Annual Fundraising Appeal

The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…

Ayers

The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day10

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

How Obama Lends Credence to the Notion of a "Jewish" State

Why Palestine is Different

by SAM BAHOUR

Secretary of State John Kerry is making an all-out effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Many well-intentioned, highly intelligent people from around the world have engaged in some way, shape, or form in the Palestinian-Israeli issue and many of these people have had hands-on experience in resolving other longstanding, global issues, like those of Ireland, South Africa, and U.S. civil rights. While there is always a great deal to learn from other global experiences, the case of Palestine is different and unless Secretary Kerry recognizes this, all the efforts and millions of dollars being thrown at this conflict will be in vain, as will the latest U.S. negotiations blitz.

Three issues related to this conflict that are crucial to understand are: historic guilt, colonial responsibility, and the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel.

Today’s global powers bear a tremendous amount of historic guilt, not only, as is popularly believed, for the anti-Semitism their ancestors practiced against Jews. This was very real throughout the 19th and 20th centuries – and earlier – and it was rampant in mainly white, Christian European places like Germany, Poland, France, Austria, and, yes, even in the U.S.

But these countries should also understand their historic responsibility for making the Palestinians pay for European and American crimes. Their guilt vis-à-vis Jews has hobbled their objectivity and skewed their capacity to see the acts of Israel for what they have been, and continue to be: crimes against humanity.

Long before the Holocaust, the political ideology of Zionism charted a path towards ethnically cleansing Palestine from its native Muslim and Christian Palestinian population, aiming to create what was dubbed a “Jewish State.” This colossal, historic injustice of dispossessing Palestinians is no longer a point of contention: even Israeli historians have meticulously documented this fact.

Furthermore, many of those same global powers, led by the U.S., were born out of a colonial history that displaced indigenous populations. As such, these powers see the Israeli enterprise as very similar to their own and find it difficult to hold Israel accountable for fear that this will then boomerang on them.

Thus, instead of seeing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for what it really is – ongoing colonialism – these powers prefer to frame the conflict as one in which the parties have equally valid, competing narratives that require a partition of the land. And meanwhile, as they remain transfixed on this outdated partition paradigm, they can offer no explanation as to why their respective governments allowed the reality on the ground to gradually render this solution unfeasible.

Ever since the New York Times headline of May 14, 1948 – “ZIONISTS PROCLAIM NEW STATE OF ISRAEL” – the U.S. has taken sides in this conflict, arming, funding, diplomatically covering for, and politically and militarily planning with Israel in its determination (always camouflaged in euphemisms) to ethnically cleanse Palestine.

Israel worked hard to cast the U.S. support in cement. Israeli leaders understood very well the inherent weaknesses of an open political system and wasted no time in creating a pro-Israel lobby that transformed what is supposed to be a foreign affairs issue into a U.S. domestic issue. Israel’s domestication of the U.S. political scene – courtesy of American proxies – is alive and well today; just ask newly appointed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

U.S. president Barack Obama epitomizes this reality. During his recent trip to Israel, he visited the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) to declare that Israel’s future existence and security as a “strong Jewish state” would ensure that there will never be another holocaust.

What did he mean? Was the idea to imply that if Israel, as a “Jewish state,” ceased to exist (like other states with a racially-based raison d’etre, such as the U.S. prior to the Civil War or South Africa during its Apartheid era), then Jews in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, would be slaughtered?!

Adding insult to injury, Obama then did a huge favor to Israel’s right wing by going outside official protocol to lay a wreath on the tomb of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the political ideology of Zionism.

Through his actions, intentionally or otherwise, Obama gave credence to the ‘right’ of a Jewish state in Palestine, while ignoring the indigenous people of Palestine – including Christians, Muslims and even some Jews – upon whose ruins the Israeli state was built. Palestinians are still struggling for survival in the face of an ethnic cleansing campaign that began more than 65 years ago and is still going on.

Indeed, Palestine is different, really different. A more basic and more relevant issue than artificial partition is still waiting to be seriously addressed: Is Israel to be a state of all its citizens—Jewish and non-Jewish—or not? The answer to this question goes to the heart of Zionism’s racially-based enterprise and opens the way to a historic reconciliation and a homecoming of Palestinian refugees to what is today called Israel.

Sam Bahour is a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network.

Note: First published on Mondoweiss at: http://bit.ly/why-palestine-different