Israeli ‘leftist hero’ Barak regrets US didn’t recognize Jerusalem 65 years ago

Middle East
on 14 Comments

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his related steps to move the US embassy there drew grave expressions of condemnation and concern from many international parties. Even Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, that strong US ally, said that the move “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world”; UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”; EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced “serious concern”; and UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May, whose “passionate friendship” with Israel suggests she wants to be Israel’s mother, called the decision “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

But Ehud Barak, Israel’s ‘leftist hero’, claims that the decision is not even a consequential event. “I like the idea very much,” he said, and expressed regret that it didn’t happen “10, 20 or 65 years ago”– during remarks on Friday at the Saban Forum in Washington, in which he gave Trump the green light from the Israeli ‘opposition.’

Aye, Barak thinks it’s just a matter of explaining it to “the Arabs”:

“[E]specially if the Arabs will be let known in advance and [it is] explained to them that it doesn’t close the door on any future American effort.”

One must conclude that if the Arabs don’t get it, it is simply because they are thick and intransigent – and that will prove once again that there is “no one to talk to” (as Barak said after Camp David), which will justify further consigning Palestinians to their Bantustans, in service to Israel’s famous ‘security concerns’.

Barak, who now appears to be working on a political comeback, said three weeks ago that he is “more ready and qualified to lead Israel than all other candidates around – including Netanyahu, who cannot make decisions”.

Barak is a classic ‘liberal-Zionist’. He warned last year that there are signs of ‘budding fascism’ in Israel, whilst bragging about the Israeli left having ‘liberated’ the occupied territories in 1967.

It’s very easy to focus solely on Trump: his breaking with longstanding US policy; his siding so squarely with Israel on an issue that is one of the most central to the so called ‘final status’ negotiations; his contravening of international law and numerous UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. But what we need to pay attention to is, that while Prime Minister Netanyahu and his rightist ilk celebrate this openly as a “historic day”, the leftists know that Trump hasn’t done anything they wouldn’t have done. And they have. The Israeli left de-facto annexed East-Jerusalem in 1967, immediately enacting ethnic cleansing there. Headed by a right-government, Israel made this de jure in 1980 by its quasi-constitutional ‘Basic Law: Jerusalem’ in 1980, declaring Jerusalem the “complete and united…capital of Israel”. That law was “censured in the strongest terms” by UNSC Resolution 476, which was adopted 14-0, with US abstention, and said, “[T]he enactment of the ‘basic law’ by Israel constitutes a violation of international law.”

And Barak is wondering what the fuss is about. Why wasn’t this already done 65 years ago, that is, just after Israel’s declaration of statehood?

Resolution 181, the famous ‘UN Partition plan’, had called for Jerusalem to be a ‘Corpus Separatum’, a separate entity under international auspices, whilst allocating over 55% of historical Palestine to a ‘Jewish state’. This ‘recognition’ was regarded by Israel as ‘irrevocable’ in its Declaration of Independence. Israel took over part of Jerusalem in 1948, and the UN Resolution 194 of that year reaffirmed “a permanent international regime for the territory of Jerusalem,” as well as affirming the right of return of Palestinian refugees. But UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte was murdered by Yitzhak Shamir’s Stern Gang for insisting that Jerusalem be internationalized. Shamir later became Prime Minister (and in our day, a leading Israeli educator suggests that international critics of Israel deserve to be assassinated). 

Israel has made it clear: ‘we’re here to stay.’ And where is ‘here’? Where are the borders?

“Wherever Sahal [IDF] will come, this is the border”,

said Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to the author Naeim Giladi, when the latter asked him about borders in 1954.

That policy is still the case. This is what Barak is saying. We came. We took over. Why can’t you just live with it? Why does it take you 65 years to get it?

 Indeed, why does it take us so long to realize it: either Israel is challenged strongly, or it’s not challenged at all. And no one should be under the illusion that there is a real opposition in Israel.  

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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14 Responses

  1. Talkback
    December 7, 2017, 12:17 pm

    “This is what Barak is saying. We came. We took over. Why can’t you just live with it?”

    Nah. You won’t fool me. That’s what Hitler said to Poland, right?

  2. Keith
    December 7, 2017, 5:28 pm

    JONATHAN OFIR- “It’s very easy to focus solely on Trump: his breaking with longstanding US policy….”

    Don’t you think that the US Congress should get some credit for the move?

    “The US Congress in 1995 passed legislation recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and requiring the government to move the US embassy there….The current crisis exists only because the White House is required to sign a waiver every six months postponing the relocation of the embassy, and this time Trump hasn’t done it.”(Mouin Rabbani) http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/12/06/rabbani-on-jerusalem/

    The current decision to move the US embassy may have a deeper agenda than appeasing AIPAC. Saudi Arabia under Mohammed bin Salman appears to be seeking a formal, open alliance with Israel for geostrategic reasons, and may be willing to buck the Arab street to do so. David Hearst explains:

    “The support of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and religious nationalists from Jewish Home are a given, but they are wearily familiar. The exotic and temptingly alien support comes from a new generation of Gulf Arab superbrats – young, irreverent, dune-bashing, selfie-taking, in your face, and appearing in a coup near you.

    Under Trump they have formed an axis of Arab autocrats, whose geopolitical ambition is as large as their wallets. They really do think they have the power to impose their will not just on the shards of a Palestinian state, but on the region as a whole.

    Under construction, at least in their minds, is a network of modern police states, each wearing a lip gloss of Western liberalism. All see Likud as their natural partners, and Jared Kushner as their discreet interlocutor.” (David Hearst) http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/12/07/on-jerusalem-quite-good-i-hope-hes-right-in-the-last-paragraphs/

  3. JLewisDickerson
    December 8, 2017, 6:21 am

    RE: “It’s very easy to focus solely on Trump: his breaking with longstanding US policy; his siding so squarely with Israel on an issue that is one of the most central to the so called ‘final status’ negotiations . . .” ~ Ofir

    MY SNARKCASM: It’s in God’s hands, now!

    Faith Nation 20: Mike Pence

    CBN News
    Published on Dec 7, 2017
    Vice President Mike Pence gives his insight on President Donald J. Trump’s agenda with Jerusalem, John Hagee Ministries gives his biblical perspective on supporting Israel, and CBN News’ Chris Mitchell join us straight from Jerusalem! Also, … …

    • JLewisDickerson
      December 8, 2017, 1:29 pm

      Trump Lights the Middle East on Fire (WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

      The Young Turks
      Published on Dec 7, 2017

      What could possibly go wrong? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Sign up for Wolf-PAC here: http://www.wolf-pac.com/John

      “RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers clashed Thursday in Jerusalem, Ramallah and other places in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with some demonstrators burning American flags and posters of President Trump a day after he sided with Israel by announcing U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.
      But at nightfall, after the skirmishes died down, the region was bracing for worse.
      More than 100 people were injured Thursday, according to the Palestine Red Crescent, despite the deployment of several extra battalions of Israeli troops. The critical test comes Friday, when larger demonstrations are expected as crowds leave mosques after the weekly noon prayers.
      In Gaza, the Islamist movement Hamas urged its followers to ignite a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel. The Palestinian Authority called for a general strike. Shops were shuttered in Jerusalem’s Old City.”*

      Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian

      Cast: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian

      • Annie Robbins
        December 8, 2017, 1:37 pm

        dickerson, for updates on the days of rage i recommend IMEU twitter feed https://twitter.com/theIMEU

        44 minutes ago they reported “Nearly 500 more Palestinians have been injured in the past 2 hours.” to bring the total thus far to 767 palestinians injured and 1 killed.

  4. Elizabeth Block
    December 8, 2017, 10:10 am

    Almost two years ago I was in Palestine and Israel, and a woman from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions said she didn’t use the word “genocide” to describe what was happening – she was waiting for it to actually start.

    • ritzl
      December 12, 2017, 12:50 pm

      Annie posted a great comment on that hesitation a while back. The legal definition of Genocide includes “in whole or in part” when describing Genocide and its related behaviors. As Annie pointed out, the whole purpose of that definition was to PREVENT WWII-level genocides from happening.

      So, if lefty-Israelis see “what was happening” (i.e. acknowledge it is happening) it has already started.

      Sad.

  5. Elizabeth Block
    December 8, 2017, 10:12 am

    And BTW, I don’t think there is any such thing as a liberal Zionist. Maybe there never was, but in the past, people could fool themselves into thinking they were. Not any more.

    There was a report on the CBC yesterday of a woman in California looking at the ashes of what was her home. I thought of the report, on Mondoweiss I think, of the Palestinian family of ten looking at the rubble that was their home until the Israelis bulldozed it. Wildfire is destruction by nature. Bulldozers are human destruction.

  6. Misterioso
    December 8, 2017, 11:38 am

    Israel is now joined at the hip with Donald Trump, America’s worst, utterly inept, dishonest and most detested president.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    December 8, 2017, 2:30 pm

    Oh, please…quit mentioning Zionists and international law in the same sentence. Zionists are not interested in abiding by any international laws – only abiding by the ones that suit them.

    • Citizen
      December 10, 2017, 4:47 am

      Yes, the Zionists could not care less about the goy nations. The irony is that the lone superpower, comprised of 98% goys, funds the Zionists with poor American cash. Hagee is on TV every night.

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