Hear O Israel these parting truths — John Kerry

Middle East
on 42 Comments

The most disturbing thing about the landmark speech that Secretary of State John Kerry just delivered is that the American political system is so dysfunctional that the truth could be spoken only after – not before – a national election, in the short period between the end of one Administration and the beginning of another.

Kerry delivered his “candid thoughts” about the Israeli Palestinian conflict in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bitter and provocative criticism of the United States for not vetoing the UN resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israel’s settlement construction and expansion: “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”  Kerry’s rejoinder to the Israelis and the American people, publicly before the world, was that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.”

These hard truths remained untold for eight years because of fear:  fear by President Obama and the Administration that the Israeli lobby, big American Jewish donors, and the American Jewish community was not ready to hear them; fear that speaking the truth would endanger Obama’s re-election prospects, and then Hillary Clinton’s.  As a result of such fear, candor could be heard only very late – when the Two State Solution (“2SS”) is already in the grave, and when the incoming Administration is apparently resolved not to hear the lessons Kerry took pains to articulate.

Nevertheless, the word must be heard and heeded by Israeli, American and World Jewry.  We would be exceedingly unwise to ignore them.  So Hear, O Israel, these parting truths – hard as they are for many of us — from the peacemakers who tried so hard to move it from its disastrous path:

You are running Israel and Judaism off the rails.  Led by the most right wing leadership in history, you are taking them to a one-state reality — a Greater Israel, in the West Bank — for the sake of ideological and religious reasons utterly disconnected from Judaism’s values and Israel’s greater interests in security and its future peaceful integration into the Arab world.  In your single-minded commitment to settlement construction and expansion, you have increasingly consolidated control over the West Bank for your own purposes, reversing the earlier goal of permitting Palestinians greater control over their own lives.

You have transferred into the West Bank, the future homeland of the Palestinian people, 270,000 Jewish settlers since the Oslo peace accords were signed on the White House lawn, 100,000 since the Obama Administration began in 2009.  And you have located these settlers, deliberately and strategically, in places which have made it particularly difficult to envision separating the two peoples and transferring sovereignty to a new Palestinian state.  Because you are not stupid, you must be doing this for a reason, and that is ultimately to prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state in which Palestinians could live in freedom and dignity, free of Israeli domination.

There is no use pretending that you are merely expanding settlement blocs because, not only are they in places that make a Palestinian state impossible, but you are legalizing more than 100 outposts and advancing legislation, sponsored by Jewish fundamentalists and the settler movement, which are leading inexorably toward annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (“OPT”).  These settlers clearly do not intend to submit to Palestinian law and so they are a permanent obstacle to the 2 state solution.  It is therefore obvious to any knowledgeable observer that you have embarked on a comprehensive effort to take West Bank lands for Israel and prevent any Palestinian development there.  The entire Area C, constituting 60% of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, is off limits to Palestinian development.  While Israeli farms flourish in the Jordan Valley and resorts line the Red Sea, while hundreds of Jewish settlement permits were approved, only one Palestinian building permit was approved in all of 2014 and 2015.  Palestinian homes have been demolished at an historically high rate, displacing 1300 Palestinians (including 600 Palestinian children) in 2016 alone.  The Israeli agenda is clear:  putting in place a one-state reality over all of Israel-Palestine.  The era of the 2SS is over.

What kind of Jewish vision is left, Kerry asks us.  What kind of subjugation of Palestinians is consistent with Jewish religious and moral values?  There are 2.75 million Palestinians living under Jewish military occupation, in the West Bank.  They have limited autonomy.  They cannot travel without approval.  They are living in enclaves with no rights, under occupation that deprives them of basic freedoms.  Palestinians live lives that are Separate But Unequal.  While Kerry did not utter the word “apartheid,” the reference to American racial segregation was an unmistakable stand-in for it.  Will Jewish military and police personnel police the streets of every Palestinian city and town?  Will they administer the schools and hospitals?  How will they deal with civil rights protests?  Unspoken was the fact that Israeli troops and police have shot, killed and maimed Palestinians engaged in peaceful protests for years.

Because this one-state Greater Israel is not consonant with democratic ideals, Americans will not accept it, the world will not accept it, Kerry said.  He is right, of course.  This is the truth, obvious by the global consensus enunciated in resolutions like this one since 1967.  The unspoken question to Jews the world over was, will the Jewish people accept it?  Is that the legacy of the Holocaust?  It was not enough for 6 million to have perished?  We have to end up being oppressors of another people, millions of them, Arabs in an Arab world where we hope and expect to live for the next thousand years?

Friends do not let friends drive drunk.  Israel is intoxicated by its military might, its economic success, and its historic American insulation from the pressures of the global consensus that what it is doing is dead wrong.  This insulation threatens to continue for at least another four years.  The proponents of such insulation are no friends of Israel’s, no friends of the Jews.  I think Kerry is wrong about the continued viability of the two state solution, but he is clearly right that the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world will not make a secure and lasting peace with us until we give up the irredentist dream of “all Israel-Palestine for Jews” and agree to accommodate the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinians.

About Robert Herbst

Robert Herbst is chapter coordinator for Westchester Jewish Voice for Peace and a civil rights lawyer

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42 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    December 28, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Judaism is broken. Netanyahu is one of the great enemies of Judaism. He belongs with the tyrants remembered during Jewish holidays. And he broke Judaism from the inside.

    • mick23
      December 29, 2016, 8:59 am

      Bibi and Trump shall be married on the 20th January 2017,shortly after that, the new-improved Israel will be born in Florida .

  2. Maghlawatan
    December 28, 2016, 3:22 pm

    In the first stage, Leibowitz said, “we shall see euphoria, upon our return to our ancient sites. Next, we shall see the emergence of messianic, radical and dangerous nationalism. In the third stage, we shall see Israeli society becoming more brutal and the emergence of a police state.”

    “..the artificial essence of Zionism – the grounding of its rhetoric in the notion of ‘negation’, ‘inversion’ ‘synthesis or ‘combination’: its self definition as a constrained, corrective, redemptive (ben Gurion even used the word Messianic ) intervention in historical time and geographical space ” Zvi Efrat from “A civilian occupation” by Segal and Weizman.

    , the project to set up the first Zionist outposts in Palestine. It’s a tower surrounded by a wall. “…the seclusion within the wall separates the settlement from the new environment and defines the new community not only as those who choose to live inside but also as those who are under potential threat from outside”. Sharon Rotbard, also from “a civilian occupation”

    They never wanted to integrate. They always wanted to dominate.

    “Kohn in particular was deeply troubled by the ways in which Palestinian settlement put Jews in the position of dominating others by power alone, rather than cultural renewal and a dialogical exchange. He was especially unimpressed with arguments based on “historic right” (just as he would be in his writings on nationalism years later). “With the term ‘historic right,” he suggested, “one can rationalize every kind of injustice.” As he wrote to Buber in 1929: “We have been in Palestine for 12 years now and have not once seriously tried to secure the acceptance of the people or to negotiate with the people that live in the country. We have relied exclusively on the military power of Great Britain. We have set goals that inevitably and in themselves had to lead to conflicts with the Arabs and about which we should say that they are reason–and justified reason–for a national uprising against us.”

    • RoHa
      December 28, 2016, 8:31 pm

      “Palestinian settlement put Jews in the position of dominating others by power alone, rather than cultural renewal and a dialogical exchange.”

      He wanted Jews to dominate others, but would have preferred dominating by cultural renewal and a dialogical exchange?

      • Maghlawatan
        December 29, 2016, 6:04 am

        I didn’t read it like that. Zionism is a paranoid fortress rather than a neighbour. Neighbours are sustainable. Paranoia is not. Airport security is so Zionist. So are nuclear weapons. So is wife beating. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Zionism is like Brexit. It was never planned coherently. And it shows.

  3. Maghlawatan
    December 28, 2016, 3:35 pm

    In response to the 1982 Israeli siege of Beruit, Schwarzschild published an open letter announcing his resignation from Sh’ma, and stating that “I now renounce the State of Israel, disavow any political connection or emotional obligation to it, and declare myself its enemy. I retain, of course, the same deep concern for its inhabitants, Jewish, Arab, and other, that I hold for all humankind.” He continued:
    the War on Lebanon has now made clear to me that the resumption of political power by the Jewish people after two thousand years of diaspora has been a tragedy of historical dimensions…I now conclude and avow that the price of a Jewish state is, to me, Jewishly unacceptable and that the existence of this (or any similar) Jewish ethnic religious nation state is a Jewish, i.e. a human and moral, disaster and violates every remaining value for which Judaism and Jews might exist in history. The lethal military triumphalism and corrosive racism that inheres in the State and in its supporters (both there and here) are profoundly abhorrent to me. So is the message that now goes forth to the nations of the world that the Jewish people claim the right to impose a holocaust on others in order to preserve its State.

    • rosross
      December 30, 2016, 2:12 am

      @Maghlawatan,

      Except there is no Jewish people beyond religious metaphor. Well, no more so than a Christian, Hindu, Muslim people etc., and any Jewish ethnicity is religious ethnicity and no different to Christian ethnicity etc.

      Jews are not a race or a people and in fact comprise all races and dozens of nationalities like any other religion. If Jews had a right to self-determination then all religions must have the same right.

      The first Jew like the first Christian was a convert. You cannot convert to a race or a people, beyond religious metaphor. If you drop Judaism or convert to another religion or convert to Judaism you do not change race or nationality – you simply change religion.

      Followers of Judaism do not have a right to their own State and the fact is, most Jews do not live in UN mandated Israel, never did and never will and Israel does not represent Judaism or Jews. The concept is delusional and was invented by the Zionists in order to prove that being Jewish somehow gave people rights to a bit of land where once some followers wandered around for a bit. That was required to attempt to counter the very real legitimacy of the Palestinians and what is surprising is how many people, including intelligent ones, have fallen for it.

      Sanity lies beyond the place where it is accepted that Jews are not a people in any real sense and therefore have no more right to self-determination than any other religion.

      And that right, for religions is none, nada, zip!

      • Maghlawatan
        December 30, 2016, 8:56 am

        There is an Israeli people now, for better or worse. They are deluded but they are a unit

  4. MHughes976
    December 28, 2016, 5:06 pm

    Some settlement building is being put on hold, I see. It does make you wonder what might have been achieved without this pathetic waiting for a moment when Obama was neither seeking re-election nor promoting the election of a successor whose plans depended on massive Zionist support. The stage is set for Trump to come roaring into office as Israel’s friend and rescuer amid another round of US Europhobia.

    • DaBakr
      December 28, 2016, 10:27 pm

      @mh
      i seriously doubt an american president with the integrity of say, a lincoln or a truman would have sheepishly avoided, lied about and kept secret foreign policy goals they considered essential to americas place in the world just to make sure he gets re-elected or that his distrusted and widely disliked sos could succeed him in office. or that he was ‘so afraid’ of so-called ‘jewish backlash’ (what? the 75% jews that voted with him?) this is the action of a cowardly and shrewd politician concerned above all with his own place in history and not somebody concerned with decisions in th US best interest.

      • MHughes976
        December 29, 2016, 9:27 am

        There’s truth in what you say, Dab. Of course you and I have not experienced the pressures of very high office from the inside.

      • rosross
        December 30, 2016, 2:06 am

        @DaBakr,

        A good reading of American history makes it pretty clear that corruption has been a part of the process from the beginning and mythology abounds, including in regard to Lincoln. Americans particularly like to mythologise the Presidents who are assassinated, sadly, a few.

        Nations don’t have friends they have interests and yes Zionists/Israelis/Jews have disproportionate and inappropriate power in US politics and Governments but the US is also bent on hegemony and clearly the military base which is Israel, is seen to be important to that cause. For the moment anyway.

        America’s place in the world is as just another nation and one with too much military power and too much of a tendency to throw its weight around.

        What the best interests of the US really are, may well be something Presidents are told and not something they know or work out for themselves.

      • Mooser
        December 30, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Maybe Obama didn’t want the tings he thought he could do for the American people blasted to bits by the Zionist Lobby.

        BTW, Obama has stated as much: He wasn’t going to waste his Presidency fighting Israel to make it do the things which are good for it.

        And now we have a President Trump, who will give Israel everything, and take everything away (ACA, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare) from Americans. That’ll be good for the Jews.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 30, 2016, 5:33 pm

        Maybe Obama figured Israel was going to strangle itself anyway. Carter was right. Peace or apartheid. And Israel has chosen.

  5. JWalters
    December 28, 2016, 7:10 pm

    “Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world will not make a secure and lasting peace with us until we give up the irredentist dream of ‘all Israel-Palestine for Jews'”

    That is the point of pitting the unrelenting force against the immovable object – conflict. Let’s face it, the clearly extremist, nuts, vicious so-called “settler” bloc could not afford to drag the world’s only superpower around by the nose. That takes BIG money, the kind that can buy media, and politicians, and have many front groups. For instance, war can be extremely profitable for a select few, e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

  6. Citizen
    December 28, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Gee, maybe the US public may finally get a few drops of actual facts about their enablement of Israel’s conduct all these many decades, scores of years? Mainstream media talking heads are trotting out lots of Jewish Israeli hasbarists plus John Bolton & Krauthhammer. I don’t think PW will get the call.

    • ritzl
      December 29, 2016, 12:36 am

      Noura Erakat was on MSNBC tonight, Chris Hayes, prime time.

      It’s a start.

      Great comment. Agree totally. Normal moral people are going to get much larger and more frequent doses of the repugnant racist Israeli Apartheid/Hafrada they have been supporting all these decades and be appalled. Perhaps appalled enough to support some compensating/correcting actions. TBD.

    • Kay24
      December 29, 2016, 1:31 am

      I noticed that on all segments on this settlement issue, CNN International pulling out of the sewer. hasbarists who are spewing a lot of propaganda, one guy, Ethan Berman, was whining about how Hamas was spending the money meant for those poor Palestinians and how concerned he was for those Palestinians, blah blah. No mention that his own war mongering
      leader Nutty and his family were right now under investigation for corruption and money laundering. Well they are not called the zionist media for nothing, and from the so called
      experts they keep bring out, the conversation is always one sided, and hardly any representation
      from the Palestinian side. I am fed up with the zionist lies and twisting of facts that our media keeps trying to brainwash Americans with.

  7. Kay24
    December 28, 2016, 8:04 pm

    This was one of the most harshest speeches any American leader has made, based on facts and what is going on right now in that region. No one can dispute those facts, and it was long, long overdue. This is what our leaders should have been saying all these years. Pointing out to the transgressions by Israel, every time they went beyond what they were entitled to, and beyond those 1967 borders. We have shamefully stood by aiding and arming them to continue their crimes against the Palestinians, and their arrogant actions that show they think they are above any laws. We helped create this monster.

    As you can see from the responses, especially Netanyahu who is mostly responsible for making decisions that has placed Israel in a very treacherous situation, on the brink of a one state, guilty of stealing lands and breaking international laws, his (yet again) arrogant response stating “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.” – no, but they certainly need their charity, weapons, and support at the UN, and if they do not need to be lectured then they should get their own shi**y act together. They are dong a very bad job and making a huge mess all by themselves.
    What an ungrateful and arrogant man.

    Those who insult John Kerry and do not agree with what he said, obviously is in the dark about facts and simply believing the culprit’s propaganda without deep thought or research.

  8. Kay24
    December 28, 2016, 8:09 pm

    This was one of the most harshest speeches any American leader has made, based on facts and what is going on right now in that region. No one can dispute those facts, and it was long, long overdue. This is what our leaders should have been saying all these years. Pointing out to the transgressions by Israel, every time they went beyond what they were entitled to, and beyond those 1967 borders. We have shamefully stood by aiding and arming them to continue their crimes against the Palestinians, and their arrogant actions that show they think they are above any laws. We helped create this monster.

    As you can see from the responses, especially Netanyahu who is mostly responsible for making decisions that has placed Israel in a very treacherous situation, on the brink of a one state, guilty of stealing lands and breaking international laws, his (yet again) arrogant response stating “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.” – no, but they certainly need their charity, weapons, and support at the UN. What an ungrateful and arrogant man.

    Those who insult John Kerry and do not agree with what he said, obviously is in the dark about facts and simply believing the culprit’s propaganda without deep thought or research.

  9. RoHa
    December 28, 2016, 8:34 pm

    “You have transferred into the West Bank, the future homeland of the Palestinian people,”

    The current “homeland” is, of course, all of Palestine.

    • DaBakr
      December 28, 2016, 10:45 pm

      @rh
      which includes jordan

      • talknic
        December 29, 2016, 9:48 pm

        @ DaBakr “which includes jordan”

        Hasbara bullsh*t seems to be all you have.

        FACT IS : Jordan gained independence May 25th 1946
        FACT IS: Jordan was independent BEFORE the UNGA 181 vote 1947 to partition what remained of Palestine at that time.
        FACT IS: Jordan was independent BEFORE UNGA res 181 was accepted as binding by the Jewish Agency http://wp.me/pDB7k-Yx
        FACT IS: Jordan was independent BEFORE Israel’s frontiers were proclaimed separating the Jewish State from whatever remained of Palestine at the time http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

        FACT IS: Only the legitimate citizens of the territory that became Jordan had an automatic right to Jordanian citizenship in 1946, folk who lived in whatever remained of Palestine in 1946 did not.

        BTW by agreement with who and on what date has Israel legally annexed any of the territories it has acquired by war (Illegal by 1945) since proclaiming its borders effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time).

        FACT IS: Israel has never legally annexed ANY territories.

        FACT IS: it has been illegal for states to recognize any territories acquired by war by any country, including Israel. Even if it is the Jewish State, Israel is still obliged to adhere to International Law and the UN Charter

      • rosross
        December 30, 2016, 1:20 am

        No, the current homeland does not include Jordan. The current homeland includes all of Palestine prior to the certainly immoral and possibly illegal partition in 1947.

  10. Talkback
    December 28, 2016, 8:48 pm

    “What kind of subjugation of Palestinians is consistent with Jewish religious and moral values?”

    Whose Jewish religious and moral values? Those who want to keep Palestinians expelled and pretend that only what happened after 1967 is immoral and deserves to be undone?

    • MHughes976
      December 29, 2016, 5:49 am

      Not those values which are claimed to be Jewish and to proclaim radical inclusion – we have heard of these recently, though in the context where the one who proclaimed them became tongue-tied when asked to apply them to the ME. But they’re there somewhere, facing – just like their counterparts in non-Jewish systems of thought – something of a struggle.
      The general idea among us on Mondoweiss has always been, I think, that those forms of Judaism that support Zionism are inauthentic.

      • Mooser
        December 29, 2016, 4:01 pm

        “The general idea among us on Mondoweiss has always been, I think, that those forms of Judaism that support Zionism are inauthentic.”

        Oh , a religious idea can be as authentic as hell, that doesn’t mean religion requires you to act on it. You can even look on it as a cautionary tale. Nobody says you have to do the same thing over again. Gee, the most “authentic” thing would be for us to get our asses kicked out of there after a suicidal fratricidal struggle.

      • rosross
        December 29, 2016, 11:08 pm

        @MHughes,

        It needs to be remembered that neither Israel nor Zionism represent Jews or Judaism despite Israeli claims to the contrary.

        Zionism may be a distorted offshoot of Judaism but it no more reflects or represents it than fundamentalist Christians represent Christianity in general.

        Zionism is fanaticism and it is also atheism and therefore cannot even be sourced in Judaism, which is a religion. There is no such thing as an atheist Jew, or atheist Christian, or even a secular Jew or secular Christian and it is astonishing that so many Jews have gone along with this delusion which is oxymoronic in the extreme.

        You can have non-practising Jews or Christians or members of any religion, but atheist or secular, no.

        Zionism has more in common with Nazism and Fascism than any religion.

  11. broadside
    December 28, 2016, 9:58 pm

    “The most disturbing thing about the landmark speech that Secretary of State John Kerry just delivered is that the American political system is so dysfunctional that the truth could be spoken only after – not before – a national election, in the short period between the end of one Administration and the beginning of another.”

    Exactly.

    “These hard truths remained untold for eight years because of fear: fear by President Obama and the Administration that the Israeli lobby, big American Jewish donors, and the American Jewish community was not ready to hear them.”

    Hmm. Not so sure about group three. I think if by the American Jewish community you mean American Jews, they were more ready than you think.

    • Sibiriak
      December 29, 2016, 2:03 am

      “These hard truths remained untold for eight years because of fear
      —————-

      Actually, they are very soft truths , and they had been repeated many times–the are the gist of the well-known “international two-state consensus.”

      —————

      As a road map towards a two-state solution, Kerry offered six principles.

      1. Secure and recognized international borders between Israel and a viable, contiguous Palestine, based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed equivalent land swaps.

      [Israel gets 78% plus of historic mandatory Palestine. “Land swaps” is diplomatic-speak for Israel getting to keep major settlement blocs.” –Sibiriak ]

      2. “Two states for two people, Jewish and Arab, with full equal rights for all citizens,” where each can achieve their national aspirations.

      [The “two states for two peoples” formula recognizes a Jewish right to self-determination in Israel and the Jewish character of the Israeli state. –Sibiriak ]

      3. A just, agreed, fair and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, including compensation and acknowledgment of suffering, as well as international assistance in finding permanent homes. The solution would need to be consistent with two states and “cannot affect the nature of Israel.”

      [In other words, very few Palestinian refugees, if any, will get to return to Israeli territory. Israel’s Jewish super-majority will not be threatened. –Sibiriak ]

      4. Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with access to holy sites for all, acknowledging the sentiment that the city should not be divided again.

      5. Ending the occupation while satisfying Israel’s security needs. Israeli security must be guaranteed, but Palestinians need to be able to live in freedom and dignity in a sovereign state, even without a military of their own.

      [ How can a state be considered sovereign if it does not have the right to defend itself militarily, like all other states?? –Sibiriak ]

      6. End the conflict between Israel and neighboring Arab states, enabling the creation of an “absolutely groundbreaking” security structure in the region.

      [What’s this “groundbreaking security structure? Permanent entrenchment of U.S. military domination of the region? –Sibiriak ]

      • MHughes976
        December 29, 2016, 9:23 am

        You put your finger on the very important point, Sibi, that no one of any importance is prepared to grant the Palestinians any genuinely sovereign territory, ‘not a foot’s length’. Presumably Kerry has in mind some sort of collective security system embracing the Palestinian area, but there is no conceivable form of security that could deter the endlessly militarised, qualitatively edgy, Israeli military machine. All vain words. Yet not even this has ever been enough to secure Israel’s cooperation. Even an unreal, completely dependent Palrstinian state is too much for them, too much of a thin end of the security wedge, too much of an affront to Zionism by making a non-Jewish presence look even remotely comparable in legitimacy to the Zionist one.

      • rosross
        December 29, 2016, 10:12 pm

        @Sibiriak,

        Jews are not a people and Arabs are not a people. This is the core error of this issue.

        Jews are members of a religion and Arab is a cultural label, like European or Asian. Neither Jew nor Arab is a race, nationality or people.

        This issue is between indigenous Palestinians and their colonisers who call themselves Israelis. This issue is not about Jews, a religion, nor Arabs, a culture in any general sense.

        Israel uses the term Arab to pretend Palestinians don’t exist and to pretend it is against the entire Arab world. That is as delusional as Palestinians pretending they are against the entire European world because Israelis are of European ancestry in the main.

        A State for Palestinians and a State for Israelis, where full and equal rights attended each State, with contiguous borders and Jerusalem as an international city, belonging to neither, might have worked. But it is now impossible.

        That means one state shared by the colonised and the coloniser alike as equal citizens and as a democracy where religion is irrelevant. That means no religious affiliation can confer supremacy.

      • rosross
        December 29, 2016, 10:16 pm

        @Sibiriak,

        You say end the conflict with neighbouring States? What conflict beyond that which Israel initiates? The Arab States offered peace years ago and Israel refused. The battle now is purely of Israel’s making as it attacks its neighbours at whim and will and continues to occupy parts of Syria and Lebanon.

    • MHughes976
      December 29, 2016, 5:57 am

      I’m sure you’re right about group three, but the fear that certain forces able to influence many votes (including many non-Jewish ones, of course) would withdraw their support, considered to be vital, from the Democrat Party was paralysing. I suppose that the current wrecked state of the Party, needing to be rebuilt on foundations that no one can yet see, makes all those old prudent considerations unimportant. It’s hard to foresee much good coming of this last gasp attempt of a dysfunctional system to function.

      • echinococcus
        December 29, 2016, 10:32 am

        Hughes,

        the current wrecked state of the Party, needing to be rebuilt on foundations that…

        What need is there to rebuild an abomination?

  12. Maghlawatan
    December 29, 2016, 5:02 am

    Kerry gave Carter’s peace not apartheid analysis. No longer from a retired pesident but a serving administration. The bots savaged Carter for his book a decade ago but the system continued. Peace or apartheid. It is like the medieval torture called the rack. Judaism is on the rack. The endgame remains the same. Netanyahu is a procrastinator. He is not a saviour. The rack is turned another quarter circle.

  13. David Plimpton
    December 29, 2016, 8:34 am

    It’s true that for Israel to change course meaningfully and work out a solution which brings justice for Palestinians will take more than BDS , the UN Resolution, Kerry’s speech and even a more aware American public.

    Although these are good starts and will do much to change American public opinion about Israel, Israel needs to be held responsible for its decades of actions and wrongs against (1) the Palestinians and (2) the true interests of most people in the U.S. This means changes in our leadership so that we have leaders who will take away the carrot and administer a stick, namely withdrawal of uncritical and unrequited financial, media and policy support for Israel, like the $38 billion without asking anything in return, all to the detriment, impaired security and cost of the U.S. Unfortunately, current policy is what our leaders, the mainstream media, our cultural institutions and our educational institutions have corruptly supported for many decades, because of the massive power and influence of the Israel Lobby. They are still strong Israel firsters

    It’s true more people are becoming aware of Israel’s brutal oppression, apartheid and war crimes against the Palestinians, all in violation of international law. But the powers that be or were, including Obama, Hillary and Trump are still mostly taking and advocating strong action against BDS, for example, including laws and policies which are clearly unconstitutional restraints of free speech. Experience has shown it’s not well-calculated to promote change in Israel.

    Bernie Sanders made an effort to support of a more balanced approach to the Israel-Palestinian situation by appointing surrogates to advocate for policy changes with the DNC platform committee. But in the end, they were rebuffed and Bernie left them high and dry, deciding instead to support Hillary Clinton in spite of her atrocious record supporting Israel and war in the Middle East.

    So, yes, we must continue to demand change from our leaders and Israel. But given the outcome of the Presidential election (and it wouldn’t have mattered if it was Trump or Clinton), and the continuing power and influence of the Israel Lobby in Congress and the White House (Obama and Trump), I don’t see much prospect of change from those quarters for the next four or eight years.

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/hysteria-solidifying-countrys/#sthash.4YpZ3Xs0.dpuf

    • rosross
      December 29, 2016, 7:48 pm

      @David Plimpton,

      It is not just Americans who need to take a closer look at Israel, but of course, since Americans bankroll this colonial experiment in the Middle East, they have the most potential power to change things.

      What I find astonishing is that developed nations, touting democratic principles, rule of law, human rights etc., can support Israel as a murderous military occupier and coloniser and apartheid State. I mean, even if it were not murderous and acted in benign ways, occupation is occupation, colonisation is colonisation and apartheid in the name of egregious religious bigotry is still apartheid.

      How can anyone, ever support any of that, by omission or commission?

  14. Jasonius Maximus
    December 29, 2016, 10:15 am

    The most intriguing and insightful aspect of Kerry’s landmark speech, which I’m sure will be analyzed in greater detail once the dust settles, was his ‘call and response’ style that example after example drudges up almost every single major Hasbara argument and spin from the Israeli regime and then systematically, artfully and articulately unpacked, dismantled and debunked them all in front of the entire world.

    Of course Kerry missed a few (there’re are afterall so many), but it shows a few interesting things…

    One is that “Israel’s closest ally” is not at all blind to the truth, the facts on the ground and what Israel’s intentions have always been.

    Two is that quite obviously Bibi and Co. shamelessly use these same hollow spun arguments and lies ad nauseam in their daily dealings and conversations with the White House administration, and they are quite frankly sick of hearing them and talked to and lectured with B.S. as if Israel thinks them complete and utter idiots.

    Three is that this style of speech openly unmasked and denounced the Orwellian phrasing and coded in mistruths language of the Israeli regime, a language we faaaar to often hear our own elected officials (and even media) speaking fluently on national TV whenever the topic of Israel is mentioned! In fact not even an hour after Kerry’s speech, we heard, Naftali Bennet, Fox News anchors, a host of US Congressmen and later Netanyahu himself, all shamelessly rehash some of the EXACT Hasbara language, phrases, arguments, talking points and outright lies that Kerry had dismantled and debunked barely two hour earlier!

    Sadly out media is still trying to either digest these hard truths, make sense of this “surprising new” reality about Israel that didn’t come out of an AIPAC newsletter or ADL press release or simply trying to figure out if ithey are now allowed to speak their minds or even the truth regarding Israel without losing their jobs or committing career suicide!

    • rosross
      December 29, 2016, 6:13 pm

      But surely Americans must question a system where questioning Israel puts their careers in jeopardy for that suggests that Americans do not own or run their own country in their own interests, but vested agendas do in the name of a foreign country, Israel.

      Why do Americans put up with that? Why do they allow members of one religion, and a minority religion at that, and supporters of a foreign nation, to dictate to them?

      And the greatest irony is that many Americans are hysterical at the idea, highly unlikely of course and one wonders who might be pushing this delusional but useful theory, of Russia interfering with the election, but happily accept their politicians and Presidents being pretty much bought and sold by Israel, a foreign nation whose interests are frequently the opposite of what is best for Americans and the US.

    • JWalters
      December 29, 2016, 8:19 pm

      I agree, Kerry’s speech was excellent. He shredded the Israeli lies, while showing the utmost sympathy for the duped and paranoid American Jewish community. The moguls of the Israeli-controlled media undoubtedly intend to sideline Kerry and Obama as soon as they are out of office, as was done with Carter. Can such a historic speech from an American Secretary of State significantly change the conversation, or can the oligarchy bury it? Will all the MSM reporters and pundits continue their compliant role in spreading Israel’s blanket of lies? Are there no MSM editors and reporters with the guts to tell the truth about this story? (It probably won’t be Dan Rather, who learned his lesson the hard way, banished to the media wilderness.) Could a group of editors and reporters revolt as a group? Israel’s control over America’s MSM needs to be shattered. New safeguards need to be put in place to prevent such a takeover from happening again. This is a time for patriots and lovers of liberty to take action, large and small.

  15. talknic
    December 29, 2016, 9:59 pm

    Fact is, Israel has never been able and cannot now afford to adhere to the law.

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