Media Alert: Brian Lehrer Show and C-Span

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7-27 Al Jazeera Event 007.jpg
Two quick media alerts for this morning.
At 11 am EST, I will be chatting with WNYC’s policy sophisticate Brian Lehrer about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy initiatives and positions. You can listen live through the web if you like.
Then, at 12:15 pm EST, I will be chairing a session with Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar at the New America Foundation. The meeting will stream live here at The Washington Note — and will also appear live today on C-Span 2.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

109 comments on “Media Alert: Brian Lehrer Show and C-Span

  1. Dan Kervick says:

    “Goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob g’goo”
    Truer words were never spoken.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    “Maybe the entire country isn’t crazy. Have you considered the
    possibility?”
    Yeah. Until recently I sincerely believed that the surrealist
    movement died with Salvador Dali, and that the majority of
    Israelis had some cognitive access to the real world. But after
    you started posting here, expressing the surrealist world view in
    every post, I`ve got some doubts. Reading the statements of left
    wing liberal editor Aluf Benn and getting a glimpse into what
    goes as “political science” in Jerusalem strengthened those
    doubts considerably. Comparing Obama to Achmedinejad,
    Hitler, and Nebuchadnezzar is surrealism in my book.
    BTW, we at FØLSENKRÅPP estimate that Norway will be part of
    the Caliphate around 2025. We often travel to Muslim countries
    like Yemen, Syria and Saudi Arabia, attending Arab language
    courses and other stuff, as part of our mental preparations to
    become good dhimmis. Every night we sit under the Arab moon
    singing John Lennon:
    “I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
    I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob.
    Goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob g’goo.”
    Are you familiar with that song?

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    Paul, so if you know who Aluf Benn is, why don’t you have the foggiest notion what reality looks like to Israeli Jews? Hint: maybe if the whole country is reacting the same way, they are aware of some aspect of reality you are missing up there in Norway, like what the window glass, excuse me, Palestinians, have been doing and saying. Maybe the entire country isn’t crazy. Have you considered the possibility?
    So Oslo is already 20% Muslim then? Less than a generation to majority Muslim status, then. But it won’t be a problem for you, since you are obviously well prepared to be a good dhimmi.

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    You are the one who destroys the hope for peace by telling the Palestinians that they are always right, they never need to compromise, they don’t need to accept the existence of Israel, they no longer even need to pretend. You and all your fellow do-gooders. I notice I don’t even hear you claiming that Fatah or Hamas accept the existence of Israel.
    You never tell the Palestinians they have to make hard choices, give up on destroying Israel, claim a certain border, take back their own refugees and learn to live next to Israel. Never. Because once you are the proud “victim of Israel” you are morally pure forever. Transparent as window glass.
    You wish to expunge your own civilizational guilt over the history of Europe and America at the expense of the Jews. Not a new pattern, that, come to think of it.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    2009 saw the birth of a new, rather exotic version of Anti-
    Americanism, where the main threat is incarnated in a black
    American president with a suspect middle name, aided by a
    bunch of “self hating Jews” in his administration.
    According to contemporary “political science” at the Hebrew
    University in Jerusalem, the American President is not only on
    the same side as Achmedinejad and Hamas in the current
    existential struggle, but the last enemy in a long historical line
    stretching from Nebuchadnezzar and Titus to Adolf Hitler.
    Here is a short excerpt of what Ira Sharansky, Professor in
    Political Science at the Hebrew University, had to say about the
    “The lessons of Tisha b’Av” in Jerusalem Post yesterday:
    “Tisha b’Av (the ninth of Av) falls this year on July 30, and marks
    the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE and the Second
    Temple in 70 CE.”
    (…)
    “For some, Tisha b’Av cautions strength and actions to preempt
    those who would continue the work of Babylon, Rome and the
    Nazis. For others, it is a reminder of their people’s longevity.
    Jeremiah saw destruction in his time as a product of Judea’s
    failure to recognize the reality of Babylon’s power. Josephus
    explained the destruction he witnessed by Jews’ refusal to
    accept the might and attractions of Rome. We hope that
    Netanyahu will do better with Obama than his predecessors did
    with Nebuchadnezzar and Titus.”
    http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/Sharkansky/entry/the_lessons_of_ti
    sha_b

    Reply

  6. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, every country in the world has responsibilities that go beyond the specific agreements they have signed. These responsibilities derive from their general obligations to the world community, and those obligations in many cases flow from more general compacts and treaties that they have signed in the past. We are all bound by international law and rational standards of international order. Israel has an obligation, for example, not to colonize and annex Palestinian territory. This obligation flows from the world community’s explicit proscription against the acquisition of territory by force.
    Now I can already hear you guffawing about my quaint beliefs in international law, world communities and every other principle that is not in harmony with the Israeli ideology of chauvinistic ultranationalism, and the sovereignty of might and national aspirations. So perhaps Israel should leave the UN and withdraw from every other international order it is part of? Yet Israelis seem to want all of the benefits of membership in the international community without any of the obligations.
    I don’t understand your repeated claims about my treating the Palestinians as “window glass”. I see the Palestinians quite well. They are the guys whose neck Israel is standing on and whose land Israel keeps taking. I suppose you mean I am ignoring the security issues. But the old attempts to tie the colonization movement to security have been exposed as misdirection and gibberish. Do you seriously expect the rest of the world to believe any longer that the colonization of the West Bank has anything to do with security, and that Israel is not more than capable of defending themselves against the miserable Palestinians if Israel withdraws from the West Bank? Thanks to the willing cooperation of Israel’s shameless government and apologists, the whole world now sees that what drives the colonization movement is an illicit, unbridled lust for land; a sadistic urge to dominate the weak; and a racist zeal to exterminate the “bugs”.
    Aluf Benn’s petulant unseriousness comes thorough with his complaint: “The Arabs got the Cairo speech; we got silence.” So is that what this is all about? Israelis are sulking because they didn’t get a visit?!
    The neurotic, mercurial spinelessness of Israeli liberals never ceases to amaze. They are utterly unreliable. Don’t they understand that the United States has just about blown its capacity to participate in any meaningful way in a peace process because of its close association with every recent Israeli offense and piece of intransigence, and that to repair that capacity our new President cannot start off his administration with another Israel suck-up tour? Don’t they get that we are barely winding down an illegal and reviled war in the heart of the Middle East, and that Obama has to do something to pull us up out of the political mud, and that if he doesn’t do that there is no way that the United States can deliver any meaningful progress toward peace in Israel and Palestine? I can understand why the ever-expanding cadres of Israeli wingnuts have no interest in these challenges, but why doesn’t a supposed liberal like Benn have a clue?
    And doesn’t Benn get the fact that his own country has just elected a far right government following a savage war, and that they now have an openly racist Foreign Minister who is an international embarrassment? And yet our government received that barbarian without much a fuss. And we just sent four high officials to Israel to hold Israeli hands. And yet we still haven’t prostrated our dignity enough to satisfy Benn’s delicate insecurities.
    Mr. Benn: attend to your own house. Stop the weakness; stop the bellyaching; stop empowering reactionaries and do something constructive to re-start a peace process.
    I’ve got an idea for liberal Israelis. Why don’t you stop attacking the genuinely liberal American president who is only trying to restart a peace process that you all claim you support, while you are at the same time hugging the local fascists who are all around you. Stop being part of the problem and get to work on abolishing your disgraceful government. Stop spinelessly caving in to fascist blood-and-soil appeals to tribal loyalty, martial spirit, and national-ethnic rights to more land and breathing room. Get back on the right side.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Correction to my latest comment: “On a general level, at least two
    factors are required for a new state to be created and LEGALLY
    RECOGNIZED AS A state”

    Reply

  8. JohnH says:

    Obama is asking you: “Do you really want peace, or are you just talking?” The answer is obvious–they are just talking. They want land–all the land (and the air and the water and Gaza’s seabed gas). But hasbara obscures that fact, as Israel has talked peace for 60 years, but fought desperately to avoid having it, for it has always meant giving up land.
    Now Obama’s is forcing Israel to declare PUBLICLY for all the world to see–do you want land (uncontrolled “natural” settlement growth) or peace? Refusing to reign in the settlement project means that Israel has rejected peace. Now the whole world can see Israel’s real intentions–land, all of the land.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    “Paul: Just to mail you a clue, Aluf Benn is the very liberal editor
    of the left-wing paper Haaretz.”
    What makes you think I didn´t know that? I`ve often linked to
    articles in Haaretz here.
    “The entire Israeli public reacted to Obama’s speech the same
    way…”
    If that`s true with regard to the Holocaust reference, it`s even
    worse.
    On a general level, at least two factors are required for a new
    state to be created and accepted as a de facto state. First, the
    dynamics on the ground (and possible meddling from foreign
    powers). Secondly the initiatives and acceptance from the
    international community.
    With respect to the latter, Holocaust obviously played a part
    right after WWII. And as Dan said above, Zionism was founded
    and got a large part of it`s rationale as a response to centuries
    of anti-semitism, in addition to the German idea of nationalism,
    first expressed by Herder, which has been very powerful in the
    19th and 20th century, as you know.
    Now, you Israelis have been indoctrinated in school by the myth
    of the Zionists fighters creating Israel thanks to their skills and
    heroism. This is natural in a young nation – we`ve learned
    similar things in Norway until recently with regard to the origins
    of our country (we got full independence in 1905). And I guess
    this is one of the reasons why you can believe in the insane idea
    that the Holocaust reference in Obama`s Cairo speech was a
    product of Arab or Iranian anti-semitism.
    Add some paranoia, some anti-islam sentiments, some anti-
    Arab sentiments and the ugly, old rooted European racism
    expressed by your Russian immigrant community – and there
    you have a large part of Israeli hostility toward Obama. The rest
    of it is rational: by demanding a full settlement freeze, the
    President of the United States tries to transfer some of burden
    upon those largely responsible for the whole mess, that JohnH
    talked about in his last comment above.
    And Israel understandably feels uncomfortable. By demanding a
    freeze, Obama is asking you: “Do you really want peace, or are
    you just talking?” This makes the black President with an Arab
    middle name a pain in the ass in Israel. I acknowledge that.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    “But Israel’s responsibilities go beyond the matters it has agreed to, and the Road Map wasn’t a contract or agreement between the Quartet and Israel. It just doesn’t matter what lines Israel crossed out on its own copy.”
    Dan: What a quaint formulation. So it doesn’t matter what Israel actually signs, its responsibilities go far beyond its agreements. The “real” roadmap was written by the Quartet alone.
    Don’t tell me, let me guess: nobody else’s responsibilities go far beyond their agreements. In fact, if you are are not Israel, you can quietly forget your agreements when they don’t suit you (cf. US and Quartet promises to support Israel if it made the Oslo concessions or withdrew from Gaza). As for the Palestinians: what Palestinians? transparent window glass. I don’t see them and neither do you.
    Paul: Just to mail you a clue, Aluf Benn is the very liberal editor of the left-wing paper Haaretz. The entire Israeli public reacted to Obama’s speech the same way because for Israelis, Palestinians are NOT window glass. Israelis actually hear the arguments Palestinians put forth day in and day out about how the Jews are European thieves with no connection to Palestine, no history, no rights to an inch of Palestine, except the Europeans felt sorry for them after the European crime of the Holocaust, which didn’t even happen in the first place. The Israelis recognized this line when Obama peddled it back to them in duly softened, “nuanced” form (Obama did tell the Arabs to stop denying the Holocaust, thanks so very much). That’s why in a recent poll, only 6% of Israeli Jews think Obama is “pro-Israel.”

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Dan,
    thanks for the link, especially the reference to what Aluf Benn,
    editor-at-large of Haaretz, said in the New York Times op-ed:
    “”Here we are taught that Zionist determination and struggle —
    not guilt over the Holocaust — brought Jews a homeland.” He
    then says Obama’s comments “infuriated” Israelis who felt the
    comments were redolent of those of “enemies like Mahmoud
    Ahmedinejad.””
    As you saw, I joked with Nadine above, as a reaction to her
    absurd claims about Obama`s Cairo speech. I said:
    “Are you sure he borrowed this Holocaust narrative from the
    Arabs, and not from Ahmedinejad, to secretly promote the
    imminent return of the Mahdi?”
    I thought her interpretation was so weird that I wanted to bend
    it a bit, to show the ridiculous absurdity of her argument. I
    didn`t realize that the editor of Haaretz already had quoted that
    lunatic argument, approvingly, as an interpretation in vogue
    among Israelis today, in the NYT.
    What can I say? Does it make any sense to argue with grownups
    expressing such opinions? Personally, I think I prefer to discuss
    polygamy as an expression of the highest degree of exaltation in
    the celestian kingdom with my mormon friends in Følsenkråpp.
    “The Arabs got the Cairo speech; we got silence”, Benn said.
    Here I fully agree with the editor of Haaretz. We`ve been
    ignored since Roosevelt at the Washington Navy Yard made his
    famous speech on 16 september 1942, during the handover
    ceremony of the Royal Norwegian Navy ship HNoMS King
    Haakon VII:
    “If there is anyone who still wonders why this war is being
    fought, let him look to Norway. If there is anyone who has any
    delusions that this war could have been averted, let him look to
    Norway; and if there is anyone who doubts the democratic will
    to win, again I say, let him look to Norway.”

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    A lot of this discussion seems moot to me. Fact is, Israel will NEVER willingly agree to a cessation of settlement construction. Having the land–all the land–is far more important to the Zionist fantasy than having a peaceful existence or having positive relations with the US or any other nation. But I don’t think the Israeli government fully appreciates the cost of never having peace because they have never really faced the full consequences. So far they have been more than happy to live with a manageable amount of terrorism (managed largely with US military aid) in return for a free reign in seizing more and more land.
    Obama seems to, or at least seemed to understand the enormous toll taken on US national interests. He has seized on the right issue–freezing settlements. Unless Israel can be convinced to give Palestinians some of the land (the West Bank is about 22% of the Palestine Mandate, if I recall correctly), there can be no peace. And the lack of peace undermines US relations with Arab public sentiments, which in turn undermines the already fragile legitimacy of vitally strategic oil-rich tyrants. Instability in any of these countries ultimately threatens US energy security.
    The real trick is to start taking some of the enormous toll taken on US national interests and transferring the burden to Israel. Once Israel starts to realize the full consequences of its behavior, then they can will start to behave in a way that rationally responds to bearing more of the cost for the toll taken on US interests. This will increase the chances for accommodation with its Arab neighbors and those under occupation and ultimately serve everybody’s interests, though Israel’s dream of having all of the land will be shattered.
    I think everybody knows this. But is anyone willing to act on it?

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    dan kervick that’s true about the usa gaining credibility under obama… i continue to hope he’s able to turn things around in the usa, however monumental the task is…

    Reply

  14. Dan Kervick says:

    “Israel never agreed to a freeze of all construction over the Green Line and the US never insisted they should, no matter how many times you claim otherwise.”
    Yes, I think I have already explicitly acknowledged that, Nadine, two or three times. But Israel’s responsibilities go beyond the matters it has agreed to, and the Road Map wasn’t a contract or agreement between the Quartet and Israel. It just doesn’t matter what lines Israel crossed out on its own copy.
    As for any other winks, nods or napkin notes your government exchanged with the war criminal G.W. Bush? I wouldn’t count on Obama feeling bound by any of those either. People in Israel might think we are losing credibility. But we are gaining credibility with most other countries in the world, as recent polling indicates. Only the Israelis disapprove of the Cairo speech.

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    Dan you are reading documents in a funny farm. Israel never agreed to a freeze of all construction over the Green Line and the US never insisted they should, no matter how many times you claim otherwise. That’s why Israel wrote “with reservations” on its agreement, and spelled out those reservations.
    Moreover, the Bush-Sharon letters, which I have linked to, do exist, and Obama is trashing his own credibility by pretending otherwise. You seem to forget that two can play at the game of denying the policy statements of previous administrations.
    Furthermore, I am NOT against peace or a viable Palestinian state. IF there was even a small peace faction on the Palestinian side that wanted the two state solution, I would be all for working with them and strengthening them.
    But unlike you, the Palestinians aren’t window glass to me. I see them. Hamas rules Gaza and is irredentist. Fatah is corrupt and also irredentist. The Fatah ruling council, which is about to have its first meeting in 20 years, is composed of 17 men all over 65, 14 of whom are implacably committed to the destruction of Israel. One of these men is 71 year old Abu Gneim, who is about to be named “moderate” Abu Mazen’s heir. Abu Gneim is so hardline he refused to recognize the Oslo accords or leave Tunis. Fatah Honchos now openly proclaim that Fatah has never recognized Israel and only the figleaf organization of the Palestnian Authority, without power or authority, has recognized Israel. The PA is the puppet they keep around to play at moderation and get money from dupes in the West like you. Fatah and Hamas and the PLO all proclaim their absolute right to all of Palestine from the river to the sea and “armed resistance” until they get it.
    Things look quite different once the Palestinians stop being window glass. It takes two sides to make peace, and this lot isn’t about to even consider making peace. When they have died off we can see where we are with the new generation. That is just realism, a word I hear you are fond of.

    Reply

  16. ... says:

    dan k – interesting conclusions off the bizarre article you have shared… it relates back to some earlier comments you made earlier today as well… perhaps wigwag would like to comment on this article as well…

    Reply

  17. Dan Kervick says:

    Hi Paul,
    Here is an article published today at the Foreign Policy site that takes a similar approach to mine, and deals directly with the Benn op-ed in the NY Times:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/07/29/is_obama_ignoring_israel
    Note the photo, which is an example of the sort of bigoted crap Obama has had to put up for months, all for having the temerity to insist that Israel comply with previously articulated US and international demands that they stop expanding their colonies – and for doing so while daring to possess dark skin and the middle name “Hussein”.
    The bizarre new phenomenon, that works its way into the Benn piece, that Israelis are now even comparing Obama to the Holocaust-slighting Ahmadinejad, just for acknowledging the obvious fact that the Zionist movement had something from the very beginning to do with the history of Jewish oppression in Europe, is one of the most scurrilous and twisted slurs that have ever been devised by the crypto-fascist school of the Israeli apologetics, the school grounded in Revisionist Zionism.
    One only need read a few pages of the seminal Zionist literature to see the evident truth of Obama’s unobjectionable claim. *Some* early Zionists, Like Louis Brandeis combined an understanding of Zionism as a response to antisemitism with an understanding of Zionism as an expression of a national longing for a homeland in Palestine particularly. *Others* were motivated entirely by the need to create a Jewish national home somewhere as a response to antisemitism, and had no particular concern with or designs on Palestine. But *all* of the original Zionists were motivated by Jewish suffering and oppression, and particularly by what was happening in Russia. Interestingly, it is now the descendants of those Russian Jews that are driving the colonization and ethnic separation movements in Israel.
    Apparently this state of historical denial among über-Sabra crackpots is the new propaganda normal among Israel’s mouthpieces. Obama’s statement is something that no balanced observer of history would ever have denied. And it probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow if it hadn’t been articulated by that dangerous and scary negro-Arab President from America. What we’re getting here is a revival of the Reverend Wright flap, with a strong undercurrent of the slimy insinuation that every black man in America is a Jew-hating Muslim apostle of Farrakhan.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine has made it perfectly clear since day one here that she
    doesn`t belive in peace. Every effort to make peace is based on
    the naive assumption that the Arabs are not evil, and that is
    kindergarten-thinking, so forget it.
    The Muslims are evil, and Obama`s middle name is an omen. It`s
    as simple as that. She`s been repeating this message from her
    first to her last post.
    Perhaps she represents the new generation in Tel Aviv?

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine
    “If by “Road Map” you mean only the first draft, not what Israel actually agreed to, then Israel as you say never agreed to it.”
    Huh? There is no “first draft”. The Road Map is not in the drafting phase, but is a done document. It’s a peace plan that was published in 2003. It is not some kind of agreement between Israel and the US, or Israel and the rest of the world. It a plan formulated by the members of the Quartet and *presented* to the Israelis and the Palestinians. Since the Road Map is the Quartet’s plan, published under their name, only the Quartet can say what is in the Road Map and what isn’t.
    Of course, the Israelis can choose to ignore the Road Map at their own diplomatic peril, or dream up and endorse some alternate Road Map of their own devising. But that has nothing to do with the Quartet’s Road Map.
    “The Obama administration is the one who reneged on previous US government understandings. He can hardly have “reaffirmed” something that no previous administration ever affirmed in the first place. From Resolution 242 on, the US position has been that final borders should be settled by negotiation.”
    You are quite abundantly confused about this, Nadine. First, the settlement freeze is not a decision on final borders. It is only one of the immediate steps specified in Phase I of the Road Map. It is just a confidence building precursor to further progress on a peace plan. The reaffirmation of the Road Map and reaffirmation of US support for a settlement freeze, as conventionally understood to include *all* settlements, is not in an any way incompatible with idea that final borders will be settled in negotiations between the parties.
    Second, the US clearly *has* affirmed a commitment to the settlement freeze as understood by the Mitchell Report. The US is one of the four members of the Quartet that published the Road Map in 2003, which establishes these performance targets. So why you would say the US never affirmed these targets mystifies me.
    The Road Map calls for a Phase II “creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders through a process of Israeli-Palestinian engagement, launched by the international conference.”
    Then it calls in for a Phase III in which a second international conference will “launch a process with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet, leading to a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements; and, to support progress toward a comprehensive Middle East settlement between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria, to be achieved as soon as possible.”
    So, again, there is nothing in the Road Map that is incompatible with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a final border.
    Now I take it you are just opposed to all these phases and whatnot Nadine, because you simply oppose peace and oppose a viable Palestinian state. You apparently have a lot of company in Israel. Indeed, it is a remarkable development that the Netanyahu government’s position is reduced to a frank, “Hell, no! We’re not going to stop expanding! Jerusalem? We want it all!”
    This is a perverse kind of progress, because previous Israeli governments had usually offered us some sort of rigmarole about the settlements as a security measure or a tactic of some kind. And apologists usually tried to blame the colonization on “a minority of extremists”. But now it seems Israel is content to lay its ugliest side – its frequently aggressive, expansionist and fanatical nature – right out on the table. And you’ve got all kinds of folks coming out of the closet to join themselves with the whacked-out bigots in the colonies, and assert their mystical ancient right to the land.
    So that’s your business, and the business of the rest of the Israeli right. But in a few months, a lot of more moderate Israelis and American supporters of Israel are going to wonder why they went temporarily bonkers, got all blood-and-soil, and rallied to the side of the rejectionist and reactionist obstructionism of the far right Netanyahu-Lieberman government, instead of accepting the common sense of a settlement freeze.
    The whole point of the first steps of Phase I of the Road Map was to say, “OK, first everyone chill! Stop launching rockets, stop running suicide bombers and stop the settlement activity. Just stop! Don’t move! Take a deep breath. … OK, now let’s move forward.”
    If Israel isn’t even willing to take this first, elementary confidence-building step, it should be clear to all how full of balderdash and bad faith is Israel’s approach to dealing with the international community.

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine, you said:
    “All I can say, Paul, is that Muslim intimidation clearly works.
    Oslo is what, 10% Muslim now?”
    Nadine, you wont`t believe it, but it`s almost 20% right now in
    Oslo. They are very fertile, as you know. But if you move from
    Tel Aviv to Oslo, I may provide you with an address to an
    anonymous but very prominent member of our underground
    movement “FølsenkrÃ¥pp”.
    Ever heard about it?
    Didn`t think so. We operate very secretly. You won`t find
    anything about Følsenkråpp within the google browser or other
    search systems. But give me a sign, and I`ll introduce you to
    some very high level people within the organisation.
    Kaffistova (at Grensen, in the center of Oslo) is our secret
    meeting place on Saturdays at 5 PM. I assure you: there are
    never any muslims there. Ever.
    But I hope you don´t mind that we are all mormons?

    Reply

  21. nadine says:

    Dan, you were the one saying Israel had reneged on its Road Map agreements. If by “Road Map” you mean only the first draft, not what Israel actually agreed to, then Israel as you say never agreed to it. If they didn’t agree to it then they can’t have reneged on it.
    The Obama administration is the one who reneged on previous US government understandings. He can hardly have “reaffirmed” something that no previous administration ever affirmed in the first place. From Resolution 242 on, the US position has been that final borders should be settled by negotiation.

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine, I want to hear more from you about Obama`s middle
    name, and the Holocaust narrative he borrowed from Hamas and
    used in his biased speech in Cairo!
    Are you sure he borrowed this Holocaust narrative from the
    Arabs, and not from Ahmedinejad, to secretly promote the
    imminent return of the Mahdi?
    You know, Obama wanting to talk with the mullahs in Iran and all
    that…

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    I don’t get it Nadine. Even Weinglass’s account makes it clear that Israel’s reservations were never formally incorporated into the Road Map, and that all the Israelis were able to pull out of even the Bush administration was the non-committal diplomatic statement that the reservations were “noteworthy” and “require substantive attention”.
    But as I recognized above, you are right to note that Israel never committed to the full version of the freeze. They are still out there on the ledge by themselves. The Obama administration has re-affirmed the international consensus understanding of what an Israeli settlement is, and thus what a freeze means, and is not playing around with disputed, non-formalized understandings pertaining to private conversations among some officials, understandings that were never raised to the status of official policy.
    But honestly, I don’t know why you are even bothering with all this. The bottom line is that you are committed to the continued expansion of Israeli colonies. I would say that people who take this position in the present context are simply not serious about a peace process of any kind.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    “”His Muslim background and his middle name of Hussein… a wee bit more alarming to Israelis than his skin color…” wow… I would say that this proves beyond any doubt that neither you nor the Israelis are racists.”
    Did you hear the Cairo speech? Obama was parading exactly those attributes that nobody was allowed to mention during the campaign, followed by a string of flattering lies to the Islamic world (did you know the Muslim world helped start the Renaissance? I didn’t, and neither did any scholar of the Renaissance. Unless you count the flood of Greek refugees from the fall of Constantinople in 1453, which I doubt was what Obama meant.)
    Obama is allowed to point out his Muslim background whenever HE choses, but if anybody else so much as mentions it, they’re racist! racist! racist!
    Bunch of crap. And of course the flood of anti-Jewish invective coming out of the Arab world, denying them any rights anywhere, including the right to live in an inch of the Middle East, broadcasting every blood libel of the Protocols and Mein Kampf, well that doesn’t exist for you because you pretend it doesn’t exist. All I can say, Paul, is that Muslim intimidation clearly works. Oslo is what, 10% Muslim now?
    Actually, I am less worried about Obama’s Mideast policy than I was before, because I was afraid he would show some skill in shifting to a pro-Arab position. He has shown complete and utter cluelessness instead so he has achieved nothing.
    The Israeli papers are saying that George Mitchell is talking with Bibi Netanyahu about possible actions to further weaken the position of Ahmedinejad. Now, that might be a useful line of discussion.

    Reply

  25. nadine says:

    Dan, you are quoting from the initial draft of the Road Map, which is not what Israel actually agreed to. By the same logic, you will soon accuse Israel of breaking its commitment to Obama not to build anything in East Jerusalem, another commitment Israel never made. Dov Weinglass, the Israeli negotiator, explain in an Yediot Ahronot op-ed what the final Road Map agreement was:
    “Beginning in the mid-1990s Israel agreed not to build new settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza but retained its right to expand existing settlements according to the principle of “natural growth.” Through 2002, Israel proceeded on the basis of several “understandings” that were reached between then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Colin Powell, though the Americans completely denied the existence of such understandings.
    Indeed, the American claim found expression in the Road Map which was first submitted to Israel in the second half of 2002. In the section dealing with settlements, Israel is required “in accordance with the Mitchell Report” to “freeze all settlement activity including the natural growth of settlements.” Israel objected to this clause, and accordingly, it was deleted in the corrected draft returned to the administration.
    At the beginning of 2003, Israel submitted its reservations on the Road Map. On Thursday, April 24, 2003, I headed an Israeli delegation to Secretary of State Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, and other senior administration officials. The issue of the settlements, it was decided, would be “discussed in a separate forum.” This “separate forum” convened on May 1, 2003 in Jerusalem. Senior administration officials Steven Hadley and Elliott Abrams met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and me, and, over the next two days succeeded in working out an exact definition of the term “settlement freeze” in the Road Map. According to this definition, (1) no new settlements would be built, (2) no Palestinian land would be expropriated or otherwise seized for the purpose of settlement, (3) construction within the settlements would be confined to “the existing construction line”, and (4) public funds would not be earmarked for encouraging settlements.
    On a further meeting held with Ms. Rice on May 14, 2003, the agreement on the definition of the term “freeze” was confirmed, thus concluding the discussions on Israel’s reservations on the Road Map. Since the meeting also affirmed that the draft of the Road Map would constitute the final document (in part in order to prevent “reopenings” by other parties), the Israeli reservations were not included in the body of the text but rather were publicly recognized by the administration as reservations that “require substantive attention.” The administration further asserted that it “shares Israel’s view” that the reservations are “noteworthy,” and would give them “full and serious consideration” in applying the Road Map (White House communiqué, May 23, 2003).
    The result, as such, was that the Israeli commitment to a settlement freeze in the Road Map reached during these discussions provided for construction and development in settlements within the “construction line.” Accordingly, two days later (May 25, 2003), the Israeli government approved the version of the Road Map that included Israel’s reservations.”
    http://www.israelpolitik.org/2009/06/03/on-building-in-the-settlements-and-the-roadmap/

    Reply

  26. Dan Kervick says:

    “You don’t think that Obama’s prattling on about his Muslim background and his middle name of Hussein…”
    You make my point for me Nadine. Obama never prattled on about any of this stuff. Indeed, he pushed in the opposite direction, taking every opportunity to remind people that he was a Christian, not a Muslim … even to the extent of discriminating against the Muslim-Americans associated with his own campaign, something Steve complained about on more than one occasion last year.
    On the other hand there was a viral email campaign in the late winter and early spring 0f 2008, targeting the American Jewish community, that attempted to convince people that Obama was in fact a secret Muslim.
    One of the nuttier recent innovations in pro-Israel propaganda has to be the new Nadine-Frum line that Obama’s recognition that “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history”, and evocation of the role of the Holocaust in the founding of Israel, now counts as a “Palestinian narrative”. But your version of it comes out even crazier than David Frum’s.
    Obama can’t catch a break from you extremists. He goes to Cairo and lectures the Muslim world on Holocaust denialism, and the result is that he is accused of *focusing too much on the Holocaust* and promulgating an insidious anti-Israel narrative.
    Theodore Herzl argued for the creation of a Jewish State as a response to oppression and anti-Semitism, and held that “the driving force” that would lead to the creation of a Jewish state was “the distress of the Jews.” And yet even this isn’t enough now for the new holier-than-the-Zionist-pope brand of Zionism. Not only is it not enough: a US President who cites the distress of the Jews as lying at the root of the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is scurrilously accused on that basis of advancing the narrative of Israel’s enemies. It’s hard to say whether this development is more shocking than it is hilarious or more hilarious than it is shocking.
    Nobody would have dreamed of advancing such a preposterous line until the new crew of frenzied and bigoted Obama-haters on the unhinged fringe of the pro-Israel movement came along.

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    Oh well, another of chunk of Nadine’s load of crap down the drain.
    About Israeli attitudes toward Black Jews–
    http://www.rense.com/general25/rct.htm
    “Israeli mayors unabashedly urge the government to keep Ethiopian immigrants away from their cities.”
    And talk about all the Ethiopian Jews next to the Dimona nuclear site. Talk about environment racism!

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok Nadine,
    let me try to be rational. Please click on the link Dan provided
    above. Actually there is a portrait of you in that article. But don`t
    worry: you`re not among the Russian racists referred to there.
    You`re among the religious bigots, worrying about Obama`s
    middle name.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine, you are amazing!
    “His Muslim background and his middle name of Hussein… a
    wee bit more alarming to Israelis than his skin color…” wow… I
    would say that this proves beyond any doubt that neither you
    nor the Israelis are racists.
    Dan recently admitted that he felt embarrassed when a certain
    other commenter posted on the same thread as him. I wonder
    what WigWag thinks right now.
    If anyone feels any urge to argue rationally against the latest
    post from Nadine, feel free to do so. I honestly don´t have a
    clue what to say after this muslim-background-middle-name-
    Hussein- alarming rant. But it was all obvious in Nadine`s first
    post at TWN.

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    What a load of tripe. You don’t think that Obama’s prattling on about his Muslim background and his middle name of Hussein (you know, the stuff that nobody was allowed to mention during the campaign), and reciting the Palestinian “narrative” of Israel’s being founded because of the Holocaust might be a wee bit more alarming to Israelis than his skin color?
    There was never a hint of Israelis not liking Secretaries Powell or Rice because they were black (unlike the Egyptians, whose govt newspaper Al Ahram ran a cartoon of Sec Rice as a pregnant monkey).
    Do you seriously not know how many Israeli Jews are black?

    Reply

  31. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine wrote:
    “The Road Map, which Israel accepted with reservations, never committed Israel to halting all construction within settlements. Go back and read it. You are just wrong in your facts.”
    Nadine, the Road Map prescribed as part of Phase I that, “Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.”
    In the Recommendations section of the Mitchell Report, it was stated that:
    “The Government of Israel should freeze all settlement activity, including the “natural growth” of existing settlements. The kind of security cooperation desired by the Government of Israel cannot for long co-exist with settlement activity.”

    Reply

  32. Dan Kervick says:

    Here’s just more item to throw on top of a growing pile of direct and anecdotal evidence for the claim that a substantial amount of the Israeli animus toward Obama is animated by aspects of his racial or ethnic identity and heritage, unrelated to the policies he is pursuing:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1098069.html
    But the mounting evidences of Israeli racism during the past year or two have been coming frequently.
    From the beginning of Obama’s candidacy for the presidency, the level of Israeli hostility toward him has been perplexingly intense and extreme. Right now Obama is pushing a policy on Israel that is mainstream US Democratic Party thinking. All he is doing is following the recommendations of the Mitchell Report – a product of the last Democratic administration – and attempting to implement the recommendations of Road Map. Yet the degree of paranoia, anger and vituperation coming out of Israel and some of Israel’s American supporters is bizarre.
    So yes, I believe that if Bill or Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden, or Bill Richardson, or Russ Feingold were taking the same policy steps, the reaction in Israel would me more somewhat more constructive, and certainly more temperate.

    Reply

  33. JohnH says:

    Sure, Nadine, yep! Obama “extended the hand of friendship” to Iran. What hollow words! The well funded attempts to subvert the regime continue as do the 30 year old sanctions. Where’s the gesture of good will? Words are cheap. Actions count.
    Meanwhile, Obama is walking back on other hollow words–the Israeli settlement freeze. Again, words are cheap unless supported with concrete action. So the Israeli government is given free reign to continue stealing Palestinians’ property without compensation, and then concentrating the dispossessed into South Africa style townships, as it has done for 60 years.
    So once again we see the double standard–coddling friends’ egregious behavior and even encouraging it with massive amounts of foreign aid. Meaningful responses to bad behavior are reserved for the US’ enemies.

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    You seem to have some detailed, if fragmented, knowledge
    about contemporary Europe. I would ask you to consider the
    following argument:
    As you may know, there has been more racism, and even neo-
    nazi tendencies after the cold war in the former eastern part of
    Germany than in the western part for the last two decades. The
    same may be said about certain other parts of Eastern Europe.
    During the cold war, when these areas were divided into two
    different worlds – ideologically – the kids in Western Germany
    learned at school that there were nasty phenomenons called
    racism, nazism, Adolf Hitler, and Holocaust, and that their
    parents or grandparents may have been guilty in joining such
    ideologies.
    Especially the young population in western Germany always
    heard about this horrible period in their history, and were
    involved in discussions about how they could assure that this
    would never happen again.
    What about eastern Germany, and the other countries under
    Soviet domination or occupation? What did the kids learn at
    school?
    They basically learned that they were victorious in the fight
    against fascism and capitalism!
    Imagine this: Many parents and grandparents had been
    slaughtering Jews, Romanis and others, but this was never
    mentioned, because “we” won against the fascists and the
    capitalistic west…
    In this regard, there was basically no serious self reflection in
    those countries during the cold war, just superficial
    propaganda. And they never got vaccinated against racism in
    the way the majority of the western German population were.
    The Jewish kids in Israel had of course no reason to deal with
    such questions after the war. They were victims. Their parents
    or grandparents may have died in concentration camps. Or
    escaped from places where they were regarded as negative
    elements. Or – more recently – moved to Israel for other
    reasons.
    The point is: there was no obvious reason to vaccinate Israeli
    kids and students against racism in schools and universities –
    because they were the victims, the potential targets of racism.
    Even considering that they could become racists was considered
    absurd.
    Just like there was no apparent reason to vaccinate kids in
    eastern parts of Germany against racism – because they had
    already won the fight against fascism. They were the heroes.
    Who would like to teach victims (or heroes) some moral lessons
    about how to treat fellow human beings from other places, or
    who looked different from them?
    I think this is part of the problem in Israel. The authorities saw
    no urgent reason to warn the school children against racism,
    because they per definition can´t become racists, only victims
    of racism.
    Of course, Israelis are like other people. But nobody have
    warned them against racism towards Palestinians or a black
    American president.

    Reply

  35. Dan Kervick says:

    “Then the irony, Dan, is that your remark demonstrates the same prejudice that you are attempting to bemoan.”
    Really, WigWag? Suppose I had said that voters in Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee would have been more likely to vote for Obama last year if he had been white. Would that show I was prejudiced against the people from that region?

    Reply

  36. nadine says:

    John, Obama has “extended the hand of friendship” to Iran (or some such bullcrap) several times now, and had it slapped away with contempt each time. If he’s keeping up sanctions it’s only because he inherited that position and can’t get out of it without at least some positive gesture from the Iranians.
    As for Israel, Obama is backing down just like I said he would. He picked a fight where the game was not worth the candle and he was sure to lose, so he has no choice but to back down. The fact that Obama passed on Abu Mazen’s complaints over an apartment building going up on the site of an empty hotel in the middle of Jerusalem only goes to show that he knows nothing whatsoever about the Mideast conflict. If you have been paying attention, you may have noticed that it was Israel who leaked the complaint to the newspapers, not the US. It was a great big unintentional gift from Obama to Bibi, that complaint, a sure-fire way for Bibi to unite the entire Israeli public behind him on this issue.
    Obama is unprepared to be President. The result is that he makes unforced errors. This one just made him back down from a stupid and ill-considered policy with an ally. Let’s hope the next one doesn’t cost us more dearly.

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    Dan,
    The Road Map, which Israel accepted with reservations, never committed Israel to halting all construction within settlements. Go back and read it. You are just wrong in your facts.
    Of course, step one of the Road Map included an end to Palestinian terrorism and Palestinian political reform, and these steps never happened, which hung up the rest of the Road Map.

    Reply

  38. JohnH says:

    Yes, Nadine, Obama set expectations for Israel–freeze settlements. But real pressure? What a joke! The US uses kid gloves to deal with its friends, irrespective of how brutal they are.
    On the other hand Obama is far, far from begging Iran. He is continuing the sanctions regime, in place now for 30 years (long before the nuclear weapons program for which no evidence exists) and he is continuing to fund regime change to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
    So quit whining about Israel being treated unjustly while US enemies are coddled. Nothing could be further from what is actually happening.

    Reply

  39. WigWag says:

    “Does Dan think Israelis would react more favorably to the policy positions President Obama is taking if Obama was white?” “Short answer: yes.” (Dan Kervick)
    Then the irony, Dan, is that your remark demonstrates the same prejudice that you are attempting to bemoan.

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine:
    “Dan, Israel never committed to freeze all construction beyond the Green Line, and esp. never committed to stopping natural growth inside the existing footprint of the settlement blocs near the Green Line”
    Your right Nadine. Israel has never accepted the Road Map. That’s a problem, and Obama should stand with the Quartet partners and insist that they do so. By failing to do so, they continue to signal to the world that they are not serious about peace.

    Reply

  41. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag:
    “Does Dan think Israelis would react more favorably to the policy positions President Obama is taking if Obama was white?”
    Short answer: yes.
    I think racial and ethnic bigotry are widespread in Israel and its colonies. Are these attitudes worse in Israel than in other countries and regions? I’m not sure. But there aren’t any other countries right now that Obama is asking to stop colonizing their neighbors’ territory, so we don’t have a comparison test case.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    “Ah, in one post I said we should regard democracies having
    nukes differently differently from rogue regimes, in the other I
    talked about treating allies differently from enemies. Only in
    your mind could there be a contradiction between these two
    statements.” (Nadine)
    When the issue is as serious as whether “we” should
    A) support a nuclear program if the country was “a stable
    democracy” – as you first said – or
    B) a tyranny who happened to be an ally (as was the case above,
    with the Shah of Iran as the referred example),
    then these contradictions are not products of my mind, nor
    trivial issues, but principles relevant in the real world.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    JohnH, pure reductio ad absurdum and not at all what I said. You can press friends for reform, but you must be strong enough to be pressing enemies harder so that you don’t give the impression that it’s safer to be an enemy that an ally. Obama is talking tough only with small allies like Israel and Honduras, while begging the Arabs and Iran for the smallest gesture of goodwill. This has gotten him nothing but contempt from Iran and the Arab world.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    Paul,
    Your complaints are so picyune and bizarre I couldn’t even figure out what you were trying to say until you explained. Ah, in one post I said we should regard democracies having nukes differently differently from rogue regimes, in the other I talked about treating allies differently from enemies. Only in your mind could there be a contradiction between these two statements. There is of course a large overlap between democracies and allies of the USA, as there should be, and it is also possible for various reasons to make allies of non-democracies. It takes real mental contortions to find a contradiction between positions.
    Plus it is simple common sense to say that you ought to encourage countries to become your ally by treating allies better than rivals or enemies. A point so simple a child could understand it, but not a leftist.

    Reply

  45. nadine says:

    “So far, all Obama has done is insist that Israel adhere to its previously made commitments and stop expanding its settlements beyond the armistice line”
    Dan, Israel never committed to freeze all construction beyond the Green Line, and esp. never committed to stopping natural growth inside the existing footprint of the settlement blocs near the Green Line; in fact, they received a written commitment from GW Bush that they would retain the settlement blocs in any final deal, and of course retain the right to build new buildings in those areas. It is America, not Israel, that has reneged on previously made commitments regarding settlements. You have your facts wrong. You are indulging in wishful thinking.
    We have certainly heard the Palestinians complain long and loud over Israeli settlement building. The Israeli attitude has been if they hate it so much, they can sign a deal which will result not only in a halt to construction, but in having most of the outlying settlements destroyed.

    Reply

  46. ... says:

    ditto pauls 1044am comment….and in other news…
    “A rally was held this evening protesting the arrival of the US envoys in Israel. Members of National Union, Likud and Israel Beiteinu led the crowd, which included Kahanists wearing t-shirts saying “Kahane was right,” referring to Meir Kahane’s ideology of violence against all who stand in the way of the constant expansion of Jewish territory.
    The people that attended the rally think that occupying another people and chanting racist slurs at the first black president of the United States (who was elected by a majority of American Jews who support him) is their expression of freedom and democracy. As a humanist and a pragmatist, it can feel very uneasy and unsafe in this country.”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/07/suddenly-the-relationship-doesnt-look-so-special-israeli-right-welcomes-us-envoys-with-racist-rally.html

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    “The fact is, Israelis don’t like to be told what to do, especially by a black guy.” (Dan Kervick)
    This comment is scandalous. Does Dan Kervick mean all Israelis don’t like being told what to do by a “black guy?” Or is he referring to most Israelis; or does he mean a few Israelis?
    If Kervick wants to present evidence about the accuracy of this intemperate comment he should do so, otherwise he should retract it.
    Does Kervick think Israelis have greater animosity towards black people or other people with dark skin then the Europeans do? Does he think Israelis are more bigoted against black people then Arabs are? Does he think Israelis are more skeptical of comments made by black people then members of the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department?
    Does Dan think Israelis would react more favorably to the policy positions President Obama is taking if Obama was white?

    Reply

  48. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine acts as if the commenters at TWN are children. So she
    has to teach us.
    At 4.31 PM yesterday she said:
    “I have one rule for stable democracies that want nukes for self-
    defense, not conquest, and another for unstable terror-
    supporting states, who might well start a nuclear war out of
    weakness or hand a nuke to a terrorist group to plant it in
    Washington DC.
    So the rule is
    US, France, Britain, Germany, India, Israel: nukes ok
    Russia: nukes pretty much ok (they wont give them to Al Qaeda)
    North Korea, Pakistan, Iran: nukes not ok
    Do you get it now, or are we still playing a game of “the world is
    a big kindergarten and you gotta have the same rule for
    everybody”?”
    —————-
    One hour and 20 minutes later, she seemed to think that these
    rules she`d just made were rather boring and foolish. Now she
    decided that this is not about “stable democracies” at all, but
    about allies versus enemies, plain and simple – even the
    tyrannic Shah of Iran deserved nuclear weapons if he wanted
    them:
    “Well of course. The Shah was an ally, and wasn’t trying to
    conquer the region. Ahmedinejad is an enemy, and is trying to
    conquer or subvert Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria…….. (—).”
    Still, she continued to regard the commenters at TWN as
    children:
    “It is just beyond childish how you can claim that a regime’s
    behavior should make no difference in our attitude to it. Do the
    think geopolitics is run in a kindergarten?”
    Nadine will continue to brake her own principles all the time,
    like a spoiled child, and angrily blame it on the naive and stupid
    “children” commenting at TWN if we make any objections.
    God bless Nadine. From now off, I think I`m gonna support her,
    whatever she says… However, I think she`s had a day off in Tel
    Aviv. after her first two posts in the early morning hours.

    Reply

  49. JohnH says:

    Nadine said, “Let me spell it out for you: when you punish allies and reward enemies, you get mistrusted by your allies and despised by your enemies. In the long run, you get fewer allies and more enemies, as fence sitters decide you’re not safe to ally with.”
    So essentially Nadine is saying: friends can do as they please and be as brutal and inhumane as they want. For friends don’t criticize friends, much less try to get them to reform and strive for legitimate governments. Now if only Hitler had been our friend, then he could have done as he pleased. Then we wouldn’t have gone war to punish him for slaughtering millions of Gypsies, communists, and homosexuals among others. The US’ only real problem with Hitler was not his behavior, but only that he was not our friend and ally. Therefore we had to take him out.
    Pretty bizarre way of thinking, isn’t it Nadine?

    Reply

  50. Paul Norheim says:

    I regard the US demand of a settlement freeze as a litmus test.
    Obama asks wether the Israelis seriously want peace.
    If the answer is “no” – shown by their response in words and
    deeds – the whole world will know that the Israelis prefer to
    continue building settlements on occupied territories. That they
    have no sincere intentions of making peace with the Palestinians.
    This will weaken the image of Israel, and also the position of
    Harry Reid and others in the domestic US context.
    It`s an intelligent opening move.

    Reply

  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If Obama is serious, he is going to have to expects mountains of “alienation” and worse to start tumbling down toward him”
    From his own party.

    Reply

  52. Dan Kervick says:

    So far, all Obama has done is insist that Israel adhere to its previously made commitments and stop expanding its settlements beyond the armistice line. He hasn’t asked them to move anything yet, or even to end the occupation. To call this “punishment” is more than a little bit ridiculous, and is just another example of the comical but pernicious tendency toward melodrama for which Israelis and so many of its supporters are world famous.
    The established Israeli left has for years been in the forefront of those holding that Israel and the Palestinians cannot resolve their conflict on their own, and that the United States needs to intervene more assertively and insistently to impose, or at least firmly shepherd, a final status resolution. But after years of calling for the United States to do more, some of the establishment left are bound to get cold feet once the US actually starts to do precisely what they have been calling for. That’s typical.
    Of course this policy is going to “alienate” a large number of Israelis. That’s the least that could be expected. The fact is, Israelis don’t like to be told what to do, especially by a black guy. Israeli as a country has a drive to expand into all of their perceived ancient homeland. Any US President who lifts even one finger to stop it is obviously going to raise widespread cries of anguish and outrage. Unfortunately, since Israel shows not the slightest historical evidence of being capable of bringing this conflict to an end on reasonable and honorable terms, there is no choice.
    Obama probably can’t rely on Israeli liberals in this effort, and he is going to lose a lot of support from people he may have been told would stand with him. There are some true dissidents and committed peace activists who will stand by a firmer American policy. But as for the rest of those Israeli liberals, they talk a lot but are rarely willing to stand up in a pinch, and tend to start caving rapidly whenever push comes to shove. And they are just as bigoted as their neighbors, but to more to dissemble. Obama will have to anticipate the exposure of large pockets of hypocrisy and cowardice among the talkers in Israel.
    Getting a country bent on expanding to stop expanding just isn’t going to make a guy popular in the country in question. If Obama is serious, he is going to have to expects mountains of “alienation” and worse to start tumbling down toward him.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    Thought so: 8.12 in the morning in Tel Aviv.

    Reply

  54. Paul Norheim says:

    “Let me spell it out for you: when you punish allies and reward
    enemies, you get mistrusted by your allies and despised by your
    enemies. In the long run, you get fewer allies and more enemies,
    as fence sitters decide you’re not safe to ally with.”
    Apart from the tone, treating JohnH as if HE was the kid and SHE
    the teacher, I notice that Nadine characterizes denying the
    tyrannical shah of Iran a nuclear program to “punish” an ally. “The
    primordial rule of human nature”. Yeah.
    Looking forward to reading more of her primordial rules today.
    BTW: what`s the time in Tel a Viv right now? Here in Norway it`s
    7.12 in the morning.

    Reply

  55. JohnH says:

    Nadine–and when you criticize your enemies for behavior you condone among your allies, nobody takes you at your word. Great way of thinking, Nadine!

    Reply

  56. nadine says:

    JohnH, I see you follow the “nuanced” Jimmy Carter school of foreign policy, where being supportive of allies is too black and white for you.
    No, one should be tough, demanding and even threatening to allies, and give them no aid when they need it. After all, their faults should be punished! It’s only to enemies that one should appear smooth, placating and appeasing. Because a few soft words will make them not be enemies anymore. They aren’t enemies because of their own national interests, no, no, they just had their feelings hurt because some US official called them a bad name.
    Come to think of it, this describes the Obama school of diplomacy as well. Let’s hope Obama is a better learner than Jimmy was.
    If Obama is capable of learning, we will see an end to all this “new tone” nonsense, which has netted him nothing but contempt from the Arab world or Iran.
    Let me spell it out for you: when you punish allies and reward enemies, you get mistrusted by your allies and despised by your enemies. In the long run, you get fewer allies and more enemies, as fence sitters decide you’re not safe to ally with. This is a primordial rule of human nature, and it certainly describes politics in the Middle East. If Obama wants to stop banging his head against the wall and adopt a model of affairs that actually works, he will switch to it.

    Reply

  57. nadine says:

    “By the way, what’s going on with the parade of officials going the Israel this week? Why do we need four mailmen to deliver one message?”
    Beats me. Obama’s entire Mideast policy is dysfunctional and based on mistaken ideas, and he has alienated Israelis across the political spectrum, as Aluf Benn (the liberal editor of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz) pointed out in a NYT op-ed today http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/opinion/28benn.html?_r=2&ref=opinion
    But if the reports in Israeli papers are even close to right, Obama has given up on demanding settlement freezes and is now talking amicably with the Netanyahu government about what to do about the Iranian nuclear threat.
    Well, hopefully Obama has figured out that the Arab regimes just like complaining about the peace process, they have no intention to do anything to help.

    Reply

  58. Dan Kervick says:

    to deliver one message.

    Reply

  59. Dan Kervick says:

    The key problem with the Israeli nuclear program might not be how likely Israel is to use the nukes, but the fact that the very existence of this program, as a stupidly unmentionable open secret, undermines US non-proliferation diplomacy.
    The “strategic silence” or “strategic ambiguity” – or whatever they call it – that we practice toward the Israeli program makes us sound like idiots. I think the world would like to know what our attitude toward this program is. Do we think it is something that should eventually go away in the pursuit of a non-nuclear Middle East, or is it something about which we mean to maintain the silly pretense of non-existence from here to eternity?
    Since Israel is not part of the NPT, Israel cannot be in violation of NPT obligations. But the very fact that Israel is one of the very few nations in the world that are *not* part of the NPT is itself a problem. Until we address this problem, our non-proliferation agenda is going to strike many as a sham.
    By the way, what’s going on with the parade of officials going the Israel this week? Why do we need four mailmen to deliver on message?

    Reply

  60. WigWag says:

    “Point one, the Israeli program was secret and there was nothing the Arab neighbors could do once the facts were on the ground (the standard Israeli approach.)”
    If it was secret, it was about the most poorly guarded secret of all time. The CIA and KGB became aware of Israel’s nuclear ambitions as far back as the Kennedy Administration. To suggest these ambitions were secret just isn’t credible. In any case, by the mid 1970s everyone in the world new about Israel’s nuclear arsenals. Between the mid 1970s and 2005 (when Ahmadinejad was elected in Iran) the few Arab complaints about Israel’s nuclear program were perfunctory at best. The reason is simple; most Arab governments didn’t feel threatened and most didn’t care. In fact, the Egyptians were so indifferent to Israeli nuclear weapons that they mounted a surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. By then, the Egyptians certainly knew that Israel probably had nuclear weapons; they were so sure Israel wouldn’t use them that their attack was not deterred in the least.
    “Second, it has been clear for years that any Arab nuclear development would have suffered the same fate as Osirak, almost certainly with US blessing.”
    This might or might not be true; we will never know. Certainly Sadaam Hussein was the most bellicose Arab leader in the 1990s and he had aspirations to be the leader of the Arab world. The Israelis certainly viewed him as a potent threat and no one was happier when Israel bombed Osarik than the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Iranian colleagues.
    But in addition to Arab indifference to Israeli nuclear weapons, the other reason none of the Sunni Arab nations developed them is that they lacked the capability. Israel, like the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, North Korea, Pakistan and India has a plethora of nuclear physicists. In fact Israel has two Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and had access to a number of students who studied with Albert Einstein, whose equation E=MC(2) is the basis for nuclear fission.
    None of the Sunni Arab nations had or has the expertise to develop these weapons. Look at the list of nuclear nations and you will see that every nation that possesses nuclear weapons obtained them through an indigenous program (though the North Koreans had some help from Abdul Khan of Pakistan.)
    Fear of another Osarik had very little to do with the Sunni Arab nations not obtaining these weapons. Lack of interest in the Israeli weapon was one factor (they certainly could have complained about Israeli nukes had they been concerned). A recognition of their own lack of technological capability was the second major factor.

    Reply

  61. questions says:

    There’s a nice book called “Iranophobia” by Haggai Ram I’ve just started. So far, the author is talking about Israel’s psychic push to be part of the “west” and to deny its middle eastern side. The wall functions both physically as a fairly successful barrier against terrorism, and metaphorically as a separation between the middle east and Israel/the west, according to the author.
    It’s an interesting reading of Israeli culture. And giving the terrorism language a stronger metaphorical/psychological reading is especially helpful for grasping why certain narratives have such a deep hold on people. Seems worth thinking through.
    I think getting past the “that” and working on the “why” can be a useful task.

    Reply

  62. JohnH says:

    Wigwag and Nadine’s “good point” about other Arab nations not being concerned about Israeli nukes and therefore not seeking to develop nukes themselves is total nonsense. Point one, the Israeli program was secret and there was nothing the Arab neighbors could do once the facts were on the ground (the standard Israeli approach.) Second, it has been clear for years that any Arab nuclear development would have suffered the same fate as Osirak, almost certainly with US blessing. Perhaps Israel would have exacted more brutal punishment against the second offender. So in fact, there was little to be gained by attempting a weapons program. As a result, Arab reaction can be interpreted as nothing more than realistic resignation, not tacit acceptance, as Wigwag and Nadine speculate.
    Now I imagine that Arab nations are not happy about the prospect of a second nuclear power in their neighborhood, even though there is no evidence of such a program. Who would be?

    Reply

  63. ... says:

    collective guilt works well as a tool for controlling outcomes, or maintaining a certain special position… folks need to be reminded constantly of why they’re supposed to assume guilt for (holocaust) in order for this arrangement to continue… the christian type collective is steeped in a tradition of ‘guilt’.. it is ingrained in the orthodox teaching of the christian religion..
    that wouldn’t explain why the middle east countries are opposed to iran having nukes, but i am quite sure it goes without saying that are opposed to israel having them as well… an interesting observation is israels lack of transparency on nukes, or their unwillingness to sign on to the npt, in spite of wigwags pronouncements that israel has nukes… why the obfuscation from israel and is this supposed to be taken in a way whereby outside observers would therefore ‘trust’ israel? some aren’t buying this wigwag..
    the time has come to acknowledge what david pointed out in his 547pm post… get a clue! it’s insane to have nukes or think of them as some kind of deterrent…
    i would be in favour of israel getting rid of theirs and iran not having any… presently i find it hypocritical to suggest as nadine and wigwag regularly do that it is okay for israel to have them but not iran… that epitomizes hypocrisy to me…

    Reply

  64. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So there may be some people who think Israel is as dangerous a nuclear power as Iran would be. That’s fine but the facts suggest otherwise. Israel has never used these weapons despite having them at its disposal for three or four decades”
    Hasn’t needed nukes. They have found that, to date anyway, the eradication efforts are served just fine by the use of white phosphorous, cluster munitions, starvation, water deprivation, and a myriad of other human rights abuses and war crimes.
    But Iran is a big country, and why pick around the edges when they can eradicate a few million at a time?
    Look Wiggie, considering Israel’s utter disdain for the value of a Muslim life, demonstrated quite forcefully by Operation Cast lead, (and a long history of such wanton bloodshed), Iranians are quite well advised to consider the possibility that Israel is racist enough, ugly enough, agressive enough, and criminal enough to throw nukes around.

    Reply

  65. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here comes Wiggie to Nadine’s rescue. He sure avoids her when she engages in blatant lying though.
    Hey wiggie, you figure those little pickanniny horned toad Palestinian kids aren’t hungry enough? Gotta get ’em starved enough to distend them little terrist guts and grow stick limbs before we can hear their radical little suicide bomber bellies growling, right?
    And how ’bout them “signed agreements” ‘ol Bush made with the Israeli’s, huh? Gotta love that invisible ink, a true marvel.
    Yep, Nadine is just full of “compelling points”, ain’t she? I particularly like the part about Irainans cheering in the streets because Israel is bombing them. Oh, gee, was that Nadine’s fantasy, or yours? I’m sorry, I keep getting the bullshit and the bullshitters mixed up.
    But I’m glad to see you cheering her on, because its a real window into the world as Wiggie sees it.
    Carry on Wiggie, Nadine’s blowin’ enough hot air to fill your sails for a year.
    (Wheres Dan? I wanna see if he’s blushing.)

    Reply

  66. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine made a double set of rules regarding nuclear programs at
    4.31 PM, and broke her own rules at 5.51 PM. At 6.05 PM her
    parents hopefully will arrive at the kindergarten to bring her back
    home.

    Reply

  67. WigWag says:

    Nadine makes a very good point that is hard if not impossible to refute. The Sunni Arab nations have been indifferent about Israeli nuclear weapons for decades but they are apoplectic about the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons that haven’t been built yet.
    According to most estimates, Israel developed its first nuclear weapons sometime between 1967 and 1975. The weapons program was jump started with assistance from the French throughout the 1960s and Israel reportedly developed a self-sustaining program of uranium enrichment and plutonium production in the 1970s. There have been no confirmed tests of nuclear weapons by Israel, but it has been suggested that a non-nuclear implosion test (necessary for perfecting these weapons) occurred in the Negev in 1966. There has also been speculation that Israel and South Africa conducted a joint nuclear test in the Indian Ocean in 1979. There is significant doubt about this because the Mandela Government (no great friend to Israel) claimed that no such test ever occurred, even before the ANC took power.
    The point of all of this is that for at least 30 years and perhaps as long as 40 years there has been a widespread assumption that Israel possessed these weapons yet the Sunni Arab nations said next to nothing. Yet now that Iran is enriching uranium these Arab nations are demanding action against Iran by Obama as vociferously as the Israelis are.
    The reason is simple; while a few Washington Note readers may not think putative Iranian weapons are a bigger threat to world peace than Israeli nuclear weapons are; virtually every single neighbor of Iran thinks an Iranian weapon is a far bigger threat.
    In fact, it is highly likely that despite their protestations to the contrary, the Sunni Arab nations are comforted by the knowledge that Israel is a nuclear state. They know that in some sense they are protected under Israel’s nuclear umbrella. Can anyone imagine Iran ever attacking Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Jordan with atomic weapons without the Israelis responding in kind for fear that they might be next?
    So there may be some people who think Israel is as dangerous a nuclear power as Iran would be. That’s fine but the facts suggest otherwise. Israel has never used these weapons despite having them at its disposal for three or four decades. In this period of time Israel fought two wars that put its existence at stake; 1967 against several Arab armies and 1973 against Egypt. Nevertheless the Jericho missiles stayed in their silos and the air based weapons never left the bomb bays.
    While a few people may think Israeli weapons are a threat, the entire world has felt comfortable enough with Israel possessing these weapons not to make a fuss about it for decades.
    Conversely, the entire world is concerned about Iranian weapons; the Americans are, the Europeans are; the Arabs are; the Indians are and to a lesser extent the Russians and Chinese are.
    Nadine’s comment is very compelling in pointing this out.

    Reply

  68. Outraged American says:

    Why should we be so concerned about the problems of the
    Zionist Jews? They make up a tiny percentage of the world.
    There are babies in the Congo being raped over and over. There
    are millions of people displaced in Pakistan as a result of the
    USRael war on Islam. The U.S. and her “allies”, because of our
    invasion, have killed one out of every 25 Iraqis according to a
    2006 Johns Hopkins study.
    Israel needs to get over herself and we need to tell our
    Congressional whores in no uncertain terms that an attack on
    Iran, i.e., WW III, will bring back the guilloitine if they keep going
    in their truly insane support of Israel Uber Alles.
    Cut ALL aid to Israel now, or bury your kids at Arlington,
    although it might get too crowded if UsRael keeps on war-ing.

    Reply

  69. JohnH says:

    Nadine finally hit the crux of the issue: “The Shah was an ally.” And Ahmadinejad is an enemy. So, in Nadine’s black and white world view the Shah could do what he wanted (under US tutelage, of course), but today’s Iran has no rights whatsoever. It’s that simple. The nuke issue is a canard. US concern over human rights is phony (what about human rights in Palestine or Saudi Arabia?).
    The only thing that matters to black and white thinkers like Nadine (and the foreign policy mob, too) is that Iran has not prostrated itself before its masters. Come to think of it, that’s also the problem with the Palestinians — they won’t prostate themselves before their ubermenschen, either.

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    “”israel’s 200 nukes invite efforts by other states to balance””
    One would think so, yet for forty years the Arabs have NOT balanced Israel with nukes of their own. But now that Iran is about to get nukes, they are very nervous and looking to buy some nukes.
    What’s your explanation for their behavior?

    Reply

  71. nadine says:

    david, Iran’s wish for nukes is extremely rational. Iran has seen how great their protective power is for North Korea, it’s very rational for them to wish them for themselves. Once they have them, they figure, they can increase their aggressiveness towards all their neighbors (not just Israel) with near-impunity. You don’t have to set a nuke off to make good use of it!
    …, you said “nor has wigwag explained why he thinks it is perfectly alright for israel to have them and others to not…” If signing the NNPT or not is not a reason, then the treaty means nothing to you. Iran signed it and is in violation of it. You don’t care. Israel didn’t sign it. Again you don’t care. So you don’t care about the treaty. So fine, why bother denying it?

    Reply

  72. Outraged American says:

    I think some of these pro-Israel posters on here really work for
    Iran, because their arguments making a case to attack Iran are so
    patently absurd that they would make anyone reading want to side
    with Iran against Israel’s aggression.

    Reply

  73. ... says:

    david – you hit a home run with your 547pm commentary… thanks!

    Reply

  74. ... says:

    nadine, i never said i viewed the nnpt as a non event, but thanks for twisting my words.. if i want twisted commentary, i can always count on you!
    oa has pointed out israel is not a signatory to the treaty… one more thing for you to conveniently ignore, while putting all the emphasis on your bs fears regarding iran.. how about telling us how their is nothing to worry about with netanyahu in office… fairy tales are fun!

    Reply

  75. nadine says:

    “So Iran’s nuclear program made ultimate good sense under the Shah, but makes no sense at all under Ahmadinejad. Go figure!”
    Well of course. The Shah was an ally, and wasn’t trying to conquer the region. Ahmedinejad is an enemy, and is trying to conquer or subvert Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and of course Israel/Palestine. Not just for Persian power, but for the cause of Radical Islam. Iran is the terror-master, creater of Hizbullah, and now patron of Hamas.
    It is just beyond childish how you can claim that a regime’s behavior should make no difference in our attitude to it. Do the think geopolitics is run in a kindergarten?

    Reply

  76. David says:

    “israel’s 200 nukes invite efforts by other states to balance”
    Yes, they do. The assumption in the West seems to be that Israel is a rational nuclear power, whereas Iran would be an irrational nuclear power, never mind that nuclear weapons are, by their very nature, utterly irrational weapons. Even the two very small weapons dropped on Japan were, in any honest retrospective, implementations of an irrational mindset, however coldbloodedly rational the rationale might have seemed to the planners.
    The follow up irrational mindset was, of course, the notion of tactical nuclear weapons, a notion George Bush apparently re-embraced.
    Just how irrational nuclear weapons are, if we really need to be reminded, can readily be demonstrated by how close the US and the USSR came to mutually irrational devastation of life on earth as we know it.
    Thus Israel is doing no one any favors by possessing 200 nuclear weapons, a fact which most certainly invites Iran, which Cheney and Likud wanted desperately to attack, to want a nuclear counterbalance.
    Ah, the tragi-comic irrationality of myopic nuclear rationality, especially given that chance had as much to do with saving the world from a nuclear nightmare as did the purported rationality of the two nuclear superpowers.
    Can we get a clue?

    Reply

  77. nadine says:

    “The Persians have been adept players of the power game for centuries. They are rational actors, and the Israeli leadership, who has been watching them closely for decades, knows this very well.”
    You consider their handling of the recent elections – elections which were supposed to be carefully controlled with only four “approved” candidates – as evidence of what rational actors they are? What would be evidence of irrationality?
    For most of the past centuries, Persia has indeed played the game of empire (don’t forget, Iran as internally constituted is an empire, with Persians ruling over the half of their population which is not Persian). But the mullahs, whose regime is only 30 years old, threw a wild card into the deck, because they are not just for Persian power, but for the world wide export of radical Shiite Islamist rule.
    Nobody knows if Isran is a country or a cause. When the President claims that miracles happen when he gives a speech at the UN and everybody was enveloped in a green light and nobody blinked for half an hour, it doesn’t help anybody to sort out whether they might really be as crazy as that sounds.

    Reply

  78. Outraged American says:

    Arab states have repeatedly called for a nuclear free Middle East
    and, as has been stated here ad nauseam, Israel is not a
    signatory to the NPT and Iran is – so why won’t Israel sign?
    Plus Israel only recently and inadvertently admitted that it was a
    nuclear state, this after receiving Dolphin class nuclear
    submarines from “our” very “own” U.S. of A. Submarines that
    could carry warheads that could reach Europe, North Africa,
    Iran, Russia, etc.
    If you think that India is a “stable democracy” well, that kind of
    negates your whole argument. India is also not a signatory to
    the NPT. India routinely has religious whackos like the Hindu
    Nationalist BJP become crucial parts of coalition governments
    and India and Pakistan threaten each other on a routine basis,
    knowing full well that it would be mutually assured destruction.
    And Iran’s been around a F-load longer than Israel, if you want
    to talk stability.

    Reply

  79. Paul Norheim says:

    “Dostojevsky would be a good writer to tackle a character like
    Ahmedinejad. It’s not easy to tell if he is motivated by the usual
    ruler’s desire to cling to power for self-preservation, or if he is
    really motivated to smooth the way for the imminent return of
    the Mahdi.” (Nadine)
    I think right now Achmedinejad regards power issues as more
    urgent than the return of the Mahdi – the latter has been
    delaying his return for a while anyhow.
    The Persians have been adept players of the power game for
    centuries. They are rational actors, and the Israeli leadership,
    who has been watching them closely for decades, knows this
    very well.
    Existential threat? I`m sure many ordinary Israeli citizens are
    scared. But I would assume that for the foreign policy
    establishment in Israel (those in power as well as those in the
    opposition), this is less about an “existential threat”, and more
    about preserving the nuclear monopoly in the Middle East as
    long as possible.

    Reply

  80. JohnH says:

    More BS from Nadine: “If Iran just needed fuel, it would make a hell of a lot more sense for them to build a few refineries.” Sure, Nadine. Iran could bust the embargo and build some refineries. Right.
    But what Iran is doing is converting their vehicle fleet to natural gas, which doesn’t require Western inputs. But Nadine probably didn’t know that.
    Anyway, the US supported the Shah’s efforts to generate nuclear power. “The Shah approved plans to construct, with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by the year 2000.[35] In March 1974, the Shah envisioned a time when the world’s oil supply would run out, and declared, “Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn… We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23 000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants.”
    So Iran’s nuclear program made ultimate good sense under the Shah, but makes no sense at all under Ahmadinejad. Go figure!

    Reply

  81. nadine says:

    OK, so you regard international treaties like the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty as non-events, that may be ignored with impunity. But I thought you were for trans-national agreements? I guess the IAEA has no function either then. Well, leave that aside for now.
    I have one rule for stable democracies that want nukes for self-defense, not conquest, and another for unstable terror-supporting states, who might well start a nuclear war out of weakness or hand a nuke to a terrorist group to plant it in Washington DC.
    So the rule is
    US, France, Britain, Germany, India, Israel: nukes ok
    Russia: nukes pretty much ok (they wont give them to Al Qaeda)
    North Korea, Pakistan, Iran: nukes not ok
    Do you get it now, or are we still playing a game of “the world is a big kindergarten and you gotta have the same rule for everybody”?

    Reply

  82. ... says:

    nadine or wigwag, would either of you be open enough to acknowledge this- you think it is okay for israel to have nuclear weapons, but it is not okay for iran… skip with the rationalizations, as they are tiring and too subjective to warrant much merit… bottom line from reading your posts, is this : one rule for israel, a different one for iran..

    Reply

  83. nadine says:

    The fact that all the Arabs states have not frantically moved heaven and earth to get their own bomb in answer to Israel’s, which everybody has known about for forty years, is answer enough. If they trust Israel’s purposes to be defensive even though they are at war with Israel, that is evidence enough.
    The different way the Arab states are reacting to the prospect of Iran’s bomb should be evidence too.
    Don’t listen to what they say. Watch what they do.
    If Iran just needed fuel, it would make a hell of a lot more sense for them to build a few refineries. They are a major oil producer. The neighbors all know what they are up to. Only a safe, protected westerner could be stupid enough to be confused about it.

    Reply

  84. JohnH says:

    Indeed, this deliberate mistranslations are a good example of hasbara efforts to manufacture existential threats out of thin air, so everyone can wallow in their paranoia.

    Reply

  85. Outraged American says:

    Ahmadinejad never said that Israel should be “wiped off the
    map” That was a mistranslation provided by the Zionist thugs
    over at MEMRI and used over and over and over by “our” Zionist
    mainstream media.
    I keep seeing it — in the New Yorker, in AP articles.
    Ahmadinejad said that Israel would “vanish from the pages of
    time” under the weight of its own hubris, much like the Soviet
    Union.
    I got native Farsi speakers to translate what Ahmadinejad says
    because he is very deliberately mistranslated in order to portray
    Iran in an aggressive light, one that would help the Zionist
    cause.
    Past that, anyone around here ever heard of Iran/ Contra. Israel
    sure seemed to be able to work with the mullahs back then.
    Iran needs nuclear power in order to keep up with her domestic
    needs. Iran has to import oil because she does not have enough
    refining capabilities.
    Past that, I would trust the mullahs over Avigdor Lieberman.

    Reply

  86. JohnH says:

    Ira Chernus describes the pathological strain articulated so well by Nadine: despite all Israel’s power, Israel’s leaders consider themselves to be powerless victims who can’t envision any reasonable peace offer, because they might be taken as suckers, not by outsiders, but by fellow Israeli politicians.
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/19
    Doron Rosenbloom describes the pathological symptoms: aggressive paranoia.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1099173.html
    The only thing more scary than an aggressive paranoid is one who possesses nukes. More scary still is one who sees an existential threat behind every bush and who obsessively conflates a rival’s bluster into an existential threat.

    Reply

  87. ... says:

    nadine, i am speaking generally.. i never mentioned the NPT… you seem confused.. here was the message : israel can’t be trusted anymore then iran…

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The upside of the recent stolen election is that it will be hard for this regime, now widely perceived as illegitimate, to rally the country around it even if Israel attacks”
    Yes, I’m sure, should Israel attack Iran, we will see celebrations nationwide, with Iranians carrying signs saying “Bomb us some more, Israel”.
    Nadine, your propaganda is so outrageously insane that I still cannot fathom why you bother with it. Even the staunchest defender of Israeli policy cannot help but note the ludicrous nature of your assertions.

    Reply

  89. nadine says:

    Dostojevsky would be a good writer to tackle a character like Ahmedinejad. It’s not easy to tell if he is motivated by the usual ruler’s desire to cling to power for self-preservation, or if he is really motivated to smooth the way for the imminent return of the Mahdi.
    Though with the regime in the midst of internal strife and purges, it is quite difficult even for experts to see it from their view. Who are they right now? Is Khamenei still in charge, or has Ahmedinejad now in charge? Where is Rafsanjani? What of Ayatollah Montazeri and the Scholars of Qom, who have declared the regime illegitimate?

    Reply

  90. Paul Norheim says:

    “Yet you speak of them as passive victims.”
    I don`t think so. Just like WigWag above, I just try to imagine
    how the world looks like from the Iranian perspective – with
    regards to their security interests.
    One very useful exercise when you look at geopolitical issues, is
    to try to read the world a bit like how you would read a modern
    novel, let`s say a Dostojevsky-novel.
    What you see is a world that is not divided between a morally
    good hero and an evil enemy, but where the author presents the
    dynamics of the events and conflicts through the eyes of several
    characters with different perspectives. Their actions are rarely
    determined by 100% good or evil motives, but rather by
    different kinds of circumstances, biographies, and ideologies.
    This is what creates the complexity and the lack of moral clarity
    in the conflicts.
    Dostojevsky, though being a moralist and someone with strong
    religious convictions and political opinions, is first and foremost
    a novelist. The writer in him – or the novel as form, if you like –
    often undermines his private opinions and moral clarity, but
    provides a better view of the complexities of the world than his
    biased private convictions alone could do.

    Reply

  91. nadine says:

    …, you seem confused. Iran signed the NPT, while Israel never did. So they didn’t break any deal.

    Reply

  92. nadine says:

    Rafsanjani and Ahmedinejad have said between them that Israel is a “cancer”, a “rotten corpse”, that it should be “wiped off the map,” that one “Muslim bomb” could end it while the Muslim world world could survive the reaction, and so on. They deny the Holocaust happened while laying the ground for a new one. If you were Israel, I bet you wouldn’t be laughing this stuff off.
    Israel regards the current Iranian regime as an existential threat. That’s what they say, and I don’t believe that is bluster, but what they really believe. If as seems likely, the rest of the world doesn’t want to do anything to prevent the mullahs getting the bomb, I expect Israel will attack the nuclear sites. As with Osirak in 1981, they will be condemned publicly and thanked privately. I think the rest of the world is basically counting on Israel to do the dirty work.
    The upside of the recent stolen election is that it will be hard for this regime, now widely perceived as illegitimate, to rally the country around it even if Israel attacks.
    “the biggest direct threats to Iran during the last 30 years have undoubtedly been Iraq, Israel and USA.”
    The poor babies. Iran has killed hundreds of American soldiers via Hezbullah in Lebanon and via supplying the Iraqi insurgents with shaped explosives. They have also taken over Syria (via treaty), Lebanon (via Hezbullah) and Gaza (via Hamas), and attacked at various times, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, directly or via their proxies. The regime is an aggressive exporter of Shia fundamentalist revolution. Hey, don’t believe me, ask Saudi Arabia and Egypt!
    Yet you speak of them as passive victims. This is the “windowpane effect” in action, where enemies of the US or Israel disappear, and become stick figures labeled “victim of oppression”.

    Reply

  93. ... says:

    i think wigwags post is a lousy post as continues to isolate the iranians by putting all emphasis on irans present political dynamic in such a poor light rather the acknowledge that israels own weaknesses have never been a good rationale for them having nuclear weapons in the first place… nor has wigwag explained why he thinks it is perfectly alright for israel to have them and others to not…
    it was a good post from the pov of keeping the focus on iran and off israel.. in that sense it worked….

    Reply

  94. ... says:

    nadine quote “As for Israel “striking a deal” with this regime – you would trust them to keep a deal?”
    israel is no better at keeping a deal, but i suppose that doesn’t count in your eyes nadine…

    Reply

  95. Paul Norheim says:

    Good post, WigWag.
    Especially Pakistan could develop into a threat. However, the
    biggest direct threats to Iran during the last 30 years have
    undoubtedly been Iraq, Israel and USA.

    Reply

  96. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    you would regard even an Israeli attack on Iran as a “defensive
    act”. The Iranians don´t see it that way.

    Reply

  97. WigWag says:

    There are many reasons that Iran may want nuclear weapons. The fact that one of their adversaries, Israel, possesses them is certainly one of those reasons. So is the fact that the entire Sunni Arab world is implacably hostile to Iran and frightened by the prospect of an ascendant Shia State. The fact that Pakistan possesses a nuclear arsenal that could fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda or Taliban terrorists who view the Shia in Iran as apostates worthy of death must also be a factor in Iran’s thinking. Russia and even China’s nuclear capabilities must factor into Iran’s reasoning about nuclear weapons as does the hostility of the strongest nuclear armed nation in the world, the United States.
    The Mullah’s who recently stole the Iranian election are obviously paranoid about regime change. From their perspective, nuclear weapons under their control would inhibit intervention by the Americans or others in support of an aggrieved Iranian citizenry. They know perfectly well that outsiders will be reluctant to intervene to support a revolution if there was any chance that nuclear retaliation (in the form of an attack or proliferation) was possible. They also know that the West’s greatest fear is instability in a nuclear armed country that could facilitate a loss of control over those weapons.
    There are many reasons for Iran to seek a nuclear capability and perhaps atom bombs. Israel’s arsenal is one reason. But even if Israel’s arsenal didn’t exist; from Iran’s perspective obtaining these weapons would still look equally desirable.

    Reply

  98. nadine says:

    “I think that any nation that is very powerful will invite efforts to balance that power by others. israel’s 200 nukes invite efforts by other states to balance — israel should probably consider long term getting rid of them if a nuclear deal that is solid could ever be struck in the region and with iran. tall order, i know, but something to consider.”
    It has been an open secret that Israel has had nuclear weapons for forty years, yet that knowledge has NOT driven the Arab states to “balance that power.” It is rational to conclude from the actual behavior of the Arab states that they understand that Israel’s nuclear intent is defensive. But now the Arabs are acting scared and seeking weapons in earnest. Again, would it not be rational to conclude that they understand that Iran’s intent is precisely to exert hegemony in the region, backed by its nuclear power? The current Iranian regime has shown many times that they do not care about killing thousands of Iranians, let alone other people.
    As for Israel “striking a deal” with this regime – you would trust them to keep a deal? Bet you trust them to run elections too! If this were the kind of regime that would keep a deal, then the region wouldn’t mind their nukes so much.
    The whole point is the mullahs who run Iran have a 30 year track record as a rogue state that doesn’t keep deals or observe diplomatic treaties, and are possibly messianic nutcases to boot. They certainly sound that way at least half the time.

    Reply

  99. WigWag says:

    “jet-lagged and have to crash.”
    I have exactly one request for Steve Clemons. Don’t use the words “jet”and “crash” in the same sentence.
    But get some rest. With your travel schedule you surely deserve it.

    Reply

  100. ... says:

    i trust wigwag will come to the rescue with some rationale for why israel needs nukes and all the other mid east countries are not allowed to have them… wigwag, i am counting on you!

    Reply

  101. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, if you are trying to discourage your neighbors from developing nukes, it might not be such a good idea to steam your nuclear armed submarines into their swimming pools.

    Reply

  102. JohnH says:

    Unfortunately, a nuclear deal with Iran is much more complicated than the overly simplistic world view that asserts that Iran wants nukes only to destroy Israel. Turns out that Iran happens to live in a very nuclear neighborhood–Russia, Pakistan, China, and India all have nukes, too.
    Nonetheless, any deal should include Israel, because no one in Israel’s immediate neighborhood has nukes, and Israeli nukes only invite “balance.”

    Reply

  103. ... says:

    steve, i too wish you could write a sparate post one day about pt 3 in your comment to wigwag… you get high marks for that comment from me…

    Reply

  104. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve, I wish you could write a separate post one day about pt.3
    in your comment to WigWag:
    “pt. 3 — I think that any nation that is very powerful will invite
    efforts to balance that power by others. israel’s 200 nukes invite
    efforts by other states to balance — israel should probably
    consider long term getting rid of them if a nuclear deal that is
    solid could ever be struck in the region and with iran.”

    Reply

  105. Steve Clemons says:

    Wig – I don’t think pt. 1 is correct but am not totally sure..
    on Hillary and Kissinger — probably not the best metaphor i could have used, but what I meant by the comparison is that kissinger had a vision — whether you liked it or not — of what he was trying to achieve. He was a serious strategist — and the China move changed the way global forces were working. I get the sense that Hillary Clinton at this point is acting like a good implementer of policy — not a sculptor of it or an architect. Also, her CFR speech, in my view, did not help her with some of America’s key objectives right now and may have hurt. Kissinger would not have undermined himself with Iran, etc. in a public speech if Iran and changing our course with Iran was a very high priority.
    pt. 3 — I think that any nation that is very powerful will invite efforts to balance that power by others. israel’s 200 nukes invite efforts by other states to balance — israel should probably consider long term getting rid of them if a nuclear deal that is solid could ever be struck in the region and with iran. tall order, i know, but something to consider.
    pt. 4 – dennis ross is on the time, has significant influence – others do too. I included him because he’s a relevant senior name on the middle east team….and these people clearly don’t see the world similarly. Ross helps make my point somewhat easier when compared to jones, gates, etc.
    jet-lagged and have to crash.
    Greetings all…more tomorrow,
    steve

    Reply

  106. David says:

    Didn’t get to watch all of the session with Al Jazeera managing director Wadah Khanfar, but I did get to watch Steve’s intro, Wadah’s remarks, and the first couple of questions. Another civil body politic service from Steve and the New America Foundation. One of the things that has always made The Washington Note so valuable to me is that I live down in west Central Florida, and would simply not know many of the things I have been able to learn and think about because of The Washington Note, the heads up on sessions/presentations, and the fact that C-Span2 has carried a number of New America Foundation sessions.
    A truly heartfelt thanks to Steve and everybody at the New America Foundation for all you do to help forward the possibility of an engaged, informed civil body politic.

    Reply

  107. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, I’d post a couple of my opinions on Hillary and what I percieve to be her detrimental influence on Obama’s visions and policy advocations, but I’m afraid I might “embarass” someone by sharing my opinion.

    Reply

  108. Paul Norheim says:

    “Grow taller 4 idiots” is a spammer that makes comments that
    often doesn`t look like spam. On this thread it`s obvious: he has
    cut and pasted a sentence from WigWag`s comment above as if
    it`s his own opinion. He is using the same technique on several
    other threads as well, and some of it is not so easy to detect as
    spam. Very annoying.

    Reply

  109. WigWag says:

    1) Did that clip that Brian played have Secretary of State Clinton saying that she recognized North Korea was acting like an unruly child because as a mother, she has experience with unruly children?
    Is she comparing the young Chelsea to Kim Jong-il?
    2) Did Steve Clemons really compare Hillary Clinton unfavorably to Henry Kissinger? What exactly is it about Kissinger that Steve likes? The overthrow of Allende? His support for the Shah? U.S. troops in Cambodia?
    3) Did Steve Clemons say that the Soviet Union developed nuclear weapons because the United States got them first? Does Steve really think that if the United States had never succeeded in getting nuclear weapons that Russia would never have attempted to obtain them?
    4) Steve mentioned four critical people in Obama’s foreign policy team; Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, Jim Jones and Dennis Ross. Is Dennis Ross really as important an advisor to Obama as the others?
    Overall, it was a very good interview.
    Another excellent job by Clemons!

    Reply

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