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Kushner plan demands Palestinians ‘surrender’ but they may commit suicide first — French diplomat

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The Atlantic posted an interview with Gerard Araud, the outgoing French ambassador to the U.S. He had some biting comments about Jared Kushner and the Trump peace plan.

The plan serves the more powerful party, the Israelis; Jared Kushner has no guts; “he is totally in real-estate mode.” Trump told Macron, “I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something.” And Palestinians may commit suicide before they accept the plan.

Yara Bayoumy: Your career started out in the Middle East. Where do you see the situation there now, especially with the peace process?

Gérard Araud: I’m close to Jared Kushner … Everywhere in the history of mankind, when there is a negotiation between two sides, the more powerful [party] is imposing terms on the weaker party. That’s the basis of Jared Kushner’s [peace plan]—it will be a proposal very close to what the Israelis want. Is it doomed to fail? I should say 99 percent yes, but 1 percent, you never forget the 1 percent. Trump is uniquely able to push the Israelis, because he is so popular in Israel.

Bayoumy: But Trump hasn’t pushed the Israelis so far.

Araud: Exactly, but if need be, he may do it. Once Trump told Macron, “I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something.” He is totally transactional. He is more popular than [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel, so the Israelis trust him. That’s the first bet, Kushner told me. The second is that the Palestinians may consider, it’s their last chance to get limited sovereignty. And the third element is Kushner is going to pour money on the Palestinians. Don’t forget, the Arabs are behind the Americans. The plan is 50 pages, we were told, very precise; we don’t know what is in the plan. But we’ll see.

The problem is that the disproportion of power is such between the two sides that the strongest may conclude that they have no interest to make concessions. And also the fact that the status quo is extremely comfortable for Israel. Because they [can] have the cake and eat it.  They have the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to make the painful decision about the Palestinians, really making them really, totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel. They won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact already.

Bayoumy: How do you feel Kushner approached the peace plan?

Araud: He is totally in real-estate mode. He is totally dry. He’s extremely smart, but he has no guts. He doesn’t know the history. And in a sense, it’s good—we are not here to say who is right, who is wrong; we are trying to find a way. So in a sense, I like it, but at the same time he is so rational, and he is so pro-Israeli also, that he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.

Philip Weiss

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

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36 Responses

  1. Abierno on April 20, 2019, 12:06 pm

    The naiveté of this interview is incredible. How do you wind down an IDF mandate that fails to respect any boundaries (PA areas A and B), sovereignty of Lebanon, Syria, et. al. and for whom Palestinian untermenschen are ruthlessly slaughtered in the name of existential security. The largest threat to any peace arrangement is Israel’s exceptionalism (laws are important for everyone but us), hyperaggression and culture of absolute and unmitigated impunity for those of the Jewish faith/ethnic heritage.

    Jewish adolescent aggression and racism is encouraged, cemented and amplified through every adolescent’s IDF training. Particularly as regards “Arabs”. Given the history of the Oslo betrayal by Israel (consider Netanyahu’s comments), it is not surprising that the Palestinians – in the realistic absence of hope, respect for nationalistic aspirations, guarantee of personal safety for children and adults, as well as opportunity for productive livelihood – might well choose suicide.

    • JWalters on April 22, 2019, 4:51 am

      If Trump continues his current trajectory, the peace plan will be whatever Sheldon Adelson wants it to be.

    • Misterioso on April 22, 2019, 9:48 am

      A Decisive Struggle For Our Future—An Analysis (22 April 2019) by Prof. Lawrence Davidson

      “Part I—Attacking the Progressive Past

      “The election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu in 2019 occurred under different circumstances, and yet they are very similar in their results. They both put an authoritarian figure in power through democratic electoral procedures. As well, both of these figures, like so many modern reactionary leaders before them, denigrate the recent past. Why do they do so?

      “In the case of Donald Trump, the past he despises is the 1960s, with its progressive civil rights legislation. The laws passed at this time pushed the white supremacy model out of the public realm. Trump. in practice, has proven to be a white supremacist and an extreme nationalist. Most of his ‘core’ voting base adheres to these ideas as well. This worldview demands that he undo— through presidential orders and future decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court—the progress toward equalitarianism and a multicultural society symbolized by the election of America’s first African-American president, Barack Obama. Trump also wants to ‘Make America Great Again’ by acting on the basis of national power alone—thus destroying along the way any number of alliances and treaties enshrining human rights and progressive international law.

      “Of course, these ambitions alone are not exactly why he was elected. Trump’s racist ‘core’ is too small to have elected him by themselves. He was elected because too many Americans did not want to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016—whom they saw as a status quo candidate—and Trump was the GOP alternative. It may well be that a good number of the electorate who voted for Trump had no idea of what sort of person they were supporting. By now they should have no doubt.

      “In the case of Benjamin Netanyahu, the story is an even odder one. The past that Netanyahu rejects is the one designed after World War II to criminalize behaviors such as the waging of aggressive war, genocide, and apartheid. Some of these behaviors had for centuries threatened European Jews. Netanyahu, and those who voted for him, no longer identify with the suffering of their European ancestors. Israel is now a strong, aggressive, land-hungry power much like 19th century Russia and Germany. Many Israeli Jews are also, like Donald Trump’s core supporters, ethnic racists and supremacists.

      “Netanyahu’s problem is that the post-World War II international laws and treaties seeking to prevent aggressive nationalism, racism, and the oppression of minorities now stand in the way of Israeli ambitions. So, oddly, the only way Israel can realize its Zionist ambitions while also being seen as a ‘normal’ country—one that is in tune with the international community— is by changing international norms. That is, Israel now seeks to undermine the progressive international environment that was, in good part, designed to protect the remnants of European Jews. And it would seem, many of those who voted for Netanyahu knew exactly what sort of society they were endorsing.

      “Trump and Netanyahu both stand against minority members of their societies, and through such postures rally a dangerous core base. They are not alone. The nations of the world are increasingly led by reactionary ‘thugs in suits,’ many of them popularly elected. They are all Pied Pipers leading their populations backward—resurrecting the pre-progressive ‘past in present tense.’ Their destination is an environment that, historically, we have enough negative experience to want to avoid. Yet we follow these leaders anyway. To paraphrase Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, it is a case of ‘blind citizens governed by lethal idiots.’

      “Part II—Multiplying Casualties

      “Evidence of this rush to the rear can be found in a partial list of the rights being undermined and the individuals being attacked:

      “A. Attack on a Free Press

      “The editor of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, is in prison in the UK after losing his seven-year-long asylum status at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He will now have to fight extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted for posting on the web shocking evidence of shocking American barbarism in Iraq, as well as other embarrassing revelations.

      “Assange ‘has been charged for alleged conspiracy with whistleblower Chelsea Manning under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.’ The indictment also ‘describes routine journalistic interactions with sources as evidence of conspiracy.’ Thus, ‘the ability to use an encrypted chat messenger or try to keep a source’s identity anonymous are … portrayed as criminal in nature by the Trump Justice Department.’ By the way, that same Justice Department will argue that the nature of the leaked information, revealing the brutal and sometimes criminal behavior of the U.S. military, is irrelevant to the charge against Assange and therefore is inadmissible in court.

      “The larger problem with this attack on Assange is that his alleged ‘conspiring’ to publish information gathered in this fashion is something reporters and newspaper editors do all the time. It is the essence of foundational investigative journalism, and as such the case against Assange is a threat to freedom of the press.

      “In the meantime, the Israelis have stepped into the act by falsely asserting that Assange is a long time “anti-Semite.”

      “Chelsea Manning, Assange’s alleged co-conspirator, is also back in jail. She is being held in contempt of a grand jury subpoena seeking to force her to testify about Assange and Wikileaks.

      “B. Attack on Free Speech

      “The U.S. Congress, as well as some twenty-seven state legislatures, are attacking freedom of speech by attempting to outlaw the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. House Resolution 246 and Senate Resolution 120, both of which identify criticism of the Israeli state with anti-Semitism (which is the equivalent of mistaking apples for oranges), have now been introduced and, though patently unconstitutional because they undermine the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, may be passed into law any way. This subversive action is being carried out at the urging of American Zionists. The Zionists, in turn, are doing this to defend Israel, an apartheid state and violator of international law. So much for the devotion of legislators to the U.S. Bill of Rights in the face of strong lobbies.

      “The Trump administration has simultaneously decided to refuse a visa for Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement. Mr. Barghouti has been accused by Zionists such as U.S. Congressman Lee Zelden of being ‘filled w/ anti-Israel & anti-Semitic hatred.’ As someone who is personally acquainted with Mr. Barghouti, I can testify that this is absolutely untrue. I can also attest that he, as a victim of Israeli apartheid, has no patience with racists.

      “It should be pointed out that the tactics used by American and Israeli Zionists not only have a corrupting effect on the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and the Constitution itself, but also sully Jews in the aggregate and the and the Jewish religion. They do so by insisting that support for the self-aggrandizing, racist political ideology of Zionism is part of the definition of being Jewish.

      “C. Attack on International Law

      “The Trump administration has now expressed its disdain for international law by threatening the judges and investigators of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and refusing visas to those associated with the court even when they simply seek to carry out their duties at the United Nations in New York. The United Nations maintains another headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and ICC business with the UN may now take place there.

      “Part III—Why Recent Progress is Threatened

      “How is it that after making such progressive strides, we now see them threatened? In the U.S. case, part of the answer is that, in the age of the patriarchal nation-state, progressive issues such as multicultural equalitarianism, feminism, gay rights, immigrant rights, and the like are not cultural positions easily sustained. The Civil Rights Movement was successful not just because its leaders formed a strong political coalition, but because their cause proved an important one within the Cold War struggle of the time. In turn, its success did encourage other progressive movements to push their agendas, and the resulting collective social pressure within the U.S. created a smoldering undercurrent of white ethnic resentment. That resentment has now broken out in what is known as a culture war.

      “This culture war has serious political consequences and reflects a polarized nation. Correspondingly, the number of moderates or centrists who are politically active has shrunk. On the conservative side, this polarization has destroyed the traditional Republican Party and replaced it with a right wing extremist rump party led by Donald Trump. It is this essentially purged Republican Party that now leads the fight to destroy the progressive domestic achievements of the recent past.

      “The Democratic Party has so far remained intact. However, that does not necessarily give it political advantage. The party’s leaders have alienated large sections of their once loyal liberal supporters. They continue to direct their political messages to a centrist audience whose numbers are declining. In other words, the party is poorly led and awash in internal dissension. This is a poor position from which to defend, much less further promote, America’s progressive domestic legacy.

      “The one thing the United States does have going for it is a fairly large number of well-educated citizens who are aware that their country has a constitution and a bill of rights that are integral to the character of the nation. Appeals to these documents provide, at least in theory, the basis for progressive legislation and policies.

      “When we turn to Israel, we find little or no regard for the country’s ‘Basic Laws’ that stand in for a constitution. Also, despite all the play given to the Holocaust, many Israelis have a real disdain for Jewish behavior relative to that event. Indeed, Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust are often a source of shame for today’s Israelis. This is because, allegedly, they did not put up a sufficient fight against their genocidal persecutors. The fact that the fate of modern European Jewry helped underwrite much of the universal human rights treaties and related international law is not something the majority of Israelis celebrate.

      “As suggested above, modern Israel’s response to European Jewish history was to become a warrior state. That is what it is at present, and as such it celebrates the sense of superiority that is so often harbored by warriors, and drives their ambitions of conquest and domination.

      “Part IV—Conclusion

      “It would seem that we are in a decisive struggle that will determine the shape of our future. Will it be reactionary or progressive in nature? Organized conservatism has evolved into a reactionary force throughout much of the West, and the hard-fought-for, progressive aspects of our world are in serious danger. The fate of Donald Trump, the U.S.’s ersatz Mussolini, in the 2020 election might be a pivotal moment in this struggle. In the meantime the struggle seems over in Israel—the reactionaries have won.”

      Lawrence Davidson
      [email protected]


      • RoHa on April 23, 2019, 2:34 am

        “a smoldering undercurrent of white ethnic resentment. ”

        I would have expected Davidson to offer a better analysis than “old white guys are grumpy because fings ain’t wot they used t’be”.

    • Misterioso on April 22, 2019, 11:41 am



      “People from every walk of life are speaking up for Palestine”

      Flags For Palestine, April 16/19

      “Millions throughout the world have and are breaking through the barrage of propaganda about the reality of Palestine and are speaking up.

      “Some of them you may already know… R.I.P. to those who are not still with us. Your legacy lives on! FREE PALESTINE….”

    • Albert Westpy on April 22, 2019, 12:21 pm

      Spot on !

  2. YoniFalic on April 20, 2019, 1:01 pm

    Trump & Kushner are almost certainly in criminal violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1091 (c) & (d). While the President is supreme in foreign policy matters, he and his advisors may not violate the US federal code any more than they may pull out guns and start shooting people.

    If the US did not want those under US jurisdiction to commit federal criminal violations when they perpetrate genocide, incite genocide, attempt genocide, or conspire in genocide, the US Congress should not have passed a bill, and the president should not have signed into law a bill enabling The International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the US federal code. Allowing Trump and Kushner to get away with these criminal violations undermines the rule of law in the USA.

    Araud is completely wrong when he asserts “we are not here to say who is right, who is wrong.” The international community has to decide which continues: The State of Israel or the International Anti-Genocide Legal Regime. They can’t co-exist because the State of Israel was criminally founded in genocide after the starting point of the international anti-genocide legal regime. This legal regime cannot be taken seriously if white racist European colonial-settlers get a pass to commit genocidal acts either in 1947-8 or today.

    • YoniFalic on April 20, 2019, 1:15 pm

      Arnaud fails to understand that recognizing a truly independent Palestinian state belonging to the Palestinian natives, who are — as Ben-Gurion and Ben-Tzvi realized — true descendants of ancient Judeans, poses an insurmountable existential dilemma for the white racist colonial-settler invader-genocidaires, who have stolen Palestine on the basis of a ridiculous fairy tale of their own descent from ancient Judeans.

      • Marnie on April 21, 2019, 11:30 pm

        Bravo YoniFalic, bravo. IMO, it is because the Palestinian natives are the true descendants of the ancient Judeans, those who stole their birthright intend to wipe them out, one way or another. It’s a long process, as genocide goes, but they started with the systematic murders, rape and exile in 1948 and have continued throughout the decades to the point now people ask ‘who are palestinians?’ and calling them a ‘fake’ people; Arabic has lost its status as an official language of this land and netanyahoo feels comfortable enough to insist their will be no palestinian state. Esau vs Jacob.

  3. eljay on April 20, 2019, 1:30 pm

    Araud: Exactly, but if need be, he may do it. Once Trump told Macron, “I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something.” He is totally transactional. …

    Trump is an egotistical, narcissistic chump. The only thing the Israelis have to do is stroke his ego and he’ll spin it as an achievement of historical significance.

    Trust me, no-one has ever praised an American president the way the Israelis have praised me. And that’s because they know that my plan is the best plan, the greatest plan, that any American president has ever come up with.

  4. Atlantaiconoclast on April 20, 2019, 3:18 pm

    How did we go from even W supporting a two state solution to this? Obama did not do one tangible thing to push the Israelis to make a just settlement, and the rest was history. Obama was indeed a cruel hoax, especially for the Palestinians.

  5. MHughes976 on April 20, 2019, 3:43 pm

    I think that Mr. Arnaud sounds cynically knowing but I don’t think he knows anything more than we do. It’s a bit difficult even to make out what he thinks: one minute the Palestinians are to surrender, the next Trump is to push the Israelis into conceding something. I don’t quite know what surrender means unless the Palestinians are actually to move out en masse – and I find it hard to believe that even Trump is yet ready for that or that anyone concerned could afford the enormous expenses involved.

    • hai_bar on April 20, 2019, 4:45 pm

      “unless the Palestinians are actually to move out en masse – and I find it hard to believe that even Trump is yet ready for that or that anyone concerned could afford the enormous expenses involved.”

      and Palestinians are going to move out en masse? Do you really think it’s a matter of expenses? Out of personal experience and recent trips back home, trust me, no one is moving out “en masse” anymore – a new genocide must be in plan, if that is ever possible in our time.

      • Stephen Shenfield on April 20, 2019, 6:19 pm

        Many Palestinians ARE being pushed out of more and more rural areas in the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. They are being concentrated in crowded urban ghettoes, where conditions can be created that gradually diminish their numbers by starvation, disease, and despair. That was a part of the Nazi plan for the Jews of eastern Europe, only the Nazis were in a hurry so they escalated to more overt methods before the ghettoes had time to show their full genocidal potential. The Zionists are not in such a great hurry and they still have to exercise some restraint in order not to provoke world opinion too much.

      • MHughes976 on April 22, 2019, 6:32 pm

        I was talking to a Palestinian the other day who I’m sure would have been in Palestine still but for Israeli pressure. This is population transfer step by slow, cruel step . Something keeps it slow. Not likely to be moral compunction, may possibly be a belief that it couldn’t be done, though Zionists are usually pretty sure that they can do what they set their minds to. I do think that it’s a problem for them that any assisted passage scheme, which I’m sure they would warmly welcome, with handshakes at the airport and an allowance to start new lives, would (if by any chance taken up) cost huge amounts of money that no one has yet stumped up. I’m sure I remember Kahane trying to start something of the sort. Perhaps Trump is about to do some stumping up. Just to add that I’m not predicting this on my own non-authority, just trying to spot the meaning of Araud’s talk of surrender and suicide.

  6. HarryLaw on April 21, 2019, 7:33 am

    “Limited sovereignty” yes, just like the Bantustans in South Africa. Trump said he has given Israel everything they want, now he wants Israel to give something to him, for someone who wrote a book on the ‘art of the deal’ that sure is a naive assumption, give your partner everything he asks for, then hope he will be nice to you in return, more like Natenyahu will say ‘never give a sucker an even break’ and demand more. Trump and Kushner should register as foreign Agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act [FARA, 1938] We will know for sure soon when the ‘deal of the century’ is brought out.

    • Citizen on April 21, 2019, 4:30 pm

      HarryLaw, I agree about Netanyahu and Trump.

      Nobody important ever picked up Bobby K’s ball re FARA registration, & they won’t re those two either.

      When the deal is brought out, considering the realistic context put forth by Stephen Shenfield, above here, I predict Netanyahu will continue status quo–he will find something in the deal he can spin into a reason to get more as a condition prededent to signing the deal (as adjusted his way). This will be a height of chutzpah & irony beyond anyone’s present imagination.

  7. CHUCKMAN on April 21, 2019, 2:28 pm

    I do think Kushner goes beyond being dry and lacking courage, as the interview suggests.

    Far beyond.

    Imagine the immense arrogance of assuming a task for which you are utterly unqualified? One in which you have no expert knowledge? One in which you have no relationships with one of the two essential parties involved? One in which you have the clearest bias and close association with the other?

    It would be laughable were it not so dark in its consequences.

    But that is how almost every scrap of foreign policy coming from this administration has been. It is all been a kind of demonic Monty Python skit.

    I see a man, in Kushner, utterly without genuine ethics or principles.

    A kind of low-grade psychopathic character, which, by the way, is what we do so often find in the finance field.

    Israel-Palestine is a human problem, a profound human problem.

    Any effort at setting it right requires people with genuine human empathy as well as good expert knowledge, plus a whole lot more.

    But my characterization of Kushner much resembles what I see in Trump too, the almost-bizarre leader who made this appointment.

    We see an almost complete lack off empathy for others.

    There is a contempt for expert knowledge.

    There is an unwillingness, or maybe its just an inbred inability, to listen to others.

    And there is a man who clearly lives in his own little world, telling himself outright lies and ignorant notions and rejecting anyone who does not embrace what he says. His is a kind of cloud-cuckoo-land world.

    No useful solution is even possible from such people. I don’t even understand why anyone would expect one from them, but that is perhaps a reflection of the strange political environment we have lived in for years.

    Over fifteen years of America killing people and tearing countries apart in the Mideast while treating a set of lies about the ghoulish, murderous activity as arguments to be considered seriously.

    You can’t build the foundation for a building when you lack forms even to pour concrete into, but that is what this bizarre American effort resembles attempting to do.

    I fear what the ultimate outcome may be is something very frightening. The Palestinians finally losing all hope and all patience and becoming unbelievably desperate.

    They will be met by a government in Israel already proven eager to kill and maim and abuse, by a leader as psychopathic and ruthless as Trump or Kushner.

    • Citizen on April 21, 2019, 8:07 pm

      Horror, Inc.

    • RoHa on April 21, 2019, 9:03 pm

      “assuming a task for which you are utterly unqualified? One in which you have no expert knowledge? One in which you have no relationships with one of the two essential parties involved? One in which you have the clearest bias and close association with the other?”

      Like getting married?

      • HarryLaw on April 22, 2019, 9:46 am

        Kushner and Netanyahu did share the same bed, whether they were in it at the same time is not known, but in this enlightened day and age “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

  8. Marnie on April 21, 2019, 11:39 pm

    Jarred married into just the right crime family that his own family can look up to. And Jarred’s old lady is no different than her daddy; she just got help from a plastic surgeon and a great orthodontist.

  9. Mustacq Abdullah on April 22, 2019, 8:53 am

    So what is new with this skewed way of negotiating and formulation of “Peace Treaties”? Reagan, Bush, Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama have done it all! The closest to a least biased treaty, to be fair on all, is the Oslo Accord. That is why it was reluctantly signed by the Palestinians. But we all know what the Zïonist Occupiers did with that in the end. Used it as toilet paper and the Americans still trust and love them. And now this “Deal of the century” of Donald Duck Trump and his Jèwish son in law looks like the most skewed and bias of all. For these two being businessmen and should have the knowledge of selling skills, they cannot even sell ice cream to the desert Arabs. They should stick to their snake-oil selling to the Americans.

    • gamal on April 22, 2019, 11:22 am

      “The state of conscience has decided to ostracize the State of Israel. Israel doesn’t care. ‘Cry, the Beloved Country,’ wrote Alan Paton about his country during its dark days. In Israel, there isn’t anyone who’ll cry.”

      Dear Misterioso,

      When one reads Cry The Beloved Country, ( I know Patons career and am not impugning him but this is interesting I think) one is immediately struck by Patons paternalistic racism, he said outside the book (you can look up I am not bothering just from memory) that the Black Bantu ripped from his craal lost his moral sense etc and his prescription for a ‘solution’ was a separate but equal idea of segregation, I always thought that a real shame as just a few years earlier the state had extinguished the burgeoning mestizo culture in places like Sophiatown (destroyed) etc, in Cry aren’t the urban Blacks treated very unfairly by the text, she a whore, he a corrupt scallywag.

      As you are such a tireless guy could i suggest as a kind of insight Dougmore Boetie “Familiarity is the Kingdom of the Lost”, you can read it online i think..but here is a review of it with a little history of the text, anti-colonialists are very tricky when talking to a mainstream audience, like nanny Douggie is a trickster.

      • Misterioso on April 22, 2019, 11:52 am


        You should direct your comment to Gideon Levy.
        You can easily track down his email address.

      • gamal on April 22, 2019, 1:32 pm

        oh sure thanks

  10. Misterioso on April 22, 2019, 9:33 am


    “By Cutting Off Relations, South Africa Has Branded Israel With the Mark of Cain.”

    By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, April 18/19

    “Because of the election battle, an important item fell by the wayside that should have resonated here: South Africa has decided to downgrade its relations with Israel to the level of liaison bureau, which will not deal with bilateral relations. Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane, who was recalled to protest the killing of demonstrators in Gaza, will not return. South Africa has essentially severed diplomatic relations with Israel. We’re left with Chad.

    “One can, of course, take comfort in the arms of the Brazilian president, admire the president of the Philippines, hug the prime minister of Hungary, and take pleasure in U.S. President Donald Trump. But South Africa is not just any country; it’s a symbol of justice, despite all its difficulties, corruption and crime. By cutting off relations it has stamped the mark of Cain on Israel’s forehead.

    “The Foreign Ministry’s response to the move only illustrates how low Israeli propaganda can go. ‘It’s a nod toward the country’s Muslim population, because of the approaching elections,’ was the unbelievable Israeli explanation for the break. How miserable, how insulting to the intelligence, how ignorant and repulsive that is. It wasn’t the killing of demonstrators in Gaza, or solidarity with the oppressed, or South Africa’s own legacy, just a gesture to the Muslim voter. With pathetic responses like this, it would be better for the Foreign Ministry to continue to disintegrate. We have no need for it.

    “The severing of relations with the country of Nelson Mandela shouldn’t merely stir up sad thoughts about who Israel’s friends and critics are; South Africa, in a move that generates respect, is teaching Israel an important lesson about instilling the legacy of the past and learning its lessons. By cutting off ties with an occupying, apartheid state, it’s telling Israel: We’ve learned the lessons of our past. What about you?

    “The lesson that South Africa has learned is: Never again. In theory it’s similar to the lesson imparted to Israelis from the Holocaust, but actually it’s the opposite. When South Africa says ‘never again,’ it plans to continue battling racism and apartheid everywhere in the world; it isn’t prepared to cooperate with regimes that are racist or apartheid under any circumstances, even if there’s a price to pay.

    “It’s not simple to sever relations with Israel. Trump might get angry, and there is still a strong Zionist community in South Africa. But South Africa is motivated by more than just interests.

    “Israel is the total opposite. Its lesson from the Holocaust is, as Golda Meir put it, that Jews are now permitted to do anything. Generations of young people are sent on trips to Auschwitz that corrupt their souls and rot their consciences. They are told their country must be strong, to live only by the sword, and that the whole world is against it. They wrap themselves in flags, cry and swear to live by power and not to rely on anyone.

    “There is no humane message or moral lesson. That’s why Israel can embrace Rodrigo Duterte, stroke Jair Bolsonaro and admire Trump, or supply arms to all the tyrannical countries in the world and ignore the moral and ethical implications of its foreign policy. That’s for wimps.

    “When South Africa says ‘No’ to Israel, it is speaking in the name of Mandela, who supported the Palestinians in their struggle and felt a moral obligation to assist them, but also tried to maintain good relations with Israel despite its shameful ties to apartheid. There’s no doubt that today Mandela would also support severing relations. South Africa is also speaking for those exemplary Jews who struggled hand in hand with the black freedom fighters, were wounded and jailed with them, and one can assume are already fed up with Israel. We have almost no such brave moralists who will struggle alongside the Palestinians.

    “The state of conscience has decided to ostracize the State of Israel. Israel doesn’t care. ‘Cry, the Beloved Country,’ wrote Alan Paton about his country during its dark days. In Israel, there isn’t anyone who’ll cry.”

  11. bcg on April 22, 2019, 10:27 am

    Wait a minute! This just in! The Palestinians are…..losing hope!

    “We have always lived with hope,” said Mr. Teeti, 57, who with his daughter runs a wedding-planning business. “In our work, we try to create moments of happiness. But the general feeling is that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.” The West Bank is awash in such despair.

    Maybe Jared’s peace plan will save them.

  12. Vera Gottlieb on April 22, 2019, 11:51 am

    Who elected this ‘wet behind the ears’ guy? He might be Trump’s son-in-law but this fact still doesn’t give him the right to make any decisions – especially controversial ones. Why is lout Trump surrounding himself with people who have no business in government? Birds of a feather…???

    • Misterioso on April 22, 2019, 2:55 pm

      @Vera Gottlieb

      It’s Caligula’s Rome all over again.

      • MHughes976 on April 22, 2019, 5:51 pm

        Trump has a horse in line for promotion, you think?

      • RoHa on April 22, 2019, 11:37 pm

        It would be the most sensible appointment he has made so far.

  13. pabelmont on April 22, 2019, 9:20 pm

    MHughes — Jared is the horse, it seems. Or half of one.

  14. brent on April 23, 2019, 1:58 am

    In this Jerusalem On-Line article Jason Greenblatt pleads for reasonableness, to not “push us away. By working with us, perhaps something wonderful can happen for Palestinians” The article quotes Abbas, “Why does President Trump want to talk about any solution or any issue after he transferred the embassy to Al-Quds and recognized Al-Quds as the capital of Israel? Therefore, I don’t think there is any sense in talking with him”.

    How to understand Abbas? Trump made it clear his embassy move did not resolve boundaries or sovereignty over Jerusalem. Trump is likely around the rest of Abbas’ time. This is not how to intelligently deal with a super-ego who wants a Nobel and has positioned himself with Israel to deliver. Abbas is disrespectful toward Palestinians and all who have sought and supported IP peace.

    • oldgeezer on April 23, 2019, 10:45 am


      I can’ty agree that Abbas is being disrespectful towards anyone. The US has never been a fair participant in the process but trump has been uniquely bad in this process. The US has individuals directly involved, and profiting from, the commission of war crimes against the Palestinians.

      The only disresectful parties here are the GoI and the trump admin.

      Disresctful to the UN. The UNSC. International law. Every peace loving person anywhere. And most importantly to the Palestinian victims of Israeli crimes for the past 70+ years.

      Abbas is useless to the Palestinians and has been more of a security employee of Israel but he’s right in not providing legitimacy to what is essentially a criminal operation.

    • eljay on April 23, 2019, 11:06 am

      || brent: … How to understand Abbas? Trump made it clear his embassy move did not resolve boundaries or sovereignty over Jerusalem. Trump is likely around the rest of Abbas’ time. This is not how to intelligently deal with a super-ego who wants a Nobel and has positioned himself with Israel to deliver. … ||

      I’m curious to know what intelligent deal you believe Abbas can offer to Trump that:
      – will stroke his super-ego more effectively than Israel is already doing and cause him to distance himself from Israel (to a point of sufficient objectivity); and, at the same time,
      – won’t betray or undermine the Palestinians’ moral fight for justice, accountability and equality in I-P.

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