Killing off a dead Oslo

Israel/Palestine
on 141 Comments

Akiva Eldar recently wrote a piece in the Israeli daily Haaretz, in which Eldar pushes for the end of the Oslo Accords and all of the false hope that comes with them. The Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 (Oslo 2 was signed in 1995) and a permanent final status agreement was to be agreed upon by 1999. But then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist and the far right of the Israeli political spectrum took control with the election of Benyamin Netanyahu (for the first time) and the Oslo Accords were killed. Netanyahu admitted as much, taking credit for deceiving the United States and destroying the Oslo Accords.

Yet Oslo just won’t go away. The West Bank is still divided into Areas A, B, and C, the Palestinian Authority is still pushing for an independent Palestine and Israel is still colonizing its way across the entirety of the West Bank. Eldar argues that it is time to ‘put the Oslo Accords out of their misery.’ Rather, it is time for Palestine, Israel and the United States to stop living in the fantasy of a world where Oslo continues to be relevant. The Oslo Accords have already been killed. It is time for leaders to move on to the acceptance stage of the grieving process.

The United States is certainly still in the denial stage.

Stephen Walt writes that the continued presence of Dennis Ross is a clear sign that the US is still pushing for something that is no longer viable. As Eldar points out and Walt highlights, Ross has been nothing but an abject failure when it comes to Middle East peace. He has watched over the stagnation of negotiations and the continuation of Israeli colonization over the course of four presidencies lasting nearly two decades. As Walt puts it:

In what other line of work could someone fail consistently for two decades and still have a job? If you were a baseball manager and your team didn’t make the playoffs for two decades running, you’d have been canned long ago. If you were a CEO and you lost money for twenty straight years, the Board of Directors or the shareholders would have hired a replacement long ago. If you were a dean or a university president and faculty quality, student achievement and the size of the endowment kept declining on your watch, it’s a safe bet you’d be told that your services were no longer required.

But when it comes to U.S. Middle East policy, there is hardly any accountability.

It is time for the United States to move forward. It is time for rational and impartial minds to realize that the two state solution and the Oslo Accords that were ostensibly designed to lead there are dead and gone. Dennis Ross, in other words, should start looking for a new job. I have previously called the Oslo Accords both antiquated and defunct and have discussed the need for a one state solution – either binational or as a secular democracy. Chris Whitman has argued that Palestinians should be pushing for the dissolution of the PA (a creation of Oslo) and equal rights under a secular democracy (I disagree with parts of Chris’ argument, but agree with the basic premise).

It is not hard to see how far gone a two-state solution is. Not only will Israel refuse to necessary concessions such as the division of Jerusalem or complete Palestinian sovereignty (ie no Israeli military presence) in all of the Palestinian territories (particularly the Jordan Valley), but a two state agreement would completely ignore the rights of the Palestinian refugee population and officially destroy the right of return. Moreover, should Dennis Ross and other advocates of the deceased Oslo Accords succeed in convincing the Israeli government that two state negotiations should begin with 1967 borders with agreed land swaps (unlikely under the current Israeli leadership), it is unlikely that even the most liberal of land swaps would be acceptable for the Palestinians or possible for the Israelis.

Earlier this year, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) published several possibilities for land swap agreements. The first option saw a 1:1 territory exchange of nearly 300 square kilometers, with Israel keeping about 80% of the settlers, leaving 59,782 settlers to either accept Palestinians citizenship or to relocate. Option two exchanged 267 km squared, with Israel retaining 73.3% of settlers, leaving 79,805 settlers in Palestinian territory. Finally the third option exchanged 230 km squared, with Israel keeping 68.5% of settlers, leaving 94,226 settlers in Palestinian territory. This does not even include the settlers in East Jerusalem – another 192,000 settlers who would need to be evacuated – because, according to the report, “Israel does not refer to such residents as settlers.”

So would Israel be able to forcibly evacuate the minimum of 251,782 settlers from East Jerusalem and the settlements included in the land swaps? Let’s simplify this; forget East Jerusalem. Would Israel be able to evacuate the 59,782 settlers proposed in option one? Consider that in 2005 when Israel left the Gaza strip, it forced around 8,500 settlers out of Gaza costing the Israeli government around US$ 1.245 billion (each family was given around US$ 200k – US$ 300k plus other benefits). In other words, including compensation and administrative costs, Israel spend around US$146,470 per person. At that rate, evacuation of the West Bank settlements under the most Israeli friendly plan, Israel would need to spend US$8.748 billion (US$28.878 billion if the plan were to include the settlers in East Jerusalem).

Now keep in mind that the West Bank (Judea and Samaria for Israelis) holds far more religious and historical value than the Gaza strip and one can easily predict that removal of the West Bank settlers would be more difficult than those in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis protested the disengagement plan for Gaza, Israelis resurrected imagery from the Holocaust to compare the Israeli government to Nazis and committed acts of violence against Palestinians across Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. It is hard to believe that should the Israeli government evacuate a quarter million settlers from some of the most emotionally and religiously charged areas (Jerusalem and Khalil, or Hebron, for example) or settlements and outposts (Yitzhar or Givat Ronen, for example) will not produce greater (and longer lasting) violence among the believers of a Greater Israel.

And so we move back to Dennis Ross, the reliance on the deceased Oslo Accords and the possibility of a two state solution. Eldar and Walt are correct to mock Ross. Ross has used the Oslo Accords as a pretext for baseless negotiations that mask Israeli settlement construction for years. The United States, Israel and Palestine must find a way to move away from this hopeless track of failed negotiations and dependence on an agreement that should have been pronounced dead and gone more than a decade ago. Inevitably, any one state solution, secular democracy or binational, will have massive problems with identification, coexistence and equality. But blindly pursuing an impossibility based on the Oslo Accords is hardly a better alternative.

This post originally appeared on Notes from a Medinah

141 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    July 11, 2011, 10:35 am

    There is no dead Oslo.

    There is only delayed. Delayed by likud, delayed by Hamas and solidarity.

    • Cliff
      July 11, 2011, 2:47 pm

      Hamas’s crimes pale in comparison to Israel. And it is precisely because of the scale and magnitude of Israeli criminality that the 2SS is dead.

      The West Bank is fragmented. There is no territorial contiguity. There is no end in sight for the status quo. Blaming Hamas primarily or equivocating responsibility in this regard is transparent. You are a partisan hack Witty.

      I knew you’d be the first to post in this thread. You – like the Israeli propagandists who push the ‘piece process’ – issue these empty platitudes while, the facts on the ground get shoved down Palestinian throats.

    • Chris Keeler
      July 11, 2011, 2:47 pm

      Oslo’s purpose was to create the conditions necessary for a Palestinian state to be made. The continued colonization of the West Bank has rendered any chance of two states next to impossible. The only reason that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank continued to grow was the establishment of Area C and the ability of Israel to bend the law to remove Palestinians from their land – aka Oslo.

      • Keith
        July 11, 2011, 5:17 pm

        CHRIS KEELER- “Oslo’s purpose was to create the conditions necessary for a Palestinian state to be made.”

        I think it would be more accurate to say that Oslo was intended to create the illusion of negotiated progress while permitting Israel to continue colonizing Palestinian lands. Stephen Walt’s rant that Dennis Ross has “failed” for 28 years comes close to a liberal apologia for the “peace process,” good intentions gone awry through individual failure. A more accurate formulation would be that Dennis Ross succeeded brilliantly in achieving Israeli objectives by way of deception, and that the US supports Israel in their mutual rejectionism. There is no “peace process.” US/Israel are engaged in ongoing low intensity conflict and ethnic cleansing.

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 5:53 pm

        It is pretty easy to look back and say that the whole process was designed to support the colonization of Palestine, but it would be silly to assume that all the Israelis and Americans involved believed that it was such a means. There were plenty of Israelis, Americans and, certainly, Palestinians who believed that Oslo could have developed into something. The mismanagement of the peace process in the late 2000’s combined with the shift to the right in Israel effectively turned the Accords into the joke they are today.

        I agree with you that Ross basically worked for Israel throughout the entire process. I agree that Israel, with the support of the US, is employing what you call low intensity conflict and ethnic cleansing. But you can’t confuse the situation today with that of 1993.

      • Keith
        July 11, 2011, 7:55 pm

        CHRIS KEELER- “But you can’t confuse the situation today with that of 1993.”

        I agree completely, so why do it? While there may have been some basis for starry eyed optimism in 1993, surely we should be capable of a more realistic assessment now. The goals and tactics of Zionism have been quite consistent throughout the years, Oslo yet another example of a public charade while dirty business proceeds apace, something which Stephen Walt can’t seem to come to grips with. Sure, there might have been some who felt that some good would come from Oslo, so what? I’m not disputing that Oslo is dead, I am taking issue with the implication that it was a good faith effort which failed. The three zones of control (A, B and C) are there because it suites US/Israel to maintain this system of control, not because of any unrealistic hope for the future and denial of current reality. When it comes to Israel/Palestine, it is generally a good idea to ignore the propaganda and focus on the facts on the ground. Israel has the power to more or less implement their long range plan. With few exceptions, what you see is what they want. And don’t just blame Likud and Netanyahu, Labor is in this all the way. Rabin cancelled the final talks before his assassination.

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 10:12 pm

        Keith: “While there may have been some basis for starry eyed optimism in 1993″

        Keith: “I am taking issue with the implication that it was a good faith effort which failed”

        There would not have been starry eyed optimism if there was no initial good faith. You are correct, today A B and C are used by Israel to continue and expand the operation. But back in 1993, the accords would not have been signed unless there was at least the idea of making it work.

      • Richard Witty
        July 11, 2011, 9:30 pm

        Oslo succeeded in creating the conditions in which a viable Palestinian state are possible.

        Those conditions were rejected by likud and those further to the right, and by Hamas and those further to the right, by the far left, and by the left-right (libertarian) solidarity.

        The conditions still exist, but are contingent on acceptance of the other, including acceptance of Israel as Israel.

      • annie
        July 12, 2011, 1:32 am

        Oslo succeeded in creating the conditions in which a viable Palestinian state are possible.

        what planet are you on richard. oslo created the conditions for israel to designate palestinian land as closed military zones and plant all their expansions there for ‘security. wake the f up.

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2011, 1:48 am

        wake the f up

        Shhh, don’t wake him. He’s dreaming and talks in his sleep.

      • Hostage
        July 13, 2011, 4:10 am

        Oslo’s purpose was to create the conditions necessary for a Palestinian state to be made

        No, about half of the countries in the world had already recognized Palestine after the 1988 declaration of statehood and it wasn’t even mentioned as a final status issue. The Oslo Accords were an interim agreement on a method of resolving a belligerent occupation under Resolution 242 and 338 of the Security Council and agreeing on the division of powers and territorial jurisdictions within the occupied territory. The agreement was one between two existing states regarding steps to be taken while the belligerent occupation continued. The Accords lapsed on September 13, 2000 and the Palestinians have subsequently rejected the status quo by boycotting the settlements, declaring that they can transfer criminal jurisdiction to the ICC for offenses committed on their territory and by depositing treaty instruments with the Secretary-General for agreements that are only open for signature and ratification by States.

        The reference to resolution 242 in the Oslo Accords implied negotiations between two existing states, i.e. the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, the termination of the state of belligerency, achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem and mutual acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force. Only States can exercise sovereignty, political independence, and negotiate borders.

        FYI, Abbas, Fayyad, and Mansour have stated that if Israel won’t end the occupation and grant Palestinians their freedom they will consider dissolving the PA and immediately demanding Israeli citizenship and the right to vote. Far from ending the occupation, such a move would automatically green light the IDF’s return to all of the areas in the West Bank and Gaza.

        a two state agreement would completely ignore the rights of the Palestinian refugee population and officially destroy the right of return.

        When the Palestinians throw themselves on the mercy of the Israelis and beg for citizenship and the right to vote, how will the refugees be better off? The “occupied territories” will have been ceded by the legal reversioner (currently recognized by the 13o OIC countries) and the only thing that ever guaranteed the refugees any right of return, to about 22 percent of the former mandate of Palestine, will be Israeli territory.

      • MRW
        July 13, 2011, 5:48 am

        Hostage,

        What do you think of this? If it’s been addressed in another thread, then I’ll search for it:
        http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/07/11/what_the_un_vote_means–and_does_not/

        Thx

      • Danaa
        July 13, 2011, 5:52 pm

        MRW- glad you brought this up – I saw this opinion on Avishai’s web site and was planning to bring up here sometime. Here;s adding my hope that Hostage will address these points made by the ex UN official.

        OTOH, this maybe better addressed in a post of its own, rather than be buried in a soon-to-be moribound thread. Wanna go for it and bring it up to Phil? maybe Hostage can do a post on this topic? I think it’s really important to address the issues raised about the various procedures open to the Palestinians in the UN and what they mean.

        PS one crazy scenario is that israel, in its infinite non-wisdom, takes advantage of American distraction and bombs Iran just before September. That might shake things up a bit, though possibly not in the way they want.

      • Hostage
        July 13, 2011, 9:54 pm

        I’ve discussed the topic in some other posts, but its not that complicated. Alvaro de Soto is beating around the bush a bit. Palestine isn’t asking the UN to “give legal validity to the creation of a state”. Palestine has already been created and is recognized by nearly the same number of other states as Israel. Palestine is asking the UN to acknowledge those relationships and to accept that Palestine has all of the rights and duties of a state as determined by international law. It’s really nonsensical, since the General Assembly has already demanded that Palestine conduct independent investigations and prosecute individuals in accordance with accepted standards of international law. The responses were provided by a Commission established by the “President of the State of Palestine” (see pages 65 & 66) and the UNHRC has indicated that it considers Palestine a non-member state (e.g. see the states marked with an asterisk * & the footnote).

        Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recently introduced a resolution to withhold US contributions to any UN entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades the status of the PLO observer mission. So, she realizes that the General Assembly can simply adopt a resolution to upgrade the PA mission to the status of a “Permanent Observer State”, from its current status of a “Permanent Observer Entity”. The status of a Permanent Observer is based purely on practice, and there are no formal criteria or provisions for it in the United Nations Charter. Palestine would then be able to deposit treaty instruments with the Secretary General for UN treaties and any other treaties that use the “All States Formula”.

        It’s really only necessary to adopt a resolution which unambiguously refers to Palestine as a state. The General Assembly has done that in the past in order to permit non-members to become State Parties to international agreements. See the discussion about The “Vienna formula”; the “all States formula”; and the practice of the General Assembly in Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev. 1. It just so happens that the Secretary General serves as the depositary for the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and in accordance with Article 125 of the Statute it is open for accession by all States. If Palestine can become a State Party, it already has an ICJ opinion in hand which held that Israel has illegally transferred portions of its population into its territory. Prosecuting the individuals responsibile for that would be more than “symbolic”.

        In the early days of the UN, the permanent members refused to admit new members simply because they didn’t have diplomatic relations with them. So, an ICJ advisory opinion was requested on “Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter)”. In 1950 the Secretary General submitted a legal opinion on the problems of representation of states in the UN in which he opined that the UN played no role in collective recognition of states and said that the Charter would have to be amended in order for that to happen. So, a decision by the UN is not binding on the member states, e.g. many of the Arab states do not recognize Israel, despite the fact that it is a UN member state. See S/1466, 9 March 1950, Letter Dated 8 March 1950 From the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council Concerning “Legal Aspects of Problems of Representation in the United Nations”.

      • Danaa
        July 14, 2011, 12:37 am

        Hostage, thanks for the excellent exposition. Now here it is again buried in what’s becoming an old thread (common fate for many good post on MW, alas; what with news coming in so fast and furious). Do you have any objection if I try and upgrade your response to a post? maybe in conjunction with Avishai’s entry? I really think more people should see the UN issues exposed this clearly. Naturally, You can do so yourself – but I don’t mind being the means to a good end. The downside is that I won’t be able to resist adding a couple of notes of my own….likely to be a little on the sour side…

      • annie
        July 14, 2011, 1:09 am

        upgrade your response to a post?

        do you mean commenting on it several times back to back so it dominates the comment stream on the front page?

      • annie
        July 14, 2011, 1:14 am

        btw, i already read hostage’s post and bookmarked it (i know, the archives are there now) but i feel foolish popping up again and again sounding like some clueless valley girl “awesome post hostage”.

        lol, embarrassing. last night i was thinking ‘don’t ever die dude, we so need you’. but i said nothing.

        ;)

      • Danaa
        July 14, 2011, 1:25 am

        You are funny annie.

        I meant having an above the line post so at least it’ll get more readers. I know people can go to the archive now, but humans being what they are (ie, a bit on the lazy side), I thought a little help might be in order…

      • RoHa
        July 14, 2011, 1:40 am

        ‘sounding like some clueless valley girl “awesome post hostage”.’

        But Hostage’s posts are consistently awesome.

      • Hostage
        July 14, 2011, 1:43 am

        Do you have any objection if I try and upgrade your response to a post?

        No, not at all.

      • annie
        July 14, 2011, 1:53 am

        i know!

      • annie
        July 14, 2011, 1:55 am

        you mean front page it?

      • Hostage
        July 14, 2011, 5:04 am

        Hostage,

        What do you think of this?

        There are a couple of key issues:

        1. One of the comments at TPM highlights the Israeli Cabinet threats to annex all of the West Bank except the large Palestinian population centers if the Palestinians go ahead as planned in the UN. That thinking reflects the Israeli estimate that the UN Security Council will continue to ignore the advisory opinion of its own primary judicial organ and allow Israel to illegally interfere with the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Palestinian people with absolute impunity. It is also disturbing that Israeli ignores the prohibition against the threat or use of force and the acquisition of territory by war, since those are terms that govern any settlement (more below).

        2. Alvaro de Soto’s famous “End of Mission Report” complained:

        At best I have been the “UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process” [UNSCO] in name only, and since the election of Hamas, I have been “The Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Palestinian Authority” for about ten or fifteen minutes in two phone calls and one handshake.

        The UNSCO also serves as UN Envoy to the Quartet. So, I find his statement that, “as a matter of international law, neither the UN nor any other international organization can give legal validity to the creation of a state” a bit perplexing. At the Versailles Peace Conference the Supreme Council established “The Committee on New States and for The Protection of Minorities”. All the new successor states were compelled to sign minority rights treaties as a precondition of diplomatic recognition. It was agreed that although the new States had been recognized they had not been “created” before the signatures of the final Peace Treaties. All of the new “Mandated States” in Ottoman Asia were summoned into existence by the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne and the mandate articles contained in the resolutions of the Council of the League of Nations. See “The Jews And Minority Rights, (1898-1919), Oscar I. Janowsky, Colombia University Press, 1933, page 342 and Part III Creation of States in International Organizations, Chapter 13 “Mandates and Trust Territories” in James Crawford, “Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006, page 565.

        The practice of the UN is still evolving. For example, it used to be considered “a given” that the UN had no legislative powers. Then, in 1993, it began adopting statutes for ad hoc international criminal tribunals that were empowered to prosecute and imprison persons charged with serious crimes of concern to the international community. The General Assembly has validated the creation of states on many occasions. It did that whenever it terminated a trusteeship agreement and emancipated the peoples of the newly independent states.

        It is not without relevance that the Security Council adopted the Quartet Road Map with the intent that it would result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel – and that beginning in 2003 the Quartet members, including the UN, would promote international recognition of the Palestinian state, including the possibility of UN membership (page 6). The settlement was supposed to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and end the occupation that began in 1967 – based on the foundations of the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, & UN SC resolutions 242, 338 and 1397. When the Security Council adopted resolution 242, it incorporated a number of “substantial measures that govern the final settlement”, like the the UN Charter prohibition against the threat or use of force and the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war. See The official ‘Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council’, page 5

        The Security Council should have the capacity to give the creation of the new state legal validity since its resolutions “govern” the very terms of its coming into existence. FYI, there is nothing to prevent the Quartet or the UN from recognizing Palestine within interim borders based upon the armistice lines pending the resumption of negotiations.To date, there have been no “agreed swaps” and Israel’s “statehood” has not hampered the “peace process”. The current UNSCO has reported that the institutions of the PA are comparable to those of a State and that it is ready for statehood. Even if the UN had not validated statehood in the past, that should not prevent it from doing so in this particular case.

      • MRW
        July 14, 2011, 6:21 pm

        Thank you, Hostage,

        I couldn’t find where I’d asked the question until I remembered the archive. (Such a great idea, Alan.)

        You wrote Alvaro de Soto is beating around the bush a bit. Palestine isn’t asking the UN to “give legal validity to the creation of a state”. Palestine has already been created and is recognized by nearly the same number of other states as Israel.

        That’s what I thought, which is why I asked for your more nuanced and what I knew would be a thoroughly linked and referenced answer.

        So…short question: if you were playing with your crystal ball and you were winging out a maybe-perhaps, how do you see September shaking down? Bombing Iran beforehand as a diversion like Danaa suggested these cretins are capable of? Some other mad but totally in character with the current regime obstruction? Or do you think there is some heavy thinking and smart strategic wrangling going on behind the scenes? [Some short question....] Blue sky it…with no responsibility required for whether you’ll be right or wrong.

      • MRW
        July 14, 2011, 6:30 pm

        Danaa, go for it and add your sweet-and-sour. I always enjoy it when you let-‘er-rip because your lead-ups are presumptively innocent. ;-)

        There are so many powerful and informed voices on this blog now. It’s impressive. I enjoy feeling de minimus and coming here to be educated. Phil’s editorial decision to open this up to Palestinian voices is genius. I try to preserve as many conversations as I can on a separate drive, because this blog is history in the making.

      • Hostage
        July 15, 2011, 5:58 pm

        So…short question: if you were playing with your crystal ball

        I don’t have one. I’m usually just as surprised by positive developments and disappointed by setbacks as everyone else. Here are some articles that reflect the positions today:
        *Arab League to submit UN Palestinian statehood bid
        *The PLO Executive Committee has called on the World to support the Palestinian UN bid for statehood. The statement said the United States bears responsibility for Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories.

        It doesn’t look like the Arabs are trying to preserve their relationship with the US or its role in the Middle East “peace process” beyond September.

        The Arab League and the PLO Leadership intend to seek UN membership for Palestine in the Security Council. This is probably like the SC resolution on the illegality of the settlements. They intend to make the US vote one way or the other. If the bid in the SC doesn’t succeed, they will ask for recognition from the General Assembly. If that also fails, they can ask for an Emergency Special session. It could be used to act on the pending requests for an ICJ advisory opinion on the question of the legality of a continued military occupation that incorporates elements of colonization and apartheid and the role of the Middle East Quartet in denying the Palestinians their right of self-determination. The General Assembly will also be dealing with reports from the UNRWA regarding continuing shortages in Gaza due to the blockade and the UNHRC request that the Security Council address the inadequate follow-up to the Goldstone report.

        At this point, the US and Israel are pulling-out the stops to head-off any vote or any special sessions on all of these issues. The US is threatening to defund the PA and the UN. Israel is threatening to round-out their borders through more annexation. They might be successful, but I suspect that the Saudi’s gave Obama a (2011) drop dead date when he first came into office. The Fayyad plan to end the occupation and establish the state was outlined in Palestinian and Arab Quartet proposals for years before it was formally adopted.

        It was the Saudis that put it on the UNSCO. AHLC, and Middle East Quartet agenda. The Saudis have signaled that they will also pull-out all the stops to obtain Palestinian recognition. They have warned that there will be “disastrous consequences” for U.S.-Saudi relations if the United States vetoes U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

        I don’t think that the foreign donors on either side of the debate are going to be eager to fund the PA after the September bid. Abbas isn’t running for reelection. The Palestinian leadership have said they have no post-September plans for the PA, as such, and would consider dissolving it if the UN bid isn’t successful. Fayyad has expressed his willingness to step aside in the interest of forming a future unity government. He also recently indicated that if Israel doesn’t grant the Palestinians their freedom, they will instantly demand Israeli citizenship and the right to vote.

        So there is every indication right at the moment that the Arab Quartet/League of States and the Palestinians are willing to go for broke.

    • eljay
      July 11, 2011, 2:50 pm

      >> Delayed by likud, delayed by Hamas and solidarity.

      Delayed by Zio-supremacism’s obsession with acquiring the vaguely-defined “enough Israel”. Delayed by Israel’s ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. Delayed by Israel’s unwillingness to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      Damn you, Hamas!!!

    • Chaos4700
      July 12, 2011, 12:16 am

      You’ll show up on this topic but the topic about the Israeli government torturing Palestinian children you ignore? What a humanist you are.

  2. Mndwss
    July 11, 2011, 2:07 pm

    “Delayed by likud, delayed by Hamas and solidarity.”

    #4

    1 part likud. And 2 parts pure evil.

    Mix and shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. (007)

    All martini’s sucks.

    • Cliff
      July 11, 2011, 2:50 pm

      By solidarity, Dick means ‘BDS’.

      So by his standard, instead of doing anything about the colonialism and theft – we should implore Palestinians to negotiate endlessly (‘piece process’) with the Zionists.

      The Palestine papers demonstrate Israeli intransigence. It shows how unreasonable the Israelis were. There are plenty of examples.

      The truth is that the Palestinians (and not the Israelis) have no partner for peace.

      Let’s get down to specifics though, so Witty can squirm back to his ‘liberal Zionist’ blog. Your turn Dick.

      • Richard Witty
        July 11, 2011, 4:20 pm

        Its not a question of blame as of necessity.

        If a party does not do what is necessary, then shit happens.

        In this case Hamas has publicly declared that it will NEVER recognize Israel, and that is qualitatively different than “we will recognize Israel if…”

        The failure to shift to “if”, is the confirmation of a state of war.

        Its necessary.

        A state of war is no good for anyone. Even the condition of dynamic resistance is a fascist state of being, a martial state.

      • annie
        July 11, 2011, 4:36 pm

        Its not a question of blame as of necessity. If a party does not do what is necessary, then shit happens.

        by “does not do what is necessary” would you be referencing bib’s video taking credit for deceiving the United States and destroying the Oslo Accords? and why do you say it’s not about blame and then start blathering about declarations of hamas?

        The failure to shift to “if”, is the confirmation of a state of war.

        do you mean the big ‘if’ in ‘if only palestinians would formally recognize their homeland is jewish?’ or are you only applying the orwellain application to all your gibberish? you’re not blaming but hamas’s ‘failure’ is ‘the confirmation of a state of war’?

        yawn. arguing w/you is like swatting flies.

      • Cliff
        July 11, 2011, 4:52 pm

        Recognition of Israel is not necessary because the terms of recognition is as a ‘Jewish State’.

        Hamas recognizes that Israel is a fact.

        In an interview with the WPost, Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh(sp) has stated that Hamas will recognize Israel in phases.

        This issue of recognition is a smokescreen however.

        Israel is actively stealing and colonizing Palestinian land. There is no parity between the occupier and the occupied. Israel is not at war with Hamas.

        Israel is at war with the Palestinian people. Hence, the collective punishment. Stop spamming, Dick.

      • Cliff
        July 11, 2011, 4:54 pm

        The Palestine papers have shown Israel to be a dishonest and insincere partner for peace.

        Dick is just spamming Mondoweiss with his stale arguments because they function as a defense mechanism for him.

        Witty, you have no evidence and no sources to back up what you say. You only have empty platitudes detached from the reality of the conflict.

        Stop writing prose, no one is buying it.

      • eljay
        July 11, 2011, 5:03 pm

        >> In this case Hamas has publicly declared that it will NEVER recognize Israel, and that is qualitatively different than “we will recognize Israel if…”

        So, if Hamas were to say…
        “We will recognize Israel as a democratic, secular and egalitarian democracy for all Israelis IF it halts its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder; withdraws to within its 1967 borders; and enters into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace”
        …that would be acceptable?

        >> The failure to shift to “if”, is the confirmation of a state of war.

        Another confirmation of a state of war is Israel’s ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, and its refusal to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace.

      • eljay
        July 11, 2011, 5:07 pm

        >> The failure to shift to “if”, is the confirmation of a state of war.

        The rapist continues to rape his victim. His defence? “She refused to admit that I’m actually a nice person. I told her ‘IF you admit that I’m a nice person, I’ll stop raping you.’ Instead, she just slapped and punched me, and that makes her an aggressor. Well, that’s what RW told me, anyway, and he’s a ‘humanist’ so it must be true.”

      • Shingo
        July 11, 2011, 5:44 pm

        Its not a question of blame as of necessity.

        Witty reserves blame exclusively for Hamas.

        If a party does not do what is necessary, then shit happens.

        When Israel commits war crimes and violates agreements, it’s shit happening.

        No blame.

      • libra
        July 11, 2011, 7:05 pm

        Dirty Witty spots the Palestinian kid hanging around the settlement again. With a screech of brakes, he pulls over, grabs him by the neck, and sticks the barrel of his .44 Magnum in the boy’s face.

        “Listen punk” he drawls in his trademark throaty whisper, “when I said “Live and let live”, I meant you let these nice people live here, and you go live over there” forcing his head east towards Jordan. Sliding off the safety, he growls menacingly “If you don’t do what’s necessary, then shit happens”.

      • Richard Witty
        July 11, 2011, 8:28 pm

        You really didn’t address my points.

        Both Hamas and likud need to make sincere and significant changes.

        Solidarity enables Hamas (in the addictive way). The US (and I, or am accused) enables likud.

        Except that in my home space, I declare overtly that likud and Israeli populace must change.

        But, in this, your home space, you declare that Hamas need not change, that it better not.

        Cliff,
        Hamas has not to my understanding EVER stated that it will conditionally accept Israel, not stages, not anything.

        For Palestine to be Palestine, and not continue as some petty internal civil argument/war, it needs to.

        Stuck. Repetitive. Old and in the way.

      • Shingo
        July 11, 2011, 9:11 pm

        Stuck. Repetitive. Old and in the way.

        Yes Witty, that’s what comes to mid every time I see your comments.

      • Shingo
        July 11, 2011, 9:13 pm

        That’s priceless Libra,

        Nicely put. You forgot to add soemthing about “self governance” and “better wheels”, but otherwise, excellent.

      • Chaos4700
        July 12, 2011, 12:17 am

        Stuck. Repetitive. Old and in the way.

        Geez, Witty, we don’t need your autobiography here.

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2011, 6:03 am

        You really didn’t address my points.

        Well Richard, after being AWOL for a few days I’m glad you’re back to address some points…

        You made some extraordinary claims about the Palestinian BNC (Boycott National Committee) just minutes before going AWOL; that they had “revised” what they present as their 2005 call for boycott in the past year. You presented 2 different texts, specifying that one was what they present as the 2005 BDS call “today”, and the other was what they presented as the 2005 BDS call “a year ago”. I found your explanation, that the non-violent BDS Movement had “revised” their 2005 call to incorporate “militant warring language” quite bizarre.

        I asked you four days ago (twice) and I’m asking you now again, what are your sources for these two different texts, and are you planning to present any sort of evidence to back up your claim?

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2011, 6:12 am

        I’m asking you now again, what are your sources for these two different texts, and are you planning to present any sort of evidence to back up your claim?

        You know what his answer is going to be Sumud. He’ll make some excuse about not being able to find the link, but that he recalls reading it somewhere.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 7:12 am

        You guys were my sources.

        Thats the confusing part, the vague, the opportunist.

        For those of us that desire that there be a self-governing Israel (the vast majority of the world), there is more danger than ideals in being asked to participate.

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 7:13 am

        >> He’ll make some excuse about not being able to find the link, but that he recalls reading it somewhere.

        Maybe he read about it on his blog… :-D

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 7:25 am

        RW, please respond.

        You stated:
        >> In this case Hamas has publicly declared that it will NEVER recognize Israel, and that is qualitatively different than “we will recognize Israel if…”
        >> The failure to shift to “if”, is the confirmation of a state of war.

        I asked:
        >> So, if Hamas were to say…
        “We will recognize Israel as a democratic, secular and egalitarian democracy for all Israelis IF it halts its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder; withdraws to within its 1967 borders; and enters into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace”
        >> …that would be acceptable?

        Please respond.

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 7:29 am

        >> RW: For those of us that desire that there be a self-governing Israel (the vast majority of the world) …

        Can you please provide a link to a credible survey which supports your assertion that “the vast majority of the world” (I’ll settle for as little as 60% of the current world population of 6.93 billion people) desires a self-governing Israel? Thanks.

        >> … there is more danger than ideals in being asked to participate.

        What danger is there to you? What danger is there to some guy in Australia or Taiwan or Canada?

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2011, 7:42 am

        You guys were my sources.

        WTF!

        That’s a flat out Big Lie, Richard. I’m not surprised it took you four days to cook up.

        I asked you specifically if you were “accusing the BDS Movement of falsifying their own 2005 statement in the last year?” You responded:

        Falsifying? No.

        Revising. Revising to a “bigger tent” ambiguity.

        …and began to quote texts. Again Richard, what are your sources for these texts?

        You claimed the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 call. Now, please provide evidence, or have the decency to apologise and retract the accusation.

        I’ve been reading MW long enough to know it’s been a long term project of yours to try and discredit BDS Richard. Still, I’m surprised at the lengths you’ll go to, especially since once again you’ve end up with egg on your face.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 9:33 am

        So clarify what you mean by “occupation”.

        Does BDS, and you, mean the 67 borders or all of Israel?

        By equal rights within Israel, what do you mean?

        By right of return, do you mean
        Right to former residents of Israel to return to Israel, or anyone that claims any Palestinian descent to anywhere in Palestine.

        How will you recognize whether a proposal fits with or conflicts with those demands? Clarify.

        Please don’t play the opportunistic, “the Palestinians will decide”. Which ones? By concensus, by majority, by authorization?

        What?

        There are political advantages to staying vague, and political disadvantages.

        Please proceed further than repetitive, rhetorical, stuck.

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 9:56 am

        >> RW: For those of us that desire that there be a self-governing Israel (the vast majority of the world) …
        >> eljay: Can you please provide a link to a credible survey which supports your assertion that “the vast majority of the world” (I’ll settle for as little as 60% of the current world population of 6.93 billion people) desires a self-governing Israel? Thanks.

        Additionally, could you please clarify whether the “vast majority of the world” that desires a “self-governing Israel” ALSO desires:
        – a supremacist “Jewish state” Israel (rather than a democratic, secular and egalitarian state of Israel of all Israelis);
        – an Israel that is engaged in an ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder; and
        – an Israel that refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        I’m very curious to know exactly what “the vast majority of the world” actually desires.

      • annie
        July 12, 2011, 10:09 am

        just answer the questions richard. don’t try to pawn this off by asking 8 more. back up your previous statements.

      • annie
        July 12, 2011, 10:18 am

        there’s certainly not a vast majority of americans who believe ‘self governance’ should come at the expense of half the people. what’s ‘self’ about 1/2 the people having no representation? richard forgets the apartheid government only allows 1/2 the people it governs the privilege of representation.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 2:56 pm

        What specific questions?

        Please without rhetoric.

        You know my thesis, that peace is an #and# construction, and that “justice” that is not peace is a pendulum swing, one oppression followed by another.

        You continue on what you are against, but never get to what you are for, and therefore there is then no possibility of actual action.

        I am seeking a path here, an argument that I can take to pro-Israeli advocates, that there is a conditional approach offered, so that therefore pressure can be relaxed and/or removed.

        But, I don’t hear it ever.

        The powers in Israel are cemented by certainty, certainty of their historical experience, some religious certainty, certainty that Palestinian solidarity do not consider them human beings worthy of consideration as civilians.

        As such, militancy results in war, not in change.

        Change only comes from the possibility of peace.

      • annie
        July 12, 2011, 3:00 pm

        You know my thesis, that peace is an #and# construction, and that “justice” that is not peace is a pendulum swing

        does blogging tire your fingertips?

        you are getting very very sleepy, you feel your weight lifting thru the top of your head. very shortly you will close your eyes and not open them until you hear the sound of my voice.

      • annie
        July 12, 2011, 3:02 pm

        Palestinian solidarity do not consider them human beings worthy of consideration as civilians.

        BWWWWWWAAAAHHH

        zionist solidarity act like they do not consider palestinian civilians worthy of consideration as human beings..

        sorry, i’m having another richard attack. i better step away from my computer before i go wacko.

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 3:20 pm

        >> What specific questions?

        Surprise, surprise. Even though you’ve posted comments immediately below the posts that contain my questions, and even though there’s now a search function that permits you to find all my questions, you simply have no idea what I’m talking about.

        I was pretty sure you’d try that old trick. Thanks for not letting me down.

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 3:31 pm

        >> You continue on what you are against, but never get to what you are for …

        I have told you, directly and numerous times, exactly what I am for. Pretending you don’t know doesn’t make you appear clever, it makes you appear very stupid.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 3:34 pm

        Annie,
        How is peace constructed if Hamas refrains from conditional acceptance of Israel?

        I only hear from you “force em”.

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2011, 4:17 pm

        What specific questions?

        Stop acting dumb please.

        You made serious accusations against the Palestinian BNC and the BDS Movement. You weren’t ambiguous. The original discussion was never about the opinions of some people participating in BDS, it was specifically in reference to the BDS Movements’s 2005 call for BDS which you claimed had been “revised” in the past year. Saying “you guys” were the source is nonsense.

        Word for word I’ll copy and paste my specific questions:

        Again Richard, what are your sources for these texts?

        You claimed the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 call. Now, please provide evidence, or have the decency to apologise and retract the accusation.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 6:31 pm

        Your ambiguity is my source, Sumud.

        On the two lists, I posted one from the academic boycott site, and one from another “official” BDS site.

        That I can’t find it currently, is not an indication that it is made up, only that I can’t find it.

      • Sumud
        July 13, 2011, 4:25 am

        Your ambiguity is my source, Sumud.

        You’re flailing Richard.

        First you claimed the BDS Movement had “revised” their own 2005 BDS call in the past year and provided two different texts. Then on this very thread you claimed “you guys were my sources”.

        Now in the comment above you’re simultaneously claiming that I am personally the source, and that your two quoted versions of the 2005 BDS call have sources – neither of which you provide the link for.

        Please make up your mind.

        Richard, let me help you. If you do a google search with quote marks around a string of text you will easily locate the source which you describe as the “official” BDS site.

        Let’s try again shall we:

        Again Richard, what are your sources for these texts?

        You claimed the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 call. Now, please provide evidence, or have the decency to apologise and retract the accusation.

      • Cliff
        July 13, 2011, 5:18 am
      • Richard Witty
        July 13, 2011, 6:53 am

        link to facebook.com

        The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by:

        Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
        Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
        Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

        Please stop your obfuscation, and begin to address the ambiguity of the two very different statements.

        If you clarify 67 borders, wonderful. If you state “Arab lands”, with the proviso that it means something less specific, then all you’ve presented is an ethnically based shunning.

      • Sumud
        July 13, 2011, 10:06 am

        Please stop your obfuscation, and begin to address the ambiguity of the two very different statements.

        Please stop your obfuscation? Oh Richard, that is rich, coming from you. How many times have I had to ask you to do this one simple little thing? And still you can’t…

        You’ve provided a link to the BDS Movement facebook page which contains the well known version of the 2005 BDS call using the word “arab lands” and not mentioning 1967 in the first point. The page is clearly divided into two sections, the first part an information section on the BDS Movement and the second part clearly labeled as the actual text of the 2005 BDS call.

        So this is evidence of what exactly? Where is the “revision”?? One text is presented as the 2005 BDS call and it is the version we all know and love. The first half of the BDS facebook page which paraphrases the 2005 BDS call does say “1967” but it also says “arab lands”, and besides – you quoted a version which claimed said only “1967” and did not mention “arab lands”. So we’re back to square one. Actually no, this link actually makes you look worse Richard – if I understand it correctly the paraphrasing mentioning 1967 and arab lands has been done intentionally to counter claims by zionists such as yourself that the BDS Movement has adopted a one-state platform…

        Let’s try again shall we:

        Again Richard, what are your sources for these texts? [or more correctly, now: what is your source for this text?]

        You claimed the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 call. Now, please provide evidence, or have the decency to apologise and retract the accusation.

        Just to be crystal clear: so far, all you’ve done is quoted the standard 2005 BDS call. Bravo! Now what about the other version?

      • Cliff
        July 14, 2011, 5:33 am

        They HAVE stated they will conditionally accept Israel.

        link to washingtonpost.com

        You are notorious for posting before thinking, Dick. Maybe if you READ the conflict more, you’d be able to construct an argument with references rather than empty platitudes and equivocations.

        Who are you kidding? You’re a joke.

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 6:33 am

        Sumud,
        I referred to ambiguity.

        Your baiting evoked the “revision” comment, which was a lesser comment than you first misrepresented. What was that one “falsifying”?

        Ambiguity is there. I wish you address that, what I actually did say, rather than attempt to paint misrepresentative meaning for some advantage in an argument.

        Are you more concerned with winning than with truth?

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 6:39 am

        “Will you recognize Israel?

        If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights, then we are ready to recognize them. ”

        That was the one statement declaring that. Every other statement was as I described, that Hamas has declared that it would “accept Palestine at 67 borders”. After he gave that interview, he was reprimanded by Meshaal and others for going that far.

        And, at other times in the past three months, associated with the unity talks, senior Hamas officials speaking on behalf of Hamas have declared that they will never recognize Israel. I’ve posted the references numerous times.

        Which of those ambiguities is the truth?

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 7:06 am

        Your baiting evoked the “revision” comment, which was a lesser comment than you first misrepresented. What was that one “falsifying”?

        Ambiguity is there. I wish you address that, what I actually did say, rather than attempt to paint misrepresentative meaning for some advantage in an argument.

        Witty, I think you have a bug in your automated response software. That has to be the most garbled and incoherent word salad you have ever cooked up.

        Care yo trasnlate it.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 7:08 am

        After he gave that interview, he was reprimanded by Meshaal and others for going that far.

        Accordikng to what sources Witty? Lnks only, not your gard\bled, icoherent explanation.

        And, at other times in the past three months, associated with the unity talks, senior Hamas officials speaking on behalf of Hamas have declared that they will never recognize Israel.

        Accordikng to what sources Witty?

        Which of those ambiguities is the truth?

        Let’s start with links to news reports before you use words like “truth”.

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 7:44 am

        My point was exclusively about the ambiguity of BDS.

        It remains, no matter how much you seek to dismiss that.

        And, so long as it remains, it will not achieve the support of a confidently humane movement.

        Worst, that the valid goals of rule of law and self-governance and health of the Palestinian people will be delayed, for an addiction to condemnation rather than positively stated goals.

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 7:54 am

        Your baiting evoked the “revision” comment, which was a lesser comment than you first misrepresented. What was that one “falsifying”?

        Obfuscation Richard. Take some responsibility and don’t blame me for your own tangled web.

        Before I said a word about “falsifying” you quoted 2 differing texts, and I’m asking you to back them up with links. It’s really as simple as that. You can waffle on about “ambiguity” all you want but until you present some cold hard evidence the only ambiguity is the source of your quoted text.

        Support your statements with a link or withdraw the accusation.

        Are you more concerned with winning than with truth?

        I’m asking you to truthfully disclose the source of the text you quoted. If you have a source, provide it. If you made it up, admit it.

        I’m more than happy to give you a personal opinion on BDS after you have presented the source of the text you claim the BDS Movement used to claim was the 2005 BDS call, before they “revised” it. Why would I bother to comment on a text which appears at this point to be a piece of fiction writing concocted by yourself?

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 8:04 am

        And, so long as it remains, it will not achieve the support of a confidently humane movement.

        Do not count yourself among the humane Richard. Your position on ethnic cleansing (it’s acceptable if the victims are Palestinian) is well documented. Anyone with an ounce of decency would hang their head in shame if they had said the things you have said.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 8:36 am

        My point was exclusively about the ambiguity of BDS.

        You have no point Witty.

        In spite of no bais sfor makign that claim, you continune to insist it’s vague, yet your own link is completely unambiguous. As has been pointed out numerous times on this thread, you claimed the BDS Movement “revised” their 2005 call. You’ve been asked to provide evidence to support this claim.

        Instead of doing so, you’re simply carrying on as though you proved your point. The link you provided, to the Facebook page, DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS your claim about the BDS Movement making vague demands. It explcitly cites that the demand is for Israel:

        “‘Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall”

        What is vague about that Witty?

        Stop the buillshit. You said that so long as the 1967 borders were stipulated, you would suport it. So do you support it or as you just as patheitc, lame brained Zinist liar.

        No need to answer that question. We know it already.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 8:39 am

        Why would I bother to comment on a text which appears at this point to be a piece of fiction writing concocted by yourself?

        Well Sumud, to be fair, we have long commented on Witty’s fictional “facts” and quotes etc. You do recall how he claime dthat Hamas and Israel returned to a ceasefire in december of 2008 after all. Onthat occasion, he was again, unable to come up with a link to prove his allegation.

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 8:59 am

        You guys are hysterical.

        Sumud rants that referred to the call as describing “occupied Arab lands”, and Shingo posts

        “‘Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall”

        My point is proved on the ambiguity of the language, of the change of the language.

        Sumud,
        As I did post links to the sources of my quotes, you describing my comments as obfuscation is pretty thin.

        Why do guys avoid addressing content so frequently?

        So, by “occupation of Arab lands”, you and the BDS movement as a whole only mean 67 borders, is that correct?

        Just to clear up the ambiguity.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 9:22 am

        My point is proved on the ambiguity of the language, of the change of the language.

        How can you have a point when the ambiguity you insisted on isn’t there at all? You claimed that the BDS statement of 2005 was changed (whcih you hnever proved) and then you claimed it was ambiguous because it made reference to arab lands without stipulating whether it refeered to the arab lands as per the 1967 borders.

        As it turns out, it’s there in plain English, so how can it be ambiguous?

        Stop being your patheic, pathological lying, sleazy, racist self, just for once.

      • eljay
        July 14, 2011, 9:32 am

        >> Stop being your patheic, pathological lying, sleazy, racist self, just for once.

        He can’t. He’s too busy worrying that Israelis and Palestinians export too many peppers and cucumbers.

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 9:53 am

        As I did post links to the sources of my quotes, you describing my comments as obfuscation is pretty thin.

        No Richard, you have not posted a source to the test you posted. You have not proved your claim that the BDS Movement “revised” the text they present as their 2005 BDS call.

        Witness.

        This is what you said the BDS Movement claimed as their 2005 call “a year ago”:
        1. Ending its occupation of lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;

        In the same comment this is what you (accurately) said the BDS Movement were presenting as their 2005 call “today”, which you said had been edited to be intentionally ambiguous and include “militant warring language”:
        1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

        Then you provided a link to the BDS Movement’s facebook page which contains the full text of the 2005 BDS call as well as an expanded mission statement which includes the following paraphrasing of the 2005 BDS call:
        Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;

        The problem for you Richard is that the link you provided to the BDS facebook page is actually less ambiguous not more ambiguous than the 2005 BDS call.

        And there is the not-insignificant-matter that many days later you still haven’t managed to provide a source for your first quoted text. Don’t say you have because you haven’t. The texts are obviously different and anyone with half a brain can see it. Stop playing silly buggers. Provide evidence to back your statement or do the decent thing: apologise and withdraw your accusation.

      • James North
        July 14, 2011, 10:08 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘I wish Sumud and the others would just go away, and stop asking me to substantiate my outlandish claims with links.
        On the plus side, I’VE NOW MADE 9998 COMMENTS ON MONDOWEISS. Some time very soon, I WILL PASS THE 10,000 MARK.
        ‘My comment strategy is simple:
        * Nit pick
        * Manufacture quotations and ‘facts’
        * Try and lure people to my own mini-blog by claiming that I only put my substantive comments over there. In other words, I’VE COME TO MONDOWEISS 10,000 TIMES ONLY TO DISRUPT, NOT TO ‘DIALOG’ (sic)’

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 10:09 am

        Well Sumud, to be fair, we have long commented on Witty’s fictional “facts” and quotes etc.

        Indeed. You know Shingo I wondered for the longest time if Richard was a fictional creation of Phil, a nom de plume. As I ‘got to know him’ [Phil] through his writing and occasional interviews I heard I understood that would be out of character, and why would Phil bother anyway?

        But really! Zionism and Israel could not have a more disastrous online ambassador that Richard Witty. I still maintain that he should be given a free star. He’s making a much larger contribution to Israel’s Downfall than he thinks.

      • eljay
        July 14, 2011, 10:15 am

        >> James North: Richard Witty said …

        That’s mighty refreshing! Possibly even more so than peppers and cucumbers!

      • Shmuel
        July 14, 2011, 10:47 am

        Don’t know why I’m bothering (again), but here goes.

        The very first paragraph of the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS (July, 2005) – the only authoritative statement of the goals of the BDS movement – establishes the meaning of the terms employed throughout the document. Here they are, separated and labeled, for your convenience, according to the goals to which they correspond:

        Goal 1: Occupation + Wall

        Thirty eight years into Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights Israel continues to expand Jewish colonies. It has unilaterally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and is now de facto annexing large parts of the West Bank by means of the Wall.

        The terms “occupation” and “colonization” thus refer to territories acquired by Israel thirty-eight years prior to 2005 – specifically the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza and the Golan Heights.

        Goals 2-3: Refugees and Rights within Israel

        Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners, a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel’s entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab-Palestinian citizens remains intact.

        The term “Israel” thus refers to territories acquired fifty-seven years prior to 2005 – specifically, the area to which the refugees claim return, and in which “Arab-Palestinian citizens” suffer discrimination.

        In enumerating their goals, the signatories employ the same terminology – “occupation”, “colonization” and “Israel” – and there is no indication that the document’s final paragraph employs any definitions other than those clearly presented in its first paragraph. On the contrary, the signatories state their commitment to international law (which recognises Israel within ’67 borders, and treats all other territories under Israeli control as “occupied”).

        Defying all logic and the basics of reading comprehension, Mr. Witty has decided that the term “Arab lands” employed in the first point, is intentionally vague (as opposed to shorthand for things clearly stated in the first paragraph – ’67, West Bank, E. Jerusalem, Gaza, Golan), so as to allow those who consider all of I/P occupied by Israel to sign the statement. He has also decided that it is sufficient merely to repeat this lie over and over and over again, while treating all reasoned argument to the contrary with contempt. Sheesh.

        link to bdsmovement.net

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 10:49 am

        And still the contrast between “occupation” defined by “all Arab lands” and “67 borders” is a stark ambiguity.

        link to liberalzionism.wordpress.com

        I think my blog post still stands.

        That Netanyahu and cronies adopted a stupid response to BDS, doesn’t change the ambiguous nature and agenda of BDS.

        It varies from idealistic, principled and positively concerned, to vindictive, abusive, racist.

      • James North
        July 14, 2011, 12:03 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘THIS IS IT — MY 10,000th POST!!!! AND JUST LIKE DEREK JETER’S 3000th HIT, IT’S A HOME RUN!!!
        ‘Because where else but in my comments will you see anyone describe the careful, measured, humane and nonviolent strategy of BDS as “vindictive, abusive, racist?” My distortions amaze even me, sometimes.’

      • James North
        July 14, 2011, 12:11 pm

        Richard Witty added, ‘Don’t forget that my 10,000th comment came in my feeble response to Shmuel, one of the most valuable opposing pitchers I’ve faced in my career here. Note how I just brush past his reasoned, fact-filled comment to do what I do best — assert without evidence!!’

      • tree
        July 14, 2011, 12:19 pm

        Defying all logic and the basics of reading comprehension…

        That’s our Witty in a nutshell. He never disappoints!

      • Hostage
        July 14, 2011, 12:28 pm

        He can’t. He’s too busy worrying that Israelis and Palestinians export too many peppers and cucumbers.

        That is yet another example of Witty’s failure to communicate. He said:
        On the desert blooming, I prefer the analysis of water income and export.

        The problem is not that Israel is exporting water. Today everyone knows that if you want to make the desert bloom, all you need to do is waste a lot of water.

        The best propaganda appeals to the prejudices of the intended audience. In the 19th Century, westerners encouraged the colonization of Palestine by blaming the Arabs for turning their country into a desert through “centuries of neglect”. At the time, many “experts” believed the now-discredited myth that Jews could perform “land reclamation” in the deserts of Palestine on a truly grand scale and that “rain follows the plow”. They claimed that settler-cultivators were the key to achieving climate change there.

        Today Israel is wasting tremendous amounts of water on its relatively unimportant agricultural export sector and creating its own water crisis in the process. Israeli agriculture accounts for about 70 percent of all water consumed in the country, but only accounts for 2.8% of the country’s GDP. It makes no sense to build more electrical generating plants in order to operate water desalinization units if you are effectively subsidizing the price of water for agricultural use so that more expensively produced Israeli crops can stay price-competitive in the global markets. It’s a loosing battle. Israel is over-pumping its underground aquifers and its lakes and rivers are running dry.

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 5:34 pm

        And again,

        There are simple ways for you guys to clarify what you mean by “occupation”.

        If you mean 67 borders, then say “I” am speaking of 67 borders.

        And further, that the BDS movement and ALL major proponents of BDS itself are referring only to 67 borders, that it NEVER describes all of the land as occupied, but only the West Bank and Gaza.

        That would then conflict with any advocacy for a single state.

        Ask around if the world thinks that proponents of BDS refer to only 67 borders as occupied, or all of Israel/Palestine.

        It still appears ambiguous to me, and you all continue to fail to say with certainty what you mean.

        You go back to documents, but never say “I”.

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 5:44 pm

        And still the contrast between “occupation” defined by “all Arab lands” and “67 borders” is a stark ambiguity.

        That’s it?!?!?

        How self absorbed. First you defame the Palestinian BNC by manufacturing an alternate version of their 2005 call for BDS, then you obfuscate endlessly when asked to provide actual evidence to support your claims. When you finally do provide a link, it proves the direct opposite of what you claim. When asked (again) to provide a shred of evidence you ignore that, and waffle on about the ambiguities of statements you clearly just made up yourself.

        Pathetic Richard. Not even the decency to admit your fabrication, apologise and withdraw the accusation.

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 6:08 pm

        Israel is over-pumping its underground aquifers and its lakes and rivers are running dry.

        Hostage ~ Israel is over-pumping it’s underground aquifers and also those of Palestine. I don’t recall which of the two reports (World Bank and Amnesty International – links below) it comes from but I recall that something like 60% of Israel’s fresh water supply is stolen from West Bank aquifers.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Shmuel
        July 14, 2011, 6:10 pm

        That would then conflict with any advocacy for a single state.

        No, it wouldn’t. It is a call for the upholding of human rights and international law, not a peace plan.

        The demands (in my own words – since you seem to be so hung up on pronouns) are:

        1. End the occupation* and dismantle the wall.
        2. Give Palestinian citizens of Israel equal rights.
        3. Recognise the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

        These demands can all be accomplished within the framework of 1, 2, 3 or more states – fully independent, federative, autonomous, or even stateless anarchy. BDS does not advocate any specific political solution.

        *For the definition of “occupation” in the BDS Call, see my comment above.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 6:12 pm

        Ask around if the world thinks that proponents of BDS refer to only 67 borders as occupied, or all of Israel/Palestine.

        Ask around if the world knows what BDS even means. Seriously Witty, what greater admission that you are lying. That’s the same excuse Rumsfeld used when no WMD were found in Iraqn.

        It still appears ambiguous to me, and you all continue to fail to say with certainty what you mean.

        That’s beause you;ve trainied yourself to ignore inconvenient facts when spinning your deranged hasbra.

      • Hostage
        July 14, 2011, 6:31 pm

        There are simple ways for you guys to clarify what you mean by “occupation”.

        Well, how about that belligerent occupation “administrative régime” that the ICJ said had been used to illegally facilitate the transfer of portions of Israel’s population and which displaced Palestinians in violation of international law? Or how about the definition in the new Article 8 bis, “Crime of aggression”, for the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court? It says:

        2. For the purpose of paragraph 1, “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:
        .
        a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;

        The ICJ said: 85 Lastly, it should be noted that the construction of the wall has been accompanied by the creation of a new administrative régime. . . .134 . . . Lastly, the construction of the wall and its associated régime, by contributing to the demographic changes referred to in paragraphs 122 and 133 above, contravene Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Security Council resolutions cited in paragraph 120 above. . . . 142 . . . The Court accordingly finds that the construction of the wall, and its associated [military occupation] régime, are contrary to international law.

      • Bumblebye
        July 14, 2011, 6:38 pm

        Yay! James North! Yer back! “Noone” translates Witty better!

      • Sumud
        July 14, 2011, 8:44 pm

        There are simple ways for you guys to clarify what you mean by “occupation”.

        If you mean 67 borders, then say “I” am speaking of 67 borders.

        You go back to documents, but never say “I”.

        Let’s be clear Richard.

        YOU are the one that claimed the BDS Movement “revised” what they present as their 2005 BDS call in the last year to be more ambiguous and include “militant warring language” to appeal to “the international Arab and Muslim audience (which needs the language to be vague, regarding all of the land as “Arab land”, all Jews as interlopers).” [Disgusting racism in this sentence Richard. Time to examine your own hostility to arabs and muslims before pontificating about the collective opinions of 1.6 billion people].

        YOU are the one that quoted two different texts, labelling one as “a year ago” and one as a “today”.

        YOU are the one who has been unable to provide any proof to support your accusation, despite stating explicitly that you were quoting an “official” BDS site.

        I have stated that I have no problem discussing my personal opinions of BDS and the best resolutions of I/P but I will not discuss texts that appear to me completely fabricated.

        I/We go back to documents because you’ve made defamatory claims about the Palestinian Boycott National Committee and the BDS Movement. Just provide proof of your assertion, or apologise and withdraw your accusation, and the matter is over and done with.

      • Richard Witty
        July 14, 2011, 10:07 pm

        Another 20 posts of “you”.

        I’m asking what you guys are committed in BDS. Are you committed to ending the occupation of 67 borders, or the occupation of all of the land from river to sea?

        That you guys hesitate to take the opportunity and state clearly, creates the ambiguity.

        A rational reader can only conclude that you are hedging, either overtly lying or just deferring to militant solidarity.

        In either case, you make the BDS program one of grave doubt, ranging from idealism and support of human rights to the possibility of anti-democratic, racist, fascist intent.

        Yes, it is that much of a danger to an idealistic Jewish American kid, to join the movement as currently “clarified”.

        Shmuel,
        On your clarification, I am still left in doubt. I get that that is what you endorse. But, I believe that the statement that BDS ends up endorsing is a hope, not necessarily an accurate description.

      • James North
        July 14, 2011, 10:14 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘This is my 10,002nd comment, and I’m off to a good start on my road to 20,000. Note how I keep slandering BDS, despite the calm efforts of Shmuel, Sumud, Hostage and others to explain what it really is.’

        possibility of anti-democratic, racist, fascist intent

        ‘Possibly never before in history has a peaceful boycott been called “anti-democratic, racist and facist.”

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 10:20 pm

        I’m asking what you guys are committed in BDS. Are you committed to ending the occupation of 67 borders, or the occupation of all of the land from river to sea?

        Are you commited to promoting pedophelia and necrophelia Witty? That you have never taken the opportunity and state clearly, creates the ambiguity.

        A rational reader can only conclude that you are hedging, either overtly lying or just deferring to deviant solidarity.

        You know very well what WE are commited to. You’re just playing stupid, as you alwasy do when you back yourself into a corner.

        In any case, this is about what BDS says. You provided a fake quote and claimed it was based ona post 2005 revision. Just admit you made it up and put yourself out of your own misery.

        In either case, you make the BDS program one of grave doubt, ranging from idealism and support of human rights to the possibility of anti-democratic, racist, fascist intent.

        How so Witty? None of us wrote the BDS charter or prioneered the movement.

        And stop using the word fascist when you are tthe one suporting a fascist state. And stop using the word fascist when you are the one suporting a fascist state.

        But, I believe that the statement that BDS ends up endorsing is a hope, not necessarily an accurate description.

        N one gives a fuck what you believe Witty. What we want to know, is whre you got your post 2005 BDS definition from, and if you made it up, we want you to admit you did and aoplogise for being a liar.

        So where id that quote come from Witty? Stop filibustering. Just answer the damn question.

      • eljay
        July 14, 2011, 10:22 pm

        >> Note how I keep slandering BDS, despite the calm efforts of Shmuel, Sumud, Hostage and others to explain what it really is.

        Although he has on occasion stated what he endorses, RW has, disturbingly, left wide open:
        – the possibility of further Zionist expansion up to and including “enough Israel”; and
        – the option of future (physical or bureaucratic) ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and of non-Jewish Israelis.

        I think he’s just projecting his own ambiguity onto BDS and its supporters.

      • Shingo
        July 14, 2011, 10:22 pm

        Note how I keep slandering BDS, despite the calm efforts of Shmuel, Sumud, Hostage and others to explain what it really is.’

        And note that rather than anwer the questino as to where my fake quote of BDS post 2005 came from, I am trying to stall and lure come of you to my blog in the hope thjat I will anwer the questino there, because no one seems to want to read it.

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 2:16 am

        Richard,

        My comment was not a “clarification” but a reiteration of the obvious that you adamantly refuse to see.

        Not that it will make any difference, because your “doubts” are manufactured to soothe your burning cognitive dissonance, but note too the endorsement at the bottom of the BDS Call, which clearly distinguishes between “occupation” and “Israel”, in the context of the three parts of the Palestinian people, whose rights are addressed in the three goals of BDS:

        The Palestinian political parties, unions, associations, coalitions and organizations below represent the three integral parts of the people of Palestine: Palestinian refugees, Palestinians under occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

        As a further service to you and the MW community, I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting all of the “anti-democratic, racist, fascist” words found in the Palestinian call for BDS, indicative of its insidious nature, in need of further “clarification” if not complete repudiation. Warning: Not for the faint of heart. These words are truly scary.

        International Court of Justice
        international law
        UN resolutions
        humanitarian law
        fundamental human rights
        international solidarity
        moral consistency
        resistance to injustice and oppression
        justice
        genuine peace
        non-violent
        fundamental rights
        full equality

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 2:20 am

        Welcome back, James!

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2011, 6:52 am

        As a further service to you and the MW community, I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting all of the “anti-democratic, racist, fascist” words found in the Palestinian call for BDS, indicative of its insidious nature, in need of further “clarification” if not complete repudiation. Warning: Not for the faint of heart. These words are truly scary.

        Devastating Shmuel! I don’t how we BDS’ers can sleep at night.

        Thank you (and others) for your efforts to bring some clarity to the issue.

        You’re right – for the faint of heart [and mind] who cling to medieval notions of tribe and racial/religious supremacy those words must be terrifying….

      • James North
        July 15, 2011, 8:37 am

        Shmuel: You are right as always; the “fascist” terminology that pervades the Palestinian call for BDS is absolutely chilling. At times I thought I had stumbled across a copy of Mein Kampf. We are lucky Richard Witty has taken the time to make 10,000+ comments to alert us to the danger.

      • Richard Witty
        July 15, 2011, 9:00 am

        And still,

        Shmuel, Eljay, Shingo, Sumud, James

        To the simple question of whether you endorse the 67 borders as the definition of “occupation” or whether you regard the river to sea as “occupied”, you say nothing.

        You are still taking shots at me rather than clarifying.

        Leaving ambiguity for any thinking, caring person.

        Taking shots is only deflection.

        The significance of the ambiguity is to whom the communication is directed.

        If the audience is the Arab and Muslim world that does continue to poll fairly highly that Israel just should not exist as Israel, then the language of BDS has to stay vague to allow for their participation.

        If the audience is the liberal west that values the concept of Israeli self-government (among Israelis), then the language of BDS has to get MUCH clearer.

        It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat folks, the message is ambiguous.

        It ranges from principled idealistic urge for improvement in mutual social welfare to the fascist declaration of “go back where you came from”.

        And, it needs to be clarified to be effective at anything besides organizing hate.

        Organizing hate elects two parties, Hamas and likud. Whereas I prefer more moderate parties to gain power based on democratic principles more than national.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2011, 9:26 am

        >> As a further service to you and the MW community, I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting all of the “anti-democratic, racist, fascist” words found in the Palestinian call for BDS …

        Here’s the first big problem:
        >> international solidarity

        You might as well just replace the entire BDS charter with “dissent” and “Hamas”. That’s how RW’s brain is apparently interpreting it.

        These don’t help, either:
        >> international law … fundamental human rights … justice

        RW has no respect for international law, he scoffs at human rights and he is uncomfortable with justice (“peace, not ‘justice'”).

        It’s a good thing the charter doesn’t also mention “accountability”! ;-)

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2011, 10:48 am

        To the simple question of whether you endorse the 67 borders as the definition of “occupation” or whether you regard the river to sea as “occupied”, you say nothing.

        For someone who on occasion chides others for using ‘impolite’ language you seem to have completely forgotten your manners Richard. It is rude to answer a question with a question.

        My initial question remains: what is your source for the statement you attribute to the BDS Movement “a year ago”, which you claim they have recently “revised”?

        You are still taking shots at me rather than clarifying.

        Leaving ambiguity for any thinking, caring person.

        Taking shots is only deflection.

        No Richard. I’m seeking clarification, and you are deflecting. I’m content for thinking, caring people to assess myself and others (including you) on this forum and come to their own conclusions.

        Just provide proof of your assertion, or apologise and withdraw your accusation. It’s simple.

      • Hostage
        July 15, 2011, 12:42 pm

        If the audience is the Arab and Muslim world that does continue to poll fairly highly that Israel just should not exist as Israel

        You appear to be using “the occupation” as a strawman to distract attention from the fact that “Israel” represents a “system of apartheid” that exists on both sides of the Green Line. Hell, nobody that reads about the ugly face of Jewish society in the former Palestine Mandate, thinks that “Israel” should continue to exist unchanged as “Israel” under any permanent settlement. A state that designs things like an “Absentee property” law to steal the means of subsistence from poor Arab cultivators for the benefit of a bunch of greedy unrepentant Jewish overlords doesn’t have an inherent “right to exist” and simply continue to maintain the status quo.

        No sane intellect could propose that we all have a duty to preserve and subsidize the superior rights of Jews to construct racially exclusive enclaves on land they have stolen inside or beyond their own borders in a permanent settlement. It ought to be obvious to you that “Israel” is a dysfunctional system where state-empowered medieval lunatics have been granted carte blanche to preach against the sin of granting equality of rights to women, Arabs, and other groups. The elected and appointed Jewish state officials, including municipal rabbis, can publicly call for all sorts of restrictions, sanctions, or boycotts against Arabs in the areas of housing, employment, services, & representation in the government – while at the same time – the Jewish officials have adopted a statute which makes it a civil offense for the Arabs to publicly call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the system of apartheid in “Israel”. WTF do you think is up with that?

      • eljay
        July 15, 2011, 6:10 pm

        >> RW: … [e]ljay …
        >> To the simple question of whether you endorse the 67 borders as the definition of “occupation” or whether you regard the river to sea as “occupied”, you say nothing.

        RW, you ol’ lying Zio-supremacist, I have on at least two occasions clarified to you directly my position on the I-P issue. To suggest that I “say nothing” about ’67 borders is nothing but an intentional lie.

        You are a liar. And your accusation is a lie.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2011, 6:23 pm

        >> You are a liar. And your accusation is a lie.

        By the way, here are the two occasions on which I clarified my position to you directly:
        March 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm
        March 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

        I found them using the search functionality on my profile page. Next time you’re thinking of purposely tossing out lies about people, maybe you should take a moment and do a search first.

        Oh, and I also clarified my position to at least two other members on this site, and posted a general clarification of my position at least a couple more times. So, I’ll say it again: You are a liar (on top of everything else).

        Great work, RW.

      • Richard Witty
        July 15, 2011, 10:49 pm

        But still, no clarification on when you state “occupation” you mean the green line or all of Israel.

        Its just not been said.

        And, it not being said leaves it dangerously ambiguous to an idealistic prospective proponent of BDS, who also knows of terrorist mass murders conducted by some that advocate for BDS.

        The question will not die until clarified.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2011, 3:09 am

         The question will not die until clarified.

        You’re a miserable and shameless liar Witty. No one has ever said that the occupied territories include Israel proper as per the 1967 borders.

        You know that, but you want a distraction.

        Do you hear anyone insisting that it remains ambiguous as to whether you are a pedophile? After all, you’ve never clarified that issue, so it the question will not die until you clarify it.

      • Richard Witty
        July 16, 2011, 4:20 am

        And still no answer to the question “Do you mean 67 borders when you state “occupation””?

        The way to clarify it for yourself would be to say ‘When I say “occupation” relative to the BDS call, I mean only 67 borders’

        Key word is “I”.

        My contention about the ambiguity of the movement is that my sense is that if polled, that among those that support BDS in the US and Europe, that around 20% would say (if they stuck their neck enough to honestly say) “I mean all of Israel is occupied”, around 30% would say “I’ll leave it open”, and around 50% would say “I mean 67 borders”.

        And, that if the Arab and Muslim world were polled, I would expect the results to be around 40% “I mean all of Israel is occupied”, around 50% would say “I’ll leave it open”, and only 10% would say “I mean 67 borders”.

        And, that creates ambiguity, a revolutionary attitude net, an intended danger for Israel.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2011, 6:48 am

        The way to clarify it for yourself would be to say ‘When I say “occupation” relative to the BDS call, I mean only 67 borders’

        So in other words Witty, we shoudl assume that because you have never explicitly denied you are a pedophile, you must be a pedophile.

        My contention about the ambiguity of the movement is that my sense is that if polled, that among those that support BDS in the US and Europe, that around 20% would say (if they stuck their neck enough to honestly say) “I mean all of Israel is occupied”, around 30% would say “I’ll leave it open”, and around 50% would say “I mean 67 borders”.

        I see, so not only are you making up quotes out of thin air, you’ve now progressed to making up polls as well.

        And, that if the Arab and Muslim world were polled, I would expect the results to be around 40% “I mean all of Israel is occupied”, around 50% would say “I’ll leave it open”, and only 10% would say “I mean 67 borders”.

        Meanwhile, the Israeli leader, who was elected on a platform of not only rejecting a two state solution, but who recently rejected the 1967 borders (and enjoyed an approcval bump in Israel as a result of hsi public rejection of the 1967 borers.

        But hey, it’s so much easier to deflect actention away from the Israeli rejection of the 1967 borders and blame the Palestinians on the BDS movement. All one has to do in make up quotes and polls out of think air.

        You’re s disgusting and cowardly piece fo work Witty.

  3. Danaa
    July 11, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Chris, good expose – of what it would take to get any number of settlers, however small, to pick up stakes and return to Israel “proper”. I like it that you brought up the actual numbers – the outrageous compensation paid to the settlers (and, BTW- they are still complaining that it wasn’t enough!).

    To make matters more interesting – let’s imagine for a moment that the palestinians clamoring for ROR could be “compensated” in a similar manner to accept settlement somewhere else – perhaps in return to forgo their legitimate ROR claims. Let’s imagine further that they (eg, most of them – say, 2.5 M) would accept a mere $10,000 per person to help them settle “somewhere else”. This is, of course, a mere fraction of what it might require for settlers to leave, so I’d say that 10K/person is not particularly generous, and far be it from me to suggest any family should take it as “blood money” but I suggest this number because that’s about the m minimum of what it might take for. say, a family of 8 (hey, throw in grandparents!!) to actually be able to start a life somewhere in the ME, and for governments of those “somewheres” to agree to take them in as citizens. And this, BTW, applies even to refugee who would return to e.g., the West bank. After all, who could expect a new “country” (in that scenario, Palestine) to take in million of penniless refugees?

    Following this logic, assuming 2.5 M Palestinian refugee agreed to be resettled at places other than Israel, the package for them alone would run to $25B. For the ones returning to Palestine, it could perhaps be a bit less – maybe “only” another $5B. Throw in the evacuated settlers – using your number, we get another $10B, for a grand total of $40B.

    And this can only be an underestimate, perhaps by an order of magnitude. given the underestimate I used for the number of refugees.

    So, who pays for this? the IMF? Goldman Sachs? Jewish billionaires? Saudi Arabia?

    Anyways, I often point out that none of the scenarios that discuss ROR “solutions” do so with anything resembling realistic budgets or practical scenarios.

    To second my own disclaimer – again – I am not advocating that anyone should trade justice for dollars. Only that no one be expected to trade it for pennies.

    • anonymouscomments
      July 11, 2011, 5:15 pm

      i agree the numbers of hashing out a viable 2 state solution, and refugee compensation are astronomical. but perhaps we should consider the cost of israel’s various wars. perhaps we should consider the cost of US wars as well, in which israeli interests played a *role* (iraq; neocons predominantly “pro-israel” minded). the peace dividend is very high, and i think the US would cough up billions. we already have paid tens of billions to israel while she remained a virtual sparta. the number may be high, and hard to muster from the various nations in a “one time” payment…. but i would be the first to support massive US payments to end a conflict the US and britain largely helped set in motion. germany would also cough up some billions i assume, and maybe some rich gulf states.

      • annie
        July 11, 2011, 5:35 pm

        i would be the first to support massive US payments to end a conflict

        i would support funding the relocation after they were removed. i do not support funneling in billions prior to any commitment. they break agreements like breaking eggs for an omelete.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 11, 2011, 5:55 pm

        100% agree…. i think israel deserves not a single US dollar given their actions (in fact they deserve sanctions like iran, more than iran even deserves sanctions). i would just want the US to pony money up to help the refugees, and help realize a *semblance* of justice and compensation. but of course in the near term, such is just a dream.

        further, i think the US money should be tagged for palestinian refugees. the settlers were israel’s illegal inhumane choice, and they should eat the cost of that largely… US backed loans might help israel to do it politically/economically (but then the US would turn them into grants…. i guess we might have to make a final BS payment to israel to end this madness)

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 6:00 pm

        One point is certainly the massive finances of the whole thing. The second point is that those settlers who would not be included in the potential land swaps are more diehard ideological settlers – rather than ones who settle in the West Bank for economical reasons. In other words, the settlers that would need to be compensated are exactly the ones that would not accept compensation to leave. They live in the West Bank because to them it is Great Israel, not because of government tax breaks or employment or any of that.

        Even with the ability to fund the billions of dollars needed to remove the settlers, many of them would refuse to leave. These same settlers are generally armed and more or less ideologically stuck – meaning that they probably would not leave and would not accept Palestinian rule.

        Thus, if I found the billions of dollars tomorrow in my couch necessary to remove the settlers from the West bank along the proposed land swaps, there would still be massive problems that would potentially kill any agreement. My point, rather than pointing out the massive costs of disengagement, was to say that a peaceful disengagement is largely impossible at this point.

      • annie
        July 11, 2011, 6:17 pm

        chris, i am aware of the problem there w/the fanatics. i wrote a post about it called Settler rabbi says, ‘It will probably come down to a war between Jews’ and i have somewhat been following the ‘protests’ of these settlers.

        the media is not being truthful about the extent of the extremism wrt these hooligans. i remember prior to the last election bradley burston came to speak @ the local synagogue. i ask him about these guys, an estimate of how many he thought they were and he wasn’t comfortable answering. something mumbled about long haired potsmokers, children of the original settlers. just wouldn’t go there. an anniversary of the death of Meir Kahane brought out hundreds of thousands of people. i do not think there is any will in israel to confront them. they will bring down the state one way or another.

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 6:21 pm

        Agreed. There is also the fact that extremism begets extremism. Unfortunately, dismantlement of West Bank settlements also begets extremism. Short of annexing Palestine and kicking out the Palestinians, there does not seem to be a viable (short term) option that will be easy when it comes to the Greater Israel Ideology.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 11, 2011, 6:27 pm

        i agree with you on many points…. but i do not want to say just because they made disengagement *near* impossible, i will cede them that victory. i see the only transition going through 2 states first (israel will not assent to anything else, though admittedly many want *no* palestinian state, and they hold the knesset for the near/mid term).

        and a further issue we now have is that zealots have made the threat of a mini israeli civil war a reality over the past decade, were israel to even implement a viable 2 state resolution. whatever the next big transition is (hopefully 2 state thing) there are now many in the IDF and IAF who openly state their intent to not follow orders.

        the scary “trump card” israeli zealots have is the temple mount. not only have groups organized to blow up the mosque historically (and been let free with light time served), you can bet they have some people in the IAF ready to do it. also they have the money aside to rebuild the temple, and a *very large* SOLID GOLD menorah right next to the wailing wall (saw that ominous gem on my last visit to israel/palestine). the paintings for sale around the wailing wall, depicting modern life scenes, often show *no* mosque, or even the third temple.

        if a “rogue” IAF pilot takes out the mosque, which is theoretically very possible, WTF will happen?

        that simple act, which powerful people desire to do, could spark the massive conflagration which ends with a new nakba. nuclear armed and racist israel is ready to fight that out, and i do not see them loosing, given the samson policy, and the history of israeli actions.

        basically, though it seems *near* impossible to achieve the 2 state solution, absent that reality being achieved, the reality i see playing out in my head is very sick if i am in a pessimistic mood.

      • annie
        July 11, 2011, 7:57 pm

        if a “rogue” IAF pilot takes out the mosque, which is theoretically very possible, WTF will happen?

        i think it is more likely they will just keep digging, that seems to be the MO.

    • RoHa
      July 14, 2011, 11:57 pm

      “I am not advocating that anyone should trade justice for dollars. Only that no one be expected to trade it for pennies.”

      Danaa, what world do you live in? $40B is pennies compared to the cost of wars and so forth. It’s when you start talking in zillions* that you’re dealing with real money.

      (*Or, for me, anything over 50 cents.)

  4. anonymouscomments
    July 11, 2011, 5:00 pm

    i think it is entirely counterproductive and very dangerous to “kill” the entire idea of a 2 state solution. bury oslo, yes, but to assume a binational state or a single state is a feasible goal, ignores reality; decades and decades of reality.

    my personal preferred option, with many here, is a single secular democratic state with the right of return….. but let’s NOT be deluded by dreams that israel would NEVER, at least in our lifetimes, ALLOW.

    the religious love for sites in the oPt is actually only held very dear by a fraction of israelis…. although most want unfettered access, only a fraction demand absolute sovereignty over these sites (the zealots).

    and let us also think rationally about WHY oslo was buried. the revisionist zionist expansionist right (which is growing) KILLED oslo, and has tried to kill the idea of a viable 2 state solution. your analysis is granting them *victory*, but you have to ask, if we seemingly unite with the israeli right on this point, and kill the 2 state solution, how will the politics flow in the coming years?

    forget the religious sites in the oPt, and ask yourself about the majority of the israeli public. if israelis could not muster the “compassion” to give the palestinians a viable state, on land they were colonizing, do you think they would instead assent to something much more suitable to the palestinians, which threatened their (racist) demographic lock?

    israel is a state. though founded on supreme injustice, she is a state with nuclear arms, a formidable military, strong international political connections, and strong ideological trends. i know many israelis who would give all the oPt “if it meant peace” (and it would, but most do not realize this… and this is a major mental barrier we must overcome). but the number of israelis who would assent to a single state, or even a binational state is… *minute*.

    in a nut shell-
    1) the 2 state solution threatens many israelis though it should not (the 2nd intifada killed the peace camp). this can be rolled back.
    2) the idea of a binational state, where not *only* occupied palestinians would have freedom of movement, but refugees would return from squalid camps in various countries, is a NON-STARTER for almost all jewish israelis (sad, but true…)

    i am not saying a binational state is not a noble goal, and i think it is possible in *time*. but i think the only realistic approach is two phased.
    1) a 2 state solution is brought to life (with a small miracle) and they live in peace for a good period of time, as we know they would if it was a viable peace deal.
    2) once palestinians and israelis live as peaceful neighbors, tourism is huge for both states, and palestinians once again become a significant portion of the labor force in israel, new paths open. at this point freedom of movement becomes normalized, and even property may be allowed for foreign nationals within the other nation. in time this can progress and even take shape as a binational state of sorts.

    i do not mean to be defeatist, but we have to be honest about the realpolitik of the region. and be honest about the racism, hatred, and fear endemic in israeli society (which inexplicably is getting worse, not better).

    if we bury the dream of 2 states, as unjust and imperfect as it is, we are setting the stage for the status quo or *much* worse. racist political minds know what can happen under the cover of local or regional war. what i mean is that a 3rd nakba would be on the table for some israelis, and they would be able to do it under the cover of “civil war”, race riots, and regional wars between state actors.

    the israeli right intentionally has tried to “kill” the 2 state solution…. if we let them, we will not come out on the other side with a binational or single state that we desire. we will, if i can be hyperbolic, be setting the stage for a mini-armageddon where israel would easily come out on top.

    • annie
      July 11, 2011, 5:15 pm

      the israeli right intentionally has tried to “kill” the 2 state solution…. if we let them, we will not come out on the other side with a binational or single state that we desire. we will, if i can be hyperbolic, be setting the stage for a mini-armageddon where israel would easily come out on top.

      they are already doing that, just drawn out in slow motion.

      they would be able to do it under the cover of “civil war”, race riots, and regional wars between state actors.

      nobody is going to believe that, too much water under the bridge. israel game of blaming and ‘reacting’ is only believed by israelis and their brainwashed supporters.

      there’s something very uncomfortable to me about assessing how much money it’s going to take to remove all these settlers. why do we even ponder this? day in and day out israel plans their expansion and i don’t recall anyone discussing how much money it’s going to take to displace the palestinians. nobody says “let’s see, we want take over this neighborhood and build a new settlement how much money will that cost to compensate the people who have lived there for decades or centuries.” no they just kick them out. it’s such a total double standard.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 11, 2011, 6:09 pm

        in truth, my guess is they keep up their insane actions to perpetuate violence, hopelessness, and avoid peace (a peace we all know is possible). then they unilaterally annex up to the apartheid wall. of course, by the time this happens, additional areas may be unilaterally retained, east of the current wall/fence path.

        this just ensures continued conflict, but they get land without making any concessions or a peace deal…. and we know they have no problem with perpetual low level conflict, as long as it is “bearable” on their side.

        regarding mass transfer/expulsions, i also find it “largely impossible”. but the world has historically seen periods of utter insanity, when just years before the future seemed “reasonably sane”…. i would like to think we are in a new day, but i fear there may be rocky things in the coming 2 decades. i just think of my parents history, or even current conflict zones in the world, or recent history (iraq, afghanistan, sudan, bosnia, etc.).

        many said it would be impossible to make a jewish power structure/state in the area of palestine. zionists proved those people wrong. they could prove us wrong yet again.

      • annie
        July 11, 2011, 6:21 pm

        then they unilaterally annex up to the apartheid wall.

        and the jordan valley?

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 6:24 pm

        “regarding mass transfer/expulsions, i also find it “largely impossible”. but the world has historically seen periods of utter insanity,”

        I am not sure that waiting for periods of utter insanity is the best policy :P

      • Danaa
        July 11, 2011, 9:20 pm

        Annie: “there’s something very uncomfortable to me about assessing how much money it’s going to take to remove all these settlers.”

        Uncomfortable it may be, but at the moment we are all talking hypotheticals, so might a well address this issue, if only to illustrate to Israeli – and zionitas friends- just how silly the J-Street like magical formulas are. That was Chris’ point, I think: not gonna happen, annonymous’ willingness to fund such scenarios notwithstanding.

        I know that well meaning people on all sides can find solutions, and I would agree – in such a fairy tale world that a 2 state is a good step forward – as AC and many others suggests.

        The problem is- this is not a sane world, much less a fairy tale one. Israelis are not Irish or, for that matter, Africaans. Among israelis we see a golem rise, fueled by a yearning for a return to some imagined biblical times, with all that implies, including a society built upon a caste system.

        Whatever great “peace plans” people suggest, however much it may cost, however few people of good will are out there willing to pay, this is not what’s going to happen. Extremism and zealotry – and indeed – barbarism – have reared their ugly heads in the land of the “chosen” and what they choose is to keep the territories and get rid of the people they don’t want – somehow. So while we are here debating the cons and pros of 1,2, plenty states, the powers-that-be are figuring out ways to get them from here to there. And there is not a place that civilized people of any hue can stand, much less prosper.

        Just doing my Cassandra thing here….

        But, so not to overdo it or anything, all is not lost. Sometimes a negative can only be cured by a much greater negative. Well, cure is not the right word, more like balanced out. I am counting on the dismaying demographics of israel which presage a religious takeover within 2 decades, alongside an escalation of the effects of global warming all framed by peak oil. None of this is good, of course, but I expect strange bedfellow to rise from the duststorms… even as humanity is heading to a precipice…and therein lies hope….

      • Hostage
        July 14, 2011, 4:25 pm

        Annie: “there’s something very uncomfortable to me about assessing how much money it’s going to take to remove all these settlers.”

        I agree. It would be a simple matter of equity to require Israel to accept the repatriation of Palestinian refugees on a 1:1 basis for every settler it has illegally implanted in the occupied territories. In any case it would cost Israel much less than the $8 billion mentioned above in the short term just to fund the public sector salaries and services of the 5 million new Palestinian citizens when the two state solution is abandoned. Israel has destroyed their means of subsistence and the Arab AHLC donors would never turnover their portion of the $3 billion a year in aid they’ve been giving the PA. After the collapse of the two state solution, they would require someone just like Mr. Fayyad in the Finance Ministry to keep their money from falling into the hands of the extralegal project to Judaize and displace Palestinians.

    • Chris Keeler
      July 11, 2011, 6:05 pm

      You have a lot packed in there. Should Oslo be killed and the PA magically dissolved, a binational or secular democratic state will not just fill the vacuum magically and you are right there. It will be messy. I think that you are theoretically close, if not right, in saying that a gradual transition to one state would be better (though not guaranteed – with RoR certainly not guaranteed). However, the point is simply that the settlement project is so developed and so encompassing – geographically and, increasingly, politically – that the development of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state living in peace with and next to Israel is impossible. Perhaps it is defeatist, I prefer realistic.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 11, 2011, 7:18 pm

        i think it is unrealistic, given the history of zionism and israel, to think we can reach a more just resolution first (1 state/binational state), when the fairly unjust 2-state solution has been so hard to achieve. it will not just be “messy” if we decide to skip the 2-state phase, i fear it would result in further dispossession, injustice, and death dealt to the palestinians….

        we have to remember, they are stateless, and any state actor trying to help implement a 1-state solution militarily would be *toast*. i think israel had live nukes airborne when egypt was running up the sinai in 1973.

        link to fas.org
        “Thus started the subtle, opaque use of the Israeli bomb to ensure that the United States kept its pledge to maintain Israel’s conventional weapons edge over its foes.[65] There is significant anecdotal evidence that Henry Kissinger told President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to “going nuclear.”[66]”

        we have a hard enough time getting israel to realize a viable, 1967 based peace deal…. therefore resigning ourselves to “something more” seems futile, dangerous, and may in itself harm the realization of the peace deal most find livable (based on polls, on both sides). if we demand something the israeli body politic will not agree to, we may allow the eventual palestinian state land to be further compromised, with continued colonization. international pressure/the UN/the USA, in time, may be able to stop the settlement growth, but if our voices are calling for 1 state, israel will not heed our demands, as they will say we only “seek the destruction of the jewish state”.

        i think we must be firm and unified based on 1967, with minor *agreed upon* modifications (the modifications perhaps a nod to israel’s successful abuse of power, but maybe sh*t happens, yet again).

        (sorry i am rambling)… but another consideration is the wealth present in each community, and how it would remain distributed in a single state or liberal binational state. even though i would love a single state, try to envision the relative economic position of the two communities. what do you see taking shape on the ground? structurally grounded in the upper stratum of wealth are the ashkenazi (on an education level, a corporate level, and an institutional level). i picture a state of vast inequality, where all the desirable properties and locales are effectively occupied by the “old money” held by the european descent jews. palestinians would get pushed out due to “gentrification”, just as they are currently being bought out of jaffa. how segregated would this society become, and would it live in fear of a civil war (and i admit, it is sickly segregated now)?

        with 2 states, each people can work on their own sovereign state, but more importantly ensure the income from tourism and industry remains with their “own”. i do know this resigns arab-israelis to the same underclass position they have been in, but i do NOT want to see the stateless palestinians brought under the same yoke. i actually would enjoy going to both states, but frankly (though i have jewish “heritage”), i *much* prefer the oPt…. my better friends live there under occupation, and they would be able to do great things with a palestinian state, especially in the area of tourism (there would be ever increasing tourism from arab states and even christians going to bethlehem/etc.).

      • Chris Keeler
        July 11, 2011, 10:18 pm

        I never said that a one state solution would be easier. And I never said that a one state solution would be something more (though I do think it is more just). Saying that 2 states is impossible is in no way simply trying to ‘skip’ a two state step. It is the recognition that the ‘step’ is impossible considering the expansion of Israel since 1967.

        Moreover, I believe that conceiving of 2 states as a step towards one state is folly. If two separate states are established it would take an entire national identity change by Israel to allow their one, probably self identified as Jewish state to be merged with what would be by then more Arabs than Jews. If a final two state agreement is hammered out and (though I think it is impossible) actually implemented, there will be no next step combining Israel and Palestine.

      • Richard Witty
        July 12, 2011, 7:18 am

        The two-state is not impossible in the slightest.

        That Abbas and Olmert were two conversations away from a deal is palpable, not remote.

        It takes electoral efforts in Israel to suggest that there are better relations possible (if there are).

        And, it takes reform of Hamas’ continued statements of “we will never recognize Israel”.

        Dissent is in too many ways not doing the work, just complaining that the work doesn’t get done.

        The only way that Oslo can be understood as dead, is similar to the Mozart Requiem not being completed. Astoundingly impressive, alive, but ill. (In the modern world, the modern political world, we have the ability to construct, to repair, rather than just die.)

      • eljay
        July 12, 2011, 7:44 am

        >> Dissent is in too many ways not doing the work, just complaining that the work doesn’t get done.

        Dissent is doing its best to get Israel to halt its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, and to get Israel to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        Israel refuses to stop being an aggressor and an occupier. It refuses to negotiate a just peace. Stop blaming the victim for the criminal’s illegal and immoral behaviour.

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2011, 7:46 am

        The two-state is not impossible in the slightest.

        Yes it is, which is why it hasn’t happened in 44 years of trying.

        That Abbas and Olmert were two conversations away from a deal is palpable, not remote.

        False. The Palestine Papers revealed that Olmert was not ever going to make a deal.

        There is no deal unless the state of Israel comes to a bypartisan acceptance of it. Even if Abbas and Olmert had struck a deal, Netenyahu would have sabotaged it the way he sabotaged Olso, adn the way he sabotaged the Road Map.

        Israelis aren’t great when it comes to sticking to agreements and treaties.

        It takes electoral efforts in Israel to suggest that there are better relations possible (if there are).

        The electoral effort in Israel moved to the right and elected a two state rejectionist, who actualyl campaigned on rejection of a 2ss.

        And, it takes reform of Hamas’ continued statements of “we will never recognize Israel”.

        Hamas alrady said they would accpeted the arab Peace Initiative, that offers to “recognize Israel””. Blaming Hamas is not going to help your lame brained argument.

        Dissent is in too many ways not doing the work, just complaining that the work doesn’t get done.

        The workd isn’t getting done eiher way.

        The only way that Oslo can be understood as dead, is similar to the Mozart Requiem not being completed.

        Olso is dead. It ended in 2003. Netenyahu killed it.

      • Danaa
        July 12, 2011, 4:00 pm

        Annonymous, other than the fact that the 2 states is a chimera, I do tend to agree that it is necessary – for tactical reasons – to continue to pretend as if such were possible. I also agree Israelis are likely to go ape-shit crazy were they confronted with a quest by palestinians for a single state – one for all its citizens. And I, for one, do not underestimate what that nut-case state may do, were they tipped ever so slightly over the edge. I try to remind myself everyday – as I do here often enough – that we are not dealing with a rational state actor which can be swayed by self-interest. We are dealing with an insane collective, one closer to a cult than an ideology. It is, unfortunately, not possible to do or offer anything that would make Israelis – as a collective – feel more secure. All the money and weapons in the world cannot close that gaping hole in the heart of hearts of the people, not with all the brain washing they’ve been subjected to from infancy.

        Therefore, we – in the world outside (and with a few – all too few – allies inside) must do what we can to keep them semi-calm, even as we try to figure out ways of administering much needed medicines.

        You – and most of us here – and probably a majority of palestinians could indeed learn to live with an acceptable 2-state situation, assuming jerusalem and ROR can be somehow resolved. But you continue to ignore the elephant in the room – the Israelis cannot go there, and will not anytime soon, except on their terms which, at most, involve gaza-like enclaves with a measure of internal “autonomy”.

        You take solace from polls that show Israelis will go with 2-states – if security concerns are addressed. But those polls are misleading. There are many other polls that show that a majority do not believe Arabs should have equal rights, and that they do not, actually, accept fundamental democratic principles that recognize non-jewish people as humans comparable in value to jews (or that anti-BDS law would not have passed by such a majority – among other signs).

        When so many Israelis voted for Likud and Lieberman’s party – and the way-right-leaning religious parties – what you have is a solid majority for the policies these parties advocate. And an enlightened 2 state is not one of them. This may be the most reliable poll of all – the way people vote. And I would not assume israelis are naive and have no idea what they get with these parties. Israelis can be blamed of many things, but wide-eyed naivite is not one of them.

        All that being said, I too would go on pretending 2 states were possible, if only because the alternative is instant calamity for the Palestinians. I just hope you are not deluding yourself as to what the Israelis are capable of doing. probably because it’s too scary to admit the truth, even to oneself.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 13, 2011, 12:21 am

        Danaa- i think we agree on much. regarding 2 states… although israel has played a bloody expansionist game under oslo, i still see the *only* feasible next step as two states; we just need a new paradigm, and united pressure. though tides are shifting, israel is a “mad dog” and with nukes, a diaspora largely supportive, and strong political pull in key nations- it will not dissolve itself, nor yield its (racist) demographic demands…. the whole point of the stupid zionist movement was a jewish power structure, and we have to admit, they got it.

        i think the way it was formed was a historic injustice, and i fear, like most realists, the dispossession of 1948 will not be completely rectified, at least not fully. so what i seek, like many palestinians and liberals, is the *best* for the palestinians we can get; which means some historic injustices will not be rectified. i feel the *best* we can get is 1967 borders, an internationalized old city (but likely israeli-controlled), and a palestinian capital in east jerusalem. this goal seems damn near impossible in the near and mid term, but it is fully grounded in international law. in time it may be possible, with some small miracles.

        if we uphold the right or return *or* compensation (a very key word, *or*), and seek the palestinian state based on international law, united, we can make headway, as truth prevails. as a nation, israel is not going to recognize the RoR in generous terms, or any terms (but compensation is a realistic goal).

        we can insist that one of the valid grievances we all demand ameliorated is the full RoR, but we do that at the peril of all, including the refugees themselves, who live and die in camps, since 1948 and 1967.

        israel has not historically, and will not in the near future, offer terms we can accept, as palestinians or people of conscience. but if our movement focuses on full RoR, we are injuring the biggest fight, which is to end the occupation and roll back israeli expansionism.

        let me put the RoR in some realist terms…. we have witnessed ethnic cleansing historically and even in the recent past. it is almost unheard of that a nation state which produced the ethnic cleansing allows those dispossessed back in; they are generally resettled. it might just be the saddest part of history and realpolitik we can witness. but to give refugees what i consider false hope, and in the process diminish the portion of israelis we can reach, we are hurting the movement, and in all likelihood, the nature of the final resolution.

        some palestinians have told me “sometimes people abroad are more pro-palestinian than the palestinians”.
        link to freerepublic.com
        link to middleeast.atspace.com
        i think there are 2 audiences our movement MUST reach, and BOTH need to be reached to foster a viable 2 state solution, given the nature of politics and nation states.
        1) the UN and the international community, including the US and key power players
        2) the israeli public/political establishment

        if we had a miracle, and the international community stood *united* in condemnation of israel (#1; we almost have this, minus key western countries [namely USA]), we would STILL have to reach #2 on some significant level to change things on the ground. the insistence on the RoR prevents this, and will lead to deadlock on #2, if not injure our fight to achieve #1. RoR should not be “given away”, but we need to show flexibility on the issue, and perhaps those rights can be held as “subject to negotiation”, as they always have been in previous talks.

        otherwise, the movement to end the occupation is fractured, and we loose support from many, and even the (currently minute) israeli peace camp. i am talking not just strategically, but realistically….

        justice delayed, is justice denied.

        if we “demand” justice on a *particular* issue powerful players will not yield to, we may be prolonging the more pressing and daily injustice of occupation, now 44 years deep. and settlements get built, and houses demolished….

      • RoHa
        July 15, 2011, 12:04 am

        “Israelis are likely to go ape-shit crazy were they confronted with a quest by palestinians for a single state ”

        You mean they are not ape-shit crazy now, or that they would be even crazier?

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