Fat lady sings — Israel announces new E J’lem neighborhod called Givat Hamatos

Big news. Netanyahu claims yet another spoil from his political victory over Obama: Israel has approved another new settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, a new neighborhood of 2600 homes. 

“Disastrous new plan to build new settlement in southeast Jerusalem is potential killer of peace agreement,” Ori Nir of Peace Now tweeted yesterday. Peace Now, which broke word of the Hebrew announcement of the deal, calls the plan, “a game changer that significantly changes the possible border between Israel and Palestine.”

The neighborhood is called Givat Hamatos and will be situated in the chink of land between Gilo and Har Homa above Bethlehem.

From the NYT report on the announcement:

Reacting to the news, the chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who was in Paris with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying it proved “the Israeli government wants to destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.” 

From the Peace Now report on the new settlement:

Unlike recent plans that caused controversy in Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev which expanded the footprint of existing neighborhoods, the new plan creates an entirely new footprint of a new Israeli neighborhood in East Jerusalem…Parts of the plan for Palestinian construction? -there will probably be those in the Israeli government who will argue that the new neighborhood will not necessarily be only for Jews. Similar protestations were voiced in defense of the construction of the settlement of Har Homa, and eventually there wasn’t even one unit built for Palestinians in Har Homa.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. Taxi says:

    They can build all they like for now.

    Cuz they ain’t gonna be keeping it later.

    • James says:

      i think you are wrong on this… might makes right, even if it is wrong… there was never any real desire for peace in the world of zionism – only land grab and ethnic cleansing and that is what we continue to see with the usa’s approval…

      • Remax says:

        James, you are so right. It is all and only about Power; Laws are for little nations, appearance is Reality, and Truth has become an abstract philosophical term.

      • Taxi says:

        James,
        A war is coming to the middle east. The arab resistance combined will be targeting every single illegal settlement – they are legitimate targets after all.

        I’m in the south of lebanon at the moment and I can tell you that every single person I’ve spoken with ain’t listening or caring what usa or israel are doing. Such now is the level of lowly influence we have on the region – they ain’t seduced or scared of us no more. They have their own survival plans DESPITE congress and the Knesset’s diabolical schemes and swindles.

        Arabs too understand that might makes right, you know. That’s why they ain’t wasting their time ‘vocally’ objecting to more illegal building. They’re concentrating on breeding fearless generations here with the intent of taking back what’s theirs by force – yes during our lifetime.

        In fact they’re kinda ready already to confront Apartheid israel. Just waiting for the first shot to be fired by their loathsome enemy.

        People should stop seeing these illegal settlements are PERMANENT.

        They ain’t. Just bricks and mortar my dearest James. Nothing more than bricks and mortar.

        • James says:

          taxi – i hear what you are saying.. kansas had a song called ‘dust in the wind’.. here are the lyrics that seem appropriate here..

          “I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
          All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
          Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
          Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
          All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

          Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

          [Now] Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
          It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy.

          Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
          Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.”

          nothing lasts forever and you are right about the bricks and mortar… people can’t make castles of sand based on hostility and hatred towards others….

          whether it is 10 years, 100 years or 1000 years people need to figure out how to live together on the planet and right now it doesn’t look like that is happening, does it?

  2. pabelmont says:

    Peace process made “comatose” by Givat-Hamatos”. Well, no and no.

    First, if settlements would make it dead, it’s been dead for a long while, so G-H didn’t kill it, just made the rubble bounce. Second, since all settlements could be blown up, bulldozed, reduced to rubble (and their residents shipped back to old-small-tiny-insignificant-cannot-live-there-need-lebensraum-Israel, again, G-H does not kill the 2SS.

    Now that we’re all clear on that, the chance that the world community will gather up its forces, gird its loins, and oppose USA-Israel sufficiently to bring about a removal of settlers/settlements is, at this writing, -50 on a scale of 1-100. Even an unprovoked Israeli (or USA) attack on Iran wouldn’t have that effect, though the after shocks might be pretty devastating here and there.

    Somehow it feels unpatriotic to wish, as an American, for the demise of the American empire. I wonder how many Germans felt that way about Hitler’s (short-lived) empire?

    • Potsherd2 says:

      The American empire is as good for America as the Third Reich was for Germans. The demise of imperialism is our only chance of salvation.

      • American says:

        “The American empire is as good for America as the Third Reich was for Germans. The demise of imperialism is our only chance of salvation”

        My feelings also. Into every empire comes a Waterloo.
        The sooner the better, we need a little something left to work with after the fall.

    • Hopefully the settlements do kill the 2SS. That failed injustice has been touted far too long by the CW crowd as the ‘be all, end all’ to the “Palestinian problem.” Beware the advocates of the 2SS; open your eyes to the subtleties of the inherent chauvinism that exists along this line of thinking, one that essentially removes all Palestinian claims within Israel proper, while cordoning the Palestinians off in an unviable fraction of their homeland. Yes, what a solution….

      • pabelmont says:

        exiled at home: What do you imagine will/would be Palestinian “claims” inside old-small-Israel IN THE EVENT of a 1SS? Do you see a general reversion to Palestinian ownership (by individuals, families, villages, cities, waqfs) of all but 6% of the land? Can you imagine Israeli-Jews acquiescing in such an idea?

        But if not that, then what? What do you imagine?

        Would you feel as vehement against 2SS if a 2SS provided to Palestinians ALL of WB&G and a nice corridor in between and gave Israel old-small-Israel plus a walk-way to the Wailing wall?

        • I don’t envision a 1SS in terms of land ownership based upon “identity,” but rather an inclusive, singular entity with equality of rights, freedom of movement and political representation for all of the people living in historic Palestine, including all of Israel’s 5 million Jewish citizens.

          In theory, the 2SS that you refer to that links Gaza to West Bank could work. Yet, there is still that lingering and monumental injustice of detaching millions of Palestinians from their rightful homes, a final vindication of the colossal inhumanity of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state on stolen lands…

        • AhVee says:

          “I don’t envision a 1SS in terms of land ownership based upon “identity,” but rather an inclusive, singular entity with equality of rights, freedom of movement and political representation for all of the people living in historic Palestine, including all of Israel’s 5 million Jewish citizens.”

          That’s assuming that Israel has a will to live beyond its existence as a Jewish state. I think they’re far more likely to go out with a bang, and then use Israel’s destruction as a political tool similarly to the way they still milk the Shoah in order to flea-bargain for more political power and exceptionalism and upkeep the idea of Israel as an exalted ideal, than abandon what needs to be abandoned in order to create a country of equal rights and admit that their little experiment has failed dismally, and mend their ways. That would essentially be like giving up Israel anyway, with the exception of having to admit failure on top of that.
          Politically, the former option would make a lot more sense. It wouldn’t even need to be attached to millions of casualties, as the majority of Israelis would likely flee in time before the shit hits the fan completely. Of course, they could then proceed to continue playing the role of the banished victim on the political stage, and keep the anti-semite accusation dangerously potent.

          Turning into a one-state compromise somewhere in the Levant would bring no profits besides peace and the hope of a good life in harmony with all the peoples of the land. I mean, you think they’d want that, but they haven’t shown us one single time that that’s what they value over endangering their stability, reputation and the safety of their population by making enemies in favour of continuing to ride the Zionist horse, so I’m not going to assume that that’s something they’d ever break with, for whatever reason.

          Call me a pessimist, but I believe Israel is on a self-made road of no return with not the slightest scrap of honest will to deviate from the purpose of its inception, even at the cost of the safety and lives of its population. In general though, of course I’d be overjoyed if I was proven wrong when things eventually play out. In my perfect world, nobody would be made to leave (not the Palestinians, and not the Jews that now call it their home, even though most came illegitimately), there would be no antagonism and no hate.

    • Antidote says:

      “Somehow it feels unpatriotic to wish, as an American, for the demise of the American empire. I wonder how many Germans felt that way about Hitler’s (short-lived) empire?”

      Here is one example of how Germans felt, fictionalized by Heinrich Böll, in one of his post-war novels:

      “Do you believe then, that these people who are about to conquer us with their rubber soles and tins of Spam, will ever understand what we have suffered? Do you believe they will understand what it feels like to be showered with their bombs and shells and at the same time to be sullied by this diabolic state, what it means to be crushed between these two millstones? They simply cannot have suffered as much, and since Christ’s death there has been a hierarchy of suffering in which we will remain the victors, without ever learning or understanding what it was we felt.”

      trl quoted from:

      link to books.google.com

      Iraqis probably understand, or people in Gaza. Yes, many Germans hoped for the arrival of the allegedly non-racist and fair American liberators, who had promised to restore democracy and freedom. Nazi propaganda painted a different picture of the liberators. Example:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      You tell me who was telling the truth.

  3. crone says:

    I’m speechless! Bibi is on a roll, isn’t he?

  4. eGuard says:

    OT: UK MoD Dr. Fox has resigned because his business mixtures supermerged. Among these: BICOM (Brit-Israel lobby club, lately in the news because of mismailed bragging mail) and their sponsors. Note the dragging by PM Cameron — until the bribes became undeniable.

    It is being reported last week in FinTim, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, The Times (London).

    More on Poju Zabludowicz.

  5. Potsherd2 says:

    Tell it to Sarkozy, who’s still not moved.

  6. Talkback says:

    I don’t understand Israel’s timing.

  7. Dan Crowther says:

    Well, I guess that’s what Barry and the O’s get for sending a guy with a vowel at the end of his name ( panetta) to offer “stern warnings” to Bibi and co.

  8. Sorry for being off topic but this is interesting: Scottish actress Tilda Swinton is wearing a Palestine scarf in Vogue (Nov 2011)
    link to angryarabscommentsection.blogspot.com

  9. pabelmont says:

    Israel not only wishes to push and shove the world (and the USA) but TO BE SEEN TO DO SO and no better time to push and shove than when critical events are happening.

    Look at me; my bedtime used to be 8PM but now, only 1 year later, its 1AM! Aint I cool (and powerful)? Parents are cream puffs if you know how to treat them, but you have to KEEP TRAINING them to the leash.

  10. VR says:

    You may not like my assessment of the situation, but I am probably posting what is on the minds of a few who can identify this process of Israeli settler state colonialism. I do not think Israel fears a one state solution, because there will essentially be no one state solution or two state solution for that matter.

    This brings us to one of two solutions, or perhaps both together. 1). They intend to have a one state solution in the same manner as the South Africans, that is, a minor political sop for the Palestinians with no real economic or viable citizenship (which, whether you like it or not, is what is transpiring today in So Africa); 2) They intend to cleanse all of the Palestinians from the land, genocide them, and claim their Israel fantasy from ye ol’ bible (ostensible the most genocidal book known to man); 3). A hybrid of the two previous, claiming to have tried the one state solution they will get rid (however) of the Palestinians.

    These are the only options left on the current course.

    • I pretty much agree, and repeat that here often. When we agree with the racist fanatics that the 1SS is all we have left, we NEED to ask who holds the chips, and what the ugly flow to the “1SS” will likely look like.

      We have to ask who wants a 1SS…
      1) Right wing expansionist Zionists, and the settler fringe… been their goal all along and they are close to achieving it, if we cede them that victory
      2) Idealistic people who respect human rights (1SS theoretically would be the most just resolution *if* it were on our terms, but it WON’T BE, so I am not in this principled group which will prove to be a disaster for Palestinians if they eclipse those working for a 2SS)
      3) *Some* of the Palestinians, but not all by any means (link to onevoicemovement.org)

      So let’s look at the history of Zionism, and the flow of property and rights within Israel/Palestine. The trajectory since the early 1900s is readily apparent. Group #1 has been controlling the flow in a steady creeping dispossession of the Palestinians, but at times dramatic and fast (1947-1949, 1967).

      Now they have a nuclear armed state, ~80% Jewish (99.9x% of Jewish Israelis variable strains of Zionist). They will NOT assent to a reasonable 1SS as they are insanely attached to the Jewish state thing, and also full of fear/hatred of “the Arabs”. No amount of pressure will be able to force what IS a sovereign and powerful and highly militarized country to go against the will of the majority of the population, and ALL the political elite desires. We can’t even get them to stop colonizing currently (with settlement expansion not supported by MANY Israelis), so drop any dreams of serious forceful international pressure to transform the entire country against the will of the vast majority. But we can work towards one of two things….

      1) A 2SS where a massive injustice is done to the refugees, but at least there is finally some closure, compensation, and refugees outside of the OPT will finally be resettled in Palestine or elsewhere. This in itself is a tough long road, but it is the international “consensus” and a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians agree to this basic framework in polls. Yeah, we tried and failed over the past decades but the world is changing and criticism of Israel is growing, so we need to try again, and succeed. I do hope Israel allows a token RoR as well, as it will be a huge moral victory and help cement a peace deal, though it will be symbolic. Of course I want full RoR…. just not going to be on the table.

      2) We AGREE with the Israeli expansionists, and bury the 2SS, thus begin the long road towards an ill-defined “1SS”. This likely ends with unilateral expansion of Israel, perhaps trying to shove gaza into Egypt and pieces of the WB into Jordan. It also will likely include more dispossession and displacement of Palestinians, of those both in the WB and even Arab-Israelis. The slide of Israelis towards democratic fascism is stark, even though violence has been minimal in the previous years. Add regional wars, or excessive domestic ethnic violence, and this trend will accelerate to its natural completion. Yes, the world and the UN will be “very mad”…. and Israel may only have one “friend” when it gets ugly again, but what do you think the world will do? Israel has nukes, a formidable army, and no fear being the “mad dog”. Nobody will touch them. And given the backdrop of global, regional, or Israeli domestic insanity, some will even let it go. Many in Europe are “giving up on multiculturalism” already, and the rightist parties might even smile upon Israel’s ugly moves. Plus it is easy to get some things to blow up in Europe at the same time… come on guys, we know how ruthless states can get, and Zionism/Israel has a dark history. Thus most in Europe might even ignore Israel looking like the Balkans while Islamophobia reaches epic heights.

      Wake up guys…..

      Don’t be filled with unrealistic hope and think 100% justice is the only acceptable goal, and is actually attainable in this effed up world. Demand rights, yes. But in the end, if we do not bend in some ways to the abuse of power and the injustice of history, we are asking for more abuse from that SAME power imbalance.

      I ramble but moving to the “1SS” scares the hell out of me. And the more we encourage the rejection of the 2SS and bury it, and the more Palestinians do that, the more the future freaks me out. Some of you 1SS advocates would get along great with the Jewish Zionist fanatics in my family, on borders at least, until you realize what the hell it really looks like in those beautiful borders.

      P.S. I may sound defeatist, but I am being a realist. I feel sick for the injustice the Palestinians suffered and are suffering, and I see salvaging the 2SS as the very unjust, but best option. Someone describe to me a realistic flow of events where we see a 1SS that beats the 2SS, in the real world, and you can sign me up. But if clinging to refugee rights, you suggest decades upon decades of struggle, somehow ending (unrealistically) like the South African reality, forget it. Refugees outside of Israel/Palestine get screwed, and we are talking about the death of a generation waiting for this optimistic end. Palestinians need freedom and a life soon, not *possibly* after they and perhaps their kids are dead and gone.

      • anonymouscomments–

        I think any thoughtful person would share many of your concerns about zionist motives in a one state political settlement.

        However, do you think it possible that the average Israeli, educated to hate and fear all things Palestinian, could actually receive some benefit from one state? I certainly think Israel’s islamophobia benefits someone right now–but I think it’s manufactured primarily for the benefit of Israel’s ruling elite, much as it is in the US. Perhaps you could draw an analogy between jim crow and its use as a racial divide to serve the economic interests of southern elites at the expense of both poor whites and poor blacks–”hey, things could be worse, at least you’re not black (or arab).”

        Tax money flowst from the average Israeli to finance and secure the occupied territories, money that could be better spent I’m sure on Israeli social programs.

        Beyond that, Israel’s relationships with the rest of the middle east, and for that matter the world, would only improve both politically and economically.

        And a genuine effort to integrate Palestinians and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s national economy would I think be a plus for all.

        Yes, it’s probably a pipe dream, due in large part to the bad motives of zionists, but it would be nice to think that most Israelis could wake up one day and realize that they’ve been had, that they are much better off living in a one state without the elite-imposed burdens of apartheid.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          i am deeply appreciative that this discussion is happening on this site. thank you. i wonder what i can do to foster this conversation, give it greater prominence, have intelligent people listening to you/us?
          this conversation can get many people past their fears, or simply wake people up….

        • Remax says:

          It is impossible to anticipate the future of Israel, there are simply too many factors that appear extraneous but cannot be expected to remain so. We could start first with Stein’s Law (If something cannot go on forever, it will stop). Taking a completely detached view of Israel, where would you say it is heading? Would you look at its geographical expansion? Since it cannot live in peace with any neighbours, it would seem it has to expand indefinitely. Well, it can’t. Is it developing a social model that will guarantee long-term survival in a world of diminishing resources? Hardly. Is it a nation completely united in the convictions of its mythopeic past? Of course not. It is a very young entity with a bizarrely flexible constitution, an entity increasingly controlled by a limited elite in a manner that is even now arousing popular social unrest. These are difficulties Israel faces quite apart from the issue of the dispossessed and subjugated Palestinians which daily arouses humanitarian enthusiasms in much of the Western world. Netanyahu, if you think about it, embodies the current Israeli predicament, all hat and no cattle, as I believe the Texans have it. Sure, Israel has an army, but it contains many young zealots more dedicated to local Zionist ‘principles’ than the interests of their state and besides, Israelis have a totally unrealistic abhorrence of the death or capture of even one of them. And they have nuclear weapons, but recently General Petraeus himself was questioning what use they are against diplomatic isolation. No one single factor is that important by itself, but there is nothing coming back from the other side. Western leaders pay lip service to Israel but only for pragmatic political reasons; there is today nothing like the bright dawn liberal intellectuals looked for when Israel was established, a nation to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of war torn Europe and set a socio/political example for a new post-war age. Nor is there anything like the bright beacon the US was for the world in the 50’s and early 60’s. The truth is that Israel has no future the way it is going. That is actually what Ayatollah Khomeini foresaw when he pronounced that mischievously misquoted prediction. Israel is sustained by the US, but it is the relationship of a ventriloquist and his puppet, their mutual dependence serves them both. However, the US has its own problems which grow more serious by the day, and Israel can do nothing to aid its puppet master. The writing is on the wall. No one will be allowed to destroy Israel, but Zionism is, surely, enjoying a swansong. There exists a kind of madness in US behaviour at this moment, but I detect signs that Russia and China may be prepared to combine to keep our world on an even keel.

        • Piney,
          I agree that with logic and understanding most Israelis would be for a 1ss… just cannot see such a dramatic shift occurring. I know some of the dozen Israelis of this mindset, and it is futile. And their numbers decreased dramatically since the 2nd intifada. Sadly, Israelis keep sliding to the right, and the radicals can clearly check any miraculous mass movement towards understanding and coexistence with some simple violence. It is their trump card, just remember Rabin.

          Phil,
          I agree we need more deep discussion of strategy for all involved. Please get a sampling of what those in the West Bank desire; I tried to poll a bit myself when there. I have to say that if many shift to 1ss exclusively there are also hasbara PR gains for Israel that will play with world leaders and much of the general public….. They will spin it very well “they lied during Oslo” “see give them a finger and they take your hand” “see they always wanted to destroy Israel, the Jewish state” “we are offering a 2ss (lie) and now they want everything” “they never wanted 2ss or peace they just wanted one state, Palestine”…….

          I do think the 1ss “threat” has a very important place. I would phrase it this way….

          Either settlements freeze and Palestinians soon get a 2ss along 1967 borders, capital in EJ, and some resolution to the refugee crisis, or else we have no choice but to fight for equal rights under this endless occupation with concurrent colonization.

          I think we always need to hold out the 2ss as it has been the basis for past negotiations, is the more likely resolution, and without holding it out we loose PR and even alienate and scare away the average Israeli. We have to be conscious that our ultimate, target audience, is the average Israeli. Pressure goes only so far, and Israel being a democracy(ish) we need peace between the people. If our demands strike (unreasonable) fear in most Israelis, how are we moving forward or helping Israelis get over their fears.

          And let’s also note they have some valid fears about a 50-50 state where they have abused the Palestinians soooooooo much. An eventual civil war would not be unlikely, then we’d be right back at a 2ss after insane bloodshed. There is a lot of blood in the sand.

        • Taxi says:

          Well observed, Remax.

          “No one will be allowed to destroy Israel, but Zionism is, surely, enjoying a swansong.”

          People break set laws all the time. Today, more and more people wanna break the laws of the ‘master’ – harder than ever.

          Israel will be defeated from the outside because the inside is so rotten, as you rightly pointed.

        • Keith says:

          Let me begin by seconding Phil that this has been an excellent discussion so far. I would only add a few thoughts concerning the dynamics of the situation. First, we must always keep in mind that Israel is to a certain degree unique, hence, to a degree unpredictable. Following the establishment of the Jewish state, secular Zionism to a significant degree lost its reason for being, the Labor party declining. There has been a steady drift to the right including a much stronger emphasis on a biblical justification for anti-Arab discrimination and abuse. Israel Shahak claims that Israel has gotten more “Jewish,” in the classical sense. What this implies is that there is a strong undercurrent of irrational fealty to old testament Zionist ideology. Stated another way, what may be seen by others as reasonable and rational compromise is viewed by the Israeli religious right as blasphemy. Giving up so much as an inch of the sacred soil an affront to God. This does not bode well for any negotiated settlement.

          The second point is that we live in interesting times, we live in scary times. Neoliberal globalization, wars, mass protests, resource depletion and environmental degradation. I sense a fast approaching global upheaval, a historic turning point where all bets are off. There is so much happening in so many places with so many problems that it is impossible to keep up. The whole point being that not only do Israel’s internal dynamics make prediction tenuous at best, but that external forces may shape Israel’s future in unknown and unpredictable ways. Things are happening so fast globally that in a year or two the whole Middle East dynamics may be radically different. It could be a wild ride.

        • Phil, I think you do a wonderful job of presenting that discussion on this site already.

          Has any cost/benefit analysis been done showing the economic advantages to a one state solution? You would think with the worldwide glut of PhDs it would have been at least studied in some form.

          I’m not here to glorify neoliberalsim–I just got back from an occupy iowa protest in my small town–but you would think that Israeli’s economic elite would recognize that the Israel’s apartheid/bantustan policy acts as a restraint on trade both within Israel and the OT’s, as well as with its middle eastern neighbors. I’m just thinking that should be a powerful impetus for one state, and since money–not basic human decency or morality unfortunately–makes the world go round, perhaps some focus on that aspect might be worthwhile.

          A one state Israel of all its citizens would be far more powerful economically than the present state.

          I also think that’s why BDS is critical–it illustrates the point very clearly.

        • Mooser says:

          “i wonder what i can do to foster this conversation, give it greater prominence, have intelligent people listening to you/us?
          this conversation can get many people past their fears, or simply wake people up….”

          Ban Richard Witty.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          you think that would foster that program moose?

        • Mooser says:

          “you think that would foster that program moose?”

          I think you owe it to yourself.

        • LeaNder says:

          Phil, I still would like to know what one of your encounters with Mooser were about. At that point I was with Mooser 100%, here I am with you.

          How could there be a debate without different positions?

          The problem seems to be that Richard is a more or less a conform member of society and an ardent supporter of Zionism, without the intellectual background to bring something into the debate that might be interesting. I basically have the same problems with him as Shmuel, I realize that I probably would agree with many of his positions. But doesn’t that have to do, that they are relatively vague, somehow new- agey, often contradicted by statements that are the exact opposite, like what?

          What about when he addressed you about Jewish success in the US, suggesting it all happened “only” because of Israel? Richard is easy to read. Maybe he is somehow second-tier and we should have the debate with his wife?

          I think many people here share my opinion that Richard is mainly boring, predictable, but still nobody that should be banned.

      • pabelmont says:

        Anon comments: “We can’t even get them to stop colonizing currently (with settlement expansion not supported by MANY Israelis), so drop any dreams of serious forceful international pressure to transform the entire country against the will of the vast majority.”

        “We”? Well, I am powerless. Maybe all of Phil’s readers combined are a powerless “we”. But if the nations (who else could do it?) get together — forming a new and powerful “we” — there might be some progress. Not, I fear, in my lifetime (next 10-20 years). However, might be a bit motivated by any attack on Iran. PA’s shenanigans at UN might offer a means of some action. ICC. Another ICJ decision, on settlements and settlers and confiscations of land. Who knows? “Hanging in there” is what sumud is all about.

        • I think the global tide is shifting and “we” (by that I mean most nations and civil society) will be able to pressure a freeze, then with a peace deal, removal of many settlements. And I expect this in the medium term. What I was stressing is that I do not see enough pressure to force a just 1ss on Israel at all….. 2ss seems like the only viable next step, though hard to reach in itself.

    • Taxi says:

      VR,

      The third solution is that Apartheid israelis reach quick for their second passports. Which is the will of the mass people of the region.

      I’m inclined towards this #3 scenario.

  11. ToivoS says:

    It should be obvious that the current government has a plan and knows more about the WB population dynamics than most of us do. I think they honestly believe that they are going to succeed in seizing this land and they will do it without giving the Palestinians in Israel their full civil rights. It does not seem automatic that Israel will lose this one.

    Given that the world’s remaining super-power is backing this Israeli expansion it seems absurd that any military solution to the problem is possible. BDS is all that stands between the Palestinians and ethnic cleansing. This is not something that will work quickly — it took 30 years in South Africa. The chances of a major world war over that time is high — that will provide the perfect opportunity for the Israeli’s to finish the job they started in 1948. Just something to think about.

  12. annie says:

    this sounds very close to Israeli Settlers Invade Neighborhoods in I’rtas Village

    Hundreds of Israeli settlers invaded Sha’ab Salman and al-Nahleh neighborhoods in the village of I’rtas just south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, to establish a base, the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported on Friday

    Awad Swai, an official in the Ministry of Agriculture, reported that hundreds of settlers invaded the neighborhoods through the nearby village of Wadi Rahhal and accesses in the Annexation wall built at the village. He added that they arrived under cover of the Israeli army.

    Swai stated that this is not the first invasion of the village. The settlers keep coming, in attempts to take over Abu Zaid Mountain with the intention of expanding the illegal settlement of “E’frat”.

    According to the settlers’ website, Swai said, the building of a new settlement in the al-Nahleh neighborhood is in the air.

  13. Abierno says:

    This is correct. Netanyahu holds the ultimate card – if Obama or anyone
    in his administration puts the brakes on him, he has to simply bomb Iran.
    The sequellae to this action have been well-spelled out: The Straits of
    Hormuz close, oil prices go through the ceiling and the US economy
    immediately tanks and drops even further as all of the Eurozone economies
    fall even lower, with massive international bank failures, currency
    devaluations and intense social unrest. Our enemies such as Russia and
    China can be expected to escape unscathed, and massively profit from
    the situation (Think of our major private assests being held by the Chinese
    through their sovreign wealth fund). The human toll in poverty, famine,
    disease and death would be unimaginable. Is this the reason that Gates
    bitterly refers to Israel as an ungrateful ally?

    • Taxi says:

      If Apartheid israel bombs iran, the floodgates of change will become wide open.

      There’s opportunity in crisis too, you know.

  14. This discussion is terrific and very much to the point. The outcome described by VR is the Allon plan. At this point, I cannot see how it can be avoided.

    Everything I have now come to understand about the west bank says that it is coming to fruition. Everything that nice people say about trying to make the occupation less horrible is irrelevant; every statement from the resident habaristas’ on this blog make it clear that the primary goal is to make life so unpleasant that the Palestinian’s will leave piecemeal.

    This vision of the nonstate solution has the Palestianians on no more than 8% of the area of Palestine, in a series of prisons. If they surrender, they will be allowed to leave through tight security to work in factories under the control of israel. If not, well it is other peoples responsibility to feed them.

    If there is a 1ss, then given that we are dealing with a progrom state, I cannot see how it will be less horrible.

    In response to Pablemont, my question is whether even this goal would be viable. It is very small. The access to the sea, or to jordan or between gaza and the WB are all extraordinarily dependent on the good will of a state that has never shown good will. The water supplies have been appropriated by Israel — so they would be dependent on desalination plants run by the same people. Every statement from Israel I have seen says that that the current ‘agreed’ allocation is inviolable, and the engineering solution is that or thirst.

    Finally, yep, hot pursuit and the oppressed guaranteeing the security of the oppressor, has been consistently required, and as best I can tell was agreed to.

    All of this comes before we get to what this state is actually like. Currently, it looks like a police state. I am not criticizing the people at all, but this isn’t a good place to start. We may equally note, Israel has very strong neo-fascist, theocratic-police state tendencies, and is also a long way from becoming a fully democratic state.

    • ToivoS says:

      Southern, good points. I think I was trying to make the same points above. There is nothing inevitable about the outcome of Palestinian struggle in the WB and Gaza. I do believe that the BDS movement is their best tactic. But I really do not believe that success is inevitable. Israel is very powerful in its own right and it has the power of the US behind it which is the most powerful force on this planet. Israel really does have have the power to crush its Palestinian subjects and I find it quite irritating hearing people talk about the inevitable decline of Israeli power.

      Israeli power should be considered as not only a current reality but something that will be very difficult to overcome (and maybe something that cannot be defeated). I happen to believe that it can be defeated, but that is not automatic.

      • annie says:

        Israel is very powerful in its own right and it has the power of the US behind it which is the most powerful force on this planet.

        i do not believe the US is the most powerful force on this planet. not by a long shot.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Israel is very powerful in its own right and it has the power of the US behind it which is the most powerful force on this planet.
          Toivo

          i do not believe the US is the most powerful force on this planet. not by a long shot. – annie

          I agree with both of you. The US government/military is the most powerful force on earth, but that is a political reality, dependent on the american people, who are sovereign and therefore more powerful.

          Current political realities are just that, current. Not set in stone. A different political reality in the US could change things very quickly.

        • ToivoS says:

          annie, I hope you are correct. Right now it does appear that what Israel desires, the US will support. BDS is a very fragile weapon against that terrible force.

      • Agree with both, and that was basically my rant above. 1SS in any reasonable time frame, is a no-state solution and a disaster for Palestinians….

        2SS should remain the goal, otherwise we are granting victory to the expansionist Zionists who are trying to kill the 2SS, and they are not messing about….

  15. The Palestine Chronicle is in desperate need of donations, less than 7K to stay in operation.

    Please donate to this uniquely brave and honest publication…

    link to palestinechronicle.com

  16. Walid says:

    As a matter of general interest, Amnesty International and the Canadian Lawyers Against the War asked the Canadian Government to arrest and put on trial, George Bush, for his crimes against humanity, tortures, the million killed in Iraq and so on, when he attempts to enter Canada on October 20th for an economic conference in Surrey, B.C. Those that are into candle lightings for good things to happen should light one, but those that are familiar with Prime Minister Harper know that it won’t happen. Obviously Canada will not be banning Bush but the mere possibilty of having it happen is pleasurable like the thought of all the Israeli war crminals now afraid to travel.

    • Unfortunately, they can freely go to the UK now…

      link to electronicintifada.net

      • annie says:

        thank you exile, i was just questioning hostage about this yesterday. i didn’t realize it had already passed.

        Sadly on 15 September this means of potentially achieving justice was revoked. In response to Israeli protests the UK government chose to change its laws rather than see Israelis arrested. In a move condemned by Amnesty International, the UK government amended the law on universal jurisdiction so that in future only the Director of Public Prosecutions can authorize the arrest of a suspected war criminal (“Tories make life easier for war criminals,” Liberal Conspiracy, 30 March 2011).

        a link is embedded from this passage, at your EI link. changing UK laws for israeli war criminals. very sad.

        • Very sad, indeed. I always thought that law was a powerful means of circumventing elitist collusion, nepotism and obstruction of justice at the highest levels of government. Alas, it is no more.

        • VR says:

          Alas it never was, it is the latest (rule of law) lie that the elite hide behind, no different than the divine right of kings. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of law for you and I – specifically to oppress and keep the 99% “in line,” just none for the few – which the entire corpus was supposed to be about in the first place. However, there is a law that is higher than that written by elites – the will of the people.

        • VR,
          I don’t necessarily follow what you’re saying. The original law -prior to the September 15 amendment- allowed for individual citizens to make the case for an arrest warrant to a judge. No government official, no agency needed to present the case, just a citizen of the UK. How was that a lie that the elite were hiding behind?

    • Antidote says:

      you never know, Walid, what that crazed Harper is up to. I hear his government will spend exorbitant sums to mark the upcoming bicentennial of the glorious War of 1812 in patriotic style. And wasn’t that when the Canadians fought off an American invasion/attack, and the British retaliated by setting the White House, US Treasury and government buildings on fire? Oh well, I’ll light a candle

      • Walid says:

        “And wasn’t that when the Canadians fought off an American invasion/attack, and the British retaliated by setting the White House, US Treasury and government buildings on fire? ”

        The Americans had declared war on the British in 1812, captured, looted and burned York (Toronto) in 1813 and the following year, the Brits did the same to Washington as you mentioned. Remnants of those rednecked loyalists to Britain are still highly visible today from Cornwall to Oakville and that period was the most borring of Canada’s history because it involved Britain and those loyal to it and the massive people transfers from the US to Canada more than involving actual Canadians. All Conservatives have been crazy; maybe this is why they share their philosophy with the Republicans but I’m surprised Harper would celebrate something in favour to the Brits; maybe it’s to pay them back for their icebreaker assault on Canada’s Arctic sovereignty. 30 years or so ago, another rare and crazy Conservative Prime Minister, Diefenbaker, out of blind loyalty to the UK had tried reversing Canada’s 85% trade with the US and 15% with the UK to make it 85% with the UK and 15% with the US and almost succeed in wrecking Canada’s economy; he also opposed repatriation of the BNA Act and the creation of a distinct Canadian flag.

        Maybe you should light 2 candles to double the chances.

        • MRW says:

          I’m surprised Harper would celebrate something in favour to the Brits

          It shouldn’t surprise you.

          Walid, Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen of England is the head of state. The Governor General is her representative in Canada. Harper is PM and head of the Canadian government.

          By comparison, Obama is both head of state and head of the government.

        • MRW says:

          Canadians have become sensitized to Americans rewriting their history, or playing fast and loose with the facts. I dont remember the details, but in the 1990s one US movie claimed that the Americans won the war of 1812, something about the US remaining undefeated from 1776. Stuck in the Canadian craw. Although Fox News can’t be broadcast in Canada (because it lies) people who live near the border and have satellite can get it. Every sneering derogatory remark O’Reilly made about Canada over the years has had an effect.

          This celebration has nothing to do with venerating the Brits. It has everything to do with teaching Americans to shut up, study history, and stop bragging about things it has no right to. So Canadians are going to celebrate it the American way so that Americans pay attention.

          Don’t forget that Canada is in the top-10 of educated countries (of the 110 watched annually). It ranked No 3 (after South Korea and Finland) in the OECD (2009) score for reading, and 5th for math and science. (The US ranked 14th for reading, 25th for math, and 17th for science.)

          Canadians, by and large, now view Americans derisively as their dumber cousins. They elected Bush twice, and engage in pre-emptive wars. They didn’t rise up to change the financial system even after 2008. They allow idiotic pundits to flood news shows and seem to believe what they hear. Their entertainment fare is reality shows of the dumb and dumber.

          You don’t hear or read this in their papers. You hear it in living rooms and around dining tables. And I don’t have to scratch very hard to lift the scab.

        • Walid says:

          MRW, you sure sound like a pissed-off cannuck. I mentioned my surprise about the British because 1812-1814 was really about the British and the things they had been pulling over the Americans such as impressing 10,000 American sailors to serve on British ships (like the 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli dungeons), naval blockades (somewhat like what’s happening in Gaza with the Zionists), stopping and searching supply ships for arms (like they do in Israel)and the war with Napoleon that caused the US to declare war on the British Empire.

          The faulty history picked up by your neighbours is due to their sources comprised mostly of Hollywood movies and songs like this one about the final battle in North America popularized in 1959 by Johnny Horton and sung here by Johnny Cash:

          link to youtube.com

          If anyone’s interested in knowing more about the war of 1812-1814 that the Canadians won morally (like with Hizbullah against Israel in 2006):

          link to thecanadianencyclopedia.com

        • MRW says:

          Nah, Walid, but my sister is married to one. :-)

          Hey, you might enjoy this (or save the link for when you have time):
          link to video.google.com

        • Walid says:

          Thanks, MRW, I’ve watched 5 of its 28 minutes and it’s very funny, Will finish it a bit later.

        • MHughes976 says:

          The 1812 war seems to me to illustrate how the war machine even of the greatest empire in the world, which we were then, can run low after years of use and strain. We ‘saved’ Canada by the skin of our teeth and only because the ‘Indians’ were on our side. Then Napoleon overreached in the economic campaign and brought us a bucketful of Euro allies, which was lucky.
          In the 1860s the Americans were the blockaders (of their southern ports) and we were the blockade-runners, leading to a diplomatic exchange that came in very handy for us when, playing the same trick on the Kaiser we’d previously played on Boney, wanted to blockade Germany in WW1. I presume (Hostage may correct me) that the San Remo blockade manual that came in so handy for Israel over the Mavi Marmora is a summary of international law derived in part from what we and the Americans put in place in the course of those old conflicts.

        • Keith says:

          MRW- That history lecture link you provided is an absolute hoot, so much better than most of the crap on commercial TV.

          One quick general comment concerning Canadian politics is that Canadian policies have become more closely aligned with the US empire of late because political power tends to align with economic power, therefore, the increased integration of the Canadian economy with the US economy created pressure to harmonize politics as well. After all, the Canadian Prime Minister has to answer to the same transnational corporations that the US President does.

        • Walid says:

          Keith, in addition to the multi-nationals in Canada that have some effect on the politics between them, Canada and the US have been each other’s biggest trading partners for decades but this has never unfluenced their politics in a substantial way. If anything, it has helped the US reach restricted markets like Cuba, China and the USSR via its Canadian subsidiaries. But now that it has been discovered that Canada’s Arctic north contains more oil, gold, uranium, silver and everything else than anywhere else in the world, the US and seven other countries are rushing to plant little flags all over the ice to lay claim to some of that territory, especially with the approaching opening of the Northwest Passage now made possible with the melting ice cap that would cut shipping time between Europe and the Far East by 50%. A few years back, in spite of Canada’s objections, the US completed a summer crossing of the Northwest Passage by an oil tanker and a Coast Guard icebreaker. So relations between the 2 countries are getting a little less rosy than what they used to be.

          From a 2007 report on the legal status of the Arctic Ocean and the ongoing rumble about it as it affects Canada’s claim of sovereignty over it with projected future timeline maps on the melting ice; probably of great interest to Hostage:

          “… Canada is in dispute with Denmark over Hans Island, a 3 square kilometre rock uninhabited by humans, situated between the Kennedy Channel between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. A group of Danish soldiers reportedly raised a flag on the island in 2002. Canada could view Hans Island as important, not only for shrimp and turbot fisheries but also for controlling the nearby waters as climate change takes hold and ice disappears. Canada is engaged in sovereignty disputes in at least three other fronts:

          The Northwest Passage: Canada claims the Northwest Passage is inland waters, whereas the United States and other States claim right of transit passage.

          The Beaufort Sea: Canada and the United States dispute the maritime border between Alaska and the Yukon Territory, with Canada claiming a linear extension of the land border, and the United States drawing the border at right angles to the coast, giving rise to disputes over petroleum reserves in the region.

          The Northern Continental shelf: the United States, Canada and Russia could all make claims over the northern continental shelf. There are suggestions Canada could make a continental shelf claim over the North Pole towards Russia.

          The Legal Status of the Arctic Ocean
          The legal status of the Arctic Ocean is determined by the international law of the sea, which is now largely codified by the 1982 UN Law of Sea Convention, which entered into force in 1994. The Arctic Ocean features internal sea waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, the high seas, the continental shelf, and seabed areas beyond the limits of the continental shelf. The main dispute centres on Canada’s claim that the waters in the Arctic Archipelago are internal waters and thus not subject to navigational rights, and in particular, on the Northwest Passage.

          link to globelaw.com

  17. POA says:

    Where are the Mondozios? Surely they can fabricate an excuse for this latest expansion?

    Come on guys, we’re countin’ on you!

    “Self defense”???

    “God ordered it”???

    “Another step towards wiping out anti-semitism”???

    Theres gotta be some sort of excuse for this! Some supreme justification from on up high? Come on, guys, admit it, God wants you to cleanse Israel of these heathen brown savages. Right?????

    You can admit it, its allright. We’re all adults here, we’ll understand. I mean, after all, no one wants to share a neighborhood with genetic inferiors.

    • eee says:

      It is a simple message to the Palestinians, that while we are negotiating over the pizza, Israel will keep eating the parts it thinks are Israeli and will not let the pizza grow cold just because the Palestinians don’t want to negotiate. It also shows Abbas that two can play the game of unilateral moves.

      There is only one solution, negotiations. Abbas needs to come to the table now and negotiate with Bibi.

      • Taxi says:

        LOL eee but you’re choking on the pizza stuffed fast in yer fat Apartheid mouth.

        Old cold cheese will give you diarrhea and for you there ain’t gonna be no bidet nor toilet paper for wipes.

      • Cliff says:

        Talking with Israel is worthless and no solution will arise through such negotiations. Israel is run by criminals and supported by liars, racists and un-fair and dishonest supremacist thugs like YOU eee.

        All you have ever done is feed off the misery of Palestinians to make your Jewish State.

    • AhVee says:

      You forgot my favourite, “it’s not pretty, but it’s necessary in the greater scheme of things”, it’s such beautifully vague derailment, and comes so close to suggesting omniscience on the part of the claimer, that it just takes the cake.

  18. We will probably see Netanyahu taking many more actions like this to foreclose any possibility of a two-state solution. He will especially take these steps while Obama can be used in a sense as a “human shield” during the period leading up to next year’s presidential election. Obama (and therefore, the U.S.) will essentially be held hostage by Israel during this period.
    Squeal like a stuck pig, Obama. Squeal! Squeal louder!

  19. Samuel says:

    OK poa here’s my “fabricated excuse” for this “settlement”.

    1. It’s not a new settlement, it already exists on the place called “Givat Hamatos”. Use a GPS or Googlearth and it will show up.

    2. Although you guys have a special language here and often generalize, you ought to be aware that for most all Israelis, left or right, East Jerusalem non-Arab neighbourhoods are not considered or even contemplated as “settlements”. This is why many of you don’t understand how Bibi could do this timing. Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Givat Hamatos were not build into Arab neighbourhoods (like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah) and are not disputed by the mainstream Israelis, including even liberals. These places are very different in the Israeli eye to Yitzhar, Itamar and Silwan, and even to “concensus” settlements like Gush Etzion and Ariel. Even if all are exactly the same by International Law, to understand the Israeli psyche you must distinguish. Many residents of East Jerusalem “settlements” are not even aware they are over the green line, unlike the rest of the WB settlements which are unmistakeable as you have to pass a barrier to get to them.

    3. If the 2ss is dead then creating “facts” is irrelevant. If there still is a chance for 2ss, then this new neighbourhood is negotiable in the final settlement either by compromise (land swaps), or destroyed, or a as potential for refugee housing.

    • Walid says:

      “… Although you guys have a special language here and often generalize, you ought to be aware that for most all Israelis, left or right, East Jerusalem non-Arab neighbourhoods are not considered or even contemplated as “settlements”.

      This is why many of you don’t understand how Bibi could do this timing. Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Givat Hamatos were not build into Arab neighbourhoods…”

      No Samuel, we have no special language, it’s the Israelis that have a special understanding of what they’d like to believe which is a million miles from reality, and you demonstrate it yourself in the confusing language you use. East Jerusalem and most of those areas you mention as being non-Arab were stolen by Israel’s annexation of 70 square miles of Palestinian-owned lands surrounding East Jerusalem and from that established fact of theft, your are saying that for Israelis, these areas are not settlements but extensions of Israel proper. Your #2 is confusing as it starts with language denying Palestinians having anything to do with these areas and it ends when you say they are effectively on the other side of the dividing green line eventhough Israelis don’t realize it. In #3, you are saying these established facts on the ground are irrelevant yet they should form part of a possible swap or be possibly abandoned ina 2ss.

      Would you please elaborate?

      • annie says:

        elaborate? you’ve got to be kidding. please, don’t encourage him.

        • POA says:

          Of interest is Samuel’s utter failure to base his argument on anything other than Israeli sentiment; Both “liberals” and “mainstream” Israelis support this expansion, therefore it is A-OK.

          And heck, some of these Israelis don’t even realize they’re squatting on stolen land!!! How can we possibly blame them, when ignorance is their only part in this crime?

          Samuel’s argument is devoid of an indicator that he has any sense of right and wrong. When the gauge with which one monitors Israeli actions is simply an assessment of Israeli sentiment, than the reasonable conclusion to be reached is that such an argument is based on pure bigotry. Casually dismissive of the Palestinians, such a mindset is despicable. Where does Samuel even recognize the existence, or rights, of the Palestinians when he presents his argument?

          I think, Samuel, that you have perfectly illustrated the “Israeli pysche” that you allege we fail to understand.

          I think, too, that we “understand” the “Israeli pysche” all too well, or we wouldn’t be making our voices heard here.

        • annie says:

          Samuel’s argument is devoid of an indicator that he has any sense of right and wrong.

          exactly, it appears to be entirely premised on ‘what israelis consider art of israel’ as if ‘what israelis think’ somehow implies that ads moral weight or something. what they think is not a replacement for the rule of law, especially not international law.

  20. There is no question that this development is very disturbing.

    The one-state approach is much more dangerous for Palestinian aspirations to retain a cultural Palestinian presence than the two-state.

    In a single state, with provisions to negate segregation, Palestinians will be able to reside in currently primarily Jewish neighborhoods, a good thing, but also Jewish Israelis will have the legal right to buy, develop, even dominate the current West Bank, East Jerusalem.

    Those areas will change from traditional Palestinian life in a single state, to a commercial state. The attractive places will be Judaiized and the unattractive places will look like the backwater poorer Jewish and Arab communities in Israel.

    If the commercialization is desired, work for it. There will be more jobs, more opportunities, a much leveler playing field certainly (as meritocratic upward mobility will thankfully not distinguish between a Palestinian engineer and a Jewish Israeli, or programmer, or mass marketer.)

    Even if East Jerusalem is no longer a feasible capital for Palestine, the two-state solution still makes sense, in the urging for optimized democracy (consent of the governed).

    I forgot where I read, but in one article posted here, there was a comment by an author “If Jerusalem can be integrated, then that creates a precedent for all of Israel”.

    I think it was the Avram Burg article.

    So, again, I think a more progressive approach than BDS is to work for integration where it is possible, and in areas that are not as pretentious as political agitation.

    • POA says:

      “So, again, I think a more progressive approach than BDS is to work for integration where it is possible, and in areas that are not as pretentious as political agitation”

      Idiot. Show us one single iota of evidence that “integration” can be feasably negotiated at any table that Netanyahu is seated at.

    • Mooser says:

      “The one-state approach is much more dangerous for Palestinian aspirations to retain a cultural Palestinian presence than the two-state.”

      Look Richard, why not just come out and say that the Israelis will kill them all if the Palestinians do anything they don’t like?

      • Mooser says:

        And BTW, Richard, thanks for proving my point. Phil does owe it to himself.

        • Mooser says:

          Sure, Richard, as I remember “intergration” took place in America without the Jim Crow laws changing.

        • Mooser,
          I normally stay away from you, but your inferences of what you imagine my views to be are nearly always close to 180 degrees off.

          I’m sorry that my existence is so irritating to you.

          On this point, I said what I meant, that what will happen with a democratic single state is that Palestinians will integrate with Israelis, living in lands that the Jewish Israelis want to remain exclusively Jewish, AND that Israelis will integrate (or not so much) with Palestinians, and settle in lands that Palestinians want to remain exclusively Palestinian.

          Too complex a comment for you?

  21. anonymouscomments—

    Yet, I keep hoping that at some point there will be a breaking point. The irrationality of Israel’s present course is coming to a stage where its rhetorical and political defense of that system has reached a dead end.

    Whether that culminates in some massive military calamity initiated by Israel, or a sudden collapse of that system is anybody’s guess. My guess is the military calamity unfortunately.

    When I say I have hope though of a sudden collapse, I am now in my 60′s and 30 years ago if anyone had told me that the Berlin wall would be taken down and the Soviet empire collapse peacefully, I would have said they were out of their minds.

    So, history can take sudden and unexpected turns.

    Here’s to hope and change! Oops sorry, that line has been disgraced forever.