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Some liberal Zionists will blame Netanyahu for failure of talks

Israel/Palestine
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J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami speaking at the group's conference in 2012. (Photo: J Street)

J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami speaking at the group’s conference in 2012. (Photo: J Street)

It appears that some liberal Zionists are preparing to blame Israel and its stiffnecked Prime Minister for the failure of the latest peace negotiations (if they do fail, as seems ever more likely).

Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street has expressed sharp concern about Netanyahu’s behavior. In a blogpost two days ago, he assailed rightwinger Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” and echoed Secretary of State John Kerry’s regret over the forcing of this issue:

If Netanyahu walks away over this issue, he may win some propaganda points but he would be throwing away for the Jewish people our best chance to end the conflict in years. With goodwill and creativity, the parties can surely surmount this obstacle and move on.

Ben-Ami expressed greater sympathy with Palestinian positions than he does with the Israeli stance:

Palestinians say they have already recognized the state of Israel and are prepared to do so again in an agreement. They feel that defining the character of the state of Israel is up to Israelis not them.

Then there was that NYT profile of Zubin Mehta, the conductor of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. Reporter is Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim. I hear Mehta criticizing Netanyahu as narrow-minded:

“I have such a love for this country, Israel, that I see it as a tragedy what’s going on,” the Mumbai-born Mr. Mehta, now 77, said recently at the Pierre Hotel, a few blocks from Carnegie Hall, where he will conduct an Israel Philharmonic benefit concert on Thursday. “I speak openly about a country that I see, from my private musician’s perspective, as going in the wrong direction, as far as the settlements, as far as internal economic policies.”

And of course there’s Peter Beinart, the soul of liberal Zionism, who has become more and more openly critical of Netanyahu and his American backers. Here he writes that Netanyahu and the rightwing lobby are playing the U.S. to the point that any framework will fail to produce “a genuinely viable Palestinian state, one that is economically and politically strong enough to offer Palestinians a decent future, a decent future that will help safeguard Israel’s as well.”

The problem is that the Israel lobby guarantees American acceptance of rightwing Israeli demands, and this can only end badly, Beinart says.

You have to hand it to Netanyahu. He has steadfastly rejected the axioms that guided Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the past. (Remember, he still hasn’t even accepted the principle of the 1967 lines plus land swaps). In so doing, he has so shifted the terms of debate that positions once considered too radical for an Israeli prime minister to espouse are now considered American compromises.

I first noticed this trend a week back when I had dinner with a liberal Zionist who was filled with desperation. We are going to lose the Jewish state to a one-state apartheid destiny, he said bleakly, and it is Netanyahu who is refusing to compromise. This man put the onus fully on the rightwing Israeli leadership.

So the real possibility exists that unlike the failure of the Camp David talks in 2000, when the Palestinians were blamed, this time many American liberal Zionists will blame Israel for the failure of the peace process. This could have domestic political consequences: the Israel lobby will crack even more widely open, and more and more Jews will find themselves in solidarity with Palestinians, and the mainstream media will have to reflect that paradigm shift.

The issue of course is what the liberal Zionists will do with their newfound Palestinian solidarity. I wager that some of them are preparing themselves to endorse sanctions against Israel– withdrawal of American foreign aid. To be continued.

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About Philip Weiss

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46 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    March 23, 2014, 11:58 am

    If (when) the talks fail, it seems there would be a perfect opportunity for Obama to say:

    We tried really hard to make the two sides come together, but for so many reasons, we were unable to resolve this intractable problem. It is now time for others to come to the aid of the party. I invite the UN to be directly involved in brokering a lasting peace between these two peoples, and the US will be an equal party in arriving at such a solution, but will no longer be the main agent of change as our efforts have not improved the situation as we had hoped. We will continue to provide assistance as required by the UN to help bring about peace in that region, including providing a peace-keeping force if asked to do so by the UN, along with other countries who would like to see peace in this region. We will be much more restrained in our use of the veto in the UNSC, and empower the nations of the world to end a crisis that has gone on for far too long.

    If the US were not Israel’s lawyer, this matter would have been resolved a long time ago. With the UN leading the charge with the enforcement of all UN resolutions that Israel has ignored with the help of US vetoes, I assert that the conflict would be resolved within 6 months and Israel would be forced back to 1948 territories.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      March 23, 2014, 12:42 pm

      @CloakAndDagger

      If the US were not Israel’s lawyer, this matter would have been resolved a long time ago. With the UN leading the charge with the enforcement of all UN resolutions that Israel has ignored with the help of US vetoes, I assert that the conflict would be resolved within 6 months and Israel would be forced back to 1948 territories.

      How? Play it out. The USA decides to sit it out but will not take action against Israel. The UN makes demands, Israel tells them to go pound sand. The Security Council passes an article 7 resolution authorizing force which no one really wants to enforce. And then what?

      Israel has ignored security council resolutions before and been condemned by the security council repeatedly in those resolutions. All the USA is doing is preventing the security council from looking ridiculous passing a resolution that no one is willing to enforce. The issue is not the UN, the issue is that no one who can credibly threaten Israel is willing to go to war to help the Palestinians while Israel is rather dedicated to building their country in Mandate Palestine X-Gaza.

      All the USA is doing is making it clear you aren’t holding cards so you don’t end up throwing money in a pot where you are going to have to fold before the river.

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        March 23, 2014, 1:28 pm

        How? Play it out. The USA decides to sit it out but will not take action against Israel.

        Who said anything about not taking actions against Israel? By letting the UN lead the charge and impose sanctions without a US veto, we immediately cease sending our tax dollars to Israel. The only reason that nobody has been willing to enforce UN resolutions is that we would veto any attempts at sanctioning Israel. If we stop doing that, then the sanctions have teeth. The loss of our aid dollars and support alone would bring Israel to its knees.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 23, 2014, 1:58 pm

        @CloakAndDagger

        I said play it out. What sanctions. How much. Who is doing the sanctioning? If you are talking sanctions and not war how do you stop a triangle trade and smuggling? How do you handle substitution?

        I’m not looking for slogans about what does not have teeth. So let’s take an example of what I’m looking for. Usually when people talk about sanctions they focus on Europe. Europe’s #1 import from Israel is cut diamonds which are almost impossible to avoid triangle trade for. #2 is military. #3 is pharma.
        (The ACAA lobby in Europe did these numbers the French government confirms they are correct). In pharma there are some Israeli inventions but the core of the trade is generics. Europeans save nearly €25b ($34.5b) using generic Israeli drugs vs. American drugs (example Teva which is generic for Lipitor). Let’s assume a 100% ban on Israeli generics is possible. The loss of revenue to Israel from this 100% block is about $8b. Profits for pharma manufacturing are about 14.5%. So to do this sanction the EU has to take a $34.5b hit (this will shrink with time presumably but it is a reasonable number for year one) to do $1.16b in damage to Israel. In your hypothetic are they willing to to take a hit that large and if so why? Or do the Europeans just pass a symbolic sanction and let these generics come in through a triangle trade?

        Stop talking about the magic UN sanctions program and start talking about what you actually picture can happen on the ground with real sanctions policies.

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 23, 2014, 8:14 pm

        Don’t talk about what you know not. Your pharma example is pure sci-fi. We can get Indian and Serbian and Venezolan drugs at a fraction of the Zionist price with immediate increased profits.) They are now being bought as a conscious inter-Zionist support measure, and as a means to keep state-controlled prices as high as possible. Your profit margin is ridiculously low, seems that you swallow fairy tales without a chaser. Essentially not gonna happen, of course, as the rapport has first to become frankly confrontational.

      • American
        American
        March 25, 2014, 9:36 am

        jeffb

        1) The generic name for Lipitor is atorvastatin not Teva.

        Teva is the name of the Israeli drug firm, it is not the name of the drug.

        2) India was the largest exporter of generic drugs to Europe last time I looked.

        3) All major drug companies operate in Europe, Glaxo Kline, etc, , their brand name drugs are half the price in Europe because of government price setting as they are in the US and brand drugs from Europe are what is sold in the US thru the Canadian pharmacies. as well as generics mainly from India.

        The point?—–Europeans would lose nothing from not importing Israeli generics, India easily could -and would be happy to–take up the slack—since India is predicted by 2017 to have the lions share of the world generic (prescription) market.

        A good example of Israel outsmarting itself was when the I-Lobby took India under their wing and lobbied for them with the US government in exchange for India declaring itself a ally of Israel—India took that ball and ran with it on their own—beside getting the nuclear o.k. and assist from the US –India went after all other benefits of their new US relationship–they got the US ‘to certify’ their generic drug manufacturing plants (all offshore drug importers have to be inspected by the US)—India also now has half of the Israeli ‘diamond cutting’ business.

        You really should keep up with the business news. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 23, 2014, 2:13 pm

        Come back to Earth, please. Fat chance the US will withhold its veto before the utter destruction of the Zionist organizations, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and diverse other power holders. Like the Press.
        Even if it did, don’t count on most governments voting for an intervention to enforce it. Change will have to come from the Palestinians and a rearrangement of worldwide power balance.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 23, 2014, 2:38 pm

        “The loss of our aid dollars and support alone would bring Israel to its knees.” C&D

        Why not enhance the possibility and get the EU to cancel all imports from Israel.They represent circa 28% of Israel,s total exports.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 24, 2014, 8:32 am

        @puppies —

        Don’t talk about what you know not. Your pharma example is pure sci-fi.

        You understand you are now disagreeing with the French government and major EU lobbies. If the pro-ACAA lobbies are wrong why haven’t Venezuelan and Indian lobbies said so? Why is the French government going along? I don’t know that much about the Venezuelan pharma industry but just about every expert considers it to have deteriorated tremendously under Chavez. Moreover a lot of the industry is US controlled. The domestic companies still struggle on $50m manufacturing facility acquisitions. Proctor and Gamble, Merck, Clorox (APIs in Venezuala), Pfizer… are not going to want to keep Europeans on generics. There are going to want to push them back to name brands. They might be happy to just capture manufacturing fees in Venezuela in Germany they are going to go for huge markups.

        There is high quality economic data about the global pharma industry, there are experts and no one is asserting what you are. Certainly over time the EU can develop alternative supplies for generic drugs including domestically. But during that same time Israel rearranges its economy in line with the sanctions. So for example those Israeli factories likely sell into the USA, African, Asian or Latin American market.

        Why do you think it is that no one from BDS has done this kind of scoring? If I were out to lunch the BDS websites would have model sanctions bills scored by reputable agencies. The fact that they don’t and that there are no counter arguments says something.

        The fact that no one has bothered in something like a decade to do any research at all about how sanctions or divestment is going to work shows that BDS doesn’t even view itself seriously.

      • piotr
        piotr
        March 25, 2014, 7:10 am

        Enforcing naval blockade against Israel would be simplicity itself, if port authorities in Mediterranean and Red Sea would cooperate: one ship would patrol the Strait of Gibraltar and a pair would do the job in the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 25, 2014, 8:21 am

        @piotr

        Enforcing naval blockade against Israel would be simplicity itself, if port authorities in Mediterranean and Red Sea would cooperate: one ship would patrol the Strait of Gibraltar and a pair would do the job in the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.

        Excellent examples. Let’s take Bab el Mandeb. That’s 80 miles at the narrowest point that’s several hours travel for a warship. What do they do about two vessels approaching from opposite sides when Israel and or other nations decide they want to run the blockade?

        Of course the biggest problem is that Israel has a OK navy (4 subs, 10 missle boats some a few other combat ships) with fantastic air support. How does that one ship not end up at the bottom of the ocean when it starts firing on Israeli vessels? There is a reason that blockades are considered acts of war, because the country doing the blockading needs to be willing to get into a war.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      March 23, 2014, 3:15 pm

      The puzzle is how to do these two things: [1] get USA to stop vetoing in UNSC and otherwise supporting Israeli lawlessness; and [2] to get EU and others to overcome 46 years of (like USA) ignoring Israeli lawlessness.

      The reason I’ve long urged concerted action to enforce international law (that is, as I see it, a concerted sanctions-promising demand for removal of all settlers, dismantling of the wall, dismantling of all settlement buildings) is that this seems to me something the nations could agree to MORE EASILY than agreeing to a diktat of terms for peace, terms for PRoR, and/or terms for Israeli democracy (all legitimate goals of BDS which might seem outside the smaller demands of long-established international law). Of course, I also desire PRoR and Israeli non-discriminatory democracy.

      If a sanctions regime sufficient to generate a just and lasting peace acceptable to the Palestinians could be generated by the UN, then I suppose it doesn’t have to be targeted (initially) on the goals I set above. But getting a sanctions regime in place is (for me) the test of good policy, and its goals can “morph” as more nations get “on board” and momentum sets in (i.e., the sanctions get severe enough that they “work”).

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      March 26, 2014, 3:08 pm

      @American

      Thank you for phrasing that politely.

      1) The generic name for Lipitor is atorvastatin not Teva.
      Teva is the name of the Israeli drug firm, it is not the name of the drug.

      Correct that was poorly phrased in the original. Teva makes lots of generic their Lipitor sells well in Europe.

      2) India was the largest exporter of generic drugs to Europe last time I looked.

      What figures are you looking at? The EU GMP standards hit India hard. The ACAA on the other hand has helped Israel. I’d have to see your figures if you have good India aggregates I’d be interested particularly the degree of overlap. Israel tends to be able to stay in the generic market longer because of their excellent cost controls.

      3) All major drug companies operate in Europe, Glaxo Kline, etc, , their brand name drugs are half the price in Europe because of government price setting as they are in the US and brand drugs from Europe are what is sold in the US thru the Canadian pharmacies. as well as generics mainly from India.

      The point?—–Europeans would lose nothing from not importing Israeli generics, India easily could -and would be happy to–take up the slack—since India is predicted by 2017 to have the lions share of the world generic (prescription) market.

      Like I said major European lobbies and the French government don’t agree with you. Who credible is saying that?

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 23, 2014, 11:59 am

    “We are going to lose the Jewish state to a one-state apartheid destiny, he said bleakly, and it is Netanyahu who is refusing to compromise.”

    It’s not just Milikovsky,. It’s also those rich wingnut warmongering Jews in New York , Florida , the Hamptons etc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwsUT3YAgRc

    “The irony is,” says Finkelstein, “that the Nazi Holocaust has now become the main ideological weapon for launching wars of aggression. Every time you want to launch a war of aggression, drag in the Nazi Holocaust…It’s a package deal with Israel and its American supporters. It’s not just suffering. It’s suffering which is then wrapped in a club, and the club is then used to break the skulls of the Palestinians. That’s the problem.”
    “It’s the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha’s Vineyard. And they are warmongers from the Hamptons. And they’re warmongers from Beverly Hills. And they’re warmongers from Miami.”

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 23, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Re: Phil says: “The issue of course is what the liberal Zionists will do with their newfound Palestinian solidarity. I wager that some of them are preparing themselves to endorse sanctions against Israel– withdrawal of American foreign aid. To be continued.”
    Interesting, I only got three people who comment here regularly on this petition to stop aid to Israel until Israel stops its illegal settlement expansion as an obstacle to peace–the petition is over a week old:
    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-illegal-israeli

    Anybody want to comment about this? I can’t wait to see it.

    • amigo
      amigo
      March 23, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Citizen, I signed it but in my real name.

      So maybe you got four so far.

      Anyone who is truly interested in making peace would want aid to Israel stopped.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      March 23, 2014, 1:44 pm

      I am #69.

    • Erasmus
      Erasmus
      March 24, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Re Citizen: … Interesting, I only got three people who comment here regularly on this petition to stop aid to Israel until Israel stops its illegal settlement expansion as an obstacle to peace–…..

      Citizen, i went there, ready to sign up. However, i did not.

      Reason?
      I found the formulation “until Israel stops its illegal settlement EXPANSION “… rather unfortunate, respectively wanting.

      IMHO, if it had said sth like: ….”until Israel will have concluded a final peace agreement with the Palestinians and will have proven that it also complies bona fide with all committments entered into in such agreement”….
      I would not have hesitated.

  4. Les
    Les
    March 23, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Meanwhile, another victory for BDS.

    Israeli architects face suspension by international body
    Royal Institute of British Architects is latest professional organization to join Israel boycott movement.
    By Haaretz | Mar. 23, 2014

    The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the latest professional organization to boycott Israel, the Guardian reports.

    The RIBA council decided last week to call for the suspension of its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli Association of United Architects, by the global architectural body – the International Union of Architects.

    The motion was passed by 23 votes to 16, with 10 abstentions.

    Addressing council members before the vote, former RIBA head Angela Brady said that failure to back the motion “would send a clear message to the world that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid.”

    But other council members pointed to human rights violations in other parts of the world, such as North Korea, which is a member of RIBA. “Don’t you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there?” asked one council member, Francesca Weal.

    Prof Baruch Baruch of the IAUA said the decision was “astonishing.” He added “I don’t think architects can be blamed for government policies. I don’t think boycotts will help to solve any of the problems in the Middle East.”

    His organization, which includes Israeli-Arab architects, was not complicit in settlement construction. “A lot of members are against settlements and building in the West Bank. They won’t be helped by a boycott.”

    The vote follows a similar motion earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.581470

    • annie
      annie
      March 23, 2014, 1:32 pm

      thanks Les, i covered that here on friday: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/architects-association-settlements.html

      and technically, riba didn’t say it was ‘joining the boycott movement’ nor did the guardian claim that. albeit, it does amount to the same thing. the guardian said “in a further indication of the growing momentum of the boycott movement.” but haaretz’s headline is incorrect.

      quoting my article, quoting brady, the sponsor of the bill:

      ‘This is not a boycott this is the affirmation that in terms of the UIA code of ethics and professionalism, architects should not practice in occupied territory.

      ‘We as architects need to stand up for what is right. This will open the way for other similar issues to come forward.

      ….This is an instance where architects are culpable, perhaps they will listen to their fellow architects.’

      anyway, riba already had passed a resolution in 2005 and 2007 that “condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated” so this latest action just brings that resolution into compliance.

      the way i see it, it is similar to the US not funding unesco after palestine joined the UN group. it was something already put in place by a congressional resolution. note there were no claims the US was ‘boycotting’ unesco, they were just following their own rules.

    • piotr
      piotr
      March 23, 2014, 9:18 pm

      “I do not think that architects can be blamed for governmental policies”.

      But some may beg to differ, as in the case of the most famous architect of Nazi Germany: “On July 18, 1947, Speer and his six fellow prisoners, all former high officials of the Nazi regime, were flown from Nuremberg to Berlin under heavy guard.[108] The prisoners were taken to Spandau Prison in the British Sector of what would become West Berlin”.

    • American
      American
      March 24, 2014, 9:32 am

      ”Prof Baruch Baruch of the IAUA said the decision was “astonishing.” He added “I don’t think architects can be blamed for government policies. I don’t think boycotts will help to solve any of the problems in the Middle East.”

      His organization, which includes Israeli-Arab architects, was not complicit in settlement construction. “A lot of members are against settlements and building in the West Bank. They won’t be helped by a boycott.”
      >>>>>>>>>>>>

      Here’s the thing Prof. –a lot of Germans were against Hitler but they couldn’t or didn’t do enough about him. The world was against the Nazis and everything they did—BUT…that didn’t stop your group from blaming every single German and every single human in the universe for your holocaust.

      If some of you suffer from BDS its mild compared to what others have paid for what your leaders and country is doing/ has done for 65 years.

  5. amigo
    amigo
    March 23, 2014, 12:19 pm

    “With goodwill and creativity, the parties can surely surmount this obstacle and move on.”ben ami

    What goodwill are you referring to.Israel,s good will towards the Illegal squatter thieves in allowing them to increase the numbers of illegal squats.

  6. American
    American
    March 23, 2014, 12:42 pm

    ‘The issue of course is what the liberal Zionists will do with their newfound Palestinian solidarity. I wager that some of them are preparing themselves to endorse sanctions against Israel– withdrawal of American foreign aid. To be continued’>>>>>>

    When pigs fly…imo. You might get a few who will suggest that but it will never be endorsed by the groups.
    The flow of US taxpayer billions to Israel and US military protection trumps all else for I Firsters. …and lib zionist are still I-Firsters.
    Sanctions on Israel would ‘forever’ change and weaken the current one way street of US-Isr policy in the future.
    They wont risk that.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      March 23, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Here’s a puzzle: How can USA say they protect Israel’s “security” to the hilt, and always will, but do NOT see the occupation or the settlements (or the so-called annexations) as contributing to Israeli security in any way, and the USA opposes these things because they are contrary to American national interests and USA demands roll-back on all of them — although still supporting Israel’s “security”.

      Obama has said that attacking Iran is not in USA’s interest, adn so far has gotten away with it. why not say, as well, that Israel’s continuing presence in ANY territories captured in 1967 is not in USA’s interest and weee demand blah-blah-blah.

      Of course, at that point, AIPAC steps in, and democrats loose mucho elections and it’s too late to take the money out of politics, or to fight climate change, or any other desirable thing.

  7. JeffB
    JeffB
    March 23, 2014, 1:13 pm

    @Phil

    So the real possibility exists that unlike the failure of the Camp David talks in 2000, when the Palestinians were blamed, this time many American liberal Zionists will blame Israel for the failure of the peace process. This could have domestic political consequences: the Israel lobby will crack even more widely open, and more and more Jews will find themselves in solidarity with Palestinians, and the mainstream media will have to reflect that paradigm shift.

    That’s possible. You could have a situation very much like the 1990s where Republican Jews backed Likud, mostly rejecting the 2SS hoping for Rabin & Peres’ negotiations to fail while Democratic Jews were in favor of the 2SS and loved having Rabin / Peres, Clinton and the majority of American Jews in harmony. Since Jews are overwhelming Democrats and the current Israeli government is on the right you could have something like you did under Yitzhak Shamir. The analogy collapses though because Congress is way way more Zionist than it was in the late 80’s- early 90s. so the president still isn’t holding many cards.

    But having the vast majority of Jews way out of step with the Israeli government would be good for you group in terms of growing BDS. In theory. In practice I still think BDS’s tone is much much too harsh. We’ll have to see. But no question Liberal Jews getting ready to blame Israel is a huge win for you. Congrads.

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail
      March 23, 2014, 3:06 pm

      Oh how terribly generous of you to patronise a movement you don’t seem to understand. I don’t think we are waiting upon your approval.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      March 23, 2014, 6:18 pm

      Whether Obama is holding ANY cards or not depends (IMO) on his ability to overcome the traditional idea that as president (even as a lame duck) he is the legislative leader of the Dems.

      The constitution says nothing about parties or about the president as legislative leader.

      If he could assign that role to someone else (or just abandon it), he’d not risk losing the Dem-controlled Senate (something some polls are now suggesting will happen in any case) if he stopped going after MONEY and started talking to America about important issues (I/P, climate change, economy, the bloated military) and acting independently where he CAN act independently — foreign policy and diplomacy, especially at the UN come to mind.

      Hard to see how he could be doing any worse on most of these if he determined not to be controlled by the oligarchs (BIG BANKS, BIG OIL, BIG DEFENSE, BIG ZION, etc.). However, he lives in America and remembers what happened to JFK and MLK.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 23, 2014, 9:05 pm

        @pabelmont

        I’m not quite so paranoid about MLK and JFK. I think he can do whatever he wants in the UN. The problem is he has no follow through.

        1) He would face total opposition in congress
        2) He would face substantial opposition from his own staff.
        3) The public would be against him.

        All he does is send his popularity plummeting for a policy that gets reversed and undermined. Why would he choose that path? My opinion is that the Congressional policy is fairly reflective of intensity weighted public opinion. The official policy is more pro-Palestinians because of counterbalancing players like Big Oil.

  8. James Canning
    James Canning
    March 23, 2014, 2:25 pm

    The strength of the Israel lobby in the US effectively ensures the talks will be unsuccessful.

  9. puppies
    puppies
    March 23, 2014, 2:39 pm

    Completely crazy.
    Yes, the “liberal” Zionists are in a desperate attempt to salvage the Shitty Spartan state by joining a watered-down version of BDS that only touches “illegal” post-67 settlements.
    Aim: already reached, or almost. The general perception of BDS is as a recommendation limited exclusively to post-67 occupation; different BDS bodies have barely camouflaged “liberal”-Zionist governance and excommunicate left and right every single inflexible element; instead of an all-inclusive movement, we have a club; the shibboleth is not Support Palestine, but Imagined Antisemitism (no matter if the victims of it are themselves biologically Jewish…). The Zionists are using us and the boycott for their own internal power struggle, and that power struggle is exclusively about the best way to continue the existence of their “Jewish State”.

    “domestic political consequences: the Israel lobby will crack even more widely open” says Weiss.
    So? They can morph, they can merge with their J-street branch, they can do a better good cop-bad cop act. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, they’ll continue occupation, expansion, full dominance.
    “and more and more Jews will find themselves in solidarity with Palestinians…”
    with what effect? I’ll remind you that “Jews”, especially those who consider themselves so, are still a tiny minority.

  10. Icarusverum
    Icarusverum
    March 23, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I’m already there. I strongly support BDS. I acknowledge that Israel does not represent my views of the world as a liberal Jew.

    And I see more and more people standing up against this now. It used to be that people were afraid to say such things but now that it has been made clear that “the Emperor has no clothes” … everyone else is slowly coming out.

    And that’s why Israel needs a $300 million propaganda campaign plus buying politicians and lobbying. They wouldn’t need all of this money – money we give them in order to convince us. This will not end well for Israel.

  11. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    March 23, 2014, 6:38 pm

    You have to skip ahead a few minutes to get to this interesting debate, touching on the issue of BDS by the system’s liberal supporters:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/26/boycotting_israel_mustafa_barghouti_vs_rabbi
    What do you think?

    I suppose my first question, is: If his view is that the refugees cannot return, then what does he sees as the best arrangement possible back in 1946-47 before the refugees left?

    Back in 1946-47, there were comparable number of Israelis and Palestinians living in the part designated for the Israeli state. How does he think that fact should have been addressed then?

  12. bilal a
    bilal a
    March 23, 2014, 9:51 pm

    Wishes Won’t Stop Bullies Like Putin
    [Rabbi] Dov S. Zakheim, March 21, 2014

    ie , More money for Big Oil and the M.I. Complex , More Gentiles into the Meat Grinder:

    “here are things that the United States, as the world’s leading military and economic power can do to convince Putin to go no further than the Crimea. First, it must lead NATO in stationing troops in the Baltic states and Poland. If Putin doesn’t like it, he can lump it. Second, the administration should immediately increase the current Fiscal Year 2014 defense budget through a budget amendment that, sidesteps the Budget Control Act and adds $25 billion to the operations and maintenance and procurement accounts. Third it should make clear to Moscow that any movement into eastern Ukraine will lead to NATO’s immediate invitation to both Ukraine and Georgia to join the alliance. Finally, in addition to imposing financial sanctions on Russia, Washington should release American oil and gas for export to Europe, and immediately approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada. A Germany that is less reliant on Russian energy will stiffen its spine vis a vis Moscow. And as Germany goes, so will go the rest of NATO.”
    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/wishes-wont-stop-bullies-putin-10095?page=1

    Do you have any recommendations for young Jews who want to go into government or political work?

    When I started in my career there were not that many of us in the government. There are a lot of committed Jews now. Whether its Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) press secretary Nachama Soloveichik, who is a committed Jew, or Jack Lew (White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama), who I am personally friendly with but with whom I totally disagree on politics. He is obviously a yerei Shamayim who sends his kids to Jewish schools, is a member of an Orthodox shul and a proud Jew. Eliot Cohen (Counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush) is another example.
    An Interview with Rabbi Dr. Dov Zakheim
    http://www.kolhamevaser.com/2012/11/an-interview-with-rabbi-dov-zakheim/

  13. NormanF
    NormanF
    March 23, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Palestinian Arab unwillingness to accept Jewish nationhood and to end the conflict guarantees that Israel will be able to move forward with its domestic solidarity preserved. The issue isn’t about territory; its about Palestinian Arab refusal to accept a Jewish State no matter where its borders are drawn, a stand that hasn’t changed since the 1940s. As a result, the conflict is destined to continue since in truth peace is impossible in the Middle East.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      March 24, 2014, 2:21 pm

      NormanF – – Your implied contention that the 2002 Arab Peace Plan was a ruse or scam, is total rubbish.

  14. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    March 24, 2014, 5:59 am

    Jeremy Ben-Ami

    assailed rightwinger Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” and echoed Secretary of State John Kerry’s regret over the forcing of this issue

    The so-called liberal Zionists delude themselves that this issue of Israel being recognized as Jewish state is not important to resolving the conflict. The trouble is that this issue is CENTRAL to the conflict.
    Dror Eydar in a piece on Israel Hayom sums it up perfectly:
    “Why should it be necessary to search high and low for Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state? Because there is none. One can read the declarations of the Palestinian Authority and its leaders over the past 20 years. Indeed, opposing recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is more important to the Palestinians than land, since this is the true heart of the conflict, rather than the other territorial nonsense that the Left has been selling for years. It’s not about territory and not about settlements and not about refugee rights, not at all.”
    Refer http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=7715

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 24, 2014, 8:27 am

      ““Why should it be necessary to search high and low for Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state? Because there is none. ”

      Since the terms seems to imply a state wherein Jews have supremacy over the other inhabitants, it would be morally wrong for the Palestinians to agree to such a thing.

      ” Indeed, opposing recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is more important to the Palestinians than land, since this is the true heart of the conflict, rather than the other territorial nonsense that the Left has been selling for years. It’s not about territory and not about settlements and not about refugee rights, not at all.”

      What is “national home” supposed to mean? If it means that Jews have the right to take over the land, and take it away from the people who live there, then all the issues of territory and refugee rights stem from that claim. It is the core evil of Zionism.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 24, 2014, 8:43 am

      >> The so-called liberal Zionists delude themselves that this issue of Israel being recognized as Jewish state is not important to resolving the conflict. The trouble is that this issue is CENTRAL to the conflict.

      Of course it is. Recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State” legitimizes Jewish supremacism in Israel and severely undermines – or outright destroys – the legimitate right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands.

      Palestinians should not be expected or required to recognize or accept Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State”. No-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept any state as a supremacist state.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      March 24, 2014, 2:19 pm

      The Palestinians are willing to accept the theft by Israel of 78% of what was Palestine in 1946. Full stop. This is the position of ALL Arab countries.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        March 24, 2014, 9:02 pm

        Israel declared itself as a Jewish State in 1947. The U.N. divided the country into two parts: one part was for the Jews as a homeland and they called it Israel. At the same time the ‘Palestinians’ were given the other part of the Palestine Mandate (carved back severely from what it had been originally in 1922) for a Palestinian state, but they rejected it and instead went to war.
        Israel won, and won again and again and Israel became bigger, stronger and more populous, so now the PA wants what they lost in wars given to them on a silver platter.
        The talks currently underway will fail because the ‘Palestinians’ are not prepared to abrogate their so-called right of return (ROR), which is a malicious effort to undermine the Jewish state that they are unwilling to recognize. It was bad enough for Abbas when he personally said he would not take up his own ROR. The shame and humiliation that he would face from his own people would destroy him so his hands are tied.
        There is nothing ‘supremacist’ about the efforts of Israelis to establish a state that is fundamentally a Jewish homeland that was the intention of the British and then the UN following the Balfour declaration.
        In this sense Israel is no different from any other nation that is
        established fundamentally for the benefit of those people who are eligible to be its citizens.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        March 25, 2014, 6:30 pm

        @Mayhem – – The Arab leaders who backed the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan agreed privately there was no way Israel could be compelled to accept hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish immigrants. Which obviously is true, at least to me (and most Arab leaders).

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 25, 2014, 8:41 pm

        “In this sense Israel is no different from any other nation that is
        established fundamentally for the benefit of those people who are eligible to be its citizens.”

        It is radically different from all others. It’s on other people’s land.

        “intention of the British and then the UN following the Balfour declaration.”
        are none of the Palestinians’ problems.

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 25, 2014, 11:36 am

        @Canning – Blast “ALL Arab countries” and the collaborationist puppets in Palestine. Where is the Palestinian people’s wish?
        I stopped counting your sneaky posts, bu surely they represent a considerable propaganda effort. Are you hammering your defeatist propaganda, day in, day out, for free?

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        March 27, 2014, 1:48 pm

        @Puppies – – My understanding is that most Palestinians within the West Bank want a deal with Israel even if it means accepting the loss of 78% of what was Palestine in 1946. You doubt this? Or, you simply do not care?

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 27, 2014, 11:18 pm

        Your wording is faulty. A deal, no problem; of course any respite is welcome, especially when your own official resistance organization has become the Zraelo-American police force itself. Also observe the detail that there can be no deal, as any “deals” are contrary to the Zionist program before subjugating the entire territory and ethnically cleansing it. Feel free to bring anything credible that might suggest otherwise.
        Signing your rights away forever is a whole nother story, though. If ever it must come officially to be ever believable, signed by at least halfway honorable people, with a clear plebiscite mandate, not being under the gun being the first and foremost condition. I don’t believe for a split second that they would let go of their homes and their land, just because Palestinians are very much conscious that it cannot ever get worse for them anyway, and hope is the poor man’s only bread.
        Meanwhile there is no mandate to the PA to even fix the drains.

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