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The two-state solution is dead, and now the scaffolding that held it up is falling apart too

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Two recent data points show that the historical moment of a two-state solution as envisioned by the Oslo Accords has passed.

The first from Yossi Alpher in a commentary at Americans for Peace Now:

At the end of 2019, Tel Aviv University closed its Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, informing the Steinmetz family that its annual financial contribution to the Center’s budget would no longer be welcome. In parallel, two peace and security advocacy groups composed of retired senior members of Israel’s security establishment, the Council for Peace and Security and Commanders for Israel’s Security, were set adrift by the resignation of their leaders. (Full disclosure: I once belonged to the steering committee of the Council for Peace and Security; I resigned years ago.)

The primary motivation behind the apparent dismantling of these peace-minded organizations seems to reflect a number of interlocking perceptions. First, a two-state solution with the Palestinians is currently not high on the Israeli, Arab or international agenda. Second, peace with the Arab states is not likely without a Palestinian deal, while those few aspects of productive coexistence with the Arabs that are emerging are a by-product of the Iranian threat rather than of Israeli lobbying efforts for peace. And third, the Israeli public’s shrinking peace camp is not sufficiently robust to support so many peace-advocacy groups.

And the second was reported in the Lewiston Sun Journal in Maine, where the dialogue group “Seeds of Peace” has its camp.

The internationally known nonprofit’s camp director in Maine, Sarah Brajtbord, announced over the weekend that she has been removed from her position in a move she denounced as an “abuse of power” tied to the nonprofit’s funding.

She accused those who oversee the Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield [ME] with catering to the wealthy, blocking efforts to “disrupt the status quo of oppression” . . .

Brajtbord said Seeds of Peace needs “to move from an organization defining our work as conflict transformation and one that is content with coexistence into one that inspires co-resistance and collective action, building coalitions of leaders across lines of difference who are working together against oppression and toward building a better future for everyone.”…

Brajtford said the board of directors had voted to strip her from her role as camp director “after receiving an ultimatum to either remove me from my job or lose a significant amount of funding.” She further denounced the board: it is “predominantly wealthy and white, a disproportionate number would identify as Zionists, none of them live outside of the U.S. and U.K., and whoever has the most money in the room has the most power.”

Seeds of Peace and the Tami Steinmetz Center were both created to further the Oslo vision. The Steinmetz Center was founded in 1992; Seeds of Peace in 1993.

Today that vision is over. The constituency and funders for these institutions are both moving on, including the youth of today who knows that this is a struggle for equal rights.

But all is not lost for Oslo. The “vision” of two states is a talking point for all the Democratic presidential candidates. A resolution in favor of the two-state solution lately passed the House on a party line vote, with 226 of 232 Democrats voting for it. Liberal Zionists and centrist American Zionists are ardent about a two state solution: “Two states for two peoples… with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.”

Though the Democratic Party is sure to feel the same pressure that Steinmetz and Seeds of Peace experienced. And how long can the party hold out against a call for equal rights?

Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Executive Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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Philip Weiss

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

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48 Responses

  1. bcg on January 8, 2020, 11:58 am

    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Bennett-Gov-policy-is-that-Area-C-belongs-to-Israel-613543

    Naftali Bennett: Area C of West Bank belongs to us….

    Can we stop talking about two-states already? There’s only one (apartheid) state that exercises power between Jordan and the sea.

  2. brent on January 8, 2020, 3:41 pm

    As to “how long can the (Democratic) party hold out against a call for equal rights?”

    Until the “call’ becomes a sustained “campaign” engaged by Jews and Arabs together, using methods that have been shown to influence politics in America. That entails discouraging forms of “resistance” that undermine and weaken such campaigns.

    • Donald on January 8, 2020, 7:32 pm

      You seem to imagine that pro Palestinian activists are undermining the campaign for equal rights. So it’s not the way any call for equal rights is automatically equated with antisemitism.

      I don’t agree with echino, but he is not the reason that the Democratic Party clings to a racist position. JVP is pretty much what you want and they get no respect from the mainstream. But forget them. Go back to liberal Zionism. People have leaned over backwards to reassure and show support for what liberal Zionists claim to want and Israel still kills Palestinians with impunity and no longer even pretends to favor a 2ss. It’s almost as though the problem isn’t what you say it is.

      • brent on January 8, 2020, 11:35 pm

        @Donald. Do appreciate your thoughtfulness vs the comment which deviates on a point while missing the picture.

        When one surveys the landscape, the almost unsurmountable political and media corruption, it’s dominating narrative, the massive number of Benjamins in play and their skillful distribution, the many organizations who hold DC conferences with Members always showing up, the historical picture, the unfolding of realities for the last 70 years, its time for re-evaluation of tactics, a more thoughtful, politically-based approach.

        Such would be punished, not rewarded in the short run. But if sustained could ultimately prevail. I don’t think to throw things is likely to be effective no matter how good it may feel. It weakens the support system.

        In short, America is a system of competing interests where your success depends on how you capitalize on your strengths, make allies and avoid pitfalls.

      • Donald on January 9, 2020, 10:25 am

        You need to spell out what you mean, because I am not getting it. That isn’t snark. It seems to me that various groups ( like JVP) are doing pretty much what they should be doing. Why hasn’t it worked so far? Well, the pro- Israel side has a lot of cultural and financial factors on its side.

        By “ cultural”, I mean two different things. One is that many Americans are aware of the long history of antisemitism and have been told to think that criticism of Israel has to be done with extreme care or you fall into antisemitism. So a great many discussions about violations of Palestinian rights quickly get hijacked into a discussion of what is or isn’t antisemitic. Things go topsy- turvey, so that people who are clearly racist against Palestinians get to occupy the moral high ground and lecture others about their antisemitism, or at best, liberal Zionists acknowledge some Israeli wrongdoing but then start lecturing about the dangers of antisemitism and that becomes the central issue.

        So we should avoid antisemitism and denounce it and fight against it, but the pattern of behavior I just described is in itself something we should be denouncing. False charges of antisemitism are a racist tool used against Palestinians.

        A second “ cultural” factor is this— American support for Israel fits in with our own imperialist and racist attitudes. I sometimes clash a bit with Phil about this. I agree that the Lobby has influence and part of it is financial, but the fact is that the US would have an imperialist foreign policy in the Mideast and elsewhere even if Israel didn’t exist. The details would be different, but we would still want to remove any government whose leaders weren’t deferential enough . An example would be the coup in Bolivia, which the NYT applauded. They are scared of anything remotely socialist. I suspect that in any Latin American country the NYT would support a coup that replaced a Latin American version of Bernie Sanders with a Latin American version of Donald Trump.

        So Israel exists and while the Palestinian issue causes the US some problems, fundamentally the Israelis benefit from having Arab ( or Iranian) governments that are subservient to the US.

        I don’t have any particularly clever notions on how to fight against this. Just tell the truth about what we and the Israelis do . Appeal to both people’s sense of morality and also their self interest in not stirring up hatred for what we do.

  3. lonely rico on January 8, 2020, 5:03 pm

    The two-state solution is dead

    Somewhat tangentially –

    Look no further to understand Canada’s recent ‘no’ vote at the United Nations.

    Understanding Canada’s ‘orphan vote’ at the United Nations
    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/12/understanding-canadas-orphan-vote-at-the-united-nations/

    The hypocrite Justin Trudeau knew full well that the ‘no’ vote would change nothing for the Palestinians, suffering decades of brutality and dispossession at the hands of his Zionist friends. It would change nothing for the Zionists he loves so dearly. The two-state solution was dead, and Trudeau’s cynical ploy was totally meaningless.

    Trudeau’s cynical vote is “predicated on purely imperial and self-centred motives”; rather than praise he deserves universal opprobrium and disgust.

  4. Misterioso on January 8, 2020, 7:42 pm

    From Canada:

    CJPME: “Canada must pursue independent foreign policy in Mideast”
    For Immediate Release

    Montreal, January 8, 2020 — Following the Trump administration’s escalation of hostilities with Iran, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) again calls Canada to pursue a more independent foreign policy in the Middle East. The US carried out a strike last week which killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Iran retaliated early this morning with a ballistic missile strike on US bases in Iraq. Canada has troops in Iraq, ostensibly as an ally in the fight against ISIS, but the US decision to leave Canada in the dark suggests that the US considers Canada irrelevant to its own foreign policy plans. CJPME considers that the US’ failure to consult Canada is a clear sign that a new era of Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East needs to emerge.

    “‘The Trudeau government was clearly hesitant to criticize the Trump government in the wake of the US attack last week,’ pointed out Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME, ‘But this is no longer defensible.’ Bruce Heyman, former US Ambassador to Canada, acknowledged that the US attack last week is one in a string of disruptive US decisions which have left its allies ‘in really tough spots.’ CJPME notes that there are many ‘bad guys’ in the Middle East, but the repeated lesson from past foreign military adventures is that they result in misery, chaos and failure to achieve any improvement. ‘The indiscriminate assassination of world leaders will only prolong a situation of chaos and insecurity, especially in the Middle East,’ continued Woodley.

    “CJPME proposes a foreign policy which encourages and prioritizes diplomacy and engagement over military brinkmanship. Such an approach would require countries like Canada to go beyond simplistic labels like ‘good guy,’ ‘bad guy,’ and ‘terrorist,’ and develop relationships with all parties to conflict. By understanding and respecting the legitimate historic and cultural reasons for conflict, Canada and like-minded partners can work to devise plans which enable long-term solutions to regional and global conflict. ‘Depending on a state of perpetual war to ensure Western hegemony and economic health is a sure recipe for continued suffering and instability,’ concluded Woodley.

    “The Trump administration’s disruptive behaviour is evident on many fronts, including its withdrawal from the Paris climate-change agreement, its rewriting of the free trade deal in North America, and its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Such decisions have been hugely disruptive for the US’ allies. Last week’s assassination led to the Iraq parliament voting to expel all foreign troops. This would include Canadian troops currently leading a NATO training mission to resist a resurgence of ISIS. The belligerent Trump then immediately and unilaterally threatened to impose sanctions on Iraq. In the face of such impulsiveness, CJPME concludes that a revamp of Canada’s foreign policy is unavoidable.”

    ###
    For more information, please contact:
    Miranda Gallo
    Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
    Telephone: 438-380-5410
    Email CJPME – CJPME Website

  5. Ismail on January 8, 2020, 11:10 pm

    I’m sure that most founders of and participants in outfits like Seeds of Peace are honest and high-minded individuals who genuinely hope for a solution for both parties in Palestine/Israel.

    But I’m suspicious of movements that base their efforts on things like mutual understanding and similar tactics – “Let’s get to know one another, we’re sure to find that we have more in common than we suppose”, etc – thereby transforming a political problem into a psychological one.

    I don’t believe any political struggle was overcome by the two antagonists getting to know one another “as people”. In general, the psychologizing of the political has been one of the cleverest distractions ever cooked up by those in power.

    • oldgeezer on January 9, 2020, 12:39 am

      @Ismail

      It’s a dead end route in any event. The mantra for much of the latter half of the 1900’s was make us feel welcome, make us feel safe. Talk to us, just engage with us and all will be well. That was the liberal zionist schtick in any event. Outcome? More Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. Just another dishonest tactic to enable further crimes to their own benefit.

    • Elizabeth Block on January 9, 2020, 9:51 am

      You’re absolutely right. There’s an organization that runs summer camps in Canada where Jewish and Palestinian Israelis meet and get to know each other. They are 13-14 years old. In a few years, the Jews will be in the army, and the Palestinians? probably in their gunsights. How many of those Jewish kids become refuseniks? Any of them?

  6. brent on January 10, 2020, 12:49 am

    @Donald… “various groups ( like JVP) are doing pretty much what they should be doing. Why hasn’t it worked so far?”

    JVP and If Not Now have been especially influential and have in reality made a significant difference politically. A campaign for equality under the law, like the one that changed America, will have to be long term, sustained and underpinned by those enduring the discrimination, with the assistance of support groups, like JVP, who lend weight, depth, and political acumen.

    Consider the Iran situation of late. Has anyone encountered in the media the reality of Israel waging war on Iran for several years? That Iran stipulated years ago that if Israel made a deal with Palestinians both sides agreed with, Iran would consider its problem with Israel over? That Israel’s refusal to agree to a one-state or a two-state agreement meant Israel had to instead dominate and bully Iran into acquiescence. The war on Iran, like Iraq, like Syria, are costs of the winner take all policy in Palestine. Hardly a media peep.

    Palestinians have a similar problem. The media, including NPR and PBS, has and will run offense and defense for Israel and that will likely continue. Terrorism was practiced during the Second Intifada and unfortunately, much of the West still see Palestinians in that light. This is one reason violence, however rare, is best not tolerated by Palestinians as it reinforces their negative perceptions. Negative narratives have almost negated the political gains of the bulk of Palestinian activism.

    Palestinians, and others, are irrationally feared as secretly wanting to destroy/annihilate Jews at a time the 2SS is no longer viable and peaceful co-existence is the only logical path forward. These realities should inform a campaign for equality under the law. It would negate irrational fears, resonates loudly throughout the American political system and empowers the support system. It would be difficult for media to ignore marches by Israelis ad Palestinians carrying placards in English.

    • Donald on January 10, 2020, 10:15 am

      Basically you sound like me about five years ago. I still agree with most of that, but let me point out the problem.

      Yes, the Palestinians used violence against civilians and yes, it is wrong to do that in my view. But the problem with Westerners making an issue about this is that we have no moral leg to stand on. You may think this is “ whataboutism”, but it’s not. It will take a few paragraphs to explain.

      Western countries use violence against civilians and have no excuse at all for doing so.
      We usually ( not always) do it by proxy or via subtle means, by sanctions or blockades that kill people and Westerners simply don’t seem to care. You see this with both Iran and Gaza. In both cases Americans pay no attention whatsoever to the harm inflicted on civilians, including children, unless it leads to war. In the case of Gaza, there were a few very brief mentions of sanction relief as a Hamas demand while the war was going on in 2014, but even then if I recall correctly people would sometimes frame sanctions relief as giving in to Hamas terrorism. Once the war ( or slaughter) ended Western interest in the suffering of Gazans dropped from negligible back down to zero.

      The same is true of Iran. Trump tears up the nuclear treaty and with the support of 98 senators ( only Paul and Sanders in opposition) he imposes economy- destroying sanctions on Iran. Do Westerners care? No, for the most part, they don’t. In the NYT the articles on it discuss it solely in terms of whether the policy will “work”. It is the reasoning of sociopaths.

      In contrast, when people engage in largely symbolic boycotts of Israel, people go nuts and many states pass laws against it. Nobody is hurt by BDS— if it actually cut medical supplies to Israel and people started dying every newspaper in the country would call it antisemitic genocide. I would be horrified myself. But we cheerfully do this to Iran. I see liberals sighing with relief that we aren’t going to war, totally unbothered that the Orange psychopath brags about imposing even tougher sanctions on Iran.

      Palestinians are already engaged in peaceful protest. Yes, there are stones and burning kites. The civil rights movement in the US also was a period when there were riots , but non- racists didn’t allow that to confuse the issue. The issue was white supremacism.

      So getting back to Gaza, Palestinians have engaged in peaceful protests and about 200 have been killed by Israel and thousands shot. What was the America reaction? Support for Israel. Almost across the board. The NYT published four pieces that I noticed actually defending the killing. Worse than that, so far as I could tell in the comment sections of the NYT, virtually no one noticed the outrageousness of this.

      So Palestinians are doing exactly what you and I have said they should do. And the reaction in the leading liberal newspaper of the country is 4 columns saying they deserved to be gunned down and it was all Hamas’s fault.

      So that’s why I don’t think it is a good idea to emphasize the need for a Palestinians to be nonviolent. First, it is a counsel of perfection that I doubt has ever been met under similar circumstances . Yes, they should be nonviolent, but that happens to be the path they are on right now anyway. Which brings me to point two. They are being mostly nonviolent in Gaza and their reward is that they are gunned down with barely a word in protest from the US — in fact, people say Israel did the right thing.

      So the problem here is Western racism. Murderous, hypocritical, sociopathic, Western racism. I think what we should be doing is pointing out that Palestinians are doing what Western ( armchair) idealists like myself say they should be doing , and the West rewards them by blaming Hamas when Israel kills them.

  7. Citizen on January 10, 2020, 10:09 am

    Those who fought against Equal Rights in USA were eventually defeated. So long as Israel is treated by our successive US regimes as the latest US state (but with not 2, but 100 senators), the most effective way in long run is to call for equal rights in Israel & its occupied lands.

    • mondonut on January 10, 2020, 12:10 pm

      @Citizen, the most effective way in long run is to call for equal rights in Israel & its occupied lands.

      If the residents of Judea and Samaria want the rights afforded to the Israeli citizens of Israel, they should organize a referendum and request that Israel annex those lands and provide a path to citizenship.

      • Talkback on January 10, 2020, 2:12 pm

        mondonut: “… Judea and Samaria …”

        Is your choice of names an attempt to deny that the Westbank is occupied?

        mondonut: “… they should organize a referendum and request that Israel annex those lands and provide a path to citizenship.”

        Do you really think that Israel would have not allready illegaly annexed the Westbank, if that wouldn’t collide with its racist national character and what it calls a “demographic threat”?

      • mondonut on January 10, 2020, 2:52 pm

        @Talkback
        Is your choice of names…
        Do you really think that Israel would have not allready illegaly…

        Nope and Nope.
        What I choose to call it is irrelevant to the question. And no, I do no think the Israelis would have annexed it otherwise. I do think they would annex it if asked to by the residents.

      • Talkback on January 10, 2020, 6:03 pm

        mondonut: “What I choose to call it is irrelevant to the question.”

        Then call it Westbank liike the rest of the world does and not the occupier.

        mondonut: ” And no, I do no think the Israelis would have annexed it otherwise.”

        Because Zionists are not known for conquering or illegaly annexing territories, right?

        modnonut: “I do think they would annex it if asked to by the residents.”

        ROFL. So what is keeping Israel from annexing it without the consent of the Palestinians? Please endulge us.

      • mondonut on January 10, 2020, 8:36 pm

        @Talkback
        Then call it Westbank liike the rest of the world does and not the occupier.
        Because Zionists are not known for conquering or illegaly annexing territories, right?
        ROFL. So what is keeping Israel from annexing it without the consent of the Palestinians? Please endulge us.

        No, if I choose to call it Judea and Samaria I will, it is not incorrect to do so.
        As to why it is not annexed, go ahead and consult with the Israelis on that, I have no interest in humoring your off topic tangents. I will however state, once again, that if the residents of the West Bank (happy now?) want the rights the Israelis have as citizens of Israel – they should ask to be Israelis and in Israel.

      • Nathan on January 11, 2020, 3:09 am

        Talkback – I’m certain that you enjoy reading international documents, thus strengthening your universal principles. Read UNGA 181 (the Partition Plan). In the section that describes the area of the proposed Arab state, you will be surprised to find out that “Samaria and Judea” are terms of “the whole world”. There is no mention of the West Bank. It turns out that the Jordanians invented the term after occupying the territory in 1948. During the Mandate, and in the UN debate about Palestine, the area in question was “Samaria and Judea”. That’s the neutral designation of the territory, whereas “West Bank” is new, the result of the ambitions of Trans-Jordan to become Jordan.

      • Talkback on January 11, 2020, 3:13 am

        mondonut: “No, if I choose to call it Judea and Samaria I will, it is not incorrect to do so.”

        It’s not its official name. You just chose the occupier’s name. I can understand, the Nazis did the same.

        monodnut: “As to why it is not annexed, go ahead and consult with the Israelis on that, I have no interest in humoring your off topic tangents.”

        I can also understand why you don’t want to explain why Israel hasn’t allready annexed this territory. Otherwise you would have to admit that your proposal that the occupied people should ask for annexation is ridiculous, because Israel is not interested in incorparating huge amounts of Nonjews in its racist fake democracy.

      • Talkback on January 11, 2020, 11:48 am

        Nathan: “I’m certain that you enjoy reading international documents, thus strengthening your universal principles.”

        As I’m certain that you still fail to formulate a single universal principle that could legitimize the creation of the state of Israel no matter how many international documents you enjoy reading.

        Nathan: “Read UNGA 181 (the Partition Plan). In the section that describes the area of the proposed Arab state, you will be surprised to find out that “Samaria and Judea” are terms of “the whole world”. It turns out that the Jordanians invented the term after occupying the territory in 1948. ”

        Ah, the document in which the the whole territory is called “Palestine” which is the term of “the whole world”. It turns out that the Jews invented the term Israel after conquering and annexing the territory in 1948.

        Nathan: “That’s the neutral designation of the territory, whereas “West Bank” is new, the result of the ambitions of Trans-Jordan to become Jordan.”

        Ok, then we should use the neutral designation “Judea and Samaria” for the Westbank and “Palestine” for all of the territory which used to be under mandate, whereas “Israel” is new, the result of ambitions of Zionists to create a Jewish Apartheid state.

      • mondonut on January 11, 2020, 1:09 pm

        Talkback
        It’s not its official name. You just chose the occupier’s name. I can understand, the Nazis did the same.
        your proposal that the occupied people should ask for annexation is ridiculous

        Official name? Is it registered in the Official Registry of Non-State Territory Names? The UN called it Judea and Samaria in 1947, it became the West Bank when the Jordanians occupied it. Do occupiers get to bestow “official names” or not? Or only non-Jew occupiers? Do the Palestinians who consider it Palestine know about this “official name”?

        As for my suggestion that the residents ask for annexation – that is based entirely on their desire to have the same rights as Israelis citizens. And the only way to know for sure (your slurs notwithstanding) is to ask. If they are not interested in annexation they and their supporters should stop crowing about supposed “equal rights”.

      • Talkback on January 12, 2020, 6:36 am

        mondonut: “Official name? Is it registered in the Official Registry of Non-State Territory Names?”

        What a stupid question. Is “Judea and Samaria”?

        mondonut: “The UN called it Judea and Samaria in 1947, it became the West Bank when the Jordanians occupied it.”

        The UN called the whole state under mandate PALESTINE in 1947. Ok, let’s go with that, too.

        mondonut: “Do occupiers get to bestow “official names” or not? Or only non-Jew occupiers?”

        The term Westbank is used by the UN and the International Court of Justice. It’s actually only Israel and those propagandists who support its illegal coloniazation who use the term “Judea and Samaria”.

        mondonut: “Do the Palestinians who consider it Palestine know about this “official name”?”

        Of course. The Westbank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are integral parts of the State of Palestine.

        mondonut: “As for my suggestion that the residents ask for annexation – that is based entirely on their desire to have the same rights as Israelis citizens.”

        I don’t think that any Nonjew wants to have the same rights as the citizens of the colonial Apartheid Junta in PALESTINE, as long as only its nationals (aka Jews) have full citizenship rights and the denial of the right to equality is not only institutionalized, but also quasi constitutionaly enshrined.

        mondonut: “And the only way to know for sure (your slurs notwithstanding) is to ask. If they are not interested in annexation they and their supporters should stop crowing about supposed “equal rights”.”

        What slurs? That Jews have to keep Nonjews expelled to maintain a Jewish majority to fake being a non-racist democracy? That’s not a slur, that’s a fact you won’t be able to refute.

        And no, being a citizen of the Jewish Apartheid Junta in PALESTINE is not a necessary precondition to call for equal rights in PALESTINE.

      • oldgeezer on January 12, 2020, 10:49 am

        @Talkback

        It wouldn’t be that easy. They can ask for annexation but mondonut is suggesting only a ‘path to’ citizenship. In short they would not be granted citizenship immediately and likely never would be given Israel’s history in other illegal annexation cases.

      • mondonut on January 12, 2020, 1:41 pm

        @Talkback
        – What a stupid question. Is “Judea and Samaria”?
        – The UN called the whole state under mandate PALESTINE in 1947. Ok, let’s go with that, too.
        – The term Westbank is used by the UN and the International Court of Justice.
        – Of course. The Westbank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are integral parts of the State of Palestine.
        – I don’t think that any Nonjew wants to have the same rights as the citizens of the colonial Apartheid Junta in PALESTINE, as long as only its nationals (aka Jews) have full citizenship rights and the denial of the right to equality is not only institutionalized, but also quasi constitutionaly enshrined.
        – What slurs? That Jews have to keep Nonjews expelled to maintain a Jewish majority to fake being a non-racist democracy? That’s not a slur, that’s a fact you won’t be able to refute.
        – And no, being a citizen of the Jewish Apartheid Junta in PALESTINE is not a necessary precondition to call for equal rights in PALESTINE.

        – I never declared Judea and Samaria as an “official name”, just that is is not incorrect.
        – Go ahead, still does not make Judea and Samaria incorrect.
        – Same same, still does not make Judea and Samaria incorrect
        – If the State of Palestine existed with actual sovereign territory (it does not), it’s official name would be the State of Palestine.
        – Not sure what you are babbling about here, but asking for the rights the Israelis have, such as voting in Israeli elections, is a constant them here.
        – Yes it is a slur to declare that only reason the West Bank has not already been annexed in because Israel is a “racist fake democracy”.
        – Equal rights in Palestine? Equal to whom? Nice attempt on the spin but all the calls for equal rights in the West bank (happy now?) are for the rights the Israelis enjoy as citizens of Israel.

      • Talkback on January 12, 2020, 3:00 pm

        mondonut: ” If the State of Palestine existed with actual sovereign territory (it does not), it’s official name would be the State of Palestine.”

        I allready explained to you that a “souvereign territory” does not exist. You are just inventing and confusing concepts to deny that the State of Palestine exists and that it has a territory. The souvereign (the title holder) can exercise souvereignity OVER a territory. He doesn’, if the territory is under mandate or occupation or if the state is a protectorate or in any other form a dependent state. That neither changes its statehood nor its territory. And the official name of the State of Palestine is “The state of Palestine”. That’s how the UN adresses this non-member observer state and every other of its organisations or the International Criminal Court.

        The Westbank is officially a PART of the State of Palestine. It’s not THE State of Palestine.

        mondonut: “– Not sure what you are babbling about here, but asking for the rights the Israelis have, such as voting in Israeli elections, is a constant them here.”

        Having the right to elect in Israel doesn’t mean that you have the rights that Israels nationals enjoy. And if you are a Palestinian refugee Israel denies your right to return, right to citizenship and consequently the right to vote.

        mondonut: “– Yes it is a slur to declare that only reason the West Bank has not already been annexed in because Israel is a “racist fake democracy”.”

        I allready told you that you won’t refute that Israel has to keep Nonjews expelled to maintain a Jewish majority to fake being a non-racist democracy. You just repeat your accusation that it is a slur. Again, without any argument. That’s a slur.

        mondonut: “– Equal rights in Palestine? Equal to whom?”

        Equal for everybody without the need to make a distinction between Jews and Nonjews.

        mondonut: “Nice attempt on the spin but all the calls for equal rights in the West bank (happy now?) are for the rights the Israelis enjoy as citizens of Israel.”

        No they are not. Because not even Israelis do enjoy equal rights. Equal rights are not even constitionally enshrined. To the contrary, the state is not even the state of all of its citizens.
        “Last year, the Knesset Presidium refused to allow a bill entitled Basic Law: State for All Its Citizens, proposed by Balad, a secular Arab nationalist party, to be brought to the floor. Another bill entitled Democratic, Multicultural and Egalitarian State, proposed by Yousef Jabareen of an Arab-Jewish party, was dismissed in the early stages of parliamentary debates. Just last week, the Knesset’s central elections committee disqualified Balad-Ra’am (a joint slate of Balad and the Islamic Movement) as well as Ofer Cassif, a Jewish member of Hadash, from running in this year’s elections. (Adalah, the legal centre where I work, is representing both Balad-Ra’am and Cassif before the Israeli supreme court this week in an attempt to cancel the committee’s decisions).

        Although the supreme court is expected to allow their participation, this marks the sixth consecutive election in which Arab-led parties and their candidates have had to fight disqualifications. These decisions have been endorsed by rightwing and centre Jewish parties alike, accusing the Arab parties of supporting terrorism because they criticise the occupation, or denying Israel’s character as a “Jewish and democratic” state because they demand a racially just society, a “state for all its citizens””
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/13/netanyahu-israel-palestinian

        If you think that Jews and Nonjews in Israel are equal you’re either in denial or blatantly lying. What is it?

  8. Ossinev on January 11, 2020, 1:52 pm

    @Mondonut
    “If they are not interested in annexation they and their supporters should stop crowing about supposed “equal rights”.

    Ah you mean the way black people in Apartheid South Africa and black people in segregationist America “crowed” about equal rights. We all know how that ended.

    • mondonut on January 11, 2020, 3:27 pm

      @Ossinev , Ah you mean the way black people in Apartheid South Africa and black people in segregationist America “crowed” about equal rights. We all know how that ended.

      Unsurprisingly you have it wrong and exactly backwards. Citizens of a state should demand equal rights, which was my exact point. Ask for annexation, become citizens, demand equal rights. Asking for equal rights as non-citizen, non-residents is idiotic and counter productive.

      • eljay on January 11, 2020, 6:43 pm

        || mon donut: … Asking for equal rights as non-citizen, non-residents is idiotic and counter productive. ||

        Asking for special, supremacist rights as a person who – regardless of what homeland s/he lives in or comes from – has chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish is unjust and immoral. It is, in a word, Zionist.

      • Talkback on January 12, 2020, 1:18 pm

        mondonut: “Ask for annexation, become citizens, demand equal rights.”

        Which citizenship does a Nonjew have to acquire to become a national of Israel and become part of its nation? And why is it necessary to demand equal rights, after s/he has become a national of Israel? Don’t they automatically enjoy equal rights, if they are nationals?

  9. Nathan on January 11, 2020, 2:42 pm

    Talkback – I don’t remember that I actually made an attempt to formulate a universal principle “that could legitimize the founding of the State of Israel”. So, if my memory is fine, I haven’t yet failed the test. Actually, I have told you once or twice that the State of Israel has come into being, and that’s that. The entire debate about the justification of founding the state is simply a propaganda ploy which is meant to influence public opinion. It doesn’t really matter if one is convinced or not by the most thought-out argument. A state exists or it doesn’t exist. You think that Israel shouldn’t exist, but it doesn’t really matter. She exists.

    I would imagine that you believe that your perception of right and wrong is universal. I doubt that there is an agreement among all societies on this planet regarding right and wrong, so in reality all of us have a particularistic view that we believe is universal. You can present one of your universal ideas, and much of mankind won’t even understand you. The best example would be your universal ideal that the State of Israel should not have been founded. Since many people do not share your “ideal”, obviously it’s not universal.

    Anyway, there was a group of people who wished to found the State of Israel, and they succeeded. That is why the State of Israel exists. This perspective is particularistic, of course, but actually all states are an expression of particularism (and that’s a universal phenomenon)!

    • Mooser on January 11, 2020, 5:45 pm

      “Actually, I have told you once or twice that the State of Israel has come into being, and that’s that.”

      And that’s that! States come into being, and then there they be. When we’ve got michpokha and mishegos, what more do you need to keep a state running forever?

    • Talkback on January 12, 2020, 6:02 am

      Nathan: “I don’t remember that I actually made an attempt to formulate a universal principle “that could legitimize the founding of the State of Israel”.”

      ROFL. It must be very painful for you to remember your failures.

      Nathan: “Actually, I have told you once or twice that the State of Israel has come into being, and that’s that.”

      And I have told you once or twice that this doesn’t legitimate anything and that your wording “come into being” is nothing else but propaganda which tries to imply that a state is like a natural being that has a right to exist. Which it isn’t and hasn’t.

      But you fail to respond. You are just simulating a debate.

      Nathan: “A state exists or it doesn’t exist.”

      The question if A exists or not has nothing to do with the question if A’s existence or its creation is legitimate. A computer virus exists or it doesn’t. An organisation is criminal or isn’t.

      You will fail to respond to that, too.

      Nathan: ” You can present one of your universal ideas, and much of mankind won’t even understand you.”

      Another pathetic to turn this into a ad homimen discussion, Nathan.

      It’s you who fails to present any universal principle that could legitimize the creation of Israel.

      I on the other hand can simply claim that the people of states under mandates have a right to indepedence, because of the mandate system. This may be to complicated for somenone like you to understand, if Jews need to prevent this.

      Nobody has the right to colonize a country and immigrate without the consent of its people. This may be to complicated for somenone like you to understand, when the immigrants are Jewish.

      Nobody has a right to expell other people and keep them expelled to maintain a racist national character. This may be to complicated for somenone like you to understand, if a Jewish state commits these crimes.

      There. Three universal principles. Easy to understand even for children. And you won’t refute them. But a couple of days later you will simply repeat that you told me once or twice that A exists or it doesn’t. That’s the most intelligent attempt someone like you can make to legitimize Israel, it’s creation and Apartheid existence.

      • Nathan on January 12, 2020, 10:57 pm

        Talkback – It’s absolutely true that I have not produced a single universal principle that justifies the founding of Israel. There is simply no need to justify the founding of Israel. Have you ever wondered why Israel is a member of the UN? If there needs to be a universal principle to justify the founding of a state, then apparently the international body feels that just such a principle exists in the case of Israel. It’s more likely, however, that there isn’t a need to justify statehood.

        And now that you have given three arguments why Israel should not have been founded, what is supposed to happen tomorrow morning? Israel is not going to be “unfounded” in the wake of your debating skills.

        You seem to question my ability to understand. I don’t take to heart your rudeness. Since I’m not capable of understanding your arguments, I can relax in the thought that Israel will still be there when I wake up in the morning. You, on the other hand, have a more difficult position. You do understand your arguments, and yet despite your superior wisdom, Israel will nevertheless be there when you wake up in the morning.

      • MHughes976 on January 13, 2020, 3:35 am

        If there is no universal principle justifying the foundation of Israel the idea that it was the same kind of self-determination that everyone deserves and is denied to Jewish people by anti-Semites is abandoned.
        If there are universal principles – three of them, even – showing that the something that happened was wrong it follows, on any intelligible idea of right and wrong, surely, that we must ask whether anything sufficient has been done to put things right and, if we think that the answer is No, to call for something within reason to be done now. The foundation of England was a murky business – Gildas’s description of it as ‘the conquest and destruction of Britain’ is probably basically justified. However, I think that a reasonably just settlement between the English and the Welsh, putting things right within reason, has emerged. The idea that it will take centuries to get that far in the Holy Land is odious and the prospect very dangerous. The fact, if it is a fact, that those who benefit from the wrong done will refuse, as predictably as tomorrow’s sunrise, to do anything relevant is not a reason, how could it be, why they should not be pressed and pressured.

      • Talkback on January 13, 2020, 8:40 am

        Nathan: “It’s absolutely true that I have not produced a single universal principle that justifies the founding of Israel.”

        And you never will, because you know that it can’t be justified.

        Nathan: “Have you ever wondered why Israel is a member of the UN?”

        For the same reason why Palestine isn’t.

        Nathan: “Israel is not going to be “unfounded” in the wake of your debating skills.”

        You seem to be obsessed with your ad hominem idiocies. South Africa didn’t end its Apartheid because of my debating skills either.

        Nathan: “You do understand your arguments, and yet despite your superior wisdom, Israel will nevertheless be there when you wake up in the morning.”

        Since you don’t understand my arguments you don’t know how many mornings an Apartheid state has left.

      • RoHa on January 13, 2020, 9:59 pm

        “If there is no universal principle justifying the foundation of Israel the idea that it was the same kind of self-determination that everyone deserves and is denied to Jewish people by anti-Semites is abandoned.”

        Good point, but I don’t expect intellectual consistency from Zionists. They are only consistent in their adherence to the principle “We matter and you don’t”.

      • Talkback on January 14, 2020, 1:03 pm

        Nathan doesn’t care about what’s right or wrong. Neither does the IDF:

        https://www.btselem.org/video/20200114_soldiers_harass_family_who_hung_palestinian_flags_on_their_fence#full

    • echinococcus on January 12, 2020, 2:39 pm

      Long Zionist rant with no argument at all but this:
      “the State of Israel exists”.

      As if we didn’t know.

      The urgent job is to make the monster unexist, period.

      • MHughes976 on January 13, 2020, 5:09 am

        Are we facing an extreme anti-idealism here which says a) that the real is the rational, ie that the real world must evolve along lines set by rational principles, though we can often recognise this operation only in retrospect b) that we see, looking around us and looking back, that reality evolved so that Israel came to be and has since refused to evolve so that Israel ceases to be, quite to the contrary c) to argue idealistically or from moral principles against Israel is going contrary to the rational principles revealed by this retrospect: therefore, stop arguing.
        I would say that this whole argument has the flaw of being unrealistic but it seems to have had distinguished, if not very vocal, supporters. I’ve been brooding on this since I read Adam Spatz in the London Review of Books attributing, I think, something like this view to Sartre and Rodinson, explaining why Sartre, in strange parallel with Martin Luther King, signed a pro-Israel manifesto and then became distinctly reluctant to discuss the subject further.

      • RoHa on January 13, 2020, 10:01 pm

        I admit that I read Nathan as simply saying,

        “I don’t care about right and wrong.
        Israel exists, and I like it.
        You don’t, but you can’t do anything about it, so yah boo sucks to you.”

        But perhaps that is the same as your reading.

      • brent on January 14, 2020, 1:07 am

        @echinococcus, I have been hoping you will articulate your end game and your a plan or program that you believe can plausibly get there.

        The costs of Palestine unresolved has been huge. Mostly for Palestinians and surrounding nations, but for humanity in general.

        How to move forward? Your thought on a secular state?

        My state can be said the biggest monster of all. I seek to evolve it, not “unexist” it. It is good and bad all at the same moment… as every person.

      • Talkback on January 14, 2020, 8:35 am

        RoHa: “I admit that I read Nathan as simply saying,

        “I don’t care about right and wrong.
        Israel exists, and I like it.
        You don’t, but you can’t do anything about it, so yah boo sucks to you.”

        That’s what’s left of Hasbara. The rest will share its fate.

      • echinococcus on January 14, 2020, 9:26 am

        Brent,

        Not being omnipotent like you, with your infinitely effective smarts, I cannot “articulate [my] end game and [my] plan or program…”

        …to “plausibly get there”: get where, exactly? To summarize your convoluted stuff, your “there” is to pacify the robbed and oppressed Palestinians by teaching them DC Beltway marginal easement smarts, so as to reduce the costs (to their oppressors, too?) of their fight for justice, as “costs of Palestine unresolved has been huge.”

        Well, the Zionist leadership has been at it hammer and tongs for 100+ years. They’ve used the kind of blandishment you are promising (alongside, of course, raw theft, murder and genocide) and, guess what, the Palestinian people in its aggregate are still asking for their land and their rightful ownership.

        My “there” is not anything like your all-encompassing “for humanity in general” but justice for the robbed and invaded Palestinians, period. Which excludes any satisfaction of its enemies. Justice may be unreachable but the wronged people will continue to require it.

        As to “a plan or program that [I] believe can plausibly get there”, which in your message sounds exactly like a “Papiere, bitte!”, sine qua non for admission, of course I have none. It’s passing implausible that the Palestinian people will overwhelmingly agree to being expelled from its territory and losing sovereignty over it.
        It’s perhaps more implausible that the sincere Zionist madmen will give up without a suicidal fight.

        [Invaded and occupied people do not accept it that easy; that takes a successful genocide. Two states, one state, it’s all the same injustice; it’s not Palestine. Secular or theocratic or whatever, that’s a matter of propaganda and the degree of misery: the Zionists have managed to transform the most secular and most tolerant society of the area, the Palestinians, into a predominantly religious-minded one in a very short time. Again, it’s not up to you to decide.]

        Any “plausible plan or program” now can’t see further than the great need to hit the Zionists and the American Empire, of which the Zionists are the controlling shareholders, as hard as possible. It’s extremely implausible that any concessions will ever be forthcoming otherwise. It’s also extremely implausible that there will be any peaceful solution for justice, if what we learnt from the decolonization struggle is worth anything.

  10. Ossinev on January 12, 2020, 7:44 am

    @Mondonut
    “Unsurprisingly you have it wrong and exactly backwards. Citizens of a state should demand equal rights, which was my exact point. Ask for annexation, become citizens, demand equal rights. Asking for equal rights as non-citizen, non-residents is idiotic and counter productive”

    Unsurprisingly you like all of your fellow Zionists contnue to spin in ever decreasing circles when it comes to the thorny question of the scamsham 2SS disappearing before your eyes and the prospect to of a nakedly Apartheid Israel becoming the reality on the ground.

    HTF does a native “ask for annexation” ? Is there an Israeli Government form currently available or is it still at the design stage. Perhaps you could offer your wisdom to assist.
    More to the point why should a RESIDENT native of Palestine whose descendants have lived there for many many generations have to “ask to be annexed” in order to get notionally “equal rights” in his own country whilst Harry Smith currently living in the Bronx and whose family lived before in Eastern Europe before conversion to Judaism get to be a full RESIDENT !! citizen of Israel with full equal rights without all that embarassment of having to “ask to be annexed”.

    • MHughes976 on January 12, 2020, 1:37 pm

      All those subject to a sovereign power, citizens or not, have a right to fair treatment.

  11. brent on January 15, 2020, 2:49 am

    @ Echinococcus. Thank you for taking the time to delineate your thoughts. I better understand your critique of the considerations I’ve offered. I get that I have not had to endure oppression of the overt type and that colors my perceptions of how to get to the future I think we need. A peaceful future not only for Palestinians but of all others as well. For the gains civilization had made after the two great wars, the promise of the UN, of international law. We are in trouble.

    The treachery, the duplicity, of my country has bee hard to bear. https://mailchi.mp/a00a474a796d/the-west-is-run-by-barbarians?e=41340a6d38

    You are for sure right, it is not up to me to decide what anyone should. On the other hand, I have followed the Question of Palestine much of my life as it’s long seemed reasonable,” as goes Jerusalem, so goes the world” and I hope to see a better world in my rear mirror.

    I work to see violence as a form of resistance end, not because its immoral but because it doesn’t seem to work, more the opposite. Politics, ideas seem more powerful. Some of the hardest violence on Israel led directly to that awful wall. 9-11 uglified America. Keeping the world on low boil seems the game of empire, exploitation and greed.

    Beyond that, I think its the decency within Judaism that can/will bring to heel the ugliness of Zionism. I reason that together Jews and Arabs stand a good chance of getting civilization to a better level. There have been too many indirect victims of the objective for a win-lose in Jerusalem…Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians.

    These are some of my biases.

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