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The Israel Project– and Chris Matthews– say you can’t make deals with Palestinians

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The Israel Project, a hardline Israel lobby group, responds to the new wave of Palestinian protests of occupation and imprisonment by stating that Palestinians are incapable of participating in a peace process– so why is Obama wasting his time. TIP’s press release is below.

I would add that on Hardball the other night, Chris Matthews echoed this same theme. In a conversation with former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele, Matthews said that even when the Israelis have a “good government” (i.e., not Netanyahu) they can’t find anyone on the other side of the Green Line “to deal with”– just as Obama confronts intransigence in the Republican Party: “It isn’t a bargaining party, that’s the problem, and the president needs someone to bargain with.”

I wonder how long the Palestinians are expected to endure occupation and disfranchisement and wait for the international community to act? They were promised a state 66 years ago, have never gotten one; when will they be granted rights?

From TIP: “Palestinians Increase Violence, Reduce Chances for Peace”:

Jerusalem, Feb. 24 – With U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the region just a month away, the latest violent Palestinian protests are placing a serious question mark over Obama’s plan to reboot the peace process.

There has been a noticeable increase in fire-bombings and stonings by Palestinians in recent weeks against Israelis….

Today some 3,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are launching a hunger strike, after one of their number died on Saturday, seemingly from a heart attack….

Abbas himself is beginning to talk up a third intifada (popular uprising) although so far he is speaking about a “peaceful intifada” – a concept jointly conceived with Khaled Mashaal, leader of the Iran-backed Hamas terror organization that controls the Gaza Strip.

While the first intifada in the 1980s was largely dominated by popular protests, many of them violent, the second intifada, which began more than a decade ago, was anything but a popular uprising. Thousands of Israeli civilians were killed and wounded in wave after wave of suicide bombings.

Abbas’ remarks, coupled with violent protests in favor of prisoner releases and the ongoing attacks against Israelis are not creating a helpful environment as the various officials planning Obama’s visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah arrive in the Middle East.

A friend points out that 1100 Israeli civilians were killed in the Second Intifada, and more than 4,000 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

P.S. Even J Street is aware of the Palestinian grievances. Jeremy Ben-Ami, from his latest email (thanks to Peter Belmont):

We heard very clearly the rising anger and frustration from Palestinians. While we were there, prisoners were on hunger strike again, large-scale protests were building, and it seems there is very little recognition of the rising frustration among Palestinians on the Israeli side of the green line.

And here is Yossi Gurvitz, writing that the Palestinians of Qusra are experiencing settler “pogroms,” with Israeli soldiers standing by.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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36 Responses

  1. doug on February 24, 2013, 11:38 am

    Fix the indentation quotes. Obviously not your words at the bottom.

  2. seafoid on February 24, 2013, 12:04 pm

    “You can’t make deals with Palestinians” comes from the same stable as “unbreakable bond” and is related to Karl Rove’s “we make our own reality”

    And the Jewish diaspora will have to clean up the mess.

  3. W.Jones on February 24, 2013, 12:24 pm

    It’s like the term “Indian givers” You sign a treaty, get their land and then they want it back. It just shows that you can’t negotiate with Indians. In fact, they aren’t even “Indians”, because they aren’t from Indians. There is no such thing as an “Indian people” in North America. They are just nomads from Siberia. That’s why it’s “A land without a people” and Manifest Destiny says it all goes to us. Matthews must have gotten good grades in 1950’s highschool.

  4. on February 24, 2013, 1:06 pm

    the whole of the US msm are Judas…they sell themselves like cheap prostitutes of course that may be an insult the prostitutes …

    personally I never watch 1 second of msm ..”news”…or even opinion…

    it is so sad to watch your country destroyed by a small nationalistic group from…nowhere

  5. amigo on February 24, 2013, 1:35 pm

    i just cannot understand how these zionist toads ,(apologies to toads) can keep on lying and attempting to shove their racist , war mongering verbal dihorrea down our collective throats.

    But knowing they are slitting their own throats sure helps.

  6. seafoid on February 24, 2013, 2:48 pm

    “The Israel project” reads to me as the notion of implanting a Zionist state in the Near East .

    One of the great strengths the Zionists could have developed was the cultural melting pot to go with the global crossroads they chose for their project. I think you can see it to a certain extent in Israeli fusion food and maybe to a lesser degree in Israeli music. But sadly not in bot thinking – look at all those walls FFS.

    They could have used culture as the basis upon which to reach out to the people of the region and begin to integrate. But of course they were too smart for that and they chose violence instead.

    Instead of singing Soghati
    with Iranians they want to murder them

    There is something very depressing about reading this interview and thinking what is ahead of the Jewish State.

    • Citizen on February 24, 2013, 3:37 pm

      Yeah, and it’s equally depressing to see how Chris Matthews and the polled Dick and Janes on another recent thread here, think Iran is actually a direct threat to the US. It’s all about maintaining Israel hegemony in the ME. Strategically and economically, the US could boot Israel to the curb and do business with Iran and be much better off in every way possible.

    • Ecru on February 25, 2013, 2:17 am

      What’s interesting to me is that Zionism was, in part, a response to the Ghetto/Pale and yet its expression has been to create another Ghetto, just in the Middle East instead of Europe this time.

      • seafoid on February 25, 2013, 9:16 am

        The idea that they could reinvent themselves by concentrating real hard and moving location was sadly naive. Even if they switched the focus of their society from studiousness to military inspired ignorance they couldn’t escape their past. No people can.

  7. gamal on February 24, 2013, 3:35 pm

    “and more than 4,000 Palestinians, many of them civilians.”

    what were the Palestinians who were not civilians?

    With what Palestinian entity is the Occupying Power in a state of belligerency?

    Where is the headquarters of the Palestinian Military?

    do people exercising their right to self defense cease to be civilians, if for instance any civilian is attacked by the military, if they respond violently, perhaps with arms, do they cease to be protected in any way?

    I am having a hard time seeing how any Palestinians are anything other than civilians subjected to an illegal occupation,
    who are the legitimate Palestinian military targets and what is the state of belligerency between the State of Israel and who or what, i dont get it but i have only a slight knowledge of any Law.

    Dont know if this helps

    there is some discussion of whether “terrorists” are civilian or not and what protections they can expect from the law, well suppressing the desire to laugh i suppose these are matters that must be considered, in the course of raping the world one hopes not to over step any little bye-laws.

  8. MHughes976 on February 24, 2013, 3:41 pm

    Isn’t it dispiriting to see how the No Partner for Peace slogan endures over the long, miserable years? I see the attraction of rhetoric which makes you feel that you’re on the side of progress (Obama vs. Repubs) and of the status quo (civilised Israel vs. the uncouth barbarians) all at the same time. The analogy is poor in that Obama has not already taken 80% of what the Republicans used to have and is not engaged in taking a little bit more every day. It’s true that few Palestinians regard Israel as legitimate but that does not for one minute mean that they have no readiness to bargain.

    • K Renner on March 9, 2013, 11:47 am

      I know, right? The Palestinians have repeatedly said “We will cease all organized resistance activity if we are allowed 22% of the land (which was once all theirs to begin with), equal rights in Israel, and a right of return for all Palestinian refugees, like the jewish right of return.”
      It seems pretty fair to me, and not much to give up if you’re so much for “peace” like the Israelis claim to be.

  9. wondering jew on February 24, 2013, 4:31 pm

    This web site mondoweiss is not dedicated in any degree to any attempt to understand the israelis. thus to begin to explain that the fact that the palestinians suffered worse in the 2nd intifadeh than the israelis is to miss the point, is for me to miss the point. this web site doesn’t indulge in understanding the israelis. sometimes we say nazis, all the time we say jim crow, but to indulge in seeing things from their side, god forbid.

    the israelis are blind to the fact that in short range, long range, things are f***ed up. not sure if that’s so true, but let’s leave it at that. obama’s visit and molotov cocktails might go together like peas and carrots, not sure yet. this torture death did not help matters. how often is there a torture death? not often. why now? carelessness? coincidence? maybe israel wants molotov cocktails and doesn’t want an obama visit. who knows.

    coalition talks are about to get down to the nitty gritty. lots of political talk at purim table this evening where i sat. who did you vote for? they ask. didn’t know who i’d vote for til i got into the voting booth some of them say. but of course you people don’t want to hear about the jim crow nazis, so i’ll spare you.

    • Bumblebye on February 24, 2013, 4:58 pm

      Oh, crap Yonah!
      The Israeli notion of being “understood” means that their forked tongue excuses are accepted as the be all and end all, while the reasonings of international law or the demand for rights by the Palestinians are simply dismissed. Nothing else is acceptable to “Israelis”.

      • wondering jew on February 24, 2013, 7:03 pm

        Bumblebye= I don’t spend much time with israelis, and the last 24 hours i spent more time with israelis than usual. nothing very revealing or earth shattering, but it certainly is “different” than the echo chamber you revel in over here. on some spiritual level i believe that every eye contact, interaction has some content that if not the key to the future, contains human information that must be of some value especially when the stakes are war and peace life and death. but, really forget about it and stick to international law, if that’s your thing. nothing wrong with that. i’m not saying you’re wrong, but the human element contains something of value and it’s like i’m talking music to deaf people here.

      • eljay on February 25, 2013, 9:21 am

        I don’t understand why people have a hard time accepting that we should sit and chat with the rapist even as his abused victim remains chained in a bunker, awaiting the next violent assault.

        Surely every eye contact, interaction has some content that if not the key to the future, contains human information that must be of some value especially when the stakes are abuse and respect, chains and freedom, crime and justice. I mean, the human element contains something of value and it’s like I’m talking music to deaf people here.

        C’mon, people, why pass up the chance to talk sports or poetry, or to share a drink and a laugh with a fellow human being? Are the law and respect for human rights and freedoms so important that you’re willing to disregard the human element simply because there’s a battered and bloodied woman chained in this man’s basement?!

        (And don’t get me started on the fact that there’s more than one victim in this little scenario. You don’t think the rapist suffers every time the victim assaults him with sledgehammer punches and slaps instead of trying to negotiate with tweezers and nutcrackers?!)

      • wondering jew on February 25, 2013, 2:34 pm

        My hats are off to activists. Unfortunately activism and dogmatism go together like kashe and varnishkes. (buckwheat and bowties). The world is made up of different types and without activists many of the great breakthroughs of recent history would never have been achieved. But unless they’re as intelligent as a Trotsky, and even then, activists can be very tiresome people and focused on their focus to the exclusion of all else.

        Sorry that I’m not that way.

        I was thinking of Dylan’s “I shall be released”, “I remember every face of every man who put me here.”

        By the way activists with their focused focus to the exclusion of all else hated Dylan’s nonactivism and I suppose that is the aspect of the world that I’m looking for and you couldn’t give a damn about. But I really have never fought for freedom for the Palestinians and I’m sure they prefer your focus to my apathy. So good for you. But it would be a boring world if the 7 billion of the world would be exactly like you. And I bet people would be wearing uniforms and forcing their teachers to do repentance like in the cultural revolution. So there are other elements to the ideal life or other elements to a full world.

      • Cliff on February 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

        Dylan also found Kahane late in life. I guess we should be thankful he found some activism eventually?

      • Cliff on February 25, 2013, 2:53 pm

        Wondering Jew,

        Your entire life has been an echo chamber.

        Mondoweiss exists against the current.

      • eljay on February 25, 2013, 3:02 pm

        >> But it would be a boring world if the 7 billion of the world would be exactly like you. … So there are other elements to the ideal life or other elements to a full world.

        Funny, when I think about the “other elements to the ideal life or other elements to a full world”, I think of things such as love, kindness, equality, justice, peace, Scotch, travel, movies, friendship and knowledge.

        It never occurs to me that the list of “other elements to the ideal life or other elements to a full world” should include supremacism, colonalism, oppression and torture.

        It never occurs to me that the world would be boring without those elements. And, quite frankly, if the world needs those elements to make life interesting, I’ll settle for boring.

        The Zio-supremacist mind never ceases to amaze me.

    • Cliff on February 24, 2013, 5:25 pm

      Wondering Jew,

      You only muddy the waters because you’re an Israeli Zionist of the sort that calls SJP ‘Stalinist’ but is absolutely silent on the physical assault by Zionist audience goers at a Nonie Darwish talk at New Mexico Univ. as well as another physical assault by SWU members on JVP members at a JVP event.

      Etc. etc.

      As to the latest tortured Palestinian: How do you know it’s not often?

      What is Israel then? It’s not Nazi etc. etc. – that much I agree with you on. However, Nazi etc. etc. isn’t the standard. Israel doesn’t have to be that bad to be bad.

      It’s certainly Jim Crow and it’s certainly apartheid.

      You either think it’s none of these things are true or only a tiny bit true (plus, adhere to no RoR or partial [i.e., worthless] RoR without encroaching on the Jewish Law of Return/67′ borders).

      You’re utterly convinced you have some sea of knowledge and complexity to impart to MW.

      You’ve been here awhile. Where is it? And why are you so dramatic? Is anyone forcing you to comment here? Are you being censored? If so, did you violate comment policy? If not and you’re still being censored, maybe you need to keep in mind the website is run by people and not automated to your whim.

      If you’re still cranky, then keep in mind that we are activists and many of us have had our fill of the Israeli shoot-and-cry PSA.

      Thanks for playing.

      • wondering jew on February 24, 2013, 6:43 pm

        Cliff- Explain to me again, doc, how the keyes concert is segregated, even though it isn’t. i didn’t understand, doc.

      • Cliff on February 25, 2013, 8:42 am

        Ouch. I never thought being called ‘doc’ would be an insult!

        I never said the actual concert was segregated. That’s missing the point though.

        There is plenty of segregation in Israel and I liken the possible ‘segregation’ in this concert to the Jews-only roads in the OT.

        Chomsky called them Jews-only in a debate with the liar Dershowitz. Dersh countered easily though. They aren’t technically Jews-only. They are meant for Israelis. That being said, they are effectively Jews-only.

        ‘Segregated audience’ isn’t true. That being said, I wonder how many Israeli Arabs (Palestinians) mix with Israeli Jews at these concerts.

        I chalk up the ‘segregation’ line to what may be the effective reality. Perhaps due to social norms in a racist, apartheid State like Israel.

        This is isolating the comment to the concert only.

        I think it’s worthless and dishonest to do that – because the protestors are looking at the audience goers as primarily Israeli Jews and Zionists (i.e., people who want the concert and want the normalization).

        Israel is a segregated country and the segregation is institutional (naturally). In the OT, there’s no question that segregation exists and it’s part and parcel to the apartheid system.

        I suspect ‘segregated audience’ was meant to describe the Israeli Jewish audience goers who promote these concerts and want these cultural events.

        So while it’s not an absolute truth, it’s really not anything to kvetch about, Wondering Jew.

    • seafoid on February 24, 2013, 5:38 pm

      Any attempt to understand Israeli society comes up with the system by which Israel is run. the poor are shafted, Palestinians are ultra shafted and there are 17 oligarchs who run the show. The average Yossi is fed hasbara from age 4. Afraid of the Arabs. Housing is more expensive than the OECd average. Quality is poor.

      Israel is now in generation 3 of the great experiment to make the modern Jew and it doesn’t seem to be going very well.

    • Ecru on February 25, 2013, 2:22 am

      Yonah, please forgive me if I don’t waste too much time empathising with a bunch of ethnic cleansing, ethno-supremacist AR*E HOLES who I actually understand all too bloody well!

    • Accentitude on February 25, 2013, 4:46 am

      I’d debate you on your nonsense but I’m a little busy modeling for IDF instagrams.

    • K Renner on March 9, 2013, 11:49 am

      As though you would accept hearing the Palestinian viewpoint on CNN or any other American news channel. Ha, ha.
      Stop whining, the world has to hear Israelis lying every time you aid and abet jewish terrorists in land theft or murder Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank.

  10. blg432 on February 24, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Perpetuating the trope of Palestinians as the “appropriate” target for violence? The Trope that Israelis lack agency and are merely objects acted upon, who “respond?”

    Its always in the media.

  11. Les on February 24, 2013, 7:58 pm

    The essence of Zionism is that the Jews are a nation, which is different from both being a race or a religion

  12. DICKERSON3870 on February 24, 2013, 8:02 pm

    RE: “A friend points out that 1100 Israeli civilians were killed in
    the Second Intifada, and more than 4,000 Palestinians, many of them civilians.”
    ~ Weiss

    SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings.
    A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.

    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .


  13. IL1948 on February 24, 2013, 9:40 pm

    News flash: Chris Mathews was speaking the truth.

  14. Reuben_Manhattan on February 24, 2013, 11:25 pm

    Conveniently they forgot the 4 Palestinians killed most recently by Israel and act like everything just appears out of nowhere.

    • Accentitude on February 25, 2013, 4:49 am

      Isn’t that always the case? Oh look, those crazy rabid A-rabs are kickstarting another Intifada! Hey Obama, are you checking this out? Do you really want to visit these primitive barbarians? What? Arafat Jaradat’s autopsy revealed he had a broken neck, spine, arms and legs? Clearly those are the side effects of poor health resulting in cardiac arrest. Tooootallly normal.

  15. lyn117 on February 25, 2013, 12:59 am

    The Btselem statistics which say 4000 (more like 4000) Palestinians died in the intifada are automatically biased, because they count as “taking part in hostilities” pretty much anyone on the Palestinian side who carries a gun. They don’t count Israeli armed settlers as “taking part in hostilities,” if they’re armed guards operating in the occupied territories, for example, they’re listed as civilians and never investigate whether or not they’re reservists in the Israeli military. I’m sorry, I used to trust Btselem.

    • Accentitude on February 25, 2013, 7:59 am

      I have friends in Btselem. I very much admire what they do but I also know that their access is limited in the West Bank an therefore they can’t always collect first hand the data on which they rely. That’s where organizations like Al Haq, Shams, TRC, PCHR, are a little more effective.

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