Netanyahu ignored US warnings and brought Israel’s ‘international isolation’ on itself — Ben Rhodes

US Politics
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Yesterday’s abstention by the United States in the Security Council will do nothing to bring about a two-state solution– the U.S. might as well have endorsed the existence of Santa Claus — but it has already served to isolate Israel in international opinion and hasten its path toward becoming a rogue state, and that is huge. But that’s my opinion. Let’s hear from others.

Matthew Dowd of ABC News:

Between Nixon, Reagan, Bush41, Bush43, they allowed 51 UN resolutions to pass condemning Israel. Just a bit of perspective.

Josh Marshall echoes that point.

So does Yousef Munayyer:

David Axelrod refers to the “shredding” of the two state solution.

The U.S. took right step in U.N. today. The shredding of 2-state solution has dark portents for Israel, Palestinians & peace in Middle East.

(Shredding happened on his watch; some day he will explain why Obama vetoed the last similar resolution, just before his reelection year).

Tony Karon shares my view; points out the important consequences of the vote:

Israel and Trump internationally isolated in defense of occupation

Glenn Greenwald reminds us of the consensus on Israel’s damaging influence:

Reminder: both Gen. Petraeus & Gen Mattis said US devotion to Israel endangers US security

And that American Jews will support the resolution:

A poll commissioned in Nov by J Street found US Jews overwhelmingly wanted support or abstention on UN resolution; only 27% said veto

Senator Dianne Feinstein approves and speaks of human-rights violations:

I’ve watched with growing concern the increase in Israeli settlements over the years, where approximately 400,0000 individuals now live. I believe the expansion of settlements has but one goal: to undermine the viability of a two-state solution.

“I’ve met with displaced Palestinian families who have been kicked off land they’ve lived on for many generations. The ill will that results from these settlements is a significant roadblock to peace, and I again call on Israel to end their expansion so that a two- state solution remains a possibility.”

Palestinian-Canadian lawyer Diana Buttu, in notes conveyed by the Institute for Middle East Understanding, emphasizes the bigger picture, the two-state solution is over:

“At the end of the day, this resolution is intended to salvage a two-state solution that Israel killed off with settlement construction years ago. It’s long past time to start looking for alternative ways to realize the rights of Palestinians outside of a two-state framework that was never really a lasting solution in the first place.”

Ben Rhodes the White House aide had an incisive call with reporters yesterday saying the Obama administration was the only presidency not to have put through a resolution against the settlements, and “we tried a different approach for years…. all I can say is that we’ve tried everything.”

But let’s be clear here:  We exhausted every effort to pursue a two-state solution through negotiations, through direct discussions, through proximity discussions, through confidence-building measures, through a lengthy and exhaustive effort undertaken by Secretary Kerry earlier in the President’s second term.  We gave every effort that we could to supporting the parties coming to the table.

He says the U.S. warned Israel about its “international isolation.”

The fact of the matter is, we’d been warning — President Obama and Secretary Kerry publicly and privately for years — that the trend line of settlement construction and settlement activity was just increasing Israel’s international isolation.

But Netanyahu brought this on himself:

Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today.  Absent this acceleration of settlement activity, absent the type of rhetoric we’ve seen out of the current Israeli government, I think the United States likely would have taken a different view, because our preference is for there to be a credible peace process underway.

So, again, it’s very important that this — the fact that this is happening towards the end of our eight years indicates that this is not our preferred course of action and that we’ve given years and years and years of opportunities to address issues related to the settlements or to address issues related to the peace process that, frankly, we believe could have been more productive.  And, frankly, President Obama, if you look at speech after speech that he gave, kept warning that the trends in the conflict were going to lead to greater international efforts to apply pressure in Israel; that the settlement activity was going to lead to greater national efforts to apply pressure to Israel.

Also on that call, Secretary of State John Kerry is going to make a major speech on the solution to the conflict in coming days. Hold your breath. The Hill:

Kerry’s speech will lay out a “comprehensive” plan for a two-state solution that goes beyond the settlement issue, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.

John Judis says that the Obama move was a “last gasp” and that it won’t bring about a two-state solution, because of Trump, European fecklessness, and Israeli society:

I’d use Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s concept of a “historical bloc” to explain what is happening in Israel. A historical bloc occurs when a mode of thought, supported by some but not necessarily all political leaders, and by many, but not all, in the population gains ascendancy. There can be dissent, but it will tend to exist within the framework established by the dominant bloc. That’s what has come to fruition under the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There is a historical bloc opposed to any meaningful negotiations that would lead to a two-state solution that both parties would accept.

In such a situation, the only recourse is outside pressure

With Israel isolated, neoconservatives are worried about running out of political oxygen. Eli Lake is upset.

I’m ashamed of my president

He also accuses Obama of kicking Israel in the teeth and of exhibiting “cowardice,” because he waited till the last minute. (Yes, no one was running for election.) Lake is probably right about this, which makes the abstention historic:

Obama’s decision today also a slap in the face to the pro-Israel politicians & groups who have defended him to the Jewish community.

Chuck Schumer was vociferous against the resolution. “Schumer implored the Administration to veto the resolution… Let Senator Schumer note the true nature of his party’s left wing,” the Wall Street Journal said.

The Journal labeled the vote Obama’s anti-Israel Tantrum, and it put the vote in the correct political context, the leftwing effort to isolate Israel:

The decision by the United States to abstain from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel over its settlements on the West Bank is one of the most significant, defining moments of the Obama Presidency.

 it defines the reality of the international left’s implacable opposition to the Israeli state.

More news of the isolation: Israel is enraged at Senegal for introducing the resolution.

Haaretz reports that Israel is going to impose sanctions on Senegal and New Zealand to retaliate for the resolution. Scott Roth has the perfect response:

To be continued…

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch and James North.

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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64 Responses

  1. ritzl
    December 24, 2016, 3:47 pm

    Hey Sibiriak. This article lays out in much more detail what I would have summarized in a comment response to you in the other thread.

    In three sentences or less (hopefully): You’re right about the resolution notionally addressing two states but there are other more compelling forces/dynamics in play – namely that Israel has/is/will continue to ignore any legal or sensible framework for, and steps toward, two states utterly and completely. It doesn’t matter what legal and/or political framework is put forward, any such framework is only used to give Israel cover further annexation of Palestine. So that’s the historical and overwhelmingly operative/driving dynamic imho (see the “bloc” discussion in the article). Within that set of assumptions, my view of what this resolution and the associated comments and Trump’s “greenlight” on the settlement enterprise do is to radically clarify and publicize the issue(s) and provide the beginnings of a consensus on the acceptability of real remedies at the state level (aka sanctions).

    You may disagree but I believe – because of the long-term “bloc” inertia described in the article – that these acceptable remedies will come to be applied for pervasive, open, ONGOING, and unrepentant Israeli Apartheid/Hafrada rather than the forlorn anachronistic hope of two states. You know, when the proverbial switch flips toward sanctions (as I believe it just did, but TBD) it’s going to be a current or prospective application rather than a retrospective one.

    There’s just been too much water under the two state bridge/sham to revisit it. Israel has spit on every opportunity to solve its own looming problems (two states). Nobody is going to waste any energy on it anymore (ever!!; Gosh, in a stroke of supreme poetic irony this might actually be the place where “Never Again!” actually becomes a rule.).

    FWIW

    Oops. A bit longer than I wanted, but important stuff, this.

    Cheers.

    • Sibiriak
      December 24, 2016, 9:46 pm

      ritzl: –because of the long-term “bloc” inertia described in the article – that these acceptable remedies will come to be applied for pervasive, open, ONGOING, and unrepentant Israeli Apartheid/Hafrada rather than the forlorn anachronistic hope of two states.
      ——————————

      Yes, there is a high-inertia “historical bloc” in Israel.

      But there is also a high-inertia international “historical bloc” in favor of the international two-state consensus–as proven by this latest resolution. No backing down on the two-state idea .

      It’s important not to conflate the past fraudulent two-state peace process with the two state idea . The international community will abandon the former, but it will cling like hell to the latter, since there is no practical alternative.

      Keep in mind this fact: Israel actually would have to take VERY FEW steps in order to satisfy the international community. The international two state consensus, backed by all the world’s major powers and most all UN member states, backed by the PLO, backed by the Arab League, et al., would allow Israel to annex major settlement blocs (w/mutually agreed land swaps), would allow a mostly symbolic Palestinian right of return w/ compensation (no “demographic threat”), would keep Palestine demilitarized (in the short term at least), and would give Israel a capital in West Jerusalem (Palestinians getting some part of East Jerusalem for its capital).

      In contrast, a single democratic state would require Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to be fused by coercion or force into a single polity. Either Palestine would have to cease to exist as a separate state (as it does now de jure), or Israel would have to cease to exist as a separate state– or both. The Israeli Zionist “historical bloc” (and its global supporters) would have to be forced to give up Zionist dream entirely and in one fell swoop (as opposed to giving up just a portion of the Zionist dream in a 2SS.)

      There is ZERO inclination in the international community to try to force Hamas-run Gaza and Likud-run Israel into a single-state. ZERO. To get the international “historical bloc” to move in that direction would require overcoming a political inertia of colossal magnitude.

      ——————

      ritzl: …when the proverbial switch flips toward sanctions (as I believe it just did, but TBD) it’s going to be a current or prospective application rather than a retrospective one.

      Can you make that at all concrete? What possibly could be the conditions attached to international sanctions on Israel?

      If the conditions are Israel complying with UN resolutions, then that would be in your view a “retropsective application”, since all the UN resolutions and the ICJ “Wall” opinion are unequivocally oriented toward the two state concept.

      So what would a “prospective application” actually look like, in terms of the conditions put on sanctions?

      “Sanctions will be maintained until Israel does X?

      What would that X be, if not compliance with UN resolutions?

      Can you give me any idea at all?

      • echinococcus
        December 25, 2016, 12:42 am

        Sibiriak,

        Excellent analysis of the current situation, the relative roles of the 2-state idea and the “2-state process” and the obvious impossibility, in a US-dominated world, of seeing any government support a kumbaya-miracle one-state “solution”.
        What I think you are missing is that Zionist survival depends on the general tacit fiction of the “process”, without which they cannot continue the invasion and genocide. Ergo, the US and puppets will defend to the death the “process”, with or without the “idea”. Only that “process” provides a fig leaf for XX more years of the same.
        The longer the so-called Right is in power in the Zionist entity, the faster the erosion.

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 4:14 am

        @echinococcus

        Good points. Time will tell.

        Btw, I agree with you response to Rossross regarding justice in another thread:

        [Rossross: Justice simply demands equal rights for the indigenous Palestinians. Jewish Israelis do not need to leave the new State.

        [echinococcus: ] Justice demands the expulsion of illegal invaders.

        I argued the same point previously:

        [Sibiriak:] 3)”Strict justice” would mean undoing ALL the injustices wrought by Zionism. It would mean that all or most Jewish Zionist immigrants and their descendants leave Palestine and return the land to its rightful owners. It would mean massive economic compensation for all the damages done to Palestinians over the last 100 plus years– to the tune of billions, if not trillions. It would mean the prosecution and imprisonment of thousands of Israelis directly involved in war crimes. It would mean compensatory payments from all the Israeli companies that profited from Palestinian dispossession and oppression.

        Any kind of two-state solution would not meet the demands of “strict justice.”

        But neither would a single state “shared by Israeli colonists and Palestinian indigenous alike” (rosross).

        Such a bi-national state would hardly be compatible with Palestinian national self-determination. Every single Palestinian decision of national import, every decision about the political, economic, social and cultural direction of the country, would have to be made in conjunction with the Israeli Jewish population, a huge majority of which are ethnocentric, chauvinistic, racist and virulently anti-Arab/ anti-Muslim. Depending on the exact nature of the electoral system, such a substantial minority would have an effective veto power on most issues, or at least formidable powers of obstruction and gridlock.

        According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 1:

        “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

        There can be no self-determination for one people if another people has effective veto power on practically every important decision regarding economic, social and cultural development.

        Furthermore, in a single “democratic” Israeli/Palestinian state, money-power would be vastly asymmetrical. Wealthy Jewish citizens and corporations would not only be able to corrupt and control the government, they would be able to buy up and profit from the best economic assets throughout the whole of Palestine. Needless to say, the vast settlement blocs wouldn’t be going anywhere–they would now be expanding and spreading without legal impediments whatsoever, gobbling up all the land and precious resources money can buy.

        4) I don’t think you and I would disagree too much on what the demands of “strict justice” would be. Where we disagree is on whether “strict justice” is actually achievable. I don’t think it is.

      • RoHa
        December 25, 2016, 6:10 am

        ““All peoples have the right to self-determination” means “all the people resident in a territory”, not ethnic/national/etc. groups. Hostage argued this out some time ago.

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 7:54 am

        RoHa: ““All peoples have the right to self-determination” means “all the people resident in a territory”, not ethnic/national/etc. groups.
        —————–

        Not exactly.

        But please explain. How do you define “a territory”?

        Is California “a territory”? Or does “a territory” have to be all the territory of a recognized state?

      • RoHa
        December 25, 2016, 8:37 am

        What counts as a territory would depend on the context. California would count as a territory if the people of California wanted to exercise a right of sd as Californians. But left-handed Californians do not have a right of sd as “a people”.

      • Jon66
        December 25, 2016, 9:41 am

        In 1861 11 American states “self determined” to become their own country. This was rejected by the Union government. California would be treated similarly.

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 11:01 am

        RoHa: “All peoples have the right to self-determination” means “all the people resident in a territory” […]

        * * *

        California would count as a territory if the people of California wanted to exercise a right of sd as Californians.

        ——————

        So, according to your theory, we now get”

        All peoples have the right to self-determination ” means

        “all the people resident in a territory who want to exercise a right to self-determination (as a people of that territory) have a right to self-determination.”

        That’s what you think the right of SD means in international law? Really?

        And that holds for any piece of territory anywhere? Would it hold for Northern California, according to your theory?

        And, in your theory, is a plebiscite necessary and sufficient to determine if the population in any territory have a right to self-determination?

        If a territorial population does decide to exercise such a right, what does that right entail according to your theory? For example, do they then have a right to secede from a larger state?

      • Dan
        December 25, 2016, 11:36 am

        Sibiriak/ROHA

        Two articles that may be of interest.
        The first, a very brief survey by an academic, the second by an ICJ judge – his opinion re the Kosovo decision in which he discusses self-determination.

        http://peacebuilding.asia/ethnic-groups-right-to-independence-self-determinationsecession-and-post-cold-war-international-relations/

        http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/141/16005.pdf

      • Mooser
        December 25, 2016, 11:56 am

        “Where we disagree is on whether “strict justice” is actually achievable. I don’t think it is.”

        And what, may I ask, is your plan to produce enough Zionist Jews, willing to do what needs to be done to immortalize this injustice? Compulsory Zionism? Compulsory Judaism? Compulsory fertility drugs? A US Constitutional Amendment backing Israel forever?

        Don’t get me wrong, as I have said, I think a tenth of us, 180 million strong, can do it even if the rest refuse!

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 12:07 pm

        @ Dan

        Thanks for the links. I’ve read quite a few books and a slew of articles on the right of self-determination. I’m quizzing RoHa (Socratic method) because its become apparent to me he has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to international law.

        From your first link:

        Self-determination is act of a particular people or an ethnic group to exercise its sovereign right to become an independent state and to decide on the form of state (including the system of government). The former, regarding independence, is called external self-determination and the latter regarding choices of the form of the state system internal self-determination. [emphasis added]

        RoHa’s notion that the term “people” in self-determination clauses in international law refers to the “all the people resident in a territory” is simply wrong and completely unworkable in any case.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 25, 2016, 12:10 pm

        Total collapse is possible. Israelis need to be re-educated and detraumatised. Everything in Israel works in the opposite direction.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 25, 2016, 12:19 pm

        Moose, Niddah can work miracles. Start off by declaring Zionism as unclean and take it from there .

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 12:22 pm

        Mooser: [Sibiriak:] “Where we disagree is on whether “strict justice” is actually achievable. I don’t think it is.”

        And what, may I ask, is your plan to produce enough Zionist Jews, willing to do what needs to be done to immortalize this injustice.
        ————-

        Since I have no desire to “immortalize this injustice”, I have no plan whatsoever in that regard.

        Just because I don’t believe 100% “strict justice” — dismantling Israel, expelling millions of Zionist Jews, returning all of Palestine to Palestinians etc. — is achievable that does not mean I believe a some good measure of justice is not possible. I think it is. I support BDS and most other efforts in that direction.

        “Strict justice” isn’t the only human value either, btw.

      • Mooser
        December 25, 2016, 12:28 pm

        “In 1861 11 American states “self determined” to become their own country. This was rejected by the Union government. California would be treated similarly.”

        Hey, “Jon66” what’s grey and always carries a trunk?

      • Dan
        December 25, 2016, 12:35 pm

        @Sibiriak

        In a previous discussion (link below) you responded to commenter “George Smiths” opinion of “strict justice”.

        [George Smith:] ..”s/he parts company with all but a fringe of the global anti-Zionist movement, and with basic demands of justice -”

        Your response at the time was:

        “Bingo!”

        Have you changed your mind re the phrase “basic demands of justice” or did your “Bingo!” apply only to the first part of the sentence, or am I misinterpreting your comments.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/the-end-of-apartheid-in-israel-will-not-destroy-the-county-it-can-only-improve-it/

      • Mooser
        December 25, 2016, 12:43 pm

        “Strict justice” isn’t the only human value either, btw.”

        Than we agree, nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of Israel shrinking to it’s natural and appropriate size.

      • Sibiriak
        December 25, 2016, 1:20 pm

        Dan: Have you changed your mind re the phrase “basic demands of justice” or did your “Bingo!” apply only to the first part of the sentence…
        ————-
        <
        It certainly applies to the first part of the sentence.

        I hold to my point that "strict justice" for Palestinians would mean undoing all the injustices inflicted on them by Zionists (and not only by Zionists, but by the British, by the U.S., by Arab states, by the UN et al.)

        Basically, Palestinians had their right to self-determination denied and they were screwed out of their country, ethnically cleansed out, locked up in an apartheid cage and so on. And I think those injustices go way back before 1948. I’ve been doing some reading about Zionist land acquisition in Palestine during the Ottoman period and under the British and it is apparent that you have to understand the injustices of those early days to understand the later ones.

        “Strict justice” for the Palestinians would mean undoing all of that. Not possible, imo.

        It’s also not clear whether obtaining “strict justice” for the Palestinians would not entail new injustices against others, thus making “strict justice” strictly impossible.

        I don’t claim to have been perfectly consistent in all my remarks about “justice”– my ideas are a work in progress and many posts are fired off without sufficient care –so I appreciate your pointing out my self-contradictions.

      • Dan
        December 25, 2016, 1:55 pm

        @Sibiriak

        Thanks for the response.
        Since you get into it with Echinoccocus over the issue from time to time, I was curious where you stand.
        I think your comments about “work in progress” and “fired off without sufficient care” apply to many of us here.

      • MHughes976
        December 25, 2016, 4:34 pm

        Dan provided links to two legal discussions of self-determination, an alleged right which I think has so far never been defined coherently, let alone justifiably. The first one says that there are no clear cut answers, which seems to me to be an admission that there is no clear definition. The second seems to make everything depend on whether the act of sd is anti-colonial or not, which to my mind introduces another element hard both to define and to justify. Reference is made to the rights of ideologically defined groups. I don’t think ideological groups have a right to define a territory for themselves.
        Of course if anyone wants to offer a definition of sd I would be happy to join the discussion. The legal literature is much more circumlocution than definition,
        None of the proposed solutions is more practical or practicable than any other. Israeli power is not collapsing or even weakening but is about to be boosted, as is being made obvious in every way, by Trump. The other big man, Putin, has no record of and I think no interest in stopping Israel or in stopping Trump in this regard.
        Meanwhile, it’s Christmas Day. Love to all,

      • Talkback
        December 25, 2016, 5:49 pm

        @ Sibiriak

        What RoHa was trying to say is that the right to self determination can only be exercised by the people who live in the territory in question, “the people of” this territory. It doesn’t matter, if they share the same ethnicity or faith or not.

        That’s contrary to the Zionist bogus claim that Jews as such would have a right to self determination simply by being a people, but without being the “the people of” a certain territory. Nobody can and will ever become Jewish by becoming a citizen and therefore a civic member of “the people of” any country. “Jewish” is not the term of a people of any territory and will never be. The “Jewish people” are not and will not ever be a constitutive people like the Palestinians.

        The right to self determination is basically a (pre-)civic concept and not an ethnic one, even if “the people of” a territory are somehow considered to belong to the same “people” in an ethnic sense, simply because they historically are “the people of” a certain territory.

        The people of a country can also choose to exercise their right to self determination by merging with another country. Secession on the other hand is more complicated, because countries hesitate to recognize the seperatists attempt to violate the UN enshrined principle of territorial integrity. A moral case can be made, if their basic rights are fundamentally violated by the ‘motherland’.

      • Mooser
        December 25, 2016, 9:37 pm

        “Niddah can work miracles.”

        No, thank you, want no part of “niddah”. Never liked it.

      • echinococcus
        December 25, 2016, 11:32 pm

        Absolutely as you say, Sibiriak.

        With two observations:

        I can’t find a good example of a similarly wronged people that has given up its claims following an unjust imposed settlement, especially one so horrible. The Gauls were shown as the textbook example 2,000 years ago and even there Ms Le Pen successfully organizes asking for the reversal of Alesia. The Kurds were officially bought in 1923. Algeria happened just yesterday as a reminder.

        The Palestinians are among the toughest babies as yet. Zionists are not stupid, they’re just only retarded, and what is sold as a least-unjust-compromise will reveal itself to be in fact the instrument for completing a Palestinian genocide.

        Two, in part connected to the preceding thought: anyone who knows the Zionists knows that among two “impossibles”, achieving a permanent Zionist concession is more-impossible than an expulsion of the colonists. The former has never been (and won’t) be tried.

      • echinococcus
        December 26, 2016, 12:20 am

        Hughes,

        Thanks for your summary description of self-determination right as a concept. You may have underestimated its messiness and contradictions. Like “terrorism”, it depends who is invoking it.

        But then, as in the case of the judge who knew pornography when he saw it, there are totally undeniable negatives:

        – SD cannot be admissible for an alien, invader population on territory they are alien to, no matter how fervently held their superstitions;
        – SD cannot admit asking –as if they were equals– an invader population that came with the public, declared intent of taking over sovereignty and extromitting (or worse) the local population.

        It would be interesting to see who would oppose those two points when stated in general terms.

        Thank you for the Christmas wishes and a belated return to you and everybody, no matter of any religion, or absence-of. Wonder how many Saint Nicholases were again beaten in Bethlehem.

      • RoHa
        December 26, 2016, 2:40 am

        “I’m quizzing RoHa (Socratic method) because its become apparent to me he has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to international law. ”

        Which is why I rely on Hostage.

        “RoHa’s notion that the term “people” in self-determination clauses in international law refers to the “all the people resident in a territory” is simply wrong”

        Hostage has argued pretty convincingly that the term cannot refer to anything else and still be consistent with the rest of the law.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/abunimah-blumenthals-freedom/#comment-664926

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/understanding-jewish-national/#comment-766672

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/zionism-crucial-precedent/#comment-670009

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/save-israel-now/#comment-756319

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/solution-zionists-ethnocracy/#comment-665193

        For my own part, I have doubts that there is a moral (as distinct from legal) right to self-determination, but that if there is such a right, (a) it can only be a right of all the inhabitants (or, at least, those inhabitants who are morally entitled to be inhabitants) of the territory, and (b) it cannot be an absolute right, but must be limited by other moral considerations.

      • Sibiriak
        December 26, 2016, 2:58 am

        talkback: What RoHa was trying to say is…
        ——————-

        Thanks for elucidating his views.

      • Sibiriak
        December 26, 2016, 3:35 am

        echinococcus: there are totally undeniable negatives: [regarding the right to self-determination of peoples]
        ——————–

        Which makes one wonder why one would want to deny the existence of such a right when it is central to the Palestinian case , both legally and in the court of public opinion.

        The International Court of Justice, for example, relied heavily on the right of self-determination of peoples in its declaration of the illegality of Israel’s apartheid Wall.

        Excerpts from the Court’s opinion:

        ————————-

        88. The Court also notes that the principle of self-determination of peoples has been enshrined in the United Nations Charter and reaffirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 2625 (XXV) cited above, pursuant to which

        “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to [in that resolution] . . . of their right to self-determination.”

        Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights reaffirms the right of all peoples to self-determination, and lays upon the States parties the obligation to promote the realization of that right and to respect it, in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.

        The Court would recall that in 1971 it emphasized that current developments in “international law in regard to non-self-governing territories, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, made the principle of self-determination applicable to all [such territories]“.

        The Court went on to state that “These: developments leave little doubt that the ultimate objective of the sacred trust” referred to in Article 22, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the League of Nations “was the self-determination . . . of the peoples concerned” […]

        * * *
        149. The Court notes that Israel is first obliged to comply with the international obligations it has breached by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (see paragraphs 114-137 above). Consequently, Israel is bound to comply with its obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

        * * *
        159. Given the character and the importance of the rights and obligations involved, the Court is of the view that all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. They are also under an obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction.

        It is also for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end.

        [emphasis added]

        ——————–

        What’s to be gained by denying that the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination? They need to avail themselves of that right far more than the Israelis who already have gained UN recognition of their state.

      • Talkback
        December 26, 2016, 6:11 am

        There were many ex Ottoman Jews who automatically and rightfully became Palestinians (that is citizens of Palestine) in 1925, when Palestine’s nationality law was enacted. They had the right to exercise self determination in being able to participate in majority ruling processes and to determine Palestine’s future along Nonjewish Palestinans in 1948.

        When it comes to the Jews who immigrated during mandate times I tend to determine them to be illegal, because their immigration was enforced upon the Palestinians without asking them, which means that their right to self determination was denied on behalf of Zionist national interests. Even if they weren’t illegal according to the nationality law this law was equally imposed on Palestine and against the Palestinians right to self determination. The many Jews who illegaly entered Palestine between 1945 and 1948 definetely had no right to self determination in Palestine.

        Even if all Jews had been citizens of Palestine the Zionist claim that Jewish people as such would have the right to exercise their right to self determination by creating a state in Palestine is absolutely bogus. In fact “Jewish” is not the nationality of any state nor the name of a people of any territory who want to exercise their right to self determination within this territory by creating an independet state. Nobody can become “Jewish” by aquiring the citizenship of any country or being habitually resident of any territory.

        Palestine has been de facto occupied for nearly a century and and colonized under occupation for the same time except the Westbank between 1948 and 1967. The Palestinians right to self determination has been denied for nearly half a century either by Zionists or on their behalf and in any case against the will of the majority of Nonjewish Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2016, 12:16 pm

        “– SD cannot be admissible for an alien, invader population on territory they are alien to, no matter how fervently held their superstitions; –
        SD cannot admit asking –as if they were equals– an invader population that came with the public, declared intent of taking over sovereignty and extromitting (or worse) the local population. -“

        Nicely said, “echin”!

      • echinococcus
        December 26, 2016, 2:43 pm

        Sibiriak,

        No quarrel with any of that. But it has no relationship at all with the two obviously undeniable points that I listed.

      • Sibiriak
        December 26, 2016, 5:09 pm

        echinococcus: No quarrel with any of that. But it has no relationship at all with the two obviously undeniable points that I listed.
        —————–

        The relationship is: if your two points are undeniable, then there is no reason to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, i.e. to deny entirely the validity of the right to self-determination of peoples , as MHughes seems to want to do (he calls it an “alleged” right which is not justifiable).

        Just because Zionist Jews had no right to self-determination in Palestine doesn’t mean such a right doesn’t exist for others, there and elsewhere.

      • RoHa
        December 26, 2016, 9:35 pm

        “Just because Zionist Jews had no right to self-determination in Palestine doesn’t mean such a right doesn’t exist for others”

        The legal right to self-determination in Palestine is a right of all the people in Palestine.

      • Sibiriak
        December 26, 2016, 9:39 pm

        @ritzl

        [Sibiriak December 24, 2016, 9:46 pm:] What possibly could be the conditions attached to international sanctions on Israel? If the conditions are Israel complying with UN resolutions, then that would be in your view a “retropsective application”, since all the UN resolutions and the ICJ “Wall” opinion are unequivocally oriented toward the two state concept. So what would a “prospective application” actually look like, in terms of the conditions put on sanctions?

        Sanctions will be maintained until Israel does X?

        What would that X be, if not compliance with UN resolutions ?

        Can you give me any idea at all?
        —————————-

        No response? Shall I conclude you’re completely stumped?

    • Maghlawatan
      December 25, 2016, 2:54 am

      I think one consequence of ongoing developments is that the US will not be able to provide unconditional security guarantees to Israel. Israel will need to retreat to morally defensible borders to survive. The Shia win in Syria and the potential for an explosion in Egypt with its 90m people mean the region is exceptionally volatile. Israel should focus on education now and drop Messianic fantasy. The Zionists picked a very fragile site for their histotical play date.

    • Misterioso
      December 26, 2016, 1:09 pm

      Israel is rotting within and increasingly despised by people around the world, including thinking/righteous Jews. It is also America’s number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around its neck and an enormous financial burden. Hard core Zionists are dying off and few Jewish youth are replacing them. Jewish emigration from Israel is soaring while immigration is in the tank. As predicted by many leading Jewish intellectuals and leaders during the early 20th century, Zionism, a 19th century racist/colonialist ideology, is doomed.

      In 20-25 years there will be about three billion Muslims worldwide; 600 million Arabs, including ten to twelve million Palestinians between the River and the Sea; 150 million Turks and 150 million Iranians. Can there be any doubt as to where America and the world’s long term geopolitical and economic interests lie. As even Trump will realize, certainly not with Israel.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2016, 7:57 pm

        “In 20-25 years there will be about three billion Muslims worldwide; 600 million Arabs, including ten to twelve million Palestinians between the River and the Sea; 150 million Turks and 150 million Iranians.”

        I know, I know, maybe I’m ethnocentric, but I think 2 billion Jews could give all those people a real run for their money. We are as good as they are, as smart as they are, and gosh darn it, people like us.

      • catalan
        December 26, 2016, 8:56 pm

        “In 20-25 years there will be about three billion Muslims worldwide; 600 million Arabs, including ten to twelve million Palestinians between the River and the Sea; 150 million Turks and 150 million Iranians.” –
        Just imagine what that means for the fragile ecosystems these people inhabit, many in extremely arid regions. One truly shudders to think about the future of all remaining wild species. What would that mean for the world’s climate; how will these people be provided proper education and sanitation.
        Bleak times ahead.

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2016, 5:27 pm

        “What would that mean for the world’s climate; how will these people be provided proper education and sanitation. Bleak times ahead.”

        I know what you mean “catalan”. Everything sucks. You’ve already covered 1, 2 and 3.

    • pabelmont
      December 27, 2016, 5:53 pm

      Ideally this UNSC Res is a prelude, and not too distant a one, to sanctions. But one must always ask: sanctions to what end? I’d always wanted what it appearsa USA will not allow — a demand that all the settlers (and perhaps also all the settlement buildings) be REMOVED. Instead, this “mere words” bit of faux-diplomacy merely asks an end to further expansion, as if it is illegal, immoral, and/o fattening to point out that ALL the settlements violate G-IV and should (per ICJ 2004 advisory opinion) be removed.

      If they cannot demand that, what can they demand? Equal citizenship for all Palestinians actually present within Mandatory Palestine (= most of Greater-Israel)? Democracy? In the only “democracy” in the M/E? They could ask/demand THAT? Not in my lifetime.

      But one may always be surprised.

  2. Maghlawatan
    December 24, 2016, 3:55 pm

    “A historical bloc occurs when a mode of thought, supported by some but not necessarily all political leaders, and by many, but not all, in the population gains ascendancy. There can be dissent, but it will tend to exist within the framework established by the dominant bloc. That’s what has come to fruition under the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” –
    #
    or as Mearsheimer noted >

    “No matter how well-written or delivered, a speech cannot divert who le societies from a well-established course of action. Policies in motion tend to remain in motion; to change the trajectory of a deeply-entrenched set of initiatives requires the application of political forces of equal momentum. ”

    Israel is fucked. YESHA is suicidal

    • Mooser
      December 24, 2016, 7:08 pm

      “Israel is fucked. YESHA is suicidal”

      Not if most of 2 billion Jewish people want it to succeed. Call me ethnocentric if you want, but I think a mere 180 million could do it.

    • ritzl
      December 24, 2016, 7:46 pm

      Yup.

  3. ritzl
    December 24, 2016, 3:59 pm

    Good roundup guys.

    Thanks.

  4. Mooser
    December 24, 2016, 5:40 pm

    “Josh Marshall echoes that point.”

    And that echo is a far cry from the sounds made just a little while ago.

  5. Maghlawatan
    December 25, 2016, 2:49 am

    If you look back at the politics that led to this vote , Netanyahu and his fellow travellers lobbied hard for the war in Iraq. And they got their war. It ended up with Iran running Iraq, $3 tn and the collapse of US military credibility . So many unintended consequences. Netanyahu is a fraud .They all know he is not interested in peace. All the Liked blowhards were exposed on Thursday. Danon is a caricature. This is the beginning of the end for Likud. It may be the beginning of the end for Israel.

    If Israel was a normal country the opposition would take over at such a moment of national failure. But there is no opposition. Rabin is dead for 20 years. 20 years of Likud madness.

    • HarryLaw
      December 25, 2016, 5:21 am

      “It may be the beginning of the end for Israel”. Maybe but Netanyahu is fighting back “I instructed the foreign ministry to complete within a month a re-evaluation of all our contacts with the United Nations, including the Israeli funding of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in Israel,” Netanyahu said on Saturday.
      Israel rejects ‘shameful’ UN resolution amid criticism of Netanyahu

      “I have already instructed to stop about 30m shekels (£6.3m) in funding to five UN institutions, five bodies, that are especially hostile to Israel … and there is more to come,” he said. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/24/israel-reassess-ties-united-nations-settlement-benjamin-netanyahu
      Oh! my God, he is going to bring down the United Nations, he has delusions of grandeur, does he realize non payment of dues only results in no voting rights in those Agencies.
      One can only hope the heads of all the Agencies tell Netanyahu, ‘go ahead make my day’.

      • Talkback
        December 25, 2016, 6:14 am

        See how this resolution will only help to isolate Israel? What a victim.

  6. John O
    December 25, 2016, 8:16 am

    Netanyahu’s on the edge of the cliff and losing his footing:

    “Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned the ambassadors of all UN security council members who backed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements to ‘personally reprimand’ them.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/25/israel-summons-ambassadors-un-resolution-benjamin-netanyahu

    • eljay
      December 25, 2016, 9:15 am

      || John O: … “Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned the ambassadors of all UN security council members who backed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements to ‘personally reprimand’ them.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/25/israel-summons-ambassadors-un-resolution-benjamin-netanyahu ||

      Bibi is the hateful and immoral face of an unjust and immoral ideology and its oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist construct. True to form, he defends his preferred brand of evil by lashing out at those who oppose it.

      Zionists will be the undoing of the “Jewish State”. A thousand years never passed so quickly…

      • Kay24
        December 25, 2016, 11:42 am

        Bibi is having a HUGE tantrum, he is stamping his big feet and yelling obscenities.

        “The rebuke came as Israel continued to retaliate against countries that supported the motion, cutting aid to Senegal, cancelling forthcoming official visits – including by the Ukrainian prime minister – and recalling two of its ambassadors.

        Netanyahu also ordered the Israeli foreign ministry to “re-evaluate all of our ties to the UN within a month”.

        Netanyahu is under renewed political pressure to bring forward controversial legislation to legalise dozens of currently illegal outposts in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

        As if the world will tremble with fear because the man responsible for building thousands of ILLEGAL settlements is threatening to quit the UN and is summoning ambassadors to give them a personal reprimand. I hope some of them will tell him off, he badly deserves that. This man is on the verge of making his nation look like a rogue nation, and they will be treated as pariahs by the rest of the world. GO BIBI! He must find it hard to take rejection and not have his way – so Trump like.

    • Mooser
      December 25, 2016, 12:24 pm

      “Netanyahu’s on the edge of the cliff and losing his footing:”

      ” The Spirits have done it all in one night.”

    • HarryLaw
      December 25, 2016, 2:28 pm

      john O, Just think of it, a nation of 8 million people laying down the law to the Ambassadors of 15 UNSC members, total populations over 2 and a quarter billion. that is chutzpah.

    • JLewisDickerson
      December 25, 2016, 7:59 pm

      RE: “Netanyahu’s on the edge of the cliff and losing his footing” ~ John O

      MY REPLY: He appears to have lost control again!

      JOY DIVISION:
      . . . And she gave away the secrets of her past,
      And said I’ve lost control again,
      And a voice that told her when and where to act,
      She said I’ve lost control again.

      And she turned around and took me by the hand and said,
      I’ve lost control again.
      And how I’ll never know just why or understand,
      She said I’ve lost control again.

      And she screamed out kicking on her side and said,
      I’ve lost control again.
      And seized up on the floor, I thought she’d die.
      She said I’ve lost control.

      She’s lost control again.
      She’s lost control.
      She’s lost control again.
      She’s lost control.

      Well I had to ‘phone her friend to state my case,
      And say she’s lost control again.
      And she showed up all the errors and mistakes,
      And said I’ve lost control again.

      But she expressed herself in many different ways,
      Until she lost control again.
      And walked upon the edge of no escape,
      And laughed I’ve lost control.

      She’s lost control again.
      She’s lost control.

      P.S. I think its actually about epilepsy.

  7. Ossinev
    December 25, 2016, 2:09 pm

    News just breaking. The Yahoo has banned the export of cherry tomatoes to all those countries who voted in favour of the resolution (with the exception of those produced in “Judea and Samaria”).This is seen by some observers as the beginning of a massive campaign by him on behalf of the huge powerful Middle Eastern nation to delegitimise the rest of the world following their blatantly Anti Semitic vote in the UNSC , including minnows like Russia and China (but not America pending how well little boy Trump responds to his instructions in the months ahead )

    • amigo
      December 26, 2016, 12:12 pm

      “This is seen by some observers as the beginning of a massive campaign by him on behalf of the huge powerful Middle Eastern nation to delegitimise the rest of the world ” 0ssinev

      Boy , am I glad it was not Ireland,s turn on the UNSC.

      The delegitimizing I can live with but I have to have those cherry toms.They are the same to me as ziocaine is to a zionist.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2016, 1:24 pm

        “The delegitimizing I can live with but I have to have those cherry toms”

        Cherry toms. are the easiest tomatoes to grow. You can grow ’em in a pot on a windowsill, if you have to. Growing good big tomatoes is much harder.

      • amigo
        December 26, 2016, 2:00 pm

        “Cherry toms. are the easiest tomatoes to grow. You can grow ’em in a pot on a windowsill, if you have to. Growing good big tomatoes is much harder.”Mooser.

        We don,t grow tomaytoes in Ireland .We grow tomahtoes.Completely different species.They only grow where the sun never shines.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2016, 3:27 pm

        .“They only grow where the sun never shines”

        My good man, I think I can, without fear of contradiction or demurrer, say that there is very little I don’t know about being stuck where the sun don’t shine.

  8. amigo
    December 25, 2016, 3:05 pm

    More to come but worse for Israel!!!.

    “Israel Fears American, French Initiative in Paris Conference Before Obama Leaves Office

    Jerusalem concerned that foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris, scheduled for January 15, will result in a Security Council vote on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. ”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.761317

  9. JLewisDickerson
    December 25, 2016, 3:35 pm

    RE: “Yesterday’s abstention by the United States in the Security Council will do nothing to bring about a two-state solution– the U.S. might as well have endorsed the existence of Santa Claus — but it has already served to isolate Israel in international opinion . . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Yes, the abstention was fairly insignificant, but the hysterical reaction by Netanyahu and so many other right-wing officials in Israel is truly PRICELESS. Netanyahu really knows how to make an ass out of himself. He is absolutely going to CRUSH New Zealand! I’m so lovin’ it.
    Bibi, great and wise ruler that you are, please make good on your threat to pull Israel out of the UN. I f you don’t follow through on your threats, people will no longer fear you. They wont even take you seriously. They might begin joking about how Sara wears the pants in the Netanyahu family. And even making jokes about the size of your . . .

  10. mcohen.
    December 25, 2016, 6:14 pm

    the one state solution is in my opinion is the only just solution.why so many who post here oppose this idea mystifies me.why does the us keep demanding a 2 state solution when it goes against the very democratic principles it is based on.
    on the other hand could the push for a 2 state solution,which would then lead to a one state solution be the real intention of the un…..somehow smooth the way..

    the whole thing is a mystery.

  11. mcohen.
    December 25, 2016, 6:26 pm

    i like the idea of strict justice,now that obama had abstained.who would apply this strict justice.now that obama has abstained.
    in my mind if what happened in aleppo is because obama abstained,i hate to think what would happen in israel if “obama abstained”

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