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Dems have thrown two-state solution under the bus — J Street and Beinart say

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Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street feels left out at the Democratic Convention. Tell me about it! The Democrats have thrown the two-state solution under the bus.

The [Republican] charges [that Obama threw Israel under the bus], however, force Democrats into a defensive crouch leaving them trying to outdo Republicans in sounding hawkish and militant to cement their pro-Israel credentials.

Even the head of the Center for Middle East Peace, former Congressman Robert Wexler, told only half the story when he focused nearly the entirety of his five-minute speech to the Democratic Convention on a defense of the President’s strong military and security relationship with Israel – barely mentioning the need for two states and peace.

No one has yet taken the stage to acknowledge what many of Israel’s own top leaders have said: that American leadership toward a two-state solution advances a goal that is essential to Israel’s long-term survival and security as Jewish democracy. Peace, diplomacy, two states – they’re all missing in action here in Charlotte as well as in Tampa. That’s bad for the United States, bad for Israel and bad for all who recognize the critical importance of resolving this conflict now.

Peter Beinart echoes the thought and calls it a dereliction in column titled “Giving Up”.

At root, the 2012 platform is an admission of defeat. In 2008, the Israel section began with a rousing declaration of American leadership: “For more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a secure and lasting peace.”

Now there’s no such statement. And for good reason: Today the world no longer looks to America to lead a peace process.  From Europe to Turkey to Egypt, America’s current and former allies have largely given up on the U.S.-led peace process, and the 2012 platform is yet more evidence that the Obama administration has essentially given up on it too…

Team Obama is all but acknowledging that in a second term, the two state solution will be an afterthought.

Here’s Wexler’s red-meat speech, or part of it captured by CSPAN. Wexler says Obama recognizes Israel as a “Jewish state,” and he slights Palestinians with one reference at the end, while talking endlessly about Iran, trying to outflank Republicans from the right. (Camera cuts to Jesse Jackson at 4:30!)

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32 Responses

  1. Phil Perspective
    Phil Perspective
    September 5, 2012, 4:03 pm

    Wexler has always been an Israel-Firster. I’m only surprised they talk about this at the convention.

    • Ira Glunts
      Ira Glunts
      September 5, 2012, 5:54 pm

      Wexler has indeed always been an Israel firster. He was the most obvious Israel firster of the politicians that JStreet endorsed.

      When I questioned Jeremy Ben-Ami about why his organization endorsed Wexler, given his record of pro-Israel support, he responded “You know, Wexler is a special case.”

      My understanding of that was that Wexler brought his Congressional power and prestige to JStreet, and also his close relationship with the Obama White House. Those a attributes trumped any and all of his pro-Israel bona fides.

      This attitude of J Street’s is an example of what Jeremy Ben-Ami and Eric Alterman call J Street’s nuanced and realistic approach to two-state solution activism.


      • ToivoS
        September 5, 2012, 6:48 pm

        nuanced and realistic approach to two-state solution activism.

        By the time J Street appeared it was pretty clear that the two state solution was no longer possible. Their approach could have been nuanced and realistic or it could be blunt and pure fantasy, the bottom line was that it was too late to change the dynamic.

        I think J Street’s problem is that they believed that the Democratic Party leadership genuinely cares about where Israel is going. If Israel wants to drive over a cliff, that is Israel’s choice is probably the typical reaction. What does catch the attention of politicos, though, is the hundred million donations that go to candidates that support right wing Zionist positions. J Street had no way to compete at that level, hence they were and are irrelevant to the debate.

        It is now a one state solution problem. The question is whether that state will have any Palestinian citizens left when it is over.

  2. bilal a
    bilal a
    September 5, 2012, 4:10 pm

    J Street, Bienart,Goldblog, liberals , all hand wringing over the end of the 2 state solution: Do what’nsoever you want to do with me, Brer Fox, but please, please, please! Don’t throw me in that briar patch!” the one state solution.

    One Jewish state with minority self determination , not apartheid south africa, but contemporary Native American Reservations. Settlements remain and expand. With tax free , independent sovereign reservations.

    Will Abbas get the first concession license to open up a Palestinian Gaming Casino ? Will sands corp Adelson bankroll it ? Will arab youth staff the new gay friendly alternative to tel aviv and tangiers?

    And will Ali A electronic intifada call this victory?…probably yes.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      September 5, 2012, 6:43 pm

      not apartheid south africa, but contemporary Native American Reservations.

      I was on and off over a dozen Native American reservations this past year.

      No checkpoints
      No ambiguous Areas
      No helmeted police with automatic weapons
      No home demolitions
      No kids being arrested in the middle of the night
      No indefinite detention without charges
      No military courts
      I could go on ….

      That being said, reservations vary, and many are awful, dehumanizing places. What the Palestinians are enduring is more like the decade of Wounded Knee than what Native Americans now endure.

      My wife, who mentors young teachers, is sleeping tonight on a cot in a school nurse’s office in a Yupik village on the Yukon river, where the poverty is almost third world. Opportunities there are not very promising. The fish no longer come up the river in quantities to sustain the lifeblood of the culture. Suicide among young adults is frightening. Yet the people there have so much more hope than Palestinians in Hebron or Gaza have ever known, or will ever know unless we find ways to help them more than we now are.

      Beinart and Ben Ami may actually see the light this week.

  3. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    September 5, 2012, 4:21 pm

    Surely, if Israel wants two state solution they should exert themselves rather than yet again expect USA to do their heavy lifting for them.

  4. Blake
    September 5, 2012, 4:37 pm

    When in reality only the Palestinians have been thrown under a bus for over 6 decades now. It is they who are the ones being denied the right of self determination in their own homeland.

  5. subconscious
    September 5, 2012, 4:46 pm

    The full Wexler speech @
    He mentions the 2ss, w/ a demilitarized Palestinian state, towards the end; of course, w/o specifying which version of the 2ss. Claims Netan., Barak & Peres are happy w/ Obama, which he considers a badge of honor for Ob.

  6. annie
    September 5, 2012, 4:46 pm

    i’m listening to wexler’s speech now. it’s embarrassing, this is not the aipac convention. you’d thing he could mention something else like healthcare or something that might interest the american people most of which are not interested in warring w/iran.

    • seafoid
      September 5, 2012, 5:49 pm

      Ann Romney’s speech was bizarre

    • Hostage
      September 5, 2012, 10:57 pm

      i’m listening to wexler’s speech now. it’s embarrassing, this is not the aipac convention. you’d thing he could mention something else like healthcare or something that might interest the american people most of which are not interested in warring w/iran

      LOL! You have to remember that it was the Democrats and President Jimmy Carter who caved-in during the Presidential election campaign and adamantly refused to sanction Israel for illegally annexing the city of Jerusalem in the first place. Secretary of State Edmund Muskie was dispatched to personally excoriate the Security Council for proposing a watered down rebuke.

      Muskie made a number of preposterous and contradictory statements that have been accepted as official US policy ever since:

      1) The succession of draft resolutions before the Council and the emergency, special session of the General Assembly has neither aided the Camp David process nor offered a single alternative with the slightest chance of success.

      2) Eight times in these five months, draft resolutions on the Middle East have come before us. For its part, the United States has joined in the debate and the voting. We have done that because we respect this institution and we honor those who have labored hard for a positive approach. But eight times those draft resolutions have failed the critical tests: those of reason, of balance, of accounting for the concerns of both sides, of genuinely serving the objective of peace. The draft resolution before us today is illustrative of a preoccupation which has produced this series of unbalanced and unrealistic texts on Middle East issues.

      3) Certainly it cannot be realized by unilateral actions, nor by narrow resolutions in this forum. Rather the question of Jerusalem must be addressed in the context of negotiations for a comprehensive, just and lasting Middle East peace. That is the position of my Government. But it is more. The status of Jerusalem cannot simply be declared; it must be agreed to by the parties. That is a political reality. It will remain so despite this draft resolution or a hundred more like it.

      4) So that there can be no mistake, let me note that we will continue firmly and forcefully to resist any attempt to impose sanctions against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter. That step is contained in a draft resolution presented here but not to be voted upon (S/14106). We are unalterably opposed to it. We will vote against any such draft resolution.

      5) But if we do not vote against the draft resolution before us neither can we find cause to support it, for it is still fundamentally flawed. . . . the Council calls upon those States that have established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the Holy City. In our judgement this provision is not binding. It is without force. And we reject it as a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations. It does nothing to promote a resolution of the difficult problems facing Israel and its neighbors. It does nothing to advance the cause of peace. On these specific grounds, we shall abstain in the vote on the draft resolution.

      — S/PV.2245 (OR)

      Lou Cioffi, reporting for the ABC Evening News on Wednesday, August 20, 1980 said that Muskie’s order to take part in the United Nations debate was said to have been a political decision made by the White House with regard to Jewish voters. —

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  7. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    September 5, 2012, 4:59 pm

    This post reminds me of the old joke “chivalry is dead…… and women killed it”
    In other words, blame yourselves beinart and ben ami, not the abstract entity called america or the democratic party

  8. Phil Perspective
    Phil Perspective
    September 5, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Annie Robbins:
    Isn’t it interesting? As Glenn Greenwald constantly points out, there is nothing as bi-partisan as our politicos support of Israel. And that’s despite people only being 50/50 on the issue. Really tells you whose vote is for sale(almost all of them!!).

  9. Les
    September 5, 2012, 5:24 pm

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    $15 / $12 members

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  10. David Nelson
    David Nelson
    September 5, 2012, 5:27 pm

    The delusion of a two-state solution keeps Israeli apartheid alive.

    I see one state where more than half the population is treated as sub-human.

    No more make-believe. The world is too small for Israeli racism to have a place among us.

    • philweiss
      September 5, 2012, 6:14 pm

      nicely put

      • David Nelson
        David Nelson
        September 6, 2012, 2:17 am

        Thank you Philip. I enjoy your blog. Israelis may not know or appreciate it, but people like you are some of Israel’s best friends.

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      September 5, 2012, 6:29 pm

      all Israel needs is a fig leaf, one state with native people reservations on which they are sovereign with tax and legal walls to enclose them. The Palestinians can commute to do day labor on the expanded settlements. And foreign donors in cooperation with one or more arab states can offer financial inducements for arabs to give up their citizenships and move out. With enough money, you can buy off the leaders, and no one can critisize you for a solution working in America. All Israel has to do is change its language to inclusion and openness while moving ethnic cleansing and separation smoothly along.

      And a great many one state liberals will appluad this compromise. imo

      • annie
        September 5, 2012, 7:02 pm

        native americans are not required to live on reservations w/ legal walls to enclose them here. keep dreaming.

      • annie
        September 5, 2012, 7:03 pm

        And foreign donors in cooperation with one or more arab states can offer financial inducements for arabs to give up their citizenships and move out.

        put your price on jerusalem. what’s it worth to you.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        September 5, 2012, 9:15 pm

        After the Americans lose the next war in Syriana, the voting public will be even more hostile to people from the Middle East, especially evangelicals, even if the zionists paint “Jesus is a Monkey” in Neon over the new downtown casino strip in east jerusalem, bordering the dome turned into a wine tasting museum.

      • Blake
        September 5, 2012, 7:15 pm

        How about the Palestinians putting the racist supremacist zionists in reservations? That should please justice seekers.

  11. seafoid
    September 5, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Where is this bus?

  12. ToivoS
    September 5, 2012, 5:41 pm

    This is as official as it can get. The political will in the US for the two state solution is dead. Israel has gotten what it desires. The next battle will now be how to deal with 6 million Palestinians living in Israel. Of course, Israel desires the expulsion of those people and I suspect that they are now retooling AIPAC to begin the decades long campaign to make that possible. Just think about it. It took 20 years to undermine political support for the two state solution here in the US. Israel did it with a fake peace process and AIPAC continuously backed every move to weaken that process. The lies we heard during that time were something else. To think I spent the first 15 years of that “process” believing Zionist lies is personally infuriating.

    I can see it now — the 2034 Democratic Party Platform: Palestinians are Jordanians and must live there.

    But the good news is that the movement for Palestinian justice can now, without distraction, focus on a one state solution.

    • radkelt
      September 5, 2012, 10:52 pm

      ToivoS, “To think I spent the first 15 years of that “process” believing Zionist lies”
      Me too, along with other delusions: America is intent on spreading democracy, masturbation will cause you to go blind (that may be partially true, years of abuse have resulted in plum size cataracts) Some kind words from Israel Shamir have
      helped enlighten me.
      When I’ve heard Wexler, Greyson, Feingold speak I was enchanted, mesmerized, (and now, Elizabeth Warren), until it came to that unreserved support for reactionary fascist, Likud policies. This apparent schizoid divide baffles
      and distresses me.

  13. seafoid
    September 5, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Unbelievable stuff. I can’t understand how the hegemonic needs of Israel are more important to regular americans than climate change. Kansas had several weeks of temperatures above 100 degrees this year and billions of dollars of corn were left rotting in the fields and the Dems are talking about Iran. WTF?

    Had to laugh at Wexler describing Shimon Psychopath as Israel’s beloved president.

    You do wonder for how long more John Doe and his partner are going to take this crap from their politicians.

    • lobewyper
      September 5, 2012, 9:13 pm


      They’re going to take it as long as the powers that be want them to, through deception, lying by commission, and lying by omission. Please don’t hold your breath, because we still need your input.

      • seafoid
        September 6, 2012, 1:22 am

        Zionism has this core naivete which is very apparent at times like this. Calling Jerusalem the eternal capital of Jerusalem is fine for consenting adults in private and it may even work at the Dem convention but expecting to get 2 billion Muslims to agree is insane.

        It’s not reality. Maybe Americans can be fooled but ordinary Muslims can’t. Not when it goes to the core of their religion. And fobbing them off with some crap about the Holocaust won’t wash, not after Iraq.

        So it’s a red line.

        The bots have constructed their own parallel world where black is white and apartheid is freedom and torture is justice and that’s fine in their own country in Hebrew . But trying to get the goys to believe that this is viable- forget it. It reminds me of Josef Fritzl when he had locked up his daughter in the basement so he could rape her.

        It all made sense to him. Even she got her head around it eventually. but it was all mad.

        and Israel is now Josef Fritzl.

        Wexler paid homage to the ideology but most of what he said was incoherent.
        And Americans have no stake in this.

  14. Kathleen
    September 5, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Israel and the I lobby threw the two state solution under the bus. Self inflicted. The issue about the vote to put god and Jerusalem back into the Dem platform has been up at Huff Po for hours. Thousands of comments. I thought this mutiny at the convention was huge

  15. yourstruly
    September 6, 2012, 9:32 am

    one state, two state
    does the public really care?
    whereas denouncing israel firsters for treason
    gonna be popular everywhere

    one state, two state
    does the public really care?
    whereas severing the u.s.-israel special relationship
    has to be popular everywhere

    one state, two state
    does the public really care
    whereas regaining a nation’s sovereignty
    sure to be popular everywhere

  16. DICKERSON3870
    September 9, 2012, 2:55 am

    RE: “Dems have thrown two-state solution under the bus — J Street and Beinart say” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Elliott Abrams convinced me several years that the two-state solution was completely dead!

    FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

    . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

    SOURCE –

    P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me to wholeheartedly support the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank. He convinced me by the sheer power of his “logic” (and his excellent math skills)!
    Ergo, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River)! “Let Right Be Done.”

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