The Status of Jerusalem

The Consulate General in Jerusalem is actually the US’s oldest diplomatic outpost. It was originally the US embassy, for lack of a better term, to the Sublime Porte as the Ottoman central government was known. It now functions as the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. So before anything else does or does not happen tomorrow, there already is, and has been for over 200 years, a US embassy in Jerusalem.

Before I lay out the various reporting, let me provide my bottom line up front”

It is absolutely silly to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and/or move the US Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in exchange for nothing. It is poor strategy, it is bad policy, it is a pointless and ultimately self defeating tactic, and it is diplomatically backwards. The reason the US hasn’t moved it’s embassy to Israel to Jerusalem and/or recognized Israel as Jerusalem’s capital isn’t just the security concerns. It is because either of these potential changes in US policy are most effectively used as motivational carrots to cajole the Israelis into negotiating in, if not good faith, then better faith. Unilaterally giving these to the Israelis removes very valuable and effective leverage from the US’s diplomatic tool kit.

1) If the President does recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, I expect violence.

2) If he announces we’re moving the embassy to Jerusalem, I expect a new intifada, not just three days of rage. And how the Israelis respond, will determine just how bad the protests, three days of rage, and/or a new intifada are.

3) Regardless of 1 or 2 if the proposed peace plan that is being reported on is actually announced in 2018 and it is anywhere close to what is being reported on, which has been Netanyahu’s default preference since at least 2014, I expect a new intifada. But it won’t stop there. ISIS and al Qaeda will look to leverage this, as well as broad Arab and Muslim anger over it, to increase recruitment, justify, and expand operations. But not just in the Middle East. You’ll see an attempted expansion/expansion of ISIS and al Qaeda activities in Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US. The US led Coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria will be at increased jeopardy as a result of this.

4) 1 will be bad, 2 will be worse. 3 is going to be a huge honking nightmare. Between what we think/is likely to happen tomorrow and the leaked details of the Saudi backed, US proposed peace plan Mahmoud Abbas has no room to maneuver. The potential/proposed peace plan will be dead on arrival. There will be an increase in violence within and across the region that will spread. And the US’s growing isolation as a diminished influence in the region and within the global system will be accelerated. And the friends of Bibi’s that are handling the US peace proposal efforts for the President are only going to accelerate Israel’s isolation from the allies it’s made in the Arab and Muslim world and from both the EU and the states that it represents.

Noga Tanorpolsky, who does a lot of reporting regarding Israel, has been covering the Schroedinger’s cat back and forth on what tomorrow’s announcement may or may not actually include. She starts with the practical reality that the President clearly indicated he was going to do recognize Jerusalem as Israelis capital and, most likely, also move the US Embassy to Israel.

Then accurately recognizing the reality TV angle that the President likes to take:

Before letting the snark flow freely:

We still don’t actually know exactly what the President is going to announce tomorrow. I’ve seen reporting that indicates he is going to announce that Jerusalem is Israel’s, and only Israel’s, capital. I’ve seen other reporting that he’s just going to announce that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and leave the only part out. And the reporting also seems to include that the President may announce that he is both going to move the embassy some time in the future (which is not news as he’s been saying this for two years) and that he’s also given instructions to figure out the details involved. So we will have to wait and see just what is announced tomorrow and how bad things may get.

The State Department, and, apparently the Department of Defense are trying to stay out of the line of fire on this whole issue.

And the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas are on the same page.

Ha’aretz reports that the President’s expected announcement is uniting not just the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, but all the other states in the region, as well as the EU and Russia in their opposition to his expected decision and announcement.

Abdullah also warned Trump of the decision’s repercussions on Middle East security and stability. Abdullah pledged he would thwart any American initiative to renew the peace process and would encourage resistance among Muslims and Christians alike.

King Salman told Trump that transferring the embasy is a dangerous step that will inflame feelings of Muslims.

Following their conversatisons with Trump, Abdullah and Abbas reportedly spoke and decided to act in complete coordination following Trump’s decision.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that if Trump goes ahead with the decision, Turkey will cut diplomatic ties with Israel. He added that Jerusalem is “a red line for Muslims.” Israel responded that “Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years.”

Egypt has warned of “possible dangerous repercussions” if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on plans to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Arab League Chief Ahmed Abdoul Gheit said Tuesday that any step changing Jerusalem’s status quo would be a “dangerous measure that would have repercussions” throughout the Middle East. He encouraged Trump to reconsider his decision.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that any action would undermine a two-state solution, and must be avoided.

German and French leaders also expressed concern at Trump’s potential decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. French President Emmanuel Macron said the Jerusalem issue must be dealt with “in the framework of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Now we wait and see just how badly the US is going to shoot itself in the foot.

197 replies
  1. 1
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Adelson Reportedly Disappointed With Trump Over Jerusalem Embassy Move Delay

    The billionaire is angry that the president hasn’t hired the people he recommended for top White House positions, three sources close to him tell politico

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.785407

    It’s all about appeasing plutocrat donors.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Number 1 is exactly what Bibi wants. Fuck him.

    I’ve never seen a yarmulke sitting more uneasily than the one sitting on the head of Donny Dollhands.

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    This seems closer to shooting itself in the head and not just the foot.

  4. 4
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    What can you say? It gets worse every day.

  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    I fear that with all these world leaders telling Trump this would be a mistake that he will respond like the child he is: “You’re not the boss of me!”

  6. 6
    Raoul says:

    It is absolutely silly to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and/or move the US Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in exchange for nothing. It is poor strategy, it is bad policy, it is a pointless and ultimately self defeating tactic, and it is diplomatically backwards.

    All of which is to say, nothing here to give idiot Trump pause, nor would Tillerson likely have a) the analysis or b) the cojones to try and wave the orange buffoon off this moron path.

  7. 7
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Fuck Bibi.

  8. 8
    lamh36 says:

    Thank you for this Adam. I was literally just watching CNN discussing the possible news… and was gonna try to find out more if I could.

    I freely admit to NOT being up on the entire process involving Israel and peace talks and what the news would mean…

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    Where’s Mattis in all this?

  10. 10
    bluefish says:

    Well, another day, another opportunity to do precisely the wrong thing. Too bad this one is about something so essential. Thanks for post. It’s amazing to see poor, crippled State looking to steer clear on this one, hoping for the best, I suppose, and waiting for it all to simply go away. This is how we conduct whatever foreign policy we’ve managed to put together as a result of perusing Trump Inc’s travel scrapbook and overall wish list. Have we ever had a more stupid administration in place?

  11. 11
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Aren’t 1, 2 and 3 exactly what Trump wants? They’re all good for his political survival. A mass-death terrorist attack against the United States, if it happens at just the right time, would probably get him reelected.

  12. 12
    ruemara says:

    I have so many urges to slap Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, Zaid Jilani and pretty much anyone working at the NYT, Intercept, TYT and quite a few other outlets.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Dolt 45 as the anti-Pangloss. Worst of all possible worlds.

  14. 14
    Ian G. says:

    Can those of us who think people who make geopolitical decisions in the 21st century based on superstition in bad ancient books are insane please be left out of the imminent violence?

    And I’ll once again wonder aloud why, if a Jewish state was necessary (I go back and forth on that one), it wasn’t carved out of a chunk of defeated Nazi Germany…

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I’m beginning to think Trump’s real motivation is to show Putin he’s just as tough.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: Mattis has no control over any of this. It is not a decision involving US military assets. If asked, he likely gave his candid assessment that this was bad for security. Then he shut up and got out of the way.

  17. 17
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do you think Kelly supports this? He’s been pretty quiet lately.

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    Whoops just posted this downstairs – I really should put it here and add this topic (Jerusalem/embassy) to the list

    So let’s see…we’ve got
    – the House and Senate Rs trying to reconcile their tax bills
    – the House Freedumb Caucus upset that the upcoming spending bill has…spending in it
    – Mueller subpoenaing Trumpov’s Deutsche Bank records (i.e., telegraphing that he is – rightly – going for the throat)
    – the RWNJ puke funnel going into overdrive calling for Mueller’s head
    – Roy Moore about to be elected to the Senate…or not…
    – AND Trumpov about to stir the pot by making an uber-dumb announcement that he’s going to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem
    And a partrige in a pear tree.

    Should be a fun few weeks until Christmas, peeps!

    @debbie: I think that’s a small part…mainly, he just wants to jab “TEH TERRISTS!!!” aka anyone in the Middle East who isn’t Israeli. And if/when violence breaks out, that serves his purposes on multiple levels as well.

  19. 19
    Tazj says:

    @lamh36: I have to second this, the thank you to Adam. I know very little about this myself. Trump just seems to revel in making everything worse.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    Now we wait and see just how badly the US is going to shoot itself in the foot.

    I have bad news. That’s no foot, its a six inch wanker.

  21. 21
    TenguPhule says:

    @Matt McIrvin: He’s gonna be the number one target.

  22. 22
    stinger says:

    Trump is nuts. I can only hope that this is like building the wall. “I promised to build the Wall, and I’m gonna do it. Really. In fact, I have top men working on it now. Top. Men.” Then… crickets.

  23. 23
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @TenguPhule: After a 5 inch extender, maybe.

  24. 24
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    It is absolutely silly to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and/or move the US Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in exchange for nothing.

    “My crowds were the biggest”

    “I hire the best people”

    “I’m really rich”

    “I negotiate the best deals”

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Then he shut up and got out of the way.

    I thought the responsible thing to do with a mad captain at the helm is mutiny.

  26. 26
    Miss Bianca says:

    So, the world’s stupidest leader comes up with the world’s stupidest thing to do, and wants to do it in the stupidest possible way.

    In other words, a typical Tuesday here in the Republic of Gilead.

  27. 27
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I dunno about that. GWB did get a massive boost, but he was in the positive before 9/11. If this happens while Trump is president there’s a decent chance his numbers don’t move at all- his supporters continue to support, his detractors blame him for causing it.

  28. 28
    syphonblue says:

    Well everybody hates it and agrees it’s a terrible idea that will bring nothing but disaster

    So of course Trump is going to do it

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ian G.:

    And I’ll once again wonder aloud why, if a Jewish state was necessary (I go back and forth on that one), it wasn’t carved out of a chunk of defeated Nazi Germany…

    I think all the mass graves and ovens had a little something to do with that.

  30. 30
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    And the friends of Bibi’s that are handling the US peace proposal efforts for the President are only going to accelerate Israel’s isolation from the allies it’s made in the Arab and Muslim world and from both the EU and the states that it represents.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer fascist ethnostate.

  31. 31
    Skepticat says:

    Heaven forfend there isn’t a part of the world in which we can’t carelessly, thoughtlessly, stupidly, ignorantly, and impulsively intrude for no real reason and make even a minor problem an incredible disaster.

  32. 32
    B.B.A. says:

    @Ian G.: There was already a Jewish nationalist movement in Mandatory Palestine. There wasn’t one in, say, East Prussia. And the Zionists had secured some recognition from the British via the Balfour Declaration.

    I say this, having come around to the belief that Zionism was wrong from the beginning – but let’s be perfectly clear, it began in the 1880s, not the 1940s.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    The policy seems to be officially recognizing Jerusalem, but waffling on whether to do anything about it, like moving the embassy. And what is to talk about if Trump has made the decision? That sounds kind of loser, low energy,’cuck’, and beta male to me.

    Sounds half backed, and like a way to stir up trouble and accomplish nothing but invite trouble. So, I guess what we should expect from Trump.

  34. 34
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Ian G.:
    For a long time I’ve questioned the wisdom of Israel. Putting all of your eggs in a basket isn’t the smartest idea.

  35. 35
    Jeffro says:

    Meanwhile, Stephen Moore states the obvious: Trump Campaign Adviser Says GOP Tax Overhaul is ‘Death to Democrats

    “They go after state and local taxes, which weakens public employee unions. They go after university endowments, and universities have become play pens of the left,” Moore told Bloomberg. “And getting rid of the mandate is to eventually dismantle Obamacare.”

    He argued that the tax overhaul legislation, which would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, would accelerate “a death spiral” in its exchanges.

    “It’s death to Democrats,” Moore said.

    Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, denied to Bloomberg that the tax legislation deliberately targets Democrats.

    According to Bloomberg, however, the overhaul would have the strongest negative effect on residents of high-tax states (largely Democratic), universities (largely Democratic) and graduate students (largely Democratic).

    (in addition to weakening Obamacare – a much bigger deal than the university/grad student effect)

    Hey, as long as the rules we’re playing by are ‘no rules’, then the agenda for the Democratic Congress (whether it happens in 2018 or 2020) is quite clear: HIGHLY progressive rates, a surtax on income above $1M/year, reinstatement of the blue states’ state/local deductions (x10), free college, a Wall Street transactions tax, and reinstatement of the estate tax – effective on estates above $1M.

    Why…you could almost fit that on a post card…

  36. 36
    Raoul says:

    @Jeffro: Don’t forget that North Korea is always looming.
    Relatedly, Japan is reportedly looking for missile options that could reach NK, just for some extra global tension (and, in this f-ked up world, I don’t really blame Japan).

  37. 37
    CDWard says:

    Israel:

    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State;

    – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and
    oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years;

    – refuses to honor its obligations under international law;

    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going war crimes; and

    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    See http://www.ifamericansknew.org and http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.....dloss.html for more information.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Down boy. I have friends living there who are no friends of the current government.

  39. 39
    EthylEster says:

    uhh…capitol is the building.
    capital is the city.
    …if i remember my civics lessons correctly.

    intertubes have confirmed my memory.

  40. 40
    eemom says:

    Well, let’s look on the bright side: this is one piece of news about Israel that nobody in their right mind could disagree is some crazy fucked up shit.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @Raoul:

    Relatedly, Japan is reportedly looking for missile options that could reach NK, just for some extra global tension (and, in this f-ked up world, I don’t really blame Japan).

    Giving Abe offensive capabilities beyond those he already demonstrates is not a good idea.

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    @eemom:

    Well, let’s look on the bright side: this is one piece of news about Israel that nobody in their right mind could disagree is some crazy fucked up shit.

    But we still need a majority!

  43. 43
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I feel sorry for the powerless that live there under the Likud regime.

  44. 44
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:
    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    For a long time I’ve questioned the wisdom of Israel.

    Down boy. I have friends living there who are no friends of the current government.

    Exactly. STFU, crazy little Secret Service baiting twerp. You have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I have no idea. I don’t know Gen. Kelly at all.

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @TenguPhule: The leaders are always a big target.

    The security services have foiled an alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister in Downing Street, it has emerged.

    An Islamic extremist planned to use an improvised explosive device to blow up the gates of Downing Street before entering No 10 and making an attempt on Theresa May’s life.

    Two men have been charged with terror offences and are due to appear in Westminster magistrates’ court.

    Details of the alleged terror plot were set out to Cabinet members on Tuesday during a briefing by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5. Mr Parker revealed that British intelligence had foiled nine terror plots in the past 12 months.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    @CDWard: And if the Palestinians weren’t collectively a bunch of murdering assholes who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, the current facist regime of Israel wouldn’t have gotten into power back in 2001 and I might be able to muster a shred of sympathy for them.

  48. 48
    eemom says:

    @CDWard:

    Fuck off.

    So much for my bright side.

  49. 49
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @eemom:
    I then said this:

    I feel sorry for the powerless that live there under the Likud regime.

    I dislike the Israel state because of the awful things it does. Not Israelis themselves.

  50. 50
    Chet Murthy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I question the wisdom (ok, also decency, rightness) of stealing the palestinians’ land, but the wisdom of having a country of their own? No, I don’t question that. There’s one thing I think the Jewish people have learned from 2000+ years of history: they can’t count on the decency of other folk. You gotta be able to defend yourself, period. I know that, if push comes to shove, I can shove off back to India. It won’t be great. And hell, it’s not my country. But those are people who look like me, and hence won’t kill me b/c I look different.

    I -want- for California to be a place like that. I’ve already given up on America as that place. But imagine living in a world where there is -noplace- like that: where you can be safe from pogroms and lynchings? At *no* price can you be safe, period.

    No, I don’t begrudge the Jewish people their bastion and bolthole against the world hatreds.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: You have three choices in this type of situation, as this isn’t a 17th or 18th or 19th Century sailing ship:
    1) Knuckle under and realign your views with the boss.
    2) Do you actual job. Tell the boss what he needs to know, not what he wants to hear and provide firm, polite, candid advice and recommendations. Then get out of the way while remaining prepared to reattack if an opportunity arises.
    3) Resign.

    One is never good, but is, unfortunately, the default for far too many. Two and three are the professional things to do. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

  53. 53
    Shana says:

    There’s something I don’t understand about this. Israel says its capital is Tel Aviv. How does moving the embassy change that? I know it’s a stupid move designed to screw everything up, but still…

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    @eemom: Come sit by me.

    I am increasingly coming around to the point of view that Trump is literally the Anti-christ.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    JMG says:

    He wants a Mideast war. In his mind, only way to get those poll numbers above 40 percent. Since Americans rely on volunteers to fight their wars and don’t pay more taxes when they happen, he believes “fuck them sand ni—” is a winning policy. Could be right.

  57. 57
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Jeffro: but think of the glorious revolution this bill creates

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:

    @Shana: It involves disputes over annexed territory. Trump is basically pissing on our traditional role as mediator between the two sides in favor of Israel. This is not in Israel’s long term best interests but short term hay for the current rightwing regime in power there.

    And its gonna piss off every Arab in the Middle East. All of em.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    Seriously, wtf is wrong with me? I actually thought ANY post about Israel could proceed without a bunch of “it is SO not EVER antiSemitic to blame Israel for everything” assholes falling all over themselves to talk shit that has nothing to do with the topic under discussion?

    Shit. Pardon me while I go get my head examined. 😜

  60. 60
    gratuitous says:

    The added attraction will be the violent reaction to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, followed by the incredibly violent over-reaction by Israel, and Netanyahu expecting Trump to back his play. As the footage comes in from Israel of well-armed soldiers opening fire on crowds of civilians, the American people get to consider just how deep they want to wade into the quagmire, then realizing that there isn’t a whole lot of choice in the matter.

  61. 61
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @eemom:
    I’m not one of those people. I don’t hate the idea of Israel. I just don’t like their current government or it’s policies very much.

  62. 62
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Chet Murthy: this is very nicely written

  63. 63
    Chet Murthy says:

    @TenguPhule: Uh, I don’t know if you mean this in jest, but three thoughts come to mind:

    (1) you can recognize the rightness of your adversary’s thinking while still recognizing him as your sworn adversary

    (2) I believe it was Nasrallah (maybe someone else) who said that if the Palestinians had F16s,they wouldn’t need suicide bombers [similar thing was said of “Buda’s wagon” (1920 car-bomb aimed at Wall Steet) too]

    (3) bin Laden has been cited as having written during his younger partying years in Beirut, when Israeli F16s were bombing and collapsing Beirut apartment towers, that someday somebody would go do that to the homes of the people who sold the Israelis those F16s.

    There’s a reason that wise military men ask how many recruits for the enemy cause, a particular mission will create.

    fourth thought: I read (back close to 2000) a description of the “unprecedented offer” that Barak&Clinton made to Arafat. It was no such thing. Also, the Oslo accords didn’t stop settlement-building. There’s a reason the Palestinians gave up on the peace process: it was a sham. [and note well that I just above wrote that I *agree* with Israel’s existence, b/c the Jewish people should have their own ground on which to stand and defend themselves; b/c fer sure they can’t trust anybody else — events have proven that. But that doesn’t mean Israeli doesn’t make strategically stupid decisions.]

    ETA: (5) as I understand it, there’s somewhat ample evidence, that long-standing efforts at non-violent resistance have yielded …. *nothing*.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    @gratuitous:

    As the footage comes in from Israel of well-armed soldiers opening fire on crowds of civilians, the American people get to consider just how deep they want to wade into the quagmire, then realizing that there isn’t a whole lot of choice in the matter.

    Violent Muslims being shot by soldiers.

    Three guesses how Trump’s base is going to react and the first two don’t count.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Shana: No, Israel says its capital is Jerusalem. It tolerates everyone else locating their embassies in Tel Aviv and stating that Tel Aviv is the capital. Because that was the capital when the state was formed and that is what is recognized by the UN and international laws/rulings.

  66. 66
    Librarian says:

    If people are going to use the word “fascist “, could they at least spell it right?

  67. 67
    Gvg says:

    Wag the dog. Trump wants terrorist attacks so he can look like a hero and distract from his legal problems I think. It amounts to starting a war. Only he is so incompetent he’ll screw it up and this is so blatantly stupid I think the media and public may correctly blame him right off the bat. I wish some would point this out right now.

  68. 68
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump is literally the Anti-christ.

    I’d agree, except there are so many other qualified contenders. Maybe some Biblical scholars could opine on whether the Beast is singular or plural.

  69. 69
    Gator90 says:

    @Ian G.: Suggesting that Jews should have been invited to re-settle in, of all places, Germany (GERMANY!!!) in the late 1940s is simply obscene. I spent a minute or 2 trying to think of a snarky way to express this, but came up with nothing. So I’ll just suggest you keep your infantile and indecent “wondering” to yourself.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Almost nothing that Israel, especially under Likud leadership, wants the US to do vis a vis Israel is ever actually in Israel’s interests. Basically the US-Israeli relationship should be looked at as if it was a dysfunctional marriage. With the US in the role of the enabler.

  71. 71
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Well, looking on the bright side, this move will unite the Arab/Muslim world. Unfortunately it will be against the US!

    Seriously, what the hell is he thinking? First he annoints Saudi Arabia as the US’s firstest and bestest buddy in the region and has their leaders purring, then he does the ONE THING guaranteed to make them turn on him.

    At least it might demonstrate to other countries that buttering him up with pomp, circumstance and bling is a waste of time, money and effort. He thinks those are his inalienable right and will kick you in the goolies anyway.

    One faint hope suggested by a TV commentator. There is a possibility he may declare West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state and say that he looks forward to opening an Embbassy there in the near future. That may mitigate the outrage but sounds too nuanced for Trump’s little head.

  72. 72
    Manyakitty says:

    @Chet Murthy: Thank you for getting the point. I think Bibi is a disaster, but I want Israel to exist.

  73. 73
    oatler. says:

    If we don’t retake Jerusalem King Richard will languish in prison while Prince John chortles.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ian G.:

    In addition to what everyone else said, there was that little problem of the Soviet Union building themselves an Iron Curtain out of a lot of the available parts of Europe, including the eastern half of Germany itself. I’m pretty sure nobody would have trusted the Soviets to leave a nascent Israeli state alone.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:
    You forgot “Resuming carpet-bombing Hanoi.”

    Seems like old times.

  76. 76
    Manyakitty says:

    @TenguPhule: He does embody all seven of the deadly sins.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Because that was the capital when the state was formed and that is what is recognized by the UN and international laws/rulings.

    IOW, Israel does NOT want to make a highly volatile, extremely dangerous situation worse by way of an utterly useless symbolic gesture that can serve no purpose whatsoever other than to provoke more hatred and violence. Imagine that.

  79. 79
    trollhattan says:

    @eemom:
    Trump and Roy Moore could have a slapfight over who’s the yugest antichrist.
    “I’m the antichrist!” [slap]
    “No, I’m the antichrist!” [slap]
    “Are not!”[slap]
    “Am so!”[slap]

  80. 80
    Shana says:

    @TenguPhule: Thanks.

  81. 81
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Matt McIrvin: “Aren’t 1, 2 and 3 exactly what Trump wants? They’re all good for his political survival. A mass-death terrorist attack against the United States, if it happens at just the right time, would probably get him reelected.”

    Exactly. The more dead Americans there are the better his political future.

    The mainstream media will happily go along with it. Remember, Putin, his psychic advisor, went so far at to bombing his own people when the terrorists didn’t provide the body count he needed.

    “On 13 September, just hours after the second explosion in Moscow, Russian Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznyov of the Communist Party made an announcement, “I have just received a report. According to information from Rostov-on-Don, an apartment building in the city of Volgodonsk was blown up last night.” However, the bombing in Volgodonsk took place three days later, on 16 September. When the Volgodonsk bombing happened, Vladimir Zhirinovsky demanded an explanation in the Duma, but Seleznev turned his microphone off.Vladimir Zhirinovsky said in the Russian Duma: “Remember, Gennadiy Nikolaevich, how you told us that a house has been blown up in Volgodonsk, three days prior to the blast? How should we interpret this? The State Duma knows that the house was destroyed on Monday, and it has indeed been blown up on Thursday [same week]…”.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_apartment_bombings#Announcement_of_impending_Volgodonsk_bombings_in_the_Russian_Duma

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chet Murthy: I remember that Intifada in 2000 quite well. It was pure bullshit from the Palestinians from the start. They never tried to deal in good faith, frankly the Oslo accords were their best bet for a peaceful resolution and they were in a good legal position with Israel’s own courts on the settlements to move forward.

    Cue the murders. And more murders. And even more murders. The Palestinians single handedly destroyed the Israeli peace movement with their suicide bombs and multiple murder squads and helped the hardest right party in Israel come into and hold power to this day.

    And all the time the EU and everyone else was demanding that only Israel restrain itself. The condemnation was overwhelming against Israel in the media. It was insane.

    I don’t condone how far Israel went in retaliating, but I can understand why they did it. The entire world dismissed their casualties in light of the Palestinians. It was the worst double standard I’ve ever seen.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    ruemara says:

    @Sloane Ranger: I would have to ask why the hell would he think HE can declare what Israel’s capitol is?

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    as I understand it, there’s somewhat ample evidence, that long-standing efforts at non-violent resistance have yielded …. *nothing*.

    There was no long standing effort at non-violence. There were periods of lesser violence, but most of that was enforced at gun point.

  86. 86
    Gvg says:

    I would bet Trump doesn’t understand what he has been told about the situation. It’s complicated. That means he doesn’t believe it. The guy thinks in cartoons IMO.
    A lot of his supporters are this simple too. They hate nuance and complicated and no good answer situations. It’s why they don’t get why no polititian has been able to really get their jobs back. Some things aren’t within any leaders power.

  87. 87
    Dave says:

    So what rationalization is there to move it. Other than it’s the sort ofchest-poundingly idiotic that stupid people think is strong…. Oh answered my own question there didn’t I?

  88. 88
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The Young Turks.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

  90. 90
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @ruemara:
    He’s Donald Trump. What other reason does he need?

  91. 91
    Tehanu says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Me too. It’s easy to despise Bibi et al., because they’re despicable. Horrible persecutions done to Jews in Europe do not justify not-quite-as-horrible persecutions done by Jews in Israel. OTOH, the Palestinians are masters at tripping over their own feet. I was a history major but I think Sting’s song “History Will Teach Us Nothing” really applies to the whole situation:

    “Without freedom from the past things can only get worse
    Sooner or later just like the world first day
    Sooner or later we learn to throw the past away.”

  92. 92
    EthylEster says:

    @trollhattan: Pretty sure that Moore does not aspire to being the anti-christ but I’m equally convinced that asshole Trump would not even know what it is.

  93. 93
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    One faint hope suggested by a TV commentator. There is a possibility he may declare West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state and say that he looks forward to opening an Embbassy there in the near future.

    Trump will always do the worst possible thing at the time. You can set your watch to it by now.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dave:

    Because Republican donor Sheldon Adelson demanded it. It doesn’t matter if the Israelis want us to do it or not — Adelson wants it, he paid a lot of money to get it, we do it.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It never ceases to piss me off that the political group most responsible for Israel’s current troubles are the same ones currently in firm control of their government because of it.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Weird how people’s reaction to having their land stolen is to murder the people they think are guilty of stealing it. Maybe a solution would have been to stop stealing their land.

    Nah, that’s crazy talk. The solution is to build even more illegal settlements!

  97. 97
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @ruemara: He’s Donald Trump. What else do you need?

  98. 98
    Chet Murthy says:

    @TenguPhule: Here’s the original article I remember: http://www.nybooks.com/article.....of-errors/

  99. 99
    B.B.A. says:

    @Mnemosyne: And Adelson owns the Venetian, which is classy and yuuuge. How many buildings like that do us non-wackos own?

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Lot of that going around in places not named Israel.

  101. 101
    ThresherK says:

    @ruemara: I’m right behind you.

    Actually, Spousal Ms ThresherK, in her 60s, 5’2″ and walks with a cane, is the better person for this task. I come across as way too tall and young.

  102. 102
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You’re an expert in the ME, right?

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: I know, but not well, the retired US ambassador who was a senior advisor for Arafat during those negotiations. At the end of the day it came down to Arafat believing if he agreed to what was being offered that he would be assassinated. So the retired ambassador’s advice was “no” is always an acceptable answer in a negotiation.

    There were other hiccups and problems. When Saeb Erakat went off about Jerusalem and one of the senior Israeli negotiators went to the bookshelf in the Camp David library, took down a book on the archeology of the Holy Land, and asked Erakat where it said anything about Jerusalem being Palestine’s capital in antiquity. That is also considered to be when things broke down beyond repair.

    Regardless, the deal didn’t happen. No one has clean hands in this mess. Including states that largely try to stay out of it these days. Pointing fingers isn’t going to solve the problems here as everyone could just as easily point their own fingers at themselves.

  104. 104
    clay says:

    @eemom: I believe the Bible mentions antichrists, plural, but only one Beast.

    But I’ve said here before that the Fundies don’t pay attention to what they profess to believe. (Shocker, I know.). They always are quick to proclaim their political adversaries— Obama, Clinton, whomever — as the Antichrist, but Revelations says he will be someone who fools believers and leads them astray. They should look a bit closer to home…

  105. 105
    Dave says:

    @Mnemosyne: I get that’s why they are actually doing it just wondering what sort of rationalization they are going to try to hang on it. Probably just standard support Israel regardless if most Israelis want this and “we strong”.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I’m an expert in me. As in Adam L. Silverman. Everything else I’m just muddling about.

  107. 107
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    The reason I asked is because I wanted to ask you why Israel is so screwed up politically. Terrorism has played a part I’m sure. I didn’t want to ask out of the blue since you’re Jewish.

    IOW I didn’t want to be That guy.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Both sides have completely legitimate grievances. That’s what makes it such a hellish problem to solve.

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    @B.B.A.

    Chump change for him. The real money comes from holdings in Macao.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: What did Mrs. McCoy’s bouncing baby boy do now?

  111. 111
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m an expert in me.

    I’m going to need to see some documentation on that.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Weird how people’s reaction to having their land stolen is to murder the people they think are guilty of stealing it. Maybe a solution would have been to stop stealing their land.

    Nah, that’s crazy talk. The solution is to build even more illegal settlements!

    “their land” was the whole point of the dispute. Something to do with multiple wars, evacuations done at the beck of Arab armies confident they could drive the jews into the sea, and of course, British meddling.

    See, this is what gets me every time. The insistence that any resistance to Republicans must be peaceful but if its Palestinians against Israelis “oh they had it coming as evil oppressors” doublethink. Stop treating the Palestinians as fucking helpless children and see them as responsible adults who freely chose to commit mass murder during peace talks. FFS, the “civilians” LYNCHED a bunch of Israeli airmen who made the mistake of getting lost.

    If they’d done that to Americans, we’d have killed everyone in their town, no questions asked. And then salted the Earth before the smoke cooled.

    But oh no, can’t have any justice upheld against those “poor long suffering freedom fighters” who only seem to do their best when targeting women and children by surprise.

  113. 113
    Mike G says:

    Assholes like Trump deliberately create chaos, conflict and confusion. It’s the ocean they swim in, it’s how they maintain power.

    And the bible-fan-fiction wing of the Repubs is all to happy to stir up shit in the Middle East.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I worked on the 2014 DOD side of the Israeli-Palestinian peace stuff.

    Israel is what happens when you treat a group of people tyrannically and despotically for generations, try to completely kill them all off, and then the survivors set up their own state and society. No matter what they try to do, they have been socialized to surviving tyrannies and despotism. So no matter how many liberal or democratic or representative systems they put in place, it takes generations to resocialize them away from what has become the cultural defaults that developed for survivals. In this case it is even screwier as the group is a religion, not an ethno-national group. So there’s no real ethno-national coherence at the heart of Israeli identity and society and not a lot of coherence within the shared religious identity either.

    That’s a simplified answer.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    From February of 2017:

    Israel’s parliament has passed a controversial law retroactively legalising almost 4,000 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

    Yep, the poor, innocent, victimized Israelis, forced to steal privately owned land from Palestinians without compensation. Why would actions like that make the Palestinians murderously angry?

    Of course, the US doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on, morally, given that we, too, decided to “legally” steal land from our native populations and then kill them when they violently objected.

  116. 116
    Bard the Grim says:

    Does Trump have any properties in the Middle East? If so, maybe someone will convince him that doing what he wants would be bad for business. Otherwise, I fall back on the hope that The Mighty Lord Hisself decides “If you can’t play nice, Nobody gets the toy!” and sends a small asteroid, picked up by all-sky monitoring a week in advance so people can clear out, toward Jerusalem, leaving a deep crater that is immediately filled in by the Mediterranean via underground rock fractures. Nothing left to fight over, nobody to blame. I apologize for the offense I surely give to some, but I am sincere.

  117. 117
    Kelly says:

    I worked on a project with a bunch of Israelis back in the early 1990’s. Most were secular. Great team to work with. They were all mad at the “crazy black hats” as they called them. The seculars could not see any way to break the “crazy black hats” hold on politics. I flew over and stayed in Jerusalem for 2 weeks for implementation. Had a great time until a suicide bomber took out two city buses.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: The government put into power in large part because the Palestinians killed the Israeli peace movement back in 2001.

    Murdering women and children and driving the formerly willing to negotiate public into a rightwing bunker mentality has consequences. This is the Israeli government the Palestinians wanted.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bard the Grim:

    Nothing left to fight over, nobody to blame.

    Don’t even joke about that.

    The crater wouldn’t even have time to cool before half the middle east declared war on the remaining half and declared the strike a punishment from Allah.

  120. 120
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:

    There’s also the fact that the Palestinians are used as pawns by the Saudis and Iranians through their various sponsored terrorist surrogates, and that the “plight” of the Palestinians has been used to perpetuate antiSemitism by all kinds of actors since 1948 — none of whom actually gives a shit about what happens to any actual Palestinian.

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    @eemom: Yep. The Palestinians made themselves no friends among the other governments after backing Saddam in the 1990s and this has never changed.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The government put into power in large part because the Palestinians killed the Israeli peace movement back in 2001.

    Just can’t accept that Israelis have even the slightest responsibility for the current mess, can you?

    Hey, remember when Yitzhak Rabin was killed by the Palestinians? Oh, wait, sorry, he was killed by an Israeli extremist who was angry about the Oslo Accords. Well, I’m sure it was still the Palestinians’ fault, right?

    Murdering women and children and driving the formerly willing to negotiate public into a rightwing bunker mentality has consequences.

    So, just to be clear, you are under the impression that no Palestinian women or children have ever been killed by the Israelis?

  123. 123
    B.B.A. says:

    @TenguPhule: Yigal Amir killed the Israeli peace movement in 1995.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Baruch Goldstein did his part, too.

  125. 125

    Are we perhaps looking at the beginning of World War III here?

    We corvids will feast.

  126. 126
    Ohio Mom says:

    And no matter what turmoil ensues from this extremely dumb idea of Trump’s, right-wing American Jews will continue to insist Republicans are “better on Israel” than any Democrat. Sigh…

  127. 127
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Just can’t accept that Israelis have even the slightest responsibility for the current mess, can you?

    I remember how they got to where they are now. Sharon visited a disputed site and the Palestinians freaked. And instead of protesting peacefully or appealing to the Israeli courts, they started murdering innocent civilians, some of whom were on the Palestinian side if it meant coming to a settled peace agreement.

    Do you remember how many times Barak and even Sharon held back from retaliation against Palestinian atrocities back then? Because I remember the EU, Clinton and then Bush all insisting that the Israelis not strike back while the Palestinians just got a weak “please stop doing this!” from the international community. It was lopsided to the point of farce. Yes, eventually Israel went way out of line, but they had damn overwhelming provocation long before that.

    So, just to be clear, you are under the impression that no Palestinian women or children have ever been killed by the Israelis?

    Just to be clear, the only time Israel intentionally targeted those categories, it was because they were attacking Israelis. The Palestinians had no such restraint.

  128. 128
    Peale says:

    @Bard the Grim: I’m sure he has been promised naming rights to the Trump Holy Sepulcre Plaza and the best golf course on the Sea of Galilee money can buy.

  129. 129
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks y for saying this.

  130. 130
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    MakingJerusalem the capital of Israel has been a major goal of US fundagelicals for a long time. It is an important step enabling the 2nd coming of Christ.

    Trump’s campaign promise to do this was an important factor in getting their support. In their eyes, it ‘proves’ Trump is annointed by God to save the US – and the world

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And instead of protesting peacefully or appealing to the Israeli courts, they started murdering innocent civilians, some of whom were on the Palestinian side if it meant coming to a settled peace agreement.

    Gosh, you mean that when people don’t trust that they’re going to get justice from the courts because they’ve been cheated again and again, they turn to violence?

    And when a high government official in Israel decides to deliberately provoke violence, it’s solely the fault of the people who react to the provocation and the guy who deliberately provoked violence is completely blameless for the consequences of his actions?

    I’ll remember you said this the next time you say that white supremacists deserve to be punched for the things they say.

    Do you remember how many times Barak and even Sharon held back from retaliation against Palestinian atrocities back then?

    Building illegal settlements on stolen land no longer counts as retaliation? Only exact eye-for-an-eye deaths counts?

    I guess that when Israel bombed schools where people were taking shelter in 2014, the women and children who died deserved everything they got because of events that happened before those children were even born. If they didn’t want to die horribly, they shouldn’t have been born to Palestinian parents.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Israel related threads are always such fun.

  133. 133
    J R in WV says:

    @Librarian:

    “If people are going to use the word “fascist”, could they at least spell it right?”

    I used to have a lot of trouble speling [sic, ;-) ] that word, fascist, correctly without looking it up. Unfortunately I now can rattle it off every time without a pause. Easy peasy after so much use of the concept.

  134. 134
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ian G.: Wasn’t choice of location influenced by all the ideas and dreams bound up in the Zionist movement of the late 19th cent?The young Jewish intellectuals had begun to realize how unlikely it was that they would ever be really accepted in German society.

  135. 135
    frosty says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I think all the mass graves and ovens had a little something to do with that.

    Most of those were in Poland. Read “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder, but be prepared to put it down now and then. Hitler and Stalin murdered over 20 million people in the bloodlands between their borders.

  136. 136
    Jeffro says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    MakingJerusalem the capital of Israel has been a major goal of US fundagelicals for a long time. It is an important step enabling the 2nd coming of Christ.

    Trump’s campaign promise to do this was an important factor in getting their support. In their eyes, it ‘proves’ Trump is annointed by God to save the US – and the world

    I’m going to have to go re-read my Revelations…isn’t the ‘savior’-leader supposed to be revealed as the agent of the Beast?

    Maybe that combover covers up a few digits on Trumpov’s forehead? 3 of the same digit, in fact…

  137. 137

    @Omnes Omnibus: You missed all the fun of the Mueller related threads, earlier. I also learned that non-violent protests amount to nothing.
    Examples of Gandhi, Mandela and MLK were dismissed out of hand.

  138. 138
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: As soon as I read your top post, all I could think was: “And this guy with the fireworks is our President.” but it fits the dysfunctional marriage with us as enabler too. (Somebody was filming that clip).

  139. 139
    Jeffro says:

    @clay: whoops I see I should have read the whole thread first…but hey, glad to know I was pretty close to being on-point for once…

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Defeatism and hopelessness with a side of violent fantasies?

  141. 141
  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know I’ve learned my lesson!

  143. 143
    Lizzy L says:

    Washington Post says that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel tomorrow.

    Senior aides said President Trump will make his pronouncement Wednesday. But in a sign of the complexities of such a momentous policy shift, White House aides emphasized that Trump will sign another six-month waiver maintaining the embassy’s current location in Tel Aviv.

  144. 144
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Chet Murthy: I can remember when many American Jews thought the US was a safe haven. Or at least I read many times that most American Jews thought they were safe here.

    An enlightening bit of American history is found in the PBS documentary The American Experience – America and the Holocaust. For many, it is their 1st exposure to the vicious anti-semitism in the US pre WWII.

    Another troubling insight into the taken-for-grantedness of American anti-semitism can be found in the movie A Genylemam’s Agreement.

  145. 145
    Ian G. says:

    @Gator90:

    What part of “defeated” did you miss? If the US/UK/France wanted to create an independent Jewish state in the utterly destroyed and destitute parts of Germany they occupied, who would have stopped them?

    Hell, if the number of Israeli expats living in Berlin is any indication, there are quite a few liberal Israelis who prefer life in a liberal social democracy to life in an unhinged far-right pariah state. I know the fucking feeling. Berlin sounds pretty good compared to Trump’s America.

  146. 146
    Sab says:

    @eemom: Are you sure about that, with the current Likud Government? They seem to be, like Republicans, more interested in staying in power than in the survival of their own country.

    I am old enough that I remember when Germany was Israel’s best friend because of sorrow and guilt, and Turkey was their biggest trading partner.

    I also remember when the Israelis could barely scrape together a government because their political life was so diverse. Jerusalem used to have a Jewish mayor that the Arabs voted for because he was inclusive. Likud brought in a mayor who wanted to clear all the Arabs out of all Jerusalem. I remember when Bedouin and Palestinians in Israel were on opposite sides, and Liked came in and treated them all as “Arabs” , thereby alienating a passively loyal group into an actively hostile group.

    Moderate Israelis have for the last twenty years been afraid to speak out for fear of their lives. The guy who assassinated a prime minister was allowed to marry an adoring pen pal, got conjugal visits, and if I remember correctly, now has a crazy son in the pipeline.

    There is always lots of room for blaming various sides in such a difficult area as Israel’s relations with its internal Arab citizens and neighbors. Things were never going to be easy, but nobody deserves more blame than Bibi and his cohorts. They are presiding over the long term destruction of Israel to stay in power for a few more years.

    Europe, Turkey, all their neighbors, and even a lot of US jews thinks of modern Israel as more like apartheid South Africa than a normal modern western country.This isn’t where Israel stood in the world thirty years ago.

    I

  147. 147
    Ian G. says:

    @Lizzy L:

    I’m sure the nuance of that six month waiver will be appreciated in the Arab world.

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ian G.:

    Hell, if the number of Israeli expats living in Berlin is any indication, there are quite a few liberal Israelis who prefer life in a liberal social democracy to life in an unhinged far-right pariah state.

    Actually this is part of a reality that a lot of Israelis, and especially Netanyahu and his government are trying to ignore and/or deny. Israelis who are descended from people who came from what are now EU members states can reclaim their parents, grandparents, and/or great grandparents citizenship under EU rules. A lot of younger Israelis have chosen to vote with their feet and move to places they find less mentally and emotionally stressful, where they’re not living in a hybrid of a parliamentary democracy and a garrison state. This, combined with the low birth rate among Israelis who are not ultra devout, and the higher birth rate among the Palestinians is a demographic time bomb for the Israelis. In one more generation, give or take a few years, and they will be a minority. And the historic irony, as you’ve pointed out, is that the largest group of Israelis who have become expats and gone back to Europe are Israelis who have reclaimed their German citizenship. Some of that irony is being governed by the numbers of which Jews came to Israel from where in Europe.

  149. 149
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No good deed goes unpunished. But I still appreciate all the information in your post!

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well then, some good has come from this.

  151. 151
    efgoldman says:

    TL;DR
    Henna Hair who lives in the WH said some words
    He neither knows nor understands their meaning or consequences
    Nor does he care.

  152. 152
    JR says:

    this feels like a “Napoleon in Egypt” type of move w/re to US hegemony in the ME.

  153. 153
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JR: Considering that Assad, Erdogan, and Putin met a couple of weeks ago to discuss the post ISIS Syria and Putin just arranged a basing deal with Egypt to base and operate Russian air force jets in Egypt and Putin’s in the process of negotiating both a nuclear energy technology deal with the Saudis and a land route through the caucuses into Iran and access to a second warm water port in Iran at the southern terminus of that land route, US hegemony left the region sometime between January and June of this year.

  154. 154
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But I tried! Foolishly, as it turns out; but I did TRY.

  155. 155
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jeffro:

    reinstatement of the blue states’ state/local deduction

    Repeal the Tax on Taxes!!!
    (Yeah, I know that other taxes are taxed and that there are similar arguments against corporate taxes. But still. Republicans are trying to pass a new Tax Tax)

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: If you want to get fighty, people are talking about fraternities in a thread above and the word “Greek” was used.

  157. 157
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: even worse—some people referred to fraternities as “frats”!

  158. 158
    StringOnAStick says:

    I heard this news today and immediately thought “here comes intifada v.3″. I won’t say I’m glad to read that Adam sees this the same way, because ” glad” seems like an inappropriate word to use considering what this stupid move all unleash.

    My husband is Jewish and 90% of his old childhood friends are Reform so pretty liberal; the one Conservative loves Bibi. What surprises me about his old friends is no on has picked up on the whole “young Israelis moving back to the EU” trend.

  159. 159
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @StringOnAStick: Is your husband a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or comedy writer? We’ve had some suspicious characters here claiming to be Jewish so we have to check.

  160. 160
    eemom says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Fun fact: I’ve seen you posting the same old schtick (pun intended) about what an expert you are on I-P issues because your husband is Jewish on various blogs since at least 2008.

  161. 161
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    What I am not seeing in the commentary is that riots against American embassies in Arab countries, a second intifada, are exactly what Trump wants. Will justify his travel ban, among other things.

    If someone said this upthread, I apologize. Just got home.

  162. 162
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If you want to get fighty

    Nope. #IamMahatma

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Never mind, you will pick your fight here.

  164. 164
    Sab says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Love you some nights@Adam L Silverman: (@Adam L Silverman: I know a fair of number of Israelis whose ancestors were Sabras ( i.e. descended from Jews in the Ottoman Empire and lived in Palestine before it was Israel.) If things go south they can’t repatriate to Europe because they haven’t lived there since the Spanish monarchy drove them out before Columbus sailed. They could have gone to Turkey a generation ago but that’s closed to them now.The whacks who can return to US or Russia or Europe have made it impossible for the zSabras to go anywhere else, or also to live safely in Israel. Good job, political zealots!

  165. 165
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sab: Just some nights?

  166. 166
    Bill Arnold says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I also learned that non-violent protests amount to nothing.

    Why Civil Resistance Works has been recommended. I haven’t read much of it yet but it looks pretty good. It’s a book length elaboration of this article:
    Why Civil Resistance Works The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conºict by Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth (2008)

    Among political scientists, the prevailing view is that opposition movements select violent methods because such means are more effective than nonviolent strategies at achieving policy goals. Despite these assumptions, from 2000 to 2006 organized civilian populations successfully employed nonviolent methods including boycotts, strikes, protests, and organized noncooperation to challenge entrenched power and exact political concessions in Serbia (2000), Madagascar (2002), Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004–05), Lebanon (2005), and Nepal (2006). The success of these nonviolent campaigns—especially in light of the enduring violent insurgencies occurring in some of the same countries begs systematic investigation

    I kinda agree; if the Palestinians had gone down the peace path things there would probably be two states for decades now.
    (Counterfactuals are impossible to prove.)

  167. 167
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: dude take it. That’s more love than you normally get here!

  168. 168
    Condorcet runner-up says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Resisting the urge to enter the fray on that one. Drives me nuts that it’s referred to as “Greek.”

  169. 169
    Psych1 says:

    @Sab: Both Spain and Portugal are now offering EU citizenship to those with Sephardic heritage. The process is complex but doable. I am doing it.

  170. 170
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Psych1: I read a book that made a plausible case that Christopher Columbus was actually a Portuguese Jew. It was like a poorly translated version of the Portuguese “Da Vinci Code”, but the thesis was good.

  171. 171
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So Trump idea here is to

    a) not do anything

    b) piss off the world by talking about it.

    c) gain nothing in return.

    So the Trump trifecta of lazy, offensive and useless are achieved.

  172. 172
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The fuh?? I thought it was agreed that I am an agent of peace on this thread.

  173. 173
    eemom says:

    @Condorcet runner-up:

    Drives me nuts that it’s referred to as “Greek.”

    !!! Are you my long lost, fellow ACTUAL Greek? 9 letter last name ending with “os” here.

  174. 174
    LanceThruster says:

    Schumer’s on board so it must be good, eh?

    [sigh]

  175. 175
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I also learned that non-violent protests amount to nothing.
    Examples of Gandhi, Mandela and MLK were dismissed out of hand.

    No, we pointed that all them were not actually peaceful and at a minimum had a credible threat of force behind them as the alternative.

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I guess that when Israel bombed schools where people were taking shelter in 2014, the women and children who died deserved everything they got because of events that happened before those children were even born. If they didn’t want to die horribly, they shouldn’t have been born to Palestinian parents.

    So you’re going to go straight to the consequences of what the Palestinians did, COMPLETELY IGNORING 13 years of Palestinian atrocities.

    Yeah, the Israeli military was behaving almost as bad as the Palestinians by this point. This is what happens when a professional military fights a forever war while being ruled by the worst aspects of their society and getting no credit whatsoever for past restraint and adhering to the laws of war within reason given the situation gets pushed to its limit. You know why Israel was bombing schools? Because Palestinians used them as ARMS CACHES and militant hideouts, violations of the Geneva Conventions.

    You want to gloss over the DELIBERATE MURDER of Israeli civilians by Palestinians. You demand from the Israelis something no other country on Earth would tolerate while giving the Palestinians a free pass. That’s bullshit. And you should know better.

  177. 177
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sab:

    Things were never going to be easy, but nobody deserves more blame than Bibi and his cohorts.

    Well, aside from the folks who helped them get and stay in power. But yes, Likud is a pestilence.

  178. 178
    Condorcet runner-up says:

    @eemom: We are everywhere.

    Ten letters ending with “as” over here …

  179. 179
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Psych1: There’s a difference between Sephardim and Mizrahim. The former, as you know, are Jews whose ancestors are from Spain and Portugal. The latter are Jews of Arab descent. Depending on who is doing the racking and stacking it can encompass all Middle Eastern Jews, so it also includes Jews from Turkey and Iran. And, of course, you have the final ethno-national divisions that include the Jews of Ethiopian descent (Fallashas), and the Jews from Cochin in India and other parts of the sub-continent and SE Asia.

  180. 180
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: He is widely believed to be a marano. A forced conversion who secretly maintained his Judaism.

  181. 181
    LanceThruster says:

    Re: the perpetuation of Israeli apartheid

    MURDER as COVER for
    THEFT and OPPRESSION
    is NOT *self-defense*

    It’s a war crime.

  182. 182
    Sab says:

    @Psych1: That’s good to know.

  183. 183
    Chris says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    (2) I believe it was Nasrallah (maybe someone else) who said that if the Palestinians had F16s,they wouldn’t need suicide bombers [similar thing was said of “Buda’s wagon” (1920 car-bomb aimed at Wall Steet) too]

    It goes at least as far back as the movie The Battle Of Algiers, where a captured Algerian leader, when asked if he thinks it’s cowardly to leave bombs in public places, basically answers that people whose preferred military tactic is dropping bombs on defenseless people from thirty thousand feet really don’t get to judge other people’s cowardice.

    I don’t know if it was based on an actual statement by the Algerian rebels, but it’s been a staple of the “terrorism is the poor man’s war, war is the poor man’s terrorism” argument since forever).

  184. 184
    Chris says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    Also;

    and note well that I just above wrote that I *agree* with Israel’s existence

    The fact that anybody saying anything critical of Israel feels the obligation to make disclaimers like this, but that I rarely if ever see anyone on the other side feeling forced to say things like “well OF COURSE I think the Palestinians deserve their own state” is indicative of something, and it ain’t pretty.

  185. 185
    d58826 says:

    @TenguPhule: That might be a good idea if it was part of an effort to jump start some diplomatic progress. Remember Nixon going to China started with a ping pong game. But I doubt that there is anything going on to kickstart

  186. 186
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    Woah, there! Let’s just focus on all the Russian dual citizens distorting our democratic process and not venture into areas that need not be examined.

    /s

  187. 187
    LanceThruster says:

    @TenguPhule:

    “The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science”; this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

    Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts.

    The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized.

    It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.”

    Fredy Perlman from his essay, “Anti-Semitism and the Beirut Pogrom”

  188. 188
    Psych1 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Right now the two main groups applying are Sephardim living in Turkey and a small group from the US. Most are working through a congregation in Porto.

    The process is easier for me than for the others. I am a US citizen, born in NYC, but have been a Turkish resident for more than 20 years. I also have needed skills and resources and can document my family moves from Portugal to Amsterdam to the US.

  189. 189
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.

    It’s a not a bad read, but this still gives that mentality credit for far more complexity than it deserves. As the white-American-settlers example demonstrates, it is absolutely not required that you actually be a victim, or even a member of a historically victimized group, to wail on about your own victimization in order to justify or handwave away the oppression of other people. It simply requires you to be an asshole.

    And since the Nazis were in fact wrong about there being profound innate differences between people based on their race/ethnicity, it turns out there are assholes pretty much everywhere.

  190. 190
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    It’s a key part of the narrative defending their actions. It was someone here at BJ that shared this gem that Perlman was referencing re: Melville.

    I agree with you that their own rationale does not require any such delusions. It reminds of the line from ‘Goodfellas’ where Liotta says of the suckers (paraphrased), ‘We weren’t stealing from them, we were just relieving them of the stuff that belonged to us.’

  191. 191
  192. 192
    TenguPhule says:

    @LanceThruster: And that’s a perfect description of what the Palestinians did when they kicked off the violence in 2001.

  193. 193
    LanceThruster says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Kicked off?!? You talk as if the Nakba never happened. Zionists pioneered false flag terrorism such as with the King David Hotel bombing (they dressed as Arabs).

  194. 194
    TenguPhule says:

    @LanceThruster: The Palestinians LOST THAT WAR. Israel came around to peace talks and the Oslo Accords and Camp David because they wanted PEACE. No more Israelis murdered by Palestinians. They lost a prime minister to one of their worst hard righties in that process.

    And they got….suicide bombings. More suicide bombings. And who was condemned in the international eye? The Palestinians? Oh no, the Israelis got blamed. And it went on year after year after year.

    And little by little, the Israelis began to descend to the Palestinian level.

    And now here we are. A hard core right wing cabal ruling Israel, put into power by the Palestinian terror groups.

  195. 195
    LanceThruster says:

    @TenguPhule:

    International law does not allow territory by conquest (decided at Nuremberg). And your claim that Israelis are forced to kill Palestinians would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. And Dr. Norman Finkelstein put the Oslo lie to rest.

  196. 196
    TenguPhule says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Dr. Norman Finkelstein

    Renowned asshole and quack.

    Well, I can see your mind is set.

    Palestinians are the eternal children, innocent and unable to understand the consequences of their own actions. So what if they murder Israeli Civilians while Israel tried their best to adhere to the Laws of War, the ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS AMIRITE?!

    Congratulations in helping to install and keep Likud in power, chump..

  197. 197
    LanceThruster says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And occupied people have the right to resist by international law. Your handwaving means nothing. You think Israel could at least learn to murder on their own dime?

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