Updated: Elliott Abrams tries to sound like… a liberal Zionist

on 33 Comments

The neocons are scurrying left, because they realize that their little platform on the right is dissolving. Last week Chuck Schumer condemned the neocons— his former buddies on Iraq, he threw them under the bus. So is it any surprise that Elliott Abrams is praising Yair Lapid’s centrist surge in Israel, speaking on New York’s public radio station? And distancing himself from the settler movement that he stood up for again and again under George W. Bush.

Updated: I got the rest of this post wrong. The author of the Financial Times review of Shani Boianjiu’s book was not Elliott Abrams’s wife Rachel Abrams, but Rebecca Abrams. I guess I should have read the byline? Apologies to Rachel and Rebecca. Original language by me:

And no wonder that his wife, Rachel Abrams, who formerly called Palestinian children “devils’ spawn” and screamed expletives at Arabs after visiting a settlement in the “Judean hills,” is now describing “human rights abuses” by Israeli soldiers in her effusive review of the shoot-and-cry novel by former Israeli soldier Shani Boianjiu in the Financial Times. Rachel Abrams comes off as a liberal Zionist..

Thanks to Ofer and Annie.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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33 Responses

  1. jimby
    February 23, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Liberal Zionist is an oxymoron. Reminds me of someone who lived next door to a Klansman. He said he was a good neighbor and that his kids played with their kids.

    • W.Jones
      February 24, 2013, 12:16 am

      Don’t forget “Christian Zionist”. Because you know Jesus and the apostles were all about creating a state dedicated to only their ethnicity. (joke)

      • MHughes976
        February 24, 2013, 7:42 am

        No joke to some! I was influenced in young days by the Reverend Professor SGF Brandon of Manchester, an Anglican priest and army chaplain who had lost his specific faith under fire on the Dunkirk beaches and thereafter sought to find a faith that transcended and reconciled the competing versions. This led him to interpret Jesus as a Jewish patriot, set on booting Roman dominion out and restoring the Kingdom, and he wrote eloquently on the subject. Just a few weeks ago I saw a remark by Robert M. Price, perhaps the leading Unitarian New Testament scholar, to the effect that he does not believe in the historical Jesus he thinks the likeliest candidate is Brandon’s militant figure.

      • W.Jones
        February 24, 2013, 11:05 pm

        Blessed be the warmakers?

  2. Annie Robbins
    February 23, 2013, 1:15 pm

    reminding us that there are heart-rending casualties on both sides of the divide

    bwwwwah..from a writer who avoids heart-rending palestinian casualties like the plague.

    • peeesss
      February 23, 2013, 1:50 pm

      again the psyche of the murderous IOF and the settlers equal/negate the cruelty inflicted upon the the Palestinian people, men, women and children. I wonder about the emotional health of Palestinian children as they see their fathers, brothers, sisters, friends laying in the streets with body parts strewn over the landscape. About their being afraid to go to school, play in the street, just sit in their home as they are threatened every moment of every day . Not knowing what night they will hear the shouts of Israeli’s breaking down their doors at 2AM , as they sleep, taking them away to the gulag. Seeing their homes demolished by US bulldozers and having to live in the street. No the emotional difficulties that Israeli’s, supposedly, have for inflicting this torture upon a whole peoplei for generations is a book to read. And their crime, not being of the correct religion.

    • pabelmont
      February 23, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Seems to mean: {yech!, oh! the pain!; Today, we must acknowledge Palestinian pain. Didn’t use to have to do that. Times change. OK,} People suffer on BOTH sides.

      One question: in this discussion, is the suffering on the Israeli side merely “the brutalising effect that militarisation was having, and would have, on successive generations of young men and women”? That is, they did it to themselves?

      And is the key word in “subverts simplistic ways of thinking about victims and oppressors in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” the word “subverts” — meaning that the reviewer liked it better in the bad old days when one could (unsubvertedly) be simplistic (pro-Zion, anti-Palestine // or perhaps vice-versa).

  3. Blownaway
    February 23, 2013, 1:51 pm

    You mis read her conversion. She is not suddenly concerned about Palestininas, shes just concerned what the effect of brutalizing palestinians has on those poor Israeli soldiers

  4. sardelapasti
    February 23, 2013, 1:55 pm

    Phil, they don’t “try to sound like liberal Zionists”, they are liberal Zionists, too. Like all leading Zionists, they must adapt to the day’s weather and say whatever fits it. They will be cavemen, refined and cultured gentlemen, punk music fans, whatever it takes at the moment. Even worse: as recent events have shown, they will also become Beinarts and even “Anti-Zionist” boycott groupies.
    There is no difference: anything that floats their boat of “Jewish” nationalism will do.

  5. American
    February 23, 2013, 1:58 pm

    For me to believe bad Rachel is sincere I insist she felleate a donkey for Palestines on prime time cable news.

    • Don
      February 24, 2013, 10:21 am

      American…now this is funny…of course, it is not easy to find the hilarious aspect of this conflict, but by god, I try.

  6. yourstruly
    February 23, 2013, 2:09 pm

    zionism is racism against palestinians

    & liberal zionism?

    apologetic racism?

  7. piotr
    February 23, 2013, 2:36 pm

    liberal Zionist as an oxymoron….

    Perhaps we need to declare out semantics etc. For example, it was a bit hilarious when Judith Buttler was attacked for saying that Hezbollah belong to the “global Left” as an anti-imperialist organization. The hilarity is clear if you note that Buttler said the same what the accusers wrote — it is a standard right wing practice to conflate “left” and “islamofascism” and Stalin’s gulag for a good measure. “The crime of Buttler” was that when she says “left” it may be approving, although I seriously doubt if the notions of “left” and “good” are the same for Buttler.

    Back to liberal. If “liberal” means “kind of well meaning but hopelessly wishy-washy and ineffectual”, then “liberal Zionist” is a very good description for many people (but not for “Bad Rachel”). Otherwise, you have to explain what “liberal” means to you.

  8. Kathleen
    February 23, 2013, 2:43 pm

    Annie that jumped out at me “reminding us that there are heart-rending casualties on both sides of the divide, even if the forms of wounding are not equally visible” The false equivalency argument after trying to hide her history. Moving towards the “there is another side to the story” And that other side to that story is that the Israeli’s have been wrong over and over again. Terribly and deadly wrong.

    Schumer and his former buddies who fixed the intelligence around their agenda in Iraq as well as Schumer leading the pack on taking Charles Freeman down, pushing and voting for anti Palestinian legislation, anti Iranian legislation based on unsubstantiated claims.

  9. Kathleen
    February 23, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Great post Phil. Have you read the points that Ira Glunts brought up about the criminals in Gatekeepers coming clean. Such important points

  10. DICKERSON3870
    February 23, 2013, 4:08 pm

    RE: “We were discussing IDF human rights abuses, which Cohen worked tirelessly to expose. He turned to talk instead about his profound concern for young Israelis, specifically the brutalising effect that militarisation was having, and would have, on successive generations of young men and women.” ~ Weiss

    TO BORROW FROM SHAKESPEARE: Power Occupation corrupts. Absolute power occupation corrupts absolutely! Of course, occupation pretty much amounts to “absolute power”.

    How does power corrupt poeple in Macbeth?

    Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’ is one long example of how power corrupts. That is basically the premise of the play ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
    At the beginning of the play Macbeth is a good man, a well respected soldier and a loving husband – all of that is destroyed once he becomes king.
    Lady Macbeth is also seduced by the idea of her husband having power, however it doesn’t sit too well with her after the fact. ~ Posted by ‘Opposite of people’ on Yahoo! Answers (two years ago).

    SOURCE – http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110518135955AAthCQc

    • RoHa
      February 23, 2013, 8:57 pm

      “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” is Lord Acton, not Shakespeare.

      But Shakespeare certainly demonstrated it in the Scottish Play. (The same theme comes in some of his other plays, as well.)

      (I thought Acton produced

      “The rain falls upon the just
      And also on the unjust fellas
      But mostly it falls upon the just
      Cause the unjust have the just’s umbrellas”

      but that turned out to be Cormac McCarthy.

      Of course, it was Henry Byron who produced “Life’s too short for chess”.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    February 23, 2013, 4:21 pm

    RE: Rachel Abrams, who formerly called Palestinian children “devils’ spawn” and screamed expletives at Arabs after visiting a settlement in the “Judean hills,” is now describing “human rights abuses” by Israeli soldiers . . . ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I wonder what Rachel Abrams is saying about gays these days. I seriously doubt that she gives a whit (cares at all) about human rights.

    SEE: “Rachel Podhoretz Decter Abrams’s Gay Problem — And Ours”, by Daniel Luban, LobeLog.com, 7/13/10

    [EXCERPTS] Eli and Ali have been doing great reporting on the Emergency Committee for Israel, the new Likudnik group that has formed to attack Democrats on Israel. Many of the group’s principals will be familiar — Bill Kristol, of course, needs no introduction . . .
    . . . One figure who has received less attention is the group’s fourth principal, Rachel Abrams — wife of Elliott Abrams, daughter of Midge Decter, stepdaughter of Norman Podhoretz.
    This is a shame, because she is almost certainly the craziest of the lot.
    I must confess that when I began reading her blog, I was primarily looking for evidence of her Revisionist Zionism. And, to be sure, such evidence is not in short supply. . .
    . . . But as I continued reading Rachel Abrams’s writings, what jumped out at me was not so much her predictably crazy views about Israel, but her strange obsession with (and apparent hostility to) homosexuality. This first jumped out at me in her response to Peter Beinart’s New York Review of Books essay, a long rant in which Abrams pretends to write in Beinart’s voice. While most of her Beinart “parody” is devoted to accusations that he is insufficiently devoted to the state of Israel, a large chunk of it is spent on rather bizarre and gratuitous insinuations that Beinart is gay. Thus she has fake-Beinart complaining, about a focus group of Jewish students, that “an insufficient number were gay and too many were broads,” and espousing his support for “open debate that of course excludes those who would advance anti-feminist or anti-gay or pro-Israel argument”. (It’s striking that she equates “pro-Israel” with “anti-feminist” and “anti-gay” arguments.) Then she has fake-Beinart condemning Orthodox Jews for homophobia before defensively reasserting his own heterosexuality: “they condemn gays, though I want to reassert that I have children,” a trope that she repeats throughout the piece. One has to wonder why she is so intent to insist that Beinart is gay, as if this fact would have any relevance whatsoever to the content of his piece.
    I was initially inclined to dismiss Abrams’s homophobic attack on Beinart as simply a failed and sophomoric attempt at humor, but the more of her writing I read, the more I noticed that this strange obsession with homosexuality seems to be a recurring feature of it. For instance, in a post claiming that Christopher Hitchens is “giving homosexuality a bad name,” and professing disinterest in the sexual pasts of “old Tory buggers,” Abrams writes:

    Wherever one stands on the homosexuality question—I’m agnostic, or would be if the “gay community” would quit trying to shove legislation down my throat—there can be no denying bisexuality’s double betrayal—you never know, whether you’re the man of the hour or the woman . . .

    . . . Similarly, Abrams is deeply offended by the Obama administrations’ human rights policy, but her complaint goes beyond the standard neocon one that Obama is not aggressive enough in pushing regime change against Israel’s rivals — what’s really galling is that the administration has identified LGBT rights in the U.S. as an important human rights issue. She froths that it’s Hillary “Clinton’s fawning speech in honor of ‘Pride Month,’ which she delivered the other day to members of the ‘LGBT community’ who have fanned out from the mother-ship of state, as it were…that’s the truly breathtaking expression of this perversion of a policy.” For telling this quote-unquote community such wildly controversial statements as “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights,” Clinton is responsible for this “perversion” — I can’t imagine the word choice is accidental — of a policy.
    I could go on. There’s her speculation, for instance, that the problems of the Afghan war originate in the rampant homosexuality of Pashtun males, which leads Abrams onto a long tangent about homosexuality among the ancient Greeks, concluding: “those ancient elitist pedophiles and narcissists, disturbingly fascinating as they are, will seem to many in our armed forces to have been people doing and suffering things that are very ‘base’ indeed.” There’s yet another rant about the Obama administration’s focus on LGBT rights, which she excoriates as an abandonment of America’s traditional “embracing of the rights of ordinary men and women,” (as opposed to perverts, presumably). There’s the way that Abrams throws a gratuitous warning about “a profitable surge in gay-couples-therapy sessions, as gay marriage, and divorce, become commonplace—nay, even humdrum” into an article on a completely unrelated topic. But you get the picture. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.lobelog.com/rachel-abrams-gay-problem/

  12. DICKERSON3870
    February 23, 2013, 4:50 pm

    RE: “So is it any surprise that Elliott Abrams is praising Yair Lapid’s centrist surge in Israel, speaking on New York’s public radio station? And distancing himself from the settler movement that he stood up for again and again under George W. Bush. . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I never give any credence to anything Elliott Abrams says. Most of the time he is just propagating disinformation in furtherance of his über-devious Machiavellianism*.

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Machiavellianism]:

    (EXCERPTS) Machiavellianism (or machiavellian mask) is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct” . . . The word has a similar use in modern psychology where it describes one of the dark triad personalities, characterised by a duplicitous interpersonal style associated with cynical beliefs and pragmatic morality.[1] . . .

    ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Elliott Abrams]:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . During investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair, Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel tasked with investigating the case, prepared multiple felony counts against Abrams but never indicted him.[22] Instead, Abrams entered into a plea agreement with Walsh. Abrams pled guilty to two misdemeanors of withholding information from Congress.[23] . . .”
    . . . On February 5, 1997, the D.C. Court of Appeals publicly censured Abrams for giving false testimony on three occasions before congressional committees. Although a majority of the court voted to impose a public censure, three judges in the majority would have imposed a suspension of six months, and a fourth judge would have followed the recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility that Abrams be suspended for a year. . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Abrams

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 23, 2013, 5:02 pm

      P.S. FROM HistoryCommons.org [Elliott Abrams]:

      “June 2001: Abrams, Other Think Tank Neoconservatives Move to Join White House”
      Hardline neoconservative Elliott Abrams (see June 2, 1987) joins the National Security Council as senior director of Near East and North African affairs. A State Department official will later recall: “Elliott embodied the hubris of the neocon perspective. His attitude was, ‘All the rest of you are pygmies. You don’t have the scope and the vision we have. We are going to remake the world.’ His appointment meant that good sense had been overcome by ideology.”

      Rush of Neoconservatives into Administration
      Abrams’s entry into the White House heralds a rush of former Project for the New American Century members (PNAC—see January 26, 1998 and September 2000) into the Bush administration, almost all of whom are staunch advocates of regime change in Iraq. “I don’t think that most people in State understood what was going on,” the State Department official will say later. “I understood what this was about, that PNAC was moving from outside the government to inside. In my mind, it was an unfriendly takeover.” [UNGER, 2007, PP. 205]

      Neoconservatives Well-Organized, Contemptuous of Congress
      In June 2004, former intelligence official Patrick Lang will write: “It should have been a dire warning to the US Congress when the man who had been convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-contra affair [Elliott Abrams] was put in charge of the Middle East section of the NSC staff. One underestimated talent of the neocon group in the run-up to this war was its ability to manipulate Congress. They were masters of the game , having made the team in Washington in the 1970s on the staffs of two of the most powerful senators in recent decades, New York’s Patrick Moynihan and Washington’s Henry ‘Scoop’Jackson (see Early 1970s). The old boy’s club—Abe Shulsky at OSP [the Office of Special Plans—see September 2002], Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Middle East Desk Officer at the NSC Abrams, Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle—had not only worked together in their early government years in these two Senate offices, but they had stayed together as a network through the ensuing decades, floating around a small number of businesses and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the openly neoimperialist Project for a New American Century. The neocons were openly contemptuous of Congress, as they were of the UN Security Council.” [MIDDLE EAST POLICY COUNCIL, 6/2004]

      SOURCE – http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a060101abramsnsc#a060101abramsnsc

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 24, 2013, 4:46 am

      P.P.S. RE: “I never give any credence to anything Elliott Abrams says. Most of the time he is just propagating disinformation in furtherance of his über-devious Machiavellianism.” – me (from above)

      FOR INSTANCE: When Elliott Abrams wrote several years ago that more settlement construction in “Judea and Samaria” did not create insurmountable barriers to peace* (using the most stunningly bizarre “logic” since Joan Peter’s From Time Immemorial), I suddenly realized that the settlements in the West Bank had already made the two-state solution virtually impossible.

      *FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

      [EXCERPT] . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/07/AR2009040703379.html

      P.P.P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me [by the sheer power of his (il)logic and his very impressive math skills] to wholeheartedly support the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank.
      As I understand it, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River), no matter what that state is called.
      Fiat justitia! (“Let Justice Be Done!”)

      P.P.P.P.S. According to a recent EU Briefing Paper (EU Trade with Israeli Settlements, Version 2: Published August 2012), “[t]he total area controlled by settlements is around 43 per cent of the West Bank.” The Briefing Paper further explains that “[w]hile fenced or patrolled areas of settlements cover three per cent of the West Bank, 43 per cent of the West Bank is off-limits for Palestinian use because of its allocation to the settlements’ local and regional councils, according to UN OCHA OPT (January 2012) factsheet ‘The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli Settlement Policies’ .”
      SOURCE [EU Trade with Israeli Settlements (PDF)] – http://www.qcea.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/bp-eusettlementtrade-version2-en-aug-2012.pdf

  13. Keith
    February 23, 2013, 5:02 pm

    “…reminding us that there are heart-rending casualties on both sides of the divide, even if the forms of wounding are not equally visible.”

    No doubt if one combed the pre-civil war archives one could locate accounts of the inner torment of a particular white slave holder at having to whip his slaves, thereby demonstrating that slavery was a huge injustice to white folks as well as Blacks, which the whites humbly bore, nobly soldiering on in the face of universal adversity and suffering. For the Abrams clan, Jewish victim-hood is a given, specific circumstances illuminating the context, but never contradicting the essence.

    But no, I don’t think that this is liberal Zionism talking. A liberal Zionist would acknowledge at least some of the injustice, but maintain that it is not inherent in Zionism, and could be more or less eliminated while maintaining a Jewish state. Yet notice how the author, Rebecca Abrams (are you sure this is Rachel Abrams pen name?) totally ignores the plight of the Palestinians while concentrating on the soldier’s experience: “How to carry on living while brutality is invading the most intimate spaces of one’s being….” Observe how she inverts the reality so that rather than brutal soldiers involved in a brutal occupation, you have the soldiers “invaded” by brutality! One can only imagine how a similar ‘gas and cry’ tale of heartbreak by an Auschwitz guard would be reviewed at the Financial Times.

    • tree
      February 23, 2013, 7:52 pm

      (are you sure this is Rachel Abrams pen name?)

      Looks like Phil made a goof. Rebecca Abrams is NOT Rachel Abrams.


      • Keith
        February 23, 2013, 11:43 pm

        Thanks, tree. She appears rather attractive. Pity she is such a jerk.

      • piotr
        February 24, 2013, 2:17 am

        Actually, I could not find any evidence that Rebecca Abrams is either liberal, or a jerk, or a Zionist. She is English, perhaps a lefty, author and reviewer of books, I did not search long but I did not find other writings touching upon Israel.

    • Citizen
      February 24, 2013, 4:13 am

      Reminds me of Himmler’s speech to his SS officers about bearing their honorable burden. And, less directly, about all the US veterans with PTSD and their higher suicide rate.

      • Citizen
        February 24, 2013, 1:57 pm

        “I’m a monster!” says a US military veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan wars: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34063.htm

        He needs a tough talk by big hawk McCain? I read McCain’s war record is still under wraps, and he won’t allow it into the public light; also, that his peers of his Nam flying period accuse him of collaborating with the enemy while in captivity.
        Funny how all these big political marchers, including Obama, don’t ever get vetted on their records, get to conceal what any simple job applicant has to spill out to any potential employer for a two-bit job.

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 24, 2013, 5:06 am

      RE: “. . . the author, Rebecca Abrams (are you sure this is Rachel Abrams pen name?)” ~ Keith

      FROM BELOW THE FINANCIAL TIMES ARTICLE: “Rebecca Abrams is author of ‘Touching Distance’ (Pan)”

      SEE: Touching Distance [Kindle Edition] – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Touching-Distance-ebook/dp/B00872FV3O

  14. bob
    February 23, 2013, 7:32 pm

    praising Yair Lapid’s centrist surge

    The Israeli political overton window has shifted so far, that Yair Lapid can be considered centrist. Let that sink in.

    • W.Jones
      February 24, 2013, 11:09 pm


      The State’s founders were mostly considered “liberals”, as witnessed by the ruling “Labor” party. Yes this does not make sense to a normal person.

  15. bob
    February 24, 2013, 6:08 am

    The neocons are scurrying left, because they realize that their little platform on the right is dissolving.

    Temporary tactical move due to a lack of access to power. Don’t worry, its not permanent.

  16. amigo
    February 24, 2013, 8:17 am

    The Usual trollope and hypocrisy.

    “I am not a Racist,,,,,,,,BUT.

    Zionism is racism.

  17. American
    February 24, 2013, 12:12 pm

    Peacekeepers for I/P? Jones put it forward years ago, Hagel crew again in 2009.
    Is this what has I Firstdom freaked out?
    I’ve been for a peace keeping force for I/P—but NOT one with Israeli troops involved—that asking for failure and false flags and dead Americans. If it ever does happen the IDF should be kept entirely out of it. Palestine itself has requested peacekeeping forces many times and Isr has opposed it. Palestine would cooperated with this If the Israelis aren’t involved—as a Palestine I wouldn’t cooperate with it if the Israelis were involved.


    Op-Ed: Hagel’s $160 Billion ‘West Bank’ US Troops Deathtrap
    Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 9:00 PM
    Hagel, at Obama’s bidding, plans to send troops to Judea andSamaria (the “West Bank”) where they would soon be victims of Hamas terror. It’s in writing. An investigative report.

    Mark Langfan

    There is only one reason that Chuck Hagel was picked by President Obama to be US Defense Secretary, and why Obama will go nuclear to get him confirmed:

    Hagel is the only person alive now dumb enough to deploy US “peacekeeping” troops to what is surely a “West Bank” deathtrap. Don’t believe me??! Well, in early 2009, two years after Hamas violently took over Gaza, Hagel along with a ragged has-been crew of “Israel Lasters” had some strong “recommendations” for the incoming President Obama.

    I will let Hagel’s 2009 “recommendations” speak for themselves. But to lend a note of rationality, Florence Gaub, a NATO researcher, in 2010 published a NATO Research paper outlining some of the problems of such a deployment. (I.e. it would need about 60,000 US/Nato troops and about 160 billion Dollars over 10 years) I and I will excerpt her report as well.

    Obama’s determination in confirming Hagel is based on Obama’s belief that Hagel will cripple Israel at any price: including the deaths of thousands of US soldiers at the hands of Hamas suicide bombs in the Palestinian Authority.


    “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement,” April 2009. “Submitted to the administration of President Barack Obama” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, et al.

    The U.S. parameters should reflect the following fundamental compromise:

    [A] non-militarized Palestinian state, together with security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty, and a U.S.-led multinational force to ensure a peaceful transitional security period. This coalition peacekeeping structure, under UN mandate, would feature American leadership of a NATO force supplemented by Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis. We can envision a five-year, renewable mandate with the objective of achieving full Palestinian domination of security affairs on the Palestine side of the line within 15 years. Page 6

    III. Substantive Issues to be Resolved: Israel-Palestine


    The borders between the two states must be physically secure and fully controlled for their entire length. A U.S.-led multinational force would likely be essential for a transitional period once a peace agreement is concluded. Palestine would likely be non-militarized. No doubt Jerusalem will require a special security and administrative regime of its own and special arrangements will be needed for the use and regulation of Palestinian airspace. Page 12


    Security. Demilitarization of the Golan Heights and limited forces zones on both sides – all likely to be supervised by multinational forces featuring American leadership – will be mandatory. Page 13

    Annex: Addressing Israel’s Security Challenges

    Beyond the current efforts we expect that, upon the full agreement of the parties, there will be a robust international effort involving outside armed forces for a period of indeterminate length assisting Palestinian authorities in executing their responsibilities in the security sphere and helping them build capacity in order eventually to act without outside assistance. Page 14

    Naturally, the U.S. will play a large and perhaps decisive role. Yet it should not act alone – there should be broad participation reflecting international consensus on the importance of supporting the emergence of a truly sustainable two-state outcome. Page 14

    Although General Jones’ mandate has focused exclusively on the Israel-Palestine track, clearly there would also be a robust American role in implementing the security-related aspects of any Israel-Syria accord. Beyond helping the IDF with improving capabilities designed to compensate for full withdrawal from territory occupied on the Syrian front since 1967, the U.S. would undoubtedly play a vital role in monitoring a demilitarized Golan Heights and providing early warning services to both parties. Page 16

    In our view there is no avoiding a central U.S. role in helping the parties (especially the Palestinian side) meet their security-related responsibilities to each other in the context of two states……


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