Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn’t

There’s a great dialogue between Norman Finkelstein and John Mearsheimer in the forthcoming American Conservative. The conversation is moderated by Scott McConnell. My favorite bit is when Mearsheimer asks Finkelstein whether he’s an anti-Zionist; and Finkelstein doesn’t really dig the label. Go read it. My excerpt is the substance, the men’s difference over the two state solution. Realist Mearsheimer says it’s a lost cause. Finkelstein is “optimistic.” 

Jumping the gun here, I think the weakness in Finkelstein’s case is that while he believes that Jewish opinion is dispositive of the issue in the U.S., and I agree with him, he argues that the great shift now taking place in that opinion is going to save the two-state solution. When in fact the great shift he heralds among Jewish youth could just as well be for liberal democracy in Israel and Palestine– i.e., one state, or a binational state. Mearsheimer says, rightly, that Finkelstein is adopting the Beinart liberal-Zionist position. Oh and I love the last line here (a great counter to the smear that Mearsheimer is anti-Semitic).

Mearsheimer: The reason that the Oslo peace process is dead and that you’re not going to get a two‑state solution is that the political center of gravity in Israel has moved far enough to the right over time that it’s, in my opinion, unthinkable that the Israelis would number one, give up the Jordan River valley; number two, abandon Ariel and Maale Adumim; and number three, allow for a capital in East Jerusalem….

Finkelstein: I don’t agree with that. There are many reasons to be pessimistic. But there are also some grounds for a reasonable amount of optimism. …

And then the question is trying to change the calculus of power. Here things are changing. There are changes in American public opinion, which are quite significant when you look at the polls.

There are changes in Jewish public opinion. There are major regional changes—what’s happening now between Israel and Turkey that’s part of an Arab Spring….

Politics is about what is realistically possible in terms of your long‑term values, your philosophical perspective. What is really possible now in my opinion are two states, basically what people call the international consensus. It doesn’t mean it’s my philosophical preference. If you asked me, I’d say I would like to see a world without states…

Mearsheimer: Your point that pressure has not been brought to bear on the Israelis up to now is correct. But the reason that pressure has not been brought to bear is because the United States protects Israel at every turn. If the United States were willing to put serious sanctions on Israel, there’s no question that we could get Israel to move to a two‑state settlement very quickly…

But then the question is, who’s going to put pressure on Israel?

Finkelstein: That’s why I said there are new factors. … there are changes in public opinion. The challenge is translating the changes in public opinion into some sort of political force. There is raw material; it still requires work. It’s a hard job, but our possibilities now are greater than ever.

Mearsheimer: Yeah. I hope that you’re right, but I think that you’re wrong. The reason has to do with how American politics works. The way this political system of ours was set up in the beginning gave huge amounts of influence to interest groups, interest groups of all sorts.

In the present situation, interest groups that have lots of money can influence the political process in profound ways. The principal reason that we don’t have any financial reform after the 2008 financial crisis is, in large part, because of the interest groups or lobbies associated with the financial industry. They’re just so powerful in Washington that Congress really can’t stand up to them. As a result, we’ve done very little to fix the system that caused this disaster in 2008.

When it comes to foreign policy, we, of course, have interest groups—like the Cuban lobby, the Israel lobby, the Armenian lobby—that can wield lots of influence. In this day and age, where money really matters, and where the Israel lobby has lots of money to throw at political candidates, it is very easy for it to get its way. And foolishly, in my opinion, the lobby tends to support the hard-line policies of Israel, which I don’t think are in Israel’s interests.

The end result is that virtually nobody on Capitol Hill will stand up to Benjamin Netanyahu. And the president won’t either.

Finkelstein: Everything you said, of course, is true and I don’t bury my head in the ground. The only addition to what you said is, I haven’t seen any real attempt to challenge the lobby. There’s never been a serious opposition in Washington. They’ve never had to contend with anybody…..

McConnell: Are you guys surprised by how quickly Obama seemed to have climbed down from making a solution to the conflict a top priority? By all indications he was someone who understood the moral and political case for a Palestinian state.

Mearsheimer: He did not step away from the problem quickly. Shortly after taking office in January 2009 he began to put pressure on Israel—throughout 2009, throughout 2010, and even earlier this year Obama was putting pressure on the Israelis.

That of course is why Netanyahu came to Washington and spoke before AIPAC and spoke before Congress and went toe to toe, in effect, with Obama. The sad truth is that Netanyahu beat him at every turn, and now with the election looming and the economy in shambles, Obama is in no position to pick a fight with Israel.

Finkelstein: Even if Obama prevailed over Netanyahu, the settlement he was calling for was roughly that map where Israel would keep about 10 percent—9 or 10 percent—of the West Bank, including all the major settlement blocs.

If you include the settlement blocs, like Maale Adumim, there’s no state because the way that settlement bloc is constructed, it separates Jerusalem from the whole West Bank. So you have this little island of Jerusalem. Metropolitan Jerusalem is about 30 to 40 percent of the Palestinian economy. If you separate Jerusalem, there’s no state. Even if Obama prevailed and you got the 10 percent map, it still has no relationship to what a viable Palestinian state would look like….

Mearsheimer: Then I wonder why you’re so optimistic that we can solve this one?

Finkelstein: Oh, because as I said, I totally agree with you on Congress. I totally agree with you on the executive. On those points there’s no disagreement at all. What I said is there is a changed political configuration now. There are changes in public opinion. There are changes in Jewish opinion. There’s a lot of work to be done. But there are reasons to be optimistic.

McConnell: Can you elaborate on the changes in Jewish opinion?

Finkelstein: Trying to understand Jewish relationships with Israel, there are three factors. There is the ethnic factor, which is the one people tend to home in on—Israel, Jewish State, of course Jews love Israel. That’s how people usually reason.

There is a second factor. That’s the citizenship factor, namely American Jews are American citizens, and they have a good life here, and they are very wary of being hit with the dual-loyalty charge. So wherever it looks like there are tensions between the U.S. and Israel, or tensions might be brewing, Americans Jews are very cautious and very wary…

And then there’s the third factor. It’s the ideological factor. American Jews are liberal. … American Jews are having a lot of trouble as liberals—especially young American Jews on college campuses, which tend to be more liberal than American society in general—they’re having a lot of trouble reconciling their liberal beliefs with the way Israel carries on, and Israeli conduct and Israeli society in general…

McConnell: And Birthright Israel isn’t enough to counter this?

Finkelstein: It’s not enough, no, because Birthright Israel, first of all, is self‑selective. Many of them are just…

Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.

About Philip Weiss

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

{ 203 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. pabelmont says:

    “who’s going to put pressure on Israel?” Aye, there’s the rub. Gotta be a/the international consensus. Led by Turkey. They’ve just gotta be really, really tired of kow-towing to USA while it is kow-towing to AIPAC and Israel. when will they be tired enough to stand up on their own? Hard to say. Keep on truckin’ folks.

  2. eee says:

    “Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.”

    Exactly, and most American Jews support Israel even on campuses. There are no anti-Zionist Jewish organizations that can come close in size to 1/10 of the Zionist organizations. Hillel is Zionists and all the Jewish fraternities are Zionists. The numbers just don’t back up the assertion that there is change in the mindset of young Jews regarding Israel.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      eee remember when herzl felt himself to be a minority, outcast, self-pitying, heartbroken, his heart literally about to burst at 44, his project a failure?
      oh then the anti-zionist jews in england were crowing about their triumph over the separatist idea!

      • eee says:

        Phil,

        I just don’t see the analogy. Herzl died at the age of 44 after having said already that in Basel he founded the Jewish state. He already knew that Eastern European Jews would be the back bone of the effort as they were suffering much more than the Western Jews. What episode in his life are you exactly talking about?

        And I am not crowing, just telling you what the numbers show. If I am wrong, tell me why the numbers are different. In any case, since the Jews in Israel are already a majority of the Jews in the world or will be very soon, it is very clear that the majority of Jews in the future will be Zionist ones.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          im just saying things change in a hurry, and you dont seem to have a clue about young american jewish opinion

        • eee says:

          Things do not change in a hurry. It took another 44 years after Herzl died for Israel to be founded.

          You claim that are more anti-Zionist Jews on campus than Zionist ones. If your claim is true, then the number of members in the anti-Zionist Jewish organizations would be bigger than the number of members in the Zionist ones. But the reverse is true, by at least an order of magnitude. So why do you still make this claim? It is just wishful thinking.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          ive never said that the jewish establishment and almost all jewish orgs are zionist. are you kidding? of course they are. this site would be nothing, my writing skills would be nothing, if we didnt have that absolute prerequisite of all drama… the villain

        • hophmi says:

          “im just saying things change in a hurry, and you dont seem to have a clue about young american jewish opinion”

          I’m wondering what you believe about “young American Jewish opinion.” There’s a lot of adjectives in there.

          Are these young American Jews who are participants in Jewish life? Perhaps; the new JTS graduates are said to be liberal Zionists for the most part, though not one-staters. But are they people with real power presiding over self-perpetuating movements? Questionable. These rabbis will look for a shrinking number of jobs in the non-orthodox rabbinic community at congregations that are themselves shrinking, while their Orthodox counterparts will join a growing religious community that sends their kids to Israel to study, constitutes the major constituencies of those making Aliyah, and support Israel with an intensity that is exceeded only by Christian evangelicals.

          So in the end, these young American Jews may not really matter one way or another, because their liberal Zionism, a liberal Zionism people like me and people like Witty subscribe to, is being subsumed by polemicists on the left and right who want a one-state solution and support the extremists in the region.

          Our solution of two states living side-by-side in peace is the most fair, most equitable solution with the most international support and most support on the ground. And that is why it will one day come to pass.

        • eee says:

          Phil,

          That is not the point. Creating an anti-Zionist organization on campus is easy. Where is the anti-Hillel? How come there is no substantial anti-Zionist youth organization you are for? Why does it not exist? Do you really believe that there are more young people that want to join the anti-Hillel than the Hillel but the anti-Hillel was just not founded yet? Or is the more likely explanation for the non existence of the anti-Hillel is the fact it would have very few members?

        • American says:

          “In any case, since the Jews in Israel are already a majority of the Jews in the world or will be very soon, it is very clear that the majority of Jews in the future will be Zionist ones.”

          You know eee..I’d be willing to bet money that most Jews in Israel would put survival in any form ahead of Israel and zionism…..the majority would be BOI if staying in Israel and zionism meant dying.

        • eee says:

          American,

          You know, the Arabs made that bet a few times and paid a high price. You are welcome to try again. Shalit is a dual national. He could have gone to France and studied for free in one of its universities. Instead he choose to stay in Israel and go to the IDF. But please be more precise, how would you go about bringing the situation that staying in Israel means dying? What situation are you talking about?

        • Hostage says:

          Shalit is a dual national. He could have gone to France and studied for free in one of its universities. Instead he choose to stay in Israel and go to the IDF.

          I hear he’s been kicking himself in the ass everyday for the last five years about that decision. Many of Israel’s leaders have gone on record lately saying that he should have been declared dead. I’ll bet that makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

        • MRW says:

          Philip Weiss,

          if we didnt have that absolute prerequisite of all drama… the villain

          Actually, Phil, the absolute prerequisite of all drama is self-reflection.

          In great tragedy—which only happens, meaning capable of being written and appreciated, in mature, learned, and intellectually robust societies and civilizations—it produces conflict in which the villain is also inside the hero (and us), and the hero’s self-reflection takes responsibility for that realization as part of the complexity of what he must battle and resolve.

          In great melodrama and the comedies—the standard fare of manichean societies, like ours, that thrive on definitions of the other, ‘good and evil’, and the purity of our own stance vs. our enemies—this (dramatic) self-reflection produces a conflict in which the villain is totally outside of who we are, therefore expendable or something we are right to battle, and we are 100% right in getting rid of him, or resolving the conflict in our favor.

          Tragedy is the story of the great man, even if he be lowly.
          Melodrama (and Comedy) is the story of the small man, even if his station in life be exalted. The drama of American 20th C. and, of course, now. (Eugene O’Neill occasionally dipped into the tragic, but he didn’t have the force of imagination, or spirit, to go all the way.)

          Tragedy is always art, and sometimes entertainment.
          Melodrama and the comedies are always entertainment, sometimes art.

          The society that values melodrama and the comedies above all else generally views the complexity of tragedy as a weakness.

          (I am using tragedy, melodrama, and comedy in their dramatic literary terms, not as metaphorical pejoratives. But they are microscopes into the meaning and heart of a society.)

        • American says:

          “But please be more precise, how would you go about bringing the situation that staying in Israel means dying? What situation are you talking about?”

          Here’s a better questions eee……when, not ‘if’ the US someday decides to treat Israel as just another problem or just another country, as it did Iraq or Afghan or as it now is thinking of treating Iran , as hostile to our own US interest…what could Israel do about it?
          What would Israelis do if we launched a “Enduring Freedom” operation on them? I think they would run for the exits.
          Do you really think the US political pendulum and the extremes in the US having swung so far in Israel’s favor that is has aroused the ire of the US public, won’t eventually result in a swing back in the opposite direction? If you think that you have observed nothing about the see saw of movements in history.
          You are one US president like Ike or any American Firster President away from being in deadly trouble.
          You think Israel could take on the US? What would you threaten the US with…blowing yourselves and a portion of the ME up? I think we’d get to you before you could do that.
          So show us what you got…how you plan to defeat any super power that gets tired of Israel’s shit stirring.

        • American says:

          “Tragedy is the story of the great man, even if he be lowly.
          Melodrama (and Comedy) is the story of the small man, even if his station in life be exalted.”

          Very astute MRW…very.

        • eee says:

          American,

          You are completely crazy if you think the US and Israel will ever go to war.

        • DBG says:

          American, you definitely aren’t an American firster, that is for sure. Where does your loyalty lie?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Yeah, you sound really convincing with your arm around eee, DBG.

    • American says:

      I don’t think it’s been hard to propagandize the Jews at all….the holocaust made it easy. And even though it is now 60 years later and the US Jews have never had it as good as they do now the propaganda and paranoia still works. It might not be working as much on the younger Jews but it’s still working on the older Jews. Nor do I agree they are knowledgeable unless we want to accept they know exactly what is going in Israel and still approve of it. Maybe some know and maybe some don’t.

      I guess it’s possible to be a critical thinker where it concerns self interest or agendas…but not be a critical thinker where it concerns actual reality.
      Can you be a critical thinker and also be “short sighted”? I doubt it unless you can compartmentalize your ‘ thinking’.
      Maybe I have a different definition of critical thinking, but I see the pro Israel crowd as anything but critical thinkers if we agree that it means thinking realistically and analytically ‘all the way out’ to the ramifications and end result for them and Israel in the Jewish State they are embracing now.
      I see Jews (and christian religious zealots) who support Israel as governed by emotions not critical thinking. They believe that David (Israel) can defeat or at least have it’s way with Goliath (the world).
      It’s just not in the long term numbers no matter what ‘temporary’ success it may have.

    • annie says:

      The numbers just don’t back up the assertion that there is change in the mindset of young Jews regarding Israel.

      if this was the case one could easily access how many members belonged to hillel and one could break it down campus by campus year by year. can you? do you have any links showing the membership size this year vs how many jewish kids are on campus?

      • eee says:

        Why do I need to do that? Hillel does not provide the exact numbers but if there were the changes you claim there are, we would see thriving anti-Hillels. Where are they? It is a very strong claim to say that on campuses there are more anti-Zionist Jews than Zionist ones. If this were true there would surely be large anti-Zionist Jewish organizations on campuses. Where are they?

        • annie says:

          why do you need to do that? because you know damn well hillel doesn’t publish their numbers and you can run around posting your garbage claims AS IF you had something to back it up that’s why.

          Hillel does not provide the exact numbers

          how about un-exact numbers? and heck, why don’t they? ever ask yourself that?

          It is a very strong claim to say that on campuses there are more anti-Zionist Jews than Zionist ones.

          why? because you say so? are you implying every US campus or just some. seriously where on earth do you get off saying this?

          show me something or stop w/your silly bloviating allegations because i already spent a few hrs awhile back trying to get some numbers wrt their membership and guess what? they are unavailable. so how weird is that? why can’t anyone go to UCB or UCSC’s hillel websites and see anything that says ‘we’re 1500 strong and growing!’ why not? what is the point of keeping that information secret?

          ask yourself that! show me some links or admit you don’t have any idea and all of this is merely speculation.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          It is you an Phil who are posting nonsense. You claim there are more anti-Zionist Jews than Zionist Jews on campuses? Where is YOUR evidence? While I can’t show you numbers, no one will deny that the Hillels are active and thriving.

          Where are the anti-Zionists organizations that parallel the Hillels? They do not even exist! Yet you maintain your ridiculous position.

        • Hostage says:

          Where are the anti-Zionists organizations that parallel the Hillels?

          You don’t need a bullshit organization that parallels Birthright to know that most of us just stay home and never visit Israel at all. Most of us don’t join Hillel or any kind of Jewish fraternal organizations either, because its soooo passé.

        • annie says:

          lol, you just jumped from ‘on campuses there are more anti-Zionist Jews than Zionist ones’ to ‘active and thriving’. btw ‘thriving’ implies developing vigorously or growing. not sure i’m seeing any indication they are growing at all percentage wise. unlike the link below, which is growing.

          How come there is no substantial anti-Zionist youth organization

          probably because groups like students for justice in palestine see no need to identify themselves in the zionist (non, pro or anti ) framing. but check out the wiki link, they are growing. it also mentions there were 200 at one berkeley campus protest in 2002. i’d posit things have escalated quite a lot since then. but no one need to self identify in a group as a non or anti zionists. also there are plenty of jews in sjp, there’s nothing mandatory about jews going jewsih organizations vs organizations that include all ethnicities.

          It is you an Phil who are posting nonsense.

          what nonsense? what have i posted that is nonsense? i have every right to call out your BS without having to prove anything about phil’s argument or finkelstein’s argument for that matter, which you have not even addressed for the most part. you’re just ducking and plastering your opinion sans facts. typical.

        • Keith says:

          EEE- “If this were true there would surely be large anti-Zionist Jewish organizations on campuses. Where are they?”

          Where on earth would these college kids get the money to do that? You seem to be confusing individual opinions with organizational manifestations of established power.

        • eee says:

          Keith,

          It is so simple to organize a group on campus. You don’t need much money and you can use university facilities for meeting. Where are those invisible hordes of anti-Zionist Jews? Where are they hiding?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It is so simple to organize a group on campus. You don’t need much money and you can use university facilities for meeting.”

          So I see you are as ignorant about extracurricular activities in American universities as you are about just about everything else…

        • Mooser says:

          “you’re just ducking and plastering your opinion sans facts. typical.”

          You know, “eee” seems to have found a home here. He’s all settled in.

        • annie says:

          eee, i went to college and i don’t recall being a member of any organized group. just because the jewish community funnels hundreds of millions of dollars into campus organizing doesn’t mean everyone wants to join a group. i don’t belong to any groups now or go to ‘group organizing meetings’ now but i still attend events and am active in my community.

          hillel’s president is not even a student

          hillel is there and embraces all the zionist jewish students but it is not a membership organization. it bills itself as a ‘foundation of jewish life on campus’. iow everyone is automatically a member unless they are not. so this is a group coming to the students if the students don’t come to them and he says that as much in the video. therefore, to make claims about hillel and compare it like ‘why don’t you start a group like ours’ implies it is normal to have an outside organizing group for ethnic groups per se, instead of groups focused around issues. it isn’t as far as i know.

        • annie says:

          yes he sure is mooser. job security and all that.

    • Hostage says:

      There are no anti-Zionist Jewish organizations that can come close in size to 1/10 of the Zionist organizations. . . .The numbers just don’t back up the assertion that there is change in the mindset of young Jews regarding Israel.

      The surveys about the loss of support among most younger Jews are correct. 70 percent of young Jews don’t belong to either Hillel or a Jewish fraternity. My three children and 5 grandchildren wouldn’t be caught dead in either a Zionist or Anti-Zionist organization. They think for themselves and are disgusted by what they’ve read and seen on the Internet about Israel and its treatment of other people, especially the indigenous ones.

      None of them are in favor of spending tax revenues on the maintenance or defense of a Jewish state.

      • DBG says:

        Would your children or grandchildren be caught dead in a synagogue Hostage?

        • Mooser says:

          Would “eee” the “atheist Jew” in Israel be caught dead in a synagogue?

        • Cliff says:

          Maybe they are religious Jews and maybe they are not.

          Then again, DBG, you seem to imply here that Hostage’s children/grandchildren should be spending some more time in interfaith dialogues!

          Why aren’t you spending your time criticizing the expansion of settlements and the establishing of new Jewish neighborhoods in occupied E. Jerusalem?

          What about the roughly 30,000 Bedouins who are going to be relocated from their ancestral homes to make way for Jewish settlement?

        • Hostage says:

          Would your children or grandchildren be caught dead in a synagogue Hostage?

          Certainly, and I’ve attended several myself (although I don’t recommend it to anyone else). You can’t honestly critique the various streams without studying their beliefs and practices and I prefer to do that on the basis of first hand information.

        • DBG says:

          I didn’t mean anything offensive by it Hostage, I was just curious.

        • DBG says:

          who says I am not Cliff?

          interfaith dialogue is very important, humanizing someone is the first step in understanding them. This type of dialogue is even more important following 9/11.

        • tree says:

          who says I am not Cliff?

          You are definitely NOT Cliff, and Shmuel was right. You need to learn to use commas.

        • Cliff says:

          I’m being sarcastic. Your interfaith dialogues are worthless. In fact, if you really cared about humanizing people, you would stop your fixation (like every other Zionist at MW) with anti-Zionism and focus on Israel’s expanding settlements, ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestinian land.

          You barely said anything (or maybe nothing) about the roughly 30,000 Bedouins being ‘relocated’ from their lands and homes (with the threat of FORCE). Or the construction of a new Jewish neighborhood in E. Jerusalem.

          Instead, you’re here piling up on the mountain of predictable Zionist commentary at MW.

          Just like how eee supports the colonization of Palestinian land, the settlements, the occupation, etc. while occasionally telling people he is for a 2SS and ‘negotiations’.

          You – like him – are not for peace or for the 2SS. It’s just something you pay lip service to, so you can keep trolling for Israel.

        • Hostage says:

          I didn’t mean anything offensive by it Hostage, I was just curious.

          That’s okay. FYI, I would never have considered joining a traditional kibbutz. I don’t think it’s sensible or healthy to let the “Jewish community” takeover responsibility for the upbringing of children.

        • RoHa says:

          “I would never have considered joining a traditional kibbutz”

          I don’t know what makes a kibbutz “traditional”, but I recall hearing that in the kibbutzes (kibbutzim?) of the 1950s, the boys and girls showered together. That would have made me at least consider it. When I was a boy, of course.

        • Hostage says:

          I don’t know what makes a kibbutz “traditional”

          Communal child rearing in separate quarters, called the Children’s house. The parents were somewhat detached and uninvolved in the whole process. link to en.wikipedia.org

  3. seafoid says:

    I respect Norm from Coney Island but he’s wrong on the 2ss. The economics don’t stack up. Israel has 540 k settlers in situ. It controls all the water. There is no independent Palestinian electricity system. It all runs off Israeli lines. There are no trade links with either Jordan or Egypt. They were severed years ago. Palestinian businesses and factories have been strangled leaving the economy at the mercy of Israeli malfeasance. There is no chance of an independent currency. Israel controls the money supply. It controls interest rates. Think of the difficulties of Greece in the Eurozone. The Palestinians are several iterations weaker.

    Zionism has to be broken.

  4. hophmi says:

    “The reason that the Oslo peace process is dead and that you’re not going to get a two‑state solution is that the political center of gravity in Israel has moved far enough to the right over time that it’s, in my opinion, unthinkable that the Israelis would number one, give up the Jordan River valley; number two, abandon Ariel and Maale Adumim; and number three, allow for a capital in East Jerusalem….”

    Back when Mearsheimer was a realist, instead of a polemicist, he admitted that the main reason partition was difficult was because Israeli security and Palestinian independence were fundamentally incompatible:

    “In sum, it is hard to see how the Palestinians could get a viable state that would not threaten Israel. Independence for the Palestinians and security for the Israelis are fundamentally incompatible…Israel cannot be secure alongside a securely independent Palestinian state. ”

    The whole op-ed, from 2001, is here: link to nytimes.com

    • Philip Weiss says:

      Thanks Hop. But is it inconsistent with his realism that Mearsheimer says that Israel now faces: Greater Israel/apartheid, with many voices in that society calling for “transfer”?
      Do you see a different outcome? And, what’s your coldblooded realist answer to that choice?

      • hophmi says:

        “But is it inconsistent with his realism that Mearsheimer says that Israel now faces: Greater Israel/apartheid, with many voices in that society calling for “transfer”?
        Do you see a different outcome? And, what’s your coldblooded realist answer to that choice?”

        It’s funny, because in the op-ed, Mearsheimer said “population transfer” was a part of the solution, referring to the uprooting of settlers.

        My cold-blooded realist answer is still the two-state solution. All one-state solutions rely on some brand of misguided idealism.

      • American says:

        “But is it inconsistent with his realism that Mearsheimer says that Israel now faces: Greater Israel/apartheid, with many voices in that society calling for “transfer”?
        Do you see a different outcome? And, what’s your coldblooded realist answer to that choice?”

        What I think is this…..the US and Israel are at a tipping point where I/P could go either way.
        But I’d say that given the long ingrained political support of Israel right or wrong, and the fact that US government pays no attention to popular demands or US sentiment or world opinion, the odds are leaning toward Israel doubling down on any threats to their losing control over Palestine or losing their settlements and are confident the US will continue to support whatever they do.

        There is a lot of ‘flux’ going on on the ground but that flux hasn’t reached or threatened those in power yet. So basically popular sentiment around the world regarding Israel is ‘in a race’ with the powers that be of Israel and the US. Israel and US could win the race, they have the power to do that, but if they consider the “blowback” they might think twice. To date however we have seen no signs the US or Israel has ever in the past, considered or ever backtracked on their actions even in the face of backlashes that have already occured.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Back when Mearsheimer was a realist, instead of a polemicist, he admitted that the main reason partition was difficult was because Israeli security and Palestinian independence were fundamentally incompatible:”

      Nonsense. Putting aside your stupid notion that Mearsheimer was a “realist” when you think he was closer to your view, and a “polemicist” now, it is pretty clear that the fundamental error in Mearsheimer’s 2001 opinion was the failure to critically analyze the supposed “security” requirements of the Israelis. The term “security” is, was, and ever shall be nothing more than a ruse or an excuse for the Israelis to commit crimes against humanity and steal the Palestinian land, while, at the same time, giving themselves and excuse for pretending that they aren’t barbarians.

      If there’s any difference in the views, it is simply that now he is willing to name the devil in these details: right-wing Israelis. Which seem to be most of those with any political influence these days.

      • seafoid says:

        Mearsheimer didn’t know what Israel was going to do post 2001. Nobody did. And it was worse than anyone could have imagined when Barak was talking to Arafat back in 2000.

        Firstly they murdered Rachel Corrie. Then they went to war in Lebanon. And then they bombed Gaza with WHITE PHOSPHOROUS. Israel played the war on terror to death and now it’s time for the sequel but Israel has nothing. Nothing other than the same old shop soiled memes.

        And Mubarak is gone and the US economy is broken and Iraq is lost. Very interesting times. Nobody actually NEEDS a Jewish Sparta with a permanent war erection. Not even Jews.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          In my opinion, it is not a matter of what Israel did post 2001. It’s a matter of what, realistically, their security situation requires. And it damns sure doesn’t require the disposession of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — didn’t in ’67; didn’t in ’73, and doesn’t now. There is literally no threat to Israel, based on its military strength, that control and possession of the West Bank and Gaza removes, while, at the same time, that control and possession creates threats which need otherwise not exist.

          But doing the right thing would require the Israelis giving up the fantasy of recreation of a millenia-old mostly mythical polity.

          And I agree completely that the current track of Israel is good for no one, including the Israelis.

        • seafoid says:

          Woody

          I think it is important , what they did post 2001, in the court of goy consumers because we are the ones who keep Israel’s economy going. In 2000 the world expected them to deliver a Palestinian state and they didn’t. Instead they went Chechnya .

          And for many people who came into adulthood in those years Israel is a monster. That’s why Europe is turning away from Israel.

          The other thing is control and threats and it has nothing to do with any credible threat

          They can’t give up YESHA because of the DNA of Zionism ….

          “..the artificial essence of Zionism – the grounding of its rhetoric in the notion of ‘negation’, ‘inversion’ ‘synthesis or ‘combination’: its self definition as a constrained, corrective, redemptive (ben Gurion even used the word Messianic ) intervention in historical time and geographical space ” Zvi Efrat from “A civilian occupation” by Segal and Weizman.

          It goes back to Homa Umigdal
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          , the project to set up the first Zionist outposts in Palestine. It’s a tower surrounded by a wall. “…the seclusion within the wall separates the settlement from the new environment and defines the new community not only as those who choose to live inside but also as those who are under potential threat from outside”. Sharon Rotbard, also from “a civilian occupation”

          So when that settler in “Shilo” says “where’s that?” in response to Phil Weiss’s “I was in Palestine” it goes all the way back to Homa Umigdal.

          Israel is not so much a country as an experiment.

      • hophmi says:

        “now, it is pretty clear that the fundamental error in Mearsheimer’s 2001 opinion was the failure to critically analyze the supposed “security” requirements of the Israelis.”

        It is? I think what’s consistent is that Mearsheimer has never thought a two-state solution would work. Back then, he gave a relatively dispassionate realist analysis; it was not in Israel’s self-interest to negotiate a Palestinian state because such a state could not meet Israeli security needs. Today, he gives a political analysis; the “Israel lobby” keeps peace from happening by flooding Congress with money.

        “The term “security” is, was, and ever shall be nothing more than a ruse or an excuse for the Israelis to commit crimes against humanity and steal the Palestinian land”

        I understand that you’re not capable of seeing any possible Israeli security interest and that you have a callous disregard for Israeli lives. You’ve made that clear.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Back then, he gave a relatively dispassionate realist analysis; it was not in Israel’s self-interest to negotiate a Palestinian state because such a state could not meet Israeli security needs. ”

          And, again, the error in his thinking was taking the supposed Israeli “needs” seriously.

          “Today, he gives a political analysis; the ‘Israel lobby’ keeps peace from happening by flooding Congress with money.”

          Baloney. He clearly states taht the money flooding Congress is preventing American pressure from being applied so Israel. While that is unquestionably true and unquestionably a bad thing, he clearly notes that it is only one peace of the puzzle (and was as true in 2001 as it is today.) The larger piece is that instead of facing the “secuirty” sham seriously, the Israeli populace has doubled-down on the stupid and put the right-wingers in power.

          “I understand that you’re not capable of seeing any possible Israeli security interest…”

          Baloney. I simply don’t buy into the bullshit that you are happy to lap up. If Israel can only exist by oppressing the Palestinians in the manner it has for generations, then it has no right to exist and should be destroyed.

          “…and that you have a callous disregard for Israeli lives. You’ve made that clear.”

          LOL. Says the anti-Arab bigot. It takes a special breed of blindness to see my repeated and documented calls for the full human, political and social rights and full equality of everyone in the region as a “callous disregard for Israeli lives.” I guess to an anti-Arab bigot like you, if the Israelis can’t stomp the heads of Palestinian children, the life just wouldn’t be worth living…

        • hophmi says:

          “And, again, the error in his thinking was taking the supposed Israeli “needs” seriously. ”

          So Mearsheimer is apparently good enough when it comes to criticizing the Zionists, but not good enough when he recognizes that they have legitimate security interests.

          “If Israel can only exist by oppressing the Palestinians in the manner it has for generations, then it has no right to exist and should be destroyed.”

          If Palestine can exist only by replacing the Jewish state, it should not be permitted to come into being.

          “LOL. Says the anti-Arab bigot.”

          LOL, I’m no anti-Arab bigot. And I’m not the one celebrating the release of child-killers.

          It takes a special breed of blindness to see my repeated and documented calls for the full human, political and social rights and full equality of everyone in the region as a “callous disregard for Israeli lives.” ”

          It takes a large amount of self-righteous smugness to ignore the fact that your “call” is not likely to play out that way.

        • Cliff says:

          No one is celebrating the release of a child killer.

          Meanwhile you call Palestinians Hitler supporters. Not only at you a bigot and racist, but you’re a dimwitted dishonest nitwit.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “So Mearsheimer is apparently good enough when it comes to criticizing the Zionists, but not good enough when he recognizes that they have legitimate security interests.”

          What, exactly, is your reading difficulty? The issue here, as I’ve repeated stated, is not whether Israel has security interests, but what, exactly, they are and whether those which are claimed by it and its adherents propose, are legitimate or are excuses to justify their crimes against humanity.

          “If Palestine can exist only by replacing the Jewish state, it should not be permitted to come into being.”

          Then the only answer is a single state which respects everyone’s human rights and equality. (Because the other alternative is an etho-religious facism which does not recognize the universal human rights. And if you approve of such a state, you are, retrospectively approving of the worst crimes of humanity, from Nazi genocide to international chattel slavery to all the various ethnic cleansings, governmental killings and human rights abuses of all time. Either you believe everyone has a right to full human rights and equal treatment under the law or you do not.)

          “I’m no anti-Arab bigot.”

          LOL. Yet your posts suggest otherwise. Might want to get that little disconnection looked at.

          “And I’m not the one celebrating the release of child-killers. ”

          Oh, you’ve celebrated plenty of child-killers. The IDF, for example.

          “It takes a large amount of self-righteous smugness to ignore the fact that your ‘call’ is not likely to play out that way.”

          LOL. “Fact” huh? So your paranoid ravings are not “fact”??

          Or how about: It takes a large amount of anti-Arab bigotry akin to racism to conclude that Jews and Palestinians can’t share power whereby everyone’s rights are respected.

        • Cliff says:

          Damn you Ipad 2. Typing in a hurry, before my prof. begins class.

        • RoHa says:

          “If Palestine can exist only by replacing the Jewish state, it should not be permitted to come into being.”

          Because Jews are much more important than anyone else.

        • American says:

          ” you have a callous disregard for Israeli lives”

          Tell me something hop……of what value are Israeli lives or Israel to anyone in the world except themselves?

          Tell me why we should value Israeli lives considering their lives come at the expense of others.
          Come on, answer me.

  5. Shmuel says:

    Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.

    Could have fooled me.

      • Mooser says:

        “Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.”

        My mother will be very gratified to hear that. She is always so scared I will ruin our reputation.

    • Donald says:

      “Could have fooled me.”

      Yeah, me too. I’m a broken record on this, but the vocal American Jewish supporters of remind me of the defensive white rationalizers of Southern history I grew up around. Not a whole lot of critical thinking going on there with respect to certain treasured myths. (RW doesn’t like it when I say this–he finds it insulting to see American Jews compared to my people, the white southern protestants. I wonder why.)

    • richb says:

      It depends on what group of Jews you are talking about. For the Jews here, Mearsheimer’s assessment is accurate. One advantage of being an evangelical is I swim in a sea of the lack of critical thinking, c.f. what my friend Karl Giberson bemoaned on the pages of the NY Times yesterday.

      link to nytimes.com

      One of the reason I was active at DK was to escape the nut house. Then I hit the I/P issue and it looks exactly like what I experienced in the evangelical community and the reason is exactly the same. There are astroturf organizations in both communities that scam the average person there. On the evangelical side for example there is the Discovery Institute that posit lie after lie that are accepted uncritically. Mearsheimer is right to focus on the Israel Lobby but often it’s treated like any other political lobby but it’s real purpose is like the organizations that lobby evangelicals: to propagandize the average folk and not necessarily the powerful. Insular communities like Jews and Evangelical Christians will uncritically accept things coming from the inside particularly if it is mixed with fear. Even evangelicals had more critical thinking when there wasn’t fear mixed in. Thus, you would have evangelical books that exhibited critical thinking in the 90s and even the first half of the 2000s. The key thing about young Jews I’ve noticed is the fear is leaving and that’s why critical thinking is making a comeback in the young Jewish community.

      • ToivoS says:

        richb I have found your comments most interesting and frequently enlightening. Out of the blue you bring up the Discovery Institute.

        I happen to be an academic who works in evolutionary biology and have over more than a decade argued against their quite bizarre biological theories. How do they come up here? I have not seen them being involved in the IP argument.

        • annie says:

          actually it is quite natural they would come up here. same fundamentalism, same uncritical religious extremism.

        • seafoid says:

          Toivo

          I think rich’s key point is insularity

          “Insular communities like Jews and Evangelical Christians will uncritically accept things coming from the inside particularly if it is mixed with fear”

          Is that experience reflected elsewhere? Of course

          link to nybooks.com

          “The Alawis of Syria, who make up only 12 percent of its population, split from the main branch of Shiism more than a thousand years ago. . Taking refuge in the mountains above the port of Latakia, on the coastal strip between modern Lebanon and Turkey, they evolved a highly secretive syncretistic theology containing an amalgam of Neoplatonic, Gnostic, Christian, Muslim, and Zoroastrian elements. Mainstream Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, regarded them as ghulta, “exaggerators.” Like other sectarian groups they protected their tradition by a strategy known as taqiyya—the right to hide one’s true beliefs from outsiders in order to avoid persecution. Taqiyya makes a perfect qualification for membership in the mukhabarat—the ubiquitous intelligence/security apparatus that has dominated Syria’s government for more than four decades.

          Secrecy was also observed by means of a complex system of initiation, in which insiders recognized each other by using special phrases or passwords and neophytes underwent a form of spiritual marriage with the naqibs, or spiritual guides.

          Moosa suggests that like other schismatic groups residing in Syria, such as the Druzes and Ismailis, the Nusayris do not take their beliefs literally, but understand them as allegorical ways of reaching out to the divine. While this may be true of the educated naqibs, or spiritual elders, such belief systems may have different ramifications for semiliterate peasants, reinforcing a contempt or disdain for outsiders who do not share these beliefs. Like the Druzes and some Ismailis, Nusayris believe in metempsychosis or transmigration. The souls of the wicked pass into unclean animals such as dogs and pigs, while the souls of the righteous enter human bodies more perfect than their present ones. The howls of jackals that can be heard at night are the souls of Sunni Muslims calling their misguided co-religionists to prayer.

          It does not take much imagination to see how such beliefs, programmed into the community’s values for more than a millennium, and reinforced by customs such as endogamous marriage—according to which the children of unions between Nusayris and non-Nusayris cannot be initiated into the sect—create very strong notions of apartness and disdain for the “Other.”

        • richb says:

          Think again. This is all of one piece. The Discovery Institute was started by a couple of Reagan political operatives. It was only later that they became involved with ID. ID is only one front of the “culture war” involving fear of the “other”. It’s just the “other” is different from context to context. It could be the Soviets, or secular scientists, or anti-Wall Street types, or scary brown Muslims. I’m not making a leap here, either. Here the Discovery Institute explicitly got involved in I/P by one of the founder Reagan operatives, George Gilder. Note he wrote a whole book on the subject and how he sounds just like the rest of the Hasbara crowd here:

          link to discovery.org

        • ToivoS says:

          Holly molly, I had no idea that DI was involved in the campaign to annex the WB for the Israelis. These guys are really nuts. They are pushing the whole intelligent design thing — you know life as we know it is not possible without some sky god or higher power making it happen. I had no idea that this higher power was part of the whole Israeli thing. This is so Old Testament.

        • Hostage says:

          I had no idea that this higher power was part of the whole Israeli thing. This is so Old Testament.

          Christians aside, Jewish believers feel the same way. Arno Penzias won a Nobel prize for his work in discovering the residual background radiation from the Big Bang. He was also a Vice President and Chief Scientist at Bell Laboratories. He found nothing in his discovery that was inconsistent with the teachings of Maimonides that the universe was suddenly created out of nothing and the Kabbalistic belief that it happened about 15 billion years ago.

      • Mooser says:

        “One advantage of being an evangelical is I swim in a sea of the lack of critical thinking”

        Thank God your evangelism is based on the solid bedrock of facts and rational thinking, not like those others.

  6. J. Otto Pohl says:

    This is a great dialogue. I went to the American Conservative site and read the entire article. I have always liked Finkelstein. I saw him speak in London at SOAS when I was doing my Ph.D. But, I think a two state solution is unlikely. My guess is that there will either be a South African style solution if the Israelis cut a deal soon enough or an Algerian style one if they do not.

    • lysias says:

      Exactly what I think.

      Also, the sooner the Israeli Jews cut a deal, the better terms they will be able to get. At this time, I can imagine them getting substantial constitutional guarantees: maybe two legislatures, both of which have to agree to pass legislation; maybe the kind of guaranteed splits of the major political offices that Lebanon has had (president for the Christians, prime minister for the Sunnis, and so on).

      De Klerk wanted such guarantees for the whites in South Africa, but the whites in South Africa had waited too long. And Mandela was infuriated when he learned that De Klerk’s government was secretly backing the ethnic violence in the last years of white rule. So De Klerk and the whites had to settle for equality under the law.

      But, as you say, that was still a lot better than the fate of the pieds noirs European settlers in Algeria: suitcase or coffin (la valise ou le cercueil).

      • eee says:

        You do realize that once the option on the table is “suitcase or coffin” that this becomes an option for either side and I hope you don’t complain if your side loses. You want to play into the hands of the extremists, go right ahead. Your thinking is dangerous, even more so for the Palestinians. Who will support them if their policy towards Jews is “suitcase or coffin” and they lose and suffer the consequences of their threats?

        Only negotiations will bring a peaceful solution. There is no other choice.

        • lysias says:

          If you want to understand why what happened to the pieds noirs happened, watch Pontecorvo’s movie The Battle of Algiers, or read Alistair Horne’s book A Savage War of Peace. The pieds noirs behaved abominably towards the indigenous Muslims in Algeria, and, as independence came closer and closer, they behaved worse and worse. The worst of the OAS terrorism — supported by most of the pieds noirs — came in the last months before independence.

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          Is it legal to advocate genocide on the internet? I think that it must violate some EU hate laws? One thing the Palestinians have not been proactive enough on is the use of lawfare. If a country has laws that criminalize the denial of crimes against humanity for instance then people denying Israeli attrocities not just David Irving should be brought to dock. Also of course Israelis guilty of committing those crimes should be arrested if they travel to those countries. It might be a backdoor way of imposing a defacto travel ban on former Israeli officials and soldiers.

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          Also a good book on Algeria is Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth. It is not a historical work like Horne’s. Rather it is a psycholocial analysis of colonialism using Algeria as its primary case study. Fanon was a psychiatrist from Martinique who defected from the French army to the Algerian FLN. Later he bacame Algeria’s ambassador to Ghana.

        • eee says:

          You guys are so lost. There is very little similar between what happened in Algeria and what is happening in Israel. But keep dreaming about your coffins and suitcases.

        • lysias says:

          Israel must have seen some similarities when it sent people to advise the French military in Algeria in the 1950′s (just like it later saw similarities when it had that secret alliance with apartheid South Africa).

  7. The two-state approach is stressed, not dead. It is less stressed than the single-state, or the federated approach.

    If the goal of jurisdiction were oriented to coherent viable sovereignty, then the literal 67 borders, or the Abbas 1.7% proposal would be acceptable, allowing those in jutting settlements to remain where they live, but as Palestinian citizens, giving up the privilege of exclusivity, and requiring resolution of individual title claims before a color-blind court.

    Who knows where the tipping point is of impossibility as far as settlement construction and extent, particularly in East Jerusalem.

    The two-state approach optimizes consent of the governed. Assuming that both communities desire to self-govern rather than be in a cosmopolitan state.

    In particular, in the event of a single state, the whole land would become open to commercial development, and it would be impossible to preserve Palestinian national/cultural features really anywhere, or to preserve any traditional cultural features.

    It influences what is desired by Palestinian community.

    Even if only a super-majority of Israelis prefer to self-govern as Israel, rather than to self-govern as Israstine, it would be impossible to impose.

    And, certainly so long as the academic and cultural boycott remains an emphasis of agitation, prohibiting cultural interface except among the already converted.

    The proof of co-existence in locales, even in just sectors of locales, does not prove the viability or desirability of Isra-stine.

    It is too easy to quarterback from our living rooms, we, who are not in prospective physical danger, nor threatened to be assimilated against popular will (into the greater Arab nation).

    The definition of goal is critical. Absent that, the communities flounder.

    I think it is nearly inevitable that the historical sequence will be a two-state approach, morphing over a generation (of peace hopefully) in a federal entity comprised of two (or more) composite strong states. Not like states in the US, which are subsumed under the interstate commerce clause of the constitution rendering the scope state governance fundamentally limited.

    Even if a single-state emerges, I imagine that there would be civil strife resulting in a partition. Why not skip the step of civil strife and go right to what is inevitable. There is not a path to emerge on the federal approach yet, so we have to travel the roads that exist.

    The extent of settlements are a great dilemma. Israelis are adept at deflection to avoid the impact of the settlements.

    I liken the settlement patterns to the profound effect on the world of the North American and South American continents touching at the Panama Isthmus 4 million years ago. At that point there was no longer any equatorial oceanic climate exchange. What we know as seasons, started then. Before 4 million years ago, the whole world’s climate was universally warm.

    4.2 million years ago, when the continents were close to each other, but still not touching, the effects vacilated, sometimes globally fluid, sometimes isolated and seasonal.

    At some point the settlements will touch, and no viable Palestine will be possible.

    Excepting in East Jerusalem, the breadth of Israeli settlement borders has not changed radically over years, even decades. But, a quarter square mile a year in critical East Jerusalem is a big deal.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      so richard why not extend to the brutalized suffering people of i/p the freedoms that you and i love and cherish, one man one vote?

      • eee says:

        Because Phil, as Witty keeps explaining and you are not listening, it is a matter for the Jews and Palestinians in I/P to accept and the 99% of Israeli Jews are against it and probably the majority of Palestinians.

        And as you asked Hophmi in a different thread, as you don’t plan to live here, what gives you the right to decide for Israeli Jews?

        • Philip Weiss says:

          im just trying to decide for americans !!!!!

        • eee says:

          How is advocating a one state solution deciding for Americans?

        • Philip Weiss says:

          first and foremost, i advocate for americans to bring their values to ths political matter as they did to south africa, vietnam, and the american south. i urge american jews to examine their political values and say what kind of polity they think is best. if they said this, it would be revolutionary.
          i advocate for the dog to wag its frikkin tail rather than be wagged
          and as to imposing solutions: partition would only have worked if it had been imposed. siegman is saying this 63 years too late… partition would only work now if it is imposed. it was imposed in india and pakistan despite territorial dispute and ethnic cleansing…
          serbia doesn’t recognize kosovo. BFD; kosovo is a state. the world imposed its opinion. no world opinion has been imposed here. only israeli opinion. folke bernadotte is murdered for saying jerusalem should be fairly divided, and lo, jerusalem is undivided. israelis are completley out of control and the world knows it and now the us is a laughingstock for it. etc

        • hophmi says:

          “first and foremost, i advocate for americans to bring their values to ths political matter as they did to south africa, vietnam, and the american south.”

          South Africa: A 20% Dutch/British white population with no good reason to be there built an entire structure based on racial classification and disenfrancised and enslaved the other 80% of the population, which was indigenous.

          Vietnam: Really? You think Americans should replicate the Vietnam experience?

          American South: Blacks were enslaved, and later denied civil rights. They constituted around 12% of the population, and were not asking to take American over from white people.

          Israel: In pre-’67 Israel, Jews are 80% of the population, do not have anything approaching the institutionalized racial system in SA, and have historical ties to the region. In “Greater Israel” (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River), Jews are around 50% of the population, policies have mostly been ad-hoc responses to terrorism, and Jews have historical ties to the region.

          “i urge american jews to examine their political values and say what kind of polity they think is best.”

          I urge ALL PEOPLE to examine their political values and accept that different polities prevail in different regions of the world, and that if we’re into proclaiming our basic values, there are many more worthy places to start than Israel.

          “serbia doesn’t recognize kosovo. BFD; kosovo is a state.”

          Yes Phil, I don’t recall Kosovar Albanians trying to take over Serbia.

          “the world imposed its opinion.”

          So you supported NATO’s War in Serbia?

          “folke bernadotte is murdered for saying jerusalem should be fairly divided, and lo, jerusalem is undivided. israelis are completley out of control and the world knows it and now the us is a laughingstock for it. etc”

          Murdered by whom? Extremists, not mainstream Israelis. Or will we now graft the acts of extremists onto whole populations? Are you willing to do that with the Palestinians, Phil? To bring up Bernadotte is a little silly. There’s a much larger context, and his murder is not the reason Jerusalem is undivided; it was divided after his murder until 1967.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “A 20% Dutch/British white population with no good reason to be there”

          And many of them traced thier roots in the area back longer than many Jews in Israel. (Oh, and the “historical roots” nonsense is crap. Simply because you presume that, thousands of years ago, you had an ancestor from a region [or even if you could prove it, for that matter] gives you no more rights to take it from the indigenous population than any ideology would permit a Dutchman or Englishman from taking land from an African.)

          “were not asking to take American over from white people. ”
          No, they were seeking to have their rights respected, to have a say in teh government that controlled their lives, and to have equality, which (your racist boogieman of the scary Arab taking over) is what people are seeking for the Palestinians.)

        • American says:

          “And as you asked Hophmi in a different thread, as you don’t plan to live here, what gives you the right to decide for Israeli Jews?”

          Because eee, the only thing and I do mean the “only” thing, that makes it possible for Israelis Jews to live as they do and confiscate the resources of Palestine is the US support—which is in large part due to US Jews support of Israel. As an American I would more than happy to see US Jews withdraw their support of Israel and let Israel be totally responsible for itself.

          “If” a US president or the US congress so much as whispered in someone’s ear that US support of Israel was no longer ‘unconditional’….it would be the whisper heard round the world and your life would change over night.

        • American says:

          oh please hophmi…..

          Not the ” Johnny did it too Mommy” excuse again.
          You refuse to acknowledge that we blame and denounce US policy as much as we do Israel.

        • eee says:

          American,

          You are delusional. Where was the vaunted US support before 1967?
          How supportive was Eisenhower?

          There were periods of time that the US treated Israel like any other country and this did not affect Israel. Do you think Israel will be affected if the US treats Israel like Europe does???

        • Mooser says:

          “i urge american jews to examine their political values and say what kind of polity they think is best.”

          Wow, you really do want the greater Israel project to succeed, don’t you?

        • Dex says:

          Boy, if you don’t think that, then you need a crash-course on international relations…

        • American says:

          There is a famous story eee…I think it was in the Little Prince, but could be confused on that….but it tells about the fox who emerged from his hole one morning and saw the morning sun cast his shadow as bigger than he really was….so he said to his large than life self ..”ah I will have camel for dinner to day”. Later, as the sun was setting and his shadow shrunk and he had brought down no camel for dinner, he said ‘maybe a mouse will do’.

          Your idea of yourself and Israel is grander than the reality.

        • hophmi says:

          “You refuse to acknowledge that we blame and denounce US policy as much as we do Israel.”

          LOL, hardly.

        • Dex says:

          My response was to eee, who said: “Do you think Israel will be affected if the US treats Israel like Europe does???”

          He/she was implying that Israel would be just fine w/out US support

        • Donald says:

          “You refuse to acknowledge that we blame and denounce US policy as much as we do Israel.”
          LOL, hardly.

          The burden of proof for this accusation is on you, hophmi. There might be a few here who might think that US policy is spotless except for Israel, but it’s safe to say that most here don’t think so. As for what appears at this blog, it’s about the I/P conflict, not, for example, America’s role in Latin America or Africa or Southeast Asia.

        • eee says:

          American,

          Your knowledge of Israeli history is very weak. The US did not support Israel from 48 to 67 and Israel survived and thrived. How do you explain that? Do you really think that if the US treated Israel like it treats Belgium things would be much different? How so? There would be several more useless and toothless UNSC resolutions against Israel?

          The Europeans do not need UNSC resolutions to sanction Israel. They can decide on them by their own, but the fact is that Europe’s cooperation with Israel is growing, not diminishing. Same with the Russians and Chinese and Indians.

        • Keith says:

          Phil- “serbia doesn’t recognize kosovo. BFD; kosovo is a state.

          Kosovo is a state in name only. The US basically created the “state” of Kosovo for geo-strategic reasons. The US had three primary objectives: re-Balkanize the Balkans, build the strategically important camp Bondsteel, and utilize NATO as an out-of-area strike force. The three principal sources of revenue for the “state” of Kosovo are employment at camp Bondsteel, foreign aid, and mafia criminal activities, including drugs and slavery/prostitution. Kosovo is not big enough to be an independent state, only to be an occupied outpost of empire, hardly what you should be using as a role model.

        • Sumud says:

          He/she was implying that Israel would be just fine w/out US support

          Let us see how that plays out when the US stops gumming up the works of the international justice system with it’s repeated abuse of the veto in the UN SC. I think that veto is the single most important enabler of Israel’s grotesque behaviour.

          Without it, the int. community would quickly move to sanction Israel.

        • yourstruly says:

          americans of all persuasions, religious, political, ethnic, should become involved in the i/p conflict because our government’s unconditional support of the settler entity is carried out in our names, thereby putting us all at risk. we americans not only have a right to challenge our government on this matter, it’s our civic duty to do so.

        • Mooser says:

          “American South: Blacks were enslaved, and later denied civil rights. They constituted around 12% of the population, and were not asking to take American over from white people.”

          Wow, Hophmi, you put the “emetic” in “pathetic”. You will go through the rest of your miserable life thinking an appeal to shared prejudice is the surest way to a person’s heart. And when you find your bigotry unshared, you turn nasty. What a piece of work.

          But, at any rate, thanks for once again confirming that you consider Jewish supremacy the only acceptable condition under which Israel can survive. Not to mention another fine example of your overweening Zionist cowardice, if overweening is the word I want.

  8. Absolutely.

    The question is within what jurisdiction?

    I don’t get to vote in New England (as rational as it might be), I only get to vote in Massachusetts.

  9. hophmi says:

    “so richard why not extend to the brutalized suffering people of i/p the freedoms that you and i love and cherish, one man one vote?”

    Because the “suffering people of i/p” do not desire that solution. The Israeli side sees it as simply substituting a Palestinian state for a Jewish one, and not as perpetual democracy. This is unfair, since it privileges one people’s self-determination rights over another.

    Neither side desires to share a state with the other right now. That’s why Palestinians were in the street celebrating when Mahmoud Abbas announced his acceptance of the two-state solution at the UN.

    • Dex says:

      First of all, there is one side that is disproportionately suffering in the P-I conflict. Yes, Israelis have suffered, but to compare the suffering of the two sides, as if they are equal, is silly. One side gets to lay-out on the sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, and the other are made to live like dogs. Don’t be delusional, please.

      Secondly, Palestinians have never been given the option of binationalism. I promise that if the average Palestinian were asked: “Would you prefer to live in one state where every single person, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, had full and equal rights before the law, and could travel, work, and live anywhere without discrimmination, or have a state on the some of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and a small portion of East Jerusalem (let’s be honest, this is what they are negotiating)?”, they would take the former…in in a heartbeat. If you are so certain that both sides do not want it, then you should be willing to put it to a referendum. But of course you’re not, because the reality is that ONE side doesn’t want it — your side.

      But that no longer matters. South Africans did not accept the reality that they were living in a racist system until pressure from the int’l community (BDS) forced them to look inward, and change. That is what it will take for Israelis to see what type of anachronistic, racist society they’ve built. Binationalism will inevitably be imposed on them, to their benefit, whether they want it or not. It is analagous to a baby who doesn’t want to eat her veggies: she is going to whether she likes it or not!

      • hophmi says:

        “Yes, Israelis have suffered, but to compare the suffering of the two sides, as if they are equal, is silly. One side gets to lay-out on the sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, and the other are made to live like dogs.”

        No one said they were equal. But comparing suffering is a silly game in the context of a land conflict and a deceptive way of avoiding the harder question of why each side has suffered. Israelis who have lost family members and friends to suicide bombings (which is virtually everyone) are not going to be inclined to think about sandy beaches in Tel Aviv.

        “Secondly, Palestinians have never been given the option of binationalism. ”

        Neither have the Jews. But it’s not an idea with any support.

        “I promise that if the average Palestinian were asked: “Would you prefer to live in one state where every single person, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, had full and equal rights before the law, and could travel, work, and live anywhere without discrimmination, or have a state on the some of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and a small portion of East Jerusalem (let’s be honest, this is what they are negotiating)?”, they would take the former…in in a heartbeat.”

        That’s not binationalism. That’s a secular democratic state that ignores Jewish self-determination rights at the expense of Palestinian self-determination rights. Ask the Palestinians whether they’d be willing to live in such a state AND recognize the historical self-determination rights of the Jewish nation (the other side of the bi in binationalism) and see what the answer is. Ask if they’d be willing to live in a state where none of the law is based on religion and see what the answer is. Binationalism means a state that is a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, not a state that is simply a state of all its citizens.

        “South Africans did not accept the reality that they were living in a racist system until pressure from the int’l community (BDS) forced them to look inward, and change.”

        That’s one version of history. Another is that they simply recognized that there was no way 20% of the population was going to be able to enslave 80% forever.

        “Binationalism will inevitably be imposed on them, to their benefit, whether they want it or not. ”

        Uh-huh. Says you. Fortunately, there is no political will to impose anything on Israel and the Palestinians. The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.”

          Oh, Jesus Christ, not this bullshit again.

        • Hostage says:

          “Secondly, Palestinians have never been given the option of binationalism. ”

          Neither have the Jews. But it’s not an idea with any support.

          Actually I’ve documented the fact that there were formal proposals for a bi-national federal union comprised of Arab and Jewish cantons with their own state constitutions. One of the proposals was based upon the US Constitution and the individual state constitutions. The right to self-determination was exercised by the Zionist Organization when it opted for integration and free association in a mandated state of Palestine together with many non-Jewish communities.

        • DBG says:

          it is a major concerned for all Jews and most Western powers Woody. You don’t have to accept it, but it is the reality of the situation. You need to accept, in the Western world, your movement is a fringe movement.

        • Dex says:

          Re South Africa: the only way they realized the demographic unfeasability of a minority controlling a majority was precisely b/c of international pressure, namely the BDS movement. Today, Israel controls virtually everything/everyone from the river to the sea. They will soon also become a minority controlling the majority (if they are already not). Don’t be naive and think that South Africans woke up one day and became pragmatic. They were forced to see these realities, and so too will Israelis. The alternative will unfortunately be catastrophic for them.

          Re binationalism: How on this (barely)green planet do you think that binationalism means Palestinian rights at the expense of Jewish rights? When people speak of “binationalism” in the context of the Palestine-Israel conflict, they mean “secular, democratic state”…for all. Does this have to be spelled out to you? This means that the notion of the “Jewish” people needs to be supplanted with the “Israeli” people. One-state would give BOTH parties full and equal legitimacy on all the land. If you think Palestinians, in this day and age, would not jump at this chance, you are dreaming. Israelis need to be convinced to give up this racist delusion of an ethnocratic state. It is simply a racist idea, no way around it.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          No DGB, it’s a bullshit cop-out. It’s a way of saying that Israel doesn’t have to act rationally or legally or according to what is right and moral, because someone once did something bad to the Jews. That’s horseshit.

        • annie says:

          what’s a major concern for all jews and western powers yonira dbg? this:

          “The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.”

          i am not following you. or are you just playing back up to hophmi? you’re all over the place lately.

        • lysias says:

          As late as the 1840′s, abolitionism was still a fringe movement in this country. It won in the end because it had logic and the spirit of the times on its side.

        • lysias says:

          “The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.”

          And the days of Western powers forcing things on the rest of the world are ending as we speak.

          At the moment, I happen to be watching evenings DVD’s of the BBC miniseries The Hour, set at the time of the Suez crisis in 1956. In the episode I watched last night, an Egyptian spokesman said, “The British Empire is over.”

          Now, other empires and colonial enterprises are about to be over.

        • Sumud says:

          You need to accept, in the Western world, your movement is a fringe movement.

          DBG ~ So good of you to drop by [on a daily basis] and tell us how inconsequential we are. What’s all the huffing and puffing about if our ‘movement’ is so little, going nowhere so fast?

        • RoHa says:

          Jewish self-determination rights”

          No such rights.

          “the historical self-determination rights of the Jewish nation”

          No such rights. No such nation.

          “Palestinian self-determination rights”

          No such rights.

          “Ask if they’d be willing to live in a state where none of the law is based on religion and see what the answer is.”

          Ask after you have made sure they know what the alternatives are.

        • RoHa says:

          “The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.”

          Western Jews were part of the Western powers.

        • Roha,
          You do know that you are articulating a uniquely anti-democratic assertion, one that would deny self-governance to 6 million.

        • American says:

          “The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s.”

          I can’t get over you and eee hophim….your attitude amazes me.
          You know as an American I am citizen of the so called ‘Super Power’ of the Universe and yet I have never believed for one minute, even at the height of US power that the US was invincible. Yet here are you and eee and others like you that are members of one of the smallest minorities in the world, living in a postage stamp size country, entirely dependent on the US for your existence…and yet you have all these truly delusional ideas of your power. This is why I don’t think the zionist will ever last…….you are not in touch with reality.
          Half the Jews of the world were once wiped out and your idea of making sure that doesn’t happen again is for you of tiny power to threaten and agitate and provoke, create chaos and make unreasonable demands and flaunt all laws and norms of behavior in the face of the more powerful world. I don’t see how any sane person could think that would work indefinitely.

          As most of us understand this kind of hubris isn’t even working for the US any longer, our power is diminishing every day. And we’re the Titanic, you’re just a dingy.
          The only thing you can do to ensure your survival is to become acceptable to the larger world.

        • RoHa says:

          “You do know that you are articulating a uniquely anti-democratic assertion, one that would deny self-governance to 6 million.”

          Don’t be ridiculous. I am denying that there is a right to “self-determination” (in the sense of creating a state) for ethnically or religiously defined groups.

          I have presented the arguments against your “ethnic self-determination” nonsense several times. I have presented arguents in favour of “self-determination for inhabitants of the territory” several times.

          Others (including the formidable Hostage) have done the same.

          You have never presented a criticism of those arguments.

          You have never presented a counter-argument to support your position.

          Until you do, your claims are nothing but piss and wind.

        • yourstruly says:

          and just as israel pulled back its troops (as did the french and british) from egypt, after president dwight eisenhower ordered them to, so will this same settler entity come to a just and peaceful settlement with the palestinian people, once the public here in america presses its government to stop coddlying israel.

        • Roha,
          I advocate for self-determination of the inhabitants of the territory as well.

          Green line, comprised of 80% Zionist advocacy, maybe 78% if you remove the 2% Jewish that are anti- or a- Zionist.

  10. pabelmont says:

    2SS is stressed, not dead? Well, if the settlers, settlements, wall, horrible water-distribution are left in place, then 2SS is deader than dead.

    If the nations get their act together, it should be possible to roll back the settlement project. There are only 550,000 Israeli settlers to be moved away, and israel has already shown (as early as 1948) how easy it was to move 750,000 people!

    2SS and also democratic 1SS are both doomed unless and until internationals exert sufficient force to bring Israel to its knees. that’s it. USA and Israel are more than content with apartheid and worse than SA-style-apartheid, and have shown it conclusively over the years. Neither USA not Israel will act for a decent 1SS or 2SS without major pressure. USA’s and UK’s Jews, even if all moved toward decency and democracy, could not do it. It requires something stronger than AIPAC, stronger than the USA’s rotten oligarchic political system (called “democracy” to keep the natives from getting too restless).

    Perhaps we must wait for the decline and fall of the USA.

  11. Dan Crowther says:

    I dont understand why two states is desirable.
    And I have to agree with Mearsheimer – but LOVE the idea of “no-states” from Finkelstein

  12. seafoid says:

    I don’t think the Zionists are going to pay any heed to young Yank Jews, in fact. They’ll start off tagging them as self hating Hellenists and end up killing as many as are necessary. Zionism is a particularly violent form of political autism with a long ignoble history of political murder.

    The settler websites are worth following . Masada redux is the end point.

    • DBG says:

      is this Hellenized Jew thing the newest anti-israel talking point now? It seems like you guys like to use it quite a bit.

      • Mooser says:

        Gosh, I wonder where that whole “Hellenized Jew” thing came from?
        I guess somebody on Mondoweiss made it up.

        And I don’t remember “eee” accusing Shmuel of being Hellenized.

      • Shmuel says:

        DBG,

        It just happens to be what the with-it foul-mouthed settler is shouting this season – immortalised at Anatot only a few weeks ago: link to mondoweiss.net

        • DBG says:

          yes, I remember that thug Shmuel, is that where you guys got it from?

        • Shmuel says:

          yes, I remember that thug[,] Shmuel

          You might want to watch those apostrophes, DBG.

          The insult/taunt “Hellenist” also featured in the Jerusalem Day clip posted at MW, if I’m not mistaken. It’s really common in religious and right-wing circles in Israel. It’s kind of the equivalent of “self-hater”. Does it bug you? Do you consider it a misrepresentation of settler views? What’s the big deal?

        • seafoid says:

          That’s where I got it. We don’t miss a thing, DBG. There is no garbage. It’s all useful.

        • DBG says:

          I think it is a comma Shmuel, but thanks for the grammar lesson, I need all the help I can get.

          It doesn’t bug me, I think what bugs me is your (the anti-Israel movement’s) lack of creativeness and originality.

        • DBG says:

          you are a smart guy seafoid, I am sure you know what it means, but many off the sheeple on here will start using it w/ out having a grasp of it’s true mean. (until they see the new Mel Gibson movie being made)

        • Shmuel says:

          I think it is a comma Shmuel, but thanks for the grammar lesson, I need all the help I can get.

          As long as you appreciate the lesson, I’ll make it a little clearer. There is a difference between “I remember that thug Shmuel” and “I remember that thug, Shmuel”. I assume (hope) you meant the latter.

          As for originality, “Hellenist” strikes me as a welcome change from “self-hater”. Maybe we should alternate. If you have any other suggestions that might help us enhance our creativity, please let us know. So I take it you won’t be joining us at Delphi this year?

        • Shmuel says:

          I think it is a comma[,] Shmuel

          Comma, right. Bedtime.

        • Cliff says:

          The only sheep here are you and the other Zionists who ignore threads about the continuing colonization of Palestinian land and/or disassemble other coverage of on-going Israeli criminality.

          You’re more concerned about talking about ‘talking about Israeli crimes’ rather than the crimes themselves.

        • Mooser says:

          “I think what bugs me is your (the anti-Israel movement’s) lack of creativeness and originality.”

          Yeah, I know what you mean, Yoni. Most of us struggle along year after year under the same internet name. Not all “creativeness and originality” like you.

        • DBG says:

          Shmuel, ahhh I see what you mean there, no I don’t think you are a thug Shmuel :)

        • annie says:

          I think what bugs me is your (the anti-Israel movement’s) lack of creativeness and originality.

          yeah like i am so believing that/not.

        • annie says:

          You’re more concerned about talking about ‘talking about Israeli crimes’ rather than the crimes themselves.

          it’s the dkos syndrome.

        • DBG says:

          While you pretend that Palestinian crimes never existed.

        • annie says:

          Yeah, I know what you mean, Yoni. Most of us struggle along year after year under the same internet name. Not all “creativeness and originality” like you.

          it’s hard work claiming you aren’t who you used to be. i would assume anyway..having never tried it myself. its challenging enough keeping up w/my own identity. always tell the truth is a decent foundation. i guess that becomes impossible when you pretend you are not who you used to be.

        • annie says:

          source? got any evidence of that? i didn’t think so. aren’t you tired yoni? been a long day?

    • Mooser says:

      “Masada redux is the end point.”

      Sure, but was it a good idea for them to abandon the Wankel engine?

  13. “It’s very hard to propagandize Jews.”

    Wrong. Enough of them believe many lies, maybe even more than other folks. Which Israeli leader said “the problem is, we Israelis tend to believe our own propaganda”? He was certainly right.

  14. Dex says:

    I admire Finkelstein’s work on this issue. I have seen him speak live three times, but he is dead-wrong in this case. Two-states has not been viable for a long, long time.

    Let us not forget, Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980. How on earth does Finkelstein think Israel will part with this piece of territory, apart from returning a few outlying neighborhoods, which were incorporated into the city when its municipal boundaries were expanded after 1967?

    Two-staters are honestly part of the problem at this point, sorry to say.

    • Hostage says:

      Two-states has not been viable for a long, long time.

      The Allies destroyed the regional economy after WWI when they setup their mandated states. The United Nations recognized that the proposed rump Arab state would not be economically viable. Too much of the revenue producing Arab property was located in the proposed Jewish state. In many cases, the Arab villages were located in the proposed Arab state, while their agricultural lands were located in the proposed Jewish state. The UN General Assembly resolution was based on the premise of an economic union and compulsory redistribution of revenues from the Jewish state to the Arab state to support essential public services. The international community has been picking-up the tab for that since 1947 and they have done a miserable job.

      Two-staters are honestly part of the problem at this point, sorry to say.

      The number of states is completely irrelevant. The most pressing problem is the lack of equal human rights and discriminatory treatment under existing national laws.

      • seafoid says:

        Hostage

        I don’t agree. The economics trump everything else. Blacks in Dixieland may have legal rights but the vast majority have no economic rights. So it’s Jim Crow by the invisible hand of the market.
        Same with Israel.

        • DBG says:

          how will that change in a one-state solution, especially one which incorporates all of the descendants of the refugees?

        • Hostage says:

          I don’t agree. The economics trump everything else. Blacks in Dixieland may have legal rights but the vast majority have no economic rights.

          That’s something of a non-sequitur, since the last Universal Periodic Review of the United States recommend that it ratify without reservation a plethora of conventions and protocols concerning international human rights and international humanitarian rights, including those related to economic rights contained in the ICESCR. See the recommendations of the Working Group starting on .pdf page 13. link to un.org

          Here is a link to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
          link to www2.ohchr.org

        • seafoid says:

          They’ll vote to corral the Jews in Gaza. For 63 years. Fair’s fair.

        • seafoid says:

          Hostage

          That’s the law….

          Well they passed a law in ’64
          To give those who ain’t got a little more
          But it only goes so far
          Because the law don’t change another’s mind
          When all it sees at the hiring time
          Is the line on the color bar

          And that’s just the way it is

      • Keith says:

        HOSTAGE- “The number of states is completely irrelevant. The most pressing problem is the lack of equal human rights and discriminatory treatment under existing national laws.”

        Glad to hear you say this! Sometimes I think that arguing about 1 state versus 2 states is a counterproductive diversion. Right now the most pressing problem for the Palestinians is their current quality of life. The siege of Gaza is priority one, followed by the improvement in the conditions of life for all Palestinians, with an emphasis on their security concerns. The arbitrary military mass-murder, individual assassinations, and paramilitary (settler) anti-Palestinian violence needs to end ASAP. Until the ethnic cleansing stops, the number of states is irrelevant.

  15. “Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.”
    Oy vey. I guess he meant it as a joke. :) I would say a good one.
    Jews are one of the most “propagandized” nations on our good, yet worn-out planet Earth.
    It goes back to the Old Testament. “The Chosen Nation” idea sounded well enough to be sold. And many , even Christian Zionists, bought it on the spot. No questions asked. The critical thinking was well turned off.
    And for many it still is.
    Having “formal” education also doesn’t mean that one mastered “critical thinking” skills. They stopped teaching it at schools many years ago.
    This skill is not really that needed anymore. What for?? To wonder, to question, to look for answers, causes, solutions???
    Just believe in what MSM says ,and repeat it like a dumb parrot.
    Many people, all over the wwworld fall for a “local” and global propaganda . Jews are not an exception.
    If young American Jews are becoming less suportive of Israel ,it’s probably partially because they just don’t give so much damn about it, like their parents of grandparents. They become more “americanized” ,which also means that they , on average, just don’t care for politics per se.
    They prefer to have “a good, old time”, instead of worring about details of the Israeli politics. And since economy got tougher for the last few years, they are not that willing to contribute financially to support “Jewish” organisations. They have to worry about supporting their own pockets.
    Also now, thanks to internet, they do have an access to different views , opinions, facts that reveal “the other side of the story”, so they do start to wonder, ( those who do wonder).
    So, with all due respect Mr Mearsheimer, you are wrong on that one.
    In my modest opinion of a person ,who tries to preserve her “critical thinking” skills, with different results however:)

  16. kalithea says:

    Let’s deal in REALITY, shall we? First I respect the efforts of Finkelstein and Weiss (and yes, Silverstein too), but Israelis, and most Zionists will not give up the West Bank needed to create a VIABLE Palestinian State and ensure justice let alone agree to the right of return. In theory they may appease the frustrated public by saying they will give up “a lot”, but it will never happen in REALITY, folks. even if Abbas gets Statehood and takes his case to the International Court to get this land back, the settlers will not budge and it will take Nato or other international forces to drag them outta there kicking and screaming; and I find this prospect highly unlikely, and something that Zionists will refuse to stomach categorically.

    So no offense, but anyone who believes the two-state scenario is still possible, and especially anyone who believes there will be change in a hurry is not only doing Palestinians a disfavor by having them hold out longer for this pipe dream to materialize but has a blind spot when it comes to Zionism and is completely delusional. I have to give eee credit for his reality check (although it makes my stomach churn to do so): the “change” is not going to be widespread among Zionists or Christian Zionists and we’re looking at Democrats and Republicans ganging up together for this immoral cause. Some change among Zionists is happening, but it’s not deep enough or fast enough to make a substantial difference.

    The whole Gilat scenario has proven that Israel and Zionists only get it when they’ve been pushed right up against the wall and let’s face it: serious pressure and/or force is the language THEY created! Therefore if the ICC has the balls to enforce justice according to the Law, and unless Nato or U.N. forces are willing to enforce the verdict militarily…there will be no 2 state solution.

    The most effective start is this: while Palestinians attempt to seek statehood or seek their rights through the International Court system they must continue rallying the world to Boycott, divest and push for sanctions against Israel and an internet army must be created to counter the hasbara army. But lemme tell you…this is going to get real ugly and it will definitely end up going the way of a ONE STATE because Zionism has an expiry date somewhere in the future and on this I have NO DOUBT. But why have Palestinians sacrifice their rights until that eventuality??? I ask you: IS THIS MORAL???

    I suspect that Jews who continue to hold out for a two-state solution and/or still peddle it exclusively are Zionists at heart, and because it’s become so totally unrealistic a solution, such individuals think they’re being “somewhat” cruel to be kind when in fact they’re enablers of rampant, blatant cruelty!

    Zionism is cruel, supremacist and a grave injustice. Anyone who doesn’t truly believe this deep down cares more about their own clan than the suffering of Palestinians and the inhumanity they’re being forced to bear indefinitely or just refuses to come to grips with the immorality rampant within their clan. Even Avrum Burg is smelling the coffee. Letting go of Zionism is STEP ONE to recovery and hope.

    This may be hard for some “closet” Zionists who continuously pledge support for human rights to swallow, but it’s time to face reality, let go of moral contradictions and stop dreaming that the two state will happen, and time to stop hugging that aspiration and start demanding that Palestinians be awarded ALL THEIR RIGHTS NOW, no matter what it takes, even if it takes the solution exacted on Serbia! I don’t care anymore! No one should be forced to sacrifice their rights indefinitely. It’s abominable!

    I don’t know about the rest of you; but my goal is a world free of Zionism, where Jews can choose to live wherever even in an amalgamated Israel/Palestine. It is Zionism that will always be the obstacle to justice, humanity and equality and therefore it is the root of all evil insofar as a just AND MORAL resolution is concerned.

    So STOP ENABLING Zionism already, LET GO ALREADY, and move over to the light once and for all! Geez, what’s it gonna take for INTELLIGENT folks whom I happen to admire to WAKE UP??? This may come as a kick in the head to you, but I have no problem with ruffling feathers and bruising egos when it comes to the cause of humanity vs clan loyalty.

    • RoHa says:

      “Zionism is cruel, supremacist and a grave injustice. Anyone who doesn’t truly believe this deep down cares more about their own clan than the suffering of Palestinians and the inhumanity they’re being forced to bear indefinitely or just refuses to come to grips with the immorality rampant within their clan. Even Avrum Burg is smelling the coffee. Letting go of Zionism is STEP ONE to recovery and hope.”

      Repeat this loudly and often.

  17. American says:

    This is the best conservation on Israel I have seen…Finkelstein and Mearshimer are the kind of ‘critical thinkers’ that should be before the US congress on hearings on Israel.

    I can hardly think of any intellect I admire more than Finkelstein–and I would add also Edward Said.

    But Mearshimer ask the most critical question on I/P:

    “Mearsheimer: But then the question is, who’s going to put pressure on Israel?”

    Which means who is going to put the pressure on US politicians.

    • Donald says:

      Yeah, I just finished reading it. It’s hard to imagine something like that in the NYT or the rest of the so-called mainstream liberal press. What’s weird is that for the NYT Sunday Magazine issue commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11 they had a roundtable discussion among various intellectuals and several of the participants were very harshly critical of the US invasion of Iraq and those people who supported it. So the NYT is occasionally willing to publish people very critical of the US. But Israel is still a bit of a sacred cow.

  18. Les says:

    A “Jewish” state is an anachronism in the modern world where every country is being pushed by internal pressures to be more, not less, democratic. Aren’t Roman Catholics struggling to restore exclusively Latin masses considered to be odd balls clinging to a long dead past?

  19. seafoid says:

    Israel isn’t going to go down quietly

    link to guardian.co.uk
    ‘New Stuxnet’ worm targets companies in Europe

    Experts suspect Duqu worm is from same source that targeted Iran’s nuclear facilities – widely said to have been US and Israel

    reddit this

    Nick Hopkins
    guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 19 October 2011 13.31 BST
    Article history

    Cyberwarfare experts Symantec fear that Duqu may be the first in a wave of new Stuxnet-like worms. Photograph: Alamy

    A highly sophisticated computer worm which has many of the same characteristics of the virus used to attack Iran’s nuclear programme has been discovered targeting companies in Europe.

    Although the virus appears to have been spying on the systems it infiltrates – rather than attempting to vandalise them – experts say its code is so similar to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran, that it may have been engineered by the same people.

    The US and Israel were widely thought to be behind Stuxnet, which sent many of the centrifigues at Tehran’s nuclear facilities spinning out of control. It took this kind of cyberwarfare to a new level.

    The new virus was discovered by Symantec, a leading cybersecurity firm, and has been called Duqu.

    Symantec would not disclose which firms had been targeted, but the company said one of its customers raised the alarm on Friday. An internal system at the firm “raised a number of red flags” and an investigation was launched.

    “The majority of the code is consistent with the Stuxnet code,” said a spokesman for Symantec. “So this new worm either came from the authors of Stuxnet, or someone was given access to the Stuxnet source codes.”

    Symantec said that the information Duqu gathers is sent to a server in India, but that this doesn’t give any likely indication of who launched it, or who is accessing the material it finds.

    It believes Duqu has been targeting a specific number of organisations in Europe and was designed to automatically remove itself from systems after 36 days.

    Symantec suspects that Duqu may have been the first in a wave of new Stuxnet-style viruses, and that further sophisticated versions of it with a more aggressive purpose may emerge in the coming months.

    Its experts suspect Duqu was looking for information such as design documents, which could help it mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.

    “Stuxnet really laid new territory in terms of being able to get into and being able to control these nuclear power facilities [in Iran],” said the spokesman.

    “The significance here is that since Stuxnet we have not seen anything else of that level of complexity. It has gone a little quiet since then. The question we are now asking is: ‘Do they have a new goal or purpose?’”

    The fear would be that Stuxnet-style viruses become mainstream, he added.

    According to the New York Times, Symantec launched its inquiry after being contacted by a “research lab with strong international connections”. .

    A Symantec’s analyst, Vikram Thakur, told the newspaper: “This is extremely sophisticated, this is cutting edge.”

    Stuxnet showed that cyberwarfare is developing fast, and is increasingly being thought of by states as a means of inflicting maximum damage with minimum risk. Earlier this year the Guardian revealed that the UK is developing its own “first strike” capability, and is investing millions in beefing up security around key services such as energy, and government departments such as the Ministry of Defence.

    • kalithea says:

      So now it’s not just guilt and hasbara (psywarfare) and the Samson Option, a combination of psyops backed by hundreds of nukes, it’s also the threat of cyberattacks for espionage, disruption and control if necessary. Zionists have armed themselves to the gills. Britain is to blame for triggering this aberration and the U.S. is finalizing and unleashing it.

      • seafoid says:

        Israel will have to be defanged. It is very like Nazi Germany – an army out of control, weak constitution (read none) and a sense of victimhood.

  20. dbroncos says:

    Phil-
    “im just saying things change in a hurry, and you dont seem to have a clue about young american jewish opinion”

    It’s been said that the debate over American support for Israel will be decided in the debate over Israel among American Jews. That debate is underway and I agree with Phil that things can change in a hurry. Things can change in a hurry among American non-Jews as well, such that as we reach a crisis point ( war on Iran?) where it becomes obvious to a decisive majority that Israel is a huge liability, we’ll see American Gentiles sour on Israel in a hurry. If the story about Israel continues to change for the worse, Gentile support will evaporate much more quickly than Jewish support because the personal, passionate attachment isn’t there.

    Jews are still largely in control of the debate about Israel. That won’t last forever.

  21. The tide is changing, and is not for the better for Israel in spite of their massive MainStreamMedia propaganda, bribed politicians, powerful lobbies, http://www.hasbara.com , opinions of “intelectuals” from Ivy League schools , anti-Semitic labels glued to anybody, who publically dares to oppose their politics or actions.
    Majority people, all over the world ,start to see things the way they should be seen.
    Israel is a cruel, merciless occupant that uses methods of ethnic cleansing, military control and power to gather more land, to keep indigenous/ autochthonic population under full, opressive on daily bases , control.
    The black and white division does not work anymore. “We are good and they are bad. They are terrorists, they deserve what they get”.
    Really?? Their PR specialists must have studied Goebbels’s propaganda techniques very well. For many years majority of people ,all over, fell for that.
    Now , with an access to the internet and tons of independent, more or less reliable sites, blogs, movies etc. people begin to realise who is who in this “conflict”. And Israel does not come off as Good Guy.
    The main pproblem is , Israel does not get the picture. They think that admitting to their mistakes and trying, somehow, to fix them is a sign of a weakness, of defeat, a loss.
    The only language they like to use is a language of power, humiliation, intimidation or threat.

  22. thetumta says:

    Phil,
    In case you haven’t noticed the West is fading. Are you or young Jewish Americans ready to fix bayonets and take care of business as opposed to lobbying? 10 days too late. Unfortunate, but probably true. Those Israelis that can live in a multicultural state, not in charge might do ok. The rest have already started leaving. The fanatics will be dealt with as there is no other choice.
    Hej!

  23. lobewyper says:

    I am beginning to see why militant Zionists hate Mearsheimer–he is one intellectually tough dude…

  24. Again,
    The two-state approach is the only feasible one that affirms consent of the governed.

    There is no question that Israel is slowly making a viable Palestine more and more strained. And, unless Palestine has the prospect and realizes its health, the relationship between Israel and Palestine will not be a good neighbor to a good neighbor, peace.

    The single state, or magic jump to a bi-national federated state, is at least equally stressed, much much much moreso as the populations themselves currently desire national states.

    Revolutionary approaches are useful where there is room to imagine, to ponder, then to link and integrate.

    Posed in the context of anti-Zionism, there is no chance of transformation of Israeli consciousness. If posed in the context of a better idea, not driven by anti-Zionist angers, there might be a prospect of arguing for a more intimate integration. But, the combination of BDS with a single state dooms its prospects, without oppression of at least a very large minority.

    Its why I ask whether people like Ali Abunimeh or Omar Barghouti are serious about a single state, and why they devalue the proposal so much as to present it only in combination with definitively anti-Zionist approach (maximalist right of return, that ends up denying self-governance to the Jewish part of the federation).

    The transition from two-state to federation is a much more plausible path, one that even Netanyahu had articulated during the years when he was out of the government.

    A rights based agenda is a good one, within Israel and within Palestine. Color blind rule of law. Rights of minorities and individuals.

    An anti-Zionist agenda is a bad one, a pendulum swing only.

    • kalithea says:

      I don’t know who is more dangerous to the Palestinian cause: you or biorabbi? I believe you are much more of a threat. “Liberal” Zionism has become the worst enabler of injustice. You’re very good at camouflaging and PATRONIZING. I’d compare you to a sweet-talking swindler.

    • Hostage says:

      The two-state approach is the only feasible one that affirms consent of the governed.

      Hogwash. Every one of the Zionists in the First and Second Aliyas chose to immigrate to Ottoman Asia. The only prospect they had was to either become Ottoman subjects or to become protégés of one of the many foreign consulates. Neither of those options entitled them to any say in how they were governed. The Zionist immigrants during the mandate era chose to immigrate to a single mandated state of Palestine where they could only apply for Palestinian citizenship. If they wanted a job in the government, they soon learned that the government did not include the Jewish Agency.

      You do know that you are articulating a uniquely anti-democratic assertion, one that would deny self-governance to 6 million.

      That’s more of the same nonsense. The first yearbook of the International Law Commission contains the deliberations on the rights and duties of states. The Commission concluded that the right to self-determination does not extend to establishing a new state in a territory inhabited by other peoples without first obtaining their consent. You only raise this unheard of right to invade and self-govern to safeguard the interests of illegal settlers.

      BTW, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the total number of Palestinians throughout the world in 1998 was 8,041,569. When did the six million in Israel give a second thought to denying all of those people self-governance? In 1948-49 Israel refused to negotiate with any representatives of the Palestinian people at the Rhodes and Lausanne Conferences. Ben Gurion told the Palestine Conciliation Committee that Arab Palestine could only be recognized through the device of a federal union with Transjordan. After the 1967 war, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 242. It directed the parties to drop all of their belligerent claims. Israel nonetheless invented several new claims, including among other things the assertion that the government of Jordan and its members of Parliament from Palestine had never exercised “sovereignty” over the West Bank. Israel used that as an excuse to illegally colonize the occupied territories in the same fashion that you deploy self-governance to exercise first right of refusal to any Palestinian governance at all. You can have self-governance today, but Palestinians can only have it through negotiations with Israel.

      • yourstruly says:

        hostage, thanks for the info on the first yearbook of the international law commission – “that the right to self-determination does not extend to establishing a new state in a territory inhabited by other people without first obtaining their consent.”

        instead what did the zionists do? they immigrate to palestine with the intent to take over there under the subterfuge of the one about a land without a people for a people without a land, which is not only shameful, deceitful, reprehensible and inhumane, but a prescription for genocide. what’s taking place in gaza* is the predictable outcome of this latter day takeover of another people’s homeland.

        *genocide in slow motion

  25. You repeat the “should have been” version of what democracy is.

    Its not that. Democracy is one-person one-vote in the present.

    Everyone should be afforded the right to vote, the right to self-govern, where they live, the rights of peaceable free speech and assembly, whether they are refugees from a war (Europe or Palestine/Israel).

    To argue for the “should have been” version of democracy is to argue AGAINST the present version of democracy.

    There are other ways to argue for Palestinian rights than to seek to disenfranchise Israelis.

    Again, its an #and# construction, of both Israelis and Palestinians should have the right to self-determination, to self-governance.

    The single-state accompanied by the maximalist right of return, denies self-governance to Jewish Israelis.

    If they desired to be self-governed within a single state, by persuasion, not coercion and not contempt, wonderful.

    You think that is the case, even close?

    • RoHa says:

      “denies self-governance to Jewish Israelis. ”

      Jewish Israelis do not have a right to self-governance qua Jewish Israelis.

      Israelis have the right to self-governance as inhabitants of the territory, as long as the exercise of that self-governance does not breach any moral norms. If they choose to set up an ethnically-based state, then they are in breach of those norms.

      • I think it is feasible that ethnically based states can be a valid basis of self-governance.

        There are and should be many basis’ of self-governance.

        There are so many of them on the planet, in really all regions, that it is absurd to declare that by definition they are not valid.

        Even, considering eras, national and ethnic states have emerged in very modern history, long after 1948.

        • RoHa says:

          “There are and should be many basis’ of self-governance.”

          Drivel. And the plural of “basis” is “bases”.

          States which privilege one ethnic group of over others in the way that Israel does are in breach of moral norms, no matter how many of them there are.

    • Hostage says:

      You repeat the “should have been” version of what democracy is.

      You have repeated the platitude that democracy can be used to excuse illegal conduct in the past and in the present. So I’ll repeat the explanation why that simply isn’t true:

      Neither the Road Map nor the Mitchell report conditioned the cessation of illegal colonization on negotiations. The Mitchell report requirement for Israel to cease settlement activity was based upon its illegality under the terms of the Geneva Convention – and an existing mandate from the Security Council “requiring the Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory acquired by force and the subsequent termination of all states of belligerency”.

      The Restatement (Third) of The Foreign Relations Law of the United States §202(2) says that “A state has an obligation not to recognize or treat as a state an entity that has attained the qualifications for statehood as a result of a threat or use of armed force in violation of the United Nations Charter.”
      States do not have an inherent right to exist. One of the things that the International Law Commission decided during its very first session was that there is an essential difference between recognition of the existence of a State, which is a question of fact, and the attribution to any State of “the right of existence” which is a legal matter. A conditional right to exist does not imply that a state is entitled to commit, or is justified in committing unjust acts towards others. A State’s right of existence might end because its population wished to divide the State into further States or because a State was established on the territory of an existing State without the consent of its population. The right of a state to exist cannot be defended by illegal means. See the many discussions on the Rights and Duties of States in Volume 1 of the Yearbook of the International Law Commission (1949), and especially the remarks on pdf page 85. The subject of self-determination of people was subsequently dealt with in the General Assembly Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It established several methods for peoples to exercise their right to self-determination that do not include establishing a new state or secession from an existing one by force.

      Israel has asserted a number of specific territorial claims and refuses to permit Palestinian refugees to return to the ‘Jewish homeland’. So, the ‘Jewish State’ does not “exist” irrespective of its territory. President Abbas explained, “An independent Palestinian state is a truth recognized by the world, and we are now leading a battle to have its border recognized.” Israel is demanding that the Palestinians accept and recognize territorial and human rights situations that the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ have determined to be illegal and a violation of the UN Charter, such as the annexation of East Jerusalem and the displacement of Palestinians as a result of the construction of the wall. That is something they cannot do in accordance with the Geneva Convention and Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. A single state solution with RoR avoids all of these legal problems.

      • Your reply was utterly skew to the question of single-state vs two-state.

        Again,
        The reason that the two-state solution is the only game in town, is that the vast majority in each community determine that they desire to self-govern by their definition of coherence, not yours.

        Even if it were only one community that preferred the two-state approach, that would be sufficient to make a single state an imposition, a suppression on a large minority or even majority.

        Dissent against Israeli suppression of Palestinians is or can be noble. Dissent that suppresses Israeli self-governance is ignoble.

        • Hostage says:

          Your reply was utterly skew to the question of single-state vs two-state.

          No, it was not. You Zionists always try to kick the can down the road on the issue of the inherent rights of indigenous peoples of the region. You aren’t just violating Palestinian rights, you are also violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring states where the refugees have been exiled for the last 60 years. Repatriation of the refugees who are willing to return is really not negotiable. The Arab Peace Initiative can’t be interpreted as if it proposes a flagrant violation of international law. It implicitly offers the absorption of any refugees who do not wish to exercise their right of return, but only if Israel agrees to repatriate the others and withdraws from the territories occupied in 1967 under the concept of land for peace. The one state solution would avoid many of the legal obstacles.

          FYI, in order for communication to take place there has to be a 1) a sender; 2) a receiver; and 3) a shared set of symbols which can be used to transmit a message. Sometimes the symbols, e.g. words spoken in a foreign language, don’t have any shared meaning and communication can not take place. Zionists, like yourself, don’t seem to grasp the meaning of words like “No”, “inadmissibility”, and “illegality”:

          On 22 November 1967, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 242 (1967), which emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war and called for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”, and “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency”.

          On 24 October 1973, the General Assembly adopted resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States”, in which it emphasized that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” As the Court stated in its Judgment in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law (see I. C. J. Reports 1986, pp. 98-101, paras. 187- 190); the same is true of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

          The words “agreed” and “negotiations” do not appear to have the standard meaning in the context of a process where the United States and Israel rule-out any possibility of returning to the 1967 borders before the parties have even discussed the issue of territorial swaps.

        • In ALL cases, where a proposed remedy to a prior wrong results in the prospective disenfranchisement of a clear majority, there is a tension (fundamental) between current democracy and “should have been” democracy.

          Current democracy IS democracy. “Should have been” democracy might be wonderful where there is a possibility of it. Where an extended period of time with MANY countervaling historical events have passed, the focus on a remedy for what happened 63 years ago, is just absurd.

          I actually support in many ways the Avishai description of the right of return, meaning a day in court before a color-blind judge/law, and allowance for those that were residents of the jurisdiction in question to return if their prior home space are unoccupied. (That means that if the land is vacant, then it is available.)

          The status of displaced Palestinian title varies from permanent title, to permanent leasehold/permission, to temporary leasehold/permission. The right of return should be driven primarily by title definition, and not a maximalist interpretation of an abstraction repeated and repeated.

          So, the Abbas family that held title in Safed, should be entitled to return to Safed, but another family that had temporary right of residence in East Jerusalem should not have any right to return to West Jerusalem, as it is an entirely distinct sovereign jurisdiction.

          Residents of a state should have a path to be citizens of the state in which they reside, Syria, Lebanon, where Palestinians are prohibited from citizenship. Those born in a jurisdiction (Syria, Lebanon) should be citizens of that state by right.

          They should no longer be refugees, not actually, not legally.

          Law is not so unravelable, and especially not selectively so, as you propose Hostage. MANY events that Jews just had to deal with occurred as well.

          The logic of “why should we have to adjust for events that happened in Europe?” sounds nice, but is impractical, more a fixation than a reasoning.

          Morality and democracy happen in the present, current decisions.

          I agree that Israel is not stating that Palestinians have equal rights in the present, and that requires reform.

          The maximalist interpretation of the right of return is beyond legality, beyond acceptability, and therefore an obstacle to Palestinians restoration of status to equality, rather than a means to it.

        • Hostage says:

          In ALL cases, where a proposed remedy to a prior wrong results in the prospective disenfranchisement of a clear majority, there is a tension (fundamental) between current democracy and “should have been” democracy.

          Richard it is a matter of public record that the number of Palestinians living in the region have always exceeded the number of Jews living there. So, it is a case of “current” and “should have been” democracy unjustly denied. At the end of 2005, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 9.53 million of the 10.1 million Palestinians worldwide lived in Israel, the Occupied Territories, Jordan, or other neighboring Arab countries. Where is your Jewish majority? You need to supply a map with some borders before you talk about clear majorities and current democracy. Israel doesn’t have borders yet. The ones it claims under its Basic Law Jereusalem & etc. constitute flagrant violations of international law.

          US Secretary of State Lansing specifically asked Chaim Weizmann if the correct meaning of the words “Jewish National Home” mean an autonomous Jewish Government? Weizmann answered that they did not. However Weizmann said:

          Later on, when the Jews formed the large majority, they would be ripe to establish such a Government as would answer to the state of the development of the country and to their ideals.

          link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

          The Palestinians outnumbered the Jews of Palestine by a factor of two to one. The UNSCOP cited a British mandatory government population survey which indicated:

          “It will thus be seen that the proposed Jewish State will contain a total population of 1,008,800, consisting of 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. In other words, at the outset, the Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State.

          See paragraphs 62-64 on pdf file pages 40-42 of A/AC.14/32, 11 November 1947 @ link to un.org

        • 1920′s interpretations, 1948 interpretations even do not control the present. At most they are contributing documents.

          I find it frankly odd that you, an intelligent person, would refer ONLY to 1948 conditions as currently binding. We don’t live in 1948. We live in 2011. I wasn’t alive then. I don’t know if you were.

          Otherwise you open up the possibility of validity of the exagerated right-wing Israeli assertion that the San Remo agreement affirms Jewish rights to all of mandate Palestine.

          You don’t acknowledge once, the significance of present democracy, present one-person one-vote.

          The prevailing international definition of boundary is the green line.

          The definition of a single state from river to sea (whether including Gaza or not), would be an entirely NEW definition of political jurisdiction. The British Palestinian mandate included river to sea Israel/Palestine, but also Jordan, Syria, Iraq.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          I agree that the vagueness of boundary is a difficulty, that confuses all definitions (right, left, Palestinian, Israeli).

        • Hostage says:

          I find it frankly odd that you, an intelligent person, would refer ONLY to 1948 conditions as currently binding.

          There is a fundamental principle of international and civil legal systems: Pacta sunt servanda, i.e. agreements must be kept. In most civilized legal systems it is recognized that legal rights may only be exercised conditioned upon compliance with legal duties.

          In any event, I was responding to your rationalizations about the rights of a theoretical Jewish majority. I cited publicly available information from 1947 and from 2005 (the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics) to illustrate that the Jews have never constituted a democratic majority in the region. If you’d like to review the archives you’ll find that I’ve cited a plethora of modern-day conventions and UN resolutions that are also legally binding. They all point in the same direction and identify the same underlying problem. Israel does not believe that agreements must be kept.

          FYI, the ICJ also cited these old 1947 resolutions. The majority opinion said they are still relevant and the source of permanent UN responsibility for Palestine.

          Otherwise you open up the possibility of validity of the exagerated right-wing Israeli assertion that the San Remo agreement affirms Jewish rights to all of mandate Palestine.

          Anyone can verify that the text of the San Remo resolution says no such thing. link to cfr.org

          The resolution put Great Britain itself in charge of implementing its own Balfour Declaration and drafting the terms of the mandate. But it contained an undertaking in addition to the Balfour safeguarding clause that the mandate would not involve the surrender of any of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. That obviously included the right to enjoy quiet possession of their homes, villages, and agricultural lands.

          The travaux préparatoires of the British Foreign Office Committee that was tasked with drafting the Mandate said it did not form the basis for any Jewish claim:

          “It was agreed that they had no claim, whatever might be done for them on sentimental grounds; further that all that was necessary was to make room for Zionists in Palestine, not that they should turn “it”, that is the whole country, into their home.

          – See PRO FO 371/5245, cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, pages 99-100

        • Sumud says:

          On 22 November 1967, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 242 (1967), which emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war and called for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”, and “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency”.

          Hostage ~ given Israel declared it’s borders in 1948 and 1949 to be those specified in UN181, why didn’t the UN also acknowledge this in UN242? Even if Israel were to comply with UN242 they would only be withdrawing to the 1949 armistice lines, not Israel’s actual declared borders.

          How has this distinction been lost to history, is it merely from a relatively powerless position that Palestinians ever agreed to a Palestinian state on only 50% of the area specified in UN181? It seems like focusing on all the territory outside Israel’s actual borders would be a far better position to bargain from.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage ~ given Israel declared it’s borders in 1948 and 1949 to be those specified in UN181, why didn’t the UN also acknowledge this in UN242?

          So far, the hold-up has been the terms of the armistice. The armistice agreements were concluded pursuant to Security Council resolution 62 (16 November 1948), which was adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter as a provisional measure under Article 40. They established a provisional border which is unchallengeable until a new process of negotiation and agreement has been successfully consummated. Under the terms of the agreements, establishing a permanent boundary and resolving territorial claims falls within the “exclusive competence” of the state parties.

          If I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for either the Israeli or the Palestinian side to make any cessions of territory. The talk about rationalizing the border or agreed swaps is just that, talk.

  26. RoHa says:

    “A single state solution with RoR avoids all of these legal problems.”

    By “ROR” I assume you mean a right for Palestinian refugees living outside Palestine to return to Palestine. Those living in the West Bank and Gaza would automatically have RoR simply as free movement within the single state.

    • Hostage says:

      By “ROR” I assume you mean a right for Palestinian refugees living outside Palestine to return to Palestine.

      Yes I mean RoR for all of the inhabitants of mandate Palestine. The rights of the Palestinian people in the proposed Jewish and Arab states were placed under UN guarantee. The General Assembly took action in keeping with that guarantee in resolution 194(III) to prevent Israel from deliberately making its Arab inhabitants stateless and penniless.

      The UN explains that statelessness occurs for a variety of reasons including discrimination against minority groups in nationality legislation, failure to include all residents in the body of citizens when a state becomes independent (state succession) and conflicts of laws between states. Israel has deliberately exploited all three of those factors as part of a policy that amounts to a system of Grand Apartheid.

  27. I think this whole conversation sounds a little like a children’s wishful thinking , without being grounded in reality.
    Finkelstein , naively, still believes in the “Power of International Law” ,even though this Law is nothing more than a statement written on the paper. There has been NO “executive ” power behind it.
    None.
    Mearsheimer’s statement that Jews don’t fall for propaganda is just a joke. Not a funny one. More of a annoying type.
    Those two scholars are just cheat-chating, and the worlds politics just goes the other way.

    • Hostage says:

      Finkelstein , naively, still believes in the “Power of International Law” ,even though this Law is nothing more than a statement written on the paper. There has been NO “executive ” power behind it.

      You might want to tell that to all of the individuals that have stood trial in the ICC, ICTY, ICTR, SCSL, & etc. It appears that a lot of them are sitting in jail for no good reason.

      • Give me examples of the real, practical execution of statements concerning Palestine that were issued by ICC, ICJ. I know, a lot was written on the “Very Importanat, International Paper”.
        Paper can hold anything.
        How was that applied , in real life , for many, many, many of years, to better the situation of Palestinians???
        They still struggle like they did. Actually, their situation is getting worse. The only help they get is from private, humanitarian organisations, and many good people from all over the world , who sacrifice their time, effort, and , oftentimes , life for the cause.

        • Hostage says:

          Give me examples of the real, practical execution of statements concerning Palestine that were issued by ICC, ICJ. I know, a lot was written on the “Very Importanat, International Paper”.

          Well for starters Wikileaks revealed that the Government of Israel considers the Palestinian complaint with the ICC “an act of war” and asked the United States for help in getting it quashed. link to wikileaks.org

          The Summary legal position of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 2004 Wall Case was that:

          violation of Palestinian rights, including facilitating the entry into and residency of Israeli civilians in the Closed Area while restricting Palestinian access to and residency in that Area, are causing long-term, permanent harm, including the transfer of Palestinians, contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
          .
          • Because these Israeli measures are neither necessary nor proportionate, they give rise to criminal liability by the Government of Israel for violations of human rights and some prima facie grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

          See the Annex II of the Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/13, A/ES-10/248
          24 November 2003. link to unispal.un.org

          The ICJ findings of fact confirmed the violations contained in the Palestinians written and oral submissions. The ICC is a new organization that only started prosecuting its fist case in 2005. In 2009 the Palestinian Authority filed a complaint with the ICC regarding Operation Cast Lead and other crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002. The Arab League submitted an independent fact finding commission report that incorporated all of the findings from to 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion regarding violations of human rights and grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

          The Palestinian Authority is currently in the process of resolving a dispute through the UN regarding its ability as an independent state under military occupation to bring criminal charges against Israeli officials in the ICC or to pursue contentious cases in the ICJ and other courts.

        • I know, you can give me many more “resolutions” that were issued over the years, by International Judicial “buddy buddies” in favour of Palestine , (btw. International UN decided , in 1947, oficially kick Palestinians out fo their land ,and create Israel,so thank you Cesar).
          And my question ,again, stays the same.
          So what of it in a practical terms???
          What has been done except shuffeling the papers back and forth ??
          Let’s not forget: “Contra vim non valet ius”,”The law is helpless against raw Power”.
          And I see this situation as a classic example of it.
          BTW. Look how quickly, how fast they reacted in case of Libya this year?
          No papers, just action.

        • Hostage says:

          (btw. International UN decided , in 1947, oficially kick Palestinians out fo their land ,and create Israel,so thank you Cesar).

          The partition proposal was suggested as a peaceful alternative at a time when preparations for a civil war were well underway. The UN didn’t propose to kick any Palestinians out of their land. In fact the UN insisted upon Israel accepting a minority protection plan after the fact with the specific intention of guaranteeing the rights of anyone who had been displaced or deported.

          The UN didn’t do anything other than refer the situation in Libya to the ICC and prohibit NATO from sending in ground forces. In any event, NATO is not an organ of the UN or the international criminal judiciary.

    • LeaNder says:

      Dum vita est spes est.

      What do I get wrong? I only seem to get sense into your handle by using two times esse. As long as life lasts there is hope?

      Vivere militare est?

      • Yes. “Where is a life there is hope”. ( at least it should be).
        But….Life does not last forever. It does end. For everybody. Sometimes later, sometimes sooner.
        Yes , To live is to fight. Life is a struggle for everybody.
        We all have our “demons” that we have to fight with.
        Unfortunately, some have many more than the others.
        People can be the worst “demons” , sometimes , for other people.
        Not a life per se.

  28. Talking about Latin proverbs, which are great btw.
    There is a good one: “Dura lex sed lex”, “tough/harsh law, but the law. ” ,which means that even if the law is not “likeable”, it still shoud be exercised.
    “Aliud est facere, aliud est dicere. ” which means, ” To promise is a one thing , to keep it is another”
    There is another one : “contra vim non valet ius ,” which means,
    “The law is helpless against the violence/raw power.”