Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 16, 2009


Saul Landau, Information Clearinghouse -Most Jews I know get little pleasure from the existence of Israel; just the opposite. They feel disgusted by the behavior of their tribal kin toward Palestinians. This antipathy doesn't concern Israel's right to exist, a phony argument still maintained by hard line Zionists. Israel exists, period. Most of the world recognizes that. Anyone wanting to eliminate it belongs in the loony bin or prison.

Israelis have just elected a right wing majority. The number three vote-getting party, Yisrael Beytenu led by Avigdor Lieberman, will occupy a strong place in the new government. Lieberman will become a Minister in the Netanyahu Cabinet. Last year, Lieberman rammed through Israel's Central Election Committee a ban on Arab political parties. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional before the recent election. Lieberman also demanded the Knesset expel Arab Members. He went further. If Arab citizens of Israel don't sign oaths of loyalty to Israel, they should have their citizenship revoked. Disloyalty for Arabs included students wearing kefiyahs to school; Muslim Israelis collecting medicine and aid for Gaza relief also falls into the non-trustworthy category. . .

My grandfather taught me, growing up during the Holocaust, that Jewish tradition teaches each person to strive to become a pillar of ethics, learn the law and behave so as to answer to God for transgressions – not to rulers of a so-called Jewish state. . .

One fifth of Israel's population is non-Jewish. I don't belong to that state and despise its policies of constant war and occupation.

Count Israel's wars: 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, plus civil wars against two Intifadas in the 1980s and 2000, and finally the invasions of Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in late 2008, the latter leaving in its wake 1,300 plus dead Palestinians, most of them civilians and less than 20 Israelis, some from "friendly fire."

Condemned by the Red Cross, Amnesty International and a host of organizations for violating human rights of Gaza's people, Israel's new government will almost certainly continue or even harden the policies. They don't care what others say. . .

When less powerful Jewish American scholars write books or give lectures attacking Israeli policy, they get fired or their tenure withheld. Norman Finkelstein (son of Holocaust survivors) was denied tenure in 2007 by the President of DePaul University, despite favorable recommendations by faculty and students. In 2000, he published The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. The President of Bard College recently dismissed Joel Kovel, another internationally applauded scholar. Kovel's 2007 book, Overcoming Zionism, triggered the action. . .

"Long Live Israel," scream the US fans. "Anyone who doesn't like our team is an anti-Semite."

I want to shout: "Go Back to Israel where you didn't come from."

Saul Landau is an IPS Fellow, author of A Bush And Botox World and director of forty films, available on dvd from roundworldproductions.com


Anonymous m said...

Israel gives humanity a bad name.

March 16, 2009 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

I would disagree that people who think Israel shouldn't exist belong in prison (psychiatric or secular).

That Israel exists is a crime against peace. The Palestinian people were openly stripped of their rights, though they had never done anything to merit such treatment.

March 16, 2009 7:49 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Israel is a western-style democracy being pressured to make peace with a neighbor that has attacked it over and over and over.
Furthermore, people forget that the entire reason that the Palestinian people are displaced is that the entire Arab world declared war on Israel long before it was a nation.
How would we react if a large aboriginal group started launching frequent attacks? Would we react by peacefully letting them form their own nation where they would be free to continue to launch attacks?
It would go a long way if people stopped seeing Israelis as so different from themselves. Regardless of their religion, Israel is a nation of modern Western-style life, and until people (like the other commenters here) see them as such, it will continue to be an ignorance dump for the masses.

March 16, 2009 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saul Landau,
You reminds me of Nazi propaganda.

I was wondering if you guys were still around. I was beginning to think you were extinct. Guess not. What a shame.

March 16, 2009 10:56 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

I stand four-square behind Israel, our true friends in a region where Anti-Americanism is the real danger. In the light that reveals the Arab lunacy gripping the Middle East today, Israel has proved to be a sane, democratic island surrounded by an ocean of hate and self-destructive mayhem. Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest are not credible entities for the world to support. Israel is - and the world media need to abstain from bashing them for protecting their existence.

March 16, 2009 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is a totalitarian ideology, not a religion. We know all we need to know about Islam: it is a vicious, narrow-minded, murderous, intolerant and an undemocratic cult – opposite of anything the west stands for.

March 16, 2009 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Yehuda said...

You are not posting correct information.
Every Israeli citizen can vote.
Last election ONE arab party was banned from running after being charged with incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. Arab lawmakers have traveled to countries listed among Israel's staunchest enemies, including Lebanon and Syria.

Did not Britain ban Sinn Fein?
Did not France ban the retain-Algeria right-wing party?

March 16, 2009 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Palestinians realize that the only way to protest their situation is through nonviolence (i.e., Ghandi and MLK), then their situation will improve.
So long as these idiots choose to continue lobbing rockets daily at a civilian population, they can expect to be invaded and bombed from time to time.
If Mexico allowed the lobbing of thousands of rockets at US cities every year, you can be damn sure there would be overwheming support for retaliation. And, just like with the most recent Israeli response, that retaliation would be justified.

March 16, 2009 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saul Landau is opposed to the western philosophies of government, except for Marxism which was developed by Karl Marx in his flat in London.Landau is a student of victimology. Whomever he classifies as a victim is more authentic, has better ideas, and produces better literature, than those he classifies as oppressors.

March 16, 2009 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all the screaming Zionists (and Christian Zionists) who came to denounce Saul Landau and the Palestinians...James, we once had a "large aboriginal group" who would fight us as we moved West; they were called "American Indians" and they did what they could to drive the "white man" off their land, but it was too little, too late. Many Indian children from the late 19th century onward were forced to go to schools (set up by the BLM) where they were beaten for speaking their tribal languages and made to feel inferior while their paperents were forced to live in reservations with little job opportunites and rampant alcoholism. 3/16/09 11:20 Anon., the Palestineans have tried non-violence; the Israelis killed them just the same. You can sign agreement after agreement with the Israelis, but they break them just the same. To the idiot who badmouthed Islam, crawl back under the rock you're sitting on; the sun is baking your mind.

- Strelnikov

March 17, 2009 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

I see we have a claque of Zionazis here too.

I wonder what part of "political self-determination" is hard for them to understand. Or are they just psychopaths, who care for no one but self and for whom other people are only animated cardboard cutouts, to be used or destroyed ad libitum.

I'm against the death penalty on principle, but I could probably feel okay about topping those who abuse state power, e.g. the psychopaths who ran/run LikudCo etc., BushCo, ClintonCo, and, it seems, ObamaCo.

We did it to the Nazis in 1946, so why should their ideological descendants escape?

March 17, 2009 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember Rachel Corrie
Statement from the family of Rachel Corrie

Global Research, March 16, 2009
Palestine Solidarity

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We thank all who continue to remember Rachel and those who, on this sixth anniversary of her stand in Gaza, renew their own commitments to human rights, justice and peace in the Middle East. The tributes and actions in her memory are a source of inspiration to us and to others.

Friday, March 13th, we learned of the tragic injury to American activist Tristan Anderson. Tristan was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister in Ni’lin Village in the West Bank when Israeli forces attacked a demonstration opposing the construction of the annexation wall through the village’s land. On the same day, a Ni’lin resident was, also, shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Four residents of Ni’lin have been killed in the past eight months as villagers and their supporters have courageously demonstrated against the Apartheid Wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice—a wall that will ultimately absorb one-quarter of the village’s remaining land. Those who have died are a ten-year-old child Ahmed Mousa, shot in the forehead with live ammunition on July 29, 2008; Yousef Amira (17) shot with rubber-coated steel bullets on July 30, 2008; Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) and Mohammed Khawaje (20), both shot and killed with live ammunition on December 28, 2008. On this anniversary, Rachel would want us all to hold Tristan Anderson and his family and these Palestinians and their families in our thoughts and prayers, and we ask everyone to do so.

We are writing this message from Cairo where we returned after a visit to Gaza with the Code Pink Delegation from the United States. Fifty-eight women and men successfully passed through Rafah Crossing on Saturday, March 7th to challenge the border closures and siege and to celebrate International Women’s Day with the strong and courageous women of Gaza. Rachel would be very happy that our spirited delegation made this journey.

North to south throughout the Strip, we witnessed the sweeping destruction of neighborhoods, municipal buildings, police stations, mosques, and schools –casualties of the Israeli military assaults in December and January. When we asked about the personal impact of the attacks on those we met, we heard repeatedly of the loss of mothers, fathers, children, cousins, and friends. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports 1434 Palestinian dead and over 5000 injured, among them 288 children and 121 women.

We walked through the farming village of Khoza in the South where fifty homes were destroyed during the land invasion. A young boy scrambled through a hole in the rubble to show us the basement he and his family crouched in as a bulldozer crushed their house upon them. We heard of Rafiya who lead the frightened women and children of this neighborhood away from threatening Israeli military bulldozers, only to be struck down and killed by an Israeli soldier’s sniper fire as she walked in the street carrying her white flag.

Repeatedly, we were told by Palestinians, and by the internationals on the ground supporting them, that there is no ceasefire. Indeed, bomb blasts from the border area punctuated our conversations as we arrived and departed Gaza. On our last night, we sat by a fire in the moonlight in the remains of a friend’s farmyard and listened to him tell of how the Israeli military destroyed his home in 2004, and of how this second home was shattered on February 6th. This time, it was Israeli rockets from Apache helicopters that struck the house, A stand of wheat remained and rustled soothingly in the breeze as we talked, but our attention shifted quickly when F-16s streaked high across the night sky. and our friend explained that if the planes tipped to the side, they would strike.

Everywhere, the psychological costs of the recent and ongoing attacks for all Gazans, but especially for the children, were sadly apparent. It is not only those who suffer the greatest losses that carry the scars of all that has happened. It is those, too, who witnessed from their school bodies flying in the air when police cadets were bombed across the street and those who felt and heard the terrifying blasts of missiles falling near their own homes. It is the children who each day must walk past the unexplainable and inhumane destruction that has occurred.

In Rachel’s case, though a thorough, credible and transparent investigation was promised by the Israeli Government, after six years, the position of the U.S. Government remains that such an investigation has not taken place. In March 2008, Michele Bernier-Toff, Managing Director of the Office of Overseas Citizen Services at the Department of State wrote, “We have consistently requested that the Government of Israel conduct a full and transparent investigation into Rachel’s death. Our requests have gone unanswered or ignored.”

Now, the attacks on all the people of Gaza and the recent one on Tristan Anderson in Ni’lin cry out for investigation and accountability. We call on President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and members of Congress to act with fortitude and courage to ensure that the atrocities that have occurred are addressed by the Israeli Government and through relevant international and U.S. law. We ask them to act immediately and persistently to stop the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli military, not to encourage it.

Despite the pain, we have once again felt privileged to enter briefly into the lives of Rachel’s Palestinian friends in Gaza. We are moved by their resilience and heartened by their song, dance, and laughter amidst the tears. Rachel wrote in 2003, “I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity–laughter, generosity, family time—against the incredible horror occurring in their lives…..I am also discovering a degree of strength and of the basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances…I think the word is dignity.”

On this sixth anniversary of Rachel’s killing, we echo her sentiments.

Sincerely,Cindy and Craig Corrie On behalf of our family

March 17, 2009 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On June 8, 1967, US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was suddenly and brutally attacked on the high seas in international waters by the air and naval forces of Israel. The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that this was an American ship and lied about it. Survivors have been forbidden for 40 years to tell their story under oath to the American public. The USS Liberty Memorial web site tells their story and is dedicated to the memory of the 34 brave men who died.

The Attack

After surveilling USS Liberty for more than nine hours with almost hourly aircraft overflights and radar tracking, the air and naval forces of Israel attacked our ship in international waters without warning. USS Liberty was identified as a US naval ship by Israeli reconnaissance aircraft nine hours before the attack and continuously tracked by Israeli radar and aircraft thereafter. Sailing in international waters at less than five knots, with no offensive armament, our ship was not a military threat to anyone.

The Israeli forces attacked without warning and without attempting to contact us. Thirty four Americans were killed in the attack and another 174 were wounded. The ship, a $40-million dollar state-of-the-art signals intelligence platform, was later declared unsalvageable and sold for scrap.

The Cover Up

Despite a near-universal consensus that the Israeli attack was made with full knowledge that USS Liberty was a US Navy ship, the Johnson administration began an immediate cover-up of this fact. Though administration officers continued individually to characterize the attack as deliberate, the Johnson administration never sought the prosecution of the guilty parties or otherwise attempted to seek justice for the victims. They concealed and altered evidence in their effort to downplay the attack. Though they never formally accepted the Israeli explanation that it was an accident, they never pressed for a full investigation either. They simply allowed those responsible literally to get away with murder.

In an ongoing effort to reveal the truth about the attack, the USS Liberty Veterans Association has filed with the Secretary of the Army in the manner prescribed by law a detailed, fully documented Report of War Crimes describing the circumstances of the attack on our ship and evidence that it was a crime under international law. In accordance with international law and treaties, the United States is obligated to investigate the allegations. So far, the United States has declined even to acknowledge that the report has been filed. The full text of the report can be found at http://www.gtr5.com/evidence/warcrimes.pdf

Anti-Semitism and the Anti-American Apologists

The USS Liberty Memorial web site abhors the racist and extreme positions taken by antiSemitic, Holocaust denial, conspiracy theorist and other such groups which often seek to identify with us and to usurp our story as their own. We have no connection with and do not support or encourage support from any of these groups including National Alliance, National Vanguard, The New Order, National Socialists, The French Connection, Liberty Lobby, American Free Press, Republic Broadcasting, AFP's Liberty Radio Hour, or other such groups. We wish harm to no one and encourage social justice and equality for everyone; we seek only accountability for the criminal acts perpetrated against us and can do that without help from hate-mongers.

On the Israeli side, the group of pro-Israel, anti-American critics of our story, while small, persists in launching loud, vicious ad hominem attacks on anyone who attempts to discuss the deliberateness of the attack. These anti-American apologists refuse to discuss the facts of the case. Instead, they rely on propaganda and charge anyone who questions the Israeli position with being antiSemitic.

For detailed and authoritative accounts of the power and influence of the pro-Israel lobby, please see The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy by Mearsheimer and Walt and The Pro-Israel Lobby by Edward Herman.

The Betrayal of American Veterans
Americans who volunteer for military service effectively write a blank check, payable to the United States of America for an amount "up to and including my life." The United States, in turn, promises to spend these checks responsibly. That bargain implicitly includes a promise by the United States to protect them and to seek retribution against anyone who harms them. In the case of USS Liberty, the United States has failed to keep its end of the bargain.

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** To visit the original USS Liberty memorial web site and database, please CLICK HERE.


March 17, 2009 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why has Landau's article been severely truncated and abridged here?
Why hasn't it been reprinted in full?
How can readers assess its merits or otherwise unless they see the whole thing? Better to suppress it entirely than to publish an edited version. UNDERnews indeed - in the sense of under-reported.
The complete article may be found at Counterpunch and Information Clearing House.

March 18, 2009 5:26 AM  
Blogger TPR said...

We generally only run short excerpts with - as in this case - links to the original article. Just click on the headline and it will take you to the full article.

March 18, 2009 10:06 AM  

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