Total number of comments: 126 (since 2012-12-04 18:20:15)
I am Israeli
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Well, Annie, given what you expect from Marwan Barghouti you should, as they say, be careful with what you wish for… Barghouti is a realist and may very well be also the candidate of choice for Israel. It is little coincidence that he chose to write this (and almost nothing until now) since he may very well see Mandela a role model also in yet another respect - Mandela, after all, has become upon his rise to power a close ally, a darling, of the West.
When I see the outrage here about fnlevit`s arguments and the profuse insults but no concrete counterargument I suspect he must be onto something…
The surge of the Palestinian refugees from the original hundreds of thousands into the millions is grotesque. Extrapolated into the future you will have in 2-3 decades 20 million….All wanting “to return” to a miniature piece of land (which the lion share of them has never seen) while leaving behind the immense territories of Arabia.. All this makes very little sense to me
I am not surprised by Marc`s anguish. It seemed so logical that this miniature piece of land will not survive the many pressure forms applied against it: Intifadas, terror, in the UN, embargos, wars and what not. Just push hard enough and persevere and you have it – and this was indeed the prevalent mindset in involved circles. What they ignored is the inherent fragility of the Arab monolith that drove the crusade and how the effects of that will change the calculations. In addition, size stopped to matter that much: in the new general conditions big and small can be devastated with not so much different efforts. Then there was the fundamental switch of the US in its attitudes to the main players here. You start to add all that up (plus the present try to neutralize Iran as an active player in the game) it become clear that over the 6-7 decades of the existence of Israel tectonic changes have taken place and what is reported in this article is the unsurprising consequence of that. In fact, a reverse rephrasing of the above may now apply, namely (for Israel): push hard enough and persevere and you will have it.
A regional struggle? For the Middle-East in its present condition? Good luck
The problem with attitudes like that of Massad that they not only perpetuate the suffering of the people he claims he wants to help but that the disproportionate obsession of a big Arab world with a tiny Israel has distracted it from real problems it had and contributed to the downfall of entire Arab countries and societies. The question therefore is: just how much more in very real terms the Palestinians and the Arab world at large still have to pay just to make Massad feel that his case (as seen from the safe US) is being advanced? How lower Arabs still need to go in order to satisfy that?
"Israel won`t survive another 65 years in its present form"
That`s possible, indeed, likely. Israel is a new creation and didn`t reach equilibrium neither outside – the relations with Arab countries are still in flux – nor inside. The final political configuration with Palestinians, the West-Bank and Jordan (the other semi-Palestine) is still undetermined. Israel as a young country is a project in the making and it clearly bears little semblance to what it was 65 years ago with less than 1 million inhabitants, a far less advanced economy, an amateur army and much narrower area under its control. The Arab world has changed a lot too, which is also part of the Israeli-existence equation.
Exactly, there is no need to look for political motives or aspects in everything. Berlin became attractive to many with intellectual and artistic inclinations – it is a symbol of Germany`s makeover especially given its central role in Nazi Germany. Global political and economic power-games have moved elsewhere and the city has been freed to indulge in other things.
“How do Jews think is going to end?”
Nobody knows but, Seafoid, you keep placing too much weight on size and the “long run”. While size was a determining factor in the past in today`s conditions it can create an “optical-vision” error (and that is also why “the long run” didn`t work until now). In an era of warfare asymmetry and globalized all (including economics) the apparent big, in size and population, can unfold just as easily – e.g. WMD with missiles can instantly undo a whole set of much bigger countries, so can a cyber-attack and outside interference by global players can devastate just as much a big country. Times have changed and old rules don`t apply anymore
Let us not forget that the sanctions were an alternative to war. Iran is also in effect a military dictatorship cum theocracy ans threatened Arabs and Israel (with which it conducted proxy wars for decades) - all that is the main cause of the problem, not the sanctions - those are just reactions and quite mild at that, given the extensive maliciousness of the regime there.
Well, alot of it is purely circumstantial. Technology advances give huge advantage to those who can use it well - whether in terms of setting organizations that can harness it effectively or through warfare asymmetry. It eliminates a past intrinsic disadvantage of the small – if you command hi-tech you can create advanced tools, for military purposes or economic one (and get prosperous); if you command cyber-tools you can get information (e.g. by able to spy on others) and disrupt other`s systems – no matter how big is the other entity; if you have an advanced air-force you can win wars against bigger rivals and then the ultimate warfare asymmetry tool – nukes. No matter how small you are if you have 100 warheads and long-range missiles you have a decisive advantage over entities far bigger than you. So real simply, Israel has been and still is a David by physical circumstances (it cannot change that) but has become a Goliath due to general technological advances (which it managed to exploit and create a compensatory trade-off).
Kayq: ” Netanyahu and the Israelis dug themselves into a ditch”
Those who yearn for that to happen will see it (and everything else) that way. In reality, there is a chance here to avert a war, which serves everybody`s interest, Iranians and Israelis alike, and that`s a good thing. Even if it is just a slim hope it needs to be explored. Netanyahu is playing here the “bad cop” vis-à-vis Iran, which, as usual, is helpful for the “good cop”, and the “bad cop” never looks good. If the move succeeds and Iranian nuclear and a war over it are averted then let the “good cop”, Obama, take the credit – why not? If however it fails then “the cops” will surely reunite in their original goal – maybe even more resolute than before.
There is too much focus here on the PR side of things. In the end the essence of things is what will win the day. That is, if the Iranians really decided to back off in order to really improve own world status and relations with the West then that will win. If however they are bluffing, and that will become clear quickly, the charm offensive will be over and all will return to where it was before
Annie: It may also serve Israeli Hasbara, but is that not a real contradiction - it may still be valid on its own. My feeling is that what has been going on for so long in the region as well as outside it (e.g. prominently Sep 11) is dominating the mindset of the American public as far as the region goes. This does not vindicate unsavory opinions by some Israelis (after 65 years of quite dreadful conflict it is not entirely surprising that it happens) but it makes that much less relevant in the eyes of people who are already themselves wary about the Arab scene
‘If it was shown to Dick and Jane”
Dick and Jane are busy watching how minorities all around the region are persecuted in an abhorrent manner and they also see the unimaginable cruelty in Syria and beforehand Iraq and turmoil elsewhere. The inevitable result of that is that all conflicts that involve Arabs are now seen by the American public in a different light – a category of its own.
The plain truth is that all these would have been more compelling if the entire region was not in flames – compared to which the troubles in Gaza pale so much as to actually look benign. After all troubles are not just political, for instance in a disadvantaged neighborhood in the US the people might feel hugely frustrated - and there are numerous other categories. In fact, when the Palestinians complained, even shortly rioted, about a prisoner who died from cancer claiming that it was because he didn`t get good enough medical care – to many it may have even sounded as a compliment to Isreal (if that is such a big issue against it….)
Taxi, you seem to be placing a lot on Hezbollah – you expect them to shoot down Israeli aircrafts, spray Israel with deadly missiles, now guiding Hamas, etc. In reality it is a much lamer duck than you would want to believe - I think they must be very nervous now watching what unfolds all around. I am afraid you are up to a rude awakening here
If you look at it strategically these are the new trends - leading to some sort of stability. Hamas is a kind of outlier even in the Palestinian context – its staunch stance to never recognize Israel cannot be part of workable program for some kind of arrangement and its general violent attitude, past terror adherence and the use of rockets against civilians in Israel (AFTER Israel quit there) disqualifies it from being a part of that. The PA is emerging as the sole representative of the Palestinian side, supported by the main existing Arab forces, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as good contacts with the West while Hamas past allies, Syria and Iran are crumbling or at least on a constant decline. The PA alos enjoys a reasonable level of realtioship with Isreal. So what we see are the phases of an ongoing process of regional consolidation where the trouble makers: Saddam, Assad. Hamas and soon Hezbollah too are withering away (together with a constantly declining Iran`s “resistance axis” including the downsizing of Iran itself) – it`s all History in the making.
“The world to President Obama”
“Thrashes your presidency and consigns….. to a historical footnote”
Strong words indeed and from no less than the representative of the entire world. I am sure that will serve as a wake-up call for him.
Just: "Stop rubbing your hands in glee at the misfortune of others"
You mean I should feel bad at the downfall of the Islamic Republic in Iran? Sorry, I am not a saint. Never mourned the downfall of the Nazis either
Annie: “could you explain why you think Rouhani`s speech was so well attended vs. Ahmedinejad`s”
With pleasure. The “Iran drama” has been in the world`s political forefront for decades now involving (indirect) wars with Israel through proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, bitter political confrontations with other Arabs, hugely provocative statements on the US and Israel (the Big and Small Satan), constant threats that Israel`s end is near, involvement in the ongoing Syria war, the nuclear drama, the sanctions and what not. Now there appears to be a potential change in direction – isn`t all that enough for people to be curious?
Generally, Ahmedinejad was also a “hit” and attracted much general attention because of his provocative statements (Cassius Clay style) on Israel and the Holocaust and other things, while in that particular UN appearance he was deliberately snubbed to demonstrate displeasure.
Annie, sorry for the shorthand styling: I use “entertaining” here clearly in an ironic sense. More appropriate characterizations would be what “dramatic” or “provocative” and usually also with underlying violence-content. It is a fact (human nature) that these tend to attract attention.
Shingo: "The Un was a packed audience during Rouhani`s speech"
I think you misinterpret the interest in Rouhani`s talk – the Iran saga and the recent switch there with the election of the new president has made it one of the main shows in town now. Ahmadinejad and Kaddafi used to attract big crowds too. People still yearn for some “entertainment” (even if it is partly macabre) - especially so in the ordinarily boring arena of politics (for instance, one of the main complaints with German politics, as in the recent elections there, is that it is boring…). In fact that is in my view why the Israel-Palestinian conflict has attracted so much attention over the years even though it is in reality a footnote in the world`s, even Arabs`, problems. However, Iraq, Afghanistan and now even more so Syria are gradually killing that – stealing the limelight.
The Iran saga is still has a long way to go with ups and downs – so will provide a lot of commentary opportunities. The key thing is that Iran is losing its original regional grandeur aspirations - they really hoped to be BIG in the region and surpass Saudi-Arabia and used the “Israeli card” also as a way to get popular with the “Arab Street’ (“your rulers do nothing – see how active and successful we are in fighting the Zionists). For a time it worked, there are always the “initial bravados”, but once the insurgency there took place, Hamas left, Syria is practically lost, the Saudis got into aggressive counter-offensive, the UN nukes agency became more aggressive with its new Japanese head and the sanctions are having an accumulated effect – the “regional dominance” aspirations got buried. So much so that they understand that even the nukes development, which beforehand was expected to make a big difference is rather turning into a liability for them. Hence the recent conciliatory moves – the Big Game is over and small games don`t worth the trouble, and the focus there is now on becoming “normal” again. Problem is, they have already got too much on the nerves of too many and it might be too late for the regime there to be re-accepted regardless of what its true intensions are.
The point is of course the difference between criticism and boycott. The former is a democratic measure the latter is a form of “declaration of war” by means other than physical violence. Being so, you can be sure that Israel (in fact any one in that situation) and supporters will fight boycott by any means they have – La guerre comme a la guerre.
Right, war indeed became central to Israel but would you be honest enough to answer why? Wasn`t it forced on it by its Arab neighbors from Day 1. You bet that had Israel embraced at its birth it wouldn`t want to spend so much energy and blood on warring and on military production, training etc. Now that it has become specialized in that, as a result of all of that, it is a bit strange to hear those that brought that about to complain about that. Just reaping what was sown and as the bible says you can sow wind and reap storms.
I mean, is there any concrete evidence that it was Israeli pressure that caused the change? Or, are assumptions are treated as facts? Obama may have its own considerations. For instance, his Arab allies are just as worried - Saudi-Arabia was alarmed at the time of the Egyptian revolution when Mubarak was instantly abandoned by Obama where they expected troubles and warned the US about that. Another possible reason: it is not clear that Rouhani came with any concrete offer (US diplomats would know if it was otherwise since they would have given signals by the Iranians) and Obama may not want to arouse illusions with smiling photos but talks that are really content-empty. Yet some secret and less public encounter, say not with Obama but with anoher high-up US official may be planned. So why jump into conclusions?
Annie: "Do you think the violence in the region is good for Israel`s reputation"?
What happened in the region in the last decade or so must have had a profound impact on how Israel and its problems are seen by both global and local players, simply because everything in this world is relative - they always compare you to others in whatever you do and the severity of a problem is always in regard to other ones faced. As a result of the Syrian saga (and also what goes on in Lebanon) Israel must be now seen by many as a force of stability - in particular it is a part of an implicit US-alliance axis that developed in the region, which includes Saudi-Arabia & the Gulf states and Jordan (and perhaps partly now also Egypt). Who knows, Israel may be even approaching its “Europe moment”, namely, as happened after WW2 among European countries, yet another “eternal conflict” is in the process of passing away (while the many that are fixated by past mindsets fail to notice that)
It is likely that the violence option has already been exhausted by the Palestinians in the 2 Intifadas. There is violence fatigue on both sides now. In addition those events triggered in Israel the build-up of a huge machinery, physical and virtual, to prevent it from happening again, which means it will play out altogether differently now. Then there is the violence in the region, which was not there before - it steals the limelight, which is necessary for that to make real impact. And then there is perhaps also a psychological saturation of violence – they see on the screens what it really means in reality, in Iraq and Syria in particular, and that must decrease any appetite to share that - maybe they even bless they good fortunes for being lucky enough to be spared all those unimaginable atrocities around.
This incident with the French diplomat is the first response salvo of Israel on the proposed new EU guidelines. What it aims to show the Europeans that they will lose any ability to intervene in the West-Bank if they go ahead with their boycott threats (even if partial ones) – there will be a price to pay. In the immediate future it is likely that there would more of that in the run up to Jan when the new EU guidelines are expected to come into force.
Regarding The final note paragraph:
The term “justice” is the biggest victim of the Israel/Palestinian saga. A wholly contestable term in that context has still been furnished an absolutist interpretation with much ferocity and for so long as to have it impaired irredeemably. The damaging consequences of having diluted such a fundamental concept for mankind will leave all of us morally exposed.
It is likely that at some point Assad and allies will play the Israeli card (i.e. I do that if they do that and that) but he has a problem in doing so because right now he is in the firing line and dragging the ever complicated “Israel Saga” will be seen as stalling and looking for excuses to avoid doing what he agreed to. In normal times it would have had some power but now Assad is out of cards – got to follow the music.
Oh, come on, this is an old story – and it`s all about Statistics. You got to rationalize the use of limited budgets – impractical to watch everybody with the same intensity - and profiling is what they always all do (e.g. police and criminals profiling). If most of the terror attacks in the world would have been done by Indian Sikhs they would have been watched with the same intensity - there is no Islamophobia here.
One of the casualties of the terror campaigns of Arabs in the world, Israel in particular, is a huge damage to the Arab image. Those who conceived terror as a tool to achieve political goals by frightening others have actually succeeded as you can judge from the reactions - as the one
The problem is Taxi, that these fantasies, which have been around for decades now, had actually resulted in what we see now in the Arab region. At some point somebody in the Arab world will rise up and ask (as the boy that said that the king is naked) – was that little piece of land worth it? And we are talking here also about the period BEFORE the takeover of the West- Bank by Israel. Pushing the fantasy further with hallucination about Hezbollah shooting down en masse technologically cutting-edge aircrafts and world class pilots are unlikely to make things better. Got to begin to think positively before it`s truly too late
I don`t think AIPAC is a big factor here, simply because Israel was at two minds about the attack. Perhaps saw at as a lesser of two evils but no more than that – the fear of anarchy in Syria with Al Queida forces taking advantage is real. Playing it cautiously is not a bad idea even from Israel`s angle. Also the implications of this episode in regard to Iran are unclear. It still depends mainly on what strategy Iran will adopt – whether it truly decides to back off having recalculated the odds of success for its past goals, or continue the same path as before, just sugarcoat it with better PR.
In fact, no. It may yet turn out to be the brightest move in the process – even if most likely Kerry did not anticipate the Russian move. Bombing was already dead given the little enthusiasm in the US so now instead of suffering an embarrassment the Obama team will be seen as playing it tough and scoring big, without actually risking anything, in 2 big ways: neutralizing the chemicals and getting then Russians on board. If you ask me Annie, Obama must be thrilled now and I am sure next time he meets Kerry there will be a big hug.
Was Obama bluffing all along? The answer cannot be definitive. Leaders sometimes go by instinct without a complete game-plan. He certainly saw an advantage in making a big issue of the chemicals knowing that he can always change course and not bomb – as he in fact did when he went to Congress. It`s a long game here with many moves and we have just witnessed an episode. If indeed he succeeds in neutralizing Assad`s chemicals you can say he already scored in this last episode.
Kerry`s gaffe? Not at all. Getting Russia on board is an American strategic goal – the US does not play Putin`s game simply because Russia is “the challenger” and the US is the one that runs the show, so strategies must be different.
“You really do think Bashar is svage and stupid”
No, in fact I think he is one of the more clever guys around. The problem is he took the wrong path in the past in his own country and then regionally the wrong gamble - aligned himself with the Iran axis (was given many chances to jump off but continued to play the same “hand”). Right now he is simply left with too few cards to play with, so whatever he agrees to is not out of stupidity but no choice. He has to cling to any straw and the Russians gave now a real rope – a proposal he can`t refuse.
Some people here are so enamored with seeing Israel beaten that they would turn even a great moment for it upside down. After all: Israel was not keen on bombing now since it also fears Al Quide and the situation in Syria is still unclear; The chemicals are the single most important threat now for Israel- their elimination would be tremendously relieving; The developing cooperation between the US and Russia is great news – in particular, it would mean that the Russians will not supply Assad now with ant-missile batteries (which is a great problem for Israel) since there is no need any more for such a reprisal act on their side; The US has won all worlds- no war (which is riksy) and a huge gain due to its principled stance on the Chemicals. As for the Iran issue, it can wait for now – one at a time.
I think most people overlook an interesting development here – the beginning of cooperation between the US and Russia. They are now, with the recent idea from Russia to put chemicals under intl. control, in a classical “good cop bad cop” arrangement. If Assad gives up the chemicals the US will have a good excuse not to bomb and since a big potential threat have been averted the US will be seen vindicated in its tough stance gambit.
I keep noticing a false assumption here that Israel and hence its supporters are KEEN about a Syria strike. At best it is seen from that angle as a lesser of evils type choice. The fear from Al Queida in Israel is real, so a delicate (and hard to strike) balance is necessary here between restraining Assad while not letting the other bad guys gain too much power. It could be a question of timing, namely not hitting Assad too hard too early, while the Al Queida guys have not been hit hard enough and then do that only when the moderate rebel groups seem strong enough.
“A blank check to take the war to Ira and beyond”
At this point of time there is no beyond - Iran is this era`s "crux of the matter". Conflicts can never be dragged forever and the one with Iran is already brewing very long with zero chance of being resolved peacefully (never mind the sugar-coating exercise with the new Iranian president); Lebanon became endemically unstable because of its proxy there and Syria, its main ally, is in an incredible mess and a practical stalemate. Then, the real and final “last moment” with Iran itself is rapidly approaching – it is getting very close to THE Bomb, something that would be a plain disaster for ALL US allies in the region and beyond (and here there is a beyond since nuclear devices can be carried anywhere on ships). The grand finale is getting real near and Syria seems to provide the trigger for it (or be also a catalyst if the conflagration between Iran and the rest will be fought over it).
I think you have to be fair with Obama. In present-day conditions all what a president, even of the US, can do, or just hope to do, is to “manage” things and make sure that things stay within “tolerance limits” – and that is exactly what he is trying to do. Generally, you can say that Obama tried to stay away from real big conflicts as much as he could – “played” drones instead – but circumstances don`t allow him this luxury. My feeling is that he in the end, despite all the procrastinations, he will have to deal with Iran – stop it by force – since there will be no good alternative for doing so already during his term. So paradoxically it will be a warrior stature that will define his presidency – opposite to what he wanted or planned - but then History is loaded with such reversals and ironies.
Let`s be honest about it all – it is clear that Iran is the main target and there is no way it can`t be so. The entire Syria/Lebanon “resistance axis” is it`s making and a critical part of its regional hegemony fantasy. That means it has both Israel and the main Arab allies of the US as key antagonists and they will not rest until the present regime in Iran is brought down. Immediate reprisals or not in Syria is a tactical issue – can go either way (and it is not even sure what`s the best option) - but Iran is different. It is a strategic matter, moving steadily towards a crescendo, a showdown, and all influence and friends in the US Israel can use there, it certainly will.
“In the long run”
In the long run we are all dead Seafoid. Such predictions have been around since the birth if Israel. In the meantime it got much bigger in population, immensely stronger, a close ally of the US and the Arab monolith is falling apart. So much for generalist predictions
Well, it`s true that 65 years of hatred and terrifying slogans (we shall throw you into the sea), a terrible suicide-bombing Intifada, a sequence of bloody wars, an infinite stream of violent threats, etc., etc., has done something to the “Israeli soul”. The world has always been about symmetry – and the Arabs, in their (unwarranted) obsession with Israel (and also partly with the US – possibly as a consequence) have earned the counter-attitude honestly.
It`s probably true – Syria is just a phase. Hezbollah is next. And like in the movies – the real bad guy, Iran, is last. Now that Obama didn`t act, and likewise the UK, they have shown enough “moderation” so that next time around with Iran it will be easier. The Syria saga may provide in the end the needed excuse to deal with the real target, Iran, since it cannot allow its main anchor/ally in the region, Assad, to fall – they will lose all their game-plan if they did.
“Prison better than deportation”
I am not surprised – just take a look around the Arab neighborhood…. Israel is perhaps the last place in the region where minorities are actually safe. But will that stop the obsession of Arabs with Israel? I doubt that – a suicidal wave has taken over the Arab world (even those living outside the region) and there is no telling where and when will it stop. We know from History how miserable it can be - regardless of the pervert relish from the pain inflicted on the misguidedly perceived “grand enemy” - until people in such situations suddenly “see the light” and quit. Europe ended up lying in ruins, following a similar obsession with the Jewish minority there (and with each other there), until they decided to put it all behind and the situation normalized. So let`s wait and see how low it will take the Arab and Islamic world before they wake up from this self-ruinous blindness.
If you are going to believe all what “guides” there say about Israel, well… And, well, horrific facts about Islamists acts all around the world have a little bit stronger factual evidence than what “a guide” said… I wish, Annie, you wake up someday
An important observation: as different from the (long) past when Israel was actually an outsider in middle-east affairs (apart of those that concernet only it) it is increasingly a regional player. It is once more on the same side as the pro-western Arab Gulf states, led by the Saudis – already so vis-à-vis Iran and Lebanon and partly Syria and also so in regard to Jordan. Not it is Egypt. It does not mean that Israel is psychologically accepted by the “Arab Street”, but it still a development of essence
It is amazing how things can be turned upside down with the “right language”. Cold facts will tell you that OBJECTIVELY (based on technical criteria) minorities in Israel are doing better than elsewhere in the Arab world. Associating with that, pejoratives (as an underlying “racists” attitude) and hidden agendas, which does not require proof, cannot undo outcomes. The point is though, that in the end facts win – not just in the eyes of outsiders but also those of locals. You see that in two ways: the overwhelming support for Israel in mainstream America and in the relative calm “on the ground” in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as compared to just about anywhere in the region – you can`t fight with facts and hope to win.
2 comments: 1. Didn`t you notice that by generals standards the Israeli Arabs and now also Palestinians (from the West-Bank mainly) are probably in the most advanced position (in terms of objective achievement criteria and on average) in the Arab world. If you did not guess why then here is a hint: All 7 West-Bank high-learning (academic) institutions were established after the Israeli takeover.
2. An Israeli musician would not have a chance there. He/she would be interrupted. For instance, the Israeli Philharmonic orchestra could not finish its concert in the Edinburgh festival.
“The Palestinian leaders don`t want to end the conflict”
It`s true but also under change. The Palestinian leaders need the political (and otherwise) backing of the main Arab powers – without that they have no cards to play with- and while not that long ago any real acceptance of Israel was a clear no go in Arabia that may not be so anymore. The upheaval in the region, the much bigger focus on Iran as a threat, the Jordan connection, the new ties with the Egyptian military, the Hezbollah move into Syria and other critical matters are having a real effect. Israel, after 65 years is gradually becoming a “player” in the region – not the universal “outsider” – which is why the negotiations are taking place now. If the Arab leaders will want a deal, there will be one – linguistic acrobatics can do miracles in “bridging gaps” once the will is there (remember how Saigon was given up by the US with an impeccably styled “peace agreement”)
Think global and non-geographical - in short Modern. Israel sees itself as part of the West, just happened physically to be located outside it.
This, indeed, is going to be a real test for both sides – economically for the (much) smaller party, Israel, and politically for the EU. It is important to notice though that the directive dos not apply to bilateral agreements between Israel and EU member states, nor does it relate to trade - in the main scientific-research programs will be affected and universities are therefore rightly worried. At the same time a great deal of hi-tech developments in Israel is done by numerous private-sector companies (and start-ups) with mainly Silicon-valley contacts.
But if you want to be honest with yourself you would be asking the question: how come? How is it that all those very many people support Israel in such a dedicated manner? It is too easy to try the tired and simplistic explanations, which are really no more than slogans, that the Zionists buy everybody that moves around (but how they can they that with to those proud and rich oilmen in Texas for instance, which happen to be the most ardent supporters of Israel?); That it`s all about getting Jewish votes (but there are entire regions with almost no Jew there); and etc., etc., other “explanations” that are really no more than pure propaganda and hate-speak but makes no logical sense whatsoever. And all that is taking place for decades now in a country with the freest and most prolific media that ever existed (and please don`t try the yet another ridiculous assertion that the Zionists control it all).
So, if you are really ready for a honest examination of the issue you must first conclude that something deeper is going on here. I`ll be ready to help in offering reasonable answers here (it is not entirely trivial) but I rather let you try that first on your own.
“What (are) Kerry doing there?”
What goes on in Syria and Lebanon, with big potential explosions, and what to do about Iran`s continuous move towards a nuke are important enough to justify that, aren`t they?
Gingershot: I see you don`t believe in chance or luck – “masterminding” and “execution of plans” is what things are all about. What happened in Turkey was indeed a boon for Israel, given his Gaza-visit plan and beyond, but if it had any hand in it (which is a sheer impossibility) Erdogan would have made sure that it will be central news. So he had to resort instead to blaming “the Jewish diaspora” for the extensive support the protesters received in US newspapers and also by some politicians (which also depicted him personally very unfavorably).
Whatever the real story in regard to the role of the Israeli issue in the developments in Egypt one thing is abundantly clear the Israel – Arab conflict has been dethroned big time from its previous status as “the single most important” problem of the region. With what has happened in sequence in Iraq, Libya, Syria & Lebanon, Bahrain and now Egypt this mantra is clearly on its death throes.
Moreover, given Israel`s role in the US-Jordanian connection, it`s role on what goes on in Syria (possible ties with the rebels) and now this cited interview about its indirect influence on the developments in Egypt (plus rumors about clandestine contacts with Gulf emirates – as they are also deadly worried about Iran) it appears that Israel is becoming a "regional player" – rather than the outsider it has always been.
Both of the above represent a dramatic departure from what seemed a fixed situation in the past.
"far away? you are losing me her"
Sorry, it was not phrased well - I meant that YOU (and the site) are far away (in the US).
"poll after poll...."
I have not seen the polls but it is totally against my common sense that the Iraqis, Syrians, Sudanese, Libyans, Tunisians and the rest, given what they are going through NOW, really see things that way. It was perhaps so in the past when the Arab world was far more placid - but now? I can`t believe that.
Annie, I am surprised to see that in your enthusiasm for the Palestinian cause, you let your common-sense guards go that low. Don`t you realize that it makes no sense at all, in fact even insulting to Arabs, to expect that a Syrian (and for the same matter and Iraqi or even an Egyptian) really think that what they are going through, a real human tragedy, is marginal compared to “the plight of the Palestinian” – the purported central issue of the Arab world. And what the Idol singer says is where there mind is. I am ready to bet my last penny that this is an absolute nonsense.
Sorry for the cold water, but it is my firm belief that the promotion of this type of fantasies does a huge disservice primarily to Arabs – encourages them, from the safety of far away, to sink deeper and deeper, until there will be no hope at all. And all that already dwarfs anything that happened or may happen to Israel and the Palestinians.
“American Jews in their 50s to 80s”
Making age-bracket based distinctions as a basis for extrapolation into the future can be hugely misleading. That is simply so because people change their mind as they get older – a lot in life is age-dependent. Just compare the views of 80+ years old on romantics with those under 20… If you just could count those that as students marched as idealists on social-economic issues and 2-3 decades later drive a Mercedes into a cruise boat….
I am amazed at the negativism expressed here – allowing ideological hostility to trump practical commonsense. Isn`t it clear that economic advancement will make people less antagonistic? That economic cooperation will build trust, that mutual prosperity is a winner (also because the Palestinians have TV sets and can see the alternatives - what goes on in the neighborhood)? That the political dimension can follow the economic one in a phase-wise manner? That an “organic” solution over time, rather than a prematurely imposed one, is much more likely to succeed and endure?
Ramzi, finding solace in a blog that writes what you like to hear is not a substitute for reality. Very simply, from the Arab side it was a gross miscalculation to make Israel such a big issue. Things have been taken out of any proportions - whatever the Arab world could ever hope to gain from it all has will never match what has already been paid. This is not “crimes” etc. just plain real-politick and history is full of such myopic grand blunders. But…. it is never too late to change course (as history also proves) - just swallow hard and “see the light”.
Of course Israel is in an endemic precarious situation – that has been true since day one of its establishment and, correspondingly, the constant predictions of its undoing ever since. This had only encouraged the Arabs to try harder and harder at materializing “the inevitable”, which turned out to be a terrible disservice to them – just compare the situation of the Arab world then and now. Of course a lot of what goes on there has not much to do with Israel – macro-historic forces at work – but with time Israel has become a meaningful catalyst. Instead of dealing with what really were important for them – a long list – they wasted a lot of time and efforts on Israel, which only made their situation worse – not better. So what`s exactly the point of pushing them further on that line with promises of “being successful” in the end – and doing that in the name of being “on their side”. Just imagine what will happen to the region and entire Arabia if it goes down the way of the use of WMD in the region?
Just because something is repeated many times it does not make it true. Apartheid was mainly characterized by a small elite minority using race-based laws to block majority`s voting and live off their sweat as workers and servants. Nothing of that applies in Israel proper and nobody exploits the Palestinians toil in the West-Bank. The insistence to use this propaganda slogan where it does not belong exemplifies the ingenuity of Israel detractors in how they address this conflict.
`Kopty: ”The peace process serves the interests of Israel”.
So, what serves the interests of Israel is endemically bad in her eyes – equivalently, only what does not serve the interests of Israel – is bad for it - would excite her… So a country is supposed to view a citizen of it with this attitude?
Citizen, not only that but back then, prior to the Iraq wars, the Mid-East looked pretty placid with a corresponding prevalent mantra that Israel is the main cause for instability in the region and consequently a huge pressure on it to resolve the Palestinian issue. The Syria war is another chapter there (within the general “Arab Spring”). Of course all this mayhem is also a cause of worry for Israel – but given its situation it constantly needs to go for the least evil alternative (good ones don`t exist).
ToivoS, another reading of the situation: Syria will provide the battlefield with Iran. As different from attacking Iran blatantly, which indeed Obama is reluctant to do, confronting it and Hezbollah in Syria is a different matter (backed by Arabs, Turkey and the Europeans). Hezbollah initial success does may in fact proved a poisoned apple- it will encourage it to get more involved, deeper in the country with a multitude of fronts, and history tells us how that is likely to proceed.
Another explanation for what you describe is that Syria will provide the context for the “Big One”. As indeed attacking Iran out of the blue is already off the table it all now shifts to Syria. Hezbollah got entangled there and its initial success will push it deeper. At some point, it will get tougher for it and Iran will have no choice but to join if it does want to see all its investment go down the sink. When that happens, the US pressured by Turkey and Saudi-Arabia will not be able anymore to sit idle and the “Big One” with Iran will unfold.
No need to get carried away too much with the line of the EU kowtowing to the US. A bit of Real-Politick is in place here. In fact the EU had in mind to play hard ball with Israel and there were several indications for that. But then the financial crisis struck (or, indeed, became far more serious) and that inevitably meant, apart from the distraction, a loss of a lot of political clout. There is also the Syrian internal war, which keep stealing the lime lights. After the latter is settled and the EU gets back on its feet they may get back to the issue.
This is no fiction. Interestingly, Israel has become in this world a symbol in both ways: a main target of hate/hostility/antagonism/harsh criticism vs. a saga of heroism/frontier-line spirit/”can- doers”/"the shining place on the hill" for others (Jews and non-Jews). Given the intensity and extent (on both sides) this must mean something - though I don`t know what.
Ramzi, I agree with your analysis but not with the conclusion (in the last paragraph) because it has the potential of bringing chaos to Israel, for Jews and Arabs alike, and with so many countries in the region in turmoil, who would want to add another one?
“Palestinians refugees – who are indigenous to the region”
Their grandfathers left 70 years ago. They have been the citizens of other countries all their lives.
In any case I don`t think you dispute the projection of the chaos that will engulf ALL involved.
“A historic reconciliation and a homecoming of Palestinian refugees to what is today called Israel”
The figure used now is 7 million refugees. Won`t bringing all those people into a miniature state in geographical size a formula for disaster for them and for the people already there – Jews and Arabs – a receipt for horrendous instability and who knows what extent of bloodshed. Is that a formula for a “historic reconciliation”. And doing so when the one thing Arab countries have in abundance is land - there is a long list of what they don`t - seems absurd. Has the wish to see Israel undone killed off common sense altogether even in the minds of intelligent people?
This is a deja-vu story: the theme of “look for the root causes” of “why these people hate us” and bomb us had been taken up in the past several times and even George Bush nominated a special good-will ambassador to the Muslim with a view world to enhance reciprocal understanding and improve ties.. Israel had also undergone some “soul searches” of this type. In the end nothing came out of all of that and rather the more straightforward explanations have been re-adopted and “classic” counteracts resumed, both by the US and Israel.
As always a clever guy, even if on the other side of the divide, is more interesting than a sloganeering hate-obsessed fool. This is of course a conspiracy theory par excellence - that is, it adds masterminding and collusion to what may be an evolutionary process driven by many forces. “The truth” could be of course far more banal and random in nature, but for a person who is both an academic, an observer-like capacity, and a participant, with deep emotional attachment to the issue, this cannot be satisfactory.
Apparently, when it comes to wishful thinking “the sky is the limit”.
If only you guys had considered the scope and depth of Israel`s trade with the same meticulous attitude that every miniscule step by the most minor body in the most restricted way is followed here... For instance, in Canada, the focus here, prime- minister Harper is one of the closets friends of Israel.
American: "Even israel itself has to be boycotted". In general, the advanced and global-connected way that the Israel operates now (as all the advanced economies) makes boycotting it impractical. If you really want to boycott Israel then throw away half of your gadgets – they are likely to include components made in Israel (possibly through Wall-St. registered companies).
This is NOT for publication - private to Annie Robbins:
Annie, I understand the "yawn", I also don`t enjoy writing this type of comments but does not what this guy Kalithea wrote desrves exactly this type of answer?
“One day what they unleash will come back”
I think it would be more relevant and actual to turn this proposition around. What the neighboring countries had wished for Israel and tried hard to accomplish have come back to bite them. The unleashed terror on Israel, sometimes even sanctioned by fatwas, had found its way back into Arab countries. Likewise with the commerce embargos (designed to ruin Israel economically, moves to create chaos in it and the general wish to see Israel get disintegrated – they are all coming to haunt Arabia now. That`s where the moral of the story lies not the other way around
TovioS, I don`t think your reading of the situation is realistic. The anti-Assad forces are too deep into it and Israel, its interests and acts (of miniscule relevance to the internal conflict itself), is a complete sideline show for them. Turkey is indeed unhappy about the Israeli acts - it hopes to be the main benefactor of the post-Assad era and wants no other hands there – but it is too much tied to the US-West camp there now. What seems likely is that the gradual (and seemingly inevitable) disintegration of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis, will strengthen the US-Saudi -Gulf emirates-Jordan (and even Egypt) camp
Real simply: From Israel`s point of view Iran has to be confronted before it gets nukes – almost everybody in Israel sees that as too scary to live with. A direct attack is too hard to accomplish due to a host of difficulties (including the globally unpalatable aspect of Israel being seen as an aggressor in attacking Iran). Critically, whether the US will do the job (by its own calculations or due to the threat to its Arab allies and to Israel) is not clear.
This huge existential dilemma for Israel (and other worried parties) may have a “Syrian solution”. The Iranians and Nassaralah announced that they will not let Assad to fall, which means they will be dragged into a final conflict over Syria (with possible intervention there of the US and the West, this time with a clear excuse and case) BEFORE they have the nukes.
Suppose that 90% of terror acts have been committed by immigrants to the US from El Dorado and none from Atlantis. Would you still rationally expect the authorities to spend the same efforts (and in our times, a much restricted budget) on both groups?
There got to be a trade-off between protecting citizens from falling victims to such attacks (they are people too) and the sensitivities of people under surveillance.
The “Palestinian issue” was always merely an instrument vs. Israel from the Arab world`s point of view. What have changed are the political and military interests. While before Israel was the arch-target, pro-US Arab countries now look around and see that their friends are Israel`s and foes – likewise (e.g. and prominently the US in the former group and in the latter mainly: Iran, Hezbollah within Lebanon and the neo-Ottoman hegemonic ambitions of Turkey - just split from its alliance with Israel). Moreover, for some countries, e.g. Jordan, Israel has even turned into an insurance policy. This is all in a nutshell but it still tells the main story - a regional re-configuration and a goals` re-prioritization in the Arab world. This is what history evolution is about and Europe, for instance, have had a lot of that in just its recent history).
One Fund Palestine? That is already on for 65 years now, paid by a host of UN agencies and other numerous donors
Israel can never afford the luxury of being complacent. As for the Sunni-Shia struggle and the Syria upheaval it is not clear at all that it makes things worse for Israel
Don`t get me wrong- I am not playing silly triumphalism here. Israel objective position has always made the odds stacked against it. What I am trying to point out that Israel has made it abundantly clear that it will nevertheless fight back and history shows that it was able to extract real prices from those who went after it. In all cases until now it began rosy for the assailers but changed tack later
Sure, he plays the system and is no amateur, but that only means that Israel has got yet another “fight” on its (busy) schedule – need to be play by its own conditions and rules. As always the “successes” of the challenger come first (as, prominently, with Nasser, Arafat, Hezbollah and even Iran) and it is only later when things begin to cut the bones. That is, in short, the “story” called Israel
Indeed, he is playing hard ball but it is possible that he is reaching limits there. He milked the anti-Israel posture as much as he could but his dream to become the patron of the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims vs. Israel cannot go too far. He is essentially an American client, has a huge project on his plate with the Kurds, which is explosive and can go wrong in many ways and also faces a troubling uncertainty in Syria. Chances are that his fantasies for “regional grandeur” will be checked, even if it will take some time, by the harsh realities of the region.
The “I hate Arabs” shouts are fortunately rare but do exist. There is however something in the world of humans called reciprocity and it applies not only in the political sphere but almost in any other one. We have to remember that an “I hate Israelis/Jews” attitude and talk is almost the norm for decades and decades (predating “the occupation” by a lot). This have had its ineviatble effects and indeed, given the depth and intensity of the latter, it is a tribute to Israelis that it is not much worse.
That`s because while apartheid is a good propaganda catch-phrase the analogy to Israel does not apply. In S. Africa a small minority used others as laborers and personal servants – in effect living off their work. The latter is an irrelevancy in Israel and as for relative population sizes, the Jews in Israel (indeed even in the extended are of Israel plus the West-Bank) are anything but a small minority
And then iv, v, vi,.. who counts?
It seems that all past heroic vocabulary will be hijacked in the fight against Israel in distorted ways (and thus in particular desecrating them): Gulags (does Israel have a network of slave camps in a remote horrible region?); Resistance by Hezbollah (is Lebanon under occupation?); The occupied land (the West-Bank belonged to Jordan which after the war relinquished its claim on it), and so on and on. Won`t work because the contrasts are too obvious
The Irish have always been “religiously” anti-Israel. This has now become surrealistic with this move - in the midst of a “system collapse”, in which they need all the help in the world from anybody, they threaten boycotts. You don`t know whether to laugh or cry
The almost total convergence of US and Israel political lines is not that so hard to understand: In this dangerous world the US must have some real allies and not least so in the important Mid-East region. As the situation stands now the Arab world is in a miserable state and cannot fulfill that function – it is so both in how countries there conduct their own affairs and how they tend to blame others for all the problems. Apart from some Gulf emirates the US practically gave up on all of them as reliable and effective partners. Turkey competes with Israel on the “good friend” status but it is tilting too hard towards Islamism and autocratic ruling style by Erdogan. This leaves Israel as the key real ally and hence the Gallop results, Obama`s attitude and likewise the entire political and military establishment in the US (there are other factors too that connects Israel and the US and they serve to fortify the above). As the world gets even more dangerous for the US the value of real (and effective!) allies will only increase.
If you say to your shrink “If I do this I am damned and also so if I do that” he would answer: why not consider a third option. Which is in this case: the 2.5SS – 2.5 state solution. Obama went from Israel to Jordan, which is no coincidence, they are third leg here. They once owned the Wes-bank and should re/co-own it with Israel - Jews there voting in Israel and Arabs in Jordan under some “confederation” form between Israel and Jordan and the West-Bank (Gaza reverts to Egypt, to which it once belonged). The Jordanian king is under pressure, from inside and outside (Syria upheaval) and needs both the US and Israel to survive and that could be an incentive for him. Think “out of the box”, as they say.
Cynicism apart, Israel is the only place in the region where minorities are not in existential danger. Apartheid is a powerful slogan but the above situation is a reality and in the end reality always defeats slogans.
This is no cracks – just cherry-picking. If you scan the entire world in such a way you can see “signs” for, or against, any cause you want to support, or oppose. There is apparently no limit to where people can go with wishful thinking…
It is interesting to note that prominent Jews with Zionist background, whose anti-Israeli views have been used as a tool against Israel in a MAJOR way, later find their way back to “the camp”. Beinart, whose views created meaningful problems to Israel because of his stature, joins here Judge Goldstone (whose findings on the Gaza operation created a huge problem for Israel since his committee had an official UN seal) who later retracted, the historian Benny Morris, who was for a long time a darling of Anti-Zionists and was recently blocked by Islamist bodies in Britain from giving a lecture in Oxford due to his pro-Israeli statements, and even Roger Cohen from the NYT appeared recently to change tack.
So what else is new? Nobody can be expected to retain a powerful position indefinitely. The point is though that AIPAC may not be that critical anymore given that the political establishment (both parties) is already sold on Israel for a host of reasons including AIPAC persuasion efforts over a very long time. In politics you can become a victim of your success and that may be happening to AIPAC now.
I have a different reading of this all: it is like what happened in France (the Le Penn party), Greece and now Italy (the comedian`s success), namely “anti-system” and protest parties are grabbing votes. It is a crisis of democracy and market economy in Western countries and has its deeper-rooted causes that are far more dominant than the particular local reasons cited (in each case). It is not "Zionism in disarray" but something much bigger and what it could do may make people far less cheerful than the "fools` paradise" projected here.
"Let`s see what are the odds for "peace"..."
I agree with you putting “peace” between quotation marks. The “peace plans” Israel is usually offered look (if you read the not so fine print) not so much “peace with it” but rather “peace without it” (in particular the return of 7 million "refugees" of 3-4 generations, which in another 20 years will likely rise to 20 million). So, how much chances of success that should have?
What a humane vision, but also a page taken from another era - finishing off Jews in a "camp" en masse is not exactly compatible with today`s conditions of war asymmetry. If you happened to have a couple of hundred nukes and capabilities to launch them from mountains, air and sea then no matter how small you are you can ensure that things can hardly be as one-sided as they were in the past – and swiftly so.
The obsession with Zionism especially by the Arab world, despite its many and infinitely more crucial problems, would rather be remembered there as a colossal miscalculation. At some point people there will begin to add up the devastating prices it brought on the Arab world, completely unnecessarily, and people will refuse to believe that such a negligible issue was able to cause all that (and who knows how worse it may still get).
Some people sitting comfortably on their armchairs in other places want to see “action”, because they think it will hurt Israel and advance the Palestinians cause. But think about the actual human beings that are expected to do that and what it will do to them. In reality (and I am also reporting from the general arena here – from the co-ethnic city of Jerusalem) a violence fatigue has descended on both Israelis and Palestinians. It is not just bitter memories from the not so distant past but also the abnormal level of recent violence in the general region (for years now) - people are able to see what the real costs are and that it is not just fairy-tale heroism.
Some people sitting comfortably on their armchairs in other places want to see “action”, because they think it will hurt Israel and advance the Palestinians cause. But think about the actual human beings that are expected to do that and what it will do to them. In reality (and I am also reporting from the general arena here – from the co-ethnic city of Jerusalem) a violence fatigue has descended on both Israelis and Palestinians. It is not just bitter memories from the not so distant past but also the abnormal level of recent violence in the general region (for years now) - people are able to see what the real costs are and that is not just fairy-tale heroism. So those outsiders who are eager to watch some real blood spilling drama for a “great cause” will have to search elsewhere.
Just a minute: why don`t I see here the other relevant stat type – most likely the one that influenced the State. Dept. decision- namely, how many times in the past it turned out that the Palestinians have jumped into conclusions without bothering to carry out a thorough check just because it seemed to them a good piece of propaganda
Ya, let`s BDS them all. Everybody we don`t like. Long live peace and understanding.
Are people here naïve or just pretend to be so? Can anybody really believe that all those people are pandering to a super-natural force called the “Zionist lobby”. What about a far simpler explanation: they actually believe in it! Not just simpler but logical too: they see what happens in the entire Arab world and draw conclusions.
You can call the Israeli-Palestinian setting anyway you want but the S. African scene of a small minority governing a country where the majority works for them, in mines, factories or as home-servants, it is not.
Why should that be so surprising that Jews in the US address this problematic issue of Israel? It is caught in a truly hard dilemma – abandon the West-Bank and risk own security or remain and deal with a local population that lacks full political rights. How to resolve that satisfactorily requires all the good will in the world (less so though the bad will)
Jabara assessment is wrong. I don`t think many in the US still believe that Israel makes much of a difference in regard to the relations with the Arab or the Moslem world. Watching the chaos in so many Arabs states and in Pakistan, all for local reasons, it is clear that the minds of people there are focused elsewhere. And then there are numerous other potential friction points as well as global geo-political issues that are of a much higher priority in Washington. But sadly all that would make little difference for people who got obsessed with Israel and see everything through that prism (despite the huge prices that have been paid for it by the Arab world, entirely unnecessarily, over decades now)
Absolutely his junior. Israel has come to be entirely dependent on the US - all military actions of it require a US pre-approval. These are the realities of things in today`s conditions (was not so in the past) which de-facto makes the US defense secretary Israel`s too
One key point people on this thread fail to grasp is that secretary of defense for the US id already automatically the one for Israel. This is not a product of Israeli manipulations – that would have never achieved even a fraction of that – but a total convergence of interests. That is why there is no difference in this regard between Democrats and Republicans – the entire political establishment of the US sees things the same way. So Hagel, or anybody else as secretary of defense, even Obama, or any other President, will act in the very same way. This is by now a political fait a complete, as the entire recent history proves.
It is the umpteenth time that people predicts the undoing of Israel. It is a favorite pastime for some, portrayed to be “just around the corner”. Remember the second Intifada when Israel was awash with suicide bombers - nobody could see a way out of that. Or, Abdul-Nasser amassing hundreds of thousands of soldiers near Israel (at that time, much smaller in both pop and area) declaring that “the end” is near. Fast forward to now: Iran made Israel`s "wiping out" a major goal. This is not over yet but compare how it looks now with only few years ago, when it projected confidence, ambitions of regional- hegemony and had strong Arab allies with it. Well.
Those outside the West-Bank, wherever they still live in squalor 65 years after they arrived must be an Arab country. So whose shame is that?
One big mistake that people do is to consider Israel in isolation. It is not the holocaust that is its main shield anymore but how low the Arab world (the “opposite side”) scores in most people eyes in just about any segment you can think of (modernity, women rights, democracy, free speech, bigotry, education and sure enough the proneness to violence). That is even likely true in regard to the Palestinians in the West-Bank - a love-hate (or perhaps hate-like) attitude towards Israel. Don`t like it too much but more afraid from the alternatives (which they nightly watch on TV, from Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt,….).
You can turn the argument around and claim that the fact that the Arab world was not ready (or able psychologically) to accept the State of Israel in its midst created a sense of existential threat for Israelis, fortified by many violent conflicts, which pushed it to military paths and the development of an advanced arms industry. The export part was an inevitable part of it since a small country as Israel could not possibly sustain financially the cutting-edge position it felt it needs without that. This is a sad sequence of events but you can see where the real blame lies.
Well, that`s all about causality and timeline, namely what happened when and what brought what. If you ignore that than anything can be challenged
But why phrase it that way, namely what will quell rocket firing or what actions will increase that (and it is obvious that counteracts will achieve the latter – no need for learned studies here) and not simply ask: why there are rocket firing (and mortars) at all (especially after Israel left Gaza and did so despite meaningful internal strife)? Turning the logic upside down already misses the main point.
Not last or before last and they will never abandon anything. The way “main agendas” shift in our era you can rest assured that in just a year or two such “grand plans” will look ancient history
“The Jewish state end” prediction accompanies Israel since its birth. In its early days, with a population of around a million or two, a narrow belly on the coastline where most people live, a relatively weak economy and in particular no high-tech capabilities plus a monolith of Arab countries that looked placid and free to deal with Israel as its main target, it surely looked more threateningly so. Granted, even with all the dramatic changes in all of those regards Israel`s existence is still precarious – dictated by its objective conditions - so such expressed fears are understandable and hence also now and then expressed even by key figures. There is really nothing new here and of course a heated period as election times is likely to bring everything out. In the essence though, “the show” just goes on.
Have you all noticed how childish this argumentation has become? It is obvious that a lobby for a country, which is called by many “the Jewish state” with no offence intended (after all that is how it sees itself) will include (many) Jews and revolve around Jewish concepts and values.. What can be more obvious than that? It is about a fight on the hearts and minds of the American people and as long as it is done lawfully that is the stuff that democracy is made of.
What about adding a similar request in regard to Obama himself in regard to his military actions, as the use of drones for instance? (Though a similar demand of punitive sanctions would hardly apply since that would be the US acting against itself)
With all due respect this conspiracy-like theory does not stand up to logic. Israel`s interests are far better served by a quiet West-Bank than otherwise. Some people, writing from distance, are so immersed into the Palestinian dimension of the Israeli realm that they forget that Israel essentially runs as a normal country and as such has ordinary needs and wishes. Importantly, Israel needs a peaceful Wes-Bank for not being distracted from the central objective of keeping the economy on a good track, which is not a small thing in these turbulent times in the world – particularly keeping outside investors (which are many in the hi-tech areas) calm. even more basically, Intifadas can`t be pre-calibrated and can easily do more damage than you expect (and Israeli leaders are never callous about that). So I don`t buy the speculations here otherwise.
Well, it might be a bit more complex than that since there is no way to isolate Israel from broader contexts. Primarily, there is an exasperation of Christians (and the West in general) with Moslems in general and (most) Arab countries in particular. Israel, perceived as being at the front of this “clash of civilization” divide, and hence exposed more intensely to it, benefits from that - there have been attempts to separate the Israel-Palestinian conflict from that wider scene but it cannot go too far with the increasing recent mayhem in constantly increasing number of Moslem countries – and since this is not going to change any time soon the pressure on Israel (to protect the particular Moslem constituency it is confronting) is unlikely to increase a lot. Then, given that the entire Mid-East region is currently turbulent there is little appetite by outsiders to create more of that and anyway most of the political energy in that regard is already consumed by the present considerable upheaval (some of which are pretty intractable too).
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