The Nation: ‘for all practical purposes, one nation between river and sea…’

US Politics
on 98 Comments

The American lib-left seems to be getting the news that the two-state-solution is having its death rattles (3 years of death rattles, unusual case doctor). Joe Klein wants sanctions. And here’s the Nation on the crumbling of the Palestinian Authority. It is unusual to read such a starkly-honest statement of the situation in even a liberal American publication. Roane Carey in the latest Nation:

There’s no question that the conflict is at a bleak impasse. But if the PA collapses, there will be one salutary consequence: it will strip off the mask that there is anything in the territories beyond Israeli occupation. Even at its height in the ’90s, Palestinian autonomy was negligible. Now the undeniable fact of near total Israeli control, and the increasing difficulty of pretending that nearly half a century of occupation is temporary, will force some stark decisions on both peoples.

The Palestinians, quite apart from the desperate need to heal the Hamas-Fatah split and reforge a unified leadership, will have to develop a new liberation strategy. Israel, for its part, may seem to be holding all the cards at this point. But as the occupation becomes ever more deeply implanted, it will soon enough become undeniable that, for all practical purposes, there is only one nation between the Jordan and the sea, composed of roughly equal numbers of Palestinians and Jews. Then Israel will "face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights," former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned when he was still in office, "and as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished." So Israel will have to confront its own existential dilemma: are the settlements really worth retaining if it means the eventual end of Zionism? 

98 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    November 12, 2009, 10:19 pm

    Israelis have only themselves to blame, really. They are the ones that fielded an illegal settlement movement, complete with an oppressive military occupation and a vicious black ops apparatus that went after and imprisoned — or outright murdered — Palestinian politicians.

    Colonialism doesn’t work. The British found that out the hard way; now the I think about it, one can imagine that withdrawing in 1948 and letting Israel set itself up as a state destined for failure might have been British sardonic wit at its most brutal.

  2. potsherd
    November 12, 2009, 10:36 pm

    Or in the best case scenario, both settlements and Zionism will collapse utterly.

  3. James Bradley
    November 12, 2009, 11:10 pm

    It looks like the Lib-Left still seems to buy the bullshit that Araft did not accept Baraks generous offer…

    But other than that it was a great article. I suppose one step at a time…?

  4. syvanen
    November 13, 2009, 3:41 am

    This could be amazing. It is quite irrelevant what any of us here would like to see — one-state or two state or whatever — the outcome will be determined by the players in IP themselves. And it does seem that Israel itself is running full steam ahead for the one-state solution. The Israelis are in control and there is very little that any of us can say to change that. Of course, it does mean that the Palestinian people will have to suffer for some time, but if they can with stand the pressure they will have their majority and the Jewish minority inside Israel will have to come to some kind of agreement with them. Some how I do not think it will be a Jewish state.

  5. homingpigeon
    November 13, 2009, 3:58 am

    the beauty of the one country solution (I prefer one country – “state” is treif) is that it is an aikido like gesture to Israeli extremists. They want Jews to live anywhere between the river and the sea and have been against the existence of a separate Palestinian state. So we come to agree with them heartily, but gently remind them that there is the issue of universal human rights, universally agreed standards for property rights, the right of Palestinians to also live anywhere between the sea and the river, and so on.

  6. Queue
    November 13, 2009, 4:37 am

    To parphrase Dubya, “Israel may have passed up its opportunities.”

  7. Shafiq
    November 13, 2009, 5:02 am

    Even at its height in the ’90s, Palestinian autonomy was negligible.

    Did anyone know that Gazan Palestinians are forbidden from studying in the West Bank? Is this the Palestinian autonomy we’re all meant to celebrate?

  8. Richard Witty
    November 13, 2009, 5:46 am

    “Joe Klein wants sanctions.”

    What planet are you on Phil? Did you read the article?

    The analyses are accurate that Netanyahu is driving Israel into a wall (he seems to be thinking that 1. he can crash through the wall at all, 2. without anyone hearing the accident, then 3. land in Eden: three fantasies in one).

    But, if from that statement, you would conclude that I advocate for “sanctions”, you would be engaged in 9th grade rhetoric, rather than a product of 33 years of journalism.

    • Citizen
      November 13, 2009, 6:43 am

      Klein wrote that Obama “should start by putting a hold on all economic and military aid to Israel”

    • MRW
      November 13, 2009, 6:21 pm

      Witty, since I was so brutal with you elsewhere, I want to point out that this is a good insight: The analyses are accurate that Netanyahu is driving Israel into a wall (he seems to be thinking that 1. he can crash through the wall at all, 2. without anyone hearing the accident, then 3. land in Eden: three fantasies in one). Although I wouldn’t have made the best part parenthetical, just a sentence on its own.

      As for this But, if from that statement, you would conclude that I advocate for “sanctions”, you would be engaged in 9th grade rhetoric, rather than a product of 33 years of journalism. What makes you think you were part of the discussion? Or was that part of a private email dialogue?

      {I can feel Shmuel rapping my knuckles from Italy.]

  9. aparisian
    November 13, 2009, 6:26 am

    Do you think guys the International community will be able to stop Israeli gov if they decide to create Eretz Israel and transfer Palestinians to Jordan and Egypt?

    • Taxi
      November 13, 2009, 7:04 am

      No one in the region is depending on the USA or the EU to stop Israel.

      They will do it themselves in good time.

      And they will win.


      A few rained missiles on tel aviv and a few downed IDF F16’s will empty out Israel from north to south and east to west.

      The region is better armed now to fight the Israelis than ever before.

      And if American comes to Israel’s aid, then it’s WW3.

      And if WW3 arrives, then it’s bye-bye Israel.

      They haven’t got a chance in hell of survival.

      It’s just a question of when.

      • aparisian
        November 13, 2009, 9:45 am

        The Arab world is boiling, you imagine if Muburak in Egypt and co get downed? Can you imagine if Saudi Arabia and co use their arsenal of arms , dollars and oil.
        But Arabs are never united Taxi that’s one of their problems, these countries if united can change the whole story in the ME, we saw in 1973s war how they completely changed the situation.

        The question of when i would say the day the Israelis annex Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 10:58 am

        Taxi, I don’t think this is realistic.

        After Gaza, it’s clear that the Zionist deathgrip on the US is so strong that Israel could load the entire population of Palestine onto scows and tow them into the middle of the Red Sea, and the US Congress would pass a resolution that Israel Has the Right To Defend Itself from human garbage.

        And I don’t see the Arab states or people rousing themselves to intervene, either. If the region were will to actually help the Palestinians, they would force open the Rafah crossing and organize a sealift to open the Gaza ports. They could do this now. Instead, Mubarak is as much as jailer of Gaza as Israel, and it’s not just because the US pays him off.

        The Palestinians have been asking for years – “Where are the Arabs?” They’re not coming.

      • Taxi
        November 13, 2009, 4:59 pm


        You’re right, the Arabs aren’t united. But the Moslems are of the region are. Including the Turks.

        I keep saying this: you have to visit the middle east itself to get a real feel of the fire and pulse of the situation. No point in just sitting around in the USA saying maybe peace this way or that. It ain’t gonna happen.

        All everyone is waiting for is for the first shot to be fired.

      • Taxi
        November 13, 2009, 5:03 pm


        The Palestinians aren’t waiting on Mubarak for nothing!

        They’re waiting on the Iran/Syria/Lebanon defense pact to kick in – with the grand possibility of Turkey joining the signatories.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 5:40 pm

        taxi – Iran, Syria and Lebanon are going to look after their own interests first and put the Palestinians last, as usual. Syria didn’t even squeek when Israel bombed their “alleged” nuke facility. This is pipedream stuff, this is street talk.

        Egypt could actually be of real help to Gaza, but it has too much emnity with the Shi’ite axis above and too much worry about the Muslim Brotherhood at home.

      • Taxi
        November 14, 2009, 12:00 am


        Syria has been quiet for years despite being attacked by Israel on several occasions – for tactical reasons.

        Make of it what you will, Potsherd, but everyone around Israel is just arming up some more and waiting for the right ‘environment’.

    • paljustice
      November 13, 2009, 11:18 am

      The word should be expell, not transfer. The word transfer is another Zionest gimmick to ease the crime of expulsion or ethnic cleansing, which it is. And no, the world will do nothing to Israel if it ethnically cleanses the rest of the Non-Jews from Palestine. They also have about 200 nuclear bombs that they wouldn’t think twice about using on anyon -except Jews of course. Israel is a dangerous, rogue state, with no interest in equal rights or justice for the non-Jewish population they live with. It is our country that has allowed Israel to become the horror it has become, by kowtowing to the Israeli Lobby that directs our mideast policies.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 11:52 am

        oh yeah, the wouldn’t think twice about using a nuke. are you kidding? why didn’t they use them in ’73 then? Or in ’91 when their nuclear arsenal was on full alert?

        I got a laugh over that one, thanks Pal.

      • James Bradley
        November 13, 2009, 2:21 pm

        Israel has yet to experience an existential threat to its existence Yonira.

        Even in 73, the Egyptians never once attacked Israel proper or came anywhere close to Tel Aviv.

        What they did suffer was a temporary military defeat, a defeat that was mitigated by the US government airlifting hundreds of tanks and Jet fighters to Israel so that the Egyptians had to fight the Israeli military all over again.

    • Chu
      November 13, 2009, 12:54 pm

      Maybe the two state solution/one state can be realized through an urban design/ architectural competition.

      There could be proposals for two-tiered cities, or parallel neighborhoods for both groups, that will eventually combine together in the future. It would be a chance to have the design community seriously think about the challenges of integrating Palestinians and Israelis.
      Because, there will never be true justice if the Palestinians get the leftover land of what was once shared land.
      I think the AIA should be contacted and pitched this one. Is this too controversial for them? Probably not. I dunno. What do ya think?

  10. Taxi
    November 13, 2009, 7:09 am

    The one state solution is a sham, just like the two state solution.

    Nothing short of returning the WHOLE of historic Palestine to it’s Palestinian owners (Muslim, Jew and Christian), as well as reparations and safe return of other Arab Jews back to their motherlands – not forgetting of course, all Euro colonialist back to Euro land – nothing short of these three events can bring REAL JUSTICE.

    This is what the people of the region want, if anyone would care to listen.

    • Nolan
      November 13, 2009, 7:49 am

      Sins of the fathers.

      Many of those who came in the 20th century from outside historical Palestine are either in their late 80s or have already passed on.

      So, what you propose would punish a generation (or generations) that had nothing to do with their parents’ actions. It’s similar in a way to punishing the 20 year old child of an illegal immigrant in the US for the actions of his parents who brought him here when he or she was 3 and lived in the US illegally ever since. They too have basic human rights. link to

      The only just solution at this juncture is to treat every human being equally while addressing the issue of Palestinian refugees who were driven out of their homes as part of the ethnic cleansing policies and the issue of Arab Jews who were either pushed to leave due to discrimination or persecution.

      • Taxi
        November 13, 2009, 7:56 am

        “So, what you propose would punish a generation….”

        Unless full justice is applied, you’re still punishing the Palestinians – I’m sure you’ll agree they’ve been more than punished in the name of ‘protection of the Jews’.

        Now, if the new generation of euro jews want to still live in the holy lands, then they should, like everyone else in the world, apply for a fucking visa or residency.

      • Nolan
        November 13, 2009, 8:09 am

        Unless full justice is applied, you’re still punishing the Palestinians

        If every Palestinian is allowed to return to his home and regain his property – or if reparations are offered – are they still being punished?

      • Taxi
        November 13, 2009, 8:24 am


        It’s about the Palestinians regaining governance of historic Palestine – not just a little home to live in. With euro colonialists still ‘lurking’ in the shadows of historic Palestine, there will most certainly be foul play committed against the Palestinians, as history can clearly show us. Simplified: The Palestinian majority have less than zero trust in ANYTHING zionist. They really do want them out out out!

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 9:52 am

        Maybe so, Taxi, and maybe I’m too naive and optimistic for my own good, but I believe true democracy really will heal Israel-Palestine. I’ve met Israelis and I’ve met Palestinians… and I know that Palestinians, even at their angriest, most vengeful, will never be as brutal to Israelis as Israelis are even at their most “moderate.”

        I sincerely believe that the vast majority of either of two things will happen with regards to Israelis under a one-state solution: they will get wise to the fact that they’ve been lied to, and what was really going on and that they really can live peacefully and fairly with their neighbors; or, they’ll “white flight” their way out to the US and Europe. The terrorist Zionist minority that stays and insists upon continuing atrocities will be a problem, but not an insurmountable one.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 11:07 am

        It’s about the Palestinians regaining governance of historic Palestine – not just a little home to live in.

        when did the Palestinians ever have governance of historic Palestine?

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 11:38 am

        yonira – the fact that the Palestinians never were allowed to rule themselves is part of the crime, not reason to keep denying them self-determination.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 11:55 am


        I agree its a crime, but a 1 state solution will at best have them share control w/ Israelis. Why not a 2 state solution where they can have full control, sovereignty etc. I’d even be happy giving them a fully functional military apparatus, for what I do not know, but if they want it, shit give it to them….

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 12:09 pm

        yonira, I don’t consider this my call – it’s their call.

        But are the Israelis going to sit back and let them disarm and remove the settlers from stolen Palestinian land after the partition? Or does your idea of a two-state solution involve Israel keeping it? Which is why most people consider it a dead option.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 12:16 pm


        The Israelis will have to forcibly remove all the settlers from the West Bank. There are some who will leave peacefully, those who won’t will need to be kick off the land. It will be hard for all parties involved, but it needs to be done. Its entirely Israel’s fault for letting the settler movement thrive.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 2:24 pm

        yonira – the Israelis can’t remove the settlers from the WB. The armed forces will take the settlers’ side. They might even take over the govt in a coup to prevent it.

        The Palestinian armed forces will not have the same compunctions against clearing their enemies off their land.

      • edwin
        November 13, 2009, 3:52 pm

        yonira November 13, 2009 at 11:55 am


        I agree its a crime, but a 1 state solution will at best have them share control w/ Israelis. Why not a 2 state solution where they can have full control, sovereignty etc. I’d even be happy giving them a fully functional military apparatus, for what I do not know, but if they want it, shit give it to them….

        Yonira suddenly gets generous. How about 1948 borders? How about a few nukes? Let’s just see how far this “generosity” goes.

        One of the major problems with the two state solutions is that why take one racist state and create 2 racist states? There are a number of minorities who need protecting, including Roma, B’ahai, and Druze. People should have freedom of religion. There should be no penalty for someone who converts from Judaism to Islam or any other religion.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 3:59 pm


        it happened in the Sinai and in Gaza, I pray it can happen also in the WB.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:14 pm

        In both cases, yonira, Israel merely shunted the settlers it withdrew to other occupied territories, like Golan and the West Bank.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 4:25 pm

        yonira – the Sinai: that was then, and Israel had something real to gain by doing it.

        Gaza: only Ariel Sharon could have done it, and he barely managed it. There are ten times as many settlers in the WB, and the IDF has only become more pro settler since. The troops would mutiny.

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2009, 4:36 pm

        “when did the Palestinians ever have governance of historic Palestine? ”

        In 1914. Palestine even had a constitution. Something Israel hasn’t been able to produce in 60 years.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:38 pm

        And considering there are Israeli politicians who are calling for the re-occupation of Gaza. And I’m sure that has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    • yonira
      November 13, 2009, 8:01 am


      Where will you go then? you’re a product of some sort of misadventure……

      There is a major disconnect from reality on this blog, you always talk about WW3 like you want it to come or something. Everyone talks justice on here, but that ‘justice’ is going to bring a lot more pain to ppl who have been suffering for way to long already.

      • Nolan
        November 13, 2009, 8:11 am

        You should stay out of this discussion as you were neither born in the holy land nor do you live there or have any direct ancestral links to it.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 8:18 am

        Nolan? what camp are you in?

      • Taxi
        November 13, 2009, 8:33 am


        Where will I go?… what on earth do you mean?…

        “you’re a product of some sort of misadventure…”. You mean my mum and dad were drunk when they conceived me so I was an accident, a ‘misadventure’?… I’m sorry I just don’t earnestly understand what you mean. …

        And I talk about ww3 because it’s coming. And it’s coming because of zionism NOT BECAUSE I SAY SO!

        And no, i don’t want ww3.

        I would prefer it if the zionists colonials just packed up peacefully and went back to Odessa etc. etc. But will they? No chance. Then the thieves must be forced out.

        I’m all for that.

      • Nolan
        November 13, 2009, 8:48 am

        Nolan? what camp are you in?

        Like RW, you too, exhibit the same binary thinking. That is your weakness and until you overcome it you’ll always find yourself lurking in the margins.

        On what team am I? I’m on the side of truth, justice and equality.

        By the way, you try your darnest to avoid answering the question about your current residence and/or place of birth. If it’s Brookline, Massachusetts that too is OK.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 11:14 am


        I am sorry, what I meant was you must be in a refugee camp if you are able to post about the issue. Unless your standards for posting are different between yourself and I.

        You should stay out of this discussion as you were neither born in the holy land nor do you live there or have any direct ancestral links to it.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 2:42 pm

        I meant the colonialist misadventure

      • Citizen
        November 13, 2009, 4:02 pm

        This blog talks about the threat of WW3 because it is a distinct possibility; you, yonira are the one with the major disconnect from reality if you can’t fathom the potential, especially as concerning Iran-Israel. Are you aware that in the 73 war once the USA refurnished the IDF the USSR desired to even up the contest by supplying the Arabs; & USSA were threatening each other with nuclear war; but the USSR backed down?

    • Donald
      November 13, 2009, 4:44 pm

      This is ridiculous. Taken seriously, it’s a war crime you’re proposing.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 8:25 pm

        Donald – it is not clear whom you are replying to

  11. Richard Witty
    November 13, 2009, 7:37 am

    Phil changed the headline.

    His revision though isn’t more accurate. There is NOT one nation from river to sea, but two. And, the Nation did not contradict that.

    They, like Olmert, described the continuation of settlement construction and annexation as leading to that (as an apartheid-like state). Is The Nation, a Kadima mouthpiece by that equation?

    As Ben Ami sought to associate J Street with Kadima.

    • Chaos4700
      November 13, 2009, 9:26 am

      Phil Weiss should be frickin’ canonized if he still treats you like a friend, with the way you treat him. And his tolerance for the garbage you spew onto his blog. Kadima is merely the most recent Israeli political party with gallons of Palestinian blood on their hands — and you’re going to characterize the Nation as a mouthpiece for them?

      Fake, fake, phony liberal, Witty. You’re like a neoconservative fifth column into the progressive movement.

      • aparisian
        November 13, 2009, 9:56 am

        Witty – Do you know the of Tzipi Livni’s father? Apparently the whole families believes in “Irgoun Zvaï” . Do you know what Irgoun Zvaï is? is there any difference between them and Hamas btw?

      • Richard Witty
        November 13, 2009, 12:51 pm

        I don’t like Phil’s headlines.

        He surprises me periodically with “I’m not a one-stater”, after 40 posts “of quotes of others” overtly advocating for a single state.

        So, I’m often confused at what he really thinks.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:17 pm

        No, you are attempting to cast confusion on Weiss’ opinions to discredit him. There’s a difference. I think repeatedly, Weiss has expressed the notion that it’s up to the Palestinians to decide whether the two-state or the one-state solution is the way to go. Because the Israelis have made it clear that they’re pursuing a no-state solution for the Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2009, 5:56 pm

        “Phil Weiss should be frickin’ canonized if he still treats you like a friend, with the way you treat him.”

        I thought I was the only one who noticed that. I’m glad you see it too.

      • MRW
        November 13, 2009, 6:05 pm

        The difference, Witty, is that Phil is a trained journalist and writer who knows his craft…cold. Craft. Writing is a craft. Decades of experience doing it, honed in the fire of a newsroom, subject to standards you know nothing about. You wrote the other day that you consider yourself a good writer. I hate to disabuse you of the notion. You wouldn’t pass Reporting 101 at J School if your life depended on it. And you have zero understanding of the use of a headline, or how they should be constructed. Neither do you understand direct or indirect ledes, or how a story should be constructed, or argued.

        I’m sorry to be this tough, but if you’re going to hold yourself out as an example of writing craft, you need to be able to take the knocks as well as the kudos.

        When you object to Phil’s writing, you are declaring what you dont like about it. Fair enough. But do not confuse that with Phil’s craft, or Adam’s craft, both of which are superior, and with whom you are not in the same league.

    • Richard Witty
      November 13, 2009, 12:56 pm


      If everyone were to be held to be grossly guilty for the actions or attitudes of their parents, there would be a LOT of guilty sons and daughters in Europe.

      One’s own actions are what one is accountable for. I don’t agree with everything that Tzipi Livni stands for, votes for, campains on. But, I certainly don’t demean myself or her by calling her “fascist” in any manner.

      Olmert’s daughter was a Peace Now demonstrator in her youth, and convinced Olmert that his previous somewhat prejudicial attitudes were innaccurate, that Palestinians were human beings.

      If you keep up your exagerations, then your children might end up having to apologize for you.

      • Citizen
        November 13, 2009, 4:07 pm

        Aren’t German reparations and USA affirmative action practical state-enforced forms of laying on guilt by inheritance?

  12. Richard Witty
    November 13, 2009, 7:56 am

    A plug for public libraries.

    In my home town, the budget has been strained, and the public library is considered the most expendible institution within the town’s financial responsibility.

    Mid-year, the mayor is proposing budget cuts, with a few departments taking the biggest hits, the library the most prominent.

    The consequences for the library are to threaten its state certification which reduces state grant-making, and also prohibits the town’s participation in inter-library loan programs.

    Its happening EVERYWHERE.

    Public libraries are how I and I hope most here get read more than the hardcovers that we can afford to buy. (Phil probably gets a tax deduction for his research. I don’t.)

    Please speak up in your hometown.

    • Citizen
      November 13, 2009, 8:16 am

      It’s happening where I live too. I will.

    • Chaos4700
      November 13, 2009, 9:28 am

      Is it happening in Israel? Oh wait, that’s right, billions of tax dollars still get shovelled out to them as military aid so that they can slaughter and imprison civilian populations, and billions more depart the US as tax-deducting “charitable” donations that pay for bulldozers and tree uprootings.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 11:14 am

        you are such a toolbox.

      • MRW
        November 13, 2009, 3:13 pm


        Israel has received, carte-blanche, the equivalent of 20% of the TARP money amount from US taxpayers in the last eight (8) years. Without reservation. Without ANY requirement to pay it back. A blood transfusion from the US Treasury to a colonial ethnocracy’s bank account so that it can enact everything that the US does not stand for.

        So dont bitch that chaos is a toolbox. He has every right. Every. Single. Right.

  13. Rehmat
    November 13, 2009, 8:25 am

    The Israelis and Americans have made it clear they prefer the Palestinians to remain divided, and Hamas and Gazzah isolated, in the belief that Abbas will be able to deliver a “peaceful settlement” on their terms on the basis of political support in the West Bank. While Palestinians have been demanding a settlement between Hamas and Fatah, the US and Israel clearly hope that election ins in the West Bank in January 2010, without any polls in Gazzah, would consolidate the division and Fatah’s rule over the West Bank and so make an agreement with Israel more feasible.

    After watching how much Fatah’s leadership is beholden to outside forces, specifically Israel, the US, and the ZOGs in the EU – that the interests of the Palestinians are no longer their prime concern.

    Abu Mazen, please come back!
    link to

    • potsherd
      November 13, 2009, 10:47 am

      Up to now, Abbas has been playing the role of the Indian chief that the US settlers would get drunk enough to sign a “treaty” that relinquished all claim to ancestral lands in exchange for a pile of diseased blankets.

      Now, if he would just drop his spiteful personal feud with Hamas, he might turn out to be a real leader.

    • yonira
      November 13, 2009, 12:00 pm

      Hamas will not allow an election in Gaza because they know they would both lose there and in the WB. The people of Gaza are sick of having their lives (and deaths) dictated by some yahoo in Damascus.

      • James Bradley
        November 13, 2009, 2:28 pm

        The people in Gaza are sick of having their lives dictated by the brutal nutjobs who just recently unleashed a savage bombing upon them.

        I highly doubt that Hamas is anywhere close to being their primary problem.

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2009, 4:40 pm

        “The people of Gaza are sick of having their lives (and deaths) dictated by some yahoo in Damascus. ”

        They’ve only been governed by Hamas for 3 years, so if they are sick an tired of anyone running their lives, it is Israel, who’ve vontrolled them for 40 years (if you excluse the 20 before that).

  14. potsherd
    November 13, 2009, 12:11 pm

    You think it’s likely that the people of Gaza would vote for a leader who gave the green light for Israel to bomb them, just to get rid of Hamas?

    • yonira
      November 13, 2009, 12:20 pm

      It doesn’t have to be Abu Mazen leading Fatah. Even with him @ the helm, Gazans are not happy with Caste Lead(obviously) and some of them blame Hamas for the escalation more than they blame Abu Mazen for the ‘green light’

      • Richard Witty
        November 13, 2009, 12:59 pm

        Compared to the professionalism and resulting benefits to West Bank Palestinians resulting from the sober and reforming policies and actions of Abbas and Fayyad, compared to the careless and opportunistic policies of Hamas, I’m not sure how Hamas has a chance in the coming election.

        I can see how they would boycott it.

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 2:18 pm

        Nobody’s going to vote for collaboraters. Hamas knows that Fatah and Israel would cheat and prevent their supporters from voting in the WB – those that aren’t in jail – and so it’s quite natural that they don’t believe in free elections there.

      • James Bradley
        November 13, 2009, 2:31 pm

        What benefits in the West Bank Witty? wtf are you talking about?

        You mean the fact that unemployment has risen? Or the fact that if you want to get a job in the WB you have to apply through Fatah? Are you referring to the complete patronage state created in the WB?

        This does not even take into account the fact that thousands of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes by racist settlers during Abu Mazens tenure in the West Bank. Nor the fact that virtually no check points have been removed, more Palestinians rot in Israeli prisons, Palestinians are still killed on a daily basis, and more and more Settlers have moved on to Palestinian land.

        So wtf has Fatah done for the West Bank? The Palestinians have done EVERYTHING Israel asked them to do in the West Bank and look at how they were rewarded.

      • Richard Witty
        November 13, 2009, 4:00 pm

        The benefits are do to the actions of the Palestinian leadership, not anything to do with Israel.

        Their GDP has increased. There is consistent rule of law. There is FAR FAR less violence within Palestinian communities, internally and between Israel and Palestine.

        And, there has been some Israeli reduction of roadblocks and other restrictions.

        If you think that a reduction in violence is inconsequential, then you really have blinders.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:19 pm

        Bread and circuses, Witty. Not only do you not actually know what things are really like in the West Bank, you don’t care do you?

      • potsherd
        November 13, 2009, 4:30 pm

        I think Witty must be a lobbyist for Fatah.

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2009, 4:41 pm

        “some of them blame Hamas for the escalation more than they blame Abu Mazen for the ‘green light’ ”

        And you know this because of all the time you’ve spent in Gaza I take it?

  15. Sin Nombre
    November 13, 2009, 1:17 pm

    taxi wrote:

    “Nothing short of returning the WHOLE of historic Palestine to it’s Palestinian owners (Muslim, Jew and Christian), as well as reparations and safe return of other Arab Jews back to their motherlands – not forgetting of course, all Euro colonialist back to Euro land – nothing short of these three events can bring REAL JUSTICE.”

    Maybe, maybe not, but whatever one’s conception of “real justice” is one ought not let the perfect be the enemy of the good lest you get neither.

    • James Bradley
      November 13, 2009, 2:42 pm

      I agree, if there was to be real justice, all the actions of the Zionists would be reversed. All of them would have to go home, and then they would have to create a fund to reimburse the victims.

      However, we have to be realistic. Enacting such a solution would only create a new problem in the future. We cannot just dismiss the simple fact that many Israeli’s today are in fact 3rd generation, some are even 4th generation.

      For this reason I have to agree that the one state solution is the closest thing to “justice” that we can achieve. Those Israelis that wish to stay can stay. If some Israelis can’t deal with treating Palestinians as full equals… well… they’ll just have to learn right? Once political equality is reached, economic equality becomes more possible, and once economic equality has been attained, I believe the rift will finally heal.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:22 pm

        Like I keep saying — Israel isn’t the indomitable society it likes to imagine it is. One state solution, Palestinians have equal rights and I’ll bet you most Israelis just leave. And most of the Israelis who stay behind will figure out right quick that the Palestinians aren’t as brutal to them as they are to the Palestinians.

        And thus the state of Israel will end in a whimper, not a bang.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 4:32 pm

        James, you act as if the Palestinians are just dying to live with Jews. Its not the case, that’s why I don’t believe in a one-state solution. Neither side is willing to join hand in hand and sing koombiya not after 60 years of indoctrinated hate (on both sides)

        The Palestinians also have catching up to do economically, in this one state solution are they just going to automatically become CEOs of already established Israeli companies? What is to prevent Palestinians from being second class citizens in this utopian ‘one state’ solution? They don’t have the same education as Israelis or God know the business sense ;)

        A two state solution would allow for a cooling off period between the two and allow both sides to create economies with the possibility of a one state solution in a few generations. This would bring a more immediate solution to the problem w/ out sacrificing 2 or 3 more generations trying to get the two to live as one in one state.

        Unless of course the end-game is to get a majority and push the Jews out, which in that case, I assure you, they won’t go quietly….

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2009, 4:44 pm

        “James, you act as if the Palestinians are just dying to live with Jews. Its not the case, that’s why I don’t believe in a one-state solution. ”

        Again, you seem to think that because you believe it, so do all the Palestinians.

        I would expect that most Palsrtinians would be open to a single state bebcasue 2 stte solution has been made impossible by Israel. As for living with Jews, I suspec their only trepedation would be equal righs, as opposed to being third class citizens, ytou know, what you Hasbrats always warn about.

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 4:44 pm

        And if that doesn’t work Chaos? Just kill em all right?

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:44 pm

        So your argument falls apart and you set up a straw man argument? Taking lessons from Witty on debate technique, are we?

        The fact is, Jews, Muslims and Christians got along just fine in Palestine before European Zionism came along and set up a Jewish supremacist state. You keep dredging up the old canard of how many Jews supposedly ethnically cleansed (when in fact they were paid in many cases to emigrate to Israel), but everything you produce happened after the Nakba.

        The tensions you describe happened because of ethnocentric policies set up by racist Zionist philosophy. The fact is, quite literally, if it weren’t for Israel, Jews would still have thriving communities across the Middle East. As many of bloggers here who are Middle Eastern Jews have pointed out, there were thriving Jewish communities with traditions that were hundreds of years old (or older, very probably) that were wiped away and made subservient to Ashkenazim culture when they came to Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        November 13, 2009, 4:46 pm

        Wow, a second straw man before I could even finish posting. You’re on fire today, Scarecrow.

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2009, 4:50 pm

        Here Yonira,

        You might want to eduate yourself.

        The creation of the state of Israel led to two substantial population movements in the Middle East. Between 700,000 to 800,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes, and forbidden from returning by the new Jewish state, while from 1948 through to the 1970s, around 850,000 Jews left Arab countries, with the majority moving to Israel. But the rough equality in scale is just about the only similarity.

        Israeli professor Yehouda Shenhav once wrote that “any reasonable person” must acknowledge the analogy to be “unfounded”:

        “Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine. Many Palestinian communities were destroyed in 1948, and some 700,000 Palestinians were expelled, or fled, from the borders of historic Palestine. Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations. Some came of their own free will; others arrived against their will. Some lived comfortably and securely in Arab lands; others suffered from fear and oppression.”

        Some prominent Israeli politicians who themselves come from Arab countries, reject the ‘refugee’ label. Former Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu once said “‘We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations’.” MK Ran Cohen, who emigrated from Iraq, made it clear: “‘I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee’.”

      • yonira
        November 13, 2009, 5:02 pm


        you just don’t get it man, you should find a class @ college that will teach you about reality. The Nakba sucks, but it happened and the reality is these two groups have been raised to hate each other.

        Your they’ll just leave argument is so childish and ass backwards its just ridiculous. Jews have been kept together because of their dream of moving back to Eretz Israel and you think they’ll just leave in a one state solution? that is fucking ludicrous man.

      • James Bradley
        November 13, 2009, 5:16 pm

        Yonira you act as if the Palestinians and Jews have been raised to hate each other for no valid reasons, as if there is no way to stem the hatred.

        It was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the ongoing brutal military occupation of Palestine by Israel that breeds hatred towards those who identify as Israeli today.

        Furthermore, I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time in Israel and the occupied territories. While there I would ask a simple question to the Palestinian people as to how to end the conflict. The response? “Simple! Give us Israeli citizenship!” The Palestinians don’t hate the Jews because they are Jewish, what they hate is the occupation, and how the occupation makes their lives miserable.

        You see Yonira, Israelis and Palestinians are intertwined economically and geographically. The only difference is that Israelis dominate the Palestinians in virtually every aspect of their lives, even down to who they can or cannot marry in some cases.

        Once full equality is given, healing will begin, it will probably take a generation, but is that so bad? Shall we continue the blood letting for another hundred years? Believe me, Israelis and Palestinians are both good genuine people, they are also very pragmatic. Once there is no reason to hate each other they will live in peace.

        All that is needed is equality for the Palestinian people.

      • tree
        November 13, 2009, 5:23 pm


        Again I would suggest you read “US and Them: The Science of Identity”. Separation and inequality is what leads to the “us” and “them” mentality. Its a human failing that cannot be overcome by more separation and more inequality. Israel has become more racist as it has sought, since the early 90’s, before, during and after the Oslo period, to create more separation (and inequality) between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Integration will lead to less violence and less hatred as long as everyone is treated equally.

        Jews have been kept together because of their dream of moving back to Eretz Israel

        Most Jews have chosen not to move to Israel, and Israel now faces a net migratory outflow of Jews. This “dream” is not a Jewish one, per se, but is a recent construct of a Zionist philosophy. If the Zionist construct of Jewish supremacy in the land of Israel is superseded by a country that considers itself a government, not of Jews everywhere, but agovernment of all of its citizens equally, then, yes, some believers in Zionism will leave such a country, willingly.

      • tree
        November 13, 2009, 5:26 pm

        My posting error:

        “Jews have been kept together because of their dream of moving back to Eretz Israel ..”

        was intended to be labeled as a quote of yonira’s.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2009, 6:04 pm

        “Those Israelis that wish to stay can stay. If some Israelis can’t deal with treating Palestinians as full equals…”

        Many, many, thousands, of Israelis have allegedly been involved in war crimes, civil crimes and assualts against the Palestinians since the arrival of the Zionists. Yes, todays Israelis are 3rd generation, and removed from the founding crimes of the Israeli regime, but a great many of them are indictable on war crimes, civil crimes and administrative crimes and assaults.
        Will there be an amnesty for Israelis in the one-state solution? Truth and reconciliation councils (don’t make me laugh) or just the seeking of justice through private means for the Palestinians.
        Or will the Palestinians be content to share a state with those how have committed many crimes against them, and who probably will act in any way they can against their interests?

        The Israelis will end up, for the most part, leaving. What other choice will they have? It will take acts of incredible forebearance on their part to live with Israelis.
        And Israelis do not have a reputation for being good losers.

  16. Mooser
    November 13, 2009, 6:08 pm

    It will take incredible acts of forebearance on the part of Palestinians to enable them to live with Israelis.

    Is what I meant to write. At any rate, it will take much more forebearance than the ZIonists ever showed them.

  17. FuzzyDetective
    November 13, 2009, 8:44 pm

    Ya know, I am for *full rights* for all citizens in historic Palestine (as in everywhere else on the planet); this means not a transfer of either population.

  18. syvanen
    November 13, 2009, 8:52 pm

    Yonira you keep arguing against the one-state solution as if that were a decision that is up to us. It most certainly is not (assuming of course that you are an American). The decision is being made, if not already settled, by the Israelis themselves. Surely, you are not proposing to defy the will of Israel as if you have a better understanding of their desires.

    Quite frankly I can’t see how the one state solution will play out, but I think it is important for the Palestinians to get on the same page with the Israelis on this decision. That means they will have to change their political approach from being a national liberation struggle, to one for equality. Once they demand with a united voice their equal place in Israeli society then I believe freedom loving people everywhere will have no choice but to support their demands. Again, this decision to not really ours to make unless you are willing to be an advocate for inequality.

  19. Rehmat
    November 13, 2009, 8:57 pm

    The current Israeli Jews have never been a nation – and never will be in the future – as like Indian Hindus – their unity is based on their common hatred toward Arabs, Muslims and greed. Otherwise, within Israel – there are three classes of Jewish citizens – (1) European Jews, (2) Arab and Asian Jews, and (3) Black Jews.

    Israelite state of Judea and Samara only existed until the death of King Solomon. The great majority of present-day Jews are not even Israelites (children of the 12 Tribes of Israel).

    Who were the “people of the book”?
    link to

    • potsherd
      November 13, 2009, 9:05 pm

      You know, Rehmat, there are still Samaritans living in Canaan. Maybe they need a national homeland, too.

    • slowereastside
      November 13, 2009, 9:47 pm

      “The current Israeli Jews have never been a nation – and never will be in the future – as like Indian Hindus – their unity is based on their common hatred toward Arabs, Muslims and greed”

      That’s ugly stuff and painfully true. And as the Israelis continue to insinuate themselves into Indian/Pakistani affairs, that Israeli/Hindu comparison will become painfully obvious too.

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