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Why the Tide of World Opinion Turned Against Israel
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The international community only first turned against Israel after its repeated and flagrant flouting of international law and the consensus among nations on how to resolve the conflict. When Israel thumbed its nose at the world one time too many, the world finally started to react.

When the Palestine struggle reemerged after the 1967 war, the international community paid special deference to Israeli rights. Whereas the UN rejected South Africa’s bid to create a majority White state beside Black homelands (Bantustans), it upheld a Palestinian state only in the West Bank and Gaza beside, not in lieu of, Israel, thereby affirming the 1947 Partition Resolution’s support for the creation of “independent Arab and Jewish States.” Insofar as the Partition Resolution was passed when the UN was still unrepresentative of world opinion (it included just 56 member States; today there are 193 member States), and insofar as the rights of colonial peoples received far greater recognition in the ensuing years, it might easily be imagined that in the 1960s-70s, during the heyday of Anti-Imperialism and the Non-Aligned Movement, the principle of partition, which the indigenous population overwhelmingly opposed, would have been dissolved by the UN into the demand for a unitary state in Palestine. But that didn’t happen. ” On the contrary, to gain entry into the UN’s chambers, PLO chairman Yasir Arafat had to scrap the PLO charter and embrace the international consensus of two states. The closest the international community came to reversing itself was the 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution. However, although asseverating that “the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in…South Africa have a common imperialist origin,” the notorious resolution did not call for Israel’s dismantling, only managed to garner 72 votes (nearly an equal number, 67, voted against or abstained), and was eventually rescinded (in 1991). International public opinion first began to turn against Israel when, annulling the quid pro quo inscribed in UN resolution 242 (1967), and embarking on a second round of territorial aggrandizement, it not only refused to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 despite an expressed Arab willingness to live at peace with it, but also, via its settlement policy, endeavored to make the occupation irreversible and permanent, denying Palestinians the right to self-determination in even a sliver of their historic homeland. “Neither in 1948 nor in 1967 was Israel subjected to irresistible international pressure to relinquish her territorial gains,” former Israeli foreign minister Ben-Ami observes. “But the international acquiescence…in 1967 was to be extremely short-lived.” Once Israel set out on a “war of conquest, occupation and settlement, the international community recoiled and Israel went on the defensive. She has remained there ever since.”[1]Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab tragedy (New York: 2006), pp. 314-15; cf. Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A critical analysis of Israel’s security and foreign policy (Ann Arbor: 2006), p. 167. The bottom-line is, the international community only first turned against Israel after its repeated and flagrant flouting of international law and the consensus among nations, inscribed in UN resolution 242, on how to resolve the conflict. When Israel thumbed its nose at the world one time too many, the tide of public opinion started turning against it.


[1] Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab tragedy (New York: 2006), pp. 314-15; cf. Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A critical analysis of Israel’s security and foreign policy (Ann Arbor: 2006), p. 167.

(Republished from Byline by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Israel 
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  1. alexander says:

    Dr Finkelstein,

    I think Israel is “capable” of doing good things….great things in fact.

    I think they should….do an awful lot of them……very, very soon.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  2. biz says:

    I can’t believe I just read this:

    it not only refused to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 despite an expressed Arab willingness to live at peace with it

    Israel did offer to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 in return for peace. The Arab countries turned it down with the infamous “three noes” of the Khartoum Declaration.

    This is a very basic fact of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    • Replies: @Mark Green
  3. Mark Green says: • Website

    The Arab League offered to fully normalize relations and trade with Israel (and fully recognize the Jewish state) in 2002 if Israel would return to its 1967 borders. Israel didn’t even respond. What does that indicate?

    Why can a peace deal never be struck?

    A ‘deal’ is a ludicrous step for Israel to make since a ‘deal’ will require sacrifices that the powerful Israelis simply do not want to make. Not now. Not ever.

    Surrendering ‘Jewish’ land to placate lowly Palestinians has become laughable in Tel Aviv. In fact, the time has never been better for Israel to simply NOT negotiate in any way at all. Even ‘superpower’ Washington cannot order Israel around. Tragically, it’s been this way for decades. Israeli operatives have colonized and burrowed themselves deeply into America’s political system. The political payoff to Israel has been enormous.

    But the recent collapse in the price of oil provides the Jewish state with even more opportunities. Arab states are under severe economic pressures. On top of that, many Arab nations that were once hostile to Israel now lay in ruins. Washington’s ‘regime change’ policies have served the Israelis well. Very well.

    As for the Palestinians, Israel is so powerful that it can continue to acquire Palestinian land just by snatching it. Thus, Israeli Jews are brazenly constructing Jewish Only settlements on land that, not very long ago, was supposed to be part of a future ‘Palestinian state’. Is this funny or what!

    Not only that, various, high-ranking Israelis still intermittently announce that they will never again “divide” Jerusalem. This is also not a very good sign as far as a ‘deal’ goes.

    In fact, you can pretty much kiss Jerusalem’s ‘Arab Quarter’ goodbye. Just be patient. Ethnic cleansing takes time.

    Sure, it’s all a bit complicated. The Israelis also don’t want any of the non-Jews who have been expelled from the ever-growing Jewish state to return. These exiles must simply give up and go away. Or they may have to live out their lives in refugee camps. Oh well. That’s life.

    Oh yeah. One other thing. The Israelis will not be returning Syria’s Golan Heights. Never. Sorry. That’s Jewish land, too.

    That lingering dispute over the Golan is another reason why Syria’s Assad must go, just as Saddam had to go. Intact, rising Arab states with a grievance pose a threat to Israel. Come to think of it, that’s why Quadaffi’s Libya had to go as well. ‘Potential threat’.

    Besides, the ’67 borders are “indefensible” anyway. So what’s left to negotiate? In the end, regional chaos makes Israel safer. Divide and rule. So everything is actually going along quite perfectly. At least for Israel.

    In fact, the ‘Two State Solution’ has turned into a fictional drama. That’s what the negotiations were all about: stalling and delay.

    This is why there will be never be an autonomous Palestinian state. Israel will not permit it.

    So quit blowing smoke about Palestinians being ‘unwilling’ to trade land for peace. A ‘land for peace’ deal is basically all they’ve been after since Jimmy Carter. But the Israelis don’t want a peace deal if it means surrendering Jewish land. That’s the core problem. And Israel is holding all the cards.

    Why would Israel, at this late date, trade land for ‘peace’ when they can simply take whatever they want by force with impunity?

    Israel answers to no one, including Washington.

    That’s the actual situation. So please quit blowing smoke.

    Zionist rejectionism and Zionist duplicity are at the heart of this forever-failing ‘peace process’. But now it’s totally dead. And this final collapse explains why Israel has never defined its borders. Negotiations have been a trick from the start. The Israelis have sought instead to confiscate more land. And they’re still gobbling it up. The ‘peace process’ has been a theatrical exercise.

    In the meantime, Israel is committed to making life as miserable as possible for the destitute Palestinians. Let them suffer. Every man, every woman and every child. There must feel pain and they must feel humiliation. It’s war. Food, clean water and even shelter will be denied as needed. Bring out the bulldozers, too. No rest. No security. It’s war.

    So the Palestinians don’t want peace? Are you sure?

    Are they just having too much fun living in extreme poverty and living under military occupation? Makes sense. Who’d want to give that up?

    In fact, Israel’s cruelty is surpassed only by its political dishonesty. This goes for domestic operatives who insist on blaming Israel’s victims.

    So let’s be clear: the Jewish state is on a mission of conquest. There will be no ‘peace’. What a silly, quaint idea. The various accords and the agreements and even the final ‘Road Map’ were gimmicks. Prolonged negotiations have been a clever tactic, a ruse.

    And now that Iraq is destroyed, Syria is in ruins, Palestine is near death, and Libya is smoldering, Israel may move forward with its next not-so-secret step.

    In the words of Rabbi Meir Kahane: “They (the Arabs) Must Go.

    This land was promised to the Jewish people by G-d!

    They must go.”

  4. Svigor says:

    Black pathology really took off in the wake of “civil rights.” Most refer to this as some sort of “collapse,” but I’ve always called it the flowering of black nature; it’s just black nature asserting itself in the absence of external white pressure.

    I suppose I could say something similar about Israel and Jewish nature. Israel is what the Jewish nature looks like when it asserts itself, free of pressure to conform in a White society.

    Israel puts the lie to many of the liberal democratic west’s poses*. The pose of humanitarianism, first and foremost. Israel clearly demonstrates that the difference in approach toward Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel is money and power. If you have enough, you get to have an Apartheid State. If you don’t, you get steamrolled.

    I don’t recall the South Africans carpet-bombing black neighborhoods. For that matter, I don’t recall the South African diaspora forming the vanguard of the movement to prevent any kind of (White) ethnocentric thinking or policy in America, either.

    * In many ways, for this I suppose we should be grateful, in a hostile sort of way.

    • Replies: @AnalogMan
    , @AnalogMan
  5. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think Israel is “capable” of doing good things….great things in fact.

    based on what evidence?

    Israel has never in its entire history done a single good thing, unless killing and lying fit that category.

    • Replies: @alexander
  6. Rehmat says:

    Dr. Finkelstein – you forgot to mention the LOUSY MOUTHS of Israeli leaders.

    Their current victim is Swedish FM Margot Wallstrom.

    On January 14, 2016, Israeli PM Netanyahu called Swedish FM Margot Wallstrom stupid for demanding an independent probe into Zionist regime’s “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.

    “I think what Swedish foreign minister said is outrageous – it’s immoral, and it’s stupid,” said Netanyahu.

    “I condemn the statements, the scandalous statements, made by the foreign minister of Sweden. It seems she expects Israeli citizens to bare their throats to those trying to stab them. This will not happen and we will continue to protect the lives of Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu told reporters.

    On January 22, Zvi Zameret, former director at Israel’s ministry of education came up with a way to shut Ms. Wallstrom up. In an Op-Ed at Makor Rishon newspaper owned by the US casino billionaire Sheldon he suggested that Margot Wallstrom, who made anti-Israel remarks recently needs the fate of UN mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, murdered by members of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir’s Lehi terrorist group in 1948 (Mondoweiss, January 23, 2016).

    • Replies: @alexander
  7. AnalogMan says:

    Good comment.

    I wonder whether the Internet might have made a difference in the outcome for South Africa. In those days the news in SA was censored. When the whole world piled on to destroy SA economically with sanctions, plucky Israel was our only friend. They helped us obtain oil and strategic supplies, and set up an arms industry. I only found out after it was all over, that Israel had voted for those sanctions in the UN. There’s lots of money to be made in sanctions-busting.

    The other thing I only found out about too late, was who was behind it all. When I saw a TV interview with Harry Oppenheimer (good old Scottish name), the richest man in SA, saying “Yes, I was the quiet engine behind the ANC”.

    We were white-anted by the bastards.

    You people who still have a homeland, you have resources. Ignorance is a choice. Don’t let them do to you what they did to us.

  8. AnalogMan says:

    Regarding your last paragraph: two points.

    1. South Africa was a nuclear power. We had the Bomb, but dismantled our stock** before handing the country over to the Babuntus. Even FW de Klerk wasn’t so stupid or evil as to hand them nuclear bombs. Today, I wish to hell we had nuked Soweto.

    2. The South African diaspora is only too happy to have escaped the detroitus of their former homeland. They are in their new refuges under sufferance. White South Africans are welcome basically nowhere in the world, and the few who have managed to find a home are not about to screw it up by making waves.

    On the other hand, South Africans who have a legal right of return to Israel, find it easy to migrate to many countries, where many of them (Ilana Mercer, for example), carry right on doing to their new hosts exactly what they did to South Africa.

    ** Although there are rumours of one unaccounted for…

  9. alexander says:


    Is what you are suggesting, that Israels Makor Rishon newspaper is openly advocating the use of “terrorist groups” to go around assassinating foreign leaders(in this case, Sweden’s FM) who state that “extrajudicial killings and assassinations” are a crime ?

    What is one to make of that ?

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  10. Rehmat says:

    Had you read my post in full, you wouldn’t be confused.

    Forget about Swedish FM being on Mossad hit list. The publisher-editor of Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew B. Alder, in his January 13, 2012 Op-Ed, entitled What would you do? – called for assassination of US President Barack Obama by Israeli Mossad – as one of three options to stop Islamic Republic achieving nuclear capability. Andrew Alder’s three options, were; “Strike Hizbullah and Hamas, strike Iran or “order a hit” on Barack Obama. Either way, problem solved!”

    “Three, give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies,” wrote Adler.

  11. Yevardian says:

    You semites are all the same. I’m no great lover of Israel but I don’t see how your kind is any better. At least Israelis make important contributions to science and technology. Mahometans? Nothing.

    • Replies: @OutWest
  12. OutWest says:

    I take it you’re limiting your comments to the present tense. Arabic numbers, algebra etc., sort of underpinned European philosophy and science.

  13. Israel’s sitting pretty in fact very pretty like holding a huge barbecue on the Golan heights and watching the Arabs tear each other apart with medieval ferocity. All her enemies (Arab militaries capable of threatening her ) much like Putin’s opposition have conveniently dropped dead. Iraq & Syria – finished, Egypt – in an Algerian style insurgency which will last for a decade at least, Hezbollah – getting slowly ground down by attrition in the Syrian sausage machine & Iran – never really an enemy more of Iran trying to out Arab the Arabs for leadership of the Muslim world which is a pipe dream and now with normalization of relations with the west likely to stop pretending.

    With the Jihad now in European capitals Israel if pressured will just point out and say “look we have to live with these bastards so don’t tell us how to treat them”.

    The Palestinians must be ruing the day they rejected camp David as they will never get anything remotely close to that.

    Israel’s biggest enemy is its ever growing parasitic orthodox class as there is a real danger that these nuts will get their hands on Israel’s nukes and build a third temple on the Al Aqsa Mosque.

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There is this new invention called paragraphs. It makes reading much easier for the eyes.

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