’60 Minutes’ gives Israel 3 options: ethnic cleansing, apartheid, or democracy

Bob Simon's 60 Minutes piece on the two-state solution finally aired and it was a doozy. If Abe Foxman was pissed at Bill Moyers he surely had a coronary after watching this. Watch it:


Here's an excerpt if you didn't watch the whole thing:

Demographers predict that within ten years Arabs will outnumber Jews in
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Without a separate Palestinian state
the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could
try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or
they could give the Palestinians the vote. That would be the democratic
option but it would mean the end of the Jewish state. Or they could try
apartheid – have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians,
but apartheid regimes don't have a very long life.

"Unfortunately, and I have to say to you that apartheid is already in place," Dr. Barghouti argued.

Apartheid? Israel is building what it calls a security wall
between the West Bank and Israel. The Palestinians are furious because
it appropriates eight percent of the West Bank. Not only that. It
weaves its way through Palestinian farms, separating farmers from their
land. They have to wait at gates for soldiers to let them in. Settlers
get a lot more water than Palestinians, which is why settlements are
green and Arab areas are not.

Moderate Israelis who deplore the occupation used to believe passionately in a two-state solution. That is no longer the case.

Meron Benvenisti used to be deputy mayor of Jerusalem. He told
Simon the prospects of the two-state solution becoming a reality are
"nil."

"The geopolitical condition that’s been created in '67 is
irreversible. Cannot be changed. You cannot unscramble that egg," he
explained.

What made the piece so good is that it did not equivocate. It did not excuse the Israeli occupation as an "unfortunate necessity guided by security concerns". It did not blame Hamas or Palestinian governance for a plan successive Israeli governments have been carrying out for over 40 years (if not longer). Instead, it showed a family in Nablus who can't leave their home while its taken over by Israeli soldiers. It showed a man fighting to protect his home from demolition in Jerusalem. It juxtaposed the verdant green lawns of a settler community with the parched starved landscape of the Palestinian West Bank. And while Tzipi Livni swoops in at the end to tell the world they have nothing to worry about, that the Israeli government has this under control, settler Daniella Weiss displays a supreme arrogance and confidence to end the story that tells you all you need to know – she doesn't plan on going anywhere.

As I watched it I was slightly frustrated that it didn't deal with Gaza, or Jerusalem (the settler population is over 500,000 with Jerusalem, not the 280,000 in the story), or the refugees. But then I realized that that is part of what made it so powerful. Those are the "difficult" issues that are supposedly always standing in the way of peace. Here was the "easy" issue of the illegal Israeli settlers, and Simon was saying that that alone has torpedoed the two-state possibility. Israel has made the two-state solution impossible.

When the two-state solution was first raised in the early 1970s it was a radical notion. Golda Meir wouldn't even acknowledge that Palestinians existed, let alone deserve a state. But the idea slowly built credibility, then gained official endorsements, and now represents political common sense. How many news stories include the passage "the basic parameters of an eventual peace deal have been known for some time . . ." and then goes on to describe a two-state solution? Two states have been assumed, it was just a matter of a little land here, some more walls there. Tonight, 60 Minutes put an end to all that.  Everything is back on the table. Even better they laid out three options for the future: ethnic cleansing, apartheid or democracy. Which one do you think the world is going to support?

(Adam Horowitz)

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine

{ 50 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. BluePearl says:

    This was an excellent piece. Kudos to CBS!

    The two-state solution is dead. The corpse is there but there is lots of denial and hope that it will return to life if only we get the right doctors-politicians and the right peace plan-prescription. All the while the corpse is giving out such a stench that no words, however flowery, can cover up – that is for those who have eyes to see.

  2. Richard Witty says:

    It was compelling.

    What do you suggest?

  3. Joshua says:

    The settlements is an easy issue.

    Any places where settlers live that will become part of Palestine will be evacuated. Any places where settlers live that will become part of Israel will remain.

    Israel evacuated the Sinai in its entirety as part of the Camp David accords. Israel evacuated Gaza in its entirety in 2005. Israel most recently removed the most extreme and odious settlers from parts of Hebron.

    The most miserable conditions are now in Gaza, where there is not a single Israeli.

    I think we are reverting back to what has been the case for most of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For the majority of the time, the Arab/Palestinian position was explicitly eliminationist. A couple of Arab nations have made their peace with Israel. That has been good for the region, although there is still endemic racism and hatred in those Arab countries.

    Briefly, the PLO made talks of possibly recognizing Israel, although even throughout the Oslo accords it never really fully committed to that. And since 2000, even after Arafat spit in Bill Clinton's face when he tried to broker peace, the parties have theoretically talked about it.

    But the "demise of the two state solution" is not really anything new. It's just the Arabs returning to form. Ultimately, that doesn't affect Israel or Zionism. Israel exists, and thrives despite its racist neighbors. The lack of a credible two-state solution is largely due to Arab and Palestinian rejectionism, and it is the Palestinians that suffer the most.

    So what happens? There are plenty of more options. Control of the territories where Israelis have not settled could revert to Jordan and Egypt. Or we could have an international protectorate (although it would have to have some accountability to Israelis in case it failed). Or we could have a series of "United Palestinian Emirates" (I suppose the Palestinians in the Gulf) could have been called "Bantustans" but they in fact have done quite well). Or you could have a solution like what happened in India and Pakistan, where groups migrated to their respective territories (Indeed, you already had the near complete expulsion of Jews from Arab lands).

    The demography with respect to the West Bank and Gaza is a non-issue. It really doesn't matter if it's 100 or 100 million people under occupation, they are entitled to the rights to which they are entitled. And conversely, the occupier is entitled to take the same actions necessary to protect itself whether it's 100 or 100 million. Israel was no more or less democratic when it occupied fewer Palestinians as opposed to more Palestinians.

    In any event, those who take glee in the death of the two-state solution make the mistake in thinking that this means the death of Israel. Israel continues to do quite well for itself and its citizens. The failure of a two state solution is really a tragedy, but not for the Israelis.

  4. Anne Silver says:

    No no, I don't notice the smell, it doesn't bother me at all.

  5. Dan Kelly says:

    For CBS and 60 Minutes, it was a good piece. Obviously, it doesn't go nearly far enough in educating people about the atrocities Israel has committed since its inception. That should be the starting point, so that people can at least understand that there was a thriving Palestinian culture in place (despite what Golda Meir and other Israel fanatics have said to the contrary) that has been systematically eliminated, by premeditated plan, since the Zionist project in Israel got under way. With that background, and specific maps showing Israel's growth at Palestine's expense, people will at least have a cursory background of the Palestinian side which this piece, despite its lack of typical Zionist propaganda for the most part, still did not provide.

    From there, it should be explained to the viewer where exactly these "settlers" come from, who pays for them (American taxpayers pay a large part), and why they choose to come. If this were any other religion, specifically Christian, these people would be made out to be nutcases, religious fanatics, even without directly saying so. But the viewer wasn't exactly left with that impression (I think they're religious fantatics, but I don't know that that impression was left with viewers at large). Again, without sufficient background, which the piece did not provide, viewers are still left in the dark as to where exactly these "settlers" come from and, more importantly, the function they serve Israel's elite in the grand scheme of things.

    Then, a really good report would liken these folks to the poor Jewish victims of WWII, who were likewise used in a similar fashion by the Zionist leaders in order to fulfill their larger agenda. Alright, now I'm just dreaming…

  6. Sam says:

    >> the occupier is entitled to take … actions necessary to protect itself

    Ahh, no. A military force that illegally occupies foreign lands is only entitled to get the f-ck off the bits that don't belong to it. That, or give those whom it occupies the vote, etc., etc.

    Israel has refused the former. Ye reap what ye sow.

  7. Dan Kelly says:

    But the "demise of the two state solution" is not really anything new. It's just the Arabs returning to form. Ultimately, that doesn't affect Israel or Zionism. Israel exists, and thrives despite its racist neighbors. The lack of a credible two-state solution is largely due to Arab and Palestinian rejectionism, and it is the Palestinians that suffer the most.

    "The Arabs returning to form." Replace "Arabs" with "Jews" and see how Joshua reacts. It's all "Arab and Palestinian rejectionism." The Arabs are the racists. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Of course, the enlightened among us recognize that exactly the opposite is true. We know Zionist propaganda when we read it. Thank you, Joshua, for keeping us on our toes.

  8. D. says:

    Americans are going to want to know why they were never told this stuff before. As the truth sinks in, they will be angry at having been misled for so long.

  9. Richard Witty says:

    I don't see removal of the settlers as possible.

    I do see Israel renouncing sovereignty over the land, and the settlers remaining as Palestinian citizens, if they chose.

  10. Colin Murray says:

    "What do you suggest?"

    My semi-coherent take:
    The first step is getting them all to sit down at the same table. Final-status negotiations must be started, without the usual preconditions nonsense, between Israel and all Arab entities with which it is in conflict. The tough issues, e.g. Jerusalem or how many states there should be, should not be on the table to start. Putting that stuff front and center at the beginning is in my opinion a sure path to failure. It is America's duty to get them talking, even if it's only about how good the coffee and pastries are, and 'have you tried the lentils at that little restaurant down on whatever street?'.

    The obvious next question is who will represent the Palestinians. They have already worked out their sovereignty issues. They had elections: Fatah lost and Hamas one. Hamas must be permitted to re-instate their Prime Minister, and new elections must be held to replace former President Abbas, whose term expired on 9 January. Perhaps a compromise could be reached where new general elections could be held, although I think it highly unlikely that the result will be any better for Fatah. Palestinian negotiators must be seen by their people as legitimate representatives invested with sovereign authority. The Israelis want to deal with puppets: the time for discarding those infantile daydreams is long past.

    What happens next? I don't know, but I do know that there will be no one asking 'what happens next?' if the first step of legitimate negotiators sitting down at the same table is never taken. The resolution of the conflict is a primary security issue for the United States: President Obama should use whatever means are necessary to get the Israelis to the table.

  11. syvanen says:

    I see this has brought out Joshua as a tranferist. Where do you stand on that one Witty. He makes the case (convincingly from the Zionist perspective) that given that the two state solution is now dead only transfer or the bantustans are realistic options.

    Hey Witty you are a minority among your Zionist colleagues. Whose side are really on? Are you with them or against them?

    Witty's response:

    "It was compelling.

    What do you suggest?"

    Now that you ask, then I would suggest that it is time for the US to withdraw from this mess, stop funding their economy and supporting their military. After that it is not my problem.

    This sixty minutes piece represents a major shift. It is important the American people realize what is going on in the West Bank. It also brings out, which been apparent for the last ten years, the IDF is heavily infiltrated by the settler mentality and it is not at all clear that they will obey orders from any Israeli government that calls for a two state solution. Another reason for the US to realize that our alliance with Israel is not in our interests.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Joshua wrote: "I think we are reverting back to what has been the case for most of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For the majority of the time, the Arab/Palestinian position was explicitly eliminationist. A couple of Arab nations have made their peace with Israel. That has been good for the region, although there is still endemic racism and hatred in those Arab countries."

    I think this just about sums it up. And without acknowledging this pink elephant on the living room rug, 60 Minutes failed to provide an objective and balanced piece of journalism.

    The glaring absence of the Israeli viewpoint and Simons' failure to state whether Israeli sources declined to comment made me wonder if the whole thing might've been staged.

    Given the Palestinians talent for fake footage, fake carnage, fake funerals, etc…anything they say should be taken with a grain of salt. That whole part felt a bit contrived. Maybe I'm wrong…but CBS should've done a better job proving their claims.

    As for settlements…whether they are in Israel's best interest is arguable. But at one point they were viewed as a security buffer against a hostile outlying neighborhood. I assume Israel understands its enemies a lot better than anybody else does…

  13. Witty's anonymous critic says:

    Witty has decent instincts,when you can get him off his defensive crouch condemning Hamas and the Palestinians and reflexively defending the Israelis. He's his own best example of why harsh criticism of Israel doesn't work with some people. It drives him a little nuts.

    Unfortunately, though, there's a very strong need to wake up most Americans about what has been going on and I don't know how you do that without upsetting the folks who think Israel is the noble Western Jewish democracy fighting off the barbaric eastern terrorist Muslim hordes.

    Now if people wake up and some start reacting like antisemites (as you see around here with some commenters), that'll be a real problem. But I don't think it does any good to postpone the day when Americans as a whole start learning the unpleasant truths about Israel. Better now then later, when we might get dragged into another war in the Mideast, this time involving Israel more directly. In the age of the internet and digital cameras, even Americans can't be fooled forever.

  14. Witty's anonymous critic says:

    One thing, though, Witty–a lot of those settlers don't exactly strike me as people willing to live with Palestinians as equals. And if they've taken the best land and the water supply is disproportionately used by them, they may not continue to live in the style to which they have become accustomed. So there's likely to be violence under any conceivable solution with them.

  15. ahmed says:

    As for settlements…whether they are in Israel's best interest is arguable. But at one point they were viewed as a security buffer against a hostile outlying neighborhood.

    are you calling them human shields?

  16. Dan Kelly says:

    Given the Palestinians talent for fake footage, fake carnage, fake funerals, etc…anything they say should be taken with a grain of salt. That whole part felt a bit contrived. Maybe I'm wrong…but CBS should've done a better job proving their claims.

    Spoken like a true Zionist.

    I assume Israel understands its enemies a lot better than anybody else does…

    Yes, we've heard that before. What Israel understands is if it doesn't have enemies, it better create some, and boy, is it good at that.

  17. Suzanne says:

    "are you calling them human shields?"

    I guess not, there's no jihadi lack of regard for human life in the equation, is there?

  18. ahmed says:

    I guess not, there's no jihadi lack of regard for human life in the equation, is there?

    You're kidding right? I guess you didn't hear the crazy settler woman? Or the settlers that set on their own soldiers in Amona?

  19. Dan Kelly says:

    As for settlements…whether they are in Israel's best interest is arguable. But at one point they were viewed as a security buffer against a hostile outlying neighborhood.

    are you calling them human shields?

    Ahmed, I think in a sense they are human shields, and the Zionist leadership realizes this. Again, it is a perfect parallel to how they acted during WWII – using ordinary Jewish folk as fodder for their insane ideas.

    The other point to be made is of course to correct Suzanne's description of a "hostile outlying neighborhood." Said neighborhood is only as hostile as Israel's actions make it. In fact, given the incredible theft of land and genocide that Israel has inflicted on its "outlying neighborhoods" since its inception, it's amazing how much restraint they've actually shown. They've shown much more humanity than the Zionist aggressors, that's for sure.

  20. Suzanne says:

    "Yes, we've heard that before. What Israel understands is if it doesn't have enemies, it better create some, and boy, is it good at that. "

    Do tell? Did you once have more kindly feelings towards Israel?

  21. Dan Kelly says:

    The settlers can be moved forcfully if they refuse to go peacefully. I wouldn't advocate the use of force, but Israel has no problem bulldozing people's homes and destroying entire neighborhoods at its whim.

    The first thing that needs to happen is the removal of ALL Israeli interference in Palestinian life. No more Jewish-only roads, checkpoints, walls, etc. The world community will decide on PERMANENT borders which Israel must adhere to.

  22. Richard Witty says:

    My critic,

    As I've suggested before, my sense is that with whatever solution occurs, that it start with formation of cross-cultural NON-POLITICAL organizations acting for the common good.

    Particularly "Lovers of the land".

    Among the religious, the world needs halachic rabbis to assert that the commandments include "thou shalt not covet thy neighbors possessions, ANYTHING that is thy neighbors" and that that supercedes any assertion of "God gave only us this land forever and ever".

    And, "IF you keep my commandments, I will give you the rain in its time".

  23. Dan Kelly says:

    Do tell? Did you once have more kindly feelings towards Israel?

    I'm referring to Israeli aggression since its inception. Unprovoked aggression creates enemies.

  24. Suzanne says:

    oooooohhhh! I'm a zionist…and a true one at that. lol!

    If Zionist means a secularist and atheist who believes in Israel's right to exist, you betcha.

    Or is Zionist a code word for Jew?

    And what…pray tell, do y'll call yourselves?

    The charming thing about this whole conversation is that, like hopeful Armageddonists, you ALWAYS think the day of reckoning is approaching.

    You've been saying it for years and years now. And you let sloppy botched up reporting like tonight fool you into thinking you see the changing of the guards.

    I mean, man, people unhealthily obsessed with Israel were saying the same thing back in '88, 75, '67, and so on.

    But tomorrow, when you wake up, the sun is still going to be in the sky–and Israel is gonna still be in one solid piece (complete with shaheeds for neighbors), and America is going to still be her ally. Not exactly the picture you were hoping for, is it? lol!

    I'll be sure to stop back in next year and hear ya get all excited about the next Armageddon…keep it fresh…hahaha! ciao!

  25. Dan Kelly says:

    If Zionist means a secularist and atheist who believes in Israel's right to exist, you betcha.

    It's a strange secularist and atheist indeed who believes in the idea of a "Jewish state". In fact, they're incompatible. So, you're confused.

    Or is Zionist a code word for Jew?

    No, it isn't. What are you insuating?

    And what…pray tell, do y'll call yourselves?

    Human

  26. chris berel says:

    Sorry Dan, but you are confused. We are merely vast. While you may think some item incompatible, we are quite content with the paradox and find no problem living with it.

  27. chimpsky says:

    Richard wants us to put ourselves in place of George Mitchell and ask what would we do. An interesting exercise but that's not our mission.

    Phil's role, i think (and ours) is to spark a grassroots movement to break through the media filtering on israel/palestine and educate more and more people about the ugly truth of zionism. With luck we can push past a tipping point and burst the bubble of the virtuous Israel of the American imagination; the Sunday-school Israel of the Christian zionists, the heroic Israel of "Exodus."

    If the next generation of Jewish Americans see Israel for what it really is, a militaristic, fascistic apartheid state, (and the Palestinian Arabs for the innocent victims they really are) the ground will shift.

    Israel's crimes are possible because of unconditional US support. Unconditional US support of israel is possible because of the ignorance of the US public.

    Our only hope is to create a real paradigm shift by destroying or eroding support for israel in US public opinion.

  28. ahmed says:

    dan, i've come to one conclusion, don't feed the troll

  29. Dan Kelly says:

    Why would any Jew consent to live in Germany so soon after the holocaust?

    Yes, you are right ahmed, thank you.

  30. I don't see removal of the settlers as possible.

    damn right you don't witty.

  31. chris berel says:

    Sorry Chimpsky, but that plan is doomed to failure. There have been too many Palestinian cries of wolf for any rational American to fall for your little scheme.

    Most Americans see Israel for what it is; a small democratic nation besieged on three sides by those who tend towards Islamic Fascism. They see Israel facing the same enemy that they may face 50 years from now.

    Americans rightfully fear Islamic Fascism. And until you come up with some plan to spike the water, Americans, as well as the rest of western civilization, will always fear Islamic Fascism.

  32. TGGP says:

    Rhodesia used to have lots of green farms. It was the breadbasket of Africa. It has since become Zimbabwe and the Rhodies driven away from their farms. It's not so green anymore. The country is a starving basketcase. My guess is that when the Palestinians take over former settlements they won't be so green anymore. You can make arguments for why the illegal settlers should be removed, but don't assume the reason for the disparity in farms is because of the nefarious actions of one side.

  33. Dan Kelly says:

    dan, i've come to one conclusion, don't feed the troll

    Thank you ahmed. I did indeed get carried away.

  34. Dan Kelly says:

    My guess is that when the Palestinians take over former settlements they won't be so green anymore. You can make arguments for why the illegal settlers should be removed, but don't assume the reason for the disparity in farms is because of the nefarious actions of one side.

    In other words, the stupid Palestinians don't know how to farm.

    (It might help if they had some water).

  35. chris berel says:

    I am not 100% convinced that the settlements are illegal. The land is in dispute and there was no previous sovereignty other then by the Ottomans. You might claim British sovereignty but they just got up and left.

  36. anonymous says:

    TGGP Better Link…
    Palestine before the Nakba

  37. chimpsky says:

    whether you're convinced or not is immaterial. the facts are not in dispute at all. israel has no legal right to what it took by force in june 67. any israeli claim to sovereignty over any of the land is based on the UN res of November 1947 which is itself highly problematic. ( of course zionists–religious or not–really think it's based on Torah.) the same UN res that created a jewish state also called for an arab state: Palestine. and BTW, chris, the brits hardly "got up and left." they were chased out by the zionist terrorist groups Irgun and Stern gang who bombed the King David Hotel, killed a British diplomat in Cairo (Lord Moyne?) assassinated the UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in Jerusalem and kidnapped and murdered British soldiers and booby trapped their bodies. These murderers (and their children) became Prime Ministers of Israel like Mehachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir and Tzipi Livni, and chiefs of staff to US presidents like Rahm Emanuel. the same zionist terrorism that forced the brits out is used to try to force out the indigenous people but with less success.

  38. Ed says:

    Suzanne: "If Zionist means a secularist and atheist who believes in Israel's right to exist, you betcha."

    If you advocate Israel's right to exist as it does now, as an explicitly Jewish state with special rights and privileges extended to Jews over non-Jews, and wherein religious Jews officially decide who is a Jew and who is NOT a Jew for immigration purposes, and who believes the US should continue underwriting Israel’s Jewish-supremacist institutionalization, then you are no secular atheist.

    More likely, you're a Zionist (aka Jewish supremacist) who advocates secular atheism for everyone EXCEPT Jews; in the case of Jews, you want their religion/racial supremacist cause to by accepted, supported, coddled, encouraged and underwritten by the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately for the Jewish Zionists, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is becoming the touchstone for the Left in order to sort out the pseudo-Left from the real deal. A lot of authentic Leftists believe they were betrayed by the Jewish Zionists a long time ago (because they were) and they have realized that this is the way to flush out the counterfeit Leftists who will betray them again at first opportunity.

    Anyone who thinks they're both a Zionist and a Leftist better make their decision quickly, because they won't be able to have it both ways much longer. I hope they go sign on with the Neolibs, the Neocons and the fake “Christian” Zionists quickly. That way the counterfeiters can all be flushed together.

  39. Dan Kelly says:

    Thank you Ed. As usual, you said it better than I could ever hope to.

  40. MRW. says:

    Witty's anonymous critic

    You wrote: Now if people wake up and some start reacting like antisemites (as you see around here with some commenters), that'll be a real problem.

    What is your definition of "antisemitism?" Anti-Israel? Anti-Zionist? Or anti-the-Jewish-religion? These are three different things. One concerns nationalism, the other is a political party or movement, the last is a religion. It cannot mean all three.

    Define what you say you see here. I genuinely want to know.

  41. MRW. says:

    I agree with Dan about Ed's posr.

  42. MRW. says:

    I am not 100% convinced that the settlements are illegal. The land is in dispute and there was no previous sovereignty other then by the Ottomans. You might claim British sovereignty but they just got up and left.

    Posted by: chris berel | January 26, 2009 at 12:35 AM

    You're dead wrong. The NYT did a whole story on whatever legal entity it is in Israel that keeps records of the land. It was about 18 months ago and I am too tired to look it up. This entity had the Palestinian ownership records for the settlements. The article was remarkable for its admission that the Palestinians had legitimate beefs and rights to the property the settlements were on. The article may have been in Fall 2006. I have a copy of the article but it on another hard drive.

  43. Eurosabra says:

    There was extensive population intermixing during the period 1517-1917, when the "West Bank" was the relatively underdeveloped hinterland of the area administered from Jerusalem, Lydda, and Damascus, and again from 1917-1947. In terms of sustainability, the issue is an equitable re-allocation of water resources more than anything else, and whether Jews would be left in peace in a Palestinian state. Certainly the main settlements on the spine of the West Bank are designed for linkage to Israeli infrastructure, and could remain so for water and electricity, to keep them from draining the main WB aquifier.

    The former settlements would thus have to draw relatively more water from Israel while decreasing consumption to the normal levels of comparable Negev towns, instead of consuming as much per capita as Jerusalem area towns, while Palestinian per capita consumption in the WB villages would concurrently rise to that of towns such as Nablus and Ramallah.

    It would not be hard to crunch the numbers, and I'm sure the Israeli and Palestinian Water Authorities (who are still talking to each other, even under the blockade) have a plan which (in a peaceful context) could equalize water consumption in the area while still meeting everyone's primary needs.

  44. MRW. says:

    Or is Zionist a code word for Jew?

    Probably. What's wrong with that? And how is that a reviled 'code'? I refer you to my question about anti-semitism above.

    You can't have it three ways. Make up your mind about what defines horrific anti-semitism and stick to it.

  45. LD says:

    Israel steals everything from Palestinians. They even steal the fucking WATER.

    What Israel needs is not peace but a good ass kicking. A sound military defeat. Let's hope a war with Iran teaches them a lesson. Let's hope Arabs in corrupt dictatorships like Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Jordan/etc. stand up and refuse to be slaves.

    We shouldn't negotiate with radical nationalists like the Zionists.

  46. "Demographers predict that within ten years Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza."

    But they've been doing that for 40 years or more.

  47. Richard Witty says:

    While only a short presentation, there were some compelling points and images in the 60 minutes presentation, that I can't get past.

    One is the aerial filming of the settlement blocs, showing the concentration of building, on the hilltops in particular.

    Whomever would build in that manner and from whatever motivation it strikes me as an imposition on the land, rather than a loving of the land. It describes a different meaning of the term "holy land" than I regard as relevant.

    The other compelling point was the interview with the settler woman, who described the virtue of the settlers as their "stubbornness", and their very strong conviction that occupying the land was commanded by God, and that that is overarching requirement of the current time.

    People with that view would not accept my proposal of living as residents of the land, but in a Palestinian state.

    The theology conflicts with my view of what it means to be human and Jewish human, and conflicts with my view of what "worship the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all they mind, and all thy might", means.

    Its a uniquely spiritual materialist approach, a worship of a thing rather than a thankfulness of the ever-presence.

  48. chris berel says:

    I understand your reasoning but you have failed to consider the basis of Judaism – Ethical Morality. A morality devised from the observance of a set of laws that they believe to be handed down to the Jewish people by God.

    If I have a choice of where to build, I will build on the high ground. So will most other rational people.

  49. Richard Witty says:

    And, in much of Torah the high ground is reserved for worship.

    "Lift up thy eyes to the hills". (Not to the apartment buildings on the hill).

    The set of laws believed to be handed down from Sinai, include:

    "Thou shalt have NO other gods before me" (Not land, not privilege)
    "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's possessions"
    "Thou shalt not steal"

    Important values. Historically, Judaism has stated that redemption of spirit, or Messianic era/urge, happens only as a result of following the commandments, NOT by force, nor by stubbornness.

    The value of "stubbornness" was how God described to Moses the nature of those Hebrews that built the golden calf, to my mind as an instruction of a value to reject, not as a permanent nature, and not as a primary virtue.