In ‘breathtaking’ UN vote, Obama changed his policy on Israeli settlements, making them a war crime — Finkelstein

US Politics
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Over New Year’s, I had two phone conversations with Norman Finkelstein about the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, which labeled Israeli settlements a flagrant violation of international law. The transcript is slightly shortened.  

Q. Tell me your thoughts on the resolution.

First of all, speaking strictly on the text of the resolution and not yet on its political resonance or import, it’s a pretty good resolution and we should be clear about that. And textually I would count it as a victory. For the following reasons.

Number 1, the text begins by reaffirming explicitly the principle of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.” That’s an important fact for the following reason. When that statement was put into the preambular paragraph of UN resolution 242 [in November 1967], Israel fought bitterly against including that principle, because it recognized that it preempts territorial revision, meaning Israel had to return every inch of territory acquired by force. Israel got a kind of compensation with the removal of the definite article the from territories later in the resolution [in the phrase, “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from the territories occupied in the recent conflict”]. Israel managed to shift the whole debate for several decades, focusing exclusively on the deletion of the definite article. And it was the Arab states that always insisted that we have to also look at the preambular paragraph: the inadmissibility of territory.

The argument Israel made was that the preambular paragraph which referred to inadmissibility of territory acquired by force was not as significant as the operative paragraph [“withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories…”]. Well in this resolution, it says in accordance with international law, “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,” so it’s a strong reaffirmation of that principle. It comes right at the head of the resolution. Interestingly, it’s not even balanced as the original 242 is. 242 has two preambular statements. One of inadmissibility, the other was the right of states to live at peace with their neighbors. That was thrown in for Israel. They didn’t mention it this time. They just mentioned the inadmissibility clause.

That’s significant for another reason. [Israeli ambassador] Ron Dermer has gone around saying, we know who wrote this resolution, this resolution was definitely written by a western state—justifying the remark by [Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu, that this was all conjured up by the United States. It clearly was not. The US does not start from the inadmissibility clause. As is clear from John Kerry’s speech, he’s already assuming that all the territory on the eastern side of the wall is Israel’s, which clearly contradicts the inadmissibility clause. So this was not a western resolution. What is western in the resolution is the part about terrorism, the bone thrown to the United States to get it to abstain.

The fourth paragraph is also very strong because it not only condemns “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,” it also explicitly mentions the settlements [“including… the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions”]. That was important because that was the bone of contention in the Oslo accord. The Oslo accord said you can’t alter the demographic character but it didn’t explicitly mention building new settlements.

So in terms of the law, this is definitely an improvement over the Oslo accord. You might recall that at the time, people like Haider Abdel-Shafi refused to support Oslo because it said nothing about the settlements. Here you have not just “altering the demographic composition, character and status,” but including the construction and expansion of settlements. So that is I think a significant victory.

The third reason it’s a victory is that it says, “Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders.” That’s also extremely important because in his speech, Kerry spoke about a Jewish state and an Arab state. Which is technically correct because that’s what UN 181 said, the original partition resolution in 1947. This was different. This referred to two democratic states, Israel and Palestine. So it was very careful not in any way to give the stamp of approval to a Jewish state, though John Kerry did. That was also a big victory.

These are all things that by the way Kerry and Samantha Power were very careful to ignore. He claimed that there was no policy here that contradicts US policy. Well, it sure does contradict US policy. The current US policy, and Kerry lied about it, Kerry said it’s been longstanding US policy to support Israel as a Jewish state. That’s completely false. It never even came up. The outstanding statement on the Israeli side during the Annapolis negotiations was the Olmert plan, which he presented in private to Abbas. If you look at the text, there is no mention of recognizing a Jewish state. That’s all new, it came with Netanyahu. So when Kerry in his speech tries to justify calling Israel a Jewish state on the basis of longstanding US policy, that’s just not true.

It’s also completely untrue when Samantha Power said that stating that the settlements are illegal is longstanding US policy. It was longstanding policy until Obama came along; they then changed it to “unhelpful.” Claiming that they were illegal is exactly what US policy has been denying for the last 8 years. They have been asked point blank in the news conferences whether they are illegal. They say, We call them unhelpful. So this is something new.

Now, interestingly, I was surprised when it says, “Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

By using that language they’re calling it a war crime. If they had just said violation under international law, that doesn’t necessarily constitute a war crime. To constitute a war crime, it has to be characterized as either a serious or a flagrant violation of international law.

That too was new—or what’s new is that the US agreed to it, which they’re now consistently denying and pretending that it’s longstanding US policy. It absolutely is not. They wouldn’t even call settlements illegal under Obama.

And it is true, surprisingly, that they used the standard international language and kept including Jerusalem as occupied territory. It is true that that’s longstanding policy but it was certainly not part of US policy in the last 8 years.

The heart of the resolution is the settlements. We shouldn’t belabor in my opinion that it includes acts of terror and incitement in paragraphs six and seven. They just gave that to the US as a face-saving way of abstaining, for Kerry to try to justify the abstention. The 2011 resolution [which the U.S. vetoed] didn’t have these paragraphs. It was obviously something face saving given to the US.

So on the whole, textually– I’m not talking about the political ramifications– textually, it was a good resolution, and it was very distinct from what Kerry was saying in his speech: Kerry who said Jewish and Arab states, Kerry who talked about the land swaps, and kept making the distinction between the land on the east and west side of what they call the separation barrier.

You should be very grateful that the Obama administration is not going to support a new UN resolution to put the Kerry parameters in a resolution. We don’t want that. It’s much better to have just this resolution.

Moving on to the Samantha Power speech, she says: “Today, the Security Council reaffirmed its established consensus that settlements have no legal validity.”

Well, that’s exactly what they were not saying the past eight years. They were saying they’re not helpful. They refused to use the language of legal validity. That’s why I don’t believe it was a western resolution. The language used in this resolution has been the consistent language in the UN since at least 1967 and they were not about to reverse it. There is no possibility in the context of the UN to start using language like “unhelpful.” This actually is a very important point. This is the language of a schoolmarm. “Johnny, when you throw paper at Sally during lunch hour it is not helpful. It’s time for a time out!” What kind of language is that? It’s so infantile.

The language that the Obama administration developed is antithetical to the whole nature of the UN and international law. It’s extremely important to understand what the US has been doing. The US knows what the law is and it dreads the law, so it has been inventing and conjuring language that evades what the law says. So they say unhelpful.

Then if you read closely Kerry’s speech, he keeps saying a resolution has to be based on the respective “needs” of both sides. If you enter in a search function “needs” in Kerry’s speech, it comes up again and again and again. It’s absolutely critical what’s happening. The resolution should be based on the law. But they know full well that if you base it on the law, Israel loses on everything and the Palestinians win on everything. Jerusalem, as this resolution makes clear–East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. Settlements are a war crime under international law. Borders– all of the West Bank and Gaza is Palestinian territory. Refugees– the law is the right of return or compensation based on Resolution 194. They know that based on law, Israel loses on every point.

They tried to shift or recast the language, and they turned it now into a need. How can a resolution be based on needs? If Israel says, We need East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians say, we need East Jerusalem, how do you arbitrate on the basis of need? You can only arbitrate on the basis of law. They may think they need it, but the law says you don’t get it.

So this whole recasting of the conflict in terms of need and helpful and unhelpful is a deliberate attempt to evade the law. You laugh, but there is a method to the infantility of the language. It’s to evade what the law says.

Q. So is Netanyahu right about the US turning against him?

I think Netanyahu is correct in saying, that the resolution is not consistent at any rate with recent US policy. I think that’s correct. It was not consistent with recent US policy, which certainly downplays if not ignores the fact that East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory, full stop. That’s what every resolution says and that’s the law.

Number two, the Obama administration has certainly obfuscated the fact that the settlements are illegal let alone a war crime by using language like the settlements are unhelpful. So Netanyahu has a point. That this has not been consistent with US policy. At least for the last eight years.

It’s also correct that Kerry is lying when he says things like, US policy supporting a Jewish state has been longstanding US policy. That’s a big lie. It’s never come up, it was never an issue, till Netanyahu made it one for transparent reasons, because he knew he could never get a recognition of that from Palestinians.

I personally feel the formulation Kerry used in his speech was not a disaster. He used the formulation, “two states for two peoples, one Jewish and one Arab, with mutual recognition and full equal rights for all their respective citizens.” You might say the two are inconsistent: How can it be both a Jewish state and all Arab citizens enjoy full rights? That’s the formula of [former ambassador] Dan Kurtzer, and it’s clear Kerry appropriated it. In my view, it’s a formulation that is replete with tensions, contradictions and frictions, but so long as you include that second balancing clause it’s not a disaster. It goes back obviously to UN 181 [partition resolution, 1947], which called for a Jewish state and an Arab state, then had all these provisions, there has to be absolute equality of rights in both states. Kerry was very careful to have the balancing clause. All Arabs in Israel have to enjoy full equal rights as citizens. But you have to recognize that Kerry’s formulation is a distinction from the UN resolution, which speaks only of two democratic states, Israel and a Palestinian state. [“Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”] I prefer the UN resolution, I think it’s the law. But on the other hand I think the Kerry formulation appropriated from Kurtzer is not a disaster. I think he said it twice, there has to be full equal rights for all Arab citizens of Israel. Which coming from the US is a big concession. Obama would have said a Jewish state and an Arab state, he never addressed the democratic nature of the states.

Kerry has one what you might call rational, national motive in promoting the two state settlement, in terms of national interest, and interestingly it comes at the very end of his speech. When Kerry says,

With Israeli-Palestinian peace, Israel, the United States, Jordan, Egypt – together with the GCC countries – would be ready and willing to define a new security partnership for the region that would be absolutely groundbreaking.

Then he says a little further on,

Meanwhile, security challenges could be addressed by an entirely new security arrangement, in which Israel cooperates openly with key Arab states.

So Kerry recognizes that even though the Saudis already cooperate with Israel covertly, in order to make it an open and more efficacious arrangement, they have to resolve this Israel Palestine conflict; it’s an obstacle to open collaboration between Israel and the Saudis. So when he makes this speech, he’s also making it to the Saudis, and he has to include something about the equal rights of Arabs in Israel, because they are not going to accept and can’t really accept a Jewish state in just that formula.

It was interesting, because if you look at the big headline in Haaretz today, that the Arab states endorsed the Kerry speech, Barak Ravid hones in on, They endorsed the Jewish state clause. My guess is that that’s what Kerry wanted; and in order to get it he had to put in that balancing clause about full and equal rights.

But otherwise there’s no US national interest in trying to resolve the conflict. If you look at Kerry’s speech, he kept referring to the US having an interest in this. But the case he makes is quite weak. He says why am I involved– why have I worked on this so intensively?

For one simple reason: because the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Fine, but that has nothing to do with the US.

It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors.

That has nothing to do with the US.

It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.

When did the US ever care about that?

And it is an important way of advancing United States interests in the region.

The only discernible interest is the one that in the face of Iran we need to have an open, overt collaboration between Israel and the Saudis. That’s what I take away from that. I still think that’s a relatively weak national interest, but it’s still a national interest. The speech was in part designed to get the Arabs on board for his peace plan.

Q. Mine is the conventional view, expressed by [Defense Secretary-nominee Marine General James] Mad Dog Mattis, we pay a price across the Middle East for supporting Israel. One English word every Arab knows is justice, as I discovered when I got in a cab in Damascus 10 years ago, and they don’t regard our policy as a just one. Osama bin Laden referred to the Palestinians prominently. Why isn’t all that implicit in Kerry’s talk about Middle East peace as an American interest?

It would require quite a long discussion to go into that. You can have what you might call a theoretical, abstract, general national interest. Then you have a national interest which is pressing on an administration, which in the case of the United States is bombarded with crises every day. That’s the nature of being a superpower. The question is, What do you put on your agenda? The case of Jimmy Carter when he negotiated the Camp David accord in 1978– there was a very pressing interest there. The interest was Israel was occupying a territory, Sadat was determined that he was going to get his land back. There was a huge amount of dissatisfaction in the Arab Muslim world at the time because the U.S. was supporting Israel as it was occupying Arab land, and the Soviet Union was capitalizing on the discontent. And there were regimes in the region that were sympathetic to the Soviet Union. There were a whole number of factors that were pressing so hard on the US that Carter decided to make it his main agenda item when he came into office, to resolve the Israel Palestine conflict. And I have to say I recently read the two FRUS volumes devoted to Camp David. It comes to about 3000 pages. Carter was incredible. He was just extraordinarily smart, sharp, and engaged. My hat’s off to him. Carter made clear this has nothing to do with human rights, this is about US national interest. And he invested a huge amount of time in it. Because there was a pressing interest, the oil, and the region was in turmoil because of this occupation.

Compare that with the Obama years, and there’s a vague lingering problem caused by the Israel Palestine conflict. The fact of the matter is, it is as I think you would agree, since September 11, certainly the last 8 years, because of what happened with the Arab spring, the disintegration of Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, it’s not been a pressing issue. So I think Netanyahu was entirely correct when he said this whole Palestinian issue is dead. Certainly it’s been significantly demoted by the events in Syria. Leaving aside Libya and Yemen and elsewhere; he says, Why the hell are you doing this now, what’s the point?

Q. How do you answer that?

My answer is simple. Obama is doing it because he’s a thin-skinned narcissist who wants to even the score for what Netanyahu did during not only during the Iran diplomacy—when the racism was straight out, the racist way in which he was conducting himself with Obama– Obama couldn’t abide that and he certainly has the patience of Job, and he was waiting for his opportunity and it came at the tail end of his presidency. I think that is one factor. That’s the thinskinned factor.

The narcissist factor is that Obama’s record on Israel Palestine is awful. The worst massacres in the history of the conflict since 1982 and the invasion of Lebanon– the worst and most egregious massacres occurred under his watch. Operation Cast Lead begins December 27 [2008]. He doesn’t say one word even though he’s already the president-elect. Operation Cast Lead ends on January 18, because Obama signals to Israel, I don’t want any attention diverted from my Inauguration. So you better end the operation now. It ends on the 18th. He gets inaugurated on the 20th. Operation Protective Edge, 2014, couldn’t have happened if not for Obama. And throughout the operation, Obama keeps saying that Israel has the right to defend itself, Israel has the right to self defense. He only finally condemns it after even Ban Ki-moon condemns Israel shelling, for the seventh time, the UNRWA school converted to a shelter– when he’s abandoned by the whole world including his comatose puppet Ban Ki-moon.

His record on Israel Palestine was an abomination. In fact it was funny to watch how Samantha Power and Kerry boasted about it. They repeated over and over again, that it was for the first time in the entire modern history of the conflict, not one UN Security Council resolution hostile to Israel or opposed by Israel had passed during an American presidency. Not one. And they kept boasting about that to show how much they supported Israel. It was a reflection of how servile and groveling was their support for Israel. I know this sounds petty, but politics is also petty. And Obama wanted something redemptive in his memoirs on the Israel Palestine conflict, so he agreed to abstaining on the resolution.

Q. So what if he does it for the worst reason. Who cares?

I said, I think it was a good resolution. The question is what do you do with it. There have been literally scores of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and International Court of Justice [ICJ] opinions condemning the settlements as illegal. I agree– if you look strictly at the text it is a good resolution and I’m glad it was passed. In terms of its political potential, which is a separate discussion, it’s not much, and Obama didn’t do it for political reasons, he did it for petty personal narcissistic reasons. We should be clear: even if its genesis is narcissism, it’s still a good resolution. I’m not going to dispute that.

As for why Kerry delivered his speech, that was very clear to me. Because Kerry invested nine months– we’ve already forgotten the Kerry initiative, but he invested nine months in those talks and if you recall in his first news conference after the talks collapsed, he said – and after Israel announced, it was going to build new settlements, remember he said, The talks were finished. So he is angry that he squandered so much time and energy on an initiative to which he had attached his own person and his reputation and nothing came of it because of the Israelis.

Q. Let’s take people at their word for a second. Why isn’t part of their motivation, regardless of personal ego and legacy, they see the two-state solution, which you valorize, as on its deathbed, and they want to send an alarm to the world?

It’s not as if they could not have done that months ago when they could have actually done something politically effective to reverse what was going on. They can’t be serious about wanting to have a political impact the last two and a half weeks in office. Cornel West said the other week, I forget in which context: Obama is very good at symbolic gestures. This is just symbolism. It’s not politics.

Q. But as Cornel West observed last summer, Hillary Clinton didn’t want Obama doing anything on this.

I totally agree with that. If Schumer had been Senate majority leader and Hillary had been elected, they would have killed it. Of course they would have killed it. I have no doubt about it.

The whole thing is so laughable. They claim the resolution had nothing to do with the US. It came from the other side; there was no US initiative. The issue has never been where the initiative came from, the issue was whether the US would sabotage it, whether the US would stop it, and the fact is that the US didn’t sabotage it. Hillary Clinton was very proud that she sabotaged the Goldstone Report. So it’s not whether the US was in the lead. The issue is why this time they didn’t sabotage it. Why this time they didn’t prevent what Samantha Power and Kerry proudly proclaimed that they prevented the last 8 years, a UN Security Council resolution. Can you seriously believe that they couldn’t stop New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal– couldn’t stop them from putting together a Security Council resolution? Barack Obama couldn’t have called up the New Zealand prime minister and said, Don’t do this! Come on! So they clearly wanted it to happen. The question is why.

To say they wanted to save the two-state settlement– I find that very implausible. They had eight years to do that. The settlers grew by 100,000 under Obama. You’re telling me he just noticed that. It just came on his radar screen? When the Obama presidency began there were 500,000 settlers, and now there are 600,000 so they’ve increased by 20 percent. He didn’t notice that?

I totally agree that he wanted the resolution…. I totally agree with Netanyahu, The US was in its own way behind it. It wasn’t behind it in terms of taking the initiative. But behind it in terms of signaling to the British, if you throw in some boilerplate, we won’t veto it. Then the British negotiated with New Zealand.

Q. But the US endorsed a resolution that you say provides a clear path to action against the settlements. Why didn’t the US water it down?

My answer to that is that the UN for better or for worse operates on the basis of precedent. You can’t radically revise the whole body of resolutions. The Resolution begins by listing 1, 2, 3, 4… 10, prior resolutions. You cant abruptly just take it and hit the delete button. That’s just not the way the UN works. They couldn’t get around it.

All you have to do is juxtapose Kerry’s speech against the resolution to see how different the US policy is, and if he went along with the resolution, it’s because he recognized that you just can’t undo that. That’s why I have consistently argued in public presentation and writing, that this is the law, it’s very hard to change it.

Q. Anything else? 

Not to be exhaustive, but there are many things you can hone in and comment on. Like Samantha Power said for example when she scolded the UN Security Council for not taking any action when the Syrian government was targeting hospitals, civilians. Well, you get the point: The very same US government blocked any action when Israel was targeting hospitals and civilians in Gaza.

Q. So tell me about the political consequences.

Obviously, that’s the most important question and this whole exercise leaves hanging the question of– well, as we know, since already back in 1980 a UN resolution was passed condemning the settlements and actually calling for the existing settlements to be dismantled. And then all the water under the bridge since then. We’ve had the 2004 International Court of Justice opinion which reaffirmed the illegality of all the settlements. Which is to say there’s already a large archive of resolutions and statements in the General Assembly, and also by the most respected juridical body in the world, the IJC, not to mention the International Committee of the Red Cross and all kinds of human rights organizations, all of which have declared the settlements illegal. A skeptic would say, what point is another resolution? We already have so many respected documents including Security Council resolutions condemning the settlements. How does this change anything?

There is justification for that sort of skepticism about this resolution. I would however make the following point. I think there’s a very big misunderstanding of what’s the point of these resolutions. It’s quite clear they’re not going to be enforced, at least in the present alignment or configuration of forces, they’re not going to be enforced in and of themselves, because the United States will block such enforcement. There has been speculation that this UN resolution will then serve as ammunition for the ICC to proceed with the investigation of Israeli crimes. Let’s say that the ICC finds Israel guilty of committing war crimes, which is a very remote possibility in my opinion, but let’s for argument sake assume they do. You’re still left with the same situation, an unenforcable document, an ICC verdict of guilty, and you still need to enforce it.

The key question is the political question. How do you get these documents enforced? Here my opinion is that there’s just not been much thought or analysis attached to, What is the significance of these documents. Here I think the most important lessons to be learned are from the Zionist movement, how they took documents and declarations, whether it was the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago or the Partition Resolution in 1947– how it took documents and turned these documents which in many ways were nondescript–Arthur Balfour was a nondescript foreign minister, the partition resolution wasn’t even a Security Council resolution, it was a General Assembly resolution, at this point one of thousands of resolutions passed by the GA– how did the Zionist movement manage even 100 years later to imprint this Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Resolution in the mind of the public? Or as Abba Eban put it back then, the General Assembly had given Israel a birth certificate. How did it come to pass that we all know this birth certificate?

Here the answer is, because the Zionist movement understood that documents although not necessarily enforced can become a political force if you know how to mobilize a public on their behalf, and enforce the powers to be either acting on your own, as the Zionist movement did in 1947 with the legitimacy accorded it by the partition resolution or in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration– mobilizing enough public opinion such that Great Britain felt compelled to follow through on the declaration. There were many moments when the British wanted to rescind the Balfour Declaration because it seemed to conflict with their interests. They finally in effect did in 1939. But the Zionist movement knew how to use these documents of legitimacy. Even the PLO kept saying after the 1970s, the term they kept using, especially Arafat and his lieutenants, they said their cause had been accorded international legitimacy. In fact its legitimacy had been enshrined in various resolutions, in this case General Assembly resolutions, when Arafat was speaking.

That’s what resolutions, high court opinions, ICJ opinions, even an ICC ruling would do. In that context, I consider the resolution to be a victory. You have a new document. It’s true it’s been said before, but it uses pretty– I would say– harsh and unequivocal language, saying in so many words that Israel is committing war crimes in the occupied territories, its settlements enterprise is a colossal war crime at that point. And then what do you do with it? How do you reenact what the Zionist movement did? Because the Zionist movement understood — and I underline, emphasize and put in boldface– they understood the value of public opinion. They understood that if you want to win this cause you have to have public opinion on your side.

Let’s get down to specifics. If the Palestinians had a real leadership, which they don’t right at this moment, from the day after the resolution was passed, they would be strategizing, mobilizing their constituency in the West Bank to somehow march on the settlements, block roads to the settlements, make life very miserable for those settlements and say, we are simply enforcing international law. The UN Security Council has said these settlements are a war crime, and we are trying nonviolently to undo the war crime or exact penalties from Israel for engaging in this war crime. Once you have the legitimacy of that resolution, and in this case, quite breathtaking in fact, the US abstaining, which means that it doesn’t deny the legitimacy of the Palestinian claim, and doesn’t deny that Israel is committing war crimes, they have a real chance. And I know you know how much US public opinion and US Jewish public opinion is hostile to those settlements.

And now you have a document. You have in this case a certificate of illegitimacy, and you have a certificate of illegality and you have a certificate of criminality, and the Palestinians can point to these documents on their own and also critically, crucially–combined and coordinated with the international solidarity movement– they can attempt to enforce that resolution.

This has been true, we have to bear in mind, for the past 30, 40 years. That’s the tragedy of the conflict. You take the case of the 2004 ICJ opinon on the illegality of the wall. Right at that moment, you have to remember, Israel panicked at that ICJ opinion when it was still in its infant stage before it had passed through the court. They were debating whether or not to absent themselves and ignore it or present a case at the court, they were very scared by that ICJ opinion. And what was tragic about the whole thing, it was actually brilliantly orchestrated by Nassar al-Qudwe, who was at the time the PLO representative at the UN. By all accounts he did a quite brilliant job, he recruited the top international lawyers in the world, articulating, advocating the Palestinian case, and it was a stunning victory.

But what happened? Nothing. Because there’s no Palestinian leadership that understands what you are supposed to do with these victories.

The obverse side is that if you don’t do anything, they’re useless, they just get filed away in a drawer. Who even remembers the ICJ opinion? Israel lost on every count and the Palestinians won in the ICJ opinion. On everything Israel lost. They declared East Jerusalem part of the occupied Palestinian territories, they declared the settlements illegal, the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war. It was a clean sweep for the Palestinians. And it said, number one the wall was illegal, number two, Israel had to dismantle the wall, number three Israel had to pay compensation for the damage caused by the wall. And critically number four, If Israel did not dismantle the wall, the international community had an obligation to do something. It was just a huge opportunity to organize a march on the wall, a Gandhi-like salt march, holding up the ICJ opinion in the one hand and a pick or a hammer in the other and say, we’re knocking down the wall. Just like the ICJ said. Nothing happened. That’s the problem.

It is correct to say that this resolution is one more enshrinement of international law. That’s true, and there’s a long portfolio of documents preceding it, and that’s grounds for cynicism. But on the other hand it doesn’t hurt to have these principles enshrined in a document. It’s also true to say it was a strong resolution. We have to be clear about that, we can’t be so cynical as not to see it was a strong resolution. Any resolution that begins, We emphasize the application of international law, for example, the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war– that just kills the whole Israeli occupation. It’s over. So we should not be so cynical as to overlook the text of this resolution and recognize it was a big victory, because the US did abstain.

Now the US abstention was totally disingenuous because it pretended there was no conflict between that resolution and US policy, which was a flat out lie. But the other side of the coin is there is excellent grounds for skepticism, because based on the track record, the Palestinian leadership doesn’t do anything with these resolutions. It just files them away, it pretends that it’s a victory. It is a victory if they do something with it. But they are obviously not self enforcing; and that includes the ICC. I get exasperated when I see these lawyers talk about the importance of the ICC prosecution. But you already have these paper victories. The problem is not, having the documents. It’s doing something with them. There are so many more documents enshrining the Palestinian rights than there ever were with the Zionist movement.

Q. When you talk about the Zionists’ success, it’s hard to talk about the Balfour Declaration or partition without speaking of the Jewish problem in Europe. That became a tragically urgent question. You’ve spoken of UN 181 as having the force of law–

The 181 did not have the force of law. However, the Zionist movement so widely publicized and leaned on it that it turned into a document having the force of law.

Q. Law is a form of opinion, and there have been occasions when you said there is this edifice of opinion that there should be a Jewish state– a consensus that those who are anti-Zionist and don’t want partition have to contend with.

The statement “a Jewish state” is a very ambiguous statement and it can be filled with many different contents. Certainly the 1947 partition resolution is filled with ambiguity and you could say friction if not contradiction, as it calls for two states, one Jewish, one Arab. It is also emphatic that in both states there has to be complete, comprehensive, total, across the board equal rights for both peoples.

Q. You have said this consensus is enshrined. But if you look at a recent LA Times article, Palestinians ask, Well, what about one state with equal rights? Or Buzzfeed raises the one state possibility, too. Is this resolution in any way a blow to the historical consensus that there should be a Jewish state?

I think quite the contrary. Perhaps we’re on different wavelengths. The whole of the resolution is anchored and embedded in the notion of two states. Because that’s what makes settlements illegal. It doesn’t talk about Tel Aviv or Haifa or anywhere within the Green Line as illegal settlements. What makes a settlement illegal is it being in Occupied territory, and the Geneva Convention saying it’s illegal for an occupying power to transfer population. The resolution is clearly anchored as it repeatedly says, ad nauseam, in creating two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, and cites all these documents, including the Roadmap and Oslo. The whole of the text, its framework as well as both the spirit and the letter of the text, are squarely anchored in two states.

Q. Some interpreted Kerry’s speech as a eulogy for the two state solution. Yousef Munayyer pointed out that Kerry once issued a deadline on the two state solution that has now expired. Kerry referred to a one state reality. The speeches at the Security Council reflected a desperation about never creating a Palestinian state, for 70 years of promises. And yes, I live in a silo of anti-Zionists; but that sentiment is causing some in the mainstream media, to say, Maybe it is dead.

I see what you’re trying to say. But it is just way, way too late in the day for me to try and score debating points.  I’m speaking now as a person who’s interested not just in theories, not just in textual exegesis, but primarily I’m interested in politics. And the thrust of our conversation this evening has been, What can you do with the resolution, and it’s my strong opinion, that what you can do if there were a movement, you can use a resolution to target settlements. Can you use the resolution to target the Green Line? No. Can you use the resolution to try and implement a just resolution of the refugee question? Answer, no.

The reason you called me and the reason we initiated this whole conversation began with that resolution, and I do believe that in that resolution just as in the ICJ decision, there are real possibilities of political action. There is nothing in the resolution that strengthens the possibility for a one-state solution. It’s just the opposite. The irony is that the folks who advocate one state are the very same folks who are rendering null and void this last resolution. What do I mean? To open up Ali Abunimah’s book on one state [One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, 2007], he says he does not oppose the settlements. He says, The settlements can remain in one state. And that’s the same thing that Virginia Tilley says in her book [The One State Solution, 2010]. So if you take the framework of the one-state proponents, that framework preempts a focus on the settlements. It says the settlements are just fine, they are no obstacle to resolving the conflict. The irony is the one-state proponents undercut the significance of resolutions like the one that was just passed. Settlements are only a problem, as Kerry said himself in the only part of the speech that had substance– when Kerry said that the settlements are destroying the Palestinian state. If you’re going to argue for one state, then a resolution saying the settlements are illegal is wholly irrelevant. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t declare it a victory that the UN declared the settlements illegal and war crimes, then on the other hand say you support one state. At least Ali Abunimah and Virginia Tilley are consistent.

Q. Trump.

I agree with Professor Chomsky, where he says that one predictable thing about Donald Trump is he’s unpredictable. You can’t really say where it’s going to go with him. My guess is the Israel Palestine conflict, unless there’s a resurgence of popular mass resistance which would not be obviously stimulated or orchestrated by the leadership, but it could be spontaneous– in the absence of that, the conflict will be quiescent, and Trump will be focused on the economy and doing some wild things internationally, but Israel Palestine wont be on his radar.

Q. Will he move the embassy to Jerusalem?

I have no idea. I kind of doubt it, he doesn’t want to be distracted. It doesn’t gain him anything. It’s just going to cause him tsuris.

Q. Are we looking at a managed conflict?

Yes. I’m a pessimist now. I don’t broadcast it because I don’t want to pour cold water on people’s endeavors. But speaking strictly personally, I just completed a large book on Gaza, about 450 pages. I say basically I’m writing for history. I’m not writing for politics because I don’t see it: The United States in cahoots with the European powers working along with the Palestinian leadership have figured out a way to stabilize the conflict. And the Palestinian people themselves have been at least for now– I don’t want to predict– but for now they have been defeated. But I don’t believe as I’ve said 1000 times, I don’t believe they have no options. I think it’s very difficult now. Because among other things, the conflict has been overshadowed by other regional disasters. And large parts of the Arab world have come very close to openly aligning with Israel, and that’s unprecedented. You have to remember, in the case of South Africa, it was inconceivable that the resistance struggle to the South African regime would have gotten very far had it not been not for the regional support. The whole of Africa considered apartheid such an affront to all the people of Africa that the whole of Africa was united in the struggle to bring down the apartheid. And for a long period of time, the analogy to the Arab world worked. The Palestinian struggle had such a deep resonance in the Arab/Muslim world. The Arab regimes however corrupt at least had to pay some kind of lip service to the Palestinian cause. But that’s over. They’ve lost that regional foundation for the struggle. It’s a big setback.

On the other hand, the solidarity movement is not dead. And I think there is reason to hope. The solidarity movement has contracted now. But there are certainly possibilities and potentials to awaken the full force of the solidarity movement and with new allies, in the Jewish community, especially, young Jews. There are real possibilities but it’s much more difficult now because of the collapse of regional support.

If you look at it historically, it was very striking during for example, the Carter years, even as Carter executed the Israeli withdrawal from the Egyptian Sinai, he was very concerned that unless he could win something for the Palestinians, because the Palestinian cause had so much resonance in the Arab world, unless he won something for the Palestinians, [Egyptian President Anwar el-] Sadat would be very isolated and the US would consequently be isolated in the region. He had no particular humanitarian concern, but he understood the power and the resonance of the Palestinian cause in the Arab world. Unless he won something for them, the US would be very isolated in the region, as having lured Egypt from the Arab front and giving Palestinians nothing. To literally the last day of his regime, he was fighting tooth and nail with [Israeli PM Menachem] Begin to give something– something– in this Palestinian autonomy regime, to save face for Sadat. In fact, the truth of the matter is, it’s a harsh thing to say, but Carter was singularly responsible for Sadat’s assassination. Because he couldn’t get anything with Sadat, or he was unwilling to exert the political muscle to get something from Israel on the autonomy.

I mention this because of how times have changed. Nobody feels that US prestige or power in the Middle East is dependent on getting something for the Palestinians, because the Palestinian cause has died. The Arab regimes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt– they openly aligned with Israel during Operation Protective Edge. The Arab League only met once during Protective Edge and they supported Israel. It’s a very different ball game. Hopeless? No, not in my opinion. They did get a good document, they did get a good resolution, they do have international legitimacy on their side, there does exist a solidarity movement, there does exist a consciousness among significant segments of Jews that what Israel is doing is wrong. There does exist a real possibility to build a real movement. I’m not hopeless. But the problem is the leadership is bankrupt and the people have given up, that’s the big obstacle.

Q. What about the opposition to Zionism in the Jewish diaspora, energized by Trump. How important is that shift?

It’s indicative of the growing alienation between American Jews, who are overwhelmingly at the liberal end of the spectrum, with Israel, which is overwhelmingly on the right. They’re actually mirror images. Look at the Israeli spectrum. About 20 percent call themselves Labor or are Tel Aviv liberal types, and then there is a fairly large middle and there’s a very strong right wing, about 40 percent. Look at the American Jewish spectrum, it’s still about 20 percent Republicans, about 50 percent moderate and 30 percent liberal. It’s mirror images of one another. And those differences are becoming sharper, because the middle is dropping out in the United States and in Israel. It is contracting. I don’t think many Jews voted for Trump, and Netanyahu considers Trump a godsend. So it’s alienation. Netanyahu is just a revolting character, he’s an obnoxious loudmouth racist Jewish supremacist. It’s just not the way Jews like to see Jews carrying on. He’s such an embarrassment.

And really, unless things radically change, which I don’t see happening, I think we’re past the point of no return. American Jews especially as time elapses are not going to feel that kind of sentiment for Israel much longer; it’s an embarrassment.

Q. Your book?

The book is scheduled to come out in October from the University of California Press. Gaza: An inquest into its martyrdom. The manuscript is complete. It’s a legal and historical political analysis of what happened to Gaza in the last 10 years. I’m happy it will come out, because I feel the truth should be known. I’m pessimistic about the possibilities of turning that truth into a political weapon, but the truth nonetheless should be known.

About Philip Weiss

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

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162 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    January 4, 2017, 9:53 am

    Thank you, Norman. Wonderful analysis.

  2. Scott
    January 4, 2017, 10:00 am

    Very lucid. One takeaway is that the PS should hire NF as a top political advisor, would help Palestinians and the world.

  3. echinococcus
    January 4, 2017, 10:37 am

    Thank you, Mr Weiss. NF changed my perspective –the theory of a childish, spiteful, thin-skinned Obama taking a last-minute revenge without thinking too much is not implausible and the Kerry speechifying seem to document that the act was voluntary but its consequences uncalculated –especially re the the new GCC mafia under Zionist deputy leadership.

  4. Citizen
    January 4, 2017, 11:07 am

    Very keen, helpful analysis of the back story behind, and the difference between, the subject UN SC resolution and Kerry’s subsequent speech to the public attempting to explain the USA’s abstention, allowing said resolution.

    Caveat: In positing motives as to why Obama waited until the last days of his term as POTUS to act by not acting (abstaining), he ignored the fact 2/3rds of the Democratic Party’s funding comes from donors who are a segment of the USA’s 2% of the total USA’s demography. He ignored the power of the AIPAC matrix and Zionist moneybags like Haim Saban. Why? Nothing about why Obama put his Cairo speech in the dust bin for so long? Nothing about how Obama needs funding for his post-POTUS library, books, speech career, to remain relevant, in the public eye, to maintain his super-comfy material life-style, and be always welcome at the nations’s best golf courses?

    • ErikEast
      January 5, 2017, 5:47 am

      NF doesn’t buy into the ‘Israel Lobby’ thesis, judging by his criticisms of Walt and Mearsheimer’s landmark book. Unfortunately for NF, this thesis perfectly explains why Pres. Obama didn’t abstain/vote for the 2011 UNSC resolution on Israeli settlements; and why with nothing to lose abstained in the 2016 vote. NF’s explanation that Pres. Obama’s rationale was solely spiteful is silly.

      Having said that I’m looking forward to his new book.

      • Sibiriak
        January 5, 2017, 10:13 pm

        Erik East: NF doesn’t buy into the ‘Israel Lobby’ thesis, judging by his criticisms of Walt and Mearsheimer’s landmark book. Unfortunately for NF, this thesis perfectly explains why Pres. Obama didn’t abstain/vote for the 2011 UNSC resolution on Israeli settlements

        ——————

        That depends which “Israel Lobby” thesis you are referring to.

        In his book “Knowing Too Much”, Finkelstein writes:

        In the last chapter it was shown that American Jews kept Israel at arm’s length until the June 1967 war, when it became Washington’s strategic asset in the Middle East. It has been argued in recent years that Israel ceased serving American interests after the end of the Cold War and instead has become a burden for Washington. The alleged divergence between Washington’s continuing support for Israel and its real strategic interests has been attributed to the baleful influence of the Israel lobby.

        The most widely cited version of this argument is The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.1

        * * * *

        […]The premise of Mearsheimer and Walt’s analysis is that the core interests of Washington and Tel Aviv no longer overlap. They acknowledge that Israel did constitute a “strategic asset” during the Cold War because it “helped contain Soviet expansion in the region.” However, they maintain that since the collapse of the Soviet empire it has become a “strategic liability.”3 The future relationship of American Jews to Israel partly hinges on the points at issue.

        If the analysis of Mearsheimer and Walt were correct, it would only be a matter of time before more fissures opened up in the relationship between American Jews and Israel. However ferocious its bark, no domestic lobby jeopardizing pivotal American interests could long withstand the pressures to back off exerted by elite groups and their ramified circuits of power.

        Should a contest of wills ensue between the Israel lobby and American elites , it would inevitably trigger a revival of the “dual loyalty” charge that American Jews dread and on which they remain vulnerable. Rather than risk their hard-won gains in the United States, experience suggests that American Jews would distance themselves from Israel in the event of a conflict of interests.

        It might be supposed that, even if Israel did become a major liability, those many American Jews occupying strategic posts in the polity and economy would put a brake on any concerted elite action targeting Israel’s domestic pressure group. But it flies in the face of historical experience that these privileged Jews would jeopardize American interests, of which they themselves are prime beneficiaries, in order to shield the lobby of a foreign power—even one composed of “family” members—from which they draw no benefits

        It happens however that the probability of a clash pitting American Jewish supporters of Israel against basic U.S. interests is fairly remote.

        Contrary to Mearsheimer and Walt’s contention, Israel remains a strategic asset as it projects and protects American power in a region of critical importance to the United States.

        [KEY POINT: –Sibiriak]

        A conflict of interests does exist, however, between the U.S. and Israel on the secondary issue of resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, and here the Israel lobby exerts considerable influence over policymaking in Washington.

        It is quite likely that on this local issue conflicting interests will put an ever-greater strain on U.S.-Israeli relations, making American Jews feel increasingly uneasy, and this process could be accelerated by recent developments including the Arab Spring.

        But the core interests of Washington and Tel Aviv still mostly intersect. The analysis of Mearsheimer and Walt, which rests on the premise that Washington’s primary objective in the Middle East during the Cold War was checking the Kremlin, overlooks continuities in American foreign policy that straddle the Cold War and the concomitant overlap of U.S. and Israeli strategic aims in the region. [emphasis added]

        ——————————-

        If you read that carefully, you will realize that Finkelstein denies neither the existence of the “Israel Lobby” nor it’s considerable power. What he does do, however, is make a critical distinction between U.S. core interests, which DO NOT conflict with a strategic alliance with Israel, and Israel’s local interests vis a vis the Palestinians which DO conflict with U.S. interests. Regarding the I/P issue the Israel Lobby does indeed wield its considerable power against U.S. interests.

        (And please note: “U.S. core interests” refers to interests defined by U.S. elites and pursued through their “ramified circuits of power”, rather than some objective “what’s best for the American people.” )

        Since the 2011 and the 2016 votes deal with the “secondary issue of resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Finkelstein would have no problem affirming the critical influence of the Israel Lobby on Obama’s actions.

        (The above remarks are intended as a clarification of Finkelstein’s position, not an endorsement of it.)

      • Keith
        January 6, 2017, 6:44 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “That depends which “Israel Lobby” thesis you are referring to.”

        More importantly, it depends upon how you define “The Lobby.” Most folks identify the Lobby as AIPAC, yet lump in a lot of non-AIPAC support. Are Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson part of the Lobby? Or are they American Jewish Zionist fat-cats who support Israel? How about the Military-Industrial complex which does a lot of business thanks to Israel? If you lump all of these together, the power is enormous, but strictly speaking is it a lobby? I think it is more accurate to consider AIPAC as a relatively powerful lobby that is but one feature of an extremely power Jewish Zionist network.

        Furthermore, as you point out, core US interests are defined by the US elites. And, I would add, may not be objectively rational. Jewish Zionists are disproportionately represented among the elites, and are an integral part of the imperial deep state. If, as I maintain, Jewish Zionist success and power has been facilitated by Zionist based kinship, then the maintenance of this kinship support through support of Israel would be seen as a core interest of a significant part of the imperial elite. Seen this way, Lobby power derives primarily from US elite support for Israel and Zionism, the dependence of the Democratic Party (the Republicans, too?) on Jewish Zionist money a critical factor, along with a highly biased media. Therefore, support for Israel among the elites is sufficiently organic that Israel needs to be considered an integral part of empire.

    • JWalters
      January 5, 2017, 7:00 pm

      I agree this is a very worthwhile analysis by Finkelstein. I also agree it contains gaps. In explaining the Zionist domination of this issue he says,

      “Because the Zionist movement understood … that if you want to win this cause you have to have public opinion on your side.”

      It seems to me this should lead to an analysis of the Zionist financial control over mechanisms of forming public opinion. This would include the press and publishing companies, the very control that has kept Finkelstein in the media wilderness, along with the most basic facts of the case. Zionist control over the NYT, America’s flagship news organization has been well-documented in Mondoweiss. And the same Zionist censorship is evident all across America’s mainstream media.

      It would also include analysis of the Zionist financial control over American politicians, who also play a major role in determining what the public knows and thinks, as well as voting to support Israel’s crimes. Zionist control over America’s politicians has been well-documented in Mondoweiss.

      It seems to me the enormous power that must be involved to control America’s media and politicians is a factor that has to be considered in understanding why Obama and his lieutenants acted so cautiously in working against that power. Why does Finkelstein not discuss this obvious elephant in the room?

      Finally, Finkelstein emphasizes the significance of public opinion in the Zionist success and the Palestinian failure. But he doesn’t consider the potential effects of this latest round of actions by the Obama administration on the world’s on-going discussion and consequent public opinion.

      • HarryLaw
        January 6, 2017, 6:59 am

        JWalters. I agree, the most important thing a politician has to do in life is win elections, they cannot do that in the US without money. The Jewish Chronicle reports this weekend that the “five biggest donors to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are all Jewish.”

        Donald Sussman, hedge fund Manager;

        Jay Robert Pritzker venture Capitalist

        Haim Saban, Israeli-American media tycoon

        George Soros, speculator

        Daniel Abraham, founder of SlimFast

        So are their GOP rivals top two. http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-donors-filling-candidates-war-chests-especially-clintons/
        I don’t see how Israel can be projecting US strength into the Middle East, since in the wars the US were/are involved in, they make sure Israel is not overtly implicated. {The kiss of death].

  5. Kay24
    January 4, 2017, 11:46 am

    During the last massacre in Gaza in 2014, Israel ran short of ammunition and the US under President Obama handed them more, to continue the slaughter. If that is not being complicit in the massacre of Palestinian women and children, I don’t know what is. If Obama sincerely wanted to help the Palestinians and give them their freedom, he should have done something about it long time ago, not as a last minute effort. Obama has extended the help the US has always given Israel, and even increased the aid package they begged for. What did Obama get in return? Disrespect and insults from the king of the zionists.

    • oldgeezer
      January 4, 2017, 12:24 pm

      Very very well said. Totally complicit and with complete knowledge of what Israel was doing on a daily basis.

    • amigo
      January 4, 2017, 12:53 pm

      Kay.correction. Israel did not beg . they demanded.

      • Kay24
        January 4, 2017, 9:10 pm

        I stand corrected. Of course they demand….and the normally arrogant US leaders all fall in line for fear of having their allowances cut. Strange system – we give them billions in aid and they use it to buy the unwavering support of our Congress and leaders. Only the devious can come up with such a foolproof plan. Our leaders are utterly stupid for being used this way.

  6. Maghlawatan
    January 4, 2017, 11:53 am

    The region is falling apart and no leader is safe. The Palestinian issue is still there amongst the people* but the last 10 years of war and counter revolution have sapped a lot of energy.
    Israel is still on the path of collapse and Israelis are not educated to think in a way that might stop that.

    *and i hate israel,and all of us
    we’re all upset ,Jerusalem is important to us

    Israel is a power issue.

    • gamal
      January 4, 2017, 12:44 pm

      oh the presser abdul rahim pretty shaabi, he only recites the words of Islam Khalil like “don’t bomb Iraq” or this catchy little number Eng subs, you can’t get bin bin bin laden anymore,

      https://youtu.be/qZ5Xk3pmqgI

      • Maghlawatan
        January 4, 2017, 3:23 pm

        He is very good. Masri khaalis as well

  7. HarryLaw
    January 4, 2017, 1:02 pm

    Article 49 paragraph 6 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions classifies a war crime thus..”The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its
    own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
    The International criminal court act UK 2001 (article 8 2b[viii]):-
    The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population in to the Territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied Territory within or outside this Territory.
    Both Legal definitions [which are plain] of war crimes do not stipulate that the crime has to be ‘flagrant’.

    “The Oslo accord said you can’t alter the demographic character but it didn’t explicitly mention building new settlements”.
    Because the building of new settlements is a war crime, it should go without saying that they would not mention them. The settlements would obviously alter the demographic character of the occupied territories.
    As regards the latest UNSC Resolution it differs little from UNSC 465 [1980] in one important respect it calls for dismantling the existing settlements…here..

    UNSC Res 465 (1980), recalling that the USA did not veto this, determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war and also constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
    Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. [Cited UNSC Res 465 (1980)]
    Unlike the latest Resolution, 465 [1980] Calls for the dismantling of the existing settlements.
    Professor Finkelstein is correct to criticize the dysfunctional Arab league,
    Fortunately the balance of power is shifting away from the medieval terrorist supporting satraps of the GCC countries led by Saudi Arabia. The ‘Arc of resistance’ led by Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and possibly Egypt backed by Russia will acquire hegemony in the region, then Netanyahu’s pledge to forever live by the sword, will be tested.

    • HarryLaw
      January 4, 2017, 1:49 pm

      “and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since
      March 2001” This clause in Resolution 2334 is a significant walk back from Resolution 465 [1980]. In my opinion the UNSC will veto any attempt to enforce any measures to back up this latest Resolution. Although the PA has lodged a complaint with the ICC, it only backdates it to 2014?? It is the single legal hope the Palestinians can cling to, it is to be hoped the Prosecutor [now conducting a preliminary investigation]is not influenced by political considerations or threats from the usual quarters.

    • talknic
      January 4, 2017, 8:43 pm

      For examples of the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice showing in its opinion that Israel is a belligerent Occupying Power

      Search for ( belligerent occupation) under ( International Law ) examples of the court ruling against Israel @ http://elyon1.court.gov.il/verdictssearch/englishverdictssearch.aspx

      A ruling on the West Bank

      Dec 14, 2006
      12. ” According to the laws relating to a belligerent occupation, the military commander is competent to order the construction of a concrete barricade and to requisition land belonging to Palestinian inhabitants for this purpose. “
      http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files_eng/06/480/017/a20/06017480.a20.htm

      There’s even a gift for the Hasbarristers who claim Gaza isn’t occupied

      May 6, 2009
      12. “According to the laws relating to a belligerent occupation, the military commander is competent to order the construction of a concrete barricade and to requisition land belonging to Palestinian inhabitants” http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files_eng/920/032/n06/07032920.n06.htm

      • Bumblebye
        January 5, 2017, 5:31 pm

        Talknic, the last link doesn’t work – gets an error page. Just when I coulda used it elsewhere! Could you help?

  8. gingershot
    January 4, 2017, 5:14 pm

    He’s looking like one happy dude all of a sudden…

    Such a wonderful and informative academic analysis

  9. gingershot
    January 4, 2017, 5:59 pm

    coming talk
    ==========

    ‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution and Seismic Transformations of Jewish Power in the US and Israel’

    WHEN: Sunday Jan 15 2017, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
    WHERE: Otay Branch San Diego Public Library,
    3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, Ca 92154
    WHO: Dr Lance Dale

    Topics:

    The Successful 2nd American Revolution

    -The Successful 2nd American Revolution Playbook

    ‘Obama as a Transformational American President regarding Jewish Power in US and Israel’. A ‘Club of 2’

    ‘Red Lines on Bibi’ – UN SCR 2334 and American Recognition of Palestine. Legacy as ‘man who lost Israel’

    ‘Bibi, Trump, and the onrushing ‘Palestine Annexation Law-Woodchipper’.

    ‘Checkmated and desperate Knesset’s passage of the Palestine Annexation Law’ into the Ch 6/possible Chapter 7 teeth of UN Sec Co Resolution 2334

    Transitioning to ‘1P1V1S One State’, ‘1P1V1S One State replacing Apartheid-One State’, Marwan Barghouti. 10 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews – do the math

    The Cost of Netanyahu’s continued pursuit of passing the Palestine Annexation Law – triggered/greenlighted Chapter 7 upgrade to UN SCR 2334, and some Israeli summary removal as head of state apparently ‘on the table’, calls for it from Israel x 5, triggered ICC hot in flagrante delicto cases

    ‘One Big Bag’ – the entirety of the Kahanists swept up together – the Apartheid and the Kahanist Neocons, etc, ‘Bibi and Trump as Israel and the Israel Lobby’

    American Recognition of Palestine – shifts in American media coverage

    Diskin/CIS needs Chapter 7 upgrade of UN SCR 2334 to dismantle Apartheid

  10. Keith
    January 4, 2017, 7:04 pm

    NORMAN FINKELSTEIN- “If Schumer had been Senate majority leader and Hillary had been elected, they would have killed it. Of course they would have killed it. I have no doubt about it.”

    I concur with Finkelstein on this. If Hillary had won, Obama would not have abstained. Stated another way, you can thank Donald Trump for Obama’s last minute attempt to salvage something positive in his deplorable Middle East policy. Not that Trump desired this, of course, but that internal strife among the elites can occasionally have desirable consequences.

    As for “courage,” credit where credit is due. Trump’s tweet praising Putin’s moderation following Obama’s anti-Russian propaganda involving Russia “hacking” the election, along with Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats has resulted in a whole chorus of Red-baiting “Liberals” accusing Trump of treason. Trump may be bad but his neocon neoliberal critics are even worse! A couple of quotes and links.

    “Obama has formally accused Moscow of interfering in the US elections on behalf of Donald Trump. These are serious allegations. Whereas the sanctions are directed against Russia, the ultimate intent is to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance in relation to Moscow.
    ….
    The central objective of this project against Trump is to ensure the continuity of the Neocons’ foreign policy agenda geared towards global warfare and Worldwide economic conquest, which has dominated the US political landscape since September 2001.”
    (Michel Chossudovsky) http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-foreign-policy-and-the-campaign-to-destabilize-the-trump-presidency/5565825

    “When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of “hacking the election” on December 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin’s response was to issue an invitation to American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

    Then came the shock from President Elect Trump, in the form of a tweet (what else) heard round the world that read: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”

    And to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump “pinned” the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of “pinning” for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, December 30.
    ….
    The implications of this move are breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite as his adversaries. This makes perfect sense if Trump’s desire is to reign in the War Party and to strive for a New Détente.”
    (John Walsh) http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/01/trumps-treasonous-tweet/#more-65155

    • echinococcus
      January 4, 2017, 8:57 pm

      Keith,

      Thanks for observing the “pinning” by Trump. If calculated as more than a single gesture, hugely promising.

    • Sibiriak
      January 5, 2017, 12:04 am

      Credit where credit is due: Trump is standing his ground!

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/04/republicans-break-donald-trump-tweet-julian-assange-dnc-hacks

      The House speaker, Paul Ryan, called Assange “a sycophant for Russia” on a conservative radio show and GOP Senator Tom Cotton told MSNBC that he had “a lot more faith in our intelligence officers serving around the world … than I do in people like Julian Assange”.

      The comments followed tweets from Trump on Wednesday morning in which he approvingly repeated Assange’s claim that the Russian state was not the source of the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, published by WikiLeaks during the election.

      “Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!” one Trump tweet said. Another quoted Assange as describing US media coverage on the issue as “very dishonest”. Trump added: “More dishonest than anyone knows.”

      Perhaps the only real bright spot in the impending Trump presidency is his commitment to lessen tensions with Russia, and–ironically– it is liberals and progressives (not all but many) who are joining hands with neocons and neolibs in a New Cold War Alliance to makes sure that doesn’t happen.

      Strange bedfellows is one thing; this is political bestiality.

      • Keith
        January 5, 2017, 11:11 am

        SIBIRIAK- “Strange bedfellows is one thing; this is political bestiality.”

        Incredible, isn’t it? Liberal “ideas” nothing but a thin veneer to hide imperial aggression and group loyalty. Pilpul reigns supreme! I received an e-mail this morning from Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility warning of the danger when Trump gets his hands on the nuclear codes! And, of course, nuclear weapons are serious danger. But Trump more dangerous than Hillary? What universe do these people live in? The trouble with these groups jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon to raise funds is that they have aligned themselves with the worst group of warmongers I have ever seen, hence, bear more than a little responsibility for the way things are and how they will be resolved. At least on this one issue, Trump should be supported, not attacked.

        As for those folks who trust the intelligence agencies and the MSM over Julian Assange, they need to get their heads screwed on straight. Julian Assange’s record is unblemished whereas the CIA continually engages in misinformation and covert operations. I hardly need to dwell on the current status of the MSM as agents of imperial propaganda. In this regard, I highly recommend “The CIA as Organized Crime” by Douglas Valentine.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2017, 6:01 pm

        “warning of the danger when Trump gets his hands on the nuclear codes! And, of course, nuclear weapons are serious danger. But Trump more dangerous than Hillary? What universe do these people live in?”

        You are right, the uncertainty of Trump is way better than the nuclear war Hilary Clinton promised she would wage during her First One Hundred Seconds.

      • Keith
        January 6, 2017, 10:14 am

        MOOSER- “You are right, the uncertainty of Trump is way better than the nuclear war Hilary Clinton promised she would wage during her First One Hundred Seconds.”

        You are in deep denial concerning the nature of the Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton in particular. De facto apologetics for the Princess of Darkness is de facto support for our brutal, militaristic empire. “Liberal” Democrats who never held the Democrats accountable for their horrible actions enabled the rightward drift of the Democratic Party which paved the way for the election of Trump. Even now the warmongering establishment is attempting to paint Putin and Russia as an existential threat. And you go along with this insanity? Shame on you! Seriously.

      • xanadou
        January 6, 2017, 5:41 pm

        I doubt the Russians would risk their slow rise into global prominence by hacking US elections. For what purpose? There is absolutely nothing in such a dumb move that would benefit them in any manner. They understand very well that the convoluted, corrupt system that defines US selections is infinitely capable of destroying itself, all by itself. Vide “Selections 2016, 2008, 2000….”

        Yesterday, on DemocracyNow, Glenn Greenwald referenced the MO used in the alleged hacks ID’d during the time of the Ukraine debacle:
        https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/5/glenn_greenwald_on_dearth_of_evidence

        The Russians, like them or not, are infinitely more sophisticated in winning wars: shooting or (non)verbal. Note Putin’s silence on the recent US and israeli hysterics in connection with the hacks, thusly refusing to be drawn into the inevitable he-said:he-said into which bimbo yahoo likes to draw his prey: to distort, confuse and distract away from himself and his pet israel project. And why, pray somebody tell me, did israel get involved in this nonsense? Would one be absolutely incorrect in assuming that someone with a well-known govt’l hacking history attempt to use its tactics to point its crooked finger away from itself by copying an old and compromised MO?

        Bimbo yahoo is free to create and belive in his self-chosen superiority myth. But it’s the Russians who are taking US and Euro austronaut/scienstists into space and bringing them safely back.

    • HarryLaw
      January 5, 2017, 7:55 am

      Keith I agree. “Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman said “The people who have spent eight years in the White House are not an administration – they are a group of foreign policy losers, embittered and shortsighted. Today, Obama officially proved this.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/30/russia-plans-immediate-counter-measures-us-diplomats
      By the way have you checked under your bed lately, I found two reds under my bed and a third trying to get through my cat flap.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2017, 4:22 pm

        “By the way have you checked under your bed lately, I found two reds”

        F-40’s? I thought, would have hoped, they stopped making them.

    • HarryLaw
      January 6, 2017, 3:05 pm

      This comment in the Intercept [sorry cannot remember name] is so good and I agree with It so much I must reproduce it here, hope he/she does not mind.
      “Since WW11, a large part of the American raison d’etre has been to stop Russia, fight Russia-even, ‘destroy Russia’. I’m talking about the media, education system, it’s political machinery, and of course, it’s vast war machine, aka the Military Industrial Complex.
      America spent 5 decades focusing on this battle with the Soviet Union, and when the USSR actually collapsed; I saw dismay and confusion, not happiness.
      “We have no enemy now! No threat! No purpose in life!” The tears were real.
      They tried terrorism, as the ‘threat’- but their ‘enemy’ was laughably weak, ineffectual, and perhaps worst of all, hardly required the construction of nuclear powered aircraft carriers, or missile subs to defeat.
      So for a time Russia was ‘okay’ as long as it was red misting Chetchen’s, but when Putin reared his head over Palin’s back yard and began to make Russia strong again? Game on!
      Cold war is back and this is on purpose. Hot war very possible, by accident, but also because there are those [See: General Buck Turgidson] who fervently wish for the final battle. These are people who genuinely believe that a nuclear exchange that destroys Russia and only kills 30% of Americans and half their industrial capacity is a “win”.

    • Sibiriak
      January 8, 2017, 8:58 pm

      Trump folds:

      “Donald Trump ‘not denying Russia was behind hacking campaign’, says Priebus “

      “President-elect’s incoming White House chief of staff says Trump ‘accepts the findings’ of a report on Russian interference in the election”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/08/donald-trump-not-denying-russia-hacking-report-reince-priebus

      • Kay24
        January 9, 2017, 12:09 am

        There has been an ugly pattern throughout the campaign, and now this. He puts the country through stress and upheaval, sticks to his idiotic theories even when evidence is either proved or not proved (like Obama’s birth certificate) and then very quietly admits he agrees. Even when he admitted that Obama was born in the US it was a one word statement (after spewing lies and accusations, and insisting he was right (where are his investigators who went to Hawaii to find out?) by then he has hurt far too many people, and his mindless supporters have believed this bull crap because they hate the Black President, and most probably believes the Obama’s are aliens.

      • echinococcus
        January 9, 2017, 2:44 am

        Kay,

        Why should we care about the birthplace of major criminal against peace, war criminal, and Butcher of Gaza Obama?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 12:09 pm

        you mean why should we care if the country, the press, whoever, is dominated by a conversation surrounding fake news? hmm, tough question echi. maybe because it’s a distraction from discussing real issues.

      • Kay24
        January 9, 2017, 8:32 am

        Echinococcus, you do read comments in a weird way. I do not care, nor expect anyone else to care about Obama’s birth certificate, I was merely making a point to show how Trump operates, and his history of not admitting when he is wrong.

      • eljay
        January 9, 2017, 10:18 am

        The fury and indignation surrounding Russian hacking that may (or may not) have influenced the U.S. election is a bad joke given America’s penchant for:
        – attacking, bombing and/or invading sovereign nations; and
        – undermining, destabilizing and/or overthrowing sovereign governments.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2017, 10:47 am

        SIBIRIAK- “Trump folds:”

        Trump is a deal maker in a very difficult position. He needs to employ considerable ambiguity to preclude the solid beltway opposition from stomping him into the ground. As long as he isn’t calling for a no-fly zone or retaliating against Putin, we may have dodged a bullet. Besides, expecting Donald Trump to stand on principle even if he could is unrealistic. Instead of the Princess of Darkness we got P.T. Barnum. Be grateful. Also, surely we are all aware that the global empire is mostly run by the Deep State, deviations from course relatively slight in any event.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 11:04 am

        I can’t understand how anybody can be surprised by Trump ‘folding’.
        You’ve never known a bullshitter before?

        Well, now you’ve got one for President. And not even a high-level bullshitter.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 11:33 am

        “Echinococcus, you do read comments in a weird way.”

        Through the wrong end of a telescope?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 12:20 pm

        how he reads them we will never know. how he responds to them, as an agent of incitement and diversion, ever the opportunist to insert inflammatory rhetoric into the conversation.

        obama, the “Butcher of Gaza”. please!

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2017, 11:40 am

        @Keith

        Yes, I know the forces at play, and I agree with you…

        Still, this FAKE FACT– that Putin hacked the DNC, Podesta et al , stole the U.S. election, and virtually installed his preferred candidate– will now be cemented into American mythology, into “the West”‘s mythology, believed, apparently, by most everyone, right and left, conservative, liberal, progressive, and woven into the larger, incredibly malevolent demonization of Russia, with all its disastrous consequences.

        Next up, massive censorship?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 12:13 pm

        stole the U.S. election, and virtually installed his preferred candidate– will now be cemented into American mythology, into “the West”‘s mythology, believed, apparently, by most everyone

        like saddam had WMD’s is now cemented into american mythology? i think history will record (albeit after a significant period of time) hard evidence was not ever presented — unless it is — sometime in the future. and/or it will be presented in the context of american interference in foreign elections.

      • just
        January 9, 2017, 12:28 pm

        “Why should we care about the birthplace of major criminal against peace, war criminal, and Butcher of Gaza Obama?”

        Last time I looked, President Obama is not PM nor King of Israel. Check your outrage at the door, please~ it is not helping the Palestinian people.

        Speak and write to your representatives in Congress, the Senate, and your city council.

        Good luck with Trump, though. I’m not entirely sure that he can or will be able to read anything other than twitter.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 12:40 pm

        exactly just

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2017, 12:51 pm

        Annie Robbins: like saddam had WMD’s is now cemented into american mythology?
        ————-

        We’ll see. The major difference is that the Iraq War was a partisan issue. Across the board, liberals and progressives opposed Bush and the war and enthusiastically embraced the notion that WMD lie was a lie. The MSM eventually agreed with that assessment, as did the U.S. intelligence community.

        In contrast, the Putin-Stolen election thesis is bi-partisan, embraced by huge numbers of progressives and liberals in alliance with neocons and neolibs; the MSM is backing it 100% as well as the U.S. intelligence community.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2017, 12:01 pm

        The major difference is that the Iraq War was a partisan issue. Across the board, liberals and progressives opposed Bush and the war and enthusiastically embraced the notion that WMD lie was a lie.

        that’s not my recollection. at the beginning lots of so called liberals supported the war. at least in the media and the punditry. the left, or far left didn’t but there was a swell of support for the war as i recall. the WMD thing didn’t happen over night. there was very little press push back against the notion, very little questioning of the evidence. and then sec of st Colin Powell with his so called iron clad proof, who challenged that at the time? we are only a couple months into this russian hacking story (if that), that’s nothing in terms of history.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_aluminum_tubes.

        September 2002 they [aluminum tubes -wmd] were publicly cited by the White House as evidence that Iraq was actively pursuing an atomic weapon …. Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller published a story in the New York Times titled “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts

        then cheney and everybody hit the sunday morning talk shows ad nauseam for months and pushed the idea. powel’s presentation wasn’t til feb 2003, then we invaded iraq in march 2003. it wasn’t til summer of 2003 people started asking, where are they?

        wiki:

        In July 2003, following the March invasion of Iraq, the CIA said in a report to Congress that “We are not yet at the point where we can draw comprehensive or final conclusions about the extent of Iraq’s prewar WMD program.”[12] It repeated this language in its report in January 2004.[13]

        so it was almost a year before, as you say, liberals and progressives “enthusiastically embraced the notion that WMD lie was a lie.”

        and you’re comparing that with a scandal that is not even finished unfolding. we’re not even at the colin powel phase of the drama yet. talk to me in a year about what’s “enthusiastically embraced”.

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2017, 1:36 pm

        Annie Robbins: i think history will record…
        ————–

        Btw, genuine history is one thing, “American mythology” quite another. Historians may record that hard evidence was never presented, but the question is, will the notion that Putin interfered in the election become bi-partisan, widely believed conventional wisdom. I think there is a very strong chance now that it will.

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2017, 1:48 pm

        Mooser: I can’t understand how anybody can be surprised by Trump ‘folding
        ————

        Who said they were surprised?

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 2:22 pm

        “Who said they were surprised?”

        Very true. Trump is not a hard study.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 2:39 pm

        “will the notion that Putin interfered in the election become bi-partisan, widely believed conventional wisdom.”

        Can Trump deny it? He can’t, because he does not know he is not involved through his associates And his finances.

        Trump wants to play political hardball (Lock her up!)? He’ll find out what hardball is.
        Or will Trump’s complete and well-certified disclosure of his finances and disinvestment put all rumor’s to rest?

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 2:42 pm

        “Still, this FAKE FACT– that Putin hacked the DNC, Podesta et al “

        More likely somebody paid no attention to their CC list, And somebody leaked, not hacked, leaked.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2017, 3:05 pm

        MOOSER- “I can’t understand how anybody can be surprised by Trump ‘folding’.”

        Not at all like Hillary who would escalate in Syria and confront Putin come Hell or high water. At least with Hillary, you know you are getting more war and can plan accordingly.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2017, 3:22 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Still, this FAKE FACT– that Putin hacked the DNC, Podesta et al , stole the U.S. election, and virtually installed his preferred candidate– will now be cemented into American mythology….”

        Perhaps. Remember, that all of these “intelligence” agencies are currently headed by Obama appointees who are part of what appears to be a form of color revolution coup attempt. After January 20th, Trump will be in a much stronger position. What, if anything, he will do remains to be seen.

      • echinococcus
        January 9, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Just,

        “Why should we care about the birthplace of major criminal against peace, war criminal, and Butcher of Gaza Obama?”

        Last time I looked, President Obama is not PM nor King of Israel. Check your outrage at the door, please~ it is not helping the Palestinian people.

        Never said he is PM or King of the Zionist entity. Doesn’t have to. The US Gpvernment is infinitely more powerful in deciding whatever happens in Palestine than any organization in Palestine.

        As for what helps the Palestinian people, there is precious little empirical evidence one way or the other. Plain logic suggests that supporting its mortal enemies is not likely to help, either.

        Speak and write to your representatives in Congress, the Senate, and your city council.

        That may be a good recommendation for the naive who still believe fairy tales about American Democracy and similar nonsense. Anyway, it mostly doesn’t hurt, so I occasionally waste a good stamp.

        Good luck with Trump, though. I’m not entirely sure that he can or will be able to read anything other than twitter.

        Good luck for what? No one expects him to be any different than Obama and Co. or Bush with regard to Palestine, specifically.
        He has not committed –yet– any of the multiple, heinous crimes against peace and war crimes of the Obama-Clinton administration –the ones for which the Nazi government was hanged in Nuremberg. He may start doing so in a few days. Until then, the sitting criminals against humanity are the main danger and the main enemy of the Palestinian resistance, and they are pushing for more war and mayhem with all the combined energy of the Demolicans, Repucrats and the (real) government.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2017, 3:42 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Across the board, liberals and progressives opposed Bush and the war and enthusiastically embraced the notion that WMD lie was a lie.”

        That is exactly correct! Democrats oppose Republican wars and are not fooled by the bogus pretexts. Democrats mostly support Democratic wars and interventions which are magically transformed into humanitarian obligations. That is why I say that when a Democrat makes war there is no opposition. Look at what happened in the former Yugoslavia when the US/Germany/NATO dismembered that country. The propaganda was overwhelming and still believed by “progressives” today. It is easy to believe what is convenient to believe, and self-deception is the rule, not the exception.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 4:52 pm

        “Not at all like Hillary who would escalate in Syria and confront Putin come Hell or high water”

        Okay, fair enough, that’ll be the benchmark, and we’ll see what happens.

      • amigo
        January 9, 2017, 5:56 pm

        “I can’t understand how anybody can be surprised by Trump ‘folding’.

        You’ve never known a bullshitter before?

        Well, now you’ve got one for President. And not even a high-level bullshitter.”Mooser

        If only we had a modern day Sir Humphrey.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2017, 6:05 pm

        “Well, now you’ve got one for President. And not even a high-level bullshitter.”

        Guess I shoulda said “we’ve” got one for President. Sorry.

      • RoHa
        January 9, 2017, 8:27 pm

        “After January 20th, Trump will be in a much stronger position.”

        If he lasts that long, without some Lone Crazed Gunman (TM) taking him out.

        And by then they might have been able to start a war with Russia. They are trying hard enough.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 8:39 pm

        without some Lone Crazed Gunman (TM) taking him out.

        i think the crazed gunmen types mostly like him, don’t they?

      • RoHa
        January 9, 2017, 8:30 pm

        “Still, this FAKE FACT– that Putin hacked the DNC, Podesta et al , stole the U.S. election, and virtually installed his preferred candidate– will now be cemented into American mythology,”

        Streep is working hard to cement the fake “fact” that Trump was mocking the reporter’s disability.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 8:37 pm

        i thought he was mocking someone’s disability. i wasn’t then, and i’m not now, really following much of trump’s shinanigans. who can keep up with it all, the twitter feed and crazy stuff he says. it’s enough keeping up w/the weird appointments.

      • RoHa
        January 9, 2017, 8:56 pm

        Annie, don’t you know about Lone Crazed Gunmen?

        And Trump was mocking the way the reporter was flustered. He used the same set of gestures to mock other, non-disabled, people who were flustered when unable to answer difficult questions.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2017, 11:10 pm

        oh you mean oswald? sorry, missed that.

      • RoHa
        January 9, 2017, 9:00 pm

        “If only we had a modern day Sir Humphrey.”

        Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are still, after all these years, the best exposé of Government in practice.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2017, 9:16 pm

        ROHA- “If he lasts that long, without some Lone Crazed Gunman (TM) taking him out.”

        I think that is a distinct possibility. So does Trump, which is why he will have his own additional security.

        ROHA- “And by then they might have been able to start a war with Russia. They are trying hard enough.”

        Are they ever! The warmongers don’t want to take “no” for an answer. Some folks may think you and I are joking. We aren’t. I have never seen the like of this before. I have provided a link to Paul Craig Roberts discussing this very issue on the Keiser report. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv6OWsJxOLU

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2017, 9:37 pm

        RoHa: Streep is working hard to cement the fake “fact” that Trump was mocking the reporter’s disability.

        ———–

        Seems that way. (Just briefly looked at several videos–I’m open to counter-arguments)

        This video makes the case that Trump was not mocking the reporter’s disability, but rather showing him being flustered when he allegedly tried to backtrack from his story:

        “Media Exposed: Donald Trump Did NOT Make Fun of a Disabled Reporter”

        (Trigger warning: tedious anti-Liberal narration)

        Interestingly, it shows Trump using similar mocking gestures to caricature Ted Cruz, who is not disabled (physically) . Looks like they might have been just part of his non-discriminatory mocking gesture repertoire.

      • just
        January 10, 2017, 12:28 am

        You appear to be hoping for the best with Trump, Sibiriak.

        I wish all of us good luck with that.

      • RoHa
        January 10, 2017, 12:30 am

        Generational thing, maybe. For someone my age, the phrase “Lone Gunman” carries as much significance as “Grassy Knoll”.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2017, 1:49 am

        ah, well “Lone Gunman” is the sort of term one might expect to hear on the evening news. grassy knoll, not so much.

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 1:11 am

        CrowdStrike Falcon Overwatch 3.1
        Warning: Russian media manipulation operation detected.
        Level 5: High Confidence

        Keith [Кит]: Russian Operative

        [Aliases: Old Bear/старый медведь, Angry Seattle Bear/ злой медведь из Сиэтла]

        I have provided a link to Paul Craig Roberts [Russian operative detected ] discussing this very issue on the Keiser report[Russian propaganda network RT detected].

        What’s going on?

        […]

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2017, 1:46 am

        Sibiriak, when you quote directly from a site please cite the site and indicate when there are breaks or cuts in the text (ie:[……]) or when you are not quoting directly. like for example how zero hedge treats the text: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-06/here-us-intelligence-report-accusing-putin-ordering-campaign-influence-us-election

        please use quotemarks or blockquotes indicating when you are citing directly vs altering the text (paraphrasing), especially when you’re citing gov sources, it’s important not to cherry pick isolated paragraphs and cram them together as if you are quoting directly. sorry. can you try that again please?

        especially when you are essentially accusing one of our commenters of being a russian operative!

      • RoHa
        January 10, 2017, 1:49 am

        Since Keith has been burned, I should make it clear that, although I have, on a very few occasions, expressed tentative agreement with some of his comments, I am not associated with him or his subversion of MW.

        I am not now, and never have been, a Russian operative of any sort.

        I have no association with the KGB or the SVR.

        Nor am I a member of or in any way connected with ASIO, ASIS, MI5, MI6, CIA, ISI, Svenska Säkerhets Polisen, or any other intelligence gathering or similar clandestine organization, whether governmental or non-governmental.

        Beyond that which is publicly available, I have no knowledge of the structure, membership, or activities of any such organization, and, if I did have such knowledge, I would not be disposed to speak of it. Indeed, as a signatory to the Official Secrets Act, it would be illegal for me to do so, at least in the UK.

        Besides, I’m retired now.

        I hope that will suffice to dispel any suspicion which might have fallen on me through responding to some of Keith’s comments.

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 2:38 am

        Annie Robbins: Sibiriak, when you quote directly from a site please cite the site and indicate when there are breaks or cuts in the text
        ————-

        Sorry about that. It wasn’t meant to be a direct quote, but rather a parody of the original material, slightly altered and/or re-ordered to fit an imaginary satirical context.

        I will re-post some material in normal fashion.

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 2:59 am

        Material deleted from my CrowdStrike Falcon Overwatch 3.1 post was mostly from:

        Intelligence Community Assessment 6 January 2017 Office of the Director of National Intelligence

        Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution

        https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

        I highly recommend reading Annex A which outlines the Intelligence Community’s objections to RT news network reporting.

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 3:05 am

        Annie Robbins; ….you are essentially accusing one of our commenters of being a russian operative.
        —————–

        No, I was essentially presenting in a satirical way what such a false and malicious accusation might look like.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2017, 3:12 am

        ah, i guess i missed the distinction!

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 3:28 am

        just: You appear to be hoping for the best with Trump, Sibiriak

        —————–

        Not really. I just don’t like false accusations. If Trump didn’t mock the disabled reporter, there’s plenty of other things to attack him on.

        UPDATE: I might have to take back my previous statements now that George Clooney has come out in support of Streep.

        https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jan/10/george-clooney-voices-support-for-meryl-streep-anti-trump-speech

        The intellectual rigor and moral rectitude of the extremely woke Hollywood Elite can’t be in any serious doubt, can it?

        I can’t wait for Clooney’s upcoming film about the White Helmets:

        Clooney said that bringing public attention to the bravery of people such as the White Helmets was one good way he could use his public platform.

      • echinococcus
        January 10, 2017, 5:05 am

        RoHa,

        All the signs say it’s not going to be a Lone Crazed Assassin.
        What is to be expected is a People’s Tribunal, already empanelled with Everybody That Counts and His Brother, which will read the official sentence for Conduct Unbecoming prior to forming a square to the roll of drums. We have already reached the peak, ever, of bipartisan unanimity and national unity since these here Colonies rebelled. The triumph of order, decorum and war over the Rabble.

      • eljay
        January 10, 2017, 7:54 am

        Sibiriak: … If Trump didn’t mock the disabled reporter … ||

        According to this article, Trump was mocking the reporter but not his disability. The article points out that Trump routinely mimics a specific physical disability (which is not the reporter’s disability) when he wishes to mock someone. The article makes a pretty good argument, IMO, even if it does damn Trump with faint praise (so to speak).

      • Sibiriak
        January 10, 2017, 9:00 am

        eljay: According to this article, Trump was mocking the reporter but not his disability.
        ————-

        Thanks. That’s the same argument that is made in the video I posted above, and which RoHa made. It actually is quite compelling.

        From the article you cited:

        Some liberals went even further and freeze-framed a millisecond of the Trump video at the exact moment when his hand went into a flexed posture. Then they dishonestly put this screen capture side by side with a picture of Kovaleski’s flexed hand. Thus, you saw the following photo spread like wildfire over social media with commentary condescendingly and horrifyingly excoriating trump as a monster. [emphasis added]

        https://www.catholics4trump.com/the-true-story-donald-trump-did-not-mock-a-reporters-disability/

        Liberal/progressive ME analyst Juan Cole uses that exact single-frame image juxtaposition in an article posted January 9.

        “Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture”

        http://www.juancole.com/2017/01/streep-coarsens-culture.html

      • Keith
        January 10, 2017, 11:21 am

        JUST- “You appear to be hoping for the best with Trump, Sibiriak.”

        As nearly as I can tell, Sibiriak, like me, is primarily hoping that Trump will be less of a warmonger than Hillary has demonstrably been and would almost assuredly continue to be as President. But it is not just one person, is it? This absolutely unprecedented campaign to delegitimize Trump strongly suggests that the Deep State remains committed to war and destabilization as a means to secure global hegemony during the critical next four years. Their small window of opportunity is rapidly closing and these warmongering risk takers seem determined to continue imperial aggression at all costs. I believe that we are at an extremely critical point in time, the survival of the species in question. At the least, the pressure on Trump to go along with Deep State warmongering is enormous. Trump as a white knight? P.T. Barnum to the rescue? Nobody believes that. A pre-election quote from distinguished economist Michael Hudson pretty much sums up my opinion:

        “I believe Hillary’s the greater evil, not Trump, because Trump is incompetent and doesn’t have the staff around him, or the political support that Hillary has.”
        ….
        ” And that’s what America needs. America needs an ineffective president. That’s much better than an effective president that’s going to go to war with Russia, that’s going to push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that’s going to protect Wall Street, and that’s going to oppose neoliberal austerity. I would much rather have an ineffective president than someone who’s going to do these bad things that I fear is going to come from Hillary and the Democratic Party. It’s a counter-revolution, not a revolution.”
        (Michael Hudson) http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/10/let-the-battle-of-the-lesser-evils-commence/

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 12:59 pm

        “This absolutely unprecedented campaign to delegitimize Trump”

        Oh, you bet, “unprecedented”! Especially after Trump did everything a person needs to do to establish his legitimacy for the Presidency, too.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 1:11 pm

        .” The article points out that Trump routinely mimics a specific physical disability (which is not the reporter’s disability) when he wishes to mock someone”

        Oh, that’s allright, then. At least Trump doesn’t allegory everything in terms of captivity and sexual dominance.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 1:27 pm

        “What is to be expected is a People’s Tribunal, already empanelled”

        In America, we call that an “impeachment”. It’s provided for in the Constitution.

      • eljay
        January 10, 2017, 1:46 pm

        || Mooser: Oh, that’s allright, then. … ||

        Not really, but I’d rather see Trump taken to task for stupid things he’s actually said / done rather than for stupid things he hasn’t said / done.

        || … At least Trump doesn’t allegory everything in terms of captivity and sexual dominance. ||

        Hmmm…is this another attempt to provoke me into responding? It won’t work, not this time, no sir!  :-P

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 2:09 pm

        “I am not now, and never have been, a Russian operative of any sort.”

        Absolutely, “RoHa”. Nobody could ever accuse you of gathering intelligence.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2017, 2:13 pm

        ;)

      • Keith
        January 10, 2017, 2:36 pm

        MOOSER- “Especially after Trump did everything a person needs to do to establish his legitimacy for the Presidency, too.”

        According to the Constitution, winning the election in the Electoral College establishes legitimacy. You have a problem with that? Join the effort to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College. You obviously have deep affection for the Princess of Darkness. I know it is tough not being able to count on new wars and destabilizations like we have had for the last 8 years. Don’t despair, perhaps Trump will wind up making war like a Democrat and you can once again rest easy.

        MOOSER- “Oh, you bet, “unprecedented”!

        You recall a previous instance where the CIA claimed that the President Elect was a Manchurian candidate? Where his election was a consequence of Russian meddling? Where questioning the CIA’s assertion was tantamount to treason? This is a very serious situation, not some joke. Hating Trump is one thing, jumping on the CIA/Soros delegitimization bandwagon quite another.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 4:22 pm

        Gosh, “Keith”, when I look at it that way, I have to admit you are right. Almost anything Trump does won’t be as bad as what Hilary Clinton would have done.
        And that should be evident (to my discomfiture, I assure you) very soon after Trump is inaugurated. Anything he does will be much worse than what Hilary would have done.

      • echinococcus
        January 10, 2017, 4:27 pm

        I know what our War Party and regime change artists are trying to call it, Mooser.

        The rest of the world calls it putsch, military takeover, coup d’État, banana republic Pronunciamento, Color Revolution, Maidan, “We Came, We Saw, He Died”, etc. Especially when conducted by the chief criminals against humanity of the century and before the accused in the show trial had any opportunity to commit any high crime and/or misdemeanor.

      • Keith
        January 10, 2017, 5:34 pm

        MOOSER- “Anything he does will be much worse than what Hilary would have done.”

        Glad to see that you are your typical open-minded self! Lord knows, you have held her accountable for her past misdeeds. Now if we could just get you to remember that the Princess of Darkness spells her first name with two “l”s everything would be just hunky dory.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2017, 6:50 pm

        hey keith, have you seen the latest? alleged videos of prostitutes performing golden showers for Trump? fun:

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 6:18 pm

        “spells her first name with two “l”s everything would be just hunky dory.”

        That’s true, two “L’s” in Hillary.

      • RoHa
        January 10, 2017, 6:55 pm

        @Mooser

        ; )

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2017, 7:13 pm

        “Anything he does will be much worse than what Hilary would have done”

        Gack! Exactly the opposite of what I meant to say. It should read, for whatever it’s worth: “Anything he does will be much better than what Hillary (two “L’s”) would have done.” Sorry.

      • RoHa
        January 10, 2017, 7:33 pm

        I thought his gestures simply were those of someone randomly flailing around for an answer. Even if he is imitating a specific disability, I still think that making America less of a threat to the world is more important than being sensitive.

        I expected better from Juan Cole.

      • Keith
        January 11, 2017, 12:14 am

        ANNIE- “hey keith, have you seen the latest? alleged videos of prostitutes performing golden showers for Trump?”

        And yet some folks deny that this villification is unprecedented. What does it take? Sure, Trump is a jerk, but he hasn’t killed anyone yet. He doesn’t have a “kill list.” Why can’t some folks hold the Democrats accountable for their actions? Hells Bells, on inauguration day Trump may be confronted with hostilities with Russia initiated by the Democrats. George H.W. Bush promised that NATO wouldn’t expand even “one inch” eastward if Russia stood aside as Germany re-united. Bill Clinton broke that promise and expanded NATO eastward even as he turned it into a US controlled out of area mercenary strike force. Now, what does Obama do? Authorizes NATO war games “Atlantic Resolve” to coincide with the inauguration! This failure to acknowledge Democrat warmongering does not speak well for all of the Democrat cadres. And that is exactly what they are: party loyalists. Getting back to “Atlantic Resolve,” this is serious, not some joke. A quote and a link.

        “The NATO war preparation against Russia, ‘Operation Atlantic Resolve’, is in full swing. 2,000 US tanks will be sent in coming days from Germany to Eastern Europe, and 1,600 US tanks is deployed to storage facilities in the Netherlands. At the same time, NATO countries are sending thousands of soldiers in to Russian borders.

        According to US Army Europe, 4,000 troops and 2,000 tanks will arrive in three US transport ships to Germany next weekend. From Bremerhaven, US troops and huge amount of military material, will be transported to Poland and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

        USA is sending to Russian borders 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division. Overall, more than 2,500 pieces of cargo are shipped to Germany, where those will be unloaded in the period January 6-8. US military material and troops will continue to Poland by rail and military convoy’s. Massive US military deployment should be ready by January 20.” (Michel Chossudovsky) http://www.globalresearch.ca/outgoing-president-obamas-operation-atlantic-resolve-against-russia-us-sends-3600-tanks-against-russia-massive-nato-deployment-underway/5566679

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 2:23 am

        Mooser: I have to admit you are right.

        Almost anything Trump does won’t be as bad as what Hilary Clinton would have done.

        […] Anything he does will be much worse than what Hilary would have done.
        ———————–

        Are you trying out various straw man formulations? Just curious….

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 10:12 am

        Keith: And yet some folks deny that this villification is unprecedented.
        —————–

        I suppose you’d have to go back to era of McCarthy and Hoover to find some precedents for the current anti-Russia fever -but, yeah, the deep state’s current nefarious attempts to undermine a U.S. president does seem unprecedented (Kennedy’s assassination?), certainly a defining historical event with wide-ranging ramifications many people seem to be underestimating.

        (As I type: Tillerson playing it safe his hearing: emphasizing radical Islam/China threats with boilerplate anti-Russian talking points. Cardin trying to nail him on Putin/Russia with a slew of lies. Bastard.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2017, 10:47 am

        there’s nothing unprecedented about a foreign country messing with our electoral process. this is what aipac does all the time, from the inside. and there’s a glaring example of that happening in the UK right now. the difference here is israel is presented as our ally and therefore this is supposedly acceptable, but it isn’t. if we had some sort of american/russian lobby shoving money and pr towards our candidates it would be a scandal, aipac does it and it’s ‘anti semitic’ to even suggest it. this is why i can’t get excited about all this russia russia stuff. it’s not about trump anyway, it’s about the US losing influence in syria because of russia. it’s about the US not even being invited to the negotiations in astana coming up. if trump wanted a NFZ in syria, it’s likely none of this russia demonization would be going on, none at all.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 10:26 am

        Tillerson, of course, backs the lies about Russian aggression in Georgia, Ukraine, Crimea and Syria.

        Tillerson ever so slightly non-committal on Russian election interference, but being bullied.

        Hope he just plays along to get confirmed.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 11:01 am

        annie: there’s nothing unprecedented about a foreign country messing with our electoral process

        ————–

        Not sure if you are responding to me, but to be clear, I never made such a claim and “messing with our electoral process” is absolutely NOT the issue I was referring to in terms of precedence.

      • Maghlawatan
        January 11, 2017, 11:04 am

        Annie ,I was thinking the same thing. Netanyahu got 14 standing ovations in Congress. The finest sycophantic politicians Adelson could buy. Who decided that was acceptable? Why do GOP politicians swear loyalty to him? Didn’t Washington and Franklin warn about such behaviour?

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 11:18 am

        Annie Robbins: if trump wanted a NFZ in syria, it’s likely none of this russia demonization would be going on, none at all.

        —————–

        I have to strenuously disagree. This Russia demonization LONG predates the events in Syria and very much transcends them. While you are correct that Syrian events are an important factor, there are many other factors–U.S. hegemony in Europe; U.S. military/ideological hegemony; NATO expansion; nuclear expansion, arms sales, neoliberal trade and investment; BRICS opposition etc.–all of which have converged to make anti-Russia ideology and policy a structural feature of the entire U.S.- led “world order”.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 11:20 am

        “Are you trying out various straw man formulations? Just curious….”

        I wish! Pretty embarrassing to look at a comment which says the opposite of what I meant to say.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 12:39 pm

        Annie Robbins: [Sibiriak]The major difference is that the Iraq War was a partisan issue. Across the board, liberals and progressives opposed Bush and the war and enthusiastically embraced the notion that WMD lie was a lie.

        [Annie:]that’s not my recollection. at the beginning lots of so called liberals supported the war. at least in the media and the punditry. the left, or far left didn’t but there was a swell of support for the war as i recall. the WMD thing didn’t happen over night.

        ——————-

        You are predicting a major reversal along the lines of the “WMD thing”. I’m saying that is unlikely to happen. No way of proving either of us right or wrong now regarding the future. As I wrote, we’ll have to wait and see.

        I agree there was establishment liberal support for the Iraq war in the beginnning (and some continuing till now). I agree “across the board” was an overstatement.

        But there was MAJOR liberal/progressive opposition to the Iraq War from the very beginning. And that opposition steadily and rapidly grew.

        At no time was there any significant support for the Iraq War among progressives .

        It WAS a partisan issue from the get go. I don’t think that’s a controversial statement. You can add all the nuances you want to that, by all means go ahead, but that basic fact remain, and that was my main point.

        Equally true: alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election is NOT a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans by and large agree that Russia hacked the election.

        So do most progressives –but not all. I go to many progressive sites and that sentiment is by far the majority one.

        You can dispute that if you like. (I know there are dissenters.)

        But let me ask you this: can you name a single prominent progressive or liberal leader– Sanders, Warren et al.– who has come out with strong statements against the Russia-hacking theory, against the credibility of the intelligence community in that regard, against Putin demonization, against Russia-demonization?

        That’s not a rhetorical question.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 1:12 pm

        “That’s not a rhetorical question.”

        Neither are the questions asked of Trump at today’s “news conference”, for which he had no satisfactory answers.
        Trump cannot say he’s not involved with the Russians, and he cannot say he didn’t get Russian help during the campaign.
        After all, he publicly asked for it several times, as you remember.

        This seems to be the upshot of the presser: “Trump Says ‘I Think It Was Russia’ That Hacked the Democrats”

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 1:21 pm

        Mooser: and [Trump] cannot say he didn’t get Russian help during the campaign

        —————-

        Exactly my point when I started with “Trump folds”. Did you forget that?

        Once he admits he believes the unsubstantiated assertion that the Russians did the hacking, and then argues that the released info was damaging to Hillary, he cannot credibly say that the Russians did not help him.

        He did make the point: if the Russians preferred him over Hillary, what’s wrong with that? That’s a question for you as well. Not a rhetorical one, either.

        ——————-
        Trump cannot say he’s not involved with the Russians,

        What do you mean “involved with the Russians”?

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 1:41 pm

        Annie Robbins: the WMD thing didn’t happen over night
        —————–

        I don’t thing that’s a good analogy. When WMD were not found that was devastating evidence against the claim that Saddam had WMD.

        What possible devastating evidence do you think can possibly emerge that Putin did not hack the DNC/Podesta and otherwise interfere in the U.S. election?

        It’s almost impossible to imagine the Intelligence Community reversing their long and detailed, part classified, Putin- hacking reports.

        And given the nature of hacking, there won’t be any big breakthrough new evidence from other sources exonerating Putin .

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2017, 2:27 pm

        it could be a good analogy in terms of fake news permeating the mainstream and people accepting it hook line and sinker before it was exposed to be a hoax. that remains to be seen. unlike the WMD, we’re right in the middle of this scandal so it’s too early to start speculating about what will go down in history. in that sense one could argue it’s not a good analogy. and don’t forget the yellowcake/niger fabricated evidence. more fake news from the neocons bloggers exposed. and valerie plame! if we all new then what we know now…

        as far as the current scandal, i don’t know what the truth is at this point. i’m not assuming the recent leaked report (golden showers) isn’t completely made up. i think there’s too much invested in this by both parties to trust what people are claiming. that would include the “intelligence community”.

        have you read? >>> http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/the-deep-state-versus-donald-trump-new-smears-and-a-ukrainian-connection.html

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 1:51 pm

        Mooser: [Trump] cannot say he didn’t get Russian help during the campaign.
        —————–

        Trump cannot say it for political reasons (as Keith pointed out.)
        But YOU are not so constrained.

        Two simple questions:

        Do you believe Trump got Russian help during the campaign?

        If so, what evidence do you base that on?

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 2:18 pm

        Annie Robbins: wiki: In July 2003, following the March invasion of Iraq, the CIA said in a report to Congress that “We are not yet at the point where we can draw comprehensive or final conclusions about the extent of Iraq’s prewar WMD program.”[12] It repeated this language in its report in January 2004.[13]

        [emphasis added]

        ———————-

        And it’s a very different situation with the Putin/hacking claims: the CIA has drawn comprehensive and final conclusions.

        Extremely unlikely they will be reversed.

        ———————-

        and you’re comparing that with a scandal that is not even finished unfolding. we’re not even at the colin powel phase of the drama yet.

        What do you imagine could possibly be the upcoming “colin powel phase of the drama?” With Trump admitting “the Russians did it”, the drama is essentially over as far as the Putin-hacking claims go.

        talk to me in a year about what’s “enthusiastically embraced”

        It’s embraced now. And I can’t envision any big no-WMD-were-found type future discovery that’s going to exonerate Putin.

        Can you?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2017, 2:41 pm

        What do you imagine could possibly be the upcoming “colin powel phase of the drama?”

        presenting hard evidence, which is allegedly what powel did, except he didn’t.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 2:38 pm

        @Annie

        Thanks for the MOA link.

        I had read about the Chalupa sisters and the Ukrainian nationalist angle elsewhere while investigating CrowdStrike.

        Largely off topic for MW, I realize. (Although, it’s all interconnected!)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2017, 3:06 pm

        to be honest sibiriak, i have not really been following the trump/russia story closely at all. so i’m in no position to make any kind of assessment about what’s going on.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 2:44 pm

        “Trump cannot say it for political reasons (as Keith pointed out.)”

        Except he just did, in the “news conference” (with his cabinet and staff providing a very Kremlin-like cheering-and-jeering section!)

        Can you say Trump is in a position to not be damaged by his ties to Russia? A 37% popularity rating, and suspicions of a treasonous connection with Russia (not to mention the immediate attempt to take benefits away) is no way to start out a Presidency. Unless your opponent was promising nuclear armeggedon in the first hundred days, of course.

        As Trump said today: “So there is a great spirit going on right now, a spirit that many people have told me they’ve never seen before, ever. We are going to create jobs, I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created, and I mean that, I am going to work very hard on that”

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 3:09 pm

        Annie Robbins: [Sibiriak:]What do you imagine could possibly be the upcoming “colin powel phase of the drama?”

        presenting hard evidence…
        ———————————

        Not sure what you are talking about. The intelligence community has already submitted their comprehensive report and there are no future plans –or demands– for any one else to submit hard evidence (and nobody claiming such hard evidence exists).

        Now that Trump has accepted the intelligence community’s conclusions, there is no longer any partisan disagreement on the Russia’s guilt regarding hacking.

        Are there any prominent progressives/liberals challenging those conclusions and demanding more evidence? Sanders? Warren? Anyone?

        It seems to me the case is all but closed on the Putin-hacking claim. Democrats and progressives are powerfully motivated to back that claim since it strongly helps delegitimize Trump. (The opposite was true with Bush/Iraq War/WMD etc.)

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 3:19 pm

        Mooser: [Sibiriak] “Trump cannot say it for political reasons (as Keith pointed out.)”

        Except he just did, in the “news conference

        —————

        Huh, not following you. Just a moment ago you wrote:

        [Trump] cannot say he didn’t get Russian help during the campaign.

        I agree with you that he cannot say it.

        Then you turn around and claim he did say it?

        He conceded that he believed the Russians did the hacking, and he said the released info was damaging to Clinton.

        That’s not Russian help?

        —————

        Can you say Trump is in a position to not be damaged by his ties to Russia?

        Of course, he can and has been damaged by various allegations about ties to Russia.

        What ties do YOU think Trump has to Russia?

      • eljay
        January 11, 2017, 3:21 pm

        || Mooser: … As Trump said today: “ … I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created, and I mean that, I am going to work very hard on that” ||

        Such modesty! And people say the guy’s an egomaniac…

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Mooser: A 37% popularity rating, and suspicions of a treasonous connection with Russia (not to mention the immediate attempt to take benefits away) is no way to start out a Presidency.
        ———————

        A truism, if there ever was one.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 3:31 pm

        Mooser: …with his cabinet and staff providing a very Kremlin-like cheering-and-jeering section
        ————-

        In your imagination the “Kremlin” has “cheering and jeering” sections?

      • Keith
        January 11, 2017, 4:58 pm

        MOOSER- “This seems to be the upshot of the presser: “Trump Says ‘I Think It Was Russia’ That Hacked the Democrats”

        You link to the New York Times? You link to the official newspaper of the Deep State? The newspaper which establishes the official party line? Besides, I don’t give a you-know-what what Trump says, particularly when the NYT spins his intentional ambiguities. Compared to Israel, how much influence on US policies and US elections do you think Russia has? The whole point which I and others are trying to get across is that the Deep State, led by the CIA, is engaging in an unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Trump in order to pursue an established war agenda. Apparently, the imperial warmongers are worried that Trump isn’t acceptable warrior material and needs to be coerced into action. Finally, I will take Julian Assange over James Clapper and the New York Times any day. Not even close.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 6:24 pm

        “In your imagination the “Kremlin” has “cheering and jeering” sections?”

        And Trump’s last words at his first press conference (which he cut short) were “You’re fired!”
        I kid you not. “You’re fired”.

      • Keith
        January 11, 2017, 7:23 pm

        MOOSER- “I kid you not. “You’re fired”.

        Would you have preferred “We came, we saw, he died. Ha ha ha.”?

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 8:09 pm

        “Apparently, the imperial warmongers are worried that Trump isn’t acceptable warrior material and needs to be coerced into action.”

        I don’t think they will have any problem with Trump.

      • Sibiriak
        January 11, 2017, 10:58 pm

        @Annie Robbins

        I honestly don’t know how you do it, spend all the time needed to moderate, edit, write articles, (not to mention the rest of your life) and still be able to reply to numerous comments in numerous different threads –not only reply, but reply in depth, with factual citations, quotes, links, and always with intellectual rigor, moral clarity, even-handedness. You are a force of nature!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2017, 12:32 am

        heavens sibiriak! i had to scroll up and figure out what i could have possibly said to deserve that.
        a. i’ve had a dreadful cold for a couple weeks which has severely limited all my other activities.
        b. i have hardly been writing any articles lately — writers block, or something.
        c. i read the comments on a back page moderation page where they are not lined up by thread, but by the order they come in. and i can respond to them there. hence, my ability to seemingly follow multiple threads when in fact i’m often not in the thread at all.
        d. it’s just magical ;) but actually, i like it here, i like the people, and i like all the interesting informed perspectives. thank you so much, it means a lot to me.

      • Keith
        January 12, 2017, 12:12 am

        MOOSER- “I don’t think they will have any problem with Trump.”

        Then why is the CIA led Deep State engaging in such blatant and unprecedented delegitimization of President Elect Trump? The CIA is a champion of the 99%? Hot for single payer health care and the observance of international law by the empire? They are seriously concerned that this buffoon is a Manchurian candidate? Take off the clown suit Mooser, if not for Trump’s stated desire to avoid regime change and get along with Russia, why is the CIA/Deep State so opposed to him? Seriously, cut the comedy and answer the question. Answer Sibiriak as well.

      • RoHa
        January 12, 2017, 12:48 am

        Siberiak, Annie saves energy by avoiding the shift key. Don’t overdo your praise, though. Her dedication to MW is slightly less than total. I hear rumours that she still goes to sleep from time to time. At least twice since Christmas.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2017, 1:19 am

        ha! i traveled to oxford over the holidays to spend them with rawan, who is btw, simply stunning. she graduating soon, can you believe it? http://mondoweiss.net/2013/04/rawan-heads-oxford/

        i get around ;)

      • RoHa
        January 12, 2017, 12:55 am

        I’m thoroughly fed up with all this bitching and moaning about Trump. Americans have elected a complete arsehole as President. So what? They always do.

        Either shoot him and start your war with Russia, or learn to put up with him.

        But, for pity’s sake, stop wittering.

      • Sibiriak
        January 13, 2017, 4:00 am

        KEITH: Then why is the CIA led Deep State engaging in such blatant and unprecedented delegitimization of President Elect Trump?

        ——————————–

        Btw, another synapse in the vast nervous system of the capitalist-militarist-media complex:

        A) “ BBC Claims Another Trump Dossier Exists”

        There are huge doubts about the reliability of the [Trump kompromat dossier], which was riddled with spelling errors. The BBC however appears to be trying to keep the story going, with foreign correspondent Paul Wood claiming that a second dossier exists from a second source.

        The second dossier, which so far hasn’t been mentioned by anyone else, is said to contain further accusations of Russia having “audio and video” of a sexual nature about Trump, claiming “more than one tape” and “more than one date” at multiple locations.

        Wood claimed to have indirectly spoken to CIA officers about it, saying that the material involved audio and video from both Moscow and St. Petersberg. The existing dossier also mentioned Trump hiring prostitutes in St. Petersberg, and having wild parties there.

        Of course, there is even less information on this new dossier than the dubious one that we’ve already seen… [emphasis added]

        ————————–

        B) BBC Correspondent Paul Wood is also Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at the New America Foundation

        https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/paul-wood/

        —————————–

        C) “In 2013, Anne-Marie Slaughter became President of New America, replacing Steve Coll.

        Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt , is the chairman of the foundation’s board of directors”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_America_(organization)

        ——————————–

        D) In April 2014 Anne-Marie Slaughter writes a column titled: “Stopping Russia Starts in Syria “, calling for Obama to bomb Syria in retaliation for Putin’s actions in the Ukraine.

        The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.

        https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/anne-marie-slaughter-on-how-us-intervention-in-the-syrian-civil-war-would-alter-vladimir-putin-s-calculus-in-ukraine?barrier=accessreg

        Ron Paul Institute –Neocon Watch :

        […][Anne-Marie Slaughter] writes, “it is time to change Putin’s calculations, and Syria is the place to do it.

        “It is impossible to strike Syria legally so long as Russia sits on the United Nations Security Council,” she writes, so her solution is simply to do it illegally. She suggests that the US should begin bombing Syria to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2139, even though that is not a “Chapter VII” resolution authorizing force.

        It is ironic and highlights the cruel depravity of Slaughter that she suggests the bombing of Syria to enforce UNSC 2139, which was drawn up to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to the war-ravaged Syrian people.

        Using a humanitarian relief UN resolution as a cover for the most anti-humanitarian of all acts — dropping bombs — reveals the true colors of the “humanitarian interventionist” and “responsibility to protect” crowd.

        Anne-Marie Slaughter embodies the disturbing trend of US government operatives (she was Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department from January 2009 until February 2011) who move into the “non-governmental” sector while directing public-private “non-profit” resources toward the promotion of US government foreign policy.

        In her current position as president of the America Foundation, she is in active partnership with the US government to develop new tools to help promote regime-change overseas. According to the New York Times, the New America Foundation has been awarded a three year contract by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a kind of underground Internet system for Cuba.

        Readers recall that USAID was recently embroiled in controversy when it covertly developed a “Cuban Twitter” platform whose purpose was to foment regime change in the Caribbean island nation.

        Does anyone doubt that Slaughter’s New America Foundation is developing USAID’s “Cuban Internet” program for any reason other than to use it to further US regime change policy?
        [emphasis added]

        http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2014/april/23/bomb-syriafor-ukraines-sake/

        —————-

        See also: “ The Aptly Named Anne-Marie Slaughter

        http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23921-the-aptly-named-anne-marie-slaughter

      • Sibiriak
        January 13, 2017, 6:35 am

        Israel is an integral part of the “Western” military/intelligence system and thus affected by the Trump vs Deep State confrontation.
        ———————-

        “U.S. Intelligence Officials Reportedly Warn Israeli Counterparts Against Sharing Info With Trump Administration “

        Shared information could be leaked to Russia and onward to Iran, American officials implied to Israelis in closed meeting, saying Kremlin has ‘leverages of pressure’ over Trump

        […]American intelligence officials expressed despair at the election of Trump during a recent meeting with their Israeli counterparts, Bergman reported. They said that they believed that Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump, though they did not elaborate.

        […]According to Bergman, the American intelligence officials implied that Israel should “be careful” when transferring intelligence information to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) following Trump’s inauguration – at least until it is clear that Trump does not have inappropriate connections with Russia.

        Cooperation between the Israeli and U.S. intelligence communities has intensified over the past two decades, with most of the joint operations directed, according to reports, against Iran. Hezbollah and Hamas were also intelligence targets. [emphasis added]

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.764711

  11. Kay24
    January 5, 2017, 2:59 am

    So the war criminal is going to be questioned for the second time. Hope he will feel very, very, uncomfortable. Booby must be relieved that the focus is away from him to the soldier who was found guilty of manslaughter. Anything to take that focus away, eh Bibi?

    “Benjamin Netanyahu to be questioned by Israeli police for second time in corruption probe
    Probe into allegations against Israeli Prime Minister has become a fully-fledged criminal investigation” Independent UK

  12. Ossinev
    January 5, 2017, 5:36 am

    What is missing in NF`s ongoing analysis of the 2SS v 1SS debate is the fact that as with the Yahoo on the ZioFascist side Abbas on the PAVichy side will not last forever. The Yahoo will soon be on his way either via the corruption conviction route or more likely by being elbowed aside by the fruitcake Naftali Bennett who is increasingly more to the liking of the only democratic etc etc yawn yawn people in the world. Abbas through time and ageing is simply getting rapidly closer to his end use by date. I don`t see any obvious ZioPuppet waiting in the wings to replace him not even the ever so erudite “hand back the keys ” Erekat. The younger generation of West Bank Palestinians just like their counterparts in the Western World will not in any case accept a more of the same old corrupt cabal running the show situation and will I hope and believe start to actively demonstrate against such a more of the same situation. ZioLand will lose it`s long time puppet and as with anything and everything they do in relation to the occupation they only have a Plan A = continuation courtesy a compliant PA of the status quo.

    Also waiting in the wings to blow the whole 2SS farce to pieces and certainly turn upside down any existing or putative Arab-Israeli make do relations in the region is what I believe to be the inevitable consequence of the drift to the fanatical right in Zioland = a takeover of the Al Aqsa compound . Just a matter of time.
    We are now definitely in the lunatics/takeover/asylum zone.

  13. HarryLaw
    January 5, 2017, 7:28 am

    The Palestinian leadership must take significant blame for the increase in the settlement enterprise since the Oslo Accords, for these reasons, since the 1949 Geneva Conventions made transferring Nationals of the occupying state into occupied territory a grave war crime, and since many UNSC resolutions since 1967 concurred with that fact [see Resolution 465, 1980, in my comment above] This is fundamental to the whole issue, so crucial in fact that these arguments were put to a Quebec court several years ago.. in the Quebec court case Bil’in and Yassin v Green Park International Ltd the claimants put forward this reason for why the settlement enterprise was a war crime…
    “A war crime, to put it succinctly, is a very serious matter. Further, it is easy to see why the offence in question falls into this special category. Article 49(6) is essentially a law to prevent colonialism. One need look no further than the current condition of the indigenous peoples whose domain once spanned the entire expansive breadth of this continent to appreciate the gravity of the consequences territorial dispossession can inflict upon a population. Most war crimes deal with offences against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offence in Article 49(6) is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offence of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole”.http://www.thecourt.ca/2009/10/bilin-and-yassin-v-green-park-international-ltd-quebec-court-acknowledges-war-crimes-as-potential-basis-for-civil-liability-claim-ultimately-fails-on-forum-non-conveniens/
    Who could disagree with that? When the Oslo Accords were signed it has been suggested that the issue of settlement expansion was not documented, if that is the case the status quo should have been insisted on, which could only mean a stop to building new settlements as per UNSC Resolutions. The fact is that at no time from day one of the accords till 20 plus years later did Israel stop building. Imagine this analogy, a Landlord rents out one of his properties to a tenant and 20 years later he has still not received his 1st weeks rent, who would be the fool in that situation? I know Abbas is paid very well to be Israels enforcer in the West Bank, but come on, be serious. When the Israeli Government enabled the first Israeli family to breach International law on day one of the accords and Abbas did nothing, the Israelis knew they were pushing on an open door.

    • mcohen.
      January 5, 2017, 9:17 pm

      harry law says pushing an open door

      ever thought about the logic behind that.you invite someone onto your land,tell them to build a house and then begin a proces whereby you kick those people off the land and move into there house.when israel pulled out of gaza a lot of infrastrucure was handed over to gazans.it is possible that the same process could take place in the west bank.

      • HarryLaw
        January 6, 2017, 7:55 am

        mcohen. The Israeli squatters were not invited into the West Bank, they are, whether they or you like it or not, accessories to war crimes, with different degrees of culpability [obviously some do it to find cheap accommodation these people could be excused] but not others who do it for political reasons for instance the Yesha council leaders should be indicted along with Netanyahu for war crimes as detailed in article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions, and the Rome statute of the ICC.
        “A lot of infrastructure was handed over to Gazans” Wrong! Gush Katif (Hebrew: גוש קטיף‎, lit. Harvest Bloc) was a bloc of 17 Israeli settlements in the southern Gaza strip. In August 2005, the Israeli army carried out the Cabinet’s decision and forcibly removed the 8,600 residents of Gush Katif from their homes. Their communities were demolished as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gush_Katif

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2017, 12:22 pm

        “when israel pulled out of gaza a lot of infrastrucure was handed over to gazans.it is possible that the same process could take place in the west bank.”

        Sure, “mcohen”! You just make sure to have an itemized bill ready, and present it when the handover takes place.
        Be sure to include all reparations Israel should pay the Palestinians, and some over for your trouble.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2017, 11:40 am

        “Be sure to include all reparations Israel should pay the Palestinians, and some over for your trouble.”

        Did it again. Wrote the opposite of what I meant. Should read “Be sure to include all reparations the Palestinianians should pay Israel, and some over for your trouble.”

  14. Theo
    January 5, 2017, 10:17 am

    Just a bit of correction.
    The UN Resolution did not make the settlements a crime, according to International Laws they were always a crime! As many other crimes commited by the state of Israel, their most democratic military, the Mossad, etc. however the world had no guts to voice their opinion and call it what they really are.
    I am not lighting fireworks yet, let us wait until Trump sits in the WH and his reaction to the resolution. A game is not over until it is over.

  15. James Canning
    January 5, 2017, 2:18 pm

    All of the Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank have been illegal from day one. American politicians sometimes conceal this fact, for obvious reasons.

  16. xanadou
    January 5, 2017, 5:40 pm

    “And what was tragic about the whole thing, it was actually brilliantly orchestrated by Nassar al-Qudwe, who was at the time the PLO representative at the UN. By all accounts he did a quite brilliant job, he recruited the top international lawyers in the world, articulating, advocating the Palestinian case, and it was a stunning victory.
    But what happened? Nothing. Because there’s no Palestinian leadership that understands what you are supposed to do with these victories.”

    NF is absolutely right. The current “leadership” is ignorant of world history and/or arrogant in choosing to tolerate their kids’ futile suicide bombings, stone-throwing, knifings, etc.. I so desperately hope that the Palestinians will read this article and heed NF’s advice. Palestinian kids are not “martyrs”. They are just as much the victims of zio genocidal actions as the “adult” passive Palestinian “leadership”. Who knows how much future-unrealised talent has been destroyed and, ultimately, wasted for an ultimately forgettable picture and/or one sentence mention far away from the mass media.

    It’s not enough to have the law and the majority of the world’s public opinion on one’s side. To prevail in one’s convictions, one must fight for them where and how it counts. I hope that at least the younger generation will swap the useless rockets, stones, knives, etc., that provide PR fodder for the zios’ brutal vindictive reprisals, and heed NF’s advice: ” If the Palestinians had a real leadership, which they don’t right at this moment, from the day after the resolution was passed, they would be strategizing, mobilizing their constituency in the West Bank to somehow march on the settlements, block roads to the settlements, make life very miserable for those settlements and say, we are simply enforcing international law. The UN Security Council has said these settlements are a war crime, and we are trying nonviolently to undo the war crime or exact penalties from Israel for engaging in this war crime. Once you have the legitimacy of that resolution, and in this case, quite breathtaking in fact, the US abstaining, which means that it doesn’t deny the legitimacy of the Palestinian claim, and doesn’t deny that Israel is committing war crimes, they have a real chance. And I know you know how much US public opinion and US Jewish public opinion is hostile to those settlements.”

    If this does not happen, the Palestinians may squander their hard-earned support and, likely, disappear among the so many other peoples who, throughout history, for a variety of reasons have vanished into Oblivion.

  17. brent
    January 5, 2017, 10:01 pm

    Traveling around Gaza and WB during the first Intifada, I met a lot of brave young men who risked their life throwing rocks at soldiers who’d patrol the smallest of back alleys.

    Having been an activist for about 10 years, I was very familiar with the media narrative in the US… Israel the victim and Palestinians the terrorists.

    Whenever the opportunity presented itself, I made the point to Palestinians that every American knew about Patrick Henry so if they were to see placards saying “Give me liberty or give me death”, they’d get the picture. Not once did the idea resonate. I saw a number of photographers but didn’t see any placards.

    For me the most relevant point NF made was it’s not what the law said but effective working the system…. something Israelis did so well and Palestinians didn’t. I’ve been hoping to find the message for Palestinians in 2334 was noticed.

    NF doesn’t seem to appreciate how politics work in America. Today the number of politicians who risk supporting the Palestinian position is about the same as in 1978 when I first started paying attention.

    I’m reminded of what an Israeli soldier said when I gave him a hard time for firing his gun. “We can’t afford to give them what is rightfully theirs until they get to the point they can take it.”

    A good start would be to teach American politics in Palestinian universities.

    • Maghlawatan
      January 6, 2017, 3:57 am

      It’s a different culture. They have to do it their way. And they will. Zionism is a brutal enemy

    • HarryLaw
      January 6, 2017, 8:43 am

      brent, Professor Finkelstein in another article said South Africa was liberated with support from its surrounding states indeed almost the whole of Africa, it could be said that the Palestinian leadership are putting all their eggs into the Saudi and other GCC countries basket, when in fact the ‘robed ones’ dictatorial powers are dependent on US military protection [think, the mafia]. In my opinion these medieval satraps are on the wrong side of history, whatever anyone thinks of the ‘arc of resistance Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon backed by Russia and to a lessor extent China, they all conduct elections, so their leadership is legitimate [unlike the US best friends Saudi Arabia where even to talk about elections can lose you your head. The Palestinians need the assistance of the ‘arc of resistance’ they have said they are willing to give it. Clearly the Palestinians cannot do it alone, witness the 7,000 rockets fired on Israel in the latest massacre, they caused little damage, most falling harmlessly in the desert, whereas Israel caused 8 billion dollars worth of damage including the loss of 20,000 homes. Similarly, however brave those Palestinian youths are, it is beyond foolish to throw stones at heavily armed troops sheltered behind tanks with protective uniforms on, with the instructions to ‘shoot to kill stone throwers’.

  18. JLewisDickerson
    January 6, 2017, 7:25 am

    RE: “It’s also completely untrue when Samantha Power said that stating that the settlements are illegal is longstanding US policy. It was longstanding policy until Obama came along; they then changed it to “unhelpful.” Claiming that they were illegal is exactly what US policy has been denying for the last 8 years.” ~ Finkelstein as quoted by Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Finkelstein’s analysis is very insightful, but my recollection is that U.S. reluctance/refusal to refer to the settlements as “illegal” began at some point under Reagan. Since that time, administrations have seemed to me to be using various alternatives. As well as I recall, “illegitimate” had a pretty long run. Illegitimate can mean “illegal”, but it does not necessarily mean “illegal”. Sometimes it depends on which dictionary you use.

    MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM:

    Definition of illegitimate
    1: not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically : born of parents not married to each other
    2: not rightly deduced or inferred : illogical
    3: departing from the regular : erratic
    4
    a : not sanctioned by law : illegal
    b : not authorized by good usage
    c of a taxon : published but not in accordance with the rules of the relevant international code

    Examples of illegitimate in a sentence
    She thinks that my concerns are illegitimate.
    They were fired from their jobs for illegitimate reasons.

    SOURCE – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegitimate

    DICTIONARY.COM:

    illegitimate
    [adjective, noun il-i-jit-uh-mit; verb il-i-jit-uh-meyt]

    adjective
    1. born of parents who are not married to each other; born out of wedlock:
    an illegitimate child.
    2. not legitimate; not sanctioned by law or custom.
    3.unlawful; illegal:
    an illegitimate action.
    4. irregular; not in good usage.
    5. Logic. not in accordance with the principles of valid inference.
    6. Obsolete.
    a . of or relating to stage plays in which musical numbers were inserted because of laws that gave only a few theaters the exclusive right to produce straight dramas.
    b. acting in or producing such productions.

    noun

    7. a person recognized or looked upon as illegitimate.

    ■ Examples from the Web for illegitimate

    • Contemporary Examples

    • “Did he come out and say that if I had an illegitimate child with a white woman, he might have looked like Chris Lane?”
    There’s No ‘Reverse Trayvon’ in Christopher Lane Killing
    Jamelle Bouie
    August 22, 2013

    • “Germany is not illegitimate because its immigration policy favors members of a dominant ethnic group.”
    The Real Problem With the American Studies Association’s Boycott of Israel
    Peter Beinart
    December 16, 2013

    • “The man on trial had taken the identity of the illegitimate wartime son of a Dutch mother and a German soldier.”
    Inside Spying’s Famous Scandals
    Stella Rimington
    July 1, 2010

    SOURCE – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/illegitimate

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 6, 2017, 7:55 am

      P.S. FROM JSTREET.ORG [POLICY > SETTLEMENTS]:

      OUR POLICY

      One of the starkest threats to the two-state solution – and therefore to Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature – is the relentless expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and J Street has long supported calls for a settlement freeze. Against the backdrop of decades of failed peace efforts, the Israeli settlement movement has pushed the Israeli government single-mindedly and successfully to implement its vision of a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. . .

      . . . Yet, until a negotiated border is established, we believe Israel should halt the building and expansion of West Bank settlements as further building directly threatens the cornerstone of any agreed-upon resolution to the conflict: the ability to divide the land into two states.

      Toward that end, we believe that:

      1. The US government should adopt policies that more strongly convey meaningful American opposition to settlement expansion.

      Since the early 1980s, the United States has labeled Israeli settlement expansion “illegitimate” or described it as “unhelpful” to the prospects for peace, softening its prior view that such activity is, in fact, illegal under international law. In the face of what amounts to a mild rebuke, the Israeli government has moved full speed ahead with an aggressive program of settlement construction and expansion. J Street believes that the US government to undertake a thorough review of its policy regarding settlement expansion, considering at a minimum:

      • Returning to defining West Bank settlements as “illegal,” as was the position of the US government before the 1980s and as is the view of the United Nations and most other countries including all of the European Union.

      • Announcing that the next time a balanced resolution, which includes condemnation of the settlements is brought to the UN Security Council, the US will consider, based on the overall text, not exercising its veto.

      • Enforcing existing American customs regulations (in effect since 1995) which require that country-of-origin product labels accurately reflect where products are made when they come from the territory that has been under Israel’s control since 1967. . .

      SOURCE – http://jstreet.org/policy/settlements/#.WG-L8fkrLHk

      • HarryLaw
        January 6, 2017, 10:39 am

        JLewisDickerson, thanks for your excellent comment, I thought the same thing when I read the professors article.

    • RoHa
      January 6, 2017, 8:50 am

      Here’s the definition in the real dictionary.

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/illegitimate

      • JLewisDickerson
        January 7, 2017, 10:50 am

        Yes, but the U.S. Government does not use real English. Hence, Merriam-Webster takes precedence over Oxford.

    • JLewisDickerson
      January 7, 2017, 10:43 am

      P.P.S. THE CLUELESS ABBAS REFERS TO THE SETTLEMENTS AS “ILLEGITIMATE” RATHER THAN “ILLEGAL”:
      “Abbas receives Israeli opposition in Ramallah”, MiddleEastMonitor.com (MEMO), January 4, 2017

      Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday received an Israeli convoy from the opposition faction Meretz at his office in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, the Anadolu Agency reported.

      Addressing his guests, Abbas reiterated that the PA is sticking to achieving peace based on the international resolutions which stipulate the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

      He stressed that the latest UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which stressed the illegitimacy of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories “is not against Israel, with which we are seeking to achieve just and comprehensive peace.” . . .

      SOURCE – https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170104-abbas-receives-israeli-opposition-in-ramallah/

  19. JLewisDickerson
    January 6, 2017, 8:31 am

    RE: “And I have to say I recently read the two FRUS volumes devoted to Camp David. It comes to about 3000 pages. Carter was incredible. He was just extraordinarily smart, sharp, and engaged.” ~ Finkelstein

    MY COMMENT: I recall that back in the 1980s, right after Netanyahu had become Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, he was on network television here in the U.S. (I believe it was one morning on the “Today” program), and he referred to President Carter as a “third-rate intellect”.

  20. inbound39
    January 6, 2017, 2:03 pm

    I think the article makes it clear the Occupation is unsustainable and will out of necessity and simplicity become a single state with equal rights for all thus ending the Jewish State. American Special Relationship is unsustainable also. War Crimes against Israel at some point are inevitable as it is clearly moving toward that. To lessen the damage to America for its complicity with Israel, America will have no other choice but to distance itself from Israel just like it eventually did with South Africa.

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