If Trump is serious we may be seeing the most significant step in 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

US Politics
on 102 Comments

The Israeli media reported last week that the US government demands Israel will transfer some territory from Area C to Area B. These reports have not been confirmed yet, but they are already causing some trouble in the Israeli political system. What may be hiding behind this opaque formula may be the greatest breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 20 years.

Some background is required. The Oslo Accords, signed in September 1993, were an interim agreement. They had an expiration date, May 1999. As part of this temporary agreement, the West Bank was divided into three parts: Area A, a relatively small part of the WB which mostly included Palestinian cities (with the exception of Hebron/Al Khalil), was under Palestinian security and civil control; Area B was defined as an area in which Israel had security control but Palestinians had civil control; and Area C, some 60%+ of the WB, containing both all of the settlements (again, with the exception of Hebron) and most of the Palestinian agricultural land, were designated as intended for a future negotiation and under full Israeli control until an agreement is reached.

The Areas of the West Bank as created by the Oslo II Accord in 1995. (Map: Wikipedia)

After Netanyahu beat Peres in the elections of 1996, he began to slowly whittle away at the Oslo Accords, using the tactics of infinite delays. Netanyahu kept negotiating the “Phases”: that was the term used for the parts of the redeployment. Israel was supposed to move territories away from Area C to Areas B and A. Netanyahu, with the assistance of American negotiator Dennis Ross, managed to draw as much time as possible while transferring as little land as possible, and the third “Phase” was never actually implemented.

In 1999 Netanyahu was defeated by that most bumbling Israeli PM, Ehud Barak, who lead us with a sure step to the Second Intifada. During that conflict, Israel announced time and again that the Oslo Accords are null and void. It expressed that by sending its army to systematically violate the so-called sovereignty of the Palestinians, by raiding Area A.

So, if the Oslo Accords are null and void, why do we still speak of Areas A, B and C? Mostly, because the system works exceedingly well for the Israeli occupation. By clinging to most of Area C, yet claiming they may yet be turned over to the Palestinians – as soon as they marshal their first squadron of airborne porcine – Israel managed to legitimize the quiet annexation of much of Area C. As documented by Yesh Din and other human rights NGOs, Israel has been engaged in a quiet yet determined campaign of ethnic cleansing in Area C through Jewish terrorism, backed by the IDF. The system is simple: bands of Jewish hoodlums repeatedly attack Palestinians as they try to work their land; the IDF stands aside or takes the side of the goons; the Palestinians abandon those plots out of fear; and after a while, settlers take over the “neglected” land. A senior minister in Netanyahu’s government, Naftali Bennet, even suggested simply annexing Area C. The Palestinians will get over it, he’s certain.

So this return of the “Phases”, as a Fury coming to claim vengeance for an old crime, comes a stunner to Netanyahu. Somewhere in the State Department there’s an official who remembers every trick Netanyahu pulled 20 years ago, and who knows this is the most damaging demand that can be made of Netanyahu.

While he has not officially declared it so, Netanyahu already promised Area C to the settlers. There’s little to no chance that you can move land from C to B without harming some settlement or outpost; you certainly cannot do so without stunting their development. Worse, moving land to B will allow Palestinians to build on these lands – and Israel is zealous about demolishing any “illegal” construction, as it is a fact on the ground and may make it harder to later expel Palestinians from it.

So now Netanyahu will have to choose whether to clash with the White House or with his settler base, who will not take this lying down. It probably doesn’t help him that the Israeli public no longer understands anything about what happens in the West Bank, so it will not understand what all the fuss is about. This simple yet brilliant demand may be the most significant step by the US government in 20 years.

That, however, assumes – and that’s one hell of an assumption – that the US government is serious about the move; that President Trump actually understands what it means; and that he will actually care enough about it to carry it through. Should that happen, though, the political crisis Netanyahu will be facing will dwarf anything attempted by the Obama administration.

I’ll be buying some popcorn.

About Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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102 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    May 28, 2017, 4:31 pm

    Trump’s attention span is very short

    • Bont Eastlake
      May 29, 2017, 4:48 am

      He’s short in quite a few things actually.

    • Donna Volatile
      May 29, 2017, 8:51 am

      Trump has no understanding of anything geo-political. He gets all of his info. from mainstream media television and we are suppose to ‘hope’ that he can grasp the way forward to negotiate a peace deal between Palestine and Israel? Heaven help us all!

  2. JLewisDickerson
    May 28, 2017, 6:30 pm

    RE: “If Trump is serious we may be seeing the most significant step in 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations”

    THE LITMUS TEST: Whether Trump is a consummate enough ‘player’ to ‘play’ a ‘player’ like Netanyahu (as opposed to Trump, like past presidents, getting ‘played’ by Netanyahu).

  3. broadside
    May 28, 2017, 7:10 pm

    Good call. All depends on a major misplay by Netanyahu — we know he has it in him.

  4. broadside
    May 28, 2017, 7:11 pm

    “Somewhere in the State Department there’s an official who remembers every trick Netanyahu pulled 20 years ago.”

    I think that’s probably exactly it.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 28, 2017, 11:21 pm

      and if they don’t remember there’s always that leaked “america is easily moved” tape.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2017, 1:44 am

        The occupation is FOREVA

        https://youtu.be/UQv7Tr8HbGE

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 4:29 am

        stupid is foreva

      • catalan
        May 29, 2017, 10:22 am

        “stupid is foreva”
        US high school drop out rate – 25%. Israel rate – 1.9%.
        Health adjusred life expectancy – Israel – 8 in the world.
        The US – 31 in the world. It seems just based on statistics that Israelis are smarter (in the sense of smart life choices) than Americans.

      • CigarGod
        May 29, 2017, 11:42 am

        Catalan…25%?
        Have you been channeling Rube Goldberg again?

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 1:06 pm

        catalan has a reading comprehension problem. when drop out rates plunge 25% it’s a good thing, it actually means there are 25% less students dropping out. graduation rates are at an all time high and have been rising every year since 2000 (when dropout rates were at 12%). either way, creative diversion (catalan’s specialty) is effective trolling.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 1:02 pm

        I’m sending “catalan” a couple of brochures about taking up residence in Zion. They’re called “Escape to Israel”.

        (He sounds like Erich Priebke extolling the virtues of life in Argentina.)

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 1:17 pm

        LOL!

      • catalan
        May 29, 2017, 3:24 pm

        I took the high school drop out rate for here https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates. It says that 25 percent of freshmen fail to graduate on time.
        But the point I was trying to make is that Israelis are not a stupid group of people – as shown by HDI, life expectancy, happiness, and a myriad of other indicators. Americans, despite their wealth, are not a happy people. I explain that with their high level of bitterness, anger, stress, etc. It is just funny when you hear Americans lecture other, happier and healthier people. A lot of commenters fear for Israel and predict its demise. I actually fear for America more – it is clear that we are getting more and more dysfunctional.

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2017, 3:47 pm

        @catalan

        You might want to actual read the pages you link. The drop out rate is explicitly stated on it and it is not 25%

        You never cease to amuse.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 4:18 pm

        everything from failing to pay library dues to making up a test or failing to turn a report in on time or making up a class during the summer can result on not graduating on time, none of that is a reflection of either being stupid or dropping out of school.

        plus, catalan fails to take into consideration the israeli statistic of ultra orthodox schools (over 1/3 of all israeli HS students) at 6.4% drop out rates: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/high-school-dropout-rate-in-israel (and i don’t think they even have to study science and math)

        anyway, getting back to the topic/context/commentary — the occupation is foreva, and my quote from the video — stupid is foreva, the implication being — the occupation is stupid.

        if some troll wants to argue the occupation is smart, be my guest.

      • catalan
        May 29, 2017, 4:35 pm

        “if some troll wants to argue the occupation is smart, be my guest. – ”
        Ok so I guess you are saying that without the occcupation Israelis would be happier, richer, and healthier. Why? They won’t be richer because BDS would continue until there is right of return. Why would Israelis be happier and healthier withi T the occupation. Because they would lose he next war much easier? To me it seems that occupation is a rational choice that any self interested actor would take in that situation. Perhaps you do t like it. I don’t like it that dentists are so expensive. But me. It liking something does not make it “stupid”.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 4:57 pm

        They won’t be richer because BDS would continue until there is right of return.

        Ok so I guess you are saying that with the occupation Israelis are poorer, unhappier, and unhealthier. why? (i am practicing catalan-style logic/debate)

        To me it seems that occupation is a rational choice that any self interested actor would take in that situation. Perhaps you do t like it. I don’t like it that dentists are so expensive. But me. It liking something does not make it “stupid”

        is english your native language?

        Why would Israelis be happier and healthier withi T the occupation. Because they would lose he next war much easier

        as always, your logic is impeccable.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2017, 4:36 pm

        The Haredim are stupid. They leave school at 18 with reading ages of 11. This is a system issue. Haredi leaders want sheep.

        And the birth rate should keep Catalan awake at night.
        They are the Japanese knotweed of Zionism. They are essentially unemployable.
        And there is no such thing as a free lunch.

        I think Gd has had enough of Jewish groupthink and golden calf worship AGAIN. She hates it when the people stray. She seems to be working through haredi women this time.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 5:11 pm

        They are the Japanese knotweed of Zionism. They are essentially unemployable.

        so i’ve heard. speaking of smart, did you know it’s illegal to let Japanese knotweed grow on your property in australia?

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2017, 4:50 pm

        @catalan

        Hey cat…. In terms of math, reading and science you can see how well Israel ranks when compared to other OECD countries. Apparently investing in a good education system for the sake of their children wasn’t one of those great life choices that they made.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 5:54 pm

        Maghlawatan,

        Your ceaseless harping on the religious morons only might suggest that you are fine with the “normal” secular invaders and genocidaires.

        Keep the religious cavemen and may they multiply, more power to them, making life harder for all Zionists.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2017, 6:03 pm

        Japanese knotweed is banned in several countries.

        Catalan should move to Israel if it means so much to him. Live the fantasy . Join the fruitcakes

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2017, 6:13 pm

        @catalan

        BS catty… BDS would fall apart tbe second a peace agreement was aigned and implemented regardless of what it’s initiators might want. An actual agreement mind you as there have been enough roadmaps and plans which Israel works tirelessly to ignore and destroy.

        Best your last post was.feom your phone! Are the phones too small or do some of us have fingers that are too large. Hmmm

      • Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2017, 6:35 pm

        Echi

        I think the fundis are an obvious tail risk given the birth rate and ignorance but I don’t have much time for Yossi secular either.I just don’t think Israel is sustainable. 1967 was ridiculous. The economy is not growing. The settlements are a joke. And nobody can stop the car crash. Plus the kids are brainwashed .

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 6:49 pm

        “Your ceaseless harping on the religious morons only might suggest that you are fine with the “normal” secular invaders and genocidaires.”

        That must be it. You know what “echin”? I think you are the only one here who doesn’t have some kind of hidden pro-Zionist agenda.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2017, 7:19 pm

        you are the only one here who doesn’t have some kind of hidden pro-Zionist agenda.

        uh huh, the targets of all his ceaseless harping reveals his true nature.

        a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 6:53 pm

        “Japanese knotweed…”

        Is called “Hansen’s Curse” (an exploratory species of plant) in Washington State, so we don’t offend people.
        Don’t tell “RoHa”. The power of immigrants to control our culture would shock him into a decline.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 29, 2017, 7:20 pm

        Mooser:

        “Is called “Hansen’s Curse..”

        And who was this Hansen?? A Danish sailorman??

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 7:54 pm

        “And who was this Hansen?? A Danish sailorman??”

        “Hansen” was a “nurseryman”, (a guy who sells imported shrubs and trees for people’s landscaping.)

        He brought knotweed here as an “ornamental plant”.

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2017, 8:01 pm

        @Mooser

        someday ech will find his Sancho Panza.

        Hmmm then he can form his Panza divisions, no doubt.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 8:21 pm

        Maghlawatan,

        Totally agreed with what you write now. The most dangerous ones are never the morons but the smart ones who may even look and behave like regular people.
        Also, exclusive attacks on religious fanatics, without consideration of their Zionism as the first and only important characteristic, may well create problems with anti-Zionist fanatics like Neturei Karta or Moslem resistance movements.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 8:23 pm

        Kaisa,

        Hansen may well have been American but it still is an ethnic slur to whomever wants to see it that way.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 8:29 pm

        You know what, Moose?

        There is no need for a “hidden pro-Zionist agenda” to absorb and parrot the thousands of Zionist propaganda points. They are in our air and water. Every once in a while, I am shocked listening to myself, mindlessly repeating some post-Zionist nonsense that has become established wisdom (other kinds of nonsense are not a problem yet.)

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 29, 2017, 9:01 pm

        echi:

        Ain’t almost all Americans just descendants of some immigrants?? Hansen is a Danish name, so it made me think of a Danish sailorman..

        (I found out some time ago that we also might have some distant relatives – my grandfathers fathers cousin – who came to U.S. with his wife around 1903.. Some where around Lake Michigan, I just haven’t been able to find all the papers to be completely sure..)

        So when talking about the U.S. and the immigration, it is like, who’s land is it really?? And who is the immigrant..??

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2017, 9:46 pm

        @Mooser

        Can you smoke knotweed for effect?

        No officer it’s knot weed!

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 10:01 pm

        “So when talking about the U.S. and the immigration, it is like, who’s land is it really?? And who is the immigrant..?”

        Don’t try and obfuscate the point, “Kaisa” First things first.
        When your distant relatives came to the US in 1903 did they bring any plants with them?

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2017, 10:09 pm

        “Hansen is a Danish name, so it made me think of a Danish sailorman.”

        Perhaps you are thinking of Nansen, the explorer Fridtjof Nansen. He is famous for being the first to bring knotweed to the North Pole.

        Where the Inuit call it “Nansen’s Curse”, along with a lot of other things.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 10:21 pm

        Kaisa,

        It’s just that we love our stereotypes over here, and no matter how many generations of Hansens or Hashimotos have been American, still you’ll find somebody who’s offended by the use of his name as being an “ethnic slur” and making a big deal of it. That’s what I was trying to express.

        (And of course your granpa’s cousins would have come to the lake region, järvialueelle… what were we just saying about American stereotypes?)

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 29, 2017, 10:36 pm

        Mooser:

        “When your distant relatives came to the US in 1903 did they bring any plants with them..”

        I wish I knew.. But if they did, they propably brought some dandelions, ’cause those we have enough of, even in those worst summers, when it rains and we wont get any warm, sunny season at all..

      • Mooser
        May 30, 2017, 11:36 am

        “No officer it’s knot weed!”

        In Washington State, it’s never not weed. We have laws about those things.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 30, 2017, 4:22 pm

        Echi:

        “And of course your granpa’s cousins would have come to the lake region, järvialueelle… what were we just saying about American stereotypes..”

        No, I know, those stereotypes exist everywhere :)

        In Scandinavia we have our sterotypes of how Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Islandics and Danish people are, and inside Finland, since we are a big country with not so many people, we have our stereotypes for people coming from different parts of Finland.

        And about my relatives ending up in the lake region, it is obvioius of course.. Like when I met a Canadian guy who had had a Finnish grandfather and after living a while in Finland he said: “I used to always think my grandpa was a bit weird, cause he liked to eat dry bread and sit hours in a really hot bath, but now I see, he was just Finnish..”

        So I don’t think stereotypes should be taken so seriously, there are some truth behind them anyway and then in the end we are all individuals who are a mixture of our backgrounds, our own experiences and thoughts and as long as we remember that, better to smile at them, than to fight against..

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 30, 2017, 4:32 pm

        P.s.

        Echi:

        And you can just guess how “hard” it has been for me to be a Finn who doesn’t like alcohol.. “”What?? Don’t all Finns drink like maniacs..??”

      • Mooser
        May 30, 2017, 6:03 pm

        “In Scandinavia we have our sterotypes of how Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Islandics and Danish people are, and inside Finland,”

        I don’t need stereotypes, I only live a few miles from Poulsbo Wa.
        On Saturday nights (all weekend in the summer) if the wind is blowing the right way, you can hear the screams, tire burnouts, pistol shots and heavy-metal music, and even smell the aqua-vit, Aqua-Velva and lutefisk. Don’t even ask about “Viking Days” in Poulsbo, they just pick up the casualties and hose down the streets when it’s over. And then everybody is flense again.
        There used to be a lot of nurseries on Poulsbo, Raised all kinds plants, everything but knotweed. That’s all changed, too.

        And what about the bakery in Poulsbo which promised “real Danish bear-claws”? They did fine until de-clawed bears started turning up in Washington.

      • gamal
        May 30, 2017, 8:10 pm

        “the bakery in Poulsbo which promised “real Danish bear-claws”?”

        yeah the Bakery with a minaret, connect the dots man

        https://tinyurl.com/y9fcnfz3

      • Mooser
        May 30, 2017, 8:59 pm

        That’s not the one, “gamal”. That’s “Sluy’s Bakery”. Strictly baked goods. No bear claws or elephant’s ears.

      • echinococcus
        May 30, 2017, 10:41 pm

        Kaisa,

        Let’s be serious please, of course you don’t drink –can anyone in Finland ever afford to drink? I used to pay like one month’s salary for a tiny bottle of low-proof Lapin Kulta.

      • RoHa
        May 31, 2017, 6:22 am

        Kaisa,

        “And you can just guess how “hard” it has been for me to be a Finn who doesn’t like alcohol. ”

        So you don’t accept the basic values on which Finnish society is built?

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2017, 12:19 pm
      • eljay
        May 31, 2017, 12:53 pm

        || Mooser: I found Hansen! ||

        I found Hanson. :-)

      • Annie Robbins
        May 31, 2017, 1:22 pm

        Hansen may well have been American but it still is an ethnic slur to whomever wants to see it that way.

        Parkinson may well have been a British physician but it still is an ethnic slur to whoever wants to see it that way.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2017, 2:00 pm

        I can forget Hansen, and Nansen now. I’ve found Jansen

  5. Mooser
    May 28, 2017, 7:32 pm

    “Somewhere in the State Department there’s an official…”

    There’s got to be somebody left in the State department.

  6. gingershot
    May 28, 2017, 8:26 pm

    Jared’s Secret –

    something brewing 1/16 inch under the surface was there was an ALREADY KNOWN crime of collusion between the incoming Trump administration and a foreign government – the collusion with Israel around UN 2334.

    There is the KNOWN December 2016 ‘Crime of Collusion with Israel against the USA’ with Jared’s December ‘backchannel’ collusion with Bibi/ the Israelis as they sought to derail the US policy of support of UN SCR 2334, in attempt to wrest power from Obama and thereby to rescue a desperate Israel

    Jared just got sloppy and thought he could do the same thing with the Russians that he just did with the Israelis

    WHOOPS – ANOTHER WINDFALL

    Jared’s collusion with Bibi and the Israelis over 2334 is stuck like a tarbaby to Jared’s collusion with Russia

    When asked about OTHER foreign agent interference in the US besides Russia, Brennan said he would like to do that behind closed doors. LIKE WHAT HAPPENED WITH UN 2334, right, Mr Brennan?

    CHECKMATE ISRAEL – the America people are beginning the public spectacle of Israeli/Israeli Lobby interference in the American political system

    Thumbs down on Jared – how about 5 yrs for a count over Israel and 5 for the count over Russia?

    Hey Jared, where did you go to talk to the Bibi over UN 2334, the Israeli Embassy, Dermer’s office? ha!

  7. JayGoldenBeach
    May 28, 2017, 9:38 pm

    This must have really been a gut-punch especially after someone in Trump’s advance team reportedly told Israeli govt. counterpart that the “West Bank wasn’t [their] land”.

  8. jaycal
    May 28, 2017, 10:55 pm

    Netanyahu and Trump both want a deal to be made.

    Netanyahu wants a deal because this is a good time to make a deal when the US has a President who is most sympathetic to Israel and who cares the least about Palestinian complaints.

    Trump wants a deal because it would instantly transform him from the incompetent idiot that the US mainstream media want you to believe he is, to some sort of super hero deal maker.

    However, Palestinians will likely not do a deal because Netanyahu feels his position is strong and will not give enough to them.

    • Maghlawatan
      May 29, 2017, 1:48 am

      Israel can’t afford a deal. There are 500,000 settlers in Area C. The Israeli economy is stagnating. The longer the occupation goes on the more Israel is trapped. Imagine what they could have done with all the money they wasted on the settlers. They could have built a decent society .

      • Bont Eastlake
        May 29, 2017, 4:54 am

        How do you imagine this alternative scenario to take place considering even before settlements that are deemed by international law to be illegal, Israel was kneedeep in all kinds of criminal state building exercises? Namely the Nakba which cannot be understated in its impact on the indigenous peoples of Palestine.

        A country built on theft and murder cannot stand for long, no matter how much money you pour into it. Israel is already creaking and cracking all over, from external and internal discontent. It will be a miracle if it manage to stay as it is within the next decade.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 29, 2017, 7:57 pm

        Maghlawatan:

        “Imagine what they could have done with all the money they wasted on the settlers..”

        And imagine what U.S. could have done with all those billions they have used on supporting Israel and the IDF through all these years.. Maybe something good for it’s own citizens.. Free health care for those in need?? Help for the homeless people?? When listening Trumps latest proposals, I think he is going to cut mostly from those who voted for him. He doesn’t care for anyone, he just wants his businesses running..

      • Kaisa of Finland
        May 29, 2017, 8:32 pm

        And Magh:

        “The longer the occupation goes on the more Israel is trapped..”

        I have to agree with you on this.. The higher the walls and the deeper the hatered gets, soon they have built a society where no-one can live a normal free life anymore, without surrounding aggressivity, weapons and the atmosphere of conflict escalating in any minute.. Who wants to live like that?? And no matter what they say , it is not a healthy environment for anyone to live or grow up in..

        And when you talk about Haredim.. I used to hang around in Bnei Brak specially in shabbats, just to feel the atmosphere.. ‘Cause when earlier talking about parallel societys with RoHa, well they really had their’s.. It felt like going back in time, 100 years or so.. And I don’t think they’ll be much of a help, if Netanyahu gets problems with the Palestinians.. They used to walk in the middle of the street, in the middle of the traffic, because the life is in God’s hands, so who cares about the traffic regulations.. So why would they care about Netanyahu either..??

        And ofcourse the occupation should end, just because the Palestinians have a right to live a normal life, but what is going on in Israel, won’t soon serve it’s Jewish citizens either.. So there won’t be any good reasons to keep it up anymore and hopefully the change will come.. If not starting from U.S. then starting from the “average” Israelis themselves..

      • Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2017, 11:20 pm

        Kaisa,

        A lot of religious in Israel think God cares. It is a macabre link up of the Holocaust and 1967 as if the Holocaust made 1967 possible.

        Another problem is 1948. They never dealt with it. They just decided to plough on as if the Palestinians never existed.

        And the ur Problem is the Holocaust. They never dealt with that either. They just took the money from the Germans and decided Gaza was Satan.

        I read an interesting set of therapy principles a while ago that also apply to Israel :

        -Resolve alone won’t get results
        – You will make the same mistake over and over.
        -Personal and professional are linked
        -Ignoring your emotions is pointless

        It is SUCH a car crash.

  9. echinococcus
    May 29, 2017, 12:13 am

    “If Trump is serious”

    That’s one of the best so far.

    • Mooser
      May 29, 2017, 12:52 pm

      “That’s one of the best so far.”

      If he is serious, I’m Roebucks. We can start a store.

  10. John O
    May 29, 2017, 3:18 am

    The idea that Trump is a great dealmaker is nonsense. This is a man – remember – who went broke running a casino. Since becoming President, he has spent a lot of time threatening to break existing deals – TPP, NAFTA, NATO, the nuclear deal with Iran, the Paris climate change accords, trade with the EU, etc., with no alternatives to offer. One of his first acts as President was to try to weasel out of a deal on refugees with Australia, causing a diplomatic rift; and, of course, we’ve never heard another word about it since then.

    As for the one big deal he has pushed – Trumpcare – it is so atrocious even some of the people who voted for him have noticed; and is basically DOA.

    The signs are not good for him producing any sort of deal, both given the precedents he has already set, and the fact that he doesn’t know that Israel is in the Middle East.

    • Bont Eastlake
      May 29, 2017, 5:05 am

      There is a strong binary from what I see among people opinion towards Trump. It’s either a strong contempt or unconditional support. Many opposing him appear to be to see right through his facade and acknowledge the multiple failure you have mentioned.

      The problem is people supporting him seem to be motivated by irrational energy where logic and reason gets twisted and warped into confirming to their views. And these are not limited to lower rung anti-intellectuals but smart, highly educated people too. It seems pointless to fight Trump directly because he has this base of support that are highly defensive and lash out at the slightest provocation.

      Maybe its better that anti-Trump people just focus on self-empowerment, caring for each other and let the chips fall where they may. We don’t need Trump, but his supporters pathologically do. As long the need is there, Trump is safe no matter how destructive his presidency becomes.

      • festus
        May 29, 2017, 10:42 am

        “There is a strong binary from what I see among people opinion towards Trump. It’s either a strong contempt or unconditional support. Many opposing him appear to be to see right through his facade and acknowledge the multiple failure you have mentioned.

        The problem is people supporting him seem to be motivated by irrational energy where logic and reason gets twisted and warped into confirming to their views.”

        Those who oppose him see thru him and those who support him are irrational and twisted? That is your unbiased analysis? Are you being ironic?

      • Bont Eastlake
        May 29, 2017, 12:07 pm

        Festus,

        No one can escape from being biased in my view and therefore I do not accept anything that is deemed to be unbiased coming from a person. I do not claim to be unbiased, though I do strive to engage with people from various parts of the left-right political spectrum.

        Moving on to your next point, was my observation really that far of the mark when it comes to his detractors and supporters? His core visions as president are inherently irrational such as banning Muslims from travelling into the country, building a literal wall spanning the entire southern border to stop supposed onslaught of illegals, locking up his main rival for president and so on.

        None of these can be considered as rational goals if we consider the fact that he is the leader of one of the most pluralistic, diverse and free countries in the world.

      • festus
        May 29, 2017, 2:28 pm

        I have no issue with your characterization of the flaws of many Trump supporters. To extend that to all of them is erroneous. And your summary of those who oppose Trump as being those who can see thru facades is giving them too much credit.

        Anyone supporting any of the establishment approved candidates is foolish in my view. When Obama and the Dems swamped the GOP after 8 years of Bush Cheney, I thought, now we will get some change. Some positive change. The next few years woke me up. AS long as a handful of very rich guys who love Israel are in charge via the massive amounts of money they put into our elections and their ownership of much of the mainstream media nobody can get the support of the Dems of GOP without being willing and able to sell the American citizenry down the river.

      • Bont Eastlake
        May 29, 2017, 9:41 pm

        festus,

        How can you possibly lump Democrats and Republicans together as both being bad for the American people? Was it not the Obama administration that overhauled and revived the country’s economy after it was on the brink of insolvency due to Bush’s domestic policies and his wars? Was it not Democrats who championed equal rights for the marginalised, the lgbtq community, the Hispanics and African Americans? Was it not the Democrats who made vital healthcare affordable to millions of Americans who otherwise would’ve suffered in silence?

        Where have you been in the last decade, to mindlessly equate both GOP and Democrats as both being destructive for the people?

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2017, 10:02 pm

        …and was it not the Democrats who have been the worst criminals against peace and war criminals so far in our history, supporting, then pardoning and doubling down on the Republicans’ wars of aggression? It’s absolutely revolting to see a shameless, outspoken eulogy of these mass-murderers, war criminals and administrators of worldwide monopoly capitalism here. It’s not as if this site was lacking in either Zionists or Democrats, but at least the latter usually are ashamed of belonging to their Mafia.

        There may be after all a small difference between Democrats and Republicans: the latter, being incompetent, may well represent the lesser evil (for people who believe there is such a thing.) This being said, better not start this kind of polemic on this site, as we are supposed to leave our hats at the door and only try to work out how to support Palestinian resistance. Or something like that.

      • Bont Eastlake
        May 29, 2017, 10:38 pm

        echinococcus,

        Let’s focus on real world policies and actions being pursued by these two parties instead of these sensationalised ramblings?

      • echinococcus
        May 30, 2017, 1:50 am

        Eastlake

        Let’s focus on real world policies and actions being pursued by these two parties

        That’s precisely what I am doing. Their real world policies and actions are conspiracies and crimes against peace and war crimes, the same ones for which the Nazi government was hanged, for which obeying orders was also defined a crime against humanity, for which the US committed itself, through Justice Jackson’s statement, to hanging future criminals against peace even if they happen to be Americans.

        … instead of these sensationalised ramblings?

        A typically Democrat-or-Republican rejection of all human decency.

      • Bont Eastlake
        May 30, 2017, 9:29 am

        Echinoccus,

        I think its fair to say every decent person regardless of political leaning will find it disgusting if elected leaders behaved in manners that of Nazis and committed war crimes. After all, even in Nazi Germany dissent was actively suppressed by the state proving that the Hitler government was not as popular and widely supported as people may think.

        However, can you provide us with one or two legislative examples where the Democrats acted against human rights and social justice? On the other hand surely everyone’s familiar with legislations that were backed overwhelmingly by Democrats to improve lives of the common people if one seek to assess the bigger picture concerning the party.

      • Mooser
        May 30, 2017, 6:32 pm

        “This being said, better not start…we are supposed to leave…and only try to work out how to…. Or something like that”

        If you are confused, try reading the “about” page.

        Unless, of course, you think the “about” page only seeks to conceal a tribal, unconsciously pro-Zionist position. In that case, why bother?

      • echinococcus
        May 30, 2017, 10:26 pm

        Eastlake,

        How about when they invaded and destroyed Libya, then Syria, then Venezuela, then staged a putsh and started a civil war in the Ukraine, then started a war against the civilian population of Yemen, then… you get the idea, I hope. Meanwhile, back at the ranch they committed billion-time repeated severe violations of the Constitution, canceled the First and Fourth and so on, tortured, continue to torture, and before I forget it was your darling Emperor Obama who suddenly decided to definitely cancel the rule of law by declaring that he had assumed the powers to murder -I mean plain and simple murder One– on his sole say-so. We’ll skip totally insignificant BS like passing the entire cost of health (non-)insurance to the working class with Romneycare, the new face of the cop’s open war against the civilian population, and so on.

        Mooser is suggesting that these pages are a good place to attack each other on things other than Palestine, as per some “About” page, but let’s get back to Palestine and note that your Democrats and Republicans are not just accessories to Zionism’s crimes against humanity in Palestine –they are principals. First-person stakeholders and combatants.

        Legislative, schmegislative.

      • echinococcus
        May 30, 2017, 10:51 pm

        Mooser,

        Thanks. I followed your wise advice and read the “About” page. Nice page. Doesn’t say a word about anything other than Palestine. Just as it should be.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2017, 12:54 pm

        “Thanks. I followed your wise advice and read the “About” page”

        You’re welcome. And thank you for reading it!

      • echinococcus
        June 1, 2017, 1:43 am

        Mooser,

        Yeah, and all I got out of it was your thank-you. The “about” page correctly limits itself to discussing Palestine.

    • eljay
      May 29, 2017, 7:36 am

      || John O: The idea that Trump is a great dealmaker is nonsense. This is a man … who went broke running a casino. Since becoming President, he has spent a lot of time threatening to break existing deals … with no alternatives to offer. …

      As for the one big deal he has pushed – Trumpcare – it is so atrocious even some of the people who voted for him have noticed; and is basically DOA. … ||

      “Smithers, I believe we may have overestimated the tactical genius of this man.”

      • John O
        May 29, 2017, 8:51 am

        Tee hee! I’m sure a lot of folks saw Trump as a useful idiot to further their ends. They were so delighted to find an idiot, they forgot to ask themselves whether or not he was actually useful.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      May 29, 2017, 9:25 am

      The idea that Trump is a great dealmaker is nonsense.

      Maybe because ‘dealmaker’ sounds like a good thing. If instead of ‘dealmaker’ you substitute ‘sellout’, as his inclination to throw people and values under the bus in order to get a deal done, then suddenly it sounds more acceptable.
      That could also be how Trump can survive: by making things so interesting for some powerplayers that they will prefer keeping him around. I suppose the military already like him.

  11. Ossinev
    May 29, 2017, 7:49 am

    Call me naive. Okay I`m naive but I will say it anyway. Is there now or has there ever been in the ongoing collaboration with Zioland a suggestion , a hint , a reference call it what you like by the Collaborator in Chief Abbas that any proposed “deal” would have to be put to the Palestinian people for their approval ?

    • CigarGod
      May 29, 2017, 8:56 am

      The financiers are not about to risk another surprise election loss like 2006.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      May 29, 2017, 9:50 am

      ossinev Call me naive.

      Do you mean to suggest that people can stop you from fact checking by threatening to call you naive?

  12. David Plimpton
    May 29, 2017, 8:54 am

    These Trump visits to the Mideast would have been a good time to unveil any meaningful peace proposals he had. He didn’t. Not to be too dismissive or negative, the Area C to Area B idea isn’t a serious one, if it even has been put forth behind closed doors. Israel would still have security control and can use the settlers to thwart any exercise of Palestinian rights created on paper, plus the details would likely be heavily favorable to Israel, where son-in-law and supposed peace envoy Jared Kushner (and his family) has massive conflicts of interest, including investments in Israeli settler housing.

    There’s little chance of Israel agreeing to anything meaningful. Israel has staked the deck against the Palestinians with decades of phony “negotiation”, and unquestioning support from the U.S. and the Israel Lobby (see Walt and Mearsheimer’s “Israel Lobby” and Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgment”).

    Any significant progress toward a comprehensive agreement means changes in our leadership so that it works to take away the carrot and administer a stick, namely withdrawal of uncritical and unrequited financial, media and policy support for Israel, like $38 billion in aid without asking anything in return.

    Anyone who is an experienced and serious negotiator knows you have to level the playing field to succeed in bringing parties to the table and reaching mutual agreement. Plus the Palestinian people would have to be involved which they are not at this time. Without their involvement, Palestinians would not support the agreement.

    So I join with many others in demanding change in our approach to Israel and Palestine from our leaders, the corporate, oligarchic elite and Israel. But given the outcome of the Presidential election (and it wouldn’t have mattered if Clinton had won), and the continuing power and influence of the Israel Lobby, I don’t see much prospect of positive change coming from those quarters for the next four or eight years.

    • jd65
      May 30, 2017, 10:55 am

      “Not to be too dismissive or negative, the Area C to Area B idea isn’t a serious one, if it even has been put forth behind closed doors. Israel would still have security control and can use the settlers to thwart any exercise of Palestinian rights created on paper, plus the details would likely be heavily favorable to Israel, where son-in-law and supposed peace envoy Jared Kushner (and his family) has massive conflicts of interest, including investments in Israeli settler housing.

      This.

      It reminds me of the “disengagement” from Gaza.

  13. James Michie
    May 29, 2017, 9:05 am

    OMG! Yossi, you most assuredly will be choking on that popcorn! Haven’t you read anything at all about the world’s premier narcissistic megalomaniacal pathological liar? So much for “wishful thinking”!

  14. RobertHenryEller
    May 29, 2017, 10:43 am

    “If Trump is serious.”

    The author should have ended this piece right there.

    In logic, in computer programming, there is the familiar “if-then-else” construct. If the “if” posits an impossible (in this case ludicrous) condition, nothing gets done in that branch of the logic.

    What Trump does is serious. Trump’s condition is serious. Trump is only serious if a liar is serious.

  15. Kay24
    May 29, 2017, 12:02 pm

    It was obvious Nutty Yahoo does not take this clown seriously. During Trump’s visit you could see Nutty looking at him with amusement. It was also amusing to see Sara Yahoo fawning over the Trumps. She supposedly sympathized with the Trumps and all the investigations going on, by saying they were going through the same too. Aw poor things, the entire world is out to get them. They are such saintly people.

  16. Sulphurdunn
    May 29, 2017, 1:40 pm

    Whatever Trumps said categorically yesterday is conditional today and will be inoperative by tomorrow unless there’s enough money in it for the Trump Organization.

  17. amigo
    May 29, 2017, 3:21 pm

    At the first sign of matters getting out of the hands of the zionists , there will always be the option of “False Flag ops” .An increase in nightime raids, a ramping up of beatings and arrests and razing of the homes of alleged terrorists ,(anyone notice we have not heard about that for sometime) and all the other time tested methods which Israel uses to stir up the natives to elicit the desired response.

    You see, Donald . we told you these Palestinian Terroreeests do not want peace.They want to throw all Jews into the sea, those they haven,t stabbed to death or mowed down with cars, that is.But go ahead and waste your time trying to get them to make peace.So do us a favour and stop trying to delay the inevitable implementation of God,s plans for his chosen people.

  18. Brewer
    May 29, 2017, 7:08 pm

    Very interesting take:
    Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic.
    “Robert Fisk put it best: “Trump Is About To Really Mess Up In The Middle East”. Following his fantastically stupid decision to attack the Syrian military with cruise missiles Trump or, should I say, the people who take decisions for him, probably realized that it was “game over” for any US policy in the Middle-East so they did the only thing they could do: they ran towards those few who actually were happy with this aggression on Syria: the Saudis and the Israelis. Needless to say, with these two “allies” what currently passes for some type of “US foreign policy” in the Middle-East will only go from bad to worse.”

    http://thesaker.is/trump-dancing-with-wolves-on-the-titanic/

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