Europe asks: Where’s Israel’s proposal?

Israel/Palestine
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Latuff (public domain): Netanyahu will be a partner for peace

Maybe you noticed that all hell is breaking loose at the United Nations. But over what? Israel had a fit over what it alleges were European countries’ intrusion into its “domestic affairs.” Stick with me for a minute as I try and lay out what is really going on: diversionary bloviation to protect Israel from its obligations to submit border and security proposals for the 2 state solution.

Here is the back story. After Palestinians put in their bid for statehood at the UN, on September 23 the Quartet issued a request for information from both Palestinians and Israelis. The Quartet’s deadline for the proposals is fast approaching: January 26th.

On November 14th Palestinian Authority President Abbas turned over proposals for Palestinian state borders and security arrangements to the Quartet  “as a demonstration of flexibility and to garner the support of the international community. Abbas also committed to suspending any unilateral steps at the UN until January 26.” 

The Quartet then requested that Netanyahu provide a counter proposal. The Israeli premier balked, citing as an excuse that such proposals should be presented in direct negotiations. Thus far Israel has refused to submit a counter-proposal.

It wasn’t always like that. Haaretz (3 weeks back) tracked the changing line:

About a week after it was issued, Israel welcomed the Quartet’s plan. Since then, envoys from the Quartet have come to the region twice for talks with the two sides.

……

A day after meeting with [Fatah rep Saeb] Erekat, the Quartet delegation met with Netanyahu’s representative, Isaac Molho, and told the Israeli that they wished to receive a counterproposal from Israel on both issues by the end of January. Molho replied that Israel would not cooperate with this approach, saying the Quartet should instead get the Palestinians to return to direct talks with Netanyahu rather than conducting negotiations on Israel’s behalf. Molho said talks should be direct and confidential.

Both the senior Israeli official and the European diplomat said Netanyahu’s response to the Quartet made Israel look recalcitrant, and made the Palestinians appear to be the party taking the initiative and interested in advancing the peace process.


That Haaretz article was written on December 1st. Israel initially welcomed the Quartet’s plans, then demanded adjustments. So: Abbas submits an unbelievably reasonable proposal, acquiesces to staving off Palestine’s UN membership bid,  demilitarization of the West Bank with limited weaponry, international peacekeeping force on the Israeli border and in the Jordan Valley, and all the usual ’67 lines and willingness to swap stuff. And who has reversed course, refused to submit a proposal and proceed to announce new settlement expansion and flips the narrative as if the Quartet is the one who’s changed their position?

Just look at what’s buried within the Jerusalem Post’s hubristic “Europeans are ‘irrelevant’ to the peace process” article yesterday– the Israeli rationalization of footdragging:

However, the part of the statement that most infuriated Jerusalem was its backing of the Palestinian interpretation of the Quartet’s September 23 statement, which set out a framework for restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

“We call the parties to present as soon as possible to the Quartet comprehensive proposals on territory and security,” the council members said.

This contradicted a statement put out by representatives of the Quartet – which is made up of the US, EU, Russia and UN – just last week, which said these comprehensive proposals should be presented by the sides to each other in direct talks.

The Palestinians said earlier this month that while they have presented the Quartet with comprehensive proposals on security and territory, Israel has refused to do so, creating the impression that Jerusalem was obstructing the process.

Israel’s position is that these comprehensive proposals need to come out of negotiations between the sides, and not as a result of the Quartet mediating between them. The US has publicly backed this position.

And the NYT echoed that view, addressing the proposals in the 9th paragraph of the Wednesday article, “Israel Accuses 4 Countries of Meddling in Its Affairs.” Same framing, thanks to Isabel Kershner:

Moreover, the Europeans called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to present comprehensive proposals on territory and security as soon as possible to the “quartet” of Middle East peacemakers — the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia. Israel said that was a shift from past statements by the quartet, which it understood to call on the two sides to present their proposals to each other. The Palestinians say they have already presented their proposals to quartet representatives. Israel says that approach contradicts the very principle of trying to bring the sides back to direct talks, which broke down in September 2010.

Whoa!! What shift? What contradiction? Israel doesn’t want to submit proposals for borders and security. It wants to build settlements, complain, and frame the Europeans as irrelevant busybodies as well as directing our attention, via their hasbara affiliates, to Palestinian recalcitrance.

OK, change of scene. Back to America. Check out the latest scuffle with State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland at Wednesday’s Daily Press Briefing. Watch Nuland piping the Israeli line. Notice the reporters’ impatience. Notice the stark double standard between US response to Israeli intransigence and to any other country on the face of the earth.

QUESTION: Yes, Toria. Yesterday, the four members of the European Union on the Security Council issued a statement calling occupied territories and settlements in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem as illegal under international law. Do you concur?

MS. NULAND: Said, as you know, we declined to join that statement for all of the usual reasons. It doesn’t change the fact that our longstanding policy remains that we don’t recognize the legitimacy of the continued Israeli settlements, but we don’t think statements in the UNSC [Security Council] are the way to pursue the goal of getting these parties back to the table. The best way to deal with this issue of land, settlement, et cetera, is for these parties to talk to each other, come up with borders, and then have two states living side by side in agreed borders.

QUESTION: Okay. Also, after the closed session, 14 members of the Security Council, one by one, criticized the position of the United States for not condemning the continued expansion of settlement. Do you have a response to that?

MS. NULAND: We do not believe that this is business that needs to be done in the UN Security Council. We are absolutely clear with Israel where we stand on these issues. But shouting from the rooftops of the Security Council is not going to change the situation on the ground, which is that these parties have to get back to the table and settle these issues together, and that’s the way we’re going to have a lasting, stable peace.

QUESTION: And lastly —

QUESTION: And yet shouting from the rooftops from the Security Council on Syria is going to make a difference?

MS. NULAND: Well, we’ve spoken about the concrete actions we want to see the Security Council take.

QUESTION: Well, you don’t have a chance of getting them through if the Chinese and the Russians still aren’t onboard. So what’s wrong with – why is it – what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander here? Why – I just don’t get it. Do the – why does screaming and yelling at the Security Council on Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, North Korea – why does that – what is that all a good thing and something – on Burma, for – and yet – and when it comes to Israel, it’s absolutely not?

MS. NULAND: Every situation is different. In this case, the answer to the problems in Israel with the Palestinian people can only be resolved when they sit down and talk to each other. They cannot be resolved in the Security Council. That’s our longstanding view. The Security Council can take action, we believe, on Syria. It can take action on other issues. So you need to use the appropriate tool at the appropriate time.

QUESTION: Well, I don’t get it. Why can they take —

MS. NULAND: I’m sorry you don’t get it.

QUESTION: Why can they take action in Zimbabwe and Syria and they can’t take action in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

MS. NULAND: It’s not going to lead to the result that we all want, which is —

QUESTION: Well, it’s not going to lead to the result anywhere else, either.

MS. NULAND: — two states living side by side. Well, I’m sorry that you’re so cynical about the UN’s ability —

QUESTION: I have one —

MS. NULAND: — to have an impact.

Please.

QUESTION: — final question on this issue. Mr. Churkin, the Russian Ambassador, said that one delegation – meaning you – one delegation believes the thing will miraculously sort themselves out. Do you believe that things will miraculously sort themselves out on the Palestinian issue?

MS. NULAND: There are no miracles to be had here. There is hard work to be done by the parties, supported by the international community. That is why we’ve been working so hard to try to get the Quartet proposal implemented, why our negotiator David Hale’s been in constant motion on these issues, and why we continue to talk to these parties and try to get them back to the table.

Please.

(my bold)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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49 Responses

  1. Cliff
    December 23, 2011, 10:12 am

    Great post Annie.

    I think the message is clear that Israel never wanted peace w/ the Palestinians. It wants the land and believes it can slowly gobble up all of what’s left of Historic Palestine while playing the clock on the dead 2SS.

    • teta mother me
      December 23, 2011, 11:17 am

      Cliff wrote:
      “I think the message is clear that Israel never wanted peace w/ the Palestinians. It wants the land . . .”

      Yes.
      Recall the statement by Abba Eban in the State Dept. archives linked on MW — that national treasure — a week or so ago:

      Gaza territory was also security problem for Israel. Israel would like have the territory without the population but did not see how that could come about. He intimated there may even be an exchange of territory along the international frontier in favor of Egypt in return for Gaza Strip going to Israel. He thought Egypt might even be glad to be rid of Gaza Strip. Another possibility apparently under consideration was some form of international authority of Gaza Strip. (Eban noted this had been discussed in 1956 with US and that he had memcon with Dulles in his files about it.)3″

      Arab Israeli Crisis and War, State Dept telegram re conversation w Abba Eban, Sept 1967

    • MRW
      December 23, 2011, 11:55 am

      “Great post Annie.”

      Yes, annie, this was a great post. I hope you follow up on this and retain the title throughout so that we have ‘Europe asks: Where’s Israel’s proposal? -Pt. 2’ 3, 4, 5, 6, etcetera. Why? Because this is the sort of history combo that will not be properly recorded in the MSM, or elsewhere, and it’s important. You’ve got your flashlight on the right combo of parts. You have an innate gift for cagey analysis and pattern recognition without intellectual bluster or overkill, which is why it is easy to read your stuff and get the point.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 23, 2011, 1:14 pm

        thank you so much. means a lot to me. i am sort of recovering from the shock of my ‘title’ (long story) so these responses bring me confidence.

    • MRW
      December 23, 2011, 12:04 pm

      I t would be interesting to follow-up on Robert Kagan’s POV and see if that dovetails with Nuland. I don’t have time to do that digging right now. (Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a blog mechanism to insert an active mindmap that connected the dots in our archive material?)

  2. Citizen
    December 23, 2011, 10:31 am

    It takes a special breed of human to do what MS. NULAND does here.

    • pabelmont
      December 23, 2011, 11:34 am

      Also takes a special breed of human to do what the reporter(s) is/are beginning to do. Just love these reprints from DoS briefings!

  3. FreddyV
    December 23, 2011, 11:08 am

    Can the UN call a stop to this? Can’t they say ‘sorry US, your veto is not impartial and you’re not an honest broker to the I/P conflict. You’re gonna have to sit this out.’

    Surely there is some accountability for the US’ abuse of it’s permanent member status and abuse of it’s veto?

    On another note, I really don’t know how Victoria Nuland sleeps at night.

    Correction: Actually, I do. Very well, I’d imagine.

    Quite easy to when you don’t have a soul.

    • teta mother me
      December 23, 2011, 11:19 am

      inasmuch as we know WHERE she sleeps at night — (presumably) next to chubby hubby Robert Kagan, the real query is whether these two ghouls sleep at night or in the daytime.

  4. American
    December 23, 2011, 11:17 am

    Israel answered the UN.
    They let a contract for 1,000 more Jewish housing units on Palestine land.
    That’s been their answer for 60 years.

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 23, 2011, 12:47 pm

      “Israel answered the UN.
      They let a contract for 1,000 more Jewish housing units on Palestine land.
      That’s been their answer for 60 years.”

      And if there were any justice in the world, the UN would respond with sanctions, blockades, frozen assets, diplomatic isolation, no-fly zones and regime change.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 23, 2011, 1:17 pm

        if there were any justice in the world, the UN would respond with sanctions, blockades, frozen assets, diplomatic isolation, no-fly zones and regime change.

        yes, they would.

  5. Boulos
    December 23, 2011, 11:18 am

    so, it’s okay for Bibi Netanyahu to come and give a speech before the US Congress, siding with our opposition in open defiance and even derision for a democratically-elected, sitting US president–that’s not meddling in US internal affairs–but it’s not okay for the UNSC or the Quartet to ask that Israel adhere to signed international commitments and promises it has made and violated for decades? How does one square that circle?

  6. seafoid
    December 23, 2011, 11:35 am

    This is Israel’s response

    Published 01:01 23.12.11
    • Latest update 01:01 23.12.11
    Israel gearing for effective separation of East Jerusalem Palestinians
    State whitewashing construction plans between Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim.
    By Nir Hasson Tags: Jerusalem Jerusalem division Palestinians West Bank Israel settlements

    Get Haaretz on iPhone
    Get Haaretz on Android
    Last week, a new border crossing was opened in East Jerusalem’s Shoafat neighborhood, to little fanfare. Two days later, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat asserted that Israel should relinquish Palestinian neighborhoods of the capital that are beyond the separation barrier, despite the fact that their residents carry Israeli identity cards.
    Some people view these events as two pieces of the same puzzle. A third piece is the resumption of work on separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.
    Put the pieces together, and you get a picture of Israel erecting, at enormous expense, a major system of roads and checkpoints that would allow for the total separation of Palestinians and Israelis while also enabling the construction of Mevasseret Adumim, a neighborhood that would connect Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.
    The new crossing at Shoafat, which replaced the old military checkpoint, resembles a border terminal between two countries more than it does a security checkpoint. Its generous proportions include five lanes for vehicles and a lane for pedestrian traffic.
    In the days leading up to and following the opening, an intolerable stench hung over the pristine terminal, testimony to the “skunk truck” and its cargo of liquid stink, which the Border Police used to drive away Palestinians demonstrating against the new crossing. But the protesters’ efforts were in vain, and the terminal is operating according to plan. It may even improve the quality of life of Palestinian Jerusalemites living in and around Shoafat, by reducing their travel time to and from the rest of the city.
    The Shoafat crossing joins other big crossings built in the Jerusalem area over the past several years. They mainly serve the 70,000 or so Palestinians with Israeli residency who were cut off from the city by the separation barrier. These neighborhoods turned into pockets of crime and anarchy, with no government and crumbling infrastructure. It is their inhabitants that Barkat wants to sever from his city.
    “The municipal boundary of Jerusalem and the route of the separation fence must be identical to allow for proper administration of the city,” Barkat told a conference at the National Security College last week.
    On Thursday, the mayor’s office announced a plan “for the municipality and the Civil Administration to trade responsibility for providing services to residents in the area between the security barrier and the municipal boundary.” Until now, the Civil Administration’s domain has been confined to the West Bank.
    On the face of it, excising these areas would be relatively simple. Palestinians in East Jerusalem are Israeli residents because Israel defines their neighborhoods as part of Jerusalem; thus in theory, changing the city’s municipal boundary would simultaneously cancel their residency. It would also do wonders for Jerusalem’s demographic balance, from the perspective of the city’s Jewish majority.
    But anyone familiar with the situation knows it is not so simple. The announcement would be followed by a rapid migration into Jerusalem of tens of thousands of Palestinians who do not want to lose their residency, and the rights to receive social services and to work and study in Jerusalem that go with it.
    “We are Jerusalemites, we’re used to Jerusalem,” said the director of a maternity hospital in Kafr Aqab, which lies on the other side of the separation fence. “If something like that happens, everyone will want to move to within the city. People will live on the street if they have to.”
    Some observers view the Shoafat terminal and Barkat’s recent remarks as just a small part of the broader picture being sketched out in Jerusalem’s West Bank hinterlands. According to Col. (res. ) Shaul Arieli, a member of the Council for Peace and Security and one of the leaders of the Geneva Initiative, the Israeli government is spending hundreds of millions of shekels on plans to establish Mevasseret Adumim in the area known as E1.
    Roads, electricity lines, traffic circles and lots for development have already been put in place in E1. Everything needed for the neighborhood’s construction is there, but because of American pressure, all work in the area halted in 2007. Both the Americans and the Palestinians claim that building in E1 would in effect cut the West Bank into two sections and make it impossible to establish a Palestinian state with any kind of reasonable territorial contiguity.
    Arieli and others argue that Israel seeks to solve the problem by means of an advanced traffic control system that would provide rapid travel between Ramallah and Bethlehem on one hand and between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem on the other. In the last few months, work was resumed on this road system in two places: the new access road to Ma’aleh Adumim, and in the vicinity of Metzudat Adumim, where a few years ago a highway was built with a wall in the middle – the eastern side for settlers, the western side for Palestinians.
    The roads meet up at Hazeitim Interchange, on the Jerusalem-Ma’aleh Adumim road. The interchange, which is nearly complete, is designed to fulfill three purposes: to enable people from Ma’aleh Adumim to reach the capital without having to stop at a checkpoint; to enable settlers from the northern West Bank to do the same, and to enable Palestinian travel between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.
    That final point will enable Israel to claim that building in E1 does not harm Palestinian territorial contiguity. “They’re preparing the ground for this possibility,” Arieli said. “It’s not clear when they’ll decide to carry it out. But it’s enough for there to be a terror attack on the road: They’ll close the road and say it’s for reasons of security.
    “This [road] complex is burning through a sea of money and a sea of people to serve a plan based on a delusional working assumption: that [East] Jerusalem will remain under our sovereignty, and greater Ma’aleh Adumim, including E1, will as well,” Arieli added.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2011, 1:23 pm

      seafoid…yes, i have been following this…apparently thing went batsh*t crazy today in the knesset over these remarks.. they want it all!

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-mks-slam-jerusalem-mayor-for-suggesting-surrender-of-palestinian-neighborhoods-1.403184

      Israel MKs slam Jerusalem mayor for suggesting surrender of Palestinian neighborhoods

      “Anyone who wishes to add insult to injury turning Jerusalem neighborhoods into the ‘Gaza Strip’ will turn all of Jerusalem into Sderot,” he said, adding: “We won’t let that happen.”

      Also commenting to the Haaretz report, National Union MK Aryeh Eldad said that “Nir Barkat is ignoring section 97 of the criminal law, according to which any act contributing to the extraction of sovereign land from the state and to the hands of another state is an act of treason.”

      “Barkat is trying to play prime minister and set diplomatic changes in motion instead of enforcing his authorities as mayor on all of Jerusalem’s part,” Eldad said.

      • seafoid
        December 23, 2011, 5:52 pm

        The settlers are rabid.
        East Jerusalem is going to break Israel.
        They say it is a holy city. They treat it with contempt.

  7. seafoid
    December 23, 2011, 11:45 am

    Basketball Rules in Palestine!

    Rule 1: Israelis have the right to play on both sides of the court, but Palestinians can only play on their own side.

    Rule 2: For security reasons Palestinians do not have the right to pass the ball between players, the ball could hit an Israeli player.

    Rule 3: There will be no basket on the Israeli side.

    Rule 4: Israel is allowed to shoot at any time even during
    time-outs.

    Rule 5: Palestinians are not allowed to have supporters. Only Israelis should be supported.

    Rule 6: Israel selects the sports press writers and what they report.

    Rule 7: Israel encourages Palestinians to shoot into the Palestinian basket. Players who refuse will be nominated as terrorists and will not be allowed to play.

    Rule 8: Palestinian players are allowed to leave the field, but cannot return. One exception: A Palestinian can be replaced by an Israeli!

    Rule 9: Israel selects and instructs the referees, and tells them when to look away.

    Rule 10: Israel selects the captain of the Palestinian team.

    Rule 11: Israeli faults and Palestinian good plays will not be shown on TV.

    Rule 12: Israel takes the money which sponsors pay to Palestinians clubs.

    Rule 13: Only Israeli players get refreshments.

    Rule 14: Palestinians are required to play, when and where designated by Israel.

    Rule 15: Rules only apply to Palestinians; Israelis may change the rules during the game and are not required to advise the Palestinians of the changes.

  8. HarryLaw
    December 23, 2011, 11:46 am

    If Israel did put proposals for its version of the two states solution people would be shocked,[well some people]. It would be like this, Israel, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been for 3000 years and will continue to be part of the ‘ Land of Israel’ in our opinion the Palestinians are squatting on Israeli territory if they want to remain they must keep their heads down or they will be punished or expelled [thats happening now] this is the true Zionist vision, look at maps various Israeli Government depts put out obliterating the green line, or read Jabotinsky, Zionism never changes it has to be destroyed, that is why no honest proposals will be forthcoming.

    • MRW
      December 23, 2011, 12:39 pm

      I wish someone important at the UN, in the Jewish world, or in the press, would cut the bullshit and point out plainly that Israel has avoided the border issue since 1948, as in ‘You have failed to define your borders for 64 years. What are they? What are we talking about here?’

      It’s a simple question that does not need diplomacy to ask. There is nothing sensitive about it.

      Writing endless books about the struggle, intellectual arguments about Zionism’s reach/non-reach, or even the headier stuff Finkelstein gets into, about Israel’s borders is obfuscation. And boring.

      When I think of the time I’ve wasted reading articles, monographs, and books, and how I’ve been duped into believing there is a delicate mystery here to be solved, I am disgusted with myself.

      It’s a simple question: What do you want, Israel?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 23, 2011, 1:51 pm

        Israel has avoided the border issue since 1948

        in the ‘demanded adjustments’ haaretz link up there notice:

        Israel will also object to separate negotiations concerning borders and security arrangements, and is expected to insist on a parallel discussion of the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian refugees, and a Palestinian agreement to declare the conflict between the two peoples as resolved.

        this is the latest overall ‘theme’ gambit that was added on just a few years ago as the pressure was mounting: recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

        the trumped up one for this latest quartet request: object to separate negotiations concerning borders and security arrangements
        which basically means ‘how dare you meet with them and empower them shoving this reasonable offer at us, publicly’. it means palestinians have no right to meet with you in private over these negotiations!

        and finally this new one which i have not heard before: it is up to the palestinians to declare the conflict between the two peoples as resolved, AS IF this conflict is solely the responsibility of palestinians and they should be the ones who make some declaration to israel!

        also note…the complete freakout with the announcement of another fatah hamas unification meeting (“excellent atmosphere,”). you’ve got hamas saying again they will accept two states on 67 borders and the response to is is

        “Israel should respond by unilaterally annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank as it did Arab east Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights….“Israel must impose its sovereignty on all Jewish districts of Judaea and Samaria,” “….“Hamas is not a political movement that resorts to terrorism but a group whose whole vocation is terrorism,” Regev told AFP…..“Since the dark days of Nazism, no other movement has set as its aim the killing of Jews.”

        one report..sorry don’t feel like searching..even claimed hamas wanted to commit another “genocide”

        it’s so much BS!

      • MRW
        December 23, 2011, 2:21 pm

        annie, yeah I noticed that ‘peoples are resolved’ bit as well. Next, it’s going to become a pre-condition as that psychopathic nation spins out more of its serial-killer logic while the anti-freier instinct in it thinks it’s duping us.

        But all this is more verbal smokescreen. Like watching David Copperfield every night for life, a form of torture.

        Bottom line: What are your borders, Israel? And stfu about anything else until you start there.

        Edit: everything else is meaningless, and like trying to shape mercury, until that is established.

      • MRW
        December 23, 2011, 2:26 pm

        ‘one report..sorry don’t feel like searching..even claimed hamas wanted to commit another “genocide””

        Heard that on my local NPR last week. It was on BBC World Service.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 23, 2011, 2:32 pm

        this was from a report this morning re the hamas reconciliation, i will check my history and drag it out.

        i guess my theory is as we get closer and closer to jan 26th the msm and their hasbrats are going to be serving up huge portions of radical inflammatory rhetoric all as a diversion to cushion israel from criticism over their intransigienc. and then, wondering what abbas will do re the UN bid becasue why would he shovel it now, what motivation?

    • Charon
      December 23, 2011, 4:37 pm

      No doubt about it, HarryLaw. I read a JPost comment once that said land East of the Jordan was even part of the historic greater land of Israel and Israel is generously allowing Palestinians to live on it as Jordan citizens if only they would move there. Maybe it would mention something like that too. Maybe mention Bibi’s signet ring and throw in a holocaust reference to seal the deal.

      I wish more people had the guts to dispel the 3,000+ years claim to the land. Archaeology has dug up quite a few artifacts that contradict the official narrative. History itself has little facts to go by, but even taken the biblical narrative and putting it in perspective, the largest this ‘kingdom’ ever was still did not take up all of what Israel claims to be theirs. It also didn’t last any longer than 70 years until it was split. And most of the people who lived in its borders were not Hebrews. There is archaeological evidence of great kingdoms and empires all throughout the fertile crescent. But archaeological evidence proves that, if the great biblical kingdoms existed in what is modern day Israel/Palestine, they couldn’t have been great. Small tribal ‘cities’ at best. That’s what the evidence points to.

      Zionists have been mis-labeling Palestinian ruins and ancient sites for over a century trying to change history to support their claim for the land. I have a feeling this went on all over the world whenever territory was conquered. It’s just Israel and Zionism happened in modern times with more eyes on it. No matter how many times they lie, it doesn’t make it true. And even if their G-d was a real estate agent entrusting the land to them, the actual scripture is up to interpretation and scrutiny. And besides, G-d isn’t a real estate agent.

      Israel, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem is only 130 years old. And the Jewish population area does not extend much further than the Tel-Aviv metro area. Those extremist nutters who envision a grand ‘greater Israel’ extending from Egypt to Iraq don’t realize that there would be nobody to populate it with. Population would be spread so thin, they would be vulnerable to attack.

  9. seafoid
    December 23, 2011, 11:48 am

    An oldie but a goldie

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/20/comment
    Israel’s policies are feeding the cancer of anti-semitism

    It is a lie that to reject Zionism as it is practised today is to be the inheritor of Hitler’s racism

    Paul Oestreicher
    Monday February 20, 2006
    The Guardian
    The chief rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, is right. His reaction to the Anglican synod’s call for sanctions against Israel is understandable. Hatred of Judaism – now commonly called anti-semitism – is a virus that has infected Christendom for two millennia. It continues to stalk the world despite its most virulent outbreak in Nazi Germany. It should not be left untreated. For too many it remains the unlearned lesson of the Holocaust. It should haunt decent Christians for generations to come. The German pope knows that particularly well and is on the battle lines against it. On this issue, nothing divides him from the Archbishop of Canterbury and most other church leaders. If, as some now think, today’s Jews are the Muslims – hatred transferred – that simply means there is a battle to maintain our common humanity on more than one front. All collective hatreds poison the body politic. I say this as the child of a German Jewish-born father who escaped in time. His mother did not. I say it as a half-Jewish German child chased around a British playground in the second world war and taunted with “he’s not just a German, he’s a Jew”. A double insult. But I say this too as a Christian priest who shares the historic guilt of all the churches. All Christians share a bloody inheritance.
    If I feel all that in my guts and know it in my head, I cannot stand by and watch the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – one of the world’s most dangerous outbreaks of collective hatred – as a dispassionate onlooker. I cannot listen calmly when an Iranian president talks of wiping out Israel. Jewish fears go deep. They are not irrational. But I cannot listen calmly either when a great many citizens of Israel think and speak of Palestinians in the way a great many Germans thought and spoke about Jews when I was one of them and had to flee. If the Christian in me has good reason to be ashamed, so now does the Jew in me. I passionately believe that Israel has the right, and its people have the right, to live in peace and in secure borders. But I know too that modern Israel was born in terror and made possible in its present Zionist form by killing and a measure of ethnic cleansing. That is history. Tell me of a nation with an innocent history. But the Zionism at the heart of Israeli politics is about the present and the future. It makes me fear for the soul of Israel today and the survival of its children tomorrow. The Israel characterised by the words of Golda Meir that “there was no such thing as Palestinians … they did not exist” is an Israel that is inevitably surrounded by enemies and that can only survive militarily and economically as a client state of the world’s only superpower, for now. Nor can its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East last for ever. Peace cannot be made by building a wall on Palestinian land that makes the life of the miserably conquered more miserable still. A Palestinian bantustan will be a source of unrest and violence for ever. I say all this despairing of the Israel I love. Its people are my people. The Palestinians are my neighbours. I wish they had stronger and better leaders. I wish their despairing young people had not been driven to violence. Just as I understand Jewish fears, I understand their despair. Only an Israel that understands that too can change it. And there are Jews in Israel and in the diaspora who know it. Most of them, out of a fear of being thought disloyal, are afraid to say what they know to be true. The state of Israel has become a cruel occupying power. Occupations, when they are resisted, are never benevolent. They morally corrupt the occupier. The brave body of Israeli conscientious objectors are the true inheritors of the prophets of Israel. They are the true patriots. What nation has ever loved its prophets?
    But the main objective of my writing today, is to nail the lie that to reject Zionism as it practised today is in effect to be anti-semitic, to be an inheritor of Hitler’s racism. That argument, with the Holocaust in the background, is nothing other than moral blackmail. It is highly effective. It condemns many to silence who fear to be thought anti-semitic. They are often the very opposite. They are often people whose heart bleeds at Israel’s betrayal of its true heritage. I began with the recognition that the cancer of anti-semitism has not been cured. Tragically, Israel’s policies feed it – and when world Jewry defends Israeli policies right or wrong, then anger turns not only against Israel, but against all Jews. I wish it were mere rhetoric to say that Israeli politics today make a holocaust the day after tomorrow credible. If the whole Muslim world hates Israel, that is no idle speculation. To count on Arab disunity and Muslim sectarian conflict and a permanent American shield is no recipe for long-term security. There are Israelis who know all that, and there are Jews around the world who know it. In Britain, Jews for Justice for Palestinians organises to give Jewishness a human face. Tell them they are anti-semites and they will laugh bitterly, for the charge hurts deeply and is a lie. Prophets such as Uri Avnery give all this eloquent expression, but are heard by only a few. The media are afraid of a lobby that is quite prepared to do them serious damage. Yes, of course, there are many who express their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Some are Christians. They deserve respect. If, whether wisely or not, they call for sanctions, that does not make them Jew-haters – not in theory and not in practice. My concern, however, is to express solidarity with the Israel that is not represented by its leaders or popular opinion. Once, in the days of Hitler, there was another Germany represented by those in concentration camps alongside Jews and Gypsies, the martyrs who are celebrated today. There is such an Israel too. Its voices are still free to speak, though often reviled and misunderstood. That Israel has my solidarity, as all Jews have my love and prayers.

    • MRW
      December 23, 2011, 12:08 pm

      Try using the Return key next time, seafoid, to create paragraphs. ;-) See that little triangle of lines in the lower RH corner of the comment entry box? Pull it down.

    • Citizen
      December 23, 2011, 2:42 pm

      Yes, imagine if Americans had to pay like the Germans did for what they’ve done in the ME? Obviously the Germans have paid through endless direct reparation–even their discount sales of subs is a form of reparation, but they’ve paid in many other ways too, for example, how many have read the book Other Losses (Toronto, 1989) by James Bacque? On Sept 27, 2011, some apology was recognized , a letter of apology from a former US Army officer, to the German people–for the mistreatment of German POWS after WW2 & on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of that book. Major Merrit Drucker (retired) apologized to the German Army for the mass deaths of German POWs in US Army camps after WW2. 750,000 German POWs died because they were denied food and shelter. Ike’s (A German American) command.

      As per Col Dr Ernest F Fisher, a former senior historian at the US Army Center for Military History, who wrote the foreward for Other Losses, starting in April 1945, the US Army & the French Army casually annihilated about one million German men, most of them in American camps. Other Losses has been suppressed in the USA for over 20 years, but worlwide it’s been a best seller in 13 countries. A new edition is being published by TalonBooks of Vancouver; the editor is Karl Siegler, the son of a former German POW in the US camp. Originally he refused to believe the facts when confronted with them.

      Many Germans have written Major Drucker, thanking him for taking a heavy weight of grief and guilt off their minds.

      And although most Americans never heard of it either, how about the ethnic cleansing of East European Germans 1944-1050? Two million died & fifteen million were displaced. See A Terrible Revenge by Alfred -Maurice de Zayas.

      The guys in the regular German Army under Hitler were no different than conscript American soldiers, and neither were their families. I know, as I was in the conscript US Army on active combat duty, and I also lived in Germany and got to know average Germans–with long memories. Of course, Americans think they are different. Meanwhile, they are being set up for war on Iran as they were set up for war on Iraq, and–and Nancy Pelosi and Obama gave Bush Jr & his neocon brain trust a pass. They should be facing a war crimes trial. Instead, we’re headed to bomb Iran because Iran is Hitler–just ask Bill O-Reilly or any US politician.

  10. pabelmont
    December 23, 2011, 11:51 am

    Annie and others: diplomatic statements are notoriously (and usually purposely) ambiguous. I quote:

    “Middle East Quartet Statement, New York, September 23, 2011. * * *
    1. Within a month there will be a preparatory meeting between the parties to agree an agenda and method of proceeding in the negotiation.
    2. At that meeting there will be a commitment by both sides that the objective of any negotiation is to reach an agreement within a timeframe agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012.

    The Quartet expects the parties to come forward with comprehensive proposals within three months (emphasis added) on territory and security, and to have made substantial progress within six months. ”

    THAT’s 9/2011 (not anytime in 2012). It calls for parties to “come forward” but does not say if they should produce proposals to the Quartet or to each other.

    WHAT HAS THE QUARTET DONE MORE RECENTLY? Google does not help ME find any major Quartet statement more recent. The article that Annie links to HERE seems to me to have a DATE in 2011. (I have difficulty reading dates which may not place the Month first, but here the date is “Published 01:06 01.12.11” and appears to me to be a date in 2011, not 2012.

    THE EUROPEAN UPROAR IS VALUABLE INDEPENDENT OF THE SILLY NOTION OF A QUARTET.

    What have others found?

    • Philip Weiss
      December 23, 2011, 11:53 am

      thanks pab, excellent intervention

    • seafoid
      December 23, 2011, 12:07 pm

      The Quartet is a talking shop. It is all a big joke. The system continues as is until the US withdraws diplomatic cover for Israel , Israel has regime change or an economic meltdown , whichever comes first.

    • MRW
      December 23, 2011, 12:28 pm

      “Published 01:06 01.12.11” Looks like published on Dec 1, 2011 at 1:06 AM to me.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2011, 2:22 pm

      pabelmont, in israel (and i think in europe too) the month and date are reversed, so 1.12.2011 means dec 1, 2011. and the text in the article says Haaretz (3 weeks back) and That Haaretz article was written on December 1st.

      “THAT’s 9/2011 (not anytime in 2012). It calls for parties to “come forward” but does not say if they should produce proposals to the Quartet or to each other.”

      i didn’t read the quartets statement as purposely ambiguous. thanks for the link btw.

      let’s review

      1. Within a month there will be a preparatory meeting between the parties to agree an agenda and method of proceeding in the negotiation.

      [ed note: there was a meeting and it was at this meeting, after initially accepting the terms of this statement israel ‘demanded adjustments’ , link in article, dated ‘02.10.11’ that’s october 2nd]

      2. At that meeting there will be a commitment by both sides that the objective of any negotiation is to reach an agreement within a timeframe agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012. The Quartet expects the parties to come forward with comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security

      [ed note: that is not vague to me and 3 months from sept 23 is TODAY..iow, it got pushed up to january 26th which helps israel in two ways..one of their ‘demands’ from oct 19th:(“the three-month timetable presented in the Quartet document, with Israel expected to claim that such a schedule was unrealistic”) another:.(“freeze its bid for full UN membership in the Security Council during peace talks. “) as well as others i have previously mentioned.]

      , and to have made substantial progress within six months. To that end, the Quartet will convene an international conference in Moscow, in consultation with the parties, at the appropriate time.

      now check out again the framing from oct 2th:

      While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday that he welcomed “the Quartet’s call for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions,” the premier intends to present a list of qualifications to the Quartet’s statement on a resumption of Mideast talks that in effect enfeeble that statement.
      Netanyahu’s statement on Sunday, coming over a week after the Quartet on the Middle East published its roadmap for peace talks, was the result of two meetings between the PM and his top ministers.

      The delay in Israel’s response was due to ongoing talks with U.S. officials, in which Israel asked for certain clarifications and assurances regarding the Quartet’s statement.

      Speaking with Haaretz, one minister who participated in those meetings said that Israel’s answer to newly offered roadmap for peace amounted to a “yes, but” and that Israeli officials would present several qualifications concerning points included in the plan.

      a ‘yes but’ iow, they want to give the illusion they are cooperating while their obvious intention is to completely THWART the process and sling the blame o the process itself. but i don’t think the quartet was ambiguous.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2011, 2:23 pm

      oh, and i completely agree THE EUROPEAN UPROAR IS VALUABLE INDEPENDENT OF THE SILLY NOTION OF A QUARTET.

      absolutely!

  11. American
    December 23, 2011, 1:07 pm

    “Europeans are ‘irrelevant’ to the peace process”……..Israel

    Delusions of grandeur – a delusion that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are.

    Stems from Narcissism:

    *The narcissist feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements); Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist).

    * Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);

    * Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious.

    * Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment;

    * Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

    * Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

    * Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration.

    * Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.

    * Narcissism is accompanied by paranoia.”

    (Dolands Medical Dictionary)

    Until everyone, states, negotiators and institutions, realize that this is what they are dealing in Israel and quits treating Israel as a rational entity or normal state that will respond rationally all their efforts are futile. I am sure this will infuriate zionist, Israelis and even some Jews because it is the exact description of the Israel and zionist mentality we are dealing with and some will recognize theses traits in themselves which will infuriate them even more.
    Recognize that we have to deal with Israel by accepting that this is their (un)reality and adjusting our own approach and responses accordingly.

  12. HarryLaw
    December 23, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I agree with you Seafoid, The crucial part of that Quartet statement was ‘ without preconditions’ which is taking the Israeli side completely, which amounts to getting around that famous table to talk forever and to quote Professor Finkelstein[he can’t sing] whan he renders that famous childrens song ” the wheels on the bus go round and round,round and round…….

  13. justicewillprevail
    December 23, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Good expose of standard Israeli hypocrisy and lack of sincerity. Oh how they hate being exposed as their true selves – entirely uninterested in an equitable solution with the Palestinians, but desperate to be seen as ‘committed’ to peace proposals which they work ceaselessly to ensure are empty and meaningless. In other words, cute image and PR is all, all the better to hide behind and commit atrocity after atrocity.

    • Citizen
      December 23, 2011, 3:34 pm

      My brother practices law in NY & he confides in me as I’m a lawyer too–this is a very long relationship; as for him, and for me, as soon as we know Israelis (dual citizens) are on the other side of the client transaction, whatever it may be, all alarm bells go off in our heads, and this is true of other lawyers we know. They own the book on dirty tricks. It’s funny, because they actually think we don’t know what they are trying to do. Actually, if we can avoid the case, we will. I am sure it’s no different in the diplomatic corps. PS: Everytime they try their crap, we give them double the crap.

    • Charon
      December 23, 2011, 4:23 pm

      Israeli leaders are bloodthirsty lawyers when it comes to this sort of thing. They interpret international law and UN resolutions down to the fine print the same way a corporation does with a contract. Not surprising considering Israel is a corporation, a brand, and it is full of monopolistic corporations doing business in the US with tax-exempt provisions their neocon buddies in congress wrote into laws back in the day. I mean when they aren’t running legal scams in South Carolina touristy junk shops like waves or mall kiosks staffed by illegals, etc.

      The intent of the Oslo Accords was never to make the Jordan River valley a designated security zone as Netanyahu says it is. How Bibi interprets it doesn’t matter when the intent was established and clear. These things aren’t service contracts. In this case Israel changed their mind and went back to the ‘negotiation’ thing because they never expected the Palestinians to submit a proposal. Now they’re using their MSM to do ‘damage control’ and change recent history to make it look like they never said that.

  14. DanMazella
    December 23, 2011, 6:29 pm

    seafoid, here’s a good site which exposes the lies about Israel by the Guardian.
    http://cifwatch.com

    Speaking of Nazis.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4165965,00.html
    UNESCO says won’t fund Palestinian magazine praising Hitler
    12/23/2011

  15. piotr
    December 23, 2011, 7:44 pm

    “Europeans are ‘irrelevant’ to the peace process”……..Israel

    This is of course true, how one can be relevant in a process that does not exist?

    Government of Israel as constituted cannot present ANY proposals on borders, with possible exception of what Lieberman already floated, give area A to PA. But such a proposal would not improve standing of Israel in Europe. Which matters, because Obama is not doing much to pull strings for Israel there. And if GoI will spit into European faces frequently and forcefully enough, who know — some action may emerge!

    As it is, to settlers and friends any territorial proposal to Palestinians is an anathema. One of the top priorities of GoI is legalizing “illegal” settlements. I put “illegal” in quotes because it is a peculiar Israeli distinction. Anything short of “Eretz Israel” from Mediterranean to Jordan, with a scattered archipelago of “Area A” will lead to furious reaction of folks who have excellent representation in Knesset, in the ruling coalition.

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