Back on TV due to popular demand…. ‘The Peace Industry’

Israel/Palestine
on 70 Comments
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A Happy Moment on the Set with Ban Ki-moon and Tony Blair

The Nobel Prize award winning show, "The Peace Industry" comes back for its 19th season on September 2nd, after an almost 2 year hiatus.  It is one of the longest running and most popular shows in TV history.

The pilot episode of the series premiered way back in 1991 in the exotic locale of Madrid, Spain.

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FROM THE PILOT EPISODE

There were a few highly rated one-off specials set in frigid Oslo, Norway, but the show wasn’t picked up for a full run until 1993. 

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The Nobel Award winning cast in the glory days of the series

Critics say the picture below is proof that what used to be a natural and easy going chemistry among the cast members has now become something forced and awkward.

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FORCED CHEMISTRY?

Expectations among critics are low this season. Even New York Times gossip columnist Ethan Bronner, who’s always strongly supported the Peace Industry, is expressing doubts:

…support for many of the settlements remains relatively strong in Israel. In other words, if this view holds, the Israelis have closed out any serious option of a two-state solution. So the talks are useless.

To add to the drama, some of the long running series’ most prominent Palestinian cast members are threatening to leave the show for good if their demands aren’t met. 

Abbas, who plays Abu Mazen on the show, is reportedly insisting that the plot pick up where it left off: the cliffhanger which left the gang stranded in Annapolis, Maryland.

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The angry star, Mahmoud Abbas

Critics dismiss this as an empty threat, because similar statements over the years have never been followed through on.

While interest in the series has slumped among Palestinian and Israeli audiences as of late, several key European markets seem to never tire of the same old drama.

Germany expresses her undying love of the Peace Industry:

Angela Merkel
Germany’s Angela Merkel is excited

Merkel said feasible solutions to the key issues of dispute had already been drafted in earlier rounds of talks.

It was now up to the parties to demonstrate political willpower and the necessary willingness to compromise.

The Peace Industry has drawn comparisons to Law and Order because the casts of both shows have changed constantly over the years; but you never really notice the difference.

One of the most exciting new faces this year is a fresh faced youngster (and the show’s historic first black character) Barack Obama.  He’s reportedly been heard on the set muttering to himself, "I’ll succeed where all else have failed!"

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"We’re counting on him to add a much needed new direction to the Peace Industry," series regular, Mahmoud Abbas

There’s also a spinoff of the Bill Clinton character from the 2000 season: Hillary Clinton.  She’ll be joining the rest of the fictional peace processors in the Quartet. 

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The Quartet: Not really a team of peacemakers, but they play one on tv

 After a long absence, returning to the cast is everyone’s favorite right wing hothead who just can’t seem to do anything right: Bibi! 

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Bibi, in a characteristic outburst of anger

This is a controversial choice because Bibi was previously kicked off the show after a brief stint in the Peace Industry in 1999.  But he’s been brought back due to popular demand from Israeli fans! 

The Peace Processors insist the Peace Industry will reach its long promised conclusion this year. 

Having heard this promise for the last 20 years it’s hard not to see the whole thing as just another tragic comedy.

70 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    August 30, 2010, 10:26 am

    And still,
    The world has changed, and the need for peace is more pronounced, and most importantly, one by one the obstacles to peace are seen and being addressed.

    Peace is plausibly being engineered, rather than the fantasy demanded by either non-compromising party.

    • Oscar
      August 30, 2010, 10:45 am

      Richard, your empty words that “this time is different” is precisely why we have a two-decade peace “process” and no peace. While this facade is force-fed on a skeptical world, Israel continues to gobble up Palestinian land Pac-man style.

      Meanwhile, kudos to Joseph Glatzer for a hilarious, mocking satire of the charade. The photos of the “cast” are priceless.

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 12:56 pm

        The peace process has yeilded more self-governance to Palestinians than they had previously, and in conformity with their demand for an independant self-governance RATHER than any formula of a single state.

        Relative progress is progress.

        This is worth investing in for the long haul.

        There is a similar plausible ridicule piece that could be constructed of the vain left.

        Its funny. Would you laugh at yourselves?

      • Shingo
        August 30, 2010, 3:26 pm

        “The peace process has yeilded more self-governance to Palestinians than they had previously”

        Really? Up until 1948, they had complete self governance, and have never had it since and every yer since 1948, Israel has rejected the creation of a Palestinian state and self determination.

        “Relative progress is progress.”

        Except that all we’ve had is absolute regression. You’re such a clown Witty.

      • sherbrsi
        August 30, 2010, 5:00 pm

        The peace process has yeilded more self-governance to Palestinians than they had previously

        Do you have any concrete evidence for that proof, in regards to the fundamental obstacles imposed by the Israeli government preventing Palestinian self-governance (namely the occupation, the settlements and the lang grabs in WB and EJ), or are you simply swimming around the stream and proclaiming peace for our time, regarding such Israeli violence as “rocks” to be walked around?

      • Richard Witty
        August 31, 2010, 3:24 am

        They had NO self-governance before 1948. Are you really serious?

        If you desire that Palestinians self-govern, then consider what it takes to accomplish. As Israel exists and is not going away, then the only option is to consider what it takes to accomplish relative to Israel’s consent.

    • Shingo
      August 30, 2010, 4:50 pm

      “Peace is plausibly being engineered, rather than the fantasy demanded by either non-compromising party.”

      Thats funny. A few months ago you were insisting that the only liklely peace will be one that is implemented by mutual consent. Now you’re arguing that peace is being engineered in spite of consent.

      What’s changed Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        August 31, 2010, 3:26 am

        The usage of the word “engineered” is in that it is being designed and constructed (“engineered”) as a result of incremental elimination of obstacles.

        That contrasts with the demand orientation of dissent, which insists on magic, that there is some single act that results in an immediate qualitative shift from occupied to free.

      • eljay
        August 31, 2010, 9:38 am

        >> That contrasts with the demand orientation of dissent, which insists on magic, that there is some single act that results in an immediate qualitative shift from occupied to free.

        Dissent comprises “magic” and a “single act” – what a wonderful and amusing oversimplification. Dissent comprises a multitude of things, including an appeal to justice and rule of law (neither of which you seem to approve of when applied to Israel), to peaceful protest and resistance, to economic/financial pressure (which you seem to like just fine when Israel is applying it to others), to the dissemination of information and education relating to the realities being faced by the oppressed (no, not Israel), et cetera.

        But I can see why you wouldn’t want to understand any of that – after all, you’re not in an “academic argument” and slogans are much more fun.

    • RoHa
      August 31, 2010, 7:01 am

      “one by one the obstacles to peace are seen and being addressed.”

      Care to list them, and show how they are being “addressed”?

      (Of course, “addressed” is not the same as “removed”.)

  2. Kathleen
    August 30, 2010, 10:27 am

    Wow what a post.

    Let’s watch how much time and detail Keith, Rachel, Ed, Dylan Ratigan etc will spend on this issue this week? Will they give it as much time as they do on what Sarah Palin or LImbaugh have to say? Or will they give it as much time as Rachel spent on Iranian Protesters?

  3. Richard Witty
    August 30, 2010, 10:37 am

    A poll.

    Please, all contributors to Mondoweiss, please answer sincerely.

    1. If a political solution that does not include all of the demands made by Palestinian solidarity but is consented by both Israeli representatives and Palestinian representatives as practical and mutually beneficial, would you

    Initiate propaganda resistance and/or armed struggle because it represents a fundamental compromise?

    Oppose it electorally because it represents a large compromise to Israel from what is demanded (but ulitmately rely on Palestinians’ determination of what is good for them)?

    Support it electorally because it represents the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, with the prospect of considerable improvement in objective conditions.

    And,
    Do you desire that the PA and the Israeli government achieve that consent, or do you desire that they NOT?
    Accept it

    • Philip Weiss
      August 30, 2010, 10:44 am

      Your point re Palestinian representatives is well put. Self-determination means that you get to choose who represents you. Boston tea party was about that.

      • Avi
        August 30, 2010, 11:32 am

        So was the election of 2006 which Hamas won. But, RW doesn’t want to get into that.

        The bottom line is that the question is irrelevant. The Palestinians who live on the ground have a firm grip on reality, far firmer than the grip which Witty has from 7000 miles away. They, the Palestinians, will do whatever is good for them, regardless of what you or I or uncle Itzik think. The Palestinians are a people. One puppet leader or two do no speak for them.

        This entire so-called “round” of negotiations is bogus from the start.
        To give it credence is to follow like sheep the mainstream media that’s been drumming up these talks as some kind of breakthrough.

        Abbas wasn’t elected. He’s merely a puppet that the US and Israel control in order to impose their own demands onto the Palestinians.

        Finally, despite all the hopes, nice words and dreamy inspirational lyrics, the fact remains, this is the same Netanyahu who ginned up enough resentment and hatred against Rabin to the point that he got him assassinated, much in the same way the anti-Muslim crowd in the US ginned up enough hatred to lead to a stabbing, arson, vandalism and other attacks on Muslims. To believe otherwise is to deceive one’s self and insult the intelligence of those around.

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 12:28 pm

        Even after the 2006 election, Hamas declared that it did authorize Abbas and the PA to negotiate on the behalf of Palestine, as Palestine’s representative.

        They insisted that a referendum be undertaken after the fact to ratify or reject any agreement made.

        A similar process occurs in Israel. A treaty negotiated may not be ratified by the parliament (not a referendum).

        If Netanyahu negotiates an agreement that accomplishes each of the community’s needs, that are consented by both parties, why would you oppose that?

        There are many good reasons to distrust Netanyahu, as there are some good reasons to distrust Abbas, and MANY good reasons to distrust Hamas.

        If a treaty was needed between those that are already trusted, it would be done long ago. We have an imperfect situation, that we are trying to improve.

        There is no perfect justice anywhere, or ever could.

        Phil,
        Relations between countries is not passive. If a party was elected in Palestine (after a genuine peace was negotiated and ratified), that regarded and acted as if Israel was enemy, I would expect war, NOT respect of the Palestinian electoral process.

        It is the right of states to form their own political relations between parties.

        Certainly, you respect the right of Turkey to change its attitudes towards Israel. Israel has that right towards Palestine if it sanctions aggressions on Israeli civilians.

        To advocate for the demand of maximalist right of return for example, is to advocate for a hundred-years war. (All stated in the name of opposing war, you know “anti-war.com”)

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 12:31 pm

        My poll question is not a rhetorical one.

        Please answer the question, declaring your position honestly and candidly, rather than passive-aggressively.

        The repetition of dismissal of the peace process is upsetting. To a humanist, an advocate of democracy, an advocate of justice, Peace remains a goal permanently.

        To assess progress or regress is helpful.

        To demean effort is cowardly and cynical.

      • annie
        August 30, 2010, 12:38 pm

        If Netanyahu negotiates an agreement that accomplishes each of the community’s needs, that are consented by both parties, why would you oppose that?

        sorry, i missed the part where avi stated he would oppose an agreement that enjoyed the consent of palestinians. but let me asked you a question now.

        If meshaal negotiates an agreement that accomplishes each of the community’s needs, that are consented by both parties, why would you oppose that?

      • Joseph Glatzer
        August 30, 2010, 12:39 pm

        “Even after the 2006 election, Hamas declared that it did authorize Abbas and the PA to negotiate on the behalf of Palestine, as Palestine’s representative.”

        This authorization was contingent upon a UNITY COALITION government which Hamas was to lead. So, it’s bizarre to think it has any validity when Fatah is running an unelected police state in the West Bank.

        “To advocate for the demand of maximalist right of return for example, is to advocate for a hundred-years war. ”

        Tell Anas from my previous post in Jordan as well as the suffering Palestinians in Chatilla camp in Lebanon that their right to return home is a “maximalist” demand. You, nor Abu Mazen, nor Obama have the right to sign away those refugees rights.

      • eljay
        August 30, 2010, 12:49 pm

        >> My poll question is not a rhetorical one.
        >> Please answer the question, declaring your position honestly and candidly, rather than passive-aggressively.

        Same goes for my non-rhetorical poll question. Oh, and be sure to answer it honestly, candidly, directly and succinctly. :-)

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 1:00 pm

        Its just a question of “where do you stand?”

        If you are afraid to make that overt statement, then don’t answer. It won’t be the first time.

        I stand with supporting the peace process, of supporting the PLO to negotiate on the Palestinians’ behalf.

        Even, if it results in only relative progress.

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 1:03 pm

        So, you advocate for Hamas and Fatah to form a unity government based on peaceful transfer of power, in conformity with the Palestinian constitution?

        And, you regard that as a prerequisite for any negotiations with Israel.

        And, if that is delayed ten years, that that is preferable in your mind to the PA negotiating with Israel?

      • Richard Witty
        August 30, 2010, 2:27 pm

        If Meshal would negotiate an agreement with Israel that accomplished each community’s needs, I would enthusiastically support that.

        Do you think that he will?

        Confident guarantee of security, permanent renunciation of attacks on civilians, renunciation of resistance efforts (following that agreement)?

      • eljay
        August 30, 2010, 2:41 pm

        To whom is your August 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm post addressed?

      • Shingo
        August 30, 2010, 3:29 pm

        “And, if that is delayed ten years, that that is preferable in your mind to the PA negotiating with Israel?”

        Yes Witty, because it is obvious that Israel has sought to weaken the Palestinian political represenation in order to force the best deal for them and the worst deal for the Palestinians.

        It’s obvious why you are so anxious to see that happen.

      • Richard Witty
        August 31, 2010, 3:31 am

        Shingo,
        Thanks for your honesty.

        You are willing to see Palestinian freedom delayed ten years?

        In every period of negotiation the parties will jockey for advantage. Its a pain in the ass, driven by the fear that the other will do so, so therefore necessary.

        And, in every period of negotiation, parties excluded from the power derived from the process, prefer their partisan advantage to the possibility of an acceptable reconciliation.

        The real question is of intent.

        And, then of investment. Phil disserves the world by repeatedly articulating the obstacles in fundamental language, rather than in conditional or remediable language.

        He, you, exagerate fears into prohecies, becoming self-fulfilling.

      • Shingo
        August 31, 2010, 5:12 am

        “Even after the 2006 election, Hamas declared that it did authorize Abbas and the PA to negotiate on the behalf of Palestine, as Palestine’s representative.”

        False. Hamas declared that it supported negotiations once a unity government was created. Of course, before as Fatah and Hams were scheduled to negotiate this agreement, Israel ordered Fatah to conduct a coup against Hamas.

        If a treaty was needed between those that are already trusted, it would be done long ago. We have an imperfect situation, that we are trying to improve.”

        How is blockading Gaza, massacring Palestinian civilians, ethnic cleansing, home evictions, home demolitions and building settlements are effort to improve the situation Witty?
        There is no perfect justice anywhere, or ever could.

        “Israel has that right towards Palestine if it sanctions aggressions on Israeli civilians.”

        So does that mean you support BDS? After all, BDS is a Palestinian policy and it has been implemented Israel in response for sanctioning aggressions on Palestinian civilians.
        “To advocate for the demand of maximalist right of return for example, is to advocate for a hundred-years war.”

        The immigration of Europeans to Palestinian, who went on to steal land and drive land owners from their homes was as maximalist as it gets. What you’re demanding is that Palestinians wear the cost, while admitting that Israelis are too extreme and irrational to make amends.

        “All stated in the name of opposing war, you know “anti-war.com””

        Anti-war.com are strong criticism of Israel in general. You might want to rethink that endorsement.

    • annie
      August 30, 2010, 12:30 pm

      would you

      Initiate propaganda resistance and/or armed struggle because it represents a fundamental compromise?

      oh totally! this is right up my alley. i’m gonna make a banner that says ‘i down w/compromise!!!!!’

      on a separate note witty. if, just if, we banned israels elected representatives from the negotiations and decided instead to allow palestinians to chose which israel’s they wanted to represent them and these israelis went into talks w/hamas and they reached a fundamental compromise would you:

      Initiate propaganda resistance and/or armed struggle because it represents a fundamental compromise?

    • MarkF
      August 30, 2010, 2:31 pm

      OK, I would support it. If the elected officials agreed to a solution, I would have no problem supporting it. I remember the feelings of excitement, desire and hope when I really thought Clinton would be able to cut a deal with Arafat & Rabin/Barak. Naive I guess, but I want that feeling again and I’d want it to come to fruition this time.

      That said, it’s pretty damned easy for me, A U.S. Jewish guy, to say I would support it. Why would I not??? How great would it be to say I saw ME peace in my lifetime? Yup, I’m feelin’ that naive feelin’ again…

    • Keith
      August 30, 2010, 6:13 pm

      RICHARD WITTY- Here you go again, fundamentally supporting Zionist business as usual while posturing about change and tolerance and coexistence even as Israel continues its never ending ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses. The harsh reality is that there never can be any meaningful “negotiations” as long as the Palestinians have a gun to their collective head. In fact, I believe that a contract signed under duress is not valid. The power relations between Israel and the Palestinians is so wildly asymmetrical as to make negotiations farcical (for other reasons as well) UNLESS outside force (boycott, sanctions, aid cut-off, etc) is brought to bear. Additionally, Israel has a long history of ignoring its obligations to the Palestinians, and needs to indicate a FUNDAMENTAL change of attitude. Lifting the Gaza blockade and tearing down the apartheid wall are two essential preconditions, both being illegal acts to begin with. Human rights are not something to be negotiated. Israel needs to begin acting like it really wants peace rather than hegemony and that it will henceforth value human decency above Zionist fundamentalism. And American Zionist Jews need to quite providing support and making excuses. Then there will be hope, not before.

  4. eljay
    August 30, 2010, 10:54 am

    >> 1. If a political solution that does not include all of the demands made by Palestinian solidarity but is consented by both Israeli representatives and Palestinian representatives …

    If the “Palestinian representatives” are or represent the democratically-elected leaders of the Palestinians, I believe it would make sense to support the compromise.

  5. GreatLeo
    August 30, 2010, 10:55 am

    Palestinian refugees have not been given the opportunity to vote in elections for the PA (or the PLO for that matter). Abbas and his negotiating team therefore do not have the representative authority to negotiate away refugees rights.

    • Joseph Glatzer
      August 30, 2010, 11:06 am

      This is a great point. Are we talking about representatives of Palestinians in part of the West Bank only but not East Jerusalem, Gaza, refugees in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere and the rest of the diaspora? If so, that’s Abu Mazen and I don’t think he’s very representative of the Palestinian people as a whole. None of the Palestinians I know in SoCal like him at all.

      • slowereastside
        August 30, 2010, 11:22 am

        Great job, Joseph. One suggestion: you replace Abu Mazen with a puppet, preferably a sock so we can work in some shoe jokes.

  6. eljay
    August 30, 2010, 11:02 am

    A poll: If a political solution that does not include all of the demands made by Israeli solidarity but is consented by both democratically-elected Palestinian leaders (or their representatives) and unelected Israeli representatives as practical and mutually beneficial, would you vote for it?

    No, I wouldn’t either.

  7. Taxi
    August 30, 2010, 11:35 am

    Not reading a single word of this article, with all due respect.

    The pictures themselves speak a thousand depressing volumes.

    • annie
      August 30, 2010, 12:24 pm

      you’re really missing something then, it’s hysterical and highly entertaining.

  8. annie
    August 30, 2010, 12:23 pm

    brilliantly funny post joseph! i laughed my ass off. merkel’s showing some serious cleavage too, how racy of her.

  9. Leper Colonialist
    August 30, 2010, 12:29 pm

    What did some old commie once write about history occuring first as tragedy, than as farce?

  10. Yousef M. Aljamal
    August 30, 2010, 12:34 pm

    A great article Joseph. They have nothing to do to deceive their people, so the leaders work at peace industry. It’s a never ending job!. The American policy in the middle east depends on long term-negotiations that don’t not lead to and end. So , they have no problem to keep talking about ” Peace talks ” till the end of their life.

  11. David Samel
    August 30, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Joseph, your satire is right on the mark, though unlike others, I didn’t laugh. The situation is every bit as pathetic as you make it out to be. In fact, you barely exaggerated anything.

    • Joseph Glatzer
      September 2, 2010, 3:56 am

      That’s what scared me when I was writing it. The pictures of the “characters” are all from major news stories. It took barely any work to turn this into a tv farce, it came so naturally

      • Oscar
        September 2, 2010, 7:29 am

        You should turn over your source material to Minor Demographic Threat so they can convert it into a YouTube video. It should go viral.

  12. jimby
    August 30, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Here’s Geo Bush quoted in 2008:

    >>”In recent months, President Bush has repeatedly stated that the last great ambition of his presidency is to broker a deal that would create a viable Palestinian state and bring peace to the Holy Land. “People say, ‘Do you think it’s possible, during your presidency?’ ” he told an audience in Jerusalem on January 9. “And the answer is: I’m very hopeful.” <<

    We know how that worked out.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    August 30, 2010, 2:14 pm

    RE: “A HAPPY MOMENT ON THE SET WITH BAN KI-MOON AND TONY BLAIR” – Glatzer (photo caption)
    SEE: Blair secretly courted Mugabe to boost trade ~ The Independent (UK), 08/30/10

    (excerpts) Tony Blair secretly courted Robert Mugabe in an effort to win lucrative trade deals for Britain, it has emerged in correspondence released to The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents show that the relationship between New Labour and the Zimbabwean President blossomed soon after Tony Blair took office in Downing Street.
    Just weeks after the Government unveiled its ethical foreign policy in May 1997, the British PM wrote a personal letter to Mr Mugabe congratulating him on his role in unifying Africa and helping to improve relations between the continent and Britain…
    …the secret documents show how, despite international condemnation of Mr Mugabe’s regime, Labour was secretly negotiating to establish close trading and political relations with Harare. At this time, Mr Mugabe was under growing pressure to accept responsibility for “crimes against humanity” in which thousands of Matabeleland civilians were killed by the Zimbabwe army’s Fifth Brigade in 1983-87…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to independent.co.uk

  14. LanceThruster
    August 30, 2010, 2:20 pm

    Can’t tell the players without a program.

    Very enjoyable and inventive piece.

  15. Chu
    August 30, 2010, 2:59 pm

    funny again, Glatzer, although it’s really sad…
    An epic mini-series that never gets old!
    I can’t wait to see who proposes a just peace and
    who sabotages it. Will Fatah be blamed, Hamas,
    Israel!??

    Eli Valley has some fun laughs on his comic site
    about .Bucky Schvitz, sociologist for hire

  16. kapok
    August 30, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Merkel’s photo needs a new caption. How about I’ve got an erector set under my blouse to keep the girls looking perky?

    • MHughes976
      August 31, 2010, 8:12 am

      I can’t believe that that cleavage-dominated picture of the forbidding Merkel is entirely genuine. Someone wants to make her look like an ageing predator or a wicked witch.

      • Chaos4700
        August 31, 2010, 9:07 am

        I have to say I found the photo of her morbidly fascinating, in that no woman politician in the US would be brave enough to wear any outfit that didn’t cover them from neck to ankle. But then culturally, Germany has usually been ahead of the United States on doing away with excessively conservative standards.

      • Joseph Glatzer
        August 31, 2010, 10:50 am

        lol. I just did a good image search for Angela Merkel and when that one came up I couldn’t believe it either, and I knew I had to use it.

      • Chaos4700
        August 31, 2010, 10:51 am

        Hey, I could believe it. I have German ancestors. ;)

  17. silencenolonger
    August 30, 2010, 6:34 pm

    I see lots of Europeans in suits, the occasional Asian, a guy dressed an Arab in one photo at the back, where are the other folks from the neighborhood, the eye doctor Bashar from Syria, Abdullah and his appealing step mother from Lebanon, the loonie engineer from Iran, Abdullah, the King of bling from Saudi Arabia and what about Hezbollah, where are the rest Middle East community that has to live with peace, don’t they get a say

  18. Jim Haygood
    August 30, 2010, 7:29 pm

    NYT rapporteur extraordinaire Ethan Bronner, whose car bears a ‘My son serves in the IDF’ bumper sticker, spins some bright new fantasies about how the Negroes … errr, Palestinians — are doing:

    ————

    The crude outlines of a Palestinian state are emerging in the West Bank, with increasingly reliable security forces, a more disciplined government and a growing sense among ordinary citizens that they can count on basic services.

    Personal checks, long shunned as being unredeemable, are now widely accepted. Traffic tickets are issued and paid, movie theaters are opening and public parks are packed with families late into the summer nights. Economic growth in the first quarter of this year was 11 percent over the same period in 2009, the International Monetary Fund says.

    “I’ve never seen Nablus so alive,” Caesar Darwazeh, who owns a photography studio, said on Sunday night as throngs of people enjoyed balloons and popcorn, a four-wagon train taking merrymakers through the streets.

    link to nytimes.com

    Glory be! Balloons and popcorn! It’s like Saturday night on Beale Street in Memphis, with loose-fittin’ shoes, a pint of gin, and a freshly-cut ‘fro. Who knew that Israel’s accession to the OECD would make the occupied territories so rich and sassy!

    But the story gets even better, says Bronner:

    ‘Much of the credit for the positive changes in the West Bank go to Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, who is halfway through a two-year plan to build institutions and infrastructure for a Palestinian state. In the past year, he has opened 34 schools and 44 housing complexes, planted 370,000 trees and increased tax revenue by 20 percent.’

    It’s telling little details like this which give Bronner’s unlikely story credibility. Instead of ‘plant a tree in Israel,’ it’s ‘plant a tree in [future] Palestine.’ Why didn’t anyone knock on my door with a collection box?

    But the eternal non-negotiable bugaboo remains:

    ‘A top Netanyahu aide, however, said that if Mr. Abbas accepted — even privately when the two leaders meet alone — an end to the conflict with Israel and its Jewish identity, “the whole conventional wisdom can change very quickly.” ‘

    Uh huh. And imagine where we’d be today, if John Kennedy had met with Martin Luther King and demanded that King accept the identity of the US as a ‘white Christian state.’ For one thing, we probably wouldn’t have no MLK holiday. And maybe no JFK airport either.

    Greatness is thinking outside the zionist box.

  19. Sumud
    August 30, 2010, 7:30 pm

    Excellent Joseph ~ a worthy successor to your Night At Disco Israel piece :-)

    Wondering if you saw this very smart Netanyahu satire:

    link to antonyloewenstein.com

  20. VR
    August 30, 2010, 10:16 pm
  21. Richard Witty
    August 31, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Four Israelis killed in shooting attack near Hebron

    Hamas claims responsibility for West Bank attack in which two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant, were killed.

    link to haaretz.com

    You think maybe they are trying to disrupt the peace process? Oh, they “never” do that?

    • Richard Witty
      August 31, 2010, 3:15 pm

      So much for Hamas’ claim to be committed to responsible governance, and to have renounced terror on civilians.

      • Shingo
        August 31, 2010, 10:13 pm

        “So much for Hamas’ claim to be committed to responsible governance, and to have renounced terror on civilians.”

        That’s nicely opportunistic of you Witty. The murder of 4 Palestinian by Israel would not have been business as usual and barely raised a mention, yet when it’s Israeli lives affected, it means that Hamas are not commuted to responsible governance, and to have renounced terror on civilians.

        Very strange.

      • Richard Witty
        September 1, 2010, 12:45 am

        The purpose of a peace process is to make that kind of violent crap NOT part of business as usual.

        Did you read Phil’s quote of the Meshal interview about the peace process?

        You are obviously stating your support for it.

        I think it indicates that there is no possibility of peace so long as Hamas is considered a primary player and refuses to acknowledge that Israel exists (“we are in favor Palestine at 67 borders” and “we oppose the two-state solution, there is only Palestine”).

        It is an enormous tragedy in the making.

    • Shingo
      August 31, 2010, 10:18 pm

      “You think maybe they are trying to disrupt the peace process? Oh, they “never” do that?”

      Because Hamas, like the rest of the world., realizes the peace process is a sham. There is no peace process while Hamas is excluded from the negotiations.

      • Chaos4700
        August 31, 2010, 10:42 pm

        Considering that Israel has made it impossible for the Palestinians to have elections and Abbas has long since exceeded his term under Palestinian law.

    • Chaos4700
      August 31, 2010, 10:41 pm

      Witty, Seham posts articles about IDF soldiers attacking Palestinian families ALMOST DAILY.

      Where are you when those articles are posted?

  22. Richard Witty
    August 31, 2010, 8:47 pm

    link to haaretz.com

    Hamas vows more attacks to come, as PA condemns West Bank shooting

    “This attack is a chain in a series of attacks, some have been executed, and others will follow,” Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the group, told Reuters.

    • Shingo
      August 31, 2010, 10:16 pm

      “Hamas vows more attacks to come, as PA condemns West Bank shooting”

      Just as Nentyahu has vowed that the settlement construction and expansion will continue.

    • Chaos4700
      August 31, 2010, 10:39 pm

      I have a question for you, Witty.

      When an IDF soldier shoots a pregnant Palestinian woman on Palestinian land, you call the murdered mother-to-be a “human shield.”

      What do you call a pregnant Israeli settler who was shipped onto Palestinian land and deliberately placed in a war zone alongside IDF soldiers?

      • Richard Witty
        September 1, 2010, 12:40 am

        Chaos,
        You know very well that I have NEVER used that metaphor for a mudered pregnant woman.

        You are desparately seeking to malign, rather than inform or argue.

  23. Richard Witty
    August 31, 2010, 8:47 pm

    All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

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