Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Israel Was Created

Here follow excerpts from an important article:

The Real Story of How Israel Was Created by Alison Weir --
To better understand the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations, it is important to understand the original 1947 U.N. action on Israel-Palestine. 
The common representation of Israel’s birth is that the U.N. created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the U.S. governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect. 
In reality, while the U.N. General Assembly recommended the creation of a Jewish state in part of Palestine, that recommendation was non-binding and never implemented by the Security Council. 
Second, the General Assembly passed that recommendation only after Israel proponents threatened and bribed numerous countries in order to gain a required two-thirds of votes.
Third, the U.S. administration supported the recommendation out of domestic electoral considerations and took this position over the strenuous objections of the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon. 
The passage of the General Assembly recommendation sparked increased violence in the region. Over the following months the armed wing of the pro-Israel movement, which had long been preparing for war, perpetrated a series of massacres and expulsions throughout Palestine, implementing a plan to clear the way for a majority-Jewish state. 
It was this armed aggression, and the ethnic cleansing of at least three-quarters of a million indigenous Palestinians, that created the Jewish state on land that had been 95 percent non-Jewish prior to Zionist immigration and that even after years of immigration remained 70 percent non-Jewish. And despite the shallow patina of legality its partisans extracted from the General Assembly, Israel was born over the opposition of American experts and of governments around the world, who opposed it on both pragmatic and moral grounds.
Let us look at the specifics.
Background of the U.N. Partition Recommendation

In 1947 the U.N. took up the question of Palestine, a territory that was then administered by the British
Approximately 50 years before, a movement called political Zionism had begun in Europe. Its intention was to create a Jewish state in Palestine through pushing out the Christian and Muslim inhabitants who made up over 95 percent of its population and replacing them with Jewish immigrants. 
As this colonial project grew through subsequent years, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land. In various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians, they discussed their strategy: They would either buy up the land until all the previous inhabitants had emigrated or, failing this, use violence to force them out. 
When the buy-out effort was able to obtain only a few percent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later braggedthat Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.
Finally, in 1947 the British announced that they would be ending their control of Palestine, which had been created through the League of Nations following World War I, and turned the question of Palestine over to the United Nations. 
At this time, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 percent and land ownership from 1 percent to approximately 6 percent. 
Since a founding principle of the U.N. was “self-determination of peoples,” one would have expected to the U.N. to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country. 
Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution in which they would be given a disproportionate 55 percent of Palestine. (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.) 
U.S. Officials Oppose Partition PlanThe U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and U.S. interests.
[. . .]

Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby
[. . .] Truman’s political adviser, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman’s opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)

Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II general and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a “transparent dodge to win a few votes,” which would cause “[t]he great dignity of the office of president [to be] seriously diminished.”
[. . .]

Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson’s biographer writes that Acheson “worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel.” Another Author, John Mulhall, records Acheson’s warning: "[T]o transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East."
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman’s Mideast policy was based on what he called “squalid political purposes,” asserting that “United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.”
[. . .]

Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department’s director of policy planning, issued a top-secret document on Jan. 19, 1947, that outlined the enormous damage done to the U.S. by the partition plan (“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine”).

[. . .]

The head of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds: "U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter — a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of U.N.’s own charter."
[. . .]
American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw another outcome of the partition plan: that no Arab State would actually ever come to be in Palestine.
Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members

When it was clear that the partition recommendation did not have the required two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.
[. . .]
Financier and longtime presidential adviser Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia through rubber magnate Harvey Firestone, who told the Liberian president that if Liberia did not vote in favor of partition, Firestone would revoke his planned expansion in the country. Liberia voted yes.
Latin American delegates were told that the pan-American highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates’ wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition. 
Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with 10 senators and Truman domestic adviser Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress) 
Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable “primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land.” He went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world “back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments.” 
Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the delegate voted in favor of partition.
The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.
On Nov. 29, 1947, the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. [. . .]
Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the U.N. vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the U.S. under a number of front groups.
The U.N. eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial cease-fire. A Swedish U.N. mediator who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence. Israeli assassins killed him, and Israel continued what it was to call its “war of independence.”
At the end of this war, through a larger military force than that of its adversaries and the ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine.
At least 33 massacres of Palestinian civilians were perpetrated, half of them before a single Arab army had entered the conflict, hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed, and a team of cartographers was sent out to give every town, village, river, and hillock a new Hebrew name. All vestiges of Palestinian habitation, history, and culture were to be erased from history, an effort that almost succeeded.
Israel, which claims to be the “only democracy in the Middle East,” decided not to declare official borders or to write a constitution, a situation which continues to this day.  
In 1967 it took still more Palestinian and Syrian land, which is now illegally occupied territory, since the annexation of land through military conquest is outlawed by modern international law.  
[. . .]
[Detailed citations for the above information are available at "The History of Israel-U.S. Relations, Part One."]
Read more by Alison Weir

Article printed from Original: http://original.antiwar.comURL to article:

"The Holiday Gift You Can’t Return: 92 New Abortion Restrictions" | National Women's Law Center

Here follow excerpts from an important item posted by the Nation Women's Law Center.

For the complete post, go to:

The Holiday Gift You Can’t Return: 92 New Abortion Restrictions | National Women's Law Center

[. . .]
92 new abortion restrictions enacted by state legislatures. Last year was the worst year for state abortion restrictionsever. The previous high water mark was 34 in 2005. With banks still foreclosing on homes and people unable to find work, it is beyond disheartening to know that state legislators spent their time and energy last year – not to mention state dollars – making it harder for women to get abortions.
The most common types of abortion restrictions that passed in the last year are those which limit abortion coverage in health plans.
[. . .]
States are even resorting to enacting laws that require and endorse lying to women about abortion. North Dakota requires that counseling provided to women considering abortion include information stating that having an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, despite the fact that this is untrue. South Dakota now requires that counseling provided to women considering abortion include flawed information about risk factors for abortion and requires women to visit a crisis pregnancy center, which are notorious for providing misinformation, before obtaining an abortion.

[. . .]

2011 will be remembered as a time when, among other things, five states banned abortion after 20 weeks gestation; seven states prohibited the use of telemedicine to obtain a medication abortion; and five states require an ultrasound before an abortion. In all, 92 new restrictions on abortion in 2011. State legislatures are about to reconvene across the country to take up the business of 2012, and we anticipate many more will try to enact these types of restrictions. Happy new year?