05.26.2014 07:35 AM

Olivia Chow walks for Israel

I was out of town, but my eldest son walked it, too.


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    Marc L says:

    Good! She has just risen in my esteem, especially given the heavy anti-Israel bias of the left.

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    TrueNorthist says:

    This is a very shrewd move. How long will it be before the gang of 34 write a letter expressing their discontent? Not bloody likely.

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    Coelocanth_Jones says:

    I made a dismissive comment about Walk for Israel earlier this month, under my real name, under one of Warren’s facebook posts, and none other than Bernie Farber responded to refute some of my claims about the event, and I messaged him in private to counter refute points of his I took exception to, and also to thank him for the work he does promoting human rights in Canada and abroad. He’s never gotten back to me, so is evidently a much busier man than I or decided he’d already had enough. In any case, the experience had convinced me to take back my long running collective that the event was one of Christo-Taliban and Kahanist boosterism. I welcome any other progressive commentators to validate or refute my view, and caution any rightist detractors of mine from preventing others like me from changing their perspective

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      Coelocanth_Jones says:

      *long running perspective

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    Domencio says:

    Good for her.

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    Ian Howard says:


    Perhaps speaking honestly about what Israel is becoming would be more admirable then shrewd politics.

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    Ian Howard says:

    Perhaps a walk for those with very few rights is in order?


    you might consider the words of Bassem Tamimi, the leader of the Nabi Saleh protests, one of the group of remarkable Palestinian activists who have mastered the art of Gandhian civil disobedience and who are capable of lucidly articulating its message. He, too, has had extensive experience of the military courts. Here is part of what he said to the judge who presided over one of his trials, as cited at the end of Alexandrowicz’s film:

    Your Honor,

    Every time I am called to appear before your courts, I become nervous and afraid. Eighteen years ago, my sister was killed in a courtroom such as this, by a staff member. In my lifetime, I have been nine times imprisoned for an overall time of almost three years, though I was never charged or convicted. During my imprisonment, I was paralyzed as a result of torture by your investigators. My wife was detained, my children were wounded, my land was stolen by settlers, and now my house is slated for demolition.

    I was born at the same time as the occupation and have been living under its inherent inhumanity, inequality, racism, and lack of freedom ever since. Yet despite all this, my belief in human values and the need for peace in this land have never been shaken. Suffering and oppression did not fill my heart with hatred for anyone, nor did they kindle feelings of revenge.

    I organized peaceful demonstrations in order to defend our land and our people. I do not know if my actions violate your occupation laws. As far as I am concerned, these laws do not apply to me and are devoid of meaning. Since they have been enacted by occupation authorities, I reject them and cannot recognize their validity.

    The military prosecutor accuses me of inciting the protesters to throw stones at the soldiers. This is not true. What incites protesters to throw stones is the sound of bullets, the occupation’s bulldozers as they destroy the land, the smell of tear gas and the smoke coming from burnt houses.

    If released by the judge, will I be convinced thereby that justice still prevails in your courts?

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      Marc L says:

      Why is it that we never hear a peep from you people when missiles are raining down on Israel and Israeli civilians are getting blown up in supermarkets and buses? Not a word. No protests, no condemnations, no complaints. But every time a palestinian “protest leader” opens his mouth you waste no time echoing what he says — and if Israel ever replies to the missile attacks or terrorist actions against its civilians you are up in arms. If at least your approach was more balanced you would have some credibility.

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        Ian Howard says:

        You People says:


        In 1979, a group of Palestinian farmers filed a petition with Israel’s High Court of Justice, claiming their land was being illegally expropriated by Jewish settlers. The farmers were not Israeli citizens, and the settlers appeared to have acted with the state’s support; indeed, army helicopters had escorted them to the land—a hilltop near Nablus—bringing along generators and water tanks. The High Court of Justice nevertheless ordered the outpost dismantled. “The decision of the court… proved that ‘there was justice’ in Jerusalem and that Israel was indeed ruled by Law,” exulted one Israeli columnist.

        But the frustration of the settlers did not last very long. As revealed in The Law in These Parts, an engrossing new Israeli documentary making its American debut at the Sundance Film Festival, just hours after the ruling was handed down, Ariel Sharon, a keen supporter of the settlement project who was then Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, organized a meeting to discuss how to circumvent it. Alexander Ramati, then a legal advisor to the West Bank military command, raised his hand to tell Sharon about an Ottoman concept known as “Mawat land.” The Ottomans, who had controlled Palestine until World War I, had used the term to designate land far enough from any neighboring village that a crowing rooster perched on its edge could not be heard. Under Ottoman law, if such land was not cultivated for three years it was “mawat”—dead —and reverted to the empire. “With or without your rooster, be at my office at 8:00 in the morning,” Sharon told Ramati, who was soon crisscrossing the West Bank in the cockpit of a helicopter, identifying tens of thousands of uninhabited acres that could be labeled “state land” and made available to settlers, notwithstanding the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on moving civilians into occupied territory. In the years that followed, a string of new settlements was built on this territory, eventually prompting another challenge before the Israeli High Court. This time, the Court denied the challenge, ruling that settlement construction was permissible while Israel served as the temporary custodian of the territory. This provided a legal basis for land expropriation that has since enabled hundreds of thousands of Israelis to relocate to the West Bank.

        The film’s subjects have been more sparing with their praise – with one notable exception, a former military judge named Jonathan Livny who has attended some screenings and spoken admiringly about it. At one point in the film, Livny is openly critical of the military courts: “As a military judge, you don’t just represent justice,” he says. “You represent the authorities of the occupation, vis-à-vis a population that sees you as the enemy… It’s an unnatural situation. As long as it’s only temporary, fine. But when it goes on for 40 years? How can the system function? How can it be just?”

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    Ian Howard says:

    No legitimate state can exist without the rule of law.

    The process of colonizing the West Bank because of divine right is not compatible with democratic values.

    A fanatic is a fanatic no matter what God he has created.

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    Ian Howard says:

    Israel absolutely has the right to protect it’s citizens what it cannot do is this:


    Monster borders are what Avigdor Lieberman wants
    If Jewish fingers can be stuck deep into the West Bank to grant 400,000 settlers a Jewish homeland, the Palestinians should be able to stick fingers into Israel.

    Avigdor Lieberman couldn’t have been more clear when he said he wouldn’t support a peace deal with the Palestinians “without a swap of land and populations.” As the foreign minster put it, in such an agreement, “nobody will be expelled or banished, but the border will move to the other side of Highway 6.”

    Lieberman proposes three historic novelties. One is a “transfer package,” not in the brutal Stalinist mode, but the removal of territory along with its inhabitants. The second is the abrogation of the sanctity of the nation’s soil. The third is the end of the bluff of “security borders” while adopting a new concept of “racial borders.”

    This is the clearest blueprint ever proposed by an Israeli leader. More importantly, Lieberman recognizes the need for a political settlement to the conflict, unlike Netanyahu, who’s trying not to outline Israel’s borders. But Lieberman is laying down a clear map with at least one border, along Highway 6, as though it were a river or ridge that could serve as a natural boundary.

    A border, according to Lieberman, is a flexible entity, not sacred or subject to divine promises. Its purpose is merely to determine the volume of the cultural-religious-nationalist vessel that contains the stuff of every nation. Therefore, a smaller vessel with fewer murky sediments is preferable to a large one where suspect objects float around. This is the vision of every nation-state – to be the state of only one nation.

    The only flaw in this plan, which is amenable to correction, is that the immediate gains are modest. Israel would get rid of only 300,000 Arabs and still be left with 1.3 million “disloyal” citizens – past or potential “terrorists.” These people would now have a diaspora of their own, along with the refugees.

    Luckily, the solution is embedded in Lieberman’s proposal. Since borders aren’t sacred, what would prevent Israel from redrawing them and adding Nazareth, Sakhnin, Kafr Manda and other Arab communities to the Palestinian state? If Jewish geographic fingers can be stuck deep into the West Bank to grant 400,000 settlers a Jewish homeland, it would be just for the Palestinians to stick similar fingers into Israel. This would be a tortuously long border, giving the state a monstrous shape. But it would be a purely Jewish monster.

    The “Highway 6” border that would replace the Green Line has added political value. Leftist strongholds like kibbutzim Bahan, Ein Hashofet, Ramat Hashofet, Dalia and Gal’ed lie east of Highway 6 and would thus be transferred to the Palestinian state. And Katzir-Harish with its multitudes of ultra-Orthodox, detested by Lieberman, could be thrown into the mix. This would reduce the number of Knesset seats of the Arabs and others who spoil the consensus.

    Also, Israel would be rid of many poor people who distort the statistics; that’s why the government adds the term “without Arabs or ultra-Orthodox” when it wants to show off its successes. Israel would simply drop them into the Palestinian state, as it has always done with expired medication and cars that can no longer be sold in Israel.

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