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‘Daily Beast’ labels Abbas ‘stubborn’ for refusing to recognize Israel as Jewish state

Israel/Palestine
on 146 Comments

So the Daily Beast is shaming Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas already for his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

This is a new demand on Israel’s part that was not any part of earlier negotiations over a two-state solution, and that is rejected by the 20 percent of Israelis who are not Jewish. (Imagine if the US treaty with Mexico establishing a border in 1848 had included the demand that Mexico recognize us as a white country.)

And if Abbas is stubborn, what does that make Netanyahu, who has said that East Jerusalem is Jewish land?

One of the great dangers of the crumbling of the peace process is that the Palestinians will be blamed for the failure of the two-state solution. They were blamed when the two sides supposedly came so close at Camp David in 2000; Bill Clinton said that it was Arafat’s stiffnecked stance in the face of Israeli Prime Minister Barak’s generous offer that caused the talks to fail. The Daily Beast is setting Abbas up for the same spoiler’s role.

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146 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 8, 2014, 10:17 am

    Yep. When Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, for example, Israel made no such condition. The PLO recognized the state of Israel long ago now, just not the “Jewish” state of Israel. I wish Abbas would cleverly point out this obvious fact. MJ Rosenberg wrote an article about this not long ago; he speculated Bibi was just trying to avoid peace because he won’t stop expanding settlements, if memory serves. That Kerry/Obama don’t point this ruse out is very telling because it’s so easy to do.
    Abbas would be insane to recognize Israel as “the Jewish State.”

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2014, 12:06 am

      @ Citizen
      I now see Abbas did say on March 7 last he would not recognize a “Jewish” state.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 8, 2014, 10:21 am

    Abbas is not going to accept that Israel is a Jewish state. The land belongs to the Palestinians. If Jews want to live there for the long term, it has to be on just terms.
    Zionism is a complete fantasy.

    The Palestinians have not endured hell since 1948 to give it all up now.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      March 8, 2014, 11:21 am

      wishful thinking, seafoid? Your fantasy looks pretty real to me.

      But on topic: interesting what article is the Beast referring to? I checked WAFA back to February 27, and came up empty.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 8, 2014, 2:01 pm

        It is a fantasy that the Jews can run the Middle East on 6 million people, LeaNder.
        It’s a fantasy that they can sell apartheid to the world.
        It’s a fantasy that YESHA is sustainable.

      • American
        American
        March 8, 2014, 2:22 pm

        @ seafood

        What is YESHA?…I keep seeing that and don’t know what it means.

      • tree
        tree
        March 8, 2014, 4:01 pm

        YESHA is the Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Israeli names given to the Occupied Territories.

        Yehuda(Judea) Shomron(Samaria) Aza(Gaza)

        otherwise known to rational people as the West Bank and Gaza.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 8, 2014, 4:12 pm

        YESHA is YEhuda, SHomron and “Azaa aka
        Judea, Samaria and Gaza aka Palestinian occupied territories

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        March 8, 2014, 5:52 pm

        Chris Hayes is supporting a neo nazi coup which ironically is installing dual citizen Israeli oligarchs in Ukraine, even after its obvious the snipers were not from the corrupt elected gov.

        You’re living in a BDS cult bubble if you think polymorph Liberals will ever allow a one state solution in Palestine.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        March 8, 2014, 10:44 pm

        In terms of surrealism, fascists helping to install a Christian Zionist president is on par with B. Hussein Obama leading the US War on Terror.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      March 8, 2014, 12:08 pm

      Haven’t read it yet, but AP has a little context.

      I wonder if Arabian native speakers can figure out what the initial WAFA news was like. Strictly we could check Phil’s hypothesis, by looking at what is reported and what the Beast spreads.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        March 8, 2014, 7:17 pm

        LeaNder
        Wafa is a transliteration of the Arabic وفا acronym of وكالة فلسطين للانباء (Wikalat Falasteen lil Anbaa’) Palestinian News Agency.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        March 9, 2014, 7:43 am

        tgia, I understood WAFA is a/the? Palestinian News Agency. what I feel I possibly got wrong, is that I thought without a subscription you can get hold of the original report. But obviously you cannot get hold of all, since if you do a search for Abbas, there is no result for March 7, 2014. Neither is there one for February 28, 2014 in case they referred to that “Friday” a week later. I like their search it sorts the news chronologically it seems at least on first sight. But obviously since others picked up on the news thus there was something.

        In any case, I would like to see that since the Beast does not provide any context.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        March 10, 2014, 7:47 am

        Oops! LeaNder..
        I read “initial Wafa” as Intials WAFA”. I thought you wanted to know what the acronym stood for. My bad.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2014, 12:04 am

      @ seafoid
      Yes, Abbas said yesterday he would not recognize a “jewish” state as such. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/03/07/Abbas-No-recognition-of-Israel-as-Jewish-state.html

  3. just
    just
    March 8, 2014, 10:21 am

    The difference this time is that more of the world is watching, and are keeping abreast of the lying, warmongering PM’s shenanigans and bs.

    “”I am ready to reach the end of the conflict,” Netanyahu told Channel 10, “but this must be the end of the conflict. We will not enable the establishment of a Palestinian state in order for the conflict to continue, so (a Palestinian state) must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, just as they ask us to recognize a Palestinian state.” ”

    (Palestinian State: Israel State, not Palestinian State: Jewish State!)

    and

    “Meanwhile, Netanyahu said to Channel 2 that while some Jewish settlements won’t be part of a framework agreement, he would make sure the number left out “will be as low as possible.”

    “I will not leave any Israeli without Israeli defense,” he said. ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.578556

    Such absolute horsecrap. It’s clear that the Palestinians have done nothing to undermine any peace efforts….while Israel scrambles for new obstacles every. single. day.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      March 9, 2014, 1:56 am

      @ Just

      Interesting phrasing considering what we’ve been hearing from Russia recently…

      “I will not leave any Israeli without Israeli defense,” he said. ”

      So any settlers left in this putative Palestinian state will in fact be Trojan horses, pretexts for Israeli invasion and destruction on the slightest perceived threat.

      (And thanks to Hoppy and his “antisemitic Europe” libel it’s now even more clear that to a Zionist perception equals reality. Or at least equals a “valid” excuse.)

  4. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 8, 2014, 10:38 am

    And who the hell are the Daily Beast to tell the Palestinians what to do? Did anyone at the DB ever live in a refugee camp ? Did they ever have a child shot for not belonging to the right religion ?

    Do they support civil rights for non whites in Alabama ? Why shouldn’t Palestinians have those rights ?

    • just
      just
      March 8, 2014, 10:49 am

      It’s a MSM rag.

      speaking of rags, from the NYT:

      “Palestinian leaders expressed serious doubts about the prospective framework in recent days, accusing the Obama administration of adopting the Israeli position on central issues, particularly the recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

      (and)

      Mustafa Alani, an independent analyst in Saudi Arabia, where President Obama is scheduled to visit this month, said Arab leaders had watched with dismay as the talks focused on Israeli concerns over security in the Jordan Valley portion of the West Bank, and on Mr. Netanyahu’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state.

      “For us, the most important issue is how far Mr. Obama is ready and able to pressure Israelis for concessions,” Mr. Alani said. Arab leaders “were ready to put pressure on the Palestinians, but they were expecting similar pressure from the Americans on the Israelis, and they don’t see this is happening. We look at Mr. Obama as somebody selling dreams, not reality.””

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/world/middleeast/secretary-of-state-john-kerry.html?ref=world&_r=0

      The weirdest snippet of this Rudoren article was this:

      “Regarding the estimated five million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Mr. Abbas said some should be allowed to return to Israel and become citizens, while others should get compensation whether they stay or move.”

      wtf??? sneaky, eh?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 8, 2014, 11:07 am

        “We look at Mr. Obama as somebody selling dreams, not reality”

        That’s a fairly pithy summary of Obama’s presidency

      • dbroncos
        dbroncos
        March 8, 2014, 12:05 pm

        It’s as if Obama and his wealthy Zionist pals have learned nothing from what it took to abolish slavery and segregation. An appalling disgrace. Does Obama lay awake at night, chewing his fingernails, wondering if history will remember the first black President as a stout defender of Israeli racism and ethnic cleansing? He should.

      • piotr
        piotr
        March 8, 2014, 7:56 pm

        How the history will remember Obama? I inspected by crystal ball and these words appeared:

        We are the mediocre Presidents.
        You won’t find our faces on dollars or on cents.
        There’s Taylor, there’s Tyler, there’s Fillmore and there’s Hayes,
        There’s William Henry Harrison.
        Harrison:
        I died in thirty days!

        We…
        Are…
        The…
        Adequate, forgettable,
        Occasionally regrettable …

        I would love a high school debate on the relative merits of Tyler and Taylor, or Clinton and Obama.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 1:07 pm

        “Regarding the estimated five million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Mr. Abbas said some should be allowed to return to Israel and become citizens, while others should get compensation whether they stay or move.”

        It’s worse than weird, Just, it’s nonsense. He is certainly not talking about those refugees that have found a permanent safe haven in the US, Canada, Europe and elsewhere that would give up their standard of living to relocate to a semblance of a state with astronomical unemployment, almost total absence of water and where Israel is surely to prevent their free movement in and out of the new state. It’s highly doubtful that Israel or a generous country would compensate second or third generation refugees opting to remain in Santiago, Sydney or Paterson.

        That would leave the other group of refugees that are still stateless and living in Middle East host countries like Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and in a few Gulf states. Whether they get compensation or not, these 2 million refugees are not welcome to stay permanently in these countries, so any monetary offer to these refugees would be of no consequence. The host countries are not interested in absorbing the refugees and more importantly, the refugees aren’t interested in staying there either; they want to go back to their country.

      • just
        just
        March 8, 2014, 1:15 pm

        Walid– I meant this part : “should be allowed to return to Israel and become citizens”

        Return to ISRAEL??? I thought they would return to PALESTINE and be who they are– PALESTINIANS!

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 1:38 pm

        Write it off to Freudian Slip, Just.

        Then again, he admitted that he had no intention to return to his original hometown of Safed other than for a visit:

        From Times of Israel, November 2012:

        “Asked in a Channel 2 News interview what he considered to be Palestine, Abbas responded that “Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah.”

        Interviewer Udi Segal cut in: “Sometimes your official television… speak(s) about Acre and Ramle and Jaffa [all cities within sovereign Israel] as ‘Palestine.’”

        “I believe that [the] West Bank and Gaza is Palestine,” said Abbas, “and the other parts (are) Israel.”

        Noting that he himself was born in Safed, in what since 1948 has been northern Israel, Abbas said he had visited the town and would like to see it again, but not to make his home there. “It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,” he said, in comments that, if applied to all Palestinian refugees and descendants, would represent a dramatic shift in Palestinian policy.

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-says-he-has-no-right-to-live-in-safed-and-has-no-demands-on-pre-1967-israel/

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        March 8, 2014, 1:48 pm

        Return to ISRAEL??? I thought they would return to PALESTINE and be who they are– PALESTINIANS!

        Yes, “return to Israel” is misleading. However, if Israel became a state for all its citizens, then Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Israelis would simply turn into “Israelis”. In that case, the ethnic identity would become irrelevant.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        March 8, 2014, 2:05 pm

        @ Walid (no reply button)

        Then again, he admitted that he had no intention to return to his original hometown of Safed other than for a visit
        Abbas just gave his personal opinion, whether it was honest or not. He clearly said “for me”. So, he did NOT speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.
        As far as I am concerned, his personal opinion is rather irrelevant to me. What matters is what he says or does in the name of OTHER Palestinians. Abbas is free to give up or ignore his own right of return. However, he must not abandon the right of return of other Palestinian refugees.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 8, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Walid– I meant this part : “should be allowed to return to Israel and become citizens”

        Return to ISRAEL???

        Yes, the refugees from the territory under its jurisdiction, that Israel drove into exile, where denationalized after the fact.

        It’s worse than weird, Just, it’s nonsense.

        No it’s customary international law. Displaced persons have the right to be repatriated. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says the everyone has the right to return to their country of origin.

        “It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,” he said, in comments that, if applied to all Palestinian refugees and descendants, would represent a dramatic shift in Palestinian policy.

        You’re repeating nonsense again. The PLO recognized the State of Israel in 1993. FYI, the members of the PLO Executive Committee are ex officio members of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine. They are not stateless refugees and do not have any right of return to the State of Israel. See also “Abbas: I wasn’t giving up right of return; I was just speaking personally” http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-i-wasnt-giving-up-right-of-return-i-was-just-speaking-personally/

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 4:59 pm

        Not to worry, German Lefty, according to Hostage, the man wouldn’t do such a thing unless of course, due to extenuating circumstances such as an Israeli threat to kill every Palestinian firstborn male if he didn’t play along. He will vouch for his noble intentions time after time even though his actions can’t be always be justified. As we used to say back home, il lui donnerai le bon Dieux sans confession.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 9, 2014, 4:37 am

        Not to worry, German Lefty, according to Hostage, the man wouldn’t do such a thing unless of course, due to extenuating circumstances such as an Israeli threat to kill every Palestinian firstborn male if he didn’t play along.

        Correction: Walid is incapable of making accurate predictions about the positions adopted by Abbas and the PA, because he is extremely biased and deliberately repeats any negative report, including ones that are demonstrably false.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        March 9, 2014, 4:56 am

        Walid has worthy insider insights but sometimes he analyzes and deduces from a very, very, glum place.

        For me, where his analysis fails is his propensity to allow his (understandable) disillusionment to have first and last word.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 9, 2014, 6:40 am

        Walid has worthy insider insights but sometimes he analyzes and deduces from a very, very, glum place.

        And who can blame him? There hasn’t been any cause for optimism as far as I can see.

        For me, where his analysis fails is his propensity to allow his (understandable) disillusionment to have first and last word

        The sad fact is the he tends to be right. After all Taxi, how is that lovely resolution going in Egypt? Will you be campaigning for El Sisi?

        That is, if they even end up having elections.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        March 9, 2014, 8:41 am

        Hiya Shingo! Longtimo!

        No way dude, no I will not be campaigning for Sisi or Shmisi. (Hope you’re not still sour over our Egypt Revolution debate). I support the majority’s will for freedom, be they in Egypt, Bahrain or in any other politically effed-up port of call. Out of all the armies in the mideast, I only have respect for the Lebanese hizb, and recently, the Syrian army for the arduous and commendable work against cannibal salafists.

        Walid is often right, yeah, but not always – especially not when he’s drowning in a sea of glumness. Plus, in the case of Abbas, I don’t think Walid is aware, or appreciative, of the Gordian Knots and political bureaucracies constraining Abbas. I believe that is what Hostage is trying to relay to him. And for the record here, I am not a fan of Abbas, but I appreciate that there is very little he can change on the ground – I have no expectations of him. I still believe that the armed struggle is ultimately the only way to liberation.

        If the Pope himself can’t bring peace to the holy land, I very much doubt that Abbas can, with the little local and global support that he has.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 9, 2014, 9:09 am

        Taxi,

        No I am not sour at all over our Egypt Revolution debate. I love you big time and my offer for a place to stay in Sydney is always there. ;-)

        But I am sour that it looks like another Mubarak bromide looks like a shoe in and I don’t hold out any hope for reform. It looks like the Egytians have lost all interest in the revolution.

        I only have respect for the Lebanese hizb, and recently, the Syrian army for the arduous and commendable work against cannibal salafists.

        Ditto.

        I don’t think Walid is aware, or appreciative, of the Gordian Knots and political bureaucracies constraining Abbas.

        I am with you 100%, and I did argue that point with Walid, but I share his pessimism regardless.

        I have no expectations of him. I still believe that the armed struggle is ultimately the only way to liberation.

        I don’t think so. If the pretty weak Syrian army can keep a well armed and funded bunch of extremists at bay in Syria, the IDF will make short work of an armed struggle by Palestinians.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 9, 2014, 10:17 am

        Taxi and Shingo, what you’re reading as my pessimism is in reality idealism that that’s been kicked in the pants. But if you look close enough, you’d see that its still there, alive and forever hopeful.

        Where I disagree with both of you and probably the rest of the world with exception to Keith here that appears to have x-ray eyes, is that there has been a revolution in Egypt. The last time there was one in Egypt was in 1952 when the young officers led by an old timer overthrew the monarchy of King Farouk. Before that, there had been the revolution of 1919 to kick the British out. There was a semblance of a revolution in 1977 but it was really an uprising of the people about the price of bread during which 79 were killed and 800 wounded.

        What happened in 2011 was not a revolution but rather a giant sit-in. You’d remember the leaderless and rudderless people interviewed in the square being asked what they wanted out of the overthrow of the regime having replied “better and cheaper internet”; that was the magnitude of their uprising. The story says that Mubarak was conned into abdicating and that when Suleiman was announcing it publicly, Mubarak didn’t have any knowledge of it. Had Mubarak decided to stay on, nothing could have removed him from power. The closest semblance of a revolution was the army’s failure to back Mubarak, but as to revolution in the sense of changing a whole social order, it never happened and it never was in the plan. The Brothers and the Salafists thought they were about to introduce a new social order, but this never happened because the majority wanted no part of it. The army and the elites that held the real control of the country are still there with nothing changed. It wasn’t a revolution as much as it was a fausse-couche.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        March 9, 2014, 10:20 am

        Shingo,

        In the next 2-5 years, I’ll be heading to Melbourne/Oz (where my bosom buddy lives) and I most def will be making a trip to Sidney from there – I can only imagine what a lark and a laugh it would be to meet you – all in good time – and in the meantime, I extend my invite to you to visit zionist Los Angeles for a REAL good laugh – so many zionists with breast augmentation and eyebrow lifts is quite the sight to behold.

        Now, regarding the armed struggle: I don’t believe the Palestinians can do it alone and from the inside – that’s a given. The “armed struggle” against israel is actually a multi-nationality regional resistance that includes the Palestinian resistors inside of occupied Palestine. Iran, Syria and Lebanon are the active regional resistors – it is not possible to liberate Palestine without their direct participation; and when a military confrontation between israel and the ‘axis of resistance’ eventually occurs, we may very well see other regional players joining in the fight against israel: countries like Egypt, and to a lesser extent, Iraq and Jordan – because they will have no other option but to participate or go down in history as the ‘coward’ or worse, ‘traitor’ Arab armies who refused to defend Jerusalem from their close proximity – they’d be terrorized by the thought that history will consider the Iranians as more ‘Arab’ than Arab-proud Egypt and Iraq.

        Listen, politics in the mid east is so crazy that it’s even plausible that if Iran was assuredly getting close to physically liberating Jerusalem, even Saudi Arabia might send in a jetfighter or two to help out, just so it can steal some of Iran’s thunder and say it ‘participated heroically’ in liberating Jerusalem and restoring ‘Arab’ pride.

        Shifting alliances, many players: I honestly think that when the SHTF in the middle east, expect the unexpected.

  5. March 8, 2014, 10:48 am

    I personally rejected the Daily beast after Beinart left. Daily Beast is just a typical suck-up to Jewish money and power.
    I just saw Philip Weiss on C-SPAN – very good – this Friday conference at the Press Club in DC on the “Special relationship with Israel” was astonishing – a first for TV in the USA – honest “no holds barred” criticism of Israel without any suppression. Steve Walt also gave a brilliant speech and acknowledged all our heroes including MJ Rosenberg, Philip Weiss and Max Blumenthal. Also note that we Irish did it again. Out of 3,013 valid votes of students at the National University of Ireland who participated in the referendum on Israel, 1,954 — or 64 percent — voted in favor of boycotting Israel, the voting committee announced Friday. When a remote University at the end of Ireland votes for BDS you can imagine how the other Europeans are feeling about Israeli Apartheid. Israel’s image is on a rapid downswing.

    • March 8, 2014, 12:38 pm

      I am waiting in keen anticipation for Philip Weiss to give us his take on the C-SPAN Friday summit – I though that it was a major breakthrough. A real start in finally making honest discussion of Israel a common feature of life in the USA media ? My wife watched the whole thing and finally realized that I am not a raving, demented, isolated, solitary, anti-Semite outcast always bleating about how bad the Zionists are. She finally saw, for the first time, respectable, educated people in a celebrated venue, saying the same things that I have been saying for years. In fact, even Steven Walt, a former Dean at Harvard confirmed and validated all my formerly paranoid ideation about the Israeli government and their partisans at AIPAC. He also lent credibility to those whom I admire such as Philip Weiss, Max Blumenthal, MJ Rosenberg etc. thus strengthening my own credibility. I was amazed but emboldened by the entire proceedings.

      • Krusty
        Krusty
        March 8, 2014, 4:52 pm

        For the average person, the statement that

        “My wife watched the whole thing and finally realized that I am not a raving, demented, isolated, solitary, anti-Semite outcast always bleating about how bad the Zionists are. ”

        does not compute with

        “Daily Beast is just a typical suck-up to Jewish money and power.”

        because most Americans would take away an anti-Semitic tone from the latter statement. Please also consider that a significant majority of the Zionists (a very significant majority of the US population) in the United States are Christians, and that most of the most active Christian Zionists are generally speaking Evangelicals.

        Just for reference, Gallup’s recent poll on US attitudes towards the I/P conflict: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1639/middle-east.aspx

    • just
      just
      March 8, 2014, 5:10 pm

      Replying to Walid– I disagree with your comment. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. I have to wonder at your obvious disregard for this mere mortal who has a most difficult road to navigate– a road replete with horror. What on earth do you think that your disparagement of him accomplishes for the Palestinian people or their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice??? You are (perhaps unwittingly) playing into Netanyahu’s, the US Congress’, and the MSM’s dirty hands.

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 9, 2014, 4:53 am

        @just – I know it’s always the same tune, but it’s the only one I know:
        “I have to wonder at your obvious disregard for Maréchal Pétain, a mere mortal who has a most difficult road to navigate– a road replete with horror. What on earth do you think that your disparagement of him accomplishes for the French people or their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice??? You are (perhaps unwittingly) playing into the Reich’s and the Propaganda-Abteilung’s dirty hands.”
        Replace also by the names of other heads of governments appointed and paid by the occupiers and living under military occupation.

  6. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    March 8, 2014, 11:06 am

    Well, then my demand is that the USA and Israel recognise Germany as Aryan state. Or are they too stubborn? Remember, the USA attacked Germany for wanting to be an Aryan state. What could possibly be wrong with ethnic purity?

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      March 9, 2014, 3:05 am

      Wow. And Pearl Harbor was a USA attack against Japan for its wanting to be a Japanese state. But how do you explain that the declarations of war were in reverse order?

  7. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 8, 2014, 11:17 am

    Here’s the CSPAN video from yesterday, with the diverse panel of experts reassessing the US-Israel “special relationship”–includes Phil Weiss: http://www.c-span.org/video/?318179-1/reassessing-usisrael-relations

    This was the first national summit on this subject. I’ve heard nothing in the main media or paper press about it–have you? Are any of the blogs even writing about it?

    • March 8, 2014, 2:38 pm

      aside from the “show” of it, that they finally got together all for the first time, from a purely educational point of view it was dissappointing, most so stephen walt, who didn’t contribute a thing of any substance whatsoever.
      he spent an inordinate amount of precious time apologizing to the zionists and their lobby for his book “the israel lobby” .
      i unfortunately missed the leading expert on aipac, the tireless grant smith.
      i was extrememly dissappointed with the USS liberty survivor. he’s got one of the most dramatic stories to tell regarding the “relationship” but his presentation was dry and boring however factually accurate.
      it was like watching a little grammar school kid give a book report. he rarely looked up at his audience to make eye contact just reading away at his papers.
      the USS liberty story is way way too important not to be given the best presentation.
      paul pillar, probably the most quoted intelligence authority on the israeli/neocon ordered illegal invasion of iraq,the first of PNAC’s 7 enemies of israel planned to fall by the american military machine, was very firm and to the point, what one would expect of a man so experienced in the world of intelligence.

      scott mcconnell was pathetic, ranting on and on about chomsky’s pro-zionism.
      pillar’s fellow cia alum, ray mcgovern, bore an uncannily striking resemblance to the comedian george carlin, not only because their from the bronx, and they both look alike with their white beards, but mcgovern has comedic characteristics in personality like carlin.
      our man weiss hadn’t much to offer.
      the coordinator of it all, allison weir, is just darling, you just want to go up and hug her. she’s very delicate and grandmotherly, but did an excellent job with her very concise presentation, both informationally and personally.
      but the best, as far as i’m concerned, and the last, was former cia man phil
      especially his conclusion;
      ” and to answer the question posed at this conference, is israel our ally?
      no, israel is not our ally, and neither is it our friend”.
      well said phil, and very courageous of you too!
      and i say “indeed, israel is our parasite”.

      • biorabbi
        biorabbi
        March 8, 2014, 4:52 pm

        The beauty is you are so wrong. The fellow travelers of your crowd will always be so odious, so obvious in their jew hatred, all the police actions of the BDS crowd against Atzmon and company will never be enough… another Greta Berlin will always sprout up. You can count on it. It is built into the definition of anti-zionism itself.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 8, 2014, 8:32 pm

        You can count on it. It is built into the definition of anti-zionism itself.

        How can racism be built into anti racism?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 8, 2014, 11:48 pm

        @ Biorabbi
        Anything to say about all the facts crammed into the summit panel speakers’ discussion on their respective topics? For example, the one who parsed aid to Israel, or the one who spoke about the USS Liberty incident?

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 8, 2014, 5:25 pm

        I didn’t watch the whole event but I would point out that the panel wasn’t “diverse”, in the sense that it was entirely anti- Israel. I didn’t see anyone on the panel who who even represented what you call “liberal Zionism” (someone, say, from JStreet or thereabouts).
        On the other hand I commend Phil Weiss for answering the lady in the Q&A , the anti-Semitic Nazi apologist.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 6:43 pm

        “On the other hand I commend Phil Weiss for answering the lady in the Q&A , the anti-Semitic Nazi apologist.”

        Wasn’t he actually aiming the Anne Franck/US schools riposte at Jeff Blankfort?

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 9, 2014, 12:50 am

        Walid, I think he was answering that lady, and then also responding to Mr. Blankfort.
        Perhaps Phil could enlighten us ?

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        March 8, 2014, 7:31 pm

        Well gosh! jonny, aint that a change!
        Er, by “anti- Israel” do you perchance mean anti ethno-supremacist zionism + anti-occupation of NON-Israeli lands?

        And I presume you (and the other zio-commenters) will be wiping the sweat from your brows in relief that this hasn’t been more widely reported.

      • quercus
        quercus
        March 9, 2014, 8:58 am

        @jon s. Your classification of the woman’s remark as being apologetic for the Nazis, doesn’t bear up to objective scrutiny, and on top of that it is a tiresome criticism made by far too many people on far too many subjects when they dislike what another has said.

        What she did comment upon was what she obviously feels is an excessive preoccupation with one aspect of the history of World War II, namely the murder of Europe’s Jews, and this preoccupation is represented, she believes, by the mandating of the study of the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, and the study of Wiesel’s book “Night”. This aforementioned observation comes from one who was at the Summit.

        As far as your claim the woman is “anti-semitic” (an inaccurate appellation), I would say to you — “you are not a mind reader”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 11, 2014, 1:41 pm

        “I didn’t watch the whole event but I would point out that the panel wasn’t ‘diverse’,”

        Oh, compared to the usual “diversity” that happens on these issues (like when a couple of Jews argue about what’s best for the Palestinians), this was a mini-United Nations.

      • American
        American
        March 8, 2014, 6:42 pm

        @ thetruthhurts

        I agree.
        Did not arouse any emotion,did not inspire the audience to go back home and get others involved.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 9, 2014, 4:44 pm

        quercus,
        You forced me to go back and see the video again.
        That despicable Holocaust-denier (as Phil has described her) never mentions Anne Frank or Elie Wiesel. I won’t waste time repeating her craziness.
        A Holocaust denier is, practically by definition, an Anti-Semite.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        March 10, 2014, 6:08 pm

        @ jon s

        I just watched the segment that is discussed here. I agree with quercus. The woman did not deny the Holocaust. She merely stated that she doesn’t like how the Holocaust is taught at US schools. This can mean a lot of things, for example that she believes that the Holocaust is treated too extensively compared to other genocides. Therefore, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Give her the benefit of the doubt.
        Also, you need to consider that Zionists misuse the Holocaust to justify their own crimes against Palestinians. So, perhaps the woman believes that teaching the Holocaust at school helps Zionists get away with their crimes. Or she might think that focusing too much on past injustice distracts from present injustice.

        A Holocaust denier is, practically by definition, an Anti-Semite.
        Nope. Denying the Holocaust is factually incorrect. However, that doesn’t mean it’s anti-Semitic. Denying Jews equal rights is anti-Semitic.
        Holocaust = anti-Semitic
        Holocaust denial = not anti-Semitic

  8. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    March 8, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I guess this Ukraine crisis might be good for the Palestinians. Kerry is now distracted by events there and will likely be taking pressure off the Palestinians to capitulate to the Israelis. Maybe Abbas can now focus some of his attention on their case before the UN and bring charges against Israel in the ICJ.

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 8, 2014, 12:30 pm

      On the contrary, Toivo, it’s when the big players are distracted elsewhere that Israel unleashes its worst behaviour on the Palestinians. Think back to Netanyahu’s despicable thoughts on what Israel should have done while the world’s attention was turned on the Tienanmen Square uprising.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        March 8, 2014, 2:39 pm

        Well that is always a threat. My point is that the less time the US has to pressure the Palestinians the better for them. Of course if Obama and Kerry blow it and end up in a shooting war with Russia then everything changes.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      March 8, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Toivos

      Get real some time.
      Besides its ICC and Abbas wont go there because hes a puppet.

      • just
        just
        March 8, 2014, 3:45 pm

        I disagree.

        Abbas is nobody’s ‘puppet’. People who bemoaned the plight of Palestinians also denigrated Arafat. How did that help?

        I’m sorry that no Palestinian leader suits some folks, but look to our own responsibility for the crap they have to deal with………don’t blame them or the Palestinians anymore. It’s never been a level playing field– not ever since Israel was created.

      • just
        just
        March 8, 2014, 4:04 pm

        We can’t even get our Congress to listen to us wrt Israel, either. Our constant veto at the UN has held the Palestinians prisoners, yearning for freedom and basic human rights.

        How do you think that impacts the Palestinians or their leaders? In this serious situation, it’s time that free people here and in other countries clean up the mess/disaster that WE helped to create, enable, and continue to make!

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 5:57 pm

        I wasn’t a fan of Arafat either, Just. Palestinians haven’t been great at choosing their leaders. But don’t take my word for it, listen to Rashid Khalidi, a Palistinian describe how 3 generations of leadership have failed the Palestinian people. He attributes much to the failure to Arab regimes such as Syria, Libya and Iraq that weren’t averse to assassinate some leaders, but mostly to the overwhelming of the leadership with huge amounts of moneys coming from taxes collected on their behalf by the Israelis, by grants from the US, EU, the Arabs and Japan. It’s a good short summary (20 minutes) on the chronology of Palestinian movements and their leaders; we just can’t keep blaming Israel for everything:

      • just
        just
        March 8, 2014, 6:10 pm

        “we just can’t keep blaming Israel for everything”

        I do, and I will continue to do so. I also blame my United States of Hypocrisy and the rest of the compliant West and East.

        Sure, there might be some folks in the Palestinian leadership that serve themselves, but holy crap– there are more all over the aforementioned locales that serve Israeli goons– no matter what. There is no balance, no justice.

        (btw, I don’t think that Mr. Abbas is self- serving. Neither was Mr. Arafat. His tactics were not the best, but he tried and so does Mr. Abbas. I’d really like for those who disparage any Palestinian in the OPT to walk a few yards in their shoes, never mind a mile.)

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 6:34 pm

        You’re reading me wrong, Just; although I’m not crazy about Abbas, I’m still more comfortable seeing him as president than seeing Marwan Barghouti replace him as mostly everyone here is rooting for it to happen. I don’t hate Abbas but I’m not a big fan. Try finding the time to view the Khalidi interview, it provides a good insight on what the Palestinians have been doing wrong and what must be done to turn things around. BTW, I have nephews and nieces that are half Palestinian.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 8, 2014, 7:03 pm

        it provides a good insight on what the Palestinians have been doing wrong and what must be done to turn things around

        I can’t stand Abbas but it’s easy for Kalidi to make those judgements with the benefit of hindsight. The fact is that the kind of leader that would have turned things around with the losing hand the Palestinian leadership has been dealt is very rare.

        On the other hand, the deck has always been so absurdly stacked in Israel’s favor that gross incompetence and negligence on he part of Israeli leaders never came at a cost – certainly not yo Israel itself. Even the blunders like 2006, which cost Olmert politically, resulted in no real consequences for Israel because the US was always there to write the cheque to cover costs.

        For everyone else, there are co

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        March 8, 2014, 10:50 pm

        Walid,
        What about all the Palestinians with great minds who were systematically assassinated by israel in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s – an actual israeli policy to “kill off Palestine’s brain”? Kanafani, Habash, etc.?

        I guess Khalidi forgot to add mention of that huh? And you too forgot to remember this.

      • puppies
        puppies
        March 9, 2014, 12:00 am

        @Shingo – “the kind of leader that would have turned things around with the losing hand the Palestinian leadership has been dealt is very rare.”
        Rare or not, there is a surefire solution to deal the whole deck again: dissolve entirely the PA and all its organizations and go into exile, leaving the occupier with the full responsibility of the whole shebang. That is sure to change things on the ground.
        Anyone who would have accorded even a fleeting doubt about the PA not being an Israelian institution, created to lighten the load of policing the occupied land and to avoid paying for its upkeep, is obviously very naive. The velleity shown by Arafat to obtain some minimal implementation of the Oslo treaty was met immediately by a war and siege and assassination in plain daylight of the PA president. What do you call people who continue as Israelian police with European money?

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 9, 2014, 4:34 am

        just

        sorry but if people dont believe abbas is a puppet you are naive.

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 11, 2014, 11:50 am

      German Lefty,
      The woman in question first called the “Holocaust narrative” a “quasi religious dogma”, and says that teaching it violates the constitutional prohibition on establishing a religion.
      Then she goes on to blame the Zionists for the rise of Nazism (!) and that the Nazi boycott of Jews lasted one day while the Jewish boycott of Germany lasted six years. In other words the Jews treated Germany worse than Germany treated the Jews. Utter lunacy.
      I fail to see how a holocaust denier could not be an anti-semite. It seems to me that the motivation could only be based on Jew-hatred.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 11, 2014, 1:12 pm

        >> The woman in question first called the “Holocaust narrative” a “quasi religious dogma” …

        Quite often, that’s exactly how it comes across: Less an event, and more something to be venerated.

        >> … and says that teaching it violates the constitutional prohibition on establishing a religion.

        That sounds silly.

        >> Then she goes on to blame the Zionists for the rise of Nazism (!) and that the Nazi boycott of Jews lasted one day while the Jewish boycott of Germany lasted six years. In other words the Jews treated Germany worse than Germany treated the Jews. Utter lunacy.

        I agree. It’s as crazy as blaming the Palestinians for having brought the past and ON-GOING ugliness, violence and arrogance of Zio-supremacism upon themselves! Utter lunacy.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 11, 2014, 7:42 pm

        >> eljay @ March 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm: Quite often, that’s exactly how it comes across: Less an event, and more something to be venerated.

        Correction: Quite often, that’s exactly how it comes across: Less a commemoration than a veneration.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 11, 2014, 2:44 pm

        “Utter lunacy.”

        Yeah, Phil was absolutely right on, on this point, because it is vital to teach the Holocaust and to respect history and to recognize the evil that was done to these people. No one should ever question the teaching of the Holocaust or the genocide of the Native Americans, the Nakba, the evil of chattel slavery, the Stanist genocide in the Ukraine or any of the other human rights horrors of history.

        “I fail to see how a holocaust denier could not be an anti-semite. It seems to me that the motivation could only be based on Jew-hatred.”

        You are assuming that everyone who is labeled a Holocaust denier actually is one. That’s not true. Often people are lableled unfairly because they disagree with the historical consensus out of ignorance or irrationality. Some disagree with the use of the Holocaust narrative to support zionism. Some people are dumb or gullible. Some people who profess to question the Holocaust are that way because they have a psychological need to disbelieve the accepted facts on this subject and/or other subjects and this those who do accept such fact are “naive.”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 11, 2014, 9:12 pm

        “I fail to see how a holocaust denier could not be an antis emote. It seems me that the motivation could only be based on Jew hatred.”

        Have you never heard of people who are motivated by a respect for truth? A holocaust denier might have only read the works of other deniers, and come to accept their conclusions simply because they seem to be well supported. Many people hold false beliefs because those beliefs seem to be true, and not from any emotional need or personality defect.

  9. Donald
    Donald
    March 8, 2014, 1:06 pm

    “The Daily Beast is setting Abbas up for the same spoiler’s role.”

    I think that’s right and they won’t be the only ones. Also, the domestic political pressures on Obama (not that he’s any champion of human rights anyway) are stronger to throw the Palestinians under the bus when he has foreign policy problems elsewhere. He’s already being criticized from the right on the Ukraine, Iran, and Syria–if the Kerry talks fail will he really want put most of the blame on Israel, knowing many or most in his own party will line up with Netanyahu? He did blame Israel in the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, but that was probably for the purpose of exerting pressure. I’m not confident he’ll stick to the truth (putting it mildly) if the Kerry initiative fails. The politically convenient thing to do will be to blame the Palestinians for some concocted reason. In this case it appears the excuse will be that Abbas didn’t recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

    On the plus side, though, Obama did blame Israel’s settlement policy in the Goldberg interview, and he can’t simply pretend he didn’t say that, and the NYT editors seem sick of Netanyahu, so the big lie that it was all the Palestinians’s fault that was put forward after Camp David may get a lot more pushback this time around.

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 8, 2014, 1:20 pm

      Donald, Obama is playing the good cop on that one by sticking a few harmless needles into Israel’s underside; it’s a gimmick The ones to worry about for throwing anyone under the bus are the Arabs, which in this scenario would make them the bad cop. Their heart was never really into doing anything substantial against the bad guys. These days they’re not averse to throwing each other under the bus such as by outlawing Hamas and the Brotherhood and even the benevolent sister state of Qatar, so which of them would stick out its neck for the Palestinians?

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 8, 2014, 1:49 pm

        walid

        Playing? Obama is too stupid to “play” something, hes just stupid, he do what netanyahu and aipac tells him do to on issues in the middle east.

      • just
        just
        March 8, 2014, 3:44 pm

        I disagree with you again, JPB.

        Mr. Obama is not “stupid”. You and I might disagree with him, but stupid he ain’t.

        Why didn’t he do their bidding on Syria? Why is he not doing their bidding on Iran?

        I think you are wrong. I/P remains to be seen. I hope that he lets this play out, and then cuts the cord when Israel further shows itself intransigent, completely disingenuous wrt peacemaking, and to have frayed our last nerve.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        March 9, 2014, 4:43 am

        @ just,

        Q: Why didn’t he do their bidding on Syria? Why is he not doing their bidding on Iran?

        R: If Russia can ‘do’ Georgia and Crimea without much repercussion, my guess would be the former USSR’s holding him [US mil] back.

        Perhaps if many Russians had immigrated to Gaza and the West bank, Vlad ‘The Hammer’s stance toward those enclaves might be less ‘distant’ today?

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 8, 2014, 6:01 pm

        I don’t think so, JPB, Americans aren’t that stupid to be led by the nose. But for some reason, they don’t mind giving that impression. I keep saying that it;s the US that’s treating Israel as its puppet and not the other way around.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 9, 2014, 4:37 am

        walid and just

        Yes he is stupid what have he done proving otherwhise? People like you guys need to stop supporting obama. I am surprised, could you really say obama have a good policy on the middle east? If not, where does that come from if not pressure from israel and aipac?

        Obama was to do their bidding on syria have you already forgot that obama said he would bomb syria live on the tele?

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 9, 2014, 9:23 am

        “People like you guys need to stop supporting obama.”

        I don’t support Obama, JPB, and I don’t like America’s policies in the ME but If I had to pick between putting my eggs in the hands of the Americans with all their warts or the Russians with all their empty promises, I’d pick the Americans just about every time.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 9, 2014, 9:47 am

        walid

        “I don’t support Obama, JPB, and I don’t like America’s policies in the ME but If I had to pick between putting my eggs in the hands of the Americans with all their warts or the Russians with all their empty promises, I’d pick the Americans just about every time.”

        Sorry but here again you show enormous ignorance. To even compare what US have done to any other state is such a nonstarter.
        Christ man, America is all about empty promises, wake up!

      • Donald
        Donald
        March 8, 2014, 7:23 pm

        “Donald, Obama is playing the good cop on that one by sticking a few harmless needles into Israel’s underside; it’s a gimmick ”

        I’m guessing he really doesn’t like Netanyahu and was expressing a bit of frustration. But you’re most likely right that it won’t mean anything.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        March 9, 2014, 7:15 am

        Walid, did you read Al Akhbar’s series of revelations about Abbas’ efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis by holding talks with the (early) opposition leader Haitham Mannaa, (proponent of a non-violent opposition to the Assad regime) in Paris and warning Mannaa’ to stay clear of the Americans “they cannot be trusted. Rather open to the trustful Russians who, unlike the Americans, keep their promises” He added, “people think that I’m the Americans’ man but don’t make the mistake we made by leaving it in their hands”.
        http://al-akhbar.com/node/202185

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 9, 2014, 9:08 am

        No, TGIA, but now I will. In another al-Akhbar article also by Sami Kleib, it’s said that Abbas, to his credit, was instrumental in having convinced the Syrians to give up their chemicals last September and that he’s been working hard to help end the Syrian conflict (that bit of good news about Abbas coming from me should make Hostage most happy).

        The question being asked on Mayadeen today is why did the US remove the name of Abdul-Mohammad Golani from its list of most wanted men. Golani is the current leader of al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria that is still on the US list of terrorists and he went from being the 6th “most wanted” by the Americans with a bounty on his head of $6 million to being completely wiped off the list. 4 other alleged Arab terrorists were taken off the list as were 4 members of the Taliban. Must have something to do with America’s new alliances that are being formed. That US list is appearing to be more politically oriented than about catching bad guys.

        Golani or Jawlani is the al-Nusra leader that a couple of weeks back had given the head-chopping ISIS members in Syria 48 hours to give themselves up to be tried by the al-Qaeda council made up of 3 judges, 2 of them being currently jailed in Lebanon. I don’t think they gave themselves up and I still don’t understand how the 2 of the “judges” could judge anyone from their prison cells..

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        March 10, 2014, 7:59 am

        “why did the US remove the name of Abdul-Mohammad Golani from its list of most wanted men”
        Yes, I saw that but I was very skeptical about it. Went on Google to check it out and all entries had ONE source and only one; PressTV. Not to be mean but that’s hardly a credible source. But if you have another source it’s most welcome.
        “If I had to pick between putting my eggs in the hands of the Americans with all their warts or the Russians with all their empty promises, I’d pick the Americans just about every time.”
        Exactly the opposite of what Abbas (who knows from first hand experience with the US) believes/ The Americans cannot be trusted in any shape or form. 60+ years are testimony to this fact. When did the Russians fail to deliver?

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 10, 2014, 1:06 pm

        TGIA, you may have a point about the list with Golani’s name. I couldn’t find it either except for the Farsi one you mentioned. I relied on Mayadeen so maybe I should rely a little less. I did find Golani listed on the UN’s list of al-Qaeda bad guys:

        “QI.A.317.13 Name: 1: ABU MOHAMMED 2: AL-JAWLANI 3: na 4: na
        Name (original script): أبو محمد الجولاني
        Title: na Designation: na DOB: Between 1975 and 1979 POB: Syria Good quality a.k.a.: Abu Mohamed al-Jawlani, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, Abu Muhammad al-Golani, Abu Muhammad Aljawlani, Muhammad al-Jawlani (transliterations of original script name) Low quality a.k.a.: شيخ الفاتح ، الفاتح, (transliterations: Shaykh al-Fatih; Al Fatih ) (Translation: The Conqueror) (Nom de guerre) Nationality: Syrian Passport no.: na National identification no.: na Address: Active in Syria as at Jun. 2013. Listed on: 24 Jul. 2013 Other information: Since Jan. 2012, he is the Leader of Jabhat al-Nusrah, a Syria-based group listed, in May 2013, as an alias of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) (QE.J.115.04.). Associated with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (QI.A.299.11.) and Ayman al-Zawahiri (QI.A.6.01.). ”

        http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/AQList.htm

        The al-Mayadeen program of last Saturday Part 2:

        http://www.almayadeen.net/ar/Programs/Episode/EKq6BKGp1kCnP6LoAT5SoA/2/2014-03-08-08-03-2014

        About broken promises, there are the promised Migs to Lebanon that became instead a promise of helicopters that became simply a broken promise.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      March 8, 2014, 4:36 pm

      I think that’s right and they won’t be the only ones

      Exactly Donald. In fact, 2 similar article appeared this week at FP magazine, which has descended into a Weekly Standard for adults. One by Oren Kessler and another by Spehen Rosen. Both are accusing the Palestinians of wanting to punish Israel (Israel are the victims of course) rather than have a state.

      http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/06/do_palestinians_really_want_a_state_of_their_own
      http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/01/31/palestine_israel_peace_bomb_demographics

      It appears that Hasbara central has put out the emergency call to save Netenyahu’s bacon now that he stands exposed as the roadblock to peace.

      • Donald
        Donald
        March 8, 2014, 7:17 pm

        Thanks for the links, Shingo. I clicked on the first one and didn’t have the stomach for the second. It’s as you say–the author whines about the Palestinians having all the leverage, by which he means that Netanyahu has been so openly arrogant and stupid everyone can see he’s not interested in peace. And yeah, somehow it’s Israel which is the victim.

        It appears this is going to be the hasbara line for this situation. I wonder if it works the way it reportedly does at Fox News? Someone at the top decides what line to use and then everyone uses it? Or is it a more organic phenomenon–some people with a talent for propagandistic BS devise a response, and then people on that side of the fence hear it, decide it’s the best they can do, and then everyone repeats it?

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 8, 2014, 8:11 pm

        @Shingo- Agree with your and Donald’s characterization of the propaganda inertia (organic or otherwise, good point Donald), but to me it seems that that inertia is finite in scope, if not vision. A response derived from a “soda straw” view of the situation. A dead end.

        When this round fails, what’s on or just over the horizon is annexation, inexorable one-state paradigm, and a completely analogous South Africa context with resulting precedents/reactions. So the hasbara machine can blame Palestinians all they want, but that won’t change the “just off camera” reality. A reality that is Israel’s (from their PoV) worst nightmare, and yet their own inescapable creation.

        Call it whistling past the graveyard, fighting the last war, believing their own BS, cocoon-speak… it doesn’t matter. In the next few months (this year?) the fundamental reality of the conflict changes and the two-state blame game becomes an irrelevancy/anachronism.

        IMHO :)

        Appreciate you all.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 8, 2014, 8:31 pm

        Great comment Ritzl. I agree entirely. To quote Cheney. this is the hasbrats in their last throes.

  10. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 8, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I concede that I do not trust Netanyahu’s desire for the talks to succeed. I think he wants for the talks to fail. I also concede that the Daily Beast is setting up the post failure spin.

    There are varying opinions regarding the importance of defining Israel as a Jewish state from the point of view of pro Zionists. Ari Shavit thinks it’s important. (My own personal reaction is that if this is the sole issue standing between Israel and a peace treaty with the Palestinians that this should not be enough to stand in the way.) (Obviously those who favor the unlimited right of return feel that such a definition is designed to limit the right of return and therefore object to any definition designed to limit the right of return.)

    But I do object to the comparison between the treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan and the prospective treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. This prospective treaty will be an attempt to define clearly the relationship of Jews to Palestinians. It is a moment of definition. (potentially). The treaties with Egypt and Jordan by their very nature were merely border delineations. Here there are mixtures of populations which will inevitably lead to conflict and tensions regarding Jews remaining in the new Palestine and Palestinian Israelis and their membership in Israeli society and the desire or temptation to codify this relationship makes sense in a way that the treaties with Egypt and Jordan did not lend themselves to this type of codification.

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 8, 2014, 1:27 pm

      Yonah, Netanyahu is making them an offer they can’t accept; stop going around in circles. Egypt and then Jordan signed off with Israel without giving the Palestinians a backward glance. They supposedly received intentions of “good will” from the Israelis at the signing. But this term doesn’t exist in the Israeli jargon. The list of double-crosses the Palestinians got is very long and it continues to grow each day.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      March 9, 2014, 3:29 am

      @ Yonah

      How would you feel if Ireland enacted and enforced a whole bunch of laws specifically aimed at pushing Irish Jews into the situation of being second or even third class citizens. That the laws meant Jewish people found it all but impossible to build even extensions to houses let alone new homes, that “Celt” only housing, by definition excluding any Jewish person was heavily subsidised by the state while Jewish communities were left without even a connection to the mains. That their children were banned from learning about the Holocaust in school but had to hear endlessly about the Famine.

      And in the Dail there was the repeated description of Irish Jews as a “demographic threat” to the “Celtic nature of the State of Ireland,” and that calls were heard from politicians and even a minister in the government no less for their expulsion. Calls made more serious by the fact that Ireland had already in its recent history expelled numbers of Jews and never let them return. That whilst somebody born in New York of an Irish “Celtic” grandparent could claim citizenship a New York Jew actually born in Sligo could not.

      Now tell me what you think the future for these Jewish people would be in a recognised “Celtic State.”

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 9, 2014, 9:50 am

        “How would you feel if Ireland enacted and enforced a whole bunch of laws specifically aimed at pushing Irish Jews into the situation of being second or even third class citizens. That the laws meant Jewish people found it all but impossible to build even extensions to houses let alone new homes,”Ecru

        But instead, here is what they have to endure!!!!.

        “Plans for enlarged Irish Jewish Museum approved”

        “Unusually, the scheme was designed by architects at the Office of Public Works, after it was requested to assist the Irish Jewish Museum trustees by former taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Such tangible political support was reiterated by Mr Kenny.”IT

        http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/plans-for-enlarged-irish-jewish-museum-approved-1.1640768

        Note the Dublin rate payers paid for the design and any other assistance they (Jewish Museum)got.

        Ireland is a den of antisemitism- eh.I wonder if Mr Shatter,s fingerprints are all over this and I wonder if he is lobbying for a Naqba Museum in Dublin or perhaps T Cooney is working on that.

        Go Brian and on to Paris.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        March 9, 2014, 4:16 pm

        @ Amigo

        Thanks for the heads up, living in Spain I hadn’t heard about this one. This bit in the article caught my attention though

        the board took the view that it would not injure property in the vicinity or pose a risk of flooding due to a 6m deep basement excavation

        Looks like the architect learned their trade in Silwan. If I was a person living in the area I’d be very worried – these cellars seem to have a tendency to wander under other people’s houses.

        But if the museum’s objective is to cause friction between Dublin Jews and non-Jews it looks like (with the very obvious and dubious political involvement) it’s going about it the right way.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 9, 2014, 12:20 pm

        Ecru- I don’t know what labeling Israel as a Jewish state accomplishes beyond the concept of immigration priorities. The discrimination that exists in funding levels of education and roads and infrastructure and land allocation are wrong and should be fixed. Of course they are wrong and will not be fixed certainly not in the short term. So I accept the critique of Israel that you are offering and I accept that labeling Israel as a Jewish state seems to condone or encourage those things that need instead criticism and reform. Personally if I was in charge of Israel and the negotiations I would take a much more liberal line on the numbers of Palestinian refugees to accept into Israel. (I know that this formulation and policy will not be enough to meet the requirements set forth by the sense of justice felt by commentators here.) But in the short range (meaning 30 years) I do not see Israeli policy changing vis a vis the right of return to the level of repatriation that even I would be willing to approve. Thus a statement of “Israel is a Jewish state” seems to be recognition of the state of mind of Israel vis a vis the refugees and the right of return. (As in: since Israel is a Jewish state it is understood that the right of return will be severely limited.)

        The tensions between Jews and Arabs inherent in Zionism, (particularly after the Nakba and the exile of 750,000) will not disappear. Yet, if perchance Israel and the Palestinians could demarcate a border between two states and agree to an end of the conflict, the tensions between Jews and Arabs would probably lessen due to the fact of the resolution (assuming the resolution leads towards reconciliation rather than leads towards strife).

  11. Krauss
    Krauss
    March 8, 2014, 1:39 pm

    2014 is not 2000.

    The situation is vastly different. Daily Beast is living in the past.
    Even a semi-Likudnik(on Israel matters) paper like the NYT is questioning Bibi’s will to peace.

    Still, when it comes down to it, the NYT will likely try to blame both sides(and the Palestinians a bit extra). The problem is that most people by now, at least most smart people, understand that Israel basically wants a Greater Israel.

    The bellweather will be the Financial Times and the Economist. The archpublications of the Western conventional wisdom.

  12. GJB
    GJB
    March 8, 2014, 2:30 pm

    Hmmmm, I think there’s one way that the Palestinians might be willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas says to the Israelis: “Hey, how can we recognize you as a ‘Jewish state’ if you guys can’t even figure out amongst yourselves just what that actually means? But given how important this is to you, we’ll help you out on this. It’s not really our business, but since you can’t do it yourselves, we’re willing to determine what a Jewish state is; and to make it even easier, we’ll decide for you what the borders are. And then, we’ll gladly recognize that state.” Problem solved!

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 8, 2014, 5:35 pm

      Good one. Or, riffing on the “can’t figure it out yourselves” meme, Abbas gets to determine what an “Israeli Jew” is. There’s probably a lot of secular Israelis that could get behind that liberalization.

      I mean if you’re/BN/GoI going to demand that Abbas define Israel’s character in one way, why not all ways. Fair is fair.

  13. just
    just
    March 8, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Responding to Hostage above.

    Many thanks for that.

    I just could not find a direct quote from Abbas’ talk that Rudoren was referencing. I thought she was just being Jodi. You’ve made things much more clear, as usual.

    (I still think that she was being disingenuous/provocative– too bad your explanation is not in the NYT!)

  14. James Canning
    James Canning
    March 8, 2014, 2:54 pm

    Editors of the Daily Beast know that Israel would take that concession, and give ZERO in return. and continue its programme of land theft, water theft, etc etc etc etc .

  15. Krusty
    Krusty
    March 8, 2014, 4:44 pm

    Since I think it’s always useful when discussing something, here’s the source. It’s best described as a stub with a link and the word “stubborn” prominently displayed: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/03/07/abbas-no-israel-as-jewish-state.html

    It’s a summary of a USA Today article which is actually an AP article, found here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/07/abbas-denies-israel-jewish-state/6156919/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=206567

    Finally, from a fuller NY Times piece in which, um, one might call Abbas stubborn based on his words: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/world/middleeast/secretary-of-state-john-kerry.html


    “The negotiations resumed on the basis of the 1967 lines — thus, we emphasized from the beginning that Israeli settlement inside the 1967 lines is illegitimate,” Mr. Abbas said in remarks broadcast on Palestinian television and published by Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. “When we sign the agreement, the Israelis should start gradual withdrawal. After the specific timeline, there must be no single Israeli in the Palestinian state.”

    That last bit, “there must be no single Israeli in the Palestinian state.” So, two questions to the board:

    a) Would you characterize that as a stubborn statement? Or perhaps as a hardline position? and
    b) How would you respond if Benjamin Netanyahu said that there should be no single Palestinian in Israel following a peace deal?

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 8, 2014, 8:58 pm

      @Krusty- I’m not a “board” member, but I’d characterize it to mean any settlers remaining in Palestine would become Palestinian citizens by choice, covered by Palestinian laws, ergo Palestinians. I mean, if the land is that important, biblically speaking, why should some 21. C geopolitical overlay make any difference whatsoever?

      So, NOT stubborn. Clearly not obstructive. “Hardline” to some. Equitable common sense to others. Just a bluff being called. VERY minor stuff in the broader context.

      I think that also answers your “b)” question.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 8, 2014, 10:12 pm

      “When we sign the agreement, the Israelis should start gradual withdrawal. After the specific timeline, there must be no single Israeli in the Palestinian state.”

      No Israeli settlers or military. No Israeli citizens permanently resident in the proposed Palestinian rump state. Any who wish to be permanently resident must give up Israeli citizenship. A bit harsh, but understandable in the context.

      “How would you respond if Benjamin Netanyahu said that there should be no single Palestinian in Israel following a peace deal?”

      If he meant “no citizens of the proposed Palestinian rump state”, it would be an understandable response to the Palestinian proposal.

      If he meant “no Arabs” then he would getting into more ethnic cleaning.

  16. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 8, 2014, 5:13 pm

    It’s obviously never this cut and dried, but… the first settlement that was built in this current “9-month” effort marked the end of Israel’s ability to blame Palestinians – and make it stick.

    This was/is supposed to be the last best effort for the 2ss. Even within that context, Israel couldn’t resist sabotaging it from day one. That is a glaring and incontrovertible fact. As just says above, a fact for all the world to see, and equally importantly, while all the world was focused on this issue.

    As MJR pointed out, this “Jewish State” recognition thing is completely new and designed to obscure the above. No one in their right (i.e. not political) mind and operating in good faith will lay blame on the Palestinians for this failure, though some not fitting that description will try.

    The question, to me, isn’t so much whether Palestinians can or will be blamed, but where this raw and apparent Israeli intransigence and sabotage finally leads the world in terms of private and/or public action.

    FWIW.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      March 8, 2014, 6:37 pm

      That’s a good point Ritzl.

      The Zionists for away with it in 2000, when many of us even here were not hating any attention or knew very little about the subject. That was pre 2004 ICJ Wall Case.

      There is no way they are going to get away with pulling the same stunt when the PA has the major ace up it’s sleeve this time – the UN and ICC.

  17. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 8, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Heh. This suggests a drinking game…

    Abbas accepts Israel as the Jewish State. What is Israel’s next precondition?

    If you say one that has been used in the past, chug away.

    Much hilarity would ensue, with no one left standing up in the end.

    But semi-seriously, what would/could Israel’s next precondition be? Any Jewish settlers living in a hypothetical Palestine must be treated under Israeli law? Is there any more room for new forms of intransigence, or is “Jewish State” the ultimate obstacle?

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      March 8, 2014, 5:36 pm

      But semi-seriously, what would/could Israel’s next precondition be?

      There’s still a lot of mileage left on this one, but the next one (directly related to the refugee issue) seems to be compensation for Jews from Arab countries.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 8, 2014, 6:13 pm

        Sadly, you’re right, Shmuel. And undoubtedly coupled with the demand that Palestine/Palestinians accept responsibility for the fact and the compensation. Yep. A lot more mileage.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 8, 2014, 6:24 pm

        And undoubtedly coupled with the demand that Palestine/Palestinians accept responsibility for the fact and the compensation.

        That would come back to bite them. First of all, the PA would be forced to make the same demands and right of return would be cracked wide open.

        This would also shine more light on the Nakba, so let them try.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 8, 2014, 8:33 pm

        To me that’s two questions, Shingo. Would they, and what are the implications for doing so. Both revolve around whether the Israeli/allied hasbarists really are self-aware, in any meaningful sense. I don’t think they are.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 9, 2014, 5:18 am

        ritzl, this too will take a while before kicking-in; it’s being saved for when the big “H” cow runs dry, which probably will take another 30 years or so. Funny logic when Egyptians expel Jew and the Palestinians get punished for it; the Zionists entice the Jews to abandon their properties in Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Tunisia, and again the Palestinians get punished for it.

      • American
        American
        March 9, 2014, 11:30 am

        Walid says:
        March 9, 2014 at 5:18 am
        ritzl, this too will take a while before kicking-in; it’s being saved for when the big “H” cow runs dry, which probably will take another 30 years or so.
        >>>>>>

        Doubt it will take 30 years to run dry. I give it another 11 years at most.
        The H generation of Jews and non Jews is headed to the grave.
        A 10 year old in 1939 is now 85, a 10 year old in 1945 is 79.
        Our children’s generation has little to no interest in ancient history and that to them is ancient history…its an old movie reel.
        For me, born after the war, its even an old movie reel—were it not for my involvement in the Israel issue I would hardy know there is still talk about it today.
        The H industry is going to have to really work 10x’s harder to keep it going because so many events have piled up since then its one file in the file of horrors file cabinet.
        Because we here are involved we tend to think a lot of the public hears what we hear, but they don’t.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 8, 2014, 6:27 pm

        The danger is they Shmuel is that the PAS would have to return to the position of danding ROR for all Palestinian refugees, not to mention massive compensation.

        Inlike Israel, the PA doesn’t bear any redponsibility for Jews expelled from Arab states.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        March 9, 2014, 5:10 am

        Shingo,

        Like the demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel “as the nation state of the Jewish people”, the issue of compensation for Jews from Arab countries is not a real negotiating position, but an ostensibly reasonable claim intended to force Palestinian interests off the table (Israel as a state of all its citizens, RoR) and/or sabotage negotiations while establishing the Palestinians (or Arabs in general — remember Shamir and Madrid: no independent Palestinian delegation) as the intransigent party.

        Netanyahu is not seriously demanding compensation for Jews from Arab countries (like he cares), but bringing the proverbial goat* into the room, so that he can then agree to take it out, if the Palestinians renounce their right to return/compensation. If, as in the case of the “state of the Jewish people” demand, the “honest broker” accepts this position, the Palestinians will once again (still) be between a rock and a hard place. The added “bonus” is that such a claim indirectly addresses the Arab peace initiative, neutralising the thorny article “a just solution to the refugee problem”, as no Arab government is likely to agree to compensating its former Jewish citizens or to creating any sort of linkage/equivalence between the Palestinian refugees and the Mizrahim.

        It’s as false as they come but, considering the farce of US mediation, it’s actually pretty clever.

        *http://electronicintifada.net/content/disengagement-donkey-goat-and-cow/5718

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        March 9, 2014, 6:35 am

        Shmuel,

        Very amusing proverb, but getting back to the Jewish refugee issue. Abbas can still point out that he had nothing to do with the plight of Jews who were expelled.

        The Israelis have been using the tactic of bringing the proverbial goat* into the room, but it won’t work this time, because he has never raised this issue before. He’s even walked back his demand to be recognized as a Jewish State in the last few years and is only pulling it out of his hat again, but it’s more a sign of desperation that a clever strategy.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        March 9, 2014, 6:49 am

        Abbas can still point out that he had nothing to do with the plight of Jews who were expelled.

        He can also point out that neither Egypt nor Jordan were required to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and that both he and Arafat have already recognised Israeli sovereignty within the ’49 armistice lines.

        As long as the US continues to pretend that Israeli smoke and mirrors are serious and reasonable negotiating positions that the Palestinians must take into consideration (or bear responsibility for the “failure” of the talks), Abbas can point out that the sun rises in the east and Kerry will put “except when it rises in the west” (if Bibi says so) in his framework.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 8, 2014, 11:14 pm

        @ Shmuel
        So, followed by the issue of separating those inspired new Jewish Zionists who volunteered willingly to leave Arab states to move to Israel?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        March 9, 2014, 5:23 am

        Citizen,

        The issue of the Mizrahi exodus from Arab countries is a thorny one. Many Mizrahim claim that they were Zionists and went willingly to Israel as idealists, and entirely reject the label of “refugees”, which implies passivity and a secondary role in building the Zionist state. On the other hand, the reality is that many (most?) actually were refugees, actively brought to Israel by its socialist/Ashkenazi leadership, and the consequences of their dislocation (exacerbated by discrimination and exploitation) have been devastating.

        For Netanyahu’s propaganda purposes, however, implying that the part represents the whole (as explained e.g. in Benjamin Katz-Nussbaum’s recent post on “the Soda Stream saga”) is more than sufficient.

    • just
      just
      March 8, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Any settler living in hypothetical Palestine would be given guns, ammo, and a license to kill, steal, and commit hate crimes with heavily armed escorts of the IOF of Israel………oh, wait. (chug)

      He/she who commits the most mayhem wins a get out of jail free card/land/water/many thanks…..oh, wait. (chug)

      I’m woozy….. though I’m trying hard to think of what insanity they will come up with next…….This is such a bad movie….a nightmare, really.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 8, 2014, 6:18 pm

        @just- And if you’re woozy, imagine being Palestinian. (I know you do…)

  18. Talkback
    Talkback
    March 9, 2014, 1:32 am

    Still don’t know, what “Jewish” and a “Jewish state” means. This is not about existence, this is about essence. What does something make “Jewish” or an attribute of a Jewish state?

    According to Adalah Israel has more than 50 laws discriminating Palestinians in Greater Israel. Israel keeps Palestinians expelled and denationalized first and foremost for demographic reasons and because of their faith. And it illegaly annexed Jerusalem and the Golan Hights and illegally colonializes all occupied territories.

    Is this all “Jewish” or attributes of a “Jewish state”?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2014, 6:38 pm

      @ Talkback, as everybody who comes to this web site regularly knows, what and who is Jewish is an endless debate among Jews themselves, so the idea Kerry’s backing, is the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state means the Palestinians should recognize and concede to whatever any Jewish regime in Israel decides is Jewish, and they should accept any Israeli law that decides anything, including civil rights and obligations, according to whether or not an Israeli citizen is Jewish or not. Easy. In folklore it’s called always having your cake and eating it too, or, not having any cake at all, or maybe just a few crumbs–depending on your classification.

  19. crypticvalentin
    crypticvalentin
    March 9, 2014, 3:56 am

    isn’t Jane Harman the owner of Daily Beast?..what are her views on Israel?..

    • just
      just
      March 9, 2014, 6:54 am

      good point/catch, crypticvalentin………….

    • quercus
      quercus
      March 9, 2014, 9:03 am

      The Daily Beast was founded by IAC Chairman, Barry Diller, and one Tina Brown, journalist(?), magazine editor, talk show host

      • just
        just
        March 9, 2014, 9:52 am

        “(Reuters) – The family of late billionaire stereo magnate Sidney Harman has stopped investing in the Newsweek Daily Beast Co joint venture that it co-owns with Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, according to representatives of both companies.

        IAC said it continues to subsidize Newsweek Daily Beast’s operations, and as a result its initial 50 percent interest in the joint venture has grown into a controlling stake.

        The Harman family confirmed its ownership stake has been diluted by its decision to cap contributions to the loss-making venture, but would not give a figure. The family plans to maintain a minimum level of ownership in the venture, according to a source familiar with the situation.

        Jane Harman, the former Democratic congresswoman from California who has overseen the estate’s interest since her husband’s death in April 2011, will remain on the company’s board and participate in conferences and other media events it organizes, according to the family.

        “The Harman family remains supportive partners in the business of Newsweek Daily Beast, including service on the Board by Jane Harman and family participation in various informal roles,” the Harman family said in a statement to Reuters.”

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/23/us-iac-dailybeast-control-idUSBRE86M15I20120723

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 9, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Jane Harmon, the dual citizen Israeli spy.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        March 11, 2014, 7:54 pm

        Newsweek magazine was sold off to some chaps who may make a go of it.

  20. shalom
    shalom
    March 9, 2014, 9:25 am

    Not so easy to make peace. Both leaders deserve a certain amount of credit for coming to the negotiating table at John Kerry’s request along with carrots and sticks and a certain amount of criticism for not allowing the process to move forward without the US imposing a new Framework to prop it up.

    • just
      just
      March 9, 2014, 9:57 am

      Please tell me what demonstrations of honest peacemaking you think that Netanyahu is exhibiting.

      I can’t see one single thing.

      btw:

      “Israel’s prime minister is calling on the European Union’s foreign policy chief, currently visiting Tehran, to confront Iranian officials about the weapons Israel says it caught last week en route from Iran to militants in Gaza.

      Catherine Ashton is in Tehran to further negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program.

      At the beginning of a weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s capture last week of a ship carrying the weapons serves to “expose Iran’s real face.”

      Israel is preparing a public display of the cargo, said to include advanced rockets, hoping to pressure world powers as they negotiate with Tehran.

      Officials in Iran and Gaza have denied any connection to the shipment.”

      http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/arms-ship-captured-israeli-navy-arrives-port-22832490

      Sounds mighty fishy to me– more and more.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      March 9, 2014, 12:05 pm

      The Israeli leaders are always ready to come to the negotiations . They knew,know,and will know that they could safely come to the table,increase the perimeter of the border of Israel and be patted on the back by US for making the tough choices the Israeli leaders had,have,will have to make in uttering the words of the peace moving the lips for 2 state solutions,and clearing the throat to be heard loud and clear. It is so difficult.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2014, 6:26 pm

      @ shalom
      An artist doesn’t need a frame before he/she can paint a picture. Two artists can paint separately, then match up their paintings, with an honest & objective third party, the one who will foot much of the bill for the frame to capture both views in a meld.

  21. just
    just
    March 9, 2014, 10:10 am

    “EIN AL-HILWA, West Bank — Mahmoud Mohammed Kaabneh is at a loss. Israeli soldiers arrived with bulldozers last month and demolished his home. With little recourse, financial support or option to rebuild, he and his wife and 10 children are living with relatives for the foreseeable future.

    “I have no idea what we will do. They destroyed six of our buildings, three where my family lived and three where my animals lived,” said Kaabneh, 43, a Palestinian herder who has spent most of his life here on this desolate hillside in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley.

    Kaabneh and his family are among about 160 Palestinians in the region whose homes were destroyed in the first six weeks of this year by Israeli authorities, who control most of the valley and deemed the structures illegal because they lacked proper permits.

    Israel carries out such demolitions throughout the parts of the West Bank that remain under its control, known as Area C. But human rights organizations say there has been a sharp increase in the tear-downs in recent months, especially in the Jordan Valley.

    According to a United Nations report issued last month, demolitions of Palestinian houses in the valley reached a five-year high in 2013. In that year, 390 structures were torn down, leaving 590 people — more than half of them children — scrambling to find a new place to live. In 2012, 172 houses were demolished, the U.N. report said.

    The fate of the Jordan Valley — and its thousands of residents — is one of the core issues at the center of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s effort to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. About 7,500 Jewish settlers and 10,000 Palestinians live in the Israeli-controlled valley, in small farming communities that produce dates, herbs, flowers and winter vegetables. Another 50,000 Palestinians are governed by the Palestinian Authority in the ancient city of Jericho.

    Palestinians view the area, which borders Jordan to the east, as the key to economic stability in any future state, because of its fertile land and available water. Without this breadbasket, they say, a new Palestine would not be economically viable. The valley would also serve as Palestine’s border with Jordan and its access to the wider world.

    For Israel, the Jordan Valley is a strategic, nonnegotiable territory, essential for securing its borders and protecting its population. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he will not consider handing over security to any other entity, such as foreign peacekeepers.

    In January, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar inaugurated more construction in the Jordan Valley Jewish settlement of Gitit. Last month, he led a march of right-wing activists through the area, declaring that “Jewish settlement in the [Jordan] Valley will remain and prosper for generations to come.”

    Activists who monitor alleged Israeli violations of Palestinian rights accuse Israel of using the peace talks as a cover to reduce the presence here of Palestinian farmers and Bedouins as part of a push to ensure that the area ultimately stays in Israel’s hands. They note that demolitions have increased by 43 percent since the negotiations began in July, according to U.N. statistics.

    “The peace process should not be used as a cover for increasing violations of international law,” said Neill Kirrane, a policy and liaison officer at the East Jerusalem offices of the Swedish development organization Diakonia. Under international humanitarian law, he said, Israel is considered the occupying power of the West Bank and is therefore obliged to protect Palestinian civilians who live there, “ensuring that their rights and welfare are provided for.” ”

    More here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israel-demolishes-palestinian-houses-in-vital-jordan-valley/2014/03/08/2d80f960-9da2-11e3-878c-65222df220eb_story.html

    • Krusty
      Krusty
      March 9, 2014, 12:35 pm

      @just

      Thanks for linking. The JRV is a really interesting conundrum. The Israelis have an absolutely legitimate security concern based on their history in the region. However, it’s obviously what will become a significant portion of the Palestinian state and Abbas has reasonably offered to allow a long term NATO presence in the region following an IDF presence during the nation building process (5-10 years?).

      I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the recent events in the Ukraine have undermined the international peacekeeper position (which looked similar to Olmert + Abbas’, and was my own until watching the events in Crimea), and given tailwind to something more like Netanyahu’s based on the attenuation between Western support and defensive/supportive action.

      I found this part of the article (right after the cut off) to be most interesting:


      Maj. Guy Inbar, spokesman for the military-run authority that coordinates Israeli government activities in the West Bank, said Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley have the right to build if they can prove land ownership and if they gain the appropriate building permits.

      Israel, he added, has also started drafting plans for new Palestinian communities in the area, at least five of which have been announced.

      “Israel does recognize the need to create options” for the people living there, Inbar said.

      Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for Israeli rights organization B’Tselem, said she viewed those plans with “cautious optimism” but noted that they have yet to receive final approval.

      Meanwhile, building permits have proved nearly impossible to obtain, according to a recent B’Tselem report. More than 94 percent of 3,750 building requests submitted by Palestinians between 2000 and 2012 were rejected by Israel, the report said, leaving residents no choice but to build illegally and face possible demolition.

      Michaeli said the main problem is that large swaths of Jordan Valley land are off-limits to Palestinians because the areas are closed military zones, protected nature reserves or zoned as part of an Israeli settlement.”

      On a media critique level, I don’t see how else this could be construed but as a sympathetic article Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. That’s a good thing, too. Obviously. It closed on this really appropriate note:

      “Back in Ein al-Hilwa, local council head Arif Daraghmeh said Israeli military patrols return daily to the village to make sure there is no rebuilding of the demolished structures.

      “Look over there. That is the Israeli settlement of Maskiot,” he said, pointing to a cluster of red-roofed houses sitting neatly on the adjacent hillside — a former unauthorized outpost that the Israeli government approved in 2006. “They also started off with just a tent, but now they have proper buildings and water and electricity. We are not even allowed to put up a simple tent.””

      Allow me to be clear here: I find nothing problematic in the rigorous enforcement of zoning laws. They are beneficial to the body politic. However, this is a far murkier situation.

      The trouble here is obviously that there is a discriminatory effect (but not necessarily, though likely, intent) in the zoning process. That last quote absolutely nails it. Palestinians cannot build the necessary infrastructure in the present due to onerous zoning regulations. However, institutional Israeli support seems to be coming along and hopefully these plans will get approval and, additionally, a more realistic and laxer regulatory environment will ameliorate this situation as a peace deal comes closer.

      A far worse and more odious idea is of course something like Naftali Bennett’s desired annexation of Area C, but I genuinely believe that to be a right-wing pipe dream with very little realistic chance of occurring beyond being red meat for the base. Most Israelis oppose that, and I cannot imagine a plausible coalition which would support that.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 9, 2014, 6:21 pm

        So, Israel should just invade the entire ME, settle it, and build a wall around it? Would that satisfy Israel’s security concerns?

  22. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    March 9, 2014, 11:57 am

    Guardian exposé should have put this charade to an end long time ago. It did not. It should have mobilized the grass root agitation one have seen in
    Libya,Tunisia,Egypt,Syria,Russia,Greece,Spain,Venezuela and in some other places.
    National Endowment for Democracy and International Republican Inst should have taken the lead in doing something like the did in other countries, like offering spaces for discussion,media exposure,uses of twitter and Facebook,and raising the issue in US that usually leads to Senate hearings and C SPAN ,and Sunday Talk discussion.

    That did not happen shows the power and forces pitted against Palestine . Worst is the cooperating corrupt leader is still embraced by the EU and US.

  23. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 6:08 pm

    Arab League backs Abbas’s decision not to recognize Israel as a Jewish State: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.578785

    Kerry will really pressure Palestinians very soon–obviously, Kerry is Israel’s lawyer, pretending to be honest broker, so what’s new?

  24. talknic
    talknic
    March 9, 2014, 7:21 pm

    The Israeli demand to recognize a Jewish state (and in fact all their other demands) has absolutely no legal basis what so ever. It and all of Israel’s other demands are nonsense

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      March 11, 2014, 7:56 pm

      Abbas said Israel can call itself whatever it likes. But Palestinians should avoid this demand (for which Israel will give nothing in return).

  25. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 9, 2014, 7:42 pm

    US is not happy with Saud-Israeli intelligence; US is suddenly denying Israelis visas:
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/07/353606/us-signaling-israel-by-denying-visas/

  26. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    March 9, 2014, 11:15 pm

    Clinton and Dennis Ross raked Arafat over the coals…totally blaming him for that failure. Of course NPR and other MSM outlets were happy to facilitate that fraud.

    I forget who owns the Beast?

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