The history of the Camp David Accords reveals that even a sympathetic president could not stand up for the Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
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chessIsraeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, left, and US national security adviser Zbig Brzezinski play chess at Camp David, 1978.

In the midst of the Egyptian revolution, a concerned Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace was “the cornerstone of peace and stability, not only between the two countries, but in the entire Middle East as well” –a pronouncement that soon made its way to the front page of the New York Times. While the peoples of Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza and the West Bank might well wonder how much peace and stability they got from the deal, Camp David did indeed usher in a golden age for Israel, which was freed to pursue aggressive policies without having to worry about the Arab world’s largest military.

How did this happen? A strategically-dominant Israel was not a goal of Jimmy Carter and the other Americans who negotiated the Camp David accords. Washington had been frightened by the 1973 war and hurt by the subsequent Arab oil embargo; strategists worried that continued turmoil in the region would allow the Soviet Union to make trouble with the West’s energy supplies. For the previous decade, the Beltway consensus held that Israel should give up the territory it had seized in the 1967 war in return for a comprehensive peace with its neighbors and security guarantees. The Palestinian leadership had been moving steadily towards acceptance of the two-state solution. Washington had sought a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem, amplified by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, since Eisenhower’s time.

The Camp David Accords are thus a puzzle, because the results – which shaped the Middle East for a generation– were so different from what its American sponsors intended. Unraveling the puzzle reveals the constraints on an American president in dealing with Israel. Indeed a principal lesson to be drawn from Power and Principle, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s memoir of his tenure as Carter’s national security adviser, and from his top Middle East aide William Quandt (in Peace Process) is that the Arabs should disabuse themselves of the idea that the United States will use its leverage over Israel to achieve a just peace.

The Camp David template governed the Mideast for thirty years. The Palestinians were stateless in 1979, and remain so. The Israel lobby displayed the muscle to define the limits of what an American president might plausibly achieve. This happened in an administration whose foreign policy principals believed that resolution of the Palestinian issue was an important strategic and moral interest, under a president who felt a warm personal connection to Anwar Sadat, which he did not feel towards Israel’s leaders.

One can see why intelligent people believed that the situation was more fluid. In Brzezinski’s account, central administration figures repeatedly broached the idea of breaking openly with Israel, and explaining to the American people their frustration with Israeli intransigence. And yet one senses this was never really a serious option. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin seemed to know this, as Netanyahu and his team do today. In the end, Begin played the administration perfectly — exploiting its yearning for a diplomatic “success,” maneuvering towards a separate peace that severed Egypt from the issue of Palestine, giving Israel a free hand to colonize the West Bank, annex the Golan Heights, and launch several wars against Lebanon. 

No one can blame the consequences of Camp David on a lack of commitment on the part of Jimmy Carter and his foreign policy team. Secretary of State Cy Vance and Brzezinski differed over how to deal with the Soviet Union, but both believed a comprehensive Middle East settlement, which included a Palestinian homeland, was an American vital interest. Their staffs shared the conviction. The president was wholly on board. A devout Christian, Carter felt some emotional tie to Israel as “the land of the Bible” and was put off by the disdain some world leaders, such as French president Giscard D’Estaing, felt towards the Jewish state. But he felt strongly that Palestinians were victims of injustice.

Early in his presidency, in a 1977 March town meeting, Carter said, “there has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years.” Brzezinski recognized instantly that the comment would set off a political storm and records that “Vance and I huddled on how best to handle this new development, but we received instructions. . . directly from Air Force One that no elaborations or clarifications were to be issued on the matter.” (Almost thirty years to the day after Carter’s evocation of Palestinian suffering, Barack Obama, in an Iowa campaign appearance, used the same verb to depict the Palestinian plight. Like Carter, he came under strident attack from Israel’s backers. While one could say that some things never change, there was one significant difference. Unlike Carter, Obama did subsequently “clarify” his remarks, claiming he meant that the Palestinians were suffering because of the failings of their leadership.) 

Coming into office, the Carter adminstration’s plan was to prepare the ground for an international conference at Geneva, co-chaired by Washington and the Soviet Union. The administration knew that Israel would resist, but felt such objections could be overcome. Brzezinski records that he told Carter frequently that Israel would require “persuasion” adding “given the centrality of the U.S. pipeline to Israel’s survival, most Israelis instinctively would shrink back from overt defiance of the United States, provided they were convinced the United States means business.” (Italics in original).

But the window during such persuasion could be attempted was narrow. In a succinct summary of the Israel lobby’s strengths, Brzezinski observes, “The nature of American domestic politics was such that the President had the greatest leverage in his first year of office, less so in his second, and so forth. The more time he had for persuasion and for the subsequent progress toward peace to be manifest, the more opportunity he had to act. Friction with Israel made little sense in the third or fourth Presidential years, for such conflict would be adversely reflected in the mass media and in financial support for the Democratic Party.” 

The administration’s chances of using the first year effectively grew slimmer when Israel’s Labor Party lost election to Menachem Begin’s Likud-led coalition in May 1977. Washington sensed a looming showdown with the hawkish Begin. Brzezinski pressed for more administration voices speak out on the Middle East, and an initially reluctant vice president Mondale gave a speech calling for Israeli withdrawal to the lines and preparation of a Palestinian “entity”. House leader Tip O’Neill told Brzezinski that “if the choice came down between the President and the pro-Israel lobby, the country would clearly choose the President—but only if the choice was clearly posed.” Senator Abraham Ribicoff, a Jewish liberal wary of Begin, passed word through Walter Mondale that Carter needed to stand firm. Cy Vance passed on gossip from veteran Washington insider Sol Linowitz that the Jewish community had reached the conclusion that “if they pressed hard enough, the President will yield.” This apparently was the outcome of a meeting Carter had with Jewish leaders, in which he professed his commitment to Israel, while outlining his plans to push Tel Aviv towards a peace settlement. 

By August, Carter, according to Brzezinski’s diary notes, “indicated his increasing frustration with the Israeli position and his unwillingness to maintain a policy in which in effect we are financing their conquests and they simply deny us in an intransigent fashion and generally make a mockery of our advice and preferences. He was extremely tough-minded on this subject and he was echoed by Vance, who suggested that if the Israelis open up a single more settlement, . . .we should initiate talks with the PLO.” 

It is one thing to display tough-mindedness in a meeting with people who essentially agree with you. Carter might have survived a showdown with prominent American Jews over Israeli intransigence — we will never know. Certainly many American Jews considered Begin’s stance reckless. But it is hard to imagine any American president, especially a Democrat, with the stomach for such a showdown.

In November 1977 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, in a dramatic gesture, sought to break the logjam by going to Jerusalem. In his speech to the Knesset, Sadat made it clear that in return for peace, Israel would need to make a full withdrawal, and allow the Palestinians to build a state on the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps Sadat, whose primary concern was recovery of Egypt’s own territory, had already decided he would settle for a separate peace. to settle for less. In the wake of Sadat’s Jerusalem speech, Begin came to Washington and Carter pressed him on the Palestinian issue. Begin floated a concept of Palestinian “autonomy” — a vague formula which Brzezinski, sensing that it might be pregnant with possibilities, sought to tease out. Autonomy, Brezezinski said, could mean anything from a “Basutoland under Israeli control” to a way station on the path to real statehood.

The spring of 1978 was taken up by a conflict over American arms sales to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which Israel opposed. Brzezinski wrote, “during this period all of us were under severe attack from the Jewish lobby, and much time was consumed in meetings and explanations. These were rarely pleasant, even though the top Jewish leaders were more understanding of our need to develop ties with the more moderate Arab states.” Brzezinski complained sharply over dinner to Moshe Dayan about Israel’s efforts to block the arms sales, offering that the President would win a confrontation, and threatening to go public on Israel’s nuclear arsenal. In the end, the arms package, modified with more jets for Israel, did go through.

By the summer, whatever momentum had been generated by Sadat’s gesture had evaporated. The Carter team hoped to unveil a proposal bridging previous Egyptian and Israel positions, one that confirmed UN Resolution 242 (which called for Israel to withdraw form the conquered territory and the Arabs to make peace with Israel– land for peace) got Israel out of the Sinai and advanced the Palestinians along a road to self-determination. “How are we prepared to deal with an Israeli rejection of our proposal?” Brzezinski asked Carter in a July memo. “Do we have the political strength to manage a prolonged strain in U.S.-Israeli relations? What kind of forces can we marshal and in what manner in order to prevail? These are the central questions, and they touch on both international and domestic sensitivities. Above all, you must decide whether at this stage you are prepared to see this matter through to the very end. . . if we go public and then do not prevail, our Middle East policy will be in shambles. . If we go ‘public’ we must prevail.”

Brzezinski’s questions were simply too much for the Carter administration—to answer them would require a kind of war gaming about how to neutralize an important part of the American establishment and vital part of the Democratic coalition. In any case, there no record that the administration ever explored them. Carter’s response was to suggest a summit meeting with Begin and Sadat, an historic gathering where Carter himself could overcome the deadlock. Going in, Brzezinski urged the administration to be prepared for failure, to make clear that “refusal to accept our proposals would jeopardize the U.S.-Israeli relationship.” 

Invitations to Camp David were sent out in August 1978. The thirteen days in September were unusual by any standard of diplomacy: three leaders and their national security entourages isolated in a compound in the Maryland hills, with no press around. Carter worked like a man possessed, drafting original language for the document and engaging in nearly continuous meetings with Egyptian and Israeli officials in search of mutually acceptable formulations. For diversion, the Americans played a lot of tennis; Brzezinski played two games of chess with Menachem Begin.* 

Israel approached the summit with a single goal. Even before Sadat’s peace gesture, Tel Aviv’s foreign ministry had been working on removing Egypt from the conflict by working out a separate peace. Such a deal was overwhelmingly in Israel’s interests—something Begin and government recognized even as they quibbled over every hilltop and settlement and timetable for implementing the withdrawal. But the haggling served a larger purpose, as Brzezinski aide William Quandt points out in his analysis of Camp David:

“Begin, more than any of the other negotiators, seemed to have a feel for the strategic use of time, taking the negotiations to the brink of collapse over secondary issues to avoid being pressed on key problems. Sadat, by contrast, simply refused to negotiate over those matters of deepest concern to him—Egyptian land and sovereignty—while leaving to his aides the unhappy task of trying to stand up to Begin on the Palestinian issue.. . Begin’s position was also strengthened by his willingness to accept failure in the talks. Both Sadat and Carter were more committed to a positive outcome, and Begin could credibly use the threat of walking out, as he did, to extract concessions.” 

At one point late in the negotiations, Sadat, frustrated by Begin’s refusal to give any ground on the West Bank, packed his bags and prepared to leave. Carter rushed to the Sadat cabin to explain that his departure would mean the end of the American-Egyptian relationship—that the failure of negotiations would be put on Sadat. It was a revealing moment: despite the fact that Sadat’s positions were far closer to the White House’s own than Israel’s were, when push to came to shove, an American president could threaten Egypt, and did not hesitate to do so. The same was not true for Israel.

Negotiations on the West Bank and Gaza did not come to a head until near the end of the fortnight. Before then, the Israelis persisted in arguing that the war of 1967 gave Israel the right to change frontiers. Begin refused to accept the applicability of UN Resolution 242 to the West Bank. As the Israeli set out his vision of the West Bank, outlining all the controls, veto rights and privileges he would retain for Israel, Carter exploded “What you want to do is to make the West Bank part of Israel. “ Vance seconded the President. Brzezinski added “This is profoundly sad—you really want to retain political control, vetoes, military governor, broad definition of public order. We thought you were willing to grant genuine self-government.” Moshe Dayan, ever the diplomat, responded “Professor Brzezinski, we are not after political control. If it looks that way to you, we will look at it again.” A breakdown was averted. Carter went back to redrafting, focusing on the idea that the Israeli proposal for home rule would be worked into a five year transitional period. On the seventh day of the negotiations, the Israelis were still objecting to any drafting which highlighted the words “inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war.” Dayan told Vance that the summit would end in failure, and Carter’s intransigence would be blamed. 

But on September 16th, the eleventh day at Camp David hills, the key compromise, actually an American concession, emerged. According to Bill Quandt’s account, it was then that the American draft pertaining to Gaza and the West Bank was fundamentally changed. “The elements of 242, including withdrawal, which had previously been spelled out were deleted. The language was changed to make it clear that the negotiations, but not necessarily the results of the negotiations, would be based on the principles of 242. And the negotiations about the West Bank and Gaza were artfully obfuscated by creating two tracks, one involving peace-treaty negotiations between Israel and Jordan and the other involving talks between Israel and representatives of the Palestinians.” Quandt concluded, “It may take a lawyer to explain how, but Begin successfully protected his position that 242 did not apply to negotiations over the West Bank’s future, the Americans accepted the ambiguity, and Sadat may well have wondered what all the verbal gymnastics were about.” 

To say the least, the ambiguity does not leap out from a simple reading of the Camp David Accords. The document does indeed make it seem that the West Bank negotiations are premised on 242, and set up a path towards Palestinian self-determination in some form. But unlike the more specific provisions over Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, there is no explicit promise that the negotiations would actually lead anywhere. At least, Carter thought, he could help secure his preferred outcome by halting the West Bank settlement program which Begin had recently initiated. Carter, so he believed, elicited from Begin a promise to freeze the building of new settlements for the five-year duration of the Palestinian autonomy negotiations.

Carter promptly conveyed to Sadat the oral promise as he shuffled between the cabins of the two men. The Israelis promised him a letter the next day, affirming their promise. But the letter Israel delivered did no such thing. Instead it linked the settlement freeze to the duration of the Sinai negotiations, which were to be wrapped up in three months. Carter refused to accept the letter, and asked for another one. Quandt writes “alarm bells should have gone off, but so many other issues were on the agenda that day, especially a diversionary argument over Jerusalem which erupted in the afternoon, that both Carter and Vance continued to act if there had merely been a misunderstanding that would be cleared up as soon as Begin sent back a new draft.” 

The Americans never did receive a letter confirming what Carter believed Begin had promised. But for the wider world, (except, significantly, the Arab world) Carter appeared to achieve what he wanted. As the summit ended, Brzezinski briefed the press. “There was an audible gasp when I announced the conditions of the Egyptian-Israeli agreement, particularly the point that the peace treaty would be signed in three months. The newspapermen could hardly believe it. The sense of excitement mounted steadily as the briefing went on I had trouble extricating myself. . . At ten thirty the President entered with Sadat and Begin, having landed a few minutes earlier by helicopter. There was thunderous applause as he announced the success. . . ” 

Less than a week after this triumphant moment Carter and Brzezinski were worrying openly about what they had wrought. Begin immediately went on a media tour in the US, claiming Israel’s right to remain in the West Bank indefinitely and to continue building settlements. Brzezinski noted in his journal that Begin “is trying to create the impression that the only accord that really counts is the Israeli-Egyptian agreement. If he can get away with it, he will obtain a separate treaty and then the whole structure of peace in the Middle East will crumble.” But get away with it he did. Of course the peace did not crumble everywhere. Israel flourished. Begin and Ariel Sharon launched a bloody expedition into Lebanon in an effort to wipe out the PLO and Palestinian nationalism once and for all. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank was reinforced by hundreds of thousands of colonizing settlers, and their accompanying road and checkpoint network. Muslim extremism, whose bitter fruit was tasted by America on 9/11, began to grow in the dank spaces of the Mubarak dictatorship, the only sort of Egyptian regime which could accept Camp David as guidepost of its regional strategy. 

Less than two months after the Camp David framework was completed, (but before the final treaty was signed) Carter and foreign policy team were discussing the cable of ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, which told of increasingly firm Israeli demands for money and of Israeli stubbornness on the West Bank. Brzezinski records that he raised the question “of whether we should in fact be pushing so hard for an Israeli-Egyptian treaty if it is our intention to resolve also the West Bank issue. Once such a treaty is signed we will have less leverage.” Carter interjected that the Israelis don’t want to yield on the West Bank and Dayan has seized the PR initiative in terms of interpreting the negotiations to the public. Brzezinski writes “When I said that I thought the Israelis wanted essentially a separate peace, then U.S. payments, and finally a free hand in the West Bank, the President said that my remarks were brutally frank and perhaps oversimplistically stated. When I sarcastically responded ‘Thank You’ he looked at me very soberly and said ‘Yes, but I agree with you.’ ”

But of course, once committed to Camp David, Carter had little choice but to push to see it through. Honesty about the U.S.-Israel relationship was kept behind closed doors. Once the accord was finally signed the following March, Israel did withdraw from the Sinai. Predictably enough, the Palestinian autonomy talks went nowhere. Begin appointed his interior minister Yosef Burg of the National Religious Party to conduct them. Burg believed Israel’s right to the West Bank was embedded in scripture. The building of settlements accelerated. Moshe Dayan, who might have held a more forthcoming view of what autonomy for the Palestinians should mean, resigned from the government in protest. By then the Israeli cabinet was in the settlers’ hands. In the midst of the 1980 election campaign, Carter of course did nothing.

To recall this history is to recognize that so long as the Israel lobby is more powerful than the justice lobby, the United States is constitutionally incapable of being an honest broker in the Middle East. This unpalatable fact has asserted itself repeatedly, with Carter, Brzezinski and Vance, with George H.W. Bush and James Baker, and with Presidents Clinton and Obama. If a trend can be observed, it is that the United States has become even less able to stand up to Israel with each passing decade. And yet, looked at from a different perspective, the situation seems as fluid and subject to human agency as ever. If Israel’s influence over the American state (witness Obama’s repeated capitulations to Netanyahu) now seems decisive, its hold over the American societal imagination is far more tenuous than when Jimmy Carter entered the White House. Knowledge of the crime inflicted upon the people of Palestine may have grown fiftyfold in the past thirty years. At some point , there will have to be a recalibration, as American government begins to reflect these changing values. The tumult in the Arab world in the past month is a reminder, if one is needed, that no injustice need last forever.

*The Brzezinski-Begin relationship touches on the historically complex relationship between Polish Jewry and Poland’s Catholic elites. On Begin’s first visit to the United States as prime minister, before a bank of TV cameras, he approached Brzezinski and presented him some documents, found in a Jerusalem archive, bearing on his father’s activity as a Polish diplomat in Germany in the 1930’s, when he was engaged in saving Jewish lives. Brzezinski was “deeply touched by this gesture of human sensitivity, especially since it came in the wake of some of the personal attacks on me and on my role in seeking to promote a peace settlement in the Middle East.”

About Scott McConnell

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of the American Conservative. The former editorial page editor of The New York Post, he has written for Fortune, The New Criterion, National Review, Commentary and many other publications.

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97 Responses

  1. annie
    March 6, 2011, 10:06 am

    Scott McConnell , very grateful you’ve spelled this out for those of us not as familiar with the accords as we should be. i’m bookmarking it.

    Carter promptly conveyed to Sadat the oral promise as he shuffled between the cabins of the two men. The Israelis promised him a letter the next day, affirming their promise. But the letter Israel delivered did no such thing. Instead it linked the settlement freeze to the duration of the Sinai negotiations, which were to be wrapped up in three months. Carter refused to accept the letter, and asked for another one. Quandt writes “alarm bells should have gone off, but so many other issues were on the agenda that day, especially a diversionary argument over Jerusalem which erupted in the afternoon, that both Carter and Vance continued to act if there had merely been a misunderstanding that would be cleared up as soon as Begin sent back a new draft.”

    Brzezinski records that he raised the question “of whether we should in fact be pushing so hard for an Israeli-Egyptian treaty if it is our intention to resolve also the West Bank issue. Once such a treaty is signed we will have less leverage.” Carter interjected that the Israelis don’t want to yield on the West Bank and Dayan has seized the PR initiative in terms of interpreting the negotiations to the public. Brzezinski writes “When I said that I thought the Israelis wanted essentially a separate peace, then U.S. payments, and finally a free hand in the West Bank, the President said that my remarks were brutally frank and perhaps oversimplistically stated. When I sarcastically responded ‘Thank You’ he looked at me very soberly and said ‘Yes, but I agree with you.’ ”

    To recall this history is to recognize that so long as the Israel lobby is more powerful than the justice lobby, the United States is constitutionally incapable of being an honest broker in the Middle East. This unpalatable fact has asserted itself repeatedly, with Carter, Brzezinski and Vance, with George H.W. Bush and James Baker, and with Presidents Clinton and Obama. If a trend can be observed, it is that the United States has become even less able to stand up to Israel with each passing decade. And yet, looked at from a different perspective, the situation seems as fluid and subject to human agency as ever. If Israel’s influence over the American state (witness Obama’s repeated capitulations to Netanyahu) now seems decisive, its hold over the American societal imagination is far more tenuous than when Jimmy Carter entered the White House. Knowledge of the crime inflicted upon the people of Palestine may have grown fiftyfold in the past thirty years. At some point , there will have to be a recalibration, as American government begins to reflect these changing values.

  2. Hostage
    March 6, 2011, 10:41 am

    Quandt concluded, “It may take a lawyer to explain how, but Begin successfully protected his position that 242 did not apply to negotiations over the West Bank’s future

    The Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of customary international law and the UN Charter. Article 13 of the UN Charter tasks the General Assembly with promoting the progressive codification of international law. It adopted GA resolution 686 (VII), “Ways And Means For Making The Evidence Of Customary International Law More Readily Available” and mandated that a répertoire of the practice of UN organs be prepared under the supervision of the Secretariat of the United Nations.

    The official ‘Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council’ contains an analytical table of Security Council decisions (Chapter 8) for 1966-1968. It says that resolution 242 contains several “substantial measures that govern the final settlement” One is the UN Charter prohibition against the threat or use of force and here is another from the list starting on page 5:

    “E. Provisions bearing on issues of substance including terms of settlement”
    * “1. Enunciation or affirmation of principles governing settlement”
    **”(a) Inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war,
    Situation in the Middle East(II): Decision of 22 November 1967 (resolution 242 (1967)) preamble” link to un.org

    Here is how one lawyer summed it up: “This is not difficult – from Security Council resolution 242 (1967) through to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), the key underlying requirements have remained the same – that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State.” — Opinion of Judge Rosalyn Cohen Higgins in the 2004 ICJ Wall Case link to icj-cij.org

    The Oslo Accords aim to implement resolution 242: “Article I: Aim of negotiations: The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council (the “Council”), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). — Text of the 1993 Oslo Accords Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements link to news.bbc.co.uk

    In the 2004 Wall case the Court concluded that Israel was illegally interfering with the exercise of the Palestinian (jus cogens) right of self-determination. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides in “Article 52 Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force: A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations. Article 53 Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”) A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.” link to untreaty.un.org

    So, the notion that Begin or anyone else can create loopholes in the applicable international law by engaging in semantic shenanigans is utter nonsense.

    • Ellen
      March 6, 2011, 11:13 am

      Yes, but the Israeli leadership gets away with it nevertheless. Until, that is, it no longer does.

      And when that day comes, it will not serve Israel at all as a backlash to the ongoing abuse of process and partners takes place. And that is the looming danger to Israel, caused by failure of it’s own bankrupt ideology and leadership. And Israel will have itself to blame for it’s own de-legitimization.

      With fairness (a seemingly foreign concept in a Zionist enterprise) Israel will be legitimate. Here is to hoping in legitimacy.

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2011, 4:56 pm

      Hostage, what was Begin’s argument that the others “bought?” If we knew, that might show us the nature of the loophole he used. Israel currently uses a loophole regarding its duties to people who are under its occupation by asserting that it is not occupying, but rather “administrating” the land it took control of by force in 1967. If memory serves, Israel’s interpretation of settlements is that they are in disputed land because the relevant agreed document does not expressly say “the settlements,” directly implying all settlements, but rather it says “settlements,” which Israel interprets to mean some settlements. Hence room to haggle forever. Which ones? Yet
      I’ve read that the French translation does expressly say “the settlements.”

      Expansionism in itself can be due to a number of factors, including a nation state increasing its economic, political, military, religious and cultural power. When this occurs the world order and balance between nations in the world is affected. Expansion is a direct threat to world order. When Germany was defeated all of its territory gained through expansion was split up between the western allies and the USSR. The UN itself was a 1945 direct result of that war, which was itself due to a failure of the League Of Nations. The UN had two goals, one to prevent the reoccurrence of any war as destructive and devastating as World War II, and two, to promote world unity and peace. The creation of the UN was the beginning of a new world order which lasted for a long period of time–arguably at least until Bush Jr unilaterally attacked Iraq.

      International law relies on the agreement between nations. So governments of nation states will abide to international law if it is in their best interest, but sometimes what is in the best interest of one nation may be a catalyst in destabilizing world order. International law can be enforced through political, moral, economic, financial and physical sanctions.
      
Such sanctions were effective in dealing with the practice of apartheid which was government policy in South Africa.

      Peacekeepers and the act of peacekeeping is another mechanism for achieving world order. The decision of deploying peacekeepers is made by the UN Security Council. This is an organization devoted to ensuring and promoting world order. Peacekeepers are only deployed though when all states in the conflict agree to it. Because of the consensual nature of the UN the effectiveness of the Security Council is questionable.

      Between the US unilateral attack on Iraq and Israel’s on-going equal thumbing of its nose at the UN regarding the Palestinians, and both of those countries pushing for war on Iran and engaging in every sanction they can against Iran, it is rational to fear that the UN will go the way of the League Of Nations, and we are in for WW3; it’s just a question of time.

      • Hostage
        March 7, 2011, 1:46 am

        Israel has employed several approaches to the problem of the settlements. Most recently, the Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Alan Baker attempted to circumvent the provisions of Articles 52 & 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Articles 7 & 8 of the Fourth Geneva Convention by claiming Israel had negotiated a binding international agreement that made the settlements legal. He pointed to a legal advantage bestowed on the settlers by Oslo Accords and said: “The central claim was always that they are living in the area contrary to international law, which forbids the transfer of a civilian population to an occupied territory. Now they are living there by agreement — by the force of an international treaty that determines that their status will be decided in the final agreement.”

        Baker also authored Israel’s 230 page written statement in the 2004 Wall Case. In Israel’s executive summary of the case, and in its other pleadings, he advanced that now familiar sure-fire slam-dunk legal theory that readers of his JCPA and newspaper articles have heard ad nauseum. A review of the Oslo Accords, the applicable law, and the status of the territory was a preliminary to determining the legal consequences of the construction of the Wall. All 15 judges, including Judge Buergenthal, disagreed completely with Baker’s theory of the case. They all declared that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable in the Occupied Palestinian territory. 14 of the judges joined in the majority opinion which stated that Israel had facilitated the transfer of portions of its own population into the Occupied Territory in violation of international law. Anyone who follows the ICJ knows that getting all of the judges to agree on a disputed point of international law is a bigger miracle than the parting of the Red Sea. In fact I think it my be the only case in which it has ever happened. There is only one Court on Earth that has general jurisdiction to render a binding decision in treaty disputes – the ICJ. Alan Baker could always put his money where his mouth is; accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court; and ask for a legally binding opinion about the Geneva Conventions. But in their advisory opinion the Court has already ruled that Israel had established the settlements in violation of international law. Nonetheless, in an article about the recent UN Security Council resolution on settlements, Baker was still reciting the same old hasbara fellowship talking points. link to jcpa.org

        A lot of ink has been spilled over the failed attempts to include the definite article, “the”, in the English version of the resolution. But that is a deliberate subterfuge to draw attention away from the unsuccessful attempts to delete the withdrawal clause regarding the armed forces of Israel.

        In his memoirs Abba Eban wrote that the language in resolution 242 created a perceptible loophole in favor of the Israelis. See Abba Eban: An Autobiography, Random House, 1977, 0394493028, page 451 That proposition stands for the idea that nations are governed by the non-existent rules of English grammar regarding a missing definite article, rather than jus cogens. The negotiating history behind resolution 242 had already been published by Arthur Lall, Sydney Bailey, Glenn Perry, and many others. In 2000-2001 the documents were finally declassified and published as a chapter in the Foreign Relations of the United States.

        *Sydney Bailey wrote that Eban himself interpreted the inadmissibility clause to be a call for unconditional withdrawal, and said that if it was included it would lead to conflict between Israel and the US. link to books.google.com
        *The FRUS said that Mr. Bitan of the Israeli Foreign Office said “Israel is “asking, begging” that U.S. not start with this resolution” and that he “particularly referred to para two and the phrase relating to the “inadmissibility of conquest of territory by war, etc.” … “In conclusion, and with some diffidence, although nonetheless forthrightly, Bitan said he instructed to say on behalf Eshkol and Eban that in their view, if we persist along what they regard as our current line, we could be on collision course.” link to history.state.gov
        *Goldberg subsequently met with Lord Caradon and explained that he had circulated a draft with the withdrawal clause deleted and that if it became known as a US resolution he would disown it. link to history.state.gov
        *Despite Goldberg’s efforts, on the day of the vote all of the draft resolutions that were tabled by the various delegations once again contained a withdrawal clause.
        *On the day of the vote the representative of France called attention to the fact that his country considered the withdrawal of occupation forces an essential point. He noted that the resolution which had just been adopted, “if we refer to the French text which is equally authentic with the English, leaves no room for ambiguity, since it speaks of withdrawal “des territoires occupes”, which indisputably corresponds to the [English] expression “occupied territories”. See paragraph 111 on pdf file page 14 link to un.org
        *British Foreign Secretary George Brown gave an interview to the London monthly, “The Middle East” (May 1978) which clarified the exact meaning of the resolution and the nature of any territorial revisions:

        It would have been impossible to get the Resolution through if the words “all” or “the” were included. But the English text is clear. Withdrawal from territories means just that, nothing more, nothing less. The French text is equally legitimate. In the French translation the word “des” is used before territories, meaning “from the”, implying all the territories seized in the ’67 war. The Israelis knew this. They understood that it called for withdrawal with only minor border changes from the old frontiers – just to straighten the lines. I told the Israelis they had better accept it, because if they didn’t they could be left with something worse, and with our version there would be something to argue about later.” — See Palestine and the law: guidelines for the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict, by Musa E. Mazzawi, Ithaca Press, 1997, ISBN: 0863722229, page 209

        On the day of the vote, the Indian delegate quoted George Brown’s statements on British policy to the General Assembly regarding full withdrawal, and the British representative, Lord Caradon, said “We stand by our declarations”. In the same “Middle East” interview Brown said that they had arranged beforehand for the Indian delegate to make that statement, and also that they would not respond so that interpretation would remain on the record.

        Glenn Perry notes that “The absence of any rejection of the “full withdrawal” interpretation was the result of a behind-the-scenes agreement. Until November 22, there was uncertainty whether the United Kingdom would expressly reject any clarification of the meaning of the draft, in which case the Soviet Union was prepared to veto it.” Perry cites the account contained in Arthur Lall, “United Nations and the Middle East Crisis, 1967, Columbia University Press. Lall was a member of the UN delegation from India:

        “A crucial meeting took place at 3 p.m. [on November 22] between the Arabs and Caradon. He was able to reassure them that their position on the question of withdrawal remained unprejudiced. Further negotiations followed between Parthasarathi [the Indian representative] and Caradon which involved also the French and Nigerian delegates. As a result of these late exchanges Caradon agreed to delete from his proposed response to the Indian delegate’s projected statement the words “But the Indian interpretation is not binding on the Council.” On this basis Parthasarathi decided to vote for the resolution and so informed the Soviet Union. — See Glenn Perry, Security Council Resolution 242: The Withdrawal Clause, Middle East Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn, 1977), pp. 413-433 esp. 429

      • Citizen
        March 7, 2011, 5:45 am

        Thanks, Hostage, for sharing your supplemental information.

      • Hostage
        March 7, 2011, 12:48 pm

        You are welcome Citizen.

  3. Citizen
    March 6, 2011, 11:09 am

    On CPSAN now, Hillary Clinton bragging about her Department’s foreign policies in terms of what $ it has budgeted for what under the new mandate to cut federal spending. It will cut $ for humanitarian foreign aid, especially in Europe. It will fund $1.3 billion for Israel. She was formally introduced with a special thanks by Berman over the Adminisration’s recent veto at the UN. AT 12:45 PM today, following this segment, Senate Hearings with Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton.

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2011, 11:48 am

      Berman, honcho of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, just asked Hillary if the Arab change in the wind will change her policy regarding the I-P conflict. She says inter alia “the Palestinians” expect us to continue to work with Egypt as we have all along regarding our support for the peace process. She prefaced that committment by saying “we knew what was happening all along” as to the Arab revolt against the Arab regimes. It’s just disgusting, this onspoken conspiracy between Berman’s ilk and Hillary & her ilk to keep the wool pulled over the eyes of the American public–God forbid they ever got a word of truth of
      what we actually bring to the Middle East Street and how such gifts
      keep recruiting terrorists as Beiden and Petraeus said, and blowback, like 9/11.

      Now Ackerman, addressing Hillary, is droning on about the Arab revolt, how it’s not against the US or Israel—there’s an opportunity for the US (that is, Israel) to take advantage of this rebellion–let’s us and Israel give a bunch of people 10 million each to go preach the new gospel to the new young Arab rebel leaders. Hillary says, good idea, we can make them real free market enterpreneurs, bring them to the US for training, a new labor-intensive reach out, our new social network speaking farsi to the new Arabs, etc.

      Now Rep Burton (R, IN) is asking Hillary about our dependence on foreign oil if the new Arabs don’t buy into our philosophy? Because of environmental concerns, we are not weaning ourselves from Arab oil, but rather wer are impeding our independence from it. We risk losing 30% of our Arab oil dependence. Isn’t it time to become energy independent in the next decade, e.g., convert our big trucks as T Bone Pickens says we should? Hillary: I agree our Arab oil dependence is a national security issue. No single answer. Drilling is long term, we need short term solutions–a whole menu of them. She doesn’t specify.

      Rep Faleomavaega (American Somoa, D): your department is only 1 % of GNP. Hillary: It’s imperative we contine our mission in Iraq–forget how we got there.

      The Rep F: “How about all the suffering natives in S America & Pacific island nations? How about existing cluster bombs in Laos & Camodia? Hillary: We are in competition with China for hearts n minds there–we should at least fly our flag there.

      Rohrabacher, House rep: asks Hillary about forced abortions. Re the nature of foreign aid, does it make sense for us to borrow money from China and give it to other countries, especially to China since we give to the global fund where China is the 4th largest recipient of thsoe funds–and we pay interest! Hillary: Because of what happend since 2001, we have to do things; HIV is a devil we need to stamp out. R: Pakistan has gotten billions of our foreign aid, how long we give money to the Taliban? Hillary: we belive our combo of aid to Pakistan is in our interest.

  4. Avi
    March 6, 2011, 11:13 am

    Scott McConnell,

    That’s a great article.

  5. Citizen
    March 6, 2011, 12:14 pm

    Mcconnell’s take on the Camp David Accords is very accurate. The key is that Israel later said expansion of Israeli settlements was agreed to be halted by only a 3 month pause. Carter et al too took their eyes from the prize, blinded at the moment over the lesser issues, while Begin did not. The other important thing is that a US president could change the status quo by simply taking a stand against Israel’s agenda–in public, and, also in public, telling the American people why. That is apparently beyond the strength of any past, present, or future US President although it is in the best interest of all concerned here and over there. This can only mean one thing, especially in light of the Arab Street revolt. Israel will take the US down with itself in WW3. Americans are oblivious.

    • Hostage
      March 6, 2011, 2:14 pm

      The other important thing is that a US president could change the status quo by simply taking a stand against Israel’s agenda

      §204 “Recognition and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations: Law of the United States”, in “The Restatement of the Law (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States” explains that under the Constitution of the United States the President has exclusive authority to recognize or not to recognize a foreign state or government and to recognize foreign sovereignty over territory. It also explains that the Supreme Court long ago affirmed the binding power of those determinations on the other branches of the government. That is the reason the US Embassy is still located in Tel Aviv despite the so-called Jerusalem Embassy Act.

      That means President Truman’s authority to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel within the boundaries of the UN resolution of 29 November 1947 can not be legally challenged. It also means that a sympathetic President could stand up for the Palestinians and the State of Palestine and that neither the Congress nor AIPAC could prevent it.

      • Citizen
        March 7, 2011, 5:47 am

        Thanks again, Hostage, for sharing your supplemental information. I notice the hasbara bots here have been unusually quiet in this matter.

  6. Oscar
    March 6, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Scott, this is a phenomenal summary with keen insight on the repercussions of Camp David to present day. Much appreciated to be able to find this on Mondo.

  7. eee
    March 6, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Whatever Carter did, there would not have been a satisfactory solution to the Palestinian issue, first and foremost because the US did not recognize the PLO. What leadership would have implemented any agreement on the side of the Palestinians? Since the US would not have demanded the right of return either, which Palestinian would have agreed to such an arrangement anyway?

    But let’ say, a miracle would have happened in Camp David and in parallel to peace with Egypt something like the Oslo Accords would also have been negotiated. How would that have made the Palestinian situation better? Very likely events on the ground would have followed the same path.

    The moment Sadat went to Jerusalem and committed himself to peace, he knew the Palestinian issue was just grandstanding on his part so as not to look a sellout to the Arab cause. Sadat was not especially fond of Arafat to say the least. Begin of course knew this and took full advantage.

    Begin did not negotiate from a position of strength because of the lobby. He negotiated from a position of strength because he knew Sadat was eager to make a deal on the Sinai, he knew Carter wanted an achievement under his belt and probably just as important, Begin was an ideologue. Anyone that denies this about Begin does not understand him. Begin would rather die than give up the West Bank. Absolutely nothing that the US could have done would have caused him to change his mind. In the worst case scenario he would have simply resigned and gone to another election forcing Labor to campaign under the slogan of giving up to US pressure.

    • Potsherd2
      March 6, 2011, 2:17 pm

      He would have agreed, then gone back on his word, just as he did on Gaza.

    • RoHa
      March 6, 2011, 8:09 pm

      “But let’ say, a miracle would have happened in Camp David …”

      That should be “But let’s say a miracle had happened in Camp David…”

  8. MHughes976
    March 6, 2011, 1:03 pm

    What a sad story. Begin and his successors have always had the measure of the West, the West never having the measure of them. We keep thinking that flexibility over the Palestinians would be in Israel’s interests as we conceive them. What I think we don’t understand that it is extremely difficult, perhaps utterly impossible, for someone whose interests are utterly tied up with Zionist beliefs to make an agreement which concedes to non-Jewish people exactly what Zionism says they cannot have or that God has forbidden, ie a place in Palestine by right rather than by privilege.

    • seafoid
      March 6, 2011, 4:47 pm

      Zionism is a Hebrew word that means bad faith.

      So they got 30 years to expand YESHA. The Arabs still hate them.
      Israel is 5.5 million Jews. In a Middle East on the verge of massive change. With half a million settlers living on the Palestinian state’s land.
      There is no reverse gear.

      Israel won’t last as long as Byzantium. I don’t even think it will last as long as the Crusader kingdom.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 11:32 pm

        it’ll outlast you, seafoid. take comfort in that someday in the future it’ll wither away and there may be a seafoidoid descendant to say that the “Old seafoid was right!”

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2011, 5:25 pm

      The USA has been blinded by irrational American purist guilt over the Shoah coupled with the campaign finance & mainstream media power of the Israel Firsters in America. Begin need only look at how his fellow Zionists got Truman by the balls to be confident he had the hole card. This was the template to take over the US congress and install Zionists in top slots in every key committee. It operated to coherce Obama to reneg on his Cairo Speech promise, to ignore OP Cast Lead & Goldstone. Why should Begin have bent when Johnson muzzled the USS Liberty’s surviving crew and the US MSM ignored it? And Bibi knows the same, he has the US in his pocket, as he was caught saying to fellow Jews.

      • Ellen
        March 6, 2011, 6:56 pm

        Bibi said it right on US television to a US audience.

        “the secret is that we have America…”

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 6, 2011, 8:47 pm

        JFK was NOT in Israel’s pocket which some argue may have accounted for his early exit. As I have mentioned before, (and it can not be mentioned enough!). Kennedy’s positions on three key issues not only differed from those of LBJ but stepped over lines that Israel could not allow/afford to be crossed:

        1) He supported Res/ 194, the Palestinian right of return, both publicly and privately, which his UN delegate reinforced a few days before his assassination. He did not believe that all those who left could be allowed to return but that substantial number could and the others would be afforded compensation.

        2) Both publicly and privately, he was adamantly against Israel developing nuclear weapons and was outraged at Ben-Gurion’s efforts to deceive him.

        3) Under his brother as attorney general, his Justice Dept. made a determined effort to have the American Zionist Council, AIPAC’s name before it had a nose job, register as a foreign agent under the FARA and the AZC’s lawyers delayed and delayed until they didn’t have to any more. Under LBJ there was no longer a push to register, and the new president, wrapped in the arms of the Jewish establishment, and when no one was looking, in the arms of the lovely former Mossad agent, Matilda Krim, whose husband, Arthur was a friend and major donor (and not just of his wife) allowed Israel, as we know, to get away with everything including murder on the high seas..

      • Citizen
        March 7, 2011, 5:53 am

        Yes, Johnson was a traitor to US best interests regarding our foreign policy in the Middle East. Possibly the biggest hack to ever hold the highest office in our land. Further, his domestic legislation, although needed, was very short-sighted, and we are paying domestically for his myopia to this day.

      • Citizen
        March 7, 2011, 6:18 am

        Thanks, Jeff, for your information. I wonder why the Kennedy Brothers efforts to curb Zionism and Israel’s bent to get the bomb was not even mentioned in this aggregate of the (inconsistent) facts and dueling speculation of motives surrounding the murder of the Kennedy Brothers (and linkeage to the murder also of MLK)? link to spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk

        Has anybody ever brought this to the attention of the American public? I mean especially the work of both Kennedy brothers to curb Israel & Zionism in the USA at the time each was assasinated?

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 7, 2011, 9:31 pm

        It wasn’t mentioned for the obvious reasons, but also because much of the documentation was not available at the time and has since been declassified. There was, however, enough public information available for those who have written the history of Israel-US relations to mention it, e.g., Chomsky, and he wrote not a word about it The Fateful Triangle.

        Some of these files are available at Grant Smith’s Israel Lobby Archive which he has extracted from declassified documents.

        Today, he has released, material on one of the most important behind the scenes players in American Jewish history, Abe Feinberg. People should check it out at: link to irmep.org

      • annie
        March 7, 2011, 10:15 pm

        interesting link jeffrey, thanks

  9. Kathleen
    March 6, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Thanks Scott. So clear. Begin and Sadat killed soon after
    “. In Brzezinski’s account, central administration figures repeatedly broached the idea of breaking openly with Israel, and explaining to the American people their frustration with Israeli intransigence. And yet one senses this was never really a serious option. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin seemed to know this, as Netanyahu and his team do today.”

    ————————————————————————–

    Begin was quite the terrorist.
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Clear that Israeli’s have always wanted the West Bank and the illegal settlements continue to expand. The deal with Egypt and the Accord gave cover to the illegal expansion. I believe the only time an American President was willing to cut off aid to Israel if they continued to expand the illegal settlements was Bush 41.
    —————————————————————————

    “Israel approached the summit with a single goal. Even before Sadat’s peace gesture, Tel Aviv’s foreign ministry had been working on removing Egypt from the conflict by working out a separate peace. Such a deal was overwhelmingly in Israel’s interests—something Begin and government recognized even as they quibbled over every hilltop and settlement and timetable for implementing the withdrawal. But the haggling served a larger purpose, as Brzezinski aide William Quandt points out in his analysis of Camp David:

    “Begin, more than any of the other negotiators, seemed to have a feel for the strategic use of time, taking the negotiations to the brink of collapse over secondary issues to avoid being pressed on key problems. Sadat, by contrast, simply refused to negotiate over those matters of deepest concern to him—Egyptian land and sovereignty—while leaving to his aides the unhappy task of trying to stand up to Begin on the Palestinian issue.. . Begin’s position was also strengthened by his willingness to accept failure in the talks. Both Sadat and Carter were more committed to a positive outcome, and Begin could credibly use the threat of walking out, as he did, to extract concessions.”

    AND THE MSM WOULD HAVE DUMPED THE FAILURE INTO SADAT AND CARTERS LAPS EVEN THOUGH BEGIN WAS NOT REALLY GOING TO DEAL
    —————————————————————————-
    “. The building of settlements accelerated. Moshe Dayan, who might have held a more forthcoming view of what autonomy for the Palestinians should mean, resigned from the government in protest. By then the Israeli cabinet was in the settlers’ hands. In the midst of the 1980 election campaign, Carter of course did nothing.”

    Did not know that Moshe Dayan resigned in “protest” of settlements. Had no idea

    Who won those three chess games between Begin and Brzezinski?

    • Scott
      March 6, 2011, 2:53 pm

      Dayan is an interesting figure, even as a hawk. I was relying on Avi Shlaim’s “The Iron Wall” which says “Begin preferred Burg to Dayan, because Dayan wanted the autonomy talks to proceed and had some imaginative ideas on how to carry them forward. . . the last straw for Dayan was the government’s decision to expropriate private land on the West Bank to make room for new settlements by the religious settlements of Gush Emunim.. . .Disagreement with the official line on autonomy and the manner in which the negotiations were being conducted was given as the reason for the resignation.”

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 6, 2011, 3:24 pm

        It was, however, Dayan, who was among those in favor of strangling any economic growth in the newly captured territories on the basis that it would force the Palestinians to seek work (as cheap labor) in Israel and thus be economically dependent on Israel for their sustenance. If there should be protests on the part of the Palestinians, their ability to enter Israel to work would be turned off “like a spigot.”

        This worked for one generation of Palestinians. In 1987, twenty years later, their children refused to put up with it.

      • Hostage
        March 6, 2011, 5:55 pm

        In 1967 the US State Department told the Government of Israel that it would avoid publicly confronting Israel over policy differences regarding the settlements, e.g. link to history.state.gov The relevant portion of the minutes of the joint discussion said:

        4. Moving on to question of announced establishment Israeli settlements on West Bank and Syrian border, [Assistant Secretary Lucius] Battle said he wished to stress two points. First is need to avoid airing differences of opinion between us in public press. On other hand, in all honesty it is extremely important GOI actions during this period not provide ammunition for those at UN who would interpret GOI position as hardening in direction of territorial acquisition rather than negotiated settlement.

        In April of 1968 Secretary of State Rusk wrote a memo on the subject of Israeli settlements to the Embassy in Jerusalem directing the Ambassador to restate in strongest terms the US position on the question. link to history.state.gov He said:

        By setting up civilian or quasi-civilian outposts in the occupied areas the GOI adds serious complications to the eventual task of drawing up a peace settlement. Further, the transfer of civilians to occupied areas, whether or not in settlements which are under military control, is contrary to Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Finally, you should emphasize that no matter what rationale or explanation is put forward by the GOI, the establishment of civilian settlements in the occupied areas creates the strong appearance that Israel, contrary to the principle set forth in the UNSC Resolution and to US policy expressed in the President’s speech of June 19, does not intend to reach a settlement involving withdrawal from those areas.

        Defense Minister Moshe Dayan subsequently authored a classified memo proposing widespread settlement in the territories. It is cataloged in the Israeli State Archives as 153.8/7920/7A, Document 60, dated October 15, 1968 and said:

        “Settling Israelis in administered territory, as is known, contravenes international conventions, but there is nothing essentially new about that.”

      • seafoid
        March 7, 2011, 4:58 am

        “Settling Israelis in administered territory, as is known, contravenes international conventions, but there is nothing essentially new about that.”

        The decision that is going to destroy Israel.

      • Hostage
        March 7, 2011, 5:31 pm

        Dayan was the first Israeli official to float the “trial balloon” regarding the “disputed” status of the occupied territories during a speech to the UN in 1977. The memo demonstrates that even he knew that was a false statement.

  10. Scott
    March 6, 2011, 2:36 pm

    Re-checking , I now see they only had two games. 1-1. (Perhaps my editors can correct that.) As a former decent but not great tournament chess player, I’m very curious about the level. Zbig writes that when they first played, Begin claimed he hadn’t played since the NKVD interrupted him in order to arrest him in 194o. But then it turns out Mrs. Begin walked in the room while they were playing and said “Menachem just loves to play chess!”

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Haha. Scott, that’s a priceless tidbit. As a chess player myself I really do appreciate it. “Aw, gee, I haven’t played chess for ages–it will be like taking candy from a baby, but what the heck, set ‘em up.” When the BSr had been playing all along.

    • RoHa
      March 6, 2011, 8:13 pm

      “Begin claimed he hadn’t played since the NKVD interrupted him in order to arrest him in 194o.”

      A lie and a play for victim status in one go! How typically Israeli.

  11. Jeffrey Blankfort
    March 6, 2011, 2:42 pm

    A superior and important recounting by Scott of the events that led to Camp David and, unfortunately, one that has been avoided by those who in their simplistic analysis, would have us believe Camp David went just the way Washington wanted. That requires, of course, the discounting of the power of Israel and its domestic lobby over US policy.

    What should be added is that, before the treaty was actually signed, Israel, using the excuse of a PLO attack, invaded Lebanon, (the real first Israeli War on Lebanon which has been conveniently forgotten here but not there) which may have been as much a test to see what Egypt would do as to wipe out the Palestinians in Southern Lebanon. If Egypt would have responded in the defense of the Lebanese, that would have provided Begin with an excuse to cancel the agreement which he was not as eager to see completed as was Sadat as McConnell’s text indicates. Sadat’s failure to act or even break off the talks in solidarity with the Lebanese did not go unnoticed in the region and marked him as a traitor to the pan-Arab cause.

    After Israel had occupied Southern Lebanon for three months, Carter warned Begin that if Israeli troops were not withdrawn Israel would face the suspension of US aid. In his book “The Blood of Abraham,” Carter describes what happened:

    “As president, I considered this major invasion to be an over reaction to the PLO attack, a serious threat to peace in the region, and perhaps part of a design to establish a permanent Israeli presence in southern Lebanon. Also, such use of American weapons including cluster bombs violated the legal agreement between the United States and Israel, which specified that such armaments sold by us could be used only for defensive purposes against an attack on Israel.

    “In spite of my expressions of concern and worldwide outcry, Begin seemed determined to keep his forces in Lebanon for an extended period and – in another direct violation of American law — to transfer American weapons, including artillery and armored vehicles, to the Lebanese militia commanded by Major Saad Haddad. These troops had been trained and supported by the Israelis, in order to seal off the southern portion of the country against Palestinian terrorists. In carrying out this assignment, they also prevented Lebanese regular troops and UN peacekeeping forces from entering the area.

    “After consulting with Secretary Cyrus Vance and with key supporters of Israel in congress, I decided that we could not permit the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon to continue. In the event that Begin would not accede to our wishes, we prepared to notify Congress, as required by law, that US weapons were being used illegally in Lebanon, which would have automatically cut off all military aid to Israel. Also, I instructed the state department to prepare a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action.

    “The American consul general in Jerusalem was instructed to deliver a message to Prime Minister Begin that explained these plans and urged that he withdraw his forces. The report came back from Jerusalem that Begin read the message, stood quietly for a few moments, and then said, “Its over.”

    In the end, the American Jewish community did not reward Carter for securing Camp David, which the Zionist establishment opposed because it did not want to see Israel give up the Sinai; it would not forgive him for suggesting that the whole Israel-Arab issue be settled at a peace conference in Geneva, and it did not forgive him for threatening Begin with a cut-off in aid. Consequently, in 1980, running against Reagan, he only received 48% of the Jewish vote, the lowest percentage since they started keeping such statistics.

    That warning to Begin is yet another very important historical item that has been buried or ignored by those who downplay the influence of The Lobby and doggedly insist that Israel is supported because it is a US “strategic asset” when, if reality, it has lone been the other way around.

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2011, 5:45 pm

      Yes, Jeff, it has long been the other way around. And we have regular commenters here, the one of longest duration being Dick Witty, who constantly complain this blog established to criticize Israel’s conduct & the US rubber-stamping of same, is one-sided against Israel, a tiny blog they apparently equate with the entire US mainstream media which is in fact
      one-sided pro-Israel right or wrong.

    • wondering jew
      March 6, 2011, 6:29 pm

      Carter’s stance towards Israel was only part of the reason for his weak showing among Jewish voters in 1980. Carter’s public profession of his Christianity has been unparalleled in modern times and it really bothered Jewish voters.

      • Avi
        March 6, 2011, 7:10 pm

        Carter’s public profession of his Christianity has been unparalleled in modern times and it really bothered Jewish voters.

        I wonder why you expect non-Jews in Israel to be comfortable with all that Zionism being rubbed in their face.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        And since you’re not in favor of changing the Law of Return, I’ll be sure to alert the press.

      • Ellen
        March 6, 2011, 7:37 pm

        But they LOOOOVED Born again, bible-beating GW Bush the younger. And he made sure everyone knew he had found Jeeeezus! He was completely embraced by Zionist in the USA. Israelis loved him too!

      • Potsherd2
        March 6, 2011, 8:17 pm

        30 years make a lot of difference. In some things, anyway.

      • fuster
        March 6, 2011, 8:20 pm

        Ellen,

        79 percent of American Jews voted for Gore, 19 percent for Bush

        I think that the love wasn’t really there, just the stars in your eyes.

      • annie
        March 6, 2011, 8:28 pm

        they voted for gore and lieberman

      • Ellen
        March 7, 2011, 4:26 am

        GWB was “good for Israel.”. Israeli and Zionist idealogues felt safe with him in the White House.

        While most American Jews may not have voted for him, they were certaintly not bothered with his type of faith profession, which made Carter seem like an agnostic.

      • Ellen
        March 7, 2011, 5:10 am

        annie, fuster has diverted this thread.

        Jews were not bothered any more or less than any other group by Carter’s public Christianity. (Many found it discomforting at the time.) Carter, like GB the senior lost his second term. Both of these presidents engaged Israel.

        GWB was a publicly loud christian who brought Jesus into the White House. (Little known to the US public, Ashcroft was in two weeks before he initiated morning prayer meetings at the Justice department.)

        While perhaps more Jews as a group voted for Gore/Lieberman, they were not at all bothered by Bush’s form of Christianity.

        And to try and single out Carter as bothersome just to Jews because of his public faith professions, is a dishonest spin.

        Anecdotal side point, but so many Israeli’s I knew and know just loved Bush.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 9:46 am

        Ellen, you’re the one diverted the thread by popping nonsense about Carter and Bush after the wonderingjew through you a head fake.

        You shouldn’t have responded to it with bad info.

        It would have kept Saleema from writing even worse stuff.

      • Hostage
        March 7, 2011, 11:14 am

        It has been axiomatic since the San Francisco organizing conference that the Security Council has general decision making powers under Chapter 5 of the Charter. In accordance with Article 24(1), members have agreed that any decisions made by the Council while acting on their behalf in it’s role of maintaining international peace and security are binding on all of them in accordance with the terms of Article 25. That fact has been reaffirmed by the ICJ in several cases including the Wall decision:

        That an illegal situation is not to be recognized or assisted by third parties is self-evident, … … It follows from a finding of an unlawful situation by the Security Council, in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 of the Charter entails “decisions [that] are consequently binding on all States Members of the United Nations, which are thus under obligation to accept and carry them out”

        The Carter administration was the first US administration to question that authority. US Secretary of State Muskie was dispatched to advise the UN Security Council to mind its own business and stop interfering in the situation in the Middle East. He criticized a Security Council resolution which declared illegal any attempt to annex Jerusalem to serve as Israel’s undivided capital. He also said that the US considered the provisions regarding sanctions to be non-binding. The resolution required members to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city. His remarks begin on page 13 of 24 in the verbatim record. link to un.org

        The orders for Muskie to personally take part in the United Nations debate were reported by the MSM to have been a calculated political decision made by the White House to pander to the Jewish voters, e.g. link to tvnews.vanderbilt.edu

      • annie
        March 7, 2011, 12:25 pm

        hostage. you have the most incredible links. i see muskie actually begins speaking on page 11 although accessed thru 13 of the pdf. also accessed here on pg 15 (17 pdf):

        154. Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan):

        157. The allegation of the representative of Israel that resolution 465 (1980), condemning the relentless devouring of the occupied territories, is reprehensible and has triggered the debate in the Council is an insult to the intelligence of the international com- munity. Does the representative of Israel expect the world community to watch, arms folded, the annihilation of our people in the occupied territories, in that large prison-to the extent of 35 per cent? What would remain of land and people to come to peace with, if their very existence should cease over the next few years?
        158. As for the name Yerushaiayim, I should like to remind the representative of Israel that that name was used by the Jebusites, the founders of Jerusalem, and was “cloned”by the Israelite tribes.
        159. I do not intend to engage in any substantive dis- cussion of an issue of such universal and colossal magnitude as the fate and status of Jerusalem and its people. For the fate of Jerusalem and its status are known to the Council in all their dimensions; they have been debated, discussed and decided upon on numerous occasions since. 1967-even earlier, since 1947. Nor do I find it seemly or appropriate to refute the fraudulent, false and self-incriminating utterances of an aggressor and an illegal entity that has audaciously defied the same United Nations to which it owes its very existence-though in a far smaller segment of Palestine, which did not include Jerusalem.
        160. The latest Israeli action, which has climaxed its aggression, is far too serious to permit the luxury of verbal exercises in futility. It is unmitigated aggression, and it can only be dealt with as such.
        161. Suffice it here to recall what HerzI stated at the first Zionist Congress, in Basle, Switzerland, in 1897: “If we attained Jerusalem one day and I were still alive and able, I should destroy everything not sacred to the Jews, and demolish all the centuries-old sites.” Those were his words. He did not have to remain alive, for his dreams and his obsession with destruction have been implemented, and they will continue to be imple- mented in full measure by his followers.
        162. The King-Crane Commission, acting for United States President Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations, expressed its judgement and affirmed its considered conviction that the Jews were not only the least qualified to be the guardians of the Holy Places but that they regarded such a task as abhorrent. Those are not my words, please understand that; they are words excerpted from the Commission’s report3 After all, are not we Christians and Muslims and other creeds abhorrent gentiles?

        and for a timely post on the topic of jerusalem from today. (sorry, a tad OT..but not really)

        Anglican Bishop takes Israel to court

        JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Anglican Bishop of the Jerusalem Diocese filed a lawsuit against the State of Israel over the denial of his Jerusalem residency permit, church officials announced this week.

        The suit, filed on Feb. 22, comes after the Israeli Ministry of Interior told Bishop Suheil Dawani in August 2010 that he and his family should leave Israeli-occupied Jerusalem immediately, as their A5 permit for ‘temporary residency status’ would not be renewed.

        Dawani was born in Nablus, and like other Palestinians with PA-issued identity cards, has been barred from accessing Jerusalem without a permit since Israel’s separation wall closed the area off from the rest of the West Bank.
        ……

        Dawani was selected in 2007 to lead the 7,000 Anglicans who live in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Jerusalem is the site of the Anglican cathedral, offices and bishops’ residence, and Dawani’s residency permit was renewed in 2008 and 2009.

        A senior Anglican source told British daily The Guardian: “No one can figure out what the Israelis are playing at. This is not the kind of message they should be sending out.”

        The relationship between the 13 recognized church branches operating in Jerusalem and the state of Israel is sensitive due to worldwide attention.

        The right-wing Jewish-orthodox Shas party-controlled interior ministry in Israel is regarded as having hardened foreign visa and residency policies in recent years. Yet before the religious party’s entry into Israel’s governing coalition in 2009, the current Greek Orthodox patriarch in Israel was denied a visa for more than two years.

        Dawani is the first Anglican bishop to have residency denied by Israel.

        more at the link.

      • Donald
        March 7, 2011, 12:31 pm

        Hostage should be a front page poster, in my opinion. (If he or she is willing.)

      • annie
        March 7, 2011, 1:54 pm

        i agree wholeheartedly donald.

        hey ma look what the cat dragged in!

        ;)

      • MHughes976
        March 7, 2011, 2:29 pm

        Perhaps this will drag the complacent, slightly cowardly Church of England out of its rather contemptible slumber. Mind you we’re busy busting apart over women bishops.

      • Hostage
        March 7, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Thanks, but no thanks Annie and Donald. I like it just fine right here in the peanut gallery for now.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 4:19 pm

        consider it a bit more, Hostage. an occasional post from you on this site would be a very good thing

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 8, 2011, 12:27 am

        There was one other president who challenged Israel and paid for it at the polls and that was Gerry Ford. In 1975, exasperated at Israel’s refusal to disengage from areas in the Sinai it had grabbed in 1973, after repeated shuttle trips by Kissinger, he publicly blamed Israel for the failure to reach an agreement and announced that he was withholding a shipment of fighter planes to Israel for six months and that he would make a major speech calling for a reassessment of the US-Israel relationship which, reportedly, would include a demand that it to return to the 1967 boundaries.

        Within three weeks AIPAC had the signatures of 76 senators on a letter, roughly warning Ford to not to tamper with the “special relationship,” and he never made the speech. Although, in 1976, Israel ended up, not surprisingly, getting a major aid appropriation, the Jewish establishment would not forgive Ford and so they went for Carter.

        It was by no coincidence that in 1976, a handful of Jewish neocons founded JINSA, the Jewish Inst. for National Security Affairs, whose apparent goal was to make the military industrial complexes of both countries so intertwined that no president could come along and unraveled them. This also required “buying” a score or more of retired admirals and generals and giving them seats on their board. It was the current this board of ex-officers that fired off a letter to Gen. Petraeus, bringing him to heel for having the temerity to tell Congress that the failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict was hurting US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Is it any wonder why this whole Israel lobbying operation has been accurately described as a “Fifth Column?”

        The only president who challenged Israel and won a second term was Eisenhower and he did so at a time when the Lobby was relatively weak.

      • Saleema
        March 6, 2011, 8:19 pm

        You know you are lying. You know ell enough why Jewish voters didn’t vote for him and it didn’t have anything to do with him professing his faith.

        Avi and Ellen call you out on it nicely.

      • fuster
        March 6, 2011, 8:34 pm

        Saleema, in ’76, Jews voted for Carter in a greater percentage than did Protestants or Catholics.
        in ’80, Jews voted for Carter in a greater percentage than did Protestants of Catholics.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        maybe you, Avi and Ellen have not quite figured everything out.

      • Ellen
        March 7, 2011, 4:54 am

        fuster, you are diverting the discussion. It has noting to do with what percentage of Jews voted for Carter. (And I wonder how these kinds of statistics are extrapolated in the first place.)

        For wonderingjew to say, “Carter’s public profession of his Christianity has been unparalleled in modern times and it really bothered Jewish voters.” is a distortion.

        1. GWB plopped fundamental Christianity into the public arena more than any president ever.

        2. That Carter opened that door (which has since to be closed) bothered much of the America public at the time — it was not just a Jewish thing.

        3. And while it did not matter if they voted for Bush or Gore, Jews as a group were not at all bothered by Bush’s form of Christianity in the public arena. Bush’s loud and public form of Christianity obviously did not bother Zionists and Israeli’s. As they as a group were solidly behind Bush and felt safe with him in the White House. Remember, it was GWB who did not even bother to play the peace talk game. So he was “good for Israel.” Carter will always be thought of as bad for Israel.

        wonderingjew has created a distortion to demonize Carter. (As the politics of a former US President are disdained, the man must be discredited.) And you have twisted the discussion onto a diversion of voting rates.

      • Cliff
        March 7, 2011, 12:46 pm

        frog, you’re becoming more nonsensical with each post

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 1:59 pm

        Ellen, as I pointed out, wonderingjew opened the door to a sidetrack with his distortion and you and the other folks followed and widened the way with more distortions, and more obvious ones, of your own.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 2:01 pm

        Cliff, being more nonsensical than each of the other posts on this site is a daunting task and I rarely succeed.
        But thanks.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 6, 2011, 8:27 pm

        Carter’s religion was not a problem for the Jews who voted for him by a 71-27 % margin in 1976 and he did not hide his Christianity during the campaign. If you want to see what the organized community thought of him, check out the Jewish press of that time.

      • wondering jew
        March 6, 2011, 10:46 pm

        Jimmy Carter received 50% of the vote in 1976, thus the Jewish vote for him was 21% more than the vote of the American public. Jimmy Carter received 41% of the vote in 1980, thus the Jewish vote for him was only 7% more than the American public. I guess you could say that 14% of the Jews changed their vote based upon Israel.

      • Ellen
        March 7, 2011, 5:13 am

        But he was not voted in for a second term. And that was not because of his faith stuff.

      • tree
        March 7, 2011, 6:45 am

        Bad math, wj. Its NOT 21-7=14%. Its (50+21)-(41+7)=23%

      • wondering jew
        March 7, 2011, 12:26 pm

        Jimmy Carter lost the White House because he was a failure, the economy was in a spin and the hostages were in Tehran and his attempt to save them failed and people who couldn’t stomach voting for Reagan voted for John Andersen. George Bush pere lost the White House because he was a failure, the economy was in a spin (as in “It’s the economy, stupid”) and he never connected with the American people and he looked at his watch during the debate and Ross Perot took the votes of people who had been unwilling to vote for Clinton. No credible historian would attribute either loss to their engaging Israel.

        The question raised was regarding the change in the Jewish vote from the 76 to the 80 elections. Whereas the general population’s vote changed from 50% for Carter to 41% for Carter, the Jewish vote changed from 71% for Carter to 48% for Carter. The general population vote for Carter fell by 9% and the Jewish vote for Carter fell by 23%. It would have been reasonable for the Jewish vote to have fallen at the same rate (or the same amount) as the general vote. Thus the calculation is based upon the general fall in his vote rather than the original vote. Bad logic, tree.

        There was deep seated discomfort with Carter’s religion that there wasn’t with Bush’s religion, I think, because Carter was so high and mighty about his religion and most people did not really take Bush’s religion all that seriously. They felt either a. he was a recovering alcoholic and was thus allowed the higher power that 12 steppers need to quit the devil’s juice. or b. he was full of shit and only using religion to win elections. or c. a total idiot, whose thoughts and religion made no difference, for his only real religion was reducing taxes. Carter was/is a bright man and his religion always was part and parcel of his philosophy and self image and he came off as a condescending s.o.b.

        I’m not sure what role Jewish money played in the Carter Kennedy campaign. But the Jewish vote was essential in Carter’s loss of the New York Democratic primary. It had nothing to do with the Jewish establishment’s desire to hold onto the Sinai and a lot to do with Carter condemning Israel in the UN for settlements. If you think Jews were not uncomfortable with Carter’s Christianity, you are wrong. Whether this was the cause for the reduction in his support between 76 and 80 is a point that it is difficult to prove. He was unlikable on many different levels and supercilious on many different levels and after 4 years in office the American people felt him a failure and obviously Jews also felt him much more of a failure than their usual reaction to Democratic candidates. (It should be noted that Carter won the Jewish vote in 1980. I am not sure of the percentages, but John Andersen pulled a large Jewish vote, somewhere in the middle teens, though the general vote for him was around 8%, thus the Jewish vote was approximately, Carter 48%, Reagan, 38% and Andersen 14%.)

        Most Jews do not vote based on Israel. If they would, then Obama would have not won the Jewish vote by 78 to 22%. Jewish money is a different question.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        March 7, 2011, 4:58 pm

        Most Jews do not vote primarily with Israel foremost in mind but enough of them do in the key states of NY, California, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania to make a difference which is generally recognized within both Democratic and Republican circles.

        One of the reasons that Jews voted for Obama was (1) he was widely supported by major players within the Jewish community to the point where one, a former lawyer under Clinton, predicted in the Chicago Jewish News a week before the election, that he would be “the first Jewish president.” (As novelist Toni Morrison had stupidly and shamefully applauded Clinton as “the first black president.”)

        The second was their visceral reaction to the presence of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket, one that they shared with most Americans.

        Carter, indeed, was widely seen as a failure, but that was partly due to the spin projected by the Zionist dominated media that would not forgive him for his threats against Begin if Israel did not withdraw from Lebanon, his call for a Geneva convention to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict (which was halted when Sadat genuflected to Begin) and the unhappiness of many of them with the Camp David treaty since they opposed the idea of Israel giving up land, however it was acquired.

        Bush, too, was a victim of media spin. Rather than attack him for refusing to approve Israel’s $10 billion in loan guarantees, which caused long time pal and influential Repub columnist William Safire to jump ship for Clinton, he started being blamed for the problems in the US economy which were not of his personal making. In 1988 he had received 35 to 38% of the Jewish vote. In 1992, that dropped to 11 to 12% which might have been the difference in the election. Clinton, on the other hand, pandered shamelessly to Israel and still does. That’s why his foundation has received $10 million from Haim Saban. Bush Sr.’s administration, on the other hand, is considered to have been the most unfriendly to Israel since Eisenhower.

      • tree
        March 7, 2011, 5:18 pm

        I guess you could say that 14% of the Jews changed their vote because…

        and

        Bad logic, tree.

        If your assumption was that the change in vote should have been, all things considered, the same across all demographic groupings, then it helps if you state what your assumptions are when you throw around numbers. I’m not sure such an assumption is valid or true, but in any case, acknowledging that you are making such an assumption improves the clarity of your argument. It was not at all clear that the 14% you were citing was the net difference between the general change in voting and the Jewish change in voting, and not the net Jewish change in voting. Unclear argument, wj.

    • RoHa
      March 6, 2011, 8:16 pm

      “If Egypt would have responded …”

      If Egypt had responded…

      William Safire must be spinning in his grave.

  12. seafoid
    March 6, 2011, 5:14 pm

    The experience with the lobby gave Israelis a very delusional view of what a Jewish state’s room for manoeuvre was in the region. Statecraft is all about sustainability and viosion. Israel is built on cheap oil and the US veto. Neither of these are viable long term. Israel got manna from heaven in 1967 and spent the dividend on YESHA instead of building a base for a sustainable future. It is far too late now to undo the damage.

  13. wondering jew
    March 6, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Carter could not stand up for the Palestinians’ rights more than Sadat. Since Sadat was willing to sign a peace treaty despite Begin’s clear intentions towards the West Bank, it was not practical for Carter to say, “No, you cannot sign a peace treaty.” If Sadat had stood up for Palestinian rights, then it would have been a different story. Probably there would have been no treaty signing.

    • thankgodimatheist
      March 6, 2011, 8:19 pm

      “If Sadat had stood up for Palestinian rights, then it would have been a different story”
      And that was the major issue with Sadat. He was assassinated as a consequence and few in the West saw that as a valid justification. He was regarded as a man of peace when in the Arab world he was widely perceived, and rightly so, as a traitor!

      • fuster
        March 6, 2011, 9:49 pm

        theist, was he a traitor for not caring more about Palestinians than Egyptians or was he perceived as a traitor for not going along with the doctrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel?

      • Avi
        March 6, 2011, 11:47 pm

        fuster March 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

        theist, was he a traitor for not caring more about Palestinians than Egyptians or was he perceived as a traitor for not going along with the doctrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel?

        The ignorance of the average Zionist is astounding.

        Sadat, just like Muabarak, was a US-backed puppet.

        Hence, the US had leverage over him before, during and after the negotiations. And Sadat did his good share of oppressing Egyptians. One of his most notable policy decisions was his reversal of all of Nasser’s agrarian reform policies — policies that ensured economic equality among Egypt’s citizens.

        His fate was predetermined much in the same way Mubarak’s was. So, he wasn’t assassinated because of the treaty with Israel, but because that act amounted to the last straw (i.e. It was a long time coming).

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 9:38 am

        Avi, your crap runneth over.. Prove Sadat was a puppet.

      • Avi
        March 7, 2011, 11:45 am

        fuster March 7, 2011 at 9:38 am

        Avi, your crap runneth over.. Prove Sadat was a puppet.

        Runneth? Your feelings of inferiority rear their ugly head every time you’re challenged on the nonsense that you spew. So, you revert to cloaking yourself with the window dressings of a learned person.

        I suppose next you’ll ask me to prove that Earth is a sphere.

        Go do your own research. You have an internet connection, put it to good use.

        That you’re an ignoramus, is not my fault.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 12:37 pm

        quite right, Avi. your faults run only as far as your own nonsense takes them. ain’t far at all.

        Sadat a US puppet…. you’re a gigglefest.

      • Avi
        March 7, 2011, 3:22 pm

        You know, unlike a bum like you who sits around trolling the Internet all day and night, most people actually have jobs and lives.

        But, I’ll post the following just to shut you up:

        link to farm6.static.flickr.com

        link to farm6.static.flickr.com

        And when you finish reading, remember that your smug ignorance is a true giggle fest.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 3:59 pm

        Avi, your offerings are weak beyond weak.
        The first is nothing at all and the second talks about how the US was supportive of Sadat AFTER Sadat had broken off with the Soviets realizing that they would never be willing or able to supply Egypt with the means to win a war with Israel and After sadat had launched the 73 war and AFTER Sadat decided upon a peace deal with Israel.

        There’s nothing there to back up your spurious claim and you won’t find anything to back it up.

        All you can do is offer a chain of circuitous inference based on things that occurred at the end of Sadat’s life and nearly a decade after he succeeded Nasser, a man that Sadat long served.

        Thanks for your links, but there’s nothing there.
        Calling Sadat a US puppet was a foolish statement.

        Go back to your important business and better luck with that.

      • Avi
        March 7, 2011, 4:53 pm

        That level of smugness is unprecedented.

        Pray tell, what’s your definition of a US-backed puppet?

      • Chaos4700
        March 7, 2011, 5:05 pm

        Careful, Avi. If you push fuster too hard he’s just going to start screaming “Blame Palestinians Iran Saudi Arabia!”

        Following the vast leaps in fuster’s Islamophobia is like playing a particularly un-fun game of whack-a-mole. The same mechanical gopher is going to come out of that hole and chitter the same tired line again, if you wait long enough.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 5:12 pm

        A puppet is
        someone wholly owned by the US, installed by or on behalf of the US, and working according to instructions given him by the US.

        A puppet certainly is not
        someone who was arrested trying to link up with the Nazis, not someone who saw the US as inheritors of the colonial system that he hated and fought, not someone who sided with Nasser in ousting the King, not someone who only gave up on the Soviets after they would not and could not supply him with enough material to best the US-backed Israelis, not someone who joined with Syria to go to war against Israel, not someone who finally concluded that Egypt was better served dealing rather than resisting.

        Avi, you are not anybody that should be lecturing about smugness.

      • Avi
        March 7, 2011, 6:48 pm

        It just so happens that you’re a liar and a hypocrite. So, the smugness suits you. You’re not fooling anyone by throwing around baseless accusations.

        Let’s backtrack, shall we?

        You wrote:

        fuster March 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

        theist, was he a traitor for not caring more about Palestinians than Egyptians or was he perceived as a traitor for not going along with the doctrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel?

        Thus, my response was to illustrate to you that by the time Sadat was sitting across the negotiations table with the Israelis, he was already a beneficiary of US aid and support.

        So, by then, it is no wonder that he did not insist on pushing for a solution to the Palestinian problem.

        Now, you can cling onto the “US-backed puppet” shtick of yours, play indignant semantics, but that doesn’t change reality, nor does it change the fact that you’re out of your element.

        As for the second part of your comment where you wrote:

        or was he perceived as a traitor for not going along with the doctrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel?

        Well, wow. Talk about a load of horse manure. What exactly is the, “[D]octrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel”?

        I’d really like to see your intelligent and well-sourced response to that specious lie.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 7:21 pm

        look for a meeting in Washington on this date

        June 20, 1967, 1 p.m.

        keep up with your furious name-calling and nonsense.
        Puppet. heh heh
        gigglefest, Avi.

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 7:41 pm

        glad to see that you gave up trying to support your infinite wisdom about puppets and reverted to name-calling

        —- Well, wow. Talk about a load of horse manure. What exactly is the, “[D]octrine that the Arabs have a right to destroy Israel”?—–

        That talk about that doctrine came from Hostage’s link to the diplomatic diaries of the US Dept of State.
        The Russian government addressed that doctrine as being “an Arab doctrine” and as something that the Soviet government found to be wrong and which they wished to publicly note as being wrong.
        follow Hostages link from yesterday and you’ll find it.

    • Saleema
      March 6, 2011, 8:20 pm

      Yes, Israel and its advocates are never at fault.

      • fuster
        March 6, 2011, 9:51 pm

        Saleema, Israel and its advocates are at fault quite often, just as other advocates are.

      • Chaos4700
        March 7, 2011, 5:08 pm

        I took the liberty of making a quick reference chart for keeping tabs on fuster:

        Iran:
        “Blame Iran!”

        Pakistan:
        “Blame Pakistan!”

        Saudi Arabia:
        “Blame Saudia Arabia!”

        Israel:
        “Oh well everybody is at fault. Blame Iran! Blame Pakistan! Blame Saudi Arabia!”

      • fuster
        March 7, 2011, 8:02 pm

        Chaos,
        for the younger generation…..

      • Kathleen
        March 7, 2011, 11:14 am

        Never ever

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      March 6, 2011, 8:30 pm

      That’s true. Begin was obviously willing to see the treaty fail when he launched the invasion of Lebanon in 1978. Sadat, on the other hand, had thrown in his lot with Washington and when push came to shove, was ready to sell the Palestinians down the river.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    March 6, 2011, 6:15 pm

    RE: “Brzezinski observes,…Friction with Israel made little sense in the third or fourth Presidential years, for such conflict would be adversely reflected in the mass media and in financial support for the Democratic Party.” – McConnell

    SEE: Barack Obama reelection starts cash chase, by Glenn Thrush, Politico, 03/04/11

    (excerpt) President Barack Obama’s 2012 fundraising team has begun nailing down major cash commitments from top donors during a coast-to-coast “listening” tour — the surest sign to date that the vaunted Obama money machine is back in business.
    Former White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, along with Hollywood producer-turned-Democratic fundraiser Rufus Gifford, has been aggressively recruiting big-money contributors who maxed out to the 2008 campaigns of Obama and Hillary Clinton, donors and party officials told POLITICO.
    One of their pitches: an offer to join a new “National Finance Council,” which would entail a contribution to the Democratic National Committee of up to $61,600 per couple, per year. That money could be used to fund support operations for Obama’s reelection effort…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to politico.com

  15. lobewyper
    March 6, 2011, 9:09 pm

    When Al Jazeera English finally becomes generally available in the US, I hope an interview with Scott McConnell is very high on their “to broadcast” list. Very nice historical analysis, Scott! Kudos also to the others above who contributed to this important analysis.

  16. Elliot
    March 6, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Scott, thank you for that excellent history.

    Israel’s first Lebanon War is known in Israel as the first “war of free choosing”. Unlike the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 October/Yom Kippur War which Israelis experienced as defensive, the 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee was an expeditionary jaunt. I remember the hourly updates on the radio charting the Israeli tanks’ progress up the Mediterranean coast to Beirut. For years, the peace with Egypt was cited in Israel as the reason why the invasion of Lebanon was possible.

  17. Kathleen
    March 7, 2011, 11:13 am

    Last evening kept flashing on the photo above. Begin looking relaxed, aloof, Brezenski examining the chess board so intensely. According to Scott Begin was not really coming from a place of negotiating. Holding his hand close, knowing the blame for any failure would be placed on Sadat etc.

  18. dbroncos
    March 7, 2011, 11:41 pm

    “witness Obama’s repeated capitulations to Natanyahu…”

    Obama knows that Israel is known all over the globe as an emblem of racism and religious chauvinism – yet he supports Israel anyway. Obama knows that his Presidency has turned him into a powerful symbol of progress towards equality in a nation with its own shameful history of racism and religious chauvinism – yet he supports Israel anyway. It boggles my entire mind.

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