We need to look to the Palestinian leaders on the ground, not more diplomats — Noura Erakat on MSNBC

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 28 Comments

Chris Hayes had a great show Saturday morning with guests Rashid Khalidi, Noura Erakat, Jeremy Ben-Ami and Ann Lewis.

Hayes has been doing fantastic episodes. He knows the issues, asks all the right questions and goes right to the heart of the matter, even mentions those dreaded words, one state, and acknowledges that some on the American left are against Zionism. Khalidi and Erakat are like clear water in a desert; speaking truth about the conflict on mainstream television!

Khalidi drives home the point that negotiations were “designed to prevent Palestinian statehood and sovereignty…It’s not like the United States comes into the room and is a mediator. The United States coordinates its position with Israel always.”

Erakat: “We need to internationalize this issue and that’s the Palestinian responsibility..don’t think diplomacy is the way to go, we’ve done it for 20 years.”

I found Ben-Ami disappointing, particularly when he talks about back channel diplomacy, working behind-the-scenes with Netanyahu. It seems like the old Dennis Ross model, and how far has that gotten anyone?

Shorter Ann Lewis: ‘Let’s cheer our successes!’

Enjoy:

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Hayes: You’ve made the argument in your new book that basically the U.S. has played a destructive role in the peace process because it’s simultaneously tried to be Israeli’s closest ally and then hold itself out as essentially a neutral broker between the two parties.

Khalidi: Right. There’s a sort of Orwellian narrative in Washington and the media, unfortunately, some of it, buys into it that the United States has been engaged, earnestly in a peace process. Well there’s been a process. If you go back over the last couple of decades of it, it has not produced peace and it cannot produce peace. I try to analysis in the book why that is and I really think that this is like giving more methadone to an addict. This process was designed to produce the outcome it’s produced over several decades; occupation has gotten more intensive and stronger, settlement has expanded, those are the results. Palestinians are cooped up much more than 20 years ago. When I was living in Jerusalem Palestinians could go anywhere. They are all now –

Hayes: But let me just say this. The peace process has produced..i mean  peace with Egypt is a big deal.

Khalidi: I’m talking about Palestine. When the United States wants something as it wanted peace with Egypt because it was important in the cold war the United States gets it over Israeli objections.

Lewis: My perspective goes back to the Clinton administration because I was working for President Clinton in the second term. He was clearly personally dedicated to peace, he reached out. I think we got close, he got close at Camp David. It does show the United States in that example can be both Israel’s ally and the broker who brings everybody together and, by the way, we would be talking later if you look at I don’t think peace with Jordan, for example had much of a cold war significance. I think we really have tried to encourage –

Khalidi: But anybody could have gotten that any time. That was an easy deal.

Lewis: I’m not sure it was that easy but you want happened. Let’s just cheer our successes when they do. There are some examples where Israel has been able to make peace with its neighbors. It’s a good thing.

Hayes: Here’s my question. I think this is an interesting point because if you move in the circles of basically kind of center left over right, which people who are liberal Zionists, who love Israel but want a two state solution all the way to people that are, don’t agree with Zionism or believe in a one state solution and a full democracy in the land west of the Jordan river. That there’s this sense of the U.S. has to play the role, they have to, the U.S. has to lead on peace. You’re making the argument maybe benign neglect from the U.S. would be better? Would it be better if there was not U.S. leadership?

Ben Ami: That’s the question, what’s the alternative? I think that benign neglect would be terrible. To let this fester would be bad for the United States, it would be a black mark against its leadership in the world. I agree with you that there’s been no results, that I absolutely agree. But to say that the process has been designed in order to facilitate occupation I think is an overstatement.

Khalidi: You actually have to go and look at the archaeology of all the deals that have been signed including what President Clinton worked on. All of these things really go back to ideas that are generated by Menachem Begin back in 1978. We are still within a framework of the autonomy agreement that President Carter, in 1978, made as part of the Israel- Egypt peace treaty. That is the framework in which Prime Minister Rabin negotiated, that is the framework in which President Clinton negotiated, and that is designed to prevent Palestinian statehood and sovereignty.

Ben Ami: But that’s not the American policy.

Khalidi: It has become American policy.

Ben Ami: It isn’t.

Khalidi: Under people like Dennis Ross who also worked for President Clinton.

Erakat: If you look just at Olso in 1993, we don’t even have to go back to 1978, but just looking at terms of Oslo, right? Where there are no terms of reference to international law, there is no definition of settlements or the prohibition of settlements as war crimes. Instead 54% of the settlers at the time of the signing of Oslo were considered living in Jewish neighborhoods. So that the expansion of that settler population is completely legal under Oslo which the U.S. is completely in support of and illegal under international law.

Hayes: Right but part of that is a concession in the context of negotiated framework. I mean, you can’t say “well they’re making this concession” i mean, that’s what a peace process is, right?

Erakat: Well that wasn’t supposed to be a concession, the Palestinian delegation fought hard to keep that out, but lost. But lost and then the definition..of [ed note: not clear "statutory integrity was underminded"]

Hayes: Here’s my question.

Ben Ami: The framework since at least the road map, if not back into Camp David, has been two states for two people. It has not been some form of occupation, not been settlement expansion. The idea is to get two states living side-by-side.

Hayes: Right but the argument they’ve been making is that fundamentally it’s a bad faith project that basically has been pursuing the goal — my question for you if it is a bad faith project and i don’t want to stipulate that it is but if it were, but if it were a bad faith project then what would you like to see the U.S. do?

Erekat: Great, because I think there are alternatives. If the U.S. provides $3 billion to Israel and it’s vetoed 43 out of the 79 vetoes in the U.N. security council for accountability it’s unable and unwilling to take us to the finish line. And I think we need to internationalize this issue and that’s the Palestinian responsibility, to internationalize it. Obviously there’s clear support in the U.N. General Assembly to do more and to do better than the U.S. has been able to do.

…..

Hayes: But this a perfect example of the dual role. The position of direct negotiations is the position of the Netanyahu government right now which would like to have a negotiated peace process while they have doubled subsidies for settlements while they continue to expand settlements. The president says ‘here I am as your neutral arbiter. We believe the aspiration and determination of each child is fully equal.’ To then say ‘yes fully equal but we should start direct negotiations’, which also happens to be the position of the Netanyahu government, that seems to me exactly the problem.

Ben-Ami: There’s a big distance between direct negotiations and active American role. I think there’s long term research into conflict resolution that shows you don’t put two parties in a long running conflict into the same room and say work it out. It’s like a bad divorce, you don’t say to the husband and wife go into a room and figure it out. You have a mediator and maybe the husband and wife never meet . Sadat and Begin never met at Camp David before that agreement was negotiated. The role the U.S. has to play is far more active then just saying it’s time for direct talks and that’s a fundamental distinction.

Erakat: They played a big role, they played a big role.

Khalidi: Chris pointed to something which actually has between case for decades. It’s not like the United States comes into the room and is a mediator. The United States coordinates its position with Israel always, every time; in the administration you worked for and in everyone I looked at and in this administration as well.

Hayes: In some ways, let me just say, if they didn’t…

Khalidi: so you have two (inaudible) Israeli position at the table.

Hayes: Right. if it didn’t do that let’s be clear if it didn’t do that that would fail the expectations of people –

Khalidi: There would be hell to pay.

Hayes: I mean but this isn’t just some sort of conspiracy theory, there are many people in America who thinks that’s exactly what the U.S. should do, it should coordinate position with Israel because it’s our greatest ally.

Khalidi: Technically there is a letter that an American president sent to an Israeli prime minister, saying the United States is obligated to do that. It’s a Memorandum of Understanding sent in ’75 by Kissinger on behalf of the president and I believe the United States has been faithful on that memorandum. It does not put forward anything on Palestinian issues without running it by the Israelis first.

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Hayes: You’re having negotiations about a border and building on one side of the border, those don’t strike me as particularly good faith negotiations. That seems to be the problem. If the thing is…the subject of the negotiations is land. And while the subject of the negotiation, the  proposition on the table is how this land is going to be divided and one entity is able to build wherever, whenever with whatever resources? Negotiations are about leverage right? So if that’s the leverage on one side, what’s the leverage on the other side?

Khalidi: It’s like we’re negotiating about a pie and one side is gobbling up the pie. It’s something we realized in ’91-’93 when I was an adviser to the Palestinian delegation and we went back to Tunis (I wasn’t part of the group that went) and they told the PLO leadership, “the Americans gave us assurances this wouldn’t happen and it’s happening. How can we negotiate when their pulling the rug out from under our feet?” And this has now been going on for decades and decades whence the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze.

Hayes: So ok settlement freeze, it didn’t happen. Now we’re talking about building in this section of Jerusalem called EI which would essentially making it impossible to have a contiguous state between East Jerusalem and a Palestinian West Bank.

Khalidi: There were several such bands of settlements that were designed just to serve that purpose; to prevent continuity to prevent a Palestinian state.

Hayes: I sat on a hill in East Jerusalem I looked out across E1 and had Danny Seidemann who knows Jerusalem as well as anyone, he points out, you guys have probably all been on that same trip and he takes you up there; “That’s where the peace process dies,” he points to the settlement area because it would make it just impossible from a geographic perspective and so my question is..okay, they are talking about doing that? The president goes to Israel, clearly was a successful trip from a political perspective, I think there’s no question about that from a political perspective, domestic political politics vis-à-vis Israel and Israeli leadership. What next? What comes out of this? Is there anything that comes out of it in a substinate way.

Ben Ami: Absolutely, I mean the first thing that you see is that John Kerry back in the region right now, he went right back to meet with Abbas and to meet with Netanyahu, probably the best thing that can happen for the next few months is we don’t see any large summits, convenings, public displays and there’s hard work of diplomacy going on behind-the-scenes with a sustained and ongoing commitment. And I think John Kerry is putting this at the top of his agenda for his tenure as secretary of state and I think the president has given him the political push to do it and I think if we don’t read or see big public displays then quiet diplomacy behind-the-scenes is exactly what should be going on.

Hayes: ….Mahmoud Abbas basically saying, you know, so the idea is how can we restart negotiations. Right now the Netanyahu government says “We should begin direct negotiations right now, forget about settlements let’s talk.” The PA’s position is there has to be a settlement freeze. One of the talking points is “The Israeli government can pledge to you secretly he’ll stop settlement activities during the period of negotiations,” one talking point referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. “(He doesn’t have to announce it.)” as a kind of way as essentially threading the needle, right? His political base will go crazy if he announces a settlement freeze, a settlement freeze is the necessary pre-condition from the perspective of the P.A. to talks.  What do you think about that?

Erakat: My opinion is I don’t think diplomacy is the way to go. We’ve done it for 20 years and it’s been disastrous; Palestinians are ghettoized in Gaza; within the West Bank several times; Palestinians do not have equal rights within Israel. And so at this point I have more faith, and I’m looking forward to, the Palestinian leaders on the ground, the Gandhi’s who are leading movements, to internationalize this issue. When President Obama got there there were a group of young Palestinians who had set up a camp called Bab al-Shams. Basically, The Eye of the Sun to protest the expansion (inaudible) and we didn’t give them any attention in our news media and I think that’s where we need to start looking.

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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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28 Responses

  1. Linda J
    March 24, 2013, 11:56 am

    Yikes! It looks like Chris Hayes chose his last show to explore the sticky-wicket of Palestine. link to nbcnews.com

    But luckily, he is going to have an evening show at 8 o’clock every week night now. Cheers!

  2. Cliff
    March 24, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Great discussion. I really hope Hayes stays this way when he gets his ‘promotion’.

  3. pabelmont
    March 24, 2013, 1:10 pm

    All this “America’s Greatest Ally” poop.

    It might explain why we give money and arms to Israel, sure. But it does not explain why we screw up our position with the Arabs and Muslims of the world by abetting israel’s lawlessness — the settlements and wall and siege.

    We could support Israel’s ecnomy and security without abetting its criminality, so “greatest ally” explains nothing.

    Now, as Bush suggested in starting the Iraq war, and Obama continues with his torture, drones, etc., maybe USA’s policy is EXACTLY to create enemies in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Maybe Orwell had it right, a continuous three-way war forever. USA needs war to support BIG-ARMS, one of the oligarchs along with BIG-BANKS and BIG-ZION and BIG-OIL.

    USA’s “greatest ally” still does not explain the support for criminality, tho a USA push to CREATE enemies does.

    Always remember: USA’s foreign policy is not conducted for the benefit of the people, but for the benefit of the “establishment”, the oligarchs. Commentators who do not begin their discourse with the power of the oligarchs are bound to get things very wrong.

    • Citizen
      March 24, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Well yes, you cannot discuss Israel without discussing the USA 1%. All those polls re I-P are based on loaded questions to Americans who have long been deprived of any real facts about Israel’s conduct and policies for the last nearly 5 decades, not to mention the actual facts about direct and indirect US tax funds to Israel.

  4. agatharchides
    March 24, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Secret settlement freeze? Sooo, negotiations are going to restart and everyone in the effected area will suddenly start to be denied building permits for no given reason and nobody is going to notice? The settlers won’t put two and two together, particularly after the “secret” settlement freeze offer has been discussed on, I don’t know, some of the biggest news sites in the world? None of them will make the connection between the sudden stop in construction in their areas and the public resumption of negotiations and contact their friendly Jewish Homeland representative to complain? I don’t think they are that stupid. I don’t see how a remotely meaningful settlement freeze could be kept a secret for more than few days or maybe weeks at most. Certainly not the months and years negotiations would drag on, if the past is any precedent.

    • southernobserver
      March 24, 2013, 5:09 pm

      Easy. It would be exactly like the first ‘partial’ freeze, except even less. Building permits would continue to be issued ad libitum within the west bank settlements, just not officially to ‘new’ settlements. Would there be any official action against ‘unofficial’ expansion? Probably nothing except verbal objection. But of course they are not endorsed, so they wouldn’t count.

      Of course, just as last time, so much activity has already been approved, it would take months to catch up.

      • agatharchides
        March 24, 2013, 6:17 pm

        See the part where I put “remotely meaningful” in front of settlement freeze. If he agrees to a non-freeze freeze that doesn’t actually stop anyone from building then that could be kept secret of course. Of course how a freeze that isn’t spoken about in public and doesn’t stop anyone from building is different from no freeze at all is a real stumper, so I doubt Abbas will go for it.

        Not that it really matters. There is no way anything will be settled as long as Netanyahu and Bennet run the government, talks or no talks.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 24, 2013, 9:18 pm

        not sure how they can keep it a secret since it’s all over the news. what would be the point? and it’s not like anyone would not notice they stopped expanding, they’ve been on a building frenzy for a while now.

      • agatharchides
        March 24, 2013, 9:29 pm

        I honestly don’t get it either, it was apparently Abbas’ idea as is mentioned in the interview. Hayes suggested it could placate both the settlers and Abbas, but it struck me as totally impractical for all the reasons I mentioned in my first post. Either it stops them from building, which the settlers are going to notice, announced or unannounced, or it doesn’t. Either way, it doesn’t thread the needle, as he puts it.

      • MHughes976
        March 25, 2013, 7:37 am

        I would say ‘so long as the Zionist principle that Jewish people, and they only, have a ‘birthright’ in the Holy Land, prevails as it does now among Jewish people in Israel, among Jewish people worldwide and in the West generally’. Politicians come and go but the basic idea is fixed like a rock and burns like a torch.

  5. American
    March 24, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Khalidi and Erakat are 100% right. Ben-Ami is another lying zio who wants the US to continue to be Israel’s p***y whipped lawyer.
    Hayes needs to be even more ‘on point’…go after the Jewish Lobby and it’s congressional seat of power on Israel.

    • Erasmus
      March 25, 2013, 7:26 am

      re American : …Ben-Ami is another lying zio …..

      Agreed. When Ben-Ami says …. “I agree with you that there’s been no results, that I absolutely agree. ….”,
      Ben Ami ignores or tries to hide, that during all the gimmick of decades of negotiations and “Peace Process” there has been an enormous expansion of settler colonies and exploitation of occupied territories, and all the other Human Right violations as listed in the UNHR Council Report on Settlements of 18March 2013.
      Please see: link to unispal.un.org
      This report says it all.
      And all these shall be no results???????
      And has it given any coverage in the US or European media??? NONE.

  6. American
    March 24, 2013, 2:51 pm

    DO NOT listen to Obama Palestine.
    The piddling pittance of aid the US offers you isn’t worth it.
    Go to the ICC as fast as you get there.
    Put the US on the flaming hot seat.
    ‘Internationalize’ the hell out of I/P by using the ICC to do it.

    ‘Obama to Abbas: Don’t go to ICC over settlements’

    Jerusalem Post-Mar 23, 2013
    US President Barack Obama asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Israel and the West Bank not to take …

    • southernobserver
      March 24, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Dear American,
      I could not agree more. They should have gone to the ICC during his visit.

      Anything less than this merely ensures that the ultimate, Yalon plan, prison farm solution will happen.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        March 24, 2013, 6:05 pm

        Given where we have reached at this time in history, the Palestinian strategy must immediately shift to ONE DEMOCRATIC State of the Holy Land for ALL of its citizens… Christian, Moslem, and Jewish.

        ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE.

        That is the only FAIR, JUST, and LASTING solution. All of us can have 100% of the land. We Palestinians will no longer ask for any land back from israel. We will no longer demand that israel stop building settlements.

        Moving forward, we are only asking for ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE.

        Onwards towards the DEMOCRATIC State of the Holy Land with peace, justice, and security for all its citizens.

  7. German Lefty
    March 24, 2013, 2:56 pm

    people who are liberal Zionists, who love Israel but want a two state solution all the way to people that are, don’t agree with Zionism or believe in a one state solution and a full democracy in the land west of the Jordan river

    Chris’ choice of words is interesting. I assume that he initially wanted to say “people that are anti-Zionists”, but then opted for the softer version “people that don’t agree with Zionism”. Also, he avoided referring to Israel as Palestinian land. He could have said something like “the area of Mandatory Palestine” but instead opted for “the land west of the Jordan river”.
    Anyway, I am glad that he mentioned the non-Zionist one-state solution at all.

    Rashid Khalidi and especially Noura Erakat were great. Also, Noura’s facial expressions while Ben-Ami was speaking were pretty funny. I caught myself shaking my head almost every time Ann Lewis spoke.

  8. Citizen
    March 24, 2013, 3:50 pm

    BTW, I made a comment about the Chris Hayes MSNBC show a few days ago–I watched it and typed as fast I could to capture both literally and by paraphrasing the panel discussion. It’s on MW. Check it out. Annie’s post here comes later.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 24, 2013, 5:57 pm

      i saw that citizen. a couple people had mentioned the show in the comments. actually, i had this up yesterday but the transcript available at the show was so bad i felt i needed to redo it and i am very very slow at that. we could have run it sans the transcript but it was so good. so very good. anyway, it took me til this morning to finish it. thanks for your heads up and efforts.

  9. yonah fredman
    March 24, 2013, 3:59 pm

    The odds against a negotiated settlement in the next four years are long. Jeremy Ben Ami’s organization was created with Obama in mind, so one must allow him to speak for the administration and by its very nature any administration must consider diplomacy as its best option. Obama’s speeches reflected both short range and long range, short range hope for negotiation, long range strategies for change: nonviolent protests.

  10. Justpassingby
    March 24, 2013, 4:36 pm

    What “freeze”? Why is this even up for subject. Its like we having a murderer that would adhere to a “murder freeze”, I mean its so insane when you think about it.
    The settlements is illegal, they shouldnt be freezed, they should be stopped and dismantled, period!

  11. Hostage
    March 24, 2013, 5:08 pm

    Erakat: My opinion is I don’t think diplomacy is the way to go. We’ve done it for 20 years and it’s been disastrous;

    According to Asharq al-Awsat, Abbas told Obama that he would wait two months before taking any action at the ICC in hopes that the US could convince Israel to freeze settlement construction as a precondition for relaunching peace talks. He added, however, that should Israel follow through on plans to build in the E1 corridor in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, he would turn to the ICC immediately.

    And so at this point I have more faith, and I’m looking forward to, the Palestinian leaders on the ground, the Gandhi’s who are leading movements, to internationalize this issue.

    Abbas wrote an Op-Ed which explained that the UN statehood bid is part of an effort to internationalize the issue and make it a legal one, not just a political one. Palestinians have been trying to use grassroots and top-down political actions alone ever since the 1st Intifada with disastrous results.

    I have no faith in the effectiveness of either political or legal action alone, but lawyers like Erekat need to start talking about the legal horizon too. There are not going to be any decisive legal actions taken until pressure is applied by Palestinian civil society. It isn’t enough to demand equal rights for Palestinians. They have to exercise them once the international community of States provides the opportunity.

    • Erasmus
      March 25, 2013, 8:00 am

      Re Hostage:
      “According to Asharq al-Awsat, Abbas told Obama that he would wait two months before taking any action at the ICC in hopes that the US could convince Israel to freeze settlement construction as a precondition for relaunching peace talks.”….

      I wonder whether Abbas will do what he has been quoted to do…..
      after 2 months additional waiting for a total, publicly announced settlement freeze!
      link to aawsat.net

      That would mean Netanyahoos 3rd Government had a 2 months live period only!!

  12. southernobserver
    March 24, 2013, 6:03 pm

    “According to Asharq al-Awsat, Abbas told Obama that he would wait two months before taking any action at the ICC in hopes that the US could convince Israel to freeze settlement construction as a precondition for relaunching peace talks. He added, however, that should Israel follow through on plans to build in the E1 corridor in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, he would turn to the ICC immediately.”

    link to jpost.com

    Not too bad. Does anybody see any prospects that diplomacy would be better than appealing for justice?

  13. MK_Ultra
    March 24, 2013, 8:33 pm

    Here’s the latest. Another partial freeze or the partial freeze from the last time.

    link to mail.com

    The reasons for Obama’s trips are slowly coming out one by one. Kerry has offered the Palestinians a “settlement freeze” of the settlement freeze that was agreed (but not adhered to by ISreal) in 2010. In essence, the game here is that every couple of years, patient, giving, generous, loving, kind, understanding ISreal agrees to freeze the settlements in exchange for…well, stealing more land. Immediately thereafter, they announce the construction of more settlements than before and go about their land theft at an accelerated rate while accusing the Palestinians of everything they can think of till Sugar Daddy intervenes, gives more money and weapons to ISreal along with plenty of pats on the shoulder and reassurances meanwhile wagging the finger at the Palestinians. Ultimately, getting ISreal to kindly agree to another partial freeze.

    Rinse, lather repeat.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 24, 2013, 9:15 pm

      mk, i think that’s what chris hayes was talking about when he said:

      Hayes: ….Mahmoud Abbas basically saying, you know, so the idea is how can we restart negotiations. Right now the Netanyahu government says “We should begin direct negotiations right now, forget about settlements let’s talk.” The PA’s position is there has to be a settlement freeze. One of the talking points is “The Israeli government can pledge to you secretly he’ll stop settlement activities during the period of negotiations,” one talking point referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. “(He doesn’t have to announce it.)” as a kind of way as essentially threading the needle, right? His political base will go crazy if he announces a settlement freeze, a settlement freeze is the necessary pre-condition from the perspective of the P.A. to talks. What do you think about that?

      it’s the penultimate paragragh above. and he reads it off of a news article. yeah, that’s what the big ‘offer’ is.

    • Justpassingby
      March 25, 2013, 5:38 am

      Remember, even when Israel “agree” to a freeze, there is none. They cannot be trusted.

      “Building in the Settlements continues despite freeze ”
      link to demotix.com

      • Bumblebye
        March 25, 2013, 8:50 am

        “CiFWatch” has been attempting to bash the Guardian over its reporting on the E1 development:

        ” A Guardian editorial of 3 December 2012 stated that the E1 plan “would cut the West Bank in two and separate it from East Jerusalem”. ”

        “On 12 December CiFWatch, a US-based website set up to monitor the Guardian for what it describes as antisemitism and the “assault on Israel’s legitimacy”, wrote to the readers’ editor to complain about the description of the effect of the plan in that editorial and two other articles. Part of its argument was that the New York Times had published a correction as a result of a similar complaint by another pro-Israel website.”

        The “CiFWatch” complaint eventually covered 14 articles, and their argument that the West Bank would not be bisected had to be dissected geographically. It would seem the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) came down on the side of the Grauni:

        link to guardian.co.uk

  14. piotr
    March 25, 2013, 9:40 am

    I guess I will merely amplify some points made by others.

    First: it is very hard for me to find an example of a settlement of any type of conflict involving both territory and people that was settled by direct negotiations. After many years, Canada and Denmark settled to split Hans Island in half. Many years! The most desolated piece of solid bleak rock in a terribly desolated nook of Arctic! There exists such settlements that basically ratify the military situation, and even those are rare.

    When UN voted about admission of Palestine, Polish Foreign minister disclosed his position just before the vote, which was to abstain, and I was surprised how intensly and negatively it was received. While the public is quite oblivious to the problem, the position and arguments simply insulted the intelligence. One argument was that the admission will not be good for the negotiations (implicitely, the direct one). The most succinct reply was “Negotiations of the whip and the ass [posterior]“.

    USA can block any solution not favored by Israel, and conversely, it can impose any. Israel is perhaps only as tribal as Armenia and Azerbaijan, but it is unique in controlling and repressing millions of peoples designated as “enemies”, with all tribal spitefulness. There are more cruel regimes, but I cannot. find one with so much energy and intellect devoted to pointless spite (goggle “Gaza coriander” for an example).

    War makes people insane. But why Americans cannot be sane here?

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