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Outside In: The Trump administration’s plan to remake the Middle East

US Politics
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Donald Trump recently reiterated his promise to introduce a Middle East peace plan in the next few months. That promise makes sense of a number of unusual and extreme events that have taken place recently.

On February 15, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump held their first official meeting. At the press conference that preceded that meeting, they discussed Trump’s promise to strike “a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.” Over the course of the press conference, Trump and Netanyahu would go on to unpack that cryptic remark in a way that eventually revealed the strategy that would make sense of the recent unusual events.

Outside In

The single most clarifying lens through which to view Israel’s foreign policy history is the lens of the doctrine of the periphery. The doctrine of the periphery can be traced back to two leaders of Mossad: Reuven Shiloah and Isser Harel. But its central premise, that political compromise with the Arabs is impossible, may be traced back even further to Vladimir Jabotinsky. According to this perspective, Israelis look out from a tiny land to find themselves surrounded by Arab nations who are not only hostile to them but whose differences with Israel are so essential that compromise and friendship are impossible. This impossibility of political ties with its neighbours drives Israel to reach for alliances with non-Arab states just beyond the circumference of her neighbourhood: to the periphery. This local world view was adopted by David Ben-Gurion and became his doctrine of the periphery. Ben-Gurion was the architect of the first phase of Israeli foreign policy.

The second phase was ushered in by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres who pushed the pendulum to the other amplitude: enmity with the periphery and warming of relations with the neighbourhood. Under Rabin and Peres, Israeli foreign policy would focus on a “New Middle East” in which Israel would warm relations with its Arab neighbours in order to confront a new peripheral enmity with Iran.

The third phase is the creation of Netanyahu. Its innovation was that it no longer viewed the pendulum swing as a bipolar one that had to choose the Arab neighbourhood or the non-Arab periphery. As the old doctrine of the periphery split the Arab neighbourhood from the non-Arab periphery, Netanyahu now split the Arab neighbourhood into the Arab states and the Palestinians. For the first time in the history of Israel, Netanyahu made enemies of both Iran and the Palestinians. Keeping his eye on the periphery doctrine’s intent of never making enemies of everyone at once, Netanyahu accomplished his foreign policy innovation by severing the Palestinians from the rest of the Arab neighbourhood.

So, when Trump said that his “administration is committed to working with Israel and our common allies in the region towards greater security and stability. That includes working toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” he was signing on to Netanyahu’s plan. For, who were the “common allies?” Taking his turn to talk, Netanyahu would supply the answer: “for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but, increasingly, as an ally. And I believe that under your leadership, this change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace.” Hence, the “bigger” deal. Bigger, as Trump explained, because “It would take in many, many countries and it would cover a very large territory.”

Netanyahu refers to his doctrine as “outside in:” first you pacify the outside and ally with the Sunni Arab states outside of Israel, then, in exchange, you extract a peace plan out of them that you then impose inside on a Palestine now devoid of allies. You pacify the Sunni states by supporting them militarily and by providing them political cover generally, and by supporting them, specifically, in their opposition to Iran. You then crush Palestine and leave it helpless to hold out against a peace plan forced on them by Trump and supported by a bought off Arab world who has abandoned them.

Outside

The two Sunni Arab states that have to be bought and pacified are Saudi Arabia and Egypt. How do you subdue them? Join them in their confrontation with Iran and provide them with military and diplomatic support.

The Iran part was easy. Trump isolated Iran diplomatically by pulling out of the JCPOA nuclear agreement and then isolated them economically with sanctions that attempted to prohibit anyone in the world from trading with Iran. With the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia now united against the common Iranian enemy, they were free, in the words of Netanyahu at the press conference, to “transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East.”

The next step was to provide Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the means and the military and political cover. This step was trickier and looked extremely odd. But it makes sense in the light of Trump’s promise of an imminent Middle East peace plan and the Outside In policy.

In order to allow the U.S. to go on supporting Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen and, specifically, to allow it to go on enabling Saudi bombing missions by refueling their aircrafts midair, the Trump administration, under the National Defense Authorization Act, had to certify to congress that Saudi Arabia was making sincere diplomatic efforts to end the war, taking measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and protecting civilians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did just that on September 11, reassuring congress that “the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.”

That step was trickier because Pompeo’s reassurance wasn’t true. The Saudi assault on Yemen has been at least as bloody and brutal as ever. A recent U.N. Human Rights Council report has “strongly suggested” that Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen could amount to crimes under international law. It concludes that “There is little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties.”  Oxfam agrees, saying that Pompeo’s certification was “openly defying and lying to Congress,” adding that “August was the bloodiest month so far in 2018 for civilians in Yemen.” So, the Secretary of State lied to congress to permit America to go on selling missiles to Saudi Arabia and to go on refuelling Saudi jets.

The move to win over the outside looked no less bizarre in Egypt. While winning over Saudi Arabia necessitated lying about their government’s actions, winning over Egypt necessitated being honest about theirs. When Rex Tillerson was Secretary of State, he withheld $195 million from Egypt because of Egypt’s human rights abuses. But Pompeo freed the money up on August 21 even though, he admitted, “The overall human rights climate in Egypt continues to deteriorate.” That is, the Trump administration reinstated the military funding it had withheld from Egypt due to human rights abuses, not because they are improving, but while they are deteriorating.

Pompeo’s “Memorandum of Justification” clearly declares that Egyptian legislation “conflicts with its human rights obligations.” It singles out, amongst other human rights violations, infringements on freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial, arbitrary arrests, disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings. Nonetheless, Pompeo and Trump returned to providing military aid to that government. Freeing up and providing that military aid to Egypt while publicly enumerating the human rights violations effectively provides Egypt political and diplomatic cover by publicly declaring that Egypt will go on being funded even if their human rights violations continue to deteriorate.

In

With the outside brought onside with the termination of U.S. diplomacy with Iran and the assurance of military support to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Trump and Netanyahu could turn their attention to the inside: the crushing of the Palestinians.

The first step was crushing them financially. So, Trump announced a more than 50% cut in American financial support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). That was followed up by a State Department review of Palestinian assistance that was ordered by Trump that resulted in an additional $200 million of Palestinian aid being slashed. Trump then closed the Washington office of the PLO and redefined “refugee” to mean that you had to actually have lived in Mandatory Palestine prior to the creation of the refugee problem in 1948. None of those refugees’ descendants count. That means you have to be over seventy to be a refugee. That means soon there will be no refugees to fund or to return to their homes: problem erased by definition. The Palestinians now were financially crushed, silenced and disenfranchised.

As the Outside In policy predicts, all of these measures aimed at the Palestinians have the admitted aim of forcing them to enter into Trump’s new peace talks. Trump said that UNRWA aid would disappear unless the Palestinians participate in American run peace talks with Israel. When the Palestinians didn’t capitulate, Trump cut it all: no more US contributions to UNRWA. That’s the second part of Outside In: force the peace plan on the Palestinians.

The only promise that is new about the promised peace plan is the way it will be forced on the Palestinians: no one has promised that the plan itself will be new. With Saudi Arabia and Egypt—the outside—brought onside with the promise of continued military aid despite their crimes against humanity and violations of international law and the Palestinians weakened by being silenced, economically crushed and stripped of any friends to help them, the United States and Israel are now free to attempt to impose a peace plan on the Palestinians.

And that Outside In reality makes sense of the bizarre scenes of Pompeo “lying” to congress about Saudi crimes in Yemen; of Pompeo certifying Egypt, not because human rights abuses have improved but because they have “deteriorated”; and of the onslaught of funding cuts and blows to the Palestinian cause despite Trump’s promise, after moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, that the Palestinians will “get something very good . . . because it’s their turn next.”

Ted Snider
About Ted Snider

Ted Snider has a graduate degree in philosophy and writes on analyzing patterns in U.S. foreign policy and history. His work has appeared in AntiWar.com, ConsortiumNews, and other places.

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53 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 10, 2018, 1:18 pm

    Don’t call them peace talks. Surrender talks.

    The Palestinians said no to Clinton and Bush 2 because both offers were bollocks.

    18 years after Clinton there is demographic parity and Israel’s image expressed in financial terms is Triple C. Hasbara is dead.

    Think of it in terms of option pricing. Trump will offer nothing. 10 more years of sumud plus BDS have great upside.

    The value of sumud plus BDS is much higher than the value of surrender.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 11, 2018, 9:30 am

      Meanwhile:

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/181009170359749.html

      Al Jazeera, Oct. 9/18

      “Qatari fuel enters Gaza to avert ‘humanitarian disaster'”

      “Fuel delivery bypassed the Palestinian Authority, which has threatened retaliatory measures if deliveries continue.”

      “Qatari-bought fuel arrived at the Gaza Strip’s only power station after entering through Israel, sources said, in a bid to alleviate conditions in the besieged enclave and stem any escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

      “A Palestinian source at the Karam Abu Salem border crossing, also known as Kerem Shalom, in southern Gaza said six trucks monitored by the United Nations and carrying 450,000 litres of fuel crossed there on Tuesday.

      “‘The Qatari fuel to the Gaza Strip’s power plant today is aimed at partially improving electricity (supply) in Gaza,’ Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told AFP news agency.
      The delivery could help ease months of protests and clashes along the border between Israel and Hamas-run Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade for more than a decade.

      “The blockade has deprived the strip’s roughly two million inhabitants of several vital commodities, including food, fuel and medicine

      “The trucks that entered Gaza brought the first delivery of a $60m fuel donation by Qatar meant to provide the power plant with enough fuel to operate for six months, local sources said.

      “For months, Gazans have been receiving only four hours of mains electricity a day on average.

      “A spokesman for the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, voiced disapproval of the fuel delivery.

      “‘Any international financial aid to the Gaza Strip should be through, or with the coordination of, the Palestinian government,’ he said, in order ‘to preserve Palestinian unity’ and to stop any plans to separate Gaza from the West Bank.

      “In a statement on Tuesday Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior official close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, threatened retaliatory measures if the fuel deliveries continued.

      “‘Humanitarian disaster'”

      The United Nations has warned that Israel’s 11-year blockade of the strip has resulted in a ‘catastrophic’ humanitarian situation.

      “Under the UN-brokered deal, Qatar pays for the fuel which is then delivered through Israel with United Nations monitoring, a diplomatic source said.

      “A Qatari official, speaking to Reuters news agency on Sunday, said Doha planned to help with Gaza’s power crisis ‘at the request of donor states in the UN, to prevent an escalation of the existing humanitarian disaster.’

      “Israel’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, told Reuters on Monday that Qatar ‘was trying to help’ prevent a Gaza flare-up.

      “Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s Palestinian Authority in a 2007 civil war, a year after it unexpectedly won elections in the coastal enclave, triggering a crisis in Palestinian politics.

      “Multiple reconciliation attempts aimed at restoring the PA to power in Gaza have failed.
      Hamas spokesman Qassem said that the deliveries were facilitated ‘through the United Nations because of the vacuum left by the PA.’

      “Abbas says that making deals with Hamas amounts to recognising their control over Gaza in place of the PA.

      “Much of the international community considers Hamas a terrorist organisation.
      Israel says its blockade of Gaza is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.”

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 10, 2018, 1:56 pm

    This is all to give Trump and his brilliant Middle East peace broker Jared credit, and claim that they reached out to help the Palestinians, and that THEY rejected all efforts, the ungrateful people, and then they will try to convince the world that the Palestinians somehow wants to be under occupation, and suffer.

    I do not have any faith that Jared, the man whose bed good buddy Netanyahu slept on, during a visit to Kushner’s family house, is an honest broker. After stabbing the Palestinians in their backs, and giving Jerusalem to their occupier, you have to be naive to think they will jump for joy over Jared and Trump’s idiotic peace plan. Offering the victims of this occupation, who have had no freedom, have had their lands stolen, children killed, entire families wiped lout, fishing rights restricted, and suffer on a daily basis, nothing, and everything to those who have tormented them for decades.

    Take a look at Jared’s speech during the grand opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, and see how smug and self righteous this zionist can be, as he does Adelson and Booby’s bidding.

  3. JaapBo
    JaapBo
    October 10, 2018, 3:35 pm

    So what will they come up with? The Bantustan-solution? Any kind of “solution” that Netanyahu agrees with must be similar to Apartheid (if we exclude expulsions).

    An apartheid-like solution will only deligitimize Israel further!

  4. gamal
    gamal
    October 10, 2018, 4:06 pm

    “to be bought and pacified are Saudi Arabia and Egypt”

    “Join them in their confrontation with Iran”

    Egypt is in a confrontation with Iran? Over what? our regional ambitions?

    Now would be a great time to reread Sunallah Ibrahim, author of “That Smell” (only the Creswell translation, the other one is poor)

    “The Committee” 1981 and “Zaat” 1992, I find them encouraging, you may not, why would any one expect any of this, that Israel and America do, to end happily, when was any of it happy?

    it is really weird that Americans can rarely distinguish between Arafat, Qadaffi, Assad, Hussien etc on the one hand and Sadat, Sisi, Mubarak, Hariri, MBS etc on the other, if you can’t see what I mean, with immediate and vivid clarity, read Ibrahim, to enhance your enjoyment of Empire.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 10, 2018, 8:36 pm

      Who is this Mortgage Backed Security dude? Sisi and Mubarak were /are Merican Backed Shitheads.

      Masrumadunya and Saudi need to be on more stable footings for climate change. They need better leadership.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 10, 2018, 9:55 pm

      “it is really weird that Americans can rarely distinguish between Arafat, Qadaffi, Assad, Hussien etc on the one hand and Sadat, Sisi, Mubarak, Hariri, MBS etc on the other…”

      Not weird at all, Gamal. Intellectual acuity is not the trait most commonly associated with Americans.

  5. Boomer
    Boomer
    October 10, 2018, 7:02 pm

    Thanks for the explanation of “outside in.” At least we know who is calling the tune. Kinda odd: normally we say that he who pays the piper calls the tune, but it seems that Uncle Sam pays, then dances to another’s choice.

  6. JimMichie
    JimMichie
    October 11, 2018, 9:03 am

    No doubt whatsoever the origin of this outrageously Machiavellian scheme: Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu, the brutal, merciless, racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing, land stealing, fascist, terrorist “leader” of Israel’s Zionist regime!

  7. James Canning
    James Canning
    October 11, 2018, 12:56 pm

    Sheldon Adelson wants the Palestinians to disappear. Clearly, Trump is doing his best to accomplish this objective.

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 11, 2018, 1:30 pm

    @JimMichie
    “Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu, the brutal, merciless, racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing, land stealing, fascist, terrorist “leader” of Israel’s Zionist regime!”

    Fairs fair he is a “moderate” by comparison with the Education Minister (LOL) in his government Naftali Bennett who has emerged from his Nazi closet big time:
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/10/10/asked-if-he-would-also-instruct-the-army-to-shoot-and-kill-palestinian-children-who-breach-the-border-fence-bennett-said-they-are-not-children-they-are-terrorists-we-are-fooling/

    Obviously aiming for the top job and is in his racist psychopathic element. His challenger Lieberman is also deranged but appears to have the ability to make basic political calculations.

    Now I wonder if the lunatic Bennett does get the top job would Labour Party MP`s in the UK be accused of Anti- Semitism and breaches of the IHRA if they suggested that he as someone who has openly called for the murder of children be banned from entering the country.

    Hodge/Berger/Smeeth et al would of course be queueing up to embrace him.

  9. brent
    brent
    October 11, 2018, 2:38 pm

    A very thoughtful analysis by Snider.

    I recall Trump’s first meeting with Netanyahu, surprising everyone, including Netanyahu, saying he wanted a deal, whether it was one state or two, so long as both agreed, he would be good with it. He likely knows deals must have a win/win.

    When the newly formed PLO put the one state, a secular, democratic one, with equality for all, on the table, Israel declared war and has since acted to be unforgivable to Palestinians to keep the one state at bay.

    Personally, I believe Trump’s first dedication is to his ego, not Netanyahu’s objectives. If I were designing Palestinian strategy, it would be to “play Trump”, as other diplomats do. Put a plausible two-state plan forward that Netanyahu would counter to prevent Palestinians, Trump and the world from going to the one state.

    Spitting at Trump makes no sense at all. The Palestine Question cannot be resolved with muscle but can with ideas.

  10. orkassem
    orkassem
    October 20, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Very helpful article in understanding what is going on politically between Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. , and how it affects Palestinians striving for their rights.

  11. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 20, 2018, 4:16 pm

    I find it curious, that this article talks about the Palestinians like they are objects, not living, breathing people, who have had a tremendous amount of input and have caused so much damage to themselves and their cause. They never acted in a way to solve the problem of sharing religious sites or land with the Jews, it has always been all or nothing. The leadership well I do not need to list their misdeeds. The cottage industry of the “two state solution” is a life time well paying job for a host of reasons. If the situation was reversed and it was the Jews that needed a state, they would have made a deal a long time ago and been done with it, and surged forward, which for some reasons all of Islam is having a hard time doing moving forward. It is the entire nation of Islam is 4 years old, screaming and crying that they want their land and their religious sites, and that it is all theirs and none else. No temple under Al Aqsa. They are just too infantile to deal with. Temple denial from college educated people. Unesco all if it like a childish game.

    • annie
      annie
      October 21, 2018, 1:37 pm

      speaking of infantile, maybe you should read the palestine papers leaked&published in 2011 before going to far down the rabbit hole of “sharing” and “They never acted in a way to solve the problem”.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        October 21, 2018, 5:10 pm

        Annie – apparently it is not possible to teach israel/Palestine without causing antisemitism, so Scotland is banning the subject:

        https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2018/10/21/education-on-israel-and-palestine-just-got-shut-down-in-scottish-schools/

      • annie
        annie
        October 23, 2018, 2:36 pm

        Bumblebye,

        Some pro-Israel lobby groups have insisted outright that teachers cannot educate on Israel and Palestine without it leading to antisemitism. Groups such as Scottish Friends of Israel are opposed to even the concept of education on the topic, branding it “inappropriate and divisive”.

        amazing! is this for college students too? it makes perfect sense for “friends of israel” to try to keep the history out of the classroom and in the closet because it’s so ugly. but for the minister to cave just seems outlandish!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

        So even Scottish Zionists recognize that the facts are so strongly against them that they have to be suppressed.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 22, 2018, 2:34 am

      “If the situation was reversed and it was the Jews that needed a state, they would have made a deal a long time ago …”

      The Palestinians offered to share the land, with Jews and Arabs being equal, full, citizens in a single, democratic state. The Zionists would have none of it.

      Then they tried to make a two-state deal, but the Zionists won’t have that, either. (Israel ignores the Arab peace plan of 2002.)

      • frantaubman
        frantaubman
        October 23, 2018, 9:27 pm

        You kidding me, just look at all the writings by the mufti of Jerusalem, just read under the shade of the koran by sayid q’tub, tons of writings about how the Jews got it all wrong, to accept the jews as equal would be to delegitimize islam, which has never shared anything with anyone in any muslim country as equal citizens. Are you the tooth fairy? Jews living in muslim countries were not equal citizens they were dimi and had to pay a tax and could not do a lot of things their muslim citizens could. Study the jews of aleppo. The islamic religion during muslim conquest turned all the churches into mosque, like building the dome of rock over the temple mount. When Jews can live equally in the 32 muslim only countries, hey are they a little racist maybe? I will think about it all being equal. the original mandate included trans jordan (talk about colonial imperialism the Hashmites were just handed that country), you act like israel was the only colonial enterprise. There were more jewish refugees from muslim lands than arab refugees from palestine. why couldn’t there be a partition of jews and muslims. like pakistan and india? this whole conversation is like taking the whole mess out of context. The pals turned down many offers, wasn’t it Arafat that turned down camp david with clinton in 2000, that was pretty well documented along with Ehud Barak offering them everything Jerusalem, etc.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 24, 2018, 7:47 am

        Fran

        I went to the future and came across this :

        « The Lost Cause of Zionism, or simply the Lost Cause, is an ideological movement that describes the Zionist cause as a heroic one against the wider humanity despite its defeat. The ideology endorses the supposed virtues of the apartheid Israel, viewing Zionism as an honorable struggle for the Sabra way of life while minimizing or denying the central role of apartheid.

        The Lost Cause ideology synthesized numerous ideas. Lost Cause supporters argued that apartheid was not the main cause of the collapse of Israel, and claimed that few scholars saw it as such before the 2070s.[2] In order to reach this conclusion, they ignored the declarations of hasbara by the legions of online trolls, the facepalming edicts of the Likud, and the treatment of apartheid in Israeli basic law.[3] They also denied or minimized the pre collapse writings and speeches of Zionist leaders in favor of post collapse. Supporters often stressed the idea of Apartheid as a defense against a Palestinian threat to their way of life and said that the threat violated the Israeli state’s rights guaranteed by God

        They deludely believed that any Jew had the right to shoot Palestinians , a point strongly denied by the goys and self haters such as Mooser. The Lost Cause portrayed Israel as more adherent to Jewish values than the allegedly out-marrying USA .Only prayers in Israel had any value. Westchester County never counted.
        It portrayed apartheid as more benevolent than cruel, alleging that it taught civilisation to barbarian Arabs,. .Stories of “happy Pallys ” were often used as propaganda in an effort to defend apartheid These stories would be used to explain apartheid to goys . Many times they also portrayed lefty history teachers in Beersheba being kind to their gimps from Gaza. In explaining Israeli defeat, the Lost Cause said that the main factor was not qualitative inferiority in leadership or fighting ability but the massive moral superiority of the goy human rights machine. At the peak of hasbara and Congress strength in 2018 , decent goys outnumbered brainwashed Israelis by over 40 to one. Nobody ever acknowledged how crap the Israeli education system was at the time of the fall.« 

        Starring B Milikovski as Jefferson Davis

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 24, 2018, 11:43 am

        Uh-oh, “Dabakr’s” got competition in the ‘mutter’ category.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        October 28, 2018, 12:28 am

        Fran,
        You are correct. Mondoweiss is just a disgusting fountain of hatred directed at Israel, Israelis and Jews. A commentator who goes by the handle “Mooser” who has posted over 50,000 comments here and claims to be Jewish will take a shot at you that he thinks is witty every time you post. He’ll even do it in Yiddish once in a while. Then there is Eljay who will copy and paste the same drek over and over game. Everyone else are just boring anti-Semites. But anti-Semites nonetheless. So say your pro-Israel beliefs and fuck the Mondoweiss anti-Semites.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 2:09 pm

        “So say your pro-Israel beliefs and fuck the Mondoweiss anti-Semites.” My very own “Steve Grover”

        “Fran”, unlimber your vouchsafer and let fly! Do read the Comments Policy .

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 28, 2018, 2:33 pm

        || Steve Grover: … Mondoweiss is just a disgusting fountain of hatred directed at Israel, Israelis and Jews. … ||

        Actually, it directed at hateful and immoral Jewish supremacist (Zionist) hypocrites and your colonialist and (war) criminal construct.

        But it’s nothing compared to the disgusting fountain of supremacist hatred directed by Zionists at Palestinians, non-Jewish Israelis, non-Zionist Jews and non-Jews in general.

        || … Then there is Eljay [sic] who will copy and paste the same drek over and over … ||

        Yeah, but it’s accurate drek and it hits home every time which is why it really pisses off hateful and immoral supremacist hypocrites like you.  :-(

  12. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    October 21, 2018, 9:10 am

    The first time Ted Snider’s name stuck with me was when he was investigating US interference in South America under Obama. That was also quite good.

  13. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

    Meghlawatan,

    Oh please with the hasbara troll shit you are clearly a copyist and and groupie repeating crap you have heard, that makes you feel special and smart. You did not address any of my points just blah blah apartheid, your writing is so silly Zionism the lost cause, how about the Arab muslims, a truly lost cause. I put my money on the Zionist who actually get things done to help more people around the world like the de salinization plants that turn raw water into drinking water and has saved many African countries from dehydrating. Good luck with your 2070’s future.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 25, 2018, 4:41 pm

      ” I put my money on the Zionist…”

      Somebody bet on the bay!

  14. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 25, 2018, 8:27 pm

    The dehumanizing, delegitimizing, self righteousness of all of these anti -zionist sites, is so bluntly racist in it’s origins, it will never succeed in bringing Israel down. It is fundamentally immoral andI I believe in the long arc of morality. Jews, zionists, Israelis whatever, there are good and bad, like any other people, there is no plot no planning no lock steps. There were two peoples involved in this debacle, the Arabs and the Jews, and both are guilty of the situation is now. Jews would never let Palestinian refugees just rot in ghettos in Lebanon to make a purely political statement. They are not allowed to work, or reside as equals. Israel has taken every Jewish refugee in as a full citizen. They receive no help. Why don’t you trash Lebanon? Oh no Jews poor Lebanon.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 26, 2018, 1:17 am

      “There were two peoples involved in this debacle, the Arabs and the Jews, and both are guilty of the situation is now. ”

      The Jews are guilty of going to a country with the intent of taking it away from the native inhabitants, and then doing so. The Arabs are guilty of not wanting to leave their country.

      “Jews would never let Palestinian refugees just rot in ghettos in Lebanon to make a purely political statement.”

      But that is exactly what Jews have been doing, even though they agreed to let the Palestinian refugees return.

      “It is fundamentally immoral”

      Please explain how it is immoral to call for justice for the Palestinians.

      “and I believe in the long arc of morality.”

      I have yet to be convinced that Zionists have any understanding of morality.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 26, 2018, 8:19 am

        || RoHa: … The Jews are guilty of going to a country with the intent of taking it away from the native inhabitants, and then doing so. The Arabs are guilty of not wanting to leave their country. … ||

        Correction: The Arabs are guilty of anti-Semitically not wanting to leave their country.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 26, 2018, 9:59 am

        || eljay: … Correction: The Arabs are guilty of anti-Semitically not wanting to leave their country. ||

        Hmmm…I supposed my “correction” was unnecessary because the implication of anti-Semitism is always there.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 26, 2018, 7:21 am

      || frantaubman: The dehumanizing, delegitimizing, self righteousness of all of these … ||

      …Jewish supremacists (Zionists). I know, it’s depressing.

      || … It is fundamentally immoral andI I believe in the long arc of morality. … ||

      I agree that Jewish supremacism and the supremacist “Jewish State” project are fundamentally immoral. Unfortunately, the way Zionists tell it the “arc of morality” is about a Thousand Years! long.

      || … Jews would never let Palestinian refugees just rot in ghettos in Lebanon … ||

      But Jewish Zionists do let them rot in ghettos elsewhere.

      || … Israel has taken every Jewish refugee in as a full citizen. … ||

      But because it is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”, Israel has not taken every non-Jewish Israeli refugee in as a full citizen.

      || … Why don’t you trash Lebanon? ||

      Why do you absolve Israel?

  15. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 26, 2018, 8:07 pm

    ejay
    I do not absolve anyone, there are two sides to this story, but I do not demonize and dehumanize any side, Arabs or Jews. Arab leaders hold most of the blame for this conflict. Jews are not supremacist that is a lie, that is not the foundation or the focus of Zionism, it is just not and to call an ideology or a group immoral is just not helpful, it goes no where. So what do you think of Saudi Arabia, where it is a muslim only country are they supremacist? Or any other muslim countries where no other religion can live as equals, where Christians and Jews are demonized? What do you call that? Your depictions and comments are childish, things you have been taught to say that sounds like oh there is the problem the zionist are racist. Judaism is a moral religion and was one of the first ideology that championed the rights of individuals, and was adjudicating individual rights when Europe was a sand lot. Jews were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, and have really tried hard to work this mess out. Your comments are not only stupid they are not helpful. Jews wanted a Jewish only state not for a superior reason, but for a defense against jew hatred like yours, the was and is prevalent all over the world. The Jews are blamed and scape goated, it is a long history. I personally find Islam far more racist than Judaism. You know there is still an active slave trade for Africans in Libya. I know the gray area of conflict is more difficult and harder to deal with much easier to just say one side is pure evil. So delicious for you to say Zionism is supremacist, must make you feel so good, to know all the answers.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 26, 2018, 10:22 pm

      || frataubman: ejay
      I do not absolve anyone … ||

      Sure you do. Your entire post is an absolution of Zionism and the “Jewish State” project.

      || … Jews are not supremacist that is a lie … ||

      It is a lie to suggest that Zionist Jews are not supremacists. And it’s anti-Semitic to conflate (as you are doing) all Jews with Zionism and Zionism with all Jews.

      || … that is not the foundation or the focus of Zionism … ||

      Sure it is:

      Zionism:

      … the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. …

      The foundation and focus of Zionism is Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

      || … So what do you think of Saudi Arabia, where it is a muslim only country are they supremacist? Or any other muslim countries where no other religion can live as equals, where Christians and Jews are demonized? What do you call that? … ||

      I call those countries supremacist. What do you call them?

      I disapprove of how those countries treat their minorities. Do you approve?

      || … Your depictions and comments are childish … ||

      Your defence of Zionism is ridiculously simplistic.

      || … Judaism is a moral religion … ||

      Judaism may be a moral religion, but Zionism is without question an immoral ideology. Shame on you for anti-Semitically conflating Zionism with Judaism and Judaism with Zionism.

      || … Jews wanted a Jewish only state not for a superior reason … ||

      …but for a religion-supremacist reason. Correct.

      || … but for a defense against jew hatred like yours … ||

      I don’t hate Jews. Oh, I see, you’re once again anti-Semitically conflating Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism.

      || … You know there is still an active slave trade for Africans in Libya. … ||

      Whataboutism. The activities of serial killers do not absolve the rapist of his past and on-going crimes.

      || … I know the gray area of conflict is more difficult and harder to deal with much easier to just say one side is pure evil. So delicious for you to say Zionism is supremacist, must make you feel so good, to know all the answers. ||

      You must have me confused with someone else. I don’t know (and I have never claimed to know) all the answers. But I do advocate the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality. Do you believe that justice, accountability and equality should be applied to I-P? No, of course you don’t. You’re a Zionist.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 27, 2018, 12:31 pm

      ” I…/…know all the answers” “frantaubman”

      Didn’t I tell you? A first-class mutterer.

  16. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 26, 2018, 8:15 pm

    The Jews are just as indigenous to that land as the Arabs. Hebrew is not a colonial language. You can google all of the Jews that were living in Arab lands prior to 1948. You are just plain wrong on the facts, over 70% of Israel is composed of Mizrahi Jews, who were living in there since Temple times. Jews been living in Iran for 2500 years.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 26, 2018, 11:00 pm

      “The Jews are just as indigenous to that land as the Arabs.”

      There were Palestinian Jews who were just as indigenous to that land as the Palestinian Arabs. (They were Palestinian Arabs, and they followed the religion of Judaism.)

      European Jews, North African Jews, Iraqi Jews, Yemeni Jews, and Iranian Jews are not indigenous to Palestine.

      (Nor, for that matter, are European Christians and Muslims, North African Christians and Muslims, Iraqi Christians and Muslims, Yemeni Christians and Muslims, and Iranian Christians and Muslims.)

  17. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 26, 2018, 8:19 pm

    Roha,

    You need to travel to Israel, and see for yourself, and you will be shocked at the lies that you have been feed. Who is at the forefront of helping Haitians and and Syria and places in the world where there are problems, where refugees are landing in Greece, Yep those evil Zionist.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 27, 2018, 12:33 pm

      “Who is at the forefront of helping”

      “At the forefront of helping”! “Fran” must be talking about the barrier fence in Gaza.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 27, 2018, 2:27 pm

      “You need to travel to Israel, and see for yourself, and you will be shocked at the lies that you have been feed.”

      Yes, that’s what more and more of the “Birthright” kids are seeing and saying.

  18. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 27, 2018, 2:32 pm

    RoHa,
    The Arabs in Palestine were not indigenous to Palestine. Palestine was never an independent country with an indigenous people, as in most of Arabia, the Arabs living in Palestine originated from Syria, Iraq, Egypt, all over. There was never a Palestinian culture, government or coinage, like the Shekel. And most of the Arabs living in Palestine were recent, I said most not all, and there were Indigenous Jews living in Palestine since the fall of the temple, not many but there was a Hebron community in 1928. Arabs migrated to Palestine for work, when the Jews figured out how to irrigate and farm the land. Palestine was an ottoman backwater, and most of the land was sold to Jews by Ottoman Arabs gladly, no one wanted to be there. Do you know the population of Palestine in 1948?

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      October 27, 2018, 6:28 pm

      Are you paraphrasing the long discredited Joan Peters rubbish?
      Suggest you find some reliable authors and learn the reality.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 27, 2018, 7:35 pm

      “Arabs migrated to Palestine for work, when the Jews figured out how to irrigate and farm the land.”

      “frantaubman”, if somebody answered you back, using the same hodge-podge of misconceptions and racism against the Jews, the Mods wouldn’t pass it. Do you really want to comment where you are at such a disadvantage?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 28, 2018, 1:50 am

      “The Arabs in Palestine were not indigenous to Palestine.”

      Then neither are the Jews. You said earlier “The Jews are just as indigenous to that land as the Arabs.”

      “Palestine was never an independent country with an indigenous people”

      Only independent countries can have indigenous people? Where do you get this nonsense from?

      (Actually, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was an independent country that took up most of Palestine. I don’t know what proportion of the population was local Arabs,but I suspect there were a lot of them.)

      “There was never a Palestinian culture, government or coinage”

      There certainly was culture, government, and coinage in Palestine, from Roman times to the present day.

      But what does this have to do with being indigenous?

      “and there were Indigenous Jews living in Palestine since the fall of the temple”

      Yes. Those Jews were Palestinian Arabs, not Poles and Ukrainians.

      But you really ought to co-ordinate this business of being indigenous with your fellow sock-puppet* Boris. He thinks that if you have modern Lebanese DNA then you are indigenous to Palestine. Nothing to do with independent countries and culture.

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/10/canard-antisemitism-determination/comment-page-1/#comment-932488

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/10/canard-antisemitism-determination/comment-page-1/#comment-932521

      (*You write such quantities of unmitigated tosh that you can only be one of Mooser’s comic creations.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 2:26 pm

        “you can only be one of Mooser’s comic creations.”

        Let’s clarify this, please.

        Thanks to James North’s intercession, I am sort of allowed one sock-puppet, called “Steve Grover”. One, and one only, and that because North insisted on it, and I had no choice but to agree, or get banned for sock-puppeting.

        I don’t know who does the others. It’s not me. I’ve got enough trouble trying to keep “Steve Grover” from getting me banned for something he says.

  19. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 27, 2018, 8:52 pm

    I do not really care.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 28, 2018, 2:29 pm

      “I do not really care.”

      Did you copy that off your rain-coat?

  20. frantaubman
    frantaubman
    October 27, 2018, 9:28 pm

    I do not really care about my disadvantage I find this and other sites, lack any contextual scholarship that would include a story with two sides, so you are saying you do not want to engage because your side is the ultimate and only side, so I must be at such a disadvantage, you must be so uneducated in history or scholarship and debate, even the discussion of Joan Peters book, yes some people call it rubbish, but many people cal the attacks on greatly exaggerated, and Dershowitz has argued forcefully against the attacks. I am not saying you version is wrong, but common. So what I am saying is most Zionist think this fight for land is a religious fight not a territorial fight, that is what emerged after all this time. So any negotiations (to Zionist) are a trojan horse on the way to complete control of Israel, where the Jews are gone. You can think this is retarded but it has a side to argue. Ever read the Hamas Charter calling for genocide of the Jews? Why write that if you are only interested in ” nationalistic goals of self determination”. That’s right kill the Jews. Below from Rashid Kahlidi.

    In his 1997 book, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, historian Rashid Khalidi notes that the archaeological strata that denote the history of Palestine—encompassing the Biblical, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, Fatimid, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman periods—form part of the identity of the modern-day Palestinian people, as they have come to understand it over the last century,[8] but derides the efforts of some Palestinian nationalists to attempt to “anachronistically” read back into history a nationalist consciousness that is in fact “relatively modern.”[9] Khalidi stresses that Palestinian identity has never been an exclusive one, with “Arabism, religion, and local loyalties” playing an important role.[10] He argues that the modern national identity of Palestinians has its roots in nationalist discourses that emerged among the peoples of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century which sharpened following the demarcation of modern nation-state boundaries in the Middle East after World War I.[10] He acknowledges that Zionism played a role in shaping this identity, though “it is a serious mistake to suggest that Palestinian identity emerged mainly as a response to Zionism.”[10] Khalidi describes the Arab population of British Mandatory Palestine as having “overlapping identities,” with some or many expressing loyalties to villages, regions, a projected nation of Palestine, an alternative of inclusion in a Greater Syria, an Arab national project, as well as to Islam.[11] He writes that,”local patriotism could not yet be described as nation-state nationalism.”[12]

    You hate Zionist with no mitigating factors for debate, you hate Jews. The rest is bullshit. Go worry about the Syrians, where more muslims have died in 5 minutes than Palestinians in the entire conflict since 1948

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 28, 2018, 2:46 am

      ‘In his 1997 book, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, historian Rashid Khalidi notes …”local patriotism could not yet be described as nation-state nationalism.”‘

      So what? How does this justify the Zionist crime of invading Palestine and driving the local people out of their homes and stealing their farms and businesses?

      • frantaubman
        frantaubman
        October 28, 2018, 3:43 pm

        I do not think that is what happened. Most of the land was purchased form absentee Ottoman Sheiks, like Moses Montefore. What do you think was there? For sure some people lost their land. But most of the Beduins refused to sign agreements for the land, because they did not want to pay taxes. They did not “invade and drive the Palestinians from their land”. There was a war.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 28, 2018, 11:47 pm

        “I do not think that is what happened.”

        Your ignorance of history is duly noted.

        Early Zionists bought land and drove off the tenant farmers. Later Zionists made war on the Palestinians and drove many of them out of their villages and farms. Then they destroyed the villages and seized the farms. Modern Zionists have not stopped seizing land and trying to drive off Palestinians.

        People from another country enter a land with the avowed intent of taking over from the locals. Is this not invasion?

        And how does the passage you quote have any bearing on that?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 28, 2018, 1:35 pm

      Shriek, the hysterical homeland.

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