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‘Contractually obligated’ to say the peace process is alive, Aslan told Americans to get ready for one state

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This is old news, from 2011, I believe, but it’s fresh as a daisy. Pam Bailey sent it along. Reza Aslan, author of Zealot, a life of Jesus, is asked about the Palestinian issue, and responds, Do you want my honest answer or what I’m supposed to say? Then he gives his quick honest answer:

There is no peace process. There is no two state solution. It’s over. The idea that we continue at a time in which there are now 500,000 Israelis living on what’s supposed to be the future Palestinian land. And the fact that that number is growing at an accelerated pace– there’s nothing left of Palestine…
It’s over. So this notion of well, ‘we need to figure out a way to revive the peace process…’ Don’t believe it. The peace process is nothing more than a waste of time, so that the rest of the land can become gobbled up.

Oslo began, there were 100,000 settlers. Twenty years of the peace process has led to 500,000 settlers.

It’s over. The two state solution is over. There is no Palestine. there will not be a Palestine.

Aslan says the horrifying reality no one wanted is going to happen, the one state reality is upon us. The binational state, one state for two people, with clearly defined political rules, a president and a prime minister, a Palestinian president and an Israeli prime minister– power sharing ala Belgium, or in Northern Ireland.

It’s not going to be very clean in Israel Palestine either, but it’s happening…. I can’t sit here and continue to say what I’m almost contractually obligated to say as a Middle East analyst, which is, You must revive the two state process and get back to the negotiating table… No! There is no negotiating table, there is no negotiating to be done….
Obama’s line in the sand got crossed, and then his face was planted in the sand and spat upon, and he did nothing.

What the Israelis did to the United States when Obama was calling for an end to settlements was the most embarrassed moment Aslan had ever had as an American. We give $3 billion to a First World nation, $1200 per Israeli. And Obama was asking for Israel to follow international law, just for a little while, in exchange for some more money. The Israelis told him to “screw himself,” the lowest point in American power.

Everyone now knows who wears the pants in this relationship now. Everyone knows it…. And for a man like Obama to make the promises he made, and to fail so utterly and miserably.. [was] ultimately to put the death knell in the peace process.

Aslan refers to Obama’s veto of the anti-settlements resolution in the Security Council.

It’s time to start figuring out the one-state outcome.

It’s messy, it’s fraught with so many complications.. It will lead to bloodshed, of course. But there is no other option. It’s happening, it’s happening as we sit here anyway so we might as well start getting ready for it.

Aslan made similar comments in 2010.

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39 Responses

  1. Krauss
    March 30, 2014, 11:30 am

    Unpopular comments, which is why the coverage of this has been so quiet. I can’t say that I’ve followed his career extensively, but I have seen him in the news with regular frequency and not all related to his books. Yet I’ve missed this part, despite the fact that this conflict is of great personal interest to me.

    So I’m guessing its the usual hatchet job of burying anything that contradicts the status quo. Good find, nonetheless. Let’s hope more people have the guts to call out the naked Emperor(always such a weird saying, which is why I enjoy saying it).

    • LeaNder
      March 30, 2014, 8:26 pm

      I agree with you, Krauss: “Good find”.

      Concerning this:

      Let’s hope more people have the guts to call out the naked Emperor(always such a weird saying, which is why I enjoy saying it).

      It’s only a “weird saying” if you don’t know Anderson’s story or fairytale. You’re use gets it right in context though. Since truth has a refreshing effect both in the tale and in Aslan’s case.

  2. amigo
    March 30, 2014, 11:58 am

    Anyone in control of their own brain has known for at least 10 years that the peace process is just a scam.
    This charade is over and soon most people will be on board the equality and justice train aka 1ss.

    Israel has worked hard to reach this point and should be rewarded richly for their efforts.

    I just hope i live long enough to see the end of this scourge known as Zionism.

    • pabelmont
      March 30, 2014, 1:29 pm

      If you are hired as an actor in a play, you learn the4 script and perform your part. No-one forces you to accept the job of an actor. Same with a flack. It’s slightly different when the “job” is hinted at, or generally understood (as it must be on NPR, NYT, etc.), but if yo break the rules you are likely to be out on the street pretty soon. Uncooperative, you know?

      So this is a rare find.

      • amigo
        March 30, 2014, 6:33 pm

        “but if yo break the rules you are likely to be out on the street pretty soon. Uncooperative, you know?”Pabelmont.

        The road to justice is strewn with uncooperative victims.
        But eventually they will rise in numbers and Israel will experience their version of “The night of the living dead”.

        Israel,s Jews know in their hearts and souls the status quo cannot last but they are like people who fall in love but cant fall out of love when they need to.

        That,s just fine with me but for all the innocent people who get hurt or killed.

  3. American
    March 30, 2014, 12:26 pm

    ”Contractually obligated’ to say the peace process is alive,”

    Yes, like Sharon in a coma and on a ventilator but brain dead and being called still alive.
    Nothing to be done as far as I can see but proceed to One State, begin the fight against the apartheid conditions that will certainly bring about, and in 20-25 years or so the Palestines will regain control of their all their land.

    • Citizen
      March 30, 2014, 1:21 pm

      @ American
      Yes, and like Kirk insensate in the hospital while his Illinois Congressional office is run by AIPAC drones in behalf Israel, not Illinois and USA.

  4. JeffB
    March 30, 2014, 12:27 pm


    I don’t consider the 2 nations proposal he suggested unreasonable. It is not a preferred solution but if the Palestinians agreed to a sane version of that prime minister / president split that Reza Aslan proposed then if I were on the negotiating table I’d go for it. I’m glad he is willing to talk openly about how 500k (I think it is more like 600k) people is simply not going to be reversed.

    He seems like a reasonable guy. I know he’s Iranian American and not Palestinian but I wish he were representing them.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 30, 2014, 12:56 pm

      So you agree with a binational state solution, which is essentially a single state with power-sharing of two equal peoples, equal access to resources, and equal human rights for all people? With presumably some restitution for the disposession of Palestinians. What makes you think Palestinians wouldn’t be interested in this, and what on earth makes you think that any of these right wing demagogues and fanatics in Israel would even consider it, given their already dismal track record and routine use of violence against the civilian population who happen to have the wrong cultural background?

    • Hostage
      March 30, 2014, 1:02 pm

      I’m glad he is willing to talk openly about how 500k (I think it is more like 600k) people is simply not going to be reversed.

      Maybe, but everyone said the same thing about South-West Africa, East Timor, and the Baltic States.

      • JeffB
        March 30, 2014, 9:28 pm

        @Hostage —

        We will have to see how things work out in East Timor and the Baltic states. It hasn’t been that long. As for Namibia I’m unclear what you are claiming anyone thought was irreversible.

      • Hostage
        March 31, 2014, 12:23 pm

        We will have to see how things work out in East Timor and the Baltic states. It hasn’t been that long. As for Namibia I’m unclear what you are claiming anyone thought was irreversible.

        No we do not have to wait at all. The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 Reporter’s Note 3 says: “The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist.”

        The United States refused to recognize the unilateral annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union for 60 years.

        In the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Kletter v. Dulles (1950) the Court ruled that the US government had recognized the State of Palestine:

        The contention of the plaintiff that Palestine, while under the League of Nations mandate, was not a foreign state within the meaning of the statute is wholly without merit. . . . Furthermore, it is not for the judiciary, but for the political branches of the Government to determine that Palestine at that time was a foreign state. This the Executive branch of the Government did in 1932 with respect to the operation of the most favored nations provision in treaties of commerce.

        In the 1990s the State Department published part of its declassified documentary record on that foreign policy contained in “a Memorandum of Conversation between William Crawford Jr. and Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim from the Israeli Embassy (February 7, 1963)” regarding Jerusalem. Bar-Haim said “The use of the term “Palestine” is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its “revived usage enrages” individual Israelis”. Crawford replied “It is difficult to see how it “enrages” Israeli opinion. The practice is consistent with the fact that, ”in a de jure sense”, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty. See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. Xviii, Near East, United States. Dept. of State, G.P.O., 1995, ISBN 0160451590, page 341.

      • Hostage
        March 31, 2014, 12:41 pm

        As for Namibia I’m unclear what you are claiming anyone thought was irreversible.

        I suppose then that you haven’t read the six ICJ cases on the subject of the international status of South West Africa/Namibia, starting with the first one in which South Africa argued that it had been promised the territory as part of the LoN mandate and that it had decided to unilaterally terminate the mandate regime and annex the territory to South Africa.

    • annie
      March 30, 2014, 1:43 pm


      if the Palestinians agreed to a sane version of that prime minister / president split that Reza Aslan proposed then if I were on the negotiating table I’d go for it.

      Aslan did not propose a 2ss. is this how how hasbara works now, where you make any allegation you want about someone’s statement? first you claim consider the 2 nations proposal he suggested which could possibly be interpreted as him merely suggesting the topic, but then you go on to double down a second time and claim he proposed the very thing he said was …

      There is no peace process. There is no two state solution. It’s over. ..No… there is no other option.

      so what “proposed” ‘split’ is it you’re claiming he’s made?

      for heavens’ sakes.

      • amigo
        March 30, 2014, 3:07 pm

        Annie, that is jeff the Arab hater trying to look “flexible”.

        A cursory stroll through his archives will reveal this bigots ugly racist mindset.

      • mondonut
        March 31, 2014, 12:13 am


        4. No personal attacks. We encourage spirited, passionate debate, but if you have to resort to vicious personal attack, you’re not advancing the discussion. Stay on the issues.

      • Cliff
        March 31, 2014, 12:41 am


        6. No trolling. Wikipedia defines trolling as “someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response.” That definition is good enough for us. We hope our comment section can feature an engaged and free flowing debate, but we are not interested in commenters whose only aim is to disrupt or sabotage the discussion.

      • amigo
        March 31, 2014, 7:49 am

        mondonut, the truth is not a personal attack.

        Do as I suggested and scroll through jeff,s diatribe and see for yourself.Pay particular attention to his Nakba denial.

        That is why my post was not deleted.

        Maybe I should scroll through your archives and see what is to be unearthed.

      • JeffB
        March 30, 2014, 9:25 pm

        @Annie —

        Reading your comment, I don’t think you understand the distinction between 2 states and 2 nations one state. He gives examples like Belgium.

      • annie
        March 31, 2014, 12:29 am

        i don’t think you understand the distinction between mentioned, giving examples, and “proposing”. just tell me the moment in the video he proposed a “split” as you called it.

      • RoHa
        March 31, 2014, 5:11 am

        Calling Israeli Jews and Palestinians “nations” is the cause of this confusion. For sensible people, a nation is a sovereign state, not an ethnic group.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 31, 2014, 6:00 am

        So you support a one state solution, Jeff, with rights protected for all, and the recognition of two equal cultures, under one law.

      • JeffB
        April 1, 2014, 10:34 pm


        I wrote a long reply which amounted to mostly yes that got censored. Not sure why.

      • JeffB
        April 1, 2014, 10:33 pm


        Calling Israeli Jews and Palestinians “nations” is the cause of this confusion. For sensible people, a nation is a sovereign state, not an ethnic group.

        That’s not sensible people that’s just people who don’t know standard definitions of the word “nation”. That’s why “nation state” is a meaningful distinction from other types of states.

    • traintosiberia
      March 30, 2014, 5:40 pm

      Aslan is a reasonable guy but has no partner either in Israel or in US circle that can make a difference peacefully. It is his faith that possibly makes him trust the Zionist but I won’t . Essence of Zionism is based on accepting falsehood.distortion,misrepresentation and subversion of the realities and of the values that a normal mind take for granted.

  5. American
    March 30, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Not sure what democratic Arab parties are being referred to in this but even a Arab consumer boycott helps add to the pressure. So this has potential.

    ”Israel loses eight billion dollars and Arab parties join the boycott”

    Regarding the latest Palestinian efforts to escalate the settlement boycott, Barghouti revealed that an agreement has been made with 13 democratic Arab parties to form boycott committees in the Arab world.
    In a statement to Quds Net News Agency on Thursday he said: “the European Union did not issue a decision to boycott Israel, but what is taking place is the boycott of any relationship or agreements with settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”
    Furthermore: “This experience is being circulated worldwide and not only in European countries; many areas worldwide are also ready to boycott the settlements.”
    The agreement with the Arab parties to participate in the boycott campaign came after the participation of a delegation from the Palestinian National Initiative movement headed by Barghouti, along with a delegation from Fatah, headed by Nabil Shaath in the Arab Social Democratic Forum. It was held in Amman, Jordan, over two days and ended Wednesday.

    The draft resolution put forward by the Palestinian National Initiative regarding Jerusalem was agreed upon unanimously, along with a mass movement of boycott and sanctions against Israel and the decision to support the Palestinian popular resistance and the struggle for justice for Palestinians against the occupation and the settlements.”

    • Sycamores
      March 30, 2014, 1:58 pm

      the israeli embassies strikes are having unforeseen reprecussions

      It is expected that the Human Rights Council of the UN in Geneva will vote on Thursday and Friday on five resolutions condemning Israel. These include a resolution calling to encourage boycotting Israeli settlements and cutting all investments with them. Meanwhile, Israeli diplomacy has not taken any direct action to curb these decisions and is busy dealing with strikes in their international embassies and consulates.

      • annie
        March 30, 2014, 4:42 pm

        israeli embassies strikes are having unforeseen repercussions

        nah, these resolutions would have gone ahead with or without israeli presence. and i’m sure they could have afforded on representative, diplomat or no diplomat, to descend on geneva if they wanted to. instead, they chose to stay away precisely because they knew there was nothing they could do about it. that’s my hunch anyway. but you’re right in that all the press made it appear as if israel couldn’t be there because of the strike. i am not buying it.

        israel had no power to curb the resolutions more than they were curbed/watered down, which ultimately did not lesson the impact.

    • annie
      March 30, 2014, 4:38 pm

      thanks for the link american. not sure how closely you read this but it’s quite relevant to your link.

  6. MHughes976
    March 30, 2014, 1:10 pm

    For all the rhetoric that is going on, with people trying to influence what Kerry is going to do and positioning themselves for what he might do, I still think that any proposal which Kerry and Obama call for all parties to put to a referendum stands a reasonable chance of acceptance and implementation. They just have to have the courage to make the call. There is a chance of failure – the Cyprus 2-community referendum a few years back didn’t work out well, but also a chance of success that would gather a new improved gold-plated Peace Prize and a book called ‘How I did what no-one’s done since Cyrus’ that every nice person in the world would feel contractually obligated to buy.
    That is not to say that I think it would be the end of the story but it would open a new chapter, whether for better or worse. Good for the peacemakers is of course not the same thing at all as good for the people involved.

    • Citizen
      March 30, 2014, 1:29 pm

      @ MHuges976

      Didn’t Truman fancy himself Cyrus II? And so here we are again? Not a good sign.

  7. Stogumber
    March 30, 2014, 1:10 pm

    I’m just reading that Aslan’s theory about Jesus the Zealot is new. For the record, the theory was first promoted by a German Jew, Robert Eisler, and secondly by a man who was born Joel Lipsky, but preferred to be called Joel Carmichael, from reasons I don’t understand, as he was a committed Zionist. So there’s not much new about it.

    March 30, 2014, 1:35 pm

    Everything he said is true, and I fear his conclusion is correct.

  9. Citizen
    March 30, 2014, 1:45 pm

    1.) How does Aslan’s theory mesh with the fact that the Babylonian Talmud reflects Judaism today, not the Old Testament, nor the New Testament? Just asking.

    2.) Historical Jesus railed against the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. Sorta like railing against Zionist hypocrisy today? Just asking.

  10. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    March 30, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Some unsolicited observations on my part.

    1. The Two State solution is dead and Israel killed it.
    2. Jewish Israel’s idea of democracy is anachronistic. Modern democracy is not just about majority rules, it is majority rules in tandem with protection of the rights of minorities, be they racial, religious, ethnic or sexual orientation. Otherwise what you have is the tyranny of the majority.
    3. The Jewish elite use Zionism to keep social justice at bay. Just in the past week or so a group of Jews in Jaffa were expelled from their homes so their apartments could be bulldozed to make way for hotels and expensive condos. They need to reach across the ethnic divide and make common cause with their Arab working class counterparts. They have more in common with them than the snooty elites of north Tel Aviv. But they probably won’t because they have been so indoctrinated with the idea that as Jews they will get the goodies, at some point, one day.
    4. Fighting for human rights and social justice is not a zero sum game. In a more inclusive society everyone wins.

  11. Kay24
    March 30, 2014, 10:38 pm

    I agree with many of the comments, these so called “peace talks” are just a charade, a farce, by Israel, to stall, avoid, and pacify those naive enough to expect better from Israel. The numbers says it all, during Oslo there were 100,000 settler now that number has increased to 500,000 (after Israel begged Jews all over the world, to come to stolen land, and most possibly sweetened the deal with various hand outs, apparently the Jews in Iran strongly refused), the Master plan to take over lands belonging to others, and their actions have been condemned even by those who aid them. I must say one thing about Israel and the zionists who thrive there – I have never seen such a diabolical or devious lot of human beings, who make people suffer so much, in their vicious attempt to rid the Galilee of Arabs.

  12. bilal a
    bilal a
    March 30, 2014, 11:27 pm

    Would you Die for that ?

    fyi, stephen walt of harvard.foreign policy mag makes the point that Israel is nt an ally?

    “The right question when potential allies come calling is: What’s in it for us? What have they got that we want, and how badly do we want it? U.S. power and protection is still a significant asset, and America shouldn’t be offering it to anyone on the cheap. Truly valuable allies provide the United States with reliable intelligence, basing rights, advanced technology, and sometimes even troops sent to fight alongside those of America — and the best allies don’t get into senseless quarrels with their neighbors (or maintain illegal occupations that make the United States look bad). Other allies are valuable not because they do that much for America, but because they happen to control resources the United States wants and so the country has to tolerate some of their foibles. Foreign policy is not philanthropy, and the United States should not leap to embrace allies that can’t or won’t do plenty for it. ”

  13. amigo
    March 31, 2014, 8:09 am

    Israel under attack by normally pro Israel reporters.

    See the article below by Mark Weiss who is normally steadfast in keeping negative actions by Israel out of the Irish Times.

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