Let them eat cake

Israel/Palestine

Ali Abunimah’s Pizza analogy for Israel’s facts-on-the-ground negotiating style has taken the world by storm. I have it on good authority that the clip has been watched and enjoyed on the most extreme Israeli settlements. One settler was even heard to say “that guy’s really cool for a Palestinian, but he makes me hungry.” I think it’s time however, to take things to another level: dessert. Pizza’s fine for negotiating strategy and settlement policy, but for a more complete metaphor, describing the essence of Israel and everything it stands for, we need cake.

The guiding principle behind all of Israel’s actions is in fact having its cake and eating it too or, as the Hebrew expression goes, eating its cake and keeping it whole. Let’s take the idea of “Jewish and democratic” that is so vitally important that it takes precedence over all of the other topics on the negotiating table: borders, settlements, water, refugees, Jerusalem, etc. (without preconditions, of course). Jewish and democratic also permeates Israel’s Declaration of Independence, features in its Basic Laws, and is on the lips of every child from Dan to Eilat, from Ramat Aviv to Beit She’an. In the name of Jewish and democratic, the handful of non-Jews allowed to obtain Israeli citizenship without marrying a Jew (abroad because “intermarriage” is forbidden in Israel), may have to declare their loyalty to the unequal equality that renders them considerably less equal than members of the ruling democratic ethnicity. What could be more cake-consuming/preserving than that? Equality and supremacy with chocolate frosting. An “ethical code” for the commission of war crimes? Commando victims of aggression? One-sided cease fires and “preemptive” violations? Nuclear warheads for a nuclear-free region? It’s all cake.

There is another well-known saying about cake (or brioches, if you prefer). It is what those who have no bread are told to eat, by those who are both oblivious to and the cause of their suffering. The isolation of Gaza immediately comes to mind, or the unequal distribution of water in the West Bank, but in a broader sense, this attitude is also reflected in denial of the Nakba and the rights of refugees (while defining Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” and promoting unlimited Jewish immigration), in condescending statements like Abba Eban’s infamous “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” or the odious “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?”

None of this should come as any surprise of course. Everyone knows that Israel invented cake. Yuli Edelstein’s Hasbara Ministry is working on the video as we speak.

About Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel

Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel is a Canadian-Israeli translator living in Italy.

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109 Responses

  1. potsherd
    October 21, 2010, 2:35 pm

    The fundamental problem is the inability of Israel apologists to grasp that “Arabs” might actually deserve to eat bread, let alone the cake that obviously belongs to Jews.

  2. potsherd
    October 21, 2010, 2:39 pm

    I really wish some clever person could animate the pizza analogy.

    • Antidote
      October 21, 2010, 4:42 pm

      Let me animate it for you with the help of a German folk-tale which one finds, among other sources, in the collection of the Grimm brothers: “The Hare and the Hedgehog”. It tells the story of a proud hare whose contempt for the short-legged hedgehog leads to this: the hedgehog, tired of the hare’s bragging condescension, challenges him to a race in which he beats the insurmountable odds by simple but undetected duplicity. The fact that he races not against one, but two hedgehogs (who don’t even move because the hedgehog puts himself at the start and his wife at the finish line) doesn’t occur to the hare. He runs the race back and forth 74 times, only to be greeted by a cheerful: ‘I’m already here’ at the finish, and finally collapses and dies.

      Let me play this through with ‘Jewish state’ and ‘Democracy’, the two hedgehogs that are neither identical nor sufficiently different to call the bluff immediately and consistently. You can’t call the Jewish state racist (like South Africa) because Jews are definitely not a race, and come in all skin colors. You can’t even call it ethnocentric because Jews come from all over the globe and are ethnically and culturally diverse. And no, it’s not a theocracy because you don’t have to be religious at all to be a Jew, and one Jew’s religion is another Jew’s heresy. But it’s not a secular state adhering to the separation of church and state either. There are several races right here, and you can’t win them because it’s all neither/nor – both/and. So the Jewish state, even at 100%, is an ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse society. That’s one hedgehog, different from the second, democracy, which is based on citizenship alone (no exclusion or discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin or religion). The Jewish state is not even a democracy if the number of non-Jewish citizens must be kept at the minority level by various schemes strategies (including discrimination wrt jobs and housing etc, limiting the Palestinian ROR, promoting Jewish immigration/ROR). The hares regularly collapse under hasbara and sophistry obfuscating the difference, and helped along by the eternal victim discourse. If all else fails, remember the Holocaust.

      I could go on, but you can take it from here. You always run against two positions (or have your cake and eat it), even though rational discourse would demand that a country either has or doesn’t have nuclear weapons, establish the facts, and take it from there. And that’s why a lot of discussions on MW proceed like the race in the fable: as soon as one Zionist appears on the board, you are automatically running against two hedgehogs and you will lose, or, as RW says: ‘An argument cannot be won.’ That’s true, and it isn’t.

      • James North
        October 21, 2010, 9:05 pm

        A great post by Shmuel; a great comment by Antidote. I’m still laughing over the idea that the hedgehog has “a wife”!

      • Antidote
        October 22, 2010, 11:10 am

        Oh. it’s so hare-like of you to laugh about hedgehogs having wives ;)

        “The moral of this story is, first, that no one, however distinguished he thinks himself, should make fun of a lesser man, even if this man is a hedgehog. And second, when a man marries, it is recommended that he take a wife from his own class, one who looks just like him. In other words, a hedgehog should always take care that his wife is also a hedgehog, and so forth.”

        link to pitt.edu

        The sly hedgehog who brings down the arrogant hare has his own issues with arrogance (there are plenty of folk-tales about sly wives triumphing over male arrogance, of course). Here are some 19th c illustrations that include the wife (note that the hare wears the Prussian Iron Cross introduced during the Napoleonic wars, and that the louis d’or and bottle of cognac next to the plough are the wager)

        link to de.wikipedia.org

      • Antidote
        October 22, 2010, 1:45 pm

        one more hedgehog

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 22, 2010, 2:25 am

        Thanks, Antidote. Great comment.

        Notice how even the Hebron Fund spokesman pulls a hedgehog, on the “Hebron Flotilla” thread:

        “The Jewish settlements are legal … humanitarian and religious … regardless of the ethnicity or the location … Just as Jews can live freely in Harlem, Moscow and Paris, so too are they free to live and build anywhere they choose in the Land of Israel … discrimination against the expansion of Jewish life…”

      • talknic
        October 22, 2010, 10:19 am

        Ah yes, ye olde “Land of Israel” is quite a different kettle of fish from “the State of Israel”

        No country in the world has ever given recognition to “the Land of Israel” it wasn’t what was declared.

        They’re such lying, deceitful schmucks. Peres almost took the prize at the UN… A few examples…

        “Never giving up on hope, we developed science. We found that the future is in our hands. We learned that people can enrich land, no less than land can nourish the people.

        Israel is the product of pioneering human spirit – not of financial capital”

        Lie No# 3 – The Jewish Colonial Trust was one of the first things setup by the Zionist Federation garnering support from Jewish people around the world, because it DID depend on capital. The Kibbutz was poor. He was poor. He had only two pairs of pants. The Zionist Federation and the Institutions had more than two suits. Theodor Herzl didn’t even bother to go live in Israel. Never worked on a kibbutz.

        “Ladies and Gentlemen,

        In my youth I was a member of a Kibbutz, cultivating poor land.”

        Lie No# 10 – He worked in two – Kibbutz Alumot, which was in desert. In his time it was a failure. It didn’t blossom in the desert.

        The other, Geva in the Jezreel Valley, which was NOT poor land or a desert. Was already blooming and had done so for centuries. Of the Jezreel Valley Bayard Taylor 1852 wrote “one of the richest districts in the world”

        Laurence Oliphant 1887 wrote “the Valley of Esdraelon (Jezreel) was ‘a huge green lake of waving wheat, with its village-crowned mounds rising from it like islands; and it presents one of the most striking pictures of luxuriant fertility which it is possible to conceive’ “

        ” I owned, like all members, two shirts and two pairs of pants. There was a third pair of pants: made of flannel reserved for grooms only.

        I was lucky to wear them for two full days during my wedding. The main dish in the kibbutz was eggplants. Meat was available once a week, but not every week. There was no private money and little collective money.

        We were poor and happy. The sort of happiness felt when a person as is turning desert into garden. “

        Lie No# 11 – Kibutz Alumot was a failure in his time, it didn’t turn the desert into garden. It was abandoned until 1967 and Kibbutz Geva was not in desert, it had been a garden for centuries.

        I said ‘almost’, because Peres was made to look like a rank amateur by Netinyahu the year before. Almost everything he said was a gross misrepresentation

      • Antidote
        October 22, 2010, 10:47 am

        Nice hedgehog! Not only causes major problems and irritation in the OPT, but also in Montreal and NY, where Jews “are free to live and build anywhere”:

        link to www2.macleans.ca

        link to haaretz.com

  3. pabelmont
    October 21, 2010, 2:40 pm

    Beautiful riff on cake! so much sweeter than pizza!

    And glad you mentioned water, several times. Many USA commentators are not aware that it is a MAJOR item for peace negotiations (along with cake, of course).

    Cake and much water for Israel, bread and little water for Palestinians.

    AS TO WATER: I’ve looked around the web and found that Israel uses about the same amount of water each year as New York City, whose population is also about the same. But NYC occupies only 305 sq. miles whereas Israel (pre-1967) occupies 8000 sq. miles.

    • James Bradley
      October 21, 2010, 4:38 pm

      Beautiful indeed !

      What could be more cake-consuming/preserving than that? Equality and supremacy with chocolate frosting. An “ethical code” for the commission of war crimes? Commando victims of aggression? One-sided cease fires and “preemptive” violations? Nuclear warheads for a nuclear-free region? It’s all cake.

      I particularly enjoyed this riff.

    • Antidote
      October 21, 2010, 5:06 pm

      AS TO WATER

      Israelis cry rivers after getting a taste of business-as-usual for Palestinians and find it ‘intolerable’. Read it and weep:

      link to haaretz.com

  4. annie
    October 21, 2010, 2:42 pm

    excellent shmuel, i always value your voice here.

  5. Avi
    October 21, 2010, 2:54 pm

    These concepts resonate throughout the globe. Coincidentally, Let them eat cake emerged out of the events which led to the French Revolution.

    So what does that mean? It means that basic concepts of justice, fairness and equality are universal, whether at the Bastille, Tienanmen Square, Soweto or Bil’in.

  6. jonah
    October 21, 2010, 3:23 pm

    If the Palestinian want to enjoy a good piece of the cake too, they need to sit at the table. So far they refused to do so, claiming that the Israeli should completely stop eating the cake so they can sit. The Israelis, however, have then agreed to make a good diet, but not fasting as wanted by the other party, for a limited period of time, to allow the Palestinians to finally sit at the table. However, the latter persisted on the original reguest and accepted at the last minute – and only because forced. The result is that now the Israelis are tired of waiting and have begun to eat again, while the Palestinians continue to dream of the whole cake. Somehow lamentable.

    • potsherd
      October 21, 2010, 3:32 pm

      The only thing that table is for is Palestine signing away its right to bread forever.

      • jonah
        October 21, 2010, 4:09 pm

        “The only thing that table is for is Palestine signing away its right to bread forever.”

        You just love to jump to your preconceived conclusions. In 2008 Olmert and Abbas negotiated for almost a year and at the end Olmert (not Abbas) proposed a very interesting starting point for a just solution of the conflict. Abbas didn’t even bother to answer.
        Therefore, the negotiations may well lead to a good basis for a common solution of the conflict, but if one of the parties refuses systematically to participate, as the Palestinians have done so far, the negotiations are certainly doomed to failure – and your unfortunate prediction may indeed come true.
        But maybe that the Palestinians still expect to get a bigger slice or the whole cake just without negotiating rather than the reverse. That’s probably why they prefer to avoid sitting.

      • potsherd
        October 21, 2010, 10:00 pm

        As long as Palestine refuses to sign away its rights, they possess them. Israel can and will take all the cake, but it can never take the right to the cake.

        And the cake will eventually choke it to death.

      • Shingo
        October 22, 2010, 12:08 am

        “In 2008 Olmert and Abbas negotiated for almost a year and at the end Olmert (not Abbas) proposed a very interesting starting point for a just solution of the conflict. Abbas didn’t even bother to answer.”

        Absolute rubbish Jonah.

        ALSO SEE: Palestinians accept Olmert peace offer, Israel Today, 10/02/08
        (EXCERPTS) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said that the recent peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is enough to get a final status agreement signed, but recognized that the outgoing Israeli leader does not have the ability to implement the proposal.

        “We could have peace in two days” if Olmert’s offer could be implemented, Abbas told a group of Muslim clerics at the tail end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

        Olmert made his offer in a Rosh Hashanah interview with Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.

        In the interview, Olmert said he was ready to withdraw from 93 percent of Judea and Samaria, including nearly all of eastern Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Olmert offered to make up the difference by giving the Palestinians 5.5 percent of sovereign Israeli land.

        The proposed deal also included a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
        Abbas said he hopes that Olmert’s proposal will form the foundation of peace talks with his successor…

        …Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated in a holiday interview with Israel National News that the nation does not have a viable Palestinian peace partner with whom to make a deal…
        SOURCE – link to israeltoday.co.il

        P.S. I am fairly certain that Netanyahu has unequivocally stated that he is NOT BOUND by any offers made by Olmert. Everything starts over from scratch!

      • Sumud
        October 22, 2010, 5:38 am

        P.S. I am fairly certain that Netanyahu has unequivocally stated that he is NOT BOUND by any offers made by Olmert. Everything starts over from scratch!

        Meanwhile Hamas are expected to acquiesce to all former agreements made by the PA (what is a government if it can’t change it’s position?) and Netanyahu is reportedly trying to extract from Obama an agreement to abide by Bush’s letter (from 2004 I believe) that any final settlement must take account of “subsequent developments”.

        I notice in Hillary’s recent talk at American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) she explicitly said just that, any final peace settlement will take into account subsequent developments.

        nb. MJ Rosenberg has recently taken ATFP to task for it’s working with The Israel Project. It seems fairly reasonable since they’re grossly anti-Palestinian, and the same org. responsible for the 100+ page hasbara manual “2009 Global Language Dictionary” (PDF link).

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 7:19 am

        This is strange. Haaretz tells a quite different version of the story:

        “According to the Israeli version, Abbas asked Olmert to let him have the map….”. He said “that he wanted to study the details with a cartographic expert and return the next day with chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and the cartographer for another meeting. Olmert agreed.
        But Abbas did not return the next day, or the day after. He did not even call. He severed contact and eventually explained in an interview with The Washington Post that he had rejected Olmert’s proposal because the gaps were too wide. According to Erekat, the Palestinians demand full sovereignty over the Temple Mount and are not prepared to hand it over to an international body. They also want to shrink the settlement blocs that Olmert wanted to annex to Israel. But that version was given later, not as a direct answer to Olmert. Only after Olmert left office did Abbas call to say goodbye. ”

        link to haaretz.com

        This clearly contradics also the statement that “Olmert made his offer in a Rosh Hashanah interview with Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot”, as reported in your source.

        Interesting are the conclusions of the Haaretz:
        “Political debate aside, the essential lesson from Olmert’s proposal is that the parties’ stances have hardly changed since the failures of Camp David and Taba. Nine years of war, diplomatic standstill and thousands killed on both sides have not softened them. The Palestinians have not given in and Israel has not broken. Apparently a compromise can be reached on borders, but Israel does not want Palestinians to return to its territory and the Palestinians want the Temple Mount. Neither side is prepared to give up its national symbols and tell its people that the pledges of the past – “we will return to our villages in Palestine” and “united Jerusalem in Israel’s hands forever” – were just illusions. ”

        These are still the positions in the stalled peace negotiations, that means, no convergence at all in all major issues. Neither side is willing to withdraw from its positions. Its called “status quo”.

      • Sumud
        October 22, 2010, 8:16 am

        Neither side is willing to withdraw from its positions. Its called “status quo”.

        It’s a big mistake to think of the status quo as a static thing. More and more “facts on the ground” are creating the pre-conditions necessary for all parties (except Israel) to abandon all efforts directed at a two-state outcome. The Ehud’s have already stated when Palestinians abandon the idea of two state and struggle instead for one-man one-vote Israel has had it. You’d think someone in power would therefore end settlement building (AKA national suicide) and hope that the occupation could be permanently maintained at a 500k population, but no.

    • Avi
      October 21, 2010, 3:36 pm

      You ought to post more often. As your post shows, you are doing a good job of illustrating Israel’s flimsy case and exposing it for what it is. The post speaks for itself. It requires no explanation, as any thinking person would probably agree.

    • potsherd
      October 21, 2010, 3:56 pm

      It was THEIR CAKE.

    • Bumblebye
      October 21, 2010, 3:57 pm

      Jonah, they don’t want to sit on the only chair available at that table, which deliberately has its legs half sawn through so it will break when they sit down and they’ll fall flat.

    • Citizen
      October 21, 2010, 3:58 pm

      Usually, the cake is divided up before it is handed out to anyone, and the cut portions are pretty even. A pizza usually comes already divided up into pretty even portions. Israel has been munching on the cake for 42 years, and this never stopped throught the prior peace (piece?) processes, and it only stopped a wee bit since the current peace process. Ditto for the pizza analogy and Israel. Israel keeps munching away and it now seems it will not allow the Palestinians to have even 22% of the original cake/pizza. Each month that goes by decreases that 22%. How many wish to go to such a cake and pizza party? the host, Uncle Sam, ignores Israelis gobbling up the goodies, while he glares at the Palestinians for merely looking on with longing eyes.

    • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
      October 21, 2010, 3:59 pm

      Jonah,

      You need to watch Abunimah again. Don’t worry; we’ll save you some cake.

      • potsherd
        October 21, 2010, 5:06 pm

        Jonah doesn’t get any cake. He has no right to cake. It always belonged to someone else. Jonah stole the cake and now he begrudges the rightful cake owners even a few crumbs.

      • Sumud
        October 21, 2010, 7:04 pm

        There’s a soup analogy to be had also, and there’s even a before and after [BDS] scenario.

      • jonah
        October 21, 2010, 5:09 pm

        Your cake-metaphor could fit very well also with the Palestinians, Shmuel. They want Israel to withdraw completely behind the armistice line of 1967, so they can establish their own Arab Palestinian state in the West Bank, but are not willing to accept Israel as Jewish state. They want to be indipendent and “israelirein”, but at the same time they consider the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel sacred and untouchable. They want Israel to stop violence, but continue to preach violence in media, schools and religion. And so forth.

        So, Shmuel, it doesn’t seem only a typical Israeli cake, isn’t it?

      • Antidote
        October 21, 2010, 9:13 pm

        “They want Israel to withdraw completely behind the armistice line of 1967, so they can establish their own Arab Palestinian state in the West Bank, but are not willing to accept Israel as Jewish state. They want to be indipendent and “israelirein”, but at the same time they consider the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel sacred and untouchable.”

        67 borders are perfectly in line with UN/US/EU understanding and international law and not some Palestinian quirk. Palestinian leadership has made contradictory announcements recently wrt whether they will recognize Israel as a Jewish state or not. Same applies to the ‘judenrein’ canard. The West Bank, as you do realize, is full of Jews now, and Fayyad has explicitly included Jews in a future Palestinian state.

        link to haaretz.com

        So yes, it is a typical Israeli cake, and your parallel case is a straw man

      • Avi
        October 21, 2010, 11:32 pm

        jonah October 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm

        behind the armistice line of 1967

        There is no such thing as a 1967 Armistice Line. Methinks you’ve got your dates and lines all mixed up. But, I can’t say I blame you as the Torah makes no mention of such details.

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 22, 2010, 1:35 am

        You have a point, Jonah. A just two-state solution, which would include a Palestinian state in Gaza and the WB (’49 armistice line), ROR for refugees and complete equality for Palestinians in Israel, is somewhat of a contradiction, if looked at from the perspective of “two states for two peoples”.

        Palestinian leaders have also made contradictory statements with regard to Jewish settlers – both demanding the removal of all settlements and stating that Israelis who wish to remain in the Palestinian state as Palestinian citizens would be allowed to do so.

        But no matter how you slice it, the crux of the problem, “the cake”, lies in the Zionist conception of a Jewish state, that is necessarily incompatible with justice and human rights (democracy, for short). What you are basically pointing out is that if Palestinian demands for a two-state solution are met, Israel will no longer be a structurally-Jewish state (although it would have a Jewish majority and continue to be a centre of Jewish culture and religion). Is that a Palestinian contradiction, or an Israeli one?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 9:27 am

        “But no matter how you slice it, the crux of the problem, “the cake”, lies in the Zionist conception of a Jewish state, that is necessarily incompatible with justice and human rights (democracy, for short).”

        From a theoretical point of view, you may be right. But not so in reality. If your state is living under constant threat, first from outside and second even from within, the least you can do is to develop a strong defensive attitude toward those who threaten and want to get rid of you. Israel lives since its birth in such an harsh environment, no question.
        You can and surely will argue that Israel alone is to blame because of its oppressive policies , but this argument (a topos of all good old anti-Israel criticism) does not withstand a close analysis of reality. The withdrawals from Southern Lebanon and the Gaza strip are paradigmatic examples (but surely non the only). Hezbollah on the North and Hamas&Co. on the South, two extremist Islamist groups, immediately filled the power vacuum and provoked and attacked Israel with terror attacks and acts of war. Both are financed and armed by Iran, the sworn arch-enemy of Israel, and fully committed to the endless (sic!!) struggle against their target, even if their officially declared territorial claims would be completely satisfied. In ther own words, according to sources beyond suspicion:
        link to tehrantimes.com
        link to maannews.net

        Furthermore, also large segments of the Arab Israelis don’t identify with the Israeli state, for ostencibly following reasons:
        link to jcpa.org

        You can of course say that Israel’s democracy isn’t a real democracy, and to some extent you may be right; Israel, however, must deal with problems not common to any other democracy in the world, problems which threaten the very existence of the Jewish democratic state. So, if France, which is in peaceful Europe, goes so far as to ban the Burqa in public, and Switzerland, depositary of the Geneva Convention, forbids the construction of minarets, you must not wonder that Israel wants to introduce a loyality oath in order to improve its domestic security. You can deplore it, but reality is in some cases coercive.

        This said, I agree that the state should do everything possible to strenghten the Israeli democratic society by improving the Jewish-Arab relations. There are positive signs in this sense:
        link to jpost.com

      • Donald
        October 22, 2010, 10:34 am

        The rockets from Gaza didn’t occur in a vacuum. The Israelis had an economy-wrecking blockade imposed from the very beginning.

        And Israel’s problems as a democracy are similar to those of a combination of apartheid South Africa and 19th century America as it was stealing the land from the Native Americans. The white Americans had a huge demographic advantage, so eventually the Native Americans were allowed off the reservation once the conquering phase was over–there was no perceived “demographic threat” should someone worry about such things here (which of course they would have if the Native American population had been comparable to the white population). Israel acted like a 19th century racist democracy in the 20th century and on top of that, they did it against a people they didn’t vastly outnumber. So they don’t want to allow the Indians off the reservation. They want to negotiate over how much of the remaining land they want to steal, and how much to let the Palestinians have.

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 22, 2010, 10:45 am

        If your state is living under constant threat, first from outside and second even from within, the least you can do is to develop a strong defensive attitude toward those who threaten and want to get rid of you.

        This is what every repressive regime says. Israel since its inception, and the Zionist movement before that, have never recognised even the equal rights of Arab Palestinians in Palestine (not to mention a claim that is in fact superior). Israel has never actually tried to resolve the core issues, preferring unilateral half-measures that more often than not, actually make things worse. In this sense, a deeply flawed process/solution that fails to address the legitimate claims of Palestinians (and Israelis – which are different) may be worse than no process/solution at all. Ongoing oppression based on fears (real or imagined or a combination of the two) is inherently untenable. Maybe it’s time to really try something else, looking to sources other than inequality and oppression to guarantee (to the extent such guarantees exist by any means) security.

      • eljay
        October 22, 2010, 10:48 am

        >> Israel acted like a 19th century racist democracy in the 20th century …

        And, most shameful of all, they continue to act like that in the 21st century! All the while, the Zionists and the “humanists” sing its praises, label as “justice” its acts of oppression, aggression, land theft, occupation, expansionism and murder, and revel in its victims’ “resilience and energy”.

      • Bumblebye
        October 22, 2010, 11:29 am

        Jonah, your favorite state is under no existential threat. Instead it IS the existential threat to the Palestinian state, rapidly gobbling up its land in order to make that entity an impossibility. Having extended its sovereignty over that land,but not its original inhabitants, the Israeli government has the temerity to complain of “deligitimization” when even a whiff of a question is raised. That same state treats its Palestinian non-citizenry as if they are outlaws (having not extended the protections of citizenship), permitting – indeed encouraging – its settlers to commit any kind of atrocity they wish against them with almost total impunity. This complaint of “delegitimacy” ignores that ALL its actions beyond its recognized borders are completely unlawful according to international law, which the state is (supposedly) committed to uphold as a signatory to it.
        Israel has and continues to delegitimize itself, and has become America’s bastard child due to the aid it gives and to the Lobby’s power to protect it from any consequences of its actions. If it wasn’t such an aggressive and oppressive state and fulfilled its legal obligations to the dispossessed it is doubtful there would even be a Hizbullah or Hamas fighting back – where would be the need?

      • Sumud
        October 22, 2010, 11:40 am

        You’ve got a very warped perspective jonah.

        Please try to understand that the occupation – in both East Jerusalem/West Bank and Gaza – serves up a daily dose of provocation, violence and attacks on Palestinians. It’s on a scale far outweighing what Palestinians have done to Israelis, in the name of ending that occupation.

        Hamas ended their suicide bombing campaign in 2005, the same year as disengagement. Since then around 3000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israel. And for what? About 20 Israeli deaths by Gaza rockets!!! Does that seem even vaguely proportionate to you? Is it accurate to say Israelis – the belligerent occupying power – have suffered provocations and attacks with casualties like that?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 11:47 am

        Donald, the “demographic threat” is rather implicit – no, in fact explicit – in the Palestinian obstinate claim to the right of return of millions of refugees inundating Israel “by force” (check by your own : link to maannews.net)

        If you think this is ok, then – on my part – I think Israel that has a right to keep them out and work for its interests. The Palestinians must, after more than 60 years since the Partition Plan, finally decide if they want to accept a Jewish state as neighbor, don’t you believe too?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 11:52 am

        Sorry, the link again: link to maannews.net

      • talknic
        October 22, 2010, 11:58 am

        jonah

        “They want Israel to withdraw completely behind the armistice line of 1967″

        Very generous of them. Especially considering the Palestinian territories Israel illegally ‘acquired’ by war by 1949 and has never even bothered to attempt to annex and which are occupied according to .. 1) the Laws of War article 55 .. 2) the British recognition of the State of Israel

        ” so they can establish their own Arab Palestinian state in the West Bank”

        As is their RIGHT

        “but are not willing to accept Israel as Jewish state”

        So what? A) They’re not gonna be living in the Jewish State. B) No other country has granted recognition to Israel other than by it’s OFFICIAL name “the State of Israel” . C) there is no legal obligation on ANYONE to recognize ANY state. There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize other UN Member states. They are all never the less, legitimate states.

        “They want to be indipendent and “israelirein”.. “

        Like Israel is independent and Britishrein? WOW!! One rule for you another rule for the Palestinians

        “..but at the same time they consider the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel sacred and untouchable”

        Do they teach maths in your neck of the woods? Or only how to push a Hasbarrow?

        A) It’s a RIGHT, which Israel obliged itself to uphold.

        B) Their demand for RoR is under UNGA Res 194 which is based on the UNHCR definition of a refugee, which DOES NOT include all lineal descendants. They must have LIVED in the region of return.

        C) It is an individual right, granted only if the individual agrees to live in peace in the country of return and the country of return has the right to refuse those who do not fill the criteria.

        D) Palestine refugees who have a RIGHT to return to the actual Sovereign territories of Israel are MINIMUM 62 years of age, they were children of about 11 yrs of age in 1948. They are ALL over the age of rampant procreation and their numbers are dwindling every day.

        E) The UNRWA figure is NOT applicable to RoR. UNRWA’s mandate does not extend to final status negotiations

        F) There is no demographic threat to Israel. There has never been a demographic threat to Israel. Simple mathematics shows us it is a fallacy.

        “They want Israel to stop violence, but continue to preach violence in media, schools and religion. And so forth”

        My your Hasbarrow is loaded up with sh*te.

        Their violence is perpetrated by a TINY minority of militants in response to Israel usurping them for 62 years.

        By far the majority of Palestinians have never lifted a finger towards anyone. They did not fight in the ’48 war, were not alive in 1920 and didn’t support or vote for the Grand Mufti. They were ALL children in 1948. They have taken no thing of Israel’s, dispossessed no Israelis, bulldozed no Israeli homes, farms, orchards, villages. Built no barriers on Israeli soil. Do not force Israelis to pass through roadblocks. They have done NOTHING except be in the way of the obscene notion of a Greater Israel.

        Be honest (do you remember how or have you never learned). Would you be chucking stuff at your usurper or just laying down and letting them f%^k you over?

      • eljay
        October 22, 2010, 11:58 am

        >> You’ve got a very warped perspective jonah.
        >> Please try to understand …

        Understanding only undermines the Zio-mythology and sense of victimhood. It’s a tough enough gig being an oppressor-victim without bringing actual accountability into the picture.

        “We” good, “we” Chosen People”, “we” moral and righteous.
        “They” bad, “they” dirty Arabs, “they” immoral and despicable.

        See? Nice ‘n’ clean. ;-)

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 12:04 pm

        “Maybe it’s time to really try something else, looking to sources other than inequality and oppression to guarantee (to the extent such guarantees exist by any means) security.”

        It takes always two to quarrel, and it takes two also to make peace.

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 22, 2010, 12:15 pm

        It takes always two to quarrel, and it takes two also to make peace.

        This is not an equal situation.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 12:22 pm

        “Hamas ended their suicide bombing campaign in 2005, the same year as disengagement. ”

        No, in 2005 the Intifada came only into stage two unleashing a rocket war of terror against Israel. Only (sic!!) twenty Israeli deaths, you say? But at the end of 2008 almost one million people were under constant terror threat. Not so funny, anyway.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 12:24 pm

        “This is not an equal situation.”

        But the Palestinians makes it look like it is, Shmuel.

      • tree
        October 22, 2010, 12:36 pm

        It also takes two to steal, two to murder, two to rape, two to oppress. The two are called victim and perpetrator.

        To repeat, maybe its time to try something other than inequality and oppression to guarantee security. Oppressing another human being will never bring you peace or security, for you will always fear that the one you so oppress will rise up against you and take their revenge. You fear this because deep in your soul you know that under similar circumstances you would be tempted to do the same to your oppressor. In other words, your fear arises from your guilt.

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 22, 2010, 12:45 pm

        But the Palestinians makes it look like it is

        You have got to be kidding. On what criteria could you possibly judge the Palestinian situation as even appearing equal to that of the Israelis? The entire “peace process” is based on Israel’s superiority and “right” to maintain that superiority. Israel calls all of the shots.

        Besides, if you concede that it is merely a matter of appearance, why not deal with the substance – which is patent, enormous inequality.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 1:04 pm

        talknic -

        “Their demand for RoR is under UNGA Res 194 which is based on the UNHCR definition of a refugee, which DOES NOT include all lineal descendants. They must have LIVED in the region of return.”

        That is a topic of dispute, just among the Palestinians themselves. Hamas is for the return of all millions refugees and their descendants, while Fatah is more flexible and willing to accept the official UNHCR definition.

        “Their violence is perpetrated by a TINY minority of militants in response to Israel usurping them for 62 years.”

        That tiny minority killed more than thousand Israelis within 4 years in a unprecedented terror wave which was unleashed by serior leading Palestinian figures: link to jpost.com (Abbas was surely also aware, I suppose)
        That tiny minorit won afterwards the elections in the Gaza strip and started to launch thousand of rockets on Israeli cities. This minority is maybe tiny, but appears still quite influential in Palestinian society…

      • Antidote
        October 22, 2010, 1:16 pm

        You mean: The Palestinians make it look like they have equal rights to the land which is patently absurd (because Israel is stronger/superior, won the wars etc)?

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 1:53 pm

        All Palestinians live under constant terror threat, every day and every night.

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 1:56 pm

        Fine, Jonah, no lineal descendants have the right to return. Tell your Zionist friends to pack and up leave, since none of them were living in Palestine at the time of the Romans.

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 1:58 pm

        Why should the Palestinians accept the presence of the people who wrongfully drove them from their land?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

        Shmuel -
        “Besides, if you concede that it is merely a matter of appearance, why not deal with the substance – which is patent, enormous inequality.”

        It is a matter of appearance, but a very serious and real appearance, since on Hamas’ side they are financially supported and armed by a ME-power like Iran, and on Fatah’s side they enjoy the support of the whole Arab world, the UN, most media coverage, the Western Left like you who believes in the simple equation: Israel “bad”, Palestinians “good”.
        In fact, who tries to dictate the conditions are the Palestinians. The way they negotiate – better: they not negotiate with Israel is reflected in the belief expressed by you that Israel should without a murmur withdraw according to the international law, which – on closer inspection – is interpreted in a one-sided unilateral way.
        They are the weaker side, but they behave and are encouraged by all to behave as they were strong. This makes them less willing to discuss and compromise on the core issues. They try, in terms of diplomacy, propaganda and armed struggle, to get it “by force”, from a position of strength. Israel, on its part, sees rightly this policy as “the continuation of war by other means”, to put it turning Clausewitz’s famous phrase.

        Have you ever seen such an attitude among the Tibetans? Probably they lack the right support.

      • Sumud
        October 22, 2010, 2:54 pm

        No, in 2005 the Intifada came only into stage two unleashing a rocket war of terror against Israel. Only (sic!!) twenty Israeli deaths, you say? But at the end of 2008 almost one million people were under constant terror threat. Not so funny, anyway.

        Work w/ me jonah:

        In a parallel universe WW2 went a little differently. The nazis were less monstrous so there was no holocaust, but the allies lost. Over a 5 year period 3000 jews locked in the Warsaw Ghetto were killed by nazis. During the same time period, 20 nazis were killed.

        Nazis are the victims. Does this sound reasonable?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 4:23 pm

        So finally, Sumud. I’ve missed yet the equation “nazis” – “Israel”. Thank you for providing.
        By the way: did your phantasy Ghetto Jews killed over the 5 year more than thousand Germans through suicide bombing and launched during a same lapse of time more than 10’000 thousand of rockets on German tows?

      • eljay
        October 22, 2010, 5:29 pm

        >> By the way: did your phantasy Ghetto Jews killed over the 5 year more than thousand Germans through suicide bombing and launched during a same lapse of time more than 10′000 thousand of rockets on German tows?

        By your own logic, that’s irrelevant. If the Jews wanted more cake, all they had to do was sit at the table with Nazis and discuss portions.

      • Avi
        October 22, 2010, 5:52 pm

        By the way: did your phantasy Ghetto Jews killed over the 5 year more than thousand Germans through suicide bombing and launched during a same lapse of time more than 10′000 thousand of rockets on German tows?

        Is your math as good as your grasp of the facts on the Middle East?

        Here, let me help you:

        Source: B’Tselem

        Between September 2000 and August 2010:

        4791+ 69+ 45+ 2+ 1397 + 102+ 2
        —————
        = 6408 Palestinians killed by Israelis.

        239+ 492+ 243+ 89+ 3+ 5+ 1+ 7+ 1+ 4
        —————
        =1084 Israelis killed by Palestinians

        Prisoners:
        1 Israeli prisoner

        This year alone, about 6,500 Palestinian prisoners. For homework, add up the totals for minors under the age of 16. I’ll give you a hint, the numbers are in the hundreds.

        These figures do not include prisoners arrested under Administrative Detention (No trial).

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 6:15 pm

        The fact that more Palestinians than Israelis were killed in the same period, makes the Palestinian terrorists morally better and justify their terror methods?

        You have a strange concept of morality, Avi.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 6:16 pm

        justifies their methods?

      • Avi
        October 22, 2010, 6:41 pm

        jonah October 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

        The fact that more Palestinians than Israelis were killed in the same period, makes the Palestinian terrorists morally better and justify their terror methods?

        You have a strange concept of morality, Avi.

        1. You have a repugnant habit of twisting other people’s words. Do you have an honest bone in your body? I doubt it.

        2. Britain executed Oleh Ha-Gerdom for their attacks on Palestinian civilians and for the murder of a British official. Britain called those Zionists, “Terrorists”. But, Israel went and put those terrorists’ faces on official stamps and has erected monuments for them. In fact, just this March 11th, Livni and Netanyahu went up to the podium in the Israeli Knesset and commemorated the anniversary of the execution of Oleh Ha-Gerdom terrorists. Both referred to them as “Freedom Fighters”.

        Again, I suggest you familiarize yourself with some history because your talking points are boring.

        And it’s transparently obvious that when you don’t like the facts and the truth that is staring you in the face, you change the subject and spin more nonsense.

        You know, that pedestal on which you positioned yourself a few days ago is falling apart with every post you make.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 7:36 pm

        I’ve never been on a pedestal Avi. And I can not fall because I’m down to earth from the beginning.

        The Olei Hagardom didn’t target civilians, except Shlomo Ben-Yosef, whose attack anyway failed. They were freedom fighters, not terrorists. Nothing to compare with the attacks Palestinians fedayns attacks against Israeli civilians since the early fifties, thus long before any Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

      • Sumud
        October 22, 2010, 8:15 pm

        jonah you haven’t even tried to answered my question. And before you get your knickers in a knot I said in this scenario the nazis were less monstrous, and there was no holocaust in WW2. If it suits you imagine the occupiers to be another axis power. Italians, Japanese, whatever. English if it makes you happy.

        I chose that scenario because I hoped you might be able to relate to the plight of jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, and understand why there was an uprising, and that you can’t lock people up, starve and bomb them ruthlessly and then complain that you’re being victimised when they fight back. But you want to nitpick and prevaricate instead of having a real discussion.

        I answer your questions in good faith. Can you try to also?

        And on the ghetto jews and suicide bombing – no – suicide bombing wasn’t a factor because during this timeframe. The ghetto jews had killed ~770 nazis by suicide bombing in the 12 years prior but they had largely abandoned that as a tactic by then.

        So we are back to those 20 occupiers killed by jewish rockets, and the 3000 jews killed by the sophisticated weapons of the occupying army. Does this sound reasonable? Are the occupying power being victimised by the ghetto jews?

      • talknic
        October 22, 2010, 10:33 pm

        jonah

        /// “Their demand for RoR is under UNGA Res 194 which is based on the UNHCR definition of a refugee, which DOES NOT include all lineal descendants. They must have LIVED in the region of return.”///

        “That is a topic of dispute just among the Palestinians themselves.”

        Irrelevant. The country of RETURN has the RIGHT to REJECT folk who do not fill the criteria. The country of return has the RIGHT to consider each individual, case by case. The country of return is also PROTECTED by the Laws covering RoR.

        You’ve swallowed the stinking turd whole, without looking at what you’ve been fed.

        “Hamas is for the return of all millions refugees and their descendants, while Fatah is more flexible and willing to accept the official UNHCR definition”

        Irrelevant. In order for Israel to comply with it’s VOLUNTARY OBLIGATIONS, all it has to do is recognize RoR and apply the criteria. It’s that effing simple.

        Never the less both Fatah and Hamas say PALESTINE. Israel has not been a part of PALESTINE for 62 years. Israel was declared independent of the non state entity of Palestine.

        ” That tiny minority killed more than thousand Israelis within 4 years in a unprecedented terror wave”

        In response to TENS, if not HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of non-Jews slaughtered by Israel. In response to being dispossessed. In response to occupation. In response to SIX DECADES, over HALF A CENTURY of state sponsored terror.

        In response to the things you dare not bring yourself to consider or have been told not to mention.

        I was you for the better part of my childhood, I know your arguments intimately, your tactics, your fear, that admitting even the tiniest bit of the illogical, transparent bullsh*te you’ve been brainwashed will start the un-ravelling, leaving you with the mythical, irrelevant, non-legal, G-d gave it…the same G-d who was noticeably absent during the Holocaust. Noticeably absent for EVERY justification put forward for the establishment of Israel. The G-d who has been off the job far longer than on it. The G-d who doesn’t give a f*(k when the sh*te hits the fan. AWOL!!
        ” That tiny minorit won afterwards the elections in the Gaza strip….”
        The election was in all of Palestine.

        “..and started to launch thousand of rockets on Israeli cities. “

        On ONE ‘Israeli’ city. Sderot.

        “This minority is maybe tiny, but appears still quite influential in Palestinian society”

        Uh huh. They have no ships, no tanks, no fighter bombers, no submarines and fight with home made rockets that have a kill ratio less than domestic homicide in Israel. They’re a non-existential threat to Israel and a non-existential threat to Jewish folk //Article Thirty-One: “As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, Allah forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for Allah loveth those who act justly.” //

        By far the more influential are the tiny minority who have for 62 years deceived you, deceived Israelis into thinking Israel is above the law. Deceived Israelis into thinking they have a right to live in territories never legally annexed to Israel. A tiny minority who have peddled their BS to the world.

        A tiny minority who have a multi billion dollar military at their disposal in order to prop up their multi billion dollar Greater Israel project. A tiny minority who have for 62 years been slowly wiping the Palestinians off the map

        Now for the third time, how about you show me an OFFICIAL demand for more than their rights.

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 23, 2010, 3:10 am

        Jonah,

        Ben-Yosef, Feinstein, Hakim and Bet-Zuri all targeted civilians (it’s even on Wiki).

        For a good review of pre-state Zionist terrorism, see: link to thehasbarabuster.blogspot.com

    • annie
      October 21, 2010, 5:43 pm

      your analogy falls flat jonah. in this analogy israelis and palestinian are living in that cake. there’s no table in this analogy and if their was the table would be the world. and yes, palestinians are in the world.

    • lobewyper
      October 21, 2010, 7:51 pm

      But jonah, the cake (West Bank & Gaza Strip) belong wholly to the Palestinians. Israel has no business taking even a single bite, nor does the US have any in turning a blind eye to this theft. The only claim to the cake Israel has is the concept that “might makes right”–i. e., it has no claim whatsoever!

    • talknic
      October 22, 2010, 8:45 am

      jonah

      “If the Palestinian want to enjoy a good piece of the cake too, they need to sit at the table.”

      Uh huh. It’s the Palestinian cake Israel has been eating

      “So far they refused to do so, claiming that the Israeli should completely stop eating the cake so they can sit”

      They ask that Israel just go home to Israel and eat it’s own cake.

      “The result is that now the Israelis are tired of waiting and have begun to eat again”

      After having been given their own cake, the Israelis did not wait and immediately began eating the Palestinian cake too.

      while the Palestinians continue to dream of the whole cake

      That’s a Hasbara regurgitation. Actually, the Palestinians have only ever demanded their RIGHTS.

      You can show me an official demand for more than their rights, yes?

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 9:59 am

        “Actually, the Palestinians have only ever demanded their RIGHTS.”

        Not quite correct. The majority of the Palestinians in the Gaza strip (and probably so would do also the majority in the West Bank, if they could) elected a government, which is still and will always be committed to the liberation of “all Palestine”. That goes far beyond their rights.

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 10:21 am

        Only if you accept that Israel has a right to Palestine.

      • talknic
        October 22, 2010, 10:39 am

        jonah

        ” Not quite correct. The majority of the Palestinians in the Gaza strip (and probably so would do also the majority in the West Bank, if they could) elected a government, which is still and will always be committed to the liberation of “all Palestine”. That goes far beyond their rights.”

        Uh huh. Israel was declared independent of Palestine May 14th 1948.

        All of Palestine is “territories occupied” and never un-occupied.

        The majority of the Palestinians in the Gaza strip (and probably so would do also the majority in the West Bank, if they could) elected a government…..

        Uh huh…. Hamas WAS elected by the folk in Gaza AND the folk in the West Bank.

        Now, how about you show me an OFFICIAL demand for more than their rights.

        Go ahead….. I’ll wait

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 4:08 pm

        “Hamas WAS elected by the folk in Gaza AND the folk in the West Bank.
        Now, how about you show me an OFFICIAL demand for more than their rights.”

        With pleasure, talknic. There are plenty of Palestinian senior officials who openly declared that “all Palestine” must be liberated and will encompass the whole territory from the sea to the river, that means also what now is Israel based on its recognized borders. An other example, courtesy of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh: link to nowlebanon.com

        This aggressive attitude is in my eyes (not only mine) a big hindrance for any important concession by Israel, or – according to your common formulation – implementation of the international Law (in particular Resolution 242). Even today Netanyahu, stressed out, waht peace means for Israel:

        “Addressing peace talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said he believed “peace is attainable, but it requires concessions, and not just on the Israeli side but also the Palestinian side. We left Gaza and had 12,000 rockets fired on us. So my conclusions are that, one, only when our partners recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state they will be ready for peace; and two, the only peace which will survive is peace that can be protected. We must have guarantees in the peace agreement for it to be sustainable.”
        link to ynetnews.com

        There must be a radical change on Palestinian side, but -considered the ruling Palestinian policies -, this change is regrettably not going to happen, neither in the next future, nor in the middle term. Possibly we are witnesses of a endless conflict.

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 4:31 pm

        On the contrary, jonah, the Palestinian demand for their rights – to ALL of Palestine – is the proper framework for negotiations. If Israel wants Palestinian agreements to its borders – the 1967 borders, of course – it has to come up with concessions equal to the Palestinian concession of that part of its land now known as Israel – but rightfully part of Palestine.

        Palestinians are willing to make this concession. They do not expect to HAVE all of Palestine but they maintain their right to it. You can only concede what you have a right to. But Israel would have to pay the price, which of course they don’t want to do.

        Israel wants possession, not rightful possession.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 5:06 pm

        Can YOU maybe give to the Israelis the requested guarantees that the Palestinians, once they have their own Arab-Islamic state in the whole West Bank and Gaza, will not persist, possibly with the support of Iran and others, in claiming their right to “all of Palestine”, waging war and terror, but this time a stone’s throw from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?
        Would I be an Israeli, I would not feel very secure after hearing repeatedly such kind of speeches and statements, don’t you think?

      • eljay
        October 22, 2010, 5:27 pm

        >> Can YOU maybe give to the Israelis the requested guarantees …

        Funny how Israel ethnically cleanses Palestinians from their homes and land, declares itself an independent state, acquires more territory in ’67 and continues – TO THIS DAY – to steal and colonize more territory…and the onus is on Palestinians to prove that they won’t do anything dirty or immoral. What a joke(r), this new RW.

      • Bumblebye
        October 22, 2010, 5:48 pm

        How ridiculous is your comment Jonah! Who the heck is it that puts enormous government resources behind the racist settler enterprise, destroying the chance for a Palestinian state? Whose military is deployed to enable ongoing repression, oppression, destruction, theft, assault and murder? Whose forces arrest and detain the victims but not the perpetrators? Whose religious nuts and racist zionist hardliners seem to think there is a superior form of humanity, perhaps homo sapiens judaicus, which should have dominion over the common herd of homo sapiens asinus? (Must say, that seems to have been missed out of the Creation myth, though its clear some believe it!)

      • Avi
        October 22, 2010, 5:56 pm

        Would I be an Israeli, I would not feel very secure after hearing repeatedly such kind of speeches and statements, don’t you think?

        But, you’re not I be he an Israeli. You didn’t is even serve in the Israeli army. You’re is are sitting comfortably somewhere whining about your is to fears and imagined shadows (Does that sound familiar? I bet it does).

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 6:23 pm

        If I were an Israeli, I would not trust persons like you, Avi.

      • potsherd
        October 22, 2010, 6:25 pm

        Can you give to the Palestinians the guarantee that once the Israelis have their own Jewish state, they will not persist, with the support of the US, in claiming their right to “Judea and Samaria”, waging war and terror? Which they have done within Ramalla and Jenin.

        The speeches and statements issuing from the Knesset don’t give any reason for the Palestinians to feel secure.

      • Avi
        October 22, 2010, 6:52 pm

        jonah October 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm

        If I were an Israeli, I would not trust persons like you, Avi.

        If, could, would….That’s a long list of hypotheticals. But, it meshes well with your hypotheticals about the threat that which “the Arabs” pose to Israel. It seems to me you need to familiarize yourself with reality and leave the fairy tales behind.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 7:04 pm

        Israel has already an Jewish state, but considers the recognition of this fact by the Palestinians very valuable to achieve a true lasting peace.
        Why do the Palestinians have such a huge problem to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, it needs only these few words to say: “We recognize you as Jewish democratic state”. They could then see very soon if Israel is a trustworthy partner for peace or not.
        On the other hand, the Israelis have already tried to withdraw from occupied territories (see for instance Gaza), with quite disappointing results indeed.
        So, Palestinians need to make some little concessions and goodwill gesture too, in order to show their good faith and, for their part, verify the good faith of the Israelis. It costs them only seven little words, which COULD make the difference. A try may be worth, don’t you think?

        And if not, why are these words so difficult to spell, potsherd?

      • yonira
        October 22, 2010, 7:05 pm

        What is the point of making fun of his English Avi, does it make you feel better about yourself? does it help your argument at all? You are a bully, I thought maybe you’d change after your melt down, but I guess not, back to your old tricks.

      • jonah
        October 22, 2010, 7:08 pm

        For the purists of the English language: It could be worth a try !

      • talknic
        October 22, 2010, 11:12 pm

        jonah

        “There are plenty of Palestinian senior officials who openly declared..”

        When will you EVER answer honestly? I did not ask for some official’s statement. I asked for an OFFICIAL demand.

        I know you can’t produce an OFFICIAL demand for the return of lineal descendants to Israel’s actual Sovereign territory, because quite simply, THERE ISN’T ONE.

        The official Palestinian demands are completely within their legal rights. In fact, they demand far LESS THAN their legal rights. THEY ARE MAKING CONCESSIONS.

        “This aggressive attitude is in my eyes (not only mine) a big hindrance for any important concession by Israel,”

        No one is asking for ANY concession from Israel. They are asking for Israel to adhere to the law. Under the law, Israel has the right to defend itself. Build anywhere in Israel. Do anything it likes, IN Israel. There is no need for any concessions. None, nil, nought, zip, nada, no thing.

        “or – according to your common formulation – implementation of the international Law ..”

        Adherence to the law is implementation.

        “… (in particular Resolution 242).”

        UNSC Res 242 was between “states”

        After all this time you haven’t read the actual words? AMAZING!!!

        The implementation of UNSC Res 242 is reflected in the Peace Agreements between Israel and Egypt and Jordan. It did not call for any negotiations over borders. The word negotiate does not appear..

        All the states already had Internationally recognized sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The Peace Agreements gave ‘acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force’

        It does not call for any negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Palestine is not a state. It is not a UN Member State.

        The UN cannot demand of or pass resolutions censuring non-members. It can only inform members of how they may or may not act in respect to non-members. The car club has no jurisdiction over the Hasbarrow pushers.

      • annie
        October 22, 2010, 11:59 pm

        who is this group ‘now lebanon’? there are no names attached to it. the alleged quotes do not appear anywhere else. sounds like a front. wiki says their page is a ‘stub’,

        try harder jonah.

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 12:17 am

        The Olei Hagardom didn’t target civilians, except Shlomo Ben-Yosef, whose attack anyway failed. They were freedom fighters, not terrorists.

        Aha. And Lord Moyne just croaked and died of natural causes I suppose, not to mention the Palestinian men, women and children who were murdered at the hands of Irgun and Etzel who planted bombs in Arab markets in Mandate Palestine. Have you ever wondered why those terrorists whom you admire were called “terrorists” by the British government?

        Get this through your head, you’ve been proven to be a pathological liar and an ignoramus, so do yourself a favor and leave.

        P.S. You forgot to mention that the earth is flat.

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 1:51 am

        It costs them only seven little words, which COULD make the difference. A try may be worth, don’t you think?

        Do you think if Palestinians put on tree costumes and stood still, would Israel then negotiate in good faith, or will it still move in to uproot them and plant kosher JNF trees instead? There’s no harm in trying, right?

        Oh I meant to ask you, do you wear a clown costume when you post here?

      • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
        October 23, 2010, 3:33 am

        only seven little words

        Of course the size and number of the words are irrelevant. “I surrender” is only two words. The problem lies in the ramifications of the words, and the raising of this Israeli demand above all other substantive issues to be negotiated – whether seriously or as an obstructionist tactic (Bibi is legendary for his “that’s not the question” strategy).

        Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel “as the state of the Jewish people” raises a number of difficulties (both practical and theoretical), not least affording greater privilege to every Jew in the world than to the non-Jewish, and especially Palestinian, native population of Israel. This is absurd and unjust.

        There is also a problem with timing. Such recognition is tantamount to Barak’s famous “end of conflict” clause (renouncing all further claims) – except that Barak proposed it at the end of negotiations, as part of a final deal, once all other issues had been resolved. Netanyahu demands such a statement before having made any reasonable proposal on any of the other issues of concern to Palestinians.

        Previous Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders should be more than enough to allow negotiations to proceed. Assuming of course that Netanyahu has any interest in allowing them to do so.

      • jonah
        October 23, 2010, 3:54 pm

        Avi, the Palestinians don’t need to stay still, they need to act wisely for the sake of their own people. I can not see with the best will any wisdom in their twisted tactics.

        BTW: You know how much I care what a prig might think …

      • jonah
        October 23, 2010, 4:40 pm

        The timing should not be a obstacle if you can reach a lasting peace. Their reactions on Natanyahu’s demand has always been categorical in denial. As I said yesterday, Israel doesn’t need the official recognition right now, it needs goodwill gestures, signs of a willingness to compromise, which can restore the Israeli trust in the good faith of the Palestinians.
        Besides, it is for me incomprehensible why the recognition of Israel as Jewish state should affect negativey the living conditions of the non-Jewish population of Israel. Also in the Palestinian costitution is stated in article 4 that
        1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
        2. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.
        3. Arabic shall be the official language.
        link to en.wikisource.org

        The recognition of the Jewish state of Israel means that the Palestinians must acknowledge the fact that Israel will and should remain Jewish also after an final peace agreement with the Palestinians. That’s seems actually to be the reason why the Palestinians respond every time to this demand of principle so abruptly and harshly.
        In fact, every “NIET” the Palestinians, whether Hamas or Fatah, utter regarding Israel’s requests on all kind of issues, but in particular about the recognition of the state of the Jews (what simply means a state with Jewish majority), does nothing but confirm the suspicion that Israel has developed toward the them since the second Intifada on. There is not only the “aut-aut”-option, there is also the possibility of a more nuanced and soft approach to create the suitable soil for gradual rapprochement of the positions. I see on Palestinian side to much complain and attempts to pressure, to little real diplomacy.

      • potsherd
        October 23, 2010, 5:24 pm

        And WHY does Israel consider these little words so important?

        And why do Palestinians have to make concessions to get what is already theirs by right?

      • eljay
        October 23, 2010, 5:43 pm

        >> … Israel doesn’t need the official recognition right now, it needs goodwill gestures, signs of a willingness to compromise, which can restore the Israeli trust in the good faith of the Palestinians.

        RW-grade hypocrisy: Palestinians must make “goodwill gestures” (a.k.a. “better wheels”), but Israel is not required to halt its occupation, colonization, land theft, expansionism and murder. What a joke(r).

      • jonah
        October 23, 2010, 6:18 pm

        1) Because Israel wants to remain a Jewish democratic state also after a final peace settlement with the Palestinians. And slowly also the world is acknowledging this:link to jpost.com

        2) Because the concessions demanded to the Palestinians are essentially about the recognition of Israel’s further existence in peace and security, a recognition which touches the core of the Midle East conflict. Israel can only make concessions about land and borders, and Israel will be able to have them accepted by his people, when it has gotten assurances that the peace will be a lasting one, not a Hudna or something else, and that this peace will be strong enough to preserve its Jewish democratic character.
        That’s why the Palestinian must stop acting unwisely and rather work hard and fair to get from the Israeli people and its government the support for the Palestinian self-determination, that means, rather than insisting on Israel’s (however questionable) obbligation to comply with an abstract law dictated from above, that can be broken at the first oppotunity, conquer the trust and the hearts of the Israelis. The establishment of a strong and viable Arab and Islamic state of Palestine living side by side with Israel is specular to and interdipendent with the existence of a strong, viable Jewish State of Israel. This ideal begins in the minds of the people and politicians, is manifested through their words and finally made a reality.

      • Richard Witty
        October 23, 2010, 7:55 pm

        If the “seven words” were nearly unanimously adopted by the Israeli populace, then to ask that Palestine accept them would be a respectful acceptance of the others’ identity, their actual governance.

        I don’t know if those seven words are universally adopted by the Israeli populace.

        And, it is an inconsistent demand with the agreements with Egypt and Jordan, is also problematic.

  7. Tuyzentfloot
    October 21, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Powerful theme, Shmuel.
    So are 67′ers the pizzamen while the 48′ers are more into cake?
    I guess they’re all cakesters.

    Gideon Levy had an article on here where he said, I quote,

    First of all, I had Oz and Yehoshua at my home for dinner a few weeks ago, so I have to be very cautious in what I say, but I am very critical about this kind of thinking. You can add [Israeli President] Shimon Peres and Labor to this. This is the typical Israeli hypocrisy, and I in many ways appreciate [Israel’s far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman more than Shimon Peres, because with Lieberman, at least, what you see is what you get. It’s very clear what he stands for. With people like Shimon Peres or Meretz – and I don’t say they are identical – or Oz and Yehoshua and Grossman, they want to eat the cake and leave it complete, as we say in Hebrew. This doesn’t work.

    I think they lack courage, some of them. Others, like Shimon Peres, are hypocrites who talk about peace and do the opposite. I think that Oz and Yehoshua and Grossman, who I know very well personally, mean well. But in many ways they are still chained in the Zionistic ideology. They haven’t released themselves from the old Zionistic ideology, which basically hasn’t changed since ’48 – namely, that the Jews have the right to this land, almost the exclusive right. They are trying to find their way to be Zionistic, and to be for peace, and to be for justice. The problem is that Zionism in its present meaning, in its common meaning, is contradictory to human rights, to equality, to democracy, and they don’t recognise it. It’s too hard for them to recognise it, to realise it. And therefore their position is an impossible position, because they want everything: they want Zionism, they want democracy, they want a Jewish state, but they want also rights for the Palestinians… it’s very nice to want everything, but you have to make your choice and they are not courageous enough to make the choice.

    • Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel
      October 22, 2010, 1:56 am

      Tuyzentfloot,

      Cake is a state of mind. ’67 lefties like Oz may be slower eaters and worry about their waistlines as they chomp down, but they are still “cakesters”. It is only the very far right in Israel (a small percentage even among settlers) that doesn’t even pretend to want to leave the cake whole.

  8. Richard Witty
    October 21, 2010, 5:24 pm

    The pizza analogy is clever and clear.

    Israel should negotiate sincerely, rather than opportunistically.

  9. ssalbe
    October 21, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Surely someone would have pointed out by now that Ali Abunimah himself would be the first to agree that the analogy was first made by Michael Tarazi (from my recollections close to a decade ago.)

  10. yourstruly
    October 21, 2010, 5:51 pm

    to those who sruggle so that Palestine be free

    Seems to me that just the fact that online conversations such as ours are so commonplace; compared, that is, to how difficult is was to get the word out prior to the Internet. Let’s see, zero to a plus represents a qualitative change towards a better world, and if their increasinly more severe and frequent acts of terrorism indicates that they know the game is up, how come we still act like losers?

    • yourstruly
      October 21, 2010, 6:10 pm

      as a matter of fact we don’t, never have, as what’s unfolding before us shows (sorry about that loser’s comment. Can’t explain it. Somehow it just got away.

      • yourstruly
        October 21, 2010, 7:09 pm

        what would have come out, had only I not run out of energy and clicked Submit, was more like ……how come we act as if we’re still losing*

      • Avi
        October 21, 2010, 11:36 pm

        yourstruly October 21, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        what would have come out, had only I not run out of energy and clicked Submit, was more like ……how come we act as if we’re still losing*

        I think you first need to define the goal post and then see if that objective has been met. Has Israel lifted its collective boot off of the necks of the Palestinians whom it occupies?

      • yourstruly
        October 22, 2010, 1:38 am

        in appreciation for the above advice

        no, but public opinion is shifting towards justice for Palestine, a sign, perhaps, that if we intensify our effort (BDS especially), only good outcomes will follow, such as demands that Israel not only get its collective boot off of the necks of the Palestinians whom it occupies, but end the occupation itself.

  11. annie
    October 21, 2010, 6:06 pm

    “Does anyone know the Hebrew word for ‘occupation’?” A question from the state assigned Hebrew translator to the packed out courtroom. more on the last day of rachel’s trial @aljazeera

    sorry for the OT

  12. thankgodimatheist
    October 21, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Priceless humor Shmuel..As always.

  13. David Samel
    October 21, 2010, 8:01 pm

    Shmuel, I much prefer the Hebrew expression, which I never heard before. The American expression never made any sense to me, because what good is cake if you can’t eat it? There’s no piggishness in wanting both. But the Hebrew one actually makes a point. I’m glad Ali A’s pizza analogy has such a far-reaching audience, and your cake one is quite deserving as well.

  14. Elliot
    October 21, 2010, 10:33 pm

    U.S. law grants management the upper hand in labor negotiations. As a result, management can choose to act in bad faith and “negotiate to an impasse.” Once management declares that talks have reached an impasse they get to impose terms.
    Sound familiar?
    The only protection labor has, if the public pays attention to what’s going on and censures the company. That’s our job with regard to I/P.

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