‘This is worth it, folks,’ Kerry says of talks– and warns of ‘avoiding war’

Israel/Palestine
on 128 Comments

We’ve had so many posts mocking John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy that it is only fair to post some of his press conference today from Tel Aviv in which he repeatedly stated that he is positive about a possible resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Let’s be clear: the two sides won’t even sit down with one another. And Kerry can’t say what terms they’ve gotten closer on during long nights of discussion, or even if they’ve discussed settlements, which Israel increased on the occasion of Kerry’s visit. But he kept saying he was “positive.” Some of his remarks, and answers:

I am pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip, and I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach. We started out with very wide gaps and we have narrowed those considerably. We have some specific details and work to pursue, but I am absolutely confident that we are on the right track and that all of the parties are working in very good faith in order to get to the right place….

And as I have talked the last few days intensively with leaders in Jordan, in the West Bank, in Palestine, as well as in Israel with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas particularly, I’ve really been impressed with their serious commitment to this task. They have spent hours working through language, working through ideas, and the effort that they and their teams have put into this convinces me of their interest in being successful.

They understand that in the pursuit of this new partnership, one ally none of us have is time. Time threatens the situations on the ground, it allows them to worsen, it provides time for misinterpretations, mistrust to harden. It allows time for vacuums to be filled by bad actors….

So our immediate goal is, of course, to resume permanent status negotiations. It is not to negotiate for the sake of negotiating. What we want, and most important, what the people who live here want, all of the people who live here, is an enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that is a solution that will lead to two states for two peoples which the majority of Israelis and Palestinians clearly want. It is a solution that will strengthen Israel’s security and it will strengthen its future as a Jewish state, and that will give the Palestinian people the chance to fulfill their legitimate aspirations in a country of their own…

Both leaders have asked me to continue my efforts to help bring them together, and I am leaving several staff people here to work on these details in the next week or so. And I believe their request to me to return to the area soon is a sign that they share my cautious optimism, and that is why they’ve asked me to come back here as we complete the work on these details.

Michael Gordon of The New York Times: “Sir, for three days you’ve been meeting day and night, traveling back and forth between Jordan and Israel. If it’s been this difficult to get the parties to agree even to sit down together and negotiate, why is there reason to think that negotiations would actually succeed?

“And a related question: The Israelis say Prime Minister Netanyahu offered a package by the end of your marathon session and Mr. Erekat says there was no breakthrough. You’ve talked of progress. What is this progress that you say you’ve made here? What are the main elements of the package that you’re trying to put together?”

Kerry: Well, I’m not going to go into any of the elements of the package, Michael, because we have all agreed that the best way to serve this effort is not to be floating ideas or possibilities out there for everybody to tear apart and evaluate and analyze….

So as I said, the gaps were very broad when we began. They are now, I think, very narrow. And we have, as I said, some work to do. I’m leaving staff here. I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t believe we had something serious to work on. And I’m going to come back because both leaders have asked me to, and I think I wouldn’t be asked to and I wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t some hope and possibility in that.

So I think this is worth it, folks. This has been years and years and years. If it takes another week or two weeks or some more time, that’s minimal, minuscule compared to the stakes and compared to what we’re trying to do. And the fact that both parties have insisted that they want to continue and work on where we are and insist that it’s important for me to come back at the appropriate time, I will do so. That’s what President Obama committed to and that’s the work that he’s asked me to do…

I’m feeling very hopeful, as I said earlier, that we have a concept that is being now fleshed out and that people have a sense of how this might be able to go forward. And that is why I said that I believe the start of negotiations could be within reach. Obviously, the work has to be completed. People have to make a few choices still. But the gap has been narrowed very significantly…

So I’m not going to get into them. It’s a mistake. We are committed through this process. When and if we get to those negotiations, which I hope we will get to, we are committed not to talk about what we’re doing, because that’s the way we’re going to be able to really work seriously.

Abdul Raouk-Arnout of Al-Ayam newspaper: “Mr. Secretary, for the last three days, you’ve been shuttling between Amman, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. Now, we know nothing about these meetings. How these meetings were going? What difficult – it’s about, I think, 20 hours of meetings with President Arafat – President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. So can you describe these meetings, how well it going? And you’ve said that you don’t want to get into the details. Fine, but the issue of settlements, is it the main obstacle that you’ve been facing at these meetings?”

Kerry: The answer is no, there are any number of obstacles, but we’re working through them. And we made progress, as I said, in every sector. We still have, as I said, a little bit of work to do, and I look forward to doing it. But we have widened – again, we have taken a very, very wide gap and we’ve narrowed it. And these are very complicated talks because the stakes are very, very high for everybody. This is about a country, two countries and two peoples and peace and the possibilities of avoiding war and how you guarantee things where years and years of conflict have hardened feelings and hardened emotions and hardened realities.

So it’s hard to work through that. I’m impressed by the attitude, I’m impressed by the seriousness, I’m impressed by the commitment. The fact that we sat there for all those hours; worked through difficult issues; worked through hard, long-term, entrenched beliefs; and found facts and found a way to organize some thoughts is very, very important here. And so I’m very positive. …

This process has been pretty dead in the water for four or five years. So we’re trying to come back from that, and I’m encouraged by the seriousness of purpose indicated by both teams. They are working hard. We all are. And we’re determined to get there, all of us.

I’m pleased and proud of the work that everybody has done. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team were up until – I think we were there till 4:00 in the morning this morning, working for hours, and we did that the day before, and again with President Abbas. Frankly, we need to take a little more time to work with both sides on a couple of issues that I think are worth working on.

About Philip Weiss

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

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128 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    June 30, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Frankly, we need to take a little more time to work with both sides on a couple of issues that I think are worth working on.

    yeah, with a few more decades of time we ought to be able to sort things out.

    • ziusudra
      July 1, 2013, 4:24 am

      Greetings Annie,
      Right on, Dear.
      196 entities were involved in completing 5 treaties in 4 yrs of the 30 yrs’ war!
      How much money do Abbas & Netanyahu make annually?
      They will go on talking until retirement, then be replaced just like this Kerry
      replaced Hillary!
      ziusudra

  2. just
    June 30, 2013, 1:51 pm

    wapo:

    “JERUSALEM — Secretary of State John F. Kerry continued his shuttle diplomacy here early Sunday morning, winding up a six-hour dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 3:30 a.m., and driving to Ramallah, in the West Bank, for a final talk with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before Kerry’s scheduled afternoon departure from the Middle East.”

    (and, later in the article)

    “I want to thank you, John,” Netanyahu said to Kerry. “This looks like a Seder,” the ritual Jewish feast that marks the beginning of Passover.

    “It is,” Kerry replied.”

    ————-
    blah, blah, blah. Just more jawing and glad handing and bs.

  3. Sibiriak
    June 30, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Sorry, it’s all such a load of crap.

  4. Gart Valenc
    June 30, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Here is an opportunity to listen to Rashid Khalidi’s lucidly talking about Israel, Palestine, US policy in the Middle East and the peace process. As you will see, there is nothing vitriolic, ideological or prejudicial in his talks. On the contrary, these are well documented, responsible and rational arguments expounded with great authority and scholarship:

    1. On Israelis, Palestinians and Any Hope for Middle East Peace: bit.ly/ZI1V8x

    2. On U.S. Middle-East Policy: bit.ly/12X9BcB

    3. About his book “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East”: cs.pn/100bT6u

    To wrap things up, I strongly recommend this talk by your own Philip Weiss, Stephen Walt and Henry Siegman:

    Middle East Policy Council | A Frank Discussion on the future of Israel and Palestine — Expanding the debate: bit.ly/18yzi5Z

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

    • john h
      July 1, 2013, 1:22 am

      “listen to Rashid Khalidi’s lucidly talking about Israel, Palestine, US policy in the Middle East and the peace process”.

      Indeed, here is the link to a longer version: link to youtube.com

      • Gart Valenc
        July 1, 2013, 5:44 am

        John h, it is the same link I’m providing for first talk “On Israelis, Palestinians and Any Hope for Middle East Peace”.

        Gart Valenc
        Twitter: @gartvalenc

  5. Shmuel
    June 30, 2013, 3:25 pm

    the Middle East has nothing in common with Western notions of rationality, fair play and compromise

    Damn savages. We’ve been trying to beat “rationality, fair play and compromise” into them for centuries, and they still don’t get it.

    The truth is peace is impossible and if this fact was internalized both the Arabs and the Jews would be better off.

    Yes, the sooner they know their place, the better it will be for everyone (especially us).

    Some problems in this world have no solution.

    Ah, the “shrapnel in the butt” school of thought.

  6. HarryLaw
    June 30, 2013, 3:29 pm

    Uri Avnery was right when stating that the Israeli side had more to gain from negotiations “The very start of new negotiations would be a political triumph for Netanyahu. Actually, it’s all he really wants – the ceremony, the bombast, the leaders shaking hands, the smiles, the speeches full of goodwill and talk of peace.

    And then? Then nothing. Negotiations that go on endlessly, months, years, decades. We have seen it all before. Yitzhak Shamir, one of Netanyahu’s predecessors, famously boasted that he would have dragged out the negotiations forever.”

    • Kathleen
      July 1, 2013, 9:47 am

      Israel stalling will only bring them even closer to one vote one state.

      • Rusty Pipes
        July 1, 2013, 9:14 pm

        But they think that stalling will bring them closer to an ethnically cleansed Israel — and that no one with any power will object.

      • James Canning
        July 2, 2013, 2:29 pm

        Rusty – - Some expansionists, including Netanyahu, apparently hope an American war with Iran will clear the way for Israel to keep almost all the illegal colonies.

  7. seafoid
    June 30, 2013, 3:41 pm

    “Some problems in the world have no solution”.

    YESHA is not one of those.
    700000 jews are not going to hold the world to ransom. F you and your Weltanschauung.

  8. seafoid
    June 30, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Kerry is not going to hand al quds to the bots.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    June 30, 2013, 4:08 pm

    RE: “And as I have talked the last few days intensively with . . . Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas particularly, I’ve really been impressed with their serious commitment to this task. They have spent hours working through language, working through ideas, and the effort that they and their teams have put into this convinces me of their interest in being successful.” ~ Kerry

    MY COMMENT: Netanyahu’s “serious commitment to this task” as supposedly evidenced by his having “spent hours working through language, working through ideas”, is nothing more than “pulling back here, co-operating there, [and] making nice when necessary”, as Joel Kovel puts it. It is very much akin to a sociopath obeying traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime!

    FROM JOEL KOVEL, 1-20-13:

    . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman [probably like Kerry and Obama - J.L.D.] assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 30, 2013, 4:33 pm

      RE: “Time threatens the situations on the ground, it allows them to worsen, it provides time for misinterpretations, mistrust to harden. It allows time for vacuums to be filled by bad actors…. ~ Kerry

      MY COMMENT: That’s precisely what Likudnik Israel wants!

      FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

      [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:
      Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.

      SOURCE – link to lrb.co.uk

      • DICKERSON3870
        June 30, 2013, 4:36 pm

        P.S. RE: “The founders of Zionism knew … and we
        in the government know how to make use of time.”
        ~ Moshe Ya’alon (from above)

        CHABADNICK* BOB DYLAN (1983):

        Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
        His enemies say he’s on their land
        They got him outnumbered about a million to one
        He got no place to escape to, no place to run
        He’s the neighborhood bully . . .
        . . . Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill [i.e., Hilltop Youth - J.L.D.]
        Running out the clock
        , time standing still
        Neighborhood bully

        SOURCE – link to bobdylan.com

        NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY, ISRAEL TV, ORBACH [VIDEO, 05:49] – link to youtube.com

        * P.S. ALSO SEE: “Bob Dylan turns 70; still hasn’t Recanted Praise for Rabbi Meir Kahane”, by Amago, SpencerWatch.com, 5/24/11
        LINK – link to spencerwatch.com

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 5:49 pm

        As a great fan of Alistair Crooke, I think once again the point to be made is that Israel cannot create facts on the ground if the entire planet says, in effect, “so what?” Big deal. Jews living in colonies in Palestine. Big deal.

    • Donald
      July 1, 2013, 7:04 am

      “But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially”

      I think they are entirely normal. The short-term incentives are to continue the settlement project so long as the US maintains its unwavering support. Sure, in the long run they may end up like Syria is now or in some other way end up as a failed state, but humans don’t look at the long run if the short run seems to be going so well and there’s no immediate danger. And people rarely give up their privileges unless pressured into it. Israel is under no serious pressure so long as the US is in its corner. For now, at least, that’s good enough for them.

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 1:57 pm

        @Donald – - Yes, continuing stupidity of US Congress does encourage Israel to grow the illegal colonies in the West Bank.

  10. Woody Tanaka
    June 30, 2013, 4:10 pm

    “Some people never want to learn the Middle East has nothing in common with Western notions of rationality, fair play and compromise.”

    Oh, I don’t know. Jews are Middle Eastern peoples and if ask them, they understand this Western stuff.

    • miriam6
      July 1, 2013, 5:59 pm

      Oh, I don’t know. Jews are Middle Eastern peoples and if ask them, they understand this Western stuff.

      Woody:

      You’re learning! There may be hope for you yet.

      • libra
        July 2, 2013, 4:55 pm

        miriam6: Woody: You’re learning! There may be hope for you yet.

        I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high, Miriam. By his own admission, poor Woody’s been working more or less around the clock recently. He barely has time on Sundays to buy his groceries then it’s back to the grindstone. Clearly it’s taking its toll mentally if he’s on the same page as you. Frankly, I’ll be extremely concerned if he starts ranting on about the Mufti.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 3, 2013, 12:20 pm

        Mary, Mary, tone deaf as always.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    June 30, 2013, 4:58 pm

    RE: “The truth is peace is impossible and if this fact was internalized both the Arabs and the Jews would be better off. Some problems in this world have no solution.” ~ NormanF

    URI AVNERY: “Over dozens of years, Israelis have been brainwashed into believing that ‘the Arabs’ don’t want peace. If they say they do, they are lying.”

    SEE: “Israel’s Weird Elections”, by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 1/04/13:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . The Israeli media are already to a large extent neutralized, a creeping process not unsimilar to what the Germans used to call Gleichschaltung. [SEE: Gleichschaltung @ Wikipedia - J.L.D. ]
    All three TV channels are more or less bankrupt and dependent on government handouts. Their editors are practically government appointees. The printed press is also teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, except the largest “news” paper, which belongs to Sheldon Adelson and is a Netanyahu propaganda sheet, distributed gratis.
    [Naftali] Bennett repeats the ridiculous assertion that almost all journalists are left-wingers (meaning traitors.) He promises to put an end to this intolerable situation. . .
    . . . In the coming four years, the official annexation of the West Bank to Israel may become a fact. . .
    . . . If the government continues on its present course, this will lead to certain disaster – the entire country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will become one unit under Israeli rule. This Greater Israel will contain an Arab majority and a shrinking Jewish minority, turning it inevitably into an apartheid state, plagued by a permanent civil war and shunned by the world.
    If pressure from without and within eventually compels the government to grant civil rights to the Arab majority, the country will turn into an Arab state. 134 years of Zionist endeavor will come to naught, a repetition of the Crusaders’ kingdom.
    This is so obvious, so inevitable, that one needs an iron will not to think about it. It seems that all major parties in these elections have this will. Speaking about peace, they believe, is poison. Giving back the West Bank and East Jerusalem for peace? God forbid even thinking about it.
    The weird fact is that this week two respected polls – independent of each other – came to the same conclusion: the great majority of Israeli voters favors the “two-state solution”
    , the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and the partition of Jerusalem. This majority includes the majority of Likud voters, and even about half of Bennett’s adherents.
    How come? The explanation lies in the next question: How many voters believe that this solution is possible? The answer: almost nobody. Over dozens of years, Israelis have been brainwashed into believing that “the Arabs” don’t want peace. If they say they do, they are lying.
    If peace is impossible, why think about it? Why even mention it in the election campaign? Why not go back 44 years to Golda Meir’s days and pretend that the Palestinians don’t exist? (“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people…It is not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away. They did not exist.” – Golda Meir, June 13, 1969) . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    P.S. People like “NormanF” will feature prominently in Israel’s postmortem examination (autopsy) and epitaph!

  12. Ramzi Jaber
    June 30, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk.

    We demand action. It’s way beyond high time for ALL Palestinians to take to the streets EVERYDAY demonstrating non-violently against the zionist occupation AND the PA occupation. We’ll liberate Palestine in days.

    Look what’s happening in Egypt again. Morsi is toast soon unless he does what Assad is doing, kill his own people.

    Otherwise, it’s 1S1P1V.

    • miriam6
      June 30, 2013, 10:50 pm

      Ramzi Jaber says:

      ‘Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk
      We demand action. It’s way beyond high time for ALL Palestinians to take to the streets EVERYDAY demonstrating non-violently against the zionist occupation AND the PA occupation. We’ll liberate Palestine in days….
      ‘Otherwise, it’s 1S1P1V.’

      ****************************************************************

      Ramzi are you aware back in 1939 The Palestinians were presented with just that of which you hope for – a single unitary Arab Palestinian State – 1S1P1V ,what is more with guarantees from the British of NO JEWISH STATE on any inch of that Palestinian sovereign state.

      However, the Palestinian leader ,the mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseini rejected the offer flatly.

      He would not countenance the notion of even a tiny handful of Jews remaining as citizens of a new Palestinian state in all of Mandate Palestine.

      In doing so , he foolishly rejected the proposal for a state even if it meant throwing out the baby with the bath-water, by his rejection of the offer of a Sovereign Palestinian state.

      During the London Conference of 1939 in St James Palace Neville Chamberlain offered the Palestinians were offered the best deal they were EVER offered, the chance for FULL PALESTINIAN independence and the promise of NO JEWISH SOVEREIGN STATE IN PALESTINE, but the Palestinian Arabs turned it down.
      Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister of the time had decided to REVERSE the Balfour Declaration and in doing so the prospect of a sovereign Jewish state was abandoned as British policy on Palestine ,must to the anger of the Zionists.

      A huge mistake, made by the Palestinian Arabs in 1939.

      At that point in history 1939 if the Mufti had ACCEPTED what was offered by the British Government The Zionists would have LOST the opportunity for a sovereign Jewish state in Mandate Palestine.

      These policies were stated formally in the White Paper of 1939, resulting in a storm of protests by Zionists throughout the world.

      From Jerusalem. A Biography
      by Simon Sebag Montefiore
      The Arab revolt 1936-45.
      The Mufti and Hitler: World War in Jerusalem.
      Chapter 49:


      Neville Chamberlain, whose father had proposed a Jewish homeland in Uganda, decided to reverse the Balfour Declaration. If there was a war , the Jews had no choice but to back Britain against the Jews but to back Britain against the Nazis. But the Arabs had a real choice ‘if we must offend one side ,’ said chamberlain ,let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs.’

      He therefore invited both sides , and the Arab states , to a conference in London.
      On 7 February 1939, Chamberlain had to open the conference in St James Palace twice, because Arab and Zionists refused to negotiate directly .

      On 17 March Malcolm Mc Donald , the colonial secretary, issued a White Paper that proposed limiting Jewish land purchases and restricting Jewish immigration to 15.000 people annually for five years , after which Arabs would have a veto,
      Palestinian INDEPENDENCE WITHIN TEN YEARS AND NO JEWISH STATE.

      This was the BEST offer the Palestinians were to receive from the British or anyone else during the entire twentieth century, but the mufti Amin Hussein , displaying spectacular political in competence and megalomaniacal intransigence, rejected it from his Lebanese exile.

      This observation by General Montgomery at the time is prescient ‘ The Jew murders the Arab and the Arab murders the Jews and it will go on for the next 50 years in all probability’

      From Jerusalem. A Biography
      by Simon Sebag Montefiore
      http://www.orion.books.co.uk

      *****************************************************

      Faced with no prospect of mutual agreement after some three dozen sessions with the parties, on 15 March 1939 Malcolm MacDonald outlined Britain’s proposals: After ten years, a Palestinian state would be created, possibly a federation with Arab and Jewish cantons.
      Since the Arabs would have a majority in the assembly, legal guarantees would be included for the Jewish minority and its national home. During the coming five years, 75,000 Jewish immigrants (of whom 25,000 would be refugees) would be admitted into Palestine. Subsequent immigration would depend on Arab consent.

      link to encyclopedia.com

      • Shmuel
        July 1, 2013, 11:36 am

        back in 1939 … Palestinian leader ,the mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseini rejected the offer flatly.

        Why would the British have negotiated with Al-Husseini two years after having deposed him (for his involvement in the Arab Revolt) and outlawed the Arab Higher Committee?

        link to books.google.it

      • miriam6
        July 1, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Shmuel said:

        ‘Why would the British have negotiated with Al-Husseini two years after having deposed him (for his involvement in the Arab Revolt) and outlawed the Arab Higher Committee?’

        ***********************************************************************

        The fact is Shmuel, circumstances had changed significantly since 1937.

        The fact is ,by 1939, Chamberlain had decided that war with Germany was such a strong probability he chose to REVERSE the Balfour Declaration in favour of making SUBSTANTIAL concessions to the Palestinian Arabs in order to win the support of the Palestinians Arabs AWAY from support for Germany and the Axis Powers.
        The fact is that the mufti Haj Amin al- Husseini FAILED to exploit the gains of the Arab Revolt and he also, most crucially of all, he FAILED to exploit the British change of policy away from the Balfour Declaration, and the subsequent significant concessions offered by the British colonial rulers in the form of the creation of a Palestinian state in mandate Palestine with promise of NO Jewish state entity in Mandate Palestine.

        The mufti, showing little moral or political ability chose to support the LOSING side in the 2nd WW, Germany and the Axis powers.

        If the Palestinians had been directed by the mufti to ACCEPT the offer of sovereignty in 1939 as proposed by the 1939 White Paper, the Zionists would have had no recourse and would have LOST.

        Certainly after 1945 Britain was bankrupted by the war effort, and subsequently lost its empire, including Palestine.

        The Palestinians COULD have been home free.

        So really, it is true that the mufti SQUANDERED the opportunity of Palestinian sovereignty over ALL of Mandate Palestine.

        The mufti may not have been allowed to attend the 1939 London Conference in person , but he was represented in his absence by his cousin Jamal al-Husseini who led one Arab delegation.

        The Mufti however had the final say and authority to either ACCEPT or REJECT the British offer and concessions.

        But , unfortunately ,his instruction was to reject the offer, with disastrous results for his people.

        ***********************************************************************

        .

        Neville Chamberlain, whose father had proposed a Jewish homeland in Uganda, decided to reverse the Balfour Declaration. If there was a war , the Jews had no choice but to back Britain against the Jews but to back Britain against the Nazis. But the Arabs had a real choice ‘if we must offend one side ,’ said chamberlain ,let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs.’
        He therefore invited both sides , and the Arab states , to a conference in London.The Arabs named the mufti as chief delegate, but since the British would not tolerate his presence, his cousin Jamal al- Husseini led one Arab delegation; Nashashibis led the moderates. T he Husseinis stayed at the Dorchester, the Nashashibis at the Carlton. Weizmann and Ben- Gurion represented the Zionists.

        *****************And this followed…*****************

        On 7 February 1939, Chamberlain had to open the conference in St James Palace twice, because Arab and Zionists refused to negotiate directly .On March 15, the hollowness of his( Chamberlain’s ) appeasement of Hitler was exposed when the Fuhrer invaded the rump of Czechoslovakia. Malcolm Mc Donald , the colonial secretary, issued a White Paper that proposed limiting Jewish land purchases and restricting Jewish immigration to 15.000 people annually for five years , after which Arabs would have a veto,
        Palestinian INDEPENDENCE WITHIN TEN YEARS AND NO JEWISH STATE.
        This was the BEST offer the Palestinians were to receive from the British or anyone else during the entire twentieth century, but the mufti Amin Hussein , displaying spectacular political in competence and megalomaniacal intransigence, rejected it from his Lebanese exile.
        This observation by General Montgomery at the time is prescient ‘ The Jew murders the Arab and the Arab murders the Jews and it will go on for the next 50 years in all probability’

        From Jerusalem. A Biographyby Simon Sebag Montefiore

        http://www.orion.books.co.uk

        Also from Wikipedia;

        His opposition to the British peaked during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. In 1937, evading an arrest warrant, he fled Palestine and took refuge in, successively, the French Mandate of Lebanon and the Kingdom of Iraq, until he established himself in Italy and Germany. During World War II he actively collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, meeting Adolf Hitler personally and asking him to back Arab independence. He requested, as part of the Pan-Arab struggle, Hitler’s support to oppose the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. He was promised the leadership of the Arabs after German troops had driven out the British.[citation needed] He helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. At war’s end, he came under French protection, and went to Cairo to avoid prosecution.
        He remained in Lebanon for two years, under French surveillance in the Christian village of Zouk,[108] but, in October 1939, his deteriorating relationship with the French and Syrian authorities led him to withdraw to the Kingdom of Iraq. By June 1939, after the disintegration of the revolt, Husseini’s policy of killing only proven turncoats changed to one of liquidating all suspects, even members of his own family, according to one intelligence report.[109]

        In July 1937, British police were sent to arrest al-Husseini for his part in the Arab rebellion, but, tipped off, he managed to escape to the sanctuary of asylum in the Haram. He stayed there for three months, directing the revolt from within. Four days after the assassination of the Acting District Commissioner for that area Lewis Yelland Andrews by Galilean members of the al-Qassam group on 26 September, al-Husseini was deposed from the presidency of the Muslim Supreme Council, the Arab Higher Committee was declared illegal, and warrants for the arrest of its leaders were issued, as being at least ‘morally responsible’, though no proofs existed for their complicity.[102] Of them only Jamal al-Husayni managed to escape to Syria: the remaining five were exiled to the Seychelles. Al-Husseini was not among the indicted but, fearing imprisonment, on 13–14 October, after sliding under cover of darkess down a rope from the Haram’s wall, he himself fled via Jaffa to Lebanon, disguised as a Bedouin,[103][104] where he reconstituted the committee under his leadership.[105] Al-Husseini’s tactics, his abuse of power to punish other clans, and the killing of political adversaries he considered ‘traitors’,[106] alienated many Palestinian Arabs.

        One local leader, Abu Shair, told Da’ud al-Husayni, an emissary from Damascus who bore a list of people to be assassinated during the uprising that:

        ‘I don’t work for Husayniya (‘Husayni-ism’) but for wataniya (nationalism).’[107]

        The rebellion itself had lasted until March 1939, when it was finally quelled by British troops.
        It forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands. Jewish immigration was to continue but under restrictions, with a quota of 75,000 places spread out over the following five years. On the expiry of this period further Jewish immigration would depend on Arab consent. Besides local unrest, another key factor in bringing about a decisive change in British policy was Nazi Germany’s preparations for a European war, which would develop into a worldwide conflict. In British strategic thinking, securing the loyalty and support of the Arab world assumed an importance of some urgency[citation needed]. While Jewish support was unquestioned, Arab backing in a new global conflict was by no means assured. By promising to phase out Jewish immigration into Palestine, Britain hoped to win back support from wavering Arabs.[110] Al-Husseini nonetheless felt that the concessions did not go far enough, and he rejected the new policy.
        See also Peel Commission, White Paper of 1939.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Neve Gordon writes that al-Husseini regard all alternative nationalist views as treasonous, opponents became traitors and collaborators, and patronizing or employing Jews of any description illegitimate.[111] From Beirut he continued to issue directives. The price for murdering opposition leaders and peace leaders rose by July to 100 Palestinian pounds: a suspected traitor 25 pounds, and a Jew 10. Notwithstanding this, ties with the Jews were reestablished by leading families such as the Nashashibis, and by the Fahoum of Nazareth.[112]The nature of al-Husseini’s support for the Axis powers, and his alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy is hotly disputed. Some, like Renzo De Felice, deny that the relationship can be taken to reflect a putative affinity of Arab nationalism with Nazi/Fascist ideology, and that men like Husseini chose them as allies for purely strategic reasons.[113] on the grounds that, as Husseini later wrote in his memoirs,’the enemy of your enemy is your friend’,[114] Others think that Husseini’s motives were deeply inflected by antisemitism from the outset.[115] When Haj Amin met with Hitler and Ribbentrop in 1941, he assured Hitler that ‘The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies… namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists’.[116] Historians dispute whether his fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Hostage
        July 2, 2013, 2:25 am

        Miriam you are repeating a bunch of unhistorical hasbara. The fact is that the Council of the League of Nations appointed an arbiter, in accordance with the Treaty of Lausanne, at the request of the British government in 1924. The UK successfully argued that Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq were newly created States under mandate to Great Britain. That same year, the Permanent Court of International Justice also ruled in a separate case that Palestine was the allied successor state to the obligations and assets of the Ottoman Empire in accordance with the protocols of the treaty of Lausanne, not Great Britain. So there was already a State of Palestine – and the 1922 White Paper had already established that it wasn’t intended to be a Jewish state.

        The rights and standing of the Arab majority always had been legally protected under the terms of Article 22 of the Covenant, the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo resolution, and the League of Nations mandate itself.

        There was no need to create a Palestinian state for the Mufti, there already was a mandated State of Palestine, which the League of Nations and the Ramsay MacDonald government were required to turn over to the democratic majority.

      • James Canning
        July 2, 2013, 2:27 pm

        @Hostage – - Great post. Yes, there was a Palestine, with a population ready for self-government.

      • miriam6
        July 3, 2013, 11:13 am

        Canning;

        As far as I can see you and Hostage are agreeing with my comments.

        That , yes indeed the Palestinians COULD have had a state and self-rule from 1939 onwards , had they just taken the substantial concessions offered by the British in 1939 they COULD have had their own Palestinian state.

        Unfortunately, the mufti rejected the sea-change away from the Balfour Declaration and it’s plan for partition , and in rejecting the 1939 proposals he condemned the Palestinians to live their lives for decades afterwards and still today ,without a state.

      • Cliff
        July 3, 2013, 12:15 pm

        The Mufti?

        Was the Mufti elected by the Palestinian people to represent them?

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 3, 2013, 12:22 pm

        “Unfortunately, the mufti rejected the sea-change away from the Balfour Declaration and it’s plan for partition , and in rejecting the 1939 proposals he condemned the Palestinians to live their lives for decades afterwards and still today ,without a state.”

        Typical zio, blaming the victim. The only people who condemned the Palestinian to the history they’ve had is the zionist Jews and their lackeys around the world. The rapist is to blame for the rape; the zionist is to blame for the Nakba.

      • James Canning
        July 3, 2013, 1:11 pm

        No provision for “partition” of Palestine, in Balfour’s 1917 letter to Lord Rothschild.

      • James Canning
        July 3, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Palestinian leaders would have done well to have made a deal, assuming events allowed one to be made, in 1939.

        But Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild did not provide for partition of Palestine.

      • Hostage
        July 3, 2013, 2:02 pm

        That , yes indeed the Palestinians COULD have had a state and self-rule from 1939 onward

        No, I’m saying that they already had a state of their own and that the British deliberately failed to establish the self-governing institutions required under their limited mandate. In any event, the Jewish Agency intended to use threats or force and outright terrorism to violate any policies they opposed, including all of those that were actually adopted in the aftermath of the much vaunted conference held at the St James Palace.

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2013, 2:43 pm

        miriam6:

        .. yes indeed the Palestinians COULD have had a state and self-rule from 1939 onwards , had they just taken the substantial concessions offered by the British in 1939 they COULD have had their own Palestinian state.

        Things are not as simple and clear-cut as you make them out to be.

        Historian Rashid Khalidi:

        From the beginning of the Mandate and until the end of the 1930s, the British obstinately rejected the principle of majority rule, or any measure that would have given a Palestinian Arab majority control over the government of Palestine.

        This seemed to change with the White Paper of 1939, whereby, facing the 1936–39 revolt and the looming clouds of World War II, Britain finally accepted that it was simply not possible to suppress the Arab majority in order to make possible the growth of a Jewish majority, such that a “Jewish national home” would mean Zionist domination of Palestine.

        However, even when the British appeared to grant the form of a concession on this point in the 1939 White Paper, which envisaged an independent Palestine after ten years, the cabinet discussions at which this initiative was decided upon reveal the government of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to have been FULLY INTENT ON WITHHOLDING THE SUBSTANCE OF ANY SUCH CONCESSION to the Palestinians.

        These discussions make it clear that the British intended to make any changes in the system whereby Palestine was governed TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THE CONSENT OF THE JEWISH MINORITY. 12

        Of course by the end of the 1930s, the political leadership of the Jewish minority was fully intent on achieving nothing less than independent statehood in as much of Palestine as possible—although Jewish leaders would have preferred and fully intended to try to take all of Palestine for the Jewish state—and were already close to having the means to attain at least their minimal goal.

        These offers were far less tantalizing to the Arabs than they may have appeared, for they were hedged around with conditions meant to rob them of some of their substance, including the necessity to secure the approval of the yishuv for the final steps envisaged, notably independence. There were many other hidden traps and reservations in the proposals contained in the White Paper…

        (” The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood”)

        It might have been advantageous to the Palestinians to accept the White Paper, and, arguably, the Mufti did much to undermine the Palestinian cause, but by no means can it be said that the British were really offering the Palestinians everything you claim.

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2013, 3:18 pm

        miriam6:

        That , yes indeed the Palestinians COULD have had a state and self-rule from 1939 onwards

        This is prima facie false because the 1939
        White Paper, even if its apparent concessions had not been dependent on Zionist approval etc. as they were, envisioned a Palestinian state “within TEN YEARS.” So nothing would have changed immediately, as you falsely suggest.

        Ten years: there is no way that after WWII, the Holocaust, and the post-war precipitous decline of British power, that the British would have been in a position to suppress what Hostage aptly called the Zionist “state within a state” in order deliver on its apparent concessions, even if they wanted to.

        It was way too late.

      • talknic
        July 3, 2013, 3:58 pm

        miriam6 “the Palestinians COULD have had a state and self-rule from 1939 onwards”

        1939? 1922! The LoN Mandate first line refers to the LoN Covenant article 22. Palestine was already a state for which recognition was provisional. Jewish folk could have citizenship in Palestine (Art 7 LoN Mandate for Palestine)

        “the mufti rejected the sea-change away from the Balfour Declaration and it’s plan for partition”

        The Balfour Declaration had no plan for partition OR a Jewish ‘state’.

        “in rejecting the 1939 proposals he condemned the Palestinians….

        A) The Mufti didn’t officially represent Palestine 1939, he was removed from office 1937.

        B) Your drivel isn’t supported by ANYTHING you’ve cited. The Zionist Federation’s push for a Jewish State in all of Palestine has prevented peace and the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

        “….live their lives for decades afterwards and still today ,without a state”

        Catch up .. The majority of the Comity of Nations has recognized Palestine as a state within the Armistice Demarcation Lines. Israel is obliged by law to end the occupation and withdraw it’s forces and ALL of it’s illegally settling citizens from non-Israeli territory, including Jerusalem. (UNSC res 476)

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2013, 4:50 pm

        Talknic:

        “in rejecting the 1939 proposals he condemned the Palestinians….

        A) The Mufti didn’t officially represent Palestine 1939, he was removed from office 1937.

        In fairness, it has been argued that the Mufti was instrumental in the Palestinian rejection of the 1939 proposals:

        Rashid Khalidi:

        But when in May the Arab Higher Committee finally had to take a position on the White Paper, the mufti imposed his views on his colleagues and secured a rejection of this ambiguous British initiative. It appears that a majority of the members of the Arab Higher Committee opposed the mufti and favored accepting the White Paper, and although there is some disagreement among historians about this, it is definitely the case that his opposition never wavered, and that he carried the day.17

        [17. Although the secondary sources differ on this question, Bayan al-Hut, in Qiyadat, 397, offers what seems to be a conclusive interpretation, showing from contemporary sources that a majority of the Arab Higher Committee favored acceptance of the White Paper.]

        That’s an inconsequential point, though. I agree with all the rest of your points. Miriam6 really needs to up her game and avoid gross blunders like claiming the Balfour Declaration called for partition! You and Hostage will, no doubt, whip her into shape pretty quickly!

      • Hostage
        July 3, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Unfortunately, the mufti rejected the sea-change away from the Balfour Declaration and it’s plan for partition

        The Balfour Declaration is completely silent on the subject of partition and Ben Gurion’s own book revealed after the fact that the members of the LoN Permanent Mandates Commission had privately advised the Jewish Agency Executive that the Mandate could not be implemented according to their wishes. See David Ben-Gurion, “Letters to Paula and the Children”, translated by Aubry Hodes, University of Pittsburg Press Edition, 1971, pages 134-135

      • miriam6
        July 3, 2013, 5:51 pm

        For those questioning the reliability of wikipedia, please take note that other commenters use it as does MW.s very own Annie Robbins;

        Annie Robbins references wikipedia here:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        James Canning @said:

        ‘But Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild did not provide for partition of Palestine.’

        I say@;

        I am not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with my comments. However ,the issue at stake here is that the 1939 London Conference and subsequent White Paper of 1939 DID depend, and represented a British REVERSAL and ABANDONING of the policy of partition contained in the Balfour Declaration.

        Even in this old article , none other than Philip Weiss @refers to, and acknowledges that during that period in 1939 of the London Conference and the subsequent WhitePaper of 1939, ‘ the Zionist Lobby could NOT prevail.’


        ‘The British investigations recognized the injustice of Zionism in Arab eyes, and Britain decided not to support the Jewish National Home.

        ***’THE ZIONIST LOBBY COULD NOT PREVAIL IN 1939′***

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Cliff@ said:

        ‘Was the Mufti elected by the Palestinian people to represent them? ‘

        I@ said:

        The mufti of Jerusalem derived his authority , position, and legitimacy as Palestinian leader from the following :

        From factbites:

        ‘Known as the “Grand Mufti of Jerusalem”, he Haj Amin al- Husseini received this title in 1921 after the death of his father (the Mufti of Jerusalem) under the auspices of the then High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel.He was represented at the London Conference by his cousin Jamal al- Husseini, whose negotiations the mufti Amin al- Husseini directed 1936;• Leaders of Palestinian political parties form Higher Arab Committee under Chairman Haj Amin al-Husseini.’

        link to factbites.com

        Jamal al-Husayni served as Secretary to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress (1921–1934) and to the Muslim Supreme Council. He was co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Arab Party, established in Jerusalem in 1935, and in 1937 became a member of the first Arab Higher Committee, led by Amin al-Husayni, later becoming its chairman.[3][4]A member of Jerusalem’s most prominent family, his most important positions were as Mufti of Jerusalem and President of the Supreme Muslim Council. Jamal al-Husayni (1894-1982) (Arabic: جمال الحُسيني‎) was born in Jerusalem and was a member of the influential Husayni family. [1][2]The Husseini family continued to play a role in Palestinian affairs, with Faisal Husseini, whose father was the Mufti’s nephew, regarded until his death in 2001 as one of their leading spokesmen in the territories.

        link to factbites.com.

        From Wikipedia:

        With the indications of a new European war on the horizon, and in an endeavor to resolve the inter-communal issues in Palestine, the British government proposed in late 1938 a conference in London of the two Palestinian communities.
        Some Arab leaders welcomed the proposed London Conference but indicated that the British would need to deal with the disbanded Arab Higher Committee and with Amin al-Husseini.
        On 23 November 1938, the Colonial Secretary, Malcolm MacDonald, repeated his refusal to allow Amin al-Husayni to be a delegate, but was willing to allow the five Palestinian leaders held in the Seychelles to take part in the conference.[13]
        The deportees were released on 19 December and allowed to travel to Cairo and then, with Jamal Husseini, to Beirut where a new Arab Higher Committee (or Higher National Committee) was established. Amin al-Husayni was not a member of the Arab delegation but the delegation was clearly acting under his direction.[14]
        The London Conference commenced on 7 February 1939, but the Arab delegation refused to sit in the same room with the Jewish delegation present, and the conference broke up in March with no success.
        The British government presented its 1939 White Paper which was also rejected by both sides. The White Paper had, in effect, repudiated the Balfour Declaration.

        link to en.wikipedia.org
        link to en.wikipedia.org.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        From: United Nations: IX. The Ending Of The Mandate.

        By 1939 the situation in Palestine had reached a crucial point. The Royal Commission had declared the Mandate unworkable. The Commission’s own partition proposals had proved equally unworkable. The 1939 White Paper had postulated an independent unified Palestine, with a Palestinian Arab majority, in 10 years, but the League of Nations had expressed reservations on this new policy declaration. Yet the League itself had proved incapable of playing any effective role in arresting the deteriorating situation in Palestine.
        The Palestinians had sensed that only through violence could they force recognition of their inherent rights. The Zionists in turn had reacted with violence to hold the ground they had gained and to press towards their ultimate aspirations of a Jewish State in Palestine.
        The monstrous Nazi crimes against the Jewish people led them to look to the “national home” in Palestine as a refuge. The Second World War was to act as a catalyst in the interplay of these forces, and the pace of events accelerated. Shortly before the war broke out, both the Jewish Agency as well as Palestinian Arab leaders declared their support of the Allies. The Mufti, still in exile, eventually aligned himself with the Axis powers. Violence subsided as the leaders of both sides observed a political truce. Jewish and Arab battalions were formed in Palestine, the Jewish units ultimately forming a Jewish Brigade.The implementation of the 1939 White Paper Despite the demands of the war effort, the British Government, disturbed by the dangerous situation in Palestine, proceeded with the policy of the 1939 White Paper in an effort to diminish the political tension.
        In February 1940, the Palestine authorities issued the Land Transfer regulations, dividing Palestine into three zones. In the largest zone, any transfer of land to a person who was not a “Palestinian Arab” was prohibited, exceptions being permitted only under specific conditions and with the High Commissioner’s permission. In the second zone “Palestinian Arabs” were permitted to transfer land only between themselves. In the third zone there were not restrictions on land transfers.
        The clauses of the 1939 White Paper relating to immigration were also implemented, but at the end of the five-year period in 1944, only 51,000 of the 75,000 immigration certificates provided for had been utilized. In circumstances where Jewish refugees from Europe were fleeing violence and persecution, the White Paper’s limits were relaxed and legal immigration was permitted to continue indefinitely at the rate of 18,000 a year.

        link to palestineremembered.com

        Sibiriak@ said:

        ‘Ten years: there is no way that after WWII, the Holocaust, and the post-war precipitous decline of British power, that the British would have been in a position to suppress what Hostage aptly called the Zionist “state within a state” in order deliver on its apparent concessions, even if they wanted to.

        I say@:

        Your quote cuts both ways, in fact. Hostage claimed that the Palestinians ALREADY had the makings of a Palestinian state , so therefore if the British would have struggled to suppress the Zionist state-within-a-state it follows it would have been EQUALLY difficult for the British to contain a nascent PALESTINIAN state-within-a-state , and also the Palestinians would have had the support, both military and moral of the surrounding Arab states and people, an advantage the Jews, without the British, would no longer have had.
        Couple that advantage with the fact that in 1939 British policy had DECISIVELY turned AGAINST statehood for the Jews, in favour of Palestinian statehood, the fact that the change of policy was driven in large part by the absolute NECESSITY of favouring the Arabs in order to win their support for the Allied not the Axis Powers, plus, as you admit , ‘the precipitous decline of British power ‘ in the post- war period, the rejection by the mufti of what was offered at the 1939 London Conference , was a giant mis-step/mis-calculation.
        I believe if it had been the case that the Palestinians under the leadership of the mufti had ACCEPTED the offer of a Palestinian state with NO Jewish state i.e. No Partition of Palestine , the existence/ creation of the State of Israel may well not have happened at all .

        P.S. I take it then you might accept that that the Jews of Europe at least had some claim on world sympathy after 1945 and, as it related to their rights in Palestine.

      • Sibiriak
        July 4, 2013, 4:47 am

        Hi miriam6, thanks for responding.

        You wrote:

        Your quote cuts both ways, in fact. Hostage claimed that the Palestinians ALREADY had the makings of a Palestinian state , so therefore if the British would have struggled to suppress the Zionist state-within-a-state it follows it would have been EQUALLY difficult for the British to contain a nascent PALESTINIAN state-within-a-state

        My views differ from Hostage’s somewhat…so I can only speak for myself. Palestinians had the “makings of a state” only in a de jure sense at best, imo. On the ground they never created the actual, de facto, organizational and ideological structure for a “state within a state” as the Zionists had.

        And certainly, the Zionist “state within a state” was substantially strengthened during and after the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, while the Palestinians were devastated.

        Rashid Khalidi:

        The repression of the revolt had an impact not only on the populace, but also on the Palestinians’ ability to fight thereafter, and on the already fractured capabilities of their national leadership. A high proportion of the Arab casualties included the most experienced military cadres and enterprising fighters.6

        By the end of the revolt, most of the top Arab political leaders and thousands of other cadres, militants, and fighters were imprisoned, interned by the British in the Seychelles, in exile, or dead.

        The British also confiscated large quantities of arms and ammunition from the Arabs during the revolt, and continued to do so during later years.7

        By the end of the revolt, existing political divisions within the Palestinian polity had become envenomed, leading to profound rifts between the majority supporting the revolt and a minority that had become alienated from the leadership: the consequence was assassinations, infighting, and further weakening of the Palestinian position. The impact of the revolt on the Palestinian economy was also severe…

        In short, the Palestinians for a whole host of reasons, including internal problems, never developed or were allowed to develop the kind of proto-state institutions that the Zionists did.

        [miriam6:] and also the Palestinians would have had the support, both military and moral of the surrounding Arab states and people, an advantage the Jews, without the British, would no longer have had.

        True, but as we saw in the war of 1948, those states were extremely weak militarily and financially, and no match for an Israel now backed by the U.S., the USSR and much of the international community. Their “support” for what it was (Jordan colluded with Israel), could never negate the fact that militarily and politically, it was a lopsided affair, with Israel having all the advantages

        [miriam6:] Couple that advantage with the fact that in 1939 British policy had DECISIVELY turned AGAINST statehood for the Jews, in favour of Palestinian statehood

        You repeat that assertion, but you have failed to respond to the evidence I cited that, in fact, the British position was ambiguous, not decisive, and that the 1939 White Paper proposals included many dubious provisions and traps, including, most importantly, the requirement of Zionist approval for the concessions. Zionist approval? Do you really think that would have been forthcoming?

        [miriam6:] the rejection by the mufti of what was offered at the 1939 London Conference , was a giant mis-step/mis-calculation.

        I don’t disagree with you there. I just don’t think it would have made that much of a difference, as it was too late in the game, the concessions too ambiguous, and world events on a vast scale where about to tip the balance massively in the Zionists favor.

        Khalidi:

        Once the Nazis came to power in Germany in January 1933, it can be argued that there was in any case no longer any hope of avoiding a collision between the two national movements.

        If there was ever any slim possibility for compromise or coexistence between them when the Jewish population of Palestine as a proportion of the whole stagnated between 17 percent and 18 percent from 1928 until 1932, this possibility evaporated rapidly as the flood of Jewish refugees from Nazism brought this proportion to over 30 percent by 1938, and gave the Zionist leaders confidence in their ultimate triumph.

        By the end of the 1930s the die had been cast, and the ultimate conflict over control of the country between a determined minority and a disorganized majority was virtually inevitable.

        .

        I agree with that assessment.

        [Miriam6:] P.S. I take it then you might accept that that the Jews of Europe at least had some claim on world sympathy after 1945 and, as it related to their rights in Palestine.

        Yes.

      • Hostage
        July 4, 2013, 8:28 am

        Rashid Khalidi:

        But when in May the Arab Higher Committee finally had to take a position on the White Paper, the mufti imposed his views on his colleagues and secured a rejection of this ambiguous British initiative.

        Sounds like rank historical revisionism to me. Rashid Khalidi’s clan was fully responsible too. His uncle was the Secretary of the AHC and never encountered a donkey that wasn’t willing to perform fellatio on for his masters, whether that happened to be the Mufti, King Farouk, or King Abdullah.

      • Hostage
        July 4, 2013, 9:42 am

        Miriam I didn’t say the Palestinians had the makings of a State, I said that Palestine was already legally recognized as a State and that the vague notion of a Jewish national home had nothing to do with partition while Balfour served as Foreign Minister.

        In fact the Zionist Congress rejected the British Partition proposals when they were floated in 1937, while they were accepted by Abdullah, the Nashhasibis, and other Palestinian factions who ended up governing the vast majority of the partitioned territory:

        The Consul General at Jerusalem (Wadsworth) to the Secretary of State
        JERUSALEM, July 12,1937-6 p. m.
        [Received July i2-5 p. m.]
        Local reaction one of intense interest and feeling but no serious disturbance public security anticipated.
        Discussion centers on Commission’s finding that mandate is unworkable and consequent recommendation for partition.
        All Arabs accept the finding; all Jews repudiate it
        arguing fault lies with administration.
        In both camps divergent views are held on the recommendation. Among Arabs Mufti refuses in principle and declines in practice to consider it; Emir Abdullah urges acceptance on ground realities must be faced but wants modification of proposed boundary and Arab administrations in neutral enclave; Nashashibi side-steps principle willing negotiate for favorable modifications. Among joint ownership [sic] general Zionists refuse in principle but imply would accept in practice if modifications made to include in Jewish State new Jerusalem and Jordan colonies, afford opportunity to develop Negev and avoid subvention to Arab State; important group of Labor Zionists while urging similar modification reported willing to accept what they can get.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        Partition was only accepted by the Zionist Congress after the adoption of the Biltmore program, which had called for the establishment of a Jewish State in all of Palestine. In fact, the Jewish Agency rejected the UNSCOP majority proposal because it didn’t include West Jerusalem, the Negev, and a port on the bay of Aqaba in the new Jewish State. I don’t hear you suggesting that we completely screw over your side because of their own record of intransigence and rejection of generous offers.

        The official recognition of Palestinian statehood included the United States, Italy, Spain, and a host of other countries that had recognized Palestine as a separate state, with most favored nation status in 1932.

        No matter how you interpret David Ben Gurion’s 1937 letter to his son, he said that he envisioned partition as the first preliminary step and that the professional Jewish army he and the other Zionist leaders were building would allow Jews to settle in all of Eretz Israel, including Transjordan, with or without the consent of the Arabs, i.e. by threat or use of force.

        So both the Revisionist and the Socialist wings of the Zionist movement had already discounted the utility of negotiations and relied instead on the use of force to achieve their ultimate aims. Here are some cables from the US Foreign Relations series of documents which illustrate that fact:

        “I have noted in discussions with Zionist spokesmen visiting Cairo recently a marked hardening in their attitude (possibly owing in part to increased confidence resulting from alleged large-scale clandestine arming by Jews in Palestine) which in several cases has taken the form of frankly admitting that it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs by threat or use of force and this latter the only realistic line of action to adopt.

        — Kirk link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        Here are the Zionists refusing to even attend a conference, because they considered their position to be non-negotiable:

        Subject: Refusal of Jewish Agency to Participate in London Conference.
        Mr. Epstein called at the request of Dr. Goldmann, of the Agency Executive, to inform the Department that the Executive had reluctantly decided that it could not accept the invitation of the British Government to the proposed conference on Palestine under the conditions proposed. The decision had been unanimous and had included Dr. Weizmann and Dr. Goldmann. In order not to embarrass the British Government the Agency was not making the decision public, and Mr. Epstein requested that this information be kept confidential.

        He said that the decision had only been reached after the most serious consideration, but that the terms imposed by the British for the Agency’s attendance were not acceptable. The most serious obstacle in this connection was the insistence of the British on putting forward the Morrison-Grady plan as the basis for discussion. In the light of the well-known position of the Zionist movement with regard to a Jewish state, it was impossible for the leaders of that movement to participate in a conference on any other basis than that of a Jewish state in at least a part of Palestine. The Zionist movement, Mr. Epstein said, was a democratic movement and its leaders had to follow the desires of the rank and file. Constitutionally they could not enter into negotiations on any other basis than that of a Jewish state without the consent of the movement through a Zionist congress. In fact, the decision of the Executive to accept partition as a basis for entering into the negotiations represented a very marked modification from the official Zionist position as enunciated in the Biltmore program. For the sake of entering into negotiations with the British which would give some hope of a settlement in Palestine, the Executive had been willing to proceed on the basis of partition, but it was entirely unwilling to enter into negotiations with regard to the Morrison-Grady scheme. Their objections to this latter scheme were chiefly in connection with its failure to give the Jews sufficient assurances regarding immigration and autonomy in economic matters.

        In other words, Mr. Epstein continued, the Agency was unwilling to be placed in a position where it might have to compromise between the Morrison-Grady proposals on the one hand and its own partition plan on the other. This would inevitably result if the Morrison-Grady plan were to be considered first.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      • James Canning
        July 4, 2013, 1:57 pm

        Great post, Hastage. And you are quite right that Balfour did not call for a “Jewish state” carved out of Palestine, in his famous letter to Lord Rothschild.

      • miriam6
        July 4, 2013, 10:09 pm

        Hi sibiriak@;

        Thanks for your 4 comments.

        On the subject of the Balfour Declaration:

        Sibiriak @said:

        Miriam6 really needs to up her game and avoid gross blunders like claiming the Balfour Declaration called for partition.

        From Wikipedia :

        His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[1]

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        I say:

        I think that, since the aspirations of the Palestinian people and the Zionist Jews were utterly incompatible, the Declaration COULD only lead to partition.
        After all, if the two sides could not settle their differences what possible outcome could there be of adopting such a policy of ‘promising’ a ‘home’ national or otherwise to the Jews , other than Partition?
        Even if the Declaration had ‘ nothing to say ‘ about partition surely the spectre of partition was already there, waiting in the wings.
        An eventual partition as a solution just seems to me to be IMPLICIT in the Declaration’s favouring of the establishment of a Jewish ‘home’ ( which, according to the London Conference might not have amounted to much more than allowing FURTHER , though with restrictions in place ,Jewish immigration into Palestine and , another possibility mooted by the 1939 White Paper was the creation of Jewish and Arab ‘cantons’) in mandatory Palestine.
        In any case, The Balfour Declaration showed the British were already moving down a path of attempting(and ultimately failing) to reconcile two utterly incompatible goals, that of creating a ‘home’ for Jews and also at the same time satisfying the Arab demands for national self-determination.

        Actually there is plenty of evidence that the Arabs were dismayed by the Balfour Declaration:

        Reaction to the Declaration[editArab opposition[edit]

        The Arabs expressed disapproval in November 1918 at the parade marking the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Muslim-Christian Association protested the carrying of new “white and blue banners with two inverted triangles in the middle”. They drew the attention of the authorities to the serious consequences of any political implications in raising the banners.[28

        Further more evidence of Arab alarm:

        Later that month, on the first anniversary of the occupation of Jaffa by the British, the Muslim-Christian Association sent a lengthy memorandum and petition to the military governor protesting once more any formation of a Jewish state.[29]

        And this, also from Wikipedia, which records Arab opposition to a Jewish state in Palestine:

        On November 1918 the large group of Palestinian Arab dignitaries and representatives of political associations addressed a petition to the British authorities in which they denounced the declaration. The document stated:…we always sympathized profoundly with the persecuted Jews and their misfortunes in other countries… but there is wide difference between such sympathy and the acceptance of such a nation…ruling over us and disposing of our affairs.[30]

        The Balfour declaration also failed to meet Zionist demands:

        Zionist reaction[edit]:

        Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, the principal Zionist leaders based in London, had asked for the reconstitution of Palestine as “the” Jewish national home. As such, the declaration fell short of Zionist expectations.

        [31]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declarationof1917

        Also, this evidence from Wikipedia about what many British officials felt it ( the Balfour Declaration) really MEANT and what it would LEAD to :

        A Jewish State in Palestine.

        ( Although , they were wrong about the necessity of a Jewish majority in Palestine in order for the Zionists to get Statehood)

        Jewish National Home vs. Jewish State[edit]

        The records of discussions that led up to the final text of the Balfour Declaration clarifies some details of its wording. The phrase “national home” was intentionally used instead of “state” because of opposition to the Zionist program within the British Cabinet. Following discussion of the initial draft the Cabinet Secretary, Mark Sykes, met with the Zionist negotiators to clarify their aims. His official report back to the Cabinet categorically stated that the Zionists did not want “to set up a Jewish Republic or any other form of state in Palestine or in any part of Palestine”.[20] Both the Zionist Organization and the British government devoted efforts over the following decades, including Winston Churchill’s 1922 White Paper, to denying that a state was the intention.[21]

        HOWEVER, IN PRIVATE,MANY BRITISH OFFICIALS AGREED WITH THE INTERPRETATION OF THE ZIONISTS THAT A STATE WOULD BE ESTABLISHED WHEN A JEWISH MAJORITY WAS ACHIEVED [22]

        I said:’

        Your quote cuts both ways, in fact. Hostage claimed that the Palestinians ALREADY had the makings of a Palestinian state , so therefore if the British would have struggled to suppress the Zionist state-within-a-state it follows it would have been EQUALLY difficult for the British to contain a nascent PALESTINIAN state-within-a-state.

        Sibiriak said:

        You repeat that assertion, but you have failed to respond to the evidence I cited that, in fact, the British position was ambiguous, not decisive, and that the 1939 White Paper proposals included many dubious provisions and traps, including, most importantly, the requirement of Zionist approval for the concessions. Zionist approval? Do you really think that would have been forthcoming?

        Sibiriak, quoting Khalidi:

        Once the Nazis came to power in Germany in January 1933, it can be argued that there was in any case no longer any hope of avoiding a collision between the two national movements.
        If there was ever any slim possibility for compromise or coexistence between them when the Jewish population of Palestine as a proportion of the whole stagnated between 17 percent and 18 percent from 1928 until 1932, this possibility evaporated rapidly as the flood of Jewish refugees from Nazism brought this proportion to over 30 percent by 1938, and gave the Zionist leaders confidence in their ultimate triumph.
        By the end of the 1930s the die had been cast, and the ultimate conflict over control of the country between a determined minority and a disorganized majority was virtually inevitable.

        Whilst it is true that the Palestinians had fewer cards to play after 1937, and it is true that the Palestinians were saddled by the poor leadership and judgement of the mufti ( also many Palestinians loathed the mufti), the potential MAY have been there to play a potentially valuable card presented to them at the London Conference.
        If you say that the die had been cast in favour of the Zionists from the moment the Nazis took power, would it not be the case then that agency of both the Zionists and the Palestinians to determine subsequent events would have been curtailed or even lost?
        I think the question of Palestinian ‘agency’ is important here.
        To often the Palestinians are portrayed as having been helpless to achieve their political goals.I tend to think also thatof course the vacillations of the British in terms of their policy on Mandate Palestine , smacks strongly of the implementation of the politics of divide and rule.
        Perhaps we can agree that in the context of the pre-war/ post-war period the battle between the Allied and the Axis powers played out in a manner which certainly served to undermine the aspirations and agency at various times of both the Zionists and in particular the aspirations of the Palestinians for Statehood.

        Sibiriak in your comment on the Balfour Declaration , with regards to the LONDON CONFERENCE of 1939,

        Sibiriak,you also said:

        But when in May the Arab Higher Committee finally had to take a position on the White Paper, the mufti imposed his views on his colleagues and secured a rejection of this ambiguous British initiative.
        It appears that a majority of the members of the Arab Higher Committee opposed the mufti and favored accepting the White Paper, and although there is some disagreement among historians about this, it is definitely the case that his opposition never wavered, and that he carried the day.
        17
        [17. Although the secondary sources differ on this question, Bayan al-Hut, in Qiyadat, 397, offers what seems to be a conclusive interpretation, showing from contemporary sources that a majority of the Arab Higher Committee favored acceptance of the White Paper.]

        Sibiriak,
        you claim the matter was’an inconsequential point, though.’

        I say:

        I disagree.It shows just what a blunder the mufti made and that also he was outnumbered in his rejection of the proposal by his colleagues who supported it.
        True enough to be fair to the mufti he may have had good cause to suspect British motives and sincerity, and indeed some of the British proposal could be said to be ‘ambiguous’ however, you take no account of the view that the mufti may simply have regarded the proposal as ‘ambiguous’ because his prejudices about virtually ANY Jewish presence in Palestine was so pronounced and deeply held.

        This next passage gives the point of view of Walid Khalidi, on the extent( in HIS eyes ) of the ‘ambiguity’ within the London Conference and subsequent White Paper.

        Walid Khalidi:

        After the London Conference, the British government issued a White Paper (statement of policy) in which it promised to protect Palestinian land rights in considerable areas of the country against Zionist land acquisition, and to solicit Palestinian “acquiescence” to Zionist mass immigration, but only after the admission of 75,000 more Jews during a five-year period. The White Paper also dangled the conditional prospect of an independent unitary state of Palestine, but only after a ten-year transitional period.

        link to btd.palestine-studies.org

      • amigo
        July 1, 2013, 12:25 pm

        Zionist twaddle Miriam.

        “In a letter Chaim Weizmann sent to the Palestine-British high Commissioner, while the Peel Commission was convening in 1937, he stated: “We shall spread in the whole country in the course of time ….. this is only an arrangement for the next 25 to 30 years.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66) * Ben-Gurion emphasized that the acceptance of the Peel Commission would not imply static borders for the future “Jewish state”. In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote: “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ….. Our possession is important not only for itself … through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.” (Righteous Victims, p. 138) * In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the “Jewish state” on part of Palestine was only as a stepping ground for a complete conquest. He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107 & One Palestine Complete, p. 403) * One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25)”

        So show the folks miriam where A Palestinian State fits into the above historical record of Zionist leaders plans.

        You are so full of it.

      • Hostage
        July 1, 2013, 3:29 pm

        A huge mistake, made by the Palestinian Arabs in 1939.

        At that point in history 1939 if the Mufti had ACCEPTED what was offered by the British Government The Zionists would have LOST the opportunity for a sovereign Jewish state in Mandate Palestine.

        Bear in mind that the British imposed a settlement as a result of the outcome of the conference that denied the Zionists a Jewish state in Palestine; preserved the rights of Palestinians in their own country; ended mandatory support for large scale immigration of Jews into Palestine; and prohibited land purchases by Jews in 2/3rds of the territory west of the Jordan river.

        The Zionists overcame those policies through the threat or use of terrorism and military force. It wouldn’t have made a bit of difference if the Mufti or the Palestinian leadership had begged their British overlords on bended knee to end the colonial project and go home to the UK where they belonged, because they had already given the Zionist state within the state everything it needed to bootstrap a revolution.

      • talknic
        July 2, 2013, 9:22 am

        @ miriam6 (WikIPedia) “At that point in history 1939 if the Mufti had ACCEPTED what was offered by the British Government The Zionists would have LOST the opportunity for a sovereign Jewish state in Mandate Palestine”

        The Mufti held no official position representing the Palestinians post 1937.

        WikIPedia is infected by purveyors of the wholly holey olde Hasbara who go to great lengths to prevent any views contrary to their own.

      • miriam6
        July 2, 2013, 3:03 pm

        Talknic@:

        Furthermore ,

        YOU claimed;
        *****************************************************

        ‘WikIPedia is infected by purveyors of the wholly holey olde Hasbara who go to great lengths to prevent any views contrary to their own.’
        *****************************************************

        Does this mean you also believe Wiki-leaks , an OFFSHOOT of Wikipedia is also of the same type?

        After all, Wikipedia has not only been used as source-quote- material by other commenters/ contributors on this site, INCLUDING Annie R, also Wiki-leaks -Assange- Edward Snowdon’s activities which have been extensively detailed on M.W.

        Is that all untrustworthy too?

        ‘ Edward Snowden , who has been supported by Assange founder of Wiki-leaks and Wikipedia.’

        Wikileaks drip drip drip http:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        ‘Assange is holding dirt on Israel because western newspapers didn’t want to publish it.’
        by Philip Weiss on December 23, 2010 79

        DOHA:’ WikiLeaks will release top secret American files concerning Israel in the next six months, its founder Julian Assange disclosed yesterday.’

        link to mondoweiss.net

        link to mondoweiss.net

        ‘Assange reveals details of ‘Snowden Op’, slams US ‘war on whistleblowers’

        ‘WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was safe and healthy, in a “safe place.” It was also revealed Ecuador supplied Snowden with a refugee document of passage.’

        link to rt.com

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • ritzl
        July 3, 2013, 11:47 am

        @miriam “Does this mean you also believe Wiki-leaks , an OFFSHOOT of Wikipedia is also of the same type?”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Note the word “generic” in the first sentence.

        Take a break. Seriously.

      • Hostage
        July 3, 2013, 1:42 pm

        Does this mean you also believe Wiki-leaks , an OFFSHOOT of Wikipedia is also of the same type?

        LOL! Wikileaks is NOT an offshoot of Wikipedia. FYI, one of the weaknesses of Wikipedia that Zionist editors have exploited time and again is the mistaken view that Wikipedia policy prohibits the use of verbatim quotes from reliable primary sources.

        By way of comparison, Wikileaks relies almost exclusively on the unauthorized disclosure of primary source material by whistle blowers. That material generally speaks for itself or contains official/government commentary and analysis on a variety of subjects.

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2013, 2:55 pm

        Hostage:

        The Zionists overcame those policies through the threat or use of terrorism and military force.

        It wouldn’t have made a bit of difference if the Mufti or the Palestinian leadership had begged their British overlords on bended knee to end the colonial project and go home to the UK where they belonged, because they had already given the Zionist state within the state everything it needed to bootstrap a revolution.

        Incisive analysis. Completely undermines miriam6′s notion that if only the Mufti hadn’t rejected the British White Paper the Zionists would have completely “lost”.

      • talknic
        July 3, 2013, 4:17 pm

        miriam6 “Does this mean you also believe Wiki-leaks , an OFFSHOOT of Wikipedia is also of the same type?”

        Wikileaks, an off shoot of WikIPedia. Hilarious stuff. That ol’ ziocaine sure is powerful stuff.

        The refusal to accept factual information is moronic, citing documents that don’t support your assertions is idiotic and the blind support for a state in breach of laws, UN Charter and conventions adopted in large part because of what the Nazis did to our Jewish fellows, is really quite bizarre.

    • Taxi
      July 1, 2013, 12:34 am

      “Morsi is toast soon unless he does what Assad is doing, kill his own people.”

      Actually Assad is killing a puny criminal fraction of his people. Most fighters battling with Assad in Syria are actually foreign takfiris.

      Obama, Merkel and Cameron would do exactly the same as Assad if the fundamentalists in their respective countries tried a violent coup d’etat against their administrations. Especially if these fundamentalists in USA, Germany and UK were bringing in other ARMED foreign fundamentalists to assist them with their coup.

      • Walid
        July 1, 2013, 8:02 am

        Taxi, keep in mind that Gazans and their leaders recently dropped Assad and Hizbullah like a hot potato and this involves saying as they do on CNN and Jazeera that Assad is killing his people. For all you know, Hamas is probably already into the heavy discussions with the Israelis. Hope you switched to watching Mayadeen to get the correct news.

      • Taxi
        July 1, 2013, 9:02 am

        I even find it excruciating to type ‘CNN’ and ‘Aljazeera’ let alone watch their news channels.

        Yes Mayadeen is good and vibrant but I tend to watch very little tv news channels. I get my news mainly from the net and from the horse’ mouth every now and then.

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 1:56 pm

        How important is Qatar currently, in the backing for Hamas?

      • MRW
        July 2, 2013, 10:48 am

        Taxi,

        One veteran Turkish journalist whom this author interviewed in Ankara in April, just back from an extensive tour of Syria, gave his eyewitness account of the capture of a small band of “opposition” fighters. The journalist, fluent in Arabic, was astonished as he witnessed the head of the rebels demand to know why their military captors spoke Arabic. When told that was their native language, the rebel leader blurted out, “But you should speak Hebrew, you’re with the Israeli Army aren’t you?”

        In short, the mercenaries had been blitz-trained across the border in Turkey, given Kalashnikovs and a fistful of dollars and told they were making a jihad against the Israeli Army. They did not even know who they were fighting. In other instances, mercenaries recruited from Afghanistan and elsewhere and financed by Saudi money, including alleged members of Al Qaeda, make up the “democratic opposition” to the established regime of Al-Assad.

        F. William Engdahl
        link to voltairenet.org

      • Donald
        July 2, 2013, 11:13 am

        “Actually Assad is killing a puny criminal fraction of his people. Most fighters battling with Assad in Syria are actually foreign takfiris.”

        Really? So it is good guys vs. bad guys, just like the US government and some of the Western press claims, only they have it backwards? How do you know that A) Assad’s forces haven’t used indiscriminate firepower in urban settings and tortured people to death or B) that most of the rebels are foreigners? If it’s a “puny criminal fraction” he’s killing, I guess this means that the numbers of civilians killed by Assad’s forces are really tiny.

        One doesn’t have to trust the version of events that the US government or much of the MSM presents to find this unlikely.

        link to Patrick Cockburn’s latest report

        “Obama, Merkel and Cameron would do exactly the same as Assad if the fundamentalists in their respective countries tried a violent coup d’etat against their administrations.”

        You could have added Netanyahu to that list. Claiming that Assad is no worse than various Western leaders would be in a similar situation is no defense at all.

      • American
        July 2, 2013, 12:58 pm

        Donald,
        The Syria rebels were never and are not freedom fighters or representing the ‘people’..they are fanatics who want to ‘take over’ and impose their own Sunni and extremist brand of rule. The press and media and other ‘interest’(- naturally), started off protraying them as if their revolt was part of the Arab Spring. ..they are more like terrorist than anything else. Assads forces have killed plenty of people but from what I see from foreign reporters on the ground there Assad is targeting the rebels and their supporters in their strongholds.
        There have been dozens of reports and evidence of the radical bent of the rebels like the one below.
        I dont see that Assad had a choice in fighting them given what they are.
        Not every ‘revolution’ is the same and people have a tendency to assume that revolts against ME rulers are because they are the baddest of the bad guys…but sometimes the revolters are even worse and their agendas are even worse.

        “Franciscan Father Francois Murad is said to have died after fighters linked to the jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the monastery he was staying at, local sources say. Catholic Online links to amateur footage purporting to show the 49-year-old’s horrific death and reports: “The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.”” Huff post
        ——————————————–
        Father Murad was beheaded with a kitchen knife. His “crime” was to be a Christian.
        This was the act of the allies of the United States, Britain, France, Jordan and Mursi’s Egypt.
        For shame! For shame! pl
        link to huffingtonpost.co.uk

      • Donald
        July 2, 2013, 1:21 pm

        Of course the rebels are bad, but the Syrian regime has always had a well-deserved reputation as being brutal. I don’t think we should be making excuses for either side. People are outraged by Israel’s brutality in Gaza in 2009, as they should be. But you’d have to go back to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to find anything near the level of intensity of violence of the Syrian civil war and much of that comes from indiscriminate fire by the Syrian regime. If it’s bad for Israel to do this, it’s bad for Assad, even if one agrees that the rebels are also bad (which I do).

        The massacre in Hama back in the early 80′s was probably a smaller scale version of what is happening now–a revolt by fundamentalists crushed by Assad’s father in a response that killed many thousands. No good guys, just innocent victims of both sides.

      • Taxi
        July 2, 2013, 1:49 pm

        “How do you know that A) Assad’s forces haven’t used indiscriminate firepower in urban settings and tortured people to death or B) that most of the rebels are foreigners?”

        Donald, I can be blindfolded and run circles around you with how much I know about Syria. I’m a mere 2 hours drive away from Damascus, one hour away from Qusair – I’m pretty sure I’ve got my fingers on pulses you don’t even know exist.

        So tell me then, when was the last time you even met, let alone spoke to a Syrian? Me? Oooh ’bout fifteen minutes ago when I gave my Syrian gardner a slice of cake I baked this afternoon.

        “Claiming that Assad is no worse than various Western leaders would be in a similar situation is no defense at all.”

        You’re confusing my pointing out the hypocrisy of political leaders with defending them. Your problem, not mine.

      • American
        July 2, 2013, 3:29 pm

        ”No good guys, just innocent victims of both sides.’…Donald

        So what else is new? The US operates on the principle of the ‘lesser evil’
        in all our jokey democratic elections….so does everywhere else.
        I dont see anyone ‘for Assad” except most of the Syrian secular population…who obviously think he’s the lesser evil.
        Frankly I would do the same as Assad….it’s ether that or just hand over the country to the fanatics who have no problem with ruling by beheading people and eating their enemies hearts.
        But let’s do the numbers on this kind of thing….1000X more Iraqis have been klled since the US invasion than Saddam killed in all the years of his rule.

      • Rusty Pipes
        July 2, 2013, 3:42 pm

        The same MSM that brings us puff-pieces about Israel provides neocon propaganda about Iran, Hezbollah and Syria. According to Patrick Cockburn:

        Every time I come to Syria I am struck by how different the situation is on the ground from the way it is pictured in the outside world. The foreign media reporting of the Syrian conflict is surely as inaccurate and misleading as anything we have seen since the start of the First World War. I can’t think of any other war or crisis I have covered in which propagandistic, biased or second-hand sources have been so readily accepted by journalists as providers of objective facts.

        No one denies that Syria has been a Stasi-like state for decades, where government spying on its citizens and torture of dissidents have been common practices. Yet, an America which has increasingly eroded its citizens fourth amendment rights and engaged in torture of enemy combatants and cruel and unusual punishment of dissidents has leveled little criticism about similar practices in Syria. Nor does anyone deny that, like the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan, Bashar Assad inherited his position from his father. Yet, America has ignored the state violence which has met peaceful demonstrations for reform among its allies, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and wildly applauded empty promises of reform by its ally, Jordan in their countries’ experiences of the Arab Spring. At the same time, within weeks of the beginning of protests in Syria, even when some insurgents started killing police officers, the MSM still described them all as nonviolent activists. Within months of the beginning of protests, the US was condemning the Syrian government for killing thousands of his own people (based on the claims of insurgent groups and the body count from the insurgent-aligned Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), pooh-poohing Assad’s offers of reform and amnesty and demanding regime change. Syria has been on the Israel Lobby’s hit list for regime change since the nineties, long before “the brutal dictator” Bashar Assad became President. Under Bush, neocon appointees in State, Defense and Intelligence ramped up operations to undermine Syria’s goverment, assisted by neolib congresscritters who enacted a series of crippling economic sanctions against Syria. No matter how Bashar Assad had chosen to run the Syrian government over the past decade, our MSM would have declared him a “brutal dictator” as long as he was less than fully compliant with the neocon agenda. This whole process has been about instigating a coup against Bashar Assad and replacing him with a compliant vassal.

      • American
        July 2, 2013, 5:17 pm

        Speaking of coups…..this should make clear exactly what is going on with Egypt. The two groups that lost out financially in the Morsi election were the elites and the military. The Egyptian military has had a very unusual arrangement in Egypt, besides getting 2 bil from the US, the military there also had a slice of many business deals..for instance it’s commanders could use military members as free labor for business interest, for example in such things as trucking and hauling businesses, for RE construction, getting a ‘piece’ or payment in return. Since even the lower ranks had a higher living standard than the average workers and civilians there wasn’t any objection on the solders part to these arrangements.
        Basically they are taking the country back to the previous regime status quo..
        You have to laugh at their explanation for their decree…that the military isn’t going to be political…it’s just going to do a military take over and throw out the elected one…gawd!….how dumb do the Egyptians have to be to fall for this?

        link to washingtonpost.com

        AIRO (AP) — The text of the Egyptian military statement issued Monday warning the armed forces will intervene if the demands of the people aren’t met in 48 hours:

        “Egypt and the whole world witnessed yesterday demonstrations by the great people of Egypt expressing their opinion in an unprecedented, peaceful and civilized way.

        Everyone saw the movement of the Egyptian people and heard their voices with the greatest respect and concern. It is necessary that the people receive a reply to their movement and the call from every party with any responsibility in the dangerous circumstances surrounding the nation.

        As a main party in the considerations of the future and based on their patriotic and historic responsibilities to protect security and stability, the Armed Forces state the following:

      • just
        July 2, 2013, 7:55 pm

        I especially did not appreciate H. Clinton, B. Obama, the Congress, and our ‘allies’, etc. constantly calling for Assad to step down back in 2011……

        We are sooooo hypocritical and manipulative.

      • Donald
        July 2, 2013, 11:25 pm

        “Donald, I can be blindfolded and run circles around you with how much I know about Syria”

        That’s nice. So your knowledge lets you know that Assad is “killing a puny criminal fraction of his people” and we can be sure this is correct because you gave your Syrian gardener a piece of cake.

        You know, snark aside, I do find your posts about the situation interesting, but when you say things like “puny criminal fraction of his people” I think you’re full of it. As bad as the Western press is, even the ones who are contemptuous of most Western reporting (like Patrick Cockburn) agree that both sides are killing innocent people.

      • Donald
        July 2, 2013, 11:30 pm

        “I dont see anyone ‘for Assad” except most of the Syrian secular population…who obviously think he’s the lesser evil.
        Frankly I would do the same as Assad….it’s ether that or just hand over the country to the fanatics who have no problem with ruling by beheading people and eating their enemies hearts.”

        I agree that many Syrians think Assad is the lesser of two evils. I doubt you’d do the same as Assad–you probably wouldn’t allow your security services to engage in torture if you could stop it (how much Assad the person is in control I have no idea, but this is about the regime anyway, not the individual) and I doubt you’d use air strikes on areas where many civilians are likely to die.

      • Taxi
        July 3, 2013, 12:30 am

        Donald,

        “That’s nice”.
        And you’re not – here’s a piece of cake.

        The figure of the dead in Syria is utterly unclear – it could even well be over the “estimate figures”. It appears that only some 20% of takfiris fighting in Syria are native and 80% is foreign. So I’d say in this instance, most of the takfiris being killed by Assad in Syria are not Assad’s OWN people. Also it’s the takfiris who are attacking villages and willfully massacring them en mass, accounting for the majority of civilian deaths from last year. The Syrian army has only recently been on the offensive, in the last 4 months – been hitting hard where takfiris have set up base, in occupied villages, and small cities. Until then, Bashar was forced to play the slow game of war, defensively, fearing that if he’d hit hard and offensively, Nato would move in a la Libya – and the west was threatening that, remember? Soon as Bashar got clear assurances from Russia and China that they have his back at the UN, he went full throttle battle mode. Sure there is what the west coldly calls “collateral damage” from the army’s side – I never said there wasn’t, Donald. I was merely remarking on the deaths of anti Bashar FIGHTERS and it looks like the majority of them are not Syrian.

        If I were you, Donald I would eat cake instead of talking about stuff I barely understand.

      • MRW
        July 3, 2013, 1:09 am

        :-) Taxi.

      • MRW
        July 3, 2013, 1:13 am

        Yeah. About right. Next time though, Rusty, use paragraph changes.

      • MRW
        July 3, 2013, 1:16 am

        As bad as the Western press is, even the ones who are contemptuous of most Western reporting (like Patrick Cockburn) agree that both sides are killing innocent people.

        Not really. Your reading is selective. And there is the matter of proportion.

      • Donald
        July 3, 2013, 2:56 pm

        ““Morsi is toast soon unless he does what Assad is doing, kill his own people.”–Walid

        “Actually Assad is killing a puny criminal fraction of his people.”–Taxi

        That sounds remarkably like a denial that Assad is doing with his firepower what, say, Israel has done, except on a larger scale–that “collateral damage” you correctly mention is the cold Western way of excusing it and then employ in this later comment when it suits you. So is that collateral damage excuse only bad when Westerners use it, and not when you do? And you say nothing about the practice of torture by Syrian security forces.

        I’ve said in other venues that we don’t know who is really killing the bulk of the civilians–the death toll breakdowns that are cited in the press don’t make sense (for one thing, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that the Army and pro-government militias are losing more men than the rebels), but I won’t get into that here. What is clear is that both sides have an awful human rights record. And your dismissive tone regarding what the Syrian government has done is one you and others here would never adopt if we were talking about Israel attacking Muslim fundamentalists in Gaza. There’s a double standard here, similar to the one Zionists employ, except with different labels.

        However, if you are now admitting that there is “collateral damage”, good.
        And since you also admit that the death toll figures are utterly unclear and admit the collateral damage, perhaps despite my lack of your superior knowledge I won’t go far wrong in trusting Patrick Cockburn’s reporting, who is very dismissive of most Western coverage, but doesn’t dismiss atrocities on either side.

      • Donald
        July 3, 2013, 3:07 pm

        “Not really. Your reading is selective. And there is the matter of proportion.”

        Details, please. Everyone here is such an expert. On my reading, I don’t know what the death toll is, what the breakdown is and I don’t believe the Westerners who put out the story that it’s the Assad regime vs. noble rebels. I’ve read Cockburn, I read Robert Worth’s story in the NYT a couple weeks ago which is not flattering to the rebels, to say the least, and also not flattering to the government. I read Helena Cobban’s pieces, which are also very critical of the standard Western storyline–she warns that the rebels are capable of genocide. What people say here about the brutality of the rebels is supported by what I’ve read. Where it gets dicey here, and frankly sounds like a bunch of ideological claptrap, is where the crimes of the Syrian government are downplayed.

        So give me the breakdown of deaths, and the number killed by various factions and how. Tell me how you know. Explain to me why none of the long reporting on the vicious brutality of the Syrian regime (both Assads) was never really correct, why torture by the Syrian government is a little thing not worth mentioning, and what the logic is of lining up with either side of this war. Explain to me how the number of people killed by Syrian air strikes and artillery is actually smaller than, say, the number killed in the Gaza War in 2009. It must be much smaller, or people wouldn’t be dismissive of it, would they? Oh surely not.

      • Sibiriak
        July 3, 2013, 3:41 pm

        Donald:

        What people say here about the brutality of the rebels is supported by what I’ve read. Where it gets dicey here, and frankly sounds like a bunch of ideological claptrap, is where the crimes of the Syrian government are downplayed.

        You seem to have a very reasonable, open mind on all this.

      • American
        July 3, 2013, 4:45 pm

        Donald says:
        July 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

        “I agree that many Syrians think Assad is the lesser of two evils. I doubt you’d do the same as Assad–you probably wouldn’t allow your security services to engage in torture if you could stop it ..”

        Well I wouldn’t if I could help it.
        You’re a unshakable and moral idealist my friend ..and that’s a good thing….the world has to have them.
        I dont admire Assad or champion him…..but it’s like some other conflicts we have debated…..when it’s a choice between bad or worse or two bads you try to go for the lesser based on what you understand.
        Practically speaking, you have to hold your nose and pick one if you’re going to pick between them in cases like this.

      • Rusty Pipes
        July 3, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Okay, Okay — with paragraph breaks:

        The same MSM that brings us puff-pieces about Israel provides neocon propaganda about Iran, Hezbollah and Syria. According to Patrick Cockburn:

        Every time I come to Syria I am struck by how different the situation is on the ground from the way it is pictured in the outside world. The foreign media reporting of the Syrian conflict is surely as inaccurate and misleading as anything we have seen since the start of the First World War. I can’t think of any other war or crisis I have covered in which propagandistic, biased or second-hand sources have been so readily accepted by journalists as providers of objective facts.

        No one denies that Syria has been a Stasi-like state for decades, where government spying on its citizens and torture of dissidents have been common practices. Yet, an America which has increasingly eroded its citizens fourth amendment rights and engaged in torture of enemy combatants and cruel and unusual punishment of dissidents has leveled little criticism about similar practices in Syria.

        Nor does anyone deny that, like the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan, Bashar Assad inherited his position from his father. Yet, America has ignored the state violence which has met peaceful demonstrations for reform among its allies, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and wildly applauded empty promises of reform by its ally, Jordan, in their countries’ experiences of the Arab Spring.

        At the same time, within weeks of the beginning of protests in Syria, even when some insurgents started killing police officers, the MSM still described them all as nonviolent activists. Within months of the beginning of protests, the US was condemning the Syrian government for killing thousands of his own people (based on the claims of insurgent groups and the body count from the insurgent-aligned Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), pooh-poohing Assad’s offers of reform and amnesty and demanding regime change.

        Syria has been on the Israel Lobby’s hit list for regime change since the nineties, long before “the brutal dictator” Bashar Assad became President. Under Bush, neocon appointees in State, Defense and Intelligence ramped up operations to undermine Syria’s goverment, assisted by neolib congresscritters who enacted a series of crippling economic sanctions against Syria. No matter how Bashar Assad had chosen to run the Syrian government over the past decade, our MSM would have declared him a “brutal dictator” as long as he was less than fully compliant with the neocon agenda.

        This whole process has been about instigating a coup against Bashar Assad and replacing him with a compliant vassal.

        I do not claim to be an expert on Syria. Even so, I find that I need to read widely in the alternative and foreign press just to get a broader picture of what is really happening in Syria when flooded by the massive neocon disinformation about the region from even “liberal” American MSM.

      • Taxi
        July 4, 2013, 1:42 am

        Ignoramus sanctimonious much, Donald?

        ‘Bashar is a dictator, a dictator, he’s a dictator mnaah mnaah mnaah’ dictator! Well so what, Donald? So frigging what?! This is the middle east we’re talking about, not your hippy dippy commune where everyone is groovy.

        You have not a single clue of the geopolitical realpolitik of the Syrian conflict. You have no idea of Syria’s political history. You’ve never been to Syria. You’ve never spoken to a Syrian. You don’t know the history of their culture. You just know that Bashar is a dictator – and, predictably, you’ve never bothered to investigate why Syria has been blighted by a dictatorship four decades long. You don’t know the difference in governance orientation between Bashar and his father. You don’t know the personalities operating the Syrian political stratagem. You don’t know the history and context of their local and regional allegiances. Simply put, you’ve never seen the shifting political chessboard of the middle east with the eye of your mind bursting with knowledge and perspective. Well how could you when your world view is confined to “Bashar is a dictator, Bashar is a dictator”. So utterly simplistic of you, Donald, so utterly 101. And yet, you have the temerity, with so little knowledge in hand and no empiricism, to dictate your standard of analysis on the subject matter to the community. And you do all this with the most annoying degree of sanctimonious aplomb – constantly implying that your morals are higher because you’ve publicly acknowledged that “Bashar is a dictator”, insisting that we all repeat after you – just like a dictator would demand of his audience.

        I see you up-thread spending all that fretful energy on small fish arguments. “Puny”. Petty faultfinding as a diversion from your blatant ignorance of the subject matter.

        Why don’t you think man think: when an ARMY of foreign terrorists spends TWO YEARS occupying most of your country, taking it village by village, clearly they’ve been on a rampage of KILLING CIVILIANS in order to occupy their neighborhoods. And when you have a national army with shackled hands retreating defensively from these terrorists for two years, it’s clear that they’re too busy saving their asses to be charging forth and purposely mowing down civilians. This alone should give you an indicator on who’s been doing a big chunk of the killing. You don’t need me or Patrick Coburn to figure at least this one out.

        I’ve told you before that you have a ‘father has spoken’ complex. Again, I ask you kindly to keep this irritating tendency in your own home and away from the blogs. Stop always insinuating that you have higher morals than others – that you would do it differently, more peacefully, more morally, if you were in Bashar’s shoes. Well I beg to differ here, mate. Considering your neurosis and penchant for dictating to others, I would say that if you were in Bashar’s shoes, you’d be doing exactly the same thing against an army of foreign terrorists hell bent on destroying not just you and your seat of power, but also intent on killing your whole family, your friends and all others who are religiously affiliated to you.

        Donzy, instead of blurting out hissy fits with no substance all over the place, why don’t you at least go and read a book about Syria instead. I recommend Patrick Seale’s seminal book ‘Asad of Syria’ for starters. Go learn something new and bring it to the table instead of pounding your fist on wood cuz you don’t like the chef or her soup of the day.

      • Sibiriak
        July 4, 2013, 2:53 am

        Taxi:

        I recommend Patrick Seale’s seminal book ‘Asad of Syria’ for starters.

        Seale discusses Syria here (a bit old, though):

        link to democracynow.org

        He covers both the internal politics and the geopolitics.

      • Walid
        July 4, 2013, 5:50 am

        “““Morsi is toast soon unless he does what Assad is doing, kill his own people.”–Walid

        Donald, you erroneously attributed the above quote to me. In fact it was by Ramzi Jaber and the reply to it was by Taxi. While I don’t think that Assad is deliberately killing his people, I still don’t believe that he’s an angel.

        Since Assad’s involvement is being debated here, I’ll add that Assad is simply the front man. The ones really pulling the strings in Syria are not Assad, his Alawites or the Baathists but the very powerful Sunni economic and social elite.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 4, 2013, 8:40 am

        Donald
        According to Syrian Observatory For Human Rights close to 40, 000 Alawites were killed among whom a majority of civilians . I doubt Asad (not Assad) kill them too.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2013, 11:23 am

        “I recommend Patrick Seale’s seminal book ‘Asad of Syria’ for starters.”

        I read it when it came out. It’s been awhile and I was just thinking last night I should go back and reread it. It’s part of why I was repulsed by your “puny” statement. Seale obviously seems to sympathize with Asad (and the spelling I definitely admit I am confused about, as I see it with one and two s’s, including from you) and yet he agrees that the regime had a horrific human rights record. Incidentally, Asad AbuKhalil referred to the book as a “hagiography” link

        You don’t seem to want to take responsibility for your own statements and you react to criticism by psychoanalyzing me. You’re the one that reduced a brutal civil war to one where “Actually Assad is killing a puny criminal fraction of his people.” So rather than speculating about my dictatorial tendencies, perhaps you should stop typing garbage you apparently don’t believe yourself. Just a thought. Not one you need to act on, of course.

        On the dictatorial tendencies, I’ve gotten this from you before. You respond to criticism by telling me what to do and then accuse me of authoritarianism. Not very good at self-consistency or logic, are you? People jump down the throats of the Zionists who post here (I do so myself sometimes). But apparently that sort of criticism is only supposed to go in one direction. If someone questions your precious opinions or expresses revulsion at something you say they’re being dictatorial.

        And one other thing, since the other thread closed down and you brought up “the community”, apparently meaning the commentariat. The whole theme of this blog is “universal human rights”–it’s the stated reason the bulk of the people here oppose Zionism and support a 1SS. Zionism is contradictory to the ideals most Americans profess where every individual has basic human rights no matter what their ethnicity or religion or no matter what their ancestors did. If your views represent the reality of how people think over there, as you claim it does, the 1SS is an impossible dream. And you don’t want it anyway, not without ethnic cleansing of the people you consider the wrong ethnicity. And that’s why you thought I was an Israeli–not my writing skills, but the fact that you want to believe that anyone who thinks that yes, even Israelis have basic human rights, must be One Of Them.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2013, 11:32 am

        “According to Syrian Observatory For Human Rights close to 40, 000 Alawites were killed among whom a majority of civilians . I doubt Asad (not Assad) kill them too.”

        Thanks. Do you have a link? For all my arguing with Taxi, I was thinking of writing a letter to the NYT public editor (she seems better than much of what goes in her paper) about this–how do we really know which side is killing more civilians? The Syrian Observatory’s numbers are a little weird in some ways–I saw in one of their latest posts on this subject that 93,000 had died, of which (quoting from memory) 25,000 were regular soldiers, 17,000 were pro-Asad militia or “informants” (a suspicious category that I would guess includes unarmed people who were murdered on suspicion), while 13000 rebels were killed and about 2000 foreign fighters and 2000 defectors, plus 36,000 civilians.

        One oddity here is the much greater number of pro-Asad forces killed vs. rebels, considering that the regime has the heavy weaponry. They do claim that the numbers are probably much higher for both categories, but it’s still strange, given the ratio of what they report. But anyway, it’d be nice to have more links to their numbers–I’d like to email the NYT to show more skepticism about the US government position. Admittedly the Robert Worth piece I mentioned earlier already points out that a great many Syrians are siding with Asad out of fear of the rebels, but much of the daily coverage is biased in favor of the rebels.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2013, 11:37 am

        “Donald, you erroneously attributed the above quote to me. ”

        Sorry about that.

        “While I don’t think that Assad is deliberately killing his people, I still don’t believe that he’s an angel.

        Since Assad’s involvement is being debated here, I’ll add that Assad is simply the front man. The ones really pulling the strings in Syria are not Assad, his Alawites or the Baathists but the very powerful Sunni economic and social elite.”

        Sounds plausible, but of course here Taxi is right–I wouldn’t know.

      • Donald
        July 4, 2013, 11:57 am

        Since Taxi will probably doubt I’ve read Patrick Seale, here I am at another blog three years ago defending the book against someone who thinks I shouldn’t be quoting it since it was sympathetic to Asad

        link

      • James Canning
        July 4, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Rich urban Sunnis indeed had made their deals with Assad, and wanted to keep their power and connections.

      • James Canning
        July 4, 2013, 2:13 pm

        Wasn’t Jimmy Carter quite right to seek better relations between Syria and the US, prior to the eruption of civil war?

      • eljay
        July 4, 2013, 3:48 pm

        Donald, much respect for the questions you’re asking and – despite accusations to the contrary – for the hissy-fits you’re not taking.

  13. James Canning
    June 30, 2013, 6:39 pm

    I think John Kerry should note that the existence of settlements in the West Bank does not change borders. He could refrain from using the adjective “illegal”.

  14. James Canning
    June 30, 2013, 6:42 pm

    HarryLaw – - Shamir thought that growing colonies of Jews in the West Bank meant those areas became part of Israel. If enough time goes by. Kerry needs to dispel this nonsense.

  15. eljay
    June 30, 2013, 6:52 pm

    >> Some people never want to learn the Middle East has nothing in common with Western notions of rationality, fair play and compromise.

    hophmeee’s going to be so sad to find out that supremacist “Jewish State” isn’t any better than Saudi Arabia after all… :-(

  16. Inanna
    June 30, 2013, 7:38 pm

    I consider myself a serious student of the Middle East. I speak Arabic, have an advanced degree in a relevant discipline and spent years working in and on MENA. Yet I have never heard of this Barry Rubin. Could it be that he is an expert on Israeli issues rather than Middle Eastern ones?

    Edited to add: is the casual racism on display in this comment really acceptable here? Shouldn’t these type of generalisations be moderated out no matter who they are aimed at?

    • just
      June 30, 2013, 7:47 pm

      Bingo, Inanna.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 30, 2013, 8:12 pm

      not sure how that slipped thru the cracks inanna. gone/thanks.

      • Inanna
        July 1, 2013, 8:01 am

        Thanks Annie. You’re pretty heroic but even you can’t be everyone at once!

    • Sumud
      June 30, 2013, 9:14 pm

      Yet I have never heard of this Barry Rubin.

      Me either. I missed the original comment which is now deleted.

      After a search I discovered Rubin has recently published a book titled “Israel: An Introduction”. Looking inside on amazon, the word “Nakba” is not present in the index or glossary. This is his hasbara description of the West Bank from the glossary:

      West Bank – Area on the west bank of the Jordan River captured by Jordan in the War of Independence in 1948. Israel took it back in 1967 and ruled it until 1994 when much of the area was yielded bit by bit to the Palestinian Authority. Israeli settlements are also located there.

      Hilarious! Zionism is a house of cards.

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Amazing rubbish from Barry Rubin. Let’s have more.

  17. Sin Nombre
    June 30, 2013, 7:50 pm

    John Kerry said:

    “This is about a country, two countries and two peoples and peace and the possibilities of avoiding war and …”

    And that’s exactly what this is about, with the U.S. as usual being more concerned about that war than either of the protagonists because the U.S. was long ago was corrupted into taking unto itself any degree of harm so as to insulate Israel from the consequences of its own actions.

    It is thus only natural and normal that in the face of even the mildest possibility or threat that Israel would go to or find itself in any more hot conflict it’s the U.S. and not Israel that finds itself desperately moving heaven and earth, and expending any amount of its citizens’ money, to beg and bribe the parties involved so as to avoid that conflict.

    It’s really a wonderful thing to see in a way: We get corrupted into supporting Israel in its conflicts even though it’s against our interests, with the reward for doing so is that we then get essentially blackmailed into doing whatever for Israel or even its opponents so as to avoid any such conflicts.

    • Gart Valenc
      July 1, 2013, 5:58 am

      It isn’t much that the US has been, as you put it, corrupted. It is more a question of geopolitical needs. The question one needs to answer is where does the so-called “power” of Israel’s lobby come from? Is that power real or just a convenient ‘deus ex machina’? Who needs whom more & why? How does one explain that the US has never seriously penalised Israel despite its continuous and relentless violation of international law over so many decades?

      It seems to me that the US & Israel are two sides of the same coin, for Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East. What does Israel demand in return? It demands US supports Israel unconditionally, so that it can continue with its occupation, annexation and violation of international law with total impunity!

      Gart Valenc
      Twitter: @gartvalenc

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 1:54 pm

        @Gart Valenc – - Follow the money. Jews give Democrats about as much campaign funding as the rest of the American people combined. And Jews are important funders of some Republican campaigns too.

        Israel weakens the American position in the Middle East.

      • Hostage
        July 1, 2013, 3:06 pm

        Israel are two sides of the same coin, for Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East.

        I spent most of my adult life working in major command headquarters staff positions in the DoD. I’d love to hear about some of this work that Israel has done for the United States, because it would be news to me.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 1, 2013, 3:17 pm

        Israel has always been the US’ workhorse in the Middle East

        cute.

      • James Canning
        July 1, 2013, 5:39 pm

        And absurd.

      • Gart Valenc
        July 1, 2013, 5:55 pm

        I ask again: How does one explain that the US has never penalised Israel despite its continuous and relentless violation of international law over so many decades? Instead, it keeps pouring billions of dollars for what? So that Israel can “weaken”, “undermine”, “humiliate” or “jeopardise” US interests?

        Gart Valenc
        Twitter: @gartvalenc

      • Annie Robbins
        July 1, 2013, 6:51 pm

        why bother, you ignored it the first time

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Gart Valenc
        July 2, 2013, 7:35 am

        Nice!

        Gart Valenc
        Twitter: @gartvalenc

      • ritzl
        July 2, 2013, 1:35 pm

        @Gart Valenc “I ask again…”

        Well, that is the #1 ‘etherially’ unanswerable question that defines the relationship and all its associated conflicts, isn’t it. The question that nobody has the answer to, short of pervasive pro-Israel money/influence in US politics.

        Supporting Israel IS (as you point out) against broader US interests of stable oil in the region and greener energy/infrastructure investment at home. Yet we go to the mat time and time again to veto our own policies, give standing ovations to Israeli leaders, never debate the issue, and generally show our obeisance to Israeli interests at every turn. All VERY costly. All directly at odds with the needs of US voting constituents.

        That is, to me, the de facto and highly observable definition of corruption. So…, please do keep asking the question.

      • James Canning
        July 2, 2013, 2:32 pm

        @Gart – - Consder the enormous wealth and power of Jews in the US (and other countries).

        And remember Harry Truman was forced to recognise Israel in 1948, or rich Jews would have replaced him with Tom Dewey.

  18. Dutch
    June 30, 2013, 10:59 pm

    link to al-monitor.com

    Why Kerry Wants a Fast Reboot Of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks
    By Clovis Maksoud for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse Posted on June 27

    Upon embarking on his fifth visit to Jerusalem, in an attempt to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry stated in Kuwait: “We need to be showing some kind of progress before September,” when Palestinians can start exercising their rights at the United Nations after achieving the status of an observer state.

    This statement alludes to the United States’ attempt to pre-empt any initiative by the Palestinian state to join any UN agencies, especially the International Court of Justice, by giving the impression that peace talks are back on the table. In this regard, Kerry is seeking to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to show some “flexibility” to relay it to the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, when he meets him later on in Jordan.

    The so-called “flexibility” is sought both to discourage Abbas from using the prerogatives of the new legal status of Palestine at the United Nations and push him back to “negotiations without preconditions.”

    Kerry’s eagerness to protect Israel’s “immunity” is evident, as he is buying time at the expense of the Palestinians’ exercising their rights in the United Nations, and trying to lure them into a process that has become futile. At the heart of the futility of negotiations is the ambiguous legal status of Israel in the occupied territories, an ambiguity that is allowing the proliferation of settlements and issuing more licenses to build new homes in East Jerusalem.

    Kerry might be well-intentioned; however, to have genuine peace talks, he needs to set the record straight about Israel’s legal status in the Palestinian territories.

    Clovis Maksoud is a former ambassador and permanent observer of the League of Arab States at the United Nations and its chief representative in the United States for more than 10 years.

  19. kayq
    June 30, 2013, 11:06 pm

    The U.S. is just trying to play the whole saviour role. Kerry should just go home. I honestly don’t know why the US is involved, other than of course, playing the saviour role as well as the imperialist role. Peace will only truly come until the U.S. stops supplying the IDF with weapons.

  20. seafoid
    July 1, 2013, 4:03 am

    “This is worth it, folks”

    Very pithy. In fact it’s existential for Israel.

    link to youtube.com

    the light color in this ideology
    the sunshine seeping in
    doesn’t mix with the black of
    death’s angel looming in
    i’ve had enough of the
    brutal beatings and name callings
    to lose me to this cult
    bruised internally
    eternally
    you praise little gifts you spent your AIPAC money on
    and stuffed me with
    didn’t amount to anything
    the attention I need is much more serious
    a kind of weight you couldn’t lift
    even if your cheap Altneuland
    depended on it
    i need someone much more
    mysterious

  21. Hostage
    July 1, 2013, 4:53 am

    Avoiding war would certainly be worth any effort, but none of these players can deliver that result. It’s doubtful that Netanyahu could even get his own coalition to accept an equitable settlement or one based upon the 1967 borders.

    Given the facts, it would be best to continue pursing remedies through an anti-apartheid BDS campaign and through the ICC and ICJ.

    • Kathleen
      July 1, 2013, 9:46 am

      “Given the facts, it would be best to continue pursing remedies through an anti-apartheid BDS campaign and through the ICC and ICJ.:

      Please do not hold your breath

      • Hostage
        July 1, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Please do not hold your breath

        I think Stephen Hawking and McDonalds have given BDS some favorable attention. The current edition of the Journal of International Criminal Law has a pair of articles by Profs Schabas and Dugard highlighting their efforts along with 28 other ICL experts, including Susan Akram, to get the ICC Assembly of State Parties to take-up a vote on the status of Palestine’s declaration and criticizing its failure to address crimes subject to the Court’s jurisdiction when they are committed outside of Africa. Dugard highlights the fact that the President of the Assembly never placed the question before the signatories for an actual vote. After all, it’s the State Parties who have agreed to grant third party non-member States the right to accept the Court’s jurisdiction, not the Prosecutor, the Judges, or the President of the Assembly.

        So there are people who are applying political pressure on the Court, it just isn’t getting as much grassroots attention or support.

      • American
        July 1, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Hostage,

        I seem to remember years ago signing a petition to the ICC on Palestine–been so long I cant remember now who was circulating it—but it had to have been a creditable group cause I am generally careful to check out who is behind what I sign onto.
        Do these grassroots type petitions have any effect?

      • Hostage
        July 2, 2013, 2:03 am

        Do these grassroots type petitions have any effect?

        Petitions are fine, but won’t have as much effect as public demonstrations, protests, and open criticism from leading experts in international criminal law. Its the same sort of thing as grassroots academic BDS efforts combined with coverage of endorsements and criticism from leading scholars and organizations.

    • James Canning
      July 1, 2013, 2:02 pm

      @Hostage – - I agree Netanyahu likely could not gain approval for Israeli gov’t recognition of Palestine with 1967 borders. Which of course does not mean those borders should be changed.

  22. upsidedownism
    July 1, 2013, 7:49 am

    Kerry simply hasn’t offered the Palestinians enough money yet. Once Abu Mazen gets the funds he wants, he’ll at last agree to yet another meaningless meeting, and then Kerry and Netanyahu can congratulate himself with this sign of ‘progress.’

    Abu Mazen and his delegation are doomed to watch Palestine disappear before their eyes anyway, so they might as well charge as high a price as they can for the theft of their land.

  23. Kathleen
    July 1, 2013, 9:44 am

    Kerry “They understand that in the pursuit of this new partnership, one ally none of us have is time”

    Kerry has slipped his foot in the crack of the two state door. Hoping that there is still a very small chance that the two state door solution will not be sealed shut forever by Israel.

    Keep contacting your Reps. Let them know how many people want aid to be cut off to Israel. How many of us stand with Abbas that all illegal settlements expansion and new settlements must stop before any real negotiations can take place!

    • James Canning
      July 1, 2013, 1:51 pm

      Bravo, Kathleen. Kerry needs to keep a large map of Israel/Palestine with him, during his visits to Netanyahu. To use to show the Green Line. Israel’s border with Palestine.

  24. Tzombo
    July 1, 2013, 11:07 am

    I can’t even be bothered to read the headlines anymore, not even starting on the articles.

  25. Kathleen
    July 1, 2013, 12:16 pm

    ot but interesting
    Soledad O’Brien Becomes Al Jazeera America Correspondent
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    Remember when Soledad took Wasserman Schultz to task

  26. NickJOCW
    July 1, 2013, 12:54 pm

    Since none of those involved in these so secret discussions actually represents the Palestinians, it’s hard even to imagine what makes Kerry so optimistic. The whole area is in a more than usual state of volatility; Egyptians want Morsi out by tomorrow tea time, the Jordanians are all riled up about US planes and troops outstaying their welcome, the geriatric aspirants to the Saudi throne are at each others throats, the Syrians are engaged in a bloodbath, and the Iranians have just had a peaceful and dignified election for a new moderate President. Sounds more like a bad hair day.

  27. Citizen
    July 1, 2013, 5:13 pm

    From the Palestine Chronicle, June 27th, last:
    “According to news reports that have appeared in Israeli daily Ma’ariv, Netanyahu is considering a token gesture of releasing a small number of Palestinian prisoners and to issue temporary freeze “outside the settlement blocks” in the West Bank.
    The deceptive “freeze” may force Abbas to succumb to American pressure while Netanyahu can claim – and rightly so – it is irrelevant as building inside the Jewish-only “settlement blocks” will continue.
    Affirming its real intention and to pre-empt Kerry’s renewed efforts – in what is becoming traditional embarrassment for visiting US officials – the Israeli government issued earlier this month plans to build more than 1,000 new Jewish-only homes in two West Bank colonies.
    Instead of addressing Israel’s inflexibility, the US is tantalizing an economic package worth $4 billion of private American and European investment.
    In fact the new American “economic peace” is a repackaged Netanyahu plan from the 1990s, which was intended to dodge tackling the most pressing issues in the peace talk.
    In theory, the proposal would expand the Palestinian economy by 50 per cent over three years while granting Israel more time to finish eating the “pie”.
    But in reality, past investments were undermined by Israeli closures and military checkpoints or even destroyed as the cases for Gaza’s air and sea ports, leaving Palestinians with false promises and the only measurable expansion was in the size of Jewish colonies.
    To bolster Israel’s arrogance, the US House of Representatives passed two weeks ago the National Defence Authorization Act in which it delegated – for the first time in US history – the power to wage war to a foreign entity when it committed the US to avail “diplomatic, military, and economic support” to Israel should it decide to strike Iran.
    Along with that vote and at a time when both sides of the isle wrangled over how much more to cut from the defense budget, the US Congress was united in tripling Obama’s request to finance Israeli missile defense from $96 million to $284m.
    It is indisputable that this unqualified US subservient support is directly responsible for Israel’s intransigence and the failure of the peace process. This was exemplified last week when Polish descendent and Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett – an ex US multi-millionaire who renounced his US citizenship – declared on June 17 the death of the Palestinian state idea and that he wasn’t an occupier and the West Bank was his “home”.
    Rejecting the Palestinian state, Danny Danon, the Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister, was quoted in the Times of Israel: “The international community can say whatever they want, and we can do whatever we want”. Israeli leaders can’t be more explicit in their rejection of a viable Palestinian state, making the talk about settlement “freeze” meaningless and peace unattainable.”

    Kerry’s doing nothing but adding a plus to Obama’s post-POTUS resume: “He tried, he really did try to make peace in the ME.” This will give Obama Israel First dollars for his library, and will grease his post-POTUS speech and book income. Obama’s following in Bill Clinton’s footsteps, with even less effort. You do have to put something on paper to support your Peace Prize, after all.

    • James Canning
      July 1, 2013, 5:36 pm

      @Citizen – - Does Kerry have the guts to tell Israel it cannot keep most of the illegal colonies in the West Bank?

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