General under consideration by Trump for Defense has slammed Israel for impending ‘apartheid’

US Politics
on 36 Comments

Donald Trump says he is considering retired Marine general James Mattis as a possible Defense Secretary:

Mattis has been outspoken, that the U.S. pays a “security price” in the Middle East because it is seen as biased in favor of Israel and that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state due to its occupation of the West Bank.

From Haaretz three years ago:

A former U.S. general said last week that the United States is paying a military and security price “every day” because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that the continued construction of settlements is liable to turn Israel into an apartheid state.

Gen. (ret.) James Mattis, who until two months ago headed the Central Command of the U.S. Army (CENTCOM) and commanded U.S. forces in the Middle East, made the comments at an Aspen Institute conference last Saturday…

Gen. (ret.) Mattis then sounded a prophecy of doom regarding what is liable to happen if a Palestinian state is not established. “I would tell you that the current situation is unsustainable,” he said, adding, “It’s got to be directly addressed. We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for it are starting to ebb because of the settlements, and where they’re at. [They] are going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”

Mattis discussed the dangers to Israel’s future and mentioned the settlements as an example. “If I’m in Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote – apartheid,” he warned. “That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country. So we’ve got to work on this with a sense of urgency.”

The retired American general emphasized that a continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict harms America’s security interests. “I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” he said. “That influences all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians. So [Kerry’s] right on target with what he’s doing. I just hope the protagonists want peace and a two-state solution as much as he does.”

Mattis’ harsh words confirm the current perception within the military and defense establishment in the United States regarding the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Mattis’ reprimand is reminiscent of an almost identical statement by his predecessor, Gen. David Petraeus, during a Senate hearing in 2010.

Remember that Wolf Blitzer smacked down Jimmy Carter for using the apartheid word seven years before, so America is making progress. No one in the US mainstream could deny the imminence of apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem– and anyone who’s actually been there knows that it’s in full flower right now. As for unsustainable, that has been the phrase forever; but forever doesn’t last forever, and there’s one state now in Israel and Palestine and a battle for equal rights has begun.

Mattis as DefSec might make it difficult for Israel to annex the West Bank, notwithstanding Trump’s position on same. If he even has a position. Cue SNL last night; and Trump reverting to traditional policies on everything.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch.

About Philip Weiss

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

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36 Responses

  1. amigo
    November 20, 2016, 12:21 pm

    The man is obviously antisemitic .he does not blindly support Israel and that is the new yardstick for determining the presence of antisemitism.Just check with the dersh.

    • JWalters
      November 20, 2016, 7:36 pm

      “Blind” is indeed the operative term.

    • genesto
      November 21, 2016, 1:29 pm

      Yeah, but in this current, Trump-led Bizarro world we live in, you can make fun of Jews and, as long as you blindly support Israel, you’re not considered an anti-Semite.

  2. Ossinev
    November 20, 2016, 1:50 pm

    It will be interesting to see if when asked again about the 2SS this potential US Defense Secretary stands by what he said three years ago. After all in the intervening years the last but last but last but last etc throw of the dice Kerry “peace initiative” on the 2SS has unsurprisingly gone absolutely nowhere and in those same years the Zionist settlements project appears to have moved into cleverly disguised overdrive. The key to finally burying this Oslo Accords two state scam IMHO lies not with the US / the new Trump administration , the Yahoo and all of the extremist right wing “ministers” in the Zionist government – it lies with Abbas and his continued presence on the international stage as leader of the Palestinian people. It is he and his standard entourage inc of course “we may give back the keys – how many times has he said that” Erekat. They are the ones who are propping up the sham in their desperation to retain their 7 star hotel international “diplomat” lifestyle. As soon as Abbas goes either by passing away or by somehow being forced out by growing frustration amongst younger WB Palestinians the sooner the two state farce will completely implode and the world inc the US will be looking at South Africa Mark 2.

    • pabelmont
      November 20, 2016, 7:19 pm

      Yes, by Israel’s decisions and actions, 2SS is dead. And therefore what we have (not what we’ll someday arrive at, but what weer have today) is apartheid. And so what? Until the UNSC or some similar force takes decisive action (putting the “S” into BDS), there will be no push-back other than small scale violence from Palestinians which Israel both deisres and courts and also is easily able to handle, always calling it “terrorism”.

      Will Gen. (ret.) Mattis change his stripes when he butts heads with the pro-Israel Congress? Perhaps we’ll see soon. He wouldn’t be the first. Will Trump decline to propose him for fear of that same Congress (recalling that the Republicans as well as the DEMs belong to AIPAC)? Again, we’ll see soon.

      • Sibiriak
        November 21, 2016, 5:29 am

        pabelmont: Until the UNSC or some similar force takes decisive action (putting the “S” into BDS),

        —————

        Consider this: nothing Israel has done so far –all the war, ethnic cleansing, occupation, apartheid, oppression-none of it has come even close to moving the UNSC toward sanctions.

        Just the opposite: now, for example, we see Russia moving for even STRONGER economic and political ties with Israel:

        http://www.middleeasteye.net/sites/default/files/styles/main_image_article_page/public/main-images/2016-11-10T162255Z_1243981537_S1AEUMBENVAA_RTRMADP_3_ISRAEL-RUSSIA.JPG

        Russian PM Medvedev in Israel to boost trade ties”

        “Over the last years, we did not develop our economic cooperation as well as we could have hoped. The current state of affairs – trade turnover between Russia and Israel stands at around $2 billion,” Medvedev told Israeli TV station Channel 2.

        “That’s not much and we used to have a trade turnover some 30 percent bigger than that but it shrank because of the global economic crisis and the devaluation of the ruble, as well as because of the decrease of imports into Russia,” he said.

        “Our two sides can reach a very fair level of trade relations,” he said. “I’m not even mentioning here the large energy and gas projects we’re considering at present.

        http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russian-pm-medvedev-israel-trade-talks-1477492445
        —————————

        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday afternoon during which the latter described how he felt at home every time visited Israel.

        During the conference, Medvedev spoke about the shared values between the two countries while highlighting his country’s obligation to combat anti-Semitism and as well as the mutual obligation to face common challenges.

        First and foremost it is terrorism that threatens the entire globe but here, in your area, it is felt particularly harshly. The Russian Federation also suffers from terror and it is part and parcel of the same thing. In light of this fact,” he said, “we have to fight terror together and that relates to security cooperation. With joint efforts we need to destroy the seed of terror which lies in the hands of ISIS.”

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4877405,00.html

        ————————–

        Russia and Israel are about to sign a free trade agreement in the very near future, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin told TASS on Friday after talks with his Israeli counterpart.

        “We’ve discussed the prospects of forming a free trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within the shortest period of time,” Levin said, adding that the issue had also been discussed at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

        Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel confirmed his intention to go ahead with the plan very soon.

        The two sides agreed on reciprocal purchases of agricultural products, setting up joint ventures and the introduction of agricultural high-tech, Levin said. Russia would like to increase its sale of wheat, beef and eggs to Israel, while Israel, a world power in agricultural technology, is ready to share its expertise with its Russian trade partners.

        [emphasis added]
        ———————

        UNSC sanctions on Israel? Get serious.

        (And if by some amazing turn of events they ever did come, they would be conditioned on Israel accepting a 2 state settlement based on the “international consensus”, i.e. 1967 borders w/ land swaps; Israel keeps major settlements; no effective RoR etc. )

      • CigarGod
        November 21, 2016, 11:29 am

        Is it likely any real head-butting will occur?
        Congress holds the purse strings for all the new toys for the boys.

    • Sibiriak
      November 21, 2016, 5:00 am

      Ossinev: As soon as Abbas goes either by passing away or by somehow being forced out by growing frustration amongst younger WB Palestinians the sooner the two state farce will completely implode and the world inc the US will be looking at South Africa Mark 2.
      ————-

      Unlikely.

      Don’t forget folks like Mohammed Dahlan are scheming to replace Abbas:
      .
      The Infamy of Palestinian Elites

      https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-infamy-of-the-palestinian-elites-an-imminent-split-within-fatah/

  3. Bandolero
    November 20, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Bringing in James Mattis as SecDef seems weird to me.

    Does anyone remember this story about a neocon effort to draft Mattis for president to stop Trump and Clinton?

    The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President

    And now that guy should be Trump’s SecDef? That looks weird to me.

    By the way, there is a video of Mattis talking Palestine as reported here in this MW article: https://youtu.be/l5Un0NUmGRk?t=41m22s

    • JWalters
      November 20, 2016, 8:15 pm

      Thanks for the link to that Mattis interview. He sounds like a pretty thoughtful guy.

      In another interview he says of the Taliban, “Their views of tolerance for people who think differently are fundamentally different than ours.” About 14:58 in

      His comment is also true of the Zionists. Israel is a state dedicated to the proposition that all men are NOT created equal. It has managed a cover-up of that reality for decades.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/a-history-of-silencing-israeli-army-whistleblowers-from-1948-until-today/

      U.S. support for radical Jewish terrorism is the plain cause of the blowback at the U.S. from the Muslim world. It is the plain cause of the “radicalization” of Muslims, which so “baffles” American pundits. In reality, they only appear to be baffled. Actually they are simply not allowed to investigate or report on the plain roots, on pain of economic ruin and character assassination.

      • CigarGod
        November 21, 2016, 11:36 am

        I think we may see a broader perspective for awhile. These rowdy, unsettled times allow for some of the normally tabu conversations to take place. These windows open for a limited period of time, but I think the window may remain open a bit longer this time.

  4. Annie Robbins
    November 20, 2016, 2:51 pm

    he led the 1st battle of fallujah. gruesome.

    • kalithea
      November 20, 2016, 9:43 pm

      Well, finally a realistic comment on this topic!

      The reason Mad-dog (that’s his nickname) Mattis is being considered is because he’s a rabid Iran hater, just like Flynn and Pompeo. Mattis has called Iran more dangerous than ISIS and was very critical of the Iran Deal.

      And he’s the perfect General and MIC-man to prepare the military for war on Iran.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 21, 2016, 5:00 am

        Why does he hate Iran?
        Prolly cos they ran rings around the Marines in Iraq.

        The Shia who made life hell for the US ended up being invited to form a Government
        Because the US had no choice. After all the Israeli and Chalabi BS about being welcomed with flowers there was the truth .

        The Iranians owned the US army.. The real owners spoke Farsi

        Misson accomplished

        That led to ISIS
        Which led to Obama admitting the US was powerless

        Of course the mad dog hates Iran.
        He hates Iran in the same way a man hates the guy who slept with his wife in his own bed.
        Those Orientals are so shifty

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbWMPQ6b8qs

  5. scott9854958
    November 20, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Well, if he’s picked this should be interesting. A confirmation hearing that would be must-see TV for sure. Of course, knowing most of the people on this site who claim to be sympathetic to the Palestinians, Mattis should be rejected out of hand because his boss once fat shamed a Venezuelan porn star :)

    • Mooser
      November 20, 2016, 10:08 pm

      “Of course, knowing most of the people on this site who claim to be sympathetic to the Palestinians”

      They are people who just don’t want to see how good a war on Iran would be for the Palestinians.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 21, 2016, 5:07 am

        The Palestinians don’t realise how much the Israelis do for them
        As Roger Cohen said the rights they have compared to others in the region are exceptional, really
        Roger is very good at throwing bones to dogs

    • John O
      November 21, 2016, 9:18 am

      @scott9854958 post of 10 November:

      “@eljay
      Yeah, you’re probably right about how America views itself. After all, you live in Canada, so you’re the expert.
      Certainly more than me anyway. I was only born here & lived here all my life, and interact with Americans every day.”

      I guess you’re the expert on how we all feel.

      • scott9854958
        November 21, 2016, 5:47 pm

        Wow, another archives digger! You and that Annie whatshername who polices this forum like Columbo are kindred spirits.

        Are any of you capable of rebuttal without digging into archives?

        Not that I’m ashamed of what I wrote. It’s just effing sad that you can’t offer even a mild rebuke without cutting and pasting from 30 days ago, or 300 days ago.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 21, 2016, 6:06 pm

        a rebuttal to what? this:

        Mattis should be rejected out of hand because his boss once fat shamed a Venezuelan porn star :)

  6. Citizen
    November 20, 2016, 6:14 pm

    Petraeus and Mattis both have said our special relationship with Israel has painted a target on US troops and US best interest for years. Both men are being considered for a Trump appointment. It would be nice if the main US media would even mention this, but not even Fox News does as far as I have seen. Of course, I am just speaking as a former grunt in the US Army.

    • JWalters
      November 20, 2016, 7:57 pm

      Thank you for bringing that up. Tragically, this realization is not new. Back in the 1940’s the U.S. Secretaries of Defense and State (along with MANY knowledgeable people) warned that if the U.S. supported the severe injustices required to establish Israel, there would be serious blowback from the Muslim world at the U.S. That is exactly what has happened. They were overruled by the financial power of Zionists in U.S. politics. For readers who haven’t seen it yet, more information on how it happened is online in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

  7. kalithea
    November 20, 2016, 10:10 pm

    Please stop hanging on to every scintilla and red herring that war hawks like Petraeus and Mattis throw up!

    Mattis is just another crazy Islamophobe to join the Trump team. He wants to bomb Iran after he helps Trump shred the Iran deal. Read up on his position on Iran; it’s perfectly clear why Trump is seriously considering him and it has nothing to do with a two-stater fantasy. F! the two state! It’s gone and buried; now move along. Like Mattis has one drop of compassion for Palestinians….not. He must have been parroting Patraeus. Whatever that temporary lapse was; it meant nothing when he hates Muslims enough to lead a World War against them.

    Do you know that arch-Neocon Republicans wanted to push Mattis to run for President???

    What gets the Mad Dog all hot and bothered? War with Iran!

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2016/april/22/neocons-panting-for-president-mad-dog-mattis/

    Oh bruther, naïve doesn’t cover it. Get real, please.

  8. Kay24
    November 20, 2016, 10:19 pm

    It must be Karma, Sabra Hummus recalled again for listeria fears. It makes it easier for those working hard for the product to be off the shelves.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/19/health/hummus-sabra-recalled/

  9. US Citizen
    November 20, 2016, 10:42 pm

    Israel needs to be slammed for apartheid and the Occupation. “Anti-semite” has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared “anti-semite” by the Israel or the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.

    U.S. in all the endless TV coverage and “expert” talking heads does not address the major issue, that is, the problem is not just one of police resources, intelligence failures or flawed immigration laws, but foreign policy.

    As for ISIS or insert whatever “terrorist” group you want here – here we are again wondering, gee, why do they hate us so much? Right now we are a bunch of idiots lying to ourselves thinking that our foreign policy has NOTHING to do with what happens in a “terror” attack. Bullshit.

    Like our own actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, etc. and our unending, blinding, sycophantic support of apartheid Israel has nothing to do with what happens to us. We’re morally vacant, and opportunistically so. It all goes hand in hand.

    Isis and its unhinged supporters in the U.S. and around the world have managed to bring at least a taste to Americans the terrible carnage that has been going on in the Greater Middle East for the past decades: markets and schools and public buildings blown apart, a region where people—some “guilty, some innocent and “collateral damage” meet death in their homes on a daily basis.

    Until the leaders and opinion makers and talking heads in the U.S., and other countries and their allies, are willing to recognize the extent to which their own massive intervention in the Greater Middle East is also responsible for the terrible situation we find ourselves in today–then, this long, downward spiral to God knows where will only continue its bloody way.

  10. Maghlawatan
    November 21, 2016, 5:13 am

    Compare now to 2011 and lots has changed

    1. The definition of antisemitism has been revised by HaDersh
    2. The Arabs never had a decent army. Hezbollah has been fighting in Syria
    3. The NYT is being attacked by the KKK
    4. BDS takes up far more time in Tel Aviv

    Regarding a war on Iran, it is hard to avoid the conclusion of the Pussycat Dolls
    Be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it

  11. Maghlawatan
    November 21, 2016, 5:18 am

    Maybe they should invade Scotland

  12. Shura
    November 21, 2016, 8:45 am

    I am puzzled about the use of word “semite” or “anti semite”. Seems to me that nobody knows the origins of the word nor whom it applies to. It’s origins date thousands of years back when the land of Shem was homeland to many religions and origins of people, and has absolutely nothing to do with Jews or Judaism. Most especially with Jews, most of whom originate in Europe and Asia. I do not say that Jews are not semites, few are, but so are all the people who originated from the Land of Shem.

    • Mooser
      November 21, 2016, 12:46 pm

      “I am puzzled about the use of word “semite” or “anti semite”.”

      Well, considering what Shem and Ham did when they got off the Ark, I’m sure there must have been a lot of very nervous animals on board. Those guys don’t mess around. They were chasing skirts before the hems had dried from The Flood.
      With, and I admit it, much more success than I ever had.

      Anyway, if you will take advice from an inveterate anti-semiotic like me, the best policy concerning the use of “semite” is- don’t. It is spurious.

      • rosross
        November 21, 2016, 12:59 pm

        @ Mooser,

        Great post.

      • gamal
        November 21, 2016, 1:52 pm

        “It is spurious.”

        no I am Spurious

  13. Ossinev
    November 21, 2016, 11:13 am

    @Sibiriak
    “unlikely”
    Perhaps – perhaps not. The scenario you linked to looks like it will be an unappetising sight of dogs fighting viciously over the seven star hotel rights bones. Abbas is ( hopefully soon to be was ) a well known figure on the international stage. Apart from Marwan Barghouti I don`t think there is any other Palestinian political figure outside the current corrupt PA enclave that anyone in the wider world can think of. I still think that there will be an implosion of the whole concept of a PA ( the 50 year old “temporary ” arrangement as a “precursor” to a PA state ) once Abbas goes or is forced out. The Palestinians themselves ie the people on the street in the West Bank will be faced with the reality that the PA has achieved SFA for them during the 50 years and a continuation of the farce will achieve SFA in the future. Ergo the one state for all with equal citizenship rights particularly with growing international support will become I believe an openly tabled option pursued via peaceful means for Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel`s worst nightmare , = IMO the only possible future for Palestinians to seek.

  14. rosross
    November 21, 2016, 12:57 pm

    ‘West Bank’ is just the euphemism Israel uses so it doesn’t have to speak the reality, Occupied Palestine.

    There is no West Bank, only Occupied Palestine which is everything beyond UN mandated Israel.

    Annexing Palestine would be a plus because it would bring the only possible outcome now, one state shared equally by all, colonised and coloniser alike, into being faster.

    • Mooser
      November 21, 2016, 3:07 pm

      “Annexing Palestine would be a plus because it would bring the only possible outcome now, one state shared equally by all, colonised and coloniser alike, into being faster.”

      So you think the Palestinians will be better handled by Israel when Palestinian actions are simply an internal Israeli security matter? I doubt it.

      • echinococcus
        November 21, 2016, 4:26 pm

        Mooser,

        US and European (and in fact Arab state) action shows that they also consider all Palestine to be a strictly internal “Israeli” matter, no matter the polite noises heard here and there.

    • echinococcus
      November 21, 2016, 4:23 pm

      Annexing Palestine would be a plus because it would bring the only possible outcome now, one state shared equally by all, colonised and coloniser alike, into being faster.

      Magical thinking much? Or is it lack of imagination that makes you say “only possible outcome”?
      Are you unaware of the late racial supremacist South Africa, for example? Without even going there, are you unaware of a country called the United States of f*&^ A, where the contents of the Mayflower settled –with all the known consequences to the owners of the place?

      One guaranteed outcome would be the shifting of costs from European and US underwriters of Oslo directly to the Zionist entity. That wouldn’t be a major burden, though, as the Zionist entity can fill its begging bowl any time it wants, in addition to sucking the Palestinian population dry.

      Another outcome will be the unmasking of the Zionist entity to remaining skeptics or to governments pretending to ignore facts. Without, as usual, major consequences. Being told “fie, fie, naughty” and slapped on the wrist are not major consequences. Nothing short of a total inversion of US policy looks likely to be a major development.

      The ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people will proceed no matter if under direct occupier rule or not, as “two states”(i.e. one state and one or more Bantustans) or not: that is a mandate of Zionist ideology in any shape or form.

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