Settler leader Dani Dayan given yet another platform in the NY Times

Photo of Dani Dayan from the Jodi Rudoren New York Times article "A Settler Leader, Worldly and Pragmatic"

Photo of Dani Dayan, from Jodi Rudoren’s New York Times article “A Settler Leader, Worldly and Pragmatic”

Yesterday, the New York Times gave Dani Dayan, one of the leaders of the settlement movement, an opportunity to publicize his prescription for Israeli/Palestinian co-existence in an op-ed. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, Dayan’s ideology is thoroughly repulsive.  His prescription for the future, which he labels “peaceful non-reconciliation,” is a combination of maintenance of the status quo while ameliorating some of the more onerous conditions Israel imposes on Palestinians. He proposes that Israel retain control of “Judea and Samaria,” that it continue to exercise military rule over millions of stateless Palestinians, but that it loosen its stranglehold by making concerted efforts to make Palestinians happier despite the permanent loss of freedom, equality in the land of their birth, and justice under international law.

Nevertheless, Dayan’s is a point of view that deserves publicity. With all the talk about the peace process, the relative merits of the one-state solution versus the two-state solution, and the supposed unsustainability of the status quo, the fact is that Dayan’s hope for the preservation of military occupation (minus his vain hope for a kinder and gentler strain) is clearly the most likely scenario to prevail in the near future. In fact, the utterly predictable and widely predicted failure of the peace process is directly attributable to the fact that Israel enjoys the present situation and wouldn’t mind if it lasts forever. After all, it remains in complete control of the entire area from the river to the sea, with the full military, economic and diplomatic backing of the world’s primary superpower. Why should Israel make any “concessions” to international law and common decency when there are absolutely no negative consequences for intransigence?

Dayan’s professed concern for the welfare of the Palestinians who are to be dominated and subjugated forever may even be sincere – who knows? Perhaps he really believes that if “we” keep the natives happy, or at least happier, they and the international community will get off “our” backs. If Dayan had been more forthright and transparent that he favors perpetual rule by force of arms by one ethno-religious group over all others, the ugliness of his racism would be more obvious. The problem is that he focuses most of his essay on the window dressing of reduced restrictions on Palestinians, making it seem that concern for their welfare is his primary motivation.

Which brings me to the worst aspect of the Times op-ed. It is a re-tread. Less than two years ago, Dayan was given the same platform to make virtually the same arguments. At that time, Dayan proposed a permanent continuation of the status quo while some restrictions on Palestinians should be lifted. The only thing different about Dayan’s new op-ed is a much bigger emphasis on his faux concern for Palestinian misery to disguise or at least distract from his devout wish for perpetual Israeli military rule over stateless Palestinians of the wrong ancestry.

And let’s not forget that Dayan was the subject of a 2012 Jodi Rudoren profile that praised his worldly sophistication without asking troubling questions. This fawning article was duly criticized on Mondoweiss by James North, Jerome Slater, and Matthew Taylor. What is behind the Times’s love affair with this unremarkable man who has achieved fame only by relentlessly promoting his own tribe at a terrible cost to others? Does a sophisticated taste in fine wines really count for so much?

As a counterpoint to Dayan, let me offer the thoughts of the late great Edward Said, one of the very few who accurately predicted the failure of the “peace process” at its inception in the early 1990’s.  After about a decade of events that were confirming his foresight, Said wrote:

The important thing for now is to keep hammering away at the phony rhetoric and promises of the peace process, showing relentlessly not only that it hasn’t worked and has created a gap between rulers and ruled, but also, and more importantly, that in its present form it cannot work. Human, political and civil rights are indivisible: they cannot be partially achieved by one people and fully enjoyed by another living in the same territory. This is the deep flaw of Oslo. The only way to overcome it is to raise the cry “equality or nothing, for Arabs and Jews”.

About David Samel

David Samel is an attorney in New York City.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, Occupation

{ 46 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Andrew Keith says:

    If Dayan was really concerned about the Palestinians, he would call for an end to the colonization of the West Bank.

    • jenin says:

      Mr. Dayan may or may not have some empathetic impulses that lead him to write this article, but I strongly suspect he is just smart enough to realize (unlike so many of his compatriots) that if Israel does not do SOMETHING to acknowledge and alleviate the terrible situation for Palestinians, the country will rapidly lose any remaining international support. Thus I am pretty sure this is just a calculated ploy to maintain some measure of standing and support in the international community

    • i’m so sick and tired of hearing the phrase “peace process or peace talks” assossociated with israel. israel never wants peace they just want to prolong the status quo and delay a just peace agreement until they have consumed what use to be the land of palestine then they can actually say that there is no land of palestine, so what are we suppose to be negotiating with here.
      refferring to “peace anything” regarding israel is a mockery of humans’ intelligence, or lack of it thereof, in the world. israel, plain and simple, does not want nor ever will want, peace. i dont even think its in their vocabulary, they’ve just put on this deceptive front to the world like they been doing since the 1940″s
      playacting like they want it and continuing to manipulate the weak minds of their brainwashed american goy intoi blaming the paestinians for any failures in achieving it.
      israel will not stop for anything in their messianic goals of eretz israel, or greater israel, from the nile to the euphrates. with their control of egypt, through the military control of the US which israel controlls, they have the nile locked down.
      they are on a power roll. do you think they’re gonna stop now? no way.

      • thetruthhurts: “Israel does not want peace.”

        Israel does not want a just peace, but it might find advantages in a peace based on all the Palestinians concluding that their cause is hopeless and abandoning any thought of resistance.

        “The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”
        ― Carl von Clausewitz, On War

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “If Dayan was really concerned about the Palestinians…”

      He’s not. Make no mistake, the only reason he is making these statements is because he believes it will benefit the Israeli Jews. He has no other consideration. To poeple like him, Palestinians are means, not ends. He and his ideology are demonic.

      Zionism is evil and must be destroyed.

      • benedict says:

        “destroyed”?

        are you advocating bloodshed?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “are you advocating bloodshed?”

          Would you have advocated bloodshed to stop the evil of chattel slavery?
          Would you have advocated bloodshed to stop the evil of Nazism?
          Would you have advocated bloodshed to end South African Apartheid?

          I advocate Zionists that abandon their evil ideology immediately, and cease any and all of the violence with which they perpetrate their evil. Further, if the Zionists foreswore their present use of violence, force, terrorism and bloodshed, I would fully call on those who are fighting for justice under that oppression of Zionism to abandon violence and bloodshed at no later time. However, if the Zionists refuse to do that, I have no problem with their victims striking back in self-defense using any and all means available to them.

  2. jenin says:

    thanks for the thoughtful coverage of the oped. I find it appalling that someone personally engaged in stealing land from the Palestinians is given a platform to air his ideas for “improving” the situation in the NYT (even though these “improvements” did not include the most important rights of all– basic civil rights), and even worse that many of the commenters applauded him for his suggestions. Of course, it is true that what Mr. Dayan suggests is probably better than nothing at all, and his views might have been progressive in the 18th century, but it is absurd that anyone, let alone journalists and editors of one of the world’s most important newspapers, would consider him a peacemaker or humanitarian in this day and age. It just goes to show how skewed people’s perceptions are when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians

    • jenin says:

      and most important–I forgot to say — thank you so much for caring about my family’s well-being as you steal their land and keep them under a military occupation, Mr. Dayan.

    • lonely rico says:

      @jenin
      … given a platform to air his ideas for “improving” the situation in the NYT
      Although I appreciate your intention, and agree that it is questionable at best that an enthusiastic participant in wide-spread violations of human rights should be given a platform in the “newspaper of record”, I am amused at the speculation as to whether the situation at the NYT is “improvable”, a moot point.

      • jenin says:

        this is what happens when I write comments in the middle of the work day. I meant ideas for improving the situation in Palestine; the idea being written about in the NYT

  3. peterfeld says:

    I honestly think that whatever his motives, the Dani Dayan one-state approach, along with the symbolism of one-stater Rivlin as president, can turn into a runaway train that will restore Palestinian rights. If they actually open the checkpoints and tear down the wall, there will be no way to rein in demands for everyone to be able vote. (See Gideon Levy’s 5/31 column. His call for a shift to a rights-based discussion is a good counterbalance to the right-wing one-stater ascendence.) That in turn could lead to right of return, no matter what legal changes they try to make in advance to tie the hands of a Palestinian-majority Knesset. Two years ago when Dayan made this proposal there was still perceived life in the two-state solution; now there isn’t anymore, and the discussion of “what kind of one state” is a healthy direction even if it means giving a platform to settlers. Allowing the hilltop nuts to stay where they are in exchange for Palestinians returning to Jaffa and Akka, etc., could be a deal that works.

    • ritzl says:

      Agree, mostly. “Occupation Lite” is simply not possible. It’s either harsh or it evaporates. Nobody is going to Goldilocks (“jusssst right!”) a Military Occupation.

      Dayan’s concept of an eased Occupation is similar in effect to Ari Shavit’s acknowledgement of the evil events of Israel’s founding. Once the door is opened, the events that follow can’t be controlled.

      • peterfeld says:

        This has been an amazing six weeks if you support one state, full democracy and right of return. I’ve never been more hopeful in all the time I’ve been reading this site.

        1. Kerry talks collapse – the “last chance” for the two-state solution
        2. Palestinians apply to UN bodies
        3. Palestinian unity – even if flawed
        4. Top settler Dayan calls for lifting restrictions on movement, the wall, employment
        5. One-state right-winger Rivlin (who claims to support full rights) replaces Peres, leading symbol of the two-state solution

        Noam Sheizaf wrote a good roundup of the right-wing one-state visions and their potential impact last month.
        link to 972mag.com

        • ritzl says:

          Agree. From the 972 link:

          [Sheizaf] …Palestinians I talked to were far less intimidated. “Talks of an Israeli ID don’t scare me,” said Saeb Erkat. “Give me Israeli citizenship and we’ll see what happens.” Erkat was pointing to something both advocates of the plan and their critics tended to miss – that once the Palestinians get their political participation, they will be able to achieve many of their goals regardless of what the Jews declare the character of the state to be. Leaving Gaza or the refugees out will not be part of any endgame.

          In the end, it’s all doable, incrementally over time, and peacefully maybe even. Herzl’s Paradox.

    • Abierno says:

      The issue of property rights, notably the disposition of “stolen” land will make
      a truly equitable one state solution impossible. Inextricably intertwined with property rights are riparian or water rights. Israel has carefully mapped the
      springs, wells and water supply in the West Bank, and housed their settlements
      and closed military areas thereon. So called equal rights for Palestinians is simply
      window dressing for accelerated dispossession and de facto extradition.

  4. amigo says:

    “He proposes that Israel retain control of “Judea and Samaria,” that it continue to exercise military rule over millions of stateless Palestinians, but that it loosen its stranglehold by making concerted efforts to make Palestinians happier despite the permanent loss of freedom, equality in the land of their birth, and justice under international law.”David Samel

    My response to Dayan,s obvious fake concerns are , BDS/ICC/ICJ and any other method available to punish criminals like Dayan and co.

    As for the NYT, it,s just another zionist mouthpiece.

  5. eljay says:

    >> Dayan’s professed concern for the welfare of the Palestinians who are to be dominated and subjugated forever may even be sincere – who knows?

    If he shoots and cries, you know he really cares. ;-)

  6. seafoid says:

    “Why should Israel make any “concessions” to international law and common decency when there are absolutely no negative consequences for intransigence?”

    Because of the Jewish future when the tables are turned. People are going to pay for what is being done now.

    Maybe that period in bondage in Egypt was revenge for YESHA type cruelty that went before.

    There is so much common sense in those Jewish holidays but the Israelis just don’t get it.

  7. piotr says:

    One should really check the teeth of that horse. At its best, it would be a prescription for a system more humane than Apartheid, with Palestinians being like helots in Sparta: productive subjects, with no right to vote, but free to move around and work, while the law would protect them as well (as currently it does not). But is it sincere? Is it real?

    Does Dani Danon make the same proposals in Hebrew? How about his political party (which one is it)? The present system is marked with hatred and fear, the dreaded savages have to be kept out of Israel, and above all, out of the purely Jewish settlements (except for well regulated laborers in some of the settlements). This requires the walls, fences, checkpoints, patrols and so on. Dismantling the separation hard infrastructure and apparatus is a “revolutionary program”, one which would hit the less visible wall of fear, so I do not see Knesset voting for something like that.

    The proposal is also strangely incomplete, for a sincere proposal. I did not see anything about enabling Palestinians to conduct the economic activity on their own. Nothing about the permit regime in Area C, or onerous restrictions in Area B and C. To give one example, is it easy to run an English language school if the authorities revoke visas for teachers? Visas and work permits are needed for any economic activity involving interactions with other countries. And how about allowing Palestinians to export? Dani Danon say nothing on all those points.

  8. TwoRedDogs says:

    David this says all we need to know about NYT’s stance:

    “Dani Dayan is a former chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.”

    • David Samel says:

      TwoRedDogs, I strongly suspect that Dayan authored that self-description, but you are right – the Times did not have to leave it unchanged. Can you imagine a bio of Marwan Barghouti saying he has been unjustly imprisoned by the Zionist entity?

      • That’s not a self description, that’s the name of the organization that he heads.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          And the NYT should, if it was worth more than lining bird cages, note that there is no such a place as “Judea and Samaria” as the land referenced is properly known as the West Bank by it’s rightful owners, the Palestinians. Of course, given that it is the Zionist fan-club newsletter in America, that’s not going to happen.

        • David Samel says:

          I see, Yonah, you’re probably right, but the way it is written gives the appearance of neutrality. It could have put “Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria” in quotes, followed by “as the settler movement refers to what is more commonly known as the West Bank.”

        • TwoRedDogs says:

          I believe the name of the organization is simply “Yesha Council”.

          The part about Editing Wikipedia pages is worth a read.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          • tree says:

            Good point, TRD.

            The Yesha Council (Hebrew: מועצת יש”ע‎, Mo’etzet Yesha, which is the Hebrew acronym for Yehuda Shomron, Aza, lit. “Judea Samaria and Gaza Council”) is an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (and formerly in the Gaza Strip), known by the Hebrew acronym Yesha.

            So literally, the NYT was referring to the Judea Samaria and Gaza (YESHA) Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, which means that the second part of the phrase (in italics) was a redundant and biased description, not the Council’s title.

  9. Shmuel says:

    Does a sophisticated taste in fine wines really count for so much?

    I’m not defending the NYT (thanks, David, for your constant vigilance), but I wouldn’t underestimate the (straw) man bites dog angle. Dayan isn’t the uzi-toting, knuckle-dragging, bible-thumping lunatic that a settler leader is supposed to be, according to the NYT. He likes wine and art and can string together a couple of decent sentences. That makes him “interesting” and “quirky” and “fresh”.

    • Donald says:

      “I wouldn’t underestimate the (straw) man bites dog angle.”

      Exactly right. So much of the press coverage of issues (not just this one) is not about substance, but how to present things in an entertaining way. Look, here’s a settler and he seems like a nice guy. Plus, since the Israelis for better or worse are destroying any possibility of a 2SS, how’s an Israel-supporting newspaper going to put lipstick on this pig? Well, by finding a nice settler. So it fits in both with the superficial journalistic reflex and also the reflexive need to portray Israel in as good a light as possible.

      Heck, it had me confused a little. Of course Dayan partly ruins the effect for me by referring to the “heinous” acts of Palestinian terrorists without ever mentioning the larger scale killings of civilians by the IDF–he does condemn price tag attacks, but that’s a copout. It probably impressed the unwary reader though.

      Is he basically talking about returning to the situation that prevailed for Palestinians before the Second Intifada (or maybe the First)? My understanding is that Palestinians on the WB used to work in Israel, maybe on construction or whatever. He seems to be recommending what white Southerners used to imagine the South was like during Jim Crow, with whites and blacks all “understanding” each other and everyone in their proper place, all happy as can be, but only whites voting.

      • David Samel says:

        Shmuel and Donald, no doubt you are both right about the attractiveness of Dani Dayan to the Times. Moreover, the way he camouflaged his recent op-ed’s message with patronizing concern for Palestinians’ welfare, which fooled some of the commenters there and even briefly confused Donald, surely seemed refreshing and different to Times editors. Dismantle the wall and checkpoints and allow freedom to travel? Sounds positively revolutionary if you ignore the quid pro quo.

        That being said, the Times’s fascination with and even promotion of Dayan, for the reasons you stated, is quite one-sided. Edward Said was not only an Ivy League professor of comparative literature but also a music and opera critic who had a close personal friendship with Argentine/Israeli pianist Daniel Barenboim, not to mention a body of analysis on Israel and Palestine that dwarfs Dayan’s in both quantity and quality. I don’t recall seeing any mainstream media fascination with him, despite his obliteration of the stereotype of the Palestinian activist. For that matter, isn’t Omar Barghouti a choreographer? Should we ask the Times to do a profile of his contributions to the field of dance?

    • tree says:

      He likes wine and art and can string together a couple of decent sentences. That makes him “interesting” and “quirky” and “fresh”.

      You could say the same thing about David Duke. But the NY Times would never run a sympathetic story on him, nor call him “worldly” and “pragmatic”, nor most of all allow him to pen an editorial within its pages. Which just goes to show that the NYTimes thinks Jewish racist shit doesn’t smell and talk of a “Jewish soul of a community” in the West Bank is perfectly acceptable and “interesting”, whereas talk of a “white soul of a community” in the US is reprehensible. Same shit, but only one smells oh so fragrant, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that fact is a raving anti-semite.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        This is exactly right and is a problem not only of the NYTimes, but of mainstream American culture.

      • Shmuel says:

        David and tree,

        The “newsworthiness” angle necessarily works within the parameters of “acceptable discourse” (certainly racist and hypocritical in itself). Said was not ignored by the NYT, and Barghouti had an important op-ed published not so long ago. Dayan is acceptable. Duke is unacceptable. The problem of “Jewish racist shit” is precisely the reason it is so hard to get the message across about Palestine in our (western) societies; it is why Jimmy Carter got a cold shower.

        Having worked with foreign correspondents for many years, something else I learned is that who gets featured and/or given space is often as simple as who’s an easy contact (also a result of the circles frequented by the correspondent — a serious issue with virtually all foreign correspondents based in Jerusalem and, I presume, elsewhere).

  10. Citizen says:

    Will the NYT covers the recent bitter food fight in Israel’s governing body discussing US and Israel’s strategic interests, priorities? Includes US strategy experts versus Israel’s. Also, check out the difference especially between Israel’s governing reps and the opinions of an array of Israel’s military generals: Quite a read detailing differences of opinions, priorities: link to blogs.forward.com?

    Looks like a significant number of Israeli politicians feel Bibi is working hard, isolating Israel from it’s only powerful friend in the world.

  11. HarryLaw says:

    Most settlers are culpable to varying degrees in the aiding and abetting of the war crimes as set out in Article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions also incorporated in the Rome statute [the ICC] Dani Dayan as a former leader of the Yesha Council should rate rather high on the list of war criminal, would he ever dare come to London and risk arrest?[no special mission for him, unlike Livni]

  12. just says:

    Said (may he rest in peace) was correct. Just revisited James North’s article from 2012 that is referenced above, and the quote from Jodi.

    “In his mind, he and his family, just by living here in the West Bank rather than yielding it to become a Palestinian state, are a “shield” protecting those theaters and museums, and the survival of Israel itself…

    Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular, he defies the caricature of settlers as gun-toting radicals who attribute their politics to God and the Torah — he travels the world collecting art and wine.”

    He is an artful settler thief who is definitely a whino. He protects nothing but illegal settlements. Can’t Argentina take him back?

  13. Hostage says:

    Settler leader Dani Dayan given yet another platform in the NY Times

    Fair is fair. The folks in Israel have put-up with the likes Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, and Eric Yoffie for decades. While Dani Dayan pays lip service to the idea of dismantling the wall and fully integrating the two populations, the good Rabbi is defending apartheid. See Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, “Why Israel needs the wall” link to haaretz.com

    “Dani Dayan wants to dismantle the security barrier. I want to leave it in place.

    Writing in The New York Times on June 9, Dayan, former chairman of the Yesha Council — the central body of the settlement movement — declares that the barrier must come down. Give the Palestinians’ total access to pre-1967 Israel, he declares, so they can find jobs in Israel’s thriving economy.

    Mr. Dayan wants the full integration of Israelis and Palestinians.

    But what Israel needs is separation. And separation requires a wall — with Israelis on one side and Palestinians on the other. “

  14. a blah chick says:

    Please take note of the picture of Massa Dayan above. Here we have another in the long line of Zionist Iconography images and they mostly follow a pattern. Whether it is that famous photo of those dudes at the Western wall in ’67 or that other one of concentration survivors standing next the the Israeli flag in ’48, or another I recall from Eban’s book “My People” of a young Israeli soldier. It is necessary in these pictures never to be looking at the camera. No, you must be looking off into space, into that glorious future that Zionism holds for its adherents.

  15. Leaving the specifics of Mister Dayan aside, accepting that inevitably there will either be one state or two, the path between today and either of those results is not clear and thus even though this line of thought stems from the concept that this inevitability can somehow be evaded, which I believe is untrue, the vision of a less repressive occupation rather than the image of the Palestinians behind a wall and in cattle like waiting lines to get through checkpoints has its appeal.

    The leap to annexation is not yet near and whether it is a failure of imagination or that the dreamers have not painted the vision clearly enough, the Israelis do not see turning the clock back to 47 as something they are willing to do. The refusal of Israelis to turn the clock back to 67 is something that astounds me when I view the inevitability as inevitable, but the leap to the unitary state concept is not near in Israel and one should not expect it from realistic supporters of Israel.

  16. On the one hand, Dayan’s ideology is thoroughly repulsive. His prescription for the future, which he labels “peaceful non-reconciliation,” is a combination of maintenance of the status quo while ameliorating some of the more onerous conditions Israel imposes on Palestinians. ~ David Samel

    MY COMMENT: Though Dayan’s ideology may well be repulsive, his prescription for the future, which he labels “peaceful non-reconciliation,” appears to essentially be what Netanyahu and Likud have pretty much always had in mind. To the extent they might really have been open to the “two-state solution” in the past (despite appearances clearly to the contrary), any Palestinian “state” permitted by Likud would have been little more than a charade, since it would not have truly qualified as a sovereign nation-state according to its traditional, customary meaning. More likely, Netanyahu and Likud never intended for there to be a “two-state solution”.

    BEHOLD DAYAN’S “AMEN CHORUS”: “Hawks question need for peace with Palestinians”, by Omer Benjakob and John-Michael Kibrick, YnetNews.com, 6/09/14

    [EXCERPTS] “There is no basis to the perception that the status quo is a bad thing,” said Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, echoing a stance on relations with the Palestinians that seems to be gaining traction among Israeli politicians, if to judge from speeches made at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference which opened Sunday at the IDC.
    Sa’ar wasn’t the only official at the conference to voice a favorable opinion of allowing the two state solution to depart from modern day policy, with a reserve IDF general even going as far as saying that peace with the Palestinians is no longer in Israel’s interest. . .
    . . . Amidror [Netanyahu’s former national security advisor] questioned decades of work towards a two state solution by diminishing the potential effects of peace with the Palestinians . . .
    . . . His comments seemed to echo claims being sounded as of late by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who recently said Israel needs to make peace with the Arab world and not with the Palestinians.
    Lieberman, who advocates an unpopular form of the two-state solution not based on the 1967 borders, claimed Israel must work with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations, regardless of the headway made with the Palestinians.
    The remarks from Amidror and Sa’ar seemed to indicate that Israel’s more hawkish politicians no longer view peace with the Palestinians as a strategic asset. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to ynetnews.com

  17. There really is no point to continue seriously debating a two-state solution. It’s entirely a Western creation and neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have seriously embraced it in any context outside of satisfying the White House. The settlements — coupled with the Hamas takeover in Gaza — make it geographically difficult and demonstrate that left to their own devices, the Palestinians will likely evolve an unacceptable government. Plus, Israel needs the Jordan Valley as natural buffer to withstand future military attacks, which leaves even less land for a whole new country.

    I would love for the two-state solution to work. I think its the most stable and straightforward solution to try to make two states, each as ethnically homogeneous as possible. It’s sad that diversity breeds instability, but at the moment, that is where we are in the world — the United States is a notable exception, not the rule. If anyone could contradict my prognosis on the two-state solution, I’d be very happy to listen.

    There are now 5.5 million Jews living between the river and the sea, and believe it or not, they have rights and needs too, and will be totally unsafe and persecuted in any genuine democracy of both Jews and Palestinians.

    The thing left to do is to determine how Israel can maintain its status as a Jewish state and try to give the Palestinians between the river and the sea as much freedom as possible.

    You may not like the idea of Palestinians being less equal than Jews, but they will have more freedom, more stability, and a higher quality of life living under Jewish control than they will living under their own leadership. Why do you think all the African migrants are sneaking into Israel?!?! Isn’t it an evil apartheid country?!?!

    No! There are aspects of inequality in it, but without that inequality, the situation would be far worse for everyone. It’s like communism: it makes the rich poorer, but the poor poorer as well. Nobody wins.

    I think that Dayan is on the right track in trying to make the land between the river and the sea one-state. The Palestinians will just have to accept that they made some fateful and poor decisions in the past, and be happy that it is the fundamental character of the Jewish people to be gracious and kind to people who would, at the moment, certainly not do the same.

    • tree says:

      Apt name, Double Standard. Your comment exhibits it in spades.

      There are now 5.5 million Jews living between the river and the sea, and believe it or not, they have rights and needs too, and will be totally unsafe and persecuted in any genuine democracy of both Jews and Palestinians.

      The sad historical fact is that Jews in Palestine under the Ottoman Empire were generally safe and unpersecuted compared to the Palestinians under “democratic” Jewish rule, who have been continuously persecuted since the formation of Israel in 1948. One can even look to the early Zionist plans to “transfer” the indigenous population and their successful efforts to dispossess Palestinian tenant farmers on land the Zionists purchased to realize that Zionism, from its very start, had absolutely no intention of treating all peoples there equally.

      You may not like the idea of Palestinians being less equal than Jews, but they will have more freedom, more stability, and a higher quality of life living under Jewish control than they will living under their own leadership.

      Under “Jewish control” the reality has been the impoverishment of Palestinians, and as Donald would mention, you sound exactly like some American Southern whites justifying the Jim Crow system 75 years ago. It was racism then, and its racism now. You clearly illustrate my point about the “acceptability” of Jewish racism today.

      The Palestinians will just have to accept that they made some fateful and poor decisions in the past, and be happy that it is the fundamental character of the Jewish people to be gracious and kind to people who would, at the moment, certainly not do the same.

      Funny how their “fateful and poor” decision was to advocate for exactly what you are advocating now (one state, no partition) as the only logical way forward, with the clear and fundamental exception being that you oppose equality for all citizens who are not Jewish. Perhaps that was their “poor decision”; to want a system that treated all people as equal instead of one that privileged Jews and punished non-Jews.

      Clearly there is no “fundamental character of the Jewish people” and Zionism has clearly shown that being “gracious and kind” to non-Jews is not a foundation of its ideology. Again, this is merely another example of Jewish exceptionalism on your part. Yes, Jews can be gracious and kind, just as every other human being can be. But they can also be just as mean spirited and hateful as any other as well. Zionism is built on the mean spirited and hateful side of humanity, ignoring the precept “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.”. If you lived under the conditions mandated for Palestinians under Jewish rule in Israel/Palestine, the terms “gracious” and “kind” would not pass your lips.

      • You are an abject hypocrite. No Arab country even allows Jews to live there — the Palestinians who are citizens of Israel are treated amazingly given the history and bitterness of the conflict. No one stops them from praying the way they want, visiting their mosques, or practicing their Islamic lifestyles in any other way.

        And your Ottoman comment is ridiculous. I said the Palestinians would oppress and persecute us in a binational state. What on earth does the way the Ottomans treated us have to do with the price of tea in China? If you knew the history of the conflict you’d be aware that the Ottomans treated their Arabs subjects terribly — hence all of the Arab nationalism that emerged around WW1 when the Empire was decaying.

        Why fault Israel instead of Jordan, which oppresses its Palestinian brothers to keep Hashemite political power? Black September? You would do well to look up facts and research the broad history of the conflict before spewing your hateful drivel.

        As for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, if they wanted a state they’d have one. Maybe not with the current Israeli government, but they for sure could have had one if they tried in the past.

        Why are all the African migrants sneaking into Israel instead of the nice, warm, and accepting countries to its north, east, and south? I thought Zionism mandates the unequal and brutal treatment of all non-Jews?

        Criticism of Israeli policy is not anti-Semitic, but it’s anti-Semitic to think that we Jews somehow have less of a right to defend ourselves and protect our heritage than other countries. It’s anti-Semitic to single out the only Jewish country in the world for intense hatred and sanctions while ignoring similar or worse actions perpetrated by its neighbors.

        Your feelings toward Israel come from one of three sources: ignorance, anti-Semitism, or belief in Jewish superiority.

        You are on this forum, so it’s probably not ignorance. That leaves the other 2. Either you think we don’t have a right to what every other people in the world has, or you think the Arabs are somehow racially and morally inferior to us, and therefore we cannot expect them to act like people. If anything I have more respect for Arabs than most Israel-haters. I believe that it’s reasonable to expect them to renounce civilian murder, accept the legitimacy of our religion, and stop teaching their children that the 14 million of us are somehow capable of destroying the 1.4 billion of them. Obviously not all Palestinians are complicit in such behavior, but the governments that represent them are, and governments are representative of the spirit of the people. The spirit of the Palestinian is not one of innocent and earnest national longing. If you listen to the statements of their leadership, most of what you hear is directed at Jews, not at Israel. The spirit of the Palestinians is one of spiteful and blind hate for the Jewish people — with or without the State of Israel. There is simply no way to negotiate with people who say over and over again that they do not want us to exist.

        So which is: are we inferior or superior?

  18. piotr says:

    The hobgoblin that “he cannot be a fanatic, he is so sophisticated” is ridiculous, and to avoid Godwin law violation, I would cite Czars with impeccable collections of art, wines, patronizing most exquisite ballets in the world and so on, and letting pogroms to proceed.

    And of course it is a mere opportunistic ad hoc argument, a.k.a. double standard. If an Iranian cleric shows any signs of sophistication, pundits deem him a fanatic mullah “who only shows a nice face”. Although they tend not to brag about their wine collections (which is quite Nouveau riche if you ask me, how about calligraphy?).

  19. pjdude says:

    people need to stop giving this terrorist supporter a platform