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Cross posted at The Progressive Zionist

The history of the Jewish people has been a history fraught with hard decisions. In biblical times, Jacob has ist name changed after an all night wresting match with an angel in Genesis 32: 24-30,

24-25  But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him untidaybreak. When the man saw that he couldn't get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob's hip out of joint.

 26 The man said, "Let me go; it's daybreak."

   Jacob said, "I'm not letting you go 'til you bless me."

 27 The man said, "What's your name?"

   He answered, "Jacob."

 28 The man said, "But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it's Israel (God-Wrestler); you've wrestled with God and you've come through."

 29 Jacob asked, "And what's your name?"

   The man said, "Why do you want to know my name?" And then, right then and there, he blessed him.

 30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God's Face) because, he said, "I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!"

Current times are no different and now the American and Israeli Jewish communities face some difficult decisions. The week of the Palestinian push for Statehood at the United Nations is here and what happens this Friday will alter the course of relations in the region for years to come. Oh, maybe not at first but, down the line this will be a "game changer".

At the end of this week the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the United Nations Security Council for a vote on Statehood. As things currently stand, the United States is planning on vetoing this measure (or so it has announced). Both the United States and the European Union favors direct negotiations over this move but as far as anyone can see only the U.S. is planning a veto.

As for the main players.. .the Israeli people strongly oppose this move though there are widely dissenting opinions on how to handle it. Interestingly enough, the Palestinian People are mixed on this. Palestinian polls offer widely differing opinions on the matter. According to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

83% support going to the UNSC to obtain recognition of Palestine as a state. Moreover, 74% believe that there is no point in returning to negotiations with Israel without acceptable terms of reference or without freezing settlement construction and that therefore president Abbas is right in seeking UN involvement.

The Palestine Center for Public Opinion had this to say:

Whilst (59.3%) of the respondents are of the opinion that it’s necessary to go first back to the negotiations with Israel as to reach a permanent peace with the Israelis then resort to the UN, (35.0%) however support going directly to the UN seeking the recognition of the Palestinian state unilaterally without the need for concluding a peace accord with the Israelis.

So if the people involved are so divided, how should American progressives and liberals look at this upcoming vote and it's implications for The United States and the region?

First of all, it should be a given that this measure has enough votes to pass the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It most likely has Security Council support or at least abstentions from everyone BUT the United States (who plans to veto). Given this America now needs to make an informed and important decision.

For American progressives and liberals this question is fraught with pitfalls, longterm traps, and really no good answers. On one hand, there are many reasons to support the Palestinian quest for Statehood (a quest I support along with supporting the maintainence of a strong Israel as the Nation State and Homeland of the Jewish People), from the yearning of the Palestinian people to be free to run their own polity to the necessity of maintaining the Jewish people's legitimate rights to self-determination. On the other hand, the Palestinian Polity is badly fractured between a group that actively calls for the destruction of the State of Israel (Hamas)and a group of individuals that are committed to creating a State that considers Jews as settlers in the land and talks of their expulsion of an ethnic group (Fatah/PLO). Neither Fatah/PLO or Hamas represent anything remotely progressive or liberal in their polity. SO... the question remains what should the U.S. do.

Further complicating the matter for the American team is a potential draft of wording on the resolution which DOES NOT call for establishing borders based on June 4th, 1967 armistace lines but on declaring Statehood and deciding borders based on negotiations (land swaps) of those borders at a later point. This position has been a big part of the American position regarding the resolution of borders for the conflict.

SO... here is a short list of the political and realistic Pro's and Con's of an American Veto:

CON'S (Why a veto would be bad)

1. America's standing and prestige in the area will take a hit. American prestige is already low and is being challenged by both Turkey and Iran (who are also lining up as opposing forces). This symbolic move for statehood is popular both with the "street" and with governments within the region. A U.S. veto would be go directly against these wishes and would inflame the Arab "street" making relations with the U.S. difficult. Though many of the governments involved here (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc....) have strong ties to the U.S. they would be faced with massive unrest should they continue their relationships with the U.S.

2. Ultimately the Palestinian people need a State and as such will keep asking the United Nations for recognition. Despite the wishes of the Israeli ruling coalition and the U.S. administration, this move will succeed in the U.N. at some point even if it does not succeed in the UNSC. It will pass the UNGA this time around. Should there be responsible behavior on the part of the Palestinian polity it is just a matter of time for it to pass the UNSC as well. When the U.S. veto's the Palestinian resolution it will reduce America's ability to influence

3. This measure would bring about strong international pressure to actually end the conflict. Whether the Israelis like it or not, this would force their Right Wing into decision making mode and there would be no more ambiguity to what position they would take regarding a number of issues involving the West Bank and Jerusalem. As the colloquial saying goes... at this point Israel would have to "Shit or get off the pot" relative to what they see as the fate of the occupied territories.

PRO'S (Why a veto is the right thing to do)

1. This will do nothing to settle the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Given recent Palestinian pronouncements regarding ethnically cleansing Jews from their territory, pronouncements on Right of Return, and Hamas' recent signal that they might accept the Palestinian move at the U.N. as long as the future Palestinian State refuses to recognize Israel. The Israelis are simply not going to end their occupation because this measure passes. Far from that, what will likely happen is that the security meme will become dominant (as it is already) and that even Israeli Center - Left groups will adopt the Center-Right's narrative on Security (see my article Avodah Rising). This in turn would lead to conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians and could even lead to a violent Third Intifada.

2. The Palestinian polity is simply not ready for this despite the popularity of such a move. There is no coherency or unity there. Should there be a State, it would be a split policy with Hamas ruling part of the State and the Palestinian Authority ruling the other part. Who would anyone negotiate with as far as borders or peace? It potentially could set off a Palestinian Civil War, a conflict that could explode in other parts of the Arab world.

3. Unilateralism does not solve conflicts. The U.S. (rightly so) feels this issue should be settled through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. feels that it is not up to the United Nations to set borders between two nations and that only direct negotiations between the parties involved can do that.

4. The United States made a pledge to Israel, Whether right or wrong, the U.S. has "made it's stand". What would this tell our allies about what our words mean? Not too mention that Israel has been our strongest friend in the region. Not vetoing this would be seen as us turning our back on some of our best friends in the world.

So given what we are facing we are indeed faced with a task no less than Jacob was when he wrestled with an angel of G-d. He was wounded in the fight (as was evidenced by his permanent limp following the battle) but he emerged stronger and with the new name of Israel. How we wrestle with our own angels will determine how we come out of this fight.

Originally posted to volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Team Shalom.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Analysis going into Statehood Week (20+ / 0-)

    DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

    by volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

  •  They deserve a state regardless. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadieB, stevenaxelrod, Tonedevil

    If we made Israeli statehood contingent upon the good sense of Israeli voters, we wouldn't have an Israeli state.

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:34:43 PM PDT

  •  Thoughtful. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod

    I'm most persuded by your points against the veto, though.  I don't particularly see it as a violation of the U.S.'s pledge to Israel, as the U.S. can continue to support Israel while recognising what everybody else does:  That the Palestinians deserve statehood, however divided their own political situation may be.

    If the question is what should American progressives favor, I can't imagine how, knowing the desired endgame, we wouldn't favor standing with the other countries of the world to vote for what is right.

  •  Welcome back! (2+ / 0-)

    I was unsure of whether you were going to write here again. I see rumors of your leaving have been greatly exaggerated.

    I have to agree with some of the pros/cons- however, I believe that your "pro" point #3 is the deal-sealer.

    "Look at this; I'm a coward too; You don't need to hide, my friend; For I'm just like you" - Monster/Sprite (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex)

    by AZ Independent on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:44:49 PM PDT

    •  Yeah I put in the header of that last diary (3+ / 0-)

      TTFN (ta-ta for now) not GBCW (Goodbye Cruel World). I will be around for a bit but not as active. So thanks for the Welcome.

      I have been starting up my own blogspot The Progressive Zionist. So far so good... We even have a few trolls that stop in. One pathetic fool pretended he was Mets... I smote him quickly....

      Anyway, Point # 3 on the Pro's is a big one.

      I actually still haven't decided anything - I would like to see the wording of the Resolution. I am once again leaning towards veto, but, I can see the need for something like this so I am in favor of it hitting the UNGA.

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:00:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US veto will be good for President Obama's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayinPortland, leftynyc

    re-election.

    Both parties need to negotiate an end to the fighting and a beginning to the two state solution.

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:44:52 PM PDT

    •  The re-election reason strikes me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mariken

      as a weak one.  But I suppose it should be in the mix as well.

    •  This is a hideous comment to make. (0+ / 0-)

      It suggests that Israel and Israel related issues could affect the election of the USA.  It suggests that a lot of people vote in elections based on the policy of "Israel first".

      Of all the people who would make this comment, I am surprised that it was you.  Since you are so active in trying to stamp out ZOG and ZOGesq comments as well as insinuating that if Obama doesn't choose to go for the two state solution, then individuals, jewish and none-jewish, will change party affiliations.  Which verges on another anti-Semitic meme of "stab in the back".  

      I have noticed that you have said this in multiple other diaries.  This is a new low for you and i suggest that you cease to use this irrational politically intimidating and borderline racist meme that can be found on the racist and xenophobic blog like that of karmafish.  Which is basically a racist blog whos owner and commentators stalk and target dailykos users who do not agree with his racist and ultranationalist attitude.  Which also apparently also went under the name of "dailykoswatch" in a previous incarnation.

      I know you are better then this sorta comment that you have been making in various diaries.  Because in the past you have hiderated such memes and called them out.  That is why I won't be HR'ed you.

      Please reconsider these sorts of posts and stop making them in multiple diaries.  It hurts your credibility when you try to fight actual anti-Semitism on this site.  Then you go on to make comments such as this.  Other users might see your comment and think such notions are "OK" to post on this site.  They are not.  

      A democratic come back

      by Dont Call It on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:19:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you feel it is hideous, it must mean it is one (0+ / 0-)

        of the most beautiful things in the world then.

        Thanks for the compliment as I would have never elevated it so myself.

        BTW, my comment suggests nothing of the nature for which you seek to imbue it.

        I hope that does not detract from its beauty for you.

        "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

        by JNEREBEL on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:22:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pro for the vote: Hamas doesn't want it. (5+ / 0-)

    That's enough for me to support it right there.

  •  The Palestinians will declare, and the US will (0+ / 0-)

    veto.

    I'd like to see a diary about what happens then.

    •  No one knows what will really happen (6+ / 0-)

      BUT.... the Israelis are gearing up for it. Today Kadima leader Livni blasted PM Netanyahu regarding this saying that he was driving the U.S. into a corner regarding this;

      The diplomatic stupidity that characterizes this government is causing it to put the United States into a corner," said Livni, speaking during a special Knesset debate on Monday ahead of the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. "The United States is making sure it won't be singled out but how are we helping ourselves? We now need to initiate the political process. (Prime Minster Benjamin) Netanyahu tried to prevent this and now the Palestinians are at the United Nations."

      Livni, who called the situation Israel is currently facing, "the eve of Yom Kippur" (Day of Attonement), added that "in the coming days the government of Israel will need to make dramatic decisions. Without reflecting on our past, we can't make decisions for the future."

      One thing we do know is that Saturday, the world will be a different place. The Palestinians will most likely peacefully (most of them)  march on Israeli roadblocks and be turned back. Some "hotheads" will start trouble and then it will be "on"... It will be very interesting to see what the the future holds.

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:02:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one argument for the US abstaining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, Ptah the Great

        would be to send a signal to the israeli electorate that the US does not have infinite patience for netanyahu's irredentism, so as to try and strengthen livni's case to the electorate for the need of an israeli foreign policy shift (and a kadima-led administration willing to face the reality of israel's foreign policy context and negotiate a lasting peace).

        i think the US will veto, though, for lame domestic considerations, but an abstention would send the clearest message.

        •  Unless Kadima radically changed since last time (0+ / 0-)

          then it won't matter.  The Palestinian Papers show that Kadima was not interested in peace.  When the Palestinians offered them everything on a platter it wasn't enough.  When Israel was going to make peace with Syria via talks with Turkey, they went and did The Gaza Massacre which destroyed any prospect for peace and set in motion Turkey becoming less and less of a friend to Israel.

          Kadima had their chance.  They didn't do what they had to do.  They alienated allies as much as the current government.

          A democratic come back

          by Dont Call It on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:26:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Assuming there is a prompt vote (0+ / 0-)

        Saturday will be a different place than today. Otherwise it may be remarkably the same.

        First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

        by Ptah the Great on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 05:36:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We may just "abstain", (0+ / 0-)

      which sends another message as well.

  •  if you want a two state solution (6+ / 0-)

    you need to allow two states, as a starting point. self-determination isn't a patronizing colonial reward for good (pliant) behavior, it's written into the very UN mandate that created both israel and palestine decades ago.

    how the palestinians run their government is their own business, and any peace negotiations cannot be done effectively if one state's very existence is contingent upon giving the other state what they want.

    israel and the US has tried the "prevent a palestinian state while creating facts on the ground with bulldozers, walls and state-subsidized settlements" approach for decades now, and it has not moved anything closer to a just and lasting peace that offers both the people of UN mandated nations a hope of peace and stability. as a strategy, it has only succeeded for two groups:

    those who want an eretz yisrael with expulsion of palestinians, and those who need a constant simmering oppression of the palestinians to distract from their own misgovernance.

    supporting a palestinian state is the best way to wrong-foot those bad actors, and move the ball down the field towards a lasting peace.

    •  wu... not to start a pie fight however... (6+ / 0-)

      The UN is not the governing body of the world, nor is International Law the governing principles by which  States operate. Regardless of whether you believe it should be or not... It simply isn't.

      But this:

      how the palestinians run their government is their own business, and any peace negotiations cannot be done effectively if one state's very existence is contingent upon giving the other state what they want.

      shows surprising naivete. While it is true, how the Palestinians run the government is their own business, the way that government looks at and relates to Israel is very much Israel's business. And just as the Palestinians have a right to manage their own affairs, Israel has a right to respond to that managment of affairs.

      Right now, Israel is sitting on the territory with enough firepower and the political will to keep on sitting there. Again, whether you think that is right or not, that is in brutal terms, reality. SO... given that do you really expect the Israelis to simply say "You know what, we're wrong... we are just going to pull back and when you guys are ready to talk to us and/or deal with us... we'll be here to talk"? Please tell me you don't because honestly, that has about as much chance of happening as say the Kansas City Chiefs re-activating Len Dawson and shutting out every opponent for the rest of the season on the way to winning the Super Bowl.

      And by the way (on a side note) .... just a quibble, but, why do you only grant the Palestinians the right to run their government the way they want too? I see you plenty critical of Israel's government and how they run their affairs. Why all of a sudden the double standard?

      I guess what I am getting at, and again I mean this respectfully is while I appreciate your comment at the end that the Occupation really only does benefit certain actors, I am not sure that furthering the mess and then letting it sort itself out is an effective strategy.

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:09:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In 1948 (4+ / 0-)

        Israel had no coherent governing body either.  Irgun was still planning terrorist acts, and was recruiting from the DP camps.

        Ben Gurion won, but it involved sinking a boat of refugees (after allowing them to disembark).  Why should we demand more of the Palestinians?

        The US has missed its chance to influence the wording of the resolution.  But it has already lost credibility with its vote against the resolution against settlement building.  Personally, depending on the US as sole arbiter is a doomed strategy, and a  veto will make it impossible.  Which means other countries will step in to arbitrate peace negotiations.  We should be taking the lead in this, but we are living in the past.

        By the way, I diaried points of view from Meretz USA and Gershom Gorenberg here.

        When shit happens, you get fertilized.

        by ramara on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:32:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No ramara that is simply not true plain and simple (6+ / 0-)

          Israel did have a coherent polity in 1948. The Irgun never represented more than 11-12% of the original yishuv. There was no doubt as to who was in charge. PLUS... the Irgun did not dispute the Yishuv running the new state.

          Ben Gurion won, but it involved sinking a boat of refugees (after allowing them to disembark).  Why should we demand more of the Palestinians?

          Are you talking about the Altalena Affair? Because if you are then you should learn about that.

          I mean seriously, despite revisionist history which gives the Irgun and Jabotinsky far more influence than they had, simply put, the Palestinian polity is no where near the level of government that the Yishuv had.

          As for Meretz USA's view, I got their email today. They are good people and they have some good things to say but I think they are blind to certain parts of the Palestinian Polity.

          Just my take.

          DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

          by volleyboy1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, Tonedevil

            they are not going to get any further until they have a place to govern.  They cannot depend on the occupying power to grant them anything, not even water and sewage systems, let alone self-governance.

            Irgun wanted to keep a separate army, no?

            When shit happens, you get fertilized.

            by ramara on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:57:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  there is a huge difference from being a critic (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sofia, Tonedevil, Terra Mystica

        on the one hand, and using military power to directly determine domestic policy of a country you occupy by force on the other. i'm not saying "the US should militarily occupy israel and then set its policy to my liking," i'm saying "i don't like this policy, and maybe the US shouldn't use its veto to defend bad policy."

        israel is illegally occupying another country the UN said was supposed to have its own state over half a century ago. the UN did not give colonial authority to israel to govern palestine, nor did it say that israel got to say when palestine was ready for its own state. it did not recognize israel's occupation of that UN mandate, repeatedly.

        if israel continues to violate international law and the borders and sovereignty of palestine, it will face legal and economic consequences. we're already beginning to see some, but more will follow, as this moves forward.  

        if israel has any sense, it will desist, and learn to live as a neighbor and not a colonial master. if america has any sense, it will stop carrying water for a policy that gives it no benefit, creates huge diplomatic costs, gives aid and comfort to terrorist groups that have struck the US, and is in the process of coming apart as it is, from a pragmatic standpoint.

        i'm not angry at you, to be clear, but what israel is doing is no different than in any other colonial occupation, and i dispute this whole idea that since israel is currently forcibly occupying palestine, that it has the right to use that occupation as a bargaining chip indefinitely.

    •  Isn't the fact that the Palestinians don't have a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      unified government a straw man?

      "The Palestinian polity is simply not ready for this despite the popularity of such a move. There is no coherency or unity there. "

      The Arab Spring has created some States that have no unified government, just for one example.

      There are other examples all over the world of UN recognized countries with no unified government, or which are governed by dictatorships.  For that reason, I don't think the fact that Abbas does not represent Gaza, or that Fatah and Hamas are at odds is a valid argument for preventing recognition of Palestine as a State.  

      As far as Hamas being labeled a "terrorist" government, it depends who is defining "terrorist."

      Additionally, Abbas is somewhat of an Israeli puppet, going along to get along.  Keeping him as an ally would be in Israel's interest.

  •  Some of the Israeli and NYT reporting in the (0+ / 0-)

    last week has suggested that there are additional issues to be considered.

    As to the US position on negotiations, the reporting has been that the proposal which was sent to the PA in time to be reported last week was a series of negotiating principles which included not only altering the 1967 borders with agreed swaps, but also including the obligation to take into account shifts in demographics subsequent to 1967, that is, the settlements. The Quartet/US bargaining position was apparently seriously damaged by that one, which will make any demand for resumption of negotiations the more difficult. This wasmentioned by Abbas in his explanation of why PA is going to the UN.  

    Before the boycott, I posted a diary which had links indicating that the EU was trying to come up with a unified position, which included a prohibition of Palestine taking Israel to the International Criminal Court, if it were declared even a non member observer state at the UN, apparently to limit cases concerning the settlements and probably some other matters.  Certainly, Netanyahu has taken the public position reported here that Israel may agree to enhanced Palestinian status but not the recognition of a 'state', a jurisdictional precondition to resort to various international bodies, including the ICC.

    Another proposal that has been mentioned is Netanyahu's notion that a new status be invented which at the UN will enhance Palestine's but will not give it the position of being a state, so it can't exercise the rights of states in international bodies. This is not a status which now exists and would have to be invented for the purpose.  Unlike the UK, which has four nations and one state, which is causing Olympics soccer problems since the Olympics, like most international bodies are organized on the basis of states. The UK was produced by war from four nations and that is not holding either, and is in its own way an interesting  and very old example why two states might be better here than one when two different nations with different cultures are involved..

    It does appear that the US is doubling down on its support of Israel in this matter, with this proposal, so that the probability of not vetoing if a vote comes up in the UNSC is lessened.

    Secondly, This article from Maan reports that a group of international organizations have demanded that the Quartet clarify the Palmer Report's conclusion about the legality of the naval blockade of Gaza, with which they disagree, as does the UN Human Rights Council in its September 2010 report on the Flotilla and the legality of the blockade and the attack on said Flotilla  For those who follow this, there will certainly be continuing issues from these and the  2004 ICJ advisory opinion on the Wall, especially its legal analysis,concerning making the recognition of a Palestinian state contingent on that state's waiving its remedies in international forums to which states but not entities stuck in the middle have access,particularly criminal type remedies. The ironies of this will be missed by no one here.

     Third, A related issue arising today is reportage that suggests what the US is currently doing to evade the necessity of casting a veto, is attempting with some zeal to recruit other current UNSC members to  oppose or abstain such that nine votes will not become available, so that the matter of the veto will not therefore arise. Portugal is said to be in play. Although this does not resolve the UNGA vote issue. Currently the matter of national views of the various UNSC members' sentiment is apparently stalled until the actual text of the resolution appears, which it seems not yet to have done.  It would also appear from the various bits of reporting that the EU attempt to have a unified position on this may have failed.

    Fourth, the issue of what terrorism is has now become trickier. Shin Bet has indicated that some of the settlers are organizing into terror groups, their choice of words, not mine. Certainly, Maan and other papers have reported escalated price tag attacks and other activities of settlers against Palestinians and their fields and property in recent times. There are also reports of attacks on IDF and on Israeli activists by what are reported as settlers, so this is not simply an anti Palestinian problem. In preparation for the end of the week and thereafter,  the IDF has also participated in some of these, per Maan, and has organized some settlers as paramilitaries. It is not helpful that this week's reporting also includesacts by Israel to retroactively approve construction of settlements on Palestinian lands in WB. and here as well. Whatever else Shin Bet does, it would not have said this publicly if it felt it did not genuuinely have to do so.

    And last but not least, the question of citizenship in Israel as a Jewish state has become more problematic as plans have been announced to move Bedouins both from area C and from locations in the Israeli Negev to make room for Jewish settlements in various places, in which latter situation the Bedouins are Israeli citizens. One of the problems of the desire for the proclamation of Israel as  a Jewish state is the position in which Arabs and Bedouins who are Israeli citizens but not Jewish are left by such a proclamation.

    All of these issues pose problems for those who call themelves progressives.

    A. Can progressives genuinely take the position that international law meant to produce justice against particular kinds of wrongful state conduct which progressives abhor when conducted, say, here,  must be subordinated to this politicized question, particularly the kind that goes to the International Criminal Court unless prevented? Is keeping Israel away from ICC  when no other country is similarly protected, a good reason to do any of this? Especially a literal and public reason? And what will be the effect on the US and its desire to forward democracy and the rule of international law in the ME if it makes this exception?

    B. If Shin Bet is calling groups of the settlers terrorists, do progressives now have to more carefully review what a 'terrorist' really is and whether it can be dealt with in the hard categories the US is using, since all sides here other than the US now  publicly have them, and all sides now clearly have victimized civilians.

    C. Can progressives in good faith support the creation of a state which has built in status issues officially subordinating some citizens over against others, rather than a democracy in which everyone human and a citizen should be treated equally?

    D. How can progressives deal with a situation in which the demand is made for direct negotiations, and neither side is prepared to go there, each with its own list of non negotiables, and the lives and welfare of millions of people not involved in the political discussions hanging on getting that negotiation done? What is the alternative?

  •  I take exception to a number of your points (0+ / 0-)

    But let me focus on Con #3.

    Unilateralism does not solve conflicts.

    Oh really? Is this a Law of Political Science that I have missed? Or is it rather some mindless concept that seems to serve the argument at hand? Entire entities have been wiped off the map unilaterally and the original conflict forgotten almost entirely.

    Never mind.

    The idea that the occupied must negotiate their freedom from their occupiers with no interference from outside may suit Israel, but it doesn't suit the Palestinians. And I don't see how it suits America's interests.

    First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

    by Ptah the Great on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 06:21:16 AM PDT

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