In 2014, BDS movement will outflank Israel lobby — Beinart

Israel/Palestine
on 91 Comments
Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart

An excellent column by Peter Beinart in Haaretz says this is the year the two-state solution ends. He puts the blame squarely on the Israel lobby for its inflexibility and says what few say openly in the U.S., organized Jewish influence on the matter is losing traction for global and sociological reasons.

2014 will be the year that America’s Israel debate begins to pass the organized American Jewish community by. The first reason is the end of the American-dominated peace process. Despite John Kerry’s best efforts, the most likely scenario is that 2014 will be the year he fails….

Kerry himself has said that if “we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance.” He’s right. If he fails, the United States won’t take another shot until it inaugurates a new president in 2017, and maybe not then. In the meantime, the Israeli-Palestinian struggle will move outside Washington as Palestinians take their case to international organizations, college campuses, religious and labor groups and European consumers. And for the organized American Jewish community, that’s a disaster because universities, international organizations and liberal religious groups are exactly the places the American Jewish establishment is weak.

Notice Beinart’s stress on the lynchpin of Zionism, establishment Jewish influence in the U.S.

It’s sadly ironic. The organized American Jewish community has spent decades building influence in Washington. But it’s succeeded too well. By making it too politically painful for Obama to push Netanyahu toward a two-state deal, the American Jewish establishment (along with its Christian right allies) is making Washington irrelevant…

But the decline of the American-led peace process is only one reason 2014 may spell the decline of organized American Jewish influence. The other is Iran. For two decades, AIPAC and its allies have successfully pushed a harder and harder American line against Iran’s nuclear program. In Congress, where a bipartisan group of senators has just introduced new sanctions legislation over White House objections, that hard-line agenda remains popular. But in the country at large, it risks alienating the Americans who will dominate politics in the decades to come.

It’s no secret that young Americans are less unwaveringly “pro-Israel” than their elders…

The American Jewish establishment won’t become irrelevant anytime soon. But 2014 may be the year when the downward trajectory of its power becomes clear. Wiser American Jewish leaders, aware of the BDS movement’s efforts to move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict outside of Washington, might have pushed Netanyahu to embrace the core tenets of a two-state agreement, and thus given skeptics more reason to believe Washington can still deliver.

When Peter Beinart closed Open Zion, I said that it was because the end of the two-state solution and unending Israeli intransigence left him as an impresario/intellectual/community-organizer with nowhere else to go but left, toward one person, one vote– and he was determined not to go there. Jeffrey Goldberg saw the trend nearly three years ago: “The left… believes that settlements are a manifestation of Zionism’s true nature. I disagree with that argument strenuously. But I will say this, though: The left position on this question has the wind at its back.”

Thanks to Annie Robbins, in 2014.

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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91 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    January 1, 2014, 12:44 pm

    ”An excellent column by Peter Beinart in Haaretz says this is the year the two-state solution ends. ”

    Hasn’t the two-state solution been ‘ending’ for almost as long as the ‘Iranian bomb’ has been imminent?

    • W.Jones
      January 1, 2014, 1:20 pm

      Blumenthal showed many quotes affirming how each year those two things are claimed.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 1, 2014, 1:25 pm

      ‘been ending’ can go on forever. ‘ends’ means it’s over.

      btw, will be the year that America’s Israel debate begins to pass the organized American Jewish community by.

      not to toot my own horn but i’ve been saying for years the focus of our advocacy should not be changing the minds of the american jewish community but the other 98% of americans. the energy expended on changing american jews, because of strong attachment within the community, directed elsewhere can move mountains. not that they are not an important component, but as long as the conversation remains primarily inside that circle where they dominate the framing, it’s just amounts to a dog chasing it’s tail, an exercise in futility.

      i really feel like the conversation changed/elevated/shifted last year, i know it may not seem like we’re getting closer in a significant way, but i know we are. this year 2014 …’ends’ means it’s over. this is it. i’m ready.

      also, not sure how significant this is, but the article is on top of haaretz’s home page. the new years headline.

      and thank you phil. i love working with you.

      • just
        January 1, 2014, 1:38 pm

        I agree with you Annie. It’s all significant. I’m ready, too!

        Happy New Year to you and yours. Many thanks for your earnestness and unflinching honesty. (and humor!)

      • just
        January 1, 2014, 1:51 pm

        btw, when I read “‘been ending’ can go on forever. ‘ends’ means it’s over.”

        I read it as “bending over”. I sincerely hope that we will stop that behavior and the “thank you very much” that has always accompanied it.

      • Citizen
        January 1, 2014, 7:09 pm

        @ just @ Annie Robbins

        How do you get around the US Congress to get out the message to all the American people the congress critters say they represent (in view of the bias of the mainstream media)? Here’s an example of what we are up against (with no sign of change in the political campaign finance system in sight): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHl1JnQoIWQ

      • Annie Robbins
        January 1, 2014, 8:10 pm

        How do you get around the US Congress to get out the message to all the American people the congress critters say they represent…

        well, the short answer is i work and post at mondoweiss because i think my voice travels pretty far here. but individually when i talk to people

        i explain to them we’re broke because of our ongoing wars in the middle east. i explain to people that lobbies exist because there’s opposition and when people are in agreement there is no need for a strong lobby. that the reason the israel lobby is so strong is because lots of people don’t support israel or wouldn’t if they knew what was going on. but we don’t see that represented in congress (like what we saw in the jerusalem vote at the dem convention) because not being zionist is met with strong resistance (and accusations of anti semitism to shut people up) in our press and socially. and the congress doesn’t represent the people on issues concerning israel, for example the iran sanctions vote. i explain they are beholden to zionist funders and we shouldn’t be supporting politicans who kowtow to lobbies including the zionist lobby. i just open my mouth.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 1, 2014, 2:19 pm

        happy new year just, and thanks for your awesome uplifting comments and participation. you’re always a breath of fresh air.

      • oneof5
        January 2, 2014, 5:25 am

        Citizen asks:

        “How do you get around the US Congress to get out the message to all the American people the congress critters say they represent (in view of the bias of the mainstream media)?”

        Well, I tell ya how I do it: The only way you can … one person at a time …

        Basically, I frequent a couple of web forums which, although not mainly about politics, have sub-forums for political discussion. One of them is a general interest forum and the other is industry-specific. The former site has 141,000 registered members and is visited by over 500,000 people each month. The latter site is visited by 87,000 people each month (not sure about registered members) The number of people that actually participate in political discussions is much, much smaller … but be aware there are also lurkers who just read who you would never know are there …

        If something related to I-P comes up, I will opine … 8-)

        I also start threads in these forums on particular I-P related topics, which are usually based on a current event or “news” item. In fact, this very article on Beinart here on Mondoweiss may well be the basis for a post in a “thread” I that I started elsewhere (in the aforementioned forums) on the topic of BDS.

        The basic gist of it is: Go to where the people are and participate in, or start, a conversation.

        Be prepared to deal with a lot of flack (depending on the makeup of the audience/participants) as the participation likely won’t be filtered for trolls and hasbarats like it is to at least some extent here.

        I tend not to post much here … because I’m busy posting and responding elsewhere … it is, quite literally, a labor of love …

        Mondoweiss, EI, Max’s Twitter feed, and talknic’s blog/website (among others) are like my my news services and reference libraries … or ammo storehouses … 8-)

        BTW – the comments here are often a veritable treasure trove …

      • Hostage
        January 1, 2014, 8:29 pm

        i’ve been saying for years the focus of our advocacy should not be changing the minds of the american jewish community but the other 98% of americans.

        You won’t ever change the minds of the machers who hold the leadership of the American Jewish community in thrall. In Yoav Shamir’s film “Defamation” Norman Finkelstein said:

        “It’s the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha’s Vinyard; and the warmongers from the Hamptons; and the warmongers from Beverly Hills; and the warmongers from Miami. It’s been a disaster for Israel. It’s the best thing if it can ever get rid of this [warmongering] American Jewry. It’s a curse.”

        The Zionists lost the battle when they had to start calling my nice Methodist and Presbyterian neighbors out here in the Bible Belt “anti-Semites” for defending Palestinian human rights. They’ve gone on to lecture the Church of Scotland over their restatement of fairly innocuous Christian doctrines about universalism and the allegorical nature of the Abrahamic covenants. Now the Simon Wiesenthal Center has listed the largest Protestant denomination in Canada as the fourth worst purveyor in the World of Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs – and the idiots wonder why their propaganda campaign is no longer working miracles outside the D.C. beltway?

      • seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 12:17 am

        They run a militarised state with invented enemies and they treated the Presbyterians as they would any group in the middle east but I bet that in hindsight it will turn to be one of the keys to the Goetterdaemmerung. They take American heartland support for granted. They are so complacent. AIPAC made them blind to the props that keep them going.

      • Chu
        January 2, 2014, 9:55 am

        ‘…warmongers from Martha’s Vinyard… Hamptons… Beverly Hills… Miami’
        Finkelstein should have included the Upper East Side.

      • bintbiba
        January 2, 2014, 11:18 am

        oneof5… Thank you for revealing what you do. Much,much appreciated. invaluable work .
        Best wishes for 2014.

      • American
        January 2, 2014, 4:36 pm

        ”The Zionists lost the battle when they had to start calling my nice Methodist and Presbyterian neighbors out here in the Bible Belt “anti-Semites” for defending Palestinian human rights. They’ve gone on to lecture the Church of Scotland over their restatement of fairly innocuous Christian doctrines ”…Hostage

        What the zionist in their arrogance dont realize is that what some of us are saying about zionism and Israel is just the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg…..that many more people ‘thinking it’ than bother to seek out ways and places to actually say it.

      • JeffB
        January 3, 2014, 10:40 am

        What the zionist in their arrogance dont realize is that what some of us are saying about zionism and Israel is just the tip of the iceberg, not the whole iceberg…..that many more people ‘thinking it’ than bother to seek out ways and places to actually say it.

        Or maybe they read the polling. See the split is about 6::1 in the American population and are OK that some people are thinking it because far more think the opposite.

      • Hostage
        January 3, 2014, 8:25 pm

        Or maybe they read the polling. See the split is about 6::1 in the American population and are OK that some people are thinking it because far more think the opposite.

        Reality check: There are no polls to read that say the majority of Americans think Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers or other denominations are anti-Semetic because they have adopted resolutions supporting Palestinian human rights and condemning Israeli policies and its on-going occupation.

        AIPAC, Fox News, and Frank Luntz aren’t stupid enough to conduct one or publish the results either.

      • JeffB
        January 3, 2014, 9:31 pm

        @Hostage

        Up a level

        JeffB: Or maybe they read the polling. See the split is about 6::1 in the American population and are OK that some people are thinking it because far more think the opposite.

        Hostage: Reality check: There are no polls to read that say the majority of Americans think Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers or other denominations are anti-Semetic because they have adopted resolutions supporting Palestinian human rights and condemning Israeli policies and its on-going occupation.

        I’m not sure about a majority but this attack has damaged the PCUSA. To quote Pastor Mark Roberts (national reputations runs well known church out of Irvine CA) The 2004 General Assembly voted to approve “phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel,” believing that Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians warranted such a strong move. But the response to this vote from thousands of Presbyterians and from thousands of Jews was severely negative. So this year’s [2006] General Assembly voted by a 483-28 margin (!) to remove the divestment language and to replace it with much more balanced language that favors neither Israel nor the Palestinians.

        If you look at the 2012 vote the conservative 1/3rd of the PCA considers the Israeli divestment to be one of the big 4 issues driving them out, “habits of anti-Judaism”. I’m frankly shocked and touched that 1/3rd of Presbyterians even care enough, about Israel to attack the Israel Palestine Mission Network this strongly. This isn’t one of their issues yet they are standing firm.

        The Lutheran Synod has gotten slaughtered over the last 3 decades for excess liberalism. I don’t know the political situation with Methodists but my understanding is they’ve had some similar problems but less severe than the Presbyterians or Lutherans. Quakers are tiny, even by Jewish standards. I think the majority of Americans, even those in these denominations, consider the leadership unbalanced and untrustworthy politically on a wide range of issues.

        Mainline Christians are generally Democrats and thus less pro-Israeli than other religious groups. But I see no evidence that Mainline Christians are ready to hate Israel regardless of what their leadership says. Their leadership hasn’t sold the membership. And the polling does show that.

      • Hostage
        January 6, 2014, 8:40 am

        the response to this vote from thousands of Presbyterians and from thousands of Jews was severely negative. So this year’s [2006] General Assembly The Lutheran Synod has gotten slaughtered over the last 3 decades for excess liberalism. I don’t know the political situation with Methodists

        You are still not getting my point. The response to Zionists calling Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Quakers and other denominations anti-Semites for criticizing Israeli policies is negative. It’s a propaganda disaster that the normally compliant mainstream media echo chamber won’t touch with a barge pole.

        The PCUSA still has General Assembly agencies demanding that military aid to Israel be conditioned on human rights compliance. They complain that Christians in Israel and the occupied territories are under attack by Israeli settlers carrying out price tag attacks, while the government does little or nothing about it. http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/about/about-pma/

        The PCUSA General Assembly you cited happened before Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense. The statements made by the cabinet ministers of the current regime have made a mockery out of the resolutions on the two state solution that Jewish lobbyists advocated the Church adopt in the past to provide cover for the on-going denial of human rights. The 2012 Assembly was split. During the debate, everyone was told that the Church had already divested and that the companies in question didn’t meet other existing criteria for investments. Nonetheless, half the denomination still voted to support divestment. The measure was only defeated by two votes. At the same time the Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for peaceful engagement of Iran regarding the potential of nuclear weapons. http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/7/6/220th-general-assembly-opts-positive-investment-ov/

        If you look at the 2012 vote the conservative 1/3rd of the PCA considers the Israeli divestment to be one of the big 4 issues driving them out, “habits of anti-Judaism”. . . . This isn’t one of their issues yet they are standing firm. . . . The Lutheran Synod has gotten slaughtered over the last 3 decades for excess liberalism. I don’t know the political situation with Methodists

        There wasn’t any vote on anti-Judaism in 2012. Why don’t you provide a citation to back up all this anecdotal talk about people being driven out and Lutherans getting slaughtered? The PCUSA membership has declined at the same rate as more pro-Israeli denominations. But there hasn’t been any exodus over the positions taken on Israel and Palestine.

      • Djinn
        January 2, 2014, 2:41 am

        “i’ve been saying for years the focus of our advocacy should not be changing the minds of the american jewish community but the other 98% of americans. the energy expended on changing american jews, because of strong attachment within the community, directed elsewhere can move mountains. not that they are not an important component, but as long as the conversation remains primarily inside that circle where they dominate the framing, it’s just amounts to a dog chasing it’s tail, an exercise in futility.”

        Couldn’t agree more Annie. I may be a little more pessimistic than you but that’s really a personality thing and in my honest moments even I admit I have noticed a distinct change in attitudes. Not from the media or political classes but from the random folk in the street. These days when we protest it’s really only a handful of repeat offender hardcore Zionists and their small band of co-travelers from a virulently Islamophobic right wing nutter fringe group who voice objections. The random people on the street who care at all tend to support us.

        They are the folks to target, especially in the US where they are the folks who are paying for it.

    • thetruthhurts
      January 1, 2014, 4:06 pm

      “to express their feelings students boycotted, failed to take their examinations, arranged marches to show their sympathy with the workers, and wrote anti-government propoganda” from the book- The Russian Revolution by hargrave
      hello! anybody out there listening?
      wake up students of america! the russians did it, your predesessors in america fighting against the vietnam war did it. now it’s your turn to step up to the plate!
      you’ve had it way too easy all these intervening decades and if you don’t start fighting this zionistic monster soon it’s gonna eat you all up alive and in your apparently semi-ignorant state you won’t even have seen it coming.
      so wake up now and do something!

    • Hostage
      January 1, 2014, 7:55 pm

      Hasn’t the two-state solution been ‘ending’ for almost as long as the ‘Iranian bomb’ has been imminent?

      I imagine that it will still be ending a long time after the Palestinians start demanding citizenship in a single state between the river and the sea and the right to vote. After all Beinart is talking about Palestinians taking their case to international organizations, college campuses, religious and labor groups and European consumers.

      They’ve already done that for decades on end under the guise of the PLO and it got them absolutely nowhere. Israel didn’t have to postpone its statehood until the final settlement, and the Palestinians won’t either. This time they will be saying “I told you so” and pointing out that the PLO got screwed when it accepted the international community’s demands for a two state solution and abandoned their own rights to a one state solution. It’ll be the “Occupied State of Palestine” pointing out the futility of that deal this time around.

  2. Ramzi Jaber
    January 1, 2014, 2:02 pm

    peter is right with this assessment. but i think it’s pointless, too little too late. bottom line is that the zionists will NEVER relinquish any land. they still dream of greater israel, from the nile to the euphrates. isn’t that what the two blue lines in the flag of the zionists entity really mean? isn’t that what nutnyahoo and his ilk want?

    so where does this leave us in the dawn of 2014? 1S1P1V. that’s it. and here ‘s why.

    99.9% of the world supports a palestinian state based on 2SS. that includes over 65% of world Jews. still the zionists are not accepting that fact. they believe their weapons will dictate their terms. so 2014 will be the year where things will get worse due to zionists unchecked absolute arrogance, paranoia psyche, ostrichian occupation mindset, and massada mentality. what a lethal combination for the zionists. unfortunately, we palestinians will feel the brunt of the pain until the palestinians/pa/plo start focring things to happen through continues and intensified efforts at the un/bds/icc/icj/eu/arab spring. this is OUR struggle and no one will do it for us. not particularly the usa since the us government is 100% pro-zionists, don’t count on the usa to make it happen. we will make it happen ourselves in the context of 1S1P1V. it will creep uo on the zionists as we no longer need to call for “withdrawal”, “giving up land”, “end of settlements”, etc. but rather push for equality, justice, liberty, freedom, and respect in one system.

    • seafoid
      January 1, 2014, 2:10 pm

      Beinart sez organised American jewish influence is weak in universities, international orgs and liberal religious groups. What he really means is that there is no sustainable purchasable support for Zionism amongst ordinary decent people. Once again back to what Ben War Criminal said : “It doesn’t matter what the gentiles think”

      Fatal meme, that one.

    • Walid
      January 1, 2014, 4:03 pm

      Ramzi, there are bigger problems brewing today. I heard on the news that Netanyahu is in hospital for something or other and that Lieberman is acting boss during his absence. The latest Israeli word posted in Maariv, says that Kerry and the Americans are favourable to the offer about to be dropped about the land swaps that are just retreads of the gimmick Lieberman has been proposing all along. The proposal would have Israel give to the Palestinians lands in Israel from 1948 in exchange for Palestinians allowing the main settlements to remain on the West Bank to become part of Israel. The gimmick in this involves the lands that Israel would transfer to the Palestinians, which are lands already populated by Palestinian Israelis. In short, Israel would get rid of a substantial portion of the Palestinians currently living inside Israel in predominantly Palestinian Muslim villages, or in other words, ethnically cleansing Israel of many of its Palestinian-Israeli citizens, while getting parts of the West Bank already populated by Jews. The settlements that Israel wants to retain on the WB are the larger ones that are already cutting up the WB and cutting Jerusalem from the rest of the WB.. It seems that the Latrun would become part of Israel.

      The ugliest part in all of this is the American positive feeling to this gimmicky swap. How does this look from your end?

      • seafoid
        January 1, 2014, 4:31 pm

        The Hebron settlers will start a civil war in Israel if they are shafted to secure Ariel. God bless them! All of the bot fantasies about securing the blocs will fall over what to do with the Golem Israel created in Hebron, Walid.

      • Walid
        January 1, 2014, 4:49 pm

        seafoid, there are over a hundred settlements on the WB that even Israel considers illegal. Add those as well as the armed holy rollers in the army to the Hebron crowd and there’s big trouble ahead for Israel. I remember reading in the Arab press way back after 67, the prediction that the Arabs would never defeat Israel militarily but that in time, Israel will start tearing itself apart and destroy itself in the process. Looks like that prediction had some merit to it.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        January 1, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Walid and seafoid, agree with you. on Walid’s point regarding the “swap”, yes this is the zionist’s ploy for years but will not work. the bouncer and the criminals must thing we are stupid or something……….. we’re certainly marching towards apartheid then 1S1P1V.

      • Citizen
        January 1, 2014, 7:18 pm

        @ Walid
        If what you say is true, I wonder if Abbas catches on to this gimmick? He recently said he’d only agree to land swaps that were of equal worth, to paraphrase him.

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 12:32 am

        The swap leaked by the Maariv source that would conveniently transfer 300,000 Palestinian Israelis out of Israel is being reported in the Guardian, Independent and others. The idea to transfer out whole Palestinian villages, as Ramzi said, is not new. I remember it being floated by Livni about 5 or 6 years ago.

        From Times of Israel:

        “Israel reportedly offering land and its 300,000 residents to Palestinians

        Israeli Arab citizens living in northern ‘Triangle’ would find themselves in Palestinian state under swap deal to enable annexation of settlement blocs, Maariv says
        BY STUART WINER January 1, 2014, 1:14 pm 27

        Israel has raised the idea of transferring parts of the territory in “the triangle” southeast of Haifa — along with the hundreds of thousands of Israeli-Arab citizens who live there — to a future Palestinian state in return for annexing West Bank territory including settlement blocs, Maariv reported on Wednesday.

        The idea is not central to the formal talks being brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due back in Israel on Thursday pushing a “framework” peace agreement. But it has been discussed “at the highest levels” between Israel and the US, the report said.

        The area known as “the triangle,” located in the Sharon plain, contains mostly Arab-populated towns and cities such as Kafr Qara, Umm al-Fahm, Tayibe and Qalansawe. It was to have come under Jordanian rule in the arrangements that saw the establishment of the State of Israel but was ultimately included in Israeli sovereign territory under the 1949 armistice agreements because of Israeli security demands, and instead Israel ceded territory that had been earmarked for Israeli sovereignty in the area of the southern Hebron hills….”

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-reportedly-offering-land-and-its-300000-residents-to-palestinians/

      • seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 1:27 am

        That is bukra fi mishmish bishekel yahudi, Walid
        Absolute horseshit

        They want all of the land so they have to take the people. They never think anything through.

      • eljay
        January 2, 2014, 1:46 am

        The idea is aimed at addressing two central issues in a possible peace agreement: first, land swaps between Israel and a Palestinian state that would enable Israel to expand its sovereignty to encompass major West Bank settlements, while compensating the Palestinians with territory that is currently part of sovereign Israel; and second, preserving Israel’s Jewish majority.

        The Zio-supremacist plan: Strip hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Israelis of their citizenship in order to ensure that Israel remains a supremacist “Jewish State”; work to keep stolen Palestinian land you covet; and attempt appeasement.

        Netanyahu is also concerned …

        …about Israel becoming something other than a supremacist “Jewish State”. No surprise there: He’s a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

        Aside from the land issue another major sticking point in the negotiations is Netanyahu’s demand, even after the establishment of a Palestinian state, to maintain IDF forces in the Jordan Valley and full control over the border between the West Bank and Jordan. Israel insists on control there out of security concerns …

        The Palestinians should insist on Palestinian military control inside Israel….because of security concerns, of course.

        Kerry is due to arrive in the region on Thursday for his tenth visit this year, to try to push for a framework agreement that … includes clauses providing for … the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state …

        No-one – not even the Palestinians – should be expected or required to recognize or accept Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • talknic
        January 2, 2014, 1:58 am

        @Walid
        “Israel has raised the idea of transferring parts of the territory in “the triangle” southeast of Haifa — along with the hundreds of thousands of Israeli-Arab citizens who live there — to a future Palestinian state in return for annexing West Bank territory including settlement blocs”

        Swapping non-Israeli territory for non-Israeli territory so Israel can keep non-Israeli territory isn’t a deal :
        A) it’s an arrogant ^&%ing insult put forward by morons
        B) the Palestinians have no legal obligation to accept less that their full legal rights
        C) Israeli is obliged to adhere to the law

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 2:39 am

        Talknic and seafoid, mathematics geniuses in Israel figured that this swap would suddenly drop their undesirables from 20% to 12% of the total population in a flash, solve Israel’s demographic nightmare and everyone in Israel would live happy for ever in what seafoid calls “the Jewish Disneyland”.

        One has to assume that for the Israelis to be coming out with such a preposterous offer, there is already in Israel’s back pocket some sort of agreement to it by Palestinian negotiators. The Arab League more or less informally gave its consent to a land swap last April but specifics of the swap were still unknown, but this is how Israel operates or negotiates. The waters are now being muddied with doom and gloom talk about the Jordan Valley, but somehow all these events happening are tied together with the promised offer to be delivered by Kerry this month; maybe tomorrow. Cherchez la femme.

      • talknic
        January 2, 2014, 3:36 am

        Walid

        “One has to assume that for the Israelis to be coming out with such a preposterous offer, there is already in Israel’s back pocket some sort of agreement to it by Palestinian negotiators”

        One ought not assume. We do know Israel is blackmailing the Palestinians via the precious US UNSC veto vote

        ” The Arab League more or less informally gave its consent to a land swap “

        The Arab League is in accordance with the Palestinians’ right of self determination to ‘cede’ Palestinian territory to Israel for peace.

      • Hostage
        January 2, 2014, 4:48 am

        The idea to transfer out whole Palestinian villages, as Ramzi said, is not new. I remember it being floated by Livni about 5 or 6 years ago.

        Abbas rejected the proposal in 2010 during the last round of talks. About a week ago he said the Palestinians will only accept unpopulated land for swaps and the Palestinian spokespersons are characterizing the the trial balloon as a criminal idea. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Israel+looks+land+swaps+peace+deal/9340554/story.html

        One has to assume that for the Israelis to be coming out with such a preposterous offer, there is already in Israel’s back pocket some sort of agreement to it by Palestinian negotiators.

        It’s a rumor that the press is describing as “Israel has reportedly floated the controversial idea . . . ” it maybe psychological warfare or a trial balloon, but it’s not a serious proposal.

        Abbas told the League that “once he receives the American proposal he will not respond but will present it to Arab nations to make a joint decision.”

        Abbas articulated his position on the peace agreement, as follows:

        – Abbas would accept a Palestinian state with the entirety of East Jerusalem as its capital, with limited land swaps as long as the lands being traded were of equal value.

        – He would accept an incremental withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian land, allowing them up to three years to leave.

        – He would reject the idea of any permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, but would welcome an international peacekeeping presence.

        – He would refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

        – He would reject any interim agreement, calling instead for a final solution.

        – He would reject any proposal that required Palestine to be an unarmed state, but said he would not get involved in an “arms race.”

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 5:32 am

        Talknic, true the concept of transfer comes from morons, but the Arabs are more tired of this situation than the Palestinians and would stoop to any level to finish with it. Other than a short-lived 1973 oil embargo that they were sweet-talked out of after a year, they have done nothing to back the Palestinians all these years other than throw money at them. The big losers are the Palestinian people. What would the Arab League do if Kerry drops a take it or leave it offer?

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 5:41 am

        Hostage, about Abbas saying that he’d present the offer to the Arab nations to “make a joint decision”; what do the Arab nations have to do with a decision that affects the future of the Palestinians and what have they done about helping Palestinians with getting their own state since 50 years? All I see in this passing of the buck to the Arab nations is an out for Abbas to say that the Arabs made him do it.

      • Hostage
        January 2, 2014, 7:17 am

        Hostage, about Abbas saying that he’d present the offer to the Arab nations to “make a joint decision”; what do the Arab nations have to do with a decision that affects the future of the Palestinians and what have they done about helping Palestinians with getting their own state since 50 years?

        Some of the members of the Arab League have hosted the refugees for decades and others have been among the donors who founded and funded the PLO and the PA. Jordan obviously did have Palestinian Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Lawmakers, and UN Ambassadors for years. Jordan included the West Bank, which was a regular UN member state, prior to the internal disputes that led to Black September and the dissolution of the union in 88. More importantly, its peace treaty with Israel was without prejudice to any Arab territory that was captured during the 67 war. So it still has a say in the final settlement. Israel and the US are keen to see Egypt uphold its end of the Camp David Accords, but they also have obligations to Egypt regarding the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza after the creation of a Palestinian government.

        The Arab Peace Initiative calls for recognition of Israel in exchange for a just settlement in line with the 67 borders and resolution 194(III). The US has always held that all the parties to the conflict in 48 and 67 should be jointly responsible for paying compensation. The UN resolution was simply addressed to “the Governments and authorities concerned” and and resolved that “the Governments or authorities responsible” should return property or make good any losses. So, the US proposal may entail the Arab States sharing a percentage of the costs with Israel for resettlement and compensation.

        A final settlement will put an end to all claims and should either compensate or permanently resettle the refugees. The individual Arab states interests would obviously be involved for any refugees who aren’t repatriated under a final settlement deal or who would elect compensation and resettlement elsewhere, instead of returning to either Palestine or Israel. There very well may be refugees who have a well grounded fear of returning to either state who would need assistance from one of the other governments concerned.

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 5:46 am

        Citizen, Abbas is talking real estate swaps of equal value; Israel is talking about transferring 300,000 Palestinians out of Israel and keeping the settlements that are sitting atop the WB aquifers from which Israel is getting half its water. They’re dancing circles around the Palestinians.

      • eljay
        January 2, 2014, 7:31 am

        Abbas articulated his position on the peace agreement, as follows:
        . . .
        – He would reject any interim agreement, calling instead for a final solution.

        And the Zio-supremacists wailed, “Final solution?! Oh, woe is us! Abbas wants to wipe us off the map and push us into the sea!”

      • talknic
        January 2, 2014, 8:18 am

        Walid “Other than a short-lived 1973 oil embargo that they were sweet-talked out of after a year”

        It wasn’t purely an I/P issue. As the US puts it //”During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. ” http://history.state.gov/milestones/1969-1976/oil-embargo //

        The First Egyptian-Israeli Disengagement Agreement on January 18, 1974 came prior to the embargo ending in March 1974

        //”Though a finalized peace deal failed to materialize, the prospect of a negotiated end to hostilities between Israel and Syria proved sufficient to convince the relevant parties to lift the embargo in March 1974 ” (ibid) //

        The Arab states were shafted by someone who didn’t uphold their end of the bargain.

        “they have done nothing to back the Palestinians all these years other than throw money at them.”

        65 years of hosting Palestine refugees is NOT nothing. Imposing and agreeing to end the embargo was not nothing.

        “The big losers are the Palestinian people”

        I add .. innocent and honest Jewish folk who’ve been duped into assisting the State of Israel create illegal facts on the ground

        “What would the Arab League do if Kerry drops a take it or leave it offer?”

        Mediators aren’t supposed to offer. Furthermore, he has no legal basis on which to demand the Palestinians accept (or reject) a take or leave it offer. Nor does Israel for that matter.

        All Israel and the US have is the bludgeon of the precious US UNSC veto vote. It is maintained via fallacies and money.

        If the fallacies can be shown for what they are, it will start to cost a lot more money to maintain the US UNSC veto vote.

        The more people there are who see through the fallacies, the more successful BDS will be on an individual level and en mass and the less money there will be to throw at maintaining the US UNSC veto vote.

        It all adds up.

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 8:59 am

        That was funny, eljay, nonetheless I’m still hoping Abbas will still come through for the Palestinians and hit the Zionists with a triple combination quenelle, bras d’honneur, and the third finger. That would really get them squealing.

  3. Krauss
    January 1, 2014, 2:08 pm

    It’s been amusing to watch Phil’s position on Beinart over the past few years. Swinging wildly, almost like a romance. First he was a genius, then an egotistical sell-out and now he’s awesome again.

    I agree that Beinart’s column is well-written but ultimately, he will never embrace the one vote for everyone, regardless of race, because that’s the end of his ethnocratic dream.

    There are a lot of people like Beinart on Haaretz. Like Carlo Strenger or Bradley Burston whose Op-Eds on Haaretz since 2010 have all but embraced the 1SS in the abstract, damned Israel as an incurable Apartheid state etc etc but they keep crawling back to the cross(pardon the pun).

    Beinart’s going to be a younger update on them. He will be a much more eloquent and intellectual version of them, but morally there is little to no difference.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 1, 2014, 2:32 pm

      ”I agree that Beinart’s column is well-written but ultimately, he will never embrace the one vote for everyone, regardless of race, because that’s the end of his ethnocratic dream. ”

      In other words, a typical ‘liberal Zionist’.

      They’re ‘against the settlements’, ‘support a 2SS” but when push comes to shove, they can live quite happily with the status quo of Palestinian suffering and dispossession, since deep down they know the only real alternative is a 1SS where Jews have no special rights because of their religion or ‘race’.

      And that is something they just cannot countenance. But they cannot admit that either, which is why they cling to the illusion of a 2SS to avoid admitting – even to themselves – that for them, loyalty to tribe comes before loyalty to humanity.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 1, 2014, 3:42 pm

      I agree that Beinart’s column is well-written but ultimately, he will never embrace the one vote for everyone, regardless of race, because that’s the end of his ethnocratic dream.

      so what? the world doesn’t begin and end on whatever beinart will embrace for israel. the reason people read beinart is because he’s prescient about a lot of things. he’s like a weather vane and he doesn’t always just repeat himself. he was right about jewish youth in this country and if phil weiss said it, well..phil’s an anti zionist so instinctually liberal zionists are not going to want to hear it from him. but i believe what beinart is saying here about “the organized American Jewish community” means they’re losing the narrative over israel and they can’t hide that anymore. we own the narrative.

      we’re so used to being in an american environment where jews set the rules for how to talk about israel and every one else is relegated to the back of the room and not included. but that’s changing, they are losing the debate and they know it. he says “2014 may be the year when the downward trajectory of its power becomes clear.” (iow, the trajectory of it’s power is already downhill) and i think he’s right. he’s not saying ‘you better get your act together or it will be too late’. it’s not a warning or advise. it’s simply what is. and i like reading it on the front page on the first day of the year. and it brings out the crazies. they can’t stand this stuff.

      i am so ready for the debate to pass the organized American Jewish community by, so ready. after years of being told we have to change the jewish community. you might as well push boulders down the road for another 6 decades. well if this is what beinart sees, great. i love it. the time has come. and i don’t care if he never embraces the one vote for everyone. because once this thing goes truly global, once BDS really takes hold, it’s just not going to be up to liberal zionists what’s in the cards. they may pretend or fantasize it’s all about them and what israel thinks and wants, but it isn’t. and, not that it matters, but i do think peter beinart is smart and getting smarter. he can see the writing on the wall whether he agrees with it or not. this is way different than roger cohen’s ‘prediction’ which is just ‘more of the same’. the ‘more of the same’ days are over. like omar barghouti said, we’ll start to see the cracks appear.

      • American
        January 1, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Annie Robbins says:
        January 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        Amen!

      • seafoid
        January 1, 2014, 4:32 pm

        Beinart is not the Prophet but he shows the way.

  4. schlemiel
    January 1, 2014, 2:29 pm

    The two state solution died 12 years ago. Most Israelis understood that very quickly. The non-skeptics became skeptics there.

    Gradually, people everywhere are doing the math and realizing the two state solution is not something worth investing their own time or resources in. What makes Beinart et al so glaringly irrelevant is that they seem to be only piecing this together now and still trying to figure out what it means, which makes you wonder why they were paid to opine in the first place.

    What he sees as ‘American Jewry losing control of the narrative for the first time’ is simply people realizing that the Oslo era two state solution is a pie in the sky dream in the Middle East of the 2010s. But of course, Beinart has proven himself to be such a genius in recent years, that he’s gotta be correct this time, right? Right?

    If current trends continue, and as a result of the US’ Mideast debacle since the Iraq invasion, Americans choose to extricate themselves from the area rather than get more involved, this is not going to affect Israel the way you think it is.

    Americans won’t cool their interest in Israel and extricate themselves from the Middle East in general only to focus more energy on creating a Palestinian state. We saw how far from the mark the rhetoric about nation-building in Iraq was. Other than a few fringe people, nobody wants to invest real American time and money into manufacturing a Palestinian state, or into the preposterous notion of forcing Israelis to become one nation with the West Bank and Gaza.

    I realize at this site you live and die by which way the gas from Ariel Sharon’s tuchus blows, and can manufacture a month’s worth of posts about each such emittance and how it changes everything, but the big picture is this:

    People are losing interest in the high ideals of the 1990s regarding the Middle East. America overextended itself in the region in the 2000s, and we’re eager to draw back. In a region known for glacial pace of change, the events of the so-called Arab Spring are changing everything. The idea that the IP conflict is still somehow the lynchpin onto which the entire M.E. geopolitics hinges is preposterous at this point. At this pace, Beinart might actually figure that out by 2016.

    Israel is doing fine. I’m surprised no one seems to be stating this more explicitly, but the net result of the last 10 years is that Israel has extricated itself from Gaza, and delineated a separation between itself and most of the West Bank. If anyone remembers the 80s (I realize that was 20 years before Phil Weiss became aware of Israel), the rightwing Israeli position was that Israel would never cede any claim to any territory, including Gaza. Part of that ideology meant no walls, fences, or borders between the West Bank and Israel.

    Israel has effectively tightened its position, given itself more defendable borders, and set itself up well to weather the next round of change in the Middle East. When we come out the other end, there might not even be a Kingdom of Jordan anymore, and yet the two-state solution fools are still talking about Gaza and the West Bank as one viable entity. No wonder even dunces like Beinart are finally figuring it out.

    With regime change occurring all over the Middle East, a volatile situation in Egypt, and a sectarian bloodbath in Syria that makes Lebanon look like a beacon of safety and stability, the people on this website will still be fixating on sniffing intently to see which way Ariel Sharon’s wind blows, and geniuses like Peter Beinart will keep publishing their irrelevancies as long as someone will publish them.

    • just
      January 1, 2014, 2:40 pm

      “When we come out the other end, there might not even be a Kingdom of Jordan anymore”

      Oh, how dare you?

      “I realize at this site you live and die by which way the gas from Ariel Sharon’s tuchus blows, and can manufacture a month’s worth of posts about each such emittance and how it changes everything,”

      Hardly. But your dear leader’s “tuchus” isn’t faring too well…..

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/01/ariel-sharon-israel-health/4278001/

      And your other dear leader’s “tuchus” isn’t either:

      http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/doctors-remove-polyp-netanyahu-21390163

      I promise you that you have some surprises coming to your Ziocaine induced fantasy.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 1, 2014, 3:09 pm

        i wouldn’t worry too much about this blowhard just, he’s all attitude and no muscle. besides, according to him, he has no interest in exploring here, because, presumably there’s nothing new or interest-sparking for him here. ha! he just can’t stop coming back!!! iow, all bluff and bluster. obviously if israel were doing swimmingly he wouldn’t need to concern him self with our little do nothing worth nothing site. (“fringe. 24/7 dedication, bombastic headlines, and attention-grabbing publicity stunts…core value…indulge the commenters….for the Manhattan limousine liberals to glom onto” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/schlemiel )

        know what i mean? ;) but he’s baaaaack (AGAIN)! i guess he’s just one of those Manhattan limousine liberals who has nothing better to do than to glom onto us on the first day of the new year. must be bored out of his wits the ol geezer! lol likes to hear himself talk! but one just miiiight think he’d spend his time where he could make a difference y’know what i mean? after all he could be leaving comments at commentary or some place where important smart people hang out. but nooo. instead, he keeps reading phil weiss? it’s the strangest thing! why, i don’t know about you but i really don’t bother hanging out at sites just to hear myself talk.

        i do believe we’re changing the world.

      • Walid
        January 1, 2014, 4:37 pm

        Annie, don’t take the Jordan issue lightly. It’s nothing none of us would want, but you have to account for Jordan being very poor with no natural resources other than potash, its hoped-for uranium life saver turned out to be a false alarm, hardly has any water and it has lots of people to feed. Add that to the under the table and over the table deals it has been making with the Zionists for the past 90 years or so, that option has more chances of happening than of not happening.

      • Citizen
        January 1, 2014, 7:33 pm

        @ Walid
        And add on top of what you say, that a good percentage of Jewish Israeli’s absolutely convinced that Great Israel is the end and be all of what to live and fight and for in all ways possible, and many of those, as well as many others of a more practical orientation will never settle for what’s legally theirs now because Israel needs a second line of military defense, a fall back position, and for that, they are convinced, Israel needs the key strategic settlements they now control–only the hill top trailer camps and some non-strategic land in Israel proper, some big Palestinian Israeli village areas, are expendable in negotiations.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 1, 2014, 8:33 pm

        walid, this is exactly what jeffrey goldberg argued. he called it linkage http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/netanyahus-greatest-linkage.html : “The idea that the IP conflict is still somehow the lynchpin onto which the entire M.E. geopolitics hinges is preposterous at this point. ”

        so yeah, i am well aware the most extreme fruitcakes in israel, who happen to be the fastest growing demographic, think jordan is part of greater israel. and i would include their most ardent american supporters in that belief. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/palestinian-dispossession-creationism.html

        i happen to think if israel isn’t stopped now our grandchildren will be arguing over israel’s security on the other side of the jordan river in a few decades. when we invaded iraq, a neocon war, israeli settlement expansion went on steroids. cuz no one was watching. and they’ll do the same thing if we become bogged down in iran. this is their priority, up to the litany and jordan and beyond. and if they can’t occupy it all they’ll still want control over it. this is my belief, i don’t see them stopping and i believe they are fanatical. not all israelis but a lot of them and many others are brainwashed. so i consider it a duty to stick w/freeing palestine in our lifetime and to get this thing resolved one way or another. i don’t take jordan lightly.

        israeli expansion is the lynchpin onto which the entire M.E. geopolitics hinges. it needs to stop. like abbas said yesterday, it’s cancer.

      • seafoid
        January 1, 2014, 3:35 pm

        I think Israel is weaker than it was 20 years ago. Whenever the house of Saud goes it won’t have any regional allies left. Most EU countries see through the charade of the peace process. BDS is getting stronger. There are over half a million Israelis who don’t want to go back. The haredim are a massive problem in waiting. Secular Israel will soon be a minority. Yesha is a much bigger parasite than it was. The economy is very exposed to a housing bubble. Israeli politicians are far too complacent. Their long term planning ineptitude was badly exposed by the Carmel fire.

    • Daniel Rich
      January 1, 2014, 4:15 pm

      @ Shelumiel,

      Q: Israel is doing fine.

      R: Can we cut the ‘aid’ now?

      • JeffB
        January 1, 2014, 8:18 pm

        @Daniel —

        The purpose of the aide is not humanitarian based on Israel not doing good. The aide exists to keep a country whose natural interests are in conflict with the USA not doing things that are in their interests but are a detriment to the USA. In other words a bribe.

      • Shingo
        January 1, 2014, 11:06 pm

        The purpose of the aide is not humanitarian based on Israel not doing good.

        The purpose of the aide is to pay for weapons that Israel can’t afford to buy.

        The aide exists to keep a country whose natural interests are in conflict with the USA not doing things that are in their interests but are a detriment to the USA.

        Can you rephrase that in English? We don’t do word salads here.

      • schlemiel
        January 1, 2014, 8:35 pm

        You sure can, Daniel. But keep in mind that in return for our annual aid to Israel, as well as the other favors, Israel maintains the status quo. Once we cut aid, Israel will see less reason to restrain itself in the various ways the U.S. compels it to.

        As the trillion dollar price tag in Iraq shows us, a few billion a year in defense subsidies is a bargain to maintain stability on our terms in the M.E. That’s why we kept paying Egypt even when Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected.

      • Ellen
        January 1, 2014, 10:06 pm

        Once we cut aid, Israel will see less reason to restrain itself in the various ways the U.S. compels it to. So in other words the money sent to Israel by US taxpayers is a coercive shake down.

        Give us the money or we will……..

      • Shingo
        January 1, 2014, 11:07 pm

        Once we cut aid, Israel will see less reason to restrain itself in the various ways the U.S. compels it to.

        The irony of course is that if the money were to stop, Israel would indeed have to restrain itself.

      • Sumud
        January 2, 2014, 12:50 am

        But keep in mind that in return for our annual aid to Israel, as well as the other favors, Israel maintains the status quo. Once we cut aid, Israel will see less reason to restrain itself in the various ways the U.S. compels it to.

        What status quo? Israel continues to build new settlements by the thousand.

        The continued use of the UN SC veto is much more important to Israel than the annual haul of US taxpayer’s money. If the US stops using the veto, sure, Israel may ‘feel’ less restraint from the US but it unleashes the possibility of UN sanctions, a much worse prospect.

    • Sumud
      January 1, 2014, 8:54 pm

      Israel is doing fine. I’m surprised no one seems to be stating this more explicitly, but the net result of the last 10 years is that Israel has extricated itself from Gaza, and delineated a separation between itself and most of the West Bank.

      No one is “stating this more explicitly” because it’s rubbish.

      You think Israel has “extricated itself from Gaza”, the world sees an Israeli-run concentration camp in Gaza.

      You think Israel has “delineated a separation between itself and most of the West Bank” but the world sees the ugly apartheid wall scarring the landscape, more than half a million illegal Israeli settlers, checkpoints, house demolitions and massive theft of natural resources from occupied Palestine.

      Ignore all that if it pleases you, but don’t be so naive to think the rest of us will.

  5. pabelmont
    January 1, 2014, 4:16 pm

    Is the seemingly unending maximalist-Zionist quest for a Greater Israel equal (in size) to Mandatory Palestine an intrinsic part of (all) Zionism(s)? Wrong question. Is it an intrinsic part of today’s Israeli “democratically”-determined consensus, national interest, manifest destiny? It is so at least for now. Is it an intrinsic part of tomorrow’s Zionist consensus? When tomorrow comes, we will know the answer to that.

    BDS and all anti-occupation and pro-PRoR movements have a single purpose: to change the Zionist consensus (or at least Israel’s behavior). The Israeli frog has sat in cold water for 65 years, but now the water (although not yet boiling) is heating up. Frogs sometimes stay inside the soon-to-boil water too long, but this one might jump (toward a more-or-less fair and just one-state or two-states) if enough heat is applied to it.

    Zionism is not a permanent philosophy but a constantly re-evaluating consensus. Let us bend our efforts to making it re-evaluate toward justice and away from racism and oppression.

    • puppies
      January 1, 2014, 5:09 pm

      The limits of Greater Israel as formulated by Ben Gurion at the 1938 Conference of the earlier Labor Party are wider than Mandate Palestine, they “include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [West Bank] and the Sinai.”
      See quote and reference in http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/ch04.htm
      There is absolutely no sign that the ambitions have been redimensioned since.

    • Citizen
      January 1, 2014, 7:42 pm

      @ Daniel Rich
      Are you saying what Helen Thomas said when she was dethroned? Is Galloway?

  6. Clif Brown
    January 1, 2014, 6:21 pm

    Isn’t this sequence familiar in human experience and particularly with Zionism?

    it’s impossible
    it’s improbable
    it may happen
    it is happening
    it’s a miracle/God’s will
    nothing is impossible
    nothing will stop us
    superiority confirmed (the victory of hubris)

    then decline, through one means or another, but you may simply reverse the order of the above, as if removing the bricks from a pyramid, starting at the top.

  7. ckg
    January 1, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Count me sceptical. I predict the platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties in 2016 will have planks supporting a two state solution, with an undivided Jerusalem as capital of Israel. I will go Green, unless the barbarians are at the gate.

    • Citizen
      January 2, 2014, 12:38 am

      @ ekg
      I tend to strongly agree with you, but what about all those at the last DNC who protested the plank making Jerusalem the capital of Israel and got their mouths gaveled shut on primetime tv to end the ambiguous thunder of nays and yas? Remember? The guy with the gavel was flummoxed until that matronly looking lady sidled up behind him and whispered in his ear? I think that we will see more of this sort of thing. More protest of the AIPAC status quo, more klieg light smacking down
      of the peoples’ reps who don’t bow to the AIPAC line.

  8. Citizen
    January 2, 2014, 7:36 am

    Baby step by baby step, American awareness of how US “special relationship” has been harming America for at least half a century–is growing. A national summit to reassess US blind support of Israel is coming to America soon:
    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2014/01/01/401060-national-summit-to-reassess-the-us-israel-special-relationship/

    • Walid
      January 2, 2014, 9:07 am

      Sounds like a great summit for this coming March; I wonder how much the event will be covered or not covered and how would AIPAC try to derail it.

  9. Sumud
    January 2, 2014, 8:06 am

    So I just got a marketing email from Haaretz announcing that Peter Beinart is joining the paper:

    “He will be writing a weekly column and other articles on the US-Israel-Diaspora Jewry nexus, exclusively for our readers.”

    Hmm.

  10. Walid
    January 2, 2014, 9:23 am

    Major explosion in Beirut. Car bomb in densely populated Hizbullah neighbourhood.

    • seafoid
      January 2, 2014, 10:36 am

      Fairuz was lambasted by various pro Saudis for saying she admired Nasrallah. Lebanon looks very fragile, Walid.

      • yrn
        January 2, 2014, 12:03 pm

        Seafoid

        Lebanon is one of the most stable countries, ask Taxi.
        Its all because of Israel, I am surprised you don’t know it.

        BTW how is Nasrallah in his rat hole those days.
        When was the last time he breathed fresh air.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 3, 2014, 8:42 am

        i watch nasrallah give a televised speech on ashura last month. it was outside to a packed crowd. what makes you think he doesn’t breath the same air as everyone else?

      • yrn
        January 3, 2014, 4:24 pm

        Nasrallah, who is hiding most of his time in bunkers in Lebanon, appeared publicly since last August. His rare appearance took place in a religious conference during the Ashoura procession in Lebanese capital, Beirut.

        http://baltic-review.com/2013/11/hassan-nasrallah-israel-wants-war/

        It’s not a secret, he is afraid……. but the issue is, that he is the best ally of Israel.
        Since 2006 the north of Israel is blooming, peaceful as ever.
        So he stays in his rat hole and as long as everything is peaceful, he will get some fresh air once in a few month.

      • Walid
        January 3, 2014, 3:29 pm

        Apparently he’s been very busy, yrn, According to the WSJ, Haaretz and the rest today, he now has Russian supersonic cruise missiles. The report also says that he’s got surface to air missiles too. Very busy.

        You should be rooting for him to win against the fundies in Syria because they promised to go after Lebanon and Israel next.

      • Walid
        January 2, 2014, 12:11 pm

        Very much so, seafoid. Being the weakest military link among Arab states, it has always been the theatre where different countries go at each other. Hasn’t changed.

      • seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 3:29 pm

        Lebanon is like Belgium was in the 19th century, a cockpit for wars between outside powers. And nobody disses Fairuz.

      • MHughes976
        January 2, 2014, 10:14 pm

        Mind you we Brits gave Belgium two 80 year periods of peace and prosp from 1711 and from 1830, so that Belgium was a leader in the industrial revolution and an imperial power in her own right.

      • Walid
        January 3, 2014, 11:34 am

        seafoid, the really ugly stuff hasn’t begun. The Salafists al-Nusra, fighting in Syria along with those of ISIS , which is the State of Iraq and al-Sham that cut people’s heads when they don’t answer correctly to questions about religion announced that they will be entering Lebanon to take on Hizbullah because of what it’s doing to them in Syria; From Nahar:

        “A leader in the Salafist Jihadist movement in Jordan announced on Thursday that the al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have officially decided to militarily enter Lebanon.

        “Al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani and ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the decision to officially and openly enter Lebanon,” the leader told the Washington-based United Press International.

        “They want to be militarily present in the country until Hizbullah withdraws its fighters from Syrian territories and frees all detainees it is holding as captives,” he explained.

        The leader did not, however, provide any additional information in his message to the UPI.

        The Salafist Jihadist Movement in Jordan is allied with both ISIS and Al-Nusra Front in Syria.”

        http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/112332-salafist-jihadist-movement-in-jordan-says-al-nusra-front-isis-decided-to-enter-lebanon

  11. surewin
    January 2, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Beinart: “If [Kerry] fails, the United States won’t take another shot until it inaugurates a new president in 2017, and maybe not then.”

    Probably not then. The new template would seem to be that Republican administrations do not push for a solution, and Democats do so only after being re-elected, if then. So if Obama and Kerry fail this time, the earliest resumption would be around the beginning of 2021. And that would be if the Democrats hold the Presidency for four straight terms, which would be the longest run for either party since FDR and Truman.

    It is possible that the circumstances surrounding the whole issue have already changed enough that this will not be the outcome. But the lobby would probably be in favor of this template, and 2016 is going to be a pitched battle with respect to Israel/Palestine. Hillary is doing everything she can to get their support, but the Democratic establishment obviously wants a deal, and Presidents are supposed to do what they’re told, so I doubt the Israel hawks will trust Hillary.

    • JeffB
      January 3, 2014, 10:47 am

      2016 is going to be a pitched battle with respect to Israel/Palestine.

      Between who and whom? What major figure in the Democratic party is anti-Zionist or anti-Israeli? Who is going to be part of this pitched battle? The pitched battle if there is one is going to be between the moderate third wave wing on economic policy and the more progressive win on economic policy. On foreign policy the Democratic party has adopted the position of Foreign Policy Realists which was the Eisenhower / Nixon / HW Bush position. They are going to be less friendly than the Neo-Conservatives but they aren’t going to want to have yet another Middle Eastern Country (and the most militarily powerful one at that) operating against our interests by turning Israel into an enemy. What you are going to see a continuation of the Obama policy which from the USA’s perspective are working to keep Israel content enough to stay on a short leash.

      • surewin
        January 3, 2014, 6:52 pm

        I think the Democratic nominee will be torn between the pressure coming from the Israel hawks, including the lobby, and the policies that the Obama administration has put into place thus far in the second term. Meaning Kerry pushing for a two-state deal, the refusal to invade Syria and depose the Shiite government, the agreement with Iran, and perhaps other things. I doubt Obama and Kerry (et al) will give up on a two-state deal. I think they will probably keep pushing until they get it or until the 2016 election. The Democratic nominee will probably try to stay aloof and even hint that she might not continue those policies if elected. In the meantime the Republicans will be very vocal in opposing Obama’s Israel/Syria/Iran policies.

        I didn’t say that the Democratic establishment is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. I said that it wants a two-state deal. It’s true that the Democratic establishment’s foreign policy is now that of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Bush Sr. I don’t think Israel will ever be an “enemy” of the U.S.

        To some extent I see these Obama policies as having a lot to do with domestic U.S. partisan politics. The Israel hawks shifted toward the Republicans after Bush Sr., and eventually did much to help bring about the invasion of Iraq. The Democratic establishment is now using this legacy against the Republican party. I’d say the tactic is working pretty well.

      • JeffB
        January 4, 2014, 8:23 am

        @Surewin
        Good comment.

        Meaning Kerry pushing for a two-state deal, the refusal to invade Syria and depose the Shiite government, the agreement with Iran, and perhaps other things.

        I see. I think those policies are popular with Democrats. There isn’t much controversy in the party. In the general I’d agree you’ll have a debate between Obama’s policy and the Israeli Hawks.

        I didn’t say that the Democratic establishment is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. I said that it wants a two-state deal.

        I agree with that. Sorry in the context of this board, I took, “2016 is going to be a pitched battle with respect to Israel/Palestine” to be a belief that something like a BDS style anti-Israeli position would be on board for 2016. I have no problem believing the mainstream Democratic pro-Labor vs. mainstream Republican pro-Likud debate. I would classify a lot of the issue you talk about as Middle East Policy in general. Syria isn’t Israel/Palestine. Iran isn’t Israel/Palestine.

        I’m also unsure why you think there is likely to be much passion on this issue, “pitched battle”. The parties are united around economic and social policies and divided on foreign policy. The Republicans are even more divided though on foreign policy than the Democrats. I don’t think we are going to have a repeat of 2012 with the Republican nominee getting to Obama’s right and arguing for more military spending. But either way, on the specifics I don’t think they are going to push for more wars. The people who want a much more muscular foreign policy in general and not on specifics are already Republicans, they aren’t swing voters. So I suspect it comes up but is not the focus.

      • Hostage
        January 4, 2014, 10:46 am

        I doubt Obama and Kerry (et al) will give up on a two-state deal. I think they will probably keep pushing until they get it or until the 2016 election.

        Who would they push it with? Abbas and his associates can hardly contain the popular demand to cancel the 9 month agreement on talks with Kerry before it expires. They can’t simply coast along until 2016, without joining international organizations, including the ICC and doing something pro-actively to end israeli impunity. That will merely make them slightly less intolerable, unless of course they hold some real elections of their own.

      • surewin
        January 4, 2014, 4:15 pm

        I don’t think they will “coast”. I think they’ll get creative. Bush Sr. helped to get rid of Shamir. There are many ways the U.S. can change the game over there if necessary. My sense is that something big has begun to happen since Obama’s re-election with respect to the conflict and the region. It’s consistent with the changing attitudes that this site monitors and is helping to bring about.

        And as I said, I think it has a lot to do with U.S. partisan politics. If Obama and Kerry keep pushing for a deal, and the Republicans get all nasty in 2016 in support of the settlers and Netanyahu (or some other right-wing leader), that isn’t going to play well for the Republicans. It’s like, they made their bed with the Israel hawks, and now the Democrats are forcing them to sleep in it. There’s a lot at stake, and much of it hinges on the Democrats extending their control of the executive branch beyond two terms for the first time since 1952.

  12. Hostage
    January 3, 2014, 8:42 pm

    surewin: 2016 is going to be a pitched battle with respect to Israel/Palestine.

    JeffB: Between who and whom?

    The comment said it would be between the Israel hawks and Hillary.

    The Congress is going to come under intense pressure to cut-off funding for Israel after the years of pointless peace talks fail. All of the mainline Churches we are talking about are going to adopt Apartheid resolutions. After all, the leaders of the governing coalition in Israel have publicly declared the 2SS is dead and is never gonna happen.

    Congress has cutoff funding for essential social programs here at home, while raising funding for Israel. Anyone can read the polls that say the voters won’t tolerate more of the same going forward: The 9%: Congress’s Approval Rating Hits the Single Digits: Suddenly 10% isn’t looking so shabby http://swampland.time.com/2013/11/12/the-9-congress-approval-rating-hits-the-single-digits/

    • JeffB
      January 3, 2014, 9:38 pm

      @Hostage

      The comment said it would be between the Israel hawks and Hillary.

      In the primary? Hillary is an Israeli hawk by Democratic standards. What Democratic politician likely to make a credible threat to Hillary is anti-Israel for there to be this battle?

      The Congress is going to come under intense pressure to cut-off funding for Israel after the years of pointless peace talks fail. All of the mainline Churches we are talking about are going to adopt Apartheid resolutions. After all, the leaders of the governing coalition in Israel have publicly declared the 2SS is dead and is never gonna happen.

      Congress has cutoff funding for essential social programs here at home, while raising funding for Israel. Anyone can read the polls that say the voters won’t tolerate more of the same going forward: The 9%: Congress’s Approval Rating Hits the Single Digits: Suddenly 10% isn’t looking so shabby link to

      Israeli funding isn’t controversial in Congress. For example in 2012 Congress approved $800m for Israel to test missile defense and Obama threw in an extra $70m. Hillary BTW was Secretary of State at the time. Should Israeli aide be on the chopping block long before stuff like unemployment insurance and food stamps? Absolutely! Is there any evidence that I’ve seen this is happening, no. Have I even seen any politician with clout suggest it? No. Have i even seen a powerful lobby suggest it? No.

      • Hostage
        January 6, 2014, 7:14 am

        Hostage: The comment said it would be between the Israel hawks and Hillary.

        JeffB: In the primary? Hillary is an Israeli hawk by Democratic standards.

        I was just pointing out that you had not read surewin’s comment. Since it contained the answer to the question you asked.

        In any event, Hilliary is still apologizing for authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Obama took the nomination away from her. Just look how far posturing as an Israeli war hawk has gotten him lately:

        The American Israel Public Affairs Committee plans to send 300 members to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to urge support for President Obama’s proposed strike on Syria.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/world/middleeast/lobbying-group-for-israel-to-press-congress-on-syria.html?ref=americanisraelpublicaffairscommitteeaipac&_r=0

        I don’t think a war hawk of any kind will be much of a political threat.

        What Democratic politician likely to make a credible threat to Hillary is anti-Israel for there to be this battle?

        She got defeated by a political unknown last time. Obama’s only qualification for the Nobel Peace Prize in October of 2009 was beating a war hawk, John McCain, in the 2008 elections and delivering the Cairo Speech in June of 2009.

        Israeli funding isn’t controversial in Congress.

        Yeah, but they can’t get re-elected with approval ratings of 9 percent, no matter how much money they have in their war chest.

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