Is Netanyahu Keeping Some of his Team in Dark on Settlements?

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benjamin-netanyahu 2.jpgIsrael Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sent this note out on Twitter earlier today:

Hopes the rumored settlement freeze is just a rumor, because it hasn’t gone through appropriate forums.

This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. Ayalon’s plea may mean that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be using his skills as a crafty political executive to sidestep some of his more bureaucratic and recalcitrant allies in cooking up a deal with George Mitchell and Barack Obama on settlements.
There are — as Ayalon indicates — lots of rumors bubbling out of the region that George Mitchell’s team will soon announce a plan to launch negotiations toward a two state solution with a number of key confidence building measures tucked into the first phase.
If Ayalon is in the dark — which he may be faking — this is pretty good news as it means Netanyahu doesn’t want a bunch of different opinionated Israeli chefs in his kitchen.
I had a pretty long interview today with WBEZ Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview anchor Jerome McDonnell on the subject of Netanyahu, Obama, the Settlements and George Mitchell’s efforts to secure two state negotiations.
I was very satisfied with the interview segment which you can listen to here.
The whole show was divided into five segments — which I list below — but the program in its entirety can be listened to here:

Effectiveness of Obama’s Israeli Settlement Policy – Part 1

Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow & Director of the American Strategy Program for the New America Foundation, and Author of the blog, The Washington Note.

Effectiveness of Obama’s Israeli Settlement Policy – Part 2

Jeremy Ben-Ami is Executive Director of J Street, a pro Israel, Pro-peace lobby group in Washington, DC.

Effectiveness of Obama’s Israeli Settlement Policy – Part 3

Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and Author of the books Sowing Crisis: American Hegemony and the Cold War in the Middle East AND The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.

Effectiveness of Obama’s Israeli Settlement Policy – Part 4

Michael Kotzin is Executive Vice-President of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Israeli, Palestinian Teens Seek Common Ground on Chicago’s North Shore – Part 5

A Glenview program hopes to eventually help Israelis and Palestinians co-exist by reaching out to teens. WBEZ’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.

We still don’t know the full outlines of what George Mitchell and his team are hatching — but so far the early signs are hopeful.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

32 comments on “Is Netanyahu Keeping Some of his Team in Dark on Settlements?

  1. Outraged American says:

    I worked on a music video with Leonard Cohen. I had no idea
    who he was at the time. He just seemed like this old fuddy-
    duddy, but he was very patient with pretending to be rained on.
    It was years afterwards that I heard his music, and I have to say
    that I now love it.
    Never asked him about his position on Zionism at the craft
    service table.
    If you read the Israeli papers even some of them admit that
    Israel’s collapsing. I’ve heard Neve Gordon speak and it seems
    that this is a new position for him, in the sense that he’s not
    making apologies for Israel anymore.
    A big worry is that Israel, in her collapsing state, will fear bite
    and attack Iran because she has nothing to lose. Not that she
    has anything to gain, but she might as well cause the
    Apocalypse on her way out and throw her Christian Zionist
    supporters a bone.

    Reply

  2. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    SamuelBurke…thank you so much for that…it’s beautiful…I’m so pleased to have been able to read this…. J Street, do you copy?
    It makes a point I was trying to make with WigWag way last year..namely that indigenous Jews co-existed peacefully with Muslims and Christians in Palestine, and have a better chance of doing it again, because they had traditionally been neighbors, so perhaps the One-State Solution should be re-considered. It was my contention that when European Jews immigrated there and took over properties from Palestinians and brought their Askanazi non-Semitic language and attitudes,the problem began.
    This Spring I saw a documentary called “The Last Jews of Libya”…it was very touching and so well done…Libyan Jews, and Christians all spoke Arabic, and socialized…then when Mussolini took over, they spoke Italian…Arabs initially objected, but soon all enjoyed the cultural exchange between them and Italy…until Italy entered a pact with Germany..When the Nazis arrived, they fomented Arab attitudes towards Jews, so they started having to leave…some to Italy, some to Palestine,. At one point, Italy airlifted the last 2,000 Jews to Rome to prevent their extermination. …after the war, some tried to go back, some went to Israel, some stayed in Italy and some went to Brooklyn…
    Those who went to Brooklyn said it was the first time they had ever met any Ashkanazi Jews…they felt very isolated because they were told they weren’t really Jewish because their names weren’t Jewish and they didn’t speak Yiddish. They considered returning to Libya but it was too repressive now….they did not consider moving to Israel based on a Grandfather’s experience there…some stayed in the US, some returned to Italy, but they are basically totally dispersed.
    Palestinians are suffering the same fate, as did many Jews in Europe. I’ve never understood why the Allies didn’t take property away from Germans and give it back to the Jews on the Marshall Plan.
    Now we have European Ashkanazi Caucasian Jews thinking the indigenous Semitic Jews who want peace are not really Jewish…self-hating Jews, even. Go figure.
    Have any of you heard of the Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater Group? It’s a group of Palestinian Children who perform in different places. I aplogize for overposting but I received an invitatio to a performance and thought you might like the link.
    Al Rowwad 2009 US Tour sponsored by
    Friends of Al-Rowwad USA Inc. http://alrowwadusa.bbnow.org/
    http://www.thecornerreport.com/index.php?title=connecticut_news_al_rowwad_theater_perfo_19&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

    Reply

  3. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    SamuelBurke…thank you so much for that…it’s beautiful…I’m so pleased to have been able to read this…. J Street, do you copy?
    It makes a point I was trying to make with WigWag way last year..namely that indigenous Jews co-existed peacefully with Muslims and Christians in Palestine, and have a better chance of doing it again, because they had traditionally been neighbors, so perhaps the One-State Solution should be re-considered. It was my contention that when European Jews immigrated there and took over properties from Palestinians and brought their Askanazi non-Semitic language and attitudes,the problem began.
    This Spring I saw a documentary called “The Last Jews of Libya”…it was very touching and so well done…Libyan Jews, and Christians all spoke Arabic, and socialized…then when Mussolini took over, they spoke Italian…Arabs initially objected, but soon all enjoyed the cultural exchange between them and Italy…until Italy entered a pact with Germany..When the Nazis arrived, they fomented Arab attitudes towards Jews, so they started having to leave…some to Italy, some to Palestine,. At one point, Italy airlifted the last 2,000 Jews to Rome to prevent their extermination. …after the war, some tried to go back, some went to Israel, some stayed in Italy and some went to Brooklyn…
    Those who went to Brooklyn said it was the first time they had ever met any Ashkanazi Jews…they felt very isolated because they were told they weren’t really Jewish because their names weren’t Jewish and they didn’t speak Yiddish. They considered returning to Libya but it was too repressive now….they did not consider moving to Israel based on a Grandfather’s experience there…some stayed in the US, some returned to Italy, but they are basically totally dispersed.
    Palestinians are suffering the same fate, as did many Jews in Europe. I’ve never understood why the Allies didn’t take property away from Germans and give it back to the Jews on the Marshall Plan.
    Now we have European Ashkanazi Caucasian Jews thinking the indigenous Semitic Jews who want peace are not really Jewish…self-hating Jews, even. Go figure.
    Have any of you heard of the Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater Group? It’s a group of Palestinian Children who perform in different places. I aplogize for overposting but I cut and paste an invitation I received for one of their performances in Old Lyme, CT.
    Al-Rowwad Children’s Theatre presents
    Blame the Wolf
    A fragmented fairy tale for children of all ages
    Adapted for the theatre and directed by
    Abdelfattah Abusrour
    Sunday, July 19, 2009, 7p.m.
    First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
    2 FERRY ROAD, OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT
    FREE PERFORMANCE–DONATIONS ACCEPTED
    The Al-Rowwad (The Pioneer) Theater and Cultural Center of Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, Palestine, provides children’s training in cultural traditions, drama, art, dance, photography, video, computer, and other disciplines in what founder and director Abdelfattah Abusrour calls a non-violent “beautiful resistance” to the brutality and oppression of Israel’s illegal occupation.
    BLAME THE WOLf at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme by 15 young Al Rowwad actors is the troupe’s only Connecticut performance during their US tour. The play weaves together several familiar fairy tales using the wolf as a common thread.
    Please join the troupe at a reception after the performance.
    Al Rowwad 2009 US Tour sponsored by
    Friends of Al-Rowwad USA Inc. http://alrowwadusa.bbnow.org/
    Hosted in Connecticut by
    First Congregational Church of Old Lyme http://www.fccol.org
    Middle East Crisis Committee http://www.TheStruggle.org
    http://www.thecornerreport.com/index.php?title=connecticut_news_al_rowwad_theater_perfo_19&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

    Reply

  4. kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    SamuelBurke…thank you so much for that…it’s beautiful…I’m so pleased to have been able to read this…. J Street, do you copy?
    It makes a point I was trying to make with WigWag way last year..namely that indigenous Jews co-existed peacefully with Muslims and Christians in Palestine, and have a better chance of doing it again, because they had traditionally been neighbors, so perhaps the One-State Solution should be re-considered. It was my contention that when European Jews immigrated there and took over properties from Palestinians and brought their Askanazi non-Semitic language and attitudes,the problem began.
    This Spring I saw a documentary called “The Last Jews of Libya”…it was very touching and so well done…Libyan Jews, and Christians all spoke Arabic, and socialized…then when Mussolini took over, they spoke Italian…Arabs initially objected, but soon all enjoyed the cultural exchange between them and Italy…until Italy entered a pact with Germany..When the Nazis arrived, they fomented Arab attitudes towards Jews, so they started having to leave…some to Italy, some to Palestine,. At one point, Italy airlifted the last 2,000 Jews to Rome to prevent their extermination. …after the war, some tried to go back, some went to Israel, some stayed in Italy and some went to Brooklyn…
    Those who went to Brooklyn said it was the first time they had ever met any Ashkanazi Jews…they felt very isolated because they were told they weren’t really Jewish because their names weren’t Jewish and they didn’t speak Yiddish. They considered returning to Libya but it was too repressive now….they did not consider moving to Israel based on a Grandfather’s experience there…some stayed in the US, some returned to Italy, but they are basically totally dispersed.
    Palestinians are suffering the same fate, as did many Jews in Europe. I’ve never understood why the Allies didn’t take property away from Germans and give it back to the Jews on the Marshall Plan.
    Now we have European Ashkanazi Caucasian Jews thinking the indigenous Semitic Jews who want peace are not really Jewish…self-hating Jews, even. Go figure.
    Have any of you heard of the Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater Group? It’s a group of Palestinian Children who perform in different places. I aplogize for overposting but I cut and paste an invitation I received for one of their performances in Old Lyme, CT.
    Al-Rowwad Children’s Theatre presents
    Blame the Wolf
    A fragmented fairy tale for children of all ages
    Adapted for the theatre and directed by
    Abdelfattah Abusrour
    Sunday, July 19, 2009, 7p.m.
    First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
    2 FERRY ROAD, OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT
    FREE PERFORMANCE–DONATIONS ACCEPTED
    The Al-Rowwad (The Pioneer) Theater and Cultural Center of Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, Palestine, provides children’s training in cultural traditions, drama, art, dance, photography, video, computer, and other disciplines in what founder and director Abdelfattah Abusrour calls a non-violent “beautiful resistance” to the brutality and oppression of Israel’s illegal occupation.
    BLAME THE WOLf at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme by 15 young Al Rowwad actors is the troupe’s only Connecticut performance during their US tour. The play weaves together several familiar fairy tales using the wolf as a common thread.
    Please join the troupe at a reception after the performance.
    Al Rowwad 2009 US Tour sponsored by
    Friends of Al-Rowwad USA Inc. http://alrowwadusa.bbnow.org/
    Hosted in Connecticut by
    First Congregational Church of Old Lyme http://www.fccol.org
    Middle East Crisis Committee http://www.TheStruggle.org
    http://www.thecornerreport.com/index.php?title=connecticut_news_al_rowwad_theater_perfo_19&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

    Reply

  5. samuelburke says:

    congratulations to israel….the pariah state.
    Zionist Pioneer Renounces Zionism
    By HELENA COBBAN
    I’ve never met Dov Yermiya, a Jewish Israeli peace activist who is now 94 years old. But I read of course the book he published in 1983 in which he wrote with anguish about the torture and other gross mistreatment of civilians he witnessed directly during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon the year before.
    I have it in my hand now.
    I just learned, from an open letter published by Uri Avnery, that Yermiya, recently renounced the ideology and practice of Zionism with these stirring words:
    “I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,
    “Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.
    “… for 42 years, Israel turned what should have been Palestine into a giant detention camp, and is holding a whole people captive under an oppressive and cruel regime, with the sole aim of taking away their country, come what may!!!
    “”The IDF eagerly suppresses their efforts at rebellion, with the active assistance of the settlement thugs, by the brutal means of a sophisticated Apartheid and a choking blockade, inhuman harassment of the sick and of women in labor, the destruction of their economy and the theft of their best land and water.
    “Over all this there is waving the black flag of the frightening contempt for the life and blood of the Palestinians. Israel will never be forgiven for the terrible toll of blood spilt, and especially the blood of children, in hair-raising quantities… “
    http://www.counterpunch.org/cobban08172009.html

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Sense of humor – what the heck is that??
    An admission: Occasionally I share with two of my
    brothers (yes, even my THIRD brother, a doctor,
    sometimes reads TWN – but they never comment
    here!) the latest metaphors provided by POA, and
    we all burst out in laughter.
    I think my youngest brother (working in the
    insurance business, 13 years younger than me),
    who`s sort of right wing – and who the rest of us
    disagreed strongly with during the heated family
    debates before and during the Iraq invasion –
    regards WigWag`s, as well as Kervick`s arguments
    as more “substantial” (did you hear that,
    WigWag?), while the one in the middle, a teacher,
    regards POA as someone fulfilling the
    uncompromising John Lennon ethos in the song
    “Gimme some truth”.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    An interesting opinion from a well educated Israeli… LA TIMES: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gordon20-2009aug20,0,1126906.story
    Boycott Israel
    An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.
    By Neve Gordon
    Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.
    Not surprisingly, many Israelis — even peaceniks — aren’t signing on. A global boycott can’t help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one’s own nation.
    It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.
    I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country’s future.
    The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state. For more than 42 years, Israel has controlled the land between the Jordan Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. Within this region about 6 million Jews and close to 5 million Palestinians reside. Out of this population, 3.5 million Palestinians and almost half a million Jews live in the areas Israel occupied in 1967, and yet while these two groups live in the same area, they are subjected to totally different legal systems. The Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights. By sharp contrast, all Jews — whether they live in the occupied territories or in Israel — are citizens of the state of Israel.
    The question that keeps me up at night, both as a parent and as a citizen, is how to ensure that my two children as well as the children of my Palestinian neighbors do not grow up in an apartheid regime.
    There are only two moral ways of achieving this goal.
    The first is the one-state solution: offering citizenship to all Palestinians and thus establishing a bi-national democracy within the entire area controlled by Israel. Given the demographics, this would amount to the demise of Israel as a Jewish state; for most Israeli Jews, it is anathema.
    The second means of ending our apartheid is through the two-state solution, which entails Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders (with possible one-for-one land swaps), the division of Jerusalem, and a recognition of the Palestinian right of return with the stipulation that only a limited number of the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to Israel, while the rest can return to the new Palestinian state.
    Geographically, the one-state solution appears much more feasible because Jews and Palestinians are already totally enmeshed; indeed, “on the ground,” the one-state solution (in an apartheid manifestation) is a reality.
    Ideologically, the two-state solution is more realistic because fewer than 1% of Jews and only a minority of Palestinians support binationalism.
    For now, despite the concrete difficulties, it makes more sense to alter the geographic realities than the ideological ones. If at some future date the two peoples decide to share a state, they can do so, but currently this is not something they want.
    So if the two-state solution is the way to stop the apartheid state, then how does one achieve this goal?
    I am convinced that outside pressure is the only answer. Over the last three decades, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories have dramatically increased their numbers. The myth of the united Jerusalem has led to the creation of an apartheid city where Palestinians aren’t citizens and lack basic services. The Israeli peace camp has gradually dwindled so that today it is almost nonexistent, and Israeli politics are moving more and more to the extreme right.
    It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid trend in Israel is through massive international pressure. The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories.
    I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005 and has since garnered widespread support around the globe. The objective is to ensure that Israel respects its obligations under international law and that Palestinians are granted the right to self-determination.
    In Bilbao, Spain, in 2008, a coalition of organizations from all over the world formulated the 10-point Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign meant to pressure Israel in a “gradual, sustainable manner that is sensitive to context and capacity.” For example, the effort begins with sanctions on and divestment from Israeli firms operating in the occupied territories, followed by actions against those that help sustain and reinforce the occupation in a visible manner. Along similar lines, artists who come to Israel in order to draw attention to the occupation are welcome, while those who just want to perform are not.
    Nothing else has worked. Putting massive international pressure on Israel is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians — my two boys included — does not grow up in an apartheid regime.
    Neve Gordon is the author of “Israel’s Occupation” and teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel.
    Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

    Reply

  8. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    POA…I think you are very humorous in a serious way…but humor is difficult to maintain these days, with people being blown to bits and tortured with no consequences….some people are laughing though, and the jokes on us.

    Reply

  9. ... says:

    beauty and humour are in the eye of the beholder… if you can’t see much, it might mean yer blind!

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “No one has a sense of humor anymore except for Paul”
    Well, whatdaya expect? Speaking for myself, its hard to have a sense of humor when every time I respond to one of Wig-wag’s posts I gotta check to see if my body parts are shrinking!

    Reply

  11. Outraged American says:

    Totally off topic: Paul, you sound like you had a wonderful
    childhood and your home in Norway sounds beautiful and very
    tranquil.
    Let me know when you’re going to Ethiopia and maybe I’ll meet
    you there. I’ve never been to Africa and would love to go, and it
    would be nice to go with someone who knows the country. Im
    really easy to travel with unless you’re Israeli or Australian 😉
    No one has a sense of humor anymore except for Paul. Paul,
    you got my TWN pseudo-American Idol vote for best poster!
    I don’t know if Steve will post it, but when the other TWN poster
    and I go for dinner we’ll take a picture and send it in.
    We’ll be the ones in the picture holding margaritas half the size
    of soccer balls and wearing lampshades on our heads. Ya gotta
    get through the Phoenix summer somehow…
    And David, I appreciated your comments about the South.
    People think of Arizona as racist, and I’m sure racism was
    around, but really people in my experience didn’t judge each
    other (and I’m talking about my grade and high school) because
    of skin color, language or even money. So when I went to
    Australia it was a shock.
    Steve must be the nicest guy in the world because Australian
    politicians, and I had to deal with many, are just jerks. That
    should go on the other thread, but I don’t want to irk Steve too
    much.

    Reply

  12. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    I guess we’re doing the two Kathleens again or is it three or four now? So, I’ll have to type in my whole name again to keep us straight….not that we disagree…
    Carroll, I agree…unless there are consequences for Israel repeatedly ignoring UN Resolutions, nothing will come of the tough talk…I think the term “laissez faire” covers this adminstration’s strategy in many areas…next we’ll hear how Obama wants to look forward rather than backward on Palestine too.
    That Think Tank vignette is tantalizing… a “Through the Looking Glasss”- Between the Lines glimpse at how it all comes down in the all too solid world… Spoof or no spoof, Freud and Pavlav would be clinking glasses over it… Madidson Avenue Marketing/Propogandizing at its best….it’s real…the Think Tanks are satire.
    OutragedAmerican…good luck getting to Gaza…kick some butt for us…
    POA… a “settlement freeze” is equivalent to “we don’t torture”…thanks for posting the Articles of the Convention on Torture in the other thread…language couldn’t be clearer…I’m sure the language of the numerous UN Resolutions currently being ignored by Israel and the U.S., is equally clear.
    The Emporer’s New Treaty…

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    sorry about the excess.. didn’t realize i had copied that much.. here is the smaller version
    08.19.09 — 11:16AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)
    A Big Hmmm
    Not sure quite what to make of this. Steve Clemons points out that Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister appears to be twittering about possibly being left in the dark about a settlement freeze Netanyahu and Mitchell are negotiating. It’s not a ‘verified’ Twitter account. So I’m a touch skeptical. But Steve knows folks in these circles pretty well. So worth a look.
    –Josh Marshall

    Reply

  14. ... says:

    further to dan kervicks comment
    off joshs tpm site
    >>
    08.19.09 — 12:51PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (11)
    Time for Choosing
    Got bipartisanship on one side and the public option on the other. Not sure you can have both, guys.
    Keep one foot on the dock and the other on the boat too long and …
    –Josh Marshall
    08.19.09 — 12:10PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)
    That’s a Bit Much
    Upstate New York Rep. Eric Massa (D) says Sen. Grassley’s ‘pull the plug on grandma’ remarks were “an act of treason.”
    Against sanity, honesty, self-respect? Sure. But I think he means against the country, which is pretty whacked.
    –Josh Marshall
    Quantcast
    08.19.09 — 11:56AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (12)
    Everybody’s Got an Angle
    Video: Tea Partier who screamed “Heil Hitler” at an Israeli man who supports health care reform explains her opposition to reform.
    –Josh Marshall
    08.19.09 — 11:33AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (9)
    Don Hewitt Dead
    The legendary creator and long-time chief of 60 Minutes dies at 86.
    –Josh Marshall
    Quantcast
    08.19.09 — 11:16AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)
    A Big Hmmm
    Not sure quite what to make of this. Steve Clemons points out that Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister appears to be twittering about possibly being left in the dark about a settlement freeze Netanyahu and Mitchell are negotiating. It’s not a ‘verified’ Twitter account. So I’m a touch skeptical. But Steve knows folks in these circles pretty well. So worth a look.
    –Josh Marshall

    Reply

  15. Kathleen says:

    Mondoweiss
    The War of Ideas in the Middle East
    http://mondoweiss.net/

    Reply

  16. Kathleen says:

    “hopeful” hope so
    How many Presidents have said the continued expansion of illegal settlements and new ones being developed are a problem?
    How much has changed?
    How often do you hear this issue brought up on the MSM? Hell Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann never touch it. That damn liberal media that takes a hard turn right (wrong) when it comes to the I/P conflict.
    Chris Matthews is the only one to get even close to whispering about this issue.
    do folks know about the new and brave website Mondoweiss.

    Reply

  17. Outraged American says:

    I might be going to Gaza! Code Pink is taking a delegation in
    December so I’m applying. I’ve covered Gaza for years but never
    been. Incredibly exciting.
    I’ll try to go to Israel too, although they probably won’t let me in
    because I hate Israeli backpackers. Israel will probably ship me off
    to India, because I was born there, and then the Indian government
    will accuse me of being a Muslim sympathizer, the Mata Hari of
    Pakistan, and pull my toenails out while waterboarding me.
    Carroll, I think that article you quoted from antiwar.com was
    extremely well-written satire. If it isn’t than it really is “1984.”
    Steve, great blurb on antiwar’s front page! You’re a good man even
    if you do hang-out with the wrong crowd.

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    Of course it is, samuelburke.

    Reply

  19. SAMUELBURKE says:

    I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT THE “New Think-Tank Seeks to Regulate Historical Analogies”
    IS A SPOOF.

    Reply

  20. Carroll says:

    The zionist say that the US and Israel “stand outside the laws of causality that have governed the fates of other peoples on the earth.”
    And they are going to launch a media and op-ed war to teach Americans the truth of this.
    Of course this is another attempt of our “enemies within” to cement the marriage of the traitorous US Israelis and Israel to the Neo- America by revising our history like they have revised the history of the Israel, the Jews and the zionist.
    New Think-Tank Seeks to Regulate Historical Analogies
    by Thomas Harrington, August 19, 2009
    WASHINGTON – Yesterday, a group of high-profile dignitaries from across the political spectrum celebrated the launch of the Society for the Management of Historical Reason (SMHR) in the nation’s capital. The all-day seminar took place in the headquarters of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and featured speeches by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), former Bush speechwriter David Frum, Obama Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke, and Iraq surge architect and West Point professor Frederick Kagan.
    In his opening remarks, the new organization’s executive director, Michael O’Hanlon, a longtime fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, spoke with urgency about the new entity’s mission. “As Isaiah Berlin, the great prophet of the Open Society, once said, ‘Analogizing is the lifeblood of historical reason.’ We believe this to be true.
    However, we also know that in times like these, allowing anyone, anywhere to establish and publicize parallels between the policies of the U.S. and those pursued by other nations in the course of history can have far-reaching consequences for American security.
    We therefore seek to aid those habitually engaged in generating historical reasoning (or reporting it to the general public after a cursory reading of a commissioned think-tank position paper) to channel their ideas toward only those parallelisms …which affirm that the U.S. and its close ally Israel stand outside the laws of causality that have governed the fates of other peoples on the earth.”
    When asked by a reporter to spell out how this actually works in practice, O’Hanlon replied, “Our enemies around the world have long-suggested that when the U.S. and Israel attack or invade other nations, they, like every other militarily strong state before them, do so in order to gain control of the land or resources of the invaded country. When disinformation like this appears, the first line of defense is, as it always has been, to greet the assertion with utter silence, and if that fails, to condescendingly mock the person as a Chomskyite loon. If, after all this, they still get an insufficiently trained reporter to put this ludicrous notion into print or on the air, that’s where our agents of historical reason spring into action.
    Within a matter of days, they will generate a minimum of five op-eds in the largest American dailies, designed, each in their own way, to reaffirm the wholly defensive and unfailingly moral underpinnings of American and Israeli foreign policy.”
    At the close of the day-long session, both the participants and the assembled members of the press received a small compilation of some of the more specious historical analogies currently being circulated by our enemies as well as the SMHR’s talking points for each. What follows is a small sample from that publication.
    Analogy #1: People who invade other people’s lands have almost always done so to aggrandize their own standing in the world. Therefore, the U.S. and Israel are probably doing the same.
    Talking point for analogy #1: These two nations attack other people’s nations for largely defensive reasons. Insofar as they have any broader goal, it is always to bring the invadees the gifts of either an advanced economy or democracy.
    Analogy #2: All states in the past that had multiple, continuous, and far-flung military engagements with other nations (Spain in the 16th century, Napoleon’s France, Britain, Portugal in the 20th century) eventually became impoverished to point where they could neither maintain their international network of influence nor compete economically with the era’s other powerful nations. This is probably happening to the U.S.
    Talking point for analogy #2: Unlike these nations, the U.S. is peopled by individuals with a special, socially programmed “entrepreneurial spirit” that will allow them to perpetually invent their way out of the type of decadence and decline that has traditionally befallen other nations.
    Analogy #3: When the financial, political, and military elites of a country generally see themselves as being above the law and demonstrate far more loyalty to their fellow caste members than to the population as a whole, this usually portends an unstoppable decline into social decadence, factional infighting, and, ultimately, various kinds of coup-making. This is probably going on right now in the U.S.
    Talking point for analogy #3: The U.S., unlike other nations, has a constitutional structure that was born in the glow of our founders’ more or less perfect wisdom and thus will always, through our court system and its assembled jurists, mutate in ways that will safeguard the common good and individual liberties over unwieldy concentrations of power. And even when larger than desirable concentrations of power do occur in a given moment of history, the pendulum will always swing back to correct them in the next generation of political actors.
    Analogy #4: Since the dawning of the concept of total war in the 1930s and 1940s, terror has become, for the more militarily advanced states of the world, a prime tool for gaining geopolitical advantage. Thus when the U.S. and Israel use high-tech weaponry (B-52 bombers, Apache helicopter gunships, and drones) on largely unarmed civilian populations in territories that do not belong to them and are often thousands of miles from “the Homeland” (from the German Heimat), they are probably seeking to terrorize the inhabitants of these places to submit to their political will.
    Talking point for analogy #4: As we have seen in talking point #1, Americans and Israelis almost always attack others for purely defensive reasons. Therefore the only real terrorists involved in situations where they operate are the persons who are foolish enough to try and fight back against their overwhelming force. For example, the Canadian-Afghani teenager Omar Khadr became a terrorist in Afghanistan, requiring several years of appeal-free, rehabilitative torture at Guantánamo, when he lobbed a hand grenade that killed an invading American soldier near his home in Khost. Terrorism will only stop when people like Khadr learn to recognize the core benevolence of American and Israeli actions and learn to stop reacting against it.
    Analogy #5: When, as it did in 2006, Israel launched an essentially unprovoked war aimed at destroying the entire modern infrastructure of a neighboring country, some compared it to the German Blitzkrieg on Poland in 1939. Similarly, when the high-tech Israeli military laid siege to the already isolated and already starving population of Gaza at the end of 2008 and the first days of 2009, some compared it to the terrible tragedy of the Warsaw ghetto at the end of World War II.
    Talking point for analogy #5: It must always be remembered that the only people licensed to make analogies between the horrors of Nazism and any present-day cataclysm are Israelis themselves and their many supporters in the American press. For example, if the Arab scholar Rashid Khalidi were to compare the present-day fate of the Palestinians in any way to that of Jews in Europe between 1933 and 1945, he would be immediately guilty of trivializing the horrors suffered by the Jews under the Nazis. However, any time Bill Kristol or Charles Krauthammer wants to compare Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah, or Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to Hitler and their followers to the Nazis, no trivialization is involved. This is perfectly licit and, more often than not, will be roundly and positively reprinted in the mainstream press.
    As they were exiting the conference auditorium, participants and observers were encouraged to sign a pledge that commits them to the guiding principles of the new think-tank. David Gregory (GE-NBC), Brian Williams (GE-NBC), John King (Time-Warner-CNN), Guy Raz (NPR), Charles Gibson (Disney-ABC), Mary-Louise Kelly (NPR), and Michael Gordon (NYT) were seen chatting amiably among themselves as they awaited their turn to sign up.

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  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, Israel has publically announced a “settlement freeze” that they have no intention of implementing, and our politicians will use it as an example of “progress” towards peace.
    Since Obama launched this tepid effort to change the Isr/Pal/USA dynamic, Israel has spat in his face with INCREASED settlement activity. Our Secretary of State has reacted with luke warm protestations, Congress has INCREASED financial aid to Israel, and our Washington “representatives” have shown rare bi-partisanship in their jaunts to Israel designed to undermine Obama’s wishes and take the teeth out of his demands.
    This whole charade is bullshit.
    Is Israel also going to stop its ILLEGAL construction of the separation fence? Its heavyhanded Gestapo-like oppression of dissent against the fence? Its blockade of medical goods and reconstruction materials? Its razing of Palestinian farmlands? Its harassment of Palestinian fishermen?heavyhanded Gestapo-like oppression of dissent against the fence?
    As Carroll said, why would Israel offer REAL concessions? The check is in the mail, and Obama doesn’t even have the support of his own party’s leadership, (as Reid, Hoyer, and Bayh have demonstrated), much less that of the minority, as Cantor and Huckabee have demonstrated.
    The arms keep flowing, the money keeps flowing, and the slobbering adoration and fealty demonstrating junkets continue unabated. Now thats incentive for change?

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel to go ahead with construction of 450 East J settlement homes
    Published today 16:01
    [MaanImages]Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities recently revived a plan to build 450 residential units in a settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the Hebrew version of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz on Wednesday.
    Haaretz’ business supplement, The Marker, said the Israeli department of government properties is expected to invite tenders for a bid to build 450 residential units in Pisgat Ze’ev, a neighborhood on the Palestinian side of the 1967 borders in internationally recognized East Jerusalem.
    The newspaper said the department was relaxing some of its earlier requirements for bid so the project can get going in the next six months.
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=220220

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  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=66&docid=4354
    Illegal construction in the Settlement Kochav Ya’akov on the outskirts of Ramallah
    Noa Galili 12/08/2009
    An illegal trailer neighborhood is currently being built within the settlement Kochav Ya’akov found just to the east of Ramallah. The trailers are being built on private land owned by the Palestinian village of Akeb and are not part of any approved valid plan for building and construction. There are approximately 15 trailers being built and work is already underway to connect them to the rest of the settlements infrastructure.
    This is not the first time the settlement Kochav Yaakov, found 7.7 km over the green line, has illegal erected structures. There are currently more than 50 illegal permanent houses that are already inhabited which sit on private land owned by the Palestinian villages Akeb and Barke.
    While Ehud Barak plays hide and seek with the top hill youth, the settler’s old guard continues to build and expand neighborhoods that pose an immediate threat to the two state solution.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    I don’t think I will believe Israel has actually frozen settlements. I would believe they are just ‘rearranging’ their settlement and expansion targets.
    They are like mice,if you board up one of their holes they will just knaw out another one to go thru.
    Did Obama privately threaten them with anything dire if they didn’t stop settlements? If he didn’t they aren’t going to stop. Why would they?
    They never have before.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Settlement Freeze – The facts on the ground
    18/08/2009
    According to news released this morning, August, 18, 2009 in the Israeli media, Netanyahu and Barak have agreed to freeze construction in the settlements until early 2010.
    Peace Now Research Shows the Following:
    Fact No. 1: In the West Bank Settlements and in East Jerusalem there are over 1000 housing units under construction right now.
    This means that on the ground there is NO settlement freeze, a real freeze is the end of all construction even those yet to be completed. Anyone who visits the settlements, can see large and small construction sites where construction continues at a rapid pace.
    Fact No. 2: In the past 9 months, since November 2008 the govt has not published any new tenders for construction in the settlements. (Though a few tenders were published for completion of infrastructure, roads, etc. but no new tenders for apartments).
    However govt sponsored construction of government only constitutes about 40% of all construction in the territories. Most of the building is through private initiatives from settler groups, NGO’s etc.
    Thus, even if there is a complete freeze of construction bids on behalf of the government – at least 60% of all construction in the settlements continues as before.
    For more details about settlement freeze….
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=62&docid=3603

    Reply

  26. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, if it is on Twitter, it must be true.
    I heard Israel’s US ambassador Michael Oren on the radio yesterday. The former academically embedded propagandist and current top Israeli government mouthpiece said some things which suggest that his right-wing government has decided to relabel what they have in the past called “natural growth”. They now call it “normal life”. Their mean opponents are trying to deprive the poor colonists of a normal life.
    By the way, Oren can no longer be accused of possessing dual loyalties, since he had to renounce his US citizenship in order to take up the job of lying for Israel full time.

    Reply

  27. jonst says:

    Steve, in my opinion there is no way in the world Netanyahu will back down now. Just the opposiste, in my opinion. He thinks he sees weakness in Obama’s position at home. And perhaps weakness in the man himself. This may be a crucial misjudgment…or it may be correct. But I’ll believe Netanyahu, and, more importantly, perhaps, the neocons, are thinking, ‘the last thing Obama wants to do now is take us on’.
    If Obama IS facing his ‘Waterloo’ now, on health care reform, his opponents may just wait and see how it turns out. Will Obama be Wellington, or Napoleon?

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    Allow me to expand a bit on my comment above:
    If these “rumors” turn out to be true, it could
    function as a face saving act for both Netanyahu
    and – especially – Obama: the first could claim
    that he`ve complied with the demands, while the
    latter could declare his tactics a success. In
    political terms this could be true, and create an
    opportunity to “put this behind us” and advance to
    the next step (demanding compromises from the
    Palestinians this time?).
    However, on the ground, the settlements would
    continue to a large degree (if Peace Now is
    correct in it`s description of what is happening)
    – with political implications later on.
    And that was the whole point of Obama`s demand,
    wasn`t it? The facts on the ground, the expansions
    — the most important factor undermining peace.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks for the post, Steve. I`ll listen to the
    interview later. This could be good news. However,
    I would suggest that you read POA`s excerpt (or go
    to the link) under Amjad Atallah`s post below,
    from an article at peacenow.org.
    A quote:
    “However govt sponsored construction of settlement
    only constitutes about 40% of all construction in
    the territories. Most of the building is through
    private initiatives from settler groups, NGO’s
    etc.
    Thus, even if there is a complete freeze of
    construction bids on behalf of the government – at
    least 60% of all construction in the settlements
    continues as before.”
    As I said in a comment to POA below, I think Obama
    showed good political instincts by demanding a
    freeze of the colonial expansions, but I`m not
    optimistic with regard to the outcome of this
    fight.

    Reply

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