In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft

Israel/Palestine
on 88 Comments
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  listens as US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press before a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on January 2, 2014 in Jerusalem. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press before a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on January 2, 2014 in Jerusalem. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. officials blamed Israel’s “expropriating land on a large scale” to build colonies “on the territory meant for that [Palestinian] state” as the “primary” reason for the recent negotiations’ failure, in a must-read Ynet interview with historic implications. This rare moment of honesty from anonymous officials of the dishonest broker stands in sharp contrast to the collapse of the Barak/Arafat Camp David talks, following which Israel’s apologists seized on the Clinton administration’s blaming of Arafat to disseminate the Myth of the Generous Offer.

Finally, for the first time in the history of the U.S. being Israel’s lawyer, the superpower has copped to one of the fundamental flaws of the peace process: one cannot negotiate over a pizza with a bully while the bully devours the pizza! “What they told me is the closest thing to an official American version of what happened,” writes Nahum Barnea. Put more plainly, indigenous people who are being oppressed by a colonial power cannot negotiate with the colonial power while the colonial power continues to steal, ethnically cleanse, and colonize their land.

“Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale,”

A credulous U.S. official complained, going much farther than any comment Sec. Kerry has made either on or off the record. Apparently the unnamed officials haven’t been reading Electronic Intifada, Haaretz+972magour site,  or any of the other publications that might have informed them of this reality long ago.

I guess we need another Intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress,”

One anonymous official asserted, clarifying that while they don’t want that to happen, the lack of a ‘sense of urgency’ necessitates one. Perhaps a way to interpret this comment is the recognition that the current balance of power so drastically favors Israel, that only if the state came under extreme pressure — for example, through a massive popular uprising (let’s think Intifada I, which was largely nonviolent) and a huge increase in international support for the BDS Movement — would Israel make the concessions necessary for negotiations to lead anywhere meaningful.

Of course, never did the unnamed U.S. officials speculate that cutting U.S. military aid to Israel might help create a ‘sense of urgency,’ nor did the U.S. officials acknowledge their own role as a dishonest broker being one of the main causes of the talks’ failure.

If indeed April 29th 2014 marked the end of the 20-year-long period of the U.S. inserting itself as the sole mediator of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the charge that settlement construction ‘very effectively sabotaged’ this round of talks will, in historical retrospective, indict Israel’s responsibility for the collapse of the entire ‘Peace Process’ and the Oslo era, which for 20 years has been nothing more than a smokescreen for Israel to confiscate more Pieces of Palestinian land.

U.S. officials also offered several strident warnings to the Israeli audience.

“The world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state,” one of the unnamed senior officials implored.

In response to the interviewer’s tired rejoinder, “The world is being self-righteous. It closes its eyes to China’s takeover of Tibet,” the officials responded, “Israel is not China. It was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community.”

The officials might have added that Israel’s admission into the UN was contingent on its implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees’ return to their homes, which it has flagrantly ignored and violated.

Eyebrow-raising excerpts follow. Read the entirety of this landmark article, now; I wouldn’t be surprised if Israeli gov’t officials attempt to pressure Ynet to reword or even scrub this article, containing as it does perhaps the most strident U.S. criticism of Israeli policies of in many years. Also check out Larry Derfner’s take at +972.

“The negotiations had to start with a decision to freeze settlement construction. We thought that we couldn’t achieve that because of the current makeup of the Israeli government, so we gave up. We didn’t realize Netanyahu was using the announcements of tenders for settlement construction as a way to ensure the survival of his own government. We didn’t realize continuing construction allowed ministers in his government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks.

There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.”

“At the end of a war there is a sense of urgency,” they said. And then one of them added bitterly: “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.

“20 years after the Oslo Accords, new game rules and facts on the ground were created that are deeply entrenched. This reality is very difficult for the Palestinians and very convenient for Israel.”

“Abbas watched how Oslo opened the door to 400,000 Israelis to settle beyond the Green Line. He wasn’t willing to bear it anymore.”

“One of the Palestinians who participated in the talks told an Israeli participant: ‘You don’t see us. We’re transparent, we’re hollow.’ He had a point. After the second intifada ended and the separation barrier was built, the Palestinians turned into ghosts in the eyes of the Israelis – they couldn’t see them anymore.”

“The international community, especially the European Union, avoided any action during the negotiations. Now, a race will begin to fill the void [created by the collapse of the U.S.-led Peace Process]. Israel might be facing quite a problem.”

“As of now, nothing is stopping the Palestinians from turning to the international community. The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end – whether through violence or by turning to international organizations.”

“Abbas’ conditions were rejected out of hand by Israel. Perhaps someone in Israel will reconsider their positions? Why is a three-month settlement construction freeze such a big deal? Why not draw a map? You have a great interest in an accord reached by mutual consent, rather than one reached as a result of external pressures. Drawing a map should’ve been stage one.”

88 Responses

  1. Kay24
    May 3, 2014, 11:05 am

    Wow straight out of the horses mouth. What a well written article, and it is heartening news, that for once, the US officials are NOT intimidated by threats, nor being pressurized by alien lobbies, and simply stating the truth. For months apologists and hasbaracuda have come out, even here, and blamed it all on the occupied, powerless victims. Of course, we all knew, we read the articles, and even Mondoweiss kept focussing on the truth – that the greedy occupier has absolutely NO intentions of ending the brutal occupation, because to end it, they must stop the disgusting crime of land theft. Until they have brutally got rid of the Arabs in the Galilee, taken over their lands, water, and valuable resources, this rogue nation of Israel, will continue to demolish, steal, kill, kidnap, and continue their crime spree against civilians, including children.
    I do agree with the writer, that NOT ONE of the US officials suggested cutting all aid to this apartheid nation, because the only way to make them change their evil ways, is to hit them where it hurts. While we are at it, perhaps we should ban all alien lobbies that operate so deviously within our political system.
    I hope our corrupt congress will open their eyes and realize they have misplaced loyalties to a rogue nation, that has taken us for a long, expensive, ride. We have to stop being naive, and believing a brutal occupier, who keeps pretending they are held under siege by unarmed occupied people.
    Now it will be amusing to see the occupier’s paid minions attack the Palestinians, John Kerry, and President Obama, for the failure of these talks. That koolaid is strong.

    • ziusudra
      May 4, 2014, 3:28 am

      Greetings Kay24,
      Well said, dear.
      Deflate their own pockets!
      But the US also needs them to remain on the front frontier line, in line with their perspectives of keeping the lid on Islamism in the region.
      We save so many billions just by letting them police the area.
      Balance of power by Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy will not be seen again, even as a world power after Johnson. We now go the way of the corrupt Senators of the Roman empire. It took them 400 yrs to destroy Rome!
      We have a dog in the ME struggle too.
      ziusudra

  2. Blownaway
    May 3, 2014, 11:29 am

    Good luck finding this story in the US media. I guess they can say the truth in Israel
    ( they just ignore it) but here the politicians who fall all over themselves to be pro Israel can’t handle the truth.

    • Kay24
      May 3, 2014, 11:49 am

      You are absolutely right. The zionist media of America will never run with this, mention it, nor agree to what these officials say. That koolaid must be really toxic.
      If this does not convince our Israel firsters that something is horrible wrong here, nothing else will.

  3. Philip Munger
    May 3, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Israeli gov’t officials attempt to pressure Ynet to reword or even scrub this article, containing as it does perhaps the most strident U.S. criticism of Israeli policies of in many years.

    — Cat is out of the bag. I took screenshots of it after reading it last night, thinking it might even be gone by this morning. You’re right – people should read it, even with the somewhat clumsy translation.

    The reader comments are in two sets – ynet’s internal comment setup and Facebook (-ish?). Commenters generally calling the article leftist rubbish, and attacking Obama and Kerry for betraying Israel in the talks.

    • Krauss
      May 3, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Maybe I’m missing it but what’s the big deal here? Sure, Israel will be blamed more than the Palestinians this time around but this is not a new development.

      This has been the concensus view in the Western world for several years now, arguably since Cast Lead and the formation of the second Netanyahu government.

      The American officials are basically only doing what most officials are: living in the conventional wisdom bubble. And as Taylor points out, they aren’t reflective on American aid or any real American political pressure on Israel. Instead they just wistfully and laconically state that a new intifada may be needed.

      That’s just a cop-out, and that is a cop-out that they want because they don’t want to deal with the Israel lobby, or even acknowledge its role.

      The article is more like a reality check of where are are, and I expected as much from it as I read, rather than any new groundbreaking development. Basically only hardcore Likudniks now think that the Palestinians are mostly to blame.

      Nobody else.

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 3:38 pm

        Maybe I’m missing it but what’s the big deal here? Sure, Israel will be blamed more than the Palestinians this time around but this is not a new development.

        Yes it is a new development. The public has been regaled with bullshit about generous offers, ever since the Clinton era. But nothing like a generous offer has ever been tabled. Recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and the Negroponte doctrine, are enshrined in the the US Code as a matter of public policy – right along with US support for anything that Zionists label self-defense. If there have been any Israeli efforts to forge peace, I’ve never noticed any:

        It is the policy of the United States:
        (1) To reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. As President Barack Obama stated on December 16, 2011, “America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable.” And as President George W. Bush stated before the Israeli Knesset on May 15, 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, “The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty.”.
        (2) To help the Government of Israel preserve its qualitative military edge amid rapid and uncertain regional political transformation.
        (3) To veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.
        (4) To support Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.

        (5) To pursue avenues to expand cooperation with the Government of Israel both in defense and across the spectrum of civilian sectors, including high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceuticals, and energy.
        (6) To assist the Government of Israel with its ongoing efforts to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security, and to encourage Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
        (7) To encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the United States and Israel given current trends and instability in the region.

        — 22 U.S. Code § 8602 – Statement of policy link to law.cornell.edu

    • Hostage
      May 3, 2014, 7:48 pm

      Cat is out of the bag. I took screenshots of it after reading it last night, thinking it might even be gone by this morning.

      Me too.

  4. Ramzi Jaber
    May 3, 2014, 12:32 pm

    US gov finally starting to speak the truth. They knew the truth all along, since Truman. But now, they dare to speak out while in office… it’s about time. I’m certain that Rep. Findley is very happy.

    To him I say: “Mr. Findley, a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have shown courage, wisdom, and forethought. You are a Palestinian hero. USA owes you a ton of gratitude for daring to speak the truth when truth about Palestine in DC was hard to find. Thank you!”

  5. Ramzi Jaber
    May 3, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Senator Kerry has changed the trajectory of Palestine for the better and forever altered the dynamics of peace-making. How I wished he would succeed for I and all my people want peace to take hold for the sake of our children and their children. But alas, peace and zionism do not square off.

    I used to be a strong believer, advocate, and defender of the 2SS. But no more. Criminal and illegal acts of zionists in occupied Palestine have fundamentally and irreconcilably changed the facts on the ground in Palestine. There is only one feasible, just, stable, and logical path forward: 1S1P1V, one state one person one vote. Zionists made sure of that by entrenching a racist colonial system that already turned the zionist entity into an apartheid regime. As St. Augustine said: “An unjust law is no law at all”. The Zionists bear the responsibility and consequence of their colonial crimes.

    To what St. Augustine said I add the following: The arc of history always bends towards justice and our cause is just. And yes, as those anonymous US officials said, Palestine will SOON be a state either through the UN/BDS/ICC/ICJ or through demographics.

    • Kay24
      May 3, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Once the US let’s the parasitic nation go, stop the aid, and unwavering support, the chances for the Palestinians to have an independent state, are higher.
      It will be amusing to see the devious Israeli lobbies scramble and try to put their spin on this.

    • Matthew Taylor
      May 3, 2014, 1:45 pm

      Ramzi, agreed, you have my full support. 1S1P1V!

    • Sycamores
      May 3, 2014, 2:27 pm

      The arc of history always bends towards justice and our cause is just.

      Brilliant!

      1S1P1V rallying cry that gains momentum as each day passes.

    • just
      May 3, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Great statement, Ramzi. For once, a US admin has permitted the Israeli gov’t to twist in the fetid and foul whirlwind of crimes that they have engulfed the area with for far too long.

      I’m hoping that this helps the ICC, the IJC and the international world all over to finally do the right thing and pursue sanctions against Israel, punishment for those culpable of crimes by Israel, and finally pursue & enact justice for the Palestinians everywhere.

      (restoration of the stolen lands is, of course, part and parcel of this– send the ‘settlers’ back from whence they came! After, of course, they make restitution and are also punished for their heinous terrorism and theft!)

    • bintbiba
      May 3, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Right you are, Ramzi.

    • LeaNder
      May 4, 2014, 10:30 am

      Ramzi, as a Palestinian what you think about this statement. These basic human levels interest me most, I guess. Psychologically interesting. …

      He came to accept that in the Israeli view, the Palestinians would never be trustworthy

      The context is what Larry Defner accurately terms “Palestinian concessions”. Why is there such a lacunae concerning Israeli’s, except for Tzipi Livni’s general statement. Really odd. Or did I miss something?

      And one more question. I wonder if there is any way to grasp the peculiar story surrounding maps and the discussion of maps over the years.

      Al Jazeera, the napkin map

      I seem to remember an article I read over here, referring to the fact that a rather high percentage of Israelis (I guess “nationals”, if I get the terms right) are not even able to draw one. It may have been about the “green line”, I forget.

      Why didn’t they start out with asking them to offer their own maps instead of offering one themselves based on the Clinton plan?

  6. Donald
    May 3, 2014, 1:21 pm

    It’s a good thing Netanyahu and company are so pigheaded, because the solution the Americans were pushing probably wouldn’t have been acceptable to very many Palestinians anyway.

    Anyway, I’m glad the Kerry people are blaming Israel. I would not have predicted this a few months ago. I figured they’d do what Clinton did after Camp David and later, Taba–put all the blame on the Palestinians or at best, split it down the middle. This is a pleasant surprise.

    • Hostage
      May 3, 2014, 8:07 pm

      This is a pleasant surprise.

      Not so much. Despite the jaw-dropping bottom line that Israel is to blame, they still intend to help Israel block Palestine’s application to international organizations. Read that as more brain-damaged vetos, including one for the membership application pending in the UN Security Council, if and when it ever gets revived and placed on the agenda:

      “The boycott and the Palestinian application to international organizations are medium-range problems. America will help, but there’s no guarantee its support will be enough.

      link to ynetnews.com

      They can’t even envision the USA intervening to prevent Netanyahu & Co. from applying sanctions that would bring about the collapse of the so-called PA.

      • brenda
        May 3, 2014, 9:10 pm

        “…they still intend to help Israel block Palestine’s application to international organizations.”

        Hostage, do you have any information on this other than the quote you highlighted from the y-net piece?

        Obama did say in his Bloomberg News interview last winter that if the peace talks went down the US would be unable to manage the international fallout — but what does that actually translate to, according to your knowledge of UN processes/international law?

        In the past, the US veto meant everything. How can it be less than everything now that the peace talks have gone down? When Obama said “unable” do you think he was saying “will not”? Or “I’m bluffing”?

        How can it be somewhere in between? Isn’t it either giving the veto as usual or abstaining?

      • James Canning
        May 4, 2014, 1:57 pm

        @Brenda – – I think it was take a miracle for Obama to have the guts not to block the Palestinians from obtaining full membership in the UN.

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 9:06 pm

        Hostage, do you have any information on this other than the quote you highlighted from the y-net piece?

        The US Congress has laws on the books that would cut-off funding to the Security Council, General Assembly, or any other UN organ or agency that gives Palestine or the PLO the rights and privileges reserved for full member states. So Obama would have to use the veto in the Security Council on that question, as the lesser of two evils:
        U.S. Code Title 22, Section 287e states:

        * “No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or any other Act shall be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.” This was adopted by a Democratic Congress in 1989 as Public Law 101-246.
        * “The United States shall not make any voluntary or assessed contribution: (1) to any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood, or (2) to the United Nations, if the United Nations grants full membership as a state in the United Nations to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood, during any period in which such membership is effective.” This was adopted by a Democratic Congress in 1994 as Public Law 103-236.
        link to nationalreview.com

        The Palestinians are obviously going to go around the Security Council veto and approach organizations that are funded by user fees or member fees, like the ICC, that aren’t funded directly by the Congress or the UN.

        At the same time I don’t think that many US corporations, certain sectors like big pharma, and more than a few tycoons are going to let Congress gut the UN at their expense. So I think WIPO, WHO, & etc. are in no real danger if Palestine signs on as a full member.

      • James Canning
        May 3, 2014, 9:39 pm

        Continuing stupidity by the US in this regard is certain.

    • ziusudra
      May 4, 2014, 3:41 am

      Greetings Donald,
      …anyway, i’m glad the Kerry People are blaming Israel……

      1967 to 2014, some 47 yrs after conquest, a US statesman verbalizes blame against Zionism Governments!
      At this rate, how long will it take to negociate treaties?
      The 30 yrs war of Europe took only 4 yrs within the 30 yrs. coming up 5 treaties!
      ziusudra
      PS A mother turtle decisded to leave her 2 children to fend for themselves, but left them a last meal, only to be touched when both were hungry. They eyed eachother until starvation, not allowing the other to feed first!

  7. Henry Norr
    May 3, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I think there’s a significant mistranslation in Ynet’s English-language version of the interview. It says “The Oslo Accords were Netanyahu’s creation.” That makes zero sense, no matter how you try to twist it. In Larry Derfner’s piece at 972, apparently based on his own translation from the Hebrew, he renders the same sentence “The Oslo Accords were [Abu Mazen’s] handiwork,” which makes some sense in context (though I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration – nothing I’ve read about Oslo indicates that Abbas was personally responsible).

    • Matthew Taylor
      May 3, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Henry, I found that statement questionable too and also assumed it must have been an error, which is why I didn’t quote it in this piece.

      • LarryDerfner
        May 3, 2014, 2:10 pm

        You’re both right – in the Hebrew, the sentence read “his,” which was unclear who they meant, and I figured they couldn’t mean Netanyahu, so they had to mean Abu Mazen, so I put his name in brackets – but right, Oslo wasn’t really Abu Mazen’s handiwork or creation either, although he had a lot to do with the preparations for it.

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2014, 11:25 am

        Larry, it would be very interesting to know how Israeli media responds to this interview.

        Good summary by the way. Although, notice I am a nitwit and no journalist, but I would have followed up Abu Mazen’s concessions with his–well what–points of resistance? Or are you simply assuming that is common knowledge among your readers? Sorry, no list tags seem to be allowed here.

        ******************************************
        “He told us: ‘Tell me if there’s another Arab leader that would have agreed to what I agreed to. I won’t make any more concessions until Israel agrees to the three following terms:

        Outlining the borders would be the first topic under discussion. It would be agreed upon within three months.

        A timeframe would be set for the evacuation of Israelis from sovereign Palestinian territories (Israel had agreed to complete the evacuation of Sinai within three years).

        Israel will agree to have East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
        ******************************************

        Good summary though, this is not a critique.

    • Hostage
      May 3, 2014, 9:15 pm

      “Abbas went into these talks a skeptic. Actually, they were all skeptics, but his doubts focused on Netanyahu. The Oslo Accords were Netanyahu’s creation. Abbas watched how Oslo opened the door to 400,000 Israelis to settle beyond the Green Line. He wasn’t willing to bear it anymore.

      Here’s yet another opinion from the peanut gallery. In a sense, the US State Department helped Netanyahu hijack the Oslo Accords years ago, when Warren Christopher gave him a letter of assurance that granted him sole discretion to define security zones. Netanyahu was filmed years ago saying the entire Jordan Valley was a security zone, “go argue”. In that sense the Accords became Netanyahu’s tool for retaining control over portions of the West Bank forever. I’m sure he reminded the State Department negotiators of that fact so often that they have come to view the Accords, in their current form, as his creation.

      If you read passage above from that POV, it makes sense.

      • James Canning
        May 3, 2014, 9:38 pm

        A blunder by Warren Christopher?

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 7:45 pm

        A blunder by Warren Christopher?

        No that was a deliberate policy decision made by Clinton to obtain the Hebron Agreement after Netanyahu had issued an ultimatum. Clinton and Christopher were both lawyers who knew they were granting Netanyahu carte blanche or full powers to reinterpret the withdrawal provisions of the Oslo Accords any way that he pleased:

        Narrator: The Oslo Accords stated at the time that Israel would gradually hand over territories to the Palestinians in three different pulses, unless the territories in question had settlements or military sites. This is where Netanyahu found a loophole.

        Netanyahu: No one said what defined military sites. Defined military sites, I said, were security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the Jordan Valley is a defined military site.

        Woman: Right [laughs]…The Beit She’an Valley.

        Netanyahu: How can you tell. How can you tell? But then the question came up of just who would define what Defined Military Sites were. I received a letter — to me and to Arafat, at the same time — which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron Agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: “I’m not signing.” Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron Agreement. Or rather, ratify it, it had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo Accord.

        See the full transcript on this YouTube page:

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2014, 10:46 am

        . I’m sure he reminded the State Department negotiators of that fact so often that they have come to view the Accords, in their current form, as his creation.

        Makes perfect sense to me. Would also resolve the problem that neither one would fit into the sentence.

    • Kathleen
      May 4, 2014, 10:20 am

      Is it true that in the Oslo Accords there is absolutely no mention of the illegal settlements?

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Is it true that in the Oslo Accords there is absolutely no mention of the illegal settlements?

        No they are mentioned as final status issues in the Declaration of Principles that would not be addressed by the interim accords:

        Article V:
        Transitional period and permanent status negotiations:
        1. The five-year transitional period will begin upon the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area.

        2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people’s representatives.

        3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.

        4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by agreements reached for the interim period.

        link to news.bbc.co.uk

      • Robert Brooks
        May 4, 2014, 3:45 pm

        Mentioned, yes. Discussed, No. This omission from the Oslo Accords remains a sore point among many prominent Palestinians.

  8. Amar
    May 3, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I dont see how this is ‘historic’ or even significant at all. The interviewee was anonymous and speaking to an Israeli paper. Now if the official had a name and published in the NYT or WAPO, then we may have something. As it is, its nothing. I dont think the Israelis would even care about trying to remove it from Ynet, they know it wont see any daylight in the U.S. media which is what matters to them.

    I’ve always thought that Israels hold over congress and U.S. foreign policy would amount to nothing if it were not for their virtual control over the U.S. media (MSM). Take that away and the whole stinking facade crumbles. Just remember the U.S.S. Liberty, and that if they could get away with that (by blotting it out of mass awareness), they can get away with anything.

    • American
      May 3, 2014, 2:50 pm

      ”I’ve always thought that Israels hold over congress and U.S. foreign policy would amount to nothing if it were not for their virtual control over the U.S. media MSM). Take that away and the whole stinking facade crumbles” …Amar

      You’re right…without their media control Israel would be kicked out of the US by popular public demand.
      However not all of the public is ignorant…as we can see in the comments sections whenever Israel is the subject..read the comments to this article:

      How U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson is buying up Israel’s media

      link to washingtonpost.com

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2014, 11:10 am

        Interesting issue, American, I have to admit.

        If I may, I start to feel guilty about associative lines of thought.

        But strictly, the passages in Max’ book that deal with the special Israeli media handling of the flotilla event was one of the most interesting of the book for me.

        Maybe that fascination triggered something on my mind while reading the interview. What would surface under a close look at the way Israel’s media covered the talks? What exactly where the specific positions. … How did star journalist, Nahum Barnea, himself treat the topic? Yedioth Ahronoth

        I have to admit, I would love to see such a study. Maybe versus a US study on the same topic. I missed to save a link to an interesting institution in the US that actually does such media studies, maybe on this topic too?

        What was your general impression from what you saw on US media apart from here?

    • Boomer
      May 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

      Re: “Now if the official had a name and published in the NYT or WAPO, then we may have something.” I agree. I guess we can hope for that to happen, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • Ellen
      May 3, 2014, 3:16 pm

      Agreed….this will be historic when a named senior official comes out with the truth and it is reported as such.

      We are far from that. Let’s not forget just last week and the media coverage of Kerry’s use of the A word.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 3, 2014, 6:13 pm

      I dont see how this is ‘historic’ or even significant at all.

      according to larry defner “Yedioth Ahronoth’s Nahum Barnea”, is Israel’s No. 1 print journalist link to 972mag.com

      one might think if that were untrue someone would have refuted him. that’s just not something you say or write on a whim, and defner has been a journo for a long long time. where is the WH denying the truthieness of this report? it’s very likely it was an authorized interview right from the top. defner also calls it a historic document.

      i believe it is historic. plus, it says “U.S. officials “, plural. i believe Barnea would not fly this info using a bogus source.

      • hophmi
        May 3, 2014, 6:52 pm

        Historic is stretching it, but it’s significant. This official is saying what everyone knows already, and what John Kerry intimated to the American Jewish community last year and since then, which is essentially that the ball is in Israel’s court.

        But if you think that the US is abandoning Israel anytime soon, you’re deluding yourselves. As I’ve said to you many times, the US will not choose the instability and autocracy of the Palestinians and the Arabs over the stability and democracy of Israel, even with its imperfections.

      • James Canning
        May 4, 2014, 2:29 pm

        The US would not be “abandoning” Israel if it told Israel to get out of the West Bank.

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 7:09 pm

        if you think that the US is abandoning Israel anytime soon, you’re deluding yourselves. As I’ve said to you many times, the US will not choose the instability and autocracy of the Palestinians and the Arabs over the stability and democracy of Israel, even with its imperfections.

        The US has pulled the plug on Mubarak, Marcos, Somoza, de Klerk, Diem, and a host of others. Israel will be no different, and you know it. That’s why the Zionist leadership spends so much time and effort on hasbara, lawfare, and other efforts to prop-up Israel’s flagging legitimacy. The members of the current regime are competing to see who can make the most bellicose statements or adopt the most fascist legislation. So they are greasing the skids, but it’s defenders like you that prove day-in and day-out how irredeemable so-called liberal, political Zionism truly is.

      • James Canning
        May 4, 2014, 7:17 pm

        If the US told Israel to get out of the West Bank, would this be “pulling the plug”? Or, would it be a signal good favor?

      • Blownaway
        May 3, 2014, 8:38 pm

        The formula that makes an impression on Israel has yet to be found. BDS is starting to, but not nearly enough. It’s not like if public officials named or un-named will make a difference. At the end of the day they know they can make America do anything they want, like making Kerry or even Obama grovel

      • MRW
        May 3, 2014, 11:50 pm

        “U.S. officials “

        Exactly. US Jewish officials. And I think the historicity is in this line, “Its [Israel ‘s] prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community.”

        Because this piece is a PR salve to cover their asses in Europe for the failed talks. This is Israel saying the cause is a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B, a little bit of column C. The land theft is no new news; fercrissake it’s the internet, the new settlements were mainstream news every time they got the permits. This is Israel trying to steer the story. Because the real story is that Netanyahu and the rest of Israel don’t give a shit about peace and have no intention of giving up one inch, thank you for the money America. This article doesn’t say anything you couldn’t read on moonofalabama or niqnaq or any other number of websites four months ago. TPTB in Israel commandeered the blog talk to get in front of it. We don’t have statesmen anymore; this is just Israel doing gangsta’ and the US doesn’t know how to work the neighborhood.

    • Kathleen
      May 4, 2014, 10:23 am

      Good point. Although since this piece will not “see any daylight in the U.S. media” we can do our part and put it up on fb pages, take it over to MSNBC fb pages link it over at Huff Po, and every other site you go to. Spread it around. Send it to your congress folks while asking them to cut off aid to Israel. There is something folks can do to get these statements out there.

  9. HarryLaw
    May 3, 2014, 1:54 pm

    “They say they wanted the talks to start last July with a settlement freeze, but dropped the idea after becoming convinced that Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners wouldn’t go along with it. Now they realize their mistake:”
    To be fair to Netanyahu he did not commit to any halt in settlement building, he simply asked Abbas to enter into talks without any preconditions, which obviously meant he could continue building [or as he would say, no one has the right to tell Israelis where or when we can build in the Land of Israel] Abbas knew this, but still signed on for those 14000 Israeli only Homes. Abbas is an old man, but as Professor Henry Siegman said on the subject “even a six year old knows what’s going on”.

    • Hostage
      May 3, 2014, 9:42 pm

      To be fair to Netanyahu he did not commit to any halt in settlement building, he simply asked Abbas to enter into talks without any preconditions, which obviously meant he could continue building [or as he would say, no one has the right to tell Israelis where or when we can build in the Land of Israel] Abbas knew this, but still signed on for those 14000 Israeli only Homes.

      There’s nothing fair about the absurd proposition that Mileikowsky can build where or when he wants to in Palestine. The State Department officials said that Abbas had not agreed to those 14,000 homes by signing on to negotiate. They would have been built in any event by the Housing Minister and cabinet who want to prevent a Palestinian State. Abbas was promised that Israel would provide a map of the proposed borders and release prisoners they had already promised in the Taba agreements of 1994.

    • Walid
      May 4, 2014, 3:12 am

      “To be fair to Netanyahu he did not commit to any halt in settlement building, he simply asked Abbas to enter into talks without any preconditions, …” (Harry Law)

      There was the precondition that Palestinians would be keeping away from the UN and the timed release of the prisoners was another. Whether true or not, there was a claim by Israel that Palestinian leaders had agreed to new settlement announcements to be made while the talks would be in progress. I read somewhere that Erekat had more or less admitted it but that that the Israelis had cheated on the scope of the numbers and the timing announced. Didn’t a mini palace revolt occur among PLO partisans that asked for Erekat’s head when this admission and his subsequent 7th or 8th threat of resignation was made?

      From Norman Finkelstein last November:

      “… Although the Palestinians knew the announcement on settlements was coming, they expected neither that construction would start immediately nor the scope of the plans – some 5000 new housing units. The Americans were also not aware the number would be so high. When the news broke on Wednesday evening a storm befell the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah. Senior officials of the Palestinian Liberation Organization demanded to cease negotiations and attacked Erekat.

      On Thursday, Channel 10 and Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Erekat tendered his resignation before Abbas but that the latter rejected it. What actually transpired was a little different. According to Israeli officials, Erekat did not deliver a resignation letter, but instead tossed out a verbal statement at a PLO meeting.

      The officials said Erekat wanted publicity for internal Palestinian purposes: On the one hand to relieve that pressure on him from within the PLO and on the other to calm the public outcry.”

      link to normanfinkelstein.com

  10. James Canning
    May 3, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Clearly, Israel’s conviction the US will allow it to change the borders of Palestine by growing illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, is the HUGE problem, created in no small way by continuing foolishness of the US Congress.

  11. weareone
    May 3, 2014, 3:26 pm

    “Palestine will SOON be a state either through the UN/BDS/ICC/ICJ or through demographics.”

    Thanks, Ramzi- agreed. Sycamores-a rallying cry -a great idea.

    1S1P1V! 1S1P1V! 1S1P1V!

  12. Steve Macklevore
    May 3, 2014, 3:51 pm

    I find the level of naivete in this article the most astonishing thing I’ve read for decades – maybe ever.

    “Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale,”

    What do you have to do to become a U.S negotiator – watch “Exodus” and “Cast a Giant Shadow” and sign your name three times without a spelling mistake?

    Honestly, ignorance like this is actually negligent, maybe even criminally negligent. How can officials this stupid and badly prepared host negotiations when they have almost zero knowledge of the tactics and history of the negotiating parties? How the fuck are these morons chosen?

    Knowing what Israel has done over the past 40+ years is hardly a secret!

    Honestly, the ignorance and stupidity of well meaning Americans makes my blood boil! I knew Kerry was a dumb fuck – he lost an election to President Fuckwit for goodness sake. But he obviously feels most comfortable with dumber officials that make Sarah Palin look like Einstein!

    Maybe the U.S tactic is that the Israelis will drown in their own urine having pissed themselves laughing so much at the ‘honest brokers’ team?

    I bet you any money you like the Israeli negotiation team are well read, they rehearse, and they go through arguments and counter arguments and responses time and time again. Stealing land and spinning out negotiations is a serious business in Israel.

    Poor Palestinians – they should now approach the E.U – at least it contains a few nations, notably Britain and France that are as ruthless, duplicitous and cynical as Israel.

    • Hostage
      May 3, 2014, 9:49 pm

      “Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale,”

      The fact is the Israelis have been building on land inside the existing, so-called “settlement blocks” and promising to remove outposts since the Sharon era. After the talks collapsed, the Supreme Court signed off on the expropriation of several thousand dunams of newly designated state land and legalized an outpost. So the statement is accurate about that being a new, but not unprecedented, development.

    • a blah chick
      May 4, 2014, 8:51 pm

      “What do you have to do to become a U.S negotiator – watch “Exodus” and “Cast a Giant Shadow” and sign your name three times without a spelling mistake?”

      You forgot to mention that viewing any one of the dozen Entebbe movies is also necessary.

  13. seafoid
    May 3, 2014, 4:11 pm

    I wonder what will happen next. Israeli expansionism is no longer respectable but without power nothing will change.

    • just
      May 3, 2014, 5:44 pm

      My dream is that we drop our eternal veto, sanction the Israeli govt, help the Palestinian in their journey toward justice and representation at the ICC, IJC and everywhere else.

      Oh, yeah, we need to cut off those billions in “aid” and tools of death………you know, their WMDs.

      Since so much of their ‘power’ has come from the US, without it they’ll have to end their own charade as ‘peacemakers’, the ‘victims’, and the only ones deserving of justice, freedom, and the essential human rights that they possess and deny others.

  14. Daniel Rich
    May 3, 2014, 4:26 pm

    Thou shall find us through our seeds deeds.

  15. Henry Norr
    May 3, 2014, 5:58 pm

    from Barak Ravid in Haaretz:

    U.S. envoy Indyk likely to resign amid talks blowup

    The U.S. special envoy for peace talks, Martin Indyk, is considering resigning following the blowup of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and in light of President Barack Obama’s intention to suspend American mediation, according to Israeli officials in Jerusalem who are close to the matter. The officials asked to remain anonymous due to the issue’s sensitivity.

    The officials said Indyk had already informed the Brookings Institute – where he is vice president and director for foreign policy – that he might soon be returning to his post, from which he took a leave of absence nine months ago. Two senior officials at Brookings approached by Haaretz with questions on the matter each responded, “No comment.”

    In Jerusalem, it is believed that Indyk is the senior American official – anonymously quoted in a report published Friday in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth – mainly blaming Israel for the failure of the talks. According to the report, the senior official claimed that “the main damage to the peace talks comes from the settlements,” and that, during the talks, “Netanyahu did not move more than an inch.”

    The senior Israeli officials said these harsh statements are an indication that Indyk is laying the groundwork for a resignation. ….

    • just
      May 3, 2014, 5:59 pm

      well, I’ll be………

      Wonder if there will be a mention of any of this @ the correspondent’s din-din tonight….or will they lay the blame on O/K?

      • Annie Robbins
        May 3, 2014, 6:24 pm

        blame? he was probably authorized to ‘leak’. why not? what’s to lose?

      • just
        May 3, 2014, 6:33 pm

        good point, but the correspondent’s don’t know how to do anything else…..

        wonder if they are all a-twitter…

      • Annie Robbins
        May 3, 2014, 6:53 pm

        i thought one of the most surprising things in the interview was We didn’t realize Netanyahu was using the announcements of tenders for settlement construction as a way to ensure the survival of his own government.

        for real? that’s such a no brainer. settlers in his coalition said they would abandon him if he didn’t tow the line. he’d lose the gov’t and they probably would have had to call for new elections.. isn’t that how he lost the pm back in the 90’s?

        We didn’t realize continuing construction allowed ministers in his government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks.

        they should really read mondoweiss more. the last elections in israel had him in a corner. but he wouldn’t have signed on to a 2ss anyway. he’s his fathers son.

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2014, 1:16 am

        Annie, it’s “toe the line”.

        We’ve covered this before. Where do people get this “tow” from? As far as I can recall, “toe” was the way it was always written until a bunch of semi-literates started writing blogs.

        The expression probably comes from 18th century Royal Navy sailors standing to attention with their toes on the line between the planks, while bad tempered officers look for an excuse to have them flogged or keelhauled.

        Doesn’t that sound like the pressures that Zionists exert?

      • peterfeld
        May 4, 2014, 10:55 am

        We should be so lucky for this to be a topic at the WHCD, this story is completely missing from the US media. And yes, it’s got to be Indyk, where he says “If not now, when” – Indyk is prone to grand, familiar quotations.
        link to twitter.com
        link to twitter.com

      • Kathleen
        May 4, 2014, 11:14 am

        Hell no they will not mention this. The issue or lack of coverage by these ego maniacal folks will not come up. Most of that crowd are concerned with their huge pay checks. Although Obama did hammer CNN about their obsessed coverage of the downed Malaysian plane (terribly sad but CNN has been truly obsessed)…Obama said he had to “go to Malaysia to be covered by CNN” The Cspan camera’s went over to Wolf Blitzer’s face a few times…he was not laughing. Classic.

        Now if this issue was ever mentioned at one of those dinners it would really make the headlines the earth would move right under their feet..it would cause an earthquake. .

        The best WH Correspondents comedian was Stephen Colbert in 2006. Watch it when I want to get high . link to youtube.com

    • Kay24
      May 3, 2014, 6:32 pm

      I just read it myself. Martin Indyk is Jewish, and blaming Israel for the breakdown of peace talks from someone of his stature will have some impact. Of course, we should expect the apologists to call him self hating, nevertheless, it is brave of him to cast blame on the deserving party, knowing the consequences. I am sick of US officials covering for Israel, and protecting them from world censure. I hope it is a sign of things to come.

      • JeffB
        May 3, 2014, 10:10 pm

        @Kay24

        Yes Kay it is a sign of things to come. USA officials when they want to side with the Palestinians do so off the record via. leaks and even those are infrequent and isolated. While politicians on the record make strong statements of supports and take official actions indicating support.

      • Ellen
        May 4, 2014, 3:34 am

        Breaking now in Israeli media is that Indyk just resigned as the talks failed.

        Was he asked to resign? Against the pre-programmed failure, is it that he now has nothing to do re the talks? Did he resign in protest and frustration?

        Did he really believe Israel is motivated to reach a settlement? If so, he was the wrong man for the job and nothing more than a politically appointed pawn. What a legacy.

        Maybe lights will go off in Washington and the Indyks of the world will realize they have been duped. Maybe Americans will finally understand they have been milked for decades for a Zionist colonial enterprise

      • Walid
        May 4, 2014, 5:03 am

        “… the Indyks of the world will realize they have been duped. ”

        Ellen, it’s the Indyks of the world that have been doing the duping. But not to worry, there are a few more other Zionists still remaining on the impartial American negotiating team for Israel-Palestine comprised of Ilan Goldberg, Frank Lowenstein, David Makovsky, Julie Sawyer, Michael Yale, Laura Blumenfeld, Jonathan Schwartz, Phil Gordon and Jon Allen.

      • brenda
        May 4, 2014, 8:28 am

        “On April 29, the nine months allotted to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had run their course. What will also run its course is Indyk’s leave without pay. It is believed that in light of the stalemate in the talks, Indyk will not extend his leave and will walk away from the negotiations. However, a final decision has yet to be made. An explicit request from US President Barack Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry might change that.”

        Read more: link to al-monitor.com

        I take a soupcon of heart from the implication that there was no request from Obama or Kerry that he stay on. The US needs to get out of the arena now and force the UN/EU to get in. I am shocked and dismayed that Obama did not make the pass — maybe I’m just being impatient, but the Palestinians will not wait forever and the Israelis are getting positively scary. I believe they would welcome an intifada, go in full military and take what’s “theirs” for once and all.

    • Shingo
      May 3, 2014, 7:29 pm

      Indyk finally admits he has been a dupe all along. We can be thankful that we have heard the last snark from this Israeli firster that the detractors and cynics were the ones who did not understand the bigger picture or that everything was Arafat’s fault.

  16. Kay24
    May 3, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Remember that “poof” moment by John Kerry? Here is a video of how the zionist media of America, changed his narrative to blame both sides for the failure of these peace talks, when it was clear he was blaming Israel mostly, for the illegal settlements and not releasing Palestinian prisoners as promised.

  17. Krusty
    May 3, 2014, 9:17 pm

    This is absolutely stunning, and something close to the inverse of Camp David. I think the key takeaways here are that:

    a) This was in Hebrew in the largest newspaper (or does Haaretz have a larger readership?) The key readership is Israeli. Netanyahu’s coalition is shaky enough as it is. Note the glowing words about Tzipi Livni, who despite Hatanuah’s poor showing in the last election, has already carried a general once. I think this is as much about trying to change the hearts and minds of Israeli voters and build the antipathy towards the settler movement and its representatives like Bayit Hayehudi. Kerry’s recent statement reflected that, too. The current coalition simply doesn’t have a realistic vision of peace and most of it doesn’t want it under any circumstance (like Uri Ariel.)

    b) Tom Friedman’s reporting on the Framework was accurate, that the general reaction (the Framework was very favorable to the Israeli position) was not unnoticed by the Americans, and that coalition intransigence was at the center of the breakdown.

    c) Urgency. Abu Mazen is nearing the end of his time in public life, is seeking a successor, and seems to genuinely want peace. Yair Lapid this week said that Hamas can be negotiated with. Livni no doubt agrees. Bougie Herzog obviously does, and Zahava Gal-On (whoever many seats Meretz has) would probably rather as many people at the table as possible. This is meant to create urgency, precisely to counter the sort of inertia and “sustainability” that Roger Cohen described the Occupation as having.

    “Unsustainable” is the administration keyword on this. It’s the keyword of the secular Israeli middle class and Tel Avivians. It’s the way any right-thinking Zionist thinks of this. The idea is to foment a coalition that gets it and is willing to make peace, especially on favorable and mutually agreed upon terms like the potential Kerry Framework could be/have been.

    I am very, very curious as to the domestic Israeli media response to this as well as the NYT/WaPo response.

    • irishmoses
      May 4, 2014, 1:49 pm

      Interesting analysis, Krusty, but remember no one in Israel comes close to Netanyahu in popularity. His current coalition is secure so long as he makes no move that his Greater Israel partners would object to. He could also abandon this partnership and form a coalition that might allow some sort of truncated peace agreement. So the ball is really in his court: he can go final agreement route or the Area C annexation route. For all the reasons I mention in my post below, I think he’ll go the Area C annexation route.

  18. irishmoses
    May 3, 2014, 9:53 pm

    Seafoid said: “I wonder what will happen next. Israeli expansionism is no longer respectable but without power nothing will change.”

    Yup, you got that right.

    I think Israeli annexation of Area C is next because it solves a lot of problems:

    1. It gives Israel “legal” control over the entire West Bank with only the internal cantons available for some sort of Palestinian entity.

    2. It keeps Gaza out of the mix and prevents any kind of true Palestinian unity.

    3. It keeps the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan out of the mix and makes RoR a non-issue.

    4. It gives Israel almost all the natural resources of the West Bank (water, gas).

    5. It adds relatively few Palestinians to the “demographic problem” (150,000).

    I think the Greater Israelites now know they have nothing to fear from the US and they see the EU as a paper tiger. BDS isn’t much of a threat because there are powerful Jewish constituencies in the US and EU, unlike apartheid South Africa which had virtually no constituency in either the US or EU. I think BDS is a marginal threat at best and the Israelis know it.

    I think Israel sees a lot of promise in Putin’s approach to protecting Russian minorities in satellite countries. Put enough settlers in someone else’s territory and it can become your territory. Putin is Israel’s new role model (or maybe Israel is Putin’s!). In any case, Zionism dumped the Brits once they were no longer useful. I think they are prepared to dump us next and adopt Russia/China as their new major power benefactors.

    A careful reread of Roger Cohen’s bleak NYT oped of 4/25 and the MW discussion of same (link to mondoweiss.net) is in order for all you MW cockeyed optimists who can’t see the handwriting on the wall.

    It’s all over but the shouting.

    • RudyM
      May 3, 2014, 10:41 pm

      Putin’s international role is one reason to be hopeful that Israel can at least be stopped from attaining all its regional goals. Russia is one of the few causes for hope on the world scene today, despite its flaws. The historical relationship of Russia to Ukraine is vastly different than the historical relationship of Ashkenazi Jews, who on the best theories of the moment are descendents of Jewish converts without milddle eastern roots, and Palestine. Israel will no doubt try to use Russia’s defensive actions against US/NATO imperialism as an excuse for its colonialist ethnic cleansing project, but that is so much of the usual Zionist hot air.

      • RudyM
        May 3, 2014, 10:49 pm

        And when he kicks western NGOs out of Russia, I hope western liberal human rights activists skip the cries of outrage. As if it isn’t clear how (many) western NGOs have been used for decades to do the work of western intelligence agencies.

        USAID is already working to in Ukraine to help the media there provide fair coverage of the upcoming elections. Oh lucky Ukraine!

        Some history:

        link to counterpunch.org

      • Hostage
        May 4, 2014, 8:31 pm

        And when he kicks western NGOs out of Russia, I hope western liberal human rights activists skip the cries of outrage. . . . USAID is already working to in Ukraine

        The USAID is NOT an NGO. It’s part of the Executive branch of the US government. link to state.gov

        William Colby publicly testified that he was in charge of the CIA’s operations, including the Phoenix program, while he was in Vietnam. Nonetheless, his official biography still says: On leave from CIA, assigned to Agency for International Development as Director of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Saigon (with rank of ambassador), 1968-71 . The same bio goes on to say he was running the in-country operations of the CIA while he was there. link to arlingtoncemetery.net

      • RudyM
        May 3, 2014, 11:20 pm

        If you look at the news from Odessa, you can see what anti-Maidan Crimeans might have missed out on thanks to Putin.

      • RudyM
        May 4, 2014, 12:41 am

        Meanwhile Obama refers to the current Ukraine government as duly elected:

        link to youtube.com

        Absolutely shameless and despicable.

    • MRW
      May 4, 2014, 8:32 am

      Roger Cohen’s crowing about Israel’s economy and prospects sounds like what they said about Argentina in the 1940s. From The Economist recently:

      The country [Argentina] was a magnet for European immigrants, who flocked to find work on the fertile pampas, where crops and cattle were propelling Argentina’s expansion. In 1914 half of Buenos Aires’s population was foreign-born.

      The country ranked among the ten richest in the world, after the likes of Australia, Britain and the United States, but ahead of France, Germany and Italy. Its income per head was 92% of the average of 16 rich economies. From this vantage point, it looked down its nose at its neighbours: Brazil’s population was less than a quarter as well-off.

      It never got better than this. Although Argentina has had periods of robust growth in the past century—not least during the commodity boom of the past ten years—and its people remain wealthier than most Latin Americans, its standing as one of the world’s most vibrant economies is a distant memory (see chart 1). Its income per head is now 43% of those same 16 rich economies; it trails Chile and Uruguay in its own back yard.

      As the article notes;

      “Only people this sophisticated could create a mess this big,” runs a Brazilian joke that plays on Argentines’ enduring sense of being special.

      What caused Argentina’s demise was the failure to fully educate its populace over the course of two generations. Only the elite needed to be educated. The same exists in Israel. The only population that is growing there are the Ultra-Orthodox, and their education is religious and insular. Good luck after two generations of that running the country. What if China insists on paying for goods in Yuan? The sectoral balances change for Israel.

    • Boomer
      May 4, 2014, 8:36 am

      irishmoses, you may well be right. For me, and for many here, that is a melancholy conclusion, but not a new one. It is possible, I suppose, that Obama might summon the courage (now that he can–if he wishes–focus more on history than on the next election) to speak the truth to the American people. He could say that he will no longer use the veto in the Security Council to give Israel impunity. But I don’t expect that. Daily we hear him and his minions lie to us about many things even less important politically than Israel.

      It is depressing to me to realize that I long ago ceased to expect honestly from my own leaders, especially regarding foreign affairs. (There seems to be a legacy of dishonestly about what we do in the world, dating from the day–now long ago–when few Americans could know what was happening in the world.) Of course, it is equally depressing to consider that our leaders don’t care much about the public’s opinion, which is mostly malleable. They mainly care about the opinions of the ultra-rich.

      When I was young, I felt sorry for the people who lived in communist countries who, we were told, could not believe the propaganda their leaders fed them. How superior we were, with the benefit of a free press. Perhaps we were superior in that regard, but not so different as I once believed. We too are routinely fed a disgusting diet of lies and propaganda.

    • Boomer
      May 4, 2014, 10:37 am

      PS: one small quibble with your comment, albeit somewhat tangential: I would say that Russia’s case historically and demographically vis-a-vis Eastern Ukraine is a good deal stronger than Israel’s re the occupied territories. That history goes a long way back, but also includes recent overt and (I suspect) covert actions by the U.S. to topple a democratically elected regime it did not like and replace it with one more agreeable to the West and less agreeable to Russia. Old habits die hard.

    • Krusty
      May 4, 2014, 11:51 am

      There’s a fair amount of sad truth to this, unfortunately. I think Area C annexation (if not outright WB annexation?) is totally plausible. Caroline Glick’s been beating this drum and getting track in the hardcore American right. Naftali Bennett is obviously popular and this is the centerpiece of his politics.

      I think you nail it with the burgeoning alliance between the Israeli right and the Putinists. There’s not just commonality of politics, but of language and culture (a direct product of the massive Russian Aliyah of the 90’s.) FM Lieberman wasn’t kidding when he said he aspires to see a Russian-speaking Israeli PM. These aren’t the original secular General Zionists, for sure.

      Hopefully, the Indyk resignation and the deep international scorn towards the Netanyahu coalition will lead to at least a more peace-palatable government.

      As an aside, is there a reason my last comment wasn’t posted? I don’t think it was particularly objectionable (beyond reflecting my own [minority on this website] leanings.)

      • brenda
        May 4, 2014, 12:29 pm

        try not to feel too badly, Krusty. My last several comments are still awaiting moderation. It could be either I’m too radical or too conservative…

  19. bilal a
    May 4, 2014, 7:00 am

    Andrew Sullivan calls for divorce from Israel: suspension of all aid , cessation of diplomatic cover at UN.

    link to dish.andrewsullivan.com

  20. Kathleen
    May 4, 2014, 11:09 am

    Just finished taking Matthew’s piece over to my fb page, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Huff Po and a few other places. Will of course send out to more. So check out the piece Huff Po (the USA today of websites) has up about the failure of peace talks.

    link to huffingtonpost.com

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