Why Israelis are feeling isolated

Israel/Palestine
on 166 Comments

This post originally appeared on Notes from a Medinah

According to Benny Morris, Israel is under internal and external existential threats. From the inside, Israel is facing the growth of religious and nationalist settlers and ultra orthodox conservatism combined with an ever-increasing polarization in wealth distribution and a troublesome Arab minority that wants silly things like minority rights. Externally, Morris sees a region that is collapsing in on Israel. Resurgent political Islam in Turkey and Egypt has resulted in clear anti-Zionist rhetoric and the continued occupation of Palestine is threatening Israel’s democratic character. Israel is clearly facing a troubling time, but are these really the reasons for the Israeli malaise?

Domestically, Morris is more or less on target. The disproportionate influence of the settler movement and the ultra conservatives in the Knesset has resulted in an unbalance flaw of funds to the occupied territories. (Although Morris claims that the uneven birth rates – 8-5 children per family for ultra conservatives and 3-2 for secular families – has created ‘disproportionate clout in Parliament.’ If the issue was demographic, it would not be disproportionate. The Israeli government supports the settlers and ultra conservatives thanks to effective lobbying efforts and a extremist-leaning government that ideologically supports the causes of these groups.) Consequently, the government has been able to provide fewer social goods for Israel proper while allowing for rapid inflation on basic products, encouraging the ‘brain drain’ that Morris speaks of.

Regarding the Arab population in Israel, however, Morris applies a terrible double standard. Most Palestinians living in Israel proper are content to stay a part of the Israeli state if a final two state solution is made, citing greater economic opportunities (itself a reflection of the depressed ability of the PA to develop throughout the West Bank.) Israeli Arabs, though, are unquestionably regarded as second-class citizens that do not receive the same rights as their Jewish compatriots. Laws allowing communities to reject Arabs and preventing Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens from applying for citizenship are undeniably targeting the Arab minority. If this is what a “Jewish state” looks like, Palestinians would be crazy not to oppose the idea. The fact that Israeli Arabs are pushing for equal social, political and economic rights does not mean that the Arab population is contributing the Israel’s domestic issues, unless, of course, one feels as though Israel should not be granting Arabs equal rights.

Internationally, Morris desperately attempts to blame the increasing regional anti-Israeli sentiment on the rise of political Islam, which he (and others) believes is a negative consequence of the Arab Spring. Morris cites Turkey’s recent turn against Israel and the embassy attack in Cairo as evidence that political Islam has been let loose and is targeting the Israeli state, even though the embassy attack was not perpetrated by Islamists. Typically, Morris ignores the Israeli actions which prompted such a response: namely, the Mavi Marmara attack and the subsequent diplomatic war with Turkey and the murder of five Egyptian policemen by Israeli forces. Prior to the Israeli attack that killed nine Turkish citizens, Turkey was considered one of Israel’s most important and loyal allies – all under the same government – yet Morris explains the Turkish shift in foreign policy as a new twist is Islamism in Ankara. In Egypt, Morris is surprised that Egyptians resent Israel, even though Israel buys gas and oil at a reduced price from Egypt and Egyptians do not hold full sovereignty over the Sinai?

Morris also notes that the west supports the Arab Spring as “heralds of democratic transformation,” but notes that “Israelis are less optimistic.” Simply because forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood may gain political control in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere does not mean that the Arab Spring did not usher in democracy. Israelis are less optimistic because they correctly view the democratization of Egypt, Libya and potentially Syria as the process that will bring people and parties to power that will no longer accept Israeli unilateral breaches of international law and will stand more firmly next to the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Democracy is the form of government that reflects the wishes of the people and this is precisely what Israel is scared of. Egyptians, Turks, and Palestinians are looking disapprovingly at Israel’s repeated violation of airspace in Lebanon and Egyptian territorial waters, the murder of foreign citizens with impunity, and the continued occupation of Palestine and the siege on Gaza. Consequently, these governments are moving away from Israel. This is not a failure in democracy, as Morris implies, but rather a confirmation of its efficacy. The evolving anti-Israeli notions in the region should not be seen as a failure of the democratic Arab Spring, but rather as proof that Israeli regional exceptionalism is withering.

There are many reasons why Israelis may be feeling increasingly isolated this fall. However, the evolution of Israel’s domestic and foreign challenges are not independent of Israeli policy. The break in ties is not, as Morris implies, a new inherent consequence of political Islam in Ankara, but rather a reflection of the management of the Turkish alliance by the Israeli government. Likewise, Egyptian criticism (even in the form of a highly illegal and regrettable embassy attack) can be traced to the humiliation of Egyptian people by Israel (SCAF’s mismanagement of the democratic transition certainly didn’t help either.)

If Israel is going to relieve itself of this impending sense of regional isolation, it must take a moment for self-reflection. For too long Israel has been blaming criticism on some unreasonable anti-Semitism or rejection of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land. Of course, there are some extremists that reject Israel as a state and base their proclamations and actions completely on anti-Semitic influences. This current state of Israeli unease, on the other hand, should not be seen or portrayed in that light. The troubles Israel is facing at home, and abroad with Turkey, Egypt and Palestine are all self-imposed and could easily have been managed or prevented.

About Chris Keeler

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166 Responses

  1. lysias
    September 14, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Israel-Turkish relations started to deteriorate over Operation Cast Lead, of 2008-9. They’ve been gradually getting worse, ever since then, but they started to go bad well before the Arab Spring.

  2. dimadok
    September 14, 2011, 4:03 pm

    Oh no, someone spoiled your narrative here!

    “For too long Israel has been blaming criticism on some unreasonable anti-Semitism or rejection of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land. Of course, there are some extremists that reject Israel as a state and base their proclamations and actions completely on anti-Semitic influences.”

    And who that would be-
    PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews!

    link to usatoday.com

    Life is a bitch, especially when you live in dream castle of your own making.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 14, 2011, 4:38 pm

      “And who that would be-
      PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews!”

      He said there should be “separation.” Don’t you agree?? Don’t you reject the one-state solution (which is the opposite of separation.) Or are you willing to affirm that everyone from the Med to the Jordan should have equal rights and equal votes??

      Which is it?

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 4:48 pm

        Israel has 1.3 million non-Jews, I don’t think they should go anywhere in a two state solution unless of course they want to immigrate to Palestine.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 14, 2011, 4:53 pm

        “Israel has 1.3 million non-Jews, I don’t think they should go anywhere in a two state solution unless of course they want to immigrate to Palestine.”

        And yet you don’t want the millions of non-citizen Palestinians to be forced on Israel. So why should you expect that the Palestinians to expect to have 1/2 million non-citizen Israelis forced on Palestine?

      • seafoid
        September 14, 2011, 4:55 pm

        DBG

        They have been there for at least 4000 years.
        Another regime collapse is nothing new. The trees have seen it all too.
        I mean the ones the Zionists haven’t destroyed.

        “This time is different”. It never is.

        The Zionist meltdown is in the house.

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 5:05 pm

        Why would non citizen Israelis be forced into Israel when there is a Palestinian state? that makes no sense. I don’t want anyone forced on to anyone.

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 5:06 pm

        who has been where for 4000 years? negating Jewish history in Palestine while claiming the descendants of refugees have been there for 4000 is pure propaganda.

        Can anyone recommend a good history book on the Palestinian people?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 14, 2011, 6:31 pm

        “Why would non citizen Israelis be forced into Israel when there is a Palestinian state? that makes no sense. I don’t want anyone forced on to anyone.”

        So then what is your problem with Areikat’s statement that there should be separation, i.e., that the Israelis settlers should go back to Israel and not be forced on the Palestinians?

      • pabelmont
        September 14, 2011, 7:51 pm

        “Forced.” Interesting choice of word.

        Surely, the Jews living now in post-1967 occupied Palestine territories are “forced” on the Palestinians who (to say the least) never invited them in.

        On the other hand, the Palestinian exiles of 1948 have the right — as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sees it, and as UNGA-194 sees it — to return to their own homeland (in this case, pre-1967 Israeli territory). To make matters more complicated, those exiles include many Palestinians who now live in Gaza and the West Bank. The international community (in my dreams) would take steps including coercion to compel Israel to receive these exiles as citizens, as of right. And, yes, that compulsion, would be “force”.

        When you go to court to sue someone, and you win, and the court awards you money damages, and you use further government process to compel the other side to pay up, that is the use of “force” to obtain “justice.”

      • Shingo
        September 14, 2011, 9:07 pm

        who has been where for 4000 years?

        Who cares?

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 10:54 pm

        UNGA -194 says nothing about descendants of refugees, the Jewish refugees of Arab countries have accepted it, why can’t the Palestinians?

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 12:54 am

        There are no refugees of Arab countries. That myth was invented by the The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries.

        “… The WOJAC (The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries) figure who came up with the idea of “Jewish refugees” was Yaakov Meron, head of the Justice Ministry’s Arab legal affairs department. Meron propounded the most radical thesis ever devised concerning the history of Jews in Arab lands. He claimed Jews were expelled from Arab countries under policies enacted in concert with Palestinian leaders – and he termed these policies “ethnic cleansing.” Vehemently opposing the dramatic Zionist narrative, Meron claimed that Zionism had relied on romantic, borrowed phrases (“Magic Carpet,” “Operation Ezra and Nehemiah”) in the description of Mizrahi immigration waves to conceal the “fact” that Jewish migration was the result of “Arab expulsion policy.” In a bid to complete the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi Jews, WOJAC publicists claimed that the Mizrahi immigrants lived in refugee camps in Israel during the 1950s (i.e., ma’abarot or transit camps), just like the Palestinian refugees.

        The organization’s claims infuriated many Mizrahi Israelis who defined themselves as Zionists. As early as 1975, at the time of WOJAC’s formation, Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared: “We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations.”

        Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly opposed the analogy: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

        In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: “I have this to say: I am not a refugee.” He added: “I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”

        The opposition was so vociferous that Ora Schweitzer, chair of WOJAC’s political department, asked the organization’s secretariat to end its campaign. She reported that members of Strasburg’s Jewish community were so offended that they threatened to boycott organization meetings should the topic of “Sephardi Jews as refugees” ever come up again. Such remonstration precisely predicted the failure of the current organization, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries to inspire enthusiasm for its efforts.”

      • DBG
        September 15, 2011, 1:35 am

        Shingo, so the Jews still live there? your argument is just as bad as saying that the Arab leaders asked all the Palestinians to leave and there was no Nakba, you don’t believe that nonsense do you? Why are the Palestinians the only ones who can be victims?

        also, i’ve seen that nonsense before, it doesn’t really ‘prove’ anything other than your ability to regurgitate debunked nonsense and paste it into another wordpress blog.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 1:45 am

        Shingo, so the Jews still live there?

        No, they left.

        My family left Europe when I was 10 years old. That makes me an immigrant, not a refugee.

        Why are the Palestinians the only ones who can be victims?

        What’s the matter DBG? Do you feel you missed out on yout turn?

        i’ve seen that nonsense before, it doesn’t really ‘prove’ anything other than your ability to regurgitate debunked nonsense and paste it into another wordpress blog.

        Gee that’s interesting. I never thought to describe Haaretz as a ordpress blog.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 1:54 am

        “Shingo, so the Jews still live there?”

        Interesting you chose to conclude such a thing from Shingo’s link when quite obviously it’s not the right one. Israel had every interest in bringing those Arab Jews to the newly founded state of Israel. It’s not like it was forced to accept them. Reread the article if you still have doubts and stop arguing in bad faith. Sheesh.

      • DBG
        September 15, 2011, 1:56 am

        Shingo, so your family left europe when you were ten proves all Jews are immigrants?

        that is some great logic dude!

      • DBG
        September 15, 2011, 2:08 am

        i’ve read the article, and i’ve read hundreds of other testimonies about Jews being forced from Arab countries. We all know it happened, who are you trying to fool? what is the point in not admitting it?

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 2:17 am

        No DBG,

        It proves that the fact we no longer live in Europe is not evidence that we are European refugees.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 3:37 am

        i’ve read the article, and i’ve read hundreds of other testimonies about Jews being forced from Arab countries.

        Hundreds? Is that the same “hundreds” like your claim that hundreds of Americans were killed by Palestinian terrorists, only to come up with 53 documented cases or American settlers having settled in the West Bank?

        And BTW. If you had read the article, you would have known it didn’t come from a wordpress blog, but Haaretz.

        Only a fool would take your BS seriously.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 6:20 am

        DBG
        Heard of the Qui Bono concept. To whose benefit?

      • dimadok
        September 14, 2011, 6:52 pm

        As long as the Palestinians in Israel will go under the Palestinian governance- they are welcomed to try so. But wait, when I say it it is the Israeli apartheid…..? And when PLO ambassador says it- it makes perfect sense to you?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 14, 2011, 7:41 pm

        I would respond, dimadok, but this is complete gibberish.

      • Chaos4700
        September 14, 2011, 10:38 pm

        Basically you want to kick all the Arabs out? Why don’t you just say it instead of tiptoeing around it. It isn’t like we haven’t figured you out.

    • tree
      September 14, 2011, 4:46 pm

      The usual suspects are again conflating Israelis with Jews. Here is Areikat:

      As Areikat left the event Tuesday, several reporters followed him to his car and continued to pepper him with questions about the future of Jews in Gaza and the West Bank. Areikat said he wasn’t speaking about any religion in response to the earlier question and was simply referring to Israeli citizens and the citizens of a future Palestinian state.

      “Listen, again, we have nothing against Jews. This is a political conflict,” Areikat added, according to the Caller. “Once the political issues our resolved, every Palestinian should be welcomed in Israel. Every Israeli should be welcomed in Palestine. But under the current circumstances — an occupation power occupying a people against their will — this is something we are trying to end.”

      link to politico.com

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 14, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Of course they are, tree. If they didn’t lie about their opponents, they wouldn’t have any arguments.

    • Shingo
      September 14, 2011, 7:12 pm

      PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews!

      In that case, he’s an assehole and wrong.

      I think that if anything, the stte should welcome Jews (as citizens) as an insurance policy against the Gaza treatment.

      BTW. The UN now says the blockade is illegal. The Palmer-Urobe Report is already discredited.

      link to reuters.com

    • thankgodimatheist
      September 14, 2011, 11:18 pm

      “PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews!”

      You’re framing it the wrong way, Dim. Not any Jews. Settler Jews! He’s right. Who would want these thugs and gangsters in their midst anyway?

    • john h
      September 15, 2011, 12:27 am

      Dim, your source is less honest than the one DBG on another thread used on the same story. Here’s what it failed to report:

      “Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash dismissed Areikat’s statements, saying that the Palestinian state is to welcome members of all faiths. He asserted that any media attempts to manipulate [such into] anti-Jewish statements are politically motivated.”

      And as tree posted, Areikat himself clarified the context he referred to.

      What’s that about life being a bitch?

    • Hostage
      September 20, 2011, 2:42 am

      And who that would be-
      PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews!

      Man bites dog! Try reading the USA Today clarification just below the headline:

      Clarification: In the headline and story, Palestinian Ambassador Maen Areikat says he was referring to Israelis, not Jews, when he stated that “it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated first.”

  3. Richard Witty
    September 14, 2011, 4:15 pm

    link to haaretz.com

    This would make me feel isolated.

    I originally posted the article that dimadduk sited.

    “Free of Jews” is accurate. No 20% minority accepted.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 14, 2011, 4:41 pm

      “‘Free of Jews’ is accurate. No 20% minority accepted.”

      Of course, these are the very same people who’ve been oppressing the Palestinians in the West Bank for two generations, so it is be a wise policy to kick these “settlers” out, regardless of their religion and ethnicity.

      There should be no ban on Jews, should they follow the normal immigration laws.

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 4:49 pm

        There should be no ban on Jews, should they follow the normal immigration laws.

        Normal immigration laws of no Jews?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 14, 2011, 5:08 pm

        “Normal immigration laws of no Jews?”

        I guess you didn’t read the politico article which tree linked to which shows that this whole “No Jews” thing was an a big, fat, giant lie, concocted by the media in order to yet again paint the Palestinians in a false light. I guess the truth that they’re being libelled yet again doesn’t matter to you, so long as you can wallow in your victim fetish.

      • tree
        September 14, 2011, 5:11 pm

        Normal immigration laws of no Jews?

        Read the friggin quote I gave you above, from Areikat and stop making things up:

        Areikat said he wasn’t speaking about any religion in response to the earlier question and was simply referring to Israeli citizens and the citizens of a future Palestinian state.

        Normal immigration laws don’t give Israeli Jews. or anyone else for that matter, an instant right to be citizens just because they choose move into another country.

      • DBG
        September 14, 2011, 8:12 pm

        Woody,

        are the settlers not Jews?

      • Chaos4700
        September 14, 2011, 10:37 pm

        The settlers are, first and foremost, invaders and unlawful enemy combatants.

      • Donald
        September 14, 2011, 11:07 pm

        “are the settlers not Jews?”

        They are people living where they have no right to be–they moved into occupied territory, benefiting from an apartheid system. Palestinians on the WB had no right to move inside the Green Line. You settler defenders never seem to notice that. Their religion is irrelevant.

        That said, I read eljay’s comment below and if a Palestinian does make an issue of Jewishness, then that is anti-semitic. People who want to move into the West Bank in a legal manner shouldn’t be discriminated against on the basis of religion.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 14, 2011, 11:24 pm

        “are the settlers not Jews?”

        They are but what I find intriguing (not really) is that you chose “Jews” rather than “settlers”. Why? Is it because the former infers anti-Semitism when the latter is simply common sense. Those settlers who happen to be Jews but Israeli too, are mostly thugs and criminals. Nice, mendacious try again..

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 6:17 am

        Atheist,
        The settlers are NOT mostly thugs and criminals in the slightest. There are a few.

        They are mostly civilians, trying to make a good life for their families.

        Don’t give yourself permission to dehumanize them please.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:40 am

        “They are mostly civilians, trying to make a good life for their families.”

        The same can often be said of theives and “fences” (i.e., those who receive stolen goods.) We don’t let them keep the stuff, regardless of their motives.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 8:32 am

        The settlers are NOT mostly thugs and criminals in the slightest. There are a few.

        They are still illegal and breaking the law. Nice people break the law too.

        They are mostly civilians, trying to make a good life for their families.

        They are mostly civilians, living in denial about the fact they are loving on someone else’s land.

        Don’t give yourself permission to dehumanize them please.

        Criminals are human beings too, but they must face justice. Of course, where was all that humanizing in 1948 when tyou woudl have held your nose but supported the dehumanizing of Palestinians?

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 8:32 am

        “Don’t give yourself permission to dehumanize them please.”

        How dare you give yourself the permission to lecture me on this issue, Witty? I have first hand accounts of the thuggery prevalent among most settlers communities and they’re beyond anything imaginable in terms of viciousness and cruelty condoned by the overwhelming majority of the settlers.. No angels here and every single one of them is aware of what’s going on and by his/her mere presence is complicit in the crimes against humanity perpetrated on a daily basis in the occupied territories!

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 8:46 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘I think the late Professor Judt had an observation that could have been aimed directly at me. . .

        American Jews — most of whom know nothing of Jewish history, Jewish languages or Jewish religion — feel “Jewish” by identifying unthinkingly with Auschwitz as the source of their special victim status and “Israel” as their insurance policy and macho other. I find this contemptible — they are quite happy to see Arabs killed in their name, so long as other Jews do it. That’s not fear, that is something between surrogate nationalism and moral indifference.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 9:34 am

        Atheist,
        You have impressions. Determination of theft is a legal definition, hopefully determined by a color-blind court of law.

        The importance of establishing color-blind law as the norm is that it is color-blind.

        You have to allow individual Palestinians their day in court, and you have to allow individual settlers their day in court. Anything less than that is thuggery, political thuggery.

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 9:46 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘I know that transferring populations into occupied territory, as Israel has done, is a violation of international law. Just the other day, I invoked international law to condemn the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
        ‘My view of international law is selective. If it helps Jews, it is good. If it helps Palestinians, it should be ignored — and superceded by “color-blind courts of law” that are a pure figment of my imagination.
        ‘But I don’t want to discuss these facts on the ground anymore. I want to remount my moral high horse, and accuse everyone else on Mondoweiss of “political thuggery,” of not “humanizing the other.”‘

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 9:50 am

        You’re supposed to be an intelligent man, North.

        You cannot incorporate the idea that the state program of orchestrating settlement expansion is illegal/wrong, and that the segregated status of the settlements is illegal/wrong, but the residence of individuals is not?

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 9:56 am

        You have impressions. Determination of theft is a legal definition, hopefully determined by a color-blind court of law.

        Richard Witty said, ‘Never mind those pesky Geneva Conventions, the settlers must have their day in court! Preferably, an Israeli one.

        Oops, now that I read his comment again, Atheist never actually mentioned theft, just thuggery. Out, damned spot!’

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 9:56 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘My moral contortions never fail to astonish. What I’m saying here is: “The capture of slaves in Africa is illegal/wrong; the shipping of them to America is illegal/wrong; their segregated and exploited status in America is illegal/wrong, but the individual slaveholder did not know any better and paid good money for his property.”

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 9:58 am

        They are mostly civilians, living in denial about the fact they are loving on someone else’s land.

        Shingo, you have the best typos :-)

        It brings to mind this cartoon from the repulsive settler rag, Arutz Sheva.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 10:08 am

        “You cannot incorporate the idea that the state program of orchestrating settlement expansion is illegal/wrong, and that the segregated status of the settlements is illegal/wrong, but the residence of individuals is not?”

        But the evil here is not the fact that the government is orchestrating the settlement program, it is the settlement program, itself. And the residents of the settlements are part and parcel of the problem. Not one of them went into the settlements with clean hands. Everyone of them knew they were traveling beyond the 1967 lines, so none of them are innocents.

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

        What is thuggery is trying to create an impression of balance where there is none. The settlement project is nothing less than the intentional and wholesale theft of private and public Palestinian land for the exclusive use of Jews. The methods and specifics have been well documented by human rights groups (Israeli, Palestinian and international), journalists, scholars, legal and other professional advocacy groups, and the architects of the project themselves. To reduce it to a series of real estate disputes, in which there is both right and wrong on both sides, is worse than thuggery.

        If and when Jews and non-Jews become equal before the law in Israel and the OT, of course all should have recourse to the courts when they feel they have been wronged (on both sides of the armistice line). I don’t think anyone here would dispute that – with the obvious exception of apologists like yourself.

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 3:23 pm

        “The capture of slaves in Africa is illegal/wrong; the shipping of them to America is illegal/wrong; their segregated and exploited status in America is illegal/wrong, but the individual slaveholder did not know any better and paid good money for his property.”

        Don’t forget that both slaves and their “owners” must be allowed their day in court (“color-blind” naturally). To do otherwise would be to commit “political thuggery”.

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 3:41 pm

        Shmuel: You have plenty of experience in Israel, unlike one of our most prolific visitors; what percentage of adult Israeli settler/colonists in the West Bank are not aware that international law regards their settling there as illegal?

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Thuggery includes denying the protections of the rule of law to those that are hated.

        Being protected from forced removal is not the same as protection of slaveowners property rights.

        You want to take away the settlers legal rights by your ideological construction.

        “If and when Jews and non-Jews become equal before the law in Israel and the OT, of course all should have recourse to the courts when they feel they have been wronged (on both sides of the armistice line). I don’t think anyone here would dispute that – with the obvious exception of apologists like yourself.”

        Please stop lying about my views. And, please stop the name-calling. I’ve consistently stated that I support the rights to resident and non-resident Palestinians to their day in court, as I support the rights of settlers to their day in court.

        Too inconvenient for you?

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 4:27 pm

        James,

        I don’t think international law is the issue. A large percentage of Israelis (more among settlers) have no faith in international law – believing either the law itself or its interpretation by “Israel-bashers” to be slanted against them. I think 3e is fairly representative in that sense. Many believe the official propaganda about “state land” or “security settlements”, or that all Arabs are liars or terrorists (or both), while others simply believe that the individual property rights of non-Jews are, or should be, irrelevant in Eretz Yisrael.

        The point is that every last Israeli – settlers included – knows that the settlements are, rightly or wrongly, a matter of local and international dispute, and that all Israeli governments since Begin (destroyer of Yamit) have, at least theoretically, conceded that some of them may be dismantled.

        Some areas are considered “safer” than others (Gush Etziyon, Ma’aleh Adumim, anywhere near the Green Line, etc.), but – with the notable exception of the East Jerusalem settlements, which most Israeli Jews don’t consider settlements at all – there is always a calculated risk in buying a home in the OT. You may consider the chances slim, and you may be prepared to fight it tooth and nail (or quietly accept compensation and move on), but you know it could happen. So you take your incentives, your tax breaks, your special budgets, and maybe even your Jabotinskian or Kookian fervour, and hope/pray/fight for the best, but you will never be able to say you didn’t know.

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 4:38 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Ouch, Shmuel. This statement of yours hit home:

        The settlement project is nothing less than the intentional and wholesale theft of private and public Palestinian land for the exclusive use of Jews. The methods and specifics have been well documented by human rights groups (Israeli, Palestinian and international), journalists, scholars, legal and other professional advocacy groups, and the architects of the project themselves. To reduce it to a series of real estate disputes, in which there is both right and wrong on both sides, is worse than thuggery.

        ‘So, rather than ponder what you said so eloquently and succinctly, I’ll just accuse you of “lying” and “name-calling.” This is my way of promoting “dialog (sic).”‘

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 4:39 pm

        Too inconvenient for you?

        Too dishonest – doesn’t mesh with your property-freezing scheme and false equivalences. How about restoring all property to Palestinian owners (based on reasonable documentation or testimony) or to the Palestinian state (owner of all “state lands”),* and allowing any settler who believes the decision to be unwarranted in his case to submit an appeal – on condition that Palestinians may claim property anywhere in Israel.

        * The vast majority of settlements are built on privately-owned Palestinian land or “state land”. See Peace Now’s reports on the subject.

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 4:49 pm

        Shmuel: Thanks for the clarification. What you are saying is that even setting aside the view many Israelis have of international law, they can’t say they didn’t know that moving across the green line is a calculated risk. In other words, none of them fit Richard Witty’s description: well-meaning Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz from the Bronx who are innocently buying a bigger house in Westchester.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 5:10 pm

        Shmuel,
        The question is the remedy.

        You are still talking about dispossessing 550,000 basically civilians, that believe that they have purchased property with good title.

        If you are committed to the concept that forced removal is a wrong, then you will have at least gross qualms about this proposed forced removal.

        If the numbers are only in the 50,000 range, maybe that is not as consequential. Stated rhetorically though, you are speaking about 550,000 theoretically.

        Privately owned Palestinian land and vacant state land are two very very different conditions.

        I didn’t know you that also knew the Schwartzes, North. I have seen them in decades. How are they?

        The settlers are scapegoats. You and others feel permission to regard them as appendages of ideological statements, unworthy of the protection of the rule of law.

        The important shift in all of the region, is to reaffirm the protections of ALL individuals to color-blind rule of law. If there is a conflict, the conflict should be resolved through due process, not through political assertion.

        There is no guarantee one way or another to what color-blind courts would determine. But, there is a guarantee that a politically expedient mode will add another layer to the Balkan-like collective memory.

      • Donald
        September 15, 2011, 5:20 pm

        The irony is that Richard used to confine his defense to settlers who allegedly acquired their land legally–whoever that might be. Now it’s all of them and all of them are to be compared to Hungarian Jews who lost property during the Holocaust.

        I think Richard has immense difficulty seeing Israeli Jews as anything other than victims or potential victims. He can, probably with great difficulty, concede that a few on the far right might be wrong or guilty of terror, but the thought that hundreds of thousands might be consciously and cynically benefiting from an apartheid regime is more than he can stomach. Plus at some level maybe he realizes it’s not really that different from what happened in 1948.

        ” on condition that Palestinians may claim property anywhere in Israel.”

        How about that, Richard? Should Palestinians be able to have their day in court with respect to lands stolen from them inside the 67 borders? And which court?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 5:47 pm

        “You are still talking about dispossessing 550,000 basically civilians, that believe that they have purchased property with good title.”

        No, they didn’t. They knowingly bought land over the ’67 lines. Unclean hands.

        “If you are committed to the concept that forced removal is a wrong,…”

        Forced removal of INNOCENT PEOPLE is wrong. Force removal of squatters isn’t.

        “Privately owned Palestinian land and vacant state land are two very very different conditions.”

        And, in this case, no settler is on “vacant state land” because no state capable of deeding such land ever did so.

        “The settlers are scapegoats.”

        Is that what you call criminals now, “scapegoats”??

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 5:54 pm

        The settlers are scapegoats. You and others feel permission to regard them as appendages of ideological statements, unworthy of the protection of the rule of law.

        I agree that the settlers are scapegoats – primarily of liberal Zionists who tend to blame everything that is wrong with Israel on them (and the Haredim, and the National-religious and the Russians and the Mizrahim). You do it yourself, regularly, except that you call them “Likud Zionists”.

        I have never done that. I recognise that there are many different kinds of settlers, and agree completely with Yehouda Shenhav’s analysis regarding the settlements as a substitute welfare system and the arrogant dismissal of the settlers and their needs by well-to-do, primarily-Ashkenazi left-wing Zionists.

        Unlike you, I do not advocate presenting 150,000 settlers with an ultimatum that is tantamount to an eviction notice. I think that more comprehensive solutions have to be found, that would include all of I/P – but not in a court of law.

      • Bumblebye
        September 15, 2011, 6:23 pm

        Hey Witty, if your “color-blind courts” exist, can the West Bank refugees get their stolen property back from the western side of the green line – Israel? Or is that too color-blind for you? Goose/gander ya know.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 6:55 pm

        You’re supposed to be an intelligent man, North.

        He is, which he denmonstrates every time he lampoons your incoherent and hypocrtical diatribes.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 7:20 pm

        You are still talking about dispossessing 550,000 basically civilians, that believe that they have purchased property with good title.

        As has been repeatedly explained and pointed out to you Witty, the title is not good – that’s the point.

        Why do you persist with this lie?

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 9:46 pm

        You are still talking about dispossessing 550,000 basically civilians, that believe that they have purchased property with good title.

        Civilians don’t colonise occupied territory in contradiction of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which expressly forbids the transfer of populations to the occupied territory.

        Every Israeli settler knows they aren’t in Israel, despite Israel’s best efforts to erase the Green Line. It’s a flat-out lie to say they “purchased” thinking they had good title.

        The important shift in all of the region, is to reaffirm the protections of ALL individuals to color-blind rule of law. If there is a conflict, the conflict should be resolved through due process, not through political assertion.

        International law, the Fourth Geneva Convention: the settlers are in violation of it, and that this is the case is not even remotely in question.

        You’ve become more vocally pro-settler of late Richard. Makes me wonder if your son in Israel isn’t actually a settler in occupied Palestine after all.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 11:52 pm

        You’ve become more vocally pro-settler of late Richard. Makes me wonder if your son in Israel isn’t actually a settler in occupied Palestine after all.

        Typical liberal Zionist. They are all for a 2ss so long as it doesn’t appear likely. That’s why I don’t trust them when they say they support a 2ss, becasue even Bibbi can claim he’s all for it, knowing deep down that he’s never going to let it become a reality.

        The closer we get to a 2ss becomming a reality, the more the Witty’s of this world back away from the idea and start changing the goal posts.

      • Sumud
        September 16, 2011, 12:58 am

        The closer we get to a 2ss becomming a reality, the more the Witty’s of this world back away from the idea and start changing the goal posts.

        Such as bleating on about the settlers returning to their actual country being a case of “ethnic cleansing”, meanwhile the Nakba and the Palestinian refugees (victims of actual ethnic cleansing) are to be forgotten about altogether because that occurred in the past.

        Pathetic.

    • eljay
      September 14, 2011, 6:02 pm

      >> I originally posted the article that dimadduk sited.

      dimadok. cited.

      >> “After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated,” Maen Areikat, the PLO ambassador, said during a meeting with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. He was responding to a question about the rights of minorities in a Palestine of the future.

      That is racism, pure and simple. I don’t “primarily celebrate it”, I don’t think it’s a “required” evil, I don’t “hold my nose” and approve of it. I unequivocally condemn it. It is utterly unacceptable.

      • dimadok
        September 14, 2011, 6:43 pm

        Thank you and thank you.

      • tree
        September 14, 2011, 7:13 pm

        How is it racism to insist that illegal settler citizens of another state should not be allowed to remain in the new state? Do US citizens get to move to Iraq, steal some Iraqi land and insist on staying in Iraq in perpetuity? Please explain.

        Areikat made plain he is talking about Israelis, not Jews, despite the spin by Elliot Abrams in the USAtoday report. You’ve either been had, eljay, or your concept of racism is flawed.

      • eljay
        September 14, 2011, 7:46 pm

        >> You’ve either been had, eljay, or your concept of racism is flawed.

        dimadok’s USA Today article lists the Christian Science Monitor as the source of Areikat’s statement. So I went to the CSM site just now and searched for “Areikat”, “Jews”, “transfer”, “separate”…and I was unable to find a single quote to support USA Today’s claim.

        So, it does appear that I’ve been had. Therefore, I retract my condemnation of Areikat.

        That being said, if dimadok – or someone else – can provide a link to the CSM site that supports the USA Today claim, I will not hesitate to re-issue my condemnation.

      • eljay
        September 14, 2011, 8:18 pm

        According to Ha’aretz, the question posted to Areikat was from a reporter with the Daily Caller. On their site, they do post the full quote from Areikat:
        ——————————-
        “Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
        . . .
        Asked after the Tuesday breakfast to clarify if he was truly calling for a Jew-free state, Areikat said that perhaps one day in the future things will be different.

        “Listen, again, we have nothing against Jews. This is a political conflict,” he explained. “Once the political issues our resolved, every Palestinian should be welcomed in Israel. Every Israeli should be welcomed in Palestine. But under the current circumstances — an occupation power occupying a people against their will — this is something we are trying to end.”
        ——————————-

        They also post a previous comment of his:
        ——————————-
        Last year, Areikat made a similar statement during an interview with Tablet magazine. Asked whether it would be neccessary to transfer and remove “every Jew” from a future Palestinian state, Areikat responded “absolutely.”

        “I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state,” he said then.
        ——————————-

        So, given the information available on the Daily Caller site, and in order to remain consistent with my previously-stated suggestion for a resolution to the conflict, I re-issue my condemnation of Arakeit’s recent comment and, additionally, I condemn his previous comment.

      • Shingo
        September 14, 2011, 8:39 pm

        Excellent eetective work Eljay.

        I might have to retract my condemnation of Areikat too, until the quote is sourced.

      • dimadok
        September 14, 2011, 9:56 pm

        I’m glad that you’ve brought his quote here. Particularly the passage:” Listen, again, we have nothing against Jews. This is a political conflict,” he explained.”
        Hence, there is the understanding about the nature of the conflict, similar to my argumentation here.
        It is a struggle between two national aspirations and not some religious or racist war.

      • Chaos4700
        September 14, 2011, 10:36 pm

        “National aspirations?” The founders of Israel were COLONISTS. They were from Europe! 1948 had nothing to do with nation building and everything to do with well-armed, white people stealing property from unprepared non-white people by extreme force of arms.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 6:05 am

        Israel Beitanhu also says, ‘we have nothing against Arabs, we just don’t want them here. Its a political issue, not a humanitarian one.’

        If he had said it differently, the implication would be different.. “we fear for their safety. We are not confident that we can offer them the protection of the rule of law currently. I think it would be better if they temporarily resided in Israel, until the path for their repatriation as Palestinian citizens is firmed up. We will preserve the integrity of their property until a full color-blind legal determination is made.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:14 am

        “Hence, there is the understanding about the nature of the conflict, similar to my argumentation here.
        It is a struggle between two national aspirations and not some religious or racist war.”

        Just because you can show it’s not a religious war, doesn’t mean that it is into a racist war.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:18 am

        “I think it would be better if they temporarily resided in Israel, until the path for their repatriation as Palestinian citizens is firmed up. We will preserve the integrity of their property until a full color-blind legal determination is made.”

        Did the Israelis do this? No, they passed confiscation laws. If you aren’t calling for the Israelis to do the EXACT SAME THING, and for paying compensation for those whose land they confiscated and which remains confiscated today (please note this, as it is a direct rebuttal to your usual assertion about not bothering with the past), then why would expect Palestinians to treat Jews better than the Jews treated the Palestinians??

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:34 am

        “Just because you can show it’s not a religious war, doesn’t mean that it is into a racist war.”

        That should have read:

        “Just because you can show it’s not a religious war, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a racist war.”

      • LeaNder
        September 15, 2011, 11:20 am

        eljay, I have to admit that whenever this argument it is used, I am slightly hesitant. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve encountered the basic argument, and the above looks a little like concerted action.

        The meme in a nutshell: the Palestinians do want Judea and Samaria judenrein, pretty much like all the Arab countries. They are Nazis, racists.

      • Potsherd2
        September 15, 2011, 4:22 pm

        ALL the Arab countries? No, that’s a lie. Many Arab countries have Jewish populations. Jews have populated the Mideast for millennia.

        And of those Arab states that used to have Jewish populations and now no longer allow them, except for Saudi Arabia, this is a response to the Israeli expulsion of so many of its Arab population. If it weren’t for Israel, Jews would have continued to be an important part of the Mideast population.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 14, 2011, 11:36 pm

        “That is racism, pure and simple. I don’t “primarily celebrate it”, I don’t think it’s a “required” evil, I don’t “hold my nose” and approve of it. I unequivocally condemn it. It is utterly unacceptable.”

        No it’s not, eljay! If the hypothesis is one of a one-state solution than it may well be. But it’s not what Areikat is talking about, a 2-state solution. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with throwing out those who have been responsible for unspeakable crimes against helpless population.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 14, 2011, 11:46 pm

        The racists are those who think they can tell the Palestinians what’s racist and what’s not when they are not the ones at the receiving end of abominable crimes committed on a daily basis by armed gangsters and thugs. That’s racism!

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 12:31 am

        “So, it does appear that I’ve been had. Therefore, I retract my condemnation of Areikat.”

        This appeared after I posted my comment so the matter is settled (Gee, how I hate this word!).

      • john h
        September 15, 2011, 1:23 am

        Got to say I am with you, atheist.

        However, Areikat is just one of a number of those who claim to speak for the PA. Like Lieberman in Israel, anything in his statements considered out of line can be countermanded by another official. And that is exactly what has been done in this case:

        “Later Wednesday, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash dismissed Areikat’s statements, saying that the Palestinian state is to welcome members of all faiths. He asserted that any media attempts to manipulate [such into] anti-Jewish statements are politically motivated.”

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 1:41 am

        Thanks John h for the quote. Very kind, and “superhuman” of him indeed not to feel acrimony towards the vile, racist, unhinged scum. I personally see no wrong in co-habitation with those who have nothing to do with the abject cruelty inflicted on the natives but it’s never up to me to tell them what they should do as some, here, feel entitled to. I go by whatever THEY want or wish for themselves.

      • john h
        September 15, 2011, 4:59 am

        From huffingtonpost:

        A firestorm over remarks by a senior Palestinian diplomat about the future Palestinian state was the result of misquoting and misinterpretation, the diplomat told The Huffington Post Wednesday night.

        In an interview with The Huffington Post, Areikat rejected USA Today’s characterization of his remarks, saying that he would never want to ban Jews from a Palestinian state.

        Areikat said he was particularly upset that the USA Today account compared Areikat’s point of view to Nazi Germany, and suggested that he had called for a new country that would be cleansed of all Jews.

        “Under no circumstances was I saying that no Jews can be in Palestine,” Areikat said by phone. “What a statement that would be for me to make! I never said that, and I never meant to say such a thing. This is not a religious conflict, and we want to establish a secular state.”

        He added that he would not like to see any restrictions on access to religious or holy sites for any person of any faith or nationality.

        “When it comes to religious freedom and the right of all to visit respective sites in Israel and Palestine, of course all cities should be open to all religions,” he said.

        A tape recording of Areikat’s remarks from the on-the-record breakfast Wednesday morning, sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, shows that his words were more nuanced than first reported: He described the terms as his “personal” view, and specified that this situation would apply “at first,” not in perpetuity.

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 5:32 am

        >> Personally I don’t see anything wrong with throwing out those who have been responsible for unspeakable crimes against helpless population.

        I don’t see anything wrong with throwing out those people, either. But Areikat said “Jews”, not settlers, not Israelis, not Zionists. That’s why I condemn his comments.

      • annie
        September 15, 2011, 5:45 am

        i went to hear areikat speak in sf last year, impressive. i knew it wasn’t true. plus, that paper that reported is is a rtwg dc sham. this is all just gruesome posturing prior to the vote. they should stop screwing around. palestinians just announced they were taking it to the security council! youwza.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 6:08 am

        You don’t see anything wrong with forced dispossession of 550,000?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:01 am

        “You don’t see anything wrong with forced dispossession of 550,000?”

        Do you see anything wrong with someone convicted of receiving stolen property having to turn it over to its rightful owner? These people knew or should have known that they were taking possession of land to which they had no right. Pay the crime, do the time.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:13 am

        “I don’t see anything wrong with throwing out those people, either. But Areikat said ‘Jews’, not settlers, not Israelis, not Zionists. That’s why I condemn his comments.”

        I know a lot of people, especially in the PC-West, make a big deal about when someone says “Jew” instead of “Israeli” but, really, I don’t see the point, other than it feeds into some people’s victimization complex. If I talk about “Egyptians,” no one expects me to pause and make a big show about noting that “I’m not talking about Egyptian-Americans or Egyptians living in Europe. I want to make that clear. I mean Egyptian Egyptians. Living in Egypt. The one in North Africa. Those people. Only them.” No. People naturally know what I mean.

        Now, while there is a difference between “Israeli” and “Jew,” the Israelis have done everything in their power over the last 65 years to make the word view these words as synonyms, and the 20% of non-Jews are powerless to affect the policy of the 80% who are Jews. (and, let’s face it, there are many, many, many Israeli Jews who, if they had their way, would cleanse the 20% of Israelis who are non-Jews.)

        Given those undisputable facts, it is fundamentally unreasonable, in my view, for, when talking about the Middle East, to assume that someone who says “Jews” is talking about anyone other than Israeli citizens.

        It’s inaccurate, yes, but so is such things as the British referring to all Americans, including sons and daughters of Dixie, as “Yanks” or the American habit of referring to the United Kingdom or Great Britain as “England.” (But, of course, neither of those things can be misconstrued and spun by the Israelis…)

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 7:35 am

        >> RW: You don’t see anything wrong with forced dispossession of 550,000?

        Assuming that this is addressed to me, I will break my promise not to address you directly anymore just this one time.

        I said that I don’t see anything wrong with throwing out “those who have been responsible for unspeakable crimes against helpless population”.

        Are you suggesting that all 550,000 settlers are responsible for “unspeakable crimes against helpless population”? If ‘yes’, then all of them must go.

        If ‘no’, then the proposal I put forth in my previously-stated suggestion for a resolution to the conflict stands.

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 7:44 am

        john h:
        Thanks for the quote from huffingtonpost. Funny thing (to me), though: Although Areikat says “Under no circumstances was I saying that no Jews can be in Palestine”, he doesn’t explain what he actually meant by:
        >> “Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated … I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
        — and, even more specifically —
        >> “I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state.”

        That sounds a lot like: Although Jews/Israelis will be allowed into Palestine later, at first they will all have to get out.

        If what he means is that violent settlers must go and that settlers can stay who wish to stay if they are willing to integrate into the new Palestine (as per my proposal or otherwise), then I would be very happy to read that that’s what he means.

        tgia, and WT:
        I understand they points you’re making, but I politely disagree. It’s just my opinion and, in the scheme of things, my opinion is worth nothing. I hope there’s no acrimony because of it. :-)

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 8:40 am

        >> tgia, and WT:

        Just to clarify (my previous session timed out and I wasn’t able to update that post):

        – tgia: I agree that violent settlers should be required to return to Israel proper. As for others, my “proposal” stands.

        – WT: “Jews” and “Israelis” may be synonymous in the minds of many people, but to many others it will not. And to those people, the use of the former term instead of the latter will be viewed as – and can easily be spun into for their consumption – an anti-semitic slant. As a diplomat, Areikat should have known better – a lot better – than to say “Jews” when he meant “Israelis” (or “settlers” or “Zionists”).

        Just my 2¢…

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 8:44 am

        “Richard Witty September 15, 2011 at 6:08 am

        “You don’t see anything wrong with forced dispossession of 550,000?”

        I know you don’t mean this as a joke I, nevertheless, consider it like one.
        “Forced dispossession”? You surely could have meant those who, initially, were dispossessed in order to make room for those recent immigrants to settle on stolen lands. “wierd” logic of yours! The chutzpah too!

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 8:50 am

        “But Areikat said “Jews”, not settlers, not Israelis, not Zionists. ”

        I don’t care what he said, eljay. I care about what he MEANT. Who are those unwanted Jews but the (Israeli) settler thugs who took over and whose very being and presence is to embitter the lives of the Palestinians and leave them with no choice but to leave their ancestral homes?

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 8:57 am

        >> I don’t care what he said, eljay. I care about what he MEANT.

        Fair enough.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 8:59 am

        Eljay,

        I think we have to take into account the terminology that those in the region are used to applying. Jews and Israeli are largely interchangeable, and rarely do we hear either side making any clear distinction between Jews and Israelis or Aras, Muslims and Palestinians.

      • Shmuel
        September 15, 2011, 9:17 am

        TGIA,

        Witty likes to throw the number 550,000 around, although considering the “minimal” border corrections he favours in the WB (including the Jewish settlements in E. Jerusalem) and the fact that the 550,000 figure also includes about 20,000 settlers in the Golan, 150,000 would probably be closer to the mark.

        The bottom line of his “proposal” is still the forced removal of all of the roughly 150,000 settlers who would remain in Palestinian territory, but he “humanizes” them, so it’s OK.

      • Chaos4700
        September 15, 2011, 9:21 am

        You don’t see anything wrong with forced dispossession of 550,000?

        You don’t see anything wrong with the forced dispossession of 750,000+, Witty. Hypocrisy much? Anyway, you can’t forcefully dispossess someone from property THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO and stole from someone else in the first place.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 9:23 am

        “And to those people, the use of the former term instead of the latter will be viewed as – and can easily be spun into for their consumption – an anti-semitic slant.”

        I understand your position. I just think that such a view is fundamentally unreasonable. If anyone should “know better” it is those that are searching for offense in this way.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 9:40 am

        There are multiple assertions of theft that would be at play if the settlers were to be dispossessed.

        In ALL cases, I consider it essential to distinguish between the state enterprise of intentional settlement, and the individual civilian settlers.

        Their claim to the land is in most cases imperfect, and therefore requires some compensation to perfect, or some other legal adjudication.

        Their claim to improvements that they’ve made on the land (houses, buildings, roads, infrastructure) is earned, and a forced dispossession would result in a THEFT of that property.

        It is reminiscent of various fascist movements that have declared about Jews, that they are only interlopers, that they have no inherent right to own land or other property, that even their purchases were invalid.

        The forced dispossession of 550,000 will be seen in that light, at least partially.

        And, that understanding will ring a bell with those that assert that equal due process before the law is an important component of their political stand, and not just the political rationalization to void law, in “this” case.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 9:49 am

        “I just think that such a view is fundamentally unreasonable.” By this, I don’t mean your view, eljay, I mean the view of the use of the word “Jew” as antisemeitc. Just wanted to clear that up.

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 9:49 am

        >> Shingo September 15, 2011 at 8:59 am
        >> Woody Tanaka September 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

        Again, I get what you guys are saying, but as diplomat, Areikat should have said something like this:

        We have no problems with anyone – Jews or non-Jews, citizens of Israel or of any other nationality – immigrating to Palestine. We will welcome all people who wish to become good citizens of, and to live in peace in, our country.

        The matter of existing and illegal Israeli settlements (that are the result of Israel’s past and ON-GOING occupation), and of the Israeli colonists/settlers who currently occupy them, must be addressed first. To that end, we propose…

        He could have got his point across just as clearly AND save himself the subsequent and inevitable shit-storm resulting from his use of the word “Jews”.

        >> Shingo: … rarely do we hear either side making any clear distinction between Jews and Israelis or Aras, Muslims and Palestinians.

        And IMO that’s a problem. Israel shouldn’t be doing it, but I get that it does suit their purpose of making Palestinians sound much scarier: “Oooh! The Ay-rabs are coming! The Muslims are gonna kill us all!”

        Palestinians shouldn’t be doing it either. Israel is the state of Israelis. Its citizens are Israelis. Referring to “Jews” or “the Jews” when discussing Israel is unnecessarily inflammatory, even if it does “play” well with the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim crowd. (And it only goes to reinforce the misguided “Jewish state” assertion.)

      • eljay
        September 15, 2011, 10:01 am

        >> Woody Tanaka September 15, 2011 at 9:49 am: … Just wanted to clear that up.

        I appreciate the clarification. :-)

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 10:01 am

        “Their claim to the land is in most cases imperfect, and therefore requires some compensation to perfect, or some other legal adjudication.”

        You assume that they would have standing to petition for such a legal adjudication. That, however, is the crux of the disagreement.

        “Their claim to improvements that they’ve made on the land (houses, buildings, roads, infrastructure) is earned, and a forced dispossession would result in a THEFT of that property.”

        False. Improvements to land travel with the land. If you don’t have title to a piece of property and you improve it, you lose the value of the improvements. (That’s pretty much why there is such a thing as “title” in the first place.) Things that aren’t attached to the land, movable property, personal property, chattels, etc., are a different story.

        “It is reminiscent of various fascist movements that have declared about Jews, that they are only interlopers, that they have no inherent right to own land or other property, that even their purchases were invalid.”

        Only to someone looking to portray Jews as victims. Those without such a mental defect will see no reminiscence.

        “And, that understanding will ring a bell with those that assert that equal due process before the law is an important component of their political stand, and not just the political rationalization to void law, in ‘this’ case.”

        “Equal protection” and “due process” doesn’t mean “you have to give them a chance to get away with [theft, murder, etc.].” They do not mean treating “settlers” and “those who the settlers stole land from” the same, any more than it means treating “rapist” and “rape victim” the same.

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 11:18 am

        Their claim to the land is in most cases imperfect, and therefore requires some compensation to perfect, or some other legal adjudication.

        “Imperfect”, LOL.

        “Non-existent” is the phrase you’re trying to avoid saying.

        Their claim to improvements that they’ve made on the land (houses, buildings, roads, infrastructure) is earned, and a forced dispossession would result in a THEFT of that property.

        Umm, do you know that under US Federal law Possession of stolen goods is a crime? It’s not exactly esoteric. Maybe when you heard someone say ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’* you actually believed it…?

        I can just see it now: Richard is before Judge Judy on charges of (knowingly) possessing a stolen car, a Prius. He points out that he has had it re-painted, so it’s really awfully unfair that he doesn’t get to keep it. In fact, he tells Judge Judy, if she confiscates the car, she’s stealing his paint!

        Yup, very convincing Richard.

        It is reminiscent of various fascist movements that have declared about Jews, that they are only interlopers, that they have no inherent right to own land or other property, that even their purchases were invalid.

        The forced dispossession of 550,000 will be seen in that light, at least partially.

        Perhaps on Planet Witty, but the rest of us are a little more in touch with reality here on Earth.

        The problem is, the jews Israeli settlers in the West Bank are interlopers, very illegal interlopers, and their presence is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. They are war criminals, and that has nothing to do with their religion.

        Every Israeli settler knows their colonies are built on occupied Palestinian land, and no amount of ‘creative accounting’ can make it otherwise.

      • James North
        September 15, 2011, 11:55 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘My ignorance about Israel — I haven’t been there since 1986, and then only for a couple of weeks — helps me exonerate the illegal settlers/colonists. All of them know they are violating international law. Liberal Zionists (like I wrongly purport to be) refuse to even pass through the West Bank because they object to this illegal policy. The fact that settler/colonists swagger around armed suggests they are fully aware they have stolen other peoples’ land.
        ‘Instead, I try and insinuate that the typical settler/colonists are Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz from the Bronx, who are innocently buying a bigger home in Westchester. Then I can get indignant and bring up my mother-in-law, and Hungary in 1945.’

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 7:11 pm

        In ALL cases, I consider it essential to distinguish between the state enterprise of intentional settlement, and the individual civilian settlers.

        What you consider is irrelevant. At Nuremberg they decided that follwing orders was not a defense against crimes. Similarly, the individual civilian settlers are not innocent.

        Any compensation is to be decided between the government of Israel and it’s citizens.

        Their claim to improvements that they’ve made on the land (houses, buildings, roads, infrastructure) is earned, and a forced dispossession would result in a THEFT of that property.

        False. Put fancy wheels and installing a new stereo on a stolen car does not make it yours. Therefore returning that car to it’s owner is not theft.

        It is reminiscent of various fascist movements that have declared about Jews, that they are only interlopers, that they have no inherent right to own land or other property, that even their purchases were invalid.

        Rubbish. They entered into contracts in bad faith. They didn’t purchase the land from the PA but from the occupying power.

      • john h
        September 16, 2011, 12:54 am

        eljay, my take on what he intended was there has to be a period of “separation” after final agreement, a time of sorting out where Palestine can savor the freedom from the tyrant that’s been around their neck for so very long. This has after all been a very abusive relationship, and a time of self-healing is imperative, and that cannot happen when the abuser is still around. Although any abuser can change, they must prove they really have to be trusted again, and that takes time.

        You might find of interest what Larry Derfner says:

        “the settlers are not just “Jews” in the WBank – they’re lords of the land who happen to be Jews, and the Palestinians are the dispossessed and subjugated of the land. The West Bank settlers are a reminder of the Palestinians’ subjugation.

        So this whole idea of letting the settlers stay in Palestine is crazy to me. And that’s what the Palestinian ambassador to the U.S. was saying – not that Palestine should be “Jew-free” and all these cynical lies that the Zionist Right (which includes most of the Zionist mainstream) is spreading.”

    • Koshiro
      September 14, 2011, 6:32 pm

      No 20% minority of Arab-hating, Uzi-toting Herrenmenschen in privileged hilltop settlements, no.

      Woody’s solution is very sensible. Palestine should have immigration laws which do not discriminate against any religion. A Jewish Israeli should have the same chance to immigrate to Palestine as a Buddhist Japanese.

      Of course, privileging former illegal settlers is out of the question. That would be massively unfair to law-abiding would-be immigrants and it would reward criminal behaviour.

    • Inanna
      September 14, 2011, 7:27 pm

      Hmmm.

      Jews ethnically cleansing and massacring Palestinians to fulfil their wish for self-determination – OK.

      Palestinians seeking the removal of colonial settlers in accordance with international law and Geneva Conventions – NOT OK.

      Thanks for the memo.

      Personally, I think the settlers should be allowed to stay as permanent residents in Palestine. The problem is that under Palestinian law, they’d have to given back the land they’d stolen to build their settlements on (plus compensation for economic losses to original owners), they’d have to settle for their fair share rather than the overwhelming share of the land’s resources (including water) and they would not get more than their fair share of the state’s resources in support.

      Not sure that the vast majority of the settlers will want to stay there under those conditions. Losing your ethnic privileges is tough. Far better to go back to Israel, suck off the teat of the wealthier Israeli state and bitch and moan about your removal for decades and how you were betrayed. Yeah, that’s far easier than actually admitting that Palestinians have some rights that should be respected.

    • Shingo
      September 14, 2011, 9:09 pm

      “Free of Jews” is accurate. No 20% minority accepted.

      Accurate meaning there is a source of the quote?

      • Chaos4700
        September 14, 2011, 11:00 pm

        Please, Shingo. It’s Witty we’re talking about. We’re lucky the word salad even has verbs (even if it’s not enough to be fully grammatically correct.)

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 6:11 am

        If you remove the settlers that are currently Israeli citizens and offer no option to repatriate them to be Palestinian, and forcefully remove every resident that is Jewish and Israeli, then you’ve ethnically cleansed the region of Jews.

        It is what it is. Its happened before, in 1948.

        I oppose the idea. The man expresses sentiments that I respect, so I tend to respect the man.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 7:11 am

        “If you remove the settlers that are currently Israeli citizens and offer no option to repatriate them to be Palestinian, and forcefully remove every resident that is Jewish and Israeli, then you’ve ethnically cleansed the region of Jews.”

        No, you’ve removed people who are settlers. If they all happened to be Jewish, that is a function of the settlers’ own self-selection, not of the selection of those who are forced to leave.

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 8:29 am

        If you remove the settlers that are currently Israeli citizens and offer no option to repatriate them to be Palestinian, and forcefully remove every resident that is Jewish and Israeli, then you’ve ethnically cleansed the region of Jews.

        No Witty, you are removing squatters who are knowingly living on stolen land. Should those squatters agree to apply for citizenship, then they would be allowed to return.

        I oppose the idea.

        Only becasue it affects Jews. You didn’t oppose the idea when it created the state of Israel and you don’t opose the idea that it might be necessary in the future – just not presently.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 8:55 am

        “No, you’ve removed people who are settlers. If they all happened to be Jewish, that is a function of the settlers’ own self-selection, not of the selection of those who are forced to leave.”

        Absolutely!

      • Chaos4700
        September 15, 2011, 9:25 am

        So you’re saying ANY TIME a Jew moves onto property it becomes his property, and anything you do to return that property to its rightful owners becomes “ethnic cleansing?”

        In your own way, Witty, you’re the worst propagator of anti-Semitism we have on here. I can’t think of anyone else who forwards the notion that Jews are exercising power over others and EVEN LETTING ONE INTO YOUR HOME becomes a threat to one’s livelihood because he can take it right out from under you.

        Yeah, most people don’t live in your fictional world, fortunately.

      • RobertB
        September 15, 2011, 10:17 am

        Hey RWitty

        Are Arabs, Moslems, Christians, Palestinians, Non-Jews….allowed to live in any of those 230 plus “Israeli Settlements” in the Occupied territories?

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 4:18 pm

        Not currently. They should be, and safely, same as any resident of Palestine.

      • Cliff
        September 15, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Stop giving the troll attention.

        The guy CRAVES attention. We have already had this same conversation with him for years.

        Don’t you guys feel the futility of engaging him?

        1)He does not regard the settlements as illegal or immoral.

        2)He does not even think that Israel is colonizing the territories – AND, if he does, see 1).

        Etc. etc.

        STOP FEEDING THE TROLL

      • Shingo
        September 15, 2011, 7:17 pm

        Stop giving the troll attention.

        Bring on that “ignroe this person” button. That will starve the troll.

      • Richard Witty
        September 15, 2011, 8:15 pm

        Not clear that I regard the settlers as human beings, but the state settlement enterprise as illegal?

        You can’t distinguish between human beings and politics?

  4. Daniel Rich
    September 14, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Q: the continued occupation of Palestine is threatening Israel’s democratic character.

    R: In he hallowed words of the ‘virgin Mary’ [after 60 odd years] ‘Come Again?’

    Did I just wake up on the other side of a time-loophole?

  5. seafoid
    September 14, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Moshe Dayan in 1969 when Israel ruled the Middle East :

    link to flickr.com

    Dayan has been spinning in his grave since Saturday when the Israeli ambassador fled Cairo with his tail between his legs

    Hope there’s someone to take care of Israel when it all falls apart

    link to youtube.com

    Oh I’m scared of the middle place
    Between light and nowhere
    I don’t want to be the one
    Left in there, left in there

    • thetumta
      September 14, 2011, 10:01 pm

      I don’t think the “most charming war criminal” is spinning about anything?
      Hej!

  6. radii
    September 14, 2011, 4:58 pm

    “If Israel is going to relieve itself of this impending sense of regional isolation, it must take a moment for self-reflection.”

    Herein lies the problem – israel has never been self-reflective and shows not a single sign of getting ready to do the right thing. When israel reflects it is to strategize on how on how to spin their latest atrocity.

    Much more violence from israel is about to be unleashed and we all know it – israel never does the right thing. They will overreact and maim and kill peaceful protesters and celebrants of Palestinian statehood and then attempt to blame the victims.

  7. ToivoS
    September 14, 2011, 5:32 pm

    Feeling isolated? You bet they are. With just a little hysteria mixed in. Earlier today (post below) our newest member S. Daud made a very straightforward comment about ROR. The reaction was revealing. BDG, jonS, eee and rafi went into one great swoon. Poor rafi was reduced to crying they would have to drag his corpse out of his house before anything like that would happen.

    Yep, for sure, the natives are getting very restless. Expect some serious trouble in a few weeks.

  8. seafoid
    September 14, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Israeli embassy in Jordan evacuated

    link to haaretz.com

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the early evacuation of Israel’s embassy in Jordan on Wednesday, over fears of violent anti-Israel protests similar to those which erupted in Cairo last week.

    Protocol stipulates that all employees return to Israel every weekend, with the exclusion of one diplomatic representative as well as a security team.
    On Wednesday, however, it was affirmed that Israel had decided to vacate its Jordanian embassy a day earlier than schedule, following fears of violent protests outside the embassy building, expected to take place on Thursday and throughout the weekend.

    It’s a long way from this 1968 Jordan operation :

    link to flickr.com

    • Shingo
      September 14, 2011, 9:32 pm

      is this Arab bravado?

      Would you have preferrred Israei bravado a la Cast Lead?

      Taking over emabssies is nasty business, but it’s good to sea the Arab population no longer on the leash of US puppet dicatators, who are clearly getting the message that doing Washington’s and Tel Aviv;s bidding is a bad bet.

      • DBG
        September 15, 2011, 12:48 am

        Shingo, i’d prefer, just one time you don’t use the ‘they suck worse’ argument.

        do you ever get sick of constant deflection?

      • annie
        September 15, 2011, 1:25 am

        do you ever get sick of constant deflection?

        if you don’t like constant deflection quit asking inane questions.

  9. Charon
    September 14, 2011, 6:16 pm

    Regarding the internal existential threats in Israel… Perhaps I’m in a minority in thinking this but maybe that has something to do with it being a Jewish melting pot.

    Obviously America was colonized by many different peoples. Israel is a very tiny nation state with a mostly Jewish population. The definition of Jewish is quite broad so there are Arab Jews, Persian Jews, Russian Jews, German Jews, African Jews, etc. They are culturally all different, they celebrate the Jewish cultures differently. They are religiously different varying from the Atheist to the Ultra Orthodox. The more religiously Jewish you are the more sacred the land is which can clash with the less religious because of Israel’s small size (Yiddish-speaking Orthodox spitting on people for example). Then you have the Druze and Arabs (including the culturally distinct Bedouins) and to many they represent ‘the enemy’

    The darker your skin, the more discrimination. Yemen Jews swore their babies were kidnapped or murdered at one point. African Jews were sterilized via botched birth control and they get called the “N” word all the time.

    People speak Arabic, Hebrew, English, Russian, Yiddish, German, etc. all in a very small place. Jewish Nationalism might have sounded good on paper but the actual end result is kind of a mess.

    • longliveisrael
      September 14, 2011, 7:55 pm

      Such nonsense. Yes, there have been and are problems. We are human, we fail, we make mistakes, we have people that are prone to racism. You deny us the right to be human.

      Think about it, a country founded by people who had just survived genocide and were threatened again with another. A country that brought in all these immigrants at a huge risk and expense with all the cultural problems entailed. A country that faced several wars and 60 years of terror. A country that is demonized daily by so-called human rights activists, parroting lunatics like the mullahs of Iran. And guess what? Despite that, it still looks way better than any of it’s neighbours IN EVERY ASPECT, and that surely includes the oil rich countries in the region.

      In fact, Israel rates very highly in the world on numerous criteria.

      • SkepticalHumanist
        September 14, 2011, 8:18 pm

        don’t forget the fact that israel invented cherry tomatoes, soda carbonators, and the first white (phosphorous) christmas ever in the history of the middle east (gaza dec 2008). a world leader indeed!

      • eljay
        September 14, 2011, 8:33 pm

        >> You deny us the right to be human.

        Wow, that sounds so sad. :-(

        It would be much easier to sympathize with your sentiment if your country upheld the right of the Palestinians – those people who were the victims of your “human” ethnic cleansing, and who continue to be the victims of your ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder – to be human when they fail, make mistakes and have people who are prone to racism.

        But you don’t, so it’s not. :-(

        >> Despite that, it still looks way better than any of it’s neighbours IN EVERY ASPECT, and that surely includes the oil rich countries in the region.

        “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!”

      • Shingo
        September 14, 2011, 8:37 pm

        The nonsense is the suggestion that the racism in Israel is a mistake, and not by design. To make mistakes is human, to create a racist, fascist apartheid state is criminal.

        Think about it. If a “people” landed on your shores and decided they wanted to make it their home, what woudl Israel do? What did Israel dodurin the Nakba and Naksa demonstrations, when a few unamred demonstrators simply threatened to cross the border?

        The wars Israel has faced hve been it;s own creation. Israel needed those wars to implment the Zionist plans of expansionism.

        Despite that, it still looks way better than any of it’s neighbours IN EVERY ASPECT, and that surely includes the oil rich countries in the region.

        Actually, apart from the aeras Israel has bombed into rubble, Lebanon looks way better.

        In fact, Israel rates very highly in the world on numerous criteria.

        Massive aid cheques from Washington, as well as very sweet trade agreements, have helped a great deal

      • RoHa
        September 14, 2011, 11:04 pm

        Think about it. A country planned by people who intended it to be run by and for the benefit of one ethnic group only. By people who planned to expel or subjugate the native inhabitants.
        A country founded by liars, murderers, terrorists, war criminals, and rapists. A country founded by people who did nothing to prevent a genocide, but prevented refugees from that genocide escaping to where they wanted to go. A country that used terrorism to foment unrest in order to drive people out of their native land. (Iraq!) A country that still practices ethnic cleansing. A country that has repeatedly started wars with its neighbours. A country that has oppressed and dispossessed millions for sixty-three years. A country that has subverted citizens of other countries to terrorism and treason, and that tells many more citizens of other countries that they do not belong to the country they were born in, and demands the loyalty (and money) of those people. A country that provides a safe haven for criminals from other countries.

        Looks good.

      • Rania
        September 15, 2011, 1:51 am

        RoHa, that was gorgeous.

      • Antidote
        September 15, 2011, 12:47 am

        “Such nonsense. Yes, there have been and are problems. We are human, we fail, we make mistakes, we have people that are prone to racism. You deny us the right to be human”

        Fair enough. How or why does this not apply to Gentiles past, present and future who are charged with eternal anti-semitism? If it applies, why do Jews need a Jewish majority state that keeps Gentiles at bay, out and under foot? You can’t deny they are human as well

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 6:57 am

        Think about it, a country founded by people who had just survived genocide and were threatened again with another.

        This is 75% BS.

        1. Israel was not founded by people who had just survived genocide. The practical idea of Israel (as opposed to the biblical) pre-dated WW2 by 50 years. The holocaust may have strengthened the resolve of nations to support Israel coming into existence, but zionists – including Ben-Gurion – were famously indifferent to the plight of many jews effected by the shoah.

        2. A few loudmouthed diplomats aside, Israel has *never* been threatened with another holocaust. In the single instance of Israel being attacked by another country (Egypt, 1973) Sadat’s stated aim was to retake Israeli-occupied Egyptian territory. There is no SC resolution condemning the attack because Egypt had the right to launch that war. Sadat stated in 1971 that since Israel refused to negotiate over the return of Egyptian territory he would fight for it; Israelis, still high over 1967, laughed at him – until 1973.

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 7:01 am

        Despite that, it still looks way better than any of it’s neighbours IN EVERY ASPECT, and that surely includes the oil rich countries in the region.

        Having lived & worked in the UAE I can tell you Israel is a dump by comparison – and I have no ‘cherished illusions’ about the UAE, for your info.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    September 14, 2011, 6:43 pm

    RE: “Morris is surprised that Egyptians resent Israel, even though Israel buys gas and oil at a reduced price from Egypt” ~ Keeler

    SEE: The Politics of Power Cuts in Egypt: Are Mubarak’s Gas Sales to Israel Partly to Blame? ~ by Mohamed Wake, 9/02/10

    (excerpts)…the entire region suffers the same heat wave. But unlike its neighbours Egypt has been suffering also from long, systematic, nationwide power cuts. Facing sudden shortages in the country’s electric generation capacity, the authorities began to reduce demand by cutting power off entire neighborhoods and cities for a while everyday…
    …these cuts intertwined to undermine the already precarious legitimacy of the state.
    …The economic loss that resulted from these cuts is yet another colossal aspect of our failure story… It is hence safe to say that we are talking here about a gigantic national loss on a multi-billion dollar scale…
    …On 17 August, the Holding Company for Electricity issued a statement that put an end to this speculation: the collapse resulted from a big shortage in the gas delivered to the electric generation units
    …why is the ministry of petroleum withholding the needed gas? (Note that we are talking about home pumped gas here). A senior official in the ministry of electricity then explained that the ministry of petroleum started withholding their gas when it started exporting gas to Israel. In other words, Egypt has been withholding the gas marked for electric generation to give it Israel, to the extent that it compromised its electricity system, economy, and the welfare of its people so much…
    …the ministry of petroleum finally decided to increase its gas deliveries to the power stations by reducing the quantities marked for the private sector and export to Jordan. Although Jordan pays much more for the gas, Israel remained untouchable…
    …Noteworthy here is that Egypt is not so determined to export its gas to Israel because of some profit incentive: ditching highly subsidized local sales for foreign currency market prices. To the contrary, Egypt loses a lot of money on its gas sales to Israel…Egypt was selling its gas at a much lower than market price, adding up to an annual subsidy to Israel of roughly $5 billion…

    SOURCE – link to counterpunch.org

  11. DICKERSON3870
    September 14, 2011, 7:01 pm

    RE: “The break in ties is…a reflection of the management of the Turkish alliance by the Israeli government.” ~ Keeler

    FROM Aluf Benn, Haaretz, 9/10/11

    (excerpt)…Netanyahu and his government have prided themselves on their steadfast commitment to national ideals, and the prime minster is convinced that he was right in refusing to apologize to the Turks for killing their citizens. According to his perspective, the Arab world scrutinizes Israel’s actions, and an apology to Turkey would be interpreted as a sign of unforgivable weakness.

    SOURCE – link to haaretz.com

    ALSO SEE: Former aide to Netanyahu offers Arab proverbs, one about a falling camel, in ‘Washington Times’, By Philip Weiss, 8/21/11

    (excerpts) The Washington Times runs an op-ed by a former Netanyahu adviser named Michael Prell that relates some Arab proverbs to explain that the Arab world has no respect for Obama. Sort of reminds me of Amos n Andy
    the Arab world has a fundamentally different view of power.
    There is an Arab proverb that says: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” This “strong horse” view of power is dominant in the Islamist world. [Right, and the "eye for an eye" view is "dominant" in the "Jewish world". (lol) ~ JLD]
    When Mr. Obama shows weakness and bows down and apologizes for American power, the Arab world sees him – and us – as a “weak horse.” That doesn’t make the Arabs love us more. It makes them hate us more because weakness is an affront to their strong-horse view of power.

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    AND FROM David Bromwich, 9/04/09:

    (excerpt)…Every new American commitment and every fresh disappointment gives retroactive
    justification to Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force.

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    P.S. I believe Israel’s inability to apologize to Turkey is the true sign of weakness.
    The crux of the problem is the Israeli perspective that “the Arab world scrutinizes Israel’s actions, and an apology to Turkey would be interpreted as a sign of unforgivable weakness”; and that the ” ‘strong horse’ view of power is dominant in the Islamist world” and that “force is the only thing the Arabs understand…And the only alternative to force is more force.” In other words, the crux of the problem is Israel’s racism.
    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Will Israel’s obsession with the ” ‘strong horse’ view of power” eventually lead to their exercising the Samson Option?
    SAMSON OPTION – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • thetumta
      September 14, 2011, 10:10 pm

      Ariel only did his killing in safe scenarios? Old men, women and children, betrayed allies? It’s a new day, things aren’t going that way anymore. What in the world will they do with his comatose corpse when they over-run that hospital?

  12. Avi
    September 14, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Chris Keeler,

    The term “Israeli Arabs” was coined and spread by the Israeli government in the early 1950s in an effort to erase their historical and ancestral origins.

    In geopolitics, the terminology helps Israel divide and control between Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians in the occupied Golan, Palestinians whom Israel calls “Druze” and Palestinians whom Israel calls “Bedouin”.

    • DBG
      September 14, 2011, 8:16 pm

      Avi,

      what were “Palestinian Israelis’ called prior to the early 1950s? the term Palestinian wasn’t coined until the late 60s.

      • Shingo
        September 14, 2011, 10:17 pm

        The terms “Palestinian” ws used in 1920 to describe al the inhabitants of Palestine.

      • Chaos4700
        September 14, 2011, 10:34 pm

        And the name has been around for a lot longer than the 20’s. DBG is one hell of a persistent dullard, isn’t he?

        You know what “Palestinian Israelis” should have been called prior to the early 1950’s? “Victims of war crimes.”

      • Avi
        September 15, 2011, 12:12 am

        Chaos, the funny thing is that Merriam Webster’s Third International Dictionary (Hardcover) defines “Israel” as “The Jewish state in Palestine”. I got a good chuckle out of that.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 2:06 am

        “And the name has been around for a lot longer than the 20′s. ”

        It’s true that the first time ever Israelis heard the word Palestinian was in the mid 60s because the word did not exist in Hebrew. Israeli leaders and ideologues refused to acknowledge them as such. Little they knew that in every other language the word existed since the Romans.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 15, 2011, 2:01 am

        “what were “Palestinian Israelis’ called prior to the early 1950s? the term Palestinian wasn’t coined until the late 60s.”

        Ha! It’s correct that the word Palestinian didn’t appear before the 60s but that was only in HEBREW because Israelis did not want to acknowledge their existence. In every other language on earth it was just Palestinians. Nice try though.

      • Sumud
        September 15, 2011, 8:57 am

        the term Palestinian wasn’t coined until the late 60s.

        It never ceases to amuse me when Joan Peters pops in for a visit.

        Let us revisit the pre-history of “Israel”:

        The First Zionist Congress of 1897 resulted in the adoption of the Basel Declaration [partially quoted, my emphasis]:

        Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:
        1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.

        Also an outcome of the First Zionist Congress was the establishment of the World Zionist Organisation. From the wiki on the WZO:

        The finances of the WZO were conducted by the Jewish Colonial Trust (founded in 1899), and acquisition of land was conducted by the Jewish National Fund (founded in 1901). Keren Hayesod (founded 1920) funded Zionist and Yishuv activities prior to the creation of the state of Israel through enterprises such as the Palestine Electric Company, the Palestine Potash Company and the Anglo-Palestine Bank.

        Just in case anyone missed it, note the very honest naming of the “Jewish Colonial Trust”. So much for Israel’s supposedly anti-colonial “War of Independence” in 1947/8.

        Oh yeah, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, or as it is now known: Bank Leumi. The re-name occurred in 1950.

        You might have read about it in The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s oldest newspaper. It was founded in 1932 as The Palestine Post, with the name change also occurring in 1950, two years after the Nakba commenced.

        The de-Palestining of Palestine: uncomfortable truths for zionists.

        Here’s a scan of the May 16, 1948 Palestine Post. It cost 25 mils. The ‘mil’ of course, was a sub-unit of the currency of the day, The Palestinian Pound.

        1908, Jaffa. The WZO founds the Palestine Bureau.

        1917, the Balfour Declaration:

        His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

        1918, the Zionist Commission for Palestine is formed. A hundred bucks if you can guess where they went in April, 1918, DBG. Hint: not Israel.

        1920, that old chestnut, the San Remo conference, which resulted in the San Remo Resolution [partially quoted]:

        To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine

        1922, the League of Nations approves the British Mandate for Palestine.

        1922, from Churchill’s White Paper:

        it is contemplated that the status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.

        1929, Zurich. The 16th Zionist Congress founds the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

        More DBG?

        How about Immanuel Kant in the 18th century referring to European jews as Palestinians, or the British Mandate referring to all citizens of Palestine (even jews) as Palestinians?

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 15, 2011, 9:20 am

        “It never ceases to amuse me when Joan Peters pops in for a visit.”

        LOL. Sumud wins one internet!

      • RobertB
        September 15, 2011, 11:44 am

        DBG

        ” Avi,

        what were “Palestinian Israelis’ called prior to the early 1950s? the term Palestinian wasn’t coined until the late 60s.”

        ~~~~~~~~~~~

        Hey DBG… Your hasbara attempts are familiar to many of us! Your handlers are feeding you deceptions & lies.

        Ahad Ha’Am wrote about/visited Palestine in 1891 !

        *******

        Ahad Ha’Am, a liberal Russian Jewish thinker and a leading Eastern European Jewish essayist, who visited Palestine in 1891 for three months.

        In 1891 Ahad Ha’Am opened many Jewish eyes to the fact the Palestine was not empty, but populated with its indigenous people when he wrote:

        “We abroad are used to believe the Eretz Yisrael is now almost totally desolate, a desert that is not sowed ….. But in truth that is not the case. Throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains …. are not cultivated.” (Righteous Victims, p. 42)

        In 1891Ahad Ha’Am similarly wrote of the Palestinians:

        “If a time comes when our people in Palestine develop so that, in small or great measure, they push out the native inhabitants, these will not give up their place easily.” (Righteous Victims, p. 49)

        Ahad Ha’Am published a series of articles in the Hebrew periodical Hameliz that were sharply critical of the ethnocentricity of political Zionism as well as the exploitation of the Palestinian peasantry by the Zionist colonists. Ahad Ha’Am sought to draw attention to the fact the Palestine was not empty territory and that the presence of another people posed problems:

        ” ….[the Zionist pioneers believed that] the only language the Arabs understand is that of force ….. [They] behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7)”

        link to palestineremembered.com

  13. Les
    September 14, 2011, 8:00 pm

    From today’s Guardian:

    The former foreign secretary Jack Straw has thrown his weight behind efforts to persuade the British government to support the Palestinian bid to be admitted to the United Nations as a member state.

    Straw, who was foreign secretary from 2001 to 2006 in Tony Blair’s government, has written to all 650 members of parliament arguing the case for Palestinian statehood and urging colleagues to stand up and be counted.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    • john h
      September 15, 2011, 3:25 am

      Straw has some grasp of the past. This is what he said in 2002:

      “A lot of the problems we are having to deal with now, I have to deal with now, are a consequence of our colonial past. The odd lines for Iraq’s borders were drawn by Brits”. Straw also acknowledged “some quite serious mistakes” in India and Pakistan, jewels of the British empire before their 1947 independence.

      “The Balfour declaration and the contradictory assurances which were being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given to the Israelis – again, an interesting history for us, but not an honorable one”. (New Statesman interview)

  14. POA
    September 14, 2011, 10:36 pm

    Geez, its hilarious seeing the vigor with which Dimatok delights in finding any little excuse to call this “separation” issue an example of Palestinian “racism”.

    Truth is, Israeli leadership has spent decades NURTURING racial and religious animous, both in its Jewish citizens, AND in the oppressed, murdered, bombed, poisoned, starved, looted, and humiliated Palestinian population.

    Got news for ya, were I Palestinian, I wouldn’t want an Israeli Jew living next to me either. In fact, I’d likely hate their guts. And if one of my family members was one of the thousands of victims of Israeli state terrorism, I’d probably be killing a few of them with every opportunity that arose. Of course theres bigotry on both sides, manufactured and perfected by decades of Israeli research and development. Why, by golly, Israel is a regular hatred factory, with a veritable assembly line cranking out the nuts and bolts of pure raw racism.

    What, Dimatok thinks you can treat people the way the Palestinians have been treated, and the end result is gonna be brotherly love?

    Its no great suprise that “separation” is put forth as sensible policy, and its almost poetic seeing such a rabidly zionist jackboot blathering on about “racism”. Separation is no longer an option, its an imperitive. Israeli policy has seen to that.

    Unless, of course, ‘ol Dimatok is gonna miss lobbing high velocity tear gas canisters at them heathen savages’ foreheads, or crispy crittering them with white phosphorous every coupla years.

    By all means, mingle the two sides and keep on nurturing the hate with occupation, oppression, land theft, and military atrocity.

    I mean hey, its worked so far, right? Cancha just feel the love?

  15. thankgodimatheist
    September 15, 2011, 6:23 am

    The latest Gideon Levy in Haaretz:
    “Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period.”
    link to haaretz.com

  16. rachelgolem
    September 15, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Mr. Weiss,

    Your readers are so blinded by hatred of “Zionists” they don’t really see that this situation is disaster for Egypt and Turkey.

    First, the most sacred rule in diplomacy is to protect foreign embassies and their staff. None of the other foreign diplomats stationed in Egypt thought it was funny or “not my problem”. Just imagine what the Danish embassy staff was thinking. But it doesn’t matter. Egypt will soon be unable to pay for their wheat imports and the country will turn into Somalia.

    As for Turkey, if you read your history, the Greeks, Kurds and Armenians are not going to join their movement. And as allies, Turkey can now turn to Iraq and Syria.

    With Greece on the edge and Europe in turmoil, nobody wants to hear sabre rattling from the region where all their oil comes from. That is why Israel is being very quiet about Turkey and thanking the Egyptians for their rescue of the embassy.

    Every government official and military leader on earth saw the videos of the flotilla raid and know what really happened. No “Valley of the Wolves” movie can change that. Not to mention, Turkey wanted to join the EU in 2013. Good luck with that!!!

  17. Real Jew
    September 15, 2011, 8:38 pm

    As usual the insufferable zios (no need to mention names) are at it again, attempting to put lipstick on the occupational pig. Their arguements are so petty and thin they can easily be debunked or filed under propaganda. I’m surprised many people here care to entertain them.

    The Israeli govt has intentionally avoided and dragged the peace process along for one purpose and one purpose only: SO THEY CAN INTEGRATE THEMSELVES INTO THE WEST BANK VIA SETTLEMENTS TO STEAL AND DIVIDE AS MUCH LAND AS NECESSARY, SO WHEN THE DAY COMES IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED “INHUMANE” OR “IMPROBABLE” TO COMPLETELY VACATE THE WB. And guess what, they succeeded. (Refer to the zio comments above)

    Anywhere you decide to live, in any country in the world, if its considered illegal by international law you have the right to be forcibly removed. Call me anti semetic, self hater, whatever, I have NO problem uprooting 550,000 illegal resident settlers in the WB. They knew it was illegal prior to moving or building and this is the consequence they should face.

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