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Invest in peace, not division: Minnesota should renew its holdings in Israel bonds

This morning, Minnesota’s State Board of Investment will hear arguments in favor of and in opposition to renewing Minnesota’s investment in Israel bonds. As a Jewish Zionist from Minnesota and as a Palestinian Muslim from the West Bank, we are committed to a better way forward for Israelis and Palestinians. In contrast to the divisive vision of the proponents of divestment, we believe that peace will only come through investing in the people of Israel and Palestine in support of two states for two peoples.

As published on these pages in the past, the argument for divestment is based on the zealous and ahistorical belief that the world’s only Jewish state and the Middle East’s sole democracy is an apartheid-ethnic cleansing-racist nation. The global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is committed to the elimination of Israel and its replacement with a single, Palestinian Arab state. This is a zero-sum strategy, where in order for Palestinians to achieve their right of self-determination, Israelis must lose theirs.

The BDS activists maintain that the only way Minnesota can assist Palestinians is by punishing Israelis. Fortunately, this argument has been rejected by the State Board of Investment, Minnesota’s Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Legislature, and Minnesota’s DFL and Republican parties.

A shared view

Notably, this commitment to investment and rejection of divestment is not just our view, but is one we are proud to share with other moderate, practical voices working toward a two-state solution. For example, just this past December, the highly respected Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce ended its inaugural American “Road Show” in Minnesota with the exact same message. Composed of the most influential business leaders in Palestine, the delegation began its American trip with a formal dinner with Secretary of State John Kerry and meetings with Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. The delegates concluded their American visit with productive meetings with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Secretary of State Steve Simon, as well as a dinner hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas to educate Jewish community leaders about Palestinian business opportunities.

Further underscoring the importance of the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce “Road Show” for investing in peace, these Palestinian leaders were accompanied on their trip by the American Consul General in Jerusalem, Michael Ratney, as well as members of the American Consulate in Jerusalem’s Economic Section, officials of the U.S. government’s Department of State, and a representative from the Office of the Quartet Representative.

Critically, in its formal letter of introduction to Gov. Mark Dayton, the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce delegation wrote “through economic development and mutual cooperation, it is our hope that we can play a constructive role in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. To that point, while we do not oppose American or Minnesota’s investment in the economy of Israel, we do ask that under your leadership, Minnesota will explore ways in which it can invest in the Palestinian economy as well.”

An example to follow

Americans and Minnesotans would be well-advised to follow the example of the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce and to stop looking at Palestinians as secondary objects, seen only through the lens of Israel and the conflict. Specifically, the delegitimizing of Israel through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions is a demonstrably unproductive way to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinians or bring about the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

By contrast, through a more positive mindset, Minnesotans can play our part in tapping the tremendous potential within the Palestinian people. Through investment, we can isolate the extremists on both sides. In turn, we aim to create the conditions which make it possible for Palestinians and Israelis, equally indigenous in the land which they both call home, to commit to the painful concessions necessary to arrive at a sustainable two-state solution.

As a Zionist Jew, from St. Louis Park, and as a proud Palestinian Muslim, born in a refugee camp in the West Bank, we know that to be pro-Palestine doesn’t mean you have to be anti-Israel and to be pro-Israel doesn’t mean you have to be anti-Palestine. Peace is not a zero-sum game and Minnesota has the opportunity to prove that by investing in collaboration and not succumbing to parochial politics of division.

Steve Hunegs is the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC). For 75 years, the JCRC has been the public affairs voice for Minnesota’s Jewish community. Walid Issa, a native of the West Bank, holds a master’s degree in economics from St. Cloud State University and is the co-founder and U.S. director for the Shades Negotiation Program. Issa accompanied the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce delegation on their Washington, D.C., meetings and coordinated the Minnesota portion of their trip.

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If you’re interested in joining the discussion, add your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a letter or a longer-form Community Voices commentary. (For more information about Community Voices, email Susan Albright at salbright@minnpost.com.)

Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/04/2015 - 09:34 am.

    A phony piece for a phony peace.

    Steve Hunegs is a wonderful man. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him. He’s very kind and pleasant.

    However one thing you will never get out of Steve’s mouth or for that matter any major Jewish organization in America is a call to stop/freeze/end settlements. Which means basically they are talking from both sides of their mouths. Kinda like promising someone a cake and eating it.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.572593

    Peter Beinart states it best

    “Were the mainstream Jewish organizations that reject BDS in the name of a negotiated two-state solution actually promoting a negotiated two-state solution, their strategy might have merit. But they’re not. ”

    But as far as I know, neither the Israel Action Network nor the Anti-Defamation League has ever publicly condemned settlement growth. In 2012, AIPAC’s National Council voted down a resolution that merely called on Israel to dismantle those West Bank outposts illegal under Israeli law.

    In truth, establishment American Jewish groups don’t really support the two-state solution. Or, at least, they don’t support it enough to risk a confrontation with the Israeli government. Which is why they are more an obstacle than an asset to the American-led “peace process.” And why they can’t stop BDS.”

    How can you trust the “peace” that Steve Hunegs is offering.

  2. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/04/2015 - 10:55 pm.

    Obstacles and not

    The settlements are not obstacle to peace – otherwise, they wouldn’t have existed since the Palestinian state would have been created before 1967, prior to settlements construction. On the other hand, Israel offered to dismantle most of them in return for peace – Palestinians never accepted any offers. And finally, if necessary, Israel may remove settlements – it did in Sinai after peace agreement with Egypt and it did it in Gaza. If one looks for obstacles to peace, terrorism comes to mind first. BDS and its supporters come second.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/05/2015 - 09:58 am.

      Its Like Eating a Cake

      At some point there is no cake left.

      Very conveniently omitted is the fact that the Palestinians request for a state came AFTER 1967.

      What Israel “offered” (in quotes, because Israel has never made a concrete offer, is pieces of land.

      In Sinai there were a few hundred or thousand settlers. Not the hundreds of thousands.

      Terrorism has nothing to do with settlements. Just an excuse. Just like BDS.

  3. Submitted by David Whitten Smith on 03/04/2015 - 11:34 pm.

    Investment in Palestine?

    I would be more enthusiastic about investing in Palestine if Israel did not blow up such investments. Substantial money from the U.S. was invested in the Gaza electric power plant that Israel destroyed. A number of West Bank projects funded by European countries have been destroyed by Israel.

    Investments also don’t make sense if Israeli barriers, walls, checkpoints, and incursions make it difficult or impossible for workers to get to work, product to be shipped out of Gaza or the West Bank, and raw materials and tools to be shipped in. The Minnesota cooperative Land of Lakes tried to set up a creamery in the West Bank. It failed because workers could not reliably get to work through the Israeli checkpoints.

    Netanyahu shows through his actions that he has no intention of allowing a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza. None of his predecessors did, either. Miko Peled points out that Israel only started talking about a two-state solution once their “facts on the ground” had made it impossible.

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem–for all faiths.

  4. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/05/2015 - 07:37 pm.

    Facts

    Mr. Maddali, Palestinians were offered a state as a part of UN resolution dividing Palestine between Jewish and Arab (please note, Arab, not Palestinian) state. So Palestinians did not want it then (why?) and started wanting it after 1967? How convenient… I also wonder why the PLO was created for in 1964 if they did not want their own state… Olmert offered a lot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_peace_process. Now a question is why you are bringing up the settlement population – can’t Jews live among Palestinians when they get their state? I also really like your statement that terrorism has nothing to do with settlements which is very true because terrorism has everything to do with Israel’s existence within its own borders… On the other hand terrorism has a lot to do with Israel’s attitude, and understandably so.

    Mr. Smith, Israel did not start all the wars in Gaza – Hamas did. So maybe your displeasure is directed towards the wrong entity…

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/05/2015 - 07:59 pm.

      More Facts

      The majority population Arabs/Palestinians residents of the British domain rejected a UN partition. They had no vote nor voice in the matter. Nothing wrong with that. Even many Indians rejected partition.

      Just because they rejected a state does not condemn to third class stateless status. When they saw that they were not going to be getting equal rights in the original British Mandate, they asked for a seperate state. Rejecting partition is used a convenient excuse to pretend they lost all rights.

      “can’t Jews live among Palestinians when they get their state? ” – Why can’t ALL jews and ALL arabs live in all the land as equal. Why should the choice be only for one religion.

      ” Israel’s existence within its own borders…” – and the settlements lie outside Israel’s borders. Wonder why that is so often omitted.

      “On the other hand terrorism has a lot to do with Israel’s attitude, and understandably so.” – and that “attitude” include grabbing land for settlement and pretending why people fight back.

      “Israel did not start all the wars in Gaza – Hamas did.” – That is if you ignore the FACT that Gaza is a prison, and is attacked on a constant basis by Israel.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/05/2015 - 10:47 pm.

        Past and present

        The Arabs rejected the partition – that was their choice and there is nothing wrong with that except that it was an unwise decision because if they did not reject it, they would not have been in a position they are in right now…unless, of course, that was the plan… or they just hoped to get rid of Israel. I also wonder what logical basis they had to expect to be getting equal rights when they rejected not only their own state but the creation of the State of Israel as well. And still, they got more rights in Israel than in other Arab countries and definitely more rights than Jews in Arab countries. Of course, you did not explain why PLO was created in 1964. On the other hand, if the Arabs rejected this UN decision, they do not have the rights to ask the UN to help them now, at least not until they publicly accept that old UN decision meaning that all Arab countries should recognize Israel as a Jewish state, just as the UN envisioned.

        The choice is unfortunately just for one religion because Arabs do live in Israel while Jews do not live in many Arab countries and are assumed not to be living in the future Palestinian state.

        I understand that you prefer to ignore the issue of terrorism but that just shows how one-sided your position is. But terrorism is about Israel within its original borders and has nothing to do with settlements as you admitted. In 1972, there were merely 10,000 settlers – so what was the Munich massacre about? Palestinian fighting “back” started BEFORE Israel grabbed any land.

        I would also like you to provide the facts that Israel attacks Gaza “on constant basis.” And an explanation how Hamas managed to build all those tunnels and to acquire so much weapons if Gaza is a prison…

        • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/06/2015 - 03:23 pm.

          More Facts

          ” they would not have been in a position they are in right now…unless, of course, that was the plan… or they just hoped to get rid of Israel. ” – Again. Rejecting partition does not doom one to a stateless citizenship. At least not according to the Geneva Convention.

          ” I also wonder what logical basis they had to expect to be getting equal rights when they rejected not only their own state but the creation of the State of Israel as well. ” – Again that would be the Geneva Convention.

          ” And still, they got more rights in Israel than in other Arab countries and definitely more rights than Jews in Arab countries. ” – Ummm no. All Jews in Iran, Turkey have a right to live in the land they were born. So again well repeated fiction doesn’t make it fact.

          “they do not have the rights to ask the UN to help them now,” – Not according to the Geneva Convention.

          “The choice is unfortunately just for one religion because Arabs do live in Israel while Jews do not live in many Arab countries ” – For which Israel was compensated with more land. Wonder why that keeps getting forgotten.

          “I understand that you prefer to ignore the issue of terrorism but that just shows how one-sided your position is. ” – Terrorism has nothing to do with the plan called “Judea and Sameria” or Facts on the Ground.

          ” In 1972, there were merely 10,000 settlers – so what was the Munich massacre about? ” – When the PLO was asking for their original homeland back. Terrorists do kill indiscriminately, Ask the Irgun.

          ” Israel attacks Gaza “on constant basis.”” – First a blockade to bring them to a subhumanitarian living standard as gleefully admitted by Israeli diplomats (Wikileaks). Seconds Israel raids Gaza and West Bank when it feels like. Just like the dead teenagers, Israel conducted raids , even when its own intelligence revealed those children were dead.

          “And an explanation how Hamas managed to build all those tunnels and to acquire so much weapons if Gaza is a prison…” – Prisoners do tend to acquire weapons. Ever heard of uprising in other ghettos ?

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/06/2015 - 11:43 pm.

            Let’s use facts, not fiction

            Well, people should be responsible for their decisions and their consequences, shouldn’t they? Germany lost East Prussia and Japan lost Kuril Islands… Plus, they do not have a state now not because of that decision but because of many later decisions to reject offers and because of terrorism.

            Palestinians who stayed in Israel were given full citizenship after Israel’s creation and those who lived in the West Bank and Gaza could not Israel for anything since Israel was not governing those areas after 1948.

            Just for your information, Turkey and Iran are not Arab countries to which I referred…

            Israel was not compensated for anything with anything. Can you provide the proof?

            Terrorism has everything to do with “facts on the ground” – settlements were created to provide a buffer for future Arab attacks. As I said they did not exist before 1967 while PLO was created in 1964. The question is for what? To get the entire Israel back? You never answered this question.

            Gaza blockade was established only after Hamas got the power there. So you can also ask why Egypt maintains blockade on its side… And if Hamas used building materials allowed by Israel for housing instead of tunnels, Palestinians in Gaza would be much better off. And Israel enters Gaza to hunt those who attack Israel or fire missiles into it – that is not called attacks, it is called self-defense.

            And yes, prisoners sometimes acquire weapons – knives and guns at best. Not mortars, missiles, concrete for tunnels, open areas for training terrorists….

            You refer so many times to Geneva Convention that I wonder: do you always choose documents you like and ignore the ones you don’t? Palestinians rejected UN resolution about division but want to stick to Geneva Convention?

            • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/07/2015 - 07:36 am.

              More fiction is not fact.

              “Well, people should be responsible for their decisions and their consequences, shouldn’t they? ” – And that would include the decision to being a signatory to the Geneva Convention.

              Turkey is an Arab country. The claim “Arab countries” provide no rights, as most Israeli supporters do, is an engagement in half truths. And in all other Arab countries people all people have the same rights

              Israel got the majority of the partitioned land, for a minority of the population.

              No settlements were not created as a buffer. That is a rather new invention of a “military strategy” to claim posting settlements is a buffer against a military attack. The PLO before 1967 was for their rights in the entire land as per the UN Resolution. That is well documented.

              Actually there were ghetto uprisings where the prisoners acquired real weapons. And people who have their land stolen do tend to fight back.

              The Gaza blockade shows Israel wants to maintain a prison. And pretend its all for peace. When you imprison people they will fight back. I don’t like it. But that’s a human fact.

              Your “self-defense” theory is premised on ignoring the wider fact that Israel strips these people of their rights. Suppression of a people is not self defense.

              Again. Rejection of a UN resolution does not abrogate the Geneva Convention. You won’t talk about peoples rights under the Geneva Convention because it exposes the fact that Israel picks and chooses what it deems it obligations are.

              It’s not I who ignores UN Resolutions. You’re picking one UN Resolution, but ignoring there were a subsequent resolutions based on all the realities (including Arab rejection) . And who ignores that one ?

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/07/2015 - 03:39 pm.

                Only facts (and questions)

                So what bad consequences does Israel have because of signing Geneva Convention? Turkey is NOT an Arab country http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey and they speak Turkish, not Arabic. I also wonder if Christians and Jews have equal rights, for example, in Saudi Arabia where they can’t even build a temple or a church. So my claim is 100% true. Division resolution referred to ARAB state, not Palestinians and Arabs had multiples states and a lot of land. And nowhere the division resolution mentions that Jews would be expelled from Arab countries into new Jewish country. Many settlements were established as military outposts. Which ghettos got real weapons? “The PLO before 1967 was for their rights in the entire land as per the UN Resolution.” What does that mean? That it was against Jordan and Egypt that had Gaza and West Bank? Or that Arafat never wanted to eliminate Israel? Why didn’t they fight back against Jordan that annexed West Bank or Egypt which established military rule in Gaza? Why no one cares about Western Sahara? Why has Egypt established Gaza blockade after Hamas took over, at the same time Israel did? Israel pulled out of Gaza and yet people there elected Hamas which doesn’t recognize Israel and is engaged in terrorism. “Self-defense” in a form of terrorism is against even your beloved Geneva Convention. And why don’t Palestinians fight back against all other Arab countries that do not give them full rights? And I am not even talking that West Bank is not “occupied” because it was never claimed by Palestinians. Israel agreed to the first division resolution but that doesn’t preclude it from rejecting future resolutions. Palestinians rejected the first and main resolution establishing their state so strictly speaking they can’t use other resolutions.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/08/2015 - 11:01 am.

                Questions

                So what bad consequences does Israel have because of signing Geneva Convention? Turkey is NOT an Arab country http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey and they speak Turkish, not Arabic. I also wonder if Christians and Jews have equal rights, for example, in Saudi Arabia where they can’t even build a temple or a church. So my claim is 100% true. Division resolution referred to ARAB state, not Palestinians and Arabs had multiples states and a lot of land. And nowhere the division resolution mentions that Jews would be expelled from Arab countries into new Jewish country. Many settlements were established as military outposts. Which ghettos got real weapons? “The PLO before 1967 was for their rights in the entire land as per the UN Resolution.” What does that mean? That it was against Jordan and Egypt that had Gaza and West Bank? Or that Arafat never wanted to eliminate Israel? Why didn’t they fight back against Jordan that annexed West Bank or Egypt which established military rule in Gaza? Why no one cares about Western Sahara? Why has Egypt established Gaza blockade after Hamas took over, at the same time Israel did? Israel pulled out of Gaza and yet people there elected Hamas which doesn’t recognize Israel and is engaged in terrorism. “Self-defense” in a form of terrorism is against even your beloved Geneva Convention. And why don’t Palestinians fight back against all other Arab countries that do not give them full rights? And I am not even talking that West Bank is not “occupied” because it was never claimed by Palestinians. Israel agreed to the first division resolution but that doesn’t preclude it from rejecting future resolutions. Palestinians rejected the first and main resolution establishing their state so strictly speaking they can’t use other resolutions.

                • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/08/2015 - 08:42 pm.

                  Answers

                  A Saudi born in his/her country has a right to live there. Something Israel doesn’t provide. So don’t tell me about all these other “rights” which exist on paper in Israel when a fundamental right is violated.

                  A person born in Jordan today, an Arab country, has a right of a full citizen. Not in Israel. You wish to establish a right to live in a country as some insignificant right while pointing at all other rights.

                  The Resolution to partition Palestine was based on Palestine. Not some count in the United Nations count of how many Arab states there were at that time.

                  The Warsaw ghetto smuggled weapons. Now you’re going to use the adjective “real” to pretend as if the oppressed in that situation did not try to smuggle weapons. because they were not “real” weapons.

                  Civilians came AFTER the military outposts. Today, and even then Civilians in settlements had no militarily value. Other than to make permanent the land grab.

                  The PLO came before the settlements because they represented at that time their rights in the entire Palestine. It is only later on they agreed to a country in the Occupied Territories. That is a well known fact. Its not as if prior to 1967 there were no Palestinian refugees from Israel.

                  Egypt and Jordan did not expel Palestinians from those lands they occupied.. Israel did.

                  Again. Israel pulled out of Gaza. And made it a prison. And deliberately withheld humanitarian aid. As repeatedly pointed out in the Wikileaks.

                  If you kick me out of my home, and my neighbor gives me shelter, you want me to fight with my neighbor for his house ?

                  Self Defense is allowed under the Geneva Convention. Terrorism is not allowed. Apartheid is not allowed either. Can’t pick and choose.

                  The UN decided the fate of West Bank and Gaza. Israel can’t pick and choose which resolutions it wishes to follow or hold others to.

                  And your claim that the Palestinians can’t use other resolutions is false. Totally false.

                  • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/09/2015 - 08:53 pm.

                    More facts and missing answers

                    An Israeli born there in his country is also free to live there – Jew, Arab, Christian, Hindu – no difference with Saudi Arabia. But Arabs living in Israel can build a mosque while Christians can’t build churches; and Jews apparently can’t even travel there http://www.lonelyplanet.com/saudi-arabia/practical-information/visas. So what rights exist in Israel on paper only?

                    The resolution to partition was based on Palestine but it was assumed that non-Jewish residents of that area were just Arabs since, obviously, any inhabitant of Palestine was a Palestinian, whether Jewish or Arab. And yes, it was based on Palestine so Jews living in Arab countries did not count and were not part of the deal despite you assertion that they were assumed to come to Israel.

                    Of course, Warsaw ghetto tried to smuggle weapons – they just didn’t have many opportunities to do it so all they had was some light weapon and not very much. Plus, they were all supposed to die so they did not have much of a choice. And no one in the world tried to protect them – no League of Nation offices there for refugees. Gaza, on the other hand, was free to build its future but it chose Hamas and, therefore, war rather than peace. They also have UN schools where Hamas hides missiles without UN complaining… So don’t even try to compare… And give me examples when Israel withheld humanitarian aid from Gaza – and concrete for tunnels is not humanitarian material; and of course, once again, blockade was imposed only AFTER Hamas took power. And you never answered why Egypt imposed blockade as well.

                    Yes, civilians did come to settlements which, as I said, was the land not claimed by any state (if you can find a place on Earth that is not claimed by any state, you can claim it). So remember that if Palestinians took the land offered to them, settlements would not have existed.

                    I am glad you agree that PLO wanted to eliminate Israel… Surprisingly, Israel did not want to be eliminated. And if one is attacked, he has the full legal rights to defend himself, as you also said; that is what Israel did. So at the end, Arafat in 1964 sealed the fate of Palestinians in 1967.

                    Israel did not expel Arabs either – except a few unfortunate cases. Mostly, the Arab states urged them to flee with the promise that they would be able to return quickly. So no one kicked them out. And of course, their neighbors giving them shelter were keeping them in the dirty basement without the right to go upstairs as a way of making sure that they would be willing to go and fight. Israel accepted all Jewish refugees with full citizenship. No Arab country except Jordan accepted Palestinians as citizens. And of course, as I said, Jordan also ended up killing thousands of them for some reason….

                    It is good that you agree that terrorism is not allowed as self-defense but isn’t it what Hamas practices all the time. As for apartheid, you can read its definition as “racial segregation” which of, course does not exist in Israel.

                    And finally, if one gets an inheritance and refuses to take it, the rights are lost and the next in line gets it. And if a teacher tells a student to study and he does not, asking later for a good grade would not be a moral policy…

                    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/10/2015 - 06:46 am.

                      Fiction

                      There are millions of Arabs who were born in Israel who are stateless. Futhermore, rights for Arabs who live inside Israel may exist on paper, but are sharply curtailed. For example, issuance of building permits for Arabs are highly restricted. So how much of the supposed “rights” actually exist. Only on paper.

                      Partition was not based on Palestine. It was based on two religions. And, Jewish residents of Palestine, who were a minority, got a majority of the land. That is a fact.

                      You asked me whether people in Ghettos smuggle weapons. I proved it. There is no one to protect Palestinians, cause Israel hides behind an American veto,

                      Gaza was not free to build its future. It was made a prison. The wikileaks openly proved that Israel withheld humanitarian aid.

                      Egypt imposes a blockade because it does not want Israel to dump Gaza on it. Israel is the Occupational authority.

                      The claim that the land does not belong to a state so Israel can grab it , is counter to every UN Resolution. On one hand you claim the benefits of a Resolution. On the other you pretend no such right exists for the other side.

                      Every side in war wants to eliminate the other. Just as Israel wanted to eliminate as many Arabs from its land. The legal rights to defend don’t give you the legal rights to establish Apartheid. That’s a fact.

                      Israel did have plans to expel Arabs. There was no such urging by Arab state. That, live most of the propaganda, has been proven to be a false claim.

                      Israel was given more land because of refugees coming in.

                      Hamas practices terrorism. Israel practices Apartheid. Apartheid is not just racial segregation. Even the Mossad chief and many Israeli leaders have accepted that Israel is moving towards apartheid.

                      If one disputes an inheritance, you don’t get to take the entire inheritance. That’s why there are courts in civilized countries.

                    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/10/2015 - 07:46 pm.

                      Fact again

                      There are no Arabs who were born in Israel and are now stateless – Israel has not expelled anyone from its proper. On the other hand, why aren’t those “stateless” people absorbed by the states where they live now? Israel absorbed all Jews who were made stateless by the Arab states.

                      Having a building permit is not a right, in Israel, the United States, or any other country. Building a house of worship is though.

                      If partition was not based on Palestine but on two religions, it is even more reasonable to consider that Muslims had plenty of other states and Jews did not have a single one…

                      I asked you where people smuggled “heavy” weapons into ghettos, like missile launchers, because we talked about Gaza being a “prison” but I said that people bring heavy weapon in and build attack tunnels to prove that it was not a prison. Handguns and knives are brought into prison all the time but that is not what Hamas is using to attack Israel.

                      Palestinians receive more international aid per person than any other people in the world. Majority of Gaza population is provided for by the UNRWA. The UN shields Palestinians all the time, including, as you admitted, unreasonable number of investigations by UNHRC. And Gaza for open for business after Israel pulled out in 2005 until Hamas took power in 2008. And Wikileaks cannot prove anything.

                      Egypt declared Hamas a terrorist organization – I think this has something to do with is closing the borders…

                      As I said, if someone is offered a land that does not belong to anyone and refuses to take it, that land still doesn’t belong to anyone. And Palestinians’ refusal to take the land was contrary to the FIRST relevant UN resolution so that should govern. OK, I will give it to you: When every single Arab state recognizes the first (partition) UN resolution (establishing Israel as the Jewish state), establishing a Palestinian state will not be a problem with Israel – I guarantee it because considering that Israelis want peace, they will immediately elect a PM (remember, Israel is a democracy) who would do that right away. And if someone refuses inheritance, it goes to the next in line, it’s a typical practice.

                      There was no war until Israel was attacked in 1948. And you admitted that PLO in 1964 wanted to destroy Israel; are you saying that Arab stated did not want to do it in 1948?

                      I gave you a definition of apartheid and you still claim this nonsense. (Misguided) Israelis may say that Israel is moving towards apartheid but it is still not the same as practicing it. If one is moving towards NY from LA, he is not in NY.

                      And please prove your statements about the reason that Israel was given more land because of refugees and that there was no urging by the Arab states for Palestinians to leave. You may also want to explain why Arab countries did not give Palestinians full citizenship. By the way, if the first thing is correct, it explains why Israel was given more land – the thing you complained about…

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