Bulletin N°285


16 January 2007
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
After reading books on social theory like, Plato's Republic, or Principia Mathematica (by Russell and Whitehead), or Dialectical Investigations (by Bertell Ollman), I routinely try to explain the concepts to my daughters --now ages 8 and 10. If they do not understand what I am talking about, I go back to the books and try to better understand the theories I was unable to explain. But sometimes, and in the most unexpected places, I discover that they have a grasp of theories which I thought were too difficult, such as the hierarchical nature of a social contradiction. For example, I was recently coming out of a supermarket with my 8-year-old and carrying two bags of groceries, while she was dancing in circles around me in the parking lot. I stopped walking and suggested that if she had so much energy she could carry one of the bags to the car, to which she replied that she would carry both bags if I would carry her. I noted that she had all the necessary qualities of a modern philanthropist.

Below, we present 9 items which were received by CEIMSA at the start of this new year and which relate to the continued criminal activities of Thieves in High Places, the title of Jim Hightower's book which was translated into French, in 2004, under the title, Ces truands qui nous gouvernent: Ils nous ont vol l'Amrique, il est temps de la reprendre, by University of Grenoble students associated with CEIMSA.

Item A., sent to us by Jean-Paul Vienne, is a comment by Brazil's Minister of Education, Cristovam Buarque, on the idea of international control over vital resources.

Item B. is the audio copy of an interview with historian Gabriel Kolko by George Kenney, the director of the Internet broadcast, Electronic Politics.

Item C., sent to us by Dr. Catherine Shamas, is a 2007 update from the Aida Camp for Palestinian refugees.

Item D. is an Internet site sent to us by Grenoble graduate student Stephane Mohr who shares with us an "interesting article about military build-up and corporate interests".

Item E., sent to us by San Diego community organizer Byron Morton, is an announcement for the up-coming meeting of the San Diego, California anti-war community with America's "most renowned and respected whistle-blower", Daniel Ellsberg

Item F. is the transcript of the debate at the news podcast, Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report, between self-described Zionist Gil Troy and political scientist Norman Finkelstein on Jimmy Carter's controversial book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Item G. is an article from Academics for Justice describing how Israeli immigration policy is threatening a "brain drain" at Palestinian Universities by forcing academic researchers out of West Bank.

Item H. is a link with the Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report coverage of President Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq.

And Item I. is a link sent to us by New York Professor John Gerassi (who is teaching this semester at the University of Hawaii) on the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein, set to the musical tune of "Thanks for the Memories".

And finally we offer another insightful newsletter on The Anti-Empire Report, January 12, 2007, sent to us by William Blum:


Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Universit Stendhal Grenoble 3

from Jean-Paul Vienne :
Envoy: dimanche 7 janvier 2007
Objet: Superbe rponse du ministre brsilien de lEducation : internationalisation de l'Amazonie ????
J'ignore si mes amis du Mouvement de la Paix (et d'une faon gnrale les amis de la paix) ont eu connaissance de ce point de vue du ministre brsilien de l'Education (qui circule actuellement en Isre). Il mrite, en tout cas, d'tre connu, en encore davantage *les 10 dernires lignes* qui sont superbes. Il mriterait aussi d'tre publi dans "Plante Paix".

Jean-Paul VIENNE,
Prsident du Comit de l'Isre du Mouvement de la Paix

Superbe reponse du ministre brasilien de l'Education interrogé par des étudiants aux Etats-Unis...

La presse nord-amricaine a refus de publier ce texte

Pendant un dbat dans une universit aux tats-unis, le ministre de l'ducation Cristovam Buarque, fut interrog sur ce qu'il pensait au sujet de l'internationalisation de l'Amazonie. Le jeune tudiant amricain commena sa question en affirmant qu'il esprait une rponse d'un humaniste et non d'un Brsilien.

Rponse de M. Cristovam Buarque:

En effet, en tant que Brsilien je m'lverais tout simplement contre l'internationalisation de l'Amazonie. Quelle que soit l'insuffisance de l'attention de nos gouvernements pour ce patrimoine, il est ntre.
 En tant qu'humaniste, conscient du risque de dgradation du milieu ambiant dont souffre l'Amazonie, je peux imaginer que l'Amazonie soit internationalise, comme du reste tout ce qui a de l'importance pour toute l'humanit. Si, au nom d'une thique humaniste, nous devions internationaliser l'Amazonie, alors nous devrions
internationaliser les rserves de ptrole du monde entier.

Le ptrole est aussi important pour le bien-tre de l'humanit que l'Amazonie l'est pour notre avenir. Et malgr cela, les matres des  rserves de ptrole se sentent le droit d'augmenter ou de diminuer l'extraction de ptrole, comme d'augmenter ou non son prix.

De la mme manire, on devrait internationaliser le capital financier des pays riches. Si l'Amazonie est une rserve pour tous les hommes, elle ne peut tre brle par la volont de son propritaire, ou d'un pays.
Brler l'Amazonie, c'est aussi grave que le chmage provoqu par les dcisions arbitraires des spculateurs de l'conomie globale. Nous ne pouvons pas laisser les rserves financires brler des pays entiers pour le bon plaisir de la spculation.

Avant l'Amazonie, j'aimerai assister l'internationalisation de tous les grands muses du monde. Le Louvre ne doit pas appartenir la seule France. Chaque muse du monde est le gardien des plus belles oeuvres produites par le gnie humain. On ne peut pas laisser ce patrimoine culturel, au mme titre que le patrimoine naturel de l'Amazonie, tre manipul et dtruit selon la fantaisie d'un seul propritaire ou d'un seul pays.
Il y a quelque temps, un millionnaire japonais a dcid d'enterrer avec lui le tableau d'un grand matre. Avant que cela n'arrive, il faudrait internationaliser ce tableau. Pendant que cette rencontre se droule, les Nations unies organisent le Forum du Millnaire, mais certains Prsidents de pays ont eu des difficults pour y assister, cause de difficults aux frontires des  tats-unis. Je crois donc qu'il faudrait que New York, lieu du sige des Nations unies, soit internationalis. Au moins Manhattan devrait appartenir toute l'humanit. Comme du reste Paris, Venise, Rome, Londres, Rio de Janeiro, Braslia, Recife, chaque ville avec sa beaut particulire, et son histoire du monde devraient appartenir au monde entier.

Si les tats-Unis veulent internationaliser l'Amazonie cause du risque que fait courir le fait de la laisser entre les mains des Brsiliens, alors internationalisons aussi tout l'arsenal nuclaire des tats-unis.
Ne serait-ce que par ce qu'ils sont capables d'utiliser de telles armes, ce qui provoquerait une destruction mille fois plus vaste que les dplorables incendies des forts brsiliennes.
Au cours de leurs dbats, les actuels candidats la Prsidence des tats-Unis ont soutenu l'ide d'une internationalisation des rserves forestires du monde en change d'un effacement de la dette. Commenons donc par utiliser cette dette pour s'assurer que tous les enfants du monde aient la possibilit de manger et d'aller l'cole.

Internationalisons les enfants, en les traitant, o qu'ils naissent, comme un patrimoine qui mrite l'attention du monde entier. Davantage encore que l'Amazonie.

Quand les dirigeants du monde traiteront les enfants pauvres du monde comme un Patrimoine de l'Humanit, ils ne les laisseront pas travailler alors qu'ils devraient aller l'cole, ils ne les laisseront pas mourir alors qu'ils devraient vivre.

En tant qu'humaniste, j'accepte de dfendre l'ide d'une internationalisation du monde. Mais tant que le monde me traitera comme un Brsilien, je lutterai pour que l'Amazonie soit nous. Et seulement nous !

Ce texte n'a pas t publi. Aidez sa diffusion.

Merci !!!

from George Kenney :
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007 06:00:42 -0500
From: George Kenney <george@electricpolitics.com>
Subject: Interview with Gabriel Kolko

Dear Francis,
Today my podcast conversation is with Gabriel Kolko, the eminent historian of war. And though Professor Kolko is probably best known for his books and articles on war, he's also done extensive work on society generally -- thus our conversation ranges widely, over Iraq, Bush's character, politics in the US and Europe, political theory, the global financial system, and back again to war.

I hadn't intended EP's schedule to fit so appropriately with the announcement of our new Iraq strategy, but got lucky. In contrast to what Bush says, however, Professor Kolko believes we've already lost in Iraq, irretrievably. He doesn't bring the wealth of detail of a policy analyst, but more than makes up for that with his unusually broad perspective, great learning, and deep insight into the nature of war. Whether you agree with Professor Kolko or not, I hope you find his perspective interesting and useful.

Thanks very much for listening,

Best regards,


from Catherine Shamas :
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007
Subject: Update from Aida Camp
email: alrowwadtheatre@yahoo.com web site:

Update from Aida camp

These days continue to be dark days. The Israeli occupation soldiers continue their illegal incursions in Aida camp and Bethlehem area as well as a lot of other Palestinian cities and refugee camps since the last 3 nights. The night of 10-11th January they broke in the camp again, kidnapping more young people and children.. This time as well, they broke in my parents house and destroyed the door in Aida camp. The house is usually used to host volunteers and store equipment as well. Fortunately no volunteers are in now, but I don't know what happened. The son of my cousin, Arafa Abdelrahman Abusrour (14 years old) with other teenagers were arrested by the IOF:
Mohammad Reyad Rashid Abusrour (19 yrs), Salah Darwish (17 yrs), Hussein AbedRabbah (17yrs), Mohammad Abdelaziz Abusrour (17 yrs), Ibrahim Adel Abusrour (16 yrs), Naseem Mitwaly (17 yrs), the twins Khaleel and Mahmoud Al'Ok (17yrs)..etc. and there it is, a new year with a lot of hopes and misfortunes. Long live human rights and international law long live the hypocrisy and silence and complicity with injustice long live all these attacks on children, to build the worst future ever possible for a generation who shall know nothing more but violence and aggressions and attacks by the Israeli Offensive occupation army.

Have a good new year


AbdelFattah Abu-Srour, PhD
Director of Al-Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center
Al-Rowwad is an Independent Center for artistic, cultural, and theatre training for children in Aida Camp trying to provide a "safe" and healthy environment to help children creativity and discharge of stress in the war conditions they are forced to live in Mobile: (972) 522 401 325- Telefax: +970 2 275 0030

from Stephane Mohr :
Subject: Interesting article about military build-up and corporate interests
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007

Hello Professor Feeley,
I found this very interesting article as I was looking for documents on the internet. It was written during spring 2001 by William D. Hartung (World Policy Journal), and deals with the Eisenhower's warning about the influence of the military-industrial complex, and what happened since this very warning.
Due to the moment the article, it is interesting is to look at the questions raised with a nowadays perspective. It deals also with the funding of presidential campaign, by the way I really liked this funny quote : "Apparently, associating with Hugh Hefner was viewed as too Clintonesque, but raking in contributions from weapons manufacturers
was acceptable."

All the best,


from Byron Morton :
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007
Subject: Guest Speaker: Daniel Ellsberg

Truth-Telling In A Time of War:
A Call to Civic Courage

Guest Speaker: Daniel Ellsberg
Our nations most renowned and respected whistle-blower

Daniel Ellsberg will speak on the need for a Pentagon Papers of the Middle East, a new ethic of patriotic whistle blowing, a resolution to the constitutional crisis due to the presidents abuses of power, and an enlightened and effective policy to prevent nuclear proliferation and further U.S. aggression.

Background Information

Daniel Ellsberg was former official in the Defense and State Departments, he released the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971. These top-secret documents revealed that official accounts of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam were deliberate deceptions. His courageous act helped bring about the resignation of President Nixon and the end of the Vietnam War.

For the last 35 years Daniel has continued to be a leading voice of moral conscience and warning.

In an article in the October 06 issue of Harpers Magazine, he calls on officials within the government to release the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East to avert a possible war in Iran.

In Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002) he warns about the illegality, deceptions, and hopelessness of the Iraq War.

In 2004, Ellsberg launched the Truth-Telling Project, which helped catalyze the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, formed and led by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. The Coalition now includes more than sixty former national security officials and conducts effective lobbying for whistleblower protection and against abuses of secrecy.

Daniel is currently writing a book on government whistle blowing and a memoir on the dangers of the nuclear era.

In 2005 the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation awarded Daniel their first Fellowship for his efforts to bring sanity to global nuclear policy;

Among the other numerous awards honoring Daniel Ellsberg for his lifetime of civic achievement is the prestigious 2006 Right Livelihood Award in recognition of his lifelong commitment "to putting peace and truth first, at considerable personal risk."

Ellsberg writes,

Our nation is at a critical juncture. Policies by the current administration are increasing the dangers to our nation and the world. Yet this crisis offers real opportunity for political action and change.

The Next War

Originally from Harper's Magazine, October 2006. By Daniel Ellsberg.


For more information: PeaceDemTF@aol.com or 858 459-4650

Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

4190 Front Street, Hillcrest, San Diego (opposite UCSD Medical Center)

*Wheelchair Accessible

Parking: Church parking lot (limited) / Street parking (within 2 blocks)

Directions: From Washington Street (Hillcrest): North on 1st St., 3 blocks / Left on Arbor, 1 block. Church is on your left / UCSD Medical Center is on your right.

Cost: $10 suggested donation no one will be turned away - flyer attached

Presented by: Peace and Democracy Action Group,

First Unitarian Universalist Church, San Diego, CA

from Edward Herman :
Subject: Norman Finkelstein vs. Gil Troy
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007

The Controversy continues over Jimmy Carter's recent book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." In it, the former US President criticizes Israel for what he calls the "continued control and colonization of Palestinian land." Carter faults Israeli settlement expansion for the failure of the peace process and is also highly critical of the US role in the Middle East, particularly its history of using veto power on the UN security council to block more than 40 UN resolutions critical of Israel. Carter spoke about the book in Washington DC last November. 
There are some good quotes by Finkelstein in this transcript .
 Ed Herman

Norman Finkelstein vs. Gil Troy On Jimmy Carter's Controversial Book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"


Jimmy Carter, speaking November 28th, 2006.
[Click for full transcript]

On Sunday, the New York Times published a long-awaited and largely critical review of the book written by Times Deputy Foreign Editor Ethan Bronner. Bronner dismissed charges of anti-semitism but he characterized the book as "a distortion," and criticized what he called its "narrow perspective."

The book has seen growing media attention which began even before its publication in late November. Leading Democrats quickly distanced themselves from the book and it was immediately condemned by Jewish leaders and organizations around the country. Long-time Carter Center Fellow Kenneth Stein resigned his position in protest of the book. In a letter addressed to Carter and distributed to the media, he accused Carter of omission, factual errors, and plagiarism.

Today - a debate on the book with two leading scholars:
    • Gil Troy, professor of American history at McGill University and author of several books including "Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today."
    • Norman Finkelstein, professor of Political science at DePaul University in Chicago. His latest book is "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History." His latest article is titled "The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter's Book" is posted on Counterpunch.org.

    • AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt of President Carter speaking about his book in Washington, D.C. in December.

      JIMMY CARTER: Some people have said the title is provocative, and I accept that categorization, but I don't consider the word "provocative" to be a negative description, because it's designed to provoke discussion and analysis and debate in a country where debate and discussion is almost completely absent if it involves any criticism at all of the policies of Israel. And I think the book is very balanced.

      Secondly, the words Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid were carefully chosen by me. First of all, it's Palestine, the area of Palestinians. It doesn't refer to Israel. Ive never and would imply that Israel is guilty of any form of apartheid in their own country, because Arabs who live inside Israel have the same voting rights and the same citizenship rights as do the Jews who live there.

      And the next word is peace. And my hope is that the publication of this book will not only precipitate debate, as Ive already mentioned, but also will rejuvenate an absolutely dormant or absent peace process. For the last six years there's not been one single day of good faith negotiations between Israelis and their neighbors, the Palestinians. And this is absolutely a departure from what has happened under all previous presidents since Israel became a nation. Weve all negotiated or attempted to negotiate peace agreements. That has been totally absent now for six years. So peace.

      And then the last two words, not apartheid. The alternative to peace is apartheid, not inside Israel, to repeat myself, but in the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian territory. And there, apartheid exists in its more despicable forms, that Palestinians are deprived of basic human rights. Their land has been occupied and then confiscated and then colonized by the Israeli settlers. And they have now more than 205 settlements in the West Bank itself. And what has happened is, over a period of years, the Israelis have connected settlements with highways, and those highways make the West Bank look like a honeycomb and maybe a spider web. You can envision it. And in many cases, most cases, the Palestinians are prevented from using the highways at all, and in many cases, even from crossing the highways.

      AMY GOODMAN: Former President Jimmy Carter speaking last month in Washington, D.C. On Sunday, the New York Times published a long-awaited and largely critical review of the book, written by New York Times Deputy Foreign Editor Ethan Bronner. Bronner dismissed charges of anti-Semitism, but he characterized the book as "a distortion," and criticized what he called its "narrow perspective."

      The book has seen growing media attention, which began even before its publication in early December. Leading Democrats quickly distanced themselves from Carters book. It was immediately condemned by Jewish leaders and organizations around the country. Longtime Carter Center Fellow, Kenneth Stein, resigned his position in protest of the book. In a letter addressed to Carter and distributed to the media, Stein accused Carter of omission, factual errors, and plagiarism.

      Today, we'll have a debate on the book. Joining us from Montreal is Gil Troy. Hes a professor of American history at McGill University and author of Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today. Norman Finkelstein is here with me in our firehouse studio. He's professor of political science at DePaul University. His latest book is called Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!

      Let's begin with Professor Troy. Your response to President Carter's book?

      GIL TROY: He calls his title provocative. I call it offensive. Its offensive to South Africans, because to use the word apartheid, which is about white supremacy and a systematic approach of discrimination and racism, demeans the very difficult struggle and the odious examples of South African oppression.

      It's also offensive to Zionists and to Jews and to anyone who supports the state of Israeli, because, while in his remarks that we heard, Jimmy Carter makes a distinction between what goes on inside Israel and in the territories, he did not do that in his book, which is actually quite shoddy and quite erratic.

      And I think, you know, its also a disservice to the people of the world and good people who want peace, because if you want to truly be a mediator, try to find the complexity, try to show the complexity on both sides, the failures of both sides, rather than having this one-sided approach, which basically throws water on any hopes for peace. It actually throws gasoline on the fires in the Middle East.

      AMY GOODMAN: Professor Finkelstein?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the question, it seems to me, is whether or not the term apartheid is appropriate in this context. I'm not going to -- for the moment, Im not going to make an argument either way. The question I would raise is, if the term is, as its often been said recently, if the term is anti-Semitic or contrary to the interests of Jews, however you want to put it, how do you account for the fact that so many mainstream figures and organizations in Israeli life themselves use the term apartheid to characterize the Israeli occupation in the West Bank of Gaza?

      You take the case of BTselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. In May 2002, they put out a report entitled "Land Grab." Its a substantial report. Its not throwing around slogans and terms. The reports about 150 pages, based on quite in-depth research. They conclude in their report that Israel has established a regime in the Occupied Territories, which is, as they put it, reminiscent of the South African apartheid regime. This past year, BTselem put out another report entitled "Forbidden Roads," on what they call the Road Regime in the Occupied Territories. Again, they concluded that this is reminiscent of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

      You take the case of Haaretz, Israel's leading newspaper, or most influential newspaper. And in their editorials, they routinely refer to the apartheid-like regime in the Occupied Territories.

      So, for the moment, I would like to focus on the question: why is it illegitimate to use the term? Why is it anti-Semitic to use the term here, whereas in Israel just yesterday, Shulamit Aloni, the former Cabinet Minister for Education under Rabin, she says, Everybody here knows it's apartheid, so why is it illegitimate for a former American president to use a term which is a commonplace? I'm not saying everyone agrees it's apartheid in Israel, but it's certainly part of the mainstream discourse. Why are you in the United States disqualified from participating in what in Israel is part of the mainstream discourse?

      AMY GOODMAN: Professor Troy?

      GIL TROY: First of all, I didn't accuse the former president of anti-Semitism. I didn't accuse him of not having the qualifications to jump into the debate. I think the term is historically offensive and inaccurate. I said its offensive to South Africans. I said its offensive to people who want peace in the Middle East. Just because there are many Israeli leftists and many Israeli critics of Israeli policy who use the term doesn't mean that its a legitimate term. As a historian, I can say its a false historical analogy.

      What I learn from that is that in the United States and in Israel, unlike the country that Jimmy Carter pretends to live in, there is a vigorous debate on the Israeli side, there is a vigorous debate on the American side, there isnt a vigorous debate on the Palestinian side, which doesn't have the same kind of political culture. It actually has a toxic political culture, where right now we've seen over 500 Palestinians killing each other in an internecine civil war.

      So, I'd like to focus on the question that has been sidestepped of, is it an accurate and is it a helpful term, and I say it's not, because lets look at what apartheid was. Apartheid was a regime started in the South Africans in the 1940s as an attempt -- and it started actually with a kind of sexual revulsion on the part of whites against blacks to truly degrade blacks. And the community of nations -- it took them decades, but the community of nations justifiably said this is so odious that we want to kind of vomit out -- and I use the term advisedly -- vomit out South Africa from the community of nations, because they're so despicable.

      When Israelis use the term, they're being provocative, and theyre being incendiary, theyre being inaccurate. When the former president of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner uses the term, its even more destructive, because what he's doing is hes giving it a kind of legitimacy to a Zionist movement, which has already been libeled as being racist, and it feeds -- and I see it on campus, where theres quite a vigorous criticism of Israel every day. They use the term Israel apartheid. And they dont distinguish between the Territories and Israel. They look at it as an illegitimate country. And Jimmy Carter, who has shown a capacity for friendship of all kinds of dictators, from North Korea to China to Cuba, all of the sudden seems to have quite a harsh perspective when it comes to Israel, and I wonder why.

      AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I agree that we shouldn't fixate on terms. We should look beneath the terms and see whether they accurately represent the reality. And thats what I think those who have used that term have tried to do. So you take the case of BTselem. It publishes a report, and it says Israel has constructed in the Occupied Territories what it calls a Road Regime, with roads for Jews only. They go on to say that Israel is --

      AMY GOODMAN: Explain that. What do you mean exactly?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, there are roads which connect the settlements in the Occupied Territories with Israel. And those roads -- there's various kinds of laws and various degrees -- it's a complex system. Those laws effectively mean that Jews are the only ones who are allowed to use these roads connecting the Occupied Territories to Israel, and Palestinians have to take these circuitous routes in order to get from one part of the Occupied Territories to another.

      In 2002, the BTselem report points to the fact that the kinds of settlements and the kinds of laws in the Occupied Territories resemble the apartheid system, in that theres a different system of laws for Palestinians, and theres a different system of laws for Israelis.

      So, it's not so important, in my opinion, to fixate on the term. I agree, it can become sloganeering. But we should look at the policies. We should look at what's going on.

      Jimmy Carter has, in my opinion, a compelling section of the book -- its chapter 16 -- which I would encourage your listeners to look at, where its entitled The Wall as a Prison. And in chapter 16 he goes through the wall that Israel is building in the Occupied Territories. And I want to emphasize, because there's so much misinformation on this topic in the United States. I suspect that Professor Troy is going to immediately jump in and say it's not a wall, just as Ethan Bronner, the Deputy Foreign Editor of the New York Times, notes parenthetically that the edifice that Israel is building is only 4% a wall.

      Well, these issues have been resolved legally. The International Court of Justice in July 2004, when it adjudicated the question of the wall that Israel is building in the Occupied Territories, at the very beginning it says there has been some dispute about the language used. Should we call it a fence? Should we call it a barrier? Should we call it a wall? And the International Court of Justice, going through all the possibilities exploring the linguistic resonances of all the terms, it concludes we should call it a wall.

      When Jimmy Carter uses that term, he is using the term which has been agreed to by consensus in the International Court of Justice. And I should add that Human Rights Watch, a mainstream human rights organization, in its publications and in accordance with international law and the International Court of Justice, uses the term wall.

      And Jimmy Carter says what's happening in the Occupied Territories is Israels confiscating about 10% of Palestinian land inside the wall, and he says -- I thought it was a compelling point -- he says Israel will not only control all the Palestinians within the wall, but Israel has de facto also annexed the Jordan Valley, which means all the Palestinians between the Jordan Valley and the wall will also be controlled by Israel. They are creating -- and Jimmy Carter, I think, with a certain amount of candor, he said, I don't think it should be called a separation fence. I think it should be called an imprisonment wall. I think that's accurate.

      AMY GOODMAN: Professor Troy?

      GIL TROY: I would actually have less of a problem if he called it an imprisonment wall. We could debate wall or fence, but that actually is not my point. The reason why apartheid is so problematic is because it feeds a broad campaign to de-legitimize Israel to expel it from the United Nations, to make it an outlaw state, when it's a democracy, and a flawed democracy, like Americas a flawed democracy, like all countries are flawed.

      I'm not going to focus on the question of wall versus fence. I'm going to use the T-word: terrorism. It's not as if, unlike in South Africa, Israel one day woke up and said, Boy, how can we torture the Palestinians? Although if you read Jimmy Carters book, you would get that impression, because he doesnt give a full and honest and balanced accounting of the Israeli side of the ledger.

      What happened was that there was this Oslo peace process, which he also tends to give short shrift to, and as a result of that Oslo peace process, there was a very generous Israeli offer made at Camp David, which Jimmy Carter also tends to skip over. And then, in September 2000, the Palestinians launched an approach with lots of terrorism. Yasser Arafat -- and theres proof that Yasser Arafat helped underwrite the terrorism, although Jimmy Carter ignores that in the book, because he was good friends with Yasser Arafat. And the terrorism was the issue.

      Both the Israeli left and the Israeli right initially hated the idea of any kind of wall-fence-barrier, because the Israeli right wanted to incorporate the Territories into Israel. The Israeli left wanted to have this vision of everyone living together in what I would love to see, in beautiful peace and harmony. Both of them had to kind of be forced by serious suicide bombings by a systematic terrorist campaign, by a political culture on the part of the Palestinians that was anti-Semitic -- that is anti-Semitic, not Jimmy Carter -- that in the Palestinian mosques and on Palestinian television was attacking not just Zionists, but Jews, and attacking the West and celebrating 9/11 and was part of a broader Islamicist surge against the United States, against Israel, against the West, that led to hundreds of deaths of children, of men, of women.

      That is the context in which the wall-fence-barrier was built, and that is the context in which these last couple of years, this six years of a lack of peace process, has occurred. And without of acknowledgement of that, Jimmy Carter at one point says there are two problems in the Middle East: the first is that some Israelis want to grab land, and second is that some Palestinians react to that with violence. And thats very disingenuous.

      The problem -- let's have someone stand up and say it's a messy situation. There are rights and wrongs on both sides. I would have been so much happier with the book if he had said the problem is, yes, some Israelis want Palestinian land, and there's a complicated historical, legal, strategic debate over that, and two, there are Palestinians who want to destroy the Jewish state. How do we get out of that intention? Until we acknowledge the problems on both sides, the weaknesses on both sides, the failures on both sides, we're not going to get to the peace that Jimmy Carter claims to achieve. And I think what hes done is he's undermined his status as a mediator, as an honest broker, by using this incendiary term and by coming out with a book, which, frankly, is shoddy. He tends to quote Arafat, rather than quoting Palestinian Hamas documents. He quotes Assad, the president of Syria, allowing him to kind of give a spin on events, rather than giving facts. And that's the problem with this propagandistic work.

      AMY GOODMAN: Well, Gil Troy and Norman Finkelstein, we're going to come back to this debate on Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, in a minute.


      AMY GOODMAN: We're having a debate on Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, with Gil Troy, professor of American history at McGill University in Montreal. Among his books, Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today. Norman Finkelstein joins us here in our New York firehouse studio. Hes a professor of political science at DePaul University in Chicago. His latest book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.

      In Ethan Bronners review, long awaited, that came out yesterday in the New York Times Book Review, he says, This book has something of a Rip van Winkle feel to it, as if little had changed since Carter diagnosed the problem in the 1970s. All would be well today, he suggests, if his advice then had been followed. Forget Al Qaeda (the name does not appear in this book), the nuclear ambitions of Iran and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. If Israel had refrained from colonizing the West Bank, he asserts, there would have been a comprehensive and lasting peace. Bronner is talking about Carter, of course. And he goes on to say, The debate about the Israeli occupation will shape the future of Israel; it may also determine the prospects for peace in the Middle East and perhaps the world, quoting Jimmy Carter. And Bronner says, This is an awfully narrow perspective.

      Before I get your response, Professor Finkelstein, I wanted to go for a minute to Brent Scowcroft. He was speaking yesterday on This Week With George Stephanopoulos." Stephanopoulos had asked him about the significance of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Of course, Brent Scowcroft is the former National Security Advisor for President Bush, Sr.

      BRENT SCOWCROFT: What it would do is change the psychological climate of the region. What we have is a number of different issues all coming together. And the region is in great turmoil. And there's a great sense in the region of historical injustice on the part of the Muslims. And this would change that. This would see us as participating and helping in a problem which is central to the region, which has been a gnawing sore for Muslims for 50 years.

      AMY GOODMAN: That was President Bush, Sr.'s former National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft. Professor Finkelstein?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I'll get to that point in half a moment. Let me just address the questions that were raised by Professor Troy. On the question of Camp David and the offer, I don't think for Democracy Now! audiences we have to go over that ground, because when Shlomo Ben-Ami was here --

      AMY GOODMAN: The former Foreign Minister of Israel.

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: The former Foreign Minister of Israel and one of the negotiators at Camp David. He said, Frankly, were I a Palestinian, I would not have accepted the offer at Camp David, and exactly for the reasons that Carter outlines in the book, namely, Palestinians were asked to make such monumental concessions that no Palestinian leader could in good conscience, let alone as a representative of the Palestinians, accept such an offer. That was the position of Arafat. It's also the position to which Shlomo Ben-Ami agreed.

      On the question of terrorism, as Professor Troy calls it, the big T-word, I think there's a certain confusion about what was the sequence of events. The Second Intifada begins September 28, 2000. Between September 28, 2000, and March 2003 [sic - 2001], there wasnt one Palestinian terrorist attack. The suicide bombings began five months after the beginning of the Second Intifada. Why did it begin? Well, on the first month of the Intifada, the ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed was 20-to-1. And if you read Shlomo Ben-Amis book, he states there that had Israel not so overreacted to the Palestinian protests, which were overwhelmingly nonviolent in the first months, the huge explosion that subsequently occurred probably would not have happened. But those first five months, when Israel was killing 20 times as many Palestinians, overwhelmingly nonviolent protesters, to each Israeli killed, that part has been completely effaced from the historical record.

      Now, it's true suicide bombings began, and one possible way to avert them -- not the only one, but one possibility -- was to build a wall. Well, but there's an option. If you want to prevent suicide bombings against your country, just like if you want to prevent a neighbor from intruding on your property, you build a fence or a wall, but you build it along the border, the internationally recognized border. Israel didn't do that. It used the suicide bombings as a pretext to confiscate 10% of Palestinian land. If they wanted to build a wall on their border, the International Court said that's not a problem. What they said was -- the International Court of Justice, when it condemned the wall, it said this wall is taking a sinuous path, which is incorporating the Israeli settlements. That's what made the wall illegal.

      Now, Professor Troy says he would prefer if coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict by Carter and others would assign responsibility to both sides. But the problem is, if you look at the international consensus for resolving the conflict, the burden of responsibility for the failure to resolve the conflict falls on the side of Israel and the United States. Carter is very clear on that -- in my opinion, entirely accurate. He says the main problem is Israel refuses to recognize international law. The law is absolutely clear. Its inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza in the course of the 1967 War. The International Court of Justice said, under the UN Charter, Article 2, it's inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Israel has to withdraw to its internationally recognized June 67 borders. It refuses. That's the obstacle.

      A simple illustration. Every year, the United Nations General Assembly votes on a resolution entitled Peaceful resolution of the Palestine conflict. Every year, the vote is the same. The whole world on one side -- the whole world on one side -- and on the other side, the United States, Israel, and usually Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Its usually six dissenting votes. And that's it. The problem, I think, is not that the world is -- not that the coverage is biased. The problem is, the reality is biased.

      I was reading a book today, to get to your last point you mention, by Zeev Maoz, a mainstream Israeli military historian, smart fellow, and its a good book and called Defending the Holy State. He says in a hundred years from now people are going to be very perplexed by this conflict, because, he says, compared to other conflicts, this is not a particularly complicated one. And it really isn't. There has been a resolution, a settlement on the table for 30 years. And Israel and the United States have blocked it. That's the problem. And Carter, to his credit, forthrightly says it. One side is blocking the settlement.

      AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get back to Professor Troy. Israel has announced that it's going to now build new settlements in the West Bank. Do you think peace is possible with continued settlements there?

      GIL TROY: I think peace is possible with a recognition of the pain on both sides and with serious attempts at compromise. We historians like to say that what's your favorite text -- context, to claim, for example, that suicide bombings started in 2003, when they actually started by Hamas and others during the Oslo peace process in the 1990s. There were suicide bombings in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem. It's a much more complicated story.

      You know, when I look at all conflicts in history, it's so easy to caricature. Its so easy to say, oh, the Israelis are the bad guys. And to rely on the United Nations as an honest broker in this is highly problematic, given that it is the same United Nations that has been so biased against Israel they had a big attempt to revitalize its ugly Zionism is racism slur from the 1970s in the early 2000 period.

      So Id rather say this. Israel has tried -- you know, it's a complicated situation. Israel and the Palestinians are in many ways intertwined with each other. There's an intimacy between many Israelis and Palestinians that we don't see when we sit here in television studios and debate what's going on. And there's also, obviously, a lot of hatred. Theres extremism on the Palestinian side. Theres, as I said, a political culture which is highly problematic and truly vicious and ugly, where they kill each other, as well as Jews, and celebrate those deaths.

      So, how do you break out of that? Israel has tried. Israel tried with the Oslo peace process, for all its flawed. And that, by the way -- to go to General Scowcrofts point, in the 1990s, Bill Clinton was spending a lot of time -- Yasser Arafat was supposedly the most welcomed foreign guest, the foreign guest who had the most visits to the Clinton White House. America put tremendous prestige on the line to try to get this so-called simple solution. And it fell apart. It fell apart because of failures on both sides. Lets acknowledge that, rather than saying one side is the bad guy, one side is the good guy.

      And to claim -- and that, of course, during the 1990s, was the period that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were issuing their fatwas, not so much about Jews and Palestinians and Zionists and Israel, but about American troops in Saudi Arabia and about this broader desire to undo the great historical crime of Spain getting rid of the Muslims 500 years ago. I mean, there are more complicated and bigger issues going on. And to reduce everything, as Jimmy Carter does, to reduce everything, as part of this conversation is doing, to this unidimensional perspective that if Israelis stop building settlements, then, you know, somehow peace would reign in the land and peace would reign in the world, it's just not true.

      Israel tried, lets say, in Gaza in 2005 with its disengagement, by pulling back. This was an opportunity for the Palestinians. This was a test for the Palestinians. Ive been to Gaza, and Ive seen the beautiful beachfronts they have, and obviously there are a lot of problems in Gaza. There was no attempt at development. American Jewish philanthropists raised $14 million to buy out Israeli agricultural initiatives and pass it over to the Palestinians. Those farms were trashed. There were attempts. There have been attempts. Israelis don't trust. They dont trust because the United Nations gangs up on them. They don't trust because the International Court passes its decision on the fence-wall-barrier, without talking about terrorism. Theres a feeling its not balanced.

      AMY GOODMAN: Professor Troy, we only have two minutes, and I wanted to ask each of you the issue of having this debate at all in this country. President Carter was invited to speak at Brandeis University. Then the invitation was withdrawn, unless he agreed to have a debate with Alan Dershowitz. Your book, Beyond Chutzpah, Professor Finkelstein, is also very much about what Dershowitz has to say about Israel in his book, The Case for Peace. Your response on this issue?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I think thats an important question, maybe the most important: how to normalize debate in the United States about this topic. I don't mean that everybody has to agree with me. The question is, how do you open up a forum so people can exchange reviews on the topic? I'll quickly give you three examples or a couple of examples.

      AMY GOODMAN: We have one minute.

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Take the example, a couple of weeks ago, Anderson Cooper's producer called me, said they wanted to do a segment on me, having to do with the Middle East, because he was in the Arab world. I said, Don't waste your time. It's never going to get on the air. I know how it works. They said, No, no. We're sending down a camera crew. They sent down a camera crew, sent down the producer, interviewed me for two-and-a-half hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30. I said, It's never going to get on. I know. Well, she said, No, no, no. We invested the money. Long story short, it was killed. It was supposed to be on that night.

      Take the case of Carter. OK, a serious debate. But why is it Brandeis University has half a dozen -- half a dozen -- centers for the study of the Middle East, Arab-Israeli conflict, and so forth -- Jehuda Reinharz himself is a historian on Zionism. Ive read his biography of Weizmann. Why is it, of all the qualified people they could have drawn on to debate Jimmy Carter, they bring a clown from Harvard? It's just not serious.

      AMY GOODMAN: Professor Troy, ten seconds on the issue of a debate.

      GIL TROY: Both sides feel that they're not being heard. That means that actually both sides are, to a certain extent, being heard.

      AMY GOODMAN: We're going to have to leave it there, but I encourage people to email us at mail@democracynow.org to talk about your thoughts and what you would like to see pursued. Professor Finkelstein of DePaul University, his book is called Beyond Chutzpah; Professor Gil Troy of American history at McGill University in Montreal, thank you for joining us. His book is called Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today.

      from Academics for Justice
      Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007
      Subject: Immigration policy forces researchers out of West Bank
      The following is from Nature, Vol 445, Jan 11, 2007.

    • Immigration policy forces researchers out of West Bank

    • A few kilometres outside the West Bank city of Ramallah, not far from the rubble-strewn compound where Yasser Arafat lived for many years, lies the campus of Birzeit University. As elsewhere on the West Bank, Birzeit's students and staff have learnt to live with the disruption and casualties caused by the occupying Israeli military
      and armed Palestinian groups. But now the university says that it faces a nonviolent but potentially more dangerous threat to its existence: an Israeli policy that is forcing academics to abandon their jobs.

      Around a year ago, say Palestinian academics, people with foreign passports started to find that their access to the West Bank and Gaza Strip was either denied or restricted by Israeli border controls. That poses a serious problem for universities. As there is no such thing as a Palestinian passport, researchers will, given
      the chance, often become naturalized citizens of other nations -forfeiting their right to Palestinian identification papers. Yet the new policy means that those academics, together with foreign staff, can find that a trip abroad ends in involuntary exile.

      At Birzeit, officials say that they cannot put an exact figure on the number denied re-entry, but say the policy is one reason that around half of the university's 57 foreign academics had to leave last year. Campaigners say that other universities in the regions have suffered the same consequences, although precise data are not available. "We don't know why they are doing this, but brain drain will be the end product," says Sarit Michaeli, communications director for B'Tselem, an Israeli human-rights group based in Jerusalem.

      The rationale for the move is hard to confirm, as the Israeli government initially said that it was simply enforcing existing rules. Many holders of foreign passports no longer have residence permits for the occupied territories and so have to repeatedly obtain three-month tourist visas to live there. Israeli officials said that the restrictions were designed to end this misuse of tourist visas. A request for clarification of this point received no reply.

      But in meetings with foreign diplomats last month, Israeli officials seemed to acknowledge the problem, saying that they would start to renew tourist visas and allow access to those whose passports have been stamped "last entry". Palestinian campaigners say they have since seen written confirmation of this intent, but note that they
      have seen no sign of a change in policy at the borders and that some foreignpassport holders are still being refused entry.

      If the restrictions continue, academics from both sides of the border say they will fight them. A small group banded together last October to form the Israeli Committee for the Right of Residency, which is attempting to persuade Israel's academics to take a stand against the restrictions. Jacob Katriel, an emeritus physics professor at Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology in Haifa, says the call was well received when he presented it last month during a session on human rights at the Statistical Mechanics Conference at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

      Palestinian universities are also asking foreign academics and scientific organizations to protest against the rules. They say that the loss of academic talent, together with a drop in fees earned from foreign students, could destabilize the fragile education and research infrastructure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Jim Giles

      from Democray Now ! :
      10 January 2007

      President Bush announced plans Wednesday night to escalate the war in Iraq and send over 20,000 more troops. He said he took responsibility for past mistakes
      but that more troops are needed to pacify Baghdad and other parts of the country. The President also threatened military action against Iran and Syria. We play excerpts of his address.
    • .
    • .
    • .

    • ____________
      from John Gerassi :
      15 January 2007

      regards from Hawaii.