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Ann Arbor Area Community News

U-M Dearborn Passes Divestment Resolution

24. February 2005 • Ari Paul
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On Tuesday February 22, 2005, the Student Government Senate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn voted without opposition to adopt Senate Resolution (SR) # 2005-009 calling on the “University of Michigan Board of Regents [to] create an advisory committee to investigate the moral and ethical implications of the University’s investments in companies which directly support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.” (pg. 3, SR # 2005-009)

SR # 2005-009 states: “Whereas, University policy states that if a particular issue regarding the investment portfolio ‘involves serious moral or ethical questions,’ then “an advisory committee consisting of members of the University Senate, students, administration and alumni will be appointed to gather information and formulate recommendations for the Regent’s consideration.” (pg. 2, SR # 2005-009)

This initiative was sponsored by Senator Jamil Khuja and endorsed by the Committee for Student and Academic Affairs and the Arab Student Union. A presentation was prepared and presented by Chairman Mohamed Alsoraimi and Senator Patrick Cates of the Committee for Student and Academic Affairs

Legislative Affairs Committee Chairman Bilal Dabaja is planning a student-faculty town hall on Thursday March 10th @ 2:30, at which SR # 2005-009 will be one of the agenda items for discussion.

In accordance with SR #2005-009, the Student Government of the University of Michigan-Dearborn “urge[s] this committee to demand that the University of Michigan immediately divest from companies that are directly involved in the ongoing illegal occupation, because we deem these investments to be unethical.” (pg. 3, Resolution #)



  1. We need look no further than the murderous attack in Tel Aviv on Friday night to know who the Israelis are dealing with. Terrorist and murderous Palestinians who will never be happy with any Israeli overture at peace. In response to goodwill Israeli measures of releasing 500 prisoners, which they had no obligaton to do in the first place, as well as a disengagement plan passing in the Israeli cabinet, all the Israelis get in return is a coward bent on spending time with 72 vigrgins, who blows himself up in front of young Israeli teenagers waiting on line to enter a nightclub. This is no way to live, and unfortunately all Israeli measures towards peace are always met by Palestinian terror.
    Dearborn should look at the facts on the ground, at the young teenagers and innocent civlians constantly killed in these attacks, and they might arrive at a different more balanced perspective on the conflict. Regardless, divestiture will never pass and isn’t even deserving of any attention. It is simply used by Palestinian advocacy groups as a means of shifting the focus from the corrupt and murderous Palestinian elements hindering hte peace process to the Israeli authorities who seek to eliminate these terrorist factions within Palestinian territories and create fertile ground for peace talks.
       —reason    Feb. 27 '05 - 12:38PM    #
  2. A slow learner led by a sleight-of-hand artist, Israel is setting out on
    another of its “sting” operations.

    B. Michael

    Ynet/Yediot Ahronot 22 February 2005

    A strange thing: there are things that the government of Israel (like most
    of its predecessors) is by no means able to learn.

    The government succeeded at long last in learning, on the backs of
    thousands of victims, that only a glimmer of political hope, even if it is
    faint and barely flickering, can stop the cycle of bloodbaths. The
    government managed to understand, at least for a while, that the “big
    stick” does not overpower or subdue but only produces weakness. The
    government understood, after a delay of 36 years, that the “settlement
    project” is a monster that insists on turning on its creator. The
    government claims, at least orally and to the outside world, that it
    learned that there is no way to rule over another people and survive. And
    recently it has even succeeded in internalizing [the lesson] that vengeful
    demolition of the houses of innocent people pours oil on the fires of
    violence, not water.

    Only one thing it does not succeed in doing. To take all those lessons
    that were learned through labour and blood, to attach them to each other
    and to extract from them the basic understanding that is required and that
    is clear: as long as the occupation is not brought to a complete end, and
    not only a third or an eighth, we will continue to chew the stinking fish,
    and we will go on to be whipped, until at the end of the day we will also
    be expelled from the city.*

    The government has not been able to understand this wisdom. The task of
    compilation is still difficult for it. And here’s another strange matter:
    nobody suspects of Sharon that he tells the truth. It does not occur to
    anyone that he really intends to continue with this “Road Map” or any
    other. Nobody seriously thinks that he really and honestly intends to come
    to honest and wise negotiations with the purpose of reaching a settlement.
    No one assumes, estimates or expects that Sharon will advance one
    millimetre beyond the little finger that he is now willing to leave behind
    him in the scorched earth.

    Everyone knows that the bottom line is that he wants to apply makeup to
    Israel’s fading face, so that under the cover of the makeup he will perhaps
    succeed in grabbing the whole hand for the price of the little finger he
    gave. And despite this consensus of non-confidence, they are all behind
    him. Everyone for his own reasons.

    There are those who stand behind him out of faith that he really intends
    to make himself fail. There are those who hope that he will be thwarted.
    There are those who are putting their hopes on “precedent” and hope that
    the post-precedent spirit will be strong enough to force the continuation.
    And of course there are those who are secretly calculating the years of
    Sharon, in power and in this world, and who believe that the one who comes
    after him will be the one who brings complete redemption at last. But it
    does not occur to anybody (except family members and participants in
    public-opinion surveys) that his mouth and his heart are saying the same
    thing.

    And thus, being a slow learner, and led by a sleight-of-hand artist,
    Israel is once again setting out on one of its “sting” operations (sting?
    the handle of a hoe is more sophisticated and elegant than this sting).
    Another foolish attempt to give a half measure of defective merchandise for
    an exorbitant price. Again “withdrawal from Sinai – but without Taba”.
    Again “withdrawal from Lebanon – but only as far as the security strip”,
    and afterwards, “withdrawal from Lebanon – but without the Shab’a Farms”.
    Again “Gaza and Jericho first”, in order to get all the rest.

    And the entire army of commentators (well, OK, most of the army of
    commentators?), who hear the voices and know the moving spirits crowd the
    headlines with excited words about historical moments, the end of an era,
    the death of a dream, the end of an occupation, a change of direction.

    And even the trivial fact that that same day the government approved the
    greedy route of the wall, not one centimetre of which does not grab
    something from other people’s lands, and again proved the true nature of
    and reason for the disengagement and the wall, did not spoil the joy of the
    historic moment, the death of the dream and the end of the occupation.

    After another year or two, maybe more and maybe less, whether or not the
    withdrawal is carried out, the Palestinians will discover that once again
    they tried to fool them. That again they waved a matchstick of hope before
    their eyes in order once again to tighten the grip around their neck. And
    then the region will blow up again.

    And the government that will then be ruling over us and over them will
    roll its horrified eyes to the heavens, clap its hands in shocked dismay,
    and teach its people and the media to say in a sobbing voice: “but didn’t
    we give them all the Gaza Strip! But didn’t we return to them the whole
    half of north-western Samaria! [in the northern West Bank – trans] But
    didn’t we disengage from them up to highway 433!”

    And again we will be able to embrace the comforting knowledge that there is
    no one with whom, and nothing about which, to talk. And with God’s help, we
    will also be able to return to “Gaza and Jericho first”, in order to get
    ready for the next disengagement.

    In the tradition of Cato the Elder we keep repeating until we’re weary:
    full withdrawal may bring full peace. Crumbs of withdrawal are like
    narcotics for a cancer patient: it doesn’t hurt, but it also does not
    prevent the disease from spreading.

    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3049328,00.html

    * [Refers to an old Talmudic story about a servant who prepares a rotten
    fish for his master. The master is furious about this and gives the servant
    a choice between three punishments: either eat the stinking fish, or be
    whipped, or be expelled from the city. The servant chooses the first, but
    he can’t finish eating the disgusting fish, so he tells his master he
    prefers to be whipped. As he’s being whipped, he tells his master that he
    can’t stand it any more and would prefer to be exiled. Thus the servant
    ended up suffering all three punishments instead of only one. Trans]

    Translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall
       —B Michael    Feb. 27 '05 - 06:18PM    #
  3. Someone just wrote:

    ”...divestiture will never pass…”

    But it did pass.

    In fact, the whole University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government Senate just UNANIMOUSLY passed a resolution to divest from Israeli occupation.

    And that’s just the beginning.

    * In the last few weeks, you saw the University of Wisconsin divestment movement ALSO getting a resolution passed. The Faculty Senate approved a resolution urging divestment from the Israeli occupation.

    (“Faculty senate in Wisc. passes divestment bill”, on the Web at:
    http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/02/04/42036e20c6f75 )

    * You saw the divestment movement at Brown University, holding demonstrations on their campus:

    (“Protest seeks U. divestment from Israel”, on the Web at:
    http://www.browndailyherald.com/news/2005/02/14/CampusNews/Protest.Seeks.U.Divestment.From.Israel-863083.shtml
    )

    So actually, the divestment resolution has already passed.

    More divestment resolutions will pass, on more campuses——unless you plan on declaring Martial Law or something.

    *****************

    Apartheid Israel, and its temporary conquests, will go the way of Apartheid South Africa.

    It’s the last openly racial-supremacist state on Earth.

    Any defender of human rights should be happy to see the people of Palestine get free.

    You can’t stop divestment——unless you plan on rolling tanks across the Diag.
       —U-M Divestment Resolution was Passed Unanimously.    Feb. 27 '05 - 07:47PM    #
  4. “It’s the last openly racial-supremacist state on Earth.” -anonymous coward

    dude, i’m so glad the person that posted this left their name off, because then i’d just have to let go and get all current-international-politicals-nerd on their ignorant ass…

    having just returned from south asia this month, i have a few “stories” to tell…

    i’m a lover, not a hater,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Feb. 28 '05 - 01:25PM    #
  5. Come on- its not shocking that it would pass in Dearborn. and its student. When a GC of a state university passes on this – i’ll worry.

    oh – and someone should take a lesson from a small town in MA that attempted to divest from Burma and was stoped by the courts.
    D
       —David LIvshiz    Feb. 28 '05 - 03:32PM    #
  6. We can debate the extent or existence of the racism in Israeli policies all you want, but to argue that Israel is “the last openly racial-supremacist state on Earth” is just an outright fallacy.

    All of Israel’s immediate neighbors are openly racist against Jews; most of them ethnically cleansed themselves of their Jewish populations. Even the Palestinian Authority has racist laws, among them a law making it illegal to sell land to Jews, punishable by death.

    Of all the countries in the Middle East, Israel is the LEAST racist.
       —Jared Goldberg    Feb. 28 '05 - 03:32PM    #
  7. Jared- That sounds pretty spurious. If you have a credible link to back it up, I’ll believe you…
    (I would have cited places like Zimbabwe for racist states…)
       —js    Feb. 28 '05 - 05:11PM    #
  8. Here’s something about the Burma, at

    http://www.citizen.org/trade/issues/burma/articles.cfm?ID=11103 .

    What lesson are we supposed to take from all this again?

    By the way, feel free to check Daily Kos to see my new diary titled “Lebanese Thicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events”.
       —David Boyle    Mar. 1 '05 - 12:29AM    #
  9. Good quote from your citation:

    “Burma’s pro-democracy movement, led by Nobel Peace Prize holder Aung San Suu Kyi, has called for South Africa-style foreign divestment from Burma to financially starve the military dictatorship.”

    All those divestment resolutions shed public light on Burma’s human rights situation.

    Divestment did a lot of good, in Burma, and especially in South Africa.

    Divestment will do the same for Palestine.

    That’s why divestment against Israel is getting approved, from Wisconsin to U-M Dearborn, to the National Lawyers’ Guild.

    Because if Israel is not running a military dictatorship—a very racial one—over Palestine, then what would you call it?
       —City Council divested before, from Burma & South Africa    Mar. 1 '05 - 01:13AM    #
  10. Boyle – a massachusets twon attempted to divest from Burma (this was while i was still in college). The federal governmetn filed suit to block such an act as an exmaple of a violation of the executiv’es sole organ power. The first circuit agreed 3-0. Bottom line is – before divestment succeeds (see S. Africa) you’d need to get such an overwhelming support – that an executive woudl be compelled to give up his power. Not very likely. D
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 1 '05 - 01:30AM    #
  11. livshiz and i don’t agree on much, but i’ll pull out of his best lines that i want to echo…

    “Yeah, there are 10 Israeli-Arabs in Knesset [Israeli Parliment]. That’s pretty good, considering its an Aparthied state.” -dl

    i should also mention that an israel-arab recently joined the israeli supreme court, and if memory serves me right, i think one of idf’s high commanders is a…a…bum-bump-ba!, an israeli arab…

    yeah, israel has serious serious race issues it needs to work out…i have long been critical of the policies they have used in the west bank and gaza, and by all means, others should to…but to make allusions to south africa (where blacks didn’t have the right to vote, let alone be allowed to particpate in government) in light of these facts just makes the anonymous cowards on this websites and those screaming about it elsewhere look even dumber…

    waiting for hatemail,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 1 '05 - 12:48PM    #
  12. For the record, i think the Israeli Arab in the high command also happens to be the Deputy Chief Of Operations. Meaning he is inovlved in all of the decisions regarding what the military policy vis a vis palestinians should be. This is not an insignificant position.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 1 '05 - 01:32PM    #
  13. If divestment is the wrong way to address Israel for the “policies they have used in the west bank and gaza”, what is the right way?

    When you use the antiseptic phrase “policies”, you’re talking about 3.5 million very violently occupied Palestinian human beings, who are as good, and as worthy, as you are.

    If you are against divestment, what are you for?
    —The occupation army’s “democracy”?

    White Mississippians voted a lot.

    But they never voted to free Black people.

    White South Africa, plus the few Black voters it allowed, voted.

    South Africa’s voters never voted out apartheid, until divestment came along.

    Divestment works.

    You aren’t sounding at all harsh on Israeli occupation, but you sound very harsh on divestment.

    You know that, unlike the occupation, divestment is the most peaceful of human rights movements.

    You sound different.
       —3.5 Million Palestinians not enjoying democracy.    Mar. 1 '05 - 03:50PM    #
  14. i am sounding very harsh on divestment, you are right, because i think it unfairly vififies all israelis for the actions of its government…i have been very harsh on israeli occupation in public as well, as any of those people that wrote me those loads of hatemail all those years will tell (serious, ya’ll, thanks for the notes)...

    i put the pal in palestine,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 1 '05 - 06:18PM    #
  15. “Any man will be a Jordanian subject if he is not Jewish.”

    Jordanian Nationality Law, Official Gazette, No. 1171, Article 3(3) of Law No. 6, 1954, (February 16, 1954), p. 105.

    That’s one example. I’m actually recovering from having my wisdom teeth out, and I’m not feeling my best. As such, I’m not going to provide all the links here. But, this came from the Jewish Virtual Library online. There’s a ton more information on the racism against Jews in Arab countries.

    By the way, whoever is publishing pro-divestment stuff and is not leaving his/her name, that’s just cowardly.

    But to answer your posts, you’re extremely dogmatic, but you can’t compare South African apartheid and Israel, or at least not the way you are doing it.

    Divestment does work, but the situation does not. Most South Africans approved divestment, as apartheid was used as an economic tool to benefit wealthy elites. I’m having trouble seeing how the occupation helps Israeli businesses. From my reading, the occupation hurts Israelis as well as Palestinians. Thus, divestment won’t work.

    After 4 years of bloodshed, I’m not convinced that militarism nor political activism will fix the situation. I know it sounds pessimistic, but I don’t know what else to think.

    The conflict will ultimately end when the two sides can come together.

    But hey, what do I know?
       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 1 '05 - 06:38PM    #
  16. and by the way, where is the outrage abandon concerning the u.s. continuing trade relations with china while it ethnically cleanses and oppresses manchus and tibetans???

    divest from china???,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 1 '05 - 06:40PM    #
  17. Who says divestment “vilifies” Israel, but didn’t “vilify” South Africa?

    It was fully justified in both cases.

    If you want another parallel:

    “PALESTINIAN POPULATION EXCEEDS JEWISH POPULATION
    SAYS U.S. GOVERNMENT”

    by Michael Brown, Ali Abunimah, and Nigel Parry

    “The Electronic Intifada”, 1 March 2005

    http://electronicIntifada.net/v2/article3649.shtml

    “The population of Palestinians living in Israel, the
    Occupied Gaza Strip, Occupied East Jerusalem and rest of
    the Occupied West Bank combined now exceeds the number of
    Israeli Jews, a U.S. government report has revealed.

    “The Palestinian population stands at more than 5.3 million
    while the Jewish population stands at 5.2 million.

    “The figures come from the U.S. State Department’s annual
    Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004.

    “The report provided population figures for each of these
    territorial units separately but failed to connect all the
    dots to arrive at the explosive new demographic reality.”
       —Divestment OK against Israel & South Africa.    Mar. 1 '05 - 08:24PM    #
  18. Dude – it matterw how and who you count. and why? what is the philosophical justification for looking at the territooies combined?

    and where is evdience to support the “unspoken” assertion that Israeli Arabs are the same as palestinians?

    with Israel pulling out of Gaza in six month they wont outnumber in aggregate. But more importnatly – there is a differnce. The palestinians on teh ground dont’ want integration – they wnat segregatino – as in – TWO states fo TWO people. People in Jennin don’t want to vote for Israeli PM, tney wan tto vote fora PA PM.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 1 '05 - 08:35PM    #
  19. Divest from Ari Paul—-now!

    I’m not giving that guy a red cent!
       —David Boyle    Mar. 2 '05 - 05:25AM    #
  20. 10 bucks says the unsigned messages are Blaine…
       —Anonymous Coward    Mar. 2 '05 - 11:29AM    #
  21. Actually, the increase in Palestinean population is one of the reasons why Sharon has come out in favor of the two state solution. Because if he doesn’t, then the state of Israel will grow more and more Palestinean. Which is, to my mind, the best possible solution- one where Jew and Arab live together all in one state equally. It probably won’t happen like that, but it’s a nice thing to think of (and not just because I think states based on religions are inherently dumb).
       —js    Mar. 2 '05 - 01:12PM    #
  22. I believe my eyes deceive me – Ari Paul standing up for Israel? Kudos, my friend.

    Exactly what has happened during my Ann Arbor blog hiatus?!

    Oh – to the anonymous poster without the testicles – is it because you feel you have no merit to your claims that you refuse to reveal yourself?
       —Brad    Mar. 2 '05 - 05:32PM    #
  23. brad,

    i have always lent my support for the existance of israel in some form or another, and its more that i have a problem with pro-palestinian extremism than “siding” with israel…i believe its just the myopia of the zionist community that sees anyone who criticizes israel as someone who is “against” israel…ah well, live and learn…

    i am against divestment…i am also against the occupation…le shock…

    pro-israel, pro-palestine,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 2 '05 - 06:41PM    #
  24. So you call divestment “extreme”, even though it’s extremely peaceful.

    You call any verbal action against the State of Israel “extreme”, even just calling it an “Apartheid State”.

    But—You say you are “against the occupation”.

    You back that up with no action.

    Ariel Sharon says he’s against the occupation, too.

    Thomas Jefferson said he was against slavery (but he never freed a slave, except those which were members of his family)

    4,000 dead Palestinians, killed by the State you keep defending——That doesn’t piss you off.

    But one little divestment comment, and you are ready to go ballistic.

    What makes you mad, and ready for action, says a lot.

    And it’s divestment that’s making you mad.

    What’s happening to you?

    Are you adapting to your environment, an environment where stealing whole countries is minimized away with a shrug?
       —Not divesting= Not acting to end Occupation.    Mar. 2 '05 - 07:41PM    #
  25. “But—You say you are “against the occupationâ€?.

    You back that up with no action.” -anonymous coward

    you mean i had to put with those hate-emails and death threats for nothing????

    confused,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 2 '05 - 07:53PM    #
  26. “i believe its just the myopia of the zionist community that sees anyone who criticizes israel as someone who is “againstâ€? israel…”

    So you are saying the WHOLE Zionist community is myopic? What a stereotype!

    “”Ari Paul: Crazed Anti-Zionist!!!””
       —David Boyle    Mar. 3 '05 - 02:26AM    #
  27. Is Ari even awake?
    Why hasn’t he posted something on Hunter S. Thompson’s suicide?

    Especially now that the govt. is going to pull an Uncle Duke on Syria…then Iran…then North Korea…then Cuba…then Canada…then France….
       —David Boyle    Mar. 3 '05 - 02:35AM    #
  28. Um… Thomas Jefferson did free his slaves when he died. And while he was alive, the state he lived in (Virginia) had no protections for freed slaves, so that any black person who had their freedom could be recaptured and taken to a different plantation.
    Just to muddy up your historical diatribe.
    I am for divestment because I think it puts pressure on local Israelis to agitate their government to resolve the situation. I don’t happen to think that it’s been tremendously effective, but I also don’t think it’s been enacted at any real size. If large buyers bought only from Israelis that were willing to make a public pledge to oppose the occupation, that would be fine too.
       —js    Mar. 3 '05 - 11:10AM    #
  29. Ok – I am completely against the mantra that if you are anti-Israel that makes you an anti-Semite.

    Nonetheless, there is no escaping that if you are pro-divestment against Israel you are anti-Israel in totality.
    – Even after these ridiculous bombings, Israel is dragging it’s own citizens, some of whom it even told to settle in these areas, away forcefully. They have released 500 prisoners, some of whom have killed Israelis. This is painful, but these steps are necessary for peace. I don’t see the PA making any of these kinds of painful concessions. It would be painful for Abbas to cut ties with these terrorist psychos, yet it is something he is unwilling to do.

    When the Israeli government spends millions of dollars a year just to have those troops on the ground doing the job that Palestinians seemingly cannot, and having a mandatory service policy to do so – it seems a bit contradictory to say that this is a violent occupation aimed at destroying the Palestinian population….

    If you are pro-peace and pro-divestment, you are simply a hypocrite. While other countries are engaged in all out genocide and slaughter, and yet you advocate for the divestment of funds from the only democratic state in the Middle east that has REPEATEDLY offered peace and given back land to it’s enemies – there is a fundamental moral problem there….
       —Brad    Mar. 3 '05 - 12:30PM    #
  30. Brad –

    I love you man, but you’re a bit wrong here. The PA has undertaken failry serious reforms. If you look at the new cabinet you’ll see that over 2/3 are people who have zero connection to the PLO, and who are real technocarts – something that Israel has long been pressing for. Moreover, they have undertaken various activities to provide for security – and in Gaza things seem to be going just fine.

    I’m just saying – i think everyone who is in power wants to give peace a shot. Its the peopel that have no power, but have a lot of self-import (think blaine) who are trying to tear appart this thaw.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 3 '05 - 05:36PM    #
  31. DLiv-

    Love back at you.

    Perhaps I may be wrong here, but you tell me – the PA has over 70,000 guards (at least they do on their payroll). Hamas has around 1,000 active members. You’re going to tell me that after a suicide bombing, it takes Abbas more than 4 hours to deploy troops? C’mon. I agree that there have been some major reforms, and that nearly half of the new cabinet members have PhD’s. Hooray. But as we all know, words don’t mean a damn thing here – actions do. And, again, maybe I’m being too harsh – this is a relatively new scheme of government over there – but I don’t think I’m wrong in the slightest for being pessimistic (how many times have we seen this scenario before??)
       —Brad    Mar. 3 '05 - 08:23PM    #
  32. “If apartheid ended, so can the occupation, but the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in that direction.”
    —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20020715&s=tutu
       —Archbishop Tutu is for Divestment from Israel.    Mar. 3 '05 - 09:36PM    #
  33. From the web:

    On the day after Christmas, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Anglican Primate of
    South Africa and holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, standing before the
    memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to the millions of Jews murdered by
    Hitler, prayed for the murderers and sermonized the descendants of their
    victims. “We pray for those who made it happen, help us to forgive them and
    help us so that we in our turn will not make others suffer” (New York Times,
    27 December 1989). This, he said, was his “message” to the Israeli children
    and grandchildren of the dead.

    Moral obtuseness, mean spite, and monstrous arrogance do not make for
    sound ethics and theology. Neither Tutu nor the Israelis he lectured can
    “forgive” the Nazi murderers. Representatives of an injured group are not
    licensed (even by the most unctuous of preachers) to forgive on behalf of
    the whole group. In fact, forgiveness issues from God alone. The forgiveness
    Tutu offers the Nazis is truly pitiless because it forgets the victims,
    blurs over suffering, and drowns the past.

    No one familiar with Tutu’s long record of hostility to Jews, Judaism, and
    Israel will be surprised that he is far less moved by the actuality of what
    the Nazis did (“the gas chambers,” he once said, “made for a neater death”
    than apartheid resettlement policies) than by the hypothetical potentiality
    of what, in his jaundiced view, Israelis “might” do. His speeches against
    apartheid return obsessively to gross, licentious equations between the
    South African system and Jewish practices, biblical and modern. “The Jews,”
    Tutu declared in 1984, “thought they had a monopoly on God” and “Jesus was
    angry that they could shut out other human beings” (Hartford Courant, 29
    October 1984). Tutu has been an avid supporter of the Goebbels-like equation
    of Zionism with racism. He has alleged that “Jews . . . think they have
    cornered the market on suffering” (Shimoni, 51) and that Jews are “quick to
    yell ‘antisemitism’” because of “an arrogance of power—because Jews have
    such a strong lobby in the United States” (New York City Tribune, 27
    November 1984). He has repeatedly declared that (as he told a Jewish
    Theological Seminary audience in 1984) “whether Jews like it or not, they
    are a peculiar people. They can’t ever hope to be judged by the same
    standards which are used for other people” (Religious News Service, 28
    November 1984). Certainly Tutu has never judged Jews by the standards he
    uses for other people. Although South African and American Jews are more,
    not less, critical of apartheid than the majority of their countrymen, Tutu
    in 1987 threatened that “in the future, South African Jews will be punished
    if Israel continues dealing with South Africa” ( Courrier Austral
    Parlamentair , February 1987), and in 1989 warned that black-Jewish
    relations in America would “continue to suffer until Israel repudiates its
    involvement with South Africa.”

    Israel’s trade with South Africa is about 7 percent of America’s, less
    than a tenth of Japan’s, Germany’s, or England’s. But so far Tutu has not
    threatened South African or American citizens of Japanese, German, or
    English extraction with punishment. Citizens of Arab nations supply 99
    percent of the one resource without which South Africa could not survive:
    oil. Tutu has made countless inflammatory remarks about Israel’s weapons
    sales to South Africa (consisting mainly of naval patrol boats to protect
    international shipping lanes) but has said almost nothing about South
    Africa’s main Western arms supplier, France, which has also built two of
    South Africa’s three nuclear reactors—the third being American. He has been
    just as silent about Jordan’s sales of tanks and missiles to South Africa.

    Tutu’s insistence on applying a double standard to Jews may explain an
    otherwise mysterious feature of his anti-Israel rhetoric. He once asked
    Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Eliahu Lankin, “how it was possible
    that the Jews, who had suffered so much persecution, could oppress other
    people” (Jerusalem Post, 11 November 1989). On another occasion, in 1984, he
    expressed dismay “that Israel, with the kind of history . . . her people
    have experienced, should make refugees [actually she didn’t] of others”
    (Religious News Service, 28 November 1984). In other words, Jews, according
    to Tutu, have a duty to behave particularly well because Jews have suffered
    so much persecution. The mad corollary of this proposition is that the
    descendants of those who have “not” been persecuted do not have a special
    duty to behave well, and the descendants of the persecutors can be excused
    altogether for behavior it would be hard to excuse in other people.

    This perverted logic may explain not only Tutu’s decision to pray for the
    Nazis while berating the descendants of their victims, but also his espousal
    of the PLO, whose leader, Yasser Arafat, is both the biological relative and
    spiritual descendant of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem who
    actively collaborated with Hitler in the destruction of European Jewry in
    World War II.

    Rabbinical tradition, however, provides a simpler explanation of Tutu’s
    eagerness to “forgive” the Nazis while excoriating the descendants of their
    victims: “Whoever is merciful to the cruel,” the rabbis warn, “will end by
    being indifferent to the innocent.”
       —Desmond Tutu Prays For Nazis    Mar. 3 '05 - 11:50PM    #
  34. I think Tutu could have been more sensitive, from what you are saying.
    Also, though he may mean well re divesting from Israel, perhaps he is being a little one-note (appropriate for a man whose last name consists of repeated letters): that is, divestment is what he is good at, so he thinks of that solution first, appropriate or not.

    As for “forgiveness”, while genocide and slavery, etc., are not really forgivable by history, the Christian religion recommends not hating your persecutors, but praying for them and forgiving them.
    More honored in the breach than in the observance, likely; but there can be psychological and other benefits from letting go of hatred.
    (It’s o.k. to pursue justice, but one can do that without hatred or obsession—which can even cloud the judgment, and hamper one’s efforts toward getting justice.)
       —David Boyle    Mar. 4 '05 - 01:22AM    #
  35. Brad –

    You’re numbers are off. Hamas has a shit load more then 1000. Thier military wing may be 1000 (i don’t know), but Hamas ass an entity seems to ahve much more (just look at the local level election returns).

    And the PA doe snot have 70,000 – they probably hvae more then Hamas, but most of them are not well trained, are unmotivated, etc. Its really not that simple – number dont’ always mean much.

    The other thing is – while i think its necessary, and will ultimately happen – i can undertand how Abbas wants to avoid a civil war. He’d be a bad leader if he didn’t.

    Its absolutely reasonable to be a pessimist here. I just cut the other way. There is enough pressure right now on the Palestinians – that i thikn this uneasy truth will last for a while.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 4 '05 - 09:19AM    #
  36. Livshiz-

    The 70,000 number is pretty accurate. You can find that on many websites. Re: Hamas – I should have clarified – indeed, the 1,000 or so are members of its military wing. of course, Hamas extends to much more than murdering innocents and torturing Jews. How silly of me.

    Re: civil war – this is my point. Israel and the Palestinians are going through fragile periods within their own governments – certainly, Sharon doesn’t seem to care much whether Israel gets into a civil war with the settlers. Why should Palestinians be held to a different standard simply because they have a new government?
       —Brad    Mar. 4 '05 - 11:11AM    #
  37. The difference is that Israel could survive as a society having had 70 plus years to address these issues, palestinians would not.

    let me put it this way – if hte palestinian society gets into a civil war it will be Israel doing clean up – you really wnat that?

    oh – and there wont be a civil war in Israel? like it or not the settelers are not armed as well as the IDF. Unfortunately, you cna’t say that about Hamas/PA.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 4 '05 - 04:58PM    #
  38. Perhaps Ari Paul should reconsider his position on our divestment movement at UM-Dearborn considering we are not doing something that “unfairly vififies all Israelis for the actions of its government”, as Ari put it, but rather urges the administration to selectively divest from specific companies that proift from the illegal occupation that Ari claims to oppose. So Ari, here is my challenge: read the resolution and realize it’s sole intent is to uphold international law, and then boldly endorse it. Prove to the world that you are truly a just man and would like to help end the occupation on Palestine, and that your not just spewing Zionist propoganda.

    Double Dare,
       —Tarek M. Baydoun    Mar. 7 '05 - 09:23PM    #
  39. i must say i haven’t been double dared since my school yard days…how exciting…

    firstly, as some of yall might remember, i supported to divestment of capitipillar for its supplying the idf with bulldozers to destroy palestinian homes…i stood up in front of msa and did that, and took shit for it too…

    however, tarek, i don’t sign on to sweeping campaigns like this becausee, in my days it gets messy…then anyone, who has ever for any reason gotten involved in a contract with that (gasp) unmentionable state gets clumped into the aparthied catargroy…its too much like all those charities that get broken up by the feds because one guy once gave a time to some other guy who went on to be a terrorist…

    that said, i also feel that the motives behind it are disinengious…firstly, comparing israel to south africa is just silly…yes, israel is practicing a horrible military operation, but to liken its entire statehood to that regime not only weakens your own arguemnt but undermines the realness of what happened in south africa…

    in closing, i have to comment on this:

    “Prove to the world that you are truly a just man and would like to help end the occupation on Palestine, and that your not just spewing Zionist propoganda.” -tarek

    sounds a little too much like bush’s “with us or against us” philosphy…either i support your specific tactic or i am a zionist…i hear the same thing from hardcore zionists who tell anyone with an iota of sympothy for arabs that they are an anti-semite…

    that’s why i start seeing less an less differrence between the extremists on each side…and as a journalist, i’ve had to take shit for what i’ve exposed from both sides, which tells me i did something right…

    smug as hell,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 8 '05 - 10:35AM    #
  40. Tarek –

    Thank you for proving my point. The divestment movement is “selectively” racist.
       —Brad    Mar. 8 '05 - 12:29PM    #
  41. Tarek –

    I hope that if you become a lawyer you represent your client wtih more due care of what the law is, than you are currently giving to the Palestinian cause. Judges don’t like it so much when you make up law.

    There is exactly ZERO binding law on what Israel does and does not have to do. The UN resolutions – are ALL chapter VI – meaning they are mere recomendations – and moreover 242/338 (JS, I know we disagree here) call on withdrawl after negotiations, not unilaterally – thats why it was the Latin American draft of 242 that was adopted (without the “all the”).

    Moreover, the ICJ decision – other then being badly reasoned (which is really not all that differnt from the rest of its decision) is ADVISORY – and therefore not binding.

    In fact, unlike many other states in the Middle East, Israel quickly complied with the only binding decision that concerned it – the arbitration re: Taba.

    You may disagree about Israels policies, and find them amoral, dangerous, and unfortunate – and even evil. Thats great. But none of that makes them Illegal. Something doesn’t become illegal – becuase you don’t like it. In the international system the State of Israel would have to accept an obligation before it binds it, and I don’t really think there is one in this case. but hey – i understnad, this is politics – and if its convinenat you’ll call Israel whatever it takes – illegal occupiers, the KKK, or aliens – anything to pass the resolution.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 8 '05 - 12:57PM    #
  42. Tarek:

    Just to be clear, which companies are profitting from the occupation (American or Israeli) and thus, which ones are you suggesting the Universtiy to withdrawal from?

    I’m not trying to be an ass, I just want everything to be defined so I can make an honest opinion about it.
       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 8 '05 - 03:40PM    #
  43. Livshiz- Yeah, I disagree. But I think we’ve hashed that one out enough already, right? (The language is INTENTIONALLY AMBIGUOUS).
    This has been interesting, and vaguely hilarious. Clearly, there are only two possible positions: Either you’re a Zionist pig who hates Arabs and therefore cannot support divestment, or you’re an anti-semetic Nazi who wants to see all Jews punished.
    I mean, that’s what I’m getting out of this.
       —js    Mar. 9 '05 - 10:57AM    #
  44. JS-

    I’m sorry the you feel those are the only two positions coming out of this. Certainly, no one on this board hates Arabs- so I’m not sure where you’re getting that from…I certainly don’t…
       —Brad    Mar. 9 '05 - 12:55PM    #
  45. brad,
    sadly, it is those two positions, even if they represent minoriity positions, that monopolize the discourse…

    my two skeikels,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 9 '05 - 01:38PM    #
  46. “Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, could face a criminal investigation after an inquiry today found government funds had secretly been used to set up illegal West Bank settlements.” [etc.], today at http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1433730,00.html

    ...Replace “Ari”el Sharon with
    “Ari” Paul!

    Now!!
       —David Boyle    Mar. 9 '05 - 02:15PM    #
  47. A toast to Ari’s race for the American “Middle of the Road”.

    Too bad a few million Palestinians are being run over, in the middle of that road.

    Remember Vietnam, 1965: The American “Middle of the Road” killed 3 million Vietnamese.
    It was very bi-partisan.
    It avoided the “extremes”, like, uh, withdrawal.

    Here’s where Ari’s Middle of the Road leads:

    * To a steady salary in journalism.

    * To something else, too:

    ”...The road on the middle of which so many walk to avoid the perils of fuzzy fanaticism can lead to Oz and beyond to the land of the Hobbits…”
    —Nicholas Von Hoffman
    October 14, 1978
    Writing in “The Nation”—

    http://www.nationarchive.com/Summaries/v227i0012_08.htm

    Robbing, exiling, and killing the population of Palestine is not a good road to be in the middle of.
    ———————————-
       —Divestment is More Peaceful than $Billions$ to the Israeli military each year.    Mar. 9 '05 - 02:45PM    #
  48. if there is a road to a steady salary in journalism i sure as shit don’t know where that one is…ha!

    ironic, as i lived for two years in a flat on the third floor or a two floored house which he dubbed “the hobbit hole”...

    well, i guess this proves my point…i dissent one itty bit from the party line and all of the sudden i am an occupationist…

    it is interesting, because i was talking to christopher hitchens the other day…he’s a supporter of the palestinian cause, wrote a book with edward said on the subject, blah, blah, blah…he confirmed for me what i have suspected…a palestinian state is not an if, but a when and one what terms…

    as he said, those in likud party ranks are slowly, but surely, giving him the jabotinsian dream of eretz israel (the annexation of the west bank and gaza)...that says a lot, meaning that the ideoligically fervor for keeping the occupation or even taking a step foward is, indeed, waning…

    so what we on the left should be doing, i think, is to point the palestinians in a better position to get a fair deal, not simply a deal at all…therefore, all this stormy ferver over divestment kind of misses the point, and is, sadly, unhelpful…

    waiting for the lynch mob,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 9 '05 - 03:18PM    #
  49. oh and livshiz,

    i think you may missed what is meant by an “illegal” occupation…i think it is not meant that occupation is in and of itself illegal, but that its tactics (i.e. collective punishment) are…

    clarity,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Mar. 9 '05 - 03:21PM    #
  50. Hi –

    I like posting things anonymously. I feel that hiding behind the secure walls of the internet provides me with a sense of accomplishment – because otherwise, I don’t get much accomplished at all.

    After all – I’m a man in my mid-40’s that lives in Ann Arbor for the sole purpose purporting propaganda…
       —Blaine Coleman    Mar. 9 '05 - 03:29PM    #
  51. Baline – you should get your age right – its mid 50s.

    Ari – we can talk about specific methods of the occupation. But it ultimately comes down to the technical question of what is “proportionate” mean. B/c while the actions you refer to are illegal in peace time, they are okay in time of conflict IF they are proportionate. There hasnt’ been much of a ruling on this – and i don’t really think Israel would be in a lot of trouble.

    Remember – as bad as Israel is – it doens’t compare to Dresden – which is more or less the baseline here.

    The reality is – Genever III (and iV) were not ment to criminalize the conduct of war – but to regulate it. and as such prefernce is given to the states fighting the war, not the individual sufferinf from it. thats exactly why they are now all these attempts to get more human rights through – but the thing is – States aren’t accepting them. and if you look at the jurisprudence of the IACHR – you see that courts respect the need of states to conduct counter insurgency – and they’ll strike things down in RARE instnaces.

    D
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 9 '05 - 03:44PM    #
  52. David my hope is that if you become a lawyer in the United States, you will argue the law from our government’s recognition of it. The fact is that the US policy is that UN security council resolutions are binding on Israel and that Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories.

    This is in line with a clear international concensus on the issue. Palestinians have clear rights based on Resolutions 242, 338 and many GA resolutions, not to mention the Geneva convention, which clearly outlaws the transfer of the population of a colonial power into the lands it occupies, hence the Israeli colonies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip which we erroneously call “settlements”, and of course last but not least, basic human decency, which says that colonization and opression are wrong.

    THUS, there is not much room to argue that Israel’s occupation is legal. This IS a black and white issue. something which is not legal, can only be illegal. There is no middle ground. Something which is not right (the illegal Israeli occupation), can only be wrong, so stop fooling yourselves with these shades of gray.

    More importantly, dont think that taking a principled stance on this issue would translate into fodder for the movement you oppose. Taking a principled stance on this issue has more benefits than you are recognizing.

    For Instance, if International law was not binding on the Arab states as David claims it isn’t for Israel, then should we expect Arab, Muslim and other states to recognize Israel? Do you really want to go down that path? Or would you like to solve this conflict and end the occupation based on international legitimacy?

    And Ari, please read the resolution already. There is no comparison in the resolution to South Africa.

    So if you read the resolution and then wrote:

    “firstly, comparing israel to south africa is just silly…yes, israel is practicing a horrible military operation, but to liken its entire statehood to that regime not only weakens your own arguemnt but undermines the realness of what happened in south africa…”,

    then you either have a troublesome learning disbility, or you didn’t even bother to read the document and relied instead on your own prejudices (Which leads me to conclude that the latter is more likely true since you did attend The University Of Michigan).

    You made a good point on Caterpillar (which unlike Raytheon, General Electric, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman was erroneously left out of the resolution.) You said:

    “i supported to divestment of capitipillar for its supplying the idf with bulldozers to destroy palestinian homes…i stood up in front of msa and did that, and took shit for it too”

    PLEASE, I am reiterating my request (or childish dare) that you read the resolution and recognize it is the same in principle as your support for the divestment from Caterpillar.

    Instead of being unjustly prejudicial on this matter, read our op-ed in the detroit News on the issue:

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/editorial/0503/09/A08-110283.htm

    Peace!
       —Tarek M. Baydoun    Mar. 9 '05 - 04:21PM    #
  53. please display my second submission today and delete this one as well as the first one.

    Thanks
       —Tarek M. Baydoun    Mar. 9 '05 - 04:22PM    #
  54. Tarek – lets take your issues seriatum. First of all – the policy of the executive branch of the US without more is NOT law. It is in fact the clear position of the executive branch that Israel should withdraw (however, it has never been to 1967, as begining with the Roger’s Plan in 1969 there was an understanding that adjustments would be made). In any case, however, it IS NOT laww, no more so then a legal conclusion that Gitmo is outside US jurisdictino becuase the administrations thinks so. As the Supreme Court established clearly, the executive is subject to external law on issues of international law – they don’t make it. Therefore, while US position is critical – it does not create a LEGAL obligation on the state of Israel without more.

    The more in this case is an international legal obligation. First of all, neither UNSC 242 or UNSC 338 are binding, but are rather under Chapter VI of the UN Charter – and therefore recomendatory. Moreover, those resolutions, even if looked at as binding, do not create UNILATERAL obligations on Israel – but rather tehy create an obligation to negotiate – which Israel has done in the past.

    As for Geneva – we can discuss this at lenght – but the key word is permenant. And i’d argue that Israel has proven that its more then willing to uplift teh settlements as part of peace treaties – ergo – they are not in violation of Geneva III. The other thing is Geneva III only applies to membes who signed – last time i checked the Palestinains had not signed on, and neitehr had the Jordanians. But thats a small legal point.

    as for recognition. you have an excellent point. the reality is that the law here is measier then my bedroom – but if an obligation exists its exists not b/c its Israel but b/c israel has met the objective int’l law requiermetns for statehood. The same requiermetns woudl force Israel to recgonize Palestine – if a state was declared in Gaza post withdrawl. Its just a bad analogy – a good analogy would be teh duties of Egypt/Syria to expelll terrorists groups. and there – the law is a mess. and i don’t know.

    as for saying that this is clear. Its not – i am presenting the Israeli case (and i don’t neccessarily agree with it – entirely). But my point is – nothign about this conflict is black and white. Not the question of moralit, not the one of ethics. and definetly not one of law. there is a LOT of honest disputes about the respective obligations of Israel and the Palestinains. If you don’t believe me – you can take a look at recent symposium issues from NYU J. of Int’l L. and Politics, Va. Journal of International Law, and the Yale Journal of Transnational law.

    IF you want peace for palestianins – instead of presenting this as black and white – show the nuance – you’ll get much further.

    D
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 9 '05 - 05:06PM    #
  55. David, if you think I’m going to waste my time arguing about the literal meaning of internationally recognized policies and laws governing Israel’ occupation of the West Bank, then your dreaming.

    The fact is that we have the upper hand considering the world has reached a consensus on this issue. Getting tied up in the symantic arguments of the international law is would be dilatory. My time would be better spent exposing the evils of the occupation and the fact that unlike in America (unfortunately), the entire world has reached a consensus on the occupation’s illegality.

    And so we’ll move forward, and allow you to apologize for a fascist Zionism which a good number of Jews are rejecting. As long as your on the defensive with symantics, we are are making progress.

    The last ally for this movement resides with the strong pro-Israel lobby in America. As an individual, I believe doing justice requires us to spread truth and demand justice based on international law, for the benefit of Jews and Arabs. And if possible make this lobby defend its bogus claims at every step.

    Peace
       —Tarek M. Baydoun    Mar. 9 '05 - 05:27PM    #
  56. Tarek –

    Here is the sad thing. The world hasn’t reached the consensus. When the PA succeeded in forcing the issue into a legal forum, every single country from Europe filed briefs and made appearances supporting Israel. As we speak the Sixth Committe (the committee responsible for the international law at the UN) is considering whether the jurisdictional article of the UN Charter should be amendmendent to prevent furhter abuse.

    If you are refering to popular support for the Palestinian cause? Then yeah you have it. But lets not forget, those countries where that support is the strongest also happen to be countries with long and rich traditions of anti-semitism. So yeah, there is something to be proud off.

    You know what I did notice? Something that may interst you – a few years ago when Kiblawi first came out with the notion of divestmetn – several member of the UofM faculty signed an anti-divestment petition. Among them – the entirety of the UofM law school faculty that specializes in International Law (since then, Bruno Sima – one of these signatoires – got appointed to the ICJ).

    My defense of Israel has precious little to do with Israel. Countries survive not becuase of Law, but because of politics – and i have yet to see anything that threatens Israel. If you succeed in getting the board of regents to pass divestment, i have no doubt taht someone (most likely the NFTC will take it to court and under Crosby v. NFTC it will be struck down so fast your head will spin). SO – no I am not worried – becaust at the end of the day Israels favorables in the US are much higher then her negatives.

    The reason i bothered responding – is BECUAE i do care, STRONGLY, about international law. and workign in it, i see how much damage people like you do for it by throwing the term around as you see fit. The sad result is as a result of Palestinian behavior vis a vis internatinal law such important projects such as the ICC have been grounded, while others will never get off the ground. THAT IS WHAT I CARE ABOUT, not the debate about who is worse a country defending herself, and occasionally doing horrible things in the process, or a qusi-government that refuses to govern while her citizens are being killed. That debate is for history – and i think that ultimately, Yaser Arafat will go into history as a crook and criminal – whereas Abbas and Sharon as peace makers (yes, i am optimistic).

    As for your last claim – here is something for you to chew on: AIPAC can get a meeting with ANYONE in DC with one phonecall. One of the reason for this respect is that they have a long record of being candid and honest when dealign with politicians. So much so – that when an FBI investigation (which btw, violate all sorts of 4th amendment rules) was disclosed – Congress took the unusual step of supporting AIPAC. Meanwhile, ADC is still treated as as poor man’s little brother – appeased just enough not to get ona black list, but not really taken seriously. Largely, b/c no one believes a word comming out of Hussein Ibish’s mouth. just a thought.

    Lastly, i didn’t call you names – and would appreciate it if you showed me the same respect. B/c the root of this conflict – is precisely the intolerance to ideas that your last post exhibits.
       —David LIvshiz    Mar. 9 '05 - 06:03PM    #
  57. Why you will divest—Young girl shot 17 times by Israeli army.

    ********************

    “The Loss of Iman: Palestinians want to be treated as equals”

    By CRAIG NELSON
    COX NEWS SERVICE

    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
    March 7, 2005

    On the Web at:
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/214793_parentsp07.html

    RAFAH, Gaza Strip—The wizened face of Samir al-Hams is drained of color, as though he’s been sick for weeks. But it’s not the flu going around his war-scarred neighborhood that ails him, he says.

    It’s the seemingly unending talk of a better life just around the corner that sickens him.

    “I’m fed up with summits,” said al-Hams, sitting in a classroom of a U.N.-run boys school where he teaches second-graders. “How did this summit or any summit before it benefit me or the case of my daughter?”

    On Oct. 5, al-Hams’ 13-year-old daughter, Iman, dressed in a school uniform and with her head covered in a scarf in the practice of Muslim women, was killed by Israeli army gunfire. She was shot when she walked into a “no-go” zone near her school in Rafah, on the Gaza Strip’s heavily guarded border with Egypt.

    The official account said Israeli soldiers feared that the girl was a suicide bomber. But a tape recording of radio traffic between soldiers in the 82-foot-high guard tower at no time refers to a bomb before the gunfire erupted or to the backpack with schoolbooks she was carrying.

    Rather, soldiers identified her as a “girl of about 10” who was “scared to death” and “running defensively eastward”—the opposite direction of the tower—as gunfire broke out.

    An Israeli army captain chased Iman and fired two bullets into her prostrate body, which was lying in a ditch, said Yoav Many, one of the officer’s lawyers. The captain is then heard on the radio explaining why he shot Iman: “Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a 3-year-old, needs to be killed.”

    A military police investigation cleared the soldier, identified only as “Capt. R.,” of any wrongdoing. The officer, a member of Israel’s Druze minority, is now on trial in a military court, charged with illegal use of weapons, conduct unbecoming an officer and obstruction of justice—charges that Michael Sfard, an attorney for the al-Hams family, calls “minor.”

    For al-Hams, 50, the slowly dissolving effort to hold someone accountable for his daughter’s killing illustrates the largest obstacle for making progress toward resolving in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian dispute.



    While many Israelis say the prospects for making headway won’t occur until Palestinian society is cleansed of hate, al-Hams and other Palestinians say improvement won’t occur until Israelis stop denying them their rights and treating them as less than human.

    Al-Hams believes that his daughter’s killing was more than what Many, the officer’s lawyer, and other Israeli authorities have called a “tragic accident.”

    “With all of the surveillance equipment the Israeli army has at its disposal, the cameras it has that can detect an ant on the ground, couldn’t it have controlled the situation? Why didn’t they detain her and question her?

    “This shows their deep hatred for Palestinians. If the situation was reversed, and the killer was a Palestinian and the victim a 13-year-old Israeli girl, do you think the reaction would be the same? Is Israeli blood precious and ours cheap?”

    In a sense, the case of Iman al-Hams is unusual, for the Israeli army actually carried out an investigation. In the vast majority of Palestinian civilian deaths, there is a “climate of impunity” within the army, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says.

    Since the start of the Palestinian uprising, known as the intifada, in September 2000, Israeli soldiers have killed more than 3,400 Palestinians, including at least 1,705 who took no part in the fighting, the group says. Of those killed, 514 were under the age of 16.

    Nonetheless, B’Tselem says the army conducted only 104 military investigations into Palestinian casualties and, to date, only one soldier has been convicted of improperly causing a Palestinian’s death.

    “The combination of rules of engagement that encourage a trigger-happy attitude among soldiers together with the climate of impunity results in a clear and very troubling message about the value the (Israel Defense Forces) place on Palestinian life,” said Jessica Montell, B’Tselem’s executive director.

    For al-Hams, the hopes for peace aroused by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon don’t offset this “troubling message.” Sharon’s plan to remove troops from the Gaza Strip this summer cannot erase the pall that has descended over his home since his daughter with hazel-colored eyes was killed.

    “The smiles that never left my house have disappeared. Now, my 3-year-old constantly badgers me with questions. ‘Where’s Iman?’ she asks.

    “What can I say?”

    ***********************

    The Israeli military radio recording of this little girl’s murder:

    Watchtower:
    ‘It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastward’

    Operations room:
    ‘Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?’

    Watchtower:
    ‘A girl of about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death’

    Captain R (after killing the girl):
    ‘Anything moving in the zone, even a three-year-old, needs to be killed’

    **********************
       —Why you will divest-- Young girl shot 17 times by Israeli army.    Mar. 9 '05 - 08:39PM    #
  58. Dear Frodo Paul,

    I hope you didn’t shake Hitchens’ hand. Ugh.
    How do you know he wasn’t spreading disinformation about Palestine? He ranks George W. Bush above Mother Teresa, after all, and is hardly to be trusted…
       —David Boyle    Mar. 9 '05 - 11:56PM    #