Pugnacious Netanyahu Pushes U.S. to Call for 1967 Borders

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This is a guest note by Daniel Levy, who served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and directs the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force.
benjamin netanyahu.jpgPugnacious Netanyahu Pushes U.S. to Call for 1967 Borders
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced yesterday his cabinet’s decision, “To suspend new construction in Judea and Samaria.” (Yes, they still call it Judea and Samaria).
The Obama Administration responded within hours with a statement released by Secretary of State Clinton followed by a press briefing from Special Envoy George Mitchell.
On the face of it, this was a step forward by the Israeli government, acknowledged and welcomed (though not blessed) by the US government, and a move that one hopes will facilitate Palestinian agreement to resume negotiations. But if one digs just a little bit deeper, it becomes very evident that it was nothing of the sort. Rather, today’s events closed the first chapter in a game of dare being played out between the new leaderships in Washington and Jerusalem.
Today’s statements appeared to be part of an elaborate and ongoing dance of suspicion between the two supposed allies.
Obama_twn.jpgDuring his first term as prime minister in the late 90′s, Benjamin Netanyahu made an enemy of then US President Clinton and played the Republican congress against the Democrat president. This directly led to the collapse of Netanyahu’s government and his fall from office. Judging by today, Netanyahu is keen for a repeat performance albeit under circumstances even less propitious for him politically. The response of the Obama team might be an interesting pointer as to where things might be headed on the peace front.
The Obama administration has been calling on Israel to make good on a settlement freeze commitment dating to the 2003 Bush-era Road Map (and, questionably to the 1993 Oslo DoP).
Netanyahu has been unwilling to do anything of the sort. He sought to codify a set of exemptions to a settlement freeze or in plainer English, guidelines for ongoing settlement expansion, and to have those blessed by Washington. The Obama team refused to become the first ever American government to formally authorize settlement expansion. That is the situation we have reached with today’s announcement.
Netanyahu’s cabinet clarified its so-called “settlement restraint” policy with today’s decision (some have called it a “moratorium” or a “freeze” but as you will see shortly, it is nothing of the sort, and those words are an inappropriate description).
The only apparent restraint in the Israeli cabinet decision was to suspend issuing of new permits or beginning new construction in the West Bank for ten months. The less restrained side of the equation is this: 3000 units already under construction will continue; all public buildings and security infrastructure will continue to be built; no restrictions would apply to occupied East Jerusalem; and construction would resume after ten months.
George Mitchell 2009.jpgNetanyahu also repeated the totally (meaningless) commitment of no new settlements or land confiscations (meaningless because since 1993, the official policy is no new settlements yet via expansion, new neighborhoods and outposts, the West Bank settler population has grown from 111,000 then to over 300,000 today, and because although the built-up area of settlements constitutes only 2% of West Bank land, double that amount is slated for growth, and a total of 40% comes under the Settlement Regional Councils, therefore land confiscation issue is a red herring).
While it is technically true that this “restraint” is a new Israeli commitment, its practical relevance is of very limited significance – building 3000 units in ten months neatly dovetails the regular annual settlement construction rates. Moreover, Netanyahu made sure to assertively mention all these caveats in today’s announcement – in effect, poking the Obama administration, the international community, and the Palestinians in the eye.
While some claim this was a politically courageous act by Netanyahu, the real litmus test is easy to apply: Has this led to any shakiness, any crisis, any resignations in the most right wing coalition ever in Israel’s history? The answer: absolutely not, and resignations in Israeli politics are about as rare as Turkeys on Thanksgiving.
Netanyahu’s so-called “restraint package” was so minimalist that it kept his coalition happy while doing nothing to advance a genuine peace effort (Yes, there is some criticism from the far-right, and Netanyahu’s supporters will point to it as proof of his bravery, but as I say, the real test is in his coalition – and there: not so much as a wobble).
The interesting development today, indeed the unprecedented development, was in the US response. Yes, Senator Mitchell did pro-forma explain why this is new, why this was progress from the Israeli government.
hrc miffed.jpgBut the real American response came elsewhere, in Secretary Clinton and Envoy Mitchell’s statements. They did not bless the Israeli non-freeze, explaining it fell short and that they expected more, and that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”. (Admittedly they could have explicitly said that after ten months and the 3000 units, their expectation was for not a single new home to be built, they didn’t).
The new language came in Secretary Clinton’s description of what American expects the outcome of negotiations to be – for an “independent and viable [Palestinian] state based on the 1967 lines”. Senator Mitchell quoted Clinton in repeating the call for a Palestinian state “based on the 67 lines.”
Every conflict and every situation has its own lingua franca. In the Israeli-Palestinian context, a state based on the 67 lines is the dog-whistle for what constitutes a real, no-B.S. two-state outcome. It is also language that the US has conspicuously avoided using – avoided that is until today.
Previous administrations would speak of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (but those are interpreted differently by the Israelis and Palestinians); the Clinton Parameters of December 2000 suggested percentages on territory, but never mentioned the 67 lines; in June 2002, President Bush used the phrase, ending the “occupation that began in 1967.”
That language was adopted in the 2003 Road Map and used verbatim by President Obama in his September United Nations General Assembly speech. It is language very much open to interpretation. The “1967 lines” language add a far greater degree of clarity – and, as such, is an anathema to the Greater Land of Israel, anti-peace forces (many of whom are represented in today’s Israeli government).
Interestingly, Secretary Clinton had begun to play with this language during her recent Middle East trip but had never been so explicit – until today. It is true that this adoption of new language comes late (perhaps too late) in the process and will need to be backed up by more concrete steps. It is though progress.
So the subtext of what went on today – the Obama administration is beginning to up the ante, at least declaratively, in the signals it is sending in response to Netanyahu’s stubbornness on settlements, and in setting the table for the next phase of its peace efforts.
The question of course is – what next?
Senator Mitchell gave some hints about that also. He suggested that the US was still pursuing a comprehensive peace effort and notably discussed Syria at some length. He briefly mentioned the option of resuming regional multilateral talks with Israel and various Arab states on issues such as water and energy at an appropriate time. Most interesting perhaps, Senator Mitchell explained that negotiations, “will proceed on a variety of tracks,” and while he continued to push for the resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, he also spoke of parallel talks that the US would conduct with each of the parties.
This combination of back-to-back negotiations – US-Israel and US-Palestinians – combined with the reference to the 1967 lines may signpost the way out of the peace impasse. The US will need to elaborate and put flesh on the bones of its “based on the 1967 lines” parameter and then pursue a conversation, mostly with the Israeli side, on how to implement that, and if necessary go public with a plan and tie incentives/disincentives to its acceptance/rejection.
– Daniel Levy

Comments

96 comments on “Pugnacious Netanyahu Pushes U.S. to Call for 1967 Borders

  1. NY to TLV says:

    I live in Tel Aviv after spending my whole life in NYC. I am not
    one who thinks Israel has a ‘right’ to be here, but let’s be
    realistic, anyone who reads the Torah or believes in the religion
    knows that Jews WERE here a millennium + before Mohammed
    was even born. That being said, the settlers and ultra-orthodox
    do not make this situation any better, as they are as fanatical as
    the Islamic Jihadists. But, the fact is, we are all here today, the
    Arabs desperately tried to eliminate Israel in 1948 as soon as
    Britain left. They lost. They tried again in 1967. They lost. If you
    look at 1967 borders and think about Katyushas and Kassams
    being launched practically across the street from every nook and
    cranny in Israel, that is not realistic to accept. Israel has 7 million
    people, no natural resources and takes up a speck of land, yet
    the world is obsessed with it and it’s usurping of Arab lands
    (honestly people, look at a map). What would end this problem
    in 5 minutes is the few million Palestinians being absorbed by
    the 1 BILLION + Arab world. You know why this will never
    happen, b/c then Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas, etc will have to worry
    about taking care of the people instead of fomenting hatred of a
    common enemy. They all need the Jewish state to exist to keep
    their people docile and remain in power.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    From Haaretz today:
    “American Jews eye Obama’s ‘anti-Israel’ appointees
    By Natasha Mozgovaya
    Last update – 15:01 04/12/2009
    Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community.
    In the case of Obama’s government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government appointee has
    become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing “another leftist” offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel.
    A few months ago, boisterous protests by the American Jewish community helped foil the appointment of Chaz Freeman to
    chair the National Intelligence Council, citing his “anti-Israel leaning.”
    The next attempt to appoint an intelligence aide, in this case, former Republican senator Chuck Hagel, also resulted in vast
    criticism over his not having a pro-Israel record.
    American Zionists are urging Obama to cancel Hagel’s appointment because of what they call a long and problematic record of
    hostility toward Israel.
    The president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton A. Klein, described Hagel’s nomination as such: “Any American
    who is concerned about Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons, maintaining the Israeli-U.S. relationship and supporting Israel
    in its legitimate fight to protect her citizens from terrorism should oppose this appointment.” ”
    Continues…
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1132797.html

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “A Palestinian human rights activist is an activist who spends all his time criticizing Israel – and only Israel”
    Has anyone here EVER seen Nadine criticize an Israeli action or policy?

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    A Palestinian human rights activist is an activist who spends all his time criticizing Israel – and only Israel. Some risk there, huh? Anybody who would claim there is a free press in Gaza is truly whacked out. Since 2006 we haven’t seen a picture of a Hamas fighter shooting a gun come out of Gaza, because Hamas decreed that it only wanted to see pictures of kids and civilians. Besides since they kidnapped Alain Johnston, very few Western reporters have cared to spend much time in Gaza, I notice. Guess you figure they wouldn’t kidnap someone who is so completely on their side.

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  5. Outraged American says:

    I don’t think that Israel has any right to exist. It’s a brutal, rogue
    theocracy. The Bible/ Torah/ Talmud has no legal standing in
    the modern world, nor did it ever.
    And don’t get me started on whether Ashkenazi Jews have any
    “right” whatsoever to “Judea & Samaria” The Jews who have been
    there forever, yes. But those Jews lived in peace for the most
    part with their Arab and Christian neighbors.
    As I’ve mentioned, the ancestors I know I have and can trace are
    Indian, Burmese, Portuguese, Scottish, Irish and English. Again,
    these are KNOWN ancestors from the last 150 years. Do I
    deserve a house and a land plot in each country?
    Do I deserve land in India, as it is my birthplace? Do the kids in
    my family, despite that we left India years before they were
    born? Not thousands of years mind you, just decades.
    Get over yourselves. “My” people, including my still -living
    parents, suffered tremendous discrimination, generations of
    discrimination, under the Raj, because they were of mixed race.
    That’s nothing compared to what so many other ethnic and
    religious groups have suffered.
    As a child of the Raj, I find Warren’s comments about the
    Palestinians even more subtly subversive, by which I mean that
    he seems to expect Palestinians to get it together while not
    acknowledging that Israel has used the traditional “Divide and
    Conquer” meme of every colonial oppressor. In the Palestinians
    case physically, but also by first funding Hamas, and now
    training Fatah troops.
    The Jewish Holocaust was a horror beyond imagination, but
    there were many other Holocausts in the last century, and many
    of the innocents who survived those were not given reparations,
    much less a homeland. One which they’ve since used as a base
    to terrorize, oppress and attack their neighbors.
    And as to the claim that there are no credible journalists in the
    Gaza Strip, what RUBBISH. I covered the Gaza Strip during the
    Israeli attacks in 2006 and 2008/2009 – I spoke with many
    credible journalists as well as doctors and Palestinian human
    rights activists. I don’t know why you waste our time Nadine.

    Reply

  6. nadine says:

    Israel’s concern even for small-fry slike Gilad Shalit makes kidnapped soldier super valuable to Hamas, and they are just desperate to get another one. They dug tunnels all over the place to try to ambush soldiers to kidnap them.
    I’m not surprised your nephew’s ROE was to avoid capture. But if Israel had really decided to act with “callous disregard” for Palestinian life, they would have worked a lot harder on softening up their targets with artillery and high-level areal bombardment, in which they have unquestioned superiority and could have done without casualties. That’s what the Russian army or the Syrian army would have done in their shoes – and did do in Grozny and Hama.
    So the very fact that soldiers like your nephew went in on foot belies your claims of callous disregard. What you are demanding is that Israeli soldiers sacrifice their own lives rather than risk any civilians. That’s not going to happen in war, particularly against an enemy that is all too happy to see its own civilians become “involuntary martyrs.” “We love death more than you love life.”
    The Israeli government is capable of spinning and lying like any other Western government. But they have a free & critical press & 80 human rights orgs watch-dogging them. Who does Hamas have? Palestinians journalists report what Hamas tells them to report – or else. There is no Palestinian equivalent to Amira Hass or Gideon Levy.

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  7. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I have to laugh. You prescribe an almost G-d like character to Israelis. Did it ever occur to you that the government might lie? The US certainly has and as far as I can observe so does every government – except in your eyes, Israel. Do you think it just might be possible to cover up a negative event to protect oneself from the consequesnces? Are Israelis human – or do they never lie or do anything wrong.
    Your statement that the IDF is conducting an examination is laughable. My nephew is a Captain and a 17 year veteran of the Golani Brigade (reg.) He fought on the outskirts of Gaza City in Cast Lead and was very aware of the callous disregard for Palestinian life. Their ROE was avoid capture at all costs, no matter what it took. Now he is part of the investigation team – do you think he will be honest about his and his men’s role? You must be kidding.

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  8. Neo Controll says:

    The only thing the neocon Nadine leaves out is her sometimes question: what should Israel have done in response to the ineffective rockets fired its way? She finds the answer, brutalize a population, totally acceptable. She and Alan Dershowitz deserve each other for their moral blindness to any suffering not Israeli.
    – NCHQ

    Reply

  9. nadine says:

    “If self-criticism had manifested itself in 2009 among propagandists and Israelis, they
    would not have tried to cast a bad light on Goldstone`s character, but instead looked at
    the content of what he had to say, and investigated it sincerely.”
    The Israelis, both the government and private citizens, read Goldstone very carefully. They didn’t need to cast a bad light on Goldstone’s character when his methodology was so contemptible that he himself has stopped defending it public. Basically, Goldstone adjudicated the fighting without bothering to reconstruct it, or to talk to any combatants, or to view or read any government documents of either side; he just heard ‘testimony’ from witnesses Hamas presented to him. After losing one debate with Dore Gold, Goldstone wimped out of an appearance he had promised to make with Alan Dershowitz. He’s now reduced to bleating ‘but I criticized Hamas too’ – which he did, perfunctorily, in about 5 pages out of 600.
    I would link to the official Israeli government response, or any of the best legal responses, or to the videotape of Dore Gold debate or Alan Dershowitz, but I doubt you’d be interested.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    Paul, the IDF has done and is doing its own careful examination of the operation. There are about 35 investigations under way. Unlike Goldstone, they take into account the real fighting and the real circumstances. They come up with different, more accurate numbers (e.g. dead 16 and 17 year old Hamas combatants are not counted as children by the Israelis, since Hamas enrolls them from 16 up and also uses younger boys as scouts and runners), and conclude there were about 400 civilian dead out of 1100. They study very carefully how to get this number down — just as Hamas studies very carefully how to keep this number up. The Israelis found many booby trapped civilian homes with the civilians still inside. “We love death more than you love life” says Hamas.
    There will always be dead civilians in warfare, esp. in urban warfare. If the Israelis had attacked like any other army, there would have been far more dead civilians, thousands! To get the numbers this low in urban warfare against an enemy who boasts of using human shields bespeaks great care. Never before in the history of warfare has an enemy phoned up targets to warn them to leave, giving up the element of surprise. Never before has the target ever responded by sending women and children to the roof, knowing that this offered protection to the target.
    To say there must be NO dead civilians is to say Hamas wins, that terrorist tactics get you perfect immunity. Shoot as many rockets as you like with perfect immunity, kill and kidnap and bomb with no fear, for any casualty you take must be a war crime – because anybody out of uniform must be a civilian, see, and nobody in Hamas wears any uniforms when there is fighting to be done. Presto! Israeli war crimes!
    The Israelis understand who they are fighting and why. Either you don’t or you just want the Israelis to lose and Hamas to win. At this point, I don’t care which it is.

    Reply

  11. DonS says:

    FLASH, via Think Progress — Obama is an ‘enemy of the Jews”, per Likudists.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/30/likud-obama-enemy-jews/
    Seems like Obama is going to have to invest in another set of knee pads to get back on Bibi’s side.

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    “I was more impressed by his severity than I was shocked by the damage done by the
    soldiers.”
    And that was of course the moral of this story – not the looting itself, but the
    impressive moral standard of the narrator`s companion.
    If self-criticism had manifested itself in 2009 among propagandists and Israelis, they
    would not have tried to cast a bad light on Goldstone`s character, but instead looked at
    the content of what he had to say, and investigated it sincerely.
    If self-criticism had manifested itself from mid January to the end of November 2009,
    they would have asked themselves: How could things go so horribly wrong? How could we,
    proud and well trained soldiers in the IDF, end up killing civilians, children, women,
    old people? How could we, citizens of Israel, let this happen, even want this to happen?
    How could we, politicians and generals, make such immoral decisions, give such orders?
    How could we, the Nadines and WigWags of this world, pro-Israel American Jews, defend
    such actions?
    That would be true signs of self-criticism. Some Israelis ask these questions, but they
    are very few right now. It is the same kind of self-criticism that could have manifested
    itself – but did not – among the Palestinians after blowing up busses, restaurants, and
    cinemas some years ago: How could we send out our people to commit such horrible acts?
    Most Palestinians don`t ask themselves these questions.
    No, self-criticism is certainly absent on both sides of this conflict. And this was the
    year when the absence of self-criticism was most glaring on the Israeli side, after the
    bombing of the Gaza strip. Judging from the events and statements that followed that
    war, one can only assume that Israel and it`s most fervent American supporters have put
    “Self-Criticism” somewhere between “Iranian nuclear bomb”, “Al-Qaeda”, and “Arab
    demographic development” on their list of existential threats.

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    “There was a lot of looting, especially in this section,” my companions said. “Who?” I asked. “Both. Our men too. There had been a lot of trouble here; the feeling was very bad. But this is disgusting, this sort of thing.” He waved his arm at the damaged shop fronts. “What can you expect,” I asked, “especially after what went before? This was a clash between people that hated each other. Suppose the Arabs had swept into Tel Aviv? You think only a few streets of deserted small shops would have been smashed and looted?” He didn’t answer the last question. He said, “I expect Jewish soldiers to act like civilized human beings. They had captured the town; they should have protected it. They’ve done so in most places — protected both property and life.” I was more impressed by his severity than I was shocked by the damage done by the soldiers.”
    POA, once again you demonstrate what every literate reader here knows, that your reading comprehension is very poor and you are entirely imprisoned by mush-minded political correctness.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Yes, it was from the Jewish perspective, but self-critical in a way that Jewish perspectives tend to be………”
    ROFLMOA!!!!!

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    Yes, it was from the Jewish perspective, but self-critical in a way that Jewish perspectives tend to be, but Arab perspectives very rarely. At any rate, it agree with what all the first generation of historians described: the Arabs were left leaderless when the “effendi class” packed up and left Palestine after the partition vote in November 1947; they were promised Arab victory by the radio; those in the areas of heavy Jewish settlement were threatened by the Mufti and the Arab High Command with being counted as traitors if the victorious Arab armies caught them sitting by the Jews, so they left; and many of those who remained panicked. There were some forced deportations around Lod and areas of heavy fighting, but mostly it was panic.
    Abu Mazen recently gave an interview in a Jordanian newspaper where he recounted his family’s flight from Safed. They left, he said, when it became clear the Jews were going to win. There had been Jews killed in Safed during the Arab revolt of 1936-39 and they expected the victorious Zionists to take vengeance. So they left, apparently before they even saw a Hagannah soldier. Nothing in this account is at odds with the account of the original historians. The irony is that his family could have stayed safely in Safed, as I’m sure he knows.
    As for Deir Yassin, who could forget it? The Arabs bring it up every chance they get, since they have very few true Jewish massacres of Arab civilians to set against the many Arab massacres of Jewish civilians. They made a big deal of it at the time, hoping to stiffen the spines of the Palestinian Arabs, but as they admitted after the war, they only increased the panic.

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  16. jdledell says:

    Nadine – What you outlined in the Nation article is a rather biased account of the situation. Notice how there is NO Palestinian perspective in the article!!!!!! The only people talked to were Israeli Jews. In any event, from my grandfather’s Irgun days, I can assure you that both sides committed atrocities. Remember Dier Yassin.

    Reply

  17. nadine says:

    DonS, so the 800,000 Jews of the Arab lands who were also made refugees should be airbrushed out of history, they don’t deserve reparations?
    What about the wrongs done to those Arabs of Palestine (they weren’t yet “Palestinians”) who were ordered to leave by the Arab High Command, then stuck into permanent refugee camps? Enormous wrongs have been done to the refugees by the countries they have been in since 1948; this too should be just forgotten?
    In saying that Israel and only Israel should pay for everything, you back the Arab line since 1948. It was for this that they created and perpetuated the refugee problem.
    Here’s an interesting stroll down memory lane: an article from The Nation in 1948 on why the Arabs ran from Palestine, as told by eye witnesses, before the revisionists had a chance to start working.
    Why Did the Arabs Run?
    A Modern-Day Exodus
    By Freda Kirchwey
    This article appeared in the December 4, 1948 edition of The Nation.
    The Nation’s editor Freda Kirchwey travels to Israel and sends back an eyewitness report of the young country’s struggles to survive.
    Jaffa and Tel Aviv were like hostile Siamese twins, joined in uneasy physical union by a slum area in which the mingled blood of both formed a poisonous, explosive compound. Murders, riots and clashes between Arabs and Jews had happened at frequent intervals long before the real fighting began last spring. Then the bad feeling between the two cities exploded into open warfare, and on April 25 the Irgun moved into Jaffa with armored cars and mortars and took the Manshieh district that borders Tel Aviv. The British rather than the Arabs stopped them; but Haganah sent in reinforcements, and four days later the Jews had surrounded the city. Within another few days the Arabs had gone; only a couple of thousand out of an all-Arab population of more than 70,000 hung on. The largest Arab city of Palestine, headquarters of nationalist activity, chief center of Arab business and intellectual life, was silent and deserted.
    I drove through Jaffa with a man from the Israel press office. The Manshieh district was pretty badly damaged, partly by fighting in the streets and partly by shell and mortar fire. I saw small shops open to the street, empty, their interiors wrecked. “There was a lot of looting, especially in this section,” my companions said. “Who?” I asked. “Both. Our men too. There had been a lot of trouble here; the feeling was very bad. But this is disgusting, this sort of thing.” He waved his arm at the damaged shop fronts. “What can you expect,” I asked, “especially after what went before? This was a clash between people that hated each other. Suppose the Arabs had swept into Tel Aviv? You think only a few streets of deserted small shops would have been smashed and looted?” He didn’t answer the last question. He said, “I expect Jewish soldiers to act like civilized human beings. They had captured the town; they should have protected it. They’ve done so in most places — protected both property and life.” I was more impressed by his severity than I was shocked by the damage done by the soldiers. I was later told, not by him but by someone else, that a good part of the looting in Jaffa was the work of assorted Europeans fighting in the Arab ranks–Nazis, Chetniks from Yugoslavia, and Balkan Moslem soldiers–who lingered after the defeat long enough to do some profitable marauding.
    Most of Jaffa was in good shape. The Arab masses, when they fled, took what little they could carry; the wealthy Arabs, who had left during the months before the real fighting began, often salvaged the greater part of their portable possessions. A good many of the undamaged houses in Jaffa and elsewhere are now being used for newly arrived Jews; so the Arab refugees unwittingly helped make a place for the Jewish refugees their leaders were so determined to keep out. This means hardship for individuals; collectively it is obviously fitting and just.
    Why did the Arabs run? Their mass flight from Tiberias, Haifa, Safed, Jerusalem, Jaffa and from the village in those areas, seemed to have little to do with the fighting itself. Anyhow, down the ages civilians have traditionally stuck to their homes and their land, through wars and alien occupations, surviving as best they could, waiting for the end of their troubles. Why should the Arabs have behaved differently, even those who had been on good terms with the Jews? Some blame it on the Mufti. Arabs told their Jewish neighbors that agents of the Mufti said they should go or they’d get their throats slit by the Israelis. Some professed not to believe this, but thought they’d better do as they were told. Other Arabs thought Jewish control would be temporary, a matter of weeks, and that their safest bet was to get out until the Arab forces came back; otherwise they might be regarded as collaborators and suffer at the hands of their own bosses. Others may have been merely defeatist, assuming Jewish victory and preferring to live under Arab rule: the sense of national boundaries is not strong in most of the Arab world. Another likely cause was the example of the wealthy Arabs. When the poor worker in the town or on the land saw his betters disappear with their belongings, he was likely to conclude that the same danger existed for him, too. A dozen reasons probably combined to create the vast epidemic of fear that drove some 500,000 Arabs out of Jewish Palestine into the already overcrowded ranks of homeless, penniless “displaced persons.” Should Israel take them back if they want to come? No one I talked to believed they should be readmitted — any of them — before the war ends. Aside from those who are hostile and potentially under the orders of Fawzi el Kaukji or the Mufti, they would be an intolerable burden on the new state’s already staggering economy. Besides, the Jews feel no responsibility for. their flight and, consequently, little obligation to help them return. After the war the question of the refugees can be discussed on its long-range merits.
    On the same day that I visited Jaffa I heard Count Bernadotte express his views on this matter at a press conference in Tel Aviv. A reporter asked whether he had any specific recommendations to make on the question. He replied, yes, the same ones he had made long ago. All the refugees should be allowed to return — immediately. “How?” asked the reporter. “How would it be done? Their villages are mostly demolished, their jobs or businesses are gone, the fields the peasants worked in are deserted, the landlords moved to Beirut or Damascus or Cairo.”
    Certainly, it would be difficult, the Count said, but with whole families “living under olive trees” across the borders or in Arab Palestine, the refugees would do better to move back, even if their homes and their livings had been destroyed. “At whose expense should they move?” asked another reporter. “Who would support them when they got back? The Israeli government?” Count Bernadotte waved this aside as immaterial. “That cannot be dealt with until after peace is made,” he said, and passed on to other questions, leaving this one ambiguously suspended in the air. The whole thing sounded vague and unconvincing. Now the U. N. has voted funds for the relief of the Arab refugees — $29,500,000 to be made up of voluntary governmental contributions. This is a humane move which does not compromise the future solution of the problem. I believe, however, it should have been accompanied by a suggestion that rich Palestinian Arabs who went off with their money and fine rugs and European furniture, and the Arab states whose invasion of Palestine injected terror into the Arab masses should contribute a substantial share of the upkeep of the refugees. Their obligation is certainly greater than that of the Jews or of the other member nations of the U. N.
    AS FOR the future, I can only speculate on the basis of what I heard. I met Israeli officials who believe that, when peace comes, the refugee Arabs should be readmitted after careful screening. I met others who look upon the Arab exodus as an unexpected and enormous favor conferred upon Israel by its enemies. The Arab problem had solved itself, they said, with the help of the Mufti; why should the Jews voluntarily revive it when, above all, they need land and houses for their own immigration and freedom from the endless vexations that arise from a big and unassimilable minority? “They fled. Let them settle somewhere else–in an Arab country. Evidently they don’t want to stay in a Jewish state. Why should we be expected to take them back?”
    One of the wisest men in Israel, a man whose life has been spent in intimate association with Arabs and who had always believed in the possibility of close and understanding relations with them, told me his views had been forcibly changed by their behavior. “We will not take them back,” he said, “except perhaps in limited numbers. They have forfeited all claim on us. Those that stayed shall have every right of a citizen of Israel; those that went, none.” He advocated an exchange of populations, Israel to take all the Jews now in the Arab states in return for the Arabs who had fled. He thought this might be negotiated as part of a peace agreement, especially if some financial compensation were included.
    I asked him about the Arabs who had remained behind–perhaps 5,000 in Haifa, the whole Arab population of Nazareth, some 20,000, and scattered groups throughout the country, amounting, by Israeli estimates, to something less than 70,000, including “Christians and others.” “You will see them,” he said, “when you go to Nazareth. You can talk to their leaders. None has suffered any harm outside of what the fighting itself has done. In Haifa and Nazareth hundreds of Arabs are employed in the municipal services — they worked in the Haifa refineries, too, until lack of oil closed down the operations. Wherever Arabs are employed in Israel they have the same conditions as Jewish workers, and the same pay. Almost the first act of the Israeli government was a measure equalizing wages. This may not make the Arab rulers and political leaders more anxious to make peace, but as the word spreads in the Arab countries it will have an effect on the masses, who have been taught to believe the Jews want only to oppress if not to murder them.” “It may also incline the refugees to come back to Israel,” I suggested. “It may; yes,” he said, but his expression as he said it indicated that it would not matter much what their inclinations were.
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/19481204/kirchwey

    Reply

  18. DonS says:

    On juridical rights, with regard to the wrongs done to Palestinians, the cause and the remedy lies in Is/Pal; no need to seek justification for ill treatment by reference to external sources. Or perhaps I should say, justice for one is justice for all, and Israel has shown scant interest in justice, for a supposed civilized state.
    But lest we lose sight of the ground, Israel controls the realities; the US is at best like a neutered servant; and the Palestinians are desperate for help and subject to manipulation by various forces. Those with the power have the responsibility to act positively. The neutered servant needs to grow up. Blaming the victim simply increases the anger.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Regular readers and commenters are of course well aware of this, but people
    unfamiliar with my views may get false impressions due to Nadine`s insinuations”
    I don’t think so Paul. Nadine’s comments are so blatantly disingenuous that even the casual or infrequent visitor cannot help but note her dishonesty.
    Besides, if someone was to be inclined to take her misrepresentations seriously, without researching your past comments, odds are they aren’t really concerned with honest debate anyway, and they would undoubtedly be prone to the same slimey tactics of debate that Nadine employs. When I point out Nadine’s bigotry, and dishonesty, I HOPE that the reader will take the time to examine her history of commentary here, because I am confident an examination of her comments will validate my assertions. I am quite sure that Nadine does not welcome an examination of your past comments, because her accusations, such as those she has leveled against you, are easily dispatched as despicably and purposely misrepresentative.

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    “You know better than I that Palestinian lands were appropriated and many were forced from there homes directly or indirectly. The resulting claims, inchoate though the may have been, were never settled.”
    Yes, because the claims were in the hands of the Arab countries who resisted all British attempts at negotiating a transfer of populations with a settlement. The Arab countries just transferred their own Jews out, confiscated their property, and reneged on the rest of the deal, leaving the UN to pay for the Arab refugees in perpetuity.

    Reply

  21. nadine says:

    Paul, I notice you never answered my question about what Egypt and Jordan would have given back had they won the 1967 war, either.
    “>>No, Paul doesn’t say out loud in those exact words that Hamas has a right to kill
    Jews.”
    “Nadine implies that I somehow whisper it, using other words.”
    The word you’re looking for is “enable”. You “enable” Hamas to continue an irredentist terrorist strategy.
    You do this by proclaiming that Israel must give back the the whole WB and Gaza to the Palestinians to “give the Palestinians their right to determine their fate” while completely ignoring the fact that the Palestinians of Gaza got this right in 2005 and gave themselves over to Hamas to become a terrorist launching pad and Islamist statelet. Your only response? Ignore Hamas and demand yet more concessions from Israel.
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. Or this this case a terrorist-supporting policy.

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    “No, Paul doesn’t say out loud in those exact words that Hamas has a right to kill
    Jews.”
    Nadine implies that I somehow whisper it, using other words. But I don`t, and she knows
    it. Regular readers and commenters are of course well aware of this, but people
    unfamiliar with my views may get false impressions due to Nadine`s insinuations.
    This technique is completely unacceptable.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    You know better than I that Palestinian lands were appropriated and many were forced from there homes directly or indirectly. The resulting claims, inchoate though the may have been, were never settled.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    “Nadine, I realize that Israel did not pick a fight in 1967.”
    Thank you for that acknowledgment of reality.
    “But the seeds of the denial of juridical rights of the Palestinians were well in operation by that time with little indication that Israel had any interest in addressing them.”
    What is this supposed to mean? Before 1967, the Arabs of Israel were citizens already. They had judicial rights. What exactly was Israel supposed to address?

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  25. nadine says:

    Hamas is getting Iranian arms too. They just test fired a Silkworm missile. But they aren’t getting as many as Iran would like to send them – note the ship that just got intercepted, and the convoy that Israel just blew up in the Sudan. And besides, Qassams have their uses. They forced much of southern Israel to run to bomb shelters multiple times every day while Hamas-apologists like you claimed that Qassams were more like mosquitoes than rockets and certainly didn’t validate any rights of self-defense. Hamas knows how to calibrate attacks. Or did until last January, which changed their calculations for the moment.

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  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This is what tends to happen when you use the sewer pipes to build Qassams. They are moaning especially loudly about the water system just now because Israel has refused to let any more sewer pipes through the blockade. They figure if they can cause a loud enough “humanitarian” outcry, they can force Israel to send them some more sewer pipe, so they can restock on Qassams”
    Golly, and here all this time I thought Iran was supplying Hamas with advanced rocketry technology. Gee, silly me, thats what I get for listening to you effin’ lyin’ racists.

    Reply

  27. DonS says:

    Nadine, I realize that Israel did not pick a fight in 1967.
    But the seeds of the denial of juridical rights of the Palestinians were well in operation by that time with little indication that Israel had any interest in addressing them.
    Israel learned it’s lesson well, that it’s power resided in coopting and organizing US Jews through the medium of supposed humanitarian organizations by which it could assert it’s influence with the US government and within the US political system. This despite the initial efforts of the US DOJ to require Zionist groups to register as agents of a foreign government

    Reply

  28. nadine says:

    POS, the Gaza water system is indeed very decripit. They have had floods of raw sewage.
    This is what tends to happen when you use the sewer pipes to build Qassams. They are moaning especially loudly about the water system just now because Israel has refused to let any more sewer pipes through the blockade. They figure if they can cause a loud enough “humanitarian” outcry, they can force Israel to send them some more sewer pipe, so they can restock on Qassams.
    That’s how the game is played.

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Much as I hate to say it, in the audience that Nadine most hopes to influence, the power possessors in the US government, she is in large part preaching to the choir”
    I disagree. I think that Nadine is targeting the EXACT audience the Hasbarist movement is meant to target, the public, the outside the beltway Joe Blows that are beginning to question the line of shit we have been fed for decades about our alliance with Israel.
    Nadine and her despicable ilk do not NEED to target our leadership, as money and political aspirations are incentive enough for these immoral pieces of shit to continue to endorse, ignore, and abet Israeli atrocities. Do you REALLY think people like Behrman are unaware of the truths contained in the Goldstone Report? Or those such as Reid and Hoyer do not recognize the motives and goals behind perpetual Israeli expansionism?
    Nope. Nadine’s role is to impede and slow down the inevitable awakening of Joe Public. And the Hasbarist organization could not have picked a more inept or self defeating tool. Like I’ve said before, you would think that Jews, and Israeli’s, would have the common sense to tell her to just STFU.

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    DonS, Israel did not pick the fight in 1967. The USSR egged on its Arab clients, starting with Syria. Then Nasser reacted by making it his fight and promising to destroy Israel. The USSR really thought that the Arabs would win. So did the French – they found a gracefully worded speech in De Gaulle’s papers mourning the destruction of Israel.
    It was very embarrassing for the USSR when the Arabs lost so badly. The KGB helped them develop the propaganda line of America’s war against Islam to to try to salvage a propaganda victory out of the military defeat.

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul, your post sounds as though Nadine’s comments actually cast your commentary in a bad light to those reading her misrepresentations.
    That is NOT the case. Anyone reading this blog, even occassionally, knows that Nadine is purposely misrepresenting the comments of posters that disagree with her. All she is accomplishing by misrepresenting the statements and commentary of other posters is the destruction of her own credibility. When she states that your position is that Palestinians “have a right” to kill Jews, anyone that has followed your posting KNOWS it to be a lie. The same goes for her misrepresentation of Dan’s comments, or my own.
    The irony here is that basically, all along, Nadine’s entire argument in regards to Israeli abuses and crimes, (particularly as it applies to Operation Cast Lead), is that Israel “has a right” to kill Palestinians. I can state that with confidence and clear conscience, because it IS an accurate appraisal of Nadine’s past and current arguments. Such hypocricy and intellectual dishonesty seems to be a trademark of the most vehement of the pro-zionist Hasbarists. Personally, I find it despicable, albiet completely predictable, as it would be extremely hard to defend the modern actions of Israel without resorting to deception, straw, and insinuations of anti-semitism where none exists.
    I suppose there is a silver lining to the hasbarist twisting of reality and callous disregard for truth, as it is speeding up the ever growing disdain the public has for the lop-sided and propagandized narrative we have been force fed about our relationship with Israel. As I’ve stated here on numerous occassions, narratives such as Nadine’s, blatantly bigoted, and completely devoid of any criticism of Israel, only underscores the indefensible nature of Israel’s actions. Any Israeli policies that neeed be defended by lies, straw, or empty accusations of anti-semitism are shown to indefensible just by application of these tactics of debate.
    Nadine is her own worst enemy, and isn’t doing Jews or Israel any favors with her dishonest and racist spew.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    No, Paul doesn’t say out loud in those exact words that Hamas has a right to kill Jews. It is Hamas who says they have a right to kill Jews.
    The Euros do a kind of money-laundering operation on Hamas’ arguments by pretending that the rockets, and the calls for destroying Israel, and the use of human shields don’t exist or are so minimal that they don’t deserve to count for anything in the big picture. Then they point to vague hints at moderation given in interviews with western reporters (such as Khaled Meshaal’s recent interview) as evidence for why Hamas is moderating and Israel should talk to them.
    It’s a whitewash of Hamas that results in a corresponding blackwash of Israel when it tries to defend its civilians from Hamas rockets. The Euros let the UN do the heavy lifting to legitimize Hamas and defame Israel. They just add their vote at the UN, or at the most, abstain.
    It is the Euro line of argument that Paul backs. Then he can get all huffy when you accuse him of approving terror. No, he’s against terror. He’s just for the policies that wind up rewarding it. Just like he’s sure that all Israel has to do for peace to break out all over is to give every Arab country a complete do-over on 1967. He doesn’t stop to ask himself why the conflict started in 1967 in the first place, if all the Arabs were fighting for was land they already had in their possession?
    Israel can’t afford to let itself be destroyed just so guys like Paul will say, oops, guess I misjudged.

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    I have been stymied for the past day as to how/whether to followup on this discussion, what with Paul Norheim’s heroic efforts to lay out the de jure and realpolitik elements and Nadine’s barrage of rejoinder and assertions based on a RW Zionist-centric interpretation of historical events.
    As Nadine asserts,1) might makes right for Israel 2) Israel didn’t ever pick a fight, or act as an aggressor 3) Israel has the right of “to the victor go the spoils” 4) Israel remains poor, tiny Israel, despite five decades of acting the local bully 5) Arab neighbors always have and always will be zero sum in their behavior towards Israel (only Israel get’s to play the diplomatic posturing card), etc. etc.
    Honestly, It takes more than I have to keep up with the assault. I have tried find a crack in the propaganda wall of Nadine,and Wigwag before her, but it is unrelenting. And it’s a two front assault, given that much of the conventional wisdom totally endorses the Zionist line. Much as I hate to say it, in the audience that Nadine most hopes to influence, the power possessors in the US government, she is in large part preaching to the choir. I wish I could say I saw serious fault lines in US foreign policy that showed an understanding of the seriousness of the stakes in play to the point where there might be a willingness to shift orientation to a ‘US first’ policy. But I don’t see it.
    And Paul nails it that there is a cottage industry around those who are considered legitimate to have opinions about Israel; or, more accurately, only certain opinions that are considered legitimate — it amounts to the same thing. And it is largely because of that niche that the “Israeli question” occupies that it gets attention and is important in global geopolitics.
    Thanks POA for continuing to document the atrocities.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So where is the rhetoric from the Obama Administration, decrying the TRUE depth of the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people?
    Are settlements the only issue that Obama has the “courage” to tepidly and half-heartedly protest against?
    Why is an American citizen lying as a vegetable in a Tel Aviv hospital bed, he and his family abandoned by their State Department?
    Why do we hear so much about settlements, when the illegal separation fence is the scene of DAILY heavy handed police actions against peaceful protestors, on a par with what occurred in Iran?
    Is the issue of settlements just diversion, nothing more than an insincere posture, assumed to conceal the TRUE nature and depth of Israeli racism, crimes, and human rights abuses?
    Isn’t it time Obama showed some balls and started telling us the TRUTH about what Israel does with our money and arms?

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine`s debating techniques really pisses me off as well. Less than a month ago, I
    said, in a direct exchange with Nadine, that I as a principle do not support
    terrorist tactics, explicitly including tactics employed by the Palestinians. This
    happened on one of those threads that disappeared some weeks ago – perhaps due to a
    hack. She responded to my posts – so it`s impossible that she didn`t read it. And I
    know that I have never said anything that is even remotely possible to interpret as
    support of terrorism (neither the Hamas type or the Israeli state terrorism).
    But now, a few weeks later, Nadine spreads a lie contrary to my position.
    I really support Steve`s effort to make us discuss opinions, issues and arguments,
    and not the person behind the opinion. But to be honest, I sometimes find it
    difficult to discuss issues, and not motives, when your opponent deliberately
    spreads false claims about your position. As she`s done several times before, Nadine
    crossed that line at least twice on this thread – against Dan, and against me.
    I think she deserves a warning from the host.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/
    one year later, young fisherman still trying to heal
    November 26, 2009
    Just as his leg was healing from a gaping bullet wound in his calf, Mohammed Musleh broke it, setting his healing back. Although the re-break happened in April, now in November his leg is still in metal braces.
    Musleh was initially wounded early in the morning of 5 October 2008 when Israeli soldiers shot at him from a distance of 100 metres.
    “Doctors told me there was an entry wound of two square centimetres and an exit wound of 10-15 square centimetres. They said the shot fractured my shinbone and severed arteries in my leg,” Musleh testified to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group.
    At the time of his shooting, Musleh and Ahmad al-Bardawil were fishing 2 km off the coast of Rafah, 3 km from the Egyptian border, according to their GPS device.
    Musleh testified to B’Tselem that after dropping their fishing hooks, he and Bardawil “saw an Israeli battleship approach us. When the ship was about 300 meters from us, the soldiers fired into the air and into the water near our boat. Ahmad and I pulled in the line and rowed north, toward the coast, to get away from the Israeli ship and go to another place to continue fishing. Next to us was another rowboat, with two fisherman, one of them Ahmad’s cousin, Ali al-Bardawil, 20.
    Our boat and the other boat rowed about 500 meters north, the Israeli ship continued to close in on us, to a distance of about 100 meters from us. It was frightening: the ship was huge and very tall, and the crew was firing in the air all the time.
    I sat in the middle of the boat, rowing north. The soldiers fired into the water around the boat. Suddenly I felt pain in my left leg. I looked at my leg and saw I had been hit in the left shin. There was a hole and my leg was bleeding badly.
    I stopped rowing, told Ahmad I had been wounded, and lay down on my back. Ahmad rowed to get us out of there. The firing at us continued. The soldiers didn’t say anything at all to us, at any stage.”
    It took thirty minutes to row ashore, with Musleh heavily bleeding all the while.
    Before his re-injury in April 2009, Musleh had hoped to return to the sea, despite the still present dangers from Israeli gunboats patrolling close to Gaza’s shore.
    “I learned fishing from my father, back in 2006,” he said. “Nowadays, because of the siege, we can’t earn very much. Some days we bring home 100 shekels. Some days nothing.”
    “We fish regularly in this area, and this is the first time we had any problems,” he told B’Tselem.
    While Musleh may not have been targeted by Israeli soldiers before his injury, on a nearly daily basis fishermen from Rafah to Gaza’s northern waters are shot at, abducted, and have their fishing boats and equipment taken by Israeli soldiers enforcing the sea blockade, completing the full siege of the Strip. The fishing industry is a frail shadow of its former self, accompanying the reported 95% of industry in Gaza which has shut down due to the combination of siege and the Israeli massacre of Gaza.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/where-is-the-buffer-zone/#more-6396
    where is the buffer zone?
    At 8:30 on November 15, a number of young men went as usual to the land near Gaza’s northern border with Israel, intending to catch birds. Amjad Hassanain, 27, was among the bird-catchers hunting near the border fence when Israeli soldiers began shooting.
    The shots which missed the other bird-catchers hit Hassanain, grazing his shoulder.
    Cameraman Abdul Rahman Hussain, filming in the vicinity, reports having seen the group of bird-catches head north.
    “We were near the former Israeli settlement of Doghit,” said Hussain, referring to the area northwest of Beit Lahia in Gaza’s north.
    “I had gone to the border area to photograph a young bird-catcher. We were about 400 m from the border fence, but when we heard the shooting, we moved back to around 1 km.”
    According to Hussain, the other men had to carry the wounded Hassanain 1 km from the site of injury, then transferred him to a motorcycle and finally to a car.
    “He was covered in blood, I couldn’t tell where he was hit,” said Hussain.
    Hussain, there to document the work of bird-catchers, was surprised by the shooting.
    “They always go there to catch birds. They put their nets close to the fence in order to catch as many as possible.” Like the bird-catchers, Hussain believed the Israeli soldiers along the border were familiar enough with the bird catching activity that they wouldn’t shoot.
    Two hours later, Mahmoud Mohammed Shawish Zaneen and seven other farmers took a break from their work plowing land east of Beit Hanoun.
    “We had three tractors with us. We’d been working since 8 am, planting wheat. At first we worked about 450 metres from the border fence, but later we were 700 metres away.”
    The farmers had paused to drink tea when Israeli soldiers began shooting.
    “The tractors were stopped and we were sitting on them. There were about seven Israeli soldiers, on foot. They shot the other tractors and then shot mine. They didn’t give us any warning, just started shooting.”
    The bullet which pierced Zaneen’s left calf continued into his right calf.
    Since the end of the Israeli massacre of Gaza last winter, at least nine Palestinians have been killed, and another more than thirty-four injured, by Israeli shooting and shelling in the border areas in Gaza’s north and east.
    Ahmed Sourani, of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC) has long been aware of the impact the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”, a north-south width of 150 metres from the border fence at inception a decade ago. Currently, Israeli authorities warn that anyone within 300 metres of the border fence risks being shot.
    Not only is the agricultural land within 300 metres of the border rendered off-limits, but also that of adjacent land, also subject to Israeli shooting.
    Following the Israeli massacre of Gaza last winter, Sourani said that “PARC is fearful that the Israelis will extend that military zone to reach 2 km or more to the east and 3 km to the north, then turn it into a de facto situation.”
    The impact on the agricultural industry of the Israeli-led siege on Gaza, the Israeli massacre of Gaza, and the imposition of the “buffer zone” has been profound:
    International bodies cite 60,000-75,000 dunams [1 dunam is 1000 square metres] of farmland they say is now damaged or unusable.
    World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said anywhere from 35 percent to 60 percent of the agriculture industry was destroyed by Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
    Mahmoud Zaneen, still recovering from his injuries, says that his family of four has lost its only source of income.
    “I usually work every day, if I can. I make 50 shekels per day.”
    Until his legs recover, the family will be minus even that meagre salary. But Zaneen, despite his injuries, is determined to return to the fields.
    “If there is work, I’ll go again.”

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/lost-livelihoods/#more-6437
    lost livelihoods
    East of Gaza city, on some of Gaza’s most fertile land, little to nothing is growing, and what had grown has been repeatedly mowed down over the years by Israeli military bulldozers and tanks.
    I am re-visiting the region to record farmers’ words on a vital issue: water. Their wells and cisterns have also been bulldozed, pumps and motors destroyed. In some areas there is a complete lack of water; in another region east of Beit Hanoun there’s just one water source.
    We see the remains of pumps, some destroyed in prior Israeli invasions, the majority destroyed (again) in the last Israeli attack, the winter massacre of Gaza.
    A cascade of house rooves and beams is nothing new, and taking the photo is more of habit than of awe.
    Stopping for tea at one of the farmer’s houses, I expore what’s left of their farm livelihood. They are among the hundreds who have had their citrus, olive, and other fruit trees razed, their wells destroyed, their land polluted by chemical weapons.
    I’m interested in bees, and want to know more about their small-scale honey production.
    Turns out it used to be much larger: in 2004 they had 250 boxes of bees, each box containing up to 8 slots of bee hives (imagine a picture frame filled with honeycomb). These were destroyed when the Israeli bulldozers cut through their land.
    Prior to the winter massacre, they had 80 boxes. But after the rockets and phosphorous, 15 boxes of bees perished. Along with the razed trees, bees and honey production in general got worse and worse, the bees no longer finding the flowers needed to sustain themselves.
    The farm also lost 25 sheep during the massacre, I’m told.
    Two handsome camels remain: a mother and her 8 month old son.
    As we walk past more of the same: artfully destroyed homes, Mahdi, a Beit Hanoun resident, mentions that his family also kept bees. 500 boxes. All were lost in 2003 when the Israeli dozers came. His family has been raising bees for three decades, but with that invasion it came to an abrupt halt.
    They did try again, he said. Two months ago they re-started their bee tending, but all the bees died, for want of flowers, trees, sustenance.
    We won’t bother anymore, he told me. There are no trees in the area. Everythings been razed.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Likudniks blast ‘enemy of the Jews’ Obama over settlement freeze
    By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz Correspondent
    Member of Netanyahu’s Likud party: Obama administration is ‘worst regime there ever was’ for Israel.
    Rank-and-file Likudniks and lawmakers in the ruling Likud party lambasted the Obama administration at a gathering on Saturday, in response to Israel’s decision to temporarily freeze construction in West Bank settlements.
    MK Dani Danon organized the meeting after Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) launched a verbal attack over the matter on U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, which she branded “terrible.”
    While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately distanced himself from her comments, the activists at Saturday’s conference leveled further criticism at Obama over the moratorium, which Israel undertook to carry out in the wake of tremendous U.S. pressure.
    “The Obama administration is an enemy of the Jews and the worst regime there ever was for the State of Israel,” said Yossi Naim, the head of the Beit Aryeh regional council, at the Ra’ana meeting. “I announce to Obama: You won’t be able to stop us.”
    The mayor of the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Ron Nahman, called Netanyahu’s announcement of the settlement freeze a disgrace.
    Directing his comments to Livnat, he said: “I am proud and happy that you said what you said, because you had the public courage to say what most of the public feels ever since Obama came to power.”
    Nahman repeatedly referred to the U.S. leader as “Hussein Obama,” omitting his first name.
    continues….
    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131258.html
    But these anti-american and murderous racists will cash the next check we send them, won’t they? Do we really need “allies” like this?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And to be terribly blunt, I find Nadine’s constant assignation of straw arguments to her oppponents far more worthy of banishment then sarcasm or insult are. Nadine offers us a constant and daily stream of lies, such as her assertion that Dan Kervick wants to “destroy Israel”, or that Paul has stated that Palestinians “have a right to kill Jews”. Like I stated in an earlier post, giving Nadine a platform is akin to giving a skinhead nazi, or a KKK member, a platform. Her hatred and bigotry is no less palpable, and the lies and distortions through which she advances her arguments are no less decietful.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, thats funny, I’ve never seen Paul say that the Palestinians have the “right” to kill Jews. But hey, really, what else can we expect from Nadine except bullshit, straw, Hasbara crap, and bigoted spew?
    Whats truly amazing about this bigot Nadine is her comp[lete and utter inability to admit to, much less recognize, ANY wrongdoing, abuses, or crimes committed by Israel. She accuses us of failing to hold the Palestinians to account. But have you EVER seen Nadine criticize an Israeli action? Her intellectual contortions, in order to avoid commenting on razed olive groves, dfestroyed farmlands, farmers killed by IDF snipers while attempting to trend their fields, peaceful protestors shot or imprisoned, piracy and kidnapping on the high seas, Palestinian children attacked and beaten by Israel settler terrorists and fanatic racists, water wells poisoned, etc, is truly amazing to behold.
    Nadine’s despicable excuses, justifications, and rationales are bads enough, but the Israeli abuses she ignores, denies, and refuses to debate are the true gauge through which we can judge her credibility. This is true too of thew Obama Administratyion. Making the settlements the issue, while ignoring the illegal separation fence, ignoring Israel’s daily human rights abuses and crimes against the Palestinian people, and ignoring the Goldstone Report are hardly the policies of an Administration working towards a fair and balanced atmosphere for mediation that can precede negotiations. When your kids have been fried in white pghosphorous, or deprived of medical care or substenance, robbed of their futures, forced to live in poverty and sewage, then settlements are the least of your worries. Its becomes an issue of survival, of finding some bit of nutrition to put ion your kid’s mouth, some clean water to sate their thirst. Making settlements the issue merely hides and camoflauges the more egregious aspects of the “plight of the Palestinians”, and the horrendous human costs of current USA/Israeli policy. There IS NO hardline towards Israel when we make tepid protestations against settlement expansion, (that Israel ignores), while Palestinians are being imprisoned, starved, murdered, tortured, fried, dehumanized, and shit upon by the racist policies of the Israeli leadership.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    “The Palestinians put their hopes in low grade warfare/terrorism, training Euros like Paul to think they
    have a right to shoot rockets and kill Jews – it’s “resistance”.”
    The message being: “Paul supports terrorism/ killing Jews.”
    This is, of course, a claim Nadine can`t document. It`s a lie.
    “(As I pointed out, Euros get their own psychological benefits from embracing this worldview, even if
    Paul won’t admit it)”
    Yeah, I guess there are some disadvantages of being a Norwegian. One being that if I warn against anti-
    Semitism, Caroll says it`s because I feel guilt for Holocaust. If I criticize Israel and defend the
    Palestinians, Nadine says it`s because I feel guilt for Holocaust. If I say that I`m for Israel`s right
    to exist, OA says it`s because I feel guilt for Holocaust. What are the implications of applying such
    cheap, generalized psychological analysis? That only Israelis/Arabs and Americans have a legitimate
    right to form an opinion on these issues? It`s quite telling that this trick is employed solely by the
    most extreme Zionists and the most extreme anti-Zionists at the TWN.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    The Palestinians put their hopes in low grade warfare/terrorism, training Euros like Paul to think they have a right to shoot rockets and kill Jews – it’s “resistance”. (As I pointed out, Euros get their own psychological benefits from embracing this worldview, even if Paul won’t admit it) Meantime they work at the UN on “lawfare” – delegitimizing Israel with propaganda exercises like Goldstone to turn self-defense into a war crime and confirm that terrorism is 100% legal when it’s against Jews (the UN is still working out how legal it is against others. Pretty much legal as far as one can tell).
    Meantime they have Right of Return, a complete revisionist history they teach to their young where no Jews were in Palestine ever before 1947, and a total refusal to accept Israel as legitimate in any borders, bolstered by the Arab narrative of the West’s War against Islam and Islam’s right of terrorism in return. And when you ask what are their red lines, they tell you these ideological lines, not any practical line about borders or sovereignty that might be negotiated.
    The Palestinians take the long view, and they figure time is on their side, that the Israelis will get more and more desperate and offer more and more each time. Of course, they will sacrifice more generations of young Palestinians to misery, frustration, and no hope of glory but martyrdom killing Jews. But they don’t mind that. It keeps them in power. They don’t need a Palestinian economy to keep themselves in power. They get their money in other places.
    So the Palestinians think they have a lot more negotiating advantages that just RoR. Why you think handing over concessions to this mindset will do anything other than confirm it, is beyond man’s power to guess. It’s completely irrational.

    Reply

  44. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I assume you are no longer a child so lets stop building up the arab bogeyman as a monster living under every Jewish bed.
    Modern Israel is without military parallel in the Mideast. The Palestinians could not militarily defeat the Israelis within the next couple of generations, if ever. If Israel divided the land and allowed the Palestinians to have their own state, one of three things will happen. First, they could spend all their energy building up their dirt poor people and state institutions. Or second, they could continue to annoy Israel with a continuation of low grade warfare, as Hamas is doing from Gaza. Or third, they could go to real war against Israel (with ot without the help of other Arab countries)in an attempt to either defeat Israel or increase their borders.
    If they attempted to do the latter, Israel would smash them within 24 hours – it would not take 6 days like the old times.The second possibility is the most difficult to handle but it is not an existential threat to Israel. Presumably, if the Palestinians had a realistic state when they tried the low grade warfare, the rest of the world would be much more understanding of Israel’s counter-terror moves than they do when the Palestinians are locked in open air prisons.
    On another note, you should stop using the straw bogeyman of the right of return. It’s not going to happen in any meaningful way. The entire world understands that (who besides the arabs and the Palestinians has ever supported ROR -not the US, or EU, China, Russia etc) More importantly, Israel and the Palestinians understand that. Talk to some Palestinians – they know it and freely admit it.
    I’ve heard talks by Palestinian and Israeli government officials who wrestle with the issue of how to make ROR go away in a face saving way. The most common approach I’ve heard on both sides is those who were ALIVE and living (not decendents) within the Green line in 1947 would be allowed the right. The estimates I hear are 50,000 eligble and something less than 10,000 actually doing it -mainly to die and be buried in the old homeland.
    Nonetheless, don’t expect to hear this publically since the ROR is the ONE single negotiating advantage the Palestinians hold over the Israelis and they will not concede this point until they get everything else they believe they need.

    Reply

  45. nadine says:

    jdledell,
    Maybe you don’t intend to destroy Israel. It’s just what would happen if your advice were followed. Obama didn’t intend to prevent Mideast peace talks from ever restarting, quite the opposite. Unintended consequences occur when your model of reality is dysfunctional.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    “A) During the 1967 war, Israel conquered territory belonging to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
    This was territory that did not belong to Israel, but Israel decided to keep it – perhaps
    because it felt that it was in an insecure position. During Camp David, Egypt got Sinai
    back.”
    The 1967 war was not Israel’s idea. The Syrians and the Egyptians started it, egged on by the USSR. Nasser massed a large army with much armor and artillery on Israel’s borders and openly declared his intention to destroy Israel. The UN “peacekeepers” left at his order. He planned to attack on May 27 but some word from the USSR via Kosygin made him change his mind. So after a month of crisis Israel pre-empted on on June 5th (source: Six Days of War by Michael Oren). Diplomats noted that both sides felt confident of victory.
    Let me ask you this: if Egypt had won the war, would they have given anything back? Would there have been any Israelis left to give it back to? Why should an aggressor get a do-over on a war he started and lost? This goes double for Jordan, where Levi Eshkol gave King Hussein the chance to stay out but Hussein attacked Israel instead.
    “B) Before 1967, Israel was regarded as a small and weak power. But that was then. Now,
    everyone, within Israel and abroad, knows that Israel is a nuclear power with a very
    competent army. It doesn`t need the territories post 1967 for security reasons.”
    So if you have nukes you feel comfortable with a country that is only nine miles wide? I think you need to learn how to read a map. Israel is tiny. Until it has peaceful neighbors, the defense line on the Jordan can make the difference between an hour’s warning and no warning.
    “C) Now, the right thing to do is to give Syria what belongs to Syria, and give the
    Palestinians their right to determine their fate by retreating to the pre 67 borders.
    Cooperate with the international community to remove the settlers. Do what you can to
    sincerely promote a Palestinian state, instead of undermining it.”
    Every piece of land that Israel has given back has become a terrorist launching pad. Every piece of land that Israel has given back has only made Israel LESS legitimate, not more, as the Arabs say: “See? they gave some of it back, so they admit they are thieves with no right to any of it.” and the Euros parrot their view using “colonialist” language. You tell me, is Israel now regarded as more legitimate or less legitimate than before 1993 when it started Oslo and give-backs?
    The Palestinians make NO distinction between the inside and outside of the Green Line. NONE. They don’t care about the Green Line, why should they? It’s just a truce line. When Israel was inside it they didn’t recognize Israel. They don’t recognize Israel now. They don’t recognize a shred of Jewish legitimacy in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. They just say “occupation, occupation, occupation” to the likes of YOU so you can help get them free concessions.
    Then after the concessions only lead to new wars, you conclude, oh gee, they are still not happy, so Israel didn’t give enough. Tell me, did the EU give Israel any credit when it withdrew from Gaza? Did its sympathies turn toward Israel when Hamas began shelling civilians from Gaza? No and no.
    Why the hell should half a million Jews living over the Green line have to be deported from their homes while a million Arabs get to stay inside Israel? How can anybody interpret that as anything but saying that Arabs are legitimate but Jews are illegitimate? The day that Jews can live in Palestine the same way Arabs can live in Israel is the day there will be peace.
    Israel cannot promote a Palestinian state. Many times it tried to work with moderates, with local mayors, etc, only to be told: “I’d like to work with you. But if I do, the PLO will kill me.” The mayors were quite accurate. Thousands of Palestinians have been killed as “collaborators”. The Palestinians leadership is being paid by the Arab League, the Gulf states, and now Iran to destroy Israel. They will never make peace. Olso was a ruse. All Israel can do is work out de facto arrangements where possible, like in Jericho. You never heard about Jericho in any intifada because Israel had a deal there: quiet for quiet.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2009/11/27/israels%c2%a0illegal-settlements-in-america/
    Israel’s Illegal Settlements in America
    by Grant Smith, November 28, 2009
    US Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell was highly enthusiastic about Israel’s partial, temporary illegal settlement freeze stating “it is more than any Israeli government has done before and can help move toward agreement between the parties.” In fact, Israel has done more. In 2005 Israel reversed settlement construction and its overt occupation of Gaza. Palestinians situation worsened under a strangulating economic blockade and total Israeli control of borders, airspace and maritime access. Ironically, those Americans seeking a permanent end to Israeli settlement activities face a predicament similar to the Palestinians. Peace in the Middle East depends on reversing a peculiar manifestation of illegal Israeli settlements right here at home. These US settlements were built not on stolen land, but the strategic territory of US governance through violations of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
    Among Israel’s first international efforts as a state was establishing an “Israel Office of Information” (IOI) in the United States in the fall of 1948. The IOI registered as a foreign agent with the US Department of Justice which required it not only to file activity reports about its efforts on behalf of Israel every six months, but also place a stamp on pamphlets and other materials circulating in the US that their true origin was the Israeli government.
    The IOI quickly ran into trouble. It was cited by the FARA section for failing to disclose the existence of a California office. The FBI noticed it wasn’t affixing disclosure stamps to the material it circulated. Isaiah Kenen, registered as a foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, soon tired of such regulatory oversight and disclosures. He coordinated his IOI departure with the Israeli government from the IOI to lobby from a domestically chartered lobbying organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC). The DOJ ordered him to reregister, but he never did.
    During a 1952 summit meeting, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proposed that leaders of major organizations centralize US lobbying and fundraising coordination under the American Zionist Council (AZC) rather than the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency. The AZC was a small umbrella organization that united the leadership of top organizations such as Hadassah and the Zionist Organization of America. But the AZC continued to rely heavily upon financial support from the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency in Jerusalem for public relations and lobbying until the 1960s. Between 1962-1963 a Senate and Justice Department investigation found the AZC and Kenen had received direction and the equivalent of $35 million from the Jewish Agency via its American Section in New York to lobby for US taxpayer-funded aid and arms. The Justice Department ordered the AZC to register as an Israeli foreign agent on November 21, 1962. This initiated a fierce DOJ/AZC battle that lasted until 1965, when the DOJ allowed the AZC to file a secret FARA declaration expecting it to shut down operations. The Jewish Agency was also forced shut down its American Section in New York after a rabbi and George Washington University legal scholar forced it to file its secret 1953 “covenant agreement” with the Israeli government which conferred governmental powers to the Jewish Agency.
    The AZC quietly and quickly reorganized lobbying operations within its former division, internally referred to as the “Kenen Committee” (today called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC) which Isaiah Kenen led until 1975. The Jewish Agency also executed a shell company paper reshuffle, reemerging as the World Zionist Organization-American Section within the same building, with the same staff, management and publications.
    Today, the most important nucleus of the Israeli government’s power in America lies far outside its Washington DC embassy, official consulates, or properly registered FARA entities. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations consists of only two key paid employees according to its 2008 charitable tax return (PDF). Like the AZC under Ben-Gurion’s mandate, the Conference of Presidents has only one true role: corralling American organizations into a US power base for the Israeli government. The Conference of President’s roster now includes such curiously named organizations as the American Friends of Likud and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs alongside old AZC mainstays such as the ZOA and Hadassah. As mandated by AIPAC’s bylaws (PDF), all Conference of Presidents member organizations are part of AIPAC’s executive committee, forming a combined grassroots lobbying might far more intimidating to the Justice Department than the old AZC.
    Yet in reality, Israeli government’s newest lobbying venture is nothing more than a rebranded AZC — the stealth foreign agency relationships remain, some hidden, others not. One visible geographic linkage to the Israeli government is the Conference of Presidents offices which are located at the same 633 Third Avenue New York address as the World Zionist Organization’s American Section.
    The World Zionist Organization-American Section, as the paper reincarnation of the Jewish Agency, is still compelled to register (PDF) as an Israeli foreign agent. In 2008 it spent $8,102,752, by far the largest expenditure of any registered foreign agent for Israel. Like its predecessor foreign agent, the Jewish Agency, the WZO American Section claims these large disbursements across America are mainly for “education” rather than political activity. Such claims are easily debunked.
    The WZO was more accurately revealed by Israeli prosecutor Thalia Sasson in 2005 as being at the very center of illegal Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. Shimon Peres estimated that up to $50 billion was laundered into illegal settlement construction. Today WZO/Conference of Presidents “education” initiatives include organizing rabbis to effectively campaign for war on Iran, activities that are not accurately disclosed on the WZO’s disclosures to the Department of Justice.
    The question of whether such Israeli-conceived plans are worth American blood and treasure are vitally important, as is rule of law. Under FARA, Americans have a clear right to full disclosure about AIPAC and the Conference of President’s political activities, public relations and transfer of things of value on behalf of their foreign principal(s). As foreign lobbying organizations emerging directly from the American Zionist Council, these leaders of the Israel lobby carry an expanding information debt to American taxpayers expected to fund their many initiatives. Yet in spite of the 1961 order by the attorney general, since March of 1965, neither has filed a single public declaration at the FARA office. This means that AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents now owe Americans 88 semiannual FARA declaration filings. For its part, the WZO must begin to accurately disclose its heavy involvement in illegal West Bank settlements, which are opposed by the Obama administration.
    Given the Israel lobby’s past penchant for nondisclosure, such filings will no doubt garner a great deal of public scrutiny. Explanations for why so much classified US government information is passing between AIPAC it and its foreign principals in 1984 and 2005 have been a long time coming. These will be particularly timely and enlightening as Israel’s drumbeat for US attacks on Iran grows louder. Until they again begin to register under FARA, Israel’s principal colonization entities, the World Zionist Organization, political muscle (Conference of Presidents), and enforcer in Congress (AIPAC) are themselves illegal Israeli settlers in America.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/11/27/israel-greets-start-of-settlement-freeze-with-new-construction/
    Israel Greets Start of Settlement ‘Freeze’ With New Construction
    28 New Buildings Approved, Govt Seeks to Delay Razing Illegal Outposts
    by Jason Ditz, November 27, 2009
    Likely adding fuel to Palestinian claims that the Israeli government’s promise of a 10-month settlement construction freeze doesn’t amount to anything of the sort, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved new construction in the West Bank.
    Incredibly enough, the approvals come at the exact same time as Barak issued the “temporary freeze order,” which was being presented as halting new construction in the West Bank but actually only restricts permits of certain types of buildings for 10 months. 28 buildings are said to be included in the new construction.
    Adding insult to injury, the Israeli government is also pressing the nation’s Supreme Court to allow it to delay the ordered destruction of illegal outposts – settlements which even the Israeli government concedes are not legal.
    Israel has been contending with a growing mutiny among its more religious soldiers, some of whom are reportedly being told that they have to refuse the outpost evacuations on religious grounds. Still, the official reason for the delay request is the 10 month freeze, which it seems is making settlement construction less frozen than ever.

    Reply

  49. DonS says:

    “If my opponents ever acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, which I haven’t seen them do, it is only conditionally, once the Palestinians have their state and declare themselves happy.”
    Speaking for myself only, it is not a question whether Israel has a right to exist. It does exist, with far more stable a set of indications than most countries in the world.
    To dispute the de jure or defacto status of Israel would be to call for it’s destruction. Now that would be anathema to me. We are talking about the real world of geo-political dynamics I think, not some airy fairy screaming protest about moral rectitude, etc.
    However, the Israel I subscribe to at this point is one within the borders of it’s charter and the ’67 peace accords AND compliance with 242, AND evacuation of everything outside the ’67 accords to the extent practicable or agreed to in a fair treaty between the principal parties. Israel’s right to be in good standing with the world community depends upon it being willing to honestly address the ongoing causes of conflict with the Palestinians that are largely of it’s making, via illegal expansion, and subjugation of the territories.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    “If my opponents ever acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, which I haven’t seen them do, it is only conditionally, once the Palestinians have their state and declare themselves happy.”
    Speaking for myself only, it is not a question whether Israel has a right to exist. It does exist, with far more stable a set of indications than most countries in the world.
    To dispute the de jure or defacto status of Israel would be to call for it’s destruction. Now that would be anathema to me. We are talking about the real world of geo-political dynamics I think, not some airy fairy screaming protest about moral rectitude, etc.
    However, the Israel I subscribe to at this point is one within the borders of it’s charter and the ’67 peace accords AND compliance with 242, AND evacuationt of everything outside the ’67 accords to the extent practicable or agreed to in a fair treaty between the principal parties. Israel’s right to be in good standing with the world community depends upon it being willing to honestly address the ongoing causes of conflict with the Palestinians that are largely of it’s making, via illegal expansion.

    Reply

  51. jdledell says:

    Nadine – What Paul says about most of the posters here on TWN, TPM etc is correct. We firmly believe Israel should exist and thrive in and around our ancestral home. I, for one, am a dual citizen who spends a couple of months every year in Israel. Why would I do that if I did not want Israel to exist?
    Do the Palestinian’s have a legitimate beef? Yes they do. Their attitude is the same as American Indians who resented the inlux of white Europeans colonizing land that they thought belonged to their community. The Europeans thought they had a G-d given right to the land and so do the Jews. The Indians were considered terrorists for defending the land the same as Palestinians.
    I would hope that MY people would be more enlightened than America of the past. The purpose of the negotiations should be to arrive at a fair and just division of the land. It’s purpose it NOT to get the most that Israel can get. The puspose is NOT to create reservations for the Palestinians where Israel controls all egress and ingress. Yet that has been the premise of all previous offers, hasbera aside. How do you think Israel and Jews would like it if the Palestinians controlled everything and everyone who came into or left Israel

    Reply

  52. warren says:

    I wish that people could agree to disagree with each other without resorting to name calling. Name calling is so counterproductive, it rarely rarely engenders a reflective response.
    I want to suggest that that leaders of the pre-independence zionist movement, and the leaders of all Israeli governments since 1948, have wanted to extend Israel to borders that reflect the Hebrew tribe areas of the Old Testament. All future Israeli governments will continue to act as such, until circumstances force a reversal of this policy. The only such circumstance I perceive possible is the establishment of a Palestinian state with clearly defined internationally accepted borders. It is in the DNA of zionism, it can’t be discarded by any person who attempts to gain leadership of a country defined by being Jewish and “never again”. All such persons will do whatever they can, and tell whatever lies are necessary, to achieve that objective.
    I further suggest that nation states are a relative new event in the Middle East. No such phenomenon existed prior to early in the 1900′s. And apparently the majority of the citizenry of all the Arab countries of the Middle East have yet become willing to live in this manner. The closest being Lebanon. Also, genuine democracy; where each person is allowed to vote for the candidate of his choice, all adults are by constitution are given the freedom to live as they wish (wear any clothes they like, worship whatever religion or non-religion they want to worship, freely associate with whomever they desire, perform whatever work they desire, live wherever they desire, and state in public whatever they wish to speak); cannot exist until the majority of all the citizens of a country are willing to lose an election, lose a national sports event, have one’s neighbor be of a different ethnicity and religion, and not react with any violence. It appears the majority of the inhabitants of the Middle East, including the majority of the Palestinians who live in the Middle East have yet individually developed this attitude. Hence they never work together for a sufficient length of time to create a viable Palestinian state.
    I additionally suggest that only the Palestinian people can arise to the state where they deal with Israel and create a Palestinian state. And the leadership who finally perform this act will be both secular and have no roots in the former PLO. No outside country can force democratic freedom on a people; all viable democratic countries are home-grown.
    I also suggest that American and other multi-national corporations love a Middle East in which constant conflict exists. As a result they make billions every year. Due to the inventiveness and creative genius of many Middle Easterners; Jewish, Christian and Arab; once peace arrives there, and no Arab country any more is a dictatorship (benign or oppressive), those corporations will make significantly less money in that region. It is their under the table financial contributions that are at the root of most congresspersons’ support of Israel, and not the various Jewish lobbies.
    I believe that all people have a natural inborn desire for the democracy described above. So let us put our efforts into stimulating the Palestinian citizenry to arrive at such a desire. And stop putting effort into asking the current American administration to force the Israeli’s to act appropriately. It is natural for a Jewish person to believe that almost all non-jews desire to eventually eliminate the Jewish race; world history seems to indicate that is true. If there was a significant percentage of Palestinians who repeatedly in a non-violent manner clamored for freedom, explicitly expressing a desire for Jews and Palestinians to live in peace, that natural Jewish fear would begin to diminish, and in time would diminish to the point where the leaders of both groups would establish a viable two state solution.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    Just like OutragedAmerican, when we disagree on these issues, you insist that my position
    is colored by “European Holocaust issues” – or, in your formulation: “Euro left Post Nazi
    guilt.” I appreciate the rationale behind this suspicion:
    Paul is a Norwegian.
    Norway is a European nation.
    Germany is also a European nation.
    Herr Himmler and Herr Hitler were Germans.
    Paul feels guilt for what Himmler/Hitler did.
    Paul compensates by defending Israel`s right to exist.
    Paul compensates by defending the Palestinians and attacking Israel.
    I am impressed. It`s the equivalent of the concept of the self hating Jew (copyright Otto
    Weininger, Vienna, 1902). Do I feel guilt for Holocaust? I have no idea. You should ask
    my psychiatrist. Personally, I prefer to talk about the basics, the ABC of the conflict.
    According to the rest of the world, the fundamental points are actually very simple:
    A) During the 1967 war, Israel conquered territory belonging to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
    This was territory that did not belong to Israel, but Israel decided to keep it – perhaps
    because it felt that it was in an insecure position. During Camp David, Egypt got Sinai
    back.
    B) Before 1967, Israel was regarded as a small and weak power. But that was then. Now,
    everyone, within Israel and abroad, knows that Israel is a nuclear power with a very
    competent army. It doesn`t need the territories post 1967 for security reasons.
    C) Now, the right thing to do is to give Syria what belongs to Syria, and give the
    Palestinians their right to determine their fate by retreating to the pre 67 borders.
    Cooperate with the international community to remove the settlers. Do what you can to
    sincerely promote a Palestinian state, instead of undermining it.
    Then we can talk about bias and being pro Israel or pro Palestine; about the motives on
    both sides. The basic stuff is very simple, and Israel is the entity that has the power
    to remove most of the obstacles.
    It`s about what you grabbed in 1967.

    Reply

  54. nadine says:

    You are not interpreting even what I said correctly.
    I have said that I believe Fatah and Hamas aim at destroying Israel, differing only in tactics; this is true. For evidence, I have pointed to the many failed negotiations and their utter lack of interest in building the institutions of a state. I also point to what they tell each other in Arabic, which you refuse to notice.
    I have been careful never to claim that I knew exactly what the majority of Palestinians want, noting that this is a culture where people aren’t candid even to pollsters, as shown by the 2006 vote. I have also noted that it doesn’t matter all that much what the people want since the leadership does not rely on the people to maintain their grip on power, money or votes, and the leadership is NOT being paid to find a two state solution.
    Yes, the Palestinians are anti-Semites, as are most Arab governments. Nazi-level anti-Semitism accusing the Jews of controlling the world or corrupting the world is simply routine, like this cartoon in al Hayat al Jadida a few weeks ago showing one hook-nosed Jew with a globe surrounded by barbed wire holding up a mirror to Uncle Sam showing that he too is a hook-nosed Jew. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1411 Is this normal political commentary where you come from?
    “Your opponents acknowledge Israel`s right to exist, but also the Palestinian`s right to exist and determine their fate within an autonomous state. Thus the two-state solution. ”
    If my opponents ever acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, which I haven’t seen them do, it is only conditionally, once the Palestinians have their state and declare themselves happy. Well, the Palestinians don’t want that kind of state and intend to declare themselves happy: never. The Palestinians don’t acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Erekat just declared it an absolute red line. They say so every day AND YOU PRETEND NOT TO NOTICE.
    The TWN response to Palestinian unhappiness is on auto-pilot: it’s Israel’s fault. Israel offered the two state solution, Israel left Gaza, but nothing counts, nothing is remembered. Israel must give “more”. Well, how do you rate the chances of the Palestinians ever declaring themselves happy? Not while Israel still exists. Why aren’t you telling the Palestinians to start negotiating, if you want a two state solution?
    “Whether you like it or not, during the last decades, the sensibilities and sense of justice in the Western world has changed a bit, and many people challenge that view of justice.”
    When it comes to Israel. Only in this one case. The Greek Cypriots and the Tibetans can go cry in their beer, because those Turks and Chinese settled in their old homes aren’t “settlers” and the world remains as insensitive as it ever was in those cases. Not that any anti-Semitism involved, no, no, no, it’s just the world is so very “sensitive,” yes there’s the word, when it comes to Israel.
    Puh-leez. Do you think I just fell off a turnip truck? Fool yourself if you like. But not me. For the Euro Left, hating Israel is a twofer: you get to shed your post-colonial, post-Nazi guilt by calling the Israelis the new Nazis; and you appease your local Muslims, who frighten you.

    Reply

  55. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    in this asymmetrical conflict, many commenters here have, for very obvious
    reasons, sympathized with the Palestinian people. Still, I am convinced that most
    of those who have discussed these issues with you agree with me that Israel`s
    right to exist has never been questioned. For most of the commenters here, this
    is a 1967 issue, and a revolt against Israel`s consistent and systematic attempts
    to make a return to the 1967 borders impossible – and not an Israel versus
    Palestine issue.
    You and WigWag seem to say that winning wars to a large extent determines the
    territorial and political outcomes, and that there is not much to add to the
    “facts on the ground”. Whether you like it or not, during the last decades, the
    sensibilities and sense of justice in the Western world has changed a bit, and
    many people challenge that view of justice. This is also reflected in the comment
    sections of the Washington Note, especially in the Israel/Palestine discussions.
    In the last decade, the “two-states solution” has reflected a certain attempt to
    be balanced, instead of biased, acknowledging the right of Israel to exist, but
    also acknowledging the rights of the Palestinians to decide over their future
    within an independent state.
    If I interpret you correctly, Nadine, your position is as follows:
    “The Arabs” in charge (both Fatah and Hamas) are not interested in some kind of
    compromise resulting in an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinian leaders
    of most of the big and small factions, as well as a majority of their population,
    are basically as evil as Pol Pot, Stalin, bin Laden, Hitler, and the Nazis, and
    want to exterminate the Jews (they are all anti-Semites), destroy the state of
    Israel and occupy all of Israel. In the interim period before they are capable of
    destroying Israel, they just want to receive as much aid money as they can get
    from the Western countries, just to enrich themselves before exterminating the
    Jews. These regrettable facts legitimate ANY possible action and attitude from
    the Israeli side. Your bias is supposedly justified, since this is about the
    right to exist as Jews within a Jewish state. Bottom line: Israel has some kind
    of carte blanche, morally speaking, that no other country on this planet posses:
    Whatever Israel decides to do may be tactically and strategically right or wrong,
    but NEVER morally wrong, since it is done in self defense of it`s own people.
    Am I correct?
    Your opponents acknowledge Israel`s right to exist, but also the Palestinian`s
    right to exist and determine their fate within an autonomous state. Thus the two-
    state solution.
    If you cut through the moral outrage against Israel, I think you`ll see that this
    has been the basic position among your opponents at TWN. Perhaps a two-state
    solution has become an illusion now, but it reflects an ethos and an image of
    fairness.
    DonS, Dan, POA and others here, does what I said regarding Israel`s right to
    exist reflect your opinions as well? I have never seen anything that cast doubt
    on that position from most of the regular posters here. But if you disagree,
    please tell us.
    And Nadine, you have to admit one thing: several years ago there were plenty of
    reasons to express moral outrage against the Palestinian suicide bombers in
    restaurants and cinemas and busses in Israeli cities. During the last years,
    there have been more reasons to express moral outrage against IDF bombs falling
    over Lebanon and the Gaza strip. This is a fact, and the outrage is a legitimate
    reflection of “facts on the ground”, just like the horror expressed after a
    terrorist attack was a legitimate reflection of the facts eight or twelve years
    ago.

    Reply

  56. nadine says:

    Here is Hillary’s full statement on the freeze, which sounds like she is trying to revive the 2000 Clinton plan:
    “Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”
    What can she do but praise the freeze? Admit that the Obama administration’s Mideast plans are a total fiasco? She’s got nothing else to praise. Abu Mazen gave her nothing. This is why Abu Mazen was an idiot not to give something. He wouldn’t have had to give much to go up against this; he could have used it to leverage more concessions. But Abu Mazen didn’t want to risk it. He’s not interested in talks.
    BTW, Abu Mazen just told Al Jazeera that no elections will happen while Hamas holds Gaza and he’s not stepping down. So for those of you who were fooled by MSM coverage into thinking that the elections or Abu Mazen’s resignation were real upcoming events, forget it.

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Rosenberg is quite a bit more optimistic than I am about Hillary, but he pretty well nails the heaping pile of horseshit this “freeze” amounts to….
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2009/11/27/settlement-freeze-scam-hillary-thinks-quot-fool-me-once-quot.aspx
    MJ Rosenberg
    Settlement Freeze Scam: Hillary Thinks, “Fool Me Once….”
    Prime Minister Netanyahu today announced a partial 10-month settlement freeze. And, understanding that Netanyahu’s freeze is meaningless, the far right is backing him 100%.
    According to the New York Times, “A statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office said the moratorium would be in Judea and Samaria, the biblical names of the West Bank, meaning it would not include Jerusalem, and would not apply to new residential building, so existing construction would continue and public structures like schools and community centers would be unaffected.” (And, I’d guess, also parks, hospitals, day care centers, bakery cooperatives, Weight Watchers centers, synagogues, more synagogues, Arthur Murray’s dance studios, aviaries, fine restaurants, zoos, etc).
    The freeze’s inapplicability to Jerusalem renders the offer almost meaningless.
    Jerusalem, according to Israeli law, is not only the historic city but also towns and villages extending well into the West Bank which were never considered to be part of Jerusalem. Israel expanded the city’s borders in 1967 precisely so it could hold on to these areas by claiming them as part of Israel’s capital, which they aren’t.
    By ruling out a settlement freeze in all of expanded Jerusalem, Israel will continue to grow in precisely the area where it is most determined to expand. It is also the area of most significance to the Palestinians who hold, quite legitimately, that a Palestinian state without any part of Jerusalem as its capital is like a French state without access to Paris. It’s ridiculous.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not go out on any limb in support of Bibi this time. Apparently, she knows the old adage: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
    She merely acknowledged his move as a possible step toward negotiations to “reconcile the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” The reference to the ’67 borders was a nice shot over Bibi’s bow.
    Special Envoy George Mitchell said Bibi’s gambit “falls short of a full settlement freeze, but it is more than any Israeli government has done before….” I am not sure that it is true and, in any case, Mitchell’s praise is very faint praise indeed. Surely Mitchell understands that even this measly offer is unlikely to be implemented which means it is nothing but air.
    AIPAC is, of course, pleased with Netanyahu which reveals the deep significance of this peace move. In a statement, the lobby said, “Israel is taking meaningful steps and tangible risks for peace. Now it is time – well past time – for the Palestinians and Arabs States to match Israel’s commitment to peace with actions of their own.”
    That’s right, Palestinians. The ball is in your court now! You’ve got a quasi-freeze. well sort of a quasi-freeze anyway. Now what are you going to give up?
    I am delighted Hillary has come to her senses on Netanyahu. Maybe she asked Bill about him and he told her the very thing he once told me about a man he loathes. “Bibi? You don’t know the half of it, my friend.”
    WANT MORE INSIGHT FROM MJ,, write to mjrosenberg8@gmail.com. Include the word “subscribe” and Media Matters for America will soon be emailing my pearls of wisdom to you every Friday.

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You are absolutely and completely full of shit, Nadine. Creating straw positions that you can attribute to TWN posters does nothing to buttress your argument. It does, however, underscore your dishonesty, and your inability to concede to any Israeli wrongdoing. Judging from the comments here, you disgust the majority of people posting here, even those too “civil” to call it as it is.

    Reply

  59. nadine says:

    “But Israel`s right to exist within the 1967 borders, and a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a part of Jerusalem as it`s capital, is, I think, the basic position among most of the commenters here.”
    No, Paul, this might be your position, but you are quite mistaken about it being the basic TWN position.
    The default TWN position is the new default position of the Left, which is the Arab position run through an Orientalist multi-culti filter: that Israel is a western colony that has no right to exist except by suffrage of the natives, who have only to withhold that suffrage to destroy the legitimacy of the colonists. In any borders. All the fervor about “Arab land” is never matched by any fervor or even acknowledgment of “Jewish land” anywhere.
    This “narrative” (a favorite word of yours I know) makes a travesty of history but these people don’t know or care about history anyway. As far as they are concerned, new “facts” offered up by the “natives” are the equal of “facts” written by “dead white men” any day of the week. Actual facts be damned. Jewish history, which would mitigate strongly in favor of the Jews were they not classed as “westerners” in this new multi-culti outlook, is mentioned only to sneer at it. “You can’t use the Bible as a land deed!” they say.
    Paul, have you noticed that your position is absolute anathema to the Palestinians? No deal that doesn’t hold out promise of turning Israel forcibly into an Arab state is even worth discussing to them. That is why “right of return” and “no acknowledgment of Jewish history in Palestine” are their red lines. That’s what they broke the previous negotiations over. That’s what they proclaim as their red lines right now.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    an ABC for you:
    I would assume that 90% of your opponents (i.e. regular commenters at TWN) have NEVER
    questioned Israel`s right to exist. The Israeli state exists due to historical and moral
    circumstances, and we don`t question the existence of the state of Israel.
    I would also guess that 90% of your opponents here are in favor of the 1967 borders. No
    more. No less. It`s quite simple. The refugee issue is one of the difficult issues in the
    conflict. So is Jerusalem. But Israel`s right to exist within the 1967 borders, and a
    Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a part of Jerusalem as it`s
    capital, is, I think, the basic position among most of the commenters here. Perhaps this
    is not a viable position anymore, since Israel is stealing more and more land, but this,
    I think, has for a long time been the basic position among your opponents.
    OutragedAmerican may disagree, and perhaps a couple of others as well. But I think my
    statement reflect the majority of commenters here.
    I am making a point of this because Nadine repeatedly has claimed that her opponents are
    against the existence of the state of Israel.
    If other commenters here disagree with what I said above, I would appreciate further
    comments clarifying their positions!

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So now Nadine accuses Dan Kervick of “wanting to destroy Israel”. Aren’t there any Jews, or Israelis, reading this blog that have the common sense to tell Nadine to STFU??? She sure as hell isn’t doing Israel, or Jews, any favors with her comments.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I thought you believed they were Palestinians? They only deserve charges if they are criminal Israelis As for why one Israeli is more of a big deal than a thousand Palestinians, Hamas has told you why “We love death like you love life.” The Israelis care about the lives of Israelis. Palestinians hold Palestinian life cheap. You don’t build your whole strategy around suicide bombers if you value the lives of your men! Hamas just cries crocodile tears to idiots like you”
    You’re a bigot. And if I get banned for telling you that, so be it. Nadine, you are truly despicable, a detestable human being. If anyone dared be as openly anti-semitic as you are openly bigoted against the Palestinians, they would have been banned long ago by Steve. To be frank, your bigotry degrades this forum. Steve might as well give a platform to a rabid Skinhead Nazi, because their bigotry would be no more obvious, or despicable, than your own.

    Reply

  63. nadine says:

    “OK, now I’ve heard everything. Those bloody Arabs are building stuff on their own land, so they are equally at fault.”
    Dan, Judea and Samaria does not “belong” by some divine law only to Arabs. Land that belongs to the government – and that’s been most of the land in Palestine since Ottoman times – belongs to Israel, unless it was transferred to the PA as part of Area A or Area B, assuming we are not regarding Oslo as a dead letter. Land that is private property belongs to the owners, whether Jewish or Arab.
    This is all land that has had NO internationally recognized owner since 1948. Israel took it from Jordan in a defensive war in 1967.
    If the Palestinians want to own it, let them negotiate for a state. You want to assign them all the rights with none of the responsibilities.
    Like I said, you regard Arabs as absolute owners of the West Bank but you don’t regard Jews as absolute owners of anything, not even Tel Aviv. I’ve never once heard you even say that Israel has a right to exist.

    Reply

  64. jdledell says:

    “I know the moratorium is just a slow down”
    Nadine – I hate to break this to you but there is NO SLOWDOWN anywhere. It’s business as usual. Please go there and see it with your own eyes.Talk to the people on the ground. One Jew to another usually produces a modicum of honesty. From your armchair here in the USA reading the Hasbera that Israel feeds you and regurgitating it here does not enhance your position on the the I/P conflict or your credibility.

    Reply

  65. Dan K says:

    “jdledell, Do you really believe that the Arabs aren’t building like crazy all over Judea and Samaria too?”
    OK, now I’ve heard everything. Those bloody Arabs are building stuff on their own land, so they are equally at fault.
    I love how we talk in terms of biblical geography now. All I hope is that the world figures out some containment strategy to apply to the Israelis before they set their sights on Sheba, Mount Ararat and the Land of Nod.

    Reply

  66. nadine says:

    Here is Hillary Clinton’s full statement on the moratorium. She is essentially reviving the Clinton plan her husband offered in 2000. Of course, the Palestinians want it even less now than then. I wonder if she has backing from the rest of the Obama administration, or is she free-lancing?
    “Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

    Reply

  67. nadine says:

    jdledell, Do you really believe that the Arabs aren’t building like crazy all over Judea and Samaria too? This is a two-sided shoving match. I know the moratorium is just a slow down. I also know it’s been unmatched by any Palestinian concession. Bibi gave the minimum to get the Americans off his back. Abu Mazen gave nothing.
    It’s become the “liberal” position to think Arabs have absolute right anywhere, but Jews may only build with their sufferance – a sufferance which unsurprisingly, is never forthcoming.
    I say that if the Palestinians want guaranteed land, they should be made to stake out the borders of a state in negotiations, which includes giving up claims to land beyond those borders. They have had literally dozens of opportunities to do so by now, and have always refused.
    It is significant that Saeb Erekat lays out the purely symbolic acceptance of Jewish history in the land as the ultimate Palestinian red line, the point they will never concede. Not borders, not airspace, not refugees. Just acknowledging that the Jews are not Europeans with no connection to Palestine, that’s his sticking point!
    It would be madness for the Israelis to reward this posture. It would weaken Israel and push peace farther away. Naturally, that’s just what you advocate!
    Any positive results that get achieved will be achieved under the table, working quietly with Fayyad and local officials.

    Reply

  68. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Do you really believe Israel is going to halt building in Judea and Samaria, aside from the 2,992 previously approved units? Bibi knows that hundreds of units are being built without permits or approvals. As long as they are in or near existing settlements, they are always retroactively approved. There are at least a half a dozen settlements where this is going on today. I know because it’s my own relatives who are responsible for for some of that building.
    Bibi’s moratorium is words only – on the ground NOTHING changes. The Israelis understand that and that’s why there were no objections from the right wing except the crazy Uzi Landau,

    Reply

  69. nadine says:

    Dan, you’re right, it’s assymetrical. So what Israel concedes is tangible and visible, while the Palestinians give promises which are always empty lies. Words for real concessions.
    I’d like the Palestinians to acknowledge that Jews are not newcomers to Palestine, and that they also have rights in the land. Saeb Erekat just told us that this was the ultimate red line which no Palestinian could ever cross. Well so much for the two state solution.
    I’d like the Palestinians to actually want to build Palestine, this new country whose right to exist and borders you are so sure about, even though it never existed during any period of history (where else do you draw legitimacy from the 1920 borders of a British colony, I’d like to know?). I’d like the Palestinians to want to build the institutions of Palestine and want the refugees to return to Palestine.
    Why do you believe that Palestine should only belong to the Arabs, that only they have a right to live there? Why do you believe that Arabs have a right to live anywhere but not Jews? Why does every other country have a right to exist but you want to destroy Israel?

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    Isn’t it interesting that thge ONE prisoner that the Palestinians hold is such a big deal, when the Israelis are holding THOUSANDS, many of which have never seen charges, or recieved legal representation?
    I thought you believed they were Palestinians? They only deserve charges if they are criminal Israelis. POWs don’t get charges. They do get seen by the Red Cross, which is more than you can say about Gilad Shalit.
    As for why one Israeli is more of a big deal than a thousand Palestinians, Hamas has told you why “We love death like you love life.” The Israelis care about the lives of Israelis. Palestinians hold Palestinian life cheap. You don’t build your whole strategy around suicide bombers if you value the lives of your men! Hamas just cries crocodile tears to idiots like you.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What concessions would you like the Palestinians to make Nadine?”
    Well, I imagine, should she answer truthfully, she’d like to see them all submit to registration tattoos, and take a nice warm shower, facilities provided courtesy of the IDF.
    Isn’t it interesting that thge ONE prisoner that the Palestinians hold is such a big deal, when the Israelis are holding THOUSANDS, many of which have never seen charges, or recieved legal representation? How come the settlements are the bone here, yet we ignore the egregious and plentiful range of Israeli human rights abuses?
    This whole thing is charade. Truth be told, Obama DOES NOT have a “hardline” stance with Israel, because if he did, the daily human rights abuses, committed by Israel, would be as big an issue as the settlements are. If the settlements dissappeared tomorrow, the Palestinians would still be getting deprived of substenance and medical care. They would still be wading in sewage. Their water would still be getting cut off. Thousands of prisoners would be held by Israel, with no charges or representation. The illegal separation fence would still be under construction. The Goldstone Report would still be under the rug.
    The settlements are just one segment of the “plight of the Palestinians”, and until Obama addresses the FULL PLIGHT of these people, his posturing is just insincere grandstanding, designed for appearances sake, but nothing more. And to think the global Arab community cannot see through this charade is totally ridiculous.

    Reply

  72. Dan Kervick says:

    What concessions would you like the Palestinians to make Nadine?
    The situation is asymmetrical. The Israelis are the country that is stealing and colonizing chunks of Palestine, and that is quarantining and blockading Gaza. If the Palestinians were at the same time stealing and colonizing parts of Israel, I could understand what kinds of reciprocal concessions the Palestinians might offer.

    Reply

  73. nadine says:

    Of course I read the article. Another liberal lunkhead complaining that Bibi didn’t give “enough”. The moratorium should be complete! it should include Jerusalem!
    And if it did, it still wouldn’t jumpstart the peace talks, so it still wouldn’t be “enough”. Abu Mazen is not interested in peace talks. Abu Mazen is interested in free concessions. But for liberal lunkheads, Palestinian intransigence must always be Israel’s fault because Israel didn’t give “enough”.
    Can anybody wonder the Palestinians are intransigent, when so many work so hard to incentivize them to be so? If you define “enough” as “when the Palestinians say they are happy” they would be damn fools to ever say they are happy.

    Reply

  74. DonS says:

    “Bibi gave Obama a moratorium on West Bank
    construction”
    didn’t you read the article nadine?
    Of course she did Annie. Doesn’t matter. You will get nothing direct or indirect that have a propagandist bottom line.
    …………………
    As to the divisions within the Palestinians, and the intransigence on the part of the Israelis for that matter (I did read the article), if the US really got serious real change might happen. Serious would mean somehow cutting off AIPAC divisive role in this country (register as an agent of a foreign country; that would send a sign to Congress) parallel with finding significant points of leverage within Israel, likely on the military hardware piece. The question of whether representative moderates emerge within occupied Palestine may very well be time sensitive, but somehow I remember expatriot elements being significant in nurturing other emerging nations. For all the concern about the more radical elements of Hamas gaining more control, one would think the US would encourage a strategy that works — to break Israel hegemony — and let the Palestinians work out their destiny as soon as possible as a free people.

    Reply

  75. nadine says:

    Paul, turnabout is fair play. Your refusal to acknowledge the obvious fact that Bibi gave Something while Abu Mazen gave Nothing was a load of dishonest crapola. The moratorium was nothing Bibi wanted to give. He did it to maintain the alliance with the US.
    Okay, maybe you don’t like the moratorium. But you know what? if it had been bigger, if it had been some major withdrawal that had the Israeli Right up in arms, what would Abu have said? “It’s still not enough”. (Who reacted positively to the Gaza withdrawal in 2005? People always say that withdrawals will help Israel diplomatically but that too is a lie. The Israelis have wised up.)
    Abu Mazen’s whole strategy is to throw diplomatic temper tantrums in hopes of getting concessions for nothing in return. He says so, right out loud! Obama made him believe it would work. So now he’s mad at Obama for only getting him a moratorium. Obama raised false hopes that Israel would cede East Jerusalem. Not bloody likely, and especially not for nothing in return.
    It’s not in Israel’s interest to give concessions for nothing, esp. when the US is ordering it to hurry-up-quick like a servant. It’s not in the interest of peace to give them either. Peace will come by real negotiations, not by encouraging Palestinian fantasies that all they have to do is say “NO” to every offer for another 20 years, and Israel will fall into their lap piece by piece.
    As far as I’m concerned, Israel should declare Oslo a dead letter and begin annexing the settlements. Let’s try this piece by piece thing in the other direction and see how they like it.

    Reply

  76. Paul Norheim says:

    “Paul, So you agree that Bibi gave a moratorium and everybody else gave absolutely nothing? Good, that’s settled.”
    That’s a dishonest interpretation of my words, Nadine. Anyone who read what I actually said, realize that we don`t agree.
    Even the simple fact that you support it, is a clear warning sign that this “moratorium” is bad news for the Palestinians.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What isn’t addressed by Obama with his tepid and un-enforced snivelings abpout the settlements, is this Administrations refusal to address abuses that are actually more egregious than settlement expansion. Paraphrasing Obama’s treatment of the Goldstone report might go like this….
    “Stop stealing their land, but if you wanna incinerate them in white phosphorous, go for it”
    The truth is, DAILY, Palestinians are treated like genetic inferiors, and subjected to a wide range of abuses by Israelis that seem to share Nadine’s blatant hatred and bigotry…
    THE DAILY PLIGHT OF THE PALESTINIAN CHILD
    November 25, 2009 at 8:36 am
    Palestinian schoolchildren face daily settler attacks
    Mel Frykberg
    AL-TUWANI, occupied West Bank (IPS) – Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the occupied West Bank, simply walking to school can be a terrifying experience.
    “It is really scary walking to school. We never know when the settlers will attack us and beat us,” said Rima Ali, 10, from the village of Tuba in the southern West Bank, about two hours drive south of Jerusalem.
    “Every day we have to watch out that the settlers are not in the valley ahead of us and if we see them we run away,” Ali told IPS.
    Ali still bears the scar from when a settler pushed her causing her to fall to the ground and cut herself below the eye.
    Hundreds of Palestinian children in Tuba and the surrounding Palestinian villages face the same daily predicament as they try to reach school in the Bedouin village of al-Tuwani.
    Situated on a hilltop overlooking al-Tuwani are the Israeli settlement of Maon and the extended settlement outpost of Havot Maon.
    The only road which previously connected Palestinians to neighboring villages and to the nearby Palestinian town of Yatta — a 10-minute drive away — has been appropriated for the exclusive use of settlers. Palestinians are banned from driving on it.
    The villagers are now forced to take off-road dirt tracks, which circumvent the settlers-only bypass road and the settlements. If they walk the route it takes approximately an hour on foot — assuming they don’t have small children with them.
    Settler attacks — including arson attacks on agricultural fields, chopping down olive trees, poisoning water wells, killing livestock and assaulting Palestinian villagers living near settlements — have become a way of life for Palestinians all over the West Bank as the Israeli authorities continue to turn a blind eye.
    continues….
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/the-daily-plight-of-the-palestinian-child/
    What else but bigotry can convince a human being that it is OK to attack CHILDREN, whether it be with a baseball bat, or a white phosphorous bomb??? But Nadine has an excuse for it, guaranteed.

    Reply

  78. nadine says:

    “Thats bullshit. In fact, I see inter-Palestiinian division pointed to quite often. On the thread by Elsalameen, I pointed to it as a major impediment to the Palestinians ability to make progress.”
    …but yet you never take the next logical step, which is to acknowledge that if the inter-Palestinian division is a major impediment to progress, then Israel cannot be the only major impediment to progress. Nope, it’s still Israel’s fault. You new line is the Palestinians aren’t responsible for their own divisions, somehow Israel achieved even that.
    Is there a single thing the Palestinians have ever done that you give them responsibility for?

    Reply

  79. Lenny says:

    Leftard Daniel Levy’s polemic against Netanyahu is risible. Look at the facts: Obama is the least trusted US President in Israel’s history. Netanyahu governs with an overwhelmong national Israeli consensus (like no other before him) on the question of settlements.
    Israelis understand better than Levy that resolution 242 – the UN benchmark on settlement withdrawal, calls for Israel to withrdaw from settlements (not ALL the settlements) to secure and safe borders.
    The ‘Road Map’accepted by Palestinians and Israelis, entrenches this, by calling for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28th 2000″.(Not ALL the settlements – nor from East Jerusalem.
    Levy should vent his consderable spleen more at the Palestinians – Allah forbid! The Roadmap calls upon the Palestinian leadership (quote) ‘to issue an unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel’.
    His thunderous silence on this singularly major obstacle to peace – says it all.
    With freinds like ‘Mr J Street himself’, do the Israelis need enemies?!

    Reply

  80. JamesL says:

    Nadine you’re still full of shit. Never a dead or bloodied Palestinian you didn’t like. Israel isn’t an ally of the US. It’s a millstone around America’s neck. Nothing Israel could possibly do would offend you. I don’t know where you lost your morality, but its totally gone. Your opinion is morally worthless.

    Reply

  81. nadine says:

    Paul, So you agree that Bibi gave a moratorium and everybody else gave absolutely nothing? Good, that’s settled. Was this what Obama expected? Obviously not.
    POA, nobody wants a Palestinian state, esp. not the Palestinian leadership. If somebody had wanted it, somebody would have built it already. Why do you see FM Fayyad only now, 16 years after Oslo, 30 years after Camp David, talk about building Palestinian institutions? What the heck was stopping them until now? They have been paid billions to build a Palestinian state, and it’s all gone into terrorist militias, patronage and Swiss bank accounts.
    They don’t want a state next to Israel. They want a state instead of Israel. Sorry, the Israelis won’t agree. And the Palestinians are in no position to win a war.

    Reply

  82. annie says:

    “Bibi gave Obama a moratorium on West Bank
    construction”
    didn’t you read the article nadine?
    While it is technically true that this “restraint” is a new Israeli
    commitment, its practical relevance is of very limited
    significance – building 3000 units in ten months neatly dovetails
    the regular annual settlement construction rates.
    he ‘gave’ no such thing. you can’t give something you don’t own.
    he agreed (on paper) to restrict his continual theiving. that is not
    giving. especially when the 3000 units will go on unabated
    during this supposed ‘moratorium’.

    Reply

  83. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2009/11/26/what-moratorium-bibi-is-playing-games-again.aspx
    Noam Sheizaf
    What moratorium? Bibi is playing games again
    The top news item this evening on Walla! – Israel’s most popular web site – reads as follows: “Netanyahu in a message to Obama: Abu Mazen has no more excuses.” I think this sums up the situation. The settlements moratorium PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced was never intended to re-ignite the peace process. It’s not a concession to the Palestinians. It is, as Netanyahu all but put it himself, a message to the White House, asking the Americans to get off our back, and start blaming the Arabs for the occupation, like they did until a year ago.
    Netanyuahu and Barak know very well that the Palestinians won’t settle for this. A moratorium that does not include Jerusalem, does not include public buildings, does not include projects already under construction, does not include “security needs”? – what is it exactly that it does include? No wonder all the Right wing’s ministers but one voted for it!
    In the State Department’s briefing today, George Mitchell walked a thin line: trying to praise Netanyahu, but at the same time being very careful not to say that the Americans got what they asked for:
    The steps announced today are the result of a unilateral decision by the Government of Israel. This is not an agreement with the United States, nor is it an agreement with the Palestinians. United States policy on settlements remains unaffected and unchanged. As the President has said, America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
    We recognize that the Palestinians and other Arabs are concerned because Israel’s moratorium permits the completion of buildings already started and limits the effect of the moratorium to the West Bank – concerns which we share.
    As for Jerusalem, United States policy remains unaffected and unchanged. As has been stated by every previous administration which addressed this issue, the status of Jerusalem and all other permanent status issues must be resolved by the parties through negotiations.
    And if the US thinks that’s not enough, how can a Palestinian leader agree to negotiate with Netanyahu now? It would be as if he were saying, “Go ahead, do your stuff in Jerusalem. I’m cool with that.”
    Abu Mazen can bareley hold on to his post right now, with Israel doing all it can to undermine him. This week Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman declared again that the Palestinian Authority asked Israel to invade Gaza. Imagine what will happen to the Palestinian president if he holds talks with Netanyahu and Liberman, after they have not only humiliated him this way, but also after they declared their intention of continuing to build settlements in East Jerusalem!
    Here is a naïve question: why does the world have to beg Israel to stop building the settlements? The whole goal of this 42 year-old project was to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state or handing back the West Bank to Jordan (it was funny to hear Sarah Palin say that the settlements have something to do with housing needs for Jews. Then again, I wonder if she can find the West Bank on a map, or the entire Middle East for that matter). Now, if Israel is going to evacuate most of the area anyway – and Netanyahu said so himself, didn’t he? – Why go on building there? Why move people over there, if you will have to evacuate and compensate them in a few years?
    Israel is playing games, and it’s all too familiar. Why did Netanyahu chose to have his moratorium for ten months? Why not a year, two years? Why not give a full moratorium during the negotiations with the Palestinians, thus giving them a reason to come to the table and stay there? Is it because in ten months we will be just weeks before the mid-term elections, with both Houses practically at the hand of AIPAC? They already got most of Washington to sign the Bayh-Risch Letter, demanding to put the heat on the Arabs, not Israel; Imagine what they would get then.
    It’s not that I oppose every move Netanyahu does. I prefer him any day over former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who traveled the world promising peace and at the same time started two wars. Frankly, I don’t care who ends Israeli control over the West Bank. I simply think that Netanyahu doesn’t want to get out, or thinks he can’t. I hope I’m mistaken. I don’t know what’s in his heart, but everything he does testifies to this fact.
    When Yitzhak Rabin wanted a moratorium in the West Bank, he didn’t wait for Bill Clinton and Dennis Ross to ask for it, and he didn’t send his boys in Washington to wave their petitions around Pennsylvania Avenue. He simply said he is going “to dry the settlements,” and then followed through. The Right went crazy – and we know how things ended. But notice how laid back the settlers are now. They issued a statement against the moratorium – it’s their job, after all – but that’s about it. Where are the “Bibi the Traitor” posters in Jerusalem? The huge rallies? The blocking of highway one? Until all that happens, we shouldn’t be too impressed with the prime minister’s “unyielding commitment to achieving peace” (that’s AIPAC, again).

    Reply

  84. Paul Norheim says:

    “What did anybody else give?”
    Absolutely nothing, Nadine. Nada. Zero.
    And yes, Netanyahu actually did lift a finger several times since he took office (and
    every time it happened to be his…ooops!.. middle finger) just to say: “Screw you”
    to the Obama administration.

    Reply

  85. nadine says:

    “(…) Bibi is the only Mideast player who lifted a finger to cooperate with
    Obama…”
    Especially the last claim is a real gem.”
    Bibi gave Obama a moratorium on West Bank construction. What did anybody else give?
    Come on, I await your answer.

    Reply

  86. nadine says:

    So what are you trying to say now, POA, that Israel was actually trying to nuture Hamas in operation Cast Lead? That’s a new angle. BTW, Abu Mazen was cheering them on behind the scenes.
    The point is that Elsalameen, Levy, and Clemons all ignore the Palestinian civil war because they self-censor blaming the Palestinians for anything, even their own actions.
    So we get these surreal discussions where everything is Bibi’s fault and all the Palestinians are airbrushed out of the picture, or where FM Fayyad is praised and Fatah and Hamas are airbrushed out of the picture. The real impediments to progress must not be mentioned.

    Reply

  87. Paul Norheim says:

    Some of Nadine`s latest gems:
    “Steve Clemons [ignores inter-Palestinian division] because he is working off
    the failed multi-culti model of the Left, that everything must be Israel’s
    fault because they are the superior power and underdogs are always virtuous.
    (…) Bibi is the only Mideast player who lifted a finger to cooperate with
    Obama…”
    Especially the last claim is a real gem.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Thats bullshit. In fact, I see inter-Palestiinian division pointed to quite often. On the thread by Elsalameen, I pointed to it as a major impediment to the Palestinians ability to make progress.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/11/who_will_delive/#comment-145659
    But in fact, what you and Richard don’t note is that Israel actually NURTURES this Palestinian division, in any underhanded and despicable manner at their disposal. And I have no doubt they will continue to do so.
    But hey, is it your contention that its OK to fry Palestinians in white phosphorous, starve them, deprive them of medical needs, steal their lands, evict them of their homes, dehumize and humiliate them, all because of inter-palestinian bickering?
    Fact is, your arguments, although obviously handbooked, are not based in a desire for peace, but instead in an ugly and despicable foundation of bigotry. It makes your intellectual machinations, excuses, justifications, and rationales ugly and inhumane.
    To be totally honest, Nadine, your last few posts are unmitigated absolute crap.

    Reply

  89. nadine says:

    Hey jonst,
    How do you feel about your nation being a supporter of Hamas? It is, though it pretends not to be.
    If you really want peace in the Mideast, cut out the enormous welfare flows to the Palestinians that allow their leadership to consider an economy optional. When the Palestinian leadership needs Palestinian tax dollars to survive, they will behave differently.

    Reply

  90. nadine says:

    Richard, you are correct to notice that the inconvenient truth of the Palestinian division and intransigence has simply been swept under the rug. Daniel Levy does it because he hopes to resuscitate a failed political career by beating up on Netanyahu. Steve Clemons does it because he is working off the failed multi-culti model of the Left, that everything must be Israel’s fault because they are the superior power and underdogs are always virtuous. So even though Bibi is the only Mideast player who lifted a finger to cooperate with Obama, it has to be all his fault and nobody else’s. By definition, the Palestinians, being classed as underdogs, are immune from being faulted.

    Reply

  91. jonst says:

    Nadine,
    As Churchill is reported to have said when informed that the Italians would fight on the side of the Germans if came to it; ‘it is only fair….we had them on our side the last time’, so Mr Putin can have the “strongest regional army” on his side, it is only fair. And if and when Mr Putin decides to employ the “strongest regional army” as an active combatant, he can kiss whatever influence he has with the Arabs goodbye. For goodness sake….we could not employ “strongest regional army” in the 91 Gulf Campaign when EVERYONE was on one side. The Israelis would have been the kiss of death if we brought them along. So big deal with their strong army. It is meaningless to us.
    As to loss of aid being, or not being an “existential threat”, the question is irrelevant to me. I don’t care if all we gave them was a dollar. I simply don’t want my nation to be a supporter of the occupation. Period.

    Reply

  92. Richard says:

    Why will noone recognize the fact that the obstacle to a 2 state solution is that there is a civil war on the Palestinian side? It’s kind of a cease fire right now, though there is always far more PtoP violence than ItoP. The ridiculous insistance that Israel do everything the Pals want or no deal will land them exactly nothing. They were inches away from a state in the past, with investors lined up and the militants among them started fighting instead. Please face the fact that Hamas wants Fatah dead and visa versa. Israel totally left Gaza, and Hamas propmtly initiated a civil war followed by thousands of rockets fired into Israel. That worked. And please don’t tell me it was because of the blockade because that was a response to the rockets not the other way around. As you microfocus on the US and Israel, you ignore the elephant in the room: Who do you even talk to on the PA side? What weight does Abbas sinature on a deal even have?

    Reply

  93. nadine says:

    jonst, Israel has the strongest regional army and military innovation and equipment second to none in the world. A million Israelis are of Russian origin and speak Russian. If the US no longer values the alliance, Putin will. Think that will be good for US interests in the Mideast? Notice that Putin has failed to deliver the S-300 air defense system he sold to Iran? Putin is playing both sides for Russian advantage.
    I keep telling you, the US aid money goes straight to US defense manufacturers. It is more important to Congress than to Israel. Loss of it is certainly not an existential threat to Israel the way Iran is.

    Reply

  94. jonst says:

    My only hope now (and it is a futile one, I know)is for us (THE US) to end all (repeat, ALL) financial support for Israel. End our use of the automatic veto in the UN regards any resolutions dealing with Israel. There will be many we will consider vetoing…but no automatic policy. Make Israel earn our veto. Not with undue harshness against Israel. But with fairness and consideration to US interests.
    Then start over in our relationship with nation of Israel. And if they are piqued at us…and don’t want to start over, wish them well. And say bye-bye.
    It will happen one day. Just not soon.

    Reply

  95. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, basically you have a reluctant Secretary of State pushing a position she would no way be pursuing if she was President. You have an inept Mitchell, who seems to be pulled by events and developments rather than influencing events and developments. You have a President, who, thus far, does not seem to have the courage to impose strong incentives for Israeli concessions, such as the threat of reduced economic aid to Israel.
    And, the REAL determining factor, you have a Congress that is bought and paid for by Israel, and a Majority Leader that has shown he is willing to actively and openly undermine any “hardline” that Obama chooses to pursue with Israel.
    And meanwhile, the Israeli composed script on Iran is rigidly adhered to by the Obama Administration, telling us all we need to know to conclude that American foreign policy, as it applies to the Middle East, is actually drafted in Tel Aviv.
    And the Goldstone Report gets swept under the rug.
    And a few more thousand Palestinians are evicted out of their homes.
    And the building continues.
    And the blockade continues.
    And Tristan Anderson is still a vegetable, abandoned and betrayed by his Secretary of State, his President, and his country.
    And our arms continue to flow to Israel.
    And Israel knows, no matter what, the check is in the mail.

    Reply

  96. tarry Davis says:

    Good analysis, though sometimes I wish that the President would
    just say “Guys, when you decide to get serious, here’s my number.
    Give me a call. Till then best of luck.”

    Reply

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