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View Diary: Obama to Israel: "If not now, when?" (94 comments)

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  •  I'm not sure any of this matters. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zornorph

    Why negotiate when you clearly hold a winning hand?

    The world is distracted by problems elsewhere, the intifada is defeated, the Israeli economy is doing great, energy independence is near and Palestine's allies in the Middle East are falling apart.

    At least Obama has wisely not spent much political capital on the Middle East peace process (such as it is.)

    •  It used to be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Al Abama

      It used to be felt in many circles that I/P held the 'key' to solving most of the problems in the Middle East. That it was the source of most of the major problems one way or the other. It was always a myth, but many believed it and so lots and lots of effort was putting into solving it. That myth has now been totally exploded though there are probably still some who believe it even if they no longer articulate it. The disproportionate time John Kerry has put into this while the rest of the world is going to hell in a handbasket suggests he gives it more value than an unbiased eye would assign it.
      The truth is that the two sides are too far apart. The Palestinians would not take the deals that were offered them by Barak or Olmert (or any of the previous ones for that matter) and Netanyahu is now in no way prepared to offer even as much as had been offered before. The Palestinians are a defeated group but they continue to try and negotiate as if they had won (or at least tied). Because there are so many other problems in the ME right now, the usual groups that would be supporting them from the area couldn't care less - The Egyptians are actively hostile at the moment and the Saudis are far more worried about Iran (and really never cared about the Palestinians, either). The Syrian government is actively killing Palestinians on their soil (not that you'd hear much about it) leaving only the Iranians. Hardly the best advocates on the international stage.

      Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

      by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I look on the bright side. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zornorph, AoT, MGross, Johnny Q

        By tying Kerry up on I/P, he's less likely to commit gaffes -- or worse -- on other matters.  In fact, to judge from his performances on Syria and Ukraine, I daresay Kerry should be spending more time on I/P.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:09:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Palestinians as "defeated" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, corvo
        The Palestinians are a defeated group but they continue to try and negotiate as if they had won (or at least tied).
        If the war is of attrition and they still survive, I would call that "tied". And what is the alternative, when more and more and more is being taken?

        The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

        by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:49:46 AM PST

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        •  Take the deal (0+ / 0-)

          It should be clear to anybody that as time goes by, the Palestinians will get less and less. Had Arafat tried to get a real deal when he was alive, there were a lot less Israelis living in the West Bank than there are now. Take the best deal you can get right now and be satisfied. But they still seem to want to ask for everything on their wish list - all of East Jerusalem (including the Western Wall!), the 'right of return', equal land swaps, no recognizing Israel as the Jewish State, allowing no Jews to live in the West Bank and no Israeli security presence. They aren't serious and they will never get anything close to that deal.
          As for the war of attrition, a close examination of East Jerusalem will show how much it's being taken over by Israel. There is no longer any realistic way to divide the city - at best they will get a symbolic portion like Abu Dis and have to call that Jerusalem.

          Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

          by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:55:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, another call for the surrender of Palestinian (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze, poco, Johnny Q, corvo

            People.

            And I was told again and again that the deal wasn't a surrender.

            "The Deal" is just short of unconditional surrender. It is not a "deal" in any real sense of the word.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:09:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I applaud refusals to dissappear (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, corvo

              The USA 1% is trying to make middle class and jobs with a living wage disappear. The greedy people on the top want to privatize everything, no more safety net.

              The way workers, taxpayers fight back is to refuse to disappear, to demand our rights. The job of the police (& IDF) is to keep things quiet so the workers will do their work until they wear out and conveniently die.

              But the workers refuse, insist the state can't let grandma starve, can't lock up children, can't steal all the water.

              Living wage and social justice people have a lot of good lessons to learn from Palestinian persistance.

              The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

              by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:17:52 AM PST

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            •  Surrender (0+ / 0-)

              That's what you do when you lose, which the Palestinians did - over and over. When you lose, you have to take the best deal you can get as defeated nations in history can demonstrate over and over.

              Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

              by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:46:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So your solution is that they should shut (5+ / 0-)

                up and give up or Israel will keep killing them and meting out collective punishment?

                Thankfully they aren't taking your advice.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:47:47 AM PST

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                •  No (0+ / 0-)

                  I've made it plain what they should do - accept the best deal they can get. If it's 90% of the West Bank rather than 98%, well, that's really more about symbolism than anything practical and defeated nations can't afford to fight over symbols (or else Armenia would still be at war with Turkey over Mt. Ararat). Give up the fantasy that the 'right of return' will ever happen. An independent Palestine that was genuinely at peace with Israel would be able to do a great deal in Gaza and the majority of the West Bank. They'd have all sorts of aid. If they really cared about resettling their refugees who are being massacred by other Arabs by the hundreds up in Syria, they'd do that. Israel certainly accepted half a loaf in 1947. But, no, they want everything on their list because they care more about symbols than the well-being of their own people. And that's why they keep losing.

                  Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

                  by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:54:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's a yes, not a no n/t (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    corvo

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:57:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, you see... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Al Abama

                      You think taking such a deal would be 'giving up' whereas I just think it's common sense. The maximal demands of pre-state Israel were for a country that included all of the Palestine Mandate as well as a portion of the East Bank of the Jordon. They eventually settled for a mini-state that did not even include Jerusalem which was their emotional center. They did so because they wanted a state and they wanted a place to resettle their refugees. Clearly, the Palestinian leadership does not want a state or to re-settle their refugees as much as the Jews did. I think that demonstrates a serious problem with their priorities.

                      Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

                      by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:05:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You think that giving up is common sense (5+ / 0-)

                        Either way, it's giving up. You simply dislike the way I characterized it, but you have no problem with the actual content. You think the Palestinians are defeated and should surrender. I admire that you are forthright about this as opposed to virtually everyone else who claims they don't think it would be a surrender of any sort. I still disagree with you and think they should keep fighting, especially now that international opinion is starting to turn and a boycott is picking up.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:35:37 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, then, yes (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Al Abama, RedsFanForever

                          They should give up. They should give up thinking they will get the right of return. They should give up thinking that Israel will divide Jerusalem. They should give up thinking that Ariel will disappear. They should focus on their refugees and building a country, not trying to tear down somebody else's.

                          Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

                          by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:44:00 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Please help me understand why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RedsFanForever

              Why would it be a "surrender"?

              Wouldn't the Palestinians get a state?

              Wouldn't all of the refugees get to return to a Palestinian state?

              Wouldn't the Palestinians have the freedom to create an economy and turn their state into a true beacon of hope?

              Wouldn't this be far superior than spending the next 100 years in refugee camps?

              •  They would give up any military (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stargaze, callmecassandra

                for one.

                And they would not have significant control over their borders. Their water would still largely be under the control of Israel.

                And many of the cities that make up the current Palestinian territories are refugee camps. Gaza is basically one big refugee camp.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:52:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again, why are those more important than having (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RedsFanForever

                  a state today?

                  Why is having an army worth enduring 100 years of awfulness rather than having freedom and a Palestinian state today?

                  •  Because that's not a state (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    stargaze, callmecassandra

                    It's a protectorate of Israel. And why doesn't Israel just stop killing Palestinians?

                    Why is it on Palestinians to unconditionally surrender and give in to Israel's ethnic cleansing?

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:26:39 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RedsFanForever

                      Japan does not have an army (or at least did not for most of its history after WW2), but it's still a state.

                      Why wouldn't the State of Palestine be a state without an army?

                      What makes it a "surrender"?  Don't the Palestinians get significant tangible benefits from this deal?

                      What part of Kerry's plan involve's "ethnic cleansing"?  Do you have a link for that?

                      Thanks!

                      •  I found this article has both Kerry & Lieberman in (0+ / 0-)

                        photo:

                        Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday he would not support any peace agreement that does not include the exchange of Israeli Arab land and population, calling that demand a "basic condition" that he has already clarified to the international community.

                        "When I talk about land and population exchange, I mean the Little Triangle and Wadi Ara," Lieberman said, referring to the predominantly Arab regions in central and northern Israel. "This is not a transfer. Nobody will be expelled or banished, but the border will move to the other side of Route 6."

                        "I will not support any peace deal that will allow the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel," he said. "Because if we leave the right of return on the table, all pressure will be on this subject."

                        link

                        My impression is that Israel is using a lot of USA taxpayer money (including mine) to prevent any future Palestinian state from being viable. I found the Lieberman quote disgusting and racial.

                        The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                        by stargaze on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:13:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Japan unconditionally surrendered to the US (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        stargaze, callmecassandra

                        Because we dropped two nuclear weapons and then we completely reworked their political system. I don't know that that is a good example for Israel and Palestine.

                        What part of Kerry's plan involve's "ethnic cleansing"?
                        That wouldn't be Kerry's plan, it would be the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from what is now Israel. Which is why the right of return is an issue, because ethnic cleansing. Every time Israel expands its borders with more settlements it's ethnic cleansing. The whole state requires a continuation of all of that ethnic cleansing to continue as a Jewish state.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:22:33 PM PST

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                  •  I don't think Palestians trust promised "freedom" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    callmecassandra

                    Most of the treaties USA made with indigenous nations in USA have been broken, are continued to be broken. Israel institutionalized racism has taken a lot of lessons from shameful USA practice.

                    The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                    by stargaze on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:17:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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