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The wisdom of Ari Shavit

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Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit

Editor’s note: In the mainstream media, Ari Shavit continues to rake up honors. Four days ago the Times ran a rave for his book— “a gale of conversation, of feeling, of foreboding, of ratiocination…. a love story and a thriller at once…. a moral cri de coeur and a ghost story” –and tomorrow the Times will run Leon Wieseltier valentine on the front page of its book review, in which Shavit is judged to be an unblinking balanced viewer of Israel. “This is the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read. It is a Zionist book unblinkered by Zionism. It is about the entirety of the Israeli experience, etc.” 

Meantime at +972, False Prophet has a piece up saying that no one should take Shavit seriously, based on his own record of hysterical prognostication: “Studying Shavit’s columns (from 2006 until today) reveals that he is a hysterical fellow who thinks that every year is one in which a pivotal decision must be made, that every moment is crucial like no other. Every leader ‘must immediately understand’ the things Shavit is saying, or a terrible disaster shall occur. A review of Shavit’s columns reveal him to be a false prophet par excellence, some sort of reverse version of Cassandra – the Greek mythological figure who was sentenced to tell true prophecies which no one would believe, while Ari Shavit tells false prophecies and everybody listens to him.”

And Jerome Slater has a piece up at his site also emphasizing Shavit’s untrustworthiness as a seer, which he allowed us to republish.

Ari Shavit is the current toast of the mainstream US media, among others NPR, Charlie Rose, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, which two days ago glowingly reviewed Shavit’s new book, “My Promised Land,” on the first page of the Arts section, on Sunday will publish another glowing review in the Book Review section, and yesterday published an oped column by him.

Shavit is entirely undeserving of all this acclaim. I’ve been reading his opinion pieces in Haaretz for years– gritting my teeth and reading him, I should say, because more often than not he is infuriating. His writing is typically arrogant, self-referential, dead certain about matters he has no business being certain about, shamelessly exaggerated, and his arguments frequently are so unclear or contradictory—not only from column to column but within the same column—as to border on incoherence.

I will be analyzing and deconstructing Shavit’s book in due course, but first let’s look at yesterday’s Times column, “How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear,” which illustrates almost all of his failings. I will reprint the entire column, in quotes, interspersed with my own comments, in italics.

               How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear

“AMERICAN and Iranian negotiators yesterday began a second round of talks in Geneva, seeking a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.  If such an agreement were signed, it would represent an Iranian victory — and an American defeat.”

He already knows this, even though no agreement has yet been reached, let alone made public.

“The Iranians would be able to maintain their nuclear program and continue to enrich uranium, while the Americans and their allies would loosen the economic siege on Iran and allow Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the economic oxygen needed to sustain his autocratic regime. Yes, Iran’s race to the bomb would be slowed down — but an accord would guarantee that it would eventually cross the finish line.”

Note: not “leave open the possibility,” but “guarantee.”

“The Geneva mind-set resembles a Munich mind-set: It would create the illusion of peace-in-our-time while paving the way to a nuclear-Iran-in-our-time.”

Munich again, the favorite analogy of Netanyahu and Israel’s hardliners when insisting that other states must go to war on Israel’s behalf: Iran is just like Nazi Germany on the eve of seeking to conquer all of Europe, if not beyond.

“But don’t blame President Obama. Indeed, this American defeat was set in motion long before he took office. What three American presidents, four Israeli prime ministers and a dozen European leaders vowed would never happen is actually happening. What was not to be is almost a reality. The Iranian bomb is nearly here.”

“Why wasn’t the West able to mobilize its political, economic and military resources in time to force Tehran to give up its nuclear ambition? The answer may be described as a spelling error.”

This is merely a lame effort at a joke—bad judgment, dumb writing, but at least harmless.

“After 9/11, the United States was determined to strike back, destroy terrorist sanctuaries and display its imperial might. President George W. Bush chose to do all of this in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan may have been a mistake, but it was an understandable one: Al Qaeda enjoyed the Taliban’s support and had found refuge in Taliban-controlled territory. But invading Iraq was an incomprehensible mistake, as there were no links between Saddam Hussein and the 19 terrorists who attacked New York and Washington in September 2001.”

“If Mr. Bush had decided to display American leadership and exercise American power by launching a diplomatic campaign against Iran rather than a military one against Iraq 10 years ago, the United States’ international standing would be far greater today.”

A “diplomatic” campaign? Reread the preceding paragraphs, not to mention the ensuing ones. Surely we expect him to say here a military campaign, not a diplomatic one. What’s going on here? Surely Shavit can’t be certain that earlier Bush-era diplomacy would have stopped Iran’s nuclear program in its tracks. My guess is that he wants to have it both ways: say diplomacy instead of military, but mean military, because he knows that an American audience is not in the mood for another US-launched war in the Middle East.

“The Bush administration’s decision to go after Iraq rather than Iran was a fatal one, and the long-term consequences are only now becoming clear, namely a devastating American failure in the battle to prevent a nuclear Iran, reflected in Washington’s willingness to sign a deeply flawed agreement.”

How does Shavit know that Washington will sign a deeply flawed argument that is not yet negotiated? Answer: he doesn’t.

“Mr. Bush’s responsibility for the disaster now unfolding is twofold: He failed to target Iran a decade ago, and created a climate that made it very difficult to target Iran today.”

NB: “target,” which clearly implies “attack,” not merely engage in diplomacy.

“The Bush administration didn’t initiate a political-economic siege on Iran when it was weak”–Oh, now it’s a “siege” that Bush failed to undertake—more than diplomacy, then, but short of a military attack—“and Mr. Bush weakened America by exhausting its economic power and military might in a futile war. By the time American resolve was needed to fend off a genuine global threat, the necessary determination was no longer there. It had been wasted on the wrong cause.”

“The correct way to confront the Iranian threat would have been to establish a broad coalition including Russia, the European Union, Sunni Arab countries, Israel and the United States.”

No problem—how could Bush have missed this solution? Brings to mind an old joke: Guy runs into a hamburger joint, snaps his fingers, and says to the short-order cook: “Quick, make me a hamburger.” “Poof,” says the cook, “You’re a hamburger.”

“This would have placed Iran’s leaders in a real stranglehold and forced them to abandon their nuclear project — just as Libya did in 2003.”

“Stranglehold?” Sounds like more than diplomacy to me. Just like the diplomatic and economic pressures employed by the broad coalition against North Korea succeeded in stopping its nuclear weapons program?

“The Republican Party could have done that in 2003 or 2005 or 2007. But Republican leaders squandered the opportunity. Worse still, the United States got bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and that sucked all the oxygen out of America’s lungs. Mr. Bush passed on to Mr. Obama a nation that had lost much of the resolve it had possessed. When faced with a real threat to world peace, America’s will was spent. It had evaporated in the violent streets of Basra and Baghdad.”

“Sure, Mr. Obama has made mistakes, too. After coming to office, he wasted time on a futile policy of engagement and then on ineffective sanctions. He ignored the British, French, Israelis, Egyptians and Saudis who warned him that he was being naïve and turned his back on the freedom-seeking Iranian masses in June 2009. When Mr. Obama finally endorsed assertive diplomacy and punitive sanctions in 2011 and 2012, it was too little, too late.”

“But Mr. Obama was operating within the smoky ruins of the strategic disaster he had inherited. After Iraq, America is a traumatized nation, with a limited attention span for problems in the Middle East. The empire is weary. It has lost the ardor and wisdom needed to deal with the cruelest of the world’s regions and with the most dangerous of the world’s evil powers.”

Note the over-the-top rhetoric (which I have italicized) in these three paragraphs. He’s lost it.

“The Geneva agreement being negotiated is an illusion. The so-called moderate president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is an illusion, too.”

How does he know that? That’s what the hardliners said–for quite a few years– about Gorbachev in the Soviet Union. And Rouhani, who like Gorbachev has been saying almost all the right things, has been in power for less than four months.

“So is the hope that Iran’s supreme leader can be appeased. Because America missed the opportunity for assertive diplomacy, all the options now left on the table are dire ones. Rather than pursuing a dangerous interim agreement, the West must insist that all the centrifuges in Iran stop spinning while a final agreement is negotiated. President Obama was right to demand a settlement freeze in the West Bank in 2009. Now he must demand a total centrifuge freeze in Iran.”

Good idea. As we will recall, Obama’s “demand” that Israel stop the settlements in the West Bank stopped  them cold, so why wouldn’t a similar demand be just as successful in stopping Iran’s nuclear program?

Does anyone at the Times actually read the opeds before they are printed?

Jerome Slater
About Jerome Slater

Jerome Slater is a professor (emeritus) of political science and now a University Research Scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught and written about U.S. foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for nearly 50 years, both for professional journals (such as International Security, Security Studies, and Political Science Quarterly) and for many general periodicals. He writes foreign policy columns for the Sunday Viewpoints section of the Buffalo News. And his website it www.jeromeslater.com.

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26 Responses

  1. Bandolero
    Bandolero
    November 23, 2013, 11:57 am

    I think Jeremy missed an important point: Ari Shavit obviously wants the policy to be “regime change” in Iran. Read:

    … allow Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the economic oxygen needed to sustain his autocratic regime …

    Many of Ari Shavit’s statements in this editorial are only a bit plausible, when the whole editorial is read against the goal of regime change using the nuclear issue as a mere pretext for that.

    But when Ari Shavit’s implicit goal is regime change, then his criticism of US policies vis a vis Iran in past decades reveals total hypocricy, because regime change was exactly the US policy goal against Iran.

    To prepare regime change in Iran, Bush first put US troops north of Iran into Afghanistan, then he put US troops south of Iran into Iraq, and then, that was the plan according to Wesley Clark (7 countries in five years), the US would attack Iran from all sides. The only problem with that plan was and is, that Iran fought back in Iraq, and therefore the US needed so many troops and money occupying Iraq as a springboard to attack Iran, that the US now lacks the troops and the money to do regime change in Iran. Obama then, together with Mossad, tried regime change in Iran on the cheap, with a staged color revolution, but he failed.

    So, the US has exactly followed the aggressive war policies against Iran Ari Shavit wants, but the US just didn’t win the war. And that’s now what Ari Shavit seems to lament when he writes a deal would be “an American defeat.”

  2. yrn
    yrn
    November 23, 2013, 11:59 am

    Looks like Ari Shavit is doing a great job, if he is mentioned so much here.
    I bet he knows it and will continue to do a great job.

    • Donald
      Donald
      November 23, 2013, 2:17 pm

      You shouldn’t be quite so happy about it, yrn, from your POV. Shavit annoys most of us at Mondoweiss for various reasons, but he has also spilled the beans in the pages of the New Yorker about Zionism’s dirty little secret–the Nakba. Admittedly that’s been known for decades, but for some reason mainstream liberals in the US have decided to acknowledge in a very open way that Israel’s original sin was not in 1967 with the occupation, but in 1948 with the expulsion of the Palestinians. I’m not sure why the sudden outbreak of clarity, but there it is. Of course Shavit and his liberal allies then go on and say it was a necessary act, because it seems that terrorism and crimes against humanity are justified (though one should shed a tear or two and strike poses of appropriate anguish) if the right people benefit. Wieseltier, to his credit (in the NYT Book Review) sort of backhandedly acknowledges that one can’t judge the Palestinians too harshly either, though it’s not entirely clear what he means and if you blink you could miss it.

      On Iran Shavit seems to be a fairly typical sort of warmonger.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 23, 2013, 2:24 pm

        Off topic for Jerry’s post (which was very good, but I’ve got nothing to add), I clicked on the 972 link that Phil supplied and found a link to another article replying to Shavit’s piece on Lydda. It’s worth a read–

        link

        I should read 972 more often.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      November 23, 2013, 4:10 pm

      yrn

      Racism and apartheid is also mentioned much here I bet you think that is something “great” too huh?

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    November 23, 2013, 12:10 pm

    Shavit is probably no different to any journalist close to power. They all lie.
    It’s more that he represents a failing ideology.

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    November 23, 2013, 12:33 pm

    Shavit: “The Geneva mind-set resembles a Munich mind-set: It would create the illusion of peace-in-our-time while paving the way to a nuclear-Iran-in-our-time.””

    Well, well, always pleasant to compare people to Hitler (provided, however, that the person doing the comparison must ALWAYS be a hardline-Israel promoter”.

    But he seems to forget that “Munich” was a deal done in the context of a supremely powerful re-armed and belligerent Germany. Whereas the Iran case is one of a supremely powerful America (and its allies) punishing a weak and already weakened — but still for all that peaceful — Iran.

    The message of “Munich” is “don’t deal with the3 very strong” whereas the message of Shavit and Israel is “don’t deal with people that we don’t want you to deal with.” Quite different.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      November 23, 2013, 2:58 pm

      But he seems to forget that “Munich” was a deal done in the context of a supremely powerful re-armed and belligerent Germany.

      The only people threatening to annex any territory are Israeli cabinet officials and MKs who write bellicose Op-Eds for the New York Times on the subject of their colonies in the West Bank (that they will be keeping, come Hell or high water, thank you) .

      The Zionists have long since seized and annexed portions of the Galilee and Golan from Iran’s allies in Lebanon and Syria. The superpowers were surely practicing appeasement when they turned the Sea of Galilee unto a Jewish lake by relocating the Ottoman boundary from the centerline to the Syrian shore and gave the seven villages, filled with Lebanese Shias, to the Mandated State of Palestine so that the Zionists there could drive the inhabitants into poverty and exile.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 24, 2013, 8:20 am

        Hostage,

        thinking about resolution 242 it seems very odd, that it seems to basically allows the occupier to prolong his occupation until the occupied are submitted into accepting the “negotiated” occupier annexation wishes and other violations against international or human rights law. Is this correct and does there exist any legal analysis criticizing 242?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 24, 2013, 9:30 am

        Hostage, thinking about resolution 242 it seems very odd, that it seems to basically allows the occupier to prolong his occupation until the occupied are submitted into accepting the “negotiated” occupier annexation

        Not really. It was certainly interpreted that way (more below), before the Chapter 7 Security Council resolution 338 ordered the parties to begin immediate implementation of 242 in all of its parts back in 1973.

        If you read the various volumes of the FRUS on the Mideast Crisis and Resolution 242 you’ll see US Officials, like Undersecretary of State James Sisco advising Rabin that the wording allows Israel the key advantage of doing exactly what you described.

        Worse still, his boss, Secretary Kissinger went so far as to suggest that Israel should not withdraw to the 1967 border with Jordan or Syria, and that it should conquer additional territory in the Golan Heights as a necessary intermediate step to a final settlement long after resolution 338 was adopted. link to history.state.gov

        The legal conclusions contained in the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee Report (aka the “Mitchell Report”) noted that Israel would have to withdraw its armed forces according to the terms of 242 and 338 before the Palestinians or Syrians could be logically expected to drop their corresponding belligerent claims.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 24, 2013, 10:30 am

        @Talkback The purpose of UNSC res 242 is probably best described in the Israeli Egypt Peace Treaty, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/isregypt.asp one of the two instances complying with 242. It was adopted to end hostilities in the Middle east. It doesn’t contain the word negotiate.

        Ending occupation has been covered in UNSC res 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 June 30 1980 and 478 August 20 1980

        UNSC res 242 is not mentioned in any of them. Nor are negotiation/s.

        Negotiations aren’t a UNSC demand, they’re an Israeli demand because the Jewish State long ago passed the point where it could afford to adhere to the law without being sent bankrupt paying rightful reparations and withdrawing from and forgoing all the illegal facts on the ground in all the Palestinian territory it has illegally acquired by war. Israel can only avoid the consequences of its illegal activities either via the US UNSC veto vote preventing any UNSC action OR by negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians.

        The Palestinians however, have no legal obligation to forgo their rights in negotiations :-)

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 24, 2013, 11:40 am

        Thank you Hostage,

        where can I see under what chapter of UN charta a resolution was released? And why are a lot of people talking about “binding” and “nonbinding” resolutions? There’s nothing in the UN charta which makes this difference. But there’s article 25 which makes no difference.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 24, 2013, 11:46 am

        Thank you Talknic,

        your list has saved me a lot of time. But wasn’t it Lord Caradon’s understanding that 242 implies negotiation regarding borders, because they were only “secure”, if the concerning parties would agree upon them?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 24, 2013, 6:24 pm

        where can I see under what chapter of UN charta a resolution was released?

        In this case it happens to be listed in the “Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council” for the years 1972-1974. http://www.un.org/en/sc/repertoire/actions.shtml

        Chapter 11 of the Repertoire covers “Consideration Of The Provisions Of Chapter VII Of The Charter”. “Part 1. covers “Consideration of the provisions of Articles 39 through 42 of the Charter”. See footnote 20 on page 5 of 8 where a list of resolutions adopted were referred to during Council deliberations by the members as “provisional measures”. http://www.un.org/en/sc/repertoire/72-74/72-74_11.pdf#page=5

        The power to impose provisional measures are derived exclusively from Arrticle 40 in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml

        The ICJ, the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, and the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs explain that the Security Council seldom issues resolutions under any single chapter of the Charter and that in any event the members have a treaty obligation to accept its decisions in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 (Chapter V) of the Charter.

        But wasn’t it Lord Caradon’s understanding that 242 implies negotiation regarding borders, because they were only “secure”, if the concerning parties would agree upon them?

        Not really, since there was never any obligation for the Arabs to negotiate or accept any territorial changes.

        I’ve posted quite a bit of material from the Chapter he wrote in “U.N. Security Council Resolution 242: A Case Study in Diplomatic Ambiguity” and the The Journal of Palestine Studies, “An Interview with Lord Caradon” here along with the understandings of the English speaking Security Council delegations about the meaning of the withdrawal clause in 242: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/a-portrait-of-a-former-zionist-part-1.html/comment-page-1#comment-456057

        It was always his understanding that there was an absolute prohibition against the acquisition of territory by war as stated in the Charter and mentioned as a preliminary matter in the preamble of the resolution.

        The opposing sides had already left the question of final boundaries in the armistice agreements open to future negotiations and mutually agreed upon changes. The Security Council had accepted that stipulation when it adopted Security Council resolution 73 and simply incorporated the principle of mutually recognized and agreed upon boundary changes in 242. But it never dictated that any changes or negotiations had to take place or granted Israel the right to occupy territory until such a demand was met.

        Resolution 242 and 338 required Israel to withdraw from territories it occupied as a result of the 67 war, unless it could somehow secure the immediate agreement from the other parties to alter the boundaries contained in the armistice plan. So, it was ordered to immediately withdraw back in 1973 and simply failed to do so. An Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly subsequently ordered an immediate, unconditional withdrawal and labeled its continued occupation of captured Arab territory in violation of UN resolutions as an example of the crime of aggression. So the Armistice lines remain the only mutually agreed upon boundaries.

        Eugene Rostow tried to claim that Israel’s continued occupation and demands for territorial changes were sanctioned by the UN resolutions. Sidney A. Freifeld, was the legal advisor to the Canadian delegation, including the Canadian representative on the Security Council during the negotiations on resolution 242. He wrote a letter to the editors of Commentary Magazine in response to Rostow’s claim in the October 1989 issue, “A False Start in the Middle East”. He explained that Israel does not have any inherent right to occupy or administer the territories:

        “Mr. Rostow describes as a “startling new proposition” a point that he discerns in Secretary Baker’s speech to AIPAC, “namely, that Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw to the armistice demarcation lines as they stood in 1967. . . .” That was not a “startling new proposition” but the intent and the language of 242 which specified, inter alia, the application of the following principle: “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The word “territories” was deliberately not preceded by “the” or “all the,” thus leaving open the possibility of border rectifications. With that proviso, 242 indeed called for “Israel to withdraw to the armistice demarcation lines as they stood in 1967,” i.e., to relinquish (most of) the West Bank and Gaza.

        Mr. Rostow claims that “Israel is vested by Resolution 242 with the authority to administer the occupied territories until the Arab states of the region make a just and lasting peace.” Regrettably, there is no such specific language in Resolution 242. What it does contain, deliberately, is a balance, viz, that (a), on the one hand, Israel should withdraw and (b), on the other hand, belligerency claims should be terminated and the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every state in the area should be acknowledged. That balance indeed implies that Israel not be required to withdraw until (b) is fulfilled, but 242 does not specify what Israel would or could do on the West Bank pending withdrawal. . . .

        I find myself in sympathy with the political thrust and intent of Mr. Rostow’s article and wish only that he had put forward an unblemished argument to support his theses.”

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 25, 2013, 6:05 am

        @ Talkback “wasn’t it Lord Caradon’s understanding that 242 implies negotiation regarding borders, because they were only “secure”, if the concerning parties would agree upon them?”

        A) What was said in the lead up to the adoption of the resolution is only of historical interest and what is said after the adoption is largely, if not entirely, irrelevant. Only the exact words are the resolution. When people say ‘in other words’, one ought ask ‘what’s wrong with the actual words?’

        B) UNSC res 242 doesn’t contain the word ‘negotiate’ or Palestine/Palestinian*. It was a resolution to end the recent (1967) conflict between already existing UN Member states all of whom had pre-existing boundaries between them.

        *Palestine was/is not a UN Member State. E.g., there are no UNSC resolutions naming Israel until AFTER becoming a UN Member state. In respect to Palestine see UNSC res 476 which says “Arab territories”, not ‘Palestinian’ territories. This doesn’t mean they’re not Palestinian territories. It only reflects the Palestine’s non-membership.

        Likewise Israel’s actions before becoming a UN Member state could/cannot be directly censured. In the period between becoming a state and being accepted into the UN, Israel acquired by war big chunks of what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared. These territories have never been legally annexed Israel.

        As I understand it, if Israel was to now unilaterally annex those territories, the UNSC would condemn that action by a UN Member. Israel must reach an agreement with the Palestinians over ALL the Palestinian territories Israel has taken since 00:01 15th May 1948

        C) Under UNSC res 242 the parties were to show “respect for” and “acknowledgement of” sovereignty and rights

        1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles :

        * Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
        * Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

        Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel already had “recognized” boundaries long before 1967, including Israel whose boundaries were recognized as the Israeli Government asked them to be recognized May 15th 1948 http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

        The Egypt/Israel Peace Treaty tells us it was the purpose of UNSC res 242. No boundaries were negotiated. Withdrawal of Israel from all of Egypt’s sovereign territories, how and when, was negotiated and carried out BEFORE peaceful relations were assumed. BTW the Hasbara notion of land for peace is propaganda spin, it was withdraw for peace! The land was already Egypt’s and;
        as Syria does with the Golan, Egypt had a right to restore sovereignty over it. See Schwebel/Lauterpacht http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#Schwebel

        “they were only “secure”, if the concerning parties would agree upon them?”

        No, they are only secure if they are respected and acknowledged.

        The resolution was only about the 1967 (“recent” ) conflict not about the 1948 war or Palestinian being independent. The 1948 war and what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared and recognized was covered by the 1949 Armistice Agreements and therein lies ‘negotiate’

        UNSC res 242 left Israel as the sole Occupying Power over Gaza with a sacred duty to protect the occupied, their property, their territory and assist them to independent statehood. The West Bank was sovereign to Jordan in 1967, Israel was required to withdraw … OR … Israel could legally annex the Palestinian territories and its people by agreement with Palestine. Israel is in breach of its legal obligations

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 25, 2013, 6:17 am

        Having read Hostages’s reply after I posted, my assumption on Gaza was incorrect.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 25, 2013, 7:59 am

        Thank you Hostage for this gem.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 25, 2013, 7:59 am

        Thank you Talknic for this gem.

        But the Egypt treaty reads: “Agree to the following provisions … Article II The permanent boundary between Egypt and Israel in the recognized international boundary between Egypt and the former mandated territory of Palestine, … without prejudice to the issue of the status of the Gaza Strip.”.

        Agreement is the result of negotiation, not?

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 25, 2013, 9:20 am

        @ Talkback “the Egypt treaty reads: “Agree to the following provisions … Article II The permanent boundary between Egypt and Israel in the recognized international boundary between Egypt and the former mandated territory of Palestine, … without prejudice to the issue of the status of the Gaza Strip.” “

        They didn’t negotiate any borders tho. They agreed to predetermined provisions (determined on May 15th 1948 by Egypt already having had recognized borders when Israel proclaimed its boundaries and on which the State of Israel was internationally recognized http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf ) “between Egypt and Israel in the recognized international boundary between Egypt and the former mandated territory of Palestine”

        “…without prejudice to the issue of the status of the Gaza Strip.” = the Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt did not change the issue of or Gaza’s status

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 25, 2013, 5:56 pm

        talknic”They didn’t negotiate any borders tho.”

        They preace treaty was a result of negotiation in which they agreed to certain borders.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 26, 2013, 11:33 am

        @Talkback They had no choice. The Peace Treaty was the fulfillment of UNSC res 242 of 1967 which required them to have ” respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area ” Negotiations were on how and when withdrawal was to happen

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 26, 2013, 4:49 pm

        But Talknic. My initial question was if it was Lord Caradon’s understanding that 242 implies negotiation regarding borders, because they were only “secure”, if the concerning parties would agree upon them.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 26, 2013, 7:00 pm

        They preace treaty was a result of negotiation in which they agreed to certain borders.

        I don’t think the Caradon thought that 242 could ever be used to circumvent the applicable international laws which govern the subject.

        Remember that any agreement which violates a jus cogens norm of international law (like the prohibition on acquisition of territory by war) or which has been obtained through coercion, threat, or the actual use of force is null and void from the outset in accordance with the longstanding customary principles of law codified in articles 52 and 53 of the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties. http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/viennaconvention.html

        Article 8 of the Fourth Geneva Convention doesn’t permit local officials to conclude any special agreements with an Occupying Power that renounce the rights of the inhabitants protected under Articles 49 of the Convention or Articles 23 and 46 of the Hague Convention.

        So the parties have never been free to negotiate or conclude an agreement that violates any customary norms or the UN Charter prohibition against the use of force or war to acquire territory. The ‘Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council prepared by the Legal section of the Security council Secretariat staff has always listed those as principles governing the final settlement under the terms of 242. See the links to the applicable analytical tables in my comment here: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/investigate-territorial-palestinians.html#comment-600767

        All of the detailed accounts of the passage of 242 note that Caradon stage managed the speeches of the various parties to prevent a Soviet or US veto.

        The Indian delegate said the resolution required Israel to withdraw from all the territories and he supported that claim by quoting UK Foreign Secretary George Brown’s statements on British policy in the General Assembly. Brown had explained British rejection of the practice of territorial aggrandizement and stated categorically that Israel could not expand its borders as a result of the war. Caradon responded “We stand by our declarations.”

        The French representative pointed out that the French version of the resolution required Israel to withdraw from all of the territories occupied during the recent conflict. All of the English-speaking Cabinet Secretaries involved in drafting the resolution subsequently confirmed that the French version is equally authentic and represented their intended meaning.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 26, 2013, 8:11 pm

        Talkback

        Lord Caradon’s alleged understanding and often cherry picked statements before and/or after UNSC res 242 was adopted are used in attempts to justify Israel’s illegal activities in territories outside the State of Israel. They’re nonsense arguments, like ‘we made the desert bloom’ or cherry pickings from Innocents Abroad. Irrelevant to the law.

        Only the actual words of UNSC res 242 are relevant. It emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war…” not negotiable.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      November 24, 2013, 11:51 am

      pabelmont, you may be interested in this:

      Munich Appeasement and Iran By Richard Sale

      I didn’t know, or even think about this ever. But I can tell you where the neocons, with a little trouble I would still find the respective article, use Otto von Bismarck without context, when it fits their argument.

  5. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    November 23, 2013, 2:29 pm

    I’ve been reading his opinion pieces in Haaretz for years– gritting my teeth and reading him

    A couple of his early pieces and one TV appearance convinced me, years ago, that he simply wasn’t worth reading.

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