BREAKING SCOOP: Khaled Mashal Will Send Delegation To Cairo

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Khaled Mashal twn.jpgAmman, Jordan — I have just learned through credible sources that the Cairo-brokered reconciliation deal between the Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas, while officially delayed at the moment, will get a course correction tomorrow.
Although Hamas called today for a “delay” in the Cairo meeting and deal signing ceremony, I have learned through a credible source that Hamas leader Khaled Mashal will inform the Egyptians tomorrow that he is ready to send a delegation to Cairo.
There have been rumors for weeks that a deal was close — even though sources also reported the Americans were trying to undermine the process of moving the parties toward a reconciled unity government.
This is huge news — and has important ramifications for the Israel/Palestine negotiations process that President Obama has been trying to but thus far has failed to kickstart.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

102 comments on “BREAKING SCOOP: Khaled Mashal Will Send Delegation To Cairo

  1. nadine says:

    By “busybody” I mean somebody who will tell the Israelis what to do without ever, for a single second, pausing to consider the possibility that the Israelis, who are right there, might know a thing or two more about the situation than the busybody does from 6,000 miles away. Especially when the busybody is so arrogant that nobody can tell him anything unless it fits his preconceptions.
    “I think that confidence-building steps are crucial.”
    Steps must begin from where you are, not where you would like to be. So far, I see wildly inaccurate assessments of the Israelis, and as for the Palestinians, they are completely invisible. “Window glass” as I call them – not because I disregard them, but because you do.
    The predominant way of of thinking in Palestinian politics right now is a helluva lot closer to Al Qaeda than to Mahatma Gandhi, and that is true whether you pay attention to it or not. The Israelis can’t afford to ignore it. Before you lecture them about their fearfulness it behooves you to investigate whether they have good reasons for their attitude.

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  2. questions says:

    Not sure what you mean by “busybodies” in this context.
    If a busybody is a good samaritan who thinks there’s a problem with the continuation of the I/P mess without endless attempts to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution, then that would be something novel.
    I think that confidence-building steps are crucial. I think Israel has a moral responsibility to come to grips with what it has become in its fear. I think it’s crucial to realize that politicians have a strong motivation to tell us to be afraid, very very afraid and that the structure of the fear is deeply problematic. I think the fear-mongering may well be a structural flaw in governance, and as such, needs some kind of institutional response.
    I think Israeli politicians should think about what they are creating. And I think you should think about what you’re afraid of in terms of Socrates’s distinction between being killed and being harmed. He separates the two. And the separation might do the human race a world of good.

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  3. nadine says:

    Ah, but the busybodies never worry about doing harm because they mean well. That’s just the point! Those who should worry, don’t.

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  4. questions says:

    But “common” is a problem. A lot of things have seemed quite sensible to people, quite reasonable all in all. But at some point the hideousness hits us. Slavery made sense. Surgery w/o anaesthesia as an experiment made sense. Cutting and shooting and smashing have all made sense. The grossest, cruelest behaviors have been justified.
    So I’d respond with “Lord, save us from those whose imaginations cannot feel the pain of others. For their cruelty will be the undoing of many. Cruelty in the name of ‘they are subhuman’ or ‘they brought it on themselves’ is cruelty all the same. And it doesn’t rest.”
    Two very different ways to look at the universe.
    One worries about suffering harm. One worries about doing harm.
    Check out Socrates on the issue.

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  5. nadine says:

    questions, Lord save us all from good will unalloyed with common sense. As C.S. Lewis observed, “It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”

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  6. arthurdecco says:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
    I go away for a week or so in order to do something constructive and return to exactly the same bigotry, hate and lies offered up from the one side of the argument and the same ineffectual, (if well-intentioned), frustrated, pathetically masturbatory attempts at rebutting the repulsive opinions of those self-same creeps who constantly support the putrescent policies of war criminals because they claim to share a common ancestry.
    It’s a no win game not worth playing. As a matter of fact it keeps us from doing anything constructive about anything.
    So…
    “So long and thanks for the fish.” I’m rejoining the real world.

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  7. questions says:

    “questions, you are good-hearted but good will must act on possibilities, not wishful thinking.”
    Not for Kant. Good will is sufficient, necessary, and the only condition for morality.
    Accomplishments in the world are mere accessories. Without a good will, there’s nothing.
    And if you call me “good-hearted” either POA will have a heart attack, or start assuming we’re the same person!
    Thanks for the backwards compliment.

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  8. nadine says:

    questions, you are good-hearted but good will must act on possibilities, not wishful thinking. By all means look for your hope, but don’t keep prodding the one accessible player to produce it for you, just because he is accessible. That is the foreign policy equivalent of the drunk looking for his car keys under the street lamp because the light is better there.
    May I recommend the blog of Barry Rubin at http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/ to you? When you start to read him, you will exclaim “how can he say that!” and “he can’t know that for sure!” at every entry. But keep reading, and you will see that things happen the way he predicts just about every time. He is a very knowledgeable analyst who works for the Gloria Center and is the author of many books on the Mideast.
    His blog is also amusing. One of his latest entries, on the attempts of the Spanish prime minister and foreign minister to mediate between Israel and Syria, is called “When it comes to the Mideast, The Brains in Spain Fall Mainly Down the Drain”

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  9. questions says:

    Note, by the way that Machiavelli’s relationship to “Machiavellian” is really disputed. It’s a complicated textual mess.

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  10. questions says:

    But “settled pessimism” ends up being the same acceptance of the unfortunate sacrifice of some for others. I don’t have an easy response because this really is a major political conundrum always. But in specific situations over the course of history, negotiated settlements have happened. Peace has been waged, killing machines have shut down. Sometimes after war and death, sometimes in place of war and death.
    Laitin notes how often events DON’T happen and that we really have basically the wrong denominators for measuring violence. I find this intriguing to think through. The non-event is more significant than the event. Positively Derridean. And a little weird. But very intriguing.
    How often do we NOT kill each other. How often do we NOT launch rockets when we could launch rockets? How do we measure events so that we really know what’s going on?
    I think this needs to be followed through in the I/P situation. It might make things look different in a way that helps build trust, which after all is what has to happen if anything is to move forward.
    And the pessimism just keeps us where we are. Hope has to sneak out, or we’re doomed. The two sides of Meno’s paradox, right here. Choose Socrates.

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  11. nadine says:

    “Nadine, Machiavelli remains a puzzle to me — he expresses the same basic sentiment actually. If you delay the use of cruelty, you’ll have a much bigger mess to deal with. Strike now, strike early, get all the cruel shit done with quickly, and then rule for the good of the people.
    The problem is that you end up sacrificing non-combatants, unwilling parties, today’s people for tomorrow’s — at some level, something is very wrong with chopping off the heads and limbs of some today so that tomorrow is better.”
    Sometimes there are no good options. Machiavelli has survived because he described the real world. So does the Talmud. The alternative to striking quickly is to let the problem fester, let the criminals amass power and raise a generation in violence and hatred. Is that better?
    I think you need to face the dilemma squarely, which means you must stop demanding that there must be some way for Israel solve it for you by miraculously disarming Hamas without harming any civilians. They can’t do it.
    Yet running around after Israel screaming “Marquis of Queensbury rules! Marquis of Queensbury rules!” while ignoring Hamas is objectively a big aid to Hamas. Hamas couldn’t wage “lawfare” without your help. This is the result of your one-sided moral demands whether you want it or not.
    I think you need to step back and consider more realistically what the current situation is, who makes it that way, and what incremental steps to improve it might look like – ignoring none of the players, including Hamas, Fatah, the Arab States and Iran.
    “Complacency” is the last word I would use to describe my attitude. “Settled pessimism” would be more accurate.

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  12. questions says:

    Nadine, Machiavelli remains a puzzle to me — he expresses the same basic sentiment actually. If you delay the use of cruelty, you’ll have a much bigger mess to deal with. Strike now, strike early, get all the cruel shit done with quickly, and then rule for the good of the people.
    The problem is that you end up sacrificing non-combatants, unwilling parties, today’s people for tomorrow’s — at some level, something is very wrong with chopping off the heads and limbs of some today so that tomorrow is better.
    I don’t pretend to have answers to this problem. I do see the problems. I see the security problems, but I also see the problems with intrumentalism when it comes to humans (and animals, actually.) I read Kant. I take the Categorical Imperative pretty seriously as a moral guide.
    It’s certainly not going to be easy to be a good Kantian, but I think we really have to struggle in that direction rather than in the direction of simply accepting the awful.
    In a sense, my new love of game theory ends up in the same place. To exit the game, which always leads to sub-optimal results, you have to communicate, build trust, get a little crazy/irrational.
    I take Socrates’s notion of the “as if” pretty seriously too. We have to act AS IF we can get it right but AS IF we don’t got it yet.
    The struggle to get it right is crucial. The acceptance of the wicked is not so good.
    So your complacency with the situation in I/P strikes me as really not good, even as my waffling around seems to drive many here bonkers. Waffling is what we must do as we find our way, for certainly, we haven’t found our way yet.

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  13. nadine says:

    Robert Bernstein, the founder of HRW, condemns HRW for its bias against Israel in the NYT today:
    “Israel, with a population of 7.4 million, is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and, judging by the amount of news coverage, probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world — many of whom are there expressly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/opinion/20bernstein.html?_r=1

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  14. nadine says:

    “To distinguish between civilians and combatants doesn`t make sense for people like
    Nadine as long as some Palestinian leaders blur that distinction”
    So now you admit Hamas uses human shields? And here I thought it was supposed to be one of my exploded lies.
    The Israelis did phoning, leaflets, “roof knocking”, and not bombing some targets, like Shifa Hospital, all in the service of maintaining the distinction between combatant and civilian. But Israel cannot afford to give Hamas a free pass to keep shelling Israel. No country on earth would have held back as long as Israel did.
    Again I ask, if Operation Cast Lead was illegitimate, what would the legitimate response have looked like?

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  15. nadine says:

    questions, there is a quotation from the Talmud that is apropos: Those who are kind to the cruel are cruel to the kind.

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  16. Paul Norheim says:

    To distinguish between civilians and combatants doesn`t make sense for people like
    Nadine as long as some Palestinian leaders blur that distinction. Certain tactics
    and extreme motives or wishes within the Palestinian resistance movement dictate
    seeing ALL Palestinians as ONE entity: the absolute enemy.

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  17. questions says:

    Again, regardless of the rhetoric, regardless of the beliefs under the rhetoric, there is a humane dimension that must be responded to.
    If “enemy” means you must destroy and never respect, then maybe you have a point. But I don’t think that way. I don’t think it’s appropriate to kill, to induce suffering in the way that Israel does.
    It’s a dilemma, certainly. And as today’s NYT article points out, both sides find that violence pays at least in the short run. But I think there’s still a deep responsibility to do MORE to stop the violence. I don’t accept it as it is. I don’t claim to have answers so much as I note that humaneness must step forth. Otherwise, what are we?
    So no matter how many times you cite crazy Palestinian rhetoric, crazy Palestinian actions, no matter how much you insist on the commitment that Palestinians have to death over life, I will insist that Israel should have a commitment to life over death, that many Palestinians probably feel the same way and might well be radicalized by living in a war zone where life is pretty damned cheap, no matter what you come up with to justify Israel’s harshness, I will stand with humaneness.
    And I think you should spend a week “living” as a Palestinian. Use your best empathetic skills, “walk” around Gaza. “Feed” a family. Feel the effects of the incursion. “Feel” the effects of the embargo. Give in for a moment to the humane, not to the fear.
    And then see if you can use your local knowledge and cultural understanding to find third ways, middle grounds, a dollop of kindness somewhere that might help.
    And then go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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  18. nadine says:

    “As far as I know, “food insecurity” is the standard term now for lack of food. It was chosen half as euphemism for “hunger” and half as a way of characterizing what is no longer starvation but is still significant deprivation. If you eat small but reasonable meals all month long until, say the 25th when your pay or aid check runs out, what do you do with the last 3-6 days of the month? Do you KNOW that you’ll eat? Do you know where your food is coming from? Not really. That’s “food insecurity.” You eat well enough (sort of) most of the time, but not always.”
    Or viewed somewhat more cynically/realistically, “food insecurity” is how NGOs describe a moderate problem as a large problem in order to secure more funding and permanent job security.
    NGOs such as HRW have a long record of serving as propaganda megaphones for Hamas (side note: even HRW didn’t endorse Goldstone, it was that bad), not to mention employment agencies for Hamas operatives. Therefore I allow for exaggeration when I read them. If “food insecurity” is the best they can do (as you say, this might mean no more than a possible future interruption of supply), I figure the problem is far from major. The UN trucks are rolling into Gaza every day. Hamas has plenty of money. If there are hungry people in Gaza, they are Hamas’ responsibility.
    “If we let Israel punish the Gazans because Hamas sucks, or because Gazans thought it was a good idea at the time, or because Hamas provided basic social services in a depriving and nasty environment, then we’re lesser.”
    Israel does not want to punish the Gazans. Israel wanted to make Hamas stop shooting rockets and missile into Israel. So far, Operation Cast Lead succeeded where years of truces and talks failed. Hamas does everything in its power to make sure that Israel can’t reach it without killing lots of innocent civilians.
    Do you really want to give Hamas total immunity to attack Israel from safety because they use human shields? How about the Taliban? should they get immunity too? How about Al Qaeda? They all use these tactics.
    Again I ask, if Operation Cast Lead was an illegitimate response to thousands of missiles, what would the legitimate response have looked like?
    There is a good reason that the Geneva conventions withdraw protections from civilian structures when they are used for military purposes. The authors understood that if you automatically give immunity to civilians no matter what, everybody would hide behind civilians and more innocents would die, not fewer. That is why both sides have the responsibility to protect civilians to the best of their ability. Of course Hamas does the opposite and brags of it:
    For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry
    In which excel the women and all the people of this land:
    The older people excel, the jihadists excel
    And the children excel
    Consequently, [the Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children
    Older people and jihadists
    Against the Zionist bombing machine
    That is telling the Zionist enemy
    We want death just as much as you desire life.
    – Fathi Hamad, Hamas representative in the PA council
    video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTu-AUE9ycs&feature=player_embedded#

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  19. DonS says:

    Wigwag,I try not to get too involved with the interpersonal aspects here. Sometimes the underlying substance is so egregious it’s impossible to separate the two. You have been there yourself.

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  20. questions says:

    Nadine,
    Couple of things….
    Somewhere above, you refer to “food insecurity” as some kind of waffling term. I don’t remember your specific language.
    As far as I know, “food insecurity” is the standard term now for lack of food. It was chosen half as euphemism for “hunger” and half as a way of characterizing what is no longer starvation but is still significant deprivation. If you eat small but reasonable meals all month long until, say the 25th when your pay or aid check runs out, what do you do with the last 3-6 days of the month? Do you KNOW that you’ll eat? Do you know where your food is coming from? Not really. That’s “food insecurity.” You eat well enough (sort of) most of the time, but not always.
    Think about going to your kitchen with a growling stomach and actually finding no food. That’s “food insecurity.” Not really starvation. But not really good. And if you have kids, they won’t grow as well, learn as well, function as well, control their tempers as well. Being hungry means that you don’t have enough calories in your body for your body to do what it needs to do. So, by definition, you spend part of your time not functioning. That’s a problem.
    Now, as for your elite/masses issues, at some level one might wish to hold to the view that the welfare of the masses is the responsibility of the elite, and if there are elections occasionally, then the welfare of the masses is its own responsibility.
    BUT… in fact, we live in societies so that we can spread some of that responsibility around. We think that good samaritanism is important. We don’t let a parent beat the shit out of a kid at a mall, we call the police or we try to intervene. We don’t let people dispose of each other as if people were disposable. We intervene. Even if the people on whose behalf we’re intervening “belong” to some elite power — a husband, a parent, Hamas, Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
    When we fail to intervene, which we do frequently (just read about abuse, about insurance recission and denial of procedures…), we are lesser for it.
    If we let Israel punish the Gazans because Hamas sucks, or because Gazans thought it was a good idea at the time, or because Hamas provided basic social services in a depriving and nasty environment, then we’re lesser.
    There are issues to balance. Hamas is not clean and innocent. But there’s real suffering going on and that suffering shouldn’t be chalked up to “Well, there goes Hamas again. Gotta blow up some kids.)
    The thing to do is to stop descending to the silly, stupid, pointless name calling that passes for “debate” around here, and try to find ways to help actually suffering individuals alleviate their suffering.
    There is suffering. One ought not deny it. There is threat. One ought not deny it. Trust needs to be constructed. And the construction of trust is its own field of inquiry that is going to have to borrow from psychology, game theory, politics, personal experience, history, empathy, a willingness to risk. All of this is going to have to come together without rage, with forgiving, forgetting.
    I posted elsewhere around here something about Mia Farrow from the Pal. Note site. She went to Gaza. She got in. She was witness. She backed the Goldstone report. She didn’t do a half- or full-McKinney. Far better. McKinney was something of a stunt. Farrow was something of a witness. Witnessing is a starting point.
    ****
    And WigWag, as for my “college try” — thanks! I think that there may be some interesting thoughts regarding 2-way and 3-way games. The titular “rock, paper, scissors” game is interesting. Three possibilities, each choice beats another and is in turn beaten, two players. One picks at random, one does ok. One patterns at all, one is beaten. Add a third player and everything shifts. There’s also a game called a “truel” — dueling with three shooters, that may have implications for the number of players that are stable and the strategy for dealing with them. I’m not good enough at this stuff to game it out, but I would love to read some game theory readings of the situation to see what the rational actions might be and whether or not any of this applies in asymmetrical power situations, and whether or not the most sensible thing is for H and F to join, find an ally or two and go from there. If it’s rational for them to do so, can they act rationally given domestic political pressure? Much to think about, and much of it not quite in my grasp. Oh well.

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  21. ... says:

    The Arab League is finally figuring out that there may be legal steps to take to prevent fund raising in the United States for the West Bank settlements. The League has called on President Obama to prevent groups such as the ”American Friends of Ateret Cohanim” from transfering millions of dollars in tax-free funds to radical settler groups for the purchase of Arab property in East Jerusalem. The strategy of fighting legal battles and tax fraud with lawyers, and why not with leftist Isrraeli lawyers is something that the Palestinians and the Arab League must explore. It could be much more effective than throwing stones.
    The “American Friends of Ateret Cohanim” is headed by millionaire Irving Moskovitz. He made his money with bingo parlors and by stripping down health centers and selling them, in short, dirty money. Most Israelis do not like this group, and see them as radical instigators against peace, but when violence erupts, the lines are drawn.

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  22. ... says:

    “Paul, you live in a highly filtered la-la land…”
    would that be like living in israel that works constantly to filter out everything arab, especially where it comes to the history of the land they’re presenting residing on??? that’s a highly filtered la-la land…

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  23. nadine says:

    Paul, you live in a highly filtered la-la land, so it’s kind of ironic how you give lectures about insufficent empathy. The Palestinians populations are controlled by their own leadership, and their welfare is the responsibility of that leadership before it is anybody else’s. You pretend that Fatah and Hamas don’t exist, that Israel could ignore them and work around them. They certainly can’t be held responsible for their own decisions in your world.
    Well Israel can’t ignore them. They exist. They make the decisions for the Palestinians. And they are experts at using their own populations as hostages and props in the conflict. In a world that did not employ such a flagrant double standard when it comes to Israel, the Palestinian strategy of shooting at civilians from among civilians, while whining about civilian casualties (sometimes invented ones, as at the 5000 claimed dead in Jenin), would not get them anywhere. But against Israel it does.
    Because the Palestinians have a strategy of whining about their civilian suffering, the fact that nobody holds them responsible for anything (the “window glass” phenomenon) gives them perverse incentives to create more of it themselves. How else to explain how often Hamas shelled the Israeli electricity plant in Ashkelon, even though it provides half the electricity in Gaza? Why did Hamas run on a clean government program then shut the Gazan economy by rocket barrages against Israel? What did they think would happen? But it served Hamas’ campaign to open the Gaza blockade and attain international legitimacy without having to recognize Israel or back down from the stated goal of destroying Israel and wiping out the Jews of Israel.
    So what’s the sense in caring more about the Palestinians’ welfare than Hamas or Fatah do? As long as they remain in power, any money you send will be used for rockets, not butter.
    Did you know that when Arafat first came to Gaza in 1994, Hilton tried to negotiate a hotel development? Gaza has beautiful beaches. A resort developed there would outshine Sharm el Sheikh. But Arafat was too corrupt and demanding too much, and of course with Hamas it’s impossible.
    It’s not just the Israelis who choose.

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  24. WigWag says:

    DonS, yes, but that is far more of a reflection on the idiocy of most of the commenters than it is on Nadine.
    One more thing, DonS, commentators who make a habit of regaling everyone with how “repulsed” they are, tend to be the most emotionally immature and intellectually dimwitted commentators at the site.
    You’ve joined quite a prestigious club.

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  25. DonS says:

    ” . . . I would also consider changing the moniker since the one you’ve chosen lost it’s credibility with the very first post here”.
    Ain’t that the truth.
    There is a vituperative quality — ArthurDecco nailed it as not being human.
    So while the many commenters here have a sometime uneasy relationship amongst themselves, they all, with one glaring exception, are repulsed by the construct “Nadine”, and what she represents.

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  26. Paul Norheim says:

    You have no reason to be upset, Nadine. I`m just saying that you have to learn how to use
    your airbrush. You`re an amateur, and everybody here notice it.
    I`m not so concerned about the frequent lies and distortions; the lack of intellectual
    honesty – what you call the “specifics”. These have been addressed several times, by POA,
    by DonS, by Dan Kervick, by me, and several others; and I see no reason to repeat them
    here. Actually, this is a crucial part of the technique of airbrushing. Your amateurism in
    this regard shows not so much in lying and intentionally distorting the narratives and
    facts, but in underestimating your audience, which happens to be more informed about world
    affairs than the average American or European. Perhaps you haven`t noticed this yet? If I
    were you, I would have calibrated the lies and distortions a bit, to make them slightly
    more credible here. (However, I would also consider changing the moniker, since the one
    you`ve chosen lost it`s credibility by your very first post here).
    And it`s not just how you always measure the amount of suffering among “Arab” women and
    children strictly by the behavior and perceived motives of their political leaders. A real
    pro in the art of airbrushing, Nadine, would certainly not display his or her lack of
    empathy with such clueless – I`m tempted to add: innocent – honesty and carelessness as
    you do. You reveal your clumsy amateurism by openly admitting that you don`t take
    malnutrition and suffering among Palestinians seriously (and frequently deny it), unless
    the malnutrition is translated into swollen bellies – like kids dying of hunger in Africa,
    scenes where even dumb spectators watching TV can see visible evidence that these kids are
    literally dying in front of the cameras.
    It`s also a matter of tone and attitude – the general amount of hatred, bigotry, paranoia.
    You see no reason to hide these emotions, and this shows that you`re not a pro.
    Propaganda and advertising is much more effective when it`s done by professionals. So far,
    the only thing you`ve achieved, is to offer the readers of the Washington Note daily, and
    rather depressive glimpses into the ugly and paranoid mentality of Tel Aviv and right wing
    Americans right now.
    Many Americans and other people around the world may buy your distortions and lies with
    regard to “specifics”. The majority has a rather foggy grasp of “specifics” in the Middle
    East. But I think most people are not willing to embrace your open display of contempt and
    aggression, your lack of empathy for the victims and your paranoia. Many decent people
    still have sympathy for people suffering from malnutrition, and from lack of medicine and
    other basic necessities; they don`t have to watch children die in front of TV cameras to
    be convinced that they suffer.
    Don`t get me wrong, Nadine: I`m sure you LOVE your airbrush. That doesn`t mean that you
    have any idea HOW TO USE IT. For this, your opponents here, the biased, as well as the
    not-so-biased, are thankful. But as an ambassador for Israel, you`re a disaster.

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  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The facts don’t even concern you”
    A self descriptive comment from Nadine. What does she do everytime I underscore one of her lies, which is quite often?

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  28. nadine says:

    I’d be delighted to have any specific mistakes pointed out, Paul. So far you are big on insults and small on argument. The facts don’t even concern you. You just sit on your high horse on la la land and call everybody else a liar.
    Boy, you are some exemplar for the Leftist pov, I can tell you that. Got any professionals to send it, who could actually mount an argument?
    Never mind, your fan base will cheer you no matter how inane or insulting you are.

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  29. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Paul Northeim…teeeheee

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  30. Paul Norheim says:

    “It’s always simple to make one side in a war look like the aggressor by airbrushing
    the other side out of the story.”
    I don`t think it`s as simple as it looks like. Watching Nadine, who uses her airbrush
    all the time, it`s obvious that she`s never quite learned the technique. She lacks
    control over her tool, probably because she is too emotional – her aggression and
    paranoia is so intense that she always ends up exposing more than she hides. Somebody
    should take that airbrush away from her and hide it, because she`s an amateur.

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  31. nadine says:

    Kathleen, a correction: the Palestinian election was in 2006, not 2007. The Hamas coup was in 2007. Abu Mazen’s term ended last January, with no new election planned.
    Israel is a democracy. The West Bank and Gaza are autocracies.

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  32. nadine says:

    Uri Avneri has outdone himself in idiocy. It’s always simple to make one side in a war look like the aggressor by airbrushing the other side out of the story. Hitler was intent on conquering Europe. Live and let live was not an option for Churchill. It was an option for Hitler.
    If Hamas had not shot 1000s of missiles, they would have been left alone. This was not an option for the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon.

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  33. nadine says:

    “nadine…you say there has’t been a Palestinian election since 2007…one would think that was so long ago there’s no one left alive who can remember…how often does Israel hold elections?”
    It’s a parliamentary system, so at least every three years, or sooner if the government falls. The last election was last spring, and resulted in a coalition Likud/Labor government.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Using civilians for human shields doesn’t just happen with Hamas, you know. It’s become a standard feature of assymetrical warfare. Hizbullah does it, the Iraqi insurgents do it, Al Qaeda does it, the Taliban do it every day”
    http://www.alternet.org/world/121848
    Israel Screwed Itself Over with Its Gaza Assault; the World Sees It as a ‘Blood-Stained Monster’
    By Uri Avnery, CounterPunch. Posted January 24, 2009.
    The Israeli author warns that his country has made a tragic mistake: “This war is a crime against ourselves .. a crime against the State of Israel.”
    Editor’s note: In this powerful essay, Uri Avnery writes that Israel’s latest assault on Gaza has backfired spectacularly for the country’s long-term interests. He writes, “Seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a bloodstained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for [Israel’s] long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet.”
    Avnery also writes that the true purpose of Israel’s invasion, “(apart from gaining seats in the coming elections) is to terminate the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the imagination of the planners, Hamas is an invader which has gained control of a foreign country. The reality is, of course, entirely different.” Yet, he argues, “Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win. The Hamas fighters would be seen as the paragons of the Arab nation, the heroes of the Palestinian people, models for emulation by every youngster in the Arab world. The West Bank would fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit, Fatah would drown in a sea of contempt, the Arab regimes would be threatened with collapse.”

    Nearly seventy ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.
    Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.
    This is the description that would now appear in the history books — if the Germans had won the war.
    Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as “hostages” and exploit the women and children as “human shields”, they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.
    continues…….

    Reply

  35. BJ says:

    Nadine….You are wrong again. The IDF can, and did, takeout the rocket launchers by simply having Cast Lead target the supporting infrastructure, regardless of the collateral damage to non-combatants.
    If Jews believe one should not engage in assymetrical warfare Begine and his followers from Europe would not have come ashore in 1948 to terrorize the defenseless population by throwing babies down wells, blowing up hotels sheltering women and children and other documented atrocities so they would abandon Palestine to them. Sounds like, to you, it all depends on whose ox is being gored.
    Normal people do not need an incentive to try to do what is morally right. The problem is most Israelis assume what they are doing is morally right because their Bible says the occupied lands belong to them. Unless and until they validate that assumption they are an abnormal people in my opinion. Please don’t accuse me of being prejudiced against Isrealis because I believe in the right of Israel to exist, as it does today, as long as it is not abusing its neighbors.

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    Olmert finally gets to face some accusers! No more free ride for the suspected war criminal! All this at the University of Chicago, at a lecture paid for in part by Jordan’s King Abdullah II (no wonder Wigwag likes Jordan, a true friend of Israel and reason for Wigwag to overlook its lack of democracy.)
    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10834.shtml

    Reply

  37. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    nadine…you say there has’t been a Palestinian election since 2007…one would think that was so long ago there’s no one left alive who can remember…how often does Israel hold elections?

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    “If the mighty IDF can’t protect its citizes my taking out the rocket launchers they could always re-occupy the West Bank.”
    Because the IDF cannot take out the rocket launchers – not when they are deliberately placed next to schools and UN compounds or retrieved from position by young boys. If you take out the rocket launcher, you kill a bunch of civilians or kids. The UN (and you lot) scream ‘war crime’ and Hamas has a twice lucky day. We have seen all this play out over and over again in Gaza.
    If the IDF reoccupies the West Bank, then you lot scream “WAR CRIME” four times as loud, as we see Operation Cast Lead play out again, only four times bigger.
    No, there is ZERO incentive now for Israel to pull out of the West Bank. Goldstone ended any chance of that.
    Using civilians for human shields doesn’t just happen with Hamas, you know. It’s become a standard feature of assymetrical warfare. Hizbullah does it, the Iraqi insurgents do it, Al Qaeda does it, the Taliban do it every day. Do you think they don’t know the American ROE? Ask any soldier.

    Reply

  39. BJ says:

    Nadia…I am talking about something much worse than the rockets from Gaza ; i.e., Hitlers concentration camps persecuted many thousands of European Jews who escaped with good memories to settle in Palestine and are now in positions of power. But they can’t get even with Germany so take out their frustrations on weaker neighbors.
    Gaza rocket fire was continuation of a war started by Israel, not persecution.
    Why not give withdrawal a try. If the mighty IDF can’t protect its citizes my taking out the rocket launchers they could always re-occupy the West Bank.

    Reply

  40. JohnH says:

    Gaza is a classic example of self-fulfilling paranoia. Israel leaves Gaza without negotiating, then implements a tight land and sea blockade, which under international law is an act of war. When groups in Gaza respond to the blockade with rockets, Israel feels persecuted!?!
    It’s just like a five year screaming to his mommie that his brother hit him. Of course, the five year old would never bother to mention that he had just stolen all his brother’s toys. Nadine is the five year old.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, you are a non-stop apologist for terror”
    Go screw yourself, you filthy hateful witch.

    Reply

  42. nadine says:

    Past persecutions? Like what has happened to southern Israel since the Gaza withdrawal in 2005? It’s hardly paranoia to see Hamas’ turning Gaza into a launch pad for rockets as the model for what would happen if Israel withdrew from the West Bank. More like common sense.

    Reply

  43. BJ says:

    I see we are still arguing about what the US can do, if anything, to prevent Israel’s further destabilization of the oil rich middle east by continuing to occupy the West Bank. I believe tolerating ocupation is not in our national interest because it is one of three reasons Osama Bin-Ladin gave in his Fatwa ordering the 9-11 and other attacks. That reminds me of Richard Holbrook’s comment in his recent book “Isreal has been nothing but trouble for the United States.”
    However, although greed could be a factor, this is the situation because Jews, due to past persecutions, are paranoid about their security and thus will not end their colonization (settlements) and military occupation (check-points) on lands adjacent to Isreal, despite King Abdulla’s offer of Pan-Arab recognition of Israel’s right to peaceful co-existance and normal relations so that a VIABLE Palistinian state can be created on the occupied land, as the UN authorized in the same Resolution that authorized the Jewish state over a half-century ago.
    Consequently, arguing over tactics like whether Hamas and Fatah should reconcile, or is it better to push for a one state solution rather than a two state solution as called for by Bush’s “road map” as we have for many years, has not and will not get us very far. What is needed first is a new strategy.
    Next time I will write about what the new stategy should be.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    POA, you are a non-stop apologist for terror. The conditions in Gaza are entirely under Hamas’ control. I do blame them! When Israel withdrew in 2005, the borders were open. “A chance to see how the Palestinians manage their own affairs,” the NYT told us. The blockade was only imposed AFTER Hamas had reneged on the signed agreements between the PA and Israel. If Hamas agreed to abide by them — AND STOP SHOOTING — the crossings would open, the factories at the crossings would open, and there would be no Israeli incursions.
    If Hamas are such nice neighbors, why is the Egyptian border closed and walled off?
    As for the Palestinians of Gaza, they are either Hamas supporters or Hamas hostages. If the former, I have little sympathy. If the latter, I am sorry for them, but not sorry enough to let Hamas use them to arm itself with long-range Iranian missiles, which Iran is trying to export to Gaza. Hamas now believes, with some reason, that it has world approval to try to destroy Israel, at least to start killing Israelis in large numbers, with any Israeli response labeled a war crime in advance.
    Anybody who wants to see reform and democracy among the Palestinians and Mideast peace must see Hamas as an enemy.
    Steve Clemons’ efforts to see Hamas as closet moderates is the purest exercise in wishful thinking. They are theocratic fascists, and do not hide it.
    Why does the modern left have such trouble believing that other people have a really different philosophy? (Besides Republicans, that is. The one group the modern left can hate and oppose.) The left keeps trying to project its own values onto Hamas and other radical Islamists – they are really secular nationalists! freedom fighters! etc. No, they’re not.
    Wigwag, I think you’re painting the haredim with too broad a brush. There are different groups, some more modern than others. Even the worst of them are not trying to rule other Israelis by force and violence, the way the Islamic fundamentalists do other Muslims.

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    their’s definitely a death wish among jewish americans who are unable to acknowledge how their unbiased support for a bunch of crazies over in israel is ruining the country they live in and the one they like to idolize..

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    Wigwag says ” I don’t have any hesitancy to say that I find the world view of the Haredi as retrograde and disgusting as the worldview of unusually devout Muslims or Chrhistians”
    Than why are you a rabid apologist for those whose policies pander to the worldview of this most extreme population?
    Is this a death wish among Israelis to close their eyes to the continuing path of conflict upon which they are embarked for the ravings of an extremist fringe?

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    “Perhaps you would like to comment a bit on what Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador in the United States wrote in “Commentary Magazine” in May 2009, discussing the “Arab Demographic Threat” as one of “Seven Existential Threats” facing Israel. (Paul Norheim)
    Greetings Paul. I would be delighted to comment. I don’t really have anything of value to contribute vis a vis Ambassador Oren’s remark, but I do have an opinion about the demographic threat facing Israel.
    I think that Israel does face a profound and potentially devastating demographic threat. The threat is so severe that it puts Israel’s prosperity at risk, Israel’s military capabilities at risk and even Israel’s existence at risk.
    But the common impression about the etiology of this demographic risk is completely wrong; it has nothing to do with Palestinians and everything to do with Jews; ultra orthodox Jews that is.
    To be more specific, Paul, I think the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza are completely immaterial. Whether this population eventually get its own nation in all or most of the of the West Bank and Gaza; whether it lives in isolated, self governing enclaves or whether the current ambiguous situation goes on indefinitely, is of little relevance to Israel in terms of demographics.
    The situation of the Arab citizens of Israel is more interesting. The percent of Israel’s population made up of Muslim Arabs has increased significantly in the past 20 years.
    The population growth rate of Jewish Israelis from 1995-2006 averaged 3.0 percent. Much of this increase can be explained by immigration from the former Soviet Union and other former Soviet satellites. Since 2006 the increase in Jewish population has averaged about 1.7 percent and the increase in the Arab population has averaged 2.6 percent. The population growth rate for both Arabs and Jews in Israel has fallen relatively rapidly as of late. The population growth rate for Arabs has dropped from 3.8 (1999) percent to 2.6 percent (2008) and the population growth rate for Jews has dropped from 3.0 percent (1999) to 1.7 percent (2008). The higher death rate for Israeli Arabs partly counteracts their greater fecundity. There is only one population group in Israel with a population growth rate that is going up instead of down; the Haredi or Ultra orthodox.
    The fecundity of this group puts even the Israeli Arabs to shame. In fact, the total fertility rate for the Ultra orthodox (8.51) was more than double the total fertility rate of the Arab population (3.84) and much higher than the rate for other Israeli Jews (2.88). The Haredi population is expected to double by 2020.
    The Ultra orthodox are as pre-modern, ignorant and troublesome as fundamentalist Christians or Jews. They believe in a literal interpretation of scripture, they eschew tolerance and pluralism, they believe they have a unique insight into the expectations of the deity, they are uneducated in a secular sense, they are disdainful of culture and they are impoverished frequently by choice. The one major difference between the haredi and fundamentalist Muslims is that Muslim extremists are all too happy to take up arms. The Ultra Orthodox on the other hand don’t serve in the IDF, preferring to leave the fighting to their secular brethren. I don’t have any hesitancy to say that I find the world view of the Haredi as retrograde and disgusting as the worldview of unusually devout Muslims or Christians.
    The more power this group acquires, the less prosperous and safe Israel becomes. Islamic extremists throughout the Muslim world have enticed their more secular co-religionists to become more observant. Fortunately this hasn’t happened (at least yet) in the Jewish world.
    But the fact that this group is having children at such a rapid rate is an extraordinarily dangerous trend for Israel.
    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it an existential threat.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’ve NEVER advocated for anyone to be banned from posting here. But Nadine is a monster, and her lies are incessant, blatant, and entirely bigoted.
    There is a double standard. There is simply NO WAY that Steve would tolerate openly and incessant anti-semitism here. Yet Nadine pollutes this blog, daily, with outrageously racist commentary, and blatant lies. It is obvious Steve will tolerate it, and I don’t necessarily disagree. But make no mistake, Nadine is every bit as despicable as any “anti-semite” that has ever posted here, and the rare occassion that anti-semitism has reared its ugly head here, most posters here have recognized it, and refused to be party to it.
    In turn, WigWag’s ready support of Nadine’s lies and disinformation is as despicable as embracing anti-semitism, and is deserving of the same revulsion that most of us have shown towards those that have made anti-semitic comments here.
    Now, Nadine says….
    “Kathleen, no danger of running out of food in Gaza. Hamas makes a good living taxing the smuggling tunnels, and the UN food trucks roll in every single day – and did so even during Operation Cast Lead.”
    …and offers us a blatant and easily disproven lie. The trucks DID NOT roll in every day. And there is a serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza, that includes hunger. To deny it is blatantly and callously dishonest, to a degree that can only be described as despicable. This lying ghoul decries Jewish holocaust denial, while seeking to conceal and whitewash the oppressive and pitiful conditions in Gaza. Only a world class racist, a monstrous bigot, can be so dishonest in trying to make light of human misery and suffering by disingenuous denial.
    Worse, she constantly, with WigWag’s willing assistance and approval, casts the Palestinians as DESERVING of their conditions and plight.
    Can you imagine the outcry if a poster here offered the premise that the Jews DESERVED to die in the ovens? That it was their own fault that they were the victims of the holocaust? Yet Nadine makes that argument daily about the Palestinians. Despite all the evidence of Palestinian non-combatant women and children, being incinerated in white phosphorous, or going hungry, Nadine fluctuates between “it never happened” to “they had it coming”.
    Steve would NEVER tolerate such a litany of anti-semitism here, so why is Nadine’s bigotry tolerated? Is her bigotry any less despicable?

    Reply

  49. ... says:

    At NYU, devilish Shlomo Sand predicts the Jewish past and pastes the Zionists
    Sand has an excitable, self-referential style, and he began the lecture by breaking his guitar. “Jewish history is not my field.” No, but once he had discovered that the story of the connection of the Jewish people to the Holy Land was a myth, he decided that he would secretly explore the history but not publish until he got tenure for doing other work. Because if he published this first, “there would not be any chance of being a full professor. Not only in Tel Aviv. But at NYU too.”
    Everyone laughed, but Sand said, “That is not a joke. I must write the book after I see that no one could touch me really.” More devil. Though Sand is right. This is no joke.
    Sand studies European history, but Israel has a separate department in every school for Jewish history, and Zionists run these departments. “I have not a right to write about Jewishness.” The Zionist history holds that the Jews have an ancient connection biblically to the land, and were exiled from the Middle East in 70 AD, in what became the Diaspora. The Jews of New York and Warsaw. Sand began to question this story when he saw archaeologists’ work about the early Christian times and also when he saw scientific data. The exile is absurd. The Romans persecuted the Jews. They didn’t exile them.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/at-nyu-devilish-shlomo-sand-predicts-the-jewish-past-and-pastes-the-zionists.html#more-10095

    Reply

  50. ... says:

    Ehud Olmert struggles to give Univ. of Chicago lecture amid protests
    Approximately 30 activists — mainly students from area universities — disrupted a lecture given in Chicago by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday which was hosted by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. While Olmert’s speech was disrupted inside the lecture hall, approximately 150 activists protested outside the hall in the freezing rain.
    Protesters inside the hall read off the names of Palestinian children killed during Israel’s assault on Gaza last winter. They shouted that it was unacceptable that the war crimes suspect be invited to speak at a Chicago university when his army destroyed a university in Gaza in January. They reminded the audience of the more than 1,400 Palestinians killed during the Gaza attacks and the more than 1,200 killed during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006. Both invasions happened during Olmert’s premiership.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/ehud-olmert-struggles-to-give-univ-of-chicago-lecture-amid-protests.html#more-10106

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    The great thing about phrases like “rising food insecurity” is that they are entirely nebulous and don’t require any actual shortage of food to back them, much less starvation (do you think the UN would miss calling out starvation in Gaza if there was any starvation?). The food is still there, its supply has just been labeled “insecure”. What they mean is that more people are eating off UN supplies and fewer off their own earnings. But as I explained, it suits Hamas fine for Gaza to have no economy. Hamas has deeply infiltrated UNWRA, and dependence on the UN means more Hamas control.
    It’s true that sanitation has deteriorated sharply. That’s because Hamas uses sewer pipes to make Qassams out of. I know, it must be a war crime for Israel not to supply Hamas with more sewer pipes. More explosives too, for that matter.

    Reply

  52. nadine says:

    Paul, the Israeli Arabs may not be thrilled to live as a minority in the Jewish state, but they are not stupid — they sure don’t want to live in Palestine! They know what that is like: prone to periods of violence, lawlessness and gang rule. That is why you have had such a large movement out of the West Bank into East Jerusalem (to get Israeli ID cards) and why there are fierce protests anytime somebody suggests that an Arab area inside the Green Line might become part of a land swap.

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=31779&Cr=Gaza&Cr1
    New UN report spotlights humanitarian crisis triggered by blockade of Gaza
    17 August 2009 – The ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, now in its third year, has triggered a “protracted human dignity crisis” with negative humanitarian consequences, according to a new report released today by the United Nations relief wing.
    “At the heart of this crisis is the degradation in the living conditions of the population, caused by the erosion of livelihoods and the gradual decline in the state of infrastructure, and the quality of vital services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, and education,” adds the report, entitled “Locked In: The Humanitarian Impact of Two Years of Blockade on the Gaza Strip.”
    The blockade, imposed following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007, includes the closure of Karni, one of the largest and best equipped commercial crossings; sweeping restrictions on the import of industrial, agricultural and construction materials; the suspension of almost all exports; and a general ban on the movement of Palestinians through Erez, the only passenger crossing to the West Bank.
    “The denial of Palestinians’ right to leave Gaza , or to move freely to the West Bank , particularly when their lives, physical integrity, or basic freedoms are under threat, is another key component of the current human dignity crisis.
    “The blockade has ‘locked in’ 1.5 million people in what is one of the most densely populated areas on earth,” notes the report, prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
    It finds that the blockade has resulted in the devastation of livelihoods, rising food insecurity, a protracted energy crisis and a deterioration of water and sanitation infrastructure, among other issues.
    The lack of essential imports, including raw materials, coupled with the ban on exports, has “decimated” economic activity in the private sector, where 120,000 jobs have been lost.
    Also, except for a short interval during the ceasefire brokered by Egypt in 2008, almost no construction materials have been allowed into Gaza through the official crossings, compared to an average of 7,400 truckloads imported every month between January and May 2007.
    The ban on the import of building materials has prevented the reconstruction of most of the 3,540 homes destroyed during Operation Cast Lead – launched by Israel in December 2008 in response to rocket attacks by militants in Gaza .
    The report notes that Israel has allowed entry into Gaza of a small number of truckloads over the past three months carrying good previously prevented from entering, such as limited construction, water, sanitation and education materials.
    “While these are welcome steps, their actual impact when compared to the current level of needs in Gaza remains negligible,” OCHA says.
    The report adds that the UN and others have repeatedly urged the Israeli Government to remove the restrictions on Gaza ‘s border, to allow free access to agricultural areas within Gaza , and to allow unrestricted fishing in Gaza ‘s territorial waters.
    “These are the urgent first steps needed to start the reconstruction of homes and infrastructure, the revival of the economy and the restoration of human dignity in Gaza ,” it states.
    The report also describes how the recurrent cycles of violence and human rights violations, stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially from the recent clashes, and Hamas’ rule over Gaza , have compounded the suffering of the population of the Strip.
    Meanwhile, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today launched an appeal for $181 million to maintain its support to refugees in Gaza .
    The appeal, which coincides with the eve of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, covers food assistance, job creation opportunities, and cash assistance for the poorest of the poor. Other urgent needs right now include the rehabilitation of UNRWA education and health facilities.
    “A generous response to this appeal will immediately mitigate the downward spiral of destitution and hopelessness facing many refugees as Ramadan approaches,” states the agency. “However, this destitution and hopelessness can, and will, only be curtailed by lifting the siege on Gaza , opening borders in both directions, and allowing the freedom of movement of people.”

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Kathleen, no danger of running out of food in Gaza. Hamas makes a good living taxing the smuggling tunnels, and the UN food trucks roll in every single day – and did so even during Operation Cast Lead”
    You are a lying sack of shit, Nadine.

    Reply

  55. Paul Norheim says:

    And WigWag, although I find the statement from Michael Oren more interesting, I would
    also be interested in a comment from you on this statement from the Israeli historian
    Benny Morris:
    “The Israeli Arabs are a time bomb. Their slide into complete Palestinization has made
    them an emissary of the enemy that is among us. They are a potential fifth column. In
    both demographic and security terms they are liable to undermine the state. So that if
    Israel again finds itself in a situation of existential threat, as in 1948, it may be
    forced to act as it did then. If we are attacked by Egypt (after an Islamist revolution
    in Cairo) and by Syria, and chemical and biological missiles slam into our cities, and at
    the same time Israeli Palestinians attack us from behind, I can see an expulsion
    situation. It could happen. If the threat to Israel is existential, expulsion will be
    justified.”

    Reply

  56. nadine says:

    Kathleen, no danger of running out of food in Gaza. Hamas makes a good living taxing the smuggling tunnels, and the UN food trucks roll in every single day – and did so even during Operation Cast Lead. If there was one malnourished big-bellied kid there, you would have seen his picture.
    Reports say that Hamas’ popularity has cratered in Gaza – not that they will be holding another vote any time soon, or ever. One man, one vote, one time.
    Why should I ask Netanyahu about holding a vote in Gaza? Hamas rules Gaza. They could hold a vote anytime they wanted. They could hold one tomorrow. They won’t.

    Reply

  57. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    JohnH…last summe,WigWag jumped all over my ass for suggesting that perhaps the one state solution should be re-considered…I wondered what her reaction would be to that suggestion when it came from NutandYahoo….

    Reply

  58. JohnH says:

    Wigwag seems intent on proving that there is no solution to the Palestinian/Israeli crisis but a one state solution. According to Wigwag, both diplomatic and military are precluded from yielding a two state solution. That means that Israel will be trying to manage an ever increasing number of Palestinians, both within Israel and in the Occupied Territories. This must eventually lead to a one state solution with Palestinians in the majority.
    Will Wigwag then be an avid advocate of the democracy that she so passionately promotes form Iran?
    Meanwhile, Aluf Benn suggest that the Goldstone Report means that there will never be an Operation Cast Lead II. If the international reaction to the Goldstone Report precludes Israel from conducting state run pogroms in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, and Heabollah rockets deter them from Lebanon, where will Israel strut its stuff and enact its vengefulness?
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1121529.html

    Reply

  59. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Nadine…ask NutandYahoo when the next election in Gaza will be…some time after the food and medicine run out, no doubt.
    Meanwhile, back at the MSM studio, Rachel is covering that giant flying jiffy-popper and KO is giving TMI new depth of meaning when he goes on and on about his Dad…we’re sorry for his illness and suffering, but it was a bit much, given everything else going on in the world.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    personally, I can`t come up with a political strategy for the Palestinians. Instead, I would be
    interested in reading your comment on the demographic prospects – and their political implications.
    Perhaps you would like to comment a bit on what Michael Oren, Israel`s Ambassador in the United
    States, wrote in “Commentary Magazine” in May 2009, discussing the “Arab Demographic Threat” as one
    of “Seven Existential Threats” facing Israel:
    “Even if the minimalist interpretation is largely correct, it cannot alter a situation in which
    Israeli Arabs currently constitute one-fifth of the country’s population—one-quarter of the
    population under age 19—and in which the West Bank now contains at least 2 million Arabs. Israel,
    the Jewish State, is predicated on a decisive and stable Jewish majority of at least 70 percent. Any
    lower than that and Israel will have to decide between being a Jewish state and a democratic state.
    If it chooses democracy, then Israel as a Jewish state will cease to exist. If it remains officially
    Jewish, then the state will face an unprecedented level of international isolation, including
    sanctions, that might prove fatal”.”
    Any comment on this?

    Reply

  61. ... says:

    netanyahu will let go.. he will be replaced, or die and a viewpoint that he characterizes will pass with him too… it’s unfortunate the short term view interferes with many individuals ability to see what a longer term one is able to bring… life is a series of surprises, unexpected turns of events and it rewards those who seek something other then their own self interest…
    wigwag, i expected mockery from you… that’s the response i expect from arrogant people self important people.. i was speaking in broad terms.. your need to belittle those ideas speaks of your nature and interest in finding a resolution to the mideast dilemma..
    “After 1945 the United Kingdom became embroiled in an increasingly violent conflict with the Jews. In 1947, the British government withdrew from commitment to the Mandate of Palestine, stating it was unable to arrive at a solution acceptable to both Arabs and Jews. ] The newly created United Nations approved the UN Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on November 29, 1947, dividing the country into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem was to be designated an international city administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status.”
    the present world powers can make a commitment to palestine in concrete terms.. israel will learn to live with it.. israel will need to be imposed on.. a stop in the settlements will need to be enforced… how do we get their? we are getting their wigwag.. it may take a while, but it will happen, unless something far worse is in the store for all the people in this region for being more interested in war and power then peace and harmony..

    Reply

  62. WigWag says:


    I must say that the sentiments articulated in your post are lovely; just lovely.
    They do not, however, represent a strategy to move from reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah to the creation of a Palestinian nation.
    If you have a strategy why not just spell it out? Just remember that wishful thinking won’t get the Palestinians their state only a military or diplomatic victory will.
    If you think there is a way that the Palestinians can win their State by force of arms, I’m sure everyone will enjoy learning what it is.
    If you think that there is a diplomatic strategy that starts with Palestinian reconciliation and ends in a Palestinian State that would also be interesting to hear about.
    Just remember that statements like, “the United States should cut off aid to Israel” or “the Security Council should vote to abolish Israel and merge it into a new unified state” have all the saliency of “the Fountain of Youth” and the “tooth fairy.” Making statements like that may make some people feel good, but they aren’t anything other than emotional outbursts. It would be like me suggesting that the United States should sever diplomatic relations with China until Tibet is free. It might make me happy, but I’m not dimwitted enough to believe that there is any chance that it will happen.
    If you have a substantive strategy that is even marginally feasible tell us what it is.
    If you can.
    Or maybe you have told us your strategy. Is it this?
    “for peace to come to the middle east it’s necessary to let go of the past.”
    Maybe your strategy is for Benjamin Netanyahu, Khaled Mashal and Mahmoud Abbas to close their eyes, hold hands and repeat after you,
    “let go of the past…”
    “let go of the past…”
    “Let go…”

    Reply

  63. ... says:

    wigwag quote to his question “Well, Questions, at least you gave it the old college try. But I am afraid that the scenario you proposed is completely implausible.”
    wigwag quote to another poster answering the same question. “Keep trying though. You might stumble on something smart to say if you keep working at it.”
    does one sense that giving an answer to wigwag is a waste of time and that his arrogance doesn’t allow room for anything else?? that’s my impression… it’s challenging responding in an atmosphere where the person asking a question is very quick to put down others who offer a candid response.. with this in mind, i offer a response anyway.. but before i do let me remind wigwag his own arrogant view on this which suggests he isn’t actually interested in a response..
    “Somehow I doubt that very many realistic ideas will be presented.
    The reason for that is simple; they just don’t exist.”
    for peace to come to the middle east it’s necessary to let go of the past… all involved need to recognize their responsibility in creating the atmosphere they’re living in, instead of blaming the other side. letting go of the past means reaching out and letting go of ones fear as well.. if both sides are only busy responding to and reacting out of their fear they will never reach a resolution.. unfortunately politicians play on these same energies, so politicians will be of little help unless they do can get beyond this level…
    democracy is a positive step up from a monarchy, theocracy, or authoritarian rule, however democracy has a long way to go to be above the toxic mix of politicians lining up with corporations and lobby groups… someone might have said many years ago that moving away from the rule of kings and queens was not very likely wouldn’t have foreseen where we are today very clearly… the same goes for the mideast and its confluence of dynamics.. it might take some colossal event to wake people up and for us to shift to a different level of interaction with one another, but i believe it is going to happen..to my way of thinking those who think their is no resolution to the malaise in the mideast aren’t actually interested in finding one.. they are too busy rooting for a particular side, unable to get past their own nose..
    what i see happening is continued pressure on israel and the arab states surrounding this area to operate on a different level and to let go of the past… it might look difficult, but worldly attachments only last so long… people will figure this out eventually and be able to let go…

    Reply

  64. JohnH says:

    The Goldstone Report is being fiercely resisted by the Israeli government officials, because it could result in their ending up in the dock at the Hague. As a result, the US has several opportunities to extract concessions from Israel in return for a) trying to bury the Goldstone Report, b) it’s vote on the UNHRC, and c) it’s potential veto in the UN Security Council.
    If I were Obama, I would not veto the Goldstone Report merely as a way to pay Netanyahu back for his egregiously insulting behavior. If he does veto it, I would expect nothing less that a total settlement freeze by Israel in return. If neither of these happens, it’s clear to me that Obama is not interested in reigning in the Israelis, and that Netanyahu will continue to spit in the eye of his major underwriter. Obama’s creds are sinking fast, and this would be another good indication that the man does not have the strength of character to be president. Regardless of what he thinks about Israel, letting them repeatedly spit in his eye with impunity makes it clear that he is nothing more than a paper tiger.

    Reply

  65. samuelburke says:

    U.S. deficit biggest since 1945
    Obama administration closes the books on fiscal 2009: Falling revenue plus soaring spending leads to a $1.42 trillion deficit.
    By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
    Last Updated: October 16, 2009: 5:04 PM ET
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — It’s officially official.
    The Obama administration on Friday said the government ran a $1.42 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2009.
    That made it the worst year on record since World War II, according to data from the Treasury and the White House Office of Management and Budget.
    Tax receipts for the year fell 16.6% overall, while spending soared 18.2% compared to fiscal year 2008. The causes: rising unemployment, the economic slowdown and the extraordinary measures taken by lawmakers to stem the economic meltdown that hit in fall 2008.
    Consequently, the annual deficit rose 212% to the record dollar amount of $1.42 trillion, from $455 billion a year earlier.
    As a share of the economy, the deficit accounted for 10% of gross domestic product, up from 3.2% in 2008. As breath-taking as that may be, it’s still not in the same stratosphere as the 1945 deficit, which hit 21% of GDP.
    http://jsmineset.com/

    Reply

  66. samuelburke says:

    the cia’s a team used to say that russia was super strong and getting stronger on the eve of their financial implossion/dissolution.
    id wager that the british empire thought of itself as indestructible, and the u.s elites probably until this very moment in time still think of themselves as the indispensable nation as we sink into the dark hole of imploding dollar devaluation and the unafordable wars against islamic nations.
    we’re over extended and buried under a mountain of debt…the emperor is wearing a beautiful suit made of invisible thread.
    caveat emptor.

    Reply

  67. ErvD says:

    British in India and Ireland, France in Algeria, South Africa, Israel in Lebanon… powerful armies, global and/or regional superpowers faced with poorly armed but resilient and dedicated population.
    anyway… you are welcome to believe whatever you want. and Israelis can keep digging as far as I’m concerned.

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  68. nadine says:

    ErvD betrays the self-contradiction of liberal thinking about Israel – that Israel is simultaneously super-weak yet super-strong.
    Liberals say Israel is so super weak that if it doesn’t give the Palestinians everything they ask and more, it will be dissolved into a one state solution. At the same time they say that it is so super strong that none of huge concessions regarding territory and populations will endanger the survival of Israel.
    No, it’s mere hysterical paranoia to point out that an Israel 9 miles wide, flooded with millions of hostile Palestinians, and with all barriers to the suicide bombers of Fatah and Hamas removed would not be likely to survive long.
    I don’t know if they believe that, or they are just rooting for the massacre and expulsion of the Israelis. Some of each, I suppose.

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  69. JohnH says:

    I doubt that Wigwag can envision any solution other than the status quo. That is in part because Wigwag does not WANT any other solution. And the Israeli government will fight tooth and nail to assure that their part of the population remains the ubermenschen and controls all of the land and all of resources. What’s a few suicide bombs and rockets when they have almost the whole prize within their grasp? In fact, a few suicide bombs and rockets help them justify their total dispossession of Palestinians. Apparently Wigwag is willing to acknowledge that Palestinians are getting the shaft but has no particular problem with any of that agenda. And so, any other solution is really unthinkable.

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  70. WigWag says:

    Sorry ErvD, your comment betrays a lack of sophistication. Why exactly do you think it matters what the Palestinians will demand? Can you cite even one example in history where a nation was merged into another nation without losing a war first?
    Do you expect Israel to lose a war to the Palestinians? Do you expect the United States or other Security Council members to dissolve Israel and merge it with a Palestinian nation? Has this happened before? Do you see any evidence that this is a position the United States would ever support?
    You never told me which nation would use its military resources to enforce the implementation of a one state solution. Nor did you tell me how you expect Israel’s military to stand idly by while Israel was dismembered by merging into one state with the Palestinians.
    I know your frustrated ErvD. I understand that you think the Palestinians are getting the shaft. But your suggestion just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
    Keep trying though. You might stumble on something smart to say if you keep working at it.

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  71. ErvD says:

    2Wigwag: It takes time, but when two state solution becomes impossible, Palestinians will demand one state with equal rights for all.
    Israelis will have a choice – open fascism or minority status. Either way, that will be the end of Israel.
    Very simple, just look at South Africa.

    Reply

  72. Kathleen says:

    Pissed off A.
    Did they mention it? Neither of them even whispered about the Goldstone report. Not a whisper.
    That damn liberal media

    Reply

  73. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If there is a snowball’s chance in hell of a Hamas/Fatah reconciliation, Israel will commit a false flag atrocity against Fatah, and the evidence will point to Hamas. Thats how Israel does things. Always has, always will.
    Israel does not want peace, nor does Israel need peace. We subsidize them no matter what they do. Until that changes, Israel won’t change. And having a United States Congress that is bought and paid for by Israel doesn’t help either.
    Anyone see Maddow or Olberman mention the UNHRC and the Goldstone report tonight? Thats not news?

    Reply

  74. WigWag says:

    Sorry, ErvD, your scenario is simply implausible. The possibility that a one state solution can be imposed in the absence of a two state solution is non-existent.
    How exactly do you suppose a one state solution will be imposed? Who is going to demand that a one state solution be implemented? When exactly is a one state solution going to pass the Security Council? How is the United States going to be induced to support a one state solution when the United States can’t even be induced to pressure Israel into a 12 month settlement freeze?
    How exactly do you think the Israelis are going to be induced to enter into a one state solution? How long would it be before the Palestinian polity is destroyed by the IDF? Who is going to put their troops on the line to enforce a one state solution?
    You need to do better than that, ErvD; If you think that there is a conceivable way that a one state solution can be forced on Israel spell out what it is.
    Otherwise your comment is just silly.

    Reply

  75. ErvD says:

    2Wigwag: It is very simple – Palestinians have a choice, Israelis don’t have a choice.
    If there is no two-state solution, there will be a one-state solution. I guess Palestinians could live with that, I am not sure about Israelis. That’s one thing people keep forgetting – Palestinians do not need to “win,” they only need to survive and wait.
    Hence, if Israelis do not want to negotiate as a stronger party, they will have to negotiate as they get weaker.
    Someone said it very nicely about US vs. Iran: “US wants to play poker, while Iranians play chess.”

    Reply

  76. Kathleen says:

    BJ Bermes I am with you. Have definitely come to the conclusion that Israel has not wanted peace for a very long time, just more ways to confiscate land and expand settlements.
    If they are not persuaded to make a real deal cut off the aid. Enough!
    Who would have ever thought that there would be real talk about Israel’s massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go un-inspected. Who would have thought that would ever really become part of the discussion.
    The tide is turning and Israel may be forced to play fair

    Reply

  77. WigWag says:

    Well, Questions, at least you gave it the old college try. But I am afraid that the scenario you proposed is completely implausible.
    There is simply no way that Netanyahu will agree to negotiate with a government comprised of both Hamas and Fatah unless Hamas agrees to comply with the quartet provisions first. Hamas will never agree to comply with the quartet conditions as a prerequisite for talks; if it did, Hamas would lose its entire reason to exist and it would hopelessly compromise its founding philosophy which, as you know, is resistance.
    How precisely is Netanyahu going to be induced to negotiate with a government that includes Hamas? Obama himself opposes the inclusion of Hamas in the Palestinian Government; is Obama even going to try to force Israel to negotiate with a government that includes Hamas?
    What about the United States Congress? What about the entire Republican Party? What about the leadership of the Democratic Party? What about tens of millions of fundamentalist Christian supporters of Israel? What about rank and file Democrats who are disproportionately dependant on supporters of Israel for campaign contributions?
    The idea that the United States will use any coercive measures to insist that Israel negotiate with a Palestinian Government that includes Hamas is vanishingly small.
    The far more likely scenario is that the entire governmental apparatus in the United States will move even further in the direction of supporting Netanyahu’s position. Whatever support there is for pushing Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians will dissipate and Palestinian hopes will be extinguished.
    The Palestinians can’t win their State by force; they’re pathetically weak. Without the United States, their chance to get a state through diplomatic means is virtually nonexistent.
    As usual the Palestinians have no one to blame but themselves. They constantly overplay their hand. Until they develop an appreciation for how poor their position is, their political aspirations will always exceed the reality of what they can achieve.
    Obama couldn’t even force the Israelis to undertake a partial settlement freeze in the West Bank and Jerusalem; it’s not that he didn’t want to; it’s that he didn’t have the political strength in the United States to win on the issue. How precisely is he supposed to induce the Israelis into negotiating with a government that even he opposed?
    And by the way, if for one reason or another Netanyahu was no longer Prime Minister it wouldn’t change a thing. Neither Labor, Kadima or the Yisrael Beiteinu will ever agree to negotiate with a Palestinian Government that includes Hamas.
    Remember, Israel doesn’t need a peace deal; they already have their State and they’re getting wealthier all the time. They will be perfectly happy to let the Palestinians languish forever.
    There will never be an American President more committed to a peace deal than Obama is. If the Palestinians don’t have their State by the time he leaves office, in all likelihood they will remain nationless probably forever.
    Anyone else want to give it a try? Are their any other plausible scenarios for how a Hamas/Fatah rapprochement facilitates the aspirations of the Palestinian people?
    Give it a try; you never know, you might come up with something.

    Reply

  78. ErvD says:

    Good news, hopefully unity talks will succeed.
    Abbas needs Hamas to get some legitimacy among the Palestinians, since he has none after debacle with Goldstone. Hamas needs Fatah to negotiate on their behalf, and it looks like Hamas is willing to give Abbas a lifesaver.

    Reply

  79. nadine says:

    “I suspect that has folks like Nadine unhinged is the chance – the mere speck of an iota of a chance – that a united Hamas and Fatah would simply declare national independence, claim sovereignty over whatever part of Palestine they could claim and form a national government.”
    Unhinged? no, on the contrary, Israel would regard it as a improvement. In case you haven’t noticed, Barak and Olmert offered the Palestinians the chance to form a national government and were turned down flat.
    That’s exactly why there is ZERO chance the Palestinians will do it – to declare a national state that claims all of Israel would do them propaganda harm, dropping the fiction that the “occupation” they object to is 1967. Declaring a state in any lesser borders would “betray the cause” and they would be targeted as traitors by other Palestinians. Every time the Palestinians have the choice between forming a state (Palestine) and destroying a state (Israel) they choose the latter.
    So it won’t happen. Wait and see.
    The Palestinians currently have the benefits of statehood (recognition, aid, etc) with none of the burdens of of a state (taxation, responsibility, etc). They’d be fools to change.

    Reply

  80. dwg says:

    sorry peeps.
    the “captcha” thingy always reports that it failed to post my comments and I ALWAYS have to do it more than once. This time it apparently posted – then when I did a second “captcha” – it posted it again.
    Apologies.
    I hate that “captcha” thingy. Very annoying.

    Reply

  81. dwg says:

    I suspect that has folks like Nadine unhinged is the chance – the mere speck of an iota of a chance – that a united Hamas and Fatah would simply declare national independence, claim sovereignty over whatever part of Palestine they could claim and form a national government.
    If they were to do that – and do it right – they would be fully within their national and international rights to DEFEND THEMSELVES from the any imminent threat from their current occupiers.
    If it should come NOW just as the UNHRC Resolution on Goldstone report is under consideration by the UN Security Council, recognition of the Resolution by an independent, sovereign Palestinian state would have some very serious repercussions at the ICC. EITHER party could invoke jurisdiction for acts on their territory IF they are a sovereign state.
    The Palestinians seem willing risk an independent investigation into PALESTINIAN war crimes (which were ALSO charged in the Goldstone report) if it means Israeli war crimes are – for once – investigated as well.

    Reply

  82. dwg says:

    I suspect that has folks like Nadine unhinged is the chance – the mere speck of an iota of a chance – that a united Hamas and Fatah would simply declare national independence, claim sovereignty over whatever part of Palestine they could claim and form a national government.
    If they were to do that – and do it right – they would be fully within their national and international rights to DEFEND THEMSELVES from the any imminent threat from their current occupiers.
    If it should come NOW just as the UNHRC Resolution on Goldstone report is under consideration by the UN Security Council, recognition of the Resolution by an independent, sovereign Palestinian state would have some very serious repercussions at the ICC. EITHER party could invoke jurisdiction for acts on their territory IF they are a sovereign state.
    The Palestinians seem willing risk an independent investigation into PALESTINIAN war crimes (which were ALSO charged in the Goldstone report) if it means Israeli war crimes are – for once – investigated as well.

    Reply

  83. ... says:

    i will comment on wigwags question later as i have a full day ahead of me and have to go out of town… will just say one thing at this moment on a connected theme…
    a rapprochement between the american people and their congress/leadership would be a good place to start in resolving much of the imbalance of power in the mideast… until that happens, any help from the usa will be useless per usual…

    Reply

  84. questions says:

    WigWag, I’ll take up the challenge! I may well be not merely off-base, but out of the stadium, or in a country that has never heard of baseball, but here goes anyway….
    Fatah and Hamas, the West Bank and Gaza, rejoin under a not totally fundamentalist flag of some sort. Hamas sees an opportunity in at least temporary moderation — it is a governing party after all, and moderation is really one of the requirements of moving from revolution to governance.
    This semi-moderate conglomeration sees an advantage in providing basic services rather than sucking up foreign aid in a mixture of weapons purchases and basic corruption, both of which do seem to suck up a fair amount of money. Note the need for a fundamental change in outlook here about the purposes of governing, the point of serving in elective office, the proper object of rule.
    Israel decides that this apparent semi-moderate unit has something like vague control over its people and this vague control is demonstrated over time and space. Note that as long as Israel has either a legitimate case against the Palestinians, or can even fake a case of some sort, the Israeli population will reward the right and ignore the left. Think Nadine here. She is the audience that must be convinced the world is safe.
    Some number of time units in the future, assuming no suicide bombs bursting in crowds, no rockets’ red glare, some gains on social services and maybe the education of girls or some other gesture towards the “west”, Israel backs down a step or two (check points go, olive orchards return, a settlement here or there is removed, good stuff is allowed into Gaza, some music exchange programs move forward, a high profile singer crosses the border for a concert…), the backing down is met with similar backing down on the other side, and slowly over time both sides begin to see that it’s nice not to worry about being blown up. And it’s nice to be able to negotiate a wide range of resource sharing and the like. It’s easier to explain the world to your own kids and it’s nice to have them not be filled with hatred in their souls.
    After enough of these soft things, a few harder things will follow. As long as the Palestinians return nothing but roses, the old guard will die off and attitudes on both sides of the various walls and fences and guns will ease up.
    Attitudinal change is a slow process for the most part. Sometimes, according to David Laitin apparently, there are some ways to speed things up through the use of a range of incentives. So maybe Laitin will become a major adviser to the Obama admin and this will help with the push towards attitude changes.
    *****
    How real is this? I don’t think it’s very real, but I do think it’s what has to happen for there to be something permanent rather than something that looks good for a few weeks or years and then flares up again like shingles after chicken pox.
    We should all hope for something really soul-shifting and not something that merely tamps down the tension. Think Iran for long term instability and unhappiness with a regime. And think the harsh realities of the US/Mexico border exploitation. There are some serious violations of humane treatment of human beings — despite the fact that the border is settled, there are elections on both sides, there are intermarriages, cross border travel…. We don’t really have it all worked out humanely either.

    Reply

  85. nadine says:

    Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Hamas took over Gaza, first by election in 2006 then a coup in 2007. Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza with thousands of rockets and missiles. The world uttered not a peep of protest about these attacks. The world only protested when Israel responded militarily after years of provocation. The protest takes the form of a show trial “investigation” whereby nearly all of the casualties are declared to be civilians, even those whom Hamas itself says are Izzat al Din, the question of military necessity isn’t even addressed, and Israel is condemned a priori for war crimes and occupation – even though it left Gaza in 2005!
    The lesson is clear. Suppose Israel withdraws from the West Bank, and then is attacked with missiles from the West Bank falling on Netanya and Tel Aviv. Will the international community support Israel’s self-defense? No, it will condemn Israel for war crimes a priori again, and declare Fatah and Hamas militants innocent civilians.
    It may be ancient history now, but America and the international community promised Israel support if it withdrew from Gaza. We see what that is worth.
    It is one thing to sacrifice security for the hope improved diplomatic relations, but Goldstone proves that Israel will only sacrifice security to harm its diplomatic standing and make the Palestinians smell blood, become even more radical, and refuse any hint of compromise.
    The net upshot is that Israel will not withdraw from the West Bank. The peace process is over.
    Plus, Obama faces a Security Council vote where he will not be able to vote ‘present’.

    Reply

  86. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine describes a fictitious reality. She is Bolton unhinged; seriously deluded. The hatred is palpable. The more outrageous the better for the AIPAC types to lap it up. Apropos the Israeli right.
    — NCHQ

    Reply

  87. nadine says:

    Wigwag, the entire policy, if one can dignify it with the name, is based upon pretending that Hamas and Fatah are really moderates in radicals’ clothing. Based upon no evidence whatsoever.

    Reply

  88. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s extravagant, hysterical imagination is in overdrive today: “Hamas will be able to attack Israeli civilians with missiles and bombs with the world’s blessing, while Israel won’t be able to take a single action in its own defense.” Poppycock! You can be sure that Israel will not be defenseless. It will continue to defy international law and UN Security Council resolutions to “defend” itself.
    But it is interesting that Nadine is able to exactly describe the situation the Palestinians find themselves in today–their civilians being attacked with missiles and bombs with the world’s blessing. And during the Gaza attack the Palestinians were unable to take a single action in its own defense.
    Interesting that Nadine can so precisely imagine such an unlikely scenario for Israel, but simply cannot recognize the reality of that same scenario when Israel inflicts it upon its Semitic brothers.

    Reply

  89. WigWag says:

    If there is a plausible scenario that starts with reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and ends with the creation of a Palestinian State I would love to know what it is.
    Of course there are numerous implausible scenarios; in fact it is precisely these scenarios that seem to be a specialty of many people who post and comment at the Washington Note. Sadly, implausible scenarios do nothing to advance the national aspirations of Palestinians.
    So anyone who has a realistic plan for the creation of a Palestinian State that starts with a Hamas/Fatah rapprochement is challenged to present it.
    Somehow I doubt that very many realistic ideas will be presented.
    The reason for that is simple; they just don’t exist.

    Reply

  90. nadine says:

    “Hamas was elected…end of story..they are the only legitimate voice of the Palestinian people..period…or “Full Stop” as they say in Geneva…”
    Did you fail to notice the 2007 coup where Hamas consolidated power by throwing a number of Fatah supporters off the tops of tall buildings? Or is this just fine with you?
    btw, could you tell me when the NEXT election in Gaza will be? Just a ballpark estimate will do.

    Reply

  91. nadine says:

    Steve, why do you believe in a moderate Hamas?
    Hamas are radical Islamists, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. They steadfastly maintain that Israel has no legitimacy or right to exist in one single inch of Palestine, which Hamas calls a Muslim waqf. They are instituting Sharia bit by bit in Gaza, which now forces women to obey Islamic codes of conduct and has a Virtue Police just like Saudi Arabia. Hamas extols martyrdom daily and proclaims “We will win because we love death like you love life.”
    Yet you act as if Hamas are just joshing, they don’t really mean it.
    If the Fatah and Hamas unite it will be on Hamas’ principles. Mohammed Dahlan says that Fatah doesn’t recognize Israel anymore either; only the fictive PA recognizes Israel, a kind of figleaf organization. Abu Mazen’s heir is Mohammed Ghaneim, a hardliner who never recognized Israel and rejected Oslo.
    The broader stakeholders you want included all want Israel destroyed. There are no Palestinian moderates in this climate; men who used to be moderate now talk like Hamas. Obama idiotically introduced a settlement freeze demand which the Palestinians have seized on gladly as an excuse not to talk.
    Obama framed this wrong because thinks the Israelis are preventing negotiations. Wrong. It is the Palestinians.
    What you are demanding is that Israel be forced to negotiate with Hamas about their own national suicide, which is the only subject Hamas wants to talk about.
    If fighting breaks out, Hamas will be able to attack Israeli civilians with missiles and bombs with the world’s blessing, while Israel won’t be able to take a single action in its own defense (this is the point of Goldstone). Checkpoints? bad. Pinpoint missiles? bad. Military incursion? A indiscriminate massacre of “civilians” who mostly happen to be men between 17 and 29, by some odd chance.

    Reply

  92. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Hamas was elected…end of story..they are the only legitimate voice of the Palestinian people..period…or “Full Stop” as they say in Geneva…
    Didn’t I post a link to Charles Livingston’s interview of Mashal, a while back?
    James…thanks so much for that link…since I couldn’t be there, personally, it was good to link into the photo of the room…many a week I’ve sat at a desl/tables with the mike, the earphone, and the dial-a language thingee…
    Bummer that Obummer is promisig a veto at the Security coucil…When you read the followig link…I can honestly say, “Been there, Done that”, with the US getting one of the protesting peoples to ask that the “report” not be submitted…in my case, a Navajo was offered many lucrative things, her mortgage being paid, a job and first class travel to Geneva… if she would ask that the report on Hopi/Navajo relocation not be submitted and she was tempted to take it…I can’t tell you how many times the US has insisted that Native Tribes adopt a western form of gov’t only to reject and discredit who they elect or who they choose by their own methods…we only want democracy if the outcome of the process is one we want…
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930318,00.html
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930318,00.html
    BJ…what a great bumper sticker…”It’s the occupation, stupid.” Accurate and so ubiquitous…it fits everywhere we are…
    Remember when Dopey and Darth coined the phrase “Islamofascists” to make it easy for Joe SixPack to get the message that a towelhead by any other name is still a towelhead, without staining that under used muscle they have between their ears with the subtle distinctions of Hamas, Hezbollah, AlQaeda, Taliban ,etc./ We could do the same simple equation with this bumpert sticker…cut right to the core. “It’s the occupation, stupid” “Yankee Go Home”

    Reply

  93. JohnH says:

    Wigwag says, “no Israeli Government will negotiate with a Palestinian Government that includes Hamas.” Absolutely, the Israeli government is terrified of having to negotiate with an elected group that has a smidgen of legitimacy. How can you possibly negotiate with someone who might be able to conclude a deal? Horrors! Better not to negotiate at all, citing whatever flimsy pretext–the Goldstone Report, the shape of Khalid Mashal’s nose, whatever it takes.

    Reply

  94. ... says:

    wigwag thanks for confirming what everyone knows… the israeli gov’t is not interested in negotiating.. they come up with different reasons, but it is always the same end result…labeling hamas a terror organization can only go so far, especially when the country doing the labeling is a state sponsoring its own brand of terrorism, otherwise known as state sponsored terrorism… and besides, what country could condone the use of white phosphorous on innocent people? only a state sponsored terrorist country like israel it seems…

    Reply

  95. WigWag says:

    Steve, there is a reason the Obama Administration worked assiduously to prevent a deal between Hamas and Fatah from going through if the deal didn’t incorporate the quartet requirements (which this one doesn’t).
    They understand that no Israeli Government will negotiate with a Palestinian Government that includes Hamas. If you think getting Netanyahu to relent on settlements was difficult, just wait until someone suggests that he should negotiate with a Government that includes Hamas. Make no mistake, Netanyahu’s position will be supported by the vast majority of Israelis; by a significant majority of American Jews; by virtually all of the Christian right; by 99 percent of the Republicans in Congress and by 80 percent of the Democrats in Congress.
    Hope that negotiations will get started will disappear entirely; which is of course what Netanyahu wants. It is also what Hamas wants. It may even be what Abbas wants.
    No one will be happier with Palestinian reconciliation than the most ardent right-wingers in Israel.
    I never thought a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians was feasible anyway; but this drives a nail through the coffin of Palestinian national aspirations.
    Palestinians are incapable of winning their state by military means; there is no plausible way that this will change in the foreseeable future. The only opportunity the Palestinians have to ever achieve statehood is for the United States to convince Israel that it’s in Israel’s interest to acquiesce.
    Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah will make the United States even less inclined to assist the Palestinians. Without the United States the Palestinians literally have nothing.
    Be careful what you wish for. Palestinian aspirations may very well be on the verge of “perishing forever.”

    Reply

  96. BJ (B.J. Bermes) says:

    The problem is the occupation, not the politics of the peace negotiations.
    It is clear from Israel’s actions over the past decades (ignoring UN resolutions, colonizing West Bank, siege of Gaza to force Palistinians to flee) that it wants more land, not a two-state solution.
    Now that the cold war is over the US must stop using its diplomatic and financial resources to support Israel. If that does not convince Israel to end its naval blockade of Gaza and withdraw its troops from West Bank we should use those resources on something more promising. I suggest cultivating friends, rather than enemies, in the Muslim world which is more important to our long term security than is Israel.

    Reply

  97. BJ (B.J. Bermes) says:

    The problem is the occupation, not the politics of the peace negotiations.
    It is clear from Israel’s actions over the past decades (ignoring UN resolutions, colonizing West Bank, siege of Gaza to force Palistinians to flee) that it wants more land, not a two-state solution.
    Now that the cold war is over the US must stop using its diplomatic and financial resources to support Israel. If that does not convince Israel to end its naval blockade of Gaza and withdraw its troops from West Bank we should use those resources on something more promising. I suggest cultivating friends, rather than enemies, in the Muslim world which is more important to our long term security than is Israel.

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  98. samuelburke says:

    Steve, you’re better than the msm at breaking important news stories.

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  99. Steve Clemons says:

    Wig — Part of the reason the Obama administration has been failing in the Middle East peace process has been an “earnest, good old try” effort to get moderates in Palestine back up in the saddle and to appear legitimate in the eyes of their citizens and an earnest effort to push Israel on settlements as a downpayment for other Arab country actions. Mitchell and his team framed this wrong. You have to have the broader stakeholders involved and you can’t leave out institutionalized parts of the picture…and that was what we were doing with Hamas.
    The negotiations process was failing without Hamas in….and if you think that it will fail further if there is a unity government, then they are in the same place.
    I actually think it may create an opportunity for all sides to reflect and cast a new and more pragmatic course.
    best, steve

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  100. ... says:

    wigwag – israel isn’t interested in making any deals (other then their own)… that much is obvious to most… thanks for sharing your ‘always positive’ thoughts on this matter!

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  101. WigWag says:

    This is huge news — and has important ramifications for the Israel/Palestine negotiations process that President Obama has been trying to but thus far has failed to kick start. (Steve Clemons)
    Calling this “huge news” might be a little bit of hyperbole; don’t you think?
    As for the ramifications of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah; if it occurs at all, will this make negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians more likely to start again or less likely to start again?
    It seems to me that in the unlikely event a reconciliation deal is signed; and in the even more unlikely event that a durable reconciliation can be achieved; that fruitful negotiations will be less likely than ever to occur.
    Add to this the likely effect that the Goldstone Report will have on the willingness of Israel to make a deal with the Palestinians and any hopes the Palestinians may have for getting a nation of their own might just slip away for good.
    Supporters of reconciliation between the Palestinian factions should be careful what they hope for. To paraphrase the title of Nick Schmdle’s book, the combined effect of Palestinian reconciliation and Palestinian insistence that the Goldstone Report be referred to the Security Council, may just be Palestinian national aspirations perishing forever.

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