Dear Alan, Your two essays,
 Israel and the de-legitimization oxymoron, of 2010-04-05, and
 Why does Israel have a veto over the peace process?, of 2011-04-12,
are sources of hope for me that eventually you will come to agree with me that the ethics of a just solution of humanity’s dilemma will be achieved when enough people come to an understanding of the necessary fundamental changes in the global social order. I’ll start this letter by reproducing your two essays. But first, you commented about yourself:
. . . He hates all labels and isms and has never been a member of any political party or group . . . When asked what drives him, he used to say: “I have three children and, when the world falls apart, I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘Don’t blame me. I tried.’ ” Today he gives an improved answer . . . [Alan’s complete statement is posted on his website .
The original of Alan Hart’s essay  is on his website at
http://www.alanhart.net/israel-and-the-de-legitimization-oxymoron, 2010-04-05. The text reads:
How can you de-legitimize something (in this case the Zionist state) which is NOT legitimate?
Leaving aside the fairy story of God’s promise, (which even if true would have no bearing on the matter because the Jews who “returned” in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection to the ancient Hebrews), the Zionist state’s assertion of legitimacy rests on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN General Assembly’s partition plan resolution of 1947. The only real relevance of the Balfour Declaration is in the fact that it was an expression of both the willingness of a British government to use Jews for imperial purposes and the willingness of Zionist Jews to be used. The truth is that Britain had no right whatsoever to promise Zionism a place in Palestine, territory the British did not possess. (Palestine at the time was controlled and effectively owned by Ottoman Turkey). The Balfour Declaration did allow Zionism to say that its claim to Palestine had been recognised by a major power, and then to assert that the Zionist enterprise was therefore a legitimate one. But the legitimacy Britain conveyed by implication was entirely spurious, meaning not genuine, false, a sham. Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.
In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own. Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal — meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council. The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine. So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine — after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away — was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence — actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.
The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless . . . Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved. As it was put to me many years ago by Khalad al-Hassan, Fatah’s intellectual giant on the right, that legitimacy was “the only thing the Zionists could not take from us by force.”
The truth of history as summarised briefly above is the explanation of why, really, Zionism has always insisted that its absolute pre-condition for negotiations with more than a snowball’s chance in hell of a successful outcome (an acceptable measure of justice for the Palestinians and peace for all) is recognition of Israel’s right to exist. A right, it knows, it does not have and will never have unless the Palestinians grant it. It can be said without fear of contradiction (except by Zionists) that what de-legitimizes Israel is the truth of history. And that is why Zionism has worked so hard, today with less success than in the past and therefore with increasing desperation, to have the truth suppressed.
The original of Alan Hart’s essay  is on his website at
http://www.alanhart.net/why-does-israel-have-a-veto-over-the-peace-process/, 2011-04-12. The text reads:
Why does Israel have a veto over the peace process?
As I explained on a lecture tour of South Africa (Goldstone Land) from which I have just returned, the answer is in what happened behind closed doors at the Security Council in New York in the weeks and months following the 1967 war. But complete understanding requires knowledge of the fact that it was a war of Israeli aggression and not, as Zionism’s spin doctors continue to assert, self-defense. More than four decades on, most people everywhere still believe that Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked (that was Israel’s first claim), or because the Arabs were intending to attack (thus requiring Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike). The truth about that war only begins with the statement that the Arabs did not attack and were not intending to attack. The complete truth, documented in detail in Volume Three of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (www.claritypress.com), includes the following facts.
Israel’s prime minister of the time, the much maligned Levi Eshkol who was also defense minister, did not want to take his country to war. And nor did his chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin. They wanted only very limited military action, an operation far short of war, to put pressure on the international community to cause Eygpt’s President Nasser to re-open the Straits of Tiran. Israel went to war because its military and political hawks wanted war and insisted that the Arabs were about to attack. They, Israel’s hawks, knew that was nonsense, but they promoted it to undermine Eshkol by portraying him to the country as weak. The climax to the campaign to rubbish Eshkol was a demand by the hawks that he surrender the defense portfolio and give it to Moshe Dayan, Zionism’s one-eyed warlord and master of deception. Four days after Dayan got the portfolio he wanted, and the hawks had secured the green light from the Johnson administration to smash Eygpt’s air and ground forces, Israel went to war.
What actually happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup, executed quietly behind closed doors without a shot being fired. For Israel’s hawks the war of 1967 was the unfinished business of 1948/49 — to create a Greater Israel with all of Jerusalem its capital. (In reality Israel’s hawks set a trap for Nasser by threatening Syria and, for reasons of face, he was daft enough to walk, eyes open, into the trap). On the second day of the war, General Chaim Herzog, one of the founding fathers of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, said to me in private: “If Nasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext for war, we would have created one in a year to 18 months.” As I say in my book, if the statement that the Arabs were not intending to attack and that Israel’s existence was not in any danger was only that of a goy, me, it could be dismissed by Zionists and other supporters of Israel right or wrong as anti-Semitic conjecture. In fact the truth has been admitted, confessed, by a number of Israeli leaders. Here are just three of many examples.
In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said this: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar containined the following statement by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.” In an unguarded public moment in 1982, Prime Minister Begin said this: “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
The single most catastrophic happening of 1967 was not however the war itself and the creation of a Greater Israel. At America’s insistence, and with the eventual complicity of the Soviet Union, it (the single most catastrophic happening) was the refusal of the Security Council of the United Nations to condemn Israel as the aggressor. If it had done so, the history of the region and the world might well have taken a very different course. (There might well have been a negotiated end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and a comprehensive peace within a year or two. To those who think that’s a far-fetched notion of what could have been, I say read my book, which includes a chapter headed Goodbye to the Security Council’s Integrity) Question: Why, really, was it so important from Zionism’s point of view that Israel not be branded the aggressor when actually it was? The short answer of it comes down to this. Aggressors are not allowed to keep the territory they take in war, they have to withdraw from it unconditionally. This is the requirement of international law and, also, a fundamental principle which the UN is committed to uphold, as it did, for example, when President Eisenhower read the riot act to Israel after it invaded Eygpt in collusion with Britain and France in 1956. That is on the one hand. On the other is the generally accepted view that when a state is attacked, is the victim of aggression, and then goes to war in genuine self-defense and ends up occupying some (or even all) of the aggressor’s territory, the occupier has the right, in negotiations, to attach conditions to its withdrawal.
In summary it can be said that although Security Council Resolution 242 of 23 November 1967 did pay lip-service to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, it effectively put Zionism in the diplomatic driving seat. By giving Israel the scope to attach conditions to its withdrawal, Resolution 242 effectively gave Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby in America a veto over any peace process.
In 1957 President Eisenhower said that if a nation which attacked and occupied foreign territory was allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal, “this would be tantamount to turning back the clock of international order.” That’s what happened in 1967. President Johnson, pre-occupied with the war in Vietnam, and mainly on the advice of those in his inner circle who were hardcore Zionists, turned back the clock of international order. And that effectively created two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations — one set for all the nations of the world excluding only Israel, which were expected to behave in accordance with international law and their obligations as members of the United Nations; and one set for Israel, which was not expected to behave, and would not be required to behave, as a normal nation.
At the Johnson administration’s Zionist-driven insistence, the refusal of the Security Council to brand Israel as the aggressor was the birth of the double-standard in the interpretation and enforcement of the rules for judging and if necessary punishing the behaviour of nations. This double-standard is the reason why from 1967 to the present a real peace process has not been possible. In my view there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of a real peace process unless the double-standard is abandoned. Unless, in other words, the governments of the major powers, led by America, say something like the following to Israel: “Enough is enough. It is now in all of our interests that you end your defiance of international law. If you don’t we will be obliged to brand you as a rogue state and subject you to boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
Alan Hart has been a major player in bringing an insider’s detailed view of the Palestinian tragedy to the English-literate world. He and his wife Nicole have three children. Today they are celebrating their 49th anniversary. Alan is one of my top three informants on the global tragedy whose major festering points include the so-called “Middle East”, along with his fellow Brit Robert Fisk of the Independent, and the Canadian Eric Walberg who is mostly posted in Cairo, where his regular column is published in the Cairo Al-Ahram Weekly. Of course I try to read a good number of other correspondents, and to keep my eyes open for additional trustworthy sources of good analysis. It was my good luck to see some of the writing of Jillian C. York, whose work led me to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. But first a few more comments to Alan Hart.
The terribly tragic conclusion implicit in your earlier statement to your children, “. . . when the world falls apart, I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘Don’t blame me. I tried.’ ” ought not be left with no response, nor your modified conclusion that characterizes heaven and hell as states of mind. All I can do, Alan, is to tell you what I think, and hope that you and a few others — Robert Fisk, Eric Walberg, Jillian York, etc. will see some sense in it. If so, then perhaps we could try to initiate a popular movement for a universal humane resolution of the fundamental problems that threaten humanity’s future. I have a possible initial draft that even you, Alan, avowedly not an anarchist, might find desirable. It offers the only route I can imagine to save humanity. 
I first became aware of Jillian through her commentaries on the Al-Jazeera English website. Her writing struck me as consistently measured, sober, sympathetic to struggles for social justice, but without the ranting one so often encounters. 
Jillian York joined the Berkman Center in the summer of 2008 as project coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) [http://opennet.net/]. In that capacity, she works with ONI's many volunteers and contractors around the world to carry out ONI testing for Internet filtering. She also blogs for ONI, conducts research, and coordinates DDos [Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (Against Independent Media and Human Rights Sites)] and Circumvention research.
Jillian also works on the Herdict Web [http://herdict.org/] project, coordinating translation, blogging, and maintaining Herdict's social media presence.
She is involved with Global Voices Online [http://globalvoicesonline.org/author/jillian-york], where she serves as an author on the Middle East/North Africa team, as well as Global Voices Advocacy [http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/author/jillian-york/]. She is also a member of the Committee to protect Bloggers [http://committeetoprotectbloggers.org/about/committee-members/].
Prior to joining Berkman, Jillian lived in Morocco, where she taught English and wrote Culture Smart! Morocco, a guide to Moroccan culture. She was also involved in digital activism there, and has given presentations on using online tools for activism. Most recently, she served as a contributing editor to Fodor’s Morocco. Jillian studied at Binghamton University and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.
Last updated september 09, 2010