Lincoln Chafee Shoves Bolton Around on his “Terrorism” Simple-Mindedness and on Israel-Palestine

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chafee.jpg
OK — Something interesting is going on with Lincoln Chafee. He just shoved John Bolton all over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Room floor.
Must have had spinach and Wheaties this morning. Chafee was dogged in questioning John Bolton on his views about Israel-Palestine, about the root causes of the crisis in the Middle East, about Bolton’s simple-minded use of the term “terrorism”, and about Bolton’s views of “shaping the Middle East” as one of the greatest challenges America faces.
Senator Chafee started off reading a Bolton statement that he made in the past where Bolton essentially blamed terrorism as the fundamental problem in the Middle East. Chafee said to Bolton: “You are a brilliant man. Terrorism is a device. Your statement makes no sense. Explain it.”
Bolton gave a long and convoluted response but also stated: “There is no basis for peace in the Middle East now.” He suggested that one of the reasons why the U.S. has resisted calls for immediate cease fire in the region is that it wants to generate a “comprehensive solution”. He said “we need to use current circumstances as a fulcrum to move towards a more stable, longer term solution.”
Chafee jumped back: “Can’t you go any deeper? This isn’t just terrorism. What about the history of terrorism in the region? What are the root causes?”
Bolton continued to duck the question. And jumped back to focus his answer on Hezbollah — which he said has one foot in as political party, one foot in as military movement and that it would have to abandon its military part for peace to move forward.
Bolton sounded reasonable but still ducked Chafee’s question.
So Chafee charged AGAIN.
Chafee said, “We have serious problems now. This is a conflagration. You are not answering my question. What are the root problems? What do we have to get to — to get to a permanent peace? Is there anything deeper than just terrorism that you can identify as the root cause of the conflagration?
Bolton finally began to yield to Chafee’s impressive pressure and focus.
Bolton said that the problem in the region is mostly that some nations continue to question “the right of israel to exist.” Bolton stated that “the peace process is incomplete.” He continued, “Israel is not able to complete full peace agreeements with its neighbors,” and the leadership of Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
Chafee then told Bolton that the American Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad had recently testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and made the statement: “Shaping the Middle East is the defining challenge of our time.”
Chafee asked Bolton if he agreed with Ambassador Khalilzad.
Bolton stated that he thought “shaping the Middle East” was ‘one’ of the significant challenges of our time, but intimated that WMD proliferation was another definining challenge that he worried about as much. He then turned his response into more criticism of Iran.
Then Chafee came out with a whopper on Palestine/Israel.
He asked Bolton if “he believed in a viable, contiguous Palestinian state existing side-by-side Israel.”
Bolton repied that he does believe in a Palestinian state, but then obscured his answer with more about Hezbollah and its destabilization of the current situation.
Chafee then came back, again: “What has the US done about a contiguous Palestinian state?”
Chafee asked John Bolton if he thought that one of the root causes of our problems in the Middle East is our failure to make progress on a viable, contiguous Palestinian state existing peacefully, side-by-side next to Israel.
This is a remarkable and brave statement and query for Chafee to offer in these times.
Bolton responded somewhat constructively suggesting that “This is the time to look at “broader solutions” that could very well make progress on the Palestinian front as well.” Bolton stated that discussions at the UN regarding Lebanon often include as well the Occupied Territories (Bolton’s term).
While I happen to think that these issues ought not to be lumped together — the fact that Chafee compelled Bolton to agree that a comprehensive solution was needed that resulted in a viable, contiguous Palestinian state was a very important exchange.
I would have been thrilled with Chafee’s performance just as it was — but THEN HE WENT ONE BETTER.
Lincoln Chafee said to Bolton that “he disagrees” with Bolton and does not see the administration putting “the effort put behind the rhetoric” that Bolton provided today.
Lincoln Chafee seems back in play to me. It may not be enough for him to reverse his vote — but Chafee has certainly done more to open new territory in this battle than anyone else this morning.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

63 comments on “Lincoln Chafee Shoves Bolton Around on his “Terrorism” Simple-Mindedness and on Israel-Palestine

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    Major powers postpone meeting to discuss Iran’s nuclear programUNITED NATIONS: Six major powers Thursday postponed a meeting on Iran’s nuclear program, with diplomats linking it to the UN Security Council’s failure to pass a statement on the deaths of four UN peacekeepers this week. No official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting by the five UN Security Council permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and US – and Germany to discuss a resolution against Iran.

    Reply

  2. Bill O'Neill says:

    during ww 2, german concentration camps reportedly killed 6 million jews. this was the horrible holocaust that was committed against the jewish people by the germans.
    why then, weren’t the jewish people given part of germany to create the state of israel? this would have been justice for what the germans had done to the jewish people. instead, the people living in palestine were punished for the holocaust and were forced to give up their land so that the jewish state would be located on their land. the palestinians had nothing whatsover to do with the holocaust but they were forced out of their land to create israel. there is no justice here. no wonder the palestinian people feel they were betrayed and there is nothing but hate against them rather than sympathy for what has happened to them.

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  6. RichF says:

    Anne Lieberman:
    Do you mean the territory of Judea, renamed Palaestina by the Romans in 135 CE? Or the revival of that name to describe territory within the British Mandate established by the League of Nations in 1922 (and expired in 1948)? If that, do you mean pre- or post-Transjordan? Perhaps you mean the term not geographically, but in reference to the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) and the Gaza strip, governed by Fatah and Hamas.
    If you are making geographical assumptions about some possible future Arab state, then you need to make that clear, because at present there is no such entity in existence. And if you are talking about nonexistent entities as if they were real, then you make it very difficult to take the rest of your comments seriously.
    Posted by Anne Lieberman at July 27, 2006 06:22 PM
    With all due respect, Israel’s “right to exist” is suddenly much repeated and invoked; then out of nowhere we hear you assert that sizable chunks of land and people are somehow “nonexistent entities.” I guess if all these people and places don’t exist, then they don’t matter.
    But, really, due to varying boundaries or definitions? You’re kiddin’. The boundaries of America, Israel, Germany, Yugoslavia — all shifted over time: do they not exist? Open a dictionary: a given word may have five or nine definitions: does that mean the word does not exist? You engage in sophistry. [That, btw, is why right-wing prosecutors of ‘the culture wars’ could never put a stake through the heart of multiculturalism or poststructuralism. They accused fellow lovers of literature, disingenuously, of adhering to a kind of relativism, just as Anne does above.]
    Many modern nations have peoples, ethnicities, populations within them that are deserving of adequate representation, avenues for redress of grievance, responsive governance & lawful, recourse to a judicial system, basic human rights. Barring those elements, those populations deserve, at minimum, their own sovereign state.
    That’s why Israel exists today.
    That’s the defining principle, core characteristic, and founding motivation of the United States. Anytime it is not the guiding principle and constant practice of our foreign policy, this country is bound for unjustified waters and inviting consequence.
    What’s so hard to love about America?
    If Palestine didn’t exist, then you wouldn’t need to use such terms as “nonexistent entities” to erase it.
    I am very much FOR the right of Israel to exist. For very good reason. (Which I won’t go into here.) Yet it must be possible to publicly discuss counterproductive tactics, to evaluate their reality and effectiveness. The one thing that calls into question any worthy end, is the means towards that end. Israel’s posture has itself created the necessity, the requirement of an independent, sovereign Palestinian nation. The necessity of Israel to exist does not contradict the necessity & right of Palestine to exist — performs the proof of it and is its genesis.
    Where the boundaries stood when in the past only spells out for the slow readers among us the multiple and varying opportunities available for actually establishing a Palestinian nation. And without addressing that root cause, there is no way Israel cannot outrun a long-term race in terms of social capacity building, technology acquisitio, demographics, and the accelerating loss of the moral high ground. Abstract trump cards never work: they’re only good for papering over the tough root-cause details that need addressing if long-term prospects are to have any prospect at all.

    Reply

  7. RichF says:

    Nudnik : When in history has engaging an extremist totalitarian regime worked out? Chamberlain engaged an extremist totalitarian regime, but that didnt seem to help. Israel engaged the extremist totalitarian Arafat and his regime, but that didnt work out so well. More recently Clinton and Carter engaged an extremist totalitarian regime, but that didnt work out so well either.
    One does not “engage” these types of regimes because it gets you nowhere.
    Posted by Nudnik at July 27, 2006 04:19 PM
    You’ve got it backwards.
    John Bolton, immediately prior to the US invasion of Iraq, went on every American TV outlet, literally yelling that “France and Germany are irrelevant! They should just shut up and follow orders!!” That’s a quote. If you think the message was somehow lost on the Germans, referring as it does to the Nuremberg defense (“I was only following orders!”) — you’re very much mistaken.
    Iran and N. Korea were rushing to arm themselves precisely because it is the US that is viewed as dangerous, warlike, unreasonable, and authoritarian. That’s literally what the American non-negotiable position is. Submit or die. Bush’s conditions for talks was that Iran give up all the marbles, the whole game, before the US would even sit down. Those aren’t negotiations — they’re the complete surrender of a sovereign nation.
    The intransigence is Bush’s. Iran has sent letter after letter seeking a negotiated solution. Yet Bush has recklessly rejected every overture. They pursue arms because they know that the facts and the law cannot protect them against a country (the US) that wants to go to war. See: Iraq.
    Of course you cannot negotiate with the Hitlers of the world, nor with the Roberto D’Aubissons. Resistance will arise to defend life and limb, for good cause and for the only human course of action. If Israel guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for its palestinian subject population, it wouldn’t have to worry about extremism.
    And your words are a totalizing rhetoric; a smear. Are they people then? Israel has imprisoned the elected leaders of Gaza; was it thousands of women & children of southern Lebanon, and now bombed the blossoming moderate multi-ethnic democracy of Lebanon. Israel is NOT seeking moderate politics or moderate leadership in nearby nations.
    I fully support the right of Israel to exist.
    But your methods are creating waves of enemies. You cannot outrun the historical sweep, the rise of info & technology, and the increasing social capacity of civil society.
    You say you cannot negotiate with hard-liners, totalitarians. Yet if your position is hard-line in the extreme, submit-or-die, no negotiation whatsoever — then you too, are totalitation — by definition.

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Thanks elementary teacher….that sounds like a book I would be interested in…I will check amazon, if not there.. I can get my library to order it thru the university system.

    Reply

  9. elementary teacher says:

    Carroll,
    Yes, surely. For a less-caricatured treatment of Abdullah I, along with a more fully-orbed and scholarly discussion of the matter I raised, you might consider:
    Wilson, Mary Christina, King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
    Specifically, I would likely footnote Chapter 11, p. 187 in any rigorous history.
    Thanks for your words.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    Elementary teacher..thanks for link…
    Yes things in the ME as everywhere else are complicated by politics and survival.
    There may be something to the manuverings alluded to but quite frankly I would need a better source than Margolis. He is one of the supporters that still claims that all Palestines are really Jordanians…and that all of the Arabs problems are the fault of arab rulers…which may also be true becuase all of Israel’s problems are the fault of it’s zionist rulers and all of the US problems are the fault of our own rulers…and of course at bottom line, the fault of all who suport those type of rulers…

    Reply

  11. elementary teacher says:

    Carroll, Thank you for the lengthy — and interesting — quotation of the British-placed monarch, Abdullah I.
    I offer the following excerpt to expand perspective. As with most things Middle Eastern, the fuller story seems fraught with complications.
    Reportedly, King Abdullah:
    … “secretly colluded in 1947-1948 with Israel’s leader, David Ben Gurion, to divide between them the Palestinian state mandated by the United Nations when it partitioned Palestine between Arabs and Jews. As a result, Jordan became a covert ally of Israel in suppressing the Palestinians, and denying them a state… Two-thirds of Jordan’s people are Palestinians. Hussein ruled the kingdom through his US-supported Bedouin army and security forces, using them to crush attempts by Palestinians to oust the monarchy. In 1970, Hussein unleashed his tanks against Palestinians in Amman, killing over 3,000. All attempts by Jordan’s Palestinian majority to gain any political voice were put down ruthlessly.”
    Complete article:
    http://www.ericmargolis.com/archives/1999/02/king_of_the_ben.php

    Reply

  12. Pissed Off American says:

    “I”M UNAMERICAN? I’m NOT “LOYAL” TO MY COUNTRY? BACK THE “F” OFF HONEY!”
    Posted by anon
    Why don’t you move to Israel and kill Muslim’s on your own dime??
    And no, I am not being “anti-semitic”, I am being “anti-jackass”. I am highly prejudiced against jackasses, and I don’t mind admitting it. But, hey, we seem to have an overabundance of jackasses in America these days, so it ain’t exactly going to hurt my feelings if a few of them take off for Jackassville. Heck, I gotta Swede next door to me that is undoubtedly the biggest jackass in Central California. Then that jerk down at the Foster’s burger stand, a REAL jackass. An Iranian. My girlfriend calls it “The jihadi burger place”. Now HE could use a good swim too, and where ever Iranians go when they are unmitigated jackasses I hope they’ve saved a seat for him. Then, of course there’s Bill, the Native american jackass whose horses keep getting in my good friend Alex’s garden. That one’s a dillemma. I mean where DO you tell a native American jackass to get off???
    Is my anti-jackass prejudice fascist???? I suppose. But if we get rid of all the jackasses, we won’t need to worry about fascism, will we? Its kind of a Catch 22, I guess.
    Anyway, start swimmin’, jackass.

    Reply

  13. Nancy/Ca says:

    Good grief Anon,take a chill pill! Attacking Carroll because she is being blunt about the effects of our pro-Israeli policy and a few others here like myself asking questions re. the warmongering AIPAC is WAY overdue whether you like it or not,got it? I think we as Americans that are watching our country going down the tubes because of the Middle East have just as much as a right as you to discuss this without being attacked!

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Dear anon…
    Back off?..haw,haw,haw…never my dear.
    Let me explain this again.
    America is a melting pot of many races and religions…a thousand differences…and the GLUE that holds it together as a nation is our collective loyalty to America and it’s principles that make us one people despite all our differences…those principles made it possible for you as a jew or whatever you are or for muslims and everyone else that is different from their neighbor to live here in freedom and pursue whatever their happiness is…
    In return, this country and everyone who makes up this country has a right to expect your loyalty to this country above all others for the privilage of living here.
    You don’t get to live in any country without giving or owing something in return..not necessarily to the “state” but to the people that make up that country and have a shared interest in it’s welfare.
    Now quit being incoherent and misquoting every one or I really will have to start ignoring you.
    There are many other important topics on this site.

    Reply

  15. anon says:

    “Somehow he just can’t grasp that this is the “glue” necessary to a country like ours that has thousands of different ethnics and religions.
    All must be loyal first to one and only one America when it comes to their country.
    It has to be this way in order to make it work for all the thousands of differences we are made of or it falls apart.”
    excuse me, steve, BUT WHAT COMPLETE FASCIST BULLSHIT!
    different ethnics? are you kidding me?
    THIS IS EMBARASSING! THIS ABSOLUTELY TAKES THE CAKE FOR STUPIDITY!
    FASCISM IS FASCISM IS FASCISM.
    I”M UNAMERICAN? I’m NOT “LOYAL” TO MY COUNTRY? BACK THE “F” OFF HONEY!

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Dear b…I did read that and was going to comment on it but all I could think of to say was that we can probably expect more of this. We will soon be the wallflower at the dance…left on the sidelines.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Thank you again KOJ
    …but I fear MP will never get the point…it wouldn’t matter if our entire congress were all Jewish citizens, or all Muslims citizens or whatever, as long as they represented the best interest of “this” country and it’s citizens…not another country.
    Somehow he just can’t grasp that this is the “glue” necessary to a country like ours that has thousands of different ethnics and religions.
    All must be loyal first to one and only one America when it comes to their country.
    It has to be this way in order to make it work for all the thousands of differences we are made of or it falls apart.

    Reply

  18. KOJ says:

    Caroll, POA and others are always there to share their honest thoughts and concerns on almost all critical issues Steve posts. Issues that concerns the welfare of this nation. However, the “anon”s and “MP”s sense of public dialogue seem to come to life only when the word “Israel” or “Jew” comes up on their radar.
    That is the kind of dual loyalities we are concerned about!
    Like it or not .. it needs to be debated and addressed. I think we are just beginning…thank God.

    Reply

  19. anon says:

    “Yes indeed anon…I am a terrible facist”
    if you say so, carroll.

    Reply

  20. Grey says:

    MP,
    “–they are called traitors, duals, Israel-firsters, and candidates for deportation.”
    That’s because naughty boys and girls have been sneeking peeks at Uncle Karl’s Playbook for Politics….

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Yes indeed anon…I am a terrible facist, livng up to all our US facist concepts.
    Oath of Allegiance
    to the United States of America
    Oath:
    “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, ….”
    But you have bigger problem…..

    Reply

  22. anon says:

    Matthew,
    MP and I were just responding to POA’s assertion that nobody is referencing “Jews” in this ongoing debate. this is obviously untrue. I ommitted many other comments as well.
    POA said to MP,
    “Who is talking about “jews”??? Only YOU.”
    Obviously not.

    Reply

  23. Matthew says:

    Thanks, Anon, for totally taking my quote out of context. My comment was in response to a comment by “Yvette” focusing ONLY on the suffering of Israelis. Anon: You have demonstrated that the reservoir of your intellectual integrity is bone dry.

    Reply

  24. anon says:

    sorry. left out the word “mentality” at the end of carrol’s first quote.
    and these comments are just for starters, POA.

    Reply

  25. anon says:

    …and more:
    these beauties from carrol:
    “Actually I feel sorry for the Jews who have been brainwashed for centuries into their “them against the world”.
    and this is classic carrol:
    “And while this doesn’t apply to all jews, it is glaringly obvious we have a problem with the “zionist” jews in the US and something has to be done about them before they ruin this country.”
    wow!
    but maybe my favorite is ann’s comment:
    “Boulton (sic) is an asshole jew.”
    there’s good reason for opposing his nomination.

    Reply

  26. anon says:

    POA:
    Many people are talking about Jews on this blog.
    this from “Matthew:”
    “It represents the worst aspects of Zionist thought: the belief that Jewish suffering trumps all others. Excuse me while I vomit.”

    Reply

  27. MP says:

    POA writes: “Who is talking about “jews”??? Only YOU.”
    Turns out…you’re wrong.
    Carroll wrote: “Let me give you a good real time example of how the Jewish fealty to Israel is bad for this country, bad for humanity and illustrates everything I have said about the cult mentality of Jewish groups who cleave to Israel.”

    Reply

  28. MP says:

    This pretty much sums up my views:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2006/jul/28/lebanon_a_jewish_moderates_lament
    POA, a lot of people are talking about the Jew-thing. When you and Carroll talk about “traitors” you are talking (mostly) about Jews who support Israel and have every right, as Americans, to do so. And supporting Israel isn’t ipso facto supporting murderous policies–sorry you see it in such a simplistic way.
    Frequently, the argument against Israel’s policies have spilled over into musings on whether Israel even has a right to exist– or whether the “experiment” should called off. Look back on Father Ted’s comments and some of Carroll’s. But there are others. This takes the discussion in an entirely different and ominous direction.
    I have no problem with anyone attacking US policies or Israeli policies for that matter. Vehemently or otherwise. I do not support all of Israel’s policies, and certainly not ours, either. Nor is my argument ever in support of murderous bastards; it just isn’t.
    But when you call me a traitor or a dual, which you and Carroll and others have done, that’s a different matter. Then you are speaking the language of facism.
    I’m sorry if you’re sick of my calling you on it–I don’t care.
    All those other “alter egos” as you call them are not me. They are different people. Sorry. This seems to be a constant theme with you. You don’t like what we say, so we must all be the “same person” using careful tactics to destroy this blog. You must have caught that Jewish neurotic paranoia Carroll is always talking about.

    Reply

  29. Pissed Off American says:

    “But when American Jews have a concern for their fellow Jews in Israel–blah blah blah blah……”
    Who is talking about “jews”??? Only YOU. Most here are talking about Israel’s policies. But to YOU, the only response you have is to tie all discussions into this “jew thing”. Its bullshit. Frankly, I am, sick of this from from people like yourself and your alter-egos here. When people attack America’s policies, as they SHOULD DO and ARE DOING, do you see us constantly trying to justify our policies by ranting some bullshit about our policies being attacked because we are “christians”?
    You only have ONE ARGUMENT in defense of these murderous bastards deciding Israeli policy, and that is a constant mantra about “jews” and how this is all about “anti-semitism”. Screw you, I am sick to death of this crap. You and your ilk are a BLIGHT on this earth, and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU BEING A JEW. And anyone that has an OUNCE of morality or concern for human life need only look at what is happening in Lebanon to draw that conclusion.

    Reply

  30. MP says:

    It is interesting–re Carroll’s or any number of other comments on this blog–that Arabs or Muslims from any part of the world and any country have a legitimate stake in and concern for their fellow Arabs or Muslims in Israel/Palestine. But when American Jews have a concern for their fellow Jews in Israel–and support that concern with money, votes, and lobbying–they are called traitors, duals, Israel-firsters, and candidates for deportation. And, ironically, deportation to a country that Abdullah (and I guess Carroll) regards as illegitimate. Abdullah wishes the West had taken care of their Jewish problem another way (couldn’t Western countries have absorbed them?), but somehow never felt that way about their Palestinian refugees.

    Reply

  31. b says:

    Steve did you see this?
    Bolton took a pro Israel step and by that derailed a resolution on Iran.
    Someone should question him about this (not that I expect of of AIPAC’s congress clowns to do so.)
    Major powers postpone meeting to discuss Iran’s nuclear programUNITED NATIONS: Six major powers Thursday postponed a meeting on Iran’s nuclear program, with diplomats linking it to the UN Security Council’s failure to pass a statement on the deaths of four UN peacekeepers this week. No official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting by the five UN Security Council permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and US – and Germany to discuss a resolution against Iran.
    But the postponement came one day after the Security Council failed to agree a statement on the killing of four UN peacekeepers during an Israeli attack in Lebanon.
    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin announced the meeting had been postponed and that no new date had been set.
    Diplomats said earlier this week that progress was being made in agreeing a resolution that would state that Iran must suspend all enrichment-related activities that could be linked to making a nuclear weapon.
    But there has been a dramatic change of atmosphere after the failure to condemn the deaths of Austrian, Canadian, Chinese and Finnish soldiers in Lebanon Tuesday.
    The United States blocked attempts to pass a strong statement condemning the attack or Israel. And China’s envoy Wang Guangya warned Wednesday there could be an impact on efforts to agree other key issues such as Iran’s nuclear program.

    Reply

  32. Grey says:

    The letter from King Abdullah I was eloquent and beautiful. His assasination by a Palestinian gunman was a tragedy for us all.

    Reply

  33. Matthew says:

    Thanks, Farther Ted. I knew Anne’s post smelled a little fishy. No we know the nature of the underlying concern.

    Reply

  34. Father Ted says:

    Uh-oh, bad Steve said the “P” word.
    “My friend, take care. When you recognize the concept of ‘Palestine’, you demolish your right to live in Ein Hahoresh. If this is Palestine and not the land of Israel, then you are conquerors and not tillers of the land. You are invaders. If this is Palestine, then it belongs to a people who lived here before you came.”
    Menachem Begin, from a speech to the residents of kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, reported in Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot (17 Oct 1969).

    Reply

  35. Carroll says:

    I wonder how Bolton gets along with the Saudis at the UN? I haven’t seen anything about that.
    I did see the following at the Saudi press agency site. I take it this statement is for domestic PR to prevent their own arab street from dethroning them. The thing is though, since the US & Isr are paying no attention the Saudis might have to live up to their statement or lose their royal palaces, not to mention their heads. Maybe they think the US and Isr will back off shortly and they won’t have to come thru on their statement.
    http://www.spa.gov.sa/English/details.php?id=378151
    JEDDAH, JULY 25, SPA — FOLLOWING IS THE STATEMENT ISSUED TODAY BY THE ROYAL COURT:
    ” THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA HAS UNDERSTAKEN THE ROLE REQUIRED OF IT BY ITS RELIGIOUS AND NATIONAL DUTY WITH REGARD TO THE SITUATION IN THE REGION AND REPERCUSSIONS OF EVENTS IN LEBANON AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES. IN THIS REGARD, IT HAS CAUTIONED, WARNED AND EXTENDED ADVICE. FURTHERMORE, IT HAS STRIVEN FROM THE FIRST MOMENT TO STOP THE AGRRESSION, MOVING ON MORE THAN ONE FRONT AND BY MORE THAN ONE MEANS, TO PERSUADE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO FORCE ISRAEL TO AGREE TO A CEASEFIRE.
    MEANWHILE, THE KINGDOM HAS DISPATCHED HRH THE FOREIGN MINISTER AND HRH THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET H.E. THE U.S. PRESIDENT IN WASHINGTON AND INFORM HIM OF ITS VIEWS ON THE GRAVE AND UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE UNREMITTING ISRAELI AGGRESSION IF MATTERS WENT BEYOND CONTROL. THE KINGDOM HAS ALSO ASKED PERSONAL ENVOYS TO VISIT THE CAPITALS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL’S PERMANENT MEMBER STATES TO CONVEY THE SAME MESSAGE.
    THE ARABS HAVE PROCLAIMED PEACE AS A STRATEGIC OPTION FOR THE ARAB NATION. THEY PRESENTED A JUST AND DISTINCT PLAN FOR REGAINING THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PEACE. THEY REFUSED TO RESPOND TO PROVOCATIONS AND IGNORED ANTI-PEACE EXTREMIST CALLS. IT SHOULD BE STATED THAT PATIENCE COULD NOT LAST FOREVER. IF THE ISRAELI MILITARY BRUTALITY PERSISTED WITH KILLINGS AND DESTRUCTION NO ONE COULD PREDICT THE CONSEQUENCES AND THAN REGRETS WILL BE IN VAIN.
    THEREFORE, THE KINGDOM ADDRESSES AN APPEAL AND A WARNING TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN ITS ENTIRETY, AS REPRESENTED BY THE U.N. AND IN PARTICULAR THE U.S.
    THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA CALLS ON ALL TO ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH HONEST, CONSCIOUS AND INTERNATIONAL MORAL AND HUMANITARIAN LAWS. IT ALSO WARNS ALL THAT IF THE PEACE OPTION IS REJECTED DUE TO THE ISRAELI ARROGANCE THEN ONLY THE WAR OPTION REMAINS AND NO ONE KNOWS THE REPERCUSSIONS BEFALLING THE REGION, INCLUDING WARS AND CONFLICT THAT WILL SPARE NO ONE INCLUDING THOSE WHOSE MILITARY POWER IS NOW TEMPTING THEM TO PLAY WITH FIRE.
    –MORE 1625 Local Time 1325 GMT
    ..really, why don’t they just cut everyone’s oil off….

    Reply

  36. Terrance says:

    Anne,
    While I agree with many of the sentiments so eloquently expressed in the letter posted by Carroll, I was seeking to add the proverbial grain of salt, courtesy of MSN Encarta: “From the outset, Hussein faced many challenges to his rule. Jordan (known as Transjordan before 1949) was created by the British after World War I (1914-1918) to reward the Hashemites for supporting Britain against the Ottoman Empire. Because their dynasty had originated outside of Jordan and their authority to rule Jordan had been granted by a foreign power, the country’s Hashemite rulers did not enjoy the complete support of their subjects.” Here’s the link – http://tinyurl.com/qycbr. I was meaning to imply – wink, wink – that it was a bit rich coming from someone who had his country handed to him by the Brits. But then I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_I_of_Jordan, and decided that a grain just wasn’t enough. Here’s what happened to the writer of those words:
    “Abdullah, alone among the Arab leaders of his generation, was a moderate with a modestly pro-Western outlook. He would actually have signed a separate peace agreement with Israel, but for the Arab League’s militant opposition. Because of his dream for a Greater Syria comprising Jordan, Syria, and Iraq under a Hashemite dynasty, many Arab countries distrusted Abdullah, and the rivals of the Hashemites, the Saudis most of all.
    On July 20, 1951, Abdullah was visiting Jerusalem. When entering the Al Aqsa Mosque Abdullah was shot dead by Mustapha Shukri Usho. On July 16, Riad Bey al-Solh, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, had been assassinated in Amman, where rumors were circulating that Lebanon and Jordan were discussing a joint separate peace with Israel. The assassin passed through apparently heavy security. Abdullah was in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral and was shot while attending Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock in the company of his grandson, Prince Hussein. The Palestinian gunman, motivated by fears that the old king would make a separate peace with Israel, fired three fatal bullets into the King’s head and chest. Abdullah’s grandson, Prince Hussein Ibn Talal was at his side and was hit too. A medal that had been pinned to Hussein’s chest at his grandfather’s insistence deflected the bullet and saved his life.”

    Reply

  37. Pissed Off American says:

    Every time I see someone laud an apparent show of guts by one of these opportunists in Washington, I can’t help but think about “Give ‘Em Hell Harry”. Reid is STILL riding the photo op he got from that charade he pulled about Phase 2. Most Americans saw the publicity he got, and still think the AIPAC sucking pissant is a bulldog. It is far fewer Americans that have been paying attention, and realize that Phase 2 never saw the light of day, and apparently Reid has been bought off or made some sort of back room deal with that sack of shit Roberts. Why else would he so completely DROP the issue???
    I’d love to see Chaffee’s posturing amount to something more than a stage show, and maybe a couple of years ago I would have been more optimistic about his motives or his willingness to “follow through”. But these mewling cowards in Washington have let us down too many times, and trusting them has become nigh on impossible.
    Fuck ’em. We oughta fumigate the whole shebang. This Lebanon thing was the last straw for me. In the history books these bastards belong in the same chapter that Idi Amin and Adolph Hitler do. Bush and Cheney are the slimiest scum that has EVER soiled the carpets in what used to be OUR White House. I am truly ashamed of what our nation has become.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    Here is an excellent example of a US Bolton led UN….and why he should never be there…hell, let’s face it 90% of our politicans should be rubbed out..the only thing the US has done at the UN is protect Israel, flout international law and circumvent every possible move toward peace anywhere on earth.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1832202,00.html

    Reply

  39. M says:

    Steve: What do you mean by “Kurdistan”? I know historically there have been places named “Kurdistan,” but there is no Republic named “Kurdistan” that is recognized by the UN. So doesn’t that raise the question of whether “Kurds” can legitmately call themselves that? Aren’t they really just “Muslims of undefined nationality”? And what about “Assyrians”? I knew some in college. But can you point to Assyria on the map? I think these question is at least as serious as Anne’s question about “Palestine.” Please help.

    Reply

  40. Jay Goldfarb says:

    I’m very cynical these days. I can’t help but think that Chafee’s behavior has everything to do with his reelection campaign. He’ll go exactly as far as Karl Rove allows him to go in his opposition to Bolton. If Bolton’s confirmation is assured without Chafee’s support, then Chafee will vote against him (if Uncle Karl permits it).

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    Dear Ann…..
    Maybe this will help.
    I always found King Abdullah’s letter to America regarding the influx into Palestine to be quite rational.
    Also note that his description of Jewish control of Palestine lasting for only 70 years out of 19 centuries..and the actual origin of the name Palestine..is factualy accurate according the to British National Library records and also the original records in the ancient map section of our own Library of Congress.
    So instead of linking to all those various sources and then also having to discuss how many different non jewish and non arab enities and conquers controlled Palestine thruout history I think the short summary in this letter captures best the facts of the issue you raised.
    As the Arabs see the Jews”
    His Majesty King Abdullah,
    The American Magazine
    November, 1947
    Summary
    This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.
    “As the Arabs see the Jews”
    His Majesty King Abdullah,
    The American Magazine
    November, 1947
    I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.
    So many billions of words have been written about Palestine—perhaps more than on any other subject in history—that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.
    We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.
    There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.
    The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.
    Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.
    Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.
    Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.
    We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.
    Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?
    Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.
    No people on earth have been less “anti-Semitic” than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.
    Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment—far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.
    I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow “always been a Jewish land.” Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.
    Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their “historic claim.” I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!
    If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.
    Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.
    It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: “Palestine” is merely the Greek form of “Philistia.”
    Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.
    In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.
    This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!
    Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, “homeland” of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.
    Many Mexicans might claim Spain, “homeland” of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the “homeland” of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!
    I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish “historic connection” with Palestine. Most are more valid.
    In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.
    If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country “Arab”, what does?
    The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.
    May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.
    The Jewish “religious claim” to Palestine is as absurd as the “historic claim.” The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.
    We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now—almost three years after war’s end—still languish in cold, depressing camps.
    Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.
    And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine—a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East—to accept the entire burden. “We have hurt these people terribly,” cries the West to the East. “Won’t you please take care of them for us?”
    We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore “cruel and heartless nationalists”?
    We are a generous people: we are proud that “Arab hospitality” is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.
    But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us—even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.
    I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.
    And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!
    I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.
    Perhaps you have been informed that “the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine.”
    This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.
    The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!
    You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.
    Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: “My Jewish advisors tell me so.” He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.
    The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.
    Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.
    The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.
    The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.
    One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.
    If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives—or Palestine—we would both choose Palestine, too.
    But open up any other alternative to them—give them any other choice, and see what happens!
    No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors—just a little—to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.
    Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.
    In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.
    The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years—unless stopped now—it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.
    Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.
    We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?
    The sorry story of the so-called “Balfour Declaration,” which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.
    We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a “national home” for an entirely foreign people.
    Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.
    I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.
    In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.
    But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.
    In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.
    But the next year—the year of Hitler—it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!
    It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.
    I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
    I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.
    Quite aside from official American support for the “National Home” of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.
    The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.
    The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.
    It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the “refugee ships” that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.
    We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.
    I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.
    I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.
    What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
    Our answer is the same.
    And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?
    Ours will be the same.

    Reply

  42. Steve Clemons says:

    Anne:
    Thanks for your note. I mean the same thing by “Palestine” that President Bush did when he was the first President of the United States to unambiguously refer to the occupied territories as Palestine — and advocated a two state resolution.
    Best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  43. Anne Lieberman says:

    Dear Steve,
    What do you mean by the term (in the title of your post), Palestine? The question is not meant facetiously.
    Do you mean the territory of Judea, renamed Palaestina by the Romans in 135 CE? Or the revival of that name to describe territory within the British Mandate established by the League of Nations in 1922 (and expired in 1948)? If that, do you mean pre- or post-Transjordan? Perhaps you mean the term not geographically, but in reference to the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) and the Gaza strip, governed by Fatah and Hamas.
    If you are making geographical assumptions about some possible future Arab state, then you need to make that clear, because at present there is no such entity in existence. And if you are talking about nonexistent entities as if they were real, then you make it very difficult to take the rest of your comments seriously.

    Reply

  44. sinclair says:

    “The wanted dead or alive bullshit was for domestic consumption as I said before as was Ahmadinejad’s comments for the most part. If Bush was being genuine about wanting to catch bin Laden, don’t you think he would have made a concerted effort? Namely not screwing up tora bora, putting pressure on Pakistan, diverting resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, etc. Of course that all might be moot for the fact that bin Laden is probably long dead but the boogeyman lives on to continue to scare sheeple like you. If you don’t see the similarities in both their styles of cowboy diplomacy, I can’t really help you.”
    I still believe that bush’s statement was a genuine reflection of his feelings, but we all know that he is also COMPLETELY incompetent, thus I’m not surprised that he’s bungled the “hunt” for bin ladin and never made good on his threat.
    PLEASE don’t personalize this debate, “Managedchaos.” I see alot of that going on around this blog. It’s juvenile, pure and simple.
    I didn’t make any reference to being “scared” by this administration’s rhetoric and i don’t think that i deserve to be referred to as “sheeple,” nor do I need your “help,” thank you.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    I too think there is something interesting going on….I think there is a tiny seed of resistance to AIPAC and Israeli influence in congress….a very small one….but from an acorn a mighty tree can grow.
    It will be interesting to how many dems vote for Bolton since they have declared themselves the party of Israel for the next elections.

    Reply

  46. ManagedChaos says:

    What makes you think Bush wasn’t being genuine?! i think he was being quite genuine… too much so for some folks including his wife. I don’t see how this example is any way analagous to the iranian leader’s comments.
    Bad choice.
    The wanted dead or alive bullshit was for domestic consumption as I said before as was Ahmadinejad’s comments for the most part. If Bush was being genuine about wanting to catch bin Laden, don’t you think he would have made a concerted effort? Namely not screwing up tora bora, putting pressure on Pakistan, diverting resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, etc. Of course that all might be moot for the fact that bin Laden is probably long dead but the boogeyman lives on to continue to scare sheeple like you. If you don’t see the similarities in both their styles of cowboy diplomacy, I can’t really help you.

    Reply

  47. sinclair says:

    “Bush is the same way…didn’t he say something like he wanted bin Laden dead or alive? It’s obvious Bush was not being genuine.”
    What makes you think Bush wasn’t being genuine?! i think he was being quite genuine… too much so for some folks including his wife. I don’t see how this example is any way analagous to the iranian leader’s comments.
    Bad choice.

    Reply

  48. ManagedChaos says:

    In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran’s Offer of Dialogue
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700727.html
    Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces three years ago, an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table — including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.
    But top Bush administration officials, convinced the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse, belittled the initiative. Instead, they formally complained to the Swiss ambassador who had sent the fax with a cover letter certifying it as a genuine proposal supported by key power centers in Iran, former administration officials said.
    Now let’s look at what the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, infested by Zionist Neo-Cons, was doing during that time period. You have Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz directing people like Larry Franklin to hold meetings with Iranian dissidents and AIPAC spies in an effort to undermine negotiations between the US and Iran.
    “Referring to the June 2003 meeting in a New York Newsday article of August 8, 2003, an unnamed administration official told Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps that Pentagon hard-liners wanted to “antagonize Iran so that they get frustrated and then by their reactions harden U.S. policy against them.”
    Thanks Nudnik for showing your true loyalties and displaying your paranoia. Are you even an American citizen?

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  49. Matthew says:

    There needs to be a term–to match the reality–of the Israeli version of a Holocaust and “right to exist” denier. That is, every Israeli who denies Palestinian rights deserves to be reviled. Every day some Zionist posts on this site all these laments about how Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, etc, all don’t recognize the Israel’s “right to exist.” (Did Apartheid South Africa have a “right to exist”?) The irony is Israel doesn’t recognize the unconditional right of Palestinians to live in the land of their birth. So…if the recognition ain’t two-way, it should be no way. Until a final status conference is held and the legally recognized boundaries of an independant Palestinian state are recognized as a result of negotiation, then Israel deserves nothing. Except our contempt, of course.

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  50. Nudnik says:

    The reason Ahmadinejad is in office has absolutely nothing to do with US refusal to engage Iran. The “moderate” Khatami was making the same statements about Israel as Ahmadinejad, and was also actively pursuing a nuclear program.
    Moreover, it is completely irrelevant how many nuclear weapons Israel has. As the Iranian leadership has itself stated, one nuclear bomb will destroy Israel, while Israel’s response will only damage the Muslim world.
    When in history has engaging an extremist totalitarian regime worked out? Chamberlain engaged an extremist totalitarian regime, but that didnt seem to help. Israel engaged the extremist totalitarian Arafat and his regime, but that didnt work out so well. More recently Clinton and Carter engaged an extremist totalitarian regime, but that didnt work out so well either.
    One does not “engage” these types of regimes because it gets you nowhere.

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  51. ManagedChaos says:

    Ok, let’s say Ahmadinejad really did mean that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. Remind me again how many nukes Israel has as compared to Iran? Who is being paranoid here? The only reason why someone like Ahmadinejad is in office is because Israeli-firster Americans refused to allow the Bush administration to engage the Iranians back in 2003. This is just another fact that confirms the Neo-Con Zionists desire to perpetuate Israeli victimhood and to continue their perpetual war for perpetual peace agenda. Leaders of countries often say things for primarily domestic consumption to solidify their base and power. Bush is the same way…didn’t he say something like he wanted bin Laden dead or alive? It’s obvious Bush was not being genuine.

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  52. Nancy/Ca says:

    Thanks Steve for keeping the spotlight on Bolton; that crazy loon may get away with being confirmed but not without a hell of a fight from the WashingtonNote!! I found your website during the first hearings and Im just as impressed today with all of your hard work,insights,and thoughtful postings on foreign affairs. Keep up the good fight!!

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  53. MP says:

    “Wipe off”…”wipe away”…”vanish”…do any of them remotely suggest that the object of this sentence has the right to exist or stay or be left alone or left to flourish?
    I agree with Cole that it’s important to get the translation right, and misinterpretations are easy to make and can lead to tragedy, so I was very interested to read his rebuttal to Hitchens.
    But even Cole’s interpretation–a poetic “vanish”–in which the problem would vanish, but both of the parties to the problem would remain, seemed a bit strained.
    Since Ahmadinejad also seems to be a Holocaust denier, I’m left to assume, I fear the worst–though am willing to be disabused.

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  54. Nudnik says:

    Juan Cole’s “debunking” is thouroughly debunked by none other than the Iranians themselves.
    “But translators in Tehran who work for the president’s office and the foreign ministry disagree with them. All official translations of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s statement, including a description of it on his Web site (www.president.ir/eng/), refer to wiping Israel away. Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran’s most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say “wipe off” or “wipe away” is more accurate than “vanish” because the Persian verb is active and transitive.”

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  55. Nudnik says:

    The “right to exist” for Israel is clearly spelled out in Hamas’s charter. It is also plainly spoken by Hezbullah’s leader Nasrallah.
    The recent events in the PA and with Hezbullah have virtually assured that “final status talks” will be delayed for at least another generation. When the Arabs learn to stop attacking Israel, and start teaching their kids co-existence instead of jihad, then they will be ready for peace.

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  56. Frankel Luntz says:

    The “right to exist” phrase has been cleverly used for a long time to conjure up guilt of the Holacaust extermination.

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  57. Pissed Off American says:

    It is astounding to me that Bolton and the Neo-Con/Zionist factions keep referring to this “right to exist” thing. Considering Israel’s capture of the Palestinian cabinet members, and its systematic razing of Lebanon’s and Palestine’s physical governmental infrastructure, it seems to me that it is ISRAEL that is denying BOTH of it’s nieghbor’s the “right to exist”.

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  58. ManagedChaos says:

    “…and the leadership of Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map.”
    Juan Cole is about the only one who took this propaganda head on and debunked it…
    http://www.juancole.com/2006/05/hitchens-hacker-and-hitchens.html
    Whatever this quotation from a decades-old speech of Khomeini may have meant, Ahmadinejad did not say that “Israel must be wiped off the map” with the implication that phrase has of Nazi-style extermination of a people. He said that the occupation regime over Jerusalem must be erased from the page of time.
    This is blatant lie and very useful Zionist propaganda. Yet no one is ever called out on this. The Zionists do not seek to have peace in the middle east. They must continue the perpetuation of victimhood for all eternity and hide behind and claim to represent all Jews while these Jews take the brunt of the consequences of these Zionist’s actions. Until the US is an honest broker and until the likes of AIPAC do not own our Congress and higher eschelons of government, there is no prospect for peace.

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  59. Matthew says:

    Fascinating post. It is nice to know at least one of our Senators understands that solving the problems in Middle East will require addressing legitimate grievances instead of just spouting umeaningless cliches. Chafee’s question was brave. The neo-cons don’t believe in Palestine. They–like AIPAC–use concerns about terrorism to constantly delay final status talks until the two-state solution becomes impossible. Three cheers for Chafee!

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  60. reena says:

    thanks steve for giving us these updates. very glad to hear that chafee has been pressing bolton at least there are some that are willing to do so at this time but i fear we are in the pre-iraq war stage when both parties are standing together in this case in absolute support of israel not matter what int’l laws they are breaking.
    i too want america to be safe and their response thus far is not making us safer but causing all of us to live in continuous fear by rhetoric and by the inflammation of hatred in the region for our policies.
    i hope someone will ask about kucinich’s house resolution because that is one that i could support for what its worth.

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