the future of humanity born and raised Chinese and Indian — both ancient mature civilizations and cultures that have no need for, or interest in, historical reference to Abrahamic traditions.

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  9. marcus says:

    what jew-haters can`t wrap their minds around, is that the holocaust is not jewish history, it`s german,polish,french,etc,history.
    we are not intrinsically victims, au contraire !
    That whiff you smell is WINNING.

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  10. rc says:

    So Pearlman, I guess you’re snookered seeing as he’s Jewish.
    But there are precedents the tribes can follow — e.g. a couple of dodgy Romans, a few planks and a handful of nails and he’s your martyr.
    You could even call him Brian, King of the Mews, if it was done outside a new Settlement!
    As POA suggests — there is a certain odor that comes through the 5:52PM type comment.

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  11. Carroll says:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/04/06/sudan.israel.airstrike/
    Israel does another assassination, this time by air strike in the Sudan.
    The air strike killed a taxi driver and the JP claims there was a Hamas official in the car.
    I await the day when one of their assassinations kills an American tourist somewhere which Israel and the US State Dept and congress will all declare was also a Hamas terrorist.

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  12. Kathleen says:

    Carroll yep..was just going to link that one.
    Israel jumped all over Goldstone’s partial “uturn” about the report.
    What I find even more interesting is how the US State Dept used Goldstone’s op ed to support their manipulated stance questioning the validity of the original UN Goldstone report
    Goldstone affirms our position that Israel did not commit war crimes in Gaza, U.S. says
    State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner says the U.S. Administration read Judge Richard Goldstone’s op-ed ‘with great interest’, expressing concern over the ‘anti-Israeli

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  13. Carroll says:

    Goldstone recants his recant. Says he didn’t recant ..”and asserted that claims to the contrary by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai were false.”
    Goldstone to AP:

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  14. Kathleen says:

    RC “The other three jurists remain silent”
    Not true
    Mondoweiss
    Desmond Travers:

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  15. rc says:

    A million Russians move to Israel in the 1990s
    April 6, 2011
    On Reporting from Palestine and Israel
    Interview with journalist, Lia Tarachansky about how she went from growing up in an Israeli settlement to reporting on the Middle East for The Real News
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6512

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  16. rc says:

    So the self-confessed Zionist judge from the former Apartheid South Africa makes a small change in his views on one point about whether the IDF ‘deliberately’ targeted civilians (based on an IDF internal investigation) and is hailed as a hero in Israeli political circles.
    The other three jurists remain silent.
    450 pages of uncomfortable testament to the extreme lack of exceptionalism in the thuggery what was, and is, Israel/Palestine.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/201144185658205605.html
    …On the other side, Sami Abu Zahri, a spokesman for Hamas, said Goldstone’s change of heart “does not change the fact that war crimes were committed” during Israel’s nearly month-long war in Gaza.
    Much of this reaction from politicians – perhaps not surprisingly – ignores the substance of both the Goldstone Report (officially, the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict) and Goldstone’s reappraisal. The latter certainly raises questions about the accuracy of parts of the report.
    But it does not go nearly as far as columnist Aluf Benn, writing in Ha’aretz, who said Goldstone “retracted his allegations that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Operation Cast Lead.” Human rights groups call that an overly generous reading of Goldstone’s essay, and say that many of the report’s central allegations still stand.
    No investigations of policy
    The crux of Goldstone’s op-ed is that Israel did not intentionally target civilians during the Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead.
    “While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognised in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy,” he wrote.
    That finding would certainly call into question one of the report’s central conclusions. The report has a long section on the intentional targeting of civilians, which includes among other things the attack on the Samouni family home which left 29 people dead. In all but one of the cases Goldstone reviewed, “the mission found… that the Israeli armed forces had carried out direct intentional attacks against civilians.”
    But intentional targeting was not the only war crime alleged in the Goldstone Report’s more than 450 pages.
    The report, for example, accuses the Israeli military of being “systematically reckless” in its use of white phosphorus shells. The shells themselves are not illegal under international law, but the report faults Israel for “violation of the customary law prohibition against attacks which may be expected to cause excessive damage to civilians and civilian objects.”
    The question, in other words, is not just whether Israel intentionally targeted civilians, but whether it caused civilian casualties by using a disproportionate level of force – a crime under international law.
    Nor does the entire report deal with the killing of civilians. One section asked why Israel blew up government buildings belonging to Hamas, noting that there was “no indication” they were legitimate military targets.
    “What the army has done are individual cases, in some cases looking at high-level operational decisions,” said Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for B’Tselem. “But there have been no high-level investigations of matters of policy… who chose government offices in Gaza as legitimate targets, and on the basis of what, for example? That was not investigated.”
    It’s also important to note that Goldstone does not speak for the entire fact-finding mission. The report was penned by a panel of four jurists; Goldstone has become the team’s public face, but none of his co-authors co-signed his op-ed.

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  17. Carroll says:

    Revisiting Egypt’s revolution.
    Daniel Levy had some good comments re Israel.
    After Mubarak — What Does Israel Do?
    After almost thirty years President Hosni Mubarak is gone. For the people of Egypt and especially those with the courage to have taken to the streets it is no doubt a day that is impossible to put into words. For the rest of us, a day of awe, celebration and inspiration.
    Some however have probably not summoned up too broad a smile today — the other non-democratic regimes of the Middle East for instance. Interestingly, Israel too belongs on that list of the “not-exactly-thrilled”.
    Israel has long made much of its claim to being the only democracy in the Middle East, it now seems that the claim was more an aspiration rather than a lamentation. Israel has been clinging dearly to the Mubarak regime, and encouraging others (notably the U.S.) to do likewise.
    Despite claims to the contrary, Mubarak’s Egypt was far from being a regional linchpin for security and stability, for moderate governance, or even for economic success. The country’s harsh security regime produced terrorists and a rallying cry for extremists. Its authoritarianism made a mockery of the tag “moderate,” and its economy is today a quarter the size of Turkey’s (though both countries have populations of similar size). In fact America’s previous role as a guarantor of the Mubarak regime should be considered counterproductive to American interests, certainly once the Cold War was over.
    But Mubarak’s Egypt was a linchpin for something else — namely Israel’s ability to pursue a hard-line regional policy with near impunity. When Benjamin Netanyahu (or his predecessors) needed to revive his ‘man of peace’ credentials he could always pop over to Sharm el-Sheikh for a hug-in with his friend Hosni, and when Israel needed the Arab world to turn a blind eye to entrenched occupation and settlements or harsh military adventurism then it would be Hosni running cover and diluting any Arab response. For years that strategy paid off for the now-deposed Egyptian leader — it made Mubarak relevant, even indispensable for successive U.S. governments desperately trying to balance their indulgence for outlandish Israeli behavior with a desire to retain some semblance of credibility in the Arab world. The latter of course never happened, but the America was too busy listening to the unelected leaders rather than to their publics.
    Trying to keep this equation in play is what brings many Israeli officials (and others in the region, the U.S. and beyond) to now push for continued military, as opposed to civilian control.
    As of today, the new equation is simple and it is this — those governing Egypt will henceforth have to be more responsive to the public will.
    Israel’s real concerns lie elsewhere.
    There were a set of regional policies pursued by the Mubarak regime which lacked popular legitimacy. These included the closure imposed on Gaza, support for the Iraq war and for heightened bellicosity toward Iran, and playing ceremonial chaperone to an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that became farcical and discredited. Arguably these policies were also misguided for Israel. For an Egypt reflecting the popular will they make absolutely no sense and are therefore likely to be discontinued.
    Yes, the January 25 democracy protests were about economic conditions, domestic governance issues and freedom, but a part of the democracy deficit in Egypt was also a dignity deficit, and these Israeli designed policies for the region appeared undignified and anti-Arab to the Egyptian public.
    When Egypt first made peace with Israel it was criticized at home and in the region for going it alone, for abandoning the Palestinian and broader Arab cause. Had the Israeli-Egyptian peace been followed by a regional peace then this narrative would likely have disappeared, but in the absence of comprehensive peace it was a critique that seemed to be vindicated.
    To the 1978 Camp David Accords was attached an annex entitled “A Framework for Peace in the Middle East,” which included a commitment to Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories and to negotiating final status within five years. That of course never happened. What did happen is that the 10,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank when that accord was signed have become over 300,000 today.
    Indeed, whether by design or not, the peace treaty with Egypt ushered in the era of the Israeli “free hand” in the region. Even though it has not delivered real security for Israel and has encouraged an Israeli hubris that can be both dangerous and self-destructive, that era of hegemony is something that Israelis are instinctively uncomfortable about losing.
    A popular Israeli refrain is that the peace with Egypt has neutralized any serious Arab military option vis-a-vis Israel. That the same cannot be said in reverse understandably irks the Arab street. Since signing the accord with Egypt, Israel has conducted several large-scale military campaigns against Lebanon and against the Palestinians, launched bombing raids against Syria and Iraq, and conducted high-profile assassinations in Jordan and the UAE — and that is only a partial list.
    This deep regional disequilibrium, one that became more rooted under Mubarak’s Egypt, is, understandably, both unpopular and unacceptable to a majority of Arab public opinion.
    continued at…
    http://www.prospectsforpeace.com

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  18. sanitychecker says:

    @Dakota
    >>

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  19. Don Bacon says:

    El Baradei not only urged Israel to sign the NPT, in 2003 he urged Israel – a member of the IAEA – to surrender its alleged nuclear weapons.

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  20. DakotabornKansan says:

    Do the arts matter here at home? Republican budget cuts and the arts

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  21. DakotabornKansan says:

    Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, on Juliano Mer-Khamis, the founder of the Jenin Freedom Theatre for Palestinian children

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  22. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 04 2011, 7:55PM – Link
    “But lately, the tone and content of his essays and opinions on this issue have pretty much ignored Israel’s negative behaviours, and have practically exonerated the Israelis through gaping holes in his narrative.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That does seem the case lately. I don’t think there is any doubt that some sort campaign was
    being waged on TWN to get Steve to curtail mention of any negative Israeli post.
    First there was nadine and wig wag, then a “mentor” who cautioned him and then
    another ‘close associate’ who semi threatened him by saying look at who you are associating with and etc., then Rubin at the WP.
    Yep, a number was done on him and TWN.
    I think it has had an effect because there have some really outrageous acts by the IDF and settlers against Palestinians during this time period and not a mention of those.
    My husband had to put me in time out like we use to do the children the day I read about the settlers killing a Palestine boy’s pony right in front of him by breaking his neck.
    I am finding it odd that all of a sudden after the Egyptian revolt and a prior period of relative calm these violent acts taking place; the bus bombing, the settlement murders, the recent assassination, are being attributed to Palestine militants. It doesn’t seem to me that with the current happenings around them they would have seen now as as good timing for any violent outbreaks or statements. Of course it could be just some violent individuals but I don’t see the organized Palestine resistance groups as being stupid enough to commit acts like this when the revolution wave sweeping the ME is clearly to their advantage if they play it right.

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  23. Kathleen says:

    Cee El Baradei is a real threat to US Israeli interest in that region. He tells the truth. Our MSM (Andrea Mitchell, Richard Engel others started undermining El Baradei the minute he started getting attention again during the Egyptian uprising and overthrow of Mubarak.
    El Baradei called the Bush administration (Ledeen and team) out on the forged Niger Documents in early March of 2003, Yet have you noticed not one person or persons have been held for all of that false WMD intelligence.
    El Baradei has called Israel out on the illegal settlements and pushed them to sign the IAEA Non Proliferation Treaty which we all know Israel continues to refuse to sign.
    And now the US state Dept comes out and accepts Goldstones roll over.
    Great discussions over at Mondoweiss on this issue
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/u-s-state-dept-concludes-goldstone-found-no-evidence-of-israeli-war-crimes.html

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  24. Cee says:

    Goldstone wins a free trip!!
    Goldstone to visit Israel in July
    Accepting Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s invitation, South African judge says he would be honored to visit because he loves Israel, Jewish people
    Nahum Barnea
    Published: 04.05.11, 14:23 / Israel News
    South African Judge Richard Goldstone intends to visit Israel in July, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. Goldstone said he would tour the southern city of Sderot and towns in the Gaza vicinity.
    The announcement came after Interior Minister Eli Yishai invited Goldstone to visit Israel in a Monday evening telephone conversation. Goldstone recently retracted his findings on the Israel Defense Force’s actions during Operation Cast Lead.
    Yishai stressed that a visit to the Holy Land would show Goldstone the extent of the suffering that the Israeli public has been subjected to due to Hamas terrorist attacks. The judge’s visit, Yishai said, would bear significance in light of the findings published as part of the controversial Goldstone Report.
    Goldstone said that he would be honored to visit, noting that he loves both Israel and the Jewish people.

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  25. Cee says:

    And their next target!!
    ElBaradei: We’ll fight back if Israel attacks Gaza
    In interview with Arab newspaper, former IAEA chief says if elected as Egypt’s next president he will open Rafah crossing in case of an Israeli attack
    Ynet
    Published: 04.04.11, 14:15 / Israel News
    Former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who had previously announced his intetions to run for the presidency of Egypt, said Monday that

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  26. Cee says:

    Goldstone was a target too
    Just weeks ago, Israeli military intelligence announced it had created a special unit to monitor, confront, and possibly hunt down, individuals and bodies suspected of “delegitimizing” Israel abroad. In light of this, perhaps quite a few of the faint-hearted felt standing up to Israel was not worth it.
    We should have recognized that Goldstone was one of them when he stated that, despite his report, he remains a Zionist.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/pappe-says-zionism-and-goldstone-report-are-incompatible-beliefs.html#more-40187

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  27. Cee says:

    Khamis was the first target.
    Israel resumes extrajudicial assassinations
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/haaretz-ad-recommends-return-ing-palestinians-to-jordan.html
    From Antiwar.com
    Obama Aide: US

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  28. roger says:

    Yes Steve, lets tell the Palestinians what to do, after all we tell them who they have to vote for if they aren’t to be starved and bombed – with our bombs and F-15s.
    You daft twat!

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  29. rc says:

    re: Goldstone (cee, Apr 04 2011, 7:40PM )
    Thanks, and some pictures from the archive as a reminder.
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/gaza-reliving-the-chanukah-massacre-2/
    Yes, like the US military

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  30. JohnH says:

    Obama’s new campaign slogan: “Change You Can Believe In…Someday.” But don’t hold your breath waiting.

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  31. Cee says:

    He now says that he has concluded that the Israeli Defense Forces did not intentionally target civilians during attacks in which 1,400 Palestinians died, of whom half were civilians and 400 were children.
    Really?
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/52265609/20/HOMES-DESTROYED-WITHOUT-JUSTIFICATION
    I wonder how slowly they threatened to kill Goldstone and this family.

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  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…and that he (rightly) regards the actions and positions of the Israelis as a much larger problem than those of the Palestinians”
    I strongly disagree, although a year or two back I would have agreed with you.
    But lately, the tone and content of his essays and opinions on this issue have pretty much ignored Israel’s negative behaviours, and have practically exonerated the Israelis through gaping holes in his narrative.
    “My point is simple: if he followed the implicit advise to adept a pattern of always criticizing Israel, never the Palestinians, his criticism of Israel would easily be dismissed as bias”
    I am unaware that any such “implicit advice” has been presented to him. Do you have examples we can discuss?
    “All in all, I actually think Steve Clemons (whose expressive options are more limited than ours, but with a potentially much larger impact) is an American friend of the Palestinians”
    I cannot agree in the context of this discussion. Indicting and convicting the Palestinians of “heinous acts”, sans evidence or substantiation for the accusation, is hardly a “friendly” gesture extended towards the Palestinians. It is of no small importance this is the second such unsubstantiated accusation the Steve has leveled in as many months. At this rate, even you will soon no longer be able to argue in defense of Steve’s alleged “fairness”.

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  33. rc says:

    MJ Rosenberg’s “Goldstone’s Gaza” brings it into perspective — the whole debacle was a cynical political stunt. How do these people sleep at night?
    “Richard Goldstone’s second thoughts only matter to those who have consistently defended an indefensible war.” (MJ Rosenberg, 4 Apr 2011)
    –quote–
    Defenders of Israel’s Gaza onslaught of 2008-9 can barely contain their joy. In a Washington Post op-ed on Friday, Judge Richard Goldstone offered some second thoughts about it that softened his earlier criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza as “war crimes”.
    In fact, Goldstone altered only one of his original findings. He now says that he has concluded that the Israeli Defense Forces did not intentionally target civilians during attacks in which 1,400 Palestinians died, of whom half were civilians and 400 were children. Rather they were collateral damage, not the intended targets but people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    And this “exoneration” of Israel’s behaviour has Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and their defenders in Israel and the United States crazily dancing in the end zone. You see, they shout, Goldstone lied all along. We didn’t kill all these people on purpose. Hooray for us.
    These celebrations tell us infinitely more about the Israeli government and its cutouts here than Goldstone’s column does about what happened in Gaza. . . .
    Defenders of Israel’s Gaza onslaught of 2008-9 can barely contain their joy. In a Washington Post op-ed on Friday, Judge Richard Goldstone offered some second thoughts about it that softened his earlier criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza as “war crimes”.
    In fact, Goldstone altered only one of his original findings. He now says that he has concluded that the Israeli Defense Forces did not intentionally target civilians during attacks in which 1,400 Palestinians died, of whom half were civilians and 400 were children. Rather they were collateral damage, not the intended targets but people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    And this “exoneration” of Israel’s behaviour has Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and their defenders in Israel and the United States crazily dancing in the end zone. You see, they shout, Goldstone lied all along. We didn’t kill all these people on purpose. Hooray for us.
    These celebrations tell us infinitely more about the Israeli government and its cutouts here than Goldstone’s column does about what happened in Gaza. . . .
    Additionally the whole war was unnecessary. A cease-fire between Hamas and Israel had been in effect for the six months leading up to Israel’s decision to invade. Why did it end?
    This comes from US News, a newsweekly owned by Mortimer Zuckerman, one of the Israeli government’s leading defenders in the United States. (He is the former president of the Conference of Presidents Of Major Jewish Organizations.)
    “Why now? Two reasons: the expiration of the Israeli-Gazan cease-fire on December 19 and the Israeli national election coming up on February 10. The six-month cease-fire started coming apart at the beginning of November after Israeli commandos killed a team of Hamas fighters during a raid on a tunnel they suspected was being dug for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. That raid set off more Palestinian rocketing which prompted further Israeli attacks. All this prompted Hamas to declare that it wouldn’t extend the cease-fire unless Israel lifted it’s punishing siege of the Gaza Strip, which was imposed after the militant group Hamas was elected to power nearly three years ago.”
    US News has it exactly right. The ceasefire ended because Israel decided to end it. And then when the rockets started falling, Israel had the pretext it wanted to attack. None of this is surprising, Israeli leaders have never been shy about saying that their goal is not merely ending mortar attacks from Gaza but eliminating the Hamas government (elected, incidentally, in a democratic election forced on the Palestinians by the United States).
    The bottom line is that Goldstone’s edit doesn’t matter except to those who defended and still defend this indefensible war. The damage done to Israel’s reputation is indelible. But that is insignificant when compared to the life-long damage inflicted on all those who lost loved ones in the monstrous Gaza war.
    –end quote–
    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/20114417579339638.html

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  34. sfrefugee says:

    Tyrants and terrorists must eliminate all effective support for civil progress in order to make themselves the only viable alternative to an untenable status quo.
    Mr. Khamis’ assassination is a loss for everyone who works for peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.

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  35. Paul Norheim says:

    “And you do not consider ommission an indicator of bias?”
    Just like you, POA, I have noticed Steve’s significant omissions during these last years. But in the overall picture,
    there is no doubt that he is much less biased (we’re all “biased”) than the US mainstream media, and that he
    (rightly) regards the actions and positions of the Israelis as a much larger problem than those of the Palestinians.
    My point is simple: if he followed the implicit advise to adept a pattern of always criticizing Israel, never the
    Palestinians, his criticism of Israel would easily be dismissed as bias.
    You may also look at it this way: I’m sure you’re familiar with the Israeli claim that those who regard themselves
    as friends of Israel should NEVER criticize Israeli actions, but always defend them. And you’re also familiar with
    the counter argument: True friends of Israel SHOULD criticize Israelis when their actions are wrong or when
    they’re heading in a dangerous direction. Taking J-Street as an example, I guess you agree that the latter
    argument is more valid than the former?
    All in all, I actually think Steve Clemons (whose expressive options are more limited than ours, but with a
    potentially much larger impact) is an American friend of the Palestinians; and a true friend of the Palestinians
    does not always defend or excuse the actions or positions of it’s friend. Unless he forgets the larger picture, or
    offers a disproportionate criticism of the Palestinians, I think his criticism might do more good than harm.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hardly suicidal, Paul. Spitting in our faces has become a lucrative Israeli pastime. We actually PAY them to do it.

    Reply

  37. DakotabornKansan says:

    On bias

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Speaking of a “suicidal path” (POA), here’s another fresh example from the NYT:
    “JERUSALEM

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Useless to argue with Jewish zionist and Israelis”
    Well, Carroll, I don’t think Steve is a “Jewish Zionist”.
    And as for this “Nadine Too” Agent Provocateur, who the heck knows what thats all about? You don’t have to be a devout zionist to read from a list of talking points and propaganda.
    And as far as “Israelis” go, there are many that we don’t NEED to argue with, because they recognize the suicidal path that Israel is embarged upon. Jdledell comes to mind, although I haven’t seen him post here since he offered us a glimpse into a possible alternative story about the Fogel family tragedy. Interesting that as far as I could ascertain with extensive internet searches, his account preceded all media mentions of the Thai angle. He even beat the Palestinian media to the punch. That certainly would seem to lend credibility to his nephew’s alleged assertions.
    Peace Now is hardly an organization requiring “argument” as well. There ARE Israelis out there that are reasonably sane and humane, Carroll. Trouble is, its hard to find a forum willing to give them a voice.
    I betcha ‘ol Goldstone is having some doors opening now, though. Lucky him. It amazing what money and indimidation can accomplish, isn’t it? Why, any minute now we all can forget those photos of incinerated infant corpses…..
    It never happened. Jews are the victims. Always the Jews.
    “His criticism of the Palestinians (who sometimes certainly deserve criticism) lends credibility and weight to his frequent and substantial criticism of Israel”
    ROFLMAO!!!! Yeah right, Paul. Perhaps you will provide some recent examples that do not telegraph a bias. And you do not consider ommission an indicator of bias? How is it a “foreign policy wonk” manages to avoid comment on the recent UN veto? The attack on the Freedom Flotilla where an American citizen was executed? The recent expanded and accelerated rate of settlement activity? The failure to follow up his Fogel essay with the alternative possibilities provided by the allegations of a Thai’s grudge against the Fogels?
    You correctly state that the Palestinians “sometimes deserve criticism”.
    Does that “deserved criticism” include presupposed guilt based solely on accusation lodged without evidence or substantiation?
    Apparently so, in your eagerness to defend our host. Show me the evidence that justifies the tone of certainty behind Steve’s account of this murder, Paul.
    And while you are at it, show me where Steve has EVER demanded the same attention to “an honest judicial process ” from the Israeli courts that he demands here from “those in power in Ramallah”.
    As I state above, I have tremendous respect for Steve on many fronts. But on this issue I honestly feel he has progressively sidled over to offering us a prejudiced narrative. Perhaps this is occurring as a necessary side effect of his calling, rather than an ideological conviction. But nonetheless, pieces such as he offered above hardly seem to dispel the notion of prejudicial intent. His Fogel piece was equally as disingenuous in its solid application of guilt based entirely on accusation. Yes, he tempered it with criticism of Netanyahu’s use of the murders to justify further expansion. But this expansion would have occurred even WITHOUT the excuse of the Fogel murders. So why did Steve need the Fogel murders to criticise the expansion? Not a single day goes by hardly where settlement expansion is not announced, rationalized, excused, or proposed. Where are his criticisms of the day to day crimes and abuses committed by Israel? Where are his lamentations about the all too frequent murders, asassinations, and attrocities committed by the IDF and the radical settlers that are RARELY subjected to “honest judicial processes” by the Israeli courts?
    “But to ask a people who are treated worse than rabid dogs to act in a civilized manner is an act of stupidity and significantly irrational thinking”
    That begs the question: What is the Israeli’s excuse for THEIR behaviour?

    Reply

  40. Warren Metzler says:

    This post is timely for me, because I just watched Miral on Saturday evening. I don’t recommend it, because Julian Schnabel is a significantly incompetent filmmaker, but as I watched it, one thought struck me in a very strong way. It is totally irrational for the Israeli people and government to not recognize that they control the lives of the people in Gaza and the West Bank. And, as Powell told Bush senior, “if you break it, you own it”.
    So it is irrelevant whether Palestinians have a state or don’t have a state. Until they do have a state; without any limitations, such as Israel figuring out how to continue to steal the Palestinians water; the Israeli government has a moral, now obvious to all reasonable people as minimally required, and international law based, plus just common sense based, obligation; if they actually want to be civilized and be a democracy; to give the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza the same rights as they give Jewish citizens of Israel.
    Until they give the Palestinians a state of their own, they have this obligation. Unless, of course, they are willing to admit they are actually (in the real contexts they follow, not the for public consumption context delusions they masterfully offer) barbarians who repeatedly screw everyone who is not a bona fide member of the tribe.
    I suggest that everyone go to the link Kathleen provided, but before you read Pappe, do a search for and read Goldstone’s actual op ed in the Washington Post, and you’ll see the level of delusion and self-embarassment Jews are willing to put themselves through to remain a card carrying member of the tribe.
    It is an act of extreme duplicity for Israelis to put the Palestinians through the repeated killing, maiming, incredibly oppressive living conditions they do, and then claim that Israel is civilized or a real democracy. A real democracy, a truly civilized people, provides equal rights to all the residents within its borders, especially those who have a legal right to be there.
    It may very well be certain Palestinian persons who killed Khamis. Because the evidence is overwhelming that most Hamas and PLO personnel do many mean, violent, and irrational deeds to each other. But to ask a people who are treated worse than rabid dogs to act in a civilized manner is an act of stupidity and significantly irrational thinking.

    Reply

  41. Paul Norheim says:

    Kudos to Steve for being less predictable than his many critics! The knee jerk reflexes against Steve’s post are poor
    substitutes for reflections. If Steve criticized and blamed Israel in every single post he wrote, he would invite criticism
    of being biased against Israel – and rightly so. His criticism of the Palestinians (who sometimes certainly deserve
    criticism) lends credibility and weight to his frequent and substantial criticism of Israel.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    POA..
    Useless to argue with Jewish zionist and Israelis.
    As I have said repeatedly, and the following article by the Rabbi for the Zionist Org of America shows…this is the root of their problem and Israel’s …it is within themselves.
    There is no cure for this inbred and ingrained mentality.
    The Jewish Forward
    April 19, 2002
    We’re Right,
    the Whole World’s Wrong
    By DOV FISCHER
    “The whole world is demanding that Israel withdraw. I don’t think the whole world, including the friends of the Israeli people and government, can be wrong.”

    Reply

  43. DonS says:

    Steve, and ‘nadine too’ really did nothing but repeat the Haaretz story, although perhaps Steve attributed immediate credibility to it. As we know, Steve walks a fairly thin tightrope.
    We know that many, if not most, of the polticos, Senators and Reps, either wont or don’t ‘know their ass from a hole in the ground’ when it come to I/P (to liberally paraphrase Randy Newman, and many others). They await the latest AIPAC news release to inform their thinking.
    So while we all deplore ignorance and brutality wherever and whenever it occurs, not all of it gets the attention this killing does. Why Steve highlights it, and the audiences it resonates with, and how, I can’t even guess. Would that the message of inclusiveness that Khamis apparently championed received as much attention as the notoriety of his killing . . . ah, but then the world might be a different place.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Dividing the PA and Hamas is a tried and true Israeli tactic. The only “fact” we can draw from this murder is that the Israelis will seek to capitalize on it to further divide the two factions, whether they performed the murder or not. Framing this murder to fit a narrative demonizing Hamas is a tactic that would be used no matter what the “facts” are.
    Seeing someone weigh in using a monicker like “Nadine Too” only underscores how these kinds of events are twisted to the benefit of the Israeli agenda.
    Also, note the inciteful intent behind using a screen name like “Nadine Too”. What reason, other than to purposely inflame???

    Reply

  45. Nadine Too says:

    This is not the first time that Khamis and his theater have been threatened. In fact, the theater has been firebombed foir times in the past few years and it has been surrounded more than once by angry Islamists screaming that what went on in the theater was un-islamic.
    The religious extremists hated Khamis for several reasons. The most serious allegation against him was that he allowed Muslim boys and girls to participate together in the same plays and theater classes. The extremists were also infuriated that Khamis put on a rendition of “Animal Farm.” Animal Farm is offensive to some Muslims because the main character is a talking pig. Muslims don’t like pigs.
    The assassination of Khamis is perfectly in keeping with what’s going on in the pathological Islamic world.
    It’s very sad.

    Reply

  46. Kathleen says:

    It is telling that they have all ready stated that the “masked” killers were Palestinians.
    this is tragic
    Great piece by Ilan Pappe in response to Goldstone’s “uturn”
    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11895.shtml
    “That this mea culpa has nothing to do with new facts is clear when one examines the “evidence” brought by Goldstone to explain his retraction. To be honest, one should say that one did not have to be the world expert on international law to know that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza in 2009. The reports of bodies such as Breaking the Silence and the UN representatives on the ground attested to it, before and after the Goldstone report. It was also not the only evidence.
    The pictures and images we saw on our screens and those we saw on the ground told only one story of a criminal policy intending to kill, wound and maim as a collective punishment. “The Palestinians are going to bring upon themselves a Holocaust,” promised Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy minister of defense to the people of Gaza on 29 February 2008.
    There is only one new piece of evidence Goldstone brings and this is an internal Israeli army investigation that explains that one of the cases suspected as a war crime was due to a mistake by the Israeli army that is still being investigated. This must be a winning card: a claim by the Israeli army that massive killings by Palestinians were a “mistake.”
    Ever since the creation of the State of Israel, the tens of thousands of Palestinians killed by Israel were either terrorists or killed by “mistake.” So 29 out of 1,400 deaths were killed by an unfortunate mistake? Only ideological commitment could base a revision of the report on an internal inquiry of the Israeli army focusing only on one of dozens of instances of unlawful killing and massacring. So it cannot be new evidence that caused Goldstone to write this article. Rather, it is his wish to return to the Zionist comfort zone that propelled this bizarre and faulty article.”

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “How do you know it was Palestine militants who shot him?”
    “Know”???? What does “knowing” have to do with it??
    Carroll, its not about the facts, its about the message, the storyline, the propaganda value.
    Guilty as charged, because the alleged guilt advances the agenda.
    Just like the Fogel story, only one hypothesis about this crime will be aired here and by our media. No doubt, Steve’s representation of the “facts” will be mirrored on the AIPAC website, just as the Fogel story was.
    The narrative controls public perception. Its all about opportunity. The opportunity exists to change the narrative, with strong exclamation points occuring almost daily. Just imagine how Emily Henochowitz could have been used to direct attention to the abuses of the IDF. But you won’t see that happen anytime soon.
    Haven’t you noticed Steve’s gradual descent into the accepted level of bias these last few years? I still have great respect for Steve, but he has chosen a career path that demands certain loyalties, scripted observations, and carefully considered taboos that one dare not violate.
    It was “Palestinian militants” that committed this crime because the narrative demands that it must be so. If the facts reveal otherwise, than we will not be made privy to those facts. End of story.

    Reply

  48. Carl Grice says:

    At present we or you have no idea who the perpertrators of this crime were yet you seem to have attributed the blame to a Palestinian faction.
    With the amount of violence being meted out by extremist Jewish settlers lately I will reserve my judgement as should you.
    I await your next article demanding that the Israeli government “demonstrate how they can apprehend these militants and show that they can manage an honest judicial process charging them with this heinous act” the next time a settler violently attacks Palestinian persons or property which is happening on an almost daily basis.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    How do you know it was Palestine militants who shot him?
    One report says the Palestine police attributed it to Palestine militants but all other reports simply say “masked gunmen”.
    Like the Fogel settlement murders that could have been by a Thai worker according to Haaretz, but which was immediately blamed on a Palestine..this could be another case of “unknown”.
    Nothing is ever what it seems when Israel is involved. It could have been Palestine militants but from his bio and his work I see more reasons for some Israelis to have killed him than the Palestinians.
    Background
    Mer-Khamis is the son of Arna Mer, a Jewish activist for the rights of Palestinians and Saliba Khamis, a Christian Arab citizen of Israel and one of the leaders of the Israeli Communist Party in the 1950s.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Those in power in Ramallah — including those that are not formally, particularly Hamas —
    should demonstrate how they can apprehend these militants and show that they can manage an honest judicial process charging them with this heinous act”
    Good idea. Perhaps they can use the Israeli justice system as a model, eh Steve? We all know how good the Israelis are at prosecuting Jewish Israelis for committing “heinous acts” against Palestinians.
    This lopsided attention paid to Palestinian acts of violence, while ignoring the violent acts of the IDF and the settlers, is getting old. BOTH dynamics need to be lamented and criticized, or the use of sensational rhetoric, such as describing events as “heinous acts”, just becomes an obvious effort at propagandizing the behaviour of one side or the other in order to push a political agenda.
    These “heinous acts” do not occur in a vacuum, and there is no small degree of incitement involved by all parties. By drawing attention to only one tragic side of the issue, you are discrediting your own motives and credibility.

    Reply

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