Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Speak Softly and Carry a Big IDF

"Israeli Apartheid Week" 2009

Thursday, March 5th: Part 3: Leila Farsakh
University of Toronto

My friend has a beautiful, distinctive speaking voice. Although its tone is soft, it carries well, so one doesn't have to strain to hear what she is saying.

Partway through Leila Farsakh's speech, I heard my friend say, "But my friend..."

I turned and saw her at the doorway (the other door; the one with the bouncers whom I had neglected to inform of her late arrival). Unbeknownst to me, my Jewish friend had just attempted to follow another woman into the room but had been physically blocked by the bouncer. I stood, smiled broadly and waved at my friend and they let her in.

Muslim bouncer apartheid strikes again!

(Just for the record: throughout the evening, long after my friend's arrival, various people were allowed to enter and they found seats with no problem.)

My friend settled in to her seat and we listened to the rest of Ms. Farsakh's presentation.

Ms. Farsakh continued to toss out information without context or proof. She's a university professor; why didn't she have hand-outs so we could check her facts and do our own research?

Ms. Farsakh said that, since 1967, Israel has created a system that has fragmented Palestinian land and regulated the lives of Palestinians. She said the Oslo accords set the stage for this action.

Now, let's pause for a moment and think. What happened in 1967?

Oh, that's right: some Arab countries decided to pick a fight with Israel but Israel fought back and whooped their sorry asses and the losers have been whining about it ever since.

But Ms. Farsakh didn't mention the unprovoked war on Israel or Israel's victory. She also didn't mention the many concessions Israel has made, or has tried to make, for peace since its formation.

The "pass system", she said, is based on "domination" and was "institutionalized by Oslo". Thanks to Oslo, Israel created "islands" – "fragmented areas" that are "territorially unconnected" – consisting of eight major "Bantustans" including Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus (I didn't catch the rest). She mentioned checkpoints (according to her, there are 604 in the West Bank) and a permit system based on Oslo which grants Israel the power to regulate the movements of "workers, businessmen, anyone" which was introduced in 1993 and confirmed by Oslo in 2002.

The use of the term Bantustan is inaccurate; anti-Israel groups are simply trying to paint Israel with the same brush as apartheid South Africa. The situation in Israel is different in many ways, including the fact that its Arab and/or Muslim citizens have full and equal rights guaranteed by law.

See this document for information on the real Bantustans.

The 1993 agreement between the Palestinian representatives and the state of Israel, the Declaration of Principles On Interim Self-Government Arrangements, starts out:

"The Government of the State of Israel and the P.L.O. team (in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference) (the "Palestinian Delegation"), representing the Palestinian people, agree that it is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process. Accordingly, the, two sides agree to the following principles..."

Now, that sounds kinda mutual to me.

As for the areas including Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus, I'd like to know how they came under Palestinian control. Were Muslims herded together, shipped off to "native reservations" and locked in before Israel threw away the key?

Or was this covered in other agreements between the two groups? For example, what about the Oslo 2 Agreement in 1995:

The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

And this in 2005: Israel, Palestinians Agree on Two Documents on Movement, Access.

Here's a link to a list of Agreements Israel has made with the Palestinians.

I keep seeing the word "agreement" alongside "Israel" and "Palestinians". This would suggest that the two sides have made official agreements on these issues. Despite this, I got the impression that Ms. Farsakh holds a low opinion of the Oslo agreements.

She made some other statements that were not backed up with facts: "Israel intends to incorporate all of Jerusalem into Israel" and "Israel's plan is to incorporate 90% of the West Bank into Israel". I'd like some proof, please.

She seemed disappointed with the refusal of the international community to get on board with the Bantustan refrain. She said that, although the international community refused to recognize Bantustans in South Africa, it has not done the same regarding the Palestinian territories.

"The big problem we have," Ms. Farsakh said, "is UN Resolution 181 and Resolution 242" as well as, she added, U.S. President George W. Bush "saying in 2002 or 2003 that the only solution is the creation of a Palestinian state".

But isn't that what they want: a Palestinian state? How could that be a problem?

"But it wouldn't be a state," Ms. Farsakh continued, "it would be a Bantustan."


According to her, they already have Bantustans. How would creating a separate Palestinian state turn it into a new Bantustan? She didn't say.

Here's what she did say:

"The two-state solution has been killed by Israel: the only solution is a one-state solution."

Get that into your head, because that's what the Palestinian movement has been saying all along: Israel can't have its own state anymore. Not with a Palestinian state, not without a Palestinian state. The only solution they will accept is one Palestinian (Muslim)-majority state comprised of the geographical area currently known as Israel.

And whose fault is it? Why, it's Israel's fault, of course.

The Palestinian groups will never agree that Israel has a right to exist and that a two-state solution is therefore fair and workable. As far as they are concerned, Israel does not have a right to exist and they are doing everything they can to see to its erasure.

When the anti-Israel people talk about the "illegal occupation", they're not talking about Gaza or the West Bank or any other "disputed territory": they are talking about all of Israel.

Think about that. And riddle me this.

How many Muslim countries are there in the world?


How many Jewish countries are there in the world?


But that's one too many for them. And 57 isn't nearly enough: they want more. They want to make it 58-0.

And that's just for starters. If they are allowed to wipe Israel from the map, you don't really think they'll stop there, do you?

Up next: The Rape of the World or How My People had No Roads, Buildings, Dams or Infrastructure Until the Brilliant Europeans Came Along and I'm So Grateful to be Living in Such an Advanced Civilization.