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‘Haaretz’ conference trumpets tired word ‘Peace’ (when the only solution is ‘equality’)

Israel/Palestine
on 46 Comments
Image for Haaretz's conference

Image for Haaretz’s conference

The answer — the only answer — to Israel/Palestine is equality. But Haaretz, stuck in the old, now-meaningless paradigm of so-called ‘peace,’ is promoting an Israel Conference on Peace in Jerusalem on July 8. The biases are striking. Nowhere in the conference program is there a clear focus on equality, human rights, international law, or the rights of ethnically-cleansed Palestinians to return to their homes. It’s an Israeli Jewish dominated conclave, stacked with mostly liberal Zionists and a few right-wing Revisionists, with a token smattering of Palestinians. Quite J Street-ish. Sample sessions from the program include:

The economic angle: What will the economy gain from an agreement — and what will it lose without one?

The conflict and peace — Views from the Diaspora

The diplomatic angle — How can we get closer to peace?

Ofer Neiman provides this translation of  Haaretz’s Hebrew invitation to the conference, which further reveals the liberal Zionist/Israeli-centric biases:

The kidnapping of the three youths demonstrates the brutality of terror, and the entire state shares the pain of the families, and prays for the release of the sons.
In spite of terror’s determination to prevent Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, it is vital now of all times to deeply understand the failures which have held back the attainment of peace, and the ways which may bring it.
Come and say shalom.

But what does ‘peace’ really mean? In the context of liberal Zionism, ‘peace’ means: never allowing for equal rights for the indigenous peoples of the land. Cementing, in perpetuity, the pre-planned, orchestrated ethnic cleansing of pre-1967 Israel. Never admitting that crimes against humanity made the state of Israel’s existence possible. Never considering the possibility that Israel/Palestine’s natural citizens, including those who were expelled, should have the right to return to their homes and to vote in free and fair elections. Pretending that Israel is a benevolent democracy inside the Green Line and that its oppression of the Palestinians only started in 1967, and only in the occupied territories.

Peace is a nearly meaningless word, for which anyone can inject virtually any meaning they want. It can mean merely “the absence of war,” which often comes as the result of a lopsided, oppressive victory. Colonial conquerors who defeat their indigenous enemies/victims enjoy the peace of graveyards, the peace of ethnically cleansed lands. No wonder Israel’s most right-wing U.S. apologists love to show up at protests armed with signs proclaiming “Israel wants peace.” What a brilliantly misleading P.R. move! They sound like anti-war hippies! It’s a Hasbara home run! And yet, Israel’s apologists are speaking quite honestly: Israel very much wants the peace, the absence of conflict, that will come with complete suppression of any Palestinian political movement. Liberal Zionists want precisely the same sort of peace, only one in which the oppression of the Palestinians is somewhat reduced, and they give up forever on returning to their rightful homes inside the green lines.

The desperate liberal Zionist dream of forever maintaining a militarily-enforced ethnocracy inside the Green Line is dead, it’s over, the expiration date has long since past, and Haaretz is one of the last organized voices in Israel promoting it. The conference’s slogan, “It’s time for peace,” might have been relevant years ago. Today it’s farce. Haaretz is a great newspaper, one of  the only worthwhile sources of genuine news reporting in Israel, and thank heavens for its opinion pages. But the impetus behind this conference has no future, no more that a South African Peace Conference organized by white Afrikaaners in the 1980s, with only a few cherry picked, co-opted blacks as presenters, while Nelson Mandela languishes in prison.

But all is not lost. At least two in Haaretz’s fold knows what’s coming. Gideon Levy has made the point clear. Amira Hass appears to be on the same page. I believe Haaretz’s editors will let go of the old dream, and embrace the new one.

A few years from now, when the unstoppable moral tide of history transforms the narrow ideologies behind this conference, Haaretz will be partners in a rainbow coalition promoting a Palestinian-Israeli Conference on Equality. A Conference devoted not to the liberal Zionist self-interest of “how do we preserve what we conquered?,” but, “how do all live here together as equals?”

P.S. – Speaking of peace/equality, I believe Jewish Voice for Peace should change its name to Jewish Voice for Equality. Every usage of the word ‘Peace’ hurts our cause and helps the cause of J Street, AIPAC, and the rest of those who seek to shield Israel from genuine pressure to end its oppressive policies. Every usage of the word ‘Equality’ helps our cause and hurts the cause of those who wish to defend Israeli oppression. Israel’s apologists cannot co-opt a word that, in the U.S., and around the word, clearly means the civil rights movement, the end of South African apartheid, integration, ending discrimination, human rights. Let us trumpet equality from the rooftops, and let us cease using the meaningless, counter-productive, empty word ‘Peace’, a word that has been a bludgeon in the hands of Israel’s machine of colonization and expulsion, a ‘Peace Process’ that over the course of 20 years has created the peace Israel wants; the peace of conquest and domination.

About Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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46 Responses

  1. Baldur
    June 28, 2014, 9:55 am

    “The answer — the only answer — to Israel/Palestine is equality”

    Yes.

    You are also completely spot on when you talk about how the world “peace” has been used. Of course you want “peace” if you are an occupier. You would be the only one with anything to lose from a conflict. “Peace” has become synonymous with the status quo, that is, the occupation. The “Peace Process” is accordingly about doing as little as possible while preserving the occupation as it is.

    • just
      June 28, 2014, 10:39 am

      Agreed.

      Matthew– a great piece, indeed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen/heard Dr. Ashrawi when she did not stress that the “Occupation” is THE thing that must end, before anything else can happen.

    • bilal a
      June 28, 2014, 11:46 am

      Spot on to recognize the dangers of peace to the economy.

      Much , if not all, of Israel’s ‘start up’ nation is dual use military technology subsidized by both US and Israeli defense expenditures. This includes the computer industry which is interconnected with US-NSA infrastructure.
      Biotech is heavily involved in bioweapons research spinoffs. The
      defense economy depends on assurances that Israel will not share these technologies with western opponents; its not clear at all that a non-Jewish democracy could have this same special security relationship.

      Moreover outside the military commsec sphere there are sentimental goods , goods such as tourism , other products whose brand depends on diaspora Jewish support. Can we really expect the diaspora to support an Israel without the Jewish flag and with a significant section of its parliament Arab? How many Israelis will flee Israel once it goes democratic and what will this cost the Israeli economy?
      Where will the nuclear and bioweapons go?

      If Israel ceases to be a Jewish state at war with its neighbors it loses these two pillars of its economy. Tens of thousands will lose their jobs and market caps will evaporate costing billions to the Israeli-diaspora elite. The spillover will of course harm the local Palestinian elite which depends on Israeli economic indirect and direct assistance.

      Before a one state solution, there must be an intermediate step which preserves Jewish primacy, perhaps a federation. The transition costs otherwise are insurmountable.

      • Baldur
        June 28, 2014, 4:09 pm

        You raise very interesting issues. (I’m unsure about the facts behind the bioweapons part though). People who are interested in social injustices (I include myself in that group) often forget that the language that is most commonly spoken in the corridors of power is that of economics. There is a very significant connection between Israeli military SIGINT capability and start-up companies in the IT sector.

        I believe tourism would absolutely boom in a post-apartheid Israel/Palestine, although cutting edge military technology, and especially the positive side effects of mandatory military service in SIGINT units would almost surely disappear. Personally, I believe that this part of the economy tends to get too much focus because of the current situation. You associate Israel with these fields, and then you subconsciously forget all the other existing and potential areas of entrepreneurship and innovation.

        On the other hand, there are also positive economical side effects to one person, one vote, one state. Companies such as SodaStream could fully employ the new Palestinian working class, without risk for boycotts or the obstacles of the occupation. It opens up the markets of neighbouring Muslim countries to a far greater degree. Palestinian citizens of the post-apartheid state would be natural emissaries and salesmen to these Muslim countries. Full EU integration would likely be offered on a silver plate. The resulting nation would become a symbol for peace all over the world and an icon fit to place between Gandhi and Mandela. In fact, the more you think about it, the better the economic reality looks on the other side.

        It is easy to profit from the occupation, but the potential for economic prosperity is undeniably greater with equality. I agree that it might be ideal with an intermediate deal, where you don’t immediately offer all Palestinian refugees right of return, but create a democratic state on what is now Israel and the West Bank. When stability has been achieved with those parameters, you could go to the next step.

      • Citizen
        June 28, 2014, 4:16 pm

        @ bilal a

        You may have a point. And a federation might be a solution, not merely an intermediate step?

  2. Ron Edwards
    June 28, 2014, 10:33 am

    100%.

  3. Walid
    June 28, 2014, 11:57 am

    Matthew talks sense, there is no other way than equality. Everybody has been wandering around in circles looking for peace when they should have been looking for equality.

  4. ritzl
    June 28, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Squab. Yum.

    Good article. Plainly stated reality.

  5. amigo
    June 28, 2014, 12:43 pm

    So , we should drop this “peace process” sham and replace it with ,”The Equality Process”.

    Maybe in the future some Israeli leader will “Go further than anyone has gone” in the Equality Process.

    How about a ,”Saudi Equality plan”. It ought to drive the zios out of their skulls as they yell anti semitism and threats to delegitimize Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.How can the world force god,s chosen people to be equal with Arabs on the very land he/she/it gave to them and them alone.

    Blah blah blah.

  6. Hostage
    June 28, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Speaking of peace/equality, I believe Jewish Voice for Peace should change its name to Jewish Voice for Equality.

    Works for me. Although I wouldn’t dislike “Jewish Voice for Peace and Equality” either;-)

  7. Rusty Pipes
    June 28, 2014, 2:41 pm

    I’d rather substitute the terms, “Piece” or “Pacification” rather than allow racist war-mongers to get away with polluting the term, “Peace,” with their lies. False prophets have been saying “peace, peace where there is no peace” since before Biblical times. It’s our job to expose them. There is no real peace without justice.

  8. a blah chick
    June 28, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Meanwhile, I saw on the front page there an article quoting officials saying that if the ISIS people threaten to take over Jordan Israel will invade to “save” them.

    I think Mr Sara is just crazy enough to try that.

    • Citizen
      June 29, 2014, 10:42 am

      Jordan regime is worried about its own people joining ISIS. LOL. Israel will save Jordanian folks from themselves. US will be on board.

      • just
        June 29, 2014, 11:31 am

        This adds fuel to the smoldering anger:

        “Jordanians ‘disappointed’ with response to killing of judge at Israeli border

        Incident at Allenby Bridge in March elicited angry threats from politicians, but four months later Israel is still investigating and bilateral ties seem unchanged.

        The question remains, if the Jordanian media and public were so angry about this incident, why didn’t the Jordanian government take harsher steps against Israel?

        “The government thinks that its good relations with Israel keeps its support from the United States, with all of the loans and finances,” Khoury said. “They say why should we make out of this a big problem for one guy and lose many other things?” Hroob pointed to the turbulent regional developments, especially in Syria and Iraq, along with the challenging economic environment that has pushed many Jordanians and King Abdullah’s attention away from the Allenby Bridge shooting. Others say that the tensions between East Bank Jordanians and those of Palestinian origins divide Jordanian society on this sensitive issue and preclude the political unity necessary for decisive action.

        Sitting in his parliamentary office in Amman, with maps of Palestine and pictures of Jerusalem hanging on the wall, Khoury admitted that little would change. After contrasting the strong Turkish response to the contested Israeli killings on the Mavi Marmara Gaza-bound ship in 2010, Khoury resigned himself to the unique challenges facing Jordan sighing in response to Zeuter’s death, “I gave up that Jordan can do something.” ”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601939

  9. seafoid
    June 28, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Some of the articles have been decent. Israel has to be reformed for change to happen. Can’t see it happening. Israel is set to apartheid forever. So it’ll be more violent before things settle down to a just equilibrium.

    I wonder how the IDF sees climate change. If they were going to start Zionism today would they choose a site in the Middle East for their project? I wouldn’t, holy sites notwithstanding.

    • Citizen
      June 28, 2014, 4:21 pm

      Thanks to today’s hi tek climate solutions–maybe they’d choose Antarctica? Much closer, even today, to “a land without people to a people without land”? A whole giant continent!

      If memory serves, that place still has no population outside its continent rim land, occupied by mostly a few native aboriginals? In 2009, eleven children were born in Antarctica (south of the 60th parallel south): eight at the Argentinean Esperanza Base and three at the Chilean Frei Montalva Station. Most of the tiny population are scientists families from the Western countries.

  10. seafoid
    June 28, 2014, 4:18 pm

    “The kidnapping of the three youths demonstrates the brutality of terror”

    This assumes that Israel is a normal country where violence is a last resort rather than a broken society where it is a staple of daily life. The brutality of Zionism is far worse than 3 missing settlers. Sure they are missed by their families but how many Palestinian lives have been destroyed so that 750,000 other Jews + these 3 unfortunate families can claim they own 62% of the West Bank?

    Regarding the 3

    “That shit is tragic but it sure ain’t magic”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCRIuq56Pss

    The whole system by which Jews run Erez Israel is brutal and terrifying.

    • Elliot
      June 28, 2014, 11:23 pm

      J-Live:
      “The rich minorities control the gov’ment
      But they would have you believe we on the same team”

  11. jon s
    June 28, 2014, 4:44 pm

    I read this piece with some dismay.

    Peace and equality are not contradictory, mutually –exclusive concepts.

    Anyone who does not support the efforts to achieve peace, difficult and Sisyphean as they are, is actually supporting the status-quo, which means bloodshed and terror, occupation and repression. Not supporting the peace efforts means being on the side of Netanyahu, Lieberman and Bennet, the Hamas, Hizbullah , and the jihadists. And peace is needed, is a vital interest, of both Israelis and Palestinians

    On a personal note: I registered for the Haaretz conference and expect to attend.
    I have no idea whether it will be a significant event or a waste of time. I don’t have naïve expectations. But the initiative itself, the attempt to re-ignite the peace movement , is admirable.

    Peace and equality are not contradictory, but claiming to be “progressive” or leftist without supporting the peace movement: that’s one hell of a contradiction.

    Shun evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it (Psalms 34:15)

    • Elliot
      June 29, 2014, 6:56 am

      Jon,
      You feel the “peace movement” is engaged in a Sisyphean task. I think that’s the general sentiment here too: it’s pointless.
      Without a baseline commitment to equality, the cause of “peace” keeps crashing down on your heads.
      The Bible would appear to agree. If you don’t shun evil and just turn to “seeking peace”, you will be pursuing an elusive goal.
      “They say: ‘peace, peace’ – but there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

    • Shmuel
      June 29, 2014, 7:12 am

      Shun evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it (Psalms 34:15)

      An excellent basis for a viable peace plan. Start by “shunning evil” — i.e. stop administrative detentions, land and water theft, settlement construction, torture, etc. Then “do good” and “pursue peace” through justice (in keeping with the words of the Rabbis: “Without justice there can be no peace” [Tractate Derekh Eretz Zuta, “Chapter on Peace”]; see also Deuteronomy 16;20).

      • Citizen
        June 29, 2014, 10:43 am

        @ Shmuel
        Wonder what Hagee would say to your comment.

      • Shmuel
        June 29, 2014, 10:57 am

        Wonder what Hagee would say to your comment.

        “The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name.”

      • Citizen
        June 29, 2014, 11:37 am

        @ Shmuel
        Naw. He’d quote his cherished biblical passages that he feels praise the chosen people and require Christians to rubber-stamp contemporary Israel as the Israel mentioned anywhere in the bible. I’d like to see Hagee locked in an elevator with Richard Speck.

  12. German Lefty
    June 28, 2014, 5:08 pm

    Peace is a nearly meaningless word, for which anyone can inject virtually any meaning they want. […] Israel very much wants the peace, the absence of conflict, that will come with complete suppression of any Palestinian political movement. Liberal Zionists want precisely the same sort of peace, only one in which the oppression of the Palestinians is somewhat reduced, and they give up forever on returning to their rightful homes inside the green lines. […] Every usage of the word ‘Peace’ hurts our cause and helps the cause of J Street, AIPAC, and the rest of those who seek to shield Israel from genuine pressure to end its oppressive policies.

    Exactly! Very well written. Whenever I hear someone say “peace” in the context of the I-P conflict, I assume that this person is a Zionist. When I talk to Zionists, I use the word “justice” instead of “equality”, but the latter is probably better.

  13. AdamAW
    June 28, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Hey, what a fantastic article. Very well observed and explained. However, in fairness to Jewish Voice for Peace they do give plenty of emphasis to ‘equality.’ My fridge magnet reads “Jewish Voice for Peace, Dignity, Equality, and Justice” That works pretty well for me.

  14. mondonut
    June 28, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Every usage of the word ‘Peace’ hurts our cause…

    So says the co-founder of “Peace”Power magazine. Too funny.

  15. wes
    June 29, 2014, 6:49 am

    Americans calling for equality,in another country,when that same country enables america to maintain its grip on middle east oil resources for the benefit of ………those same americans.
    perhaps this should sober you up matthew

    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/feiglin-to-huckabee-stop-us-financial-aid-to-israel/2014/06/29/

  16. iResistDe4iAm
    June 29, 2014, 7:11 am

    Freedom with Justice & Equality

    Freedom is a right & is non-negotiable.
    Equality is a right & is non-negotiable.
    Justice is either negotiable or enforceable. The actions of the ruling colonial power determine the eventual framework for achieving justice (eg. East Timor, South Africa, Algeria, etc).

  17. Orryia
    June 29, 2014, 7:49 am

    This is true. Israelis want “peace”. Palestinians want “justice”.

    If you take a good look at Israeli culture and history, you will find that the majority of those who used to wish for peace (nowadays nobody believes it will come) didn’t do it out of a sense of guilt, or a desire to atone for crimes. They wished for it because they were tired of fighting and killing and dying. Also, most Israelis didn’t differentiate between peace with the Palestinians and peace with other Arab countries. It was all part of the same conflict. The utopian dream of peace included visions of “eating hummus in Damascus”, a phrase that became a metaphor about the longing for a cessation of violence and normalisation of relations.

    After the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli public became drunk on the hopes for peace (see, for example ‘Shir LaShalom’ [A Song for Peace] that was very popular in that era). The disillusionment came only with the second Intifada, when the Israelis realised that the Palestinians weren’t about to end the conflict or give up the right of the refugees and their millions of descendants to return to Israel.

    Now only Haaretz is still talking about peace.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 29, 2014, 11:24 am

      It is cynical to imply that justice will only arrive with the RoR. Otherwise, it is just a way to perpetuate the conflict. A good compromise is one where both sides feel cheated. Get with the program. Most of the Arab world is ready to accept < total RoR.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2014, 2:29 pm

        It is cynical to imply that justice will only arrive with the RoR. Otherwise, it is just a way to perpetuate the conflict. A good compromise is one where both sides feel cheated. Get with the program. Most of the Arab world is ready to accept < total RoR.

        No it’s cynical to do nothing about individual rights, until a mutually agreed upon final settlement, ending all claims, can be negotiated and pass two national plebiscites. If the Arab states accept less than full right of return, then the “refugees” won’t be living on “mountains suspended by a hair”. Since the Arab Peace Initiative was adopted, nothing has prevented them from surveying the people living in their respective countries and granting those who want compensation and resettlement in lieu of return naturalization and a normal life. Likewise, the international community should simply say that Israel will have to accept an equal number of refugees as the number of settlers it has implanted illegally in Palestine under any future settlement. That would be in addition to those persons actually displaced by the wars. Israeli assets equal to the amount the UNRWA spends to maintain that number of refugees could be frozen and used for that purpose, pending actual repatriation. In short there’s no reason to link the refugee question to the negotiations.

  18. just
    June 29, 2014, 8:31 am

    Now, hold on!

    Lieberman:

    “Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed on Sunday that Israel consider re-occupying the Gaza Strip in response to the recent rocket fire on the south of the country.

    “We need to decide whether we are going to choose the alternative, which is full occupation of the strip,” Lieberman told Army Radio on Sunday morning. “We have seen that limited action only strengthens Hamas and therefore the alternative is clear.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.601848

    “re- occupying”? “full occupation”? “limited action only strengthens Hamas”?

    Insane devil.

    • just
      June 29, 2014, 8:48 am

      More:

      “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved Sunday a plan aimed at tightening Israeli control of East Jerusalem and strengthening the connection between the 300,000 Palestinians living there and the State of Israel.

      The plan, which appears similar in nature to Economics Minister Naftali Bennett’s proposal to annex Area C of the West Bank, calls for an investment of 295 million shekels ($86m) in the eastern section of the city over the next five years, through a number of actions with the declared purpose is of thwarting any possibility that the city would be divided as part of a future accord. ”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601894

      It’s clear as day what the Israelis are up to. btw, where are the “missing” teens?

      Article by Erekat here:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-peace-conference/1.601473

      “The predicted “death” of the two-state solution, which has been repeated consistently for many years now, has led to a sense of complacency and a lack of urgency regarding the current situation. In the government of Israel, this does not provoke major concern, because the present coalition’s political platform is focused on consolidating colonization rather than achieving peace. This is a government that believes it can indefinitely maintain a system whereby one group of people is privileged and another oppressed.

      Among the Israeli public, it is not a central concern due to the fact that Israel is not paying any price for its systematic violations of human rights and international law, allowing its people to turn a blind eye to the millions persecuted in their name. But something is clear: We are at the point of no return. Whether we achieve a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, or enter into a long struggle for civil rights in order to defeat Israeli apartheid throughout historic Palestine, it will fall to the international community to decide. “

      • a blah chick
        June 29, 2014, 10:31 am

        “btw, where are the “missing” teens?”

        I think the kidnapping jamboree is tonight. I’ll be interesting to see what the turnout is. Interest here in the American papers is nonexistent. Even the New York bloody times had nothing about it. And don’t tell me it was because there was nothing to report. How long did they run with that missing Malaysian plane? A solid month and they had even less information to go on.

      • just
        June 29, 2014, 10:46 am

        the pre- jamboree PR machine is in full swing:

        “The parents of three kidnapped Israeli teens visited the site of their abduction for the first time Sunday, and expressed gratitude to IDF soldiers and the country for their solidarity with the families.

        They were accompanied by soldiers from the Kfir Brigade of the Lavie Battalion to the junction outside the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Etzion bloc, where division commander Brig.-Gen. Tamir Ya’adi and Col. Amit Yamin explained to them the circumstances and process of the kidnapping. From there, the parents went on to tour the area with security forces.

        Military officials have said the operation has yet to turn up any concrete leads, but late last week Israel named two Hamas operatives as suspects, and in a meeting with the parents on Friday Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon assured them that the IDF believes the teens are still alive.

        Rachelle Fraenkel has been outspoken in her attempts to garner international support for efforts to return the teens, addressing the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva last week and giving interviews to international media outlets.

        Interviewed by The Times of Israel on Thursday, Rachelle Fraenkel said she was optimistic on the basis of what she was being told by Israeli officials. “Basically I feel that if I’ll have to fall apart, I can always do it later. If this turns out horribly, I won’t be giving any interviews then, so there will be enough time then. Right now I’m very optimistic. We have every reason to believe that they’re alive and what we need is patience.””

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/parents-of-kidnapped-teens-visit-site-of-abduction/

      • just
        June 29, 2014, 12:40 pm

        “Tonight we all meet in the square. Three families, hurtling towards the same fate, have shared the difficult experience together. We have received an outpouring of love and support from people who have from across the globe – it warms our hearts.

        The rally in Rabin Square tonight is another way to show that the entire nation of Israel is in this together. That we feel like brothers, that we share the hope to see the faces of Naftali, Eyal, and Gil-Ad back home soon. ”

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4535863,00.html

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 29, 2014, 6:39 pm

        So we’re told:

        ”division commander Brig.-Gen. Tamir Ya’adi and Col. Amit Yamin explained to them the circumstances and process of the kidnapping. From there, the parents went on to tour the area with security forces.”

        and then:

        ”Military officials have said the operation has yet to turn up any concrete leads, ”

        So the IDF apparently knows ”the circumstances and process of the kidnapping” – whatever exactly that means – and yet, more than 2 weeks on. no ‘concrete leads’ have been discovered? This, despite putting a million people under curfew, imprisoning hundreds and killing several? All this, in their own back yard?

        Can we now finally put to bed the notion that Israeli security and ‘intelligence’ services are super efficient?

      • Citizen
        June 29, 2014, 10:47 am

        @ a blah chick
        According to this article, the NYT has been ignoring the plight of the Israeli teens and blaming Israel, the wrecking ball: http://observer.com/2014/06/new-york-times-well-worn-narrative-continues-over-missing-israeli-teenagers/

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 29, 2014, 6:34 pm

        I thought that ‘article’ was from The Onion. It is just SO bizarre.

        As I’ve said before, I reckon the Israelis are majorly pissed off that the world hasn’t stopped spinning because a few yeshiva students went missing. They were hoping that Michelle Obama and sundry other celebs would be tweeting ‘bring back our boys’ pics and that the mothers’ little PR stunt at the UN would made headline news all over the world.

        Instead, all Israel got for this major hasbara drive was one big yawn. That’s gotta hurt.

    • Orryia
      June 29, 2014, 10:28 am

      Well, considering the fact that Gaza is an open-air-prison, biggest-ghetto-on-earth, Auschwitz-with-beaches, etc., I’d say there isn’t much that the Israelis could do to make the situation worse except going in there and killing a lot of people… which happened in Operation Cast Lead in any case.

      So what difference would occupation make? To the contrary, if they rebuild the settlements in Gaza, I’m sure Hamas will have an easier time shooting rockets at them rather than Sderot.

  19. DICKERSON3870
    June 29, 2014, 7:47 pm

    RE: “Peace is a nearly meaningless word, for which anyone can inject virtually any meaning they want. . . Israel very much wants the peace, the absence of conflict, that will come with complete suppression of any Palestinian political movement. Liberal Zionists want precisely the same sort of peace, only one in which the oppression of the Palestinians is somewhat reduced, and they give up forever on returning to their rightful homes inside the green lines.” ~ Matthew Taylor

    BY WAY OF ANALOGY: It can be argued that in the United States presidential election of 1868, Ulysses S. Grant’s emphasis on “peace” (e.g., his campaign adopted the slogan/motto of “Let Us Have Peace”) constituted enough mitigation (at least publicly) of his support for the Reconstruction plans of the Radical Republicans in Congress (i.e. suppression of the former rebels and emphasis of political rights for freedmen in the South) so that the goal of achieving true equality for the “freedmen” (former slaves) would ultimately be abandoned (despite his personal inclinations) in favor of achieving “a peaceful reconciliation with the South”.

  20. piotr
    June 29, 2014, 8:10 pm

    I think replacing “tired” words is, to some degree, an illusion of activity.

    I have some personal favorites, but “changing brands” should not be done too often. For example, I would favor “oppression” over “apartheid”, but “apartheid” is the name used in an international treaty and it evokes a successful instance of Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions.

    The problem with “equality” is that it evokes mixed feelings. Should there be rich and poor or not? Should resident aliens have equal rights as citizens? Some would hold for maximum equality, some not and it is not what is most important in this context. “Fairness” is better, but of course, it is in the eye of beholder, some people (including many Zionist) think that “vae victis” is a fair principle (tough noogies for the defeated, Latin is more concise that English).

    Peace is kind of opposite to mayhem, so it is less controversial. Many Zionist, of vae victis camp, oppose peace, and they are basically proponents of “freedom to commit mayhem”.

    Unfair peace simply cannot happen. The best what Zionist and/or neocon writers could offer as how that could happen (in their language, peace that would fully incorporate “concerns” of Israel) is “reducing unrealistic expectations of the Palestinians”. It would be a good work-out to collect a few of such articles, and the cited sources of such expectations, that range from Saddam Hussein, Iran, BDS movement to EU. Other recommended method was “crushing Palestinian spirit”. Duh.

    Even so, “unrealistic expectations” are a problem, and currently the expectations in Israel are so unrealistic that the government is not able to produce any peace offer. There is also a notion circulated in the circles of “professional peace makers” of “settlements that in all possible treaties of Israel with Palestinians would remain in Israel”. This is nonsense. Current initiative of major EU countries is useful in that respect, namely, how they define settlements where it is illegal to facilitate economic activity.

    The “professional peace makers” like Ross, Indyk, Blair did a lot to make the notion of “peace” distastful, but theirs were ersatz efforts, not genuine.

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