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View Diary: Hillary Clinton: Israel should "occupy" the moral high ground, not Palestine (186 comments)

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  •  I believe this has been her stance since early on (27+ / 0-)

    and Obama's as well.  Settlements were criticized early--but they backed off.  I think that they were backed into a corner by the RW message machine so that strong wording would have played into the Obama is anti-Israel frame that the right used fairly effectively, even though it was a completely myth.

    I wish the wording would have been stronger over the past couple of years although I don't think it would have made a lick of difference regarding Netanyahu's actions.

    This may be a diplomatic signal toward a more even-handed dealing with the I/P issue which would be welcome--although I still think that both N-yahu and the Hamas leadership have to either go or strongly moderate their positions if ANY progress is to be made.

    •  How close President Arafat and Premier Rabin were (30+ / 0-)

      … to working out a lasting peace under Oslo, we'll never know. What we do know is that Premier Rabin was assassinated, and the Israeli settler movement and others who want land more than peace have been calling the tune ever since.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:25:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That assassination (13+ / 0-)

        and the events that followed is undoubtedly to my mind the greatest tragedy in Isreal's history.

        The radicalisation of Isreali politics brought on both by a determined wave if suicide bombings ( prior to Netanyahu's first electioral victory) and an ever more pronounced and dramatic veer to the right ( which exists in a form of symbiosis with Arab extremism- see Sharon's actions prior to his election win) make me very skeptical about the future, which given all the promise that existed in the mid 90s is as I said a profound tradegy.

        hope springs eternal

        by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:09:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  just to be clear (4+ / 0-)

          It was an Israeli right-wing extremist who murdered Rabin.  

          •  yes of course (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but I don't see either how I gave a contrary impression, or what difference it makes to the above. Extremism on both sides is the calamity.

            hope springs eternal

            by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:56:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is wrong (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You say that after the detente, Israel went far to the right in response to Palestinian terrorism and as a response to Arab extremism.  This is fucked up analysis.

              The Israeli right became radicalized (or stayed radicalized) in response to the imminent creation of a sovereign Palestine.  It wasn't violence that inspired right-wing Israelis, it was peace.

              When Arafat and Rabin recognized each other's right to exist, and the peace process started, there was a cessation of violence on both sides.  The IDF committed no acts of violence against Palestinians, and the Hamas and Al-Aqsa declared an end to violence and agreed to work within the framework of the peace negotiations.

              This peace was perceived as a threat to the state of "Greater Israel."  It was the Israeli extremists who dismantled the peace.  First with the Rabin murder, then the take-over of the government by Likud, which proceeded to reverse policies on settlements.  Instead of dismantling settlements, Likud began a massive program of ethnic cleansing and settlement construction in the West Bank, which has quadrupled the population of Israeli settlers in land Israel promised to recognize as Palestine.

              Netanyahu then traveled all over the US appearing for interviews in which he was full and free in sharing his beliefs that Palestinian sovereignty was incompatible with Israeli sovereignty and would never be allowed to happen.

              Then there was a massacre at a mosque in the West Bank (by a Jewish ER doctor from New York) and deliberate desecrations of Palestinian holy sites.  Only then did the second intifada begin.  

              Your commentary suggests that the second intifada began first, and the Israeli actions above were a response to the uprising.  Please correct your commentary.

              •  as someone who lived there moths before (0+ / 0-)

                Rabin's assassination, I find it interesting that you deliberately ignore everything that happened under Peres' leadership (i.e. major suicide bombings) in 1996.  Not to mention significant attacks even during Rabin's leadership (I'm thinking of one in particular in Aug. 1995--Egged bus 26--I should know because I rode that line daily until June of that year)

                Your comment is incredibly biased.

                •  so after this happened? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WattleBreakfast, Lepanto

                  The Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre

                  Despite the fact that Israeli settlers built various monuments to their hero, I don't hold the Israeli government responsible for his crimes.  Most Israelis condemned this terrorist, and the government strongly condemned his actions.

                  During Rabin's tenure, both the PA and Israelis made difficult but necessary progress toward a peaceful resolution of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, despite violent extremists.

                  After Likud took over power, Israel stopped acting in good faith.  Evidence is the massive expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory beginning in 1996, and Netanyahu's public statements that Israel would never allow Palestinian sovereignty.

                  So, Israeli settlers in West Bank enjoy the protection of civil law, and indigenous Palestinians do not.  Explain what you mean by "bias."

              •  It's all about wherever the olitical center lies (0+ / 0-)


                While the Isreali radical right existed but they did not have political momentum. I remain convinced that the second intifada and the vacuum created by Rabin's death led to the radical right becoming  electable.

                I am also confident that strategists on both sides had a fair idea that this was going to happen. They feed off each other, because they both see it as some kind of millennial struggle.and both are convinced they will emerge victorious.

                hope springs eternal

                by ahyums on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:13:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Assassinated by (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lepanto, lotlizard, frostbite, PeterHug

        A rabid right-wing settler, no less.  Shimon Peres missed a great opportunity to continue the process, and also push through a constitutional change to decrease the influence of junky little parties like Shas by imposing a minimum limit for representation, as Germany does in the Bundestag.

    •  The RW attacks Susan Rice for (23+ / 0-)

      failing to use the magic word "terrorism" in the Benghazi attack.  But the RW refuses to define exactly what they mean by terrorism because no matter how they phrase it, it would end up including any number of actions by Israel against the Palestinians (and vice versa), and, unfortunately, actions by the U.S. against Pakistan (and other places).  

      This refusal goes back to Bush and 9/11, for mostly the same reasons.  

      Perhaps, as a defense of Susan Rice, we should press McCain on this point.  If "terrorism" is such a magic word, let's go ahead and try to define it.  See if McCain is willing to put up or shut up.  

      •  One needs to remember that in some respects (16+ / 0-)

        the difference between 'terrorists' and 'revolutionary governments' is the number of people on the t/r side and their relative political power. Using 'terrorist' as a red line boundary word, as in 'we will never deal with . . . ." and then sticking it on whatever political opponents are there to the speaker, in the moment, merely removes content from the idea, because what the word then means is a marginal group rather than a successful one for the people it rules and sometimes serves, to whom one send diplomats.

        •  Yep, that's kinda the point. nt (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, Anorish, elwior, WattleBreakfast
        •  Let's remember (4+ / 0-)

          Menachem Begin had a price on his head for bombing the King David hotel when he was with Irgun, speaking of terrorists.

        •  It was never about Terrorism (0+ / 0-)

          Their criticism against Rice, and to a lesser extent Obama was that he was mean to Terry Jones. It was NEVER about terrorism or about an administrative coverup.

          The right wing is FUMING that the President singled out a film made by one of their hate-preachers and openly criticized it. Remember Authoritarians are very in-group and out-group centric.

          When they say Benghazi was a "coverup" and "should've called it out as a terrorist attack from the start" what they're really saying is: "HOW DARE OBAMA CRITICIZE TERRY JONES! In America we stand up for our own first! (Our own meaning only rabid right-wing in groups like fundamentalist preachers) He was just trying to blame US for this whole thing! I SMELL A COVERUP! Let's see if we can tar him somehow for this!"

          •  One might think that decent Americans would be (0+ / 0-)

            a bit more careful of their Free Speech rights when the connection between the exercise of them in the way the film people did had a connection to the deaths of Americans abroad. Even if it was only a connection which gave the burners a hint of opportunity to do what they did.

      •  Another DK diary by The Troubadour (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eikyu Saha

        today was titled

        HillaryClinton: Israel-should-occupy-the-moral-high-ground-not-Palestine

        That diary points out how quickly the White House spin has changed regarding the I/P issues. The Rice UN spin is no longer the policy?

        In my opinion the words "terrorist or terrorism" are completely political and should not be used in factual reporting. A good description of whatever incident is being reported should be self-explanatory.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:48:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know what to make of Rice's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WattleBreakfast, Lepanto

          UN comments, but I am glad to see Hillary moving away from the Israel-is-infallible-and-Palestinians-are-always-horrible position that the U.S. has usually gravitated to.  Now, if John Kerry were to back Jimmy Carter's assessment, the RW might just go scurrying back to Susan Rice, and throw Scott Brown back under his SUV.  

    •  But not occupying Palestine... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, mickT, Gemut

      implies abandoning Israel.  Wasn't it British Palestine that was partitioned?  I really see no moral high ground that rests upon a foundation of ethnic partition.  A two state solution is premised upon such a partitioning, but there seems no just way to accomplish that.  We're really only left with a one state solution, but that is not viable unless the Jewish population relinquishes dominance while the Palestinian population must relinquish hostilities.  No justice, no peace.  That goes for both sides.

      •  I don't see the one state solution happening... (4+ / 0-)

        particularly given that Israel has laws that apply specifically to people of a given religion.  Just don't see it becoming a completely secular democracy.

        •  One state = impossible; Two state = improbable (7+ / 0-)

          I hear this everywhere.

          So I'm trying to figure whether the three state or zero state solution is more likely.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:45:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  With the status quo being the (8+ / 0-)

            "Rogue state solution"?  Given the recent vote, seems to warrant the label almost as much as Iran.

            •  This is the only way to move the process (8+ / 0-)

              Israel has never had to exist as a rogue state due to the intercession of the US.  If actually faced with that choice, it would be forced to go through that maturation process wherein its disenfranchised population was provided the protection of civil law.

              If Americans cared about Israel, it would force this issue: either advance the peace process or lose US support and wallow as a failed rogue nation.  Then Israel would go through the process as other developed nations have.

              Ironically, the best president on this issue was GHW Bush.  As the Soviet Union disintegrated, it became politically impossible for the US to enable apartheid states like Israel and South Africa.  Any perceived cold war advantage in maintaining these client states disappeared, and Bush made the decision to give the ultimatum to these countries: either transform or lose US patronage.

              South Africa went through the process rapidly.  Botha was out, de Klerk was in, and South Africa went from defending apartheid forever, to President Nelson Mandela in less than 6 years.

              The same process was started in Israel.  Shamir was out, Rabin was in, and the peace process went from an impossible dream to 95% complete.  The PLO recognized Israel, Israel agreed in principle to a sovereign Palestine with defined borders.  All terrorism stopped, Palestine began constructing the infrastructure of government including an international airport and a parliament building, both opened by Bill Clinton.

              More importantly, all settlement building stopped and Rabin ordered the dismantling of settlements in preparation for return of Palestinian territory.

              But Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli, and the Netanyahu factions believed that they could manipulate the US political system to allow them to maintain US support while reversing Rabin's moves to peace.  So far they are correct.  As Netanyahu bragged in 2001, it is easy to move the US.  

              The reason that Israel began a sincere peace process in the early 90's was because the government totally believed the Bush ultimatum.  Now the entire Israeli government laughs at the US.  They get their billions in US money every year, and our votes in the UN, and they play lip service to peace, while defining the process in way that can never lead to a final disposition.  

              Americans need to make Israel believe again that our support and cash can be withdrawn at anytime, and to prove it, we need a government that actually ties support to progress to peace.  If we don't Israel makes us look stupid and weak.

        •  The one-state solution (8+ / 0-)

          has already happened.   It's called Israel, the Jewish State.

          The Palestinians don't get a state.  Period.  

          •  No, the one-state solution is already happening (9+ / 0-)

            We know that's the intention behind building & forcing out Arabs in East Jerusalem & West Bank, grabbing all the water, starving out Gaza.

            Reading your comments in this diary, you seem determined to piss on any sliver of hope. I know you are just expressing frank and brutal truths, and I'm not asking you to stop. But that stance seems to me defeatist and self-defeating.

            Bibi would like nothing better than for us all to believe that "The Palestinians don't get a state.  Period." If he can fool the world into that, he wins.

            In WWII, attempts were made to exterminate the Jews. There was almost no realistic hope left for their future. Then things changed enormously, the world woke up their plight, and made room for them.

            There is always hope. We are a small part of that. Never say that Palestine is over.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:18:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The very idea of a partition between "East (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Johnny Nucleo

              Jerusalem" (90% of which is in no historic sense part of Jerusalem" and the rest of the West Bank serves Bibi's interests far more than Corvo ever has.

              "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

              by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:31:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, what I intend to piss on (8+ / 0-)

              is the notion that our politicians, and specifically those of our party, are interested in anything other than the perpetuation of the status quo.

              We should never forget that historically the Democratic Party has been more reflexively pro-Israel than That Other Party.  Our Party's stance hasn't changed; it's only that the takeover by the other Party by fundamentalist wingnuts has left us, rather undeservedly, all too easily assuming that ours is Reason and Light in the matter.  It ain't.

              As for the rest of the piss, my aim isn't always the best.

              •  wrt. US & Israel, you're 95% right. The other 5% (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mdmslle, mahakali overdrive

                is incredibly important. Everything you're saying makes sense to me, but for two things.

                First, we here at Daily Kos are the enlightened tip of the iceberg that is US media discourse. Well, OK, Maddow & Hayes (&Cole&Greenwald) are the tip, but we're up there.

                We have a responsibility/opportunity to look at that 5%, to see and argue for the possibility of improvement the beltway can't yet imagine. If we hope too much, we lose little. If we get it right, early, we contribute to the solution.

                Clearly, I'm more sanguine than you on this.

                Secondly, as mahakali overdrive says downstream:

                Fact: the UN just recognized Palestine despite decades of exactly the opposite. We have a very big shift in the Middle East right now. Syria, we're backing the rebels to whatever degree. Egypt, we did the same. Iran is emboldened. And Palestine is now recognized by the UN. So yes, Occam's Razor says that we are in a new set of circumstances which will require new responses and strategies. Many are still predicating things based on what things looked like a week ago or a year ago or in 2009. That's the wrong tack to take. Things are shifting and shifting fast.
                That is why I say 5% instead of 2%.

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:59:07 PM PST

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              •  I don't think our Party ever considered... (4+ / 0-)

                Israel becoming, essentially, a Republican colony, intentionally doing everything it could to manipulate world events not just for its own organized right, but for the Republicans.

                Some Dems are waking up to this. Others seem to be in denial; afraid of losing AIPAC donations; or genuinely fooled by Netanyahu (i. e. Biden, unfortunately).

                I'm a progressive Jew. Dems don't have to agree with Netanyahu, the Israeli Dick Cheney, to get my vote. In fact, I'd rather they didn't. How hard is this for some people to understand?

          •  Says who? The International community thinks (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mdmslle, Lepanto

            otherwise. And remember that we tried to use the whole international community thing to justify invading Iraq. Who is to say another country or groups of countries won't use that same premise in regards to a war with Israel to "bring it into compliance with international law". We ignored a Security Council veto why should not some one else do like wise.

            Israel was created by an act of the UN in 1947. Before 1947 there was no Israel. Only territory that had been conquered dozens of times by dozens of empires. Maybe there should not have been an uprising in 70 CE. But that is the last time you can talk about an Israeli state. The Palestinians get a state if the international community decides they get one.

      •  You can not have a Jewish Israel and a one (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, Lepanto, melfunction

        state solution. If the rights of both religious groups are to be protected then there must be a two state solution. Israelis are culturally different from Palestinians. If only because most Israelis come from Europe. Not better, not superior, just different. As we in the US are different than people in Mexico. But Israel must give up the settlements and dismantle the fences. Respect the 67 borders and work out a solution to the Jerusalem issue that is acceptable to both Jews and Muslims.

        Until you address the concerns of Palestinians on the issues of right of return, compensation and settlements there is no chance for peace. We could guarantee Israeli security at a price. The price should be justice for Palestinians.

        •  I agree with a lot of what you say here (4+ / 0-)

          But the idea of defending ethnic segregation is absurd.  Israel can play demographics all it wants, but ultimately will need to recognize all citizen as equal under the law if it wants to be thought of as a modern nation.

          I am trying to think of an example of a developed democracy that presumes to maintain a class segregation based on religion or ethnicity and I can't.

          Scandinavia tried it in the 50's and 60's when there was a worker shortage.  They invited foreign guest workers, mostly Turks and Arabs, to be permanent residents, with the idea that they would not integrate with the native people and eventually return home.  It didn't work of course, and they now have full citizenship.

          Japan also had the resident Korean issue for decades.  Technically they were citizens of South Korea, but for those born in Japan and speaking only Japanese, it was just discrimination.  After years of activism and liberalization of attitudes and laws, resident Koreans have little trouble getting full Japanese citizenship.  

          The current status of Palestinian citizens of Israel is untenable.  Of course, Jewish Palestinians have been fully integrated, while Muslim and Christian Palestinians are treated as guest residents rather than citizens, with restrictions on travel and the purchase of property.  

          No one pays much attention to the second class status of Palestinians in Israel because their status is so much better then Palestinians in occupied territory, but with a resolution of the occupation there will be immediate demands for full status of all citizens of Israel.  Suggesting that that doesn't have to happen because of cultural differences is wrong.

      •  hey leave us out of this! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think we had a mandate (not in the ACA meaning of the word) to administer the place after the Ottoman Empire collapsed.  It was never part of the British Empire, honest.

        The Mandate covered what is now Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

        And IIRC we abstained in the UN vote for the creation of Israel; alas we also abstained in the recent vote on Palestine's status.

      •  a 'one state solution' basically says that the (0+ / 0-)

        notion of a Jewish homeland the size of New Jersey is null and void, although all other major religions have enormous land masses in which they can feel--at least culturally--at home and protected.

        The so-called 'one-state solution' is an anti-Semitic solution any way you slice it.  In other words: Sorry Jews--you'll have to deal with being a minority in a land of people who hate you.

        This isn't a victim complex-this is reality.

        Two state solution, or war.  There is no other way.

    •  Settlements and Conditions for Talks (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, halef, Smoh, elwior, zesty grapher, Lepanto

      But earlier this week we were met with the chorus of "the Palestinians must return to talks without preconditions".  That came from the U.S., the Brits, Canada, etc.  

      I ask you, would you return to a poker game where one side is allowed to grab chips from the kitty at will?  Isn't that precisely what additional settlements accomplish?  Until the U.S. calls out Israel on the settlements in a forceful way on this, then we abet the unfair "game" being played.  Facts on the ground keep adding up, and a two state solution slips further away.

    •  It's also the only logical stance (11+ / 0-)

      Israel is locked into this idea, ever more that every one hates it and it is surrounded by enemies. There is and always has been undoubtedly some truth to that but lately there seems to have been an embrace of the creation of enmity (everyone hates us so it doesn't matter what we do) which is very much a self fulfilling prophesy.

      Time was when Israel had an enormous  amount of global goodwill and could legitimately be seen as occupying the higher moral ground but unfortunately that is long since squandered and the current direction is making things worse rather than better.

      hope springs eternal

      by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:19:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh yes, yes to this (nt) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Smoh
      •  as a Jew who spent the last 6 years in Europe (0+ / 0-)

        there isn't 'some truth' to the notion--it's as real as real gets.

        European/North African anti-Semitism is enormous.  What's worse is that a lot of it is latent--as in 'I'm not anti-Semitic--but why do Jews this?  Or why do Jews that?'   And this from a lot of highly intelligent friends of mine.

        Look.  Historically, and currently, the world really doesn't like Jews very  much.  We do well, we're influential, we have some really cool achievements on the world stage..

        but we're always Jeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwws to far too many people out there.

        Israel may be an out-of-control military power, but these global sentiments are NOT as quaint as many here seem to believe.

        •  I'm painfully aware of this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My father survived incredibly high  odds to avoid ending up in Treblinka ( a child in Warsaw Ghetto did not get out until Feb 43 - that's a subject for another diary).

          What is even more painful is how the issue of Israel has fudged matters. The reasons for anti semitism  were always, always ridiculous. Nowadays though I can't argue that to criticise Israel's action is entirely legitimate, and so whatever the rights and wrongs of it the line gets blurred and that hurts.

          hope springs eternal

          by ahyums on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:21:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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