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The Emperor’s New Palestine

Opinion
on 31 Comments

Shhhh! The tailors are working! Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, with the help of David Friedman are working on a new gown for Palestine. According to leaks in the Israeli Maariv daily, it will be called “New Palestine”. This “New Palestine” is the promised “deal of the century”, which only a fool would refuse to buy, let alone see the virtue of.

To those who are not as worldly-wise as Trump’s tailors, this plan might be invisible. When these people start asking whether this really is about a Palestinian state, the tailors say “hush” – “let’s just not say it. When tailor Greenblatt talks up his fashion at the UN, saying the  new gown promises “prosperity”, the UN ambassadors express their concern that if it’s not a real state, the Palestinians shouldn’t be coerced to buy it.

Indeed, this gown is not quite like in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. This time, the Emperor, US President Trump, is actually one of the tailors, and the gown is made for Palestine. It is meant to once and for all completely shut down all talk of Palestinian refugees – the single most essential issue for Palestinians. It is made to shut down talk of an actual Palestinian state, cement Israeli encirclement of Palestinians in Bantustans (including annexation of the Jordan Valley and much of the West Bank), demilitarize Palestine and make Palestinians happy with lots of money from the Gulf.

And if Hamas doesn’t buy this one, it’s bust. The U.S. “will back Israel to personally harm leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad”, the leaked document said.

And what happens if the PLO refuses to buy it? The US will cut all aid and make sure that “no country in the world transfers money” to Palestine. And the Palestinian Authority is already hard pressed, not least due to Israeli blackmailing, which results in the blocking of tax revenues. Palestine is heavily plundered by Israel, which takes about 78% of the international aid to Palestine into its own coffers, and grabs $3.4 billion in resources every year.

So the tailors are hoping that the Palestinians can be compelled to buy this gown. Because although they can’t really see the gown, signing off on it allows them to keep breathing economically, a kind of ‘offer you can’t refuse’.

And the Israelis? Will they buy it? Ostensibly, the Israelis are also threatened with withdrawal of funds if they refuse. But hey, what’s not to like? This gown legitimizes Israeli annexations of large swaths of the West Bank, just like Prime Minister Netanyahu promised in his recent election campaign; it consolidates Israeli control of Palestinian Bantustans, encircling them from all directions; it keeps Jerusalem in Israel’s hands, so Trump won’t have to move the embassy again; it kills the refugee issue by simply not incorporating it, simply silencing it to death. A great solution for the Israelis. Like in 1947 – it was fine for the Zionists to endorse the UN Partition Plan, as a means of obtaining more. As David Ben-Gurion once expressed himself concerning partition to his son Amos:

“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.” 

The gown that these royal tailors are sewing is nothing new really, although it’s called “New Palestine”. It is really nothing at all. It is the same prison, the same occupation, with a new name. Its real name is “Greater Israel”, and it is just another step in the long continuum of the Israeli colonization of Palestine.

The deal of the former century was the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and Trump wants to be the next Balfour. Trump wants to make not only America great, but also Israel – great and greater. Because as his ambassador-cum-tailor David Friedman says, “Israel is on the side of God”. The “New Palestine” gown is a servant’s garb, and Palestine finally signs off on being Israel’s subservient maid. The invisible gown leaves Palestine completely naked, with the promise of cash.

Who wouldn’t want a deal like that. It’s a great deal. The deal of the century. Believe me.

About Jonathan Ofir

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

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31 Responses

  1. just
    just on May 24, 2019, 10:11 am

    Super piece, Jonathan!

    Brilliant how you wove H. C. Andersen’s tale, ‘Kejserens Nye Klæder’, into the very real blackmail/bribery and collusion between the US and Israel toward the Palestinians. I am quite sure that others are involved with this attempted swindle.

    • JWalters
      JWalters on May 27, 2019, 12:49 am

      “I am quite sure that others are involved with this attempted swindle.”

      The Swindle

      The Palestinians’ new clothes must hide all the bruises, all the graves, all the whole sordid story of massacres and robbery and torture.

      From the Palestinian viewpoint, when the Turks were the Land Lords the Palestinians kept their private property. When the Brits became the Land Lords the Palestinians kept their private property. But when the Zionists became the Land Lords, the Palestinians were evicted from their apartments, their homes, their farms, their businesses, and their communities. This eviction was carried out by mass slaughter, terrorizing the Palestinians into fleeing for their lives. The Zionists had no respect for their private property or their lives.

      From the Zionist viewpoint, Baron Lionel Rothschild purchased the Balfour declaration as a legal fig leaf for the planned Zionist invasion (which would utterly shred the terms of the Balfour Declaration). They completely ignored Edwin Montagu’s declaration, a lucid explanation of why most Western European and American Jews opposed the Zionist project (by the only Jewish member of the British cabinet). The Zionists went on to viciously slaughter and terrorize the innocent people of Palestine, copying a similar campaign of slaughter and terror described in the Torah.

      The Palestinians’ new clothes must also hide the mass deception the Zionists imposed on all the western democracies, in which the brutal invaders were portrayed as the victims, and their long-suffering victims were portrayed as the aggressors.

      Those Involved

      Perhaps equally important, the Palestinians’ new clothes must let the predators go free for their next round of planned wars, slaughtering innocent people in Africa. Here’s John A. Hobson’s classic analysis of how big investors drive imperialistic policies for their own benefit, and at IMMENSE cost to the rest of society, including the cost of war.
      “Imperialism. A Study”
      see Part I, Chapter IV: Economic Parasites of Imperialism
      https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/hobson-imperialism-a-study

  2. Citizen
    Citizen on May 24, 2019, 1:49 pm

    THE TRUTH ia beyond Kafka: Most Americans don’t give a shit about Israel or Palestine, but they fund Israel nevertheless.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24 on May 24, 2019, 4:29 pm

    This gown will be like the Emperor’s new clothes. Kushner will put down in paper what his buddy Netanyahu demands for the occupiers, and after already handing over the best nuggets for Bibi and the Israelis`, the Palestinians will be left naked, and expected to be very grateful that many of them are still alive.
    Does anyone think for one minute Slimy Jared will challenge his dear evil friend, Bibi, and demand for anything on behalf of the Palestinians? Nah, no chance.
    What I fear is, the lunatic in the WH, will be manipulated into allowing the zionist killers to attack Gaza at the pretext of “getting rid of Hamas” and we will see a very high number of casualties, higher than all the previous attacks by the IDF, when the Palestinians turn down Jared fake gift.
    The final blow to get rid of the Arabs, and take over everything their evil hearts desire.
    Evil always prevails.

  4. edthespark
    edthespark on May 24, 2019, 11:34 pm

    John great piece but not sure how you arrive at your conclusions when you have no knowledge of the facts.Your opinion is based on the vague press releases.Tell me something,how much exactly will the Palestinians be getting in handouts.a billion or a trillion.You don’t know do you, well lets wait and see.Just imagine if it was a million dollars for each palestinian.Do you think that would be fair.I certainly think so and why not.Lets say a million dollars for each person displaced in 1948.would that be ok with you.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      Jonathan Ofir on May 25, 2019, 12:50 pm

      Edthespark (to me): “Tell me something,how much exactly will the Palestinians be getting in handouts.a billion or a trillion.You don’t know do you, well lets wait and see.”

      Well, actually I do know, according to the leak reports that I cite. You could know too, easily, if you but clicked on the first link, to Allison Deger’s coverage. Here it tells you precisely:

      ‘The deal includes significant financial support from the U.S., Europe and the Gulf states to the new Palestinian state, to a tune of $30 billion over five years, with additional support for specific development projects from Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea. Most of the funding will come from “oil producing countries,” described as “the main beneficiaries of this agreement.”’

      But you seem to be saying rhetorically, that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I was generalising, so as to drive a point?

      But you want the details – because just imagine, if it was a “million dollars for each Palestinian”. Are you now deciding on their behalf that this would be great and fair? Indeed you continue:
      “Lets say a million dollars for each person displaced in 1948.would that be ok with you.”
      – are we now bartering on behalf of Palestinian refugees? If you had read the same mentioned link, you’d see that Palestinian refugees are completely absent from the document.

      So let’s not start selling out Palestinians, you and me, here on Mondoweiss comments. There are enough people trying to do that already.

      • edthespark
        edthespark on May 26, 2019, 6:55 am

        Palestinian refugees will be naturalized in the countries they reside in.Those countries will receive cash and infrastructure.
        That is no sellout.That is the solution.Better than the bullshit that was recycled for the last few decades

        Mondoweiss comments..between you and me,it is all just conjecture,right.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      Jonathan Ofir on May 26, 2019, 1:45 pm

      edthespark: “Palestinian refugees will be naturalized in the countries they reside in.Those countries will receive cash and infrastructure.That is no sellout.That is the solution.Better than the bullshit that was recycled for the last few decades[.]Mondoweiss comments..between you and me,it is all just conjecture,right.”

      First, this particular topic admittedly contains some conjecture, as we have not had the plan officially revealed yet, but there have been many indications. This does not suggests that “Mondoweiss comments… is all just conjecture”. A lot of it is reasonable a fact-based discussion which I find worthy and challenging.

      Now, concerning refugees: There is ample indication that the Trump team is bent on taking the Palestinian refugee matter “off the table”, just as it was Trump’s idea that he was taking Jerusalem “off the table” by endorsing Israel’s illegal annexation of it.

      But that stuff is make believe. To say it’s juvenile is an understatement. It’s like saying “so what, someone stole your stuff? I’m saying it’s ok, and that’s it, it’s off the table”. It doesn’t work like that with international law, you see.

      About refugees – the Trump team has defunded UNRWA, and made it pretty clear that it also wants to take that “off the table”, also in not recognizing refugee rights of descendants. That interpretation of international law is Israel-apologia – it suggests that the Palestinian refugees are the only ones in the world where such rights pass on to descendants – and that is a lie.

      https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/features/exploding-myths-unrwa-unhcr-and-palestine-refugees

      It is propaganda meant to suggest that Palestinians are favorably singled out – which they are not. The reason for the continuance of their misery is simply Israeli intransigence.

      https://lobelog.com/playing-20-questions-to-figure-out-the-deal-of-the-century/

      So now, you’re suggesting that if it’s about paying countries off to naturalize Palestinians (if it is), then this is “no sellout”. But the Palestinian right of return is enshrined in international law, and is a personal right. It’s not for you, or for Trump, to sell it out, as it were (and yes, it would be a sell-out of rights). You see edthespark, if we allow for such bartering, selling out of rights, “taking things off the table” by unilateral actions brazenly violating international law, then we are rendering international law meaningless. If you permit this as ‘practical’, then you essentially permit ethnic cleansing to be perpetrated in the future – no big deal, as it were – at some point someone will come by with cash and make a deal of the century and take the issue off the table…

      • just
        just on May 26, 2019, 2:11 pm

        Thanks for your super response, Jonathan. Just as Trump ‘gifted’ Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to Israel (not his to give, btw), it appears that ‘edthespark’ thinks it is ok to continue to dispossess Palestinians forced out and off their lands forever. I keep asking why Israel and the US are not paying the bulk of improving the lives of Palestinians and honestly seeking peace. If the Palestinians accepted the ‘bribe’ (supposedly to be financed by the Gulfies, (and NOT by Israel and the US~ %$#@&^) how in the hell can it be guaranteed that Israel will not destroy everything as usual with US/Congress- supplied weaponry? Neither the US nor Israel provides asylum for refugees. Sweet, eh? Right now the EU votes are being counted and I am holding my breath.

        *** Interesting fact here:

        “Turnout: highest for 20 years

        Turnout across the EU27 member states is close to 51%, the European parliament has announced. That is the best score since 1994.

        Officials are awaiting data from the UK, which could leave the EU-wide figure at 49-52%.

        In Denmark a record 63% of voters have gone to the polls (updates our figures from previous post), while in France turnout is predicted to be 54%, the highest in 35 years.

        My colleague, Jon Henley, has more on what is turning into one of the big stories of the night: EU election turnout rises as political landscape fragments.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/may/26/european-elections-2019-results-eu-election-parliament-brexit-party-farage-tories-may-live

      • Nathan
        Nathan on May 26, 2019, 3:45 pm

        “But the Palestinian right of return is enshrined in international law, and is a personal right”.

        Jonathan Ofir – The Oslo Agreement determined that the solution of the refugee issue will be negotiated in the framework of the “final status” agreement (end of conflict). The Palestinian agreement to negotiate means that the “right of return” is a political topic of “give-and-take” (i.e. it’s not international law). The agreement to conduct negotiations also means that the Palestinian leadership has taken upon itself to decide for its public what the final word shall be (i.e. it’s not a personal right).

        The position that “the right of return” is international law and that it is a “personal right” is a ploy that is meant to avoid obligating the Palestinians to agree to end the conflict. In other words, Israel must take in any Palestinian who claims to be a refugee, but there is no promise that the conflict will have been solved.

        If someone really cares about the refugees, that someone should be supporting the cause of ending the conflict with an agreement. However, no one in the anti-Israel crowd can imagine an end-of-conflict scenario in which the existence of Israel is accepted (and it’s final). So, you try the ploy of alternative reality in which refugees will have a solution to their plight without having to agree to ending the conflict. It’s a waste of time.

      • eljay
        eljay on May 26, 2019, 3:57 pm

        || Nathan: … no one in the anti-Israel crowd can imagine an end-of-conflict scenario in which the existence of Israel is accepted (and it’s final). … ||

        If by “anti-Israel crowd” you mean people who believe in the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality, that is a (deliberate?) whopper of a lie.

        What is not a lie – what is absolutely, completely and indisputably true – is that not one single (pro-)Zionist can imagine an end-of-conflict scenario that does not preserve Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        Jonathan Ofir on May 26, 2019, 4:30 pm

        Nathan, the fact of projecting ‘final status’ agreements does not mean that international law disappears.

        As you may know, the Oslo agreements were but an interim agreement, by which Israel would withdraw from occupied territories within 5 years, and a final agreement on outstanding issues would be made. But as you may also know, Israel did not follow through, and when Israel subsequently made its supposed ‘generous offers’ (which were never concessions from what it was entitled to, only from what it coveted), then the Palestinians have been blamed.

        So that’s brought many Palestinians to the conclusions, that this talk is really a waste of time. And that’s basically why we have BDS. Because without a shift in power relations through external pressure, all this just gives Israel time for further dispossession.

        And that’s really the only game in town. The rest is basically a waste of time.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on May 26, 2019, 10:03 pm

        @mondonut

        mondonut is delusional as usual.
        ” (i.e. it’s not a personal right)”

        Yeah it is. It is plainly so. The best that the PA or other group can offer is that under some agreement they will not pursue rights on behalf of individuals and not fund their attempts at compensation.

        It is a personal right and no matter how much racist criminal Israelis and zionist might like it they are not going to get a free pass for 71 years of crimes against humanity.

        It has a price tag. In the legitimate sense versus the Israeli sense when someone tries to stop or hinder war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  5. Misterioso
    Misterioso on May 25, 2019, 9:10 am

    Well worth reading:

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bisharat-one-state-palestinian-israel-trump-netanyahu-20190523-story.html

    “The case for a democratic one-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians” By George Bisharat, L.A. Times, May 23/19

    “President Donald Trump has promised he will soon unveil his ‘Deal of the Century’ for Palestinians and Israelis. But it is unlikely to do much more than consecrate a reality that has prevailed for decades: Israelis living within the borders of historic Palestine will enjoy full freedoms and political rights, while a majority of Palestinians living within the same space will remain largely disenfranchised and voiceless.

    “One thing the deal will make apparent, however, is that the two-state solution is dead, laid low by a thousand cuts – or, more precisely, by the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, whose immovable presence ensures that no genuinely sovereign Palestinian state will ever emerge there. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have both played a role in delivering the final blows: Trump with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and Netanyahu by promising voters prior to his recent reelection to begin annexation of the West Bank.

    “It is time to face some undeniable facts:

    “First, despite Israel’s every effort to establish and maintain a Jewish majority, the two peoples living under Israeli rule hover at near parity, at approximately 6.5 million Jews and 6.5 million Palestinians.

    “Second, Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are destined to live together in Israel/Palestine in perpetuity. Neither people can or should be forced to leave the land in which they reside and to which they are passionately committed.

    “Third, segregation, of which the two-state solution was a form, is not the answer. As Americans know from our own historical experience, separate is never equal.

    “Finally, it is only equal rights and justice that can provide the foundation for a durable peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

    “The way forward will be difficult, but it could start with a compassionate declaration from Palestinians, along the lines of South Africa’s Freedom Charter, committing to a just society that includes both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Such a declaration should embrace a broad, multi-faceted and contemporary vision of justice for this troubled land.

    “For example, a Freedom Charter would address the rights of the Israeli Jews who currently inhabit homes of Palestinians seized in 1948, and fear eviction when Palestinian refugees return, as we are legally and morally due. My family, like survivors of the Nazi Holocaust seeking return of their seized works of art, insists that ownership of our grandfather’s Villa Harun ar-Rashid in West Jerusalem should be restored to us. But we have no need nor desire to evict its current Jewish residents. In a similar vein, Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank should not lose their homes, but the settlements should be desegregated by permitting Palestinian families to move in.

    “The charter should also address rights for women and members of the LGBTQ community, which some Palestinians as well as some Jewish Israelis have been slow to embrace. And it should address environmental issues that will be crucial as global warming puts increasing pressure on the Middle East.

    “Although some would argue a single state is unrealistic, there is a growing constituency for such a solution, particularly among young people. About one-third of Palestinians support a one-state solution, and that’s without any major Palestinian political party or faction advocating for it. Meanwhile, in the U.S., polls show that about an equal number of Americans support one state with equality as support a two-state solution, with young people leading the way. According to a poll released by the University of Maryland in December 2018, 42% of Americans ages 18 to 35 support a single state, versus 33% for two states. And if a two-state solution is no longer possible, a majority of all Americans support one state with equal rights.

    “Of course, an Israel founded on equal rights for all will no longer be a ‘Jewish state’ — just as South Africa, after the fall of apartheid, was no longer a state that institutionalized white supremacy. It was a fundamental misperception of Israel’s founders that a homeland privileging Jews could be accepted in another people’s land.

    “Israeli Jews will not surrender their advantages easily. Privileged groups never do. A 2018 poll showed, however, that more Israeli Jews (19%) supported a single state with equal rights than supported either apartheid (15%) or expulsion of Palestinians (8%).

    “Israeli Jews must recognize the equal rights of the Palestinians with whom they cohabit the land to secure a peaceful future. Doing so would certainly come with benefits for Israel, including regional acceptance. What would it be worth to Israeli Jews to travel safely throughout the Middle East, or to do business not just with the tyrants of the Arab world but with its people?

    “Trump, Netanyahu, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the other ethno-chauvinistic leaders of the world are having their moment now. Yet hope is a powerful motivator, and the prospect of building a just and genuinely free and democratic society — a true beacon of progress for the region if not the world — can inspire heroism in both Israelis and Palestinians.”

    George Bisharat is a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law and writes frequently on the Middle East.

    • edthespark
      edthespark on May 26, 2019, 7:35 pm

      George bisharat is a wonderful person and an inspiration for the down trodden.Just a pity there were not more people like him before 1948.I am sure israeli’s cannot wait for the opportunity to travel freely throughout places like syria,yemen or even iraq.Truly a prophet for the times la.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        Jonathan Ofir on May 27, 2019, 1:56 am

        edthespark, it would appear to me that you are once again being ironic – am I right?

        “George bisharat is a wonderful person and an inspiration for the down trodden.Just a pity there were not more people like him before 1948”.

        But Bisharat wrote:

        “Israeli Jews must recognize the equal rights of the Palestinians with whom they cohabit the land to secure a peaceful future. Doing so would certainly come with benefits for Israel, including regional acceptance.”

        The problem, as it seems to me, is that there were not enough Zionists before 1948 who believed in that. There seemed to be some who did, but whatever political power they yielded was not enough to curtail the thrust of the eliminationist labor-Zionism of Ben Gurion, not to speak of Behin and Shamir’s Revisionism, and they were taken out of political influence from 1948.

        The problem has not really been Palestinians, but Zionism.

        Zionism was an is a colonialist enterprize. Whether any version of it could have been workable, I seriously doubt, in as far as I view settler-colonialism as inherently eliminationist.

        But there is a way forward. It certainly involves abolishing Zionist Apartheid.

        It will involve great belief and sincerity, and the privileged Zionist ironic cynics will be the least of help in this.

  6. Misterioso
    Misterioso on May 25, 2019, 10:07 am

    Off topic, but interesting:

    https://imemc.org/article/eurovision-turns-out-to-be-a-big-hit-for-palestine/

    “Eurovision Turns Out To Be A Big Hit For Palestine,” IMEM NEWS, May 22/19, by Yvonne Ridley

    EXCERPT:
    “It was the result that nobody predicted: the winner of Eurovision 2019 is… Palestine!

    “Despite the organisers describing the Eurovision Song Contest as a non-political event, the issue of Palestine took back, front and centre stage in Tel Aviv over the weekend, which may make Israel come to regret its weaponisation of culture and the whitewashing of its discrimination against the Palestinian people.

    “Reaching a global audience that the pro-Palestine lobby could only dream of, Eurovision gave the Palestinian cause a platform and exposure to an audience of millions not normally confronted by Middle East politics. When you get the headline act Madonna including the Palestinian flag on the back of one of her dancers, as well as Icelandic band Hatari displaying Palestinian banners on live television, it’s hard to ignore the policies and practices of Israel, which these days are likened — with good reason — to the abhorrent apartheid system of racial segregation which once dominated life in South Africa.

    “Iceland’s Eurovision act could now face some sort of disciplinary action for displaying Palestinian flags during their live showpiece, according to officials who said that the issue will be discussed by the contest’s executive board. To make matters worse for the organisers, Hatari also waved Palestinian flags on screen while their public vote was being announced.

    “Although I didn’t watch the show myself, as I was backing the boycott campaign — normally it’s a firm favourite in the Ridley household — I’m told that attempts were made backstage to remove any Palestinian flags; those which managed to get past security did so without official approval.

    “The Israelis, of course, were far from happy about this. Last year, a bill was introduced in the country’s parliament which more or less proposed a total ban on Palestinian flags being flown in public in the Zionist state; ‘offenders’ could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years if found guilty of such an ‘offence.’

    “The welcome publicity at Eurovision turned the spotlight on what is happening to Palestinians beyond the glitz and glamour associated with the contest. If officials do take action against the flag-wavers, then they will have to explain to the world why it is frowned upon to wave the Palestinian flag in Israel.

    “Moreover, if the Eurovision hierarchy is taking action against little-known Hatari, will they do the same to megastar Madonna? ‘In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits,’ said officials. ‘This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared with the [European Broadcasting Union] and the host broadcaster, KAN. The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.’

    “Away from all the current brouhaha, maybe it’s time for Palestine to take part in Eurovision; and why not? It’s still a bit of a mystery why Israel and Australia are on the contestant list for a European competition (and, while we’re on this subject, why Israel takes part in European football tournaments); I would have thought that Palestine has just as strong a claim as Israel if geography is anything to do with it.”

  7. James Canning
    James Canning on May 25, 2019, 6:52 pm

    The occupied West Bank and Golan Heights are not in the gift of Donald Trump, no matter how keen he is to f*ck the Palestinians to ingratiate himself with foolish “Christian conservatives” and fanatical Zionist-expansionist rich Jewish campaign donors.

  8. Mustacq Abdullah
    Mustacq Abdullah on May 26, 2019, 1:46 am

    Is Trump’s “Deal of the Century” really a deal?

    Or is Trump and Co just giving the Isräelis a carte blanch to usurp more Palestinian lands.

    Strangely that this “deal” comes now and was announced in 2018.

    The Balfour Declaration was announced signed and sealed in 1918.

    One hundred years ago!

    But looking at this 2018 “deal of the century”, it looks nothing but like a Balfour Declaration 2.0

    That means more Palestinian land is being usurped – sorry STOLEN.

    And the UN and it’s Criminal Court is looking at these crooks and give their blessings too.

  9. just
    just on May 26, 2019, 10:03 am

    Anyone see Buttigieg’s latest? It’s of great concern to me.

    “Buttigieg Says Palestinian Leaders Are No Partner for Peace and Israel Needs ‘Guidance’ …

    Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a former naval intelligence officer, made his remarks Thursday at a meeting with several dozen representatives of Jewish groups held in Washington, D.C. The meeting was arranged by Bluelight Strategies, a public affairs firm.

    One of the “biggest problems” facing American policy with respect to Israeli and Palestinian leadership, he said, is “we don’t have the right kinds of partners in leadership on the Palestinian side, is that we have to invest more energy in constraining their worst impulses than in trying to get a good outcome.”

    The right approach to Israel, he said, “comes about when you have an ally or a friend that is taking steps that you think are harmful and you put your arm around your friend and try to guide them somewhere else.”

    The Jewish representatives included Alan Ronkin, a regional director at American Jewish Committee; Mark Mellman, founder of the Democratic Majority for Israel group; and Norman Goldstein, vice president for Israel and Overseas at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

    In a talk Thursday with The Washington Post, Buttigieg said: “Being supportive of Israel does not have to mean that you are on board with the agenda of the Israeli political right wing. I am not. I believe that this move to walk away from peace will harm Israeli interests, will of course continue to contribute to the immiseration of the Palestinian people, and is not good for the U.S. either.”

    Buttigieg accused the White House of welcoming those who “are blatantly anti-Semitic” and excusing “people who walk the streets chanting ‘Jews will not replace us.’”

    Therefore, he said, there is no merit to Republicans calling on “Jews en masse should leave the Democratic Party.”

    The Democratic Party has faced criticism from Republicans for perceived inaction on remarks seen as anti-Semitic by freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.”

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/buttigieg-says-palestinian-leaders-are-no-partner-for-peace-israel-needs-guidance-1.7284660

    Remember this article from April?

    “Pete Buttigieg Brings pro-Israel, ‘Religious Left’ Message to 2020 Democratic Primary …

    … Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who recently officiated a wedding for a couple just hours before having a child, is a devout Episcopalian and is working to bridge what he sees as a growing gap between religious Americans and the Democratic Party.

    “I think it’s unfortunate [the Democratic Party] has lost touch with a religious tradition that I think can help explain and relate our values,” the Navy veteran said. “At least in my interpretation, it helps to root [in religion] a lot of what it is we do believe in when it comes to protecting the sick and the stranger and the poor, as well as skepticism of the wealthy and the powerful and the established.”

    Buttigieg, who would make history as the first openly-gay U.S. president, told USA Today on Wednesday he finds it hard to believe that U.S. President Donald Trump believes in God when looking at Trump’s actions.

    “I’m reluctant to comment on another person’s faith, but I would say it is hard to look at this president’s actions and believe that they’re the actions of somebody who believes in God,” Buttigieg said.

    “I just don’t understand how you can be as worshipful of your own self as he is and be prepared to humble yourself before God. I’ve never seen him humble himself before anyone.” he added.

    Buttigieg stands out apart from the more progressive elements in his party on another issue as well – Israel. While Democratic leaders like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are critical of Israel and its human rights record, Buttigieg actively defends Israel. …

    [video]

    In January, Buttigieg was asked on “The View” by Meghan McCain about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar “comparing Israel to Iran” in a television interview.

    “People like me get strung up in Iran, so the idea that what’s going on is equivalent is just wrong,” he replied. “There is a real problem there longterm, how they are going to balance being a democracy and a Jewish state, but they’ve also got to figure out and we’ve got to figure out with them as an ally what the regional security picture is going to look like there.”

    After a May 2018 trip to Israel sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, Buttigieg discussed what lessons the U.S. could take from Israel. “Seeing the way that a country can be on the one hand very intentional, very serious, and very effective when it comes to security and on the other hand not allowing concerns about security to dominate your consciousness,” he said, “I think that’s a very important lesson that hopefully Americans can look to when we think about how to navigate a world that unfortunately has become smaller and more dangerous for all of us.””

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/pete-buttigieg-brings-pro-israel-pro-religion-message-to-2020-democratic-primary-1.7087059

    (the portion of the video referencing Israel/ Iran is ca. 3:30)

    • Marnie
      Marnie on May 29, 2019, 6:48 am

      So it seems per Mayor Pete a country is only as good as how it treats it’s gays? Interesting considering he lives in a country that isn’t so gay friendly either, but at least for now there isn’t a death penalty for being gay (unlike being young and brown). Apparently he is unaware of the love an israeli jew showed to gays and their supporters by going on a stabbing spree during a pride march, killing a teenage girl in the process. This after he was released from prison for the crime of stabbing people at a pride parade previously. In israel it appears the rainbow is the new black.

  10. just
    just on May 27, 2019, 1:10 pm

    “… China and Russia will not participate in the international conference on the Palestinian economy in Bahrain in June, the secretary general of the PLO executive committee said on Monday.

    Saeb Erekat cited on Twitter China’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority saying his country and Russia have agreed not to take part in the conference organized by the Trump administration.

    Last week, the Palestinian Authority officially announced it would not participate in the conference, and called on other Arab countries not to support it.

    “This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society. We reiterate that we did not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf.”

    The statement said that “Those concerned and want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position. Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions.”

    Several prominent Palestinian businessmen in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have also said they were invited to attend the conference, but declined the invitation, aligning themselves with the official Palestinian position. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-top-palestinian-official-china-russia-won-t-attend-trump-s-bahrain-conference-1.7298206?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  11. just
    just on May 27, 2019, 2:14 pm

    “Israel Open to Border Talks With Lebanon to Boost Mediterranean Gas Exploration …

    Israel voiced openness on Monday to U.S.-mediated talks with Lebanon on resolving a dispute over the neighbours’ maritime border that has dogged Mediterranean oil and gas exploration.

    Such talks, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s office said in a statement after he met U.S. envoy David Satterfield, could be “for the good of both countries’ interests in developing natural gas reserves and oil” by agreeing a border.

    There was no immediate comment from Lebanese or U.S. officials.

    Technically at war since Israel’s founding in 1948, Lebanon and Israel have long disagreed on border demarcations, a dispute affecting a sea area of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) extending along the edge of three of Lebanon’s southern energy blocks.

    Waters in one of those blocks are also claimed by Israel, which kicked off a gas bonanza in the eastern Mediterranean almost a decade ago with the discovery of two huge gas fields.

    The dispute has led to years of brinkmanship with both sides promising to protect their resources and warning about encroachment.

    In March, Lebanon warned Israel that it’s planned EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to the European Union must not violate its maritime borders. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-open-to-border-talks-with-lebanon-to-boost-mediterranean-gas-exploration-1.7288537?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Do not trust the US and Israel, Lebanon. It’s still all about the benjamins and there’s a guaranteed swindle (s). jmo.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on May 27, 2019, 3:05 pm

      Wow. One thing you can be absolutely sure Zionists will never get to the bottom of is cheek. Keep the war, keep its land and water, and propose “developing natural reserves”. Anybody know of a historical precedent for such impudence?

  12. edthespark
    edthespark on May 27, 2019, 5:12 pm

    The “the emperors new palestine” sounds both ironical and cynical and comical when you consider that

    “It will involve great belief and sincerity, and the privileged Zionist ironic cynics will be the least of help in this.”

    So j.ofir what was your idea of a “palestine”.Where is the better plan my man.Got some more un “mandate”.There are no coincidences.The deal is on.It will happen.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      Jonathan Ofir on May 29, 2019, 2:23 am

      edthespark: “So j.ofir what was your idea of a “palestine”.Where is the better plan my man.Got some more un “mandate”.There are no coincidences.The deal is on.It will happen.”

      My “idea” of a “Palestine” is either a compromise version on 22% of historical Palestine, that is relinquishing the Israeli 1967 occupation fully, a return of Palestinian refugees (or compensation if anyone chooses), and also equal rights to Palestinians in Israel. All this in accordance with international law and democratic norms.
      And if Israel refuses, or deems this impossible – a one democratic state on all of historical Palestine, equal rights to all, return of refugees. The latter is the preferred solution, since Israel has proven utterly unwilling as to the first.

      None of this will be arrived at through Israeli good will, so international pressure must be a vehicle towards it, through Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on May 29, 2019, 8:42 am

        “None of this will be arrived at through Israeli good will, so international pressure must be a vehicle towards it, through Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions…”

        I see it’s like the Bronx: in the NY dialect, that will be arrived at through BDS and a subway token. Just make sure you don’t forget the token, though.

      • edthespark
        edthespark on May 30, 2019, 6:50 am

        None of your solutions are cost effective and will lead to large financial loses for the jewish people.The fact is that without significant investment from arab oil producers israel is better off financially without any sort of political deal.
        The absorption of arab refugees alone will bankrupt the state and lead to civil war.Israel will simply become another lebanon.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on May 30, 2019, 8:08 am

        Ed “the Spark”

        “Israel will simply become another lebanon.”

        Not a good idea at all. The only one that guarantees some kind of justice and peace is “another Algeria”. No Israel; unconditional restitution to the owners. You guys don’t have a say.

        Anything else, one-state, two-state, thirteen-state, official Apartheid, unofficial Apartheid, Bantustinian-“state”-cum-USZionist state, equal-rights-unequal-might or equal-rights-with-the-owners-of-the-US… that’s just as much bullshit; it isn’t any different in reality than today’s genocidal occupation.

  13. just
    just on May 27, 2019, 5:56 pm

    Any sentient human understands that Israel interferes in US elections, and has since forever.

    Now we’ve witnessed Trump interfering on the pro- Zionists’ behalf and very much on the anti- Palestinian, ‘continue the misery and occupation @ all costs’~ please make sure that it is augmented by continued starvation, extreme violence, and theft. The Trumpco move of the US embassy and the proclamation of Israeli control over the Golan Heights were certainly meant to influence Netanyahu’s ‘win’. Today, this happened and some Zios are crying foul (as if…) :

    “Trump Tweet About Netanyahu’s Coalition Negotiations ‘Unprecedented,’ Former Officials Say …

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his negotiations to form a governing coalition was described as “unprecedented” by experts and former U.S. officials on Monday.

    Trump expressed his support for Netanyahu on Twitter while the prime minister was meeting with former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said his Yisrael Beiteinu party would not join a government led by Netanyahu with the ultra-Orthodox parties, which he called a “halakah [Jewish law] government.”

    “Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever,” Trump tweeted.

    Giving his statement to the press on Monday evening after the Knesset passed the first vote to dissolve itself, Netanyahu quoted U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for him, saying that the two have “a lot to do.”

    Shalom Lipner, a former official at the Prime Minister’s Office who served under different prime ministers for two decades, called Trump’s intervention “unseemly”. He also said that while previous U.S. presidents also intervened in Israeli politics, Trump’s aid to Netanyahu “takes it to a whole new level.”

    David Makovsky, an expert on Israeli politics and the peace process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, offered a similar conclusion. He called Trump’s tweet “extraordinary” and noted that “even [Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush] Jim Baker, assailed by many Israelis, went mum for three months (!) in 1990” until then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir managed to form a colaition.

    Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said that Trump’s intervention “is unprecedented interference in Israel’s democracy, plain and simple. The U.S. president should respect Israel’s coalition negotiations, not meddle.”

    Earlier Monday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill to dissolve itself in a preliminary reading. It remains unclear whether the governing coalition really wants new election or whether the bill is merely an attempt to pressure its warring members into the compromises needed to form a new government.

    If the dispute hasn’t been resolved by then, the bill may well pass the rest of its two required votes on Wednesday, leading Israel to another snap election. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-support-for-netanyahu-unprecedented-former-officials-say-1.7298660?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Wonder what they have planned “to do”. I shudder to think about it. Can it get worse? Of course it can with these narcissists and the too many salivating and racist folks who vote for them no matter what.

  14. just
    just on May 28, 2019, 9:33 am

    “Top Senators Warn: Trump’s Peace Plan Could Destabilize Jordan

    Senators Mitt Romney and Chris Murphy warn that in Jordan, where the majority of the population is of Palestinian origin, ‘the reaction on the street to a peace framework that is not true’ could be serious

    WASHINGTON — Two senior U.S. senators who recently returned from a trip to the Middle East warned Tuesday that the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan could destabilize Jordan, a key U.S. ally and one of only two Arab countries that has an official peace treaty with Israel.

    Senators Mitt Romney (Republican of Utah) and Chris Murphy (Democrat of Connecticut), who head a Senate subcommittee on the Middle East, paid a joint visit to the region last week.

    They met with the recently appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, as well as Israeli, Jordanian and Iraqi officials, but didn’t meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Unlike most senators who visit Israel, Romney and Murphy did not receive an invitation to meet with Netanyahu. Some Israeli media outlets speculated this could be a result of the fact that both men have harshly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump in recent months. The senators, however, rejected this interpretation, reiterating the Prime Minister’s Office statement according to which Netanyahu was on a family vacation in the Golan Heights during the time of their visit.

    “Both of us spoke with Netanyahu, Bibi. He was on vacation at the Golan Heights. We were certainly able to go to the Golan Heights and visit with him on vacation, but chose not to do so,” Romney said.

    Romney added that “If I were on vacation after an election [campaign] like he [Netanyahu] went through, I would not be looking to fly back to Jerusalem to meet with a couple of senators, two out of a hundred.”

    One of the main issues Romney and Murphy focused on during their trip was Trump’s Middle East peace plan, with both senators getting the impression the region has low expectations ahead of its much-awaited unveiling this summer.

    “Throughout the region, you see very low expectations,” Murphy said in a briefing to reporters on Tuesday, which he and Romney held together on Capitol Hill. He said the Palestinians in particular have expressed “frustration and pessimism” over the plan, since they believe it will be one-sided and tilted toward Israel’s positions.

    Murphy added, however, that the plan was also causing great concern in neighboring Jordan, where a majority of the population is of Palestinian origin. “Jordan is as stable as you get in the region, but there are factors like this peace plan that could destabilize the country,” he said at one point in the briefing. He also cautioned that “it’s important to note what’s happening in Jordan, there is real worry.”

    Murphy further explained that “they are worried what will be the reaction on the Jordanian street to a peace framework that is not a true framework for discussion. They had major protests there just last year, times are particularly serious in Jordan. They have many refugees, there is the state of the economy. So there are concerns.”

    Murphy added that the United States, more than two years into Trump’s presidency, still doesn’t have a permanent ambassador to Jordan. “We don’t have an ambassador there — maybe if we had, we would be more aware of their concerns,” he said. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-senators-warn-that-trump-s-middle-east-peace-plan-could-destabilize-jordan-1.7187622

    Read between the lines… then there’s this:

    “Kushner to Visit Israel, Jordan to Discuss Bahrain Conference

    Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser will meet with King Abdullah and Netanyahu alongside Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook

    WASHINGTON — Senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner will visit Amman on Wednesday and is expected to meet with King Abdullah II, a White House official said as part of a broader Middle East trip that includes Israel and Morocco. …

    … Kushner will arrive in Israel on Thursday alongside U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, Kushner’s deputy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook the White House announced.

    The Palestinians hope Arab countries will support their position and reject the plan, which they believe will be one-sided and skewed in favor of Israel. The administration, meanwhile, hopes to convince as many Arab nations as possible to at least consider the plan as a basis for negotiations.

    Jordan is a key player in this political and diplomatic battle for several reasons. Historically, it is responsible for safeguarding Islam’s holy sites in Jerusalem; it has a peace treaty with Israel; and a majority of its citizens are Palestinians. A Jordanian rejection of the peace plan could make it harder for other Arab countries to embrace it, whereas flexibility toward the plan by Amman will likely make it easier for others to follow suit.

    Amman has so far not announced whether or not it will participate in the economic conference on June 25-26, which will focus on the future of the Palestinian economy. The Trump administration will release the economic chapter of the peace plan before the conference, but not the political part, which deals with more sensitive aspects of the conflict. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-kushner-to-meet-king-abdullah-in-jordan-to-discuss-bahrain-conference-1.7299996?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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