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Total number of comments: 2779 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

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  • If only it was just one tweet: One activist's experience in the 'Our Land' Facebook group
    • a Federal District Court ruled that it was the organization responsible for the US Embassy and Marine Barracks bombings in Beirut.

      As if bombing a military target was an act of terrorism.

  • American Enterprise Institute's Daniella Pletka goes quack quack quacky
  • Dems buckle, will add language to party platform referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital
    • Colin:

      . I seriously don’t see how it could last five years if the rest of the world resolved to pull the plug.

      Agreed.

      That in turn turns this into purely a matter of building consensus

      Indeed, and there is a realistic possibility of building a truly effective international consensus (including the U.S., Europe, Japan, Russia et al., ) around the idea of forcing the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel.

      On the other hand, there is no realistic possibility in the foreseeable future of such a consensus being build around the idea of "pulling the plug" on Israel, i.e. forcing political changes in Israel (even if it could be done) that would cause Jewish Israelis to depart en masse and cause Israel to be replaced entirely by a Palestinian state (your desired outcome).

    • Israel to "continue forever as it is". That's a truism. Nothing lasts forever!

      The point is: forcing Israel to abandon a portion of the zionist dream via a two-state settlement is far, far more realistic than trying to force Israel to abandon the entirety of the zionist dream via a 1SS.

      You have given no argument to the contrary. Asserting a trivial truism is not an argument.

    • Nazi Germany had to be defeated militarily and occupied.

      Apparently, that's your prescription for ending Zionism in Israel. Sounds utterly unrealistic to me.

      How and when do you see such a military scenario unfolding?

    • And you two-staters still think Israel is going to give up Jerusalem….welcome to Fantasy Island.

      And you one-staters still think Israel will give up Zionism in Jersualem AND ALL OF ISRAEL as well? Welcome to Fantasy Universe

    • In an interview with Don Imus, Paul was asked for his view of the Gaza flotilla raid. He responded, "...I think it's absolutely wrong to prevent people that are starving and having problems, that are almost like in concentration camps, and saying yes we endorse this whole concept that we can't allow ships to go in there in a humanitarian way..."

      Palestinians in "concentration camps"? Yikes!

      Ron Paul: "Well, they're an elected government, I mean Hamas; We have thousands of our soldiers dying to say that we want elections and we want democracy, so we finally get one in Palestine, and they elect Hamas, and then all of a sudden whoa you've elected the wrong people..."

      Hamas sympathizer?

    • lDemocrats are spineless cowards, pretending to support the “working man/woman,” while in reality catering to the same rich, white man.

      .

      "Spineless" and "cowards" are the wrong words. They presuppose that the Democratic party leadership actually wants to support the "working man/woman" but is too weak and cowardly to do so. That's false. They have no desire to help the working man--but they must appear that way to get votes. "Clever rascals" would be a better description, imo.

  • American Jews who choose 'humanitarian values' over Zionism are tempting another Holocaust --Gordis's blackmail
    • Annie:

      Sibiriak , wrt your allegations of ‘strawman’ re my question what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back? i was referencing sean’s earlier framing the conversation. it wasn’t a strawman, it was a snark/mock that would have made sense if you’d been following the earlier conversation.

      I have been following the conversation. But your comment was addressed to me, in response to one of my posts--I'm not Sean!

      Besides, I can't find any post where Sean or anyone else suggested that any group or nation should "roll over" or "run" in the face of an Israeli attack.
      Where is this earlier "framing"? It's a long thread and I suppose I could have missed something.

      it was a snark/mock

      .

      Personally, I don't see the usefulness in mocking other posters, especially when what's being mocked is a strawman, i.e. not the poster's actual position. I came to this site to engage in reasoned, respectful discussion. I do realize though that the nasty snark/mock thing is popular with a number of posters.

    • Sean:

      I pointed out to you that Israel officially refuses to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear weapons — OF COURSE it hasn’t officially discussed its strategies for using weapons that it won’t acknowledge it possesses.

      This seems so obvious. I can't understand why Colin stubbornly keeps repeating himself on this point which you already adequately addressed.

    • so what’s your theory on how to compel israel?

      I've already stated its several times. A combination of:

      1) a new non-violent Palestinian intifada 2) a powerful worldwide BDS movement 3) international governmental pressure on Israel to agree to a two-state settlement 4) legal action against Israel for violations of international law 5) a reinvigorated movement within Israel for a two-state settlement.

      Of course, that wasn't meant to be an exhaustive. If truly effective military action (threats or actual violence) can be added to that list, I'm all for it.

      if every single effort was made to ‘compel’ israel failed, what then?

      If every effort to compel Israel failed--including complete international isolation, massive global BDS, non-violent or violent Palestinian uprisings, mobilization within Israel itself, prosecution in international courts, and military action from the international community and/or Israel's neighbors--then, obviously, Israel would prevail. What is your answer to the "what then?" question?

      in case you have not noticed in the last few years obama has tried to compel israel to stop settlement growth.

      I case you have not noticed, Obama just rolled over. What exactly did Obama do to really compel Israel to stop settlement growth?

      if you’d like to address specific ideas of mine that is another story.

      Please, link me to them, or restate them briefly. That would be greatly appreciated. I was responding to statements in this thread when listing the "alternatives".

      so what do you think israels neighbors should do the next time israel starts another war to annex more territory? roll over? run? fight back?

      Silly question. Fight back. When did I ever suggest otherwise?
      "Roll over"? Another strawman.

    • Annie:

      as i understand it this means 90% of palestinians would accept compensation to live in a palestinian state instead to returning to israel. but not if that palestinian state is jordan. not if israel will not allow a palestinian state other than bantustans.

      Yes, that's the point. The implementation of a Palestinian right of return would be part and parcel of a two-state settlement, and not an insurmountable obstacle.

      there has to be an accompanying palestinian state for this to be applicable. at this juncture i don’t see any indication israel will allow for a viable state of palestine so doesn’t the compensation issue become a moot point?

      With all due respect, you keep using that same language...Israel won't "allow", Israel won't "voluntarily accept".

      Well, Israel won't allow now or voluntarily accept now a 1SS, so that's beside the point.

      What's at issue is a massive international/local campaign, governmental and popular, to COMPEL Israel into a two-state settlement.

      And again, we are not talking about "at this juncture" ; this could happen only after considerable struggle.

      The alternatives I'm hearing here are (or some combination of):

      1) Wait until Zionist Israel implodes due to internal contradictions.

      2) Try to get the U.S. , Europe et al. behind a drive to force Israel (via sanctions, isolation etc.) to accept a 1SS (or simply impose it), which many believe, because so many Jewish Israelis would then emigrate, would cause Zionist Israel in name, symbols and substance to disappear and a Palestinian state take its place.

      3) Israel will start another war, but this time it will suffer enough destruction and death internally that enough Israelis will be impelled to emigrate, thus, bringing down the Zionist state.

      The problem with 1) is that it is highly speculative, could take a very long time if it happens at all, and the result would likely be an even more radical, armed-to-the-teeth Zionist state.

      The problem with 2) is that while the West could finally get behind a serious drive to sanction/isolate Israel to force Israel into a two-state settlement, there is no indication whatsoever, and it goes against all trends in international law and politics, that the West and the Rest would back a drive to impose a 1SS on Israel.

      The problem with 3) is that heavy military attacks on Israel would lead to a massive Israeli military response, colossal destruction and death, annexation of territory, and leave behind a more hard line, intransigent Zionist state, not the much-wished for single democratic state.

    • Annie, I was very clear to emphazise the "destruction" (or: "elimination", "demise", "transformation", "dismantlement", "dissolution" etc.) of the Zionist Israeli state--emphasis on Zionist.

      Choose whatever word you want to describe moving from a Zionist state to a condition without that Zionism (i.e., Jewish supremacy etc.).

      That's what's being discussed here.
      Following your analogy, I would talking about the "destruction" , "elimination" ,etc. of "racist, segregationist Alabama", or "racism and segration in Alabama", not simply of "Alabama."

      So whichever term you prefer, it doesn't change the argument.

    • Okay. We both see the need for massive pressure on Israel. I see that as leading to a two-state settlement, with negotiations on details. I doubt a full-blown settlement could be completely imposed by fiat with no Israeli agreement or negotiation at all..., but whatever, I guess it can't be ruled out.

      What seems clear, though, is that in the foreseeable future, the kind of massive, unified international pressure /isolation of Israel, backed by "the West" and the rest of the world, will not occur on the basis of a drive to destroy the *Zionist* Israeli state entirely.

    • Shingo:

      So what? Washington’s support is unwavering.

      Not according to Genral Mertion Dempsey.

      I was referring to, and only to, Washington's unwavering support for existence of the Israeli Zionist state, countering Colin's notion that the U.S. & Co. might someday soon "pull the plug" on Zionist Israel to the effect that Israeli Jews would emigrate in mass and Zionist Israel would be transformed into a Palestinian state.

    • Colin:

      the alternative to two states is continued rule by Zionist racial supremacists.

      Exactly. The alternative to two states is continued Zionist rule, not a single state with equal rights.

      Of course Palestinians would rather have a fifth of their land than none of it.

      And who could blame them?

      That hardly implies they see that as the ideal solution

      No one, least of all me, claimed that Palestinians saw it as an ideal solution. It's a settlement to the conflict (or perhaps just a stage toward an even better arrangement), and it has widespread support for good reason.

    • Taxi,

      “Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.”

      Link please. Oh yeah you ain’t got one cuz you’re representing your wishful thinking here.

      Hostage has already supplied evidence that polls have shown that 90 percent of the refugees preferred compensation in lieu of the right of return to Israel.

      This reality has also been manifest in Palestinian negotiating positions.

      For example, Robert Malley who was Clinton's special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs and participated in the Camp David negotiations in his "Fictions About the Failure At Camp David " (The New York Times on July 8, 2001) wrote:

      Many have come to believe that the Palestinians' rejection of the Camp David ideas exposed an underlying rejection of Israel's right to exist. But consider the facts: The Palestinians were arguing for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders, living alongside Israel.

      [...]And, while they insisted on recognition of the refugees' right of return, they agreed that it should be implemented in a manner that protected Israel's demographic and security interests by limiting the number of returnees.

      This fact can be backed up by many other quotes. So long ago, Palestinians have expressed willingness to be flexible on the implementation of the right to return.

    • but one thing i do know is they are not invincible.

      I re-read this thread and I don't find a single person making that claim.
      Just sayin'...

    • hophmi:

      [Europeans are] more worried about Iran.

      No they're not.

      http://www.jewishfederations.org/european-poll-israel-biggest-threat-to-world-peace.aspx

      Results of a new poll commissioned by the European Commission show that Israel is believed by Europeans in 15 countries to be the greatest threat to world peace, greater than North Korea, Iran or Afghanistan.

    • Annie:

      i don’t not think israel will voluntarily agree too/allow a palestinian state so why should i continue tossing about that idea?

      You shouldn't.

      But how about tossing around the idea that a powerful global BDS, non-violent Palestinian uprisings, prosecution of Israel in international criminal courts, international governmental pressure and isolation, and internal pressures can FORCE the creation of a Palestinian State along Israel.

      With all due respect, this "voluntarily agree" thing is a old strawman.

    • When I’ve given you links and actual quotes, you’ve just out and out dismissed them

      Nice try. You've provided NO links or quotes to support your contention that there isn't wide support for two states amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans et al. You've provided NO links or quotes to support your contention that Hamas and the Arab League have recently changed their position on two states. None, zero, zip.

      you’re naive enough to think israel wants peace with lebanon,

      I never said that and don't believe it. Do you enjoy debating with yourself?

      So what do you think will happen when israel is struck all over it’s (stolen) territory? You think israeli dual-citizens will get their deck chairs out?

      I certainly don't think such an event would cause the Zionist state to collapse and disappear, as you do, nor do I think it would greatly improve the lives of the Palestinian people. More likely, Israel would retaliate with massive bombings etc., there would be a lot of bloodshed and destruction, and in the end, Israeli hardliners would be even more entrenched in power, and a solution to the conflict would be even further off.

    • Taxi,

      Hamas has not changed its position, nor has the Arab League. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it, otherwise your claim stands refuted.

      hizbollah will not attack israel, but it will DEFEND against israel, including for the first time, targeting the whole of israel.

      So, your hoped-for solution is: Israel will attack Lebanon, Hizbollah will defend itself by targeting the whole of Israel, and because of those attacks enough dual-citizenship Israelis will flee the country precipitating a collapse of Zionism.

      You wrote:

      there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.

      Sorry, but that's utterly unrealistic. Israelis are not going to abandon Israel as you suggest, certainly not enough of them to bring down the state. More likely, Israel will be even more hard-line after such attacks.

    • ColinWright:

      any assembly of strength and will sufficient to destroy Israel by military means could just as easily accomplish the same end through boycott.

      .

      I agree.

      On the question of a truly effective BDS, though, I see the international community lining up behind an effort to force Israel to accept a two-state settlement, if they line up behind a BDS effort all.

      The South African analogy is only valid up to a point.

    • Taxi,

      FYI:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/haniyeh-hamas-willing-to-accept-palestinian-state-with-1967-borders-1.256915

      The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2010/0921/1224279368628.html

      THE HAMAS movement said yesterday that it had repeatedly told the United States it would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

      I'll go with the majority of Palestinians on this issue, not your wished-for Hizbollah missile-attack "solution", with all due respect.

    • Frowning at their resistance, the enshrined rights of the occupied to resist occupation?

      Another strawman.

      I never questioned the right of Palestinians or any oppressed group to resist, violently as well as non-violently.

    • Taxi,

      I'm afraid that misses the point entirely.

      Barghouti himself may think a two-state settlement is dead, but the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS do NOT. They support the goal of two states.

      Please, try to follow the logic of the argument.

    • Why don’t you tell us...

      I'll take that non-answer as an admission that you have no links whatsoever to substantiate your key claim that a two-state settlement has little or no support amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, et al.

      Your whole argument seems to be based on a falsehood.

    • Why don’t you tell us when and where the next 2SS negotiations are taking place.

      Taxi,

      There have NEVER BEEN any two-state negotiations. It's all been a sham. Israeli negotiators never negotiated in good faith, and Israeli leaders have never had ANY INTENTION of allowing the creation of a sovereign, viable, Palestinian state.

      Sorry, but a real two-state settlement process will only happen (for the first time) after a long struggle (if it happens at all).

      I've already described how I think massive pressure must be put on Israel, from all fronts. Of course, nobody has all the answers, but I think that approach is much more likely to succeed than your hoped-for military defeat of Israel.

    • Taxi,

      According to Philip Weiss:

      ...when I attended the Third National BDS Conference in Hebron this past December one attendee asked Omar Barghouti why the movement doesn't explicitly endorse one state?

      He responded by saying it's because the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

      Do you think these various Palestinian organizations supporting two states consist of "liberal zionists"???

    • I laugh at your notion that israel is invincible.

      I chuckle at your ability to distort others words to create strawmen, then laugh at your own creations.

      Whatever...

      At least you are honest, though. You think Israel should be and WILL be defeated militarily in the not so distant future.

      Time will tell...

      Join the dastardly queue of depressed and worried, freaking out really, israeli strategists.

      Your the one who seems to be freaking out at the zionism-monster's amazing longevity. I would be quite happy to see Zionism disappear from the face of the earth. But I'm also concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people, and I don't see your military option holding out much hope for them.

      Look, I admire your moral passion and purism, but it is simply not true that anyone who supports a two-state settlement is a "liberal zionist" (although many are). Rightly or wrongly, many reasonable anti-zionists simply don't see a 1SS as at all feasible.

    • I’m quite comfortable with the paradigm that Israel is a Nazi state in many respects. There are distinctions...

      The problem is with the phrase "in many respects". There have been numerous states, before and after the Nazi state, that were like the Nazi state "in many respects".

      Imo, unless you spell out those "many respects" as well as list the "distinctions", the analogy to the Nazi state takes on a demagogic character. The term "Nazi" is just too value-charged to be useful in comparisons without really detailed explanation.

      To focus only on similarities, and ignore crucial differences, makes your analogy dubious.

      And btw, I also do not see the Nazi state as some kind of sui generis "evil". I see it as a concentrated expression of various trends in Western civilization plus some new features (not to go into the all the support the Nazi regime received while it was perceived to be a "bulwark against Communism".)

    • Taxi,

      Take a look at past Palestinian negotiating positions, the "Palestinian Papers" etc. and you will see that Palestinian negotiators have shown flexibility on the *implementation* of any right to return. This is not a controversial assertion.

      And while you are at it, please find some links to show that a two-state settlement has little or no support amongst Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, et al. I've already posted links that show the opposite.

    • The exact opposite is what israel itself claims.

      It's foolish to believe all of Israel's claims. I would have thought you knew that.

    • ..there are many ‘sensitive’ targets in israel that are reached by hizbollah rockets and missiles and there are numerous dual-citizenship israelis who would abandon israel once these targets start getting hit.

      Thank you for spelling out your vision of M.E. change in all its simplicity and ridiculousness.

      When do you expect this destruction of Zionism by Hizbollah missiles to begin? What are they waiting for? Just curious....

      Oh and there is NOT a widespread support for the 2SS either in the mideast or in the west – because by now most people have realized that it’s a criminal ruse set-up by the zionists only for their OWN benefit

      I'm sorry, but you are just wrong on that. It is a fact that the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS also call for two states. Check it out for yourself. It is also true that polls in Israel, the U.S., in Europe, and amongst Palestinians show widespread support for two states --not one.

      If you can't accept those facts, you are in a serious state of denial.

      the very same zionists who have NO INTENTION of allowing a viable and contiguous democratic Palestinian state.

      You still don't get it, do you? The argument is about Israel being FORCED into accepting a Palestinian state, not about relying on "intentions."

    • Are you arguing that Israel is the next Nazi state and that we should join a lynch mob to utterly destroy it?

      Sean,

      I think you are going overboard in your attacks on Colin, especially with the sexual angle. Nevertheless, you have a point.

      Colin's unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany implies that the destruction of Israel by military force would be both desirable and morally justifiable.

      He doesn't dwell on that implication for obvious reasons.

      The real problem with his position, though, imo, is that he sees positive change coming only from the West's "pulling the plug" completely on Israel--but that's a totally unrealistic scenario, and he provides no argument to the contrary.

    • /And I would rather see Israel modify its behavior and be one of several “lights unto the nations” than be destroyed. /

      We all would – the question is, would Israel’s leaders and hard liners?

      I don't think that is the right question. Israel's leaders and hard-liners aren't the only folks to have a say in this matter.

      There is widespread support for a two-state settlement among Palestinians, Israelis, and the populations of the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world. The potential power of that popular will has to be taken into consideration, imo.

      I believe the best hope for a solution (not necessarily a "final" one) would involve 1) a new non-violent Palestinian intifada 2) a powerful worldwide BDS movement 3) international governmental pressure on Israel to agree to a two-state settlement 4) legal action against Israel for violations of international law 5) a reinvigorated movement within Israel for a two-state settlement.

      I that kind of combined pressure on Israel may not ever materialize, but it's not an unrealistic scenario.

      The best argument for promoting a 1SS, imo, is that calls for a 1SS might scare Israel into a two state settlement. The possible downside, though, is that abandonment of the idea of a two-state settlement could simply strengthen hard-liners in Israel and the West and enable even further ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

      There is no guarantee that things can't get much worse, and stay worse for a very, very long time.

    • Shingo:

      the success of the operation is entirely dependent on Washington’s support.

      So what? Washington's support is unwavering.

      Where are you going with this military analysis anyway?

    • Taxi:

      ...a 2 state solution etc – an idea that’s proved to be a criminal sham and is already well dead and buried, yet only liberal zionists keep talking about it non-stop.

      No, the *overwhelming* majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS also support two states.

      The great majority of Palestinians backing two states are not "liberal zionists", you can be sure of that.

      I agree, though, that Sean should give up the psychoanalysis stuff and stick with factual/logical arguments.

    • Annie Robbins:

      there’s no widespread support for it in israel sib

      Well...

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/23/israelis-largely-support-palestinian-state

      A recent poll conducted by the Hebrew University found that 70% of Israelis believe that if the UN votes in favour of a Palestinian state, Israel should accept the decision. This is not the position of the Israeli government.

      More than 80 prominent Israeli intellectuals gathered outside Independence Hall on Thursday. They were led by author Sefi Rachlevski, to declare their support for a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

      "We will have an affect because we represent the real Jewish Zionist heritage and what we're saying is obvious: Palestine, you don't need our permission to have a state. Negotiations on its borders can follow," said Rachlevski.

      Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer was among signatories to the declaration. He argued that the establishment of two independent neighbouring states was the only solution, and that it is an outcome that would be supported by the majority of Israelis.

      There is no doubt that there is far, far more support in Israel for a two-state settlement than there is for a 1SS, which is practically non-existent.

      But that's not the argument, anyway. The argument is that there is some realistic chance that Israel can be *forced* into a two-state settlement, but not a 1SS.

    • why don’t you just quit it with your “generous reparations for the suffering” of the Palestinians. They want their land back buster! Go talk to a Palestinian first before you decided that “generous reparations” will be good enough for them.

      Actually, you are wrong on this point. Palestinians have repeatedly expressed willingness to accept reparations, financial assistance etc. in lieu of a fully exercisable right of return.

      Have you not heard that the Lebanese resistance can now take the battlefield to every inch of israel?

      "Lebanese resistance" is hardly a threat to the existence of zionist Israel.

      You seem to be suggesting that there is a military solution to the I/P conflict. If not, what are you suggesting?
      Are

    • Colin,

      Your unqualified equation of Israel with Nazi Germany really undermines your arguments, imo.

    • Taxi,

      How do you get from Hizbollah pushing Israel back in Lebanon to the notion that Zionist Israel can be entirely dissolved via "unilateral and independent" methods? Please explain. Otherwise, Sean's point stands.

      Sean, you’d better believe that no one in the middle east is waiting for a “superpower” to come save them from israel.

      No, that's why there is widespread support for a two-state settlement.

      ColinWright, though, and others, are waiting for the U.S. & Co. to abandon support for Israel's existence (as a Jewish state). They are going to be waiting for a very, very long time, imo.

    • When that hope is withdrawn from Israel...

      What signs do you see of "the West" withdrawing support for the existence of Israel (or, to phrase it differently, supporting political changes that would obviously cause Israel "to fold" and be transformed into a single Palestinian state)?

      Seems like pure wishful thinking, imo.

    • Regarding the Samson Option: would you agree that if Israel were facing destruction that it would be capable of taking out of the following cities?

      Wouldn't the leaders of any nuclear-armed nation consider "taking out" enemy cities if facing imminent destruction? E.g., Pakistan, India, Russia, the U.S. etc.

      I am wondering what realistic scenarios people like Colin have in mind when they imagine and cheer on the destruction of Israel.

      Although I question the realism of his scenario, Colin has written about "political changes" that would cause a great number of Israelis to emigrate, resulting in the transformation of the Israeli Jewish state into a Palestinian-State.

    • “…Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism are on the rise in the world, not in decline…”

      It would be more accurate to say they’re more on the rise in Europe than in the world. China is basically doing the reverse. India doesn’t seem too supportive. The often quite arbitrary boundaries imposed by colonialism only rarely change in Africa (the Sudan would be about the only inarguable example, although we could nitpick about Ethiopia and Eritrea, I suppose). When was the last time a nation either came into being or winked out in Latin America?

      You misunderstood me. My phrase "political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism " by no means referred only or primarily to the creation of separate nation-states or alterations in state boundaries. I was including also all political arrangements which recognize some form of ethno-religio-cultural groups rights or considerations, rather than purely individual citizenship rights. Thus Spain's system of autonomous regions would fit that definition, as would Lebanon's political system.

      We see movements toward, or consolidation of, varied political arrangements based on ethno-religio-cultural considerations in Canada, Latin America (indigenous rights movements), China (Tibet, western regions), Russia (Chechnya), Israel/Palestine, the Philippines, across Africa, and so on.

      ... ‘political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism’ tend to be a bloody proposition.

      Yes and no. Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism can represent the solution to conflicts, as well as their cause.

    • Yes, groups not having their own "nation-states" is quite common.

      I would point out, though, that the Basques and Catalans , for example, do have a territory of their own and substantial autonomy in the Spanish state (and are still fighting for more).

      In Spain:

      The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government [...] Political power in Spain is organized as a central government with devolved power for 17 autonomous communities. These regional governments are responsible for the administration of schools, universities, health, social services, culture, urban and rural development and, in some cases, policing. There are also 2 autonomous cities.

      (Wikipedia)

      It would be interesting to know how many states recognize *collective* rights, privileges, or autonomy for subsets of their populations. Quite a few, I would imagine.

      Political structures deriving from ethno-cultural-centrism are on the rise in the world, not in decline.

    • ....Zionists have been working furiously and tirelessly to drag Reform and secular Jews into their camp...

      Isn't this backwards? Zionists were secular nationalists, for the most part, working to bring religious Jews into their camp.

  • NYT's Bronner to speak about 'My Israel' on behalf of liberal Zionist group
    • Therefore, accepting these compromises as a given is the Zionists’ tactics. No one else’s.

      You have it assbackwards, I'm afraid. It is the zionists' tactics to refuse compromise, not the Palestinians. A two-state settlement based on 1967 borders (roughly) etc. has never been "a given" by Zionist Israel. Never. Israel will never willingly accept such compromises--they will have to be *forced* into them, and that will not be easy at all--but a lot easier than trying to force Israel to abandon the zionist dream entirely via a 1SS.

      As for asking for a definition of the exact form of what will happen in the future, excuse me for being impolite but you are ridiculous.

      What a colossal cop out. I never asked for a "definition of the exact form of what will happen in the future"! That's a total strawman.

      YOU claimed that Israel could be forced into abandoning the zionist dream in its entirety and I simply asked how.

      I see you have absolutely no idea at all.

      That certainly lends credence to the view that forcing a two-state settlement on Israel is far more realistic than simply hoping that zionism will just somehow disappear in the future without being able to describe ANY imaginable scenario by which that will happen.

      Whatever compromises some Palestinian persons or organizations feel that they may have to accept...

      No, not "some". The overwhelming majority. And it is their right to propose compromises, don't you think?

    • sardelapasti: You conveniently left out my critical

      or departure

      With that included, I believe my statement is correct. Many agree. Others disagree.

      When push comes to shove, however, things do change a lot.

      I don't think Israeli zionists can or will change--not in the foreseeable future at least. Nor do I think the South African analogy holds in every aspect. There are major differences, as well as similarities, between the two situations. In the very long thing, of course, anything is possible. But in the meantime Palestinians continue to endure incredible oppression.

      What, btw, does the "shove" you are referring to consist of? How will this "shove" materialize, and how will it force Israeli zionists to abandon the Israeli zionist dream in its entirety (not just in part). Please explain in detail.

      None of these considerations are a reason for giving up any legitimate claim

      .

      Political realism is certainly a good reason to moderate one's claims.
      Many Palestinians think so. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians, Palestinian organizations, and Palestinian representatives support two-states and a settlement that will involve substantial moderation or abandonment of legitimate claims.

    • But nations are all in people’s heads to begin with. Ultimately, the psychological reality is the only relevant reality. And given the psychological reality in Palestine, I don’t think there’s much likelihood of the equivalent happening there.

      I agree completely regarding the primacy of psychological reality in regards to Israel/Palestine.

      However, what I don't get is the notion that the same psychological reality which makes a two-state settlement unlikely, doesn't also make a 1SS even less likely by a huge margin.

      If that psychological reality is so deep-rooted as to be fundamentally inalterable in the foreseeable future, it follows that Israel will have to be pressured or forced into making any concessions to Palestinian nationalism or any moderation (let alone abandonment) of its Jewish supremacism and territorial expansionism.

      It further follows, that if Israel must be pressured or forced into making political/territorial changes, it will be substantially easier to force Israel to abandon a portion of the Zionist dream--by permitting the creation of some kind of Palestinian state or quasi -state in the West Bank/Gaza--than to force Israel to abandon the the entirety of the Zionist dream.

      You have written:

      I advocate forcing Israel to make political changes that I happen to believe will lead to the majority of Israeli Jews leaving Palestine. Palestine will then be a Palestinian state.

      My response:
      1) It would be more feasible to force Israel into abandoning a portion of the settlements in the West Bank than to force Israel to make political changes that effectively would mean the end of zioinism in Israel, the end of the Israeli state (it's name; its flag; its political, economic, social, cultural and demographic structure; etc.), and the creation of a Palestinian state in its place.

      2) Of course, it can be argued that the more difficult course is the morally superior one and therefore should be taken over any easier course that leaves any portion of Zionism intact.

      The problem is: I still haven't seen any convincing description of how exactly (apart from military defeat and occupation) Israel can be forced "to make political changes" which would be suicidal for Zionism, given the intractable psychological reality you describe above.

    • there is a difference between ordinary opinion and hate speech.

      The problem is: who decides in particular cases? Once the mechanism is set up to punish "hate speech", that mechanism can easily be abused.

      For example:

      A number of new initiatives to curtail freedom of speech by conflating opposition to Israeli crimes with anti-Semitism are underway in the United States and Canada.

      The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) issued a report in early July recommending the adoption of strict new standards defining anti-Semitism and the types of speech and campus activities that would violate them. Its report urged the Canadian government to adopt the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s definition of anti-Semitism (“Report on the Inquiry Panel,” 7 July 2011 [PDF]). That definition suggests that any questioning of whether Israel has the right to exist as a state that privileges Jews over people of other religions or ethnic backgrounds amounts to anti-Semitism.

      Though the Canadian group is not linked to the Ottawa government, it has 22 parliamentarians as members. Activities it deems as anti-Semitic and, therefore, calls to be banned, include events such as the Israeli Apartheid Week that was founded in Toronto and now takes place on college campuses internationally every March.

      The Canadian report is just the latest attempt at stifling public discourse about Israel. Free speech and the unimpeded exchange of ideas are also under attack on America’s college campuses. Pro-Israel supporters have targeted federal funding for academic institutions, including support for research and academic conferences, under the pretext that criticism of Israel is “hate speech.”

      Federal authorities from the Office of Civil Rights with the US Department of Education are investigating charges of anti-Semitism against the University of California Santa Cruz, as well as at other institutions within the California university system, according to published reports. These are the first investigations taking place since Title VI of the Civil Rights Act was re-interpreted in October 2010, allowing Jewish students, as members of a religious group, to claim discrimination under a provision that previously applied only to racial and ethnic bigotry.

      http://electronicintifada.net/content/new-moves-curb-criticism-israel-us-and-canada/10219

    • Ethnocentrism and ethnic nationalism are in fact distinctly different phenomenon. For instance, I love Italian American culture (without being Italian myself) and am glad that Italian Americans keep it alive. But few Italian Americans are Italian nationalists — they are 100% American.

      "Multiculturalism" works in America and elsewhere. And I share your approval of that model, by and large. However, I recognize that in other parts of the world, that model is not currently always feasible.

      Again, back to Tibet. Ethno-religio-cultural nationalsim there grows out of and is inseparable from ethno-religio-cultural-centrism. (Sorry for the awkward words, but it really is a fusion of those three elements.) Chinese absorption of Tibet, and Han Chinese immigration there, threatens Tibetan cultural existence. This requires that Tibetan ethno-religio-cultural-centrism be translated into some form of nationalism, in the broader sense of the term, i.e., it requires a *politicization* of that ethno-religio-cultural centrism.

      That's true in other places as well. Indigenous peoples' rights--i.e.,group ethno-cultural rights, not liberal-style individual rights--are also a form of (arguably) necessary politicization of ethno-cultural-centrism.

      I share to a large extent your "authentic Enlightenment" values, but I'm wary of "the West" assuming the right to impose those values on all the peoples of the world, or worse, using those values to justify various forms of imperialism and exploitation.

      I never said that the Enlightenment was "responsible" for the "mindless pursuit of technological progress", but I think the connection between the two is a closer one than you think--evidenced by the fact that you felt the need to distinguish between "authentic" and "non-authentic" Enlightenment values.

      Western Christianity had a world-dominating Spirit (fusing with the Roman world-empire) and when those religious values were gradually transmuted, first through the Protestant revolution, then through the a secular revolution, Western Rationalism did not negate that world-dominating Spirit, but rather brought it to an even higher form of universalism.

      Again, let me repeat that none of the above is meant as a justification for Jewish zionism as it has played out in Palestine. I realize people are very battle-hardened in this forum, and jump on any whiff of "liberal zionism", but that's not what I am about. (And yes, I agree "liberal zionism" is an oxymoron.)

    • Even if they had no national identity in the present, ‘the Palestinians’, or whoever LIVED THERE would still have a right to be treated fairly and justly and to return to their homes and lands.

      I have no idea why you think I would disagree with that--I don't--or why you feel you must state such obvious things. For some reason, you think I must be a "liberal zionist". I'm not. I have no interest in zionism, and couldn't care less if it disappeared for all time.

      What it comes down to, apparently, is this: anyone who supports a two-state settlement is labeled a zionist of some sort by you (followed by various insults), and then you go on lecturing about Palestinian oppression from your high moral horse.

      I don't doubt that is a fine rhetorical strategy for you here in this forum. Whatever...

      What you can't seem to deal with, understandably, is that the majority of Palestinians, Palestinian organizations, and Palestinian representatives support a settlement based on two states, as do many folks in solidarity with those Palestinians.

      I doesn't do to call all these folks "liberal zionists"--but if you wish to keep up that name-calling, that's your business.

    • But because it is in the objective interests of Zionists qua Zionists to support a two-state solution, it follows that it is quite possible that they could be brought (forced) to recognize that fact-- which draws into question the notion that a two-state settlement has become "impossible".

    • So you are calling the Palestine movement for their own state a * Two State Aspiration* of the Palestines.

      No. I'm talking about overwhelming Palestinian support for a two-state settlement. What don't you understand about that?

    • My point is that the so-called “2-state solution” is a Zionist solution ....

      A two-state settlement is supported by both Zionists and non-Zionists. You have to look at both sides of the equation.

      and the only Zionist solution that would allow them to get away with their crimes.

      No, further ethnic cleansing and the maintenance of the Israeli Zionist state will also allow them to get away with their crimes.

      You are assuming there is no worse possibility than a two state settlement (which , by the way, does not have to be the end of the story.)

      You also are assuming that all crimes can be punished, and that anything short of full punishment is always unacceptable. The world rarely works that way, unfortunately.

      The fact that some religious or nationalists on the Palestinian side agree to it

      The overwhelming majority--not "some"--are nationalists and do agree to it.

      And letting that majority decide what they want to agree to is what Palestinian self-determination is all about.

    • Why are you concerned with abstract (and academic) perspectives on Palestinian self-determination

      .

      I don't consider the question of Palestinian self-determination to be abstract or academic, and I dare say, most Palestinians do not either. For many, it's a life or death situation. You can't get less abstract than that.

    • why would anyone who opposes the expression of ethnic nationalism for his or her own ethnic group support the expression of ethnic nationalism by any other ethnic group in the world?

      Because political and social situations are not uniform throughout the world.

      Take Tibet. Religious-ethnic nationalism is an expression of the desire to preserve Tibetan culture. That culture is something *worth preserving*, imo.

      I think the human race in general needs to be thinking at a higher level at this stage of its development.

      I personally don't believe in "stages of development". That kind of higher/lower thinking is very close to the "civilization/savage" dichotomy, imo. Yes, it has its appeal and there is something to it, but it also has its very dangerous side. (There is a reason Enlightenment thought meshed quite well with colonialism and imperialism, and the War on Terror is fought in the name of "Western Civilization").

      I am much more concerned, for instance, about global environmental issues that I am about any group’s ethnic nationalist agenda.

      Well, of course, but the problem I see is you are drawing hard and fast lines between "ethnocentrism" and "culture-centrism," and "ethnic nationalism", condemning the latter while vaguely (almost begrudingly) accepting the former. I don't see things in quite such a clear-cut fashion.

      As it is, the sociopolitical forces behind global environmental destruction ride atop universalist ideologies of "development" , "rationalism", "progress", and "civilization".

    • It is not an evil thing if as a matter of fact a small population exists in a large territory or if most members of that population have the same ancestry.

      Yes, that is the point, and a very important one.

    • I guess you’re trying to say…” what about the zionist ‘aspirations”

      No. Don't try to guess. Read what I wrote.

      I'm talking about *Palestinian* aspirations for a Palestinian state and Palestinian self-determination.

      I'm talking about the aspirations of the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations backing BDS that support a two-state settlement.

      Are you saying that these *Palestinian* aspirations are to be utterly rejected and de-legitimized?

    • So Sibiriak’s effort to showcase or make some kind of case on rare bird liberal zio Israelis as a reason for ‘accepting zionism’ ( and the 1967 borders) is just blowing smoke.

      Sorry, I never put forward the "rare bird liberal zio" as any reason for accepting zionism and 1967 borders. That's a figment of your imagination.

      A very large number of non-Zionist Palestinians and Palestinian organizations and non-Zionists in solidarity with them support a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders (with adjustments etc.). Why? To end the conflict; to obtain some partial justice; to relieve Palestinian suffering; to provide movement forward toward an even better situation in the future.

      Of course, there are good a strong arguments against that non-Zionist position. Your strawman about "rare bird liberal zios" is not one of them, though.

    • Speech or symbols are only considered hate speech or symbols of hatred if they are objectively hateful,

      The concept "objectively hateful" is very problematic, imo.

      Many people are of the opinion, for example, that all forms of socialism (not to mention communism) are hateful and represent persecution, oppression and a lack of equal rights. Should the hammer and sickle symbol be outlawed, for example? What about images of Che? Mao?

      I still think all "hate speech" and similar laws are a very slippery slope.

    • Really, there is no room for ethnic nationalism in American politics, European politics, or in any modern Western democratic polity.

      That's true by definition.

      The world is a much bigger place, though, than the U.S. + Europe, and the "modern Western democratic polity" [capitalist-militarist elite-managed democracy] isn't necessarily a feasible (or even desirable in all cases) model for the rest of humanity.

      With all due respect, you didn't answer any of my questions.

      (And no, I'm in no way justifying Israeli Jewish ethno-religious nationalism.)

    • I find the flag of Zionist Israel almost as offensive as the flag of Nazi Germany.

      Classic slippery slope situation. Freedom of expression means nothing unless it means freedom to express something offensive to others.

    • seanmcbride,

      I personally am not an ethnic, religious or any sort of nationalist. I do recognize, though, that a huge portion of humanity does have various group identities, including ethnic and/or religous nationalist ones. I'm not prepared at this point to condemn all these various group identifications. I'm also wary of the kind of atomized individualism (individuals rationally maximizing their individual "preferences") that underpins neoliberal and rational choice ideology (which has deep roots in Western rationalism and Enlightement thought.) I know that's not the kind of Enlightenment identification with something "higher and broader" that you are talking about--but I do see the issue being a bit more complex than you portray it.

      I also believe people can have overlapping identities with various degrees of loyalty, not always clear-cut even to the person embracing them. E.g., loyalty to family, a particular culture, an ethnic group (a "people"), a religious group, a city, a region, a nation, an ideology, a civilization, a set of values, an absolute Spirit.

      And I don't think all forms of nationalism are necessarily the same--in terms of "stridency", acceptance of other nationalisms, militarism, supremacism, racism etc. It's not impossible to embrace a form of tolerant "multi-nationalism" similar to contemporary "multiculturalism".

      Going back to Tibet. Many Tibetans are concerned about the influx of Han Chinese. Is opposition to such an influx unacceptable according to your Enlightement ideology? Could such an influx threaten Tibet with "cultural genocide"?

      Or what about indigenous tribes in South America. Are their tribal identifications to be flatly condemned on the basis of Enlightenment ideology?

      And what about "self-determination" for "peoples" (or "nations")? What does the concept of "self-determination" mean to you, and does it have any validity?

      Do the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination? What does that phrase really mean?

    • Fanatical settlers are the locomotive dragging along the entire train...

      I don't think so. Sharon wasn't "dragged along", for example.

      Being a little bit ethnic or religious nationalist is like being a little bit pregnant. You are either all in or all out

      No, humans are quite a bit more complex than that, as are the politics of ethnic/religious identity.

      Is the Dalai Lama 100% a "religious or ethnic nationalist"?

      Is Luis Shatiwe Yanomami, a leader of the Yanomami organization Horonami, 100% a "religious or ethnic nationalist"?

    • And some are vegetarians.

    • Copy the sanctions imposed on Iran, and then see if Israel can abandon all settlements created after 1967 etc.

      I tend to agree. In any case, by whatever means massive pressure on Israel can be achieved, it still stands to reason that it will be vastly easier to force Israel to abandon post-1967 settlements than it will be to force Israel to abandon Zionism in its entirety.

    • Excellent point.

    • The problem with your position is that it gives Israeli Jews little alternative to fighting against you to the death.

      Exactly. To fight to the death, deportation, or departure. This is what ending Zionism (Jewish self-determination in a Jewish supremacist state) *actually* would entail.

      The most logical and candid anti-Zionists at this site make no bones about that.

      For example, ColinWright says:

      I doubt expulsion will ever be necessary — and so since it is unnecessary I won’t advocate it. I might, under other circumstances, but then I might recommend taking off ones pants and sliding on the ice under other circumstances: it’s a moot point.

      I advocate forcing Israel to make political changes that I happen to believe will lead to the majority of Israeli Jews leaving Palestine. Palestine will then be a Palestinian state.

      This, of course, is music to the ears of Israel's extreme right-wing, justifying the mantra that "there is no solution to the conflict", and justifying all manner of further ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

    • Total opposition is all that is left.

      What about the great number of Palestinians and Palestinian organizations that support a two-state settlement?

      Are you saying that their aspirations are to be utterly rejected and de-legitimized?

    • Many of the leading “liberal Zionists” who pretended to support the Mideast peace process and the two-state solution (like Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller and Martin Indyk) were obviously Likud Zionists all along...

      No, they were not "Likud Zionists" all along. You are making the very same mistake that Krauss so passionately and accurately attacked above.

      There is nothing uniquely "Likudist" about supporting continual expansion of the Israel Jewish-supremacist state with the aim taking as much of "Eretz Israel" as possible.

      The only reason I mentioned "Likudist policies" was because you had written:

      If you are a Zionist, you support the Israeli government and its policies…

      and the Israeli government right now happens to headed by Netanyahu and the Likud party. It's quite possible to be a Zionist and oppose some of that present government's policies. That's just a simple fact.

    • The most liberal of zionist still support the existence of Israel on land stolen from the inhabitants, run off with violence, and refuse them the right to return to their homes and regain their property.

      Absolutely, I agree. Nevertheless, there is still a distinction to made between Zionists who want to continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and those who are content to keep only what stolen up until 1967 (approx), and are willing to make a deal, financially compensating their victims to some extent.

      I'm just pointing this out as a fact, which it is.

      It's also true that some of those who support a two-state settlement, leaving Zionism and religio- ethnic supremacism still reigning in Israel, are not themselves Zionists, but see, rightly or wrongly, that as the best practical way to end the conflict.

    • You’re either a Zionist…or you’re not.

      A logical truism.

      Still, it's an empirical fact that there are different kinds of Zionists, even though they all share a fundamental support for a Jewish (supremacist) state.

    • Krauss

      I did NOT assume settlement policies are necessarily "Likudist", nor did I say there was a big difference between the Likud and Labor on the settlements.

      One can be a Zionist and oppose the occupation. There is small minority that DO support a two-state solution based on 1967 borders etc. I'm not saying that's good or bad, I'm just saying that distinguishes them from Zionists who want to take the practically whole West Bank.

      I'm not a zionist at all. I'm just making an analytical distinction, so no need for personal attacks on me.

      My point stands.

    • maggielorraine,

      I agree. Still the difference between accepting partial ethnic cleansing (1948) and a promoting continued onslaught is quite significant.

    • If you are a Zionist, you support the Israeli government and its policies...

      I don't think that follows logically. It's quite possible to be a Zionist, yet support a two-state solution based 1967 borders and so on, and oppose certain Likudist policies.

  • Two-stater says the reality has shifted to one apartheid state
    • Wes, I think your emphasis on role of the British Empire is an important one too often overlooked by many people who have only a superficial knowledge of the conflict.

    • that’s all you have to say?

      No, it would take more than a few volumes to express my condemnation of the British Empire, and imperialism in general.

    • The list of the BE's sins is very long, I would imagine, and the wrongs done to the Palestinians not necessarily on the top.

    • That British Empire doesn't exist any more....

    • Why do you care about any of these things?

      You answered a question with a question, avoiding have to give a substantive answer to the first one.

      It’s not like any of this makes the 2SS impossible, correct?

      No, not correct.

      It can still be implemented whenever the political conditions are just right, whether it’s in 10 years or 25 years or 100 years, correct?

      No, again not correct. You are constructing a strawman.

      And although two-staters are going to talk about how settlements make the 2SS “difficult”, they will never ever make it impossible...

      Once again, not correct. Massive settlement made permanent would indeed make a 2 state settlement impossible.

    • No I don’t think the status quo is going to be sustainable for Israel in the long run.

      I wasn't referring to the status quo exactly. I was presuming increased Palestinian "autonomy" and greater Israeli withdrawal and separation. But that's a minor quibble.

      More importantly: it depends what you mean by "the long run". The long run can be a very long time.

    • Doesn’t “dealing with” a very oppressive “one state reality” imply finding a “solution” on that one-state basis?

      No.

      Then what does "dealing with" a "one state reality" mean to you?

    • … the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

      So either you two state supporters are changing the definition of “two-states,”

      I don't think the overwhelming number of Palestinian organization that support two states have changed the definition of "two-states". Do you?

    • For most of those 60+ years there were no standing judicial bodies or institutions that could enforce international criminal laws and there was no widely recognized government of Palestine with the necessary legal standing to pursue legal claims on behalf of Palestinians.

      Your points are well-stated and compelling. Could you, though, complete the picture and elaborate on the path from the prosecution of some Israelis, were that to occur, to the ending of the occupation and some kind of realistic "solution" to the conflict?


    • There are all kinds of under the radar ways to get rid of the Palestines in a One State arrangement……

      But in any case, Israel, by every indication, has absolutely no interest in a one state arrangement, and is taking every and all steps in the direction of *separation*. That's the ruling ideology and actual policy.

    • Hostage: Either way, you need to explain how you are going to achieve a single state solution.

      Koshiro: No, I really don’t. This is not about achieving a one state solution. It’s about dealing with a one state reality.

      Koshiro, with all due respect, you seem to be playing word games. Doesn't "dealing with" a very oppressive "one state reality" imply finding a "solution" on that one-state basis?

      In any case then, you need to explain how you see "dealing with" the "one state reality" you talk about.

    • There are many forms of pressure: political, social, economic, legal, ideological, military...

    • Dexter:

      I’ve read through this thread, and it seems like those who support “two-states” keep missing the point: this conflict is not about a “state” it is about “justice.”

      By the way, that was a superb post, imo.

      I agree with it almost in its entirety--and certainly regarding the non-existence of any real "peace process" to date.

      Where I have doubts--and I always have doubts; I am not an ideologue--is with this assertion:

      [The push for justice centered on human and civil rights] . is what will eradicate Zionism and convince Israeli Jews that co-existence is possible.

      Given the pathological nature of Israeli zionism, I don't believe Israeli Jews will ever be convinced that "co-existence" is possible.

      As WillB wrote in another thread:

      Israel pulling all the settlements from the West Bank to accommodate a Palestinian state is, no doubt, an incredibly unlikely scenario. But this assessment seems relatively favorable when I move consider the probability of Israel willingly dismantling itself to accommodate the erection of a single Arab majority state encompassing all of Palestine. If Israel uprooting the settlements as part of a two-state agreement is incredibly unlikely, the odds of Israel acquiescing to a one-state solution border on the absurd.

      And MB:

      The Israelis are quite right to fear the one state solution — they know, very well, the ceaseless humiliations that they have heaped on the Arabs, and they fear that the Arabs will never, ever forgive them, and will never turn the other cheek. They are right — most Israelis, surely, must know what they have done. I am not suggesting Israelis feel guilty or sorry about it — they are racist supremacists — but they know very well Arabs will not forgive them.

      [...]In Israel though, it is different [than South Africa]— you have a literate, well educated, powerful Arab population, with a long and enlightened cultural memory, with a sense of identity and dignity that goes far further back than the middle ages, a sense of pride, supported by very powerful connections worldwide, and all of these Arabs know they have had their faces shoved in the dirt and trash for decades — and they will not live in peace with those who turned up from Poland and Russia, Paris and Brooklyn, stole their homes and then proceeded to intentionally hurt everything sacred to them.

      The Israelis know that, and thus will not accept one state — that is the truth.

      Also, as Shahak and other have shown, Israeli society, culture, and religion is riddled with racism, prejudice and exclusion – the Israelis would never accept being on equal footing with ‘the other’. Not only that, many of Israel’s immigrant population hail from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Poland — ALL of these countries are deeply, deeply racist, macho, inward look, excluding societies, mired in ethno centric nationalism, and exclusion of the ‘other’, and the Jewish immigrants have carried that racism with them to Israel.

      Do you think Ukrainians and Poles and Moldovans would ever accept equal rights with Arabs — never. Israelis will not either.

      I find those arguments compelling (especially after living in Russia for some time).

      Perhaps I am simply more cynical than you--or more realistic about the incorrigibility of the Israeli zionist mindset.

      But I freely admit that you may be right.

    • Philip Weiss quoting Omar Barghouti:

      ... the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

      Dexter:

      I’m not so certain this is a fact.

      Maybe it's not a fact, but why should I take your word over Omar Barghouti's? That's not a rhetorical question.

    • Thanks for the link.

    • The notion that a settlement can’t be imposed on Israel based on the UN armistice agreements is utter nonsense.

      When I wrote "final settlement" I was referring to the final settlement promoted by many activists--a 1SS.

      Do you think a single-state solution, forcing the end of the Zionist state and creating a single democratic state, could be imposed on Israel based on UN armistice agreements--not just theoretically, but practically, and in the near-medium term?

    • how do you know they would become a minority?

      If there were a single state with equal rights (right of return included, of course) covering Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, how do you see the demographics going in terms of Jewish majority status (secular or not)?

      How do you think Jewish Israelis perceive the demographic possibilities in such a state?

      In any case, that point was not central to my argument.

    • A one state solution does not mean Israeli Jews will have to give up “everything,” as you put it.

      By "everything" I meant the dream of Zionism, the "Jewish State".

      I think it is more likely that Jewish Israelis could be forced to give up a part of that dream than the whole of that dream.

      I don't think outside pressure can force Jewish Israelis to accept that in the forseeable future. In the very long run, anything is possible.

      Right now, even extreme left Israeli Jews can't be brought to support a 1SS. As Uri Avnery put it:

      You say that the Two States Solution is inherently bad and should be rejected. Your alternative is a solution which 99 percent of Jewish Israelis do not want, and which has no chance to be accepted. What does that leave? It leaves the slogan of the Israeli right wing: that there is no solution to this conflict.

      That is what I am afraid of: of those who say that "There is no solution to the conflict", the conflict will last forever, that it is our fate to suffer an eternity of it. This is what I am afraid of, because it can serve as justification to all horrors, up to and including ethnic cleansing."

      I personally have no stake whatsoever in Zionism. I'm not from a Jewish family. I wouldn't care if Judaism or Jewish identity ceased to exist. As an individualist, I prefer democratic states based on individual rights. I live in Siberia, though, as a foreigner.

    • Agreed. But even in "good faith" negotiations, can you see Israel ever negotiating away ALL the foundational elements of the Zionist state, giving up the entire ball of wax rather than just a portion of it, to agree to the creation of a single state based on completely equal rights, a state where they know that Jews will be or become a minority?

    • ...the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

      Dexter,
      How do you deal with that fact?

      (And no, I'm not Jewish. I don't have any group identification. I'm a radical individualist, personally.)

      I agree with much of what you say, I just disagree on your assumptions about what Palestinians themselves actually want and what kind of political settlement can actually be achieved in the near-medium future. In the very long run, anything is possible.

    • So why do some still believe they are willing to roll back that process?

      Of course they are not willing. They must be pressured into doing it, one way or another.

      Why do some believe Israel is now willing to completely remove itself from East Jerusalem, which it formally annexed in 30 + years ago?

      They are not now willing to do that--but they are even less willing to agree to give up EVERYTHING and live in a single democratic state based on equal individual or group rights. So you're argument applies even more devastatingly to a 1SS as it does to a 2SS.

      They will have to be forced to change. And forcing a 2 state settlement (not a "final solution", and certainly not a completely just one) is a realistic, though extremely difficult, possibility, while forcing a 1SS is infinitely more difficult, i.e. practically impossible, imho.

    • "there are", not "there are not". My edit function is not working.

    • I don't disagree that there are not "de jure legal consequences". Still there is a big difference between the single state many folks are saying *actually exists now* ("de facto" in my terminology) and a single state that was internationally recognized as such and had all the features of a normal state.

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