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

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  •  As far as I'm concerned, the "outrage" (14+ / 0-)

    is entirely phony until and unless it is backed up with concrete action.

    •  I only half agree with you. Ok, actions speak much (5+ / 0-)

      louder than words, and in the long run, are all that really count.

      In the short run, especially with the Middle East in such volatile transition right now, this is very refreshing to hear from Hillary, and could certainly contribute to a broader discussion of this situation in our media and among US policy-makers.

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

      by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:31:34 PM PST

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      •  Meh. Spare me all the expressions (5+ / 0-)

        of outrage that regularly issue from the lips of American diplomats, scrupulously unaccompanied by real action.

        Heck, we can even start with the current SoS's expressions of outrage re Bahrain.

      •  I would argue instead (5+ / 0-)
        and could certainly contribute to a broader discussion of this situation in our media and among US policy-makers
        that they instead forestall such discussion.  "See?  We're outraged.  Now let's go worry about something else."
        •  That does happen, especially re. Israel. Still.... (13+ / 0-)

          What Hillary's saying doesn't strike me as boilerplate. Her words are encouraging, and are bringing new and very relevant points into our media discourse:

          It gives Israel a moral high ground that I want Israel to occupy. That's what I want Israel to occupy
          Sharp and effective double-edged use of "occupy"
          Israel will be forced to choose between "preserving democracy and the Jewish identity of the state."
          This is a crucial dilemma in Israel's culture, which we rarely look at squarely in the US
          ...concerning the Palestinian Authority's capability of governing its territory and bring about a lasting peace.

          "With very little money, and no natural resources, they have accomplished quite a bit, building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). They have entrepreneurial successes. They are nationalistic - but largely secular. Israel should support them."

          "Some Israelis claim [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas is not a partner for peace," Clinton continued, "Well, I think that should be tested."‬

          All of this is spot-on, positive, productive. It's essential to what the conversation about Palestine, statehood, Hamas/Fatah should be about.

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

          by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:57:18 PM PST

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          •  This will be gone from the "media discourse" (5+ / 0-)

            in a matter of hours, leaving only the encouraging memory in the minds of those of us who are supposed to vote for her in 2016.

            And of course she says it while practically walking out the door, thus rendering the "outrage" even more meaningless.  Kinda like Ike and his (political) deathbed conversion regarding the "military-industrial complex" he'd served so faithfully all his life.

            •  Obama's not going anywhere though (11+ / 0-)

              and he is less close with Bibi than the Clinton's have been, historically. So I'm curious to see how he tackles this, especially since if he's not going up for reelection, he doesn't need to "prove" he's not a Muslim to people quite so much. I believe some of his embrace of Israel has been, perhaps, reflective of that.

              But if he's not going up for reelection, he has less to lose if he wants to be more sharp.

              One thing I've noticed about President Obama: he's not one to take broken promises lightly. Not when they undermine U.S. credibility.

              We shall see what happens next. I am not entirely cynical. I thought the UN statehood bid would be fruitful for Palestine when others were saying "No way, no how."

              "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:08:11 PM PST

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              •  Obama is certainly not so foolish (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, JesseCW

                as to think that anyone thinks the USA has any credibility in the Middle East.  That leaves, with regard to any reaction to "broken promises," only personal pique, and he's too professional to let that get in the way of ensuring Democratic electoral victories in elections in which he himself will not be running.

                •  I mean with the whole world (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, Brecht, wader, elwior

                  there are many Muslim countries outside of the Middle East who are concerned with matters there, and in general, he's trying to rebuild America's credibility with various nations worldwide post-Bush. Like with his recent trip to Myanmar.

                  I think this is an International embarrassment for the US! It is unless we want to spend our time hanging around no one but Nauru, Palau, and the Czech Republic!

                  "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                  by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:23:57 PM PST

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                  •  Myanmar was all about (6+ / 0-)

                    bringing that country back into the capitalist fold.  

                    •  All of our attempts to restore (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco, elwior, highacidity, zesty grapher

                      International repute are, aren't they? We are a Capitalist nation, by definition. And again, this sort of embarassment bodes poorly. There is a lot of chitter in many newspapers worldwide about how the Israeli settlements will probably cause economic harm to Israel due to a reduction in International aid and trade both. Are we sure we want to hang out with those guys on a Saturday night? No. We wouldn't hurt our economic reputation, first and foremost.

                      But if our actions have a secondary impact of helping nations in turmoil, good. And in this case, they would do that.

                      So whatever our primary motivation, and yes, it's a transparent one, but so are all nations' motives in a global capitalistic system, the secondary outcomes are good.

                      We can't fuck around here, in short. The world is quickly questioning our UN vote in newspapers 'round the globe.

                      I want to see more action.

                      "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:08:07 PM PST

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                      •  oh, probably not. (3+ / 0-)
                        about how the Israeli settlements will probably cause economic harm to Israel due to a reduction in International aid and trade both
                        Aid comes mostly from the USA and Germany.  We'll never stop, nor will the Germans, for obvious reasons.

                        As for trade, one of my fondest memories of living in Germany was watching all of the kids protest against Pershings and cruise missiles, Camels and Marlboros clenched firmly between their lips.

                        •  It was just something I was reading (0+ / 0-)

                          this morning, but I don't have the citation now, sorry. I was scouring the International news. The UK and Ireland have been very pointed about this both (I remember that). France seems to also have a bit of that going on. And yes, Merkel came out talking out of two sides of her mouth on the issue, abstaining in the vote but also saying "We'll keep funding you!"

                          I don't know how the aid is apportioned, just that there was some serious critique of funds drying up and the U.S. being laughed at a whole lot.

                          Interesting about Germany. You will have to tell me about this sometime. I went to a German school pre-Berlin wall, and boy did people talk shit, especially because I was Jewish (and this was in the U.S.). I don't remember my German at all and couldn't ever wrap my head around it. My Turkish is better.

                          Sorry, got off-topic there.

                          "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:41:14 PM PST

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              •  I took a short poli sci course last summer (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, Brecht, wader

                on the threat (such as it is or isn't) from al-Qaida. The prof, who specializes in foreign policy and war, was distraught that Obama wasn't going to be re-elected (in the summer of 2011, this was not an unreasonable position) specifically because Presidents have such a marked history of becoming reasonable once they don't have to run again.

                Given how much of that class made me want to throw things in anger over what Obama (and Hillary Clinton) were doing to further Bush's legacy rather than curtail it (Jane Mayer's original drone exposé was part of the reading material, and it still drives me to distraction every time I read it), it does give me hope that he won and can maybe listen to Biden more often.

                Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                Code Monkey like you!

                Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                by Code Monkey on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:20:46 PM PST

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            •  Cynical, aren't you? (2+ / 0-)

              Your view may be the realistic one, but still appears narrow to me.

              Ike, just by saying such truth (after WWII and the White House, from a postion of knowledge and credibility) made thousands of students of politics question the powers that be. Clearly, his wisdom has not prevailed and set things right overall. But it sure beats just staying asleep.

              Humans are not machines. There is always hope.

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

              by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:39:19 PM PST

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              •  not much of an accomplishment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW
                made thousands of students of politics question the powers that be
                for someone who'd been POTUS for eight years and pursued exactly the opposite goals.

                Otherwise, it's not my fault if reality, which famously (around here at least) has a Democratic bias, also sometimes has a cynical one as well.

              •  "You might be a realist, but you say stuff (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo

                I really don't want to hear".

                Christ.

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

                by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:36:47 PM PST

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          •  I agree, Brecht, that most of the (9+ / 0-)

            statements you have quoted and TT's diary has mentioned are encouraging. They are welcome.

            But something sticks in my craw when Clinton says approvingly:

            building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
            Is the IDF interested in maintaining "peace" in the West Bank so that the Palestinians are protected from robbers, burglars, pickpockets, murderers, etc? To ask this question is to realize how ridiculous it is.

            So what are the security forces working alongside IDF doing? They are repressing the protests--right?

            Its like another country praising Indian troops for working alongside British soldiers in suppressing the protests that erupted during India's fight for independence. There is something very wrong here.  

            It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

            by poco on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:30:24 PM PST

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            •  The PA exists (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco, JesseCW, Fire bad tree pretty

              to make the WB safe -- for settlers.  Whether it does anything else is really none of Israel's concern, but then, it doesn't seem to be much of Abbas's either.

            •  "There is something very wrong here." Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)

              Your comment is true.

              Within what passes for truth in Washington, especially within an executive with its tongue tied behind its back in speaking about Israel, Hillary is being refreshingly honest, no?

              I'm not certain.

              I do think, if I were in her shoes, my head would explode. Also, that if she spoke entirely frankly, it would be too easy for Bibi & our own Rethug shits to just laugh/ignore instead of addressing her points.

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

              by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:56:59 PM PST

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    •  Well Clinton is leaving office (7+ / 0-)

      politicians in both Israel and the US only seem to regain a measure of sanity on this issue upon leaving office. Thus there won't be concrete action but they can say in their autobiographies that they were on the right side of history (when it was too late).

      •  Her husband attempted the same, more ambitiously (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, mahakali overdrive, orlbucfan

        I'd much rather see her further Bill's legacy than see W. invade Iraq to get imaginary egg off Daddy's face...

        The slim hopes I have are based more on the changes sweeping the Middle East, and the increasing obviousness of how untenable Israel's present (and continually expanding) trenches are. Something's gotta give, and there ain't much give left in Gaza.

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

        by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:21:09 PM PST

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        •  Occam's Razor and one thing that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Portlaw, Brecht

          folks are having a hard time getting past. What you say here. Something's got to give. Not only does it have to, but the proof is in the puttin' as the saying goes. 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.

          The U.S. is facing International embarrassment, as is Israel, and Israel is facing outright condemnation, if both don't work to stop building settlements across the Green Line AND if we don't show strongly that we support Israel by supporting the UN's recommendations for a peaceful resolution. I think the executive branch realizes this a lot more than Congress.

          "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:58:38 PM PST

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        •  Her husband tried to browbeat Palestinians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          into giving Israel everything else they still wanted.

          He also laid siege to Iraq for 8 years killing between 100,000 and 500,000 civilians, laying the ground work for a future invasion (one his spouse voted for).

          I'm sorry if reality is ugly when compared to the pretty stories you're dedicated to believing in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

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

          by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:39:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But is she ending her political career? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, mahakali overdrive

        If, as many suspect, she is going to run again in 2016, then this has to be seen as a brave and thoughtful statement. She initially lost the 2008 nomination largely because of her support of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Perhaps she has learned something from Obama about learning from mistakes and will no longer be so quick to do what conventional wisdom says is politically expedient.

        If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

        by MikePhoenix on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:22:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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