Not Backing Down

Really starting to look like the Bibi really, really over-reached:

The President’s top adviser David Axelrod told me that approval of new housing units by Israel in the Arab section of Jerusalem during Vice President Biden’s trip there last week was an “affront” and an “insult”. “What it did was it made more difficult a very difficult process,” Axelrod said in my “This Week” interview. Axelrod added that the move “seemed calculated to undermine” the so-called proximity talks going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Axelrod said a clear message was delivered to Israel over the flap. “Israel is a strong and special ally. The bonds run deep. But for just that very reason, this was not the right way to behave. That was expressed by the secretary of state, as well as the vice president. I am not going to discuss what diplomatic talks we’ve had underneath that, but I think the Israelis understand clearly why we were upset and what, you know, what we want moving forward.”

Be nice if Israel finally figures out who the junior partner in this relationship is.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






157 replies
  1. 1
    sal says:

    Be nice if Israel finally figures out who the junior partner in this relationship is.
    That would be the U.S.

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    Be nice if Israel finally figures out who the junior partner in this relationship is.

    Not bloody likely.

    Oh, and a question for sal: is your statement intended to be descriptive or normative? That is, do you think that the US should be led around by the nose by Israel, even when it seems painfully obvious that that disserves our interests in the region?

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    I still don’t know what we get for our money there. I don’t care that there’s a democracy in the Middle East, and I’m not a Jew. What’s in it for me?

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    Official editorial from the liberal Israeli daily Ha’aretz:

    Netanyahu is trading Israeli security for right-wing ideology

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has led Israel into a serious crisis in relations with the United States and to a collapse in peace talks with the Palestinians just when they were to be resumed.

    A year after he took office, it is apparent that his government’s policies, which made it top priority to populate East Jerusalem with Jews, is leading to Israel’s increasing international isolation and threatening its key security interests in the name of an extreme right-wing ideology.

    There is one reason for the crisis: Netanyahu’s persistence in continuing construction in East Jerusalem, in placing Jews in Arab neighborhoods and evicting Palestinians from their homes in the city. This is not a matter of timing but substance. Despite repeated warnings and bitter experiences, he stokes the flames over the conflict’s most sensitive issue and is bound to get himself in trouble. Netanyahu has made it clear by his actions that American support for Israel, especially essential now in light of the Iranian threat, is less important to him than the chance to put another few Jews in the Sheikh Jarrah or Ramat Shlomo neighborhoods.

    Even if Netanyahu’s adversaries in the U.S. administration have exploited his misstep to push him into a corner, as his “associates” will certainly argue, a statesman as experienced as he should have been especially careful.

    Again, remember that in establishmentarian / punditarian parlance, only support for the most hawkish, confrontational, peace-prospect undermining policies can be called “pro-Israel”, no matter how much it harms the interests of actual, ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, because, you know, what do they count compared to the warrior fantasies of a Bill Kristol or countless other screaming warmongers?

  5. 5
    Leelee for Obama says:

    It seems to me that Bibi has been looking for this fight for a long time. I wonder if he thinks our current Government might actually have a plan that will work AND be acceptable to sane Israelis and Palestinians. That would undermine his life-long quest to avenge the loss of his brother at Entebbe. I feel for him for the loss, who wouldn’t? But the entire world once went to war, using the death of one man as the pretext. It ended badly, no matter that the victors were marginally better than the vanquished. The peace that was made then lasted no time and led to conflagration no one could have dreamed, except maybe Adolph himself. There is a time to think in terms of what the world needs and Bibi has to get there, and that right soon.

  6. 6
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Cat Lady:

    The undying emnity of most of the Middle East! Per person, that’s pennies a death threat!

  7. 7
    Robin G says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I still don’t know what we get for our money there. I don’t care that there’s a democracy in the Middle East, and I’m not a Jew. What’s in it for me?

    Used to be assurances that the Jews wouldn’t go back to Europe, since no one wanted them there. Now it’s getting the votes of the pro-Israel lobby. And assuaging of guilt for the Holocaust.

    No, really.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    @Robin G:
    Well, in an awful lot of declassified records from U.S. government discussion, Israel was considered a Western allied, heavily armed “cop on the beat”, particularly after 1967, when they demonstrated the ability to militarily defeat Arab governments, so they became a useful client state for the U.S. foreign policy establishment in reigning in the possibilities or threats of Middle Eastern states accumulating too much (for the U.S.’ preferences) regional power in the oil-rich region.

  9. 9
    someguy says:

    Israel: doing everything it can to justify eliminationist rhetoric since 1500 B.C. Coming soon to an Arab neighborhood near you.

    Going to be interesting to see how we react when they flatten Tehran and Damascus someday in the next year or so. Of course it’ll be difficult to react at all with our oil supply cut off…

  10. 10
    kay says:

    Go Hillary. “Insult” is a strong word.

    I can’t think of a stronger word she could (realistically) use, and now it’s out there.

    I’m pleased with how blunt Clinton is as S of S. I didn’t see that coming. It’s great.

  11. 11
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @kay: I wasn’t sure how she’d handle this sort of thing, but I hoped the “I do not suffer fools lightly” attitude would be the default. I like her performance as S of S. It’s almost like it’s the job she was born to do. Funny how that worked out, eh?

  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    If Benjamin Netanyahu teamed up with David Brooks, they could call their act the Bibi & Bobo Show.

    But seriously, just cut off the aid til it hurts.

  13. 13
    Cat Lady says:

    @kay:

    I agree re Hillary. I’m so pleased at how she’s doing her job, and not enough attention is being paid to that. I for one wouldn’t want her wrath directed at me, especially double teamed with the Biden, who I suspect has been spitting nails since the dis.

    If I were an American Jew, I’d be very uncomfortable with this development. There’s always a line being danced around with the loyalty question, and it seems to me they’re all being pushed right up to it. By Bibi, which seems to me to be one of his goals.

    ETA: I may actually be interested to see what Joe Klein has to say. He likes to yank the Commentary crowd’s chain.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but can we put the entire state of Tennessee on the “too stupid to live” list?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....PNheadline

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    You are all anti-Semites. And those of you who are Jewish are also self-hating.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    An old friend of mine, whose standard reaction to any question about Hillary was to make a face and change the subject, has become a fan. I asked her recently what she thinks now, and she just grinned and said “Free at last…”

  18. 18
    me says:

    @DougJ: Channeling Marty Peretz?

  19. 19
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @DougJ: No doubt. At least in the world where Bill Kristol lives. How sad that that putz still has any influence at all. Being wrong is apparently the new machismo.

  20. 20
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @burnspbesq: Well, at the very least, too stupid to have firearms.

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    But seriously, just cut off the aid til it hurts.

    Improved.

    Don’t forget this is a 3-for-1 deal. If we cut off aid to Israel, we also get to cut off aid to Egypt and Jordan. There’s no good reason to fund the regimes a monarch and a president-for-life.

  22. 22
    Peter J says:

    I still don’t know what we get for our money there. I don’t care that there’s a democracy in the Middle East, and I’m not a Jew. What’s in it for me?

    How about The Second coming of Christ?

  23. 23
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @kay: Don’t forget that Bibi shafted Clinton when he was in the White House. My guess is she saw this coming, and wasn’t going to mince words when it did.

  24. 24
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @DougJ: grin, but it gives me a great intro.

    Lotsa complaints from people who aren’t spoofing when they say that about “why are we whining about Israelis settling in Jerusalem?”

  25. 25
    Red Ruffansore says:

    Good morning surrender monkeys, I see you have imbibed enough kool-aid to get on the web to simultaneously support Lord Obama and denigrate Israels right to exist in one fell swoop. Would that we could, learning from Israel’s way to defend itself against known enemies might help us defend ourselves more effectively, at the very least we could learn from how they run an airline. The Pali’s are tools of the Sunni/Shiite factions and live in abject squalor to bleed money from the ignorant Kuffars while that money is spent on weapons and bombs. They have no intention of entering the 20th century with or without the help of Iran or Saudi Arabia, they are there to be used as a wedge tool on Israel.
    Congratulations, most of you here are in the tool shed with them.

  26. 26
    madmommy says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Sadly, this is yet another consequence of the “cut all taxes” gang of fools. Everyone wants police and fire protection, but when it comes time to pay for it…*crickets*

    So long as all existing laws were followed in the sale of these weapons, I don’t know that blame can be placed on the Memphis PD. Budget shortfalls meant that in order to purchase saftey gear like bullet-proof vests, the weapons were sold. I don’t agree that it’s a good idea for police departments to be in the gun sale business, and there’s more than a little wrong with the current laws regarding resale of guns. It’s been shown that gun shows and dealers will skate right up to, and in many cases, way over the law. But until the NRA lobby is pushed back, none of this is going to change. Sanity and reason are nowhere to be found in their positions.

  27. 27
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Kirk Spencer: [edit doesn’t work in Chrome. Really need it when the cat jumps on the “enter” key. to continue…]

    Answer, of course, is that East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem are in two different nations. Replace “Jerusalem” with “Berlin” (if you’re old enough to remember when there were two Germanies) and picture the East bloc trying to seize West bloc (or vice versa) this way.

  28. 28
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Israel’s spy agency helps us find holes in our national security and we get very reasonable rates on Holy Land tours.

  29. 29
    Shalimar says:

    The US doesn’t even rise to the level of junior partner. We’re more like a spouse who makes most of the money in the relationship but constantly gives it away to the other spouse in return for being verbally abused in public repeatedly while we weep and profess our undying love because Israel is really a good person no matter what it does to us.

  30. 30
    moe99 says:

    The Israeli government used to delight in doing the same thing when Carter was in power.

  31. 31
    Laertes says:

    It’s not clear to me that Netanyahu has made an error, given his likely aims.

    Suppose you’re Netanyahu. Suppose that your goal is to avoid any kind of settlement with the Palestinians, and meanwhile create more facts on the ground while pleasing an important domestic constituency.

    How do sharp words from a couple American liberals do you any harm, even if they are the Vice-President and the Secretary of State?

    Are we going to withhold our veto and start letting the UNSC pass anti-Israel resolutions? Is one thin dime of aid going to be withheld?

  32. 32
    JD Rhoades says:

    I’m thoroughly pissed off at Israel for this dick move. But characterizing them as the “junior partner”, i.e. assuming they’re in a subordinate role, isn’t going to help matters. They’re a sovereign state, after all, and should be treated as one. One whom we’re not going to give any more money or weapons to if they keeping acting like assholes.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Palestinian leadership hasn’t exactly covered themselves in glory, either, but we’re not giving them cash.

  33. 33
    Genine says:

    I am pleased by this response. I am glad we are actually stepping up when Israel steps over the line. It doesn’t make us any less of an ally to them.

    I also have to add my kudos to the others here for Hillary as SoS. She’s really been great.

  34. 34
    wilfred says:

    @MattF:

    This is a joke, right? Maybe she/he didn’t hear that on March 11th:

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said today that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the plenary speaker on the closing day of the group’s March 21-23 conference.

    Critical thinking, please.

  35. 35
    kay says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I knew she’d be hard headed and practical, but I thought she’d be more conscious (in a bad way, I admit) of her future, politically.

    I was wrong. She threw herself into the job at hand, and I completely enjoy that she doesn’t seem to give a shit about critics.

    I always felt Rice had this really egotistical self-awareness. She was almost playing a historical role, rather than looking for a result, and I think that’s backward.

    Here, Clinton’s speaking for the Obama Admin., and I think the word “insult” has specific meaning and was decided upon, but her off the cuff remarks are refreshingly blunt, too.

  36. 36
    Alien-Radio says:

    I still have a problem with Clinton’s approach to the honduras coup (remember that?), she and the state department came down on the side of property and wealth, and supported the oligarchy’s coup. She still has a tendency to align with Establishment figures.

  37. 37
    Nick says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    It seems to me that Bibi has been looking for this fight for a long time. I wonder if he thinks our current Government might actually have a plan that will work AND be acceptable to sane Israelis and Palestinians.

    Bibi is betting on the power of pro-Israeli forces in the United States. He is counting that the Obama administration will be forced to back down from thier rhetoric because of possible political ramifications.

    I work for a newspaper in New York City. We have had no less than 30 letters to the editor sent to us this week complaining about the “pro-Palestinian media” and “anti-semetism in our government.” By my most recent count, at least a dozen people walked into our office in the last week demanding to see the editor to complain about the lack of coverage of “the plight of the Jewish people.” One lady made my publisher (who is Jewish btw) so angry, he responded “what plight? That you couldn’t find a parking spot close enough to your mansion?”

    There seems to be some coordinated effort by pro-Israeli forces in both Israel and the United States to cut off the administration and force them to let Bibi do what he wants. This appeared in the days before Clinton went ballistic on him.

  38. 38
    Robin G says:

    @El Cid: That too, but that’s more of a government benefit. As far as laypeople, we’re supposed to feel like we’re getting off the hook for hundreds of years of Jewish oppression by… letting them oppress someone else.

    By the way, have people seen “Munich”? I really like that movie.

  39. 39
    rootless-e says:

    You have to be really naive or susceptible to Jewish Conspiracy theories to believe that Israel is the senior partner in the relationship. Whenever US Oil interests have decided to provide something to Saudi Arabia, the protests of the Israelis have been ignored. When the Israeli public foolishly elected a left wing government, it was shut down by the US under Bush senior. In reality, Israel has become a subsidiary the US right wing/corporate party and what is happening is that Israeli branch of the Republican Party is no more anxious to acknowledge Obama than the US branch.

  40. 40
    HRA says:

    Bibi does what he does knowing nothing will lash back at him. Sure, cut his aid would be the right thing to do. Will it happen? Never until it’s set adrift from the politics and lobbyists here.

    IMO it all comes down to what I have seen more currently of the nationalism by many to put ahead the foreign country of their ancestry rather than the country that gave them their chance to live and be somebody.

  41. 41
    rootless-e says:

    What the US really needs to do is to lock up Sheldon Adelson and friends for financial support to terrorist organizations. This would have positive effects on US and Israeli politics.

  42. 42
    bkny says:

    perhaps clinton should reinforce that displeasure by cancelling her keynote speech at the upcoming ‘we own your asses’, er, annual aipac meeting.

  43. 43
    Cat Lady says:

    @kay:

    Agreed, but as much as I admire her work ethic and mad wonk skillz, I wonder (like you, in a bad way) about where she sees herself down the road. In the meantime I have a suspicion that she and the Biden may be switching jobs in 2012.

  44. 44
    rootless-e says:

    @HRA: “IMO it all comes down to what I have seen more currently of the nationalism by many to put ahead the foreign country of their ancestry rather than the country that gave them their chance to live and be somebody.”

    I wonder how many appreciate how pissed off it makes Jewish Americans when these type of arguments, which were never made when Irish Americans were openly raising money for the IRA, or even when Indian/Americans intervene in US politics against Pakistan, keep being pushed forward.

    So kiss my American ass.

  45. 45
    AhabTRuler says:

    There seems to be some coordinated effort by pro-Israeli forces in both Israel and the United States to cut off the administration and force them to let Bibi do what he wants.

    So what, we are talking about Nixon and Meir again? I’ve read this story before and we all know how it ends.

    Anybody that thinks that Barack Obama is going to cut off aid to Israel is severely delusional.

  46. 46
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Cat Lady: Rumor says she’s a short list candidate for the next Supreme Court justice slot. The thought of her in conference with Tom Scalito makes me grin.

    (OK, I’ll explain the obvious. Thomas, Scalia and Alito.)

  47. 47
    Laertes says:

    @rootless-e: which were never made when Irish Americans were openly raising money for the IRA

    Wait, what?

    Are you seriously alleging that NOBODY in America took issue with folks openly raising money for IRA terrorists?

    One would naturally assume, of course, that that’s not precisely what you mean. One doesn’t like to quibble, or to read comments in the most hostile possible light.

    However, in this case, any other reading makes no sense and the literal reading is all that’s available. Do you seriously think that the IRA was more popular in America than Israel is now?

    Seriously?

  48. 48
    rootless-e says:

    Bibi lives in exactly the same ideological world as Mike Pence, and I’m sure he is convinced that some empty suit affirmative action black guy who only got into office due to the weak-kneed guilt of mush head liberals is no match for him. That’s the delusionary meritocracy of the right wing.

  49. 49
    rootless-e says:

    @Laertes: Absolutely. I have never heard a single “dual loyalty” argument brought up about Irish-Americans. Never. It’s only the perfidious Jews who merit this concern.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @Cat Lady:

    If anyone cuts off Biden, it will be Obama.

    Obama is like BILL Clinton as far as “loyalty”. I don’t think Obama has any, and I didn’t think Bill Clinton did either. I’m not judging, I just believe both men are fairly cold and analytical, despite Bill Clinton’s occasional public emoting.

    I actually think Hillary Clinton places personal loyalty pretty far up the chain.

    That can be good or bad, as we saw in her horrible campaign where she wouldn’t fire anyone, and in George W Bush’s Presidency, he was too loyal to “friends” too, but I do think she’s personally loyal, and she and Biden are long-time allies.

  51. 51
    Alan says:

    We’ll hear all apologies for the settlement but it will still be settled. And then we’ll hear about another one, then another one, etc., each characterized as the last one. All supported by religious fanatics who don’t want peace, but for the savior to come or come again. Supporting this shit is the epitome of insanity.

  52. 52
    John S. says:

    I may be Jewish, but I am also an American. So I don’t think it’s fabulous when Israel sticks its thumb in America’s eye. But of course I am a self-hating Jew because I don’t think Israel is infallible and that Palestinians are animals.

    I tell you all, nothing is more tedious for a liberal American Jew than having to defend their ‘Jewishness’ whenever topics of Israel come up.

  53. 53
    someguy says:

    Rootless – good point. The comparison is inapt since most Jewish-Americans came from Western Europe, not Israel. A better comparison would be if Irish American Catholics were raising money to support the new Irish Catholic homeland, McPopeistan, in say, South America, and if half the commentariat and government officials in favor of it were observant Catholics named Kennedy, O’Toole, or Shanahan. It ain’t your ancestral homeland any more than McPopeistan would be the Irish ancestral homeland, which is what makes the thing more irritating than all the 5th generation Irish-Americans getting hammered on St. Patrick’s day. The only functional difference between the two causes (IRA, Israel) is that the genuine (non Hibernian Order) Irish are into sticking it to the traditional imperialist hegemon Brits, rather than the traditionally downtrodden Arabs. Rooting for Israel is like rooting for the British Army in Zulu…

  54. 54
    AhabTRuler says:

    All supported by religious fanatics who don’t want peace, but for the savior to come or come again.

    Well, two groups of religious fanatics who don’t want peace, one gunning (literally) for the zip code of Greater Judea and Samaria, and the other rushing to experience the shock of getting left behind in the Rapture.

  55. 55
    CaseyL says:

    Every so often I get a wild hair to reconnect to my Jewish heritage. Israel is the biggest reason I never follow through. I cannot support what that country has become; I can’t defend it; I can’t even rationalize it as an overdeveloped defense mechanism. Israeli policies and politics are so wrongheaded, counterproductive, and plain hateful that it simultaneously grieves and enrages me.

    Here’s an American Jew saying “Yeah, cut off their aid.”

  56. 56
    Bill H says:

    The Arab world says that Israel should not exist, but takes no action pursuant to that statement, and we scream “terrorist” at the top of our lungs and give Israel weapons and money.

    Israel says that Palestine should not exist, actually acts pusuant to that end, and we applaud and give Israel weapons and money.

  57. 57
    rootless-e says:

    Oh please. Imagine the uproar if e.g. Barbara Boxer were to announce that she was going to oppose a significant bill because the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem wanted it stopped. And then compare to the routine citation of the Bishops Conference in the debate over health care.

    Do we get any discussion of the dual loyalty of Stupak or Kaptur? Of course not.

  58. 58
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Be nice if Israel finally figures out who the junior partner in this relationship is.

    What incentive do they have when no matter what they do they get to keep their allowance and stay out as late as they want? Hell, even Bush got fed up at one point and publicly said something similar to the above. None of it will mean a damned thing until they get a few billion dollars yanked away.

  59. 59
    Bootlegger says:

    @Red Ruffansore: Heh-heh, Red’s funny.

  60. 60
    AhabTRuler says:

    Do we get any discussion of the dual loyalty of Stupak or Kaptur?

    Frankly, yes, but only amongst the unserious and DFHs, may they be eternally punched.

  61. 61
    Laertes says:

    @rootless-e:

    Mind if I ask how old you are? The IRA aren’t exactly a going concern right now, but I remember when they were. It was understood that some amount of fund-raising went on, in a certain sort of pub, but there wasn’t a whole lot of open support.

    I’m not aware, for instance, of any major newspaper whose editorial board was dominated by a pro-IRA faction. Nor of any seriously influential pro-IRA lobbying network.

    Supposing one had wanted to go around accusing prominent Irish-Americans of harboring dual loyalties and putting the IRA’s interests ahead of America’s. Against whom would you have made the charge?

  62. 62
    AhabTRuler says:

    Against whom would you have made the charge?

    Well, Peter King, for one (and I don’t mean the amiable shlub from SI).

  63. 63
    rootless-e says:

    The role of far right wing Americans in Israeli politics is almost never discussed in the USA. Yet without SwiftBoat Nutters like Adelson and the huge collection of Evangelical End-Timers, the Israeli Settler movement would be a shadow of itself.

    Bibi himself is a neo-con construct. His political success in Israel is built on his strong ties to the US Republican party.

  64. 64
    John S. says:

    Rooting for Israel is like rooting for the British Army in Zulu…

    Not quite. Israel isn’t quite a colonial power oppressing the native population.

    I’m not sure there is an apt comparison out there, but I’m guessing that in African history there is a more analagous situation between rival tribes.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Alien-Radio:

    she and the state department came down on the side of property and wealth, and supported the oligarchy’s coup. She still has a tendency to align with Establishment figures.

    WTF do you mean “she”?
    That’s the official policy of the USA and the current administration.

  66. 66
    rootless-e says:

    Are you seriously asking for names of prominent Irish American politicians who were involved in US/Brit/Irish policy?

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    One whom we’re not going to give any more money or weapons to if they keeping acting like assholes.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…dayummm. Thanks JD, best laugh I’ve had so far today.

  68. 68
    kay says:

    @rootless-e:

    But I would be fine with that. I don’t like “dual loyalty” because we’re asking them to prove fealty, but I don’t have any problem whatsoever with any discussion of religion-policy.

    It might be because I don’t have a dog in that fight, but still.

    I think I have compromised and do compromise regularly with religious of all stripes, and I try to be completely tolerant and hand’s off towards that whole spectrum. Lately it has occurred to me that they never reciprocate.

    I’d like that addressed. Why do I ( and other non-religious) always have to come to them, and why do they never compromise?

    Why is the onus on me anyway? I hate to mention it, but they’re the ones always claiming the high ground. I would think they’d be working towards agreement, given that.

  69. 69
    PeakVT says:

    I wonder how many appreciate how pissed off it makes Jewish Americans when these type of arguments,

    It would be a lot harder to make those types of arguments if Israel wasn’t 1) a security liability, 2) a financial drain, and 3) engaged in a slow-motion campaign of colonization.

  70. 70
    scav says:

    @John S.: But at the same time, it’s not as though Israel is a 100% an “organic” state, it was imposed upon a pre-existing situation by outside forces and largely populated by transplants.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq:

    OT, but can we put the entire state of Tennessee on the “too stupid to live” list?

    Why? Are the guns themselves possessed with some kind of criminal spirit?

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @rootless-e:

    Do we get any discussion of the dual loyalty of Stupak or Kaptur? Of course not.

    I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure JFK caught a lotta flack in his day.

  73. 73
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Bibi hates Bill Clinton for telling the truth about his pushing for Clinton to release the spy, Jonathan Pollard, in trade for signing an agreement with Arafat. Clinton dismissed the offer out of hand, probably knowing that even if he did agree to it Bibi would renege on it almost immediately.

    I have no doubt that Bibi enjoyed slamming a Democratic administration. The right wingers in this country love Israel and are willing to look the other way and/or excuse its egregious excesses against the Palestinians and its neighbors. I am sure that Bibi thought he was doing them a favor in trying to make Obama look weak.

    I want any future aid to be dependent on Israel hammering out a fair deal for the Palestinians. Until then I advocate cutting off all assistance to Israel since they seem to want to go it on their own anyway. Lets assist the Palestinians by giving them true humanitarian aid and cut off the arms flow from here to Israel. Much of the carnage over there has Made in USA stamped on it.

    I used to be an Israel defender but that died when I learned the truth about our so-called ally. The crazies over there don’t trust anyone and everyone they can screw over is a means to an end. They are killing dozens of Palestinians for every Israeli killed yet all we hear about in the news over here is any Israeli that is killed. We arm the Israelis, ignore the Palestinian misery and death, and wonder why many in the Muslim world hate our guts.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    maybe we need to discuss and debate WHY and HOW MUCH Israel should get from the US.

  75. 75
    Honus says:

    @rootless-e:
    You might actually have a point if our government had sent billions in military aid every year for 30 years to Ireland to fight the British, and ignored Ireland’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. After they’d set up an Irish homeland in Wales.

  76. 76
    rootless-e says:

    “@John S.: But at the same time, it’s not as though Israel is a 100% an “organic” state, it was imposed upon a pre-existing situation by outside forces and largely populated by transplants.”

    So true. And as guests of the Mohawk nation, it’s incumbent on every American to keep that foremost in his/her thoughts.

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe James Baker tried that during Bush I and Congress cut him off at the knees.

    It didn’t go well.

  78. 78
    Kennedy says:

    @sal: QFT

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @rootless-e:

    I agree with you as far as “loyalty tests”. I’m not going along with that.

    Horrible idea.

    In return, I don’t want any loyalty tests imposed on me, re: religious.

    I’m okay with all religions. You’re going to have to take my word on it.

  80. 80
    scav says:

    @rootless-e: well, I’m more a guest of the Winnebago myself. I like the staying with the Pomo too.

  81. 81
    rootless-e says:

    @PeakVT: Actually it would be very easy to make arguments about Israel and about US/Israeli relations without making arguments about the loyalties of Jewish Americans, however, the temptation seems to be strong.

  82. 82
    rootless-e says:

    @kay: I dunno what any of this has to do with religion.

  83. 83
    Laertes says:

    @rootless-e: Are you seriously asking for names of prominent Irish American politicians who were involved in US/Brit/Irish policy?

    I’d be more interested in the achievements than in the names, actually. Let’s grant, arguendo, the existence of a vast IRA-sympathizing segment of America’s media and political elite, back when the IRA was at their peak.

    What did this lobby achieve? I mean, I sense that underlying your complaint that Only Jews Get The Dual-Loyalties Accusation is the idea that this must be about anti-semitism. And I’m just thinking that the reason nobody bothered to make such accusations against the pro-IRA types is that they never achieved anything. I’ve got a crazy neighbor who is, I expect, more loyal to Armenia than to America. Nobody cares, because he’s just some guy. If he were an influential advisor to the President, and seemed to be the driving force behind an extremely costly pro-Armenian policy, then someone might notice.

    You’re arguing that the IRA enjoyed more popularity than Israel, and its’ American supporters were better-treated than Israel’s supporters. The former just isn’t true at all, and the latter might be, but only because they were manifestly harmless.

  84. 84
    Nick says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    Anybody that thinks that Barack Obama is going to cut off aid to Israel is severely delusional.

    Who thinks Obama is going to cut off aid to Israel? He’s going to be forced by domestic political pressure to let them do whatever they want…that was my point.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @rootless-e:

    Actually it would be very easy to make arguments about Israel and about US/Israeli relations without making arguments about the loyalties of Jewish Americans, however, the temptation seems to be strong.

    Who puts the pressure on American politicians to maintain the relationship?
    Why is Israeli aid the virtual 3rd rail in politics?

  86. 86
    burnspbesq says:

    @rootless-e:

    “I wonder how many appreciate how pissed off it makes Jewish Americans when these type of arguments, which were never made when Irish Americans were openly raising money for the IRA …”

    As someone whose ancestors barely escaped the English Genocide of 1847, let me just cordially and with all due respect tell you to take your stereotypical view of Irish-Americans and shove it up your ass. Nobody I know supported the actions of the Provos, financially or otherwise. No US supporters of the Catholic movement in Ulster have been indicted for passing US defense secrets to Ireland. And no Irish-Americans I know have made unthinking support for Ireland a litmus test for American politicians.

    Your analogy is massively stupid.

  87. 87
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @kay:

    I didn’t say it would happen, only that I would like it to happen. I already know that a snowball in Hell has a better chance of existing than aid being cut off. Between the bought and paid for pols and the Jeebus needs the welcome mat rolled out pols, Israel gets pretty much all they want (and want to get away with).

    One can dream though.

  88. 88
    rootless-e says:

    @Honus: you’re confusing your opinions about the Israel/Arab dispute with the point.

    Tip O’Neill welcomed the head of the Sinn Fein to the USA at a time when the IRA was murdering civilians on the streets of our supposed key ally, and although this was controversial, neither he, nor the Kennedys nor other prominent Irish/American politicians were ever accused of being Irish double agents.

  89. 89
    Alan says:

    All Bibi has to do is hold out till Palin wins in ’12. Heh

    I wonder how much of the billions we send over there will be funneled into her campaign. She’s been asking for their support wearing her lapel pin with the U.S. and Israeli flags together. After all, her loyalty is to Jesus’s second coming.

  90. 90
    Nick says:

    @John S.:

    Not quite. Israel isn’t quite a colonial power oppressing the native population.

    um…yes it is. A colonial power is one that is formed by transplants from another area of the world…most of Israel’s Jews come from Europe, North Africa or North America, thus making Israel a “colony” of a wider Europe/North American population…remember that the United States has about the same population of Jews as Israel. The Palestinians had inhabited the land for about 1900 years prior, most of which as the province of Palestine in the Ottoman Empire…that qualifies as “native”

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @rootless-e:

    Well, we disagree.

    I think the Big Three Religions have played a huge (and to my mind completely counter-productive) role in all this.

    I’m not sure you can extricate the role religious play. I would love to, but, honestly, can’t be done. Shoot, religious themselves bring it back in when anyone tries to break it down to components. That’s what actually happened here, in this instance.

  92. 92
    rootless-e says:

    @Laertes: Of course it achieved something. The US exerted enormous pressure on the UK to come up with an Ulster compromise. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. That is, the US government forced the number one US worldwide ally (ahem, client) to change a longstanding policy in Ulster, break its support of the Protestant militants, and come to terms with people who had organized a massive terror campaign in England, because of the strong political influence of Irish-Americans.

    I’m not objecting to it – in fact, this was a good thing. But it happened.

  93. 93
    John S. says:

    @scav:

    It’s not 100% inorganic, either. It is an historical fact that the Jewish people (Hebrews) originally settled in and around the areas that Israel now occupies. Over the millennia we were scattered amongst many nationalities, but our tribal home is where it is.

    But that is why I pointed out that comparing Israel to colonial power is inapt. It’s a rather unique scenario, and I’m at a loss to think of an accurate historical parallel.

  94. 94
    rootless-e says:

    Exactly – your point is that the evil Jews with dual loyalty exert a dark power over US policy. Woo! We’re going to use your blood for matzah too!

  95. 95
    John S. says:

    @Nick:

    Wow, you’re absolutely fucking clueless about Jewish history, aren’t you?

  96. 96
    rootless-e says:

    @kay: I think US policy in the Middle East is all about oil and geopolitics. I don’t think anyone who runs US policy really gives a damn about religion one way or another – although they are happy to use zealots when convenient.

    The reason for massive US aid to Egypt, military assistance and arming of Saudi Arabia, weak response to Sudanese Genocide in Darfur, and so on has nothing to do with Islam either.

  97. 97
    DougJ says:

    @rootless-e:

    Do we get any discussion of the dual loyalty of Stupak or Kaptur?

    No, but we should. Same for Peter King when he was all about the IRA.

  98. 98
    rootless-e says:

    @burnspbesq: Your ignorance doesn’t really help your argument.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1563119.stm

    Look it up. They used to pass the box around in NYC Irish bars “for the boys”. Everyone knew they were not raising money for the Mets.

  99. 99
    scav says:

    @John S.: Agreed – that’s what I meant by the 100% part. It’s sort of off on its own. But we could take the whole historic we belong here because we came from here at some point thing too far, because we could make a very silly case that under those circs, the European powers have a right to take over Africa because at some point we all came from Africa!

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    I may be delusional (hah!) but I actually think there has been progress. A more open debate.
    I know (because I have been told) that there is an open and vigorous debate in Israel, but I think US conservatives shut down debate on Israel here, in the US, during Bush II.
    Just compare Carter and Bush I to Bush II and it comes fairly clear. We went HARD right on Israel, and it was Bush II. He (and his noxious shills) shut it down.
    I don’t think that gag order is in place anymore, and once a debate gets started, it’s hard to stop it.
    Friedman is referring to Israelis as “drunk drivers” who need the keys taken from them. That would have been unimaginable under Bush.

  101. 101
    rootless-e says:

    @Nick: Wow, some careful weasel wording. Most Israeli Jews ancestors came from the middle east – but I admire your smuggling of “north africa” into the list.

  102. 102
    scav says:

    @rootless-e: most of the Palestinians ancestors come from that area too, your point being?

  103. 103
    John S. says:

    @scav:

    Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I concede your point.

    I just don’t think that making the claim that Jews came from Israel is a ‘very silly case’. The Hebrew people called the land in and around modern Israel there ancestral homeland for thousands of years. And it’s not as if the region had no Jews in it whatsoever lo these past few centuries. That should not be a matter of dispute.

    To argue that Israel is a ‘colonial power’ is making a silly case.

    most of the Palestinians ancestors come from that area too

    Well, the majority of modern day Palestinians do not have real ties to the ancient Philistines who were wiped out by the Hebrews. Sadly, our history with genocide is a rather sordid one on both ends.

  104. 104
    rootless-e says:

    @DougJ: It’s sometimes confusing. Is Sheldon Adelson acting as a right wing Republican? As an agent of Israeli settlers? As an agent of the Chinese government? I don’t really care. He’s a corrupt, right wing, asshole and needs to go to jail.

  105. 105
    rootless-e says:

    @scav: My point is that Nick’s argument is duplicitous. Was that not clear?

  106. 106
    HRA says:

    @rootless-e:

    FYI it’s not only the Jewish Americans who are nationalistic and although it was in this thread that I made the statement, it was meant for all who put their ancestral land before the land they live and prosper in.

    Do you consider the move Bibi made a wise one?

  107. 107
    AhabTRuler says:

    Why does no one care about the plight of the Samaritans?

  108. 108
    rootless-e says:

    @HRA: Bibi is, to me, just another Republican. He operates as part of the trans-national neo-con empire and if I were Israeli I’d be questioning whether he puts his loyalty to the US Republican party above his loyalty to Israel.

    My issue is that I’m not at all patient with conspiracy theories about Jews. The US has supported and continues to support large numbers of blood soaked, virulently evil, regimes around the world for decades. The idea that we’ve abandoned our principles and self-interest because of Jewish pressure to support the uniquely evil Israeli government instead of e.g. Contras, Pinochet, the House of Saud, seems to me an idea that is inherently tainted by prejudice.

  109. 109
    wags101 says:

    I resent all the foreign aid to Israel when we are running trillion dollar deficits. It needs to stop and Israel needs to stand on it’s own feet for the first time since 1948! It has to stop now! Peace talks??? Forget it Israel doesn’t want peace it wants more land.

  110. 110
    scav says:

    @John S.: I said it was silly to make the case about Europeans taking over Africa. But it is nevertheless true that the boundaries and creation of the state of Israel were imposed by a process that has more in common with the creation of post-colonial states. I wasn’t saying that Israel itself is colonial, but rather that it may share some problems with post-colonial states. Furthermore, imagine if Liberia (and again, I’m twisting history a bit here) had denied and continued to deny the rights of the indigenous local people who had continued to live in the place in favor of the freed former slaves who wafted in later?

  111. 111
    4tehlulz says:

    @rootless-e: He reminds me of Gingrich, actually. I think they are tied in wives, too.

  112. 112
    rootless-e says:

    @scav:
    “Furthermore, imagine if Liberia (and again, I’m twisting history a bit here) had denied and continued to deny the rights of the indigenous local people who had continued to live in the place in favor of the freed former slaves who wafted in later?”

    Why imagine it?

    “In Liberia’s early years, the Americo-Liberian settlers periodically encountered stiff and sometimes violent opposition from indigenous Africans, who were excluded from citizenship in the new Republic until 1904. At the same time, British and French colonial expansionists encroached upon Liberia, taking over much of its territory. Politically, the country was a one-party state ruled by the True Whig Party (TWP). Joseph Jenkins Roberts, who was born and raised in America, was Liberia’s first President. The style of government and constitution was fashioned on that of the United States, and the Americo-Liberian elite monopolized political power and restricted the voting rights of the indigenous population. The True Whig Party dominated all sectors of Liberia from independence in 1847 until April 12, 1980, when indigenous Liberian Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe (from the Krahn ethnic group) seized power in a coup d’etat. Doe’s forces executed President William R. Tolbert and several officials of his government, mostly of Americo-Liberian descent. One hundred and thirty-three years of Americo-Liberian political domination ended with the formation of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC).”

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6618.htm

    That’s just the start, however:
    http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=59081

  113. 113
    John S. says:

    @scav:

    I understand what you’re saying, and we’re mostly in agreement. I just don’t see the merit in extrapolating a circumstance that doesn’t seem to have any other basis in reality. It’s a unique situation, no doubt about it.

    I think that may be why my family for the most part were not Zionists. They believed it was not man’s place to impose a situation they felt was only attainable through divine influence.

    I think maybe they were right.

    EDIT: Damn, that is some really fascinating stuff about Liberia, rootless-e. I’m also going to guess that while many of the Americo-Liberians originated from Africa, most did not actually have ethnic claims to the region of Liberia.

  114. 114
    scav says:

    @rootless-e: I think we’re having problems with time and how long you have to be in place to be historically rooted there (e.g. the Angles and Saxons, let alone the Normans, were invading forces but are we kicking them out of England as aliens?) and then there’s the whole issue of how long (measured in generations) can you be away from a place and then waltz back in and insist you’re a native. It’s all fuzzy.

  115. 115
    scav says:

    @rootless-e: The twisting history bit was that the state itself seems to have been more a self-starter. I did see that bit about the former slaves being entirely elitist vis-á-vis the indigenes. People are generally creeps, aren’t they?

  116. 116
    HRA says:

    @rootless-e:

    I do really understand the hurt it causes when your ancestry is targeted. I have had the same experience. At the same time, you cannot look to past deeds or no deeds in other places for solace or argument. We should all live for today.

  117. 117
    rootless-e says:

    @scav: Well, I don’t believe that having putative ancestors who raped and killed whoever lived on some place before they did gives you much of a moral claim to anything. For example, I don’t think that some “pure” Welshman has more of a moral claim to land in Swansea than a Bengali immigrant who bought a lot last month.

    And most claims of ancestry are bogus anyways. The racial purity of Europeans/Isreali Jews/Palestinians and so on is mythological if not entirely nonsensical.

  118. 118
    bago says:

    A: Hey, you with the house.
    B: Yes?
    A: That house should be mine.
    B: Really? I paid for it.
    A: Sure, but you have to understand, an invisible man with superpowers promised to give it to my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.

    And scene!

  119. 119
    ItAintEazy says:

    John S.

    To argue that Israel is a ‘colonial power’ is making a silly case.

    So you’re saying that it would be perfectly all right if Mexico took over Texas tomorrow, displace the residences and basically do whatever Israel is doing to the Palestinians now because not only do they arguably have the requisite “ancestral ties” to that state, but they had legal political control over it until it was stolen from them?

    Whether it’s for purely imperial purposes or because some holy book claims a people have the right to the land, dispossession and one-sided rule over the inhabitants that were already living on that land is colonialism plain and simple.

  120. 120
    John S. says:

    @rootless-e:

    That’s the funny thing about being Jewish, though.

    Not only do we not actively proselytize, but who the fuck wants to be Jewish? I mean seriously. It’s like being born with a mark (to a much lesser extent in modern America, but it still exists). And it has always been based on matrilineal ancestry, which makes things really interesting from a mitochondrial standpoint, but I digress.

    In the modern era, ancestral purity is breaking down at a phenomenal rate, even within the Jewish community. So I guess I have to agree with you that overall, ancestral purity claims are rather bogus. Although I do believe that there are some unique circumstances with regards to Hebrew/Jewish ancestry that make it somewhat of an outlier. One day, I think science will be able to catch up to the real answer, which will itself likely cause a contentious shitstorm.

  121. 121
    gerry says:

    Oh, John! What a sweet kid you are. Keep thinking positive.

  122. 122
    Ash says:

    What’s the relationship the Brits have with Israel? I don’t really hear much about that (or I just never notice). I mean, isn’t this clusterfuck mostly their fault anyway?

  123. 123
    John S. says:

    @ItAintEazy:

    For fuck’s sake…

    The creation of the nation of Israel was bizarre. The United Nations did a really unprecedented thing which has turned out to be an ongoing…situation.

    Israel did not invade Palestine in even the remotest sense of Mexico annexing Texas. There is absolutely no parallel. The merest suggestion is foolish and rather puerile.

    Israel may indeed be behaving as if it were a colonial power in some ways, although I don’t remember England granting the American colony even sham representation in Parliament. But Israel is not itself a colonial power. It does not fit even the loosest interpretation of the concept, unless you make completely specious and nonsensical claims.

    @Ash:

    Yes, the British are a major culprit in the difficulties in the Middle East, Africa, Asia…you name it. That’s what an actual colonial power that is, you know, colonizing, indoctrinating and conquering foreign entities, does to the world.

  124. 124
    liberal says:

    @John S.:

    Israel isn’t quite a colonial power oppressing the native population.

    Of course it is.

  125. 125
    liberal says:

    @rootless-e:

    I wonder how many appreciate how pissed off it makes Jewish Americans when these type of arguments, which were never made when Irish Americans were openly raising money for the IRA…

    Inapt comparison. The key fact here is that US interests are endangered by our government’s support of Israel.

    How many billions of dollars did the US government give the IRA?

  126. 126
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Bibi’s living in a sepia-toned golden age where all he has to do is shout ‘HOLOCAUST’ and ‘THE ARABS ARE COMING’ and America will be there with bells on.

    Meanwhile, here in reality, John McCain is only President to Fluffer Gregory, Holy Joe is out of the foreign policy loop, and two of the czar’s top pro-Israeli cossacks just went ‘Oh no you didn’t.’ The further we chug along, the more American and Israeli voters we gain that see the Six Day War and Yom Kippur as ancient history. To them, Egypt and Jordan have always been partners in peace, Syria’s always been a cut-rate movie villain, and Lebanon and the Palestinians only exist to get smacked around by Likud every time they get uppity.

    Time is going against Likud and the settlers. I wonder if Bibi knows this.

  127. 127
    liberal says:

    @rootless-e:

    The US has supported and continues to support large numbers of blood soaked, virulently evil, regimes around the world for decades.

    True. However, the monetary support for Israel, on a per capita basis, is astonishingly high. And unlike some of the other regimes we’ve supported, it doesn’t even have an impoverished population which ostensibly would gain from aid.

    The idea that we’ve abandoned our principles and self-interest because of Jewish pressure to support the uniquely evil Israeli government instead of e.g. Contras, Pinochet, the House of Saud, seems to me an idea that is inherently tainted by prejudice.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  128. 128
    liberal says:

    @John S.:

    But Israel is not itself a colonial power. It does not fit even the loosest interpretation of the concept, unless you make completely specious and nonsensical claims.

    Vis-a-vis the Occupied Territories, of course it’s a colonial power, even if it hasn’t formerly annexed them.

    As for pre-1967 Israel, it’s not a colonial power in the sense of land conquered and acquired by another state, but it certainly was colonized by people of European descent.

  129. 129
    sal says:

    Oh, and a question for sal: is your statement intended to be descriptive or normative? That is, do you think that the US should be led around by the nose by Israel, even when it seems painfully obvious that that disserves our interests in the region?
    Uh, no. The yoking of US policies to Israel’s policies has done & continues to do great damage to US interests and is a major (not the only one) contributing factor to the perpetual turmoil & tension in the Mideast. Israel’s settlement policy also hurts its own future. As far as I can tell, it’s driven by the same type of religious wackjobs as we’ve got here. It’s certainly not based on security concerns.

  130. 130
    ItAintEazy says:

    John S.

    The creation of the nation of Israel was bizarre. The United Nations did a really unprecedented thing which has turned out to be an ongoing…situation.

    Israel did not invade Palestine in even the remotest sense of Mexico annexing Texas. There is absolutely no parallel. The merest suggestion is foolish and rather puerile.

    Yeah, let’s pretend the whole 1967/Occupied Territories thing didn’t happen, but I do want to point out the fact that in that original UN deal, the Jews received
    56% of the land despite making up only 33% of the population and owning only 6 %. Any hasbarah specialists will be hard-pressed to explain away that disparity as anything less than dispossession and colonialism.

  131. 131
    Redshirt says:

    Easier than cutting off aid would be changing voting policies in the UN. Let’s stop protecting Israel there, and see if we can exert any changes in behavior.

  132. 132
    ItAintEazy says:

    Damn moderation:

    John S.

    The creation of the nation of Israel was bizarre. The United Nations did a really unprecedented thing which has turned out to be an ongoing…situation.

    Israel did not invade Palestine in even the remotest sense of Mexico annexing Texas. There is absolutely no parallel. The merest suggestion is foolish and rather puerile.

    Yeah, let’s pretend the whole 1967/Occupied Territories thing didn’t happen, but I do want to point out the fact that in that original UN deal, the Jews received 56% of the land despite making up only 33% of the population and owning only 6 %. Any hasbarah revisionists will be hard-pressed to explain away that disparity as anything less than dispossession and colonialism.

  133. 133
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    I’m guessing that at age 63 (in Oct.), she may be older than they want for the slot.

  134. 134
    Honus says:

    @rootless-e:
    I think you’re the one doing somersaults to justify your analogy.
    And If you think jews are unique in having their loyalty to their country questioned, try being an arab-american. Four years ago my own congressman (Virgil Goode) said everyone of my ethnic background should be deported.

  135. 135
    lumpenprole says:

    The Israeli right wing takes as much as it can get from the US. (Doesn’t everybody?) They’re probably as surprised as anyone else that American political process has been willing to hand over so much in the last generation. Except for GHWB, I can’t recall any examples of the US making meaningful demands to stop the settlements.

  136. 136
    Keith G says:

    But, but why *do* we give so much aid to a state with GNP and GDP rating well above average and high enough to match the lower echelon of EU states.

    I’ts just silly. A misuse of scarce tax dollars regardless of Israeli policy choices.

  137. 137
    The Truffle says:

    @Mike in NC: Big ole word. If Israel insists on continuing with these settlements–er, “housing units”–then the US shouldn’t give them one more dollar in foreign aid. Just about the only people who support these settlements are the neocons and the Meir Kahane wannabes. Enough already.

  138. 138
    The Truffle says:

    @Leelee for Obama: A clarification: Being wrong and having a rich, influential daddy is the new machismo.

  139. 139
    drillfork says:

    Cole will love this, but really, it’s actions, not words. When the Obama admin takes some action against Israel’s savage policies, then I’ll care.

    Incidentally, you all really need a better nickname for Netanyahu. Whenever I see Bibi, I initially think you’re talking about Joe Biden…

  140. 140
    chopper says:

    personally, i think that the peace process will be stalled until some bright mind comes up with the perfect historical analogy for the situation. only then can we get to the next step, namely coming up with a clever acronym for the peace deal to come.

  141. 141
    Svensker says:

    @drillfork:

    Incidentally, you all really need a better nickname for Netanyahu. Whenever I see Bibi, I initially think you’re talking about Joe Biden…

    Bibi is Netanyahu’s nickname. Not a BJ nickname.

    And what Cat Lady said in post #3. Enough awready.

  142. 142
    demimondian says:

    Bibi miscalculated. He’s been betting all along that the right would win the health reform battle here, and that Obama’s international standing would be mortally wounded by that loss. If HCR has gone down, it’s even possible that would have been a good bet.

    Unfortunately, he misread the future. HCR is about to pass, and Obama’s presidency isn’t about to implode — and Rahm Emmanuel has a very long memory. Bibi is seriously running out of time and leverage, and his only hope to salvage the situation is to torpedo negotiations.

    Good luck with that.

  143. 143
    Jay C says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Time is going against Likud and the settlers. I wonder if Bibi knows this.

    Really? Would that it were so; but it is more like the “settler bloc” is presently one of the main drivers of Israeli policy, rather than a fringe. Just look at some of the characters in Netanyahu’s Cabinet; and Israel’s bizarre political system pretty much guarantees that extremists – no matter how small their parties – will always have a major say in governmental operations and policy.

    I was going to say “disproportionate influence”, but it seems (sad to say) that the Israeli public’s sympathies are probably way more inclined towards the settlers (violent authoritarian theocrats as they might be) than to the “peace bloc”. A fact which most American “pro-Israel” organizations tend to try to ignore.

  144. 144
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @demimondian: lolwut?? Obama’s international standing is mortally wounded by the death of a mediocre bill that has nothing to do with international policy and this hashish fantasy has all fuckwhat to do with Israel???

    You are retarded. Seriously.

  145. 145
    Nick says:

    @John S.:

    Wow, you’re absolutely fucking clueless about Jewish history, aren’t you?

    Oh no, I know the whole “the Bible says it’s our land” crap. The Bible says a lot of shit. Fact is, for 1900 years, the people who inhabited the land were mostly of Arab descent. I mean how far back do we want to go? Caveman times?

    I mean, if we want to go back THAT FAR, you think maybe we should all just leave North America. After all, this isn’t our land.

  146. 146
    rootless-e says:

    @Honus: actually, I think that’s something American Jews and Arabs have in common.

  147. 147
    rootless-e says:

    @liberal: I’ve never seen a reason to believe US aid to any nation had much to do with impoverished populations.

  148. 148
    rootless-e says:

    @Nick:

    No, you are a fucking idiot. The founders of the state of israel may be criticized on a lot of grounds, but they were not particularly religious. Your argument bigotry, pure and simple.

  149. 149
    rootless-e says:

    @bago: You are discussing the settlement of America?

  150. 150
    rootless-e says:

    @Jay C: There are polls done in Israel and they do not show a great deal of support for the settlers.

  151. 151
    eemom says:

    hey rootless, just want to offer my kudos for your patience and general sanity on this thread. I almost never engage on this subject anymore because the smug sanctimoniousness of the Israel-bashers drives me crazy and I find it impossible to argue with people who basically deny that anti-Semitism is alive and well in this country, as in the rest of the world — and that NO, that does NOT mean that I automatically label all criticism of Israel anti-Semitism, because it is not and I don’t.

    Whatever. Ya done good.

  152. 152
    rootless-e says:

    @eemom: thanks. I love it when my fellow Americans want to wax indignant about the Israeli settler nature, as if the continental USA was unpopulated when the anglos arrived.

  153. 153
    Elie says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    I agree with your and kay’s comments on this …

    slightly off topic – Have been out of the country on a great trip to Vietnam for 2 1/2 weeks — mostly the North. Can’t tell you how good it felt to be away from the US as center of the universe — we are not that center in asia in the way we are in the west… it was good to have that reality check – to be in a minority of the western tourists —

    Israel has contorted itself into something almost completely dysfunctional — there is hubris and it will be a nice trick for the US not to get sucked into the vortex of that hubris when it plays out. BiBi way overplayed his hand but not sure he or Israel really gets the message. I am sick of Israel and its shtick…bout time we started pushing the question that Cat Lady asks above — whats in it for US anymore?

  154. 154
    Veritas78 says:

    It would change things if our high-tech USAF would do their super-targeted thingy on some settlement constructions, on a Saturday, when no one is working. That would scramble the playing field.

    We bomb Arabs all the time, why not bomb a couple acres of the West Bank?

  155. 155
    Keith G says:

    @rootless-e:

    I love it when my fellow Americans want to wax indignant about the Israeli settler nature, as if the continental USA was unpopulated when the anglos arrived.

    Golly that is a patch of messy reasoning.

    FWIW, I deplore the ethnic cleansing perpetrated on Native American. And I do put my time, vote, and money where my mouth is on that topic. While I grew up admiring the state of Israel (in the 60s and 70s they had great PR), now I just do not care any more. I wish we would send the tax money we give them to programs giving better aid to Native groups. They deserve it more.

    Having said that I wish we could work out an accord where Israel would get back more or less to ’73 borders and we would emphatically guarantee their existence within those borders with our treasure and blood if need be.

    Time is running out for Israel. They need to make a deal sooner rather than later. Demographics and technological spread are not their friend. American demographic are as problematic as Palestinian. A Whiter and Baby Boomer led America will be more understanding of Israel than what will follow.

  156. 156
    Aaron says:

    I totally agree with you all – colonialist powers who disappropriated land from the native peoples should be forced to give them back, dammit!

    So… I guess we all have to go back to Europe, Asia, Latin America, etc. and give North America back to the Natives, eh?

    Oh and Britain is going to be *pissed* when it finds out it has to take back the Australians so that the remaining Aborigines (the ones who weren’t exterminated by the majority Australian whites) can have their continent back.

    And bravo to all of those who are speaking up so strongly against colonialism in Tibet or Sudan or the Western Sahara.

    Oh I get it – it’s much easier to pick on a small country, right? Especially if you think it will win you points with the Jihadists and keep them from coming to chop off your head.

  157. 157
    Orpheus Odinga says:

    YAY!!!, Cat Lady. It is about time someone did an honest, clearsighted
    cost-benefit analysis of the situation USA-Israel. I’m not a Jew either.
    And it certainly seems to me that calling Israel a democracy is some-
    thing of a semantic liberty, when one considers that none of the residents of the occupied territories have any way to influence the political process in Israel.
    SO, exactly what do I gain and what does the USA gain from its special relationship with the Jewish State of Israel. Enquiring minds want to know.

Comments are closed.