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Ari Shavit blames breakdown of talks on Arabs’ ‘anachronistic political culture’

Israel/Palestine
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Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit, the Zionist revivalist author who was laurel’d by American media last year, has published his idea of a “New Peace” plan in the New Republic. He says that the Palestinians didn’t get a state under the old peace process because they are “victims of an anachronistic political culture whose negative ethos makes it especially difficult” to offer necessary concessions.

For instance, they wouldn’t recognize the Jewish state and Zionism’s legitimate claims– “the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.”

And Arabs aren’t ready for democracy. Shavit speaks bleakly of “Arab political culture” in the “merciless Middle East.”

But the Palestinians can get economic peace, in this manner:

New Peace will not forsake the hope that eventually a democratic Middle East will emerge. But it would acknowledge the political culture of the Arab world and the Palestinian people as they are now and it would try to make the most out of it.

How can all this come about? Very simply. First, Israel will freeze all settlement activity beyond the separation barrier. Then Israel will initiate limited pullouts from designated areas in the West Bank. The Palestinians will commit to turning every piece of liberated land into a development zone in which massive building projects (resembling those in the new Palestinian city of Rawabi) will take center stage. The Saudis and the Gulf states will finance those development enterprises. The Egyptians and Jordanians will give the process political backing and military guidance. The United States will oversee it all, and Europe will do what Europe does best: NGO activity and civil-society building. While the Israelis and Palestinians advance the process with unsigned understandings and undeclared cooperation, the Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, and Turks will institute major regional economic projects.

I.e., taxation without representation. And if it seems like a fantasy, consider this about freezing settlement activity: Peace Now issued a report yesterday on unending settlement construction. JTA:

Israel promoted plans and tenders for nearly 14,000 housing units in the West Bank during the nine months of peace talks, the activist group Peace Now said.

An average of 50 apartments was built daily in the West Bank throughout the U.S.-backed negotiations launched last summer, the nongovernmental organization said in a report issued Tuesday.

From the Peace Now report, a graph of settlement housing tenders under recent Israeli governments:

Settlement tenders in recent Israeli governments, from Peace Now

Settlement tenders in recent Israeli governments, from Peace Now

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60 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    April 29, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Zionist spouts bigoted horseshit… color me not so surprised.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      April 29, 2014, 1:01 pm

      White boy Chris Hughes is eager to appease the bigots with the strings to the funding after ol’ Marty Peretz whined in the NYT.

      Gotta throw them a bone or two after John Judis wasn’t punished for his insolence and inability to show sufficient deference to the pro-Apartheid orthodoxy.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        April 29, 2014, 1:05 pm

        P.S.

        We will look back in less than 10 years with total amazement that you could write such racist, Orientalist horseshit(as Woody aptly describes it) in a supposed “liberal” magazine.

        Its like reading some indignant British colonial authority from 200 years ago ranting in his diary over the “barbaric” natives for having the temerity to refuse his colonial exploitation plans.

        And in many ways, Shavit shares this mindset.
        If he has been able to do anything, then it is to show that the real “anachronistic political culture” is that of Israel. It belongs to an era no longer with us, as does Shavit’s ossified brain.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        April 29, 2014, 2:52 pm

        I am shaking with fury at the patronising bs. Avi Shavit spouts….
        “….then it is the real ‘anachronistic political culture’ is that of Israel.It belongs to an era no longer with us, as does Shavit’s ossified brain”.

        Thank you, Krauss !!

  2. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    April 29, 2014, 12:30 pm

    So Israel has destroyed Palestine, and now others must reconstruct it and foot the bill? The Europeans are already disillusioned with funding Palestinian reconstruction, as this is often the first area to be targeted and destroyed whenever Israel wants to administer another punitive land grab. The Egyptians, a ruthless military junta, will give ‘political and military backing’? Lol. No Israeli reparations or justice for their victims? But ‘unsigned understandings and undeclared cooperation’? What is this meant to mean, other than the already routine trashing of any agreements, but with the bonus now of claiming they never existed in the first place?
    This is just ridiculous, childs play arguments and fantasy, based on the usual zionist complete ignorance of Palestinian life or the Middle East, but with the pig-headed insistence that they know what’s best for the people they attack, undermine and dispossess every day.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24
    April 29, 2014, 12:37 pm

    There is some part in the brains of these zionists, that seem to be blank when it comes to Israel. Strange they are able to blame everything, including failure of peace initiatives by the US, on those who really have not much leverage, and choice, in this matter, and who suffer under the brutal occupying powers, yet are so obviously blind to the continued crimes by the occupier, against these victims, including the crime of land theft and illegal settlements. It seems the blatant announcements of thousands of illegal settlements DURING peace talks, detrimental to those peace talks, does not matter, or did not happen. Israel kept shifting the goal post many times, irritating even the Obama administration, and here you are yet another zionist spewing BS, and blaming the “Arabs”….as if the Jews are blameless. Right now John Kerry is getting attacked by the guard dogs in Congress and media, obviously unleashed by Israel’s vicious lobbies.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      April 29, 2014, 1:41 pm

      Correct. The announcements did not matter in the least. They were not built, just announced. Irrelevant has the Palestinians been willing to agree to peace.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 29, 2014, 3:09 pm

        Amusing, mondonut. And the ones they announced prior to 9 mos. ago, they built during this round of process.

        What’s your point? That history started 9 mos. ago?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        April 29, 2014, 4:27 pm

        @ ritzl

        The point is to respond to the comment directly above, hardly a mystery. As for what was actually built during this round, feel free to provide some citation. Please include anything where the Israelis agreed not build.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 29, 2014, 5:11 pm

        @mondonut- Well…

        NBC: “West Bank Settlement Building Doubled in 2013 Israel” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/west-bank-settlement-building-doubled-2013-israel-n43041 (Note “building” is used, not “tenders.”)

        And if unspecified “official sources” wording in the above is too vague, here’s one citing official Israeli/GoI data.

        Yahoo News: “Israel says it doubled new settlement building in 2013” http://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-doubled-settlement-building-2013-154909004.html

        15s on Bing… http://www.bing.com/search?setmkt=en-US&q=settlement+building+israel+2013

        Israel’s got a problem. It has to build to avoid domestic political fractures, but building makes it “look” bad to the rest of the world. Hi Ho.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        April 29, 2014, 5:32 pm

        ritzl says: Well…

        None of which answers to your comment of how many were built during this round of process. Not started, not as part of a multi-year program. Built. Your words.

        And you left out the part where the Israelis agreed not to and why building in areas the Palestinians will never receive matters in the least.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 29, 2014, 6:18 pm

        @mondonut- Why you distinguish between “started” and “built” is completely beyond me. Same with “multi-year.” Are you saying that only completion of structures conceived outside of an ongoing settlement construction process is the/your driving criterion? That’s absurd.

        “…left out…”

        Ah, new demand… A: Because it’s fing ILLEGAL, pending some nebulous, always-future 2S outcome. To assume otherwise would be a (bad faith, if Palestine did it) “precondition,” but you knew that.

        In terms of what, specifically, was started/built from October 2013 to May 2014, you may have a point. Since I am not privy to settlement construction schedules (and neither are you), there’s no way to know that.

        So here’s the question for you. Given your breathless assertion, Israeli history, and that construction is a process not an event (i.e. tender leads directly and inevitably to building over some period of time), show us all that NONE of the 14K tenders for illegal settlement construction made in 2013 were built during the last 9 mos. G’head, make your case.

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 30, 2014, 4:16 am

        @ mondonut Announced/started/not started/finished who cares. If it isn’t in Israeli territory it’s illegal to anyone but thick headed Israeli propagandists

        “And you left out the part where the Israelis agreed not to and why building in areas the Palestinians will never receive matters in the least”

        If it isn’t Israeli territory it matters, regardless of who else might receive it.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 30, 2014, 4:24 am

        And you left out the part where the Israelis agreed not to and why building in areas the Palestinians will never receive matters in the least

        Typical dishonest and deceitful hasbara. This argument implies that some agreement has been reached, when it clearly has not and never will given that Israel is not interested in achieving one.

        It’s like arguing that I’ll keep stealing land from my neighbour in case he should one day decide to give it to me.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 29, 2014, 3:24 pm

        “Irrelevant has the Palestinians been willing to agree to peace”

        LOL. The Palestinians have been willing to agree to peace, as have the entire Arab World. It is the Israeli Jews who’ve rejected the Arab Peace Initiative (a deal which is more than the Israelis deserve) for over a decade. Those in charge of the Israeli government always have and always will prefer death and mayhem to making a just peace.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        April 29, 2014, 4:32 pm

        @ Woody

        To quote the great Clint, “Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It”. The API is going nowhere unless it is more specific on the RoR and explains why Israel should agree to divide Jerusalem.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 29, 2014, 5:37 pm

        @mondonut

        The fact that Israel exists at all is proof that “deserve” has nothing to do with it.

        The Arab Peace Initiative (go on, you can type it out) is not going anywhere because the Arabs don’t have a partner for peace; they have in the Israelis a force that wants “piece” (or, rather, “pieces.”)

        The point you raise about the Right of Return (go on, you can type it out) is excuse-making because the Arab Peace Initiative specifically holds that that issue will be decided by the parties in negotiations. If the Israelis accepted the Arab Peace Initiative tomorrow, the Right of Return issue could be solvable through a scheme of compensation for the Palestinians for their losses and a symbolic number of returnees, as most everyone understands. But Israel doesn’t actually want peace. It wants to oppress the Palestinians and to control their lives.

        And it isn’t a matter of Israel agreeing to divide Jerusalem; it is only soverign over part of it anyway. It would be agreeing to respect the limitation on soverignty for peace. If it is true that it so desperately wants peace, like its supporters keep saying over and over and over and over again, there should be no problem at all with recognizing the 1967 lines in Jerusalem/al Quds. What use is it to Israeli to hold a few Arab neighborhoods it has no right to at the cost of peace?? But Israel doesn’t want peace. It’s is not a peaceful state and the people who vote for its governments are not a people who desire peace, or they would demand the acceptance of the Arab Peace Initiative.

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 29, 2014, 7:27 pm

        @ mondonut ” The API is going nowhere unless it is more specific on the RoR and explains why Israel should agree to divide Jerusalem”

        er … RoR is a RIGHT and Jerusalem isn’t Israeli .. UNSC res 476

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        April 29, 2014, 6:21 pm

        @Woody

        That the API passes on defining the terms of the RoR, leaving this open to interpretation, in the only reason the Palestinians themselves endorse it. As I said, if it were explicitly defined to include what “most everyone understands”, the Palestinians would have nothing to do with it.

        Further, the Palestinians have no interest in ” few Arab neighborhoods”. Their demand is for the Old City and the Kotel. They (and you) demand what the Israelis hold most dear and then cry for a lack of a peace partner when they cannot have it.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        April 29, 2014, 7:06 pm

        That what Israelis hold most dear isn’t legally theirs isn’t a problem. Israel wants them than they should pay for them. That israel makes illegal territorial demands doesn’t make the Palestinians demand to keep their legal territory a deal breaker israel want of it is

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 29, 2014, 11:45 pm

        “That the API passes on defining the terms of the RoR, leaving this open to interpretation, in the only reason the Palestinians themselves endorse it.”

        That’s nonsense. First, the Arab Peace Initiative (honestly, you can type it out) does not leave the Right of Return (again, you can type it out) “open to interpretation” — it leaves it open to negotiations and an agreement between the parties. In fact, it is specifically designed to limit the Right of Return to that which the Israelis would agree to. The problem is that the Israelis don’t want peace. The Palestinians endorse it because they are reasonable, which the Israelis are not.

        And, yes, it is a few Arab neighborhoods. I’m certain that the Palestinians would have no problem with formally forever renouncing any claim to the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall and perhaps other areas, if the Israelis likewise forever formally renounce any claim to al Haram ash Sharif and the Arab neighborhoods.

        “They (and you) demand what the Israelis hold most dear and then cry for a lack of a peace partner when they cannot have it.”

        No, they (and I) demand that the Israelis not steal what is not theirs and what belongs to the Muslims and the Palestinians. And, frankly, the fact that the thing which “the Israelis hold most dear” is not peace — and the human lives saved that would result — but a hunk of land that doesn’t even belong to them and hasn’t for well over a thousand years, demonstrates that the Palestinians cry about not having a peace partner because they don’t have a peace partner.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        April 29, 2014, 5:34 pm

        Not built eh? But what kind of good faith, and eagerness, to achieve peace, did the occupier display when it blatantly kept announcing thousands of “future” illegal settlements in stolen lands? I doubt the Palestinians felt convinced enough that Israel was ready to allow to let go the status quo, they keep stubbornly clinging to.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 30, 2014, 1:34 am

        They were not built, just announced.

        So if the Palestinians had announced their intention to resume suicide bombing and plans to begin firing rockets from the West Bank, that would also be irrelevant to the peace process?

  4. Boomer
    Boomer
    April 29, 2014, 12:45 pm

    “they wouldn’t recognize the Jewish state and Zionism’s legitimate claims–”

    Right, the “anachronistic” Palestinians’ bizarre refusal to recognize as legitimate the Zionists’ right to steal their homes and farms, to exile them from the place where they and generations of their ancestors had lived by use of deadly force and threats of more, to make them stateless refugees, to deny them rights as citizens . . . the list goes on. How obdurate, how outrageous are these “anachronistic” Palestinians, especially compared with Zionists who lay claim to this “homeland” by virtue of their tribal myths dating from the dawn of the iron age.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 29, 2014, 10:13 pm

      ‘Zionism’s legitimate claims– “the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.”’

      Why should anyone recognize that nonsense?

  5. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    April 29, 2014, 12:51 pm

    -Palestinians didn’t get a state under the old peace process because they are “victims of an anachronistic political culture whose negative ethos makes it especially difficult” to offer necessary concessions.-

    I mean they would like to get them a state, but they’re just so NEGATIVE! Who knew that taking their country out from under them would cause such a grudge.

  6. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    April 29, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Being a Zionist (even a LZ) means never having to say [1] “I’m sorry”, [2] “Israel did wrong”, [3] “Israel has seized land from Palestine/Palestinians in OPTs (to say nothing of the place behind the green line) in violation of international law and agreements, that is, in effect, criminally.”.

    What I love is the way Israel’s settler-colonialism inside OPTs tracks Gilbert & Sullivan’s COMIC OPERA “Mikado”. (Never forget the COMIC OPERA part, nor the precise tracking).

    When told that the land seizures (to say nothing of the population transfers) of the settlement program are (let us say) “criminal”, Zionists say, at least in effect, actions speaking instead of words, nearly as follows:

    We are negotiating a two-state peace. We will not make any deal that does not give us this land. Therefore the land is as good as ours. And if it is as good as ours, why not say it is ours?

    The land IS ours. The land seizures are therefore not illegal and we can quite properly move part of our population onto that land.

    Anticipatory Legality.

  7. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    April 29, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Ari Shavit shows what an zionist extremist he is.

    • Dutch
      Dutch
      April 30, 2014, 12:00 am

      @ JPB

      And more. He is planting an actual outcome of the ‘conflict’ that might very well be greeted by many Israeli’s as a ‘positive solution’ — and gain traction.

  8. ritzl
    ritzl
    April 29, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Shavit is the anachronism. Palestine was a democracy until the coup. Lebanon is one.

  9. mondonut
    mondonut
    April 29, 2014, 1:33 pm

    An average of 50 apartments was built daily in the West Bank throughout the U.S.-backed negotiations launched last summer, the nongovernmental organization said in a report issued Tuesday.

    This is incorrect, nor is it claimed in the provided link.

  10. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    April 29, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Has any Israeli ever offered any remotely interesting insights into ”Arab culture”?

    Ever?

  11. hophmi
    hophmi
    April 29, 2014, 1:47 pm

    “Palestine was a democracy until the coup. ”

    One election is not a democracy.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 29, 2014, 3:27 pm

      “One election is not a democracy.”

      Nor is 13 elections since 1967, where half the people affected are not permitted the vote because of their ethno-religious background

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      April 29, 2014, 3:48 pm

      One election is not a democracy

      A) That’s like saying the sky isn’t blue because today it’s raining.

      B) It was certainly a byproduct, if not a principal objective, of the coup to make statements like that possible.

      Tomato, Tomahto, but I’m sticking with the sky is blue.

      The second data point (establishing the trend) will be in the next election, whether it’s free and fair, whether the results [are allowed to?] stand, and how Palestinian political culture evolves under/even with the 10-ton burden of Occupation and without violent outside intervention.

      The problem for Israel/US is that Palestine has shown every indication of “orbiting” just one small step away from a functional democracy, and that step can’t be allowed. It would eviscerate the Hasbara, and legitimize (and maybe institutionalize) any/the popular Palestinian consensus on objectives, negotiation “red-lines,” and resistance methods. There wouldn’t only be a small cadre of 10 or so aging, corraled, aid-enriched Palestinian decision makers to influence and/or coerce to get a concession to Israel’s advantage.

      I’m also guessing that this is why BN is so upset about reconciliation. Not because of “Hamas!!!!” per se, but because of the “…Adhere to agreements!!!” bit. The next Palestinian political step is the expression of popular Palestinian will and that may well make (nobody knows in what directions Palestine politics will organically evolve) the past 20 years of Israeli assimilation and humiliation a coercion “mulligan.”

      Peace.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      April 29, 2014, 6:29 pm

      “One election is not a democracy.”

      Translation: They refused to elect the people WE wanted.

  12. Shuki
    Shuki
    April 29, 2014, 1:49 pm

    “victims of an anachronistic political culture whose negative ethos makes it especially difficult”

    Well said.

    Just take an honest look at the various regimes in the region… Gazan’s were given the opportunity to vote and elected a majority of Hamas members who thereafter murdered and ran off members of the competing Fatah party. Now they are ruled by a violent group of thugs that drag people through the street, oppress women and punish dissent.

    Assad has killed well over 100,000 of his own citizens (while the world looks away and focuses their attention on the fact that Jews are building homes).

    Rafic Hariri assassinated by Hizbollah and his successor son thereafter loses control of the government to the same terrorist organization that killed his father.

    In 2009, Iranians protest the rigged re-election of Ahmadinejad and are butchered in the streets.

    For decades, Palestinians living in poverty rally behind Arafat while he and his wife squirrel away close to a billion dollars.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      April 29, 2014, 5:51 pm

      (while the world looks away and focuses their attention on the fact that Jews are building homes).
      – Aw, sounds like you want sympathy, but failed to mention that those so called “homes” are being built on disputed and stolen lands, and Palestinian homes are bulldozed and demolished, so that “Jews” can live and attack it’s neighbors.
      The “look over there, we are better than that” comment will not help to take the attention away from what the article is about. Perhaps Arafat was dishonest, who knows, but that does not mean the over 1.8 million Palestinians must be punished for what he did. Besides, haven’t “distinguished” leaders like Olmert, Lieberman, and even the upright Bibi Netanyahu been investigated for various irregularities, bribe taking, corruption, free trips, and other bad habits? Olmert is now looking at jail time. Yeah, Israel has it’s share of scoundrels too, but no one suggests it’s citizens pay the price.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      April 29, 2014, 6:32 pm

      “Now they are ruled by a violent group of thugs that drag people through the street, oppress women and punish dissent.”

      Likud is running Gaza?

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 29, 2014, 7:06 pm

        On fire, abc. :)

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 29, 2014, 7:36 pm

      @ Shuki “Just take an honest look at the various regimes in the region… “

      doesn’t diminish what Israel does

      “For decades, Palestinians living in poverty rally behind Arafat while he and his wife squirrel away close to a billion dollars.”

      Uh huh…
      “In total, the Fund estimates, the amounts diverted from the official budget from 1995 until 2000, when the diversions stopped, may have exceeded $898m. IMF officials say $799m was returned to the PA, with the difference accounted for by investment losses………the bulk of the money diverted from the budget – including all the Swiss bank accounts – was either given back or invested in companies that became part of the PIF, an assertion backed by the IMF” http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E3DC1638F934A35754C0A9669C8B63

    • Dutch
      Dutch
      April 30, 2014, 12:12 am

      @ Shuki

      Yeah, they all suck, okay?

      And now back to the rights of the Palestinians, that don’t demand any further discussion at all. Have you thought of a way yet to remove almost a million settlers by next month? After you figured that out, I’ll be happy to discuss secondary matters.

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 30, 2014, 12:32 am

      @ Shuki “while the world looks away>”

      Why is it so many supporters of Israel’s illegal activities outside the territory of the State of Israel are such blatant liars?

      ” and focuses their attention on the fact that Jews are building homes”

      Correction your absolute patheticness. Israelis are illegally building homes in territory that has never belonged to the State of Israel.

  13. LeaNder
    LeaNder
    April 29, 2014, 3:00 pm

    “victims of an anachronistic political culture whose negative ethos makes it especially difficult”

    Yes, no doubt the invention of the discourse on the Arab Village was quite ingenious, really. I can ungrudgingly admit. Without ever having been aware of it, in hindsight I wonder to what extend it influenced–below real awareness–my perception of Palestinian protests over here. Although nowadays I mostly encounter its Janus face: People that are against modernization, as something typically driven by “the Jews” of course, or criticize the excesses of the financial markets, must be antisemites.

    the formidable work done by Kerry’s team–a creative solution to the settlement issue, Jerusalem, borders, security arrangements, refugees–made no headway.

    I love the phrasing Avi, but no need to conjure up Sisyphus after, really. It may in fact be counterproductive considering where you are heading:

    … Some pundits suggest that the United States should turn away from the conflict. Others think that the secretary should lay his peace plan on the table and wait until the parties grow up and endorse it. Both schools of thought promote, unintentionally, dangerous ideas. The Middle East cannot sustain a vacuum in its midst. When one occurs, it is immediately filled with extremism and bloodshed. Left to their own devices without active American leadership regional tensions would escalate violently.

    I realized by now, with a little help by our dear Hostage (see below) that the designations of area A, B, C in “Judea and Samaria” is eerily reminiscent of the respective degrees of fitness for statehood of respective people to be governed by mandate authorities. Which one scholar labeled with the same three letters.

    Interestingly enough category A alluded to states that were ready for democracy, and Palestine actually belonged into exactly that category like all the former Ottoman territories If Palestinians turned more backwards after, shouldn’t we ask ourselves: how, why? Or did I miss an elaborate differentiations between the Palestinians per se versus the sea of surrounding Arabs in your narrative, Avi dear?

    Now you are correct, many of us love going back in history in trying to understand the “One-hundred-year long Holy Land conflict”. Not 100, but why not 94? Allow me to ignore the Holocaust, which I insist wasn’t inescapable, but let’s look at a clause that was to be part of the Treaty of Sèvres:

    Quigley, Statehood, author, hat tip Hostage, my insertion in bracket:

    On November 30, 1920, Curzon [Britain] alerted the Cabinet that France and Italy had complained in regard to an early draft that Arab rights were being ignored. France and Italy objected to a draft preamble that read:

    “Recognizing the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute Palestine as their National Home.”

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      April 30, 2014, 10:00 am

      Which one scholar labeled with the same three letters.

      The above felt wrong, the moment I wrote it, thus I checked if I was indeed wrong. Turns out I was. Not a scholar, but a colonial representative in this context: It was Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner

      Hopefully my fast check is correct this time. No, I think it is. But I could have tried to keep his exact job description in mind. ;)

  14. William Burns
    William Burns
    April 29, 2014, 3:07 pm

    On top of everything else that is stupid in Shavit’s article, “put a massive building on every scrap of land” is a moronic approach to development.

  15. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    April 29, 2014, 3:41 pm

    Ari Shavit’s “New Peace” is similar to his position on Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, in that it seeks complete Palestinian surrender — practical as well as moral — demanding not only that they accept the Israeli narrative, but that they actually concede Israeli superiority. They must admit that they cannot aspire to equality, because they are (woe is Ari) inherently inferior. Shavit’s “kindly” advice is that if they simply come to terms with this fact of life and try to emulate their Israeli betters (American-style suburbs and red-roofed settlements!), they just may, some day, be worthy of something or other, but they probably shouldn’t hold their breaths.

    Shavit makes the best argument I’ve heard in a while for the description of Zionism as a colonial project.

  16. pjdude
    pjdude
    April 29, 2014, 5:30 pm

    what a surprise Israel not be accountable

  17. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    April 29, 2014, 6:26 pm

    The core of Shavit’s argument, as far as I can see, is that Israel has recognised the right of Palestinians to a state but that the Palestinians have not reciprocated. He therefore proposes to give the Palestinians a lot of money (Saudi and Gulf money) and tell them to spend it on building projects, facilitated by a settlement freeze, so that they will eventually understand that they must accept Israel’s rights (as Shavit understands these) because that acceptance will plainly be part and parcel of having a decent standard of living.
    Taxation without representation has been mentioned but it seems to me a bit more like subsidy without representation, pauperising or infantilising the recipients. This is because they are said to be anachronistic, ie they are as infants in the modern political world.
    It’s hard to know where to begin with this grotesque, slightly nightmarish stuff. (I am sure that in many ears it will sound like adventurous and humane radicalism by someone unafraid to speak mockingly of his own side as well. That tone, that poise!)
    I can see that there is a logical structure to the argument and it all depends on the claim that Israel accepts human rights, Palestine does not: that is why they are stuck in the unenlightened past and their being stuck there is the reason for all the rest. I would like to begin by asking him in what terms, with what implications, he considers that Palestinian rights have been accepted. Secondly, how wide is the gap between what the Palestinians, including the devilish Hamas, have so obviously accepted and what he wants of them?

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      April 29, 2014, 7:26 pm

      @MHughes- “Subsidy without representation.” Love it. Great point. It goes to the unabashed Orientalism of Shavit.

      It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fathom why and how people continue to think this way, given all the info to the contrary.

  18. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    April 29, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Shorter Shavit: Why can’t those stupid Arabs realize that Jews are the superior beings.

  19. eljay
    eljay
    April 29, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Shavit: Abbas’s failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state proves that the Palestinian national movement has an inherent difficulty in making significant ideological concessions vis-à-vis the Jewish national movement: Zionism.

    No-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State”. The only people with “inherent difficulty in making significant ideological concessions” are the Zio-supremacists, who choose Jewish supremacism over justice, equality and accountability every single time.

    Israel has recognized the Palestinian people and their right to have a Palestinian state; the Palestinians have not reciprocated by recognizing the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.

    A secular and democratic Palestinian state will, presumably, be a state of and for all of its Palestinian citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally.

    A secular and democratic Israeli state should be a state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally.

    In contrast, “Jewish State” is – and refuses to be anything other than – a fundamentally religion-supremacist state of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

    No-one – not even Jews – have a right to a supremacist state.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 29, 2014, 11:19 pm

      “Israel has recognized the Palestinian people and their right to have a Palestinian state; the Palestinians have not reciprocated by recognizing the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.”

      What a load of nonsense. Saying that Israel has recognized the Palestinian people and their right to have a Palestinian state while the occupation is still ongoing is an absolute joke.

  20. ritzl
    ritzl
    April 29, 2014, 7:30 pm

    No water equals no economic development. Period.

    The rest is just philosophy/sophistry/blather.

  21. RoHa
    RoHa
    April 29, 2014, 9:53 pm

    “And Arabs aren’t ready for democracy.”

    This is probably true. Americans aren’t ready for democracy, either. (Look at the “elections” of G. W. Bush.) And The Sun is the biggest selling newspaper in Britain, so that casts doubt on the British. Actually, aside from the Icelanders and the New Zealanders, I’m not sure whether anyone is ready for democracy. Maybe the Sammarinese.

    But the only way to get ready for democracy is to keep trying it until you get it more or less right. And it can go wrong even then.

  22. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 29, 2014, 10:08 pm

    Started reading Shavit’s article in tnr and right away I found his reference to the failure of the 2007-2008 talks. The failure of these talks was due to Livni’s choice to go to elections (and lose) rather than any other factor. To include this failure which was due to lack of time rather than due to any specific refusal of the Palestinians, with the other failures is rhetorical- (euphemism for false).

  23. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    April 30, 2014, 4:59 am

    Is it possible that the reason Israel did not condemn and refuse to back the US position on the annexation of Crimea, was because it is their plan to do the same with area C? A vote in area C would see, just as in Crimea a huge majority voting to join Israel, since very few Palestinians reside there. Many right wingers in Israel favor this unilateral approach, as in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights it would draw International opprobrium, but whats unusual about that to Israel.

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