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Originally published in Tikkun Daily

In a far-reaching interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on Sunday, President Obama made clear, perhaps for the first time in his presidency, that his administration will primarily fault Israel if the current U.S.-brokered peace negotiations fail, as expected.

Listen to Obama speak about Israel's approach to peace-making and the conflict – to words which are more direct and pointed than anything to come out of an American president's mouth in some time:

I have not yet heard … a persuasive vision of how Israel survives as a democracy and a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors in the absence of a peace deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution. Nobody has presented me a credible scenario.

The only thing that I’ve heard is, “We’ll just keep on doing what we’re doing, and deal with problems as they arise. And we’ll build settlements where we can. And where there are problems in the West Bank, we will deal with them forcefully. We’ll cooperate or co-opt the Palestinian Authority.” And yet, at no point do you ever see an actual resolution to the problem.

It’s maintenance of a chronic situation. And my assessment, which is shared by a number of Israeli observers, I think, is there comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices. Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?

Perhaps even more striking are Obama's blunt words with regard to his view of Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and his administration's record settlement expansions:
When I have a conversation with Bibi, that’s the essence of my conversation: If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who? How does this get resolved?

[...]

[For if we see] no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time — if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.

The condemnation of the international community can translate into a lack of cooperation when it comes to key security interests. It means reduced influence for us, the United States, in issues that are of interest to Israel. It’s survivable, but it is not preferable.

These words are more than just warning shots, they are a prediction. If the Kerry-led peace talks fail, Obama is reiterating what Kerry has already said: that the international movement to boycott and isolate Israel will simply intensify.

When Kerry said it, a few Israeli politicians lined up to accuse Kerry of being a mouthpiece for anti-Semites, and even Netanyahu critiqued Kerry for legitimizing Palestinian nonviolence by mentioning its existence.

And how did Netanyahu react to Obama's words? In his AIPAC speech, Netanyahu strangely echoed leftist talking points, expressing the fruits that peace could bring to Israel.

Whether Obama's strong stance will move Netanyahu to seriously pursue peace with President Abbas, who Obama described as someone "committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts," remains to be seen.

However, what is clear is this: the pressure for Israel to end the settlement enterprise and seek peace is mounting. And the U.S. will neither have the power nor the desire to stop it should peace talks fail.

                                                            --§--

What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.


Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:36 AM PST.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon and Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:36:57 AM PST

  •  How strange. (8+ / 0-)

    Your title question is precisely the one I'd ask Obama on the matter.  More hot air; not even a hint of action.

    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 06:41:49 AM PST

    •  Not even that (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.haaretz.com/...

      All these "Kerry talks" have done is permit Israel to build more and more illegal settlements while keeping the Palestinians chained to the negotiating table.  The Palestinians should end this fraud unless Israel agrees to a settlement freeze.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:48:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look, the administration's actions are not (17+ / 0-)

        changing, but the public stance is. And the recognition, and warning, that if peace talks fail, the U.S. will be in no position to manage the international fallout -- and boycotts -- is significant in my view.

        "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

        by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:50:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  meaningless verbiage (6+ / 0-)

          that will all be forgotten once Hillary Clinton takes office and show us what she's made of on the matter.

          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 07:07:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't remember what it was (5+ / 0-)

            made me cringe. something she said when still SoS. Something 1%, imperialist, war-apologist.

            All the bipartisan national politicians support of the war machine makes me sick.

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

            by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:50:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Practically every time she opens her mouth (8+ / 0-)

              on a foreign policy issue, quite frankly.

              And when it comes to Israel, she rivals Chuck Schumer in the extremity of her support.

              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 07:52:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The threaten Palestinians if they resort to law. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stargaze

                The UK and US both have threatened dire consequences to the Palestinians attempt to use the courts and international law. What more need anyone need to know than that astonishing and blatant admission of criminality and hypocrisy.

                Only thugs threaten people who attempt legal means to achieve justice. What is striking is the lack of pretense at morality, Obama's blathering aside.

        •  But "peace talks" will never "fail"; (9+ / 0-)

          they'll always be followed by more "peace talks."

          That will be our MO until Israel absorbs the entire WB and god knows what else.

          And as for international fallout, I'm still waiting for any meaningful sign of it.  Some boycott actions lacking any support from any government anywhere (and usually roundly condemned by them) and a couple of portfolio divestments really aren't cutting it.  Nor is propping up Abbas's regime, which exists only to make the WB safe for Israeli settlers.

          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 07:11:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm of the opinion that the boycott movement, (8+ / 0-)

            which is already having a noticeable economic impact in Israel, will grow exponentially "once" these talks fail.

            Channel 2 in Israel already did an expose on the economic impact currently, with dire predictions for Israel should the status quo continue.

            "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

            by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:55:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •   I tip your comment in the Gandhian spirit of (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze, AoT, Fishtroller01, wu ming

            constructive engagement, Corvo, not out of agreement, but respect for your opinion. I don't know why but I feel some compulsion to encourage you not to be so discouraged.

            You may be correct about potential lack of follow through from successive administrations but shouldn't we support President Obama in his last ditch bid to make this work?

            Under a tacit, or even explicit agreement that if it fails, the Democratic left will have no choice but to join BDS efforts, demand a nuclear free Middle East, ending the secret 30 plus year deal support "nuclear ambiguity," demand the right to vote for everyone residing, "apparently" permanently withing "occupied territories."

            Many otherwise progressive, democratic, and egalitarian American Jews and Democrats have held back doing what we should have done long ago, fully pushing back against the right-wing extremists in Israel as they allied themselves with the US right wing to push American policies to the right.

            But, when senior members of Netanyahu's administration attack SoS Kerry as being antisemitic, and even attacks DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz they crossed a line and made rubbish out of any further charges of antisemitism on anything.  It will not take American Jews and even Israeli very long to see that in this specific regard, that more harm to this cause has no come from P.M. Natanyahu, AIPAC, their Likud and other right-wing supporters in Israel.

            Similarly, by openly declaring war on the Democratic Party, a sitting American Democratic President on national security matters, lead most conspicuously by Senator Menendez and others, AIPAC, and these same extreme right-wing zealots have driven a wedge between their America supporters and inside the Democratic Party that will not only allow, but perhaps even require loyal progressive-left Democrats, and American Jews who support Israel to explicitly and conspicuously take sides against AIPAC and their inappropriate partisan attempts to undermine President Obama's efforts to protect our national security.  

            This was a horrendous blunder on the part of AIPAC, which they realized quickly, as soon as many of us pointed it out, but exposed a truth which we all knew but did not speak of. AIPAC no longer has any credibility as a bipartisan national organization for American Jews, but instead is acting as a de-facto lobbying arm of the right-wing political parties of a foreign government. (And, should be required to register as a foreign lobby, now that this is clear.)

            Who gets the credit for this stunning development? Not Jihadist terrorists, but AIPAC, Likud, and right-wing followers of P.M. Netanyahu. self led delegitimization, or auto-delegitimization.

            But, it gets more dramatic. What is his reaction to these self-induced blunders? To double down and become more strident, in the classics "fixes that fail," aka "fixes-that-backfire" archetype.

            Like someone in quick sand, who in a panic, does more of the exact same thing causing his problem, doubling down on struggling.

            So a few weeks ago, P.M Netanyahu had an emergency meeting with top security advisers on the BDS threat. Did they review their policies for substantive change? No, they authorized $100 million for more aggressive Hasbara efforts to expand the departments in the Ministries of Intelligence and Defense to identify BDS supporters and other critics and run counter-intelligence and public relations operations against them.  And, announced it in the newpapers!

            Seriously, Netanyahu, WTH?

            Ya don't need a degree in systems control theory mathematics to predict where this feedback loop is going. Its a downward spiral of self-destructing legitimacy for Netanyahu and his right-wing supporters. In Israel, here in American (with AIPAC,) and around the world.

            But, in his mind, he sees nothing virulent anti-Israeli  conspiracy. Which he has equated with antisemitism, even to the point of accusing Jewish teachers of the Torah like David Harris Gershan, of being "self-hating" Jews, and enemies of his state.

            These seem to me to be much bigger and irreversible changes that have already crossed grey lines, red lines, and the lines of common sense of ordinary people.

            We only have to wait for time delays for this already created image to pervade the media landscape and you will see we are in a completely new era.

            P.M. Netanyahu has done more to advance the credibility of BDS movements than any other single individual. (Except for perhaps, Alan Dershowitz.)

             far, every time

            "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

            by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:56:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As long as Bibi's opposition on I/P (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog, Johnny Q, wu ming

              within Israel comes from his own right -- there's hardly anything to his left -- his and his government's behavior become(s) perfectly sensible.  Appalling, but sensible.  

              And really, it's going to take something spectacular to dislodge American support for Israel.  It's nice to crow over a little egg on AIPAC's face, but one should keep in mind that the position of, say, J Street on I/P is only cosmetically different.

              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 09:12:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So what do you advocate? (0+ / 0-)

                "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

                by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:35:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm afraid it doesn't matter. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fishtroller01, Johnny Q

                  The only way out of this clusterf*ck is via spectacular violence, and I'm a pacifist.

                  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 10:13:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well it seems to me a true pacifist would try to (0+ / 0-)

                    help these people find a peaceful way out of their current conundrum.

                    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

                    by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:16:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I find pacifism problematical, as opposed to non-v (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MrJayTee, poco

                    violence as a tactic.

                    In the historical record has shown the ruling class has and will be quite willing to use deadly violence. Look at how many Occupy sites were cleared with thin pretexts.

                    Many early 20th c labor disputes had people being killed. Funny thing, that didn't much work as a tactic for the 1% as workers fought back harder. So other means have been used that didn't have the effect of activating the workers.

                    When it's practical, I support non-violence, which is almost always, because violence will scare off supporters and invites escalation. But without a credible threat of mass attack the people on the top will just plan to keep on harvesting with impunity.

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

                    by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:45:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I see your point, and given the (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MrJayTee, stargaze

                      specific circumstance I wouldn't be surprised if our choice of tactics were the same.

                      This much said, remember that you're on a site where anything that can be interpreted as a call to violence against an entity we haven't already declared open season on can result in your immediate banning. ;-)

                      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 03:30:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly so. Strategic non-violence is great. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco, stargaze

                      But there is no principle of decency or morality that demands you allow yourself to be ground under someone's boot to avoid violence.

                      I don't need the revolution to be dainty, I need it to be successful. Where non-violence furthers the revolution, I'm all for it.

    •  See my response to Paleo. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, elwior

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:50:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way, this is a question I've shared (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, ratcityreprobate

      with you for some time as well.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:52:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi Corvo, I hope we have come to know each other (7+ / 0-)

      well enough that I can push back a little on your cynicism about President Obama's unprecedented statements escalating pressure on PM Netanyahu.

      What it has changed it is an open statement of an important and long overdue change in U.S. policy towards Israel. We are not going to support their illegal settlement expansion anymore, and perhaps, even to the the point of not using our Security Council veto to inappropriately over ride the rest of the worlds condemnation.

      You are one person, I know I don't have to ask if you can imagine what would have happened had someone made President Obama's statement even here, six year or more ago. It would have started a flame war with the person being HR as antisemitic.  

      It should be viewed as a major heads up to Israeli's about how many people, especially conspicuously pro-Israeli people, nowperceive that Prime Minister Netanayahu has been hurting their public image over the last years?

      Newspapers in Israel already noted that  President Obama gave this interview the very hours P.M. Netanyahu was getting on the plane to come meet with him. One pundit asked, why did he not wait to tell this to Bibi in person? They correctly guessed that it is signal to the PM, that Obama has already written off the possibility of major changes in the PMs position, so was signalling the our President would not view it as helpful if the PM came her and rattled his sabre at AIPAC or arrogantly lectured our President in the photo op.

      And, I'm pleasantly surprised that the PM seems to have listened somewhat.

      Given the amount of time PM Netayahu and his administration spend attacking anyone critical of his right-wing extremists policies as antisemitic, and anti-Israel, it is surprising that the thought never seems to have occurred to him that of  all of those one could put on his list as enemies, or at least high risks to the future national security of Israel, an increasing number of Israel's strongest supporters in the U.S. and around the world, might consider putting him and his strident obstructionist supporters on that list, ahead of his favorite "usual suspects."  

      His flagrant announcements of expansions of illegal settlements, nearly every time SOS Kerry visits, his arrogant lecturing and thumbing his nose at President Obama, does not appear to help his cause as much as he seems to think.

      Or, his railing against "double standards" with Iran's nuclear programs, and alleged violations of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, when he refuses to even sign it or acknowledge that Israel is widely assumed to have between 75 to 400 nuclear warheads. Maybe, they should, but to so stridently use the double standard trope is like sticking a finger in the eyes, of people trying to help out the cause of Israel, in these precarious international times.

      He and the Israeli people deserve fair warning that if PM Netanyahu doesn't conclude a peace deal in this last chance opportunity, these "double standard" protections "in Israel's favor," are going to come to an end.

      Or, as I've learned an important  lesson in brevity from Joan McCarter,  I could just reduce this whole comment to Seriously, PM Netanyahu, WTH?  (changing the F to H for heck out of respect for a national leader.) Wake up and smell the coffee because this may be your last chance.

      The President also noted that the PM Abbas is getting old and may be the last and most moderate Palestinian leader who may enough credibility to make this deal successfully for the Palestinians.

      If it becomes clear the window on the two-state solution has closed, progressive proponents of democracy, and egalitarianism will have to assess would we do about the Israel's de-facto annexation of the West Bank for 50 and why it is developing into an apartheid state, where half of the people in its nation do not have the right to vote, and are denied equal rights.

      Yes, many others have been saying this for decades. It is a much more pointed message to come from the White House.

      "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:43:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it should have been 50 years. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01

        "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:46:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want to thank all the bottom-up push back (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, ybruti

        I think people being fed up with land theft, water theft and asking pointed questions about children being hurt and killed is making a change on how the people on the top talk.

        More work to do about the actions of people on the top.

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

        by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:55:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama has little support in his own country (6+ / 0-)

        (and certainly less in his own party) for anything resembling a critical line with Israel.  He's barely getting away with negotiating with Iran, and the future of such negotiations is at best uncertain.

        I wouldn't be surprised it this is nothing more than personal pique on his part.

        Meanwhile, this is pure fantasy:

        We are not going to support their illegal settlement expansion anymore, and perhaps, even to the the point of not using our Security Council veto to inappropriately over ride the rest of the worlds condemnation.
        Nobody is cutting off American diplomatic and financial support to Israel.  Nobody.

        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 07:59:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with both of your points, however, (6+ / 0-)

          we should give President Obama credit for his persistence in both cases despite lack of such support

          Obama has little support in his own country (3+ / 0-)
          (and certainly less in his own party) for anything resembling a critical line with Israel.  He's barely getting away with negotiating with Iran, and the future of such negotiations is at best uncertain.
          Especially, with regard to standing down Sen Menendez, and the saboteur Democrats who betrayed a sitting Democratic President on a critical matter of national security. They have severe detrimental mark on the permanent record that will come back and haunt them.

          Our President deserves kudos for facing down AIPAC and this many treacherous Democrats on a matter he could have easily let slide.

          We can infer how strongly he feels about this personally, and that he has decided to damn the torpedoes and play the long game for his legacy.

          "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:15:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, yeah, I guess I'd be pissed off too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, wu ming

            if foreign leaders and members of my own party got in the way of my charm offensive.

            Still waiting for meaningful action, however . . . which Obama knows he can't deliver.  And if his "legacy" entails preparing the way for his rival in the 2008 primaries, then it won't count for much.

            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 08:22:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, corvo, here, I am troubled with your (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht

              response.

              Not to acknowledge what I consider to be several important concessions I made to your point of view, or to neither acknowledge, nor specifically refute the points I made here leaves me feeling incomplete.

              I've gone out of my way to engage you in conversation with the hope of mutual learning and perhaps establishing a few points of common perspective, and at least, "agreeing to disagree" where we differ.  

              Still waiting for meaningful action, however . . . which Obama knows he can't deliver.  And if his "legacy" entails preparing the way for his rival in the 2008 primaries, then it won't count for much.
              So what are we going to do about it. This paragraph sounds like you've adopted the position of a passive observer watching a program on TV you don't like, and want to complain about.

              If our commitment to see a peaceful resolution to the I/P conflict is as strong as we proclaim, should we not be making our best efforts to help advance the cause?

              Perhaps, I'm being unfair, or perhaps, you are an idealists, or advocate of justice, whose hopes have been dashed so many times you've become justifiable so cynical of any hope, that throwing up your hands and walking away is the only sensible response.

              Do you not see an potential opportunity for those of us in he Democratic left and American Jews who support peaceful states for both Israel and Palestine to work towards some more explicit and solidified position of what our action steps will be as a proposal to change the status quo tacit acceptance of illegal settlements by the Democratic Party and the American people?

              Impossible? Did we not think the same thing 10 years ago about marriage equality, and decriminalization of marijuana? I would have predicted I-P peace before these occurred.

              "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

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

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's possible to have an opinion on a matter, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wu ming, stargaze

                even a very good opinion, while realizing that one's opinion doesn't count for jack s*it.

                I believe part of the problem with your questions is that they rest on a number of widespread but fallacious assumptions, first and foremost that there's enough land and resources for "peaceful states for both Israel and Palestine."  Israeli "doves" certainly realize this, as their most fondly cherished "peace proposals" entail keeping most of the good land and water.

                As for your last paragraph, remember that marriage equality isn't a threat to the oligarchs (some of whom have been whining about their lack of access to the only right they can't purchase -- see, for instance, Andrew Sullivan's loathsome Virtually Normal), and marijuana decriminalization, let alone legalization, still has a long way to go (despite pious words from the President and his Attorney General, dispensaries are still being raided here in Colorado).

                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 10:22:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've also noticed, repeatedly, that although (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog

                you're quite proficient in the use of such terms as "cynicism," you seem insufficiently aware of the existence of such concepts as "dilemma" and "aporia."  I cannot suggest, for instance, that the Palestinians resist, even nonviolently (to which they have an absolute right, just as I believe they have a right to violent resistance as an act of self-defense); Israel will respond violently in either case, and I have no right to suggest that others put themselves in harm's way.  The same goes for any attempt of WB Palestinians to wrest control of their own protogovernment away from the collaborationists in Ramallah (which lost any democratic legitimacy long ago) -- I may sympathize, but I cannot advocate actions that will result in violent suppression.  On the other hand, nor can I advocate that they just suck it up and accept their lot, because I certainly have no right to tell anyone to accept his status as not even a slave (slaves being at least useful to their masters).

                Now as for what we should do?  Our options are almost as limited as the Palestinians'; and while I think that targeted actions are certainly possible and, if nonviolent, morally beyond reproach, one should have no illusions as to their efficaciousness in the foreseeable future.

                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 11:33:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks, I'm sorry if the word cynical was wrong, (0+ / 0-)

                  or hurtful. It just make me sad when I get the feeling people are giving up on the situations which would leave millions of  unfortunate Palestinian people with little hope for a future of self-determinism.

                  "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

                  by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:22:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  "nobody" = bought by corporations who are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          profiting from Imperialism, & military support to Israel is part of that. Anyone not approved by the banks, etc., gets primaried.

          Which is why bottom-up push-back is so important.

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

          by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:21:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it is; it's our only hope; but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze, Johnny Q

            it will take generations.  Climate change and the increasing right-radicalization of the Israeli electorate will have solved the problem long before then.

            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 08:23:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "will take generations" is a 1% idea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht

              some changes have happened very quickly. Since there's so many more of us than there are of them, they spend a lot of time telling us the status quo is stable, when it certainly isn't.

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

              by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:01:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But in I/P (0+ / 0-)

                there really aren't more of us than there are of them, certainly not in the USA.

                And those changes that have come quickly have been -- surprise! -- those that either don't challenge the 1%, or that the 1% do or can find useful.  Rights for non-heterosexuals, for instance.  

                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 09:08:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm thinking more on a class basis (0+ / 0-)

                  I think income gap is widening in Israel same as many other places. If the people pushing the security machine that keeps so many Palestinians locked up, continual arrests, continual policing -- if Israeli taxpayers revolt at the expense of it all.

                  Also, yes, odds may be bad. Not trying is worse odds.

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

                  by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:54:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, that's for Israelis to decide. (0+ / 0-)

                    Not being Israeli, I don't feel especially charged with dictating a resolution to them; in the highly improbable event that any effort of mine were even noticed, no doubt the plan would backfire.  Remember when The Guardian inspired some of its readers to write Ohioans suggesting they not vote for Bush?  The effort increased support for Bush.  

                    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 03:33:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's Palestinians that have asked for solidarity (0+ / 0-)

                      My solidarity is to say "yes, I believe you" and I tell my legislators to stop spending so much of my taxmoney on military aid to Israel.

                      Since I also tell legislators to stop spending money for Imperialism of all sorts this isn't much different from what I would already be doing.

                      Mostly I see myself as countering other USA taxpayers who want to continue this status quo I don't like. I tell them why I  don't agree with their reasons.

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

                      by stargaze on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:15:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you sure? (0+ / 0-)

        You wrote:

        What it has changed it is an open statement of an important and long overdue change in U.S. policy towards Israel. We are not going to support their illegal settlement expansion anymore, and perhaps, even to the the point of not using our Security Council veto to inappropriately over ride the rest of the worlds condemnation.

        You are one person, I know I don't have to ask if you can imagine what would have happened had someone made President Obama's statement even here, six year or more ago. It would have started a flame war with the person being HR as antisemitic.  

        If you meant that, six years ago, someone would have been HR as antisemitic  for opposing "illegal settlement expansion" (and, presumably, even more so, for opposing the settlement project itself), I'm here to suggest that your memory may be playing tricks on you.

        I limited myself to a review of my own diaries. Even though I've made the point with much greater frequency in comments, effectively searching for comments on this point generally is beyond my computer skills. Here's some of what I found.

        "The great land robbery": The Peace Now Settlements Report. In November 21, 2006, I favorably reported on a study by Israel's Peace Now movement. The diary includes an epigraph meant to characterize the settlers as "robbers." It also includes the following quotation from the Peace Now study:

        ... During the past forty years of occupation, Israel has ruled the territories through military orders and the laws of the State. In so doing, Israel has ignored international laws and agreements, such as the 4th Geneva Accords and the Hague Agreement, which define and limit changes the occupier may make in occupied territory during the period of occupation.

        This report demonstrates that, in addition to ignoring international laws and agreements, Israel has violated even its own norms and laws in the West Bank, through the confiscation of private Palestinian property and the building of settlements upon them.

        I was not HR or accused of antisemitism for characterizing the settlements as illegal.

        In Points of DKos agreement for I-P Peace; Maps & POLL, I called, among other things, "an end to the expansion of settlements"

        In Rabbis for Human Rights, on December 7, 2006, I repeated that call and added, among other things:"The Government of Israel must instruct the IDF and the police to immediately dismantle all 105 outposts in the territories, which were built in contravention of official Israeli policy that opposes creating new settlements in the West Bank."

        I was not HR or accused of antisemitism for characterizing the settlements as illegal.

        In a comment in a diary I published on January 8, 2007, I wrote: "Personally, I wouldn't shed a tear were all the settlements to disappear." I was not HR or accused of antisemitism.

        On June 4, 2007, inChomsky and the two-state I-P peace settlement, I began by writing:

        I take it as uncontroversial that, following the Six-Day War of June 1967, Palestinians have suffered greatly from Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians live under Israel's often brutal military-colonial rule. And, they face an even bleaker future unless the occupation is brought to an end....
        I was not HR or accused of antisemitism.

        On March 19, 2006 (hey, that's nearly six years ago), in Bad news from an unholy land, I quoted favorably from an editorial in The Economist: ""For peace to come, Israel must give up the West Bank and share Jerusalem; the Palestinians must give up the dream of return and make Israel feel secure as a Jewish state. All the rest is detail."

        I was not HR or accused of antisemitism.

        Finally, on March 31, 2006, in Peace Now: Increased Settlement Construction Since Annapolis, commented: "...a settlement freeze acknowledges the reality that peace with the Palestinians requires their having their own state alongside Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem. The presence or absence of a settlement freeze conveys to ordinary Palestinians the extent to which Israelis have internalized this reality."

        I was not HR or accused of antisemitism.

        Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

        by another American on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:23:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What action do you suggest that it is possible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti

      for the United States to take that would force the current government of Israel to move towards peace?

  •  Netanyahu's vision of peace (11+ / 0-)

    envisions a compliant Palestinian population living in bantustans.  In other words, Palestinian surrender to his terms.  That's not the peace that's needed.  If it's not a just peace, it's just more of the same.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:43:57 AM PST

    •  I think the rise of nonviolent resistance, and the (10+ / 0-)

      effects of the Palestinian and international boycott movements, are making everyone realize that the writing is on the wall.

      Pressure, and "non-compliance" will only increase.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:52:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Netanyahu will never change (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, elwior, corvo, cybrestrike, Brecht, AoT, Johnny Q

        The only hope for a just agreement is a change in Israel's govenrment.  Which won't happen unless the U.S. turns up the screws on the current government a la Bush in 1992.  Fear of loss of U.S. support is what can push the "mushy middle" from the center-right to the center-left.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:58:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even a change in Israel's government (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Brecht, wu ming

          wouldn't make a difference. Any Israeli government will adopt much the same position as Netanyahu. Maybe a little less bellicose about Iran, but on the Palestinian question the status quo suits Israel just fine. Perhaps there would be minor military withdrawls from Palestinian lands, but there is no final status agreement that could ever fruit with any Israeli government.

          No. The key change would have to be in the American government in its alliance with Israel. That would be significant. And that's not going to happen.

          •  Don't agree (0+ / 0-)

            I think the center-left is ready to make a deal based on the '67 lines with East Jerusalem as the capital in return for dropping the refugee question.  Or at least agreeing to a token repatriation.

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:17:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is what was said about South Africa (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze, Brecht

            when F. W. de Klerk was elected.

            For most of his career, de Klerk had a very conservative reputation. The NP's Transvaal branch was historically the most staunchly conservative wing of the party, and he supported continued segregation of universities while Minister of National Education. It thus came as a surprise when in 1989 he placed himself at the head of verligte ("enlightened") forces within the governing party who had come to believe that apartheid could not be maintained forever.
            As Nelson Mandela said later,
            Everything is impossible until it happens.
            Similarly for Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia.

            Similarly for President Chester A. Arthur, who came out of the notoriously corrupt New York Republican Party machine and the notoriously corrupt Customs Service, and then as President cleaned up Federal government corruption on the grand scale with Civil Service reform.

            Similarly for King Ashoka in ancient India, an imperial conqueror who converted to Buddhism.

            They are rare, but you can't tell in advance.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:09:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "The only hope for a just agreement is a change in (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stargaze, poco, ybruti, Johnny Q

          Israel's govenrment."

          Yes, but that's only the first small step. The PYB in Israel have been so effective, since 1947, in rewriting the facts on the ground and in history books. There is so little room left for Palestinians to breathe in, let alone to grow a viable state of their own, with all the water, fertile land, and trust and cooperation among factions of Palestinians to support a healthy and profitable culture.

          Palestinians have been robbed from, humiliated, scapegoated, and ripped asunder by Israeli military and judicial might. There are so many Israeli walls, enclaves in East Jerusalem, settlements in the West Bank, and scars and running sores in Gaza, that there's hardly anywhere left to put a viable country.

          It's no wonder the majority of the UN keeps voting to censure Israel's theft and subjugation of Palestinians: they've seen it spread for decades. But the US veto keeps standing in the way. Which is why Obama's words count for something, by signaling a change in allowable conversation. Until the US stops bullying for Israel, and stands up for real Justice in Palestine - which will require dismantling many of the "facts on the ground" Israel has gotten away with - there cannot be a remotely fair two-state solution.                                                

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

          by Brecht on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:56:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Netanyahu is nothing if not an astute (0+ / 0-)

          politician. He will change if he sees the political winds in Israel shifting.

          It's the job of  Israeli voters to make that wind blow.

    •  I believe a fair interpretation of President (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida, Brecht, Fishtroller01

      Obama'a statement is that he is not going to support this vision any longer.  It's a shame and mark against our self-respect and international reputation that we've waited so long.

      "Seriously, Folk. WTF?" - (h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:54:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How bout never? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP
    •  Stole my answer! (4+ / 0-)

      Yes, that is Netanyahu's plan.  Never.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:04:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In short, what incentive is there for Israel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stargaze

      to agree to anything? Israel is a strong country supported by the United States in perpetuity. The current state of affairs suits them just fine. It appears sustainable for many years to come. The Palestinians are powerless to do anything about it. Furthermore their leadership is such a mess I doubt they could if they had the power.

      So I think Israel is just fine with the status quo. So are the Arab elites.

      Kerry is wasting his time. There's nothing to be done here until and unless the United States shifts its policy on Israel from ally to neutrality. And with the lobby in New York and Washington being what it is and have uniform support in both parties, that's not going to happen any time soon.

      •  Kerry is not wasting his time; (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, cybrestrike, Johnny Q

        he's providing Israel cover by giving Israel the opportunity to pretend that it's interested in "negotiations."

        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 07:45:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That was George Wallace's position on segregation (0+ / 0-)

      He found it to be untenable at last, however.

      Apartheid was South Africa's policy for a very long time, too, even with most of the world against them.  Finally, they were forced to yield.

      Israel will come to the same conclusion eventually.

      •  If the Palestinians adopted non-violence as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo

        their North Star, it would be very difficult to keep them from gaining their freedom.

        But so long as there is Hamas, I suspect the status quo will continue.

        •  Nonsense, Israel just arrests them (5+ / 0-)

          and harasses them and then blames Hamas for everything.

          There are very large non-violent groups in Palestine and their leaders are arrested and jailed. The fact that there are also violent groups doesn't negate the existence of non-violent groups. Just like the existence of violence groups during the civil rights era and the Indian fight for independence didn't negate the non-violence of Gandhi and MLK respectively.

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

          by AoT on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:38:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  See also the ANC, which turned to sabotage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze

            after the Sharpeville massacre of unarmed protesters, and then to violence when all of the previous leadership was in prison or exile. de Klerk freed Mandela and negotiated with him anyway.

            As Yitzhak Rabin explained,

            You negotiate with your enemies, not with your friends.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:28:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Marduk? (0+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © 2014 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:07:09 AM PST

  •  Seems to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Al Abama

    I think that Netanyahu is just going to wait out the Obama administration one way or the other. In 2016, it will be replaced by a different one and I suspect no matter if HRC or the GOP holds the White House, there will be less pressure on Israel.
    From where I sit, the Palestinians clearly have no plans to make any meaningful concessions and Netanyahu knows this. His speech the other day will be useful evidence of him going the 'extra mile' and thus when Abbas rejects whatever Kerry is cooking, he'll have the cover he needs.

    Oh, and that shipment of rockets that was just intercepted on it's way to Gaza will illustrate Netanyahu's point perfectly.

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

    by Zornorph on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:45:59 AM PST

  •  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

        [ Parent ]

        •  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

              [ Parent ]

            •  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

                [ Parent ]

                •  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

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  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 ]

  •  Let Israel take care of Israel interest (0+ / 0-)

    America future is not tied to Israel ,people should not have to support those who believe some devine entity gave them right to some land ,  that they have only inhabited  for only less  than a hundred years

  •  I watched a spokesman for (0+ / 0-)

    Bibi (forgot his name) on one of the news channels the other day and he was harping on the issue of the Palestinian government needing to first of all recognize Israel's right to exist.  It dawned on me that this was silly and why would he be so insistent on that point? Then I realized that behind that point was most likely the possibility that admitting Israel's right to exist would also mean that the Palestinians would be admitting that the lands that were stolen from them were now legitimately Israel's.   Just a thought....

    •  It's not about recognizing Israel's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Fishtroller01, callmecassandra

      "right to exist."  It's about recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.  A strange admission when you think about it -- were we ever required to recognize France as the French state, let alone Israel as the Jewish state? -- until you realize what this means: namely, that only Jews have a right to live in Israel, and that non-Jews can live there only as long as Jews tolerate their presence.  Now you know how scary it is that half the population wants the Israeli Arab population "transferred" out of Israel in any final peace agreement: Israel wants the internationally recognized right to do just that.

      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 12:38:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leave both sides alone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    I think it is past high time for the whole world to stop begging the Israelis and Palestinians to make a deal through intermediaries and wash collective hands of them.  There are much bigger international challenges than those two sides present: climate change, international poverty come to mind, just to name two.
    When the "mediators" the Group of 6 or whatever, want a deal more than the parties do, a deal will never happen.
    Stop paying so much attention to them, and let them decide what they want to do.
    And that also means no more military assistance or money for Israel.  BTW, I advocate no military assistance for any Middle east power, not Israel, not Egypt, not Saudi Arabia, etc.  I know, naive because our economy is a permanent war economy but one can dream.

  •  I thought this was an interesting summary (0+ / 0-)

    from someone very involved with Palestinian rights and "one state":

    But I think Palestinians are going through a process collectively of examining what it is that is fundamental to them. And it turns out that for Palestinians, the right of return, the right to be equal, and the right to live and move freely in their country are far more fundamental than having a so-called state, especially one shorn of sovereignty and any shred of independence that exists on only a fraction of their home land.

    link

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

    by stargaze on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:25:22 PM PST

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