In spite of criticism, rock icon Roger Waters steps up his defense of human rights for Palestinians

roger waters poster vancouver

Since the start of his cross-Canada musical tour, rock star Roger Waters has been attacked by various pro-Israel organizations for his steadfast support for human rights for Palestinians. He does not appear intimidated. On his last stop, in Vancouver, he will participate in a special meeting to discuss his support for a boycott of Israel. Read more….

Roger Waters, famous as the band leader for Pink Floyd, has taken on a lot of progressive causes over his career. But after a visit to Israel in 2006, he decided to take up the issue of human rights for Palestinians, and this has made him a special target for Israel’s lobbyists in Canada and around the world.

As soon as Waters announced a  6 city Canadian tour of his highly acclaimed world wide “US + Them” concert, Israel’s main lobby group in Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) launched an aggressive petition campaign called “Tell Rogers: Leave Israel alone” under the defamatory tag-line “BDS is Hate”.  B’nai Brith, a second pro-Israel lobby group, went even further. It produced a documentary film called “Wish you weren’t here”, accusing Waters of anti-Semitism, which was shown in every city he visited.

In his five concert performances to date, Waters did a lot of singing, but actually spoke very little about Israel/Palestine. He did briefly mention it in Quebec City  (see from 14:45 to 15:10) telling an enthusiastic audience that many Canadians support the movement to boycott Israel, called BDS.

But the counter campaigns by CIJA and B’nai Brith seem to have had the effect of turning a simple musical tour into a test of political wills over the Israel/Palestine issue. And based on numbers alone, concern over human rights for Palestinians seems to have won hands down.

All of Waters concerts had thousands of cheering spectators.  On the other hand, B’nai Brith’s documentary film, entitled “Wish you weren’t here”, only garnered 60 to 70 dispirited spectators in Ottawa, most of whom appeared to be already deeply steeped in the Zionist narrative. Elsewhere the story was the same, big crowds for Waters, small audiences for the B’nai Brith film.

Waters doubles down

The aggressive defamatory campaigns, and their allegations of anti-Semitism, seem to have energized Waters. He has now added a new stop on his tour. On October 26th in Vancouver,  he will participate in an unscheduled event which will focus specifically on Israel/Palestine and BDS. Those not familiar with Rogers’s activism might be surprised by his depth of knowledge, commitment and principles-based approach to the issue.

Roger Waters on Palestine

St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church

1022 Nelson St., Vancouver

October 26 at 7 pm.

He will be interviewed by Martha Roth, a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

The event will be chaired by Itrath Syed, an Instructor at Langara College and Simon Fraser University.

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We invite comments from readers. Both Zionists and non-Zionist opinion is welcome as long as it is expressed in a respectful way. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do?  Contact us at membership.ctip@gmail.com.

23 comments

  1. Is objective discussion possible? The smear of “anti-Semitism” is used to stifle open debate.

    1. @larryzb

      What debate about Israel / Palestine is stifled? What opinion about the issue can’t be found on the internet? What opinion can’t be found in journals or lecture series?

      What Antisemitic belief do you think isn’t central to the whole BDS debate? Can you name one major antisemetic meme that with minor revision isn’t part of the standard BDS repertoire? Let’s make a list of the classics:

      • Jews are behind a plan for global conquest, — Yes they often endorse this with the focus on neo-cons
      • Jews work through Masonic lodges — Yes though they replace “Masonic lodges” with groups they hate.
      • Jews use liberalism to weaken church and state — Well they are liberals so they generally talk about Jews using foreign policy neo-conservatives to undermine state and liberal organizations / interest groups.
      • Jews control the press — Yep
      • Jews work through radicals and revolutionaries — Again you need to flip flop the political orientation but this is the claim about the Iraq war.
      • Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold — Yep with gold replaced by “big banks”
      • Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard — Updated now concern about derivatives and so forth.
      • Jews promote financial speculation and use of credit — Yep.
      • Jews replace traditional educational curriculum to discourage independent thinking — Yep.
      • Jews encourage immorality among Christian youth — Yep where immorality is “imperialism”, “colonialism”… and not the sexual stuff that doesn’t bother leftists.
      • Jews use intellectuals to confuse people — Yep
      • Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials — Yep
      • Jews weaken laws through liberal interpretations — Yep.
      • Jews will suspend civil liberties during an emergency and then make the measures permanent — Yep. BDSers frequently talk about how America is becoming fascist and freak out about internet security, anti-terrorism…

  2. To Zionist groups that financed the film and events to smear Roger Waters:

    When you feel threatened by a singer’s views, know that this is a signal of unhealthy fear that you are creating for yourself. It is destructive for you and others. I am sure that many of you are talented and resourceful individuals. You can use your talent and resources to change the situation in Israel-Palestine so that you and everyone else can enjoy a better life. It is time for a serious review of your position and move on. Try a different path. Try not to intimidate yourself and others. Have fun and sing..and let others do the same.

    It is time to reconcile your beliefs with human rights, equality and…music!

    1. It is critically important that we not be satisfied with a surface frame conception of what human rights are. It is urgent for everyone who does not want violence to harm actual people in the PA/Israel rift, that BDS be educated to comprehend that Zionism was seeking solidarity with the Arab population from the outset. The violence has been generated due to an unwillingness on the part of the Arab representatives, starting with the Arab Higher Committee, during the pre-independence period – to engage in any talk about rights of minorities, post-independence. This resulted in the Jewish Committee having to become armed and fierce, if a pluralist society was to emerge.

      I have recently been involved with discussions on two facebook groups on this subject. Green Part Supporters in Canada and the wider Green Party Supporters. Both of these discussion groups have been commandeered by intolerant BDS harpies who have the opposite strategy to what they say they want. The goal of trying to force action by Israel, and not requiring one iota of positive engagement be the PA, possibly could lead to intense homicidal outbreaks. There is no advancement of human rights goals, without at least a minimum of good faith willingness to achieve some agreements, from both sides.

      1. “…Zionism was seeking solidarity with the Arab population from the outset.”

        Utter nonsense!!

        Reality:

        Ahad Ha’am (nee, Asher Ginsberg) observed while in Palestine in 1891 (when Jews privately owned less than one per cent of the land), that “throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains that are not fit to grow anything but fruit trees – and this only after hard labour and great expense of clearing and reclamation – only these are not cultivated.” (Quoted by Rashid Khalidi, “Peasant Resistance to Zionism” in Blaming the Victims…” ed. by Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, London & New York: Verso, 1988, p. 216)

        The mistreatment of Palestinians by Jewish settlers caused Ha’am great distress. In 1891 he wrote: “They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, unscrupulously deprive them of their rights, insult them without cause, and even boast of such deeds; and none opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.” (Ha’am, Ahad, by Am Sheideweg, Berlin 1923, vol.1, p.107; quoted by Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, p. 24)

        Ha’am concluded that this aggressive behaviour on the part of Jews stemmed from anger “…towards those who remind them that there is still another people in the land of Israel that have been living there and does not intend to leave.” (Hans Kohn, Zionism Reconsidered, Michael Selzer, ed. London: 1970, p. 195; quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians…, p. 7)

        Theodor Herzl’s diaries not only confirm that his objective was the establishment of a “Jewish state” in Palestine, but that it would be an expansionist state. In the year of his death he described its borders as being “…in the north the mountains facing Cappadocia [Turkey], in the south, the Suez Canal [Egypt] in the east, the Euphrates [Iraq].” (Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries, 11 p. 711)

        In true nineteenth century colonialist fashion, Herzl contended that his “Jewish state” would protect Europe and its superior culture from the uncivilized East. “We should there [in Palestine] form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” (Theodor Herzl, Judenstaat (The Jewish State), 1896, p. 26)

        Even more revealing as to how Herzl intended to deal with Palestinians is the “Charter for Zionist Colonization of Palestine and Syria” which he drafted sometime between the summer of 1901 and early 1902. Much to his disappointment, however, he was denied the opportunity to present it to the Ottoman Sultanate. Article Vl of the charter called for Istanbul to grant the Zionists, in the form of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC), “complete autonomy, guaranteed by the Ottoman Empire” while Article III gave them in effect, the right to deport the native population to other areas of the empire. Article 111 “[pertained] to the Palestinian and other Arab owners and inhabitants of the three categories of land to be purchased/owned by the JOLC – the large and small private landholdings, the Sultan’s state domain, and the land for which there is no title.”

        Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and Zionist first believed that the Palestinians would simply “fold their tents and slip away.” It was Zangwill who first voiced the lie that Palestine was a “land without a people, waiting for a people without a land.” (Zangwill, Israel, “The Return to Palestine”, New Liberal Review 11, Dec. 1901 p 627, quoted by David Hirst, p. 19)

        In 1905, Zangwill contradicted himself during a talk in Manchester when he observed that Palestine was “already twice as thickly populated as the United States…. [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….” (Zangwill, Speeches, p. 210, quoted by Nur Masalah , Expulsion of the Palestinians…., 1992, p. 10)

        In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians “should be gradually transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919, quoted by Masalha, Expulsion…, p.14)

        In 1920, Zangwill proposed in The Voice of Jerusalem, that there should be an “‘Arab exodus’…based on ‘race redistribution’ or a ‘trek like that of the Boers from Cape Colony,’ which he advocated as ‘literally the only way out of the difficulty of creating a Jewish State in Palestine.’” He continued: “We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction….To fold their tents and silently steal away is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.” (Zangwill, The Voice of Jerusalem, p. 103, quoted by Masalha, EOTP pp. 13- 14)

        Other Zionist leaders saw the future Jewish state in Palestine not only free of Arabs, but the first step towards the creation of a much larger country. In 1918, Ben-Gurion described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, pp. 34-34; cited by Masalah, Expulsion…, p. 87)

        In 1930 (when Jews privately owned only about four per cent of Palestine), Arthur Ruppin, a pivotal figure in political Zionism wrote that displacement of Arab farmers was inevitable because “land is the most necessary thing for our establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of the purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land so far, both owners of the land and tenants.” (Rashid Khalidi, in Blaming the Victims)

        In 1930, Britain’s Shaw Commission concluded: “The plain facts of the case are that there is no further land available which can be occupied by new immigrants without displacing the present population.” (Palestine Royal Commission Report, July 1937, Cmd. 5479, p. 176; cited by Alan George, JPS, #30, Winter, 1979, p. 91.) This situation caused the Shaw Commission to propose placing “limits on Zionist land purchases and on immigration to Palestine.” (Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, 1990, p. 19)

        The views of the Shaw Commission were echoed by John Chancellor, Britain’s high commissioner for Palestine. In a memorandum to Colonial Secretary, Lord Passfield, dated 17 January 1930, he called for a complete suspension of Jewish immigration and land purchase to protect Arab agriculture, pointing out that “all cultivable land was occupied; that no cultivable land now in possession of the indigenous population could be sold to Jews without creating a class of landless Arab cultivators.”

        Although its origins can be traced back to Herzl and other early Zionists, Plan Dalet (Plan D) began to take concrete form in 1937, when the Jewish Agency’s Transfer Committee was established by Yosef Weitz and others. The committee’s purpose was to devise a plan that would lead to the “transfer” of the Arab population out of Palestine so that Jews would become a large majority. This would be accomplished by “promoting measures designed to encourage the Arab flight.” Weitz did not mince his words: “…there is no room for both people together in this country….The only solution is a Palestine…without Arabs. And there is no way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe, should be left.” (Yosef Weitz, My Diary and Letters to the Children, 1965).

        Ben-Gurion, 1937: “”[a] partial Jewish state is not the end, but only the beginning. The establishment of such a Jewish state will serve as a means in our historical efforts to redeem the country in its entirety.”

        During a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive on 12 June 1938, Ben-Gurion again advocated expulsion of the Palestinians: “I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.” (Benny Morris, “Refabricating 1948”)

        In 1944 and 1947, the basis of Plan D was formulated by Israeli staff officer Yigal Yadin. He described its top priorities as “the destruction of Arab villages near the Jewish settlements and the expulsion of the inhabitants [along with] the domination of the main arteries of transportation that are vital to the Jews and the destruction of Arab villages near them. [Plan D also called for the] siege of Arab towns that are located outside the [Jewish] state created by the UN resolution [e.g., Acre and Jaffa].”

        In December 1947, a Jewish official with the Palestine government was asked by Glubb Pasha, the British commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion if he was concerned about the fact that the Jewish state would have so many Arab inhabitants. The official replied: “Oh no! That will be fixed. A few calculated massacres will soon get rid of them.”

        GET EDUCATED!!! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR YOUR APPALLING IGNORANCE!!

      2. Total bollocks! Israel is murdering Palestinians at will & you barely mention it! Zionists typically present their case with no reality base whatsoever whereas there are many Israeli people,Jewish Voices for Peace for example, who start, rightly, with the appalling actions of the right-wing (including soldiers) in Israel. There is no doubt that Israel has become a fascist state &, sadly, little hope of this changing. Israel’s appalling action throughout the world to repress BDS will fail. You people lack humanity putting ‘religion’ (fascism, in fact) before humanity. Sad, lost nation

      3. Hey Alan, thanks for your comment. I am very surprised by your comment that Zionism was seeking solidarity with Arabs from the outset. I have read the opposite, and seen quotes from Zionist leaders in the 20’s and 30’s who were quite clear that they would have to expel the Christians and Muslims.
        Ben Gurion is quoted as saying something like ““I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.”, as quoted in David’s response below.

        But perhaps you have some different sources. Could you please back up your statement, which I find totally surprising. thank you.

    2. growing up in Israel of the 80’s Pink Floyd was the soundtrack of my youth, so when he came to Ottawa I had to go and see Roger Waters
      I had mixed feelings I was afraid that he will go on one of his notorious Israel bashing rant.
      He didn’t

      It was an amazing concert, he is as a good performer as he ever was.

      It’s quite obvious that his attitude towards Israel had changed sometimes during last year.

      He invited an Israeli journalist to his London home to talk directly to Isralis, he cleaned his act from anti Semitic content, he stoped being vocal in his support of the 3rd principal of the BDS, and he stopped writing letters to artists who include Israel on his tour

      1. Rubbish he still views Israel as the fascist state it is. How very fascist to lie about his views & misrepresent them….

      2. Ahik,

        You say: “he stopped writing letters to artists who include Israel on his tour”. Here is a proof that your statement is totally wrong.

        Musicians Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Tunde Adebimpe, poet Michael Rosen, philosopher Judith Butler and political activist Angela Davis are among many high profile figures who have called on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to cancel their concerts in Tel Aviv on November 19 and 20 this year.

        Their letter is dated on Oct 30, 2017:

        https://artistsforpalestine.org.uk/2017/10/30/open-letter-to-nick-cave-dont-go-not-while-apartheid-remains/

        Unfortunately, this is not the first time you fabricate or change information to mislead others.

  3. Thanks Peter for the assessment of the controversy over Israel Palestine of the Rogers Waters tour “Us and Them” and the very critical film “Wish you weren’t Here” that accompanied him across Canada. Having attended both the film and the concert in Ottawa on October 10 to decide for myself, I can confirm that Roger Waters won easily hands down.

    The film did show Roger Waters speaking up for Palestinian human and political rights including favouring an independent state of Palestine on the pre 1967 borders under international law and consensus in the UN. He does make the point that Israeli nationalist and security interests cannot continue to deny Palestinian rights after 50 years of occupation, control and discrimination. Mr. Waters supports BDS as a voluntary, peaceful and effective way to advance the issues that will achieve such Palesinian rights and decries attempts to “criminalize” such activities(ie laws in Israel and a bill in the US Senate) . He also criticizes the US veto that has prevented more decisive UNSC action on Palestinian rights notwithstanding other UN actions; film fails to mention UNSC resolution 2334 which confirms that the settlements and wall are “legally” invalid and which the Obama administration allowed to pass by not exercising a veto.

    There are absolutely no indications of “anti semitism or Jew hatred “in Mr. Waters remarks in the film. Indeed he explains that his stand on not performing In Israel until the Palestinian situation is resolved is not based on any ideology but his observance of a worsening political and human rights situation on the ground in Israel Palestine. In fact the film seems to defeat its intent by featuring other prominent supporters of BDS including Noam Chomsky and Naiomi Klein both progressive intellectuals who cannot be considered anti semitic but are argued to be a part of a leftist anti Semitic Israel plot. There is considerable ambiguity in the film as to whether President Trump should be considered antisemitic after his “good people on both sides” comments on the Charlottesville altercations where right wing white supremacists shouted anti semitic slogans. The President is seen to be quite hurt by this charge in saying that he is “the least anti semitic of anyone” given that his son in law and daughter are Jewish and his longstanding support for israel which includes continuing support/non criticism by Bibi..

    As I got to the concert only near the end of the first half, I was at least fortunate enough to hear the Pink Floyd signature song “Wish you were Hear.” I did not hear another Pink Floyd song which the film had insinuated contained anti Semitic lyrics which were in fact a satirical attack on all forms of racism including anti semitism. The second half of the show was the political part, but the artistic criticism in sound and image was only levelled at Donald Trump and the prevailing political dysfunction in the USA. There was absolutely no mention of Israel and Palestine.in the show. While the film accused the show of anti semitic stereotypes by the Star of David being placed on a balloon pig that floats out to impress upon the audience the capitalistic and consumer excesses of Trump’s America, close observation revealed that only a $ sign was present.

    Certainly the net result of this controversy seems to me to be an accentuated emphasis on Palestinian rights and the need to get to a two state solution asap. There is a certain desparation of those resisting or questioning this path, when it comes up against israeli govt policy, to label and smear such advocacy as antisemitic. Antisemitism is a serious matter and should not be used to defame those who support rights for Palestine, especially by organizations dedicated to fight anti semitic defamation. Roger Waters has won this round and hopefully his activism will set minds on a solution for Israel Palestine so that both Israeli’s and Palestinians can benefit directly from his music.

    George Jacoby

  4. The Palestinians really need the protection of Waters. The protection must be of the Muslims from their brothers-the Muslims. There is no more killing in the world than Muslims by Muslims. So, now you decide which side you stand with: The Muslims or the Muslims?
    In friendship with both Muslims
    Amir

    1. Hey seelistenunderstand, please remember that this blog is intended for serious discussion about a serious topic. Riddles or juvenile mocking comments are really not very helpful. Post them anywhere you like, but not here, please.

      1. Mr. Larson.
        The topics I write about are the most serious in the today’s world. Peace and war and killing are more serious than any topic that you write about. If you think that the topics I write about are not serious then you make a joke of your readers and you make them lose a lot of important info. This is not a responsible step of yours.
        Please rethink of before I delete you from my address list.

  5. “The aggressive defamatory campaigns, and their allegations of anti-Semitism, seem to have energized Waters.”. Defamatory? All this criticism is based on realistic approaches to his hypocritical attitude against Israel. “Those not familiar with Rogers’s activism might be surprised by his depth of knowledge, commitment and principles-based approach to the issue.”. Depth of knwoledge? Really? He’s a total ignorant! He thinks that the “Palestinians” are descendants from the ancient Greek Filisteans!

  6. @Peter

    Alan is correct here. Just to cite an example source during WW1 Ben Gurion authored “On the Origin of the Falahin” which took the position the Palestinians were a converted Jewish population and thus could be brought into the Zionist endeavor. Chaim Weizmann in 1918 supported the Arab revolts (Chaim Weizmann, Devarim, vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Mizpah Publishers, 1936), p. 99.) Ben Gurion after the 1920s riots (including some genocidal attacks in 1929) repeated his position in 1930 at the First Congress of Hebrew Workers (Anachnu U’Shcheneinu, p. 257) In that same year Jabotinsky wrote a defense of immigration and coexistence (Arviyey Eretz Yisrael,” in Medina Ivrit (Tel Aviv: T. Kopp, 1937)).

    1937 appears to be the breaking point for mainstream Zionism.

    1. @CD-Host thanks for this.

      Since there is a standard repertoire of damning quotes that are supposed to prove that Zionism was always bent on ethnic cleansing, it is refreshing to be reminded that these quotes are cherry picked and ignore contrary evidence, and are taken out of their historical context. In reality Zionists engaged with the non-Jewish population using a variety of approaches, just as there were a variety of reactions among the resident Arabs to the arrival of the Jews, some friendly and some hostile.

      I agree that the massacres of Jews that were part of the 1936-39 Arab revolt, and the subsequent alliance of the Palestinian Arab leadership with the Nazis, are the events that ended the possibility of a binational state, and left partition as the only viable option.

      1. @droytenberg

        Since there is a standard repertoire of damning quotes that are supposed to prove that Zionism was always bent on ethnic cleansing, it is refreshing to be reminded that these quotes are cherry picked and ignore contrary evidence, and are taken out of their historical context.

        Absolutely. That’s a more general problem with the case that’s made against Israel. There is often a situation of taking the most damning pieces of evidence and decontextualizing them. What I think is odd is often many of the same people who make these claims about transfer also make claims about colonialism (economic). And of course obviously if the goal is to exploit Palestinian labor the goal is not to remove it from the economy via. transfer. Herzl for example has quotes in support of transfer, in support of colonialism, in support of a Jewish autonomous homeland inside a Arab state, in support of Arab self determination in a Jewish state, in support of a unitary secular state… The early record is mixed. You are absolutely right about it being mixed both in terms of behavior and theory.

        I think a fair thing to say is transfer was talked about as an option among many. Generally a minority opinion. 1937 is the first time the Yishuv starts in a unified way engaging in activities inconsistent with a colonial solution. 1942 you see the first serious planning for transfer in terms of collecting the intelligence needed. And 1948 you see the first transfer oriented activities. Or to put that another way. Transfer becomes a serious option as a result of the 1936-9 war.
        Transfer becomes policy as a result of the 1947-9 war.

        People tend to read the post WW1 era back into the migration. In 1882 when you start having the first meaningfully sized Jewish nationalist migration those people had no reason to believe that Palestinian were a nation (they weren’t at the time) nor that they would develop a national consciousness of themselves. Jews of the 1880s were no better than any other Europeans in anticipating the forces that World War 1 would unleash. Like everyone else they were responding to the forces Napoleon had unleashed politically and the great inventions of the 19th century (steam engine, telegraph, electric manufacturing) unleashed economically.

  7. Thanks for your challenging response, David — and to CD-Host for the valuable clarifying comment. I will be delving a bit more into details of the verified history before I give you a detailed reply. I do feel that the slams agains the early Zionist that are based on out-of-context references to being agreeable to transferences of land and populations – this needs full analysis for verifying the situations from which these quotes have been adduced. Also the oft-cited willingness to talk about a Greater Israel parameter of boundaries – we need to be aware that this kind of thinking was generally before the Ottoman Empire was over and the Lawrence boundaries came into effect post-1918.

    I am not pessimistic about this intractable rift between the PA/Israel to become a manageable and resolvable situation. The sense of priorities between the sides may become more grounded in an understanding that there is way more than enough land for everyone in the region, and that collaboration is an absolute necessity due to ecological imperatives. This situation compels that the world has to get beyond this territoriality and obstinacy. We do have to acknowledge that there is virtually nothing more traumatic than seeing an ancestral home destroyed – and it is at the same time intolerable for an Indigenous tribe such as Hebrews being told that they have no claim on the place where their culture began as an independent society.

    I hope that everyone participating in this discussion has a chance to see the amazing program on History 2 that I caught over the weekend: “Two Degrees: The Point of No Return”. This scenario should motivate everyone to realize that the practices of colonialism have to be overcome without delay – and a genuine all-hands-on-deck attitude has to germinate between everyone – and this will require a bit of rapport with “the other” so that their world view is understood and the inching toward acceptance be seen not just in sentimental terms – but it has survival overtones.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson – in his Episode 12 “The World Set Free” of his COSMOS series [Fox/National Geographic] speculated about what would happen if we were to green all the barren regions of Earth with deep, dark foliage. The potential for climate stabilization is worth looking at. I am interested in joining with anyone else who has taken the RET-Screen energy grid course. I would like to see if we could calculate in approximate terms the result to the capacity of the land surface to absorb heat – what is likely if this were to be put into effect.

    The Palestinians and Israelis could become pathfinders in securing an ecologically health future of the planet – if they are given the solidarity of the rest of the world in reaching ways of team-building. This is not the time to be vindictive and demanding of any one-sided performance.

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