The Two-State Solution is a dead parrot

1865_Map_of_Palestine

With all the crazy from American wingnuts this summer, it is possible that folks missed the announcement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Friday that the Two-State solution is officially dead (emphasis added):

While other states were collapsing, said Netanyahu, Israel was not — because of the strength of its leadership, its army and its people. [snip]

Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan” — a reference to the Jordan Valley and the West Bank — as Kerry had urged during a US-led peace effort that collapsed in April.

Of course, this isn’t news to anybody who has been paying any attention to the I/P conflict over the years. The Israeli right was never going to accept a Two-State solution and has never negotiated in good faith. This has been clear since one of their own assassinated Rabin and the Right through Sharon and later Netanyahu seized control of the political process.

Until he up and died, it was always easy to blame failure on Arafat (who sometimes helped the Israeli Right scuttle peace talks). But Arafat has been dead for a decade. Now Hamas is presented as the auto-reason why Israel can never enter into serious negotiations to settle the conflict. Hamas and the Israeli Right are very good at tag-teaming to death any movement towards peace.

Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has tried to find an Israeli negotiating partner for over a decade, but he would have better luck trying to ride a unicorn.

The Two-State Solution is dead. There will be a One-State Solution, the only question now is what will that single state look like.

Noam Sheizaf at +972 (an independent web magazine focusing on I/P life and politics) has been investigating just what kind of One-State solution the Israeli Right has planned. It is a depressing read as Sheizaf details the kind of One-State Solution that is being created through the slow, steady and relentless boil of the status quo:

The right-wing figures and settlers I spoke to have some different nuances among them, but generally, their one-state solution would look like this: gradually and unilaterally, Israel would annex the West Bank (different time frames were given for this process – from five to 25 years); beginning with Area C and then moving to B and A. Barring security clearances (and according to some – loyalty oaths), all Palestinians will end up having blue Israeli identity cards with full rights. The army will return to dealing mostly with national defense, and the police will take over civilian policing duties in the annexed territory.

Constitutional measures that will define Israel as a Jewish State would take place in advance (some mentioned passing a basic law defining Israel as a Jewish State, something Netanyahu is already promoting). Palestinian refugees will not be allowed back. Gaza will not be annexed, and will turn to a fully independent region, separated from the State of Israel. [snip]

Separating Gaza from their model is necessary for right-wing one staters in order to maintain a Jewish majority in the unified state.

This vision of a One-State Solution is being created by the status quo, the never-ending confiscation of land and the ongoing establishment of new “facts on the ground”. Sheizaf points out that the driver in Israeli politics (left, right and center) is avoiding resolution of the I/P conflict while protecting the status quo from change:

The problem is political. The status quo in the West Bank is the common denominator of the Israeli political system. This is what the public wants, and the politicians realize that. I advise readers not to allow themselves to be too impressed by the occasional poll stating most of the Jewish public still supports the two-state solution. This is the result of a choice between one state and two states. In the rare cases when respondents to a poll are faced with a third option – maintaining things as they are while avoiding international measures against Israel – the majority migrates to the status quo option. The consensus over the status quo is what allows Lapid, Bennet and Livni to maintain their coalition, and it is the reason Netanyahu – a man who has taken the idea of keeping things as they are and turned it into an art form – has been able to maintain power for so long.

This is why the efforts to restart Peace Talks have and will fail. It is why Abbas and Kerry do not have an Israeli negotiating partner. Any Peace Talks, let alone any final settlement, would threaten the status quo and any Israeli politician who endorsed such a change would be tossed out on his or her ear.

So, the Two-State solution is dead. A One-State solution—where Palestinians are de facto second-class citizens and Gaza is a maintained as containment prison for the unfortunate population trapped within its borders–will be created through the steady drip, drip drip of the status quo and occupation.

Unless: something happens to make the price of the status quo too high. In that case, Sheizaf points out:

But once there is enough pressure for change on Israel, I assume that most of the Jewish public will move quickly to adopt the two-state solution, because it would rather keep 100 percent of the assets on 78 percent of the land, as opposed to keeping 50 percent of power and assets on 100 percent of the land.

Somehow, I doubt that there will ever be pressure strong enough to make the price of the status quo too high for the Israeli Right (and our wingnuts at home). I do not see Israeli politics ever changing enough to abandon the status quo and re-animate the corpse of the Two-State Solution. The system is locked down and inflexible. The cycle is on an endless loop of death, hopelessness, occupation, and violence. The human rights violations by all sides will go on and on and on…

The sad rinse, wash, repeat of the status quo keeps grinding forward–without even the desire for change.

Our policy of unquestioning support for Israel is not really doing that State any favors. When a buddy is in a self-destructive cycle, a real friend does not look the other way or enable their behavior. A real pal tells the truth even when it will hurt. Israeli is in crisis and the only real way to help is to abandon the policy of unquestioning support. We need to tell them when their shit is fucked up. We need to put pressure on their very destructive status quo. That’s what a real friend would do.

Of course doing that would mean violating an American political status quo, so I’m guessing that will happen shortly after we all get our flying ponies.

Cheers

Image: A map of Palestine, circa 1865

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144 replies
  1. 1

    Welcome to Apartheid Israel.

  2. 2
    JMG says:

    Israel’s vision of a one-state solution is a vision many American have for their own country.

  3. 3
    Kropadope says:

    Maybe in about 30 years they’ll be talking about sanctions.

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    There will be a One-State Solution, the only question now is what will that single state look like.

    Like the South from the 1900s-1960s.

  5. 5
    The Other Chuck says:

    I’m done with carrots, it’s time for the sticks. Divestiture, South Africa style.

  6. 6
    pharniel says:

    Rebuild that Temple already.
    DOOO IT

    Then the RWNJs will stop supporting Isreal – because the temple has to be rebuilt and then fall

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    @Belafon: Then BDS is the only answer. If someone is against white supremacism, they should also be against Jewish supremacism.

    I occasionally see pro-Israel stickers on cars. These cars invariably belong to teabaggers, and are always emblazoned with pro-gun, anti-liberal, and anti-Obama stickers. At least the teabaggers are consistent as opposed to the reflexive support to everything and anything Israel does shown by too many liberals.

    Here is an interesting piece about the systematic quashing of Jewish dissent re: Israel in the United States http://www.juancole.com/2014/0.....ssent.html

  8. 8

    OT: GOP is selling their old snake oil in a new bottle, with an able assist from the “liberal” NYT in the form of a slobbery magazine article.

  9. 9
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @pharniel:

    because the temple has to be rebuilt and then fall

    Sounds like a job for some RWNJ grifter construction contractors.

  10. 10
    SatanicPanic says:

    Well, that was a depressing read. Other than North Korea, I don’t know if there’s a more hopeless place on earth than Palestine. Actually, I’d probably rather live in the DPRK. At least it’s not ethnic or religious strife.

  11. 11
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Even if a two state solution were reached, Israel would still likely apply unilateral force to protect their interests and keep the Palestinian state crippled.

    The one state solution looks so much like Mosaic Egypt… Just wow. Irony abounds.

  12. 12
    Calouste says:

    all Palestinians will end up having blue Israeli identity cards with full rights. […]

    Constitutional measures that will define Israel as a Jewish State would take place in advance (some mentioned passing a basic law defining Israel as a Jewish State, something Netanyahu is already promoting).

    If a state has an official religion, any citizen who doesn’t follow that religion is de facto a second-class citizen and won’t have full rights.

  13. 13
    CaseyL says:

    Oh, yeah: maintaining an apartheid system when you’re outnumbered internally and externally by people who hate you (for good reasons as well as bad) has always worked out well.

    Israel becoming a RW theocracy, with the theocrats mostly welfare-dependent parasites seem to spend a great deal of their time defining who is “Jewish” in ever-narrowing terms… that’s gonna work out great, too.

    So the plan is to combat death-by-demographic by unpersoning Palestinians, encouraging Orthodox families to have lots and lots of kids, and getting more Orthodox nutballs to make aliyah (move to Israel). The population will therefore become more fundamentalist.

    Meanwhile, it doesn’t matter if they permanently annex and colonize the entire West Bank: Israel will run out of room and never be a large country. More pertinently, Israel will run out of resources (like, say, water) to support its population. A densely populated desert country running out of room and resources, and filled with angry fundamentalists…

    Israeli politicians are doing their best to undermine the stereotype that Jews are smart. (Note: I am Jewish.) Those politicians, and the people who support them, are plain loco. That’s not a plan for a viable state.

    I don’t think the state of Israel will be around in 40 years. Between the demographics, climate change, and sheer lunatic buffoonery in its relations with other countries, Israel is going to become a modern-day Massada.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    Jon Stewart has been wonderful on this issue. I can’t even imagine the amount of vitriol he must receive from the Israel-firsters.

  15. 15

    @CaseyL: I remember a time when the Israeli state was not so extreme. Israel seems to have a made a hard right turn during Bush II regime.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    But wouldn’t upsetting the status quo = destroying Israel as a Jewish state? I really don’t see a two-state solution as viable given the real hatred that too many Palestinians have for Israel (with many not even acknowledging its existence). I also don’t understand what Hamas thinks it will achieve by lobbing rockets into Israel.

    Just my 2 cents since there appears to be a never ending war going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis — I don’t see any conclusion or resolution.

  17. 17
    the Conster says:

    Why is this all so sadly familiar, and why don’t Israelis see how this ends? This is the lesson of Shoah? Really??? They are beyond redemption if they hew to this path, and karma is going to be one fierce cold bitch.

  18. 18

    @Calouste: Exactly this. ‘Separate but equal’ is a paradox.

  19. 19
    askew says:

    Both sides suck. Until both Israel and Palestine decide they care more about peace than they do about retribution, there will be no agreement. I get sick of reading from the left and right that one side is more to blame than the other. They both suck and have killed way too many innocent people.

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @beltane: Perhaps many (non-Jewish) liberals are sympathetic to Israel because it was founded by Jews fleeing persecution in Europe and founded after the Holocaust.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: This is one crime I won’t lay at the feet of Bush II. The hard-right turn began in the 1990s, along with the “peace process”, Rabin’s assassination (a very large minority of Israelis regard the assassin as a hero) and Netanyahu’s rise to power. Although Netanyahu and Cheney are like twins separated at birth, it’s not the Bush administration that’s responsible for this particular monster.

    It’s important to know that the most widely read newspaper in Israel is a horrible right-wing rag financed by Sheldon Adelson.

  22. 22
    askew says:

    @Calouste:

    If a state has an official religion, any citizen who doesn’t follow that religion is de facto a second-class citizen and won’t have full rights.

    The UK has an official religion. All it does is make the country less religious.

  23. 23
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I also don’t understand what Hamas thinks it will achieve by lobbing rockets into Israel.

    To Israel? Not much. To Palestinians? “We’re still here and still fighting. Join us.”

    I don’t support what Hamas is doing, but I can certainly understand it.

  24. 24

    @beltane: Do you think things in Israel would be different if Israel did not have so many US enablers?

  25. 25
    Jordan Rules says:

    Welp Rhianna and Dwight Howard both tweeted #freepalestine and promptly deleted it. Maybe that’s an interesting a new tactic. Of course condemnation has been called forth regardless. SMH

  26. 26
    Keith G says:

    The ever-optimist in me used to think that there were ways (difficult and trying ways) to get to a workable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Now I am becoming pretty sure that there is not.

    Currently my prevailing mindset is numbed pessimism. I am beginning to think that the stakes are not high enough (if one can imagine that) and the pain has not been great enough on the part of both sides to lay the foundation for a solution which could last at least a while. Better leadership would work to avoid the future calamity- and stop trying to use current calamities to leverage more fervent constituent support. Better leadership left a while ago.

    I guess there needs to be a bigger, more explosive (in actuality) mess with very high costs in order for more minds to be focused on the needs for a better way.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    Consider Netanyahu’s vision of a non-collapsing state as you regard ongoing events. Revealing, to say the least. What a twisted soul.

  28. 28
    Botsplainer says:

    the only question now is what will that single state look like

    It’ll look like a beleaguered bunch of survivors in a UN protectorate rump state consisting of parts of Jerusalem, a few remaining irradiated suburbs of Tel Aviv and a mostly intact Haifa, from which boats can carry the refugees to the US.

    Fox News pundits will be shocked and surprised. Teabaggers will greet the refugees at the ports, screaming “get out, you losers!”.

  29. 29
    gene108 says:

    Constitutional measures that will define Israel as a Jewish State

    Israel is finally going to get a Constitution? They wanted to avoid a constitution because one cannot be a secular constitutional democracy, with freedom of religion for everyone and a Jewish religious state at the same time.

    Our policy of unquestioning support for Israel is not really doing that State any favors. When a buddy is in a self-destructive cycle, a real friend does not look the other way or enable their behavior.

    I do not think it is a self-destructive practice for Israel. They got the land and no one is going to stop them from doing what they want with it.

    The Arab states no longer give a rats-ass about Palestine, so it seems.

    Syria and Iraq were probably the last serious local military threats to Israel and they are gone.

    Palestinians will either disappear as an ethnic group and merge with other local ethnic groups or go the way of Sindhis in India, who were driven out of their homeland after Partition and live as their own ethnic group without an actual nation to call home.

  30. 30
    Kropadope says:

    @Botsplainer: That’s awfully optimistic.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @askew:
    I can only hope you meant that merely as a caricature of the stereotypical “both sides do it” argument.

  32. 32
    Helen says:

    I truly don’t know enough about the situation in Israel to comment on what may happen, but I used to say this exact thing about Northern Ireland. The reason that changed is that the generations changed. The “troubles” were my grandparent’s and my mother’s fight (it’s why she left Belfast for America). Then it became my cousin’s fight, but to a much lesser extent. When their kids were old enough to understand what was going on, they wanted nothing to do with it. To them, it was a bunch of old people fighting an old war over old grievances.

    So compromise became possible. On both sides.

  33. 33
    askew says:

    @Keith G:

    Currently my prevailing mindset is numbed pessimism. I am beginning to think that the stakes are not high enough (if one can imagine that) and the pain has not been great enough on the part of both sides to lay the foundation for a solution which could last at least a while. Better leadership would work to avoid the future calamity- and stop trying to use current calamities to leverage more fervent constituent support. Better leadership left a while ago.

    It’s not the stakes or the pain, it’s the Palestinian and Israeli people being too busy living in the past and worrying about retribution and not carrying about the future for their people or their country. Until that happens, there is no peace and no agreement.

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @askew: Do non-Anglicans enjoy full protection of the law? If not, that would be news to me.

  35. 35
    askew says:

    @Helen:

    I truly don’t know enough about the situation in Israel to comment on what may happen, but I used to say this exact thing about Northern Ireland. The reason that changed is that the generations changed. The “troubles” were my grandparent’s and my mother’s fight (it’s why she left Belfast for America). Then it became my cousin’s fight, but to a much lesser extent. When their kids were old enough to understand what was going on, they wanted nothing to do with it. To them, it was a bunch of old people fighting an old war over old grievances.

    On a side note, I was in Derry, Northern Ireland right after the military cleared out a massive riot in 1998. Man, what a depressing and scary place that was. The contrast between Northern Ireland and Ireland couldn’t have been more stark.
    So compromise became possible. On both sides.

    This is what is happening in Colombia right now as well. We’ll see how long it takes for this to happen in Israel/Palestine. Not within my lifetime is my guess.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @Helen: The younger generation in Israel is far more right-wing than their grandparents.

  37. 37
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @askew:

    I get sick of reading from the left and right that one side is more to blame than the other.

    One side has control of pretty much everything, the other side has control over almost nothing. How are they anywhere near equally responsible?

  38. 38
    Mandalay says:

    @Calouste:

    If a state has an official religion, any citizen who doesn’t follow that religion is de facto a second-class citizen and won’t have full rights.

    That may be true in some countries with an official religion, but certainly not all. For example, in Argentina (Catholic), England (Church of England) and Scotland (Church of Scotland) citizens can safely show open contempt for their official religion without the slightest risk of becoming second class citizens.

  39. 39
    Kropadope says:

    @askew: This may be the case, however one side has all the power.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @gene108:

    “The Arab states no longer give a rats-ass about Palestine, so it seems. ”

    And they did exactly when?

  41. 41
    askew says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    @askew:
    I can only hope you meant that merely as a caricature of the stereotypical “both sides do it” argument.

    No. Both sides suck. They have both slaughtered innocent women and children and called for the extermination of the other. Neither one is right and neither side will ever win this war. Until they care more about their children and grandchildren, then they do about revenge, this will continue until they are all dead.

  42. 42
    Botsplainer says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I really don’t see a two-state solution as viable given the real hatred that too many Palestinians have for Israel (with many not even acknowledging its existence).

    Spend 45 years under an exclusionary form of occupation, and see how you feel about your occupiers.

    I also don’t understand what Hamas thinks it will achieve by lobbing rockets into Israel.

    Asymmetrical warfare. Thanks to the US provision of hardware and limitless support, direct military attacks are ill advised, leaving soft targets and dumb weapons as the only real alternative to sap the public will to continue that occupation.

  43. 43
    Calouste says:

    @askew:

    The UK doesn’t have an official religion. The Queen is head of the Church of England, not of the non-existent Church of the UK.

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    One side has control of pretty much everything, the other side has control over almost nothing. How are they anywhere near equally responsible?

    Not only that, but the side in control is occupying stolen land. The notion both sides are equally responsible is absurd.

  45. 45
    Kropadope says:

    @Mandalay: Are you saying the commenter’s views on the Israel-Palestine question are…askew?

  46. 46

    @gene108: You are speaking Sindhi Hindus, of course. Plenty of Sindhi Muslims still live in Sindh, the Bhutto family for example, is a prominent Sindhi family.

  47. 47
    StringOnAStick says:

    @askew:

    The UK has an official religion. All it does is make the country less religious.

    Depends on the country. The UK does not financially support anyone who decides they want to attend seminary for as many years as they like, whereas Israel does this for ultraorthodox men (and their ever-growing families) who decide to make attending yeshiva a life-long career. These same yeshiva-for-a-lifetime students are exempted from the military service required of all Israeli citizens, male or female.

    The Israeli ultraorthodox (whom my Jewish husband calls “fundamentalist crazies”) have a ton of official power over anything having to do with Jewishness in Israel, including who is actually officially Jewish. We have several friends where one of the parents converted through a temple, but since it wasn’t an orthodox conversion, neither they or their children are Jewish according to official Israeli policy. Surveys show that most Israeli citizens are unhappy with the amount of control the ultraorthodox have over public life and government, but they sure don’t seem to be losing any power. If anything, the constant threat of terrorism keeps them even more firmly entrenched.

  48. 48
    Dennis G. says:

    @Helen: I had hoped for compromise to settle the issue decades ago and there was a lot of hope before the Israeli Right assassinated Rabin. Once he was gone, there was nobody left with the courage to fight for peace–especially when the Israeli Right and Hamas were tag teaming any peace effort into the dirt (like they are doing today in response to Kerry’s efforts earlier this year).

    I think that Sheizaf is correct that nothing will change until pressure makes the price of the Israeli wingnut vision too high. I’m afraid that will take generations and I doubt that Israel will survive the fall-out from decades of catastrophic mismanagement by Sharon/Netanyahu.

    I would love to be proven wrong.

  49. 49
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes. That’s the only intellectually honest conclusion.

    I feel sorry for the many Israelis who know how disgraceful that fact is but can’t seem to do anything about it.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    The increasingly institutionalionalized religious and racial prejudice is what finally tipped me over. They, meaning a specific portion of Israelis, are hard-wiring permanent rule for their vision of what Israel is. Plus a general lack of good will or any attempts at compromise. That’s about the exact opposite of a nation I could admire or support, irrespective of any land-tenency issues.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @scav: Does that seem anything at all like the methodology of the hard right in the GOP?

  52. 52
    Senyordave says:

    To me it is a given that at some point in the future some terrorists will figure out how to deliver some type of WMD into Israel and kill a lot of people. I don’t care how good your security is and how good your intelligence is it only takes a few people.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: Exactly. They never did. The plight of the Palestinians was always an easy way for the incumbent Arab rulers to use slight of hand to distract their own masses from their tyranny. “The Jews” once again were used as a scapegoat. The irony here is that the Israeli right does the same thing with the Palestinians. Six million dead, and Likud has learned NOTHING from that experience.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @askew: Israel has a blockade on items going into Palestinians. They can’t get fresh fruit or medical supplies or building supplies like concrete. Junk food? Sure thing.
    One side has the most powerful military force in the immediate region.
    Tell us the last time an Israeli house was bulldozed as collective punishment?

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @pharniel: And when the Temple does fall, it will change absolutely nothing, because the modern interpretation of Revelations is pure fantasy.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And the argument goes on and on and on.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    I used to think that if the Catholics and Protestants in Ulster could find a way to stop killing each other, then so could the Israelis and Palestinians. I don’t think that any more. There’s no Palestinian equivalent to Gerry Adams, although Abbas is trying. Netanyahu is way crazier than Ian Paisley ever thought of being. And Paisley never had to deal with any Protestant equivalent to Avigdor Lieberman.

    They’ll be killing each other for 1,000 years, unless one side or the other actually succeeds at genocide.

    The only thing for the United States to do is walk away, and stop selling armaments to either side.

  58. 58
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: To be fair, I don’t know if there’s a non-fantastical interpretation of the Book of Revelation

  59. 59
    Johnny Yuma says:

    @Patricia Kayden: It seems to me that after their attack on the USS Liberty and the “muted” response (charitably speaking) by the government of the United States, the Israelis concluded they had carte blanche to do pretty much as they damned well pleased. Be that as it may, it is what they’ve pretty much proceeded to do ever since that infamous day (and always in the spirit of “Uncle Sucker be damned”).

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Johnny Yuma: James Bamford asserts that the Israelis attacked the Liberty because it was intercepting Israeli communications that were discussing the summary execution of Egyptian POWs during the Seven Day War.

  61. 61
    eyelessgame says:

    The only thing I could imagine that could produce enough pressure on Israel to start actual negotiation is if Iran gets the bomb. I’m not sure that would work – I’m just sure nothing else will.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Fox News pundits will be shocked and surprised. Teabaggers will greet the refugees at the ports, screaming “get out, you losersJOOOS!!”.

    Fixed that for you.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eyelessgame: Iran’s motivation for wanting the bomb is defensive in nature…if you’ve got the bomb, the US won’t touch you…look at North Korea. If you don’t have the bomb, or might, the US may take action, given the right set of warmongering shitstains in power (the Neocons), no matter how objectively strategically stupid said action may be. Look at Iraq.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @eyelessgame: Yea, they’d negotiate with us to fuel their shit so they could flatten Tehran.

  65. 65
    D58826 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Only until the second class citizens are willing to go along peacefully. Once they start setting off IED’s on the settler roads and otherwise making life miserable for the Jewish majority, then the solution will be ethnic cleaning.

  66. 66
    Johnny Yuma says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: So I read. Granted, our Vietnam War was at full throttle and the My Lai massacre was a contemporaneous event. Still, I’ve never understood the reason for the cover-up, i.e., the rationalizations invoked, and powers that gave birth to the decision.

  67. 67
    bruceJ says:

    “Barring security clearances (and according to some – loyalty oaths), all Palestinians will end up having blue Israeli identity cards with full rights.”

    I expect this is because the settlers and right-wingers are very VERY careful to never air their *actual* wishes in public, which is ‘Exterminate the brutes!’

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @D58826: Which I think is one of the reasons Hanna Arendt was not in favor of founding Israel. She knew what path the Zionists were on, and she was appalled by it

  69. 69
    NobodySpecial says:

    @SatanicPanic: There’s one. It was said by Rick James. “Cocaine is a hell of a drug.”

  70. 70
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @beltane: Didn’t the rightward lurch in Israel begin in 1977 with Menachem Begin’s Election? Yes, he signed the Camp David Accords, but he and Likud were the ones using the language about “Judea and Samaria” and saying that they were part of Israel and would never be given back…

    It’s a mess and will continue to be a mess. Until it doesn’t.

    All it takes is Israeli voters turning out the leaders they’ve got and putting in ones who are committed to a genuine settlement. I’m not expecting it to happen soon. :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: The nature of the Israeli political system assures that whackaloon right wing parties will continue to hold the position of kingmakers, regardless of what the majority of Israelis actually want.

  72. 72
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I thought that essential similarity had been well-covered earlier.

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    All it takes is Israeli voters turning out the leaders they’ve got and putting in ones who are committed to a genuine settlement.

    Sadly, that is not going to happen anytime soon. Netanyahu has overwhelming support for what he is doing from Israeli voters.

  74. 74
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I think it’s going to take actions here. Defanging the Christian Zionists and their rapture buddies would be a good start. As long as current Israeli policies have their support, politicians here will be afraid to even voice mild support for sanctions, or even abstain from stopping others from doing so.

  75. 75
    The Dangerman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Welcome to Apartheid Apart-Heil Israel.

    FTFY. The Israeli’s are becoming that which they fleed.

  76. 76
    Mandalay says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Defanging the Christian Zionists and their rapture buddies would be a good start. As long as current Israeli policies have their support, politicians here will be afraid to even voice mild support for sanctions

    It might be a good start, but it wouldn’t be enough. The are plenty of Jewish Democrats in both houses, and many of them will inevitably support pro-Israel policies, and oppose policies they perceive as anti-Israel, with or without the rapture mob, and the $$$ of folks like Adelson.

  77. 77
    beltane says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Thanks for that information. When I was a young kid in the late 1970’s I used to go (not very willingly) with my grandmother to her South Florida reform temple. One time there was some kind of Israeli government representative selling Israel bonds who gave a slide show presentation about Israel’s precarious borders. The gist of the presentation was that Israel was too small and that the 1967 borders were indefensible. He really wowed all the old people by saying “Did you know that in some places, the distance between Arab land and the sea is the same as between A1A and the Florida Turnpike?”

    It must have been before the Camp David Accord because the guy was adamant that the Jews were doomed if the Sinai was given back to Egypt.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @scav: I am a latecomer to the thread. I probably skimmed over it too quickly.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @askew:
    By now, plenty of other commenters have replied to you to point out the nature and extent of the asymmetries in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These suggest that condemning both sides equally is taking too simplified a view of the whole mess. I have nothing to add to that.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): This thread is no different from the 8 zillion other threads on the same topic.

  81. 81
    dmbeaster says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I remember a time when the Israeli state was not so extreme.

    I would suggest that there was never such a time. Israel was founded by deliberate ethnic cleansing over half a million Palestinians from the lands annexed in 1948 (outside the UN boundaries of Israel). The Likud and west bankers are more akin to the founders of Israel in thinking. Remember Meir’s famous line: “There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” Which is not only odious but a lie since they did throw them out, even if they did not yet have a state. Match with another quote from her: “Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen.”

    I think the founders were more crafty in there public statements and were able to sell a false image of themselves. They also concocted a wholly phony story concerning the creation of Israel to cover their tracks (now unraveled by even the Israeli historians of the “new school” such as Morris, who are still ardent Zionist and defend the ethnic cleansing as necessary).

    It is worth comparing the points made in this post about the complications of forming the Jewish State with the original criticism of Zionism by jewish rabbis in the late 1800s when Zionism was still an obscure sect of jewish thought. They viewed Zionism as a secular European creation that aspired to change the focus of Judaism from devotion to Jewish law and religious ritual to the establishment of a Jewish nation-state. I think their core criticism is fundamentally correct as it has changed judaism.

    And what is so ironic in this whole debate is the Israeli insistence on recognition of the right of Israel to exist while Israel steadfastly denies the same courtesy to Palestinians.

  82. 82
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): whether or not it’s sufficiently covered, it remains an important point, especially as they are allies and mutual-enablers (although monetary-physical military bennies are more one-directional).

  83. 83
    kc says:

    @Jordan Rules:

    I knew about Howard, but Rihanna too? I would have thought she had more balls.

    Oh well, guess she should just stick to making fun of high school girls.

  84. 84
    dmbeaster says:

    @beltane:

    Although we focus on the 1967 borders, they are now a mere anachronism of history. Israel never accepted them. They existed for only 19 years (1948 to 1967). It has now been 47 years since they vanished. They will never have any future relevance since Israel has deliberately changed the facts on the ground concerning its borders.

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    The whole thing is a mess. Nothing changes. If the US stops sending money to Israel then things might get interesting. Or, if we put real conditions on the money we do send. But we don’t. So nothing will change.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc:

    Oh well, guess she should just stick to making fun of high school girls.

    I find Rihanna to be not interesting in any way, but…?

  87. 87
    beltane says:

    @Violet: The last president who did this was Bush I. It’s doubtful we’ll ever see another president do this in our lifetimes.

  88. 88
    Mike in NC says:

    @Violet: AIPAC would never permit such a thing. It has Congress in its pocket.

  89. 89
    Botsplainer says:

    @Violet:

    If the US stops sending money to Israel then things might get interesting.

    If the Israeli public had to bear the full financial cost of it’s hard line, they might bring pressure to bear regarding that line.

  90. 90
    Cervantes says:

    @askew:

    Both sides suck. Until both Israel and Palestine decide they care more about peace than they do about retribution, there will be no agreement. I get sick of reading from the left and right that one side is more to blame than the other. They both suck and have killed way too many innocent people.

    Yes, and it was the same with the Americans and the Vietnamese, the Indonesians and the Timorese, the Chinese and the Tibetans — I get sick of thinking about it all — a pox on all their houses, say I!

  91. 91
    another Holocene human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There are also Jewish tbaggers. Younger boomers or GenX. Imo forgot where they came from (or never knew). I don’t get it either.

  92. 92
    Seymour Skinner says:

    For Gods sake Edna, let them slaughter each other, it’s what they’ve been doing since the Bible!
    “Prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong!”

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Well, that was a depressing read. Other than North Korea, I don’t know if there’s a more hopeless place on earth than Palestine. Actually, I’d probably rather live in the DPRK. At least it’s not ethnic or religious strife.

    There is no issue in all of politics that infuriates me more, or on which I see less hope for improvement, than Israel. Americans who see an apartheid state as literally ordained by divine edict are mainstream and incredibly loud, and most of the rest of our spectrum is reduced to wringing its hands talking about how if only the Palestinians weren’t so unreasonable, they’re sure everything would be okay. I don’t see that changing. Not now, not in the future. It’s like gun control, but without even the shootings in American schools to provoke outrage. Which in turn means Israel doesn’t have any incentive to stop the course it’s on.

  94. 94
    askew says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    @askew:
    By now, plenty of other commenters have replied to you to point out the nature and extent of the asymmetries in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These suggest that condemning both sides equally is taking too simplified a view of the whole mess. I have nothing to add to that.

    Your comment shows why there won’t be peace. You are too busy allocating blame instead of working towards peace. Neither side has clean hands. Until both sides care more about peace and a future for their people over “being right” and revenge, there is no peace. That’s what happened in Ireland. It’s what is happening in Colombia. That’s your model for peace. Choose to embrace or both sides will just continue to slaughter innocents.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: The “rightward lurch” is largely illusory, a result of trying too hard to see things in terms of our left-right politics. Israel’s policy towards the Arabs/Palestinians has remained pretty much consistent ab initio.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The sentiment was always there, but Bush II is what signaled to them that it was okay to let their freak flag fly safely.

  97. 97
    Cervantes says:

    @askew: There will be no reconciliation without truth. There never is.

  98. 98
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @StringOnAStick: Multi-party systems can be as bad as two-party systems. The smaller parties can crack the whip when it becomes coalition time.

    Shas turned 11 Knesset seats (out of 120) into 4 cabinet posts after the 2009 elections. Yisrael Beiteinu has 3 on the strength of 11 seats.

  99. 99
    Cervantes says:

    @dmbeaster: To the important points you made, I would add that Zionism was not always the right-wing atrocity we see today. There was at one time a left Zionism, somewhat more humane — but it never had much power, official or otherwise, and at this juncture it is well and truly dead.

  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @askew:

    Your comment shows why there won’t be peace.You are too busy allocating blame instead of working towards peace.

    It’s is completely impossible to work towards peace if you ignore what wrongs have been done in the past. To do that is to put your head in the sand.

    Israel has stolen land and occupied it. The whole world knows that, yet you want to overlook that, and still work towards peace? It’s not even a poor approach. It’s mindless.

  101. 101
    Mandalay says:

    @Cervantes:

    There will be no reconciliation without truth. There never is.

    This x 1000.

  102. 102
    Barry says:

    @eyelessgame: ”

    “The only thing I could imagine that could produce enough pressure on Israel to start actual negotiation is if Iran gets the bomb. I’m not sure that would work – I’m just sure nothing else will. ”

    Nah. The government of Iran can do precisely two things with the Bomb – use it for deterrence (of an attack on them), or commit national suicide. Which means that they can actually do one thing.

  103. 103
    Calouste says:

    @askew:

    Both sides are only going to care about peace when they think they no longer can win the war and/or when they lose support of the population. That’s what happened in Northern Ireland, and that’s what is not going to happen in P/I for the foreseeable future.

  104. 104
    BobS says:

    @The Other Chuck: This — BDS.

  105. 105
    Amir Khalid says:

    @askew:
    It’s not about “allocating blame”. It’s about assessing the ongoing situation with as clear an eye as possible. The parties here are acting not out of mere hate or bloodlust; they are at least partly driven by cultural memories of persecution and massacre going back many centuries. You cannot simply demand that both sides develop a conscience about demonising and killing the other, when they have long seen such acts as part of self-preservation.

  106. 106
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Lot of you must be old. At one time, US aid to Israel was a big deal. But that was decades ago.

    Now it is nothing, as far as they are concerned. Israel’s got a damn large GDP and they simply don’t need the money. They’ll take it, they’d be stupid not to, but they sure don’t need it and “putting conditions” on the sucker’s dollars they get from the US will simply mean that they don’t take it. No skin off their collective asses.

    The only thing that money buys now is votes for American politicians from American Jews who are too stupid to know that they’re being played by both governments.

  107. 107
    scav says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’d add it’s also about assessing the efforts and means used by both parties. The full application of the state by economic, legal and military means, allied with a blind eye to legal transgressions on its “own” side. On a local level, it’s more or less bringing on the full flash-bang SWAT team for every burglary arrest with a side of stop and frisk and thin-blue-line-of-silence Yes, there’s a crime involved, but there a lot of wrong addresses and dead dogs as collateral, plus the day-to-day stuff.

  108. 108
    Chris says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    It ain’t Jews who are the biggest prize in terms of electoral votes there. It’s evangelicals.

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @dmbeaster:
    @Cervantes:
    @Cervantes:

    Word, word, and fuckin word.

  110. 110
    kc says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Some high school girl made herself a prom outfit that copied one of Rihanna’s looks, and Rihanna posted the pic on her Instagram account and made fun of it.

    I always suspected she was an asshole, but that confirmed it.

  111. 111
    askew says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    @askew:
    It’s not about “allocating blame”. It’s about assessing the ongoing situation with as clear an eye as possible. The parties here are acting not out of mere hate or bloodlust; they are at least partly driven by cultural memories of persecution and massacre going back many centuries. You cannot simply demand that both sides develop a conscience about demonising and killing the other, when they have long seen such acts as part of self-preservation.

    None of that negates what I’ve said. Until they care more about the future of their country than they do about revenge, there will be no peace. Northern Ireland managed it so it is possible. But, it takes leadership on both sides and for people stop making excuses for both sides.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: They are also driven by very basic human needs…land to live on and to live off of, for example, and water to grow crops.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @askew:
    Not to go off-topic, but you should go see Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. It is surprisingly relevant to conflicts like this.

  114. 114
    scav says:

    @askew: But your essential truth (and I don’t think we’re all disputing that, or at least I’m not) is also somewhat a trite and tepid washing of one’s hands while witnessing a high-school senior beating up his much younger brother with brass knuckles: “ehh, well, the younger brother is mouthy, they just both need to learn how to get along.”

  115. 115
    Carl Nyberg says:

    If there was a one-state solution that gave full human rights to Palestinians, including the right of return, would Israeli Jews stick around?

  116. 116
    Carl Nyberg says:

    If there was a one-state solution that gave full human rights to Palestinians, including the right of return, would Israeli Jews stick around?

  117. 117
    dmbeaster says:

    @Cervantes:

    Too true. The early Zionists were largely socialists and the kibbutz (now basically gone except as historical relics) their ideal. But leftist Zionists in the 30s and 40s when faced with the brutal realities of establishing Israel embraced brutality to accomplish their aim. I would also agree that the current Likud ideology is a darker shade of ugly. But I think it should be viewed as a natural extension of the founding principles rather than aberrant.

  118. 118
    GregB says:

    Mrs. Pierce in my world history high school class said history is full of instances of the oppressed becoming the oppressor.

    Here is a clear cut case.

    My appreciation for the plucky underdog of Israel ended during their occupation of Lebanon in the 80’s. My opinion of their nation has been on a downhill slide ever since.

    Their policy has become so odious that they are respected by the contemporary American right. That is in and of itself damning.

  119. 119
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Israel will have to pump more and more money into US politics.

    Remember the vote at the Democratic National Convention in 2012? Obama’s handpicked delegates are going to be far more pro-Israel than delegates in the future.

    Eventually some ego-driven billionaire is going to figure he can be POTUS by attacking the National Security State, including Israel.

    Neither Dems nor GOP love Israel & Zionism they won’t turn against Israel when it becomes politically expedient.

  120. 120
    Cervantes says:

    @askew: No one’s “making excuses for both sides.” We’re just questioning this:

    Both sides suck. Until both Israel and Palestine decide they care more about peace than they do about retribution, there will be no agreement. I get sick of reading from the left and right that one side is more to blame than the other. They both suck and have killed way too many innocent people.

    There is truth in it — but it’s not entirely true.

  121. 121
    Dennis G. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I do love that you’re “the first of his name”. Well played…

  122. 122
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @StringOnAStick:
    You know who else decided who was Jewish.

  123. 123
    JC says:

    Can the phrase “both sides suck”, be both – TRUE – and at the same time – a false equivalence?

    I am not of the opinion that Hamas, or even Fatah- if given full statehood, control of ‘their own’ borders, etc – I have absolutely zero faith that the bombs would stop being launched from inside the Palestinian ‘controlled’ area. Even if Israel did everything right, and started moving to a two state solution. Certainly, the network of bombs continue to be inside the tunnels, and get refreshed, over time. As long as Israel has overwhelming force – this simply will not be allowed.

    And this, this is and will forever be the overriding Jewish concern. There is no partner to enforce ‘stop sending missiles into my country!’, for Israel. I’ve seen no evidence, that there is a real partner for ‘peace’ on the Palestinian side. When Fatah reforms – Hamas springs up. When Hamas ‘reforms’ – other groups rise, who are allowed to bomb.

    At the same time, can you imagine for the Palestinians?:

    a. No freedom of movement. Movement controlled by an outside force, an outside country’s army.
    b. Enforced ‘penury’ – can’t even get any type of items, that all other countries can get simple staple items, or building material – all the things that could HELP Palestinians BECOME a country, not of starvation.
    c. Collective punishment – 3 people are killed by a small group in Palestine, the whole country is bombed, and the whole country suffers.
    d. The ‘best land’ is held by settlers, that treat you like pieces of shit.
    e. There is constant checking of papers, again army or police of another country, can stop and frisk you, beat you, without any recourse.
    f. Israel KEEPS EXPANDING settlement – in a move to make it impossible to have a country with borders.

    Every action by Israel, is to cripple Palestinian’s ability to have a country, let alone a successful country. This is also, without a doubt.

    As such, as far as I can tell, this is apartheid. This is occupation, without end.

    Isn’t it incumbent, to start a REAL disinvestment campaign, along the lines of what we did in South Africa?

    Isn’t it time to pressure the big mutual bond traders – the same ones who pulled Putin up sharp, when he invaded the Kremlin – to start to pull all money from Israel, stop financing Israel?

    This is what I don’t understand. Israel could be easily isolated, financially, in a way that would hurt incredibly. Isolated in financial markets, disinvestment in any company that is based in Israel.

    Isn’t this the moral thing to do? To pressure the financial markets this way?

    If not now, then when would be the time?

  124. 124
    sherparick says:

    The hope of a 2-state solution was probably killed with Rabin and Arafat’s “no” at Camp David followed by the 2d Intifada I expect Europe and the rest of the world outside the U.S. will more and more move toward “BDS” policy toward Israel, just as happen with South Africa in the late 1960s and 70s. The right-wing Afrikaners thought they would be in power forever despite that, but eventually a De Klerk will come along and the majority of the Israeli people will find the “status quo” untenable, as the majority of the Afrikaners found it in 1989-90. The problem is that with the Palestinians, there is no Mandela on the other side. So I don’t think this ends well.

  125. 125
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @kc:

    No, no…he was asking for tips.

  126. 126
    El Cid says:

    It’s still not impossible that there will be two ‘states’, in that Israeli nation-state militarism & colonizers will complete taking all it wants of the West Bank & “East” Jerusalem and at some point announcing that the pathetic collection of encircled prison territories in Gaza and a few isolated map blobs in the West Bank constitute a ‘state’ for the Palestinians.

    But it won’t be a ‘solution’.

  127. 127
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I once thought there’d be a generational transition like that in Northern Ireland. But emigration brings in hyper-religious or hyper-nationalist settlers to raise large families in outposts of the occupied territories as colonial overlords, while Palestinians around them grow up with the functional equivalent of the apartheid system controlling their movement and rights. Secular Israelis in Tel Aviv or Haifa don’t particularly want much to do with either of them, but they’re no longer decisive parts of electorate, and the moderate secular vote is for something that involves closing one’s eyes and wishing the problem (that is, the Palestinians) would just go away.

    I assume a one-state eventuality that involves some degree of ethnic cleansing that will be cheered on by the usual suspects.

    Both sides suck, but only one side has actual power to in the status quo. For all the times we hear “where is your Gandhi?” or “where is your Mandela?”, it’s worth remembering what was said about Gandhi and Mandela at the time by those in power.

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @GregB:

    Their policy has become so odious that they are respected by the contemporary American right. That is in and of itself damning.

    This might in fact be the best summary of the whole situation.

  129. 129
    Fred says:

    Not to be picky but if Gaza is separate from Israel, isn’t that two states? And does anyone really think the Palestinians would settle for that solution?

  130. 130
    Shmobot says:

    You know, I’m prepared to be the unpopular one here and defend Israel to a point. The land that they seized as of 1973, well, sucks for the Palestinians, but rules of war: to the winner go the spoils, and in that case the spoils were land. The wars that were instigated by Israel’s Arab neighbors, those went badly, but I’m actually surprised that Israel was so restrained and didn’t simply seize all the land. That’s how wars used to go.

    Let’s be straight up historically, too: when the British broke up the Ottoman Empire and created Mandatory Palestine essentially out of whole cloth, one of their charges was to create a Jewish state within those borders within 25 years from 1923. There were major problems with that, namely with the fact that the Arabs didn’t want Jews to have a state at all. That, combined with British incompetence in mapmaking (seriously, have you seen those proposals?) finally had Israel declare independence on the day the mandate ended, May 15th, 1948. Then five Arab nations attacked the next day, trying to drive Israel out before it even began.

    Gee, a new nation fights overwhelming forces for their independence, sounds familiar. Israel won and settled their borders, which the Arabs in the newly-formed nation of Palestine never recognized or accepted. I acknowledge that during this war and before, a lot of people were displaced, and that’s awful. However, you have to acknowledge that many of them fled the violence that had been visited upon Israel right after its birth. Terror campaigns began immediately, which were followed by retribution from Israel; simultaneously, and shamefully, right-wing Jewish militias began the first moves to expand settlements. The difference was that they weren’t given direct support by the government to do it, and were actually attempted to be dissuaded.

    However, the fedayeen terror campaigns continued through the 50s, supported by the Arab states around Israel that still wanted to see the state destroyed. Finally, with Syria moving its military into position for another strike, Israel struck them and another war ensued, with Israel seizing land from the losing side. More terror attacks followed, including the Munich atrocity, which was followed by a surprise strike by the Arab states in 1973. Another war which Israel won, btw, and which I at least recall as being the inception of the rightward turn we’ve all been complaining about.

    And let’s not forget the decades long campaign of suicide bombings, rocket attacks, shootings, etc. which adds up to an essentially unbroken chain of violence stretching back to the moment of Israel’s birth.

    I agree that Israel has grown harsher and harsher toward their neighboring countries of Palestinian West Bank and Palestinian Gaza, and there have been major, major problems in that regard. I think that the right wing downward spiral that has led to express support of settlement is distressing and awful.

    But Israel really and truly didn’t start this shit, unless you count declaring independence and fighting for it to be “starting it.” And yes, I’m counting the resistance to the British prior to officially declaring to be a part of it, like I would count the American resistance as part of their independence fight.

    What I can agree completely about is that a two-state solution is dead. There is no Palestine as a functioning country, and as long as there is no government that can actually stop the rockets and terrorism, there will be no country. Any government that Israel would support would instantly have no credibility with the people, and any government that would have credibility wouldn’t be able to do anything (see Hamas, or how Abbas couldn’t stop the violence for examples of each). With no one to negotiate with, realistically, what in the fuck is Israel supposed to do?

    I’m mainly curious about this part of the discussion, because we can agree that Israel needs to stop the new settlements and actually punish any illegal actions that take place by their citizens or soldiers, but what’s the path forward?

    I will say also that I fundamentally disagree with the description of Israel as an apartheid state. It’s 75% Jewish, at least within any reasonably defined borders (I’m not counting the slow encroaching settlements), so it seems hard to be an apartheid state when 100% of the actual citizens have protection of the law and don’t have to actually convert to Judaism. This isn’t South Africa, with a colonizing power dominating a majority within their own land; the Jews were there, the Arabs were there, and then the Jews declared the creation of a new state for themselves.

    Personally, I agree that Israel needs to act better, because we’re supposed to be better. Ceasing the settlements and pulling those that are there, ending the blockades, and punishing those people who do crimes in Palestine would all be great ways to start.

    However, given that we live in the real world, where no one can stop the rocket attacks from Gaza (cease fire just fell apart for that very reason), and there’s still the expressed desire to destroy Israel, my prediction is this: in ten years, there will be only Israel. Palestine won’t exist as even a conception anymore, but instead Israel will have a larger Arab population than it does now. The laws regarding Hebrew as the official language, Judaism as the official religion, the flag, and the money will be constitutionally codified, so even with an Arab majority, it will remain Israel. And in 100 years, they’ll probably cover the Palestine period like America covers the articles of confederation.

    Sad. I truly wish that there could have been a nice compromise.

  131. 131
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They learned they wanted to be the people building the camps, rather than being denizens of the camps.

  132. 132
    Paul in KY says:

    @Barry: Iranians are not Arabs & don’t really care about the plight of Sunni Arabs (as the Palestinians are).

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @Shmobot:

    But Israel really and truly didn’t start this shit,

    Yes. It did.

    unless you count declaring independence and fighting for it to be “starting it.”

    Do I consider the Europeans who hopped across the ocean, demanded their own country on a territory most of them had never been to, and started blowing up bombs all over the place when they weren’t given it, might possibly have had something to do with the starting of this shit?

    Gee. Let me think.

    If this were Rhodesia, South Africa or French Algeria, I’d have the answer in no time. But this is Israel, so as an American I’m constitutionally obligated to stop, agonize, wring my hands and not give a definitive answer until I have one that’ll pass the AIPAC review board.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shmobot:

    I will say also that I fundamentally disagree with the description of Israel as an apartheid state. It’s 75% Jewish, at least within any reasonably defined borders (I’m not counting the slow encroaching settlements), so it seems hard to be an apartheid state when 100% of the actual citizens have protection of the law and don’t have to actually convert to Judaism.

    If you’re an Israeli citizen of Arab descent, you have the “full protection of the law” in the same way that African-Americans in the US had the “full protection of the law” — official and unofficial discrimination is the order of the day.

    This isn’t South Africa, with a colonizing power dominating a majority within their own land; the Jews were there, the Arabs were there, and then the Jews declared the creation of a new state for themselves.

    Er, no, the Arabs were there, the Jews came from Europe starting in the 1920s, and they’ve been fighting ever since. Basically, the European powers felt guilty about the Holocaust and told European Jews that they could have the Palestinians’ land to found a new state without having to pay for it, and the Palestinians said, “Say what now?”

    As I’ve said before, the West Bank and Gaza fit the definition of Bantustans better than anything else. Their borders and airspace are completely controlled by a foreign power and the people living there are not allowed to enter or leave without the permission of that foreign power. How can anyone claim that they’re not Bantustans without laughing out out?

  135. 135
    ciotog says:

    @askew: But in the 18th century and well into the 19th century, it made Catholics second-class citizens.

  136. 136
    Elie says:

    @the Conster:

    Totally agree… there is no way to see how this does anything but seal Israel’s doom eventually.

    Israel is not strong. It is FEARFUL and INSECURE about itself. They KNOW what they are doing is wrong but the fear – driven by their right wing, which like ours, lives in perpetual fear and hyperterritoriality. (kids, listen up. For all of you pointing to a parliamentary system as superior to ours, please study Israel and how a couple of minority parties are running the country’s choices)

    There will be hell to pay one day. Nothing – NOTHING stays the same forever.

    And as you say, pay back or karma will be a cold hard bitch

  137. 137
    Elie says:

    @Shmobot:

    Gawd — so many things flash through my head..

    so tell me Shmobot, what is the world from the point of view o the Palestinians? Some people who never lived in your country or had your land or resources, just up and decide that they want it, right now! What to do? Just give up and say, ok, its yours. REALLY????? The Palestinians should just shut up already and just let Israel have what it wants without any struggle or complaint?

    Man — I dunno… your thinking is very very sad and scary. You don’t seem to see the injustice or the amorality behind this – and ultimately the irony given the Holocaust. I guess that “Never again” just meant that in the future, Jews would be the ones doing the genocide..

  138. 138
    JC says:

    @Shmobot: The question here is, since Israel holds the power:

    If Israel were to fully and authentically commit to a ‘two state solution” – and really, wouldn’t this be a 3 state solution? – would they have the ability to be seen as a ‘real’ partner for Palestine, in the manner that the leaders in Gaza, and the leaders in the West Bank, would TRUST Israel, as a partner in a nation building process?

    Every time that Israel expands settlements, Israel demonstrates they have no real interest in a two state solution. The ‘facts on the ground’, by the actions of Israel, determine that the overriding interest is that there not be any functional palestine state.

    I think that is why Kerry and the Obama administration are so critical of new settlements – not to mention, settlements that already exist, that cripple a possible Palestine state. And that go against previous agreements, that have been floated for decades.

    If I were a Palestinian, I would see by daily behavior, that Israel has no interest in there being a palestinian state.

    Perhaps Israel is correct – 7 decades of violence and opposition to Israel, makes them think the only thing that will work for Israel’s safety, is keeping the palestinian areas weak and stateless. That may be true.

    Converely, you can make an argument – ideally, Israel would commit to a palestinian partner state – and show that commitment, in actions. And then, as ‘illegal’ settlements are dismantled, and palestinian leaders see that there is a partner on the Israeli side, then perhaps those leaders would have the power to stop fundamentalist from building tunnels, and bringing in bombs.

    But that is a fragile, fragile, plan, on both sides.

    Instead, you are left with, what you are left with.

    Sporadic bomb throwing from palestinian areas, and sporadic violence against Israelis, massive response from israel, with all the accompanying human rights violations, and Israel committed to keeping palestinians weak and stateless.

    Ideally, for palestinians, who are faced with an Israel who wants to keep them weak and stateless – what are the strategies?

    Is the commitment to asymmetrical warfare – is this working? Bombing, allowing bombing, allowing construction of tunnels – has this helped the palestinian people?

    I think not.

    I also think that the palestinians don’t have an ‘admirable’ civil government – even alienating most of the Arab world, including Egypt.

    Certainly, for the United States – there aren’t morally admirable leaders in the palestinian areas that we can work with, especially over the Israeli government. (As has been said, there is no Nelson Mandela in Palestine.)

    The fact is, for the palestinian people to elicit sympathy ‘from the world’, wouldn’t they need to act in a blameless way, to have any chance for a disinvestment campaign to work?

    No building of tunnels for bombs? No bombing? Etc?

    I still say – that if Russia can be brought up short, simply because denied access to capitial markets for the invasion of Crimea – then the same type of pressure could be brought to bear on Israel.

    But would the world do this, for THIS conflict? It isn’t as if you can say palestinians are acting in a more moral, democratic, honorable manner than the Israel government. This just isn’t the case, from what I can see. Heck, we still do business with China – and ‘humanitarian’ and democracy concerns in China, are tossed aside, so that the elites can make all types of money selling and buying into the Chinese market.

    At some point, all the moralizing on ‘what we SHOULD do’ for the mideast conflict in Israel/Palestine, founders if there are significant economic interests opposed, AND there really isn’t an admirable palestinian leaders, that are ‘doing the right thing’.

    At least for me – I can say that what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians are inexcusable, but I don’t see a morally shining example in the palestinians, whom I would support over Israel.

  139. 139
    Elie says:

    @JC:

    Just remember, the Palestinians had this land before there was an Israel. They fought and fight now to keep what they see as theirs. The burden of morality therefore exists more on Israel to also stay on this same land. How would you feel if a stranger just moved into your home and took over your belongings and screamed their right to do that against your wishes. If you tried to shove them out of your home, and became progressively irate, how would it be right to say that YOUR behavior was amoral or not a “shining example”? Say what?

  140. 140
    johnny aquitard says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Hell if the US had a sane energy policy.

    Ask yourself what current US interests in the middle east would be if, after 40 years starting with the 1973 oil embargo and a few trillion dollars, the US embarked on a massive, space-program-like national effort to find, develop and encourage non-petroleum energy.

    We’ve already spent trillions of dollars on war and military aid and everything else to ‘protect our interests’ in the middle east. At least 2 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives in the latest effort. No one would give a fuck about Israel if it wasn’t smack in the middle of countries with the world’s oil reserves. What we give a fuck about is the oil.

    We prop up Israel with billions and the latest military hardware, just so they can keep the pot bubbling for us.

    Imagine if that 2 trillion we just pissed on the sand in the latest Middle Eastern misadventure had been spent on something like subsidizing solar cells. If they were cheaper than asphalt shingles every goddam house would be roofed with them.

    And Israel would then have little strategic value. Ultimately this country doesn’t give a shit about countries like that, else we’d be selling squadrons of the our most advanced jet fighters to Sudan or Somalia.

  141. 141
    Chris says:

    @JC:

    Is the commitment to asymmetrical warfare – is this working? Bombing, allowing bombing, allowing construction of tunnels – has this helped the palestinian people?

    I suspect the Palestinians have correctly concluded that nothing they do is going to do much good – they’ve tried everything on a scale that goes from all-out war, to terrorism, to mass protests, to peace negotiations. None of it changed Israel’s behavior: it continued to expand into the West Bank and refuse to declare its borders all through the peace process.

    For better or for worse, that kind of situation tends to do a lot for the “better to die fighting than lie down and invite them to walk all over us” crowd.

    @johnny aquitard:

    And Israel would then have little strategic value.

    Israel has little strategic value now. The oil isn’t there – it’s in places like Iran and Iraq and the Gulf kingdoms and Algeria and Libya. In a cold realpolitik POV, an Israeli alliance already has little or nothing to offer anyone – all it does is complicate your relations with countries that are objectively far more interesting as allies (be it because of their resources or because siding them means siding with an entire regional power bloc, rather than alienating everyone).

    It’s why so many countries that used to be more sympathetic to Israel have been slowly backing away for decades, and its real allies now are pretty much down to “the United States” and “nobody else.” So, yeah, I’m not convinced that strategy has much to do with our Israeli policy anymore. It’s purely ideological at this point.

  142. 142
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chris: Chris, they have never tried Ghandian style non-violent resistance.

  143. 143
    realitychecker says:

    @Elie:

    Do you appreciate that your argument requires the United States to give back everything to the Native Americans? Should we start with your house?

    Territory changes hands all the time in human history. Someone always comes out the aggrieved loser. We can’t have “do-overs” all the time. The winners of the biggest war in history created Israel. What greater legitimacy has there ever been? The human race creates breakage as it moves through time. It’s not close to perfect. News to you?

    Historical arguments get boring and pointless. People can’t even agree on the pertinent facts. Today, in the present, what matters is, “who’s breaking the peace by trying to kill?” Nobody actively trying to kill has any right to whine about what happens to them. That’s just basic self-defense theory. That values preservation of innocent, i.e., non-immediate-initial-aggressor life above all else.

    If you want to fight over feelings of general oppression, even if you are oppressed, choose that path, but you run the same risks as any other revolutionary-type movement has ever run.

    Same rules apply here in America, btw.

    Nothing in real life adds up to a “perfect world” morality. If there really was a God who gave a damn, maybe it would be different. But it’s just us chickens down here.

    There’s no coherent reason fro treating the I/P situation in a singularly different way.

  144. 144
    realitychecker says:

    @realitychecker:

    Edit not working.

    “innocent, i.e., non-immediate-initial-aggressor”

    “same rules apply here in America, btw.”

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