Obama to Host Trilateral Meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu

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Just received this release from the White House — which is quite relevant to my immediate post below this one on the role of Hillary Clinton.

Statement from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs
On Tuesday, September 22, President Obama will host a trilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The trilateral meeting will be immediately preceded by bilateral meetings between President Obama and the two leaders. These meetings will continue the efforts of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Special Envoy George Mitchell to lay the groundwork for the relaunch of negotiations, and to create a positive context for those negotiations so that they can succeed.
“It is another sign of the President’s deep commitment to comprehensive peace that he wants to personally engage at this juncture, as we continue our efforts to encourage all sides to take responsibility for peace and to create a positive context for the resumption of negotiations,” said Special Envoy Mitchell.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

59 comments on “Obama to Host Trilateral Meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu

  1. Kathleen says:

    nadine I said that there were Palestinians displaced and Palestinian towns and villages destroyed. Yes you are manipulating Show me where I ever said anything about a Palestinian state. Although I have seen Palestine on maps from that period of time.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    BTW,
    Medvedev`s statement came BEFORE Obama announced
    not to establish a missile shield in Eastern
    Europe. Obama may hope that Russia is more willing
    to vote for sanctions against Iran in the security
    council after that announcement.

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    As you may have noticed, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev said some days ago: “When
    Israeli President Peres was visiting me in Sochi recently, he said something very
    important for all of us: ‘Israel does not plan any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful
    country and we will not do this'”.
    Israel corrected the Peres/Medvedev statement and said that all options were on the
    table. However, the interesting statement from Medvedev is this one (posted on the
    Kremlin’s website):
    Medvedev said such an attack would be “the worst thing that can be imagined”, and
    hinted Russia could take sides in the conflict if Israel did attack.
    Although Russia has no military alliances with Iran, “it does not mean that we would
    like to be or will be indifferent to such a development,” he said.”
    I interpret this as if Medvedev/Russia is more or less in line with Brzezinski here.
    However, I strongly doubt that Brzezinski expressed the position of the Obama
    administration.
    I can`t see how anyone could think that America will follow Brzezinski`s advice. What
    Medvedev said – combined with America`s loyalty to Israel and the mutual hostility
    between Iran and USA – alludes more to the first contours of an escalation of the
    conflict beyond the region if Israel attacks Tehran.

    Reply

  4. Outraged American says:

    The person who I spoke with about Israel using Saudi airspace
    would (or rather, is supposed to be) in a position to know, so if it
    isn’t true it’s scary that he’s in that position, because it proves how
    little even people “in power” know about Israel’s intentions.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Waring’s comment suprised me as well.
    Surely, watching Netanyahu spend months spitting in Obama’s face with no substantive response from Obama, negates the idea that Obama would dare face down Israel militarily.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    Posted by Outraged American, Sep 21 2009, 11:26AM – Link
    Really John W, you think that Brzezinski is speaking for the Obama
    administration? Won’t that encourage ongoing comparisons
    between Obama and Carter?
    Also, the source I spoke with said it would be Saudi airspace, so
    could this be a red herring? In that the Israelis won’t even be using
    US controlled Iraqi airspace, so that when the Israelis attack Iran we
    can claim that we were “tough on Israel” and didn’t allow her to use
    “our” airspace>>>>>>>>
    Actually the story that Saudi had agreed to let Israel overfly it’s airspace to attack Iran was debunked about 2 hours after it surfaced.
    The story itself was very unidentified, with “undentified officals” in Israel, unidentified officals in the supposed Saudi agreement.
    Saudi denied it. Then the Israel government denied it.
    The story was stupid and useless to begin with. The Saudis would never admit to it anyway even if they had agreed and would immediately deny any such thing.
    It’s your typical rattle the monkey cages to raise a chatter story.

    Reply

  7. Outraged American says:

    Really John W, you think that Brzezinski is speaking for the Obama
    administration? Won’t that encourage ongoing comparisons
    between Obama and Carter?
    Also, the source I spoke with said it would be Saudi airspace, so
    could this be a red herring? In that the Israelis won’t even be using
    US controlled Iraqi airspace, so that when the Israelis attack Iran we
    can claim that we were “tough on Israel” and didn’t allow her to use
    “our” airspace?

    Reply

  8. John Waring says:

    Once a national security adviser of the United States, always a national security adviser to the United States.
    Mr. Brzezinski’s remarks are extremely important, particularly as they come on the eve of Under Secretary’s Burn’s mission.
    Of course the administration cannot say something like this.
    But through Mr. Brzezinski they can.
    FINALLY, we are getting somewhere.

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    POA,
    Here’s my post about the blatant AIPAC lies on its website….
    First, the number of times you hurl accusations of cowardice or fearfulness or bad faith is getting absurd. I am none of the above. Sometimes I’m busy and sometimes I don’t think it’s worth it….
    Second, I’m glad that from your fingertips to the ears of AIPAC is a direct link. So AIPAC’s website no longer has a blatant and outrageous lie on it, or whatever.
    Third, I don’t really care about AIPAC’s website. I don’t visit it and I don’t use it as an information source. So why should I worry if it is propagandistic? It likely does what every lobby group does — pushes its own agenda as against all others. Gee, there’s news.
    Pay a little attention to Zathras’s posts. They show a nice understanding of governmental process without the craziness.

    Reply

  10. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Carroll..thanxx for the Falk link..I’ve been wondering how his report compares with The Goldstone Report and what he thinks…
    I know about the bit of not having gov’t co-operation. There are rules when the UN does an investigation…they must get the permission of the country, the methods also have to be approved as well as the appointees.
    When I brought two UN Human Rights expertsto D.C. in 1989 we didn’t use the word “investigate”… we “invited’ the commission to appoint two experts to attend Congressional hearings on legislation pertaining to Hopi/ Navajo Relocation…since the hearing are open to the public, it was thought that we did not need a formal invitation from the gov’t..
    Firat the US State Dept.lied on paper and said there were no Congressional hearings scheduled…which letter was followed by an article in the NYT reporting on a hearing that was held…so I had to refile our formal complaint with the new evidence of obstruction…I then sent a copy of our complaint to former Speaker of the House Jim Wright who promptly called a Joint Congressional hearing on Relocation with the Senate and House Committees on Indian Affairs. I thought all systems were go and made all the travel arrengments and a kajillion appointments in D.C. with Senators, Congressmen and committee staff.
    On the eve of our departure for D.C. the UN called and said the Chairwoman of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples could not come into the country on official UN business without an invitation from the gov’t or someone in the gov’t..one of the experts was a US citizen, NY Supreme Court Justice John Carey, so no problem with him…What to do?
    I called Congressman Jim Bate’s San Diego office..he opposed relocation and was one of the Congressman who had an appointment with the UN expert….his staffperson asxked if I had access to a fax…yess. he told me to draft the letter and fax it to him..I did,,he typed it on Congresional stationary, faxed it to D.C., Bates signed it and faxed it to Under Secretary General Jan Martensin in Geneva…
    Phewww! Every time I remember this story I say a prayer of thanks to whoever invented the fax and the other angels in this story.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Kathlleen… the explaination for why the Gaza report was refered to the Security Council is in the first snip below.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/09/falk-goldstone-bombshell-will-fray-jewish-support-for-israel.html
    WHY THE GOLDSTONE REPORT MATTERS (IX/19/2009)
    by Richard Falk, the Princeton law professor and UN rapporteur on Gaza, on the Goldstone report to the UN
    snips…….
    #1 ..”the report recommends strongly that if Israel and Hamas do not themselves within six months engage in an investigation and followup action meeting international standards of objectivity with respect to these violations of the law of war, then the Security Council should be brought into the picture, being encouraged to consider referring the whole issue of Israeli and Hamas accountability to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Even if Israel is spared this indignity by the diplomatic muscle of the United States, and possibly some European governments, the negative public relations implications of a failure to abide by this report could be severe.
    *However I think Goldstone did this to give Israel an ultimate out after roasting them because he knew the US could ditch it in the Security Council.
    # Despite the impeccable credentials of the commission members, and the worldwide reputation of Richard Goldstone as a person of integrity and political balance, Israel refused cooperation from the outset. It did not even allow the UN undertaking to enter Israel or the Palestinian Territories, forcing reliance on the Egyptian government to facilitate entry at Rafah to Gaza. As Uri Avnery observes, however much Israel may attack the commission report as one-sided and unfair, the only plausible explanation of its refusal to cooperate with fact-finding and taking the opportunity to tell its side of the story was that it had nothing to tell that could hope to overcome the overwhelming evidence of the Israeli failure to carry out its attacks on Gaza last winter in accordance with the international law of war. No credible international commission could reach any set of conclusions other than those reached by the Goldstone Report on the central allegations.
    # The report focuses its criticism on Israel’s excessive and indiscriminate uses of force. It does this by examining the evidence surrounding a series of incidents involving attacks on civilians and non-military targets. The report also does draw attention to the unlawful blockade that has restricted the flow of food, fuel, and medical supplies to subsistence levels in Gaza before, during, and since Operation Cast Lead. Such a blockade is a flagrant instance of collective punishment, explicitly prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention setting forth the legal duties of an occupying power.
    # The line of response to any criticism of Israel’s behavior in occupied Palestine, especially if it comes from the UN or human rights NGOs is to cry “foul play!” and avoid any real look at the substance of the charges. It is an example of what I call ‘the politics of deflection,’ attempting to shift the attention of an audience away from the message to the messenger. The more damning the criticism, the more ferocious the response. From this perspective, the Goldstone Report obviously hit the bullseye.
    # Its impact will be felt most impressively on the growing civil society movement throughout the world to impose cultural, sporting, and academic boycotts, as well as to discourage investment, trade, and tourism with Israel. It may yet be the case that as in the anti-apartheid struggle the shift in the relation of forces in the Palestinian favor will occur not through diplomacy or as a result of armed resistance, but on the symbolic battlefield of legitimacy that has become global in scope, what might be described as the new political relevance of moral and legal globalization.”

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    “We are not exactly impotent little babies,” Brzezinski said. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? … We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.”>>>>
    Interesting that Ziggie would mention the USS Liberty.
    But I agree, if they try to bomb Iran, shoot their asses down.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmericabn says:

    Here you will find a fantastic blog by Eva Bartlett.It is well worth a spot on your Favorites List.
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  14. larry birnbaum says:

    Ten years ago I was extremely optimistic that there’d be a peace agreement by now, and a Palestinian state. Not anymore. The main points of an agreement are clear and have been clear for a long time. And maybe it’ll get done some day. I don’t see any way forward at the present.

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    OA, If Israel ever ceases to be a Jewish state, it will stop existing as any kind of state, and there will in short order be no Jews where it used to be. It doesn’t matter how the settlers feel. It’s how Hizbullah and Hamas feel, and they have told us how they feel: they favor genocide of the Jews. Palestine will have no Jews in it, just like Jordan has no Jews in it and Syria has no Jews in it and Saudi Arabia has no Jews in it.
    Not that the Arabs are racist or anything. Or no, being Arab means you can’t be racist, even when espousing genocide. “Oppressed minorities” get a free pass.
    This isn’t new with the Palestinians, btw. Their first national leader was a Nazi and an ally of Hitler.

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    “Rather, the presence of the system on their soil was a tangible sign that pro-US Polish and Czech leaders could point to to demonstrate to their publics that the US was “invested” in their countries, in the sense that Poland and the Czech Republic were now material part of the US’s defense of its *own* security.”
    Dan, That is exactly why the Poles and Czechs felt so betrayed by its removal, and Putin felt so happy. And what did we get in return for making Putin so happy? Anything?
    Doing it on the the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland was a nice touch. Talk about twisting the knife.

    Reply

  17. Outraged American says:

    The source I spoke with said that Israel would use Saudi airspace to
    attack Iran with US & Saudi approval. I forgot about that when I
    was kudoing the Brez for saying that US and Israel jets should have
    a dogfight if Israel tries to use US controlled airspace over Iraq to
    attack Iran.
    He also said if I go to the Middle East next month and for early
    November I’ll be fine because all hell will break lose in December.
    With my luck I’ll get stuck in some place like the Gaza Strip when
    Israel bombs Iran and burned at stake for wearing lacy underwear
    under my burka.

    Reply

  18. Kathlleen Grasso Andersen says:

    arthurrr..it’ll work just great..so you get the vibe…on the Straits of Messina..I’ve always wanted to know which side was Schylla and which Charibdas..the original rock and a hard place dilemna…
    Kathleen Galt…perhaps they are waiting for Sept 29th, the day Ambassador Goldstone actually presents his Report before the Human Rights Council in Geneva. I wish Steve would fly over there and “LIVE BLOG” it…
    Kathleen…inability to empathise….the mark of all oppressors…I’ve heard that fairy tale of Palestine being empty spaces, swamps”..good to remind us of that old one….I’ve been told this myself by a holocaust survivor, who has visited Israel…
    I was just about to go back to using only my first name again ..perhaps I need a screename…I agree with the “other” Kathleens so much. I’m starting to feel like Sibyll…

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    good short article on the huffington post as it pertains to israel/palestine issues…
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/09/david-harris-now-at-huffpo.html

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, some of you may recall that I posted to an indisputably untrue AIPAC offering the other day, where the AIPAC website misquoted the presidential Propaganda Czar, Gibbs. Gibbs, in a press conference, refers to the Iranian “illicit nuclear weapons program”. AIPAC, not to be outdone by Gibbs’ lie, misquotes Gibbs, and claims that Gibbs said “ballistic nuclear weapons program”.
    Well, as predicted, the piece has been removed from the AIPAC website, and a search fails to find it in the archives. And, as predicted, the AIPAC excusing worms like Nadine, Wig-Wag, and questions completely avoided comment about the blatant AIPAC dishonesty, as they do everytime I point out the obvious and common deceptions that are hawked at the AIPAC website.
    You think Obama will ask Netanyahu to tell the AIPAC propagandists to stop misquoting the White House?
    Doubtful. It is far more likely that Netanyahu will direct Obama to tell his spokesman not to lie out of turn, and wait for the script before he opens his lying maw at these pathetic skits known as “press conferences”.

    Reply

  21. Outraged American says:

    Wow-Brzezinski finally grew a pair. We should shoot down Israeli
    jets if they try to get us into WW III — Israel is not our ally by her
    own choice, so the same absolutely irrational allegiances used to
    drag the world into WW I cannot even be used in an Israeli attack
    on Iran.
    But the rule of law has never stopped the US Congress before when
    it comes to their bending over for Israel.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If this doesn’t piss you off, nothing will. Its important to remember, when this empty suit Obama sits down with the puppet Abbas and the genocidal piece of shit Netanyahu, Tristan Anderson’s parents sit by their son’s bedside in Tel Aviv, abandoned by the hawkbitch Secretary Of State, Hillary Clinton.
    As this “meeting” takes place, the sound of hammers ring in numerous settlement sites as construction takes place, greased by Reid and Hoyers’ open dissent against their President. And the sound of tear gas cannisters, flying through the air towards peaceful protestors continues unabated.
    These talks are not negotiations. Obama and Abbas will recieve their marching orders, and Netanyahu will go home to continue stealing land, killing Palestinians, and starting world War Three with an attack on Iran.
    http://www.theunion.com/article/20090918/NEWS/909179987/1001/NONE&parentprofile=1053
    Family of injured peace activist considering suit against Israel
    By Liz Kellar
    The family of peace activist Tristan Anderson, formerly of Grass Valley, is considering filing suit against Israel.
    The Israeli government recently issued a statement denying responsibility for injuries Anderson sustained after being shot by the Israeli army during a peaceful demonstration on March 13.
    Anderson, 38, was injured by Israeli troops during protests in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. An Israeli soldier fired the fist-sized canister — a new type of high-velocity, extended-range tear gas projectile — during a clash with protesters and hit Anderson in the head.
    Anderson was in Ni’lin as an observer and allegedly standing with other peace activists and Palestinians hours after the demonstration had dispersed from the construction site of a wall the Israeli government was building along its border with the West Bank, according to published reports.
    His parents, Mike and Nancy Anderson, still live in Grass Valley and have been in Israel since shortly after his injury. His prognosis remains unclear, despite several surgeries.
    Anderson is a veteran of peace activism, but this was his first trip to Israel. The Nevada Union High School graduate was there with his girlfriend on a three-month trip, after which he was due to join his parents for a family vacation in Europe.
    In mid-August, Israel’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement that its preliminary investigation had cleared government forces of wrongdoing.
    The statement said the border police force was attacked massively by about 400 demonstrators who threw blocks, stones and gas rockets and the police sincerely feared that they would be hurt, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
    “Israel doesn’t take responsibility for the injury and is saying it is immune from liability,” said the Anderson’s lawyer, Michael Sfard, in a telephone interview from Tel Aviv.
    “They’re saying the whole event, the protest, the need for use of soldiers and border police, the whole thing should be categorized as an act of war,” Sfard said. “It doesn’t matter if (Anderson) is an innocent bystander. If damage is caused in an act of war, then the party that caused the damage is not liable …
    “They didn’t say Tristan himself waged war,” Sfard added. “They said he was injured in the context of an act of war.”
    ‘Coercing Tristan’s family’
    Sfard is a prominent human rights lawyer in Israel and represented the family of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist crushed to death by a bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003, and Brian Avery, an American shot in the face by Israeli soldiers that same year. Avery eventually accepted a settlement from the Israeli government; Corrie’s death was ruled accidental by Israel.
    Sfard characterized the Israeli government’s response as “nonsense” and called it a very typical defense.
    “We’re dealing with a civil protest by unarmed men and women,” he said. “You cannot in any conceivable way categorize it as armed hostility or an act of war. ”
    The dismissal of Anderson’s claim under the “act of war” defense is one of the most extreme cases Sfard has seen, he said.
    “I think the government lawyers understand … there is no chance any court would accept that defense,” Sfard said. “They are coercing Tristan’s family to go (through) a legal battle that could take years. They are hoping they will give up.”
    Tristan’s sister, Kendra Anderson, did not want to comment, responding in an e-mail that “our family is focused on Tristan’s recovery.”
    Recent surgery
    Sfard told the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday the Andersons will file suit, but Kendra Anderson said the family’s lawyer “made those comments without my parents’ knowledge.”
    Sfard was asked whether the Andersons planned to go through with the lawsuit and responded, “I am instructed by Tristan’s parents. Whatever they decide, I’ll do.”
    A civil suit reportedly also is being filed, asking for compensation and an army investigation into the incident.
    “We are horrified and overwhelmed,” Nancy Anderson said during a press conference shortly after Tristan’s injury. “We are scared and really still in shock. To shoot peaceful demonstrators is really horrifying to us. What we want to ask is that the Israeli government publicly take full responsibility for the shooting of our son.”
    Tristan suffered multiple condensed fractures as a result of being hit in the right frontal lobe. He has had several life-saving surgeries, and his prospects for full recovery are unclear.
    In early August, Anderson underwent a cranioplasty to relieve pressure caused by post-traumatic hydrocephalus.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Brzezinski just elevated himself in my respect for him. But he’s living a pipe dream if he thinks this mewling coward Obama will stand up to Israel militarily. Hell, the posturing fraud won’t even stand up to Israel diplomatically.
    http://www.uruknet.de/index.php?p=m58131&hd=&size=1&l=e
    Zbig Brzezinski: Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran
    Jake Tapper, ABCNews
    September 20, 2009
    The national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gave an interview to The Daily Beast in which he suggested President Obama should make it clear to Israel that if they attempt to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons sites the U.S. Air Force will stop them.
    “We are not exactly impotent little babies,” Brzezinski said. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? … We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.”
    continues…

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    USA: The unfair negotiator
    Ma’an News
    September 19, 2009 – To many longtime observers of the question of Palestine it is incredible that the United States continues to insert itself as the interlocutor between Palestinians and Israel. Even more incredible is that some Palestinians appear to accept this and to place their faith in the United States as a mediator that will help realize Palestinians’ dreams of self-determination. One must wonder if those who place such faith in the United States understand that this self-declared interlocutor is also the main source of finance to Israel through both trade and cash. Israel, a relatively rich country, receives more American money than any needy developing country in the world. Not only is the US the largest weapons dealer in the world, and it has been for the last sixty years, it is also the main source of the weapons Israel uses to continue to kill and maim Palestinians; it is with those weapons Israel continues to impose an inhumane and illegal occupation on the Palestinian people….
    continues…..
    http://www.uruknet.de/index.php?p=m58093&hd=&size=1&l=e

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Then theres this, from Desert Peace……
    (Glommed from WRH….I’d link it, but Steve’s site only accepts two links per post, and the two links, below, are more imnportant)
    NO CHANGE IN SIGHT AS FAR AS PALESTINE GOES
    Desertpeace
    September 20, 2009
    Where is the CHANGE we were promised? President Obama will meet with Netanyahu and Abbas? What about including a representative of the Palestinian people? What about including the ELECTED Prime Minister of Palestine, Ishmael Haniyeh?
    Nothing has changed, nothing will change until Hamas is recognised by both the Israeli government and the American government as the legitimate representatives that were duly elected to govern the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
    Israel has isolated them completely with its siege on the entire Gaza Strip, separating the people of Palestine into two camps. Every attempt was made recently to totally annihilate the population of Gaza…. now Netanyahu is ready to talk peace???? And Obama is naive enough to trust and believe him?? And Abbas????? That’s another story completely.
    Former president Carter, in interview with NBC, claims Palestinian group ‘adhered to ceasefire’, adds ‘ME peace not possible without Hamas involvement’……. didn’t Obama hear about this? The report on this can be read HERE.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3662189,00.html
    President Carter also claimed that Hamas must be included in Israel-Palestinian peace talks. His views on that can be read in THIS report.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063765.html
    President Obama must realise that there cannot and will not be a just and lasting peace in this region as long as Israel continues its policies of apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. He must also realise that Abbas is nothing more than the APPOINTED Israeli Representative of the Palestinian Territories…. SUPPORTED ONLY BY ISRAEL, NOT BY PALESTINE. Saying that about Obama, WHERE IS THE CHANGE? WHERE IS THE HOPE?? WHERE IS THE PEACE???
    As things stand at the moment we have proposed ‘Peace talks’ between a pro Israeli American President, an extreme right wing Israeli Prime Minister and a pro Israeli ‘representative’ of the Palestinian Authority….. DON’T EXPECT CHANGE IN POLICIES.

    Reply

  26. Outraged American says:

    Abu Mazen/ Mahmoud Abbas and his lot were and are Vichy
    Palestinians.
    Nadine, I have made it very clear that I don’t think that Israel has
    a “right to exist” as a Jewish state. And it won’t. It will have to
    become one state, at which point maybe the settlers, because
    they can’t deal with the UnChosen/ True Semites , will pack their
    yarmulkes and go back to Brooklyn. Which they won’t because
    then they’ll be surrounded by Schwartzes and even worse,
    secular, assimilated, “self-hating” in Nadine speak, Jews.
    Paul, I’ll translate “Schwartzes” into Norwegian for you, it means
    “blacks” in Yiddish, which I do speak fluently.
    The only thing I think about Che is that he needed to shave more
    often. My pity for Afghan women is not about the bombs we’ve
    dropped on their weddings, weddings are miserable affairs to
    begin with, but because they have to sleep with those bearded
    men.
    The high holy days are coming up! Happy Rosh Hashanah! Or as
    a Jewish friend of my husband from high school sent us this
    morning “Happy Jew Year!”
    He’s obviously a leftist and a self-hater. But he did take
    advantage of that free trip to The Holy Land offered per our tax
    dollars to American Jews in hopes that they’ll make aliyah to
    Israel. Then he went back to his mom’s $7.2 million house in
    Malibu to do more drugs, screw more gold-diggers, and watch
    cock fights.
    In LA, on the High Holy Days, the streets are deserted, and if you
    work in the industry you get the days off. See — there are two
    things to thank Judaism for — Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
    and two free vacation days. Except they’re not that free, because
    if you’re a Christian you have to chose between one of those and
    Good Friday.
    The self-hating Jew who was my Man-of-Honor used to call
    Yom Kippur, “Yummy Kippers.” I had a very unusual wedding —
    beyond having a Man-of-Honor, Wynona Ryder Horowitz
    attended unintentionally — she was in court that day for her
    shop-lifting trial. And who says Jews can’t steal…

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, Haaretz musta ran this one especially for Nadine, questions, and Wig-Wag…….
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115240.html
    Disgrace in The Hague
    By Gideon Levy
    There’s a name on every bullet, and there’s someone responsible for every crime. The Teflon cloak Israel has wrapped around itself since Operation Cast Lead has been ripped off, once and for all, and now the difficult questions must be faced. It has become superfluous to ask whether war crimes were committed in Gaza, because authoritative and clear-cut answers have already been given. So the follow-up question has to be addressed: Who’s to blame? If war crimes were committed in Gaza, it follows that there are war criminals at large among us. They must be held accountable and punished. This is the harsh conclusion to be drawn from the detailed United Nations report.
    For almost a year, Israel has been trying to argue that the blood spilled in Gaza was merely water. One report followed the other, with horrifyingly identical results: siege, white phosphorous, harm of innocent civilians, infrastructure destroyed – war crimes in each and every report. Now, after the publication of the most important and damning report of all, compiled by the commission led by Judge Richard Goldstone, Israel’s attempts to discredit them look ludicrous, and the empty bluster of its spokespersons sound pathetic.
    So far they have focused on the messengers, not their messages: the researcher for Human Rights Watch collects Nazi memorabilia, Breaking the Silence is a business and Amnesty International is anti-Semitic. All cheap propaganda. This time, though, the messenger is propaganda-proof. No one can seriously claim that Goldstone, an active and ardent Zionist, with deep links to Israel, is an anti-Semite. It would be ridiculous.
    Although there were some propagandists who actually tried to use the anti-Semitism weapon against him, even they knew this was farcical. One had to hear the moving interview that Goldstone’s daughter Nicole gave to Razi Barkai on Army Radio Wednesday, to understand that he is in fact a lover of Israel and its true friend. She spoke, in Hebrew, of the mental anguish her father experienced and of his conviction that, had he not been there, the report would have been much worse. All he wants is an Israel that is more just, she explained.
    Neither can anyone doubt his legal credentials, as a top-level international jurist with an impeccable reputation. The man who found out the truth about Rwanda and Yugoslavia has now done the same regarding Gaza. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague is not only a legal authority, he is also a moral authority; therefore complaints about the judge won’t hold water. Instead, it is time to look closer at the accused. Those responsible are first and foremost Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi. So far, incredibly, none of them has paid any price for their misdeeds.
    Cast Lead was an unrestrained assault on a besieged, totally unprotected civilian population which showed almost no signs of resistance during this operation. It should have raised an immediate furor in Israel. It was a Sabra and Chatila, this time carried out by us. But there was a storm of protest in this country following Sabra and Chatila, whereas after Cast Lead mere citations were dished out.
    It should have been enough just to look at the horrendous disparity in casualties – 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli – to shake the whole of Israeli society. There was no need to wait for Goldstone to understand that a terrible thing had occurred between the Palestinian David and the Israeli Goliath. But the Israelis preferred to look away, or stand with their children on the hills around Gaza and cheer on the carnage-causing bombs.
    Under the cover of the committed media, and criminally-biased analysts and experts – all of whom kept information from coming out – and with brainwashed and complacent public opinion, Israel behaved as if nothing had happened. Goldstone has put an end to that, for which we should thank him. After his job is done, the obvious practical steps will be taken.
    It would be better for Israel to summon up the courage to change course while there is still time, investigating the matter genuinely and not by means of the Israel Defense Forces’ grotesque inquiries, without waiting for Goldstone. Olmert and Tzipi Livni must be brought to pay for their scandalous decision not to cooperate with Goldstone, although at this point that is spilled milk. Now that the report is on its way to the ICC and arrest warrants could soon be issued, all that remains to be done is to immediately set up a state inquiry commission in order to avert disgrace in The Hague.
    Perhaps next time we set out to wage another vain and miserable war, we will take into account not only the number of fatalities we are likely to sustain, but also the heavy political damage such wars cause.
    On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel, deservedly, is becoming an outcast and detested country. We must not forget it for a minute.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting that the usual media mouthpieces of the right, while reporting on this “missile defense” issue, are not mentioning the concensus of the Joint Chiefs, that form the basis for Obama’s decision. Reporting on the military’s stance is only done when it fits their agenda.
    This one is all about money. The missile defense thing has always been about money, and its lesser variations of “missile defense” is about money as well. The weapons industry exists like any other business, for profit. National security is not what drives many of the programs. Profit is what drives them. These corporations, expending billions in R and D, cannot afford to simply dump a program because the technology is proven to be ineffective at what it is supposed to do. So called “missile defense” is a glaring example of this. Test after test after test, all varying degrees of failure, yet we still have the program. Why? Because these fuckers serving on the various appropriations committees, and the majority of these worthless sacks of shit slithering through our halls of Congress, are in one pocket or the other of the arms industry.
    This isn’t about “defense”, its about feeding the monster.

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  29. Dan Kervick says:

    According to the US Defense Department, those missile defense installations were designed to defend against Iran, not Russia, and were not designed to defend European allies, but to defend the continental United States from long range missiles. Their removal – so says the Defense Department – was based on more recent intelligence that showed that the potential Iranian long-range missile threat was much less an issue than previously estimates had shown, while the short and medium range threats are somewhat higher than had previously been estimated. The missile defense system has not been scrapped, but re-designed to address the threats that actually exist more efficiently.
    The political problem inside Poland and the Czech Republic doesn’t seem to have much to do with the fact that the missile defense system was a contribution to their own defense, whether against Russia or Iran – since it wasn’t. Rather, the presence of the system on their soil was a tangible sign that pro-US Polish and Czech leaders could point to to demonstrate to their publics that the US was “invested” in their countries, in the sense that Poland and the Czech Republic were now material part of the US’s defense of its *own* security. These governments seem to have been somewhat reassured following discussions that they will be given other opportunities to participate in the west’s defense arrangements.

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  30. ... says:

    dan kervick, i agree with your 11:22pm post… thanks for making the post and for continuing to put aside cheap comments from others directed at you for the sake of sharing your personal perspective here with many like myself that enjoy knowing your viewpoint..

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  31. kotzabasis says:

    Obama is like someone who has inherited great wealth (read political power) only to squander it in senseless profligate excesses. He appeased the Russians, as I predicted he would, with the withdrawal of the missiles installation from Czechoslovakia and Poland at the expense of close allies; he tried to browbeat Israel with his no settlement pronunciamento to no avail, as he and his close advisers, including Clinton, astonishingly misread the position of the majority of Israelis on the issue and paying the high price of increasing Palestinian expectations and inadvertently making it a condition for its leadership, that never existed before, for direct talks with Israel; he tried in his Cairo speech to reach a rapprochement with Muslims by praising with intellectual blindness the great achievements of Islam prior to the Renaissance while sweeping under the carpet the great failure of Islam with unprecedented wealth in its hands in our era, without receiving any conciliatory gestures from those who were so gloriously exalted; And presently he is opening negotiations with the illegitimate government of Iran with no explicit and clear restrictions on its nuclear program at the expense of the democratic forces of the country with its great potential to oust the Khomenei-Ahmadinejad regime, if the Obama administration had taken the prudent stand of not accepting its legitimacy and isolating it from the international community.
    In short, Obama, the tyro in foreign affairs and the weakling that I said he was a year ago, is squandering America’s power and prestige in his doltish idiotic diplomacy and he is transforming, slowly but surely, the strength of America into weakness at a time when only the power of the U.S. wisely expended can protect Western civilization from the suicidal and deadly sallies of irreconcilable implacable enemies. Who was it in the Bush administration who said that “weakness is provocative?”

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    Kathleen, it’s not that I am manipulative; it’s that you are so ignorant of the complex history of Palestine/Israel over the last hundred years. You seem to actually believe that Israel replaced an Arab state called Palestine. There never was such a state. It is hard to argue with such great ignorance.
    I have deep sympathies for refugees. How not, I am the daughter, granddaughter and greatgranddaughter of refugees. But most don’t get to go home, as my family didn’t. The woes of the Palestinians are twofold as they can neither go home nor resettle. But that’s not Israel’s fault. Actually, it wasn’t even Israel’s fault that the Arabs of Palestine became refugees in the first place, since Israel didn’t start the war, and with a few exceptions didn’t drive them out. They ran to avoid the fighting or in fear of the Jews’ revenge. The vast majority ran without seeing a single Jewish soldier. They weren’t organized the way the Jews were. They relied on the five Arab armies, who failed them. And they didn’t have their backs to the wall like the Jews. They had someplace else to go. For the Jews, it was win or die, literally.

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  33. nadine says:

    “It’s plain and simple; Obama miscalculated. Now he’s paying the price. Unfortunately for him his education has come at a very high price indeed; showing weakness in the Middle East is a sure recipe for failure and Obama looks pathetically weak.”
    Agreed. Obama single handedly prevented the talks from restarting and Bibi practically owes him a favor for consoldating the Israeli public – against Obama. Last poll shows only 4% think Obama is pro Israel. But he’s lost Israeli favor without gaining any Palestinian favor, quite the trick. Now he’s trying to paper over his self-created disaster with an optimism offensive.
    “The Palestinians obviously can’t defeat the Israelis militarily and whatever one thinks about putative Iranian nuclear weapons, if they do acquire one it won’t help the Palestinians in the least.”
    The Palestinians are of a different opinion. They think they can defeat the Israels in time, by suicide bombers, lawfare, Iranian nukes, lots of babies, whatever. Allah will provide. One of the Arabs’ persistent problems in the modern world is their habit of believing their own press. They succumb to their own fantasies.
    At any rate, the Palestinians want no part of a compromise solution that would prevent them from getting Palestine from the river to the sea. And if any of them did weaken and decide to compromise, their hardliners would kill them as traitors. It was always true and is now doubly true with Islamicism in the ascendancy. Even men who used to be moderates are now talking like Hamasniks in public.
    Once you understand the situation from Palestinian eyes, their behavior makes a little more sense. It’s only irrational if you persist in thinking that they want a peace treaty. They don’t. They want Palestine instead of Israel. Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza is strictly the booby prize. They want none of it.
    That’s why Abu Mazen’s reaction to Obama is “We’ll take what he gives us for free. No negotiations.”

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    “If Obama wasn’t prepared to go forward with sanctions against Israel if they declined to accede to his demand that they halt settlements, then why did he make the demand in the first place?” (Dan Kervick)
    That’s an easy one.
    Obama and his people don’t know what they’re doing. Like many new Administrations Obama began to believe his own press and he thought he was more powerful than he turned out to be.
    I have no doubt that Obama would love to insist on a true settlement freeze with teeth and that given his druthers he would be willing to back up his insistence with at least modestly coercive measures on Israel.
    But now that Obama’s popularity has been cut down to size as a result of his many miscues on the health care debate, Obama doesn’t have the political capital to coerce the Israelis to do anything. There are strong majorities in both Houses of Congress which oppose any pressure on the Israelis. Virtually one hundred percent of the Republicans oppose pressure on Israel and most Democratic members do as well.
    With Democratic fundraising in free-fall and important elections coming up in states with large Jewish populations like Ohio and Florida Obama’s capacity to challenge Israel is contracting all the time.
    Obama’s motivation in pushing for a total freeze on settlements (including Jerusalem) was his misguided belief that this would demonstrate to the Arab world a total reversal of the Bush policy. Obama mistakenly came into office convinced that a rapprochement with the larger Muslim world was important and would result in the United States having a wider range of options. Of course that theory has by now been completely disproven.
    At the very least, Obama should have realized that by antagonizing the Israeli public (even those who supported a settlement freeze)and taking for granted Jewish Americans who are one of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, he was sacrificing the political good will he would need to win support on the difficult things he was asking Israel to do.
    Obama never realized that reaching out to the Muslim world while failing to reach out to the Israeli world or covering his bases with Jewish Americans was a serious mistake. Obama probably thought that with all the United States does for Israel outreach to Jewish Americans and Israelis wasn’t necessary; he was wrong.
    A perfect example of this is Obama’s decision to give the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson who is reviled by many Jews of all political stripes for her behavior at the first Durban Conference. This incensed many in the Jewish community whose forbearance Obama needed to abet the pressure he wanted to put on Israel over the settlements.
    With the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in open rebellion over health care, Obama simply can’t afford to lose one of the fundamental anchors of the Party’s base, Jewish Americans.
    It’s plain and simple; Obama miscalculated. Now he’s paying the price. Unfortunately for him his education has come at a very high price indeed; showing weakness in the Middle East is a sure recipe for failure and Obama looks pathetically weak.
    Obama can still recover, but he needs to wise up. Critics of Israel and supporters of Israel alike now understand that his pressure on Israel over the settlements was a mistake that was counterproductive and ineffective.
    One more mistake like that and Obama’s Middle East agenda could easily be dead on arrival.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, Dan, I see your expectations of Obama have become more realistic since I threatened you that one day soon I would be telling you “I told you so”.
    And your description of Hillary is right on. Something tells me that everytime she’s out of Obama’s sight, she’s putting those kneepads to use, right alongside Reid and Hoyer.

    Reply

  36. Kathleen says:

    Ndine would you be able to empathize with the folks who were brutally terrorized (some murdered) and run out of their villages by Jewish terrorist if these folks had been Jewish. You are obviously incapable of empathizing or “taking a walk in their shoes”
    The inability to empathize is part of the problem

    Reply

  37. Kathleen says:

    Nadine…facts seem to get in the way of your wavy gravy theories
    your manipulative skills are almost as good as the Israeli government. No we do not agree. Any expansion of illegal settlements is illegal and continues to inflame the situation just the way the Israeli government desires. Israel does not want peace they want more to take more territory illegally. Period

    Reply

  38. Dan Kervick says:

    Where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned, the United States might just as well be Lichtenstein. It has no real power at all, given that it has made it clear to all interested observers that it will never bring its substantial stores of power-in-reserve to bear on inhibiting Israeli intransigence.
    If Obama wasn’t prepared to go forward with sanctions against Israel if they declined to accede to his demand that they halt settlements, then why did he make the demand in the first place? You could say that Netanyahu called his bluff. But Obama didn’t even bluff. There was nothing there at all – not even a bogus hint at a suggestion at an allusion to whisper of a threat of negative consequences. What could they have possible been thinking?
    It appears Abbas is being mockingly anointed by the US as the King of the Palestinians the way Pontius Pilate mockingly designated Jesus of Nazareth as the “King of the Jews”. I’ve seen this Holy Land play before, and don’t like the way it ends.
    If nothing else, the approach here is a success and vindication for Israel of it’s policy of dividing Gaza and the West Bank, and treating them as two separate countries. This isn’t the first time divide and conquer has worked for them. Why does the United States continue to block real representation of the Palestinian people, whole and entire, by representatives of their *own* choosing?
    The administration also issued a humiliating, mewling response this week to the Goldstone report, a reponse that that should make all Americans ashamed. And when the Israeli government and its minions attacked Justice Goldstone and his reputation, in degrading personal terms, the administration said nothing.
    The US was also one of four states to abstain in a 100-1 vote by the UN nuclear assembly urging all states in the Middle East to forswear nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT – a policy that ought to be a no-brainer for an administration that professes to be so strongly in favor of non-proliferation. Nevertheless, following the abstention, U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies said, somewhat ridiculously, “We are very pleased with the agreed approach reflected here today.”
    I know ambassadors are expected to lie for their country, but should they really be doing comedy routines as well?
    One of the chief obligations of a US president is the preservation of his county’s dignity, gravity and credibility. But these recent actions are so outlandish, so partaking of emperor-with-no-clothes idiocy, that they are making the US look like a stupid joke.
    Would Hillary Clinton have been any better? Well only in that her attitude probably would have been that, “If you’re going to suck Bibi Netanyahu’s c*** eventually, you might as well just grab the kneepads and start sucking now.” She wouldn’t have gone through a phony show of pretending to some independence and dignity before doing the deed.

    Reply

  39. WigWag says:

    “Several Palestinians, including Abbas and Saeb Erekat, have recently expressed the opinion that they have nothing to lose by waiting. Every few years a better Israeli offer comes along and every few years they refuse it.” (Nadine)
    You are correct; Abbas said just a few months ago that he was happy to wait. You’re also correct that with each passing year the Israeli offer has become somewhat more generous.
    But I have been wondering lately if Abbas and his Fatah colleagues might be making a huge mistake by not taking advantage of Obama’s enthusiasm for a negotiated settlement.
    The Palestinians are unlikely to have a President as sympathetic to their aspirations as Obama is for a very long time. Whether Obama loses in 2012 (which is possible) or retires in 2016 (more likely), Obama’s replacement is almost certain to be less sympathetic to Palestinian aspirations than Obama is.
    There’s not a credible Democratic or Republican presidential candidate who can be expected to pursue a peace deal as assertively as Obama.
    The only nation in the world that can deliver a state to the Palestinians is the United States. The Russians, Chinese and Indians don’t care. The Europeans are divided; their citizens increasingly dislike Muslims and they have very little influence over the Israelis.
    The Palestinians obviously can’t defeat the Israelis militarily and whatever one thinks about putative Iranian nuclear weapons, if they do acquire one it won’t help the Palestinians in the least.
    The Palestinians have exactly one potential benefactor than can help them; the United States. If they don’t make a deal on Obama’s watch, they may be waiting a very long time.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    “The economy in the West Bank is on the mend; Abbas just ran a relatively successful political convention and his political adversaries in Hamas are in disarray and losing popularity fast. The Israeli, Egyptian, American and European strategy of isolating Hamas is bearing fruit and Gazans increasingly look at their co-religionists in the West Bank with envy. Abbas is watching his sworn enemies in Iran and Lebanon suffer reversals that must make him smile.
    The bottom line is that Netanyahu prefers the status quo, Abbas prefers the status quo and Hamas is more irrelevant than ever.”
    Pretty fair, though I would say that Hizbullah is still on the path to take over Lebanon unless the Iranian regime falls and they loose their sponsorship, which is not chicken feed – we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
    Hamas is not irrelevant while it holds Gaza, and its current efforts at “lawfare” are bearing fruit in this Goldstone report, where the UN Human Rights council found a Jew who was willing to regard Hamas’ stories as more credible than the judgments of the Israeli judiciary. This is truly enabling the terrorists, except we both know that neither Goldstone nor anybody else will hold any other army to the same standard. Indeed, Goldstone has judged US actions in Afghanistan by a far more understanding light. In Afghanistan, Goldstone understands that the Taliban uses civilians and civilian infrastructure as human shields. In Gaza, incredibly, he takes Hamas’ word for it that they don’t do that, and ignored the copious Israeli evidence to the contrary.
    Abbas is just waiting for retirement. Several Palestinians, including Abbas and Saeb Erekat, have recently expressed the opinion that they have nothing to lose by waiting. Every few years a better Israeli offer comes along and every few years they refuse it. This btw, shows what a sham all the “illegal settlements” kefluffle is, for if Abu Mazen et. al. really believed that they were losing land year by year, they would have an incentive to close a deal. They would at least feel pressure! Instead, the recent Fatah congress chose a hardliner who never accepted Oslo as Abu Mazen’s successor. While he’s around, there will be no peace settlement, period.

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    Kathleen,
    I am simply trying to point out that it is absurd to claim that “illegal West Bank settlements” are the cause of the conflict when there were no settlements before 1967 and yet there was no peace. You respond by going on about all the refugees of 1948, so that is a kind of acknowledgment that the conflict is NOT about settlements. It is about Israel’s existence, anywhere and inside any borders. When the Partition of the Mandate was proposed, the Arabs refused. When Israel accepted it, the Arabs declared war. When Israel won the war, the Arabs turned the Arab refugees into multigenerational pawns of the conflict, never allowing them to resettle anywhere. The Jewish refugees of Arab lands, who numbered 800,000, resettled inside Israel and never got a dime from the UN or compensation from Iraq, Iran or any other country.
    So now that we’ve agreed that building another kindergarten in Gush Etzion has nothing to do with the case, could you please stop going on about this irrelevancy?

    Reply

  42. Kathleen says:

    Nadine are you trying to “flipt the script” and make excuses for the expansion of illegal settlements? The International World Court and the UN have determined that the settlements and part of the wall are illegal. Illegal!

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  43. Kathleen says:

    Come on Nadine.
    You would be damned pissed off if lands that you had lived on in recent history were legally and but more were illegally and brutally confiscated.
    I have talked with many Palestinians who were threatened and forced from their homes during that period.
    Their attitudes may have to do with about 700000 Palestinians becoming refugees in the fighting of and before 1948. ..
    Now I know many Jews and others were taught that Jews came to a land of empty swamps and deserts with no one living there but that was just not the case.
    Let’s not forget that way back in 1919 Ben Gurion made it clear that European Jews emigrating to Palestine intended to displace the Palestinians. Morris quotes Ben Gurion as saying, “There is a gulf, and nothing can bridge it … I do not know what Arab will agree that Palestine should belong to the Jews. … We, as a nation, want this country to be ours …”
    Benny Morris describes how members of Jewish terror organizations threw grenades into Arab homes and were the first to plant bombs in buses and crowded civilian markets way back in the 1940’s .
    It was wrong for Jews to displace hundreds of thousands of Muslim (and Christian) Arabs from their homes, villages and lives in 1948, Have you ever heard of Deir Yassan or Safsaf
    The Palestinians forced from their homes or witnessed the deaths of other Palestinians may have just a bit of attitude left over from the brutality of the Jews that bought some of the land but took much of it
    Now in hind sight are there plenty of Palestinians who wish they would have taken the deal. I’m sure there are.
    But to try to ask why there was not Peace before is absurd

    Reply

  44. ... says:

    more MEETINGS and TALKS…. when the peddle hits the metal, the usa’s actions towards israel speak louder then all the hot air from usa.. everyone knows this except the pundit class who continue to operate in a disconnected bubble…
    pundit : a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media…

    Reply

  45. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag, Abbas isn’t furious at Obama, he’s glad of such a good excuse not to talk…” (Nadine)
    You make an interesting point, Nadine; I think you’re partially right.
    Israelis may not be thrilled with the status quo, but basically they’re satisfied with it. And like the Israelis, Abbas would rather maintain the status quo than make the extraordinary sacrifices necessary for the Palestinians to get a State of their own.
    The economy in the West Bank is on the mend; Abbas just ran a relatively successful political convention and his political adversaries in Hamas are in disarray and losing popularity fast. The Israeli, Egyptian, American and European strategy of isolating Hamas is bearing fruit and Gazans increasingly look at their co-religionists in the West Bank with envy. Abbas is watching his sworn enemies in Iran and Lebanon suffer reversals that must make him smile.
    The bottom line is that Netanyahu prefers the status quo, Abbas prefers the status quo and Hamas is more irrelevant than ever.
    I think it was James Baker who once said that there would be no peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians as long as Americans wanted peace more than the parties did.
    I think it’s pretty clear that Obama wants an agreement more than the political leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority do.
    That’s one of the reasons that Obama’s trilateral meeting is “all sizzle and no steak.” Actually, there’s not even that much sizzle to it; it’s more grizzle than sizzle.
    Frankly I would think Obama would find it a little embarassing.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    Kathleen, so please explain why there was no peace before 1967? Not an “illegal settlement” in sight – unless you really mean Tel Aviv.

    Reply

  47. Kathleen says:

    If Israel wanted peace they would have stopped with the illegal settlements long ago. Instead they just ignore the International World Court’s determinations that the wall and the settlements are illegal and should stop…just as Israel is in violation of more UN resolutions than I believe any other nation. Their motto is “do as we say not as we do”
    I really believe Israel does not want peace in any way. Just more excuses to keep expanding illegal settlements…that’s the plan

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    I worked with a guy who had this expression “spinning his wheels in neutral”, which makes absolutely no sense. But it pretty well describes Obama. Giving him at least credit for not being a total shill, that is. Unless Obama has had a serious awakening, it’s just more media fodder. Now if Obama really bought into the whole settlement freeze gambit, and happened to notice he got punked . . . Naaaa.

    Reply

  49. nadine says:

    Wigwag, Abbas isn’t furious at Obama, he’s glad of such a good excuse not to talk. Before Obama put his foot in it by insisting on a total settlement freeze, Abu Mazen had already made his position clear: he would offer nothing, he would just set and wait for Obama to hand him Israel on a platter. This was his reaction to the most pro-Palesitnian President ever.
    Abu Mazen can also be thankful that Israel has a center-right government. His nightmare is a situation where he would be expected to talk, which from his position of weakness, he cannot do. Hamas and his own hard-liners would line up to kill him if he offered an inch on anything.

    Reply

  50. arthurdecco says:

    WigWag, Abbas isn’t President of anything outside of his own and your imaginations. His term ended months ago. He’s what I said he was earlier – a quisling under the total control of his people’s enemies.

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  51. kathleen Galt says:

    I thought Abbas said no meeting until there is a freeze on settlements.
    Anyone else notice that the so called liberal talking heads (Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Ed) did not even whisper about the Goldstone UN report on the war crimes committed in the Gaza.
    Not a whisper.
    I guess they figured they needed to tell us about Joe”you lied” Wilson’s rant for the hundredth time.
    Not a whisper about that UN Report…those damn liberals

    Reply

  52. WigWag says:

    Steve, we rely on you for trenchant analysis; with all due respect, this isn’t it.
    Before Obama took office, then Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas met scores of times. How substantive the discussions were, it’s hard for us to know; but one thing is clear, Israel’s settlement policy wasn’t viewed as an obstacle to talking.
    Only after Obama made a very public show of insisting that all settlement activity cease (including in Jerusalem) did the Palestinian President decide to stop meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister until a settlement halt occurred. The talks stopped because the Obama Administration made a strategic error and after their little tet a tet at the General Assembly, it is unclear when or if negotiations will start again. As Israel hater Helen Cobban has said herself, Obama wasted seven precious months on his settlement freeze idea.
    What did Obama get for the pressure he put on Israel? Nothing.
    Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and he has made clear that a temporary settlement freeze, if one is ever one adopted, won’t include thousands of apartments and other structures already under construction.
    It’s pretty clear that Obama blinked and that his credibility has been badly hurt in a region highly sensitive to any show of weakness. Netanyahu has made clear that he was willing to meet with Abbas alone or with Obama anytime without preconditions. Abbas is the one who claimed that without a total settlement freeze, no meeting could take place.
    Abbas must be furious with Obama for hanging him out to dry. Now that he’s agreed to meet with Netanyahu with either no settlement freeze in place, or at best only an anemic one, Abbas looks weak as well.
    The huge winner in all of this is Netanyahu who has given next to nothing. Only a few short months ago, Administration advisors were talking about the day that Netanyahu would fall because Israelis wouldn’t tolerate a Prime Minister who couldn’t get along with the American President.
    What a difference a few short months can make.
    Obama better smarten up if he really has ambitions to make progress in the Middle East. The Israelis and Palestinians have alot more in common with each other than either party has with him. Israelis and Palestinians understand the mentality of the souk; Obama never learned much about that in Harvard or Hyde Park.
    And lets face it, as you implied in a previous post where Richard Holbrooke was discussed, George Mitchell hasn’t accomplished very much.
    My guess is that it won’t be long before Dennis Ross is back in charge of the negotiations. In fact, many are now touting the “borders first” policy which has been championed by Ross for a long time.
    Abbas acquiesced to the meeting to spare Obama the embarrassment of being turned down in his request for a trilateral.
    Anyone who thinks this is a victory for Obama isn’t paying attention. The reality is that it’s a humiliating failure.
    But at least Netanyahu is smiling.

    Reply

  53. arthurdecco says:

    heh heh, Kathleen… I’m not remotely Sicilian but I have some very close friends whose families hail from just across the straight. Does that count for anything?

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Laughable” pretty much nails it. If you want to see how seriously Netanyahu takes Obama, just monitor the Peace Now website. The end result here will be that Netanyahu will lie about giving concessions, and this empty suit Obama will lie about getting concessions.

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  55. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    arthurrrrr..NutandYahooo…good one…are you sure you aren’t a little bit Sicilian, with that knack for knick names?

    Reply

  56. arthurdecco says:

    Explain to me again how a meeting between these three men will lead to anything.
    Abbas is a quisling and a demonstrated puppet of the Israeli terrorist regime – he’s not even the legally elected leader of the Palestinians! That would Hamas. And we don’t need to be reminded of NutandYahoo’s constituency or who it is giving Obama his marching orders.
    If it wasn’t such a sick farce I’d be laughing hysterically at this more-of-the-same-old-propaganda BS.

    Reply

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