Guest Post by Amjad Atallah: Hamas Again Accepts a Palestinian State on the 1967 Lines

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meshal483.jpg
Amjad Atallah directs the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Hamas Chief Khaled Meshaal told Jay Solomon and Julien Barnes-Dacey in an interview that “We along with other Palestinian factions in consensus agreed upon accepting a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. This is the national program. This is our program. This is a position we stand by and respect.” Meshaal also insisted that Hamas would commit to an immediate reciprocal cease-fire with Israel and a prisoner swap.
Anti-Hamas activists will note that he also insisted that he would accept and respect a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders “as part of a broader peace agreement with Israel” if Israel accepted the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees and the establishment of a capital for the Palestinian state in East Jerusalem.
But what is fascinating is that Meshaal has in fact, parroted the official negotiating position of the PLO and of Fatah. Even though a number of PLO leaders have privately admitted to Israelis that they might forgo the right of return in exchange for the 1967 borders, this has never been the official negotiating position and even President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly stuck to the line that there needs to be a “just and agreed” resolution of the refugee issue. On East Jerusalem, there is no daylight between the Hamas and PLO position.
Most importantly, Meshaal seems to be indicating that Hamas now endorses the US attempt to negotiate an end to the occupation.
In the past, Hamas’ position has been that that they would allow President Abbas, as leader of the PLO, to negotiate while they remained the pious opposition, undoubtedly back-biting his attempts to conclude an agreement and presenting the results as a sell-out. It was politics at its most cynical. But in Friday’s WSJ piece, Meshaal is quoted saying “Hamas and other Palestinian groups are ready to cooperate with any American, international or regional effort to find a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, to end the Israeli occupation and to grant the Palestinian people their right of self-determination.”
If Meshaal is truly speaking on behalf of all of Hamas (and Hamas is much better at speaking with a unified voice than most Palestinian parties), then he is actually endorsing President Obama’s efforts to quickly negotiate an end to the conflict and is offering Hamas “cooperation” in that regard.
A few months ago, I was in Israel and the Occupied Territory. Many of the Israeli officials with whom I met insisted that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah wanted them to continue the siege on the civilians in Gaza in order to maintain pressure on Hamas. But in meetings with members of Salaam Fayyad’s new cabinet, including Fatah members, they were adamant that this wasn’t true.
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, Minister of National Economy Bassem Khoury insisted that the best way to promote peace and the legitimacy of their government was to flood the Gaza Strip with commercial goods, food, and reconstruction equipment. Minister of Public Works Mohamed Shtayyeh, a prominent Fatah leader, agreed and noted that the best and only way to compete with Hamas was in the realm of politics. He had been and remained confident that Fatah could more than hold its own against Hamas if the United States was serious about negotiating an end to the occupation. (You can see an interview my colleague Steve Clemons did with him some months ago here.) Fatah is scheduled to host its Sixth Congress next week which will elect a new generation of leaders (and undoubtedly reaffirm some of the old generation). This may only strengthen their self-confidence.
It seems the divide among Palestinians is evolving. It may end up not being between Hamas and Fatah – both of whom are now on record supporting President Obama’s efforts to negotiate an end to the occupation with the common negotiating stance that “justice” needs to be ensured for the refugees and East Jerusalem must become the Palestinian capital. The divide may be between those in Palestinian society who trust the democratic process to ensure the best Palestinian leaders rise to positions of authority and those who remain unconvinced of their own skills or their party’s.
This is an excellent time for the United States government to begin finding ways to cement this progress (and maybe to quietly thank all those European and American statesmen who played a role in getting us this far) and to leverage it into the upcoming negotiations.
– Amjad Atallah

Comments

78 comments on “Guest Post by Amjad Atallah: Hamas Again Accepts a Palestinian State on the 1967 Lines

  1. arthurdecco says:

    Psychopathological Monsters, POA.
    …and not a peep from TWN officialdom…

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Has anyone ever used “Off”, the insect repellent?
    I notice that the truth seems to have the same effect on Nadine that “Off” has on gnats and mosquitos.
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/6754/
    Yesterday August 8 2009 at noon, about 40 ultra-orthodox jewish squatters, the Israeli terrorists generally known as “Siknaj”, attacked the tent of the Al-Ghawi family and beat and wounded four members of these families, who were forcibly expelled from their own house on last 2 August 2009.
    The criminal settlers, or “Siknaj”, were wearing black talars and hats, and used stones, sticks, and chairs in their criminal attack. The victims were three children aged between 10 – 13 and a woman. One of them was left bleeding in critical condition.
    Naser Al-Gawi, one of those robbed of his house by the israeli government, said that a large detachment of Israeli police came to the place of the assault, and that rather than preventing the criminal attacks of the Siknaj, they protected them and arrested Khaled Al- Gawi, aged 40, another victim of the israeli theft. Al-Gawi denied that his family had provoked the Siknaj settlers. He said that the settlers wanted to remove their tents, which they set up near their houses, which are now occupied by the siknaj. He confirmed that he will not leave the area until he is able to return to his house.

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmericans says:

    Backed by their army, settlers bid for expansion in three locations
    Ma’an News
    August 8, 2009
    Hebron ? Ma?an ? Israeli settlers launched a series of actions on Friday in a bid to take over more West Bank land from Palestinians.
    In the city of Hebron settlers began planting Palestinian-owned land under military guard in an apparent takeover attempt. Settlers from the illegal Israeli colony of Kiryat Arba moved on to land belonging to Muhammad Mustafa Jaber, in the Al-Beqa?a area, outside of Hebron.
    Jaber told Ma?an Israeli soldiers blocked his family from reaching the land. A similar incident took place last week when soldiers cordoned off his land to make way for the settlers? activities.
    In a separate incident dozens of Israeli military vehicles closed the village of Kfil Haris, north of the West Bank town of Salfit, Thursday as they escorted a group of settlers through the area, locals reported.
    Shop owners were ordered to close, families out for evening strolls were told to return to their homes and all car traffic in the village was ground to a halt and drivers stranded at the village entrance as troops spread across the area.
    Kfil Haris resident Karam Abu Hammad said troops ordered him to leave his car at the entrance of the city and proceed on backloads on foot. On his way home he was ordered off the streets by half a dozen other soldiers.
    Israeli troops erected checkpoints throughout the village to ensure locals stayed indoors as a herd of settlers entered the area on busses to visit an area that villagers recognize as a holy shrine to the Prophet Zel Kefl, an ancient local religious figure. The area is surrounded by a village graveyard.
    In years past settlers defaced the shrine and nearby tombs with anti-Arab slogans and spray paint, but Thursday night made a pilgrimage to worship at the area.
    Meanwhile, in the town of Beit Sahour, outside of Bethlehem, Ma?an reporters observed settler activists converging on an abandoned Israeli military base they are seeking to transform into a settlement. Settler groups have been holding weekly events at the hilltop base, including religious services, lectures, and martial arts trainings, all under heavy military guard.
    http://uruknet.com/?p=m56763&hd=&size=1&l=e

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants & even their beasts.” -Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director Tsomet Inst
    Israeli Haaretz, 3/26/2008
    “We must use Terror, Assassination, land confiscation, & the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population” -Israel Koenig, The Koenig Memorandum
    ‘Let us Hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get Rid of our troubles & acquire our space”-Moshe Dayan, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    jdledell,
    If you saw such terrible incidents in the WB, why didn’t you report them to HRW? They hate Israel, and would have moved heaven and earth to investigate and make the loudest outcry possible.
    One party cannot make a peace agreement. It takes two. It is not in Israel’s power to make a peace agreement when the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want one. Fatah’s conference just confirmed that their goal, like Hamas’, is to liberate every inch of Palestine from the river to the sea. Now you blame Israel for “on again, off again” peace offers. How about the non-existent peace offers from the Palestinian side? In the real world, you have to take advantage of your chances and be realistic if you want peace. The Palestinian leadership never have. They always demand far more than they can hope to get and refuse to make any compromise. Meanwhile they educate their people for war, not compromise. I can only conclude they don’t want any form of Palestine next to Israel because they are not ready to give up on Palestine INSTEAD of Israel. Their own words and deeds support this view. They are certainly being very well paid to stay as they are. Whoever suffers, it’s not them! As for their people, they don’t answer to them. They are not democrats and they don’t even need to collect taxes.
    What do your relatives in Ariel think of your views?

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    Why not his toes? She already licked everything else.

    Reply

  7. Outraged American says:

    Wolf Blitzer worked for the Jerusalem Post AND AIPAC IIRC: that’s
    all you need to know about the Zionist bent of US media.
    Well, that and watch Paula Zahn interview Netanyahu. I swear she
    was going to take off his shoes and lick his toes.

    Reply

  8. arthurdecco says:

    I apologize, Neo Controll, for misreading your post. And I thank you for the graciousness displayed in your reply to my heavy-handed response to it.

    Reply

  9. jessica says:

    This is an excellent time for the United States government to begin finding ways to cement this progress.
    ___________________
    Jessica
    No Credit Checks instant Payday Loans

    Reply

  10. Neo Controll says:

    Arthur, you totally misread my meaning, or I totally failed to communicate it.
    Sorry ’bout that (hint: “troll” refers to ‘Nadine’.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Arthur, I think you might of misinterpreted Neo’s comment.

    Reply

  12. arthurdecco says:

    Pick and choose your excerpts much, Neo Controll? …for personal advantage, I mean?
    I’d recommend you dig a little deeper into Nadine’s prodigious output of right wing Israeli propaganda before you post in her defense again.
    …and Carroll? What fool argues with self-evident truth? (wink)

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    There is a simple..and very honest way if we are honest.. for Americans to think about Israel and people like Nadine.
    Ask yourself what if, in 1948, the Jew’s or Zionist vision promised land and solution to the holocuast had been giving them Virgina or California for a Jewish State? And they had done the same thing in expanding and confiscating land for their State as they have done in Palestine?
    A Jewish state would have most likely have been the shortest footnote in history. Americans would have no doubt wiped them out. Other countries and peoples are no exception, everywhere people will fight and die for their own land if they have the means to.

    Reply

  14. Neo Controll says:

    . . . to wit, and touche Arthur:
    ‘Nadine” : “I demand you look at the behavior of BOTH sides and judge them by the SAME standard.”
    . . . troll much?
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  15. Neo Controll says:

    . . . to wit, and touche Arthur:
    ‘Nadine” : “I demand you look at the behavior of BOTH sides and judge them by the SAME standard.”
    . . . troll much?
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  16. arthurdecco says:

    When I see the sheer volume of prose offered up here on TWN as appeals to Nadine’s better nature I shake my head with disbelief.
    Judging her by her output, Nadine doesn’t have a better nature. Nadine’s nature is as base as the basest of natures can be!
    Nadine’s only purpose here seems to be to force us to take our eyes off the ball.
    She’s not here to calmly convince or charmingly cajole us into adopting her sunny, rose-colored view of those racist, bigoted Israelis who are at present systematically terrorizing the world’s weakest, least powerful citizens. She’s not here to win us over with reason. How could she be? Reason is obviously alien to her. As a matter of fact, I’m almost certain somewhere behind the furiously-posting Nadine’s of the world there’s a research paper (or two or ten) that have been written identifying the techniques that can most effectively dilute the outrage brought on by the terrorist acts of the Israeli Likudnik-led hordes or by those who plainly support their evil deeds and intentions. Too bad for her side she’s not as good as she would have been before at obfuscation and misdirection…since we now have more reliable alternatives to our then-usual sources of information. Still, judging by the sheer volume and tone of the outrage she regularly elicits with her prodigious output of pooey goo, she is succeeding in her own limited way. She slows us down by sabotaging these threads. And in doing so wins another small victory for the Dark Side.
    Judging by the output of lies, half-truths and plain racist commentary she piles high around the core of stubborn self-delusion that defines her as much as her murderous inclinations, I would think our efforts would be better spent discussing these issues with each other, consciously excluding her bat-shit crazy screeds from the conversation. Because, as POA previously stated, Nadine is indeed bat-shit crazy if she believes what she writes. It doesn’t matter if her postings are calculatingly laid out or involuntarily expectorated… There’s no getting around that.

    Reply

  17. arthurdecco says:

    I don’t know what browser you’re using, POA, but with Firefox I go to “Tools”, click on “Options”, click on “Show Cookies” and then remove the cookies I don’t need every time I enter or leave a web site. I’ve noticed that since I’ve started doing that I don’t get hung up so much. I hope that info helps.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, this is one of those times I have to eat my words. A reboot has apparently mended a glitch on MY end that was not allowing me to access the comments at the Jerusalem Post. I guess I gotta apologize to the cyberspace Gods if I’m gonna feel halfway good about my self….

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres an interesting “occurrence”…
    Earlier today, I commented on the Jerusalem Post website about the e. J’lem evictions. I was criitical of Israel, and the commenters, and made reference to the billions we send them annually, and the fact that criticism of Israel is becoming more mainstream in the United States.
    Well, my comment was posted, and apparently has recieved a number of rebuttals. Trouble is, the Jerusalem Post has blocked me from actually reading the comments. If I click on the comment links, the page merely “blinks”, and does not bring up the comment. So the paper has allowed rebuttal to my comment, yet has blocked me from being able to respond to the rebuttals.
    A media entity that engages in such censorship and manipulation of debate obviously cannot be trusted to carry the truth to the people.
    Here is a link to get to the censored Jerusalem Post thread….
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1249418530852&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    If you look to the left of the article, you will see a small box inviting comment, labeled “Talkback”. My comment was placed on the “US complains to Oren over e. J’lem eviction” thread. Look for a comment entitled “The billions we send you…”
    If any of you care to, I’d appreciate you cross-posting my TWN comment on the thread, so that the JP censors realize that they are not acting covertly, and so that the posters know their debate content is being censored.

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    regarding the stolen ambulances allegation – nadine quote “”after the IDF claimed..”” they have claimed a lot of things and lied as well… at this point there claims are almost as worthless as yours nadine..

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    There have been gross abuses from both sides – a fact you never
    acknowledge. Your “demand to look at BOTH sides” is just talk,
    just propagandistic bullshit. According to your indoctrinated
    brain, the Palestinian abuses are “REAL”, while the Israeli abuses
    are either minor, or distorted propaganda from the enemy – or a
    necessary and reasonable response to enemy abuses. That`s is
    how you want us to see things – with one eye closed.
    Yet you have the schutzpah to blame others of being biased.

    Reply

  22. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I wish just for once you would admit that some Israelis and the IDF have committed outrageous acts of gratuitous violence against innocent Palestinians. I have been going back and forth to Israel for 52 years and I am in Ariel as I write this. Since I am a dual citizen with an Israeli passport I can travel freely in the West Bank. In all the years of occupation, I have personally witnessed all the atrocities that are familiar to everyone in the West Bank.
    I have seen the settlers (including a nephew) chopping down olive trees. I have seen both settlers and the IDF having target practice against Palestinian sheep, including picking up the dead animals and having a feast back at the settlement. I have seen Palestinian carts of olives and other produce overturned at checkpoints and systematically crushed by IDF vehicles. I have watched babies born at checkpoints after the woman have stood for hours in the blazing sun. I have watched teenage settlers humiliate Palestinian men at the point of a gun making the man walk on all fours and bark like a dog.
    Several years ago, I watched an IDF soldier at a checkpoint walk up to a young Palestinian father at a checkpoint line and piss on his shoes. When the man instinctively took a swing at the soldier, he stepped back and emptied his gun into
    the Palestinian’s chest. I was with my IDF nephew, a captain, who was in charge of the checkpoint and made sure the entire episode was hushed up and justified.
    I would say that I have witnessed close to 1000 inexcusable acts in my years in the West bank. I love the idea of Israel as the Jewish homeland. I want a country of our own where we can flourish in the fullfillment of our religion. Yet I cry for the Israel I dream of since over the years I have seen her steadily lose her soul. There is a callousness that is hardening our hearts to the point I am afraid G-d will no longer recognize us.
    You can try to justify all these acts as defensive. I know too much and have seen too much to believe it. If you spent any time in the West Bank you too would understand. Most Israelis do not understand. Most Israelis never in their lifetime ever set foot in the west bank. To them they could not tell you where Ariel, Bat Ayin or Kiryat Arba are on a map.
    I understand the complete and total power Israel has over the Palestinians and understand it is within Israel’s power to make a peace agreement happen. No more “now you see it, now you don’t” peace offers that have characterized every negotiation from Oslo to Wye River to Camp David to Taba to Annapolis.
    Nadine, given your interest in this subject I assume you are Jewish. So like you, Jews are MY FAMILY. What arab families do or don’t do is of interest to me but it is not critical. I don’t care if Saudia Arabia is good bad or indifferent. If one of my kids came to me have done something bad, do you think I care if he tries to justify it by saying some other kid at school held up a liquor store and thus by comparison what he did was not so bad? You would not either so stop with your comparisons because for you Jews should be family also.
    I will continue to raise my voice in love and anger over Israel’s transgressions because thats what should be done with family.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    Thank goodness for people like Dov Yermiya, who has a Sabra’s strength of character to call it like it is: http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/dear-dov-yermiya
    “I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,
    “Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions…”
    I’m sure Nadine will have some choice words for someone with such honesty and integrity.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    “you are the one demanding of us to ignore the
    abuses committed by the Israelis”
    You are the one ignoring the REAL abuses committed by the Palestinians. Using an ambulance as a car bomb is a war crime. When one side uses ambulances as car bombs, it makes the other side examine ambulances at the checkpoints, despite harm that the delay may do to legitimate patients. Why do YOU demand that this behavior be ignored? Why judge Israel as if its behavior was in a vacuum, as if it had decided to install checkpoints just to be mean, instead of defending themselves from a real threat? This is a perversion of judgment.
    I demand you look at the behavior of BOTH sides and judge them by the SAME standard.
    BTW, Hamas just stole 3 ambulances from UNWRA. They don’t have any legitimate need for them. You think Hamas intends to open an ambulance service? Not likely. But for smuggling weapons and fighters, or making ambulance-bombs (great for that second suicide bomb after the first responders have begun to gather) ambulances are great, and that’s what Hamas uses them for.
    _________________________________________
    “JPost.com » Israel » Article
    Aug 5, 2009 21:19
    IDF: Hamas seized 3 UNRWA ambulances
    The security establishment had some scathing criticism for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday after the IDF claimed that three ambulances that were transferred to the organization some two weeks ago were seized by Hamas.
    According to the army, a short time after the ambulances arrived in Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Hamas gunmen overpowered the drivers and took control of the vehicles. The IDF noted that UNRWA failed to report the incident.”

    Reply

  25. Paul Norheim says:

    “…with your demands that Israel alone observe these nicities.”
    Questions never made such demands, and you know that. You
    are the one calling houses of worship and medical facilities
    “niceties”; you are the one demanding of us to ignore the
    abuses committed by the Israelis. Your language reveals the
    depth of your moral corruption: by calling medical facilities
    “niceties”, you are in no position to blame the Palestinians for
    causing the death of innocent civilians – your moral compass
    has corroded.
    Will you ever realize that your sickening mixture of bigoted
    anti-Islamic arguments, contempt for “the Arabs”, and militant
    defense of Zionism and the brutalities of Israel is
    counterproductive on this blog? Of course not. Because you`ve
    lost an eye in that perpetual war of yours. You`re a product of
    conflict, you`re defined by your adversaries, completely
    dependent on having enemies, completely unable to talk outside
    the paranoid context of being “surrounded by enemies”.
    Thus your utterly insane accusations of Obama running the
    errand of Hamas, even Achmedinejad, with the references to
    Holocaust in his Cairo speech; thus your sick and distorted
    perception of Questions being a defender of the “enemy”.
    Do you sincerely believe that your brutal and bigoted racist
    language will convince ONE reader of this blog that Israel wants
    peace?

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    “Policy in the ME is determined by an unstable concatenation of all of these groups. Toss in congressional procedure, habit of taking familiar positions, and whatever else, and you have a policy machine.”
    questions, Only elements you have left out are the actual realities on the ground in the ME. But come to think of it, you’re quite right – reality doesn’t influence ME policy in Washington at all.
    I do know that some Palestinians have died waiting in checkpoints. However, many more people, both Arabs and Jews, would have died if Israel began waving ambulances through. Hamas doesn’t observe the neutrality of medical facilities or houses of worship. That is the point you cannot see, with your demands that Israel alone observe these nicities.
    And why don’t pregnant women have facilities in Gaza? Ans: Hamas prefers them to suffer on checkpoints – anytime time one of them dies, it’s a victory for Hamas. Same reason they set up rocket launchers next to UN facilities. Because the world – meaning the multi-culti “no exceptionalism” types like you – will blame Israel, and only Israel.

    Reply

  27. Paul Norheim says:

    Don`t call it “state sponsored terror” – it`s called to
    “inconvenience” the Palestinians.

    Reply

  28. ... says:

    state sponsored terror is so much more acceptable isn’t it nadine??

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    questions, has Hamas ever done the following, and more than once:
    smuggle explosives and militants in ambulances?
    stuff ambulances with explosives to use them as car bombs?
    Yes or No will do for an answer.
    Your devotion to demanding that Israelis allow themselves to be blown up rather than inconvenience the Palestinians is unstinting. You seem to forget that Israelis themselves are searched for bombs at every entrance to a shopping mall, grocery store and restaurant.

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    The US may not have rounded up the Muslims, but Israel has been rounding them up (along with Palestinian Christians) and putting them into concentration camps since the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Gaza is probably the biggest concentration camp in the world now. All Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Jerusalem are surrounded by the security wall, and so they have become concentration camps as well.
    Of course, they differ from the Nazi death camps in that Israelis don’t systematically kill the inmates. Nonetheless, what would you call the Palestinian areas but concentration camps? Prison cities? Sure, selected inmates get to leave West Bank cities every now and then, but so do prison inmates.
    BTW, here’s the definition of “concentration camp:”
    “1. A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions.”
    2. A place or situation characterized by extremely harsh conditions.”
    http://www.answers.com/topic/concentration-camp
    Seems to fit the Israeli imposed conditions in the West Bank and Gaza pretty well.

    Reply

  31. DonS says:

    “You mean when we rounded up all the Muslims after 9/11 and put them in concentration camps? Oh, wait. That didn’t happen.”, says Nadine.
    No, but we didn’t stop much short of that. The shameful record of race baiting tacitly abetted by the US government under Bush — a precursor to the all fear all the time agenda after 911, is a continuing blemish on the so-called democracy of the USA. Which, truth be told, the Obama administration is not doing enough to counter and, in some instances, as in it’s record on detainee policy, is continuing a shameful path to hone it’s “not soft on terror” fides.
    And in case you hadn’t noticed, the Glen Beck brouhaha about stoking the fires of hate among the crazies with guns and nasty attitude, is a legacy of chickens coming home to roost.
    Face it, the US is running on empty when it comes to moral high ground, and it’s continuing mealy mouth policy on Israel is symptomatic of bankrupt policy and failure to address and radically revise the role of the US in the world and, specifically as enabler of Israeli exceptionalism.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, he turned the fog switch back to its “on” position.
    Oh well.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I leave it to reader to figure out the….blablablah……..”
    No you don’t, because if you did you would no longer be posting here.
    “The reader”, (that includes almost virtually EVERYONE that posts on this blog), has read your lying racist garbage, ad nauseum, and, almost to a man, has called you to account for your racism and your lies. Even those who are usually unsympathetic to those of us that seek to underscore the egregious human rights abuses committed by Israel, (such as this shameless fogger “questions”), have seen fit to call you on your bullshit. You have even irritated the obsfucation out of “questions”, and managed to pull one of the most honest and and direct bits of commentary out of him I have ever seen him offer. (He really can rub two words together without manufacturing copious amounts of mist.)
    Nadine, I can’t help but wonder why you find it productive to peddle lies to people that know you’re lying.
    Quite frankly, I find it bizarre. I am beginning to think you’re just bat shit crazy.

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    POA,
    Policy is determined not by any one single group or interest, but by multiple points of pressure acting for their own reasons but accidentally in concert.
    Look for example at health care legislation. Who are the actors involved? Ideologues who don’t want government programs, insurance companies, people who are relatively satisfied with their own situation, some doctor groups, drug companies, states that have lots of insurance companies headquartered there (jobs jobs jobs), people who are gullible and convinced by any of the above.
    A lot of actors, for different reason, come together to put pressure on Congress.
    With I/P issues, the same holds. There are partisan Jewish and Christian people. There are defense contractors, there are probably investors, there are IR/national security issues, there are regional and global concerns, stability concerns, outright anti-Muslim bias….
    Policy in the ME is determined by an unstable concatenation of all of these groups. Toss in congressional procedure, habit of taking familiar positions, and whatever else, and you have a policy machine.
    You can’t single out one force and say it’s the determining one because there just isn’t a single overarching force.
    The left’s energy would be better spent reading up on game theory and trying to construct a situation in which major cultural shifts on both sides are suddenly, or slowly, cost effective, worthwhile to the parties involved, and therefore sought after.
    Cultural change has to come first, or whatever new status quo appears will be illegitimate, not accepted, and deeply unstable.
    Convince Nadine, and you’ll be in good shape. Hers is the position that has to see what she is not so far seeing. And while you’re at it, convince OA as well.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Israel doesn’t deny medical care to Palestinians”
    You really are a damned liar, Nadine. Further, you are a blight on this blog with your racism and your lies. Its inexplicable why you lie with impunity about issues and topics that are so easily researched.
    http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/israel-occupied-territories
    Israeli forces launched a military offensive on an unprecedented scale – code-named “Operation Cast Lead” – on 27 December in the Gaza Strip, killing many civilians and destroying homes and other civilian property. Earlier in the year there had been a marked upsurge in killings of civilians and others by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) before a ceasefire was agreed in June (see Palestinian Authority entry). Some 70 children were among the 425 Palestinians killed in the first half of the year. In addition to the large-scale destruction of homes and property in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also destroyed scores of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and in Bedouin villages in the south of Israel. Throughout the year, the Israeli army maintained stringent restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the OPT, including a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which caused an unprecedented level of humanitarian hardship and virtually imprisoned the entire population of 1.5 million. This was further exacerbated by the Israeli offensive launched on 27 December. Hundreds of patients with serious medical conditions requiring treatment not available in local hospitals were refused passage out of Gaza; several died.
    continues…….
    http://www.j-c-w.org/fullPressReleases.php
    an excerpt…..
    The Jerusalem Center for Women condemns the Israeli army practice of forcing Palestinian women to give birth at checkpoints 04 August 2008
    The Jerusalem Center for Women firmly condemns the Israeli army’s policy of collective punishment against the Palestinian people through the use of military roadblocks which prevent patients from accessing healthcare and pregnant women from reaching medical centers.
    The Jerusalem Center for Women is deeply dismayed and concerned about the recent report by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society on the case of Magda Abdel Latif Aldjaarfah, who was prevented by soldiers to pass a closed Israeli military checkpoint in Beith Khalil, north of Hebron . Ms. Abdel Latif Aldjaarfah was on her way to the hospital and was forced to give birth inside of the car at the barrier.
    Such cases are neither new nor rare.
    69 cases of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at checkpoints have been recorded since 2000, resulting in the death of 24 women and 27 children.
    The Jerusalem Center for Women is for numerous reasons deeply concerned about this illegal practice of preventing pregnant women’s access to emergency assistance and appropriate medical attention:
    Unpredictable access to maternity services is a determinant in Palestinian women’s decisions regarding induced labor and caesarean sections. Complications with pregnancy increase due to late arrivals after delays at checkpoints, and it also discourages women from seeking quality post-natal care.
    Mobility restrictions impede the continuity of medical care throughout the cycle of pregnancy and thus the development of a relationship of trust between medical staff and the patient.
    Pregnant women and their families live with anxiety and stress of not being guaranteed that they will be able to reach a maternity facility.
    Restrictions on movement result in pregnant women being deprived of psychosocial support by her wider family, which in Palestinian culture and society is especially important. It is often the case that close family members are prevented from accompanying pregnant women to hospital or are impeded from arriving on time.
    continues…….

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    Nope.
    Palestinians have died at the border because they weren’t allowed access to medical care.
    Ambulances and taxis have bizarre restrictions because of the border issues.
    Overly zealous border guards are capricious, open and close crossings at will, seem to enjoy the power they have over their victims. Not all, of course, but enough to make the whole situation untenable.
    Might makes right is what Israel is doing by tolerating the insanity of the settlers — home invasions, spitting on Palestinians from overhead, harassment of kids going to school.
    Might makes right is what Israel is doing by having roads reserved for Israelis.
    Might makes right is the Gaza blockade.
    The problem is that you really only see half the problem. There’s more than Palestinian terror going on, and that part needs to be seen too.
    Maybe you also should read up on the “selection bias.” It’s a fascinating topic that gets to the heart of what it is we really know when we claim to know things.
    Israel may well have no suicide bombers at the moment. That’s good, of course. But at what cost?
    The US could wipe out crime by imprisoning the whole population. Worth it?
    We could end war by killing all human beings. Cost/benefit analysis?
    Is it worth the human toll to do what Israel is doing? Is it overkill? Are there other paths?

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    questions: half of your list of Israel’s supposed offenses are simply untrue:e.g. Israel doesn’t deny medical care to Palestinians. It is Hamas itself that doesn’t let Fatah members out of Gaza for medical treatment. And did you ever ask yourself, even once, why the PA didn’t use any of the billions in aid it received to build a few more hospitals?
    The other half of Israel’s supposed offenses are in the context of an ongoing terror war, which you simply refuse to notice. “Oh, the Palestinian might not be angelic” you say. What a big admission – but you refuse to notice Hamas’ track record, or consider that the crossings to Gaza are closed because every time they were open, Hamas blew them up trying to send suicide bombers through them. “There’s NO justification for blockading Gaza” you loftily say. But there is: saving Israeli lives.
    “There are murders on everyone’s hands, even on those of the Israelis. Moral equivalence demands better treatment for the Palestinians. I don’t do exceptionalism on any side. It’s not Western “misdemeanors” by the way. It’s a whole war, a whole series of wars over panicked misunderstandings of other people and other nations. A long and tawdry and tragic history.”
    Oh, man do you live in la-la land. The Israelis “misunderstand” Fatah’s declared intentions to liberate every inch of Palestine and render it Jew-free? The last five Arab-Israeli wars were a misunderstanding? You don’t do exceptionalism. Everybody is the same as everybody else.
    Well no, everybody is not the same. Some sides want peace and prosperity and are open to compromise. Other sides want vengeance over their enemies and brook no compromise. Hitler and FDR were not the same.
    I leave it to reader to figure out the corollary to your rule: that if you think all sides are the same you will ALWAYS be supporting the gangster, the autocrat and the terrorist over the moderate, the democratic peace-lover and the side open to compromise. The second corollary is that if Israel began to do in earnest what you falsely accuse them of – clobbering the other side and stealing land with no respect for human rights, you would actually like them better. When applied to the real world “I don’t do exceptionalism”=Might Makes Right.
    For those who need further explanation, google the name Evan Sayet and he will explain it to you.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Note that this insipid little piece of shit Reid signs this letter right on the heels of the evictions, and continued settlement expansion.
    Here we see a Senator openly endorsing an AIPAC sponsored policy advocation, directly undermining the POTUS’ stance.
    Reid goes too far, and is nothing but a whore for Israel.
    Reid signs on to AIPAC-backed letter
    By Eric Fingerhut · August 5, 2009
    A really big name has signed on to the Bayh-Risch letter: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
    Reid’s name is listed on AIPAC’s website as one of the 41 senators who have thus far signed the missive to the president, which backs his effort to encourage Arab states to normalize relations with Israel. (We have a call out to confirm the signing with Reid’s office.)
    The signature of Reid would be particularly significant because Capitol Hill leaders often don’t sign on to such letters. For instance, Reid didn’t sign on to the AIPAC-backed letter in May laying out “key principles” for an Arab-Israeli peace because, said a spokesperson at the time, “as Majority Leader he generally does not sign on to sign-on letters.”
    Americans for Peace Now and other left-wing pro-Israel groups — including Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and J Street — have made a major issue of the letter, being circulated by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and James Risch, (R-Idaho). They are calling on senators not to sign it unless it is amended to include mention of steps that all the parties in the Middle East need to take towards peace — especially Israel’s need to stop settlement construction.
    “The subtext of the letter directly contradicts and undermines the efforts” of the Obama administration “to promote Middle East peace,” stated APN, and “sends a message that the signers consider settlements more important than peace.”
    continues…..

    Reply

  39. arthurdecco says:

    “If the Israeli lobbies are not behind our continued support of such evils, what, or who, is?” POA
    This question needs to be asked again. And again and again until we have an answer submitted that informed, intelligent and honest people can accept.
    How can we move forward until we have honestly answered it?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Property seizures. The LOCATION of the wall, not the wall itself. The harassment of KIDS as they walk to school. Denial of medical care. Utter humiliation at border crossings. Putting teenage soldiers in charge of adults. Supposedly religious people SPITTING on others. Torture. The taking of political prisoners. The blockade of Gaza and the hardship it causes.”
    Its somewhat comical to compile such a list, than deny the powerful and corrosive influence the Israeli lobbies have on Washington policy. Considering your long list of travesties, (which are actually quite tame compared to the reality and depth of Israel’s human rights abuses), and your consistent denial of Israel’s stranglehold on Washington’s politicians and Middle Eastern policies, to what do you attribute our longstanding support and subsidation of such a long list of crimes and abuses? If the Israeli lobbies are not behind our continued support of such evils, what, or who, is?

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    Me ‘n’ Nadine!
    “We should know. We in the US have just been through this crap, and many are still there.”
    You mean when we rounded up all the Muslims after 9/11 and put them in concentration camps? Oh, wait. That didn’t happen.
    ### Never said it did. The US, however, has instituted a lot of police powers, has rounded up “gangs” of “terrorists” who seem pretty clearly to have been egged on so that they could be rounded up, has worked to put into place domestic spying, international torturing, violations of constitutional principles that undermine the foundations of the nation, has required “Muslim-seeming” people to register at local police departments, has committed huge amounts of racial profiling and has restricted some amount of freedom of travel, has declared an unnecessary war that has led to countless deaths….
    But that is your implication. You betray the outlook of a modern academic, twisting your hands and moaning over Western misdemeanors, while averting your eyes from non-Western felonies and mass murders.
    ##### There are murders on everyone’s hands, even on those of the Israelis. Moral equivalence demands better treatment for the Palestinians. I don’t do exceptionalism on any side. It’s not Western “misdemeanors” by the way. It’s a whole war, a whole series of wars over panicked misunderstandings of other people and other nations. A long and tawdry and tragic history.
    The Israelis know their enemies well, they do not need to imagine them. It is you who live in academic unreality, where Hamas and Fatah are really moderates will will accept a state in the WB and Gaza. “Lie to me, please!” you cry.
    ### Think about all the things people have been sure of over the years. From the certitude of craniometry and the barnacle goose theory, to the effectiveness of laetril and faith healing, to the lack of intelligence of women and people of melanin… all certitudes, all “common sense” all “KNOWN” at one point or another.
    ### That’s the problem with paranoia. ANY action becomes PROOF, EVIDENCE of what you’re looking for. Look at that hapless Orly Taitz. No matter what proof she’s presented with about Obama’s birth certificate, it instantly becomes proof of his fraudulent citizenship. When the original of the fake is presented, when a state official from Hawaii swears, when Hawaii’s laws about birth certificates are explained, when the interview with the Kenyan stepgrandmother (or whoever) is fully translated, when the birth announcements are shown… all of this is proof that there’s fraud for Taitz. That’s a little bit crazy.
    ### In the same way, EVERYthing the Palestinians do or try or don’t do or don’t try becomes proof for your position. You KNOW like Orly Taitz KNOWS.
    Meantime, Fatah’s ruling council of old hard-liners has produced one vaguely moderate statement in English, and another totally hard-line statement in Arabic that proclaims Fatah’s devotion to liberating every inch of Palestine. I’d post the statement but you would just go “eewwww, Memri!” again.
    ### Fatah, and Hamas, like any political parties, have a domestic side and an international side, an internal language and an external language. Without diplomatic understandings and an insider’s sense of the two sets of terms and their relationship, one cannot interpret the distinctions between the two. So it’s no proof of anything that they speak English in English, and they speak Fatah/Hamas in Arabic and they say different things.
    ### The real question is what anyone really means, and that’s for insider diplomats with meta-level understanding to figure out. Public statements will always be double-speak.
    I know, it is so much easier to believe in Palestinian innocence and peacefulness when you only read the English statements. And you just HAVE to believe in Palestinian innocence and peacefulness, don’t you? Your whole worldview could not survive otherwise.
    ### No one has claimed Palestinian purity or innocence. In fact, though, some percentage of Palestinian responses is explained by reaction to Israeli action. The two can’t be separated, and so you are actually making the mistake you charge others with — you need to believe in Israeli innocence for your worldview to survive.
    ### Try thinking, “No one is innocent, and yet everyone has to figure out a new and healthier equilibrium anyway.”

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    OA,
    Please stop invoking the children in your family who might one day be drafted to fight in the war of Israeli liberation or whatever.
    You’d be better off never driving again so those same children don’t have to fight in the war of oil liberation.
    You’d be better off not emitting greenhouse gases so that those same children won’t melt like so many forgotten chocolate bars in pants pockets.
    You’d be better off eating only organic drip-irrigated local produce (Arizona, the lettuce capital of the world??) so that the land that feeds those same children isn’t overly salinated and spoiled for food production.
    You’d be better off just making sure they buckle their seatbelts, wear helmets while biking, stay away from motor cycles, and don’t succumb to peer pressure at school.
    The US isn’t going to reinstitute a draft because a draft will make wars much harder to declare, and no one REALLY seems to want that to happen.
    Always, throughout history, tiny numbers of people run the world for their own benefit and the masses get stuck. Singling out Jewish people A) as the power behind the throne B) as the only minority ever to run anything C) as the single biggest threat to your immediate family D) as in fact THE CURRENT ONE SINGLE POWER DOING EVERYTHING is just so over the top paranoid, panicky and plain silly that I have a hard time taking the position seriously.
    History is moved by so many multiple simultaneous pressures, so many odd game theoretic situations the results of which we’d all like to avoid, but the process into which we end up locked, so many personalities, intersections of internal and external relations, local and broader histories and so on that singling out one factor and saying, “EUREKA, I have found the unified field theory of history,” is really just ignorant.
    Make sure the kids are vaccinated, and in the immortal words of whoever wrote the original of Mary Smich’s column, make sure they wear sunscreen. (Don’t forget the vitamin D, though.)

    Reply

  43. questions says:

    Nadine,
    You seem to have a lot of categories mixed up. The Palestinians might very well not be angelic. They might well persecute gays and lesbians, they might well be overly religious, they might be threatening to Israel…. But NOTHING justifies the treatment they receive routinely from a range of Israelis.
    Property seizures.
    The LOCATION of the wall, not the wall itself.
    The harassment of KIDS as they walk to school.
    Denial of medical care.
    Utter humiliation at border crossings.
    Putting teenage soldiers in charge of adults.
    Supposedly religious people SPITTING on others.
    Torture.
    The taking of political prisoners.
    The blockade of Gaza and the hardship it causes.
    The list goes on, Nadine. None of this needs to happen this way, and that’s where you run into a lot of confusion. It’s fine to bash Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians EVEN IF the Palestinians are imperfect. EVEN if Hamas is ideologically not particularly liberal. EVEN if Hamas is the worst political party on earth, the fact is that individual Palestinians don’t deserve to suffer, an entire generation of Palestinian kids doesn’t need to be lost to poor nutrition and poor schooling, the entire Palestinian economy doesn’t need the distortions of black marketeering.
    Indeed, the Palestinians need the opportunity to reach a reasonable internal equilibrium such that their people’s desires and the government can function.
    Israeli pressure distorts the goals, aspirations, and lives of all Palestinians.
    To make this point is not to excuse Palestinian violence when it occurs, nor is it to demand trust when there can’t yet be trust.
    It is, however, to insist that the current equilibrium is cruel, inhumane, and needs to be changed.
    So please try to back off of the panic response and think about what might work to alter the cycles of cruelty and response. Panic doesn’t work well as a political emotion. It tends to produce “birthers” and “Get your government hands off my Medicare”-like statements.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    “We should know. We in the US have just been through this crap, and many are still there.”
    You mean when we rounded up all the Muslims after 9/11 and put them in concentration camps? Oh, wait. That didn’t happen.
    But that is your implication. You betray the outlook of a modern academic, twisting your hands and moaning over Western misdemeanors, while averting your eyes from non-Western felonies and mass murders.
    The Israelis know their enemies well, they do not need to imagine them. It is you who live in academic unreality, where Hamas and Fatah are really moderates will will accept a state in the WB and Gaza. “Lie to me, please!” you cry.
    Meantime, Fatah’s ruling council of old hard-liners has produced one vaguely moderate statement in English, and another totally hard-line statement in Arabic that proclaims Fatah’s devotion to liberating every inch of Palestine. I’d post the statement but you would just go “eewwww, Memri!” again.
    I know, it is so much easier to believe in Palestinian innocence and peacefulness when you only read the English statements. And you just HAVE to believe in Palestinian innocence and peacefulness, don’t you? Your whole worldview could not survive otherwise.

    Reply

  45. nadine says:

    John, if you cared for the rights of gay people instead of just looking for excuses to hate Israel, you might have noticed how many gay Palestinians are taking refuge inside Israel because their lives aren’t worth a plugged nickel in “Palestine”:
    “A number of gay Palestinian men are risking their lives to cross the border into Israel, claiming they feel safer among Israelis than their own people.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3211772.stm
    I remember when liberals used to care about human rights. I was a liberal then.

    Reply

  46. JohnH says:

    Ira Chernus has an interesting commentary on the recent killing of a gay person in Israel. “Israeli peace activists have long warned that the moral callousness bred by the occupation and its violence would come home to roost in Jewish Israeli life. Might this attack be evidence that they were right?”
    “When insecurity takes hold of a society, reality checks have little effect. That’s why many Israelis can make the most absurd claims about Palestinians, just as many homophobes make absurd claims about gays and lesbians, or anyone who doesn’t fit their rigid gender stereotypes.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/08/04-2
    First they went after the Palestinians, then they went after the Lebanese, then they went after American protesters, then they went after gays, then they went after…
    Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. “First they came…”
    http://www.serendipity.li/cda/niemoll.html

    Reply

  47. Outraged American says:

    I don’t “deny” the Jewish Holocaust, I just think it’s been maybe
    exaggerated in terms of scale, and needs to be put into
    historical perspective.
    Jews make up a TINY percentage of people on this Earth. They
    have suffered and been persecuted for centuries, but so have
    other groups.
    Now we have the Jewish state, Israel, with almost complete
    control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, wanting an attack
    on Iran.
    An attack that will draft young members of my family. One of
    whom, ironically enough, is half Jewish.
    Connect the dots yet?

    Reply

  48. questions says:

    OT on stats from WaPo….
    That’s why he’s leading this workshop on statistical literacy. Because the general population does not get it. Worse, they don’t even get what they don’t get. They use “random” when they mean “uniform.” They confuse “cause” with “correlation.” They do not question study designs, like the recent survey claiming Republicans were happier with their sex lives than Democrats, but failing to take into account that more Republicans are men, who always think they’re studs. They can’t tell the difference between relative and absolute risk. They can’t tell the difference between the mean and the median. “That eats at me constantly,” says Jim Cochran, a statistics professor from Louisiana.
    Go ahead. Laugh. Roll your eyes at the number crunchers, and the way they flock excitedly to sessions with names such as “Alternatives to Proportional Hazards Survival Methods.” But this stuff matters. Statistics on the recession — you think those create themselves? What about tracking the spread of infectious diseases?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/04/AR2009080403117.html?hpid=topnews
    For all those who have expressed irritation at my very mild references to the importance of stats and causation/correlation confusion.

    Reply

  49. questions says:

    Nadine,
    I’m not “bemoaning” any specific decision actually. I’m thinking more of the entire situation. And besides, Israeli property law has been bent and twisted beyond recognition to deny building permits to Palestinians, to force Palestinians from their homes long enough to deny them the right to live in a particular house, and the like. Israeli law isn’t any more likely to render a fair verdict than American law when dealing with certain race issues (what exactly is “reasonable” force?)
    I’m not really on your side even if I have huge disagreements with POA. I don’t think Israel fundamentally is doing a good job. The basic psyche of the people and the structure of the country are largely untenable. Injustice is rampant, and many people are blind to it out of paranoid fear. Frightened people are sickeningly tolerant of deep cruelty. We should know. We in the US have just been through this crap, and many are still there.

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    “And Nadine, I did not say “no compensation.” History and reality are on a collision course whenever people are displaced. That’s why we have judges to deal with property claims in divorce court — BOTH sides have legitimate claims, but only one side can have the property. There’s no neat solution, but some sort of compensation is likely to be necessary and is most likely just as well. This holds for Cuba, for I/P, and for all displacements of people.”
    So you approve resolutions in court? Glad to hear it. Then you’ll be glad to hear that the Israeli decision you are bemoaning was actually the culmination of a 30 year court case where the Jewish owners of the land from before 1948, who had been forcibly dispossed from 1948 to 1967, were suing to get their property back. The Israeli Supreme Court finally ruled in their favor – and this is the case that Sec. Clinton choses to condemn! The Israeli government didn’t have anything to do with the decision!
    The Israeli Supreme Court is quite far to the left, btw, and rules for Palestnian plantiffs quite often. But not in this case.

    Reply

  51. questions says:

    POA,
    I condemn murder, but I’m not pro-death penalty. I can write a lot of words about why, or I can just say it. I don’t think “just saying it” accomplishes as much as a wordy wordy lengthy long slow painful dissertation on the subject.
    I can condemn Israeli actions while trying to understand them, while not being “pro-death penalty,” or willing to cut off aid.
    I can look for other solutions aside from yours.
    It might take words, but the words are worthwhile, at least as far as I’m concerned.
    But again, I’m glad that you’re loaded with common sense and you KNOW all sorts of things about how the world works and how the internet works and how all decisions made are made within the parameters you personally have laid out for all people. Nothing complex, no contradictions, no multiple motivations.
    Wow! You could be a therapist and make everyone’s problems just disappear!
    And Nadine, I did not say “no compensation.” History and reality are on a collision course whenever people are displaced. That’s why we have judges to deal with property claims in divorce court — BOTH sides have legitimate claims, but only one side can have the property. There’s no neat solution, but some sort of compensation is likely to be necessary and is most likely just as well. This holds for Cuba, for I/P, and for all displacements of people.
    Given the way Israel has appropriated land it shouldn’t have and has created legal fictions of all sorts to grab the land, the judgments are going to have to ignore a whole lot of standing property law in order to create something like a just solution.
    I wish them well.
    OA, if you paid close attention to your words, you might find that you do a certain amount of harm to your own case. Somewhere between Holocaust denial and suggesting the demise of Israel, you are the embodiment of man a nightmare.

    Reply

  52. Outraged American says:

    I swear that the pro-israel posters on here work for the Arabs.
    How better to explain their incredible ability to turn anyone against
    Israel?

    Reply

  53. GHook93 says:

    What BS! Hamas and Fatah for that matter still insist on the Right of Return! Come on now, even you left antisemites have to acknowledge that its would be suicidial for Israel to allow millions of enemies of the state into their country.
    Believe it or not, the so called Palestinian Refugees is the biggest obstacle not the boundaries!
    Also to the liar that stated that Israel wants war not peace. The Jews offered the Palestinians 95-98% of the land they sought during the Oslo and they choose the intifada!
    PissedOffAmerica you need to change your name to CluelessAmerica!

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You call it the way you want, questions. Its certainly not the way I see it. Personally, I find your lengthy bits of rebuttal insincere, and rarely worth reading. To me its a bunch of carefully worded obsfucation, that has the sole purpose of obscuring and complicating what should be common sense conclusions based on simple observation of events.
    But you already know this, as I have repeatedly made it perfectly clear that I consider you just another side of the Nadine coin. Obviously more canny and shrewd than this racist wretch Nadine, and certainly more intelligent by leaps and bounds, but no less despicable in motive, and far more despicable in your ability to mask your intent.
    I have never seen you decry Israeli policies or actions, EXCEPT as a caveat to your unrelenting defense of Israel through seeking to obscure the reality of Israeli influence on American foreign policy, and the powerful and corrosive effect the Israeli lobbies have on our policies as they pertain to the Middle East.
    Frankly, it has become tedious and boring responding to your constant streams of long winded pyscho-babble, obsfucation, and over-diagnostic analytical posturing. One almost wishes you would just pull the covers off and openly display Nadine’s unabashed racist bent and knee jerk propagandistic distortion of history and current events. Its far less tedious reading racism exposed by ignorance than it is to find it hidden between the lines by careful calculated deception and obsfucation.

    Reply

  55. nadine says:

    “(Imagine Miami Cubans going back to Cuba and kicking out other Cubans who are living in the ex-patriates’ homes.)”
    So it’s your position that if Cuba is liberated, the property owners who were dispossessed without compensation by Castro do NOT deserve their day in court. Their claims should be summarily dismissed, and full property rights granted to whomever lives in their property today. It’s just “too bad, so sad” for the dispossessed Cuban property owners.
    Have I stated your position correctly?

    Reply

  56. questions says:

    (Above post has a few grammar problems. Should have read a bit more carefully to catch a couple of phrases that start but don’t finish. Oh well. Sorry.)

    Reply

  57. questions says:

    POA,
    I’m not sure I’d just dump the whole right of return issue into a box labeled “racism” even though at some level racism is a fundamental problem.
    I think “racism” stands in for a lot of other anxieties people have. It’s easier on a brain to label the different as “scary” and since race/culture/language differences are both fairly obvious to the senses (dress, food, language, gesture, child rearing practices, worship) race begins to stand in for a whole lot of other issues.
    So rather than yelling, “Racist” which may well be tempting, and half-to-three-quarters correct, it might be better to start talking about the more fundamental anxieties that underlie our racial anxieties.
    The fear of being overrun by the other is pretty common, but not necessary. Peoples do change languages, religious practices, skin tones, gestures and cuisine voluntarily when given enough time and incentive.
    Probably the fear of these kinds of changes is huge among older people, and possibly lesser among younger people, and sometimes is adopted with insane fervor among some young people who feel adrift or detached.
    Add into the culture anxiety mix a reasonably well-grounded fear of suicide bombers, some guilt over past land grabs, a sense that kicking out current dwellers to compensate those evicted years ago, and you have a real mess. (Imagine Miami Cubans going back to Cuba and kicking out other Cubans who are living in the ex-patriates’ homes.)
    So what are the kinds of incentives that could be set up to get people to make very different choices about language, religion, mating and/or marrying, co-existing with mixing around the edges, impurity and all that goes with it?
    This is the place to be thinking and doing cultural work, rather than hurling “racist” and “not with my money,” neither of which is constructive.
    It’s worth remembering that the US is still utterly within the throes of its own culture/race issues that aren’t very different from what’s happening in Israel. We’re still battling over race and neighborhood, race and IQ, race and employment, race and the Supreme Court, race and police, race and driving, race and shopping, race and school quality….
    The main difference between the US and I/P on this one is that the neighborhood lines were largely drawn a long time ago and are not often crossed except when there’s been a voluntary move to an already-mixed area.
    There is much contention, and its deserving of more thought than Nadine provides. (What a perfect reading/writing of anxiety she embodies.) But it also deserves more than expletives and explosions.
    Justice is complicated stuff. Read Antigone!

    Reply

  58. nadine says:

    Eileen,
    Eileen, the “right of return” is not dead at all. Fatah and Hamas demand it, and the Saudis back them: The Saudi peace plan says
    “Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194″
    That means the refugees go home not to Palestine, but to Israel (by or by now, the grandkids of the refugees). The Saudis are just using vaguer wording for the same thing.
    This was what Saudi Arabia and the other Arab regimes created the Palestinian refugee crisis for in 1948, and worked to keep it unresolved all these years: so the the ONLY resolution is that 5 million Palestinian who have been taught from the cradle to hate Israel and Jews go back to Israel and destroy it.
    That’s why “right of return” is a total non-starter for Israel. Do not kid yourself, nobody on the Arab side is giving it up, and certainly not the Saudis. Arafat broke the deal at Camp David and Taba because he didn’t get “right of return”.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yes, they ARE saying that. You just choose to lie about it or ignore it, as you did the last time assetions of MEMRI mis-translations were pointed out to you.
    I don’t see why anyone bothers with you. You’re a liar, a racist, and a waste of time.

    Reply

  60. nadine says:

    easy e, Notice the worst they have to hurl at MEMRI: some of its staffers are Israelis! and what they pick is “selective”!
    Of course it’s selective, they can’t translate the entire Arab world’s output.
    Notice what the critics are NOT saying: the articles are invented and/or the translations are wrong. Since the critics are ideological opponents of the creators of MEMRI, don’t you think they would say it if they could?
    Now it seem rather important to look at Khalid Meshaael’s reaction to Obama’s Cairo speech in Arabic and compare it to what he is now telling Western newspapers. Khalid Meshaal is a rather important figure, I think you would agree.
    Would you rather have NO source you could read for Khalid Meshaael’s speeches?

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Eileen’s post underscores the utility of the URL feature that can be used when entering one’s posting identity. It was recently suggested that Steve remove this blog feature to block the occassional bit of spam. I hope he ignores the suggestion.
    Reading Eileen’s comment at her blogsite, I couldn’t help but do so with an over-riding sense of pessimism and cynicism. My opinion, based on decades of Israeli official behaviour, has me convinced that not only is a two state solution impossible, so two is a solution that mixes Palestinians with Jews in a one state solution. Israel’s prime motivating force seems to be racism. And the decades of human rights abuse, war crimes, and expansionism has nurtured a Palestinian hatred of the Israelis that runs deep and irrevocable. Actions such as yesterday’s evictions only nurture the animosity, and the hatred born of being evicted ftrom one’s hearth is not only understandable, it is warranted and justified. I cannot condone suicide bombings or rocket attacks, but I can understand them as the inevitable response to decades of abuse and racist oppression at the hands of the Israelis.
    What reasoning or common sense conclusions can possibly entertain the idea that Israel can act in good faith, or be peaceful neighbors to a Palestinian state? History has shown us that Israel has made ready use of false flag attacks in its quest to justify military actions against its neighbors and “enemies”. Moreover, it has shown a complete unwillingness to abide by treaties, cease fires, UN Resolutions, international law in its use of weaponry, or basic moral observations of human rights and dignity.
    Seemingly, there is no “solution” to policies based on generations of hatred and racism. It may very well be that this seething hotbed of religious and racial animous continues to boil over until it drags the world community into calamity and world war.
    It angers me greatly that my tax dollar contributes to this snowballing rush towards the brink. History will not remember our complicity in a complimentary manner.

    Reply

  62. Eileen Read says:

    Amjad, what about evacuating the W.Bank and E.Jerusalem settlements and filling them with returning Palestinian refugees? Surely Meshaal knows the right of return to Israel proper is dead – it was relinquished in the Arab Peace Initiative.
    See my new post:
    http://trueslant.com/eileenread/2009/08/04/me-peace-isnt-about-american-jews-vs-israeli-jews/
    Eileen

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel targets human rights groups
    Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent
    Last Updated: August 03. 2009 10:00PM UAE / August 3. 2009 6:00PM GMT
    Jeff Halper. co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Alexei Kidel for The National
    NAZARETH // In a bid to staunch the flow of damaging evidence of war crimes committed during Israel’s winter assault on Gaza, the Israeli government has launched a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad.
    It has begun by targeting one of the world’s leading rights organisations, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), as well as a local group of dissident army veterans, Breaking the Silence, which last month published the testimonies of 26 combat soldiers who served in Gaza.
    Additionally, according to the Israeli media, the government is planning a “much more aggressive stance” towards human rights groups working to help the Palestinians.
    Officials have questioned the sources of funding received by the organisations and threatened legislation to ban support from foreign governments, particularly in Europe.
    Breaking the Silence and other Israeli activists have responded by accusing the government of a “witch hunt” designed to intimidate them and starve them of the funds needed to pursue their investigations.
    “This is a very dangerous step,” said Mikhael Mannekin, one of the directors of Breaking the Silence. “Israel is moving in a very anti-democratic direction.”
    The campaign is reported to be the brainchild of the far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, currently facing corruption charges, but has the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Early last month, Mr Lieberman used a press conference to accuse non-profit organisations, or non-governmental organisations, of replacing diplomats in setting the international community’s agenda in relation to Israel. He also threatened reforms to curb the groups’ influence.
    A week later, Mr Netanyahu’s office weighed in against Human Rights Watch, heavily criticising the organisation for its recent fund-raising activities in Saudi Arabia.
    HRW has pointed out that it only accepts private donations, and has not accepted Saudi government funds, but Israeli officials say all Saudi money is tainted and will compromise HRW’s impartiality as a human rights watchdog in its treatment of Israel.
    “A human rights organisation raising money in Saudi Arabia is like a women’s rights group asking the Taliban for a donation,” Mark Regev, a government spokesman, told the right-wing Israeli daily newspaper the Jerusalem Post.
    Continues…….
    http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090804/FOREIGN/708039856/1002
    So, the money of private Arab contributors is “tainted”. It is truly amazing that the increasingly racist official commentary gushing forth from Israeli government officials does not recieve more media attention. These people are blatantly and dangerously bigoted, financed and armed by our own tax money. They are becoming a modern day Nazi Germany, every bit as racist and inhumane. When will we stop subsidizing evil?

    Reply

  64. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Have you ever heard about the following three people? Of course not. Ever heard Clinton mention them? Of course not.
    But have you ever heard about the three hikers supposedly detained in Iran? Seems to be a big deal to Clinton.
    Wheres the “hard line” with Israel? Truth is, it doesn’t exist.
    …..
    Minnesotans detained in and deported from Israel return home and speak out
    Israeli security forces refused entry to three U.S. solidarity activists for attempting to participate in a human rights delegation. They were treated as criminals, while their only goal was to learn about the reality of life for the Palestinian people. Sarah Martin, member of Women Against Military Madness, and Katrina Plotz, of the Anti-War Committee, refused voluntary deportation, and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv informed us that they were forcibly deported Sunday evening. The third traveler, Karen Sullivan also of the Anti-War Committee, was already deported and returned home to Minneapolis on Sunday.
    Sarah and Katrina are expected to return home on a flight arriving at 12:37pm. A press conference with them, their families and supporters, will happen at 1pm in the baggage claim area of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport (Lindbergh Terminal).
    For more information contact:
    Jess Sundin at 612.272.2209
    Meredith Aby at 612.819.3149
    http://www.antiwarcommittee.org
    Thousands of people have been denied entry by Israel, especially those who wish to see the Palestinian Territories. Not only international solidarity activists, but millions of Palestinian refugees living all over the world are prevented from returning to their homeland. Israel’s policy of denying entry to people who support the Palestinian struggle and want to report on the situation, is one aspect of a campaign to isolate the Palestinian people from the world. This campaign includes hundreds military checkpoints inside the Palestinian Territories, blocking humanitarian shipments into the Gaza Strip, and the building of a massive Apartheid Wall. Palestinians experience repression every day.
    Precisely because the official Israeli view receives much more widespread coverage in the U.S. media than does the impact of these policies on the lives of Palestinians, it is important that people like Sarah, Katrina and Karen be able to go and report the situation accurately, and show the Palestinian people that the world has not completely abandoned them.
    In spite of its special relationship with the U.S., the Israeli government showed no regard for the rights of American visitors, whose only crime was to express solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine. Karen reported that she was escorted onto her departing flight by an armed Israeli guard, and that she was interrogated upon re-entering the U.S. The AWC secured council for Sarah and Katrina, but they didn’t have access to speak to their lawyer and exercise their full right to appeal their deportation. Advocates for human rights should not be treated like criminals.
    Their case resulted in an outpouring of support from across the country. This will be their first public statements in the United State since their unjust detention on Saturday, August 1.
    http://twincities.indymedia.org/2009/aug/minnesotans-detained-and-deported-israel-return-home-and-speak-out

    Reply

  65. easy e says:

    Posted by nadine, Aug 04 2009, 5:32AM –
    Speech here:
    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP242809
    So there is nothing new here, the Palestinians have always been for any deal that turns Israel into an Arab state and removes all the Jews.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Nadine, you’re relying on the translation of MEMRI?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!? You’ve now insulted the intelligence of the entire TWN community. Wonder what your masters think of this audacity. Oy vey…
    More on MEMRI – Middle East Media Research Institute:
    “…Some current or former MEMRI staffers or contributors are Israelis, including Yotam Feldner, MEMRI’s director of media analysis. Like Carmon, Feldner worked in military intelligence while serving with the Israeli Defense Forces. Another MEMRI staff member, Aluma Solnik, also worked in military intelligence before joining MEMRI. Other MEMRI staffers come to the organization from various Zionist and Israeli organizations, including the World Zionist Organization.
    MEMRI, which describes itself as “objective and independent,” has gained a reputation for cherry-picking the most virulent, anti-Israel, and anti-U.S. reports and commentary from the Arab media. Brian Whitaker of the Guardian observed: “Evidence from MEMRI’s website also casts doubt on its non-partisan status” (August 12, 2002). And a former CIA counterintelligence official, Vincent Cannistraro, said that “they [MEMRI] are selective and act as propagandists for their political point of view, which is the extreme-right of Likud … They simply don’t present the whole picture” (quoted in Marc Perelman, “No Longer Obscure, MEMRI Translates the Arab World: But Detractors Say a Right-Wing Agenda Distorts Think-Tank’s Service to Journalists,” Forward, December 7, 2001). Ali Abunimah, vice president of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, cautions that there are sounder voices in the Arab and Muslim communities who try to challenge these kinds of statements, and that some of the language about Muslims and Arabs in the U.S. and Israeli press is equally vile. Yet, he added, “A lot of anti-Israeli sentiment is indeed mixed with anti-Semitic rhetoric imported from the West” (Public Eye, Summer 2002)…
    MEMRI’s founders, Meyrav Wurmser and Yigal Carmon, are both hardline pro-Israel ideologues aligned with Israel’s Likud party…”
    entire article here…http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Middle_East_Media_Research_Institute

    Reply

  66. Outraged American says:

    Ethnically cleanse? What a joke. Support for Israel by the US
    public is down into the mid-40s according to a recent poll. And
    rightly so.
    Again, I do not believe that Israel has “a right to exist.” I’m
    terribly sorry about what happened in WW II, but hell, other
    people suffered as well and still suffer.
    That is the Palestinians’ land. No one had the right to give it
    away. Israelis are the colonists. Either they learn to get along,
    i.e., one state, or all aid should be yanked from them, which it
    should in any case.
    This crappy little country that is desperate to destroy the entire
    world by starting WW II, is too much trouble.
    The Palestinians were rather secular before Israel drove them
    into the arms of Hamas, which Israel helped create BTW. I
    remember reading that they had one of the highest levels of
    female PhDs in the world, although it could have been the Arab
    world.
    Israel is losing her support, even here in the US. She needs to
    learn to be a team player. With any luck the US too will be
    forced to do the same because of the financial crisis, and cut out
    our imperialism.
    And as to Israel’s War on Islam / “the War on Terror” it appears
    that Al Qaeda, whatever that means, still wants a truce:
    Zawahri: Al-Qaeda Truce Offer to US Still Stands
    http://tinyurl.com/looma8
    H/T AntiWar.com

    Reply

  67. nadine says:

    from the WSJ:
    “Khaled Meshaal, 53 years old, said in a 90-minute interview at Hamas’s Syrian headquarters that his political party and military wing would commit to an immediate reciprocal cease-fire with Israel, as well as a prisoner swap that would return Hamas fighters for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
    He also said his organization would accept and respect a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders as part of a broader peace agreement with Israel—provided Israeli negotiators accept the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees and the establishment of a capital for the Palestinian state in East Jerusalem.
    That pledge falls short of recognizing Israel, a necessary step for Hamas to be included in peace talks, but many Middle East diplomats said it could mark an important step toward that goal.”
    So the Israelis withdraw to the 1967 borders, ethnically cleanse 500,000 Jews from east of the Green Line, accept 1 million? 2 million? 5 million? Palestinians into Israel with no questions asked, and in return for all this Hamas will offer “respect” and a “cease-fire”. Not a “peace treaty” or “recognition,” mind you. Just a cease-fire. A temporary cease-fire.
    This is a follow up to Mashaal’s June 25 speech where he said Hamas must combine “diplomacy with resistance” but take an absolutely hard line. He absolutely rejected all of Netanyahu’s conditions, including recognizing anything Jewish about Israel. Speech here:
    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP242809
    So there is nothing new here, the Palestinians have always been for any deal that turns Israel into an Arab state and removes all the Jews. Sometimes if Hamas is feeling generous, they say that Jews who can prove their ancestors lived in Palestine a hundred years ago can stay, as dhimmis under Sharia, naturally.
    Hamas will never accept any deal that leaves Israel as a Jewish state or a democracy. Allah forbids it.

    Reply

  68. JohnH says:

    Offering to accept a state on the 1967 lines is a smart move by the Palestinians. In the best case, it will work for them. In the likely case, it will be unacceptable to the Israeli government and expose it for what it really values–land, all of the land. Peace be damned!

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    US’s $1bn Islamabad home is its castle
    The United States is forging ahead with a US$1 billion upgrade of its embassy in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. Washington dismisses charges the expanded facility will house hundreds of marines, but there is no disputing it will serve as a hub for the US’s ambitious regional plans – plans for which the Taliban and al-Qaeda are already preparing.
    continues….
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page.html
    When Obama promised us change, I didn’t realize we’d have to drop our drawers and bend over for it.

    Reply

  70. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As this Peace Now article clearly underscores, the impending eviction of these families has been known about for a number of months now.
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=61&fld=620&docid=3594
    After the fact, Clinton says….
    “These actions are deeply regrettable. I have said before that the eviction of families and demolition of homes in east Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations”
    ……..
    “And I urge the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions”
    Big fuckin’ deal. Yeah, its “regrettable”. I wonder if the evicted families consider these actions “provocative”? Is that the word you suppose they would use while they are explaining to their children why they shouldn’t hate jews and strap on explosive belts??
    But the FACT OF THE MATTER is that Clinton KNEW this was going to happen, and she did NOTHING to stop it. In fact, Congress undoubtedly knew this was going to happen, AND THEY STILL VOTED TO INCREASE ECONOMIC AID TO ISRAEL.
    CUT THE MONEY OFF. What incentive does Israel have to make concessions when we send them billions NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO? What incentive does Israel have to make conscessions when these mealy mouthed cowardly little pissants like Harry Reid take the President to task for not cow-towing to the Israelis and failing to sufficiently demonize the Palestinians?
    Its too late for Clinton’s tepid condemnations. She and Obama stood idly by while Israel incinerated Palestinian non-combatants. They have failed to forcefully respond to Israel arrogance and intransigence on the settlement issue. Israel knows it has a huge segment of our politicians in its pocket, and it knows that Clinton and Obama don’t walk their talk. And Israel knows the check IS in the mail, no matter what they do. What reason do they have to change their behaviour?

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    There is NO WAY in hell that Israel will pursue peace. They want land, not peace. They want the Palestinians GONE, not as neighbors. It has become a racist criminal state, and it will stop at nothing to continue its ethnic cleansing and geographical expansion.
    Even if a viable peace plan was put on the table, with both Fatah and Hamas in agreement, Israel will derail the process, even if it needs to resort to false flag terrorist attacks against Jewish Israelis, or American interests internationally. Do you think they are incapable of another “Liberty” type of incident? Can anyone give me one single reason to trust the Israelis? How are they at honoring agreements, respecting UN resolutions, respecting human rights, or obeying international law in regards to use of weaponry or warfare?
    Ask the 50 Palestinian families that were just thrown out of hearth and home how badly Israel wants peace.

    Reply

  72. ... says:

    israel is busy ethnic cleansing east jerusalem at the moment.. i agree with you amanda.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/08/i-am-homeless-this-is-a-jewish-country-voices-from-the-evictions-in-e-jerusalem.html

    Reply

  73. Amanda MacQueen says:

    I don’t mean to sound cynical but even if you get a united front on the Palestianian side do you truly believe that Israel is going to agree to the 1967 lines and give East Jerusalem to Palestinian control?
    I for one, especially under Israle’s current government, do not see any hope for this happeneing (short of the US curring off all funding and weaponse shipments to Israel, which I also do not believe will ever happen).
    Any thoughts on how you believe Israel would agree to such an agreement?

    Reply

  74. brigid says:

    This is an excellent time for the United States government to begin finding ways to cement this progress ..and to leverage it into the upcoming negotiations.”
    I agree wholeheartedly!

    Reply

  75. ... says:

    ot – 3 american “”hikers”” in northern iraq have gone missing and appear to have been arrested in iran… the follow up on this ought to be interesting… i guess “”spy”” or “”covert operative”” isn’t in the vernacular…

    Reply

  76. Outraged American says:

    Will Hamas be able to forgive the US funding the training of Fatah
    troops? Meshaal IIRC has offered this before. Certainly the Arab
    League did in early 2002.
    Israel’s response was the siege of the Church of the Nativity in
    Bethlehem.
    The Palestinians want peace, the Israeli government, and a good
    percentage of the Israeli Jews, do not.

    Reply

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