October 06, 2007


Actually it should just be MTV, as Mearsheimer was without Walt in this interview. I just got it from Engage, who in turn got it from Judeosphere. It's interesting because whilst the interviewer tries to undermine Mearsheimer, Mearsheimer comes out quite well. See for yourself:

See the way the zionists smear the man and he even says that Israel is a democracy like Britain, France and a few other places. The zionists are right about one thing about the Israel Lobby book, it has some factual inaccuracies. Israel is a state for the world's Jews. Democracies are states for all of their people.

Actually I only went to Engage to see a ludicrous article which someone drew my attention to. I think it's a write-up of a speech made by a David Miller from Leeds Universities and Colleges Union. It comes close to supporting or at least excusing the occupation whilst, as is the fashion in zionist circles, claiming to want a two state solution. The article is clearly at odds with David Hirsh's stated position on the occupation and there's more than a hint of "there's no such thing as a Palestinian" to it so Hirsh has relaxed the moderation policy and allowed a couple of incisive criticisms through. See this from Fred:
"Even the settlements that are outlawed under the fourth Geneva convention must be seen in the context of their disputed ownership (particularly the West Bank) post 1967 that would permit them as a legitimate form of defence."

I'm not sure exactly what Miller is trying to say; if it's that there are settlements that arent outlawed under the Fourth Geneva convention, certainly he is incorrect; all settlements are equally illegal under international law and convention. As for disputed ownership -- if he is referring to the fact that a small % of Gush Etzion and Hebron were Jewish-owned before '67, it is still illegal to populate and expand these areas while they remain under a state of belligerent occupation. As for the "legitimate form of defence" -- most, like Martin van Creveld, argue the settlements have weakened and not strenghtened Israel's defenses. The land appropriation and settlement expansion helped fuel two intifadas.

There are forms of legitimate self-defense Israel can take in the territories -- settling civilians there, and building permanant structures there, are not legitimate.
David Miller responded to that one:
My wording was rather clumsy and I forgot to change 1967 back to 1948. What I meant to indicate was that (most of) the West Bank was expected to fall under Israeli jurisdiction following the 1948 war but was annexed and occupied by Jordan instead. Hence, in international law, the territory can be viewed as being Israeli under the terms of the final partition plans. Ownership of the post '67 settlements is therefore disputed. But please don't get me wrong; I want them removed or handed over to the new Palestinian State when it comes into being.
But Fred's not having that:
"What I meant to indicate was that (most of) the West Bank was expected to fall under Israeli jurisdiction following the 1948 war but was annexed and occupied by Jordan instead."

I'm still not understanding you, David. Most of the West Bank was expected to fall under Israeli jurisdiction, by who? Here is the UN partition map of 1947:


You can see that more of the West Bank was expected to fall under Arab jurisdiction than eventually did. Israel controlled more territory by the end of the war than the UN had allotted to it in the partition plan.

"Hence, in international law, the territory can be viewed as being Israeli under the terms of the final partition plans."

Can you quote a source?

"Ownership of the post '67 settlements is therefore disputed."

According to who? I recommend you consult the respected Israeli human rights group B'tselem on the legality of settlements:

"Especially conspicuous is Israel’s manipulative use of the law to create a semblance of legality for the settlement enterprise. So long as Jordanian law assisted Israel in advancing its goals, it seized the argument that international law requires that an occupying state apply the law in effect in the territory prior to occupation, thus construing international law in a cynical and tendentious way. When Jordanian law was unfavorable for Israel, Israel did not hesitate to revoke it though military legislation and develop new rules to meet its ends. In doing so, Israel tramples on international agreements to which it is party – agreements which are intended to reduce human rights violations and protect people under occupation.

"Because the very establishment of the settlements is illegal, and in light of the human rights violations resulting from the existence of the settlements, B’Tselem demands that Israel evacuate the settlements. "


"The establishment of settlements on the West Bank violates international humanitarian law, which establishes the principles applying during war and occupation. Moreover, the settlements lead to the infringement of international human rights law.

"International humanitarian law prohibits the occupying power to transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49). The Hague Regulations prohibit the occupying power to undertake permanent changes in the occupied area, unless these are due to military needs in the narrow sense of the term, or unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population.

"The establishment of the settlements leads to the violation of the rights of the Palestinians as enshrined in international human rights law. Among other violations, the settlements infringe the right to self-determination, equality, property, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement."
And back comes David Miller again:
OK OK Fred; point conceded; I should have been more precise and indicated that it was the British and not the UN plan that allocated the West Bank to a future National Home. But we're surely quibbling here. The point is that both plans were firmly rejected by the Arabs and Jordan seized the West Bank in 1948. In the absence of a peace agreement, successive Israeli Governments have felt compelled to interpret the legal framework to suit their own ends with regard to the post '67 settlements; and I think that the legal position is sufficiently ambiguous to give them some justification for doing so. Personally speaking, I would like to see the settlements removed. Since we both seem to agree about that, can we move on now please?
OK OK, I got my facts wrong in such a way as to justify the occupation but, as nearly all zionists who do exactly the same thing as I just did, I say I want the occupation to end so please stop embarrassing me with your silly factual accuracy. What a disgrace!

UPDATE: It was nice of Engage to allow a comment that contradicted one of their people but it couldn't last. A regular commentor here, johng,
pointed out that no evidence was put foward whatsoever for the claim that if the Palestinians had only been reasonable Israel would not have been established (apparently we would all be very surprised to hear this, historical naifs that we are), that in order to make this incredible claim he had puffed up the importance of the bi-nationalist current within Zionism, and finally suggested that referring to the nakba as 'hysterical depopulation' (a phrase which I think should be remembered) represented an assault on serious historiography, both Zionist and anti-Zionist.

It wasn't put up but I'm glad that someone else has called him on an article in which almost every single claim false.
Ah well, Engage reverts to type. They should have a recent comments section on the blog's home page so when zionists see a name they hate they can come along and question the person's motive, accuse them of antisemitism, islamo-fascism, dishonesty, cowardice, being silly, erm.....er.... that sort of thing. Anti-zionists don't do much trolling I notice. We tend to attack people on their arguments and we believe that truth is on our side.


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