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Israel’s right wing Zionists, Palestine’s militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter

on 63 Comments

The polling is in from both sides and it’s clear.

This  Jerusalem Post report on Israeli polling says that Naftali Bennett the champion of annexing West Bank lands is the most popular Israeli politician on the right:

[A] Panels Politics poll taken Monday for the Knesset Channel… asked who best represents the views of the Right, giving Netanyahu, Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as choices.

Thirty-nine percent said Bennett, 28% said Netanyahu, and 20% Liberman….

The poll shows that rightwing and settler parties have a clear majority of the Knesset, of 68 seats:

The poll found that if elections were held now, Likud would win 26 seats, Bayit Yehudi 19, Labor 18, Yesh Atid and Meretz 10, and Yisrael Beytenu eight….
The Panels’ poll predicted United Torah Judaism would win eight seats, Shas seven..

Meantime, Kahlil Shikaki has polled Palestinians, and Hamas is skyrocketing. Daniel Estrin reports:

The popularity of Hamas among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61 percent of Palestinians would choose Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, for president if Palestinian presidential elections were held today.
Only 32 percent would vote for current President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ rival, the survey suggested.
The support for Haniyeh marks a stark increase from a poll in June, conducted by the same pollster, which found only 41 percent of Palestinians backed the Hamas figure. At the time, Abbas had 53 percent support.
The poll also suggests a majority of Palestinians – 72 percent – support adopting Hamas’ armed approach in the West Bank.

So Gaza has only accelerated and solidified the polarization of the two communities, the powerful one and the oppressed, and thereby cemented the realistic political view in the west that this is an intractable conflict on which John Kerry sought to apply bandages that did not work. “There is no peaceful resolution of the conflict” — the understanding conveyed to me by a Spanish friend in Jerusalem — gains force. So does the prayer that the Obama administration might have to develop a strategy that does not entail support for the rightwing Jewish state.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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63 Responses

  1. just on September 2, 2014, 10:27 am

    Was/is the US intentionally stupid or just blindly stupid in our never-ending support for the actions of the Israeli state?

    • American on September 2, 2014, 11:01 am

      The US is terminally corrupted on Israel by political money.
      That is the answer to your question.

    • W.Jones on September 2, 2014, 11:34 am

      Probably a mix. Which one is J Street?

      Lobbies run Washington’s political decisions, and Palestinians don’t have a serious Lobby.

      • Kay24 on September 2, 2014, 5:20 pm

        The Palestinians will NEVER be able to have a serious lobby. They will be blockaded by AIPAC.

      • Accentitude on September 3, 2014, 1:12 am

        The closest that the Palestinians have to a Lobby is the so-called “American Task Force on Palestine” led by Hussein Ibish and Dr. Ziad Asali but they’re more interested in bending over backwards to appease the U.S./Israeli leaders and playing the role of house arabs. Those photos of Asali hanging out wiht Michael Oren should tell you all you need to know about the ATFP.

        The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is another one. They’re kind of/sort of an ADL for Arabs but they really have no weight in Washington.

    • bilal a on September 2, 2014, 4:24 pm

      I would like correction on this. My perception is that the entire right wing apparatus in Israel is not indigeneous, Netanyahu, Bennet, Goldblog, Baruch Goldstein etc. all being essentially American or creations of American culture and support.

      That is, Israel would be entirely different without the negative influences , especially the tendency towards entitlement with violent retirbution, if the American establishment was absent from the body politic of Israel.

      Despite the Nakba, the founders of Israel were left wing progressives bent on a defensive refuge for Jews, not on an expansionist greater Israel terrorizing the whole of the middle east ?

      • tod77 on September 2, 2014, 7:20 pm

        If anything, I would say the collonial influences of Europe were more significant in the creation of Zionism as we now know it.
        The big flaw in zionism that is haunting us until today – late 19th century europeans didn’t treat non-europeans as equals (a visit to the british museum in london is a great illustration of this).
        American influence came much later, after the seeds of anger, hate and violence had already been sown.

      • W.Jones on September 3, 2014, 12:29 am

        You are mistaken that the system would be “entirely different”, and that you can really use the words “despite the Nakba the founders were progressives”, and conclude that they would not be in conflict with their neighbors.

        First, the system was laid out by Herzl and Ben Gurion for a “nationalistic and democratic state” for that nationality, and the state has not deviated from that basic system. Next, the founders included Herzl and Jabotinsky. The first modeled his system directly on European colonialism, and the second was openly right wing.

        After this, note that Ben Gurion was another main founder who ruled the state for a long time, and was in power during the Suez crisis with Egypt and later. During that time there remained conflict with the neighbors and this, like the Nakba, was not put on him by the US.

        Finally, as to whether they were progressives, it’s true that there was a serious left and democratic movement, however, this progressiveness did not apply when it came to relations with Palestinians. Read about the J14 protests in the Israeli State in 2011 – there was a serious progressive movement, but the movement did not take on the issue of Palestinians. I recommend that you also read about Chomsky’s experiences on the extremely left wing, Marxist progressive kibbutzes in the 1950’s when it came to their relations with the Arabs. Chomsky said that he would not have lasted, and he noticed the intolerance.

        So no, it wasn’t like the US intervened and made things totally different than what they wanted. What you should realize is that there was a contradiction going on. To give an analogy, the founders of the United States were also very progressive – one of the first successful long term democratic leaderships in world history, declaring All Men Are Created Equal. And yet when it came to relations with Native Americans and African Americans, there was also a major contradiction in play.

      • W.Jones on September 3, 2014, 12:30 am

        I wish I hadn’t started out so strongly with the words “You are mistaken”, Bilal. But you know, No Edit Function.

        All the best.

      • french_jew on September 3, 2014, 8:42 am

        tod77 is right. Besides, The sheer size of the US jewish community and the power and wealth of the country as a whole might give this impression, but other jewish communities elsewhere can be much more uncritical in their support to the Israeli State. American judaism has a strong “liberal” element, which although full of contradictions gives enough space for an organization such as JVFP to have 100 000 members of affiliated people. The French jewish community, the third biggest in the world and part of a smaller but also influential post-colonial western power with a huge historical responsibility in the situation has no such thing on that big of a scale, we have no Henry Siegman and the local equivalent to JVFP is proportionally much smaller. Sabra (local) Israeli society also produces very violent and right wing political forces.

        However I think that you are right in the sense that Israel, if it wasn’t for the umbilical cord given by the US, which fit the US’ political and industrial establishments’ interests (unlike what some writers here often tend to say to gather support), would not survive like it does today. During the recent Gaza war, your congress funded the Iron Dome system, which was itself bought to an american arms manufacturers…. A system which was deemed ineffective by specialists, in the end, Israel allowed the privatization of US public money: from the State to the arms industry.
        Anyways, Israel would also not exist without the economic backbone which is the EU, it’s first trading partner. Since it was founded as a western outpost in the oriental frontier. zionism and later the state of Israel never seriously projected an integration of the jews to the middle east as part of it’s project. The idea was and is to be a western nation in the orient, to keep the local indigenous arabs in check, and belong economically, politically, culturally ….. to a civilization located to the other side of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

        Israeli leaders know this and are scared of the possibility that they west might “let them go” at one point, which is why they are desperately trying to build stronger ties with India, Russia and other world powers.

        So in a word: yes the Israeli system cannot exist without the support of the US, but it also needs the rest of the “west”. And the “west” supports it out of neocolonial interests. It also needs the support of jewish communities, but the two are relatively distinct phenomenons. All jewish communities nowadays are hegemonically zionist and thus can potentially produce future Israeli right wingers, the US has the biggest jewish community out there, which makes it more visible but the American jewish community has a much stronger “liberal” and even left-wing element than others out there. Last but not least, it is Israeli society itself which is turning to the violent right (away from the paternalistic left) due to structural relations of power on the ground, we shouldn’t forget that.

    • ziusudra on September 3, 2014, 11:50 am

      Greetings just,
      …stupid or stupid?…
      The US is asking, they are asking Zionistan not annex the 400 hectars in Al Quds, but they along with the Germans are sending arms to the Kurds & Ukrainians so as not to be attacked by ISIS or the Russians ! That says it all!

  2. ckg on September 2, 2014, 10:34 am

    If these were the election results, it seems Netanyahu would be able to form a similar right-wing government giving more power to both himself and Bennett and less to Lapid and Liberman.

  3. eljay on September 2, 2014, 10:45 am

    Palestinians increasingly support armed resistance to over 60 years of occupation and oppression, while Israelis increasingly support land theft, occupation, colonialism and Jewish supremacism in a “Greater” supremacist “Jewish State”.

  4. American on September 2, 2014, 11:09 am

    Non violent or non punitive protest against Israel will not work.
    What do you do with a psychopath who has gotten away with his crimes for 65 years?
    No chance of any correction of his psychopathy except lock him up.

    • JWalters on September 2, 2014, 7:32 pm

      Netanyahu is like a combination of Bernie Madoff and Richard Nixon. On the one hand he sells fellow Jews a war zone by calling it a “safe haven”. On the other he keeps the war profits flowing.

    • Raksha on September 3, 2014, 12:53 pm

      Re “Non violent or non punitive protest against Israel will not work.”

      I agree that non-violent protest against Israel does not work, but OTOH violent protest does not work either. Even if the “violent protest” is nothing more than teenagers throwing rocks at settlers or IDF soldiers, it only gives Israel an excuse to put it down with overwhelming force. We’ve seen that pattern over and over again–the smallest pinprick becomes an excuse for a massacre.

      So the only other option that leaves is punitive protest, which can only mean an increase in the scale and reach of the BDS movement, to the point where it really hurts Israel economically. The tourist business has already (inevitably) taken a big hit, and personally I hope it never recovers until there is an actual peace treaty. If challenged by some right-wing Zionist with the accusation: “Are you trying to punish Israel?” my response would be an unequivocal and resounding YES!

      Israel has proven over and over again it only understands the language of force–but that doesn’t have to mean physical force.

  5. Kay24 on September 2, 2014, 11:09 am

    The biggest favor the Beebs could have done for Hamas. Heh. He intended to smash Hamas to bits, and break up the Unity government that the rest of the world seemed okay with but he was sore about, and what do you know, it backfired on the war criminal. I think a thank you note from Hamas to the Beebs would be appropriate, after all they were supposed to be losing favorability among the people of Gaza, and it took a vindictive act by Israel to remedy that.
    Beebs has blundered yet again.

    • W.Jones on September 2, 2014, 11:36 am

      The Israelis supposedly helped establish Hamas in the first place as a counterbalance to the moderate PLO.

      • french_jew on September 3, 2014, 10:46 am

        Yes and no, they only very slightly favored the Hamas’s ancestor, Jamaa islamiya, when it was a charity movement but stopped doing so after discovering a weapon stock (my source is french political scientist Anthony Samrani on the topic). This idea is a bit of a western centric conspiracy theory, often shared by the arab lefts, in which movements who use an islamic political language can ONLY be a complete creation of the west, because a movement which uses an islamic political language can ONLY be barbaric and backward. This pretty much is a dismissal of the agency of arab people and their wish to do politics using the guidances that they see fit (in this case “islam” replacing other languages considered to be western in origin: secularist nationalism, marxism, neoliberal free market discourses etc.)

        From a non-arab, non-muslim and non-palestinian perspective, we shouldn’t feel attacked by this, just as we shouldn’t feel attacked if politics in China are expressed using Confucian references.
        And of course, this should make us reflect on the pseudo-universalist language some antizionist jews use to express themselves which is generally no more than a western-centric secular leftist language. We can also criticize zionism from within judaism.

      • W.Jones on September 6, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Early Islamic activism in Gaza

        Among the activists benefited was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, who had also formed the Islamic group Mujama al-Islamiya, a charity recognized by Israel in 1979. Israel allowed the organization to build mosques, clubs, schools, and a library in Gaza.[13]

        Yitzhak Segev, the acting governor of Gaza in 1979, said he had no illusions about Yassin’s intentions

        Segev maintained regular contact with Yassin, met with him around a dozen times, and arranged for Yassin to be taken to Israel for hospital treatment

        Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

        “The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza.” At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories….

        Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison (“on humanitarian grounds”) where he was serving a life sentence… In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.

        The budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority.

  6. David Doppler on September 2, 2014, 11:13 am

    “thereby cemented the realistic political view in the west that this is an intractable conflict on which John Kerry sought to apply bandages that did not work. “There is no peaceful resolution of the conflict” — the understanding conveyed to me by a Spanish friend in Jerusalem — gains force.”

    I disagree, Phil. What the change in opinion demonstrates is that hot conflict polarizes. It’s like you go to a fight, and you don’t know the boxers, don’t know who you are going to root for, may be ambivalent about boxing as a sport, but when the fight starts, more likely than not you like one more than the other, start rooting for him, get a visceral boost when you’re guy lands a good punch. And in a fight, bravery, daring, ability to land and take a punch are honored, while fear, weakness, inability or unwillingness to engage as a fighter are held in contempt. It’s a somatic state of mind molded by evolution, during which combative nature is brought out in everyone.

    It’s like Britain dumping Winston Churchill as soon as WWII ended. He was the right guy for the fight, but once the fight was won, then he was the wrong guy, his combative nature no longer in synch with the needs of his people.

    The ship of state in Israel/Palestine is being driven by the Israeli right, who view the Palestinians as a despised foe, to be crushed and subjugated, their land taken. Among the Palestinians, only those willing to respond combatively earn the respect of their crowd, and any would-be peace-makers in the Israeli side are like anti-boxing picketers, not getting much attention while the fight is ongoing, bringing words and ideas as weapons to a more primitive battle of brute force.

    But somatic states can change, from time of war to time of peace, and blessed are the peacemakers.

    Kerry & Obama have sought to turn down the flames of combat, but unsuccessfully, so far. To say there is no peaceful solution is to resign oneself to the slaughter of the Palestinians. What does the teacher do with a school-yard fight? separate the fighters, scold them, impose sanctions, force them to shake hands. But to do that, the teacher needs bigger size or stronger moral authority, and Obama is unwilling to demonstrate that, unwilling to yank Israel by the collar and scold it. That’s what is ineffective. It’s intractable as long as the US sides with the bully against his victim. Or allows the bully to use the teacher’s authority (and stockpile of weapons) without even having to ask the teacher. The bully turns on the teacher and snaps: “don’t ever second-guess me again,” and the teacher keeps smiling his shit-eating grin, acknowledging that he’s just the bully’s toady.

    It’s actions like these that affect the somatic state of the crowd, which can’t help but notice. Right now, that state is total disgust with our political leadership. You wrote about the “valuable hatred,” of the slavers toward the Abolitionists, attracting the attention of the crowd over time, resulting in a “school of opinion” prepared to endure the Civil War to end slavery. Let’s hope there’s some value in this state of disgust, forming a school of opinion prepared to endure whatever is required to rid ourselves of the current levels of corruption and incompetence in Washington.

    • on September 2, 2014, 2:44 pm

      To say there is no peaceful solution is to resign oneself to the slaughter of the Palestinians? No other possible outcome to a violent struggle?

  7. a blah chick on September 2, 2014, 11:38 am

    “There is no peaceful resolution of the conflict”

    This is true, but only because the people who have the power to smack Israel refuse to do so. Also the Israeli government looks upon non resistance with contempt. It appears that violence is the only thing that gets their attention.

  8. Citizen on September 2, 2014, 11:51 am

    Israel is insane, but the Palestinians are not–what reasonable person would not expect them to see clearly at last with Israel’s latest massacre and track record that they gain nothing but a prison and diet from placating Israel in any way at all?

  9. Sibiriak on September 2, 2014, 11:57 am

    Kay24 : “ The biggest favor the Beebs could have done for Hamas.


    The stronger and more popular Hamas, the stronger and more popular the Israeli right.

  10. Sibiriak on September 2, 2014, 12:04 pm

    Israel’s right wing Zionists, Palestine’s militant resistance are political winners…


    The one-democratic-state-solution idea is dead.

  11. W.Jones on September 2, 2014, 12:38 pm

    From the outset, the Right Wing was bound to take ascendancy until the “demographic problem” of a comparable number of Palestinians and Israelis living in conflict on land that the pro-Israeli nationalists believe belonged to them was solved.

    Both Left and Right Israeli nationalism were formulated as a colonialist movement, and although it’s no longer fashionable to say it, it remains so. The main idea is that the land inherently belongs to the nationalists’ community based on history, and it seriously encourages members of the community around the world to come and settle or colonize the land. That concept reflects the essence of a settler ideology – and it applies even to normally progressive left Zionists.

    Nationalists reply that the land really does belong to them, and that they are returning to it. However, even if both claims are true, this only means that the colonizing movement is seen very positively – ie. as a “Return colony”, in which the settlers are repopulating or reclaiming their land. It does not deny that the movement is itself a colonizing one.

    And how is a colonialist movement to achieve the goal of an Ethnic and Democratic State without serious discrimination or ethnic cleansing when the majority of people already in the land don’t belong to the nationalists’ religious community?

    The nationalists could reorient themselves to become a Palestinian ethnic nationalism, since they claim to be returning – and many of those on the land already are ethnically Jews who stayed but converted to Christianity or Islam. However, the nationalists have hardly considered doing that, and instead remain in reality defined along religious, rather than ethnic lines.

    The other possibility is what the Left Nationalists themselves propose – a Two State Solution. But who is going to hold back the nationalists when they consider the land to be theirs? The Israeli government has undergone a kind of open “mission creep” – their declared goal posts have gradually advanced- from 1947 when it was dedicated to roughly the UN lines to its claims now over the West Bank. If the Palestinians were equal in strength to the nationalists, a parity would likely have occurred. But Palestinians are well overpowered, and when the two groups both claim the same land, who will stop the far more powerful group from gradually taking over it all?

    In other words, while left nationalists may see the two state solution as the most practical, its implementation is not realistic. Why is it unrealistic? Because of the combination of their main belief that the land is inherently theirs, because of the massive power imbalance, their belief in a second Palestinian state is only as a secondary corollary of their main practical goal of establishing an ethnic state. In other words, establishing an ethnic state comes first, making it democratic goes along with that- but Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are seen as outside of that democratic state and thus their rights come second.

    This can be seen through the lens of the experience with the Native Americans and American settlers. The US made treaties with the Indians, and Americans might think that having Indian lands was the best solution. However, American power was so much stronger than the Indians’ that those Indian lands became reduced to parcels. Many states do not even include Indian lands anymore. Nowadays the Indians are so small in number after years of disease and conquest that the government is happy to give them tax and welfare benefits, without giving them full autonomy.

    The Israeli State, however is still in the conquest phase of its colonialism, and Palestinians are so numerous that the government is not prepared to put the Territories on welfare, and to give them their full rights in the Israeli state would make them a majority – unlike Indians in the US.

    Just as the US would make a treaty with the natives and then pioneers would independently move in, looking for new “elbow room”, it’s just the reality that there are Israeli settlers moving in to the territories. Since the main goal is an nationalist state, the state can’t be realistically expected to stop the nationalists from continuing their colonization of what it sees as its rightful land. From the nationalists’ viewpoint, both the West Bank settlers and the Palestinians have a good case – the settlers because the land is theirs and they have the preferred nationality, and the Palestinians because for practical reasons the liberal nationalists have accepted that they should have a state too.

    • W.Jones on September 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

      In shorter words:
      The Left Zionist position is that Israelis have a right to Palestine, but that since Democracy is important and Palestinians are so numerous, the practical answer is to allow the latter to have a state in the land too so that they don’t obstruct the Israeli political majority.

      This ideology in reality sees Palestinian statehood as an inconvenience for the main goal, and a secondary goal so long as it must be reckoned with.

      Left nationalism could not realistically implement this secondary goal, because it sees right wing West Bank settlers as part of their society and their land claims as rightful, and because Palestinians are not so strong that they must be protected. Meanwhile, since Palestinians are resisting conquest, their inconvenient claims can be postponed.

      Finally, from the left nationalist perspective, the “inconvenience” Palestinians present should not be allowed to grow enough where it could seriously interfere with the Israeli state.

    • Marco on September 2, 2014, 2:10 pm

      One quibble – America’s indigenous population isn’t as small as people think. In fact, they make up about 1.7% of the population, which is close to the Jewish percentage.

      Of course, American Indians are pretty much invisible in the national culture.

      • annie on September 2, 2014, 2:12 pm

        Of course, American Indians are pretty much invisible in the national culture.

        that depends on where you are. they are not invisible in either the southwest or in quite a few places in the northwest.

      • on September 2, 2014, 2:45 pm

        They are less than invisible in terms of political and financial power

      • seafoid on September 2, 2014, 3:41 pm

        They are invisible in national duh culture but more than a few of the most interesting Americans are native Americans.

      • W.Jones on September 3, 2014, 12:44 am

        What seafoid said. LOL.

        I would have guessed they were 0.5% to 5% of the population. Muslims are 0.8%. Orthodox Christians (eg. Arab Christians, Greeks, and Russians) are 1.9%. The US Jewish population is 2.1%.

        My main point is that if Native Americans were still 60% of the population, then the US would have a much larger practical issue on its hands with regard to its treatment of them and their political demands. The US has been able to be democratic, give them tax benefits, full citizenship and avoid giving them independence. A nationalistic Israeli state on the other hand doesn’t have that option. It can only give millions of Palestinians land and independence or else violate their civil rights.

    • tod77 on September 2, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Some of what you wrote rings true, but I disagree with most of your conclusions.

      You over simplify the behaviour of the Israeli left, treating ideology as something that cannot be compromised.
      Even if the Israeli left sees the land as historically theirs, that does not mean they believe settlers should be allowed to move in at will. Land in Jordan is also part of the historic Israelite kingdom, yet the Israeli left lays no claim to it.
      If, say Meretz, had 70% of the vote, would settlement expansion continue – I think not.
      Would anyone in the Israeli left agree that Israel is in the conquest phase? – not likely.
      The Israeli left is content with the colony already established pre 1967, and mostly sees the extension of Gaza and the west bank as an inconvenience to be rid of.

      You are also disregarding the extreme left (Gideon Levy as an example), post-zionists, etc…

      There is a lot to criticize the Israeli left about (such as its view on the Palestinian right of return), but what you wrote does not accurately represent left wing Israeli opinions.

      To recap, The Israeli left is willing to “compromise” on the specific points you raised.
      However, this still places its opinions short of a just solution for the Palestinians.

      • seafoid on September 2, 2014, 4:58 pm

        Gideon Levy is extreme left ? God help Israel.

      • just on September 2, 2014, 5:06 pm

        My thought exactly seafoid.

      • tod77 on September 2, 2014, 7:04 pm

        He supports one state solution – democratic non jewish state and bds on Israel until that happens. You can’t get much further left within Israel – you won’t have a lot of Israeli’s saying:”hey, I guess it’s time to return to Poland where we belong”

      • W.Jones on September 3, 2014, 1:55 am

        Hello, Tod.

        You wrote: Some of what you wrote rings true, but I disagree with most of your conclusions.

        My main conclusion is that the Left Zionist position is that Israelis have a right to an Israeli state in Palestine but that Palestinians are so numerous that they should be allowed a Palestinian state in order to have an Israeli majority in the Israeli state. However, Left nationalists could not realistically implement this secondary goal because they would have to act against what are seen as the historical rights of other Israelis and intervene on behalf of Arabs who resist the state.

        Unfortunately you did not produce a compelling reason why the Israeli Left would drive itself hard to make a state for the weak, conquered, rebellious Palestinians, and you ended up agreeing with me by saying “this still places its opinions short of a just solution for the Palestinians.”

        The fact is, if one’s main goal is to have a state dedicated to one nationality only, it can’t be expected that one will dedicate equal energy to allegedly “giving the land away” to a weak nation resisting them.

        (Sidenote: It looks like JeffB agrees with me, and based on his past posts here, that unfortunately confirms what I am saying. )

        Now I will be more specific:

        You write:
        The Israeli left is willing to “compromise” on the specific points you raised
        I actually agree. Even Netanyahu is willing to compromise – if sufficient pressure were put on him. However, the Palestinians by comparison are so weak, and the international community not dedicated enough to realistically expect a compromise.

        The US founders might have theoretically accepted that the Indians should get major land tracts under certain Peace Treaties, but you could not realistically expect them to make a major conflict with large numbers of pioneers who “tamed the west” based on their shared ideology of Manifest Destiny.

        Even if the Israeli left sees the land as historically theirs, that does not mean they believe settlers should be allowed to move in at will. Land in Jordan is also part of the historic Israelite kingdom, yet the Israeli left lays no claim to it. If, say Meretz, had 70% of the vote, would settlement expansion continue.

        First, the issue is not just West Bank settlements, but discrimination in the Green Lin, the Nakba, and the creation of a Palestinian state. Left nationalists could not be expected to drive hard to solve all these issues on behalf of contentious Palestinians and against other Israelis claiming what the Israeli Left sees as historical rights- even if “theoretically” they accept like US founders that settlers shouldn’t move wherever they choose.

        As for Meretz, I suppose you don’t know that even they are building West Bank settlements:

        You ask:
        Would anyone in the Israeli left agree that Israel is in the conquest phase? – not likely.
        What’s your point? If they don’t, then it means that they don’t realize that the West Bank and Gaza are still being subjugated. The West Bank is still under martial law.

        You are right that I am “disregarding the extreme left (Gideon Levy as an example), post-zionists, etc…”
        My comments are specifically about why Left Nationalism could not be expected to independently create a 2SS with full rights for Palestinians in both states. I am not making a criticism of non-nationalists.


      • tod77 on September 3, 2014, 8:29 pm

        Hi W,

        I still do not see why left nationalists could not intervene for the Palestinians, disregarding the “historical right to the land” as a compromise to secure the jewish state set as a goal. The Israeli left, as I read it, would mostly like to see a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza, and an Israeli state in the rest of historic Palestine
        This includes dismantling many, most or all of the settlements currently in the west bank.
        This could be realistically implemented. The biggest flaw, as I mentioned, would not be internal, but rather that this plan does not allow the just return of Palestinians to all of historic Palestine, pre-nakba.
        The expectation thus is for the Palestinians to compromise on this right.
        Why would the Israeli left drive hard for a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza? – to give the Palestinians something that will tempt them to compromise the right of return.

        You wrote that the left could not implement their ideology because it contradicts itself.
        With this I disagree. I do not think this contradiction makes the ideology unrealistic.
        If anything, the ideology is unrealistic because it falls short of satisfying Palestinian rights and wishes, however in my opinion, 1SS seems even more far-fetched with the current state of things.
        By the way, another solution I found very interesting, suggested by the Israeli left, comprises of a temporary 2SS, with gradual transition to 1SS over a few generations.

    • JeffB on September 2, 2014, 4:09 pm

      @WJones —

      Exactly (except for your origin of the Palestinians). So given your quite accurate assessment then the humane solution then becomes Palestinians becoming part of the Israeli nation otherwise… well I think you did a good job of point to what the alternative is likely to be.

      • W.Jones on September 3, 2014, 2:05 am

        Hello, Jeff B. Thanks for your confirmation.

        Regarding the Palestinians’ origins, it isn’t the case that Israeli immigrants are simply Europeans, or that Palestinians are simply from the Arabian desert. In fact, over the centuries they both include a solid mix of decent from ancient Israelites. In the case of the Palestinians, this is shown by DNA tests, cultural studies, customs, linguistics, place names, history, and was even known and discussed to different extents by some early Zionist founders.

        In 1935, a Christian or Muslim family and an Arabic-speaking Jewish family with long roots in the same ancient village may in fact have been divided not by ethnicity but by religion. And their situation was quite common.

      • Talkback on September 3, 2014, 8:05 am

        JeffB: Exactly (except for your origin of the Palestinians).

        Oy vey!

        “Close to nine out of 10 Palestinians in the Land of Israel – Israel proper, Judea, Samaria and Gaza – have Jewish roots. In fact, he says, the percentage in Gaza is somewhat higher than 90 percent.”

        JeffB: So given your quite accurate assessment then the humane solution …

        You know exactly the difference between the humane and the zionist solution. Who are you trying to fool?

  12. seafoid on September 2, 2014, 3:44 pm

    68 seats for the fruitcakes. Would like to know how Israel funds itself going forward. As in who pays the taxes to support the right wing parasites.

    It was interesting to contrast the right wing vitriol , especially that of Bennett, with the suffering of Israeli business during the massacres. A lot of economic damage that didn’t tally with the nonchalance of the cruelty.

  13. seafoid on September 2, 2014, 4:54 pm

    Given the state of Israel’s education system the right wing will be in power indefinitely. The kids are educated not to think.
    But what sort of an economy will Israel have ? “Jewish genius” is fine but it has to be nurtured. And a lot of Sabras are not being educated.

    “The issue is larger than “are there enough dollars to educate our children”
    the issue is “do we WANT to educate our children””

    In Israel the answer is “no”

    • just on September 3, 2014, 7:16 am

      Sefi Rachlevsky:

      “Netanyahu’s Jewish state must stop itself from becoming like ISIS
      True, Netanyahu’s Jewish state is not identical to the Islamic State, but there is a connection between them, and it has concrete effects.

      ……….For all the efforts to instill “Holocaust awareness,” this does not extend to the Jewish culture that preceded it. The culture that won the hearts of the majority of Jews before the Holocaust — the very culture whose overwhelming accomplishments Nazi racism rose up against — was a culture of passion for knowledge. It was an open, revolutionary, humanist culture. It was a culture that admired the world of Einstein, Freud, Zweig, Marx, Kafka, Schoenberg, Berg and many more. And that is precisely what has been tossed out of the schools.

      True, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Jewish state is not identical to the Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), but there is a connection between them, and it has concrete effects. It may be possible to form a regional alliance against messianic racism, but an Israel that moves away from Einstein, metaphorically and in practice, and imprisons itself in a racist educational ghetto sacrifices not only its children’s souls but also the ability to be an influential player in the region. A player that, were it not for its enslavement to racism and the occupation, could have been a partner to the creation of new regional borders, playing a stabilizing role against the extremists.

      Anyone looking at the ruins of consciousness brought on by the dizzying spiral of recent weeks should be worried not only by the rightward shift but also by its roots. When the Kahanist organization Lehava succeeded in pushing its agenda, it was above all due to the roots. Jews and non-Jews cannot marry in Israel — yes, like in that state we study so much. It’s the price of trampling humanist science education in Israel.

      Netanyahu positioned himself as the opposite of Yitzhak Rabin this week, by declaring that security is the country’s top priority. Loyal to the principle of “did you murder and also inherit?,” he also sacrificed Israel’s most prized possession, slashing the budget for schools and higher education. It’s not only the opposite of Ben-Gurion and of Churchill, who during World War II refused to cut education and culture budgets in favor of defense — otherwise, why fight? Israel, which enjoys the miracle of Hebrew culture, already spends only one-tenth of the accepted norm in developed nations on culture. And the substance is worse than the shortage.

      Next year a new school system should be founded, based on what should be the foundation: humanistic science education, that will allow the world of culture and research that Jews took for granted before the Holocaust to flower again. Our children will come to know the Judaism, Christianity and Islam that one flourished here, and philosophy, ethics and free thought will again be the foundation.

      This is not only desirable and possible, but necessary. There is nothing without consciousness. The state was founded under much harder conditions. The alternative is living in the world of ISIS. ”

      • eljay on September 3, 2014, 8:00 am

        >> True, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Jewish state is not identical to the Islamic State …

        Zio-supremacists must be thrilled to have yet another bottom-of-the barrel country to which they can compare their supremacist “Jewish State” and proudly conclude that it is “not quite that bad”.

      • ziusudra on September 3, 2014, 12:37 pm

        Greetings just,
        ….It was a culture that admired Einstein, Freud, Zweig, Marx, Kafka, Schoenberg, Berg etc……

        May i add Mendelssohn Bartoldy, Gustav Mahler, Meyerbeer, etc.
        Above all none of these Protagonists would have come to fruition without the progress that Moses Maimonides and especially Moses Mendelssohn of the Enlightenment making it all possible. Judaism should look once again at these two giants for guidance and not politicians!

  14. Mooser on September 2, 2014, 8:15 pm

    “In Israel the answer is “no”

    So they can’t educate them, and they can’t bequeath them a stable and peaceful Israel. Well, I hope they leave them a lot of money. They will need it.

    • Citizen on September 3, 2014, 7:30 am

      @ Mooser
      Oh, I don’t know. I don’t see any sign the US will not keep giving billions–Obama’s WH just registered a complaint about the biggest Israeli land grab in 30 years, but it’s still all carrots, no sticks. Further, I see from the latest J-Post article that Germany just gave Israel its 4th nuclear ready Dolphin submarine, with a 5th deep-discounted one on the way. This gives Israel second-strike capability.

    • seafoid on September 3, 2014, 10:51 am

      Rogel Alpher on why he’s leaving Disneyland

      I need to leave the country. My Israeliness and my Jewishness are not essential to my identity. I hold a foreign passport, not just technically, but psychologically. Israel is my home but it is not correct to say I have no other.

      Like every cosmopolitan person, strictly secular and with a universalist worldview, well-steeped in the global culture and speaking fluent English, I can have many other homes. There are quite a few countries where I could settle, make a living and feel comfortable. Like anyone who believes strongly that he lives only once and has a right to fulfill his personal desires and flourish with a minimum of sacrifice required for the country where he pays taxes and receives educational, welfare and other services, it is clear to me that Israel offers me a bum deal and there are far better deals out there in the world. Like any parents who believe that their children have no patriotic duty toward the Israel of today, and they do not need to risk their lives or die serving it, I have no doubt that I am doing them wrong by raising them here.

      I’m not talking about morality. I don’t want this article to be yet another empty debate about the occupation. I am talking in a practical and sober language. I am trying to be realistic, like Pensioner Affairs Minister Uri Orbach. He claims that we must concede that in our lifetime and that of our children, every few years we will have to wage a war in which civilians will be killed too. He is right. These are the facts of our lives. Missiles will continue to fall on us, because of settlers like him and because of extremist Arab groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic State.

      My fate and the fate of my children will be determined here by people who have a God whom they talk to and in whose name they act. I think they are crazy. What are the alternatives? The racist forces of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman? The empty words of Yair Lapid? The useless pessimism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? For them, and for their voters, to be a Jew living in Israel is the most important thing, and it’s worth dying for. And they shape our lives according to that principle. They live at Yad Vashem.

      I belong to a dying breed in Israel. I can’t influence the situation. I have no interest in devoting myself to the struggle against the occupation. I believe that it is useless. There will be no compromise. No Palestinian state will be established, and a binational state will be hell.

      I watch Channel 2, listen to Army Radio, read the website Walla and the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth – and feel like I don’t belong; that there’s nothing for me here, not even in the Tel Aviv bubble. I don’t want to live in a bubble, certainly not one that’s protected by an Iron Dome.

      If you identify with me you will certainly admit that you will encourage your children to seek their future elsewhere in the world, for the sake of their personal security, psychological and economic wellbeing. Israel is not worth the price it is exacting from us. There is a nationalist-religious-ultra-Orthodox majority, and our lifestyle will not survive in our homeland. We have a much better chance of maintaining it elsewhere. That’s the truth.”

      • Mooser on September 3, 2014, 11:28 am

        “Israel is not worth the price it is exacting from us.”

        it’s easy to see through that guy. He just doesn’t like Jews.
        And oh, the existential horror of having too many places to go!

      • ziusudra on September 3, 2014, 12:47 pm

        Greetings seafoid,
        very moving, thanks.
        … his Jewishness….
        Is not restricted to Israel.
        He could live in good company in N.Y., Mia, Lax, Ber, Rom,Par,Lon.
        He could freely profess to his Judaism w/o Zionism.
        PS as a lapsed catholic, i don’t profess regardless where i live.
        I thought that might tickle you.

  15. just on September 2, 2014, 11:58 pm

    Mandy Patinkin just said he might run for PM of Israel. How I wish!!!

    (This is an amazing interview on Colbert.)

  16. bilal a on September 3, 2014, 2:57 am

    Can Mainstream journalists verify if it is really true that the beheading videos ( of journalists sympathetic to Palestine) are distributed as the same source of the OBL videos, with an IP address shared with the Israeli company MEMI?

    “And the next time you just happen to “discover” the latest AQ/BL tape, try and be a bit more discreet in announcing the release of the tape.
    After all, when you best out the world’s intelligence agencies on a regular basis in “finding” these tapes, people tend to be a bit suspicious.

    P.S. One more suggestion: It might make your latest incarnation of SITE more believable if the IP address wasn’t the same as another MOSSAD asset, MEMRI. See, you both have the same IP address.

    Checking with Whois one can easily find IP addresses, so having the same IP number as another MOSSAD asset, well, let’s say that some might find that a bit more convenient than necessary.”

    • bilal a on September 3, 2014, 6:30 pm

      why would an IDF veteran be sent into Syria by Foreign Policy magazine?

      Steven Sotloff, killed by Islamic State, had deep roots in Israel
      Freelance journalist captured and beheaded in Syria was Jewish, held Israeli citizenship and earned his undergraduate degree at IDC

    • bilal a on September 3, 2014, 6:34 pm

      “Sotloff, Kessler said, never shared his Jewish identity with anyone in the field, opting instead to tell locals that he had been raised Muslim but secular, without mosque affiliation. He sometimes even chose to tell people that he was of Chechen origin, and that Sotloff – a name that rings decidedly Jewish to those familiar with Jewish names – was actually a Chechen name.

      • annie on September 3, 2014, 6:37 pm

        opting instead to tell locals that he had been raised Muslim but secular

        lol, it’s hard to find anything funny about this story but this is. why not go all the way and call himself mohammed.

  17. HarryLaw on September 3, 2014, 6:50 am

    After what Netanyahu said before the Gaza massacre about Israel never recognizing a true sovereign Palestinian state, without a permanent Israeli military presence in the West Bank, And when most voices told Abbas that the 9 month negotiations insisted on by Kerry would lead nowhere except disaster for the Palestinians, what is being proposed now by Abbas, yes, another 9 month period of negotiations to end the occupation with an end to settlement building. If Israel does not agree with the timetable for the talks then Abbas will approach other UN Agencies and the ICC. Abbas is desperate he has nowhere to go except to agree on more futile talks, the Israelis sensing this desperation will agree to such talks but pan them out for years and in the meantime continue the annexation process under cover of the peace talks. Abbas will never learn. link

  18. Kathleen on September 3, 2014, 11:18 am

    This morning (Wednesday) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe they actually had an expert about the middle east on who stood against the invasion of Iraq. General Zinni instead of their regular’s like Iraq warmongers Bill Kristol, Thomas Friedman, Danille Pletka etc. Zinni was very clear about U.S. options in regard to IS. Zinni stated that the U.S. did not have “much choice” but could not deal with IS “unilaterally”

    Ayman Mohyelden actually brought up potential root causes of the violence towards U.S. He asked Zinni about the ongoing illegal expansion of Israel’s west bank settlements. Zinni avoided the root causes issue but did say that Israel’s continued illegal actions were the “beginning of the end” for a two state solution.

    Few talking about these innocent journalist who have been so brutally killed being in orange suits and the connection to U.S. killings and torture in Abu Gharib, black sites and Gitmo.

    • Taxi on September 3, 2014, 11:57 am

      There’s a lot of internet chatter about how the journalists’ beheading videos are fake. I haven’t seen the videos myself but apparently both videos of the US journo beheadings are not shot in one continuous shot, but are cut and edited – that you never actually see the ‘act’ of beheading itself. The second beheading, that of Mr. slatoff – apparently he’s an American-israeli dual citizen, using his American passport in Syria. Hmmmmm.

      • Kathleen on September 4, 2014, 11:16 am

        Redongdiculous. However while the U.S. MSM is loaded up with coverage about these horrific beheadings. Still little to no coverage or accounting for U.S. torture and killings at Abu Gharib, black sites and Gitmo. Horrendous crimes against humanity have been committed by many. A true accounting is important.

        I totally support ransoms for journalist who have put their own lives on the line to report accurately. Understand that those ransoms cannot be from the government.

  19. Mike Northern on September 3, 2014, 4:50 pm

    I just realized that Gaza has to buy all its building materials from Israel. Israel will not allow any other countries products in. So they destroy Gaza’s infrastructure with US supplied munitions and delivery systems and then make money selling materials mostly paid for by US taxpayers to rebuild it. Are we completely out of our minds???

  20. Tuyzentfloot on September 4, 2014, 4:27 am

    I think it would be useful to review the relationship between armed and unarmed resistance.
    In my experience many people sympathetic with the Palestinian cause have always tried to distance themselves as much as possible from Hamas and other armed resistance movements. There are both valid and questionable reasons for this.
    There’s a bit of a shift now vis-a-vis Hamas , and possibly a bit of disillusionment about nonviolent resistance. One should be aware of the range of possible positions. For one thing, it doesn’t have to be either/or. There can be a place for both.

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