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( jjs110 )

Comments made by jjs110

Local Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

I would like to commend Marjorie for her three excellent comments. Contrary to MarkW who spouts the usual empty slogans without bothering to do any research, she has done her homework and come up with evidence backing up every one of her statements. Mr. Barghouti did nothing of the sort, preferring to utter one lie after another, even if each one can be easily debunked, but that's precisely what he's counting on: very few people will have the intellectual integrity to check what he said, and depending on their inclinations, will either accept everything he said at face value or won't bother to check even if they have doubts. Which is why I want to get back to one of Mr. Barghouti's many lies: his calling Gaza a concentration camp was nothing short of obscene. Clearly Mr. Barghouti has no idea of what a real concentration camp is like. He has clearly not visited Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maidanek, Bergen-Belsen and countless other places where 6 millions Jews were physically eliminated. Such mass slaughter has not happened in Gaza, as the ludicrous comparison implies. As Marjorie started asking, if Gaza is a concentration camp, where are the furnaces? I would add: where are the bodies? Where are the mass graves? If Gaza is a concentration camp, why would Israel allow hundred of thousands of supplies in every week instead of letting the population slowly starve to death? Among the few Nazi concentration camps survivors, I am sure we could find a few who would have kissed the ground in gratefulness had they received then what Israel allows in Gaza today. The deliberate imagery used by Mr. Barghouti to amplify the alleged victimization of the Palestinians in Gaza is a brutal slap in the face of the Nazi camp victims and survivors, and a belittling of their very real suffering, as opposed to the unhappy situation the Palestinians find themselves in Gaza because of the choices they made themselves by electing Hamas. Maybe Mr. Barghouti was hoping to gain a few easy points with his grotesque comparison, but as far I am concerned (and I am sure quite a few KPBS listeners), I found that statement profoundly shocking, repugnant and contemptible. If he is willing to steep that low, anything else he said after that should be looked upon as most likely inaccurate. Which is precisely what Marjorie demonstrated with brio.

J.J. Surbeck

September 22, 2010 at 10:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

There are at least two elements among the many things mentioned by Mr. Barghouti that would have deserved more scrutiny had we had more time.

The first one is the fact that in a population of roughly 7.2 million people, 1.4 of its citizens are Arab-Israelis, with the same rights and privileges given to all other Israeli citizens regardless of their religious affiliations. That's 20% of the population! Contrast that with the Palestinian leaders' attitude of not being able to tolerate the presence of even one Israeli Jew in the West Bank, which is supposed to become the future Palestinian State. Their idea of a Palestinian "democratic" state is to start by performing a massive ethnic cleansing of all Jews living there, instead of doing the same thing Israel did with its Arab citizens and integrate them with equal rights. Why the double standard? Why can 1.4 million Arabs live in Israel but 250,000 Jews can't live in a future state of Palestine?

The second one is the tired old slogan of a so-called "right of return" that allegedly gives the Palestinians the right to come back to a land that they lost fair and square as a result of their attacking Israel in 1948 (AND 1967, AND 1973) with the declared intention to destroy her. The problem is that while the notion of "right" implies the existence of a document that gives a legal ground to this claim, it simply does not exist! It's a pure myth. Mr. Barghouti mentioned Prof Richard Falk, a professor of international law and one of these Jewish voices who supports the Palestinian point of view, so I asked the good professor directly: "could you please show me which international law treaty says specifically that the Palestinians are entitled to a so-called right of return". His response was quite clear: "there isn't any". Of course he was quick to point out that in his view it is UN General Assembly Resolution 194 that gives the Palestinians this right, but I countered by pointing out (as he should know better) that a) UNGA resolutions do not have force of law, and are therefore not enforceable; b) UNGA resolutions do not make nor are part of international law; c) when the General Assembly voted on it on Dec 11, 1948, all the Arab States voted AGAINST it! (so they have some nerve to invoke it today), and d) in any event, it merely suggested that some refugees be allowed back IF they agreed to live at peace with their neighbors, something that clearly the Palestinians have amply demonstrated they are still not prepared to do. Bottom line: there is no "right of return" in international law, neither for the Palestinians nor for anyone else. It's a pure invention.

J.J. Surbeck
Executive Director
T.E.A.M.
Training and Education
About the Middle East
www.sandiegoteam.org
jjs110@cox.net

September 20, 2010 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

On Rosh Hashanah, SD Israel Coalition Calls For Peace At Home And Abroad

How did we get from an event meant to celebrate the Jewish New Year to an interview (almost half the article) of a Palestinian representative? Was there a panel involved? Was there a lecture that would have warranted a response on his part? If KPBS was as quick to find a pro-Israel voice every time they interview a pro-Palestinian one, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but since it's not the case, this is ridiculous. It illustrates rather well KPBS' biases. I take it that next time there is a Palestinian event, even if it only a dance or a fair, a KPBS reporter will come running with a mike in hand to ask what the pro-Israel view is on the matter? I'm looking forward to it.

J.J. Surbeck
Executive Director
T.E.A.M.
Training and Education
About the Middle East
www.sandiegoteam.org
Tel. 760-753-2121
Cell 760-613-9993

September 12, 2010 at 11:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )