Obama and Kerry drop talk of Palestinian state for ‘state institutions’ and ‘transition’

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
on 88 Comments
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) arrives to speak with Israeli-American media tycoon Haim Saban about negotiations with Iran in Washington December 7, 2013. (Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) arrives to speak with Israeli-American media tycoon Haim Saban about negotiations with Iran in Washington December 7, 2013. (Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters)

Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic threat” to the Jewish state, and the West Bank Palestinian population deserves “state institutions” of its own. This was the secretary’s first indication that Palestinian statehood is not on the table in the current round of peace talks, as he carefully avoided any promise of immediate Palestinian sovereignty.

“After waiting so long for statehood, the Palestinian people deserve effective state institutions,” said Secretary Kerry.  “Israel and Jordan must know that they will have a reliable and responsible neighbor – not a failed state – living between them,” he continued.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Brookings Institution's 10th annual Saban Forum, 'Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East,' in Washington, D.C., on December 7, 2013. (Photo: State Department)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Brookings Institution’s 10th annual Saban Forum, ‘Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East,’ in Washington, D.C., on December 7, 2013. (Photo: State Department)

The remarks were made over the weekend at the Saban Forum in Washington DC, along with a conversation from President Barack Obama, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and a closing address from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

With little known about the inner workings of the nine-month-track of direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Secretary Kerry’s comments on “state institutions” provides some daylight between speculative and probable outcomes. “It will take time to train, build, equip, and test Palestinian institutions to ensure that they’re capable of protecting Palestinian citizens,” he said, continuing, “Their primary responsibility is that – and also of preventing their territory from being used for attacks on Israel.”

In his harshest description to date of Palestinian ethnicity, Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” adding “that today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or the future’s.” He went on to support separating the two populations, and demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state a condition that is “the only way” to achieve peace.

“The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis, resolve the refugee situation, end all claims, and establish an independent, viable Palestinian state, and achieve recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” said Sec. Kerry.

Prior to Sec. Kerry’s remarks the expectation was that negotiations over core issues (borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and water) would lead to a proposal of a Palestinian state. Whether or not that state would then be viable, is the question of critics to the U.S.-brokered deal. But it doesn’t take an analyst or a psychologist to note statehood seems unlikely. The Israeli team have made their redlines clear: no division of Jerusalem along the ’49 armistice border, and no refugee right of return. Speaking the day before, Lieberman reiterated these positions, adding, “I don’t see any occupation” when a questioner asked him about the Israeli Oscar nominated documentary film The Gatekeepers.

“Do you think the occupation is really eroding the fiber of Israeli society,” asked Meena Ahmad, who said the conditions in the West Bank “was the corruption of the soul of Israel.” Lieberman responded that the term “occupation” was a “prejudicial, biased approach to the problem,” adding, “to speak about the occupation is not to understand the history.”

Ahmad’s was the only serious question in the forum. Former White House Middle East adviser and aide Dennis Ross inquired about the Saudi Initiative, which Lieberman flatly rejected because of “the right of return.” Haaretz senior columnist and author of My Promised Land Ari Shavit congratulated the foreign minister on his acquittal for charges of corruption, at which point Lieberman made the dig, “Don’t believe the Israeli press, only the American press.” And the moderator, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, asked about Iran and potential Israeli isolation, to which Lieberman said, “we are one, small Jewish state and around us is 57 Islamic states.”

Saban Forum 2013: A Conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, moderated by David Ignatius, Columnist, The Washington Post. (Photo: Ralph Alswang)

Saban Forum 2013: A Conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, moderated by David Ignatius, Columnist, The Washington Post. (Photo: Ralph Alswang)

Lieberman’s Friday talk came as his first appearance in the U.S. following a one-year hiatus while he was under investigation for fraud. Since re-gaining his post, the foreign minister has been hailed as a new, softer Lieberman. While once associated with draconian loyalty oaths and explicitly calling for the ethnic cleaning of Palestinian citizens of Israel (not to mention a scandal over battering a 12 year old classmate of his son, and a resume that includes night club bouncer and airport baggage handler), at the Saban Forum he reaffirmed his most controversial positions, albeit in a lighter tone.

“Not transfer, but exchange,” said Lieberman. He continued that he hoped to secure the “exchange of lands and peoples,” a euphemism for stripping the 1.6 million Palestinian citizens of Israel of their passport and re-designating them as residents of the West Bank.

Even though Lieberman was amongst a crowd of Washington and Israeli officials familiar with his anti-Arab diatribes, audible gasps could be heard throughout the room when he called to expel Palestinian citizens of Israel. A diplomat from the Russian embassy seated next to me even choked. Another moment of discontent between the plated-dinner audience and Lieberman passed when the foreign minister made a forlorn pun at Sen. Joe Lieberman. Otherwise the foreign minister was amongst allies.

Lieberman also compared Iran to Nazi Germany, stating that the government called Jewish-Israelis “pigs and dogs,” and that rhetoric was tantamount to “Nazi style accusations” that are “more serious than all the movies in Hollywood.”

Speaking Saturday morning, President Obama followed Lieberman’s discussion with a conversation moderated by media mogual Haim Saban (who helped found the Saban Center at Brookings). Saban is a pro-Israel “Influencer” and army funder who has already announced his support for Hilary Clinton in 2016 and is busy fundraising for the Democratic party. The California-based billionaire hosted the president last month for a backyard fundraiser at $16,200 a seat for 120 guests, and is credited for personally persuading Obama to take positions more dedicated to Israel.

“We put in place an unprecedented regime of sanctions that has crippled Iran’s economy, cut their oil revenues by more than half, have put enormous pressure on their currency,” said President Obama who spoke not about Israeli-Palestinian relations, but made a case for a six-month partial lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for a commitment to retract the country’s nuclear program. Obama boasted that the nuclear deal would unlock 7 billion in frozen revenue, but overall applied U.S. sanctions costs Iran around ten times that amount every year—and those sanctions would remain in tact.

The President’s limited remarks on Israeli-Palestinian relations pointed to the Kerry-brokered talks producing sanitized Palestinian quasi-autonomy with formal statehood off the table.

“The Palestinians have to also recognize that there is going to be a transition period where the Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank.”

Closing the Saban Forum on Sunday morning, Israeli Prime Minister gave a 30-minute address stating, “Israel and the U.S have formed the ‘indispensable alliance,’” an upgrade from the “special relationship”.  He described any headway with the Palestinians during this round of peace talks as “meaningless” so long as Iran remained capable of producing a nuclear weapon. “I don’t think I can overstate the Iranian danger,” he said, continuing that Israel is “threatened like no other country on earth.”

Netanyahu then praised Obama for unprecedented support of Israel, but acknowledged the two have differences over the role of a “superpower and a regional superpower,” suggesting Israel supports a U.S. threat of military force in Iran, rather than diplomatic measures.

Originally Netanyahu was scheduled for a conversation with Charlie Rose. However to much surprise, the format was changed and the prime minister delivered a speech and did not take questions. The Brookings Institution said Rose was removed from the program at the instance of the prime minister’s office. However spokesman for Netanyahu Mark Regev said “not true,” his office “never scheduled any such interview” with Rose.

Last year’s Saban Forum included a conversation with former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. This year no Palestinian speakers participated. Then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also gave an address advocating “a comprehensive peace between Israel and all Palestinians, led by their legitimate representative, the Palestinian Authority,” reflecting a subtle change in U.S. policy to regard the Palestinian Authority, and not the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the “sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

The Saban Forum is “already [having its] 10th anniversary,” said Sec. Kerry over the weekend. “This has become really the premier venue for U.S.-Israel public dialogue.”

88 Responses

  1. Philip Munger
    December 9, 2013, 5:28 pm

    “Not transfer, but exchange,” said Lieberman. He continued that he hoped to secure the “exchange of lands and peoples,” a euphemism for stripping the 1.6 million Palestinian citizens of Israel of their passport and re-designating them as residents of the West Bank.

    Even though Lieberman was amongst a crowd of Washington and Israeli officials familiar with his anti-Arab diatribes, audible gasps could be heard throughout the room when he called to expel Palestinian citizens of Israel. A diplomat from the Russian embassy seated next to me even choked.

    — is there video?

  2. Justpassingby
    December 9, 2013, 5:32 pm

    Racist comment by Kerry.
    Shows that Israel is controlling US policy 100% and that the corrupt Abbas is playing along.

  3. Blownaway
    December 9, 2013, 5:33 pm

    The only question is will Abbas accept the fait acompli and completely betray his people? And once he does, will they accept it? The answers are Yes and No

  4. Woody Tanaka
    December 9, 2013, 5:39 pm

    It’s exactly as if, in 1938, some German-American industrialist held a “forum” in Washington and FDR and Cordell Hull showed up to hear Hitler and Goering. This is making me think that the non-violent approach is a joke. Violence is the only thing that these fascists like Netanyahu and Lieberman and the rest of these zios understand.

    • Bumblebye
      December 9, 2013, 5:56 pm

      Ya don’t mean – it’s 1938 for the Palestinians, and Obama and Kerry are the appeasers, the Chamberlains!

      What the hell has Israel (or the Lobby) got anyway, that they all turn into Stepford politicians? Married to the Israeli Mob.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 9, 2013, 6:25 pm

        “Ya don’t mean – it’s 1938 for the Palestinians, and Obama and Kerry are the appeasers, the Chamberlains! ”

        No, Chamberlain thought he was doing good for his people. The Obamas and Kerrys of the world are selling out their country to an alien state to get some campaign funds.

        “What the hell has Israel (or the Lobby) got anyway, that they all turn into Stepford politicians? Married to the Israeli Mob.”

        Basically a mob situation. There are too many Americans who work to make it the job of the US to protect and work for the interests of israel.

    • Inanna
      December 9, 2013, 7:13 pm

      By cutting off any peaceful attempts at justice on this issue, the American and Israelis are ensuring that violence will be the only option left.

      • Hostage
        December 9, 2013, 7:26 pm

        By cutting off any peaceful attempts at justice on this issue, the American and Israelis are ensuring that violence will be the only option left.

        That’s certainly true with respect to US efforts to prevent Palestine from availing themselves of the ICC, ICJ, and formal arbitration. It’s a policy that is completely incompatible with our professed desire to secure “freedom and justice for all”. It strengthens the position of those factions which claim they have no other choice but to take the law into their own hands.

      • Walid
        December 10, 2013, 4:46 am

        “… It strengthens the position of those factions which claim they have no other choice but to take the law into their own hands.”

        Hostage, the American professed desire to secure freedom and justice for the Palestinians has been failing the Palestinians for over 60 years. How much longer do the Palestinians have to wait for the US to make good on that desire? Is it possible I’m feeling that there is somewhat of a disdain in your tone about the prospect of Palestinians going for it themselves by force?

        As a point of reference, the Republic of South Sudan that became independent on July 9, 2011, was admitted as a full member of the UN only 4 days later. Maybe Abbas should start wearing a black 10-gallon Stetson to improve the Palestinians’ lot.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 12:04 pm

        Is it possible I’m feeling that there is somewhat of a disdain in your tone about the prospect of Palestinians going for it themselves by force?

        Not at all. I’ve noted on many occasions that this is the only territorial dispute I’ve ever heard of that allegedly “can only be settled through negotiations”. The overwhelming majority are resolved through binding international arbitration. The US has blocked proposals to either have the Security Council or an international peace conference impose a settlement. Now it is even preventing the Palestinians from using the international Courts to prevent Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. Under those circumstances, any state has the right to defend its interests using armed force.

      • JeffB
        December 10, 2013, 2:55 pm

        Arbitration requires both parties to agree to the arbitration process and submit to the arbitrator. The security council and the World Court more or less have ruled, the Green Line is the legal border. Both states can change it by mutual agreement only. A very pro-Palestinian ruling. So nothing is missing.

        Israel’s position has been to submit to the arbiter but instead a consistent and unequivocal rejection of that arbiter. This ruling ain’t worth the paper it is printed on because the IDF is a first class army and Israel doesn’t agree. So unless someone else with a first class army cares enough to deploy it to “impose a settlement” there is no imposing a settlement. Borders are wherever armies say they are.

      • Walid
        December 10, 2013, 6:12 pm

        “The US has blocked proposals to either have the Security Council or an international peace conference impose a settlement. Now it is even preventing the Palestinians from using the international Courts to prevent Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. “(Hostage)

        For all its blocking all over the place, the US must be sure that the Palestinians would win their case in any international arena. this is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time for the Palestinians. In short, the only power that could actually allow them to have their place in the sun is the very same power that is effectively blocking them from having it. The US must feel that the Palestinians are lesser human beings to be treating them that way.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 6:36 pm

        For all its blocking all over the place, the US must be sure that the Palestinians would win their case in any international arena.

        It’s hardly alone. The UK Supreme Court has long since ruled that the US is violating Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention (and Article 8 of the Rome Statute) by detaining persons at Guantanamo who were illegally transferred out of the occupied territory of Afghanistan. See UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV link to opiniojuris.org

        Afghanistan is an ICC member state. So the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) automatically has jurisdiction when the states concerned are either unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute crimes committed on its territory:

        The OTP opened its investigation into the situation in Afghanistan in January 2007. Yet only now – nearly seven years later — has the OTP concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes were committed there.

        — The OTP’s Remarkable Slow-Walking of the Afghanistan Examination link to opiniojuris.org

      • JeffB
        December 10, 2013, 8:25 pm

        Walid —

        The Palestinians have won their case in the international arena again and again and again and again. They have nothing to prove: the UN really really likes them and really really hates the Israelis. That’s established. And BTW they had much better resolutions a few decades ago like Zionism is Racism (UN 3379), which called on all nations to eliminate Zionism. Huge victory. People considered the Iraq resolutions harsh but they never said anything like member nations should eradicate the entire concept of an Iraqi nationality. That’s Rome vs. Carthage kind of stuff.

        The US is mostly only blocking security council resolutions. They do not want to create meaningless article 7 resolutions that no one intention of enforcing. That’s a good thing. Security Council resolutions should carry with them an obligation to enforce which is why the membership should rotate a lot more selectively than it does (but that’s another topic). The USA doesn’t hate the Palestinian people they just aren’t willing to fight a war for them. And short of a war the only way they are getting a state is if it is Israel’s interest to give them one.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 8:52 pm

        People considered the Iraq resolutions harsh but they never said anything like member nations should eradicate the entire concept of an Iraqi nationality. That’s Rome vs. Carthage kind of stuff.

        Correction: Zionism isn’t a nationality. The UN condemned Portuguese minority rule in Angola and Mozambique, Afrikaner minority rule in South Africa and Namibia, and British minority rule in Southern Rhodesia.

        The UN did not single out poor little Israel. It has refused to recognize a number of secessionists states, like Biafra and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Zionists broke their agreement with the UN on constitutional equality of ethnic Palestinian minorities and called its own legitimacy into question.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 9:01 pm

        The US is mostly only blocking security council resolutions. They do not want to create meaningless article 7 resolutions that no one intention of enforcing.

        Correction: The US has triggered several Emergency Special Sessions of the General Assembly by blocking sanctions against Israel. The EU and OIC states have adopted sanctions against Israel, so there is obviously official international support for measures aimed at the illegal settlements and annexations.

      • Sibiriak
        December 10, 2013, 9:05 pm

        Hostage:

        Correction: Zionism isn’t a nationality.

        Israeli isn’t a nationality either– according to Israeli law.

      • JeffB
        December 10, 2013, 11:27 pm

        @Hostage —

        Correction: Zionism isn’t a nationality.

        No it is a nationalism not a nationality. That’s why I gave the analogy of Carthage. The Romans didn’t just want to destroy the Carthaginian nationality they wanted to destroy the very idea of Carthage. That’s why they killed everyone including the slaves. As Scipio put it, “For the removal of a perpetual menace” which is language very much like what 3379 called for. They didn’t want to destroy Israel, they wanted to destroy the very idea of Tzion, David’s city, arising again as a beacon of hope. That’s Zionism that’s much more than a nationality. The nationality could die out and the nationalism could live on. 3379 was not a resolution to merely destroy Israel but rather to destroy forever the very idea of Jewish self determination as a blot against humanity. That’s why the US ambassador to the UN at the time said of it, “The United Nations is about to make anti-Semitism international law.” And I should mention that as an American I’m proud we stood so strongly against that evil.

        The UN’s history when it comes to Israel is repulsive. Its hard to know if 3379 was the low point but it certainly is a candidate.

        The UN did not single out poor little Israel. It has refused to recognize a number of secessionists states, like Biafra and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

        That’s true I’m not sure how that matters. Israel at the time of 3379 was already a state and had been for two decades. The situations aren’t at all similar. Moreover not recognizing Biafra is wholly different than classifying the existence of the Igbo as a self governing people as an international crime. TheUN while indifferent to the Ibgo being slaughtered didn’t actively encourage it. 3379 was an attempt to actively encourage the equivalent fate, though thankfully long after their opinion mattered. What the Igbo however shows is why the Jews/Israelis/Zionists had to conduct themselves as they did in 47-9. The fate of the Igbo show what defeat (at best) would have meant.

        As for Cyprus here I disagree with the analogy. This is mostly a classic territorial war between Turkey and Greece. UNFICYP shows that the UN does recognize the humanity and rights of the Turkish Cypriot community not to live as Greeks. Though I’m surprised you put it in this direction because if (when?) the fighting resumes I suspect it will be the Greek Cypriots that will be leaving.

        As for its own legitimacy…. A government is legitimate if it represents the people living within its territory. Virtually every government on the planet wouldn’t be illegitimate if mistreating minorities stripped a government of its legitimacy.

        As for the broader question of the UN determining legitimacy , I’d reject that. The UN didn’t recognize the PRC as legitimate either. Mao didn’t care and went right on governing his territory. Israel thankfully reacted much the same to 3379. All 3379 did was establish the UN as a formal enemy of Israel’s, rather than the informal enemy it has and continues to be. Jews will hold their state until their army falls. If the UN wants Israel they can pry it out of the Israeli’s cold dead hands. The days of Jews living in fear of papal bulls, excuse me UN resolutions, are over. They are just mostly meaningless paper now. And that’s the point. Because the UN doesn’t have the ability to enforce its will on Israel, Jews no longer need to fear. Israel is what ended the fear.

        To call the desire not to live with that fear racism just shows how truly evil the UN often is.

      • JeffB
        December 10, 2013, 11:43 pm

        @Hostage —

        I agree there is some desire for some level of symbolic actions against settlements in the EU. I don’t think it goes beyond that. If they wanted to impose sanctions they don’t need the UN they could just cancel the EU-Israel Association Agreement for starters. They don’t. They’ve doubled their trade with Israel in under a decade, that ain’t a sign that they want sanctions.

        To pick an example that’s exist for a generation the non-recognition of Jerusalem and locating embassies in Tel Aviv makes communication complex results in constant silliness. That’s about the level Europe seems to want. They aren’t doing anything like arming rebels in Jerusalem or taking really strong action indicating they disagree with the annexation.

        That being said, I was talking Security Council 7, a breach of the peace which would then lead to a call for military action which no one would act on.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2013, 3:22 am

        That’s why I gave the analogy of Carthage. . . . The United Nations is about to make anti-Semitism international law.”

        You are reciting shopworn propaganda and I was pointing out that it’s bullshit. Can’t you ass hats come up with anything new or original?

        That’s true I’m not sure how that matters. . . . As for the broader question of the UN determining legitimacy , I’d reject that.

        The international community isn’t really going to ask your permission. The other cases illustrate that there are many other examples of ethnic minority regimes that tried to excuse their racism and undemocratic designs by resorting to secession and bogus claim of a right to self-determination devoid of the other necessary element of equality for all of the indigenous peoples. In these other cases involving the Portuguese, Afrikaner, British, Turkish, and other ethnic groups, the UN quite correctly refused to recognize the legitimacy and the right of those regimes to exist.

        As for Cyprus here I disagree with the analogy. This is mostly a classic territorial war between Turkey and Greece.

        Hasbara failure. The Zionists are waging a classical war of aggression and territorial aggrandizement.

        As for the broader question of the UN determining legitimacy , I’d reject that.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2013, 4:02 am

        I agree there is some desire for some level of symbolic actions against settlements in the EU.

        No, the individual states and the EU are already imposing economic sanctions that they intend to ratchet up over time – and that’s before the State of Palestine joins all of the international treaty bodies that have real enforcement powers.

        Many of the EU states voted to recognize the State of Palestine in order to enable it to pursue legal actions against Israel through the international courts and treaty bodies. The Palestinians only agreed to a 9 month hiatus that ends in March, before they begin to once again take action through international organizations.

        They aren’t doing anything like arming rebels in Jerusalem or taking really strong action indicating they disagree with the annexation.

        Well they are giving humanitarian assistance to Palestinians and ignoring Israeli zoning laws and military orders regarding their projects in the Occupied territories. So in effect, they have become part of the Palestinian resistance.

        Even the Obama administration fought a battle in the US Supreme Court against Zionists and their friends. Our government flatly refused to recognize Jerusalem as a city in Israel. When Javier Solana was the European Union’s top diplomat, he proposed that the Security Council recognize the State of Palestine and impose a territorial solution on Israel. He also co-authored the so-called Mitchell report, which said that Israel’s settlements were illegal and that Israel would have to comply with 242 and withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Palestinian territories before the Palestinians could be expected to drop their belligerent claims. Several US administrations have proposed to deploy NATO peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

        You don’t need to be a prophet to predict, that when this round of talks fails, there will be a guaranteed majority in the 10th Emergency Session of the General Assembly in favor of crippling criminal and economic sanctions against the whole settlement enterprise.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2013, 4:41 am

        Arbitration requires both parties to agree to the arbitration process and submit to the arbitrator.

        The State of Israel did accept a minority rights undertaking that guaranteed the rights of Arabs living in the Jewish state to citizenship, equal rights, and quiet enjoyment of their homes and property. Those rights were placed under UN guarantee and cannot be altered without the consent of the General Assembly. According to the explicit terms of the agreement, any dispute between the two parties shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree to another mode of settlement.

        Compromissory clauses, like that one, are one of the rare instances where an ICJ advisory opinion has binding effect. link to icj-cij.org

        The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), have always cited Israel’s acceptance of the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) as the source of Israel’s continuing legal obligations regarding the refugees:

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

        link to un.org

        A number of experts on international law, like Judge John Dugard, who served as a Justice of the ICJ; Special Rapporteur for the International Law Commission; and Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, have recommended that another advisory opinion be obtained on the subject of ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and apartheid.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2013, 6:10 am

        Israeli isn’t a nationality either– according to Israeli law.

        Jewish isn’t “a nationality” either, regardless of what Israeli law says about the subject. The same thing applies to “Arab”.

      • JeffB
        December 11, 2013, 8:29 am

        @Hostage —

        You are ducking the issue. Israel did not agree to the arbitrator. That’s it both parties have to agree to an arbitrator. This stuff about minorities is a change in subject.

        That being said, material circumstances changed between the time of 181 and the time of Israel’s non abiding which Vienna does allow for. But even if I were wrong, since then Israel has unequivocally repudiated their acceptance five and a half decades ago. Action needs to be taken at the point of repudiation. Article 66 of Vienna allows for 12 months not until the sun burns out.

        181 is long over.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2013, 9:34 am

        “Israel’s position has been to submit to the arbiter but instead a consistent and unequivocal rejection of that arbiter. This ruling ain’t worth the paper it is printed on because the IDF is a first class army and Israel doesn’t agree. So unless someone else with a first class army cares enough to deploy it to “impose a settlement” there is no imposing a settlement. Borders are wherever armies say they are.”

        And by this logic, the human rights one is entitled to are whatever armies say they are. So the killing of the European Jews was okay because the German “first-class army” didn’t agree that the Jews had any inalienable right to life.

        And, again, the zionist justifies the Holocaust.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2013, 9:36 am

        “The USA doesn’t hate the Palestinian people they just aren’t willing to fight a war for them.”

        No, it just hates Palestinian human rights when zio campaign money is on the line.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 11, 2013, 9:47 am

        “They didn’t want to destroy Israel, they wanted to destroy the very idea of Tzion, David’s city, arising again as a beacon of hope. ”

        BS. Zionism is, was, and always will be anti-Palestinian racism. Nothing more.

        “3379 was not a resolution to merely destroy Israel but rather to destroy forever the very idea of Jewish self determination as a blot against humanity. ”

        No, it was a resolution aimed at destroying the anti-Palestinian racism and lust for oppression which was being cloaked in the garb of Jewish self-determination.

        “The UN’s history when it comes to Israel is repulsive. Its hard to know if 3379 was the low point but it certainly is a candidate.”

        No, 3379 was one of the few times that this demon — zionism — was called by its name.

        “What the Igbo however shows is why the Jews/Israelis/Zionists had to conduct themselves as they did in 47-9. ”

        This is flat out excusing ethnic cleansing. I think this is worthy of banning.

        ” A government is legitimate if it represents the people living within its territory.”

        And the zionist entity doesn’t represent fully half of the people in its de facto territory; and thus it is illegitimate.

        “Jews will hold their state until their army falls.”

        Let’s all hope that if they stick to this position, that that fall comes very soon.

        “Jews no longer need to fear. Israel is what ended the fear. ”

        No, it just transferred that fear to innocent Palestinians. israel stepped into the clothes of Torquemada and Hitler and the world spins on.

      • Sibiriak
        December 11, 2013, 11:08 am

        JeffB:

        This ruling ain’t worth the paper it is printed on because the IDF is a first class army and Israel doesn’t agree. So unless someone else with a first class army cares enough to deploy it to “impose a settlement” there is no imposing a settlement. Borders are wherever armies say they are.

        Military-dictated borders and legitimate borders are two very different things.

        When you can put forward no justification for Israel’s borders other than “the IDF made them”, you quite effectively delegitimize Israel.

      • Hostage
        December 11, 2013, 11:44 am

        @Hostage – You are ducking the issue. Israel did not agree to the arbitrator.

        No I’m not. Israel formally accepted the provisions of the minority protection plan, which included the compromissory clause. I’ve provided links to the verbatim records of the hearings on Israel’s membership application in the UN where the representative of Cuba demanded to know if the government of Israel had submitted the required declaration accepting the minority rights undertaking contained in resolution 181(II)? Abba Eban answered in the affirmative on two separate occasions and cited a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok about the signing of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel – and its promulgation as fundamental law in the national gazette.

        Here is an example, but there are dozens of others in the comment archives here: link to mondoweiss.net

      • seafoid
        December 9, 2013, 11:16 pm

        They ensure there will be no jewish state long term.

      • Ecru
        December 9, 2013, 11:58 pm

        @ Inanna

        …the American and Israelis are ensuring that violence will be the only option left.

        Quite possibly (probably?) that’s what the Israeli’s are hoping for. Violence breaks out, they define the quite justified resistance of the Palestinians to the Judenreich as “terrorism” and then get to ethnically cleanse even more Palestinians using said resistance as the excuse.

        And make no mistake the American and European Jewish lobbies will look on with ill-disguised glee.

      • Sibiriak
        December 10, 2013, 5:50 am

        Inanna:

        … the American and Israelis are ensuring that violence will be the only option left.

        Lieberman & co. would just love an outbreak of Palestinian violence!

      • LeaNder
        December 10, 2013, 10:13 am

        Exactly, Sibiriak, that would be the ideal scenario on the other side. Would allow the return of the larger WOT/clash of cultures scenario, returning to the larger terrorist state / failed state scenario and the accompanying recipees.

        Is it possible I’m feeling that there is somewhat of a disdain in your tone about the prospect of Palestinians going for it themselves by force?

        What could force achieve? Who would help Palestinians? Force by what means? That is an illusion. I do not see a better way out of the whole mess than the legal road Hostage offers.

        The larger humiliation scenario present in the above, feels as if the self-fulfilling grain the WOT always contained will produce exactly what it needs only in slightly more hidden ways. The whole scenario above makes me sad and pessimist.

  5. ritzl
    December 9, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Is it now the WHATISIT-S? “We Have Advanced The Indefinite State-like Institutions Transitional Solution”

    07 Dec 2013. Kerry gives up. TSS officially declared dead. Bookmarked accordingly for the when, why, and how of the announcement.

  6. Balfour
    December 9, 2013, 6:16 pm

    The fact that the current government of Israel behaves as if it were still 1938 Europe is telling when I hear our own Secretary of State and the Israeli Foreign Minister talk about how to administer lands that neither of them own- Palestine as Chechoslovakia?

  7. Hostage
    December 9, 2013, 6:56 pm

    You don’t need a viable state or state institutions to go the the ICC.

    One of the factors that governs admissibility and exercise of the Court’s complementary jurisdiction under the terms of Article 17 of the Rome Statute is the lack of viable institutions:

    … the Court shall consider whether, due to a total or substantial collapse or unavailability of its national judicial system, the State is unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence and testimony or otherwise unable to carry out its proceedings.

    — See The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

  8. Inanna
    December 9, 2013, 7:10 pm

    MLK Jr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail makes prescient comments about white liberals like Kerry. But I wonder what MLK would think about black liberals like Obama.

  9. HarryLaw
    December 9, 2013, 7:29 pm

    “Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” He went on to talk about separating the two populations, how is this not a threat to ethnically cleanse the one and a half million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, and how could this number of Palestinian Israelis constitute a demographic threat to, is it six million Jewish Israelis. A disgraceful racist rant from Kerry.

    • Ellen
      December 10, 2013, 8:16 am

      Disgraceful rant is an understatement. This is the same rhetoric of the Wannsee Conference.

      link to writing.upenn.edu

      History will shed an extremely harsh light on the Israeli occupation and destruction of a people. This is assured.

      Kerry (and Obama) has assured his place in history to be shared with the likes of Avigor Lieberman.

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Obama is Mr Drone. He’ll be remembered as a warmonger who was as flash as a rat with a gold tooth.

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2013, 11:52 am

      “Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb”

      He didn’t actually mention the Palestinian citizens of Israel. I think he forgot and omitted them out of his tidy little solution of separating the two peoples. I don’t see mere separation as a sane answer for refugees anyway.

  10. Daniel Rich
    December 9, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Why not call it what it is, a charade?

    60 years of endless expansion, expulsion and annexing is leading to a peaceful solution? Not in any of my books it doesn’t…

    • Sibiriak
      December 10, 2013, 5:59 am

      Daniel Rich:

      60 years of endless expansion, expulsion and annexing is leading to a peaceful solution?

      No, a “peaceful solution” was never the goal. A Greater Israel was the goal, and its getting close to being achieved.

      • Ellen
        December 10, 2013, 8:18 am

        It looks like the Zionist state will acheive the destruction of a people.

        And then?

  11. Kathleen
    December 9, 2013, 9:24 pm

    What a sham these negotiations are. How many months did Abbas agree to play along?

    Haim Saban looks like Eddie Munster gone total 70 year old gangster in that picture above. Obama looks like a patsy in that picture

    • seafoid
      December 9, 2013, 9:42 pm

      He looks really good in the suit though. Maybe that’s all he is. The suit.

    • just
      December 9, 2013, 9:47 pm

      Saban looks like he has a massive wedgie– front to back.

      (quite a different look than when partying with Simon the Cowell, raising funds for the IOF).

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Sibiriak
      December 10, 2013, 6:05 am

      Kathleen:

      How many months did Abbas agree to play along?

      What makes you so sure Abbas is not on board with “state institutions”?

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 12:37 pm

        What makes you so sure Abbas is not on board with “state institutions”?

        Kerry didn’t say that was a downgrade. He said that Palestinians had waited so long for statehood they were entitled to effective state institutions. State institutions implies the existence of statehood, and effective ones denote sovereignty over domestic matters. The US State Department has said the same sort of things about the institutions other UN member states.

        Abbas has already claimed that Palestine is an occupied state and has a application pending with the UN for full membership.

  12. seafoid
    December 9, 2013, 9:51 pm

    “Closing the Saban Forum on Sunday morning, Israeli Prime Minister gave a 30-minute address stating, “Israel and the U.S have formed the ‘indispensable alliance,’” an upgrade from the “special relationship”. ”

    What Edward Said said in 1991 ”
    link to lrb.co.uk
    “ritual demands for psychological security for Israelis – who if they don’t have it now, never will”

    -Say you love me, America. Say you’ll always be with me.
    -Sure Israel. You look better than Joan Rivers. From the river to the sea.

    • Citizen
      December 10, 2013, 8:02 am

      “…Israeli Prime Minister gave a 30-minute address stating, “Israel and the U.S have formed the ‘indispensable alliance,’” an upgrade from the “special relationship”. ”

      The bill to make Israel our sole top ally (& also give Israel the right to discriminate against US citizens via a non-fully reciprocal Visa waiver program) has been collecting congressional backers for many months now–did it pass yet?

      • Citizen
        December 10, 2013, 8:24 am

        The Senate version currently has 53 cosponsors: link to thomas.loc.gov:

        Two bills Obama signed into law in 2012 are directly related to this 2013 bill making Israel our unique strategic ally–if you check out how they combine you will see just how much US sovereignty is being turned over to Israel.

        There were about 72 bills related to Israel in the last few years; this year there’s another 53 or so. It never stops.

      • Ellen
        December 10, 2013, 8:33 am

        Citizen, the Israeli visa waiver program under the “strategic partnership act” is in committee. It looks like it will pass this stage.

        link to govtrack.us

  13. seafoid
    December 9, 2013, 9:55 pm

    The Mediterranean sea and Jordan must know that they will have a reliable and responsible neighbor – not a failed state – living between them,” he continued.

    God refused to comment.

    • just
      December 9, 2013, 10:11 pm

      well done, seafoid.

      “The Saban Forum is “already [having its] 10th anniversary,” said Sec. Kerry over the weekend. “This has become really the premier venue for U.S.-Israel public dialogue.””

      What ‘public’?

      “In his harshest description to date of Palestinian ethnicity, Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” adding “that today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or the future’s.” He went on to support separating the two populations, and demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state a condition that is “the only way” to achieve peace.”

      So he supports ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, agrees that Israel is for Jews only, and that Palestinians are having too many children?

      Disgusting and racist remarks from my SOS– I guess he’s laid bare our FP for all Americans and the world to see.

      • seafoid
        December 9, 2013, 10:16 pm

        Something like what Mencken said

        Israeli democracy is the theory that the common people of Israel know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

      • Erasmus
        December 10, 2013, 12:44 pm

        I wonder whether there will come foreward an unambiguous statement of disqualifying such Kerry-verbage by president Abbas.

        It would surely deserve a non-diplomatic rebuttal.
        Shame on Kerry and President Obama hardly deserves any more lenient qualification.

  14. seafoid
    December 9, 2013, 10:07 pm

    “Speaking the day before, Lieberman reiterated these positions, adding, “I don’t see any occupation” when a questioner asked him about the Israeli Oscar nominated documentary film The Gatekeepers.
    Lieberman responded that the term “occupation” was a “prejudicial, biased approach to the problem,” adding, “to speak about the occupation is not to understand the history.”

    You really do need to understand the history of media management of this story.
    There is a long history of “everything is fine” presentations while evil carries on in the background

    The history is like a Jewish Hotel California.
    Lieberman and co can check out but they’ll never leave.

    • Eva Smagacz
      December 10, 2013, 3:41 am

      Thank you, seafoid.

      This is so appropriate. I am really scared for future of Palestinians. Stunted growth and malnutrition in Gaza. The same to follow in West Bank buntustans. What is the next logical step after ghettos?

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2013, 5:46 am

        The next logical step is to wind up the religion. Call it whatever but it is not Judaism.

    • Citizen
      December 10, 2013, 8:43 am

      Thanks, seafoid. Here’s another video reflecting the revised Obama-Kerry plan for the Palestinians: link to youtube.com

  15. justicewillprevail
    December 10, 2013, 5:28 am

    It’s a Faustian pact. Kerry accepts Israeli apartheid, speaks about ‘demographic threats’, (whilst ignoring the more than demographic threat to Palestine) and concedes the case for a Palestinian state, downgraded to ‘institutions’, whilst Israel keeps taking land and resources. In exchange he gets the heat off the Iranian negotiations. So the bullying continues and the demagogic dictator Yahoo forces the US into yet another humiliating repudiation of its founding principles.

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2013, 12:20 pm

      and concedes the case for a Palestinian state, downgraded to ‘institutions’,

      What he actually said was state institutions, which implies the existence of statehood:

      After waiting so long for statehood, the Palestinian people deserve effective state institutions.

      He didn’t actually say that the Palestinian citizens of Israel were a demographic threat either. There are enough things he actually said that are disturbing and biased, without borrowing troubles through our own interpretations.

  16. irmep
    December 10, 2013, 6:31 am

    Wonder if Haim has bought up all available superdelegates for Hillary yet.

    Democracy in action.

    link to opensecrets.org

  17. Sibiriak
    December 10, 2013, 6:36 am

    Allison Deger:

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic threat” to the Jewish state…

    Where does he say that? I find no references to Palestinian citizens of Israel. Kerry refers to the entire Israel/Palestine territory and the need to create “two states for two peoples” in order to avoid the demographic threat to a democratic and Jewish Israel.

    In his harshest description to date of Palestinian ethnicity, Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” adding “that today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or the future’s.” He went on to support separating the two populations, and demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state a condition that is “the only way” to achieve peace.

    Again, that statement is misleading, imo. Kerry never speaks of Palestinian citizens of Israel. He refers to the entire I/P territory. He never suggests separating Jewish and non-Jewish populations *in Israel*. He speaks of separating the West Bank from Israel via a 2SS. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    Kerry:

    Force cannot defeat or defuse the demographic time bomb. Israel’s current state of relative security and prosperity does not change the fact that today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or the future’s. The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis, resolve the refugee situation, end all claims, and establish an independent, viable Palestinian state, and achieve recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

    • Qualtrough
      December 10, 2013, 9:05 am

      You can’t be serious? The racism behind what Kerry said could not be clearer than if he had spoken of the threat of a ‘demographic timebomb’ to the USA posed by Hispanics, or blacks, Asians, or any other ‘other’. I can’t imagine the thickness of the Zionist filter that makes you unable to see that. What a burden, never being able to take that off, not even for a second.

      • Sibiriak
        December 10, 2013, 12:45 pm

        Qualthrough:

        The racism behind what Kerry said could not be clearer than if he had spoken of the threat of a ‘demographic timebomb’ to the USA posed by Hispanics, or blacks, Asians, or any other ‘other’.

        Or if he spoke of a Han Chinese demographic threat to Tibet.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 1:11 pm

        You can’t be serious? The racism behind what Kerry said could not be clearer than if he had spoken of the threat of a ‘demographic timebomb’ to the USA posed by Hispanics, or blacks, Asians, or any other ‘other’.

        I think that Kerry is talking about the Occupied Palestinian territory. I don’t see any evidence that Kerry included Palestinian citizens of Israel in his comments about demographics. The UN has been talking about separating these two peoples for 45 years, i.e. removing Israeli settlements and preserving the demographic balance of East Jerusalem and the Occupied territories. That’s longer than some of us have been alive. During that same time frame, the UN Security Council declare ethnic minority and colonial occupation regimes in Southern Rhodesia and Namibia illegal and said that they had no right to exist. That’s undoubtedly part of the subtext of Kerry’s remarks.

  18. eljay
    December 10, 2013, 8:29 am

    >> In his harshest description to date of Palestinian ethnicity, Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” …

    In plain English: Non-Jews are a threat to Israel’s future as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

    That’s the sound of another American politican fellating the donkey on behalf of supremacist Jews. What an asshole he is. And what assholes they are.

    • eljay
      December 10, 2013, 9:16 am

      Another epic fail for America, self-professed purveyor of “freedom, democracy and justice”.

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2013, 6:40 pm

      >> In his harshest description to date of Palestinian ethnicity, Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” …

      Clarification: In plain English: Kerry never mentioned Palestinian citizens of Israel at all.

  19. Talkback
    December 10, 2013, 9:09 am

    So Kerry supports Bantustans

    • justicewillprevail
      December 10, 2013, 9:20 am

      Yep, this week, of all weeks, when his boss is celebrating the memory of Nelson Mandela, Kerry pipes up to support Israeli apartheid. No irony, no awareness, just the usual pathetic obsequiousness to a 19th Century racist ideology.

    • Sibiriak
      December 10, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Talkback:

      So Kerry supports Bantustans

      Surprise! Surprise!

  20. W.Jones
    December 10, 2013, 12:24 pm

    That’s a good photo at the top. Please add dialogue boxes.

    • MHughes976
      December 10, 2013, 1:03 pm

      I found the photo almost more disturbing than the article, with the grim, dominant Saban and the eager-to-please Obama. Even kings of banana monarchies, let alone the most powerful man in the world, shouldn’t have that sort of thinly-disguised beseeching look in public.
      That said, I agree with the reading of Kerry’s text shared by Hostage and Sibiriak. I don’t deny that there’s an odd sort of racist tinge there, odd because the admired and privileged race, whose need for security sometimes seems to trump everything, is not the speaker’s own. However, I don’t think that ‘the Palestinians deserve effective state institutions’ means that the Palestinians don’t deserve a genuinely independent state. How could subservient clients of an overbearing neighbour form institutions that were effective?
      The time-bomb language surely refers to the non-Jewish population of all the Holy Land. It’s not particularly nice, I agree, but it does imply that rule over all the territory by a minority, even a Jewish minority, is not acceptable. In the very end this point implies, for all the subservient trappings in which it is covered, the negation of Zionism, ie the belief that the relevant sovereign rights belong perpetually to people who are Jewish and that the Palestinians have no comparable right to be there.
      Like so many statements of this kind it is obtuse in its suggestion that minority rule (which has, seemingly, not quite happened) is unacceptable but that rule by a racial group that is narrowly in the majority is at least bearable. Thus there’s a bomb that has not exploded yet, a ticking bomb, not a bomb that has already blown away the moral case for Zionism. You just can’t effectively disfranchise 51% but if you are disfranchising 45% well, just be careful for the future.
      Like Hostage I think we shouldn’t make this statement seem even worse than it is. It’s classic 2-statism, really.

      • W.Jones
        December 10, 2013, 7:34 pm

        Yes, I think it’s typical 2 state-ism. Perhaps he did not phrase it as clearly as he could have, but what he said does not go against the idea of 2 states either.

  21. Erasmus
    December 10, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Please note the A L S O ….

    Re Kerry..““It will take time to train, build, equip, and test Palestinian institutions to ensure that they’re capable of protecting Palestinian citizens,” he said, continuing, “Their primary responsibility is that – and also of preventing their territory from being used for attacks on Israel.

    I do find it very noteworthy that Kerry starts introducing new, other preconditions for Palestinian statehood. So far that has been Netanyahoo’s speciality.

    We ought to remember what the Word Bank, and IMF stated in April 2011:

    “The Palestinian Authority, which is working toward global recognition of its statehood in September, got an endorsement on Wednesday from the International Monetary Fund, which said that the authority was fully capable of running the economy of an independent state.” ….

    “If the Palestinian Authority maintains its performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well positioned for the establishment of a state at any point in the near future,” the World Bank says in its report, to be released Thursday.

    Even Fox news reported that Donor Nations attested Palestine’s readiness forstatehood.

    link to nytimes.com
    link to foxnews.com

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2013, 1:44 pm

      I do find it very noteworthy that Kerry starts introducing new, other preconditions for Palestinian statehood.

      That train has already left the station. Kerry is only talking about terms for the withdrawal of Israeli forces. The State of Palestine cast its first vote in the UN the other day in the elections for new Judges for the ICTY. See Palestinians cast first vote at UN Assembly link to news.yahoo.com

      The USA is one of the contracting states to the UN “Vienna” Convention on Maintenance of Diplomatic Relations. That convention stipulates that full members of UN Specialized Agencies, like UNESCO, belong to a special category of States with an open invitation to become contracting parties. If Abbas files an accession, the Secretary General will send all of the other parties an official written notice advising them of their new treaty obligations toward the State of Palestine. If other states then fail to live up to their obligations, nothing would prevent Palestine from taking them to the ICJ, like Mexico did in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America). Of course, Israel has illegally deported Palestinians from the occupied territories and holds them in prisons inside its own territory. That’s a criminal situation under the terms of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute that Palestine can address to the ICC.

  22. SQ Debris
    December 10, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Kerry, “The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis”

    If that isn’t advocacy for apartheid, nothing is. He should be pilloried for this remark here at the height of the Mandela Changed The World memorial fest.

    • MHughes976
      December 10, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Ah yes! Separate development – separate but equal in international esteem. How the old songs get sung all over again.

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2013, 4:32 pm

        How can they be separated? The settlements go right to the heart of the West Bank. It’s a very aggressive cancer.

      • Hostage
        December 10, 2013, 5:41 pm

        How can they be separated? The settlements go right to the heart of the West Bank. It’s a very aggressive cancer.

        In November Kerry made international headlines when he said those settlements are illegitimate. If you are going to separate the two peoples, you would start by removing the illegitimate settlements and outposts, not the legitimate inhabitants.

    • Hostage
      December 10, 2013, 5:25 pm

      Kerry, “The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis” If that isn’t advocacy for apartheid, nothing is.

      I think you are going a little overboard. The Obama administration, and Kerry in particular, are still reciting the talking points which say the Israeli settlements are completely illegitimate. So I’d interpret this, and the remarks about the need for a viable Palestinian State, as a call to remove the Israeli settlements and outposts that have created territorial discontinuity and the Bantustans in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

      • seafoid
        December 10, 2013, 11:02 pm

        “Kerry, “The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be ..”

        ..adherence to international law.
        This notion that they are a law unto themselves is very Prussian. And what happened to Prussia ?

    • Sibiriak
      December 10, 2013, 8:15 pm

      SQ Debris says:

      Kerry, “The only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis”

      If that isn’t advocacy for apartheid, nothing is. He should be pilloried for this remark here at the height of the Mandela Changed The World memorial fest.

      Two separate states for two separate peoples–that’s the solution Mandela himself supported in the Israel/Palestine conflict. It’s not apartheid. It’s not going to happen either, imo.

  23. ToivoS
    December 11, 2013, 1:22 am

    Here is my take on what Kerry is doing in Palestine. I think this is a case of linkage between the Iran negotiations and Palestine. Obama and Kerry are worried that Israel and its US lobby are going to sabotage the Iranian negotiations. I think the US is going to let Israel do what it wants and the US will support them while they abuse the Palestinians. Abbas and company are mere pawns in this game and they will go along with whatever the US demands. Those PA officials will be handsomely paid for their services Zionism.

    In exchange for US serving as Israel’s lawyer, Kerry will expect (hope?) Israel and its US lobby will not sabotage the Iranian talks. Not sure if they can pull this off but if they can then some good might come from this. Peace with Iran in exchange for ethnic cleansings of Palestinians and Bedouin. Nothing new here — the Palestinians have been screwed over for decades and I guess we will have to accept that they will be screwed over yet again. But there is good news for the Palestinian 1% — they will get their 10s if not 100s of millions of dollars for their Swiss band accounts.

    It is hard to endorse this kind of trade but if it results in a resolution to stand off with Iran, then maybe that is the most we can hope for. I would just hope that there were some Palestinian leaders that would defend the Palestinian people. They do have options but as long as those leaders accept Western and Israeli bribes there is not much we can do about it.

    Marghan Barghouti might have something to say about this but since he is in an Israeli jail it is not likely.

    I do hope that this results in a peace treaty with the Iranians, but as we all know the Palestinians do not really rank that high. Perhaps BDS will raise them to a higher status.

    • Hostage
      December 11, 2013, 4:15 am

      Abbas and company are mere pawns in this game and they will go along with whatever the US demands. Those PA officials will be handsomely paid for their services Zionism.

      If you listened to Israeli hasbara, then you believe that Abbas partnered with Israel in planning Cast Lead, and then turned around and demanded the ICC Prosecutor to take action to investigate all of the crimes he committed.

      Every other day the official Palestinian news organs have one or more members of the PLO Executive Committee saying that these talks are going nowhere and it’s time for them to go ahead and join the International Criminal Court and bring Netanyahu & Co. to justice.

      If Abbas is so well paid, then he should be singing a much different tune. There are already plenty of legal experts who say the ICC has been remiss in not taking immediate action on the existing Palestinian declaration that accepted the Court’s jurisdiction back in 2009 – and the PLO is adding fuel to that fire.

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