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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Another myth revived about Israel

By Jennifer Rubin

The Jerusalem Post reports:

A former CIA officer warned Thursday that a new conflict in the Middle East awaited if there was no progress in making peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"In the absence of a new American initiative to try to break the stalemate, there will be another war in the Middle East," argued Bruce Riedel, who said that building economic prosperity for Palestinians in the West Bank was not sufficient, as history has demonstrated.

This was the same hooey that got Gen. David Petraeus tied up in knots a while back when he suggested in written testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Palestinian conflict "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel" and that the failure to satisfy the Palestinians' desire for a state poses a threat to our national interests. Petraeus quickly backpedaled (even going to the U.S. Holocaust Museum to make amends) with the help of loyal admirers. However, the damage was done. Israel's most vicious critics ran with the argument. For example, a group of the worst of the Israel-bashing congressmen sent a letter last May to Obama parroting back the general's gaffe.

Jamie Fly of the Foreign Policy Initiative emails me to explain what is wrong with this line of thinking:

Al Qaeda and affiliated groups will continue to attempt to murder Americans regardless of the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Despite devoting countless hours to the "peace process" and exerting significant pressure on Israel over the last two years despite the absence of a Palestinian partner empowered to make peace, the administration has little to show for its efforts. Going forward, their time would be better spent dealing with real threats to U.S. national security emanating from the Middle East, like Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Indeed, the administration has piped down on its assertion of "linkage" between a peace deal and progress on containing the Iranian threat. And it has been a long time since Obama asserted that Americans risk losing "blood and treasure" so long as the non-peace process fails to reach a successful conclusion.

Therefore, as Danielle Pletka of AEI told me last night, it's disturbing to see the argument revived by a former CIA official "smart enough to know that the plight of the Palestinians has nothing to do with the motivations of jihadists or the lives of Americans." She reminds us, "Peace between Israel and the Palestinians has become uninteresting to the vast mass of the Arab world, a rhetorical commitment and nothing more."

Unfortunately, myths die hard, especially ones that help Israel's foes.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments

I hold no brief for the Palestinians, as regular posters will know. I don't even believe in the two state solution.

However it's always interesting that Petraeus is hoisted on the shoulders of the GOP for his work in Iraq and Afghanistan, but if he says anything in public, he's suddenly off the reservation.


Petraeus has spent the last 8 years or so of his life in Muslim countries. Fly, Pletka, and Rubin, . . . eh, not so much I would guess! LOL

Of course, the think tankers always know best don't they?

After all, Fly was a Bush administration foreign policy staffer and Pletka a strong supporter of Iranian double agent Ahmed Chalabi, so it's not like their previous judgements have ever proven faulty, now have they?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 21, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Only if you believe that the Palestinian grievances are just, and that the rest of the Arab/Muslim world supports those grievances on that basis, can you believe that resolving those greivances to the satisfaction of the Palestinians will reduce hostility among Arabs and Muslims to the US (or Israel, for that matter). If they are not just, then there's no reason to assume that addressing them won't simply whet their demand for more; and if their supporters are supporting unjust demands, or supporting those demands in accord with a notion of justice incompatible with our own, then we simply be sending the message that they can demand whatever they want.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"then we simply be sending the message that they can demand whatever they want."

They can demand what they want;it doesn't mean that they will get it.
The #1 task from the Palestinian side of things,is to become a nation,nothing will progress for them until that happens. I understand that the US and Israel don't want that to happen,and the reason they don't want that to happen,is that Palestine statehood will demonstrate how isolated Israel/US are,from the rest of the world.

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer, isn't it true that Zionists like yourself have a strong incentive to convince the American public that the United States and Israel have a common terrorist problem but not that, as Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer argued in "The Israel Lobby," America has a terrorist problem BECAUSE of Israel? You have a strong incentive to prevent Americans from reaching the conclusion that Israel is a strategic burden and our support for it hurts America's interests.

You quote fellow Zionist/Neocon Danielle Pletka who says of a former CIA official that he is:

"smart enough to know that the plight of the Palestinians has nothing to do with the motivations of jihadists or the lives of Americans."

That's just exactly the opinion Zionists like yourself would like CIA officials and all Americans with power to have towards the Middle East. But it's not true.

There is a tremendous solidarity with the Palestinian people in the Muslim world, and Israel's actions towards the Palestinians has shaped, significantly, the views of Muslims around the world towards to the U.S, and it is undoubtedly why the extremists amongst them could rationalize to themselves the slaughter of U.S citizens on 9/11 and why we're currently over there right now engaged in a multi-front war. You know it in your heart (as does your friend Danielle Pletka) that America could easily end its foreign policy troubles in that region and assuage significantly the anger of Muslims around the world towards the U.S by treating Israel like any other country. But you're convinced this wouldn't be in Israel's interest hence why the likes of you and Danielle Pletka work hard to police the opinions of generals and CIA officials who aren't even eager in making the arguments you so fear.

Posted by: Paul_Atredies | January 21, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@rcaruth> "The #1 task from the Palestinian side of things,is to become a nation,nothing will progress for them until that happens. I understand that the US and Israel don't want that to happen,and the reason they don't want that to happen,is that Palestine statehood will demonstrate how isolated Israel/US are,from the rest of the world."
--------------------------------
If the Palistinians were really a nation and/or wanted to become one they had many, many years and millions upon millions of dollars in world support to do so.

Instead, they have consistently chosen NOT to take advantage of the opportunities and resources given them. Why?

Consider this hypothesis: The Jewish people became a "nation" for the first time in 2000 years, not by the creation of the state of Israel but during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943... when they came together because they were forced to do so under threat of total anhiliation and they responded as they did not only with no land, no resources, nothing but crude implements of SELF DEFENSE, but nnetheless, honorably.

As much as the Palistinians try to draw comparisons to the Jewish plight in the Warsaw ghetto, even to deny the Holocaust, to try to mendaciously "level the playing field" they will fail.

They will fail because, the same "glue" that holds the Jews together does not exist for the Palistinians. They instead are held together only by a mutual hatred of the Jews and a desire to evict them "by any means necessary" from the Middle East.

They will fail because they cannot create a state on their own that will function peacefully "side-by-side next to an Israel" but instead want one handed to them on a silver platter by their arab allies (or puppeteers) after the Jews are evicted from their historical homeland, and the Middle-east is rendered Judenrein.

Now let me ask you, would you rather just check into a hotel like the Tel-Aviv Hilton, or build one from scratch in the sand? That is the dilemma for the arabs in making peace... why work when the fruits of someone ele's labor (a group that you inherently hate, like the Jews) is merely there for the taking, that is, if they play their cards right...

and that is the poker game the U.S. and the others is seeking to host, but it's being called incorectly a "peace process."

Posted by: gmw112252 | January 21, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"The #1 task from the Palestinian side of things,is to become a nation,nothing will progress for them until that happens"

I agree with this, but what have the Palestinians done to become a nation? All they had to do was accept the offer in 2000 at Camp David; and, beyond that, build sustainable economic and cultural institutions, instead of poring all their money and enrgy into hatred of Israel. Benigh neglect would be best for the Palestinians, but what would their worldwide support network do then?

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: gmw112252

Everything you say makes sense/is logical from your(The US/Israel) point of view. However, the Palestinians have the right of self determination just as US/Israel) does. And just because their nation will have numerous defects,and may fail,it doesn't mean that have no right to self determination. Look,North Korea,Cuba,Vietnam,Iran,so many African nations,are defective,and may fail,but they are nations. Palestine,has the same right,to be a defective nation just like all these other creepy places.

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"it is undoubtedly why the extremists amongst them could rationalize to themselves the slaughter of U.S citizens on 9/11"

There is a lot packed into this formulation. You want to distinguish the "extremists" from the more general "tremendous solidarity" with the Palestinians. But, do all the non-extremists also rationalize the slaughter of civilians? If not, then we can focus on the extremists, and so should the non-extremists--after all, being non-extremists, wouldn't they encourage the Palestinians to pursue a path of negotiation? And, in that case, wouldn't they see how the extremists damage the Palestinian cause--including the Palestinian extremists? But, if those non-extremists also rationalize the slaughter of civilians (and if they did it on 9/11 they can do it anythime, anywhere) then this "tremendous solidarity" with the Palestinians is really the willingness to use any means, including the most violent, to obtain their goals. Once they get what they want on Palestine, you may believe that this terrorist mass will stand down and go about their daily business. Others of of us, less naive, will wonder, if they get such a great victory through their willingness to rationalize slaughter, what will they set their sights on next?

By now, cliches such as "imperialism" and "occupation" have become sufficient to set in motion the most horrific campaigns of violence--as Chritopher Hitchens noted recently, the terrorists blowing up marketplaces and other civilian locales in Iraq for years never even bothered to explain themselves or put forward a leadership with which one could engage. Massive, indiscriminate violence is now the first choice for those with "tremendous solidarity," and the manufactured hostility over the Palestinians is largely responsible for that.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Palestine,has the same right,to be a defective nation just like all these other creepy places."

I'm still not sure who you think is stopping them. Weren't you referring us, a while back, to the flurry of nations recognizing the Palestinians as a nation? Why aren't they a nation already, then? what are they lacking?

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure who you think is stopping them. Weren't you referring us, a while back, to the flurry of nations recognizing the Palestinians as a nation? Why aren't they a nation already, then? what are they lacking?
Posted by: adam62

What they are lacking is the balls to pull it off;they should look to how Israel formed their nation,and copy that process,but part of their defective character is they lack the courage. However,they are getting so much support from various nations that are recognizing them,that may serve to push them into nationhood. Or they may fail. I don't really give a sh-t. All I'm saying is that it's none of our business or Israel's business,what they do in terms of their own nationhood.

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The truth is most American could not find Israel or most ME counties on a map and understand ME politics even less.
American get most of their information from Newspapers or TV/Cable which in most cases seems to has a pro-Israeli spin, this is likely due to many reporters being Jewish and Christians identifying more closely with Israel due to the Bible.

The problem for most Americans is who and what information to trust, for me I put US Generals and CIA at the top but with some reservations at times due to outside pressure.
The Israel/Palestinian conflict is a problem for US security but to what level is hard to judge without a very deep understanding of all parties involved.
Israel now see a peace deal as defeat, since it loses with limited gain, while war could allow it to achieve all of its goals.
The Palestinians are caught between Israel and the Arab League with Iran/Iraq adding fuel to the fire. The PA is backed mainly by those who still have their lands, while Hamas is back by the refugees but controlled in part by Iran. Israel refuses to even talk of compromise on refugee issue, while the West pushes it off as to not derail the start of peace talks.

A ME peace deal would not solve all of the US's ME problems but it would be seen as a start and give some power to the moderates in the ME. For Israel the time for a peace deal has gone and PA can accept what they now have or leave.

Posted by: Bloodyscot | January 21, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"What they are lacking is the balls to pull it off;they should look to how Israel formed their nation,and copy that process,but part of their defective character is they lack the courage. However,they are getting so much support from various nations that are recognizing them,that may serve to push them into nationhood. Or they may fail. I don't really give a sh-t. All I'm saying is that it's none of our business or Israel's business,what they do in terms of their own nationhood."

We largely agree here. What is Israel's business, though, is preventing missile attacks on their population centers and the infiltration of suicide bombers into their cities. Preventing and responding to such attacks is necessary if Israel is to be a nation, which is also their right.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"There is a lot packed into this formulation. You want to distinguish the "extremists" from the more general "tremendous solidarity" with the Palestinians. But, do all the non-extremists also rationalize the slaughter of civilians?"

Towards Hamas, the view might be that Hamas is justified in the actions it takes the same way Native Americans were justified in scalping white settlers. Both are horrific actions precipitated by horrific actions. But the view towards Israel is different from the view towards the U.S which need not be involved in whole matter in the first place. Zionists want to paint the horrific, defensive actions committed by Palestinians as stemming from some sort of innate perfidy in order to cover up the fact that such actions are defensive in nature and precipitated by Israeli subjugation.

Posted by: Paul_Atredies | January 21, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

We largely agree here. What is Israel's business, though, is preventing missile attacks on their population centers and the infiltration of suicide bombers into their cities. Preventing and responding to such attacks is necessary if Israel is to be a nation, which is also their right.
Posted by: adam62

Palestinian Nationhood doesn't put Israel at any additional risk compared to Palestinian non-nationhood. Are we getting somewhere? Any nation has the right to defend itself against an attack from any entity whether it's officially a nation or not. The real issue here is that the US/Israel fears that Palestine will grow the balls to be self determinative;they don't want that.

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"The real issue here is that the US/Israel fears that Palestine will grow the balls to be self determinative;they don't want that."

I don't know how you think this fear is manifested--the US and Israel have been trying to get the Palestinians to accept a state for almost 20 years--it's the Palestinians who seem to want something else.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

rc and adam62:

I disagree on one point. If the Palestinians attempt to unilaterally declare a nation I believe the Israelis would respond with arrests and assasinations. This is not something they would take lying down.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 21, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"If the Palestinians attempt to unilaterally declare a nation I believe the Israelis would respond with arrests and assasinations. This is not something they would take lying down"

I doubt it. It depends, of course, on what was entailed in such a declaration. Would it involve attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in territory the Palestinians deem theirs? If it was just a peaceful declaration, with appeals for recognition from other states, the UN, etc., I think the Israelis would simply let it play itself out.

The Palestinians, of course, already have declared a state--back in 1988, in the middle of the first Intifada. Nicely written (with a lot of help from Edward Said) Declaration of Independence and all. Declarations don't count for much by themselves--let's see what happens as they go on to establish a legal regime, foreign relations, a policy on the Palestinian "refugees," etc., and, especially, defense policy. Israel would probably respond, or not, to those moves, rather than an empty declaration.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Every terrorist has some kind of political "justification" for their actions. The question is, is appeasing them the right policy?

After all, the KKK didn't like our integration policies, so they bombed churches. Should we send blacks back to the rear of the bus to appease them? And how 'bout those nuts who kill abortion doctors and bomb gay discoes. Should we change our policies to make these lunatics happy?

Most folks would say no regardless of their stand on the issues. So I can't see why we should give a pass to Islamist terrorists.

The real reason terrorists kill - the "root cause" - is because they've been so indoctrinated with hate, that they can't accept the fact that their political "arguments" are not persuasive. Its as true for the KKK as it is for the PLO. If they had facts, logic and justice on their side, they wouldn't need to try and intimidate people with terror.

Posted by: Ashap44176 | January 21, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

adam62:

Well written as always and I meant exactly what you suggested, not a mere declaration but an attempt to act as a sovereign nation in fact.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 21, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Jennifer for calling this the "hooey" that it is.

Posted by: MartinChuzzlewit | January 21, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

To quote UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, "Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law, contravene the Road Map obligations of Israel, undermine confidence, prejudge the outcome of the permanent status negotiations and hamper efforts at bringing the parties back to the negotiating table,"
PS Think Tanks are a place where educated zealots and or shills get paid for proving what their masters want proved. Working for a think tank should be grounds for media caveats all over a "neutral commentators'" doubly paid "views".

Posted by: lastrebelstanding | January 21, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Adam/Article from Commentary clearly describing the discomfort that Unilateral Declaration is causing. The pro-Israel position is that Palestines nationhood cannot be defined in any way except in terms of negogiation with Israel.This is like saying that Israel's nationhood in 1948 could not be defined without reference to negogiations with England. The two issues,What Israel wants/needs with what Palestine wants/needs, are not linked.

The Unintended Consequences of a Unilateral Declaration of Statehood for Palestine
Emanuele Ottolenghi - 01.21.2011 - 12:56 PM
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/ottolenghi/387398

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

to quote Rubin "Unfortunately, myths die hard, especially ones that help Israel's foes." Jews have suffered way more than their share of foes in history. But with busy bees like Rubin and Lieberman (in Jerusalum), not to mention Netanyahoo (anybody read Jonathan Swift's descriptions of the disgusting "Yahoos" in Gulliver's Travels? Their current army of foes grows by the day.
Anyway they always say that the best defense is an offense. And generally that may be right but when the offense becomes offensive to common decency and common sense, like Rubin and so many of her ilk, blinded by the trauma of Europe's twentieth Century history, that offense can be extremely dangerous to the people being so defended. Terrible things happen to good people when they are ruled and defended by fools, and much worse is their possible fate when those fools think that winning wars will solve all their problems. One of the Earth's peoples with first hand knowledge of how callous Nature can be to the weak and undefended, the Jews, need to remember that putting on the militaristic shoes of proud old Prussia may feel liberating to a people once at the mercy of its foes. But don't forget, Prussia doesn't exist anymore. Most of what was Prussia is now Poland. Modeling a state on an armed camp can lead to absolute ruin. And then shame.

Posted by: lastrebelstanding | January 21, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Adam/Article from Commentary clearly describing the discomfort that Unilateral Declaration is causing"

thanks for that, r, but on my reading most the discomfort will be the Palestinians', if they actually go through with it:

"Israel could easily show the hollowness of such a declaration by challenging the PA to establish sovereignty for real — and Palestinians have no intentions, let alone a plan, to even begin doing so at border crossings, checkpoints, on the airwaves, in their airspace, on their shores, and in many other areas where independence may be affirmed (controversially, one may add, in the absence of agreement with Israel) by the exercise of sovereign attributes."

This is exactly right--all the Israelis have to do is challenge the Palestinians to establish competent border crossings. In other words, taking the Palestinians at their word would take care of it.

"I meant exactly what you suggested, not a mere declaration but an attempt to act as a sovereign nation in fact."

Again, it depends upon what they do. As long as they don't kill Israelis, the Israelis can easily just let it unravel, and I suspect they will be smart enough to do so.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is truly unbelievable but really makes complete sense when one considers from where Ms. Rubin is coming (from her own bio on this site):

"What do I believe in? For starters ... a secure and thriving Jewish state. ... Nearly all wisdom is found in ... the Torah. ... I'm a harsh critic of ... the Middle East 'peace process' (which is short on peace-production) ... From my perch at The Post ... I'll try to ... expand your Yiddish vocabulary ..."

Snippets pulled from a larger context, I know, but certainly illuminating as to which way she tilts.

And "a group of the worst of the Israel-bashing congressmen"? Really? This would necessarily include the likes of Steve Cohen, Bob Filner, Steve Kagen, and Jared Polis, all Jewish congressmen and all, in Ms. Rubin's view, self-hating Jews (are you listening, Noam Chomsky?).

I take it that the title of this piece refers to the recent blood-libel dust-up involving Ms. Palin, which is pretty insulting when you think about it, a purely opportunistic move on Ms. Rubin's part. At the end of the day, it's clear to me that Ms. Rubin seeks only to be a good foot-soldier in the US-policy-distorting pro-Israel army, and unfortunately WaPo is giving her a "perch" to do just that.

Posted by: mialvarez | January 21, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

yes, let's run with the indian war analogy:
===============
Towards Hamas, the view might be that Hamas is justified in the actions it takes the same way Native Americans were justified in scalping white settlers. Both are horrific actions precipitated by horrific actions. But the view towards Israel is different from the view towards the U.S which need not be involved in whole matter in the first place. Zionists want to paint the horrific, defensive actions committed by Palestinians as stemming from some sort of innate perfidy in order to cover up the fact that such actions are defensive in nature and precipitated by Israeli subjugation.
=======================================

Arabs can always find "reasons" to slaughter innocents. and they can always find apologists, such as yourself, to explain away their murderous culture.

The situation in America is quite easy to explain: there was a war and the side with the most people and the best capabilities won.

In every conflict between the Arabs and Israel, the arabs lost, miserably. they understand this, and so they turn to useful tools in the west to gain for them via mental weakness what they cannot achieve by strength of arms.

Fortunately for the rational world not all of us are so easly duped as Mr Atriedes. Hey how is your dad Leto these days anyway?

there is no reason for "zionists" who ever the heck they are to mischaracterize the actions of the arabs. What rational westerner finds the launching of rockets in the general direction of elementary schools acceptable?

What rational westerner finds much of the ghastliness of the arab culture acceptable? One of the huge benefits of our war against the islamic terror mongers is that we had a long hard look at a dysfunctional culture.

The palestinians don't need money or gonads to have a country. They need to stop throwing each other off the roof tops. The simple fact is that the dysfunction that is the arab/muslim culture is writ large with the "palestinians".

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 21, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 1:42 PM
"I don't know how you think this fear is manifested--the US and Israel have been trying to get the Palestinians to accept a state for almost 20 years--it's the Palestinians who seem to want something else."

Yes that would explain why the US and Israel have blocked every call for a 2 state solution and recognition of Palestinian self determination at the UN for those 20 years.

I'm sure you mean well Adam, but you obviously haven't been reserachign this topic in any depth.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I am constantly amazed at how people like Rubin find any reason to not move forward towards a negotiated peace. And spare me the verbage about Israel having no credible partner for peace with among the Palestinians. Abbas and Fayyed are really the best one could hope for, particularly when compared to that snake Arafat.

Would a resolution of the I-P conflict be like waving a magic wand and make all the regional problems disappear? No, of course not, but lets not get so lost in the AIPAC talking points that we pretend that a resolution would take a huge amount of wind out of the sails of many extremists and might even provide more security for Israel if it would mean peace treaties with more Arab states in the region.

Posted by: Stacyx | January 21, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28, whatever the shortcomings of other cultures, that does not give more advanced cultures the right to use those shortcomings as an excuse to dispossess and subjugate the people of those cultures. Israel, by virtue of its founding and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, invites all sorts of nastiness from the living descendants of the people they uprooted and displaced and now brutally oppress. To paint the violent reactions against Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians as something wholly independent of Israel is quite self serving propaganda aimed at Americans and other Westerners whose continued support Zionists eagerly seek. By the way, one can easily speak of Jews in broad terms the way you speak of "Arabs," but then, that would be anti-semetic. It's okay though to speak hatefully of "Arabs" (a favorite term of Zionists who can't utter the word "Palestinian").

"The situation in America is quite easy to explain: there was a war and the side with the most people and the best capabilities won."

Your point? I spoke of the actions that Native Americans who were defending their land often took against settlers. It's telling though how you so easily accept that particular outcome you highlight as just and fair, even seeming to relish it.

Posted by: Paul_Atredies | January 21, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Yes that would explain why the US and Israel have blocked every call for a 2 state solution and recognition of Palestinian self determination at the UN for those 20 years."

I'm sure you mean well Adam, but you obviously haven't been reserachign this topic in any depth."

Since 93, the US/Israel position has been that Palestinian statehood should be contingent on the results of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in which case the ritualistic UN proclamations and denunciations just get in the way. You don't really need to do much research here: the Israelis offered the Palestinians a state in 2000 at Camp David, and the Palestinians rejected it and decided they'd rather start strapping teenagers with explosives and sending onto Israeli busses and into Israeli discos and cafes.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"And spare me the verbage about Israel having no credible partner for peace with among the Palestinians. Abbas and Fayyed are really the best one could hope for, particularly when compared to that snake Arafat."

This is a non-sequitur--the fact that Abbas and Fayyed are the best one could hope for, and yet radically deficient (you don't argue otherwise), is the best argument for ceasing negotiations.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

SS/The palestinians don't need money or gonads to have a country. They need to stop throwing each other off the roof tops. The simple fact is that the dysfunction that is the arab/muslim culture is writ large with the "palestinians".

I am trying to make sense/squeeze some coherence out of your comment. I can't see any difference between your description of toxic arab muslim culture from the culture of East St Louis,East LA,North St Louis,South Chicago,Beford Sty etc etc etc,and this is America,and we are helpless to improve these domestic cesspools. We can't beat organized crime,serial killers & mass murderers terrorize America more than the muslim terrorists. So we can't clean up our cess pools,any more than they can clean up thir cess pools. Dubai is to Palestine,what Manhatten is to the South Bronx. What's your point?

Posted by: rcaruth | January 21, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The only myth here Jennifer is your spin on the topic.

Patreaus did not come up with the theory about the I/P conflict being a threat to US intersts in the region. The evidence was presented to him and the teh Joint Chief's of Staff by the Pentagon.

It has previously been documented in the 911 Commission Report and then Obama raised the fact that settlements are a thrrt to US national security during his Cairo Speech. Michael Scheuer, head of the Bin Laden unit at the CIA for 8 years (and no lefty by any stretch) has been repeating the same message

It's an indicatino of how weak your case has become that you are forced to turn to people from right wing think tanks
Fly's comments are surprisingly weak and wreaks of despetration. His ilk have been warmign about Iranian nuclear threats since 1984, and Meir Dagan has just informed us that there is no danger of an Iranina nuke before 2015. Even Joe Liberman, on Good Morning Joe, admitted that Iran has not taken a descision to make a nuke.

Pletka's comments are even more vaccuous. Her only optin sis sput hot hair, without any evidence because she knows as well as you, that there's no way of denying the spefcific refeneces to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Bin Laden's fatwa on 1996 against the US.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 5:39 PM

"Since 93, the US/Israel position has been that Palestinian statehood should be contingent on the results of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in which case the ritualistic UN proclamations and
denunciations just get in the way."

While this is largely meaningless, it doesn't refute the fact that the Palestinian have not had the opporunity to achieve self determineation of statehood. The fact that Israel has continued to steal more land from the terriroty that is to be negotiated proves that negotaitions have been a stonewalling tactic to buy time while Israel changes he facts on the ground.


"the Israelis offered the Palestinians a state in 2000 at Camp David, and the Palestinians rejected it and decided they'd rather start strapping teenagers with explosives and sending onto Israeli busses and into Israeli discos and cafes."

Sorry Adam, bu you are wrong again. Shlomo Ben Ami, Israel's foreign minster at the time said that the offer was inadequate and he too would have rejected it if her were a Palestinian.

Furthermore, the fact that both leaders met again at taba 6 months later and staetd they woudl have achieved a settlemetn had they sufficient time, debunks the whole Camp David rejection myth.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 5:42 PM

"This is a non-sequitur--the fact that Abbas and Fayyed are the best one could hope for, and yet radically deficient (you don't argue otherwise), is the best argument for ceasing negotiations."

Lieberman is the one insisting that this is not the time for a peace agreement, and Netenyahu has admitetd he is powerless ot stop the settlements (fearuign his govermment would fall apart) and you're accusing Abbas and Fayyed of being deficient?

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"I am trying to make sense/squeeze some coherence out of your comment. I can't see any difference between your description of toxic arab muslim culture from the culture of East St Louis,East LA,North St Louis,South Chicago,Beford Sty etc etc etc,and this is America,and we are helpless to improve these domestic cesspools. We can't beat organized crime,serial killers & mass murderers terrorize America more than the muslim terrorists. So we can't clean up our cess pools,any more than they can clean up thir cess pools. Dubai is to Palestine,what Manhatten is to the South Bronx. What's your point? "

If the US were nothing but the South Bronx (circa 1985--things have, in fact, improved in at least some of the places you cite since the 80s and 90s), if gang leaders from East LA regularly went on to become Presidents of the US, etc., you might have a point here. You can argue with skip about the "proportions," but his point, at any rate is clear: the dysfunctional dominates in the Arab/Muslim world, whereas here it is still fairly safely marginalized.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

""Since 93, the US/Israel position has been that Palestinian statehood should be contingent on the results of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in which case the ritualistic UN proclamations and
denunciations just get in the way."

While this is largely meaningless, it doesn't refute the fact that the Palestinian have not had the opporunity to achieve self determineation of statehood. The fact that Israel has continued to steal more land from the terriroty that is to be negotiated proves that negotaitions have been a stonewalling tactic to buy time while Israel changes he facts on the ground."

Well, I guess if it's "meaningless," it also doesn't "refute"--but you don't show either. Either you can keep getting the UN to issue denunciations of Israel and affirmations of this or that previous affirmation of Palestinian rights, or you can negotiate. My point is you can't do both--what's menaingless or wrong about that?

""the Israelis offered the Palestinians a state in 2000 at Camp David, and the Palestinians rejected it and decided they'd rather start strapping teenagers with explosives and sending onto Israeli busses and into Israeli discos and cafes."

Sorry Adam, bu you are wrong again. Shlomo Ben Ami, Israel's foreign minster at the time said that the offer was inadequate and he too would have rejected it if her were a Palestinian.

Furthermore, the fact that both leaders met again at taba 6 months later and staetd they woudl have achieved a settlemetn had they sufficient time, debunks the whole Camp David rejection myth."

Maybe Shlomo Ben Ami is wrong. Leaders claiming afterwards that they could have done better, usually to diminish their own responsibility, is pretty standard stuff, and can be dismissed. The Palestinians should have taken the offer, however inadequate, and then gotten on with the hard work of building a country. Or, they should not have embarked on their maniacal intifada, so as to maintain the possibility of negotiating. The fact that they didn't shows their lack of seriousness--they'd rather remain a Muslim/Arab symbol of "resistance" and a Leftist icon of colonialist oppression than another failed Third World state. It's hard to blame them, actually, but that's not Israel's fault or problem.

"Lieberman is the one insisting that this is not the time for a peace agreement, and Netenyahu has admitetd he is powerless ot stop the settlements (fearuign his govermment would fall apart) and you're accusing Abbas and Fayyed of being deficient?"

Negotiate regardless of the settlements--maybe you'll be able to negotiate them away, maybe you'll adjust the borders, maybe you'll build around them. The point is, take what you can get, make it irreversible, make the arrangements work, and then try to improve things. Prove Lieberman wrong. That's what a serious people would insist upon from their leaders--but, then serious peoples don't wallow in hatred and glorify violence against innocents.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"All they had to do was accept the offer in 2000 at Camp David"

You mean, all they had to do was accept this:

http://mondediplo.com/maps/campdavid2000

4 peaces of land, littered with Israeli settlements, in each case, entirely surrounded by Israeli territory - and this was and still is less land than what the Palestinians control today, 10 years later?

Gee? Why wouldn't they accept that?

And before you go about saying "oh, that's just a total lie of what was offered", Le Monde published that in 2000, and for 8 years nobody said anything about it, until slowly people began to become aware of it - THEN a Zionist under the charge of Clinton claimed it was false.

It's pretty simple, all Israel has to do is PUBLICLY announce exactly what was IS BEING offered, but they never will - because Israel has never been interested in peace, they are interested in obtaining more land, and controlling the water resources of the area. Israel will never allow a Palestinian state to exist, and eventually, the Palestinians will simply demand Israeli citizenship. It's inevitable now.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 21, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"Well, I guess if it's "meaningless," it also doesn't "refute"--but you don't show either. Either you can keep getting the UN to issue denunciations of Israel and affirmations of this or that previous affirmation of Palestinian rights, or you can negotiate. My point is you can't do both--what's menaingless or wrong about that?"

it's meaningless becasue negitating over land that Israel is devouring is futile. You tried to argue that the Palestiniasn had not taken the initative to acquire self detemineation and I proved you wrong.

Sorry Adam, but you're simply spouting the Dennis (aka Israel's Lawyer) Ross narrative that conflates negotaitng a settlement with negotiating the terms of the Paelstinian surrender. Accepting what you are given smacks of imperliams and I dare say, racial supermacy. The Palestinians were entirely within their rights to demand what they were entiteld to as opposed to the crumbs that Israel was prepared to give them, which would have made any notion of building a country impossible. There is no state in the world exists as a non contiguous archipeligo with no self determination.

Not only was Ben Ami involved in the Camp David negoatiations, but his account has been vindicated by the fact that Taba took palce 6 montsh later. The Camp David offer did not include east Jerusalem, so Clinton created the parameters which both sides accepted at Taba (with reservations of course).

"Negotiate regardless of the settlements--maybe you'll be able to negotiate them away, maybe you'll adjust the borders, maybe you'll build around them."

There are no maybes Netenyahu has told us that even extending the settlement freeze would have torn his govermment apart. Unless you have evidecne he is prepared to risk that, then you're simply making vaccuous patitudes. There's no point tryign to prove Liberman wrong, when we have 43 years of history that proves Liberman is right.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I might add that it was Barak that called off the talks at Taba, citing the upcomming elections as an excuse.

Both parties agreed they would have reached a settlement with more time, so it appears that the Palestinians were indeed prepaerd to accept an offer.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

""All they had to do was accept the offer in 2000 at Camp David"

You mean, all they had to do was accept this:

http://mondediplo.com/maps/campdavid2000

4 peaces of land, littered with Israeli settlements, in each case, entirely surrounded by Israeli territory - and this was and still is less land than what the Palestinians control today, 10 years later?

Gee? Why wouldn't they accept that?

And before you go about saying "oh, that's just a total lie of what was offered", Le Monde published that in 2000, and for 8 years nobody said anything about it, until slowly people began to become aware of it - THEN a Zionist under the charge of Clinton claimed it was false."

Ok, this is pretty bizarre stuff--Le Monde in 2000, and then people became aware--and then a Zionist denied it! Who could argue with that?

"it's meaningless becasue negitating over land that Israel is devouring is futile. You tried to argue that the Palestiniasn had not taken the initative to acquire self detemineation and I proved you wrong."

I missed the proof, but if Israel has already devoured too much land to make a Palestinian state possible, then what's the point of talking about it, or about negotiations? If they haven't, then successful negotiations would be the only way to stop the devouring. If what you really want is to make a case for Israel's perfidy, i.e., it's unwillingness from the beginning, regardless of assurances to the contrary, to ever grant the Palestinians a state well, then, support your terror wars, but why expect Israel to tolerate them?

"Sorry Adam, but you're simply spouting the Dennis (aka Israel's Lawyer) Ross narrative that conflates negotaitng a settlement with negotiating the terms of the Paelstinian surrender. Accepting what you are given smacks of imperliams and I dare say, racial supermacy. The Palestinians were entirely within their rights to demand what they were entiteld to as opposed to the crumbs that Israel was prepared to give them, which would have made any notion of building a country impossible. There is no state in the world exists as a non contiguous archipeligo with no self determination."

Yes, the Palestinians should accept defeat, take what they can get, and start building. Of course they have every right to reject that, and to suffer even worse defeats, as many as they like.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"Not only was Ben Ami involved in the Camp David negoatiations, but his account has been vindicated by the fact that Taba took palce 6 montsh later. The Camp David offer did not include east Jerusalem, so Clinton created the parameters which both sides accepted at Taba (with reservations of course)."

I don't know how the sheer fact of negotiations taking place (in the middle of the enormities of the intifada, which rendered the whole enterprise risible) can vindicate anything. Parties go through the motions of negotiating for all kinds of reasons--they are still doing it now. Either Arafat was responsible for initiating the intifada, in which case negotiations were irrelevant; or he couldn't control it, in which case negotiations were irrelevant. Plus, refusing a state because you didn't get East Jerusalem is the height of irresponsibility.

"There are no maybes Netenyahu has told us that even extending the settlement freeze would have torn his govermment apart. Unless you have evidecne he is prepared to risk that, then you're simply making vaccuous patitudes. There's no point tryign to prove Liberman wrong, when we have 43 years of history that proves Liberman is right."

History is long--genuine good faith gestures on the part of the Palestinians would create reciprocity on the Israeli side--either the government now in power would change, or we'd see a change in government. Ny point is that a process of negotiation in good faith would generate its own dynamic--it is the good faith that has always been lacking on the Palestinian side.

"I might add that it was Barak that called off the talks at Taba, citing the upcomming elections as an excuse.

Both parties agreed they would have reached a settlement with more time, so it appears that the Palestinians were indeed prepaerd to accept an offer."

Yes, Barak called of the elections because he knew he was about to get shellacked because he promised peace and delivered the most demonic war seen since the Nazis. Which also means that any agreement he arrived at, again, in the middle of a seige upon Israel cities in which innocent civilians where being blown up regularly, would have been discarded as soon as he was out of power. He had no legitimacy at that point. Nor--and this gets at the core of the issue--would any Palestinian leader who abandoned the "Right of Return." And no Israeli could negotiate a deal which isn't clear on that.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"It's pretty simple, all Israel has to do is PUBLICLY announce exactly what was IS BEING offered, but they never will - because Israel has never been interested in peace, they are interested in obtaining more land, and controlling the water resources of the area. Israel will never allow a Palestinian state to exist, and eventually, the Palestinians will simply demand Israeli citizenship. It's inevitable now."

I'm not sure whether you are saying that the Israelis should have THEN announced what they were offering, or should NOW announce what they were offering THEN, or should announce what they are willing to offer NOW, or should, in general always publicly announce their offers. But there might be all kinds of reasons for not doing any of the above other than an eternal, unqualified rejection of peace. At any rate, you are making it clear that you consider all talk of negotiation irrelevant anyway, so at last we arrive at agreement. I think Israel can deal with the consequences so as to advance its own interests, although I don't know if they will

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"Barak called of the elections because he knew he was about to get shellacked"

Sorry, I meant called off the negotiations, of course.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"it's unwillingness from the beginning, regardless of assurances to the contrary, to ever grant the Palestinians a state well, then, support your terror wars, but why expect Israel to tolerate them?"

Israel can do whatever it pleases, as long as I'm not paying for it.

Israel is a nation of lunatics whose sole purpose was to create an ethnically pure state. This is why they are demanding that the Middle East recognize Israel as a "Jewish state". This is something that Zionists in the 1940s swore they would never ever do

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration_of_1917

In 1919 the General Secretary (and future President) of the Zionist Organization, Nahum Sokolow, published a History of Zionism (1600-1918). Sokolow represented the Zionist Organization at the Paris Peace Conference. He explained:

The object of Zionism is to establish for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law." ... ...It has been said and is still being obstinately repeated by anti-Zionists again and again, that Zionism aims at the creation of an independent "Jewish State" But this is wholly fallacious. The "Jewish State" was never part of the Zionist programme. The Jewish State was the title of Herzl's first pamphlet, which had the supreme merit of forcing people to think. This pamphlet was followed by the first Zionist Congress, which accepted the Basle programme - the only programme in existence

Gee, who lied?

Israel can demand that Iran cease it's nuclear power program, despite Israel's illegal nuclear weapons program in Dimona. That's fine. Asking the US to intervene isn't.

Israel can continue encroaching on more land, building any walls it wants - they can do it. As long as US "aid" isn't paying for it, or the military to maintain it.

As long as it's not done with my money and my nation involved. So long as it is I'll complain.

It really doesn't matter anyhow - it's already plainly clear that Israel will continue to take over more land, and the Palestinians can't leave even if they wanted to leave. Palestinians will demand full equal citizenship in Israel in exchange for giving up any aspirations of a nation and giving all the land over to Israel, and how will "democratic" Israel deal with that?

This is absolutely inevitable, it's just a matter of time before it happens. Talking about it now, is purely academic.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 21, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

You mean, all they had to do was accept this:

Yes, 4 discontiguous lillypads, seperated by settlements and no east Jerusalem, never mind no mention of refugees.

The fact that tis is less land than what the Palestinians control today goes to demonstrae yet again the purpose of negottions - to buy more time so that the lillypas gets increasingly smaller.

Gee I wonder why wouldn't they accept that?

Of course, yhou keep refusing to accept the simple fact that Taba took place 6 months after the Camp David talks and that both sides agreed they were on the verge of aa poplitical settlement that included the Clinton parameters.

"I missed the proof, but if Israel has already devoured too much land to make a Palestinian state possible, then what's the point of talking about it, or about negotiations?"

I wasn't addressing negotations, I was addressing your false calim that the "US and Israel have been trying to get the Palestinians to accept a state for almost 20 years", which is obviously unsuported by the record.

"If they haven't, then successful negotiations would be the only way to stop the devouring."

Again a meaningless platitude becasue the only successful negotiations from a Palestinian perpspective woudl be to remiove the settlements entirely. They are illegal after all.

"If what you really want is to make a case for Israel's perfidy, i.e., it's unwillingness from the beginning, regardless of assurances to the contrary, to ever grant the Palestinians a state well, then, support your terror wars, but why expect Israel to tolerate them?"

It's entirely futile to crrticize terror wars given that Israel stands as a monument to the success of terror war. Without them, the British woudl not have been driven out of Palerstine and the Zionist fonders woudl never have achieved a Jewish majority.

"Yes, the Palestinians should accept defeat, take what they can get, and start building." Of course they have every right to reject that, and to suffer even worse defeats, as many as they like."

Start building so that Israel can have more targets to destroy? Sorry but your argument is purely infantile and calous. The world went to war because of such blatant disregard for human rights and territorial expasionism. You might lament the fact that Israel missed out on the 19th century, but every other country in the world has left the 19th century behind them, because they all understand that the age of colonization and empire-building is Dead And Buried.

All but one - the one that thinks that because it missed out on the 19th century it is now entitled to play catch-up.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure whether you are saying that the Israelis should have THEN announced what they were offering, or should NOW announce what they were offering THEN,"

I am saying that secret negotiations are kind of stupid.

If Israel actually DID give the Palestinians a "good deal" - why didn't they advertise what that deal was? Why did they wait 8 years to deny what Le Monde wrote about?

Israel lies a LOT if you haven't noticed. Remember the freedom flotilla - what happened to all the video? Israel claims self defense - well, if that was true, why would they have any hesitation about providing the proof that it was? Why did they confiscate all the video evidence?

I don't believe Israel, and it's because I see them as a matter of state policy to lie through omission constantly. Iran never threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Israel lied about Pollard being a spy for years. Israel lied about what happened to the USS Liberty.

Israeli supporters constantly point out the Grand Mufti met with Hitler, but do they ever point out that Jewish terrorist organization Lehi offered to enter the war on the side of Hitler in 1941 if Hitler would recognize the British Mandate as a Jewish state?

I'm just tired of all this crap. I'm sick of it. From white phosphorus being used in the last war, to Israel's bitter complaints about Gilad Shalit but no mention of the thousands of Palestinians in detention that aren't even charged with a crime. Did you catch the story of Gaza's supposed "luxury mall"? That was a common story for a while, until people actually saw the tiny thing.

I'm tired of the lies and the propaganda, mostly, the propaganda. Most moral military in the world, sure - they are a just democracy, except the discard Ethiopian's donated blood into the trash as a matter of state policy, they respect rights of all citizens, unless you're the Kadan family trying to buy a house in a Jewish only town.

How can you support this nation? Are you going to point out Arab nations are bad?

Well duh. I don't support them either, and I'd prefer it if my government would stop propping up the Sa'ud Family, the Egyptian government and King Abdullah - let them get their heads chopped off, they totally deserve it.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 21, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:31 PM

"Yes, Barak called of the elections because he knew he was about to get shellacked because he promised peace and delivered the most demonic war seen since the Nazis."

Spare us the hyperbole Adam. Israel's invasino and occupatiobn fo Lebanon was far more destructive that the 2nd Intifada. In any case, Barak went to the Camp David talks with no intention of success, but the sated aim of trying to convince the world that Arafat could not be negotated with.

I am glad you admit that Barak was a sitting duck at the time, and would not have been able to deliver on any promises he made, just like the so called offer from Olmert.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 8:31 PM

"Either Arafat was responsible for initiating the intifada, in which case negotiations were irrelevant; or he couldn't control it, in which case negotiations were irrelevant."

gee tha's a bit like saying that Yitzak Rabin's assassination proves he wasn't really Israel's Prime Minister.

"Plus, refusing a state because you didn't get East Jerusalem is the height of irresponsibility."

You gota love the hypocrisy. Apparently efusing a state because you didn't get East Jerusalem is the height of irresponsibility, but flouting dozens of UN Resolutions, occuaption, building illegal settlements, home demolitions, ethnic cleasing and home evictions is not?

Seriously Adam, have you thought at all about this?

"History is long--genuine good faith gestures on the part of the Palestinians would create reciprocity on the Israeli side--either the government now in power would change, or we'd see a change in government."

Actualyl, the record shows that genuine good faith gestures are meaningless to Israel. Obama was offering them 20 F35 planes, even more diplmatic protection and God knows what else for a pathetic 3 months freeze and Likud considered the offer unacceptable.

Yeah real reciprocity on the Israeli side there right?

You're deluded about the incluence of good faith when it comes to a settler mentality Adam.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

"Actualyl, the record shows that genuine good faith gestures are meaningless to Israel. Obama was offering them 20 F35 planes, even more diplmatic protection and God knows what else for a pathetic 3 months freeze and Likud considered the offer unacceptable."

Interesting that you didn't have an example of such a gesture from the only people who count in that connection, the Palestinians.

"You gota love the hypocrisy. Apparently efusing a state because you didn't get East Jerusalem is the height of irresponsibility, but flouting dozens of UN Resolutions, occuaption, building illegal settlements, home demolitions, ethnic cleasing and home evictions is not?"

You might think all of that flouting by Israel was wrong, but it wasn't irresponsible--you yourself would acknowledge, I assume, that Israel was thereby defending its interests as it saw them--and it still has its state. The Palestinians has a chance at something, and now have nothing, because of their own decision--that's irresponsible.

""Either Arafat was responsible for initiating the intifada, in which case negotiations were irrelevant; or he couldn't control it, in which case negotiations were irrelevant."

gee tha's a bit like saying that Yitzak Rabin's assassination proves he wasn't really Israel's Prime Minister."

Yes, it's just like it if the act of a single assassin is just like a years long terror war. When the Israeli government decided to remove the Gaza settlements, they were removed; if a Palestinian government decided to stop the terror, could they?

"Spare us the hyperbole Adam. Israel's invasino and occupatiobn fo Lebanon was far more destructive that the 2nd Intifada."

Destructive is not the same as demonic. The Americans were by far the most destructive force in WWII, but the Germans were demonic. Sending kids to blow themselves up in crowds of civilians is demonic. In my view, you shouldn't even negotiate with people who do that, much less celebrate it as the Palestinians do.

" In any case, Barak went to the Camp David talks with no intention of success, but the sated aim of trying to convince the world that Arafat could not be negotated with. "

Weren't you the one insisting that they could have made a deal 6 months later?
So, first Barak just wanted to make that point, then he was ready to make a deal?

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

"Israel lies a LOT if you haven't noticed. Remember the freedom flotilla - what happened to all the video? Israel claims self defense - well, if that was true, why would they have any hesitation about providing the proof that it was? Why did they confiscate all the video evidence?"

we're deep in conspiracy territory here. I saw video of the attack on the Israeli paratroopers who landed on the boat.

"Israeli supporters constantly point out the Grand Mufti met with Hitler, but do they ever point out that Jewish terrorist organization Lehi offered to enter the war on the side of Hitler in 1941 if Hitler would recognize the British Mandate as a Jewish state?"

More crazy stuff--the Grand Mufti was recognized as a national leader; Lehi was a marginalized little group, with not capacity to enter wars on anyone's side. You're not thinking, you're just proceeding in the manner of the cheap polemicist--they make point A, so I need an equal and equivalent point B. It's all cut and paste stuff.

"I'm just tired of all this crap."

Well, I can agree with you there.

George Gilder's The Israel Test explains why I support Israel, and it's always interesting to see how quickly the anti-Israel argument veers off into demonization. Thank God hate renders those it possesses impotent, so the more the Palestinians and their supporters seeth in rage, the easier it will be to dismiss them.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"The world went to war because of such blatant disregard for human rights and territorial expasionism. You might lament the fact that Israel missed out on the 19th century, but every other country in the world has left the 19th century behind them, because they all understand that the age of colonization and empire-building is Dead And Buried.

All but one - the one that thinks that because it missed out on the 19th century it is now entitled to play catch-up."

I am glad this came up, since a lot of anti-Israel feeling comes from this idea that Israel is the last remaining colonial power--and the last fighting nation-state, and therefore an obstacle to the transnational dispensation to come. Since I like nation states, and think it's a far better way to organize human beings that transnational institutions and international law. I also think that the fear of losing territory and even sovereignty was a great prompt to responsibility, and that has also been lost--now, you can launch war after war with no consequences. Even half a city is still yours forever. Pro-Palestinian activism maintains a kind of virulent, delusional utopianism, the idea that war can be banished once and for all from human affairs. Another reason for supporting Israel--it foils that utopianism. The truth is, the Palestinians would be better off if Israel did simply annex the territories and gradually integrate those Palestinians willing to trade the fantasy of resistance for a better and freer life--or, at least those Palestinians who wanted to be better off would be.

Posted by: adam62 | January 21, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting that you didn't have an example of such a gesture from the only people who count in that connection, the Palestinians."

The Palestinians have nothig left to offer. Israel has already taken everything. That's anotehr reason why negotiations are a farce.

"...you yourself would acknowledge, I assume, that Israel was thereby defending its interests as it saw them"

Interests meaning land it coveted and wanted to keep, bu were not entitled to. Sorry, but your argument simply comes down to might makes right, and that the Palestinians shodl be puniched for not bneing on the receiving end of the massive military aid that Israel has enjoyed.

"When the Israeli government decided to remove the Gaza settlements, they were removed; if a Palestinian government decided to stop the terror, could they?"

When the Israelis removed the Gaza settlements, they fired 7,700 shells into Gaza in the space of 12 months as a parting gift. Did the Israeli government decide to stop that act of terror?

"Sending kids to blow themselves up in crowds of civilians is demonic."

But dropping white phsphorous and cluster bombs on kids is not? Ordering people to abandon homes that you are about to bomb, then bombing the vehicles taking those peope to safety is not demonic?

"Weren't you the one insisting that they could have made a deal 6 months later?"

I said that both leaders agreed they were on the verge of a political settlement. Whether the Knesset would have ratified it is another matter.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse


"we're deep in conspiracy territory here."

It's a matetr of record that the Israelis confiscated all camera and video equipment and never returned it.

"I saw video of the attack on the Israeli paratroopers who landed on the boat."

Correction: You saw a selected portion of video, not what took place before it.

"More crazy stuff--the Grand Mufti was recognized as a national leader; Lehi was a marginalized little group"

Yeah sure, marginal. Their leader just happened to be elected to Prime Minister.

"George Gilder's The Israel Test explains why I support Israel, and it's always interesting to see how quickly the anti-Israel argument veers off into demonization."

Says he who referred to the Palestinians demonic.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that Israel gains very little in a peace deal, while losing control over 20-22% of the land. Israel already has the weapons needed to defend itself including nukes, so short of UN sanctions it secure.

The Vatican statements follow by Catholic countries in S. American declaring PA state is very doubling, since Muslims are just under 1% of US, Jews 1.6% but Catholics are 25% of US. In Congress Catholics are 29%, while Jews are 8%, if this trend grow in strength it could become a problem for full US support.
With the change in Congress the pro-Israel vote is not as critical as before due to split control over house and senate, close votes less likely.

Posted by: Bloodyscot | January 21, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"Since I like nation states, and think it's a far better way to organize human beings that transnational institutions and international law."

So you're an unabahed imperialist and have contempt for internatinal law. At least you're honest.

The problem with your idelolgy is that it is based on it's own utopianism - the blief in unlimited power. Sadly, as we've seen thoguhout history with the rise and fall of empires, it's usnsutainable.

"The truth is, the Palestinians would be better off if Israel did simply annex the territories and gradually integrate those Palestinians willing to trade the fantasy of resistance for a better and freer life--or, at least those Palestinians who wanted to be better off would be."

I coldn't agree more, but that would mean making those Palestinians into ISraeli citizems, which in turn would mean an end to teh Jewish state.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 21, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"we're deep in conspiracy territory here. I saw video of the attack on the Israeli paratroopers who landed on the boat."

BWAHAHAHA!

You saw only the video that Israel released.

There are literally thousands of hours of video of the activists that weren't, and never will be released.

If Israel's depiction of events is accurate, tell me why Israel confiscated all the video evidence taken by the people on board.

I'd like to hear what possible explanation Israel could have given that Israel is supposedly telling the truth. Have any theories there?

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Good point fuzzywzhe,

Israel said the passengers had guns and that they were shot at. They didn't.

Israel said some of the passengers were Al Qaeda terrorists, but released all of them without charge

Israel claimed that the commandos were met with deadly force, but the ones that were captured by the passenegrs were given first aid and then returned to Israel.

Israel claimed the commandos were only armed with pain guns, but somehow managed to kill 9 passengers.

Israel claiemd the deaths were self defense, yet some of those shot were shot repeatedly in the back of teh head at point blank range.

Israel released audio they claimed was from the Mavi Marmara, then dmitted they doctored it when it was exposed as a fraud.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 22, 2011 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, we've reached the end here, clearly--these myths, of the white phosphurus, the thousands of hours of unseen videotape, all meant to make Israel's evil vivid and and unforgettable, will never be abandoned by those who need them. I'm sure it's all "on the record" somehwere! I'm sure you're also convinced that Mohammad al-Durah was shot by the IDF, that the Israelis just gassed a demonstrator to death, etc.

None of it matters, fortunately, and I am glad to see some agreement on the worthlessness of negotiations. As long as the Palestinians continue to believe, and their supporters encourage them to believe, that it's all or nothing, the less the Palestinians will do to liberate themselves from the terror groups who rule them, and the less effort they will put into economic development and cooperation with Israel. On one level, it's a shame, but it may be that the two-state solution was going to unworkable anyway, even with good faith on both sides--in which case, why waste more time on it? Meanwhile, the more Israel's inherent strenghts--its free society and economy, its specialization in high tech areas--will make the conflict less and less relevant. In the end, the big challenge for the Israelis will be to find some way to appeal to those Arabs and Muslims, inside and outside of Palestine, who are really sick of it all--sick of the obsessive hatred of Israel, sick of the death cult, sick of the violence and degradation of women, etc. Appeal to them as individuals, who want to be free, including free of enslaving notions of honor and shame. It is a very long term project, and the short and middle term way towards it is absolute ruthlessness towards the terror groups, continued liberalization of Israeli society and economy, and, internationally, constant exposure of the Jew hatred and West and America hatred in which these societies drench themselves. In that case, I am encouraged by all the good which the anti-Israelism displayed here will ultimately do for Israel.

On a more philosophical level, this is a key point:

"So you're an unabahed imperialist and have contempt for internatinal law. At least you're honest.

The problem with your idelolgy is that it is based on it's own utopianism - the blief in unlimited power. Sadly, as we've seen thoguhout history with the rise and fall of empires, it's usnsutainable."

Nothing is sustainable indefinitely, and power always passes from one to another--what we are now capable of doing is ensuring that it passes because some new power offers new freedoms, new levels of productivity, and new forms of accomplishment--if China manages to do that, if, through some miraculous transformation the Arabs or Muslims manage to, more power to them.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

adam62:

I have been following this discussion with interest, but not enough knowledge of the incident to comment.

I have a more general question for you. I think most would agree that Palestinians have an awful leadership group. Israelis have made terrific use of this fact. Is this is prospect that can continue indefinitely?

In other words can you win wars of attrition by indefinite reliance on the stupidity of the other side? If a Palestinian leader were to come along who relied on the tools of non-violent struggle successfully, boycott, mass arrests, etc.; what do you think would happen?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 22, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"If a Palestinian leader were to come along who relied on the tools of non-violent struggle successfully, boycott, mass arrests, etc.; what do you think would happen?"

This is something many Israelis have hoped for for a long time, and I believe if this were to occur, the conversion en masse of the Palestinians that would be needed if such a leader were to acquire credibility among them, the Israelis would respond very generously. Since the early 90s, in the wake of the first intifada which was, in fact, much less violent and much more civil and controlled, the two state solution has been the "obvious" position in Israeli politics, and I think Isrealis would be willing to help the Palestinians build their own state, if they wanted to do so in cooperation with the Israelis. A lot of people were thinking along those lines back then, including myself--not so much any more. I can't prove any of this, of course, but I think getting to know Israelis and listening to how they talk about the issues would, at least, make what I am saying plausible.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"Well, we've reached the end here, clearly--these myths, of the white phosphurus"

Oh, the white phosphorus isn't a myth anymore, Israel was forced to admit to using white phosphorus in Cast Lead in the face of overwhelming evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War#White_phosphorus

Isn't it funny that Israel lied, and you perpetuating the lie?

Like I said previously, Israel lies a lot, and their supporters do as well - they have to lie.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The use of white phosphurus isn't a myth; the myth is that it's some kind of chemical weapon, or was deliberately used by Israel against civilians.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The use of white phosphurus isn't a myth; the myth is that it's some kind of chemical weapon, or was deliberately used by Israel against civilians.

Or, more precisely, that this was a WAR CRIME committed by Israel.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

adam62:

Actually I was thinking not of a Palestinian leader who cooperated with the Israelis, but one who opposed them by non-violent means such as MLK in this country.

It probably goes against their character, but a Palestinian movement where hundreds were ready to be arrested weekly in non-violent demonstrations would be tough for Israel to handle both logistically and public relations wise. Imagine the difficulties if they instead of throwing rocks, simply sat down, on busses, in public places, at the border, and made Israel use tear gas and mass arrests to disperse them on a weekly basis.

The effect internationally would be devastating. BUT as I say, it's probably against the character of the Palestinian leadership at least, if not the people.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 22, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

We Have a Dream....An Independent Palestine.

The world sees and hears the truth now.

Go for it Palestine...hooray for truth and freedom.

This comment was made in USA! :)

Posted by: Rubiconski | January 22, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"Actually I was thinking not of a Palestinian leader who cooperated with the Israelis, but one who opposed them by non-violent means such as MLK in this country. "

Like Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish?

3 of his daughters were murdered by the IDF, and one niece when his house was shelled by tanks.

"It probably goes against their character"

I wonder how that can be, when a peace activist has his children murdered for being a peace activist?

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"adam62:

Actually I was thinking not of a Palestinian leader who cooperated with the Israelis, but one who opposed them by non-violent means such as MLK in this country.

It probably goes against their character, but a Palestinian movement where hundreds were ready to be arrested weekly in non-violent demonstrations would be tough for Israel to handle both logistically and public relations wise. Imagine the difficulties if they instead of throwing rocks, simply sat down, on busses, in public places, at the border, and made Israel use tear gas and mass arrests to disperse them on a weekly basis.

The effect internationally would be devastating. BUT as I say, it's probably against the character of the Palestinian leadership at least, if not the people. "

That's what I had in mind as well, which is why I referenced the first Intifada which, while not exactly MLK or Gandhi-like, was controlled and maintained a low level of violence, while attempting a dialogue with Israeli society--it had a dramatic effect on Israeli public opinion (in part, but not only, by affecting Israel's international image). But, of course, such opposition aims, ultimately, at cooperation--it assumes that the opponents are going to have to live together. If the West Bank Palestinians had been able to throw off the yoke of the PLO back in 1990 or so, things might have turned out differently.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"The use of white phosphurus isn't a myth; the myth is that it's some kind of chemical weapon, or was deliberately used by Israel against civilians."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War#White_phosphorus

"There were numerous reports of white phosphorus being used by the IDF during the conflict which was initially denied by Israel."

Why did Israel initially deny it?

"On January 16 the UNRWA headquarters was hit with phosphorus munitions."

If it was being used as a smoke screen, why was the UNRWA HQ hit by white phosphorus?

Israel was caught, then they just changed their story as to what they were doing. They always do this, in every conflict. The fact that they initially lied about using white phosphorus at all should demonstrate to you what sort of credibility they have.

It's not like people haven't been watching and witnessing this pattern for decades either. If you just want to support Israel you'll just ignore their latest set of lies, I wanted to know what Israel was doing.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how that can be, when a peace activist has his children murdered for being a peace activist?"

I just found a few very sympathetic stories on Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish from left-wing, pro-Palestinian sources. And he certainly seems to be a very sympathetic character--we only need a few hundred more like him. Anyway, none of those stories even suggested that his daughters were deliberately targeted, much less as some kind of message or retribution to Abuelaish himself.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

""There were numerous reports of white phosphorus being used by the IDF during the conflict which was initially denied by Israel."

Why did Israel initially deny it?

"On January 16 the UNRWA headquarters was hit with phosphorus munitions."

If it was being used as a smoke screen, why was the UNRWA HQ hit by white phosphorus?

Israel was caught, then they just changed their story as to what they were doing. They always do this, in every conflict. The fact that they initially lied about using white phosphorus at all should demonstrate to you what sort of credibility they have.

It's not like people haven't been watching and witnessing this pattern for decades either. If you just want to support Israel you'll just ignore their latest set of lies, I wanted to know what Israel was doing."

Needless to say, there's nothing approaching proof of anything here. Why would they attack the UNRWA in the first place? And why with white phosphurus? Is that the weapon of choice for UN buildings? The simplest answer is they made a mistake. Why did they deny it? I don't know--the Israelis seem to me to be defense oftentimes when they don't need to be. Maybe the spokespeople were out of touch with the military people. Maybe denial is their first reflex. None of this screams out WAR CRIME!

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"Needless to say, there's nothing approaching proof of anything here. Why would they attack the UNRWA in the first place?"

Are you serious? Do you know what the UNRWA is?

"And why with white phosphurus?"

You'd have to ask them why they dropped white phosphorus there.

"The simplest answer is they made a mistake. "

No it's not - the simplest explanation is that they wanted to prevent a watch group of seeing what was going on in Operation Cast Lead.

Israel hasn't had a good relationship with the UN since 1948, when Yitzhak Shamir ordered the murder of Count Bernadotte, who was sent there to negotiate a peace.

Israel has never wanted peace, they want land and they want water.

That's the simplest explanation, and it explains why the UN keeps mysteriously getting attacked by Israel in every Israeli operation against the Palestinians.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"Israel has never wanted peace, they want land and they want water.

That's the simplest explanation, and it explains why the UN keeps mysteriously getting attacked by Israel in every Israeli operation against the Palestinians."

Well, they're not getting any land or water from Gaza--they just want the missiles to stop flying from there. I hear they're working on missile defense, so maybe that will take care of it.

Maybe the UN gets attacked because they provide aid and shelter to the terrorists. Still, using white phosphurus for that purpose seems doubtful. Why not just blow the place up?

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"I just found a few very sympathetic stories on Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish from left-wing, pro-Palestinian sources."

Find any stories that condemn him from right wing pro-Israeli sources?

Incidentally - in my opinion, people display a very naive and simplistic understanding of politics by dividing the world into left and right. I'd like to see the Federal government reduced down to simply defense, arbitration between the states, and enforcing the constitution - does that make me left or right? People who describe themselves (or others) as left and right haven't much of any understanding of political thought in my opinion.

But it's off the subject.

Find anything condemning Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish? He's exactly what SUPPOSEDLY the Israelis want - find out more about him, and see just how serious Israel is about having peaceful protests.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"Find anything condemning Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish? He's exactly what SUPPOSEDLY the Israelis want - find out more about him, and see just how serious Israel is about having peaceful protests."

Not in the quick search I did (7 pages on google). Nor did I find any suggestion that the Israeli authorities have harassed him or interfered with his work. He seems to still believe it is worth engaging with the Israelis. Good for him.

Posted by: adam62 | January 22, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"Not in the quick search I did (7 pages on google). Nor did I find any suggestion that the Israeli authorities have harassed him or interfered with his work"

.. other than bombing his house, killing 3 of his daughters, and a neice.

Other than that - Israel has done absolutely nothing.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 22, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and would you like to read more about the Palestinian MLK that doesn't exist?

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/912702--palestinian-doctor-sues-israel

Israel won't even APOLOGIZE for killing 3 of his daughters and a niece. That's all he wanted.

Oh, and notice that Izzeldin Abuelaish doesn't work in Israel anymore? Israel got what they wanted, it seems.

Do you seriously think Israel gives a damned about the innocent people it kills? Seriously, do you really think Israel cares? This is just a SINGLE high profile incident. This happens all the time. Israel kills indiscriminately, to try to break the will of the people who dare to resist. It's been doing this for over 1/2 of a century. That's the nation you support.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

If Israel killed indiscriminately, there would be a lot more dead. But you're free to believe what you want--as I said, maybe in the long run it's better that the Palestinians' supporters keep encouraging them in their intransigence.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"If Israel killed indiscriminately, there would be a lot more dead."

Is 1,457 children in 10 years not enough?

http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/remember2000.html

Gee, every single death is documented now including circumstances, and names. That's going to continue from this point forward.

The facts all over the place. The reason Israel is losing support is that more and more people get onto the Internet to find out what is going on instead of listing to the disgusting propaganda that jokingly calls itself "the media." US media is a complete farce, not just with this conflict, but with nearly everything but it was this conflict that made me aware of it.

Most people don't even have an idea what Israel has done or what it does. I became aware of it around 1994 when I got a gift subscription to the Western Report on Middle Eastern Affairs for a graduation present from my aunt after I got my EE degree. Back then, I had to go to a library to figure out what was being discussed. It took me weeks to find simple things like the 1922 and 1931 British Census counts because I didn't believe what I was reading, initially - I went through the effort of fact checking. It was difficult to find information on the King David Hotel bombing, and the murder of Count Bernadotte. I remember when it was still being claimed constantly that there had been a congressional hearing on the USS Liberty. I remember when Lehi's offer to enter the war on the side of Germany in 1941 was a "conspiracy theory" still.

Those days are over.

Information is easy to find. Good luck stopping that. All that has to happen for the end of Zionism which is PRECISELY what the KKK wanted to do for white protestants in the US, is for people to be aware of the truth.

Mavi Marmara was a ship of terrorists? The only people that actually believe that, think that television news is reliable - you know, the same "news" that said there was no housing bubble in 2005, and in 1999 was talking about our "new economy", and the same media that was talking about "the final proof coming in the form of a mushroom cloud".

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"Information is easy to find. Good luck stopping that."

I'm relying on this myself. Yes, people can easily find out about the King David Hotel bombing--which wasn't ever all that hard to find out about anyway. But they can just as easily see Palestinian TV shows for children in which 4 year olds are exhorted to grow up and kill the Jews like Allah commands. Or that no one is starving in Gaza, and that hardships there are due to the Hamas leadership, not Israel. Israel's own PR weaknesses no longer needs to hold back the friends of Israel, who can get their info and story out very effectively. Europe is probably lost, in a lot of ways, and is increasingly irrelevant politically and certainly militarily anyway, but I believe Americans will see a productive, modern, open, innovative society side by side with a resentful, unproductive, violent society that elects Holocaust deniers and political parties that include arguments from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in their political program, and (almost forgot!) straps explosives onto mentally disabled teenagers and sends them into packed urban areas. And they'll dismiss all the rest as propaganda. We probably see different polls, but I don't see the slightest shift among Americans toward the Palestinians. And, over the long term, I think countries like China and India and any others, even in the Middle East, more interested in doing business than generating resentment will turn to Israel because trade with Israel will enhance their high tech and other industries while professed sympathy with the Palestinians will only benefit the unproductive "human rights" sectors of the economy.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

adam62:

Thanks, enjoyed the discourse as always.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 23, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"adam62:

Thanks, enjoyed the discourse as always."

Thanks, but are you sure it's over? We're not off the page yet!

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

adam62 - admire your truth-telling in the face of the totalitarian Left who only choose to believe the palestinians.

at some point, perhaps the legacy of Nazi-Arab collaboration that has left a legacy of "Jews as vermin" through both the Palestinian Authority (direct lineage from the Grand Mufti) and Arab nationalism will be better understood.

C-Span2 Book TV has Edwin Black discussing his book, "The Farhud" about the Nazi- Arab muslim collaboration this weekend.

What commenters here believe is that none of this history matters - in their eyes, history started in 1993.

Today, Egypt announced that an Al-Qaeda affiliate hosted in Gaza by Hamas perpetrated the suicide bombing of Egypt's Coptic Chruch last month.

as one more thought, once Hezbollah controls the Lebanese government, and if Hamas continues to host Al-Qaeda in Gaza, one can assume the palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria under the nominal "governance" of Abbas, now in the 73rd month of his 48 month term, and Abbas' appointee Fayyad, never having run for any political office, will face a united Israeli electorate who will never countenance a third government committed to the final genocide of Jews on their western border.

just wanted you to know I am tired of the history-deniers of the Left who somehow find the palestinians so deserving of indefinite charity that mostly goes to teaching yet another generation how to hate and murder Jews.

which is why this is my sole comment to this thread. Thanks adam62. and skipsailing.

Posted by: K2K2 | January 23, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The truth is, I don't mind starting history in 1993 for the sake of the discussion--wherever you start it, the story is pretty much the same: the Jews have been civilized, determined, strategic and practical, certainly far from perfect and guilty of occasional crimes, delusions and abuses, but always in touch with reality, always accountable and self-critical; the Palestinians, and Arabs more generally, blaming everything on the Jews, denying all responsibility for their situation, indeed, excusing themselves for everything, calling on outside forces to save or avenge them, and for these reasons descending to the lowest depths of ideological garbage and brutality. Start in 1917, 1936, 1948, 1967, 2008, that's pretty much what you see.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"I'm relying on this myself. Yes, people can easily find out about the King David Hotel bombing--which wasn't ever all that hard to find out about anyway."

HAHAHAHA - were you alive in 1990? I was.

"But they can just as easily see Palestinian TV shows for children in which 4 year olds are exhorted to grow up and kill the Jews like Allah commands."

You mean from MEMRI?

Who wrote this entirely fabricated article:

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1250.htm

I would like you to read that, but I doubt you will. MEMRI is a propaganda organization. Ask somebody that speaks Arabic to translate one of the videos they show for you. I have.

"Or that no one is starving in Gaza, and that hardships there are due to the Hamas leadership, not Israel."

You've never seen the Western Bank or Gaza, or talked to somebody from there, have you?

"Israel's own PR weaknesses"

HAHAHAHAHA - The US media has supported Israel for 40 years now. It's breaking down because you can easily find things like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUmgZMYzQBo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQyIKyd2gqA

or this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010705739.html

That was an extra judicial execution - or was intended to be one, just they got the wrong apartment. It's standard procedure to simply murder Palestinians - they weren't even intending to arrest the guy, they just murdered him as he slept.

You think TRUTH is on your side?

Good. Let the the truth be known.

"needs to hold back the friends of Israel"

What friends? The US is all Israel has got left, and there are two Israeli spies sitting in prison today.

"innovative society side by side with a resentful, unproductive"

Hahaha - let me spell it out for you.

The United States depends on producers like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia for basic energy needs.

What does Israel produce the United States needs?

"but I don't see the slightest shift among Americans toward the Palestinians."

Then you've not been watching long enough. I have been. Norman Finkelstein has seen the change too. Back when I was in college, any criticism of Israel on campus was basically taboo. Is it today?

They are the future leaders of this nation.

Israel has 40 years MAXIMUM. Probably less, because the United States is headed into economic insolvency.

If China takes up the fight, it will be different, but China doesn't normally get involved in any conflicts outside of their nation. They are happy to work with any regime, as long as it's to their mutual benefit. It's because of Russia and China that Iran will never be attacked. It's because of China that Africa is finally being developed too.

You just don't have any idea what the rest of the world is doing, and what it thinks.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"adam62 - admire your truth-telling in the face of the totalitarian Left"

HAHAHA!

As I said before, people who divide the world up into left an right don't understand politics.

There's fact and fiction and that's all I care about when it comes to this conflict.

If you think Israel's problem is public relations, good, because you think deception and lying by omission will fix it's problem, and you'll continue trying to attack the problem that way. It's a sure way to lose.

Israel, if it wants to survive has to change. Either it's got to annex the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and give the inhabitants of each full citizenship in Israel, OR they have to divide the land up 50/50 and create a Palestinian state.

Those are the only 2 solutions, and with 1/2 million Jewish settlers in Jewish only settlements in the West Bank, it's not going to be division of land. Zionism will collapse just like Apartheid did, and segregation did in the United States.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I certainly don't deny that the anti-Israel forces of destruction might win, but that won't change the fact that that's all they are, forces of destruction, and of much more than Israel.

The first video, "uncovering" Israeli racism, is obviously tendentious; the second, with the stand-off with the girl is quite interesting, and it would be interesting to have some background on it. What you think it "proves" is not so clear.

I support the killing of Palestinian leaders who orchestrate suicide bombings--if you want to invent your own rules of warfare, others can play that game as well. Obviously, you need to kill the right people.

The Middle Eastern states have nothing but oil--they can't even extract and refine it by themselves. Israel has been making first class contributions to the electronics/information industry and is not a bad place to turn if you need advanced weaponry either. And didn't they just discover some oil or gas off the coast? I'm less confident in my own prophetic powers, or anyone else's for that matter, than you seem to be, but I can certainly say that if capitalism and democracy survive and expand, Israel will be fine; if not, Israel may well go down and so will much else.

Certainly, anti-Zionists are more comfortable and assertive on college campuses, especially elitist ones, than they were in the 80s--indeed, they now feel free to bully Jews of any kind. That's not exactly a representative sample of American society--the ISM fanatics have a long way to go before they become leaders of anything. But, of course, if Norman Finklestein says so, it must be true...

I'm quite willing to see the results of dueling translations of texts, images and videos from Palestinian society.

Obviously, here, we can't do the vetting, or bring in various translators. But it's telling that I've never seen Palestinian complaints about being represented as a Jew hating society--you would think such a libel would horrify them. Have you seen such protestations from them?

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"the story is pretty much the same: the Jews have been civilized, "

Oh, except for Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin.

Shamir had the UN mediator murdered in 1948 to prevent any chance of peace back then, and Menachem Begin had the King David Hotel blown up killing murdering 91 people.

Just because 2 of Israel's prime ministers were murderers, well, that doesn't mean Israel hasn't always been civilized, from the beginning...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Folke_Bernadotte

I notice that you guys that think "truth is on your side" are pretty light with links..

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"The first video, "uncovering" Israeli racism, is obviously tendentious;"

All anecdotal evidence is.

Is this though?

http://www.haaretz.com/news/arab-family-finally-to-get-an-ila-offer-for-a-katzir-plot-1.101647

Is a country that discriminates against it's citizens based on religion (or genetic inheritance) when they attempt to purchase land a western style democracy?

"the second, with the stand-off with the girl is quite interesting, and it would be interesting to have some background on it. What you think it "proves" is not so clear."

It shows what lengths Palestinians have to go through to prevent violence by IDF soldiers.

These soldiers were not threatened, but they were more than willing to use a gun to kill people, weren't they?

"I support the killing of Palestinian leaders who orchestrate suicide bombings--"

Funny, I support their arrest and if they are found guilty, in a court of law after they've been found guilty, with accompanying evidence then they can be imprisoned or even executed.

"The Middle Eastern states have nothing but oil--"

They have nothing but dictators supported by the West in charge. That's why the US had the Iranian democracy overthrown in 1953 with Operation Ajax and why a religious group formed to resist them, and this religious group's philosophy has been copied everywhere, because it was successful in overthrowing the US puppet dictatorship in 1979.

"Israel has been making first class contributions to the electronics/information industry"

I love when I hear this because I live and work in Silicon Valley. Google is about 5 miles from my house. AMD is about 2 miles as it Intel. Oracle is about 20 miles away, Yahoo is about 4 miles away, Netscape WAS about 4 miles from my house, and I'm surrounded by corporations you've never heard of but whose products you use, every day.

What's Israel got? Odigo? That's state sponsored and supported, and is widely suspected as being part of Israel's intelligence network.

Israel's supposed state of the art technology doesn't exist. It's a myth for people who don't work in the industry.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

""the story is pretty much the same: the Jews have been civilized, "

Oh, except for Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin.

Shamir had the UN mediator murdered in 1948 to prevent any chance of peace back then, and Menachem Begin had the King David Hotel blown up killing murdering 91 people.

Just because 2 of Israel's prime ministers were murderers, well, that doesn't mean Israel hasn't always been civilized, from the beginning...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Folke_Bernadotte

I notice that you guys that think "truth is on your side" are pretty light with links.."

Well, by "civilized" I certainly didn't mean that they never used violence, or used it excessively or unjustly--whose standard of civilization could that be? According to such criteria, there has never been a civilized society on the face of the earth--which is, ultimately, the point of these nihilistic arguments by the left and Islamists and their apologists (your liberal democracy is a fraud, etc.)

By "civilized," I mean they built institutions, an economy, a state, an army with a clear chain of command and a free society with a wide range of debate and parties represented in parliament, and peaceful and regular transfers of power. And the fact that even when the Haganah started arresting Begin's men and sunk a ship he had bringing in weapons for his own militia, and then allowed that militia to be integrated into the new Israeli army so as to avoid civil war in fact testifies to Begin's own rather high level of civilization--as does his legalistic bent of mind, which always engaged opposing arguments in a liberal (in the classical sense) manner.

Lehi was more disreputable and far more marginal than Begin's AZL; and Shamir's tenure as PM was undistinguished, but also very cautious and completely within the terms of Israeli democracy. In other words, the former terrorist could enter the system and play by its rules, and the system could emerge none the worse. That's another marker of civilization. When the Palestinians--or any Arab or Muslim state--accomplish anything close, it will be a day for celebration. When does Abbas's, or Hamas's, term in power end, by the way?

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Well, by "civilized" I certainly didn't mean that they never used violence, or used it excessively or unjustly--whose standard of civilization could that be? According to such criteria, there has never been a civilized society on the face of the earth--which is, ultimately, the point of these nihilistic arguments"

As I said before, this is just academic discussion at this point.

The Palestinians will either get 50% of the land, something that is impossible thanks to 1/2 million JEWISH ONLY settlers in JEWISH ONLY SETTLEMENTS on the West Bank

OR

Israel will annex at least the West Bank, and PROBABLY Gaza, and be forced to deal with the Palestinian population in those areas - and they will demand citizenship and public participation in government.

Removing 1/2 million settlers is impossible now - so there really is just one option:

That's implementation of UN Resolution 194, and rescinding UN Resolution 181.

People complaining about "Israel being treated unfairly in the press" or "The supposed myths being revived" - that's just pundits making wind. The eventual outcome is already known thanks to, paradoxically, a bunch of lunatic land thieves that thinks that "Gawd gave us this land!!"

Crazy people can't think very well apparently.

You idiots are so focused on "supporting Israel" you don't even know what it means to have Israel survive. To allow Israel to survive as a Jewish state, if you want that, it means dismantling all the settlements in the West Bank and giving up at least part of Jerusalem.

You don't even see that, you just mindlessly argue that "Israel good!".

Who cares? Morality has nothing to with this conflict at this point, there are population demographics and that's it. The Middle East already has 4 million Palestinian refugees scattered around inside of it, and this doesn't include Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza - they not going to absorb anymore, especially when the VAST MAJORITY of Palestinians that still live in the West Bank and Gaza are destitute and uneducated largely in part because of Israel's 62 year war on them.

Israel doesn't want to absorb them, but they will be forced to eventually, or they will have to impose a true apartheid state to control them.

Israel has already destroyed itself, now it's just waiting for the inevitable. They were very stupid, and this was very predictable. This is what Norman Finkelstein was ATTEMPTING to warn Israel about, along with Chomsky. They don't know crap about economics, but they understand politics and demographics.

Those two still hold out some hope, they are actual Zionists, they want to see a Jewish state - well, I estimate it's 4 years too late for that now.

Time will tell.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Lehi was more disreputable"

You better look up Lehi's members as well as the Irgun (they're practically synonymous) and do some research on who founded Likud.

Likud is just the politically wing of those 2 "marginal" groups - those 2 "marginal" groups has 2 prime ministers come from them.

If you don't realize that Likud is a bunch of militant nuts, well, have whatever stupid opinion you like. I don't care. I'm just telling you how it is, and what the inevitable result is.

No nation that has militarism at it's core will ever survive for long.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

yes, adam62, Israel's Leviathan offshore natural gas field is huge. Hezbollah intends to go to war over that.

Mahmoud Abbas is in the 73rd month of his 48th month term. His appointed PM Fayyaf cancelled local elections. Hamas is too busy hosting AlQaeda and attacking the French foreign minister to even think of ever holding elections again.

No Muslim "leader", elected or not, can EVER conduct good faith negotiations with ANY government of Israel.

Islam is inherently an imperialistic, intolerant ideology.

No palestinian will ever cede one square inch of Israel to even one Jew.

Just like no Kashmiri muslim can cede one square inch of Kashmir to a single Hindu.

" “Jews: Remember Khaibar. The army of Muhammad is coming back to defeat you.”
...
Muhammad attacked Jewish farmers living in the oasis community of Khaibar, in what is now Saudi Arabia. More than 600 Jews were killed and the survivors lost all their property and had to pledge half of their future crops to Muhammad.

Today, few Jews know the word Khaibar. But among certain Muslims it has permanent resonance. Khaibar set a precedent, endorsed by the actions of the Prophet. After Khaibar, non-Muslims who were conquered had to give up their property and pay heavy permanent tribute to their Muslim overseers. That form of discrimination lasted for centuries.
...

By the 1970s, about 800,000 Jews, perhaps more, had been forcibly exiled from Arab countries, their property seized. According to the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC), they lost property now valued at well over $100-billion.

A majority of these exiles settled in Israel. In the 1950s, the UN recognized them as refugees and compensation was discussed. Later, the Arab states turned the UN against Israel and, by association, against Jewish refugees.
...

The number of Jews displaced by the Arabs in the 20th century roughly equals the number of Palestinians displaced by Israel. But the plight of the Palestinians has received several hundred times as much publicity. One reason is the constant propaganda from Muslim states and their admirers in the West. ..."

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/08/28/robert-fulford-the-long-history-of-anti-semitism-in-muslim-lands/

Posted by: K2K2 | January 23, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A quick search yields the following from Freakonomics:

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/how-did-israel-become-start-up-nation/

"Israel has the highest density of tech start-ups in the world. More importantly, these start-ups attract more venture capital dollars per person than any country — 2.5 times the U.S., 30 times Europe, 80 times India, and 300 times China. Israel has more companies on the tech-oriented NASDAQ than any country outside the U.S., more than all of Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China combined. But it’s not just about start-ups. Scratch almost any major tech company — Intel, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Motorola, and so on — and you will find that Israeli talent and technology play a major role in keeping these multinational companies on the cutting edge. "

Sounds good to me.

Targeting those who coordinate suicide bombings for death without trial is legitimate--we're talking about war here, not garden variety crime.

So, the Muslim countries have only been able to overthrow dictators with fanatical religious movements, which, I suppose, is your argument for placing those countries in the vanguard of human history, or something?

The Ha-aretz story is of the Israeli Supreme Court overruling the the Jewish Agency's right to only sell land to Jews. Sounds good to me--the days when a special institution was needed to help Jews settle the land are long gone.

The girl didn't have to go to lengths--the soldiers obviously didn't want to hurt her. It's not clear what they were trying to do, or what their orders may have been. They seemed to be shooting into a crowd. When? Why? What were they shooting? There are obviously thousands of encounters between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians. This one doesn't tell us much, but it didn't seem like anything resembling a massacre.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"A quick search yields the following from Freakonomics:"

If you want to believe that Israeli is a high tech mecca - go ahead. I really don't feel like arguing about the field I work in with a layman. I did that once with Rob Enderle who wrote extensively about how SCO was going to own Linux.

Argument by authority (and is Freakonomic an authority?) isn't an argument. I work in the technology sector.

About the only thing I know Israel is doing is keeping Intel slightly ahead of AMD, largely in part to Russian émigrés. The USSR only got one thing right as far as I can tell, they had an excellent education system for science, but that was it. Probably other things, but you're no going to find a Google, a Microsoft, a Sun, an Oracle, or even a Yahoo, Cisco, or Sony.

The reason we have those here, is because in Silicon Valley, there are white people, Indian people, Chinese people, Russians, Arabs, Israelis, Europeans, even the odd Ozzie and Kiwi. Where I live, they don't care if you're Jewish, or Chinese, or white, or black, homosexual, heterosexual, atheist, Christian, Islamic, Hindi, Jain, or anything. Most companies don't even care if you do heroin, pot, cocaine, or meth.

They only care about if you can do the job. That's why Silicon Valley is the tech center of the planet. We aren't bigots at all, if you're bigot - you go out of business.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"That's implementation of UN Resolution 194, and rescinding UN Resolution 181."

Talk about solving problems through UN resolutions isn't "academic"? Whatever the "end" will be, I can confidently predict it won't come through the offices of the UN.

How nice of Chomsky and Finklestein to warn the evil Zionists. A warning to the Palestinians, that they will never get an inch of land back, nor will the "refugees" have an independent country to "return" to, if they don't find a way to form a realistic government not driven by hate, real fast, might be more pertinent. I think the demographics might work out fine, especially as Palestinians get to the point where they have to choose between individual participation in Israeli society and mindless "resistance"--clearly, though, Israel will have some tough decisions to make along the way. But they have no choice here--since the Palestinians have not gotten their act together yet, and since they are encouraged by the likes of fuzzy here who think that "demographics" ensures they never will have to, it's best to proceed on the assumption that they won't.

"Lehi was more disreputable"

You better look up Lehi's members as well as the Irgun (they're practically synonymous) and do some research on who founded Likud.

Likud is just the politically wing of those 2 "marginal" groups - those 2 "marginal" groups has 2 prime ministers come from them.

If you don't realize that Likud is a bunch of militant nuts, well, have whatever stupid opinion you like. I don't care. I'm just telling you how it is, and what the inevitable result is.

No nation that has militarism at it's core will ever survive for long."

Anti-Zionists have this bizarre theory of some eternal essence of Likudness at the core of all of Israel's most evil deeds. There was no Likud until way after the state was founded (it is actually a union of Begin's Herut party with the Liberal party, sometime in the early 60s, I think), and Zev Jabotinksy, the founder of Revisionist Zionism (of which Begin's AZL was the paramilitary wing) was very different from Avraham Stern, the founder of Lehi... And Netanyahu is also different, with his own political evolution... And not a single Likudnik, despite perennialhysterics from the Israel left, ever laid a finger on Israeli democracy. But why try to lay this all out? I have no interest in untangling the mythologies of anti-Zionism

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to believe that Israeli is a high tech mecca - go ahead."

Thanks! I will. I've been listening to prophecies of Israel's doom for 25 years already, and Israel just keeps getting stronger. The demographic scare is a scam but, like I said, the Israelis will have to find ways to balance ruthlessness towards terroristic violence with openness to Arabs as individuals. Unfortunately, the former has to take precedence, at least until Hamas and Hizbollah have been destroyed. Meanwhile, the Palestinians' only innovation has been in the field of human explosives. And I didn't really argue from authority--there are some numbers and claims there, which, like all information helpful to the zionists, may be fraudulent, but it fits what I've heard from lots of other sources, including Israelis I know in the high tech sector. But I agree: time will tell. I do know that the Palestinians, or any other Arab or Muslim society, is not even going to help Intel stay slightly ahead of AMD. Maybe they're too bigoted to let the Russions in. If you think that the Israelis running these industries in Tel Aviv care about race, gender, national origin, sexuality, etc., etc., then you don't know any of them.

I don't see how anyone looking at these societies could deny that Israeli society, whatever its flaws, is dynamic, flexible, self-critical and capable of changing and absorbing new energies; while the Palestinian society (and, for the most part, the rest of the Arab and Muslim world) is regressive, authoritarian and quick to blame others for all their problems. You see that even in the people who defend them. None of the pro-Palestinian commenters here have acknowledged a single criticism of the Palestinians--either they ignore them, or blame them on Israel or imperalisms--just like those countries themselves do.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Talk about solving problems through UN resolutions isn't "academic"? "

The UN is impotent.

I'm not saying the UN will solve the problem, I'm saying that's what UN Resolution 194 stated Israel will be forced to implement by demographic realities, and UN 181 will be repealed by Israel for the same reason.

"How nice of Chomsky and Finklestein to warn the evil Zionists"

Well, what do you expect to happen 30 years from now? Do you think the Palestinians are going to pack up and leave, and be absorbed into Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE?

It's been 63 years. Do you really think that's going to happen?

I expect that Israel will exercise complete dominance over the West Bank and Gaza, which is happening now and that eventually it will become absolutely obvious to even the dumbest person that Israel won't allow a 2 state solution. I expect the Palestinians will then start complaining about human rights, and equality, which they are now, and then start demanding participation in elections of Israel that control over their lives which is yet to come.

It's utterly obvious this will happen.

It has nothing to do with being "nice" as you put it. It's the only solution Israel has left to the Palestinians.

"A warning to the Palestinians, that they will never get an inch of land back"

I KNOW. That's why there's only a single solution.

"nor will the "refugees" have an independent country to "return" to,"

I KNOW. That's why there's only a single solution.

"I think the demographics might work out fine, especially as Palestinians get to the point where they have to choose between individual participation in Israeli society"

They ARE going to chose individual participation in Israeli society. Again that's why there's only a single solution.

Why is it you're even arguing with me? Can't you can't see the eventual outcome? What other outcome do you expect?

If the Palestinians don't ever get any land back, never have their own country, and demand participation in Israeli society, what do they become?

Israeli citizens. That's the only thing that CAN happen.

Palestinians will become Israeli citizens, eventually. Israel will probably go through an apartheid phase, until they are forced by simple demographics to abandon it.

What will this be? It's the reversal of 181 and the implementation of 194.

"Anti-Zionists have this bizarre theory of some eternal essence of Likudness at the core of all of Israel's most evil deeds."

Man, I just don't care to argue this either.

You know that Israel won't allow a Palestinian state, you know that Israel won't give land back to the Palestinians, and you know the Palestinians have a choice of being 3rd class citizens in an occupied territory OR they can demand complete participation in Israeli society. You know the Arab nations won't absorb any more Palestinians.

You know this, you said it yourself.

What is the only possible solution?

181 reverse, 194 implemented.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"I've been listening to prophecies of Israel's doom for 25 years already, and Israel just keeps getting stronger."

HAHAHA.

OK. If you think Israel is stronger than it's ever been, believe it.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, there is another possibility--Israel draws its borders unilaterally, including the vast majority of settlements (the blocs around Jerusalem) and whatever it needs for its security. Let the Palestinians carved out be a problem for Jordan and others. Leaving that aside, we have certainly narrowed down the problem to the integration of the West Bank Arabs (Gaza might just have to just be let go as a mini-state of its own) into Israeli society. It might, indeed, be better if everyone were to accept this development--the Palestinians might be able to start jettisoning their own fantasies, while the Israelis would certainly have a lot to discuss amongst themselves.

In the short-term, though, not much would change--if anything, the urgency of crushing the jihad, of utterly destroying Hamas and Hezbollah, is even greater. Maybe we could imagine a separate Palestinian state with a jihadist regime kept contained by Israel; we can't possibly imagine a substantial part of 2 million new Israeli citizens invested in such a cult (with an allied jihad regime just to the north). Jihadism must go the way of Nazism, and that's the first order of business in any case. For Israel, and utimately for us all.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"Well, there is another possibility--Israel draws its borders unilaterally, including the vast majority of settlements (the blocs around Jerusalem) and whatever it needs for its security."

OK, I want you to look at where settlements are located, because it's quite possible you have absolutely no idea where they are if you think this can be done.

Here they are:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Westbankjan06.jpg

See all the red areas? Those are Jewish settlements in the West Bank. I call them Jewish settlements because Christian and Muslim Israeli citizens are not allowed to live in them.


What was offered at Camp David was basically just what you described minus some additional land so that the West Bank was needlessly cut up into 3 sections, and so that the Palestinian state was entirely encapsulated by Israeli territory in each case.

Why didn't Israel unilaterally declare a Palestinian state then? Why doesn't Israel do it now? Why didn't Israel do it 10 years ago or 20 years ago? Why didn't Israel do this in 1967? Why not in 1948? Why would they do it in the future?

Even right now Israel continues expanding all their Jewish settlements.

Ask yourself: What are settlements for? Why are they in the MIDDLE of Palestinian territory? What is their function?

The answer is obvious, but my telling you what their only function could possibly be will just be met with mindless denial, so I want you describe what their purpose is. Defense? Is that what your going to say? I hope so, I'll have fun with that one.

"In the short-term, though"

Short term is irrelevant. That's the only way you idiots can think, in the short term. In the long term, what you morons don't realize is that you're going to eventually force Israel to do is repeal UN 181 and implement 194. You have 63 years of history to see that this is the course that Israel is on because you only want to think in the "short term."

Israel has delayed and stalled and claimed they wanted peace, as they built settlements and expanded their territory for 63 years.

The long term is, that Israel will continue to build more settlements and expand existing ones, until the Palestinians have absolutely no choice other than to simply demand Israeli citizenship, because they were be no Palestinian land left.

There goes your Jewish majority. Finkelstein and Chomsky will be appalled and tell you this was inevitable. I won't be appalled. This is what should have happened in the first place.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I thought we were past all this. The map shows all of the Jewish settlements, but not by population. I'm not sure of the numbers but the vast majority of Israeli residents of the West Bank live very close (5-10 miles) to Israel, a great many right around Jerusalem. Some settlements--those most heavily populated--are essentially bedroom communities, suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Their reason for existing is cheap land for people to build homes and communities on. The Palestinians would have to live with them, and in a genuine peace deal, compensatory land exchanges could be made. Other settlements go back to the Labor governments after the 1967 war and the Allon Plan which insisted that certain land could never be returned, except for security reasons. And then there are the more strictly ideological settlements, like in Hebron, which could most easily be dismantled if necessary.

There was really no way to prevent Israeli growth into the areas conquered in 67. The Arab states made it clear immediately after the war that they had no plans to make peace, before any settlements. Why should the Israelis just sit on the land hoping for something to happen which their enemies swear never will? Or, more precisely, why should any Israeli government, or political tendency, resist the inevitable pressures from Israel's own ideological, security and demographic-economic concerns, when exchanging the land for peace seemed impossible anyway? Bulding settlements there, in fact, was probably the only thing that forced the Arab states, and ultimately the Palestinians themselves, to even consider political talks--why talk if you have nothing to lose and can hope to wait out the other side?

There are various asymmetries to be accounted for in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations--among them is the fact that Israel cannot give away territory it considers essential to its survival, and the vulnerabilities Israel assesses include not just the Palestinians but the entire Arab, even Muslim world--none of which the Palestinians have to worry about. Creative negotiations would have to take that into account and find ways to make it worth the Palestinians' while to address Israel's concerns (e.g., Israeli-Palestinian joint economic ventures). The Palestinians have never shown the slightest ability to engage in such creative negotiations.

Anyway, I don't know what to say to someone who considers the short term irrelevant--such a stance seems to me insane, since the short-term is where we live, and you can't talk demographics with jihadists. They have to be crushed before we can talk.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, I thought we were past all this. The map shows all of the Jewish settlements, but not by population. I'm not sure of the numbers but the vast majority of Israeli residents of the West Bank live very close (5-10 miles) to Israel, a great many right around Jerusalem. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlement#Demographics

If you were actually interested in what the demographics were, I wonder why you didn't look them up?

"Their reason for existing is cheap land for people to build homes and communities on."

Really?

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/settlements-have-cost-israel-17-billion-study-finds-1.265190

That's a new one.

Why should it be cheaper to maintain a group of roads to Jewish settlements in the middle of Palestinian land, when they are surrounded by hostile people, and to run all the check points that are necessary to allow or deny access to the roads?

Why would that be cheaper than, say, building settlements on the border of Israel and what is Palestinian land?

Why is it cheaper to put them all over what remains of Palestinian land? I'm keen to hear this BS.

"There was really no way to prevent Israeli growth into the areas conquered in 67. "

Sure there is.

End US aid. That will put an end to it quickly. That's 3 billion dollars a year that Israel suddenly won't have to maintain 6 million people. That's $500 a head.

But it won't happen, you're basically right, and the settlements will grow and Palestinians will give up any hope of a nation, and demand Israeli citizenship.

"Why should the Israelis just sit on the land hoping for something to happen which their enemies swear never will?"

They shouldn't sit on land at all.

They should have unilaterally declared a Palestinian state but they didn't.

They didn't because Israel is interested in expansion, that's all they are interested in.

Are you so seriously deluded that you really believe that settlements are being built for affordable housing? Such a ludicrous and pathetic excuse, it doesn't change the demographics or facts.

The settlements will grow, there will be more of them - what will the Palestinian population be FORCED TO DO eventually, given that reality that YOU believe in?

"creative negotiations."

Blah blah blah.

Who cares?

You and I agree on what is happening. You and I agree settlements will get bigger.

What's the eventual outcome? I'd like to see you postulate on that. Extermination of the Palestinian population? Ethnic cleansing of them?

To where pray tell?

And to be CLEAR: I don't CARE about the morality of this situation. It doesn't matter, I care only about the results of what is going on.

"such a stance seems to me insane"

HAHAHAHAHA!

Insane is saying you want to save the Israeli state and destroying it though myopic short term planning.

Many people realize that the settlements are going to destroy Israel as a Jewish nation. Anybody with brains does.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"Israel has delayed and stalled and claimed they wanted peace, as they built settlements and expanded their territory for 63 years."

I just noted this reference to 63 years-- obviously you are referring to the founding of the state and it's hard to imagine in what sense Israel was "building settlements and expanding their territory" from 48-67. But this slippage from a post-67 settlement to a revision of the 48 one is certainly one of those reasons Israel has been highly cautious about negotiations, and, until very recently (1993), preferred to keep matters in their own hands.

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"I just noted this reference to 63 years-- obviously you are referring to the founding of the state and it's hard to imagine in what sense Israel was "building settlements and expanding their territory" from 48-67."

Are you serious?

Start with reading UN Resolution 194. That was passed in 1948. It instructed Israel to allow Arabs that fled their homes to be allowed to return to them. That was the first UN Resolution that Israel violated, and they did it in 1948, in the same year that the same UN created Israel.

Do you know what the map of Israel looked like by 1950?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/v3_israel_palestinians/maps/html/israel_founded.stm

There you can see what was originally given to Israel by the UN and what it became, 2 years later. You can click through if you want to see more.

Are you really this ignorant, or are you just throwing crap at the fan so avoid any salient discussion?

You and I both agree that settlements will grow, that settlements will not be removed, and there won't ever be a Palestinian state.

What will happen to the Palestinians then?

Any theories? I told you what I expect to happen - apartheid state for a bit, demands from the Palestinians then later to the world for full rights, then implementation of 194.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 23, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

""Their reason for existing is cheap land for people to build homes and communities on."

Really?

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/settlements-have-cost-israel-17-billion-study-finds-1.265190

That's a new one.

Why should it be cheaper to maintain a group of roads to Jewish settlements in the middle of Palestinian land, when they are surrounded by hostile people, and to run all the check points that are necessary to allow or deny access to the roads?"

What I'm referring to are places like Ma-ale Adumim, which is a five minute drive from Jerusalem and is far from the middle of Palestinian land. It's a suburb of Jerusalem. It's hard to figure out the exact numbers on a quick search, but Ma-ale Adumim has about 35,000 people, and there seem to be at least 5-6 equivalent towns in the Jerusalem or Tel Aviv area. Excluding East Jersualem, which I don't consider a settlement, that means that over half the settlers are essentially commuters. They didn't move for ideological reasons but, as I said, cheaper housing then they could get in Jersualem or Tel-Aviv; and a more suburban lifestyle. They are not causing any harm to the Palestinians, don't take anything from them, don't confront them, and could in fact be a source of economic development for them.

Again, though, you are getting more hysterical, just when we have narrowed down the problem. Why all the recriminations? There was another side in all this, who also could have behaved differently at many points along the way, but, again, so what? Each side thought they had time on their side, and each used the intervening time in the way they thought would maximize their advantages, even if not always in an entirely conscious way. At some point, Hamas will have to be utterly defeated, and Hizbollah too. You want to avoid that issue, it seems, for the "long term" speculations, but Israel certainly can't. Once the Palestinians realize that the path of terror and the dream of destroying Israel can only lead to catastrophe, well, as you say, maybe they'll start applying for Israeli citizenship. It will be an interesting dilemma for the Israelis, and I don't know how they'll lay the groundwork for it. Perhaps that where the idea of loyalty oaths for new naturalized Israeli citizens is coming from--again, at a somewhat unconscious level. But the idea is an interesting one--why not build on this agreement: what would you say to the Palestinians to prepare them for such an eventuality, and to help bring it about as painlessly, even agreeably, as possible? And what should I say to the Israelis (again, in our respective, imaginary roles as political midwifes)?

Posted by: adam62 | January 23, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"What I'm referring to are places like Ma-ale Adumim, which is a five minute drive from Jerusalem and is far from the middle of Palestinian land. It's a suburb of Jerusalem."

Well, I'm not.

I'm talking about places like Ariel, which is in the middle of the West Bank.

Beitar Illit, which also is in the middle of the West Bank.

Want to go through all of them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_statistics_for_Israeli_West_Bank_settlements

They are all mapped on maps.google.com.

If the purpose of settlements are "cheap bedroom communities" - why would ANY of them be in the middle of Palestinian land?

Why wouldn't they all be on the border?

You see, you're interested in winning the argument. You said a ridiculous thing, and now you're just going to defend it like it's a debate. You're not interested in understanding the situation.

If the point of West bank settlements was to provide cheap affordable housing, they'd all be on the Israeli/West Bank border.

But they aren't - that's not the purpose of them. Even settlers wouldn't make your claim.

"Again, though, you are getting more hysterical"

Again, blah blah blah.. Who cares?

* Settlements won't be removed, you've said this.
* Settlements will continue to expand, you've said this.
* Palestinians will not get a nation, you've also said this.


What will happen to the Palestinian population then as settlements grow, and if there is no land reserved for a Palestinian state?

"At some point, Hamas will have to be utterly defeated, and Hizbollah too. "

How can you not understand that some other organization will simply replace it. Just like Hamas replaced Fatah?

Hamas isn't some Palestinian government organization that indoctrinates people it's just the organization that the Palestinians now chose mostly to join to resist.

They will always resist, because not resisting just makes them lose land more quickly. If Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah, all stopped existing today, tomorrow there would be a new group, calling themselves something else, doing the same exact thing.

Is it possible you really don't understand that? You think by destroying the heads of these organizations, that something will happen.

Just what do you expect to happen if they were destroyed? I'd like to hear this too.

"You want to avoid that issue, it seems,"

It's NOT an issue. Getting rid of them isn't going to do anything.

"Once the Palestinians realize that the path of terror and the dream of destroying Israel can only lead to catastrophe"

What do you mean "catastrophe"?

Genocide?

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 24, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"If the purpose of settlements are "cheap bedroom communities" - why would ANY of them be in the middle of Palestinian land?

Why wouldn't they all be on the border?"

Most of the town are withing easy driving distance of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, including Betar Illit, which is 6.2 miles away from Jerusalem. It's a mostly Haredi, and part of its purpose is clearly to relieve the extreme population pressure on the Haredi communities in Israel.

As for Ariel, according to Wikepedia,

"The leader of this group, Ron Nachman, chose the spot because of its strategic location on a possible Jordanian invasion route towards Israel's main population centre of Tel Aviv. In the spring of 1978, some of the group's men erected tents on the chosen hilltop, and in August 1978, a total of forty families came to live."

A lot of places for settlements were probably chosen for such reasons.

Again, the Israelis didn't sit still while they were occupying territory they had won in a defensive war, against an enemy that was as intransigent after the war as before it--and, indeed, two of whom launched another war 6 years later (which certainly strengthened the hand of those who wanted to keep and buuld on the territories.)

As you say, the real question is, what will happen? You think the Palestinians will and should maintain, and when necessary, building new terror organizations; I think the Palestinians should start building civil and economic organizations and institutions. They'll only start doing the latter when they are shunned for doing the former. Meanwhile, the Israelis have no choice but to defend themselves, and will ultimately, be believe, be faced with the problem of a larger war with the terror groups. But there might be a long process whereby the Israelis build defensive systems enabling them to keep out suicide bombers without intervening in the West Bank and keep out missiles without too much fighting in either area so that they can just ignore the Palestinians altogether. Maybe that would provide the impetus for Palestinian rethinking and alternative political development. Right now they and their supporters seem to be betting on a catastrophic Israeli collapse (within 40 years, you said)--well, if that's what you're betting on, lay your bet and do what you like.

Posted by: adam62 | January 24, 2011 7:14 AM | Report abuse

"Most of the town are withing easy driving distance of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, including Betar Illit, which is 6.2 miles away from Jerusalem. It's a mostly Haredi, "

Yes, blah blah.

You didn't answer the question.

You can make as many assertions as you want, and I notice you do it without proof, here's the population demographics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_statistics_for_Israeli_West_Bank_settlements

Here's what they cost to maintain, 17 billion dollars:

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/settlements-have-cost-israel-17-billion-study-finds-1.265190

I have a question for you, a personal one. Do you feel any shame about shamelessly lying to support Israel?

Do you find it interesting that you have to lie to support a cause?

Do you think it's possible that it's necessary to lie, because it's not a good cause?


I couldn't IMAGINE being like you. You don't have any integrity at all. You think this is just a debate. There's 2.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, they share it with 500 thousand settlers who are there illegally.

Do you know what Israel's justification for it not being illegal? It's because there isn't a "sovereign Palestine". If there was a Palestinian state, settlements couldn't expand.

Settlement activity is DIRECTLY related to Israel's refusal to allow a Palestinian state to come into existence because their entire legal argument on why they aren't illegal is based on a Palestinian state not existing.


Settlements are are spread all over the West Bank, here's a map again:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Westbankjan06.jpg

Because Israel intends to annex the entire area. What do they plan to do with the Palestinian population that already lives there?


You can make up as much fantasy as you want, but those, you know are the facts. I don't see much point in arguing with you if you are just going to insist that the reason settlements exist is to make cheap housing, and they don't matter, since they are all supposedly on the border of Israeli anyhow.

If the were true - just close down the settlements that ARE in the middle of the West Bank - but that won't happen either, because the purpose of settlements is a Greater Israel, which Israeli textbooks up until recently taught were always part of Israel since 1948.

I know as much about this conflict as you do, and you know why people like you are the greatest obstacle to survival of Israel? Because you want to believe in hocus pocus and fantasy. The only thing that keeps Israel intact is US military co-operation, and they will end when the world reserve currency standard changes. You can thank Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan for that.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 24, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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