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Obama was shocked — shocked — to find that settlements were eating the West Bank!

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Several contacts have been sending me an article that appeared in The New Yorker yesterday, titled “The Maps of Israeli Settlements That Shocked Barack Obama”, by Adam Entous.

The article features a map, here headlined “West Bank – What a One State Reality Looks Like”, where the archipelago of Palestinian controlled/partially controlled areas (A and B) are ‘bathed’ inside the surrounding and disconnecting Israeli Area C (about 60% of West Bank), where Area C has the same color as Israel (blue). Thus, one can clearly see the disconnect of Palestinian Bantustans (Gaza is also seen as a separate enclave).

Entous opens his ‘Tomb-raider’ like exposé:

One afternoon in the spring of 2015, a senior State Department official named Frank Lowenstein paged through a government briefing book and noticed a map that he had never seen before”. […] The new map in the briefing book was different. It showed large swaths of territory that were off limits to Palestinian development and filled in space between the settlements and the outposts. At that moment, Lowenstein told me, he saw “the forest for the trees”—not only were Palestinian population centers cut off from one another but there was virtually no way to squeeze a viable Palestinian state into the areas that remained.

This shocking discovery was thus something that had to be shown to President Obama:

Lowenstein showed the small map to Secretary of State John Kerry and said, “Look what’s really going on here.” Kerry brought the map to his next meeting with President Obama. The map was too small for everyone in the Situation Room to see, so Lowenstein had a series of larger maps made. The information was then verified by U.S. intelligence agencies. Obama’s Presidency was winding down, but Lowenstein figured that he could use the time left to raise awareness about what the Israelis were doing. “One day, everyone’s going to wake up and go, ‘Wait a minute, we’ve got to stop this to at least have the possibility of a two-state solution,’ ” Lowenstein said.

This shocking secret evidence, as it were, was the impetus to Obama’s final act of defiance against this threat – an abstention at the UN more than a year later, in December 2016, when Obama was a lame duck:

Alarmed by Israeli actions depicted in the maps, Obama decided to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the settlements, clearing the way for its passage.

I was telling the first contact who sent me this, who really is a very informed person, that it’s a bit of an insult to the intelligence, because they could have seen all that from the Oslo Accords and thereafter. Indeed, if one looks at the ‘Oslo II’ map of the West Bank and its areas A, B and C, all that is evident. You don’t need the Israeli controlled Area C to be in the same color as Israel to see this. It’s quite straightforward.

Oslo map of West Bank anticipates State Department map that supposedly surprised Obama.

My contact responded: “Nonetheless, I think it is interesting the New Yorker is bringing this material forward”.

It’s pretty ironic. Obama could have looked at one of the maps of ‘disappearing Palestine’ which are shared so often by Palestinian solidarity activists (see it in Tom Suarez’s article on Jaffa). The series of four maps shows how Zionist control of historical Palestine has expanded from 1946 to this day, where the last map is essentially what Obama was looking at. Shock horror! Palestinian solidarity activists had it right! Israel IS shrinking Palestine!

Map of disappearing Palestinian territory

And PS all these maps were available to anyone before February 2011 when, mindful of his reelection campaign a year off, Obama vetoed a resolution against the settlements at the U.N.

But now this new “revelation” that suddenly made Obama see the light, brought him to do something amazing when it comes to Israel – he did nothing. I mean, literally – nothing. The US abstained at the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 2334 which condemned all of Israel’s settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law. In the political reality of today, not standing by Israel when it commits war crimes is considered extremely ‘anti-Israel’. As Hillary Clinton said in her election campaign, “America can’t be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival” –and bear in mind, there she was correcting Trump for suggesting he would be the “neutral guy” on this issue. Even Israel’s left bemoaned the UNSC resolution, and left-leader Isaac Herzog (now off to his new job as head of Jewish Agency to fight the intermarriage “plague”) blamed Netanyahu for causing the disaster by alienating Obama.

Per Adam Entous, this would be “Obama’s final act of defiance against Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, before Donald Trump took office and put in place policies that were far more accepting of the settlers.”

Before that, Obama would make some critical noises, but increase Israel’s military aid check for the next decade from $31 billion (last decade) to $38 billion (next decade). And he would give a green light to some of Israel’s most atrocious massacres in recent history. As Norman Finkelstein says, “Obama’s record on Israel Palestine is awful. The worst massacres in the history of the conflict since 1982 and the invasion of Lebanon– the worst and most egregious massacres occurred under his watch” […] “Operation Protective Edge, 2014, couldn’t have happened if not for Obama. And throughout the operation, Obama keeps saying that Israel has the right to defend itself, Israel has the right to self-defense”.

So in December 2016 the US stood still and did not side with Israel against the hostile, ‘Israel-bashing’ world represented at the UN, as Trump’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley would put it, and then UN Ambassador Samantha Power let the condemning resolution pass. That’s called radical in our times, almost heroic- a “final act of defiance”.

But let’s get back to that map. Are we really supposed to believe that Obama didn’t know? That just because he hadn’t seen a map with those colors (or looked at a ‘disappearing Palestine’ map), that he never really understood the Bantustan-effect of the Oslo accords and the acts of the Israeli governments thereafter? Did the President not know that the Oslo accords were not meant to create a Palestinian state, but rather “less than a state” as even Israeli Prime Minister Rabin said just before he was assassinated?

Let’s take Lowenstein’s “not seeing the forest for trees” notion seriously. What is it saying? That there’s so much obfuscation surrounding Israel’s occupation and settlement policy, that it’s incredibly hard to see the full picture, the “forest”. Alright, it can be confusing, I’ll give it that much. In his book ‘Knowing Too Much’, Norman Finkelstein cites Dennis Ross, one of the architects of the Oslo agreements, relating to these areas A, B and C (P. 421). Brace yourselves:

[Ross’s] account focuses primarily on the minutiae of the negotiations […], which future historians will require a Rosetta stone to decipher. Consider this hieroglyphic from Ross’s text:

‘In our secure call the next day, Bibi [Netanyahu] raised my original bridging idea – not so much the notion of 11+2 as his being able to say he had done something less than 13, and Arafat and Clinton being able to say it was a 13 percent transfer of territory. But now Bibi said he did no know how to actually do this. There needed to be an area of special status that would make up the difference between what he was doing for the further redeployment and the total we were asking for. I saw an opening here and probed: Is the problem that roads or an economic zone can’t cover sufficient territory to reach the 13 percent given the size of the FRD [further redeployments] you can do? Yes, was the answer, and he could simply not increase the size of the B area – an area where Israelis retained the security responsibility but the Palestinians had the civil responsibility. Previously, I had raised the idea of creating what might be termed a “B-“ area – an area that gave the Palestinians more authority than in the C areas, but less than a full-fledged B area. Bibi had explored it, but also said it was not doable. I revisited this idea now but with a slightly different twist. What if we created an area that you could say was a “C” and they would be able to say was a “B”?’

I hope you’re still there and did not get lost in the ABC forest. And what does all this ABC really spell? It spells Apartheid, it spells Bantustans. That’s what it’s really about. And if anyone had any high hopes about it in the 1990’s, it’s about time to dispel them.

Let’s not just return to the ‘special map’ that was shown to Obama. Let’s return to that ‘disappearing Palestine’ map and be simple about it. Because what is it really showing? It is showing how Zionist machinations and conquests have been slicing up Palestine even before 1948. The 1947 UN ‘Partition Plan’ suggested 55% of historical Palestine be given to the Jewish polity, which made up one third of the population at the time and owned about 7% of the land. The major three enclaves of each respective polity were mostly contiguous through slim crossing points (Jaffa being an exception; and Jerusalem, let it be added, was suggested to be a Corpus Separatum, a separate area under international auspices). Come 1948, and Israel severed these areas from one another – shrunk Gaza, shrunk the West Bank and overtook the Galilee.

At this point, when looking at map 3 of the ‘Disappearing Palestine’ (1949-1967), we could already be saying that the prospect of a Palestinian state on the remains of historical Palestine is bleak – because Gaza is completely severed from the West Bank. Nonetheless, the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s did treat the two enclaves as part of one entity (with a road connecting them). The PLO had already accepted the possibility of a ‘Palestine’ on pre-1967 lines in 1988, long before the famous (or infamous) ‘peace process’. Nonetheless, Israel worked incessantly to sever Gaza from the West Bank, even before the peace-process began. Amira Hass mentions this effort frequently.

In other words, Israel is saying one thing, that it wants peace, but on the other hand taking actions which imply that this ‘peace’ is not about offering Palestinians statehood in any real way, but rather a limbo of limited ‘authority’ in disconnected enclaves which Israel controls. Let me spell the ABC out again: Bantustans.

So now we are told that Obama, at some point, saw the light, saw “the forest for trees”, because of the ingenious discovery of a State Department official who had seen it first – and realized that Israel was dissecting the West Bank, and that the anatomy of that dissection appeared to be in direct opposition to any notion of a “2-state’ solution, because anything that wasn’t ‘Israel’ was completely dissected and disconnected.

But was Obama really seeing the forest, or just a small section of it?

The ‘disappearing Palestine’ maps, in general, offer a wider view of the bigger historical forest, pointing to a pattern which corresponds logically with the settler-colonialist designs of the Zionist movement and its manifestation as Israel. It is about a gradual elimination of Palestine.

And what should be done about it? We are told that Obama made a drastic move – abstention. And then Trump effectively cancelled the reservations and sided wholly with Israel. But sanctioning Israel is apparently outside the scope of possibility. Thus Israel continues with its crimes, continues to shrink Palestine, and smart diplomats confuse us with their ‘ABC’, apparently so much so that even Presidents cant see the forest for trees. Or so they say.

So maybe it really is time for simple people, those who do view ‘disappearing Palestine’ maps, to take action where politicians fail to act and fail to see. Palestine is really disappearing. It’s a genocidal pattern, and you’re seeing it happen in real time.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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52 Responses

  1. edwardm
    July 10, 2018, 12:27 pm

    Oslo Accords and thereafter? Try the Allon Plan (1967) and thereafter. Israel gets all the water arable land and anything else of value. Palestinians get nothing.

    http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2008/08/treading-water.html

    • Eva Smagacz
      July 10, 2018, 5:00 pm

      Remember that Golan Heighs would have Syria regain access to Sea of Galilee.

      121/132

      • jon s
        July 11, 2018, 4:41 am

        The Sea of Gallilee is entirely Israeli territory. Syria did not have access to it, pre-1967.

      • George Smith
        July 11, 2018, 11:28 am

        Jon S is correct: the 1949 armistice line (green line) went around the east side of the Sea of Galilee, while splitting the Dead Sea in half. So even then the new state of Israel appropriated the Sea of Galilee to itself. Still, in capturing and annexing the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel appropriated to itself important additional water resources: the many small rivers that feed into the upper Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee, and also the lower Yarmouk River that feeds the Jordan River just south of the Sea of Galilee.

      • Citizen
        July 11, 2018, 12:55 pm

        Syria has never to my knowledge conceded its claim to part of that lake’s shore line area. In 2000 this was still in dispute; until June 9, 1967, Syria controlled the entire ten-meter strip on the northeast Galilee coastline, plus a short extension to the south into the demilitarized zone.

      • Eva Smagacz
        July 17, 2018, 6:31 pm

        Excellent summary from 2000 in the Economist:

        It seems century away:

        https://www.economist.com/international/2000/03/30/israel-syria-and-that-sliver-of-the-galilee-shore

        123/134

  2. eljay
    July 10, 2018, 12:45 pm

    Insatiably greedy Zionists have been gobbling up the Palestine pizza for decades. All that’s left are crumbs.

    With Zionists’ left hands shoved up their asses and controlling their mouths, American and other politicians continue to:
    – express “grave concern”;
    – do nothing of substance; and
    – insist on a two-share solution to the issue.

    Meanwhile, Zionists lick the thumbs of their right hands and dab up the crumbs.

    • Paranam Kid
      July 11, 2018, 3:40 am

      @Eljay; a wonderful way of putting it. I would amend your 1st sentence slightly to say

      American and EU politicians continue to

    • Misterioso
      July 11, 2018, 3:21 pm

      https://madmimi.com/p/d0f48c?fe=1&pact=304646-146221003-4195316904-f365350bb8f07aad83f12f3c424d0033774e2245

      Independent Jewish Voices, Canada
      PRESS RELEASE – July 11/18

      “Jewish group congratulates Irish Senate for voting to ban Israeli settlement products; calls on Canada to follow suit”

      “Ottawa — Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) would like to extend its congratulations to the Senate of Ireland, which has passed a bill to ban trade between the Republic of Ireland and illegal Israeli settlements. The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill makes it illegal for anyone to sell or import goods from an occupied territory.

      “The bill, introduced by Irish senator Frances Black in January of this year, was delayed due to criticism by the Netanyahu government, which criticized it early on, calling the bill ‘immoral.’ Months later, however, it seems that Netanyahu’s influence over the international community may be waning, as the bill is back on the legislative docket.

      “While the bill has been passed by the Irish Senate, there are additional stages it must pass before it becomes law. The legislation has already received endorsement from the conservative Fianna Fáil party, Ireland’s official opposition, which shows that support for it continues to build.

      “’This bill sets a historic precedent for countries around the world, including Canada,’ said Corey Balsam, IJV’s National Coordinator. ‘Its passage would make Ireland the first major Western country to enact legislation outlawing trade with Israel’s illegal settlements. We’re hoping that others will soon follow suit.’

      “A ban on the importation of settlement products is supported by many Canadian organizations including Amnesty International Canada and the United Church of Canada.
      The EU already has guidelines stipulating that agricultural or food products originating in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights — all territories occupied by Israel since 1967 — should not be labeled as a product of Israel. These guidelines have little actual effect on the economies of the illegal settlements, however, as their enforcement has been left up to individual member states of the EU.

      “This issue was a topic of fierce debate at the last convention of Canada’s New Democratic Party, where hundreds of NDP activists from across the country worked to pass a similar resolution, seeking to obtain party support for a ban on Canadian trade with Israel’s illegal settlements. The resolution was narrowly defeated on account of mobilization by party insiders against it, but debate on the subject has continued within the party since the convention.

      “’Unfortunately, the Canadian government and political parties continue to shy away from taking concrete action toward pressuring Israel to remove its illegal settlements,’ said Balsam.

      “’In keeping with the government own policy, which opposes Israeli settlements in occupied territory, IJV calls on the Trudeau government to follow Ireland’s lead and institute a similar policy here in Canada. If we are serious about wanting to see peace in Israel-Palestine, it will require steps like this to pressure Israel — the occupying power — to change its ways. The Canadian government has enacted economic sanctions on Russia for occupying Crimea. Why should Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory be treated any differently?’ concluded Balsam.”

      • JWalters
        July 11, 2018, 6:20 pm

        Good news! One of the first acts of the Continental Congress in 1776 was to BOYCOTT all British goods, and prohibit the shipment of key American goods to Britain.

  3. Spring Renouncer
    July 10, 2018, 2:18 pm

    The idea that this was news to anyone in the administration is hilarious. I don’t believe it. As you note, the condition of Palestine was very obvious from Oslo and to anyone who cared to read standard reporting from Palestine. So this whole premise of “discovering” the disappearance of Palestine seems very odd.

    I think it is an attempt to retroactively justify Obama’s lack of action on Palestine for most of his tenure a President, and to lionize his eventual feud with Netanyahu as some sort of principled defense of the Palestinians (which it most certainly was not), in the context of changing opinions on the issue in America. Obama gave Israel weapons and money as thousands were being crushed and vaporized in Gaza with American support. He most certainly did not fight for the rights of Palestinians and was firmly, without reservations a “liberal Zionist”. His feud with Netanyahu was internecine conflict: all about politics and saving-face, not about morality or defending the oppressed.

    No one who follows the conflict will be impressed by this fabrication. It’s not to late though, Obama can join hands with Carter and speak out to be on the right side of history.

  4. Kathleen
    July 10, 2018, 6:00 pm

    No doubt as internationally recognized Palestinian land has disappeared over the decades U.S. media outlets (all of them even Cspan) put up the original 48 map. Over and over again the outdated map.

    So given that this was the case in the New York (bloody) Times, CNN, NBC etc etc one could imagine that most people watching, reading, looking at these outlets would have their collective heads up where the sun does not shine…the intention of those who control those outlets.

    However truly difficult to imagine Obama had no idea even though HRClinton allegedly convinced him to bring on Israeli agent hit man Dennis Ross onto the team.

    You can order the shrinking Palestine post cards of this map at If American’s Know. Place them wherever you go.

    • Boomer
      July 11, 2018, 8:16 am

      re: “You can order the shrinking Palestine post cards of this map at If American’s Know. ”

      Good to know.

    • Citizen
      July 11, 2018, 11:09 am

      Israel/Palestine Conflict For centuries there was no such conflict. In the 19th century the land of #Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population – approx 86 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian, & 4 percent Jewish – living in peace. 🔴Read more: https://bit.ly/2xxDiJv pic.twitter.com/lQ06XLt4Rj

      If American Knew @ifamericansknew has only 6,000 + followers

      You can order fliers with the map sequence here: http://ifamericaknew.org/history/

  5. Tom Suarez
    July 10, 2018, 6:54 pm

    US Intelligence knew by mid-1947 that even the “moderate” Zionists would not stop until they had seized all the land at least to the Jordan (and that the less moderate would try to seize Jordan and parts of Syria and Lebanon).
    Seven decades later, the president of the United States professes to know less than a typical Mondoweiss reader has known for years.
    And the allegedly sophisticated New Yorker takes this “omg we didn’t know” idiocy seriously (or at least expects us to).

    • Paranam Kid
      July 11, 2018, 3:44 am

      @Tom Suarez: “US Intelligence knew by mid-1947 that even the “moderate” Zionists would not stop until they had seized all the land at least to the Jordan (and that the less moderate would try to seize Jordan and parts of Syria and Lebanon).”

      You are too modest to refer to it a source, so I will on your behalf: read Tom Suarez book State of Terror.

  6. Stephen Shenfield
    July 10, 2018, 7:11 pm

    It is indeed very hard to believe that Lowenstein or Obama were not aware of the fact that the settlements were gobbling up large areas of the West Bank. But that is not inconsistent with them being surprised by just how far the process had already gone. In 2005 General Spiegel conducted an aerial survey of settlement expansion and the results surprised even the Israeli leaders (https://www.haaretz.com/1.5055488), who had not been aware of the extent of expansion even though they did of course know that the settlements were expanding.

  7. JWalters
    July 10, 2018, 8:00 pm

    Of course Obama knew. Just as every bribed and threatened member of the press and congress knew. A thoughtful article on Obama’s situation is
    “Obama Reminds Allies: ‘Remember What Happened to Dr. King?'”
    https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/30688-obama-reminds-allies-qremember-what-happened-to-dr-kingq

    Obama also remembered JFK, and may well have had his children threatened. Would you sacrifice your child to stand up to Netanyahu?

    All the candidates running for congress who are willing to criticize Israel MUST take their personal security very seriously. Remember Razan Al Najar. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but be cautious, not careless.

    The importance of the New Yorker article is that it is putting this topic into the public discussion. That will help give these candidates cover going forward.

    • Boomer
      July 11, 2018, 8:19 am

      Thanks for the link.

    • Citizen
      July 11, 2018, 11:20 am

      It’s claimed to be mere coincidence that when JFK was killed he was pushing Israel hard to end its pursuit of the bomb–his letters showing this are at JFK library. Too, when Bobby Kennedy was killed he was fully engaged trying to get AIPAC to register as agent of foreign government under FARA. I guess that’s coincidence too. LBJ ditched both goals immediately–& allowed & covered up Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty.

      So Obama surely knew all this?

  8. Scott
    July 10, 2018, 10:41 pm

    I wonder what Rashid Khalidi would say about this piece!

  9. Jackdaw
    July 11, 2018, 3:27 am

    Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia are nations of islands.
    Malaysia and the United States are not contiguous geographically.

    It’s about governance.

    • Boomer
      July 11, 2018, 8:31 am

      It’s about dispossession and oppression and American complicity.

    • John O
      July 11, 2018, 11:30 am

      @Pheasant

      The sheer idiocy of your post takes my breath away.

    • Misterioso
      July 11, 2018, 2:54 pm

      @Jackdaw

      To describe your comment in one word: Moronic!!

      • Jackdaw
        July 11, 2018, 4:59 pm

        Idiotic and moronic, yet factually correct.

        And facts, I’m told, are stubborn things.

      • John O
        July 11, 2018, 6:17 pm

        @Pheasant

        Correct only so long as you are talking about literal islands within recognised state borders.

        A better analogy would be the Bantustans controlled by South Africa.

    • JWalters
      July 11, 2018, 6:30 pm

      So let’s re-locate Israel to a set of remote islands.

      • echinococcus
        July 11, 2018, 8:24 pm

        Remote is very good but I’m afraid insufficient. They still must be uninhabited.

      • Bumblebye
        July 12, 2018, 3:23 pm

        I’ve suggested the Falklands before. Less than 5,000 folk to buy off, lots of valuable resources. Far, far away from anywhere. Perfect!

      • RoHa
        July 13, 2018, 6:24 am

        Fewer than 5000. The British Government could move them to a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean (Anguilla, say, or the Turks and Caicos) or subsidise them for citizenship in one of the island countries like St Kitts and Nevis. Places where the process of government consists of five Government Ministers meeting in a bar, drinking rum, and asking the barmaid whether anything governmental needs to be done. The usual answer is “No, nothing”, so they do that, and then have some more rum.

        From the little I know of the Falklands, I’d much rather live in St Kitts.

        And let the Argentines deal with the Zionists.

  10. Boomer
    July 11, 2018, 8:07 am

    Re: “Obama was s shocked, shocked .. . ”

    Laughable. (Though unlike the line in Casablanca, it isn’t intended to elicit a smile.) Here is an excellent review of the facts. (I quote an excerpt and provide a link to the full piece, which is well worth reading):

    “NO PRESIDENT entered the White House with a more nuanced understanding of the Israeli- Palestinian issue or such boundless confidence in his ability to resolve the conflict than did Barack Obama in 2009.

    “Before his meteoric rise to the presidency, Obama had developed an intimacy with the Palestinian-American community, and an empathy with its narrative, that few politicians achieve. As an Illinois state senator with many Palestinian-American constituents, he often attended community events at which he “was forthright in his criticism of U.S. policy and his call for an evenhanded approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” according to Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah’s firsthand account.1

    “And the close political bonds he developed with a coterie of liberal Jewish-American advisors in Chicago exposed him to that community’s non-monolithic views toward Israel. These advisors, who included people such as David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist and later senior advisor, held to a “bitter estrangement from the see-no-evil Zionism of the American Jewish establishment,” wrote Peter Beinart. Obama was “repeatedly reminded, in a way most American politicians are not, that when it comes to Israel, many American Jews disagree with their communal leaders.”2”

    from: http://www.palestine-studies.org/jps/fulltext/207365

    What is more plausible (and what makes it possible for Entous to get such an assertion published in a reputable media source read by some of the American elites) is the notion that many Americans were unfamiliar with the maps and the reality they represent.

    I, for example, first saw them on the back page of Harpers (hardly a mass circulation journal) right around 9/11, if my memory serves. (I could be wrong about the date they appeared.) I didn’t see more discussion of them in other American MSM. Of course, other matters were deemed more important, and American policy in Palestine/Israel was not deemed relevant to those matters (at least not in mainstream MSM).

    I recall a Republican debate in which Rep. Paul alluded to our support for Israel as a factor that contributed to 9/11, to which Mayor Rudolph Giuliani responded “I never heard that.” That was the extent of discussion of the matter in that debate, and indeed in the campaign.

    Though Giuliani’s statement was as laughable as Entous’s, the embargo on factual discussion in American MSM is sufficiently effective that it was almost plausible, and certainly safe enough for the Mayor. Of course, such ignorance on the part of a mayor of NYC and candidate for President should, in a ideal world, be disqualifying. But that’s not the world we inhabit.

    • JWalters
      July 11, 2018, 6:34 pm

      Fascinating information, thanks. More evidence of the overwhelming power of the Israel (“it doesn’t exist”) Lobby.

      • Boomer
        July 12, 2018, 10:10 am

        Still more evidence, depressing evidence, about the nature of our media was provided after 9/11. People may recall that the Bush Jr. administration called on the media not to publish the statements and videos of Osama bin Laden, and to a shocking extent they complied. But before the embargo was sealed, a few facts tricked out. I recall seeing a transcript of one of his videos in a newspaper (WaPo, I believe) that referred to U.S. policy in Palestine as factor. His reference to “80 years” was the hint that I needed to learn more about the history of the region during the early 20th century. That prompted me to begin the search for information that eventually led me to this site, among other sources.

  11. CigarGod
    July 11, 2018, 9:13 am

    Entirely believeable.
    People who watch only FOX are not exposed to information contrary to FOX agenda.
    Same with NPR.
    Same with faction that ran the WH.
    WH is a bubble like FOX, NPR, etc…bubbles.

    • Citizen
      July 11, 2018, 11:28 am

      On the issue of how Israel is handled or not, or misleads, especially by omitting context, FOX’s competitors differ not at all, e.g., CNN, MSNBC, HLN. All are essentially hasbarists. All gurus trotted in by any of them parrot Netanyahu’s take on any issue involving Palestinians.

  12. Kay24
    July 11, 2018, 9:30 am

    Here is something else that is shocking:

    “Qatar donated $250,000 to some of the most extreme pro-Israel organizations in the United States, including one that funds senior Israeli military officers to go on propaganda tours.

    Joseph Allaham, a lobbyist working for the Qatari government, transferred the money through his firm Lexington Strategies in late 2017 and early 2018.

    The sums included $100,000 to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), $100,000 to Our Soldiers Speak and $50,000 for Blue Diamond Horizons, Inc.

    Our Soldiers Speak describes itself as the “vehicle through which the IDF [Israeli army] and the Israeli National Police dispatch senior officers to select campuses overseas” and to give “briefings” to members of the US Congress.

    Blue Diamond Horizons is a company controlled by Mike Huckabee, the Christian Zionist former governor of Arkansas.”

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/qatar-funded-zionist-organization-america/24936

    It seems the Saudis and the Qatari’s are vying for America’s love.
    They are also throwing their own, the Palestinians, under the bus, by sleeping with the enemy that kills their children.

    • JWalters
      July 11, 2018, 6:37 pm

      It’s all about BIG Money. They don’t actually care about Jews either. Otherwise they would not sell Jews a war zone by calling it a “safe haven”. Mafia all the way.

    • hai_bar
      July 12, 2018, 2:31 am

      The “Al-Saud” Family was empowered by the British empire in the 19’th Century. I do not expect anything else from them and from the other Gulf-Vessel States. Kind of like the Shah of Iran except no one challenged this structure in “Saudi” Arabia, yet. They even renamed a whole geography to fit their family name.

      I see them like “Israel” – a product of European Colonialism without the Settlers. Petrol colony.

  13. WebSkipper
    July 11, 2018, 1:07 pm

    I just had occasion to pull out the book “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine” by Nathan Thrall. Turning to the final chapter “Obama’s Palestine Legacy”, the author notes:

    “In a 2003 toast to Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian American historian of the University of Chicago and later Columbia University, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and the many talks that had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.” He had dined with and attended lectures by such figures as Edward Said, the most famous and eloquent Palestinian critic of the Oslo Accords, and he had offered words of encouragement to Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian American activist, writer, cofounder of the Electronic Intifada, and leading advocate of a one-state solution.”

    Most certainly, Obama was quite well informed as to the realities. Was he shocked? Not hardly.

    Ali Abunimah once tweeted a now well-known picture of the Obamas at dinner with him, Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said. It can be seen at https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/314391265192071168/photo/1

  14. James Canning
    July 11, 2018, 1:13 pm

    Concern for Obama’s legacy is a driving factor here, in my view. Pressure from rich Jewish campaign donors compelled Obama to look the other way while Israel greatly expanded its illegal settlement program in the occupied West Bank.

  15. Citizen
    July 11, 2018, 8:06 pm

    Yes, Obama is all about his post-POTUS speaking & writing career and he needs moneybags donors for his library.

    Elan Journo’s new book “What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a propaganda work intended to justify Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. It is exposed as a malevolent hoax in this new e-book:
    https://www.obstacletopeace.com/shop/exposing-a-zionist-hoax-pdf/

  16. rafa santisteban
    July 15, 2018, 7:24 pm

    Yes it’s totally believable. It shows that even the smartest US guys are brainwashed – truly brainwashed – by Israel/AIPAC propaganda and their framing of the debate. A fundamental part of that propaganda is that Israel is and always has been willing to negotiate for some kind of two-state solution. Kerry AFAIK worked incredibly hard to sustain Israel/Palestinian negotiations – based on that “Israel is willing” foundation. His efforts were clearly pointless at the time – Netanyahu was clearly playing with him – but there don’t seem to be any decent psychologists in any US administration.

    You have to be quite mad – in this particular area – completely divorced from reality -, to believe that Israel intends to give anything back.

    A country that pours 750,000 settlers into the Occupied Territories *every year for 50 years* and continues to pour settlers in relentlessly, clearly has no serious intention whatsoever of giving the territories back – clearly wants them all in the end, however gradually.

    The maps are particularly shocking because they underline the systematic nature of the land grabs. I saw another a few years back – of Israeli settlements, wh. made clear that they strategically and systematically encircled the whole of the W Bank.

    That should be the starting point of all discussion here. “Israel has no practical intention of giving anything back. Israel will go through negotiations charades, if pushed, but won’t give anything back. What then can be done to change its mind?” It’s in everyone’s except Israel’s interests, incl. US administrations to accept that and stop imagining that Israel is open to real negotiation.

    I suspect that even Kushner with his plan, hasn’t taken this on board – doesn’t realise that even if the Palestinians would accept the scraps offered in his plan, the *Israelis* wouldn’t! Netanyahu is probably stringing him along too.

    At the same time, it’s important to realise that Israel has always partly brainwashed itself – never allowed the left hand to know what the right hand is doing. It has always been fundamental to Israeli politics that there is some debate about how much to give back and whether to negotiate. The Israeli establishment has never fully admitted to itself that it wants and is pursuing all the land – and still doesn’t.

    Only in the last few years have we come to see more and more Israeli politicians putting aside the 50 year facade, and saying “it’s all ours by right”. You only have to read Comments sections in Israeli media to see that most ordinary Israelis now think that too.

    Yes it’s believable that Obama didn’t fully realise what was going on. But you have to have a certain psychological subtlety to understand the “schizophrenic”/split nature of Israeli propaganda and thinking.

    • Boomer
      July 18, 2018, 2:37 pm

      re: “Yes it’s totally believable. It shows that even the smartest US guys are brainwashed – truly brainwashed – by Israel/AIPAC propaganda and their framing of the debate. A fundamental part of that propaganda is that Israel is and always has been willing to negotiate for some kind of two-state solution. Kerry AFAIK worked incredibly hard to sustain Israel/Palestinian negotiations – based on that “Israel is willing” foundation. His efforts were clearly pointless at the time – Netanyahu was clearly playing with him – but there don’t seem to be any decent psychologists in any US administration. You have to be quite mad – in this particular area – completely divorced from reality -, to believe that Israel intends to give anything back.”

      You make some good points. I think that Obama probably did believe when he entered office that some kind of settlement was possible . . . a settlement that involved Israel at least giving up a claim to additional territory, and giving a decent degree of autonomy to Palestinians. Dealing with Netanyahu must have disabused him of that belief rather quickly, while dealing with political forces in the U.S. quickly forced him to conclude that he couldn’t force a change in that reality . . . at least not without risking everything else he might hope to accomplish.

      Still, I find it hard to believe that the maps were a surprise. If they were, it suggests malpractice on the part of his advisors and briefers. Of course, I can well believe that people like Ross would have been guilty of malpractice, but there were lots of others who knew the score. Given that, Kerry’s actions which you point to, do indeed seem bizarre. So I can’t reject your conclusion. Perhaps there was some kind of group delusion. Goodness knows, there seems to be plenty of that in the Trump White House (though it’s hard to know what is sincere delusion and what is simple lying.)

      • Boomer
        July 18, 2018, 3:30 pm

        PS re Kerry’s inexplicable peace efforts.

        On reflection, I wonder if his actions were prompted more by domestic considerations than by hope of results in Palestine/Israel? Maintaining the fiction of a “peace process” has long been a strategy of Zionists (liberal and otherwise). No doubt Obama’s donors were happy to see Kerry on a wild goose chase. The fiction was maintained as long as possible. Only at the very end of his administration, when it was an empty gesture, did Obama refrain from using the veto at the UNSC on behalf of Israel.

  17. rafa santisteban
    July 15, 2018, 7:35 pm

    P.S. Yes, yes it’s believable. Whole governments/administrations can be incredibly psychologically naive about the other side. The Vietnam War is a classic example. As “The Fog of War” showed, the whole US government didn’t understand that the North Vietnamese were fighting them for nationalistic reasons, not Communist ones. It was only in the 1990s, when McNamara came to talk with the 1960s Vietnamese generals, that he came to understand for the first time that the Vietnamese didn’t care about “Communist dominoes”, they just wanted to get these bloody US invaders out of their country. McNamara had never understood that. These guys often believe their own propaganda.

  18. Maghlawatan
    July 18, 2018, 5:13 pm

    Obama must have known. Some problems can’t be fixed. They are just left to run their course. Why risk many careers by standing up to the Zionists ? Better to let Israel collapse. All by its little old self.
    If something cannot last forever it will stop at some point.
    And Zionists don’t act ever in their own best interest. Plus they are vicious. So fuck them.

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