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Originally published in Tikkun Daily

As a Jew, I admit to being uniquely invested in what's occurring in Israel and Gaza – an investment sometimes cited to paint political discourse on Israel as niche. However, as an American citizen and a self-avowed progressive, I not only reject such notions, but hold that Israel is a core progressive issue which demands our broad attention.

There are many arguments made amongst progressives which seek to deflect discourse on Israel, and which echo arguments made across the political spectrum. Two of these arguments I'd like to counter below in an effort to show why Israel indeed stands as a principle progressive issue.

1) Why Single Out Israel?

One of the most consistent arguments I encounter for why Israel need not be discussed prominently is one I would categorize as a red herring. Here is how the argument goes: yes, horrible things are happening to the Palestinians, but there's a lot of bad in the world. Try focusing on Syria or Russia or Sudan for once.

This sort of logic simply doesn't hold any weight. Would I be unjustified in writing about water shutoffs in Detroit (as I've done) when land grabs in Africa are intensifying water scarcity crises for local communities? Of course I would.

It is impossible for me, or anyone else, to tackle an issue of importance without being presented with a myriad of other issues worthy of focus. But that's the nature of taking any moral stand or championing any cause: it is done knowing selectivity is inherent, natural and unavoidable.

Mehdi Hasan, political director for The Huffington Post (UK), put it most articulately when he wrote regarding his publication's current focus on Israel, Palestine and the intense suffering in Gaza:

On what grounds did we "single out" apartheid South Africa in the 1980s for condemnation and boycott? Weren't there other, more dictatorial regimes in Africa at the time, those run by black Africans such as Mengistu in Ethiopia or Mobutu in Zaire? Did we dare excuse the crimes of white Afrikaners on this basis?

Taking a moral stand inevitably requires us to be selective, specific and, yes, even inconsistent.

So, why Israel? Why should what's happening in Israel/Palestine be a progressive political issue in America? The answer is simple: America is inextricably linked with what's going on in the region in ways that are incomparable anywhere else in the world.

The U.S. gives Israel $3 billion annually in funding, more than it gives any other nation, and much of that funding supports Israel's military apparatus. The U.S. has even expanded that funding through 2018 despite the fact that Israel, against U.S. policy, has continued to expand its illegal settlements, making a U.S.-supported two-state solution impossible. America has also continuing this funding during Israel's decades-old military occupation in the West Bank, which denies Palestinians basic human rights while subjecting them to military law, including indefinite detentions, home demolitions, restrictions on movement and violent, sometimes deadly suppression of political protest.

And now, during a tragic war of choice in Gaza many international observers view as violating international law, the White House has backed Israel's efforts as hundreds of innocent civilians are being killed, often when their homes are targeted (an issue Jake Tapper raised pointedly with Israel's ambassador).

As citizens, our tax dollars are funding what is occurring.

Now, to be clear: I don't want funding cut to Israel, as U.S. funds help Israel in critically important ways. For example, as Hamas fires crude rockets it cannot control into Israel, the U.S.-provided Iron Dome is protecting civilians, my friends among them, and I'm grateful for that. However, I have many concerns about the way Israel is using its disproportionate military force – a force heavily-funded by America. Should we be invested in voicing concerns about how our tax dollars are being spent? Should we be asking whether the White House should freeze some funds until America's policy demands and international laws are met? As progressives? As Americans?

Absolutely.

2) Let Them Kill Each Other – Regional Hate Is None of My Concern

This is an insidious, dehumanizing and wholly simplistic move that some people make with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though in their defense, it's a view most media in America perpetuate. I have no intention of engaging in a comprehensive, historical review in this space to counter it, though doing so would certainly be appropriate.

Rather, I'll simply respond to this line of reasoning as follows: this "conflict" is not so much a prolonged war as it is a decades-long, asymmetrical oppression of one people (sadly, my people) over another.

Yes, religious hatred amongst minority groups on both sides exist. Yes, racism and anti-Semitism amongst minority groups on both sides exist. And yes, the continued conflict has worked over decades to imbue each society with mistrust for the other that is difficult to overcome.

However, this is a situation – just like every other geopolitical crisis – which has geopolitical solutions. Here is the kicker, though: no solutions will be advanced, nor will peace be attained, unless outside pressure is brought to bear upon both parties, for neither seem capable of extricating themselves from counterproductive policies on their own.

All the more reason for us to be involved and invested, as progressive Americans, in what is happening.

Yes, as a Jew, I am invested in Israel's future in unique ways. I want it to thrive and survive, to achieve its democratic promise, however difficult that may be. And this investment is, in part, what motivates me to critique Israel: the damage it's doing to the Palestinians is also destroying itself.

However, as a progressive American whose liberal Jewish values align with my U.S.-borne political ones, I find it imperative that we address Palestinian suffering, the denial of their human rights, and the suppression of their right to self-determination.

As Americans partially responsible for and heavily intertwined in the conflict, we have no other choice.

--§--

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?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.



Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course Israel and the Occupied Territories (21+ / 0-)

    is a progressive issue.

    It really looks like a two-state solution is now impossible, due to facts on the ground and to implacable opposition from most Israelis.

    Is there any chance that international pressure could force Israel and Egypt to cede Gaza to Egypt, and Israel and Jordan to cede the West Bank back to Jordan (which would require removal of the Israeli settlements there)?

    This actually might happen if the United States cut funding and really put the screws down.  So it's worth discussing.

    •  It's not so simple. Many here and elsewhere (35+ / 0-)

      don't necessarily think so.

      Regarding the two-state solution, it is difficult to see light, particularly after Netanyahu explicitly rejected it.

      It won't be possible under his leadership, and I fear the next leader may be to the right of him.

      "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 Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:27:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Egypt and Jordan and almost all of the Arab (7+ / 0-)

        world would vehemently oppose such a solution, just as they themselves oppress and denationalize the Palestinians, because they prefer to maintain the Hamas and Hezbollah thorns in Israel's sides.

        So I have no delusions about such a plan being simple.

        But I keep thinking it's the only possible genuine solution to the plight of the people in the Occupied Territories, so it must be worth pursuing, even though it seems impossible at the moment.

        I had some hope that the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008 (Operation Cast Lead) might prove to be a tipping point.  Maybe someday there will be a real tipping point.

        •  The 3-state solution (11+ / 0-)

          Is the closest thing to actual pre-1967 conditions. Jordan is pretty much the real "Palestinian" state already, having been given 70%+ of the original mandate of Transjordan in 1948, and having a current 85% Palestinian Arab population.

          So, sure, it sounds like a great idea. Having a proper country responsible for the West Bank means security is far less of an issue for Israel, since Jordan knows how to police their own. Muslims would still have full control over their holy sites (like they do now through the Waqf), but Amman would still be the capital of the expanded Jordanian state.

          Gaza would fall back under Egypt, like it did pre-1967.
          Problem solved!

          Too bad I just don't see it happening..Israel might agree, but the Arab nations never would, there is a reason the 650,000 Palestinian Arab refugees were never integrated, and left to rot in camps (unlike the 750,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands)

          •  Palestinians are refugees of Israel and Palestine, (26+ / 0-)

            not Jordan and Egypt. So they probably want to go back home.

            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

            by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:20:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We don't always get what we want (7+ / 0-)

              Most refugees never "go back home". Certainly the 750,000 Mizrahi Jews forceably expelled from Arab countries never got to "go back home". Refugees almost ALWAYS resettle in their new countries. Unless of course, there is a cynical, systematic effort of those countries to refuse to integrate them, as is the case with the Palestinian Arabs in their refugee camps. They could have been integrated easily into Lebanon, or Syria, or Egypt decades ago...but their fellow Arabs betrayed them at Khartoum and Geneva, believing that raising them to hatred in squalid refugee camps was a better way to eventually get the "infidels" out of "Muslim lands".

              •  Actually, the people who betrayed them were (28+ / 0-)

                the people living among them who declared a state, drove them out and then refused to allow them back in.

                http://www.palestineremembered.com/...

                The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:35:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Drove them out? So why are so many still there? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattoqp, JayinPortland, smartone

                  So...um..no.
                  There are still 1.7M Arab citizens of Israel, over 20% of the population, with full voting rights, representation in the Knesset, etc. Some even serve in the IDF. They are descendents of the many Arabs who did NOT heed the demands of the advancing Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Iraqi, etc armies in 1948 to flee and decided to stay in their homes.

                  •  Nakba denial is an automatic HR in I/P diaries. (11+ / 0-)

                    Just like Holocaust denial and Nazi analogies.

                    Nakba denial is what you just did.

                    The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                    by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:32:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Please cite. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Justanothernyer

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

                      by JNEREBEL on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:43:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  See the rec on this comment (6+ / 0-)

                        The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                        by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:07:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Heh...have the same link (4+ / 0-)

                          If I only knew how to post it on this infernal IE/PC platform :(

                          In fact if you follow the reply to it's parent, Bruce Webb's comment, MB replies to him with this:

                          In fact, you ARE bound by rules... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...regardless of your UID. And you're mistaken to argue that they only go in one direction, as Flyswatterbanjo points out.

                          I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

                          by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 02:12:09 AM PDT

                          •  Is Mondoweiss still banned here? n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:41:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Don't see MB using HR... (0+ / 0-)

                            Kos says this per Indycam's 070614 comment:

                            Please explain the hide rates . (5+ / 0-)
                            www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/DailyKos_FAQ#Dealing_with_trolls)
                            To Troll Rate something has exactly one meaning. When you Troll Rate something, as a trusted user, you are stating that the comment should be made invisible to all site users. You're saying that the comment is so bad -- so disruptive or damaging to the community -- that it isn't worth even a debate, but should be deleted from the discussion as being simply inflammatory, simply off-topic, or simply a lie. Remember that, because that is the only use of the troll rating.
                            I/P (or is it P/I or should it be PIPI) kossacks seem to just make shit up when it comes to what is HR'able.

                            ------T'is a take-off from a Dixie Chicks song. I'm a fan------

                            by Notreadytobenice on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:59:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Been there (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Notreadytobenice

                            Got hit with that for quoting the Bible. Well, my title was not well stated.

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

                            by Mokurai on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:28:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, no--the comment I link to above summarizes (0+ / 0-)

                            Meteor Blades' rules for I/P, and Meteor Blades uprated it. Capelza and some commentary from further down in that linked thread.

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:17:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  News to me that MB posted "rules for I/P" ... (0+ / 0-)

                            That would be great. Please link to these MB rules.

                             Your comment sayz:

                            Nakba denial is an automatic HR in I/P diaries.
                            IMO, intimidates kossacks unfamiliar with the hard ball played in this kos-park; resulting in reluctance to post or rec.

                            ------T'is a take-off from a Dixie Chicks song. I'm a fan------

                            by Notreadytobenice on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:02:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've already linked to the example I could find. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            capelza

                            Here it is again, and here is the context of it.

                            It is a comment I made back when Meteor Blades was moderating I/P. I made the comment to explain to someone that he should not be comparing Israel to Nazis because that was a rule in I/P. Then I went on to list all the things Meteor Blades had prohibited in I/P. And then Meteor Blades recced my comment, meaning, I was correct.

                            Here is my comment, with MB's rec.

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            Please--sting the Likudniks. I'm there. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Meteor Blades

                            I was just letting you know about Meteor Blades' ground rules for I/P diaries (they usually don't end up on the rec list, so the wider dkos audience doesn't really know about those rules). MB volunteered to moderate I/P diaries for a while because they were getting out of hand.

                            He advises not to make the Nazi comparisons, not to make Warsaw Ghetto comparisons, not to call the Palestinian posters terrorists or terrorist-lovers, no anti-semitism, no Nakba-denial, mostly because it sends the conversation into the toilet.

                            Capelza followed up my link with another comment from Meteor Blades in that thread, saying the poster I was addressing WAS in fact bound by the rules.
                            In fact, you ARE bound by rules... (0+ / 0-)
                            ...regardless of your UID.
                            And you're mistaken to argue that they only go in one direction, as Flyswatterbanjo points out.

                            I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:12:09 AM EDT

                            Here is the entire discussion:
                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:29:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I didn't link to any HR by Meteor Blades, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            capelza

                            I linked to a summary of the rules, which he uprated.

                            Capelza added some additional information from further down in that thread. So no, I didn't "make shit up."

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:20:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  LOL, T'is no comment/post by MB... (0+ / 0-)

                            re what is HRable. You are intimidating normal kossacks not familiar with I/P, P/I, PIPI when they take a walk on the wild side.

                            ------T'is a take-off from a Dixie Chicks song. I'm a fan------

                            by Notreadytobenice on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:33:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. really intimidating. I HRed him and (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            capelza

                            everything. Oops, no I didn't, and neither did any other Pro-P regulars. Maybe we're giving him the benefit of the doubt.

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:43:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  FSB, I am sorry I muddied the waters (0+ / 0-)

                            I was just trying to add a comment that wasn't in your original link, but it seems to have confused the issue.

                            And this last post is right on and the way it should be.

                        •  Thank you. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

                          by JNEREBEL on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:15:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  No..Everything I said was factual. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      smartone

                      Did you read what I wrote? How is what I said "nakba" denial. Please point to the specific phrase?

                      Are you denying there are not 1.7M arab Israelis? Are you denying some don't serve in the IDF? Are you denying where they came from? Descendants of those Palestinian Arabs who stayed, rather than fled? Are you denying Israel was NOT attacked by Arab armies after declaring independence? Not sure which FACTS I stated that you have a problem with?

                      •  The specific phrase is your opener, of course, (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        capelza, chipmo
                        Drove them out? So why are so many still there? So...um..no.
                        followed by the classic Nakba denial that those who fled did so because their leaders told them to do so.

                        Meanwhile, it's been about 40 years since Israel's "New Historians" gained access to Israeli archival material and set the record straight.They confirm what the Palestinians have said is true of that period:

                        Within two weeks of the passing of the Partition Plan, more than 200 Arabs and Jews had been killed, and by the end of December almost 75,000 Palestinians had already been displaced by Zionist attacks. (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 40)
                        Plan Dalet

                        On March 10, 1948, the Zionist leadership under Ben-Gurion formally approved Plan Dalet (also known as Plan D), the blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The operational military orders of Plan Dalet specified which Palestinian population centers should be targeted and laid out in detail a plan for their forcible depopulation and destruction.

                        The Haganah began attacks under Plan Dalet at the beginning of April 1948. Expulsions now accelerated and became more systematic, marking a new phase in the conflict in which Zionist and then Israeli forces went on the offensive. According to Morris, "In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves."

                        During Israel's creation, Zionist paramilitaries and the Israeli army carried out numerous massacres and atrocities against Palestinian civilians, including rapes, which were instrumental in spurring the mass flight of Palestinians that facilitated the establishment of a Jewish majority state. According to historian Benny Morris, there were two dozen such massacres.
                        On April 9, members of the Irgun and Stern Gang attacked the village of Deir Yassin outside of Jerusalem, massacring approximately 100 men, women, and children. News of the massacre spread quickly, fueling panic and the mass flight of Palestinians.
                        In late April, all but 4,000 of the 70,000 Arab inhabitants of the city of Haifa were expelled. The operation officer of the Haganah forces that conquered Haifa, Mordechai Maklef - who would later become chief of staff of the Israeli army - ordered his troops to "Kill any Arab you encounter; torch all inflammable objects, and force doors open with explosives."
                        By early May 1948, more than 200 Palestinian towns and villages had already been depopulated as people fled in fear or were forcibly expelled by Zionist forces, and between 250,000 and 350,000 Palestinians had been uprooted and made refugees. On May 14, Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership declared an independent state of Israel.
                        From June to September, the expulsions continued. In July, Israeli forces expelled 70,000 Palestinians from the cities of Lydd and Ramla. In his memoirs, which were censored by the Israeli military but leaked to The New York Times in 1979, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin recalled a conversation he had in July 1948 with Ben-Gurion, when Rabin was an officer in the Israeli army, regarding the fate of the Palestinians of Lydd and Ramla. Rabin wrote:
                        "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. [Commander Yigal] Allon repeated his question, 'What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"
                        Rabin added, "I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out."
                        From 1947 to 1950, between 750,000 and one million Palestinians were expelled by Zionist and then Israeli forces from the newly created Jewish state. It's estimated that about half of them fled under direct assault by Zionist forces.
                        http://imeu.org/...

                        So yes, you are engaging in Nakba denial.

                        I'll remind you that for whatever reason civilians flee a war zone, they all have the right to return to their homes. Obviously. This is true for any refugee from any country.

                        The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                        by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:01:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're quoting ONE side... (0+ / 0-)

                          There are plenty of of historians, Benny Morris among them who disagree, and view Plan Dalet as more defensive in nature. Yes, there were some instances, like Deir Yassin, where Jewish militants went too far (and were reprimanded). There were plenty of massacres on the Palestinian side too, and of course, the Arab Legion treats Jerusalem like a shooting gallery.

                          What's more interesting though is that you have no real explanation or response for ANY of the points I brought up!
                          If the Palestinian Arabs were "ethnically cleansed", how do you explain the 1.7 million Arab Israeli citizens? Or that a quarter of Haifa's population is Arab? Or any of the other points I made earlier?

                          And what of the 750,000 Jews expelled or terrorized into leaving Arab lands?

                          The real Nakba is not that the Palestinians fled or were forced out ( BOTH were true)...it's that their Arab neighbors never resettle them, never integrated them.

                          But finally, let's look at your last point: civilians fleeing a war zone have a right to return to their home.

                          Right there, you've justified Zionism. The Jews were forced out of Israel by wars (Babylon, Rome, Arabs, Turks) and we have exercised OUR right of return...a right that dates over 1800 years before the founding of Islam, and the Arab culture.

                          •  Benny Morris IS one of the new historians. (0+ / 0-)

                            He doesn't dispute the facts. He disputes that it was unjustified. He believes that the ethnic cleansing was necessary and right in order for Israel to exist.

                            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                            by Flyswatterbanjo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:29:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  This is not nakba denial (0+ / 0-)

                      This is ignorance and confusion. Many Palestinians were driven out of Israel in the nakba. This is history. Many were not. This is also history.

                      I remember Harlan Ellison complaining at a Science Fiction convention that non-Jews know so little of Jewish history, that hardly any of them knew about Treblinka or any other Nazi death camp besides Auschwitz. Well, he, and you, should remember that most people do not get brought up on this stuff, and that the Goyim do not have so many opportunities to hear of Treblinka and the rest. Or the nakba.

                      Mayn shvester Khaye mit di oygn grune
                      A Daytsh hot in Treblinka ir gebrent.
                      Nun sitz ikh in di Yidishe medine
                      Di same letzte vos hot ir gekent.
                      Turned into a song by Chava Alberstein [Khava Albershtayn] and recorded on the CD Di Krenitse.

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

                      by Mokurai on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:26:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Why is it that every discussion (4+ / 0-)

                    about what to do now, today, gets turned into a bitter discussion of  what happened in 1948? Lots of bad things have happened to both parties. The point is not what happened; it's what should happen so that kids in the region can grow up and have a normal life. That's where the discussion should be. I don't want to hear any more about the history of this conflict. It achieves nothing.

                    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

                    by Anne Elk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:54:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Wow, getting uprates. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Celtic Merlin

                    From mattoqp and JayinPortland.

                    The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

                    by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:57:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  FIrst of all, they were not all forcibly expelled. (14+ / 0-)

                That's simply a lie. Israel can't have it both ways: 1) encouraging Jews in other countries to emigrate, and 2)  stating that all the Jews from Arab countries are refugees.

                Exploiting Jews from Arab Countries

                Secondly, if refugees "almost ALWAYS resettle in their new countries," then what's the claim to specialness about Israel as the historic homeland of the Jews? It's also the historic homeland of the Palestinians.  Why privilege one historic homeland over  the other if "[m]ost refugees never 'go back home?'"

              •  Refugees don't get to return (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Proteus7

                Did the German refugees expelled after 1945 get to return? No, they didn't. Usually, refugees integrate in their new nations, and after some time they lose ties to their ancestral homelands. I don't think there are many Germans today who want a "right of return" to Breslau, Danzig and Königsberg. Same logic applies to Jewish refugees from Arab states.

                The Palestinians were used as pawns, permanently given a second-class status by Arab states in order to maintain sentiment against Israel. Pretty disgusting. http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

            •  And who, other than the Good Lord, has the right (6+ / 0-)

              to elect another country, and simply choose to dump all the unwanted persons in its own on that other country, which has its own traditions and political issues, but not enough arable land, water or whatever else people need to support their own and the dumpees as well.  

              What one forgets about Jordan is that it is mostly true desert save for a few towns around the Jordan River, and that the premise that Jordan ruled Palestinians at one time was tightly tied to the notion that Jordan controlled the land and the water which Israel now clutches at, within which to shelter said Palestinianan in place,  not a situation where it had to find a new land for twice as many people plus a lot as its own people, and water. Untll Israel remembers some tribes of Israel lived east of the Jordan and claims that as well, as it already has with respect to water it has diverted at gunpoint from Jordan in the Sixties.

            •  Palestinians are refugees of the old Trandjordan, (0+ / 0-)

              Palestine Mandate and the carving up of the Middle East by the western powers after WWII, during the intervening time between the wars, and after WWII.  Etch A Sketch is not any way to set international frontiers.

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:26:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Both kinds (0+ / 0-)

              There were Palestinians in both the Jewish and Arab states set up by the UN. I will not recite the sorry history that led from there to here, except to note that after the first Arab-Israeli War Egypt and Jordan annexed the territories of what was supposed to be the Arab state instead of turning them into the country that Palestinians have been wanting ever since.

              Big mistake.

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

              by Mokurai on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:13:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The Emirate of Transjordan (15+ / 0-)

            was recognized on April 25, 1923 by the British Government.

            This:

            Jordan is pretty much the real "Palestinian" state already, having been given 70%+ of the original mandate of Transjordan in 1948
            is nonsense.

            More information is here:

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
            Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

            by InAntalya on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:03:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  see my Diary from several (0+ / 0-)

            years ago re giving Gaza back to Egypt

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  We must strive towards a two-state solution (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jersey Jon, mattoqp, FG

        even if Hamas explicitly rejected it.

        It won't be possible under their leadership and while I fear for the future I know the two-state solution is the only one that does not involve massive death and destruction.

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

        by JNEREBEL on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:37:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks David☮♥ Rec'd And Tipped. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anne Elk, ShoshannaD, JVolvo

        Just Peace Already!

        This war has been going on for way too long, decades.

        You don't have to tell me the history of the region David.

        I remember. I'm 64 and have been following what goes on in Israel for many years.

        It's a sad history for everyone concerned, (Israel, Palestine).

        It's Time For PEACE, NOW.

        Just Peace. How hard is that for people to understand?

        ☮♥Peace For Israelis And Palestinians♥☮

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:47:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Impossible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mkard, chipmo

          The real motive in the situation is not Israeli dominance over the region, although that is without a doubt a major effect. To determine the requirement for a low level military conflict lasting decades we have to “Follow the Money”. The $3bn per year funding from the USA does not arrive as crates of greenbacks to be distributed to the population. It is trade guarantees for military equipment, purchased of course from the good old American Military Industrial Complex. There is nothing more profitable than a low level conflict which you can’t loose and which will not be resolved. The situation did not start like this but it is what it is now. Merely another cash cow for which the American public has their wealth syphoned off into the pockets of the owners of weapons factories. Have you ever wondered why these wargasums in Gaza are almost as regular as clockwork? It’s because bombs and missiles have ‘use by’ dates and it is way cheaper to drop them than decommission them. Israel only has so much storage space. The violence also serves to keep the Israeli population in fear which is a standard control technique for western democracies which serve elites.
          I am not criticising your hope and desire for peace. I whole heartedly share that.

          "If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth." African Proverb (-6.00,-7.03)

          by Foreign Devil on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:47:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky Kid

        I don't agree.  It isn't.

        Just stay the fuck out.

        Here is my agenda: keep my fucking kid from being sent to an idiotic war in the Middle East.

        We have to have proven at this point we don't understand the region.  The people there hate each other - they need to figure this shit out.

        Politicians - "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too"

        by fladem on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:17:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not giving up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, Catesby

      on hope for a two-state solution.  I think it is the only way out of the current situation, and the only way for both sides to achieve their main objectives (Palestinians=having their own country; Israel=having a secure Jewish homeland).

      I don't think Netanyahu's recent comments are helpful at all (most of his comments aren't).  But, maybe, there's an acceptable middle ground:  having the UN, the US, the EU, or some other group maintain the borders between Israel and the Palestinian state.  That way, Israel would not maintain military control over the Palestinian state, but Israel would have some assurance of safety.

      Would that result in full autonomy for the Palestinians?  No, but at least Palestinians wouldn't be controlled by Israel.  Would that be a full guarantee of safety for Israel?  No, but it would at least provide some assurance of safety through the presence of a (hopefully) neutral actor.

      We need to look for creative solutions to resolve the I/P conflict.  We can't afford to give up hope.

      •  I see absolutely no reason whatsoever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay

        to involve the US, the UN, the EU, or any other group in a quixotic attempt to keep the peace between these two Nations.  If they can't get it together and work it out between themselves, it is highly unlikely that an outside intervention will be successful either.

        There is a fairly simple path to a resolution here - Israel needs to give up all the settlements it's made in the Occupied Territories, and accept that Palestine as an independent nation is going to happen.  The rest of it is pretty much details that can be negotiated.

    •  Jordan kicked the Palestinians out (7+ / 0-)

      After the Arabs lost the 1967 war, the Palestinians were supposed to be relocated in Jordan and Egypt.  Israel gave up the Sinai Peninsula.  Compare the size of that to the size of Gaza.  Compare the size of Jordan to the size of the West Bank.  There's plenty of land to go around.

      But both Egypt and Jordan refused to let Palestinians in, even as they were kicking all Jews out.  The Arab world absolutely does not want the Palestinians to have a home so long as a single Jew remains in the Mid East.  Entire generations of Palestinian Arabs have been denied homes in Arab countries, and that will continue.

      Egypt would never take Gaza, and the proof is that they refused to take the Palestinians when they got the Sinai.

      Population Gaza:  1.8 Million
      Population Egypt:  80 Million

      •  Links, please? (4+ / 0-)

        The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:09:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ermmm...... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Martha

        The population of Jordan is estimated to be close to 8illion.

        I'm not sure if that counts the refugees, Palestinian refugees, of which the registered ones are something like two million..with more absorbed into the Jordanian population, though not without problems.  

        This doesn't even count the refugees from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.  In Antalya may be able to answer that better than I.

        Egypt has a huge population..of Egyptians (not a monolithic thing in itself).   Palestinians are not Egyptians.   This is the same thinking that saw all Indians as the same in North America...disregarding the differences in culture and language and history.

           

        •  Well then Guatemalan children aren't Americans (0+ / 0-)

          Guatemalans are not Americans.  There are differences in our culture and language and history.  So all those children on the border should all be returned back home yes?

          Don't they deserve a home of their own?  With their own people, their own culture, a State of their own?  Instead of being refugees in our country with a huge population of 300 million?

          Can't have it both ways, especially as Palestinians and Egyptians speak the same language.  Palestinians know Egyptian Arabic just fine due to Egyptian media influence.
          They have the same religion, very similar cultures.

          If the US can take in much more different Guatemalan refugees, then Egypt can take in very similar Palestinian refugees.  Shouldn't Egypt become more diverse?  Isn't immigration a good thing?

          •  I'm all for letting those kids in... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Unduna

            I'm not, however, having it both ways.

            The Palestinians, unlike the desperate children trying to escape their situations, actually want to stay, they want their homes back.

            They, unlike the children, aren't clamouring at Egypt or Jordan's borders.   In fact it is the opposite.

            I'm not sure why it is so difficult for some folks to realize that when they are suggesting that the Palestinians leave and go somewhere else, be outsiders in other people's lands because..what?

            They are inconvenient to Israel...but they, as a people, don't want to leave. They do deserve a home of their own.  They had one.   They'd like it back.

      •  Jordan's population is estimated to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature, FG

        over half Palestinian.

        Palestinians in Jordan refers to those of Palestinian ancestry living in Jordan. They or their ancestors came as Palestinian refugees.

        In Jordan, there is no official census data for how many inhabitants are Palestinians but they are estimated to constitute more than half of the population, which in 2008 amounted to about 3 million. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics put their number at 3.24 million in 2009. There are more than two million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan as of January 2012.

        Palestinians are overwhelmingly concentrated in northern and central Jordan, specifically in the Amman Governorate, Zarqa Governorate and Irbid Governorate. They face discrimination in the government and other sections of society.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        •  I do not know how anyone can say which people (0+ / 0-)

          living in the Middle East are Jordanians Vs, Palestinians vs. Cannaanites vs. Samaritans, etc., etc.  drawing artificial lines based on European economic and military considerations does not change the people living there.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:39:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Time to end the discrimination (0+ / 0-)

          If Jordan is already half Palestinian, then they should have no problem letting in more.  Jordan was supposed to be the Palestinian homeland, before King Hussein tried to kick them all out.
          Why is Jordan discriminating against fellow Arabs?  Except for the leverage against Israel it brings that is.

      •  Dear Norm (22+ / 0-)

        Do remember please that human beings require water to grow crops and stay alive. I suggest you take a very very strong physical resource look at both Sinai and Jordan before suggesting that either should take in additional refugees on a permanent basis.
        The vast majority of Jordan adjoins part of the Empty Sector in that part fo the world, a place so harsh not even Bedouins can live there in small numbers and not in millions. Sinai is not much better.  Not enough water for millions of refugees, or thousands either, hundreds depending on the location.

         As to Egypt, there is good reason that virtually all Egyptains live within ten miles of some branch of the Nile and nobody lives in the rest. Five letter word beginning with w.

        And who, please, decided that "the Palestinians were supposed to be relocated in Jordan and Egypt."  Not Jordan or Egypt or the Palestinians. Size has little to do with anything useful unless it has the resources needed for the use intended, and these area do not. No water, no settlements.

        •  I was wondering! (5+ / 0-)

          I'm always surprised to hear people talk about the Sinai as though it were a normal chunk of land.

          Apparently these people are not aware of the long history of dust storms and the rarity of wells that would support agriculture or even small outposts.

          As you point out, there's not much there.  It's functioned as something close to a buffer zone for decades and more.

          Every time a poor person dies a Republican gets his horns.

          by Black Mare on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:49:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's 10 miles away (0+ / 0-)

          First, Gaza is basically already a desert.

          Second, go look at a map.  The Sinai Mediterranean coastline is immediately adjacent to the Gaza strip.  It's 10 miles away.  Basically the exact same geography, exact same climate.  If it's not raining 10 miles west, it's not raining in Gaza either.

          They don't have to live in the entirely of the Sinai.  But they can live in a "Sinai Strip" along the Mediterranean just as well as they can live in Gaza.  They'd be free in Egypt to develop the land using modern technology.

          And if you reject that, then you'd better start calling for massive forced sterilization in that region.  If neither Egypt or Jordan can take a single Palestinian, then they have no room for natural population growth either.

          •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Norm in Chicago

            Gaza's population is tiny compared to Egypt's. There's no reason why the population of Gaza couldn't settle in a part of Sinai for instance.

            Also, the current overpopulation in Gaza is in large part Egypt's fault. When Gaza was occupied by Egypt starting in 1949, Egypt could have had tried to integrate the refugees. Instead, it chose to keep them in the Gaza Strip, without allowing them to seek opportunities elsewhere in Egypt: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            This is what we need to understand here: had the Arab states simply done their best to integrate the refugees, the problem would be gone within a couple of decades. There is no German refugee problem today (from 1945) or a Jewish refugee problem. There is a Palestinian one.

      •  If I may ask... (10+ / 0-)

        What is/are your source(s) for this

        After the Arabs lost the 1967 war, the Palestinians were supposed to be relocated in Jordan and Egypt.
        and which states "supposed" this should happen?

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:00:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We ask Saudi Arabia to give (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        Egypt ONE BILLION DOLLARS (said like Dr. Evil) if they take Gaza.

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        People claim that Israel has built a wall around Gaza to keep the Palestinians in
        but they seem to forget that one side of this wall has been built by Egypt.

        "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

        by smartone on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:54:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How much pressure are you willing to use? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mwm341, Heart of the Rockies

      What if use of military force is the only thing that could force Israel to do anything?

    •  International pressure will do nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      steep rain

      Israel does not respond to international pressure.  In fact, the more international pressure that Israel receives, the more stubborn it becomes, because Israelis remember that Jews have been mistreated by almost every country in the world for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  

      Jews have been killed, hunted, forced into ghettos, victimized by pogroms, and made into second-class citizens, by many different countries.  They have been the object of poisonous accusations and violence by Christianity and Islam for thousands of years.  The holocaust was only 70 years ago, a blink of an eye in the span of history.  Israeli Jews do not forget this.  The hatred of Jews hasn't gone away -- anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Europe.  Go on any Yahoo message board about Israeli-Palestinian issues, and you will find atrocious anti-Semitic comments (along with horrible anti-Muslim comments).  Go to any prison in the US and you'll see lots of swastika tattoos.

      Israeli Jews want a secure Jewish homeland -- one that can and will defend itself, not be dependent on the protection or "good will" of the international community.  The only way to end the I/P violence is to find a solution that allows Israel to live peacefully and forcefully defend itself when it is attacked.  I remain hopeful that there is such a solution which will include a Palestinian state that respects the human dignity of Palestinians.

    •  that's not a solution (0+ / 0-)

      they want democracy and self-determination, they look to Israel, they want that, not repressive Arab states.

      Is the one state also dead, is it really impossible to have a Jewish state with a  majority Arab population?  if there is no right of return for Arabs in the constitution and always a refuge for persecuted Jews in the constitution, isn't that enough?

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by anna shane on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:26:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Egypt refused Gaza; Jordan refused the West Bank (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza

      when making their own peace deals with Israel. They regard Palestinians as a threat comparable to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Palestinians actually tried to overthrow the monarchy in Jordan.

      So it is not only Israel that is punishing the Palestinians. It is every other country around that has made itself their enemy, and made the Palestinians enemies of every other country except when it is politically convenient to give them wholly inadequate support. Particularly the countries with Palestinian refugee camps plus civil wars, namely Lebanon and Syria.

      The state of the Muslim world is very similar to the state of Europe between the Reformation and the passage and acceptance of various tolerance laws all around Europe and its colonial empires much later. The Thirty Years War, the Eighty Years War, the English Civil War, and numerous other wars of religion (along with other issues, of course) afflicted the entire continent and realms beyond, all the way to Japan and China. The last chapter among Western European Christians was the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which to some are not quite over yet. Some of it is still going on in Uganda and Russia over gays.

      Many Christians and Muslims are still fighting the Crusades.

      And now here come invading Jews, starting with a trickle in the 19th century, claiming eventually that they are so oppressed that they have the right to oppress and dispossess others.

      Unfortunately, we seem to see God in Tanakh and Joshua and the Prophets speaking out of both sides of his mouth, commanding both the highest moral ideals in behavior to strangers and enemies, and also genocidal conquest, as the legacy of Abraham and Moses. One cannot be both kinds of Jew. It is necessary to pick one side of our checkered history and stick with it. I am sorry that so many have, to my mind, chosen wrong. I am sorry that that makes me an anti-Semite to them, for choosing a higher Judaism than they.

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

      by Mokurai on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:05:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  1) Why Single Out Israel? (23+ / 0-)

    Maybe because Israel wants/wanted the attention?

    Way back when I was a child I can remember Israeli leaders/ministers/government officials appearing on US TV shows - 'Meet the Press', '60 Minutes', and 'The Nightly News' come to mind - regularly, much, much more often than any other countries' leaders/ministers/government officials.

    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:20:09 AM PDT

  •  It is abhorrent and a terrorist tactic (20+ / 0-)

    to purposely fire rockets from civilian areas into civilian areas with the intent to kill civilians.

    As a progressive I cannot stand with those that do such terrible things.

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

    by JNEREBEL on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:26:10 AM PDT

  •  Let Them Kill Each Other – Regional Hate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    Is None of My Concern.

    One Word: Nukes.

  •  Why single out Israel? (29+ / 0-)

    Because from 2001-2008 American policy towards the entire Islamic world was intentionally modeled on the treatment of Palestine by Israel.

    When I look at modern Israel I see everything Dick Cheney wants to turn America into, a torture state where some lives have value and some don't, where returning stolen land to its owners is considered a "trade," where self defense means killing them over there so they don't grow up to fight us over here.  Where peaceful coexistence was ruled out years ago and absurd rationales are constructed to avoid negotiating with the other side - where negotiation itself is considered a "reward."

    •  That's the entire history of US (4+ / 0-)

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the history of every state actor ever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat, roadbear

        Nations are amoral. A nation will only naturally take actions that are directly beneficial to themselves (or detrimental to their competitors).

        Why should the United States (or Israel for that matter) be any different than every other country?

        Because from 2001-2008 American policy towards the entire Islamic world...
        Something happened in the United States in 2001, some significant thing that dramatically altered the US's view of the middle east.
        •  Nothing different happened in 2001 except (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim Domenico, Black Mare

          an evil man not elected was inaugurated & Sept 11 which gave evil non-elected POTUS permission to murder/exterminate  whomever non-white persons.

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:50:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because we were founded, in part, on the claim (0+ / 0-)

          That the European colonial system was immoral, and we would remain apart from it.  We did not follow through, but we should try.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:48:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeterHug, StrayCat

            That's all we did. We colonized the whole country. Savagely.

            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

            by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:52:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  StrayCat has the dates mixed up (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StrayCat

              We tried to be less colonial than the European powers after we were done stealing the far West from Mexico, and most of the interior from its native populations. And the Spanish-American War, where we got Puerto Rico and the Philippines. But we didn't take territorial concessions in China in the manner of other countries, and we started to talk about self-determination during WW I.

              We did start off officially anti-Colonial after our Revolution, until Manifest Destiny took over.

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

              by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:20:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Most Americans are unaware that (4+ / 0-)

      We got many of our tactics of beatings, torture, imprisonment without charges etc. from the Israelis. Not indirectly - with advisors.

      Thanks for the reminder.

      Every time a poor person dies a Republican gets his horns.

      by Black Mare on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:17:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The reason I stay out (6+ / 0-)

    both sides are behaving abominably in a world that seems to be becoming more abominable by the moment.

    These times appear to be noticeably out of control of anyone who has a smidgen of wisdom.

    We need a bottom up approach to get the world back on track.

    Is it better to lose than be lost?

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:36:15 AM PDT

  •  we stay out of this at risk to us all... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, protectspice, Black Mare

    it is clear, from drones in Afghanistan to a world class military bearing down on an "open air prison camp" that we are all at risk.

    and for people to draw distinctions about the airliner downed as though it is any different than the reality that civilians aren't safe.

    period. not from Obama's drones or Israel's "smart" missile defenses (offense?).

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:41:24 AM PDT

  •  the 'might makes right' occupation policy (19+ / 0-)

    of Israel may work in the short run but is doomed to abject failure as you simply cannot wipe out a people's dignity and country and not expect enduring resistance.

    When I saw pictures of Israelis sitting on chairs watching and cheering the Israeli bombing of Gaza, I wanted to vomit.  Who are these rabid people?  What darkness has possessed them?

    I do not dismiss Hamas' actions but I also cannot dismiss the fact that with the continuing settlements and earlier land takeover, that Israel appears to be only interested in Palestinian extinction.  Just what are the Palestinians supposed to do?  Or just where are they supposed to go?

    And now in a renewed ground war against the Palestinians, Israel is bombing their water supplies so that the population will not have water.  The only description is 'war crime'.  

    I DO NOT WANT MY TAXES TO SUPPORT ISRAEL'S GENOCIDE.

    I will invoke the sentiment of the Hobby Lobby decision and say that my religion forbids me to support genocide in war and so I cannot be forced to subsize Israel's rampage of murder.

    Hear John Oliver's take:

    What Hobby Lobby’s owners are arguing, according to Oliver, is that “the sincerity of their beliefs should allow then a line-item veto over federal law.” But, he added, “government is not an à la carte system where you can pick and choose based on your beliefs. Taxation is more of an all-you-can-eat salad bar. You don’t get to show up and say, ‘Look, I know it costs $10.99, but I’m only paying $7.50 because I have a moral objection to beets.”

    As Oliver explained, when it comes to taxation, “everyone has their own version of beets,” that one thing you just don’t agree with but are forced to pay for anyway, be it abortion, war or even a shrimp running a treadmill.

    “If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations,” Oliver said, “then guess what? Paying for things you don’t like is what it feels like to be one.”

    Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

    by SeaTurtle on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:52:54 AM PDT

    •  Genocide? Stop misusing the word.. (10+ / 0-)

      Genocide is when 6 Million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, along with Gypsies and gays. Genocide is the "killing fields" of Cambodia, where more than 2 Million were killed. Genocide was the 1M+ killed in Rwanda, and Armenia, or the 90%+ depopulation of the Americas in the 16th century.

      When 300 Palestinian Arabs are killed, after basically declaring war on a nation by firing missiles at their cities, and kidnapping their citizens, that is not "genocide"
      The Palestinian refugee population, under so-called Israeli "genocide" has increased from 650,000 to over 5.5 million. This is what you call "genocide"?

      Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a people. Israel has done nothing of the sort, rather, the population of Gaza has gone up 500% (from 340,000 to 1.7M) since 1970. Its doubled since 1990. You call this "genocide"? Enough with the bullshit, please! Israel has gone out of their way, in this, and previous conflicts to minimize civilian casualties. Are they perfect? No! But by historical standards, the IDF has been better than  almost any other conflict in history.

      •  USA has done a lot of genocide & attempted genocid (15+ / 0-)

        with indigenous inhabitants, and I see a lot of parallels.

        USA & Israel both thieved in the past and continue to try to steal resources.

        The destruction of water infrastructure in Gaza and blocking repairs, that's a genocidal action, also the blockade. Fanatical settlers that poison wells in West Bank and not treating their sewage that empties onto Palestinian lands, that's also poisoning.

        USA should no longer help enable, USA should defund. I don't want USA taxmoney used.

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

        by stargaze on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:37:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Jim Domenico, Smoh, maregug

        It is the attempt to exterminate a people in whole or in part.  Israel is not there, although some members of the government are advocating a whole scale attack on Palestinian civilians.  So far, their view has not prevailed

      •  Extend your own argument then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh

        You can't kill them all.  Demographics are against you and that trend will continue and it will also impact long term support in the US.  

        This way isn't going to work in the long run.

      •  Naftali Bennett thinks it's genocide. (10+ / 0-)

        The ultra right-wing Israeli Economy minister had this to say to Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

        BLITZER: As we speak, we're just getting these reports, awful reports, four Palestinian kids, playing on a beach, all of a sudden killed. An Israeli gun boat shell landed there. You've heard of these reports, right? Do you -- do you --

        BENNETT: I just heard about it this moment. I think it's terrible that Hamas is butchering its own children. I would never take my children and place them next to missile launchers. Here's what they're doing. Hamas is conducting massive self-genocide. They're taking women and children, placing them next to missile launchers, and shooting the missiles at Israel.

        BLITZER: But these kids apparently were playing on a beach.

        http://transcripts.cnn.com/...

        Self-genocide, but genocide nonetheless.

        The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:29:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This sounds like genocide to me. (7+ / 0-)
        On the eve of Abu Khudair’s lynching, Member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and government faction whip Ayelet Shaked issued a call over Facebook to ethnically cleanse the land, declaring “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy.” She advocated their complete destruction, “including its elderly and its women,” adding that these must be slaughtered, otherwise they might give birth to more “little snakes.”

        It would be hard to find a more explicit call for genocide.

        http://electronicintifada.net/...

        Does anyone know that Abu Khudair was forced to drink gasoline and was torched from the inside?  

        IMO, Israel isn't on defense with their troops in Gaza, they are on offense. Those people have nowhere to run or hide.

        "Americans don't understand that terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. Terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism."

        by snoopydawg on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:21:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should read the whole article (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle, maregug

          From my link.
          Israel isn't interested in peace.

          "Americans don't understand that terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. Terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism."

          by snoopydawg on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:32:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are wrong (9+ / 0-)

        In fact the word genocide was used (in reference to Jewish expulsion from England) in the late 13th century.

        Today it has a specific meaning defined in the Genocide Convention (more properly the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) There are two aspects to the definition (sometimes forgotten). The ones most commonly quoted are the examples of acts which are considered genocidal. These are set out in Article 2:

           (a) Killing members of the group;
            (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
            (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
            (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
            (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
        So killing is not the only act to be considered acts of genocide. Indeed the persistent degradation of water and sewerage plants and the consequent poisoning of the acquifer under Gaza may well trigger the conditions described in c)

        The second aspect is one of intent and is in the preable to the above

        In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
        Here in the past the Israelis have been careful not to give evidence of intent however Ayelet Shaked let the veil slip when she wrote on her Facebook page
        Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there
        There are also well reporting incidents of Israelis sitting in folding chairs overlooking Gaza and cheering on as Palestinian civilians are killed.  The phrase "cutting the grass" could also be taken as referring to acts of Genocide.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:26:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope...look at the numbers, and the intent (0+ / 0-)

          Disregarding a few nutty radicals like Ayelet...There have been what, maybe 300 deaths so far in his conflict? Less than an airliners worth. And of those, the majority (not all) were terrorist scum launching missiles indiscriminately into cities.
          Read my post above. Genocide involves systematic, DELIBERATE, slaughter of millions. It's what Hamas WOULD do if they could. It's why Israel is so afraid of Iran ever getting the bomb. Because unlike every other sane, nuclear armed nation, Iran/Hamas/Hezbollah would actually use it to commit REAL GENOCIDE.

          That is the real difference. A country commiting genocide doesn't hold back. It doesn't make phone calls and use warning shots. It doesn't deliberately go out of its way to minimize civilian harm. If this was actual genocide? Gaza would be a glowing crater, with over a million dead. Instead, despite over a thousand precision targets strikes, there are less than 300 casualties..and many of them had it coming.

          Want to see real genocide going on, in this modern world? Bashar Assad is doing his best..up to 200,000 dead and counting, gassed and murdered.

          •  READ THE LAW (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJayTee, PeterHug, Mkard, SeaTurtle

            I quoted from the International Law itself. As is clear, numbers have no relevance nor does a whole people or indeed anybody have to die for the crime to be committed.

            International Law is set down in treaties and conventions. The fact they do not fit into your idea is besides the point. Still keep up your beliefs, no doubt derived from the good old IDF propaganda.

            For a considerable time I have commented that while the acts listed have and are being committed by the IDF, the matter of intent was vital and there was no evidence of it. Things have changed however and statements from ordinary members of the Knesset and government officials themselves are starting to let slip such evidence. I think the meme of "A land without people for a people without a land" may well now be able to be interpreted as showing that intent, combined with the actions of successive governments. Indeed evidence from the Nakba and before seems to demonstrate that this was a long term ambition.

            "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:00:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah..so.. (0+ / 0-)

              Terrorizing a population, firing over a thousand missiles indiscriminately into population centers, and sending armed infiltrators across the border doesn't count as genocide? Certainly seems to fit a) and b). And, let's not forget intent. The SWORN PURPOSE OF HAMAS, per their own charter is the annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people. Have you looked at what they say, very PUBLICALLY on their own fricking TV station? Al-Aqsa tv? They teach children, from a young age, how wonderful it is to "shoot the Jews". I think we can call that intent to genocide.

              And don't try to compare with Ayelet. She's one, radical Israeli. We are talking official Hamas, AND PA government TV and radio stations here. Oh...not familiar with these? Yeah..they only say this stuff in Arabic. Fortunatly, that's pretty easy to translate these days, or there are sites like palwatch to do it for you.

        •  Rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeterHug

          because you actually cited the UN convention on genocide.  Before people throw that term around, they at least ought to know what it actually encompasses.

          I first came across the citation to the UN convention in Harvest of Sorrow.

      •  Right. There is no need for such inflammatory (0+ / 0-)

        talk.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:05:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, this is correctly called (0+ / 0-)

        collective punishment.

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

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:25:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you SO much for writing this, David. (21+ / 0-)

    I obviously agree this is a progressive issue and hope people will become more engaged.

    The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:53:15 AM PDT

  •  David, a little OT question for you (4+ / 0-)

    Can you please recommend some books that tell an objective history of Israel/Palestine (including before Israel became a recognized country). I think I know what I'm talking about, but realize I'm often talking more emotion than fact.        

    Thank you - and thank you for you posts/diaries.

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. ~ Mencken

    by royce on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:15:04 PM PDT

    •  "Objective" when it comes to I/P history is (7+ / 0-)

      a difficult word to satisfy.

      Here are two suggestions, one from each side:

      Rashid Khalidi's The Iron Cage
      Gershom Gorenberg's The Accidental Empire

      The second focuses on '67 and beyond, but takes a look at pre-state as well.

      There are many to choose from, and these are just two.

      "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 Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:59:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  David, love your writing (15+ / 0-)

    Why is the talking point always Israel has the right to defend herself but the Palestinians have no right to self defense?

  •  The billions in aid to Israel... (5+ / 0-)

    ...are conditional weapons subsidies.  We give their (nominal) enemies in Egypt the same thing.  It's mainly a pass-through to subsidize our military vendors with a useful kick-back of marginally keeping the peace.

    The real service we do to Israel is on the UN Security Council.  After all, we'll sell weapons to all but the most insane (North Korea, we're looking at you.)

  •  Moving to "2" would be an improvement. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Black Mare, happymisanthropy

    I think the US is being made into a chump by continually attempting peace processes that are used by the Israelis as a means to look like they are working toward progress while the same old shit keeps going on.  

    It may actually be better to say we aren't going to be part of it anymore.

    Sooooooooo.................you don't have any questions for me after all?

    by Inland on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:38:45 PM PDT

  •  Israel is a progressive issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, Noisy Democrat, JayinPortland

    as Israel is the only progressive country in the Middle East. I am all for stopping the $3 billion a year subsidy to them though so that all the anti-Israel posters here no longer can use the nonsense about Israel using their tax dollars.

    Of course, after that subsidy is gone, Israel will no longer be mentioned more than the countries where human rights are practically non-existent (majority of the world). I won't hold my breath though.

    •  I look forward to your diaries on those (7+ / 0-)

      other countries' human rights violations.

      As for whether or not Israel is a progressive country, I think Palestinians, whether living in Gaza, the West Bank or Israel itself, would disagree with you.

    •  Aid to Israel are disguised subsidies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goodpractice

      The subsidies needs to stop to our arms industry. One article read long ago, portrayed a brave Israeli General who stated that it was costing Israel money to accept that aid since they had to use most of it for US weapons, which  Israel had to fix when they came in. Israel can't afford to lose one war as they will lose the country, so they cannot take whatever the US arms industry "sells" them without fixing them. Everything has to be maintained to a state of readiness at least a order of magnitude higher than anything we are used to.

       Israel has a thriving arms industry. They make their own tanks and weapons for ground troops (recently). They developed the Iron Dome.  They supply their own ammunition. If necessary, they could easily do without us. That scares people more in the US than progressives are probably aware of.

      Without the arms sales to Israel, our arms manufacturers couldn't chide 'friendly' oil rich Arab nations to buy our fighter aircraft and other big ticket arms. Israel is a "loss leader" for the arms industry, so they can sell at full price to Arab rulers with huge sovereign funds.  If Israel  is at peace with the rest of the middle east, that would put a huge crimp in US Arm sales.

      That is the single biggest reason there will never be a solution in the way any progressive imagines it.

      “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

      by Dburn on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:27:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Israeli Zionists have absolutely no intention (10+ / 0-)

    of accepting a two state solution. Ever. They are operating in bad faith. Stop trying to convince them. It's not just the continued construction of settlements. It's the belief that their "God" gave them the land all the way to the Jordan.

    It's been many years now since Israeli leaders whined that they'd offered 95% of the west bank to the Palestinians and the Palestinians rejected the offer. Americans were taught to believe that this was an an indication that Palestine didn't want peace. But the fact was that the 5 remaining % the Israelis wanted for themselves was where the water was. That's why Arafat refused the offer.

    It's past time we faced the truth. It was a mistake to give Israel to the Jews. The American natives don't have their own country. The Basques don't have their own country. The Kurds don't have their own country. And none of their claims go back to 70CE or 2000BCE. Perhaps since many Jews were already there in 47 it would have been better to give them autonomy or a "homeland" without actual statehood. "God" didn't give them that land. The United Nations did. And it was a mistake born of the horror of what the Nazis had done to them, and the Catholic church too for centuries before that. Not one of common sense. It was an emotional decision.

    I don't favor Islam. That's not what this is about. All of Abraham's children need to grow up. Christians, Jews and Muslims are stuck in an Iron Age view of spirituality. A man in the sky, gimme a break. A chosen people, gimme a break. But Zionists stand politically apart. They are a thorn in the clothing of human civilization. They only claim to represent Judaism. Netanyahu recently bragged that he could turn America which ever way he wanted. America should be embarrassed about this. That's the classic case of the tail wagging the dog. If your neighbors treated you the way Israel treats it's neighbors you might take pot shots at them (with basically bottle rockets or even suicide vests) too. Israel shouldn't act so shocked.

    And incidentally, can anyone tell me how Israel got nuclear weapons?

  •  The world should recognize Palestine as a state (8+ / 0-)

    within the 1967 borders, and allow some transition time for the two side to mutually trade area to minimize out of country settlers.

    The UN should then proceed to order Israel out of Palestinian land to be replaced with UN peace keeping troops. If Israel refuses, international sanctions need to be levied.

    Obviouly, this effort will need to be initiated by the EU, as the U.S. will not do so.

    As a momentum builder the 148 state that were willing to accept Palestine into the UN. should recognize the bilaterally, then another bid for UN acceptance.

    The U.S. veto only has any plausible moral grounds on the premise that Israel and Palestine would agree to the two-state solution, which it seems clear now was never Netanyahu's intention.

    Now that it is clear that Netanyahu is not going to approve of the two state solution, it would be immoral, and certainly no consistent with democratic, or progressive values to continue to support the denial of Palestinian self-determination.

    If it looks like there will be any significant delay in implementing should a plan, or EU lacks will to implement it over U.S. objections, then there needs to be a call for the immediate right of all people in Gaza and the West Bank to have Israeli citizenship and the right to vote.

    If either of these scenarios seemed imminent, I-P would negotiate the modifed 67 borders and swaps within months. Now there is no incentive for Israel to do so.

    But, Netanyahu should not have the right to veto a Palestinian state any more than the Palestinians should have the right to veto Israel's right to exist. It is this assumption that has been the strategic blunder.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:15:45 PM PDT

    •  Good idea, but the USA would (0+ / 0-)

      just not accept it. Just would never happen.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:10:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you say, "veto"? eom (0+ / 0-)

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

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:35:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then the 148 state that voted for acceptance (0+ / 0-)

          should all recognize Palestine unilaterally, and pressure the  U..S. not to veto, and make international noise that such an abuse of the S.C. veto raises questions about its legitimacy.

          I find it hard to accept the idea that our crassness knows no bounds.

          Also, the Palestinians should put up a statue of George Washington and Mahatma Gandhi and declare the next July 4 th their non-violent, independence day, i.e. better use of media P.R. something they need great improvement on.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

          by HoundDog on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:44:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Israel is not the problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, JayinPortland, writeofwinter

    "yes, horrible things are happening to the Palestinians"

    You don't see anything horrible  happening to the Israelis?

    The problem the Israelis have is the same one the Palestinians have and it is called hamas.

    Rational Palestinians would have found a way to a two state solution years ago but for the twisted ideology of radical islam as practiced by hamas in their stated mission to drive Israelis into the sea.   You conveniently leave out any mention of hamas and their well known exploitation of Palestinian lives as they flaunt international law and ignore cease fires in their impossible drive to eliminate Israel.

    If you want Israel to  "thrive and survive" then you should put your energies into finding a way to get rid of hamas instead of blaming Israel for defending itself.    You think Israel  should roll over and tolerate random missile and drone attacks on a daily basis?    No nation on the planet is going to do that.

    •  Hamas is a creation of Israel. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maregug, Mkard

      In the same way that poverty in East LA creates gangs. You can't crowd millions of poor people into a hopeless patch of ground, deprive them of freedom and dignity and expect somehow that radicals will not arise. That's just puerile thinking.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:14:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Israel helped spawn Hamas in the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, Mkard

        same way the U.S. had a hand in funding and strengthening al-Qaeda.

        While I'd much prefer to link to books for this, here is the best online discussion of this I found: "How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas"

        A grave mistaken attempt to weaken the PLO with a competing political entity.

        "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 Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:10:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Much more so than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        Israel created Hamas explicitly to counter Arafat, with the terminally stupid idea that it would just remain guys shouting in mosques.

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

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:36:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hamas firing rockets from Gaza into Israel (0+ / 0-)

      has always puzzled me, because I can't see a tactical objective which would be achieved or advanced by their doing so.  Is is just a tantrum, or an act taken out of frustration at having no better alternatives?  If I were Hamas, I'd cut it out, if for no other reason then to avoid pissing away any possibility that the Palestinian people can claim the moral high ground.

      However, I'd also like to reply to peregrinus' note by asking: if Hamas is the problem, then how are they forcing Israel to build illegal squatter settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories?

      “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring." -- John Oliver

      by jim304 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:16:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree, with one dissension (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Mare

    I agree with the overarching point here.

    However, I have a major problem with providing military aid to other countries. I think the only exception to that that comes to mind is the lend/lease program in WWII. (There could be others, but the bar should be set high.) The Iron Dome system that Israel certainly helps keep it more secure, but the Israeli government should tax its citizens or print money to pay for it. They should not be dependent on the US dole for it.

  •  Tipped and rec’d, but in (2) you really (3+ / 0-)

    need to change simplistic tact to simplistic tack.

    tact: adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues

    tack: a course of action, a method of dealing with a situation

  •  David, this is so on target. (2+ / 0-)

    It's exactly why this is a progressive issue - and part of the reason it's not presented as one is that so many in the progressive movement are strong Israel right or wrong supporters.

    We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

    by ramara on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:54:44 PM PDT

  •  David, what about the AAHMSE Hamas? (0+ / 0-)
  •  This doesnt make any sense: (0+ / 0-)

    First you list all the ways the United States gives Israel money as if you were reading a bill of particulars. Then you say:

    Now, to be clear: I don't want funding cut to Israel.
    Well if you dont have a problem with it why bring it up? Unless you are saying what this money ought to be buying is influence over Israel's foreign and domestic policy, which is exactly the kind of internal meddling I thought progressives avoid.

    Your reply to 'let them kill each other' or 'let israel kill Palestinians' or my version 'lets mind our own business' goes as follows:

    Yes, religious hatred amongst minority groups on both sides exist. Yes, racism and anti-Semitism amongst minority groups on both sides exist. And yes, the continued conflict has worked over decades to imbue each society with mistrust for the other that is difficult to overcome.

    However, this is a situation – just like every other geopolitical crisis – which has geopolitical solutions. Here is the kicker, though: no solutions will be advanced, nor will peace be attained, unless outside pressure is brought to bear upon both parties, for neither seem capable of extricating themselves from counterproductive policies on their own.

    All the more reason for us to be involved and invested, as progressive Americans, in what is happening.

    Basically your argument is that there is a solution to this crisis and we, America, are duty bound to find it.

    Why? And since you seem to know what the solution is, despite decades of effort by foreign policy minds across the spectrum that have failed, why dont you tell us what it is? I doubt you could come up with anything that hasnt already been proposed and rejected by either side.

    The truth is Israel is going to do what its people want it to. It is a democracy.

    Some folks compare this situation to Apartheid.  Ok then. Where is the Jewish American movement to divest from Israel? Even you are against that. Where is the Palestinians Mandela and the Israelis de Klerk? They dont exist.

    And the fact of the matter is that Apartheid fell because the parties agreed it should end. And the white minority gave up its authority. Will israel unify palestine into a jewish minorty state? Please. No Jewish personnin the whole world is for that. So youre back to the two state solution, an unworkable mess that cant ever work even when its been halfway tried.

    You havent even come close to making a compelling argument for American interference here. You offer empty rhetoric. If you clearly wanted curb Israel, you be for divestmentor cutting of American aid at the minimum.

    So this is the clear case for non-interference:

    American intervention in Middle East does harm, not good, to American interests in the Middle East and to all parties involved.

    Thats obvious to me. And it makes sense to stay out of other nations regional or internal problems that have no direct bearing on us.

    •  OK, BBB. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB

      Then do you support cutting aid to Israel (and Egypt and the Palestinian Authority)? Because if you don't then you're not for non-intervention.

      The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

      by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:55:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I meant is cut "entirely" (0+ / 0-)

      I will now add that for clarity.

      "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 Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:29:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Aslo added the following question as well: (0+ / 0-)
      Should we be asking whether the White House should freeze some funds until America's policy demands and international laws are met?
      Now to briefly address some of your points. You wrote:
      Since you seem to know what the solution is, despite decades of effort by foreign policy minds across the spectrum that have failed, why don't you tell us what it is?
      That's not my job. I have plenty of ideas, many of which are ideas currently being made malleable (two-states) and are being newly-considered (a single state). Both of which, by the way, are championed by various political entities and Knesset members in various forms. But the point of this diary is not to offer policy solutions. It's to suggest that, just like every single geopolitical crisis in the world, a solution will be made when enough pressure is brought to bear on parties involved. That is what occurred in South Africa, by the way. It was an intense, difficult relinquishing of power by whites after Apartheid became unsustainable due to international pressure.

      You write:

      You havent even come close to making a compelling argument for American interference here. You offer empty rhetoric. If you clearly wanted curb Israel, you be for divestmentor cutting of American aid at the minimum.
      I'm going to just assume this paragraph came from your misunderstanding my post. I am all for America freezing some funds, on both sides, as a way to pressure them to the table, particularly Israel. That's far from empty rhetoric.

      You wrote:

      American intervention in Middle East does harm, not good, to American interests in the Middle East and to all parties involved.
      Here's the rub: we're already intervening in Israel/Palestine, to the tune of $3 billion a year. (That's just the tip of the iceberg.) So since that's the case -- since there is no chance we will ever refrain from being interventionalists with regard to Israel, given our close alliance and important relationship -- then my argument is that it's time to wield our disproportionate influence in order to end this conflict.

      Seems a reasonable position to me. But what do I know? I'm just full of empty rhetoric.

      "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 Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:49:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To negotiate what? (0+ / 0-)

        There is no lack of table attending over the past 30 years David. The problem is not a lack of negotiations. It is that there is no negotiated solution to be found. This where you make the error of the rationalist: that there is a rational solution to everything. It is irrational to beleive that.

        Thats not even getting into who is going to do the negotiating and do they have the credibility and force to make it stick. I am certain there is no negotiation that will make both sides happy. None. So the question is, why the hell should Israel choose to be unhappy when it clearly has every advantage it wants. Israels current policy works for Israel: wall off and control the territories, and slowly, carefully take land. I dont see any reason for them to give up such advantages. Especially when they are broadly supported across the spectrum. Israel's left thinks right now that Netanyahu is acting with great restraint! (and he is)

        Palestinians need to give up the idea of violent resistance and a separate state. Thats not going to work. Instead, they need a peaceful nonviolent movement to become Israeli citizens. That right there will have international support and put the question to Israelis and Jewish people everywhere as to what the State of Israel is really all about. But until Palestinians see the light, theyre getting what they asked for.

        Or, they need to just ask to become part of Jordan and Egypt and give up any thoughts about Jerusalem and let that be the end of it.

        Or, finally, Israel should just annex the territories and expel the Palestinians.

        Id prefer #1, but its not up to me. Or America.

  •  We Have A Choice (0+ / 0-)

    This is a good diary, but I'm not a fan of the wording of the ending. We do have a choice. This diary explains why the choice to address this conflict and care about this conflict is a wise one. However, as long as we live in a free country, we have a choice.

    Sorry for complaining about a rhetorical device.

    "H.R.W.A.T.P.T.R.T.C.I.T.G -- He really was a terrible president that ran the country into the ground."

    by Reino on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:41:18 PM PDT

  •  I see this as more like the breakup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan

    of Yugoslavia and the Dayton process that ended a war that killed around 250,000 people. The bitterness and hatred that swirled around in the region made it seem like there would never be any settlement. How was it that peace was re-established? It was US leadership - primarily Richard Holbrooke - that dragged the Serbs, Bosnians and Croats to the table, and more importantly the willingness of the US to play hardball with these very tough parties to the conflict that made the difference. I think that the problem with previous US-led efforts has been first that the US is not a neutral party, being a strong ally of Israel, and second that American Presidents and Sec. States have approached the parties to the I-P conflict as if they were mediators between people who actually wanted to reach a settlement. That's completely upside down. Neither side wants a settlement which would require any sacrifice on their part. Neither party wants to have to go back to their constituents with some bad news. If there were a settlement to this conflict, it would have to be imposed not found. The US, as a sponsor of a settlement, has to be willing to get rough with recalcitrance. You'll never get a map out of these guys that they can agree on. The USA has to come in with their own map and force it on both parties as much as possible, using serious carrots and sticks to get them in line. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have no idea how to get down from the high ledge they are both on. If they knew how, they would have done so already. That was the lesson of Dayton. The United States had to be willing to play rough with both friends and opponents in pursuit of an end to a long, very nasty war.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:50:42 PM PDT

    •  Is there some reason we're not considering that (6+ / 0-)

      the nations should just force Israel to comply with international law? The Palestinian's demands all have a basis in international law; the Israelis' desired outcomes have no basis in international law.

      When Israel declared independence in 1948, they proclaimed their borders, were asked to be recognized as such, and were recognized as such.

      http://www.trumanlibrary.org/...

      The borders they declared were the ones approved in the UN general assembly resolution 181. Israel has never legally acquired territory since that time.

      To this day, not one country, not even the United States, recognizes Israel's annexation of Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights. Not one country recognizes the legitimacy of Israeli colonies in the West Bank. In fact, not even Ashkelon or Beer Sheva are in Israel.

      In addition, as a condition of its entry into the UN, Israel AGREED to abide by UN res 194, which required Israel to repatriate the Palestinian refugees. This was in 1948. Obviously it still hasn't done so.

      Further, Israel is violating the article 4 of the 4th Geneva Convention (to which it is a signatory) on a daily basis.
      http://www.jpost.com/...

      Meanwhile, the Palestinians demand a just solution to the refugee disaster--compensation or repatriation, the end of the occupations and siege of Gaza, and for those Palestinians who are already citizens of Israel, equal rights.

      The nations could certainly exert pressure on Israel to comply. The Palestinians no doubt would be happy with the solution. The Israelis would not. But is there some reason they should get what they want, when what they want is completely illegal?

      The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

      by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:34:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are slaves to 1948 (0+ / 0-)

        I think the problem in the West is that the Allies after WWII were all party to the agreements that set Israel up after the massive catastrophe.

        It is hard to disentangle from history.  I have not read anywhere that there was any discussion about this, but I wonder why the displaced and dispossessed jews of post War Europe were not repatriated back to the communities they had been taken from.  

        It may have been unthinkable at that time.  Who can blame anyone for wanting to put all that Hitler did behind?  

        That creates a strong echoing momentum into the present and it is hard for people in politics to think deeply enough to actually question such a thing.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:42:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It wasn't just Hitler (0+ / 0-)

          It was the populations that so eagerly joined in the slaughter, and then the Soviet Union creating its puppet governments on top of that. Many Jews had concluded in the 19th century that no country was safe for them, and that Zionism was the only answer. The 20th century did nothing to overturn that conclusion.

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

          by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:44:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that is all true. (0+ / 0-)

            However, they picked a place that was already densely inhabited. There were other choices suggested at the time--A section of Uganda, and Madagascar.

            Many people predicted that settling in Palestine would be a disaster, and it has been, for the Palestinians of course, and also for the Israelis. Unless you think constant war and a garrison state that commits war crimes daily, filled with people who are capable of running the longest running occupation in modern history, is not a disaster.

            The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

            by Flyswatterbanjo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:49:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe they should have picked Arizona (0+ / 0-)

              If they had displaced snowbirds from Minnesota living in Flagstaff, Tucson and Phoenix most likely Arizona would be a more progressive place.  

              Arizona can't be any hotter than the middle east.

              hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

              by Stuart Heady on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:26:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One of the reasons for Israel (0+ / 0-)

                is that the US had been severely limiting Jewish immigration for decades, including refusing to admit refugees from Hitler. See, for example, the star-studded movie Voyage of the Damned. FDR was afraid that letting Jewish refugees in would politically endanger Lend-Lease to the British by riling the nativist isolationists further.

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

                by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:00:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Hard to say (0+ / 0-)

                That's how we got Barry Goldwasser, who came from English Jews and the Roger Williams line of Protestants. It was said at the time

                Wouldn't you know that America's first Jewish President would be an Episcopalian.
                See also Judah Benjamin, the first Jewish Senator in US History, and later Confederate AG and then Secretary of War.

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

                by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:09:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  lets deal with american hipocracy over its values (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stuart Heady

    in siding with the israeli state over palestinians.  when are we going to balance the narrative that allows israel to defend its actions historically by claiming it is being victimized?  we can put pressure on all parties.  employ a multinational peace keeping force and withhold financial support for israels disproportional use of military force against people that can barely defend themselves.  no one should be dying on either side but as long as you oppress another, how on earth can you expect to live in peace?

  •  Hear, hear. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Stuart Heady, capelza

    Might I add that massive US financial support to Israel's military actually started only after the Occupation regime had become entrenched?

    Israel embarked upon its most challenging war since independence, that of 1967, before being the full-on US protege that it is now. And Israel's military did just fine on that war.

    Ever since then, the billions' worth of weapons and equipment from America have been flowing, and the Israeli government and military have been using them mostly to get their country into trouble, and to oppress civilians in Palestine and elsewhere.

    Yet another reason why the US shares responsibility for the troubles there. It really is like giving a junkie more and more of their drug of choice.

  •  Time to end unconditional support for Israel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    The problem is that the state of Israel is unsustainable.  The way it began, in 1948, it was imposed on existing people who had deeds to land dating to the Ottoman empire.  

    If the displaced victims of the Nazi holocaust had been repatriated to the nations they had come from and some framework for their reintegration had been imposed by the victorious allies, perhaps this situation would not have arisen.

    But it is hard to argue what did not happen.  

    Instead, we are supporting a theocratic state that allows no suffrage for anyone who is not a Jewish citizen.  That is not a prescription for ultimate happiness in a multicultural world.  

    The two state solution might have worked, had Israel's leaders not been people like Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu, two hard core militarists who seemed bent on ignoring the world except for lip service.  They have effectively prevented there ever being a two state solution.  Just look at the maps of the Palestinian areas over the past twenty years.  

    A one state solution then.  But that means an eventual majority of Arab Christians and Muslims, not jews.  What a dilemma.

    THe US is now complicit in a whole lot of killing of innocents while the charade that there is some interest in a two state solution goes on.  

    This can not end unless we end unconditional support for Israel.  If anyone in Washington had the balls to say publicly that the US was going to reduce or halt the 3 billion dollars in yearly military support unless the Isrealis stopped attacking civilians, peace talks would soon resume with the likelihood that they might get somewhere.

    Had the progress that Clinton was making towards the end of his presidency been continued under Bush, instead of unconditional cheerleading for Sharon, there might have been a chance.  

    As it is now, the water and sewage infrastructure damage and the endless destruction of buildings and the killing of so many people would seem an insurmountable obstacle to anything constructive.  

    I can't imagine this ending well.  I think Netanyahu would pursue whatever excuse possible to commit genocide unless we figure out a way to stop this madness.  

    When you see a fight in the street between two people who have become crazed, you can't expect rational behavior to overcome them.  It has to be imposed by someone strong enough to impose it.  That would be us.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:36:05 PM PDT

    •  Muslim Arab Israelis can not only vote (0+ / 0-)

      but serve in the Knesset. They get to make quite blistering speeches, too.

      You cannot impose peace and goodwill on people who are bound and determined not to have it, like the American South after the Civil War. It is possible that that will become a minority view in the South, and that we can start to talk about good government for all in the next decade or two.

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

      by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:47:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Israel is not sustainable (0+ / 0-)

        After looking at this situation for at least twenty years, it is very hard to see anything coming of this but a long term unification of the population into one state.

        Perhaps evolution will occur as children, grandchildren and great grandchildren eventually tire of endless suffering.  

        The present day leaders certainly will not create a solution.

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:21:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Definitely unsustainable, I agree (0+ / 0-)

          Northern Ireland and South Africa formed unified states with human rights for all. If that is what Israelis and Palestinians end up choosing, I will not complain, although I would worry whether that is sustainable either.

          I still expect a two-state solution. I also expect to hear a great deal of meaningless bloviation about what is and is not possible from the politicians before we get there, and increasingly loud, shrill, and nasty talk and sometimes actions from those who will come to find themselves as the deadenders.

          Just like the Tea Parties in the US, where we are nearing the tipping point that will make them irrelevant in national politics, when Democrats not only win the House, but outlaw gerrymanders and voter suppression effectively. Then, along with passing a raft of Progressive legislation that Republicans have been bottling up, we will take a new look at our relationship with Israel, unpoisoned by the Religious Right obsessions with Armageddon (see Hagee) or just the Second Coming (see Robertson).

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

          by Mokurai on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:21:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That Armageddon thing (0+ / 0-)

            the religious right has indeed poisoned the political debate, and probably to a higher degree than we realize, with the expectation that Israel's destiny is to be destroyed as Christ returns in the Armageddon scenario.

            The whole thing is utter bullshit.  A coded language poem from a thousand years ago is full of metaphorical imagery that can be reinterpreted easily.  

            Dangerous bullshit.

            hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

            by Stuart Heady on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:27:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome discussion!! Thanks to David for the di... (0+ / 0-)

    Awesome discussion!! Thanks to David for the diary and all the knowledge and opinions by all. As a person who is liberal well before I am even reform Jew, I am in agony every moment of these days knowing of the brutalization of the Gazans by Netanyahu, in his disgusting quest to win their hearts and minds against Hamas by wantonly inflicting violence and suffering against them. I suffer emotionally seeing all the nice kids I went to camp with as a kid 40 years ago parroting every Hasbara talking point. I cannot stop thinking of Rachel Corrie and listening to Billy Bragg's song. I pain knowing that Obama's support for Netanyahu is the most politically expedient position to take to keep us 65-70% Jews voting Democratic, while not stirring up the right wing Jews against him on this issue. It is all the most sickening impossible dilemma to solve, and I applaud those if you who posit solutions, no matter if they get reasonably rejected by another commenter. All we can do is be the ones who keep thinking and talking about it and hope that the violence stops on all sides. I can understand Gazans getting existential and fighting until they are dead to avoid the status quos. But the only way this ever gets better is for the violence to stop. We must speak out against the so clearly more powerful force - Netanyahu - to be the one to stop the violence. That's all we can do and it's the most Jewish thing we can do to call out the injustice of all aggressors, but especially and primarily the aggressor within us. That's all I got, aside from a crying heart.

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