Alon Liel at ‘Comment is Free’: a match made in BDS heaven.

Quite why it was deemed necessary down at Guardian HQ to publish an article by Harriet Sherwood which does nothing but regurgitate the words of another article it published fourteen minutes earlier on ‘Comment is Free’ is a mystery. 

One thing, however, is clear: Alon Liel (the author of the CiF piece of June 27th) is the type of Israeli with whom the Guardian can do business. He makes all the right noises, uses all the right buzz-words, is not averse to delegitimising his fellow countrymen and conforms splendidly to the simplistic ‘Guardian World View’.

Alon Liel

Thus, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) becomes a noble way in which to promote peace instead of what its instigators really intend it to be – a campaign to reverse Jewish self-determination. 

The peace process is of course (yet again) in imminent danger and only the enlightened such as Alon Liel can save us from ourselves. For good measure, he throws in a couple of scary references to ‘apartheid’ and ‘expansionist policy’: almost comical when one considers that the country being discussed has only relinquished territory over the past four decades. 

The ‘settlements’, according to the Liel sound-bites, are of course ‘illegal under international law’ and on ‘occupied land’. They – and they alone – jeopardise peace and a two-state solution. Not terrorism, not generation after generation of officially sanctioned Palestinian incitement, not the inability of Palestinian society to conduct democratic elections and come up with one truly representative leader with whom Israel can negotiate and not even the basic refusal to accept a Jewish presence in the Middle East. 

And of course according to Liel, the West Bank is ‘Palestinian land’ which is being ‘gobbled up by growing settlements’, which are in turn somehow ‘erasing the Green line’ – a ‘line’ which Liel somehow appears to forget was drawn solely as the result of an armistice agreement at the end of a war of attempted annihilation. 

Despite a ten-month building freeze which failed to bring Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table, Liel has no qualms about distorting the facts into “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rejection of US President Barack Obama’s plea to freeze settlement growth”.

As offensive as it is to see an Israeli collaborating with the campaign to delegitimize and dehumanize a significant proportion of the Israeli population, Alon Liel is of course entitled to his own opinion. He is even entitled to plaster it all over the pages of any and every foreign and domestic newspaper which will accommodate him. But – as Israelis will be aware (and Guardian editors apparently choose to ignore), this is not the first time that Alon Liel has been wrong. 

The former diplomat (who apparently had no qualms then about taking government salaries paid for in part by the income tax of people he today wishes to delegitimize and boycott) was part of the team which engineered the Oslo Accords.  He is closely associated with Yossi Beilin – the author of the Geneva Accords – and the two have joint business interests today, in addition to Liel’s own business, primarily located in Turkey

Liel is also involved with the political NGOs Ir Amim (board of directors) and ‘B’Tselem‘ (public council), both of which have received funding from the New Israel Fund, of which his wife – Rachel Liel – is director in Israel. In 2006 Rachel Liel took part in an ‘alternative’ Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony organized by ‘Yesh Gvul’, which encourages Israeli soldiers to avoid “serving apartheid” by refusing to serve beyond the ‘green line’ and claims that the Sabra and Shatila massacres were “IDF supervised”. She is also part of the management team of ‘Agenda‘. 

Alon Liel is also known for his self-initiated attempts to negotiate with the Syrian government. Together with American-Syrian businessman Ibrahim (Abe) Suleiman, he conducted a series of unauthorized talks with Damascus beginning in 2004 and continuing for just under two years.  Liel set up the Israel Syria Peace Society and in 2007 organised a rally in the Golan Heights calling for renewal of negotiations with Syria which he claimed was “not intended to arouse provocation against residents of the Golan”. In the same year, Liel campaigned against school hiking trips in the Golan on the grounds that they were “a political provocation” which supposedly undermined peace.

Imagine if that particular Alon Liel campaign to negotiate with a mass-murdering dictator had been successful: today Israel would have a Syrian civil war, complete with the dangers of a sizeable chemical weapons arsenal falling into unknown hands, just minutes away from its major water supply and several mid-sized population centres in its north.  

Those familiar with Alon Liel will not find it surprising that he is prepared to scaremonger, to distort facts, to willfully ignore the true nature and aims of the BDS movement and even support the bigoted Alice Walker in order to advance the same Don Quixote agenda he has been pushing for decades. Those familiar with the Guardian will not find it shocking that the paper would be keen to co-operate with Liel – although two practically identical articles in the space of 14 minutes has to be a bit desperate – even for them. 

In 2008 Alon Liel ran in the Labour Party primaries. He was not elected: apparently even members of the Israeli Labour Party did not wish to embrace his off-the-wall ideas. But obviously, neither he nor his new best buddies at the Guardian can come to terms with the fact that Alon Liel represents a fringe view not only rejected by the Israeli democracy as a whole, but also disturbingly oblivious to the complex realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. 

It’s a perfect match. 

108 replies »

  1. While I don’t agree with everything Liel says, what right do you have to assert that he is “delegitimising his fellow countrymen”? He is critical of the settlements, that’s all.
    You write as if the man is a traitor – but there is no evidence that he is any less patriotic as you yourself.
    In the article he clearly defends the Jewish state.

    • You have to remember that the people behind this website are religious extremists. They believe that a certain ethnoreligionationalist group have a God-given right to settle on the land that belongs to other individuals, and that anyone who doesn’t share this fundamentalist view is a racist. It’s all very simple in the bigot’s worldview.

      • Who is your psychiatrist, sanity?

        When did you last have a review of your medication.

        Does these paranoid delusions interfere very much with your day to day functioning?

      • I wouldn’t call the Balfour declaration(of 1917) and the San Remo resolution(of 1920) “God Given”.
        Rather, a collective decision by the world’s foremost power, affirming the Jews’ right to settle west of the Jordan river. Hardly “divine” intervention”.
        …the people behind this website are religious extremists
        And other than baseless, defamatory accusations, any proof to actually carry the weight of your charges?

        • Haha great history knowledge! Britain, France, Italy and Japan? One of these was the world’sforemost power?!!!

          I think the USA and Germany,whose industrial output was far exceeding all these would have something to say about that.

          Also, I like how you cherry-pick the international agreements you like, but not the ones you don’t, even when UN resolutions are obviously more representative of actual international community will. But I guess myopia is the affliction of all village idiots.

          • By the 1920s, both in population and in GDP, the collective prowess of the United Kingdom(The British Empire), Japan, France and Italy, outweighed that of the US, and Germany(reminding you, that Germany lost WW1).
            You can look up the tables here:link here.
            Furthermore, the United Nations, being a direct successor to the League of Nation, cannot abrogate any treaties accorded thereat. Therefore, these declarations and statements(Balfour, San Remo, Lausanne, Versailles), still stand.
            Thirdly, you’d be hard pressed to find ANY UNSC resolution, demanding an unconditional withdrawal, FROM ALL the territories(i.e. without “land-for-peace”)(UNSC 242 specifically omitted the “the” article).
            My advice: pick a history book, quit the slander, and actually imbibe what you learn(And no, “Stormfront” is not a credible source).
            And as for “village idiots”… I guess it’s true what they say: It takes one, to know one.

            • The table you link to doesn’t have a figure for the United States, so is basically useless for the purposes of this exercise (village idiot mistake number 1).

              However, if we glance up a the Madison numbers, you’ll see that for 1913 (the closest comparison year) the combined GDP of France, Italy, Japan and Britain was 536,247 million 1990 US dollars. The comparative figure for Germany and the United States is 754,715 million United States dollars. In 1950, those figures were 894,265 million and 1,721,270 million (village idiot mistake number 2: inability to do simple addition).

              Finally, you won’t find a single specialist in international law who agrees with your legal opinion. I would suggest that you just sit back and have a good old wank. It’ll make you feel better and will be more productive than anything else you do today (except perhaps trying to teach yourself some maths, though I hold out little hope for that…)

              • Let’s get straight to it:
                1. (real) Village idiot mistake No.1: Your hand hasn’t withered yet, has it? You’re still able to scroll, and get to the Maddison tables, right?
                2. Village idiot mistake No.2: I specifically mentioned “THE BRITISH EMPIRE”-that is, LEARN TO READ. Therefore, any calculation has to account for UK+India+dominions,possessions,etc. and then France(and dependencies+territories), Italy, Japan, &c.
                Therefore, you can clearly tell that the figures exceed that of the US(Germany is inapplicable, as after the war it was economically crushed, and toiling under massive reparations).
                (A neat figure on the GDP of the entire British Empire can be found here).
                Lastly(Village idiot fallacy No. 3, and counting), as for legal opinions, why don’t we ask the framer of UNSC 242 himself, the Lord Caradon(Ambassador of the UK to the UNSC):
                “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew – that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever; it would be insanity.”
                Alas, as for “wanking”, seeing your seething, pent up rage, it seems you could really benefit from it ;-). Have at it!

                • I’ve come across people who – quite understandably – question the value of responding to those who visit blogs not really to argue in good faith, but to troll, provoke, derail etc.

                  In my view, boring though it becomes to continually refute accusations, I happen to belive responses such as Commetary101’s are valuable and worthwhile.

                  Those who are not arguing in good faith often fail to realise that they are rather like actors in a play. CiFWatch – like many blogs – has an audience that watches but does not comment. I would imagine this audience is considerable. When those who do not act in good faith take the stage, the remaining actors – those who respond to them – are actually being given a great opportunity to provide members of the audience not only opinion but in-depth information and facts.

                  I consider myself quite well-versed in the matter of the I/P conflict, but even so, I’ve certainly gained in knowledge as a result of visiting this blog, and that knowledge has sometimes occurred by reading interactions such as the one above. So, annoying though the Sanity’s et al can be, their role is quite useful.

                  • I agree with you Penny.

                    The trolls’ unoriginal and derivative moans give us the chance to set the record straight in response – a chance we would never get on blogs like CiF or Electronic Intifada (if we had hazmat suits to post there regularly).

                    Just as the trolls’ rants remain online so do our rebuttals. The mistake is to assume that these sensible replies will impact on the trolls’ worldview – the more important function of the replies is to model how to respond to them and, as I said, to set the record straight. If those reading or looking in can’t be bothered to check things out then they are lost causes anyway and we will have lost nothing.

                    We stand to gain a lot.

                • unfortunately the new link you are giving is cited by wikipedia as not being factually accurate. and that’s wikipedia saying so. nevertheless, it doesn’t include the us empire.

                  but anyway, let me give you the benefit of the doubt. please do the maths and give us the overall figures. until you actually show you can do that, you still just come across as a village idiot.

                  ok, moving on, your point about unsc 242 is not apparent.that is, i have no idea what you’re talking about. before you were talking about the balfour declaration, and now you’ve moved on to something entirely unrelated. but, if you like, again, i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. find me a single source from a lawyer working today, internationally respected, who agrees with your view that the invasion and colonisation of the west bank and gaza by the criminal idf should not be reversed as a matter of legal obligation.

                  • A. I liked the part about the “US Empire”; nice touch.
                    B. 1. By the Balfour declaration, and the San Remo resolution, including a historical association of the Jewish people to Judea & Samaria, it’s not unreasonable that some people(without involving the “God given/ordained” myth” would see it as rightfully theirs.
                    2. “find me a single source from a lawyer working today, internationally respected, who agrees with your view that the invasion and colonisation of the west bank and gaza by the criminal idf should not be reversed as a matter of legal obligation.”
                    My point about the UNSC 242 is that it is the principle document guiding Israeli presence in the West Bank(Gaza is no longer occupied, you may want to update your news feed).
                    As it were, Israel is not obligated to withdraw UNTIL security and peace is guaranteed to it, per the Resolution.(Land for peace). We all want to see the occupation end, but not without a treaty and an end to all hostilities.
                    A lawyer, and internationally respected?
                    What about Arthur J. Goldberg, US Ambassador to the UN?
                    “Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted. Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal. If the resolution is ambiguous, and purposely so, on this crucial issue, how is the withdrawal issue to be settled? By direct negotiations between the concerned parties. Resolution 242 calls for agreement between them to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. Agreement and acceptance necessarily require negotiations.”
                    What about Alan Dershowitz, who, in his “Case for Israel”, argued the exact same thing?
                    An end to the occupation-sure; but only with mutually agreed borders, and with a solution to the conflict.

                    • i wrote: ‘ find me a single source from a lawyer working today, internationally respected’

                      you give me a man who has been dead for 22 years, and dershoshit.

                    • “A Man who’s been dead for 22 years”; true, but one who actually wrote UNSC 242?(not good enough? Really? So we can’t rely on the author to interpret the meaning of his own creation? Wow).
                      “Dershoshit”… I see… So I take it you’re a Yale Graduate and Harvard Professor too? fascinating. Nice to see another alumnus.(I pray you’d have half the academic resume of Dershowitz, someday).
                      But fine.
                      What about Yaakov Lozowick?
                      Condoleezza Rice?
                      John Bolton?
                      Efraim Karsh?
                      Yehoshua Porat?
                      Even Henry Kissinger, for God’s sake?!
                      Surely they’re not all dead, hopefully not in your Almanac.

          • The British Mandate for Palestine, was split between the semi-autonomous Transjordan territory, east of the Jordan river, and Palestine, west of the river.
            The Balfour declaration didn’t contain any reference, obviously, but the territory eventually acceded in the treaty of Lausanne, as well as the Mandatory Charter, was that West of the river:
            (You may find that here)

            “The mandate document formalised the creation of two distinct British protectorates – Palestine, as a national home for the Jewish people under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family.”

            That was the effectual realization of the promises envision in Balfour’s message.

              • “The mandate document formalised the creation of two distinct British protectorates – Palestine, as a national home for the Jewish people under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family.”

                Where ?

                  • Where does the United Nations Mandate does it say that it is formalised that there be ” the creation of of two distinct British Protectorates – Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi autonamously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family ”

                    You wouldn’t be making it up as you go along would you ?

                    • Had you read the information provided in the link I had sent, you would’ve seen that none of this is emanating from me.
                      Secondly, the mandate was not that of the United Nations, but of the League of Nations.(the UN didn’t exist back then).
                      Thirdly, that very quote can be found in the PDF file of the Palestine Royal commission, available via “UNISPAL”.
                      Here’s the actual “Transjordan Memorandum”:
                      “The following provisions of the Mandate for Palestine are not applicable to the territory known as Transjordan, which comprises all territory lying to the east of a line drawn from a point two miles west of the town of Akaba on the Gulf of that name up the centre of the Wady Araba, Dead Sea and River Jordan to its junction with the River Yarmuk: thence up the centre of that river to the Syrian frontier.(Emphasis mine).
                      As well as:

                      “…[t]hen it listed articles 4, 6, 13, 14, 22, 23, and parts of the Preamble and Articles 2, 7 and 11, and concluded with ‘In the application of the Mandate to Transjordan, the action which, in Palestine, is taken by the Administration of the latter country will be taken by the Administration of Transjordan under the general supervision of the Mandatory. His Majesty’s Government accept full responsibility as Mandatory for Transjordan, and undertake that such provision as may be made for the administration of that territory in accordance with Article 25 of the Mandate shall be in no way inconsistent with those provisions of the Mandate which are not by this resolution declared inapplicable.’ The council then approved the memorandum…”

                      Here’s a Library of Congress study, on Transjordan:

                      “In 1923 Britain recognized Transjordan as a national state preparing for independence.”

                      What I find very puzzling is your refusal to accept this well-known, and ubiquitous fact.
                      Could it be that you’re secretly a Beitarist, RealBaathist, and are ready to claim both banks of the Jordan river :-O?

                  • Commentary101, very much in the spirit of what I wrote above, I am glad that you gave that link to this lazy s*d, but why not let him do his own research?

                    • While I agree with everything you’ve written above, I still hold on to a glimmer of hope, that these fools, when confronted with the truth, might repent, like the prodigal sons they are.
                      But who knows :-D? At any rate, the truth, must be disseminated.

                • No research necessary .I am perfectly cognisant with the mandate.This is mere obvuscation.. Where in the mandate or the BF does it say what you say it says. You are just making it up aren’t you ?

                  • Please see my comment to your question, above.
                    The quote was taken directly from the Royal Commission for Palestine report(Not the mandate paper itself, for the ONE BILLIONTH time).(The link for which has been inserted too many times by now, vide supra.).
                    See the Wikipedia article again, it’s very prominent out there;
                    Here’s a relevant screenshot of the document, since you’re not going to read it, detailing the slicing of Transjordan from the Mandate(via article 25).
                    The creation of Transjordan, and its different governance under the auspices of the Mandate were allotted in the Transjordan Memorandum.
                    What’s the issue you’re taking with this citation again?
                    Is it the Jewish Homeland part? That’s stipulated in the Balfour declaration;
                    If it’s Transjordan, I’ll ask again: Are you a covert Beitarist, praying for both banks of the Jordan to be returned to the Jewish people ;-)?

      • Sanity: “You have to remember that the people behind this website are religious extremists”

        Thanks sanity, I almost forgot. These Jews! Can’t let your guard down for a moment.

        But wait a minute, what about that bloke from Yorkshire, who you said must hate all Muslims in Bradford because he didn’t share your point of view? He said he was an atheist of Christian descent and yet here he is supporting religious extremism! Could you ever imagine, an alliance between non-believers who consider themselves progressive, and backward religious dogmatism and extremism! What kind of crazy world are we living in? Pleae make it all alright again Sanity. Just like it is in your ivory tower.

        • Groovey Times, Sanity doesn’t see the beam in his own eye, so concerned is he with the motes in the eyes of others. In other words, he is projecting his own dichotomous and rigid views onto others.

          I’ll bet he belongs to online conspiracy theory groups too. That’d be a dead giveaway

        • I was called already a lot of names but “religious extremist” must be my first time being completely atheist…

      • You have to remember that the people behind this website are religious extremists. They believe that a certain ethnoreligionationalist group have a God-given right to settle on the land that belongs to other individuals, and that anyone who doesn’t share this fundamentalist view is a racist.

        I disagree with a lot of what this site’s administrators/writers post – but you’re talking absolute nonsense there.

    • Who is Sela to decide that other Israelis do not have the right to express their own point of view? Who is Sela to dismiss any Israeli who thinks that the future of the Jewish state does not go through the settlement road that CIF Watches favours?

      Israel is a democracy where free speech is enshrined in the law. It would be good if people writing on this website did not seem oblivious to this very basic rule in democracy.

      • Whatever are you talking about Benyamin?

        Ms Sela has not ‘decided’ anything. She has no decision-making powers.

        What she has is the right to hold an opposing view, to state it publicly (providing its content is legal – and this certainly is) and to fight for it if she so chooses.

        Argument, opposition, the right to dissent – these are the very basic elements of free speech and democracy. Stifling opinion is the very opposite. Furthermore, stifling opinion deprives the public of opposing views by which they may determine their own position on any issue.

        If you’re going to comment on democracy and free speech, at least see the logic of them before you accuse others of being oblivious to their rules.

      • Another one with wonky, rigid dichotomous thinking!

        And no theory of mind about the way others’ minds work, so he goes on assumptions that all minds work like his!

    • “…what right do you have to assert that he is ‘delegitimising his fellow countrymen’?”
      Even if he were wrong, he still has a right to assert anything he wants, wouldn’t you agree? (free speech). What you might have asked is what grounds he has to make the assertion. Be careful choosing your words, because there are some here (you) who have a tendency to throw around the word “bigot” at the drop of a pin matey.

      That being said, BDS does seek to delegitimize Israel. It’s a bad move for a patriot to support a movement that seeks to delegitimize the existence of his own country.

    • An interestinf show of his patriotism to incite in a a anti-Israel and antisemite website against his fellow countrymen who finances his probably very high government pension.

    • Self-hating Jews are Jews who deny other Jews the right to express their opinion, because they’re afraid it might undermine their own extremist, racist view of the world.

  2. “the result of an armistice agreement at the end of a war of attempted annihilation. ”

    I have found the current party line to be that this was not a war of annihilation instituted by the Arab armies. The Arab armies were in fact defending the Palestinians from a land grab by the Israelis. The green line is therefore the line where the Arabs stopped the Israeli advance. The party liners point to the fact that no lands were seized from the Israelis by the Arabs that were designated to Israel in the U.N. partition plan, and Israel gained land designated to the Arabs. Using the same logic, the Germans during WWII would be portrayed as waging a defensive war against the land grabbing Allies.


    • … no lands were seized from the Israelis by the Arabs…

      You seem to have conveniently forgotten about the lands illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967.

      • I’m not sure you actually read my post. Can you tell me which lands in the West Bank that were designated for Israel in the U.N. partition plan where seized by Jordan?


  3. This shameless jerk is living off the Israeli tax payer and has the gall to write in the racist Guardian calling for a BDS and smearing his own government and people.That he ended up in the Guardian is no surprise,horse shit attracts horse flies.
    He wants to boycott the very same people that he is living off.Getting a good salary and perks.One thing that these shameless Leftists do very well is hypocrisy……..

  4. He said that….”if boycotting is an offense than I’m a criminal”

    I seem to agree with him.

    • Everything is said for effect. Although he may be having an insightful moment. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility

  5. I think that what you meant to say is that the BDS crowd are against Israeli self-determination, not Jewish self-determination. (of course, they are neither.) A minority of the world’s Jews live in Israel, and Israel does not represent nor speak for Jews in general. And religious fundamentalist websites like this one certainly don’t.

    • It’s good to bear in mind that Israel is a democracy and that this website is in no way representative of Israelis. It supports the agenda of far right wingers and settlers living beyond the Green Line, in the Palestinian territory, not the agenda of Israel.

      • This website represents the opinion of the huge majority of the Israeli electorate – in other words the agenda of Israel as it is very well visible of the composition of the Knesset, even if you and traitors like Liel don’t like it.

        • if that were true then this website wouldn’t be necessary, methinks.

          traitor? that’s tough talk. is suspect even the ‘watchers’ would be uncomfortable using that kind of language.

          • sanity are you familiar with the Israeli public opinion? Naturally not at all. If you were you wouldn’t make a bigger fool of yourself (if it is possible at all…)

            • all right, i presume you can cite some opinion polls for us. i guess there might be a relevant barometre poll?

              • There is only one relevant poll sanity – the composition of the Israeli knesset. If you want to know the facts before your attempt to demonstrate your laughable ignorance try to learn about it – I’m not your research assistant. BTW not like you and your kind of armchair hero I’m living in Israel, working with people from every strata of Israeli society so I have a very good knowledge about the public opinion without conducting any poll.

                • no, there are companies (eg, gallup, ipsos, etc.) who run polls. so you need to use that. the knesset does not give information about people’s attitudes. if you think it does, then you need to speak to some actual social scientists. to understand them you’ll probably need to graduate from high school first, though. perhaps we can revisit the discussion in ten years, then!!!

                  • Sadly for you sanity even poor illiterates like myself knows that the ultimate poll is a democratic parliamentary election. Only people with extremely high academic degrees and intelligence (you must be one of these naturally) have the twisted and disconnected view from the real facts of life and think otherwise.

                    BTW Would you be so kind to disclose your academic achievements here instead of being a condescending turd as you show yourself?

    • If they deny the Jews’ right to self-determination and statehood(which they do), as proscribed in Israel’s creation, and its raison-d’etre, then yes, they’re against that.
      There’s no such thing as “Israeli self-determination”.

        • It’s obviously “prescribe”. An honest mistake, and can happen to anyone.
          The point still stands though. They(the BDS crowd) abnegate Jewish self-determination in any part of the territory west of the Jordan river.

          • tell me, should there be jewish self-determination in sinai? in assyria? in yemen? in ethipia? in australia? in brooklyn?

            no, there is israeli self-determination in israel and that’s it. and israel does not include the west bank or gaza.

            • Not in the “Sinai”, and not in “Assryia”.
              Israel is the pinnacle of some two millennia of yearning for self rule and independence.
              There’s no such thing as “Israeli” self-determination(If the state exists, why would they need “self-determination”?). The Jewish people have created their state in part of the territory of Mandatory Palestine.(I didn’t say the West Bank and Gaza were part of it, nowhere did I allude to that, though historically they have been).
              The BDS cohort seek to annihilate that state(Israel), and replace it with another Arab one, underscored by a Jewish minority.
              That is the definition of erasing Jewish self-determination and sovereignty.

              • ‘territory west of the jordan river’. that’s what it sounded like, sorry if i misread you.

            • Sanity, I thought you hated Israel as a matter of principle. Are you saying that Israel should exist within the green line?

                • Sanity. I’m genuinely surprised. Why are you at loggerheads with everyone? Many Zionisits share a similar outlook, including some who frequent this site and you call ‘extreme’.

                  • many do, yes. the people that write this blog get erections when they think about the colonisation of the west bank, golan heights, and gaza however.

        • Maybe ask the huge majority of the other Jews who consider Israel their country.

          • it’s not a majority. the majority of jews live outside israel and are not citizens of israel. there are more jews in the united states than in israel.

        • Who gave Poland the right to speak for all Poles?(There’s a large expatriate community, worldwide).
          No one, that’s who!
          So, can we count on you to dismantle the “Warsawite entity”?

          • how big is the expatriate community? also there’s a difference between jews and israelis. not all israelis are jews and not all jews are israelis. in fact, the overlap is not very big at all. try to learn some maths. it’ll help you when you get to third grade next year.

            • Sanity,
              What are maths?
              Also, I read recently that the jewish population has either passed, or will pass the jewish population of the U.S. this year making it the country with the largest jewish population in the world.

            • Out of roughly 58-60 million Poles, only 37 Million live in Poland.
              The rest, are abroad; leaving 21-23 Million people to contend against the Polish usurpation of their views and positions in vain.
              That’s quite a lot.
              As for Jews, there ARE actually more Jews in Israel, than there are in the US(5.7 mil.(in Israel) compared to 5.2 million in the US).
              In total, Israeli Jews make about 45% of world’s Jewish populace, and that’s a large quantity.(Not to mention the fact that Jewish numbers worldwide are diminishing)

            • Sanity, I find your use of ‘jews’ and ‘israelis’ without the prescribed capital letters very offensive. Please show more respect for your fellow human beings.

              • i actually have a bit of a thing about capital letters in general. i’m not very consistent in using them. it’s a typology preference, though not super offence intended.

        • More nonsense from Sanity. Israel doesn’t claim to speak for all Jews. That’s a figment of the paranoid imaginations of Theobald Jews.

          Only those Jews who are trying to impress their fellow countrymen and women outside Israel, and who are ashamed Jews (like Miriam Margoyles and her ilk), as well as the Independent Jewish Voices mopes (whatever happened to them?), and also the dhimmis who believe that any support for Israel would cause Muslims to attack them, believe such rubbish.

          I know that Israel doesn’t speak for me and I have no right to dictate to her what she should do. However, I am proud and honoured to speak up for Israel, especially against mouth-frothing “Israel can do no right, ever” intellectually challenged ones like yourself.

    • Why the “of course”? And it’s reasonable to draw the conclusion that, just as Israel’s Islamist enemies and their fellow travellers from the loony left in the UK and elsewhere don’t care to distinguish between Israeli and Jew, it’s daft (not even disingenuous) of you to make that argument.

      Religious fundamentalists???? CiF Watch?

      Have you been at your father’s whiskey?

        • Sanity “two wrongs make a right?”

          You didn’t have anything to say about Iran’s official anit-Semitic outburst this week. It would suggest that if the ‘wrongs’ committed are against a suitable target, you have no qualms about it what so ever.

          Or perhaps you think there is nothing wrong with this kind of vile anti-Semitism, which on an official state level, integral to a country’s foreign policy, has not been seen since the days of Nazi Germany.

  6. Hadar Sela seems to have decided to loose off a blunderbus of comments, many largely irrelevant and inaccurate, in an attempt to discredit Alon Liel.

    Firstly, it isn’t clear that Liel is ” doing business ” with the Guardian. His article appeared in BusinessDay, a South African web-site- unsurprisingly, as he was Israel’s first ambassador to the post-Apartheid South African government- and he was specifically commissioned to comment on the obvious differences between Israel and the previous apartheid regime- which he did clearly and without reservation and was subsequently picked up by a number of sites, the Guardian included.

    His article deals mainly with his view that most Israelis have, like the Netanyahu government, put the Palestinian issue on the back burner. He also believes that labelling produce from over the Green Line as “made in Israel” denies choice to those who wish to avoid buying such produce, inagreement with the steps taken by the SA to do just that. All this is a far cry from the BDS crazies who wish to boycott anything and everything to do with Israel and to dismantle the country. Liel is not one of them: he is a confirmed two-stater- as is Yossi Beilin and, I suppose, 99% of the Israeli population, Arabs included.

    Many of Liel’s views are unacceptable, for example his apparent support for cultural boycott of the Walker variety or his somewhat eccentric approach to negotiations with Syria and some of his predictions have proved unreliable. But he does not deserve the slurs in Sela’s article.

  7. The Guardian never bails to bash Israel no matter what the angle. Examples of their inconsistent logic (except to find any excuse to attack Israel) is their hostility to the security fence they say “cuts into Palestinian land,” they consider occupied. In the next breath though they blame Israel for not including Bethlehem within the fence which now is a bad thing. It’s the same type of “damned if we do damned if we don’t” mentality that causes Israel and heir supporters to switch off completely to the Guardian, BBC etc.

  8. “Firstly, it isn’t clear that Liel is ‘ doing business ‘ with the Guardian. ”

    Abtaylon, I take exception to this part of your comments. The article doesn’t say that Liel is “doing business” with the Guardian. It says he’s the type with whom the Guardian can do business, and it’s not meant in a literal sense. The meaning is that because Liel is a critic of Israel, the Guardian is a sure place to find his criticism.

    • And I take exception to the labelling of an Israeli ex-diplomat who has served our country in several posts being labelled by Sela thus :-

      ” He makes all the right noises, uses all the right buzz-words, is not averse to delegitimising his fellow countrymen and conforms splendidly to the simplistic ‘Guardian World View’.”

      Vilification is not a substitute for reasoned argument.

  9. Brilliant article which exposes Liel for the radical he is.
    You wonder when these people like Liel on the left will condemn Palestinian rejectionism and glorification of Arab terrorism against civilians.
    Assad’s probably killing all these Syrian civilians with the thought, at the enf of the day, Alon Liel will say i’m a moderate.

  10. Brilliant article which exposes Liel for the radical he is.
    You wonder when these people like Liel on the left will condemn Palestinian rejectionism and glorification of Arab terrorism against civilians.
    Assad’s probably killing all these Syrian civilians with the thought, at the end of the day, Alon Liel will say i’m a moderate.

  11. This is not looking good for the Liel, Beilin and Sarid who opposed Israel going after the Islamo homicide murderers from Jenin in 02
    Elhanan Miller June 28, 2012,

    Hamas planned attacks on Knesset, airport during Second Intifada, rocket-maker says on his release from jail

    Operation Defensive Shield and, later, a factory blaze, thwarted plot to fire rockets from West Bank at prime Israeli targets

  12. “..This is just a cesspit…”

    Then you are in good company, aren’t you?

    (Why ARE you visiting a cesspit?)

  13. Could be interesting to read only one post penned by you containing reasonable arguments relating to the subject of the article you are commenting on. Until now you published only frothing personal abuses against the publishers of CifWatch and Jonathan Hoffmann without anything important or interesting. Maybe you can’t afford your medication anymore? Try to find gainful employment (if there is any employer who doesn’t realize at the interview your mental state) believe me there is a life outside your hat of anything Jewish…

    • Thank you for confirming my assumption that your livelihood and hate spitting is financed by the taxpayers of your country. A perfect moral match to your “political” worldview.

  14. “The mandate document formalised the creation of two distinct British protectorates – Palestine, as a national home for the Jewish people under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family.”

    Where in the BF or the articles of the mandate does it say that ? You are just making it up. Quote me the wording of the mandate that says that.

    • The draft, approved by the League of Nation, in July of 1922, stated:
      “ART. 2.
      The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home…”

      Amended, In September of that year, the Transjordan memorandum excluded Jewish settlement, in all territory east of Jordan river.(Quoted in the comments above).
      The quote, that you mention was in a Wikipedia article. I never stated that it was in any way lifted directly from the Mandate text. It is educed, thereof.
      This is what Avi Shlaim, writes(not me):

      “Technically they remained one mandate, but most official documents referred to them as if they were two separate mandates. In May 1923 Transjordan was granted a degree of independence with Abdullah as ruler and Harry St. John Philby as chief representative”.

  15. there you go you just made it up. Why didn’t you just say so right out. Think of the wear and tear on my keyboard it would have saved the bill is in the post.

    • I didn’t make it up. Read the Wikipedia article, for the last time.
      If you care to argue about the facts, i.e. the Transjordan Memorandum, Balfour declaration, etc, posit something cogent.
      So far, I haven’t seen any poignant, germane rebuttals to anything I’ve said.
      Oh, and how’s Hoffmann doing, of late? Are you sure he’s not under your bed, maybe you need to take extra precautions?