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Elliott Abrams wants John Kerry to STFU about Palestine

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At a time when many of us are trying to understand the motivation of terrorists, and the relevance of the Israel/Palestine conflict to terrorism (including possibly in California), Secretary of State John Kerry is being trolled on this question by the neoconservative Elliott Abrams. I wish I could say that Abrams, a former Bush aide who is an ardent supporter of Israel (and was convicted of lying to Congress a generation ago), didn’t have influence. But actually he is helping to set the red lines of discussion in Washington. 

Kerry’s first recent offense came in October, when he linked extremist violence to Israeli settlement building. In this appearance at Harvard on October 13, you will see that he went directly from the greatest challenge of our generation being international terrorism, to the need for Palestinian statehood. He began by saying that young people in North Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia need better government or they will be tempted to become suicide bombers.

I think.. the challenge of – violent extremist, religious radical extremism, is the challenge of our generation, of all of us together. And we’re going to have to do a lot more to help countries to help themselves. Now, that became a bad word in the 1980s and ’90s in America – nation building. It’s still a bad word probably in a lot of places.

But I got news for you. If we don’t do a better job of taking our values and our interests and marrying them and engaging with the rest of the world to give greater capacity to international multilateral efforts, it’s going to come back to haunt people. And so I’m very clear about sort of where we are. If you support a two-state – I’ll bet – how many people in this room support a two-state solution in Israel? …

So here’s the deal. What’s happening is that unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody. And there’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don’t see any movement. So I look at that and I say if that did explode – and I pray and hope it won’t and I think there are options to prevent that – but we would inevitably be – at some point we’re going to have to be engaged in working through those kinds of difficulties. So better to try to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later.

The occupation of Palestine as a grievance fostering international terrorism is a verboten idea for Israel supporters; and Elliott Abrams promptly landed on Kerry, writing two days later at the Council on Foreign Relations site that the comments were “morally obtuse and factually wrong” and that Kerry was blaming the victims. The idea that settlement growth is endangering the alleged two-state solution is

a false claim and he should know it. If that is not what Kerry meant, he should be far more careful when he speaks about such an explosive topic–and at such an explosive moment…

[T]he false linkage to settlements is of a piece with the Obama administration’s continuing obsession with that subject–despite all the evidence. It’s remarkable that the Secretary of State, who has spent so much time with Israelis and Palestinians and has visited Jerusalem repeatedly, has not bothered to learn the basic facts. He is instead parroting Palestinian propaganda..

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the remarks, saying there had been no massive increase in settlements, and the State Department walked back Kerry’s comments a bit, and so did the White House.

Then came the November 13 slaughter in Paris, with 129 victims of orchestrated suicide attacks; and on November 17, Kerry spoke to the US embassy to France and distinguished between those attacks and the January attacks in Paris.

There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo [in January], and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn’t them and doesn’t pledge to be that. And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I’ve ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism – I mean, you name it.

Five days ago, Elliott Abrams wrote a piece called “Unspeakable Kerry” in the Weekly Standard, accusing John Kerry of anti-Semitism for his “unforgivable” comments on the Charlie Hebdo killings. He pointed out that a coordinated attack that January day killed four at a kosher supermarket.

The more shocking message he delivered was that the November killings in Paris are more terrible than those of January. Why? Because the earlier killings, of cartoonists and Jews, were .  .  . were what? First he said the previous attacks “had a legitimacy in terms of” and then stopped himself. Even Kerry realized that what he was about to say was indefensible: that they had a legitimacy in terms of the beliefs of the attackers, who were offended after all by nasty cartoons of Muhammad. And as to the Jews, well, perhaps the attackers were offended by the mere existence of Jews, or perhaps in Kerry’s misguided view they were deeply moved by the real or imagined plight of Palestinians.

Ali Gharib at Lobelog seized on this point, and brought up the motivation of Amedy Coulibaly, the 32-year-old Frenchman who killed four hostages at the kosher supermarket before he was killed by police:

I was struck by Abrams’s line that “perhaps in Kerry’s misguided view [the attackers] were deeply moved by the real or imagined plight of Palestinians.” One doesn’t need to look to Kerry’s view at all in this case: the assailants were very clear. Coulibaly had called into a French television station and told them so: “[H]e explained also why he did this: to defend oppressed Muslims, he said, notably in Palestine,” a journalist at the television station recounted. “And finally he explained that he’d chosen the kosher store “because he was targeting Jews.” The logic there is terribly anti-Semitic and reprehensible to its core, but that was indeed the logic. To entirely ignore how the gunmen themselves described the attacks in order to make nasty imputations about a politician with whom he disagrees on a reasonable rhetorical point, even if many of us might find that point incorrect, is misguided to say the least.

Gharib points out that Abrams painted Chuck Hagel as an anti-Semite just three years back, comments that helped to damage the future and former Defense Secretary.

One other point. In this latest piece, Elliott Abrams says that ISIS is Islam:

[Kerry] repeated the ludicrous line that what ISIS is doing “has nothing to do with Islam.” We are dealing with a group that calls itself the Islamic State and recruits Sunnis from Muslim communities across the world. The group then imposes its version of sharia on territory it conquers. Its every statement and its entire raison d’être are permeated with its view of what true Islam requires.

This comment can be flipped on its head and applied to Israel: It calls itself the Jewish state and recruits Jews from around the world. In fact, Abrams has said that Jews must stand apart from the society they live in except when they are in Israel: “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live.” And meantime Israel has theocratic tendencies and it massacres and persecutes Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people.

Below is my photo of the notorious Ofer Prison in the occupied territories, from Highway 443 on the way to the Tel Aviv airport. To visitors from all over the world, Israel puts its flag with the Jewish star atop a facility famous for the detention of Palestinian protesters. Is this really what Jews want to be known for? Shouldn’t American Jews be pushing for Israel to become a secular society?

Ofer prison by night

Ofer prison by night

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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71 Responses

  1. yonah fredman
    December 6, 2015, 2:19 pm

    The killings in January of the Jews at the kosher market are not substantially different from the killings in Paris a month ago, except that somehow because Jews = Israel is considered a kosher equation but Parisians = French policy in the Middle East is treif. I say that both are treif and Kerry’s white washing of the killings at the kosher market are wrong. (okay white washing is not right, because he didn’t quite say that, he kind of said it, so he kinda white washed instead of really white washing.) But this idea that killing Jews in Paris is kosher but killing Parisians out at the cafes is wrong, is wrong.

    • amigo
      December 6, 2015, 3:08 pm

      “But this idea that killing Jews in Paris is kosher but killing Parisians out at the cafes is wrong, is wrong.” yf

      Kerry never made any such statement and you know it.Why do you zionists have to be such liars.

      Don,t bother responding—we all know why you lie.

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2015, 3:10 pm

        Thanks, “amigo”.

      • just
        December 6, 2015, 3:16 pm

        Ditto that, Mooser.

      • Eva Smagacz
        December 6, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Beat me to it, Amigo!

      • yonah fredman
        December 6, 2015, 3:29 pm

        yes, indeed this comments section is designed to make all commenters welcome, as long as they agree with the party line.

        Kerry’s statement was so mealy mouthed that it is wrong to try to put any statement rather than hemming and hawing as a translation for what he said. what he was trying to say is that unlike the killing of charlie hebdo which was not legitimized but in some way understandable because the prophet Mohammad had been vilified in its cartoons, the attack on the cafes had no specific target of that sort. kerry was not at all referring to the kosher supermarket, because the murderers themselves were just adding it on: like the partridge in a pear tree. 7 vulgar cartoonists and a foursome of yidden buying matzo ball soup. so it was the charlie hebdo killings that he was saying was different than the killing of just regular folk. but the fact is that the charlie hebdo killings were accompanied by the killings in the kosher market and those were essentially equivalent to the cafe killings in a way that the charlie hebdo killings were not.

      • Mooser
        December 6, 2015, 4:46 pm

        “7 vulgar cartoonists and a foursome of yidden buying matzo ball soup.”

        “Yonah” what the hell is that supposed to be, part of “Fredman’s Wake”? How on earth can anybody read or parse that comment?

    • oldgeezer
      December 6, 2015, 3:25 pm

      @yonah
      ” Jews = Israel ”

      You can thank zionists in general and king netanyahoo in particular for that false belief.

    • Boo
      December 7, 2015, 11:15 am

      “Jews = Israel is considered a kosher equation”

      Not at all. American Jews /= Israel.

      But “Palestine = Israel” is certainly treyf, and so is the illegal occupation.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      December 7, 2015, 12:42 pm

      John Kerry must be strong and resist labels against him. If he can take an honest stand, he will have the admiration and respect of all who desire peace and justice. This will take strength and conviction.

  2. amigo
    December 6, 2015, 2:23 pm

    Kerry,s latest sin.

    “WASHINGTON – In a speech harshly critical of Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Saturday that current trends in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are leading to a one-state reality.

    Addressing the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Kerry also warned of the Palestinian Authority’s collapse and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prove that his support for the two-state solution isn’t just a slogan but a part of Israeli policy.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.690205

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.690205

    No pay wall on this article and nietanyahu,s rebuff is also available at the same link.

  3. Krauss
    December 6, 2015, 2:36 pm

    To those who deny that neoconservative influence exists as a major force within the democratic party(in particular the donor class) should ask themselves why the WH and the State department feel compelled to back down in the face of attacks from this guy yet someone like Cheney is an open target.

    Cheney doesn’t represent clan/tribal interests in the same way that Abrams does. Cheney is an idiot and a warmonger, but he believes in the American empire. He attempts to speak on behalf of the nation.

    Abrams doesn’t believe in the American empire in the same sense. He pragmatically supports it, but only because he sees that as beneficial to his favorite state, Israel. He doesn’t care as much whether it hurts or helps America, except to the extent that America will be able to carry out its hegemonic role in the Middle East to further cement Israel’s position.

    Why is Abrams being taken seriously, even having been disastrously wrong on every major foreign policy issue in the last two decades? Money and power, basically. It’s why Obama is sycophantic to someone like Jeff Goldberg, who has the ears of the machers in the Zionist-Jewish community, who in turn have the purse strings to decide candidates.

    It’s not just the democratic party, look at how the Singer/Adelson types make supposed mainstream candidates like Rubio, Cruz and Bush dance in circles. People who say we shouldn’t talk about this because it invokes stereotypes about Jews, I say, we’ve tried that approach. It was part of the reason why there was no real opposition to Iraq.

    It’s why the Iran deal wasn’t killed, because this issue was being talked about much more openly(which led to hysteric attacks about “anti-Semitism” if you remember). These things matter. We have to be open about the fact that American policy in the Middle East is to a large extent driven by clannish/tribal interests rather than a dispassionate approach.

    This recent grovelling is yet another item on a long list of evidence to support that.

    • zaid
      December 7, 2015, 1:48 am

      Ivri

      Speaking of prediction, aren’t you the idiot who predicted a world wide battle with Islam after the Paris attacks, and a change in the world attitude towards every thing Islamic including Palestine…..what happened….are you always wrong…have you ever got anything right!

      Spare us…

      Ivri:

      “It is amazing how delusional people can be. The fight with Islamists is the next Big Thing – it`s the return of the Clash of Civilization with vehemence. Did you hear what any of the presidential candidates on the Republican side has just said? Are you listening to the voices from Europe – West and East?
      Combine this terror act with many in France that were recently foiled and the Charlie Hebdo one that was not with the situation in other European capitals; the inextricable link to the current Immigration crisis in Europe (one of the assailants belonged there); the continual horrible scenes from Syria and Iraq and Libya; the surging violence in the west-Bank – just to name some prominent cases – and you will see where it is all heading,.”

      • ivri
        December 7, 2015, 10:22 am

        @Zaid: “Aren`t you the idiot who predicted…..”
        Thanks for the compliment but are you absolutely sure I was wrong?

  4. ivri
    December 6, 2015, 2:46 pm

    In a cited link in the article the father of the Californian killer says that his son was obsessed with Israel so the father tells his son; “nobody wants the Jews… In 2 years there will be no Israel”.
    It is amazing to what extent these people got carried away with Israel – no less than a historic-level phenomenon. And this soothing prediction about the fate of Israel while in reality just so many Islamic countries, including the father`s origin (Pakistan, if I remember right), are in tatters.
    I don`t think, given what is at stake here, that there is any rational explanation for this. Especially at this time where the Israel case and the so called “Palestinian plight” is in respect infinitesimal in magnitude compared to what goes on in the Muslim world and in Arabia. It defies any logical reasoning and in some peculiar sense it actually magnifies the Jewish/Israel sage – a very small country that is attributed such a global centrality or seen so important by many (not just Muslims but also European detractors of Israel) is not something of the ordinary.
    It will only be with hindsight that the Israel phenomenon will be understood – depending of course also on how matters will evolve. But the most fascinating question here is; Can small Israel, given the looming demise of Europe, the actual collapse of the Islamic world and the close relations it has with many ”big guys” of the world become what the ancient Hebraic prophets predicted for it? If so then something truly big, almost metaphysical, is taking place right in front of our eyes!

    • Annie Robbins
      December 6, 2015, 3:27 pm

      was obsessed with Israel so the father tells his son; “nobody wants the Jews… In 2 years there will be no Israel”.

      more accurately, the google translation says https://www.lastampa.it/2015/12/06/esteri/il-pap-del-killer-di-san-bernardino-affascinato-dallisis-odiava-israele-t52TU5O4wHwqD1uYHmzsGJ/pagina.html

      What does it mean?
      “I kept telling him always: stay calm, be patient, two years Israel will no longer exist. Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China, America too, nobody wants the Jews there. Li will report in Ukraine. What good fight? We have done that and we lost. Israel is not fighting with weapons, but with politics. He, however, nothing was fixed. ”
      Fixed on what?
      “She was angry with Israel.”
      He had contacts with terrorists abroad?
      “I do not know. But these days, who knows, with the internet and all that technology? “.

      just thought i’d point that out — the (important) omission.

      and the article says he was “secured against Israel”, not obsessed with.

      • DaBakr
        December 6, 2015, 7:51 pm

        @an

        okay. so what does “secured against Israel” mean?

        And leave it to a Pakistani -0ver a 1000 kms away and one of the newest nations to embrace Islam as its national religion to be the most upset at Israels existence. I was once told by a Palestinian that the reason he thought the Pakistanis were so belligerently and loudly against Israel was that as the ‘new guys’ to Islam they were trying to prove their chops by out-hating Israel more then the actual bordering nations affected by the conflict. Haven’t thought of that much until now. Obviously-one can’t paint all Pakistan with one brush but there might be something to it.*

        *as in: when was the last time a Palestinian committed a terror crime in the US since RFK? I can’t think of any. (yeah-i’m well aware of the conspiracy nuts who have all sorts of theories about Sirhan Sirhan. save them for somebody else if you have them)

      • talknic
        December 7, 2015, 6:19 am

        @ DaBakr “okay. so what does “secured against Israel” mean?”

        Internet – ever heard of it? Damn useful … http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/secure+against

        Simple. Same as a house may be secured against thieves. Or one can be secured against the nonsense peddled by Israel’s apologists by running a check on what they claim

        ” I was once told by a Palestinian … “

        Sure you were… Were they Christian, Muslim or non-secular

        ” as the ‘new guys’ to Islam”

        Uh?

    • JWalters
      December 6, 2015, 4:51 pm

      “Can small Israel, given the looming demise of Europe, the actual collapse of the Islamic world and the close relations it has with many ”big guys” of the world become what the ancient Hebraic prophets predicted for it? If so then something truly big, almost metaphysical, is taking place right in front of our eyes!”

      Glad to see you admit clearly that this tribal horsesh*t is what excites and motivates you. It’s the only sensible explanation for zionism’s extreme denial of reality and self-centered arrogance.

    • John O
      December 6, 2015, 7:10 pm

      @ivri

      ‘…the Israel case and the so called “Palestinian plight”’

      Why do you use the term “so called” for the Palestinian case or cause?

      • kalithea
        December 7, 2015, 1:41 am

        Why do you use the term “so called” for the Palestinian case or cause?

        You know why. He’s an ay-hat and I’m being really kind.

    • kalithea
      December 7, 2015, 12:19 am

      @ ivri

      Lordie, this has to be the most delusional post I’ve ever read! Quit dreaming with the collapse of the Islamic world. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world growing exponentially so I suggest you start learning to live with that reality! And speaking of insanity and trying the same thing over and over again, stop trying to fit your round peg racist country into the square hole you Zionists insisted on barging into. And it is it is, a small shitty little country with supremacist illusions of grandeur. If so then something truly big, almost metaphysical, is taking place right in front of our eyes! Yeah, it’s really big alright and right in front of your eyes too…sheesh! Headline: The only thing in front of your lying eyes is that big thing coming straight at your Zionist country that looks like the gigantic iceberg it’s about to crash into that’s going to sink your fairy tale atlantis, the Empire that never will be, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

      So are you awake yet? Yeah, it was just a cult, that’s all.

      • ivri
        December 7, 2015, 2:00 am

        @kalithea
        Try to see the backdrop: It is not as if the world is moving on some normal course. Can`t you see that the “Comeback of the Jews” is happening right when the world itself is on an edge in broader regards and in several ways. I hate to detail that – it`s not cheerful – but I am sure that it is clear to you that Humanity and the human-world are approaching a very particular juncture in their historical trajectory: it is not “business as usual” anymore – just in a new format (as was always the case in history).
        And it is here where the metaphysical suggests itself in an almost natural way, and it is against this backdrop that the sudden surge of an ancient nation to such global centrality – while the other parts of the Western Hemisphere are in a continual slide – demands explanations. And what you (and others) keep writing is indeed the BEST proof of that – attributing some omnipotence to the “Zionists” that purportedly drive everything in this world. How come this is at all possible and why don`t Turkey, Iran, Pakistan or Austria do that? How comes what happens with petite Israel is such a central issue in the eyes of so many and for so long? After all other problems in the world dwarf the Israel-Palestinian case 1000 times.
        It is here where the “delusional” that you refer to is perhaps self-delusional on your side. Can`t you see what`s going on? Is everything “normal” in your eyes?

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2015, 1:56 pm
    • talknic
      December 7, 2015, 6:58 am

      @ ivri does delusional 101 Ziospeil

      “.. in reality just so many Islamic countries, including the father`s origin (Pakistan, if I remember right), are in tatters.”

      Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen are in tatters. They definitely share one thing in common, Western interference extending over a century. There’s no apparent evidence of Pakistan being in tatters

      “Especially at this time where the Israel case and the so called “Palestinian plight” is in respect infinitesimal in magnitude compared…”

      Ah some predictably tepid what aboutery … LOL. Is it habit or in the brief?

      “so called” ? The Zionist Federation DID decide to colonize Palestine in 1897 http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8632-jewish-colonial-trust-the-judische-colonialbank
      Israel IS the Occupying Power & Israel IS building more and more illegal settlements in non-Israeli territory in breach of the Laws emphasized and reaffirmed in UNSC resolutions http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8
      Israel IS illegally exploiting non-Israeli resources in non-Israeli territories.
      It isn’t infinitesimal for a Palestinian to be occupied their entire life

      BTW, Israel doesn’t have a ‘case’, it only has the oh so precious US UNSC veto vote and that only enables the frog to remain in the pot.

      There is no legal (or moral) case for Israel being in breach of International Law or the UN Charter. No legal or moral case for Israeli demands on recognition as the Jewish State or a dis armed Palestinian state or territorial swaps (especially when Israel wants to swap non-Israeli territories for non-Israeli territories so it can keep non-Israeli territories), no legal or moral basis for illegal settlements.

      The Palestinians on the other hand ask for LESS THAN their legal rights and have offered to cede 78% of their rightful territory for peace with Israel. They are under no legal or moral obligation to forgo ANY of their legal rights to Israel or anyone else

      “It will only be with hindsight that the Israel phenomenon will be understood ..”

      Hindsight like looking at the blatant lies told by the Jewish Agency, JNF, the Zionist Federation, Israeli propaganda, Israel Govt for the last 68 years. We can do that now! http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

      “… given the looming demise of Europe, the actual collapse of the Islamic world …”

      Lay off the Ziocaine

      “and the close relations it has with many ”big guys” of the world become what the ancient Hebraic prophets predicted for it?”

      The ancient Hebraic prophets don’t seem to mention Europe or Islam. Maybe because they didn’t exist in the days of the ancient Hebraic prophets. Their land lubber knowledge of the world BTW was limited to one tiny region

  5. Kay24
    December 6, 2015, 3:03 pm

    I wish they had the intelligence to realize that people are sick of the word “anti-semitism” which has been misused, and abused, to shut criticism, and make those criticizing feel intimidated.
    People with half a brain know what anti-semitism is really like, and it is time American leaders like John Kerry showed these zionist minions that he is not intimidated, nor will be stop being honest about Israel’s massive failures. When will the State Department every speak up for John Kerry, and say accusing him of anti-semitism is the most ridiculous thing coming from a so called professional journalist/writer? If the zionists in the US want to feign outrage whenever someone criticized Israel’s numerous crimes, let them, it is all part of their attempts to make people STFU.

  6. Boomer
    December 6, 2015, 3:06 pm

    “Shouldn’t American Jews be pushing for Israel to become a secular society?”

    Not being Jewish, I won’t address that; I don’t really care what kind of society Jews in Israel make for themselves, as long as it does not involve oppressing Palestinians. I will say–as you often have– that American Jews have a key role in setting U.S. policy regarding Israel: it is what it is largely due to their influence. As for me, I would like to see all Americans, regardless of their religion, “push” for the U.S. to end its support for the oppression and dispossession of Palestinians.

    BTW: not surprisingly, the writer of the interesting JP article you link to equates criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. That’s dangerous for Jews, I would think. By definition, equations work both ways.

    • Boomer
      December 7, 2015, 9:10 am

      Update: CBS News this Morning reports that the father of the male California shooter now denies telling the Italian paper what was previously reported, and cited by the JP article linked above. Not sure what to make of that.

  7. just
    December 6, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Clinton pops up @ her pimp’s place with her usual ode to Israel:

    “WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton  addressed the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C. Sunday, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that the “one-state solution is no solution, but prescription for conflict,” adding that the alternative to the current Palestinian leadership might be ISIS.

    According to the Democratic presidential hopeful, though some “in the Israeli government don’t see Abbas as a partner” the “alternative for Abbas might be ISIS.” She asked, “What is the alternative? Who is better?”

    Clinton said that “Israel should take action, including on settlements,” noting that “all US governments were against expansion of settlements,” but noted that “converging interests between Israel and Arab states might contribute to peace.”

    She called “on Arab states to update the Arab peace initiative and recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” and called on Israel to respond to the initiative.

    “I understand the frustration that people feel about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but we shouldn’t give up…  as president I would begin to move forward again on peace process.”

    Clinton said that the U.S. stands with Israel “now and forever,” adding “Israel faces growing threats around it,” and noting the presence of an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s restive Sinai region.

    “Israel needs a strong America by its side, and we need a strong Israel by our side,” she said, urging “the strong US-Israeli relations” be taken to the “next level.”

    “We need an Israel that is a bastion of stability. An Israel strong enough to deter its enemies and take steps in the direction of peace. We need an Israel whose pluralism is a rebuke to radicals across the nation,” she said.

    Clinton commented on the recent string of terror attacks in Israel, and called on the Palestinian leadership to condemn “incitement and anti-Israel rhetoric.”

    “Israeli children have been killed, as have Palestinian children. Just a few weeks ago an American, Erza Schwartz, was killed. Palestinian leaders should combat incitement and anti-Israel rhetoric. The right to be safe is not just for Americans but also for Israelis and Palestinians.”…”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.690375

    No mention of the state- sponsored extrajudicial murdering of Palestinian people and wounding of thousands by Israel and its IOF and illegal settlers, including Palestinian Americans:

    “Palestinian killed ‘in cold blood’ Friday was reportedly an American citizen” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/palestinian-reportedly-american#sthash.Rvl99mHx.dpuf

    Nor any mention of the Israeli- American illegal settler terrorist who murdered by fire the Dawabshe family:

    “U.S. Citizen, Israel Keller, Member of Jewish Terror Ring”

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2015/12/04/walla-u-s-citizen-member-of-jewish-terror-ring/

    • JWalters
      December 6, 2015, 4:36 pm

      “[A]s president I would begin to move forward again on peace process.” – Hillary

      Hillary will get nowhere on a peace process. Once you’re beholden to the mob there’s no backing out. And there’s no appeasing them. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. My hunch is these are agreed-upon election statements.

    • kalithea
      December 7, 2015, 12:56 am

      “Israel needs a strong America by its side, and we need a strong Israel by our side,” she said, urging “the strong US-Israeli relations” be taken to the “next level.”…We need an Israel that is a bastion of stability

      Yaaagh! Where’s the soap? I need a shower after immersing myself into so much hogwash! Hillary’s Zionist mantra bores me to tears; she seems to think the sham, defunct peace process is still trending like her latest pantsuit. Just imagine having that bullshet regurgitated for 8 lonnnng years; it’s enough to send someone running hysterically screaming into Trump’s arms…what a nightmarish thought! By the end of her first term, we’ll have an exact count of every wrinkle on her face–we’ll be that bored to death. It’s a choice between Hillary ego and Trump ego…hmmm, decisions, decisions. Mr. Orange Hair is suddenly squeaking by.

      America is doomed; Cheney’s shadow is about to resurrect.

      p.s – In today’s America, a live American illegal settler terrorist who murdered is worth 10 or more dead Palestinians. Sorry for the cynicism; I’m just telling it like it is.

  8. JWalters
    December 6, 2015, 4:11 pm

    Abrams has nothing by empty scolding, massive factual omissions, and outright lies, the usual Israeli recipe for “discussion”. Research has shown clearly that most “radicalized” Muslims, including those in ISIS, are NOT motivated by religious factors. They are almost always POLITICALLY motivated. Suppressing this central fact is a cornerstone lie in the Israeli-controlled western media.

    In addition to the attack on Palestinians, and the needless destruction of their society, was the needless destruction of Iraq’s social structures, including transforming Saddam’s top military echelon into the ISIS. These were both in accord with well-known Israeli plans for the region, testified to by General Wesley Clark.

    Even considering religious factors, the Muslim religion is officially more tolerant that the Jewish and Christian religions. The Koran specifically says that Jews, Christians, and Muslims are accepted by God/Allah if they live righteously (2:62). The Christian and Jewish religions, by contrast, each claim that their religion is the only true religion.

    Some very relevant political facts, also strenuously suppressed in the mainstream media, were discussed back in 1961 in this speech by a highly placed insider.
    http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm

    I deeply hope Kerry’s juxtaposition of massive Israeli crimes with Muslim reactions is an indicator of where America’s foreign policy is going.

    • MHughes976
      December 6, 2015, 6:26 pm

      The London knifeman is supposed to have shouted ‘This is for Syria!’ – someone replied ‘You’re no Muslum,,bro!’
      Which illustrates the fact that there are forces within Islam that call, and sometimes call effectively, for terrible things in the name of their faith – note also the IS statement that Paris is the centre of prostitution and perversity. Also the fact that the massive majority of Muslims are not listening to these voices. But events like those we are discussing show that mutual fear is being sown and injustice across the Muslim/non-Muslim divide more tolerated, a little bit more each day.

      • Bumblebye
        December 6, 2015, 6:54 pm

        I stayed with a friend in Leytonstone quite often in the 90’s, so that station is very familiar.
        #YouAintNoMuslimBruv is major today:
        http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/dec/06/you-aint-no-muslim-bruv-britons-social-media

      • gamal
        December 6, 2015, 8:43 pm

        ‘someone replied ‘You’re no Muslum (sic),, (sic)bro!’
        Which illustrates the fact that there are forces within Islam that call, and sometimes call effectively, for terrible things in the name of their faith’

        could you expand on that? especially the “sometimes call effectively”

        what are you saying here, itsIslamthoughsometimesbruv, Londoners don’t say bro, enjoy the Dutch Bible/Quran experiment below, i believe no Muslims were harmed in the making of the film linked below

        https://youtu.be/zEnWw_lH4tQ

      • Annie Robbins
        December 6, 2015, 9:27 pm

        what a great video gamal!

      • JWalters
        December 6, 2015, 9:02 pm

        It seems to me every group of people, when they go to war, turn to their religion for emotional support, some individuals more than others in all religions. The whole Zionist project was staffed by religious zealots, literally terrorists, a fact kept carefully unspoken by the choke-chained voices of the mainstream media. But the serious evidence is that these Muslim “radicals” (a presumption in a label) are mainly acting from political grievances. And a main grievance is that same radical Jewish extremist gang continuing to terrorize them, killing and bulldozing, killing and bulldozing.

      • Kay24
        December 6, 2015, 10:40 pm

        Thanks for posting that video Gamal, it is wonderful. What a great idea, and so revealing of how people react when one says it is the Quran. Experts say there are violent verses in all three Abrahamic books, yet it is only one that is targeted, and misrepresented in the media. Sad.

      • bryan
        December 7, 2015, 5:02 am

        J Walters: “The whole Zionist project was staffed by religious zealots, literally terrorists, a fact kept carefully unspoken by the choke-chained voices of the mainstream media.”

        The main-stream media has been outstandingly successful in portraying this as a religious conflict when it was nothing of the sort. The whole Zionist project was staffed by secular zealots, and largely opposed by religious Jews. The objective was to build a Jewish secular nationalism, which is why the founding fathers permitted the Orthodox to opt out of military service, because they believed that religious commitment would eventually dwindle and die out in a “Jewish” secular ethnocratic commonwealth.

        Similarly the Palestinian resistance to Jewish colonialism was not primarily on religious grounds, but on national and cultural grounds. The Arab Higher Committee was a broad alliance of some religious leaders, but also of clan leaders, Christian activists, and trade unionists whose primary objective was national independence. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was a secular and socialist revolutionary movement. The PLO was founded based on a Palestinian National Covenant, a militant and anti-Zionist demand for national independence, that made no reference at all to religion.

        That original national and purely political conflict changed only in the late 1970s and 1980s when the secularist labour Zionism was overtaken by religious influences and more overtly religious groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad also emerged on the Palestinian side. And just as well for the survival of Zionism, since what would otherwise have been a discredited colonial project, facing extinction in a post-colonial world, could suddenly be portrayed as a war of civilisations and an intractable religious conflict, and the legions of evangelical Christians could be enlisted to augment the embattled contingent of religious Jews garrisoning the “Holy” Land.

        You could not be further from the truth in asserting that this is, at heart, a religious conflict.

      • just
        December 7, 2015, 5:44 am

        Awesome video, gamal!

        Thank you very much for posting it.

      • MHughes976
        December 8, 2015, 5:56 pm

        As to whether it’s a religious conflict, that depends on what you mean by that term. I’d suggest it means ‘conflict where some are trying to make a an idea with a strong religious element prevail’ – this would permit both sincere and cynical appeals to religion to be involved and for some of those caught up in the situation to have motives like power-hunger, greed or desperation or even secular-style moral beliefs.
        At that rate the ME conflict is a religious one, since there is a strong religious element in the Zionist claim for exclusive rights for people who are Jewish. Even if presented in secularised form it uses the term ‘Jewish”, which has a partly religious significance, and accords some Important degree of historical and moral authority to the sacred texts of Judaism.
        But that’s just my definition, others may have different ones.

    • kalithea
      December 7, 2015, 1:01 am

      I deeply hope Kerry’s juxtaposition of massive Israeli crimes with Muslim reactions is an indicator of where America’s foreign policy is going.

      Uh…no.

      • MHughes976
        December 8, 2015, 5:35 pm

        Is it necessary to expand on the statement that some people commit violent acts (unjustified in my view) and consider them to be permitted or demanded by Islam and that others encourage this? Paris is the capital of prostitution and perversity and so forth.
        I did not say or suggest that these ideas are authentic in Islam. I certainly did not deny that just the same is true of other religious and non-religious worldviews. I do not deny that Muslims have been grievously provoked.

      • gamal
        December 8, 2015, 7:18 pm

        “Is it necessary to expand on the statement that some people commit violent acts (unjustified in my view) and consider them to be permitted or demanded by Islam and that others encourage this? Paris is the capital of prostitution and perversity and so forth.”

        Hughes you are bland with a frenetic intensity.

        Ok I will address this post, I warn you I may have to unleash the ultimate horror, I will try to avoid it, but due to the nature of your statements I may have to preface an assertion with “As Muslim I…” I hope it won’t be necessary.

        The paragraph above is a kind of stream-of-consciousness riff on contempt for the ‘othered’ “Paris is the capital of prostitution and perversity” now there is the voice of Islam ! “permitted or demanded by Islam” Islam never even texts me “and others encourage this” others? Like gun makers, political players or are Muslims and Islam the sole focus of your analysis? How and by whom is it encouraged?

        (unjustified in my view) you worried about MI5? I hurt my belly laughing man, to clarify that is also my view, as demanded or permitted by Islam, I never leave home without it, can’t catch me out there, no encouraging going on here, guv.

        So to recap: Islam( not necessarily authentic, unjustified, permitted or demanded, severely provoked, encouraged by some unnamed agents possibly Muslim or perhaps even Islam) violence, is that it?

        “I did not say or suggest that these ideas are authentic in Islam. I certainly did not deny that just the same is true of other religious and non-religious worldviews. I do not deny that Muslims have been grievously provoked.”

        Whats with all the irrelevant denials, like I give a shit what you or anyone else thinks is authentic in Islam, what anyone thinks is authentic in Islam, this goes for everyone, has little purchase on life.

        I think you are a racist, which I note you haven’t denied, may I draw my own conclusions, in this final para, you are conceding that Muslims are just like all other human objects/subjects in this array, the same is true of everyone? It doesn’t get you off the hook man you can’t speak because you are deeply conflicted, so if Muslims are just the same what is it that distinguishes them Hughes?

        There is ‘violence’ because the west is attacking countries and communities wherein Muslims live.

        Ok here goes and

        As a Muslim “the centre of perversity and prostitution” does not resonate with me at all, I do not recognize it from my study of Islam? Do you know where it comes from? Is it an advert for Paris? So you are either saying nothing at all, or what is it about Islam/Muslims you are saying?

      • MHughes976
        December 9, 2015, 5:59 am

        I’m sorry to have fallen out with you, gamal.
        The insults to Paris come from IS statements: their ideas, and actions reflecting them, are an important part of the situation.
        It should stare us in the face, and be recognised, that these ideas are not those of the majority of Muslims, or those considering themselves Muslims.
        I think that everyone who has a strong degree of respect, maybe short of religious commitment, for a set of beliefs written down somewhere, is ‘texted’ by those beliefs and by their written expressions – ie is influenced by them and thinks about what they imply.
        The result, seen in all schools of thought, is difference of interpretation and contest over authenticity. Clumsy and insensitive attempts to tell us what a school of thought really or authentically is on the basis of a few quotations from here and there are sadly common and are a well-known technique of Islamophobia. ‘You’re no Muslim, bro!’ Is a pithy way of saying ‘Your pretended version of Islam is inauthentic’ – I’m very glad and impressed that that was said in such a dangerous situation. Both because it was the best available riposte to the knifeman and even more because of the challenge it posed to facile responses in the style of the Le Pens.

  9. DaBakr
    December 6, 2015, 4:35 pm

    well-I wish he would stfu too. never has a politician been so eager to earn a ‘legacy’ and brown-nose his inferiorly accomplished boss with messianic pronouncements about Israel to boot then Kerry has. To any who admired Kerry back in his days of exposing Iran/Contra and other worthy causes it is an utter let-down to see how low Kerry has sunk. He should have stuck to para-sailing, yachting around and spreading his ūber-rich 2nd wives money around to his favorite causes. Its doubtful he actually gives a shit about the I/P conflict except in terms of what it can do for him.

    • lonely rico
      December 6, 2015, 7:54 pm

      >DaBakr

      … his inferiorly accomplished boss with messianic pronouncements about Israel …

      Wow ! Enriching not only our understanding of the Middle East,
      also enriching the English language.

      “inferiorly accomplished” – doesn’t yet roll off the tongue, maybe with practice !?

    • kalithea
      December 7, 2015, 1:08 am

      He should have stuck to, baloney!….and you should have stuck to being a pretend liberal and not come out of the Zionist closet as a rabid right winger.

  10. msmoore
    December 6, 2015, 7:25 pm

    It is beyond belief that anyone can assert that the occupation of Palestine is not a major motivation for discontent among Muslims around the world, Likewise the assertions that settlement growth doesn’t affect the two state solution is ridiculous. From the first the conflict has been about the land. Islam has never been a factor except insofar as neither Muslim or Christian Palestinians are Jewish.

    • DaBakr
      December 6, 2015, 8:02 pm

      @ms

      A) so what was it about before ’67?

      B) islam has always been a factor-or more correctly-jewish sovereignty over the 20% muslims* has been the root problem.

      C) the land is a factor as well but not enough to seal the deal or else the 97% offered would have been accepted.

      *much more to arabs living outside of israel then within the armistice lines

      • zaid
        December 7, 2015, 1:51 am

        There is no need for discussion.
        when the terrorists say in their wills that they did it for Palestine , that means they did it for Palestine…why would they lie …are they afraid of something..they are going to die anyway.

      • Eva Smagacz
        December 7, 2015, 1:19 pm

        DaBakr asks “so what was it about before ’67?”

        a. Before 1967 it was about Palestinian-Israelis but not Jewish-Israelis living under martial law in Israel (being of incorrect ethno – religious category) and

        b.about ethnic cleansing of 750000 natives from Palestine, and

        c.about Israel land grab over and above the land that they were given by United Nations, which was land that they accepted when they proclaimed Independence, and

        d. Naked colonial enterprise by World Zionist Council and Jewish Colonial Fund (later known as Jewish National Fund) in Palestine from the end of eighteen century dreamed up by likes of Theodor Herzl, and Vladimir Jabotinsky, who wrote the following;

        “There can be no voluntary agreement between ourselves and the Palestine Arabs. Not now, nor in the prospective future. I say this with such conviction, not because I want to hurt the moderate Zionists. I do not believe that they will be hurt. Except for those who were born blind, they realised long ago that it is utterly impossible to obtain the voluntary consent of the Palestine Arabs for converting “Palestine” from an Arab country into a country with a Jewish majority.

        My readers have a general idea of the history of colonisation in other countries. I suggest that they consider all the precedents with which they are acquainted, and see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonisation being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.

        The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage.”

  11. just
    December 6, 2015, 7:42 pm

    “Israel’s Government and U.S. Democrats: Parallel Universes, Drifting Apart

    WASHINGTON – One thing that stood out during the three days of discussions at the Saban Forum were the stunned glances that the American participants, the vast majority of whom came from the Democratic side of the U.S. political map, exchanged with each other as they heard what representatives of the Israeli right had to say. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beiteinu party chairman Avigdor Lieberman left their American listeners with feelings that ranged between frustration, shock and helplessness.

    The lip service that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to pay to the two-state solution no longer makes any impression on almost anyone in Washington. Senior officials in the U.S. administration and the Democratic Party listened to the senior Israeli government officials from the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi parties and understood that their real policy, in the best case, is a one-and-a-half-state solution – one in which Israel controls most of the West Bank and the Palestinians have an autonomous zone comprised of several cantons.

    The speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, which brimmed with frustration, is the best possible example of this. During a monologue that was all about letting off his pent-up steam, he urged his audience to stop pretending. The series of questions he posed in his speech about the Netanyahu government’s policy on the Palestinian issue came straight from the heart of a man who loves Israel with all his might. They were questions that most Israeli cabinet ministers ignore, or else dismiss offhandedly by saying, “Trust us, it’ll be okay.”

    After three years of nonstop efforts, albeit sometimes clumsy ones, to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough, Kerry seemed to be throwing up his hands. “It’s up to both sides to take the steps necessary to make peace possible,” he said, noting that if that happens, the U.S. would be ready to help. Even if he didn’t say so explicitly, his message to both Israelis and Palestinians was, “I’m done. You’ll have to manage by yourselves.”

    It’s safe to assume that Netanyahu and his aides are hoping that a Republican president will win the 2016 election. Such a scenario is within the realm of possibility, but it is more likely at this time that Netanyahu will find Hillary Clinton in the White House. The former secretary of state’s speech at the Saban Forum on Sunday showed that her policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won’t be much different …

    She has been dealing with the issue for the past 20 years, and isn’t giving the impression that she intends to stop. Despite the fact that she is in the middle of an election campaign, her dependence on donors and the concern that her Republican rivals could peg her as an anti-Israel candidate, Clinton didn’t shy away from making clear where she stands on issues like settlement construction, the two-state solution and Israel’s need to take initiative and confidence building steps toward the Palestinians. 

    The conclusion reached by many senior members of the Obama administration, as well as those who might hold key positions in the Clinton administration, is that the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Israeli government are two entities living in parallel universes that are drifting apart and are unlikely to converge. A similar feeling is harbored by numerous senior officials in Jerusalem and the Israeli right. The American side can’t understand why Israel isn’t obsessively searching for a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, while the Israeli side can’t understand why the entire world is so obsessed with the Palestinian issue. 

    This is especially disconcerting in light of the fact that this attitude is held by a party that represents at least half of Americans. It is even more worrying that most U.S. Jews, who identify with the Democratic Party, who voted for Obama and will vote for Clinton, also feel this way. They are shocked by Israeli government ministers’ remarks. They either can’t understand where the Israeli government is heading, or they do understand but prefer to block it out and accept this as a nightmare that will pass.  

    One can’t help but wonder whether the ties between Israel and the U.S. can remain as strong and strategic as they are today after another decade or two of diplomatic deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Without separation between Israel and the Palestinians, amid a one-and-a-half-state reality, is it still possible to maintain the two myths accompanying Israel-U.S. relations – shared interests and shared values? 

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.690434?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    I doubt that those listening were actually “stunned” by what was said. They’re only “stunned” that the mask has been dropped so completely and publically. There is actually a solution to their feigned “helplessness”. Sanction Israel and no more $$$ or veto. Say it loud now and all together: they are not democratic nor best friends of the US.

    • just
      December 6, 2015, 8:13 pm

      Very interesting perspective from Chemi Shalev, imho:

      “At a recent Haaretz side session at the  Jewish Federations’ General Assembly, I hosted Peter Beinart for a conversation entitled “Israelis are from Mars, American Jews are from Venus.” A month later, our colorful caption was fully borne out by the 2015 Saban Forum, which highlighted the great gap between large parts of the American Jewish and Democratic establishment and the powers that be in Israel’s ruling coalition.

      From the audience’s point of view, the operative word was anguish. You could see it spreading on journalist Jeffrey Goldberg’s face as he interviewed former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. “It’s like Americans trying to warn Israelis that a train is coming while they’re still on the tracks,” he said. It reminded me of a similar expression of exasperation made famous under different circumstances by former Israeli politician Haim Ramon, who told his Labor party: “Like a whale that has lost its sense of direction, you surge to the beach, seeking your own death. And I, with my feeble powers, am pushing you back into the water, but you resist, but you resist.”

      Lieberman was definitely the designated shocker of the prestigious forum hosted annually by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban. “I don’t care” he replied, with undisguised disdain, when Goldberg asked him about liberal students on campus who find it hard to defend Israeli policies. “I really don’t care,” Lieberman repeated, when pressed again, just to make sure. Goldberg, as well as the audience, couldn’t believe their ears.

      But it wasn’t only Lieberman, who seems to get a kick out of upsetting his audience and being politically incorrect. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, otherwise professional, confident, down-to-earth and matter-of-fact, confounded listeners by promoting “modus vivendi” as a semi-permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, as if it was a novel diplomatic concept rather than a fancy word for the status quo. “It’s a one and a half-state solution,” said an incredulous Martin Indyk, former Saban director and current vice president of the Brookings Institute, but Ya’alon hardly blinked. 

      The American audience’s collective angst, built up over years since Barack Obama came into office but exponentially enhanced in the Iran deal confrontation with Benjamin Netanyahu, seemed to find expression in the extraordinary speech given by Secretary of State John Kerry. His warnings about the dangerous one-state reality that awaits an Israel that rebuffs a two state solution struck a deep chord in the audience, both in tone and in content. It was a powerful speech that nonetheless radiated powerlessness, not only Kerry’s but his listeners’ as well. It stood in stark contrast to the one delivered the next day by Saban-favorite Hillary Clinton, in campaign mode, who extolled Israeli-U.S. ties and kept her dire warnings of Israel’s fate to a bare minimum. …

      …Centrist politicians such as Zionist Union’s Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni who were also present at the Forum could have easily garnered support and reached understandings with the audience, but Ya’alon, Bennett, Lieberman and Hanegbi, or at least their views, were like fish out of water, members of an opposing ideological camp.

      Perhaps they would have felt right at home in a parallel forum convened by someone like Sheldon Adelson, with the likes of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, if he were invited. The utter distrust in Palestinian motives as well as their casting as part and parcel of a total war being waged by Iran and radical Islam is the kind of message that would go over well in GOP campaign rallies in Iowa or New Hampshire. The lack of empathy for Palestinians after half a century of living under occupation and the complete denial of any moral burden on Israelis for maintaining it are completely acceptable in GOP speeches and around the Israeli cabinet table, but not for the constituencies represented at Saban.

      Although it was not a major topic of discussion, the aftershocks of the Iran deal campaign were palpable: Netanyahu’s March speech in Congress incontrovertibly and perhaps irreversibly upset bipartisan support for Israel and cast it as a Republican cause instead. Democrats in Congress are still staunch backers of Israel and AIPAC continues to wield influence on both sides of the aisle, but everyone knows that something fundamental has changed. 

      And it is much worse among younger millenials, as many speakers pointed out, though Lieberman, explicitly, and the others, implicitly, didn’t seem to understand or care. When pressed on their response to the growing alienation of young Jews or the difficulties posed by BDS campaigns on campus, the government’s spokesmen fall back on budgets, campaigns and “Jewish education.” They seemed deaf to suggestions by their critics that their own policies that are also at fault and worthy of reassessment, at the very least.

      Ironically, it was Netanyahu who relieved some of the tension with a last-minute video address that expounded on the same themes as his ministers and representatives but in a much more digestible manner, including his repeated declarations of allegiance to a two-state solution. The night before, Lieberman had ridiculed Netanyahu’s commitment, saying “it depends whether he’s in Washington or Jerusalem”; most of the audience seemed to titter in agreement.  Nonetheless, there was something reassuring in the very fact the Netanyahu had mouthed the words “two-state solution,” as if this was the long awaited signal that the world hadn’t completely lost its mind.

      After all, these are the rules of the game as it has been played for decades by diplomatic and political elites throughout the Western World: the best is to genuinely strive for a solution, next in line is maintaining a diplomatic process for appearances sake and last resort is to at least pretend. Armed with this facade, American Jews can lobby the administration to support Israel, protest against unwarranted bias in Europe and the United Nations and, most importantly, look at themselves in the mirror.

      Netanyahu knows how to play the game, but the overwhelming majority of his ruling coalition doesn’t feel the need to. They view the largely center-left American Jewish community as an extension of Israel’s own defeatist left, which they disdain and try to undermine. It is this naked truth, shorn of its mask, which created such intense discomfort at the Saban Forum. 
      The conference, deftly managed by Tamar Cofman Wittes, director of the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy, was entitled “Israel and the United States: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”  If I had to sum up the findings, yesterday was fine, today is painful and tomorrow could be worse, if things don’t change.”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.690436?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      • kalithea
        December 7, 2015, 1:24 am

        “At a recent Haaretz side session at the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly, I hosted Peter Beinart for a conversation entitled “Israelis are from Mars, American Jews are from Venus.”

        Perhaps they would have felt right at home in a parallel forum convened by someone like Sheldon Adelson

        I have a better idea: how about altogether they take off for a parallel universe!

        Zionist criminals and their American liberal enablers deserve a karmic experience: having to tolerate each other in some lonely universe eternally.

    • JWalters
      December 6, 2015, 9:14 pm

      “The American side can’t understand why Israel isn’t obsessively searching for a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, while the Israeli side can’t understand why the entire world is so obsessed with the Palestinian issue.”

      (1) Because the Israel side intends to keep the war profits boiling, and (2) they perfectly understand the obsession, a crisis from which they profit.
      e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”, for readers who haven’t seen it yet.

      • MHughes976
        December 9, 2015, 6:10 am

        Perhaps the Israelis reckon that American Jewish opinion will gradually follow its U.K. counterpart, where opinion polls before the election indicated a strong Conservative majority.

  12. JLewisDickerson
    December 6, 2015, 8:11 pm

    RE: “[T]he false linkage to settlements is of a piece with the Obama administration’s continuing obsession with that subject–despite all the evidence.” ~ Elliott Abrams

    FOR AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF ELLIOTT ABRAMS’ “EVIDENCE”, SEE:
    “The Settlement Freeze Fallacy” | By Elliott Abrams | washingtonpost.com | April 8, 2009

    [EXCERPT] . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/07/AR2009040703379.html

    • Misterioso
      December 7, 2015, 3:54 pm

      For the record:

      Abrams: “Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank….”

      In fact, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat during the 2000 Camp David Summit. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

      Abrams: “According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent…” More nonsense.

      The “offer” made in 2008 by Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious, since he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it.

      “Netanyahu’s speech of lies”
      By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, Sept. 26, 2011

      “Netanyahu certainly read Olmert’s op-ed in The New York Times last week, asserting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas never rejected his offer: ‘The parameters of a peace deal are well known and they have already been put on the table. I put them there in September 2008 when I presented a far-reaching offer to Mr. Abbas, Olmert wrote.

      “Netanyahu, who is so concerned about our security that he is even demanding the creation of military bases in the West Bank, claimed the Palestinians are refusing to talk about security arrangements. Really? Let him try to deny that the Palestinians submitted a detailed security proposal, via U.S. envoy George Mitchell. How many times must Abbas repeat, in speeches and interviews, that he is willing to demilitarize the territories and even to permit an international force like the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, or even U.S. troops, to deploy in the Palestinian state. “

      • JLewisDickerson
        December 7, 2015, 5:47 pm

        Thanks for your excellent debunking of Elliott Abrams “evidence” that settlement construction does not create “insurmountable barriers” to peace (i.e., that ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state).
        I hadn’t even bothered because his “simple(-minded) test” was so logically flawed that it didn’t even seem necessary to rebut it.

        You mentioned that “the ‘offer’ made in 2008 by Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious, since he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it.” I will add that Netanyahu had it clear that he would not be bound by any “offers” made by the Olmert government in its negotiations with the Palestinians, and that any “negotiations without preconditions” by a Netanyahu government with the Palestinians would begin at ground zero (except for Netanyahu’s own preconditions, of course). This was a key part of Netanyahu’s campaign for Prime Minister, and the Israeli people pretty seemed to approve of it judging from their votes for Likud and the other right-wing, rejectionist parties.

        Either Elliott Abrams is stupid/ignorant as hell, or he is incredibly disingenuous/duplicitous. Personally, as much as I loathe Elliott Abrams, I do not believe he is anywhere near that stupid/ignorant, so he is obviously an incredibly disingenuous/duplicitous individual (hence his conviction for lying to Congress). The guy is nothing but a Machiavellian ‘hasbara hack’! Shame on CFR for having hired him! ! !

  13. kalithea
    December 7, 2015, 1:50 am

    Abrams is the one on the right:

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7mgpyhCCO1qaqaec.jpg

    No offense to Statler.

  14. Ossinev
    December 7, 2015, 6:36 am

    Meanwhile Hillary Clinton firing up all the Zionist cylinders – as in keep the cash coming you know I am worth it.
    “Only a two-state solution can provide Palestinians independence, sovereignty and dignity and provide Israelis the secure and recognized borders of a democratic Jewish state,” she said”
    And even more surreal:
    Clinton, born just before Israel’s independence in 1948, said she belonged to a generation that thrilled to Israel’s successes, but that the admiration was receding.

    “There is a generation in both countries today that does not remember that shared past,” she said.

    Keep the sick bucket to hand mondoweissers – there is sure to be a lot more and a lot worse to come from this despicable creature in the year ahead.

  15. just
    December 7, 2015, 7:26 am

    O/T~ I thought it was illegal to provide support for illegal settlements and illegal settlers who ‘rape’. pillage, steal, and create mayhem. This is tax- exempt support for terrorists:

    “In a months-long investigation, Haaretz correspondent Uri Blau analyzed thousands of documents from the tax reports of U.S. charities that support Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These charities, known as 501(c)(3) organizations under the Internal Revenue Code, are granted tax-exempt status by U.S. authorities and donors to them can claim a tax deduction on their gift.

    The Haaretz investigation focused on some 50 U.S.-based organizations that funnel money to the settlements or to Israeli non-profits that support them.  Between 2009 and 2013, the last year for which there is extensive data, these organizations reported combined revenues of more than $281 million (over one billion shekels). Most of these funds came from donations, while some came from returns on capital investments.

    Some $224 million of this income was transferred to the occupied territories as grants, mostly through Israeli non-profit groups.” …

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/settlementdollars/.premium-1.690056?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Amira Hass has a relevant piece up:

    “40 Years of Torture in a Place Where a Palestinian Village and an Israeli Settlement Converge

    With a blue hummingbird flitting over a rock and carpets of yellow flowers, you could forget Hajj Sami’s pain, but only until you see the olives darkening on the trees, unpicked, and the overgrowth of thistles.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.690353?
    utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Then there’s this:

    “Only 7% of Jerusalem Building Permits Go to Palestinian Neighborhoods

    ‘If anyone thinks the Palestinians’ frustration and rage are the result of incitement alone, the numbers and facts on the ground show otherwise,’ charges Jerusalem city councilor Laura Wharton.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.690403?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    and this:

    “Mayor of Israeli Town Threatened by Irate Residents Over Arab Housing Project

    Protesters from Afula call their mayor a terrorist because Arabs won a local housing tender.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.690417?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    • just
      December 7, 2015, 7:51 am

      Whoa~ now it’s spelled out in the headlines:

      “From NYC to the West Bank: Following the Money Trail That Supports Israeli Settlements

      Haaretz follows the trail of private U.S. donor funds from the bustling streets of Brooklyn to the deserted alleys of Hebron and into the pockets of Jewish terrorists and their families.

      The road leading to the Jewish enclaves in Hebron passes by the Meir Kahane Park in Kiryat Arba, the burial site of Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Palestinians in a 1994 massacre. The center of the old city of Hebron looks like the set of an urban war movie: barriers and concrete blocks everywhere, lookouts on rooftops, armed soldiers at intersections. They guard once-bustling streets that today are almost completely deserted, their shops shuttered. Some sections of the city are off-limits to Palestinians.

      Hebron is one of the most sensitive and tense spots in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An unseen soldier on a rooftop yells down not to stop on the deserted street, a settler passing by in his car gives the finger to a journalist and a Palestinian child returning from school makes the same gesture at someone he thinks is a settler. …

      … The Haredi Jews of Midwood live in the midst of countless people of other races and religions. The neighborhood is a diverse melting pot: On Kings Highway alone, Pakistanis, Indians, Chinese, Muslims, Christians and Jews mingle among businesses including a pizzeria, Mexican food stand, Chinese restaurant and a wig store for Orthodox women. It is a typical immigrant neighborhood, devoid of barriers, social classes or evident hatred.

      It’s perhaps surprising, therefore, to find that from here come some of the funds that support the Jewish presence in Hebron, one of the iconic symbols of the settlement enterprise and the fragmentation of the West Bank. Here, in a small, two-storey house on Ocean Avenue, close to the neighborhood’s main street, is the headquarters of the Hebron Fund.

      The stickers on the entrance door may be fading, but they are familiar: “Hebron from the very beginning” and “Hebron for our forefathers and for us,” they proclaim in Hebrew. Several weeks earlier, Haaretz contacted Dan Rozenstein, the person listed as head of the non-profit group. He had refused to answer our questions or disclose the source of the $4.5 million the Fund transferred to the Jewish community in Hebron between 2009 and 2013.

      No one answered the door when a Haaretz reporter rang the bell. The guard at an adjacent building said that three ladies work there. “Many envelopes arrive, and I know that it’s something to do with Jews, but I don’t know exactly what,” he said.

      Some of the envelopes he saw may well have contained checks. Money from the Hebron Fund is transferred to the account of an Israeli non-profit group called “Revivers of the Jewish Community in Hebron” and goes towards financing and perpetuating Jewish settlement in the city. According to the fund’s website, “Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law,” meaning that donations to the fund can reduce the donor’s taxable income and lower his or her tax bill.

      The Fund’s objective is “to improve the lives of the residents of Hebron, Israel.” Donations, it
      says, are invested in parks, playgrounds, libraries and more. However, these funds also went to pay the monthly salary of Menachem Livni, who headed the Revivers non-profit group between 2010 and 2012. Livni is a convicted murderer. He was one of the leaders of the Jewish Underground that operated in the occupied territories in the 1980s and was responsible for the killing of three Palestinian students and severely injuring two Palestinian mayors and a Border Police sapper. Livni, who was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released after six years, was paid hundreds of thousands of shekels by the Hebron Fund.

      A billion shekels

      The Hebron Fund is only one example of the many U.S.-based non-profit groups that raise money and transfer it to Israel for the purpose of financing and preserving the settlement project in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Thousands of documents from the files of dozens of American and Israeli not-for-profit organizations were examined by Haaretz as it undertook to reveal the true extent of this funding.”…

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/settlementdollars/.premium-1.690092?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      Kudos to Uri Blau and Haaretz for exposing this. How can the US government allow this? Because they do it, too~ with billions of US taxpayer dollars and more.

  16. Citizen
    December 7, 2015, 7:58 am

    US main news-infotainment media is directly responsible for the situation because, while every American voter knows Israel has a right to protect itself, very few know anything about what the Palestinians endure every day, and have endured for many decades, nor do they know that there is any difference between the state of Israel and “the Jews.” This state of ignorance, of half-baked philosophy and evidence, while “good for the Jews” now, may easily come back to bite them in the ass in the long term. After that, after much loss of life and destruction, the war of the historians will go on…

  17. afmeyers
    December 7, 2015, 10:09 am

    Elliott Abrams hands are still dripping with blood from his role as Ronald Reagan’s chief executioner of the people of Central America. If there were any justice in this world, he’d be in the dock at the Hague….

  18. James Canning
    December 7, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, and its resulting oppression of the Palestinians, obviously damages America’s national security interests in the Middle East
    That Elliott Abrams would try to keep this fact from being grasped by the American people is only to be expected.

  19. Misterioso
    December 7, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Interesting:

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/22d6e5ab832d44b880cac1acb568cc27/kerrys-one-state-comments-cause-consternation-israel
    Associated Press – Dec. 6, 2015

    Kerry’s ‘one state’ comments cause consternation in Israel

    By Dan Perry and Josef Federman

    JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set off an uproar in Israel on Sunday after warning that the country, through its continued West Bank occupation, will become a “binational state.”

    Kerry’s words describe a scenario that would mark a failure of U.S. policy and end to Israel’s existence as a country that is both Jewish and democratic. The U.S., the international community and many Israelis have endorsed the “two-state solution” — establishing a Palestinian state and ending Israel’s control over millions of Palestinians in territories occupied in the 1967 war.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that “Israel will not be a binational state” and blamed the Palestinians for the failure of peace efforts. But despite Netanyahu’s pledges, Jewish settlement of the West Bank continues apace, while confusion over his true intentions grows by the day.

    Meanwhile, Israel seems unable to stem a wave of stabbings and other attacks by Palestinian individuals, now in its third month, that has killed 19 Israelis and left over 100 Palestinians, most said by Israel to be attackers, dead.

    This situation has sharpened the country’s half-century-old debate over the Palestinians. Opposition politicians, intellectuals and retired military commanders are issuing increasingly strident warnings that never-ending violence awaits if Israel continues to occupy millions of angry Palestinians who cannot vote in its national elections.

    “If Israel were the Titanic and the binational apartheid state its iceberg … then the collision with the iceberg has already occurred,” wrote columnist Rogel Alpher in the Haaretz daily. “Without a diplomatic solution, we will continue to slowly sink into an existence of knifings, hatred and fear.”

    Here’s a look at the potential “one-state” outcome:

    THE ARGUMENT FOR PULLING OUT OF THE WEST BANK

    Ever since Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt in 1967, the question of the territories’ fate has hung in the air.

    Israel’s more dovish left wing has favored a pullout from most of the areas, hoping this will bring Israel recognition and peace in the region. But over two decades of failed peace talks have convinced many a deal is not possible.

    The left still favors a pullout, but the rationale has shifted to something more like nationalism: without a pullout, Israel would no longer be a Jewish-majority democracy because half of its population in effect will be Palestinians, most of them without true democratic rights.

    That’s because while Israel proper — the area defined by 1949 cease-fire lines that ended the war surrounding Israel’s establishment — has roughly 6.3 million Jews and 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. Adding the West Bank and Gaza, demographers believe, would make the Arab and Jewish populations essentially equal.

    A pullout from the West Bank is complicated by the presence of Jewish settlers, numbering 400,000 and growing. Eventually the situation may become irreversible, with the Palestinians abandoning efforts to set up their own state and instead demanding annexation and voting rights as citizens of a single “binational” state. Israelis who fear this scenario and see a future of internecine conflict, global economic boycotts and increasing isolation want a pullout now, from at least most of the West Bank, even without an agreement with the Palestinians.

    “If the Israelis don’t hurry up to implement the two-state solution on the ground, they will lose,” said Ahmed Qurei, a long time Palestinian negotiator.

    THE ARGUMENT FOR NOT PULLING OUT OF THE WEST BANK

    For some Jewish Israelis, the West Bank is literally the Promised Land — full of biblical places like Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and Shilo that must be kept as a birthright, whatever the consequences.

    But this is a minority opinion, even among proponents of the occupation. The more common argument is rooted in security.

    Without the West Bank, Israel would be about 10 miles (about 15 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point, with the West Bank looming over population centers and surrounding Jerusalem on three sides. Meanwhile, Islamic radicals are on the march across the region. Such Israelis imagine a future in which some version of the Islamic State group seizes control of the West Bank and launches daily attacks at Israel. They conclude that prudence requires holding onto the West Bank; the Palestinians must be satisfied with their autonomy zones set up under interim agreements in the 1990s.

    THE IMPACT OF GAZA

    Israel pulled troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 as part of a simple calculation: With the small but crowded territory neatly removed from the demographic equation, Jews still have a majority of some 60 percent. But the Islamic militants of Hamas seized control of Gaza, periodically firing rockets at Israel and leading the sides to three mini-wars to date. Many Israelis fear the West Bank will face a similar fate if Israeli withdraws. Meanwhile, the Palestinians and much of the world consider Gaza to still be occupied, since Israel blockades it and controls the airspace and sea access in an effort to minimize Hamas’ ability to arm itself.

    KEEP THE ARMY, REMOVE THE SETTLERS?

    A paper published two weeks ago by a major Israeli think tank proposed a new unilateral solution in which settlers would be pulled out of most of the West Bank to create a situation more amenable to partition. The army would maintain its current positions until a better alternative emerged. The authors — economist Avner Halevi and Gilead Sher, a former chief negotiator with the Palestinians — said this would require removing about 100,000 settlers, while others living close to Israel’s de facto border would remain pending a future negotiation. “The purpose of such a withdrawal would be to implement a temporary border that would create a reality of two nation-states,” Sher and Halevi wrote.

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