Land swaps? Israel doesn’t have enough land to give the Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
on 81 Comments

Brilliant reporting by Nathan Jeffay in the Forward, on the question of land swaps. Is there even enough land to swap, per the Obama idea? And what would swapping mean? There are several issues: There isn’t enough Israeli land to give the Palestinians to make a swap even-steven, hard-core settlers outside the settlment blocs would never leave the West Bank so that ups the percentage of land that would have to be swapped; and then what if “populated” areas are included in the swaps– Israelis moved off land inside Israel to give it to the Palestinians, Israeli Palestinians transferred with their land to the Palestinian state. A recognized idea in Europe, someone tells the Forward. But it does make you wonder about the limits of ethnic nationalism. (Just imagine for one second American Jews being asked to transfer their residency from Massachusetts to New York in order to solidify the Jewish #s in New York…)

Some excerpts from the Forward reporting:


The solution Obama talked about, one that is “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” means that Israel would hold on to some settled areas that it captured in 1967 and compensate the Palestinians with land that currently falls under Israeli sovereignty…. But in Israel, many experts say there simply isn’t enough free land under Israeli sovereignty to exchange for them….

[Ehud Olmert] wanted 6.3% of the territories — that is, the West Bank and Gaza — which would keep 75% of settlers in their homes.

But Olmert could make such an offer only because he ignored three principles on which Palestinian leaders insist. The first is that exchanges must be on an acre-for-acre ratio, and Olmert was offering only areas equivalent of 5.8% of the territories. The second is that the land must be what they consider good quality — usually assessed from agricultural criteria — while large sections of what Olmert offered are not easily cultivated. The third is that Palestinians must be compensated acre for acre for the Israeli presence in parts of Jerusalem that was captured in 1967, while Olmert’s calculations discounted Jerusalem….

[And where could the Israeli land come from?]

According to [Geneva Initiative Shaul Arieli’s] analysis, 2% can be found along the Gaza border; 1% near the West Bank, in the Lakhish district in south central Israel, and another 1% near the West Bank in the Beit She’an Valley, in northern Israel. There is also 1% close to the West Bank near Arad, in southern Israel, but it is mostly nonagricultural land.

Of course, the figures are tight only if populated areas are off the table.

Currently, nobody in Israel is suggesting evacuating kibbutzim or small villages populated by Jews to free up space for exchange. But David Newman, professor of political geography at Ben-Gurion University and chief editor of the journal Geopolitics, believes this could change. “It’s only as taboo as talking about land swaps was 15 years ago, or talking about a Palestinian state was 20 years ago,” he said.

Swapping areas populated by Arabs is, however, already an accepted principle by many in Israel.

81 Responses

  1. Walid
    May 29, 2011, 11:08 am

    “Swapping areas populated by Arabs is, however, already an accepted principle by many in Israel.”

    That’s Lieberman’s and Livni’s cute idea of what a swap is all about. That way they get to hit many birds with one stone. It would rid Israel of many of its Palestinian citizens commonly known as ethnic cleansing, it would get to keep the most arable of the WB land that’s now being used by Israelis mostly for residential purposes but at least depriving some Palestinians of their livelihood, a favourite Israeli sport and it would keep control on the WB aquifers atop which settlements are now built and from which Israel is currently stealing 50% of its water needs. It’s about Israeli thievery.

    • Michael W.
      May 29, 2011, 2:59 pm

      How will Israeli-Arabs be ethnically cleansed from their lands when all Israel would be doing is moving the border around to put their homes outside the jurisdiction of an apartheid state and inside the jurisdiction of the democratic judenrein Palestinian state?

      • talknic
        May 29, 2011, 5:47 pm

        Michael W.

        You answered it yourself.

        They’re ISRAELI Arabs.

        Some folk are are unbelievably stupid for a Greater Israel

      • Michael W.
        May 29, 2011, 7:41 pm

        talknic, how is it for a “Greater Israel” if it removes Israeli jurisdiction from a piece in the Land of Israel?

      • Avi
        May 29, 2011, 10:49 pm

        Michael W. May 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

        talknic, how is it for a “Greater Israel” if it removes Israeli jurisdiction from a piece in the Land of Israel?

        No such legal concept as “Land of Israel”. It only exists in your head.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2011, 12:29 am

        Michael W.

        The ‘Land of Israel’ is a nonsense unless you mean the sovereign territory of Israel.

        The sovereign territory of Israel was declared May 15th 1948 and recognized by the majority of the International Community of States BEFORE Israel ever officially laid claim to any territory outside of it’s self declared and confirmed Sovereign extent . It’s claims were refused. Never recognized by the UNSC or the UN or any State.

        It’s illegal annexation of territory acquired by war, has never been recognized and was condemned by the UNSC. Read UNSC Resolution 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968 UNSC Resolution 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969 UNSC Resolution 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, UNSC Resolution 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, UNSC Resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, UNSC Resolution 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980

        ——

        It would not be removing Israeli jurisdiction from any Israeli land. It would be removing illegal Israeli civil jurisdiction from militarily acquired and never legally annexed Palestinian land, in order that Israel be able to keep some other parcel of Palestinian land. No Israeli land has been put up for swaps and the Palestinians have NEVER officially claimed any Israeli land.

        From the moment the Jewish People’s Council/Jewish Agency decided not to mention borders in the Declaration, in an attempt to deceive, it has been for a Greater Israel.

        From the moment Israel was declared, Jewish forces were already outside of Israel, in territory slated for the Arab State. Thereby preventing the Palestinians from effectively declaring independence.

        Israeli forces are still outside of Israel. Still being used to usurp. Protecting illegal settlers. Taking more and more Palestinian territory. Still preventing the Palestinians from effectively declaring independence.(independence = not under the control of anyone else). See the Israel Declaration 1st line. The British occupation under the LoN Mandate for Palestine had to end before any declaration of Independence came into effect. Same as Indonesia was required to end the occupation of East Timor in order that they effectively regain independence.

        From the moment Israel was declared (not a mention of democracy) consecutive Governments have treated the Palestinian territories per the theocratic notions of Deuteronomy 20:15 in deed and in word (BTW no Israeli government has ever been legally elected according to the Declaration, under a constitution. Which has short changed all Islaelis)

        Almost everything Israel has ever said about the Palestinians is a blatant, easily proven, LIE. There too many to list. Everyone completely against the basic tenets of Judaism. Israel has fed itself and it’s citizens and the world a diet of complete bullsh*te for 63 years, breeding junkies for a Greater Israel who’ve elected consecutive dealers as leaders.

        Israel was declared in all our names, no matter where we live or whose citizens we are. Jewish folk are at last becoming aware of the monster Israel has become and are beginning to speak out against the ghastly policies and the inevitable collision course Israel has set itself on.

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2011, 2:09 am

        So when Germany was ONLY transferring its Jewish population around within its borders, you wouldn’t consider that ethnic cleansing? Like the rest of us do?

      • Michael W.
        May 30, 2011, 12:16 pm

        You guys completely misunderstand what I was talking about. When we started talking about Israeli Arabs, I was talking about Umm al-Fahm.

        talknic, is Israeli sovereignty recognized by the UNSC over Umm al-Fahm?

        Chaos, did the Germans ever remove their jurisdiction from Jewish-German towns and gave a Jewish state sovereignty over them?

        Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go teach a reading comprehension class in a few minutes.

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2011, 3:57 pm

        Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go teach a reading comprehension class in a few minutes.

        Irony, thy name is Zionist.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2011, 11:26 pm

        Michael W.

        Easily enough determined. Google Earth
        Umm al-Fahm 32°31’4.51″N 35° 8’54.50″E

        Look at a detailed overlay map of Israel as declared and recognized and accepted into the UN before it ever made any claims of territory outside of it’s borders.

        Then read the UNSC resolutions concerning the matter, especially “it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war”

        Then CAREFULLY Read Professor Stephen Schwebel’s opinion on ‘acquiring’ territory. Note especially the word ‘acquire’ as compared to ‘restore’

        Umm al-Fahm has never been Israeli. Is not recognized as Israeli by the UN, the UNSC or any country on the planet except an arrogant, misguided and delusional Israel.

      • annie
        May 30, 2011, 11:48 pm

        great comments talknic (including 12:29 am) and awesome links.

      • Sumud
        May 31, 2011, 8:35 am

        talknic! I thought I’d see your comments on this article from a few days ago, you might have missed it:

        David Rovics– What are your borders, Israel, drawn in black and white?

        I’ll add a comment over there just now linking to your 12:29am comment above.

      • Hostage
        May 29, 2011, 10:48 pm

        How will Israeli-Arabs be ethnically cleansed from their lands when all Israel would be doing is moving the border around to put their homes outside the jurisdiction of an apartheid state and inside the jurisdiction of the democratic judenrein Palestinian state?

        Lieberman’s plan doesn’t call for a Palestinian state or a final settlement for generations. So he is really just gerrymandering the boundaries of the “administered territory”.

        The Homeland party was allowed to field lists of candidates at the time the Kach party was banned. The only difference was that Homeland advocated that Palestinians should be transferred from the administered territories, while Kach thought that Palestinians should be transferred from all of Eretz Israel.

        Uri Davis is a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and the PLO. The Israeli Supreme Court has been sending Palestinian-Jewish married couples to live in the administered territories for years. PM Fayyad and Negotiations Unit spokesmen, e.g. Ahmed Qureia, have offered settlers citizenship in the Palestinian state. As I understand it, the proposal would require Israel to face demographic realities and accept a corresponding number of Palestinian refugees. Where did you hear that Palestine would be judenrein?

      • Michael W.
        May 30, 2011, 12:20 pm

        Didn’t Uri Davis convert to Islam?

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2011, 5:29 pm

        Yes he did, but in the civilized world he is still considered just as “Jew”-ish as the atheist or secular majority in Israel.

      • Michael W.
        May 30, 2011, 6:20 pm

        Hostage, what the hell are you talking about? I’ve never read any Jewish literature that says you are still one religion while converting to another.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2011, 11:39 pm

        Michael W.

        Jewish is primarily by birthright. Born to a Jewish mother, you’re Jewish. I am (religiously) a Jewish (by birth) atheist by choice). By religion, there are Jewish Jews. Jewish Muslims. Jewish Christians. Jewish Buddhists.

        There are also Arab (ethnicity) Jews (birth).

        Arab (ethnicity) Jewish (birth) Jews (religion).

        Arab Jewish Muslims etc .

        There are Chinese (ethnicity) Jews (religion by conversion). Japanese Jews. German Jews. Indian Jews and even a small handful of Inuit Jews.

        Having converted to Judaism, a Chinese or Japanese or German or Arab mother’s children are Jewish by birth, though the children might not follow the Jewish religion.

        Confusing? Not really. It’s simple logic, based on the premise that if you’re born Jewish you are always Jewish, no matter what nationality or religion.

        Stick around. ’cause if you’ve only heard the Hasbara, you’re in for an education.

      • Koshiro
        May 30, 2011, 1:44 am

        They would be losing their nationality against their will, which is violation of their rights as described by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        Oh, and it’s “siedlerrein”. Not “judenrein”.

      • Michael W.
        May 30, 2011, 12:24 pm

        Now that’s an argument against removing Israeli jurisdiction of Umm-al Fahm that I can understand.

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2011, 4:00 pm

        You know none of this would be a problem if you bunch of European immigrants didn’t pick up guns and wage a violent campaign of terrorism and insurgency against the Palestinians.

      • Michael W.
        May 30, 2011, 6:21 pm

        Yea, why couldn’t those European immigrants stay vulnerable?

      • talknic
        May 31, 2011, 12:30 am

        Michael W.

        “:…why couldn’t those European immigrants stay vulnerable?”

        Uh? If you say so, no one else here has, so save your dopy remarks.

        Why should they stay vulnerable smart rrrrrs?

        Contrary to the illegal settler Lieberman and his vile ilk, of which I now gather you are one, it wasn’t the Palestinians who created the need for a safe haven for vulnerable Jews in Europe.

        We were granted more than enough territory for every Jewish person on the planet today. The privately and institutionally owned ‘real estate’ was a tiny percentage of the ‘territory’ allocated for the State of Israel, for which NOTHING was paid.

        Instead of being grateful, Israel has illegally grabbed more and more. Dispossessing. Lying. Cheating. Killing. Dissing the UN Charter, International Laws and conventions much of which was based on our treatment at the hands of the Nazis.

        Chinese, Vietnamese, Afghanis, Iraqis, Jews, Serbs, Croatians Hungarians, have all sought a safe haven in Australia. None have demanded their own state. None have taken up arms. stolen land, burned crops, bulldozed farms, homes, entire villages.

        Antisemitism was not solved by creating Israel. There is still Antisemitism . Even in Israel, by Jews against their own when they oppose further usurping of the Palestinians.

      • sherbrsi
        June 2, 2011, 6:18 am

        Because instead of physically expelling Arabs across the border, it would redraw the borders to transfer them. There is more than one way to skin a cat, except the term “land swap” allows Israel to paint itself as some generous peacemaker.

        All Israel is doing is conveniently ridding itself of its unwanted population, in exchange for legitimizing its own illegal land grab and colonies in occupied territories (also conveniently placed for exploiting the resources and value of the land).

  2. Les
    May 29, 2011, 11:32 am

    And what about water swaps?

    • Walid
      May 29, 2011, 12:57 pm

      Les, the Palestinians already own the water being stolen by Israel; do you expect them to swap for something they already own? These thieves have turned theft into an art. While they steal most of the water belonging to the Palestinians and depriving them of it, these shysters have in the plan to supply at a cost, the WB Palestinians with desalinated water from Caesaria that would be pumped up the mountain to reach the 250 Palestinian villages at an unaffordable cost of over a dollar pcm while Israel continues enjoying the fresh water from the WB aquifers. How is that for a dishonest swap of water? Here’s something written about the proposed water swaps that started back in 2004 and is still in the works and being fought by the PA:

      “ISRAEL has drawn up a secret plan for a giant desalination plant to supply drinking water to the Palestinian territory on the West Bank. It hopes the project will diminish pressure for it to grant any future Palestinian state greater access to the region’s scarce supplies of fresh water.

      Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.

      The new plans call for seawater to be desalinated at Caesaria on the Mediterranean coast, and then pumped into the West Bank, where a network of pipes will deliver it to large towns and many of the 250 villages that currently rely on local springs and small wells for their water.
      Israel, which wants the US to fund the project, would guarantee safe passage of the water across its territory in return for an agreement that Israel can continue to take the lion’s share of the waters of the West Bank. These mainly comprise underground reserves such as the western aquifer, the region’s largest, cleanest and most reliable water source. For Israelis, agreement on the future joint management of this aquifer is a prerequisite for granting Palestine statehood.”

      For full article:

      link to qumsiyeh.org

      and the rumble to it from the Palestinians:

      link to washmena.wordpress.com

      • Les
        May 29, 2011, 8:31 pm

        I would love to see the day when the US Army Corps of Engineers walks the 1967 borders to make sure that all water going into Israel from Palestine is shut off. When Israel agrees to pay for water, Palestinians will supply meters once a price has been agreed to.

    • American
      May 29, 2011, 3:11 pm

      Res 181 retained ‘water rights for existing owners’ at the time and said they should be equally shared…meaning Israel could ‘buy’ a amount equal to what Palestines used, from the existing owner–the owner at the time being Palestine. Their main sources being situated in the West Bank
      When Israel took over the West Bank 1967 they confiscated the wells and water and prohibited the Palestines from even drilling new wells to access water. As of 2009 Israel drew out and used 75%, some reports say 95%, of all Palestines’s water resources.
      The World Bank and USAD say that because of that confiscation by Israel, Palestines exist on less than recognized amounts of the water necessary to sustain life and livelihoods.

      Here’s a 2009 article that describes it well:
      link to guardian.co.uk

      • Les
        May 29, 2011, 8:52 pm

        Add to this the destruction of cisterns, long essential to even minimal agriculture.

        link to wn.com

    • American
      May 29, 2011, 3:29 pm

      link to tinyurl.com

      Is a World Water Resource study that also includes the Palestine situation.

      I can’t say any more about it because if I gave vent to my gut feelings on this issue I would probably be listed on the DHS terrier list and hauled away to a anti zionist concentration camp or taken out by the Mossad as an existential threat to the Israeli locusts.

  3. American
    May 29, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Land ‘swaps’ –‘trades”?..see how framing and inaccurate terms can obscure the existential issue. And as long as it’s presented that way people fall right into that ‘trap’ and spend all their time nitpicking what to swap or trade.

    It’s “Return the land”, not swap or trade it….”Return”.
    The land is not Israel’s to swap or trade, they don’t owe it or have any legal right to claim it, they stole it.

    I don’t know why Israel or Palestine’s “swap and trade” game was not met with uproarious hilarity from the beginning. I can imagine what a jury of anyone’s peers would say if I confiscated an acre of my neighbors land and then offered to ‘trade it back’ to him for a different acre on his property.

    It just effing boggles the mind how people have let this nonsense thinking take root. The only possible thing it can be attributed to is the old Jewish and Israel exception to all the laws (and morality) that govern the rest of the world.

    • Avi
      May 29, 2011, 10:59 pm

      My sentiments exactly. Why give a false concept any credence in the first place?

      This so-called “debate” about land-swaps is no different than the debate in which Democrats and Republicans engaged in the last 9 years, namely, Is Torture Good or Bad?

      The clueless idiots were congratulating themselves, saying, “Hey, we’re a civilized, free society and we’re debating and discussing this issue”.

      Oh happy day.

      The irony and the absurdity escaped millions.

  4. Richard Witty
    May 29, 2011, 4:16 pm

    There’s only an absence of land to swap if the goal is ethnic purity in each state, rather majority and fair value.

    It is interesting, and I think a substantiated expectation though, that for Palestinians that would be part of Israel, there is little danger of violent persecution, while for Jewish Israelis that would be part of Palestine, there is significant danger.

    Anyone disagree to that?

    Phil?

    If so, how would you conceive of preventing violence to a Jewish minority, of preventing ethnic cleansing of a minority?

    • James North
      May 29, 2011, 5:01 pm

      Richard Witty said: ‘Note my deceitful wording. . .

      Jewish Israelis that would be part of Palestine

      ‘My neutral formulation conceals more than 500,000 Jewish Israelis who knowingly violated international law (Netanyahu says the number is up to 650,000) and stole vast tracts of land in the Palestinian West Bank. I’m more concerned about their right to keep the land they stole than I am about genuine peace.’

    • seafoid
      May 29, 2011, 5:16 pm

      “that for Palestinians that would be part of Israel, there is little danger of violent persecution while for Jewish Israelis that would be part of Palestine, there is significant danger.”

      This is bullshit. If Jews want to live as equals with Palestinians as they always did before the Zionists came they could live very well. Zochrot is a good example of the power of tolerance . The problem is that the word “coexistence” doesn’t exist in Hebrew.

      link to youtube.com
      This Palestinian says it all at 6.30

      a state for all its citizens.. a state that moves in a sensible, natural direction..not a delusional state, like this one

      • aloeste
        May 29, 2011, 10:52 pm

        there can be no compromise until there is palestinian consent to a jewish state in palestine. that will never be agreed to so there will not be peace….

      • kapok
        May 30, 2011, 2:47 am

        Cry uncle, and release the doves of peace!

    • eljay
      May 29, 2011, 5:57 pm

      >> It is interesting, and I think a substantiated expectation though, that for Palestinians that would be part of Israel, there is little danger of violent persecution, while for Jewish Israelis that would be part of Palestine, there is significant danger.

      Who has substantiated that Jews willing to live in peace in Palestine will face “significant danger” of violent persecution?

      Who has substantiated that that danger will be greater than the danger faced now – and possibly faced in the future – by Palestinians living in a supremacist “Jewish state” of Israel?

      >> If so, how would you conceive of preventing violence to a Jewish minority, of preventing ethnic cleansing of a minority?

      RW: >> I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
      >> If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

      Suddenly, because it might happen to Jews, you care about ethnic cleansing…but only of Jews. Nothing about the fate of Palestinians in a supremacist “Jewish state” of Israel. The absence of a similarly-phrased question – “How would you conceive of preventing violence to a non-Jewish minority, of preventing ethnic cleansing of a minority?” – is telling.

    • libra
      May 29, 2011, 7:51 pm

      Richard, you seem to be saying that land swaps will, by necessity, be limited such that Palestine might have to take back land with the occupying Jewish settlers as new citizens. You also imply that this would be at no cost to the Palestinians but the settlers would nevertheless be unwelcome out of sheer prejudice.

      But as a retired Professor of Accountancy, you will know all about opportunity cost. Those settlers are occupying stolen land that could be used for the return of a similar number of Palestinian refugees from outside IP.

      So for your approach to be equitable, Israel should accept a Palestinian refugee for every settler transferred to the new Palestine. I expect their welcome in Israel would be no warmer than that of the settlers in Palestine. Would you disagree to that?

      That you, as a man who knows all about balance sheets, should offer such an unbalanced (and if from anyone else, I’d say fraudulent) proposal is telling. It seems not only your language skills but also your book keeping skills end where you Zionism starts.

      But to answer your question on the issue of violent persecution. Following the granting of equal rights to all within a single-state, I do not see those citizens with Palestinian ethnicity being a more likely source of such violent persecution. Indeed, I would be more concerned about those Zionists who just don’t seem able to tolerate the presence of the “other”. A single-state will be a very tough proposition for them, until they (or more likely their children) first get used to it, and then enjoy it. But they will have brought it upon themselves so there is poetic justice in that.

      • lyn117
        May 29, 2011, 8:45 pm

        Given that the proposed state of Palestine is under 1/3 the size of Israel, Israel should accept at least 3 Palestinian refugees for every Jewish settler allowed to remain in the Palestinian state. Considering that the Palestinian refugees legally inhabited of what’s become Israel and the Jewish settlers in the occupied territories don’t, this is less than equitable to the Palestinians anyway.

    • lyn117
      May 29, 2011, 8:47 pm

      Interpolation of historical trend suggest that Palestinian Arabs have far more reason to fear persecution from Jewish Israelis than the reverse – the vast amount of violence in the conflict to date has been perpetrated by Jewish Israelis.

    • Koshiro
      May 30, 2011, 1:50 am

      “If so, how would you conceive of preventing violence to a Jewish minority, of preventing ethnic cleansing of a minority?”
      They are not an ethnic minority. They are illegal immigrants with a colonialist bent. The British in India were not a ‘minority’ either.

  5. Stogumber
    May 29, 2011, 5:06 pm

    There’s one land swap which might make sense under terms of a two-state-solution. Namely swapping the Negev – which would give Palestinians the necessary connection between West Bank and Gaza strip.
    Has no one ever proposed that?

    • Jim Haygood
      May 29, 2011, 5:49 pm

      It would indeed provide for Palestinian contiguity — but at the cost of either ceding or isolating Beersheba and the all-important ‘Yes we have no nukes’ Dimona plant.

      Just to turn the tables on Israeli-style thinking, the Palestinians could graciously offer Israel a walled corridor or transit tunnel across the Palestinian Negev to reach their southern cities. Who could object to that?

      • RoHa
        May 29, 2011, 7:26 pm

        “at the cost of either ceding or isolating Beersheba”

        Since Beersheba was captured largely by the famous charge of the 4th Australian Light Horse, I’m claiming it as Australian territory (by right of conquest) and ceding it to Palestine.

      • Don
        May 29, 2011, 11:00 pm

        RoHa, your initiative and creativity are extremely impressive. The Etruscan Liberation Organization is very interested in recruiting you as Minister of Empire Expansion.

        Please get back to me regarding any interest you may have in this highly prestigious position. We are in need of a talented person immediately. The Chinese are balking (can you believe that?) at our annexation of…China (despite our perfectly legitimate historical claims…

        “Chinese villagers ‘descended from Roman soldiers”

        link to telegraph.co.uk

      • RoHa
        May 30, 2011, 2:41 am

        Minister of Empire Expansion sounds like a decent job, but before I commit myself I need a few details cleared up.

        1. Salary, pension plan, etc. What do you offer?
        2. I’ll need a plush suite of offices, an imposing official car, and a large support staff of talented young women.
        3. I’m not actually going to live in Etruria until all those garlic-smelling Italians have been ethnically cleansed.
        4. And of course, I’m not going to relinquish my other citizenships.

        If I take up the offer, I’m pretty sure I could deal with the Chinese in short order.

    • talknic
      May 29, 2011, 5:58 pm

      I thought Israel was gonna make the desert bloom. Thus far all it has done is illegally acquire by war and illegal annexation more territory than rightfully belongs to it. Mostly fertile land that had been producing for centuries.

      Peres tells some delicious lies about it.. link to wp.me

    • Avi
      May 29, 2011, 10:29 pm

      Stogumber May 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      There’s one land swap which might make sense under terms of a two-state-solution. Namely swapping the Negev – which would give Palestinians the necessary connection between West Bank and Gaza strip.
      Has no one ever proposed that?

      Fascinating idea, except the Negev is useless. Meanwhile Israel gets to keep the water-rich West Bank. Brilliant. And Jews in America continue to whine about Israelis being driven to the sea. Fancy that.

    • Chaos4700
      May 30, 2011, 2:10 am

      Gee, sure. “We will kindly offer you this vast desert in exchange for all the acquifers we are squatting on, Palestine.”

  6. seafoid
    May 29, 2011, 5:21 pm

    The land is too small to divide. 1967 was about that, just not in a very rational sense. The Ashkenazim and Mizrahim just have to come around to the idea that the Palestinians belong there just like they do.

    Israel has so much potential if it gives up its fear and its hatred.

    • libra
      May 29, 2011, 8:11 pm

      Seafoid, I agree entirely with what you say above. The whole issue summed up in a few clear words. Israel can’t stop the changes coming to the Middle East / North African economies but it could contribute so much and benefit likewise if it was fully involved. Failure to embrace the Palestinians and miss out on this opportunity would be a double tragedy.

  7. msilb
    May 29, 2011, 9:22 pm

    So Palestinian nationalism, an wonderful, even necessary, idea. Jewish nationalism, a racist abhorrent concept.

    • Avi
      May 29, 2011, 10:35 pm

      msilb May 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      So Palestinian nationalism, an wonderful, even necessary, idea. Jewish nationalism, a racist abhorrent concept.

      The American Jew said:

      “I’m a clueless idiot who lives 7000 miles away while spewing nonsense on the internet from the comfort of my cave. But, I’m a Jew AND an American. So that entitles me to open my big mouth as though I own the place. Mind you, I’m not overcompensating for any deficiency. I was born with a sense of entitlement and deeply ingrained chutzpah for even GOD owes me a few things.”

    • Walid
      May 29, 2011, 11:04 pm

      “Jewish nationalism, a racist abhorrent concept.”

      Regrettably yes, it has been made so by a Zionism that had nothing to do wih Judaism.

      • seafoid
        May 30, 2011, 8:54 am

        Jewish nationalism would be wonderful if it wasn’t built on cruelty and white phosphorous. Zionism is a cult, not a nationality.

    • talknic
      May 29, 2011, 11:07 pm

      Er no msilb. Israel illegally acquiring Palestinian territory by war, through illegal annexation and through illegal ‘facts on the ground’ is a racist, abhorrent, illegal habit.

      Purposefully conflating Jews with Israel is another vile habit.

    • Chaos4700
      May 30, 2011, 2:11 am

      “Jewish” isn’t a nationalism. Muslim isn’t. Christian isn’t.

      • msilb
        May 30, 2011, 11:10 am

        Why? What lets Palestinians decide they are a separate nation and Jews don’t get to? How come it was OK for Muslims to treat Jews as separate but Jews can’t do that?

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2011, 4:02 pm

        Maybe because in the real world, Palestinians aren’t the big scary Moooooslim jihadi anti-Semites you seem to think they all are? Like, you know, there are Palestinian Christians? Did you not know that? And before the Nakba there were Jewish Palestinians too? Native ones in addition to the European Zionist immigrants?

      • pjdude
        May 30, 2011, 7:35 pm

        they don’t decide too they meet the definition while jews don ‘t

    • RoHa
      May 30, 2011, 2:29 am

      Sorry, I can’t see anyone saying that Palestinian nationalism is a “wonderful, even necessary, idea.”

      Could you spell that out, please?

      • msilb
        May 30, 2011, 11:13 am

        You don’t see it? You don’t see every single word here is about how the Palestinians have to get a state and the Jews don’t deserve one? You don’t see the claim that the denial of Palestinian statehood is the worst human rights violation occurring today? It is something requiring UN action and worldwide boycotts. Sudan and its multiple genocides, not important. Sri Lanka? Chechnya? Insignificant. But Israel must be destroyed so that the Palestinians can get their state.

      • annie
        May 30, 2011, 12:31 pm

        hyperbole a little why don’t you msilb (is that short for miserable)

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2011, 4:03 pm

        Israel must be destroyed so that the Palestinians can get their state.

        msilb,

        “Israel” in this case is a vestige of the colonial era, not the Jewish inhabitants. Some Zionist Jews unilaterally decided to move to Palestine and acquire a secular Palestinian nationality shared by the local Arabs. Then they unilaterally decided to secede and expel the bulk of their Arab neighbors and create a “Jewish” state founded on completely different principles than the UN had proposed.

        The international community signed-on to the peaceful implementation of any solution. The ones that were proposed would have created a regional economic union and two states in which Jews and Arabs enjoyed free movement and access plus constitutionally guaranteed equal rights. None of us signed on to preserving the ethnically cleansed status quo (the “Jewish Character” psychosis) or to eliminating the “existential threat” posed by the other indigenous people of the country (the Israeli Security psychosis).

        Some of the people here are still proposing 2 states living side by side in peace with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states. Other people here favor a single democratic state in which all of the citizens enjoy equal representation and constitutionally protected rights. If so-called “Israel” must be “destroyed” through BDS and other peaceful means to accomplish either of those improvements, then it would still be a blessing for the Jewish inhabitants. The international community has been explaining for a very long time now that the current situation is “unsustainable”. That means change is going to happen. All of us here are proposing accountability, an end to violence, and peaceful change.

      • Chaos4700
        May 30, 2011, 4:05 pm

        So Jews in New York City deserve a state? Jews in Canada? Jews in France deserve their own seperate state? How about Jews in Germany? Wasn’t that what Nazi propaganda was claiming to warn the world about, that Jews would refuse to be loyal to the nations of their birth?

        Why do you want to take something that’s false and ugly like that, and make it true?

      • pjdude
        May 30, 2011, 7:37 pm

        please explain to this ex catholic who feel vatican city should be annexed by italy and the rome city government why a religion, jews, have a right to a state?

      • RoHa
        May 30, 2011, 10:08 pm

        Are you still reading, msilb?

        “You don’t see every single word here is about how the Palestinians have to get a state”

        First, it seems to me that there are two ideas being supported here.
        (a) There should be a separate Palestinian state.
        (b) There should be a single state in which the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews are equal citizens

        Supporting option (a) as a practical measure is not the same as praising Palestinian nationalism, or even claiming that it is necessary.

        Supporting (b) denies both the value and the necessity of Palestinian nationalism.

        “and the Jews don’t deserve one?”

        No group “deserves” a state.

        “You don’t see the claim that the denial of Palestinian statehood is the worst human rights violation occurring today?”

        No. People who support (b) do not think it much of a violation of rights at all. For us, the violations of rights include the denial of full and equal citizenship to the Palestinians, but not the denial of an independent state. I don’t see any supporters of (a) saying that it is the “worst human rights violation occurring today”. They are saying that it is a wrong that should be righted.

        Nor do they say that other issues are insignificant.

        “But Israel must be destroyed so that the Palestinians can get their state.”

        The whole point of (a) is to right the wrong without destroying Israel.

        People who advocate (b) and reject the idea of a separate Palestinian state are those would destroy Israel.

        Now stop frothing at the mouth and start thinking clearly.

  8. ToivoS
    May 29, 2011, 11:36 pm

    This land swap for Palestinian villages inside the 1967 borders (Israel proper I guess it is called) for Palestinian land inside the WB is not an equitable trade. Think about it. For every Arab village inside Israel (for which those Israeli Arabs have title to) will be traded against WB Palestinian villages which will then be ceded to the Zionists. Think about this for a few minutes. I own my own house. A foreign invader offers me title to my house only if I am willing to trade it to this foreign invader in exchange for my neighbors house.

    Basically this is what is called exchanging land for peace.

    It has also been known for centuries as divide and conquer.

  9. American
    May 30, 2011, 1:25 am

    Something I overlooked previously
    The US gave US military equipment to Israel after operations wound down in Iraq and some also from Afghan.
    The US also transferred it’s military equpiment to Israel after the Gulf War…as well as all unused all fuel.
    The rational given was that is was too expensive to ship back to the US.
    And if memory serve we also paid Israel something like 10 million or more for their ‘extra security’ each time..for the Gulf war and Iraq.
    I don’t think anyone can really even conceive of the amount of taxpayers money the US spends, not just on Israel giveaways, but in terms of sheer waste and war.

    link to tinyurl.com

    Military vehicles: light armored combat vehicles, command
    vehicles, light and heavy trucks, fuel tankers, all-terrain vehicles,
    communications vehicles, mobile engineering gear including portable cranes,
    repair shops and ambulances.
    Armored personnel carriers.
    Tanks.
    Convoys of ordnance.
    Equipment from the First Theatre Sustainment Command (TSC), Third Army, from logistics
    operations in Iraq.
    The vehicles in good repair transferred to the IDF
    Transfer of two billion dollars’ worth of fuel for military purposes to the Israeli military from US military depots in
    Afghanistan.
    The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) informed Congress on Aug.
    6 of the transfer to Israel of 1.075 billion liters of JP-8 jet fuel;
    478,000 liters of diesel fuel for tanks; 227,000 liters of unleaded fuel for
    military vehicles.

  10. Citizen
    May 30, 2011, 5:48 am

    This just in from my brother via cell phone, on his 1,000 mile journey across a big swatch of the USA over this Memorial Day weekend: “There’s a new bumper sticker out–I’ve seen a few now: “Netanyahu For President.”

    And, via JPost, Netanyahu just told the folks back home, “I told the president I wasn’t starting at the ’67 border.” And, “The American people strongly support Israel.”

  11. Pixel
    May 30, 2011, 8:57 am

    Land swaps? Israel doesn’t have enough land to give the Palestinians”

    Precisely.

    “Possession is 99% of the law.”

    • msilb
      May 30, 2011, 11:15 am

      How about there are no do-overs in war? The Arabs invaded the Palestinian state in 1948 and destroyed it. The Palestinians aren’t going to get what they were offered then and maybe not even what the failed Arab war of 1967 left them. When you lose wars this is what happens.

      • annie
        May 30, 2011, 12:32 pm

        hasbara alert.

      • Sand
        May 30, 2011, 12:47 pm

        The Arabs invaded the Palestinian state in 1948 and destroyed it.

        As if the Israeli’s weren’t itching for a fight – grief!

        If the US withdrew it’s military aid tomorrow, and all the other protections and freebies that Israel gets from reluctant US taxpayers — then what do you think will happen? You really think you’ll be still be able to hold onto the land you stole?

        If you can’t make deal soon — you really will be alone — all by your own making.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2011, 1:50 pm

        msilb

        “The Arabs invaded the Palestinian state in 1948 and destroyed it”

        I thought there was no Palestinian State according to the Hasbara. (in fact there was a Class A Provisional State under the LON Mandate for Palestine.)

        As for destroying it, no, they prevented Israel from taking all of what remained of Palestine after Israel defined the extent of it’s sovereignty May 15th 1948 and was recognized as such by the majority of the International Community of States.

        Gaza was held by Egypt and Jordan held the West Bank. Territories to the north were occupied by Israel and a big chunk bordering Egypt. None of which has yet been legally annexed to Israel. None of which is internationally recognized as Israeli.

        “The Palestinians aren’t going to get what they were offered then and maybe not even what the failed Arab war of 1967 left them. “

        A) The ‘failed Arab war’ ? The preemptor starts preemptive wars. No Arab state has ever started a war against Israel. Wars are started by the party firing the first salvo.

        B) ‘When you lose wars this is what happens’? Uh no, it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war. ANY WAR. Has been since at least the mid 1800’s when the US legally annexed territories from Mexico. Legal annexation requires a referendum of the citizens of the territory to be annexed. A referendum was conducted amongst the MEXICAN Citizens of Texas. They agreed to be annexed to the US. When was such a referendum carried out in Palestine?

        A very simple reason why there is a referendum. Self determination. The citizens of a territory or entity might not have voted for, or even been able to vote for, a hostile (or non hostile) Government at the outbreak of war. Even if they could or did vote, not all would have voted for the Government. Acquiring their territory would amount to collective punishment. Furthermore, in the post 1945 world, self determination rules, not the determination of a conqueror who has a nasty habit of starting preemptive wars.

      • Hostage
        May 30, 2011, 5:05 pm

        How about there are no do-overs in war?

        Starting when? Israel invaded Egyptian territory in 1948, 1956, and 1967. It withdrew its armed forces on every occasion and removed its settlements to boot. I could mention Hitler and Versailles, or Bush 43’s do over of Bush 41’s war with Iraq, but you get the idea.

      • Robert Werdine
        May 30, 2011, 8:17 pm

        “The ‘failed Arab war’ ? The preemptor starts preemptive wars. No Arab state has ever started a war against Israel. Wars are started by the party firing the first salvo.”

        The first salvos of the first Arab-Israeli War were fired by the Arabs against the Yishuv in the first week following the November 30, 1947 UN partition vote in the first stage of the conflict, and the surrounding Arab states invaded Palestine on May 15 in an attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state in the “international” stage. They failed, and in doing so sired the Palestinian refugee problem, which they have inhumanely perpetuated to this day. Had there been no war, there would have been no refugees.

        As I remarked in an earlier post yesterday, the first Arab-Israeli war is called a war because it was a war, and not a one-way criminal act inflicted by one side upon another helpless victim. It did not begin on May 15, 1948; it merely escalated then from a national into an international conflict with the Arab invasion. There had been a localized, low-intensity conflict between the Yishuv and other assorted Arab militias and paramilitaries since the announcement of the partition in late November 1947, and what occurred between Nov. 1947 and May 15, 1948 was a series of local attacks and counter-attacks between the Arabs and the Yishuv in the context of that conflict. Of course, acknowledging that context runs contrary to the attempts here to portray the situation as an ongoing act of Jewish ethnic cleansing and wanton criminality.

      • talknic
        May 31, 2011, 2:12 am

        Robert Werdine

        The first salvos of the first Arab-Israeli War were fired by the Arabs against the Yishuv in the first week following the November 30, 1947 ..”

        Odd …Israel didn’t exist until May 15th 1948. Care to explain?

        A state of civil war existed in Palestine from the 1920’s till May 15th 1948. It’s well documented by the British and the main reason for putting forward the partition plan of 1947. Mi5 considered Jewish militants to be terroristas

        ” the surrounding Arab states invaded Palestine on May 15 in an attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state in the “international” stage.”

        They invaded Palestine. Correct. Not Israel. Israel was no longer a part of Palestine May 15th 1948. There is no UNSC resolution condemning the Arab states for attacking Israel. It is customary

        The Arab States Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine actually contained no threat to Israel at all. It outlined the legal basis for invading Palestine, reiterating their earlier expressed opinion. (It was BTW, the last legal declaration of war by anyone)

        Under the UN Charter the Arab states, as regional powers, had the right to protect the territories of their ward, (whatever remained of Palestine the moment Israel was declared independent of Palestine), from Jewish forces who were already outside of Israel’s newly declared Sovereign extent on May 15th 1948.

        What was a civil war escalated under Plan Dalet in the weeks prior to Declaration, became a war waged by a newly declared state, Israel, on what remained of Palestine at “…one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

        “They failed, and in doing so sired the Palestinian refugee problem, which they have inhumanely perpetuated to this day”

        A) They failed? Uh? They retained what became the West Bank and the Gaza strip on behalf of the Palestinians.

        B) Refugees are created by the refusal to allow folk to return to their rightful place of residence, not by the countries hosting them for 63 years at incredible cost. Countries that have legislated to accommodate the Palestinian desire not to lose their right to return. Countries that have fought wars on the Palestinians behalf and who still fight the legal battle for their rights.

        C) The territories acquired by war by Israel by 1949, have never been legally annexed to Israel. Are not recognized as sovereign Israeli territory.

        “Had there been no war, there would have been no refugees”

        Uh huh. According to the heroic Israeli narrative, Jewish forces engaged in the preemptive war, were outside of Israel busy razing villages before and after May 15th 1948. According to the Israeli narrative, Israel refused RoR because of a demographic threat. Which, when one applies simple maths and logic, turns out to be a complete fallacy. Even more so today.

        “Of course, acknowledging that context runs contrary to the attempts here to portray the situation as an ongoing act of Jewish ethnic cleansing and wanton criminality”

        ‘Jewish’? Some of us have morals and are grateful for having been granted the state as it was declared and recognized May 15th 1948. You mean Israeli!

        Israel is STILL usurping. Still building illegal settlements. Still claiming illegally annexed territories and territories acquired by war and not even illegally annexed. Still lying about it’s self declared and confirmed borders. Still spouting bullsh*te. Still has some 223 UNSC resolutions outstanding against it, most of which are reminders, which is an indication of criminality under International Law

        How many UNSC resolutions outstanding against the Arab States relative to this conflict?

      • Robert Werdine
        May 31, 2011, 6:22 pm

        Talknic,

        “The first salvos of the first Arab-Israeli War were fired by the Arabs against the Yishuv in the first week following the November 30, 1947 ..”

        Odd …Israel didn’t exist until May 15th 1948. Care to explain?”

        This is a criticism? The Jewish entity in Palestine was regularly referred to as the Yishuv, and Israel after the state had been declared. Whether the state of Israel “existed” at the beginning of the conflict is irrelevant.

        “A state of civil war existed in Palestine from the 1920′s till May 15th 1948. It’s well documented by the British and the main reason for putting forward the partition plan of 1947. Mi5 considered Jewish militants to be terroristas”

        I think it is more accurate to say that there were periods of civil strife between local Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine in the period leading up to the UN partition vote on Nov.30, 1947, punctuated by periods of relative calm. Arab attacks on the Yishuv began in earnest on November 30, the day after the partition vote. On that day, a Jewish ambulance en route to the Hadassah Hospital came under fire, a group of Arabs ambushed a Jewish bus traveling from Netanya to Jerusalem, killing five and wounding seven, and attacked another Jewish bus en route to Jerusalem from Hadera, killing two. A Jewish person was murdered in Tel-Aviv’s Camel Market, in the prison at Acre Arab prisoners attacked Jewish ones, who were forced to barricade themselves in their cells before the British intervened, in Haifa Jews passing through Arab neighborhoods were shot at, and Jewish vehicles were stoned all over Palestine. Over the next several days there were shootings, stonings, and rioting, bombs tossed into cafes, Molotov cocktails thrown into shops, killing and maiming scores.

        On December 2, a mob of several hundred Arabs ransacked Jerusalems’s Jewish commercial center, looting, burning, stabbing, and stoning all before them. On December 4, some 120-150 armed Arabs attacked the Efal kibbutz, the first small unit military attack on a Jewish settlement, and on December 8 Hasan Salame, commander of the Lydda front, launched another large-scale attack on the Hatikva quarter in south Tel-Aviv. Both attacks were repulsed, but they set the pattern for the conflict, which was evolving from mob rioting and armed clashes to more military/guerilla style small unit operations. It was not until December 9 that the Hagana’s head of operations, Yigael Yadin began responding in kind to consolidate and protect crucial Jewish transportation arteries.

        The Stern/Irgun were terrorists? Shocking.

        “the surrounding Arab states invaded Palestine on May 15 in an attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state in the “international” stage.”

        They invaded Palestine. Correct. Not Israel. Israel was no longer a part of Palestine May 15th 1948. There is no UNSC resolution condemning the Arab states for attacking Israel. It is customary
        The Arab States Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine actually contained no threat to Israel at all. It outlined the legal basis for invading Palestine, reiterating their earlier expressed opinion.”

        You have to be joking. In 1948 Haj Amin al Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem, promised that the Arabs would not only reject the UN partition but “would continue fighting until the Zionists were annihilated and the whole of Palestine became a purely Arab state.” He had been saying the same thing repeatedly for more than two decades, and his were not idle words. Like Hamas leaders today, he and all Arab leaders would not agree to the creation of any Jewish sovereign entity, no matter how microscopically small. All of Holy Palestine must be Arab and Muslim and that was that.

        As in 1967, the Arabs in 1948 made perfectly clear the war of extermination they were intending to wage.

        Said the Grand Mufti: “murder the Jews. Murder them all.”

        Said Ahlman Azzah Pasha, the Arab League’s Secretary General:
        “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

        Said Ahmed Shukairy, then the Mufti’s spokesman: the war would result in “the elimination of the Jewish State…it does not matter how many Jews there are. We will sweep them into the sea.”

        Said you: “Under the UN Charter the Arab states, as regional powers, had the right to protect the territories of their ward, (whatever remained of Palestine the moment Israel was declared independent of Palestine), from Jewish forces who were already outside of Israel’s newly declared Sovereign extent on May 15th 1948.”

        What “right” under the UN Charter can you possibly be referring to? It wasn’t self-defense; the Yishuv did not attack the surrounding Arab states on May 15, it was vice-versa. The UN Security Council did not sanction the Arab action on May 15, and even passed UNSC Res. 49, the first of a slew of SC Resolutions urging calm on all belligerents.

        “What was a civil war escalated under Plan Dalet in the weeks prior to Declaration, became a war waged by a newly declared state, Israel, on what remained of Palestine at “…one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.””

        “a war waged by a newly declared state, Israel, on what remained of Palestine”? Please. It may have escaped your notice that the war had been ongoing for several months and that the Yishuv was actually losing the war prior to the implementation of Plan Dalet (Operation Nachshon) in early April of 1948.

        In the early spring of 1948 Ben-Gurion saw the scattered, disconnected communities of the Yishuv and their vulnerabilities to attack. He knew they would have to be consolidated into a defensive perimeter or they would be annihilated piecemeal. It was a military operation to consolidate a defensive perimeter among the Jewish communities in Palestine in preparation of the war that the Arabs’ adamant rejection of the partition had made inevitable.

        “Refugees are created by the refusal to allow folk to return to their rightful place of residence, not by the countries hosting them for 63 years at incredible cost. Countries that have legislated to accommodate the Palestinian desire not to lose their right to return. Countries that have fought wars on the Palestinians behalf and who still fight the legal battle for their rights.”

        Wrong. The events which led to the flight of the refugees did not occur in a vacuum; they occurred in the context of a war, a war that resulted from the Arabs’ rejection of the partition. Certainly the Deir Yassin massacre, and the hysterical broadcasts exaggerating the scale of it, sowed panic and (unintentionally) influenced the flight of the refugees, but the violence of the fighting in the towns and villages, the flight of so many high ranking Arab functionaries, and the near total breakdown in services also played a role in the exodus of the refugees throughout the 1948 War. This is not to deny that there were not some expulsions at Lydda and elsewhere; there were, but the numbers of those actually expelled were rather few. All Palestine was a war zone in those days, and, in general, Palestinian Arab society had always been governed by a somewhat fragile polity at that time, and it simply collapsed under the strain of the conflict, as did countless other societies in Europe during World War Two. When war comes to your village, it is only human to want to get out of the way until it is over.

        What the evidence shows is that the Nabka was sired from the war, and the war from the Arabs’ rejectionism, lack of realism, and still-persisting allergy to compromise that made it inevitable. The war resulted from the Arabs’ rejection of the partition, and the refugee crisis resulted from the war. The chain of causation here is simply undeniable: there would have been no refugee crisis if there had been no war.

        Having rejected the path of diplomacy and compromise, the Arabs sought the arbitration of force; it was to be a war of annihilation. Ever since the announcement of the partition in November 1947, they sought to destroy the nascent Jewish state, failed, suffered catastrophe and defeat in the process, and, as usual, blamed everyone but themselves, and still do. The Nabka was indeed needlessly self-inflicted by them, and the refugees and their descendants have paid a horrific price for their unpardonable folly and intransigence. They still do.

        The notion that there is an international ROR is simply false. The ROR is without any legal or diplomatic standing whatsoever. Like so many others on this blog, you are defining “international law” as whatever you happen to agree with. Resolution 194 which recommended that that refugees “should” be allowed to return to their homes in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 War, is a General Assembly Resolution filed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, and lacks the binding force of international law.

        Says the UN:

        “The basic difference between Chapters VI and VII is that under Chapter VII, the Council may impose measures on states that have obligatory legal force and therefore need not depend on the consent of the states involved. To do this, the Council must determine that the situation constitutes a threat or breach of the peace. In contrast, measures under Chapter VI do not have the same force, and military missions under Chapter VI would rest on consent by the state in question.”

        The “state in question” in this instance, would be Israel, who does not recognize the legitimacy of Res. 194, and nowhere has ever agreed to implement it in the form of a right of return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel.

        The language of Resolution 194 precludes an interpretation that supports a Palestinian claim for an unqualified right of return as opposed to a suggested one. According to Professor Ruth Lapidoth, “[The Palestinians’] interpretation . . . does not seem warranted: the paragraph does not recognize any ‘right,’ but recommends that the refugees ‘should’ be ‘permitted’ to return. Moreover, that permission is subject to two conditions -that the refugee wishes to return, and that he wishes to live at peace with his neighbors,” something the Arab world, at the time of the resolution, and even now, has clearly never seen fit to do.

        As Richard L. Cravatts of Boston University has said:

        “International law grants the right to leave or return to one’s country only to individuals, not as a collective right as the Palestinians claim. More importantly, no population of refugees has ever presumed that the right of return-if such a right even exists-could be claimed, not only by the original refugees, but also by all of their descendants.”

        Cravatts added:

        “Also, the Arab world has never agreed to assimilate Palestinians into their respective countries and solve the refugee problem; instead, the blame for the plight of the dispossessed Palestinians has been assigned singularly to Israel. “Among the dozens of countries to which tens of millions of refugees have fled for asylum,” says Joseph E. Katz, a Middle Eastern political and religious history analyst, “the only instance in which the ‘host countries refused,’ as a bloc, to assist properly, or even to accept aid in the permanent rehabilitation of their refugees, occurred in the ‘Arab states,’” violating the thinking of the resolution itself which foresaw “reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement.”
        No one would have imagined that, of the roughly 100,000,000 refugees created by international conflicts just since World War II, only the Palestinians would not have been resettled in the million and a half square miles of Arab land; instead, they have been made to tragically languish by their Arab brethren who still hypocritically demand their right to return only to the tiny 8000 square-mile piece of land that is now Israel.”

        No Israeli government, no matter how generous or liberal-minded is ever going to agree to drown the Jewish state in a sea of demographic subversion by letting the refugees “return.” I sometimes wonder how long the Palestinian leaders and their sundry supporters around the world will continue to taunt the poor, long-suffering Palestinian people with these cruel, lunatic fantasies of “return” that will never be, and finally sit down and make a practicable, workable peace that will put the Palestinians out of their misery and get them on the road to responsible statehood.

        “How many UNSC resolutions outstanding against the Arab States relative to this conflict?”

        Not nearly enough.

      • talknic
        June 5, 2011, 10:37 pm

        Robert Werdine

        “the state of Israel “existed” at the beginning of the conflict is irrelevant”

        Something that didn’t exist simply didn’t exist. No matter how many or what words you use. There was NO state of Israel prior to May 15th 1948. There WAS however a (Class A) Provisional State of Palestine until May 15th 1948. What remained after the Declaration of Israel was a smaller Provisional State of Palestine, it’s provisional status has never been revoked. It has been confirmed by having Observer Status in the UN.

        “I think it is more accurate to say that there were periods of civil strife between local Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine in the period leading up to the UN partition vote on Nov.30, 1947″

        Before and after. It’s called CIVIL WAR. I notice you didn’t list any Jewish violence/terrorism against non-Jews.

        [The Arab States Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine]
        “You have to be joking”

        Read the declaration. It’s on the Israeli Govt website. I gave it. Point out (cite verbatim) the threat to Israel. There is no UNSC condemnation of the Arab States official declaration or for attacking Israel in 1948 or at any other time.

        “In 1948 Haj Amin al Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem..”

        He was booted out 1937, the Grand Mufti of nowhere

        Furthermore, he was not the Arab States, did not write the Arab States Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine. His forces for Hitler were in the Balkans, not Palestine. Palestinians did not serve under his program for Hitler. Has nothing to do with the Palestinians today.

        “As in 1967, the Arabs in 1948 made perfectly clear the war of extermination they were intending to wage”

        Produce the official Arab States declaration for ’67 and the UNSC condemnation of it or their alleged attack on Israeli Sovereign territory. As with 1948, there is no condemnation because they did not attack Sovereign Israeli territory. Israel started a preemptive war. The Arab States had a right to attempt t usurp Israel forces OUTSIDE of Israel. States have a right to restore their Sovereignty (Schwebel) Israel has never had any Sovereign territory taken, nor has it ever legally annexed any territory it has ‘acquired’ by war.

        “What “right” under the UN Charter can you possibly be referring to?” UN Charter Chapter XI (I gave, you ignored, again). Also under the UN Charter Chapt VII, as Regional Powers and as the official representatives of what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared.

        The UN Security Council did not sanction the Arab action on May 15, and even passed UNSC Res. 49, the first of a slew of SC Resolutions urging calm on all belligerents”

        Correct “all belligerents” Not just the Arab States. You cannot produce what is required to confirm the Hasbara, that the Arab States attacked Israel, because it simply DOES NOT EXIST.

        “Please. It may have escaped your notice that the war had been ongoing for several months”

        Read what was written and stop making stupid, false, accusations.

        “The events which led to the flight of the refugees did not occur in a vacuum”</em.

        WOW!! AMAZING!! Refugees are created by 1) a danger to their well being should they return or 2) their NOT BEING ALLOWED TO RETURN by the country of return. Not by why they fled. They have a right to flee violence, they have a right to return.

        They were and still are CIVILIANS. Most of today were only CHILDREN in 1948. (didn’t you do basic, simple, mathematics? Or does too much Hasbara wipe all hope of logical thought processes?)

        Today, they’re ALL a minimum of 63 years of age. None took part in any war (max life expectancy of a Palestine refugee today is 73). They’d have been 10 years old in 1948.

        The majority of Palestinians have not been suicide bombers, have not displaced any Israeli’s, have not taken any Israeli territory. Have not bombed, fired white phosphorus, cute little deadly fletchettes, cluster bombs, have not taken up arms against anyone. Have not bulldozed homes, farms, orchards. They want only their rights per the law, the UN Charter and the Conventions. No more and rightfully no less.

        “The notion that there is an international ROR is simply false”

        The Conventions, UN Charter, customary International Law and UN /UNSC resolutions all say otherwise. But please continue to deny. It’s cute watching your kind flail around in denial.

        “..you are defining “international law” as whatever you happen to agree with.”

        By what it actually says actually. No additional words, no less. Israel is my homeland state. I’d like to see it living in peace and adhering to the law, under which it has every right to protect itself and it’s citizens WITHIN it’s actual Sovereign frontiers. It does not have the right to illegally ‘acquire’ territory or illegally annex territory or illegally settle territory. You on the other hand attempt to justify (with BS), Israel breaking the law. Dissing the UN Charter and Conventions. Even dissing the Declaration itself, which enshrines UNGA res 181 and obliges Israel to uphold the UN Charter and International Law.

        “Resolution 194 which recommended that that refugees “should” be allowed to return to their homes in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 War, is a General Assembly Resolution filed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, and lacks the binding force of international law”

        Uh huh. Like many UNGA Resolutions, it cites binding law, binding conventions and binding UN Charter. All of which ARE binding. Like the reminder for a bill unpaid. The laws and conventions cited in UNGA Res 194 are binding.

        “….. in the immediate aftermath of the 1948 War”

        Care to cite that verbatim? People have the right to return even as war continues, at first opportunity. I guess if “whatever you happen to agree with” doesn’t exist, you just have to make it up

        “Says the UN: “The basic difference between Chapters VI and VII is that under Chapter VII, the Council etc etc etc ”

        Cite it, verbatim at the UN. It doesn’t seem to exist as something the UN has actually said. I’m betting you can’t.

        The “state in question” in this instance, would be Israel, who does not recognize the legitimacy of Res. 194, and nowhere has ever agreed to implement it in the form of a right of return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel”

        Israel was and still is bound to the UN Charter in it’s entirety. It doesn’t have to recognize RoR for all lineal descendants. Under basic RoR, which is on an individual basis, the country of return has the right to veto all those who do not fulfill the criteria. Those wishing to return have to agree to live in peace, they have to have ‘lived’ in the area of return.

        But wait…. Israeli propaganda reaches heights of utter stupidity when it demands a peace agreement between Palestine and Israel in order that there be even limited RoR.

        Those who might be allowed return and do agree, on an individual basis as they must, to live in peace, would be ISRAELI CITIZENS……. not Palestinian citizens. The Israeli demand simply DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. I guess it’s specially written for the completely brain dead.

        “The language of Resolution 194 precludes an interpretation that supports a Palestinian claim for an unqualified right of return as opposed to a suggested one”

        Precisely. And that is why there is no official Palestinian demand for all lineal descendants.

        “According to Professor Ruth Lapidoth”

        A) I provided a link, it discussed dear Ruth and her twaddle. You obviously did not read it.
        B) Ruth Lapidoth is a propagandist. She implies “If Israel were to allow all of them to return to her territory, this would be an act of suicide on her part, and no state can be expected to destroy itself.”

        There is no official Palestinian demand for RoR for all lineal descendants. The ‘if’ is hers. The notion that Israel must, is hers. The notion that the Palestinians demand RoR for all lineal descendants, is hers.

        “Richard L. Cravatts ..”

        Likewise, has not and cannot show any such claim by the Palestinians. Their claim is per UNGA Res 194.

        There are only Israeli propagandists telling us the Palestinians demand RoR of all lineal descendants. But in fact….they don’t.

        “Also, the Arab world has never agreed to assimilate Palestinians into their respective countries and solve the refugee problem”

        Uh? Why should they? If refugees do not want citizenship other than in the country of return, they are not bound to take it. If they take citizenship in a country other than that of return, they lose all refugee status, the right to return and right to compensation.

        A country generously hosting refugees cannot force them to take citizenship and is not legally obliged to even offer it. The Arab States have hosted Palestine refugees for 63 years at incredible expense. They have fought wars on their behalves at incredible expense. They have represented them throughout all the legal arguments for over 90 years. They have passed legislation to accommodate the wishes of the Palestine refugees to return to where they rightfully belong according to the Law, the UN Charter and relevant Conventions, without losing their rights.

        //“How many UNSC resolutions outstanding against the Arab States relative to this conflict?”//

        “Not nearly enough”

        Fact is, there are none. There are scores of UNSC resolutions against Israel. Most of which BTW are reminders. (When you get a reminder for an unpaid bill is it bias?)

        You’re repeating the Hasbara. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    • talknic
      May 30, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Indeed Pixel. The saying is actually representative of both sides of the law as any good lawyer will tell you.

      Possession is what they convict felons on. As even a bad lawyer knows.

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