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‘Haaretz’ columnist says 2-state solution is dead–and global community must help us toward equal rights

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Carlo Strenger
Carlo Strenger

Excellent piece by Carlo Strenger in Haaretz, “2011 is the year the two-state solution died.” Catching up to truth offered to us by Ali Abunimah and John Mearsheimer and others, Strenger acknowledges the reality and says that apartheid must be crushed; and Israel is here to stay. The wisdom here is the awareness that his society can only be saved and its good parts redeemed through an international multicultural community Strenger has come to rely on via the internet, one that believes all people are created equal. This is the community that will defeat Zionism. This is the community that can help a reactionary society stumble forward into the modern age… And yes, Strenger is locked inside the fear-ridden Israeli head in this piece, but he knows that American Jews have had enough, and so has Europe. The thrust of this piece is an awareness borne by social media: Israel must join the Arab spring, or there will be cataclysm far worse.

If they [the Palestinians] will, as they say, stick to peaceful resistance, they will need a lot of stamina indeed. In the short run, I am afraid, they will, as Sari Nousseibeh predicts, live without full political rights. I say this with shame. But this is the truth

Our long-term task is to develop new models of dealing with the emerging reality. I wish I could say something clear and constructive, but for the time being I can’t. I have not yet seen realistic models other than the two state solution.

The one state solution, at this point, is an empty concept, so is that of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation. For neither case can I imagine how the parliament of the greater Israel-Palestine would function, or how equality of all citizens with respect to security could be achieved: I agree with Sari Nousseibeh that Jewish history from the Pogroms through the Holocaust, from the 1948 war to that of 1973, is too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come.

Yet any solution that looks like apartheid is unacceptable.

Although the two state solution was far from perfect: at least it gave answers to these basic questions of governance and civic rights. But Israel’s citizens and its government have decided: It will not be.

For the “Free World” the end of the two state solution has a number of implications. The charade of trying to get Netanyahu to negotiate with Palestinians can be ended: there is nothing to talk about with Netanyahu, and he is likely to win Israel’s next elections as well. To some extent, this may come as a relief: after all, trying to set up negotiations was a waste of time and energy….

I would like to end this rather somber eulogy for the two state solution on a personal note. Looking back on the entries in ‘Strenger than Fiction’ of 2011, I see how difficult this year was politically. In many ways my motivation to analyze and reflect upon the many negative developments of this year; of trying to maintain hope, and sticking to principles of decency was fuelled by the support of many friends and readers, in Israel and abroad.

This community of like-minded people is varied. It is composed of Jews and Gentiles; of people who clearly belong to the left, and others who are more centrist in their positions; it spreads from Jerusalem through Europe to the U.S. and South America with occasional interesting comments from India and Korea.

It is held together by a set of common beliefs: that all humans are created equal; that we must strive to create societies that protect human rights, and allow individuals and cultures to flourish; and that the task of humanity is to gradually overcome our tribal past and strive towards a world order that reflects out dependence upon each other. I am grateful for this community that is keeping our hopes alive, even in difficult times.

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96 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    December 28, 2011, 11:36 am

    “Strenger has come to rely on via the internet, one that believes all people are created equal. This is the community that will defeat Zionism. This is the community that can help a reactionary society stumble forward into the modern age” Yes, that is the community, including BDS and IJAN and JVP and MW, upon which we must all depend.

    But, if “This is the community that will defeat Zionism”, my question is WHY to assume that it will defeat Zionism with the result of establishing 1SS, democratic, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional with return of Palestrinian refugees/exiles and equitable dealing w.r.t. ALL LAND CONFISCATIONS since 11/1947 (do I ask too much?) but without removal of all (or most) of the settlers?

    WHY NOT defeat Zionism with the result of initially removing all or most settlers? How else break Zionism’s back, let Israel know that the expansive game is over?

    WHO CAN BELIEVE that anyone with the power to establish a fair and just 1SS does not have also the power to establish a fair and just 2SS? Is mixing Palestinians and Israelis INSIDE pre-1967 Israel in a democratic state thought (by ANYONE) to be easier than removing the 600,000 settlers?

    I’d like to hear this point argued at length: I don’t agree. I am not sure that the power can be found to compel Israel to do anything at all, but if it can, I think removal of settlers (which is required by international law and UNSC 465 (1980)) is the easier to accomplish. And the more important. THEN, and only THEN, pressure to allow return of the Palestinian refugees can still be applied and a 1SS can follow a 2SS. why not?

    And remember: 2SS is “dead” only so long as the decision rests solely with Israel. Anyone who invokes the international community, whether governmental or civil, is looking beyond that,

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      December 29, 2011, 7:33 am

      And remember: 2SS is “dead” only so long as the decision rests solely with Israel. Anyone who invokes the international community, whether governmental or civil, is looking beyond that

      Exactly. The 1ss vs 2ss debate is a distraction anyway if your goal is equal human rights in every state in the region. When you travel around Europe today you see plenty of signs of a Roman occupation, but very few Romans. The bottom line is that the existence of Roman roads, aqueducts, and amphitheaters didn’t make the emergence of independent states impossible. The same principle will apply to Jewish infrastructure if the international community ever shifts the costs of the occupation back to the Israeli economy.

    • clenchner
      clenchner
      December 29, 2011, 8:53 am

      This reminds of one of Afif Safieh’s bon mots: imagine a boxer emerging from the ring having lost a fight. He says to his fans – sure, I lost against this guy, but if only he was bigger and stronger, or there were two of them, surely I’d have won!
      The forces that can’t even get a small state on 22% of Palestine are confident that 100% is within reach.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        December 29, 2011, 9:02 am

        but newclench, isn’t there something to the palestinian strategy of rejectionism, if that’s what it is– god knows i would be a rejectionist if someone colonized my land. and i would propitiate and prolong and hold out, and even accept the newcomers as my neighbors, but never accept the colonial sovereignty. this strikes me as a tradition in human history that elsewhere is invested with nobility

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        December 30, 2011, 5:16 am

        He says to his fans – sure, I lost against this guy, but if only he was bigger and stronger, or there were two of them, surely I’d have won!

        Not sure what you mean by this, seeing as in all the conflicts, the opponent was being backed either by the British Empire and then later the US Empire.

        It sounds to me more like a case of the boxer saying to his fans, one day the odds will no longer be stacked overwhelmingly against us, and as soon as the other guy realizes the game is no longer rigged and that his enabler is no longer there to protect him, he’ll cut and run – as do all cowards.

  2. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    December 28, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Well, as the nature of at least a goodly portion of Israelis seems to be increasingly revealed, I wonder just how much faith Strenger ought to give to the idea of outsiders helping Israel.

    From another Haaretz story just today as well: A young female IDF soldier is sitting in the front of a bus when a haredi guy started hassling some female who had come to the front merely to have her ticket checked. “You don’t have to come up front to check your ticket,” he chides her, “a woman shouldn’t move to this side of the bus.”

    And then he turned on the IDF girl, telling her to get to the back, after which he was joined by a number of the other men on the bus branding her with various names they obvious equate to the same thing: “Gentile! Prostitute! Shikse!”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-female-soldier-accosted-for-rebuffing-haredi-bus-segregation-1.404158

    So anyway, Mr. Strenger, as more and more of this is reported your religion is gonna have a whole lot of trouble rounding up international sympathy from gentile women methinks, or from their gentile fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

    And—just a wild guess—I kinda suspect that arab sympathy is gonna be a hard thing to get too…

  3. Krauss
    Krauss
    December 28, 2011, 12:14 pm

    I do not think the piece is very good at all, and definitely not exceptional and here’s why:

    While under the standards of the Israeli press(and certainly even more so the mainstream American press) he goes a very long way to understanding what is happening.

    The problem is that he is saying now, John Mearsheimer was essentially saying almost 3 years ago.

    Another part which I noted is his defensive, incessant ethnocentrism and hostile posture. I mean this is one of those liberal Zionists who fantisize of ‘The Other Israel’ that apparently the ‘mainstream’ in Israel is about but that somehow never rears it’s head and allow themselves to be pushed around by a tiny fringe(settlers).

    The intellectual bankruptcy of these words were exposed – again – this week as the chief rabbinate of Israel has thus far refused to condemn the haredi extremists that spat on the girl, instead wallowing in language ‘let’s all obey the law’ and other generic talk.

    It’s quite simple really; was Barak really serious? It’s hard to believe it, because settlements increased most under Labor in the 90s. Despite what the propagandists claim, settlements are very much so a part of the problem and anybody who says otherwise is flatly against the 2SS. And if Barak was supposedly for it, why did he build like crazy to make it as a hard as possible to make it happen?

    Netanyahu, as Strenger points out, attended rallies that had obscene posters on Rabin, as well as bragging that he ‘killed it’. (Netanyahu was also filmed saying that ‘America is something can be easily moved’ but that’s another part of the story).

    There just was not any intention for a 2SS, it was never a serious consideration. It was a fantasy. Ben-Gurion wrote even before Hitler came to power to his son that the objective was to expell all the Arabs and claim the land of Israel for the Jews.
    From the river to the sea.

    Strenger has ignored this and fooled himself otherwise.
    He still thinks the situation can be turned around. It cannot. As long as he maintains his fantasy of ‘The Other Israel'(neatly represented by Meretz, about 5 % of the population) is somehow this mammoth sleeping, he is not part of the solution, he is part of the problem.

    Mearsheimer’s 2010 speech about the ‘New Afrikaaners and the Righteous Jews’ (with the third, largest, group in the middle, the ambivalents) is much more relevant.

    Mearsheimer & Walt, but especially Mearsheimer has been way ahead of the curve the entire time. He essentially says that Apartheid Israel is now a fact, a reality in the Occupied territories and as the creeping annexation comes along, it will become more and more formalized. After that, you have a fullblown civil rights struggle and a bi-national state in the end, although it’s likely most Jews will have fled by then to other western countries, especially America.

    I do not think the 1SS is workable, too much bad blood and Jewish history simply doesn’t allow very easily to trust strangers in such a way anymore, at least in the non-Western world.

    The next few years will gradually crush the illusions of most so-called ‘liberal Zionists’ but some may never quite understand and will become increasingly bitter.
    Then of course you have Finkelstein who started out in a clear path and then have moved further to the right on Israel as the years go by to taking on a position that is easily a ‘liberal Zionist’ position, adding that palestinians should ‘calm down’ in their civil rights struggle.

    That Gentiles like Mearsheimer are routinely more correct on Israel than the overwhelming majority of Jews, even the left-leaning ones, is not strange. Outsiders tend to have a more dispassionate eye on morally corrupted socities/communities.

    Jews used to have that role, but as a sign of our ascent; no more.
    Thus, Gentiles are increasingly more relevant in this discussion, which of course drives some Jews of a certain generation absolutely nuts. Strenger’s muddled column proves this. He is closer than most, but at this point he is several years behind where he should be.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      December 28, 2011, 1:23 pm

      I prefer your analysis to Strenger’s, certainly! I agree that there was never any serious intention to move to a 2ss, the deepest reason, I would think, being the total incompatibility of the 2ss with the basic premises of Zionism.

    • Frankie P
      Frankie P
      December 28, 2011, 7:17 pm

      @Krauss,

      Thank you for a very insightful comment. Your analysis of the current situation regarding the dispassionate eye of outsiders seems as accurate as your prediction of how the next few years will crush the illusions of so-called liberal Zionists.

      Actually, your own dispassionate eye seems to disprove your conclusion that Gentile analysis of the situation is becoming more relevant than Jewish analysis!

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      December 28, 2011, 7:56 pm

      “Jewish history simply doesn’t allow very easily to trust strangers in such a way anymore, at least in the non-Western world.”

      Do you mean that Jews are more likely to trust Western strangers than non-Western strangers? If so, this is odd, since it was Westerners who carried out the pogroms and the Holocaust.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        December 29, 2011, 2:18 am

        “Do you mean that Jews are more likely to trust Western strangers than non-Western strangers? If so, this is odd, since it was Westerners who carried out the pogroms and the Holocaust”.

        I know, it’s a paradox. But where do Jews live these days? Almost exclusively in the Western world. It’s says a lot about where Jews are most comfortable – and hence feel most secure – in the world Diaspora, and that happens to be Western, largely Christian nations.

        We could have a seperate, probably very fascinating, discussion about the paradox that you raise and why it’s a fact, but that’s another discussion. I stand by my words in that comment, that comment you quoted as well as everything else in there.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        December 29, 2011, 9:10 am

        interesting, Krauss, and yet there was a time when Jews felt very comfortable in Muslim majority countries, right? Can you see a restoration of that trust any time soon?

      • GalenSword
        GalenSword
        December 29, 2011, 10:08 am

        Phil is confusing ethnicity and religion. The Jews that lived among Arabs were ethnic Arabs while ethnic Ashkenazim had no history of living among Arabs even if they had some minor relations with Muslim Tatars in historic Poland. In recent times ethnic Ashkenazim did not have particularly good relations with Jewish Tatars in historic Poland.

        Thinking that ethnic Ashkenazim would get along with Arabs because some Arabs are Jews is like thinking that Sicilians would get along with Swiss because some Swiss are Roman Catholic.

        The movie Bread and Chocolate starring Giancarlo Giannini depicted the travails of Sicilian migrant workers in Switzerland.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 29, 2011, 7:27 pm

        “I stand by my words…”

        I wasn’t criticising you for anything other than unclear prose. But, as you say, it is a paradox!

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      December 29, 2011, 7:08 am

      Then of course you have Finkelstein who started out in a clear path and then have moved further to the right on Israel as the years go by to taking on a position that is easily a ‘liberal Zionist’ position, adding that palestinians should ‘calm down’ in their civil rights struggle.

      The other day we had an article here where that sort of thing was implied, but Finkelstein said nothing of the kind. He was describing an opportunity to exploit a global political consensus and his topic was the the two state solution and the settlements, not civil rights.

      He was describing the global consensus, i.e. the views of others not his own. Some in the audience got offended because the global consensus sounded like liberal Zionism. Well guess what? The global consensus supports the liberal Zionist agenda and a two state solution. Finkelstein was pointing out that there is no objection whatever to a two state solution from the standpoint of international law, even if you could make a better moral case for the one state solution. He is saying that there is an opportunity of winning over public opinion and thereby achieving our ultimate goal of equal human rights in every state by using the two state solution as our point of departure. That’s because it already happens to enjoy the support of a global majority.

  4. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 28, 2011, 12:33 pm

    The problem is that the world coddles the Jews in Palestine way too much. Yes, what occurred in their family’s past is terrible, but that is simply no excuse for them to treat the Palestinians in the way they have and the way they are treating them now.

    Until such time as the Israelis have redeemed themselves by apologizing to their victims, making amends and establishing full equality and full political, civil and human rights, they deserve no sympathy for their past traumas, as they have pissed away any sympathy by their vile acts.

    No person may secure his rights by holding another in bondage. That is what the Jews in Palestine and their supporters all over the world have done to the Palestinians. Any Jew who can only claim his right by suppressing a Palestinian has no right which the world should respect.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 28, 2011, 12:42 pm

      (continued)

      The reverse is also true, of course. No one should be able to claim a need to suppress another in order to secure his own rights.

      Yet the tenor of the discussion is always 1) first obtain for the Jews “security” — whatever that is supposed to mean, and then 2) the Arabs get whatever rights we feel we can give them.

      Until that paradigm is obliterated as the racist nonsense it is, this cycle will continue.

    • American
      American
      December 28, 2011, 6:00 pm

      “The problem is that the world coddles the Jews in Palestine way too much.”

      I agree Woody and have said the same many times. Some how they have to give up their special and exceptional status or there will always be a big bulls eye painted on their backs.
      They are not going to give it up willingly because of all the privileges that go with it, so the problem is how to take it away from them in a way that will result in moving them to normalcy and not into more violent reactions.
      My first choice would be to stop all US aid to Israel….and/or cease US vetoing of UN resolutions against them. No other country is going to fill in for us on that kind of aid and that would stop their military agression/plans dead in it’s tracks.
      That would be enough of a neutral shock treatment for the US zionist and for Israel to make them consider how to get along on their own.
      Unless they are mad and totally self destructive they will realize what they have to change to survive.

  5. annie
    annie
    December 28, 2011, 12:39 pm

    well, he’s really wrong about one thing:

    Yet any solution that looks like apartheid is unacceptable.

    very unfortunately, it is not unacceptable to most of israel’s society. the only thing they seem to be objecting to is the naming of it.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 28, 2011, 12:46 pm

      He’s also wrong in asserting that 2011 was the year the two-state solution died. It probably never existed, as it is clear that the founders of the Zionist state demonstrably intended to steal it all. But if it did ever exist, it died in 1967, murdered in cold blood by the Israelis.

      The Jews occupying Palestine have been running a racism-fueled, de-facto one-party Apartheid state for 45 years, but people are too compromised, or stupid, or Zionist, or naive to call the thing by its name.

      • Avi_G.
        Avi_G.
        December 28, 2011, 1:30 pm

        If one were to trace back the death of the so-called two-state solution, then the period following the ratification of the UN Partition Plan of 1947 was it. Immediately after, Zionist forces moved in to drive out Palestinians.

        See this map: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Maps/IsraeliMiliteryOperationOutsideUN_proposesedJewishState11-47-05-48.jpg

      • Avi_G.
        Avi_G.
        December 28, 2011, 2:00 pm

        Off topic, but somewhat pertinent thoughts on the subject matter:

        Phil, Finkelstein, and others sometimes like to separate the legal precedent that is the UN Partition Plan and Declaration of Independence, from the war of aggression of 1967, forgetting that land acquired in 1948 by force cannot be legally annexed.

        Many Israelis, too, like to make that distinction so as to emphasize — in their view — the legitimacy of Israel’s borders within the 1948 ceasefire lines. The paradigm is that 1948 is good, 1967 is bad. If only Israel went back to the 1948 lines, then all will be legal and fine, goes the rationale.

        However, these constructs are false from the start. They are false for the following reasons:

        1. Despite repeated reluctance to acknowledge this fact, the Partition Plan, as well as, Israel’s declaration and subsequent recognition at the UN came about thanks to US and Zionist pressure.

        Despite scholarly sources that state as much — sources I have cited — both Phil and others continue to ignore said evidence. Finkelstein likes to repeat the phrase, “Israel is a fact”.

        Side note: If facts on the ground are legitimate, in Finkelstein’s view, then how does he separate the colonies (facts on the ground) from Israel within the 1948 ceasefire lines (another “fact”, as Finkelstein put it)?

        2. A quick look by any adult person in possession of all his faculties is bound to convince one that the Partition Plan was not intended to succeed. Jaffa was an enclave, the northern parts were separated from the southern parts. There was no territorial contiguity. This further weakens the so-called international legitimacy, or what professor Finkelstein in relation to the two-state solution termed “International Consensus”, regarding Israel’s 1948 borders.

        In other words, the state was born out of coercion and political pressure at the UN in New York and massacres on the ground in Palestine. It’s Declaration of Independence was the same. And 1967 was yet another chapter in its expansionist history.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        December 28, 2011, 2:05 pm

        The 48 armistice lines are very different from Partition lines, which were approved by UN GA

      • Avi_G.
        Avi_G.
        December 28, 2011, 2:23 pm

        But, Phil, that’s the crux of my argument.

        In other words, why should the armistice lines on which Israel’s independence was declared and which the UN recognized be any different than the Partition Plan? If both actions were enabled and made possible by external pressure and unethical influence, then neither can be said to have true international legitimacy. Do you disagree?

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        December 28, 2011, 2:26 pm

        i think the issue is “intl legitimacy”. does india pakistan partition have legitimacy? does arab league and nato intervention in libya have legitimacy? does un 194 on r of r have legitimacy? when does an intl body, subject to political pressure, corrupt ones too, have legitimacy and when doesnt it?
        i have waffled on the point you’re trying to pin me down on, but certainly i think that un partition was far more equitable than what the 47-49 conflict produced

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 2:31 pm

        1947 was 64 years ago.

        Is the world the same?

      • Avi_G.
        Avi_G.
        December 28, 2011, 2:39 pm

        Philip Weiss says:
        December 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

        i think the issue is “intl legitimacy”. does india pakistan partition have legitimacy?

        I think you know my view on that; I abhor colonialism. Colonialism drew arbitrary lines in the region. None of them are legitimate. But, I understand your rebuttal.

        when does an intl body, subject to political pressure, corrupt ones too, have legitimacy and when doesnt it?

        Well, since you brought it up, the UN as an international body is in my view illegitimate as much as it is a sham that enables powerful parties to manipulate the world to their liking, using it as a cloak of legitimacy and consensus. There is no legitimacy, for example, in five members of the Security Counsel being permanent members. But, that’s just one example.

        So, in light of that, if I had the time I would certainly be advocating for the erasure of those arbitrary lines separating Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India etc..

        i have waffled on the point you’re trying to pin me down on

        If you mean “pin me down” in a negative sense as though I’m trying to crucify you, then I’m not. I’m just debating. I can stop and go away if it makes you uncomfortable. Seriously.

        but certainly i think that un partition was far more equitable than what the 47-49 conflict produced

        That’s relative, though, isn’t it? The UN Partition Plan literary stole thousands of acres of land from Palestinian Arabs and gave it to Jews. Professor, Illan Pappe, for example, wrote that in 1947 Jews owned about 4% of the land in Palestine. Within this scope, the partition plan is hardly equitable.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 28, 2011, 6:38 pm

        Phil, Finkelstein, and others sometimes like to separate the legal precedent that is the UN Partition Plan and Declaration of Independence, from the war of aggression of 1967, forgetting that land acquired in 1948 by force cannot be legally annexed.

        The principles of international law regarding annexation of territory did not apply to the civil war (a non-international armed conflict) between the communities of the Palestine mandate. After the mandate was terminated, Israel declared its independence and the Arabs declared a union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine. Once Israel and Jordan were both admitted to the UN as member states, and none of their citizens shared a common Palestinian nationality, the on-going conflict was transformed into an international one. The ICJ noted that, in 1967, both sides were High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions. So the situation then was completely different.

        In 1947, the UN had been asked to propose a peaceful solution to the increasingly violent situation in Palestine. The Security Council accepted the General Assembly’s recommendation in principle, but it became clear that the partition plan could not be carried out by peaceful means. The members of the Security Council objected to the use of force to impose a political solution on the Charter basis that the United Nations is not authorized to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State. So it called the General Assembly back into special session. A Mediator was appointed to find an alternative, negotiated, solution. The portion of the GA resolution on partition was never actually implemented, although both sides later claimed the other had “violated” the terms.

        The parties concerned entered into international armistice agreements which granted the belligerents civil jurisdiction to apply their municipal laws up to the “Green Lines”. That is the normal definition of annexation. The agreements also constituted “belligerent recognition” under customary international law:

        “Once the decision has been taken to recognize an insurgent government as belligerent, the legal consequences of the decision are not limited to its concession of belligerent rights. So long as it maintains an independent existence, the insurgent government is considered to have all the normal rights and liabilities of a State. Its legal position is not merely that of a military occupant as defined by the Hague Convention No. IV, of 1907. — See Ti-chiang Chen, “The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States”, Nabu Press, 2010, page 307-308.

        P.S. For what its worth, the UN has member states with populations in the tens of thousands. There are 1.6 million people living in the Gaza Strip under a Palestinian government that has been declared an enemy entity by Israel. The blockade also constitutes belligerent recognition. So there are at least two nations and two states between the Jordan and the Med whether you want to admit it or not.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 28, 2011, 7:31 pm

        The UN Partition Plan literary stole thousands of acres of land from Palestinian Arabs and gave it to Jews. Professor, Illan Pappe, for example, wrote that in 1947 Jews owned about 4% of the land in Palestine. Within this scope, the partition plan is hardly equitable.

        Correction, the UN partition plan didn’t steal any acres from anyone. A change of sovereignty never effects private property ownership under international law. Religious and minority group communal property rights were also specifically protected in both of the proposed states under the terms of the UN plan. A UN Palestine Commission was tasked with appointing a provisional government and with supervising elections for the Constituent Assembly that was tasked with adopting a democratic constitution. There were actually slightly more Arabs living in the proposed Jewish state than Jews. So, it is highly unlikely that the voters would have turned-over state lands to the Jews.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 29, 2011, 10:33 am

        “Many Israelis, too, like to make that distinction so as to emphasize — in their view — the legitimacy of Israel’s borders within the 1948 ceasefire lines. The paradigm is that 1948 is good, 1967 is bad. If only Israel went back to the 1948 lines, then all will be legal and fine, goes the rationale.”

        If I remember correctly, the PLO, then recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people, agreed to the 1948 ceasefire lines. In my mind, that would settle it. Am I factually mistaken?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 11:23 am

        If I remember correctly, the PLO, then recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people, agreed to the 1948 ceasefire lines. In my mind, that would settle it. Am I factually mistaken?

        Yes the Political Communiqué of the Palestine National Council that accompanied the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988 demanded an international peace conference to establish a State of Palestine on the Palestinian territories which Israel had occupied since 1967, including Arab Jerusalem, on the basis of Security Council resolution 242 and 338:

        With a view to putting this affirmation into practice, the Palestine National Council insists on the following:

        (a) The need to convene an effective international conference on the subject of the Middle East problem and its essence, the question of Palestine, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict in the region, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing, with the provision that the said international conference shall be convened on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and shall guarantee the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, first and foremost among which is the right to self-determination, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations concerning the right to self-determination of peoples, the inadmissibility of seizure of land belonging to others by means of force or military invasion, and in accordance with United Nations resolutions concerning the question of Palestine;

        (b) Israel’s withdrawal from all the Palestinian and Arab territories which it has occupied since 1967, including Arab Jerusalem;

        (c) Cancellation of all measures of attachment and annexation and removal of the settlements established by Israel in the Palestinian and Arab territories since the year 1967;

        (d) An endeavour to place the occupied Palestinian territories, including Arab Jerusalem, under United Nations supervision for a limited period, in order to protect our people and to provide an atmosphere conducive to a successful outcome for the international conference, the attainment of a comprehensive political settlement and the establishment of security and peace for all through mutual acceptance and satisfaction, and in order to enable the Palestinian State to exercise its effective authority over those territories;

        (e) Solution of the Palestine refugee problem in accordance with United Nations resolutions on that subject;

        (f) Assurance of freedom of worship and the practice of religious rites at the holy places in Palestine for adherents of all religions;

        (g) The Security Council’s establishment and assurance of arrangements for security and peace among all the concerned States in the region, including the Palestinian State.
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6EB54A389E2DA6C6852560DE0070E392

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 29, 2011, 11:50 am

        Hostage,

        That provision specifies withdraw to the pre-1967 lines. How, then, do the partition lines come into play?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 1:18 pm

        That provision specifies withdraw to the pre-1967 lines. How, then, do the partition lines come into play?

        The PLO Declaration of Independence stated that resolution 181(II) had partitioned Palestine into Jewish and Arab states and that it was the basis of Palestinian independence and sovereignty. So, by implication the PLO recognized the legitimacy of the Jewish state as defined in that resolution, not the Green Line. http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6EB54A389E2DA6C6852560DE0070E392

        You asked about the 1948 cease fire lines. Those became the permanent armistice lines of demarcation or the Green Line. Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the PLO have signed international agreements which call for the implementation of a final settlement in line with resolutions 242 and 338 based upon the Green Line and minor swaps of territory. The Arab Peace Initiative is also based upon recognition of Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal to the armistice lines.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        December 29, 2011, 1:41 pm

        and as an act of coercion any territorial gains made due to it cannot be considered valid.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        December 29, 2011, 1:45 pm

        I can think of many words to describe the UN partitian equitable is not one of them. using the word equitable to describe a partitian that treated each jew as being worth 2 and half times as much as an arab in regards to land given( and that’s not even accounting the fact the best land was given to the jews though owned by arabs who wanted to be a part of the palestinian state) is a travesty. was it more equitable yeah but to be more honest it would be better to say far less unfair. to use the term equitable in this way implies a sense of fairness that just wasn’t there

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        December 29, 2011, 1:47 pm

        didn’t steal acres at least in and of its self it did steal the right of self determination of every arab living in those lands

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 3:43 pm

        didn’t steal acres at least in and of its self it did steal the right of self determination of every arab living in those lands

        As I pointed out above, the UN never implemented the portion of resolution 181(II) regarding the territorial partition. In any event, the right of self-determination can’t be based upon any ethnic criteria. The General Assembly resolution contained a Plan For the Future Government of Palestine which guaranteed equal rights for all of the inhabitants of the two proposed states regardless of ethnicity, and required the adoption of democratic constitutions that safeguarded legal equality in both of the proposed states.

        When the Jewish Agency rejected the UNSCOP plan, an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly was convened and modifications were made to annex the Negev to the territory of the Jewish state. When the Arabs rejected that plan, the General Assembly went into a second special session and appointed a UN Mediator to conduct further negotiations on a different settlement. See General Assembly resolution 186 (S-2) which appointed the UN Mediator and relieved Palestine Commission of its responsibilities under resolution 181(II). http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/gres186.htm

        So, the State of Israel was created by its own unilateral act, not by the United Nations. As the ICJ noted in its 2004 Advisory Opinion, the State of Israel is violating an erga omnes international obligation by interfering with the right of the inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territory to exercise their own right of self-determination.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 3:56 pm

        and as an act of coercion any territorial gains made due to it cannot be considered valid.

        That only applies to the territory acquired during the 67 war. Both sides signed internationally sanctioned armistice agreements which allowed them to exercise municipal jurisdiction up to the Green Line ’til hell freezes over – pending another mutually agreed upon settlement. Israel’s annexation and continued occupation of Arab territories since 1967, in violation of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, has long-since been declared an act of aggression as defined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) and a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 4:02 pm

        I can think of many words to describe the UN partitian equitable is not one of them.

        That’s exactly what the revisionists thought of Bernadotte’s proposed territorial settlement. The General Assembly only rejected it because the Mandate had been terminated, and the inhabitants were no longer subject to international tutelage.

      • Charon
        Charon
        December 29, 2011, 4:52 pm

        “1947 was 64 years ago.

        Is the world the same?”

        Actually Witty, yeah it pretty much is the same. Fear of terrorism has replaced fear of communism. They say the cold war ended and the USSR fell. NATO is still around though, cold war attitudes still remain in the form of East vs. West, neither is trusting of the other. There are more nukes around then ever before. The American empire has been infiltrated by Soviet-style attitudes via Neoconservativism same as communism before it. The UN, unlike the LON, still exists and there hasn’t been another huge global war. Only superficial differences coupled with better technology.

        Now regarding I/P, the “Jewish” area of the partition plan is where the majority of Israel’s Jews live TODAY. The Arab area of the partition plan is where the majority of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs live TODAY. The few exceptions are so few, it’s amazing that it’s been such an issue for so long. 48 hours and a few bulldozers would take care of the problem on the ground. From 1947 to 1967 nothing really changed and afterwards the settlement project started. It didn’t really escalate until Oslo and the Russian immigration. Recent history. When Obummer and Bibi talk about ‘facts on the ground’ the fact is there is hardly anything on the ground. Most Jews live in the Tel Aviv metro area, the same as they have for 100 years. The only thing that has changed is global attitudes towards Israel’s legitimacy.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        January 2, 2012, 12:41 am

        no it doesn’t. hell the treaty that the Us signed that makes that federal law was signed was signed in 33 and is considered part of customary international law. It states any land gained through warfare, threat of warfare, or any other coercive means is invalid. so yeah it does in fact apply to the great war of zionist aggression in the 40’s

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        January 2, 2012, 3:15 am

        no it doesn’t. hell the treaty that the Us signed that makes that federal law was signed was signed in 33 and is considered part of customary international law. It states any land gained through warfare, threat of warfare, or any other coercive means is invalid. so yeah it does in fact apply to the great war of zionist aggression in the 40′s

        Pardon me, I’ll tell the people of Kosovo to give their territory back to Serbia because they violated US federal law (not). Recognition of belligerency and insurgency during civil wars (belligerent rights) was already a part of customary international law by the 1860s.
        *Here is a short blog entry which explains the legal difference between that and an international armed conflict: http://kumar-theloneranger.blogspot.com/2007/08/recognition-of-insurgency-and.html
        *There is an entire chapter devoted to the subject in Ti-chiang Chen, The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States, Praeger, 1951: http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924016945770
        *Here is an article at The Encyclopedia of the New American Nation on the subject: http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/Recognition-Belligerent-recognition.html

        The Stimson Doctrine did not apply to civil wars between the lawful inhabitants of a State. In the 1930s only States could enter into international agreements and only States were considered persons of international law in accordance with Article 1 of The Montevideo Convention (1933). BTW, that was only an international agreement between States. Article 11 only established a conventional rule of their conduct that applied to wars between themselves (international armed conflicts). Treaties were not considered binding agreements with respect to non-State belligerents or insurgents. Article 11 said:

        The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.

        http://www.jus.uio.no/english/services/library/treaties/01/1-02/rights-duties-states.xml

        During civil wars in a High Contracting State, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies. Many of the 161 customary rules of international law do not apply to non-international armed conflicts (NIAC). See the list for the applicable rules for international armed conflicts (IAC): http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/612?OpenDocument

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        January 4, 2012, 4:39 am

        Pardon me, I’ll tell the people of Kosovo to give their territory back to Serbia because they violated US federal law (not)

        your missing my point, probably intentionally, because I know unlike zionists you have reading comprehension. you claimed it only mattered in 67 but that would imply it wasn’t in fore in 48 having been signed and ratified in numerous counries a decade and half prior says other wise.

        also chacterizing the zionist conquest of palestine as a civil war if a gross distortion of the factual evidence. I’m sorry but calling a conflict when the majority of people fighting for one side weren’t even legal residents or even citizens as a civil war seems to me negates all meaning of the term.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        January 4, 2012, 2:11 pm

        your missing my point, probably intentionally, because I know unlike zionists you have reading comprehension.

        I went to great lengths to explain that the prohibition you are talking about was not applicable to civil wars between the inhabitants of the same State. I even gave you a link to the applicable international law on recognition of belligerency and insurgency. The Kosovo case is a valid example where the US extended recognition. The ICJ specifically addressed the claim that its unilateral declaration of independence and secession had violated international laws, including the UN Charter.

        Of course, the Montevideo Convention reflects the declarative doctrine which holds that, even prior to recognition by other states, a state has the right to defend itself and determine the territorial extent of its jurisdiction (see Article 3). http://www.jus.uio.no/english/services/library/treaties/01/1-02/rights-duties-states.xml

        The Montevideo Convention and the UN Charter are still treaties in force that are reflected in The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. The qualifications for statehood, including a defined territory, are contained in § 201. The laws regarding recognition of states and governments are contained in § 202 and § 203 respectively. Each of those contains a stipulation, § 202(2) and § 203(2), which says that “A State has an obligation not to treat or to recognize as a State an entity that has attained the qualifications for statehood as a result of a threat or use of armed force in violation of the United Nations Charter.” A comment in § 202(f) explains that this requirement is ordinarily applied in cases where secession effects the rights of another State and the new entity has not yet established control over its territory.

  6. Avi_G.
    Avi_G.
    December 28, 2011, 12:40 pm

    I agree with Sari Nousseibeh that Jewish history from the Pogroms through the Holocaust, from the 1948 war to that of 1973, is too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come.

    I wonder if Strenger noticed the irony in his statement. It appears he did not.

    Here, yet again, one can see how that centuries-old baggage plays a role in current day Israeli society. And that emotional baggage would be a non-factor were it not for the Israeli education system as outlined by professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan in her research of Israeli school textbooks and by filmmaker Yoav Shamir in his film, Defamation.

    • Richard Witty
      Richard Witty
      December 28, 2011, 2:32 pm

      They’re friends. I’m sure he got any irony. Did you?

      • Avi_G.
        Avi_G.
        December 28, 2011, 3:59 pm

        Reading comprehension. I’m sure you’ve got any non- of it.

  7. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    December 28, 2011, 12:59 pm

    ‘I agree with Sari Nousseibeh that Jewish history from the Pogroms through the Holocaust, from the 1948 war to that of 1973, is too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come.”

    –Ummm, Israeli’s don’t have “control” they are subsidized to the hilt by the major powers. There is no “jewish autonomy” over security what so ever.

    “Although the two state solution was far from perfect: at least it gave answers to these basic questions of governance and civic rights. But Israel’s citizens and its government have decided: It will not be.”

    –throw in ” most jews in the diaspora” and we’re getting somewhere

    “It is held together by a set of common beliefs: that all humans are created equal; that we must strive to create societies that protect human rights, and allow individuals and cultures to flourish; and that the task of humanity is to gradually overcome our tribal past and strive towards a world order that reflects out dependence upon each other. I am grateful for this community that is keeping our hopes alive, even in difficult times.”

    — If I have to read another Israeli writing about these values, Im gonna scream. This guy is so full of shit, its not even funny. Not only does he describe in his ideal world, a vision that is radically opposed to what the practical application of judaism is–“task of humanity is to gradually overcome our tribal past and strive towards a world order that reflects out dependence upon each other”– he basically calls bullshit on the most basic elements of zionism. So, the obvious question becomes: Carlo, what the F are you doing in Tel Aviv?

  8. Richard Witty
    Richard Witty
    December 28, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I think you entirely mischaracterized the Strenger piece to declare it really in any way in the tradition of Mearsheimer or Abunimeh (very different from each other).

    Annie,
    You just grossly insulted Strenger, another very good man, in relation to whom you and Phil and Adam are just too trigger-happy towards.

    Strenger has written and worked for decades for changing the substance of relations between Israel and Palestine and Palestinians, not just the appearance (“the name”).

    Please take care in your words.

    Its an irony that Phil wrote that the Strenger article was an “excellent piece”. He rejects the one-state, rejects the federated state, rejects apartheid, declares that things will get worse without a path to get better.

    • Donald
      Donald
      December 28, 2011, 2:06 pm

      I think I know one reason you hang around here Richard–it’s part of your defense mechanism. Phil and Annie and Adam might or might not be “trigger-happy”, but that’s not why Israel has been persecuting Palestinians and steadily destroying any possibility of a 2SS. It’s the contradictions within Zionism which are doing that. But focus on the real or alleged problems of this blog if that’ll make you feel better.

      “He rejects the one-state, rejects the federated state, rejects apartheid, declares that things will get worse without a path to get better.”

      Yeah, and to the extent that there is an external cause for this sorry situation it is the legacy of decades of “love” being shown to Israel by its American supporters.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 2:30 pm

        He also describes the failing to emerge atwo-state solution to joint negligences.

      • Donald
        Donald
        December 28, 2011, 2:37 pm

        Yeah he does. Thanks for pointing that out. Unfortunately it seems Stenger is just another liberal Zionist bigot and Phil was a little too charitable towards him. One of Phil’s flaws (his biggest) is his tendency to play up anything someone says that resembles a point he’d make and ignore the rest. It makes him quick to give more credit to people than they deserve.

        The second intifada was the culmination of an insincere effort at peace by the Israelis, and like many “liberal Zionists” Stenger doesn’t count dead Palestinians when he talks about violence. Nothing new there.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 4:37 pm

        “Another liberal Zionist bigot”.

        A brilliant comment.

        Just to hammer a message. In July, there were back to back demonstrations in Israel, one a “big-tent” march in opposition to the occupation in which they struggled to get 3.000 to attend and most Palestinians stayed away for the impact of “normalization” implied.

        The next week, the J14 demonstrations occurred, making common cause between civil society from various communities on social issues, not on the occupation, and 300,000 attended.

        The point is of the relative “effectiveness” of trashing liberal Zionists, unless your intention is to war.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        December 28, 2011, 4:57 pm

        witty,

        thank you for explaining very clearly (for once) the empty, soulless chasm that is israeli society.

        personally, i dont think “trashing liberal zionists” is the right course either, I think ignoring them and their ideas altogether is the path people of conscience should take

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 28, 2011, 5:34 pm

        The point is of the relative “effectiveness” of trashing liberal Zionists, unless your intention is to war.

        Witty the stories about Greys living in Roswell are more credible than the reports that liberal Zionists have actually been spotted in Israel.

      • irena
        irena
        December 28, 2011, 7:36 pm

        Joint negligences? Like the ongoing construction of Israeli settlements and the ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes? You are right, it must be the current “Judaization” of East Jerusalem which obviously Palestinians contribute to by being kicked out of their homes. Or maybe the recent restart of E1 settlement which will essential create two separate areas north and south of East and West Jerusalem…hmm that could it.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 8:05 pm

        Your eyes are closed Hostage. Actually look around.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 8:06 pm

        Joint negligences – The second intifada. 1000 Israeli civilians murdered in their own civilian cities.

        Not forgettable.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 28, 2011, 8:42 pm

        “Joint negligences? Like the ongoing construction of Israeli settlements and the ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes?”

        Yes. It was just negligence. Someone had a momentary lapse of attention, and found s/he had build a bunch of settlements and destroyed a bunch of homes. Could happen to anyone.

      • eljay
        eljay
        December 28, 2011, 10:04 pm

        >> Joint negligences?

        RW has previously stated that both Zionists/Israelis AND the Palestinians are aggressors. “Joint negligences” is in line with his “reasoning”, which goes something like this:
        – The rapist is an aggressor because he physically and sexually assaults his victim.
        – The victim is an aggressor because she punches and slaps the rapist, instead of “humanizing ‘the Other'” and making “better wheels”.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        December 29, 2011, 5:55 am

        Your eyes are closed Hostage. Actually look around.

        I have, the positions on settlements held by Shelly Yachimovich’s Labor and Ehud Barak’s Atzmaut party are no different in reality than Netanyahu’s Likud party position. In fact, the liberal Zionists led the way in settlement expansion and spinning the story that there was no one to negotiate with on the other side.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 29, 2011, 6:31 am

        1000 civilians killed intentionally is aggression, no?

        Don’t go ostrich.

      • Donald
        Donald
        December 29, 2011, 7:11 am

        “The point is of the relative “effectiveness” of trashing liberal Zionists, unless your intention is to war.”

        Yawn. I don’t claim all liberal Zionists are bigots. Many are. Some aren’t. I don’t agree with the ideology and I think it leads genuinely liberal people into taking contorted positions when pressed, but they aren’t all bigots.

        People who ignore the fact that the Israelis are the aggressors and have killed far more civilians and who talk as though Palestinians have to convince Israelis they are civilized, while Palestinians must accept any bone a “liberal Zionist” tosses their way–well, those people are bigots.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 29, 2011, 10:22 am

        Whose asking for Palestinians to “accept any bone a liberal Zionist tosses their way”?

        The theme that the conflict is circular, a conflict, rather than strictly a one-sided oppression is rational.

        The theme that the conflict is only an oppression does not jive with reality.

        Lot’s of “too far”‘s (to quote Norman Finkelstein’s title).

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        December 29, 2011, 1:50 pm

        well technically they aren’t civlian cities as they are in occupied territory meaning its illegal for Israel to have moved civilians there.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 29, 2011, 4:41 pm

        Tel Aviv an occupied territory? Haifa?

        Are you serious?

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        January 2, 2012, 12:45 am

        yes. name the treaty where the palestinians signed away sovreignty? oh wait they never did. just because your incapable of admitting that the crimes Israel committed doesn’t give them legal rights.

    • libra
      libra
      December 28, 2011, 9:31 pm

      Richard, I find it ironic that only you defend Strenger and Phil here but it is to your credit. For Strenger recognises the two-state solution is dead unlike yourself. He also recognises the futility of negotiations, unlike people such as eee who use this word like a mantra.

      In these two areas Strengers views are closer to mine so it would be churlish of me not to defend him too. That he may have reached his views later than me is immaterial, and I certainly once supported the two-state solution as the best outcome.

      It’s not that him agreeing with me makes either of us right but it merely highlights that there is no consensus in these areas even amongst Palestinian supporters here at Mondoweiss.

      Further, his inability to see a viable, acceptable solution rather than the ongoing descent into an apartheid state is hardly unique. There are few people who are optimistic about the prospects of a democratic, single-state. Indeed, there is little discussion on the nature of such a state and how it could tackle the obstacles it would face. That is another irony to me as it seems to me when everything else has been ruled out, this will be what finally happens.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 28, 2011, 10:12 pm

        Libra,
        If you read my posts, you will have noticed an appeal for the fully democratic single state.

        My problem with the proposal is that it is almost always presented (except by likudnik Michael Oren, seeking to isolate Gaza) as a Palestinian nationalist pendulum swing.

        Always presented with the concept of unlimited right of return, and to anywhere within the state, so as to invite a radical change in demographics currently.

        That radical change in demographics, with a fight nearly certain with each specific decision, makes the proposal not one for equal rights for all individuals in a civilist, European-like society, but more likely a nationalist pendulum swing.

        So, in that light, of likely conflict and suppression and then war, I prefer the two-state. I prefer it anyway, as I regard the concept of “enough Israel” as highly preferable, that it results in more optimal degree of self-governance, and particularly of the community that my recent ancestors put their heart, body, and money into realizing and did.

        It seems absurd to risk that for a gamble. I don’t have a clue as to likud’s math on this, except the theme of taking the present trends for granted.

        Liberal Zionists are horribly disappointed in Obama on this. He applied virtually no accountability to Netanyahu’s actions, even in ways that he could just send a message. (An abstention on some critical non-binding UN resolution. It didn’t happen.)

        For the single state to be regarded as viable, proponents would have to persuade a critical mass of interested parties to prefer it, not just adopt a lesser of evils. And, the test of that is electoral in both Israel and Palestine.

        Further, the theme of anti-normalization that is the subject of a discussion on 972 inititiated by Aziz Abu Sarah (critical of it and forms of it), puts a giant damper on the single-state proposal.

        Israelis perceive people like PACBI advocates declaring in effect “we don’t want to have any contact with you, but we want you to trust us that we will honor your fully equal political, human and community rights in a single state”.

        For example, PACBI stated their objection to participation in events with IPCRI (Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information) with joint Israeli and Palestinian co-directors, that include some former Mossad and IDF officers on its board (all of who are highly critical of Israeli policy).

        Gershon Baskin, who mediated the release of Gilad Shalit with Hamas is one of the executive directors. It just strikes liberal Zionists as utterly incongruous.

        When the single-state advocates can demonstrate CONFIDENCE that Israeli human rights will never be abused, then there is the likelihood of some critical mass of basis of support, especially if endorsed and respected by Palestinians.

        The repeated theme is “we are oppressed. How can you possibly ask us to think of what comes next?”

        And, in that way, they stay oppressed.

        Political orientation rather than social. Political forms and polemic rather than inter-personal community substance.

      • Donald
        Donald
        December 29, 2011, 7:35 am

        “The repeated theme is “we are oppressed. How can you possibly ask us to think of what comes next?”

        And, in that way, they stay oppressed.

        Political orientation rather than social. Political forms and polemic rather than inter-personal community substance.”

        Notice what you just did there. The liberal Zionists are, once again, the heroes and victims. Palestinians are oppressed because of their own flaws.

        Richard, as an exercise, sit down, reread what you’ve written, and try to figure out why I would also ask you to go read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”.

        I think the Palestinians need to work with Israelis of good will, but they probably have very long experience with the sort of “liberals” that MLK describes in the letter I just mentioned. You are utterly blind to the problem–the problem is that of “liberals” who think very highly of themselves because they acknowledge that the Palestinians have some legitimate complaints, but still, perhaps unconsciously, still harbor a sense of superiority and moral privilege.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 29, 2011, 11:15 am

        When the single-state advocates can demonstrate CONFIDENCE that Israeli human rights will never be abused, then there is the likelihood of some critical mass of basis of support, especially if endorsed and respected by Palestinians.

        The repeated theme is “we are oppressed. How can you possibly ask us to think of what comes next?”

        And, in that way, they stay oppressed.

        This is the evil of so-called “liberal Zionism.” It is never acceptable for an oppressive regime to remain in place until such time as the oppressor’s fears are sated. NEVER. You can assert that everyone must have equal rights and have them equally respected. That’s a fine liberal position.

        But once you say to the dispossed and oppressed: “until you make sure that the oppressor is well taken care of, the boot must remain on your neck, and oh, how badly you’ve made things for yourself…” then you have tossed away any claim of liberalism. You’re a ethnocentrist. Nothing more.

        Because the essence of liberalism is the recognition that one can only protect his own rights if he protects everyone’s rights. What you are proposing here is the ideology of the self-proclaimed benevolent slaveholder.

      • libra
        libra
        December 29, 2011, 3:09 pm

        RW: “If you read my posts, you will have noticed an appeal for the fully democratic single state.”

        Richard, I’m afraid I don’t recall such an appeal. Maybe there is one buried somewhere within your 11000+ posts but I don’t have the time to search them all. But I did a limited search and to refresh your memory, as recently as November 11 you said this:

        “The single state effort is not solidarity with Palestinian self-determination, but a punitive war stance against Jewish/Israeli.
        In war, it will be fought.”

        Now Richard, however generously I try and interpret your words here, that does not sound like a ringing endorsement of a fully democratic single state. Indeed, quite the opposite.

        What about the right of return?

        RW: “Always presented with the concept of unlimited right of return, and to anywhere within the state, so as to invite a radical change in demographics currently.”

        Well Richard, the bedrock principle for a democratic state is that all citizens have equal rights. You are clearly against diaspora Palestinians having an unlimited right of return. But no mention about diaspora Jews such as yourself having, or being willing to have, their unlimited right of return rescinded.

        I won’t go further Richard except to hope that Strenger can inspire a similar attempt by you to move to a more honest and even-handed position.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 29, 2011, 4:49 pm

        I don’t prefer a single democratic state. I believe that a two-state approach is the more just one, in optimizing the consent of the governed, in contrast to imposing on the governed.

        I described the fully democratic single state as a second best choice, if implemented fully and fairly, which no one that I’ve read has suggested in fact.

        I support the form of right of return that Avishai described that Olmert and Abbas had theoretically accepted.

        1. Day in court for all individual cases (implying voiding the 1951 knesset laws prohibiting return and voiding the law annexing “abandoned’ property.)
        2. Fund established for fedayin that did not hold freehold title to land, to get them on their feet.
        3. Right of unlimited return to sovereign Palestine

        Lawful. Not extra-legal in exagerated extension of right of return, nor denial of it.

        I like the prospect of a place to go should the shit hit the fan. It is the purpose of Zionist Israel. I don’t see it as a conflict with human rights.

        I do see the denial of citizenship and residency for those that were born within geographic Israel to be a violation of human and civil rights. And, I have severe questions about law that prohibits Palestinian Israelis from marrying West Bank Palestinians, and allowing them to reside in Israel.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        December 30, 2011, 5:08 am

        I don’t prefer a single democratic state.

        Not only that Witty, but you don’t actualy prefer democracy at all. As two-state approach is the least just one, because it means the sacrifices ned to be made by Palestinians alone. In fact, the two-state approach is a form of imposing on the governed.

        I described the fully democratic single state as a second best choice, if implemented fully and fairly, which no one that I’ve read has suggested in fact.

        So again, you don’t suport a a fully democratic single state, but a faux deocratic single state that is in fact an apartheid state.

        I support the form of right of return that Avishai described that Olmert and Abbas had theoretically accepted.

        Olmert did not accept any right of return. Offering to accept 100,000 token refugees is not any right of return.

        I like the prospect of a place to go should the shit hit the fan. It is the purpose of Zionist Israel. I don’t see it as a conflict with human rights.

        The reason you don’t see it as a conflict with human rights is because you clearly don’t beleive that Palestinians have rights or the same righs as Jews. It is very revealing how sick you are, and how deeply entrenched your sense of entitlement runs, that you are confortable with the idea that a Palestinian’s right shold be denied in case you feel the need to migrate to Israel.

        And, I have severe questions about law that prohibits Palestinian Israelis from marrying West Bank Palestinians, and allowing them to reside in Israel.

        That’s odd. Only last week, you said that assimiliatino was a threat to Judaism.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        December 30, 2011, 5:19 am

        If you read my posts, you will have noticed an appeal for the fully democratic single state.

        I have read your posts, though I am ashamed to admit it, and I know for a fact that you have opposed and trashed the idea of a fully democratic single state.

        Always presented with the concept of unlimited right of return, and to anywhere within the state, so as to invite a radical change in demographics currently.

        In other words, if you were a white guy living in the 60’s, youd be telling us you are OK with balcks having some rights, just so long as not too many of them move into your neighborhood. After all, who doesn’t want their neoghborhood to be predominantly white? Can you imagine living under a balck majority society?

        Thanks fo owning up to your repugnant and vile racism Witty.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        January 2, 2012, 12:46 am

        in other words you don’t want them to return. by exagerated extension of right of return you mean actually returning to their property because you feel jew’s have the right to theft.

      • American
        American
        December 29, 2011, 1:11 am

        “For Strenger recognises the two-state solution is dead unlike yourself.”….libra

        What happens and sometimes by design…is some mantra like ‘2 states is dead’ gets picked up by tired people and repeated until it becomes common wisdom.
        I wouldn’t fall into that trap if I were you…..if Palestine fell for that they would have no leverage.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        December 29, 2011, 10:27 am

        Donald,
        The liberals that MLK was impatient with, got the litany of civil rights legislation passed and enforced.

        When combined with his long-determined efforts at respectfully non-violent assertion, his letter from a Birmingham jail, motivated the liberals that he criticized.

        The history of the Palestinian rights struggle has not made that respectful common cause, that basis of respect, in the same way that MLK succeeded.

        Its work not yet done, not work better not done.

        That’s if you want change.

        A vanguard alone won’t accomplish it, as the more virulent black leaders in the south and north didn’t accomplish the transformation in American law. The determined liberals did. The ones that respected the other.

        If anything they delayed it.

      • Donald
        Donald
        December 29, 2011, 4:05 pm

        “The liberals that MLK was impatient with, got the litany of civil rights legislation passed and enforced.

        When combined with his long-determined efforts at respectfully non-violent assertion, his letter from a Birmingham jail, motivated the liberals that he criticized.”

        You are assuming that some of the white liberals who read that letter recognized its truth and started to change. I’m suggesting you do the same.
        Instead you insist on waiting for some allegedly perfect Palestinian solidarity movement to come along before you will do so. Until then, you see yourself as off the hook.

        Read the letter, Richard.

      • libra
        libra
        December 29, 2011, 4:20 pm

        American,

        It seems to me the trap the Palestinians have long fallen into is seeing a Palestinian state as their only goal. In struggling for that in the context of a two-state solution they are forced into ‘negotiations” regards borders and end up doing all the heavy lifting to secure “the Jewish state”.

        New thinking is needed. It’s not thread to discuss in detail but one thing to bear in mind. I’ve not found a Zionist commenter here at Mondoweiss who is willing to make a choice between “the Jewish state” by withdrawing the settlers to the 1967 borders or a single democratic state.

        This to me suggests a way forward for the Palestinians to gain leverage. A demand for equal rights in a single state whilst giving the Israelis the option to withdraw within a strict time frame to their legal 1967 borders if they want to preserve “the Jewish state”.

  9. asherpat
    asherpat
    December 28, 2011, 4:01 pm

    “This is the community that will defeat Zionism.”

    Mr. Weiss, sir.

    You are delusional, “wishfully” delusional.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      December 28, 2011, 5:51 pm

      Asherpat,

      Your hubris and denial reminds one of the fortuitous claims made about the Titanic’s unsinkability.

      Then again, like Witty, your refusal to live in Israel suggests you can see the writing on the wall.

      • asherpat
        asherpat
        December 29, 2011, 3:07 am

        @Shingo,

        can it be that your “refusal” to actively participate (i.e., not from your armchair) in the attempt to bring the demisal of Zionism “suggests you can see” that it is futile?

      • Charon
        Charon
        December 29, 2011, 5:05 pm

        asherpat, a lot of traffic runs through here. Like everything else, higher reader-to-comment ratio. This is why hasbarists like to post nonsense, they’re hoping to persuade and ‘scare away’ casual readers. It also pops up in search engines. Luckily, posting nonsense allows other comments to debunk the nonsense with truth. Some of the ideas here make their way to other blogs and some of the users here are active in many internet blogs as well as IRL events. Not just from ‘the armchair.’ But even the armchair alone is quite powerful. Ron Paul’s popularity is not because of MSM influencing public opinion for example. If the ‘armchair’ isn’t powerful than governments, like Israel, wouldn’t have an army of shills on their payroll poisoning the wells of the internet.

        Truth will destroy Zionism. Because Zionism is founded on and supported by lies. The truth is what Israel and the neocons fear the most. Zionism is a house of cards. I’ve already convinced several people IRL. Maybe they don’t care as much as me, but if they do, perhaps they will convince others. When a lie is sold to the public as truth and there are plenty of facts to expose the lie, the truth will eventually prevail.

  10. American
    American
    December 28, 2011, 6:17 pm

    “I agree with Sari Nousseibeh that Jewish history from the Pogroms through the Holocaust, from the 1948 war to that of 1973, is too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come.”

    Give up your trauma or perish. I’am telling you as a friend…. well, not as a friend really, I don’t feel friendly towards Israel …so I am telling you as a ‘realist’…..Give it up. It’s gonna ruin you eventually if you don’t. The world is tired of your trauma,
    it’s lasted too long.

  11. Erasmus
    Erasmus
    December 28, 2011, 6:24 pm

    How Philip Weiss comes to his conclusion the Strenger article were an “excellent piece” must remain his personal secret. Perhaps PW had a bad day after a very hard holiday season???
    For sure it has been bad judgement. His love for “liberals” may have carried him away, and his logic has failed him this time – obviously.
    Strenger writes garbage, verbose and irrelevant garbage, shit-liberal academic Zionist garbage; and this too often, and already for too long. That is why I do not read his verbal diarrhea anymore. It is a waste of time.

    I thank for and agree with clear and stringent comments of
    a) Pabelmont, especially his
    ..” 2SS is “dead” only so long as the decision rests solely with Israel. Anyone who invokes the international community, whether governmental or civil, is looking beyond that.” and
    b) Dan Crowther , especially his
    . “… i dont think “trashing liberal zionists” is the right course either, I think ignoring them and their ideas altogether is the path people of conscience should take. .”

  12. eljay
    eljay
    December 28, 2011, 6:42 pm

    >> Carlo Strenger: I hoped that the Palestinian bid for UN recognition would bear fruit and that it would stop the march toward catastrophe. … I maintained this hope not just for the Palestinians, but for Israel; because I believed that both Jews and Palestinians wanted and needed political self-determination; but primarily because I couldn’t see the one state solution working; and finally, because I shuddered at the idea that we Jews would continue to rule another people. … This community of like-minded people [“many friends and readers, in Israel and abroad”] is varied. … It is held together by a set of common beliefs: that all humans are created equal; that we must strive to create societies that protect human rights, and allow individuals and cultures to flourish; and that the task of humanity is to gradually overcome our tribal past and strive towards a world order that reflects out dependence upon each other. I am grateful for this community that is keeping our hopes alive, even in difficult times.

    It’s a strange thing, to see someone speak about equality and overcoming a tribal past…and in the same article, to see that same person speak of his hope for a tribal and religion-supremacist “Jewish state”.

    Seriously, did he really think that, in a two-state solution, Israeli Jews wouldn’t be “ruling another [non-Jewish Israeli] people”, perhaps even – as resident Zio-supremacist “humanist” RW has proposed – excising them from their own nation in order to retain a permanent Jewish majority?

    • Richard Witty
      Richard Witty
      December 28, 2011, 8:07 pm

      “excising them from their own nation in order to retain a permanent Jewish majority?”

      Where did I PROPOSE that? Please don’t lie. It doesn’t add to anything that could call an argument.

  13. mudder
    mudder
    December 28, 2011, 11:34 pm

    Joseph Dana says about Strenger’s article: This short week has been marked by misinformed, incorrect and downright stupid commentary pieces. This is one.

  14. Larrysturn
    Larrysturn
    December 29, 2011, 8:17 am

    I don’t believe two states are dead. We can do all we need to create two states with reasonable borders, international backing and a rational, (OK semi-rational) path to negotiating all the outstanding final status issues. It may be easy to sound the death nell and it may be logical, but it isn’t prudent. There are plenty of people in Israel who see the features of the Arab Democracy Movement as a challenge to Israel’s regional hegemony that requires even more discipline and power. Within the uncharted nature of the uprising and its early election returns this position is not so extreme. But there are many who connect the movement for freedom that took place in the streets with the social demonstations in Israel and the United States and a larger arch of change and transformation that offers all people a better future. It even offers Palestinians and Israelis alike another chance to recalibrate their conflict in 2012 and move it forward..

  15. Carllarc
    Carllarc
    December 29, 2011, 8:39 am

    It may be that what are thought to be irreconcilable differences are really only such from a particular point of view; can it be that a rearranging an ordering, by a different perspective, what was irreconcilable can be found to be non-irreconcilable?

    Strenger (St) proclaims that the 2ss is dead, too much water has gushed over the dam of what were the quasi-borders so that the demarcation has now been washed away and the flood gates are wide open. Others simply point out the obvious; there has not been a slow death of the 2ss, rather the 2ss was pretty much DOA, a corpse even before Israel was born.

    St also laments that the alternative 1ss may be best thought of as being terminally stuck between a rock and a hard place; in particular, the 1ss doesn’t fit either with the Jewish psyche of needing to control security or with how a binational governance could co-exist. So, according to St’s figuring, a 1ss solution is still-born.

    St is correct that any hope of a 2ss is dead; St is also correct that a 1ss is not possible, but only so from the perspective of his scenario that imagines the need for Jewish security and a binational governance from today’s perspective. St is incorrect outside of today’s perspective; a 1ss is possible if the 1ss is considered an endpoint of a progression. The issue is that Palestinian and Israel societies are segregated and the only interaction is the ground between the so-called settlers and their neighboring Palestinians. This is generally known as a highly contentious intersection. But, in some cases, the relationship is not any more contentious than that of Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews. It could be possible to build trust relationships, beginning with commerce and proceeding to projects with education and social interaction, between some of the so-called settlers and their Palestinian neighbors.

    The I/P conflict stems from a conflict over land. This conflict can only be resolved if and when there develops a trust relationship. If this ‘laying the ground work’ is possible, then a 1ss would not be hard to imagine; begin with dual citizenship (representation) with cooperative governance and iterate towards a 1ss.

  16. Richard Witty
    Richard Witty
    December 29, 2011, 4:58 pm

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-party-headed-by-israeli-journalist-yair-lapid-could-become-second-largest-in-knesset-1.404448

    “Should Lapid and Deri set up their parties and link with the center-left parties in the Knesset – such as Kadima, the Labor Party, Meretz, and the Arab parties, they would get 63 seats and a majority in the Knesset. On the other hand, the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties would get 57 seats, so in order to set up a coalition they would need to team up with one of the new parties or choose an exisiting centrist or leftist party.”

    You think that a coalition that included the Arab parties would form? That would be a good precedent.

    Phil. You’ve written about this. Could your view of Israeli institutional racism shift an iota?

  17. moonkoon
    moonkoon
    December 31, 2011, 6:28 am

    “… too traumatic for Israelis to relinquish control of security for a long time to come. …

    Just to reiterate what has been said above, this is nonsense. The security apparatus of Israel reminds me of a group of paid and equipped mercenaries, or worse, a gang of Barbary pirates who will truck with whoever advances their own acquisitive schemes. Netanyahu might think he has the imperial powers on a string, but nothing could be further from the truth (trying to scare them by flying off to Moscow every now and then notwithstanding :-)). The whole project could be brought to its knees in a week if international military support was withdrawn.

    This notion of a self-contained secure homeland/refuge is but an illusion, it is secure only while it serves the interests of those who vie for power and influence in the region, and that includes an expansionist clique within Israel itself as well as the other more obvious players with pie on their fingers. :-) It is no more than a pawn in the imperial pushing and shoving that has been par for the course in that neck of the woods since whenever.

    And now what with the sick man of Europe is staging a somewhat unexpected recovery and having itself (I’m talking about Turkey) been rebuffed by Europe, Israel is daily becoming less relevant to the geo-political goings-on in the region. If Israel is to survive it needs to discard the very tired narrative that it has relied on these past decades and find some other story that will help it blend into the new power structure that seems to emerging in the region.

    One can’t help but feel for the zionist ideologues (I was one once) who put their faith in the project, but, like many other Utopian ventures, it hasn’t worked out as well as we expected. And so it’s time to find a new more viable dream. I have…

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