Revival of Geneva Initiative features divisive figure: Bernard-Henri Levy

on 143 Comments
bhl
Bernard-Henry Levy

The Swiss are trying to revive the Geneva Initiative 8 years after its first iteration and will do so at a public conference later today.

Events in 2011 have shown that the will of the people can bring about political change. The Geneva Initiative, which is the joint-product of Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, remains a concrete and realistic proposal for a peace settlement in the Middle East.

They give the Initiative a new twist — Geneva 2.0 — and Yasser Abed Rabbo of the PLO will be there to advocate for the two-state-solution but so will a surprise speaker:

An old conflict in a new context – the Arab Spring and its impact on Israelis and Palestinians

Bernard-Henri Lévy, French philosopher and writer

I am told that B-H L is anathema to many Palestinians for his writings and comments critical of Islam. And he is beloved by the Israel lobby. But will that help the Geneva Initiative gain adherents? 

143 Responses

  1. Walid
    November 22, 2011, 12:49 am

    Bernard-Henri Lévy will work with the PLO to short-circuit the UN application. Having lied his way into setting Libya afire and given the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood a boost with the help of French and Israeli Zionists, he now sticks his nose into the Palestinians’ conflict.

    • Cliff
      November 22, 2011, 6:59 am

      Why is this hack philosopher relevant to the Palestinian cause? I don’t understand how he is involved and why.

      He’s a French Dershowitz.

  2. eGuard
    November 22, 2011, 2:40 am

    In France, being a philosopher is like being a lawyer in the US.

    BHL is in Le Dershowitz category in France.

    • eGuard
      November 22, 2011, 4:02 am

      Here is his piece on the Mavi Marmara murders in 2010, for starters (“stupid”). Why I Defend Israel (HufPo).

      Notes:
      - He does not answer the title. He only keeps saying “disinformation!” and “hatred!” and “anti-totalitarian dialectic!”.
      - It does not prevent the daily arrival, via Israel, of between a hundred and a hundred and twenty trucks laden with foodstuffs, medical supplies, and humanitarian goods of every kind; humanity is not “in danger” in Gaza. Yeah right, 100 gram per person per day to be more exact.
      - Did you know Mr. BHL actually invented the Flotilla protest? For a man like me, someone who takes pride in having helped invent, with others, the principle of this kind of symbolic action.

    • eGuard
      November 22, 2011, 2:45 pm

      He was tested by the Israeli attack on Gaza 2008-2009 (Cast Lead and White Phosphor, as the modernised Hebrew song goes). Reportage from Israel/Gaza (HufPo), published on day 25 of the attack.

      BHL is visiting Oum al-Fahim (an “Arab” town) in Israel while there is a protest:
      [BHL] “The Israel that you spew, isn’t it your Israel?,” I ask one of [the young protesters]. “Isn’t it the State you are citizens of, with the same name and the same rights as its other citizens?” The boy [sic] looks at me as if I were crazy. He tells me that Israel is a racist State that treats him as sub-human, forbids him from going to university and to nightclubs, and, as a consequence, that Israel can expect no loyalty from him. On that note he catches up with his friends, leaving me to my perplexity [...]

      So Monsieur the Philosopher and Writer, at 60 and after three weeks of IDF murdering, is perplexed by this description of Israel. What has he been thinking before then, all his life? He is not a l’Être, he is the Néant.

  3. Walid
    November 22, 2011, 2:46 am

    The revival has to be considered light of last year’s Abed Rabbo declaration to Haaretz that the Palestinians were willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and Abbas’ declaration that the appellation ” Jewish state” is an Israeli internal affair and the Palestinians have nothing to do with it.

    Lieberman must really love these guys despite what he says about them as what they declared puts in question certain rights of about 5 million Palestinians including those living in Israel.

    • Hostage
      November 22, 2011, 8:10 am

      Abed Rabbo declaration to Haaretz that the Palestinians were willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and Abbas’ declaration that the appellation ” Jewish state” is an Israeli internal affair and the Palestinians have nothing to do with it.

      Erekat’s statement to the Negotiations Support Unit in one of the Palestine Papers said that the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish State was racial incitement.

      I believe you misquoted Abed Rabbo and missed his point, i.e. that the United States has quietly endorsed Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and portions of the West Bank:

      Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Wednesday that the Palestinians will be willing to recognize the State of Israel in any way that it desires, if the Americans would only present a map of the future Palestinian state that includes all of the territories captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

      link to haaretz.com

      • Philip Weiss
        November 22, 2011, 8:45 am

        Walid, eguard and Hostage have my deep gratitude. I filed this post late last night without a full understanding of its meaning. Once again, commenters have supplied that. The blessings of social media! Thank you.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 9:09 am

        “I believe you misquoted Abed Rabbo and missed his point, i.e. that the United States has quietly endorsed Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and portions of the West Bank”

        No, Hostage, it was you that missed the point I was making. I did not include the full Haaretz quotation of Abed Rabbo’s qualifying conditions for his acceptance because these were inconsequential to the point I was making which you didn’t grasp. It was that Abed Rabbo and Abbas were both willing to accept the Jewishness of Israel (under whichever condition) without a second thought to what that could do to existing rights of return of refugees and worse, to what it could do to the rights of Palestinian-Israelis already living in Israel and that would be subjected to a choice between an (Lieberman) oath of allegiance and the ensuing vanishing of their Arabness or their deportation. Please re-read part 2 of my post about the 5 million Palestinians.

    • Diane Mason
      November 22, 2011, 3:12 pm

      that the Palestinians were willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state

      That’s not quite what he said. He said that Palestine would recognize the state of Israel on its 1967 borders, and – in line with diplomatic convention – call that state whatever it chooses for its name.

      Like in the Palestine Papers where the PLO invites Israel to go ahead and call itself the Republic of Milk and Honey for all we care…

      Rabbo’s simply repeating the PLO long-standing position that in a two state solution they will recognize the state of Israel – and use whatever name it chooses for itself, because in international affairs countries get to be known by whatever name they choose for themselves. Just as the world community calls Iran “The Islamic Republic of…” purely in a nominal sense without endorsing any meaning the Iranian regime would like to apply to it. (Or in the way we called East Germany “the German Democratic Republic” without implying it was really a democracy).

      But the PLO won’t recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” in the sense that Israel wants — i.e. as a place where the full rights of citizenship are intended for people with the “right” ethnic religious background – because 1. that undermines the rights of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel 2. it undermines refugee rights 3. there’s no precedent in diplo relations for requiring one country to recognize that a preferred demographic balance should exist in another country.

      You seem to be conflating the diplomatic nicety of calling Israel whatever it settles on as a name in the event of a 2 state solution – even if it calls itself “the Jewish state of…” – with acceptance that Israel has a right to be only for Jewish people. And Rabbo’s not doing that.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 3:44 pm

        “You seem to be conflating the diplomatic nicety of calling Israel whatever it settles on as a name in the event of a 2 state solution – even if it calls itself “the Jewish state of…” – with acceptance that Israel has a right to be only for Jewish people. And Rabbo’s not doing that.”

        Diane, Israel isn’t jumping through all these hoops to have people accept the “Jewish State” designation because it sounds cute or because it wants to match Iran’s “Islamic” designation in its name. There’s an ulterior motive driving this effort. Israel has been outfoxing the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular on these supposedly little nothings that they let pass and that later return to haunt them because of Israel’s play on interpretation of terms. UNGA 194 comes to mind and how Israel kept holding out for the nebulous wording of Article 11 that it has been using and interpreting for over 60 years to deprive the Palestnians of their right of return.

        It’s not important what the PLO thinks it’s accepting by going along with the designation since Israel will chose to give it the interpretation it needs for whatever nefarious plan it has in mind for it. Otherwise, Israel wouldn’t be clinging so desperately to get the Palestinians acceptance of it and could very easily make a name change without going through all these painful motions; wouldn’t it?

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 4:41 pm

        But I’m not Palestinian. Instead read what Omar Barghoutti wrote this September about UNGA 194:

        link to aljazeera.com

      • Diane Mason
        November 22, 2011, 5:22 pm

        Israel isn’t jumping through all these hoops to have people accept the “Jewish State” designation because it sounds cute or because it wants to match Iran’s “Islamic” designation in its name…

        If you think that’s what I wrote, then you got it completely backwards. Of course Israel doesn’t want the kind of recognition the Islamic Republic of Iran has got, that’s the whole point – the PLO is offering Israel normal diplomatic recognition, such as the world gives the Islamic Republic of Iran, but Israel wants something different altogether i.e. not only recognition of its statehood, but recognition of its right to operate a sectarian regime that discriminates on the basis of ethnic-religious background.

        As for the PLO “going along” with the designation, what they are “going along” with is international convention on the naming of countries, and that’s exactly what they should do. Whether it is diplomatic niceties or international law, the PLO should make sure they do go along with it – it’s precisely because they base their positions on international norms and not the vicissitudes of one political trend or another that the Palestinians are still there 60 years plus after Nakba, with a greater degree of international support and near universal acceptance of their narrative, despite the overwhelming imbalance of power that the Zionists thought would sweep them away.

        On the specific issue of why Israel is currently pushing so hard for recognition of “the Jewish state”, I don’t attach overwhelming importance to that specific issue – I think this is simply the latest in a long line of impossible demands that Israel makes of the Palestinians in order to be sure they will be rejected and the Palestinians can be portrayed as the party that is obstructing peace. As their head of Army Intelligence said way back in 1973: We must define our position and lay down basic principles for a settlement. Our demands should be moderate and balanced, and appear to be reasonable. But in fact they must involve such conditions as to ensure that the enemy rejects them. Then we should manoeuvre and allow him to define his own position, and reject a settlement on the basis of a compromise position. We should then publish his demands as embodying unreasonable extremism. If it wasn’t this, there would be some other issue to serve the same purpose.

        I do understand your wider point about Israel’s weasel words designed to muddy the debate in its favor, but really, how far has that got Israel in trying to change the underlying parameters of the conflict? All Israel has managed to do is to convince friend after friend that it is a serial liar that is simply not interested in coexistence, till it has only one friend left (and only hangs on to that one thanks to a propagandized citizenry and a political class heavily dependent on pro-Israel donors). I think the main result of Israel constantly trying to change the terms of the debate is simply that fewer and fewer people listen to it.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2011, 8:42 pm

        But I’m not Palestinian. Instead read what Omar Barghoutti wrote this September about UNGA 194:

        Omar Barghouti posted an article here at Mondoweiss which made a lot of baseless claims about the application for membership in the UN. link to mondoweiss.net

        At this point in time, anyone who is still running around writing articles about the illegal siege of Gaza and the the UN definition of apartheid has no business talking about the nonexistent or virtual state of Palestine. Only the State of Palestine has the necessary legal standing to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court about those matters. Anything that undermines the Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood literally gives aid and comfort to Israel.

        Barghouti needs to pay more attention to what the President of the ICC Assembly of State Parties and the ICC Prosecutor had to say on the subject. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said if Palestine becomes a non-member observer state at the UN, it would be eligible to pursue claims against Israel even without full membership. He said:

        “We have the declaration, and we have been analyzing if they are a state. Now the issue is before the UN, and whatever they decide, we will react to.”

        The author of the article noted:

        Moreno-Ocampo’s opinion that the court would be able to act if the Palestinians get observer-state status is significant because the bid for full UN membership is expected to fall short, which would leave them to ask the General Assembly to vote on including them as an observer state instead.

        link to thestar.com

        Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the ICC Assembly of State Parties, said that a Palestinian observer state could join the ICC and ask the court to investigate any alleged war crimes and other charges against Israel committed on Palestinian territory after July 2002, including Israel’s 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip. link to online.wsj.com

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 2:22 am

        Diane, I appear to have been preaching to the converted, so I apologize for that; we are in agreement on the issue but with the difference that you have more faith in human nature and how it’s expected to behave than I do. I’ve been reading too many horror stories about the conduct of the PA that involves bowing to Israel and helping it with its security concerns rather than looking out for the Palestinians’ interests. In such uncaring hands, I’d be suspicious of any outcome of any agreement between these parties and what appears as an insignificant designation in a country’s name can go a long way for a rogue state.

        Stephen Lendman wrote:

        “… In Oslo, the Israelis fielded an array of experts supported by maps, documents, statistics, and at least 17 prior drafts of what Palestinians” finally signed. They, however, were allowed only “three PLO men, not one of whom knew English or had a background in international (or any other kind of) law.” The outcome was predictable, a one-sided agreement for Israel, Palestinians getting nothing besides annointment as “Israel’s sheriff.”

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 3:44 am

        “Barghouti needs to pay more attention to what the President of the ICC Assembly of State Parties and the ICC Prosecutor had to say on the subject. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said if Palestine becomes a non-member observer state at the UN, it would be eligible to pursue claims against Israel even without full membership.”

        Hostage, you have as much esteem for Omar Barghoutti as for Ali Abunimah, especially as it concerns their common opposition to the PA’s UN application and its ramifications according to Goodwin-Gil.

        I don’t have your extensive knowledge of UN membership applications so I can’t get into it but I would like to note that the gist of my post to Diane was not in discussing the validity of the UN application, since it was already extensively discused here as you kindly reminded me, but to reiterate what I suspect as a plan afoot to yank the UN application as was done with the Goldstone report and Abbas’ statement that he does not want or does not like to embarrass Israel. Barghoutti’s opinion on Jazeera emphasized the PA’s habitual antics.

        To go back to the application for a second, Abbas was repeatedly told by the Americans that his application via the UNSC was doomed to be vetoed, so why did he go ahead with it instead of going for the lesser “Observer State” status that would have entitled the Palestinians to join the ICC and go after Israel for its innumerable war crimes?

      • Shmuel
        November 23, 2011, 4:00 am

        but to reiterate what I suspect as a plan afoot to yank the UN application as was done with the Goldstone report and Abbas’ statement that he does not want or does not like to embarrass Israel.

        According to Haaretz, the PA has offered to freeze its membership efforts in the various UN agencies, in return for a renewal of the flow of funds from the US, and particularly the $100 million in taxes owed by Israel.

        link to haaretz.com

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 6:14 am

        Shmuel, a day or so after that report in Haaretz, the Palestinians indignantly denied they had any such plans. But I still dont buy it; they are surely looking for some artifice or other by which they could still do it and escape with their scalp. This BHL/Geneva thing maybe one of the things they are trying, but sooner or later, something will surface. At the end of the day, the UN application will be pulled back. Of course I wish it wasn’t so and that I’d proven wrong. After 63 years, Palestine deserves to be recognized as a state.

        Curiously, the Republic of South Sudan split from the Sudan on July 9.
        4 days later it applied for membership at the UN via the UNSC and the next day, its membership was approved and it became member #193. Palestinians after 63 years are still pissing in the wind. Whose fault is it?

      • Shmuel
        November 23, 2011, 6:32 am

        Palestinians after 63 years are still pissing in the wind. Whose fault is it?

        The wind’s, of course.

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 6:42 am

        Of course

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2011, 9:33 am

        I suspect as a plan afoot to yank the UN application as was done with the Goldstone report and Abbas’ statement that he does not want or does not like to embarrass Israel. . . . Abbas was repeatedly told by the Americans that his application via the UNSC was doomed to be vetoed, so why did he go ahead with it

        The Goldstone report wasn’t yanked, the UN HRC vote was postponed. The report and the follow-up recommendations from the panel of independent experts have long since been passed to the General Assembly from the UN HRC. FYI, the US labelled the report “seriously flawed” and repeatedly promised to veto any request for a Securty Council referral to the ICC. There is pending US legislation which would defund the General Assembly if it tried to convene an emergency session to make a referral. So applying your logic, Abbas shouldn’t pursue action on the UN membership application or the Goldstone report. For its part, Israel has promised to turn the West Bank into another Gaza or to annex it if Palestine is successful in either of those undertakings.

        Palestine doesn’t have to become a member of the ICC. Non-member states can accept the jurisdiction of the Court for crimes committed on their territory in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Statute. The ICC prosecutor already has an Article 12(3) declaration from the PA and 300 other complaints on Operation Cast Lead. He can pursue information from open sources, like the Goldstone report, on his own initiative too. Prior to the UNESCO vote, Israel and its supporters had objected to the validity of the PA declaration on the grounds that Palestine was not a member of the UN or any of its specialized agencies – and because Israel was conducting its own investigations. Those particular objections are no longer relevant.

        Hostage, you have as much esteem for Omar Barghoutti as for Ali Abunimah, especially as it concerns their common opposition to the PA’s UN application and its ramifications according to Goodwin-Gil.

        It has always been the application of Palestine, which has been endorsed by both the PA and the PLO. The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations published a Response to Arguments that the “September Initiative” regarding Statehood will harm the Status of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the rights of the Palestine Refugees.

        FYI, Palestine replaced the PLO in the UN system decades ago and none of the dire consequences Goodwin-Gil attempted to outline have ever materialized. Just to review:
        a) The 1988 Algiers UDI named the PLO as the provisional government of an independent State of Palestine;
        b) Palestine accepted resolutions 242 and 338 as the framework for a final negotiated settlement.
        b) The majority of UN member States (104 to be precise) formally recognized Palestine, as such, and designated the PLO as Palestine within the UN system effective November 16, 1988;
        c) 92 UN member states subsequently co-sponsored the application of Palestine as a full member State of UNESCO in 1989;
        d) The Permanent Observer for Palestine has represented both the PLO and the PA at the UN since 1998, when the UN noted that a municipal government had been established on a portion of the occupied territory of Palestine and increased to observers rights and privileges accordingly.
        e) The majority of other existing states currently recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 armistice boundaries.

        why did he go ahead with it instead of going for the lesser “Observer State” status that would have entitled the Palestinians to join the ICC and go after Israel for its innumerable war crimes?

        Observer states are not necessarily eligible to sign all of the UN treaties that are open for signature under the strict “Vienna Formula”, but member states of any UN specialized agency, like UNESCO, are eligible to sign treaties using either the Vienna or “All States” formula. So the question you posed is moot. Palestine has secured recognition of its statehood from the other members of the international community of states and the UN organization through the UNESCO vote. It can join the ICC. The Palestinians are trying to take the Question of Palestine away from the US and back to the UN. They hope to isolate and embarrass the US by making it oppose Palestinian statehood and the negotiations between Israel and Palestine based upon sovereign equality.

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 11:58 am

        Hostage, yanking the report or postponing it have the same meaning to something we both know what we are talking about. Abbas withdrew his support of it a the UNHRC after his arm-twisting meetings with the Shin Bet director and people from the State Dept and then went back to the UNHRC a few days later after all hell broke loose in OPT because of the postponement to have it put back on the agenda. It isn’t as cut and dried and “seriously flawed” as it appeared. For the US to defund the UN if a party decides to do something it doesn’t like whether itis entitled to do it legally or not is another sign of who are the real terrorists in the world. Cutting off UNESCO for the same reason is another such sign.

        My question about why didn’t the Palestinians go for “Observer State” status instead of the suicidal UNSC route was in referrence to the September application date. The UNESCO acceptance happened after that fact so you haven’t answered my question.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2011, 3:11 pm

        My question about why didn’t the Palestinians go for “Observer State” status instead of the suicidal UNSC route was in referrence to the September application date. The UNESCO acceptance happened after that fact so you haven’t answered my question.

        You are beating a dead horse. The UNESCO application and vote didn’t happen by accident. The Legal Affairs section of the UN Secretariat developed the “Vienna formula” in response to the frequent abuse of the veto power by permanent members of the Security Council in cases involving applications for UN membership. It allows widely recognized States to become members of multilateral treaty agreements after they have joined one of the UN specialized agencies. Those organizations broadly represent the international community of states and none of the members have a veto.

        Palestine was listed as an observer “entity” because of objections raised by the United States. Ruth Lapidot has explained that recognition of statehood is a political act, and every state has the right to decide for itself whether to recognize another entity as a state. link to jpost.com The UNESCO vote resolved that the majority of UN members view Palestine as another State entity.

        A General Assembly resolution on observer status won’t result in any increased privileges. In 2004, the non-member State of the Holy See announced that it was considering full membership in the UN. After many months it “settled” for an upgrade to the same rights of participation that the PA had always enjoyed. Compare the rules annexed to A/RES/52/250 (1998) with those annexed to A/RES/58/314 (2004) See also: “The Holy See backs off from its claim for full membership of the UN, settling for the rights already held by Palestine.”

        Hostage, yanking the report or postponing it have the same meaning

        I’m afraid you’re incorrect. The General Assembly had to provide the two sides time to conduct independent investigations of the allegations in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report in any event. The ICC can only exercise jurisdiction if the responsible state parties either cannot, or will not, prosecute the individuals responsible for the crimes. The UN has file cabinets full of reports about Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity that have never been forwarded to the ICC for investigation. That’s an organizational failure, not Palestine’s. In this case, Israel had threatened to turn the West Bank into another Gaza if the PA didn’t request that the Goldstone report be quashed. The public response to a request for a six month delay before placing it on the agenda made that demand impossible. In any event, it’s completely unrealistic to expect that a non-voting non-member entity can prevent the UN organization from putting its own fact finding reports on the UN agenda. The Goldstone report isn’t going anywhere within the UN, but that is attributable to opposition from the US.

        That doesn’t prevent the ICC from considering it or other sources of information in the public domain in conjunction with Palestine’s existing Article 12(3) Declaration. Bear in mind that the ICC Prosecutor has a statutory responsibility to react to the UNESCO vote on statehood and the existing complaint from the PA. There is no requirement for Palestine to become a party to the Rome Statute or a UN Observer State. In fact, Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute only applies to non-member States like Palestine. See for example the ICC self-referrals by other non-member States: Ivory Coast signs accord allowing ICC investigation to proceed link to jurist.org

  4. Richard Witty
    November 22, 2011, 5:04 am

    Please use your voice to encourage the Geneva Initiative.

    It is a path forward.

    Unless you are emphatically only for a single-state approach, then the Geneva Initiative approach represents a mutually respectful one, capable of prospective reconciliation.

    If you are for a single state approach, then please adopt the language and effort that would engender a mutually respectful one, one of co-existence.

    • Tzombo
      November 22, 2011, 6:35 am

      If BHL is involved this is just another attempt to institutionalize the status quo. This guy is claiming to be some kind of humanitarian but he is actually one hundred percent tribal. Noboday needs this kind of initiative which does nothing more than ‘keep them talking’ while the Israelis are doing their best to make any talk superfluous.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 7:49 am

        “If BHL is involved this is just another attempt to institutionalize the status quo.”

        If the foul BHL is involved, there is definitely something foul about it. As a start, the convention says that it would be on a territory to be negotiated, the said territory being about 97.5% of the West Bank, so the first 2.5% is already chewed up and agreed-to even before the negotiations actually start. Then it talks about a number of returnees to be determined by Israel, so there is nothing to negotiate on that issue and according to the Palestinian Papers, the PA had agreed to a total of 10,000 returnees in instalments over a number of years. And from Israel’s track record of negotiating, it would surely want to start off from the PA number and work backwards towards zero.

        This retreading of Geneva sounds like another Israeli gimmick to allow the PA to yank the UN application without being tarred and feathered by the Palestinian people.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 10:43 am

        Walid,

        So basically your recommended strategy for the Palestinians is to do nothing until BDS make Israelis more accepting of their positions? As the last 60 years have clearly shown, it is a losing strategy to hope Israel will become weaker.

        The Geneva initiative is an excellent one. I liked Geneva 1 very much.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 10:50 am

        Of course you think the Geneva initiative is great, eee. It gives you a chance to lie, lie, lie while your armored bulldozers plow Palestinians under the dirt so you can build more Jews-only communities.

        That’s all diplomacy is to Israelis. It’s the other side sitting down long enough so you can backstab them more efficiently.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 10:59 am

        Ok Chaos, you are against negotiations with Israelis. What are you for then? What is your constructive contribution? There is no way forward except for negotiations, but maybe I am missing something. Enlighten me.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 11:06 am

        eee, you’re putting words in my mouth. Although I’m very pro-BDS, I don’t think it will create any miracles simply because the Arab states are working against it. I’m against the Palestinians jumping onto any solution, even a wrong one, just to get it over with as you are implying. That Geneva thing is another hocus-pocus formula that will work to Israel’s advantage, just like the Oslo that helped double or triple the number of squatting settlers in Jerusalem and the rest of the WB. When a pro-Zionist like BHL stands for something, you know it has to be bad for Palestinians; when collaborating PA stands for something, you also know it has to be bad for Palestinians.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 22, 2011, 11:20 am

        “Ok Chaos, you are against negotiations with Israelis. ”

        Oh, for pete’s sakes, learn to read in context. He is against negotiations where the Israelis are not negotiating in good faith; where they continue their criminal ways of stealing Palestinian land and use the negotiation process to cover for that evil program.

        I’ll let Chaos speak for himself, but I’m sure he would be more than happy to advance negotiations if the Israeli triggermen were thrown out of the West Bank, replaced with UN peacekeepers and the “settlements” were frozen pending the outcome of that negotiations. But that won’t give the Israelis the freedom to shed Palestinian blood and steal Palestinian land…

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2011, 11:22 am

        There is no way forward except for negotiations, but maybe I am missing something. Enlighten me.

        Compare the response when Israel annexed the Golan and Jerusalem to the response when Iraq annexed Kuwait.

        Why do you suppose that negotiations were not chosen as the only way forward in the latter case?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 11:25 am

        Walid,

        Ok, we know what you are against. What are you for? I do not want to put words in your mouth but it does seem you are advising the Palestinians to wait and do nothing.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 11:28 am

        I’m not against negotiations. You don’t negotiate, eee. You berate Palestinian fathers on camera while you slaughter their sons and daughters where bought-off Western media can’t be bothered to look.

        There isn’t a treaty obligation, with the possible exception of the one with Jordan, that Israel isn’t in active violation of. Whenever you “negotiate,” you speed up your war crimes by at least a whole factor.

        I want to negotiate with you, eee, but you won’t let me. The taste of blood in your mouth overwhelms you.

      • dahoit
        November 22, 2011, 11:44 am

        You forgot that stinkin road map to hell,as another Kabuki theatre operation.
        OT;Yesterday somewhere?I saw someone say that when they captured Col Ks last?son he was injured and had his hands wrapped. Then the accusation that our thugs might have chopped his fingers off.Any word out there?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 11:54 am

        “I want to negotiate with you, eee, but you won’t let me.”

        Israel is willing to negotiate without preconditions, you are playing games with words. But let’s play your silly game. You are against sitting and talking with Israelis. What are you for? Dictating to Israelis what they can or cannot say in the talks? What are the “negotiations” you envision, those that you can participate in?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 11:59 am

        “Compare the response when Israel annexed the Golan and Jerusalem to the response when Iraq annexed Kuwait.

        Why do you suppose that negotiations were not chosen as the only way forward in the latter case?”

        Because the US was willing to go to war over that issue and was joined by many countries including Arab ones and the war was also successful. The Syrians still see war as an option to regain the Golan, so there is not much difference. Except of course that they tried in 73 and were not successful.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 12:02 pm

        Telling you that you can’t murder Palestinian families and steal their land isn’t “dictating to Israelis.” It’s expecting you to behave like a civilized human being. Is that too much to expect from you?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:03 pm

        “He is against negotiations where the Israelis are not negotiating in good faith; where they continue their criminal ways of stealing Palestinian land and use the negotiation process to cover for that evil program.”

        Ok, let’s run with your hypothesis. What is your or his plan to make sure that Israel complies with these demands? And how do you plan to make Israel leave the West Bank and stop settlements before negotiating with Israel? BDS?

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 12:04 pm

        to regain the Golan

        Case and point. Israel is a marauding state interest in conquest and territorial expansion. You insist that you will never return the Golan to the people you eradicated from the territory when you invaded it, will you, eee?

        See? You don’t negotiate. You’re a war monger.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 12:08 pm

        Eee, Israel is committing crimes against humanity in the West Bank.

        Do you deny that?

        And if we open negotiations with Israel, you will simply commit those crimes faster. History has shown that.

        So doesn’t that make negotiating with Israel just as bad as what Neville Chamberlain did with Nazi Germany?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:11 pm

        Chaos,

        Ok, let’s run with your assumption. Israelis are war mongers.
        What is your plan for moving forward if not negotiations? As far as I can see, your plan involves playing word games and calling Israelis names.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 12:12 pm

        eee, Israelis only understand force and Hizbullah proved it; since 2006, other than abducting a few wayward shepherds and sending them back home after a couple of days, and apart for its spies that it sends in to assassinate politicians, Israel hasn’t set foot in Lebanon. It’s regrettable that the Palestinians aren’t as strong as Hizbullah. Palestinians have to wait for Israel to make a hit on Iran to see their problems with the Zionists resolved.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:14 pm

        “So doesn’t that make negotiating with Israel just as bad as what Neville Chamberlain did with Nazi Germany?”

        I do not want to put words in your mouth, so I ask, are you recommending a war against Israel as the solution?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:16 pm

        “It’s expecting you to behave like a civilized human being. Is that too much to expect from you?”

        We think we are acting like civilized human beings. Apparently you disagree. So what is your plan to move forward if not talks?

      • Taxi
        November 22, 2011, 12:17 pm

        eee,

        Don’t fool yourself thinking you got something important to say ’bout war and peace. You got NO influence man! Your ideas are inconsequential, so utterly meaningless and only your mother cares about them.

        Clearly the Palestinian people (notice I didn’t say their politicians) will do what is necessary and will eventually liberate themselves by any means possible to them. The pen and the gun.

        And there ain’t NOTHING you can say to change that, nothing you can do about it either.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2011, 12:20 pm

        Why do you suppose that negotiations were not chosen as the only way forward in the latter case?” . . . so there is not much difference.

        Well then, negotiations are not the only way forward. I suppose that other countries will eventually get tired of reminding Israel that its actions and settlements are illegal. Palestinians will get other states to freeze Israel’s foreign assets and issue arrest warrants for your leaders whenever they travel abroad. The US can’t shield Israel from that sort of thing.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 12:21 pm

        This is not how civilized people behave, eee.
        link to normanfinkelstein.com

        My plan for fighting Israel is campaigning for Ron Paul as President. How’s that sound?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:25 pm

        “Your ideas are inconsequential, so utterly meaningless and only your mother cares about them.”

        As a person I am inconsequential, but my ideas which are held by millions of Jews are not. And that is why the only way to a peaceful solution is negotiations.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:30 pm

        “Clearly the Palestinian people (notice I didn’t say their politicians) will do what is necessary and will eventually liberate themselves by any means possible to them. The pen and the gun.”

        They have been trying to do it for 60+ years. For every Palestinian pen there is a Jewish pen and for every Palestinian gun there is a Jewish gun. That is why an historical compromise is necessary and it can only be achieved by negotiations. It is so easy to make grandiose statements about the future from afar, isn’t it?

      • eljay
        November 22, 2011, 12:34 pm

        >> Well then, negotiations are not the only way forward.

        I don’t know exactly how it will come about but, according to eee, the “Jewish state” must be dismantled and incorporated into a secular and egalitarian nation:
        >> eee: ” … the lives of several hundreds of thousands of humans (be they Jewish or not) are more important than the demands of any group to remain a majority in a certain area … “.

        Hmmm…or is it possible that he was just being a Zio-supremacist hypocrite when he wrote that? ;-)

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:34 pm

        Walid,
        “Israelis only understand force””

        So are you advocating a war? And if Israel does not attack Iran? What do you advocate then?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:35 pm

        “My plan for fighting Israel is campaigning for Ron Paul as President. How’s that sound?”

        And when Ron Paul is not elected, what is your backup plan?

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:37 pm

        “Well then, negotiations are not the only way forward. I suppose that other countries will eventually get tired of reminding Israel that its actions and settlements are illegal. Palestinians will get other states to freeze Israel’s foreign assets and issue arrest warrants for your leaders whenever they travel abroad. The US can’t shield Israel from that sort of thing.”

        So your plan is to wait until BDS works. Got it.

      • annie
        November 22, 2011, 12:38 pm

        For every Palestinian pen there is a Jewish pen

        not so sure it is that simple. what do those pens write? it is different writing to defend apartheid than writing to defend your freedom. and there is also an audience reading what those pens write. and there is also a matter of who writes truth, or more importantly what the audience perceives as truth. truth is not on your side right now eee, you are not the victim here….not anymore.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 12:44 pm

        Annie,

        What is your plan if not negotiations?

        It is really high time that people understand that only negotiations will lead to a peaceful solution. Neither side is able to force the other into an agreement they don’t like.

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2011, 12:48 pm

        3e,

        You balk at the suggestion that your position is one of “might makes right”, but virtually every one of your arguments boils down to ‘you can’t make me’. Fair enough. Privilege is rarely if ever relinquished voluntarily, but don’t pretend that what the Palestinians are being offered is negotiation in any real sense of the word, or the possibility of arriving at anything resembling a “peaceful solution”.

        The Israeli policy of negotiation has, for the most part, been one of “generous offers” of the take it or leave it variety. For the moment, Israeli Jews have little apparent reason to behave otherwise (‘you can’t make me’), but there is no reason to believe that this state of affairs will remain static – which is why Israel takes the “PR war” so seriously, and which is probably why you spend so much time engaging people you clearly despise. It’s not just BDS. It is the attempt to influence policy-makers that you seek to undermine, the attempt to establish another, fairer, (and thus more viable) basis for negotiations, one based on “the minimum requirements for dignity, humanity and self-determination”, as Jerry Haber put it. It won’t happen without pressure and struggle. So let there be pressure and struggle. Scoff at the efficacy of current efforts if you like, but that does not mean that the kind of “negotiations” you advocate are the way to anything but more domination, more dispossession and more might makes right.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        November 22, 2011, 12:49 pm

        What kind of “negotiations” may take place between a brutal , agressor (backed by a military and financial aid from their big friend) ,and its powerless, innocent victim???
        Why are trying to put an equal sign between them?

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 22, 2011, 12:53 pm

        “Ok, let’s run with your hypothesis.”

        I didn’t state a hypothesis. Do you even know what the word “hypothesis” means?

      • Kathleen
        November 22, 2011, 12:55 pm

        Cut off aid. Israel sign a no first strike agreement Sign the Npt

        Israel honoring and abiding by international agreements 67 boundaries, stop building and expanding illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem, sign the NPT play by the same rules that they demand their neighbors abide by. What a concept

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 1:08 pm

        Eljay,

        If the only way to save hundreds of thousands of people from getting killed would be to abolish the Jewish state, then abolishing the Jewish state would be justified. That is what I wrote. So your interpretation is way off. What is your solution if not negotiations?

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 1:41 pm

        I like that, Kathleen. If your “Jewish guns” are so superior, stop taking money that should be going into American hospitals and schools, eee. And sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. I thought you were interested in diplomacy — join the rest of the modern world, Israel.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 2:00 pm

        “So are you advocating a war? And if Israel does not attack Iran? What do you advocate then?”

        Israel will attack sooner or later, it’s in the Israelis’ genes. If by some miracle it doesn’t, then the Palestinians would just have to wait another 20 years and drown them with the numbers, unless of course, if the Haredim don’t beat the to it and bring about the self-destruction of Israel. Israel is sitting on a ticking time bomb and keeping Israelis mind away from this reality by spooking them about Arabs about to slaughter them but it’s wearing thin. Most of the Arab Mid-East is pro-US and by extension either pro-Israel or at least not anti-Israel. When Israelis figure out that have been duped all these years by their governments and that there is no real danger of extermination at the hands of Arabs, you’ll start seeing civil wars in Israel. In any event, eee, Israel’s days are surely numbered. I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t give you the date.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 2:28 pm

        Shmuel,

        This whole discussion started from people bad mouthing the Geneva Initiative. How can anyone say that this initiative is not a fair basis for a solution? And why is the result of that not a peaceful solution?

        As “you can’t make me” it is very different than “might makes right”. Can Israel “make” Palestinians accept things they do not want? No it can’t.

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 2:32 pm

        Walid,

        Back to the old “Israel’s days are numbered routine” is it? This is nothing original, Arabs have been saying this for decades. If this is the best you can do…

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 22, 2011, 2:50 pm

        “This whole discussion started from people bad mouthing the Geneva Initiative.”

        Nonsense. If people were bad-mouthing anything, it’s not the Geneva Initiative itself, it is the transparent attempt by Israel to use things like the Geneva Initiative in order to freeze the Palestinians in a negotiation holding pattern while Israeli Jews complete the rape of Palestine.

        Israelis are good for proposing endless talks but never seem to get around to be willing to accept something that the Palestinians and the outside world might consider in the neighborhood of “just.” (I, for one, have no misconception that you people will ever do anything that is actually “just”… just getting close would be a miracle.)

      • eljay
        November 22, 2011, 2:57 pm

        >> Can Israel “make” Palestinians accept things they do not want? No it can’t.

        Wow, he’s hateful, immoral AND shockingly oblivious (or dense).

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 3:15 pm

        “How can anyone say that this initiative is not a fair basis for a solution?”

        eee, have you read the document and the parts that are written in Israel’s favour such as the part of the Jordan Valley that would remain under Israeli control, the part about Palestine not being militarized, about Israel being allowed to use Palestinian airspace for its military exercises etc etc etc?

        Put a Palestinian hat on for a minute and see if you ‘d still find this a fair document:

        Full Geneva Accord:

        link to fromoccupiedpalestine.org

      • eee
        November 22, 2011, 3:35 pm

        Walid,

        The Geneva Initiative is very fair. It is a fair compromise. Neither side gets all it wants. You are stuck in 1947 in your concept of “fair”. But since your strategy is to wait for Israel to self destruct, what do you care? Just keep waiting.

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2011, 3:41 pm

        Can Israel “make” Palestinians accept things they do not want?

        Israel can certainly make Palestinian leaders accept things that they and/or the Palestinian people do not want, and have been doing so all along. It’s the balance of power – Israeli and US, with no significant opposition. You’ve mentioned it yourself. The current process – and even the Geneva initiative – offer the Palestinians a rotten compromise (see Haber below), whether their leaders accept it or not.

        How can anyone say that this initiative is not a fair basis for a solution?
        To the extent that it is still feasible, it is a “rotten compromise” that denies Palestinians “a sufficient level of dignity, security and independence”.
        link to jeremiahhaber.com

      • Taxi
        November 22, 2011, 4:35 pm

        eee: “They have been trying to do it for 60+ years. ”

        And they’ll keep doing it for another 600!

        You’d be a bigger fool than I already think you are if for a second you believed that Palestinians are EVER gonna give up.

        The Nakba war ain’t over yet baby! The devious zionist ‘Greater Israel’ plan has been stuck in blood-mud for ooooh sixty four years now and the suffering Palestinians have fought back consistently with even the little that they got. Whereas your racist ‘privileged’ european colony, in the process, has deranged and degraded itself into being now rightfully referred to as Apartheid israelistan.

        Simultaneously imploding and exploding in all directions and all in slo-mo.

        Sure go ahead and steal land faster than ever and insist on your prissily deceptive oohlala civilized ‘negotiations’ a thousand times a minute – who cares – at the end of the Nakba war, you ain’t keeping any of it anyway.

        In fact you’ve already lost the war, we’re just waiting for it to be televised – you’ll see what I’m talking about soon enough.

        Just wait till the Egyptian people, all 80 million of them, fire the current military regime and determine their own version of a peaceful ‘negotiation’ with you. Let’s see you negotiating THAT border first before you make any more of your special ‘generous’ offers to the brave and enduring Palestinians. Them Palestinians are such a patient people, you know, a quality I admire in them the most cuz I ain’t got none :-)

        Like I said before, the Palestinians still got plenty pens and guns and what you got? A bigger gun but with bad eyesight and a bigger pen that’s got no ink nor soul.

        Unless of course you can recommend us some fine occupier poetry that celebrates the idf boot in the stomach of a pregnant Palestinian lady.

        Clearly, like so much of it’s society, israeli literature sucks eggs. It’s all self-important melodramas and an acute case of intellectual denialism which really really really pisses off the muse – knowadamean?! Or are you eee a Philistine in matters of literature, philosophy and high-culture?

        You guys really shoulda read Plato to figure out how to build a real republic and not only studied the holocaust sagas and pulp – which is now kinda becoming obsolete due to lapse of time and due especially to bad zionist behavior.

        And speaking of bad behavior, I haven’t even mentioned the ‘negotiations’ with Hizbollah that you’ll soon be forced into :-)

        Sure looks like there’s gonna be a heckalotta negotiations going on in your (stolen) neck of the wood.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2011, 4:46 pm

        So your plan is to wait until BDS works. Got it.

        BDS is a grassroots civil society effort. Palestinians pursuing claims and criminal complaints in foreign and international courts or foreign governments taking action against Israel is not BDS.

      • DBG
        November 22, 2011, 4:52 pm

        Hezbollah’s main concern is Syria and the coup they will need to perpetrate once Assad loses power. Negotiations with Hezbollah are worthless anyways, look at UN 1701.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 5:21 pm

        But whatever you do, do not look at the dozens upon dozens of UN resolutions that Israel is breaking, nor look at Israel’s nuclear arms stockpile (and their attempted proliferation to South Africa) and CERTAINLY stop looking at the new Jews-only settlements being built on Palestinian land right this minute. DBG put up his smokescreen so now were talking about Hezbollah and Syria, NOT Israel.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 5:54 pm

        “Hezbollah’s main concern is Syria and the coup they will need to perpetrate once Assad loses power. Negotiations with Hezbollah are worthless anyways, look at UN 1701.”

        Wrong, DBG, its main concern is keeping Israel kosher and on its side of the border. As long as Israel stays within its borders and keeps it in its pants, it will be safe from Hizbullah.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 6:10 pm

        “Back to the old “Israel’s days are numbered routine” is it? This is nothing original, Arabs have been saying this for decades. If this is the best you can do…”

        eee, a few decades back, the Arab states in a rare epiphanic moment realized they would never beat Israel militarily and that it would be self-destructing from within down the road because of all these people from everywhere and sure enough, Israel is now on track to do it with all this Haredi stuff getting out of control. The only Arabs that were not convinced of this were the people of Hizbullah. So I honestly can’t tell if your end will be coming at the hands of Hizbullah or those of your coming civil wars. Do you have another passport to get you safely out of harm’s way?

      • Koshiro
        November 23, 2011, 3:03 am

        “Compromise”. Right. So if I want to plunder your home and kill your entire family, and you want to keep your possessions and your family members’ lives, a fair compromise would be me leaving one of your kids alive and taking only 80% of your stuff.

        Seriously, there really is not anything to say about the initiative other than Richard, eee and BHL endorsing it. This is actually all the condemnation it needs.

    • Cliff
      November 22, 2011, 6:36 am

      Richard Witty said:

      I, like Morris, do conclude that in 1948, the need for haven and for self-governance, and the possibility of it, were so compelling as to make ends justify means.

      I cannot possibly imagine myself undertaking the means of either intense ethically disciplined warfare (against guerillas, a difficult task), nor cruel terror.

      And, maybe that is opportunistic on my part. I don’t eat meat (and haven’t for 40 years) partially because I am unwilling to kill, or even to ask others to kill on my behalf. So, maybe my appreciation of that willingness on the part of Zionist pioneers is hypocritical.

      I don’t think so. Need is compelling. The art in politics by those actually committed to non-violence is to construct paths by which war is unnecessary.

      After war, comes some quiet, with inevitably compromised results. Why not skip the animosity and go right to reconciliation and clarity.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Richard Witty
        November 22, 2011, 6:46 am

        Cliff,
        Thank you for repeating my well-reasoned description of my commitment to peace.

        This is 2011. If you are advocating for war in the present, then that is a very real (a horrible real) advocacy, in contrast to your contempt for a litmus test of an academic opinion of 6 years before my birth.

        Please have as much courage as Arafat and Rabin, who both ordered violence against their neighbor, but were willing to reconcile.

      • Cliff
        November 22, 2011, 6:55 am

        I’ve never advocated a campaign of horror to induce ethnic cleansing – something you advocated.

        It doesn’t matter that the Nakba took place 6 years before you were born. Your opinion indicates your low moral standing. In fact, you have no morals. You only have Zionism. You are a Zionist. Not a moral person.

        The Holocaust happened decades and decades ago but there are still Holocaust deniers today.

        You support the defining-tragedy of the Palestinian people and rightfully describe yourself as an opportunistic (and cowardly) partisan.

        You don’t support peace.

        Arafat sold out the Palestinian people for a photo-op. Rabin was a murderer in a long line of Israeli politicians marketed as peace activists or men of peace.

        Everything you say on-line at very blogs you frequent is utter nonsense.

      • LeaNder
        November 22, 2011, 7:02 am

        my well-reasoned description

        ;)

        It’s interesting if one leans back a while and simply watches.

        I consider that it is 2011 and not ’20s to 30′s to 40? obvious. I also noticed you lure historical gems for core meditation out of our dear Hostage. ;)

      • eljay
        November 22, 2011, 8:15 am

        >> … in contrast to your contempt for a litmus test of an academic opinion of 6 years before my birth.

        When Jews commit immoral and unjust acts against non-Jews six years before his birth, RW has this to say about it:
        —————————
        >> I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
        >> If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.
        —————————

        When non-Jews commit immoral and unjust acts against Jews OVER 30 YEARS before his birth, RW has this to say about it:
        —————————
        >> They were murdered in 1920 because of the bigotry of those that associated all Jews with their fears.
        >> It was politically motivated, ideological, not all that different from much of the ideology cited here by some of the maximalists.
        >> Rationalized by some stimuli to bigotry. Never justified.
        >> Is intentional mass murder of teenage boys EVER justified? That anyone would attempt to, is sickening.
        —————————

        When Jews kill non-Jews, it’s just so much “academic speculation”. When non-Jews kill Jews, “academic speculation” is discarded in favour of condemnation.

        What an astounding hypocrite.

      • Cliff
        November 22, 2011, 9:04 am

        Bump, great observation eljay.

      • Chaos4700
        November 22, 2011, 9:12 am

        I remember reading that, eljay, and I was too late to add in reply then: Unless we’re talking about Turkish-American teenagers in international waters. Then they apparently deserve to die, according to Witty.

      • DBG
        November 22, 2011, 4:52 pm

        It is easy to advocate for war from thousands of miles away.

      • Taxi
        November 22, 2011, 5:18 pm

        And it’s easier to advocate for ethnic cleansing from thousands of miles away.

      • Donald
        November 23, 2011, 11:00 am

        “Israel is willing to negotiate without preconditions”

        That’s the mantra Israel uses these days–I take it to mean that they wish to toss aside all aspects of international law that favor the Palestinians, as those “preconditions” wouldn’t suit Israel so much.

      • Richard Witty
        November 24, 2011, 11:44 am

        If you asked me of the terror actions of the Irgun in 1947-8, I would describe them as racist murders.

        As I described the Hebron massacres as such.

        The question is of what are you advocating for TODAY?

        Mutual viable healthy self-determination is my stand.

        Yours?

      • James North
        November 24, 2011, 12:49 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘This is a cunning maneuver on my part. I condemn the Irgun, but I continue to accept that the much larger, mainstream Zionist military organizations in 1947-8 drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes — and violated international law by not letting them return .’

      • Chaos4700
        November 25, 2011, 12:35 am

        Gee, Witty, it’s a good thing that Irgun was punished… by being bestowed positions of great honor and esteem in the Jewish establishment, in Israel and beyond.

        The sons and daughters of Palestinian terrorists? Get murdered. (“The ends justify the means,” as you and so many fascists before you claim.)

        The sons and daughters of Jewish terrorists? Become Prime Ministers and US Senators.

      • Cliff
        November 25, 2011, 1:33 am

        You’re so pathetic Dick.

        It’s only after people here rub your face in your own racism that you PARTIALLY retract past statements.

        In this case you are only describing the racist murders of Irgun, as racist murders.

        And I wonder if you will retract your opinion that these racist murders were “compelling” and thus justified because a Jewish State was a “compelling need.”

        Probably not. That is the difference between anti-Zionists here and a Zionist like you.

        We support IHL (all the settlements are illegal) and you support racist murders and racist settlement policy.

      • Richard Witty
        November 25, 2011, 5:57 am

        I support treating civilians as civilians, getting their day in court.

        The variable in this argument with you is solely whether the residents of the settlements should be removed en masse, by a political logic (not legal) that includes an ethnic component of the forced removal.

        I say that it is a cruelty, a very BAD legal precedent, and certainly illegal by any standards of civil law in many cases.

        You prefer to speak of the settlers as not human beings, but only as some political function.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2011, 9:23 am

        The variable in this argument with you is solely whether the residents of the settlements should be removed en masse, by a political logic (not legal) that includes an ethnic component of the forced removal.

        Richard you’re still beating the dead horses of Zionism. The settlers are citizens of an alien occupying power. They have been advised by all of the primary international political and judicial institutions that Israel’s settlements constitute a grave breach of international law. It has been the settlers themselves, and their political movements, that have driven those illegal State policies and practices. So, they really don’t have a valid basis for a claim against their own government, much less a Palestinian one.

      • James North
        November 25, 2011, 9:34 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Hostage: I skipped right over your comment, as always. I can’t let myself recognize the truth of what you so eloquently say. I will continue practicing not so much the Big Lie as the Chronic Lie: the Israeli settler/colonists are innocent victims who “purchased” their land and that to remove them would be cruel and “fascist.”‘

      • eee
        November 25, 2011, 10:05 am

        “and violated international law by not letting them return”

        Not that I care about international law, but the resolution about the refugees was non-binding, so you are wrong as usual North.

      • Hostage
        November 25, 2011, 11:26 am

        “and violated international law by not letting them return” . . . Not that I care about international law, but the resolution about the refugees was non-binding, so you are wrong as usual North.

        As usual you are trying to reframe the debate to focus on different issues. The customary prohibition against forced displacement or deportation of civilian populations for reasons related to armed conflicts was fully established by the era of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The earliest codification was contained in the Lieber Code which provided that “private citizens are no longer . . . carried off to distant parts.” Articles 7, 8, and 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) reflected customary practice and have been universally ratified. The commentary on article 8 explains that protected persons in all cases without exception enjoy the protection of the Convention until they are repatriated. link to icrc.org

        *Chapter IV of the Charter of the United Nations, The General Assembly, contains no mention of non-binding resolutions. In any event, references to the customary principles of international law in a UN resolution cannot render them “non-binding”. Article 18 explicitly states that the General Assembly can adopt decisions on any important question. link to un.org
        *All member states have a treaty obligation, under the terms of Article 2(5) of the Charter, to give the UN organization every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.
        *The State of Israel agreed to the inclusion of General Assembly resolution 194(III) as one of the terms of reference for a just settlement, e.g. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People reported to the Security Council that:

        19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

        So, I’d suggest that you change the topic to some other issue, because this one isn’t going so well for you.

      • eee
        November 26, 2011, 1:05 pm

        Hostage,

        The amount of verbiage you pour is astounding. The reason what you write is useless is because every legal argument has a counter argument, and since you are a hack, you never review the counter arguments to the position you support. So, you report what the “The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” has to say, but you don’t report what objective or Zionist legal positions were put forward.

        It is clear to anyone that is living in this world that the demand that the refugees return is “non-binding”.

      • seafoid
        November 26, 2011, 2:41 pm

        eee

        Where will the Sephardim go when it all falls apart?
        Israel should listen to people like Hostage. You remind me of the Germans in 1942 who said they would win the war.

      • Chaos4700
        November 26, 2011, 2:48 pm

        Eee, human rights are not written in pencil.

      • Hostage
        November 26, 2011, 4:06 pm

        It is clear to anyone that is living in this world that the demand that the refugees return is “non-binding”.

        Correction: Neither Israel nor its supporters have ever been able to offer a a counter argument to the customary and conventional prohibitions against population transfer or deportation and Israel’s acceptance of the UN resolutions. That’s why they always insist that a final settlement can’t be imposed, ala Iraq-Kuwait, but has to be negotiated. This is the only case anyone can adduce to support that bizarre theory. If you can offer a counter argument, then it’s a mystery why you’ve wasted months of our time without spitting it out. Dr. Alan Baker wasted 230 pages in Israel’s written submission in the Wall case arguing that the ICJ should exercise its discretion and decline to provide an advisory opinion, but he never provided any counter arguments to support Israel’s claims regarding the legality of its settlements, and the resulting displacement of the Palestinians. Why don’t you give it a try?

    • eGuard
      November 22, 2011, 6:46 am

      From the accord 1.0: 1. Mutual recognition:
      [...] Conversely, the Israelis recognize the Palestinian state as the national home of the Palestinian people
      .

      So that finally, Israel can deport the remaining Palestinians. Israel will create and recognize two Apartheid states! As you say, Witty, it is a path forward. It is. And it is Apartheid.

  5. pabelmont
    November 22, 2011, 7:00 am

    The PLO may have strands that would accept Israel, even as a “Jewish state” (and so-called by them!) IN RETURN for something, maybe in return for anything. I don’t know how desperate they are. Waiting for Israel to self-destruct may, at long last, seem a fool’s game to some. Waiting for humane Jews to awaken and act, ditto. Waiting for the UN to do something helpful (as BDS by nations), ditto.

    Waiting and watching Israel become more like the European totalitarian states, killing, starving, disempowering, dispossessing, pogromizing, may finally seem “too much”.

    Israel’s policy since 1948 has been take, take, take, give nothing and wait for Palestinians to give up, give in, disappear. It may well work. I’m sorry the decent people of the world have been so powerless.

    The great corporations, which appear to have a sufficiency of fellow-feeling with Israel, control far more than merely the I/P. Read Naomi Klein’s NATION Article on Global Warming, a far more important problem on which (also) the world is stymied. Or, read a more succinct but less valuable treatment of the corporate power by myself

  6. Avi_G.
    November 22, 2011, 7:20 am

    This guy was the liaison between the French government and the so-called rebels in Libya. He’s a good friend of Netanyahu’s. He’s been involved in various orchestrated violence in Somalia.

    Whatever he touches turns to *****. Avoid at all costs.

    • dumvitaestspesest
      November 22, 2011, 9:42 am

      You are right. This man shoud be on ” the most wanted” list.
      Very dangerous individual. Whatever he touches , it changes into the abuse ,agression, war.
      He covers himself behind this “Eccentric Philosopherrrrrr persona” with unruly hair and “seductive” cleeeeeeavage but nobody should be mistaken.
      It is a very sleaky, sleazy, old fox.

  7. tokyobk
    November 22, 2011, 7:47 am

    BHL is an egomaniacal blowhard who probably wants to keep the status quo because its to Israel’s advantage. But lets be serious here: His comments on Islam are tepid compared to what is said on both sides about the other. And 2, Islam and Judaism -are- both factors in this conflict. If some settlers consider Palestinians Amekalites, that is relevant, as is the Hadith in the Hamas charter. Its up to the religious to explain to us how their beliefs jive with enlightened practices, not up to us to excuse away in the name of protecting religious sensibilities. The whole concept of a Holy Land as well as the idea that that land naturally belongs to one group because of past conquest is all religiously derived.

    • Avi_G.
      November 22, 2011, 8:41 am

      And 2, Islam and Judaism -are- both factors in this conflict. If some settlers consider Palestinians Amekalites, that is relevant, as is the Hadith in the Hamas charter.

      What you describe is marginal to the entire conflict. As a factor, it’s negligible to the point of being irrelevant.

      Now, if you want to discuss the religious elements inherent to Zionism, you might have a leg to stand on as that would be in keeping with colonial constructs reminiscent of the missionaries and the spread of Christianity.

      • tokyobk
        November 22, 2011, 10:04 am

        The idea that Jews should return to that part of the world and conversely that Jews are interlopers or at best dhimmi in that part of the world is completely of religious derivation.

        It is the beginning point, not the whole or at this point the most relevant factor.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 10:50 am

        tokyobk, nothing was wrong with the concept of Jews returning to Palestine whether for religious or other reasons. What became wrong with the Jews doing it was in its displacing and dispossessing of the Palestinians. Speaking for myself, I was born in one country and spent most of my life in another, but no one was dispossessed by it. How many of us here emigrated and ended up with dual citizenships?

      • tokyobk
        November 22, 2011, 12:08 pm

        I agree with you that it is displacement that is the problem in all these cases, and expulsion; both Palestinian and Jewish from the rest of the Arab world.

        My point is that if Hamas was a contraction for Feminist Liberation Movement, I would assume that feminism was part of their agenda.

        Religion is a factor in this conflict.

      • Taxi
        November 22, 2011, 12:23 pm

        tokyobok,

        Actually ‘religion’ is only a recent factor – you could say the conflict has been radicalized by religion. Quintessentially the conflict IS ABOUT REAL ESTATE, LAND LAND AND MORE LAND.

        COLONIALISM!

      • Avi_G.
        November 22, 2011, 12:45 pm

        tokyobk says:
        November 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

        The idea that Jews should return to that part of the world and conversely that Jews are interlopers or at best dhimmi in that part of the world is completely of religious derivation.

        It is the beginning point, not the whole or at this point the most relevant factor.

        Whatever. You’re not impressing anyone with your theatrics. Calm down and try to comprehend a few basic ideas.

        1. That false equivalence you constructed, where you pretended to be some fair-handed neutral observer, is pathetic.

        2. Zionism has no place in the Middle East.

        3. Judaism has been co-opted by Zionism to the point where the two have become indistinguishable.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2011, 12:50 pm

        “Religion is a factor in this conflict.”

        Tokyobk, religion is the driving force; the reason for its being is injustice. It’s the acronym of Harakat Al -Mouqawama Islamiya, or the Islamic Resistance Movement; Hamas is also the Arabic word for “zeal”. If there wouldn’t have been an accupation, there wouldn’t have been a resistance to fight it. Likewise for Hizbulla that was formed because of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.

        The agenda of both is the liberation of their land, not to make Muslims of the Jews or to kill them. You have Israel to thank for their being around and causing you nightmares, not their religion.

      • powzon
        November 22, 2011, 6:34 pm

        “2. Zionism has no place in the Middle East.”

        How about the Zionism of Ahad ha Am, Buber, Einstein, Jerry Haber? Couldn’t most Arabs get behind that, if they were to consider it? Wouldn’t an expansion of what the term “Zionism” could, and should, indicate be a positive development, and preferable to the endless Zionism is either all good or all bad?

      • RoHa
        November 22, 2011, 6:41 pm

        “How about the Zionism of Ahad ha Am, Buber, Einstein, Jerry Haber? Couldn’t most Arabs get behind that, if they were to consider it? Wouldn’t an expansion of what the term “Zionism” could, and should, indicate be a positive development, and preferable to the endless Zionism is either all good or all bad?”

        The Zionism that we know, that has been put into practice, is bad.

        What is the point of dragging up these other “Zionisms”?

        What do they have to offer the world that would be better than no form of Zionism at all?

      • annie
        November 22, 2011, 6:44 pm

        Couldn’t most Arabs get behind that, if they were to consider it? Wouldn’t an expansion of what the term “Zionism” could, and should, indicate be a positive development, and preferable to the endless Zionism is either all good or all bad?

        this reminds me of an abused woman whose boyfriend joe keeps beating her up and killing her. she says how about tom dick and harry, couldn’t most women get behind them, if joe were like them, if they were to consider it? Wouldn’t an expansion of what the term “joe” could, and should, indicate be a positive development, and preferable to the endless violent abuse is either all good or all bad?

        so, i would have to agree with her, if her violent abusing boyfriend joe were more like tom dick and harry it would be different. but he’s not he’s joe. this is not a game, if zionism were no longer ugly people would notice. but it is ugly. it’s not how you want it to be.

      • RoHa
        November 22, 2011, 7:16 pm

        “The idea that Jews … are interlopers” is completely of religious derivation.

        But that isn’t the idea. The idea is that European and American Jewish invaders are interlopers. And that idea isn’t based on religion, but on the way the European Jews set about taking the land and driving out the non-Jews.

      • Taxi
        November 22, 2011, 11:12 pm

        Not so fast powzon (yeah yeah power zion!).

        Einstein rejected and denounced zionism. Here’s a 1948 public letter to the NYT which he signed regarding this very matter in fact:
        link to rense.com

        And here’s a buncha fun stuff ’bout his cool life:
        link to dissidentvoice.org

        We can be sure that the older he got, the less keen on zionism Albert got.

      • powzon
        November 23, 2011, 12:30 pm

        @Taxi — “yeah yeah power zion!”

        Be assured that the appellation “powzon” absolutely, positively, cross-the-heart-and-hope-to-die has nothing at all, not in signification, indication or derivation, to do with what you’ve surmised. Though now that you’ve proposed it, it may be related by accident. Zion. What did it mean to US slaves, or to Bob Marley, or to Morpheus and Neo?

      • tokyobk
        November 22, 2011, 10:09 am

        “Now, if you want to discuss the religious elements inherent to Zionism, you might have a leg to stand on as that would be in keeping with colonial constructs reminiscent of the missionaries and the spread of Christianity.”

        I got you. If it works against Zionism then by all means throw in the kitchen sink, otherwise, religion has nothing to do with a conflict in which people divide themselves into Jews and Arabs (as if Arab was a synonym for non-Jew) and in which one of two Palestinian factions casts itself in completely religious terms promising a religious state.

      • powzon
        November 23, 2011, 12:19 pm

        Einstein did not condemn Zionism in the 1948 letter; he condemned the actions and ethos of Menachem Begin and his Freedom Party, likening them to Fascism. Einstein contrasts their activities what he likely considered commendable and valuable Jewish activities in Palestine,

        “The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.”

        And he condemned the “top leadership of American Zionism” for refusing “to campaign against Begin’s efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin”.

        Everyone with pretensions to being seriously engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be conversant with the attitudes of all the players: Western nations, diaspora Jews, Arabs, and with the causes of those attitudes. Anyone in the West who knows both Jews personally and as some part of their national culture, and who knows the history of gentile attitudes towards Jews in their culture, knows the facts about anti-semitism, and knows what “Zionism” signifies for Jews.

        It’s likely that only a minority of Jews will be won to the idea that Zionism because of its crimes against the Palestinian Arabs, is all bad. And in fact, the Zionism of the gentlemen mentioned above was largely good, to put it a little simplistically. If you don’t know what “Jerry Haber” means by Zionism, you could find out, The Magnes Zionist – FAQ on Zionism and Racism. As for racism in Zionism, even Ahad ha Am could be said to have been a little bit racist in some expressions of superiority of Jews over Arabs, but it was nothing so bad as the hypocrisy of facilitator of the settlements, the Labor party, for instance.

        As agitprop, a response such as Annie’s may be constructive to an extent, but it’s a short-lived constructiveness that works via the same heightened emotions as the kind of Zionism she excoriates, and leaves ordinary Jews pulled between the part of Zionism that for them is a reassurance and the part they’re morally compelled to condemn. This type of tension and pressure is one reason why, for instance, ordinary Israelis, with as little time to learn about and reflect upon the forces acting upon their lives as ordinary US citizens, have voted more right than left. It would be nice to suppose that recognition of this pressure upon ordinary Jews and Israelis was in King Abdullah’s mind when he said to Thomas Friedman something you should all be familiar with, “I wanted to find a way to make clear to the Israeli people that the Arabs don’t reject or despise them. But the Arab people do reject what their leadership is now doing to the Palestinians, which is inhumane and oppressive. And I thought of this as a possible signal to the Israeli people.” Yes, the chief Zionist response, where there was one at all, to the Saudi peace proposal was to disingenuously question whether “full normalization of relations” really meant some kind of cold peace, as if “full normal…” could mean anything but “full normal…”. If only Abdullah’s intention “to make clear to the Israeli people that the Arabs don’t reject or despise them” could become an ongoing effort, from the Arabs to the Israelis, despite what their governments do.

      • RoHa
        November 23, 2011, 10:23 pm

        “And in fact, the Zionism of the gentlemen mentioned above was largely good, to put it a little simplistically.”

        Could you explain what this “good” Zionism is, and what benefit it will bring to the world?

      • powzon
        January 7, 2012, 2:06 pm

        What would good Zionism be? If you are a reasonably sophisticated and well-informed resident of the West, can’t you imagine it yourself? On the part of Jews, it would be everything it is now extensively modified by honesty and repentance regarding long-standing European Jewish bigotry towards the Arabs and Muslims and regarding the circumstances of Israel’s founding, and by a good faith commitment to reconcile. On the part of Arabs, it would be a whole-hearted recognition that the Jews’ origins are in the Middle East, that they are welcome as good neighbors, even as cousins, that the Middle East was most often somewhat cosmopolitan, and even the supposed hinterlands, such as Arabia were never ethnically pure and even benefited from this, and that the conflict of the last 100 years must and will be settled in all good faith. On all sides, the religion justifications and excuses must be both fully acknowledged and also put up as excuses for aggression.

        Fat chance, one might say.

  8. Taxi
    November 22, 2011, 8:32 am

    Why is this creepy medallion-man in the picture again? Does he think his hairy exposed chest is suavely peace inducing?

    Bernard ‘medallion-man’ Levy , Denis ‘Rat’ Ross (who’s still around by the way, doing his best for Apartied israelistan) and yeah Tony ‘Liar’ Blair too – all are zionist musketeers interested ONLY in jewish dominance of the middle east. AND they’re raking in the dollars for it too.

    Nothing short of rotten eggs on their faces will do.

    • eljay
      November 22, 2011, 8:45 am

      >> Why is this creepy medallion-man in the picture again?

      He looks like a middle-aged Wolverine. :-)

      >> Does he think his hairy exposed chest is suavely peace inducing?

      What do YOU think? ;-)

    • pabelmont
      November 22, 2011, 9:00 am

      Tony “be Liar” Blair? Nice pun in there.

      But he is a politician, and is his mouth open? Then of course he is lying. I think Abraham Lincoln generally told the truth and argued honestly. Maybe he was the last.

    • powzon
      November 23, 2011, 12:37 pm

      No fan of BHL here. But with Einstein’s letter as well as BHL pics, precision is a virtue. There seems to be neither medallion nor hair on his chest. OK, he can stick with black and white 24/7, or at least in public. But he until he starts remembering that top button, it’s like nothing so much as a pretentious costume, and as such seems to complement at least some of his thinking.

  9. Walid
    November 22, 2011, 10:11 am

    The conference is at Geneva University at 6 pm local time and to be opened by Micheline Calmy-Rey, the President of Switzerland.

  10. dumvitaestspesest
    November 22, 2011, 12:44 pm

    This warmonger ,BHL should be put on the Nurember Trial , not on a peace talk initiatives.
    Another joke on behalf of people.

  11. Keith
    November 22, 2011, 1:29 pm

    “Bernard-Henri Lévy, French philosopher and writer”

    A more honest description would read ‘Bernard-Henri Levy, “French” Jewish fat-cat Sayan.’ Whenever this guy shows up, can “humanitarian” suffering be far behind?

  12. American
    November 22, 2011, 5:47 pm

    From what I have seen of ‘Bernard’, he has always appeared to me to be a egotisical putz looking to be important and get his picture taken.
    But I wouldn’t worry about this latest Geneva intititive…nothing will come of it because Israel isnt going to negotiate in good faith. Never has.
    Just more playing talky -talky game.

  13. wondering jew
    November 22, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I would think that BHL is trying to get Jews to support Geneva Initiative and the attempt to get Palestinians to support the initiative would come from Abed Rabbo. If you are hoping for an American or EU induced peace treaty between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis over the next 5 to 15 years without a major war, the Geneva Initiative (with slight changes) is the game in town. If you are willing to wait longer or are waiting for a war to change the equation, then the Geneva Initiative is not for you.

    • Walid
      November 22, 2011, 6:37 pm

      WJ, you made sound like a threat; persuing the Geneva Initiative is enough to kick off a civil war among the Palestinians. The initiative is a conspiracy between the Israelis and their collaborators. Is there anything the Israelis have to offer that can be acceptable to the Palestinians?

      • wondering jew
        November 22, 2011, 9:31 pm

        Walid, I assume that it is enough to kick off a civil war among Palestinians because of its minimal/negligible acceptance of returning refugees into Israel proper. Am I correct in my assumption? I am not in charge of negotiations, so I cannot tell you what the Israelis are willing to offer, based upon my own opinion, only based on what the polls of Israeli Jews say. my own tendency is to allow in 100,000 to 200,000 refugees over a period of time between 10 and 20 years, but I doubt a majority of Israelis can be convinced of this, let alone to accept the right of return in principle without setting a number in advance.

        I don’t mean it as a threat, but as an analysis of the situation.

      • Walid
        November 23, 2011, 12:40 am

        WJ, it’s expected that only a fraction of the refugees would return and it’s sad after all these years of waiting.What Israel did was criminal and wicked because most of the Jews it brought in to replace the dispossessed Palestinians already had a country and a home elsewhere. I’m not talking about legitimate Jewish immigrants like the holocaust survivors or those other European Jews that had become homeless after the war or legitimate Arab Jews that had been expelled like some of the Egyptian ones but those other Jews such as those that had been living in places like Chicago or NYC that didn’t really have to move to Israel.

        I say expected because any return of massive numbers would be just as hard on Palestinians as it would be on Israelis because of the problems of adaptation for both and the limitations that would be imposed imposed on returnees. In any event, whatever number Israel agrees to let in would be based on Israel’s long standing argument that it would allow back only those born in pre-48 Palestine which would make any returnee older than 63 years old with a life expectancy of another 10 years or so and even so, most of those wouldn’t want to return because their children and grandchildren would not be returning with them.

        There could be possible solutions that would involve several countries that have made offers but none of these offers are honest, especially on the part of Israel that is now looking into ways of expelling its 1.5 million Palestinian population. The Palestinians have been getting shafted by friend and foe as well as by their own for 65 years.

      • ToivoS
        November 23, 2011, 2:47 am

        WJ says:

        I am not in charge of negotiations, so I cannot tell you what the Israelis are willing to offer, based upon my own opinion, only based on what the polls of Israeli Jews say.

        Thanks for showing up WJ you often make sense. But I have to answer this assertion with some criticism.

        “what the Israelis are willing to offer” is totally insufficient. They offer oppression of the Palestinians in the WB and the seizure of their land. Any one who has witnessed the “peace process” over the last 20 years cannot dispute this.

        Based on “polls of Israeli Jews” we all know what those polls say. Basically, Israeli Jews support the suppression of the Palestinians. The polls are clear on this. Israel cannot correct this problem. They can only be forced to do the right thing by external pressure. That is why BDS is the only solution. One cannot negotiate with the Israelis because they have already decided to seize the WB. They will not capitulate during any negotiation. But they can face international pressure that will force them to see reason. First Israel needs to feel some real economic pain. BDS is the one tool that can make that happen.

    • Shmuel
      November 23, 2011, 3:26 am

      WJ,

      What do you think about Jerry Haber’s “rotten compromise” argument (borrowed from Avishai Margalit)?

      What I would like to argue briefly is that the liberal Zionist vision of the two-state solution is not morally justifiable, and a peace agreement along its lines constitutes what Avishai Margalit calls, although not with reference to the liberal Zionist vision, a rotten compromise. Margalit distinguishes between bad compromises, which are justifiable or excusable for the sake of peace even when the principles of justice are violated, and rotten compromises, which either result in, or preserve, an inhuman system. The cases of inhuman systems he gives (slavery, racist tyranny) are worse, I believe, than the current system of Israeli occupation – but what that system shares in common with the more extreme versions is the dehumanization of those under occupation. I wish to argue that a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians that produces a Palestinian state that is only marginally better than occupation, and in which there is still a significant degree of Israeli control, hence, of dehumanization, would be, if not a rotten compromise, than something perilously close to it.

      Haber focuses on the immorality of a rotten compromise, but a “solution” that perpetuates the dehumanisation of Palestinians would likely be unsustainable, with possibly disastrous consequences.

      link to jeremiahhaber.com

      • wondering jew
        November 23, 2011, 8:43 pm

        Shmuel- I am familiar with Haber’s “rotten compromise” thesis. I suppose I am hanging on to a hope of something that would be even worse than the status quo.

        It seems clear that the good will to reach an agreement of any sort is currently lacking. And if with a Livni or Mofaz premiership an agreement could be reached there is a lack of good will to push it in a positive direction.
        And any agreement would have to be accepted by at least half of Israel and half of the Palestinians to make it work. The attitude of “we over here and them over there” is not one of reconciliation, which would be essential for a better future rather than Haber’s vision of the more likely result.

      • annie
        November 23, 2011, 10:03 pm

        i don’t agree reconciliation is essential for a better future. optimum perhaps but not essential. ending the occupation doesn’t require a reconciliation it just requires israel not being control freaks and getting the f out of the WB as well as ending the blockade. if you want to maintain israel doing either of those things requires a reconciliation have at it. but don’t pretend something is essential unless it is. prisoners get released all the time who have not reconciled with their jailers and i’d bet they’d characterize that as a ‘better future’.

      • wondering jew
        November 24, 2011, 6:40 pm

        annie- i agree that it is not the bare minimum necessary for an agreement and thus the term essential is not appropriate. but shmuel was raising a point by jerry haber that talked of a rotten compromise and thus to avoid the rottenness that haber foresees i suggest that some kind of reconciliation would be necessary.

      • Shmuel
        November 25, 2011, 3:23 am

        We may just be arguing semantics, but allowing Palestinians to preserve their dignity does not necessarily entail reconciliation. The two main problems that Haber points out are the discrepancy between the level of sacrifice (and risk) demanded of Palestinians and that demanded of Israelis, and continued effective control over Palestinian lives. These things can be recognised and addressed as Palestinian needs and prerequisites for a viable solution, without any kind of a priori reconciliation. There is no reason to believe that an agreement based on the “minimum requirements” that Haber outlines would initially lead to anything other than a “cold peace”, filled with apprehension, mistrust and resentment (although hopefully not of the seething variety).

  14. G. Seauton
    November 23, 2011, 1:10 am

    Bernard-Henri Levy is the quintessential pseudo-intellectual. Calling him a philosopher is giving him WAY too much credit. I don’t dispute the fact that he was trained, so to speak, in that discipline, but he has written NOTHING that breaks any ground in philosophy; moreover, almost all of his work is nothing but fifth-rate political commentary. Even calling it political philosophy is WAY too generous. He is no better than the average U.S. pundit. I would even go so far as to say that David Brooks, with his B.A. in history, has produced more intelligent and better researched commentary. Levy is known for his error-ridden political tracts.

    Also, I may be mistaken, but I’m not really sure his influence extends very far. Levy is known for “parachuting” into border areas far from war zones for photo ops in order to get credit for having been to dangerous places.

    • Walid
      November 23, 2011, 8:37 am

      G. Seaton, you’ll enjoy this if you haven’t already seen it; from February 2010:

      Bernard-Henri Lévy cites fake philosopher
      posted by Charles Gelman

      A step backwards in philosophy’s search for truth:

      [Bernard-Henri Lévy's latest book,] De la guerre en philosophie (On War in Philosophy), has been greeted with the customary rapture, and its ubiquitous author has been a fixture on television and in the press all week.

      In framing his case, Lévy—BHL to the Parisian cognoscenti—drew on the writings of the little-known 20th century thinker Jean-Baptiste Botul—author of The Sex Life of Immanuel Kant, and a man Lévy has cited in lectures.

      The problem? Botul never existed. He was invented by a journalist from the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné 10 years ago as an elaborate joke. And since the hoax was revealed, BHL has become a laughing stock.

      Here’s the detailed story in French:

      BHL piégé, les amis de Botul « consternés et allègres »
      Pascal Riché
      Redchef

      C’est le site Bibliobs (Nouvel Obs) qui a levé le lièvre. Dans un de ses deux derniers livres (il a publié une paire), l’essayiste Bernard-Henri Lévy s’en prend à Kant « ce fou furieux de la pensée, cet enragé du concept ». A la page 122 de « De la guerre en philosophie » (Grasset) BHL cite les recherches sur Kant de Jean-Baptiste Botul. Problème : Botul n’a jamais existé.

      BHL rappelle ainsi dans son petit ouvrage que Botul aurait définitivement démontré « au lendemain de la seconde guerre mondiale, dans sa série de conférences aux néokantiens du Paraguay, que leur héros était un faux abstrait, un pur esprit de pure apparence ».

      Qui est Jean-Baptiste Botul ?

      Dommage que BHL n’ait pas pris six secondes pour « googler » le nom de cet auteur sur internet. Il aurait découvert en moins de deux clics qu’il s’agit d’une créature fantasmatique et potachière sortie du cerveau de Frédéric Pagès, agrégé de philo et journaliste au Canard Enchaîné.

      Une créature qui a pris vie grâce aux efforts d’un groupe d’amis d’horizons divers, dont le noyau dur est baptisé « NoDuBo ». Lévy serait par exemple tombé sur leur blog qui présente leur héros comme un « philosophe de tradition orale dont on ne connaît exactement ni la vie ni l’œuvre ».

      Botul est apparu en 2004, avec la publication d’un livre choc : « La vie sexuelle d’Emmanuel Kant » chez Mille et Une nuits (il faut savoir que Kant est réputé puceau). C’est Pagès qui en est l’auteur. Chez le même éditeur d’autres botuliens ont poursuivi l’œuvre.

      On doit ainsi à Jean-Baptiste Botul « Landru, Précurseur du Féminisme : la correspondance inédite, 1919-1922 », « Nietzsche ou le démon de midi » (plaidoirie que Botul, accusé d’avoir détourné une jeune fille dans son taxi, aurait faite devant le tribunal professionnel des taxis parisiens), « Métaphysique du mou »…

      Des questions sur la façon de travailler de Bernard-Henri Lévy

      Ce lundi soir, Frédéric Pagès s’amuse au téléphone de toute cette affaire : « Nous avons été consternés… et allègres » :

      « Avec Botul, nous ne cherchons même pas à piéger les gens, c’est juste un auteur collectif. Ce qui est étonnant, c’est qu’il n’ait pas senti qu’il s’agissait d’une fable.

      La vie sexuelle d’Emmanuel Kant raconte l’histoire farfelue d’une communauté d’Allemands de Königsberg (devenu Kaliningrad) ayant fui au Paraguay pour constituer une colonie strictement régie par la philosophie kantienne. Cela aurait dû l’alerter. Cela pose une question sur sa façon de travailler. »

      Les « Botuliens », me raconte Pagès, se réunissent chaque mois en « salon ». Je lui ai demandé s’ils inviteraient BHL. « Pourquoi pas, on pourrait parler de Kant, par exemple ! »

      J’ai laissé un message à Bernard-Henri Lévy, nous attendons sa réponse. Il a déjà réagi sur Parismatch.com :

      « Bernard-Henri Levy a reconnu son erreur de bonne grâce, affirmant s’être laissé piéger et ne pas avoir deviné le canular. BHL entend cependant réserver l’ensemble de ses explications à son “Bloc-Notes” dans le prochain numéro du Point, à paraître jeudi de cette semaine. »

      Bon, si cela peut consoler l’ancien-nouveau philosophe, il n’est visiblement pas le seul à s’être laissé prendre aux fruits botuliens, comme on peut le constater ici.

      link to rue89.com

  15. G. Seauton
    November 23, 2011, 3:17 pm

    That’s hilarious, but not surprising. The man is pure pretentiousness.

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